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From: The Socialist issue 520, 13 February 2008: Stop NHS privatisation now!

Search site for keywords: Recession - capitalist - Engels - Marx

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.

So does the Socialist Party. Join us today!






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