THE Editorial Board of the News Line, the daily paper of the Workers Revolutionary Party, sends its revolutionary greetings for the New Year of 2006 to the working class, the youth and the struggling poor of the world.
We send our special greetings to the insurgent people of Iraq, who are defeating the occupation armies of US and UK imperialism, confident that the year 2006 will bring a significant defeat for the imperialists, when their occupation armies will be forced out of Mesopotamia, the Land of the Two Rivers, and the Iraqi people will be free to choose their government and make use of their gigantic natural and human resources to rebuild the glories of their country.
We hail the struggle of the Palestinian people and their refusal to bow to the imperialists and Zionists – the US, the EU and Israel – who are all insisting that Hamas must not be allowed to stand in the Palestinian elections.
The Palestinian masses have exposed the essence of the Bush-Blair struggle to ‘export democracy’, it is to bring puppet regimes to power that will do as the US says – the demand to stop Hamas standing on the grounds that it could win a democratic election is the proof of this.
The Palestinian masses know that it is only through revolution that they will establish their state with Jerusalem as its capital, and with the right to return for all refugees.
This state will never be established by permission of the imperialists and the Zionists.
It will be won by driving imperialism and Zionism out of the Middle East through a revolutionary alliance of the peoples of Iraq and embattled Syria and Lebanon.
The major ally of the Arab masses in this struggle is the working class of the great capitalist metropolitan countries of the United States, the EU and Japan.
The world capitalist economy is in a major crisis after massive share collapses and huge increases in basic commodity prices such as oil and gas.
The run-away inflation of oil and gas prices is fuelling fears of an imminent economic catastrophe, with the price of gold now over $500 an ounce.
This is unleashing a no-holds-barred struggle for the domination of the world markets, combined with a drive to imperialist war to secure vital, strategic oil and gas bearing regions such as the Middle East and the Gulf, Central Asia and Venezuela.
However, central to this critical situation is the decision of the great capitalist monopolies and their respective governments to no longer tolerate the ‘dictatorship’ of trade unions in the major capitalist states.
This has given rise to a massive exodus of companies from the US, Germany, France and Japan into India, China, Asia as a whole and eastern Europe.
It has led to the gun to the head approach against ‘their own’ workers – that they must accept massive wage and benefit cuts or see their factories moved abroad and their lives completely ruined.
In the United States, GM, Ford, Daimler-Chrysler and Delphi – ie the entire US motor car industry – and all of the other major employers are demanding thousands of sackings, large numbers of plant closures, huge wage cuts and big increases in health insurance payments. GM is on the brink of filing for bankruptcy, while Delphi has postponed, for the moment, its recent decision to do so.
At the same time, the US capitalist class is ruthlessly driving up productivity and driving down wages creating acute class tensions between the employers, backed by the Bush regime, and the trade unions.
These tensions will explode in the New Year into strike actions of which the recent New York Transit strike was just an anticipation.
Strikes against plant closures and wage cuts will lead to occupations of factories and major industries, and class battles of a type not seen since the 1940s.
The US working class will begin to set its own agenda for the defence of its jobs, health care and basic rights, bringing about a break with the Republicans and Democrats and the establishment of its own class party.
The Bush administration currently has 37 per cent support for its war on the Iraqi people. It will have even less support for its domestic policies.
2006 is going to be a year for the development of American socialism and the struggle for US workers’ power. This will be a great gain for the working class of the whole world.
In the EU, France and Germany are going to be central areas of the struggle.
In 2005 the French workers rejected the EU constitution, and the working class youth rebelled against mass unemployment and racism, while the trade unions took to the streets fighting the government’s plans to privatise the railways and many other industries and to lengthen the working day.
From the start of the New Year this struggle will recommence with explosive force and see the French workers challenging the power of the state, in a way that has not been seen since May and June 1968.
The French events will give the struggle of the German workers, in their powerful trade unions, against the wage cutting, benefit cutting, job cutting policies of the Merkel regime a much sharper cutting edge, and both will encourage the Greek and Italian workers to push forward with a greater intensity.
In Britain, the Blair Labour government and the employers are determined to push ahead with their privatisation programme for the NHS and education, having tripled students’ tuition fees, and the privatisation of the Royal Mail.
They are also determined to abolish final salary pension schemes in the public and private sectors, effectively raising the retirement age by at least five years, and are bringing in a series of police state measures that give all power to the police and abolish hard won basic rights.
This Labour-led ruling class drive will lead to an explosion of economic and political struggles.
The Welfare State, and all of the gains that workers have made since 1948, cannot be defended without the bringing down, by the trade unions, of the Blair government and its replacement with a workers’ government that will expropriate the bosses and carry out a socialist programme
It is this revolutionary essence that dominates the situation, creating the conditions for the removal of the reformist trade union bureaucracy and its replacement by a revolutionary leadership.
In fact, the revolutionising of the major capitalist countries will create the conditions for the working class of the world to deal heavy blows to the imperialists.
The revolutionary struggle of the workers in the major capitalist countries will keep the imperialist powers more than busy, and will act as an additional defence to countries such as Iran, while at the same time inspiring the workers of Russia and China to launch political revolutions to overthrow the Stalinist bureaucracy and the new bourgeoisie that it has created, to reconstitute the USSR by revolutionary means, and rule through workers’ and peasants’ soviets in both Russia and China.
2006 will be a great year for the development of the world socialist revolution with the working class and the poor taking action against capitalism and imperialism in every part of the world.
This struggle cannot be definitively won except by carrying through socialist revolutions in the major capitalist countries, leading directly to the victory of the world socialist revolution and the establishment of a planned socialist economy.
This will provide the basis for humanity advancing to a higher form of society where the maxim will be: from each according to his ability to each according to his needs.
In 2006, all over the world, the working class and the poor will advance to meet the ruling classes of the world and their state forces head-on.
The crisis of the working class movement remains however that it lacks a revolutionary leadership, and still has at its head the scoundrels of social democracy and the dregs of counter-revolutionary Stalinism.
These treacherous misleaders have not the slightest intention of seriously challenging capitalism, never mind overthrowing it.
2006 must be the year for the building of sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International in all of the major countries to provide the leadership to carry the world socialist revolution forward to its victory.
In his book the Transitional Programme, Leon Trotsky makes the following points: ‘Without a socialist revolution, in the next historical period at that, a catastrophe threatens the whole culture of mankind.
‘The turn is now to the proletariat, ie chiefly to its revolutionary vanguard. The historical crisis of mankind is reduced to the crisis of the revolutionary leadership.’
Further, he concludes: ‘The present crisis in human culture is the crisis in the proletarian leadership.
‘The advanced workers united in the Fourth International, show their class the way out of the crisis. They offer a programme based on international experience in the struggle of the proletariat and of all the oppressed of the world for liberation. They offer a spotless banner.
‘Workers – men and women – of all countries, place yourselves under the banner of the Fourth International. It is the banner of your approaching victory!’
These words remain true today and are even more powerful than when they were first penned.
2006 is the year for building sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International in every country to lead the rapidly developing world socialist revolution to its victory.