Category Archives: Marxism

05 Jan

It’s not the economy, stupid!

The heart is always gladdened when someone in authority makes a definite and determined statement. So congratulations are in order for Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, who stated in his election manifesto of 2016:

“I shall challenge gang culture and knife crime head on.”

Well said, Sir! So how’s he doing at the end of his first year in office?

Homicides in London rose by 27.1%. Youth homicides increased by 70%. Serious youth violence is up 19%. Robbery up 33.4%, while home burglaries rose by 18.7%.

That’s a remarkable increase in serious offences of all sorts. But there’s more…

Thefts increased by over 10,000 incidents in a year, up 33.9%, Alarmingly, there were more than 4000 additional knife crime incidents, a rise of 31.3%.

Rape in the capital rose by 18.3% and there were 2,551 incidents of gun crime, a rise of 16.3% on the previous year.

Meanwhile, we have seen new and ingenious forms of sociopathic behaviour, such as the epidemic of acid attacks.

First the mayoral authorities crack down on the possession of firearms: then incidents of gun crime increase to surpass those in New York.

Secondly, these same authorities “challenge knife crime head on”: then we get those 4000 “additional knife crime incidents.”

Can we expect a ban on sales of Domestos end to the terror of acid attacks?

Mr Khan continuously blames central government’s “police cuts” for this shocking increase. Is he right? There has been a small reduction in the number of police officers but there are still 30,379 of them in the Metropolitan Police. The Met has an annual budget of £2billion and £240million of reserves.

The mayor says it’s all a result of central government’s economic policies as people are impoverished and deprived of adequate social infrastructure by the Tories in Westminster. But London is booming and there are more people in employment than ever.

So instead of subscribing to the prevailing Marxist explanation that increases in criminal behaviour – and just about everything else, actually – are the result of immutable economic forces, let’s try looking somewhere else to find answers. If economic depression leads inexorably to an increase in crime, why is it that – as Christie Davies pointed out in his book The Strange Death of Moral Britain – “Crime persistently decreased in the long economic depression at the end of the 19th century and crime has increased terrifically during the long period of economic expansion since the Second World War. The only people who believe the opposite to be the case are sociologists and left wing politicians.”

Oh, and Mr Khan of course.  

For him and for all those sociologists and lefties, I have a question: “What if virtue and vice, law-abidingness and criminal behaviour are not mere functions of economic forces, as Karl Marx vainly believed, but have actually to do with the individual freedom which makes possible personal and public morality?

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02 Jan

How you gonna keep ‘em down on the farm?

“Do you need to be told that what has been can still be?” asked T.S. Eliot in his Choruses from the Rock (1934).

It seems a daft question which we answer emphatically, “Of course it can!” Not if you’re a Marxist though, for whom historical events are “inevitable.” So the communist revolution, the dictatorship of the proletariat and the punishment of the capitalists will all happen necessarily, as if decreed by the laws of the Medes and the Persians.

There, I’ve gone and done it and mentioned the Persians and so the mind turns to thoughts of Iran. Could it be that Iran is about to present us with one of those historical surprises which Karl Marx said do not and indeed cannot happen? And, if so, might this happening be a bit of good news – perhaps even a lot of good news – for a change?

For six days, Iranians have been protesting in the streets of towns and cities right across the country and so far at least twenty-one people have been killed in these disturbances. It’s hardly surprising that the population is discontented and unhappy. The cost of living has more than doubled in a decade. Unemployment stands at 12.6% and, crucially, 29.2% among young people. The average wage is about £60 per week and the minimum wage £4 per week.

Censorship of the press is ubiquitous and strictly enforced in Iran – one of the worst countries in the world to practise as a journalist. The Ministry of Islamic Guidance decrees what music the people are allowed to listen to and which plays and other entertainments they can enjoy. Discos and nightclubs are illegal and when their location is discovered by the religious police, they are closed down. Women are jailed for campaigning for the ordinary liberties which are taken for granted in the West.

