THE WORLD OF RISHI ‘RICH’

Those who are hoping that the new boy on the UK Tory block, Rishi Sunak, will be any better than the last lot of Tories, will soon have to think again. Saving the UK from the worst economic storms ahead, or the planet from becoming even more degraded are the last thing on Rishi’s mind. Being ‘too busy’ to attend COP 27 is an almost complete give away and represents a feeble euphemism for being focussed on business as usual. And Rishi’s usual business is Finance Capitalism. He and his family have not got super rich by stacking supermarket shelves, staffing hospital wards or keeping the environment.clean. They have got rich by ruthlessly playing the existing political and financial system for their own calculated advantage and will try to stay rich doing the same.

Rishi’s time at Goldman Sachs bankers, (the ones who got super rich by catering to dictatorial regimes, engaging in futures speculation and selling the dodgy mortgage backed securities based on subprime mortgages that led the 2008 financial collapse,) has benefited him in numerous ways. Particularly in perfecting a barefaced ability to sell illusions to unsuspecting punters and now to gullible voters without any glimmer of conscience when the illusory bubbles bursts – as they did in 2008. The Finance Capital sector is itself a business world built on illusions spun in such a way as to fool the public. Most of the investment vehicles the bankers sell to the unaware are just paper promises and their inflated paper value can disappear as quickly as the numbers involved were printed on a financial instrument by a computer.

The vast majority of such ‘asset vehicles’ are fictitious in that they involve mathematical calculations, which bear almost no real relationship to any tangible assets. They are inflated paper promises called ‘financial instruments’ which are primarily designed to secure the salaries, expenses, fees and commissions financial sector operatives gain from their sale to those hopeful of a positive return. The similarity between the inflated paper promises of politicians printed in their election manifestos, is obvious. These too are also primarily made to secure the salaries, expenses and fees associated with public office. This similarity should already be obvious as the earlier promises of the Johnson election manifesto have already disappeared. Rishi’s promises will be next for the recycling bin.

Politics, Finance and even Religion have so much in common because they all deal in promises in the form of words and illusions rather than in the production of anything real. You are just required to believe the polished narratives they have perfected. For of course, money and words (sacred or otherwise) cannot directly create anything tangible. Even in the case of the investment of money, when it is not actually a fictional capitalised amount, the return of the amount loaned and the interest on it has to come from the financial or productive activities of someone else. The links between lenders, borrowers and reality may be intentionally obscure, but somewhere along the chain of transactions the value of the loan plus added interest is returned via the transformational application of human skills and labour to some form of valuable and tangible production.

Since money can only buy ‘things’ it can never be anything other than a claim on tangible forms of wealth. The financial sector is solely dedicated to amassing such claims whilst producing nothing tangible itself.

The origin of interest or profits on investment, is nothing more than a deducted portion of the monetised surplus-value created during capitalist production, which is passed along a chain of interconnected obligations back to the lender. The basis of this process, which rests upon productive-capital, is therefore ultimately the labour-power and spending power of working people. But Rishi and his ilk emanating from this sector haven’t understood this yet. They seem to think that financial manipulations are self-sustaining and more important than (and independent of) ordinary working people. But under capitalism no amount of money is of any use if there are few things to buy, and many things cannot be bought if not enough people have enough money to purchase them.

The capitalist system is built on production and profit from sales of commodities and services, not purely from finance.  The recurring contradiction between gross production and gross consumption is the unsolvable problem faced by the supporters of the capitalist mode of production. A post 1950’s solution has been frequently sought by governments and the finance sector which involves creating more purchasing power by extending credit and creating more currency. But credit only delays the need to pay and creating more currency only devalues the currency which then appears as price inflation leading to less purchases and austerity And neither solution solves the real problem.

Those finance sector participants who only understand the benefits of their economic system and not its problems, then focus on getting inflation down which continues a spiral of recessions which they and their governments have caused in the first place.

The vast amounts of monetary wealth and influence accumulated over many decades and controlled by it has made the Finance-Capital sector so rich and powerful that this wealth and power frequently comes to their aid. Finance capital not only influences industry and commerce now but also national governments. The ability of the finance-capital sector (banking, insurance etc.) to reward favours with grants, lucrative posts and consultancy fees makes it able to promote self-serving changes in government policies. Institutions such as the World Bank, the International Bank of Settlements, and International Monetary Fund are the global instruments of this sector. They and their proxies have conduits of influence reaching deep into industry, politics and governance.

If they are astute enough, they can even influence who is put onto ballot papers and election slates. Lower down the institutional pyramid of finance there are organisations (stock exchanges, Hedge Funds etc.) whose activities are also global. This includes investment possibilities, speculative opportunities and asset stripping manoeuvres. Financial institutions (developed from merchant bank organisations) also originate and circulate financial instruments known as Asset Based Securities (ABS’s), Mortgage Based Securities (MBS’s) and Collatoralised Debt Obligations (CDO’s) among others. This is the parasitic world Rishi and his backers are part of and it is the world they will return to when they have finished their present revolving door stint of self-engrandisement and lucrative office filling in government.

It is also the world which is creating the current financial instability and which is helping fund the present ecological destruction and detrimental climate change. The general 2008 financial crisis, triggered as it was by the collapse of the housing mortgage bubble in the USA, revealed the vast international network of financial instruments (ABS’s; MBS’s ; and CDO’S etc.) then (and still) circulating around the globe. Some people in the financial sector then had long suspected a looming problem and kept quiet about it. However, not even the expert regulators of these ‘instruments’, fully understood their complexity, the amount of leverage based upon them, and the magnitude of defaulting when the bubble burst.

The unravelling of financial speculation in 2008 demonstrated that financial crises, don’t remain within that sector. The 2008 crash caused bankruptcies in industry and commerce, redundancies, unemployment, as well as public sector shrinkage and austerity. This is because the ‘finance sector’ is connected to the general commodity and service money circulation system, the private productive-capital sector and the public sector. It is the tail grown so big that it now routinely manages to wag the dog. Any sizeable future crisis in the finance sector will instigate a general economic and social crisis and visa versa. The Finance Capital sector are probably quite pleased that one of their own has grabbed hold of power in the UK. Using this power may help to mitigate any eventual financial backlash and make it easier for them to be bailed out again. Welcome citizens of the UK to the world of Rishi Rich!

