The Class Impact of the Recession


  • Michael Taft


Despite the repeated assertions of Government ministers and orthodox commentary, we are not all in this together. We are not all being asked to make, nor have we made, an equal and proportionate contribution to resolving a crisis that originated in the global financial sector. That productive forces have had to make any sacrifice for the speculative activity in finance capital shows otherwise. We have had a series of inter-locking debates during the crisis spending and taxation, public and private sectors (usually focused on wage differentials), the level of social transfers, bank bondholders and the Eurozone; in all this there has been one issue that has failed to even surface in the mainstream discourse: the relationship between labour and capital compensation. This is largely due to the success of the ideological rhetoric that has suborned the debate under a `we're all in this together' rubric and a general lack of interest in such issues (if one maintains that we are living in a post-class society, what's the point of looking at class impacts). The following is intended to help address this deficit, to provide some pointers and to start an alternative analysis. For the real story is how capital has succeeded in diverting the debate in order to veil a wider political agenda - to maintain and strengthen its hegemony in the Irish economy.