Economic Crisis

World economic crisis: A murderous summer

July and August were marked by some stunning economic developments. We saw a general panic involving governments, politicians, central banks and other international financial bodies. The masters of this world seem to have totally lost it. Every day, there were new meetings between heads of state: G8, G20, the European Central Bank the US Federal Bank....there were all kinds of ad hoc, improvised declarations and decisions, but none of them stopped the world economic crisis continuing its catastrophic progress.

Faced with the global economic crisis, struggling behind the unions leads to defeat

In a few days at the end of June a range of High Street names showed what effect the continuing crisis is having. Thorntons is closing 120 and maybe up to 180 shops. Carpetright is closing 94 stores. Jane Norman is shutting 33 shops. TJHughes is looking at going into administration. Habitat is going into administration and closing most of its shops. Clinton Cards is to be restructured. Lloyds TSB is cutting another 15,000 jobs, making more than 40,000 since 2009. Inflation is running at 4.5% (5.2% on the higher RPI measure), there’s a public sector pay freeze, the state pension age is rising. Council workers in Southampton, Shropshire and Neath Port Talbot have faced the ‘choice’ of pay cuts or job losses.

No bailout for world capitalism

In 2007, when the debt bubble burst, it was the big banks that were on the verge of collapse. They only kept going thanks to massive infusions of credit from the treasuries of the world’s states. This was done not because governments do what the greedy bankers tell them to do, but because the capitalist system could not tolerate the implosion of its global financial machinery.

The Present Struggles of the Class: Is the Road Open Toward the Mass Strike?

We think that the recent mobilization in Wisconsin represent a further step forward in the development of the struggles that we saw starting around 2003. We think it is therefore necessary to develop a frame for understanding these recent developments. We will look at the struggles that started in 2003, paying attention in particular to the NYC Transit strike of 2005, and ask the question about how or whether the events in Wisconsin are any different. We hope this will give a better idea of the period we have entered and the perspectives for the future struggles.

 

Bourgeois ‘Recovery’: Death and Misery Lie in its Wake

The capitalist crisis continues to deepen despite increasingly desperate proclamations to the contrary. Nestled behind the claims of recovery, class conflict and internecine bourgeois rivalries threaten to tear the social landscape of capitalist society apart. For all of the grandstanding and optimistic rhetoric, there is a noticeable silence about even the possibility of rolling back of austerity measures.

Capitalism has no way out of its crisis

 

 

 

The weakest of the super-indebted national economies must be rescued before they go bankrupt and ruin their creditors; austerity plans designed to contain the debt only aggravate the risk of recession and a cascade of bankruptcies; attempts at recovery by printing money merely re-launch inflation. There is an impasse at the economic level and the bourgeoisie is incapable of proposing policies with the slightest coherence.

The bourgeoisie fears the contagion of revolt

 

Revolt is contagious, above all when more and more of the world’s population are facing a future of misery thanks to the deepening of capitalism’s economic crisis. The ruling class has no real control over the crisis and is becoming increasingly concerned about the growth of resistance to its austerity plans. This concern is manifested in two ways: the attempt to make concessions and ‘democratise’ its rule, coupled with the strengthening of its whole apparatus of repression.

What future for the young in capitalism?

 

The attacks we face are class-wide, across the board, attacks on the young, but also on pensions, job losses in the public and private sector, attacks on benefits for the unemployed and the sick, but also benefits needed by families in work (child benefit, Sure Start grants, housing benefit). They are attacks orchestrated by the state on behalf of the entire capitalist class. And they aren’t going to stop – capitalism is in an impasse and can only come back for more attacks again and again.

The capitalist economy locked in permanent decline

At the very moment that Ireland was negotiating its rescue plan, the International Monetary Fund admitted that Greece would not be able to fulfil the plan that they and the European Union devised in April 2010. Greece’s debt would have to be restructured, even if they didn’t use this word. According to D. Strauss Khan, the boss of the IMF, Greece must be allowed to repay its debt not in 2015 but in 2024. That is, on the Twelfth of Never, given the course of the present crisis in Europe. Here is a perfect symbol of the fragility of some if not most European countries undermined by debt.

Our alternative:resist the capitalist regime!

When we are taking part in demonstrations, whether local rallies or big national marches, let’s use them to make links between different centres of resistance, different sectors of the working class. Let’s organise our own street meetings where instead of listening to celebrity speakers we can freely exchange experiences from our own struggles and prepare for the battles of the future. Let all those who stand for independent, self-organised workers’ struggles use them as an opportunity to meet up and decide on how to connect to wider numbers of their class.

The economic crisis didn’t start in 2007

The shock contraction of 0.5% in the last quarter of 2010 has been somewhat unnerving for British capitalism. Labour immediately seized on the figures as evidence that the Coalition cuts agenda was ill-advised and risked tipping the economy back into recession. Chancellor Osborne responded by saying that backing down on cuts would create worse turmoil in the markets and weaken the economy further.

