Socialist Party USA: Info & News

Socialist Party Platform

Socialist Party USA

Abbreviated Platform of the Socialist Party USA

The Socialist Party USA stands for the abolition of every form of domination and exploitation, whether based on social class, gender, race/ethnicity, age, education, sexual orientation, or other characteristics.

We are committed to the transformation of capitalism through the creation of a democratic socialist society based on compassion, empathy, and respect as well as the development of new social structures.  Socialism will establish a new social and economic order in which workers and community members will take responsibility for and control of their interpersonal relationships, their neighborhoods, their local government, and the production and distribution of all goods and services. 

For these reasons we call for social ownership and democratic control of productive resources, for a guarantee to all of the right to participate in societal production, and to a fair share of society's product, in accordance with individual needs.

As we pursue a socialist transformation of society, we join with others in making radical demands on the existing system: demands that challenge the basic assumptions of a capitalist market economy while pointing the way to a new society. Although reforms will not in themselves bring about socialism, the fight for them will advance the cause by demonstrating the inherent limitations and injustice of the capitalist system. As we build the socialist movement, we organize around a platform committed to our common and interdependent struggles and aspirations.

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Socialist Response to Obama's State of the Union

Socialist Response to the State of the Union

Posted by Socialist WebZine On 7:15 PM

Job creation has been and will continue to be the most obvious way that Obama has sold out working people throughout America.




Obama’s State of the Union - Too Little Too Late

by Stewart Alexander, 2012 Socialist Party USA Presidential Candidate


The phrase that came to mind immediately upon hearing President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech is “too little, too late.” After spending the last few years coddling the banks and the richest 1%, Obama has the nerve to now call for “economic fairness.” To him, this means tweaking payroll taxes and making a rhetorical call to reverse the Bush tax cuts for the rich. For working people in America real fairness means the right to a job, a guarantee of healthcare for all and an end to the Military Industrial Complex. Obama won’t deliver this. That’s why I am running for President against him.

Job creation has been and will continue to be the most obvious way that Obama has sold out working people throughout America. These decisions were made early on in his administration when he made the conscious decision to pour billions of dollars into the Banks that had funded his campaign instead of using those funds to create an emergency employment program to put people back to work. The result is that Americans have experienced nearly three consecutive years of more than 9% unemployment and nearly double that when those workers who given up looking for jobs are counted. This has meant real human suffering for millions of people.

Although Obama has hailed the recent decline in these same unemployment rates, a closer look at the numbers reveal the hollowness of his claims. Economist Doug Henwood has paged through the Unemployment report and discovered that much of the reduction is due to the effects of holiday seasonal employment and, in particular, a shift to online purchasing for Christmas gifts. Of the 200,000 jobs created in December, some 42,000, or over 1/5, came from the hiring of extra couriers and messengers. Bars, restaurants and healthcare companies picked up the bulk of the rest of the new hires. Hardly the manner in which we want to grow the economy.

The jobs program that the Alexander/Mendoza 2012 campaign is proposing calls for the creation of a Full Employment economy. We have a three-pronged approach. First, we want to create an Emergency Jobs Program that will put millions of workers back to work immediately in fields like environmental cleanup, infrastructure creation and maintenance, and education. Second, we support proposals to publicly fund a worker owned and managed cooperative sector. This will serve to not only put people back to work, but to re-build the manufacturing capacity of our country. Finally, we want to fund job training programs that lead to job sharing or job splitting, where workers will work less yet retain the same amount of pay and benefits.

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Charter Schools: Privatization=Stratification

Walcott’s Separate but Unequal School System
by Billy Wharton

While the new New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott was busy
denouncing the National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People (NAACP) yesterday, charter schools continued their rampage
through the City’s educational system. Two well established day care
centers in Park Slope, Brooklyn are being muscled out of their current
location in order to temporarily house the Brooklyn Prospect Charter
School. Nearly simultaneously, Walcott was providing cover for 19
other charters who wish to open up similar turf battles throughout the
city.

Brooklyn Prospect Charter School is a veteran of the school building
takeover. Charter advocates prefer the more benign “co-location,” but
the results are the same – a privately owned publicly funded charter
comes in and a public school either is moved out or squeezed into an
even smaller space. Brooklyn Prospect carried out such an invasion
during its opening in 2009 as the Department of Education allowed it
to slam itself into Sunset Park High School – despite the protests of
parents, administrators and teachers.

The twist this time is that the Brooklyn Prospect Board of Trustees
pulled the lease out from under two well recognized day care centers –
Strong Place Day Care and Bethel Day Care. The move will displace
dozens of children and send their parents scrambling to find
alternative day care sites. In perhaps the ultimate act of arrogance,
the day care centers have until this Friday to move out. This
illustrates the negative consequences of having privately owned
charter schools that both receive public funding and are able to carry
out any real estate deal they wish regardless of the consequences to
the community.

Meanwhile, in the editorial pages of the Daily News, Chancellor
Walcott was busy pledging his allegiance to these same charters. Or,
more specifically, using print space to slam the NAACP. The target of
Walcott’s ire is a lawsuit filed by the United Federation of Teachers
and the NAACP that seeks to prevent 19 charter schools from invading
existing public schools. Walcott claimed that school space “does not
belong to a school, it belongs to the students.” This was his way of
saying that the invading charters, because they will have students,
somehow therefore have the right to displace existing public schools.

