If a plane is going down, its crew will sound the call for help. The international sign of distress is “Mayday.” It comes from the French phrase “m’aider” meaning “help me”. Looking forward to Tuesday’s Mayday actions that are expected to happen around the globe, it dawned on me how fitting that coincidence is. We’re in trouble, not just the US, not just Europe, but the world.
International Worker’s Day, held on May 1st of every year is not a recent tradition. It has its roots in the dark days of the industrial revolution, and was born out of struggle, oppression and class warfare. The tradition started in The 1880s, as a commemoration of the Haymarket Massacre, where police opened fire, killing several striking workers, and a few of their own policemen as well. It was a wake up call for workers around the world, as they recoiled in disgust at the harsh brutality of the capitalist machine against workers. Since then, we have commemorated their struggle, and ours, by going out into the streets and making ourselves heard.
This year is a bit different. Capitalism has dug itself into a hole that it can’t seem to find it way out of. Decades of imperialist war, erosion of worker’s rights, the diluting of democracy, the killing of our environment, and other issues to many to list here at once have capitalism on its knees. Europe struggles to recover from its years of corruption, and an angry populace who are standing up against austerity. While the 1% lived high off the hog, amassing huge amounts of wealth and power, the working classes of the world have been pressed harder and harder by the day. Less working, harder, for less pay. They tell us that there just isn’t any money, not enough to go around. All the while corporations like Apple, GE, BP, and others post record profits. They expand and build more wealth, while hiring less and less. This is not a sustainable economy, in any way, shape, or form. Someone told us this was going to happen. He wasn’t a prophet or a priest. He wasn’t a fortune teller. He was a philosopher, and a political scientist. He knew this would happen, because this is the logical end for capitalism. This is what unrestrained greed leads to. It leads to imperialism, corruption, massive economic inequality, and a crumbling country and world. His name was Karl Marx, and he was right. Capitalism is acting out the theories he put forth in the 19th century. The question, is not if, but when this system will fall. What the most important question is, is what will replace it. Do we let the fascists take over? Do we just let the world fall into a state of disarray and chaos? No. We fight for a new, better world, where workers are in control. We fight for real democracy, economic equality and social justice. We fight for a socialist future, where instead of wealth being concentrated, and most people left out in the cold, we work together to build a better society, and a better world. Inequality will be destroyed. Which side will you be on?
Join us in the streets on Mayday. The class war is real, and if you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Join us.