It takes a fight to win

BY: Beth Edelman| March 9, 2017
It takes a fight to win
QWhy are you such pacifists when you say "it takes a fight to win"?
AIf you guys are pacifists, why do you always say – “it takes a fight to win?” Good question, thanks.

Pacifists are opposed to war and violence, according to a standard dictionary. Organizations that are opposed to war as a means of settling disputes say so in their statement of principles or constitution. One that comes to mind is the religion The Society of Friends, also known as Quakers. The Communist Party is not a pacifist organization.  Members have a variety of views on pacifism, including some who embrace it. Still you are right – the Communist Party is opposed to war; our opposition to war grows out of our nearly 100 years of experience. Our observation on who takes the heat or the brunt of war -devastation -cost and who benefits, taking huge profits informs our best instincts. War rarely benefits anyone but the giant corporations. There is more to our opposition to war but we'll leave it for another time.

Back to your question: why does it take a fight to win.  We live in a  capitalist society.  Simply put the means of production is owned by  the capitalists - factories, mines, offices, laboratories, land, technology –  productive property in the main is privately owned.  People who work, the working class, must sell their ability to work. The price of buying labor power is wages or salaries and benefits.  Those who own have power to set wages; those who seek jobs have less.  There is an inherent contradiction between the owners and workers. Marxists refer to this as inescapable, the fabric of the system  - class struggle. Workers receive wages a fraction of the value they produce, the balance, surplus value is taken by the capitalist.  The struggle over wages, conditions of work, conditions of living, is  constant, it is a struggle over surplus value. At times this is muted, taking many forms and at times it breaks into the open.   This is a somewhat simplified explanation, still it is the essence, the  fight to which we refer.

The outcome of the 2016 election means we are faced with a most anti-worker, anti democratic, anti human government. The coalition of right wing Republicans in both Houses of Congress and Trump in the White House give great power to the right. Their plan is to dismantle the democratic institutions, replace worker and people protections with promises, and shred our Constitutional.

The demands, the fight for a $15 national minimum wage, the right to organize a union, guaranteeing the right to vote, immigration reform with a path to citizenship, democratization of the nation's police forces to end abuse and racism, funding public education, defending and extending Obamacare, saving our planet will not go away. These demands reflect need and have broad support. Trump-Republican domination may rearrange how demands are perused still these movements together with outrage at abrogation of democracy will fuel the street heat and political- electoral organizing.

We have not yet reached 100 days of this new situation. Already this administration is facing problems -number one  an increasingly organized opposition. Since November 9 street actions and demonstrations are growing. Opposition to the Muslim ban, the wall on the boarder with Mexico, the stepped up deportation of undocumented people,  the effort to repeal Obamacare is rattling some part of the structures. People are becoming emboldened. Electoral initiatives and political discussions are pointing a path toward more involvement to win a more democratic government nationally and in state capitols.

The fight we are talking about is what you see on the evening news.  It is seeking out our neighbors, co-workers, school mates – talking among ourselves, figuring out what we can do.  It is hooking up with the local chapters of unions, the PTA helping in the organizing. It is running for local committee person, in the election district or ward, it is talking to our councilwoman finding out how to help build Sanctuary City defense. It's visiting the local Mosque, Church and other houses of worship. It is calling almost daily telling our state reps., Congress people what we think. Even as our opposition grows we need to know evicting Trump & Co. will take a mass and complex movement and the time and skill to get it together.

We say it takes a fight to win, because it does.

A special note:  As we who defend democracy grow in numbers, become more active, develop our understanding, we need to guard our unity.  There are those who will try to sow division, anti-Semitism, anti-black, anti immigrant, anti-socialist or anti-communist ideas.  We can and should talk about it.  We cannot let it pass.  We can and will have differences but we cannot have division.

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