PUT AN END TO CAPITALISM! – Only way to defend jobs, wages and the Welfare State

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Lead banner on Saturday’s 10,000 strong march to defend Ealing, Charing Cross, Hammersmith and Central Middlesex hospitals
Lead banner on Saturday’s 10,000 strong march to defend Ealing, Charing Cross, Hammersmith and Central Middlesex hospitals

THE News Line Editorial Board sends its revolutionary greetings on this 2013 May Day to the workers and the oppressed nations fighting imperialism throughout the world.

We hail the struggle of the Syrian people against intervention by imperialism, the struggle of the Palestinian masses for their state, the struggle of the Bangladeshi garment workers, and the struggles of the masses of Egypt, South Africa and Venezuela for socialism.

Our message is that we must organise like never before to get rid of capitalism, now in the midst of its greatest ever economic and political crisis, and replace it, through the victory of the world socialist revolution, with worldwide socialism.

The only alternative to this perspective is to see capitalism drive back humanity into some new dark ages of mass poverty, military police dictatorships and major wars.

We must work tirelessly for the victory of the world socialist revolution and for the overthrow of US and UK imperialism, in the period ahead.

This is the essence of our May Day 2013 greetings.

The inflationary boom has given way to the greatest banking collapse in history and a massive worldwide slump.

Capitalism can no longer develop the productive forces and carry human-kind forward.

To survive, it is destroying the productive forces and is driving society backwards, over the abyss, as it seeks to make the working class and the poor of the world pay a bloody price for its crisis.

There are hundreds of millions of unemployed, a zero future for youth, moves towards a military police state at home, and continuing wars to try to crush the nations that won their freedom from imperialism, in order to grab their oil and gas resources and return them to colonial slavery.

To the working class of the West, capitalism can only offer a future of 19th century living standards, the abolition of all welfare states and health services and the fraud of bourgeois democracy being replaced by open forms of ruling class dictatorship, from state control of the media to mass surveillance in ‘Big Brother’ states, backed up by tasers, drones, other weaponry and bodies of armed men.

To the nations that, in the period after the Russian Revolution and then again after the Red Army defeated Hitlerism, won their freedom from the yoke of imperialism, the capitalist ruling classes of the world can only offer permanent wars of attempted reconquest, to grab their oil and gas resources, and restore the yoke of colonial slavery, allied to the extremes of Bangladeshi-type super-exploitation.

In a world where modern technology and scientific advances make socialism and communism a modest demand, the capitalist classes of the world can offer only zero.

Even now the British ruling class is discussing withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan, not to Britain, but to new military bases in the Gulf, to be provided by their feudal friends for use against Iran.

They are openly saying that at one time the Gulf was a ‘British lake’, and that they withdrew from the area when they acknowledged that the US had taken over the role of British imperialism.

Now, out of economic and political necessity, they must return there to try to save British capitalism, using the means of robbery with extreme violence against Iran, a country that it dominated pre-1945.

However, the matter will not stop there.

The heirs of Stalin, who rule the degenerated and deformed workers states of Russia and China, are also on the menu of the imperialist powers.

The Russian and Chinese Stalinist bureaucracies term themselves as ‘partners’ of the US and the UK, with a caution that they are not yet ‘strategic partners’.

They will never be the latter, no matter how many Libya-type interventions they help the imperialist powers with.

The fact of the matter is that the imperialists see the strategic solution to their crisis as seizing Russia’s vast mineral resources and destroying China’s power in Asia.

The fact that Putin seeks to work with Obama, and that China props up the US by purchasing its toxic debt, only proves that the Stalinist bureaucracy cannot fight imperialism, since it refuses to ally itself with the struggle of the working class for world socialism, and therefore will always be at a disadvantage as far as the imperialist powers are concerned, and always seeking a deal with imperialism.

The bureaucracies remain privileged layers that were able to seize political power because of the delays of the world revolution. In the course of the further development of the world revolution they will be overthrown by workers’ political revolutions, that will see the working class directly taking power into its hands.

All sections of the planet are now being revolutionised by the capitalist crisis.

The EU states are collapsing with up to 30 per cent unemployment in Greece, Portugal and Spain, and with youth unemployment approaching 50-60 per cent.

How far capitalism is driving the EU backwards is shown by the fact that there is heavier unemployment in the above EU states than there is in the Gaza Strip.

The EU is now run by a troika dictatorship that has seized the right to form governments and remove them, and now treats private bank accounts as its property, as in Cyprus, pledging to do the same elsewhere as required.

Further EU banking collapses, and a run on the banks are inescapable.

Italy, now run by a crisis coalition, faces a huge debt crisis and a major clash between the working class and the ruling class, while even France, a ‘rock’ of the EU and the single currency, faces record adult and youth unemployment.

The working class in the EU is being given no alternative but to take the revolutionary road.

