To Stop the Cuts We Have to Get Rid of Capitalism

Image - No Cuts = No Capitalism

It is difficult to overstate how serious the present situation is. £80 billion of state spending cuts are in the offing for the next four years, much of this via the slashing of local authority spending on public services by almost 30% each year. People who have never been on a demonstration before are being moved to protest as they experience the draconian cuts and closures of everything from libraries to hospitals, from school lollipop patrols to bus services. All this against the backdrop of the raising of the retirement age, the declining value of just about everyone’s personal ‘pension pot’, the prospect of a three-fold increase in university tuition fees … in short, the biggest austerity programme this side of World War Two. A programme which everyone now can see means that impoverished future generations will look to the present period as an age of plenty. That is, so long as we accept that the future means remaining with capitalism.

The austerity programme...

... is not just an anti-working class Tory policy aided and abetted by the LibDems. Before the election Alistair Darling made it quite clear that Labour would be introducing a similar swingeing programme of cuts over four years. Even now, from the comfort of the Opposition benches, the only difference between Labour and the Coalition is that the two Eds – Balls and Miliband – would be ‘more flexible’ and have a ‘more elastic’ approach on how to cut the state’s deficit. This is the line adopted by the TUC whose call to ‘march for the alternative’ on March 26th is a thinly disguised message to vote for Labour whenever the next election occurs. Meanwhile Labour controlled councils throughout the land have been ‘reluctantly’ voting in cuts. On 5 March the National Shop Stewards Network delivered a petition to the Labour Local Government Conference in London demanding that Labour councillors mustn’t do the Tories’ dirty work for them. It received short shrift. The fact is that Labour and the TUC - no matter what some of the rank and file believe - are as much part of capitalism as the Tories. When it comes to doing what is necessary to save capitalism they will do it, always under the argument ‘this is the only alternative’.

Behind It All Is the Pressure Of The Capitalist Crisis

It is three years or so since the biggest financial crash in history reminded us of the fundamental instability of capitalism. Then the world’s richest states had no alternative but to bail out the banks on an unprecedented scale. In Britain the state pumped in £850bn — about eight times the initial estimate of repairing the earthquake/ tsunami damage in Japan! Yet capitalism’s longrunning crisis of profitability remains. Indeed, the boom years which followed the Second World War — and which were supposed to prove that capitalism was no longer prone to the kind of endemic crisis that had led to the two world wars — are now outnumbered by almost four decades of crisis. True enough, the capitalists have found ways of managing the crisis, of offsetting the declining rate of profit and creating mini-booms followed by more and more frequent busts. Somehow they have averted complete meltdown even though their system is still overwhelmed by fictitious financial assets and quite literally bankrupt. So far, so good, for capital.

However, at every step of this crisis the working class has been made to pay. Even though our labour is the source of the capitalists’ profit (even the financial profits) workers are always the victims of capital’s crisis management. In the 1970s and 80s millions of industrial workers lost their jobs as the state spearheaded massive restructuring and the introduction of new technology, especially micro-electronics.

When the Russian imperialist bloc failed to keep up with this and eventually collapsed the west was able to speed up the process of globalisation where cheap labour power and new technology combined to reduce costs and boost profits. Again, more manufacturing jobs were lost. At the same time global financial speculation massively increased with electronic transactions multiplying to unimaginable levels. It isn’t only in the UK that politicians and opinion shapers celebrated the decline of manufacturing and the rise of the service economy, especially financial services. All over the planet it seemed that they could conjure up wealth from nothing more than the click of a button or the issue of a mortgage. And it would take a very short memory to forget that there was no government more welcoming to the City and the financial sector than Labour when Brown was Chancellor.

Yet the rise of the shiny new economy where hardly anyone gets their hands dirty hasn’t brought a higher standard of living for workers.

Apart from the erosion of universal benefits, including the state pension, purchasing power of wages has declined since the 1970s. The illusion that everyone is better off is largely a result of the fact that the ‘average household’ now comprises two workers, not just the traditional male bread-winner. That illusion has now been rudely shattered. The projected public sector job cuts will only rub this in as unemployment, particularly amongst women who comprise 65% of the public sector workforce, dramatically reduces the income of many more households.

The Real Alternative

In other words, the trajectory capitalism has to offer us is ever-worsening living and working conditions. It’s no use just accepting this. We have no alternative but to fight back. But it would be a fatal illusion to think that a real fight can be conducted by Labour and the TUC.

For an effective fight we have to take the struggle into our own hands

That means more than the odd day of protest or a carefully managed procession stewarded by the unions and the police. It means organising across workplace, trade union, and any other artificial boundary which prevents workers uniting as a class. Organising from the bottom.

Organising without regard to capitalism’s rules and regulations but simply on the basis of working class democracy: committees of elected and immediately recallable delegates.

At some point it will mean challenging the basis of capitalism itself: the wages system, production for profit, money and financial speculation. It will mean replacing it with a rational organisation of society where everyone will be involved in defining and deciding how to directly meet society’s needs.

There is an alternative to capitalism: communism. Once workers as a whole see the possibility there will be no stopping us. What’s needed is a political compass to point the way towards the communist future. Communism is not the totalitarian monster which existed in Russia and which our rulers pretend was communism. It is the system envisaged by our forebears which simply consists of a society producing for human needs, and controlling social development in a peaceful world without class divisions, without millionaires and starving millions. A world which is organised according to the motto from each according to their ability; to each according to their need. Capitalism has had its day and change is in the air. The only real change can be revolution to overthrow capitalism and replace it with communism. Why not join us and work for it!


If I was younger and lived in Europe I would join you and work to overthrow capitalism. The final paragraph of this article has a daring simplicity to it. It's because you understand so well what it is you want to say, and have total confidence in it. Once we see what we have to do there will be no stopping us. Great! But what is meant by "political compass"? Do you mean the revolutionary party? Will the party have to pre-date the moment when workers as a whole see the possibility of communism, or will it only be able to form after that? If the latter is the case, then may be we won't really need it, and will manage on our own. Maybe not.

Around tax season, it’s natural for people to think about CPAs and other professional tax preparers because of the impending tax deadline. People generally have an inclination to stay on the good side of the IRS. On the contrary, people usually don’t just wake up one day and say “I think we need a Certified Financial Planner.” We usually get called when someone is going through some type of life transition or major decision. Free Credit Score

Aurora (en)

Aurora is the broadsheet of the ICT for the interventions amongst the working class. It is published and distributed in several countries and languages. So far it has been distributed in UK, France, Italy, Canada, USA, Colombia.