Some, to blend in the bad news, fake compassion towards those who must support the crisis’ heavy burden (workers and oppressed people in all countries). Others even dare to criticize capitalism, or rather a certain form of capitalism.
So that’s how we heard French president Nicolas Sarkozy get on his high heels and talk about the necessity to “refound” capitalism. His new pal Barack Obama didn’t hesitate to speak up condemning some top banking and major corporations’ executives for their outrageous bonuses, and whose greed provoked anger in those who lost their jobs or households. However, it appears Stephen Harper isn’t as good a comedian as his two counterparts!
Most leaders of main capitalist countries admit their system is due for a restructuring, give or take on its depth depending on opinions. The same ones that for years only abided by free markets, favored deregulation and hoped for minimal State economic intervention (so it can concentrate on repression and ideology) are suddenly rediscovering the wonders of government subsidies, the only way to avoid bankruptcy. And market regulation, precisely that of financial markets, is suddenly not heretic anymore.
Some would want us to believe that the problem is essentially about speculation and those looking for “easy money,” that we should rather support “true investors,” the only ones, as Sarkozy said, ”producing wealth.” But this is a false problem.
In bourgeois society, capital owners never produced anything. The real producers are the workers and peasants. They are the ones generating all wealth. And capitalists everywhere owe their enormous fortunes to them, and to nothing else.
Some who are aware of this reality and fear the day when “those below” will be fed up and will attack all parasites (the capitalists and their system) — we call these people the “left flank of the ruling class” — are starting to agitate calling governments to order. They say “People first”, while others shout “People before profits.”
In the United States, those people (including the so-called “Communist Party USA”) didn’t hesitate to back the Democrats’ and Obama’s bailout plan, with hundreds of billions given to banks, insurance companies and multinational corporations. In Canada, the official left is also asking governments to put money back into the economy and to subsidize ailing companies. At the condition that there also be some crumbs for “the people,” folks see no wrong (quite the opposite!) that the State save capitalists and help them relaunch them into profits.
This is a “trapped” alternative for workers. Because in the context of the current crisis, if we don’t question the mere foundations of the capitalist system, only two things are certain: first is that we, the workers, are the ones who are fully suffering its immediate effects. We are the ones losing our jobs and our pensions; we are being asked for unacceptable pay cuts and more “flexibility,” with all this causes on our health and our lives.
The second, more long-term, consequence is that we will be once more paying for it if their “recovery” ever happens. Who will again have to bear the heaviest burden, when governments will want to cut the huge budget deficits they are now piling up helping out their capitalist friends? Who will foot the bill when governments resume cutting budgets for health and education, reducing welfare, cutting down unemployment insurance — briefly when they will unleash the ghosts of Mike Harris or Lucien Bouchard’s “zero deficit” policies? Who will again have to pay to make capital profitable and further integrate “globalization?” It will be, as always, workers, and more generally the billions of oppressed people around the world. Except if we leave this infernal cycle once and for all.
For us, getting out of the crisis demands that we end the system that caused it, and that will continue spreading crises, wars and misery if we don’t organize to overthrow it. We must say NO! to passing the crisis’ burden on to us and to concessions we are being asked. We must take the streets, go on strike, occupy our factories and workplaces, and not hesitate to take on those trying to feed on us, as our fellow workers are doing in France. We must defend our interests and act as a strong and united class with the idea that we’re able to seize power and run society. Because the revolution that will end capitalism is not only the hope of all the oppressed: it’s the only realistic exit that’s offered to us.