United States

As explained in the latest Socialist Appeal (US) editorial, Ruling Class Divisions Deepen, the US government shutdown over parts of the federal budget and Republican opposition to “Obamacare” is in the final analysis, a reflection of the insoluble contradictions of capitalism. Due to our readers’ keen interest in what is happening in the US, we are expanding our explanation and analysis of this ongoing situation.

The worldwide crisis of capitalism is leading to a deep questioning of the structures, institutions, politicians, and parties of bourgeois society. From Greece to Italy, Brazil to Turkey, Egypt to Iran, the consciousness of the masses is undergoing a profound transformation. This is not a linear process, and is not automatically and directly reflected in all countries at the same time.

“It sounds good on paper, but socialism will never work, because if everybody gets everything they need whether they work or not, then there is no incentive to work at all!” This is one of the most typical and caricatured arguments against socialism.

The bourgeoisie is not entirely blind. There are layers of the ruling class that can, on occasion, come to similar conclusions as Marxists. The benefit of a birds’ eye view of the capitalist system allows them to potentially have a more expansive view of the system as a whole—its corruption, its inequality, and its senility.

On July 18, the long–economically depressed city of Detroit officially declared its intention to file for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy is the largest ever for a US city, with $18 to 20 billion in debt. It is also the largest US city to ever go bankrupt, despite the disastrous collapse in the population over the last 30 years.

In one country after another, crisis, protests, war, revolution, and counterrevolution are raging. Here in the United States, however, it may seem to some that “nothing is happening.” But in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Slowly but surely—though not linearly—the economic, political, social, and psychological tensions continue to build.

As Marxists, we welcome and fight for any increase in the wages of workers. A gain for one layer of the working class is a gain for all, and there are few layers of the American working class more desperate for such a gain than retail workers. The 2010 average retail worker’s hourly wage was a wretched $10.09, adding up to a $20,990 yearly income. However a four-person family in DC requires a staggering $88,615 every year, a clearly unattainable amount of money for parents working the most common job in America.

Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis, and Madison, but also from Portland, Dallas, NY, NJ, Boston, Italy/North Carolina, met in Minneapolis on the weekend of June 29 and 30 for the first-ever Midwest Regional School. The presence of so many comrades from other regions, including a comrade from the Italian section of the IMT, Falce Martello, was a huge boost and made the weekend that much more electric.

“Billions racked up in public debt to plug budget holes, pay overdue bills, and put money into its mismanaged pension funds... this has resulted in decrepit commuter trains and buses, thousands of unsound bridges, 200 hazardous dams and one of the most inequitable public school systems... Retirees may lose their pensions as the funds dwindle, low-income and disabled people may lose their health care as costs escalate...”

State-funded schooling is seen as a pillar of so-called Western Democracy, educating all children regardless of race or income to create a smarter and stronger society. However, under capitalism, genuine equality in education is impossible, so long as a small minority can accumulate private property while others have to work just to survive. The Founding Fathers envisioned a system of common schooling where all students would learn the same core of reading and writing, as well as how to be good citizens. But the logic of private capital accumulation will never allow this.

The recent attacks in Colorado, Connecticut, Boston, and across the country have shocked everyone. As has been previously explained in the pages of Socialist Appeal, these repeated incidents of violence signify the decay of American capitalism. The decline of capitalism offers no future for today’s youth, only distractions, desperation, and escapism. High unemployment, debt, lack of health care facilities, alienation, and a widespread feeling of insecurity is enough to push some over the edge. Only by changing society to one which will give everyone hope of a better future, only by engaging people in a way that they will want to live their lives rather than escape from them, can we put


Ever since the birth of the United States of America, the slogan of the the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, has been an integral part of the foundation of capitalism.

Christopher Jordan Dorner (June 4, 1979 – February 12, 2013) was a former LAPD police officer who was charged in connection with a series of shooting attacks on police officers and their families from February 3–12, 2013. Dorner was the subject of one of the largest manhunts in LAPD history, spanning two U.S. states and Mexico. In this article Jose Manuel analyses these events and the conditions that led to them.

In no bourgeois democratic country in the world do men and women have equal rights. In some countries they might have equality before the law, but this does not mean that they are equal when it comes to wages and social rights.

In the Spring of 2006, millions of immigrant workers flooded the streets of the United States to say “enough is enough!” The spark was an ultra-reactionary “immigration reform” bill sponsored by Wisconsin Republican Jim Sensenbrenner. But the frustration had built up for decades, as dangerous working conditions, low wages, discrimination, and the constant fear of raids and deportations reached the breaking point. The boundless energy and determination to fight overflowed the “safe” limits of the traditional immigrant rights and non-profit charities.

Boston, April 17, 2013—Two days later, still stunned by the horrific scene of two bombs scattering the festive crowds cheering runners crossing the finish line of the 117thrunning of the Boston Marathon, residents of the Boston area are left asking, “Why?”

The week of March 4 was historic for Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke its all-time record high on Tuesday, and continued to break that record throughout the week. Friday brought with it the monthly jobs report. Initial estimates are that 236,000 new jobs were added in February, somewhat higher than the 160,000 predicted by most economists. 

In President Obama’s recent State of the Union address, he announced his intention to raise the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour by 2015. “Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty.”