The current UK government is the most extreme I have known in my lifetime. However, over time, and despite the media, the public is becoming aware of that. At the moment less than 30% support their ever further right policies. It has been a rather grim 12 years, but their collapse is quite apparent, and the end is in sight, if we are wise.
Against this backdrop, we know that inequality between the richest in society (the so-called 1%) and the rest of us has been growing year on year. It is now so unacceptable to reasonable people that even the US government and international bankers think it has gone too far. I’ve never seen that happen before! The current government is almost completely finished.
However, one thing that could save them is ‘class war’. We have seen this before, most recently in the 1980s, when many of the public were persuaded by the media to side with the government against the some working class zealots who were successfully labelled as ‘the enemy within’. With the government having public support (144 seat majority), there could only ever be one winner.
People like to be called ‘aspirational’, and in our current stage of development in the UK, that means aspiring to being like the 1%. A particular group of aspiring Brits has been brought up to feel superior to whoever they perceive as foreigners. The conditioning has been so effective that they are easily triggered by words such as ‘immigrant’ and even ‘refugee’. To them, the 1% are there to keep such people away from them and they can get as rich as they want.
‘Them’ against ‘us’
Why am I saying this, here? Well, much as I admire the recent stance taken by Mick Lynch and other trades union leaders, the rhetoric has recently changed to “the working class struggle” (the doctrine of Marx). This is no longer appropriate. Capitalism has already moved on – who would have expected the UK government to be rebuked by bankers for hitting the poorest hardest?
Those who have read or at least become acquainted with books like The Sovereign Individual, co-authored by Jacob Rees-Mogg’s father, see a new feudalism to be inevitably on its way (perhaps as Marx saw communism as inevitable). The ‘them’ against ‘us’ won’t be working class v bourgeoisie, it will be all of us v the filthy rich!
Perhaps the new pause and heroes should pause, and see where their rhetoric will logically be taking our society – not to something more equal, but to civil war. The filthy rich seem to like violence, and some in our government seem to encourage it. They will quite happily allow two sides to build up opposing views and fight over them, and once the two sides have fought themselves to an exhausted truce, they will just clean up the pieces and assume total power.
It’s a people thing not a “working class struggle”
Bob Marley famously said “Get up, Stand up. Stand up for your rights”. That is what all of us must do, but for reasons that would be the subject of another paper, that is exactly what we don’t do. Not just those of us who may consider themselves working class, but everyone who is not filthy rich. There are maybe half a million of them, and fifty million of us (excluding children of course). It is not a class thing, it is a people thing! We don’t need to fight; we just need to stand up and be counted.
In India, the way of Gandhi worked. The British Empire which ruled that subcontinent as feudal lords, had no answer. The rights that our parents, grandparents and earlier generations have achieved since the chartists in the 1840s were achieved by people standing together. They are only slipping away because they aren’t being used and people don’t stand together for their rights. Many don’t know such rights exist anymore, even though universal human rights was the very positive outcome of World War ll. Rights are the foundation of democracy, and the organisation of that democracy cannot continue unless people do, literally, stand up for them. But they should do it peacefully. Violence only creates more violence and there is only one outcome: civil war. So please, Mr Lynch and friends, continue to use the gift of your rhetoric to rouse us to realise our existing rights and stand up for those rights, but don’t divide us with terms like “working class struggle”.