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The Los Angeles Board of Education voted to lay off
as many as 5,400 teachers and staff due to a $596
million budget shortfall for 2010. The protesters’ main
points were against classroom overcrowding and the
elimination of programs. Forty-six teachers subjected
themselves to arrest. Police in riot gear moved in after
they blocked traffic to call attention to their protest.

Our country is in danger. A time of crisis always presents both dangers and opportunities. The danger we face is the threat of mass poverty under a fascist dictatorship. The opportunity is to build a new, cooperative society free of poverty and oppression, where corporate private property becomes public property.

By “fascism” we mean the more or less open dictatorship of the corporations. The threat of fascism today is rooted in the results of the electronic revolution that has transformed our country. With computers and robots replacing labor in the workplace, millions of jobs have been permanently eliminated, and more are disappearing every day. The millions being thrown out of the economy are becoming a new class of dispossessed that is forced to fight for a new society, because the old capitalist society can no longer provide them even the most basic necessities of life. This new class can only be saved by a cooperative society where the means of production are owned and controlled by the people as a whole; in other words, the end of private property.

This is the problem that confronts the capitalists – how do they maintain an economic system based on private ownership of the means of production, when the means of production have advanced to where they can create such abundance that they’re no longer compatible with private ownership? In the end they can only do this through force. The capitalists are forced to push for a fascist political solution to the problem, and the workers are forced to fight for a cooperative society because this is the only solution to their problems.

The drive toward fascism manifests itself as the continuing merger of the corporations and the government. The government is acting to protect the interests of the capitalist class as a whole. One expression of this is the government either directly investing in or “loaning” hundreds of billions of dollars to the banks and other industries, and reorganizing these industries. We  also see fascism evolving in the form of laws like the Patriot Act, court decisions and police policies that increasingly restrict our legal and human rights, including the right to speak, protest and gather information. We have also seen an expansion in the government’s power to monitor what we say and do through eavesdropping and surveillance.

But for fascism to consolidate its hold on society, the ruling class has to introduce fascist ideas into people’s thinking and have them broadly accepted. This side of the motion toward fascism – the side that deals with what people think – expresses itself today as a fascist movement that is scattered and divided. At its core are serious, deliberate fascists with a vision they want to impose on society. Eventually we’ll see an effort made to unite this disparate movement into a cohesive political force that will try to impose a fascist program on our country.

What will ultimately emerge is a struggle between two hostile classes over who will control the government and use its power to reorganize society according to their vision.
The role of revolutionaries who represent the true interests of the people is to politicize those who are being thrown out of the economy and win them to the understanding that their needs can only be met by fighting for a cooperative society.

The first thing we should understand is that the victory of the people is not guaranteed. Whoever wins the war of ideas will impose their vision on society. If we don’t want that vision to be one of poverty and fascist dictatorship, then we need to get on our feet and get to work winning the war of ideas.

 


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From the Editors
We are sometimes asked “Why do revolutionaries need a press?” The answer has to do with this moment in history. Historical and economic forces beyond anyone's control have set the stage for a new society to be built, but from this point on, how things turn out depends on what people think—because what they think shapes what they do. This means that those of us who are seeking fundamental change are engaged in a battle of ideas, a struggle to win the hearts and minds of the people. If we don't raise the consciousness of the people and unite them around a vision of a better world and a strategy to achieve it, then we'll fail in our effort to build a just and free society. To raise consciousness and win the battle of ideas, we need a press.





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