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Constructing Workers’ Power
Capitalism is responsible for all the violence in the world—
only workers have the power to bring peace.
By Bonnie Weinstein
http://www.socialistviewpoint.org <http://www.socialistviewpoint.org/>

“That is what I want to urge upon the working class; to become so organized on 
the economic field that they can take and hold the industries in which they are 

“Can you conceive of such a thing? Is it possible? What are the forces that 
prevent you from doing so? You have all the industries in your own hands at the 
present time. 

“There is this justification for political action, and that is, to control the 
forces of the capitalists that they use against us; to be in a position to 
control the power of government so as to make the work of the army ineffective, 
so as to abolish totally the secret service and the force of detectives. That 
is the reason that you want the power of government…

“…If I didn’t think that the general strike was leading on to the great 
revolution which will emancipate the working class I wouldn’t be here. I am 
with you because I believe that in this little meeting there is a nucleus here 
that will carry on the work and propagate the seed that will grow into the 
great revolution that will overthrow the capitalist class.” —Big Bill Haywood.1

The world capitalist system, commanded primarily by the U.S., is doing the only 
thing it can do to maintain its power a little longer—plunder the world back 
into barbarism. 

They have no hope of establishing permanent power over the world’s wealth 
because there is a limit to how much destruction they can carry out before the 
entire Earth is destroyed along with them. 

They can’t kill everyone. They still need workers to do their bidding in both 
industry and as cannon fodder for their military exploitations. The U.S. and 
its allies are on a military destabilization campaign in the hopes of 
paralyzing any and all opposition to their growing interventions across the 
globe. This is the only way they can hope to even temporarily maintain and 
increase their wealth, and the power it buys them. 

Their power seems insurmountable. Their accumulated wealth is incomprehensible. 
In fact, according to a January 15, 2017 Fortune article by Reuters, eight 
men—Microsoft’s Bill Gates; Inditex founder Amancio Ortega; investor Warren 
Buffett; Mexico’s Carlos Slim, business magnet (America Movil, Latin America’s 
biggest mobile telecom firm,) investor and philanthropist; Amazon 
<http://fortune.com/fortune500/amazoncom-18/> boss Jeff Bezos; Facebook’s Mark 
Zuckerberg; Oracle’s Larry Ellison; and former New York City mayor Michael 
Bloomberg—are now as wealthy as half the world’s population.2

This obscene fact has a two-fold reality. One, the commanders of capital have 
more money than anyone could possibly spend in a lifetime—or even a hundred 
lifetimes; and two, they are a tiny, miniscule portion of humanity—an 
infinitesimal despotic regime that could not stand on its own without the 
enslavement, both physically and mentally, of the masses of the working class 
to do their bidding. 

The statistics below illustrate that the terms, “capitalism” and “war,” are 
synonymous. They show that the need for a fundamental change from capitalism to 
socialism is necessary if we are to save the world for future generations. 

What the capitalists spend to maintain their power
Besides the accumulated wealth held by the capitalists, they spend trillions of 
our tax dollars on a massive military budget to protect their financial 
interests. In fact, the military industrial complex is the most lucrative 
business in the U.S.—and the world. 

They spare no expense on their weapons of mass destruction. Just last year, the 
U.S. dropped 26,171 bombs on the world.3

In a April 7, 2017 article in Fortune by Jen Wieczner titled, “Syria Airstrikes 
Instantly Added Nearly $5 Billion to Missile-Makers’ Stock Value:”

“Raytheon stock surged Friday morning, after 59 of the company’s Tomahawk 
missiles were used to strike Syria in Donald Trump’s first major military 
operation as President…. The Tomahawk missile used in the strike is made by 
Raytheon…whose stock opened 2.5 percent higher Friday, adding more than $1 
billion to the defense contractor’s market capitalization. The shares of other 
missile and weapons manufacturers, including Boeing…Lockheed Martin…Northrop 
Grumman…and General Dynamics…each rose as much as one percent, collectively 
gaining nearly $5 billion in market value as soon as they began trading, even 
as the broader market fell.” 

The top five military revenue earning corporations in 2016 were:4

Lockheed Martin, earning 46.132 billion representing 88 percent revenue from 
Boeing, earning 96.114 billion representing 31.62 percent revenue from defense.
BAE Systems, earning 27.357 billion representing 92.40 percent revenue from 
Raytheon, earning 23.247 billion representing 93 percent revenue from defense.
General Dynamics, earning 31.469 billion representing 60.85 percent revenue 
from defense.
That’s a total of 224.319 billion in revenue from defense spending—for just the 
top five! And that’s not all:

