THE ANNUAL get-together of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at the Swiss resort of Davos has been hit by a number of notable absences including Theresa May, Donald Trump and French president Emmanuel Macron.
Every year the world political leaders meet with the leading bankers, industrialists and assorted billionaires to set out their ‘vision’ for global capitalism and fulfil the remit of the WEF, which grandly states its role is ‘improving the state of the world’.
No wonder that those attending Davos this year are meeting under a black cloud of fear with the founder of the WEF, Klaus Schwab, warning that politicians and business leaders must bring about a new ‘inclusive’ global system of capitalism and somehow close the gap between the obscenely wealthy and the working class and impoverished masses of the world, whose lives have been devastated by the international crisis of capitalism.
This chasm was highlighted by the report from the charity Oxfam showing that the 26 richest billionaires in the world own as many assets as the 3.8 billion people who constitute the poorest half of the world’s population. The fear that stalks Davos is the fear of world revolution as the working class rise up in country after country against a capitalist system that can offer nothing but poverty and starvation while enriching the bankers and speculators.
It is this revolutionary crisis that accounts for the unprecedented absence of May, Trump and Macron along with Zimbabwe president Emmerson Mnangagwa. Last year Trump attended his first Davos conference together with all his top advisors. Then he was welcomed as a hero by the bankers and bosses, and embraced by them for the billions of dollars of hand-outs in the form of cuts to corporate income tax that fuelled a stock market frenzy as they gorged on all this ‘free’ money to drive the world stocks to unprecedented levels. This year things have changed dramatically, with Trump pulling the entire US delegation out of attending.
With the crisis in the US caused by his partial shutdown of the federal government, now entering its second month and the longest in American history, Trump is facing an increasingly enraged working class, forcing him to cancel. 800,000 federal employees are either made to stay at home without pay or, for those in vital jobs like traffic control, forced to work without pay over Trump’s intransigence over funding to build his ‘wall’ with Mexico.
At the same time, Trump’s trade war with the rest of the world is destroying swathes of manufacturing industry and making nonsense of his boast of bringing jobs back to America. Macron can’t attend as he is in the middle of a political crisis of his own and facing a mass uprising of French workers and youth, the Yellow Vest movement.
After failing to smash this revolutionary movement, despite the use of armed riot police and the threat to shoot protesters down, Macron has launched a Big Debate designed to prove that he is ‘listening’ to the people and their grievances.
What is rocking Macron is that, far from being diverted by worthless debates, this movement is increasingly making revolutionary demands to kick him and his government out, and for a ‘Frexit’ vote to leave the EU – a demand that is increasingly being voiced by German and other workers across the EU.
May is unable to attend as the Tory government is in a state of meltdown having suffered the biggest ever defeat in Parliament last week, and only keeping going through the refusal of the Labour Party leadership to mount any real campaign to bring it down so determined are they to overturn the referendum result and keep British capitalism in a permanent customs union with the EU.
The working class internationally is rising up against capitalist austerity and refusing to toe-the-line of the bankers and bosses, thus creating an historic political crisis for the bourgeoisie across the world. There have never been more favourable conditions for the building of the WRP and Young Socialists in Britain and revolutionary parties of the Fourth International in every country to lead this movement to the victory of the world socialist revolution.