Elections and “ending equality”

Don’t get fooled by thinking that the shell-game of the coming Irish elections will make any real difference for working people (see the IBT leaflet on the elections).

All the potential options for a new government are wedded to the capitalist system and will have no answer to the next major crisis of the world economy that is now beginning (and will perhaps be even worse than 2008). Given Ireland’s role in the world capitalist economy it is inconceivable that the effects of this new crisis can be avoided.

Even the so-called “far left” groups standing in the election are unable to present any solution outside the framework of capitalism. They would have us believe in fairytale fantasies that their election platforms offering radical reforms of capitalism can “End inequality” (as every AAA election poster claims)!

The truth is that there is no possible “solution” to the coming economic crisis that will not be at the direct expense of the living standards of working people – and after 7 years of austerity followed by 1 of “recovery” (for the capitalists only) we are all in a worse position to cope than when the last crisis hit.

Working people need to be treated with respect by anyone calling themselves a socialist. That means telling the truth that it is only by ending the international capitalist system that there is any possibility of a world where inequality can truly be ended – no matter how immediately unpopular at the ballot box that may be. That means telling the truth about the central importance of building our own forms of self-organisation that are separate from, and in political opposition to, the institutions of capitalist parliamentary democracy.

Capitalist parliamentary democracy is a very limited form of democracy. Only once every few years do working people get to choose who will represent them (and we all know their manifesto promises are  just sugar-coated lies anyway). And even then most of the decisions that effect our daily lives are outside the control of parliament – hidden behind “commercial secrecy” in the board rooms of the major corporations and taken in the interests of maximising profits no matter what the human cost.

A society run by, and in the interests of, working people would need a new form of day-to-day participatory democracy (what has in the past been called workers’ councils) which extended to all corners of the new socio-economic system. Beginning to build those expressions of working class power must be begun now. The extent to which we are able to successfully fightback against the attacks of the capitalists and their government as they attempt to make us pay for the coming economic crisis will be closely correlated to the extent we have created our own organisations based on workers’ democracy. This will be true no matter where the new government stands on the neo-liberal to reformist spectrum of possible capitalist governments.

The communist approach to capitalist parliaments was first codified just under one hundred years ago at the 2nd Congress of the Communist International and remains as valid now as it was when it was written – Theses on the Communist Parties and Parliamentarism. Ireland’s “far left” reformist socialists would do well to read this text and reflect on why the practice of their own organisations diverts so far from this communist approach.

For anyone who thinks I am scaremongering about the coming economic crisis there is plenty of evidence available – see for instance this analysis on the www.zerohedge.com web site:

This Is The NIRP “Doom Loop” That Threatens To Wipeout Banks And The Global Economy


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