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… and angrier!

THE UN’S INTERNATIONAL Labour Organisation has produced a report stating that “social upheavals” are on the cards due to growing cuts, unemployment and inequality. Meanwhile Andreas Whittam Smith, writing in The Independent, has declared that countries like Britain are now “ripe for revolution”.
The ILO cited a study showing that in 45 out of 119 countries the risk of social unrest is rising, and this includes the rich countries of Europe and North America as well as the Middle East. It states that 80 million new jobs are needed – including 27 million in the wealthier countries – to get unemployment down to pre-crisis levels. The sheer impossibility of this, in the face of a double-dip recession, shows the deep crisis the world’s capitalist class now faces.
Smith, a former editor of The Telegraph and Stock Exchange Gazette, notes the similarities with the 1848 revolutionary wave that swept across Europe. Smith wrongly disparages the “amateurs” and lack of concrete demands of the Arab Spring and global Occupy movement today, comparing them to the failed revolutions of 1848: “There was usually a brief, confused period of demands and demonstrations”, whose “leaders and instigators were intellectuals devoid of political experience, not men of action”.
But there is a great difference between 1848 and today. Then, the working class was only beginning to take shape in Europe. Today, we have already seen general strikes in Greece and France, while there have been revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.
These events show that the first steps taken by activists can grow into mass, militant action capable of shaking the system. The capitalist crisis has opened up a period when everything is possible.

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