IN THE Daily Telegraph of January 1st one Robert Tombs writes under a headline: ‘As in 1914 and 1939, we may be sleepwalking towards a global war that nothing can stop.’
He is struck by the powerlessness of British imperialism and ends his piece with: ‘We have to trust that our highest values are of universal appeal and not just a ‘‘Western peculiarity’’. For that, we need to regain the confidence to speak not just for ourselves, but for people everywhere.’
British imperialism will not be saved by values, whether they are higher or not.
The reality is that the imperialist powers are today in the last stages of their death agony and are having to fight not just against the working class at home but against the workers’ states of Russia and China.
In 1914, the imperialist powers were at the height of their power, when German imperialism made its bid for world domination.
This came to grief on the rocks of the Russian revolution, of 1917 when the Bolsheviks organised the working class which had smashed Tsarism in February 1917 to go forward to Soviet power in October. Then under the leadership of the Bolsheviks, an unequal peace treaty was signed with Germany, that backfired on the German ruling class when the German Fleet raised the red flag and the German workers moved to end the war, and sent the Kaiser into exile.
Bolshevism went on to establish the Soviet Union and a planned economy.
With Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, the imperialists heaved a sigh of relief that Hitler would attack Bolshevism. When he did in 1941, despite Stalin’s unpreparedness, the Soviet economy and workers were so strong that they were able to drive the Hitlerites out of Russia and the Second World War ended with the Red Army taking the German capital Berlin.
The defeat of German fascism was followed by the Chinese working class taking power in 1949, when Mao proclaimed the People’s Republic, a victory that changed the world for ever.
China is now the number one industrial power on the planet and its military is well equipped and powerful.
Imperialism will never surrender, but the prospect of British imperialism and the USA tackling Russia and China is obviously unnerving Tombs and many others, who are feeling that the day of British capitalism has gone, and all it has to fight with are some allegedly ‘higher values’.
Also in the Telegraph of the same date, one Lord Sumption bares his soul stating that: ‘It’s irrational to ruin our lives to save the NHS.’
He states: ‘It’s time to question the sacred cow of modern Britain: That controlling Covid to protect the health service is more important than everything else.’ His solution is: ‘The rational alternative is to do what human beings have done from time immemorial, namely to take periodical epidemics of potentially mortal diseases on the chin.’
Further: ‘An overwhelmed health service is a bad thing. We can all agree on that. But it is not the worst thing that can happen to a society.’
This perspective opens up the prospects for the NHS budget to be cut down to size, to purchase the bombs and missiles to fight the Russian and Chinese workers.
Sumption concludes: ‘We have lives to live and there is more to life than the avoidance of death.’
However, the working class in the UK will fight to defend the NHS. They will not allow it to be smashed and destroyed to relieve the pressure off debt-ridden British capitalism.
In fact, the working class in the UK will mobilise and force the TUC to call a general strike to defend the NHS and the right that the working class has won to have proper healthcare from the cradle to the grave.
The NHS was won when the millions of troops who returned in 1945 after defeating Hitler, insisted that the Attlee government that won with a landslide had to establish the NHS.
Today’s working class will organise a general strike to defend the NHS by going forward to a workers government that will expropriate the bosses and the bankers and bring in a planned socialist economy to satisfy the needs of the people.
This is the struggle that is now underway, to replace backward capitalism with the victory of the worldwide socialist revolution!