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Issue #1683      May 6, 2015

Fight for the future!

May Day 2015

May Day is the day workers around the world celebrate the struggle over generations for a better life, against the exploitation and slavery of the employer class that faces them. We stand against the coercion and oppression the world of capital tries to impose on us and fight to free humanity from hunger, poverty, humiliation, brutality and war.

Yet, when we look at Australia today – and most elsewhere in the world – we see the gains of the past are gradually being lost: for the first time this and coming generations of workers can expect living standards lower than the generations before.

In Australia, in less than 15 years the share of national income that goes to wages has slipped from 65.6 percent to 59.7 percent. This has been a period where union coverage has fallen and unions’ ability to organise has been constantly undermined by anti-labour laws.

At the same time, the drive for smaller government and budget surpluses and the cutting and privatisation of services and revenue raising public assets can only add to the decline in living standards and wages in relation to cost of living.

For young people in particular the attacks on penalty rates for weekend and other out-of-business-hours work will hit particularly hard.

Many young people are working to support their attendance at school, college or university. The hours they need to work to pay their way impacts directly on their ability to complete their courses.

This is made even more difficult with cuts to funding for public schools, TAFE and universities, and the increasing cost of enrolling in courses. This next generation of workers will find it harder to get the qualifications that will skill them up and give them the chance to have well paid, quality jobs.

While undercutting the ability to work and learn, the Abbott government in Australia also aims to expand “work for the dole” and extend the time an unemployed person waits before they can get any dole payment. Choices and chances for young workers are becoming fewer and fewer!

And what capitalism has in store for humanity goes way beyond trying to suppress workers’ conditions, though that is a key part of it.

Capitalism is in crisis – one of its own making!

It teeters on the edge of economic collapse even as its unaccountable billionaire elites take more and more of society’s wealth for themselves. The growing social inequality, the increasing number of “losers” as winners become fewer and fewer is used to justify a growing police surveillance state, while rivalry between imperialist powers – most notably the manoeuvring of USA to remain the “first, last and only” global superpower – is dragging the world towards war. And underlying all this is the environmental catastrophe towards which we are sliding, which capitalism cannot or will not seriously address.

Capitalism has no future. To end the crisis into which it is driving us we must end capitalism!

History shows that only strong organisation and unity of purpose has won labour any gains against the employer class.

As the workers of this generation, we too must start to develop our own understanding of the way the world works, so we can harness our collective strength and challenge the exploiting class’s power and its ‘right’ to rule.

We must defend the gains workers have made over generations: we must oppose the ruling class’s efforts to solve its crisis at our expense. These attacks are aimed at our very ability to lead a decent existence.

But in taking up such struggles we need to build organisational skills and experience, and the political insight to successfully fight the bigger battle in front of us – the struggle to overthrow the global class of exploiters and free ourselves from capitalism altogether.

Young communists understand that if we are to live in an enlightened, civilised society and aspire to “an era of peace, and happier days than the doomed generations under capitalism have known” we must fight to create that future.

We commit ourselves to that struggle and call on others to join us to help create a better world!

Marching through the streets of Adelaide – May Day 2015. For a full national and international report see next week’s issue of the Guardian. (Photo: Craig Greer)

Next article – Press freedom in danger – Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance report

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