From the January 1985 issue of the Socialist Standard
If crime encompassed every deed
Imposing suffering on mankind
The politician would proceed
To think about our every need
And see that good for all prevail —To keep himself without the jail.
Dublin fell victim to European Summitry early in December last. "Fell victim" is an expression justified by the inconveniences, the delays, the arrogant ignorance of uniformed protectors responding to orders and the very real fear that such a collection of ruthless politicians might provoke the attention of one or other of the brands of terrorism which the capitalist system increasingly spawns.
There can be no room for diplomatic language in describing the collection of west European politicians who arrived in Dublin with their flunkeys, political retainers and hired gunmen. Popular, public-spirited representatives might be how these people see themselves but the inequities of their system. and the frustrating deception that cocoons it breed bitter and implacable foes for them.
Throughout the world—the world of potential plenty—millions are dying of hunger. Every day, somewhere, governments and political movements of capitalism are ordering human beings to slaughter one another. Mass poverty, aggravated by unemployment. slums and bitter social alienation, is globally triumphant. Human dignity, understanding, co-operation, collective care and responsibility are trodden in the mire of competition, profit and their kindred obscenities.
The collection of human vultures who junketed in Dublin were there to arrange the affairs of western capitalism — insofar as capitalism allows any loose arrangement of its affairs. They were not there to protest about starvation, or war, or poverty, nor were they there to make a rational judgement on a society where they endorse the production and development of the vilest weapons of human destruction. Their primary preoccupation was the problems affecting the marketing and profit priorities of capitalism and not the unspeakable miseries they give rise to.
If, indeed, crime is a word describing acts of suffering deliberately imposed on human beings — rather than a transgression of the law and order requirements of capitalism — then it can be truly said that the people hosted by the Dublin government must be among the vilest criminals on record. Their honeyed platitudes and empty vapourising were as predictable as the matters that occupied them. One of these was the question of “surpluses" — food and drink produced beyond the level of market demand—and this august body seriously discuss this as a problem! A problem of surplus food that will have to be destroyed or expensively stored in a world where their fellow human beings are dying of hunger! An unindoctrinated child of five, faced with the problem of hunger amid plenty, could resolve the problem immediately, but these politicians, together with their armies of experts and economists, dare not see the problem in simple, straightforward terms of using our collective energies to produce the things we need from the resources of nature.
That simple scheme — production for use and free access to requirements — would eliminate world hunger; end the competition and conflict that needs armies, armaments, nuclear bombs and wars. It would substitute work for employment and thus abolish unemployment. It would free world resources to ensure that every human being had the material basis of a full and happy life. But the politicians don't represent the hungry, the impoverished, the frightened, the insecure. They do not represent the interests of the whole of society; on the contrary, they represent solely the interests of that small minority whose title to ownership they have endorsed and whose interests are diametrically opposed to the rest of suffering humanity.
They represent that small class who have the right of ownership of the resources of the world and the productive and distributive processes fashioned, by the working class, from those resources. For their services to these robbers they are rewarded in the same way as any gangster rewards his political accomplices, with a degree of wealth and privilege. There is no economic compulsion on them to consider the problem in the simple and effective terms of the aforementioned child. They strut and posture for the photographers; expel their empty rhetoric onto the columns of the press and have silly journalistic hacks speculating on their strengths and their weaknesses. None of this can disguise the fact that they are the dangerous agents of a political and economic system that kills human beings by starvation and deliberate slaughter; a system that relegates human beings to a status well below the racehorses and domestic pets of their masters.
Yes, an indoctrinated five-year-old could see through them. Unfortunately, beyond that age, indoctrination is intensified.
World Socialist Party of Ireland