This article was originally written for socialistworld.net, the website of the Committee for a Workers’ International.
The following world perspectives document was discussed, amended and passed by delegates and visitors at an international conference, held in London from July 22-25 2019, to reconstitute the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI). Global events have, of course, moved on since the world perspective document was voted on at the July meeting. Current key events, such as the ongoing Brexit crisis, mass protests in Hong Kong and developments in Sudan, are analysed elsewhere on socialistworld.net.
Delegates and visitors to the July conference came from England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France, Austria, Finland, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Chile, South Africa and the USA. Unfortunately, other comrades from South Africa and Nigeria could not attend due to visa problems.
The successful July conference followed several months of intense debate throughout the CWI. This saw the emergence of an undeclared faction moving in an politically opportunist, rightward direction. This dishonest faction was roundly defeated in political debate by those committed to continuing the traditions and building methods of the CWI, organised around the ‘In Defence of a Working Class Trotskyist CWI’ international faction.
All those attending the London conference to reconstitute the CWI returned to their sections politically emboldened and full of confidence to build the forces of genuine Marxism.
The international faction [‘In Defence of a Working Class Trotskyist CWI‘] formulated our platform in opposition to those who wished to nullify the revolutionary perspectives and programme of the CWI by political opportunism and embracing identity politics. We did this in the full knowledge that mass upheavals loomed and sections of the CWI would be ideologically unprepared for this and would be facing the wrong way if we allowed this situation to persist. We therefore tried to correct some of the mistakes of the Irish party on identity politics, the retreat from clear working-class orientation, programme and organisation. To our great disappointment, we found that the malaise was not just restricted to Ireland but had spread to others who had ideologically bent the knee under the pressure of the prevailing retreat in the workers’ movement internationally. They had abandoned a consistent Marxist approach, embracing the ideas emanating originally from US universities, the ideological ‘factories’ of US and world capitalism.
The ensuing ideological struggle within our ranks has indicated just how far this process has gone, which now necessitates that we reconstitute our International on the basis of revolutionary perspectives and tasks. This has become evident now to everybody in our faction with the disappointing results in the recent elections in Ireland. The ideological retreat evident in a number of sections has meant that we had to struggle to ensure that our International and its constituent parts were ideologically consolidated on clear Marxist and Trotskyist lines. As always, this must be underpinned by clear international perspectives.
Even before the discussion has been exhausted, as we predicted, new mass events are already upon us, unfolding before our eyes, at the same time as the inevitable and growing political divergence with the so-called “co-ordinating sections” [i.e. the undeclared opposition faction inside the CWI] takes place.
There is a drastically worsening of economic perspectives for the world economy aggravated by the trade war, which has only just begun, between China and the US. The IMF estimates that the contraction in world trade that has already taken place is equal to the size of the South African economy. This has been accompanied by the outbreak of new mass movements in Hong Kong – which could reverberate in China, opening up entirely new mass working-class movements. Revolutionary movements have erupted in Sudan and Algeria. Erdogan has been soundly beaten in the Istanbul re-run election. A similar process is underway in Eastern Europe and possibly in Russia itself with the outline of the biggest movements for decades, which could shake to their foundations really for the first time the pro-capitalist, post-Stalinist autocracies that have cloaked themselves in a thin veneer of ‘democracy’. There is also the possibility of a new conflagration in the Middle East, a small war stoked up by the breakdown in the nuclear deal with Iran and the subsequent clashes in the Arabian Gulf. This could, in turn, have an important economic fallout, not least in spiralling oil prices, which in the past have usually been harbingers of a new economic crisis. A spiralling of world oil prices could feed back into the world economy and deepen the recessionary trends already evident.
These events have very speedily demonstrated beyond doubt the incapacity of the minority opposition faction to face up to the big changes in the world situation which impend. In Ireland, as we anticipated, there have already been setbacks in the electoral field, enormously aggravated through the opportunist peddling of ‘identity politics’ typified by their one-sided slogan in the European elections: “Vote for a socialist feminist”. Sometimes even a correct programme and a good campaign does not guarantee automatic electoral success if the objective situation is unfavourable. However, problems can be enormously compounded, and therefore lead to a bigger defeat if a campaign is seen as appealing to just one section of the population. The CWI has accumulated enormous experience in different electoral campaigns in a number of countries. In Liverpool, when we effectively controlled the Labour group of councillors and through this the council itself, we never suffered any significant electoral defeats, even when we thought that it appeared not to be the most favourable situation. When the councillors were removed by the government with the help of the Labour right, their replacements were in the same political mould. Therefore the momentum based upon our achievements in terms of real changes in the lives of the working class in the city meant that we did not lose one general council election. In fact our vote consistently held up until the right wing, through expulsions and exclusions, took power into their own hands.
This, unfortunately, was not the case in Ireland because of the narrow approach adopted by the Irish leadership and the concentration on identity politics, which will be compounded even more on the basis of the present trajectory of the Irish party. The electoral defeat they suffered came on the backs of them promising a mass political radicalisation following the victories on abortion and the LGBTQ+ marriage equality. This failed to materialise, with the Greens making the most dramatic gains, and the Irish party suffering big losses.
World economy in stagnation and decline
The world economy has now decisively entered a new phase of stagnation and decline – possibly a serious decline in the next period. The general economic weakness has been enormously aggravated by the colossal rise in inequality which, by cutting the market, cuts purchasing power. The Economist has commented that the current situation stands in stark contrast to the economic position roughly between 1945 until 1980. In this period, governments under mass pressure particularly from a revitalised trade union and labour movement were able to begin to shrink the inequality seen in the past, at least in a relative sense. However, since 1980 up to 2016 the total share of income going to the top 1% in the US and the UK has more than doubled while the incomes of the bottom 90% in the same two countries have barely risen at all over a period of 25 years! At the same time US bosses’ (CEOs) ‘earnings’ were on average about 20 times as much as the typical worker in that period, while today they receive 350 times as much as those at the bottom! World inequality has risen most in the US and UK, while some other countries have seen much smaller increases – Canada, Japan, Italy – and inequality has been stable or falling in others: France, Belgium, Hungary, for example.