Despite their culpability, those in the financial sector were massively bailed out in 2008 and their losses made good or simply written off. This, as much as anything, demonstrated the power and influence of the finance sector over the economic and political classes. The election of Rishi Sunak to Prime Minister in the UK demonstrates this power to influence yet again. Few in the banking and financial sector – including Rishi then and now – thought they had done anything wrong and have continued doing what they did before. Consequently, another financial crisis lies ahead – only it’s timing is uncertain! Meanwhile, that sector carries on granting itself huge bonuses for selling unstable financial instruments, and naive speculators (including pension funds) within ‘the system’ continue to buy them. They also actively peddle political promises through their agents in the political sphere of capitalism and hope that we buy into those.

Roy Ratcliffe (November 2022)

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CLASS TRIUMPHS OVER ETHNICITY?

The election of a dark skinned male immigrant, Rishi Sunak to leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister in the UK, follows the slightly earlier ascension of a pale skinned son of a former immigrant family, Charles Windsor (formerly Sax-Coburg) to leader of the UK’s royal household. October 2022 appears to some to be a moment of modern egalitarian fairness, but of course it is not. Both families, originating outside of the country and now occupying the two top positions of power and wealth in the United Kingdom, are also among the richest men residing within the borders of this tiny Island in the North Sea. Class has triumphed over ethnic origins yet again, as it did during the colonial period.

The Conservative Party, long the political wing of the British establishment elites who made Britain ‘great’ (sic) on the backs of centuries of dark-skinned slavery from Africa and the ruination of the masses on the Indian sub continent, has apparently – in the form of its MP’s – turned over a new leaf. Or has it? Patriarchy and class have long remained the defining features of exploitation and oppression and Charles and Richi demonstrate that it still does. For all wealth ultimately accrues from the, labour, taxes, rents or purchases expended by ordinary people no matter by what convoluted or hidden route the wealth finds it’s way into the pockets of the rich and super-rich.

And of course, despite the deliberately distracting gloss of elite propaganda, ordinary people have been gradually impoverished during the very same years as Rishi’s family and Charles’ family have gradually become steadily richer. Moreover, if one followed the partly hidden or disguised income streams of these two families, (from profits, rents and purchases) it would reveal a definite economic connection between the two extreme outcomes of extreme poverty and extreme wealth.

The question outstanding is this; will the membership of the Conservative Party and the general population of the UK be as reconciled to the sudden ascendancy of these two upper class myopic parasites as are a majority of the Tory MPs? After all the general population are not trying to keep their seats in Parliament nor hoping for a royal medal or appointment. My guess is that they will not. Indeed, given the nature of elite directed UK education where the issues of class have been painted out of the narrative on poverty (as it has in all European countries), whilst the invention of race in past justification for ‘empire building’ has still not been rooted out in some sections of society. Indeed, residual racism (along with sexism) is still firmly lodged in many individual brains and its associated attitudes are still institutionally entrenched in many organisations.

This inheritance track of patriarchy, empire and poverty has for decades been causing recurring problems and divisions among many of the poor and oppressed, most of whom have not yet fully understood the main source of their problems. In fact it is the existence of class structures and class rule that makes people all over the globe poor and oppressed not the colour of a person’s skin or the their gender. But by having a lack of understanding people can be prone to the misdirection of their anger onto other victims of the system rather than on the real perpetrators. I therefore suggest in the coming period (even before any new election) there will be a hidden or sometimes open anger based upon Sunnak’s ethnicity rather than his class position and that the ones targeted by that anger will be members of the working class who share the same ethnicity.

In previous decades, dark-skinned working people have been frequently scapegoated by pale-skinned racists for existential problems and there is now a growing tendency for pale – skinned working people to be scapegoated by darker skinned working people for their continued existential problems. So the problems facing working people in the coming period remain essentially the same but now even more care must be taken to raise the class nature of the problems facing humanity at every opportunity. Activist’s should not be suckered into blaming social problems on ethnicity or gender and omitting or blurring the glaring social and economic distinctions based on class.

In this sense the social ascendancy in 2022 of Charles and Richi as two of the UK’s richest men promoted to the pinnacle of the English establishment is the most glaring and naked example of the maneuvering that elite class rule is prepared to undergo to maintain its position of wealth and domination.

Roy Ratcliffe (October 2022)

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UK: TORIES AT WAR – AGAIN!

It is tempting this month to just pour scorn on the debacle that continues to spiral downward among the governing British Conservative Party, but that would be to miss a more important dimension to the events here and elsewhere. The ridiculous coming and going of Chancellors and Prime Ministers in quick succession is actually only a surface political phenomenon in 2022. Of course, the new ‘behind the scenes’ wars and open scuffles between elements of the Tory New Guard, are not at all like the ones during the 1960’s to 2, 000’s, that the Tory Old Guard used to quietly manage resignations and demotions over whisky at a Gentleman’s Club. Many of these Old Guard, one-nation Tories had a slight modicum of concern for the poor and downtrodden.

But that was a post Second World War, one-nation Tory and Labour sensibility, which the New Guard, upstarts lack. So, this new generation of college groomed conservatives (financial and career politicians) have worked their way into the Conservative Party in order to jump the queue for lucrative government posts. Coming well after the old guard had retired, these subsequent young Tories do not have the cultured patience to wait their turn at the golden ‘trough’ nor the sensitivity to resign if they are exposed as being incompetent or corrupt. Just remember Cameron’s reluctance to resign over his Brexit miscalculations, May’s reluctance over her failed Brexit negotiations, Boris’s reluctance to resign over Party Gate fiascos and Lizzi’s reluctance to leave office over recent crippling Mortgage Rate rises. All four (and a few lesser incumbents – such as Cummings and Kwasi) had to be levered for days or weeks out of office by their own Conservative Party colleagues. These New Guard Tories clearly have no shame and have to be practically bulldozed away from their stipends at number 10.

Furthermore, these Tory Downing Street upstarts are the mirror image of the other new guard upstarts in control of the privatised utilities, such as electricity, gas, water, petroleum, telephones and big-businesses such as tech firms, banks, footballers, comedians, musicians, TV and film celebrities with their tax evading foreign accounts. Greedy revolving door bankers in financial institutions in particular also have direct and indirect power over politicians. All these new-generation high-paid, pro-capitalist grasper’s are shameless citizens, who have little or no regard for the ‘dire straits’ of those ‘left behind’ in the wake of their neo-liberal profit-making and advantage-taking. With millions or billions stashed away, increased food and housing costs are no inconvenience to such obscenely greedy people. Unsurprisingly, these same citizens display no serious regard or shame for the huge carbon footprint their bloated life styles stamp on the planet everywhere they land, take off or take root.

