The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 14th January 2011
THE BIG banks have once again made it plain to everyone that no elected government can exert any control over them whatsoever and they will continue to pay themselves ridiculous bonuses as though there had never been any economic crisis. And this includes banks that were bailed out by the last government and are now theoretically owned and controlled by the state.
The reality is the other way about; it is the state that is owned and controlled by the banks. Before the great collapse of 2008 this was known and understood by Marxist-Leninists but few others. The banks preferred to hide their great power behind the façade of western democracies. Now they can’t be bothered with the pretence.
The bonuses were not the cause of the 2008 crash; that was caused by the inevitable cycle of capitalism that, in its greed for ever greater profits, ends up producing more and more goods that no one can afford to buy. It would have happened ten years before had not the “positive-thinking” bankers and their subservient governments decided to push the working class in Britain, the United States, Australia and Canada to take on ever increasing amounts of personal debt and so keep spending and buying the stuff that no one could afford.
It could not continue but the banks treated the debt — based on future wages yet to be paid to those workers — as real solid property and started dealing in it. They were dealing in wind, water and fairy dust. There was no real wealth there but the bankers have a mental problem. They still suffer the delusion that there was some actual wealth there and that they are entitled to the lion’s share of it.
Now the workers are suffering massive job cuts; VAT has risen; pensions are being robbed; the sick and disabled are threatened with destitution and people are losing their homes.
The bankers do not understand this has anything to do with them. They hold poor people in contempt and see it as some sort of social Darwinism — the weak being cleared away to make more room for them and their superior minds and abilities to make profits.
They do not understand that all real profits come from work, real work, producing really useful things. They have started referring to various different banking services as products — bolstering the delusion they are actually producing something real rather than merely rearranging the money, mostly upwards.
They not understand their own dependence on the workers to produce the real wealth that they enjoy. They live in denial because that dependence inevitably gives us the ultimate power over them and that scares them.
But we must never lose sight of this. Bourgeois governments have gone through the motions of pretending to try to control bankers’ bonuses: Brown, Bush, Obama and now Cameron and Clegg. Each time they do their failure shows up the true relationship.
Labour is rising in the polls again and is expected to win the Oldham by-election this week. That is a sign that voters are waking up and realising how bad the Con-Dems are but it will be more of a vote against the Coalition than or Labour.
There is a danger that some right-wing Labour opportunists will see this as a sign that we only have to wait until the next general election to get rid of the oppression of the banks. That will only be a very tiny step forward and the Coalition still has up to four-and-a-half years to run.
Waiting for bourgeois democracy to liberate us will not do. All around the country people are demonstrating against the cuts. Thousands of local groups and campaigns are springing into being. This process must build until we do have a massive, mobilised, politically aware and well-organised working class movement. If we can achieve that it will not merely scare the bankers; it will have the potential to get rid of them altogether and build a socialist state run by workers, not by lunatic megalomaniacs.
In the meantime the more the bankers oppress abuse and exploit us, the more they educate the workers and the quicker they bring about their own total destruction.