By Staff Reporter
Socialist Party 2021 presidential candidate Dr Fred M’membe said May 1 is not simply a day of celebration for the working class, but a day of preparing for struggle against the real enemies.
In a statement to newsdayzambia.com, Dr. M’membe said his party on this day, reminded about why the flag of working class organisations – trade unions, political parties – is red. “Our life’s blood has dyed its every fold,” goes the traditional labour song.
M’membe said the Socialist Party was aware that for the working class, its authentic trade unions and political parties, the road ahead was tortuous, full of twists and turns.
“Therefore, for the working class and its organisations, May 1 is a day for casting away illusions and preparing for struggle. It is a time to unite all working class forces against real class enemies. On a day like this, we are reminded that not all those who wave the red flag or claim to speak for the working class actually do so,” said M’membe.
“May 1 started when Chicago police massacred workers and revolutionaries who were fighting for an eight-hour workday. Back then, workers drudged through ten, twelve-hour shifts. Today, workers face the same long hours at dangerous work and still barely make enough money to get by. But for some, instead of working too much, they can’t find work at all, or can’t get enough hours in the clocking jobs they have,” he said.
M’membe said the nation needed to realize that the unemployment was not primarily due to globalized labour markets, but to mechanization, digitization or the shift from formal to real domination of capital.
He said this struggle was for the unemployed and precariously employed workers.
He said to overcome all these challenges was going to take serious effort to develop the working class theoretically and strategically as a class.
“A big reason why so many workers are out of work is because they have been replaced by machines – excavators, combine-harvesters, ATMs and so on and so forth. In a more just, fair and humane world, it would be a good thing to have machines to do boring, dangerous, backbreaking work. It would mean that the workers have more time to learn, to be creative, to worship and develop themselves spiritually, to spend time with family and friends,” said M’membe.
“But this isn’t a just, fair and humane world. This is capitalism. Workers produce enough to feed, house, and clothe every person on the planet, but millions starve and live without homes, proper sanitation, clean water, education, health services. This is because with capitalism the fundamental reason we produce things like food, houses, and clothing is not to use them, but to make a profit for the rich,” he said
M’membe said an alternative world was possible, where workers could produce what they needed to use, and where they all had a say in what they make and how they made it.
He all this could only be realised by creating a just, fair and humane society through socialism and the Socialist Party.