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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 February 2008

Millionaire welcomes economic recession!

MICHAEL O'LEARY, cost-cutting, anti-union, multimillionaire boss of 'budget airline' Ryanair, says he would welcome "a good, deep, bloody recession in this country for 12 to 18 months. It would be good for the [airline] industry. It would help see off the environmental nonsense that has become so popular among the chattering classes."

Roger Shrives

O'Leary is a capitalist fundamentalist. He wants a recession where very many jobs are destroyed.

He is not the only one to say recession has advantages for those bosses whose enterprises don't go belly-up. LSE academic John van Reenen, for instance, says: "It's how capitalism works. For the good to flourish, the bad must go to the wall."

Frederick Engels, Marx's long-term collaborator, explained how booms and slumps throw "the whole industrial and commercial world, production and exchange" out of joint in his book Socialism, Utopian and Scientific.

"Commerce is at a stand-still, the markets are glutted, products accumulate, as multitudinous as they are unsaleable, hard cash disappears, credit vanishes, factories are closed, the mass of the workers are in want of the means of subsistence, because they have produced too much of the means of subsistence; bankruptcy follows upon bankruptcy, execution upon execution.

"The stagnation lasts for years; productive forces and products are wasted and destroyed wholesale, until the accumulated mass of commodities finally filter off, more or less depreciated in value, until production and exchange gradually begin to move again.

"Little by little, the pace quickens. It becomes a trot. The industrial trot breaks into a canter, the canter in turn grows into the headlong gallop of a perfect steeplechase of industry, commercial credit, and speculation, which finally, after breakneck leaps, ends where it began - in the ditch of a crisis. And so over and over again."

Marx and Engels did the opposite of O'Leary and van Reenen and dedicated themselves to building a working-class opposition to the whole gruesome process of capitalist booms and slumps and laying the basis for a socialist society.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 13 February 2008:

Stop NHS privatisation now!


Local Government workers

Birmingham council workers' biggest strike for decades

'Single status' in the West Midlands

Bosses prepare to force through more cuts

Newham workers angry at councillors


Socialist Students

Uni Fees must be fought!

Feature: The great university swindle


War and terrorism

War and occupation in Iraq


Socialist Party news and analysis

Defend abortion rights

Millionaire welcomes economic recession!

Northern Rock

Liverpool's tale of two cities

Cardiff marches to save schools

100 people pack London world economy meeting


Transport

Cuts and backlogs cause delays

Tangled web at Metronet


International socialist news and analysis

Polish miners gain strike victory due to iron determination

Chad conflict - part of a wider power struggle


Interview

Prison officers: Fighting for trade union rights

Building the Campaign for a New Workers' Party


Comment

Comment: Opportunist blunder further splits Church of England


Workplace news and analysis

Land Registry staff vote for action

London Underground: Strike ballot in safety row

Campaign Against Climate Change trade union conference

Organise and fight back!

Shelter staff ballot for action


 

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