Neither tragedy nor farce but action for real change can save the day
by Ken Ferguson · If Marx was right when he wrote the famous dictum that history repeats itself first as tragedy than as farce you have to wonder where on that scale lies the crisis wracked UK now?
As the Voice warned in 2016, the Brexit process has turned over some very unsavoury stones and brought a range of unsavoury right wing forces to the centre of the political stage.
As the tragic events in New Zealand show, there is a real danger that this growing rightward movement can come to rest in some pretty dangerous places.
Indeed, across Europe, right wing populism now challenges for power in several countries and is likely to make large gains in the European elections later this year.
It is in this international setting that the Brexit crisis is taking place and indeed, many of the elements of that crisis bear a direct relationship to each other.
Like Brexit, the rise of forces such as the French National Front and the AFD in Germany drink from many of the same wells of despair as swathes of countries are faced with industrial decline, insecure work and stagnant or falling living standards.
When the Eastern countries of “actually existing socialism” collapsed in the early ‘90s capitalists had no incentive to placate workers for fear that they might embrace an alternative.
Unions were first shut out from bargaining and then chained by repressive anti-union laws while their political wing from the US Democrats through “New” Labour to the once mighty German social democrats capitulated to the bosses agenda.
So Blair and Brown in over a decade of majority power left Thatcher’s anti-union laws in place and their German and other European comrades played the same tune.
Unconstrained capital then sacked workers, closed plants, imported products from cheap labour countries and switched from production to speculation in a fevered bubble which finally burst in 2008.
For the working class this meant austerity to pay for the bankers crimes and increasing fragmentation and insecurity of work and wages.
This has been magnified by the perversion of technology with the World Wide web turned from the liberating hopes of its founders to a Frankenstein of mega monopolies with a power to rival democratically elected governments.
Alongside this major offensive by the faceless forces of big money the planetary environment enters what one leading expert has described as a “death spiral” and there is very limited time left to halt it.
Faced with this reality it is clear that only a major change of direction in our economic structures and politics can not only rescue the living standards of people but protect all humanity from the irreversible environmental consequences which are only years away.
The reality is that so grave is the threat that it time up for tinkering and beyond time for radical change.
Confronted with the despair flowing from the bosses whip hand with the loss of jobs, stagnation and despair it is hardly surprising that many bought into—just as in Europe and the US—the apparently simplistic Brexit populism.
However the task is not to play Russian roulette with a range of bad and worse Brexit offers but to face the hard reality of the urgent need to break with Neo liberalism and remake our world.
That’s why here in Scotland the option of an independent republic which pursues a complete break with the market led pandering to the elite policies which dominate today and offer only a multi headed hydra of crisis best serves the working class majority.
The Voice, since it foundation, has supported Scottish independence but not to switch the Union Jack for the Saltire over Edinburgh Castle but as route to real change.
To make our position clear we are totally convinced that the best available route to a Red/Green future which can benefit Scots and be a beacon for the future for progressives everywhere lies with independence.
In the current paralysis those who support a British Road to Socialism—some of whom also believe in the teeth of all the evidence—that Brexit opens the way for left politics are whistling in the dark offering Scots just one more desperate throw on the Westminster dice.
In Scotland it is vital that those who favour independence urgently apply clear sighted politics to both fashioning the case for real radical change and how such a Yes campaign has to be organised.
In this context it is not, as some more vocal supporters allege, indulging in “SNP bad” to oppose the dismal politics and economics of the austerity laden so-called Growth Commission.
Among its many failings this document fails to grasp that the key Yes target of winning the the working class is yet to be achieved and it is this task rather than converting some Murrayfield millionaires that will take us to victory.
It is now clear that a wide range of pro-independence forces including Greens, the SSP and much of those backing a radical Yes won’t march under the neoliberal Growth Commission banner.
As the major party in the Yes camp, the SNP—which will debate it at their upcoming conference—needs to reject it in the wider interests of a Yes victory.
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