Endless war! Endless unemployment! Endless poverty! The rich get richer while half of the human race lives on less than two dollars a day. Capitalism is an outdated economic system that has outlived its useful purpose. It's time to throw capitalism in the garbage can! It's time for socialism! Not the so-called "socialism" of the Stalinist hacks of China and the ex-Soviet Union. When I say that we need socialism I mean that we need an economic system that is run by the workers - a workers democracy. After all, it's the workers that produce the wealth of society, so why shouldn't the workers enjoy the fruits of their labor? Why should workers labor for the benefit of a privileged few? What are the rich people good for besides ruining the economy? Today's billionaires live like 19th century French royalty, and their mismanagement of the world is causing endless misery.
Capitalism Sucks talks about these problems and what we can do about them.
Much of this book is a series of "interviews". In these "interviews" I answer questions I imagine readers may have about the evil system of capitalism and what we can do about it. There's simply too much war, too much unemployment, too much poverty, too much homelessness, too many people working their rear ends off for miserly wages, too much racism, too much sexism, too much homophobia – there's just too much human misery. I realize I am no deep theoretician, but perhaps the reader will be thankful for that, as the book is relatively easy to read. I am no labor leader, but I have worked at both blue-collar and white-collar jobs. I am simply just another face walking down the street, and as I walk down the street I see that the world is filled with unemployment, racism, sexism, homophobia, poverty, etc. What can we do about it all? That's why I've written this book.
The following are excerpts from Capitalism Sucks:
A WORKERS BILL OF RIGHTS
1) Double the minimum wage! Full medical and pension benefits for all who work! Everyone who wants to work should have the right to a job!
2) Defend unions! Defend picket lines! Picket lines mean DON’T CROSS! Defend the picket lines against scabs and other scum by any means necessary!
3) Bring all American troops home at once! No more money for the war budget – not one dime! Spend the money in the war budget on social programs instead to improve the lives of Americans! No more wars! No more invasions! Put the American President on trial as a war criminal! Treat veterans with respect! For fair treatment, full compensation and benefits, and quality medical care for all veterans injured in America’s wars! For the unity of rank-and-file soldiers and workers against the war-mongering politicians, generals, and war-profiteers.
4) For an immediate halt to all evictions and foreclosures! Housing must be a right for all!
5) End the war on drugs! Legalize all drugs! Free everybody who is in prison on drug charges!
6) Support immigrant rights! For full democratic rights for all immigrants! The only Americans who are not “illegal immigrants” are the Native Americans!
7) Full equality for women! Fight for equal pay for equal work! Fight for free abortion on demand! Quality free child care for all working women! Support the Second Amendment so that women can protect themselves from violence! No to feminism – feminism betrayed the struggle for women’s liberation when they jumped in bed with the moral majority and became puritans.
8) Treat gays and lesbians with respect! For full equality for gays and lesbians! For full democratic rights for all gays and lesbians – including the right to marry! Gays should have the right to defend themselves with the Second Amendment against violent homophobic thugs!
9) No to segregation! Fight for racial equality! Blacks must have full access to equal education and opportunities as whites. SMASH this racist capitalist system – which was founded by slave owners and slave traders.
10) Break with black nationalism! The black nationalists murdered Malcolm X. Today’s black nationalists sell the black people out to the Democratic Party – which is just as racist as the Republicans!
11) Smash the KKK and the neo-Nazis with mass mobilizations of workers, students, blacks, Jews, progressive whites, etc. whenever the KKK and the neo-Nazis try to march! Defend interracial couples from violent white supremacists and black nationalists! Everyone must have the right to date whomever they choose!
12) Defend the Second Amendment! All Americans should have the right to defend themselves!
13) For a living stipend for all students, writers, musicians, and artists! Defend the right of artists and writers to fully express themselves in their work!
14) Free quality medical care for all Americans!
15) For free quality higher education! Eliminate tuition! Make all higher education free! Cancel all student debt immediately!
16) For billions of dollars for AIDS research until a cure is found!
17) Break with the Democrats! The Democratic Party is no different than the Republicans. The Democrats are warmongers just like the Republicans! The Democrats in Congress voted for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Democrats escalated the war in Vietnam, and dropped the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Democrats are attacking our democratic rights just like the Republicans! The Democrats in Congress voted for the Patriot Act. The Democrats attack unions – just like the Republicans. The Democrats are not the friends of black people! The Democrats opposed the Emancipation Proclamation, the Democrats supported the Counterpro program in the 1960s that murdered black activists, and in 1985 Wilson Goode (a black Democratic mayor) murdered a dozen black activists and their children in cold blood!
18) Build a third party – a workers party – a party that will fight for all workers whether they are white or black, male or female, gay or straight, native-born or immigrant.
