|Written by A.P. Amaral e J. Dias|
|Wednesday, 23 November 2011 01:28|
|Karl Marx wrote in The Capital: “The accumulation of capital through the public debt means nothing other than (…) the growth of a group of creditors of the State who are authorized to collect for themselves a part of the amount of taxes (…). These facts show that an accumulation of debt becomes an accumulation of capital”.
This analysis shows how valid and contemporary is the Marxist theory, the unique theoretical tool that allows us to understand the mechanisms of the capitalist system. It is clear that governments and ideologists of our regime attempt to throw the Marxist thoughts in the dustbin of history and also make people feel a collective sense of guilt, accusing them of “living beyond their means” … a sentence that distorts reality and disclaims the actual responsible ones for the debt crisis: the bankers and financial speculators who have imposed it as a way to generate capital, and the governments that helped them. That is to say, the “official creditors” are stealing money from the taxes paid by the society, as Marx explains.
Are we all responsible?
While an indebted worker derives no benefit from his debts – on the contrary, he pays high interest rates for decades – and if, by any chance, he stops paying his debt, he immediately gets the taxes authorities and the banks severely penalizing him, the capitalists are able to perform this absurd “miracle” – to make fabulous profits at the expense of the debts of others, whether individuals debtors, whether public debtors.
And when the capitalists make losses, the governments arise with supporting measures or fiscal incentives to capital (thus showing to what social class they rule for). Such measures may be even the direct injection of public funds in the financial system, as it happened in 2008 when the bankers’ bailout by states around the world exceeded 20% of world GDP.
Also in Portugal, Socrates’ government participated in this giant bailout of the banks, nationalizing the BPN (Portuguese Business Bank) due to mismanagement and injecting about € 4 billion of public funds in it. That year the deficit was only a bit over 3%. Six months later, it had exceeded 7%.
Were the workers and retirees those responsible for this brutal worsening of the deficit? Or were the BPN (Portuguese Business Bank) managers? Or was it Socrates? However none of them was held accountable and brought to court! Nor had them their privileges and fortunes touched.
Renegotiate or suspend payments?
The last decades have been beneficial to the financial capital, the current Portugal owner, which is now more powerful than before April 25. It makes profits through the public debt, through privatization, through the public-private business partnerships supported by the state and through the scandalous tax benefits. This rentist bourgeoisie, totally opposed to productive investments, has abandoned agriculture, industry and fishing, but has multiplied its financial tentacles. They are the cause of the country ruins and the primary responsible for its high indebtedness.
That’s why that trying to renegotiate the debt with such people, as claimed by the PCP (Portuguese Communist Party) and BE (Left Block) is the same as recognizing their legitimacy to remain creditors of the workers’ and retirees’’ taxes. It is tantamount to accepting that they continue to rule the country destiny and dictate the terms, driven by profit and nothing else. We have had enough of the blackmail of a debt we did not make and that has never been beneficial to us. The only measure that can bring some benefit to those who either works or has worked hard is the immediate suspension of its payment.
Capitalism is usury!
Today the so-called debt market is one of the most important forms of capital accumulation in the global economy. That is, the capitalists profit from the sovereign debt in two ways:
1. By the effect of the accrual of interest: borrowing to pay interest of previous loans, in an endless spiral in which the debt is always costly and never resolved. Who profits? The bankers and the speculators who live on the loan sharking interest. In the Portuguese case this accumulation should have reached, between 2005 and 2010, € 20 billion. In 2011, the interests of public and private debt are costing our economy, our public services and our social rights … around € 15,000 per minute!
2. Through speculation with the very security bonds: These are issued by States and auctioned at the “primary market” by a governmental entity (in Portugal these auctions continue to be made every 15 days, despite the IMF/EU loan of € 78 billion – which proves that money coming from Troika did not solve any problem and the country continues to incur in debts). Banks finance themselves through the ECB charging an interest rate of 1% and buy the bonds receiving an interest rate of 6% to 7% … yes, the same banks that were helped by the State to whom they now lend money … so is the capitalism jungle law!
But usury does not end at this stage: later these security bond will be traded on a secondary market in which interest rates vary daily according to market conditions, the investors’ confidence etc. The more “devastated” is a country, the more the interest rate is increased by speculation. It is now the case of Greece, whose interest rate in its debt is more than 50% in the secondary market. Lenin defined this system “usury on a large scale”!