On my way to work this week I sighted a number of posters stuck up around Victoria Street. Advertising Socialism 2009, these flyers proudly bear the slogan “Capitalism in Crisis: Marx was Right". An remarkable claim. A look down the road shows hundreds of commuters striding to their destinations. Everywhere shops are opening, and little cafes are overflowing. The inescapable truth is that capitalism is valiantly ploughing on; and everybody seems determined in supporting it.
The economic crisis sent shockwaves across the world, and recessions have thrown national economies completely off-kilter. It has been painful and faintly embarrassing; how did we fail to see this coming? Capitalism as practiced is a cyclical affair; with centralized attempts to temper fluctuations causing increased and prolonged destruction further down the line. Marxists are absolutely salivating because the banks are a mess, the UK are still in recession, unemployment is rising. In the mix, political freedom allows expression of opinion, and technology brings those of a similar mind together. The circumstances are perfect for ‘spontaneous revolution’.
But where is it? The truth is, society does not want a new economic and social order. What people want from the back of this crisis is a return to normality, and a return to the markets that have served us well and made countries richer for generations. People do not feel oppressed and exploited by capitalism, because it works for them.
Socialism 2009 is held with pride, despite the obvious failure of central planning across the world. As we celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall, believers in individualism, liberty and competition should make their voices heard without any embarrassment. Free markets have made lifted untold millions out of poverty, given us all more goods and opportunities and entrenched freedom and diversity. These are reasons people continue to choose the market. Roll on Capitalism 2010.