And, in Walcott’s mind at least, the NAACP is to blame for holding up
the invasions and employing “disrespectful and in no way productive”
rhetoric to the discussion. This is, of course, a reference to the
NAACP’s New York State Chapter President Hazel Dukes’ comment that
pro-charter school parents were “doing the business of slave masters.”
For Walcott, resistance to the invasions amounts to “the
NAACP…turning its back on thousands of families across New York City.”
Yet, when Dukes issued the “slave master” comment she also went on to
advise such parents to “keep your facts [straight].”
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The facts are precisely what Walcott seeks to avoid in his op-ed. The
fact that charter schools have had, according to recent studies,
mediocre performances even on standardized tests. The fact that the
Kingsbridge Innovative Design Charter School recently closed down
because of fiscal management issues thereby displacing 140 students in
its school – something that would never happen in a public school.
And the fact that, as NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous so
correctly stated, the charter schools are an attempt to re-build a
school system using the old cover of “separate but equal” that defined
segregated schools before the Civil Rights movement.

The message here is that Walcott needs to get it straight. Remember,
he is supposed to be the more rational choice for Chancellor after the
corporate flunky Cathy Black left the building. Yet, his soft-styled
demeanor can no longer hide the fact that he is doing the bidding of
the politically powerful and economically well-heeled charter schools.
He does not represent the interests of New York City public school
students or their parents or their teachers. If he did he would be
signing an order to eliminate all charter schools, to convert their
facilities to public schools and to create a commission to re-think a
curriculum and a school governance plan that is administered
democratically. Until then, Walcott appears satisfied to live up to
the category Dukes created for pro-charter school parents. New York
parents should resist, by all means available, the separate and
unequal school system the charters wish to create.

***
Billy Wharton is a writer, activist and the editor of the Socialist
WebZine. His articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the NYC
Indypendent, Spectrezine and the Monthly Review Zine. He can be
reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Become a FAN on Facebook.

Statement Against Budget Defecit Deal

Mobilize to Stop Cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security

by Billy Wharton, co-chair, Socialist Party USA

On May 1, 2003 then President George W. Bush emerged from a fighter jet on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln to make his famously absurd “mission accomplished” speech. Today’s announcement of an agreement on a budget deficit package provides current President Barack Obama with his own “mission accomplished” moment. Much like that of Bush, Obama’s completed mission will lead to mass suffering and more than a few deaths. Bush’s victims were Iraqis and the American soldiers sent to kill them. Obama’s will be poor, working class and elderly Americans cut off from vital social programs as a result of budget cuts.

Since his election in 2008, Socialists have been clear about what the Obama administration represented. We often referred to him as a “hedge-fund Democrat.” This tag was laughed off by the Progressives for Obama crowd as being over-the-top and out of touch with the possibilities of the new Presidency. However, like any good hedge-fund operator, Obama has effectively managed risk for the richest 5% of Americans and the banks and corporations who funded his campaign. Their main fear was that the mass unemployment and deep poverty caused by the economic crisis of 2008, which they created, would force the government to take on long-term relief efforts – like an extension of anti-poverty programs and a public works project for the unemployed.

The budget deficit announcement delivered by Obama is a “mission accomplished” for his elite benefactors. The welfare state will not be extended. The unemployed will not be put back to work. In fact, the existing anti-poverty programs such as Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security are now targeted for $1.5 trillion in budget cuts by a “Super Committee” made up of Democrats and Republicans. These cuts are sure to increase the already rising misery felt by poor and working class people all over this country. Wall Street corporations might have returned to profitability, but, in poor and working class neighborhoods, the economic crisis continues on and will be deepened by further cuts.

The fact of the matter is that the source of the budget crisis is the immense amount of money, nearly $1.3 trillion last year, spent on the US Military and the sharp reductions in the taxation of the rich and corporations. Military spending has increased rapidly since World War II as the American military expanded its presence into nearly 1,000 bases worldwide. Recent military adventures in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have sent these costs even higher – siphoning off desperately needed public funds from social programs.

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The Costs of Finding Osama

by Billy Wharton, Co-Chair Socialist Party USA

In the play Doctor Faustus, author Christopher Marlowe described Helen of Troy as the “face that launched a thousand ships.” Marlowe used the phrase to describe the manner in which Helen’s beauty supposedly motivated the Greek armies to attack Troy. Taking a page from this Elizabethan play, we might describe the now deceased Osama Bin-Laden as “the face that launched a million military budget requests.” Though civilians throughout the world were left to deal with the consequences, the figure of Osama was always a useful one for the American Empire. This was just as true when he received direct financial and military aid from the US in the 1980s as when he was presented as an arch nemesis used to justify the escalating military adventures of the 21st century. No surprise then, if his death yields more benefits for the military industrial complex and even greater hazards to peace loving people everywhere.

While Communism was still being presented as the great global enemy, as the rationale for maintaining a bloated military industrial complex in the 80s, Osama Bin-Laden proved a useful ally. His brand of Islamic fundamentalism received support and funding from the US government, despite the deeply reactionary politics it carried with it. In Afghanistan Bin-Laden was able to establish an international movement trained in the tactics of guerrilla warfare and imbued with a backwards looking philosophy of Islamic jihad. All while being funded by the American taxpayer.

After the defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, Osama was able to claim the credentials of an Empire-killer. In the new post-Soviet world, the US was the sole imperial force, wielding unchallenged military power in the service of US-based corporations who aimed to be the masters of the globe. Many in the underdeveloped world experienced this globalization and looked to radical Islam as an alternative. Enough support was organized to launch a series of terrorist attacks such as those on September 11th, the US Embassy bombing in Nairobi and the attack on the United Nations complex in Iraq. Each of these acts proved that the ethics of Bin Laden mirrored the ethics of the Empire – no civilian life was precious enough to prevent an attack made in the name of your cause.

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