Socialist Worker

Rulers' fear as world becomes less stable

Issue No. 2197

WORLD RULERS are in crisis. A revolution erupts in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia, in Russia’s “backyard”. An open Nazi party takes nearly one in five votes in the first round of the Hungarian elections. In Thailand, a mass movement shakes the regime. In Greece, the fear of meltdown forces the EU to offer emergency funds—at a price.

Suddenly the world order looks less stable. Though separated by thousands of miles, there are connections between each upheaval.

Despite talk of global economic recovery, the political and economic consequences are still ripping through the global order.

Weaker capitalisms face dangerous times. The biggest global economic crisis since the Second World War has shaken ruling class confidence and left deep bitterness among ordinary people.

Small events and miscalculations by ruling classes can trigger movements which can turn into revolutions.

Equally, in the absence of positive mass movements, darker forces can succeed in channelling discontent into nationalist and racist scapegoating.

Britain has avoided such convulsions so far, but is unlikely to remain immune.

The British economy is among the weakest of the advanced industrial states.

Gordon Brown’s gamble that the bankers in the City of London were the future of British capitalism has spectacularly backfired.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg let slip some of the fears of our rulers.

He told the Observer newspaper last weekend that Britain could face “Greek-style unrest” if Labour or the Tories narrowly win the election.

A weak government lacking a sufficient popular mandate would risk “serious social strife” as it launched the biggest attack on workers’ living standards since the 1970s, he said.

Clegg added, “People will be told by a government that has no legitimacy that this government is going to slash and burn, having promised something else.”

What business most wants is a strong government that can drive through brutal cuts. But that is the least likely outcome of the election.

The polls suggest a government elected by about one in five eligible voters, or an unstable and untried coalition.

Our side has to prepare to take advantage of these weaknesses.

This means maximising support for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition at the ballot box, campaigning to stop the Nazi BNP, building the Right to Work campaign and organising to fight.

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