The first decades of the twenty-first century have been plagued by a spate of political insurrections because during this period we have reached a new peak of social inequality. I won’t bother giving you all the gory details because if you are experiencing the brunt of inequality you probably don’t need or want them, if you are fortunately not feeling the brunt of inequality then you can google or wiki such detail for yourself. Suffice for me to say that a very small and unnecessary ruling class is the cause of social inequality and hence a big problem for the rest of us.
For the purpose of this story I am saying the so-called ruling class is made up of 0.001% – at most, of the planet’s population. Hence the rest of us – call us what you like, make up the other 99.999%. The means by which such a small percentage of us humans are able to rule it over the rest of us is their ownership of production and the vast bulk of the wealth gained thereby. Using capitalism or better still ‘neoliberalism’ ie capitalism with the gloves off, to globalise productivity and nation-state political boundaries to confine labour – the actual producers, the ruling class is able to exploit labour in order to maximise profit and their own wealth in particular. This together with impressive increases in productive efficiency and a not so impressive system of ‘finance monopoly capital’ is why and how social inequality exists and has now reached a new global peak or tipping point.
The level of ownership and wealth enjoyed by the ruling class also enables them to divide and conquer the rest of us to the extent necessary for them to continue being able to rule it over the rest of us no matter how much we resist or even revolt. The ruling class has the rest of us divided in more than enough ways for them to believe that their hegemony will never be overthrown. For centuries they have successfully divided the rest of us into nation states, racial/ethnic groups, religions, political parties, upper, middle and lower socioeconomic groups, academics, professionals, skilled, semi skilled, labourers, even a socially constructed – as distinct from biologically constructed, gender difference.
While some of these divisions may be important to us – especially if we are enjoying a relatively good quality of life, this is not so for the vast majority of the 99.999% of us. With social inequality at its present level we are already witnessing increasing austerity, poverty, fascism, chauvinism, racism and a real threat of war between so-called super powers which would almost inevitably become a nuclear war. To rid ourselves of exploitation, social inequality and the threat of a nuclear war we must rid ourselves of the ruling class and its dominant, imperialist, economic and political institutions. To do this we must first neutralise the primary ruling class strategy of ‘divide and conquer’ by adopting our own primary strategy, a revolutionary class struggle of us versus them.
It is worth pointing out here that all 100% of us humans have no need for a minority ruling class. Throughout most of our material and cultural evolution we not only produced our own basic needs, we also invented the foundations of our present day mechanical and technological advantages – ie verbal and written language, agriculture, numeracy, medicine, pottery and weaving, most if not all of which were produced without the encumbrance of a ruling class. As it happened, most if not all of these early inventions took place within pre-Neolithic, indigenous, matrilineal societies, a time when lore, land, resources and productivity were held in common and shared among so-called primitive people. This was a period of original, organic commune-ism when a ruling class was unthinkable, when social equality was the norm.
For me there is only one political party that comes anywhere near providing the kind of guidance and leadership now required to help the rest of us get rid of the ruling class and out of the impoverished economic and miserable social circumstances that so many of our brothers and sisters now find themselves in, namely the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) launched by Leonard Trotsky in 1938 with these words –
“We are not a party like other parties… Our aim is the full material and spiritual liberation of the toilers and exploited…”
The real difference between the ICFI/SEP and any other political party is well expressed during a recent interview by WSWS.org with Yuri Primakov the 87-year-old son of Markovitch Primakov a hero of the one and only event to date when the ruling class was overthrown by the then working class – the Oct 1917 Russian revolution.
“They didn’t care about money and they truly believed in communism. They were convinced that they had to fight for the betterment of humankind, not just for the improvement of their own material position. If you compare that to the elites today, who don’t give a damn about the people and are interested only in the market rates of their companies on the stock exchange, then you can see what degradation has taken place.”
For the kind of political and cultural information that can help all 100% of us to achieve the quality of life we want for ourselves and our families, I recommend you visit the World Socialist Web Site – WSWS.org