Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Creating a Perfect Storm

by John Maryon

Capitalism faces an increasing number of economic that which are becoming more regular and more acute. Its irreconcilable contradictions that arise from the conflict between productive forces and production relations, coupled with the chaos of a market-driven economy, are contributing to a collapse. The conditions exist for the terminal decline of an unequal and unjust social system that's well past its sell-by date. Capitalist problems are made worse by the motive of greed, extraordinary incompetence and a total submission to US hegemony.
    When COVID‑19 struck in the winter of 2019/2020 the capitalist world was still trying to recover from the 2008 financial crisis. The pandemic caused serious economic problems as industrial production fell, supply chains were disrupted, and unemployment increased. Countries such as Britain had already imposed harsh austerity measures that included cuts in the value of take-home pay, increasing the retirement age and making drastic cuts in public services. The conditions for a perfect storm have now been created as the impact of severe economic sanctions against Russia start to take effect throughout out the world. Just when an economic tonic is needed, we have stagflation and the makings of major financial chaos.
    The conflict in Ukraine can be said to be Barack Obama's war. He was the imperialist leader when a western-engineered coup overthrew the elected government and installed a regime that included Nazi supporters. Genocide is a much over-used expression for situations of conflict, but it can be applied to events in Russian-speaking Ukraine. The Nazi-dominated military, with the full backing of imperialism, has waged a civil war against the people of the eastern and southern regions for the last eight years. A period marked by suppression of the native Russian language, the murder of civilians in Odessa and continuous shelling of Donbas that has caused over 14,000 deaths. This to my mind is genocide.
    Like turkeys voting for Christmas, almost all the craven political leaders in Europe have rushed to align themselves with their masters in Washington. Gripped with irrational anti-Russian hysteria and blindly ignorant of the inevitable consequences, they have succeeded in crushing any economic recovery. Shortages of food and energy, stagnation and business failures will accelerate the de-industrialisation of Europe. And it will be the ordinary working-class people who will suffer. Not one of the so-called leaders has had the courage to stand up and call for a negotiated peace and de-Nazification of Ukraine. Instead, the call has been for bigger and better weapons with more cash to prolong the conflict. Undoubtedly most of the money will finance a new generation of oligarchs and many of the weapons will enter the black-market.
    Unfortunately there exists a politically semi-conscious population of do-gooders, permanent wingers and others eager to join any trendy cause, who make a lot of noise but achieve nothing. They fail to examine the causes and effects of events such as Ukraine from a clear class perspective. They, like their inept leaders, are either unwilling or unable to make any objective analysis of important issues and end up accepting without question the overwhelming imperialist narrative of important matters. Ironically, it is these very people who will end up carrying the burden of disaster.
    Economic storm clouds are starting to gather over much of the world, but they look particularly black over Europe. Capitalist economies are already facing enormous difficulties and the impact of their sanctions against Russia will make matters worse. Of course the authorities will all blame the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, for everything. So it is up to communists to analyse events, put things into perspective and come up with answers.
    The picture in Britain today is one of continued de-industrialisation with modest expansion of the service sector. The result has been a significant growth of insecure, low-paid jobs with minimal pension provision, and over 900,000 workers are on zero-hour contracts. Unemployment in February 2022 stood at 1.3 million. Poor remuneration, no guarantee of regular income and with prices rising faster than wages, poverty has increased in Britain to levels unseen for many years. The crackdown, in the name of austerity, has resulted in record levels of demand for foodbanks. All this has occurred before the impact of ill-considered sanctions becomes effective.
    The policy of the New Communist Party is to call for banning zero-hour contracts, ending pay restraint, and restoration of full trade union rights. It is vital to increase public investment in both infrastructure and high-technology industries. We call for fire-and-rehire to be made illegal. It is our aim to create well-paid, secure employment that is environmentally friendly.
    Under capitalism the first effects of efforts to increase productivity, considered essential to remain competitive, is a reduction in the number of jobs available. Without their normal income, these unemployed workers are then unable to purchase as many products and a recession may occur in which the bright new high-tech factory may be forced to close. This is one of the basic contradictions of the capitalist system, with skilled workers being chucked on the scrap heap. The NCP calls for a planned economy with increased public ownership and full control and regulation of the financial sector. NCP policy firmly rejects all variants of an Alternative Economic Strategy, as advocated by social democratic bodies and revisionist communist parties, which is a form of reformist strategy. Tinkering with a system based upon greed achieves nothing. There is no substitute for revolutionary struggle.
    Britain needs new policies that will tackle inequality whilst ensuring peace and prosperity for all. The NCP is firmly opposed to the hysterical warmongering of the British mass media that keeps people ill-informed and totally ignorant of the true events taking place in Ukraine, a stance reinforced by the denial of free speech in banning news outlets such as RT.  I found the latter to be more balanced and fairer, a stimulating alternative to the establishment narrative put out by the BBC in its crap coverage of important matters. The NCP fully supports the peoples of the Donbas in their heroic struggle for freedom.

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