SOCIALIST Party presidential candidate Dr Fred M’membe has said machines have taken over the jobs that the people had.
In a statement to mark labour, which falls tomorrow, Dr M’membe, the Socialist Party deputy secretary general, stated that May 1 was not simply a day of celebration for the working class, their trade unions and political parties.
“On this day, we are reminded about why the flag of working class organisations – trade unions, political parties – is red. ‘Our life’s blood has dyed its every fold’, goes the traditional labour song,” Dr M’membe stated.
“We know that for the working class, it’s authentic trade unions and political parties, the road ahead is tortuous, full of twists and turns.”
He stated that the struggle, therefore, was for the unemployed and precariously employed people too.
“To overcome these challenges is going to take serious effort to develop the working class theoretically and strategically as a class,” Dr M’membe stated.
“A big reason why so many workers are out of work is because they have been replaced by machines – excavators, combine-harvesters, ATMs. In a more just, fair and humane world, it would be a good thing to have machines to do boring, dangerous, backbreaking work. It would mean that the workers have more time to learn, to be creative, to worship and develop themselves spiritually, to spend time with family and friends. But this isn’t a just, fair and humane world. This is capitalism.”
He stated that workers produced enough to feed, house, and clothe every person on the planet, but millions starve and live without homes, proper sanitation, clean water, education, health services.
“This is because with capitalism, the fundamental reason we produce things like food, houses, and clothing is not to use them, but to make a profit for the rich,” Dr M’membe stated.
He stated that an alternative world was possible, where workers could produce what they need in order to use it, and where they all have a say in what they make and how they make it.
“So how do workers get there? It’s through socialism and the Socialist Party! It’s only socialism and socialism alone that can help us solve these problems and create a more just, far and humane society,” Dr M’membe statec.
He stated that for the working class and its organisations, May 1 was a day for casting away illusions and preparing for struggle and to unite all working class forces against real class enemies.
Dr M’membe stated that on a day like this, the workers were reminded that not all those who wave the red flag or claim to speak for the working class actually do so.
He stated that May 1 started when Chicago police massacred workers and revolutionaries who were fighting for an eight-hour workday.
“Back then, workers drudged through ten, twelve-hour shifts. Today, workers face the same long hours at dangerous work and still barely make enough money to get by,” stated Dr M’membe.
“But for some, instead of working too much, they can’t find work at all, or can’t get enough hours in the clocking jobs they have. What we need to realise is that this unemployment is not primarily due to globalised labour markets, but to mechanisation, digitisation or the shift from formal to real domination of capital.”