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Osborne’s ‘false dilemma’

December 13, 2013

Great analysis by sinisterfootwear in response to the Guardian article:

‘George Osborne announces fresh attack on welfare budget – In challenge to Labour, chancellor tells MPs billions will need to be shaved from welfare to avoid deeper departmental cuts’ –

Guardian comments thread 12 December 2013 
Too good not to be shared:

Osborne presents us with a classic “false dilemma”. He deceitfully presents us with the stark and false choice between welfare cuts or cuts to other departments of the state. He is asking us to consider limited number of preselected alternatives when in fact there numerous other options available to us. Let me elaborate.

As a world economic system capitalism is inherently and increasingly crisis prone: that’s its “natural” state. In fact, since the 1970s the rate of crises has speeded up with crises regularly occurring throughout every decade. So, what does that mean for contemporary capitalism and the future of the welfare state.?

According to David Harvey: A crisis is “(a)n irrational, rationalizer of an irrational system; the irrationality of the system right now being masses of capital and masses of labour side by side in the midst of a world that is full of social need.

How stupid is that?

The rationalization that capital is looking for is the re-establishment of the basis for the extraction of surpluses: to re-establish the profit rate. The irrationality in which they (capitalists) are going about this is to actually suppress these possibilities by suppressing labour and suppressing the circulation of capital.

As socialists there is another way of rationalizing; the big question is how to take all that equipment and all that labour and put it together so that it meets human need? That is the rationality that we should be looking for right now, at a moment of crisis, at a moment of opportunity to think about the transition to socialism”.

Make no mistake, austerity is a class project the aim of which is to roll back the advances made by working people for the further enrichment of the ruling class. Austerity isn’t intended as a short/medium term measure, it is, as Cameron said, forever.

Surrounded by the opulence of the Guildhall’s grandest room, Cameron addressed 900 rich and well-pampered guests enjoying a sumptuous banquet, courtesy of the City of London Corporation. He used the annual speech at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet to declare that the devastating austerity being imposed by his government will be “permanent.”

Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement announced further billions in spending and welfare cuts. The “recovery” hailed by Osborne is actually the slowest in more than 100 years, with the economy more than 3 percent smaller than before the 2008 crash.

The UK economy has only been able to remain afloat through a guarantee of cheap money via the £375 billion of quantitative easing that been made available to the banks. This could rise to as much as £425 billion.

Through the progressive commodification of the means of social reproduction (education, health, welfare, etc.), the neoliberal state has engineered a social catastrophe. The goal is to finally destroy what remains of the Keynesian welfare state that emerged during the long post war boom, and replace it with a neoliberal “workfare” state.

Whereas the role of the state in the Keynesian model was to try to extend the social rights of its citizens, the “workfare” model is concerned to provide welfare services that benefit business, both national and international. The net result is that the needs of the individual/society will take second place to capital accumulation forever.

Permanent austerity is a class project under taken by states on behalf of the rich. It is class war pure and simple.

Related posts:

‘Politics and Parasites’

Nineteen Eighty Four revisited – Is there a ‘world domination’ study course?

The hidden welfare state

What does Leveson tell us about the Tories and their plan to wipe out state services?

Why do politicians tell us Debt/Deficit myths which they must know to be untrue?

One Comment
  1. Excellent analysis and so succinct

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