New Year Manifesto by the News Line Editorial Board
THE News Line Editorial Board sends its warmest revolutionary greetings for 2018 to all our readers, to the working class, young people and the poor of the world.
In 2017 their continued mass interventions in defence of their living conditions, wages, benefits and their fight against imperialist plundering has resulted in a historic crisis for the ruling class.
Across the world in the advanced capitalist nations the old traditional parties of the ruling class have been thrown into utter chaos by this revolutionary movement of workers and youth. Nowhere has this been more apparent and more dangerous for the ruling class than in Britain.
The Tory government of Theresa May entered 2017 still reeling from the defeat they suffered at the hands of the working class in the EU referendum but confident that they could deal the killer blow to the Labour opposition and secure a Tory government with a majority of over 100 by calling a snap general election in June.
Such a government was essential for May to carry out the massive increase in the austerity attacks on the working class. In the event the Tories suffered an historic defeat.They lost their majority and were forced to survive as a minority government with the support of ten DUP MPs. This manoeuvre cost the taxpayer £1.2bn.
This minority Tory government is the weakest, most split and divided government ever seen. In the last weeks before the New Year, three of May’s cabinet were sacked over sleaze allegations or, in the case of Priti Patel, for secret meetings with Israeli politicians behind May’s back. Never has there been a situation where any government, let alone a minority one, lost three leading cabinet ministers and survived.
The only reason that this Tory government is able to stagger on into the New Year is the stubborn refusal of the Labour leadership to bring it down. They are terrified of the prospect of being elected on the wave of an uprising by the working class against all the savage austerity cuts and against the determination of the capitalist class to overturn the Brexit vote and keep bankrupt British capitalism tied to the EU.
The right-wing of the Labour Party is now openly proclaiming their intention to split the party and join with the Tories to smash the referendum result and enter an anti-Brexit coalition to carry on the war against the working class to completely privatise the NHS and destroy all the gains of the welfare state in order to pay off the debts of the bankers.
These leaders have the support of the leadership of the TUC which has done nothing to fight any of these attacks and which is today only interested in organising with the right-wing to overturn the Brexit vote. These leaders are today just a prop of this Tory government and its policy of permanent austerity.
The crisis ripping apart the Tories, Labour and the TUC leaders has flung open the doors to the development of a new revolutionary leadership by the WRP in the coming months around the demands for the organisation of a general strike to bring down the Tories and advance to a workers government that will expropriate the bosses and bankers, nationalise the banks and industry and place them under workers management for the benefit of the working class.
This workers government will join with the developing struggles of the working class throughout Europe in the fight to topple the EU and replace it with a Socialist United States of Europe. The political crisis of the bourgeoisie in Britain is part of the world capitalist crisis which is directly reflected in the political crisis of the parties of the ruling class throughout the continent.
In Germany, the dominant European capitalist nation, the old established political order is in complete chaos following the federal elections held in September 2017. Angela Merkel, the ‘strong woman’ of the EU saw the collapse of the vote for the once dominant Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and with it the collapse of the right-wing coalition she has led since 2005.
Since these elections, Germany, the economic and political ‘powerhouse’ of the EU, has been without a government as she tries to cobble together a new coalition. The leading nation of the EU is in a state of complete political collapse. To the left, there is a mass revolutionary movement of workers led by young people which saw 100,000 demonstrators laying siege to the G20 gathering of world leaders in Hamburg last July.
On the right is a growing right-wing anti-immigration party, the AfD which won over 12% of the vote in the elections. The only way forward for the German working class is to take the power in 2018.
In fact, the struggle for socialist revolution in the coming year is facing the working class of the whole of Europe where every single nation is gripped by a huge crisis. In France, the right-wing government of Emmanuel Macron, elected in 2017 because of a historically unprecedented boycott of the election by French workers, is facing a never-ending series of actions and one-day general strikes by public sector workers against his proposed dismantling of labour laws.
French workers have shown they are not prepared to sit back and see Macron smash their rights and give the bosses the legal right to cut wages, and to hire and fire at will without compensation.
The only way to defend their rights will be to bring down Macron and advance to a workers government in the coming year.
In Spain the massive movement of workers throughout Europe has resulted in an outright confrontation between the Catalan masses and the Spanish ruling class, a confrontation that has seen armed police and troops used to try and smash the first independence referendum through physical force.
This return to the methods of the dictator Franco has not intimidated the Catalan masses who dealt an even bigger blow to the capitalist class of Spain and Europe when they voted in December once again for independence. The capitalist EU is breaking up under the onslaught of a working class that is not prepared to see its lives smashed up to bail-out the bankers.
2018 will be the year that the working class of Europe and Britain will join together in the struggle to smash the EU and replace it with the Socialist United States of Europe. This is the period when the building of revolutionary sections of the Fourth International throughout Europe to lead the coming socialist revolution will be decisive.
The intervention of the working class that has destroyed all the old political certainties of the ruling class in Europe and Britain is also being seen in America. The vast majority of workers and young people effectively broke with the traditional party of the trade unions, the Democrats, in the presidential election in 2016, refusing to support the Wall Street candidate Hillary Clinton.
The first year of Donald Trump’s presidency has opened a new stage in the class war against US workers. Trump’s promise to make American capitalism ‘great again’ is to be achieved solely at the expense of the working class. In December, Trump and the Republicans approved gigantic tax cuts for the rich, large corporations and the banks.
