©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Amidst the cheers, chants, slogans and fireworks, there can be coffee
Downtown Brussels was the scene for a massive workers demonstration yesterday. Tens of thousands of unions members and social action organisations flooded the streets. This has been mounting frustration with the years and years of discoveries of corporate non-payment of taxes, blatant evasion by politicians and businessmen, one percenters thinking they have a right to lie, deceive, evade their basic responsibilities. From Starbucks maintaining they make no money to state leaders who play with language to pretend they have no connection to monstrous deceptions.
The most recent revelation has been the Panama Papers and the overwhelming list of the rich and filthy rich who want nothing more than to keep their ill-earned gains.
European socialists are constantly presented as hard-core communists, radical socialists trying not dismantle society. But the closer truth is an open call for fair play across the board. That everybody, every organisation, every business has to pay their fair taxes. Pay your fair share. Just that alone would bring us far closer to a fair and decent society.
I am, and this is a surprise for me, closer to being a socialist. I have always been a union man. I have always wanted to make sure everybody has the basic standards in life. But I have no issue with people earning more, having more – as long as they only get what remains after they pay their fair share.
I do not believe society can be fair without unions to protect and give voice to workers. Without the workers community, left to some sort of laissez-faire environment, I believe our community would descend into an Ayn Rand/Donald Trump parody. No sane person can think this is fair.
But the people who abscond with their money make the same delusion many people have when it comes to their actions. The one-percenters believe it is only their money, and it is a drop in the bucket compared to the vast worldwide wealth. It is a freakish reinterpretation of the individual. It is why we believe our vote in elections is not that important. That we are only one vote and what difference can it make?
These one-percenters have that same delusion in their selfish theft.