The Sun newspaper should be no more abhorrent to socialists than any other capitalist propaganda rag. In a spirit of intellectual equanimity I occasionally take the wretched organ along with more sober rags of the ruling elite in order to gainsay and refute the views of supporters of the profit system.
Now, as the world capitalist system moves inexorably towards another catastrophic slump it behoves the class traitor scribblers of the “popular press” to divert our attention from the problems facing us as a consequence of capitalism’s irresolvable internal contradictions.
But don’t worry – the Sun has a “Happy Page”:
“The pound crumbles, the economy tumbles and Gordon Brown finally rumbles that we are heading for the big recession.
So to take your mind off the sad economic tidings there are plenty of cheery stories scattered throughout The Sun.
And for uninterrupted fun turn to Page 20 our new Happy Page.
If you have any stories or photos that will raise British spirits why not send them to us and do your bit in the War against Gloom effort.”
As the “Real Economy” goes into recession and people lose their jobs, homes and belief in the future of their communities we are exhorted by the Sun to turn to page 20 and have a chortle as workers’ lives under capitalism crumble around our ears.
Socialists have long understood the function of the reactionary media in the intellectual conditioning of capitalist society. Workers are bombarded by propaganda on a myriad of fronts. In the last 30 years the Sun has cornered the market in combining “politics”, gambling and tits with criminal and celebrity witch hunts.
Whilst the world working class is entering a period in which there will be a sustained, angry and possibly violent attack upon our meagre living standards and individual rights by the ruling class, we must challenge the “official” media at every turn, the more apparently “learned” daily journals such as the Guardian, Independent or Telegraph as well as the Sun.
At this time the fanciful notion that “taxpayers money” is being used to stave off capitalist crisis is being promulgated by the mainstream media. Whilst, in reality the capitalist class is using State funds generated on the backs of the labour of workers to prop up the profit system and to provide them with a surplus. The capitalist media are also wrestling all their capacity to prepare us for yet another period of belt-tightening.
The reasons for the failings of capitalism, and the potential to resolve the problems caused to people under the grip of the system are often very near to the grasp of workers’ thinking, both individually and collectively. My trajectory towards socialist consciousness began as a very young man witnessing the “shaking out” of staff at R.M. Douglas Construction Ltd of Birmingham in 1992. I saw proud middle-aged, “company” men, some with over 25 years service, cry openly as they were told they were surplus to requirements for the firm.
So, as the reality of capitalist recession imposes itself once more on the already beleaguered working class the last thing we need to do is to read “Happy News” on Page 20 of The Sun newspaper.
Andy P. Davies