‘THE WORKSHOP of the world is closed,’ Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote in the Telegraph on Thursday predicting a colossal disaster for capitalism if the massive foreign-owned plants in China are unable to function because of the coronavirus epidemic, and the worldwide economy is closed down.
The dire state of world capitalism is being exposed – it is completely and utterly reliant on the Chinese Stalinists’ One Nation-Two Social Systems policy, which allows world capitalism to make super profits out of exploiting China’s workers.
In the 19th century, Britain was the workshop of the world. As Britain declined with the loss of Empire, the US rose to take over its role. Now, US manufacturers have left the US to get away from the US trade unions, and, along with the bourgeoisie of the planet, have sunk billions into Chinese plants to make huge profits.
If the Chinese plants are brought to a halt, then so will world capitalism, which will go under as its debt mountain, so beloved of President Trump, explodes, taking capitalism with it into the abyss.
If Chinese manufacture comes to a halt, it takes the capitalist world down with it. The outbreak of coronavirus is doing just that! With 31,100 people now infected, the Chinese state has poured huge resources into fighting the virus. The world witnessed the strength of a nationalised economy, as a 1,000-bed super-hospital, built in just 8 days opened last week. Then a second newly built hospital opened the next day!
Evans-Pritchard is expressing the deep-rooted fears of the ruling class that their entire mountain of debt is set for an avalanche even more devastating than the 2007/8 global banking crash.
It is the extraordinary response of China to contain the virus and defend its population that has really upset the likes of Evans-Pritchard. He points out: ‘As of this week, two thirds of the Chinese economy remains shut down. More than 80 per cent of its manufacturing industry is closed, rising to 90 per cent for exporters.’
He warns: ‘The Chinese economy is 17 per cent of the world economy and deeply integrated into international supply chains. You cannot shut it down for long without shutting down the world.’
How the mighty have fallen! The great capitalist economies of the world are completely reliant on the huge strides forward made by China as a direct result of the 1949 Chinese socialist revolution. The revolution of 1949, led by the Chinese Communist Party under the leadership of Mao, emerged out of the invasion of China by the Japanese during World War II.
From a backward country dominated during the 19th century by all the main imperialist powers, China has emerged as the second biggest economy in the world and now is at the very cutting edge of scientific endeavours, and is swiftly moving into position to eclipse the US. This is the great advantage of the planned nationalised economy.
The problem with China is that under the rule of the Stalinist bureaucracy, the Chinese deformed workers’ state balances with one foot on the working class and one foot on the new bourgeoisie in China and its ‘partners’ on the world stage such as President Trump.
The Stalinist bureaucracy of China seeks to ‘live and let live’ with imperialism. If China wanted to, it could crash the US economy overnight. It owns $1.17 trillion of US debt or about 19% of the total $6.26 trillion in Treasury bills, notes, and bonds held by foreign countries.
China calls for peace with imperialist nations, while the US declares economic war to try and return the US to being the world’s workshop.
Evans-Pritchard writes: ‘The scale of disruption in China is already staggering. Hyundai, number five in global car sales, has been forced to close all its factories at home in Korea for lack of key components. Volkswagen, Toyota, General Motors and Tesla have all downed tools at their Chinese plants, as has Apple’s iPhone supplier Foxconn.’
German manufacturing is already in free fall, falling 8.4% in a year and now also faces shutdown as it is heavily reliant on Chinese parts.
The message is clear. The only way out of the ‘Chinese crisis’ is for the workers of the world to carry out the world socialist revolution by building sections of the Fourth International in every country.