In Ireland, where the banking bubble reached its most extreme and absurd proportions before it exploded, the Irish people have declared ‘no more austerity’.

They have forced their timid reformist trade union leaders to break with the corporatist set-up, whereby the unions, the government and the bosses formed an alliance and took joint responsibility for the capitalist economy.

The trade unions have been forced by their members to reject a further one billion euros of cuts, and the trade union leaders have had to warn the government that, if they bring in legislation to impose these cuts in wages, jobs and pensions they will face an explosion of a type not seen since the 1913 Dublin Labour War, the lock- out of the dockers whose revolutionary resistance paved the way for the 1916 Easter Rising.

Revolutionary explosions are set to erupt throughout the EU, and nowhere with greater force than the UK.

Here an unelected government is setting out to save the British capitalists and bankers by abolishing all of the basic rights and gains of the working class.

The NHS is being privatised, 60 District General Hospitals are to be closed.

The Welfare State is being abolished, with benefits being slashed and replaced by ‘Universal Credit’ (in reality Universal Robbery) a small monthly sum, a fraction of previous benefits, being handed to the ‘undeserving poor’ which, once exhausted, will leave the recipients and their families to survive how best they can.

No wonder moneylenders are opening up on every high street.

The poor are now being told that they can survive on £1 a day for meals, if they adopt an Asian diet, meaning a bowl of rice a day!

The one million unemployed youth are already being treated as slave labourers, being set to work for a pittance, and then seeing that pittance deducted from their Job Seekers Allowance.

This change is being followed up by the bedroom tax that will see families evicted who have had their housing benefit slashed by up to £25 per ‘spare’ bedroom.

Meanwhile, the cost of living is rising on a daily basis while wages are being frozen.

Now the coalition is getting ready to cut the NHS and Education budgets by up to £1bn – to be handed to the military to carry out the UK’s foreign wars.

Britain is on the brink of a revolutionary explosion. This is why Labour Party leaders are accusing trade union leaders, who stand up for the working class in any way, of ‘treachery’.

It is Miliband and Co who are treacherous. They are getting ready to replace the Tory Cameron-led coalition with a Labour-led coalition, equally dedicated to making the working class pay for the bosses’ crisis and the bankers’ bonuses.

Workers in the UK now declare that ‘drastic times require drastic measures’.

They are ready to occupy hospitals to stop them closing.

They are ready for, and are demanding that, an indefinite general strike be called to bring down the coalition and go forward to a workers government and socialism.

This is what is directly ahead in the UK. We must be ready to lead a struggle for workers power and socialism.

Where the UK is today the US will be tomorrow, and perhaps more so.

Even the AFL-CIO leaders have been shocked by the deals that President Obama is seeking to make with the Republican Party, slashing billions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid to begin to wipe out the 16 trillions dollars of US debt.

Workers in the US are now engaged in a number of serious industrial struggles for their rights and jobs.

They are living in cities that are bankrupt and, like Detroit, being handed over to an appointed dictator to make the required massive cuts in jobs and wages.

US workers are opposed to the US bosses’ oil wars in Iraq, Libya and now Syria.

They are becoming more and more convinced that their enemy is at home in the US.

The US working class is now in the process of questioning why their unions are continuing to pour tens of millions of dollars into the coffers of Obama and the Democratic Party.

They will soon break from the Democrats and form a Labor Party.

The US working class is set to join the struggles of the working class of the world for socialism!

It is in this situation, where the heartland of capitalism and imperialism is in a huge crisis, that we hold out the hands of revolutionary solidarity to the workers of Libya, battling against a NATO-imposed Al-Qaeda regime, and to the workers of Syria who are fighting to maintain Syria as an anti- imperialist, anti-Zionist pro-Palestinian state.

We greet the workers and youth of Egypt who are determined to fight and achieve a socialist Egypt, and the workers and youth of Palestine who are fighting for a secular socialist Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, in which Arabs, Christians and Jews can live side-by-side with imperialism and Zionism driven out of the region.

We send our greetings to the workers of Bangladesh who are ruthlessly doubly exploited by their own bourgeoisie and the bosses of the West. We are in deep admiration of your courageous struggle for trade unions and a socialist Bangladesh.

We salute the masses of Venezuela who are determined to continue their struggle for socialism.

We greet the struggling South African working class and youth who are breaking with the ANC government that has secured South Africa for the international bankers and capitalists, and are struggling to build the revolutionary party to lead the South African socialist revolution.

The entire working class of the world is now moving forward as an international force seeking to smash capitalism and imperialism.

It is, however, being held back by the crisis of working class leadership, which is still in the hands of timid reformists and opportunist Stalinists.

Trotsky wrote in his Transitional Programme, written in 1938 as the founding document of the Fourth International, during an economic crisis that has similarities with that of today, the following:

‘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.’

We cannot say better in our revolutionary greetings.

Join the WRP and build sections of the Fourth International in every country!