British Capitalism: A Gangster’s Paradise

This week, the Conservative government announced that the UK is set to embrace the cryptocurrency craze, in a bid to attract investors from around the world. Instead of welcoming these spies and speculators, we must expropriate the billionaire class.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak recently said Britain is striving to become a “global hub” for cryptocurrency. The Conservative government is seeking to attract a wave of speculative investment in a desperate attempt to cash in on the ever-growing mania surrounding blockchain technologies and digital assets.

In a speech on Monday, City Minister John Glen said the government was determined to show that “the UK is open for business and open for crypto businesses”.

The government even went so far as to ask the Royal Mint will create an NFT (non-fungible token) – without even bothering to specify which asset the NFT would be connected to!

Speculative orgy

The world of cryptocurrency investing is notoriously volatile and unpredictable. Also, it is infamous for being a vehicle for money laundering and criminal activities.

Nevertheless, since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a speculative orgy in areas such as cryptocurrencies.

This was largely made possible by the trillions of dollars injected into the global economy by the ruling class, in order to prevent a complete collapse of the capitalist system, with no profitable avenue for real investment.

As a result, the money poured into cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin) has reached obscene levels. In November of last year, the total “value” of these digital currencies was over $3 trillion.

NFT and SPAC (special purpose acquisition companies) have also taken off, as ordinary capitalists and bettors desperately search for the next get-rich-quick scheme without the dirty business and hassle of producing anything real or tangible.

Everyone from the former head of the Bank of England Marc Carney to ex-footballer John Terry get into action.

However, none of these so-called “assets” have any intrinsic value. Sooner or later, they are destined to end like all speculative bubbles: in an almighty crash. And it’s up to those at the bottom of the pile to pick up the pieces.

Decline and decadence

The Conservatives’ turn to the cryptocurrency craze is the latest reflection of the long-term decline and decay of British capitalism.

For decades, the UK has been a annuitant economic, relying not on industry and production for its growth, but on financial services and a constantly growing real estate market.

Between 1971 and 2011, for example, British manufacturing reduced by more than two-thirds – the biggest drop of any major economy.

In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher and the Tories helped cement a permanent shift away from industry and towards a deregulated financial sector, alongside other parasitic activities.

The result is that today Britain (and London in particular) is a gangster’s paradise for capitalists – with the Conservative government eagerly welcoming gamblers, crooks and anyone else who comes to the shores of the UK hoping to stash their dirty money.

According to Oliver Bullough, author of Butler to the World, British capitalism has become a haven for “oligarchs, gangsters and kleptocrats” seek to hide their ill-gotten gains and live a life of luxury and opulence.

The National Crime Agency, for example, estimates that the UK has a £100 billion a year money laundering problem.

Conservative hypocrisy

In an effort to stoke chauvinism around the war in Ukraine, the conservative government has cracked down on Russian billionaires like Roman Abramovichwho have profited from the British economy for decades.

This “patriotic” focus on wealthy Russians is, however, utterly hypocritical. After all, the British ruling class is more than happy to welcome the wealth of despots and unscrupulous capitalists around the world.

The President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa, for example, responsible for the torture of foreign citizensowns a real estate empire in London estimated at £5 billion.

It’s also no secret that former US President Donald Trump has major investments in Britain, including a loss-making Scottish golf course which claimed £3.3million in state aid of the British government during the pandemic.

them and us

Conservative plans to embrace the sordid world of cryptocurrencies are just the latest cynical and morally bankrupt move by a ruling class that prioritizes short-term profits above all else.

At a time when British workers are facing a devastating cost of living crisis and runaway inflation, just days after a sharp spike in energy prices (with more to come later this year) , everything Sunak and co. can think of is to open the doors to more speculation and scamming.

Such myoptic thinking reflects the long-term decline of British capitalism, which was once a great world power, considered “the workshop of the world”.

Today, however, the UK is reduced to a second-rate player, both economically and politically; a real pygmy on the world stage, unable to compete industrially and militarily with its rivals. And it is the working class that is forced to pay the price for this disappearance.

Expropriate the billionaires

Alongside his recent spring budget, Rishi Sunak’s cryptocurrency pipe dream offers absolutely nothing for ordinary working-class people, who, after two years of a global pandemic, only have more money. austerity, cuts and crisis to be expected.

This is yet another symptom of the impasse of capitalism, which offers no future to workers and youth. It’s time for this whole rotten system to be overthrown.

Instead of welcoming spies and speculators, we must expropriate the billionaires and nationalize the banks and the entire financial sector, without compensation, under a socialist production plan.

On this basis, all the money currently injected into speculative bubbles such as cryptocurrencies could instead be used to invest in fully funded public services and real production, instead of lining the pockets of capitalists.

Only then will we finally see the end of poverty, inflation, crisis and all the other miseries of capitalism.