The Tory Party is now split between a few new guard upstart personality based factions, the remnants of the one-nation groupies and the new Red Wall Tories occupying former Labour seats. Over the last few months all three or four shifting alliances of Conservatives have openly demonstrated that their prime concern has been with their own personal futures either with regard to access to government posts or with the safety of their own seats in Parliament. They have not even tried to pretend that their prime concern was for the welfare of the country as a whole or to ensure that all the low paid public and private paid workers have enough to feed, house and keep themselves warm into the next decade or so. Nor have they tried, on behalf of the younger generation, to put in place socio-economic adjustments in order to reduce carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions. Maintaining humane standards of social and hospital care are also clearly the last thing on their minds. With an 80 seat majority, personal advantage overwhelmingly in mind and untroubled by guilt or shame, the Tory MP’s can keep this leadership farce going as long as they like.

Sadly, none of the other political parties in the UK seem to have bothered to address these important issues comprehensively either. The British Labour Party, who are joyfully making the most of the Tory debacle, are still not outlining in any detail how they would even maintain a moderate standard of living for all citizens, let alone an improved one for the most desperate. After the previous New Labour ‘stable governments’ of Blair and Brown, Starmer (the knight in tarnished Armour) promise this week to bring a ‘stable government’ to the UK, may not seem very enticing to those with a memory recalling dodgy documents and the Labour endorsed Putin-like war on Iraq. The Greens and the Liberals, lack the personnel to create a government by themselves so if successful in any election would need to compromise with any other party which did not have an overwhelming majority.

In any case, any new government in future, will experience the financial power lurking behind the so-called sovereignty of Parliament. As the last weeks or so have emphasised it is the global financial sector, who pull the strings, or push the rods connected directly or indirectly to the hands and wallets of all politicians. This financial ‘influence’ is exerted whether politicians are in or out of Parliament, Congress or any other seat of representation. Any political movement or party not prepared to campaign for taking on and restricting the power and influence of this sector of capitalism, will be hog tied and helpless. Not one of the contenders for political power in the UK (or elsewhere as far as I can judge) have even discussed whether the financial sector should be brought under social control, let alone how to achieve this. Consequently, if elected, they (and the rest of us) will still be subject to the whims and needs of the lords of mammon.

Thankfully, a new generation of young citizens, in the UK, Europe, Iran, America, India and elsewhere, have also emerged who are already active in supporting struggles against racial and gender prejudice and for human rights, animal rights and the right to clean air, clean water and unpolluted land for every geographical part of life on earth. I offer them an important paragraph or two of warning that they will definitely not hear from the mainstream media. This concerns the social, economic, climate and ecological crises maturing within the global economy and which is heading toward us like a succession of unstoppable tsunamis. It is important to remember that whether during boom, recession or slump, large-scale societies need a high degree of discipline to allow their extensive divisions of labour to be integrated fully and to function effectively.

Moreover, whilst mass societies exist, that level of discipline can only be achieved in one of two ways. A: By voluntary discipline; in which case the socio-economic distribution of goods and services needs to be fair enough to satisfy every citizen and worker to be supportive of it. If that condition for voluntary support is lacking, then discipline will need to be attained by; B: Force; in which case an authoritarian regime, with an armed enforcement agency will be employed to ensure the needed socio-economic discipline. This latter situation has happened many times before during times of war or extreme crisis and it has always ended with large-scale tragic and inhumane results.

So young people, do support the outspoken campaigns for a general increased level of socio-economic fairness and justice for humanity alongside your other important single issue campaigns. The former are important for their own sake. However, such general campaigns are also important to create the preconditions for resisting and also transcending any future tendencies among any elites and their supporters (left, right or centre) to institute authoritarian solutions to the coming economic, social, ecological and climate crises.

Roy Ratcliffe (October 2022)

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QUASI (and KWASI) GOVERNMENTS.

Well, Kwasi Kwarteng, the latest Chancellor of the Exchequer of the latest ‘quasi’ UK government, did not last very long did he? By the way, I am using the term ‘quasi’ in the normal manner used in dictionaries; to describe something that vaguely ‘resembles what it is supposed to be, but actually it is not’. This has been an apt description of UK governments for decades.

The governments of Thatcher, Blair, Brown, Cameron, May, Johnson and now Truss have all tried to convince the people of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that they were governing for all of our citizens, when in fact they were not. Pretending to be a government for all whilst actually being a government for a particular class, is thus nothing new. It has been the general posture for UK (and other) governments since soon after the end of the Second World War.

However, this latest pretense, by the Liz and Kwasi duo has been nakedly exposed far quicker than was the case for previous UK governments. Boris spent months denying reality (party gate, Brexit problems) not days. The very radical measures the Kwasi duo proposed to enrich the rich have backfired spectacularly. The proposals caused the gnomes in the financial markets to hedge their investments by pushing up the borrowing costs in various areas of financial investment.

The radical ‘vision’ the Liz and Kwasi team were pursuing was one which they hoped would solve the long term problem of social inequality and economic instability within all neo-liberal democracies. In real terms, the poor are generally getting poorer, the taxes paid by the working and lower middle classes are falling in real terms along with their wages and salaries. At the same time, the demands and costs on the state for tax funded benefits are rising. There is an obvious long term fiscal gap.

So the ill thought out class-based solution to such wealth inequality – by this less than dynamic duo – was to try to promote economic growth, rather than promote wealth redistribution. Their quasi, Kwasi strategy was to increase the incentives for capitalists to invest in UK production and thus increase UK employment. They convinced each other that the fulfillment of this shared ‘vision’ of high growth would result in increased tax revenue and reduced benefits payments. In their fertile  ‘imagination’ this in turn would reduce the government borrowing costs and lower the so-called fiscal deficit. The trouble was that very few – if any – in the finance markets (particularly the bond markets) believed this ‘vision’ was anything other than a fantasy and so this sector bumped up the borrowing costs for government and everyone else.

The subsequent bond rate hike not only increased the mortgage payments for existing house owners and new house purchasers, (and for other loans, businesses etc.) but also threatened to destabilise the private pension fund industry. For these latter institutions borrow and lend their pension holders savings on the world financial markets in order to increase their funds, whilst ‘earning’ (?) admin fees and expenses. The governments main banker, the Bank of England stepped in and bought some bonds to temporarily reassure the nervous bond holders these assets would be OK, but refused to continue to do so beyond Friday 14th October.

