Socialist Worker

Socialists have an alternative to the banks

Issue No. 2229

As Ireland descends deeper into economic crisis, the global ruling class has united to provide a bailout for the banks. This will mean further massive cuts to the jobs and living standards of the Irish working class.

The same political consensus ruled in Greece, when a similar bailout was pushed onto it earlier this year.

And in Britain, all the major parties accept that huge public spending cuts are necessary to deal with the deficit.

But there is a real solution to the capitalist chaos—a socialist one.

That means challenging the power and wealth of the banks, multinationals and institutions that run the world.

Governments could take the banks under full control—taking any profits, sacking the bankers and using the cash for projects society needs.

They could refuse to pay the debts built up borrowing money from the international markets—which have ramped up the interest rates countries borrow at as they get deeper into crisis.

Taxes should be massively increased on the rich and business—whose wealth has grown during the recession. The expenditure on imperialist war and the military should end tomorrow.

Governments such as Greece and Ireland could defy the International Monetary Fund and the European Union’s demands for cuts. If that led to being forced out of the euro then so what?

It would take a powerful mass movement, with workers and students at its core, to win and preserve these demands.

It would take constant work to strengthen workers’ organisation, support every working class initiative, back strikes and undermine the control of the unelected elite who dominate society.

But billions of people across the world would be inspired by this rebellion. Of course if any country dared to implement these measures the global rich would go on the rampage.

They would use all the means at their disposal—from the money markets to political influence—to attempt to destroy any resistance to their dominance.

One response to this would be to back down in the face of their power, which would mean devastation.Another response would be to intensify the fightback even further, and look towards creating a system based on need—socialism.

This would mean throwing off the shackles of capitalism, and its cycles of booms and slumps.

We would instead build a collective, democratic and planned society, where the resources of society are shared by all, and economic crisis would not exist.

That process has to begin with united action now—in local anti-cuts groups, Right to Work activity, supporting every strike and building for events such as the TUC’s demonstration on 26 March.

But we also need a bigger and stronger organisation of socialists at the heart of that.


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