Decomposition

Philippines’ “Culture of Killings”: expression of decomposing world capitalism

The Duterte regime has been in power for more than one year now. Since Duterte’s election more than 13,000 (mostly poor people) have been being killed by the state police in his “war on drugs”.

Despite these widespread killings, there are no massive and widespread condemnation and protests among the poor people, even by the victims’ families and relatives. Instead apathy and fear prevail. A significant portion of the population, even among the poor, felt “relieved” that these “outcasts”, “evils” of society have been eliminated. Even though it is accepted that there are many innocent victims, there is a significant acceptance among the population that this is “justified collateral damage” for the interest of a general cleansing. And the (admittedly manipulated) surveys by bourgeois institutions claim that Duterte enjoys “excellent trust ratings”.

The national situation in Germany

The current situation in Germany is in a sense, a concentrate of a whole series of issues of major importance in the present situation: Germany is at the heart of the refugee crisis, the rise in populism and the threat this poses to political stability, the imperialist confrontations with Russia, to name but a few. This report, adopted by the February 2016 joint conference of the ICC sections in Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland, does not claim to be complete but rather to open up a reflection on these difficult questions.

Massacre in Paris: terrorism is an expression of rotting bourgeois society

Cabu, Charb, Tignous, Wolinski, among the twenty killed in the attacks in Paris on 7 and 9 January, these four were a kind of symbol. They were the priority targets. And why? Because they stood for intelligence against stupidity, reason against fanaticism, revolt against submission, courage against cowardice, sympathy against hatred, and for that specifically human quality: humour and laughter against conformism and dull self-righteousness.

Capitalism is in deep trouble - why is it so hard to fight it?

We are publishing - rather belatedly due to technical issues - a series of texts that have contributed to the public Day of Discussion held by the ICC in London, in July 2013. The presentations and summaries cover essentially two topics: "Capitalism is in deep trouble - why is it so hard to fight it?", and a discussion on the Transitional period from capitalism to communism. The audio recording for the first session is also available.

20th ICC Congress: Resolution on the international situation

An important part of an ICC Congress is always the discussion of the international situation, since this is a key element in determining the organisation's activity in the years to come. The discussion at the 20th Congress gave rise to the resolution, adopted by the Congress, which we are publishing here.

The war in Syria expresses the slow disintegration of capitalism

The war in Syria is an example of the decomposition and growing irrationality of capitalism as expressed through its capitalist war machines. We can trace this descent if we go back a couple of decades to the ‘Cold War’ period from 1945 to 1989. The two-bloc system, while threatening incidental nuclear annihilation, was, in a perverse way, the height of geo-military organisation and cooperation of capitalism. All the national states involved were subservient, willingly or unwillingly, to the aforementioned bloc leaders and to the interests of the bloc. This was the apogee of imperialist 'stability' even with the brutal carnage that it involved and the risks that it carried.

Sandy Hook Massacre Shows the Descent of Capitalism into Barbarism

The massacre of innocent lives at Sandy Hook elementary school is a horrific reminder that short of a thorough revolutionary transformation of society the spread and depth of decomposing capitalism can only find expression in ever more barbaric, senseless, and violent acts.  There is absolutely nothing in the capitalist system that is capable of offering a meaningful understanding of why such an act could even be conceived, let alone a viable proposal for change.

Imperialist Conflicts: "Every Man for Himself" and the Crisis of American Leadership

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Notes on Imperialism and Decomposition

Orientation text: Militarism and decomposition

The decomposition of capitalist society

Capitalism is in a dead-end; each day that passes presents us with a picture of a society heading for destruction.

Understanding the decomposition of capitalism

The recent article ‘Anti-terrorism: pretext for state terror’ in WR 296 was useful in that it brought together some thoughts I have had regarding the centrality of the revolutionary party in the struggle for a communist world. For me it is important to stress how the decomposition of bourgeoisie society combined with each national capitalism’s drive to increase its share of surplus value, not only in the UK but across the world, leads to measures which strengthen the repressive functions of the capitalist state.

EU in crisis: An expression of capitalist decomposition

The referendum on the EU constition enabled the French bourgeoisie, through its left wing (the left in the Socialist Party and the extreme left) to successfully drag a large part of the working class onto the terrain of elections and democracy. It could only rejoice over this momentary victory over the proletariat...

Lynching in Tlahuac, Mexico: The bourgeoisie takes advantage of desperation and blind violence

The blind violence committed by mobs is often fueled by the economic crisis, but the ruling class knows how to use it to its own benefit.  What happened in Tlahuac was a desperate act by an interclassist mass...

