I wish people would stop talking about “the top 1%” or the “1% v the 99%.” Why should they be regarded as being “the top”?
They are a completely useless parasitic layer on society. Billionaires have not “earned” or “created” their wealth.
It would take someone earning a median wage of £25,000 40,000 years to make £1 billion, assuming they paid no taxes and spent none of their money on essentials such as food, shelter and clothing.
According to the OECD in 2012 the top 0.6% of world population (consisting of adults with more than US$1 million in assets) or the 42 million richest people in the world held 39.3% of world wealth. The next 4.4% (311 million people) held 32.3% of world wealth. The bottom 95% held 28.4% of world wealth. So, the top 5% held 71.6% of world wealth.
It is clear the principal class division in the world is between the 5% and the 95% not the 1% and the 99%. The 95% have virtually nothing in common with the “poorest” 4.4% of the capitalist class.
It should be obvious that a world run in the interests of such a small fraction of the world’s population must inevitably be deeply inimical to the interests of the great majority, and we see that great majority being wracked by wars, destruction, death, poverty, starvation, disease, ill health, precarious existence and low life expectancy.
The 95% don’t need to play on any divisions or antagonisms within the capitalist class. We have the numbers, we now need organisation and a communist political programme to effect a comprehensive and forcible political, economic and social revolution, to place the world’s wealth, resources and means of production under the democratic ownership of the working people of the world.
Andrew Northall, Kettering
Stephen Wood (Solidarity 523) misunderstands my suggestion of additional lessons on feminism for those primary school children who are forced to wear the hijab to school.
I offered as a suggestion not because I thought the child needed more education, but because it was a sanction which didn’t punish the child, but that the parents or community who were forcing the child to wear the hijab would likely be opposed to. I am not wedded to the suggestion and do not think that you need to have a solution to support a ban of the hijab for children in primary schools.
However, comrades asked how we might implement a ban. This was a suggestion in response to that.
David Pendletone, London