Of course the weaknesses and setbacks of the labour movement in the period from 1980 up to today – particularly the resistance from the current seriously weakened trade unions – has enormously helped this process of wealth and power being accumulated more and more into the hands of the rich and their representatives. No wonder Warren Buffett, one of the richest capitalists, brazenly brags that there is certainly a class war and his class is winning! However, the Keynesian bourgeois economist John Kenneth Galbraith in the past also warned the ruling class about the inevitable political threats they will meet from this kind of situation, from an aroused working class and labour movement by seeking to accumulate ever greater piles of wealth. He wrote: “The conspicuously wealthy urge the character-building value of privation for the poor.”
This however – even without the intervention of parties and leaders – will inevitably produce at a certain stage the massive outpouring of anger from below. We are now on the eve of such a situation in all parts of the world: “Far from being a golden era for workers, this is actually an age of insecurity,” wrote Larry Elliott, the London Guardian economic correspondent. The hollowing out of the car industry in Britain, the former workshop of the world, is symptomatic of the general crisis situation facing European industry. The official jobless rate in Britain is the lowest since 1975 and in the US the lowest since 1969. However, the unemployment rate today is not an accurate indicator of the economic health of capitalism or the living conditions of the masses as a whole.
The situation is characterised by low pay and short time working with an estimated half of young people in Europe affected by this. These low-paid jobs do not adequately compensate for crippling rising costs. There has been the loss of consistent and high-paying jobs. This situation particularly affects youth who are becoming a potentially powerful revolutionary factor with big repercussions politically in the next period.
Also, the real labour market is not nearly as robust as the official figures suggest. This general situation exists not just in the US but in Europe as well, enormously aggravated potentially by the trade war and now by the military posturing and actions of Trump against Iran, which if it results in clashes and a corresponding rise in the price of oil could have the most serious economic consequences for a quarter of a century. Larry Elliott points out (in the Guardian) that these events do not come at the “end of a quarter of a century of strong and uninterrupted growth – as was the case in 1973. It is more like the late 1970s, when the world economy was hit by a second oil shock triggered by the war between Iran and Iraq”.
Rising inequalities have also been accentuated by asset price inflation which, as the Financial Times pointed out, “sowed the seeds of today’s populism”, with popular discontent evident in the growing violent demonstrations and street protests, and the emergence of new political parties mounting a challenge to the institutions of capitalism.
The strategists of capital have themselves been forced to comment on the growth of demands for new measures within the radical wing of even bourgeois parties like the Democrats in America, such as the ‘Green New Deal’. This is a form of ‘people’s quantitative easing’ – money going into trouser pockets rather than lavish subsidies to big business – an increase in state expenditure in order to boost ‘demand’. This is roughly along the lines of what Roosevelt introduced in the 1930s through Keynesian-type methods
Its advocates are prompted to propose such measures because of their fear that the next serious economic downturn can provoke an unprecedented mass radicalisation/revolution, which they will find difficult to contain: “If this much angst and anger has swelled during an extended post-crisis period of moderate growth, what on earth will happen when the next downturn arrives?” writes Elliott. To compound their problems, London specialist financial journal City AM wailed recently: “An all-out trade war is becoming more likely.” Iran is already pushing back against the Trump regime and it is not excluded that China will do the same, as could Mexico which is threatening retaliation against the 25% tariffs first suggested by Trump against Mexican imports. This was Trump’s answer to immigration from the South, which was largely as a result of the deep crisis which afflicts Latin America, particularly Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, the three nations of Central America from where most migrants into the US presently originate. The crippling poverty, corruption and violence have pushed hundreds of thousands to seek escape in the US from this nightmare.
However Trump’s measures have engendered opposition not just from Mexico but from the neighbouring US border states that have already been impacted by the retaliation against immigrants by the US federal government. This has added to the growing discontent in the US itself, with what some commentators have inaccurately called a ‘new Cold War’ – which usually denotes a conflict between fundamentally different social systems. This ‘Cold War’ is between rival capitalist great powers. It refers to the trade stand-off between China and the US which has severely impacted already on those US states who rely on their agricultural trade with China.
Major world powers in conflict
At the same time it has ratcheted up the great power conflicts throughout the world. Putin remarked that the US attempts to block China’s technology giant Huawei and to stop the Nord stream gas pipeline to Europe are “economic raiding and will lead to trade wars”. Ominously, while trying to cement new ties with China to their “highest level in history”, he also warned that Trump’s actions “are a road to endless conflicts, trade wars and maybe not even only in trade… Figuratively speaking, an all-out brawl with no rules”. He also indicated a new attempt by Russia to cement relations with China in opposition to the US. This is part of a process to reorient Russia’s economy towards Asia and the Middle East that has already led to trade between both countries rising by 24.5% last year. Putin further commented: “We do not have a relationship as deep and broad as we do with China with any other country in the world today.”
The assertive combative approach of Trump, which was initially welcomed by big business, is now raising questions about his strategy. For instance Morgan Stanley has warned that a full-blown trade war would be “a disaster that could tip the US into recession”. And very significantly, it went on to say that tariffs are hidden, regressive taxes that are paid for by US businesses and consumers. It also referred back to the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 and warned of any repeat today: “Unilateral tariff strategies have no record of historical success and have always led to unintended consequences”, something that we have consistently warned could happen prior to Trump going down this road.
At the same time there is a growing opposition to Trump and his proposals, both domestically and internationally. This is summed up by the fact that only 17% of Americans say that they trust Washington most or all the time. As the writer Janan Ganesh has warned in the Financial Times: “If there is to be a lasting struggle with China, the US public, who can vote for something else whenever they want, will have to consent. This implies an open-ended public tolerance for economic disruption, military expenditure and the sheer psychic burden of conflict, with its high-risk moments.” He compares the scenario to the conflict with Russia during the Cold War when he claims: “then deference to government was near unanimous”. That is clearly not the situation today in the US.
On the contrary foreign wars or even military conflict can quickly become unpopular, particularly if it is a question of ‘guns or butter’ which impacts on the well-being and living standards of the US population. Statistics show that job creation slowed sharply in May as corporate confidence weakened. At the same time stories of increased poverty have inevitably crept into the press. One woman in Seattle told a journalist that the only items left in her kitchen were pickles and eggs because she could find so little work! This is in one of the hi-tech capitals of the US and the world in which increasing layers of workers are living from hand to mouth. These are the ingredients for a massive eruption socially of the US workers in the next period.
