Government? What Government?

a fatcat, yesterday

Let’s get one thing straight, comrades. Thee Faction are not frightened of this government. We don’t enamour them with powers they do not possess. Whilst it is always prudent not to underestimate your class enemy it is equally important not to overestimate them.

Thatcher and Cameron did not engineer trade depressions as part of the class struggle against the working class. Economic crises are not engineered by governments.

Cameron of course is a total and utter bastard who will side with employers against workers, but it’s daft to believe governments and employers deliberately plan to create depressions. It is like saying that they want their profits to be lower and love to see employers going bankrupt. That would be masochism for their wallets.

The idea behind the theory is that heavy unemployment brings wages down and therefore leaves a larger profit for the capitalists. This allows the social democrats of the centre-left to make politics child-like by painting the Tories as pantomime villains and their own reform policies as virtuous and commanding of our attention.

Labour governments have been unable to do anything to prevent economic crisis anymore than the Tories had had the power to engineer them.

The Coalition cannot create “a double-dip recession” through government cuts any more than the Thatcher government did by “squeezing the economy” during the early 1980s.

In the real world the time when profits are highest is during booms, when unemployment is lowest. In periods of expanding production total profits and total wages go up. In depression both go down but the fall in wages is almost negligible compared to the fall in profits. If the capitalists, or the government who act on their behalf, controlled the ups and downs of the market – which they don’t – they would plan to make the boom and full employment permanent. The last thing they want is the cost of keeping millions of workers idle, workers they would like to see busily at work producing profits.

Governments do not control Capitalism. It’s the other way around. Capitalism has its own laws which periodically result in economic crisis, trade depressions, bankruptcy and high levels of unemployment. It’s not good enough for us to just blame “the bankers” and bleat that the government pursue tax evaders.

As Marx wrote, “…capitalist production moves through certain periodical cycles. It moves through a state of quiescence, growing animation, prosperity, overtrade, crisis and stagnation..” Economic crises are one of the destructive contradictions of the profit system. Capitalism cannot behave in any other way.

Politicians and their economists are crap at predicting economic crises. We do not have to continue to endure the economic and social consequences of unemployment anymore than other social problems like war, poverty and exploitation.

We remain entrapped within capitalism because we unwittingly conspire to keep the capitalist system in place. Let us take conscious and political action in 2011 to resolve the problems created by capitalism by replacing the wages system with something economically sensible.




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