Workers should be running the country – to end poverty

Speech given by Workers Party member John Moore at the recent
Rally Against Low Pay held on Queen Street in Auckland

We all know we are heading into tough times. There’s a global economic crisis on our hands, and it’s going to be working people like you and me that face the brunt of this. While governments of the bosses’ class bail out the rich elite with billions of dollars, our class is facing massive job losses, skyrocketing prices and increasing poverty. Not a dollar or a cent should be given to the finance parasites. The entire financial system needs to be nationalized under workers’ control.

My party the Workers Party sees class struggle, that is the war between bosses and workers, as the central arena to combating these attacks on us. If we want to truly fight the specter of mass poverty we need a militant fighting approach that ultimately delivers state power to our side, the side of the working class. The Workers Party is standing in this election to push out the message that workers should be running the country. We are the ones that make all the goods and services in this country, but the wealth that working class people produce ends up as profits in the hands of the employers, the bosses class.

Poverty is an increasing reality for more and more working people, including unemployed workers. Under a Labour government we have 200,000 children living in poverty and 100,000 people on the minimum wage – a poverty wage. Around 80,000 people are underemployed, and can’t get enough hours of work each week. The mayhem on the world capitalist markets will mean more unemployment, more poverty, greater underemployment, and more and more people walking out of their homes as a result of the bursting of the housing bubble.

So what’s to be done? All these problems will be with us for as long as capitalism is around. The crisis we are seeing unfold before us is a result of an irrational profit centred economic system. Booms, busts and economic collapses have always been integral to this system based on the profit accumulation of a tiny elite. In the Workers Party we are about fighting for a system based on human need, not private profit, on workers running the world through collective ownership and working class state power. This will be a world where all humans are able to meet their full human potentials and to transgress all oppressions – including racism, homophobia and sexism, which are endemic to the current system.

A lot of people here will be voting for capitalist parties such as the Greens and Maori hoping for a gentler government. However, what all the parliamentary parties have in common is their commitment to managing the capitalist system, which means that whatever government we have it will be a government that rules in the interests of the bosses. Vladimir Lenin, who was the central leader of the 1917 Russian revolution, said that capitalist elections give workers the choice to ” decide once every few years which member of the ruling class is to repress and crush the people through parliament….”

We in the Workers Party are all about building a mass revolutionary workers party with the aim getting rid of capitalism and the bosses’ state. We will have increasing poverty and misery as long as we have a state that defends and maintains the profit centred system we all live under. Just voting in seemingly nicer parties will get us nowhere. New Zealand needs a revolution, a revolution that fully smashes the current state apparatus and delivers power into the hands of the working class. That’s when the task of ending poverty once and for all can truly be achieved.

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