Sabre rattling – particularly in the South China Sea and the Arabian Gulf – is accompanied with threats of an economic war by Trump against China and Iran, and the looming threat of a real war in these contested areas. The basis for this is the attempt by Trump to contain China – and particularly for what he calls its decades-old tactic of “stealing” the technology of the US. This is no different to the similar threats that were made by Britain against the rising power of Germany in the 19th and the 20th-centuries. That eventually culminated in the First World War. Any prospect of a real war today would spill over into nuclear exchanges with enormous repercussions not just in these regions but throughout the world.
While this confrontational posture and the actual small clashes which have taken place in the Gulf emanate primarily from Trump himself and his circle, nevertheless, even without his presence, American capitalism – as it did in relation to a rising Japan in the 1980s – would have come increasingly into conflict with China. The increased economic prowess of China – combined with its growing military reach, and therefore economic influence as well – would inevitably lead to conflict. The difference between most of the American bourgeois and Trump is that the former wish to ‘contain’ China largely by diplomatic means bolstered by overwhelming military power, whereas Trump is an adventurer who is not averse to flexing his military muscles. However, this could, even inadvertently for Trump, turn into an armed conflict with serious consequences in the Middle East, an area not yet remotely recovered from the devastating wars in Syria and Iraq and the terrible fallout from these in almost every state in the region. Moreover there would be consequences in the US even for the deployment of relatively small numbers of US troops for a president who promised to “bring all our troops home”.
This was already an empty promise because the US is now an imperialism of permanent military bases, a policeman ready to intervene in ‘emergencies’. They are kept in reserve, ready to safeguard, through military, ‘police-type’ intervention if need be, imperialism’s and particularly the US’s interests in the neo-colonial world. They are kept in readiness to be deployed as firefighters in preparation for the inevitable conflicts which are already breaking out in some countries in the Middle East and the neo-colonial world.
Revolutionary wave in Sudan and Algeria
In Algeria and Sudan the first sparks of a new revolutionary wave have been unleashed with power in Sudan being exercised by the masses on the streets and in the factories while the army was compelled to observe for a time an uneasy stand-off. The military, while compelled to retreat in the face of the mass movement, is still playing for time. They are afraid that power exercised by the masses would result in a thoroughgoing investigation of army atrocities under the Nimeiry regime which took power in 1969 in a military coup and was toppled in 1985. Elections were held a year later but the military took control again in 1989. Forced to retreat in the face of a colossal mass movement, including demands for a general strike in late May and early June, the military once more opened fire on the masses and opposition figures were arrested. But the military faced a call for the masses to answer this with “the tools of civil disobedience in the general political strike”. Sudan has a history of independent workers’ movements – to a certain extent more potentially powerful, with once having a mass communist party, than elsewhere in the region – which can develop once more in the heated political situation that is unfolding.
However if the masses’ gains are not cemented through independent class action, including a properly prepared political general strike with the idea of workers’ and poor people’s power invested in popular committees of the masses, then revolutionary gains will be inevitably undermined. If this is not done, the army tops, which have been biding their time, will once more unleash their thugs and militias against defenceless, vulnerable sections of the masses. The call should be made for the general strike to drive out the military and establish popular elected committees including rank-and-file soldiers with real power vested and backed by a democratic armed militia and the demand for a revolutionary constituent assembly. The lessons of recent events in the rest of the Middle East is that unless a revolutionary process is completed – through a ‘general strike’ or insurrection, led by the working class in the towns but spreading to the countryside, with revolutionary students playing a key role – then counter-revolution will inevitably strike back. The aim should also be to create a genuine, democratically controlled revolutionary party as a guiding force to complete the victory.
In Egypt in 2011 a convulsive mass revolutionary movement swept away the Mubarak dictatorship. However, because no force – a mass revolutionary party – existed to generalise the experience of the masses in the form of a programme and perspective, then reaction, first in the form of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood and then the direct dictator Sisi through ‘elections’, managed to take power. A successful workers’, students’ and youth movement in Sudan can play an enormously regenerative role in the Middle East for revolutionary prospects throughout the region, including a revival of revolutionary forces and events in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East.
A similar situation could open up in Algeria, which seemed to be hardly touched by the revolutions of 2011 and later. Indeed, it is striking that it is those countries that did not seem to be as affected by the events of 2011 and subsequently which are now in the forefront of revolutionary struggle, with Sudan in the vanguard. In Algeria the effects of a past ‘civil war’ primarily between the state and the Islamists, involving bloody repression with hundreds of thousands of casualties held back protests against the army-backed regime. Now, however, the masses appear to have lost the fear of the military and repression. The army tops have even admitted in interviews in the Western bourgeois press that, in their age-old tradition, they have been tempted to use force against the mass movement but are not certain of the ‘loyalty’ of the rank-and-file troops to carry it out! When the army is no longer reliable, when it threatens to break into pieces, the army tops are beginning to lose control and that is the unmistakable sign of coming revolution!
And it is not just in North Africa, which has been a cockpit for the competing powers, involving intervention from the different imperialist forces, including also Russia. Russia is seeking to bolster its presence in at least 13 countries in Africa, striking military deals and grooming the new generation of ‘leaders’ and undercover agents. However, Putin’s Russia, playing ‘catch up’ with China and the US amongst the competing powers, has already established a strong presence throughout Africa and has generated in the process growing hostility to itself. Chinas’ rapacious, exploitative policies will meet further resistance in Africa. The Belt and Road Initiative, involving the building of an energy pipeline and new trade routes from Asia to the heart of Europe, has already invoked similar opposition in Europe, with opposition to China also growing in Africa and parts of Asia.
The search for new markets – new outlets for capital – has resulted in a new ‘scramble for Africa’. However the continent faces colossal challenges from climate change, aggravated by population increases which will, as part of the worldwide population explosion to an estimated 9.7bn in 2050, reach 2bn in sub-Saharan Africa. This will put huge pressure on the continent as a whole in terms of food production, control of climate, natural disasters as well as the multiplicity of accumulated national, tribal, class and other divisions. The present bourgeois regimes, from the weakest to the strongest, face inherent instability on the basis of a perpetuation of the present parasitic exploitative regimes throughout the continent.
Nigeria and South Africa
We have a presence in the two most important countries in Africa: South Africa and Nigeria. Although small in numbers, we have managed to build a considerable political influence in South Africa, the most economically developed, and in Nigeria, the most populous. This has been achieved over decades at the cost of great individual sacrifice financially and personally of leading comrades who have managed to assemble a small but important force of cadres which remain under our banner.
