Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Criminal Justice Bill (1994)

Editorial from the December 1994 issue of the Socialist Standard

Maybe next it’ll be curfews. The owning class are winning hands down at the moment, and we the working class are not doing much to stop them. Partly it’s this long recession that has so badly affected workers’ organisations. Poverty saps the will to fight back. Poverty sows disunity as much as discontent. The owning class use poverty against us the way a terrorist uses bombs — to frighten and weaken us. The audacity of the Criminal Justice Bill is a measure of what they think of us. Fearful, impotent, we look on as our hands are tied, our feet chained, and our pockets raided. And now they are surpassing themselves, with a frontal assault on our power to organise and defend ourselves.

This is happening because the ownership of the entire world is in the hands of a tiny minority of people. They use this ownership to subjugate the rest of us in almost every conceivable way. We resist, but we never think of questioning their property rights. We never think of abolishing the law of private property which gives them their enormous power in the first place. Instead we go on marches and grumble.

If you believe in human rights and in democracy, remember this: you will never be free until the Earth is free, and the Earth will never be free while it is held in private hands. Capitalism makes us trespassers in a world that should belong to us all in common, let’s organise to take it back.

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