Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

‘A new era of global capitalist crisis – revolution and counter revolution’

July 3, 2020 Report of CWI international meeting by Philip Stott (Socialist Party Scotland) CWI

Leading representatives of the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) met online over the weekend, 27/28 June. The International Executive Committee (IEC) meeting was attended by 70 comrades, from CWI sections from across the world. Those participating included IEC members and visitors from Sri Lanka, Malaysia, India, South Africa, Nigeria, Chile, the US, England and Wales, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, France, Russia, Austria, Japan and Finland.
The meeting began by recognising by means of a sustained round of applause the decades-long contributions of Mick Cotter and Ken Douglas, two full-time workers for the Socialist Party (CWI England and Wales), who both sadly died recently.
Tony Saunois from the International Secretariat (IS) introduced the first session of the IEC, titled, “A new era of global capitalist crisis – revolution and counter-revolution”. This was followed on the second day with a discussion on building the CWI in the new period.
In the opening session, Tony emphasised that this special meeting of the IEC was taking place during an unprecedented crisis for global capitalism. A key task of the IEC meeting, Tony explained, was to prepare the CWI theoretically, politically and organisationally, for a completely changed world situation.
Great accelerator
The Covid-19 pandemic has been the great accelerator of the multiple crises that had already existed in world capitalism. The economic crisis has gripped the system at an incredible speed and to an extent for which there is no real historical parallel.
Nor is the pandemic over. While in Europe there has been an opening up of society and a move away from lockdown, globally the number of infections and deaths are accelerating. In the Americas, India and Pakistan, for example, the crisis is getting worse. US states, including Texas, California and Florida, were having to reimpose lockdowns, as has happened in parts of Europe. Globally ten million people have now been infected with Covid-19.
Tony pointed out that the three elements of capitalist equilibrium identified by Trotsky – economic development, class relations and the geopolitical environment – were all rupturing.
Economically, the world has been thrown into a period of capitalist depression, which has features of the 1930s. There can be no return for capitalism to even the period prior to the 2007/08 world crisis.
The tension between the classes had grown immensely during the covid crisis. Class inequality has been exposed further, with class struggle very likely to erupt in a series of countries. Indeed, the Black Lives Matter movement – in which working class young people have played a central role – was partly shaped and conditioned by the sharpening of class antagonisms produced by the lockdowns.
Geopolitically, the rise of China and the relative decline of US imperialism has become qualitatively sharper in the last months. It adds yet another explosive element into an already volatile and fast-moving crisis for the ruling class internationally.
A fearful and uncertain bourgeois have responded to the pandemic and the economic crisis with unprecedented levels of state intervention. Tony described the $17 trillion in stimulus measures implemented, so far, as “eye-watering” efforts to prevent an economic collapse.
Yet that is all that has been achieved, not a recovery but the avoidance of the disintegration of the profit-system. While the ruling class are hoping for a V-shaped recovery – a rapid bounce back in economic activity – the reality is going to be different. In the US alone, more than 40 million workers have been thrown out of work in the last three months.
As furlough schemes are ended in Europe and the US, there is likely to be a tsunami of redundancies for workers and especially young people. The IMF has recently downgraded their expectations for economic contraction for the whole of 2020 from -3% in April to -4.7% in June.
The US economist Nouriel Roubini pointed out recently that it took ten years for US capitalism to create 10 million jobs following the financial crisis of 2007/08. But just two months – in April and May of 2020 – to lose 30 million jobs.
While a certain recovery in growth is inevitable as lockdowns are lifted in some of the advanced capitalist economies, this will be a long-lasting global depression. Indeed Roubini – one of the more far-sighted analysts of capitalism – has predicted the 2020s to be a ” decade of misery and depression.”
As the CWI has explained in its recent statements on the new world situation, the neoliberal handbook which has dominated the policy of the ruling class for 40 years, has been torn up. The use of the state to bail out and defend capitalism has gone quite far. A form of Keynesianism – state intervention and stimulus to save the system – is being used widely in Europe, the US, Japan and China.
However in the neocolonial world – including parts of Latin America, Africa and Asia where Covid-19 is raging through society – the weakness of the bourgeois means state interventions are not possible on anything like the same scale. This will be a major contributory factor in the explosive and even revolutionary events that can erupt in a series of countries in the next months and years.
