2017 - only our struggles can change this rotten capitalist world

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
11 January 2017

The past year has been a year of uncertainty. In the midst of an on-going crisis, the working class was confronted with relentless attacks from the capitalist class, while politicians indulged in the politicking game which led to the Brexit vote.
2017 is likely to be rather worse, than better. At some point, the negotiating process leading to Brexit will be triggered. No-one can predict what its immediate consequences will be, let alone its final outcome.
Judging from what we've seen so far, the process won't be plain sailing. After all, it took only one speech by Theresa May, on January 8th - and a rather vague one at that - for the pound to plunge even further, with the prospect of more price increases for working class households.

The wealthy's Brexit bonanza
Of course , the outlook is different for the wealthy. They only have to shift their wealth into assets which benefit from the fall in the value of the pound. This is why the index of the 100 largest companies quoted in London has been breaking one record after another over the past weeks.
This meteoric rise is not due to an improvement in the economy due to Brexit. It only reflects the scramble by "investors" to buy the shares of the top 100 companies - which earn most of their income in dollars and euros - and whose profits and dividends are, therefore, boosted by the pound's fall.
As to the growth that this fall is supposed to generate, it is an illusion. True, the sales of British luxury yachts may have increased by 50% over the past year; expensive stores like Harrods may be making a killing and this month's London Fashion Show may have a record number of visitors. But at the same time, some local supermarkets and low-cost stores are cutting jobs, or going to the wall, because their working-class customers are increasingly hard up!
If Brexit "means" anything so far, it is a bonanza for the wealthy and a tightening of the screw for workers: more job cuts and a falling standard of living!

Politicking with a "humane" face?
So to conceal the reality, Theresa May is again trying to put on a "humane" face, this time, by posturing as a champion of mental health and social care. But who can believe all this hot air? Especially when she
refuses to provide the necessary funding?
Besides, wasn't she Home Minister in governments which never showed the slightest interest in such services - except to cut their already inadequate budgets? And what did she say about these cuts at the time? Nothing! Just as, today, she refuses to disown her Health Minister, Jeremy Hunt, whose savage cost-cutting is threatening the NHS with total collapse. As if mental health and social care could be separated from general healthcare!
In fact, this thin veil of benevolence is only designed to conceal the very same politicking that Cameron used. Just as Cameron did, May is using immigration and the EU as scape-goats, in order to divert the discontent of the electorate away from her anti-working class policies.
Indeed, if prices are too high and wages too low, if homes are too expensive and too scarce, it's neither migrant workers nor the EU which should be blamed. It is the parasitism of the (very British) capitalists who suck the blood out of society!

This society needs to be changed
In all the rich countries, like in Britain, the capitalist classes have used their own crisis to cut the jobs and conditions of the working class. Everywhere, demagogues of every stripe are trying to capitalise on the frustration which people feel as a result of rising poverty, by whipping up prejudices and hatred. This is what already produced the anti-migrant frenzy of the Brexit campaign and the election of that loose cannon and racist, Trump, in the US.
Meanwhile, wars are ravaging entire regions, from the Middle East to Sub-Saharan Africa. Millions of refugees are forced to flee for their lives, some towards Europe, but many more within the war-torn regions themselves. Yet all of these wars are due to the rich capitalist classes' past and present looting of these countries and military aggression against them.
This society is terminally sick, because of the parasitism of this tiny capitalist minority which owns everything and will do anything to squeeze more profit out of the population.
Freeing the planet of their parasitism is a vital necessity and a historical task that only the international working class can effectively carry out - because it is this class, our class, which produces all the value on this planet and has no interest in preserving this criminal social order!