It didn’t use to be so thoroughly oppressive. In the days of the Shah, before the Islamic revolution of 1979, Iranians enjoyed a lively and varied cultural existence. The government spent lavishly on the arts. There was music and dancing with wine and beer in the cafes.

Then arose the puritanical totalitarian Ayatollah Khomenei to breathe Islamic fundamentalism. And the land grew grey from his breath.

After 1979, everything looked set and fixed, as nicely and as inevitably as any Marxist could wish for. But, just as 16th century Europe was revolutionised by the invention of the printing press, so today’s world has been radically transformed by the Internet and social media. Of course, the mullahs in that Ministry of Islamic Guidance try to control this new media.

But they can’t. And a new question arises in succession that the one asked by T.S. Eliot. And the new question is the one asked in the (probably banned) popular song: “How you gonna keep ‘em down on the farm now that they’ve seen Paree?” Thanks to the new media, the Iranians – particularly the 70% under thirty – have glimpsed something like Paree and they will not go back into the shadows of sharia.

So, as we see, nothing is inevitable – not even the triumph of Islamic fundamentalism.

No doubt the Israelis and the Americans are making all efforts to encourage the Iranians who have seen the possibility of a change for the better.

I do hope that our man in the foreign office, Boris Johnson, will lend all his weight to this cause.

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30 Sep

Your supper is in the dustbin

It’s countdown to Corbyn. We shall not be kept waiting for long before we find ourselves living – if “living” is the right word here – under the most extreme left wing government Britain has ever seen. Corbyn’s plans make Michael Foot’s 1983 manifesto – called at the time “the longest suicide note in history” – read like a discussion paper produced by The Monday Club.

The Corbynistas are preaching “Socialism for the 21st century” – an oxymoron to rival “Valve radios for the digital age.”

There will be wholesale nationalisation, massive borrowing and spending, the abolition of all pay restraint and an expanded benefits system. Give Corbyn credit for one thing: he is a true prophet. He rightly predicts that his policies will lead to a run on the pound and a financial crisis.

What he does not foresee is that in this crisis investment will plummet as financiers put their money where it is likely to secure a return: they will not toss it into the stagnant and bottomless pit of Corbyn’s socialism. No investment means no real jobs but only a hugely-expanded and unproductive public sector paid for out of even more borrowing. All that borrowed money sloshing around will lead to high – and eventually hyper – inflation. Millions will be unemployed. People’s savings will be rendered worthless. Thus Corbyn’s foolish and wicked policies will most hurt those he claims to champion: the least well off throughout the country.

But this horrible dystopian nightmare won’t really come to pass, will it? The Tories under Theresa May will get their act together and mount a vigorous defence of capitalism and the free market.

Oh yes, and Ben Stokes will win The Polite Society’s Award for Gentlemanly Conduct.

Mrs May will not outline the virtues of capitalism and the free market – because she believes in neither. If she did, she would cut taxes and abolish strangulating business regulations. Instead since that terrible day she became prime minister, she has declared she is determined that the government will make even greater interventions in boardrooms, the minimum wage will be regularly increased and the cap on public sector pay will be scrapped.

Observing Corbyn’s army of snowflakes – all those innocent young people to whom he is promising the earth – May is promising today “to create a fairer society for the young.” But she can’t bribe them with a pint when Corbyn is offering them a firkin.

Why can’t she see that stealing the left’s political clothes will leave her dangerously undressed?

During last June’s election campaign a commentator remarked, only partly jesting, that Theresa May had “…adopted Ed Miliband’’s manifesto and moved it to the left.”

Is there any support for capitalism and the free market in today’s Conservative party? No, there is about as much capitalism among the Tories as logic in the editorial department of the Daily Telegraph.

Yesterday that newspaper shouted, “May must outline her capitalist policies.”

