First of May: to get rid of rotting capitalism, for workers’ power!

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The survival of capitalism threatens humanity

All governments in place chatter, each in its own way, over democracy, ecology, and peace, but subsidise capitalist enterprises in extraction, manufacture, and agriculture, which squander resources, uselessly emit greenhouse gases, and pollute durably. Bourgeois States devote increasing budgets to spying and repression of population, as well as to armies. While a significant part of the world population, even in imperialist countries, does not eat correctly, does not have a decent housing, nor access to healthcare and to a quality education, world military spendings exceeded 2 000 billion dollars in 2021, that is, nearly 6% of budgets.

Ethiopia crushed in November 2022 the insurrection of the Tigray with the help of the Eritrean army. Russia wages a colonial and destructive war in Ukraine. The military dictatorship launched in Burma/Myanmar a civil war against its peoples. Criminal organisations took hold of Haiti. The territory of Syria is fought between the torturer regime of the Baas, supported by Russia and Iran, and the Islamist factions, some of which are supported by Turkey. Israel bombs periodically in Syria and sometimes in Lebanon. Turkey occupies part of Syria and bombs in Iraq. China and India regularly engage in skirmishes in the Himalaya. Two fractions of the army fight in Sudan. The two main imperialist powers (United States, China), defy each other militarily in the China Sea.

Global warming continues, absolutely not restrained, despite the international agreements of the COP, because of the logic of profit, the rivalry between States and the competition between firms. It is accompanied by pollution of the environment, loss of biological diversity, growing shortage of freshwater, massive deforestations, and deterioration of cultivable land. Without forgetting the dramatic pandemics caused by pathogen agents of animal origin (Ebola, Covid…), predictable result of the brutal pressure of human capitalist production over natural habitats of other species.

World economic slowdown and inflation

Capitalism functions in a cyclic way, it is inevitably shaken by economic crises that restore temporarily the conditions for expanded accumulation of capital. But, because of subventions by governments that seek to save their own enterprises and of permissive policies of central banks, the destruction of world capital has been limited during the last world recessions, including that of 2020-2021. Therefore, the phases of economic expansion that follow them are of a restricted scope and seem shorter: the world growth should be limited, according to the IMF, to 2,8% in 2023.

To it adds the rise of protectionism in all its forms that leads to some fragmentation of the world market, limits world growth and feeds inflation: international trade of goods and services would rise, according to the WTO, by only 1,7% in 2023.

The last recovery was accompanied by a surge in inflation: a price rise of 8,7% on a world scale in 2022, according to the IMF. In several States, money does not play correctly its role anymore: in 2022, in Turkey, inflation exceeded 64%, and in Argentina 94%. In reality, the rise of prices for food, energy and housing exceeds by far the average rates of rise of prices, and reached a painful level for wage workers in all countries.

Faced with inflation, the restrictive monetary policy of the main central banks tends to raise interest rates in the world at the expense of the weakest national economies, of the most indebted States, of unprofitable “zombies” enterprises, among which the most vulnerable. The rise of bank rates particularly affects indebted working families in States where bank credit is at a variable rate.

Imperialist rivalries unleash a worldwide military escalation

In the period of decline of capitalism (the imperialist phase), the main States, inevitably, defend the ancient division of the world that was advantageous to them, or challenge it to open the way to their capitalist groups against their foreign competitors.

The world situation is marked by the growing rivalry between the United States, which remains the first imperialist power, and China, an ascending imperialist power that calls into question the division of the world. The other imperialist powers (Japan, Germany, Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy …) are torn between these two poles.

So, the American State attempts to strangle Chinese capitalism by limiting its exports and by depriving it of electronic components necessary to the upgrading of its industry (and of its army). In military terms, the American State has by far the biggest military budget in the world. With the excuse of the imperialist war of Russia against Ukraine, it reinforces NATO. Furthermore, it concluded in 2021 a new military cooperation with Australia and Great Britain (AUKUS), and it multiplies military manoeuvres with its allies, among which the Philippines and Japan, in the China Sea. On its side, the Chinese State rallies Russia and Brazil. With the 2nd military budget in the world, it strengthens its control over Hongkong, militarises islets in the China Sea, and multiplies military manoeuvres in the Taiwan Strait.

The worldwide rise of generalised militarism is done without concern for limiting pollutions or for saving energy. The bourgeois army, its secret services, constitute not only a tax burden for workers, but also a repressive tool against their emancipation.

Reaction all the way through

In the most advanced economies, States go back on previous social achievements. Even the most established bourgeois democracies restrict freedoms: systematic spying of their population, restriction to the right to strike, to move about, to demonstrate, to publish … Former presidents (Trump, Bolsonaro) question the elections when they are unfavourable to them and unleash fascist gangs to pressure institutions. Everywhere, bourgeois political parties and populist demagogues bet on xenophobia, religion, racism, machismo, and conspiracy theories … Immigrant workers, working women and ethnic, religious, or sexual minorities are the first victims of the rise of worldwide reaction.

