RED LIBERATION : RCIT IN BRITAIN

cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngBritain: Boris Johnson makes last attempts for an agreement with the European Union

 

Workers and Oppressed – do NOT wait but Organize Demonstrations and Strikes up to an Indefinite General Strike against this hated Tory Government!

 

Article by Joseph Adams, RCIT Britain, 10th October 2019, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

Boris Johnson, who is on a visit to Brussels to negotiate a final agreement of Brexit has been forced by the terms of the supreme court judgement to pirogue parliament and accept the terms of the BENN ACT. The act commits Johnson that if there is no agreement, a no deal is cancelled and Johnson must revoke article 50 and leave the European Union in January 2020 rather than Johnson’s preferred date of October 31st 2019. The remain section of dissident Tories, Labour, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats are in the majority in parliament and Johnson leads a minority government where at the moment his hands are tied. His attempt to progue parliament failed after the supreme court found against him. This is a constitutional crisis where the legislature and the judiciary are lined up against the executive represented by Johnson. It is a deep crisis for British imperialism.

 

“Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans look to be falling apart as the European commission said there are no grounds to accept a request from the UK for intensive weekend negotiations two weeks before an EU summit.

 

EU sources said there was no basis for such discussions, given the British prime minister’s insistence on there being a customs border on the island of Ireland. In response to the UK government’s admission in court documents that the prime minister accepted he would have to ask for an extension to Britain’s membership of the EU if a deal were not secured, Vardakas said he would support such a Brexit delay.”[1]

 

The Sticking position is whether there is a hard border as Johnson wants or the EU position as detailed in the Good Friday Agreement that the Irish option and the views of Eire and Northern Ireland were considered. If the extension of Brexit happens as the remainers have insisted then there may be a vote of no confidence in Johnson and a caretaker government. The leader of which is in dispute. Jeremy Corbyn, the official leader of the opposition, has said he will call for a vote of no confidence in Johnson as soon as Brexit has been officially delayed.

 

 

 

Corbyn and a Caretaker/National Government

 

 

 

The reformist Jeremy Corbyn and the Leaders of the Liberal Democrats, the SNP, Welsh Nationalists, Plaid Cymru, the Green Party and the Independent/Change group of Blairites and dissident Tories recently met in Jeremy Corbyn’s office to discuss the possibility of a Caretaker government once the vote of no confidence is moved. Corbyn himself wants to move to a general election but this assorted group of pro-capitalist and pro-imperialist MPs want a referendum on Europe and are quite happy with the Tories. Most of them are opposed to Corbyn because of his general anti-austerity position and either wants the Blairite Margaret Beckett or the dissident Tory Kenneth Clarke.

 

“Labour has continued to insist Jeremy Corbyn must be the leader of any temporary government to secure a Brexit extension, despite the Liberal Democrats’ leader, Jo Swinson, suggesting he would be unable to secure a majority.

 

Speaking to reporters outside parliament after cross-party talks, the Liberal Democrat leader said there would not be a vote of no confidence in the government this week as opposition parties continue to disagree about the best way forward.

 

Swinson reiterated her insistence that a temporary government could not be led by Corbyn, saying the Labour leader “simply does not have the numbers” among MPs to become interim prime minister”. [2].

 

Jo Swinson is a Tory in all but name. She served as first Parliamentary secretary to Nick Clegg and then Business Secretary in the 2013-2015 Coalition government led by David Cameron. She supported Zero Hours Contracts and agreed with students having to pay £9,000 fees a year reneging on a Liberal Party pledge to defend students. She is also like Tony Blair a Thatcherite and praised her when her statue was being erected.

 

“In September 2012, Swinson was appointed Under Secretary of State for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs in a reshuffle by then Prime Minister David Cameron. [She maintained this role for the remainder of the Cameron-Clegg coalition except for several months of maternity leave between 2013 and 2014. In the area of employment, she was supportive of both zero hour’s contracts and flexible working seeking to promote the latter especially. On minimum wage, in February 2013 Swinson joined calls by other ministers to warn that “caution” was required when increasing it any further amid claims that minimum wage could be cut or frozen if it began costing jobs. In a March 2018 article for The Mail on Sunday, Swinson came out in favour of erecting a statue of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Parliament Square. She justified her position on feminist grounds and claimed that Thatcher was able to “single-handedly transform the fortunes of women”, accusing opponents of the Thatcher statue as being “pretty sexist”. Swinson praised Thatcher for her skills negotiating the UK rebate.”[3]

 

It is clear that this so called Caretaker/ National government has its parallels in history with the National Government of Ramsey Macdonald in 1929-30 and the Lib-Lab Coalition towards the end of James Callaghan’s Labour government. Corbyn remains a prisoner of the most right wing and pro-capitalist elements in British politics. He should strike out his own independence and break out of this parliamentary charade of uniting with his most reactionary forces in British politics. Together with Swinson, Clarke and Beckett who are hostile to Corbyn’s initial anti-Austerity position that drew the workers, the oppressed and the youth to the Labour Party. What is happening now is that the Blairites still remain and the witch-hunts continue against Corbyn’s own supporters. There is still no move against Watson, Starmer and all those other traitors who are contemptuous of rank and file labour party members. Corbyn must break with this charade and support a movement through protests, demonstrations and strikes leading to a general strike to remove this hated government.

 

 

 

The Role of the Trade Union Bureaucracy

 

 

 

The role of the trade union bureaucracy is either to tie itself to one side or another of the Brexit divide. It protects the the role of capitalism in the workers movement. It is the agent of the Bourgeoisie and has failed in the recent period to defend workers locked in dispute with the capitalist state. At every turn they have mediated and negotiated to ensure that capitalism remains intact even throug massive changes in the world capitalist order leading to redundancies crashes and jobs being lost. Their main role has been to defend their own privileged position and of that aristocracy of labour that Lenin mentioned in his pamphlet “Imperialism, the Highest stage of Capitalism”. Social inequality remains in Britain with the masses of workers and the oppressed accepting handouts from the state when they are able. Many of the oppressed from semi-colonial countries living as migrants in Britain face hardship, racism, bigotry and Islamophobia as well as poverty and homelessness leading to starvation and begging on the streets. We should heed Leon Trotsky’s advice that “The crisis of Humanity can be reduced to the crisis of Revolutionary Leadership.” [4]

 

 

 

Abolition of the Monarchy and the Call for a General Election

 

 

 

The question of the Monarchy and its constitutional powers and rights has been recently exposed as Boris Johnson sought permission to progue parliament and suspend its sitting. This of course produced an absolute furore from the strong remainer presence in parliament who represents that section of the Bourgeoisie who were opposed to a no-deal Brexit on the 31st October. These parliamentarians and their supporters resorted to the judiciary unelected judges and justices appointed by and approved by the state and accountable to no one but themselves. Their cries of democracy under attack by sections of the Bourgeoisie and these judges delivered a verdict against Johnson. Parliament had to resit. The Benn Act was passed to prevent Johnson going for a no-deal Brexit. The Judiciary entered politics on the side of the Remain faction of the Bourgeoisie and Johnson had no alternative but to accede to their demands. Elizabeth Windsor has the power to appoint or dismiss Prime Ministers give a speech at the beginning of a Parliamentary session. In fact she has emergency powers to decide on a variety of constitutional issues. She and her family squander huge sums of money paid out of the public purse and of course she claims to rule by divine right. In a period of recession and slump this Monarchy continues to be subsidized for doing precisely nothing and engaging in worthless jamborees.

 

The great Bourgeois revolutionary Oliver Cromwell decided in 1649 that Kings were not infallible and Cromwell and the English revolutionaries executed Charles 1st and established a republic and a Commonwealth and Parliament ruled. After Cromwell and his son Richards’s death there was a coup d’état whereby another King Charles 11 became King but with many of his former powers controlled by parliament and so it has remained to this today. But in a modern 21st Century we should get rid of this ancient privileges of Kings and Queens, smash the monarchy and the capitalist system and establish a workers democracy. We should dispose this Elizabeth Windsor, remove all her wealth and redistribute it to those most in need. All castles and estates should be levelled and public housing should br built for the neediest instead.

 

A number of centrists and pseudo-Trotskyists have been calling for a Corbyn-led anti-austerity government and have been pressuring Corbyn to call a general election now to get rid of the hated Boris Johnson. The irony of this position is that Johnson has been goading Corbyn to move a vote of no-confidence so that we can have a general election. The polls are heavily in favour of Johnson and the Tories together with Farage’s Brexit party with its message of racism, Islamophobia and chauvinism. Johnson is hoping to win support from brexiteers who see the role of parliament as frustrating, the will of the people as the 2016 Referendum did produce a result for Brexit.