She doesn’t have any.

Followed by this ripe piece of idiocy: “The intellectual case for capitalism is easy to make. What of the moral one?”

But the intellectual case includes the moral case – otherwise there is nothing intelligent about it.

And if you think the Telegraph couldn’t get even stupider, how about this: “May’s vision is of a free market combined with sensible regulation.”

But if it’s regulated, it’s not free.

I’m probably not such a good prophet as Jeremy Corbyn, that great admirer of Chavez, Maduro and the state of Venezuela where there’s no food in the shops and people are stealing zoo animals to provide their next meal. But let me try my hand at prophecy nonetheless:

The days are coming when a wife shall leave a note for her husband saying: “Darling – I’ve gone to the Labour rally. Scavenge for your supper in the dustbin.”

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16 Jul

Coming soon: Venezuela

I have long wanted to visit Venezuela for its mountain scenery, glaciers, rain forest, great plains and the Orinoco delta. The country ranks seventh for biodiversity, featuring rare and magnificent species. Such colour, variety and grandeur.

But it’s a long way and the cost is off-putting, so I shall probably never manage to arrange my visit. I’m not too disappointed though because, when Mr Corbyn comes to power – sooner than you think – Venezuela will come to me. Corbyn is a great admirer of Venezuela’s former Marxist dictator Hugo Chavez, saying: “He has done so much for his country and for a wider world.” Chavez is dead now but his successor Maduro is carrying on – and even improving upon – the former president’s good work.

As a good Marxist, Maduro understands that you can get that wonderful Communist system to work perfectly only after you have seized absolute power and political control. And here we must congratulate him on his 100% success.

In 2015 Maduro’s party lost the general election – a bit of a blow to any aspiring leader which would have disheartened a lesser man than Maduro. He may have lost but he was not going to be defeated. The day after the election results were declared, he announced, “I’m going to prevent the opposition coming to power by hook or by crook.” Interesting word, crook. So he ignored the verdict of the people, remained in office, sacked the judges, appointed new ones and established personal control of the military.

Forget such hell-holes as Somalia and Syria, Venezuela is the most murderous country on earth. There is a killing every twenty minutes and, over the last decade, millions have been slaughtered – more than those killed on both sides in the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.

Crime is the number one national occupation but only 2% of offenders are prosecuted.

The prisons are squalid and holding twenty times the population they were designed for. There is imprisonment without trial. There is widespread use of torture. As one Caracas journalist put it. “Thousands of people just disappear.”

Yes, Corbyn’s heroes Chavez and Maduro  have certainly done a great deal for Venezuela.

The country has greater oil reserves than Saudi Arabia but its people are scavenging for food in dustbins and rioting is constant. Fertile fields are left barren and grain production has fallen by 80% in just a few years.

The currency is worthless and people require wheelbarrows to carry the notes necessary for the daily purchase of what little there is on sale – reminding us of Germany’s hyper-inflation of the 1930s.

Tropical diseases are rife and there is a diphtheria epidemic. But the hospitals have no drugs, medicines or other vital supplies.

The British government has strongly urged none of our people to travel to Venezuela.

Now observers fear the country is on the verge of civil war.

It must require a very special magic for a political leader to bring a fertile and oil rich nation to starvation and the brink of dissolution. It does: it requires a Marxist magic of the sort that Corbyn admires and promises to bring to our country.

Corbyn repeats time and again that he will introduce stratospherically-high taxation. Profligate public spending and borrowing. Endless subsidies to the shiftless underclass and to the “state-uneducated” youth who adore him because he promises them the earth. Massive pay rises to his supporters in the public services and the industries he vows to re-nationalise. The establishment of a nomenclatura of his political cronies. Co-ordinated industrial chaos. The promise to rise to power by months of rabble-rousing on the streets culminating in “a march of a million” to overturn the results from the ballot boxes.

Coming soon then: Britain Venezuelan style.

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