Revolts in Egypt and the Arab states: The spectre of the development of the class struggle

At the time of writing, the social situation in Egypt remains explosive. Millions of people have been on the streets, braving the curfew, the state regime and its bloody repression. At the same time the social movement in Tunisia has not gone away: the flight of Ben Ali, the government reshuffle and the promise of elections has not succeeded in damping down the deep anger of the population. In Jordan thousands of demonstrators have expressed their discontent with growing poverty. In Algeria the protests seems to have been stifled but there is a powerful international black-out and it seems that there are still struggles going on in Kabylia.

Solidarity with the proletarian revolts in North Africa and the Middle East

A tide of revolt is sweeping through Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, and Yemen. The Syrian regime has cut off the internet in fear that the contagion will spread to them. These are not Islamist movements, as apologists for Mubarak have been claiming. The whole population has taken part, irrespective of their exact stance on matters of religion. In Egypt thousands defied the instructions of their imams not to go onto the streets; there have also been examples of a conscious rejection of sectarian divisions between Muslims and Christians, in a country where the latter minority has been subjected to massacres very recently.

Bloody repression in Tunisia and Algeria: the bourgeoisie is a class of assassins!

For several weeks now we’ve seen an uprising in Tunisia against the misery and unemployment which is particularly hitting the young. All over the country, street demonstrations, meetings, strikes have spontaneously broken out protesting against the regime of Ben Ali. The protestors are demanding bread, work for the young and the right to live in dignity. Faced with this revolt of the exploited and youth deprived of a future, the dominant class has responded with a hail of bullets.

The Working Class Bears the Brunt of the Crisis

The bourgeoisie’s calls for sacrifice are heard more thoroughly and the recent mid-term elections have potentially provided the bourgeoisie with the political pieces necessary to institute a harsher round of austerity. This article will turn its attention towards the elements of austerity that the working class are faced with today and try to present these elements within a historical framework of global capitalism’s permanent crisis.

Why do the capitalists cut jobs?

It's not for fun that the capitalists refuse to exploit a growing number of workers or to carryon exploiting the old ones. They get their profit from living labor as it is devoured by the machinery of the wages system. The work of others is, for capital, the goose that lays the golden eggs. As such, capital doesn't have an interest in killing it. But capital's only religion is profit. A capitalist who doesn't make a profit is doomed to disappear. Capital doesn't give out jobs out of humanism, but because that's the way it works.

25 years of growing unemployment

For a quarter of a century, since the end of the 1960s, the scourge of unemployment has continued to extend and intensify throughout the world. This development has been more or less regular, going through more or less violent accelerations and refluxes.

What point has the crisis reached?: The recovery … of the fall of world economy

The ravages of the international recession
After the recessions of 1967, 71, 75 and 82, in 1986 capitalism again started to slow down. But like a dying animal, it had one last moment of respite: the brutal fall in oil prices along with a massive resort to credit (Table 1) allowed it to hold back the downward plunge in growth.

Where are we in the crisis?: Economic crisis and militarism

The bourgeoisie presents the Gulf War in a contradictory manner - they claim it is both the cause of the current recession, and the means of overcoming it, thanks to the setting up of a 'new world order' of prosperity and stability. These are just lies aimed at hiding the reality of a crisis which has been developing for more than 20 years and is accelerating dramatically today.

What point has the crisis reached?: Russian capitalism sinks in the world crisis

With Mikhail Gorbachev, Russian propaganda is enjoying the luxury of a media youth cure. Before the world’s cameras, Russia’s new head state declares: “revolutionary transformations are in progress in our country”, and the Kremlin’s new princes speak of “peace”, “revolution”, “democracy”, “disarmament”, etc. But none of this is really new; these have been Russian propaganda’s classic themes for decades.

What point has the crisis reached?: The crisis transforms Western Europe into a social powder keg

Within the working class, there exists a historical ‘collective memory’. Revolutionary political organizations are an important sign of its existence, but not the only one. Throughout the class, conclusions have been drawn from the years past struggles and of ruling-class onslaughts, often more or less consciously, often in a purely negative form, more in the sense of knowing what not to do than disengaging a precise, clear and positive perspective.

What point has the crisis reached?: The myth of the economic recovery

The bourgeoisie is making a lot of noise about a so-called economic ‘recovery’ which is supposed to represent the victory of Reagan’s austerity policies. The OECD begins its report, in Econ­omic Perspectives, December 1983, with an almost triumphant declaration: “The recovery of econ­omic activity now involves almost all the coun­tries of the OECD.” And it highlights a series of positive points: increasing GNP and indust­rial production, falling inflation, reduction in budget deficits, increasing profits.

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