BOTH Washington and London were yesterday involved in a desperate race against the clock.
Labour let it be known, Sunday mid morning, that it will nationalise the Bradford and Bingley bank, and most probably amalgamate it with the already bankrupted and nationalised Northern Rock Bank.
The decision was leaked so as to avoid a run on the bank and its complete share wipe out as soon as the London stock market opens on Monday morning.
In Washington, the Senate leaders were in permanent session and pledged early Sunday morning that before the Asian and European stock markets opened, the Senate will have met and carried a written and completed Bill directing the $700 billion bail out of the collapsed US banking system by buying its bad debts.
It is predicted that a failure to do this will see a worldwide 20-30 per cent share price collapse with the London stock market falling by 1,000 points and £250bn.
The measures taken in both Washington and London are essentially to try to keep alive for a few years more, a system of production for profit, based on the private ownership of the means of production, which has been in its death agony for decades.
Of course, it is to be kept alive by imposing big job cuts, wage cuts, tax hikes and home repossessions on the working class and the middle class.
Capitalism and crisis are inseparable. Ever since the days of the South Sea Bubble in 1720, it has been punctuated by booms during which the productive forces are developed, which then transform themselves into slumps when a vast portion of the productive forces were destroyed through financial and industrial collapses, trade wars and then imperialist wars to divide and redivide the world.
VI Lenin, on the eve of the 1917 Russian revolution, analysed imperialism as the highest and last stage of capitalism, the period of its death agony, the epoch of wars and revolutions, and in particular the socialist revolution, through which humanity would advance to a higher form of society – socialism and then communism, under which the anarchy of capitalist production would give way to planned production to satisfy people’s needs.
The imperialist world war of 1914 was brought to an end by the Russian revolution of 1917, which was the start of the world socialist revolution.
The 1929 crash opened up an epoch of wars and revolutions which saw the Red Army advance to Berlin and the successful 1949 Chinese revolution.
The crash of 2007-2008, during which the bourgeoisie is having to nationalise banks to try and sustain its bankrupt and completely out of date system, heralds the advent of a new revolutionary period during which the world socialist revolution will be completed.
The workers of the US, the UK and the EU will not sacrifice their jobs, living standards, wages, pensions and homes to keep the bankers, bosses and their system in place.
The masses of Russia and China will not allow the world to be reordered by the weakened imperialist bourgeoisie and they will not be prepared to put up with the misrule of the Stalinist bureaucracy either.
The masses of the developing nations will not allow the imperialists to make some new grab for Africa, the Middle East and central Asia.
The essence of the present situation is that the working class and the poor of the world must see to it that this is the last crisis of the historically bankrupt and outmoded capitalist system.
They will do this by building sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International in every country to lead the developing world socialist revolution to its victory, putting capitalism where it deserves to be, into a museum of former primitive societies.
What is required is not the bailing out of bankrupt capitalism and its banks in their hour of need but their overthrowal and replacement with socialism.