LATEST NEWS from the Left


The hope of Corbynism after the failure of Capitalism - For comment.

The basis of capitalism is the creation of more wealth for those that have wealth already. The living standards of the poor increase slowly through the jobs that the system needs to create the wealth. Capitalism relies on growth and it needs to be constantly fed with new development projects. Many of these projects are created through wars. These wars often bring in resources to the system such as oil and gas but the main gains from war are the massive development contracts in the aftermath as the system “generously”redevelops the countries that they have just destroyed.

Without an ever expanding workforce the ever hungry system will not get the growth that it thrives on. The myth of the capitalist ladder always dangles temptingly within reach of most working people. The first rungs of this ladder are always full where the “opportunity” to borrow large amounts of money (on paper) to buy a house is reached. But the gulf between the homes of the rich and those on the ladder will rarely get bridged by those that start from the bottom. They spend their lives learning that the rungs above 2 or 3 do not actually exist and worse that there is another ladder above, that is far out of their reach. You would be forgiven for thinking that the answer is a single ladder that goes from the bottom to the top is the only way to gain fair growth in living standards. But before you decide that Jeremy Corbyn is the person to throw down a ladder right from the top I think you need to look closer at what he is about. Jeremy wants one first floor with an escalator coming up from the ground. The pursuit of excellence does not have to be linked to the ambition for personal gain. It must be linked to a growth in living standards for all, inversely proportional to the wealth already owned. Corbyn is on the brink of bringing in such a system and those with wealth already fight him with every weapon they can muster. They own the media, including all forms of social media, which some see as our route to gaining what is needed. But what the oxygen that the capitalist system needs is provided by the  workforce that they currently hold captive. Captive is the right word because we are all trapped into needing a regular income to maintain the humble standard of living that we have. The stories of people from a humble working class background making it to the top can be counted on the fingers of one hand. The Branson’ and Sugars of the Capitalist world are very few and far between.

The method that capitalism uses to hold the logic of socialism at bay is to retain a barrier level of people who believe that they are actually far better off than they really are, under the system. They believe that they live in a fair world of opportunity when really they are just surrounding the fort that the rich live in and keeping the hordes of the poor under control. They believe that they are sharing in the wealth of the rich when in reality their combined wealth is an insignificant decimal of the overall wealth. Such a group at the moment is often described as “entrists.”They are a group much used by Tony Blair in his pursuit to create a 2nd Tory party to replace Labour.  A project in which he did succeed for a while. It was part of this Centrist body, in the form of the Lib Dems, that helped carry out the political weapon of the right known by the name of austerity. Austerity is simply a political method of taking money from the poor and giving it to the better off. This is done in the naive belief that this will encourage the poor to shake themselves out of what the Tories consider is a state of choice not a symptom of their own policies which is the reality of the situation.

The irony in capitalism as a system linking money to happiness and fulfilment is that there is enough wealth in the world for everyone to enjoy happy and fulfilled lives.

Corbyn is not really the cult figure that the right tend to portray him as. The fact is that he represents policies that strike a chord with socialists and would form the basis of a workable system far better than the one we have now. For myself the policies he offers are at the core of my political being. I therefore have massive respect for him as he understands what I feel is important. The thing that worries me most is that there is no one with the political instinct to fill Corbyn’ shoes. There needs to be a plan for the succession that involves a number of people with Corbyn as a kind of presidential figure if his health lasts after he finally retires. He cannot be replaced by one person as he is a rare force in politics that provides integrity, vision and honesty. One early step in building a socialist society is the building of sufficient Council Homes to provide homes for all those that need them. One effect of this would be a dramatic drop in private rents and house prices. The sadness of individuals seeing a drop in what they see as retained wealth in the bricks and mortar that they live in would soon pass when they realise that a larger home for them to move into, if they desire it, is now within their grasp. The drop would be a great relief to the many that need homes. A home must be seen as a basic human right and not an investment.

The public ownership of all utilities is a necessary part of a socialist system and control of the banking system is also a clear necessity. We can see the ugly face of capitalism already planning to retain a financial grip on the poor during the building of a socialist state. Capitalists are now investing heavily in the companies that offer basic essentials like cookers and fridges to the least well off at extortionate rental or lease to buy rates. They are getting ready to continue bleeding the poor while socialism raises their standard of living.

© Copyright Tony Free 2018