THE News Line Editorial Board sends its revolutionary greetings for the New Year of 2012 to all our readers and to the working class and the revolutionary peoples of the world.
The strategic task for 2012 is the organisation of the working class to take the power and complete the world socialist revolution – which began with the 1917 October revolution in Russia – as the full impact of the global crisis of capitalism drives forward revolution in every corner of the globe.
2012 will be the year for building sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International in every country to organise and lead the world socialist revolution, about the necessity for which there can no longer be any doubt.
As we enter the fifth year of the international collapse of the capitalist banking system, it is clear that capitalism can offer the working class of the world nothing but pauperisation and war.
2011 commenced with the heroic uprising of the working class and impoverished masses in the Arab world.
Starting in Tunisia and rapidly moving to Egypt this rebellion, led by youth, took to the streets and squares, driven to occupy by the intolerable burdens of sky-high food prices that made it impossible to live and mass unemployment, a direct result of the catastrophic capitalist slump.
This struggle for the simple right to live quickly became transformed into the political struggle to overthrow the despotic pro-imperialist regimes of Mubarak in Egypt and Ben Ali in Tunisia, both of whom were brought down by the mass movement of youth and workers.
This revolutionary struggle is demonstrating its permanent character as the workers of Egypt and Tunisia refuse to accept the military-appointed ‘transitional regime’, foisted upon them in Cairo, or the Islamic regime in Tunis. They want workers’ and small farmers’ governments that will take them forward to socialism.
2011 ended with thousands of workers and youth once again occupying Tahrir Square in Cairo demanding an end to military rule.
While the reactionary Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood have sided with the pro-imperialist military in declaring the revolution to be over, the working class of Egypt continues to march forward, to lead the Egyptian people to the overthrow of capitalism by a socialist revolution.
The revolutionary struggles of Tunisia and Egypt inspired the working people and masses of the entire region, and also the world, as the Occupy Wall Street movement illustrates.
In particular, it inspired the Palestinian people in their demand for statehood and caused uprisings from Bahrain to Algeria sending waves of fear throughout world imperialism as it saw its puppet regimes in crucial countries like Saudi Arabia coming under threat from the Arab workers’ revolution.
The response of the imperialist powers was to launch a counter-revolutionary offensive first in Libya, where NATO organised groups of counter-revolutionaries and mercenaries as its ground forces, including members of Al-Qaeda, to front a murderous war against the regime of Muammar al-Gadaffi.
With the full might of NATO, these gangsters were able to murder Gadaffi and, on paper, establish a new National Transitional Council.
This council is so weak it does not dare to publish even the names of its members or where and when it meets.
The situation in Libya is by no means settled as witnessed by the recent riots in Tripoli aimed at getting rid of the armed gangs created by the imperialists. We are confident that the Libyan masses will deal with this rag-bag of imperialist stooges and their Islamist allies, and also grasp that Gadaffi’s Achilles heel was his confidence that a revolutionary people could find a third way between capitalism and socialism, which involved placing trust and confidence in deals with imperialism.
The attack on Libya was not a product of any strength by world imperialism; on the contrary, it demonstrated its desperate weakness and the desperate measures it is now being forced to take everywhere to try to smash the working class at home and physically re-conquer its former colonies in order to secure vital oil and gas resources.
To this end, they are attempting to repeat in Syria the tactics used against the Libyan revolution as the beginning of their war against Iran and the Hezbollah movement in the Lebanon.
In Syria, they are trying to hijack a movement demanding changes to the Assad regime by training and sending in armed counter-revolutionary gangs from Libya, with the operation being organised by Turkey.
Crushing the Iranian revolution is crucial to imperialism because of its oil wealth and its strategic position controlling the four-mile-wide Strait of Hormuz through which the oil supplies from Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq must pass.
Under the guise of demanding an end to its nuclear programme, the European Union has imposed even more sanctions against Iran as the imperialists ratchet up the pressure for military intervention to destroy the Iranian revolution.
The Fourth International unequivocally supports the right of the Iranian people to develop and use nuclear technology to advance their country.
However, the Iranian leadership is now paying a price for its opportunist support for the NATO operation to overthrow Gadaffi.
2011 was the year when the world revolution forced its way forward and showed just how weak imperialism is despite its apparent military might.
This was the year that saw the US forced to pull its troops out of Iraq, while in Afghanistan the combined forces of US and British imperialism face a similar humiliating defeat.