 

All shades of centrism voted for Brexit or for remain. Most of them remain tied to a reformist and unprincipled position. Jeremy Corbyn is a left reformist and the main centrist groups in Britain like the SWP, The Socialist Party and Socialist Appeal are all fostering the illusion that Labour with its anti-austerity message can win a general election and is right to focus on this electoral battle instead of what is really needed: Mass mobilisations on the street up to a general strike in order to bring the government down. These centrist groups are moving further right politically. They have given up to lead the way towards a Workers Government and are supporting Corbyn quite uncritically, nourishing illusions of the vanguard of its rank-and-file that a labour government will nationalize the means of production and introduce socialism. This shows their true reformist colours. Nothing is said about the repression apparatus of the capitalist state with armies and police forces ready in a crisis to establish martial law in the event of a breakdown. This should certainly not be the position of revolutionary socialists!

 

“The longer Labour delays a general election, the easier it will be for the right to pretend they are ­defenders of democracy against elites. Any form of Brexit—soft or hard, deal or no-deal—will be bad for working class people if it’s based on Tory policies.

 

The best response is to unite Leave and remain working class voters in a battle to get the Tories out now.

 

Labour can win a general election—but not if it becomes a moderate party of Remain”. [5]

 

“For the workers’ movement, however, these serious splits at the top should lead to only one conclusion; to take full advantage of their weakness to fight a general election and for the election of a government that stands in the interests of the working class. In order to decisively break the ability of the capitalist class to sabotage a democratically elected socialist government it would be necessary to nationalise the major corporations and banks that dominate the economy under democratic working-class control, combined with full government control of incoming and outgoing foreign trade. Provided this was backed up by the power of the worker’s movement outside of parliament, the capitalist class would be powerless to stop it.

 

This would lay the basis for the development of a socialist planned economy, and a democratic workers’ state, that would really be able to use the huge wealth, science and technique created by capitalism to build a society for the many not the few.”[6].

 

The RCIT Britain does not believe in these so called panaceas of a peaceful transition to socialism. All these centrist groups fail to raise the question of state power and an infinite general strike at tne right time. The contradictions of world Imperialism mean that Britain is not immune from these developments. There is revolutionary uprisings all over the world and what the working class and the masses need is a programme to resolve the crisis of capitalism through revolutionary struggle and a fight to take state power not some peaceful transition as the centrists would have us believe. What the working class and the oppressed in Britain need is a revolutionary force which does not side with Brexit or Remain but which concentrates on the crucial questions of revolutionary struggle against austerity, racism and imperialism.

 

The RCIT Britain puts forward the following programme to unite all sections of the workers and oppressed in such a struggle:

 

* Rank-and-File in Labour must put pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to end these cross-party talks. National Governments are a disaster. Organize and support demonstrations, strikes and occupations at workplaces to show the working class that its own power is the answer to the Tories hatred and racist propaganda. Expel and purge all Blairite MP’s and reinstate all Pro-Corbyn Labour Party members expelled or suspended. Put Corbyn under pressure to support mass mobilisations of the workers and oppressed not only in words but also in deeds and with the ressources of the Labour Party. Labour under leadership of Corbyn must be forced to neither support Brexit nor Remain!

 

* For a country-wide, indefinite general strike. The TUC must immediately organise its members to organise communities in a showdown with Johnson and the ruling class! Fight for a Workers Government based on the support of all opressed!

 

* For popular assemblies to be organised in all areas, workplaces, schools and universities, districts and villages of Britain! For the building of strike commitees up to armed defence guards to defend communities from racist or police provocation!

 

* For a convocation of a Constituent Assembly where revolutionaries shuld argue for an indefinite general strike that should be transformed into an armed insurrection of the working class in order to take power in Britain!

 

* Abolish the Monarchy, redistribute the wealth of the royal establishment to the most needy and impoverished in society! For the levelling of all castles and the Queens estates and a programme of Public Housing works instead!

 

* Neither Remain nor Brexit! For Revolutionary defeatism! No support for Imperialism but for the smash of imperialist Britain and the imperialist EU! For the formation of the Socialist United States of Europe!

 

* Join the RCIT and help us to march forward in the building of a new World Party of Revolutionary Socialism – the 5th International!

 

 

 

Footnotes

 

1)            https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/oct/04/boris-johnson-brexit-plan-european-commission-no-grounds-weekend-negotiations

 

2)            https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/sep/30/opposition-parties-to-start-planning-for-national-unity-government

 

3)            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jo_Swinson

 

4)            Trotsky. L The Transitional Programme and the tasks of the 4th International. New Park publications

 

5)            https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/49020/Corruption%2C+harassment+and+Brexit+pile+strain+on+Boris+Johnson

 

6)            https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/29640/30-09-2019/capitalist-elite-split-fight-for-a-government-in-the-interests-of-the-working-class

 

 

 

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RED LIBERATION : RCIT IN BRITAIN

cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngLebanon: A Revolutionary Situation

 

By Yossi Schwartz, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 20.10.2019, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

Tens of thousands of protesters came out to protest for the third day across Lebanon against the rising cost of living, increases in taxes and governmental corruption. The government is in crisis. Four ministers of the Lebanese Forces party, an ally of the Prime Minister Saad Harriri, have resigned.

 

“We are convinced that the government is unable to take the necessary steps to save the situation,” said Samir Gaegea, head of the party.” (1)

 

Harriri’s promised reform package has only increased the determination of the masses to bring down his government.

 

“Protesters in Beirut’s Riad al-Solh square, in reaction to his promises began chanting, using a slogan used at football matches: “The first shot went in, where is the second?” Earlier on Saturday in central Beirut, the mood was fiery and festive, with protesters of all ages waving flags and chanting for revolution outside upmarket retailers and banks that had their storefronts smashed in by rioters the night before. The number of protesters grew steadily throughout the day, with major demonstrations in the country’s second-biggest city, Tripoli, in the north, and other locations. As Mohammad Awada, 32, who is unemployed, said: “This country is moving towards total collapse. This regime has failed to lead Lebanon and it must be toppled and replaced”. Lebanon’s public debt stands at around $86bn – more than 150 percent of gross domestic product, according to the finance ministry.” (2)

 

The masses are not only angry with Harriri but also with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah who said on the T.V on Saturday that “Hezbollah was against the government resigning, because the country did not have enough time for such a move given the acute financial crisis.” (3)

 

Like in Syria, where Hezbollah sided with the counter-revolution, in Lebanon it has backed the government against the revolution, exposing its political nature and proving that it is not the leadership the working class and the masses need for the revolution.

 

This is not the first time Hezbollah has defended the government. Following the second Lebanon war, when one million Lebanese demanded the resignation of the government whose army did not fight against Israel, Hassan Nasrallah blocked the revolutionary forces. Hezbollah stance on privatizations and the labor movement is also problematic. (4)

 

Those Lebanese brothers and sisters who struggle for a revolution but still trust Hezbollah should demand that it resign from the government.

 

The situation of Lebanon is revolutionary. The ruling class cannot rule and the working class and the masses cannot live with their rule. What is needed to win is a revolutionary leadership to lead and win the revolution.

 

Lenin, who knew what a revolutionary situation is, wrote in The Collapse of the Second International about the characteristics of a revolutionary situation:

 

“(1) when it is impossible for the ruling classes to maintain their rule without any change; when there is a crisis, in one form or another, among the “upper classes,” a crisis in the policy of the ruling class, leading to a fissure through which the discontent and indignation of the oppressed classes burst forth. For a revolution to take place, it is usually insufficient for “the lower classes not to want” to live in the old way; it is also necessary that “the upper classes should be unable” to live in the old way; (2) when the suffering and want of the oppressed classes have grown more acute than usual; (3) when, as a consequence of the above causes, there is a considerable increase in the activity of the masses… ” (5)

 

The revolutionary struggle in Lebanon is likely to ignite the new revolutionary wave of the Arab revolution that is not dead in spite of the blows it received from the counter revolution. It would be ignited again, we have said time and time again. The RCIT has stood with the Arab revolution since it began in Tunisia in December 2010 and has stood by it even when the leaderships of the reformist and centrist forces falsely claiming to be socialists and communists have turned their back on the revolution.

