Editorial – The coming change of office-holders

For those who follow what is called ‘politics’ — what goes on at Westminster — times must be interesting. The Labour leaders are expecting to become ministers before the end of the year. The Tories seem to be in meltdown. The SNP are in difficulty. The Brexit Party is reviving as Reform UK. Pro-Palestine Muslims are planning to stand candidates to take votes from Labour. Who will win or lose and where?

This is not real politics. Real politics is the perpetual conflict between the state-backed wealthy class who own and control the means of living and the majority working class who don’t. Westminster politics is a side-show about which individuals and groups of individuals get elected to parliament to run the central administrative structure of capitalism, though you wouldn’t think it was just this from the extravagant claims made about how they can also control the way the capitalist economy operates.

Both in theory and in practice, governments cannot do this. Capitalism can only work in one way: as a profit-making system in which the aim of production is to make a profit, an aim enforced on both enterprises and governments through unpredictable and uncontrollable market forces which they can do nothing about except comply with.

Westminster politics is just about individual politicians successfully climbing the greasy pole, or sliding down again, and about which group of careerists gets the juicy government jobs.

Parties have to convince people to vote for them. As part of the game, they make various promises about how they will manage the capitalist economy.

But this economy moves through continuous cycles of expansion and stagnation or contraction. If a party happens to be in office during a period of expansion it claims that this was due its policies or its competence at managing the economy. If, on the hand, it happens to be in office during a period of stagnation or contraction it claims to have been ‘blown off course’ and the opposition party blames the situation on the mistaken policies and incompetence of the governing party.

This latter is the position today with the opposition Labour Party banging on about ‘14 years of Tory misrule’. The Tories have indeed shown an obvious degree of incompetence (from a capitalist point of view) but this is not the reason why real living standards have stagnated over the period. Even if they had displayed competence this would still have happened.

It’s not the Tories that are the problem. It’s capitalism itself. And it is certainly not Labour that’s the solution — their plan to make capitalism work as they promise is destined to fail too. What is required is not a change of office-holders but a complete change of society from one based on class ownership and production for profit to one based on common ownership and production directly to meet people’s needs, from capitalism to socialism.

Next article: Pathfinders – How much does Dark Matter? ➤

One Reply to “Editorial – The coming change of office-holders”

  1. “the opposition Labour Party banging on about ‘14 years of Tory misrule’.”

    The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government spent it’s first few years in government banging on that they were clearing up the mess Labour had left them.

    Labour, Liberal, Tory – same old story!

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