Anti-capitalist march outside Wall Street on 25 September. Image posted on Flickr by Christy Thornton.
While the financial world as we know it crashes down around our ears, the West's age-long love affair with capitalism is finally being brought into question. Which is why, anti-capitalists from around the world explain, their gates are being flooded with new members.
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John Mullen is a New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA) activist from southwest France. He writes an anti-capitalist blog.
Although people don't believe the clowns dressed up as "economic experts" anymore, they now feel hopeless. Our work is to bring the spirit back; to encourage the resistance - against the privatisation of [France's] post office, against the cuts in teaching posts, for the increase of the minimum wage etc. The cupboards aren't bare - they lied to us! Sarkozy said recently that anti-capitalism is not the solution. For him and his friends driving around in Mercedes and sailing on yachts it's not. But for the common man, it's the only solution. We're stirring up enormous interest - we welcome new fighters with open arms. In other countries too, our friends are mobilising against capitalism."
Nora Morales de Cortiñas is a member of Madres de Plaza de Mayo (Mothers of Plaza de Mayo), an activist group formed by mothers whose children "disappeared" under Argentina's extreme-right military dictatorship of 1976 - 1983.
Sergey Rodionov is the main finance specialist of Russia's banned National-Bolshevik Party (NBP), a nationalist-communist party.
And the capitalist system has its old remedy to the problem - a depression in demand is cured by a credit injection. Capitalism should have remembered one of its forgotten prophets, Ludvig von Mises, who said that the credit injection is a medicine that's worse than the illness. But it helps to extend the time between each crisis. It was used by the Reagan administration and set the fate of the current economic system. Its end is manifested in a series of collapses of financial bubbles.
The world crisis will strike Russia worse than other countries because a decrease in industrial production will cause a drop in the price of raw materials - which Russia is entirely dependent on. Russia will be the worse to suffer, and that means that the political system here will see bigger changes. As the rest of the world shrivels and looks in vain for an escape from existing political ideologies and structures, Russia, completely renovated, will become a leader showing the way."
Charlie Kimber is an organiser and activist for the Socialist Workers' Party in the UK.
Brown got a small boost from the crisis because it reminded everyone how toxic the Conservative Party is in terms of its closeness to bankers and elitists. But what we would really like to see come from the crisis is some kind of united front to the left of the Labour Party; the equivalent of the Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire in France [The Revolutionary Communist League]."
Zuangchen is an anonymous blogger from China. His entry was originally posted here.
And when the government rescues the capitalists, they sacrifice the common people. (...) With house prices as they are, you'll be paying your mortgage until thirty years after you've retired. This means the common family can't buy a house. So by intervening in the market and keeping house prices up, the government is also keeping young people from getting on the property ladder. It's not only an economic measure, but also a political move."
Alex Foti is member of Confederazione Unitaria di Base (Unitary Confederation from Below) and of the EuroMayDay network.
However, although Berlusconi's government is being damaged by the crisis, the left is not intellectually strong enough at this moment to use the opportunity. It's society that has been mobilising. On Friday there was a general strike organised by the three alternative unions, including mine, against cuts in public education and public services.
It was the first time the non-mainstream unions managed to paralyse both Milan and Rome. We have no illusions of toppling the government in the next few months. But we're mobilising strongly... students, teachers, bus drivers. And the movement is growing by the day."
Protest in Wall Street 25 October:
Posted by "SAJU0"30 September 08.
Protest in the City, London, 10 October 08:
Posted by "leninology" 10 October 08.