About the Red Star Society
THE RED STAR SOCIETY OF THE U.S. IS A working people’s aid and relief organization in the United States of America. Founded in late 2005, in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the RSS realized a need for aid and relief efforts that were based on worker-to-worker support and solidarity. The Red Star Society also manages the International Labor Defense Fund, for legal defense of working people under persecution by the state for defending themselves and their class in times of struggle.
Over the years, we have seen rampant profiteering and extortion of Gulf Coast refugees, culminating in some so-called “aid” organizations charging displaced people and families for such basic things as coffee and water. After witnessing this happen again during one of the greatest disasters in recent memory, we realized what had to be done: form an independent working people’s aid and relief organization, not only to provide immediate support to those in need, without conditions, but also to bring to the front our common class interests, both immediate and historic, as workers.
When natural or human-made disasters occur, poor and working people suffer more than others. This is due to our place at or near the bottom of capitalist society, coupled with the fact that we all too frequently have little or no savings to fall back on when the unexpected happens. The Red Star Society exists to provide aid and relief services to those who cannot afford to sustain themselves in such times.
But the Red Star Society is not a mere charity organization. Though the services that ordinary charity organizations provide can be a vital lifeline for the masses of people in need, they treat only the symptoms of poverty and not its root cause. Private charity, along with its counterpart in the modern welfare state, not only fail to eliminate poverty, but also dehumanize those who are forced to become dependent on charity and subsidy for survival. Workers are robbed of their dignity, and capitalists deny them reintegration into the labor force.
While conducting our immediate tasks, we also take care of the future of our class by offering an explanation to those we serve of why society treats them as they do. Why are workers made to feel grateful for employment when we are the ones who sustain society with our labor? Why does the top 1 percent of the population live in decadent luxury, while the great majority of the people — the source of all their wealth — live hand-to-mouth in constant fear of starvation? Why does the government only seem concerned about “freedom” when it comes to their right to make a profit off our labor, and not when it comes to our right to live a decent life, free from need and material want?
The answer can only be this: the thin layer of capitalist owners and “middle class” managers want to maintain their way of life at the expense of the well-being of working people, and, consequently, at the expense of human progress altogether.
Employed or unemployed, young or old, regardless of race or nationality, what sets working people apart from all other classes in capitalist society is our labor power — our ability to work. Since we do not own our workplaces or profit from the labor of others, as the bosses and their managers do, our means of life comes from our ability to sell our ability to work to those who can make a profit from it. When our ability to work is no longer profitable, or we can no longer work because of age or disability, we are cast aside like a used can or bottle.
As such, as part of our activities of the day, members of the Red Star Society always point to the immediate need for poor and working people to come together and understand that the cause of our poverty is not a personal failing, but a condition of this society, so that we, united as a class, can organize to eliminate poverty, homelessness and want forever by creating a future where the functions of government and economy are controlled democratically by the working people themselves for the benefit of all society: a working people’s republic that will make the free development of each the condition for the free development of all.