International Polarization, Fascism and War
Report of the Central Committee of the League of Revolutionaries for a New America, October 2019
We are witnessing the exponential advance of the electronic revolution, and its impact on the economy. We see an acceleration of the efforts by the ruling class to grapple with and to maintain their hold on private property as polarization and crisis in the world deepen. Within ruling circles both nationally and internationally a struggle is underway, grappling with changes in the world economy and geopolitics. The world order that has been in place since the fall of the Soviet Union, a unipolar, hegemonic order dominated by the U.S., is being challenged by the rising of a new multipolar world order, particularly the Russian Federation and China, as they rise to contend with U.S. hegemony. The overriding quality of the process is deepening polarization and instability.
The living conditions of millions of Americans are degenerating within a looming, new economic crisis that will be much broader and deeper than what we saw in 2007-2010. It will pull greater sections of the population into the new class. The mood of the country has changed since the last economic crisis, with more people becoming aware today, about the gulf between themselves and the ruling class. Many have been pushed into some level of practical unity with their class brothers and sisters. However, others are being won over to a real fascist ideology through attacking those they see as their enemy based on mis-perceived threats. And many others are convinced to fight only for a particular grouping, apart from any consideration of class. It in this environment that conscious revolutionaries have to develop a subjective polarization, based on the program of the new objective communist class.
Revolution is now an objective historic inevitability. The overwhelming political demand today is to prepare the people for this inevitability, through the introduction of new ideas. New ideas are the indispensable catalyst of revolution. The revolutionary new idea is essentially this: Computerized, electronic, automated production is still in its infancy and is irreversible. Each stage of its development requires fewer workers and depresses the wages of those who still work. The situation is becoming more and more intolerable. Production without labor makes a new mode of distribution — without money and according to need — both understandable and inevitable. Carrying to the people, in the midst of their fights, the new idea of reorganizing the mode of distribution is the most revolutionary task of our time.
World Destruction and Polarization — Conditions for Transformation.
It is not possible to understand politics or economics without proceeding from an overall philosophical point of view. The League proceeds from the point of view that for something to move, and consequently to change, the contradictory elements that make it what it is, must first polarize. Polarization is the process of separating the opposing, or contradictory elements that make up an entity. Social science deals with the movement of opposing classes. These categories could not exist without the opposites, not only existing side by side, but also separating and struggling. Polarization – the process of one aspect going in one direction, and the other aspect going in the other direction – must take place before there is motion.
Once polarization takes place, a struggle between the two poles begins. This is evident in a society when all the wealth goes in one direction to one class, and all the poverty goes in the opposite direction to another class. As this process takes place, the opposing classes begin to stir – begin to fight each other. Only when there is motion – movement and struggle – on the part of the opposing social forces, is it possible for revolutionaries to play a role in history.
When society does something – moves in a direction – we look for changes in the economy that will explain the social motion.
We are living in a period when the contradiction between the developing productive forces (robotics) and the productive relations (capitalism) has been replaced by antagonism. Antagonism is the basis of destruction and the transformation to a new quality. Antagonism today is expressed in a series of deep economic, social and a growing political polarizations within the country and around the world.
Today, with the introduction of robotics, production is increasing by leaps and bounds with less and less labor. The result is that human life is becoming cheaper and cheaper. As labor is no longer needed in production, the value of that labor worth goes toward zero. Thus, a section of society becomes absolutely destitute. Those who are working are competing with the computer and the robot. Their wages are steadily falling because they can’t compete.
On the other hand, products created by robots with little or no labor in them, are sold alongside products entirely created by labor and sold at the same price. Therefore, the more the automation of industry, the richer the owner gets. In this way, all the wealth is going in one direction, and all the poverty is going in the other. This economic polarization is the result of the productive forces developing very rapidly and the productive relations failing to develop along with them. The political polarization being expressed now is a result of these underlying changes in the economy.
Rising Debt and Wealth Inequality Points to World Catastrophe
Polarization of wealth and poverty
In the U.S., every indicator of well-being is declining, and every measure of destitution is increasing. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 18.5 million people reported deep poverty, which means a household income below 50 percent of the 2016 poverty threshold. These individuals represented an estimated 5.8 percent of all Americans and 45.6 percent of those in poverty. The past two years have revealed a shocking rise in homelessness in virtually every part of the nation. California was particularly hard hit. Alameda County experienced a 39 percent increase in homelessness in 2018, Santa Clara County 13 percent, Fresno 19 percent, and Sacramento 30 percent. Forty-three percent (30.6 million) of America’s children are living in families barely able to afford their most basic needs. Homeless families comprise about 34 percent of the total U.S. homeless population.
