The Working Class Bears the Brunt of the Crisis
The bourgeois press greeted the New Year with the usual celebratory narcissism. The carefully crafted rhetoric of the supposed “economic recovery” was continually punctuated by the tacit reminder that hard times are still ahead. The bourgeoisie’s calls for sacrifice are heard more thoroughly and the recent mid-term elections have potentially provided the bourgeoisie with the political pieces necessary to institute a harsher round of austerity. The incoming House majority leader, Mr. Boehner, has referred to the period ahead as an “adult” time for political leaders. Only time will tell whether or not the “freshmen” coming into office can pass the first major test of being responsible bourgeois managers of the US economy. Will they vote to raise the debt limit of the United States again (as is tradition) or will they act in accordance with the lunatic ideology they’ve espoused in the run-up to the election? The pressures upon the Republican Party from the right are analyzed deeper in another article within this issue of Internationalism that deals specifically with these elections. Instead, this article will turn its attention more pointedly towards the elements of austerity that the working class are faced with today and try to present these elements within a historical framework of global capitalism’s permanent crisis.
The Necessity of Historical Perspective
There are layers of mystification whenever the bourgeoisie attempt to analyze and represent the crisis to the working class. One of the first layers is through (mis)-classification. Case-in-point, the crisis as a “financial” crisis that has its roots in the 2008 bursting of the housing bubble and the meltdown of some of the largest financial institutions. This is a necessary layer of deception for the bourgeoisie, whose principle assault on revolutionary consciousness is the stripping away of any historical framework for analyzing the capitalist system. With a degree of calculation characteristic of the Machiavellian class, the reframing of the crisis as a financial one is directly in line with this tactic of isolating historical crises within a-historical frameworks. For revolutionaries, it is therefore necessary to establish and reiterate the historic nature of this crisis before diving into the austerity that the bourgeoisie find compelled to enact.
workers.” Of course, this only measures those newly added workers filing for unemployment insurance—excluding the droves of proletariat classified as “long-term discouraged workers” who no longer fall into the convenient methodological categories of bourgeois economists. Meanwhile, the bourgeoisie are effectively insulated from the most direct material effects of the crisis. As the New York Times reported, “the truth is that there have been surprisingly few career fatalities among New York developers, even though they have lost billions of investor dollars on overpriced real estate and have littered the city with unfinished apartment buildings. While a homeowner who lost a house to foreclosure would find it difficult to borrow for years, developers who defaulted on enormous loans have still been able to attract money.”
Who is to be the judge, jury and executioner?
The bourgeoisie only speaks in lies
There is no freedom in bourgeois democracy