New Year’s statement by the News Line Editorial Board
THE NEWS LINE Editorial Board sends revolutionary greetings for 2022 to all our readers and to the working class, youth and poor across the world who are rising up against a capitalist system that is in its death agony.
For nearly two years, the world has been gripped by the Coronavirus pandemic that has shown to everyone that the capitalist system of private ownership and production solely for profit is utterly incapable of defeating the Covid virus and safeguarding the health of countless millions of workers and poor across the world.
On the contrary, the entire drive of the capitalist ruling class internationally has not been to eradicate the virus but to force workers to ‘learn to live with it’ in its newest and most virulent Omicron variant.
At all costs, the ruling class has insisted that capitalism must be kept open, workers forced to return to their jobs and any lockdowns or restrictions kept to the barest minimum and only introduced when workers rebel, refusing to risk their health and lives for the profit of the bosses and bankers.
The Covid pandemic did not cause the economic crisis that is engulfing capitalism internationally but it has dramatically accelerated it, and has also accelerated the determination of workers, youth and the masses of the world not to see their lives destroyed by a system that can only survive by impoverishing them, and is happy for the bodies to ‘pile up’ if it means keeping the profits flowing.
It is this world crisis that is fuelling the revolutionary uprisings across the globe.
We send our warmest revolutionary greetings to the Palestinian people who have been resolutely defiant in the face of all the attacks launched on them by Israel and its imperialist masters, aided by the treachery of the Arab states who signed up to the US brokered ‘Abraham Accords’, under which wealthy Gulf states forged diplomatic ties with the Zionist state, paving the way for military cooperation against the Palestinians and indeed, in preparation for a war against Iran.
This has been met with the resistance of the Palestinians and mass demonstrations in those states that have welcomed Israeli leaders by the Arab people determined to fight against this reactionary alliance to crush the struggle for an independent state of Palestine.
All over Palestine the resistance to the Israeli occupiers is growing, with Palestinians refusing to be driven off their land despite the continued attacks by settlers, protected by the army, on their villages and houses.
Far from being crushed the Palestinians have fought back.
Their struggle has won the support of the great mass of workers across the world, expressed in the huge demonstrations that took place in cities this year in support of the Palestinians.
In May, at a 250,000-strong rally in London, supported by 15 major trade unions, the general secretary of the National Education Union, Kevin Courtney, made the call for a general strike in Britain in solidarity with the Palestinians.
Workers must demand that the TUC support this call with national strike action against a Tory government that declared any support for Hamas illegal in Britain.
Increasingly, workers are aware that Israel is nothing more than an artificial, illegitimate state, created in the Middle East by imperialism to wage war against the Arab masses and secure the region’s resources for its imperial masters.
With the Palestinians gaining overwhelming support for their fight against the racist, apartheid regime, 2022 will be the year when the Palestinian struggle, with the active support of the working class internationally, will achieve victory, and the independent state of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital will be established. A secular state where all races and religions can live side by side in peace.
2021 has been another year when imperialism suffered humiliating defeats that proved conclusively that, far from ‘Bestriding the world like a Colossus’, capitalism in its late imperialist stage is staggering from one defeat to another.
Following the defeat of the war to enact regime change in Syria this year, the US ruling class, and its UK and German allies, suffered a historic defeat in Afghanistan.
20 years after Afghanistan was invaded under the lying pretext of a ‘war on terror’ by the US-led coalition forces, their troops were forced to flee, humbled by the Taliban and the resistance of the Afghan people.
The mighty armies of the most powerful imperialist nations scurried out like whipped dogs.
The News Line Editorial Board sends its revolutionary greetings to the workers and youth in Sudan who are revolting against the military dictatorship with mass demonstrations demanding ‘No military rule!’
Sudan has been in the midst of an enormous economic and political crisis since the masses – with women in the forefront – rose up in 2019 to overthrow the US/UK backed dictatorship of Omar al-Bashir.
Since then, the military have used murderous force against the masses with hundreds killed in a US sponsored desperate effort to strengthen and maintain the grip of the generals and their tame bourgeois political allies.
The Sudanese people are now rising up again.
