Editor’s Note: Below find the CPUSA contribution to the Wanshou Forum on the theme of “Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind and Development of Socialism in the World.” The address was prepared by Rossana Cambron and delivered by Aleena Starks.
I saw a sign in the airport while waiting for my plane that said, “none of us are well until all of us are well.”
Building a community with a shared future for mankind can only happen with the development of socialism where we can support each other in meeting the needs of people throughout the world where each country can share the resources, be they material, intellectual and or special skills with those that do not have them.
In the United States, we face many deep and critical problems today but we are also experiencing the birth of many new opportunities for positive change:
1. The war industrial complex is one of the most powerful groupings in the world, it attempts to disrupt any formation of a socialist society.
2. Perhaps the greatest unsolvable contradiction in capitalism today is the ever-growing income inequality between the many that produce wealth versus the few that appropriate it. Last year the average CEO of the Fortune 500 made 361 times more than their average employee. The last 40 years has seen national productivity increase steadily, the wealth of the top 1% skyrocket and wages for the American worker stagnate or declined. Our struggle for workers right to a livable wage and a decent quality of life is paramount.
3. Gender inequality continues to be on our agenda. Women still receive lower wages than men for the same type of work. Women, along with the gay, lesbian, transgender community continue to be discriminated against.
4. Racism has been and continues to be the greatest weapon the ruling class has to divide the struggles of the American people. Racism has become structural and is clearly reflected in unemployment rates, college graduation rates, wage disparity and especially incarceration rates.
5. Democracy is under attack like never before with the Supreme Court ruling that corporations now have the same rights as any citizen. Their Citizens United decision also allows corporations to contribute unlimited amounts of money to any political party, politician or political campaign. This policy, along with the gerrymandering of voting districts and voter suppression, especially against people of color is obscene and unacceptable.
6. Immigration in the United States has for decades been used by the ruling class as an ideological weapon to divide the country using fear, hate and xenophobia against our immigrant community. They try to blame the immigrants for the problems and shortcomings of a failing economic system. Unity and solidarity of class are of utmost importance. If we are to solve the problem of immigration we first must be clear to address it’s root causes.
7. Environment. There is nothing more urgent to both capitalist and socialist countries than addressing the issue of climate change. Yet it’s so embarrassing that our own President Trump and most of the Republican leaders deny that climate change even exists. If ever there was an urgent reason to transition from capitalism to socialism it’s this. Capitalism can only exist on the basis of market expansion and infinite growth but it totally ignores the fact that we live in a very finite world. Capitalism and environmentalism are incompatible. For ourselves and for our future generations, the defense of our Mother Earth needs to be a world movement.
These problems are found in many countries and appear to be daunting and overwhelming but the human capacity has proven to be up to the challenge.
With the advancement in science and technology, we now have the capacity to solve all of these problems. The only thing standing in the way is capitalism: an economic system that puts profits before human need. Therefore the need to transition form an economic system based on constant expansion, consumption and greed to one that is sustainable, controlled and more humane, is urgent and of upmost importance.
In closing I would like to say that I am very hopeful for our future. Yes, many throughout the world are living though very difficult times. War, poverty, pollution and violence seems to dominate the world scene. But what gives me hope is that everywhere around the world, everywhere that I have traveled to, I have seen countless women, men and even children standing up to power. Standing up for what is right. Farm workers going out on strike demanding fair wages and working conditions, teacher fighting for quality education for their students, soldiers speaking out against war and young people around the world with there commitment and boundless energy engaging at all levels to create a better world.
More and more people are understanding that our local and national movements for peace, the environment, immigration and socio-economic justice must come together at an international level because world problems require a world response.
Today millions of people around the world know that our lives are all interlocked and our well being is interdependent so, how can our future not be bright?
Today we must build a shared community of struggle that will open up the doors to building socialism world wide.
I’ll end with a quote by the great revolutionary Che Guevara who said “Lets be realistic and do the impossible.”
Thank you for inviting our Party to participate in learning about the many important developments in your country. I bring greetings from our Party’s National committee, wishing you all the best in establishing ocialism with Chinese characteristics.