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Issue #1753      October 19, 2016


The way forward

Every moment of thought since October 1917, however remote from the event it might appear, has reflected the problems raised by the Russian Revolution.

For millions of working people, October had shone as a ray of hope in their lives, while for the ruling classes of the world it represented a mortal threat.

However you looked at the problems of world society, whether from a factory bench or from a university campus, whether you sought a radical change or were utterly hostile to socialism, the Soviet experiment was seen as the alternative to the existing social order.

Today when capitalist propagandists claim that the issue of socialism is now closed, what is the actual state of affairs?

Today, capitalism is all but universal. Capitalist laws of motion, the logic of capitalism, have penetrated ever deeper into the societies of advanced capitalism, spatially throughout the world.

Now every human practice, every social relationship, and the environment are subject to the requirements of profit-maximisation. In effect, what does this constant self-expansion of capital, capital accumulation, mean?

At one extreme, in advanced capitalist countries, it means the penetration of capitalist principles into those social institutional and cultural spaces that even a few decades ago they had not yet reached.

At the other extreme, it means marginalisation and increasing impoverishment of whole regimes outside the advanced capitalist countries. In a sense, the class polarisations of capitalism are being reproduced in the North-South divide, not to mention the impoverishment of the so-called underclasses within advanced capitalist countries.


The global expansion of corporate interests manifests itself through emphasis on the market economy, through the phenomenon of (imperialist) globalisation.

History shows that war in its various forms is the military means by which capitalism acquires most markets, a permanent supply of cheap labour and raw materials, essential to counteract any decline in its rate of profit.

Thus the global crisis of capitalism, now threatening the United States of America at the very heart of the system, characterised by a wave of frantic corporate mergers, acquisitions and alliances, could be offset only through an acceleration of its control over the global economy by war or other means.

The new millennium has experienced the barbaric invasion of Iraq and devastating wars currently being played out in the death and destruction in Syria. perpetrated by US imperialism along with its NATO partners – all monstrously designed to further the global economic interests of capitalism.

The multiplication of US sanctions against a number of countries refusing to surrender to US imperialism is a reflection of a waning global economy, a crisis of overproduction.

In the loud lamentations of one of the foremost world financiers, George Soros, “The global capitalist system which has been responsible for the remarkable prosperity of this country (United States) is coming apart at the seams”.

What has happened?

It is certainly not just a Japanese or Latin American crisis, or the consequences of specific national strategies or policy failures. It is not a function of “crony capitalism”, nor of any other specific and defective form of capitalism.

It is a consequence of capitalism pure and simple and it manifests itself even in the most ostensibly successful capitalism. Crisis is a consequence of systematic processes inherent in capitalism as such, which are playing themselves out in every capitalist economy and in the relations among them.

What are the implications of this prolonged crisis?

In this world money rules. In every part of the capitalist world the new technology has made its mark on all our lives through the same medium – the market – in which goods and services and individuals are globally bought and sold.

Imperialist globalisation has made it fashionable to take it for granted that we just cannot live without the market.

But in reality, what the introduction of the new technology has brought about is a two-tier labour market in which the people in the expanding lower layers are trapped by poor education or lack of education, poor housing or homelessness, degrading or mindless forms of work or long-term unemployment and hunger.

Only the higher privileged layers of the employed enjoy the benefits of the system.

Imperialist globalisation thus means technological monopoly, financial control of worldwide financial markets, monopolistic access to the planet’s natural resources, media and communication and monopolies over weapons of mass destruction.

Since this situation is generating a global crisis where all capitalist countries are affected, the basis is laid for nation-wide and world-wide struggle against the system itself.

In other words to fight the global offensive of capitalism, a new sense of international solidarity and unity among the working masses is an urgent task today.

And clear indications are visible that, though very slow, change in the consciousness of the working class, the working people and all sections of the poor, is taking place across the globe, realising the necessity of halting this capitalist offensive.

This struggle has to be intensified, and political consciousness raised wherein the socialist alternative does not appear a far cry but a realisable possibility.

Where humanity survives, its conflict with inhuman forms goes on. Today’s obscenities - the dehumanised and dehumanising forces – cannot remain as permanent fixtures in human civilisation. Human beings can erase them.

Next article – “Trickle-up” economics

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