2022 will be the year for the victory of the Sudanese workers and youth.
We send our greetings to the masses in Myanmar who, nearly a year after the military seized power in a bloody coup, are refusing to submit to the increasingly murderous army regime.
The Myanmar masses have moved far beyond the demands of the bourgeois democrats who restrict themselves to calling for the release and reinstatement of former president Aung San Suu Kyi through peaceful protest.
The masses of Myanmar and Sudan have learnt the harsh lesson that capitalism is determined to keep the profits of the bosses and bankers rolling in and will turn to the most brutal dictatorships to ensure the people are pacified and available for exploitation.
The only answer to this is the revolutionary struggle to take power and go forward to socialism.
This is the harsh lesson being driven home to workers in the advanced capitalist nations, as this bankrupt capitalist system seeks survival by dumping its crisis squarely on their backs.
The onset of capitalism’s latest and most deadly crisis emerged in 2008 with the collapse of the world banking system.
The response of the central banks in the US, UK and Europe was to embark on a policy of printing, or rather electronically producing, trillions of valueless currencies which they pumped into the banking system to stop it going bust.
Far from being a temporary measure, the central banks have continued to flood the world with trillions of valueless fictitious money.
This unending flow of virtually free money poured into the pockets of the bankers and international financiers, who used it to embark on a massive speculative frenzy on the world stock markets.
Billionaires have been created overnight, entirely through speculation funded by ‘loans’ that are in fact debt.
Hedge fund speculators scoured the world to buy up companies using ‘leveraged’ buyouts, taking on massive debts that were then passed onto these companies inevitably leading to their bankruptcy while the hedge funds walked away.
The governments of the UK, the US and the eurozone, unable to finance public spending out of taxation, resorted to raising money by selling government bonds that were bought up by their own central banks.
These governments printed money to pay for their spending and in the process piled up national debt to unprecedented levels.
The national debt of the UK stands at over £2.3 trillion, last month alone the Tories borrowed £17.4 billion just to keep going.
The UK national debt is nearly 100% of the country’s total wealth produced as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Even this figure is exceeded by that of the US.
The most powerful capitalist economy in the world recorded a record national debt of $29.2 trillion at the end of this month – 122% of the nation’s GDP.
In other words, the USA is technically bankrupt and unless president Joe Biden can force through, in the teeth of opposition from Republican and some Democrat senators, the authority to increase the government debt ceiling, allowing it to borrow even more, then the US will default on its debt, bringing the entire capitalist financial system crashing down with it.
Until now, all this massive debt has been affordable for governments and the speculators due to the near zero interest rates.
All this free money and cheap debt that has kept capitalism from collapse has created a massive surge in inflation.
Financing of government spending by printing money is precisely what led to the hyper-inflation that destroyed the German economy, and made its currency worthless, in the 1920s. This is the path world capitalism is following today.
When inflation started to increase it was universally described as a mere blip caused by shortages in the supply chain caused by the pandemic.
Now, they are no longer able to dismiss inflation and both the BoE and the Fed have admitted that inflation will not just disappear but will increase, forcing them to take urgent measures to try and hold it back.
But the central banks are caught in a vicious trap.
World capitalism enters 2022 in the greatest economic crisis in history, drowning in debt, and now facing an inflationary spiral running out of control, and with no way out but to try and make the working class pay.
This has created a revolutionary confrontation between the classes.
2021 has seen workers across the US, Britain and Europe rise up in action over pay, with demands for increases to match the major increases in the cost of living.
In the US, the press dubbed October ‘Striketober’ as workers in their thousands mobilised in an unprecedented wave of strikes, including over 10,000 walking out at 14 John Deere plants, closing down America’s largest agricultural equipment manufacturers.
Over 30,000 healthcare workers voted by 96% for strike action after rejecting a derisory 1% pay offer.
These were just two of the actions that made the strike wave sweeping the US the biggest in over 40 years.
The powerful American working class is not prepared to be driven into the ground with wage-cutting derisory pay offers at a time when inflation is running at over 6% and rising.
