Thursday, August 23, 2012

Class society? The gaps just get bigger

This graph was quoted today by bourgeois economics commentator Robert Gottliebson.

It shows why we have an Occupy movement, and why we need a communist movement.

In respect of the sharing of the wealth created by the labour power of the working class at the point of production, and subsequently realised through sales in the process of distribution, the position of the overwhelming majority of US citizens has remained unchanged between 1917 and 2008. It’s basically the same in all other advanced capitalist countries.

The very thin blue line at the bottom (appropriately) represents the average annual income of the bottom 90% of the popluation.

There are three other colour categories for the top 5-10%, the top 1-5% and the top 1% respectively.

What is significant following the adoption of neoliberalism (privatisation, deregulation, attacks on workers sand their unions, financial speculation) is that the gap between the bottom 90% and the top 10% has exploded, and within the top 10% almost all of the growth in income and wealth has accrued to the top 1%.

That’s why Occupy’s claim to be the voice of the 99% against the 1% resonated so loudly and so widely.

To be successful, Occupy in whatever form it takes shape in the future, must move from the successful use of percentages for the purposes of sloganeering, to the adoption of revolutionary tactics and strategies based on class analysis.

That is the only analysis that makes the transformation from capitalism to the next stage of society possible.

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