Sunday, July 07, 2013

Capitalism or Communism?

The following is an article I wrote for the new issue of Liverpool's Nerve magazine:

Take a journey around Liverpool these days, and you see more and more empty homes. Some - like the boarded up properties in Toxteth's Welsh Streets - are old terrace houses in need of doing up. Others - such as the city centre luxury flats planned and built in the Capital of Culture boomtime - also remain unoccupied. In all cases, these spaces are going to waste because rich people are trying to make a lot of money off them. According to the Empty Homes charity, the northwest region has the highest proportion of empty dwellings - 4.11%. And it's not as if there's a shortage of people looking for homes. Homelessness rose locally by nearly a fifth between July 2011 and June 2012, and there are 20,000 on the never-ending waiting list for social housing. It's a scandalous waste.

The government's official figures say that six out of every hundred Liverpool residents are unemployed and claiming jobseekers allowance. This does not include those unemployed not on JSA, and the underemployed who can't get enough hours to make ends meet. This is a waste of human potential. There are many people out there with skills and abilities which could be used to improve life in the community. Maybe fixing up those rundown houses or fixing holes in the roads, but maybe also teaching, nursing or working in a library. As the economic crisis gets ever deeper, and politicians respond with more and more cuts, opportunities for doing all of these things - or learning how to do them - are getting rarer and rarer. Those in paid employment find themselves working longer hours for less money, and many of the positions which used to be paid are now workfare - the government forcing the unemployed to work for no money, whilst taking them out of those unemployment figures.

According to all the main political parties and the media, this is all inevitable because 'there's no money'. That's a lie though - it's just in the wrong hands. When the banks crashed nearly five years ago now, Gordon Brown's Labour government handed over a trillion pounds of public money. This made up almost all of the debt which the current coalition inherited, and formed the excuse for their brutal slashing of public services. But the financial gods didn't invest the money in the real economy - goods and services. Instead they've gambled it all on the stock market, and yet another bubble has built up. When this bursts - and it will - the banks will 'need' bailing out once more.

According to the blue party, the yellow party and the red party, there is no alternative to any of this. Meanwhile various far right and fascist parties are jockeying for position - offering an even more barbaric vision of the future. So much for capitalism.

I believe there is an alternative though - communism. Before you say anything, I don't believe it's been tried and failed before. It's been tried and overwhelmed from outside, so we need to do this on a global scale. But we're in the midst of a worldwide crisis, and the logic of every fightback on the planet is leading to a global struggle.

So here's a plan. We confiscate all the unearned money of the bankers - who are really like far more destructive gambling addicts. We spend all that dosh on a massive public works programme. We seize control of workplaces from the big corporations. We seize control of our streets and neighbourhoods. Politics is organised on a local level from the bottom up, and anyone who goes against the wishes of those they supposedly represent are immediately removed from their post.

Those boarded-up houses are done up, and homelessness is abolished. Unemployment too is a thing of the past, because everyone is given the opportunity to earn a good income. After a while, when all enemies of the revolution have been defeated and there's enough to go around, we abolish money and the state, and declare full communism!

