Faced with the acceleration of capitalist barbarism, there is only one answer: class struggle!

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For the last three years, we have been witnessing a simultaneity and an aggravation of the different crises and catastrophes which are accelerating the decay of capitalist society: war, economic crisis, ecological crisis, pandemic... This has reached the point where the threat of the annihilation of the human species has become more serious and concrete than ever.

The Covid-19 pandemic, the eighth wave of which is currently underway, constituted, from early 2020, a new stage in the sinking of society into the final phase of its decadence, that of its decomposition. It crystallises, in fact, a whole series of factors of chaos which until then seemed to have no link between them[1].The negligence of the ruling class was more clearly revealed everywhere with the collapse of health systems (lack of masks, beds and carers) being crucially responsible for the global death toll, which reached between 15 and 20 million. The pandemic even had a lasting impact on global production chains, increasing shortages and inflation. It also revealed the increased difficulties of the bourgeoisie in organising a coordinated response to both the pandemic and the crisis.

The war in Ukraine is already festering like a cancer at the gates of Europe and is a further step in the accelerated decay of society, above all through the exacerbation of militarism on a global scale. The profound disorder in the East and the Caucasus, the air strikes threatening to damage the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the repeated threats to use nuclear weapons[2], the disastrous leakage of Nord Stream gas pipelines into the Baltic as a result of probable acts of war, Putin's adventurist "partial" mobilisation turning into a fiasco, the terrifying risks of escalation by a desperate Russian regime, all point to an apocalyptic capitalist future across the globe. Now, the bottomless pit of military spending that preceded and further accompanies the war in Ukraine and the tensions in the Pacific, as well as the abysmal indebtedness of states crumbling under the weight of the war economy, are accelerating the plunge into global economic crisis.

The crisis, combined with catastrophic global warming, is already plunging millions of people into malnutrition, not only in Ukraine but in many parts of the world; shortages are multiplying and inflation is condemning a large part of the working class to poverty. The "sacrifices" demanded by the bourgeoisie already presage much worse to come. The militarism that is growing wildly before our eyes embodies the irrationality of a capitalism that can only lead to ruin and bloody chaos. This is highlighted above all by the United States, whose desire to preserve its rank as the world's leading power requires the continuous reinforcement of its military superiority; but this project can only be realised at the cost of ever more chaos and destabilisation. Myriad disasters of all kinds, increasingly frequent, interact and feed off each other more intensely, forming a veritable destructive spiral. The last few months have considerably reinforced this apocalyptic trajectory, both through the intensification of war and its devastation and through the spectacular evolution of the manifestations of climate change[3].  In addition to the destruction, the scorched earth policies and the massacres, the forced exoduses of millions, agricultural production is being curtailed on a global scale, access to water is becoming scarce, shortages and famines are multiplying, and large parts of the world are becoming uninhabitable as the result of all kinds of pollution. The resources that are being depleted tend to be transformed almost exclusively and unscrupulously into strategic weapons, such as gas or wheat, and are given over to a veritable plundering and unbridled haggling, the outcome of which is still military confrontation and human suffering.

 This tragedy did not happen by chance. It is the product of the irremediable bankruptcy of the capitalist mode of production and the blind action of a bourgeoisie which has no future to offer. A mode of production that has been undermined for more than a hundred years by its contradictions and historical limits, and that for the last thirty years has been wallowing in its own decomposition. The world is now plunging even more rapidly into a process of accelerating fragmentation and destruction, into an immense chaos. The bourgeoisie is powerless to offer a viable perspective, increasingly divided, unable to cooperate at a minimum level as it did even a decade ago at its global anti-crisis summits. It remains uninspired, trapped by its own blinkers and greed, undermined by the centrifugal forces of a growing every man for himself. The victory in Italy of Georgia Meloni's "post-fascist" far-right party is a further example of a worsening tendency for the bourgeoisie to lose control over its political apparatus. Increasingly, the ruling class finds itself governed by cliques of unscrupulous thugs, more dangerous and irresponsible than ever.

