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The Coercive State

Law and Order in the U.S.A.

A member of the World Socialist Party of the US paints a somewhat frightening picture of politics in America
 
If you saw it only on television and stayed off the streets, the political situation in the United States this year seemed like a second-rate circus which had suddenly and dramatically risen in entertainment value. The star performers—Humphrey, Nixon and Wallace—were clowns at best, whose acts included the usual inane platitudes, empty promises, perpetual smiles, and abysmal ignorance of the system they defended.

Editorial: The Phelps Dodge Mining Corporation

 On our front page we print an invaluable report of an outrage perpetrated by the Phelps Dodge Mining Corporation, with the assistance of the local authorities, upon striking workers. Read it.

This is not the first case of a similar kind that we have given the publicity of our pages. Older readers will remember the Lawrence affair, and the ghastly firing of a camp over the heads of the trapped workers in another case, and the shooting of the poor wretches who tried to escape. We draw especial attention to these items of capitalist villiany in America at the present moment for the reason that they show with perfect clearness the hollow fraud and sham of all the drivel about the Americans entering the war to “make the world safe for democracy.”

Running Commentary: Strike Lessons

Strike lessons

In the tactics they have followed in the clashes with the flying pickets, the police have shown a willingness and an ability to learn from experience. Can this also be said for the miners? There are in fact some very important things which have been overlooked by the men speeding from one coalfield to another.

The first is that the police will not unfailingly do their best to ensure that everyone who wants to work will be free to do so. They are fighting the pickets for reasons other than to protect a “right to work". Redundant workers who don’t want to be sacked will not find any sympathetic boys in blue to case their way through the entrance of their old workplace.

Against Anti-parliamentarianism

To establish Socialism, the working class must organise to win control of the state and turn it from the instrument of oppression which it is today into the agent of their emancipation. This principle asserts the conscious, majority, political nature of the socialist revolution.

The State is the public power of coercion and consists of the armed forces, law courts, prisons and police. Today the State is used by the capitalist class to maintain their dominant social position in a society based on the forcible exclusion of the majority from the means of production.

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