THE News Line Editorial Board sends its May Day greetings to the working class and the youth of the world.
This year’s May Day is doubly important since this year is the hundredth anniversary of the Russian revolution of 1917, and also the centenary of the Bolshevik party leading the working class to the seizure of power in October 1917.
This was indeed the greatest event in human history and changed the world forever!
Despite the emergence of the Stalinist bureaucracy, this great revolution created the Red Army that in the words of Churchill ‘tore the guts out of the German army’ in the course of the Second World War.
The Russian revolution also powerfully assisted the movement for national liberation, and created the conditions for the working class to overthrow capitalism in China in 1949 and then in Vietnam and Cambodia where the French imperialists were first defeated and driven out, and following them the US army with all of its power was humiliatingly defeated.
Today, despite the Stalinist bureaucracy, a great portion of the planet has been torn out of the grasp of the imperialist powers, while capitalism is now crisis-ridden, in desperate straits and fighting for its life. Having suffered a great crash in 2008-2010 the system is now careering towards the economic and political precipice with astonishing speed.
The period has now arrived for completing the world socialist revolution, begun in Russia in 1917, including political revolutions in Russia and China to overthrow the bureaucracy, so that humanity can advance to a new and higher form – a world socialist society!
It is in this spirit that we send our greetings to the struggling masses of Palestine, especially to its heroic 1,600 hunger strikers, led by Marwan al Barghouthi, who are braving Israeli barbarism and standing up for the national rights of the Palestinian people.
Ongoing clashes erupted across the occupied West Bank on Friday, with many Palestinians injured, in a ‘Day of Rage’ called for by the Fatah movement – in support of the hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners who have now entered the 15th day of a mass hunger strike.
Israeli forces fired tear-gas bombs, rubber-coated steel bullets, and live fire during the clashes in cities, villages and refugee camps in the West Bank. The Palestinian masses are outraged that the Trump administration has given Israel a clear go-ahead to establish one state in Palestine, with the Palestinian people as its colonial slaves.
Trump has even declared that the US embassy will be moved to Jerusalem, and has recognised that city as the capital of Israel. This has emboldened Israel and encouraged it to expand its settlements and even to begin a regular bombing of Syria.
The UK working class cannot stand idly by and watch the massacre of the Palestinians. The Tory government has been asked by the Palestinians to apologise for the Balfour Declaration made 100 years ago, under which Britain handed over Palestine to the Zionists. The Tories have refused and indeed are now celebrating the centenary of the Balfour Declaration!
The Palestinians have also asked the UK government to recognise the state of Palestine and it has also refused. The UK trade unions must organise massive demonstrations in support of the Palestinians and also impose a trade union boycott of Israel.
The Labour Party must include a UK apology for the Balfour Declaration and a pledge to recognise the state of Palestine in its Election Manifesto for the general election on June 8.
We send our May Day greetings to the struggling masses of Syria and Iraq who have carried the brunt of the struggle against ISIS and its backers. The Syrian people have lost hundreds of thousands of people being killed and many more wounded in the battle to maintain the independence of their country against Islamist armies, recruited and paid for by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States and armed, trained and politically supported by the US, UK and France.
President Assad and the Syrian Baath Party have played a progressive role in establishing a secular Syrian state and protecting its national minorities whether they be Christians, or other national minorities.
The Syrian people and army must be congratulated on the exemplary fashion in which they have defended their country and defeated Anglo-French and US imperialism. They must be applauded and supported by the UK trade unions for their conviction that only the Syrian people can decide who is to govern their country, and that the era of Sykes-Picot is over and will never return.
The EU states, however, must be condemned for the way that they have treated the millions of refugees that their attack on Syria created, and their attempt to sell the refugees to Turkey for 6bn euros!
Meanwhile, US imperialism is organising new wars and its own war against the US trade unions and the Mexican working class as its economic crisis deepens. However, its main adversary, the US working class has commenced its march into history.
Almost 350,000 service workers are to strike today, May 1st, in the USA. Tens of thousands of members of the powerful California branch of the Service Employees International Union will participate in the strike. More than 300,000 food chain workers and 40,000 unionised service workers are walking off the job.
This however is just the start. Since Trump’s election, a strike by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance has led to a consumer boycott of Uber. A one-day work-stoppage by New York City Bodega owners rallied the city around its Yemeni business owners. February’s Day Without Immigrants shut down the food service in urban centres, and the Women’s Strike this month closed schools and filled the streets.
There is much more to come as the US workers break with the Democrats and the Republicans.
US president Donald Trump has just unveiled what he calls the ‘biggest tax cuts in history’. His plans to cut US corporate tax from 35% to 15% at a stroke led Trump’s chief economic advisor, Gary Cohn, to deliriously announce that: ‘We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to do something really big.’ The really big thing he has in mind is handing an estimated $19.5 trillion to the bankers, bosses and billionaires while at the same time being completely silent about where this money will come from apart from electronic creation.
All this free money, paid for by the working class through brutal austerity cuts, has gone in only one direction – into the pockets of the bankers and speculators and used in an orgy of speculation on the stock markets of the world.
This has already created a gigantic inflationary bubble in share prices that Trump’s new tax cuts will push to the point of explosion. Jeremy Warner, writing in the Daily Telegraph, warned: ‘Trump’s boom is pouring more oil on the flames.’ He points to the sobering fact that shares are selling at over 25-times the earnings of the companies they are invested in.
