A poor future - a critique of the TUC's "A future that works"

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wineandcheese's picture
Joined: 26-10-09
Sep 7 2012 17:11
A poor future - a critique of the TUC's "A future that works"
On October 20th the TUC will march for “a future that works” and against austerity. In a booklet the TUC analyses “what went wrong” and spells out what the future should look like. In general terms, the programme is no different from the 2011 march under the slogan “Jobs, Growth, Justice”. That is, the TUC effectively invites its supporters to the streets to demand a future of poverty for the sake of the British economy and state.


The TUC treats its audience as what it is: the material for the success of the British economy. That is to say that the TUC position is not stupid, misguided or foreshortened. Instead, it is adequate insofar as it expresses the truth that everybody in this society is absolutely dependent on economic growth. The recent crisis demonstrated vividly that no wheel turns when no profitable business is in sight – which means no useful goods are produced and no wages are paid for those who could produce them. As material of capital workers long for its success – in hope to receive a few breadcrumbs in the process.8


The dependence of everybody on the success of the British economy is objective as long – and only as long – as everything is subjected to profitability. What is not an objective necessity, is the TUC's cheerleading for the economic principles of this society – neither is the pride with which the TUC subjects its audience to these principles. It is no accident that the TUC does not simply speak of people or workers:

“We need policies for the future to put right what has gone wrong and give us an economy that works for ordinary British families.”

Despite the fact that its audience is composed of a variety of people in different social situations it calls its audience “ordinary” to clarify that all they want is a normal, i.e., small, piece of the pie – nothing more. Despite the fact that much of the “everybody else” are not British citizens it calls its audience “British” to call for a national unity of sacrifice.9 Finally, addressing each member of the audience as a “family” member, it emphasises that nothing less than the decent nucleus of the British fatherland is at stake. And so the material interests of those on the receiving end of austerity are transformed into a proud collective sacrifice for Great Britain.

HTML: http://junge-linke.org/en/poor-future
PDF: http://www.junge-linke.org/sites/default/files/future.pdf