by Finian Cunningham
August 11, 2011
After a conflagration of arson attacks, riots and looting in several British
cities, including the capital, London, there is a sense of order having been
restored from a massive mobilization of police forces.
There now follows the tracking down and prosecution of individuals involved
in the mayhem. Conservative Prime Minister is leading “the fight back” to
punish anyone who has inflicted damage and destruction to Britain’s society.
The events have visibly shocked the political establishment of all parties,
police chiefs and the mainstream media. But what should be more shocking is
the myopic and incredibly banal commentary that is being offered to
“explain” the outburst of street disturbances and violence.
As pundits sit in comfy television studios trading inane insights about the
“evils” of individual immorality, criminality, dysfunctional families, gang
culture - in the background, so to speak, are the glaring signs scrolling
across the screens of the cause of this societal breakdown.
And yet the preponderant signs escape the mental
radar of pundits and politicians alike.
The fact that the capitalist economic system is in worldwide meltdown is not
even registered in the mainstream commentary. This is the system that the
mainstream political parties have facilitated and fawned over, whether
Labour, Conservative or Liberal, and which has resulted in social
devastation across Britain while the corporate and financial elite has
ransacked economic resources.
This system of legalized looting has been going
on for decades, but certainly took on a precipitous dynamic starting with
Cameron’s Conservative predecessor Margaret Thatcher in the early
Labour’s Tony Blair and Gordon Brown
were merely purveyors of the same dynamic.
In surveying today’s Britain, Karl Marx words are so right:
“An accumulation of wealth at one pole of
an accumulation of misery and overwork at the other”.
That is the hallmark of capitalism in today’s
Britain, the U.S. and Europe.
All other problems are largely secondary in causation. Crime, racist
policing, disorder, the lack of police budgets to restore order (so ironic),
alienation and self-destruction, and so many other ills including the
mobilization of resources to fund illegal wars - most of our present day
problems flow from the tap root of dysfunction that is the capitalist
Speaking in the House of Commons Thursday, Prime Minister Cameron's
“explanation” for the outbreak of street disturbances across England
demonstrates a total ignorance and poverty of understanding on his part of
the nature of the breakdown in his society.
He blames it on,
“criminality pure and simple” and “pockets
of sickness” and “lack of individual morality and responsibility”.
This view is largely echoed in the British
political establishment of all parties and the media.
The looting, thievery and lawlessness that Cameron so condemns is but the
reflection at the street level of British society of what is taking place on
a much greater scale at the upper echelons of government and the economy.
Despite the appearance of pinstripe suits and well-groomed accents, we can,
if we are honest, see decades of looting and thievery of economic and
financial resources by corporate elites aided and abetted by Labour and
The taxpayer bailout of corrupt banks initiated by Labour PM
Gordon Brown and now overseen by Cameron, paid for in large part
by austerity in public spending cuts, is but the latest manifestation of
official robbing of the majority to swell the already outrageous wealth of
the ruling elite class.
Cameron and his gang of plumy-accented thugs are gunning for $150 billion in
public spending cuts to pay for the criminal enterprise known as British
banking. This is racketeering that a street gang in London’s east end can
only marvel at… and indeed, in a very real way, only emulate.
Combined with that looting by the elite we see the total lawlessness and
criminality of British governments who have worked hand in glove with other
criminal governments to launch wars of aggression (Nuremburg standard war
crimes) in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Libya, resulting in the deaths of over
one million civilians.
Where is individual responsibility for that mass
murder and destruction Mr Cameron?
This social decay and necrotism is a symptom of the collapse of capitalism,
an economic system that enriches an elite at the cost of the majority. It
polarizes political power beyond democratic accountability to the point
where, among other deformities, wars and planetary looting are being carried
out even blatantly against the consent of the majority public.
So when Cameron and his political cronies fulminate about pockets of
sickness, looting, criminality, lawlessness, and the need for “consequences
for actions” - his words and exhortations are so richly ironic and
For he is inadvertently describing the very society and world that
capitalism creates in its own image. The indoctrination of Cameron's mind
and that of the entire political establishment prevents them from seeing the
inferno for the sparks.
An inferno that the government of Cameron and his Labour predecessors, and in other western countries, have been dousing fuel
on with their slavish policies aiding and abetting
both at home and abroad.
The real lessons from Britain will not dawn on, never mind be drawn on, by
mainstream politicians or media. And the same can be said for the U.S. and
other western countries.
To paraphrase a slogan used by former U.S.
“It’s the capitalist economy, stupid.”