The Indian State persecutes Muslims and occupies militarily Kashmir. Israel, based on the colonisation of Palestine, inevitably pursues it in the West Bank and in Jerusalem, while aggravating the apartheid against Arabs in its midst. Capitalist Russia can defend itself, facing military and economic pressure from the United States and the European Union, only by denying Ukraine’s right to exist and by increasingly repressing its own population. Turkey persecutes Kurds within its borders, its army attacks them in Iraq and in Syria. In Iran, the ayatollahs’ regime oppresses ever more women and national minorities. The quasi-feudal regime of the Taliban back in power in 2021 now prohibits urban women from working and girls from studying.

The leadership crisis of the labour movement

Since May the 1st, 2022, the working population led large-scale struggles in all continents, in particular: in Peru, against the impeachment of the elected president and police repression; in Iran, against the compulsory veil; in China, against excessive lockdown; in Great Britain, in Sri Lanka, in Belgium, in Austria, in the Czech Republic, in Germany, in the United States … against inflation; in France, against raising the retirement age.

But the current leaderships of the world working class do not really serve the interests of workers. The majority trade unions remain in the hands of corrupted bureaucracies, sometimes linked to bourgeois parties, as in the United States, in Argentina, in Algeria … Therefore, in Great Britain, in Belgium, in France… the trade union chiefs refuse to call for the general strike until victory. In Great Britain, they even suspended strikes when the queen died.

The restoration of capitalism in 1992 in Russia and in China aggravated the crisis of the labour movement. The old bourgeois workers’ parties (“Labour”, “social-democrats”, “communists”) obey more than ever their ruling class. The parties created on their model (Brazilian PT, German DL, British Respect, Greek Syriza, Spanish Podemos, French LFI, Belgian PT, Brazilian PSOL …) are no better.

The British LP, ever more monarchist, is in favour of NATO and refuses to support strikes; the German SPD governs with the Greens and the Liberal Party; the PSOE, the PCE and Podemos form in Spain a social-imperialist government enraptured by the military escalade of NATO; in Brazil, Lula has as vice-president an old bourgeois politician, opposes the right to abortion and kneels in front of the army staff; in Nepal, the PCUN-M is presently member of the bourgeois government; the same for the SACP in South Africa; the Russian KPRF supports the invasion of Ukraine; the DSA of the United States are in the Democratic Party and serve as infantrymen to the imperialist Biden; etc.

Centrism contributes to confusion and dispersal

The leadership of the 4th International, created to replace the Workers’ International and the Communist International, revised its programme in 1949-1951. The ensuing and ongoing break-up engendered an abundance of sterile sects and twenty or so rival opportunist currents that have all adapted to “reformism” or to bourgeois nationalism.

The Argentine PTS and PO have voted on September 3, with the bourgeois parties in power, a motion in the regional parliament of Buenos-Aires “for social peace”. In recent months, the French LO, NPA-B, CR and RP, the British SWP, SP, AWL, ACR and WF aligned themselves on the trade unions apparatuses that multiplied the “days of action” and scattered strikes. During the covid pandemic, “Trotskyists” (French LO, NPA and RP, US SL, Austrian RKOB …) supported demonstrations against masks and vaccines led by conspiracy theorists and fascists.

Some organisations embodying “Trotskyism” in their country entered into blocks avec with Islamists: the British SWP with Respect in 2004, the Algerian PT with the Rome platform in 1995. From 2011 onwards, several groups claiming to be Trotskyist (Brazilian CST, Argentine IS, Austrian RKOB, New Zealand CWG …) have presented jihadists as leading a revolution in Syria, and one of them (Argentine LOI) even provided them with troops.

Several organisations advance the constituent assembly in countries where it can only have a counterrevolutionary function: the PTS, PO and MST in Argentine, the PTU and CST in Peru, the POI and POID in France … Others present cops as workers like any other: British SP, French LO, Brazilian PSTU, Irish SP … All refuse to advocate and organise self-defence against the police, the army, and fascists.

Numerous are “Trotskyist” currents that refuse to condemn the invasion of Ukraine or that put on the same footing the Zionist oppressor and the Arab people in Palestine/Israel. Some refuse to decide in favour of the opening of borders to refugees, workers, and students.

For the revolutionary workers’ international, for the world socialist revolution

The bourgeoisie, even in dominated countries, cannot any more play a progressive role. The strategy that responds to the imperialist phase is the permanent revolution adopted in the 20th century by the 4th International.

It is possible to bring an end to all this rotten world if, beyond borders, the workers’ vanguard regroups itself in a revolutionary workers’ international based on Marxism. In each State, the international will help building a party of the Bolshevik type to expropriate big capital and destroy the bourgeois State, instore a workers’ government based on armed councils of urban and rural workers.

Then, the working class will be able to take power at the head of struggles against exploitation and oppression, for democratic freedoms and the right of oppressed nations, for the equality of women and for the defence of environment. The dictatorship of proletariat will open the way to world socialism-communism rid of the state, a mode of production based on equality and solidarity, where workers will consciously manage resources, production and distribution for the benefit of present and future humanity.

May the 1st, 2023
CoReP (Argentina, Austria, France, Spain, Turkey)