The following article first appeared in Proletarian Revolution No. 47 (Summer 1994).

Joblessness: Capitalist Crime

With each passing day the working class confronts more starkly the inability and unwillingness of the capitalist system to provide jobs. We are not talking of “creative” or “meaningful” jobs where workers can actually find self-fulfillment; except for a tiny minority, such an expectation is out of the question in this society. We do not even mean unionized factory jobs that earn good money full-time (and give workers the illusion of having reached the middle-class). As jobs disappear, the basic right to sell one’s labor and eke out even a minimal subsistence gets harder and harder to claim.

Most working people are aware of this state of affairs. The key questions are, why is it and what can be done to change it? We will show that the crisis is a product of capitalism and cannot be solved within this system. As Marxists, we believe it demands a revolution and the creation of a workers’ state. For that, the critical task is to organize the most politically advanced workers into a revolutionary vanguard.

The U.S. Crisis

A brief survey reveals the outlines of the crisis. In the United States, serious unemployment has been chronic since the end of the postwar boom, roughly twenty years ago. The official rate has at times been near 10 percent and today is 6.4 percent. Such figures do not include part-time jobs and habitually undercount those who have given up looking for work: even the Bureau of Labor Statistics admitted last October that the number of unemployed was 16.6 million, double the official figure. Rates are much higher for Blacks (twice that of whites), other oppressed people and youth.

Today there is supposed to be an economic upswing. The Gross National Product, the official measure of recessions and booms, is rising. In a number of areas, most critically labor productivity, U.S. capital has been improving its position in the world economy.

But this “boom” has produced no rise in employment rates or wages. Mass layoffs continue, as major corporations like IBM and ATT continue to downsize. There were about 600,000 layoffs in 1993, doubled from 1990, the year the recession supposedly ended. While some high paying jobs appear, of those created recently 16 percent are temporary and over 60 percent of new jobs are part-time. (Part-timers’ hourly wages are barely 60 percent of full-time, and only 15 percent get health benefits.) There has also been an expansion of overtime: up to 4½ hours in 1993. Even the number of full-time workers living below the poverty line is growing.

An overview of capitalism around the world only confirms the bleak situation. According to the International Labor Organization (a U.N. agency), thirty percent of the world’s labor force – 800 million people – is either out of work or underemployed.

A Jobless World

Western Europe is mired in deep recession with official unemployment well over 10 percent. European capitalists are increasingly convinced that “their” workers have had it too easy – wages are too high, social benefits too generous. Their prescription is to cut still more jobs and slash benefits.

The ex-Stalinist countries of the ex-USSR and East Europe have undergone a transition toward the “free market” that has meant the wholesale closing of industries and layoffs for millions. Of course, their pseudo-socialism had nothing to do with a genuine workers’ economy. “Full employment” was always partly fiction; there was hidden unemployment, particularly in the countryside. And the Stalinist societies retarded the growth of the productive forces even more than traditional capitalism did. Still, the right to a job was a concession to the working class that has been cruelly overturned.

Japan for decades has been the juggernaut of world capitalism. But in the last several years it has faltered, and unemployment, still low by world standards, has risen. Even the more privileged layers of workers, supposedly guaranteed lifetime employment, have been shocked to see this promise reduced to ashes.

Other Asian countries like China, Taiwan and Malaysia, along with selected areas of the “third world,” have seen dramatic rises in industrialization and industrial employment. But this has occurred largely because capital has shifted its operations around the globe, seeking to super-exploit the mass of labor available. Capital in this epoch develops in one sector only at the expense of another.

Africa, unlike Asia, has been written off by imperialism as a source of industrial exploitation, with some exceptions like South Africa. Instead it is subjected to a plundering of resources. Meanwhile agricultural land is despoiled, throwing more peasants into overcrowded cities. Proving the system’s inability to utilize people willing and able to work, Africa exemplifies the most grotesque failures of capitalism.

The Capitalist Basis for Unemployment

For workers, the availability of jobs is central for existence. Work is the primary if not exclusive means of income, it occupies a great portion of time and is a source of dignity and achievement.

But its importance goes far beyond this in considering workers as a whole, their role as a class. Workers form the key productive component of modern society. They run and maintain machinery, build factories and homes, work up the various products for the market – in short produce and reproduce society. But the tragedy is that a growing percentage are not being allowed to do that, even though there is a crying need for more services and products for the masses.

