Join the Resistance

PhotobucketWe live in a strange world. The world richest man, Warren Buffett, has more than 11 times the wealth of Haiti, a nation of 8.7 million people.
In 1970, that country grew enough food to feed its people; but at the start of 2008, that country had been so impoverished by economic policies enforced on it by the US that many Haitians had to resort to eating dirt to fill their stomachs. Due to recent flooding they now can't even do that.
The Arctic is rapidly losing ice due to climate change, and could disappear in the next few years. Perversely, the response of government and business has been eagerness at the possibility that they could drill for oil as the ice melted.
The world we live in is one where a chief economist of the World Bank can say ``the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that''.
It's the same world where 1.6 billion people could get access to sanitation for the price of five days of global military spending, but don't.
It's a world dominated by war, racism, poverty, environmental destruction and oppression.
It's easy to say ``It's inevitable, it's human nature'' or ``it's the natural order of things''. That doesn't make it correct. There is no gene that causes bigotry or selfishness and there's no invisible template that means we can only live one kind of way.
Rather, the environment we grew up in, and social reality we have inherited, has shaped our thoughts <197> making it hard to ``think outside the box''.
The box, or perhaps more accurately the cage, we currently find ourselves in is called capitalism. It's a social system only a couple of hundred years old, but today covers the globe.
With so little modern experience of alternatives to this system, particularly in a nation like Australia, it's hard to imagine it disappearing <197> taking with it many of the social ills we see as ``normal''.
    However, the fate of the planet demands that we begin to imagine alternatives.
In capitalism, a tiny minority own and control economic production, from the mines and fields, to the factories through to the end product.
 This minority runs the economy, not to meet the needs of people or to maintain the environment, but to maximise their profits. As a result, the global gulf between the rich and the poor has never been greater than it is now.
It's no coincidence that in today's very non egalitarian Australia coincides with the share of the national wealth going into wages of workers at its lowest in 40 years, the profits for the capitalist at its highest share ever.
As a global system, this inequality is replicated everywhere, within countries and between countries. A majority of the world's people live in dire poverty, while a tiny minority squander unprecedented wealth.
From Indonesia to Mexico, as the skyscrapers rise upwards the slums spread outwards <197> wealth flowing mainly overseas, minus kickbacks to corrupt bureaucracies.
The drive for profit by capitalists based in rich countries means that poorer countries are ruthlessly exploited for resources and cheap labour. If the leaders of a poor country make any move to break these chains, or even just enrich themselves instead of the capitalists in the rich nations, they've generally paid dearly.
It was not the madness of President George Bush that fuelled the war on Iraq, but US capitalists' desperate drive to control that region's oil. More than one million Iraqis have been died as a result of the invasion and occupation of their country.
Even more despicable is the way that capitalism has responded to the climate change crisis. The crisis requires drastic steps taken by governments to drastically cut carbon emissions immediately.
Unfortunately, its hard to find politicians who would oppose the wishes of the capitalists who fund their campaigns and make them company directors once they leave office.
Instead, the challenge posed by climate change has been viewed it as yet another way to make money for the exploitative minority who hold the most responsibility for the impending climate crisis.
By leaving the task of tackling climate change up to the market mechanisms such as ``emissions trading schemes'', neoliberal governments have clearly shown their unwillingness to put the planet, and people, above the quest for ever expanding profit. The market mechanisms they favour won't reduce emissions in time to stop the sea levels rising, but they will buy time to get away with a few more years of highly profitable coal exports.
However, not all governments around the world have responded to climate change in such manner. One small Caribbean island, despite a crippling economic embargo by the United States, achieved the mantle of the world only sustainable economy according to a 2007 Worldwide Fund for Nature study <197> Cuba.
The difference in Cuba's response to climate change has been stark. Cuba has directly tackled the task of cutting carbon emissions by employing various renewable energy schemes, permaculture programmes, energy efficiency and a move away from petro based fertilisers and chemicals.
All this has been possible due to the fact that Cuba has made a socialist revolution that removed powerful vested interests from its economy. It can carry out such a transition without resistance from a ruling class that control parliament, the media and the economy.
Imagine if the willingness of the general population to act on climate change in Australia was actually translated into action. Unfortunately, without an economic blockade of the legacy of colonial exploitation, Australia is nowhere near a sustainable economy <197> nor does it even have free education and housing or solved the housing crisis, which Cuba has achieved.
In this capitalist country, these problems are ``intractable''  ``unavoidable'', and ``inevitable'.
Real solutions to the global crises is possible only through socialism <197> with public ownership and democratic planning of the economy, and empowering ordinary people in all spheres throughout society.
Humanity faces a stark choice between socialism and the catastrophic environmental disaster. The urgency of creating a society driven not by profit by the needs of people and the environment is clear.
This change requires a revolution <197> a fundamental change in how society runs and who for.
It is working people that make revolutions possible <197> not only by being the overwhelming majority of the population, but because the economy is dependent on those who actually do the work.
Ordinary people build, create, and make things run <197> and they can make them stop if they so desired.
Capitalists may own workplaces and the products that workers make, but the term ``idle rich'' didn't come from nowhere. If they went on strike, who would notice?
Socialists organise for social change. All the spontaneous actions and uprisings against capitalism can never lead to a successful revolution unless it's organised, with a strategy to win.
The capitalist class controls the entire state apparatus <197> the judges, the politicians, the police and courts. They write the laws and determine who is punished for breaking them.
By owning the media, they can determine what is news and what isn't, and how to report things.                   
Those who want to organise against this system need a strategy and a collective framework.
Resistance aims to organise young people in mass movements against sexism, racism, environmental destruction, attacks on workers' rights, attacks on students' rights and every aspect of capitalist oppression.
Through these movements, we seek to help build a mass socialist party that can unite all these struggles.
Resistance is made up of young workers, unemployed, students and other young people involved in a huge range of campaigns and activities. We're active on campus, in schools and in workplace and trade union campaigns. We organise our own campaigns on issues from sexuality to free speech. And we write for and help distrube Australia's leading independent newspaper, Green left Weekly, to help campaign and disseminate information on all the issues.
Any young person (under 26) who wants to get active in these struggles can join us. It's easy. We have branches in cities across the country and organise meetings to plan our activities and campaigns.
We act with the enthusiasm of knowing that we're not submitting to the system, but working together with other young people to change it. If you want to try and change this  system, join Resistance.

Poll

Should the Greens support offshore processing of asylum seekers?
Yes, it's the only way to stop refugees getting on boats.
30%
No, the Greens are right to oppose inhumane offshore processing.
70%
Total votes: 478

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