Recession - WSM articles on the recession


Articles from the WSM that analyise the crisis in capitalism, its impact in Ireland and the resistance to the attempts to force working people to pay for the crisis.

Dublin: Social Solidarity Network - Building a Network of Resistance

The Social Solidarity Network is coming together to provide a forum for workers and communities to unite to resist the attacks, and to build links across the many struggles which will break out over the coming months. On Saturday 3rd October we are holding a meeting which will provide a chance for people to come together and share their personal experiences, explore the economics of the crisis and plan ways in which we can build resistance.

NAMA is Class Robbery

The economic crisis we face in Ireland is that huge amounts of money have been lost with the collapse of the property bubble. The question is, who will pay? Will it be the crooked bankers and dodgy developers responsible for this mess, or us, the ordinary working people?

NAMA = Class Robbery = Capitalism At Work

NAMA is nothing short of straight class robbery - robbery from ordinary workers in order to shore up the property developers and big bankers who got us into this mess in the first place. It can be described as unfair, it can be described as immoral but in reality it's naked capitalism at work.

Bord Snip targets workers and pensioners
The McCarthy or 'Bord Snip Nua' report on public spending outlined a range of proposed cuts in government expenditure. Of the €5.3b in possible savings, it can be safely said that at least €4b of this (and probably more) targets the working class. Indeed, a full third of the cuts are aimed at pensioners and unemployed. In the private sector, attacks on our class continue in the form of pay cuts, short time and lay-offs.

The crisis in capitalism and the anarchist response
At our Spring national conference earlier this month the WSM debated and voted on a number of documents on the capitalist crisis and the resistance to it. This text is the agreed collective position of the WSM and looks at the causes of the crisis, how it impacts workers in Ireland, what resistance there has been and what hope there is for the future.

WSM videos on the capitalist crisis
An Anarchist (libertarian Socialist) analysis of the credit crunch and the crisis in global financial markets of 2008. This is a recording of a public presentation given to the Workers Solidarity Movement in October 2008 about the crisis. It looks at the crisis from a historical and economic point of view
A very detailed talk on the cause of the current world financial crisis that starts off by explaining the background economics in an easy to understand manner, moves on to the role the war and other events apart from the sub-prime crash played and concludes with a look at what opportunities have been created for anarchist by this sequence of events.

They Didn't Share the Wealth
There is no money left in Ireland. At least that's what you might think after listening to Brian Cowen, Enda Kenny, IBEC and the parade of capitalist economists and pundits who parrot this nonsense. Yes, we are heading into a deep recession but guess who is expected to pay the cost?

Crisis, What Crisis? - Pyramids not houses
The official story is that the origins of the current crisis lie in the collapse of the US subprime mortgage market - i.e. poor people not paying their mortgages. Although this may have been the trigger event, it is not the real cause. The real cause lies in pyramids not houses. Specifically the enormous debt pyramid built up by the Western countries

Capitalism is not collapsing
If the 'economists' who turned up on every news programme this Autumn really didn't know there was going to be a crash at some stage they should think of changing jobs

Are We Irresponsible?
"People who got mortgages they can't afford to pay back were greedy and foolish and should suffer the consequences...They signed a free contract, they're adults and they have to take responsibility for their actions". This is the kind of thing that gets thrown around a lot in recessions. It conveniently ignores a few things.

Moving from Protest to Success
The Education Cuts announced in October's Budget have unleashed a wave of protest across the country. During the months of November and December approximately 120,000 people took to the streets. What the government is now hoping of course is that we've all done our protesting and they can get on with implementing the cuts.

Campaigning to Defeat College Fees
Free Education for Everyone held its first National Conference on Saturday, January 31st. Over forty student activists traveled from UCD, TCD, Maynooth, Galway, Limerick and Cork

Lower pay, less jobs - Whose National Interest
WSM member Joe King, a clerical officer in the public sector, responds to the calls for pay cuts and redundancies.

Make Them Redundant
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett commented on the US financial crisis that "it's only when the tide goes out that you learn who's been swimming naked, and Wall Street now looks like a nudist beach." Well when it comes to Ireland, the receding tide of the global economy has revealed that not only were our business and political elites swimming naked, they were engaged in a great big orgy as well.

A Quick Guide to Social Welfare for the Newly Jobless
Workers Solidarity's Vincent O'Malley spoke to his local Citizens Information Centre about some of the obstacles facing people who have lost their jobs.

Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction
Written months before the banking crash of the Autumn of 2008 this is the first part of a series of articles investigating the capitalist financial markets from a critical perspective. It explains in some detail what the various financial instruments are that were to be blamed for the crash and what implication they have for class struggle.