What is behind this madness? It is the nature of the capitalist system itself. To understand it, we turn to its greatest critic and the founder of scientific socialism, Karl Marx.

Marx holds that unemployment results from the basic drives of capitalism. Labor power is a commodity brought to market by workers. To keep its costs down capitalism can either raise the supply by forcing new layers (e.g., peasants) onto the labor market, or it can lower the demand by mechanizing labor-intensive production processes. It does both.

Thus capitalism has an inherent drive to introduce new technologies, to revolutionize production. The chief result is accumulation by reducing the proportion of living labor to “dead labor”: machinery and materials. Marx made the striking observation that while generals win wars by recruiting armies, capitalists win their competitive wars by firing them. Under the impact of mechanization, workers are thrown into the street to form what he called the “industrial reserve army,” a mass of disposable labor.

Marx noted that this “army” could be used in several ways. One is to supply masses of labor when and where the need arises without disrupting production elsewhere. Another is as a club against the employed workers, a constant downward pressure on wages and combativity. Thus factors that result from capitalist production become key to its success.

But if a surplus laboring population is a necessary product of accumulation or of the development of wealth on a capitalist basis, this surplus-population becomes, conversely, the lever of capitalistic accumulation, nay, a condition of existence of the capitalist mode of production.

Among Marx’s other observations are: 1) the size of the reserve army depends on the needs and conditions of capitalist production; it does not indicate absolute overpopulation; 2) it varies with the cycles of capitalist development – smaller at the end of the boom period, larger in times of crisis – but its existence is constant; 3) it has an active element that Marx termed the “floating” section (including part-timers), a more destitute “stagnant” part, and a “latent” element composed of a population rendered superfluous by productive developments in agriculture and other spheres where capitalist methods were being newly introduced.

Capitalism’s Epoch of Decay

Marx analyzed capitalist production in its progressive epoch. At the start of this century capitalism entered its epoch of imperialism and decay, characterized by the concentration of capital among cartels, trusts and monopolies, the growing role of the state, and world domination by imperialist powers. A key change involves the relationship between two tendencies in capitalism. One is the tendency to revolutionize the productive forces, already discussed. The other is to preserve and increase the value of existing capital. In the epoch of decay these tendencies come into sharper conflict.

In the progressive epoch, the first tendency dominated; individual capitals were relatively small, and each had to expand to survive. In the present epoch the second prevails. Giant monopolies ensure that the investments they have made in existing technologies and methods of production do not become outmoded. Cartels block the entry of new firms; states set up trade barriers to defend their national capitalists from more advanced competitors; imperialist powers control weaker countries, militarily or economically, to keep their production dependent. Destructive wars fought for imperial dominance have characterized this century as no other.

The so-called business cycle, the periodic ups and downs of production, has been transformed. In the past, if even a large firm failed, its assets and production would be taken over by the survivors once the crisis passed. Crises served to heal and renew the system: weaker firms were wiped out, the working class was forced to accept less for its labor. Production became profitable once more.

Today, capitals are so immense that the collapse of one threatens to bring down more. That’s what produced the Great Depression of the 1930’s, which was ended only by the Second World War, the most destructive in history. Since then governments have learned to intervene heavily to keep their economies functioning. Even Ronald Reagan, ideologue and champion of private property, presided over the nationalization of banks and credit institutions in the Savings and Loan scandal of the 1980’s.

In general, efforts to prevent crises mean that outmoded firms are kept alive by subsidy. The excess of this practice in the Eastern bloc, forced on the Stalinist regimes by their need to placate rebellious working classes, bears the main responsibility for their economic collapse. But the same occurs in the West. Not daring to allow the healing catharsis of an all-out crisis, capitalism pours funds into economic self-preservation, thereby creating ballooning funds of “fictitious capital” not backed by real value – and signalling that the crisis when it comes will be even more cataclysmic. The mortal crisis of Stalinism shows also the future of the West.

The Reserve Army and the Epoch of Decay

Faced with an even greater need for the industrial reserve army to discipline the growing and ever more powerful proletariat, capitalism has benefited from a variety of new methods, particularly automation. Since innovation was the original source of recruitment, the dampening of this drive retards the reserve army’s growth. But this countertendency is overwhelmed by opposing factors. Innovation still occurs, albeit at a reduced pace. Work can now be transferred to different parts of the world with much greater ease, in order to seek cheaper labor or force workers to accept less. The result, along with a further concentration of capital, is the internationalization of the reserve army.

