THE US president George Bush has been so frightened at the prospect of a 1929 collapse and a 1930s depression gripping the US that he has sought to enlist the support of the US people to pressure the US Senate to approve his $700 billion plan to nationalise the US banks’ debts, warning that the alternative is ‘panic’, ‘bank closures’, ‘ruin’, and ‘millions of Americans losing their jobs’.
He has had to move to mobilise the nation because in the Senate there are Republicans who regard his plan as a form of socialism, and Democrats who regard it as a plan to reward billionaire bankers for their failures.
This is the first time that the US bourgeoisie has sought to bail out a capitalist crisis, instead of burying its dead and moving on.
After the 1929 crash the US administration made no attempt to rescue bankrupts and allowed the law of value to destroy the shattered sections of US capitalism, and along with it the jobs and livelihoods of millions of workers and small farmers.
This was regarded as a part of the cyclical development of capitalism, when boom leads to a bust where all that is weak and valueless is remorselessly destroyed, to prepare a new beginning and a further development of the productive forces.
What Bush is expressing with his programme of life support for the banks and his talk of ruin if it is turned down, is fear and a lack of confidence in the future of capitalism.
The US bourgeoisie fears that US capitalism has lost the power and vigour of its youth, no longer bestrides the planet, and is now much weakened by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, by the export of millions of jobs, by an $11 trillion national debt and a $540bn federal government debt this year.
The Bush administration fears that a US depression will lead to a revolution of the working class and the middle class at home and to the US losing its dominant role in the major oil and gas-bearing areas of the world.
This is why he has launched his plan, whilst conceding that it contains risks, that others are spelling out – that it will lead to a major run on the US dollar, much higher interest rates, a collapse of production and the bankrupting of the United States of America.
Bush has also appealed to the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, Obama and McCain to come to Washington to support the measure. Obama and McCain issued a joint statement saying ‘Now is time to come together – Democrats and Republicans – in a spirit of co-operation for the sake of the American people.’
McCain went further, suspending his campaign and saying he will not turn up for the first scheduled election debate with Obama tonight.
The dominant propaganda now is that the US can hardly afford to have a presidential election, gripped as it is by an economic catastrophe that is threatening the ruin of all.
Such is the dire situation and the warnings of the disaster that threatens, one solely brought about by the crisis of capitalism, and not by the activities of small groups of speculators and short sellers, that Bush has even had to state that he continues to support the capitalist system.
In his speech of Wednesday evening all he could say was ‘Despite corrections in the marketplace and instances of abuse, democratic capitalism is the best system ever devised.’
His ally Prime Minister Brown is calling for international supervision of the banking system, while the Bishops of the Church of England, which has lost many millions in the share collapse, are railing against the ‘bank robbers’ and demanding regulation, even conceding that Marx was correct when he wrote about the ‘Fetishism of commodities’, when ‘the productions of the human brain appear as independent beings endowed with life and entering into relation both with one another and the human race.’ The markets are the master!
The working class in the US and the UK must not be halted by the crisis of the bourgeoisie.
US workers must fight, not for the nationalisation of the debts of the banks, but for the nationalisation of the banks, and all the major industries, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Boeing etc to defend their jobs,wages and basic rights.
They must build a section of the International Committee of the Fourth International to lead this struggle to get rid of bankrupt, out of date, capitalism and replace it with socialism.