With the working class erupting and the capitalist class demanding that the bankrupt US cannot afford any wage increases, and that workers must take the brunt of the crisis, the class struggle in America has reached the point of explosion.
News Line sends its warmest revolutionary greetings to the American working class who will demand that its trade union leaders break with the bourgeois Democratic Party and go forward to building a Labour Party to fight for its interests.
A section of the International Committee of the Fourth International must be rapidly built in the US to lead the fast developing struggle to smash capitalism in the main centre of world capitalism.
Inflation is reaching record levels throughout Europe, with Germany hitting a rate of over 6% while the eurozone recorded a rate of 4.9% in November.
Like the US, the European capitalist class is insisting that wage increases are now responsible for inflation and must be held down or cut.
This has provoked a mass wave of strikes throughout the EU, with the Italian trade unions calling a national one-day strike in December demanding an end to all attacks on wages, pensions and job security.
France is going through a protracted series of strikes amongst transport workers over pay and conditions, while in Germany even employees of the European Central bank have gone on strike demanding at least a 5% pay rise.
News Line sends revolutionary greetings to all workers and young people throughout Europe who are rising up in defence of their living standards and are prepared to take action against a capitalist system determined to inflict its inflationary crisis on the working class.
2022 will be the year of social revolution throughout Europe to smash the capitalist EU and replace it with the United Socialist States of Europe.
In Britain, the class struggle has reached a decisive turning point as the working class shows its real strength and determination not to be driven back to the poverty conditions of the 19th century.
The wave of strikes and ballots for strike action towards the end of 2021 encompassed workers across the private and public sector, from NHS workers, train workers, refuse collectors through to supermarket workers.
All these strikes over pay, conditions and against the rapacious bosses’ policy of fire and rehire, have immeasurably sharpened the conflict between workers and the ruling capitalist class.
The only force keeping the working class from the throats of the bosses and the Tory government is the leadership of the trade unions who have refused to mobilise the full strength of the working class in a general strike to bring down the Tories.
These reformist leaders fear revolution and are prepared to sell workers down the river to keep capitalism going rather than see it overthrown.
The economic crisis that has pushed Britain over the brink of recession, and the uprising of the working class, has caused a huge political crisis for the ruling class.
The Tory government, led by Boris Johnson, is split from top to bottom over how to inflict the crisis on workers.
Increasingly, the capitalist class is reaching the conclusion that Johnson, with all his talk about ‘levelling up’ and building a ‘high wage economy’, is too weak to carry out the class war that capitalism requires.
The ruling class is preparing to dump Johnson, replacing him with an even more vicious leadership to drive through the cuts necessary to keep British capitalism from collapse.
While it is preparing for a new civil war, the Labour Party leader, Keir Starmer, is pushing his credentials as a junior partner in some form of National Government, serving under whichever Tory replaces Johnson.
The Labour Party is the sole prop of the Tory Party.
Starmer now boasts the Labour Party only acts in the ‘national interest’, that is in the interest of the ruling class not in the interest of the working class.
The immediate task in 2022 will be for the working class to break decisively with the Labour Party, and those union leaders who work to keep this bankrupt capitalist system alive rather than consign it to history where it belongs.
These union leaders must be thrown out and replaced with the revolutionary leadership of the WRP which alone is prepared to lead the struggle for the working class to take power.
This is the immediate historic task of workers, youth and the poor throughout the world – to put an end to this bankrupt capitalist system that, in its final imperialist stage, can offer nothing but war on workers at home and war against the peoples of the world.
In their desperation, the imperialist powers are rapidly making preparations for a war against Russia and China, in an attempt to restore capitalism and overturn the gains of the Russian and Chinese revolutions.
The workers of the world must stand fast in their support for Russia and China. The enemy is at home!
Only the victory of the world socialist revolution can put an end to imperialist wars.
This requires the urgent building of sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International in every country to lead this struggle to victory.
The overthrow of world capitalism will create the conditions for the working class of China and Russia to carry out the political revolution to bring down the remains of the ruling Stalinist bureaucracy and bring in rule by workers’ soviets.
2022 will be the year for building revolutionary parties of the Fourth International to lead the struggle for the World Socialist Revolution to its victory!