THE Editorial Board of the News Line sends its revolutionary greetings on May Day 2016 to the workers and the oppressed people of the world fighting capitalism and imperialism.
Across the globe, millions of workers are fighting back against attempts by the world’s capitalists to impose the full burden of their crisis on their backs through massive austerity cuts to wages and welfare spending.
At the same time as the capitalist ruling classes wage war against the working class at home, they are making war on the peoples of the world as they seek to reconquer them and steal back their resources.
Driving this war on two fronts is the historic crisis of world capitalism, a crisis that cannot be resolved through any peaceful means but only by the revolutionary overthrow of this historically outdated system that can no longer offer humanity anything but poverty and war.
It is a crisis that has deepened to such an extent that even the leadership of the world’s central banks have been forced to confess that another crash of gigantic proportions is not just a possibility but indeed an absolute certainty and that there is nothing they can do to stop it.
On this May Day, we send our warmest greeting to the Syrian people and their supporters, Iran and Hezbollah, who have fought to the point of victory and so inflicted a powerful blow against the common enemy.
We send particular greetings to the Palestinian people now engaged in the Third Intifada against the Zionist state of Israel. In their heroic struggle against an Israel armed to the teeth by imperialism they have won the support of millions of people throughout the world.
This fact is testified to by the hysterical attacks being waged by their backers in the West against the burgeoning boycott campaign and the slanderous accusations of racism and accompanying witch-hunts aimed at any politician who dares criticise Israel.
Israel is a terrorist state founded on the massacre of Palestinian men, women and children, driving them from their homes and opening the way for occupation. Occupation continues today in the illegal settlements and the murderous campaign of violence against Palestinians.
It is a terrorist state and a threat to all workers and young people in the Middle East. There can be no peace in the Middle East until the state of Israel has been overthrown and replaced by a Palestinian secular socialist state in which Arabs, Jews and Christians can live amicably side-by-side once again!
Alongside the wars against the revolutionary people of the world, the capitalists are waging a war against the working class and youth at home, in the advanced capitalist nations.
The mountain of debt run up by the banks which resulted in the crash eight years ago, and the trillions spent by the US and European capitalist classes in their rescue of the same banks are to be recovered by plundering the jobs, wages and welfare systems won by the struggles of the working class worldwide.
This vicious and violent war on workers has produced a rising revolutionary tide of working class anger that is driving forward all across across the globe, providing the basis for the victory of the world socialist revolution.
In the US, it has galvanised the mighty American trade union movement with a mass campaign of low-paid workers demanding a minimum wage of $15 an hour which has linked with the struggle of other workers fighting for pay increases after seeing their wages depressed to levels below that of the 1990s after all the years of austerity.
This movement in turn has linked with the Black Lives Matter campaign against police and state racism. This uprising of workers and young people found its expression in the support generated for the campaign by Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential candidate against the war-monger Hillary Clinton.
Saunders, who proclaims himself to be a socialist (a word universally believed to be the kiss of death politically in the US) has won huge support from workers, youth and the unions to such an extent that by the end of his campaign he had matched Clinton’s funding, provided by her Wall Street and corporate backers, raising $180 million largely in the form of donations that averaged $27.
With the US banks once more teetering on the brink of collapse – the giant Goldman Sachs investment bank recently recorded a 56% drop in its income – and even high tech companies like Apple seeing its profits shrink as manufacturing industry continues to close down – the class struggle in the US is on the point of a major eruption.
Similarly in Europe the entire capitalist economy of the continent is sinking like a stone and nothing can stop it. As workers throughout Europe from Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and now France erupt in strikes and demonstrations demanding an end to the austerity cuts and privatisations that have smashed up their lives, the question of the socialist revolution is fast being seen by workers not as a fanciful dream but an iron necessity.
It is bringing the working class head on into conflict with the ruling class and reformist parties who pose as anti-austerity but are completely and implacably opposed to the revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist system.
This message is now being hammered home in Britain where the treacherous role of the reformist Labour and trade union leadership is being ruthlessly exposed by the crisis that is gripping a very weak capitalist economy and tearing apart the Tory government.
Corbyn, elected as Labour leader on a massive vote to end the collaboration of the right-wing of the party with the Tories, has capitulated to the same right wing. Faced with the immediate prospect of bringing down this weak, discredited Tory government over the EU referendum he has allowed the Labour Party to swing behind keeping Britain in the capitalist EU.
This at a time when Cameron and the ruling class are desperate to stay within, clinging to the wreckage of the EU in the vain hope of salvation from the coming storm.
To secure a ‘Remain’ vote they are relying on Labour and trade unions delivering the vote of the workers since, as Tory grandee Ken Clarke put it, Cameron won’t last 30 seconds if he loses the vote.
Not just Cameron but the entire Tory government will not last 30 seconds. Corbyn has been joined in his campaign to keep the Tories in power to carry out even bigger cuts and privatisations to the welfare state and NHS by the leaders of the TUC.