The rich are in line for a massive pay rise as corporation tax is cut from 35% to 21%, handing them and the banks $1.5 trillion, a hand-out that will be added to the existing $20 trillion US national debt. This hand-out to the capitalist class will be paid for by the working class and poor through swingeing cuts to welfare and health provision, driving millions of US workers even further into the abyss of poverty.
In the coming year US workers will take action against Trump and the Republican Party. They must demand that their unions break decisively with the Democrats and form a Labour Party that will mobilise the masses of working people and the poor to expropriate the bosses and bankers that are reaping untold wealth under Trump and overthrow American capitalism to advance to a Socialist United States of America.
All the conditions for building a US section of the International Committee of the Fourth International to lead the American socialist revolution in 2018 exist in abundance – now is the time to go forward and build the revolutionary party in the US.
With the working class in the advanced capitalist countries rising up in a revolutionary movement that is tearing up the old political order of the ruling class, imperialism has suffered continued defeats in its drive to re-conquer the world for capitalist exploitation.
News Line sends its warmest revolutionary greetings to the Palestinian people who celebrate on Sunday 31st December the 53rd anniversary of the launch of the Palestinian revolution to free their land from Zionist occupation. For the past 53 years, the Palestinians have fought heroically against the oppressors and their imperialist backers.
Their struggle has entered a new stage in 2018 with the provocative support for Israel by US imperialism in the form of Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of the apartheid Israeli state. Trump’s actions have backfired, uniting all Palestinian factions and the whole Palestinian people in rising up to make Jerusalem the capital of a free Palestinian state, an uprising that will have the support of the Arab masses and the working class of the world. 2018 will be the year that the Palestinian people, strengthened by the defeat of imperialism in Syria, will march forward towards the independent state of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital.
The revolutionary upheavals throughout the world are also exploding throughout southern Africa.
News Line sends its revolutionary greetings and support to the workers, youth and rural poor in Zimbabwe who in November turned out in their millions to force an end to the rule of President Mugabe. This followed an army coup designed to head off a workers revolution if Mugabe carried out his threat to name his wife as successor to the presidency.
Mugabe was forced out and replaced as leader of the ruling Zanu-PF by his former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa. These manoeuvres will not satisfy the working class and poor who are sick of the corruption and exploitation by a black bourgeoisie that assumed power following the nationalist struggles to end white rule.
The Zimbabwe masses will in 2018 drive forward to oust the bourgeois regime of Zanu-PF. The masses will build their section of the ICFI and go forward to a Workers Republic that will nationalise the land and major industries, giving the land to the rural people and organising collective farms that will produce the food for the mass of the people. The revolutionary movement that is sweeping through Zimbabwe is spreading throughout the southern part of Africa.
In South Africa, the ruling ANC party was forced to dump the equally corrupt president Jacob Zuma in the face of an insurrectionary movement within the powerful working class. This movement has seen the emergence of new independent trade unions and political parties demanding an end to capitalist exploitation.
This movement has created an unprecedented crisis within the ANC and its two main supporters, the Cosatu trade union federation and the Stalinist South African Communist Party, which have ruled the country since the overthrow of apartheid and completely embraced capitalism whilst enriching themselves at the same time.
Zuma has been replaced by the hated Cyril Ramaphosa, a man who epitomises the degeneration of the ANC. Ramaphosa turned from liberation fighter and trade union leader into a multi-millionaire businessman who sits on the board of Lonmin, the company that owned the Marikana platinum mine where 37 striking miners were shot down in cold blood by the state police six years ago.
This massacre, that Ramaphosa encouraged and excused, exposed the lengths the ANC government were prepared to go to protect the capitalists’ profits. The South African working class hates those that transformed themselves from liberation fighters into billionaire servants of world capitalism whose job it is to keep the South African workers under control.
There is now a revolution taking place within the Cosatu trade unions, and amongst the masses of workers and youth. Masses of workers are breaking with the ANC and the Communist Party and are beginning the organisation of a Labour Party to fight for socialism, and for a workers and small farmers government that will put an end to South African capitalism.
A measure of the revolutionary development in South Africa was given in a statement issued by the new independent trade union federation that emerged in opposition to the ANC and Cosatu. A statement from a meeting of the NEC of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (founded in 2017 representing 21 affiliated unions with over 700,000 workers) concluded with the words:
‘As we celebrate the centenary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, it is time for the South African working class to say that enough is enough, and follow the example of the Russian workers who overthrew not only the Tsar and feudal aristocracy but the emerging capitalist system. It is even more necessary for us to overthrow our diseased and rotting capitalist system.’
To this statement we must insist that the lesson of the Russian Revolution was the decisive role of the revolutionary party, the Bolsheviks, led by Lenin and Trotsky and guided by the revolutionary theory of Marxism. This is the vital lesson for the working class and masses of the world.
2018 will be the year for building revolutionary parties of the International Committee of the Fourth International in every country to lead the world socialist revolution to victory. In fact the revolutions that will sweep through the capitalist world, will end the isolation of the Russian and Chinese workers and create the conditions for political revolutions to overthrow the Stalinist bureaucracies, as part of the victory of the world socialist revolution!