Communist Youth Organization

The Youth Branch of The Workers’ Communist Party of Iran

Chia Barsen: Austerity cuts and capital absorption crisis

Thousands of people marched in the streets of London and other major cities in the UK demanding an end to the draconian cuts being made to the social services in the UK. Anti-austerity and most importantly anti-capitalism banners was myriad among the people attending the rally. The current ubiquitous cuts being made to the soc
ial services is an on-going neo-liberal agenda of reducing the responsibility of capital for the social reproduction labour. Meaning that the working-class will be forced to pay even more than today, for benefits such as healthcare, education and housing from their wages. Under the banner of “individual freedom”, “liberty”, “personal responsibility”, “free trade”, “the virtues of privatization and free market”, the capitalist class tries to legitimize its insidious class war it has waged since mid-1970’s.

Capitalism has no solution for its current crisis. By debasing the working class purchasing power through deep cuts to wages and social services, capitalism finds it more difficult to satisfy the demand necessary to absorb the ever increasing surplus capital. Since capitalism cannot oscillate back to the Keynesian system of demand control, it relies more and more on privatization of state owned property to open new markets to exploit. The National Health Service, NHS, a monumental achievement of the working-class in the UK and a large part of the welfare state, is now being deprived of funding (which was originally derived through taxation of the rich) and is being dismantled and sold in the market.

The capitalist class, through a neo-liberal agenda of class attack on the working people, is defining the terms of solving its own crisis. As a class it is flaunting its austerity as the only solution to current crisis and in so doing it is making a statement that there is no other economic system, no other form of social production other than the market exchange system. And that the only way to circumvent the current crisis and all other crisis is through the market. This is the odious statement capital is making the world over, however the people in the streets of London chanting “tax the rich”, “your crisis”, and “we are the 99%” have a different solution to capitalism’s crisis prone economy. Further, that the solution to capital absorption crisis is not circumscribed to the parameters of capitalism but instead has a working-class solution that is a trek out of an exchange-value system and into a use-value economy. A solution to the insanity of capital absorption problem is only found in a society where profiteering and the exploitation of labour are both considered pathological deviance.

Capital wants an unbridled capital circulation. If capital does not grow and accumulate without an avenue for further surplus production and reinvestment (at a compound rate) than capital over-accumulates and the over-accumulated surplus is either devalued or destroyed. Capital wants to remove all barriers to capital circulation (of which there are six), currently it is dismantling the welfare state and creating new free trade zones with a deleterious impact on the working-class, leaving the working people bereft of all social services and benefits. However by removing one barrier to capital accumulation, capitalism creates new barriers that create economic crisis. It is within the space of these economic barriers that the working-class has centre stage to propose an alternative economic model and to start the inexorable trek out of the exchange-value market system towards a use-value economy.

 Chia Barsen

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