19) Freedom of speech for all! No to censorship – whether it’s by politicians, the police apparatus, religious extremists, conservatives, or P.C. feminists/liberals!
20) Strike down the Patriot Act! Full democratic rights for all!
21) Support the struggle of workers! For the unity of artists, writers, and students with the struggles of the working class! For the unity of white and black workers, male and female workers, gay and straight workers, native-born and immigrant workers – all workers must unite and fight together for better wages, better medical and pension benefits, and a better tomorrow!
Break with the Democrats and Republicans! Form a Workers Party!
An interview with Wolf Larsen
Question: Do you support the Republicans or the Democrats?
Answer: Neither! The Democrats and Republicans are pretty much the same! The Democrats talk a lot of pretty words about helping working-class people, blacks, Latinos, and women. But after they get elected the Democrats pretty much do the same as the Republicans. The Democrats voted for the Patriot Act just like the Republicans, so the Democrats are attacking our civil liberties just like the Republicans. The Democrats in Congress voted for two wars at the same time – Iraq and Afghanistan – so you can see the Democrats are warmongers just like the Republicans. The Democrats vote for hundreds of billions of dollars a year for the war machine just like the Republicans.
Q. But don't you think you we should support our troops?
A. The same politicians that talk about supporting our troops are the same politicians that cut medical spending for veterans. The politicians – both Democrat and Republican – use rhetoric about supporting our troops in order to launch all their endless wars. The best way to support our young people is to give them a free college education or job training skills. Let's stop sending our young people into war! If the politicians want war then let's send all the politicians themselves into war, and let's bring all the troops home. I hear a lot of soldiers are sick of being in the armed forces – they've been called back to Iraq and Afghanistan so many times that they're sick and tired of war. They thought they were going to defend our country, but instead they find themselves getting shot at in order to further the interests of oil corporations in Iraq or the interests of a corrupt government in Afghanistan.
Q. So you're a pacifist then?
A. No. But these wars only serve the interests of the privileged few, and those privileged few are not the ones doing the fighting and the dying.
Q. I see, but since you say you're not a pacifist, which wars do you support?
A. The Civil War to smash the Confederacy and the War for American Independence are the only wars I support.
Q. Not the Second World War?
A. By the time the American troops landed on the shores of Normandy the Soviet Union was already kicking the ass of Nazi Germany. The American entry into the Second World War was more about stopping the Soviet Union from liberating all of Europe.
Q. So you seem to be arguing that the Democrats are warmongers as you call them. But many people view the Democrats as historically being the party of peace – how do you answer that?
A. The Democrats market themselves as the party of peace in order to get more votes and fool the people, but their actions after they get elected are no different than the Republicans. It was the Democrats that got us into both World Wars I and II, it was the Democrats that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it was the Democrats that escalated the war in Vietnam. The Democrat John F. Kennedy attempted to invade Cuba and brought the world to the brink of a nuclear holocaust during the Cuban missile crisis. The Democrats may talk peace, but they are warmongers just like the Republicans. The Democrats are war criminals just like the Republicans. The Democrats have blood on their hands just like the Republicans.
Q. But the Democrats have put up a black man as candidate for President. A woman – Hillary Clinton – almost became a presidential candidate for the Democrats as well. Isn't that significant?
A. No it's not. We've been through this before – we've had black mayors, black judges, black cops, etc. The black mayors and black judges and black cops have pretty much done the same as the white mayors and the white judges and the white cops. I don't think a black President will be any different than a white President. The rich people will keep on getting richer, and everybody else will continue getting poorer. And these wars are never going to stop as long as the Republicans and Democrats are in power. You mentioned that the Democrats put up a woman for President – or nearly put up a woman up for President – but England has already been through that. They had Margaret Thatcher, and she was as ruthless as any man! She attacked unions just like male politicians, launched wars just like male politicians in the Malvinas or Falkland Islands, and attacked the poor and social programs just like male politicians.
Q. But there's at least one difference between the Democrats and the Republicans – the Democrats are more for workers and for the poor – isn't that true?
A. No it's not. The Democrats are union busters just like the Republicans. Democrats will call in the police and even the National Guard to break your picket lines and escort scabs into your workplace just like the Republicans. Hillary Clinton, who was supported by many union bureaucrats in the last Democratic primaries, well she supports union busting legislation like the Taylor act, which makes it illegal for many workers like the transit workers in New York to go on strike. And as for the poor it was under the last Democratic administration in the White House – Bill Clinton – that welfare was replaced with slavefare. It was the last Democratic administration in the White House that ended welfare as we know it, and cut off many poor women and children from the welfare rolls.
