As Arcadia collapses, Phillip Green will continue to live the high life while the burden falls on the workers who put him there, argues Lucy Nichols
Philip Green is perhaps the person who most accurately embodies what it is to be a capitalist. The owner of Arcadia sits on billions of pounds’ worth of hoarded wealth while exploiting workers the world over, robbing them of their labour.
Arcadia – which owns a myriad of retail businesses including Topshop – has folded. Many thousands of workers in Britain are at risk of unemployment, while many more exploited garment factory workers in the Global South face the same.
This will be devastating for thousands of families and comes just weeks before Christmas, the most expensive time of year.
But life will go on for Philip Green. His entire career has been characterised by the naked swindling of the many thousands of people working under him.
Cast your mind back five years: in 2015 Green sold BHS for £1 after squandering pensions for 20,000 people, costing another 11,000 their jobs.
Meanwhile, Green continues to holiday in Monaco with a superyacht worth £100m, or jets to Monte Carlo to dodge tax elsewhere. The right-wing press paints a pitiful picture of a billionaire reduced to the status of millionaire, having to sell Belgravia town houses and fleets of supercars.
Make no mistake, Philip Green’s Christmas dinner will still be funded by the workers he’s exploited, and no doubt will be served on a silver platter. Green’s life will go on, and he will continue to exploit and overwork his many subordinates, continue to dodge tax, and continue to push the interests of capital over people.
Sir Philip Green is undoubtably a damning example of the capitalist system, he is not an anomaly. This economic system that rewards greed often produces despotic and exploitative business owners. Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and many more embody this perfectly.
Capitalism is characterised by growth, and leads to the destruction of the planet, the exploitation of workers and the implementation of neoliberal governments the world over. Those who are part of the capitalist class do very well for themselves, at the expense of everyone else.
We will continue to see the rise and fall of capitalist moguls for as long as this system lasts. The only way to truly put an end to the likes of Sir Philip Green is by advocating for better – socialism.