 

What We Are Calling For:

 

* An unlimited general strike to bring down the government

 

* Hezbollah to resign now from the capitalist government

 

* Democratically elected leadership by the struggling masses in every neighborhood, and every city that will form a revolutionary leadership on the national level

 

* A working class revolutionary leadership committed to a socialist revolution that will grow out of the democratic revolutionary struggle and will be part of the Arab revolution in the entire region

 

* Expropriating all the banks under workers control

 

* A government of the workers, fellahin and the poor

 

 

 

Footnotes:

 

1) Al Jazeera: Ministers resign after third day of protests in Lebanon, 20/10/2019, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/tens-thousands-protest-day-lebanon-191019180840017.html

 

2) ibid

 

3) https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-protests-idUSKBN1WY0AC

 

4) https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/12/hezbollah-lebanon-iran-islamic-revolution-labor/

 

5) V.I.Lenin: The Collapse of the Second International, in: Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [197[4]], Moscow, Volume 21

 

 

 

Other Articles of the RCIT on the Arab Revolution:

 

Save the Syrian Revolution! https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/call-save-the-syrian-revolution/

 

Syria: Assad Regime and Kurdish YPG Strike a Reactionary Deal, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/syria-assad-regime-and-kurdish-ypg-strike-a-reactionary-deal/

 

Syria: US Imperialism Deserts the Kurds … Once Again, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/syria-us-imperialism-deserts-the-kurds-once-again/

 

Iraq: Victory to the Popular Insurrection against the Government of Abdel Mahdi! https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/iraq-victory-to-the-popular-insurrection-against-the-government-of-abdel-mahdi/

 

On the Background of the Popular Uprising of the Iraqi People, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/background-of-popular-uprising-of-the-iraqi-people/

 

Yemen: Another Humiliating Blow for the Saudi Aggressors! https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/yemen-another-humiliating-blow-for-the-saudi-aggressors/

 

Egypt: Bring Down the Tyrant Sisi! https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-bring-down-the-tyrant-sisi/

 

 

 

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RED LIBERATION : RCIT IN BRITAIN

cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngAnother Great Recession of the Capitalist World Economy Has Begun

 

The economic crisis is an important factor in the current dramatic shift in the world situation

 

by Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 19 October 2019, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

Contents

 

 

 

Introduction

 

The beginning of the Great Recession

 

Economic downturn in the old imperialist economies …

 

… as well as in China

 

A crisis of profits

 

Confirmation of the Marxist analysis of China’s class character

 

Remarks on the peculiar character of the current Great Recession

 

 

Note of the Editorial Board: The pamphlet contains 5 figures and 1 table. The figures can only be viewed in the pdf resp. word versions (download below).

 

 

Great Recession of World Economy Has Beg

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Great Recession of World Economy Has Beg

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Introduction

 

 

 

We are in the midst of a dramatic shift in the world situation. There are at least four major developments which, in combination, herald a huge acceleration of the global political and economic contradictions. These developments are:

 

  1. a) The beginning of another Global Recession

 

  1. b) The decline of U.S. hegemony globally and, in particular, in the Middle East

 

  1. c) The political crisis of counter-revolutionary leaders in the West (e.g. Trump, Netanyahu, Mohammed bin Salman, General Sisi)

 

  1. d) A huge upswing of the global class struggle (Ecuador, Haiti, Chile, Honduras, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Hong Kong, etc.)

 

It is self-evident that these developments are of crucial importance for socialist activists. It is of utmost importance to understand the nature of this global process and to draw the necessary conclusions. The RCIT has undertaken substantial efforts in the past years to analyze the current historic period of capitalist decay and its specific characteristics. As a result we have been able to predict the fundamental line of development and to prepare politically for them. [1]

 

Furthermore we have already started in the past weeks to analyze the features of the current shift in the world situation. [2] In the present essay we will focus on analyzing a further important development – the beginning of another Global Recession of the capitalist world economy.

 

It is well known that for Marxists theoretical work is not an end in itself. It should be a “guide to action”, as Engels once wrote. [3] Theoretical work must inform the practice and the practice shall fertilize the theory. Trotsky’s thoughtful remark has lost nothing in validity:

 

The strength of Marxism is in the unity of scientific theory with revolutionary struggle. On these two rails, the education of the communist youth should progress. The study of Marxism outside the revolutionary struggle can create bookworms but not revolutionaries. Participation in the revolutionary struggle without the study of Marxism is unavoidably full of danger, uncertainty, half-blindness. To study Marxism as a Marxist is possible only by participating in the life and struggle of the class; revolutionary theory is verified by practice, and practice is clarified by theory. Only the truths of Marxism that are conquered in struggle enter the mind and the blood.” [4]

 

The following analysis of the capitalist world economy should be read in this context. Its purpose is to aid Marxists in understanding the current upheavals in the world situation so that they can intervene more effectively in the mass struggles and work towards winning activists for a revolutionary perspective. And indeed, this is the central task today: winning the vanguard of the workers and oppressed and organizing them in a revolutionary party nationally and internationally. Because without such a party, it will be impossible to organize the international socialist revolution – the only way to liberate humanity from the misery of capitalism! The RCIT calls all revolutionaries to join us in this great task!

 

 

 

The beginning of the Great Recession

 

 

 

The RCIT predicted in its last World Perspective document, published in March 2019, that the capitalist world economy is at the threshold of another Great Recession. ““In our World Perspectives documents we have pointed out an acceleration of several lines of contradiction. In particular we stressed that the world capitalist economy has not overcome its fundamental problems but has rather just delayed its explosion (by rising indebtedness, “Quantitative Easing”, etc.). Likewise, we have seen a constant acceleration of the tensions between the Great Powers – in particular since the beginning of the Trump Administration. Both these lines of contradiction – the economic crisis as well as the Great Power rivalry – are now experiencing a transformation from quantity into quality. (…) We have also drawn attention to the looming next great recession. In fact, it seems that this recession is about to begin now.[5] This period of a severe economic slump has started now – a decade after the last one in 2008/09 which again was the worst crisis of the capitalist world economy since 1929-33. As we have showed elsewhere the last decade has been characterized by economic stagnation.

 

The sector dragging the world economy into the current Great Recession is industry – i.e. the sector which produces the largest part of capitalist surplus value – alongside with global trade. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) shows in its latest World Economic Outlook that the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) has turned negative since about several months, i.e. that corporations around the world report a decline of business activities. (See Figure 1) Likewise, manufacturing around the world has already entered recession or is close to that. (See Figure 2)

 

 

 
Figure 1: World Trade, Industrial Production, and Manufacturing PMI, 2015-19 [6]

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 2: Industrial Production, 2015-19 [7]

 

 

 

Gita Gopinath, a leading economist at the IMF, soberly summarizes the IMF assessment of the state of the global economy: “The global economy is in a synchronized slowdown and we are, once again, downgrading growth for 2019 to 3 percent, its slowest pace since the global financial crisis. Growth continues to be weakened by rising trade barriers and increasing geopolitical tensions. We estimate that the US-China trade tensions will cumulatively reduce the level of global GDP by 0.8 percent by 2020. Growth is also being weighed down by country-specific factors in several emerging market economies, and by structural forces, such as low productivity growth and aging demographics in advanced economies.[8]

 

 

 

Economic downturn in the old imperialist economies …

 

 

 

This decline takes place in every major region of the capitalist world economy. In the U.S. the National Association of Purchasing Managers’ index of manufacturing activity fell during 2019. In September it dropped by 1.3 points to 47.8 – the lowest reading since 2009. (Any reading below 50 indicates contraction.) It was the second month in a row manufacturing has contracted, continuing a slowing trend underway since March, according to data from the Institute for Supply Management.