The current conjuncture in South Africa is complicated, but full of enormous potential. The May general election has deepened the crisis of political representation for all classes. The ANC and main opposition Democratic Alliance both suffered a loss of electoral support – the former its biggest loss since 1994, and the latter its first electoral reversal since it was formed, significantly under its first black leader. Despite a modest increase in its vote, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), amidst more allegations of corruption, has failed to position itself as an alternative, especially amongst organised workers. Its shift to the right continues, revealing its petty bourgeois character. The Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party, formed as a ‘Communist Party Mark II’ by the dominant grouping in the leadership of the metalworkers’ union, NUMSA, was humiliated and did not win a single seat, failing to break-out of the narrow circles of the NUMSA bureaucracy.
Nevertheless, in South Africa there is a burning class anger and determination to act, reflected in record levels of strikes and community protests. But the high levels of militancy are not yet matched by a generalised political understanding of the nature of capitalism or what it will take to replace it with socialism. The process of realignment in the trade union movement that has been underway for a number of years – especially the severe weakening of the ANC-aligned Cosatu federation and creation of the new Saftu federation – has broken some of the chains of class collaboration. But the continued dominance of leaders shaped and schooled in the pre-Marikana period has limited this. The vacuum in working class political leadership is felt more and more sharply by the working class as they look for a means to fight back. We are confident that the working class will in time lift up a leadership worthy of it. To assist and prepare for this, it is vital to defend and sharpen our own political clarity and ideological firmness against the different reformist and neo-Stalinist tendencies in the trade union bureaucracies. Any blurring of the lines for short-term gain would prove disastrous in the long-term. This has emerged as the political fault line in the South African section, with those on an opportunist trajectory on this issue grouping around the undeclared right-ward moving faction.
Nigeria – once one of the most favourably placed countries in sub-Saharan Africa because of the seemingly priceless asset of considerable oil resources – decades after gaining ‘independence’ is now locked in a spiral of decline and impoverishment. The Economist compares the Nigerian economy to a stranded truck with average incomes having fallen for four years and the IMF believing that it will not rise for at least another six. The latest figures for unemployment are 23% compared with 10% at the beginning of 2016, and the government expects it to reach 33% next year as the population continues to rapidly expand. Inflation is 11% with some 94 million people living on less than $1.90 a day, more than in any other country, certainly in Africa, and the numbers are swelling. Horrendously by 2030 a quarter of the very poor people of the world will be Nigerian according to the World Data Lab.
Now, once again, an economic recession is demonstrating the fragility of Nigeria’s economy and its dependence on the world economy. The fall in the price of oil has hit Nigeria as oil accounts for over 90% of Nigeria’s export earnings and around two thirds of government income. This plunged the economy into the “worst recession in 25 years”, between 2016 and 2017, with negative GDP growth for five consecutive quarters. An immediate consequence of the economic crisis is widespread non-payment of wages, especially in the state sector, and a continuation of the deindustrialisation that began with the austerity policies of the 1980s. The election of Buhari to the presidency in 2015 has aggravated the disaster and has made the position immeasurably worse with the masses calling him ‘Baba go slow’ because he has done little or nothing for them! But because of the absence of a mass workers’ political alternative to challenge for political power, Buhari successfully won a re-election, in February of this year, giving him a mandate to rule till 2023.
Nigeria has a powerful working class which has many times demonstrated its potential to draw all sections of the oppressed masses and youth behind it in struggle. Between 2001 and 2012, there were at least 10 general strikes over demands for reversal of fuel price hikes and for an increase in the national minimum wage. Some of these general strikes were forced on the labour leadership and often the question of political power was posed but there was no force large enough to build support for a programme that the workers’ movement could have used to take power. But since the January 2012 general strike and mass protest, which represented a peak in the strike movement, there has been a steep decline in workers’ struggles, partly due to frustration of the workers and poor masses with the absolute spinelessness of the labour leadership to actually fight energetically and consistently. Since then, most of the labour leadership have not even raised a finger of serious activity. In May 2016, a “general strike” called over a fuel price hike ended in fiasco. This strike was not seriously mobilised for and was only called as a gesture; its outcome further weakened labour’s reputation.
Despite these reversals in labour’s fortune, the Nigerian CWI section has never given up on arguing for the rebuilding of a fighting, mass-based and democratic labour movement, armed with a programme and strategy to overthrow capitalism, as the only way to ensure the winning of any minimum lasting concession. The current absence of significant workers’ struggles is allowing ethnic and other issues to come to the fore, coupled with growing signs of restlessness amongst the unemployed or underemployed youth. At the moment, the labour movement is locked in negotiations with the Federal Government over how the new national minimum wage of N30, 000 ($82 USD) is actually implemented. Given the position of the Nigerian economy, which faces new economic upheavals, this battle can become the new focal point of the class struggle over the next period.
The question of maintaining a consistent orientation to the working class and its mass organisations is very relevant to the work of our small forces in Nigeria. Without this, we could not have been able to build and sustain the section in the twists and turns of the anti-military struggles in the 1990s. Now this work is even more required and runs alongside the section’s campaign for “a mass workers’ political alternative”. The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), which the DSM comrades successfully registered and then contested in the 2019 general elections, can play an important part in this. We have to combine the building of the SPN, which has opened a new periphery for our work, with rebuilding our base in the workers’ movement and intervention in struggles.
India and SE Asia
Undoubtedly the recent election in India was the most important development for Asia and has effects on the world. We have dealt with this in some detail in the recent podcast organised by our Indian comrades, so this document will just touch on the most important issues here. Modi and the BJP emerged strengthened from the elections, although it was not a crushing victory by any means, with the vote for the BJP increasing from 31% to 38%. The Congress party, in the past the main electoral vehicle for Indian capitalism, suffered again a serious defeat while the CPM, the main workers’ party, actually lost votes and seats in former strongholds like West Bengal, indicating a complete demoralisation of their base – the product of consistent retreats over years. Some, including CPM members, even sought refuge in rallying to the BJP banner.
