Now is the time of “Upper vs. Lower”, not “Right vs. Left”

“the Criterion” and "Europe Calling"
“the Criterion” and "Europe Calling"


Now is the time of “Upper vs. Lower”, not “Right vs. Left”

This phrase is printed on a wrapped band of “Europe Calling”, written by Brady Mikako, a Japanese writer living in UK.
She has vividly described a new trend in Europe so called the anti-austerity movement in this book.

Although I have wanted to cause a new movement against austerity for a long time, Japan has continued to adopt this policy until now.
But, the anti-austerity movement has finally appeared also in Japan, like the answer to “Europe Calling”.

This movement is obviously against the neoliberalism that instigates austerity, consumption tax hike, social reformation, deregulation, and privatization.
These measures have destroyed our social underpinnings in recent 30 years. 

This movement has been supported by a wide range of people beyond the conflict between Right and Left, as Mikako said in her book.

Based on such a situation, I’d like to introduce a recent magazine “the Criterion: Suspend the consumption tax hike” as an additional volume, published on Dec 2018.

This magazine was compiled by Mr. Satoshi Fujii, a professor at Kyoto University and even a Special Advisor to the Cabinet (at that time).
Various people have appeared in this magazine beyond their political standpoints.
I can surely imagine that they each said that everyone else was wrong or disgusting.

Among them, it has been highly impressive that all authors share the recognition as follows:
consumption tax is used to compensate corporate tax cuts;
this economic plank, thus, favors corporations over ordinary people;
this plank is continuing for several decades even though this policy is inappropriate for economic countermeasures;
the additional consumption tax increase is the worst in economic countermeasures, and it is nothing but an additional mistake.

So, the conflict between Upper (capitalists) and Lower (citizens/workers) seems to be becoming more serious in the current situation.

This graph clearly shows such a situation. 

a graph showing that consumption tax is used to compensate corporate tax cuts
a graph showing that consumption tax is used to compensate corporate tax cuts

Although the Japanese Communist Party has referred this figure, it is surprising that scholars in favor of capitalists showed this figure.
This fact gives credibility to this figure, doesn’t it?
Of course, I don’t mean that JCP is incredible.

But I digress.
The government and ruling parties repeatedly said that consumption tax is used for social security.
But, consumption tax is used to compensate corporate tax cuts in deed!
They told a lie!!
If people know this fact, protest activities like the yellow vest protest in France will occur in Japan and we can stop an additional consumption tax increase.
So, I hope that everyone knows this truth shown in this graph.

In addition to this, I have felt a strong will to win from this magazine.
In the current situation, the consumption tax hike seems to be inevitable, and “social reforms” based on the neoliberalism such as privatization of water supply and increase of foreign worker’s intakes is continuing.

However, authors of this magazine show their will that such reforms are out-of-date, and they achieve a victory with the power of truth.
Furthermore, the spirit of the mainstream has run through this magazine.

Recently, Mr. Taro Yamamoto who is the only member of the House of Councilors using ox‐walk tactics in Japan, has repeatedly said that he wants to become a prime minister.
His word can directly tell us his strong will.

If he only votes against bills from the government and ruling parties without any practical actions, the people will not believe him.

In the US, Senate Bernie Sanders, who was close to being the president in the last presidential election, has performed an eight-hours-filibuster.
So, I think Taro Yamamoto may as well become a prime minister.

If we want to change our society, we have to have such a strong will. To achieve a victory, we should face difficulties.
It has no meaning only to read textbooks to attain self-satisfaction. Such an attitude is the behavior of the defeatist.

I can see that many people are trying to cooperate beyond ideology to improve the situation in which the lower classes are suffering the most.

So, we stand on a threshold for the drastic changes of our society now.
In such a situation, each individual should strive to achieve an ideal society in his/her own way.

I make the same effort as a socialist.

As a first step, let’s join the symposium entitled “Thinking about conservative idea in Osaka: Revival of Japan starts from Osaka” held on Dec. 28, 2018.
I’m going to join this symposium after a meeting of a workers union.
It is so interesting that even a person who is at the opposite end of the conservatism like me joins this symposium, isn’t it?


I have a strong impression from the fact that this symposium will be held at Osaka city.
In the recent decade, "Osaka Ishin," which represents the neoliberalism, has ruled this city.
So, it is appropriate that this symposium will be held in this city as a first step to generate a new movement against the neoliberalism.

Now, I can hear a small groaning noise of the old regime.

In this regime, a member of the ruling party in Osaka just has to suck up to the economically strong groups, becomes a loyal spokesman of "Osaka Metropolis Plan", and pays a compliment to his local supporters, to win elections. But, such a regime should collapse.
The noise tells us such a future.

So far, it remains unclear when it occurs.
Whereas such a future may come in few months, it may come several years later.
So, I’m going to make an effort to establish a new regime as soon as possible.

This text was written by Akiko Oishi in Japanese and translated by Squelettes se disputant un hareng saur (@Ensor77).


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