The News Line extends to the working class and oppressed people of the region its warmest revolutionary greetings. We salute the resoluteness that has brought down Mubarak and Ben-Ali, that has defeated imperialism in Iraq and soon in Afghanistan and that is standing steadfast in Iran and Syria against the imperialist warmongers.
We condemn unreservedly the counter-revolutionary actions of the Islamist movements such as Al-Qaeda, whose hatred of the Arab nationalist revolution and of socialism has caused them to solidify with imperialism against the Arab masses.
The lesson for 2012 must be that there can be no compromise whatsoever with imperialism, and that sections of the Fourth International must be built throughout Africa and the Middle East and the Gulf to take forward the struggle of the working class and the poor to the victory of the socialist revolution.
Nowhere is this lesson being learnt more deeply than in the degenerated and deformed workers’ states of Russia and China.
Their ruling Stalinist bureaucracies have both bent over backwards in the past year to prop up and aid crisis-ridden imperialism politically and financially.
By abstaining on crucial votes in the UN they guaranteed the bombing and military intervention in Libya.
The reward for such treachery by the Stalinist bureaucracies has been to see the knife brought closer to their own throats, with the current war preparations by the US imperialists and their NATO allies against the USSR and China.
World imperialism is desperate to overthrow all of the gains of the Russian revolution and restore capitalist domination of the vast mineral wealth and markets denied to it for so long.
With its missiles positioned right up to the western border of Russia, the imperialists are now attempting to organise the overthrow of the Putin regime using the same tactic employed during the Orange revolution in the Ukraine.
Despite the fact that the right-wing parties standing in the recent parliamentary elections secured less than 7% of the vote between them, the US and western governments are claiming rigged elections and organising a counter-revolution under the lying banner of a ‘struggle against the election falsifications’.
The News Line declares its unswerving support for the Soviet working class and extends its warmest revolutionary greetings and solidarity in their determination to defend the gains of the Russian revolution.
We salute the magnificent struggle of the Kazakh oil workers that has shown the power of the working class and shocked and shaken the bureaucracy from the left.
Putin came to power balancing between the working class and those sections of the Stalinist bureaucracy that had looted the nationalised industries and become capitalists.
He tolerated those who were willing to stay out of politics while exiling those who were open Western stooges intent on restoring capitalism to the Soviet Union.
Under the impact of the world crisis of capitalism this cosy accommodation with the capitalist system has completely broken down, underlining the fact that there can be no lasting ‘partnership’ between the Stalinist bureaucracy and imperialism.
This is despite the warnings of Medvedev to world imperialism to tread carefully since their anti-Putin campaign was risking an explosion of anger by the working class and a ‘1917 situation’, a political revolution to overthrow the bureaucracy and restore soviet power and the USSR.
The Fourth International unreservedly defends Putin against the attacks from the right – we do, however, give our full support and encouragement to the working class to remove him and the Stalinist bureaucracy from the left through the political revolution to overthrow the Stalinist bureaucracy as part of the world socialist revolution.
The eruption of the Kazakh oil workers shows that the revolutionary movement of the Soviet workers is now well under way, as is the development of the revolutionary party to provide the working class with the necessary revolutionary leadership to do the job.
The continuing uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt have directly inspired US youth to form the Occupy Wall Street movement – a movement that rapidly spread country-wide, and is winning the support of the US trade unions
The US, the most powerful capitalist nation in the world, has been brought to its knees by the impact of the banking crisis, a crisis which the Obama presidency is determined will be paid for by the working and middle class through savage cuts in welfare expenditure, Medicare and Medicaid.
With unemployment running at over 9%, millions of American workers and, increasingly, professional workers are facing unemployment with the subsequent loss of medical insurance and homelessness as their houses are repossessed.
With the Federal Government technically (and practically) bankrupt along with the majority of US states, this movement has taken off and in turn has had a galvanising effect on the American trade union movement with union members coming out in support and to defend the Occupations from state attacks.
The conditions are more than ripe for the American working class and its unions to break decisively with the bourgeois Democratic Party and go forward in the next year to building a Labour Party, a huge and necessary step in the development of the US working class, which will require the building of a section of the Fourth International to provide the strategic leadership to take the revolutionary struggle of the working class forward.
