Articles about class & members of the ruling class

Thinking About Anarchism: Why class matters


The concept of class is fundamental to the anarchist understanding of society. The goal of anarchist communism is to create a classless society where everyone is on an equal footing, where all have equal access to wealth and contribute to society as best they can.

Lisbon No: A Class Act


As the morning of Friday 13th of June grew towards midday, the government watched and ... realised with mounting horror that they had not only lost the referendum for the Lisbon treaty, but had lost badly. In the end, with a turnout higher than both Nice referendums and European elections, the Irish electorate had cast more No votes, than the number that elected the FF government last year.

Public Private Plundering - McNamara abandons social housing


So building social housing is "not viable" for the profiteers at construction firm Michael McNamara & Co. What they really mean is that they've got themselves in a bit of a sticky situation by riddling the country with overpriced and unsustainable housing developments and the profits from the "Public Private Partnership" aren't sufficient to get them out of it.

It’s never been so good for Northern Ireland’s rich club


While the rest of us are slaving away to make end’s meat and facing the brunt of the ‘credit crunch’. We are continually told by our political rulers to be ‘competitive’ for the bosses waiting for the promised ‘trickle-down effect’ that never arrives. Staggering rises in energy prices above the rate of inflation, imposition of un-wanted water charges while hundreds of people die every year due to ‘fuel poverty’ it seems the North elite rich club have never had it so good according to the latest Sunday Times rich list. There is now a record of 61 people from the north among Ireland’s richest 250 and they are getting richer! Last year their wealth increased to a combined £10.7 billion! On top of the list like every year is Fermanagh’s Sean Quinn worth about £3.7 billion, who does allot of dealing in insurance and property market. Alright for some eh?

Politicians & Rich demand wage restraint while raking it in


Union leaders, employers and the government will soon be sitting down to negotiate a new pay round as part of the Towards 2016 ‘partnership’ agreement. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to see that the bosses will be insisting on wage increases of no more than a few percent. They will troop into TV studios to tell us that anything better is – take your pick - impossible, irresponsible or unaffordable.

Workplace Educational Archive


This is an archive of some talks given to WSM meetings between 1991 and 2007 on the general subjects of class politics, trade unionism and the changing nature of the working class.  For more articles and talks check the relevant subject indices

Capitalism - A Reward for (someone else's!) Hard Work


A recent WSM public meeting in Dublin about anarchism saw something a bit different; members of Fine Gael turning up to defend capitalism. We were told it’s a great system and the rich are simply enjoying the rewards of hard work.

Politicians holidays - Tough at the top


I wonder am I alone in thinking, when presented with a collective picture of career politicians smiling on the steps of the Dail, that the elected members of that house might have difficulty finding their arse with both hands. It is little wonder that the grinning gombeens are smiling like a cats after a bowl of cream. The facts around what our politicians get paid and what they do for that money is a reason for them to grin and us to grimace.

Bin tax & anti-war protesters jailed while rich ignore laws


The last months in Dublin have seen the jailing of ordinary working class people for protesting against the bin tax. A tax whose introduction was not only opposed by most people but which tens of thousands are refusing to pay. In the spring of this year more then five people were held in jail for periods because they had protested against the US military using Shannon airport to refuel en route to the Iraq war. Opinion polls at the time showed the vast majority of people opposed this war and this refuelling.

Is Bill Gates really worth 14,000,000 people?


BETWEEN 1986 AND 1999 Bill Gates, the richest man on earth, earned over 14 million dollars a day from the increasing value of his Microsoft shares alone. Yet over one billion people on this planet live on less than one dollar a day. Some put Gates' wealth down to hard work, but the reality is that some of these low earners are working far longer hours.
Women workers in the garment industries in Bangladesh earn as little as 63p a day1. The UN reports that they "spend 56 hours a week in paid employment on top of 31 hours in unpaid work - a total of 87 hours". The reality of this new millennium is that inequality is now greater than ever, and according to the UN it is getting worse.

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