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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Crisis? What crisis?

EMPTY SHELVES in the supermarkets and soaring energy prices.Motorists fuming in queues for fuel at petrol stations struggling to remain open as supplies run out due to a shortage of drivers in the haulage industry. In other times this would be an open goal for Labour to hammer the Tories. Now the totally useless leader of the Labour Party can barely turn away from his relentless purge of the Corbynistas to utter the usual platitudes that nobody listens to these days.

No wonder the Tories are basking in complacency at their annual conference in Manchester. Boris Johnson struts the stage, drivelling on about his “mission” to decrease geographical inequalities and defending “our history” from “cancel culture iconoclasm” in a rambling speech that made no mention of the rising cost of living or the supply-chain crisis.

But you’d think Johnson was a second Cicero judging from the applause of his followers who laugh at his sixth-form jibes at Starmer – the “Captain Hindsight” who resembles a “seriously rattled bus conductor” – and eagerly lap up talk about unleashing the potential of all Britons in the spirit of Olympians or the England football team.

When Tory leaders talk about “Britons” and “our one-nation” they want to foster the idea that we are a united people with a common national interest. But nothing could be further from the truth. We are, in fact, a class-divided society in which the interests of the exploited class – the majority of the people – are in direct conflict with the interests of the exploiters.

In the past Labour leaders recognised class divisions, and during the Attlee and Wilson eras their economists talked about “democratic socialist” solutions to end exploitation and poverty. Now that’s been reduced to Angela Rayner calling the Tories “scum” while talk of nationalising the railways or the utilities is frowned on by Starmer & Co.

Although state intervention is essential in Keynesian economics, the form it takes reflects the needs of the ruling class at the time. Keynesian reforms are designed to uphold the existing order and stave off social unrest, and they are the kernel of left social-democratic thinking in the capitalist world.

But they were also embraced by Benito Mussolini, whose fascist Italy had a public sector second only to that of the Soviet Union before the Second World War. Franklin D Roosevelt tried to revive the American economy after the massive slump in 1929 with a Keynesian “New Deal”, and Adolf Hitler did the same when the Nazis took over in Germany.

The neo-liberal unrestricted market economy of the imperialist heartlands is clearly unable to cope with the post-Covid world and so the ruling circles in the USA are returning to the old Keynesian models.

The Biden administration’s $3.5 trillion economic plan is going down the same road as FDR’s New Deal and the “Great Society” of the 1960s.

At the same time a new bourgeois consensus has seen the old social-democratic parties return to the centre of government in Western Europe.

But whatever form it takes, capitalism will always be brutal and oppressive because that is the only way it can ensure that the rich can continue to live the lives of Roman emperors off the backs of workers and peasants. The capitalists fear and loathe organised labour because it knows that the entire wealth of the world comes from workers in the factories and peasants in the fields.

The capitalists know that eventually their insatiable greed will provoke a political reaction amongst those they rob and cheat. And, even though they deny it and refuse to speak about it, we know that just as inevitable as capitalist crises is the ultimate victory of socialism over capitalism.