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Communism vs. Socialism On Minds at Election Rallies

SEATTLE, USA—How times have changed—and stayed the same! There was no shortage of people fed up with capitalism among the tens of thousands that rallied this past week. Still, too many hope we can get something “significantly better”—even a socialist—through elections.
Thirty-five thousand rallied for socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Even among the few thousand that showed up for Hillary Clinton, the same questions were put to comrades over and over again. Will communism work? Can socialism rein in the worst aspects of capitalism?
A small group of party members and friends distributed over a thousand leaflets at one Sanders rally alone. Five hundred more were passed out at Clinton’s rally, inside the Boeing factories and even by some homeless people in the newest of the tent cities. Hundreds took Red Flags.
 “You can’t trust any politicians. We need a communist revolution!” shouted one comrade as she distributed Red Flags. A surprising number agreed with her, especially among those that had some experience with elections. Yet rather than mobilizing for communism, they were hoping (in vain) that some candidate would save the day. They were grabbing for the hole in the bagel.
Even more common were those that thought communism might be a nice idea, but won’t work. They had no choice but to believe democratic socialism can really restrain capitalism.
One worker quizzed another comrade to see if he really knew the difference between socialism and communism. Our comrade answered that communism, unlike socialism, would change “the material basis of society.”
The questioner worked at Boeing so our comrade explained how communist production would work. We would collectively produce for need. We would organize production without the stratification the bosses must insure. Society would be organized to support that kind of production, not the profit-driven, dog-eat-dog capitalist production model.
The discussion lasted about ten minutes while people stood in the cold waiting for security to clear those in front of them. “Good Job!” said the questioner, donating a dollar for the paper and taking a few extra flyers.
We had similar discussions with other Boeing workers and their families in line (as well as many others, young and old, men and women of all “races” and religions). Some Muslim families were particularly receptive. A civilian in the machinist union from a military shipyard swapped stories with Boeing workers about how the bosses are laying off and cutting wages every where. We all agreed the unions are part and parcel of the capitalist system.

Communism Only Answer to Massive Failures of Capitalism
The massive failures of capitalism were apparent to this crowd. Indeed, it is those massive failures that have made socialism so popular, according to the local socialist council member who spoke at the rally.
She, along with Sanders, calls for “the democratization of the economy.” We call for changing the material basis of society with communist production; ending the wage system.
Sanders also wants a $15/hour minimum wage. In communism, we’ll end the wage system that pits worker against worker, reinforcing racism, sexism and nationalism. We’ll collectively provide for everyone’s needs. In exchange, we’ll all chip in according to our abilities and commitment.
Sanders calls for tougher Wall Street regulation. Communism won’t need financial institutions at all. Money won’t determine what is produced. The party will mobilize the masses to make those decisions.
Sanders says public universities should be free. Communist education will abolish these educational institutions, which separate students from workers. Learning will continue throughout life. We will eliminate the division between mental and manual labor. Workers will produce and teach. Students will learn and produce.
Socialism is still capitalism. As crisis follows crisis, it has become abundantly clear that any system that preserves capitalism has no answers. This infatuation with socialist candidates (and electoral politics) will also be shattered.
Unlike those who sell the socialist snake-oil, we can’t rely on critiques of capitalism to do our work for us. Even proving that socialism can’t rein in capitalism won’t do the trick. We have to clearly and patiently explain how communism can succeed.
The times have changed. Many more want to discuss communism. We aim to take advantage of this opportunity by organizing a communist contingent this May Day. We invite you to join us as we mobilize for the one and only answer: communist revolution.


