Socialist Worker

Leaders have no cure for this sick system

Issue No. 2303

World leaders are spending a lot of their time in summits whilst they are in the grip of an economic crisis they cannot solve.

The crisis has forced governments to fall and stockmarkets to collapse—while provoking workers’ resistance.

And these leaders are panicking. The crisis has exposed the fragility of the system.

The so-called core states of Germany and France now appear to only be as strong as the weakest “peripheral” economies.

Greece only represents two percent of Europe’s economy.

Yet the prospect of it pulling out of the eurozone threatens the entire project.

German and French banks are worried that if Greece leaves the eurozone it will stop repaying its high-interest loans into their coffers.

And if Greece stops repaying its debts, other countries could do the same. This prospect terrifies the global ruling class.

Recent election results in France and Greece are an expression of the defiant mood that exists among ordinary people.

They are sick of seeing the rich and powerful left untouched by the austerity programmes being imposed on them from above.

We cannot allow this crisis to be resolved by politicians and bankers meeting in presidential palaces or country retreats. They will only look after their own.

These leaders are like the first class passengers on the Titantic—willing to watch ordinary people drown providing they can get themselves a seat in the lifeboat.

Legitimacy

The solution to the crisis lies instead with the millions of ordinary people who have struck, demonstrated and occupied to protest against austerity.

They have not fallen for the spin that the attacks and cutbacks are “necessary” or “inevitable”.

Instead the crisis has chipped away at the legitimacy of capitalism. People are increasingly unhappy with a system that is failing to meet their basic needs.

They have watched failing banks get bailed out with public money. They have seen people with disabilities have their benefits snatched away.

The struggle against austerity in Britain has not reached the heights of Greece. But we have seen three public sector mass strikes in the last year.

Meanwhile the Tories admit that 80 percent of the cuts they have planned are still to come.

The recent strikes have brought more workers into struggle in Britain than at any other time in a generation.

The mass collective power of the working class has shaken the ruling class in Greece and across Europe. Workers of all countries are in this fight together.

Britain’s public sector strike on Thursday of last week is part of the same struggle as “indignados” marching in Madrid and Barcelona, or workers occupying workplaces in Athens.

This is the kind of action we will need to build here in Britain if we are going to stop the Tory assault in its tracks.


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