The "economic boom" is a bluff:The Condition of the Working Class Continues to Worsen

The U.S. government continues to boast about its "unprecedented, longest running economic expansion in history." And it is true that the anticipated bursting of the "bubble economy," which we had anticipated was just around the corner has not occurred, and this despite the fact that the elements for open rececession seemed to be in place in 1998 following the collapse of the Asian tigers. State capitalism has demonstrated the resiliency to postpone its economic day of reckoning. On the one hand, much of this economic wonder is based on deception – the manipulation of economic data to paint an artificially rosey picture – and on policies designed to foist off the worst aspects of the global economic crisis on the peripheral countries of world capitalism. On the other hand, the degree to which there is economic growth in the U.S., or, more accurately, the absence of open recession, it hardly makes a difference from an historic perspective. The global economic crisis of world capitalism, a crisis of chronic overproduction, continues to deepen inexorably, regardless of the vicissitudes of the trade vicissitudes of the traditional business cycle that the bourgeoisie focuses on in its propaganda.

A huge step in capitalist decomposition

The terrible bloodbath on the 11 September was not a sudden bolt out of the blue by “Islamic fanatics”. On the contrary, it was a new, and qualitatively more serious, link in a long chain of wars, acts of destruction, developing militarism and arms build up.

Working class struggle is the only anti-capitalism

The range of issues raised at each 'anti-capitalist' demonstration is wide. The state of the environment, climate change, free trade, the role of big corporations, privatisation, Third World debt, economic policies of the G8, the role of the World Trade Organisation, the structural adjustment programmes of the IMF and the World Bank - these are all targets of the leftists, anarchists, greens, religious groups and non-governmental organisations that turn out for the 'anti-globalisation' protests.

Slide into recession means new attacks on living standards

When the CBI announced recently that Britain would escape recession, this was hardly enough to inspire confidence, particularly once we take into account the fact that manufacturing in Britain is in recession, with a 2% slump in output last quarter. This was followed by the news that the US economy is also just staying out of recession but with a growth rate close to zero. It has cut its forecast growth rate severely and its forecast budget surplus by 50%.

Against the descent into chaos

The slaughter of British tourists in Uganda has prompted the 'concerned' press to remind us of the terrifying scale of the war and chaos afflicting the entire African continent. An article in The Guardian of 6 March includes a list of the countries hit by war, genocide and internal collapse: Algeria, Sierra Leone, Congo Brazzavile, Sudan, Ethiopia/Eritrea, Rwanda/Burundi, Angola, Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Uganda and nda/Burundi, Angola, Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Uganda and Lesotho. The war between Ethiopia and Eritrea was a full scale confrontation between states, in which tens of thousands died over a worthless piece of land. The war around the Congo "described as the first continent-wide war, is reshaping Africa. A host of countries have been drawn into the conflict over Congo: Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Sudan and Chad on one side against Uganda and Rwanda on the other" (The Guardian, 6.3.99).

Ten years after the fall of stalinism: Communism is the only perspective for humanity

The fall of the Berlin Wall led to a media orgy on a scale not seen before in this century. For 3 days there was an almost uninterrupted flow of images, showing nearly 3 million East Germans crossing the wall and invading the West of the city of Berlin. In this first phase there was no need for propaganda. The images spoke for themselves; the bourgeisie’s message was directly attached to them and hammered home implicitly: "This historic day marks the total and definitive victory of democracy over totalitarianism", "People of the world, rejoice in this glorious day when capitalism has demonstrated its absolute superiority over the socialist regimes".

The bombings in Madrid: Capitalism sows death

The bombings in Madrid

Thursday, 11th March, 7 o'clock in the morning: bombs blast a train in a working-class district of Madrid. The bombs of capitalist war have once again struck a defenceless civilian population, just as blindly as they did when they dropped on Guernica, or during the bombardments of World War II. The bombs “dropped” indiscriminately against men, women, children, adolescents, and even against immigrants from “muslim” countries who in some cases - to render tragedy still more tragic - did not even dare to come forward to claim the bodies of their dead for fear of being arrested and expelled from the country as a result of their illegal status.

Beslan, Iraq: a new step in the decomposition of capitalism

The latest developments on the international scene have plunged the world still further into “an endless fear”, an insane succession of terrorist attacks, bombings, kidnappings, hostage taking and murder. In Iraq, this has reached levels that could have barely been imagined only a few years ago. The savage killings in the Russian town of Beslan in North Ossetia bear witness to the fact that the rest of the world, especially its most strategic areas, will not be spared either. The situation is so bad that talk of chaos is no longer the domain of a few “catastrophists”, but has become an ever more present subject in the media and the political world.

