Economic crisis:Recession and rebellion
Posted by John, February 24th, 2009 - under ALP, Australian Council of Trade Unions, Australian politics, Big business, Capitalism, Creative destruction, Democracy, Economics, Fighting back, France, Keynesianism, Marxism, Nationalisation, Neoliberalism, Socialism, unemployment.
I will be talking at a Canberra Socialist Alternative meeting on ‘Economic Crisis:Recession and Rebellion.’ The meeting is at 6 pm on Thursday 26 February in room G039 of the Copland Building at the ANU. Admission is free and everyone is welcome. I encourage discussion and debate.
I will look at the recession in various countries and its possible deepening impact on Australia. I will explain the crisis of profitability that underpins this recession, and the neoliberal and keynesian solutions the bourgeoisie offer, before addressing the socialist alternative.
Some initial thoughts.
The global economy is in deep recession. In country after country GDP is falling. Governments are nationalising key parts of the economy to oversee the ‘creative destruction’ of capital and jobs and wages. Unemployment is increasing rapidly.
But amid the gloom there is hope. Workers around the world are fighting back.
From France to Ireland to Greece, and on to Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania and other countries, Governments have fallen or are being shaken by strikes, demonstrations and occupations.
In Egypt the Government represses the masses who are angry at Mubarak siding with Israel. And they are hungry as food prices remain high and wages decline.
In Guadeloupe police are killing rioters.
In Ireland 120,000 workers recently demonstrated against the Government’s economic policies. The occupying workers from Waterford Crystal led the march.
In France the next general strike is scheduled for 19 March and the most effective Opposition leader, according to polls, is a trotskyist who believes in workers’ control of society. He wants a successful re-run of May ’68 when workers paralysed society and almost bought de Gaulle down. His support I believe is at about 23 per cent, almost double what it was a few weeks ago.
In China 20 million workers a month are losing their jobs and the dictatorship fears mass unrest.
The Governments of Iceland and Latvia have fallen and Lithuania might follow.
South America writhes with class struggle.
Australia is not immune from the economic crisis. Class struggle in response to the ferment can break out here too.
We have the same class divisions as other countries. Our bourgeoisie and Governments will attempt to shift the burden of the crisis onto workers. That of course is already happening with wage freezes, reduced hours and sackings, and stimulus packages aimed at bolstering profits, and promoting attacks on wages.
Our economy is integrated into the world economy. However the small dyke of trade with China is being swept away by the flood of the global economic crisis.
Nobody talks any more about ‘de-coupling’. In fact, because we are such a small free trade nation dependent on the export and import of goods and capital, the global economic crisis could wreak great havoc here.
At the moment we may be watching the crash in slow motion but fast forward is not too far away.
This means that at some stage class war will break out in Australia. Workers in other countries are already showing the way. Australian workers will learn the lessons of struggle.
It is in these workers’ struggles around the world against the crises of capitalism that the possibility of a new world of democracy opens up, a world where want and war are banished.
email: email@example.com or visit www.sa.org.au