Workers' living conditions are rapidly deteriorating around the world. Wages are stagnant, while the cost of necessities such as food, electricity, and housing continues to rise. Despite this, the average worker is far more productive than ever before, often at the expense of their health and well-being.
And as our circumstances deteriorate, the rich get richer. The likes of this current transfer of wealth from workers to the rich has not been seen since the 1930s. Every day, companies announce record profits. Then, in the next breath, they tell us that they couldn't afford to raise wages or improve working conditions.
These two elements are inextricably linked. Profits are made from both our labour and our poverty. Ever-increasing profits for the bosses means worsening destitution for us. The current inflationary and economic downturn has nothing to do with a "wage-price spiral," as ruling-class media outlets would have us believe. Capitalism, with its constant need for profit and inability to avoid crisis, is the true culprit, as it always is.
A blatant admission of class warfare recently made headlines, with reports of a leaked Bank Of America memo expressing hope that worker power deteriorates that read, "By the end of next year, we hope the ratio of job openings to unemployed is down to the more normal highs of the last business cycle." In other words, the Bank of America wants the working class to compete for fewer jobs and lower wages.
The propaganda machine of the wealthy faithfully defended the contents of the memo, stating that workers must temporarily suffer to prevent an even more severe economic slump.
To "correct" the increasing wages that are driving up inflationary expenses, more of us must go hungry in the dole line. What is a slight decrease in bargaining power when measured against a twice-in-a-generation economic downturn?
Many at the top are concerned about workers' current bargaining power, despite a general lack of worker organisation. While they understand that a recession means less revenue for them, they are more concerned about losing control over their employees and are banking on a recession to bring them back in line.
According to the CEO of Douglas Emmett Inc, a commercial real estate corporation, a recession could be "good" for their industry "if it comes with a level of unemployment that puts employers back in the driver seat and allows them to get all their employees back into the office."
In an anonymous survey, a Texas CEO echoed this view expressed throughout the corporate world, saying, "Inflationary wage pressure is making it hard to hire for the long term. I suspect the workforce pulls its head out of its rear when a correction or recession makes jobs scarce and people start to feel the pain or fear of not providing for their family and loved ones — assuming the government doesn't jump back into the fight and pay them to do nothing again. A great lesson you taught the workforce, politicians!"
Capitalism is defined at its core by the conflict of interests between workers and owners. What is beneficial to us is detrimental to them. In the short term, our interests are shorter hours, higher pay, and better working conditions, whereas their interests are longer hours, lower pay, and little to no regulations. Their interest is in preserving capitalism while ours is in constructing socialism.
We take a pay cut, while they get a raise. They benefit from our sacrifice. We die for the economy but never reap its benefits. They claim to take risks, but we pay the price.
Our interests are incompatible, and the capitalist class is well aware of this. We're not all "in this together."
We only need to look at the capitalists' and their media representatives' reaction to the recent wave of strikes and labour activity in the UK to see that the capitalists' greatest fear isn't war, famine, or climate collapse. The capitalist class's worst nightmare is a well-organized, powerful working class that can fight for its interests.
It's pointless to be offended by the leaked Bank of America memo or to appeal to the ruling class' morals — they're acting in the interests of their class, and we need to act in ours. You're in a class war, and these executives are well aware that they have the means to cause poverty and misery at their disposal, and they're willing to use them.
In order to achieve their goals, the ruling class has been shown time and time again throughout history to resort to violence and even murder. They want things to get worse for us; let's do the opposite this time and make it worse for the people who caused this catastrophe.