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It is patently obvious to all that workers in the west are faced with the biggest fall in their living standards since the second world war.
Decades of cuts and privatisation of our social services, from hospitals and schools to social care, libraries and community centres, have been accompanied by the steady attrition of pay, pensions and working conditions in almost every sector of the economy.
And now, this steady decline has come into collision with a rampant inflation crisis, so that huge numbers of workers who previously considered themselves to be in decently-paid jobs are finding themselves suddenly on the breadline, while those on benefits or minimum wages are increasingly having to choose between heating and eating, or finding themselves homeless and altogether unable to provide for themselves or their families.
How did this come about? What is at the root of the energy and inflation crises that are fuelling the cost of living crisis in Britain and elsewhere? Why do British trade unions seem so unable to lead a victorious struggle in conditions where the overwhelming majority of the population supports the fight for pay restitution and for the defence and restoration of our decimated public services?
Why is it that, in the midst of the worst economic crisis ever seen, we should also be seeing a rampant and seemingly insatiable drive to war by our rulers? And what, in the midst of all this chaos, should we actually be doing?