The crisis highlights the bankruptcy of capitalism


Capitalism as a way of organising our society is bankrupt. It is bankrupt in both a literal and moral sense. Capitalism is at odds with any progressive notion of democracy in the 21st century

The IMF are an unelected unaccountable body to the very people whose lives they dominate. The impotence of our elected representatives in not a matter of individual government impotence, or the connivance of personalities. It would be great if it was. But the impotence of elected leader is an integral and necessary systemic part of capitalist society. Elected governments and the institutions of the state right across the EU have shown what they are. Vision less technocrats who have no desire to serve the electorate, because they do not share the same interests as the ordinary working class European population.

Nothing short of root and branch systemic change in the way we imagine democracy working can resolve the issues facing us. We are at the convergence of multiple crisis here. This financial crisis, this economic crisis is not going away. The cuts to public services, the loss of jobs and the instability of our futures has a very simple and succinct outcome. Many people are going to live poorer, unhealthier and shorter lives. its worth remembering that whilst for many people in the west this is a relatively new crisis, for the majority of the people on the planet, this is an ongoing crisis based upon their continued exploitation through international trade agreements and the activities of capitalists.

In Ireland 1% of the population owns 34% of the wealth.

Yet on the horizon, if off the media's agenda, we are at the convergence of multiple crisis'. we have the crisis of climate change facing us throughout this economic crisis Climate change but is an issue of capitalism. So long as capitalist ideology demands infinite growth, and so long as that infinite growth is based upon the extraction and burning of fossil fuels we are running into dead end time.

The role of the media should not be underplayed. Many journalist's livelihoods are under attack in the same way as most ordinary working class people. Like the rest of us they can look ahead to a decade of insecurity and precarity. Yet on the whole the mainstream media frames the issue of our collective future in clichéd tired and neat little boxes. Mainstream political and economic analysis of the current crisis speak of it as if it was some sort of natural phenomenon – as if this crisis had emerged from nowhere and was unpredictable. That mainstream analysis also puts forward a twin strategy for dealing with the crisis -
1. cut public spending – in other words cut spending on social services such as health, education and social welfare and
2. slash the incomes of ordinary workers. Be those workers in the public or private sectors, the intention is to drive down wages as low as they can possibly get away with.

Partly this is a response to the financial crisis but partly it is also a strategy of business and their friends in government to use the cover of the crisis to frighten workers into accepting wage cuts, attacks on their conditions, wholesale changes to their pensions and a whole raft of changes that they couldn’t hope to get away with otherwise.

Those who try to reduce our lives, our communities and our futures to the pseudo- science of economics are little more that are little more than capitalist cheer leaders. The idea that There Is No Alternative only exists in an intellectually barren narrative devoid of two of the most intrinsically forceful and progressive human instincts. Solidarity and empathy

The desire for a genuine democracy based upon ongoing participation in our workplaces and our communities, and the fight for social justice, not just here in Ireland, but across the globe is at the forefront of anarchist politics.

Again and again through the late 20th century, those that stood up and argued for a different world, that argued for an anti authoritarian socialism, have a first been ignored or have then been vilified and often met with direct and violent interventions from the state. Here in Ireland as recently as 2004, the two biggest police and army mobilisations in the history of the state were directed at grassroots anarchists and libertarians. This was not a reaction to any real physical threat, but the threat of people questioning political legimacy of the status quo. However we argued that the EU would see more privation, we were right

We argued that we would see a rise of racism due to the policies of Fortress Europe, we were right

Our ideas and critiques remain as relevant today as ever. As does our vision of a society that has social justice and equality at its core. We argue that democracy is not an act every 4-5 year, but is a living and breathing thing. We want and will fight for democracy within our workplaces, within our communities, and within our societies. We are a movement without borders, and we refuse to give allegiance to economic and political systems simply on the basis of deference and silence. If we look at the history of the state, we see what damage is caused by those in power when they demand deference and silence. From the institutional abuse of children and women over generations, to the recent report on regulation, deference and silence breeds hurt and injustice. We will not be silenced, and in building wide movements of workers, unemployed, community activists, climate justice activists there is no need for deference

So let’s also begin a conversation about the type of society we want to replace the current mess with. Let’s imagine a society which puts the needs of the many above the greed of the few and which values equality, justice and democracy. And let’s start the process of building that new society.

Workers Solidarity Movement
Statement 11th June 2010