Why are workers being asked to pay the cost of a crisis that was not of their making? If capitalism cannot provide for its workforce, then capitalism must go.
This model motion for use by trade unionists and others is included in our upcoming pamphlet Manifesto for the Crisis, which will be available to buy soon in the party bookshop.
This [conference]* notes that rampant inflation in Britain, as elsewhere, has not been caused by workers, but by capitalists, specifically by the measures the financiers and their governments have been taking to try to conceal and escape from the deep crisis in the global capitalist economy. These include:
- Huge and endless money-printing to bail out banks (2008, 2023) and corporations (2020), to provide seemingly bottomless subsidies to energy (‘price cap’) and armaments (‘standing with Ukraine’) corporations, to big pharma (‘Covid’) and privatised health (‘waiting lists’) companies, to education (‘catching up’) and transport monopolies, etc).
- Supply chain disruptions that have afflicted global production processes since the pandemic, which highlighted just how exposed workers everywhere have become to the slightest shock, as profit-driven decisions have seen every bit of contingency planning abolished in the name of ‘efficiency’.
- Price gouging engaged in by monopoly corporations that are in a position to use the difficult situation to claim things are worse than they are and set prices artificially high (see record profits in the energy sector, for example, and the way that our government, which serves these corporations, robs the people by printing money and borrowing to subsidise price hikes rather than demanding that prices are brought down).
- The sanctions war against Russia, which, having failed to bring down that country by collapsing its economy and creating regime-change conditions amongst the Russian people, has instead boomeranged back onto the aggressors, in particular onto the economies of western Europe, which have for many decades now relied on a steady flow of cheap Russian oil and gas to subsidise the cost of living and of industrial production.
Conference further notes that the hoary old myth that high wages produce inflation was disproved by Karl Marx 150 years ago, and is only repeated by today’s economists in order to try and convince workers that we are wrong to fight for wage rises. But the plain fact is that wages do not ultimately affect inflation but profits. If wages rise, profits fall; if wages fall, profits rise. This is the simple truth our exploiters are desperate to hide from our view with all their ludicrous blather about an ‘overheated economy’ and ‘too much demand’.
Conference notes with concern the recent bank bail-outs in Switzerland and the USA, which make it clear that while the entire global banking system is imploding, our rulers are going to try to cover this up by printing money at an ever more reckless rate. This is nothing but robbery on a grand scale. With every piece of newly-minted currency (in whatever form) that does not reflect a physical increase in the national wealth, our wages, pensions and savings are being further devalued. This in turn will transform the speeding train of inflation into a runaway train, and we can expect social explosions to result as wages continue to plummet in relation to prices.
Conference believes that the economic crisis of capitalism is being fought by our rulers as a ruthless class war, in which the monopolists are determined to pass the burden onto the backs of the poor and to preserve their system by any means necessary. That being so, it is both the right and the duty of workers to fight back. The economic crisis of capitalism was not of our making: why should our children go without food or our elderly without heat because the capitalists cannot find useful ways to continue making profits with the huge wealth they have amassed in their hands?
Conference therefore resolves to launch a mass campaign, canvassing other unions, social organisations and individuals to join us, to demand the following:
- The nationalisation of all utilities (without compensation) as well as of the monopoly producers, manufacturers and distributors of food so as to ensure a secure supply of all necessaries at affordable prices, free from the vacillations and disruptions of the world market.
- The mass requisition and building of social housing and the introduction of a rent cap to address the housing crisis.
- The complete renationalisation of every part of the NHS, including all its buildings and the pharmaceutical industry.
- That Britain must leave Nato, bring all troops and military contractors home, and end all aspects of British involvement in aggressive wars abroad.
- The lifting of the minimum wage to a level providing a decent family existence.
- The enacting of legislation to ensure that pay and benefit rises keep pace with real inflation.
- An end to currency devaluation through endless money printing.
- An end to the self-defeating sanctions war against Russia, which is fuelling both the energy and the inflation crises.
- An end to all subsidies to monopoly corporations and banks. Any business considered ‘too big to fail’ or ‘necessary to the national economy’ that cannot make an adequate profit out of ordinary operations should be nationalised without compensation and run according to a plan based on meeting the needs of the people.
Conference further resolves that these demands should be backed by mass action, strikes and non-cooperation until our demands are met.
* Change as required: eg, branch, meeting, union, etc.