Capitalist superprofits are ruining society

Lutte Ouvrière workplace newsletter
August 6, 2018

      This year's second quarterly profits have reached new heights. The big international conglomerates of the United States and Europe have registered  respectively a 20% and 9% profit rate increase.

       Apple announced a net profit of 11.5 billion dollars, becoming the first multinational company ever to reach a 1,000 billion dollar stock value. The main French groups are not far behind. Car maker Peugeot recorded an all-time profit rate for the first six months of 2018. LVMH, French leader of the luxury goods industry, is credited with colossal returns and the personal earnings of its owner, billionaire Bernard Arnault, have made a forward leap of some 56% in just one year. That’s 800 euros per second!  But profits like these only serve to increase the fortune of a handful of super-rich.

       The stockholders, investors and other capital owners have good reason to crack open the champagne. The riches created by working people the world over are worth billions but these billions come at the price of living conditions that keep deteriorating.

       Layoffs are seen as a catastrophy by workers but they are a godsend for stockholders. France's leading supermarket chain, Carrefour, has raked in a global profit 10% higher than last year's, thanks notably to a 2,000-strong job cut. Profits are climbing thanks to increased unemployment and the extreme poverty that is hitting sections of the working class. More and more jobless people are forced to survive on state-subsidized allowances, which are insufficient  to make ends meet. Pensions are also largely inadequate and  job insecurity has become the norm.

       Humanity is being plunged into chaos so that a small number of billionaires can keep on getting richer. The war waged by big capitalist conglomerates in the economic arena is accompanied by destructive and bloody armed confrontations all over the globe. And even when the major powers don’t intervene, they support armed gangs in the name of the fight against terrorism.  If French troops intervene in Mali it's not to protect the population but to defend the interests of Areva, Bouygues, Bolloré, Total and other business empires!

       Technological advances are geared toward making superprofits that benefit companies like Apple and not humankind a a whole. One billion people out of the 7.5 billion inhabitants of planet earth are underfed. The present drought means there will be a drop in the global production of staple food. This in turn means galloping speculation. On the raw materials stock exchanges in rich countries, the prices of wheat and barley have already gone up by 20%. A minority of speculators will make billions but their actions will spread famine to millions upon millions.

       Capitalism is not just unfair because it’s based on the over-exploitation of a majority by a minority. It’s a deadly threat to society as a whole. The multinationals' profits don’t mean that prosperous times are here again. The crisis is far from over. Commentators point to the fact that investors fear a drop in return on investment and have already started to sell their more profitable assets. Others foresee a new recession for 2019.

       The problems confronting humankind cannot be addressed without a radical assault on capitalism.

       The threat of financial collapse, the risk of world war or ecological disaster require a struggle of all working people. In fact workers need to fight with determination simply to safeguard their existing conditions, jobs and purchasing power.

       And it’s not just what is happening to the working class, humankind as a whole is dying because of this catastrophic organization of society. Getting  rid of the capitalist class, scrapping the logic of individual profits, using the means of production to the fullest has become a question of life or death for the overwhelming majority of society.