the rule of many over rule of the few.

Archive for October, 2011

Occupy Wall St/Dame St


I make it clear to begin anybody who stands up to fight against this decrepit system has my admiration. However this does not mean we have to reinvent the wheel. Their have been other struggles in the past which we can and should learn from. Otherwise these struggles will go no where.

Illusory Aims

Their aims, are for Wall St/U.S. capitalism to clean up its act. In Ireland the Dame St occupation calls for the Troika to end their interference in Ireland. The problem with these kind of pleas to capitalism, it is like asking a shark to release you as he chews off your legs. It is illusory to believe that capitalism can be cleaned up. While the protesters are painted in the media as raving rent a mob radicals.The demonstrators reflect the deep seated fears of most working people.   In the U.S. in particular  the police have attacked and arrested hundreds.While this has happened many of the protesters share the belief that the police are just doing their job.  The police are central to defending the same capitalist state, these protesters wish to clean up. They are the state’s security guards.They are not part of the 99 percent as they call themselves.

Betrayal of Victims

The illusion these people have in their belief of cleaning up capitalism went so far in the U.S. as inviting John Sachs; to speak at their encampment on Wall St. Who is he.?

 

John Sachs gained notoriety for advocating and implementing what is now calledneoliberal capitalist economics with a vengeance. Following in the footsteps of Milton Friedman’s “Chicago Boys” – who helped the dictator Augusto Pinochet in mid-1970s Chile starve workers and the poor for the greater glory of the “free market” – Sachs first made the spotlight as leader of the “Harvard Boys” who brought shock treatment economics to Bolivia in 1985.

 

Determined to smash the combative tin miners who were the backbone of the Andean country’s radical labor movement, newly elected president Víctor Paz Estenssoro and his ally, former military dictator Hugo Banzer, put forward a “new economic policy” which – in the words of the standard history of U.S.-Bolivia relations – “had a certain ‘made in the USA’ stamp about it”:

 

“Its primary architect was Jeffrey Sachs, a bright, brash, young Harvard professor whom the Los Angeles Times called ‘the Indiana Jones of economics.’ Its domestic manager was Planning Minister Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, a businessman who had spent so much time in the United States that he spoke Spanish with an accent….

 

“The social costs…were immense…. Paz passed the costs of stabilization on to the lower classes. In the new era [of neoliberal economics], Paz looked to Sachs and Machiavelli…. The statistical details roll by too quickly for an outsider to fully grasp the human costs. In 1986 the purchasing power of the average Bolivian was down 70 percent…. Unemployment reached 20-25 percent, and nearly all social welfare benefits to workers were swept away.”

 

– Kenneth D. Lehman, Bolivia and the United States (1999) (From Internationalist) This man is a criminal an enemy of the oppressed worldwide.

While in Ireland the protesters have not sunk that low. However living under a tent and pleading with Enda and his blue shirt Labour boys will get them no where.

Workers Movement

This movement made up of anarchists/Liberals/ leftists needs more then pleas to capitalism,it needs the support of the workers movement. This is the only class who have the power to stop the impoverishment of Irish society. Of course Mr O Connor/Mr Begg and company will run a mile from this. Only by making a link to the only class which has the power to change things, not pleas to capitalism,will we get the society we need.

That goes for the U.S. as well as the rest of Europe and like it or not that means expropriating the capitalist system. This needs to be said as all of these “movements” dance around the issue of the state,not to continue, in building illusions that the capitalist state can be cleansed.

A Party

Maybe the most decent individuals involved, will see through the liberal agenda of these movements, and look to linking up with the employed/unemployed,  which could lay the foundations for a party to put an end to the endless cycle of capitalist crises.

One could start with some clear demands.

For a sliding scale of wages and hours. This could link the unemployed and employed in struggle. Set up a state bank to control the finances of the state. Expropriation of all private banks and the credit system. Workers control of all industries. These could be the beginning of a real fight not some soap opera,however well-meaning. One can see why this generation would not trust the past generation,after all look what we handed over to them.

“When an organization wears out, the generation which carried it on its shoulders wears out with it.” (Trotsky) So maybe the youth can do better,but a look at our class history  can only help,or as someone said we are doomed to repeat it.

 

 

 

Ireland- A Review


We are told by all and sundry that we Irish people are taking our medicine and getting the Irish economy back on track,sure begod we are a great little nation. Our Politicians, then use their spin masters which includes every news program to push this “positive news”. So every thing is fine we are on our way back to normality whatever that is supposed to be.

