The capitalist crises in Detroit have reached a new low with the shutting off of water for thousands of low income, mostly black, working class folks. Between this, the massive layoff of public workers, and the slashing of pensions and healthcare for the retired, the city and working class of Detroit are being ripped apart.
The trade union bosses have refused to mount a serious campaign against these issues devastating the remaining population of Detroit. They remain content to bow out of the struggle and to elect more of their corporate Democratic Party masters instead of organizing the wide working class fight needed to win.
The socialist left is not much better but it’s more due to lack of effort and cooperation than reformist illusions. The few reds present are divided into multiple parties that compete against one another unnecessarily. Unity is needed in order to rebuild the atomized working class in Detroit and to unite it with the organized working class for a serious fight back.
Our only advantage in Detroit is the example of the Democratic Party as a dead end party that does not represent working people. Due to this and the destruction of bourgeois hegemony in this third-world enclave we have a chance to begin rebuilding a Marxist party movement. What this will look like will be, first and foremost, is a battle against starvation and dehydration. As Marx noted, a destroyed working class cannot become fit to rule.
(Originally published in The Red Vine.)