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What to expect in 2018

From the editors  |  Issue: February | March 2018

The assault of the billionaires will continue, but we are beginning to form the battle lines

2017 was a year of tremendous upheaval, with never-ending assaults on the democratic rights and human dignity and safety of women, children, immigrants, Native Americans, and the poor in general.

The attacks continue as ICE actions to deport leaders of the immigration movement shows. Sanctuary measures in various states are under assault. And the status of DACA recipients is still in jeopardy, as they are used as bargaining chips for Trump’s border wall.

2017 was also a year of natural disasters of unprecedented ferocity stoked by the man-made policies of our government, which continues to deny that global warming is manmade.

When under attack, naturally we have to defend ourselves. However, we also have to step back when circumstances permit and look at why things are happening — the bigger picture — because this gives us a sense of how to fight more effectively and win.

The tax bill was rushed through Congress with minimal debate by Republicans or Democrats. Despite President Trump’s claim to the contrary, it will destroy whatever semblance of a middle class America has and will condemn growing numbers of people in this country to abject poverty.

It unabashedly favors the 0.1 percent — the corporate billionaires — at the expense of the rest of us.

So the battle lines are starting to be formed. Many working people are waking up to the fact that they are under attack by a government that is supposed to be representing them but instead is at the beck and call of a handful of billionaires.

Among those forced to fight for themselves and their families are DACA students. Protests and actions across the country and in the nation’s capital highlight their plight.

Texans are starting to question why there is so much poverty amidst wealth, as oil-fracking operations use up irrigation water for growing food, while contaminating the land and water itself.

This summer a Poor People’s conference is being organized in Chicago area — to hold police accountable, challenge rising housing costs and growing homelessness, and put politicians’ feet to the fire.

Internationally, workers are cooperating across borders and challenging the North American and Central American free trade agreements (NAFTA and CAFTA) — trade deals that hurt workers on both sides of the border.

Significantly, women ranging from Hollywood actresses and producers to farm worker and packing shed female workers are protesting sexual harassment and abuse at the hands of men who historically have controlled hiring practices and promotion.

Mega marches on the 1st anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration day are led by women and proclaim strident opposition to the unbridled assault on women and working-class families.

The “elephant in the room,” that few people talk about is the High-Tech Revolution. The accelerating replacement of workers by labor replacing technology. We are faced with an increasingly jobless economy at a time of mind boggling productive capacity. The societal implications of these changes in the economy are upsetting the way capitalism functions.

We are entering a period of time where all social relations are being thrown into turmoil, including gender, race, nationality, national borders, age, and class.

It is as if the world we have known is turned upside down. We truly are in revolutionary times!

The cruelest injustice though, is starvation and privation in the midst of plenty. The world that new technology makes possible can give us a bountiful future if used to meet human needs and not to make billionaires richer.

It is becoming clear that there need be no inequality and exploitation of any kind in a world where more than enough is produced so that everyone can succeed and thrive.

That is why we need to begin uniting as a class opposed to the corporate billionaires. Let’s make government serve us instead of them! It is not only fair; it is a matter of survival.

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