Saturday, 31 October 2015

Manifest interjections

Tax credits, the living wage, and the minimum income guarantee
The angry reactions to Osborne's decision to cut tax credits show a recognition that labour is now so cheap to capital that it must sell itself below the cost of its reproduction, a simply intolerable situation to be in. You'd have to think that a situation like this is inherently unstable. After all, several million people who thought they'd done everything right are learning the hard way the class content of the austerity agenda: no one is safe from the predation of the 1% and their political lackeys- the system consumes everything in its path, itself included.

The mere existence of tax credits demonstrates that this reproduction problem pushes towards a solution breaking free of the wage-labour form itself, a solution whose final appearance depends on the degree to which money ceases to be the primary medium of the circulation of labour and its products, a degree which increases the greater the not-for-profit (NFP) sector in the economy. In the context of attacks on the living wage the extra-Labour left should leave arguments over tax credits and the living wage to the reformists, and should instead raise the minimum income guarantee as a concrete demand- a manifesto pledge for a socialist party standing candidates in bourgeois elections.