The result was the reluctant government U turns on its so-called mini- budget items and now the sacking of quasi chancellor Kwasi on that very last day. However the damage the visionaries had already caused was irreversible and no matter what happens now, (U – turns or even somersaults), ordinary peoples lives in the UK will quickly get worse. The accelerated process the ‘gang of two’ started is already working its way around the global financial system and will return to the UK in the form of higher costs of living, possible pension losses and further cuts in public services.

Interestingly, I predict that what will be overlooked in all the current chaos, back-biting, recriminations and media blah, blah, blah, is a crucially important fact. It is that once again, as with the Gnomes of Zurich episode, the EEC exchange mechanism fiasco, the 2008 financial collapse, the influencer’s behind the Brexit referendum and this kick in the stomach for Kwasi and slap in the face for a now bemused looking Lizzi, the financial sector in modern capitalist societies can effectively manipulate governments. The dominance of the global finance sector over political, economic and social affairs enables it to influence and even determine social policies despite the intentions of any government, left right or centre.

The efforts of any future government, Labour, Liberal or Green, – or their equivalents in any country – which does not successfully take on and reduce the absolute and relative power of the financial sector will be deflected, damaged or destroyed by it. Those who promote the idea of campaigning for alternative governments rather than alternative economic systems either have not understood the depth and breadth of the crisis the present system is in or are deliberately misleading their fellow citizens.

First of all, sustained growth is currently impossible because this system based upon capitalism already has a global crisis of relative overproduction. There is already too much global productive capacity for those who can globally afford to buy it. That is why there is a global recession. Secondly, even if that was not the case, future high growth would still be undesirable.

This is because the source of all economic activity, the natural rhythm of the planet; its climate, its ecology, its rainfall and sunshine patterns, its natural method of insect pollination, its water, air and soil quality and its reliance upon many key species to keep the system of nature in balance, have all been substantially undermined by decades of profit-driven growth. In the 21st century, the only rational medium to long term solution for humanity to work toward – in any country – is obvious. It is to switch to a socio-economic system of equitable and sustainable subsistence production.

Further decades of continuous economic growth is neither possible or sustainable. The world needs a system where human satisfaction and pleasure comes from social and community well-being and from saving and nurturing the quality and quantity of all ‘life on earth’. Whereas, working to gain satisfaction from achieving power over others and amassing the greatest possible accumulation of individual wealth is a recipe for even greater social antagonisms and further extinctions.

Roy Ratcliffe (October 2022)

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WOMENS’ RIGHTS IN IRAN.

I hope, that the courageous young women and men who have begun to valiantly rebel against the authoritarian male dominated regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran have started to realise that male control over women is no different in essence whether it wears a religious form of clothing, a military uniform or a business suit. Whether, the males in power, read, the Torah, the New Testament, the Qu’ran, the Business News, the Police Gazette, the Musical Express, Hollywood Gossip journals or Military Manuals, male culture is about extreme control, particularly, (but not exclusively), of women. Putting a different set of men in power changes nothing as was glaringly discovered not long ago in Egypt.

The continuing street protests in Iran have been triggered by the death in custody of young women who have quite rightly asserted their rights as human beings to dress and act how they see fit, not how some wealthy, influential or dogmatic male elite dictate. Young women in Iran, as everywhere, are quite capable of making sensible decisions on issues concerning themselves. Their struggle there and elsewhere should be supported. Let us hope they are soon successful in being rid of the so-called morality brigades. However, I suggest this frustration and anger with how young women are being treated by those in power in Iran goes much deeper and wider than simply over keeping their hair covered.

Patriarchy in its various inhumane guises, from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel, Turkey, Yemen, Russia, China, Europe, Africa, America, Asia or the global South has also no idea how to solve the many basic economic, social and climate problems facing humanity. Indeed, I suggest the protests in Iran are best viewed as part of a long-running, global feeling of oppression, exploitation and disrespect, which keeps on surfacing. It has done so in the Arab Spring Uprisings, the Yellow Vest disturbances, the Me Too movement, the Anti-Vax protests etc. and the current organised workers strikes here in the UK.

The situation now facing humanity transcends purely local and national boundaries; there is an ascending spiral of authoritarian administered inhumanity and crisis around the planet. The current economic systems are not only globally failing to maintain the health of the planet but failing everybody outside of the ruling elites and a few fortunate families. The only reflex that elite males around the globe have left to jerk them into action is to utilise the Dark Side power of their armed police and military to control their citizens. Beating citizens into passive submission whenever they protest is now standard operating procedure for regimes everywhere. Thus it is not the type of men (or women) in charge that needs changing, but the entire system which allows such symptoms to persist.

The Bright Side of humanity is the spirit of solidarity and mutual support ordinary people can give each other in the coming struggles. Beating people into submission will no longer work, because the stakes are much too high and much too global. Humanity faces an existential crisis for which the nihilistic brutality being simultaneously unleashed upon Ukraine by Putin’s mob and the young women of Iran by its gang of Clerics are terrible precursors of elite culpability, but the growing resistance to this elite domination and destruction of nature and of people is also a precursor of better things to come.

It is possible to be cautiously optimistic  because the historical record indicates that elites frequently direct the socio-economic system they are in control of into a cul-de-sac which is both damaging and destructive to a majority of those living within it. And at that point (and beyond), a struggle begins between those who control the system (crudely the rich) and those who are suffering from it (crudely the poor). We are beyond that point. Global humanity is now stuck in such a literal as well as metaphorical dead end and the pressure for change is building up.

In previous periods of history, such struggles between rich and poor, took place within particular countries because the main means of production and consumption were located within each separate country so the struggle was mostly resolved there. Those in previous generations who lived by exploiting Slaves and Serfs (the rich) were fought against by the poor and their supporters. Therefore, those previous forms of enforced poverty, oppression and exploitation were ended in different countries at different times.

This time the socio-economic system is global and the struggle is between those who live only by working precariously (when they can) and those who can live without ever working. That is to say the struggle is once again between the rich and the poor but this time it is not only the majority of people that are being economically, physically or emotionally damaged by the current mode of production. Indeed, many are also dying in wars of annexation or between rival elites, or from  floods, fires and from lack of even the basic means to live.

This epoch the struggle is also radically different because the air, the climate, the water, the land, the trees, the insects, the birds and the animals are also being seriously damaged and even destroyed by the same elite controlled economic system. This list of sufferers are not just abstract entities, but the very mineral and organic foundations of all forms of life on earth. So the struggles against female oppression in Iran and everywhere, as the struggle against racism everywhere, needs to become part of the struggle between rich and poor everywhere and not just against inhumane things but for a healthy planet.

