United States

On April 5, 29 miners were killed in an explosion at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch coal mine in Raleigh County, West Virginia. This is the worst mining accident in the United States since 1970. Graeme Anfinson in the United States points out that Massey Energy's prime objective was profit and nothing is allowed to get in the way of that, not even the lives of these hardworking miners who produce the profit in the first place.

With fully a third of the American population now living on less than $21,000 a year and the cost of living continuing to skyrocket, it should come as no surprise that basic necessities like nutritious food, decent housing, medical care, and winter heating are priced outside the means of so many.

America -- a land of opportunity -- so the saying goes. But this is such a shallow phrase when you look into it deeper, right into the heart and core of the future of the US working class, which is the youth and education, where we see that the supposed “equality” is no where near being equal. In fact, it looks like American education is more based on keeping people poor and ignorant to keep a steady supply of cheap, unskilled labor to work the few jobs that are available, than actually providing a real education.

Only a year after the elation that followed his victory, the general consensus is that Barack Obama hasn’t actually done very much; other than continue his predecessor’s policies in one form or another.

On January 24th, the US Supreme Court, by a 5-4 decision, ruled to remove the remaining spending limits on corporate involvement in elections. The ruling has been criticized by many as a dangerous encroachment by the wealthiest corporate interests and an undermining of free, democratic elections. But even before the court’s decision, corporate cash remained a prime mover of both capitalist parties in Congress and the White House. The influence of the big banks, corporations and the wealthiest will always be a controlling feature of formal democracy under capitalism.

In this article, the conditions for socialist revolution to develop are analyzed. The experiences of the Socialist Party of America and other left groups are analyzed as well, for those that are interested in building a Marxist leadership need to learn from past left and labor movements to avoid making the same mistakes past socialists have made.

An opposition group recently won the election and will become the new leadership of Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100. Even though the election was held last June, the ballots were not counted until December! This was one of the many tactics used by the incumbent Toussaint leadership, which was seeking to install its handpicked successors.

This article takes note of the effects of the recession on workers in the USA (high unemployment, low wages, threats of losing homes, etc.) and how Obama is continuing Bush's program of spending billions of dollars bailing out Wall Street. The union leadership told workers that voting the Democrats into Congress and the White House would change things, but where is this change? As the Workers International League explained, voting for the "lesser evil" in a system dominated by two corporate parties would bring about an immediate "evil." People then get tired after no real change and end up bringing the "greater evil" back into power. This is precisely what happened in


In Obama's State of the Union address, the President called for "national unity." It's definitely in the interest of the people who collect profit off of other people's work to assure us we all share the same set of "American values." They want us to believe we're "all in this together" when really they're parasites living off our sweat.

For young workers, the so-called recovery is meaningless to nonexistent. Most of us have been facing a crisis from the very beginning of our working lives. We’ve been unable to build up even the most meager basis for establishing ourselves. Those of us who have tried to strike out on our own in our late teens or early twenties, the way our parents or grandparents did, have found it nearly impossible.

The Capitalist crisis has plunged the state of California into its worst budget crisis in history. Billions of dollars have been already slashed from the budget and billions more will be cut this year in order to“fix” the shortfall of $20.7 billion. Unable to find any other solution on the basis of Capitalism, workers and students will bear the brunt of these cuts. The students have already fought back on several occasions with strikes and occupations.

In late December Senate Democrats passed their version of a health insurance reform bill. American workers ought not get too excited about the Affordable Health Care for America Act. This “early Christmas gift” is more like a lump of coal!

After just one year of the Obama administration, the sincere hopes for real change have been dashed. For all his charm, lofty words and apparent sincerity, Obama was elected to represent the interests of Big Business and capitalism.

This December marks the one year anniversary of the occupation of Republic Windows and Doors, a struggle that captured the attention of working people across the country and the world, as it symbolized the hardships faced by millions due to the economic crisis and a willingness to fight back.

Three months ago, the main labor federation in the U.S. held its national conference, electing a new leadership slate that pledged to fight for jobs, universal single payer health care, new laws to open the road to organizing the unorganized, and for an economic recovery in the interests of working people. But since September’s convention in Pittsburgh there has been no sign yet that these words will be turned into action.

One in 31 adult citizens in the U.S. are in prison. The so called “land of the free” locks away more of its citizens than Russia or China - and the problem is getting worse.

One year ago millions of Americans, many of whom had never voted before, came out for Barack Obama, energized by his message of hope and change. Surely things would now get better! But what is the reality?

While George W. Bush’s attempt at privatizing Social Security famously failed, private industry has largely been successful at shifting their group pension plans into individual private accounts. These individual accounts are almost always invested in the volatile stock market.

The Workers International League will be holding a day-long Marxist School at Mayday Books in the West Bank in Minneapolis on December 13, 2009. It is free and open to the public. Come for the whole day or pick the sessions you are most interested in or able to attend.