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Parents Leading the Working Class

The following are my thoughts about parents leading the working class.1

So many parents are sick2 of not being able to do a good job of parenting because they don’t have the basic resources to be able to do so, and it is getting worse. Many worry about food, housing, and health care. I think a strategy would be for parents to lead the working class on the basis of fighting for their children, because that’s one clear place that parents can and will fight, even if they can’t fight for themselves.

Parents could also lead the working class by putting forth the idea that no one should be exploited for doing work that is about nurturing and caring for human beings. Our slogan should be “Nothing is more valuable than a human.” This strikes at the heart of the lie that collecting wealth is what is most important.

One thing that would help parents to lead the working class is other people understanding the value of their work and the reality of their exploitation. We must free up the thinking of parents, so they can see beyond their own families, get a bigger picture of the problem, and not blame themselves for the difficulties in their families.

Let’s look at how capitalism has assigned value to work in the form of creating “jobs.” My understanding is that until capitalism, much of the work people did was to directly support their survival, as in farming. Once capitalism came into being, people who worked on farms often lost their land and had to get a “job” in order to make enough money to survive. A job that was not assigned any value was that of being a parent. Except in trafficking, you cannot sell a child, so the job of parenting was not given value.

The drive for the survival of the species is so great, and people’s love for their children so strong, that people will reproduce, and raise their children, for no money. Because mothers are the parents who produce and nurse children, they are not paid and are more directly oppressed as parents.

Traditionally, fathers have also been oppressed as parents. They have been forced to be providers and work at jobs that cut them off from the nurturing of human beings. They have been conditioned not to discharge and been forced to fight in wars and be violent, making them unfit to be near children.

So, in order for parents to lead the working class, we need to address the unpaid labor of parents and the value of caring for people. A program in which people value caring for people is something that many people in the working class can understand.

Marya Axner
International Liberation Reference Person for Parents
Somerville, Massachusetts, USA
Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for
International Liberation and
Commonality Reference Persons

1 See article by Dan Nickerson: pt175_042_dn.
2 “Sick” means extremely tired.

Last modified: 2021-06-01 12:29:59+00