Bertholt Brecht, 1935
The truth must be spoken with a view to the results it will produce in the sphere of action. As a specimen of a truth from which no results, or the wrong ones, follow, we can cite the widespread view that bad conditions prevail in a number of countries as a result of barbarism.
In this view, Fascism is a wave of barbarism which has descended upon some countries with the elemental force of a natural phenomenon.
According to this view, Fascism is a new, third power beside (and above) capitalism and socialism; not only the socialist movement but capitalism as well might have survived without the intervention of Fascism. And so on. This is, of course, a Fascist claim; to accede to it is a capitulation to Fascism.
Fascism is a historic phase of capitalism; in this sense it is something new and at the same time old. In Fascist countries capitalism continues to exist, but only in the form of Fascism; and Fascism can be combated as capitalism alone, as the nakedest, most shameless, most oppressive, and most treacherous form of capitalism.
But how can anyone tell the truth about Fascism, unless he is willing to speak out against capitalism, which brings it forth? What will be the practical results of such truth?
Those who are against Fascism without being against capitalism, who lament over the barbarism that comes out of barbarism, are like people who wish to eat their veal without slaughtering the calf. They are willing to eat the calf, but they dislike the sight of blood. They are easily satisfied if the butcher washes his hands before weighing the meat.
They are not against the property relations which engender barbarism; they are only against barbarism itself. They raise their voices against barbarism, and they do so in countries where precisely the same property relations prevail, but where the butchers wash their hands before weighing the meat.
Outcries against barbarous measures may be effective as long as the listeners believe that such measures are out of the question in their own countries. Certain countries are still able to maintain their property relations by methods that appear less violent than those used in other countries.
Democracy still serves in these countries to achieve the results for which violence is needed in others, namely, to guarantee private ownership of the means of production. [our emphasis] The private monopoly of factories, mines, and land creates barbarous conditions everywhere, but in some places these conditions do not so forcibly strike the eye. Barbarism strikes the eye only when it happens that monopoly can be protected only by open violence.
Paris protests, November 2018
Some countries, which do not yet find it necessary to defend their barbarous monopolies by dispensing with the formal guarantees of a constitutional state, as well as with such amenities as art, philosophy, and literature, are particularly eager to listen to visitors who abuse their native lands because those amenities are denied there.
They gladly listen because they hope to derive from what they hear advantages in future wars. Shall we say that they have recognized the truth who, for example, loudly demand an unrelenting struggle against Germany “because that country is now the true home of Evil in our day, the partner of hell, the abode of the Antichrist”?
We should rather say that these are foolish and dangerous people. For the conclusion to be drawn from this nonsense is that since poison gas and bombs do not pick out the guilty, Germany must be exterminated—the whole country and all its people.
The man who does not know the truth expresses himself in lofty, general, and imprecise terms. He shouts about “the” German, he complains about Evil in general, and whoever hears him cannot make out what to do. Shall he decide not to be a German? Will hell vanish if he himself is good? The silly talk about the barbarism that comes out of barbarism is also of this kind. The source of barbarism is barbarism, and it is combated by culture, which comes from education. All this is put in general terms; it is not meant to be a guide to action and is, in reality, addressed to no one.
Such vague descriptions point to only a few links in the chain of causes. Their obscurantism conceals the real forces making for disaster. If light be thrown on the matter it promptly appears that disasters are caused by certain men. For we live in a time when the fate of man is determined by men.
Fascism is not a natural disaster which can be understood simply in terms of “human nature”. But even when we are dealing with natural catastrophes, there are ways to portray them which are worthy of human beings because they appeal to man’s fighting spirit. After a great earthquake that destroyed Yokohama, many American magazines published photographs showing a heap of ruins. The captions read: STEEL STOOD.
And, to be sure, though one might see only ruins at first glance, the eye swiftly discerned, after noting the caption, that a few tall buildings had remained standing. Among the multitudinous descriptions that can be given of an earthquake, those drawn up by construction engineers concerning the shifts in the ground, the force of stresses, the best developed, etc., are of the greatest importance, for they lead to future construction which will withstand earthquakes.
If anyone wishes to describe Fascism and war, great disasters which are not natural catastrophes, he must do so in terms of a practical truth. He must show that these disasters are launched by the possessing classes to control the vast numbers of workers who do not own the means of production. If one wishes successfully to write the truth about evil conditions, one must write it so that its avertible causes can be identified. If the preventable causes can be identified, the evil conditions can be fought.