The News Line extends its warmest greetings to the workers and youth of America who are refusing to accept poverty and homelessness as the price for keeping the capitalist banking system afloat. The USA, the one-time great bastion of world capitalism is being driven towards the socialist revolution.
However, the centre of the economic crisis of the world capitalist system has undoubtedly become Europe.
The imminent total collapse of the entire European banking system will certainly cause a worldwide crash of the whole capitalist system.
In the past year, the various governments of Europe and the Eurozone, led by Germany and France, have used every weapon in the economic arsenal of capitalism to try and stave off collapse.
Trillions of euros have been pumped into the banking system to no avail. All that has happened is that the huge bank debt crisis has been transferred to the nation states and become a sovereign debt crisis with entire countries facing bankruptcy.
Nor has this been confined to the weaker economies of the Eurozone like Greece, Portugal and Ireland.
It now encompasses Spain, Italy and increasingly France.
Even the apparently mighty German banks are sinking under a mountain of debt.
So great is the crisis in Europe that just before Christmas one ratings agency was moved to declare that they could see no solution and that the European economy was doomed.
Failing to find any relief through printing more and more worthless paper money, the bourgeoisie of Europe have resorted to vastly increasing their attacks on the working class and small farmers of Europe to force them to pay for the bank crisis through ‘austerity’ measures designed to drive them into the dirt.
This in turn has produced a revolutionary response from the working class across the continent.
In Greece, the working class have fought the right-wing ‘socialist’ government to a standstill and forced the departure of Papandreou.
At the insistence of the EU, bourgeois democracy in Greece was dispensed with and Papandreou replaced by the unelected Papademos, a former leader of the European Central Bank, who immediately embarked on an even more savage round of privatisation, cuts and attacks on the unions, including jailing one trade union leader.
As we enter the new year, the Greek working class are engaged in general strike action and continued occupations that are challenging the existence of this unelected government by EU diktat.
The News Line extends its warmest revolutionary greetings to the Greek workers who have been an inspiration to the working class of Europe.
Meanwhile, the drive to impose unelected governments to force through austerity measures has spread to Italy and to Spain, and even threatens to raise its head in the UK as the crisis deepens.
This drive to rule by EU diktat and impose dictatorships is meeting stiff resistance from the working class. Such measures cannot be imposed peacefully but will require a class war to try to defeat the working class to drive it back a hundred years.
This situation lay behind the warning issued in December by the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, when she stated that the crisis in Europe was the same as that faced in the 1930s and that the consequences would be the same.
The economic crisis in the 1920s and 30s resulted in the victory of fascism and world war. This is the future Lagarde was alluding to.
What she did not mention was that these events only occurred because of the defeats inflicted on the working class in the preceding period, notably the defeat of the German revolution in 1923 and the defeat of the British general strike in 1926.
Both these defeats were caused by the absence of a revolutionary party capable of leading the struggle for power.
Today is not the 1930s, the working class internationally has not suffered the defeats of the past but remains undefeated and firmly on the path of revolution.
The bitter lesson of the 1930s is that without a revolutionary leadership, no movement of workers, no matter how strong, can spontaneously prevail over capitalism.
No country in Europe has been hit by the world crisis harder than Britain.
The Tory/LibDem coalition is determined to wipe out every gain made by the working class and turn the clock back to the days when there was no welfare state and unemployment or starvation levels of pay were the norm.
This has led to the mass movement of workers demanding an end to this government, a movement that the trade union bureaucrats are fighting desperately to betray and bring to an end.
In Britain, the ruling class is consciously preparing for civil war, since it is the only way that its austerity measures, set to destroy the Welfare State and all of the gains of the working class, can be imposed.
The working class has grasped that a decisive period lies ahead. It is prepared for struggle, but its leadership is made up of traitors.
In 2012, the fight to bring down the coalition government and replace it with a workers’ government, to go forward to socialism as part of the victory of the European socialist revolution and the world socialist revolution, is the burning issue of the hour.
This struggle in the UK and throughout the planet demands the resolving of the crisis of working class leadership through the building of powerful sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International.
This is the decisive measure, the building of sections of the Fourth International in every country, that is required to resolve the crisis of working class leadership and achieve the victory of the World Socialist Revolution.
We send our revolutionary greetings to the workers and masses of the world. We call on you to join us in building the revolutionary leadership necessary to smash capitalism and imperialism worldwide and take humanity forward to the world socialist republic.