"Greed-is-good" is capitalism's “normal”, which is precisely why it must be overthrown!

26 September 2018

In his closing speech to the Labour party conference Jeremy Corbyn pledged to end what he called "Greed-is-Good" capitalism - by which he meant the "deregulated financial capitalism (which) came crashing to earth, with devastating consequences”, ten years ago, when the banking system collapsed.
    As if, regulated or not, capitalism had ever been about anything other than "greed" - the insatiable greed of a capitalist class which, because it owns all the means of production, has no purpose in life other than to screw always more profits out of workers' labour, in order to get richer!
    The illusion that capitalism's frantic profiteering can somehow be tamed or cleansed of its chronic crises and social injustices, is as old as capitalism itself.  But it is false.
    A system based on the cut-throat competition between a tiny minority of capitalist predators, can only be driven by their greed.  Those who, like Corbyn, claim otherwise, are trying to pull wool over our eyes, in order to give this rotten system a new lease of life!

Plaster to cover the capitalist rot

In fact, Labour's so-called "radical economic agenda", as the media calls it, is just a pathetic attempt to revamp the image of a profit system which has long passed its sell-by date.
    Take renationalisation.  John McDonnell pledged to renationalise the railways within 5 years of coming back into government.  Why 5 years rather than straight away?  Simply because McDonnell wants to play by the very same capitalist rules which are designed to protect the capitalists' private ownership of the economy!
    As to the other candidates for renationalisation, the water companies and Royal Mail, their capitalist shareholders have nothing to fear from McDonnell, who insists that they should be duly compensated "within the law".  Yeah, a law made by the capitalists, for the capitalists, to protect their private interests against the working class!
    Then there are the "new powers" for workers that Labour pledges to introduce.  Not for all workers, though, because they would only apply to companies with 250+ workers.  This would leave out all casual workers as well as the large numbers working in smaller companies.  But, above all, these "powers" turn out to be just as pathetically subservient to "Greed-is-Good" capitalism.
    So, one third of boardroom seats would be allocated to "workers' representatives".  A fat lot of use that would be!  And why should workers, who produce 100% of the company's wealth, have only one third of the say, while shareholders who produce nothing, have the real decision-making powers?  McDonnell didn't say!
    As to the dividends that McDonnell plans to allocate to workers in these companies, they will come with a £500/yr cap - a mere “tip” compared to the £90bn that the shareholders of British-listed companies stand to cash in this year!

More evidence that capitalism must go

Labour's spineless subservience to capitalism was further illustrated by its attitude to Brexit.  Under cover of focusing on jobs, the Brexit debate boiled down to demanding that, whichever way it goes, the Brexit settlement should be "good for the economy" and, ultimately, for British capital.
    There are obviously two different worlds on this planet: on the one hand, the world of hoodwinked politicians (Labour and Tory alike) in which rising profits always result in benevolent companies creating more jobs; and, on the other, the real world in which we live, where companies boost their profits by cutting jobs, turning the screw of casualisation and increasing exploitation.
    This real world, our world, is, in fact, the "Greed-is-Good" world of capitalism.  But there was no longer any question of Labour challenging it when it came to Brexit.  Nor, in fact, was there any question of challenging the way Brexit is already used against the working class.
    In particular, no-one raised the issue of the fate of the millions of migrants who are working in Britain today - an integral part of our class which is now threatened by May's on-going "hostile environment".  Worse, even, some Labour frontbenchers, like Diane Abbott, went so far as to endorse the "need" for more immigration controls.
    As if the main purpose of such controls was not to undermine the rights of one section of workers, in order to cow them into obedience and weaken the capacity of the whole working class to resist capitalist exploitation!
    In the end, all the talk was about whether there should be a second referendum and what options it should include.  But no referendum will sort out the Brexit mess - not any more than a general election can sort out "Greed-is-Good" capitalism.  Ultimately, it will be the task of the working class to free society of the capitalists' greed, by uniting all its forces in order to overthrow their system, once and for all.