George Osborne today promised us “full employment” during a speech in Essex. Has Osborne had a turn of cheek and abandoned his Thatcherite politics in favour of the long march to socialism? You’d think so, if it wasn’t for the fact that he refused to define what exactly he meant by “full employment”. One thing is for certain though, “full employment” in this case, does not mean jobs for everybody. Nor does it mean the government is going to create jobs for people.
What he has actually promised us is his commitment to securing the “fullest” possible levels of employment by cutting taxes for businesses. Surprise, surprise! The Tories grand scheme to make our lives better is actually a way to make life easier for the capitalists. Hands up if you didn’t see that coming? Didn’t think so.
He must have made a mistake and put his clocks forward a whole day instead of one hour because April Fool’s Day isn’t until tomorrow! Nobody cared to tell George that when he let slip his hilarious joke. “Full employment”? “Caring about working people”? Tell me another one!
Osborne’s carefully chosen words were obviously an attempt to muscle in on traditionally Labour territory. Though what is important to remember is that no party can promise us full employment, not under a capitalist system. Capitalism relies on a surplus of unemployed workers to keep wages and conditions down. The constant threat of unemployment is used to keep workers under control and to prevent us for fighting for better conditions. We’re constantly reminded that there are an army of people out there waiting for the chance to steal our jobs, so we better stop complaining and get back to work!
What does full employment mean though, in its most literal context? Jobs for everybody? More like wage slavery for everybody (but the rich). We are forced into work to pay for the things we need to survive yet it is we who create everything in the first place. Just think, when you go to do your shopping, who do you think picks the vegetables, stacks the shelves or sits at the check outs everyday? It isn’t the bosses, that’s for certain. It’s working people like you and me, and its working people who receive the smallest cut of the economy.
Full employment is a scam, dreamed up by politicians to try to lull us into a sense of better days to come. When in fact full employment wouldn’t result in any meaningful increase to our living conditions. Only a new society, based on mutual aid, where people are free to consume and produce what they want. Where we don’t need bosses to tell us what to do. Where we receive the full fruit of our labour and don’t need money to survive. That world is called anarchist communism, and it’s what we are fighting for.