The historical development of the global financial order under US hegemony
The follow up to Paul Bowman's 'Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction' charts the story of the historical development of the regime of global financial order under US hegemony. It examines how the centre of capital accumulation shifted from Europe to the US in the first half of the twentieth century, and how following World War II the global financial order became centred around the US through the Bretton Woods system

The system works...for the rich
Unemployment has risen by a third in the last year and everyone agrees that worse times are ahead. Worries about losing jobs and not being able to pay the mortgage are growing. Whose fault is it? Is it the politicians administering the economy, or is it the capitalist economy itself?

Time for profit restraint
Working people in the Irish Republic have been hearing a lot from the representatives of their exploiters lately about the need for us to exercise 'pay restraint' and to 'moderate our demands' in these difficult times.

Why Ireland stands to lose €400 billion in natural gas and oil deposits
Concerns about the safety of Shell's pipeline in Rossport are well known. But that's not all that's at stake. Not by 400 billion euro. The oil companies exploiting Ireland's west coast have got some of the sweetest deals in the world and that doesn't happen by accident. This article looks at how the Irish state has been busy rolling over for the last thirty years so the multinationals can grab the riches that should belong to us all.

Thoughts on the crash and the alternatives - Based around a review of the SIPTU alternative plan
Our government has become more and more open about their plans for us. Cowen wants to drive down our living standards by 12% and has already cut all our wages through the tax levy and slashed the wages of workers in the public sector further through the so called 'pensions levy'.

Was ICTU behind the pensions levy?
Report from the national meeting of public sector workers. Did the idea of the so called 'Pensions Levy' come from some of the very Irish Congress of Trade Unions leadership who are supposed to negotiate on behalf of workers. This is one revelation that emerged at a Saturday morning meeting of over 100 public sector trade unionists and two delegates from the Waterford Glass occupation.

Selected WSM coverage of workers resistance to being made to carry the costs of the capitalist crisis

Thinking About Anarchism: What Can a Strike Achieve?
People often pose the question, what can a strike achieve? The WSM policy on trade unions states the following: "What is anarchism? When we get down to basics, it is workers collectively running a free society. Instead of taking orders from the boss and serving his/her mad rush for profit at any cost, it is about working together for the common good"

The employers' offensive - Striking back gets results

Thomas Cooke workers refused to go quietly when they were tossed onto the dole. Cooks had made £400m profit in 2008 and their boss, Manny Fontela-Novoa, took home €7 million. This was not a failing business.

Direct Action Gets the Goods: Visteon Occupation Pays Off

The occupation of the Visteon motor parts factory in Belfast ended on May 3rd when the company gave in and agreed pay extra compensation of between six monthÂ’s and nearly two yearÂ’s money to the workforce for the loss of their jobs.

Support Industrial Action by the Bus Workers!
Dublin Bus is slated to see huge cuts in both staff and services. As many as 290 workers and 100 buses will be cut. This means fewer routes and less frequent service. If the Dublin Bus workers go on strike, it will mean an inconvenience for a few days. However, if they take action and force the company to back down, it will in the long run save us all time and money and will help the environment.

Audio: Waterford Crystal Workers Speak Out
Noel Atkins and Pat Phelan, Waterford Crystal workers and Unite Shop Stewards, travelled to Cork last night to speak out against the attempted closure of the plant. They spoke from the heart as workers tossed on the scrap heap after decades of service.

This Strike is For Us All
The national strike called by ICTU should be just the first day of action in what must become a strike wave across every sector until all pay cuts are withdrawn. The super-rich can shoulder the costs of their crisis themselves.

Upping the Stakes - Keep the Pressure on for National Strike
if ICTU are unwilling to take the action we should remember that the trade unions are our organisations and we should be ready to take the initiative ourselves in our own unions and in our own workplaces.

Support workers occupying Waterford Glass
Workers occupied the Waterford Glass factory in Kilbarry after the receiver was unable to borrow further funds to keep the plant operating. At the start of the month as 150 workers continued the occupation members of the Cork WSM visited the plant and interviewed Joe Kelly

Pay cuts, job losses - Organise the Fightback - WSM leaflet for the Saturday 21st Feb ICTU march
As soon as possible we need a unified day of strike action across the entire public sector to demand withdrawal of this pay cut. One day of strike action is unlikely to be enough to force a change of government policy. So this needs to be followed up with an ongoing campaign of strike action. Join us for the march on Saturday at the Parnell monument from 1.30.

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