Increased intervention of the state in the economy also affects the reserve army. The capitalist state may attempt to alleviate unemployment and provide some welfare services. But it also ensures that the reserve army remains a fact of life. For example, the Federal Reserve decided to raise interest rates three times this year. The reason was all but blatant:

Neither the Federal Reserve nor the Clinton Administration, which has endorsed the Fed’s anti-inflation policies so far, would say they are in favor of bolstering unemployment. That would be damaging politically and contrary to the job-creation goals of the Administration....

The higher rates are intended to discourage borrowing and spending. They force business activity, and the economy, to slow down. Fewer jobs are created and unemployment rises. (New York Times, April 24.)

Clinton’s campaign talk about creating new jobs proved to be hot air. His chief economic goal, as befits the leader of a capitalist party, is to boost profits at all costs, even worsening unemployment.

Economic Decline

The combination of economic decline, automation and capital shifts brings new wrinkles to Marx’s conception. While noting that the growth of capital reduced the relative living labor of any given capital, Marx saw this compensated by the growth of total capital: the proletariat continued to expand. Now, in key industries in the imperialist centers, the proletariat is being decimated. “De-industrialization” of the workforce boosts the contention of middle-class ideologists that the proletariat is disappearing or ceasing to be a key force.

Of course, there are a number of countertendencies, including the growth of the proletariat in new areas; a new sector of production dealing with automated goods; the creation of battalions of unskilled jobs based on the new technologies; the proletarianization of previously professional jobs.

Most important, capitalism relies on the working class to produce its source of profit – surplus value. By its nature, it cannot transform the productive forces in a fundamental way to overcome this dependence. Automation has brought big-time changes, but an isolated look at its dazzle can leave a misimpression of just what is being achieved. A look at capitalist society as a whole reveals the limitations.

Alongside the automated factory, the sweatshop has re-emerged. Great strides have been made in modernizing the auto industry, but the product itself is a dinosaur that continues to move people inefficiently, waste energy and spew pollution: there is no automated transportation system. Private monopolies computerize swiftly while the public infrastructure crumbles. Pundits and politicians rhapsodize about the “information superhighway,” while whole continents fester in backwardness. Imperialism builds higher and higher-tech weaponry, yet it cannot rescue masses from horrors its own depredations have brought about.

Capitalism is still driven to innovate but in a haphazard, sectoral manner. Behind a glittering facade it conserves dated production methods and resurrects older ones. The result is an uneven development that projects the dream of an automated world without being at all able to carry it out.

Exploitation of the proletariat remains absolutely central to the capitalist order, but the bourgeoisie must rely ever more heavily on the reserve army. People must be kept from working to keep wages low, just as farmers are discouraged from growing too much, to keep prices high. These are vicious absurdities, symbols of the inhumanity of this system.

The only solution is to replace capitalist rule with workers’ power. Only the proletariat established as the ruling class has the interest and ability to organize the economy on a world scale and thereby tackle the problem.

The Revolutionary Solution

Workers have no vested interest in maintaining a reserve army of labor. On the contrary, a workers’ state would immediately adopt a full employment policy. And in contrast to decadent capitalism, it would advance technology as fast as possible, particularly in production. It has no interest in preserving existing values at the expense of growth, as do capitalist enterprises. Above all, it aims not to drive workers from production into poverty but to advance workers’ creativity and strengthen their role as rulers of society.

A central means for doing this is the “sliding scale of hours”: dividing the necessary work up among all available workers (of course, at full pay for all). That way everyone works and everyone gets ample leisure time. “Necessary work” means not just what is profitable under capitalist formulas but an enormous expansion of public works to build housing, schools, hospitals, industries, transit systems – whatever working people require to fully utilize human potential. The resources for paying all workers decent wages would come not just from expropriating the private holdings of the parasitical capitalist class, but from the vastly increased production that these new projects would provide.

The sliding scale of hours makes eminent practical sense: it puts people to work to produce necessary things. But under capitalism it runs frontally up against the prerogatives of the bosses, whose rule is based on unearned property income, not fulfilling human needs. A struggle for jobs that stays within the ground rules of capitalism cannot win. This does not mean that temporary gains cannot be achieved or that defenses against further attacks cannot succeed.

Revolutionists participate in all such fights. Through joint struggle for working-class interests we can spell out and explain the socialist program in order to prove to the most advanced workers the need for socialist revolution.

