The World Capitalist Bankruptcy
The world capitalist crisis, universally acknowledged as the worst in the history, has not ended; we are in the midst of its unfolding. At the end of 2009, the specter of sovereign defaults from Dubai and Greece to Ireland shaking the Euro-zone and the European Union as a whole and revealing the catastrophic impact of the mountains of debts on capitalist States all over the planet, starting from the United States themselves, belied early claims for a recovery.
The injection of an unprecedented mass of liquidity by governments and central banks, particularly after the panic produced by the Lehman Brothers debacle, in 2008-2009, to save the collapsing international financial system was a holding operation; they temporarily delayed the precipitated fall without resolving the systemic contradictions that have exploded in the crisis. These contradictions were rather exacerbated and new problems were produced.
Despite the rhetoric, there is no recovery in jobs but growth of unemployment; no recovery but contraction of credit to households and small businesses; no recovery of consumer spending but under-consumption; no de-leveraging of the overexposed and undercapitalized banks. The ocean of the derivatives has decreased only slightly. Its function, in any case, is vital for contemporary capitalism and cannot be abolished without precipitating the collapse of the entire system. New enormous bubbles of fictitious capital have been formed as the massively available liquidity was directed again on speculative activities. Particularly the carry trade on the basis of a weakening US dollar fueled speculation while undermining the effects of the stimulus package and re-directing the money flux outside the US. The financial markets are soaring although, in the sphere of production, overcapacity and a crisis of capital over-accumulation dominate, opening further the scissors between fictitious and productive capital. The bubbles have at some point, sooner rather than later, to be burst producing a double dip recession.
The State intervention through quantitative easing deliberately stimulates speculation to save finance capital, dominant in our imperialist epoch of capitalist decline, from collapse. But, in this way, public debt itself grows exponentially, without having a sustainable basis in the value producing sphere. Sovereign bonds to finance public debts and deficits have taken the space that until recently was occupied by the sub-prime mortgage market, which by its inescapable collapse has triggered the current crisis. Commenting on the case of Greece, board members at large western banks predict that "after two years of worrying about mortgage and corporate risk, sovereign risk is going to be the big debate for 2010- both for banks, and the wider investment community" (Financial Times, December 21, 2009)
Both metropolitan and peripheral countries are affected by the bankruptcy of finance globalization. The center of the world system and thus of the crisis is in the United States, the most powerful and most over-indebted country in the world, which tries to export its bankruptcy globally. Europe, Japan, Russia and China are shaken by the international hurricane, and all antagonisms are sharpening.
The European Union is particularly hit. Bankrupt capitalist Greece is not an isolated case but it heads a long series of EU countries with enormous deficits and crushing debts: Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy et al. Sovereign defaults threaten the banks that are over-exposed lenders as well as the sustainability of the European Monetary Union and the entire imperialist project of European capitalist integration. Centrifugal forces are growing, shaking the entire EU edifice.
The attempts by capitalists and capitalist governments to make the workers pay for their crisis produce social resistances and an intensification of the class struggle. Draconian measures have been imposed on Ireland and an even worse program, on the lines of that imposed on Latvia, is presented by the EU institutions as an ultimatum to Greece; the "alternative" to turn to the IMF for "help" is equally destructive for the popular masses. The December 2008 revolt in Greece and Police brutality, one year later, against demonstrators commemorating that event, including the murderous attack by the Special Force Delta against the Trotskyists of EEK, the mass arrests and impending trials manifest the growing social unrest, especially among the rebelled youth, overwhelmingly jobless or over-exploited in flexible labor. These battles are the first manifestations of a political revolutionary process, which could and should expand on a European continental, and international scale. Greece is mirroring world historical developments.
Despite the illusions spread by mainstream economists and mass media, China is not the solution for the world crisis but a crucial part of the problem.
The tremendous growth of the Chinese economy and the acceleration of capitalist restoration were fuelled by the US expansion of cheap money supply, a boom in US consumption and in Chinese exports based on an unprecedented overproduction of fictitious capital.
The injection in the economy by the Chinese State authorities last year of a huge 4 trillion yuans stimulus package did not overcome the crisis of over-capacity (for example, excess capacity in steel was already in 2005 120 million tons-more than the annual production of Japan, the world's second largest producer. It led to the formation of new bubbles in the stock market prices and real estate speculation. The reasons are structural. The gigantic disproportion between a predominantly export-led economy and an inadequate, underdeveloped internal market in a still hybrid social economic formation, now facing an international plunge in depression, destroys any attempt by the leading wing of the Chinese State-Party restorationist bureaucracy to establish a temporary social equilibrium between classes and between the countryside and the industrial centers. The social tensions and struggles are growing, exposing the fallacy of a so-called "harmonious society in a market Socialism with Chinese characteristics".
