As the Covid 19 pandemic eases somewhat, the economic consequences of the decline of capitalism are again becoming clearer. Despite some key shortages in the labour market, businesses, jobs and incomes for the working classes, blue collar and white and lower middle-classes are being reduced drastically. Food and fuel price rises are again exposing increased instances of low pay related poverty along with homelessness. These tragedies are set to increase in Spring 2022, this time among privileged layers of the working and middle classes previously unaffected. As costs go up further and incomes stagnate or fall, more and more people will become desperate.
The growing class struggle between working people and the pro-capitalist elite in 2020, was suspended by Covid19 Pandemic isolation, but it is now resurfacing with a vengeance. The shake up of voting patterns and yellow vest and similar struggles motivated by the desire of working people to live at a reasonable level of comfort manifested in 2018 and 2019 are beginning again and will undoubtedly intensify. So too is the ‘establishments’ efforts to blame the working classes for the capitalist economic systems failures. To survive the worst which is to come, we will need to stop isolating in 2022 and begin building real solidarity within all our struggling communities
Something should be crystal clear to those who wish to see what is currently happening within politics and governance. It is the fact that ‘blaming the victims’ of the capitalist mode of production is a built in reflex of those in power. We need only recall that the Luddite victims of capitalist industry in the 19th century were branded in the UK as selfish and ‘enemies of society’, as we’re the suffragettes after them. The Triple Alliance of trade unionists also in the UK in 1919 and those in the later 1929 General Strike, we’re also labelled as self-centred ‘enemies of the people’.
Post war in the UK”s 1978/79 ‘Winter of Discontent’, the later Poll Tax riots, and the Council House Rent Strikes, participants were all painted by the establishments propaganda as enemies of society, rather than as people struggling to survive the effects of capitalist crisis. Similar reflexes of violence against working class victims were exhibited throughout Europe by the ruling elites in those countries.
In the Americas, (North and South) the working class struggle for reforms to their living and working conditions were also met with authoritarian violence and intimidation – activists simply ‘disappeared’. The indigenous Indians and the later disturbances by those enslaved in the US were all declared rebels, enemies and traitors as were US farmers rent striking in 1839. So too were more modern struggles in the era of McCarthyism and the 20th century ‘occupation’ movement. At each period of such national and international struggles the middle-classes and the media in each country sided with their pro-capitalist establishments in designating protesters, occupiers and strikers as selfish enemies of society.
It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the same pattern has occurred during the Covid 19 pandemic with regard to those choosing not to be vaccinated. Nor should it surprise us that it is the turn of the Canadian Truckers and others in Europe and elsewhere to be designated as selfish and enemies of society as a whole. The capitalist system is once again in an extreme existential crisis both in terms of the damage it is doing the the ecology of the planet and the damage it is doing to the welfare of the world’s working classes. Any action for change which does not meet with the approval of these ‘establishments’ will be vilified by them. False accusations will be invented and unconnected disturbances will be blamed upon those who actively campaign for change.
The full weight, power and resources of the capitalist states will be harnessed to demonise and destroy any movement aimed at undermining – however slightly – the economic, financial and political elites in control of the present system of exploitation. One can only imagine what venom and vilification would be heaped by the establishment on any revolutionary movement of people wishing to actually change the capitalist mode of production, when you see what the truckers are now receiving for wanting to end a vaccine mandate and state control of every aspect of their lives.
Solidarity among the poor, the disadvantaged, the working class, (blue collar and white), vaccinated and un-vaccinated is the last thing the incompetent international elite and their loyal leftist supporters want to face. So instead economic and political elites will combine to smear, distort and try to divide any opposition which begins to develop. Ruling class intolerance of intellectual opposition and working class activism is the new 21st century norm and it’s supporters are already emerging in the most unlikely of politically correct places.
When the normal pattern of living, coping and thinking is substantially disrupted, many people become confused and disorientated. Contradictions arise which do not conveniently fall into familiar dualistic categories. At such times previously self-chosen identity reflexes and thought patterns need to be replaced by careful study.
Just as the ruling elite (left, right and centre) condemn any struggle that doesn’t meet with their exacting approval, so too will the dogmatists of the left sectarians. They too will demand from the sidelines of any embryonic struggle (against authoritarianism) that the class struggle should adhere to their particular sectarian leadership and world view. This is because although they differ politically from the current pro-capitalist elites, they share the ruling class prejudice that ordinary working people are too uneducated or too stupid to emancipate themselves and build society anew.
Many on the self-styled left are still convinced that working people need to be guided and led – in all they do, say and think – by those from the upper and middle classes. Yet the Covid 19 Pandemic has shown how reliable and competent ordinary working people are and how incompetent and unreliable the upper and middle-class leaders’ are. So in direct opposition to the various ‘establishments’ condemnations of trucker activism, I say;
“Thank you truckers for your continued deliveries of all the ‘essentials’ I and others needed throughout this pandemic, and also for your timely demonstration of another important aspect of humane based solidarity – solidarity among vaccinated and un-vaccinated people!“
Roy Ratcliffe (February 2022)
[See also Jim Kavanagh at thepolemicist. net/2022/02/shallow-marxist-trashing-of-truckers ]