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Anti-capitalism is now firmly on the march

Two episodes of potentially enormous significance are now beginning to converge. The first, like a slow-burning fuse, is the spontaneous grass-roots anti-globalisation, anti-capitalism movement which has been smouldering for several years and is now gathering force sparked worldwide by austerity measures for the masses while the bankers and financial elite ride out the depression unscathed. This ferment, strengthened by the co-ordination which technology and globalisation now brings, may well, as austerity bites ever deeper over the next decade, have the potential for overturning an increasingly hated worldwide corporate domination on a scale which we have not seen since the upheavals in Europe in 1848.

The second is the uncovering, which happened to coincide with the mass actions yesterday across the world’s capitals, of some of the secretive network insidiously consolidating the extreme right-wing corporate dominance which behind the scenes runs most Western countries. Both these two campaigns, as they widen and come together, represent the early stages of a major new force challenging a corrupt but not yet broken hegemony.

The necessary ingredients are there. A financial crash reverberating into the vicious spiral of a further slow but inexorable economic downturn. A new young generation across the world facing a decade or more of insecurity and rising unemployment. Ballooning inequality which has left a tiny elite with a greater concentration of wealth and power than any previously in history, while the deprived and dispossessed stretch far beyond the usual ranks of the poor.

The upsurge of anger and bitterness that the tiny segment that caused this calamity are escaping unrepentant and unpunished. The growing sense that the global system is so lopsidedly unjust that it will never offer a fair share of opportunity, wealth and power to the mass of the population however hard they strive. And a gradual dawning of the extent of manipulation of public opinion and culture by corporate-dominated communication channels designed to preserve their own privileges and silence or divert any counter-movement of rebellion.

What is needed to stir this incipient revolt into action is organisation and planning around a broadly agreed vision. Ironically globalisation, the greatest achievement of neoliberal capitalist hegemony, may turn out also to be its Achilles heel, for two reasons:

  1. The previous capitalist cycle, whereby one part of the world was pulled out of recession by the upsurge in growth of another, has been replaced by a much more unified global economic system which synchronises downturns where they occur, which is much more destabilising than before.
  2. And a comprehensive economic system which opens up all countries to the maraudings of Western capital is equally exposed to a globally co-ordinated kickback when those maraudings turn sour.

5 Comments

  1. Oldrightie says:

    “while the bankers and financial elite ride out the depression unscathed.”
    You missed out politicians. This world wide protest includes all political failures. Not least 13 years of debt production under a Labour Government. I was waiting for the first politician to claim allegiance to the protesters, you are possibly the first UK hypocrite to break cover. The irony lies in your failure to observe your own part in it all. One of many examples was your Lord Myners! I won’t go near Blair and Mandleson.

    1. Jon Lansman says:

      Oldrightie is wrong not least because he ignores the facts: “13 years of debt production under a Labour Government”? I don’t think so. Look at the graph included here. Labour actually reduced the debt for several years and debt only rose as a proportion of GDP after the global debt crisis kicked off. Blind repetition of the false Coalition mantra about Labour’s responsibility for the debt cuts no ice here.

  2. william says:

    Mr. Lansman,Gordon Brown never got near obeying his own golden rule,and hid government borrowing through PFI,whilst also storing up other liabilities (public sector pensions,for example) by not even accounting for them.As for anti-capitalism,remind me which economic system produced a flood of tax receipts for GB to squander.

    1. Jon Lansman says:

      Funny, isn’t it, how Tories are quick to add a whole list of other “liabilities” which aren’t liabilities wiotho0ut ever mentioning the assets which are. I’d recommend a course in accounting!

  3. Alex Rixon says:

    This trouble was caused by the government and yet again the people pay for it. I blame this problem partly on Gordon Brown selling all of the countries gold, we could have done with it now…

    I also hear most of blame being placed on ‘previous governments’ – The coalition has been in power for over a year now, they need to take responsibility. Also I don’t understand how a government nobody voted in can continue the ways of this corrupt and messed up country.

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