Stand with Standing Rock

Working-class power

We are for workers’ power and sustainability; for a society that is free, just, and equitable; that fosters human creativity and productivity while healing the rifts generated by capitalism among people and between human society and the earth’s ecology.

Capitalism is a competition-based system which is focused on the unbridled pursuit of profit in which labor creates all of the wealth in society but has neither control over production nor the distribution of goods and the profits it creates. In this pursuit of profit ‘by any means necessary’, the needs of people and the protection of the environment are secondary, if not last. Governments have failed to take decisive action to protect the environment because they are committed to maintaining and even advancing capitalism. Since each government protects their own capitalists at the expense of workers and the planet, they won’t consider regulations that would challenge profitability and the expansion of its markets, even if it means ecological disaster.

At the same time, workers are also put in a unique position in that they are organized to work collectively in order to produce this accumulation of wealth. Workers make up the majority of society and because they are forced to sell their labor in order to survive, their position in production gives them social power by the use of the strike, to impact and paralyze the system. This is particularly true of workers in the energy and transportation sectors, who could wield their power to bring the fossil fuel industry to its knees. With other key sectors joining in, the whole system would grind to a halt. Workers wield this power through collective, not individual actions and through democratic debate and decision making. By working and organizing collectively, workers can challenge capitalism and reorganize a new system based on a cooperative economy where production is based on human and environmental needs instead of profit.

In order to address the environmental crisis, workers will need to create a new system that redistributes wealth and restructure the economy so it prioritizes people and the planet over profit. The scale of this task is such that workers will need to socialize the energy sector and expand renewable energy, expand mass transit, plan production and agriculture within ecological cycles, reduce the workweek with no loss in pay, and defund the US military and much more.

To accomplish these tasks, we need a society that’s egalitarian and truly democratic, which provides for all people’s basic needs. It’s clear that this is incompatible with the unplanned, irrational, and profit-driven capitalist system. We need a revolutionary transformation that creates a new social system—ecosocialism. This can only be achieved through the power of workers’ mass struggle against capitalism.