CURRENT POLITICS - Thieves Bearing Greeks

Beware of thieves bearing Greeks

 The cry from the bosses for a tough budget includes clawing age pensions out of family homes. This grab is the newest version of ‘from those who have not shall be taken away the little they have’. For a start, pensions cost the budget less than all the super rebates to the uber-rich.

The mouthpiece on this occasion is ex-ACT chief minister Kate Carnell. Her car was run into by a tree one Sunday afternoon after a luncheon. The police were unable to breath-test the tree. Now it is she who is intoxicated with the hyperbolic gut-rot about our debt levels leading us down the path of Greece. ‘Beware of thieves bearing Greeks’ is what I say.

Carnell however is an expert in budget blowouts. She resigned ahead of a no-confidence motion in 2,000 after the Bruce Stadium went from a joint-venture costing $23m., with only $12m. from the ACT government, to a total of $80m. all from the taxpayers. Her histrionics reached a previous peak when she encouraged Canberra to watch the demolition of the old hospital – an explosion which killed a young girl.

Now she is after Bronwyn Bishop’s seat. Can you tell the difference?

The call to strip retired wage-slaves of our homes is in keeping with how the bosses stole the means of production from our forebears. Owning one’s own living quarters has nothing to do with being a capitalist. You can’t use the place you live in to extract surplus-value from other wage-slaves.

But neither can the capitalists in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. So what are they up to?

To reach the solution it is necessary to look beyond the needs of this or that corporation. Our focus has to be on what Marx calls social capital. The interests of the system are served by how the totality of money-flows are channeled. Taxes that go to sustain the workers whom capitalists had exploited are not available to expand capital’s take out of aggregate production.

The money that wage-slaves used to pay for a dwelling comes out of what Marx calls necessary labour – necessary to provide the means for our sustenance. The rest of what we produce as surplus labour is expropriated in surplus-value. The more we win as necessary labour, the less social capital gets as surplus-value.

The fact that lots of Australians were organized enough to take away enough necessary labour to pay off a house meant that the surplus-value going to the boss-class was that much less.

Now they want it back. The call to make us pay even more for our retirement years is a wage grab – made retrospectively.

Two lessons: first, what has happened to the boss-class mantra of ‘mutual obligation’? Wage-slaves who could afford to buy a house must have paid their dues by working for a living.

Secondly, and above all, they never give up. Why? Because they can’t. Their system depends on ever more exploitation of wage-slaves. Today it is our homes. Tomorrow it will be our cadavers. Vampire capital never sleeps. It can’t afford to – and neither can we.

Humphrey McQueen   Feb 2016