Sunday, 4 February 2018

Rees-Mogg Is Quite Right

Jacob Rees-Mogg is quite right in saying that the Civil Service is not impartial.  In coming to that recognition, he has only realised a fact that Marxists have understood for nearly two centuries.  The capitalist state, of which the Civil Service is the Capitalist State's permanent bureaucracy, is not neutral.  It does not act impartially in the interests of some fictional "national interest" or societal interest.  Its sole purpose is to act as the Executive Committee of the ruling class, and to represent the long-term interests of capital in general.  It only presents itself as acting in the national interest, because society is conditioned, by the state including its ideological wings in the bourgeois media, in the schools, universities, churches, and via the family, to see the "national interest" as synonymous with the interests of capital.

Rees-Mogg, is only coming to this realisation, because as a Brexiteer, he is a foremost representative of the interests of the backward looking sections of capital, and of those reactionary elements of the middle and working classes, whose support for Brexit stands in complete opposition to the interests of the dominant sections of capital in general.  As I said from the day following the referendum result, the capitalist state, as the representative of the interests of capital in general, would do all in its power to frustrate Brexit, by putting the process through the political meat grinder.  This is nothing different to the kind of obstruction that Labour governments have always found, even to the most modest reforming agendas.  Harold Wilson's governments even faced the potential of sections of the ruling class, and their state organising a coup against it.  Its why it is reckless and foolhardy for some Labour politicians to believe that Socialism could simply be legislated into existence through Parliament, without massive popular support outside Parliament to defend a Workers' Government, and why the concept of Socialism in One Country is similarly reckless.  Its why John McDonnell and others are perfectly right to warn of the threats a Labour government would face from the state, and from the ruling class, and to begin preparing a vigorous response to them.

Rees-Mogg's criticism of the state's partiality is being echoed in the US, by Trump's supporters, and for the same reason.  Trump's tax cuts might have given a temporary sugar rush to the US stock markets, but the reality of Trump's policies is that they pose a severe risk to the US economy, just as the Voodoo Economics of Reagan did, in the 1980's, that led to the Twin Deficits crisis, and the 1987 Stock and Financial Markets crash.  But, the fact that the capitalist state is acting to undermine Brexiteers like Rees-Mogg, and their right-wing nationalist fellow travellers in the US, and parts of Europe, does not mean that what the state in those cases is saying is necessarily wrong.

In the case of Brexit, the recent Treasury forecasts on the effects of Brexit may, if anything, be too optimistic.  Before the referendum, the Treasury, the bank of England and others put out forecasts of the damage that a Brexit vote would have on the economy.  The Brexiteers have attacked them because, although Brexit has not yet happened, the Brexiteers are jubilant that the economy has not completely collapsed.  The Brexiteers say that the forecast rise in unemployment, and the forecast recession has not happened.  But, of course, the reality is that the data shows that economic growth has already fallen by around £9 billion a year, due to the Brexit vote; the UK has fallen to the slowest growing economy in the G7; the Pound tanked against the Dollar, before the Dollar itself started to fall, and the Pound is down considerably against the, much maligned by Brexiteers, Euro; and as a result inflation has risen sharply, whilst wages are failing to rise to match it.

But, given the criticism of the pre-referendum forecasts, its likely that Treasury officials painted a rosier picture of the effects of Brexit than is likely, so as to avoid accusations of biased and exaggerated claims.  Obviously, that attempt failed, as Rees-Mogg and the cohorts of outraged Brexiteers have gone on the offensive anyway.  Rees-Mogg finds support amongst the reactionary bourgeois press, that has its eyes fixed firmly on its circulation figures, and need to fuel the bigotry of their increasingly aged readers.  But, the majority of the bourgeois press and media has risen up to attack Rees-Mogg, and his followers not just because of his support for a hard Brexit, but also because, in now levelling his guns in the direction of the impartiality of the capitalist state, he undermines the very pillars of capitalist society, and its need to brainwash the public into that belief of an impartial, class neutral state, acting in the national interest.

Rees-Mogg and his supporters are a mortal enemy of the working-class.  They represent not just a conservative defence of the status quo, but a dangerous reactionary movement seeking to turn the clock back.  Their support for Brexit is central to that reactionary movement.  But, in throwing back the curtain to reveal the true nature of the Almighty Oz, to illustrate the real class nature of the capitalist state, they have unconsciously done the working-class, and socialists a great favour!


George Carty said...

While I despise Ress-Mogg and all he stands for, isn't it going a bit over the top to call him a "mortal enemy" (a phrase that implies that he wants to kill us)?

Boffy said...

No, I don't think it is. Paul Mason a while ago wrote a background on Rees-Mogg, setting out the extent to which although he presents as some kind of different kind of joke to Boris Johnson, he is a very dangerous character.

Tory policies, particularly those of the Tory right like Rees-Mogg everyday pose a threat to the lives of ordinary workers, just look at all those who died at Grenfell Tower, or those who die from exposure on our streets due to unnecessarily being homeless and sleeping rough, look at all the hundreds of workers who die at work in industrial accidents or from industrial diseases, whilst the Tories complain about "Health and Safety Gone Mad", and Rees-Mogg and his ilk want to get out of the EU so that they can be even more free to have a bonfire of regulations that protect workers. Then there are all those workers who die every day due to inadequate healthcare and so on.

And, if and when workers do get in a position to seriously challenge any of those conditions, then the likes of Rees-Mogg, and the other Tories will have no qualms about using whatever force, whatever means are at their disposal to try to prevent it, just as such political forces did against the Paris Communards, as British Tory (and some Labour) politicians did in 1918, in organising British forces to go and fight against the workers in Russia, or as Churchill did in sending the troops in to Tonypandy to shoot striking British miners.

A mortal enemy of the working-class is one of the mildest epithets that can be used for reactionaries like Rees-Mogg.