Polarization Accelerates as Economic Power Shifts
The world has entered the beginning stage of a vast social revolution brought on by the transfer of social production from electro-mechanical production to electronics. The outstanding feature of this stage is irresolvable overproduction. Automated production within the wage labor value system polarizes society with unheard of wealth at one pole and unheard of poverty at the other. This antagonism is irresolvable within the capitalist system and the struggle inevitably moves from the economic level to the political revolutionary level. For revolutionaries, this reality must guide any discussion on our assessment and our tasks.
A global economic crisis is shattering and transforming all existing social and political institutions and relationships. The fundamental antagonism that is destroying the very basis of modern society lies at the heart of the economic and political crisis that is engulfing the globe.
The U.S. is struggling to dominate the world. It has militarized its economy and turned to war in its attempt to maintain its control. At the same time, its dominance is being challenged. A profound shift in economic power is taking place – from the U.S. to Asia. As we assess the current situation in the U.S.. we recognize that a process of political restructuring is taking place, including how that situation is playing out in the elections as well as in the motion toward a third party, as the ruling class strains to accommodate itself to the new economy. But the struggle to control that process is taking place on a world scale, not just at home.
Though the politicians keep pointing out that national security is first about economics, the struggle to obtain and maintain supremacy inevitably comes down to political and particularly military solutions. The empire is in crisis, and the U.S. State has placed permanent war on the agenda.
The deepening global crisis and the competition for shrinking markets means that no country can back down without courting economic ruin. The U.S. ruling class cannot implement all the changes necessary to carry on this fight without unifying at least a section of the American people around its goals. President Obama is attempting to use the populist message of the 99% to mobilize a section of the American people behind his program.
Objectively the U.S. has no way out. Every path leads to greater polarization, discontent and the further development of the new proletariat. At the same time, fascism grows out of the process to implement whatever solution the U.S. pursues to protect and maintain its position in the world. Inevitably, any solution the U.S. pursues will force it to crack down further at home as it moves to more aggressively impose its will on the world stage.
Threat of World War
Globalization – capitalism in the age of electronics – defines the economic motion of our time. The political motion is toward empire. By globalization, we mean the opening up of the world to expand and advance investment in a period of electronic labor replacing technology. Globalization can take place under a political system of allies and equal states or it can take place under a system of vassal states, such as with empire. By empire we mean the indirect control of the process by one nation.
For the U.S., this means that all strategic competitor countries must be brought under its domination. The contradiction the U.S. faces however, as do all countries of the world, is the problem of the market in a time of labor-less production. On the one hand, the world economy cannot develop without a market. On the other hand, the world market is shrinking due to production with labor-replacing technology and the resulting inability of people to consume. Since profit can only take place through the sale of commodities, the contention is over access to and control of the market that is left. Today, China is outselling the U.S. Something has to give.
The U.S is preparing for war against China. Installing friendly regimes in the Middle East, along with the military encirclement of Russia and China, is a strategic step in this direction.
“The entire planet is divided up into geographic Combatant Commands under the control of the Pentagon”, writes Michel Chossudovsky. “The Pentagon’s military road-map consists of a sequence of war theaters. The five-year campaign plan includes… a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.”
In an interview this year, Middle East scholar Ibrahim Aoude described the back and forth of this process, and the adjustments that are made to achieve the overall strategic goal. “Thus far, Iraq and Libya have been destroyed. Egypt and Syria are in progress. Preparations are underway to separate Iran from Syria. Then they can hit the resistance in both Lebanon and Palestine. What delayed the move against Russia and China was the resistance in both Iraq and Afghanistan; the U.S. didn’t succeed and was compelled to withdraw from the first and is about to do so from the second.”
As powerful as the U.S. military is, it can no longer get everything it wants when it wants. This doesn’t mean it won’t sabotage, assassinate leaders, foment “uprisings” and drive the world to the brink of nuclear war to accomplish its strategic goal. It does mean that irreversible polarization has begun. Today, the U.S. is threatening Russia’s and China’s national interests. As a result, Russia and China are forced closer together. Polarization means the breaking of the monolithic character of a process. Struggle becomes the dominant relationship.
The U.S. is in the process of encircling China militarily, establishing bases in Australia in addition to Iraq and Afghanistan and Central Asia, docking Navy ships in Singapore, and is building up troops in the southern Philippines to assist in the fight against “terror” there. The so-called “Pivot toward Asia” with its increased focus on air and sea power is directly related to preparing for war with China.
U.S. attempts to destabilize Syria and overthrow the government there has a direct impact on Russian geopolitical interests. Relations between Syria and Russia go back many decades. This cooperation has included military arms supply, the training of Syrian officers, and the construction of military facilities. The Syrian port of Tartus has served as an additional warm water port for Russia for many years and gives it greater access to the Mediterranean and the Suez. Russia has plans to modernize its major naval facility there to insure that Tartus can accommodate all Russian Navy vessels, including aircraft carriers, large warships, and missile cruisers. Russia and China cannot just step back and simply submit to the U.S. They have their own national interests. Wars always become inevitable when one country feels its national existence is at stake. Over the past twenty years, there have been numerous small wars around the world but the national existence of the bigger and more powerful countries have not been threatened. Today, however, the world is moving into a situation where the national existence of Russia and China is being threatened.
Clearly the world situation is extremely unstable. Even as the U.S. attempts to unite a world bourgeoisie under a U.S. dominated empire behind a façade of democracy and human rights, every step it takes only heightens the antagonisms.
Tasks of Revolutionaries
The ruling class is masterful at strategic thinking. Our thoroughgoing understanding of the real processes underway must shape our strategic thinking. The strategic tasks of revolutionaries flow from the content of the time – the irreparable antagonism between the productive forces and productive relations. Our starting point as revolutionaries is to describe as accurately as possible the situation faced by our class at every stage of its development and to use that information to constantly examine and reexamine our political conclusions, and the strategy and tactics that flow from those conclusions. The answers to the questions revolutionaries face are not the purview of this or that person, or this or that organization. They are questions of the revolution, and as such involve all who seek to end the destruction around us and build a new world.
Humanity is moving through a world historical process of transition and change. The League of Revolutionaries for a New America looks at the world from this immense and broad perspective. There are tens of thousands of revolutionaries ready to join an organization of revolutionaries. They are ready to become part of a strategic thinking organization that can articulate the next step toward that end point of change.
The future of humanity is at stake. The qualitatively new class—that is arising globally— is the key. It must be educated about communism. Understanding cause and effect in human history helps us to map the line of march forward through all of the destruction and instability to the only solution for humankind – a global cooperative, communist society based on distribution according to need. It is the only solution that will end war and bring peace. The task of revolutionaries is to build the political force that can move history in that direction.
This article originated in Rally, Comrades!
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Rally, Comrades ! May/June 2011