On August 4th, Roseanne Barr tweeted: “Peace and freedom: we will seize the narrative!”
I STAND IN SOLIDARITY with the Peace & Freedom Party as the Barr/Sheehan ticket continues to raise the people’s consciousness, standing in solid opposition to the corporate-dominated system of endless war, poverty, racism, sexism and mass violence:
The Peace and Freedom Party, founded in 1967, is committed to socialism, democracy, ecology, feminism and racial equality. We represent the working class, those without capital in a capitalist society. We organize toward a world where cooperation replaces competition, a world where all people are well fed, clothed and housed; where all women and men have equal status; where all individuals may freely endeavor to fulfill their own talents and desires; a world of freedom and peace where every community retains its cultural integrity and lives with all others in harmony. We offer this summary of our immediate and long-range goals:
We support social ownership and democratic management of industry and natural resources. Under capitalism, the proceeds of labor go to the profits of the wealthy few. With socialism, production is planned to meet human needs.
To us, socialism is workers’ democracy, including the principle that all officials are elected, recallable at any time, and none receives more than a worker’s wage. Socialism can only be brought about when we, the working class, unite and act as a body in our own interests. Our goals cannot be achieved by electoral means alone. We participate in mass organization and direct action in neighborhoods, workplaces, unions and the armed forces everywhere.
While organizing for the future, we work in the present, challenging the system with the following immediate and transitional goals:
Labor and Full Employment
We demand a socially useful job at union pay levels or a guaranteed dignified income for everyone.
We support the establishment of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) to alleviate poverty and homelessness.
We call for a 30-hour work week for 40 hours’ pay and abolition of forced overtime.
We demand a legally mandated annual paid vacation of at least 4 weeks.
We demand expansion and enforcement of job health and safety laws.
We call for the restoration of all labor rights previously won by women and their extension to men as well.
We demand paid parental leaves and time off work for childcare.
No prison labor for private profit. Living wage and full union rights for any prison labor.
Defend workers’ rights to organize, form union caucuses, strike, and boycott.
No replacement of striking workers.
Federally-funded public works programs to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and restore the environment.
International solidarity of workers against international capitalist schemes such as NAFTA and WTO in defense of jobs, wages, working conditions and environmental laws.
International trade agreements must guarantee the protection of workers and democratic rights in all participating countries.
A rank and file socialist-oriented labor movement to mobilize working-class people to assume ownership and control of the economy.
Peace and International Justice
The drive for greater profits by multi-national corporations which direct U.S. foreign policy is a major cause of war. We stand for peace between nations and the right of all peoples to self-determination. We support an ongoing socialist transformation everywhere. We therefore call for:
The U.S. to renounce nuclear first strike, and take the initiative toward global disarmament by eliminating all of its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
No U.S. intervention anywhere. End all support and aid to repressive regimes and all military and police training aid everywhere. End efforts to destabilize foreign governments. End U.S.-directed economic warfare against other countries. Abolish the CIA, NSA, AID and other agencies for interference inother countries’ internal affairs. Withdraw all U.S. troops and weapons from all other countries.
Stop all U.S. arms exports and trade.
Dissolve all military pacts.
Convert from military to peaceful production; reallocate the resulting “peace dividend” for social benefit.
Abolish the Selective Service System.
No weapons in space.
Equal Rights and Liberties
The capitalists use every difference in society, including sex, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, age, and physical abilities to divide workers in order to depress wages, maintain a surplus labor pool, and prevent working-class unity. We demand equal treatment of all people by employers, businesses and government. We stand for a world free from all forms of oppression…
I see this + the public attention as a magnificent development in the US, one that I hope is a step in the process that leads to full revolution, including the formation of a revolutionary party that is international in focus and uncompromisingly oriented toward the complete abolition of capitalism.
I do not know much about Barr, but I greatly admire the tireless activism and work of Cindy Sheehan (I think she has a relentlessness that radicals must aspire to in the struggle to see ourselves become active revolutionaries). They have all of my love and support.
I conclude with this:
…only mass, militant struggle is capable of winning reforms. Indeed, the most far-reaching reforms come precisely when the ruling class feels that its control over society and its institutions are most threatened. Second, it is in the collective fight for reforms that ordinary people are radicalized and are infused with class consciousness and a sense of their own power. Thirdly, a mass struggle can, under the right circumstances, pass over into an insurrectionary struggle that challenges for power.
Socialists however, make a distinction between reforms, which they support, and reformism, which they oppose.
Reformism is a political stance that sees the limits of social change as the limits set by the capitalist system itself. Reforms for reformists are ends in themselves.
Historical experience shows that whenever the fight for reforms threatens to “get out of hand,” reformists try to douse it in cold water in order that it remains properly contained within “acceptable” limits—that is, limits acceptable to capitalism. Socialists therefore always wage a struggle against reformism—and to win the working class, in the process of fighting for reforms, to a revolutionary perspective.