Bertolt Brecht (1935). Writing the truth: Five difficulties. Translation by Richard Winston, for the magazine ‘Twice a Year’. Collected in William Wasserstrom, ed., Civil Liberties and the Arts: Selections from Twice a Year, 1938-48. Syracuse University Press, 1964.
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It is worth remembering that at the start of WW2 all countries on the European continent – with the exception of Czechoslovakia throughout and pre-Vichy France – had fascist governments. Can we really FAIRLY describe the fascist governments of Spain, Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria, Roumania and eastern European countries as the result of excessive capitalism?? Should we not look beyond ideologies of left and right [Berthold Brecht being a leftist], and beyond today’s retrospective judgement, [ie understanding that countries never go to war on a basis of ideology] to see what was actually happening in this period.
Unknown and ignored today in western Europe (because outside the Victor’s narrative that WW1 ended on the 11th hour-11th day-11th month 1918), WW1 actually continued right up to 1927 in eastern Europe as a result of The Victor’s victorious planned destruction of 4 empires: the German Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Russian Empire and Ottoman Empire. Thus the victors secured for themselves their open road to the east.
Thus 4 empires devolved more or less overnight without warning into unforeseen potential nation states, every single one of which had to fight for its formation, its coming into being – against neighbours and predators [Bela Kun in Hungary for ex.] and amidst extremes of ethnic cleansing and notorious genocides – of Russians, Armenians, Greeks etc.
Having secured their existence these countries lacked administrations, institutions, constitutions, militaries, infrastructure, governmenta and governmental tradition….all of which had to be brought into being overnight and in a context of ongoing external and often internal threat. Moreover, as with ex-Yugoslavia today, the new countries -products of balkanisation – were small and weak, and surrounded by threats : not least the Bolsheviks to the east and Great Power victors to the west.
In such circumstances, that each produced an anti-democratic ‘strong man ‘ leader who abrogated special powers to himself is perhaps less than surprising. Of course this was not ideal, nor was it seen as such internally, but in this rather unique moment of nation-creation and nation-securing in a context of ever-present threat it can perhaps be better understood. That is, the actual circumstances of history on the ground at the time.
Of course this remark will fall on deaf ears. Only ideology counts for privileged, naive ideologues….
Elenits: “‘surrounded by threats : not least the Bolsheviks to the east and Great Power victors to the west.”
Precisely: with Anglo Zio Capitalist victors to the West (F UK U$A) installing / encouraging / arming Fascist Regimes right across Europe in order to encounter an alleged “Bolshevik threat”.
Furthermore the idea that countries don’t go to war over ideology is hilarious when considers the Cold War and the whole history of American interventions in Latin America to stop the spread of communism. Or the fact that it was literally ideology that drove the Nazi invasions in WW2.
The supposed rejection of ideology is itself ideology in its most obstinate and dishonest form. Everything is ideological whether we want to admit or not. What is excessive capitalism? It’s not something to be quantified. It simply is or it isn’t. Furthermore you seem to demonstrate a lack of understanding of a lot of these countries.
For instance, Spain did not necessarily have fascism. It had a military dictatorship which is different. The Falange we’re fascists, yes, but they didn’t take power. Franco did. Capitalism in Spain was absolutely under threat by revolution. And it was a military dictatorship that saved capitalism in Spain.
Likewise capitalism was being threatened in Germany and Italy by powerful communist movements and it was fascism that saved in capitalism in both.
The spirit of 1789, 1793, 1830, 1848, 1870, 1936 and 1968 is still alive and kicking in Paris of 2018. The oligarchy who tries to crush the people is confronted by the people in the streets of Paris.
“If the sun of 1793 is ever to rise again, it will rise on a non-capitalist Europe.”
Right! But as much as the state economy is concerned we must understand that the opposite to “capitalism” is not the socialist “planned economy” of the then “real existent socialism” but it’s MERCANTILISM. The modern Mercantilism that in Scandinavia, West-Germany and even Japan existed in the 1950s.and 1960s. Sweden of Olof Palme in the 1960s had the highest per capita income in all of Europe; West-Germany recovered from WWII BECAUSE it was marcantilistic and NOT Liberal/Neoliberal (same to Japan).
For Karl Marx, of course, Mercantilism, was also “.capitalism”. But I definitely disagree here with Marx.
Mercantilism means a lot of state owned factories. Liberals/Neoliberals and Communists can’t handle state factories – but Mercantilists can: When Volkswagen and Renault when still owned by the state they were like gees laying golden eggs! Think of VW “Beetle”, “Transporter” (in the US the favourite of the Hippies) or of Renault “R4” that was a huge bestseller in all of western Europe. Also we must INVERT(!) this permanent “privatisation” of the Liberals and now deposes those oligarchs and anonymous corporations. Most Banks and producing corporations have connections to the war crimes of our imperial wars. At least in the US this would be enough legal basis for dispossessing those bastards.
