Monday, 31 October 2011

We need to end the dependency culture of the 1%

You'll often hear the 'free' market fundamentalists on the reactionary right of politics complaining about the 'entitlement culture' and the 'dependency culture'. What they mean is that people, usually unemployed, believe that they are entitled to benefits, or handouts from taxpayers, and that they become dependent on them. The result is that these people either never feel the need to work for a living, or have become almost incapable of finding work. The approach of our reactionary coalition government is well summed up in this article from The Sun, which crows about the government's plans to:
"smash the dependency culture that condemns millions to a life on the dole"
But its not the dependency culture that condemns people in the UK to a life on the dole, its the failed ideology of neoliberalism and the economic policies of privatisation and deregulation which have destroyed jobs in the UK over the past 30 years. So what do the reactionary right do? Blame the victims of course! Since the failures of 'free' market capitalism can never be admitted, it is essential that the blame is dumped onto individuals like the 'benefit scroungers', who have been made scapegoats for the UK's economic problems.

A depression era dole queue

Papers like the Daily Mail and The Sun promote the denigration and hatred of the benefit recipients as a distraction from the real cause of our country's problems - neoliberalism and Thatcherism. The aim is not just to shift the blame, but also to move the UK from a system of decent social security provision to a grossly inadequate system of welfare 'handouts'. This not only allows savings for greater tax cuts for the rich, but also helps to grind the underclass even further into poverty, creating a pit into which people fear to fall, thus making them more likely to work for less.

But its not the so-called 'benefit scroungers' that we need to be angry about. Its the really big cheats in our society, the tax dodgers, who should be causing us concern. There really is a serious problem with entitlement and dependency cultures throughout the world. Its the dependency of the 1% on ever increasing wealth to the detriment of the rest of us, and its the culture of entitlement which the 1% have which makes them think they should own everything on the planet, and not have to pay taxes. If we are going to have a fair and socially just society we need to end the entitlement culture and dependency culture of the 1%.

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