“Industry experts highlighted that approximately 800,000 defense jobs 
<http://www.clearedconnections.com/defense-jobs>, intelligence jobs 
<http://www.clearedconnections.com/intelligence-jobs> and other occupations are 
tied to the defense industry. In addition, more than ten percent of U.S. 
manufacturing demand in the U.S. is dependent on aerospace and defense spending 
with contractors including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and 
General Dynamics.”5
“The U.S. outpaces all other nations in military expenditures. World military 
spending totaled more than $1.6 trillion in 2015. The U.S. accounted for 37 
percent of the total. U.S. military expenditures are roughly the size of the 
next seven largest military budgets around the world, combined. U.S. military 
spending dwarfs the budget of the #2 country—China. For every dollar China 
spends on its military, the U.S. spends $2.77.”6
“U.S. spending on Middle East wars and Homeland Security will reach $4.79 
trillion in 2017.”7
Think of what we could do with this money instead of spending it on death and 

This doesn’t even include the roughly $80 billion8 spent on the U.S. prison 
industrial complex, not counting the police. In down to earth terms, “...the 
cost of jailing someone in New York City has ballooned to nearly $250,000 a 
year, roughly the cost of a four-year Ivy League degree...”9 That’s just at New 
York’s Rikers Island. There were more than 2.3 million people confined in the 
U.S. in 2016. 

The prison industrial complex is a vital extension of the military on a local 
scale. Our working class and poor communities live in armed camps patrolled by 
militarized police, while those same police guard and protect the property of 
wealthy communities.

Under capitalism human beings are expendable—profits and property take 
precedence. Not a dime is stolen from the wealthy without the severest 
retaliation. Even selling loose cigarettes on the street without a license 
comes with a death sentence as the family of Eric Garner found out.

Our tax dollars fund all of it so that the profits of the war and occupation 
industry can remain in the hands of the miniscule capitalist class so they can 
continue to rule.

And therein lies our only hope for ending this capitalist, profit-driven 
insanity once and for all. Without our participation and labor, they cannot 

Smoke and mirrors
The power of the capitalist class depends upon how effective they are in 
convincing the working class that we have no power.

They own the mass media that bombards us with lies and subterfuge. They 
convince us that we are powerless against them—not only to end their power over 
us—but to even dream that a another world beyond capitalist war and 
exploitation could exist. 

Workers can change the world
Not only is another world possible, it is the most logical way to end poverty 
and injustice, and it is attainable. All we need to do is realize that the 
power is in our hands, and our hands alone. Together we workers can end 
capitalism and build a world that can fulfill the needs and wants of all, 
instead of providing profits for the wealthy. 

Workers together with our own revolutionary party, completely independent of 
the capitalist class, have the power to end the barbarity of capitalist 
enslavement and war once and for all. 

Workers have been taught from kindergarten that we have no real political power 
except to exercise our “democratic right to vote” for one of the major 
capitalist political parties. The capitalist class knows full well that without 
the cooperation and collaboration of workers, the capitalist parties would be 
utterly powerless. 

Capitalism is in a downward spiral and they can’t stop it. War is irrational 
yet they can’t stop it because they profit from war. They sell their weapons 
anywhere and everywhere to maximize their profits both in selling weapons and 
capturing the spoils of war—the oil, land, natural resources and cheap labor 
left among the crumbling debris. 

The only way to stop this inevitable, deadly, descent into chaos is for us to 
massively organize, independently of the capitalists, to end capitalism, and 
build a socialist world.

Organizing workers independent of the capitalist class
Capitalism can’t be reformed. It must continue on its profit-driven warpath. It 
cannot fulfill the needs of the majority of humanity—it never has. 

The vast majority of the Earth’s human population under capitalism has been 
impoverished for centuries. It is an economic system based upon the 
exploitation and oppression of the working class—the overwhelming majority. 
Capitalism has no other source of power other than the enslavement of the 
working class and the exploitation of our labor, which is how they maintain 
their power.

Capitalists are not Gods; they are human. Without us, the working class, they 
are a tiny, untalented, helpless minority of despots posing as super-human 

Workers on the peace-path
It is the working class that has the power to change the world for the better 
because it is the working class that knows how to do all the work. We can 
change the war industry into a human industry— building things we all need to 
live a fruitful and happy life with equality and justice for all—a world free 
of poverty, want and war.

Only workers can build a new and better world. Donald Trump doesn’t know how to 
work in an auto plant or pick fruit and vegetables on a farm. The capitalists 
can’t build bridges or pave roads or respond to medical emergencies. Workers 
perform these and all the jobs necessary for civilization. The capitalist 
class, in fact, is a hindrance to all the necessary work needed to build a 
healthy and prosperous future for all of us. 

Instead of building homes, schools or hospitals, they invest in building bombs, 
guns, and jails. Instead of maintaining a pristine environment, they poison the 
land and water with pollutants and pesticides. Instead of focusing on clean and 
renewable energy, they spew oil and coal byproducts onto the land and into the 
oceans, rivers and streams. Their sole concern is to increase their profits. 