Mercantilism also means taxing corporations with high(!) taxes – not like today where they repeat this lie of “if you give tax relief to the corporation then they will produce workstations a lot and also the economy recovers”. This lie is repeated over and over again and it’s long PROVEN that that is not true!
“Meet the Renegades: Michael Hudson” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mH8FWrbzxEs
All you describe here Mr Joerg is state capitalism no matter which term you use.
Yes, Carla, I am not a Marxist. And though I have no doubt that Karl Marx had only good intentions I disagree with him in most of his points. And confronting “Liberals” or “Neoliberals” (to me they are the same) I am worried that some people only see a solution in stepping back to Marxism-Leninism. Like if you were an Iranian and against this theocratic system (am not against Iran per se – quite to the contrary!) to suggest to step back to the Shah-regime. Or if in the 1990s as a Soviet citizen you were against the “Real Existing Socialism” and you then suggested to turn back to the Liberalism of the times of the czars. Or if as a French at the end of the 18th century you were fed up with Robespierre and this in the end all wrong going revolution you suggested to turn back to the royal system (as Napoleon, who declared himself an “Emperor”, did).
Those who confront these predacious Liberals by demanding the re-installation of the Soviet Marxist-Leninist “Real Existing Socialism” are really doing massive harm to our fight against those Liberals.
This is why I never use the word “capitalism” but always the word “Liberalism” or “Neoliberalism”. I am a Mercantilist. Of the Prussian kind – not of the historical French, Netherlands, British kind. “Modern” Mercantilism (e.g. Sweden of Olof Palme) is/was always of the “Prussian kind”.
And thus I am opposed to Marxism as much as I am opposed to Liberalism.
I could write a lot now about where I think Marx (and later Lenin) went wrong. But I make it short (at least by now) by giving You, Carla, just one example:
If a young person opens up, let’s say, a haircutter-saloon and business go well over the year and there are more customers this person can handle he/she will hire someone else to also work in the saloon. To Marxists this person now is an evil, disgusting “exploiter”. To me this person is not.
One more word to “state capitalism”:
This corrupt Yeltsin “privatised” nearly everything in Russia (like Thatcher in GB). But he was then blocked from privatising the space-complex (satellites, rockets) and the military production complex. And until today which corporations/factories are the most profitable corporations, which by technology are not seldom ahead of their western competitors? It’s those state-owned space- and military-complexes!
As for Iran: I wonder where were Iran, if Mossadeq were not put off by CIA??
Or: Where were Iran, if they did not have oil in the ground??
As for Iran: I wonder where were Iran, if Mossadeq were not put off by CIA??
Or: Where were Iran, if they did not have oil in the ground??
Hard to say! The Iranians would be possibly as good off as the Libyans under Gadaffi. On the other hand the then Iranian military would always have taken the US side and groomed their hate against the Soviet Union. Not only the Shah killed and tortured “Communists” but also the Khomeni regime when it came to power: first they did was killing a lot (never got a number) of “Communists”. I put “Communists” in brackets, because in those times of anti-communists hysteria every opponent was suspected to be a “Communist”.
I believe that even if the government of Mossadeq, becoming prime minister in 1951, had survived, the then Iranian military would have installed – at least in the 1060s – someone like Saddam Hussein in Iran. Or think of Sukarno (Indonesia), who was one of the founders of the “Non-Aligned States”: And look what the ruling US-oligarchs made of Sukarno’s Indonesia: https://off-guardian.org/2018/11/15/jakarta-filming-the-most-depressing-city-on-earth/
Countries and their economies are not businesses.
You have no notion of macroeconomic reality.
For every surplus there is a deficit.
Think on that for a while.
Zero is a very important number.
1. “Countries and their economies are not businesses”
Answer: Not only (businesses) – but also.
In the times of kings the “national budget” was the king’s budget (like still in nowadays Saudi-Arabia). This is why Louis XIV introduced Mercantilism. Nowadays we, the people, are (should be) owner of the state and should be rich.
The business of countries is called “gross national product”. And a healthy state produces a decent part of that with state firms.
2. “For every surplus there is a deficit.”
Answer: Wrong! In the times of barter trade that was not the case (e. g.: three sheeps exchanged for a cow) and nowadays is not a it’s also not the case. An expenditure is not a “deficit“. What only changed is that now usually (even nowadays not always) one side pays with money the other with a product/service. You must look at the values that are exchanged – not that one side has less money afterwards. The Farmer has also less potatoes! But both sides didn’t suffer a “deficit“.
