We are right to question the violence of our society, where mass shooting and brutality have become accepted as normal. The system of capitalism values human life and the planet only as resources to be exploited and profited from, creating wealth only for those in positions of power. Their entire system is organized violence against the majority of people and the planet – it is their system that is killing us!
The Violence of War
Nothing reveals the violence of this system more clearly than war. The banks and corporations rely on war as a means to maintain and extend their control over natural resources, labor and markets all over the earth. Weapons production also generates vast profits for corporations. The U.S. military is no exception to this violence and destruction, but is, in the words of Martin Luther King, “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.”
- From 2001 to 2017, the wars on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria were responsible for the death of an estimated 1.3 million civilians in those countries.
- S. military spending is more than the next 12 countries combined, at $700 billion in 2017.
- The U.S. was responsible for 34 percent of the world’s weapons sales from 2013 to 2017.
The War at Home
Wars for global domination don’t account for all the violence of those in power. There is also an endless war here at home, waged upon the majority of the population. The priorities of this system have nothing to do with enriching our lives, but only with enriching the owners of banks and corporations.
The Violence of Poverty
- An estimated 24 million people are either unemployed or can’t find full-time work.
- Between 21% and 42% of children grow up in poverty, and about 49 million people, including 16 million children live in households that don’t have access to nutritious food on a regular basis.
- An estimated 565,000 people are homeless.
- Nearly 19 million are paying more than 50% of their income for housing.
The Violence of the Police
- An estimated 5,738 people were murdered in the nation’s 50 biggest cities in 2017, the vast majority from poor neighborhoods, with victims twice as likely to be Black.
- The police killed about 1,188 people in 2017, with a Black person three times as likely to be killed as a white person.
The Violence Against Immigrants
- Under the Obama administration, about 2.6 million people were deported and over 400,000 immigrants were held in immigration jails each year.
- Under Trump, deportations and arrests have increased under a racist climate of fear, with ICE targeting new arrivals and long time residents.
The Attack on our Education
- While the number of public K-12 teachers and staff has been cut by 135,000 people since 2008, the number of students has risen by 1,419,000.
- During the same time, on average, states cut K-12 funding anywhere from 8% to 20% or more.
- Funding for universities has been gutted, and tuition has skyrocketed. College graduates now have an average of $37,172 in student debt, with $1.5 trillion in total student debt.
Our Environment is being destroyed so severely by fossil fuel and other industries that climate scientists predict that at least half of the earth’s species, including our own, are at risk of extinction.
We Need A Different Society!
The violence of this system has no limits, including environmental collapse or nuclear war. For those who only value profit, our safety, our lives and our future are of no value at all. We deserve more. We deserve a society that involves us all, organizes all of our creative talents, and unleashes the potential to develop the kind of society that benefits us all. We deserve a society run in the interests of everyone, not just the super rich. To achieve that, we will have to mobilize all our efforts to completely transform the society we live in today.