2010 – year for revolutions! NEW YEAR MANIFESTO by News Line Editorial Board

Greek workers and youth marching in Athens against mass sackings and demanding permanent jobs
Greek workers and youth marching in Athens against mass sackings and demanding permanent jobs

NEWS LINE sends its revolutionary greetings for 2010 to the working class and the poor of the planet.

We especially greet the insurgent masses of Palestine and Iraq, and the revolutionary peoples of Venezuela and Bolivia, as well as the workers of Greece, whose uprising against savage government cuts is the forerunner of huge explosions of revolutionary working class anger on a world scale.

We also send our greetings to the workers of Sri Lanka, and to the leadership of the UWP, which has taken the initiative in forming a United Front to stand a socialist candidate against the Rajapakse-Fonseka wings of the bourgeoisie and the military.

Their election statement champions the right of self determination of the Tamil people and calls for a socialist revolution in Sri Lanka to be carried out by a united working class leading the rural poor.

We wish them every success in their intervention.

2009 witnessed the conflict between the needs of the productive forces to develop, and the private ownership of the means of production, sharpen and become transformed into a massive banking crash and slump. This world crisis has driven the capitalist system economically and politically onto its knees.

2010 will see the working class of the world taking revolutionary action to bring an end to the death agony of the capitalist system – by overthrowing the capitalist ruling classes on a world scale.

It is a year when the Fourth International, the world party of the socialist revolution will come into its own. 2009 witnessed the collapse of the banking system, and a major destruction of the productive forces in the central capitalist states, such as the US and the UK, and then right across the capitalist world.

In the US bastion of world capitalism, the biggest banks had to be bailed out while huge industries such as GM went bust. The American Big Three motor car companies GM, Ford, and Chrysler sacked hundreds of thousands of workers, imposed 50 per cent wage cuts, to bring in two tier wage systems while getting rid of their responsibility for providing health care and also slashing pensions. The US eagle of world capitalism has had to endure the US government taking over GM with a rescue operation, owning a 62 per cent share, after it became obvious that the US economic giant could no longer stand on its own two feet.

In the US, unemployment in the great cities has reached 10 per cent with millions losing their jobs, their homes, and unable to feed their families. There are now tens of millions of the new poor in the USA, formerly well paid workers, who now hate the bankers and the bosses and who know that the ‘American dream’ was just a cruel deception.

There are now tens of millions of US youth who know that capitalism holds no future for them, and who will give no support to the imperialist wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and the increasing US imperialist interventions into Pakistan and the Yemen.

The US workers’ battle cry is for jobs at decent wages and health care for all. They will not lessen their struggle until they have both.

Since Obama and the Democrats are incapable of providing either, the trade unions will be increasingly forced to break with the Democrats and found a Labour Party that will fight for a socialist USA, with a section of the Fourth International at its left wing organising the struggle for the US socialist revolution.

Meanwhile, US imperialism thrashes around in the quagmire seeking a way out of the world crisis.

Its Nobel Peace prize winning President Obama is kneedeep in blood, and planning new wars in Pakistan and the Yemen, and closer to home, organising in Colombia for war against Venezuela and Bolivia.

He also threatens China with ‘consequences’ if it does not revalue its currency upwards, while at home he faces a working class that opposes his wars, his wage and job cuts, and is intransigent about its rights. The biggest class struggles in the history of the USA, leading to the American revolution itself, are on the horizon!

Meanwhile, the movement for national liberation is set to explode in Palestine with a Third Intifada, after the US-Israeli bloc has made it clear that it will not allow the emergence of a viable Palestinian state. The building by the Egyptian regime of its own ‘barrier of death’ on the Gaza-Egypt border to destroy the tunnels that constitute Gaza’s lifeline, at a time when it is under siege and being starved to death, makes it certain that the Palestinian revolution will lead to revolution within Egypt itself.

Meanwhile, in Iraq the masses are determined to prevent their oil and gas resources from being pillaged by the Western powers. The caretakers for US imperialism, Maliki and co, have no future, since the Iraqis are determined to hang onto their oil, and to get rid of the puppets who are seeking to hand it over to US imperialism.