This is the giant inflationary bubble that will burst and bring down the banks and stock markets of the world once again. Warner also notes that a similar ratio was reached just before the great financial crash of 1929 when Wall Street collapsed along with the banks. He writes: ‘No one knows what will trigger the next bust, but shares are as overvalued as before the Great Crash.’
The Great Crash of 1929 caused the ‘hungry thirties’ of poverty and starvation for workers and their families in the US, Britain and across Europe, an economic collapse of capitalism that led directly to the second imperialist world war. The US imperialists and their allies are already preparing World War 3, as their only way of attempting to stave off temporarily the deepening crisis of capitalism.
Accordingly, last Friday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the UN Security Council that as far as North Korea is concerned ‘all options must remain on the table”. ”The threat of a North Korean nuclear attack on Seoul or Tokyo is real, and it is likely only a matter of time before North Korea develops the capability to strike the US mainland,’ Tillerson told a UN Security Council meeting on Friday.
Tillerson made his remarks hours after Trump said that a ‘major conflict’ with North Korea was ‘absolutely’ possible in the ongoing stand-off over its nuclear and missile programmes. UK Defence Minister Fallon and the other US ‘running dogs’ in the UK are doing their best to support Trump. Fallon has condemned Labour leader Corbyn for refusing to agree to a ‘pre-emptive first strike’ nuclear policy to kill millions of innocents, while Foreign Secretary Johnson has declared that the UK will join in a US attack on Syria, without any agreement by the UK parliament.
Clearly the working class in the US has a major task ahead – it must break with the Democrats and form a Labour Party to fight for a socialist USA and the disarming of US imperialism, for the good of the US workers and 99.9% of the population of the planet. It must also build a section of the Fourth International to guide the fight for a socialist USA.
However, it is the EU that for the moment is the centre of the world crisis. The EU ruling group of bosses and bankers have destroyed Greece with massive austerity, crippled Ireland with the same, and bankrupted the Italian, Spanish and Portuguese banks. They have now destroyed the major parties of the French Fifth Republic by creating massive unemployment, shutting down whole industries in France and turning the Socialist Party into the main enemy of the trade unions and the 35-hour week.
The second round of the French Presidential elections is to be fought out between Le Pen and the National Front neo-fascist movement and Macron’s ‘new party’, which the destroyed forces of the Republican and Socialist parties have rallied behind to a man and a woman.
Macron is notoriously anti-trade union, and hated for ‘Macron’s Law’ which he pushed as a Socialist Party Economy Minister. Whatever the result of the Presidential election the goose of the Fifth Republic is cooked. If Le Pen wins there will be an immediate student and youth uprising, which will eclipse May/June 1968 and will be joined by major sections of the working class in a struggle for workers power.
If Macron wins, the forces that created the France in which the Socialist and Republican parties were were destroyed in the first round of the election will be back in power – meaning that the Fifth Republic will be dead and gone, and that the struggle will erupt for a Socialist Republic.
Meanwhile, in the UK May has called a snap election, breaking all previous pledges and seeking to return to power with a massive individual mandate as the ‘great leader’ on the basis of a hysterical campaign against Jeremy Corbyn. She is taking as big a gamble as did Cameron and Osborne when they called the EU referendum, then lost it and were forced to resign.
What is driving May to gamble in this way is that she fears that without a personal mandate she will not be able to negotiate a compromise deal with the EU, including £60bn of alimony, and that she will not be able to carry out her domestic programme to privatise the NHS and eliminate benefits.
So she is repeating the Cameron-Osborne gamble with much higher stakes. The first gamble ended in a ‘tragedy’ for Cameron and Osborne. The second may end as a farce with the ending of the May government by its own hand. However, at least half of all Labour MPs are on her side hoping for a Labour defeat to get rid of Corbyn and the reformist socialist threat, so that they can then form an open front with all and sundry including the Liberal Democrats to remain in the EU.
Workers must make the worse Tory nightmare happen! They must turn out in their tens of millions to bring down the Tories and bring in a Labour government. A Labour victory will cause the mother of all City of London crashes and a huge political crisis. This is why the WRP is standing five parliamentary candidates to provide leadership in this crisis situation and to demand:
• An immediate break with the EU and a campaign alongside the French workers to bring down the EU and replace it with a Socialist United States of Europe.
• The nationalisation of the banks and the major industries to bring in a socialist planned economy in the face of the worsening capitalist crisis to build the millions of council homes that are required and to put an end to all benefit cuts.
• The nationalisation of the drug companies to provide the finances that the NHS requires for its renewal and restrengthening.
• The disarming of British imperialism and saving hundreds of billions of pounds by cancelling the renewal of the Trident programme, the stopping of the arms supplies to Israel and Saudi Arabia, and halting the building of a UK naval base in Bahrain that is being built for a war with Iran!
• A section of these huge savings must be used to rebuild the NHS and public sector care, and restore student grants, and part of it must be transferred to support the state of Palestine which the UK must recognise and support.
The May Day call of the WRP is to change the world and complete the World Socialist Revolution, begun in 1917 to put an end to world capitalism and imperialism, to go forward to socialism all over the world.