Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Stopping Asset Sales


Rally against Asset Sales, Auckland, April 2012

The mass marches against asset sales may be getting smaller, but the militant opposition is on the rise. The NACTs are speeding up their rip, shit, bust plan to re-colonise NZ. The TPPA signals this logic as it signs away almost all sovereign control over NZ assets. This means that the opposition to that barbaric future will only grow stronger and draw more and more into activity. The NACTs have no choice but to go for broke and they are breaking down everywhere.

For example, Operation 8 was a total failure to divide the nation against Maori ‘terror’. The big plans to ‘reform’ education have been temporarily shelved. Welfare ‘reform’ is kept in the headlines, with numerous incendiary statements from Paula Benefit, such as drug testing beneficiaries, as a diversion from the real fight over asset sales where the NACTs face a growing popular resistance.

The Waitangi Tribunal and Iwi corporate challenges to water sales have put the Power Co sales on hold. Yes, the iwi leaderships will be bought off by shares or compensation to grab a share in the privatised profits of public assets. They are openly admitting that to get anything from the deals they will have to capitalise their ‘spiritual’ values and their traditional view of ‘ownership’ into money-value. Te Whiti would be calling them 21st century kupapa.

Then, another sort of capitalist corporate, Rio Tinto, has seized the time to cut its power costs. It takes 20% of the total NZ electricity output so can effectively force the working class to subsidize its power costs.

These are challenges arising from disagreements among the bosses who are squabbling over the size of their cut from privatization at our expense. They all stand to profit from privatisation. They are not the allies of the masses whose only experience of ‘trickle down’ from asset sales is price rises to pay for the privatised profits.

The growing popular opposition to asset sales has already forced the NACTs to repackage its sales pitch several times and it’s now coming up against a worsening global depression, falling prices and devaluation of capital assets and living standards – a classic crisis of overproduction!

What makes the current resistance bound to increase and strengthen is the courage and political inventiveness of a growing youth movement who understand that their generation must lead the austerity the fightback against the attacks of the international banksters. When the capitalist system begins to eat its young, its days are numbered.

The Labour Party has a contradictory position on asset sales. It will not come out and state that it will re-nationalise all asset sales, let alone not pay compensation. It doesn’t want to be identified as part of a movement lead by anti-capitalists. The Green and Labour MPs who speak at asset sales rallies are careful not to steer the fightback outside parliament. They are on a losing streak. Because to stop the asset sales the movement has to go way beyond referenda and legal challenges to militant direct action which must come into conflict with parliament.

Mana is shaping up to lead that resistance and can do if and when it overcomes its historic tension between Maori Nationalism and the Pakeha left and unites the majority of the NZ working class. At the moment Mana is subordinating itself to the Waitangi Tribunal – that is the capitalist parliamentary system. It will only break from this when Maori workers realise that there is no parliamentary solution and that the iwi corporate leaders are Maori capitalists who want to exploit Maori workers to make a profit.

We look forward to the demos and direct actions when we see Mana banners and flags declaiming “Renationalisation without Compensation” and calling for “occupations of lands and dams” to unite the various left currents and campaigns.

The reason that NZ politics is being realigned is that Aotearoa/NZs economic sovereignty in the Pacific is being permanently sold-off under the NACTs to US imperialism. This political realignment will see a huge polarisation between the NACT rightwing and a growing left around Mana, a left Labour Party split, and a Green split along class lines that unites the left fragments like the ‘new left’ Syriza in Greece. Its agenda will be contested but open to those who want to defeat the right drift towards NZ as a locked down US neo-colony and fight for Aotearoa/NZ as a sovereign, socialist republic. That would be a good start.

Occupy the Dams!
Take back the power! Dump Rio Tinto!
Socialise all strategic assets under workers’ control!
For a Workers’ Government!
For a Socialist Republic of Aotearoa in a Socialist Federation of the Pacific!
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