Nevertheless, Keynesian-type policies will be used for a further period by the ruling class. Already this is seen in Germany, the UK and other states who are desperately searching for a return to sustainable growth. At a certain stage, however, attacks on public spending on services, education, wages and jobs are inevitable, and even alongside further state intervention.
Tony developed further on the geopolitical importance of the decline of the US as a world power and the strengthening of China. He pointed out that in Latin America – the doorstep of US imperialism – 14 out of 20 countries have signed up to China’s imperialist “Belt and Road” policy. China is now the largest trading partner with Argentina. The UN has 15 specialist departments with four of those currently being run by the Chinese.
The decline of US imperialism has also driven Trump to embark on a series of trade wars and conflicts with China and other world powers. Trump’s unpredictable behaviour and his disastrous actions over Covid-19 has accelerated the US decline.
Today, which is a tipping point, generally, there are two distinct poles beginning to emerge around the US and Chinese capitalism, one that is weakening and the other that is strengthening.
How far China rises and the US falls is as yet unclear. There may not be one winner but instead, a series of protracted skirmishes and clashes can take place over a prolonged period of time. This will be full of contradictions. For example, German capitalism has big interests in China. Volkswagen, for example, exported 4.7 million cars to China in 2017. This is a market it will not want to lose. The anti-Chinese approach of Trump has provoked clashes with Merkel. At the same time, German capitalism is coming to conflict with China over its attempt to penetrate eastern European markets, which will threaten German interests.
What is clear is that after decades of globalisation – capital seeking new markets and shifting production to lower-wage economies – the world has entered a period of deglobalisation. Last year world trade had started to decline. In this phase, there is a retreat into economic nationalism and clashes between states. During boom years, there is more cooperation between power blocks, and a tendency to seek to overcome – but never fully – the boundaries of the nation-state. This is now turning into its opposite.
This trend can be seen in the EU where the possible break-up of the eurozone and the EU itself can be posed. Conflict between southern European states, including Italy and Spain, and northern states, like Germany and the “frugal four”, have already emerged during this crisis. Tensions will break out not just between north and south but also between western and eastern Europe, as well.
Military conflict
Global instability can also lead to regional conflicts. Israeli efforts to annex the West Bank could lead to a new regional military conflict. China and India have also clashed along their long shared border. While a new world war is not a likely scenario, regional wars can break out in any number of “hotspots”.
The scale of the economic crisis and its impact on the neocolonial countries has been dramatic. Both in Bangladesh and India, mass job losses arising from Covid-19 have led to mass migration back to the country by unemployed workers. Food shortages in Peru have led to mass hunger and struggles in Ecuador. In Bolivia, the trade union federation and the tin miners have been mobilising against government attacks.
At the start of the pandemic, all governments saw increases in support but that has now turned into its opposite. The biggest losers, as Tony pointed out, are Trump, Bolsonaro in Brazil, Johnson in the UK and Macron in France. Against a background of mounting opposition, the splits in the Trump administration are widening, with decisive sections of the US ruling class coming out against him. Trump’s defeat in the presidential elections in November is now more likely.
While there are some exceptions, like Germany, Ireland and Scotland, where leaders and governments have seen to have had a “good crisis”, this will not last as class conflict over the economic and social impact of the crisis will now put all capitalist governments to the test.
The historic movement against racism and police killings under the banner of the Black Lives Matter movement has had a huge impact internationally. There has been an uprising against the US police and Trump. Even elements of a civil war are seen. Not in the sense of a re-run of 1861-5 but reflecting the deep polarisation in today’s US society.
Comparisons with the civil rights struggles in the US in the 60s and 70s have been drawn, such has been the scale of the movement. But one key difference was that the 60s was a period of economic boom, at least in the US and the advanced capitalist countries. Today, the BLM movement has taken place against the backdrop of a system in its biggest crisis since the 1930s.
The working class character of the BLM movement and the scale of the economic collapse has given the struggle a sharp edge. ‘Identity Politics’ have been present, but in the US and the UK, for example, it has not been the dominant outlook. The openness to revolutionary socialist and anti-capitalist ideas has been striking, as has developing class consciousness.
This change in consciousness was reflected in the unusual forum of the ‘Teen Vogue’ magazine, who tweeted at the end of June a link to their 2018 feature: ‘Who Is Karl Marx: Meet the Anti-Capitalist Scholar’. The article begins, “The communist scholar’s ideas are more prevalent than you might realize.” They followed up this feature in May with an article asking, “What Is Democratic Socialism and Why Is It Growing More Popular in the U.S.?” These examples underline the point the CWI has made consistently, that you cannot view consciousness through the prism of yesterday.
