Philip Kolody, The Working Class Party Is About the Future

The Working Class Party is about the future. But workers need to remember their own history to have a winning strategy. That history shows workers fighting with determination against their exploitation under capitalism.

In the late 19th century, railroad workers carried on a massive strike. They were defeated by the power of the railroad companies, supported by the U.S. government. But many of them flooded into the Socialist Party. By 1920, it had gained over a million votes when Eugene Debs ran for president. The party was attacked during the Red Scare by the U.S. government which feared the revolution in Russia would spread here.

The next big period of struggle came during the 1930s when transport workers in Minneapolis, carried on a general strike against the transfer companies; dockworkers on the West Coast carried out a general strike against the shipping companies; and auto workers in Flint occupied the factories of GM in a strike that brought other workers out to join them.

These strikes forced some big concessions, and gave workers certain union rights.

After the Second World War, the attack on unions began again with another Red Scare.

All of these struggles were incomplete because those leading them, and maybe the workers themselves were willing to make compromises, thinking they couldn’t go any further and believing they had won permanent protections. Instead, after the compromises were made, the government carried out big attacks both on the unions and on the workers’ standard of living.

Since then, workers have lost more rights and the exploitation of workers intensified.

The Working Class Party believes the goal for the working class should be to take power in this society and reconstruct this society. Anything less will mean piecemeal reforms and no permanent improvement. The Working Class Party says that workers must remember the fights that their grandmothers and grandfathers and fathers and mothers made. The Working Class Party says we must fight now, so our children and grandchildren will not have to make the same fight. Someone once wrote, history may not always repeat itself, but it may rhyme. We have to make sure not to repeat and be sure to find our own rhyme.

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