 

Our Predicament

A year ago the Government of the day(Fianna Fail) imploded after given free rein to the bankrupt Irish banks, with the connivance of the European Union,who believed and still do that you could not allow the banks,any bank to fail,as it would cause a contagion which would bring down the system on a global scale. Why because this time it involved this new currency the euro whereby all of the E.U. is tied into. So it cannot be allowed to fail for fear of global impact. Indeed Ireland has been the testing laboratory for the market to see if its solutions can work. While Ireland itself could probably be contained as it is tiny in comparison to the likes of Spain for instance. We are now portrayed as the best in the class for being able to take the lash without whinging. Now Enda (Prime Minister) is allowed five minutes with Angela Merkel where all he is short of doing is kissing the hem of her garment, the cringe factor knows no bounds. We have now swapped the Pope for the European commission ah how fickle we Irish are,mind you we are still on our knees.

The Blue-shirts and Labour

So one might conclude that we should continue to take the bad tasting medicine after all like a cold we will get better. That is what the politicians tell us. The people then decided if Fianna Fail led us into this mess we will get rid of them and put in Fine Gael our very own (blue shirts) alongside our spineless Labour party. They promised to burn the bond holders in the banks, protect the poor and establish jobs, help homeowners whom the banks put into negative equity. So what has happened well the banks were refunded,unemployment grew, immigration is at an all time high while the Government set up a committee to the help solve the mortgage arrears crisis.

The mantra from the new Government in line with the old, is for  Irish working people to continue their guarantee of the banks which means funding its losses any where in the world i.e. its gambling losses on the stock exchanges.While new regulations have been brought in by the new financial regulator towards the banks.His main target seems to be the credit unions and bringing them into line with the banks. The credit union movement in Ireland has two million members it is the largest voluntary movement in the country and one of the largest in Europe and poses real competition to banks. It is mainly used by working people who would have difficulty getting a loan from banks. While some got carried away in the” Celtic Tiger”days most are solvent. However the government seems intent on making them pay for the bankers criminality. To apply the same rules to credit unions as the bankrupt banks,is like trying to crack a nut with a sledge hammer. This means ordinary savers cannot get loans because these credit unions are constrained by these new rules.  This in my opinion is taking out a competitor to the banks.So much for helping Joe public.

 

Labour Blue-Shirt Solution

Raiding the Pension fund putting pensions in jeopardy.This followed with talk of people in future possibly working until they are 70/80 years old.

They have cut Unemployment benefits and other social welfare benefits  attacking  them as unemployment leisure seekers.(Joan Burton)

Increase in class sizes,no special needs teachers.

Their committee on the mortgage debt crisis was made up of individuals from the banking industry alongside civil servants from the finance department. No one from the agencies helping those in trouble or for that matter individuals in trouble were invited to attend to give their input. Surprise surprise their solution is in favour of the banks with no write down for the mortgage holders. The banks welcomed it.

In December is budget month with some talking of increasing our payback from what even the Troika/IMF/E.U. recommend. These are people who have not got a clue what it is like for ordinary people to survive at present. It is a bit like Marie Antoinette telling the french peasants “let them eat cake”. For instance it has been suggested that all medical cards  should not be reissued except for those  65 and over . This in a country where to see a doctor costs in the region of 50/65 euro and medicines are astronomically expensive.

This present Government with Labour at its heart maintain the policies of the previous government. Not one banker has faced a criminal charge nor will they. We are told the economy is “moving in the right direction” not for working people. The Government has asked some the bankers to return a little of their massive bonuses alas to no avail so what can they do but cut,cut. They mortgage your children’s future up to the hilt, ah sure we can take it did we not have the famine, that only took us a few hundred years to recover from. This time its so easy as to blame the English,its our own gobbeen men who sold you to the highest bidder.

We are told the economy is “moving in the right direction” yes for the wealthy who would not know the meaning of the word recession unless they looked it up in a dictionary. For working people its never ending spiral to the poorhouse.

 

Our Future

Now Merkel and company in an effort to solve this now European crisis of the euro and bring stability to the world markets will propose some form of closer centralized economic union. This will probably entail a E.U. economic minster who will be able to set taxes/interest rates for all of the member states. Some may find this better then the present shower who rule us on a national level but in my opinion it is simple a step to becoming a colony of Germany/France. We will become there cheap labour force. As long as we pay our taxes we will be left alone. The Roman Empire did it on the point of a spear,the E.U. do it with the threat of withdrawing all financial supports, it is time to say no .

Is it not long past time for us to get off our knees and fight back, a dose of Greek resistance would help.This is not the fault of the international working class. If we stand alone we will remain on our knees together we can change the world.

 

 

 

 

 

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