That’s why the capitalist class as a whole can never be an ally of the working 
class. Individuals, of course, can come over to our side—and they do from time 
to time. But to be on our side, they must oppose capitalism and embrace 
socialism as the only way to rid the world of this vicious system. 

Independent political action
A first step toward ending capitalism is to build an independent labor party—a 
nation-wide party of the working class with an international program building 
solidarity with workers everywhere. 

This party must have the perspective of challenging the rule of capital at 
every step. This means organizing at our workplaces, communities, jails and 
schools. It must include the unique needs of Blacks, Latinos, LGBTQ, youth, 
Muslims, the homeless, all those who are doubly oppressed. All of our diverse 
communities must stand together in unity in defense of all because that is 
where our power lies. 

And it must be in diametric opposition to the capitalist parties—including 
those parties that seek to reform capitalism into a “kinder and gentler” 
capitalism—because there is no such thing!

Placing the blame of violence where it belongs
Such an independent party of the working class must oppose violence against the 
working class in all its forms. The more united we are, the better chance we 
have to stop the violence against us. 

This is why we want to rid the world of capitalism that uses violence—war, 
incarceration, police violence, and oppression—relentlessly to maintain their 
wealth and power. We oppose capitalism because we want to build a world of 
peace, democracy, economic and social equality—a world without violence, 
oppression, slavery and starvation. 

It is the capitalist class that invented and uses weapons of mass 
destruction—nuclear weapons, MOABs (Massive Ordinance Air Blast or “Mother Of 
All Bombs,”) Sarin gas, Agent Orange, tanks, bombers, rockets, drones, aircraft 
carriers, automatic weapons—and who profits from them!

Capitalism promotes and festers violence among the working class over 
superficial differences in order to divide us—to convince us that we are each 
other’s enemy—and to hide the fact that it is they who are the enemy of all 
human kind. 

They are the purveyors of violence because it serves their purpose of 
maintaining power. 

They unleash weapons of mass destruction and deploy militarized police in our 
communities to enforce their oppressive infrastructure—including their phony 
“elections” that have no relationship to democratically deciding what the 
masses of humanity actually want and need. 

Instead we get to vote for one capitalist liar or another—all of whom are 
dedicated to defending capitalism by any means they deem fit—by violence or any 
other oppressive means.

Our common interests as the working class
We workers have much more in common with one another than our differences. We 
all want to live a happy and comfortable life. We want to see a bright future 
for our children. We want to enjoy the comfort of our homes. We want good food, 
housing, education, clean water, air, and a pristine environment that 
flourishes with life. We want to heal the sick and care for our elders and 
safeguard the planet for the future of all the life that shares it with us. 

An independent party of the working class can establish the democratic 
mechanisms to bring us all together into a powerful force for peace and 

We must temporarily put aside our differences, and embrace our commonality, our 
love of life and of a better future. 

We can begin by organizing meetings with open and democratic discussions on 
what our main objectives are and how we can best work together to win them. It 
doesn’t have to be a difficult struggle to see beyond our differences if we 
always remind ourselves that our common interests overwhelm those differences. 

Once we begin traveling down this road toward organizing ourselves into a 
massive and unified force for ending capitalism, we will be able to keep our 
eyes on the prize of justice and equality, and a thriving and healthy planet 
free of capitalist exploitation and war.

1        Rebel Voices, Page 49, Google Books

“Big Bill” Haywood, (February 4, 1869-May 18, 1928) was a founding member and 
leader of the Industrial Workers of the World 
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_Workers_of_the_World>(IWW) and a 
member of the executive committee of the Socialist Party of America 
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialist_Party_of_America>. During the first 
two decades of the 20th century, he was involved in several important labor 
battles, including the Colorado Labor Wars 
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_Labor_Wars>, the Lawrence Textile 
Strike <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Textile_Strike>, and other 
textile strikes in Massachusetts <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts> 
and New Jersey <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Jersey>.

2       “The World’s 8 Richest Men Are Now as Wealthy as Half the World’s 
Population,” Fortune, January 15, 2017

3       “Why Did the U.S. Drop 26,171 Bombs on the World Last Year?”

The Nation, January 15, 2017

4       “Top 100 for 2016,” Defense News

http://people.defensenews.com/top-100/ <http://people.defensenews.com/top-100/>
5       “Defense Jobs Make up 10 Percent of U.S. Manufacturing Demand”

Cleared Connections

6       “U.S. Military Spending vs. the World”

7       “Costs of War,” Brown University

8       “Does the U.S. Spend $80 Billion a Year on Incarceration?”

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

9       “Closing Rikers Island Is a Moral Imperative”

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