To this end, Trotsky outlined his “Transitional Program” – a system of demands that shows how the needs of the masses can be met. The transitional demands are expressed in a form understandable by workers whose horizons are still limited to reforms under capitalism; the mass struggle itself will prove, under the guidance of revolutionaries, that capitalism has to be ended and a workers’ state created.

The Transitional Program

Such a demand is the “sliding scale of hours.” It was popularized in the 1930’s as “30 for 40” – 30 hours work for 40 hours pay. It was raised by working-class militants against the liberal capitalist proposal for sharing work and wages – less work for less pay. Trotsky responded forcefully to those who said “30 for 40” was unworkable.

Property owners and their lawyers will prove the “unrealizability” of these demands. Smaller, especially ruined capitalists, in addition will refer to their account ledgers....

The question is not one of a “normal” collision between opposing material interests. The question is one of guarding the proletariat from decay, demoralization and ruin. The question is one of life and death of the only creative and progressive class, and by that token of the future of mankind. If capitalism is incapable of satisfying the demands inevitably arising from the calamities generated by itself, then let it perish.

“Realizability” or “unrealizability” is in the given instance a question of the relationship of forces, which can be decided only by the struggle. By means of this struggle, no matter what its immediate practical successes may be, the workers will best come to understand the necessity of liquidating capitalist slavery.

That is, Trotskyists do not hide the significance of our transitional demands. We do not raise them as if they can be won in everyday, business-as-usual contract negotiations. No, in explaining the “sliding scale” to advanced workers, as in this article, we emphasize their revolutionary significance. When mass struggles break out, we raise them as the desirable goals of the workers’ movement. Some workers will believe that such demands can be won under capitalism. The class struggle will prove what capitalism can and cannot do; it is indeed a question of the relationship of forces.

Trotsky’s explanation has not prevented whole layers of socialists, including supposed Trotskyists, from gutting the revolutionary consequences of the transitional demands. In their hands, the transitional program takes on a reformist meaning, posed purely as a struggle within capitalism.

To be sure, the transitional program was not a finished product; it needed fleshing out, and like all social programs it must be modified by experience. Our tendency took a big step toward this end in our article, Myth and Reality of the Transitional Program (Socialist Voice No. 8).

The transitional program, we showed, was not the revolutionary program itself but rather a bridge to revolutionary consciousness. Transitional demands are agitational demands, meant to be addressed to masses of workers in motion. They in effect call for a united front – between revolutionary workers and those less advanced who think the program can be achieved under capitalism. As long as there is a working-class movement, through revolutionary leadership the joint struggle will show that the transitional demands can only be won by the overthrow of capitalism.

We advance transitional demands in selective agitational situations today. We also put them forward today as propaganda to show the more advanced workers how to address their co-workers. But this is as a direct preparation for use as mass slogans in the coming period of mass upsurges, in effect training other advanced workers and ourselves in their use. Our goal in this is to build the nucleus of the future mass proletarian revolutionary party.

We raise no illusions in the depth of struggle required to win socialism. The capitalists will fight back with all means at their disposal. For this the workers must be prepared, and the transitional program accordingly explains the need for armed self-defense guards and an armed working class. These slogans are discussed in the article Armed Self-Defense and the Revolutionary Program in this issue.

In this spirit the leading slogans for solving the jobs crisis are Jobs for All! and A Full Program of Public Works! How the sliding scale of hours is best posed concretely will be decided by the movement itself, possibly as A Six-Hour Day with No Cut in Pay! As well, in countries where inflation is endemic, the Escalating Scale of Wages! is a demand that fights for wage increases proportionate to prices. These slogans are linked with those openly advocating socialism: The Workers’ Socialist Revolution is the Only Solution! Build the Revolutionary Party of the Working Class!

Reformist Deception

The jobs crisis is so fundamental that anyone with the slightest pretension to working-class leadership has to address it. Various leftists, under militant dressing, offer strategies that argue, openly or otherwise, for a reformist solution.

Consider the Workers World Party, which has led many demonstrations demanding jobs. Its line is presented in the pamphlet, Everyone Must have the Right to a Job, which catalogues the ills unemployment has produced and cites the “failures of the profits system.” It even says:

When bosses and politicians tell us that there just aren’t enough jobs to go around, they’re right – but only from the viewpoint of their economic system, capitalism.