Food riots are increasingly likely to erupt in the US. The British Guardian newspaper ran an article in late June that interviewed academics and police sources who predicted riots and confrontations between young people and the state over the summer. Clashes between youth and police have been seen in France and Germany.
The shrinking social base of support for capitalist governments, as a result of the crisis, is also leading to the increased use of authoritarian measures by the state. Modi, in India, has been leading to Hindu nationalism and the fascistic RSS to shore up his base, for example.
In France and other European countries, anti-democratic legislation has been passed under the cover of Covid to be used against a developing mass movement. Racism and attempts to divide the working class, such as exploiting ‘identity politics’, will be increasingly used by capitalist elites, as they turn to repression, and later even counter-revolution, when faced with a growing spectre of revolutionary challenge from the working class and youth to their system.
The scale of the crisis facing global capitalism is unprecedented. And yet another key feature of the recent period has been the collapse and political implosion of the new left forces that emerged following the last crisis a decade ago.
In the US, the Sanders’ movement has imploded, with Sanders backing the neoliberal Democrat Joe Biden. In the UK, Corbynism was defeated. The new Labour leader, Keir Starmer, has is driving Labour back to the Blairite so-called “centre”.
Almost all of the left formations and many of the trade union leaders have sought a form of ‘national unity’ with capitalist interests during the crisis. In Brazil, the left formation PSoL joined a popular front against Bolsonaro with capitalist parties. Podemos has formed a coalition government with the social democrats in Spain.
Therefore the demands for new workers’ parties to be built are crucial for this period. New parties will be born but much of the new left – that is now the old left – is incapable of facing up the scale of the crisis and the socialist policies needed to overcome it.
The CWI bases itself on the ‘dual tasks’ of building new mass workers’ parties but also the need to strengthen and build our own revolutionary forces. We do not adopt the approach of simply waiting for new mass parties to appear.
It is essential for the CWI to appeal to workers and especially young people whose future is being devastated under this system, to join a Marxist organisation today. For some of the CWI sections, it will be possible to grow quickly in the period that is opening up.
We need to be bold and look towards those who we can win to Marxism while campaigning in the trade unions for the building of new parties of the working class.
Tony concluded by referencing 1914 and the outbreak of World War One that precipitated the collapse of the old left around the Second International, most of whose members shamefully supported the imperialist slaughter.
A relative handful of Marxists stood against that stream. They included Lenin and Trotsky, Luxembourg and Liebknecht, and Connolly and Maclean, among others. But it was these forces, based on the working class and the ideas of scientific socialism, that correctly anticipated the march of events that would lead to the successful Russian Revolution and revolutionary challenges to capitalist rule internationally.
The recent split that the CWI went through, although not on the same scale as in the Second International in 1914, served as a preparation for the huge impact of Covid-19 and the changed world situation. In that sense, it was a necessary preparation, allowing the CWI to face up to the new challenges, with a bold socialist programme, and using the transitional method of programme, elaborated by Trotsky.
Having seen off the threat of the disintegration of its Marxist-Trotskyist forces, and came through that challenge politically strengthened, the CWI is now energetically moving forward.
A wide-ranging and extremely informative discussion followed the introduction. Matt, from Scotland, highlighted the expected jobs massacre that is likely to lead to the loss of 10% of all jobs in the Scottish economy. The BLM protests in Scotland were attended by more than 10,000 young people and there was an overwhelmingly positive response to our socialist and class ideas. The national question in Scotland – the demand for independence – is also becoming increasingly important, reflecting the class polarisation in society. Support for independence has grown through the pandemic, with 70% of under-35-year-olds currently supporting this call.
Sarah, from England and Wales, also commented on the anti-racist movement, which was a confirmation of our perspective that struggle would break out around the Covid crisis. The Socialist Party was the only left organisation with a consistent and bold organised participation into the BLM movement from its beginning. Many forces on the left, including members who departed the CWI, last year, had drawn pessimistic conclusions about the potential of the working class to struggle and were facing an opportunist direction. The BLM movement erupted against racism and police killings but also anger at the system as a whole. The ‘Jobs and Homes – not Racism’ slogan put forward by Socialist Party supporters received a widespread and enthusiastic response.