The involvement of massive US surge forces in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and further south in the Yemen, will create the space required by the Iraqi masses to overthrow the Maliki regime and to restore Iraq’s freedom and sovereignty through revolutionary action.

Meanwhile, the crisis in the Iranian clerical regime emphasises that the Iranian working class is the only really revolutionary force in Iran, capable of both continuing with anti-imperialist policies, and organising a revolutionary reorganisation of the country, where the Iranian masses will benefit from the country’s enormous oil and gas wealth.

In the degenerated and deformed workers states of Russia and China, the pro-capitalist policies of the ruling Stalinist bureaucracies have ensured that the Russian and Chinese economies have not escaped the impact of the worldwide capitalist disaster.

In Russia, the Oligarchs have been ruined by the financial crisis, while the working class is demanding the renationalisation of privatised industries and the restoration of the USSR.

In China, many of the capitalist firms in the New Economic Zones have folded, but the state-owned base of the Chinese economy has further developed with a 10 per cent growth estimated for the next year.

In Russia, the ESPO pipeline has just been opened along with a major port in Kozmono, a $14bn investment that will allow 400m barrels of oil annually to be pumped to the Asia Pacific Region – a colossal development.

In both countries the working class is on the march to political revolutions that will overthrow the Stalinist bureaucracy, as part of the development of the world socialist revolution. The states to the west of Russia, that were part of the Warsaw Pact, and are now part of the EU, have been destroyed by the world crisis with massive unemployment and state bankruptcy. They have no future under capitalism.

The eyes of Eastern European workers are on Greece where millions of workers and youth are fighting the PASOK ‘socialist government’. This has imposed savage cuts, including a 10 per cent cut in the social security budget, and the sacking of 100,000 contract ‘stage workers’, to try to save Greek capitalism.

While the EU leaders are threatening to throw Greece out of the EU, the Greek workers are demanding revolutionary policies to put an end to capitalism. The Greek working class is making it very clear that any attempt to install some new ‘regime of colonels and torturers’ will be met with a socialist revolution.

Greek capitalism is not alone in western Europe in being well and truly on the rocks.

While in France and Germany workers are fighting to defend their jobs and halt the privatisation of the public sector and the university system, it is in the Irish Republic and the UK that the masses are closest to the barricades.

All the Irish banks were bankrupted by the property crash and had to be rescued by the state. As a result of this, a regime of savage cuts has been imposed to repay the huge state debt, from a 50 per cent cut in the Jobseekers Allowance for youth, to massive wage and pension cuts.

Once more, Ireland’s biggest export is becoming people, as thousands of youth are driven out of the country looking for work in the UK, Canada, Australia and the US. The Irish government has already warned that more sacrifices and new cuts will be needed to save bankrupt Irish capitalism. There is no doubt that the reply will be a general strike and a struggle for workers power.

It is in the UK that the biggest settlement of accounts is underway. The Brown Labour government has expended £1.2 trillion in gifts, loans and guarantees for the big banks. This year’s and next year’s budget deficits will amount to £360bn, bringing the national debt to around 90 per cent of GDP.

While the bankers are living like Marie Antoinette, on borrowed time, this massive indebtedness will have to be paid for by the working class.

Already, tuition fees of £30,000 for the ‘best’ universities are being demanded, as well as permanent wage freezes in both the public and private sectors, at the same time as the cost of living is leaping upwards.

To keep the bankers in the manner that they have become accustomed, the Welfare State, including the NHS, is to be wound up. This counter-revolutionary programme cannot be carried out in the UK without a civil war. This is what is on the agenda in this New Year, beginning with major industrial struggles and a general strike.

2010 is to be the year of revolutions, that will eclipse 1848, 1917 and the late 1940’s.

We can say no more than Trotsky said in the Transitional Programme. This was: ‘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 of 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 your approaching victory.’

Build the International Committee of the Fourth International!

Forward to the victory of the World Socialist Revolution!