"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in"
(Leonard Cohen)
"Ignore all proffered rules and create your own, suitable for what you want to say"
(Michael Moorcock)
"Look for your own. Do not do what someone else could do as well as you. Do not say, do not write what someone else could say, could write as well as you. Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else. And, out of yourself create, impatiently or patiently, the most irreplaceable of beings."
(Andre Gide)
"I want my place, my own place, my true place in the world, my proper sphere, my thing which Nature intended me to perform when she fashioned me thus awry, and which I have vainly sought all my life-time."
(Nathaniel Hawthorne)
“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”
(Franz Kafka)
"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated"
(John Donne)
“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
(Robert J. Hanlon)
"Life is beautiful, but the world is hell"
(Harold Pinter)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Planless G8 Leaders Face the Abyss

EXTRACTInterestingly, the Greece paper Kathimerini carried a relatively lengthy article on May 23 arguing - quite cogently - that an exit from the euro would need to be squeezed into a 46-hour window; that being roughly the amount of time the country’s leaders would have to ‘organise’ or ‘control’ any departure from the single currency while global markets are largely closed from the end of trading in New York on a Friday to Monday’s market opening in Wellington, New Zealand. Hence we read that during this hypothetical weekend - though watch this space closely - Greece would need to freeze bank accounts, put troops along the borders to prevent a capital flight and start stamping existing euros to work as a new currency whilst drachma notes are being printed and then reintroduced. Of course, Greece’s banks could well be shut down for several more days after that. Now, how do you think the markets would react to that?
Given these circumstances, therefore, you do not need a particularly lurid imagination to envisage the effective collapse of the entire euro project. Eurogeddon. Nor necessarily have to be a fantasist to think that a near automatic corollary of such a scenario would be a series of worldwide bank runs, failed states - this time in Europe and not Africa - and a global slump/depression potentially more devastating than the 1930s. The United States, for all its mighty dollar and even mightier military, would not be immune from such an economic tsunami and would inevitably get dragged down into the mire. Not even China would be able to come to the rescue of capitalism - a truly deluded notion.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Masses Refuse to be Ruled in the Old Way

EXTRACTWe in the CPGB counsel in the strongest possible terms that Syriza - and the Greek left as a whole - should stay clear of all coalition governments with bourgeois parties, whatever the result of the elections in June. Eg, to enter into a coalition with Pasok would represent a disastrous setback for the movement. Under no circumstances should left parties take any responsibility for capitalism or austerity, whether in Greece or anywhere else. No “renegotiation” or “rewriting” of the memorandum (the austerity bill passed by the Greek parliament) or, for that matter, the European Union fiscal pact that seeks to institutionalise the “barbaric” austerity economics. Nor should the left fall for the temptation of forming a workers’ government which sets its sights on managing capitalism. The only government we should counternance is one that represented the coming to power of the working class under circumstances where there is a realistic prospect of carrying out the full minimum programme of Marxism. In other words the smashing of the old bureaucratic bourgeois state and replacing it with a semi-state, and the beginning of the transition to genuine human freedom. By definition, that means transcending wage-slavery, commodity production and all rest of the old exploitative crap.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Electors in France and Greece Strike a Blow Against Austerity

EXTRACT: Communists would be utterly opposed to the formation of a left reformist coalition, which would be committed to administering capitalism. That would be a disaster. Instead, we are for a working class government committed to carrying out the full minimum programme of Marxism.
But there is no Marxist party in Greece capable of forming such a government as of today. Communists in Greece should therefore demand that Syriza, and the Greek left as a whole, reject all invitations to form or join a government. Till we have a clear majority committed to a transition to socialism it is far better to be parties of extreme opposition which intransigently fight not only against the cuts but for a new, much more democratic, constitution. Alongside that, of course, we need to build a state within the state, eg, co-ops, workers’ control over production, a workers’ militia, a united trade union movement. Crucially what the crisis in the EU cries out for is a Communist Party of the European Union because only on a pan-European basis can we realistically expect to implement the full minimum programme and begin to look to the tasks of the maximum programme (ie, communism).

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Getting Close to the Edge

EXTRACTClearly, the UK economy is bumping painfully along the bottom and can you predict with reasonable certainty that it is set to do so for at least the next decade. Welcome to the stagnation years. But only a fool, or Tory chancellor, could have failed to see this coming. It was inevitable that implementing massive cuts during a period of increased unemployment and a general downturn in world trade would have such a result. The UK’s overall output was 4.3% lower in the first quarter of 2012 than it was in the first quarter of 2008, just before the recession started.
As a further sign of the times, the pound hit a two-year high against the euro - at one stage it bought more than €1.23 on the foreign exchanges. Yet the rise in sterling was not a vote of confidence in the UK economy, but rather a collective vote of no confidence in the euro zone. Cheaper foreign holidays, yes, but more expensive UK exports to Europe. The pound was also stronger too against the US dollar, thanks to last week’s weaker than expected US growth figures for the first three months of 2012 - that had slowed to an annualised pace of 2.2% in the first quarter of the year from 3% in the final three months of last year. Less, anyway, than the minimum of 2.5% growth that had been widely hoped for.
Confronted by such dispiriting economic data and trends, and absolutely no rational reason to think it will suddenly be thrown into reverse, we might get to enjoy in the relatively near future the phenomenon of a triple-dip recession. Maybe it is time to blow the dust off those texts books on economic history.