 

According to the official statistics of the Federal Reserve Bank, U.S. industrial production already declined by -1.9% resp. -2.2% in the first two quarters of 2019. [9] This tendency has continued in the last months. “At 109.5 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 0.1 percent lower in September than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.4 percentage point in September to 77.5 percent, a rate that is 2.3 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2018) average.[10] In other words, manufacturing in the U.S. has entered a recession. [11]

 

In Europe, the industrial sector faced decline already since late 2018. (See Figure 2 and 3) This is particularly the case with Germany, the continents’ largest and most important economy. The European Central bank reports in the latest issue of its Bulletin: “After a sharp decline in 2018 amid weak global trade, year-on-year growth in euro area industrial production (excluding construction) recovered marginally in 2019 but remained in negative territory. In the period from January 2018 to June 2019 the year-on-year growth rate of euro area industrial production (excluding construction) fell by 6.3 percentage points overall, from 3.9% to -2.4%. This is by far the largest fall recorded among major economies in that period. In the United States, the decline in industrial production started later, in September 2018.[12]

 

 

 

Figure 3: Industrial Production in Euro Area, United States, Britain and China, September 2017 – June 2019 [13]

 

 

 

 

A similar development can be observed in Japan. According to the latest official statistics of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan’s manufacturing and mining sector declined in the first and second quarter of this year by -1.7% resp. 2.3% (year-on-year) – a process which has continued until today. (See also Figure 2) [14]

 

 

 

… as well as in China

 

 

 

A crucial factor is the development of China’s economy which has become the largest or second-largest economy in the world (depending on the method of calculation). Due to the peculiar process of capitalist restoration in the 1990s, the country’s economy has experienced a long-lasting period of growth reflecting the process of initial accumulation of capital.

 

However, China’s economy is experiencing currently it most significant downturn since the restoration of capitalism in the early 1990s. The South China Morning Post, an informative newspaper owned by the Alibaba corporation (it’s CEO until recently, Jack Ma, is one of the richest capitalists in China) reports: “China’s manufacturing sector remained in the doldrums in September, with sentiment among factory operators remaining in negative territory for the fifth month in a row. The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index, released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday, was 49.8 in September, up from 49.5 in August and above a survey of analysts by Bloomberg, the median forecast of which was 49.6.[15]

 

Of course, China is – like other countries – affected by the consequences of the Global Trade War. However, this decline in manufacturing has first and foremost structural and domestic causes as it started already before the latest escalation of Trump’s rise of tariffs against China’s export to the U.S. “China’s industrial engine continued to stutter in August, with a key gauge of the country’s manufacturing output slumping to a new 17-year low, in the last month before the United States imposed new tariffs on Chinese-made goods. Industrial production, which measures China’s industrial output, including manufacturing, mining and utilities, grew at 4.4 per cent last month, down from 4.8 per cent in July, which in itself was the lowest rate since February 2002.[16] (For the declining growth rates of industrial production in China see also Figure 2)

 

The declining dynamic of China’s economy is also reflected in its lowest growth figures since the restoration of capitalism. According to the latest data, China’s gross domestic product growth slid to 6.2% in the second quarter and to only 6% in third quarter of 2019. These are the weakest quarterly growth rates since 1992 according to government statistics. [17] (We leave aside at this place that since a number of years several economists have raised serious doubts about the validity of the high figures of China’s economy in the official statistics. [18])

 

Another indication for the structural reasons of the decline of China’s economy is the fact that the process of capital accumulation has dramatically slowed down since 2009 – i.e. since the last global Great Recession. (See Figure 4)

 

 

 

Figure 4: China’s Investment and Trade, 2005-19 [19]

 

 

 

A crisis of profits

 

 

 

The final cause of the declining dynamic of the capitalist world economy, as Marxists have repeatedly pointed out, is the tendency of the profit rate to fall. As we have shown in past documents, this tendency is indeed determining the long-term development of capitalism. (See Figure 5)

 

 

 

Figure 5. World Rate of Profit and Average Rate in Core and Peripheral Countries (1869-2010) [20]

 

 

 

 

Likewise, we see a crisis of profitability behind the current recession. Bloomberg reported recently: “Global profit growth stalled in the second quarter, depressing business confidence and leading to cutbacks in capital spending worldwide. Behind the earnings squeeze: rising worker wages, lackluster productivity growth and a general lack of pricing power. The danger is that profit-pinched corporations will next take the chop to their work forces, knocking consumer confidence and spending for a loop.[21]

 

Significantly, such a decline of profits also takes place in China’s large corporations. “China’s creaking economy is showing further signs of stress as the trade war with the United States drags on. Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Friday revealed that profits at industrial companies dropped by 2% in August. Triggered by weak domestic demand and fallout from the row between Beijing and Washington, industrial profits came in at 517.8 billion yuan (US$72.59 billion). That was 2% down compared to the same period last year and reversed the 2.6% gain in July.[22]

 

Given the fact that “there’s little to stop the American manufacturing sector from falling over the edge” (Bloomberg) [23], panic is spreading among the bosses. The Financial Times, one of the global flagships of the Western bourgeoisie, recently published a highly interesting article which reported that the big capitalists are trying to get rid of shares of their own companies fearing the imminent slump. “Executives across the US are shedding stock in their own companies at the fastest pace in two decades, amid concerns that the long bull market in equities is reaching its final stages. Corporate insiders — typically chief executives, chief financial officers and board members — sold a combined $19bn of stock in their companies through to mid-September, according to data from Smart Insider, a UK-based group. That puts them on track to hit about $26bn for the year, which would mark the most active year since 2000, when executives sold $37bn of stock amid the giddy highs of the dotcom bubble. That projected total for the year would also set a post-crisis high, eclipsing the $25bn of stock sold in 2017.[24]

 

Clearly, the capitalist rats are fleeing the sinking ship!

 

 

 

Confirmation of the Marxist analysis of China’s class character

 

 

 

The latest developments confirm once more the Marxist analysis of the capitalist class character of China’s economy and its rise to an imperialist Great Power. [25] As it is well known numerous Stalinist parties and pseudo-socialist groups characterize China as a “socialist country” or as a “deformed non-capitalist workers state”. In fact, China was a deformed workers state dictatorially ruled by a Stalinist bureaucracy until the early 1990s. By that time, the ruling elite systematically introduced the law of value in the economy and China became a capitalist state. At the same time, the regime transformed into a Stalinist-capitalist dictatorship. [26]

 

However, as we have demonstrated above, China is heading a cyclical crisis. This in itself demonstrates the existence of capitalist business cycles in China as well as its organic connection with the capitalist world economy. This is in contrast, we note in passing, to the development of the Stalinist states in from the 1950s until 1989. While they faced from a certain point onwards a tendency towards stagnation inherent to the rotten Stalinist methods of bureaucratic planning, their economies were not characterized by a cyclical development as it has always been characteristic for capitalism. [27]

 

Furthermore, the capitalist character of China’s economy is also demonstrated by the declining dynamic of capitalist profit in the large corporations.

 

As we have discussed repeatedly, there are also a number of socialists who understand (incompletely) the capitalist character of the Chinese regime. However, as we analyzed in detail in our latest book on the Great Power rivalry, they wrongly refuse to recognize the imperialist character of China. They mistakenly view it as something qualitatively different and weaker and use descriptors such as “semi-colonial” or “sub-imperialist”.

 

However, the enormous weight of the China in the world economy indicates that it is not a subordinated country. If one takes, for example, India – a country with nearly the same population size like China – the difference is visible. India is a much weaker economy, indeed it is a semi-colonial intermediate power. [28] Hence, its economic development does not shape the process of the capitalist world economy. This is in sharp contrast to China! Its relative boom in the later 2000s avoided a worse slump of the world economy. And, on the other hand, its current downturn accelerates the current global crisis.

 

Likewise, China has been successfully able to withstand the pressure of U.S. imperialism in the Global Trade War which lasts now already since more than one and a half years. Not only this, Beijing seems now to force the Trump Administration to beat a retreat or, at least, to look for a compromise. A “semi-colonial” or “sub-imperialist” country could not have achieved this. Only an imperialist Great Power could do so! [29]

 

 

 

Remarks on the peculiar character of the current Great Recession

 

 

 

We conclude this essay with two remarks. First, we are convinced that this recession will become more severe than the last one ten years ago. The reason for this is that in 2008/09, the slump hit in particular the old imperialist economies – the U.S., Western Europe and Japan. Naturally, this dragged down the whole world economy given the central weight of these regions. However, China and some other so-called “emerging economies” were much less hit by the recession at that time which prevented a complete collapse of the capitalist world economy. As we have shown above, this time it is different. China’s capitalism has joined now the declining dynamic of the capitalist world economy.