You may say I'm a dreamer, but you know how that goes. And considering the way capitalism is decaying, I'd argue my ideas look more realistic with every passing day.
Take a journey around Liverpool these days, and you see more and more empty homes. Some - like the boarded up properties in Toxteth's Welsh Streets - are old terrace houses in need of doing up. Others - such as the city centre luxury flats planned and built in the Capital of Culture boomtime - also remain unoccupied. In all cases, these spaces are going to waste because rich people are trying to make a lot of money off them. According to the Empty Homes charity, the northwest region has the highest proportion of empty dwellings - 4.11%. And it's not as if there's a shortage of people looking for homes. Homelessness rose locally by nearly a fifth between July 2011 and June 2012, and there are 20,000 on the never-ending waiting list for social housing. It's a scandalous waste.
The government's official figures say that six out of every hundred Liverpool residents are unemployed and claiming jobseekers allowance. This does not include those unemployed not on JSA, and the underemployed who can't get enough hours to make ends meet. This is a waste of human potential. There are many people out there with skills and abilities which could be used to improve life in the community. Maybe fixing up those rundown houses or fixing holes in the roads, but maybe also teaching, nursing or working in a library. As the economic crisis gets ever deeper, and politicians respond with more and more cuts, opportunities for doing all of these things - or learning how to do them - are getting rarer and rarer. Those in paid employment find themselves working longer hours for less money, and many of the positions which used to be paid are now workfare - the government forcing the unemployed to work for no money, whilst taking them out of those unemployment figures.
According to all the main political parties and the media, this is all inevitable because 'there's no money'. That's a lie though - it's just in the wrong hands. When the banks crashed nearly five years ago now, Gordon Brown's Labour government handed over a trillion pounds of public money. This made up almost all of the debt which the current coalition inherited, and formed the excuse for their brutal slashing of public services. But the financial gods didn't invest the money in the real economy - goods and services. Instead they've gambled it all on the stock market, and yet another bubble has built up. When this bursts - and it will - the banks will 'need' bailing out once more.
According to the blue party, the yellow party and the red party, there is no alternative to any of this. Meanwhile various far right and fascist parties are jockeying for position - offering an even more barbaric vision of the future. So much for capitalism.
I believe there is an alternative though - communism. Before you say anything, I don't believe it's been tried and failed before. It's been tried and overwhelmed from outside, so we need to do this on a global scale. But we're in the midst of a worldwide crisis, and the logic of every fightback on the planet is leading to a global struggle.
So here's a plan. We confiscate all the unearned money of the bankers - who are really like far more destructive gambling addicts. We spend all that dosh on a massive public works programme. We seize control of workplaces from the big corporations. We seize control of our streets and neighbourhoods. Politics is organised on a local level from the bottom up, and anyone who goes against the wishes of those they supposedly represent are immediately removed from their post.
Those boarded-up houses are done up, and homelessness is abolished. Unemployment too is a thing of the past, because everyone is given the opportunity to earn a good income. After a while, when all enemies of the revolution have been defeated and there's enough to go around, we abolish money and the state, and declare full communism!
You may say I'm a dreamer, but you know how that goes. And considering the way capitalism is decaying, I'd argue my ideas look more realistic with every passing day.
- See more at: http://www.catalystmedia.org.uk/issues/nerve22/capitalism_or_communism.php#sthash.SFo8DnTB.dpuf
Take a journey around Liverpool these days, and you see more and more empty homes. Some - like the boarded up properties in Toxteth's Welsh Streets - are old terrace houses in need of doing up. Others - such as the city centre luxury flats planned and built in the Capital of Culture boomtime - also remain unoccupied. In all cases, these spaces are going to waste because rich people are trying to make a lot of money off them. According to the Empty Homes charity, the northwest region has the highest proportion of empty dwellings - 4.11%. And it's not as if there's a shortage of people looking for homes. Homelessness rose locally by nearly a fifth between July 2011 and June 2012, and there are 20,000 on the never-ending waiting list for social housing. It's a scandalous waste.
The government's official figures say that six out of every hundred Liverpool residents are unemployed and claiming jobseekers allowance. This does not include those unemployed not on JSA, and the underemployed who can't get enough hours to make ends meet. This is a waste of human potential. There are many people out there with skills and abilities which could be used to improve life in the community. Maybe fixing up those rundown houses or fixing holes in the roads, but maybe also teaching, nursing or working in a library. As the economic crisis gets ever deeper, and politicians respond with more and more cuts, opportunities for doing all of these things - or learning how to do them - are getting rarer and rarer. Those in paid employment find themselves working longer hours for less money, and many of the positions which used to be paid are now workfare - the government forcing the unemployed to work for no money, whilst taking them out of those unemployment figures.