For humanity to survive humanely, the 21st struggle for human rights now needs to include rights for all human beings; female, male, dark skinned, light skinned and all the earths life forms from Aphids to Zebra. This struggle for humanity to become what it can become if it acts as a fully cooperating species, rather than as groups or gangs of ruthless cut throat competitors, begins exactly where we are – and it begins now! However, we should not forget that it also exists where we are not and all these other struggles need at least our intellectual if not practical support.

We also need to constantly remember that such revolutionary struggles now also needs to be on behalf of every living thing that has contributed to life on this amazing blue dot situated in the midst of a vast spiral galaxy.

Roy Ratcliffe (October 2022)

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MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS.

As a description of a political leadership in the 21st century, the above title could be applied to the leaders of any number of countries addicted to the capitalist mode of production. Trump, Bolsonaro, Erdogan, Assad, bin Salmon, Putin or any number of other global southern leaders spring to mind. However, this week (3 March 2022) it was used by Martin Wolf to describe Liz Truss Kwasi Kwarteng and the latest gang of incompetent UK cabinet members. I have often heard the expression that ‘a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing’, particularly when it is in the minds of arrogant persons. This is because they often think their partial understanding gives them more wisdom than the average person. This danger has been evident for a long time within the British political class in general and among the last few Tory governments in particular,. However, this last week or so it has surfaced with a vengeance.

Nevertheless, although these particular elite representatives of humanity are certainly dangerous and perhaps bad, it is not actually madness that is being displayed by all the above named characters. It is the perceived class interests of the global rich which have clashed with the general interests of the rest of their populations. Historically all ruling elites have had to present their own particular interests as the same as the interests of the general population. In most cases they are definitely not. In the case of the UK this autumn, these interests have clashed sharply and crudely.

The new Tory gang of two were true to their class agenda in deciding to enrich the already super rich by cutting their tax burdens and letting them pay themselves as much as they see fit. However, being superficial dabblers the Liz/Kwasi crew did not foresee the repercussions of interest rate increases and the knock on effect of increased mortgage rates and payments. This decision then became a below-the-belt blow to the middle class mortgage holders in general and in particular those who are also Tory voters. In this case, the interests of the rich clashed too openly and savagely with the interests of the British middle class. Although, they have now done a mini ‘U’ turn on their supposedly mini budget, this will, not be enough to regain any misplaced trust they had within their own party, nor will it regain any misplaced trust the general public had in Tory governments. This particular conservative coterie from the UK ruling elite are dead politically even though like zombies they still haunt the corridors of UK power.

Their replacements whether from the left, right or centre, will fare no better for the little bits of socio-economic knowledge, spread – ever so thinly – across all the political spectrums of the capitalist mode of production globally, is insufficient for them to comprehend that the old/new game is up. The post Second World War political settlement of welfare capitalism in the west, has foundered on its own neo-liberal successes. In the UK Thatcher, with her privatise everything, delayed the inevitable by successfully representing the interests of the rich as being the same as the middle and working classes. British workers being allowed to buy their council houses and shares in privatised gas, electricity and water etc., made it appear that capitalism provided benefits for all. That short-lived mirage created by the pillaging of publicly created utilities, is now over. For decades, an inevitable rift has been growing between the interests of the rich and the increasingly impoverished majority made up of the working classes and the lower middle classes.

In addition, the new Liz/Kwasi gig (plus supporting tribute acts) think they are fooling the people with handing out cheques to help with fuel bills. In fact this money is going directly into the pockets of the beneficiaries of the private utility companies. All the help given to the poor and struggling (as with Covid payments) is actually on its way to help boost the incomes and profits of the already rich. In this way, working people, even when not working, are being cynically turned into rent collecting relay agents for passing on more public wealth to the already obscenely wealthy.

Meanwhile, the current global end-game – as long as it lasts – will be in the form of occasional sporadic growth in production and productivity where fewer and fewer workers will be capable of, but not able to produce more and more goods and services for which there will be fewer and fewer buyers. The super rich already have as many homes, planes, cars, and yachts as they need and are not going to buy more just to employ working people nor will they employ enough ‘domestics’ to compensate for all existing redundancies and those still to come. In many so-called ‘advanced’ countries the working poor and the non-working poor are already stood in long food bank queues and clutching hot water bottles at home to keep warm. Even those in low paid employment will not be eyeing up non essential goods of utility let alone those of relative luxury.

Although the rich and super rich stupidly think they are wonderfully successful when in fact – by their conspicuous consumption – they are actually more than just helping to ruin the planet, they are celebrating and encouraging it! Nevertheless, they are not so stupid as to invest in production ‘growth’, when there is no general economic basis for it. Even during capitalist determined slumps, there will always be a need for considerable economic activity to feed, house and clothe population majorities and this activity may fool those easily fooled (such as those in number ten) but not everyone. For a near subsistence level of economic activity is not the same as capitalist inspired ‘growth’, which requires substantial profits as its motive for production.

Furthermore, modern profit based production methods no longer need huge factories, massive office blocks, numerous docks and mines, thousands of small, farms – all staffed by hundreds and thousands of working people. So the employment numbers game has also changed in this regards also. There may be a few occasional hot spots of economic growth here and there in the future, but with the world in general facing air, land and water pollution, floods, fires, wars, terrorist attacks, extreme climate events, shortages in food, energy and redundant jobs, most people will be hunkering down and when not protesting will, where possible, do their best to just survive.

That most people are at least dimly aware that the post-war, welfare-state game of monopoly capital has changed was evidenced this week here in the UK. Some rich people publicly spoke out saying they did not need or want more tax breaks and that more should be spent on the poor. No doubt some of those along with their more astute political representatives are aware that close to starving people are capable of uprisings and rebellions when things get too bad. So the former may suggest accepting some reforms in order to avoid civil disorder and/or potential revolution.

But here again it is no longer about the banker dishing out more money and the rest of us throwing the dice in an attempt to buy houses and hotels to rent them out for a parasitic income. The monopoly board we are now being invited to play on has itself changed. The economic system is in existential crisis and the ecological imbalance and pollution of the planet means that more and more people are finding themselves stuck in places of deprivation and devastation not places of opportunity.

Roy Ratcliffe (October 2022)

 

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NATIONALISM OR INTERNATIONALISM?

(That is the question!)

