May 31, 2012

The problem is capitalism

People's Voice Editorial

There are a variety of explanations for the neoliberal agenda which continues to drive working people into poverty, credit card debt, homelessness and despair - and for the best way to reverse this attack.

     The latest moves by the Harper Tories offer a good example of this debate. The federal government's changes to immigration policies will bring in more temporary workers, and allow employers to pay such workers 15% below prevailing wage rates. Meanwhile, so-called "reforms" to the Employment Insurance program will compel workers to accept unsuitable job offers outside their home areas.

     The labour movement and its allies have condemned these anti-working class measures. As CLC Secretary-Treasurer Hassan Yussuff warns, such policies put downward pressure on all workers' wages.

     But some critics have offered ideas for "better" ways to improve to generate economic growth. Others argue that the Tories are somehow "misguided" or "uncaring".

     The point is not that such policies are "immoral" or poorly considered. These "reforms" are necessary for big capital and compliant governments to maintain overall rates of profit by expanding the army of unemployed workers who are compelled by hunger and deprivation to accept any job at any rate of pay. From the perspective of the "1%", these policies are absolutely justified to keep the wheels of capitalism turning.

     For the working class, the immediate struggle is to block these attacks. But victory will not be achieved through temporary successes or stalemates, as long as the capitalist system itself remains in place. Sooner or later, resistance must move in the direction of replacing the economic system based on private profit, with a socialist society in which those who create the wealth are also those who have the democratic power to create a better world.

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