Jeff, from the US, explained that the spread of the second wave of the virus was already hitting, with a number of states having to close businesses. The economic consequences of Covid-19 was creating mass anger over unemployment and hunger. Class consciousness is sharpening as is political polarisation. Yet right-wing forces organising to demand the reopening of the economy were relatively small compared to the BLM mobilisations. This was a brilliant movement but was without coordination or a programme. What was also clear to comrades in the US was that the reception to class and socialist ideas was overwhelmingly more attractive than the ideas of identity politics which seek to divide the movement.
Jeff also touched on prospects for the general election in the US. The polls have switched in favour of Biden and the Democrats – who the US ruling class are supporting having had enough of Trump who has a 58% disapproval rating. Sections of big business have had to say they back the BLM movement. The space for a political alternative to the duopoly of US politics is growing, although ‘lesser evilism’ will tend to increase in the run up to the election. The US has entered a volatile situation and class consciousness and support for ‘socialism’ is gaining ground.
Auto industry
Rene from Germany gave the example of the German auto industry which accounts for 800,000 jobs overall and contributes in terms of GDP the equivalent of the entire economy of New Zealand. There exists huge over-capacity in the sector and attacks on workers to reduce labour costs. German capitalism has put seven million workers in furlough and unemployment is rising. Stimulus packages. Merkel hopes, will lead to a bounce back in 2021 for the economy. In many cases, trade union leaders are operating as co-managers with the capitalists.
Sasha from Russia highlighted the oil price stand-off with the Gulf states, which ended in a defeat for President Putin. It is expected that Russia’s GDP could drop by 10% this year, the worst outcome since the early 1990s after the collapse of Stalinism. Workers face wage cuts and widespread sackings. The need for independent trade unions is becoming clearer. Support for Putin is dropping to 29%, and another 38% believe he supports the oligarchs rather than the people. This week, a constitutional amendment is being voted on that could keep Putin in power until 2036. A mass workers’ party and fighting trade unions would help workers’ cohesion.
Times are changing and changing quickly, commented Patricio from Chile. The economy is in a deep depression, which started before the pandemic. For the first time since the 1980s, the poorest layers of the working class are hungry. In Chile there are more deaths than Brazil per head from covid, and we are not at the peak of the infection. We are in a birth of a new eruption of mass struggle against institutions. The political crisis is so acute that the majority of the population in Chile oppose all the parties, yet no force has put forward an alternative. The trade unions are not playing the role they could in breaking from “national unity” ideas. Marxists in Chile see the importance of a trade union orientation, which needs to be combined with neighbourhood work.
Sascha from Germany underlined that the depth of the economic crisis is unprecedented. In 2009, world GDP contracted by 0.1%. This year, it is expected to drop by 6%. Changing our psychology to be prepared for the storms ahead is crucial, even if Germany lags a bit behind in terms of consciousness and class struggle. Overall, while right-wing populism is losing support, with Trump and Bolsonaro very unpopular, the crisis and a lack of unified bourgeois policy for dealing with it can see right populism grow again. In common with left and trade union leaders internationally, the Left Party and German union leaders did not challenge Merkel, but instead sought the road of ‘national unity’. It is possible that the Left Party will not be a vehicle for workers and youth to struggle. Covid-19 has spread widely in German meat factories and areas of over-crowded and poor housing.
China-US conflict
Clare from the IS said the US-China conflict is a crucial aspect of our discussions. The extent to which China has extended its influence in the global economy is reflected in the 138 countries with a Belt and Road investment. China is the biggest manufacturer in the world and the second-largest importer of goods. It also has a stake in four airports in Europe, six ports and thirteen football teams. Nevertheless, there was a 6% slowdown in the first quarter of 2020 in China. While Ji Xinping – the Chinese president – is in a relatively strong position, both the economic problems and the second wave of Covid can alter that. The working class in China now numbers 937 million and strikes and protests can and do take place. Social explosions can come out of the blue.
In South Africa, the economic situation is devastating, explained Weizmann. This week the government adopted a supplementary budget with more attacks on the working class planned. Around 55% of the population are living below 1100 rand a month. Another 12 million are on social grants and 55% of youth are unemployed. There has been a collapse in investment, with the third recession in two years.