This appears to be a lead-in to the need for revolution. But it is nothing of the sort. Instead, Workers World promotes great illusions in the system:

Actually, the right to a job is already a matter of law. The 1946 Employment Act and the 1978 Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act legally obligate the president and Congress to use all available means to achieve full employment. It’s time the government is made to enforce these laws.

These laws, however, are just electoralist claptrap written to derail workers’ struggles and tie them to the capitalist system. Of course, workers often resort to tactical use of bourgeois laws, as in the courtroom, to protect themselves. But appeals to paper legalistic promises are worse than pointless in dealing with the basic dynamics of the system. Instead of prattling about a fake legal “right” awarded by the capitalist government, genuine revolutionists ram home that the real government plan is to maintain unemployment.

Workers World knows that the president and Congress care not at all about enforcing the so-called full employment laws. As they say,

The politicians have shown time and again that they serve big business first.... If it were up to the bosses and their government, there would be no minimum wage at all, and no eight-hour day....

And they conclude:

These things were won because workers, unemployed and poor people fought for them. First comes the struggle, then comes the law. And if we struggle, we can win.

A noble sentiment. But the great gains of the past were won because capitalism feared something greater: workers’ revolution. And even these gains are eroded: the eight-hour day is a fiction for many workers who face forced overtime, or work two jobs – and depend on the extra income to survive. The only government that can be trusted to enforce laws in the workers’ favor is a workers’ state, our own.

“If we struggle we can win” is a deceit if the aim is only to persuade bourgeois politicians to act, if the struggle does not make workers conscious of the need for all-out confrontation with capital. There are plenty of workers’ struggles that do not win. Leftists who claim to know the truth about capitalism and its state and who still raise reformist illusions are lying to the working class.

‘Permanent Revolution’ Upside-Down

Another group pushing reform is the Socialist Workers Party. Here is how the SWP answers the need for jobs in a recent editorial:

Workers must reject the employers’ framework of linking working people’s standard of living to the profits of the bosses, and instead fight to defend their own interests. The capitalist bubble will burst regardless. Workers need a sliding scale of hours and wages, to protect their income from the ups and downs of the bosses’ fortunes, along with a shorter workweek.... Fighting for 30 hours work with 40 hours’ pay would immediately open up the possibility of jobs for millions of workers. (The Militant, Jan. 31.)

This sounds radical: after all, it raises the sliding scale of wages and seems to reject the capitalists’ needs. But nowhere is it mentioned that capitalism can’t allow this; in fact, the editorial hints the opposite:

The labor movement needs to organize around demands like these, which increase working-class solidarity internationally and take the brunt of the capitalist economic crisis off the backs of working people.

As if capitalism – with its economic bubble burst, no less! – could afford to generously relieve workers of the burden of its crisis. The system doesn’t work that way.

The SWP is not obliged to raise transitional demands in a Trotskyist manner; more forthright than many on the left, it has stopped calling itself Trotskyist. But its editorial reflects a typical pseudo-Trotskyist method: raise transitional demands without warning and goose workers into action.

This method goes as follows: we and Trotsky in his heaven know that revolutionary struggle is necessary; the workers will soon learn so, the hard way. But don’t tell them now or they’ll be scared and won’t fight at all. In contrast to this cynicism, Trotsky taught revolutionaries to “say what is” to their fellow workers, because success in the class struggle depends on the level of consciousness, not blind militancy.

Further, the SWP’s method is a total reversal of Trotsky’s strategy of permanent revolution. This states that capitalism in its epoch of decay can no longer fulfill the fundamental goals promised in the name of democracy and reform. These tasks can only be accomplished by the proletariat in the course of carrying out the socialist revolution.

The SWP long ago twisted this to mean that socialists merely have to advocate reform and democracy; the struggle itself will turn them automatically into revolutionary demands. Even though the SWP has abandoned its pretense to Trotskyism, it did not have to alter its programmatic method to do so – in reality it repudiated Trotskyism long ago. Readers of the left press will find myriad examples of similar distortions by surviving pseudo-Trotskyist groups.

The Shorter Workweek, Capitalist Style

In Western Europe agreements have been negotiated between unions and employers calling for reduced work hours – with proportionate cuts in pay. Elegantly labeled as “work-sharing,” they are presented as alternatives to layoffs. Perhaps they are – for a while. But they are also capitalistically acceptable alternatives to the sliding scale of wages.