However, the BJP failed in its first term to solve any of the major issues facing Indian society with a majority of its estimated 1.34 billion people still languishing in poverty. It is unlikely to make a serious dent in the accumulated problems of Indian capitalism. The doom-laden pessimistic perspectives of most commentators of a continuous strengthening of the BJP will be undermined by the march of events in the next period. Of course we cannot underestimate the ability of the BJP to seek to reinforce communal division in order to perpetuate its rule. The other side of this however is that it will provoke, at a certain stage, a mass movement from below particularly in protest against deteriorating wages and living standards, and the inability to solve the land question. A repetition of the last massive general strike cannot be ruled out through the increasing class polarisation in Indian society. Our forces are well-placed to intervene in this process against the whipping-up of sectarian tensions and in the inevitable battles of the working class. We need to put squarely on the banner of the Indian labour movement the idea of new mass workers’ parties. This will be to the fore if the Communist Parties continue with their present spiral of decline; they could even completely disintegrate. Since the election the economic growth rate has further slowed which has necessitated the Central Bank to cut the main interest rate for the third time this year. This indicates that economically the shine is coming off Modi’s India.
In neighbouring Pakistan Imran Khan has desperately sought relief from literally anywhere – particularly the Muslim countries of the Gulf – in order to shore up his rickety regime. Class movements in both India and Pakistan, including a revival of the workers’ movement, will develop at a certain stage, as will movements against communalism and we must seek to put ourselves at the head of such a movement. The brutal Hindu centralism of the Indian government will also stoke up the fires of opposition to national oppression and the long-expected Balkanisation could, after 75 years of ‘independence’, once more come onto the agenda, with serious implications for the rest of South Asia.
We have an important presence in other countries in Asia particularly Sri Lanka and Malaysia, which we must nurture, and build a strong base for the coming upheavals in the region. Sri Lanka still remains an important base for the CWI with a very complicated political situation following the recent Isis attacks on the island, which were clearly aimed at racially and ethnically polarising Sri Lanka and creating an atmosphere of fear. The mass movement is presently somewhat restrained by this; however this will give way to a new mood of struggle with important opportunities for the CWI to grow substantially.
The nature of the Chinese and North Korean regimes
The issue of China, which has been dragged into our internal dispute by the “coordinating sections” undeclared opposition faction, is worthy of a separate extensive analysis, which is not possible within the limits of this relatively short document. Suffice to say that some of our opponents are in the process of rewriting the history of our analysis of the character of the Chinese state, both in the past and in the current situation. Such disputed issues as Tiananmen Square and what it represented were extensively analysed and reported on in the past. We intend to fully document the consistency of our analysis and the inconsistency of the undeclared opposition faction.
Some of them crudely described China as a finished capitalist regime when we upheld it was in transition, still a ‘hybrid’ with big features of capitalism but retaining some of the elements from the planned economy of Stalinism. Many discussions took place again and again at IECs with no resolution of the issue. The suggestion by the IS that we should put forward the formula that China was ‘state capitalist of a very special kind’ was accepted by all. A recent book, ‘The State Strikes Back’ argues persuasively that “China has moved away from market oriented reform towards a more state-controlled economy, partly in order to strengthen the central role of the party state”.
North Korea also now falls into the category of a former hard-line Stalinist type state which has ‘evolved’ to where it is no longer a clearly Stalinist regime. Since the 1990s, the ‘market economy’ has begun to play an increasingly important role. The government did not determine how this process evolved and even until recently did not really approve of it, but rather largely ignored the emergence of an increasing number of private businesses that often register as ‘state-owned enterprises’. With the introduction of capitalism – still supervised and managed by a monstrous bureaucratic machine – all the inequalities under Stalinism are battened on to a developing capitalist economy which as one commentator put it means that “inequality is staggering; both ‘old inequality’ between party apparatchiks and commoners… and the ‘new inequality’ between entrepreneurs and commoners, created by the revival of capitalism.”
This means massive increased luxury for the tops including the Kim family with their fabulous eating habits and $48 prime steaks, New York style – a price equal to the average monthly income of a North Korean family! On the other hand general living standards have gradually increased but the growing contradictions mean inevitable social and political explosions in North Korea, which could also reverberate in China. Possessed of nuclear weapons both Trump for the US and Xi Ping for China have courted North Korea in the recent period. This is an attempt to nullify any nuclear armed threat to South Korea, Japan and East Asia as a whole, and for the Chinese regime to ensure its support for North Korea in the event of a serious conflict with the US.
Latin America – an explosive situation
The defections of our former comrades in Brazil involved a complete capitulation to identity politics – which the country is riddled with – by the leadership of our former section. However, there will be an inevitable questioning of them – their lack of political backbone to withstand pressures – when the harsh reality of the objective situation and a colossal outbreak of the class struggle will take place not just in Brazil but throughout the Latin American continent. The plunge downwards in the economic situation is illustrated by the recent catastrophic power failure across South America. This left Argentina and Uruguay in particular in almost complete darkness – with only the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego reported to be unaffected. The ineptitude of the Argentinian Macri government – which faces elections – was indicated by the lines of cars marooned at traffic lights in a blacked out capital city. This was described by a leading newspaper as a “desert”. It was fortunate that this incident took place at the weekend because during a working day the resulting chaos would have been even greater! The government gave timely advice: “Don’t panic. Find a torch, preferably one with a new battery, check your water supply”! This incident comes just over three months after blackouts began to blight crisis-stricken Venezuela, plunging millions of its citizens into darkness for days at a time. Latin America at this rate vies for the title of the ‘dark continent’ once bestowed by imperialism to Africa!
The continent is faced with a multitude of crises with Brazil, Venezuela and Argentina at the centre of events. With the victory of Bolsonaro in the Brazilian elections it was expected that the new period of reaction would open up not just in Brazil but this would set the tone for the whole of the continent. The counter-revolution prepared to overthrow the Maduro regime and it was quite clear that Trump and Bolton had approved plans for a military intervention if necessary to supplement the armed counter-revolution that was planned in Venezuela. Moreover the economic meltdown in Venezuela, with an inflation rate of one million percent, a shortage of even the essentials for basic living, and millions of refugees fleeing – with 1.2 million going to neighbouring Colombia alone – the ground seemed to be set for the defeat of Maduro. But the counter-revolution did not succeed for a number of reasons. The army and police in the main, tied as they are to the record and privileges of Maduro – and before him of Chavez – feared that they would be more secure staying with him than facing an uncertain future on the basis of a US/Colombia armed overthrow of the regime. The reserves of support for the Chavista regime were also enormously bolstered by Trump threatening intervention which aroused the bitter opposition of the Venezuelan masses to imperialist intervention. This is a powerful issue throughout Latin America – and in the land of Bolivar it is especially pronounced.
