George Osborne has declared that the UK economy is back on the road to sustainable recovery. Closer analysis shows that the recovery so far is based on rising household debt with policy seemingly geared toward inflating house prices, two of the factors that led to the economic crash in the first place. It is not that the powers-that-be are stupid: capitalism has been experiencing a long-term crisis of profitability for decades, and debt-fuelled growth and asset price bubbles have become essential methods of maintaining any kind of economic vitality. All capitalism can offer at its present stage is stagnation punctuated by the inflating and bursting of bubbles. Predictably, the far-right is thriving in this climate, and will continue to make possibly fateful gains as long as our side refuses to challenge them on what historically was always our ground.
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The decline of the BNP has given UKIP the chance to fill the yawning gap that exists in working class political representation. By way of contrast, the current incarnations of the left are failing, yet again, to make any impression. This is repeating the pattern of recent decades, where the right have consistently out-thought the left in terms of strategy. The ongoing capitalist crisis offers real opportunities for our side, but it also presents great dangers. If the left continues to shirk its responsibility by failing to fully engage with the working class, it leaves the path clear for the continued growth of right-wing nationalism. (more…)
As the Eurozone crisis moves towards some kind of conclusion, the far-right are gaining ground across Europe. Mainstream commentators are noting the parallels with the 1930s, but there is one key difference: then, there was an organised, motivated working class ready to mount resistance. Today, the drift to the right faces no such obstacle.
What lies behind the riots seen on English streets three weeks ago?