Thursday, September 1, 2016

The same difference (1997)

Editorial from the January 1997 issue of the Socialist Standard

There is a popular misconception that the reason for the deprivation and misery in Britain is because we have had 17 years of Tory rule. This is a misconception which Tony Blair and his gang of professional liars and spin doctors are keen to perpetuate. They would have us believe that they will bring back the ‘'feel-good" factor, deliver the poor from their misery and provide security for us all.

What they cynically forget to tell us is how they will achieve something that no government has ever achieved—that of running capitalism in a way that satisfies the needs of the majority. And Tony Blair has been honest about one thing: he wants to run capitalism.

In that respect he is the same as the Tories. He wants to manage a system which only really works in the interests of that small minority who live very well off the wealth which the vast majority of us produce but receive only a portion in return.

Within capitalism we can only at best hope for meagre survival. Workers don’t enjoy the security and wealth which comes from owning the means of production. Only about 2 percent of the population—the capitalist class—are in this privileged position. The rest of us have to survive on leaner pickings. This class division has changed little over the past 200 years and in many respects the gap has widened.

Is it any surprise that those who want to continue running such a system would be keen to sweep such inequality under the carpet? Be they Tory or Labour, of course they would have us believe there is no such thing as class or that we are not being screwed for the benefit of a capitalist minority and their highly paid lackeys.

No politician can help us: if we are going to improve things we will not do so by following professional politicians or leaders of any kind. We are going to have to act for ourselves to organise ourselves democratically to bring about a society geared to serving human needs, not profits.

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