Revolution #151, December 28, 2008

We don’t need to “Rescue” this Capitalist System
We Need Revolution!

A homeless woman in Beverly Hills reads on the park bench where she has been sleeping since 2000.  Some 88,000 people in L.A. County live on the streets or in shelters amid the structures of superfluous wealth.

Millions of people in the U.S., the wealthiest country in the world, are homeless. People’s need for shelter and other facilities does not determine what actually gets built.  Instead, if more profit can be extracted by building luxury condos than by constructing good basic housing for masses of people, then it is luxury condos that get built.  This is because different blocs of capital must either expand or die, and their expansion depends on the highest possible profit.  This basic law of capital determines what gets produced, how, and for whom.

Should we rescue this?


Child laborers carrying stones at a stone crusher near Gauhati, India, June 2008.

One in six children on this planet are child laborers.  Many of these children are owned outright as slaves.  Despite laws against child labor, capitalists are driven to maximize profit and to gain competitive advantage over other capitalists by exploiting, and robbing the youth from approximately 250 million children around the world. 

Should we rescue this?


Globalized agriculture has deeply affected production of basic crops of corn and beans in Mexico.  Corn is now being grown for ethanol fuel.


Under global capitalism, third world countries have been incorporated into the global capitalist economy.  Farmers produce food for export based on what’s most profitable.  Crops like corn, sugar, and wheat are now often produced for biofuels in advanced capitalist countries instead of for feeding people.  Yet over a billion people on this planet suffer from hunger.  In Haiti, food prices have risen by over 40 percent.  People eat mudcakes, and dig through garbage dumps looking for food to survive, while mangoes and coffee are mass produced for export.

Should we rescue this?



In Honduras, over one-third of the population live on one dollar per day. 
Two men look for scraps to eat at a garbage dump.



Patient taken from an ambulance and left on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles, October 2006.  More than a dozen hospitals have been accused of dumping patients on Skid Row.

In every sphere of society—from health care to education to culture to the environment and beyond—the capitalist system acts as a fetter on humanity.  Capital twists and bends these arenas of human concern and endeavor to the rule of profit over all, to the requirement that capital continually expand itself…or die.  As a result people suffer terribly and their lives are stunted in every dimension-—that is, when they are not outright blown away in some brutal war for empire, or snuffed out by some murdering enforcer for this capitalist system.

Should we rescue this?





From Youth by Zhang Songnan, 1972. This artwork depicts Red Guard youth making “big character posters.” During the Cultural Revolution in China, from 1966 to 1976, people put up these posters all over—on the walls of schools, factories, and neighborhoods. They were a way for the masses of people to engage in debate on a grand scale over key questions in society, including public criticism of leaders and policies.

There is tremendous productive power in the technology, resources and knowledge of the people of this planet.  The basis exists to provide a decent life for all right now, and to lay the basis for a common abundance in the future for all of humanity, as part of the all-round transformation of society.  But capitalism can only harness those productive powers if they can be used to expand capital; and labor can only be utilized within relations of exploitation for profit.  Trapped within the confines and requirements of capitalism, people suffer from the kinds of horrors outlined on this page even in “normal times.”  Now with two wars being carried out by U.S. imperialism, and many more raging elsewhere on the planet. . . and with a major economic crisis just beginning to be felt in every corner of the globe.…the monstrosity of this stands out all the more sharply.

But none of this is necessary!  Humanity can embark on the road of eliminating the division into classes, uprooting the oppressive institutions and relations that grow out of and reinforce those divisions, and transforming people’s thinking.  This is the road of communist revolution.  The first step on that road is shattering the rule of capital through revolution.  Such a revolution actually took place in the Soviet Union (Russia and other countries), and in China – and when revolution ruled those countries, the people were able to create amazing new societies that transformed everything, and met the basic needs of the people in a way never before seen. 

This first stage of revolution was defeated by the remaining strength of imperialism, together with the new capitalist forces which arose within the new-born socialist societies.  Today there are no socialist states.  But Bob Avakian, Chairman of the RCP, USA, has developed a new framework  of understanding to blaze the trail for the next stage of revolution.  Avakian has analyzed the lessons of the previous stage of revolution, studying both the achievements and the criticisms, from various quarters, and has developed a new synthesis of communist scientific theory.  He has built on, and carried forward, the contributions of previous revolutionary communist thinkers, and gone further.






From the Constitution of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

The socialist state would lead and support people in making radical transformations in every sphere of society. It would construct a socialist economic system, by first taking over the major means of production (factories, land and mines, machinery and other technology, etc.) that have been owned and controlled by the big capitalists as their private property—converting these into socialist state property and utilizing them to meet the needs of the people, while rendering support to revolutionary struggle throughout the world. The socialist state would play a decisive role in moving society, through various waves and stages of multi-faceted struggle and social transformations, toward the communist vision of ensuring a common abundance for the people as a whole and overcoming the age-old division between those who work with their minds and those who work with their hands (between mental and physical labor), as well as all other oppressive divisions among people. It would act to prevent the return of the former exploiters, and resist the attacks of imperialism. It would make possible a different kind of democracy, on a far greater scale and with a much more radical vision and practice of human freedom than anything today, in line with its final goal—a final goal in which democracy itself, as a form of state, is transcended and people together debate and decide the course of things without resort to any kind of apparatus of violent suppression. Finally, this new revolutionary socialist state would be built as a “base area” for the world revolution—a springboard and support base and beacon for revolutionary struggles in other countries, all working together to get to a world without exploitation and oppression. (page 6, online at


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