The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, held at Davos in Switzerland, started this week with the spectre of the world socialist revolution hanging over its delegates.
The WEF, which has as its delegates leading politicians, major international bankers and financiers, meets yearly to forecast the prospects for international capitalism over the next twelve months.
This year, however, in an unprecedented move, the opening session on the world economic outlook was ditched and replaced with the much more relevant debate on whether or not capitalism has any future at all.
For the leading representative of the world capitalist class to debate the motion ‘Is 20th century capitalism failing 21st century society’ is the clearest possible signal that the bourgeoisie internationally are in a state of panic and more than conscious of the storm clouds of revolution that are gathering about their heads.
In the end, these masters of the capitalist universe were forced to admit capitalism was indeed a ‘bad’ system but that it was all they had got.
The crisis gripping the capitalist class and its representatives was expressed by one of the founders of the WEF, Klaus Schwab, who told reporters: ‘Capitalism in its current form no longer fits the world around us.’
Schwab did not elaborate on what form capitalism would have to take to face up to the catastrophic collapse of the entire banking system but clearly the world bourgeoisie are looking to a future where the luxury of bourgeois democracy has to be dispensed with if the working class are to be forced to pay for the crisis.
Unelected governments imposed by the eurozone on Greece and Italy are clearly the way forward for the bourgeoisie.
This theme of the necessity for capitalism to change was central to the keynote speech delivered at Davos by the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who demanded a ‘big re-think’ in the eurozone and the global capitalist economy.
Her demand was for ‘structural reforms’ of the eurozone, a thinly veiled demand that the nation states of the zone dispense with any vestige of parliamentary democracy and bow to the diktats of the German capitalist class.
What she is dead set against is the increasingly strident demands from the International Monetary Fund that Germany pump billions more euros into the bail-out fund to buy off Greece’s private creditors in a desperate attempt to stave off the collapse of Greece and the knock-on effect this would have to the world banks.
With the German working class, extremely conscious of the dangers of hyper-inflation of Weimar proportions, flatly refusing to countenance printing paper money to buy off the bankers, Merkel is not in the position to accede to the IMF demands.
The IMF on the other hand is acutely aware that the draconian ‘austerity’ measures being pursued in every capitalist country around the globe is driving the working class internationally along the road of socialist revolution and it clearly terrifies them.
In a statement signed by IMF head Christine Lagarde, and the head of the World Bank amongst others, they called for ‘fiscal consolidation’ programmes – that is savage cuts – to be applied in a ‘socially responsible’ manner, warning that unemployment and ‘inequality’ were huge dangers.
These pleas for a more ‘caring’ capitalism are inane – the capitalist class have no alternative but to fight it out to the finish with the working class if they are to have any hope of survival.
For the working class there is no alternative but the revolutionary overthrow of this bankrupt capitalist system, the expropriation of the bosses and bankers and going forward to socialism under which production is not for the profit of the few but to satisfy the needs of the whole of society.