Much of humanity has barely escaped extreme poverty, with just under half the world’s population – 3.4 billion people – subsisting on less than $5.50 a day, which is the World Bank’s new poverty line for extreme poverty in upper-middle-income countries. The World Inequality Report 2018 showed that between 1980 and 2016 the poorest 50 percent of humanity only captured 12 cents in every dollar of global income growth. By contrast, the top 1 percent captured 27 cents of every dollar.
Compare this to the life of today’s ruling class. Today, the top 1 percent of households own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined. A 2018 Oxfam study found that eight rich people, six of them Americans, own as much combined wealth as half the human race. According to a June 2017 report by the Boston Consulting Group, around 70 percent of the nation’s wealth will be in the hands of millionaires and billionaires by 2021.
The 2019 Oxfam report, “Public Good or Private Wealth?” gives an indication of the depth of this polarization worldwide. In the 10 years since the global financial crisis, the number of billionaires has nearly doubled. The wealth of the world’s billionaires increased by $900 billion in the last year alone, or $2.5 billion a day. Meanwhile, the wealth of the poorest half of humanity, 3.8 billion people, fell by 11 percent. Between 2017 and 2018, a new billionaire was created every two days. Yet wealthy individuals and corporations are paying lower rates of tax than they have in decades.
The rise of massive debt
With the polarization and instability in the global economy, and the increased number of countries integrated into that economy since 2008, along with the massive amounts of national and personal debt, and the vast expansion of a global new class pushed to the margins of survival, the next inevitable financial meltdown will be one of catastrophic proportions.
Deepening government and personal debt are expressions of the increasing inability of the capitalists to circulate commodities/products based on the declining number of people having jobs with wages, who are able to buy what is produced. Laborless production means valueless production – and hence, profitless production. Speculative capital came to dominate the financial system as less and less value could be realized in production. So, capital shifted into purely speculative investment. Speculative capital does not create value or realize surplus-value, but makes money mainly from amassing vast sums based on debt.
The U.S. national debt stood at $21.974 trillion at the end of 2018, more than $2 trillion higher than when Trump took office. According to the Congressional Budget Office, total public debt stood at 78 percent of America’s gross domestic product in the fiscal year 2018, the highest percentage since 1950. If no changes are made, the CBO projects that public debt will rise to 96 percent of GDP by 2028. A big chunk of that – $1.9 trillion between 2018 and 2028 – will be due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the CBO reported last April. Municipal debt is soaring. In 1981, there was $361 billion of municipal debt outstanding. Today, investors hold approximately $3.7 trillion of municipal debt.
Personal/household debt in the U.S. is headed in the same direction. The $13 trillion of household debt is $280 billion above its 2008 third-quarter peak. Millions of home buyers owe amounts now that will lead to a new round of foreclosures. Student loan debt is $1.4 trillion, with 11.2 percent of it over 90 days delinquent. Credit card balances increased by $24 billion, with 4.6 percent of those over 90 days delinquent. Auto loans balances increased by $24 billion to $1.2 trillion, continuing a six-year trend. (Forbes)
Global debt has ballooned over the past two decades: from $84 trillion at the turn of the century, to $173 trillion at the time of the 2008 financial crisis, to $250 trillion a decade after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s collapse. In November, the IMF warned that almost 40 percent, or around $19 trillion, of the corporate debt in major economies such as the U.S., China, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Spain was at risk of default in the event of another global economic downturn.
The polarization of wealth and poverty and the insurmountable debt are part and parcel of creating the accelerating growth of the new class since 2008. When the whole thing comes tumbling down, the catastrophe will not be limited to the U.S. and Europe. Millions throughout the world will be devastated. The ruling class will use their wealth and power to protect themselves, and those capitalists who are left will even benefit from the catastrophe. They will make sure they get their money. And where will that money come from? As the millions across Detroit, Michigan, Puerto Rico and Greece can already testify — from the hide of the working class.