According to all the main political parties and the media, this is all inevitable because 'there's no money'. That's a lie though - it's just in the wrong hands. When the banks crashed nearly five years ago now, Gordon Brown's Labour government handed over a trillion pounds of public money. This made up almost all of the debt which the current coalition inherited, and formed the excuse for their brutal slashing of public services. But the financial gods didn't invest the money in the real economy - goods and services. Instead they've gambled it all on the stock market, and yet another bubble has built up. When this bursts - and it will - the banks will 'need' bailing out once more.
According to the blue party, the yellow party and the red party, there is no alternative to any of this. Meanwhile various far right and fascist parties are jockeying for position - offering an even more barbaric vision of the future. So much for capitalism.
I believe there is an alternative though - communism. Before you say anything, I don't believe it's been tried and failed before. It's been tried and overwhelmed from outside, so we need to do this on a global scale. But we're in the midst of a worldwide crisis, and the logic of every fightback on the planet is leading to a global struggle.
So here's a plan. We confiscate all the unearned money of the bankers - who are really like far more destructive gambling addicts. We spend all that dosh on a massive public works programme. We seize control of workplaces from the big corporations. We seize control of our streets and neighbourhoods. Politics is organised on a local level from the bottom up, and anyone who goes against the wishes of those they supposedly represent are immediately removed from their post.
Those boarded-up houses are done up, and homelessness is abolished. Unemployment too is a thing of the past, because everyone is given the opportunity to earn a good income. After a while, when all enemies of the revolution have been defeated and there's enough to go around, we abolish money and the state, and declare full communism!
You may say I'm a dreamer, but you know how that goes. And considering the way capitalism is decaying, I'd argue my ideas look more realistic with every passing day.
- See more at: http://www.catalystmedia.org.uk/issues/nerve22/capitalism_or_communism.php#sthash.SFo8DnTB.dpuf
Take a journey around Liverpool these days, and you see more and more empty homes. Some - like the boarded up properties in Toxteth's Welsh Streets - are old terrace houses in need of doing up. Others - such as the city centre luxury flats planned and built in the Capital of Culture boomtime - also remain unoccupied. In all cases, these spaces are going to waste because rich people are trying to make a lot of money off them. According to the Empty Homes charity, the northwest region has the highest proportion of empty dwellings - 4.11%. And it's not as if there's a shortage of people looking for homes. Homelessness rose locally by nearly a fifth between July 2011 and June 2012, and there are 20,000 on the never-ending waiting list for social housing. It's a scandalous waste.
The government's official figures say that six out of every hundred Liverpool residents are unemployed and claiming jobseekers allowance. This does not include those unemployed not on JSA, and the underemployed who can't get enough hours to make ends meet. This is a waste of human potential. There are many people out there with skills and abilities which could be used to improve life in the community. Maybe fixing up those rundown houses or fixing holes in the roads, but maybe also teaching, nursing or working in a library. As the economic crisis gets ever deeper, and politicians respond with more and more cuts, opportunities for doing all of these things - or learning how to do them - are getting rarer and rarer. Those in paid employment find themselves working longer hours for less money, and many of the positions which used to be paid are now workfare - the government forcing the unemployed to work for no money, whilst taking them out of those unemployment figures.
According to all the main political parties and the media, this is all inevitable because 'there's no money'. That's a lie though - it's just in the wrong hands. When the banks crashed nearly five years ago now, Gordon Brown's Labour government handed over a trillion pounds of public money. This made up almost all of the debt which the current coalition inherited, and formed the excuse for their brutal slashing of public services. But the financial gods didn't invest the money in the real economy - goods and services. Instead they've gambled it all on the stock market, and yet another bubble has built up. When this bursts - and it will - the banks will 'need' bailing out once more.
According to the blue party, the yellow party and the red party, there is no alternative to any of this. Meanwhile various far right and fascist parties are jockeying for position - offering an even more barbaric vision of the future. So much for capitalism.
I believe there is an alternative though - communism. Before you say anything, I don't believe it's been tried and failed before. It's been tried and overwhelmed from outside, so we need to do this on a global scale. But we're in the midst of a worldwide crisis, and the logic of every fightback on the planet is leading to a global struggle.
So here's a plan. We confiscate all the unearned money of the bankers - who are really like far more destructive gambling addicts. We spend all that dosh on a massive public works programme. We seize control of workplaces from the big corporations. We seize control of our streets and neighbourhoods. Politics is organised on a local level from the bottom up, and anyone who goes against the wishes of those they supposedly represent are immediately removed from their post.
Those boarded-up houses are done up, and homelessness is abolished. Unemployment too is a thing of the past, because everyone is given the opportunity to earn a good income. After a while, when all enemies of the revolution have been defeated and there's enough to go around, we abolish money and the state, and declare full communism!
You may say I'm a dreamer, but you know how that goes. And considering the way capitalism is decaying, I'd argue my ideas look more realistic with every passing day.