3. “Zero is a very important number.
Answer: Exactly Liberals like You, jag37777, must say this You and Your Liberals have thrown our states in massive deficits not known before – nothing of “Zero”!
Think on that for a while.
Be careful about May 1968, whose ‘face’ was Daniel Cohn-Bendit, who is still going strong as a spokesperson emeritus of today’s border and democracy-free EU. There is considerable evidence that the May ’68 ‘revolution’ [without demand] was CIA-engineered to destroy DeGaulle, which it accomplished.
The main reason for nowadays “fascism” – or better: nowadays “oligarchs fascism” – is the fact that our forefathers/-mothers chased away the Kings and Princes (except for only not-ruling constitutional monarchies like in Scandinavia or GB) because “we the people” should govern ourselves – and no one else.
So everyone of us should be now ruling King or Queen. But history is full of Kings and Princes, who didn’t care about ‘their’ state and only cared about their fun with going hunting, having love affairs and so on. Most citizens are the same: They don’t care to inform themselves about the matters of their state, they don’t take part in political decisions, in mass protests, in founding new parties and so on. This lead to the nowadays rule of OLIGARCHS and their “fascism”. Like in any fascist state they also block us from getting real information, because those oligarchs already took over practical all the news-outlets (MSM).
For more please see “The Gods of Money” (video)
“If one wishes successfully to write the truth about evil conditions, one must write it so that its avertible causes can be identified. If the preventable causes can be identified, the evil conditions can be fought.”
Excellent essay, they don’t write ’em like the used to. So, to look further into Brecht’s claim.
The processes that produce fascism (as studied by Arendt, Reich, Becker et al) are the same that produce a normal capitalist society (whatever one of those is – but Brecht is prescient about capitalistic Germany). The core ideolology is of individuation: which is an individual and a mass cultural manifestation of dualism. Individuation manifests as a process of ‘Otherisation’. If you enculturate the individuated self: you must necessarily co-cause the Other. The Other is unknown, self-approximated and alien …split off from the primary consciousness. The Other is already potentially psychologically inferior and unknowable (dehumanised) to the primary (ingroup) consciousness. In a normal liberal democracy: the Other is tolerated – even integrated – but still Other.
Private property rights; ownership; instrumental reason or rationality; hierarchical agency; dominance; dominion; subjugation; etc are all cognitive dualisms and dependencies of processual Otherisation. In a would-be-tolerant society: they are ideologically enforced. Inculcated by ideological means (self-hypnotised): the Other enters into a Social Contract of voluntary servitude (false consciousness).
The empowerment of the individual necessitates the dis-empowerment of the (Otherised) individual (ingroup and outgroup sectarianism). This is reciprocally true (intolerance is mutual). Possession necessitates acculturated dispossession. Dominance necessitates acculturated subjugation: etc. The ideological narrative frames this as “for the Common Good”.
It should be obvious, but the ‘Common Good’ narrative is a lie. A symbolic “vital lie” that functions as a veil of cover for institutionalised ideological injustice: rule by a phantom authority that is interpreted and administered by the entitled, possessing classes (the oppressing ingroup). The dominant hegemonic ideology professes to be for autonomous individual rights, privileges and freedoms. In fact it is heteronomous: subjected to the rule of the possessing classes (the ideologically empowered primary consciousness).
Historically, fascism is a false consciousness collectivisation of identity in reaction to extremised ingroup hegemony and extirpation of the social contract. The Otherised and oppressed outgroup become increasingly disempowered and dehumanised. With no sense of agency, future, or identity: no common world is possible. The individuated, rootless “Mass Man” transfers their false consciousness ‘I’ to a false consciousness ‘we’ and a new symbolic ‘sacred’ state is born. The former oppressed turn oppressors: former slaves become masters; in the process – the terms of Otherisation are redefined. A new ingroup violently enculturates universalised uniformity (racial purity); all dissent (non-conformity), deviancy (non-uniformity) is exterminated.
To highlight the fallacy of this: the individual is not empowered by the new sacred state (as promised) – but lost to it …which is why I say ‘false consciousness’. The loss of individuated identity – dispossessed by capitalism – is a dispossesion completed in fascism. Of course, this was highlighted by Arendt in observing the Eichmann trial. Normalised juridical principles breakdown when dealing with fascism (collectivised state consciousness). Although culpable, Eichmann was not ‘guilty’ in the sense that the real mens rea guilt lay with the state. In a sense, he did not have a mind or identity of his own (in his case: it was transferred to the Führerprinzip through a misplaced Kantian duty ethic). In exceptional circumstances (false consciousness collectivisation), unremarkable and ordinary people will perpetrate administrative massacres without thinking (that is without conscious, critical thinking – the “banality of evil”).