Polarization Accelerates World Instability
The advance of globalization, the widespread use and effects of electronics in production, and the dominance of speculative capital are transforming the foundation of the global economy. With the creation of a world market, national corporations have become multinational, multinationals have become transnational, and transnational corporations become supranational. Supranational corporations have blended into and become part of national States. These corporations have developed as the form of corporate organization that can facilitate the global economy made possible by the electronic revolution. They have accelerated the contradictions within the world economy.
They have taken advantage of countries initially dependent on export economies to exploit cheap labor and often repressive regimes. They have forced countries to make infrastructural, educational and legal changes that benefit the local and national involvement of the corporations. They have incorporated millions of workers into global capitalist relations through production, supply and distribution circuits. These supranational corporations are integrated into regional blocs and into national states.
They have helped fuel the development of a world market, have served to tie expanding sections of the global working class into global capitalist relations, and brought them into the destructive process set in motion by the electronic revolution. These workers are part of a worldwide new class, which has no common interests with their capitalist rulers, and will inevitably be forced to turn their fight from each other, or other peoples or other countries, to their common class oppressors.
As many emerging nations developed from their previous neocolonial position in the growing world economy, they transitioned from being suppliers of raw materials and increasingly shifted to producing for export. As they try to stand on their own feet, they more and more come into economic competition with the U.S. Protecting their market is a matter of life and death for these regions, so they have banded together to protect themselves from U.S. dominance. At the same time, the U.S. needs these markets and wants to see these regions become richer, so they can become consumers for U.S. commodities. But to increase consumers, they must also increase producers who cannot only buy, but who can produce goods for sale in other markets. American production already outstrips consumption, and intensifies the competition presented by the advance of these regional blocs.
The U.S. attempts to use its domination over the world financial system and the dollar, backed up by military aggression to control these economies, interfere in their internal politics and block their geopolitical aspirations. But the more the Trump Administration tears up agreements, slaps enemies and allies alike with tariffs and sanctions and criticizes and disrespects world leaders, he only helps to accelerate the deeper historical processes underway.
These regional blocs are part of the process that has fueled the shift of the world economic center of gravity to the East. The ascendency of China as a leading economic and political player in the world, the consolidation of Russia as a leading energy, military and nuclear power, the pivotal role of Iran in the long-range supply of oil, Venezuela’s unmatched reserves of oil, and the vast marketplace of India are all aspects of this. The economic, political, military and cultural alliances between these countries are forging them into a formidable powerhouse representing rising powers in the world, as the historical trajectory of the U.S. is in decline.
The rise of these countries is undermining the existing world order and is challenging U.S. domination of that world order. They are being forced to find their way within the ruins of the old, to create a new world system that benefits their interests. They have their own plans, their own alliances, and their own vision of a new world order. Likewise, other nations have their own national interests, and their own corporate partners to protect. Numerous contradictions spring from the actions the U.S. is taking in the world, and every step it takes only deepens instability and polarization.
China’s Rise and the Historical Decline of the U.S.
The United States share of the global gross domestic product has been in constant decline over the past 75 years. The U.S. accounted for roughly 50 percent of global output at the end of World War II. By 1985, its share stood at 22.5 percent. It has fallen to 15.1 percent today, and the International Monetary Fund projects that it will slip to 13.7 percent by 2023. In this context we see fundamental challenges being made to the existing world order. As the U.S. loses its economic dominance, it increases its war footing. This reality underlies what has been called the “pivot” by the U. S. to the East. The encirclement and confrontation with China and Russia are the primary focus of U.S. military strategy.
China is connecting with the world, pursuing multilateral agreements around the globe and creating a parallel world order. It is doing this through such relationships such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the Belt and Road Initiative. In recent years, these global institutions have made trillions of dollars in trade and infrastructure development agreements throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. A review of these relationships show the breadth of the relationships, networks and alliances the Chinese are building throughout the world.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is an intergovernmental organization composed of China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The eight-member States occupy territory that accounts for nearly half of the world’s population, covering more than 60 percent of the Eurasian continent and almost 20 percent of the world’s gross domestic product.
The China-conceived Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was created in 2015-2016, as a global lending institution and a potential rival to the World Bank. It is a multilateral development bank that financially supports the building of infrastructure. The bank has more than 80 member States, while the list of prospective members continues to grow.
