Climate change. Poverty. War. Capitalism must go – fight for socialism

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Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Socialist Party national organiser

If visitors from outer space had come to earth for Christmas, they would surely ask: who the hell is in charge here?

The fires in Australia have turned the sky blood red, the beaches black, and chased people, livestock and wildlife from their homes. Shell-shocked faces of evacuees, charred koala bears, and the courage of volunteer firefighters to carry on against the inferno are brutal evidence of the need for urgent change.

Then, on 3 January the world awoke to the drumbeat of escalating conflict following Trump’s assassination of Qassem Suleimani, a key Iranian leader and commander of the regime’s ‘Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force.

Undoubtedly any such visitors would be shocked to see, behind these events, a system of production that disregards the needs of billions of people and the environment while prioritising increasing the already gargantuan profits of a few.

Private ownership of production. Of water! Expenditure on weapons of mass destruction to defend those interests while war destroys millions of lives.

And then our visitors would surely question how it is that those in charge, the capitalist world leaders, have no alternative – in fact they extol nothing but a continuation of the present arrangements.

War and environmental crisis are not new – they are central features of 21st century capitalism, which remains in crisis. Our lives and our future are not safe in the hands of the capitalist rulers and their system.

So, in 2019, courageous and determined mass movements developed across the world, and protests against climate change were organised. They showed the potential force of the working class, youth and poor to organise to change society – to take charge to end the chaos of capitalism.

In 2020 we need to build these movements – and democratic organisations of working people, youth and the poor, around a socialist programme to democratically plan production and society in the interests of all.