If this is latent in every capitalist society: waiting to be fulfilled in fascism – why do we not address it before the latent banalities of fascism materialise? It seems to me we are under the influence of yet another symbolic “vital lie” that fascism can only arise from the (left or right) collectivisation of consciousness. But those conditions are latent in every society that enculturates individuation. For me, that process itself is a latent fascism when it usurps the place of community and mutual aid (as in a neoliberal democracy). Over individuation and extremised Otherisation are latencies of the normative values of a liberal (or ‘centrist’ libertarian fascist) democracy.
We are all watching a historical series of symbolic “vital lies” – those that culminated in the ‘liberal democracy TINA’ – irrevocably breakdown. The foundation of liberal democracy is that totalitarianisms cannot arise from individuated rights, privileges, and freedoms. To immortalise this: individuation has to be advanced by laisez-faire state-non-intervention (deregulation) and free market fundamentalism (globalisation). This seems to me to be the biggest lie – creating the most empowered ingroup – and greatest fascism of them all. And the global Otherised outgroup precariat, but not-yet Mass Man, are beginning to see that no common world is possible.
A common world is possible, by taming individuation …but that leads to collectivisation and the gulag: the uber-individuated ingroup ideologues say …as they proceed to perpetrate the greatest fascism of them all. Lies, vital lies, and TINA …that is the aporia of the human predicament.
A common world is possible: only when we break the cycle of lies.
what’s Tina ?
TINA: ‘There Is No Alternative’ …as in: Fukayama’s “the end of history”.
a short form of Catharina and is generally pronounced like “TEE nah”.
famous persons include Tina Kwyla, the president of the kayak association in Bullistan. She always wears her glasses while swimming.
Pics are captioned Paris Riots 2018. So I searched to see what Parisians are rioting about in 2018. La Honte, perhaps? the shame of France trampling on the Rights of Man in Libya and Syria?
No, they were manning the barricades and shedding their blood over the price of gas. Oh well, they scratch where they feel the itch.
Gilets Jaunes : Le cri de désespoir d’une femme. Paris/France – 1er Décembre 2018
So the stupid French sheeple elected a Rothschild agent for President; and now they emit cries of despair because the price of hydrocarbons has gone up. What did they expect from a Rothschild regime: that the price of hydrocarbons would go down?
Same viewpoint better expressed by Andre Vltchek in today’s interview:
…, it is a nonsense to believe that “Europeans are brainwashed; that they do not know what the West is doing all over the world”. They know, or they at least suspect – most of them. But they pretend that they don’t know. In Europe, there is a shadowy deal between the government, corporations and the people. People want more benefits, and they do not care that the benefits come from plundering the world. _If they get their benefits, they shut up. If they think they are getting too little, they protest, like recently in Paris._ But do they care if tens of millions of ‘un-people’ die for those benefits? Of course not!
Humanity is the question. Humanity is the answer.
A major step in turning an angel a Buddha (angel) into a Hitler (psychopath) is studying economics.
Even a short course in economics is enough to create and develop an acute obsession with ‘units of production’; the belief that anything not included in the supply chain can be and should be dispensed with, takes hold amazingly quickly.
I know: fans are often fascists but there are no other photos to illustrate the theme instead of euro 2016?
today and to the topic fits better this
The Devil will have to make a whole new ring of tormentation today to accomodate that one. Going down to the tenth circle of the depraved.
The death of great wonderful and caring man who provided Saddam Hussein with chemical weapons and helicopters to gas thousands of Kurds and to use against Iranians who had the temerity to want to choose their own leaders.
I sometimes wish their really was a burning hell for psychopathic arseholes like Bush and McCain and for the gutless lying media propagandists that present mass murderers as honourable gentlemen.
Jim Scott: the gushing, fawning eulogising of this psychopathic evil criminal in the ABC here in Australia on their Facebook page was just grotesque. But the thing that shocked me was the big majority of commenters who tore strips off the ABC, and lambasted them for ‘rewriting history’ ‘turning a demon into an angel’ ‘worse than murdoch’ and many commenters simply labelled Bush a war monger and war criminal with most of those mentioning Iraq, Panama, Nicaragua, etc. Those small amount of commenters who tried to defend Bush also were strongly taken too task. For me, a positive seeing all those responses. It meant others out there refusing to accept sanitised whitewashed garbage from the allegedly ‘progressive’ ABC.
