Austerity is another word for war

In the run up to this years Bookfair we aim to post up a series of articles looking at the most important issues of our time: the ideological nature of the ruling elites attack on the working class (and those who will never work); the worsening economic recession; the inherent crisis of capital; resistance to these attacks; alternative economic ideas; and sources for further information. Our aim is to stimulate understanding of the issues, debate, and of course action.

We kick off with an article by Roy Ratcliffe from the critical-mass blog:

Austerity: Another Word For War
The article equates global austerity to a condition of large-scale ‘war’ by the upholders of the capitalist mode of production – against the rest of society. The article considers two possible lines of resistance and defence which could put ordinary people onto a self-reliant and defensive war footing.

1. The attack is already under way.
Globally, the troops have been prepared, the weapons sharpened, the strategic headquarters of capitalism have been readied, the national command centres have been briefed and the local field marshals are on the alert. In 2013 the previous heavy skirmishes conducted by the financial, economic and political agents of capital, will be intensified into a veritable war against the working classes and the poor.

As usual it’s the bondholders and banksters among the 1% plus who will order an increase in the intensity of the war against the rest of society. Their colleagues in the strategic, decentralised headquarters of IMF, World Bank, Central and national banks, along with their paid mercenaries in national governments and states are planning the tactics and strategy. Their field agents in local governments and law courts are on stand-by – ready to wield the life-threatening armaments – and do their bidding. (Read more…)
2.  A first line of defence?
In times of all out war – in which innocent civilians will be randomly attacked – it is sensible for societies to prepare lines of civil defence. Unfortunately, very few people have recognised that this really is an all-out war and so defensive preparations are not very well advanced. Many people simply think that a rogue battalion of mixed conservative and liberal troops with too much authoritarian testosterone have conquered political power here and there. Consequently they just need to be told to stop what they are doing by sufficiently large demonstrations, petitions and frequent one-day strikes. The ultimate penalty envisaged being to send these ‘rogues’ back to their barracks by voting them out of office. If only it were so simple.

Yet this perspective and these very tactics have already been tried and found wanting in the Middle East, Greece and Spain. Undoubtedly, more of these tactics (and similar) will be, and should be, tried as the crisis continues to unfold. However, it is becoming obvious that no amount of verbal abuse, eloquent persuasion or mass demonstrations is going to shift these representatives of a global system of exploitation, from the hostilities they are bent upon. So where does that leave us? If, for example, there were political parties in each country with sufficient strength and determination to champion the policies such as the following; (Read more…)
3. A second line of defence.
In the absence of such an organisational development, and not being paralysed whilst awaiting its possible (and contradictory) creation, then working people and the oppressed should fall back on their own resources. Indeed, as the ordinary people of Greece and Spain (and elsewhere) have already demonstrated, these are many and varied and some are well established. Pressing need has re-instated the humanitarian deed. Defence against the intensification of the austerity war as it effects the working and non-working classes and poor in all countries subject to austerity war and citizen bombardment, will need to include the following:
a) Local community defence groups to prevent damage and looting in disturbances.
b) Community action to prevent house evictions.
c) Community action to re-connect essential services cut off for non-payment
d) Community resource sharing (transport, tools, food, communications etc)
e) Community trading (L.E.T.S schemes, Credit Unions, bartering etc)
f) Keeping open essential services (education, health, fire, libraries etc)
(Read more…)