Sunday, 19 June 2011

Osborne and King versus Proudhon

The paragraph I am quoting below comes from the web site of Freedom the anarchist newspaper. Specifically it is from an article by Iain McKay dated 19th June 2011 entitled Crisis and Capitalism's Contradictions: How the Tories are benefiting from the economic slump. It reinforces what I have always said about capitalism: that in seeking to beggar its workforce it hacks at its own feet. One of these days we will look back on Capitalism as we now look back on human sacrifice, the slave trade, Bolshevism, and the Third Reich - as an evil we did well to rid ourselves of. I hope I live to see the day.

Osborne[1] attacked the trade unions as “the forces of stagnation” who “will try to stand in the way of the forces of enterprise.” Blaming the workers for capitalism’s contradictions is as old as that system. Proudhon[2] mockingly noted that, for economists, “Political economy — that is, proprietary despotism — can never be in the wrong: it must be the proletariat.” Presumably, given the downward trajectory of the economy (and King[3] confirmed it is flat-lining), Osborne considers creating stagnation his job and so objects (like all capitalists) to competition. In reality, as the impact of his policies show, by cutting benefits and pay he is the one promoting stagnation, not the unions. For as Proudhon argued in 1846 “though the workers cost you [the capitalist] something, they are your customers: what will you do with your products, when, driven away by you, they shall consume them no longer? . . . if production excludes consumption, it is soon obliged to stop itself.” Osborne seems keen to prove us right.


[1]George Gideon Oliver Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, member of the Anglo-Irish  'Ascendency' (heir to the Baronetcies of Ballentaylor and Ballylemon), former member of the exclusive Bullingdon Club at Oxford University.

[2]Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, 19c French political philosopher.

[3]Mervyn King, liberal economist, Governor of the Bank of England.

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