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Ireland to exit Troika control
Old Ireland Free? A Nation once again?
20 November 2013
Ireland's exit from the Troika mechanism that had taken over as the effective government of the country has been presented as a triumph for democracy and national independence by the coalition government. One can almost imagine Fine Gael and Labour coalition government reenacting the 1916 rising and holding the GPO against the forces of the IMF and ECB.
The only discussion has been a heated discussion around the conditions of exit. Was the government right to exit right away? Would it have been more prudent to seek a "parachute" in the form of a €10 billion line of credit?
The whole discussion is an exercise of smoke and mirrors. Ireland remains utterly prostrate under the heel of the imperialist powers. The capitalist parties inside the state can imagine no other way of things and the majority of workers see no prospect of an alternative reality.
The exit is essentially a political act. The Coalition government was elected on the promise that it would end corruption and incompetence, end the national humiliation of the Troika occupation and renegotiate the terms of the bailout. Now it is preparing to defend itself in forthcoming local and European elections in a situation where it has imposed a grinding austerity and is widely hated.
The coalition will argue that the merciless imposition of austerity is an example of necessary efficiency. It will present the second 2013 bailout, which extended the repayment terms until 2054, as a renegotiation and finally it will claim the current exit as a triumph of nationalism and a purging of national shame.
Just how false all this is, is best illustrated
by the background to the exit.
And that fact alone lays bare the utter dependence of the Irish state. The freedom it fights for is the freedom to subsidise transnational firms.
Behind the tactical calculation about the use of the bailout exit to maximize their election prospects there is a political reality. The Irish capitalist class is largely parasitic. It long ago gave up dreams of an independent capitalism and an Irish democracy. It sees it future in negotiating contracts with and providing services for, a transnational sector that operates in a parallel economy and puts the native economy in the shade. A return to the bond market is, for Irish gombeen capital, a return to its natural environment.
However the freedom to play the market carries with a substantial risk. While profits in the transnational economy have recovered, the domestic economy remains flat. The banking sector is still on its knees and massive household debt will be increased by the impact of yet another austerity budget. There is no rebalancing of the Irish economy. It is utterly dependent on imperialism and on native speculation. One of the claims of revival is based on a renewed housing boom in Dublin. The growth in property sales has led to NAMA, the asset recovery agency, offering for sale a major business park in Dublin at a price of €250 million. This will be presented as a victory, with a book profit, but in reality in will represent a massive asset loss to the Irish public. All prices assigned to NAMA assets are based on their long term market value, an entirely fictional number based on the fact that at the time NAMA was set up they were all virtually worthless. In order to establish a value the public were forced to take a “haircut” of between 30-50% and all calculations of profit and loss were based on the LTMV.
What is evident is that an Irish recovery is utterly dependent on a European recovery and that both are based on a suppression of labour rates, denial of basis services and the seizure of public assets that guarantee that there will be no recovery for the workers. In fact, although there are claims of revival, there are no signs anywhere of a strong and sustainable recovery.
Ireland's exit from direct Troika control is not in any sense Ireland's freedom. Irish capitalism has long lacked the "generally democratic content" that Lenin wrote about.
A new call for freedom waits on the fall
of the current movements of class collaboration and the resurgence of the
revolutionary, democratic and socialist tradition within the working class.
The raw material for such a resurgence is all around us in the everyday
class struggle. Although at a low ebb, occupations, disciplined strikes,
organized rejections of austerity and major movements of civil disobedience
are all unremarked components of everyday struggle in the very recent past.
A weakness in the enemy, an unexpected victory for our side, could all
lead to a revival of struggle and a sweeping away of a leadership firm
in its conviction that there is no alternative to the domination of capital.
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