Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/261/24657
Enron, Anderson, WorldCom, Xerox,...
Change This Rotten System
GREED, FRAUD, sleaze - every day the real nature of capitalism is being revealed. WorldCom, the US's second biggest long-distance telephone company, has carried out the biggest corporate fraud in history - $3.8 billion. That's six times bigger than the fraud at Enron, which shook the US economy.
Now WorldCom has sent shares plummeting, threatening the world economy and the jobs and lives of ordinary workers in the US and elsewhere. Everyone's asking "how many more companies have fiddled their figures?"
For some, crime does pay. Ebbers, the former boss of WorldCom is getting a pension pay off of $1.5 million a year. But 17,000 WorldCom workers who are losing their jobs, 20% of the total workforce, get nothing.
Enron, Andersen, Adelphia, Tyco, WorldCom, Xerox - the list of crooked corporations keeps getting longer. And it's not just about the US's particular "brand" of capitalism. According to the Institute of Chartered Accountants, similar frauds could also happen here.
Neither is this about a few "rogue" companies. Capitalism is rotten to the core.
This system is based on the relentless pursuit of profit by the minority who own and control the major corporations internationally. Greed, corruption and exploitation are rooted in the profit system itself.
The capitalists and their political representatives, worried that this system as a whole could come under attack, talk about "regulating" the big corporations. But as long as profits are the main driving force of the system, corruption, exploitation and economic crisis will remain.
We need to build a movement that can fundamentally challenge the way that the system itself is organised and fight for a society which is run to meet the needs of the majority not to maximise the profits of a privileged few.
In Spain, Italy and Greece millions of workers have been on general strike against the effects of capitalism on their jobs, benefits and working conditions. Last month in Seville, Spain, workers came together with anti-capitalist protesters in a massive demonstration of over a quarter of a million.
Here, the number of workers balloting and taking action over cuts, pay and privatisation is on the increase.
The Socialist Party is campaigning in England and Wales and internationally, through the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI), for new, mass parties which can unite together the struggles of workers and anti-capitalists to fight for a socialist alternative to this rotten system.
Join us now.
In The Socialist 5 July 2002: