Saturday, 20 September 2008

'We need a better system and we need it soon; but it has yet to be born'

The past week of financial turmoil has demonstrated that the ideas of the left are more relevant than ever. Capitalism, as even Dafydd Wigley acknowledged in a conscious echo of Marx, "contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction".

The speculators and gamblers that have profited from the financial system regardless of their impact on wider society are now running cap in hand to governments across the world. Brown and Bush are busy bailing out these ruling-class spongers to ensure that capitalism doesn't grind to a halt. Maintaining the system is all and bugger the costs. 

But it's likely that, given the scale of the bailouts of banks like the Northern Rock, that it will be us the taxpayers who bear the burden. As always. The super-rich don't bother with tax - that is for "the little people" as one notorious US billionaire tax evader once claimed. 

Handouts to save bankers aren't available to improve our communities. The financial markets are move important than building new council housing, replacing our crumbling schools or cutting NHS waiting lists.

Our role, in Wales and internationally, is to ensure that it is not "the little people" who pay the price for the casino gamblers of the City. And to advance the ways in which the vast majority of the people of Wales, the working class, take control over their lives, workplaces and communities.

Dafydd Wigley, not a man of the left in normal times, is explicit in looking beyond capitalism: "We need a better system and we need it soon, but it has yet to be born".

That system will not be the dead hand of Stalinist bureaucratic Communism that stifled the human spirit and became as much an oppressor of workers as capitalism itself. The replacement we're looking for will be more in tune with the needs of peoples throughout the world - democratic, green and inclusive. Whether that system is called socialist, workers control or a "direct democracy" of a new kind remains to be seen.

But we can't go on as we are. Here in Wales, we're suffering higher than average fuel bills but lower incomes than any other part of the UK. Anglesey "enjoys" household incomes of just 53% of the UK level and inequalities are growing.

How do we achieve our goal of social justice, of equality for all and putting people before profits? How does this fit in with the debate over the future of the UK and Wales's place within it? Is there a parliamentary (or should that be Assembly) road to socialism?

 This blog is one contribution to that debate. You're welcome to use it.

1 comment:

Hen Ferchetan said...

Welcome Iewsyn - happy blogging!