Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1090/30883

From The Socialist newspaper, 10 June 2020

Capitalism = racism: "You fight capitalism with socialism"

Anti-racism demo, June 2020

Anti-racism demo, June 2020   (Click to enlarge)

Hannah Sell, Socialist Party general secretary

The current Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is the biggest wave of protests against racism since the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. The most radical leaders of that movement drew the conclusion, as Malcolm X put it, that "you can't have capitalism without racism", and that meant fighting for socialism.

Black Panther leader Fred Hampton summed it up: "You don't fight racism with racism. We're gonna fight racism with solidarity. We say you don't fight capitalism with no black capitalism; you fight capitalism with socialism."

Today the world is different. There has been a black President of the US, the most powerful capitalist country on the planet, and many major corporations have, for example, declared their solidarity with the BLM movement. The fundamentals remain the same, however. Racism is intrinsic to capitalism.

Capitalism is a blind, unplanned system driven by maximising the profits of a few, and based on the exploitation of the majority. Today, according to Oxfam, the richest 85 people on earth have more wealth than the poorest half of the world's population. They include one black African, although white men predominate.

Their role in society, however, does not stem primarily from their colour. They are part of a tiny super-wealthy ruling elite whose interests are completely tied to an inherently racist capitalist system.

Jeff Bezos, the richest man on earth, has declared his 'solidarity' with BLM, but that will not alter in the slightest his maximising his profits via the brutal exploitation of his low-paid workforce, 65% of whom in the US are from BAME backgrounds.

In countries like Britain and the US the profits of the capitalists have soared while the working class - which is the big majority of the population - has seen its share of wealth driven down over decades.

BAME workers have been disproportionately affected. This has been laid bare by the Covid crisis - where BAME people are more likely to die from the disease, largely because they are more likely to be among those who have had to work through the crisis without adequate PPE, and are more likely to live in overcrowded conditions.

At the same time, police harassment and brutality remains a fact of life, particularly for young BAME men.

The capitalist elite are a tiny minority and, in order to maintain a social base and therefore power, they attempt to 'divide and rule'. They encourage workers from Britain to believe that it is anyone but the bosses who are responsible for their low wages, for example.

Racism is such a central part of the capitalists' divide-and-rule arsenal because of the whole history of capitalism. Karl Marx famously said it came into being "dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt". He was referring primarily to the horror of the slave trade that laid the foundations for capitalism.

With slavery came the development of racist propaganda designed to justify the enslavement of African peoples. Racist ideas were then adapted to justify the colonial oppression of large parts of the world by the imperialist powers. Direct colonial rule ended as a result of magnificent revolutionary independence movements that swept the planet in the twentieth century. Brutal economic exploitation continues, however.

Capitalism is based on nation states, with an accompanying national consciousness, used by the capitalists to maintain their social base. The statue to the slave trader Edward Colston, which Bristolians chucked where it belonged at the bottom of Bristol docks, was not erected until 170 years after he died. This was part of a campaign by Victorian capitalism to invent a history that justified British imperialism's exploitation of the globe, and its workers at home.

Malcolm X was right when he said that capitalism could never stop being racist. Today capitalism is a system in deep economic crisis, with growing national tensions, and is less able to take society forward than ever.

The BLM movement, however, which has spread so rapidly worldwide, indicates the determination of a new generation to build a new world. The movement is marked by its internationalism and its overwhelmingly working-class and multiracial character. It marks an important step in the search for an alternative to capitalism.

Only by taking wealth and power out of the hands of the tiny capitalist elite would it be possible to lay the basis for a new society free from the muck of racism.

This requires nationalising the major corporations and banks that dominate the economy under democratic workers' control and management, in Britain and internationally, in order to build a socialist planned economy that could provide a decent future for all - starting with decent housing, well-paid work, and free education.

By adopting such a programme, the next generation can stand on the shoulders of giants, and complete what Malcolm X and the Black Panthers started.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation £

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 10 June 2020:


Black Lives Matter

Fight racism and class inequality. "Seize the time!"

Black Lives Matter protests sweep country: How can the movement win?

Mass protests erupt

Black and white youth rise up against racism - US protester speaks to the Socialist

Capitalism = racism: "You fight capitalism with socialism"

"We're going to fight racism and capitalism with socialism"

France: 20,000 rally against Paris's killer gendarmes

Socialists call for trade unions to join the fight


Schools

Tories backtrack in England - Stand firm for school safety

Oppose the Welsh government's reckless return to school plan


Workplace news

Non-essential retail to open - Organise at work

Debenhams: Workers made to pay for Covid-19 crisis

Workers' union and campaign group fights Derby Rolls-Royce job cuts

Homerton Hospital - withdraw private contract


News

Test-and-trace fiasco - the ringing of the cash till

Coronavirus pandemic news in brief

BAME coronavirus deaths - an indictment of capitalist inequality


Lessons from history

Roosevelt's New Deal programme - reforms to save capitalism


Obituary

Ken Douglas: A tireless and determined fighter for socialism


Campaigns and reports

Why we joined the Socialist Party

Donate so we can raise our socialist message

Domestic violence murder


Readers' opinion

As a health worker, I had to march against racism

Readers' opinion: Things will never be the same


 

Home   |   The Socialist 10 June 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Black Lives Matter:

triangleSwansea BLM protest against racist police brutality

triangleRemembering Mohamud Hassan - continuing the fight against police brutality

triangleSocialist Party Black and Asian caucus

triangleSham inquiry into 'progressive extremism'

triangleBiden, Labour, and the need for a new mass workers' party

Capitalism:

triangleTories keep bailing out bosses, while piling the pain on workers and public services

triangle'Casino capitalism' - driving another potential financial Armageddon

trianglePride flag is about unity in struggle

triangleLatest podcast - How can we fight racism and capitalism today?

Socialism:

triangleA history of International Women's Day

triangleA fighting programme for women's rights and socialism

triangleEast London Socialist Party: A fighting programme for women's rights and socialism

Racism:

triangle1981: New Cross Massacre

triangleBlack Workers' Charter: A programme to fight racism

Black:

triangleSocialist Party Black & Asian members' meeting

BAME:

triangleVaccine algorithm can't solve capitalist inequality

Malcolm X:

triangleLessons from the Black Panthers

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

5/3/21

Budget

Tories keep bailing out bosses, while piling the pain on workers and public services

3/3/21

Budget

Not a budget for the working class!

3/3/21

Women

Women's health matters

3/3/21

Budget

Public sector workers respond to the budget

26/2/21

Labour

Liverpool Labour meltdown

24/2/21

Schools

Johnson's 'road map' for schools: Act together to protect safety

24/2/21

Uber

Drivers win case - they are workers

24/2/21

Covid

Where's the road map to jobs and wages Boris?

24/2/21

Labour

Starmer's speech a return to New Labour

24/2/21

Covid

Garment workers and Covid: Dying for less than minimum wage

24/2/21

Privatisation

Social care: End privatisation and let workers decide how it's run

24/2/21

Vaccine

Vaccine algorithm can't solve capitalist inequality

23/2/21

Britain

The struggle needs an electoral arm

17/2/21

NHS

NHS white paper: no solution to failed Tory policies

17/2/21

Covid

Covid workplace safety

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999