This has not stopped some leftists from dressing them up in fancy clothes. Stanley Aronowitz, the social democratic academic and self-styled champion of the working class, cites the advantages of work-sharing for New York City in dealing with its public employees:

Work-sharing is no panacea for the city s financial woes. But it would prevent the demoralization that discourages productivity, which the Giuliani administration wants to boost.... The simple fact is that people who are waiting for the ax to fall are not going to feel like putting in their best efforts. (New York Newsday, Feb. 10.)

That is, work-sharing not only keeps wages down, it stimulates productivity. And Aronowitz actually suggests pay cuts:

Until after World War II, American labor responded to hard times by agreeing to shorter hours, even if it meant a pay reduction, in order to keep fellow workers on the job.

Well, times are hard again, and the only history our scholar tells us is that of solidarity in defeat. There were also struggles for “30 for 40” – a far better model to recommend. That’s if you re speaking to workers, not the bosses.

Rank-and-Filist Rhetoric

Similarly, Kim Moody of the rank-and-filist Labor Notes magazine (December) wrote about job losses in the “growing and highly profitable” communications industry and the union’s strategy for “various forms of labor-management cooperation.” He concluded:

The shorter work week just might be the idea that inspires union members and motivates the unorganized to fight for unionization. CWA’s position at the core of the “interactive information infrastructure” gives it a strategic platform from which to broadcast that vision.

Who does he think he’s kidding with that Madison Avenue rhetoric? Nowhere does the “socialist” Moody point out that the shorter work week is being used to cut wages. As a former Trotskyist, he might think he is alluding to the “sliding scale of wages” demand. But he too omits the “no cut in pay” corollary, thus falling into a purely capitalist scheme.

The basic drawback of such work-and-pay-sharing plans is obvious – workers will bring home a lot less. The fact that workers in the German unions that pioneered these schemes are among the world’s highest paid does not make it a step forward. It is a dangerous concession, and even less a model for lower paid workers who may not survive such cuts at all.

The whole idea amounts to a tactical opening for the more vicious attacks the bosses need: it softens up workers still organized in powerful unions by proposing a “reasonable” concession. But “cooperation” is just a facade. European capital is under pressure to slash its workers’ past gains; it needs layoffs, part-timing and overtime to raise the rate of exploitation. Aronowitz’s milk-from-contented-cows justification reeks of elitism and social engineering; it has limited utility in a world where rank coercion will always be a more important instrument of bourgeois rule.

In sum, this shorter workweek scheme meets the needs of neither workers nor bosses. Moody and Aronowitz champion useless anti-worker panaceas at a time when workers need to prepare for the greater attacks on the way.

Even during the postwar boom, substantial sections of the working population were unemployed. Moreover, the boom itself was based on the preceding period of war, depression and world-wide defeats of the working class. Nonetheless, masses of workers, particularly in the imperialist centers, obtained a relative sense of job security. From the gains won through struggle, unionized workers came to expect their jobs would last – along with substantial pensions or at least decent unemployment benefits.

Over the past two decades, job security for even these workers has eroded, along with much of the benefits and wages. Layer upon layer have been peeled away from stable employment. This basic human right now exists for a relatively lucky and privileged few.

The Revolutionary Potential

In the immediate sense this has had a conservatizing impact. Workers tossed on the streets are often confused and demoralized, while those with jobs have become defensive. Of course, a main aim of the reserve army of the unemployed is to create such situations. But it was allowed to happen because the official leadership of the working class, the trade union bureaucracy, has stifled any fighting alternative and keeps labor chained to a strategy that accepts the rule of capital.

Alongside this defensiveness there are also ingredients for a revolutionary movement. There is a heightened awareness, particularly among workers of color in the U.S., that this system will never grant the needs and demands of the masses. This understanding can be transformed into a militant movement that is less co-optable than those of the past, because reformism simply has so much less to offer.

The League for the Revolutionary Party is attempting to give political direction to this arising advanced consciousness. The creation of a revolutionary vanguard is necessary, not the least to counter the treachery of the reformist and “leftist” misleaderships. Even if the objective base for reformism and general illusions in capitalism is eroding, it doesn’t mean the misleaders won’t fight tooth and nail to preserve capitalism and their niche in it. It is a long and difficult struggle, but a fight for a socialist future is worth the winning, particularly knowing the bleak capitalist future. That is why revolutionary-minded working people should join us in this effort.