Winfried Wolf's new book: a review on Indymedia

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at
Fri Aug 29 02:42:46 MDT 2003

In the years 1993-2000, the value creation of productive businesses in
Germany rose 22 percent while the number of working hours declined 24
percent. Dependent employees had to accept real wage losses of six percent.
In the other highly industrialized capitalist countries, mass purchasing
power lagged far behind the development of production. Such an imbalance
(overproduction/ under-consumption) developed that the economic press
predicted a collapse as at the end of the 20s. "The slump or bear market is
only comparable with 1929. The world is up to its neck in `bubble trouble'
as the economic magazine Handelsblatt said in March. "The parallels to the
present are amazing", Spiegel wrote with view to "black Thursday", October
24, 1929. The international economic crisis was organized annihilation and
destruction. In London, whole shipments of oranges were thrown into the
ocean. In Denmark 1500 cows were slaughtered weekly and their meat was
processed in fertilizer. In Argentina hundreds of thousands of sheep were
stabbed to death. Transport to the slaughterhouses would have cost more than
the proceeds. (...)

How fitting when capital radicals now call for breaking the "wage cartel"!
The right of dependent employees anchored in the basic rights section of the
German constitution to assert their interests collectively against big money
is violated in exploitation and the hunt for profit. In his new book, Wolf
tells about the crisis in other countries, for example in Japan and the
Southeast Asian tiger states. He mentions Argentina as a drastic example of
what happens to those who zealously privatize following the demands of the
US government and the International Monetary fund, open themselves to
foreign capital and sink into mass misery as a result of the great sellout.
He analyzes the brutalization of world politics through the striving for
control of oil fields and for military hegemony. He takes stock of the most
recent war against Iraq and refers to the growing interest in West Africa.
"West Africa represents the fastest growing source of oil and gas for the
American market", declared the 2000 energy report of the US government
commissioned by Vice-president Dick Cheney from the oil industry. Much of
the news from the last days and weeks can be explained on this background
(unrest in Liberia, intervention of former European colonial powers with
German involvement in the Congo, visit of US president Bush in this region).

Wolf speaks soberly and free from illusions about the criminal energies of
capitalism. Still he doesn't preach pessimism. He agrees with those who
proclaim: "Another world is possible" and adds "another economy is
 necessary". He means an economy "in which massive social resources are used
according to plan". This different economy can only function on the base of
radical democracy. In contrast capitalism means dictation of the market and
profit and tends to political dictatorship. This tendency intensifies in
times of grave crises. As DGB (German Union Alliance) president Michael
Sommer said as a demonstration speaker on May 1, 2003: "We are attacked as
once in the dying phase of the Weimar republic".

[Winfried Wolf: "Sturzflug in die Krise" (Nosedive in Crisis), The World
Economy, Oil and War

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