Struggle For Socialism Series
The Fight Against Cut Backs
and the Economic Offensive.
7.30pm Tuesday 7th June
Since we met last we have seen the explosion of Spanish youth on the streets of Madrid and marches in 50 other cities. In Spain unemployment amongst the youth is now 45 per cent. At the same time the capitalist European Union is going deeper into crisis as they are facing at least three countries Greece, Ireland and Portugal that will never be able to repay the debt which is being put on the backs of workers through deregulation, cuts in public services etc. That is not meant to imply that Britain is out of crisis either.
On the 4th June the Liverpool TUC is organising a People’s Assembly Against the Cuts and on the same weekend in Cairo there is a 3 day conference ‘Long Live the Arab Revolution’. That conference is called to “ discuss a number of key issues including: dilemmas and achievements of the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions, the future and contradictions of the current wave of Arab revolutions, the relation between the Arab revolution and imperialism and Zionism.” Out International will be participating in that conference.
Behind all these events and developments is the question who rules the planet and on what basis? Behind all the speeches and actions by Cameron, Obama and others are the interests of imperialism. What that is, how it functions today, what drives it and where it is going and how to fight it we will discuss on 7 June.
Working people across the world are facing the brunt of the capitalist economic crisis. Across the world unemployment, food and fuel prices are increasing and services are being devastated. Workers of the world are facing attacks on health, education, welfare and democratic rights. Thus the question of internationalism is the context of the rising workers’ struggles today and is the most important question we have to face.
It is the very ‘prosperity’ of capitalism, the ‘technological revolution’ and ‘prosperity’ of the 1990s that has now wrought panic and crisis to the capitalist system. This has forced the ruling classes and their governments into a determined attack to take back the conquests of the working class.
On the one hand transnationals exploit the globe and on the other western governments try to impose control and wars across the world. Ruthlessly the US, Europe and others endeavour to control the world because of capitalisms’ need to expand and seize resources; its necessity to accumulate ever greater riches; its drive to monopolise production and exchange. This is what is at the heart of the world’s problems.
One useful reading is Lenin’s Imperialism http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/imp-hsc/ If time is limited then his summary in chapter 7 is useful to read as it gives the 5 main points that Lenin said characterised Imperialism. One of the big changes since 1916, when Lenin wrote the book, is that Britain is no longer the power it was and no longer one of the three leading world powers along with Germany and the USA. The year it was written is significant because of the need to explain why the 1st world War had started and the catastrophe humanity faced in such wars. Since 1914 there has hardly been a year that imperialism has not waged wars either with each other (such as the second world war) or against smaller nations such as the Ireland, the Arab nations, India, Vietnam, Africa, Latin America. In fact the list is very long. The purpose of Lenin’s book was to explain what it was in order to assist millions of people to fight it and in the end defeat it.
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