This alliance between the TUC and Cameron was publicly demonstrated last week when the ex-TUC leader, Brendan Barber wrote a joint article with Cameron in support of staying in the EU.
Barber, echoing the arguments of the leader of Unite, Len McCluskey, and TUC leader Frances O’Grady, claimed to leave would risk jobs and pay levels while the EU offered the only ‘protection’ for workers’ rights available against the same Cameron Tories that they are now supporting and allying with!
Barber and the TUC leaders are speaking only for themselves when they dismiss the powerful working class and trade union movement as too weak to defend itself from the Tories and we must rely on the goodwill of unelected bankers and bureaucrats in Europe.
The working class is much more powerful than the Tories and the bankrupt capitalist system they serve. On May Day, the demand of the working class must be to vote ‘Leave’ on June 23 to bring down the Cameron government. The working class must then go forward to a workers government and socialism.
In Britain, a workers government will join hands with the workers of the EU to bring down the bankers’ and bosses’ EU and replace it with the Socialist United States of Europe. This struggle will create the conditions for the workers in Russia and China to deal with the Stalinist bureaucracies that are trying to turn the clock back to capitalism without fear of western military intervention, and also encourage the US working class to make a mighty leap forward to socialism.
This perspective scares the living daylights out of the UK trade union bureaucracy. These union leaders are opposed to a fight to remove the Tories. They would rather collaborate with them, and help them out over the EU, as well as refusing to give full active support to the junior doctors in return for concessions over the new anti-union laws, which will be ripped up if the Tories manage to beat the junior doctors back, thanks to the TUC.
We now have a common front of the Tory party and the TUC over the EU and the junior doctors – Shame on the TUC traitors! They are scared of a fight with the government but workers and whole sections of the middle class are not. This has been proven conclusively by the strike of junior doctors against the attempt to impose a wage-cutting contract.
An imposed contract that the Tories, if they succeed, will extend throughout the NHS and public service, chaining up key trade unions like Unite, the GMB and Unison in the process, and of course cutting the wages bill, making these services more attractive for privatisation.
The junior doctors’ strike is in defence of the very existence of the NHS – a fact that is recognised by the overwhelming support it enjoys from workers. However, it does not have the support of the TUC which last Wednesday refused to agree a call from the PCS and FBU unions for a day of action in their support.
These leaders would rather see junior doctors isolated, defeated and the whole NHS destroyed provided they can get some, no doubt temporary, concessions from the Tories on the anti-union laws that will be taken back as soon as the Tories are stronger.
But the NHS once lost will never be brought back! The TUC will have succeeded in assisting the Tories to make a return to the early 1900s – when the sick just died, and were told not to be a nuisance and get in the way!
The seven million members of the TUC trade unions must demand a recall TUC Congress to put an end to the treachery of O’Grady, Prentis, McCluskey and Co.
The TUC unions must be made to stop work alongside the junior doctors.
The TUC must be made to stop collaborating with the Tories, stop supporting the EU and start supporting the working class of the UK and Europe with a struggle for a Socialist United States of Europe.
Shame on the TUC leaders! They must be sacked and the TUC trade unions must make common cause with the junior doctors. Capitalism today is in its death agony and survives not through any internal strength but only because of the refusal of the current reformist leadership to mobilise the huge strength of the working class to bring it down, put an end to it and bring in socialism.
The most urgent question on this May Day, when the world crisis of capitalism dominates, is the building up of the worldwide revolutionary leadership, sections of the Fourth International to lead the developing world socialist revolution to its victory.
In Britain, this means joining and building up the Workers Revolutionary Party and the Young Socialists to lead the struggle to bring down the Tories, and go forward to a workers government that will fight, alongside the workers of Europe to bring down the EU and replace it with the Socialist United States of Europe that will be a huge stepping stone towards the World Socialist Republic.
In the founding document of our movement, the Fourth International (The Transitional Programme), Leon Trotsky wrote of the acute crisis facing capitalism in the 1930s that: ‘The world historical situation as a whole is chiefly characterised by a historical crisis of the leadership of the proletariat.’
He added: ‘The economic prerequisites for the proletarian revolution have already in general achieved the highest point of fruition that can be reached under capitalism. ‘Mankind’s productive forces stagnate. Already new inventions and improvements fail to raise the level of material wealth.
‘Conjunctural crises under the conditions of the social crisis of the whole capitalist system inflict however heavier deprivations upon the masses. Growing unemployment, in its turn deepens the financial crisis of the state and undermines the unstable monetary systems.’
He concluded by stating: ‘The present crisis of human culture is a crisis of the proletarian leadership. Workers, men and women of all countries place yourselves under the banner of the Fourth International. It is the banner of your approaching victory.’
Trotsky’s words are as accurate today as they were then. The only way forward for all humanity is through the world socialist revolution and this demands the building of revolutionary parties of the Fourth International in every country.
On May Day 2016 we call on all workers and youth to join the WRP and build sections of the Fourth International in every country! We also call to prepare huge rallies for next year to celebrate 100 years of the Russian Revolution and the struggle to continue it and complete it!