Der Einzige, danke schoen! I was puzzled by the physical fitness of all those young men supposedly rioting against Fascism & Capitalism. You have solved my puzzle: the young men who have stripped off their shirts to show off their sixpack torso look physically fit because they were sports fans out for a bit of sport. That really gets the adrenalin going, more than protest against The New World Order of George Bush Senior.
Thanks also for reminding viewers of that cynically infamous speech. I was puzzled by Daddy Bush praising one of Hitler’s catch phrases, until I received a post from a Yank in despair of his country. This correspondent said that Grandaddy Prescott Bush had financed Hitler “and the fruit does not fall far from the tree”.
Mussolini was asked to explain what fascism was. He described it as the fusion of corporate and state power. Crony capitalism, crapitalism, mutual backscratching by business monopolies and politicians for their mutual benefit. This describes our current system adequately. Companies like Boeing, Starbucks, Amazon, Google, Boots, that either pay nothing or a derisory fraction of one per cent in tax. Monopoly pricing by armaments, drug and insurance monopolies. Repressive laws to suppress workers’ rights and new competition. A two tier justice system that protects corporate criminals from prosecution. A corrupt and dysfunctional political system incapable of reform that is up for sale to powerful vested interests.
Neoliberalism’s Dark Path to Fascism by Chris Hedges
The End of America – Ten steps to fascism (2007) Talk by Naomi Wolf
Fascist America, in 10 easy steps by Naomi Wolf
Thanks for this link frank. Neoliberalism’s Dark Path to Fascism, in plain and clear language.
“The dissemination of the ideology of neoliberalism was highly organized by a unified capitalist class.
… They lavished universities with donations, as long as the universities paid fealty to the ruling ideology. They used their influence and wealth, as well as their ownership of media platforms, to transform the press into their mouthpiece. And they silenced any heretics or made it hard for them to find employment. Soaring stock values rather than production became the new measure of the economy. Everything and everyone were financialized and commodified.”
You really do have to be an utter moron to support this system.
Decades from now, history books will record these years of Neo-Liberalism as the dumbest period in human history. They will tell of a system that created vast wealth for a handful of people whilst leaving millions struggling to survive, a system designed to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich, a system that promoted a Malthusian hatred of the poor and a complete indifference to the plight of others whilst extolling the virtues of greed and ignorance.
The last 10 years spanned the worst financial crisis in history, a crisis caused by the sheer greed and criminal behaviour of the richest people on the planet aided by the very deregulation and free market ideology that the right wing so craves, and was only solved by using billions of taxpayers money.
But who has paid the price? In 2004, you needed £700 million to be in Britain’s 50 wealthiest people. 10 years later, that figure is now £1.7 billion. In 2004, the richest 1,000 people owned assets worth £200 billion, today they are worth £519 billion. The 5 richest families now own more wealth than the bottom 20% combined. The average salary for a FTSE 100 CEO is now £84,000 A WEEK.
Meanwhile, for the rest of us? 20% of the population, 13 million people, are now classed as living in poverty, of which over 8 million come from families who are IN WORK. In 2004, the median weekly wage was £462. Today, it is £427 a week. The cost of living has risen by 34% since 2004, meaning that the average disposable income per household is now almost £1,200 a year lower.
In addition, 913,138 people used food-banks in 2013/14, compared to 346,992 in 2012/13 and 26,000 in 2008/09. There has been a 74% increase in the number of malnutrition-related hospital admissions since 2009, whilst cases of rickets have risen by 25% in 4 years. Public health experts have warned that the rise of malnutrition in the UK “has all the signs of a public health emergency.”
And this is happening right now, IN ONE OF THE RICHEST COUNTRY ON EARTH.
The ruling elite already own all our land, gas, electricity, railways, water and media. They are now coming for our pensions, our NHS, our roads, our schools and our green spaces. They have systematically destroyed the unions, dismantled our protections, created mass unemployment and are dismembering the welfare state. They make it easier to sack us, make us work longer hours for less pay, force our kids to work for nothing, raise the retirement age whilst cutting our pensions and weaken our health and safety laws. Yet executives of blue-chip companies enjoyed a median pay rise of 32% in the last year alone.
We are being shafted.