The attacks of the regime in Brazil have begun to whip up new mass movements in the cities and, in particular, in opposition to the hooligan rape of the rainforests which has been unleashed by the measures of the government. No less important are the big movements which impend in both Argentina and in Chile which will allow us to re-build some support among the more durable layers of the working class. The new movements which will develop will inscribe on their banners class demands, including those of women, particularly working-class women, supporting at all times principled points of agreement and solidarity between all genders under attack but firmly opposing those separatist ideas which split workers in struggle through identity politics.
The victory of the right in a series of Latin American countries flowed from the failure of the “left” governments like Lula/Dilma and also the more radical regimes of Chavez, Morales and Correa. However, the new right-wing governments have lacked a solid social base to rest upon. This is reflected in the speed with which mass opposition has developed to them. In Argentina Macri has had to confront five general strikes. Bolsonaro has now had to face a mass general strike which was estimated to have been supported by 45 million workers. This is an indication of the limits of reaction although it can assume a repressive and authoritarian character. However, the lack of a mass revolutionary socialist alternative is reflected in the swing back to the Peronists in Argentina despite the growth of the FIT and some other ‘Trotskyist’ forces which, despite winning significant support have not proved able because of their sectarian approach to win the support of significant ranks of dissident Peronist workers. The explosive situation which exists in Mexico, especially since the coming to power of Lopez Obrador, AMLO, opens a new chapter for the working class there which is going to have repercussions in Latin America and north of the Rio Grande in the US.
The US – crucial for the international working class
The political upheavals in the US are of crucial international importance for the working class. These are taking place against the backdrop of a polarised political and social situation. The US has seen positive labour developments sparked off by the 2017 wildcat, rank and file organised West Virginia teachers’ strike. While overall union membership did not increase in 2018, there was a 400,000 increase in the number of union members under the age of 35. The developments around the Sanders campaign, although it is not simple repetition of 2016, pose important issues of a programmatic and tactical character for revolutionary socialists. It is important that we avoid the pitfalls of opportunism and sectarianism. What are the best, most appropriate slogans and demands in relation to the US presidential elections and specifically is it correct for us to support radical figures such as Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party primaries? These issues are presently under widespread discussion and debate both in and around the Democratic Party and among others outside the Democratic Party.
The US Democratic Party is clearly a capitalist party, moreover with a pernicious record of consistently opposing the interests of the American working class. Our aim is to ultimately replace this with a new mass workers’ party, which could provide the American working class with the necessary experience for them to draw radical and revolutionary conclusions and create a socialist party built on firm Marxist foundations. However the route to such a party is not at all straightforward. Sometimes sections of the working class have to pass through the experience of a radical bourgeois party, or at least the wing of such a party, before they are prepared to break and create a party. This in turn may mean sometimes giving critical limited support to elements moving in such a direction – not necessarily advocating a vote for them as such – but assisting those attracted to them, through appropriate slogans to find the road to a complete breach with the bourgeois parties.
For instance, Engels was prepared to discuss with the early socialists and other radicals in Britain, even with Keir Hardie when he was still a Liberal party agent, in order to help him in the direction of breaking from liberalism. He duly did, helped form the Independent Labour Party, in 1893, and later became the first leader of the new Labour Party, in 1906. Similarly, Papandreou in Greece evolved from the leader of the liberal Centre Union party towards the founder of Pasok, at one stage a very radical socialist party. We encouraged this and participated in this new party very successfully for a period. But it later collapsed through gross opportunism.
Similarly, in 2016, we gave a certain critical support – in the sense of encouraging Sanders to stand in opposition to the openly bourgeois wing of the Democratic Party and demanding he break from it and launch a new party. But we drew the line at publicly advocating a vote for Sanders while he remained in the Democratic Party and opposed urging people to register as Democrats. Some in our ranks, who have now departed, did advocate a vote for Sanders and supported him in an opportunistic manner.
In the current situation in the Democratic Party, where the primaries for the 2020 presidential elections are being prepared, it is necessary to intervene in the movement around Sanders’ campaign. When pressed he defends the idea of “democratic socialism” although explains this as the “Scandinavian welfare state” and more recently FDR’s ‘New Deal’ in the 1930s. This is in contrast to Elizabeth Warren who comes out with certain radical demands but specifically states that she is not a socialist but believes in a reformed capitalism. We have to seize the time provided by the enormous political ferment taking place in preparation for the next elections. Millions are mobilising on how best to defeat Trump. We have to audaciously pose the unequivocal demand for a new mass party of the working class. In a skilful way it is necessary to raise our criticism of the inadequacies of Sanders’ programme, which is to reform in the direction of a more humane capitalism.
Our criticisms need to include Sanders’ failure to take the necessary steps to break from the Democrats and build a new party. Indeed, Sanders argues that he is “in a good position” to bring people, especially youth and people of colour, “into the Democratic party”. Our former supporters in the US fail to do this and, generally speaking, in their material, only call for Sanders to take such a step if he is blocked in the Democratic Party.
The call for a new workers’ party needs to be done in a sensitive and skilful manner and to take into account the illusions which have probably grown that it is possible to transform the Democrats. This flows from the powerful “get Trump out” mood which will become even stronger as the 2020 election approaches. It has also probably been re-enforced by the successful election of DSA member Alexandria Ocasio Cortes (‘AOC’) to Congress and others to other public positions. However, despite this it is correct for us to sensitively raise our position on the need for a new party in articles and propaganda – not necessarily as slogans or demands – but to point to what is needed and also why we argue that such a new party fights for a socialist alternative. It is not sufficient just to have a perspective, but also a worked out programme is needed. This should be linked to the present consciousness of the American working class and their active layers – preparing the ground for mass political action, separate and distinct from the increasingly discredited bourgeois parties.
Turmoil in Europe
The lessons of the recent European elections reported on our website sum up well the mood that is developing in Europe at the present time. The elections have confirmed the turmoil that exists throughout the continent, which is one of chronic political, economic and social instability. This was reflected in some countries in a surge for Green parties, helped by the recent popular movements demanding action against climate change and, on the opposite side, a growth of right-wing nationalist and far-right parties. The traditional ruling parties generally suffered massive losses, as did a number of recent new formations that have sprung up in recent years. This was strikingly reflected in Britain by the six-week-old Brexit party coming top of the polls in the European elections while the ‘governing’ Conservatives came fifth with 9.1% of the vote, the lowest share in their over 200-year history.
