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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 January 2020

End climate change, end inequality, end capitalism!

Global strikes and mass protests against the effects of capitalism point the way forward

Protests against capitalism are spreading across the globe, photo by Paul Mattsson

Protests against capitalism are spreading across the globe, photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

On one side, the global rich elite wine and dine at their annual shindig in Davos. On the other, millions around the world face poverty, war and environmental destruction.

According to Oxfam, just 2,153 billionaires have more wealth between them than 4.6 billion people on the planet.

Some of the representatives of these super-rich at the World Economic Forum (WEF) will be hypocritically wringing their hands about global inequality and climate change.

Not because they are worried about the lives of the poorest. What keeps them awake at night is fear of the mass global protests taking place in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, and the threat these potentially pose to their profits and the capitalist system they defend.

This year the organisers of the WEF have declared that they want to create a more sustainable world. Companies, they say, must look beyond profits.

Even they understand the effect that the pursuit of profit is having on the environment, on inequality and in provoking mass unrest.

But profit-making is in the very DNA of capitalism. It's a broken system that cannot be made more 'humane' and 'sustainable' by pleading with the 'good nature' of individual capitalists.

The only way that the big corporations will look beyond profits is if they are publicly owned and democratically controlled by working people - as part of a planned economy that prioritises the needs of the majority and the environment, and not those of a rich minority.

The massive protests in Chile, Iraq, Lebanon, France and other countries, and the global climate strikes, are all in opposition to the devastating effects the capitalist system and its political representatives are having on our lives.

The next task is to build political organisations that can unite working-class and poor people not just against the effects of capitalism but in opposition to the system itself and its replacement by socialism.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 22 January 2020:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Council cuts continue... So must the fightback

Protesting is not terrorism

End climate change, end inequality, end capitalism!

Capitalism fails NHS services in Liverpool: scrap PFI!

Them & Us


What we think

To win back working-class trust Labour must take the 'Liverpool road'


International socialist news and analysis

Eyewitness report: workers' struggle in France on the boil

France striker speaks: real, deep anger needs union strategy

Iraq - a brutal legacy of imperialist intervention

India: Huge general strike but a missed opportunity


Workplace news and analysis

Royal Mail workers to reballot for strike action

Renewing the left in PCS

A win against academisation in east London

Belfast Hovis workers' all-out strike

Westex strikers read the Socialist

Ealing tax office strike continues


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Make a stand: set legal no-cuts council budgets

"If you think bus and rail services are crap, sign our petition to take them back"

Building Tamil Solidarity with youth and the unions


Readers' opinion

The Socialist inbox

Robert Burns: of the people, for the people


 

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