Declaration – October, 1984
The United States today is a land of stark and bewildering contradictions.
The greatest industrial and agricultural power in history cannot feed, clothe and provide a decent livelihood for millions in this country. Countless others work away their lives to survive, while billionaires squander fortunes on mansions and fly around the world in private jets. Poverty and economic insecurity exist alongside extravagance.
Vicious racism and the repressive power of the police, FBI and CIA mock the promises of liberty, justice and equality. Washington politicians say they want international cooperation and peace, but they continue to build one of the mightiest military machines on earth. The U.S., itself capable of extinguishing life on the planet, is on the verge of nuclear self-destruction with the Soviet Union.
We see churches in every neighborhood and endlessly hear about the sanctity of the family and morality. Yet the country suffers a horrible moral and social decay. Violence against women and their sexual exploitation are unmatched on earth. Movies and television are very sophisticated technically, but offer not much more than romance and escapism. Their stories dwell on violence, despair and degradation, and advocate that life’s aim should be narrow self-gratification. Real life, in contrast, cries out for work for the welfare of humanity.
What is the reason for these contradictions between the promises, the potential of this society, and its stark reality? Why is there such an agonizing gap between what is and what could be!
The answers to these questions cannot be found in cynical condemnations o f “human nature” or apologies about the “ way things are.” No ! Monopoly capitalism, the social system under which we live, is responsible for the contradictions of U.S. society.
A system of exploitation, violence, racism and war strangles our lives. Monopoly capitalism thrives on the private control of society’s wealth and production — production involving the interconnected efforts of millions of working people.
The super-rich have one basic goal in life: to make more and more profits, and they accomplish this by dominating the economics, politics, and cultural life of the country. The monopolists will throw workers out into the streets to starve, promote violent racism, and build a military arsenal that can destroy the world several times over — anything for profits!
This is an irrational and unjust system. But life does not have to be this way.