 

In addition, as we have repeatedly pointed out, the bourgeoisie intervened at the last Great Recession with a massive program of pumping money into the economy (loans, quantitative easing, etc.). However, the ruling class continued this kind of “financial Keynesianism” even after the Great Recession was over. As a result there has been a massive rise of indebtedness in the past decade. According to the Global Debt Monitor of the Institute of International Finance, “debt around the globe hit $246 trillion in Q1 2019, rising by $3 trillion in the quarter, and outpacing the rate of growth of the global economy as total debt/GDP rose to 320%.[30]

 

Today, indebtedness is in all sectors of the economy higher than in 2007, i.e. before the start of the last Great Recession (except, ironically, the financial sector as the banks succeeded in shifting the bad loans to the state)! (See Table 1)

 

 

 

Table 1: Global Sectoral Indebtedness, 2019 versus 2007 (as % of GDP) [31]

 

                                Non-Financial Corporations         Government       Financial Sector                Household

 

2019 Q1:               91%                                                        87%                        81%                                        60%

 

2007 Q3:               77%                                                        58%                        86%                                        57%

 

 

 

The consequences of this development will be dramatic. Given the fact that the corporations have much more debts today than in 2007, they will be less able to take new loans in order to avoid bankruptcy. At the same time, the capitalist state is much less in a position to intervene and to save the corporations from bankruptcy than this was the case a decade ago. It is difficult to see how capitalist corporations could be able to avoid an economic massacre in their ranks!

 

It is noteworthy that while indebtedness has grown nearly all over the world, the fastest growth of debt since 2008 has taken place in China. According to the Institute of International Finance China’s gross debt surged dramatically from 171% of GDP in Q4 2008 to 299% in Q1 2018. This increase of debts has continued since then. [32] Furthermore, this process has taken place in nearly all sectors of the economy, i.e. in government, non-financial sectors and household. [33]

 

Another important character of the current recession is that it appears, and to a certain degree is, triggered by geopolitical decision. Everyone is aware that the Global Trade War, launched by Trump the Dumb, has caused disruption and decline in the world economy. Naturally, Marxists have to explain that such dubious personalities might have triggered the Great Recession its causes but that the real causes have to be sought in the fundamental contradictions of the capitalist mode of production. Nevertheless, such a “political” character of the new Great Recession will have important consequences for the political consciousness of the working class and the popular masses. It might help to show that it is not an “anonymous system” – against which people are impotent – which drives the economy into the abyss but a concrete ruling capitalist class with political figures at the head.

 

We conclude by repeating that the beginning of another Great Recession goes hand in hand with profound world political shifts. In combination they will aggravate the antagonism between the states as well as between the classes and, thus, qualitatively transform the world political relations. We will see an increasing number of revolutionary as well as counter-revolutionary developments.

 

Authentic socialists must prepare for such developments and unite in order to build a Revolutionary World Party based on a program for liberation struggle under the present conditions. The RCIT is dedicating its forces to this big, indeed this historic goal. Join us in this struggle!

 

 

 

 

 

[1] See e.g. RCIT: World Perspectives 2019: Heading Towards a Volcanic Political Eruption. Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries, 2 March 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2019/; Michael Pröbsting: World Perspectives 2018: A World Pregnant with Wars and Popular Uprisings, RCIT Books, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2018/, RCIT: World Perspectives 2017: The Struggle against the Reactionary Offensive in the Era of Trumpism, 18 December 2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2017/; RCIT: World Perspectives 2016: Advancing Counterrevolution and Acceleration of Class Contradictions Mark the Opening of a New Political Phase, 23 January 2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2016/; RCIT: Perspectives for the Class Struggle in Light of the Deepening Crisis in the Imperialist World Economy and Politics, 11 January 2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-situationjanuary-2015/; RCIT: Escalation of Inner-Imperialist Rivalry Marks the Opening of a New Phase of World Politics. Theses on Recent Major Developments in the World Situation Adopted by the RCIT’s International Executive Committee, April 2014, in: Revolutionary Communism (English-language Journal of the RCIT) No. 22, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-situation-april-2014/; RCIT: Aggravation of Contradictions, Deepening of Crisis of Leadership. Theses on Recent Major Developments in the World Situation Adopted by the RCIT’s International Executive Committee, 9.9.2013, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 15, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-situation-september2013/; RCIT: The World Situation and the Tasks of the Bolshevik-Communists. Theses of the International Executive Committee of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency, March 2013, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 8, www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-situation-march-2013; Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South. Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital. Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, RCIT Books, Vienna 2013, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/great-robbery-of-the-south/

[2] The RCIT has published a number of statements and articles in the past weeks on dramatic events in the Middle East, in Ecuador, Hong Kong, Kashmir, Catalunya etc. They can all be found in the respective sections on our website for the different continents; see also Michael Pröbsting: The Gang Leaders of Western Counterrevolution Are Faltering. Some observations on an interesting historic moment in the world situation, 25 September 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/the-gang-leaders-of-western-counterrevolution-are-faltering/

[3] Friedrich Engels: Letter to Friedrich Adolph Sorge, 29 November 1886, in: MECW Vol. 47, p. 532

[4] Leon Trotsky: To the Spanish Youth, in: Leon Trotsky: The Spanish Revolution (1931-39), Pathfinder Press, New York 1973, p. 180

[5] RCIT: World Perspectives 2019: Heading Towards a Volcanic Political Eruption. Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries, 2 March 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2019/. We have regularly analyzed the development of the global economy. In addition to the annual documents on the World Perspectives mentioned above we refer e.g. to Michael Pröbsting: The Next Looming Great Recession. Observations on the Latest Stock Market Slump and the Structural Crisis of the Capitalist World Economy, 12 October 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/the-next-looming-great-recession/

[6] IMF: World Economic Outlook: Global Manufacturing Downturn, Rising Trade Barriers. Washington, DC, October 2019, p. 2

[7] IMF: World Economic Outlook: Global Manufacturing Downturn, Rising Trade Barriers. Washington, DC, October 2019, p. 2

[8] Gita Gopinath: The World Economy: Synchronized Slowdown, Precarious Outlook, October 15, 2019 https://blogs.imf.org/2019/10/15/the-world-economy-synchronized-slowdown-precarious-outlook/

[9] FEDERAL RESERVE statistical release, October 17, 2019, Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization, p. 7

[10] FEDERAL RESERVE statistical release, October 17, 2019, Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization, p. 2

[11] See e.g. David P. Goldman: Trump may have secured re-election today, 2019-10-12 https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/10/article/trump-may-have-secured-re-election-today/; Al Jazeera: Global shares sink as US manufacturing hits 10-year low, 2019-10-02 https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/global-shares-sink-manufacturing-hits-10-year-191002012021910.html; Asia Times: Worst month for US manufacturers since 2009: ISM, 2019-10-02 https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/10/article/worst-month-for-us-manufacturers-since-2009-ism/; David P. Goldman: US data crashes stock market, threatens Trump, 2019-10-03 https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/10/article/us-data-crashes-stock-market-threatens-trump/

[12] Roberto A. De Santis and Srečko Zimic: Domestic versus foreign factors behind the fall in euro area industrial production, in: European Central Bank: Economic Bulletin, Issue 6 / 2019, p. 50

[13] Roberto A. De Santis and Srečko Zimic: Domestic versus foreign factors behind the fall in euro area industrial production, in: European Central Bank: Economic Bulletin, Issue 6 / 2019, p. 50

[14] Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Japan): Report on Indices of Industrial Production (Production, shipments and Inventories), October 2019, p. 5, https://www.meti.go.jp/english/statistics/tyo/iip/index.html. We draw attention to the fact that the statistical methods in Japan differ somehow from those used in the U.S. and the EU. Hence, growth resp. decline in output in these statistics is calculated in relation to a selected level of production in a past year. In this case, for example, the figures are in comparison with the average production level of the year 2015.