The only answer is the class struggle of the proletariat
The bourgeoisie remains determined to accentuate exploitation, to make the proletariat pay for its insoluble crisis and its wars. However, it will now have to take more account of the class struggle. While the acceleration of decomposition with the pandemic had been a brake on the development of the combativity that was expressed, for example, in France in the winter of 2019-2020, and although struggles were greatly reduced after the invasion of Ukraine, they never totally disappeared. Last winter, strikes broke out in Spain and the US. This very summer, Germany also experienced walkouts. But above all, in the face of the crisis, unemployment and the return of inflation, the scale of workers' mobilisation in the United Kingdom constitutes a real break with the previous social situation in Britain, a return of combativity at the international level. It has initiated a real change of mindset. These strikes constitute a new event of historical dimensions. Indeed, after almost forty years of virtual stagnation in Britain, highly symbolic strikes multiplied there from June onwards, setting in motion new generations of workers ready to raise their heads and fight for their dignity, serving as an encouragement for other future movements. Despite the international ideological campaign that accompanied the royal funeral, the Liverpool dockers, who had been defeated in the 1990s, announced new mobilisations. The unions are already taking the lead and becoming more radical, playing their role as saboteurs and dividers. Even if this movement will necessarily experience a decline, it is already a victory because of its exemplary nature. Of course there is a long road ahead for the international struggle before the proletariat can recover its class identity and defend its own revolutionary perspective in a determined way. Its path is strewn with pitfalls. The risks of deviating from its own class terrain by diluting itself in cross-class struggles with the beleaguered petty-bourgeoisie, in petty-bourgeois or bourgeois movements such as those around feminism or anti-racism, are not without serious dangers, especially in the countries of the periphery. Thus, in Iran, an immense upsurge of anger against the regime of the Mullahs following the murder of Mahsa Amini has been driven onto the bourgeois terrain of democratic demands, where the working class is being diluted into the "Iranian people" rather than fighting for its own class demands. In Russia, despite the multiplication of demonstrations crying "No to war!", and the expressions of anger among conscripts being sent to the front without arms or food, the situation remains confused, with opposition to the military mobilisation taking a more individual than collective form. Negative proof that it is only the working class that can provide a perspective to all the oppressed - and that, in the absence of a class response, the bourgeoisie will be able to occupy the social terrain. But in a more global way, the conditions for a development of international class struggles in the face of the coming attacks, notably because of the development of inflation, unemployment and extreme precariousness, open the possibility of creating the conditions necessary for the affirmation of the communist perspective, in particular in the central countries of capitalism, where the proletariat is the most experienced and has long come up against the most sophisticated traps of the bourgeoisie. The new decade leaves open the possibility of such a historical affirmation of the proletariat, even if time is no longer on its side in view of the devastation generated by capitalism. This decade, which began with both workers' struggles and the acceleration of barbarism and chaos, will most likely convince the working class more deeply that the only historical alternative remains: communist revolution or destruction of humanity!

WH, 28 September 2022



[1] Report on the Covid-19 pandemic and the period of capitalist decomposition, International Review 165

[2] The use of nuclear weapons is not just a matter of the will of a "mad dictator", as the bourgeoisie asserts in order to frighten the population into making "necessary sacrifices". It requires a certain consensus within the national bourgeoisie. But although such a use would amount to a voluntary suicide of the Russian bourgeoisie, the level of irrationality and unpredictability into which capitalism is sinking does not make its use completely impossible. Moreover, the ageing Ukrainian nuclear power stations, a veritable financial sinkhole, remain frightening time bombs several decades after the Chernobyl disaster.

[3] Fires on an unprecedented scale hit the planet during the summer, droughts and record heat peaks reaching 50°C (as in India) coupled with terrible floods, such as the one that almost drowned Pakistan's cultivated areas


Decomposition of world capitalism