No gods! No masters!
‘Creationist Ken Ham is very angry at the Washington Post for incorrectly reporting that he believes dinosaurs were wiped out by the biblical flood described in the story of Noah’ (rawstory.com, 1 January). According to Ham, they joined Noah on his ark and the Post should get their facts right! The standard atheist approach to such nonsense is to use real facts. Against the belief in an all-knowing/loving/powerful god/s, an atheist is right to wield facts such as humans are 90 percent bacteria, see less than 1 percent of the light spectrum , have sub-optimal plumbing (breathing, eating, excretory and reproductive) and are programmed to die. The atheist could reasonably add that at least 40 percent of animal species are parasites, and over 99 percent of all species that ever lived are extinct. Socialists, unlike atheists, fight against Creationists like Ham and clerics in general not because of their belief in God but because priests of all religions have been, in all phases of history, the allies of the ruling classes in keeping the masses bent under the yoke. Churches have crowned the peoples’ oppressors, and crucified our forebears. New Age religion is merely the old repackaged in a new, modern form. Rather than obeying a priest, they choose the form of our own mental domination and the flight from reality into a magical world.
The concluding paragraph of Money for nothing: What universal basic income means for you reads: ‘I realize that to some, basic income sounds like a Black Mirror episode with millions of people sitting on their couches all day, bored, listless, and up to no good. But based on what I’ve read so far, I believe that if it’s handled correctly, it could be a positive step forward in the age-old journey to realize our true human potential’ (mashable.com, 4 January). But, of course, the capitalist class have enjoyed for centuries an unearned income – money for nothing! – that is anything but basic. For the 99 percent UBI is nothing more than a redistribution of crumbs, promoted by reformists of the left and right.
When it comes to predicting the future, economists are marginally better than clairvoyants but far worse than meteorologists. ‘It is official. Figures for the past six months show that the forecasts of instant Brexit catastrophe from the Treasury and the Bank of England were garbage. The Bank’s economist, Andrew Haldane, admitted yesterday that it was a repeat of the failure to predict the 2008 crash. It was another ‘Michael Fish moment’, when meteorologists failed to forecast the 1987 hurricane’ (theguardian.com,6 January). 85 years ago we published the pamphlet Why Capitalism Will Not Collapse. The economic outlook back then appeared even worse than it is today: ‘We are in the midst of a crisis that is world-wide. Every country feels its ravages. Millions and millions of workers are unemployed and in acute poverty. Everywhere there is discontent and a feeling of insecurity, and the prestige of even the strongest of governments has been shaken. All sorts of emergency measures have been hastily adopted, but the depression still continues. Working men and women who normally ignore such questions, are now asking why the crisis has occurred, what will be its outcome, and whether it could have been avoided. In some minds there is a fear, and in others a hope, that the industrial crisis may bring the present system of society down in ruins, and make way for another.’ We warned those who said that capitalism would imminently collapse that their claim was groundless. History has vindicated this position. There will be no need for economists in a socialist world where production is for use not profit and distribution according to self-defined need rather than having sufficient money. They along with former bankers, expropriated capitalists and tax consultants will join clairvoyants, homeopaths, lawyers and priests looking for something more meaningful to do with their lives.
Dustbin of history
‘One Nation candidate Shan Ju Lin has labelled gay people ‘abnormal’, saying that they ‘should be treated as patients’ and ‘need to receive treatments” (news.com.au, 7 January). Unscientific prejudice like this serves the interests of the status quo by dividing our class and delaying the socialist revolution.