Friday 6 July 2018

'Neither Brussels or the City - for the many not the few'.

I'm going to come over all marxist on this one. Surely, their division represents the crisis that they can't solve. Both at a UK level and a world level, (see Trump) there is deep anxiety from those who believe 100% in the 'market' . They have pulled all the levers which should have guaranteed them success in being able to 'win' - that is secure profitability, their own power and a minimum of disorder. They've got their 0% interest rates and their quantitative easing, their state stakes in the banks, their tax havens but it's not enough. The competition between chunks of capital is getting fiercer, there is the same old same old desperate need to keep wages down, desperate need to substitute machines for labour (but that costs trillions of investment) and no matter how hard you exploit workers, you still need to sell stuff to them, and if their wages are low, they can't buy the stuff. You can force the poorly paid into borrowing money (credit cards, wonga etc) but there comes a point when that causes a credit crisis: someone somewhere says they want some dosh and a bank somewhere says they haven't got the dosh (Northern Rock, last time). 

Let's remember, none of this is caused by migrants or left social democrats. This is a crisis entirely born from a system that is locked into competition for markets. So, these fervid rows between squadrons of extremely unpleasant individuals are rows between people who deep down know that they can't control this system of running the making and distribution of the things we need. They are just coming up with fantasies on how to stay in power while the next phase veers from crisis to crisis. It is terrible for millions of people in awful insecure, low paid jobs and/or in insecure, lousy housing, or if they are disabled, or for millions trying to migrate their way out of poverty and despair. We should be alarmed when members of the ruling class start pleading with us to take sides with them against the 'elite': one section of the elite calling for us to oppose the elite.

It's clear that 'social democracy' - represented in the UK mostly by the Labour Party, is in a very precarious position. The press and TV are constantly demanding that the Labour Party state their position on all this. In effect, demanding that the Labour Party ally itself with one or other of the elites demanding allegiance to this or that 'solution' to the crisis. In the past, those running the Labour party would have had no problem with this. They were and still are totally committed to the European 'solution' for managing this crisis - sorry, *trying* to manage this crisis. In brief, all that provides is a bit of cover in the battles between the great chunks of capital - US, China, EU. But ultimately this is of course about capital's problem, not ordinary people's problems. It's not about making and distributing things for the benefit of all. It's about how can American, Chinese or EU capital best survive. 

Meanwhile, the Brexit solution thinks that the UK can imitate Steve Bannon's 'solution' which he calls 'economic nationalism'. But the UK doesn't have the clout of the US to bully anyone into accepting UK goods and services, so the image of the 'great global trading nation' (May) is surely fantasy. It looks as if Corbyn is trying to do something very difficult but necessary: not take responsibility for the crisis, the mess, or the phony choice being acted out in the cabinet. It looks as if he is saying that those in power will bring the house of cards down on themselves. And ultimately, why should we take sides in a dispute that doesn't solve the problems of working people? It's an incredibly hard position to maintain because the press can only cope with binaries. And yet the posing of binaries is what keeps drawing working people into making a choice between which of two systems will be better at holding down wages and cutting state provision!

If Corbyn had more support from the centre (Westminster) his slogan ought to be (says I) 'Neither Brussels or the City - for the many not the few.'