Investment banking giant Morgan Stanley recently published a report that warned its clients about the possibility of a general election in 2018 and - in turn - of a Corbyn-led Labour victory. Such an outcome, the bankers described, would be a “worse threat to business than Brexit”.
Whilst the ruling class has been drumming up fear and hysteria about Corbyn from day one, this latest statement (unlike many previous attempts) isn’t a complete fabrication. It reflects a real and genuine concern of the capitalists.
Corbyn’s response to the Morgan Stanley statement was honest, bold, and inspiring. “When they say we’re a threat, they’re right,” Corbyn asserted in a video on social media made especially in response to the financial firm. “We’re a threat to a damaging and failed system that’s rigged for the few.”
The City of London and their wealthy big business clients are completely correct to be nervous about Corbyn. More importantly, they are rightly afraid of the movement behind him.
For decades the capitalist class has been comfortable - almost complacent. Their interests have been well served by their friends in parliament (on both sides of aisle). A Corbyn-led government, however, poses a threat to the stability of their system; a system that has benefited the few, but not the many. A Labour programme that includes nationalising key sections of the economy, increasing taxes on business, and cracking down on corporate tax evasion would indeed be bad news for the super-rich.
The Morgan Stanley report urges the Labour Party to “moderate some of its more radical policy ideas”. These pleas from the finance sector to the Labour Party will only become more vehement and insistent as the possibility of a Corbyn-led government grows. We have already seen a catalogue of attempts to sabotage and smear the Corbyn movement, and the onslaught will only get worse as the Establishment becomes more afraid.
Fight big business blackmail with socialism!
Corbyn - and those in the Labour Party who genuinely want to represent the interests of the majority - will need to be firm in their politics, so as not to succumb to this pressure from the capitalists. Ultimately, the threat that Corbyn and the Labour Party genuinely pose to the elite and their system depends on their determination to tackle the root of the problem: capitalism.
No ruling class in history has ever given up power without a fight. The lengths the capitalists and their representatives will go to in order to preserve their privileges must not be underestimated. In the face of economic blackmail, international pressure, and internal sabotage, any left-wing government that is unwilling to break with the laws and logic of capitalism will fail to genuinely transform society in favour of the many.
We saw such a situation play out in 2015 in Greece, where the left-wing Syriza government initially came to power on the basis of an anti-establishment platform, promising to end austerity and improve the lives of the working class. But, without a genuinely socialist and revolutionary programme, they were both unable and unwilling to stand up to big business, to the markets, and to the Troika institutions.
Because they did not break with capitalism, Tsipras and his Syriza government are now presiding over worse cuts than their right-wing predecessors. The party has plummeted in the polls and the situation in Greece continues to deteriorate for working class people. A Corbyn-led Labour government would risk falling into the same trap.
The real threat: revolution
In periods of capitalist upswing, like the post-war boom, the ruling class can afford to grant the working class reforms that better their conditions. Even then, however, such reforms have to be struggled for.
But in this period of protracted and seemingly endless economic crisis, an age of austerity and stagnation, even small demands that might hurt the capitalists and help workers are going to be fought tooth-and-nail by the ruling class. It will take revolutionary socialist measures to bring about a real and permanent victory for the working class.
The Corbyn movement has given an organised expression and voice to the discontent, anger, and radicalisation of workers, the youth, and the poor - the 99% who are sick and tired of the broken status quo. This is what the parasites and fat cats like Morgan Stanley are really afraid of.
To make this movement a genuine threat to them and their system, however, we need to arm ourselves with a revolutionary programme designed to abolish capitalism and establish a radical socialist alternative.