With the material conditions of the “American” proletariat rapidly falling apart, we need to view historical events through a scientific lens, serve the people in our communities, form organizations in every community possible to serve the people, and interconnect with other revolutionary and activist groups fighting for similar goals in our own communities and other communities.

We refer to this as programmatic unity. For example, in the United Panther Movement, they see working with other groups as necessary for our collective survival. In this example, as long as you believe in the Panther Party’s “Ten Point Program” and fight for those goals, they’re interested in organizing WITH you.

There’s a lot of shapes and forms this can take. Self-sufficiency, agriculture, housing, energy, healthcare, education. We need to develop community programs to build base areas of social, cultural, economic and political power. We should never become disconnected from the masses. 

We need to build our own supply chains, our own labor unions, worker-owned co-operatives, community farms/gardens, urban agriculture, healthcare systems, support systems, and eventually things like energy and transit systems. These programs would be a massive step in building dual and contending power, and build a sense of community. 

Under the current capitalist/imperialist framework, we’re forced to spend most of our time and energy at jobs to “earn our living” meaning we spend most of our time away from our homes and families in order to keep our housing, utilities, and food in our stomachs. What I’m hoping to do here is build a sense of revolutionary optimism. To build a feeling of “we can actually do this.”

Worker owned cooperatives (say, run by the community, who runs the business) are a massive step in exercising worker’s power, and an important step in building class solidarity and leading by example. What “profits” would usually be reaped by a capitalist owner could be used in business expansion, upgrades, to fund community support programs, or, of course, be divided up between the workers.

I don’t think one can understate the importance of self-funding in this context. It would be a net-positive for the community as a whole, and could provide a location for local activists to organize from, be used as a community space for events, and could be used as an education hub. 

Education cannot be divorced from the goal of the Left. It’s up to us to educate ourselves to shake off the chains of oppression, link by link if need be. Much like the Panthers gave Black history and political history lessons at the Free Breakfast for Children programs, we need to work towards teaching an un-white-washed version of history (including histories of Black and Indigenous populations, as well as the histories of white people fighting against white supremacy).

The United States has a very high illiteracy rating among industrialized nations. Whenever possible, we should teach our comrades to read and write, and how capitalism functions, and the various different ways it oppresses our daily lives. Not only that, we should discuss labor history, in depth. We should proudly carry the torch of the revolutionary struggles that preceded us. The giants whose shoulders we stand upon.

Healthcare is of utmost importance. The United States government has shown zero interest in keeping the population healthy. It’s on us to build a Universal Healthcare system that is people powered, people oriented, and not based on profit margins. The USA spends more on healthcare collectively than any other nation, but we rank among the lowest for quality of care, wait times, etc. and by far the highest in monies paid out-of-pocket for life-saving care.

This is a big issue to tackle, but with the help of people in our communities, we can train more doctors, nurses, and administration staff and have them operating in our local communities and actually be able to build relationships with their patients and administer a higher level of care than our current capitalist system can offer. 

Housing. Where do I even begin with this one? It’s an issue that every community faces. We see police beating the homeless, destroying their property, and pushing them out in nearly every major city in the US! There’s more empty houses in this land than there are homeless people. We need to occupy empty houses, make sure they’re livable, and put housing deprived people in them. This process may look different in different communities, but at the end of the day, it’s time to take a stand and stop allowing the capitalists to murder us by exploiting the poor and profiting off of a basic requirement for life.

We need to stand against police raids on homeless encampments, stand in solidarity with our houseless comrades, and take the steps necessary to get them suitable housing. Land, peace, and bread, right? This directly ties to agriculture.

We’re all feeling the pain of rising prices, particularly on energy and food. Let’s focus on food and agriculture. Of course, not everyone can put in the work to maintain a large garden on their own, but everyone has a role, just like in eras past. Some work the crops, some preserve food, some cook, some do multiple jobs. If you’re not physically capable of participating in any of that? That’s okay! Your community will take care of you!

Locally sourced, sustainably grown food is an important step in self-sufficient communities, financial independence, and combating climate change. Everything in your home is either made from oil, or delivered by oil. Part of the struggle in emissions is building fair, sustainable, and equitable localized supply chains that minimize the pollution from shipping. The solution isn’t banning personal cars. Growing organic foods will rejuvenate your soil, help pollinators, and keep the genetic diversity of our crops and help ensure we’re moving the right direction in saving the planet we live on.

Some of us can start in the workplace: wildcat, organic unions that haven’t been stripped of any radical content/intent, for example. The IWW is a good place to start, but once you learn, you can form your own unions that are involved in your own communities, outside of the workplace. Labor shouldn’t be separated from the masses. 

For some of us, it’s as simple as starting conversations with your neighbors. You don’t need to use “scary” jargon, or explain to them the “labor theory of value” (this will cause alienation) but discuss these concepts (and many others) in common language (in your own words)…you’d be surprised how often poor, working class, or oppressed people will agree with the things you say if you avoid the jargon they’ve been programmed to see as evil.

To wrap this up, I’m encouraging everyone reading this to get involved with community groups. Feed the homeless. Start a community garden. Start outreach programs. Do anything you can to improve the material conditions for yourselves and your neighbors. Don’t fall into defeatism or a woe-is-me mentality. Don’t say it’s impossible. A better world is possible! Dare to struggle, dare to win!

All Power to the People!

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