2013: The post-election agenda

The economy is framing everything in the post-election period – and not only for the short term. Here’s why.

While some pickup in economic activity has occurred since the crash in 2008, overall employment gains and economic growth have been fitful and anemic.

It’s hard to see where the dynamism is going to come from anytime soon without the entry of the federal government on a scale that only a few in Washington are ready to embrace.

Debt and bubble-driven growth, which drove the last economic expansion (1992-2007), is not an option.

Further, there will be no help from our global partners. Europe is reeling. And China is not positioned to carry the rest of the world on its shoulders. Its growth has slowed too and it’s feeling the contradictions that come from its deep integration into the capitalist global economy.

Crises are supposed to be capitalism’s mechanisms to clear away the debris that inhibits a revival of production, profits, employment and growth on a wider scale. But that scenario doesn’t appear to be in capitalism’s future.

Instead, slow growth and high unemployment seem like the “new normal.” And, always lurking in the background is the danger of deeper crises.

All of which begs the question: Are we entering a new era of capitalism, characterized by overproduction, hyper-intense monopolistic rivalry, and long-term economic stagnation on a world scale?

My initial read (more in-depth study is required) is that we are entering such an era. That would go a long way in explaining why big capital is in such a frenzy to impose a new model of political and economic governance on the working class and people – one that is stripped of social obligations to its citizens, “free” of unions and activated civic organizations, unchecked by weakened democratic institutions, and shorn of any barriers to its global accumulation strategy.

The dream of the 1 percent is to return to the Gilded Age when neither the people nor nature had any rights that capitalism had to respect.

The outcome of the 2012 elections has made the realization of the 1 percent’s dream more difficult, but it has by no means settled the question. Don’t expect big capital to throw in the towel.

While it supported Romney, its claws are in the sides of both parties and in every branch of government. The state remains a capitalist state.

Faced with this reality, the option for the working class and people in the near and medium term isn’t to retreat from electoral and political struggle. Instead, working people need to further expand their independent and mass presence in the electoral and political arena (as well as other arenas) of struggle, where advanced democratic solutions to the capitalist crisis can be fought for and won. For example: expansion of voting rights; curbs on the financial power of big capital; investment in meaningful and massive jobs creation; protection of the equality and rights of women, immigrants, workers, people of color, gays and lesbians; steps toward greening and de-militarizing our economy and society; protection and expansion of public services, education, health care and retirement security.

These struggles will lead us to the longer-term option: socialism – reshaping our society into one in which working people and their allies govern in the interest of the immense majority. A society that puts people and nature before profits.

Photo: theaction.org on Facebook


Sam Webb
Sam Webb

Sam Webb is a member of the National Committee of the Communist Paryt USA. He served as the party's national chairperson from 2000 to 2014. Previously he was the state organizer of the Communist Party in Michigan. Earlier, he was active in the labor movement in his home state of Maine.

He is a public spokesperson for the CPUSA, and travels extensively in the U.S. and abroad, including trips to South Africa, China, Vietnam, and Cuba where he met with leaders of those countries.

Webb currently resides in New York City, graduated from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia and received his MA in economics from the University of Connecticut.



  • Мы не вправе это забывать. Однако мы не должны делать из этого культ. Иначе мы всегда останемся в тени этих проклятых башен.
    (c) xoxonexoxo.ru

  • I hope that the Communist Party will be able to increase membership in the next year and will some day be able to overthrow the Capitalist system. Capitalism is nothing more than feudalism.

  • In response to the first comment about Jefferson’s quote:

    Tom, what do you imagine Captialism does? It “takes from those who work and gives it to those that don’t”.

    Capitalists might call themselves “workers” but they’re not even though some might have been once. They are gamblers (does “risk takers” sound familiar?) at best and outright thieves and parasites at worst.

    Allowing a tiny minority of non-workers to accumulate (steal) wealth from the majority of people most of who do or would work willingly, is as much of a crime as the theft itself.
    Capitalism compounds this error by putting these very thieves and gamblers in charge! Slavery of working people is the end result.

    Socialism is the road to freedom from the tyranny of Capitalism.

  • Quoting Webb: “While it [capitalism] supported Romney, its claws are in the sides of both parties and in every branch of government. The state remains a capitalist state.” Exactly. All the more reason for real, irreversible ideological change gradually, as well as rapidly, into the socialist epoch.

    @Tom Houlehan: That quote you used from Jefferson is questionable, i.e., it’s not sure if he really said or wrote that. It would be sensible to verify it.

    Here’s a quote for you: “Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

    –Abraham Lincoln, First Assembly Speech, Dec. 3, 1861 (He went into more details.)

    It would be sensible to verify it. But I’ve already have. Prioritizing labor over capital alludes to prioritizing the interests and rights of the masses. That sure sounds more democratic than what we have now. Socialism is a higher level of democracy. Wake up brain-dead fool.

    BTW, how’d you like that 2012 U.S. presidential election? Seems like the GOP may become DOA.

  • Thomas Jefferson, “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work, and give to those who will not.” 2012 update – drop dead you socialist fools.


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