The British Labour Party, the SPD in Germany, the Communist Party of India who govern West Bengal,[M[ and the ANC in South Africa have all bought into the false neo-liberal consensus that the most important political issue of the day is how one creates a dynamic economy which produces both economic growth and wealth. By doing so, all of these once progressive political organizations, along with countless smaller ones such as SF in Ireland, have become nothing more that the purveyor’s of gross inequality. For by choosing to trust big business implicitly and act as if it is a sublime influence within society, in reality amounts to inviting the fox into the hen-coop and by so doing we have ended up with a society which is the opposite of what the majority of the memberships of these organizations originally intended.
It is no accident that reformist politicians like Gordon Brown, Gerhard Schröder, Budhadeb Bhattacharya and Thabo Mbeki have been to the fore in advocating neo liberal economics, for they are people who in middle age have found it impossible to push against a closed door. Thus they were easily enticed by the power elite’s of big business that circulate like vultures around leading politicians, whilst making promises that would make a snake oil salesman blush with embarrassment.
The main task of Capital in the 21st Century is no different from that which it has always been, to enrich a small group of individuals at the expense of the mass of humanity. As with their counterparts in the past , todays political gofers of Capital have attempted to justify their reactionary policies with talk of the trickle down effect. Given that Capitalists and their political ilk have been using this preposterously pathetic excuse since the industrial revolution first began in the 19th century; and with the gap between the rich and the economically poor widening at an alarming rate in almost every nation on earth, the aforementioned theory has been proved to be wearing a little thin, not least as it is based on bunkum and absolute bullshit.
Thus for progressive politicians it is all very well talking about creating wealth, but in todays world that is far from the main issue, for the single most important factor today is how the wealth humanity produces collectively is distributed equitably. As it is, the vast majority of the wealth created sticks to the greedy fingers of those who provide the finance capital, those who actually produce the goods or provide the services receive very little of the profit from their labour; and what good is that for the majority of humanity. Indeed those who produce the goods and provide the services receive a smaller percentage of the profits that their toil provides today than at any time in the last 50 years, which in itself demonstrates the high level of greed and avarice Capital has descended to.
A mad rush for growth and wealth is pointless unless the mass of humanity benefits from it. Forget Global Warming as the number one priority facing the human race, it is a red herring which is designed to take humanities eye off of problems that could be solved in the here and now. Bar the odd G8 announcement on Global Warming, which are never followed through on, Capital has no intention of getting to grips with over production etc as under the current economic set up it provides Capital with such a delightful honey trough to get their greedy snouts in. Whilst Global Warming is an issue which humanity will have to deal or come to terms with, how we distribute the wealth we earn as a society is by far the most important and pressing question facing human kind in the 21st Century, For it is happening in the here and now and if we do not get this right we are on the road to barbarism.
Gross inequality is something we over look at our peril, for the ruling elite from China to the USA, the EU to the middle east, Russia to the continent of Africa are well aware of this fact and by passing prohibitive and draconian legislation it looks like they intend to deal with this problem not by redistributing wealth and creating a better life for all, but by oppressive administrative means which will reinforce the status quo.
One of the main hurdles to be overcome is that due to the detrimental legacies of Thatcherism and Reganomics, people are finding it difficult to face up to the question of a major redistribution of wealth. As they cannot get beyond the issue that private property is sacrosanct, even to the extent they now believe ‘God’s’ bounty water belongs to multi national corporations. Capital and its media gofers reinforce this viewpoint by making a big thing about Capital risking all when they are engaged in a business venture, as if they are like a guy climbing Mount Everest.
Those days are long gone if the ever actually existed, as today business people take risks with their own money in much the same way a man who has just robbed a bank does when he places all his ill gotten gains on the spin of a roulette wheel. Today even when a CEO losses the company they oversee and its share holders money, they walk away with a massive redundancy package. We have had plenty of examples of late when the CEO or members of the board’s of large multi nationals have awarded themselves massive wage hikes, bonuses or similar extravagances whilst the companies books show a massive deficit, but I cannot remember the last time I read that a CEO had risked their own money on a business venture. It is worth noting when the Northern Rock bank Chairman Matt Ridley gambled his customers savings in the Prime Mortgage Market, not a penny came out of his own pocket book.
Whilst I am not for a minute advocating a Stalinist state run economy, what I am saying is the increasing gap between the rich and economically poor poses a greater threat to human kind than global warming ever will, not least because it enforces billions of people to live short, ignorant and miserable lives. Not in 50 years time as is claimed to be the case with the approach of global warming, but in the hear and now!
If we refuse to get to grips with such blatant and unfair inequality, future generations can expect to live in a nightmare world in which the super rich live there lives terrified of the majority on whose backs they leach, whilst living a life of luxury and to protect their decadent pleasures they will demand of the governments they finance that they implement oppressive legislation against the ‘have nots’. A world in which an arrogant and ignorant middle class act as the political and economic gofers for this extremely wealthy elite, but who will possess none of the virtues of the post WW2 middle classes which made them such a powerful force for social change for the good.
Whilst the masses will either accept a slave like existence or be forced into permanent rebellion. Is that really the type of world we wish to will to future generations. If not we must get to grips immediately with the problem of inequality and find a reasonable and viable way to redistribute fairly the wealth that the mass of humanity creates collectively.