Sunday, June 19, 2016

Housing Crisis is Class War

Welfare or Warfare State?  
The selling off of state houses is an act of class war. But the act of building them by the First Labour Government was no less an act of class war. The British bankers conceded welfare reforms to ensure that workers were fit for exploitation and to stabilise the economy. These soon gave way to co-opting workers to fight in the Second World War to restore the conditions for capitalist growth.

Labourite welfarism did not mark the end of class war since depression and world war proved that class war was alive as workers were forced to kill one another to defend their capitalist bosses.

Nor was the postwar boom the end of class war as it could not have happened without the wartime destruction which restored the conditions for a return to profits – the replacement of old inefficient plant and machinery with new technology and increased workers exploitation.

It follows that the end of the post-war boom in the early 70s was not the return of class war, merely its new form. The Keynesians were routed and the neo-liberals around Roger Douglas set about using the state to redirect welfare concessions back to profits. Privatising public assets is a part of this.

Whose side are you on? 

The selling off of state houses today is evidence that Kiwi capitalism is Kaput; that profits are falling so that the NACTS have to sell state houses to balance the budget for tax cuts to foreign capital, and that workers today have to provide much of their health, education and housing costs out of their shrinking wage packets. That’s why its class war!

Capitalism is inherently violent. Depression kills and when workers resist they are killed. Wars to defend capitalism kill. The state is defined as the repository of ruling class violence. Strikes are met with strike breakers. Occupations are met with police repression. Revolution is met with fascism. There can be no class peace while there is class war. Class war is a zero-sum game. Only one class can win.

The working class is the great majority, it does not need to use violence other than to resist the violence used against it. The best example of this truth is the period from 1917 to 1921 in Russia when violence was initiated by the Tsarist regime and the imperialist ruling classes to smash the revolution. They all decided that the real class enemy was the Soviet state. The workers state stopped fighting Germany on the side of Britain and France and signed a peace treaty. It then had to mobilise the Red Army against an invasion of imperialist troops and Tsarist forces on 7 separate fronts from Vladivostok to Finland.

It’s easy to see which class retains its power to exploit by violence and which class must use violence to defend its resistance to exploitation and oppression.

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