Thursday, 6 December 2012
Capitalism does not work, time for system change!
As the crisis in global capitalism grows deeper and deeper by the week many workers will be looking ever more for an alternative grappling with their emotions and their thoughts for an alterative to this rotten capitalist system. Many still don’t know what is causing the crisis and why we have got the cuts. As Marxists we have to patiently explain why we are where we are and what needs to happen for things to change for the better. Chancellor Osborne has had to admit the humiliating truth - his policies to revive the British economy aren't working. But his solution is to carry on with more of the same - make the working class pay more and do nothing about his tax-dodging, multimillionaire friends. Councils across the country are cutting jobs and services. Now Osborne's autumn statement is rubbing salt into those wounds. It carries measures which will hit the poor and the most vulnerable the hardest. In fact everybody except the super-rich is facing rising bills and falling wages, as well as job insecurity and a bleak future. We're definitely not 'all in this together'. Big tax-avoiding companies like Starbucks, Amazon and Google are embarrassed that their antics have been exposed. It's not good PR. But they know that the chancellor will generally leave them alone, along with his rich chums. After all it was Osborne who cut £3 billion from the tax office HMRC's budget in October 2010. This included axing 10,000 jobs. When you look at this alongside the scandal of MPs still with their snouts buried in the expenses trough, it's no wonder that workers are fighting back. The call for co-ordinated action against the cuts, low pay and the Con-Dem's austerity agenda in general is gaining support. For example Unison's Scottish council has voted unanimously to instruct the union to "immediately take the necessary steps to promote with all STUC affiliated unions the need for a coordinated industrial action strategy, beginning with a one-day strike across Scotland." Brian Smith, Glasgow city branch secretary and a member of Socialist Party Scotland explained that the trade unions "must step-up our campaign to defend wages, jobs, pensions and services by organising coordinated strike action across all sectors of the economy. "At times when Unison members are facing yet more pay cuts, further attacks on pensions and tens of thousands of jobs losses its clear the Con-Dem government will not stop unless they are forced back. A 24-hour general strike must be organised urgently to stop these attacks." The rotten establishment - of a rotten system Just as arrogant bankers flaunted their wealth while they helped crash the economy, so establishment politicians, press barons and some police have had their arrogance and contempt for 'the plebs' - the mass of working people in Britain - revealed in a seemingly ceaseless series of revelations of corruption and abuse of power. From hacking, to Hillsborough, to blacklisting and blatant robbing of the public, Britain's establishment are spoilt rotten by power, and working people are getting sick of it. Even Leveson's tame report exposed the rotten and corrupt relationships between different parts of the British state's establishment. Appalling abuses took place with impunity as press, politicians and senior police enjoyed cosy relationships. The media is now full of debate about a 'free press'. But we don't have a free press! Do ordinary people own our big newspapers? Of course not. Rich people do, and they do it to buy power and influence. Murdoch owns four papers and satellite TV. The press barons are part of the ruling establishment and use their media to defend their rotten system, a system founded on the wealth of a few and impoverishment of the many. They are the image of George Orwell's 'trash' media from "1984". Poisoning people and setting one group against the other to deflect the flak from themselves. Leveson hoped his report would be accepted by all three political parties. That in itself indicates its' timidity. It is little more than a beefed up version of what exists and allowed such abuses in the first place. After the experience of toothless watchdogs like gas price regulator, OfGem, who'd imagine OfHack would be any more effective? However, media barons are demanding that they police the press, and there is a serious attempt to bury his report by them and many politicians. Many ask can the con-dems survive till 2015 it looks increasingly likely that they will but things don’t have to be this way. If met by a determined trade union and workers' movement, then no. But faced with a Labour opposition that agrees with cuts they may still be able to drag on. The economy is grinding to a halt, yet the deficit is not reducing. They now admit the pain will go on for another decade! All that unites the coalition is agreement that working people must be made to pay for the crisis. Governing parties were hammered in November's byelections. But Labour's victories didn't reflect huge enthusiasm for them, despite the hatred of the Coalition parties. Mass voter abstentions reflect a feeling that none of the establishment parties offer working class people a voice. Britain's rulers are rotten and there's only one thing that unites them: Making us pay for their crisis and 'dividing and ruling' us to achieve that. They threw pensioners against students when fees raised, private sector against public sector when they wanted to cut pensions, and now they want everybody to blame benefit recipients. But they can be fought. Scottish Unison's call for a one day strike, across Scotland and the UK, is a clear call to action as is the refusal of councillors in Southampton to vote for cuts. Working people and youth must unite to fight back. But we must go further than resisting attacks. Things are rotten for a reason. While the system that spawns such a corrupt elite continues, so will all the abuses, injustices and inequality. The capitalist free market system demands we suffer and the politicians and press are merely the instruments of enforcing that. They have had it all their own way for over 30 years and the result? The mother of all economic crises and a sick society, made more unbearable by their arrogance. When Leveson reported, Andy Coulson and Rebecca Brooks were appearing in court. One or two of the elite may get rapped knuckles - don't bank on it - but as well as fighting every cut or injustice, the real answer is to change the system. If the super-rich 1% carry on owning the vast majority of the wealth they will continue to pull the strings. We need a voice. Imagine if there was a mass party that said what we all know - that cuts are just a way of making workers pay for the bankers' crisis. Such a party would oppose them. Imagine if that party was also part of the campaigns in workplaces and communities, if its leaders were workers, trade unionists, pensioners and young people. A new mass workers' party will need a programme that shows how jobs, services and benefits could be paid for without making other working class people suffer. Socialists points to the hoarded billions of the mega rich - an estimated £800 billion they hide away in bank accounts as they can see no easy route to a quick profit. What about a 50% levy on that as a start to pay for investment in jobs, homes and the NHS? But fundamentally it's about ownership - and that means nationalisation of the banking system and also the taking back of all the privatised utilities and services that the 1% vultures are grabbing. So don't waste energy shouting at the TV. Get involved instead and join the socialist party today. With extracts taken from this weeks socialist paper issue 745