In the guise of two world wars (1914-18 & 1939 – 45); several financial crashes (1929 & 2008); Arctic to Antarctic global pollution (2015 – ?); a world Covid pandemic (2019 – 22); a world climate crisis (2021- ?); a world migrant problem (2015 – ?); a world food shortage (2022 – ?); and a coming global economic recession (2023/24), reality is once again demonstrating that history is no longer the independent history of nations, but world history. Even Putin’s one-nation, emaciated copy of Hitler’s Blitzkrieg bomb and blast Lebensraum land grab in 1939, although now close to collapsing, has triggered further global shortages of fuel and food and increased global poverty. As in 1938 one nations attempted annexation – also with grain fields in mind – becomes a world problem and world problems require world solutions. Not one of the nine crises noted above could be solved or even moderated on the basis of national politics.

Yet the political and governing elites in every country know of no other type of action than looking after their own class interests and persuading their own national electorate to support them in vain attempts at national revival. Typical in this latter regard is the newly formed tribute band of Tory (Thatcherite/Johnsonite) vultures occupying number ten Downing Street in the UK. Downing is an apt street name for ‘down’ is exactly the direction it’s successive occupants continue to send a majority of the population both young and old in the UK. In contrast the new crew are rapidly leveling-themselves-up by guaranteed state salaries, expenses, pensions and any shares they and their families may have trust-funded out of sight.

The confidence trick Truss and her gang of pillaging political pirates are trying to pull on the electorate is transparently thin. It is that by further enriching the rich in the middle of a deepening world recession, they will increase the production of goods and services. In their Truss’ed up amateur imagination this is supposed to create more sales, more jobs, more salaries and wages and more taxes. In theory when such top-up funding of the rich works (and it rarely does) it creates a so-called ‘trickle down’ effect. So a torrent of wealth at the top is supposed to ensure a few drips find their way to those at the rock bottom. However, a hoped for booming national capitalist economy – anywhere – requires a booming world capitalist economy, and there isn’t one.

Consequently, no astute capitalist, extremely rich or moderately rich is going to invest in production of anything if there are too few people on the world market able to buy the increased production. Consequently any extra funds the rich get given will be stashed away in ‘offshore’ savings or used for financial speculation. The only ‘trickle down’ effect ordinary people are likely to get over the next few years will be the kind that comes with ‘oops’ moments between the legs, as muscle control let’s go at the sight of an un-payable energy or rent bill.

The Hitler, mark two version, (Vladimir Putin) who in absolute control of an armed nation, this year demonstrated the massive contradiction between an economic system based upon global capitalism and socio-political systems based upon hierarchical nationalism. The national elites globally have all set up systems of governance where only the unity of combined masses of people can possibly stop a ‘leader’ from causing class wars, local wars or even potential world wars, yet these same elites also ban the masses from even protesting let alone organising to prevent yet another world war.

The rest of the world’s elites and their followers can do nothing to stop Putin except add to the existing climate destroying (and planet polluting) weapons capabilities of themselves and Ukraine and leave the Ukrainians to die defending their homes. The only checkmate to Putin’s threat of nuclear warfare, the rest of the world’s elites can offer, is to threaten their own nuclear retaliation in what could possibly become a world war three showdown.

Of course, radical problems require radical solutions and radical global problems require radical global solutions, but not of another world war kind. More and more people are coming to the conclusion that radical solutions are required, but these conclusions are being reached in the straight-jacketed context of nationalism. People are turning away disgusted at their traditional political elites and seeking radical politicians. But these radical left and right nationalist politicians, (from Trump to Bolsonaro and Italian Brothers etc.) mainly represent disaffected elements of the middle class and therefore, cannot solve international problems.

This is because, they are part of the problem of nationalism not part of an internationalist solution. It really is impossible to radically solve problems caused by a system you personally wish to govern and preserve it. Besides which, solving the main problems caused by the capitalist mode of production has already been variously tried by all nationalist politicians globally (left, right and centre) between 1945 and 2008. Not one of the political parties could solve them or they would have been solved already.

Only a mode of production based upon an international association of egalitarian communities could ensure that scarce resources were shared out so that everyone in every community had enough to survive adequately, whilst not undermining the quality and quantity of air, water, soil, insects, plants and animals. For these are the material foundations of all human activities economies and cultures. Proposing such a mode of production may sound Utopian and unrealistic but I suggest it is even more Utopian and unrealistic to hope that the present mode of production, governed by elites whose main purpose in life is to become richer, are even remotely capable of sorting the many problems we now face.

They prefer to carry on looking after ‘number one’ and building the rocket powered equivalents of Victorian ‘follies’ then crashing them into asteroids or to send people to Mars. They prefer to whoop and cheer for such arrogant and inhuman high level expenditure rather than whooping and cheering after making sure that every human being on earth has enough food, energy and housing to keep them safe, secure and content. And as the climate crisis deepens they would sooner self-indulgently explore other planets rather than ensuring the planet that has given them life retains a sustainable ecological and climate balance.

Fulfilling such a humane perspective toward all ‘life on earth’ maybe impossible at the moment and also be difficult to achieve at any future moment. However, it is the only logical way to ensure the long term survival of the human species and many other species, in a manner befitting highly intelligent organisms. Humanity has so much talent, energy and potential wisdom that to continue to use these attributes destructively rather than constructively will be a tragedy of unparalleled proportions. The history of previous empires spread over several thousands of years suggest that the elites in control of them continued to prop them up and absorb the benefits until the systems collapsed due to an accumulation of their own internal contradictions.

Those in control of the present empire of neo-liberal capitalism are likely to do exactly the same, whilst squabbling among themselves as to which geographical bit of the empire is to be the most dominant portion. Whilst it is true that ordinary people are fairly powerless at the moment to help revolutionise the mode of production, but we are not powerless to revolutionise our thinking. Being critical of the present system whilst proposing radical egalitarian-based inclusive solutions is itself a necessary prerequisite toward establishing (in practice) an alternative future – whenever a paradigm shift or system collapse allows it.

Roy Ratcliffe (September 2022)

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2022! YET ANOTHER WATERSHED?

As one of the most extremely privileged human beings on earth parted these mortal coils – at one of her many luxurious homes here in the UK – it was possible to simultaneously witness the most abhorrent and degrading human spectacle imaginable. The entire official ‘establishment’ of the UK got down on its intellectual knees and all but grovelled emotionally at the memory of the pageant and palatial extravagance displayed during the life and death of Elizabeth the second.

