The withdrawal of the US from Afghanistan and the fall of Kabul to the Taliban showed the decline of the world's only remaining superpower. British imperialism had been a part of the occupation since the invasion of 2001. The failure of the US was shared by the UK, which has been further reduced in its status among the second and third-rate powers.
Low wages and harsh working conditions are pushing HGV drivers out of the haulage industry. Due to the shortage of truckers and workers in other industries, large parts of the country are not being supplied: petrol stations are drying out, restaurants are closing, shelves in supermarkets remain half-empty and abattoirs cannot process meat. Planning by the national state brings no solution to the anarchic nature of the capitalist mode of production.
Albrecht Dürer, The Four Riders of the Apocalypse
The “end of the world” foreseen in ancient and mediaeval apocalypses really signalled the end of a particular mode of production, which was to be replaced by a new mode of production, a new form of class rule. But capitalism is the last class society, and its headlong drive towards the abyss faces humanity with the single alternative: communist revolution or the destruction of humanity.
The Tory government presents itself as the “People’s Government”, committed to a programme of “levelling up” of those workers who have been “left behind” by an economic crisis, which is blamed on “globalisation”. This populist world view is now being revealed in all its poverty and mendacity by the very measures being taken by the same government, which attack social benefits, wage levels, and job security.
C.L.R. James in 1938
In part two of this series on the proletarian struggle against racism in the U.S., we examined the positions in the Socialist Labour Party (SLP) and in the Socialist Party of America (SPA) at the end of capitalism’s ascendant phase. In the third part of the series, we look at how revolutionaries in the US analysed the problem in the period of capitalist decadence opened up by the First World War.
The report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change paints a grim picture of the mounting ecological crisis, but the governments of the world, loyal servants of capitalism, are incapable of addressing the roots of the problem. Faced with a looming catastrophe, competition between capitalist states can only intensify.
In the preceding parts of this series we have highlighted the opportunist weaknesses which were at the base of the constitution of the Communist International (CI), both on the programmatic and on the organisational levels. This part will tackle the final period of the CI as an organisation of the working class.
The global Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across all continents with all states unable to make a coordinated response. Indeed, the main events of the last two months confirm the deadly dynamic into which capitalism is plunging civilisation. Discuss and contribute to the ideas outlined in this editorial at online meetings organised by the ICC – see the information below.
Dates for online discussions:
Saturday October 16th for participants from Asia /Europe, starting at UK time 11am, and on Sunday October 17th for participants from Europe/USA, starting at UK time 6.00pm.
While the Covid-19 crisis has persisted for almost two years with its heavy health, social, political and economic impact on most of the world's states, this has in no way moderated their imperialist appetites. The rise in tensions has been particularly marked in recent months by a clear exacerbation of the opposition between the USA and China, highlighted most recently by the so-called “Aukus” agreement between the US, Britain and Australia, and explicitly aimed at China.
In the face of the looming ecological catastrophe, disquiet and indignation are immense, as shown by the “marches for the climate” in 2019, which mobilised millions of young people from many countries. New protests are now taking place in many countries. At the time, we showed that these marches were situated on a totally bourgeois terrain. This is why we invite our readers to read or re-read the international leaflet we distributed at the first marches of 2019, which remains fully valid.
The first of two articles analysing the fact that USA’s rise to world dominance also coincides with the course of a world system in decline. In particular, it became a global superpower through imperialist war becoming the “way of life” of decadent capitalism.
The strike at the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico) clearly shows that the proletariat has kept intact its capacity to fight for the defence of its living and working conditions, despite the many difficulties and obstacles in the current situation.
The exasperation expressed in “anti-compulsory vaccine” demonstrations around the world rails against being subjected to the diktats of arrogant government which has piled up inconsistencies in the face of the pandemic, imposing repeated lock-down confinements after continually opening up too soon or boasting of a scientific approach while what is in fact foremost is bourgeois negligence. But protests of this kind can in no way lead to a development of consciousness in the proletariat of the irremediable impasse of the capitalist system.
To mark the 20th ‘anniversary’ of the September 11 attacks in New York, we draw our readers’ attention to our lead article from International Review 107, “New York and the world over: Capitalism sows death”. The article denounces the massacre of thousands of civilians, the majority of them proletarians, as an act of imperialist war, but at the same time exposes the hypocritical tears shed by the ruling class. As the article says, “The attack on New York was not an ‘attack on civilisation’, it was itself the expression of bourgeois ‘civilisation’”.
We are publishing an article written by our comrades in Spain about the surge in lay-offs following in the wake of the pandemic. But as the article insists, “Lay-offs are not limited to Spain, they are happening all over the world”. Workers everywhere will not emerge from lockdowns to enjoy a “better world” but will be faced with increasing attacks on their living standards at all levels, demanding, as the article also insists, a unified response from the working class.
The focus of this report is on the general perspective: where is the world economy heading after the great cataclysm that erupted with the Covid pandemic?
The hasty retreat of US and other western forces from Afghanistan is a stark manifestation of capitalism’s inability to offer anything but increasing barbarism. But as marxists we can’t just comment on events, we have to analyse their historic roots, which we aim to do in the following article.
We continue publishing the main reports on the world situation from the 24th ICC Congress. This report examines some of the main issues facing the international class struggle in the phase of capitalist decomposition: the problem of the politicisation of the class movement, the dangers posed by interclassism, the subterranean maturation of consciousness, and the meaning of defeats in this period.