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.
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 called “neoliberal” 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.
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.
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.