THE News Line Editorial Board sends revolutionary greetings for 2020 to all our readers, and to the working class, youth and the poor who across the world are rising up against a bankrupt capitalist system which is gripped by the greatest economic crisis in its history.
This world capitalist crisis is now driving forward the world socialist revolution in the most explosive way in every corner of the world.
Provided sections of the revolutionary leadership of the Fourth International are built in every country 2020 will be the year for the victory of the world socialist revolution.
From Latin America, throughout the Middle East, and in the most advanced capitalist nations themselves bourgeois society is being ripped apart by the uprising of workers supported by the masses who are refusing any longer to put up with having their lives destroyed in order to keep this rotten bankrupt capitalist system afloat.
News Line sends its greeting to the workers and masses of Ecuador and Chile who have led the fight in Latin America.
In Ecuador the masses erupted onto the streets after the country’s right-wing president, Lenin Moreno, tried to impose cuts on long-standing fuel subsidies as part of a deal with the IMF to retain a $4.2 billion IMF loan needed to bail-out Ecuador’s bankers and rulers from bankruptcy.
Chile has been gripped by mass demonstrations that have seen violent clashes between workers and youth and the hated paramilitary police, backed up by thousands of troops, plus tanks on the streets.
The spark for the uprising was an increase in public transport fares, but like all revolutionary movements this tiny spark ignited an explosion of anger against a regime that had inflicted poverty and austerity on the people while the bourgeoisie wallowed in luxury.
In Lebanon mass demonstrations, sparked originally by the government imposing a tax on WhatsApp calls, have escalated with increasing violence, and the demand for the government to be brought down.
What started as protest demonstrations against cuts are now exploding into uprisings against a capitalist system that is determined to pauperise workers and youth in order to safeguard the profits of the ruling class.
At the same time the desperate attempts by the imperialist powers to re-conquer the world through force have suffered defeat after defeat.
We send particular greetings to the Syrian people who defeated all attempts at regime change by imperialism and its jihadist mercenaries and who are now on the point of driving the remaining US forces out of the country completely.
Their struggle and victory has enormously strengthened the heroic fight of the Palestinians whose leadership in 2019 broke decisively with US imperialism.
To the Palestinian people we extend our warmest revolutionary greetings. Their refusal to submit to the racist state of Israel and its attempts to drive Palestinians from their own land has created a huge political crisis for the Israeli state which now faces its third general election in just one year and a president in Netanyahu who is facing criminal prosecution for corruption.
The Palestinian refusal to submit to imperialist demands and its heroic resistance to the occupation of their country has won the support of workers throughout the world who are demanding that the independent state of Palestine be recognised by all governments.
With the support of the workers of the world 2020 will be the year for the victory of the Palestinians in their fight for an independent state.
News Line congratulates the people of Venezuela who for the past year have fought off all attempts by US imperialism to carry out a coup against the legal government of President Nicolas Maduro, despite enduring vicious sanctions imposed by the US.
Far from being all powerful imperialism has been unable to re-conquer the world and is instead being torn apart by divisions that have emerged between the main imperialist powers.
2019 saw the imperialist war machine, NATO, at war with itself, with French president Macron declaring it was ‘brain dead’.
The fight over Libya’s oil wealth has seen two NATO members – France and Turkey – come to blows, signalling the beginning of the end for imperialist alliances such as NATO that have hitherto been viewed as essential to the stability and survival of world capitalism.
The driving force behind the breakup of the old alliances is the revolutionary upsurge amongst the working class and masses of the world bringing the historic crisis of capitalism, ie. its death agony, to the fore.
This crisis first broke the surface in 2008 in the form of a worldwide banking crash – a crash that the central banks and governments desperately tried to stave off through printing trillions of worthless money and handing it to the banks, along with a near zero interest rates on ‘loans’.
The effect of this was to create a mountain of debt.
Global debt has reached a staggering $255 trillion (£197 trillion) at the end of 2019 after already hitting a record high, according to the Institute of International Finance.
The International Monetary Fund in October issued another of its dire warnings of a $19 trillion corporate debt time bomb that threatened to worsen the next recession.
It predicted that in eight major economies, including the UK’s, that debt-at-risk – the amount owed by companies which cannot cover interest payments with profits – would hit levels higher than those at the height of the 2008 financial crisis and that 40% of corporations in eight major economies faced bankruptcy as a result.
Capitalism is bankrupt and is only surviving by piling on massive debt worldwide while manufacturing industry internationally is collapsing with the once mighty car manufacturers leading the way.
Giant car companies like Ford, Volkswagen and Toyota are all ‘restructuring’ across the globe, closing down factories and laying off millions of workers as the world enters a slump exceeding that of the 1930s.
Huge US corporations produce barely enough profit to pay the interest on the billion dollar loans they have taken out to keep their share prices sky-high, and justify the millions of dollars paid to shareholders and their bosses. These are the ‘zombie’ companies that exist entirely through accumulating debt.
So great is this crisis that in November the international credit agency Moody’s predicted that Europe in 2020 would be hit by a wave of debt defaults after a surge in junk-related companies – companies whose economic performance is worthless junk.
This collapse of manufacturing will rebound on the banks that have financed this debt explosion, with a recent global banking review reporting that the majority of banks worldwide ‘may not be economically viable’ and will not survive any economic downturn.
It is under these conditions of economic collapse that US capitalism is seeking to survive by making war on its capitalist rivals, with attempts to re-conquer and loot the wealth of other nations through imperialist wars and regime changes, while simultaneously waging war at home by making workers and the poor pay for the crisis through the most savage austerity cuts.
