LEADERS of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank came out yesterday with dire warnings about the emerging ‘currency war’.
Speaking on the eve of the six-monthly meetings of these international organisations – set up in the 1940’s to try to regulate and stabilise capitalism in the wake of the 1929 crash, the 1931 slump and the Second World War – they raised the spectre of a return to the trade protectionism that US and world capitalism embarked upon in the 1930s, whose end product was fascism and war.
In fact, the current crisis is much more concentrated than the 1930s, and constitutes the last stages of the death agony of the capitalist system.
We have had the worldwide banking crash which is continuing, we are into the slump that is deepening, and have reached the stage where imperialism has begun to fight it out with the working class at home, while threatening the Stalinist bureaucracy that rules the Chinese deformed workers’ state that if it refuses to revalue its currency, the yuan, a state of war between the US and China is not too far away.
The US is charging China with deliberately holding down the value of the yuan in order to flood America with cheap consumer goods.
Already, the US Senate has approved legislation that would enable punitive tariffs to be levied on Chinese imports.
As far as the Chinese Stalinist leaders are concerned, no matter how much they wish to peacefully co-exist with world capitalism, breathing down their necks is a massive movement amongst Chinese workers, tens of millions of whom now work in big factories and who are pushing up their wages with big strike actions.
The Chinese Stalinists, in vain, have warned the US imperialists that they must understand that if they revalue the yuan and the Chinese workers are put out of work, the revolutionary consequences will be world shattering.
The trade war, now termed a ‘currency war’, is not limited to the US and China. Japan, South Korea and many other far eastern countries have also taken steps to effectively devalue their currencies to drive up their exports, and ruin their rivals.
In the EU, the main proponent of this policy is the UK. The pound has been crashed to aid exports, but poor feeble British capitalism has found that it no longer has the industrial base to produce the commodities for export.
European governments – including Cameron’s coalition – are becoming increasingly terrified of an emerging trade war which will collapse the weak economies of countries like Britain, Ireland and even the so-called strong ones like Germany.
Totally confounded by all this are the Blairs and the Browns, who said that under ‘globalisation’ the crisis of capitalism had been resolved, whereas it has actually concentrated the contradictions of the crisis in the most explosive way possible.
The reality is that globalisation (the crisis of world capitalism) is driving forward bank crashes, slumps, trade wars and revolutions with seven-league boots.
The depth of this crisis constitutes the death agony of the capitalist system, where the system is unable to further develop the productive forces, and can only survive by destroying them, including their most vital part, the working class, in a way that will dwarf all previous crises and catastrophes.
There is only one remedy for this crisis. It is the world socialist revolution to put the outmoded system of capitalist production into its grave, to go forward to a planned socialist economy and a socialist society.
For this struggle the revolutionary leadership of the Fourth International is essential. Build its sections everywhere!