September 19, 2014

From Scotland To Philadelphia - We Fight Against Austerity

On September 18th 1.6 million Scottish workers bravely voted for independence despite an array of threats against them should they vote ‘YES’.

Despite the failure of this referendumto secure Scottish independence, the working class of Scotland has sent a powerful message to the parties of austerity in London.

As Socialists, we see the fight of the working class against the austerity drive of the 1% in an international context, and we pay close attention to working class struggles wherever they happen and try to draw lessons from them for our own local work.

Here in Philadelphia, we also face a central government that seeks to force austerity on an unwilling populace. Harrisburg tells Philadelphia that we cannot set our own minimum wage, that we cannot control our own schools, and that we must face the pro-prison, pro-fracking, pro-education cuts, pro-big business government that Philadelphia did not vote for. Harrisburg knows this. This is why Governor Corbett hides from Philadelphia workers when he comes to town.

In the next general election, it is expected that Scottish workers will vote against the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties that currently govern the United Kingdom, just as Philadelphia workers will in this years election vote against Governor Corbett and the Republicans.

Just as the Labour party and the Scottish National Party will not end austerity in Scotland, neither will Tom Wolf and the Democrats in Pennsylvania. Tom Wolf plays the role of the “compassionate capitalist,” pledging to support Pennsylvania workers and stressing his business experience. He claims to support a raise in the minimum wage to $10.10, a meager increase that fails to provide workers with a living wage. He will not end fracking but instead seeks to tax and regulate it and claims the money will go to education.

At the end of the day, all the Democrats promise is to better manage capitalism, an economic system that is increasingly proving to be incapable of providing for the basic needs of  humanity. The working class, whether in Scotland or Philadelphia, cannot rely on the ‘solutions’ of the capitalists, the 1%, whose only priority is preserving their profits and privilege at the expense of the planet. We need socialist solutions that can direct the huge economic, industrial, technological and creative resources of humanity to provide a decent life for the global working class of which we in Philly are a small part.

To do this we need to build our power, independent working class power, in Scotland, Philadelphia, and all across the world.

Bring it on Home…