For the Western Axis of Imperialism and Capitalism, this is one of the greatest crises that has ever occurred. Economies are grinding to a halt as self-isolation and quarantine become necessary means of halting the spread of COVID-19. Huge state backed financial aid programmes are being introduced in Ireland at this moment. What is interesting though is the reluctance and slowness of these measures, it is as if the State is tailing the capitalists in shuttering things and providing security measures.
Workers in Ireland who lose their employment due to COVID-19 or are infected will be covered by basic payments of either 203 euro per week or 305 euro per week if infected. All of this money comes from the coffers of the Irish State and nowhere else. The coffers of the Irish State are gathered through direct and indirect taxation. It is a well established fact that the multinational software companies, which depend on Ireland to function as a state, as well as the insurance firms, the banks and the vulture avoid contributing as much via taxation as possible.
What we can identify is the obvious: If there is no functioning Irish state with all the legal, military and judicial mechanisms to enforce itself with, there is no place for many of these parasites to nest in and accumulate wealth. They need the Irish State, yet their contributions to it’s maintenance are minimalistic. In fact, you can expect that the many corporations which find themselves registered in Ireland for various financial benefits will seek not merely to contribute nothing, but request funds for their own upkeep under one set of auspices or another. Their relationship to us is parasitic.
This is not a new phenomenon in the West, the Irish state simply follows the cue of other states. To avoid the meltdown of large private financial firms, the State steps in. This is then sold to us by media pundits and journalists as ‘fiscal maturity’ and ‘necessary measures’. What it is in practice, is the working class of every nation bailing out unreliable and detestable private companies that exist only to make a profit. Libertarians opining for a freer market, take note!
This model of the working class playing as the wealth guarantors of the wealthy by bailing them out is precisely the model that we saw when Wall Street imploded in 2007/08. COVID-19 has acted as a catalyst in slowing down the productive economy (tangible measures of wealth such as rent, debt repayment, manufacturing, industry) and as a result, we have inevitably entered the next financial crisis. The speculative bubble that has been building since 2008 was going to explode, sooner or later and now COVID-19 has burst it. Immediately we see state money flowing into private hands, just like we did in 2008.
Do any of us think, for a moment, that the gallant state officials have requested even a cent from the corporations they’re bailing out in tackling COVID-19? Have the salaries of the CEOs of these companies been reduced? Do you earnestly believe that they won’t receive their payouts as shareholders or dividends?
The burden of bailing out unproductive, virtual money laden, speculative boosted companies and corporations will fall back on our shoulders. We will be their beasts of burden, in precarious hours and precarious living conditions and we will make them richer yet again. Their wealth will flow in from the labour we give on low wages, the high rent we pay and the indirect and direct taxation that’s introduced as ’emergency’ taxation. We will be stripped from every angle and they – comrades, will continue to party lavishly, drink the finest champagnes, sniff the best cocaine and enjoy all the ‘high life’ benefits that come with being a successful ‘entrepreneurs’.
This moment of our international crisis should be a moment of awakening for those sitting on the fence about their political place in the world. When budget day arrives in Leinster House, what sort of measures do you think will be introduced to cover the cost of the virus and who will cover the cost? Ask yourself this as you watch the messages, videos, podcasts and informative posts go up all over social media and as you engage with your friends and family members. Ask yourself what sort of health service and housing situation we had before the virus and what it will look after, but most importantly, what do you want it to look like?
The social democratic state that operates from Leinster House will not seek any meaningful support from the multinationals and corporations that it has for so long facilitated. The cost of saving Ireland will fall to the working people of Ireland. If we possessed all of the industries and financial institutions, that would be fine, but we don’t. We are bailing out useless parasites that contribute nothing!
It would be a common Communist view that private banks, insurance firms, speculators are not needed in society. That the professions which stem from the privatization of health, education, housing etc are also totally unnecessary elements to society. We do not need property agents if we build public housing. We do not need 17 motor tax insurance firms raking in over 200 million euro if we have one state insurance firm for motorists. We do not need vulture funds, if the state has a public housing programme for us all. We do not need fast food chains that ruin our health through a mixture of subliminal and direct propaganda plastered everywhere.
In fact, what COVID-19 demonstrates is how much useless garbage capitalism produces for us to consume, for us to be distracted by, for us to put in ourselves, for us to watch. Distract the working class and then send them off to a hard weeks labour!
This moment of self isolation is the moment that we can serious political questions.
Is the political organisation of Ireland suitable?
Is the economic organisation of Ireland suitable?
Why is the HSE struggling?
Why do hospitals require ‘gofundme’ pages for help?
These issues are the consequences of political decisions made in Leinster and Stormont to uphold free market capitalism. The two institutions are designed and regulated to implement, continue and strengthen the practical and ideological roots of free market capitalism. That is why it must all go.
When the inevitable budget day comes, and the Blueshirts, in coalition with Fianna Fail, Labour, Greens, Social Democrats or whoever, address the nation and tell us how we all suffered from COVID-19 and how we must all now contribute to rebuild ‘our economy’, ask yourself precisely what part of this is plural. The giant multinationals who contribute nothing and make billions in Ireland are only certainly part of ‘our’ economy by name only. The giant vulture funds who evict people in conjunction with bailed out banks certainly don’t see themselves as part of ‘our’ economy.
They are not part of our economy. They do not answer to anybody but their shareholders. They exist here as parasites, feeding on the host that is the Irish people and when they are done, they will move on to another compliant state and feed off another nation of downtrodden working class people.
So when the inevitable October budget day comes and they demand payment from us for the maintenance of these private “entrepreneurs” we must with one resounding voice refuse one cent. We must refuse all austerity measures. We must refuse the wealth that we create and generate, being handed over to the laziest parasites in society. Let the capitalists rot, they need us and we do not need them!
The question might then arise as to how precisely we can resist these austerity measures. Are they inevitable? Should we march? Should we occupy financial institutions receiving our money? Should we blockade streets? Should we destroy the property of financial institutions?
The answer to all of the above is a thousand times YES. Nobody will fight austerity for us. The many corporations, vulture funds, landlords and huge employers aren’t going to readily hand over their ill accrued wealth because we ask politely. They will not contribute because they have a sense of moral justice or fairness. They must be beaten into submission by the power of the proletariat, the power of the working class, our power.
There’s a moment here, where we can envision a Republic that is not partitioned, that is not enslaved to the European Union, the British State or the American Chamber of Commerce. We need to fight against the indentured slavery that is austerity. We need to fight for our collective liberation from wage slavery and precarious living. We need to fight for a way of organising society that places human need at the center and you and I, at the heart of the decision making process.
To place ourselves at the heart of the decision making process, to give governance of Ireland to the working class, we will have to fight for it. The leeches and parasites that constitute the vulture funds, banking cartels and insurance fund gangsters aren’t going to hand over power peacefully or amicably. This is the order in Ireland that suits and enriches them. This is their order.
Their luxury and joy comes at our expense and misery. Our task is to reverse this state of being. Their dictatorship of capital and the free market, must be replaced by our dictatorship our dictatorship of the majority, of the working class, otherwise known as the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Take this time to make a decision. Will you fight against austerity and for the Workers Republic or will you shrug your shoulders and condemn generations of people to indentured slavery?