Q. But the Democrats are more for women, aren't they?
A. No. The Democrats in the White House have come and gone and we still don't have equal pay for equal work. And how about free quality child care for all working women? The Democrats haven't delivered that, they're not even talking about it! Why shouldn't working women have free quality child care, they pay taxes don't they? But instead all we get for our endless taxes is endless wars and more wars, and also our taxes pay to keep over 2 million Americans behind prison bars every night because of the war on drugs. And by the way it was the Democrats under Clinton – the last Democratic administration in the White House – that presided over the biggest buildup of prisons in American history!
Q. So if you don't support the Democrats and the Republicans who do you support? Do you support the Green Party?
A. No I don't support the Green Party. The Democrats and Republicans put corporations before working people. The Green Party puts animals before working people! (Laughs) The Green Party and its kind are more concerned about the rights of some dog than they are about the rights of a working person – these so-called left-wing liberals put dogs above the working person.
Q. Left-wing liberals put dogs above the working person? Don't you think that's a slight exaggeration – or a big exaggeration?
A. Maybe, a slight exaggeration. (Laughs) But you know, there's a certain type of liberal that gets on people's nerves. They're all holier than thou with their political correctness, and they're so sexually puritanical with their political correctness that they sound just like the conservative Republicans that they're always criticizing. And on top of that they're gentrifying our inner cities and driving up the price of rent!
Q. So if you don't like the Green Party who do you like? What kind of political party would you support?
A. We need a workers party! A party that will fight for all working class people – regardless of race, gender, sexual preference, religion, national origin, etc. We need a workers party – a political party that will fight for quality free medical care for everyone, quality affordable housing for everyone, equal pay for equal work, equality for black people, equal rights for homosexuals and immigrants, a decent free education for all, double the minimum wage...
Q. Double the minimum wage? Are you crazy? The Democrats just raised minimum wage 50%. If we raised minimum wage again wouldn't that hurt the economy?
A. It would certainly hurt the profits of the big corporations and the rich people, but it would be beneficial to poor workers – the people who need it most. Everyone who works deserves a decent salary! If people are working for miserly wages there's a name for that: wage slavery. And if paying working-class people a decent wage isn't good for the economy then we need a different kind of economy – we need the kind of economy that pays working people decent wages, where quality medical care is free for all, where everyone has the right to quality affordable housing, everybody has the right to a job, and where there's equal pay for equal work.
Q. But that all sounds like pie in the sky – how do you propose to have the kind of society where people make decent wages, everyone has free quality medical care, and everyone has quality affordable housing?
A. It would take a revolution – a workers revolution.
Q. But wouldn't that be violent? Wouldn't there be lots of bloodshed?
A. Well, if the rich people all just said you workers are right, we've been screwing you too long, and so we'll give up our power and our money, and we'll let you working people run the show – well in that case there wouldn't be any bloodshed.
Q. Well isn't that kind of naïve – to expect the rich people to just voluntarily give up their wealth and power?
A. It sure is! A workers government will have to defend itself against violent elements who don't want to give up their wealth and power to the working-class majority. All governments are instruments of class oppression. Either rich people oppress workers, or the workers oppress the rich people.
Q. But hasn't that manner of thinking gone out of style? I mean the Soviet Union collapsed didn't it?
A. The Soviet Union was governed by a bunch of Stalinist hacks – it's amazing that the Soviet Union survived as long as it did! And under a planned economy the working-class people in the Soviet Union were far better off than they are today in capitalist Russia.
Q. But things in Russia are improving – aren't they?
A. Lately things are improving because the price of oil is up up up! The Soviet Union exports a lot of oil and gas. But even with oil and gas exports bringing in lots of money most workers were far better off under the Soviet Union than they are in capitalist Russia. The standard of living of workers was higher, the people had free medical care, the people had affordable housing, they had pensions, they had the right to a job...
Q. But don't you think freedom is more important than material things?
A. Do the people in capitalist Russia have freedom today? God forbid that a Russian should criticize the new czar of capitalist Russia! The news media has little freedom. Political parties are being repressed...
Q. But isn't that the way it was in the old Russia – I mean the ex-Soviet Union?
A. Yes. So when Russia went capitalist the workers lost the right to a job, the right to affordable housing, the right to free medical care, and lots of other things too – but they never had freedom of speech under the old Stalinist system and they don't have freedom of speech under the new capitalist system either. What we need is a workers democracy – not a Stalinist bureaucracy like there was in the Soviet Union. And the fact that workers in capitalist Russia have little freedom today is proof that capitalism does not bring democracy. In fact, here in the USA we have less democracy every year. More and more our country feels like a bipartisan dictatorship of the rich.
Capitalism Sucks: the BOOK by Wolf Larsen. How a privileged few cause endless human misery throughout the world.
See what Wolf Larsen has to say about the very informative leftist newspaper Workers Vanguard, which is published by the Spartacist League. ( Wolf Larsen is not a member of theSpartacist League, and is not involved in the publication of Workers Vanguard.)