- See more at: http://www.catalystmedia.org.uk/issues/nerve22/capitalism_or_communism.php#sthash.SFo8DnTB.dp
Take a journey around Liverpool these days, and you see more and more empty homes. Some - like the boarded up properties in Toxteth's Welsh Streets - are old terrace houses in need of doing up. Others - such as the city centre luxury flats planned and built in the Capital of Culture boomtime - also remain unoccupied. In all cases, these spaces are going to waste because rich people are trying to make a lot of money off them. According to the Empty Homes charity, the northwest region has the highest proportion of empty dwellings - 4.11%. And it's not as if there's a shortage of people looking for homes. Homelessness rose locally by nearly a fifth between July 2011 and June 2012, and there are 20,000 on the never-ending waiting list for social housing. It's a scandalous waste.
The government's official figures say that six out of every hundred Liverpool residents are unemployed and claiming jobseekers allowance. This does not include those unemployed not on JSA, and the underemployed who can't get enough hours to make ends meet. This is a waste of human potential. There are many people out there with skills and abilities which could be used to improve life in the community. Maybe fixing up those rundown houses or fixing holes in the roads, but maybe also teaching, nursing or working in a library. As the economic crisis gets ever deeper, and politicians respond with more and more cuts, opportunities for doing all of these things - or learning how to do them - are getting rarer and rarer. Those in paid employment find themselves working longer hours for less money, and many of the positions which used to be paid are now workfare - the government forcing the unemployed to work for no money, whilst taking them out of those unemployment figures.
According to all the main political parties and the media, this is all inevitable because 'there's no money'. That's a lie though - it's just in the wrong hands. When the banks crashed nearly five years ago now, Gordon Brown's Labour government handed over a trillion pounds of public money. This made up almost all of the debt which the current coalition inherited, and formed the excuse for their brutal slashing of public services. But the financial gods didn't invest the money in the real economy - goods and services. Instead they've gambled it all on the stock market, and yet another bubble has built up. When this bursts - and it will - the banks will 'need' bailing out once more.
According to the blue party, the yellow party and the red party, there is no alternative to any of this. Meanwhile various far right and fascist parties are jockeying for position - offering an even more barbaric vision of the future. So much for capitalism.
I believe there is an alternative though - communism. Before you say anything, I don't believe it's been tried and failed before. It's been tried and overwhelmed from outside, so we need to do this on a global scale. But we're in the midst of a worldwide crisis, and the logic of every fightback on the planet is leading to a global struggle.
So here's a plan. We confiscate all the unearned money of the bankers - who are really like far more destructive gambling addicts. We spend all that dosh on a massive public works programme. We seize control of workplaces from the big corporations. We seize control of our streets and neighbourhoods. Politics is organised on a local level from the bottom up, and anyone who goes against the wishes of those they supposedly represent are immediately removed from their post.
Those boarded-up houses are done up, and homelessness is abolished. Unemployment too is a thing of the past, because everyone is given the opportunity to earn a good income. After a while, when all enemies of the revolution have been defeated and there's enough to go around, we abolish money and the state, and declare full communism!
You may say I'm a dreamer, but you know how that goes. And considering the way capitalism is decaying, I'd argue my ideas look more realistic with every passing day.
- See more at: http://www.catalystmedia.org.uk/issues/nerve22/capitalism_or_communism.php#sthash.SFo8DnTB.dpuf
Take a journey around Liverpool these days, and you see more and more empty homes. Some - like the boarded up properties in Toxteth's Welsh Streets - are old terrace houses in need of doing up. Others - such as the city centre luxury flats planned and built in the Capital of Culture boomtime - also remain unoccupied. In all cases, these spaces are going to waste because rich people are trying to make a lot of money off them. According to the Empty Homes charity, the northwest region has the highest proportion of empty dwellings - 4.11%. And it's not as if there's a shortage of people looking for homes. Homelessness rose locally by nearly a fifth between July 2011 and June 2012, and there are 20,000 on the never-ending waiting list for social housing. It's a scandalous waste.
The government's official figures say that six out of every hundred Liverpool residents are unemployed and claiming jobseekers allowance. This does not include those unemployed not on JSA, and the underemployed who can't get enough hours to make ends meet. This is a waste of human potential. There are many people out there with skills and abilities which could be used to improve life in the community. Maybe fixing up those rundown houses or fixing holes in the roads, but maybe also teaching, nursing or working in a library. As the economic crisis gets ever deeper, and politicians respond with more and more cuts, opportunities for doing all of these things - or learning how to do them - are getting rarer and rarer. Those in paid employment find themselves working longer hours for less money, and many of the positions which used to be paid are now workfare - the government forcing the unemployed to work for no money, whilst taking them out of those unemployment figures.
