The working class has become like an army of foot soldiers for the international elite. Vastly arrayed and looking all shiny in their uniforms, rising almost at the same time and finishing at the same time. Working, working and working whilst getting paid less and less. When this vast industrial army of soldiers refuses to obey, strikes or protests the elite financial classes consider this a mutiny. Consider what would happen in the traditional army if a mutiny occurred, consider the military tribunals, the punishments and the interrogations.
The world of industrial relations is not so different. When you show defiance, or dissent you are quickly identified as an enemy and certainly treated as one. The corridors of power within large factories, hotels and enterprises are riddled with extremely anti-worker individuals who seem to thrive off crushing other people in the name of their corporate gods. Yet, despite all this, it is still difficult for the average worker to identify an enemy or even accept that he or she has an enemy within the capitalist system.
The reality is that the financial and political elite are a highly organized unit that operates for the most part cohesively. The socialisation of the debt by a complicit government has ensured that the enrichment of the wealthy continues unchallenged. The gradual re-distribution of natural resources into privately controlled hands has also ensured that international companies have not only comfortably shored up profits for themselves but also for those who aided them in securing lucrative contracts.
Yelsin’s Russia is actually one of the most lucid examples of how the international banks, the government and the local capitalist class act as a triumvirate against the people. While it’s severely more obfuscated and the illusion of democracy is stronger, this triumvirate maintains all decision making authority over what is supposedly a sovereign nation. This triumvirate determines the fate of millions of people around the world with only their own interests at heart and this triumvirate connects into it’s network other like minded individuals on a day to day basis. The organizational prowess of the ruling elite could be admired if it was not so terrifying and efficient. From Israel to Colombia the methods of repressing people are being perfected with the assistance of rabid mouth-foaming nationalism and logic-absent religious fanaticism.
Of course the situation in Ireland has not yet come to the point where the army will be sent in to clear out slums like happens in Brazil. The living standard in Ireland is higher than in developing countries, but it is on the decline. Other European countries that are considered ‘first world’ yet face what seem to be irreparable societal problems induced by capitalism are the go-to models for the direction that Ireland is moving rapidly towards. Most importantly however, the United States is the prime example of a heavily privatized and capitalist society where the supposed democratic institutions that are supposed to represent the interests of the people represent the interests of the elite.
Ireland, like America, is slowly becoming a two party system where you only have two options and both are ultimately controlled by the people who donate to them, yet Ireland has still not crossed the terrible threshold and there is hope for rebuking the advance of unbridled capitalism. In order to do so I firmly believe that we have to identify the enemy and those who oppose the interests of the working class, in order to change society we need to know exactly who is restricting us from changing it. In 1916 the martyrs knew that it was the British Empire in the role of oppressor, in 1934 the Republican Congress recognized that the enemy was the Free State and the Catholic Church, in 1969 the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association and subsequently the Provisional IRA recognized the fascist Orange State and the British apparatus backing them as the enemy.
Today our enemy is not as visible as it was before but it is certainly not difficult to identify. The European Union alongside international companies have replaced the direct oppressive role of the British Empire. The levers of control are different today than they were before, in Northern Ireland religion and nationalism obfuscated class commonalities, while in Ireland a Catholic, ‘Irish’ and ‘Republican’ state ideology persevered.
Through direct oppression in the last seven years since the financial crash the enemy has revealed itself thoroughly. The enemy are those who make decisions to benefit themselves – the few and not the many, us. The enemy is comprised predominantly of layers upon layers of wealthy individuals who seek only to enrich themselves at the expense of us all. If it is finally understood that the only means to overcome the enemy is through the obtaining of real decision making power into the hands of the majority then change will sweep over Ireland and Europe like an unstoppable force.
But if we continue to believe that the institutions and ideas fed to us by those who manage us as the way out, we will forever be lost in the capitalist labyrinth of oppression.
Alex K. Homits