In many countries in Europe the initial reaction to the crisis of 2007/8 was resistance to the ruling classes’ attempt to make the working and middle classes pay the price of the most serious economic recession since the 1930s. This resistance took different forms, including the growth of often new parties on the left which promised to stop austerity and to take measures against the super-rich.
However, in most cases these parties did not carry out what they said, or implied they would do, and in a number of countries the consequences were seen in the European elections. The most shameful and spectacular case was that of Syriza in Greece which came into government in early 2015 promising to end austerity, but which, within a matter of months, capitulated. Syriza gained just over 26% of the vote on 26 May this year, compared with the over 36% it won in the two 2015 general elections. The conservative New Democracy party topped the polls. New elections have been called in Greece which are likely to see Syriza replaced by the right-wing New Democracy.
In Spain, Podemos, emanating from the Indignados movement that began in 2011, scored 20.6% in the first general election it contested in December 2015. However, the leadership’s lack of a clear alternative socialist policy, and increasing willingness to subordinate itself to the pro-capitalist leadership of the Spanish social-democratic PSOE, has since dented its support. Podemos, in alliance with the United Left, won just 10.1% in this election, half its 2015 score. This has allowed PSOE to temporarily make an electoral recovery. In Portugal the ‘Left Block’, by propping up the Socialist Party government, has assisted the PSP in maintaining its electoral support. This can rapidly change with the onset of a more severe economic crisis and attacks against the working class in both Spain and Portugal. In Germany support for Die Linke, the Left party, has stagnated for similar reasons to PODEMOS.
The Socialist Party in Ireland also suffered a setback as its vote in the Dublin seat dropped to 4,967 (1.36%), compared to 29,953 five years ago, and 50,510 (12.4%) in 2009, when Joe Higgins won a Euro seat.
In many countries right-wing nationalists and the far right have stepped in to try to take advantage of this situation, on an increasingly populist programme. These right-wing demagogic opponents of the EU have been helped by the fact that most leaders of European trade unions and ‘left’ parties support the capitalist EU.
This is the background to these elections seeing in a number of countries a strengthening of the far right, with Salvini and the Lega in Italy scoring 34.3% of the vote and topping the poll, as did Marine Le Pen’s ‘Rassemblement National’ (the renamed National Front) when it beat President Macron’s En Marche to the top spot.
In some countries far-right parties did not do well. In the Belgian general election it was mixed where simultaneously the right-wing nationalist New Flemish Alliance, which has been in government, saw a sharp drop in its support in the Flemish region as the far-right Vlaams Belang more than doubled its vote to 18.5%.
These elections have opened up a period of uncertainty in many European countries. The big drops in votes for the German ruling parties raise the question of whether the coalition there will continue until 2021. The German Social-Democratic Party (SPD) suffered its worst percentage vote, 15.8%, since the 1887 election when it was still an illegal party.
Some capitalist commentators consoled themselves with the fact that, in France, Macron’s party was a narrow second behind Le Pen’s. But the fact remains that the French president’s own party was only supported by 22.4%, roughly the same percentage that backed him in the first round of the 2017 presidential election. Macron has no solid base, something seen in the ‘gilets jaunes’ (yellow jackets) protests. While the French left had a poor result – Mélenchon’s ‘France Insoumise’ gained just 6.3% – there is still a potentially explosive social situation which can result in further movements.
In a number of countries the votes for the Greens did represent a search for an alternative, particularly by the young and the middle class. However, many of those looking to the Greens today will be disappointed by them tomorrow.
In Germany they have no problem forming coalitions with Merkel’s pro-capitalist party and previously helped Schröder’s right-wing SPD government carry through neoliberal austerity measures. Most Green leaders see themselves as working within, rather than challenging, capitalism.
What is clear is that growing numbers of people in Europe are rejecting the old order, whether it is in their own countries or in the shape of the EU. There is a developing mood that the system is rigged against ordinary people, that their views are ignored and their living standards cut as the rich get richer, along with growing opposition to what is rightly seen as rule from above, whether it be governments or big corporations.
This is an explosive mixture which does not just herald movements within countries but also clashes between competing nations. The catastrophic situation facing the Tory party in Britain and the unprecedented crisis within it in the recent leadership elections represents an historic turning point for this, the most successful capitalist party which is faced with splits and possible disintegration. The ruling class are also desperately worried at the prospect of a Johnson-led government. The crisis surrounding Brexit and the Tory party is a product of the decline of loss of power of British imperialism. The EU is not simply a single united bloc. The rival capitalist classes have their own agendas. Some capitalist world powers, whether it be the US, China or Russia, will also intervene in pursuit of their own interests.
Against this background the Euro elections offer both positive possibilities and a warning. Positively they showed again how the old order is being questioned and that there is a search for an alternative. Negatively it showed that unless the workers’ and socialist movement can offer an alternative, and seriously struggle for it, then reaction will seek to exploit the situation to build support.
The dramatic drop in support for the social democracy in Germany is part of a European-wide process in most European countries. A harbinger of what is coming is indicated by the fact that some commentators have been going back – a long way back – in studying those conditions that existed at the period of revolution in Britain. One, John Harris in the Guardian, stated: “I have been reading Christopher Hill’s ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ [a spell-binding account by a ‘Marxist’, albeit Stalinist, historian of England’s own revolution]. He has also dipped into the experience of the Chartists in 19th-century Britain, the first independent working class political movement in history, which in the space of ten years or so went from the peaceful petition to the idea of a revolutionary general strike against the capitalist system!
This is just one indication of the massive upheavals that impend in Britain: that a commentator invokes England’s 17th century revolution as a warning of what could happen! Trotsky did the same in ‘Where is Britain Going?’. The same warnings apply to all the other countries of Europe. Moreover this process will not just be restricted to Western Europe. It is already beginning to unfold in Eastern Europe, as indicated by events in Poland and the Czech Republic, where it exceeds in its potential the movements that developed at the time of the so-called ‘Velvet Revolution’. All the past ‘certainties’ of Poland, particularly the influence of the Catholic Church which historically developed as a symbol of Polish nationalism, are being challenged by the impressive and unprecedented movement against its influence in favour of the liberalisation of LGBTQ+ rights – hitherto not seen in Poland on such a scale as now. In Russia the early release of the opposition journalist is an indication of the growing sensitivity of the Putin regime to the opposition that is developing on democratic rights from below. Movements within the trade unions will follow.