[15] Finbarr Bermingham, Kathleen Magramo: China’s manufacturing remained weak in September as activity contracted for fifth straight month, data shows, South China Morning Post, 30 Sep, 2019 https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3030877/chinas-manufacturing-remained-weak-august-activity-contracted

[16] Finbarr Bermingham, Orange Wang: China’s industrial engine slowed to new 17-year low in August, even before new US trade war tariffs took effect, South China Morning Post, 16 Sep, 2019 https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3027374/chinas-industrial-engine-slowed-new-17-year-low-august-even

[17] Laura He: China’s economic growth drops to lowest level since 1992, CNN Business, October 18, 2019, https://edition.cnn.com/2019/10/17/economy/china-gdp-economy-trade-war/index.html; Amanda Lee: China’s total debt rises to over 300 per cent of GDP as Beijing loosens borrowing curbs to boost growth, South China Morning Post, 17 Jul, 2019 https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3018991/chinas-total-debt-rises-over-300-cent-gdp-beijing-loosens; Li Xuanmin and Huang Ge: China’s Q3 GDP growth slows to 6.0% to hit a 27-year low, still within target range, Global Times 2019/10/18 http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1167256.shtml; Jimmy Yee: China economic growth slows to a 27-year low, 2019-10-18 https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/10/article/china-economic-growth-slows-to-a-27-year-low/; Joe McDonald: China’s economic slowdown deepens, weighing on global growth, 2019-10-18 https://apnews.com/a776f7a522014679a40964dc4d1eed58

[18] See e.g. Gordon Watts: Fake figures cloud China’s economic data, 2019-10-18, https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/10/article/fake-figures-could-cloud-chinas-economic-data/

[19] IMF: World Economic Outlook: Global Manufacturing Downturn, Rising Trade Barriers. Washington, DC, October 2019, p. 3

[20] Esteban Ezequiel Maito: The historical transience of capital. The downward trend in the rate of profit since XIX century, 2014, p. 13

[21] Michelle Jamrisko, Enda Curran, and Zoe Schneeweiss: Is the World Economy Sliding Into First Recession Since 2009? Bloomberg, 13. Oktober 2019, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-12/is-the-world-economy-sliding-into-first-recession-since-2009?srnd=premium-europe

[22] Jimmy Yee: Industrial profits dip as China’s economy slows, Asia Times, 2019-09-27 https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/09/article/industrial-profits-dip-as-chinas-economy-slows/; see also Amanda Lee: China’s industrial profits contract in August as economy battles slow growth amid trade war with US, South China Morning Post, 27 Sep, 2019, https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3030619/chinas-industrial-profits-contract-august-economy-battles

[23] Brooke Sutherland: A Manufacturing Recession Is Here. Now What? 23. August 2019, https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-08-23/trade-war-manufacturing-recession-pressure-industrial-companies

[24] Richard Henderson: Insider stock sales rise to two-decade high in the US, Financial Times, September 24 2019 https://www.ft.com/content/d95e12a6-dbed-11e9-8f9b-77216ebe1f17

[25] The RCIT has published a number of documents on the rise of China as a new imperialist Great Power. They are collected at a special sub-page on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/. Our most updated analysis of China and the accelerating rivalry between the Great Powers can be read in Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective, RCIT Books, January 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/anti-imperialism-in-the-age-of-great-power-rivalry/

[26] On the capitalist restoration in China see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: China‘s transformation into an imperialist power. A study of the economic, political and military aspects of China as a Great Power (2012), in: Revolutionary Communism No. 4, http://www.thecommunists.net/publications/revcom-number-4. For some updated figures demonstrating the capitalist character of China today see e.g. those articles by Michael Pröbsting: China passes the US on Global Business Ranking for the first time. New data on global corporations reflects China’s rise as an imperialist Great Power, 23 July 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/china-passes-the-us-on-global-business-ranking-for-first-time/; China: A Paradise for Billionaires, 27.10.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/china-is-a-paradise-for-billionaires/

[27] For our theoretical and historical analysis of Stalinism see League for the Revolutionary Communist International: The Degenerated Revolution: The Origin and Nature of the Stalinist States, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/stalinism-and-the-degeneration-of-the-revolution/; see also chapter 2 in Michael Pröbsting: Cuba’s Revolution Sold Out? The Road from Revolution to the Restoration of Capitalism, RCIT Books, Vienna 2013, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/cuba-s-revolution-sold-out/

[28] For our analysis of India see e.g. chapter 5 in our pamphlet by Michael Pröbsting: The China-India Conflict: Its Causes and Consequences. What are the background and the nature of the tensions between China and India in the Sikkim border region? What should be the tactical conclusions for Socialists and Activists of the Liberation Movements? August 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-india-rivalry/; see also Michael Pröbsting: India: A Prison House of Nations and Lower Castes (On the Reasons for Modi’s Coup in Kashmir). Essay on the social and national contradictions of Indian capitalism and the rise of Hindutva chauvinism, 16 August 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/india-is-a-a-prison-house-of-nations-and-lower-castes/; see also Michael Pröbsting: Semi-Colonial Intermediate Powers and the Theory of Sub-Imperialism. A contribution to an ongoing debate amongst Marxists and a proposal to tackle a theoretical problem, 1 August 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/semi-colonial-intermediate-powers-and-the-theory-of-sub-imperialism/

[29] The RCIT has published a number of documents on the Global Trade War. They are collected in a special section on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/collection-of-articles-on-the-global-trade-war/; our latest analysis is by Michael Pröbsting: Global Trade War: “If That Takes a Decade, So Be It!”. A telling statement of Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow about the U.S.-China Cold War, 9 September 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/global-trade-war-if-that-takes-a-decade-so-be-it/

[30] See: ZeroHedge: Global Debt Hits $246 Trillion, 320% Of GDP, As Developing Debt Hits All Time High, July 15, 2019, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-07-15/global-debt-hits-246-trillion-320-gdp-developing-debt-hit-all-time-high

[31] See: ZeroHedge: Global Debt Hits $246 Trillion, 320% Of GDP, As Developing Debt Hits All Time High, July 15, 2019, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-07-15/global-debt-hits-246-trillion-320-gdp-developing-debt-hit-all-time-high; Ben Chu: Global debt: Why has it hit an all-time high? And how worried should we be about it? The Independent, 5 January 2018, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/global-debt-crisis-explained-all-time-high-world-economy-causes-solutions-definition-a8143516.html

[32] Cary Springfield: How Much of a Concern Is China’s Debt Problem? International Banker, April 29, 2019 https://internationalbanker.com/banking/how-much-of-a-concern-is-chinas-debt-problem/

[33] See e.g. Frank Tang: China debt ratio jumps in first half as Beijing abandons deleveraging to support trade war-hit economy, South China Morning Post, 27 Aug, 2019, https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3024572/china-debt-ratio-jumps-first-half-beijing-abandons

 

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RED LIBERATION : RCIT IN BRITAIN

cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngSyria: US Imperialism Deserts the Kurds … Once Again

 

The fruits of the collaboration of the Kurdish YPG/SDF leadership in Syria with Washington

 

By Yossi Schwartz, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 08.10.2019, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

Yesterday it was announced that the American’s troops will leave North Syria which will allow the invasion of the Turkish army in order to smash the Kurdish Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria known as Rojava. The region consists of Afrin, Jazira, Euphrates, Raqqa, Tabqa, Manbij and Deir Ez-Zor. The Kurds in Rojava gained autonomy in 2012 during the counter-revolutionary war of the Assad dictatorship against the Syrian popular uprising.

 

Assad’s regime has not recognized the Kurdish autonomy despite the fact that the Kurdish militia known as the YPG not only fought on the side of the American imperialists but also collaborated in various forms with the regime as well as the Russia and Iran. While some young Kurds joined the Syrian Revolution at the beginning, the traditional Kurdish parties including the Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat (Democratic Union Party, PYD), which is a local branch of the PKK, was the most reluctant to join the revolution. In July 2012 the PYD took advantage of the withdrawal of the Syrian army from Kurdish areas to establish its autonomy.

 

The main opposition to the PYD’s is the small Kurdish party KPD, connected to the Iraqi Kurdish party of Masoud Barzani, and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq.

 

While the RCIT recognize the right of self- determination of the Kurds including their right to form their own state and we defended their right to have autonomy in Rojava, we have strongly opposed the reactionary leadership of the PYD/YPG. It betrayed the Syrian Revolution and preferred to have tacit agreements with the Assad tyranny. It offered itself as a servant for US imperialism in fighting ISIS.

 

In October 2015 Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) was founded which is the main ally of U.S. imperialism in Syria and which is dominated by the PYD/YPG.

 

This collaboration with imperialists, like in many other situations when oppressed nations support the imperialists, has been a disaster for the Kurds that now the USA is deserting them.

 

This desertion of the American troops began ahead of a Turkish invasion that Kurdish fighters say “’will overturn the victory over the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) armed group’. US forces ‘will not support or be involved in the [Turkish] operation” and “will no longer be in the immediate area”, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement. ‘Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into northern Syria,’ said the statement. The withdrawal marks a major shift in US policy and effectively abandons an American ally in the battle against ISIL, which took over swathes of Syria before being defeated a year ago.” (1)

 

It is evident that the reactionary leadership of the PYD/YPG naively trusted U.S. imperialism. “There were assurances from the United States of America that it would not allow any Turkish military operations against the region,” SDF spokesman Kino Gabriel said in an interview with al-Hadath TV on Monday.

 

The SDF had been “completely committed” to a U.S.-guaranteed deal for a “security mechanism” for the border area, he added. “But the (U.S.) statement today was a surprise and we can say that it is a stab in the back for the SDF,” he said. (2)

 

As the poplar saying goes: ”Those who sleep with the dogs will wake up with flees.”

