Economic Crisis

What point has the crisis reached? (3rd quarter 1983)

In each crisis, society is smothered under the burden of its own productive forces, of its own products which it cannot put to use, and it is thrown helplessly up against this absurd contradiction: the producers have nothing to consume because there aren’t enough consumers.” This passage, written by Engels in 1876 for Anti-Duh­ring shows the whole relevance of marxism today.

The world capitalist crisis of overproduction: A turmoil which poses a question of revolution

Mankind has developed productive forces which if put to good use could in several years time eliminate on this planet all scarcity in food supplies, housing, health services and communication. But today, these forces, this enormous productive potential, is increasingly paralyzed and destroyed by the mechanisms and internal contradictions of the capitalist mode of production.

More and more the world is being deprived of everything as it plunges into a capital­ist crisis of overproduction.

The crisis in Russia and the Eastern countries

Sixty years after the outbreak of the Russian Revolution, which shook the world to such an extent that the century-long domination of the bourgeoisie was under a real threat, demonstrations of armed work­ers in Red Square have been transformed into insolent parades of troops marching in step under the complacent gaze of their masters. The Russian bourgeoisie can contemplate its armory of death with a tranquil eye. Com pared to what it has today the weapons used in the two imperialist carnages look like harmless toys. It can baptize its hellish arsenal with names like ‘October’ and ‘Com munism’, and embellish its hideous class rule with citations from Lenin. And it can do all this to exorcize the specter of communism. Never in the sixty years since October 1917 has the power of the Russian ruling class seemed so sure, under the aegis of the latest tanks and the most ultra modern missiles. 

From monetary crisis to the war economy

This report on the international situation is an effort to trace the basic politico-economic perspectives which will face the capitalist system on a world scale over the coming years. Rather than a detailed ana lysis of the present economic and political conjuncture in even the major capitalist states -- analyses which are now forthcoming on a regular basis in the publications of the various territorial sections of the International Communist Current -- we will concentrate on indicating the broad lines, the fundamental axes, which will determine the course of the capitalist economy over the next years, and which will shape the political orientation of the various nat ional bourgeoisies and the actions of the two imperialist blocs. In so doing we hope to elaborate a coherent perspective with which to guide the intervention of the. ICC in the increasingly decisive class battles which lie ahead; a perspective which will be one of the elements which will insure that the ICC can become an active factor in the development of proletarian class conscious ness, can become a vital element in the proletarian storm which will uproot and destroy the capitalist state throughout the world and initiate the transition to communism.

Economic debacle, “natural” catastrophes, imperialist chaos... Capitalism is a bankrupt system that must be overthrown

Since the crisis of the financial system in 2008 it seems nothing can hide the depth of the capitalism’s historic crisis. Attacks on the working class escalate, poverty increases, imperialist tensions sharpen, hundreds of millions are malnourished, natural catastrophes grow more deadly. The bourgeoisie itself cannot deny the scale of the difficulties nor pretend that it can provide a better future. It concedes that the present capitalist crisis is the most serious since the thirties and that we will have to “learn to live with” the evil of worsening poverty...

The economic crisis is material, not ideological

The British bourgeoisie has discovered that the state of the economy means it cannot put a battle fleet to sea without the cooperation of the French. However, their political acumen in presenting the crisis to the British public has not diminished in any way. The Tories and the bit part players from the Lib-Dems, with manful assistance from the unions and Labour party apparatchiks, have put across the idea that the whole business about the crisis was a kind of April Fool’s joke and the sole driving idea behind the government’s policy is simply to pare down the size of the state.

Economic crisis Thirty years of the open crisis of capitalism, II. 1980s

In the last issue of the International Review we saw how, since 1967, capitalism has confronted the open reappearance of its historic crisis, by developing state intervention in the economy in order to try to slow down and push its worst effects on to the periphery, the weakest sectors of its own national capital and, of course, onto the whole of the working class. We analysed the evolution of the crisis and the response of capitalism in the 1970s. We are now going to look at the development of its evolution during the 1980’s.

Persistent unemployment shows the deepening of the crisis

In the Communist Manifesto, Marx describes the result of economic crises: “an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an absurdity - the epidemic of over-production”. Why is overproduction an “absurdity”? Because it is not overproduction in terms of actual human need but in terms of the market requirements of capitalist accumulation; real human beings may starve to death but where there is no profit, capitalism will not produce food.

How can workers defend themselves?

How can workers defend themselves against redundancies, pay freezes, worsening conditions at work and cuts in public services? The scale of the attacks launched against the working class, both before and after the election make it clear that there is no option but to fight.

Against the ‘medicine’ of austerity: The class struggle!

In Greece, there is immense anger and the social situation in explosive. Right now the Greek state is raining blows on the working class. All generations, all sectors of the class are being hit hard. Workers in the private sector, in the public sector, the unemployed, pensioners, students working on temporary contracts... No one is being spared.

Economic crisis: The bourgeoisie is running out of excuses

According to the right-wing press the cause of unemployment is that those seeking jobs are refusing to take the jobs offered to them. The new Lib-Con government is going to crack down on this type of behaviour. This is an example of what we might call the bourgeoisie's attempts to develop an economic narrative, which is often - but not always - interwoven with some threads of economic reality.

The crisis moves into a new phase

What follows is an extract from a report on the British situation presented to a meeting of the ICC in Britian in early April this year. It focuses on the real state of the economy, against all the falsehoods heard before, during and after the recent general election.

Austerity in Greece shows the future facing the working class everywhere

The Greek state is on the edge of a precipice. The international media talk non-stop about its bankruptcy. The journalists like talking about the ‘Greek tragedy'. But the dramatic reality of the situation is being felt most cruelly by the workers, the unemployed, pensioners, young people who have precarious jobs or are trying to gain their short, the working class.

Greece, Spain, Portugal…The state is bankrupt

Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, France, Germany, Britain...everywhere the same crisis, everywhere the same attacks. The ruling class is revealing its true colours. Its cold and inhuman language boils down to the same basic message: ‘if you want to avoid the worst, if you don't want total economic break-down, you are going to have to pull in your belts like never before'.


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