Campaign launch video by Socialist Equality Party (US) vice presidential candidate Jerry White

Jerry White

Jerry White is the labor editor of the World Socialist Web Site. He ran as the SEP’s presidential candidate in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

I’m Jerry White and I’m honored to join Joseph Kishore on the Socialist Equality Party’s ticket in the 2024 US presidential elections. 

Our campaign will give expression to the needs of the working class and the youth—for peace, for good jobs, for democratic rights, for the right to education, culture and a healthy and safe environment.

Both major capitalist parties, the Democrats and Republicans, are rotting on their feet. They both agree on the genocide in Gaza, unending death and debilitation with COVID, brutal austerity and poverty for the masses, and limitless billions for the super-rich, and preparations for World War Three. Their shared policy can be summed up in one word: death. Their only differences are over the form by which these policies might be accomplished. 

Of course, we will be told for the 1 millionth time that socialism can never win a hearing among American workers. This is a lie. Nowhere else has the class struggle been as explosive, from the eight-hour day movement of the 1860s that culminated in the Haymarket Affair, through the Great Pullman Strike of 1894 led by the founding figure of American socialism, Eugene Debs, to the struggles for the industrial unions in the 1930s spearheaded by socialist-minded rank-and-file workers, to the mass civil rights movement of oppressed black workers in the 1960s, the American working class has produced more than its share of heroes and martyrs, victories and defeats. The central challenge has always been to break free of the Democratic and Republican parties and their various middle-class satellites. To the American workers we can say, together with Debs: “Get out of the capitalist parties. You don’t belong there.”

Eugene Debs delivering his Canton Speech against World War I on June 16, 1918. He was imprisoned for the remarks under the Espionage Act.

History teaches us as well that the American ruling class will do all it can to confuse and divide the working class: Through the falsification of the history of the American Revolution and the Civil War, to the coverup of the great labor struggles of the past, through the promotion of both racism and identity politics, through anti-immigrant hysteria, and through that state religion of American capitalism: anticommunism. But the reality is workers in this country and everywhere in the world are more unified than they have ever been. Today there can be no such thing as national solutions for great problems confronted by all of humanity. War, the climate crisis, pandemics, poverty—these are world problems and will require a world solution. The task is to make this objective reality consciously understood and acted upon.

Revolutionary advances in technology have made mankind more productive than at any time in history. Under capitalism, however, these are used to toss workers into the streets, slash wages, and conduct wars for the control of resources, markets and cheap labor.

If economic life were organized in a rational way, that is, freed from capitalist private ownership and the nation-state system, the working class would be able to end poverty and inequality forever and raise the living standards and cultural level of the world’s population to unprecedented heights.

The political landscape has shifted very much in favor of socialism. The capitalist class finds itself in the midst of an unprecedented and quickly developing crisis for which its only solution is more of the same—more war, and more repression. Meanwhile, the working masses the world over can no longer go on living the way they have.

Two years before the 250th anniversary of the immortal Declaration of Independence, which declared to the world the equality of all mankind, history has brought the American ruling class to an impasse.

Indeed, official American politics represents the negation, the complete antithesis, of the great American Revolution of the 1770s and the Civil War of the 1860s, a revolutionary patrimony that now falls to the working class. 

We are forced to work within the constraints of the American capitalist election, which seeks to bar all third parties, and especially socialist parties, from being seen or heard. But our election campaign will be waged against these constraints. It will be waged on the international arena, it will be waged on the basis of historical experience, and it will be waged on Marxist-Trotskyist principles, that is, the program of genuine world socialism.

We proceed with full confidence that workers and youth will find their way to our banner. They have no other way forward. Thank you.

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The SEP launches its campaign for a socialist alternative in 2024 to Biden and Trump, the corporate candidates of war and dictatorship!

David North