[pdf http://220.127.116.11/cpgb-ml/wp-content/mediamayday_20090501.pdf 700 800][b]Make the capitalists pay for their crisis! [/b]
2009 is fast becoming a year synonymous with capitalist economic crisis on a scale not seen since the Wall Street crash of 1929. Giants of finance capital have collapsed, and the Labour government has responded by giving banks hundreds of billions of taxpayers’ money: robbing the poor to pay the rich.
Workers’ outrage is fully justified, but, in truth, not yet broad enough in its scope, for these are but exaggerations of the daily actions and normal workings of capitalism, whose entire system of wage slavery rests on the [i]perpetual[/i] looting of the wealth created by the labouring masses.
It is abundantly clear that, as long as capitalism endures, the money borrowed by the Labour government today will be paid back tomorrow by means of cuts in public spending – workers’ schooling, housing, and health care will pay the bankers’ bill. Truly, their wealth is built upon our poverty, their joy upon our misery! We must insist that bankers pay for their own crisis.
[b]Crisis and war: the benefits of capitalism[/b]
Finance capital survived the 1929 crash, but at an incalculable cost to humanity.
In the last century, hundreds of millions of people were sacrificed at the high altar of capitalist free-market fundamentalism, by means of inter-imperialist and colonial wars and occupations, starvation and malnutrition-related disease.
And all that is before we mention the unemployment, homelessness, poverty and despair, mass stupefaction from drug and alcohol addiction, prostitution, and all the other ills that accompany such polarisation of wealth distribution. All these features of capitalist life will be intensified by the crisis.
Under the current system, even the most basic necessities of life are only produced and/or distributed if there is a profit to be made. In times of crisis, when workers are impoverished, the profit dries up. Free-market fundamentalist capitalism knows the plight of the growing ranks of unemployed and starving masses in the world, but, like Marie Antoinette, regards them indifferently and says “Let them eat cake.”
Capitalist economists comment, regarding the current crisis, that while other avenues of profitable investment are drying up, ‘war remains good business’. That is one reason for the ongoing genocides in Iraq and Afghanistan. Capitalism in crisis is busy expanding these conflagrations still further.
[b]Obstacle to change: the link with Labour[/b]
When capitalism has so clearly failed to provide social justice, the key to the billionaires’ monopoly on ‘democratic’ political power remains the Labour party. Since it first held power in 1924 and bombed Iraqi villages to persuade the inhabitants to pay their taxes to the colonial overlord, Labour has never failed to prove itself a loyal servant of British imperialism.
In spite of this, by means of various ‘left-wing’ Labourites, the party is able to pull off the neat trick of simultaneously leading the monopoly-capitalist onslaught from government, while maintaining a vice-like grip on organisations that workers attempt to use to defend themselves.
Labour is a party of war, but controls the anti-war movement; it is the party that has given billions to bankers while setting derisory levels of minimum wage; it has created tax havens for the super-rich while attempting to abolish the 10p tax band, yet unions remain tied to it politically and organisationally.
[b]Jobs for [i]all[/i] workers! [/b]
Labour is a party with a history of dividing working people by fanning the flames of racism and anti-immigrant sentiment. Today, it is attempting to divert workers’ attention and anger from the true cause of their misery – the capitalist system – towards immigration and ‘foreign’ workers, whom it points to as being ‘the problem’ while mouthing the BNP slogan “British jobs for British workers”. And yet it leads hypocritical campaigns to “Vote Labour to keep the BNP out”! We must counter all this with campaigns for [i]real[/i] working-class unity and the demand for equal rights and [i]jobs for all workers[/i]!
The greatest threat to peace and stability in Britain and the world is not the fringe BNP councillor, but the ‘mainstream’ free-market fundamentalist Gordon Brown and his entire Labour apparatus. As a first step towards real change, the British working class must abandon its unrequited love for Labour.
[b]Communism remains the only alternative[/b]
The crisis of capitalism is not only a source of tremendous grief to the labouring masses; it is also a time of opportunity. The inability of capitalism to use its wealth to provide a decent life for the people points the way forward: if we are to have peace, prosperity, and a stable and happy life, we must kick out the class of exploiters who turn modern mechanised production into the means of enslaving workers and nations.
The only country that experienced peaceful growth and prosperity in the 1930s was the USSR, where workers owned the land and operated the factories, mines and mills themselves. It is in this direction that workers must again look for answers if humanity is to have any hope for the future.
Workers are once more challenged by the crisis: will we meekly accept our fate, ‘tighten our belts’, eke out a miserable existence and sink lower and lower? Or will we adopt a new weapon? The weapon of revolutionary communism remains the only force capable of sweeping the filth from the Augean stable of the imperialist world order.