Capitalist crisis

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March 30th national strike off - Employer’s retreat but ICTU talks are not a victory

WSM protest outside Anglo Irish BankAn initial reaction to the ICTU announcement that March 30 is off
That the very threat of a national strike was enough to force government and IBEC (Irish employers organisation) to change their position demonstrates the power the working class holds when we threaten to withdraw our labor. For all the media attempts to convince us we are powerless and that class struggle is a thing of the past when faced with the reality of the organised working class standing up both bosses and state were keen to avoid any confrontation that could illustrate and encourage our collective power.

The momentum towards a national strike and putting revolution on the agenda

WSM on Dublin march

As those who are following my Facebook status updates will be aware things have gone crazy busy here in Ireland.  Because Ireland was one of the most globalised economies it is being hit hard by the global recession.  The impact is further added to because neo liberal ideology meant we have a very very deregulated bank and property sector and a government based on that section of the capitalist class.  This led to a lot of what they call 'corruption' which meant that the very wealthy 1% ripped off huge quantities of wealth during the celtic tiger but are now trying to impose the cost of the crisis on the working class.

Don't Moan, Organise

Don't Moan, Organise

Here's a poster wot I have just made. It's obviously a play on "Don't Mourn, Organise" - but the Irish seem to moan more than mourn. I wanted to encourage those who grumble into their pints to do a little more, particularly now, when we actually have to get up off our arses and try and influence the direction our crumbling country is going in.

Were Irish union leaders behind the public sector pay cut?

Panel at the meeting

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 on Saturday morning at a meeting of over 100 public sector trade unionists and two delegates from the Waterford Glass occupation. We were meeting in the Davenport hotel, Dublin to discuss a collective response to government attacks on workers and in particular the public sector pay cut. Most of those present were on branch committees or even national executives with a couple of branches delegating representatives to the meeting. The gathering could in that context be said to reflect the views of a large number of branches across the unions that organise public sector workers.

Ask not what the economy can do for you, but what you can do for the economy

Philip Lane, Professor of International Macroeconomics at TCD, had a letter in Monday's Financial Times arguing that there was no connection between Irelands economic collapse and its membership of the EMU. He concludes

Thoughts on the crisis, what is planned for us and the alternatives

New government tax formOur government has become more and more open about their plans for us. Cowan wants to drive down our living standards 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’. He openly talks of “four more years of even steeper cuts”. He is so confident of us taking this lying down that he had the cheek to announce his intention to drive down our living standards at what even RTE referred to as the “Dublin Chamber of Commerce's lavish AGM dinner which cost €160” a head.

Three Notes on the Current Crisis

1. Capitalism works by breaking down - The relation of crises to capitalism

The capitalist apologist view of the relation of crisis to capitalism is pretty clear. Crises are seen as undesirable, pathological or threatening to "business as usual". Crises are seen as an "external shock", as an exception to capitalist normality, which is growth.

Wall street meltdown Some critics of capitalism also see crises in a similar light - as the result of internal contradictions (i.e. pathology) and ultimately threatening the continued existence of the capitalist system. Many of the people who hold to this view (and they include both Marxists and non-Marxists) believe that there will be a series of ever-increasingly severe crises until "the final crisis" brings about the collapse of capitalism itself. We call these "crisis theorists". Note the similarity of their take on the growth/crisis relation to the apologist one.

Reacting to the crisis in Capitalism - Are we entering pre-revolutionary times?

We are now many months into the capitalist crisis and ordinary workers are feeling the effects increase day after day. In Ireland the WSM decided to carry out a lot of activity in these initial months of crisis and a lot of my political activity in the last weeks has been in connection with this. Postering in Dublin

Bailouts or co-operatives?

A suggestion for practical libertarian activity in the current crisis, one which tries to get beyond abstract calls for social revolution by presenting possible solutions which can aim the process of creating an anarchist social movement and, ultimately, anarchism.

Capitalism in crisis, again!

Some comments on the continuing crisis in the stock markets, discussing how economic ideology contributed to it and how capitalism has always been based on socialising costs and risk while privatising profits.


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