At the same time pressures are growing from international capital, seeking to find a way out for its bankruptcy, in China. Demands for a re-evaluation of the renmimbi have as an ultimate goal the opening of the Chinese financial markets, the expansion of an internal market dominated by foreign capital, and, finally the transformation of this vast country into a semi-colony of US, European, and Japanese capital. Obviously, such a goal could never been achieved without a protracted violent process of imperialist interventions, economic pressures and wars - and without producing fierce resistance and revolutionary upheavals inside China itself.
Russia too is under enormous pressures by the current world crisis that led to its first serious recession in a decade, a 30 per cent devaluation of the ruble, the bankruptcy of a number of companies, the fall of oligarchs bailed out by the Kremlin and an important decrease in State reserves. After the Yeltsin era, with the IMF "shock therapy", the mass looting of public property in the '90s and the centralization of wealth at the hands of the oligarchs, which ended in the 1998 default, the current international hurricane dealt a lethal blow to the Putin era of stabilization and renewed State control. The ruling elite are divided and a sizeable section under the president Medvedev turns again in a new round of privatizations and openings to the foreign capital.
US and EU imperialisms in crisis are driven in a renewed re-colonization effort in the vast space from Eastern Europe to Russia and China seeking a way out for the systemic crisis. Humanity has entered into a period of violent convulsions, with an unknown outcome to be decided by the living struggle of living forces on a world scale.
The Obama War
The United States are occupying the center not only of the world economic crisis but of the political crisis as well.
The escalation of the war effort in Afghanistan decided by the Obama Administration manifests both the continuation and the utter failure of the so-called "war on terror" started by the Bush Administration, against which Obama was elected in the first place. "Obamania" and all the illusions spread about the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and warlord in Afghanistan received a deadly blow. It is absolutely necessary and urgent for the American and world working class to draw a balance sheet of this political bankruptcy.
Obama was presented as an opponent of Bush's foreign war policies, although keeping upfront the darling of the Zionist lobby Hilary Clinton, and the bellicose tones and imperialist ideology of the Democratic Party. Now, he resurrects the imperial Augustinian fallacy of a "just war" to justify the continuing crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq.
The new President was advertised as a new Roosevelt who would introduce a new Keynesian New Deal. In today's conditions where not only neo-liberalism but also Keynesianism that preceded it have failed this is impossible; a new Roosevelt cannot be re-incarnated into Obama in the White House. The mass impoverishment of the American households after the housing market disaster, mass unemployment, and the ill fated Health Care reform show that the Obama Administration faces disasters not only on the war fronts in Central Asia but on the social front back at home.
US imperialism, driven by the collapse of its own internal equilibrium, cannot but strive to war and for the re-establishment on a new basis for its world supremacy, and imperial "mission". That leads to more barbaric wars and convulsions, particularly in Central Asia, Iran and the Middle East.
Turkey plays an important role in the schemes of imperialism in that region. We resolutely have to fight this role as well as the oppression of the Kurdish people. The CRFI condemns the dictatorial verdict of the Supreme Court and of the "deep State" in Turkey to outlaw the Kurdish DTP.
The scheme for an imperialist phony solution of the Palestinian problem has collapsed. The most right wing government in Israel's history continues its savage oppression of the dispossessed Palestinian people, the blockade of Gaza, the installment of new settlements in the West Bank. Despite the treachery of the Abbas- PLO leadership, the Palestinian people, although leaderless, did not stop its resistance to occupation.
The war threats by Israel and US on Iran intensify, under the pretext of the Iranian nuclear program. Developments in that country that knew the biggest popular revolution in the Middle East in 1979 have reached a crucial point. The impasse and disintegration of the clerical regime, the mobilizations after the June 2008 election, the role of bourgeois pro-imperialist forces in the leadership of the opposition but also the legitimate grievances of students and women against an oppressive obscurantist regime have changed dramatically the political landscape in Iran. The CRFI has to follow carefully and analyze in every step of development that process to draw a revolutionary understanding and line of intervention.
Pacifism in the center and bourgeois nationalism and/or religious fundamentalism in the periphery is totally unable to confront the dangers of war and all the challenges of the current world historical situation. An international mobilization of working class and anti-imperialist popular forces is needed with the perspective of Permanent Revolution against permanent war.
Trends within the working class and its political tasks
Europe presents in a condensed form all the main trends developing inside the working class in struggle.
Mass strikes, mass demonstrations, factory occupations, sequestration of bosses by workers, youth and workers' revolts in a number of countries in Europe (France, Italy, Greece, Ireland but also Romania, Serbia etc.) demonstrate the growing anger and combativeness of the proletariat under the pressure of mass unemployment, flexibility of labor, wages cuts, destruction of pension rights, State repression etc.
This development of struggles and social consciousness is non linear, uneven from country to country, contradictory. Revolutionary Parties should carefully follow every step and study their internal trends and development by intervening in the struggles with a program of transitional demands connecting the present moment with the struggle for workers power, preparing thus its victory.