“I agree. We need a society without money,” said someone in line to hear Bernie Sanders speak, as she gladly took a copy of Red Flag. About 2000 people came. We distributed about 240 copies of Red Flag along with a leaflet that invited them to Mobilize for a Communist May Day on one side, and on the other showed that neither Sanders in the US nor Podemos in Spain nor any other socialist politician could change the nature of capitalism. To achieve the world we need, we need a communist revolution and a communist society.
It was an opportunity to have good talks with many about communism, socialism and capitalism. Many agreed, as did the person above, that we need a society without money. We said that we want a society without exploitation, racism and war and that we couldn’t get that by voting, but only through revolution for communism. We explained that we need a mass party of millions to fight for and organize communism where we would produce for human need and not profit.
When we explained that many are upset by Trump’s fascism, like that of Modi in India, and that fascism is capitalism in crisis, there was interest. We explained that only communism can defeat fascism. Some who at first were not going to take Red Flag ended up eagerly taking our paper.
There were only a few of us distributing Red Flag because we found out about the event that very morning. Seeing that so many are open to communism, we will try to find out sooner and bring more friends, and more Red Flags and leaflets next time.


Janitors’ Struggle:

Communism Will Satisfy Workers’ Needs

LOS ANGELES, USA—“We are demanding a $1 increase an hour for every year of our next five-year contract. We want to be making $5 more than the $15 an hour California’s minimum wage will be in 2020,” said Ramon about the seven thousand LA janitors’ struggle for a new contract.
They are also fighting for reductions in workload from the 3 floors per worker today back to the 2 floors per worker, which was in place before this last contract, and to keep their health coverage.
“Both of these demands are very important because the majority of us are either over or approaching 50 years of age. Arthritis is becoming a big problem. Many of us are either on temporary or permanent disability,” added Ramon. He has been a janitor for 23 years.
“It seems that this contract’s fight will be hard and drawn out,” said Red Flag .
“We don’t think so. We think that by May 15th it will be signed. The governor supports our struggle. So does Mayor Garcetti who got elected because of our union’s efforts.”
“The politicians are servants of the rich. Don’t expect anything from them but a stab in the back. But, my question to you is: Why do you need to fight for a contract every five years? It is an unending struggle as long as capitalism exits. Why not fight for communism – no money, wage slavery, inhuman workloads or labor contracts – no bosses, only communist workers running the world to serve the needs of the working class?”
“It sounds very good but it never works out like that. There is always corruption.”
“You are thinking about Russia, China and places like Cuba. That is not communism but socialism. They kept money, wages, markets – state capitalism. You told me you were on disability.”
“Yes and it has been over a month and I haven’t received a check yet.”
“Are other workers in the same situation?”
“In my group there are three more. One woman has been disabled for life. We have no pension and she won’t be eligible for Social Security until 15 years from now. Her lawyer is fighting to get her insurance company to pay her disability until then.”
“Well, the capitalists make the laws to benefit them not the workers. What about your case?”
“The doctor sent me back to work with light duty. But the company will only take me back with no restrictions. I have to be careful because there are easily five workers ready to take my place.”
“All these problems would not exit in a communist society. Workers’ needs would be met from cradle to grave. One’s contribution to society wouldn’t determine what one receives from society. One’s need would determine that. No one would try to take away your work. We would welcome all helping hands – no one would be undocumented - because the more hands the less we will have to do. We would have more time to socialize with people, study, travel, etc. What couldn’t we do with the helping hands of over 2 billion unemployed workers in the world?”
“Eventually we will get there but not by revolution. I think humanity is intelligent enough not to destroy itself. Bernie Sanders is for some of the things you want.”
“What we need can’t be achieved by elections. The communists tried it in 1973 in Chile with Allende. Pinochet, backed by the US, overthrew him and instituted fascism murdering him and thousands of Chilean workers and youth. Similarly in Indonesia in 1965, the communist-backed Sukarno government was overthrown by a CIA- backed coup which slaughtered over 500 thousand unionists, and communists and their supporters.”
“That really makes one think seriously about joining a movement. You only live once.”
“Yes, you have to make sure you are fighting for the right thing. Don’t let me forget to invite you to our May Day dinner to plan for the May Day March. If the union doesn’t organize janitors to march, you should help organize them to march with our contingent.”
“This year I promise to go to your dinner and will invite friends. On April 17, we will find out what the union is doing for May Day. We can speak then.”


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