 

While we will side with the Kurds against Turkey, a member of NATO, in a war we say that the Kurdish fighters must get rid of their treacherous leadership which collaborates with the imperialists. It is urgently necessary to form a revolutionary party that will fight against Assad and his backers and again all imperialists. Only the victory of the Arab revolution in the entire region will help you to form an independent state – short of it the Kurdish aspirations even for autonomy will be smashed! One must learn from Lenin who said that for humanity to survive imperialism must die.

 

The new turn in Trump policy is also a message to Israel:”You are alone in a war with Iran”. This message also comes with the new approach of the USA and Saudi Arabia to Iran. Behind it is the expected role of Iran to repress the new wave of the Arab revolution that seems as possible in the near future.

 

* Throw out all the Imperialists!

 

* Oppose Turkey invasion!

 

* Iran out of Syria!

 

* Long live the Arab revolution!

 

 

 

Footnotes

 

1) Al Jazeera: US troops start pullout in Syria as Turkey prepares operation, 07.10.2019, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/white-house-turkey-military-operation-northern-syria-191007034354242.html

 

2) Haaretz Defying Pentagon, Trump Backs Turkish Operation in Syria Targeting U.S.-backed Kurds https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/syria/defying-pentagon-trump

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

Other recent articles by the RCIT on the role of the PYD/YPG:

 

Syria: The Shameful Alliance of the Saudi Monarchy and the “Left-Wing” YPG, 4 July 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/shameful-alliance-of-saudi-monarchy-and-ypg-in-syria/

 

The Revelations of a U.S. General on Washington’s Allies in Syria. Another Blow to the Stalinist Myths about the Character of Syrian Liberation Fighters and the Role of the Kurdish SDF/YPG, 27.10.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/revelations-of-u-s-general-on-washington-s-allies-in-syria/;

 

Kissing the Feet of the Saudi Chainsaw-Crown Prince. On the Shameful Response of the Kurdish YPG on the Killing of the Saudi Journalist Kashoggi, 20.10.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/the-shameful-response-of-the-kurdish-ypg-on-the-killing-of-the-saudi-journalist-kashoggi/

 

 

 

The RCIT has published a number of booklets, statements, and articles on the Syrian Revolution that can be accessed on a special sub-section of this website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-the-syrian-revolution/. In particular we refer to:

 

RCIT: Save the Syrian Revolution! A call for international solidarity with the Syrian people in Idlib suffering from the barbarous onslaught by Assad and Putin! 04 June 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/call-save-the-syrian-revolution/

 

Syria: The Fall of the Martyr City Khan Sheikhoun. Despite this setback, the struggle against the tyranny of the Assad regime continues! 22 August 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/syria-the-fall-of-the-martyr-city-khan-sheikhoun/

 

Michael Pröbsting: Is the Syrian Revolution at its End? Is Third Camp Abstentionism Justified? An essay on the organs of popular power in the liberated area of Syria, on the character of the different sectors of the Syrian rebels, and on the failure of those leftists who deserted the Syrian Revolution, 5 April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/syrian-revolution-not-dead/

 

Michael Pröbsting: Syria and Great Power Rivalry: The Failure of the „Left“. The bleeding Syrian Revolution and the recent Escalation of Inter-Imperialist Rivalry between the US and Russia – A Marxist Critique of Social Democracy, Stalinism and Centrism, 21 April 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/syria-great-power-rivalry-and-the-failure-of-the-left/

 

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RED LIBERATION : RCIT IN BRITAIN

cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngEcuador: For an Indefinite General Strike against the Neoliberal Austerity Pack!

 

Build democratic popular assemblies to defeat the government of Moreno – servant of the IMF! For a workers, indigenous, peasant and popular government!

 

Joint Statement of the Partido Revolucionario de las y los Trabajadores (Costa Rica) and the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 06 October 2019

 

 

 

  1. The Ecuadorian government of President Lenin Moreno has launched on 1 October a massive neo-liberal attack on the workers and popular masses. Complying with the brutal conditions of an IMF loan of US$4.2 billion, Moreno announced the elimination of gasoline subsidies, labor reforms, tax changes and other economic measures. As a result of this set of measures, known in Ecuador as “the package”, prices of diesel per gallon rose from US$1.00 to US$2.20 (an increase of 123%!) and the price of gasoline from US$1.80 to US$2.30 per gallon (an increase of 28%). Among other consequences are a price rise of 100% for basic services and the shortening of the holiday period by half. These neoliberal attacks will result in huge price increases and mass impoverishment.

 

  1. In reaction, a wave of spontaneous mass protests has started. Various trade unions and popular organization – like the Federation of Urban Transportation of Ecuador (Fenatu), the Confederation of National Indigenous of Ecuador (CONAIE), the Popular Front, and the United Workers Front (FUT) – joined the protests. The movement has already reached the proportion of a popular insurrection. In order to smash the protests with brutal state repression, the government declared a state of emergency. About 370 people have already been arrested – among them several trade union and indigenous leaders. Shamefully, the leadership of the transport unions called off their participation in the mass protests after two days. However, other popular organizations continue to mobilize for a nationwide strike on 9 October.

 

  1. The PRT and the RCIT declare their unconditional solidarity with the popular rebellion in Ecuador! There can be no doubt that the government, irrespective of its “progressive” credentials, is a servant of the capitalist class and the imperialist monopolies. The only solution lies in the expropriation of the big capitalists and multinational corporations, the overthrow of the bourgeois state and the creation of a workers and popular government in order to open the road to a socialist future in Ecuador, Latin America and globally!

 

  1. It is urgent to apply the united front tactic and to demand from all trade unions and popular organization to fully support the mass protests. However, it would be foolish to put any trust in their bureaucratic leaderships. The capitulation of the Abel Gomez and other bureaucrats after only two days of protests is a warning that the masses cannot rely on them! In the face of these bureaucracies, revolutionary and popular organizations must apply a policy of demands and denunciations in order to force the bureaucrats to promote mass actions or to denounce them vigorously and unmask them when they try to hinder or betray the struggle movement.

 

  1. It is crucial that the masses continue and deepen the struggle! In our opinion it is urgent that they organize themselves in workers assemblies in work places and in popular assemblies at neighborhoods, universities and villages. Delegates of such committees should build a nation-wide coordination to lead the struggle without any bureaucratic control. Likewise it is important to create self-defense committees defending the masses against the police and army. The chief task now is to organize a nation-wide general strike. Such a general strike should not be limited to one day only. It should be rather an indefinite general strike, i.e. it should continue until the government withdraws all its neo-liberal attacks. Such a general strike could also open the road to the overthrow of the regime and the creation of a workers and popular government based on popular committees of action.

 

  1. The popular rebellion in Ecuador does not take place in isolation. It is part of a global wave of mass struggles against misery and tyranny as we currently see in the uprisings in Haiti, Honduras and Iraq, the mass protests in Egypt and the ongoing struggle of the Syrian people against the Assad dictatorship. It is crucial to build international solidarity with the popular insurrection in Ecuador and to advocate a perspective of internationalist unity with other struggles.

 

  1. The current mass struggles in Ecuador as well as other countries demonstrate once more the urgency to replace the existing bureaucratic leaderships (social democracy, Stalinism, Bolivarism, petty-bourgeois nationalism, Islamism etc.). We commit ourselves to jointly work to overcome the present crisis of working class leadership. The central task for us as well as for all other authentic revolutionaries is to provide the workers and poor peasants with a revolutionary leadership, i.e. to build a Revolutionary World Party fighting for a socialist future!

 

 

 

Partido Revolucionario de las y los Trabajadores (Costa Rica), http://prtcostarica.blogspot.com/

 

Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Israel/Occupied Palestine, Yemen, Nigeria, Kenya, Russia, Britain, Germany and Austria), www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

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RED LIBERATION : RCIT IN BRITAIN

cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngIraq: Victory to the Popular Insurrection against the Government of Abdel Mahdi!

 

Build Popular Councils! For a Workers and Poor Peasants Government!

 

Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 04 October 2019, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

  1. The Iraqi workers and youth are rising up against the government of Abdel Mahdi. The regime is trying to smash the protests with utmost brutality. After three days of protests, at least 44 people have been killed and more than 1,000 have been injured. The largest number of casualties occurred in the southern city of Nasiriya, where 18 people were killed, followed by the capital Baghdad where the death toll stood at 16. No doubt, a revolutionary situation has opened up in Iraq where the popular masses are fighting for power.

