"Ideas," someone once wrote, "move rapidly when their time comes." As we gather to celebrate May Day, the continuing capitalist crisis makes socialism an idea ready to move rapidly. While military spending increases and working people face mass unemployment, big businesses continues to get billions in handouts, and state and local budgets face massive cuts. Capitalist crisis has made the socialist vison, that of a world where human needs are put ahead of individual profits, even more relevant. Our task on May Day is to convert socialism from a good idea into a movement to transform our society.
Our current economic problems are more than just the wrong person/party in the White House, they are a demonstration that there is a fundamental problem at the center of capitalism. That problem lies in the nature of capitalism itself.
The capitalist system forces workers to sell their abilities and skills to the few who own the workplaces. These owners profit from workers' labor, and use the government to maintain their privileged position. Society’s productive wealth is further drained by massive investment in the military and perpetual war in which workers are compelled to fight other workers. This economic system needs to be abolished.
Socialism offers an alternative to undemocratic profit-mad capitalism. By ensuring that people's needs for housing, healthcare, education and employment are guaranteed, a socialist society will offer equality of opportunity. By bringing democracy to the economy through worker's control of production, we will make sure that the place where most people spend their adult lives operates democratically. By organizing participatory budgeting, we will put people at the center of the system-- fully empowered to make decisions concerning the future of the society they live in.
The powerful necessity of socialist ideas can be seen most clearly with the issue of immigration. The capitalist state presents restrictions and police actions as the proper way to keep immigrants in line. Conversely, socialist support the right of all workers regardless of their status. We support the creation of an unconditional amnesty program and seek to build solidarity amongst workers throughout the world. Where capitalism offers ICE raids and border police, we support human freedom and social solidarity.
May Day is our day. A day when working people gather to state clearly that another world is possible. This other world is a democratic participatory one, where resources are shared for the betterment of humanity. However, democratic socialism will not come about spontaneously--we must get organized. So, today we invoke the names of Eugene Debs, of Cesar Chavez, of Dr. Martin Luther King to call on all working people to join the struggle for socialism. Move rapidly, act boldly, we have a world to win!