The tragic events in New York and Washington can only be described
as a turning point in world history, which will have dramatic
political, economic and military repercussions. "What is certain is
that we have entered a new world", comments the Financial Times.
"Nothing will be the same."
Not so long ago, capitalist
commentators were saying that the world would avoid a slump. Not any
more. Even before this outrage, the world economy was on the brink of a
crisis. The Economist (25/8/01) had already announced "Welcome to the
first global recession of the 21st century". The US economy, the dynamo
of the global economy in the past period, has barely grown, with
exports, imports and consumer spending turning downwards in recent
months. Japan, the world's second biggest economy, is in recession. The
events in America now threaten to tip the whole world over the edge
into a deep slump.
Already the stock markets are in turmoil.
According to the Financial Times, "This is now one of the worst bear
markets in history. In early trading yesterday, the Dow Jones
Industrial Average had fallen 31 per cent from its January 2000 peak,
one of the worst 10 declines the US market has experienced since the
first world war." Again it states: "US investors averted a headlong
decline in equities, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average still
recorded a 12.4 per cent decline over the week – the worst performance
by the blue-chip index since 1933." (22/23 September). With over 50
million Americans owning shares, this will inevitably have a profound
effect on the real economy. $1.3 trillion was wiped off the value of
shares on Wall Street, and economists like those at Deutsche Asset
Management predict two million job losses in the next six months.
an answer to all those who attempted to ridicule Marxism as "out of
date". All those who kneeled down before the market economy as a
solution to societys problems. Socialist Appeal has long ago argued
that the laws of capitalism had not changed. There was no "end of
history". What we are seeing now is a classical capitalist crisis of
over-production as explained by Marx 150 years ago. The figures for
"over investment" and "excess capacity" are evidence of this. From
computers to steel, the world market is facing a glut. Already an
avalanche of redundancies have been announced across the board, and
there is worse to come. Britain will not escape the economic
devastation. On the contrary, the weakness of the British economy will
be exposed and we will be asked to pay the bill.
entered a period of enormous instability on all fronts. It is
characterised by wars and economic crises not seen since the inter-war
period. In reality, the last 50 years has been an exception to the norm
of capitalist development. The scene is being set for revolutionary
upheavals throughout the world. Globalisation will mean global crisis
and global conflagration.
The Blair government has slavishly
followed the Bush administration, like some lapdog. They have chained
themselves to an imperialist foreign policy that will intensify the
contradictions worldwide. The imperialist powers are using the cover of
a fight against terrorism to pursue gunboat diplomacy in an attempt to
terrify the ex-colonial world into accepting their rule without
question – or else.
At home, the "fight against terrorism" is
being used to rush through legislation to curtail democratic rights.
Increased state powers, including the introduction of identity cards,
are being drawn up, which will be used against the labour movement in
the future. The revelations of Stella Rimmington about M15's subversive
activities against the labour and trade union movement are a warning of
how the state will use its new found powers in the future.
reactionary consequences of individual terrorism – always opposed by
Marxists – mean their actions have played into the hands of the most
reactionary sections of the ruling class. They have been used by the
right wing to dampen criticism of the Blairs pro-market policies of
privatisation etc. This is evident with the suspension of the TUC and
the curtailment of the Labour Party conference. Typically, the trade
union leaders have run for cover, abandoning their weak opposition to
Blairism at the first opportunity. But this will not last.
if temporarily they can hold back the opposition mood in the ranks,
this cannot go on indefinitely. In fact the mood of discontent which
already exists will combine with the impact of economic recession and
the consequences of imperialist aggression abroad and inevitably break
through with a vengeance. Events, events, events will create enormous
turmoil within the working class and consequently within the mass
organisations. There will be a massive rejection of pro-market policies
and a search for a real solution to their problems.
Appeal has consistently fought against the right wing domination of the
Labour Party and trade unions. We have explained that there is no
solution to the problems of the working class on a capitalist basis.
The new situation in Britain and internationally will forcefully
underline this point. All that capitalism can offer is collapsing
living standards, growing unemployment, economic crisis and war.
is more urgent than ever to put forward the real socialist alternative
to economic crisis and an internationalist opposition to imperialist
war. Only by taking over the banks, insurance companies and the 150
major monopolies that dominate the economy can we break the
stranglehold of big business over our lives. The greatest assistance we
can give to the masses of Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere facing
unendurable hardship and a new phase of imperialist aggression is to
step up our struggle for socialism at home.
- Oppose Imperialist Aggression
- Defend Democratic Rights
- For Militant Action to Defend Jobs and Services
- For a Socialist Programme – Break with the anarchy of the market