This has produced the revolutionary upsurge worldwide of workers, young people, and the poor, who can no longer live under a capitalist system that destroys their lives, so that the bankers and bosses can live in luxury.
In France this revolutionary struggle is being forcibly expressed in the struggle of French workers and youth in the general strikes that have gripped the country in the dying days of 2019 and which will develop into outright insurrection in the New Year.
It started with the Yellow Vests’ protests initially over fuel increases – protests that president Macron, the bankers president as he is known, boasted he would crush with the use of the brutal riot police (CRS).
Not only did he fail to crush the protests but they were joined in December by the full might of the French trade unions, who called a general strike against Macron’s proposed changes in French pensions that would drive up retirement age while drastically cutting their pensions.
This strike is revolutionary. It has demonstrated the huge power of French workers and closed down major cities.
It has a power that all the force of the French state cannot contain.
2020 will be the year in which French workers will bring down Macron but must then go forward to take the power.
To carry out this task French workers must build a French section of the Fourth International capable of organising the successful struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat in France.
In Britain the working class has entered into a period of intense revolutionary class conflict with strikes on the rail system, mass strikes by doctors and nurses in the north of Ireland, plus the developing national postal workers’ strike.
This intensification of the class struggle in Britain takes place after the massive defeat of the Labour Party in the December 12 general election, in which Labour committed harikari by embracing the EU and a second referendum.
Rather than win a Brexit election on the shoulders of the masses and go forward to socialism, Corbyn and Co. committed political suicide.
The Labour Party underestimated the determination of workers to see Brexit through and force a break with the EU.
Workers who had voted for Brexit in 2016 refused to support the Labour Party with all its posturing about second referendums to disguise their determination to remain in the EU.
Workers in the safest Labour seats voted for Johnson on the basis that the UK has to leave the EU on January 31.
Immediately on taking office after the election Johnson ditched all pretence at leading a ‘one nation’ government.
The Queen’s Speech, outlining the priorities for the Tories, including a pledge to introduce new laws to make all-out strikes in the public sector illegal.
This attempt to drive the trade union movement back to the days of the 19th century and illegality will inevitably lead to an explosive confrontation.
Workers will not sit back and see the Tories destroy the unions and the right to strike – rights they fought for and won in the past and which they will fight to the end to defend.
2020 will be the year in which the British working class and its unions will take action by calling a general strike, like their French counterparts, to bring down the Tory government and bring in a workers government that will leave the EU, expropriate the bosses and bankers and place the banks and major industries under workers’ management.
The day of Labour Party reformism is over, destroyed in the 2019 election.
The working class and their unions have entered a revolutionary confrontation with the Tories and British capitalism, where the urgent task is to grasp this historic opportunity by rapidly building up the revolutionary leadership of the WRP to lead the working class and trade unions to take the power and establish socialism in the UK.
UK workers will join with the workers in France, German and Italy, and across Europe, to bring down the bosses’ and bankers’ EU and replace it with the Socialist United States of Europe.
In this revolutionary struggle the workers of Europe will have the support of the working class and oppressed masses throughout the world.
In the US, the most powerful capitalist nation, the working class is also taking the road of revolution under the impact of a world crisis that has devastated the lives of millions of Americans.
Trump may boast that the US economy is strong and unemployment is at a record low but the reality is, the only thing expanding is the stock market, which is recording highs while companies are going bust, entire industries closing, in a crisis intensified by his trade war with the rest of the world.
As the IMF warns this debt bubble will soon explode, destroying the banks and industry, ushering in the worst crash in the history of capitalism.
While Trump boasts of making America great, the harsh reality is that millions of Americans are being driven into the gutter and face starvation today.
Two years ago Trump handed out $1.5 trillion of taxpayers’ money in a massive tax giveaway to corporations and the rich.
Just before this Christmas Trump announced that the price for this handout would be paid for by the most deprived sections of the US, when he promised to strip 3.7 million people of their ‘nutritional benefits’ – food stamps that millions rely on to feed themselves and their families, are to be abolished.
Along with this is Trump’s attempt to repeal the US Affordable Care Act which will kick 32 million off health insurance and leave them incapable of affording any medical treatment.
All the jobs Trump boasts of creating turn out to be the typical low paid insecure gig economy jobs that leave workers scrabbling to survive on starvation levels of pay.
US workers are rising up in hatred at a system that protects the rich and imposes policies designed to keep people hungry so they will work harder.
In 2019 US workers engaged in unprecedented strike actions, including a 6 week national strike by over 48,000 United Auto Workers members against General Motors, venting their anger at a system that demands sacrifices from workers, while at the same time handing trillions over to the filthy rich and large corporations.
With the two main parties of the US bourgeoisie, Republicans and Democrats, tearing each other apart over how best to deal with the working class and their economic rivals, there has never been a better opportunity for the working class to demand the trade unions break with the parties of the bourgeoisie and form a Labour Party in the US to fight for the working class.
It must also build a US section of the Fourth International to lead the struggle to smash world capitalism in its main citadel, the USA.
Above all, in the US, Europe and throughout the world, the historic task confronting workers, youth and the poor is building sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International in every country to lead the victory of the world socialist revolution.
This movement will create the conditions where the Russian and Chinese workers, free from imperialist war threats, will be able to remove the remnants of the ruling Stalinist bureaucracy and bring in workers’ democracy, that is rule through workers’ soviets.
2020 will be the year for the workers of the world, and their allies amongst the masses, to go forward to put this bankrupt capitalist system out of its misery by overthrowing it with socialist revolutions.
2020 will be the year for building parties of the Fourth International throughout the world to lead the world socialist revolution to its victory.
There is not a moment to lose!