Jagadish gave an illuminating picture of the situation in India. The Modi regime in India is a brutally nationalist and an anti-working class government. The shutdown of the economy as a result of Covid-19 has led to the loss of 120 million jobs and 30 million workers migrating back to the countryside. Even these figures cannot give a true picture of the devastation. Changes in the labour laws have resulted in official work times being increased from eight to ten hours a day. And in some cases 12 hours. Food riots are going to take place and there is a massive chasm between the political elites and the people. The mass communist parties should be leading a struggle for food and wages but they are content to petition the government on these and other issues, without mobilising the masses into a movement.
Rob from England and Wales described the wave of redundancies being announced by big business under the cover of Covid. British Airways are planning 12,000 job losses and attacks on terms and conditions of the remaining workforce. The TUC and many union leaders signed up for a national unity policy. This affected even some previous left-led unions, like PCS and even the RMT, which called-off planned ballots or action. However, under mass pressure, trade union leaders have had to shift back towards sanctioning action. There has also been a wave of workers joining the trade unions during the pandemic. The NEU has grown by 20,000 and Unison have recruited a net 30,000 this year, so far.
Alex from France spoke about the complete unpreparedness of the Macron government over Covid-19. A zig-zag policy of opening up and closing down has taken place. There is an estimated 12% economic contraction this year in French GDP, which is the worst in the eurozone. There has been a quick reaction in some workplaces. A health strike on 16 June was bigger than expected but with a clearer appeal by the unions would have been even greater. The BLM movement and ‘gilets jaunes’ reflects mass anger but not leadership or a programme. In some ways, it reflects the movements at the start of the 1930s.
Structural problems of capitalism
Donal from Ireland made the point that the Covid crisis is accelerating the wider structural problems of capitalism. The moves to ‘state capitalist’ measures are unprecedented. There have been sharp struggles and wildcat walkouts in workplaces in Northern Ireland, often over health and safety issues due to the pandemic. Levels of unemployment and furlough make up almost 30% of the workforce, north and south of Ireland. The new government in the south is made up of the two main bourgeois parties and the Greens, which could put Sinn Fein in the driving seat for a period, as they will be the main opposition. But Sinn Fein’s policies do not represent the socialist alternative needed by working-class people and youth.
Sri Lanka saw the coming to power of a Sinhala communalist president, last year, Siri reported. Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the first president to openly say he represents the Sinhala people, not the Tamils in the north and the Muslims. Identity politics is very strong at the moment. The authoritarian government dissolved Parliament in March and elections are not due until August, which Gotabaya is expected to win. All aspects of the economy have been hit by Covid-19, especially garment workers tourism and remittances from the Middle East. Bosses are using coronavirus to attack workers. Class struggle is returning. The doctors and nurses are now in dispute with the government who want to take credit for the low number of deaths.
Senan, a member of the IS, described the global polarisation taking place between the classes. The capitalists have not found a reset button for the system, they are simply trying to avoid an all-out crash. The current crisis proves the correctness of Trotsky’s theory of the permanent revolution.
Globalisation meant capital moving east for lower wages but the neo-colonial world was held back from developing in an all-rounded manner. The wealth polarisation in countries like China and India is striking. There are 373 billionaires in China and 4.5 million millionaires. Around 33% of all luxury commodities in the world are consumed here. The classes are drifting apart and tensions over the national question, caste and class inequality are exploding in Asia.
Geopolitically, the rise of China has caused widespread fear among the capitalist class in Japan, commented Simon. Nationalism is being used by the Japanese Prime Minister, Abe, over the conflicts with China over islands and territory. Nevertheless, Japan’s exports to China and Hong Kong are now 24% as opposed to 20% to the US. Japan relies on China for growth and the US for defence. Japan and the US are forming a counterweight to China. So-called ‘Abenomics’, a form of Keynesianism, has not turned around the decades of stagnation the Japanese economy has been in.
Youvraj from India pointed out that the reactionary Modi government is using increasingly authoritarian methods to maintain its rule. The class crisis is profound with a series of struggles over the last six years by farmers, youth and workers. Modi may have popular support based on the Hindu nationalism and racism but that can turn into its opposite. There is starvation in the country as the economy has collapsed since lockdown. The health crisis can get much worse over the summer as the number of virus cases increases. But instead of posing independent class politics as an alternative, Left forces in India tend to seek agreements with the traditional bourgeois Congress party.
