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The News Line: Editorial WE ARE APPROACHNG A MOMENT OF TRUTH SAYS OSBORNE KARL MARX was able to show that one of the fundamental contradictions of the capitalist system was the conflict between the need of the productive forces to develop and the private ownership of the means of production and the capitalist nation state.

This contradiction showed itself first of all in the boom-slump-boom cyclical crises that are inseparable from the anarchy of capitalist production, and which periodically destroyed the productive forces before they advanced once more, as in a spiral.

In the imperialist epoch, where finance capital dominates, this contradiction unleashes itself most powerfully when collapses in production drive forward financial collapses, when the attempts of the banks to defy the law of value lead to banks going under and then to collapses of currencies.

This crisis was seen in Weimar Germany in the 1920s, and then in the 1929 crash and the 1930s slump, leading to wars and revolutions.

Another monetary collapse and economic slump is now under way, with a worldwide capitalist crisis driving forward a collapse of the banking system and production.

One of the high priests of the attempts by the banks to defy the law of value was Gordon Brown. He famously sold off part of the UK gold reserves in favour of euros, accompanying this with his declaration that by encouraging massive domestic debt he had resolved the crisis of capitalism, relegating boom and bust and the crisis to the history books.

This all looks embarrassingly stupid at this moment, in the face of the collapsing euro and the preparations to mount a 100 billion euros ‘rescue’ of the Spanish banks in the wake of the catastrophes in Greece, Ireland, Italy and Portugal, and the fears that the French and German banks will be next. This is being accompanied by the fearful squeals of alarm from Obama and Cameron that something must be done at once, before the economies of the US and the UK are destroyed.

What has emerged is the historical crisis of capitalism, as a completely bankrupt, outmoded system whose productive forces can only survive and develop after a socialist revolution and reorganisation of production and society.

Even Chancellor Osborne has stated an aspect of the obvious, though somewhat late in the day, that ‘we’ have reached ‘a moment of truth’.

Hitler sought to unite Europe, after Germany rearmed and spent its way out of the 1930s slump, as a means to ‘balance its books’, through a war to unite Europe under the heel of German capitalism and to colonise Russia.

Today, Chancellor Osborne, while opportunistically blaming the crisis of the euro for the failure of his ‘UK recovery’, is seeking a way out of the developing collapse. He is telling Chancellor Merkel that German capitalism must advance to dominate a single European state, presumably using any means that are necessary against the working class – as long as the UK’s bankers and bosses are excluded from the new arrangements.

In fact, he is exhibiting the complete historical bankruptcy of the British bourgeoisie.

Long ago in the 1920s Leon Trotsky had the following to say about the attempts of the bourgeoisie to establish a united Europe.

He said: ‘A more or less complete economic unification of Europe accomplished from above through an agreement between capitalist governments is a utopia. Along this road matters cannot proceed beyond partial compromises and half measures.’

He added: ‘Needless to say, Lenin rejected the possibility that a capitalist United States of Europe could be realised. That was also my approach to the question when I advanced the slogan of the United States of Europe exclusively as a prospective state form of the proletarian dictatorship in Europe.’

We are now witnessing the death agony of capitalism. The task for the workers of Europe, including the workers of Germany and the UK is to overthrow capitalism in Europe with socialist revolutions, and advance to the Socialist United States of Europe.
 
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