According to all the main political parties and the media, this is all inevitable because 'there's no money'. That's a lie though - it's just in the wrong hands. When the banks crashed nearly five years ago now, Gordon Brown's Labour government handed over a trillion pounds of public money. This made up almost all of the debt which the current coalition inherited, and formed the excuse for their brutal slashing of public services. But the financial gods didn't invest the money in the real economy - goods and services. Instead they've gambled it all on the stock market, and yet another bubble has built up. When this bursts - and it will - the banks will 'need' bailing out once more.
According to the blue party, the yellow party and the red party, there is no alternative to any of this. Meanwhile various far right and fascist parties are jockeying for position - offering an even more barbaric vision of the future. So much for capitalism.
I believe there is an alternative though - communism. Before you say anything, I don't believe it's been tried and failed before. It's been tried and overwhelmed from outside, so we need to do this on a global scale. But we're in the midst of a worldwide crisis, and the logic of every fightback on the planet is leading to a global struggle.
So here's a plan. We confiscate all the unearned money of the bankers - who are really like far more destructive gambling addicts. We spend all that dosh on a massive public works programme. We seize control of workplaces from the big corporations. We seize control of our streets and neighbourhoods. Politics is organised on a local level from the bottom up, and anyone who goes against the wishes of those they supposedly represent are immediately removed from their post.
Those boarded-up houses are done up, and homelessness is abolished. Unemployment too is a thing of the past, because everyone is given the opportunity to earn a good income. After a while, when all enemies of the revolution have been defeated and there's enough to go around, we abolish money and the state, and declare full communism!
You may say I'm a dreamer, but you know how that goes. And considering the way capitalism is decaying, I'd argue my ideas look more realistic with every passing day.
- See more at: http://www.catalystmedia.org.uk/issues/nerve22/capitalism_or_communism.php#sthash.SFo8DnTB.dpuf
Take a journey around Liverpool these days, and you see more and more empty homes. Some - like the boarded up properties in Toxteth's Welsh Streets - are old terrace houses in need of doing up. Others - such as the city centre luxury flats planned and built in the Capital of Culture boomtime - also remain unoccupied. In all cases, these spaces are going to waste because rich people are trying to make a lot of money off them. According to the Empty Homes charity, the northwest region has the highest proportion of empty dwellings - 4.11%. And it's not as if there's a shortage of people looking for homes. Homelessness rose locally by nearly a fifth between July 2011 and June 2012, and there are 20,000 on the never-ending waiting list for social housing. It's a scandalous waste.
The government's official figures say that six out of every hundred Liverpool residents are unemployed and claiming jobseekers allowance. This does not include those unemployed not on JSA, and the underemployed who can't get enough hours to make ends meet. This is a waste of human potential. There are many people out there with skills and abilities which could be used to improve life in the community. Maybe fixing up those rundown houses or fixing holes in the roads, but maybe also teaching, nursing or working in a library. As the economic crisis gets ever deeper, and politicians respond with more and more cuts, opportunities for doing all of these things - or learning how to do them - are getting rarer and rarer. Those in paid employment find themselves working longer hours for less money, and many of the positions which used to be paid are now workfare - the government forcing the unemployed to work for no money, whilst taking them out of those unemployment figures.
According to all the main political parties and the media, this is all inevitable because 'there's no money'. That's a lie though - it's just in the wrong hands. When the banks crashed nearly five years ago now, Gordon Brown's Labour government handed over a trillion pounds of public money. This made up almost all of the debt which the current coalition inherited, and formed the excuse for their brutal slashing of public services. But the financial gods didn't invest the money in the real economy - goods and services. Instead they've gambled it all on the stock market, and yet another bubble has built up. When this bursts - and it will - the banks will 'need' bailing out once more.
According to the blue party, the yellow party and the red party, there is no alternative to any of this. Meanwhile various far right and fascist parties are jockeying for position - offering an even more barbaric vision of the future. So much for capitalism.
I believe there is an alternative though - communism. Before you say anything, I don't believe it's been tried and failed before. It's been tried and overwhelmed from outside, so we need to do this on a global scale. But we're in the midst of a worldwide crisis, and the logic of every fightback on the planet is leading to a global struggle.
So here's a plan. We confiscate all the unearned money of the bankers - who are really like far more destructive gambling addicts. We spend all that dosh on a massive public works programme. We seize control of workplaces from the big corporations. We seize control of our streets and neighbourhoods. Politics is organised on a local level from the bottom up, and anyone who goes against the wishes of those they supposedly represent are immediately removed from their post.
Those boarded-up houses are done up, and homelessness is abolished. Unemployment too is a thing of the past, because everyone is given the opportunity to earn a good income. After a while, when all enemies of the revolution have been defeated and there's enough to go around, we abolish money and the state, and declare full communism!
You may say I'm a dreamer, but you know how that goes. And considering the way capitalism is decaying, I'd argue my ideas look more realistic with every passing day.
- See more at: http://www.catalystmedia.org.uk/issues/nerve22/capitalism_or_communism.php#sthash.SFo8DnTB.dpuf
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