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_Click here  for the Spanish version / Indíque aquí para la versión en 
español_ (http://www.lrna.org/league/PT/PT.2004.08/PT.2004.08.8.html)   
The future is in our  hands  
Young people at bus stops, welfare mothers, union members, school teachers,  
homeless people, people from all sectors of society are wondering about the  
current state and future of this country. Recent talks of privatization of  
Social Security and Medicaid threaten the livelihoods of the elderly of this  
country who have spent their lives contributing to society. The ongoing attacks  
on the poor, whether it is ruthless welfare reform or the criminalization of  
children sleeping on sidewalks in San Francisco speaks to a deterioration of  
human principles. The rampant xenophobia in Arizona against immigrants, such 
as  raids of churches and schools, indicates the trend towards fascism in this  
country. The actions of the government and corporations defy human 
compassion.  
We see a marriage between the country's political rulers and the country's  
economic and financial rulers. There is nothing to distinguish congressmen,  
judges and presidents from former corporate lobbyists and former businessmen and 
 CEOs of the world's wealthiest corporations that are actively destroying the 
 planet. It is absurd that former Enron executives fill the roles of our 
nation's  highest offices while innocent people on death row are regularly put to 
death,  charged with crimes they didn't commit.  
Corporate lobbyists appeal to the government all the time, pushing through  
measures that increase the prices of prescription drugs and winning billions of 
 dollars of government contracts, but when millions of the world's poor, 
working,  and middle class people pour into the streets denouncing the illegal war 
on  Iraq, our policy makers look away, dismissing us simply as a "special 
interest  group." We are not a special interest group. We are the constituency 
that our  government is charged with serving.  
The only interests that our government plans on serving are those of the very 
 rich. The elites who run this country have not only turned their backs on 
their  constituents, but are actively persecuting the people hurting most. It is 
war  when a homeless family sleeps on the streets in front of an empty 
building. It  is war when you see riot cops standing in formation defending Nike 
Town and Gap  from legal and peaceful demonstrations. It is war when we send the 
poor youth of  this country to fight and die in an illegitimate bloodbath, 
killing and  torturing the youth of other countries, most notably of Iraq.  
All boundaries between corporations and politicians are gone. In this so  
called democracy, the poor and middle classes, who make up the vast majority of  
the population, are left with few options. What can we do against a system 
that  pumps billions of dollars into controlling the media and skewing legal 
battles  to work in favor of the ruling class? Who can we turn to, to make the 
structural  transformation that will guarantee that the needs of those most hurt 
are met?  Can we rely on the very same politicians who are supposed to 
represent us and,  at the same time, are lining their pockets through criminal means? 
 
It is up to all of us to build a movement to gain political power and place  
control of our great country in the hands of the people. We are seeing 
whispers  of the creative possibilities in the homeless taking over buildings in  
Philadelphia, in peasants in Bolivia fighting with sticks and their bodies  
against guns and steel for the right to drink water. No politician under our  
current system, regardless of good looks and appealing promises, is going to  
relieve us of the responsibility of taking the future into our own hands.  
The League of Revolutionaries for a New America stands with the poor to  
envision an alternative to this inhumanity, a vision of a cooperative society  
where the major means of production would belong to the people rather than the  
individual hands of the ruling class. In other words, the League understands  
that a cooperative society -- where people would have enough to eat, adequate  
shelter, open access to education, just healthcare, and the means to 
contribute  to society meaningfully -- is the practical solution to the crisis we face. 
 Corporations, the market, and puppet politicians wouldn't determine who 
would  get to eat and who would get to go to school because this society would be 
based  on the complete interest of humanity -- not profit. A cooperative 
society would  create the conditions for true human happiness, not the manufactured 
happiness  of a society based on advertisements and over-consumption.  
We need to keep re-envisioning the kind of world we want to live in. Do we  
want a world where we will continue to fight wars for profit? Where the gap  
between the rich and the poor will continue to grow? Where people will not be  
able to have meaningful work? Or do we want to live in a world where everyone's 
 needs will be met, and humanity will reach its true potential? Through 
building  a political movement independent of the ruling class, through making our 
own  rules instead of modifying rules that have never been ours, the world we 
want  and the world we need will become possible.  
Pablo Neruda wrote masterful poetry that often captured the struggles and  
suffering of Chileans. He wrote about revolution and vision, words that we can  
all take to heart:  
Enough now of gray men in chains!
Enough of the pale souls who have  disappeared!
Not another man should pass except as a ruler.
Not one woman  without her diadem.
Gloves of gold for every hand.  
- Pablo Neruda from "The People"  
 
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This article originated in the  People's Tribune (Online Edition), Vol. 31 
No. 8 / August, 2004; P.O. Box 3524,  Chicago, IL 60654, _http://www.lrna.org_ 
(http://www.lrna.org/) . For  free electronic subscription, email 
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