TORY prime minster Boris Johnson yesterday delivered a speech composed entirely of wishful thinking from which reality was completely excluded.
In Johnson’s fairy-tale world British capitalism is ‘re-emerging after decades of hibernation’, that it has settled the question of ‘sovereign authority’ and can now venture out into the world with ‘newly recaptured powers’. Getting even more carried away, Johnson proclaimed he wants Britain to be a ‘supercharged champion’ for free trade.
Free trade is Johnson’s great enthusiasm, holding out the dream of a bankrupt British capitalist system – in the grip of the biggest industrial collapse – somehow managing to reach trade agreements with other countries that will magically revive its industrial base and provide economic benefits for all.
Britain is ready to negotiate trade deals with every country in the world, according to Johnson. He is clearly living in the middle of the 19th century, a period when Britain, thanks to the industrial revolution, was indeed the workshop of the world and the industrial capitalist class embraced free trade, enforced by British imperialism’s military might, to force their goods on the rest of the world.
The latter part of the 19th century was characterised by the stampede of countries like Germany and, increasingly, the US to respond by building up their own industries to compete with and eventually overtake Britain.
In the 21st century the world is a completely different place from the one Johnson inhabits in his own imagination.
From being the greatest imperialist power on the planet, British capitalism is not even a third-ranked economy now. It is struggling to survive as industry after industry collapses while its banking system is being kept on life support through transfusions of worthless paper money.
Dominating the real world is the global crisis of capitalism, a crisis of economic collapse that is driving massive political upheavals throughout the world.
Across Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and in the US, the old parties of the bourgeoisie are being torn apart as the working class and masses rise up in struggle against having the capitalist crisis dumped on their backs through austerity and cuts.
The working class internationally is refusing to see their lives destroyed to keep the bosses and bankers in luxury.
It was the working class in Britain, not Johnson or the Tories, that forced through Brexit in the teeth of opposition from their traditional leaders in the unions and Labour Party.
It was the working class that delivered this powerful revolutionary blow against the capitalist class, and they will not be deflected from seeing this through to the end by Johnson’s pathetic Alice in Wonderland fantasies.
The working class stood firm and put an end to all the Remainers who saw the only future for British capitalism as being tied to a crumbling capitalist EU. They won’t stop at this point and passively allow the Tory government to inflict yet more savage austerity on them – as Tory chancellor Sajid Javid promised last week – or allow Johnson to smash their unions by making strike action illegal.
The working class is determined to maintain their free trade unions and fight for a better life for themselves and future generations.
In this period of historic crisis for capitalism, when it can only survive through wars against workers and wars against it rivals, the entire ‘free trade’ versus ‘protectionism’ under capitalism is completely irrelevant to the working class.
Capitalism has reached the end of the road and the only issue facing the working class internationally is to put it out of its misery through seizing power in a socialist revolution.
The way forward for the working class in Britain is to demand the TUC immediately call a general strike to kick out the Tories, and go forward to a workers’ government that will expropriate the bosses and bankers and advance to socialism.
A workers’ government in Britain will win the support of the working class throughout Europe, the US and the world, who are all in the same struggle.
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