Don’t Kid Yourself This is One Crisis that Will Not Go Away

Listen to the news on any day and there is no shortage of crisis talk. The bulletins tell us that we are in a mess for many reasons. Greedy bankers, corrupt politicians, unbalanced state budgets (so-called sovereign debt), or the Euro, all get a mention. But the truth is that this crisis is much more serious than any of these.

This is not a crisis caused only by “greedy bankers”. The speculation and bad loans of the last 20 years or so are the result of a much deeper crisis going back years. Ever since 1971, when the post-war boom came to a final end, the system has stagnated.

Workers have paid the price for this - real wages today are lower than in 1973 (and that’s official). But this has not been enough to revive capital accumulation. Although more profits have been squeezed out of an increasingly exploited workforce they have not been enough to revive the global economy. The massive transfer of production to places like China (where wages are minuscule) and financial speculation proved to be no “solutions”. The financial speculation came to a halt in 2007-8 when, as we had predicted for a decade, the fantasy of increasing debt finally hit the buffers.

To stop the system melting down completely governments all over the planet bailed out the financial sharks. They had no choice. A banking collapse would have cut off the revenue streams created by financial bodies which redirect the world’s wealth to the richest countries. In Britain the government put up £850,000,000,000 to “save the banks”. And what are the same financial institutions doing today? They are insisting that government debt (mostly due to the bailout of banks) should be reduced or else they will cut its credit rating. This will massively increase the interest the state has to pay on its debt. Their solution is therefore more cuts and more attacks on a working class which has already suffered enough.

This might seem insane but even if we accepted all the cuts (and more cuts) in our living standards which they call for it would still not lead to a recovery. This is because there is an over-accumulation of capital that cannot be profitably re-invested. Profit rates are too low to make it worthwhile.

Speculation earns more money (even if based on the value of work done by others). At the same time the cuts make matters worse since fewer workers means fewer people to buy what other workers produce.

The only “solution” the capitalist system has is a devaluation of capital. What they really need is another global war! But this is not yet on the agenda (even if the present currency wars are like a precursor to more serious struggles ahead).

In fact the capitalist class everywhere still has not given up the hope that making us poorer will save the system. It won’t. The real message for the world working class is that capitalism only offers us more suffering and more poverty. And no amount of our sacrifice can save it.

We need to start by rejecting austerity. We need to use our greatest weapon - our collective strength. We need to unite across sectors and workplaces and fight, not just against the cuts, but for an alternative that goes beyond capitalist contradictions.

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.