At the end of January, the world’s elite met in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Davos to discuss how to maintain and improve their position in the economy.
Both the setting and the speeches were utopian, as the politicians and bankers professed the virtues of neoliberalism. While millions were spent on round-the-clock security and caviar, we were told of the dangers of largesse spending by the state and the need to slash public services. Life is tough at the top.
There is growing discontent with capitalism around the world and it is being expressed in several different ways.
It has manifested as Donald Trump, self-proclaimed champion of the American working-class but running an administration in the interests of his wealthy friends. Across the Atlantic, millions of people have been enthused by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party and the promise to run the economy “for the many, not the few”.
Davos is a bolthole for bourgeois politicians to take a break and formulate a strategy to re-sell capitalism to the masses. Theresa May talks about tackling “burning injustices”, but will not fund sprinklers for tower blocks even in the wake of the Grenfell disaster. European leaders opine about the need for greater integration within the bloc, but in order to open up new markets for capital. Plus ça change.
Trump and May were featured speakers, as was Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. Though painted as terrifying Trots in the bourgeois press, it is clear Corbyn and McDonnell will give concessions to capital unless there is an organised labour movement behind them.
Therefore, while the capitalists organise in the Alps, it is more important than ever for workers, students and young people to organise in their workplaces, on their campuses and in their communities.