TODAY we are living in the period of the death agony of the world capitalist system. Everywhere the crisis is ripping apart nation states, pitting former allies against one another as the ruling class of every country engages in a life and death struggle to be the survivors in the catastrophic economic collapse of capitalism.
Nothing exemplified this crisis more than the declaration by US President Donald Trump of economic war on his enemies – enemies that include every other nation in the world. Last week, Trump imposed 25% tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminium goods from the EU, Canada and Mexico. This prompted these erstwhile allies of US imperialism to announce that they would retaliate in kind.
Along with making war on former allies, Trump has made clear his intentions to wage war to reduce China to nothing more than a colony of US imperialism. His demands on the Chinese are not limited to trade tariffs on Chinese imports but a whole raft of demands that the government stop all state subsidies to industry and that the country halt its drive to develop hi-tech industries, an outrageous demand that Trump justifies on the grounds that China is ‘stealing’ advances in technology that belong exclusively to the US.
Not for nothing has Trump used the justification of ‘national security’ for his trade war – it is a war that he is willing to extend to a military war in order to ensure US capitalist supremacy over the entire world. It is not war being waged from a position of strength, on the contrary US capitalism, in common with the rest of the capitalist world, is drowning in a sea of debt which today exceeds $21 trillion for the first time in history.
US industry and its banking system have only been kept on a life-support system since the bank crash 0f 2008 by massive injections of free money pumped in by the Federal Reserve through Quantitative Easing and near zero interest rates. The same policies have been adopted by the capitalist class of Europe and Britain, to the extent that the entire world system of capitalism today stands on the abyss of plunging into complete bankruptcy.
It is this historic crisis that is driving Trump and the world ruling class to war against one another with US imperialism determined that when the crash happens only US capitalism will be the survivor.
Capitalism’s survival depends on war against its rivals and simultaneously war against the working class at home to dump the full effects of the banking crisis on its back through the most vicious and unending austerity. This has provoked a massive uprising by workers across Europe, Britain and the world.
This can be seen in the political crisis rapidly engulfing Europe which is tearing the bankers and bosses EU apart, while in Britain a terminally weak Tory minority government staggers on from one crisis to another, only kept in power by the outright refusal of the Labour Party and trade unions to bring it down.
In America, the powerful US working class is also becoming clear that making the US ‘great’ means huge tax cuts to the corporations and banks while its wages are cut and any increases in tariffs will mean the cost of living will sky-rocket.
Industries like agriculture will be laid waste in a tit-for-tat trade war with a future of mass unemployment for workers and young people staring them in the face. The powerful revolutionary movement of workers and youth that is rising up against the dictatorship of the bankers and bosses is placing the question of seizing the power and putting an end to this bankrupt capitalist system through socialist revolution firmly on the immediate agenda.
Only by the working class taking power and expropriating the banks and the bosses and placing them under the management of workers for the benefit of all and not the profit of a handful of capitalists can humanity advance.
This requires a new revolutionary leadership, sections of the Fourth International, in every country that will win the confidence and leadership of millions of workers to take this struggle for power to the victory of the world socialist revolution. This is the only way forward.