The system demands change

By Ethan Nichols, World News Editor

Our planet is dying. Millions of Americans go without access to good healthcare each year. The U.S. incarcerates more people per capita than almost any other developed nation. A housing crisis. Black and Brown Americans are murdered by police. American imperialism continues to infect the global South. 

There is a common thread that connects this all together, though: American capitalism. 

We live in a profit-driven world. One in which the needs of corporations and the top 1% — the ruling class — are prioritized over all else. Workers in this country deal with abuse, poor working conditions, a sub-par minimum wage and extreme wage theft. 

The ruling class in this country will continue unfettered unless we, the working class majority, stand up and say that enough is enough.

We are the majority. Seventy percent of Americans support Medicare for All, 63% of Americans support free college and 80% of Americans support the Green New Deal. 

Last year saw a surge in unionization campaigns. As major corporations cracked down on unionization attempts, going so far as firing union leaders, more than 200 Starbucks stores voted to unionize. Amazon workers voted to unionize in New York and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) reported a 58% increase in union petitions from the year prior.

Capitalism is the root of all evil. It sits at the intersection of every major issue facing our society.

Gun violence? Capitalism is to blame. The National Rifle Association (NRA) and the gun industry continue to buy off politicians to prevent common-sense gun reform solutions from getting passed. Why? Profit. 

Climate change? Again, capitalism. Just 100 corporations are responsible for 71% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. 

Take any issue. At the root of it will be one thing — profit. 

While socialist and anti-capitalist movements have existed in the U.S. for centuries, it was the 2016 presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) that helped to drive interest in socialism.

Sanders was a wake-up call for many of us. I first became politically engaged because of Sanders. He made it all make sense. He made politics accessible. 

His campaign slogan, “Not Me, Us” truly did sum up exactly what it is going to take to fight capitalism and build the future we deserve — a mass movement.

And luckily, all hope is not lost. Following his inspirational campaigns in 2016 and 2020, the largest socialist organization in the country, the Democratic Socialists of America, had a massive membership spike, currently hovering at around 92,000 members nationwide with chapters in all 50 states.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is well known for his civil rights activism, but what is less known is that he was a staunch anti-capitalist and a socialist. 

“The evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and evils of racism,” King said.

Capitalism is harsh, inhumane, undemocratic and deeply exploitative. 

Until we as a society prioritize people over profits, systemic injustices will continue.