Argentina: the mystification of the 'piquetero' movement

Presentation

We are publishing below extracts from a long article by the comrades of the Nucleo Comunista Internacional in Argentina which makes an in-depth analysis of the so-called “piquetero” movement, denouncing its anti-working class nature and the self-interested lies with which leftist groups of every hue “have dedicated themselves to deceiving the workers with false hopes to make them believe that the aims and means of the piquetero movement contribute to advancing their struggle”.

Catastrophes - signs of a society rotting on its feet

In the last few weeks there has been an acceleration of disasters. Most terrible of all was the earthquake in Iran, but we have also seen an air crash in Egypt that left nearly 150 dead, industrial 'accidents' in China, Algeria and Indonesia, and new alarms about contagious diseases - legionnaires disease in France, 'bird flu' in south east Asia: the list just goes on and on.

Capitalism can only offer war and chaos

A year after the invasion of Iraq was launched, those who openly justified the war are looking more and more exposed.

Not only have the weapons of mass destruction not been found, it has become increasingly clear that the evidence for their existence offered by governments and intelligence services was no more than a tissue of lies, Hutton's attempted cover-up or other bogus 'inquiries' notwithstanding.

Islamism: A symptom of the decomposition of capitalist social relations

Not for the first time, capitalism is justifying its march towards war by invoking the idea of a 'clash between civilisations'. In 1914 workers were marched off to war to defend modern 'civilisation' against the Russian knout or German kaiserism; in 1939 it was to defend democracy against the new dark age represented by Nazism; from 1945 to 1989 it was to fight for democracy against Communism, or for the socialist countries against the imperialist ones. Today the refrain is 'the Western way of life' against 'Islamic fanaticism', or 'Islam' against the 'crusaders and Jews'.

Revolts in Argentina

Argentina: Only the proletariat fighting on its own class terrain can push back the bourgeoisie

The events of December 2001 to February 2002 in Argentina have awoken a great interest amongst politically aware elements all over the world. They have provoked discussion and reflection in workplaces among combative workers. Some Trotskyist groups have even spoken of "the beginning of the revolution".

Capitalism drags the world down

"A year after the Kosovo war began, vengeance killings, increasing crime, political infighting, intimidation, and corruption in that territory make an unpleasant picture (...). Kosovo is a mess" (The Guardian, 17/03/00). The hatred and warfare in the Balkans has got worse since the war and NATO occupation in Kosovo. NATO occupation in Kosovo. The war in Chechnya continues to cause thousands of casualties, most of them civilians, while hundreds of thousands of refugees starve in the camps. As in Kosovo, as in Bosnia before it, awful atrocities are committed. The capital Grozny has been obliterated. American generals boast that NATO bombing has put Serbia back 50 years. The Russian generals have achieved a still better performance in Chechnya: "This small Caucasian republic has been set back a century, as far as development is concerned" (Le Monde Diplomatique, February 2000). The fighting that has devastated the country is still going on, and will continue for a long time.

Terrorism: a weapon and a justification for war

On 28th June 1914, the Archduke Franz-Ferdinand of Austria, nephew of the emperor Franz-Joseph and inspector-general of the Austro-Hungarian army, was assassinated in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, a young Serbian nationalist. For Austria, the opportunity was too good to be missed. The Austrians had already laid hands on Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1908, their imperialist appetites whetted by the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire. The assassination provided Austria with the perfect pretext to attack Serbia, which it suspected of encouraging the nationalities under Austrian rule in their desires for independence. The declaration of war followed without the slightest negotiation. What ensued is common knowledge: Russia rushed to Serbia’s rescue, fearing to see Austria dominate the Balkans; Germany gave its support to its Austro-Hungarian ally; France in turn supported Russia, while Britain followed; in total, the war that resulted left almost ten million dead, six million mutilated, and Europe in ruins, not to mention the consequences of the war such as the 1918 flu epidemic, which caused more deaths than the war itself.

Capitalism, synonymous with chaos and barbarism

After Kosovo, East Timor; after East Timor, Chechnya. Barely has the blood from one massacre dried than it is flowing again somewhere else on the planet. At the same time, the African continent is in agony: the endemic wars in Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Congo, and other countries, have been joined by new massacres in Burundi and a confrontation between Rwanda and its Ugandan "allies", just as the war gets under way again in Angola. We are far indeed from the prophecies of President Bush, exactly ten years ago after the collapse of the Eastern bloc, predicting "a new world order of peace and prosperity". The only peace that has made any progress is the peace of the grave.

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