Saturday, June 25, 2016

Post-It #3

Over on Michael Roberts' blog, I  came across this which sums it all up:

If you are this squeamish about (possible) consequences and retaliations of a Brexit, then, gentlemen, I suggest you go back to your dinner parties, essay writing, painting and embroidery, and forget everything about the revolution.

The fact that those reading that blog, squeamish and un-, might not be gentlemen, does not detract from the accuracy of the comment.  Props to its author

The prospects, terms, relations, and needs of accumulation are not what they were 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, even 7 years ago.  The structures embodying those relations and mechanisms are no longer adequate. They break down; they decay; they wobble, stagger, come apart.  No getting around it.  That's history, or more precisely, when the structures become inadequate, history erupts, and the eruption is anything but neat.  It's a mess, as it could only be, given these conditions of its origin.

Britain's disengagement from the EU, along with incredible contortions the EU has gone through, making a shambles of its own refugee policy; its assaults on the living standards of workers in order to preserve bankers and bondholders, is indicative that the existing institutions, relations. structures of capital, no longer correspond to the needs of accumulation; and that the needs of accumulation are more than ever in conflict with the limitations of both private property in the means of production, and the reproduction of the working class.

In or out of the EU, the bourgeoisie everywhere are forced to find ways to drive the cost of labor below its value; below what is necessary for its reproduction as a working class  in order to extract a level of surplus value that will also be adequate to levels of profitability. What's in the cards are continued assaults on workers' living and labor standards across the EU (and capitalism) as "economic adjustment" requires liquidation-- liquidation of jobs, liquidation of job protections, liquidation of social welfare, liquidation of "stability" in favor of aggrandizement.

That it takes a toll on what some of the so-called "enlightened bourgeoisie" (an oxymoron if ever there was one) consider institutions of "progress" "cooperation" "humanity" shows just how contingent progress, cooperation, and humanity are on expanding capitalist reproduction, and how meaningless those concepts are to capitalism. 

After Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal; after the EU ploys against refugees, and the EU play in the Ukraine-- does anyone truly think remaining in a union of European capitalists offers a future different, more "hopeful," than its immediate past?  That there's a shred of "progress"  "cooperation" "humanity" involved in the grand confederacy of European capitalists?

This "mess," this eruption of history, also contains class struggle.  So the workers of Northern England, of Wales, of that portion of the "United Kingdom" asset-stripped, beat down, abandoned, zombified by banks and property speculators didn't miss the opportunity to tell the too-clever-by half Cameron to "sod off" with his prospects for a "greater Britain in Europe."  Those workers have been living in the "greater Britain in Europe" ever since Callaghan. 

And what a genius Cameron is-- thinking 2016 was just like 2015, and his plebiscite would quiet the voices of the old Tories; that he could sell coal to Newcastle, since the mines were now all closed.  I know there's at least one lady who's less than happy with this self-important posh twit-- Queen Elizabeth II who will now have to remember her passport when she wants to visit Balmoral Castle. "Oh bring back the days of hanging by the neck until dead at the pleasure of the sovereign," she tweeted just the other day to Helen Mirren.  

Heads on pikes, anyone?  Eton schooled heads in particular on pikes?

This "mess" is not the product of the British working class' xenophobia; its conservatism; neither its betrayal nor its duping. The dysfunctionality is capitalism breaking down capitalism. It's ugly. It's unavoidable.  It's history.  It's also a shift in class struggle, bursting through but still  covered in the grime, muck, and blood of bourgeois "progress,"  bourgeois "opportunity,"  bourgeois "order."

June 25, 2016

1 comment :

  1. Blairite heads on pikes was my recommendation. First and foremost!