Bangkok is in flames as the counter-revolutionary violence in Thailand reaches a bloody climax. The long-awaited assault by the Thai army has already taken place, and will not cease until every trace of the protest has been wiped out. No-one can be sure of the number of casualties, but the final figure will certainly be more than what the authorities have admitted to so far. It seems that some red-shirts have responded by setting fire to banks, shopping malls and other buildings in the city, and there are reports that protests and violence is erupting in other parts of the city.
(We reproduce an article from Britain relevant to the situation in NZ. To read full article go to http://www.marxist.com/monopoly-capitalism.htm)
Capitalist economists constantly argue that privately run industry driven by pursuit of profit is the best way for an economy to function. But, even a cursory look at the world around us tells a very different story. Far from being efficient, capitalism is riddled with contradictions and crisis. You could write multiple volumes, as Karl Marx did, on the inadequacies of capitalism, but here, in this limited space, we shall deal with just a few.
The workers at the Foshan Honda plant in China won a 35% wage increase after taking strike action which started on May 17.
According to the PSA “Budget 2010 does little to improve prospects for public sector workers and delivery of public services... expect further restructuring tighter restraints and the steady erosion of public services. Job losses will continue....”
Labour history has been made. New Zealand has had it's first Mall workers strike. Workers in JB Hi-Fi in Albany, organised with the Unite Union, were on strike for better pay and against a culture of bullying and intimidation against union members.
It’s been close to a month since the Deepwater Horison Oil Rig exploded and sank into the Gulf of Mexico, just 45 miles south of the already beleaguered gulf coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi. The ensuing oil spill may well surpass that which followed the wreck of the Exxon Valdez, which poured over 11 million gallons of oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound in the spring of 1989. British Petroleum, which was the operator of the oil platform, had been leasing the rig from the deep seas drilling conglomerate TransOcean.
After talk of the so called "credit crunch" gave way to optimistic comments about the "green shoots" in the economy, events in Greece caught the bourgeois commentators unaware. Now the world economy has once again been plunged into chaos and uncertainty as the governments of Europe try to contain the fall-out from the near-default of Greece and it is the workers who will be presented with the bill.
“To the toiling masses of Europe it is becoming ever clearer that the bourgeoisie is incapable of solving the basic problems of restoring Europe’s economic life.” (Trotsky, On the United states of Europe, 1923)