No they can’t!

A GRAND jury in Missouri decides not to proceed with charges against a white police officer who shot an unarmed black youth. That night a key witness is shot and killed. His body is found, with lighter fluid all over it, not far from where Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown. Peaceful protests turn to rage and explode into violence that was seen all round the world.

The shocking events in Ferguson have spotlighted the injustice, racism and police brutality that lies at the heart of American capitalist society. No one, apart from the most craven apologists of imperialism, should be surprised at this.

Slavery was formally abolished in America in 1865 following the defeat of the Confederate rebels in the civil war. But the former slaves and their descendants in today’s Afro-American community remained second or third class citizens in the United States that claims to uphold the principles of freedom, equality and democracy spelled out in the American Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Words meant different things to different people. The lofty aims of the American revolutionaries fighting to end British colonial rule didn’t apply to the legion of black slaves who harvested the cotton in the great plantations of the south. American bourgeois politicians can still talk about their founding fathers’ promises of liberty, equality and fraternity, which they have so obviously failed to deliver, because these words can only apply to their own class in capitalist society. For them the only virtue worth having is the possession of the largest amount of money.

The basis of bourgeois democracy is the manipulation of the largest number of votes by the smallest number of people, often by using meaningless slogans and false promises of reform.

Barack Obama was first elected to the presidency in 2008 under the Democratic Party’s slogan of “Change we can believe in” and the chant “Yes We Can”. Now, half-way through his second term, even his own supporters can see that there’s been no change and that there’s nothing Obama can do about it.

Some blame the slump, others the intransigence of the even more reactionary Republicans. But the problem doesn’t revolve around the performance of politicians or those of the mainstream parties, which is what the bourgeois media would have us believe.

It centres around the whole moribund capitalist system that exists to sustain the rule of the landowners, industrialists and capitalists who live the lives of Roman emperors while the rest of us slave in their factories, fields and offices or struggle to survive on bread-line benefits and hand-outs.

The exploiters and their hired hands in the media claim that capitalism stands for freedom and equality. But in reality the system only represents oppression and exploitation. They claim that it is the only economic system that works but they cannot point to a single capitalist country where it does work for anyone except those at the top.

For workers there is only one way out of the crisis and that is socialism. The people of Democratic Korea know this. They only have to look at the miserable life of workers in the US occupied south of Korea.

The Cubans see the alternative on the other Caribbean islands plagued by the poverty, destitution and crime that goes hand in hand with capitalism. The Chinese and Vietnamese people only have to look at India or the Philippines to see the difference, while the workers from eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union who come in their millions looking for work in Britain, France and Germany need only to ask their parents why all this is happening.

Another world is indeed possible. But it will only come through socialism!