The hypocrisy on show by the UK elite at this moment is already outstanding, and there are many more ritual events and indulgent eulogies yet to come. We only need consider the unnecessary deaths of ordinary citizens from Covid19, who warrant only a roughly painted heart shape on a bare whitewashed wall, and compare that with the present and coming funeral pomp and spectacle, to recognise hypocrisy in its most blatant Anglo-Saxon form.

The false pretense of virtue by the UK elite in all their various manifestations, (political, legal, economic, military, religious and media) has been starkly revealed by the death of a person whose family once –  in the distant past – designated itself as royal. These ‘royals’ are in fact human beings, biologically just like the rest of us, but who have lived their entire lives in the most extravagant parasitic luxury.

Moreover, that luxury is paid for by the taxes and rents of the poor and low-paid workers who are actually essential to the society they live in. In contrast, royalty, apart from unenlightened pageant and spectacle, are only actually essential to themselves. That is why most other countries in the world have told their royals to leave their palaces to the people and go and get a proper job and start to really ‘earn’ a living, rather than living off the efforts of others.

Furthermore, when comparisons are made between the few minutes of UK silent remembrance for poor young soldiers killed in defending royal privilege during two world wars and the servile hyperbola gushing from the trumpeting throats of the high and mighty, the level of disgust recently stimulated by party gate hypocrisy will hopefully be exceeded.

It is worthwhile remembering that no one in the UK voted to support a royal family and a royal estate covering multiple palaces, castles, houses and their extensive and exclusive grounds. These particular parasitic people were foisted upon us by appointment, activated by the type of aristocratic and political elite, who are now genuflecting over the death of a woman who had enjoyed a complete lifetime of utter indulgent privilege.

This current elite, knows the rest of us are facing existential crises of various magnitudes, yet they will now orchestrate an expensive funeral and celebratory events as a convenient distraction from their general self-indulgent incompetence.

This, as much as anything, sums up the complete social bankruptcy of the privileged classes, here and elsewhere and the servility of those who sheep-like bleat a thoughtless echo of elite cant and hypocrisy. Their socioeconomic system is collapsing around them, with essential insects, animals, plants air, seas and water either exterminated or polluted daily 24/7, all done in the process of maintaining systems of wealth and privilege.

The essential working people, who keep everything moving in the UK public and private infrastructure, are facing heating poverty, food insufficiency, job and home loss and illness, yet the elite here still prefer to put most things on hold whilst they loudly celebrate and humbly worship, the past and present ancient systems of hyper privilege. These are obsolete ‘traditions’ to which they now cling like fretful children clinging onto a comfort blanket or threadbare teddy.

Roy Ratcliffe (September 2022)

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IN LIZ (I DO NOT) TRUSS.

Well another excruciatingly long pantomime of choosing a UK Prime Minister is over and the three ringed circus acts of political illusionists, intellectual acrobats and media clowns can get back to business as post-Covid19 ‘unusual’. Undoubtedly they are all hoping for (some even promising) an eventual return to pre- Covid levels of business as usual. The choice by the Conservative Party members of ‘Liz we Truss’, just about sums up the socio-economic consensus of all the left, right and centre parties of the political establishment in the UK and elsewhere. The contestants for this prime office in the UK only differed in minuscule details. Indeed, in the UK, Liberals, Labour, Tories and Greens all agree ‘economic growth’ is the answer to everyone’s woes.

Economic growth is the logical Emerald City mirage to which all political parties committed to capitalism wish to lead us. If the rest of us can be persuaded to follow them down the twisted, pot-holed road of economic growth, we are promised a bright future. Of course, as Liz Truss and her support team warn us; there will be some ‘pain and grief’ along the way, but if (as Dorothy told her ‘over-the-rainbow’ companions, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion), we commit wholeheartedly to the journey we will be eventually rewarded. Not necessarily with renewed hearts, brains and courage though. Meanwhile, the new-deal Dorothy’s in number ten, have promised to introduce measures to ‘take the edge off’ the painful journey.

Advised by the real life financial Wizards of Oz, the companions of ‘In Liz we Truss’ and her political supporters will therefore remove business restrictions, reduce taxation for the rich, provide grants, loans and handouts for their high finance and big business supporters and ease the burden on small businesses. Workers will have to become more efficient (ie.work harder) and stop striking to keep their wages and salaries high enough to survive reasonably during the ‘painful’ journey ahead. Of necessity, these real life spreaders of illusions in number ten will also try to make sure the very poor don’t starve or freeze to death during the journey; because death rather poverty itself, is too embarrassing for wealth-saturated countries to become to visible.

Everybody else will once again just have do their best to adjust to another period of prolonged austerity. But that should not be a surprise, because haven’t we been on the same or a similar journey before? Didn’t a previous Dorothy ‘over-the-rainbow’ avatar named Margaret Thatcher, invite us to join her on a similar journey to another promised Emerald City some decades ago? Didn’t that ‘growth’ agenda also involved campaigns against strikes, for more economic growth by automation, for removing the regulation of what business and finance could do, for buying your own council house and for privatising all utilities.

I distinctly remember the invitation even though I personally rejected it! That socio-economic Yellow Brick Road, growth journey was supposed to lead to a wonderful bright Emerald City future wasn’t it? But wait! We never got there did we? And isn’t there now more low pay and precarious employment? Isn’t there more poverty, more crime, more drug dealing, more pollution in the air and on land and in seas? Is it not a fact that our seasides and rivers are more clogged up with chemicals, plastics and pharmaceutical products, than existed before we were marched down Margaret’s less than enticing version of the mythical Yellow Brick Road?

Isn’t it time we began to fully understand and accept that ‘growth’ under the system of capitalism means more and more production, more and more waste, more and more pollution, more and more climate change, more and more species loss, more and more ecological imbalance, more and more poverty, fewer and fewer well paid jobs, along with less and less security in our homes and around the world? Is it too much to ask of a species with so much brain power that it can do all sorts of amazing things to halt what it is doing daily and seriously study the bigger picture?

What humanity and the rest of ‘life on earth’ needs, is less growth, less wealth disparity, less production, less pollution, less climate change, less species loss. In other words the world and all its species need less capitalism. I suggest that it is time for not just a change in the political Dorothy’s, Lizz’s and Boris’s who click the heels of their polished footwear and invite us to keep going in their preferred direction. Is it not time for a change in a system whose elites keep insisting that in order to survive we need to constantly repeat previous journeys along imaginary Yellow Brick Roads, in the hope of some day encountering a benevolent wizard?

Roy Ratcliffe (September 2022)

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PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT!