So, It’s time to get angry, and we need someone to express that anger, because none of our politicians are going to do it. Someone to speak for the millions of hard working people who only want a decent life for themselves and for their kids to have a secure future. Someone that speaks up for all of us, not just a privileged few. Someone that tells us that our worth is not measured by our wealth, but our value as human beings. Someone that tells us that compassion and empathy are not bullshit. Someone that tells us that ordinary people can expect to have a decent job, a decent house and decent healthcare. Someone that tells us our elderly can live out their final years in a degree of comfort. Someone that tells us our sick and disabled should be allowed to exist with a shred of dignity. Someone that tells us that the most disadvantaged will not be looked down upon as scum.
Someone that tells us that our kids can still have hopes and dreams.
To paraphrase Lloyd George whilst talking about the Great War: “If the people really knew the truth about what was happening, it would be ended tomorrow, but they must never know.”
Well, it is time we did know, and time we all stood up and said, enough is enough.
@not-Camoron. Wow! You sound like the sort of Socialists we used to have before the war: the ones who brought Britain the Attlee government — the only time in history that the health of a country improved while it was fighting a major war. Statistics with passion: that’s the way it was done.
Re rickets: As a boy I remember seeing a black-and-white photo of _cheery_ British kids with rickets; and I thought, Those days are gone forever. One of the deepest crimes of New Liebour: they not only killed kids in Iraq but adopted Snatcherite policies which made Labour unelectable (why vote AZC-Lite when you can have the real thing?) and brought back malnutrition and rickets to kids in Britain.
PS: Maggie Thatcher Milk Snatcher said New Labour was her favourite child.
Cows’ “milk” makes you stupid.
Excellent analysis. Have you any new ideas of how to peacefully change it?
Thanks for cross-posting this bullingdonmorons.
This is exactly why they are coming for Julian Assange for exposing their complete corruption.
We realise from the Bertholt Brecht essay posted on OffG that this is the phase of capitalism which the capitalist imperative for total control leads to fascism. We’ve been here before. We need to learn. But what do we have? The collapse of the forth-estate becoming the fifth column for the [elite] capitalist state.
And the march towards fascism again… Support for Ukraine? Ring any alarm bells??!!
In a bigger picture, the planet now is in a state of agitation on many fronts.
Globalisation is the new colonisation. Nations are turned into vassal states without being occupied by troops. Broad spectrum surveillance is almost complete using remote technologies. To be safe, troops and spooks are on stand-by to intervene on a short notice.
Globalisation has become a hybrid of rampant capitalism combined with covert and increasingly overt fascism. Steadily, governments are ceding power and control to big corporations.
Globalisation is destroying democracy and sovereignty. Hence, democracies are becoming a shadow of they ought to be and now looking riddled with so many holes just like a dummy in a shooting range.
The form of Globalisation we are experiencing is using rampant and unchecked Capitalism, but Capitalism did not cause Globalisation. In concluding, blaming Capitalism and ignoring all other factors does not solve anything.
Strange, somehow even though the literature professor had us reading the work of Bertholt Brecht so many many years ago now when I was an under-graduate, nothing of his capitalist critique was ever discussed or mentioned. Western university education has a way of “de-radicalizing” even the most progressive minds and societal critiques. My admiration for Brecht has gone up dramatically with this reading. I couldn’t agree more with his assessment. That it was written in 1935 – simply amazing. Thank you for sharing this.
It does boggle the mind that anyone could teach Brecht without highlighting his life-long opposition to and critique of capitalism.
Education, or subjucation? My nephew has just graduated as a journalist and he’s never heard of Chomsky and Hermann’s work on the role of the media as capitalist propaganda or the concept of manufacturing consent.
Vaska – I quite agree – it does “boggle the mind.” Here in the U.S. they’ve managed to sanitize even Dr. King (after first assassinating him of course). Here we celebrate a yearly holiday ostensibly in his honor memory and legacy while simply “disappearing” from all historical memory his outspoken opposition to the Vietnam War, to imperialism and eventually to capitalism itself, including his critique of capitalism’s amoral greed and economic injustice which he came to see as connected inextricably to war and our empire.
The new “sanitized” Dr. Martin Luther King, we are supposed to believe, apparently willingly gave his life to the cause of “civil rights” because he just wanted someone like Barack Obama to be able to be to someday be president so that a Black person could also enjoy the opportunity to seamlessly and ruthlessly front for endless war and act as the face of the empire.
Here in the U.S. with the help of academics and the media we simply eviscerate historical truth wholesale, elevating war criminals like a McCain or a G. Bush to heroic status. Meanwhile we “remember” only those aspects of a true heroic figure like Dr. King that can be safely twisted and distorted enough to create a “story about him” that fits the mythic propaganda needs of our amoral neoliberal capitalist doomsday machine.