Africa hit by covid
In Africa, 52 countries have now reported cases of Covid-19, with South Africa, Egypt and then Nigeria having most cases. Abbey from Nigeria underlined that poor healthcare and poverty meant the actual number of cases is underreported. There are fewer than one ICU bed and ventilator per 100,000 people in Africa. Testing is pitiful and protective measures like hand washing and social distancing is impossible. Overcrowded living conditions and transport services, and a lack of access to sanitation have all led to a spread of the virus. So many workers in the informal sector need to continue to work. The IMF says Nigeria’s economy will contract by 5.4% this year. Crude oil has collapsed in price and huge budget cuts have been planned by the government. Nigerian workers will not accept this and huge class battles impend.
Ravi reported that Malaysia and the entire region is facing an economic crisis like the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis. There have been a small number of deaths so far in Malaysia – a public health system has been crucial. Cases have been high among migrant workers living in poor and overcrowded accommodation.
The 2018 election in Malaysia saw the Coalition of Hope elected after 60 years of rule by the traditional capitalist party, National Front. This government collapsed in February over internal splits and failing to deliver for the mass of society.
Matatah, also from Malaysia, added that a new coalition is possible and that the NF could come back into government. But stability is almost impossible with unemployment at its worst since the 1998 crisis. A regional social and political eruption, including Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, can be posed.
In reply to the rich and wide-ranging discussion, Robert Bechert from the IS re-emphasised that these are the first stages in a new period in world history. The CWI has and must continue to draw all of the political and organisational conclusions from this.
The ruling classes are fearful for their system and the movements of the working class and the poor that could develop. Even ten years since the previous crisis it is common in most countries that the working class has not seen a real recovery. Moreover even where a recovery did take place there has been a greater wealth polarisation to the benefit of the elite of the ruling class. This had produced anger and instability even before the onset of the Covid crisis.
How do the ruling class respond? Increased tensions between the US and China, which are mirrored in regional conflicts involving India, China, Japan and others. There are tensions in the Middle East involving Iran, Syria and the Gulf states and outside powers, like the US and Russia. Splits inside the EU will also be a major factor in the world situation in the coming months.
A crucial issue is what does the economic and health crisis mean for the class struggle. The speed of the eruption of the BLM movement and its international impact illustrated the youth will be in the forefront of the struggle. In Nigerian, mass youth unemployment and underemployment of over 50% existed before the virus hit. Even if the BLM movement is receding in the US, it can also flare up again if further police killings take place, for example.
Trade unions
The growth of trade unions during covid lockdown has been a common feature in a number of countries. At the same time, the trade union and left leaders are often an obstacle to struggle, as most have no viable alternative to capitalism. Trade union leaders can be pushed from below by pressure but the great majority will not change their political outlook of working within capitalism. Leaders can be pushed from below but inherent in their reformism and pro-capitalist policies is betrayal. They need to be replaced by building a socialist left in the unions. And, in some cases, by building new unions and workers’ organisations.
In Iran there are signs of a rebirth of the workers’ movement and significant struggles are breaking, tending to be organised by independent unions and unofficial bodies. Significantly, thousands of sugar cane workers are raising the demand for nationalisation and workers’ control of their workplace. The building of powerful independent workers’ organisations, with a Marxist core, can be posed.
Political forces can be pushed into power that are not fully revolutionary or based on a socialist programme, as was recognised by Trotsky in the Transitional Programme, but then the question is sharply posed of how can the overthrow of capitalism be concretised. Such is the scale of the crisis that a ‘dual power’ situation can arise – where neither the bourgeois nor the workers’ movement can fully impose their will – especially in the neo-colonial world. We had the example of Sudan, last year. Unfortunately, the leaders of the revolution joined a provisional government, along with the generals who previously brutally repressed them. These events show that it is crucial the lessons of the Spanish and Russian revolutions are learned.
We cannot fully predict how deep the economic depression will be or the exact course of class struggle. For example, Massive job losses that are implicit in the situation can lead to setbacks and disorientation for some workers. Other sections of the working class are becoming more radicalised and prepared to fight back.
In a few weeks time, it will be the 80th anniversary of the murder of Leon Trotsky. By using the transitional programme and method, we can popularise the steps to be taken to find a way out of the crisis of capitalism. Lenin’s pamphlet ‘The impending catastrophe and how to avoid it’, written in 1917, was a transitional programme for how to overcome the crisis and what the working class had to do to take power in Russia and to start the world socialist revolution.
The CWI can address the best fighters today and win them based on our programme and analysis.