Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year

We all love that time at midnight, at the sound of the bells, when we cuddle our loved ones, shake hands with strangers and wish one other a Happy New Year. At this time of the year are the feelings of goodwill – kindness and friendship among people. At such a time it is good to feel the out-stretched clasp of fellowship extended in New Year’s greeting by co-workers in every part of the world. Such greetings heartens us all. For one time in our life inside capitalism we celebrate just being alive. But the spirit (and spirits) of New Year gives way to the gloom of a bleak January morning when we return to our daily drudgery after the holidays. In the cold sober light of the capitalist day, nothing has changed. 

Looking back at the old year, 2012 will be remembered for the harsh realities of grinding poverty and destitution and the ever-pervading fear of falling victim to the ruthless, competitive society that is capitalism. The “End of the World” on the 21st of December came and went but genuine threats to human existence and civilization still remain. The apocalypse has perhaps been only  postponed. As a result of global warming sea-levels are rising, the weather has become highly unpredictable world-wide with an increase in extreme events such as hurricanes and floods. Mass extinction of animals, already begun on a very large scale by habitat loss, will be made much worse by climate change. Global warming, by conservative estimates, already causes 150,000 human deaths per year. The destruction of crop land due to drought or rising waters in low lying countries like Bangladesh will most likely cause the deaths or forced migrations of many millions of people. We ignore reality.

While the capitalist solution to the current crisis is ever increasing austerity, exploitation and repression, the call for a socialist solution seems almost a desperate cry in the wilderness with no hope in sight. But it is from this crisis, from the fact that life under capitalism continues to worsen, offering little hope for the future; that more and more people can begin to see the alternative. The workers continue to fight back yet this will not be nearly enough. Union militancy is but a part of the struggle needed to build towards the bigger battles necessary for the overthrow the capitalist system. But such struggles will be needed to expand the confidence of the working class to achieve the socialist revolution that puts the means of production into the hands of the working class. Capitalism won't disappear by shutting our eyes to it.  Instead it will merely attack us all the more mercilessly. That is why unless we do something about it, there will be more recessions, more wars and more environmental destruction. Socialists know that a long period of education must precede any great fundamental change in society, hence we do not believe in begging for votes with reform campaigns, but rather in the development of self-thinking individuals. As socialists, we argue that we should stop being the helpless victims in society, prey to the mercenary forces of the market, and instead rise up from off our knees.

Until the time comes when we are all free from capitalist social relations we extend our solidarity to those struggling for a better world, and make it our New Year resolution to continue the fight in our own part of the world. So let's do something positive and organise to make 2013 a guid New Year tae ane and a' .

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