ON every front – the economic, the political and the ideological – the capitalist ruling classes and their system are reeling and in desperate crisis.
Less than a decade after the 2007 banking collapse, the system is hurtling towards an even bigger economic and political catastrophe.
After ten years of austerity to save the hide of the bankers and the bosses, the message of the ex-chief of the Bank of England, King, is that, like the Bourbons, the bosses and bankers have learnt nothing and are proceeding in the expectation that society has a duty to rescue them once again, by accepting more massive austerity measures.
In this fraught situation, most of the skeletons, such as the Panama Papers, are rattling out of the cupboards, increasing the anger of the masses at the greed and ruthlessness of the ruling classes.
Junior doctors are expected to work for much longer for much less, with women doctors accepting an inferior role. They will not. Steelworkers are expected to go quietly with their families over the edge of the abyss – They will not! The mass of the people are being asked to accept homelessness as a way of life – they will not! Instead they will make a revolution!
This change is taking place worldwide – not just in the UK. In the US, millions of workers and youth are prepared to vote for a socialist to be the US Democratic Party’s candidate in the presidential election – This is a revolution in itself!
In France, a massive movement of workers and youth is taking to the streets to battle the hated CRS riot police to stop the ‘socialist’ government bringing in new anti-union laws! Greece is now erupting with general strikes to stop the further looting of the country by the European Commission, which is busily using the Turkish military police state to stop refugees coming to Europe!
The crisis of capitalism is driving forward world revolution! It is also creating a huge crisis for the Putin-led Stalinist bureaucracy. Putin came to power to prevent a political revolution from overthrowing the sections of the bureaucracy that wanted to restore capitalism in 100 days.
His role was to balance with one foot on the oligarchs and the other on the working class, a testing role made possible by high oil prices. These are no more and the struggle between the working class and the oligarchs is now set to explode. To cut their losses, the oligarchs want a 100% privatisation programme to liquidate all of the gains of the October Revolution.
One of the features of the Panama Papers was the number of Russian oligarchs that were hiding their cash in secret accounts in the Virgin Islands. The Russian Business Secretary Alexei Repik, the head of Business Russia, explained the issue in the following terms: ‘Entrepreneurs carry out transactions through companies registered in offshore jurisdictions for two main purposes: to conceal information about themselves and mask their capital. It is no longer possible and will never be possible to do that legally.’
He called for adjusting the existing Russian laws to make it more attractive for striking deals with foreign partners. ‘We hope that the lawmaking process in Russia will contribute to making the Russian jurisdiction more comfortable for structuring this type of deal (with foreign investors), and that this argument will become irrelevant overtime,’ Repik said.
On cue on Wednesday, President Putin unveilled the National Guard (see page 5) of which his press spokesman Peskov said: ‘One can assume that, of course, it will take part in suppressing unauthorised actions.’
The Russian oligarchs are seeking a way out of the crisis by liquidating all of the gains of the Russian revolution. There is no doubt that the working class will respond with a struggle to restore the USSR and rule through soviets through a political revolution.
Socialists in the West must defend the Russian revolution. Their most important contribution will be to build the Fourth International, the world party of the socialist revolution, to overthrow the US and UK imperialists so that the Russian workers can take care of the oligarchs, free from the intervention of the imperialists. This is the struggle that is ahead. Now is the time to build sections of the Fourth International in every country.