We have entered a stage of careful, methodical, systematic organization and preparation for the coming revolutionary situations.
Any "anti-capitalist" front or party formation (the perspective supported by the NPA in France; the Bloc of the Left in Portugal, SYRIZA; and in a more leftist version ANTARSYA in Greece; the British SWP and their co-thinkers internationally), which pretends to fight capitalism within the capitalist system's framework, "to defeat the anti-working class, anti-popular policies of its governments and of the EU" without overthrowing them, is a reactionary fraud.
We fight for the overthrow of all capitalist governments and of the imperialist EU that has declared class war with draconian austerity measures against all the exploited and transformed the Continent into "Fortress Europe" against immigrants; to defeat the drive of the European imperialists to re-colonize Eastern Europe, the Balkans and, furthermore Russia itself; to unify on a socialist basis all the European peoples from the Atlantic to the Pacific into a United Socialist States of Europe.
The UN sponsored Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change was a total and inescapable fiasco. The capitalist leaders of the world demonstrated that they are totally unwilling to take the smallest step towards a reduction of the danger of ecological catastrophe but ready to unleash a barbaric police repression against those fighting this danger by direct action in the streets like the demonstrators protesting in the Danish capital.
The final phony "agreement" cobbled together by the US, China, India, Brazil and South Africa is merely a hollow expression of vague aims, without any commitment, apart from the illicit commitment to defend corporate profits. But even this worthless piece of paper was torn apart immediately after by Brazil and South Africa, two of the "co-signatories".
Decayed world capitalism in crisis, greedy for profits now more than ever before, threatens with ecological catastrophe humankind, all living beings, Nature as the "inorganic body" of the human beings. It is not the productive forces themselves- i.e. the developing material and mental capacity of humanity to overcome natural-social constraints- that cause climate change and environmental disasters but their misuse, strangulation and distortion by the historically outdated capitalist social relations of production. The so-called "green development" under capitalism is a demagogic, misleading way to find new outlets for their surplus capital, without really caring about the environment or the survival of the entire planet. This survival and human civilization as a whole depends now upon the reorganization of the world economy on new social bases according to the needs of life, and not the profits of a few magnates.
We demand the expropriation of all contaminating industries without compensation under workers control!
We demand our right to our living space, against the metropolitan monstrosities.
We fight to re-appropriate our life against the vampires of capital, for the expropriation of the capitalist expropriators and for world Socialism!
Against women oppression
Despite all the claims to the contrary, the oppression of women has increased in the last two decades, both in metropolitan and peripheral countries. The decline and crisis of capitalism is insolubly connected with the crisis of patriarchy, sexism, trafficking, and all the forms of violence inflicted on women.
The measure for the self-emancipation of all toilers is the emancipation of women. Universal human emancipation, communism, through the world socialist revolution, cannot be achieved without the abolition of all forms of gender oppression.
The world capitalist bankruptcy and its social and political implications pose as never before the urgent necessity of a revolutionary International of the proletariat and all oppressed to overthrow capitalism and re-organize society on socialist bases on a planetary scale.
But this workers' revolutionary International cannot be born by the Presidential decree or call by a military populist Bonaparte, even less by a Bonaparte of a bourgeois State. The call for a Fifth International by Chavez, is addressed without any programmatic basis to a heterogeneous audience covering a broad political spectrum representing various and opposed class forces, including bourgeois liberal parties. As foreign polices are the continuation of home policies, the 5th Socialist International of Chavez appears as the international extension of the chavist PSUV, a party to regiment, keep in check and control every and any political expression of the working class.
The reference to a "5th" International and thus the recognition of the tradition of the Fourth International founded by Leon Trotsky and his comrades-in arms has as its aim to attract and trap revolutionary forces coming from that tradition.
François Sabado, one of the main leaders of the former United Secretariat of the FI , has already replied positively to the call, although posing some points for discussion related to the "left" liberal views prevailing in Europe, particularly in France, in the former LCR now liquidated into the NPA. In fact he accepts that a head of a bourgeois State can launch the initiative for an international organization of the working class. The entire Marxist theory of the State, of the classes, of the class struggle and of the transition to communism through a dictatorship of the proletariat, a withering away State of the Paris Commune type is rejected. The coming World Congress of the international current to which Sabado is associated is inscribed in that liquidationist perspective to liquidate the remnants of the Fourth International tradition in that current.
A similar path is followed by other tendencies with a Trotskyist reference (the Alan Woods "International Marxist Tendency" e tutti quanti).
The Coordinating Committee for the Refoundation of the Fourth International stresses that in today's conditions above all the conquest, preservation, and development of the political independence of the working class, of its program, of its organizations, political parties and trade unions is a condition sine qua non for its struggle against capital, for a workers socialist way out from the crisis, for workers power and world Socialism.