Imperialist crisis is the crisis of humanity
In the post September 11 2001 world US imperialism has gone on the offensive to use war against ‘terrorism’ to overcome its 30 year old economic crisis. To survive it is forced to impose its rule over the rest of the world so it can increase its extraction of value from the producing classes. It has to defeat its EU and Japanese rivals to grab oil and gas reserves and the resources of the former workers states. This has further polarised the class struggle internationally between the imperialist powers on the one hand (the EU countries uniting their forces and Japan reviving its military) and the workers and peasants fight back against growing poverty, military occupations and economic slavery.
This struggle is the result of a growing contradiction between the accumulation of wealth and the rivalry of the imperialists to control it, and the growing impoverishment of the masses whose labour and access to resources is being exploited and destroyed. Facing this crisis, the danger is that the masses do not directly confront imperialism but are drawn into one or other of the imperialist blocs behind the reformists. For while the objective basis of the crisis of capitalism remains the drive by capital to destroy nature and humanity, the consciousness of the working masses is yet to face its class enemy directly and recognise the need to overthrow it. Instead, workers and poor peasants everywhere are being led by political parties that refuse to overthrow capitalism, and promote instead some peaceful path to a ‘democratic socialist’ future.
Capitalist Peace and Democracy false hopes
Facing a global crisis where the imperialists are inevitably forced into greater conflicts and wars to survive, this reformist leadership draws workers and poor peasants into a strategy of social imperialism – trying to reform imperialism by means of ‘peace’ and ‘democracy’. So in Europe we have the workers parties, old and new, contesting the Euro elections over control of a ‘parliament’ that is a fig leaf for the Euro imperialists attempts to unify their power in a single state. In Iraq, workers are being asked to support a UN backed puppet government imposed on them by an imperialist invasion and occupation in the name of ‘peace’ and ‘democracy’. In Venezuela, workers are defending Chavez against imperialism but are being told by Stalinists and fake Trotskyists that Chavez can get rid of imperialism by ‘democratic’ and ‘peaceful’ means. In Aotearoa, Maori are being mustered into parliament by a new Maori Party in the belief that colonisation can be legally reversed and that the imperialists’ ongoing grab for land and fisheries can be stopped ‘peacefully’ and ‘democratically’.
Smashing social imperialism
All of these ‘social imperialist movements’ against imperialist globalisation are reactionary utopias. They are utopian because imperialism will not lie down and roll over to save nature and humanity. They are reactionary because they are death traps that will disarm and demobilise workers and small peasants in the face of mounting inter-imperialist aggression and war. They are promoted by bourgeois and petty bourgeois intellectuals to present a human face to capitalism in order to disorientate and disorganise the only class alliance that can put and end to imperialism and capitalism – the workers leading the poor peasant farmer masses.
The answer today is the same one that Trotsky gave in the 1930’s. The crisis of humanity facing the imperialist death drive is a crisis of revolutionary leadership. The workers and poor peasants are the vast majority of humanity, but they are yet to become politically conscious. Trotsky drew upon the tradition of revolutionary Marxism to show that a revolutionary international party was necessary to develop the spontaneous resistance of the masses into a class-conscious revolutionary movement. Without that party and its program workers would remain trapped in the ‘social imperialist’ movements posing as ‘socialist’.
Today, more than ever, as the most recent imperialist crisis now threatens again to destroy nature and humanity, it is vitally urgently build a world party of revolution. The current World Social Forum (and all of its regional and nationalist groupings) is the ‘movement of movements’ that traps workers behind so-called ‘socialist’ and nationalist leaders like Castro, Lula and Chavez. Revolutionaries must stand opposed to this utopian, reactionary, ‘socialist’ international and form a new revolutionary international.
International Conference in December 2004
The CWG is part of a Parity Committee of revolutionary groups that is convening a conference in December this year in Brazil of all those forces that understand that the crisis of capitalism can only be overcome by resolving the crisis of leadership. We are calling on every political tendency and workers organisation that agrees to a basic program of 5 points for world revolution and fights for them in the working class to come to this conference. These points are:
(1) Victory for Iraq, Defeat imperialism at home!
This position recognises that imperialism is the cause of war and that to stop war imperialism (as the highest stage of capitalism) must be defeated. It is based on Lenin’s position of 1915 – “the main enemy is at home”. It also means fighting in the trenches against imperialism.
(2) Against the Popular front and against governments of the bourgeois workers parties in power.
This is Trotsky’s position against all alliances between workers’ organisations and the bourgeoisie, except temporary military blocs, such as being in the trenches alongside the Iraqi resistance.
(3) Against all counter-revolutionary tendencies in the workers movement like Stalinism, and false Trotskyists that provide ‘revolutionary’ credentials for these elements. Practically this means opposition to the role of the World Social Forum which is a popular front kept alive by the role of Stalinists and fake Trotskyists.
(4) For Workers’ Councils and soviets everywhere as the basis of workers and poor farmers’ governments!
The Russian revolution would not have happened without soviets. Elsewhere revolutions without soviets have failed.
(5) For Leninist-Trotskyist democratic-centralist political parties!
This is the party of class conscious workers that leads all workers and their class allies to socialist revolution.
JOIN THE PARITY COMMITTEE AND FIGHT FOR A NEW WORLD PARTY OF REVOLUTION
From Class Struggle 56 June-July 2004