LAST week it was the turn of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to issue its latest warning that world capitalism is on the point of crashing under the weight of a global $19 trillion debt ‘time bomb’ and that 40% of corporations in eight major economies faced bankruptcy as a result.
This massive debt has been created by a capitalist system that in the wake of the banking crash in 2008 resorted to printing trillions of worthless money and handed it to the banks and bosses to bail them out along with near zero rates of interest on loans.
This was accompanied by governments forcing the working class and poor in every country to pay for this through austerity cuts to wages and public services.
Now the debts are greater and the austerity programme even more devastating. This has produced mass revolutionary movements across the world with hundreds of millions of people no longer prepared to accept poverty as the price for keeping bankrupt capitalism going.
Latin America is going up in flames with mass protests erupting in country after country. In Ecuador right-wing president Lenin Moreno earlier this month tried to cut long-standing fuel subsidies as part of a deal with the IMF to retain a $4.2 billion IMF loan.
By the time he was forced to back down last weekend, at least seven people had died and 1,507 had been injured.
Chile has been gripped by mass demonstrations that have seen violent clashes between workers and youth and the hated para-military police backed up by thousands of troops, plus tanks on the streets.
The spark for the uprising was an increase in public transport fares, but like all revolutionary movements this tiny spark ignited an explosion of anger against a regime that had inflicted poverty and austerity on the people while the bourgeoisie wallowed in luxury.
The US is similarly gripped by a mass movement of workers, with 48,000 General Motors workers on strike demanding pay increases and an end to the half-rate pay given to newer employees, an agreement entered into by its union on the grounds that it was necessary to ‘save’ the giant car company from bankruptcy after 2008. The GM strike is just part of the wave of strikes sweeping the US that includes teachers, truck drivers and miners.
The US is on the brink of civil war with the two main bourgeois parties tearing each other apart as the Democrats attempt to dump Trump.
In Lebanon mass demonstrations took place over the weekend demanding the government resign – again it was sparked by the apparently trivial imposition of a tax on WhatsApp calls.
As in Chile and Ecuador the fact that the government immediately retreated and cancelled the tax has done nothing to quell the popular uprising.
Even bourgeois professors are now talking about the world reaching a ‘tipping point’ when ordinary people have had enough of capitalist austerity imposed by the ruling class.
Across Europe, the flames of this uprising can be clearly seen with the emergence of the Yellow Vest movement in France which has now been joined by strikes this weekend of train drivers across the country over staffing cuts.
With Europe’s biggest economy, Germany, plunging into a recession that will collapse the Eurozone the working class is being driven along the same path of revolution.
The British working class delivered a massive blow to the ruling class when it voted in 2016 to break with the bosses and bankers EU.
This has created a massive crisis for the bourgeoisie with its ruling parties split and divided over how to keep Britain chained to the EU – a move that will bring workers on the streets as they see their vote torn up by the ruling class.
What is clear is that the world crisis of capitalism has reached a decisive and explosive point with workers across the globe entering into struggle against a system that can only survive by dumping its crisis on the backs of the working class and masses.
The world crisis is driving world revolution. Its victory requires the building of the revolutionary leadership, sections of the Fourth International in every country! There is not a moment to lose!