Mass strike in Switzerland demands equal pay
The massive strike in June and demonstrations of women in Switzerland, which are symptomatic of this new period, was the biggest industrial action in that country since the 1912 general strike, and even bigger than its 1991 predecessor. Unlike Germany, it was taken up not only by left wing organisations but also called for by the largest SDB/USS trade union federation. The strike was called specifically to demand higher pay, greater equality and more respect for women in one of the world’s wealthiest countries where half the population – women – are in their own words “treated unfairly”. Incredibly women only got to vote in federal elections in 1971, decades after most of the Western world, and until 1985 needed their husband’s approval to work or open a bank account! Even more scandalous was the fact that statutory maternity leave was only introduced in 2005. Moreover professional women earn on average nearly 19% less than men and 8% less with the same qualifications! Amnesty International found that 59% of Swiss women have experienced sexual harassment! However, workers have led the way in fighting these conditions. Some employers let female staff off to join the protest while others even supported them.
Yet several firms told female employees they would have to book any time off as a holiday, and Switzerland’s main employers’ organisation stated that it was against the movement, despite opinion polls showing more than 63% of Swiss backing the campaign. This demonstrates that women in Switzerland have the same general problems of women’s oppression inherent to class society and inadequate low pay as elsewhere in Europe. The Swiss strike was preceded by the Glasgow homecare battle on pay and conditions of a predominantly female workforce. Nevertheless, they resorted to traditional working class action through a strike and sought to link up with working class men in a common struggle to change conditions. The movement in Switzerland developed such a momentum that even established politicians, like Zurich’s social democratic mayor, Corine Mauch, joined the protest. However these forces joined the protest to limit its demands and derail the movement towards women’s quotas in company managing boards instead of economic demands. The movement, therefore, needs a clear orientation in demands and programme.
This year has seen almost monthly demonstrations and protests against the threat of devastating climate change. The “youth strikes for climate” brought thousands of young teenagers – and sometimes even younger – out of the classroom and onto the streets demanding action to halt and reverse climate change. Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager first sparked off support and called for the general strike for the climate. This was unfortunately more advanced politically than the party in Ireland who did not even see the need for the campaign in support of the right of to abortion to make broader class demands, including the idea at least of a demonstrative “general strike” of women, young people and workers together. After Thunberg’s appeal the idea of a general strike has been echoed by Jeremy Corbyn and John MacDonnell and has caught on among layers of activists. Now there is a demand for “an earth strike” – a general strike for the climate. This shows a very positive mood when young people are talking about workers taking strike action and using the language of mass struggle. It points in the direction of the force in society that has the power to decisively change things – the organised working class. It is an instinctive appeal by young people to the working class and its organisations. The youth strikes now taking place are the biggest of young people since the student demonstrations in the winter of 2010 against tuition fee increases. This was linked to the battle to defeat austerity.
If this movement would appeal consistently to workers by putting demands on trade union leaders and linking it with the fight for guaranteed jobs for those affected by climate change, it could help to build an unstoppable movement from below. But the consciousness in the movement is mixed. Some layers orientate towards consumer change, veganism and other individual measures to stop climate change. This is used by the tops of the movement, generally undemocratically run by NGO representatives, to orientate the movement to vote for the green parties. Groups like ‘Extinction rebellion’ attract a radical layer with proposals for direct action. However without a clear political orientation, the working class driver of a car which has been blocked by sit-ins can become the ‘enemy’ rather than the coal company owners which make huge profits by the destruction of the planet. When it comes to the demand for strike action, we need to link up the climate protest with the working class movement. At the same time we pointed out there is a difference between a protest strike and an all-out general strike which poses the question of power, of who runs society. So such a demand should not be lightly raised. Moreover the difference between the protest strike and a general strike must be stressed. However, even a one-day strike could have colossal consequences in weakening further weak governments. A one-day general strike in Britain could bring down the hated Tories and propel a Corbyn-led Labour government to power. It would also enormously enhance the case for decisive action against climate change! We are sure that similar actions will be taken by the different sections of the CWI.
Marxists, socialist consciousness and building a revolutionary workers’ International
These developments in Europe and internationally indicate that a new explosive era has already begun. There are still the obstacles that arose from the consequences of the collapse of Stalinism and its effects on the workers’ organisations and the throwing back of socialist consciousness which will need to be overcome by big events. This issue has also featured during the course of the struggle inside the CWI. As we pointed out, there was a radicalisation following the 2007/8 crisis. We had initially anticipated that it would lead to the emergence of a more pronounced socialist consciousness. However, as we have explained, this did not happen. The lack of a generalised, sustained movement of the working class, has led in the recent period to a more complex and contradictory situation in Europe and internationally.
The sectarian split we experienced in Spain tried to deny reality as they buried their heads in the sand ignoring the complexities of the situation which had arisen. The right-ward split, grouped in the so-called “coordinating sections” – an undeclared faction – has reacted to it by an opportunist adaptation. In recognising the complexities we must not underestimate the explosive situation which still exist in society in Europe or internationally. The onset of a new economic crisis following the experience of 2007/8 will lead to an even more polarised explosive situation in which a more pronounced socialist consciousness can emerge. Our forces can assist this process in some countries. This development will enable us to strengthen our forces and recover the losses we have suffered.
Experience has shown that the opposition faction – alongside other sectarian organisations – is utterly incapable of seizing the opportunities that will develop in the next period. It is left to us as the bearers of the real Trotskyist fighting traditions of the CWI to intervene and win the next generation to our banner.
Rotting capitalism can offer no way out for the masses of the world. They cannot harness the colossal potential which is being built up by the development of new technology – information technology in particular. Pessimists such as Paul Mason believe that unless we abandon Marxism and embrace ‘humanism’ we will be taken over and enslaved by new “more intelligent machines”, the product of the development of artificial intelligence. Another scenario, he writes, will see Trump and reaction – including fascism – as the future for humankind.
We reject all these pessimistic scenarios. It is entirely feasible that the fourth Industrial Revolution, the huge development of information technology, including the creation of intelligent machines, can go hand-in-hand with the control and management of the means of production for the benefit of all on the basis of a planned democratic socialist society. The instruments to create this are mass revolutionary parties and revolutionary workers’ international, the outlines of which we will build, despite all the obstacles, in the next period.