“The markets rule the world. Maybe that’s why your conspiracy theorists make up all those crazy things. Because the truth is so much more frightening...”
So a top US businessman told the journalist Jon Ronson for his book Adventures with Extremists. It was a frightening truth like death is frightening — something scary that was, however, the way the world had to be.
Anything less than free-fire for “the markets”, would spell stagnation and collapse. So they said.
Now it turns out that “the markets” themselves bring collapse and stagnation. That they are human creations, and perverse human creations at that — a system by which, as Karl Marx put it, “a definite social relation between people assumes, in their eyes, the fantastic form of a relation between things”.
Now, in Marx's words again, “the dealers by whose agency circulation is effected, shudder before the impenetrable mystery in which their own economic relations are involved”.
Those who once said loudest that the markets must rule, now accept the case which socialists made all along, that social regulation is indispensable for a modern, large-scale economy, in which production and trade are organised on a vast social scale. Only they want that social regulation only in their interests, only for as long as they need it to dig them out of their hole. Then they want to go back to “the markets rule”.
Why return to that recipe for suffering and chaos? Why gear social regulation to the interests of the wealthy? Why let the same people run that social regulation who previously obstructed it?
We need social regulation — but by a workers’ government, based on, loyal to, and accountable to the working-class majority. The workers’ movement must rouse itself to fight for a workers’ government.