Margaret Thatcher: Heroine of capitalism,enemy of the people

April 11, 2013
2 mins read

WHEN Margaret Thatcher died on Monday, we were guaranteed an outpouring of emotions as diverse and divided as she was in her political career.

For those that shared her ideological perspective, the “Iron Lady” was a truly formidable leader; an uncommon politician who stayed the course with her convictions and in her determination changed the course of British politics and the political economy as well as providing a template of capitalism without a human face that has become writ large in the world ever since she appeared on the scene.

Reactionary people always hanker for the “strong man”, but in Margaret Thatcher they found a “strong woman”; the Iron Lady who rolled through society without pity and helped the entrenchment of one of the most vicious phases of capitalist development that the world has ever known.

This daughter of a grocer hankered for the inequalities and cruelty of the 1920s and 1930s and she delivered it to the delight of the propertied classes. She launched a determined offensive against the Welfare State which had been the greatest gain of post-War Britain, a society which gave a social net to the working people; granted the exemplary National Health service; social housing and had generally protected the working people and the poor.This utterly reactionary woman unleashed the full power of the British state against the National Union of Miners and in a one year battle broke the back of the trade union movement. It was her vicious approach that became the template for a reactionary offensive against the working people around the world.

Thatcher privatised the railways and telecommunication; she launched the neo-colonial war against Argentina in the Malvinas and the lady was against African interest through her defence of the apartheid regime in South Africa. We must not forget that she saw Nelson Mandela as a terrorist and the national liberation movement as a whole bunch of terror organisations.

It was instructive that while those who endorsed her style as well as her ideological position have genuinely mourned her passing; many people in communities she ruined and in places as Northern Ireland and Scotland jubilated at her passing.

On Monday night, SKY NEWS interviewed one of the wives of the miners whom she ruined, and she described Margaret Thatcher as “scum”. It is that “scum” that those who shared her perspectives have continued to mourn and describe with all kinds of superlatives.

I think that she did a lot to save and breathe new life into the worldwide domination of capitalism at its imperialist, neo-liberal phase and together with Ronald Reagan, she won the ideological battle against the socialist world and in their  triumph, instituted the unipolar world of neoliberal capitalism which Fukuyama enthusiastically described as the end of history.

From Thatcher through to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and now David Cameron, the tradition of inequality has continued to deepen in Britain while the Welfare State continues to be attacked in a desperate effort to return society to that of absolute wealth for the rich and God for the rest! Margaret Thatcher was a heroine of money; of the use of power to consolidate the privileges of the rich. She was an enemy of the poor people and the ability of the working people to organise to defend their rights.

I don’t share the grief of those who have described the “Iron Lady” in golden colours. I have never agreed that we should not speak ill of the dead. In my view, what we owe the dead is the truth, especially when they have impacted upon the social space as Margaret Thatcher did.

I think she was a vicious woman; a reactionary defender of capitalism whose leadership has deepened the unhappiness of the masses of the world. Her reactionary doctrines continue to haunt our world and would do so for a long time yet!


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