The same is true regarding JFK. One will of course NEVER hear discussion of his American University speech in MSM. This is because the speech outlined his turning away from the Cold War and it’s required demonization of the Soviet Union, and thus points directly at the primary reason he was soon assassinated. Instead we get sanitized stories of “Camelot,” and leftist icons like Chomsky telling us he faithfully believes the Warren Commission findings. If MLK and JFK were alive today they would of course have to be silenced all over again for their unacceptable beliefs in social and racial justice and in a peaceful world – beliefs which simply have no place in our capitalist paradise.
GW (without the B!). Excellent points: I 100% agree. You have saved me writing.
Whatever you think of his political views, his plays themselves are utter rubbish. Mutter Courage isn’t too bad, but the rest are dreadful, dreary, preaching, clumsy didactic garbage, lacking in any literary merit.
Mark, I liked Galileo Galilei which I heard over the radio (I think it was interpreted by the great Charles Laughton). “This wine has a blue tinge. I know the hill where its grape is grown”.
And the Pope — God’s CEO on Earth — no less memorable: “Will there ever be a stop to this shuffling of feet outside my door?”.
But the science was for dummies. Like that review of Amadeus, “Not for Music Lovers”. As Plato said, Literature and Mathematical Physics do not mix easily.
Early Warning Signs Of Fascism.
1. Powerful and continuing Nationalism
2. Disdain for human rights
3. Identification of enemies as a unifying cause
4. Supremacy of the military
5. Rampant sexism
6. Controlled mass media
7. Obsession with National Security
8. Religion and Government intertwined
9. Corporate power protected
10. Labor power suppressed
11. Disdain for intellectuals and the Arts
12. Obsession with crime and punishment
13. Rampant cronyism and corruption
14. Fraudulent elections
The Tory regime in the UK ticks every box.
Agree with 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.
Disagree with 1, 5, 14 – but we’re clearly headed for worse.
So, 77% agree with you.
?15. Reluctance to condemn openly fascist, right wing governments/regimes.
?16. Offering support (in a multitude of ways) to openly fascist, right wing governments/regimes.
@Different Frank. And TB.Liar’s New Liebour ticked boxes 1 2 3 4 6 7 9 10 & 13. Phony Tony was a sort of inverted John the Baptist, preaching the AZC and preparing the way for The Beast from Bullingdon.
No argument with you there
My understanding of fascism is that it’s an uneasy alliance between business, workers and elites, people who do not, under normal conditions, make good bedfellows. That kind of in your face fascism is only likely to appear when civil insurrection against a common enemy is stoked by politicians using nationalism as the glue to hold the alliance together. Neoliberalism has achieved far more than fascism could without the overt nationalism or working class enforcers. The minimum wage, limited welfare….crumbs from the table. Along with managed democracy, voting for personalities rather than policies and identity politics equals politics without the commitment to the common good.
Where we go from here is anyone’s guess, democracies relying on people not bothering to vote for parties that are almost the same must have a limited lifespan?
Communism is state capitalism the ultimate fascist state
Henry, that gives much food for thought.
“Fascism is the financial power of Capitalism backed by the coercive power of The State.” — Benito Mussolini
I have heard that Hit and Muss did some good things; and Stalin did some bad things. That Islamic Socialism is doing some good things in Syria, Iran and Lebanon; while Anglo Zio Capitalism is doing many bad things in Israel, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Serbia, Ukraine, Sweden, U$A and Britain. I think it depends a lot on something childishly simple: Watch your morals.
“Do not follow a crowd intent on mischief”. — Old Testament.
You don’t know a shit about communism, Henry, admit it.
Ah so capitalism is capitalism and communism is capitalism too. No escape from capitalism then Henry? Might as well just bow down before it all then.
Ha, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Cont page 94.
I bet you say that Hitler was a socialist because of he National socialist moniker.
To paraphrase some one ( look it up – no Wikipedia it)
In the final analysis the State is a body of armed men.
Then use your imagination and imagine that 250 years ago how Capitalism in one country would have survived.
It is nothing if it is not international.
Communism is nothing and will be nothing if it is not international.
Fascism is an agreement between the Fascist State ( a body of armed men ) and the Ruling Class in any given nation and only comes about when the Old Order is threatened from the left.
They ( the fascists ) protect the Old Order from having their gains taken off them. The price is being a slightly poorer capitalist but still a capitalist nevertheless.
Good article and one that I knew a little about from my friend Migarium. His article(he has obviously studied some of Brechts work) is here:
It is written by brecht an anti capitalist, but the fascism has more to do with socialism than fascism. This article is pure propaganda.