A frequent facile argument emanating from capitalists and their political supporters is that protecting the environment is too costly and will be detrimental to the economy. I heard it several times this August 2022, from a number of politicians and commentators on UK Radio and TV. Such facile opinions indicate a level of ignorance and self interest, which is breathtaking. In fact to state the reverse makes far more actual as well as logical sense. In other words, not protecting the environment will be detrimental for the economy! For it is a fact, obvious to anyone who seriously thinks about it; that without the natural world, that is to say without the inter-dependence of the inorganic material and organic material of the planet along with the myriads of species of ‘life on earth’, which actually make up the ‘environment’ – there would be no economy.

At their most basic level, economies are not fundamentally understood by reading economic treatise or considering reams of statistics. Nor are the primary functions of economic systems a means of making rich people richer. Although in the advanced capitalist countries those economies have been manipulated and distorted to do exactly that. However, beyond such distortions, successive economic systems are the way human beings have obtained the things they need to survive from the environment (ie from nature) and to reproduce their own species. The cycle of Nourishment, Rest, Growth, Reproduction, Ageing and Death (N-R-G-R+A-D) of each individual – within all species – depends entirely upon taking in and digesting organic and inorganic material produced and refined by other life forms existing within ecologically balanced global environments.

And, of course, at least since the time of the Cambrian explosion, the earth’s environmental balance has continued to evolve over many, many millions of years. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to ensure that this environmental/ecological balance – the foundation of all human economic activity – is protected by all of us and retained for the economic welfare of our current generation and for future generations. So whenever, we hear anyone placing the needs of the economic system in opposition to (or higher than) the need of protecting the environment, we are hearing a mixture of extreme ignorance and/or immense self-interest. Of course its often difficult to grasp the scale of the problem.

“Humans can’t truly grasp how much we have degraded the natural world because our baseline—our concept of what’s natural—shifts with every generation. For centuries, humans have been diminishing the natural world: the decimation of central Europe’s forests in the eighteenth century, the disappearance of grizzly bears from California in the early twentieth, melting glaciers in Switzerland, Iceland, and Peru in our current era. Today we live in a world that contains a fraction of the vast abundance of other species Earth once held…” (Erica Gies. ‘Water always Wins’ Section, (Human Blinders,) Chapter 1.)

So to assist those few who struggle with the complexity of modern economic and biological, class-based misinformation, the following is the environmental basis of all economic life on planet earth: Water vapour, having been drawn up into the skies by the heat of the sun, falls as rain (or snow) and ice melting in mountainous regions also conveniently lets water go were it flows naturally by gravity down rivers and streams into lakes and seas. In warm conditions, often during spring and summer, when any accumulated mountain snow and ice melts, this adds to the constant supply of water by precipitation. In normal times, this frequently occurs, just when it is most needed by plants and all kinds of ‘life on earth’. Water, essential to all life, tumbles down river slopes gathering minerals as it goes and floods valleys and estuaries, and enriching soils by mineral deposition.

Most of us tend to take all the above (and much more) for granted but we frequently overlook the fact that all of the above is done without any economic activity by any form of human or organic life and without any payment being made to anyone. This cost free climatic process of liquid and mineral dispersal is largely determined by the earth’s orbit round the sun and its rotation about its notional axis. The economic experts and capitalists neglect to make this clear when they eventually charge us for something that has cost humanity nothing or almost nothing to produce. The climate and environment is an active life-support system that planet earth donates to all ‘life on earth’ and it does so every orbit.

Furthermore, the sun shines at no cost and plants and algae absorb it as energy and they also absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide and with inorganic substances and photosynthesis grow and release oxygen back into it. Again all this occurs with no human effort and at no financial cost. In other words, as we shall see, the planet and organic ‘life on earth’ on a 24/7 yearly process continues to do the major part of the economic activity needed by humanity and other organic life-forms – gratis.

Consequently, for millennia, the bulk of ‘life on earth’ was, economically speaking, able to live and breathe for free. Even when humans started planting crops in fields or breeding cattle and sheep on farms, beyond planting and reaping or herding and slaughter, a combination of environmental ‘life on earth’ and the planets orbit round the sun enabled the cost-free growth and nutrition of all these ‘domesticated’ foodstuffs.

Moreover, the myriads of forms of ‘life on earth’ continue to thrive on this natural planetary support system and start to grow and develop, by themselves, thus providing their own cost free sources of plant nutrition. This organic plant nutrition comes in the form of grasses, leaves, nuts, fruits, roots, tubers and grains for insects, animals and humans to consume or utilise in other ways. Until all land was privatised, all that ‘life on earth’, needed to do for multiple millions of years, whether it was strong, weak or average, was to push down its roots into the soil, or get up on its legs, or oscillate it’s fishy tail or flap its feathered wings and collect this land-based or water-based nutrition and supplementary materials free of charge.

For hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, the hominid species, survived and prospered economically just by the easy task of waking up after resting and gathering what nature provided at no economic or financial cost to their communities. Consequently, for most people in pre-history, (and those globally prior to the bourgeois colonial period throughout history), getting enough food, water and shelter was never a convoluted struggle needing an 8 + hour work day to obtain them.

Therefore, rare exceptions aside, living was not a desperate struggle to survive. But now, in most countries, the bulk of humanity have to work all day (if they can get it) and pay landowners and other owner/rentiers to obtain from them (and/or their ‘agents’) the nutritional products, water and basic materials they need to survive. Moreover, millions of human beings in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, are barred from obtaining all of these basics even though these means are still being provided annually by the planet and the environment – for free.

So who first came up with the idea and practice that certain people could own huge parts of the planets ecological environment with it’s associated ‘life on earth’ support system and charge others for these cost free productions? And who came up with the idea and practice that such ‘owners’ (sic) of land and nature could permanently restrict access to it in general and even decide to pollute it or burn it down – if they so wished? Furthermore, was it the same class of people, who invented the myths that living on planet earth was a life and death struggle and that only the fittest had the legitimate means to survive and prosper?

The next article on this blog will examine some bourgeois intellectually constructed fictions, such as the assertion that planet earth – in the guise of nature – has made it a difficult struggle for ‘life on earth’ to exist; when clearly it  hasn’t. In this latter regard, the flawed hypothesis of ‘survival of the fittest’, and evolution as a result of the abstraction ‘nature’, ‘selecting’ which life forms will be the fittest to survive – as expounded in the petite-bourgeois ideology of evolution by ‘natural selection’, will be critually considered.

Roy Ratcliffe (September 2022)

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