 

  1. The workers and youth are protesting against an utterly corrupt and reactionary regime which is serving only the interests of the small Iraqi elite. While Iraq is one of the countries with the largest oil reserves in the world, the popular masses are living in misery. People are suffering from water shortages, power cuts and state corruption. Youth unemployment is about 25%. At the same time the Iraqi government is vacillating between U.S. imperialism and the Iranian regional power – both enemies of the people.

 

  1. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) sends its warmest greetings to the heroic brothers and sisters in Iraq! Your struggle is our struggle; your struggle is the struggle of all oppressed people in the Arab world as well as in Iran!

 

  1. We call the Iraqi workers and popular masses to continue and deepen the struggle! In our opinion it is urgent that they organize themselves in popular councils at work places, neighborhoods, universities and villages. Likewise it is urgent to build self-defense committees defending the masses against the police and army. The people should overthrow the whole ruling elite by staging a nation-wide, indefinite, general strike leading to a popular insurrection. The goal must be the creation of a workers and poor peasants government based on popular committees of action. The insurgent masses should convoke a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly.

 

  1. An authentic government of the workers and popular masses should nationalize the oil industry, banks and big companies under workers control and without any compensation of the capitalists! It should organize a public employment program under control of the workers and popular organization. Such a program could abolish unemployment and poverty and help reconstructing the country.

 

  1. The popular insurrection has become such a massive force that various bourgeois and petty-bourgeois forces are now claiming to support their demands. Among them are the petty-bourgeois nationalist and Islamist movement around the powerful Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr as well as the most important religious Shia authority, the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. These are sure signs how strong the movement has become! However, we warn that these leaders will try to utilize this movement only in order to replace the current government with one of them. But no one should have any illusions: these figures have no interest to eradicate misery from which the masses are suffering!

 

  1. The RCIT considers the current events as a sure sign that the Iraqi people have joined now the second wave of the Arab Revolution. The Great Arab Revolution finds its heroic expressions in the ongoing liberation struggles of the Syrian people against the tyrant Assad, of the people in Sudan and Algeria, of the Egypt people fighting against the tyrant Sisi, of the Libyan people against General Haftar, of the Yemeni people against the Saudi invasion, and now the Iraqi people. The Syrian people demonstrating today on the streets of Idlib have waved the flags of Egypt and Iraq, expressing their support for their brothers and sisters in these countries. They chanted that the struggle for freedom and against tyranny is one and the same – against Assad the butcher, Sisi the killed as well as against Abdel Mahdi who is now slaughtering the Iraqi people! We repeat what we stated recently in another RCIT statement: Revolutionaries must support these struggles and advocate uniting them into a single Intifada of the entire Middle East – from Baghdad and Nasiriya, Algiers, Khartoum, Idlib, Tripoli, Sanaʽa, Gaza, Cairo to Teheran!

 

  1. Most importantly, liberation fighters should work together in building revolutionary parties – in combination with building a Revolutionary World Party! We urge activists to unite on the basis of a program of socialist liberation and solidarity with the struggles of workers and oppressed in other countries. Join the RCIT in tackling this great task!

 

* Build popular councils at work places, neighborhoods, universities and villages!

 

* Create self-defense committees!

 

* Organize a general strike! Victory to the popular insurrection!

 

* For a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly!

 

* For a workers and poor peasants government!

 

* Forward to the second wave of the Arab Revolution! Long live the socialist world revolution!

 

* For a revolutionary party as part of a revolutionary world party!

 

 

 

International Bureau of the RCIT

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

We refer readers to our website where the RCIT has published numerous booklets, statements and articles the revolutionary process and counter-revolutionary setbacks in Egypt and the Arab world. They can be viewed here: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/. In particular we draw attention to the following documents:

 

Yossi Schwartz: On the Background of the Popular Uprising of the Iraqi People, 04.10.2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/background-of-popular-uprising-of-the-iraqi-people/

 

RCIT: Iraq: Long Live the Popular Insurrection! Bring Down the Government of Haider al-Abadi! Build Popular Councils! For a Workers and Poor Peasants Government! 17 July 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/long-live-the-popular-insurrection-in-iraq/

 

RCIT: Egypt: Bring Down the Tyrant Sisi! Spontaneous mass protests shatter the military dictatorship of General Sisi, 23.09.2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-bring-down-the-tyrant-sisi/

 

RCIT: Yemen: Another Humiliating Blow for the Saudi Aggressors! Yemeni popular resistance eliminates three pro-Saudi military brigades, 02.10.2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/yemen-another-humiliating-blow-for-the-saudi-aggressors/

 

 

 

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RED LIBERATION : RCIT IN BRITAIN

cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngRevolutionary Change to End Climate Change!

 

Only expropriation of the capitalist corporations opens the road towards the end of climate change

 

Statement by the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 20 September 2019, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

The youth based initiative Fridays for Future (FFF) called for a week-long “Earth Strike”, beginning with 20th September 2019. This is a very important and highly necessary campaign which has rightly received the support of millions of workers, poor peasants and youth around the world. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) strongly welcomes and supports this initiative!

 

The Global Week for Future is supported by various forces including NGOs and even some trade unions. The goal of FFF is to convince the capitalists respectively the imperialist governments all around the world to implement environmental protection measures, which can assure that the goals of the Paris Agreement will be met. However, even the full implementation of the Paris Agreement would not stop the ongoing climate change but just postpone the turning point towards an entirely new climate that the planet is currently heading towards.

 

The current emissions trend will bring a new era of climate disasters by 2029 (!) in Sri Lanka, 2031 in Mexico and 2034 in India. Western imperialist countries, i.e. those which caused the climate catastrophe from its very beginning, are more likely to enter the new stage around 2050. Even with the Paris Agreement this catastrophe will be postponed for another 20 years but it will not be stopped. In any case, without a radical political and economic change, we will face the beginning of the end of human life on earth. Rulers like Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro seem like the type of capitalists who destroy the nature recklessly but in reality all capitalists are the evil.

 

The Paris Agreement is based on the idea of conserving the capitalist system which is the reason for the upcoming catastrophe. When the earth is literally burning all ruling classes are mainly concerned to hold to the capitalist means of production. Only a total and radical change can nearly recreate nature as it was before capitalism started the countdown of extinction. Only expropriation of the capitalist classes via socialist revolutions, i.e. armed uprisings of the workers and oppressed, can enable to save nature and with it humanity!

 

Fridays for Future supports legal and peaceful actions which are agreed by governments and their state repression apparatus. The political stance of the FFF movement means that those who caused the climate catastrophe shall change their behavior because they are asked nicely to do so. But those who cause the climate catastrophe, i.e. the ruling classes worldwide and mainly in the imperialist countries of the US, EU, Japan, Australia, China and Russia, are responsible for super-exploitation and imperialist wars up to genocides against the workers and oppressed! It is ridiculous to appeal to these killers to stop destroying woods and end polluting our air and water.

 

The FFF is currently challenged by more radical forces like the Extinction Rebellion which has prominent members like Carola Rakete, the former captain of the Sea Watch saving refugees of getting drowned. Extinction Rebellion is open towards forms of protest which can lead to arrests but their radicalism is limited to non-violent, grassroots actions like blockade tactics and sit-down strikes.

 

There is no more time to waste for the vanguard of the working classes, supported by the oppressed worldwide to become the leading force in the environmental movement! Only we understand that those who are exploiting and oppressing us are those who are burning down the planet that is our home. Only we can organize general strikes up to armed insurrections to expropriate these beasts and to start a worldwide planned economy that is willing to do whatever necessary in order to save the planet and with it humanity! The movement of Fridays for Future and forces like Extinction Rebellion made an important start.

 

The RCIT proposes as the next step the organization not only of a symbolic but of a proper international general strike. Such a general strike should target in particular the capitalist corporations, i.e. those responsible for the destruction of the environment. Activists should build committees in work places, neighborhoods and schools in order to organize mass actions and to push the trade union and other mass popular organizations to take a central role in such activities. Such a general strike should be an important step in order to plan the occupation of these capitalist corporations.

 

However, we need a truly international mass movement. Without our brothers and sisters in the semi-colonial countries, who are the first ones to suffer from the climate catastrophe, the environmental movement can not turn into what it needs to become: An internationalist and socialist movement! Our planet got sick from the capitalist class, only socialist revolution can cure it!

 

 

 

International Bureau of the RCIT

 

 

 

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