China’s newest proposal is to create the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which is composed of the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and six countries with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements. The proposed RCEP does not include the U.S., but both Japan and Australia –– who were signatories to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) –- are involved. If the RCEP is approved, it will create the world’s largest free-trade zone. RCEP countries makeup 46 percent of the global population and are worth 24 percent of global GDP.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was officially launched by China in 2013 to strengthen the hard infrastructure for two parallel trade routes linking Asia, Africa, and Europe. BRI now has more than 70 member countries covering more than two-thirds of the world’s population. The BRI is developing hard infrastructure, with oil and gas pipelines, high-speed railways, new roads, mines, ports, utilities, and soft infrastructure with fiber-optic cables, mobile networks, satellite relay stations, data centers, and smart cities, investment, trade and transportation agreements, and cultural ties with university scholarships and people-to-people exchanges. In January 2018, China increased its BRI trade interests in the Western Hemisphere by inviting 33 countries to partner in the BRI, all members nations of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. Before January 2018, China was already the single largest trade partner with Brazil, Chile, and Peru. Since then, Panama and Bolivia have formally joined the BRI, as have the Caribbean island countries of Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago.
China is the world’s biggest crude oil importer, buying nine billion barrels of oil a day. In March of 2018, the Shanghai International Energy Exchange launched the first crude futures contracts priced in Chinese yuan. Crude oil is the world’s most-traded commodity. For decades, the U.S. dollar has been the primary currency (known as petrodollars) for oil futures contracts. China is moving to have its new petroyuan play a more significant role in global oil trading.
The decision by the U.S. to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and impose sanctions against Iran aims to limit global trade of Iran’s crude oil. China is the largest importer of Iranian oil and India is the second largest. Regardless of U.S. sanctions, major Asian oil importers like China and India will continue to buy Iranian oil. The long-term effect of this will be that the dollar’s international position will be weakened by the increased use of China’s currency in global financial trading as part of the general trend of these countries to get out from under the domination of the dollar.
Ruling Class Protection of Private Property
The policies of the Trump Administration are an expression of the underlying process of polarization, not the cause. Certainly, the character of the Trump Administration is contributing to the polarization going on in the world today and influences the ways that the struggle is being shaped and carried out. There are forces within the Trump Administration that are now in a position to, according to what they believe, shape and advance the merger of the State and the corporations – that is, a fascist economy and society – that began decades ago through both Democratic and Republican administrations.
Their views and policies are a means of carrying out the common interests of the ruling class in the midst of the destruction of capitalism. However, while there is no fundamental difference over the what those interests are there are bitter and dangerous battles over how these interests will be advanced. All elements of the ruling class appeal to the workers to support them in their fight, shaping and interpreting the “narrative” of what our class should consider important. Neither protectionism, isolationism, economic nationalism from one side nor neoliberalism, identity politics nor “liberal interventionism” from the other side will solve the problems of our class. These forms are merely the instruments they are using to defend the ruling class as a whole. Without the understanding of their class interests, the vision that is possible and a strategy to achieve it, our class will remain one of these instruments to help the ruling class facilitate its goals.
The U.S. and indeed the world’s ruling class – cannot be constrained by the old alliances and obligations, or the ideas, institutions, and approaches of another era. The destruction of value, the end of the capitalist system, and the necessity to create something new are shaping the internal contradictions within the ruling class, as well nations. And they are driving the growing antagonism between the developing global ruling class and the developing world proletariat. If the capitalists have to change the form to maintain that content, they have proven they will do that. They are doing that now. In the process of the fight among themselves and against the world’s proletariat they are evolving step by step, and sometimes against their own will, a new world order based on a new system based on private property.
Struggle in the Wake of Tariffs, Sanctions, and Military Advances
The economic warfare of tariffs and unilateral sanctions are currently central to the efforts by the U.S. in its fight to maintain its hegemony. Yet, even as these measures are applied, the conflict and instability in the world deepens, as the State power of the U.S. to dictates to corporations and countries alike. They interfere with the economies and internal politics of the countries they target, generating opposition and polarization throughout the world as in the current cases of Iran and Venezuela. But less discussed is the fact that they attempt to dictate to corporations how, where and to whom they will produce for and sell to. This is why some transnational corporations have opposed tariffs and/or sanctions because they interfere with the free flow of capital and open access to the markets that they need.
In the U.S., there is increasing opposition by transnational corporations and their representatives to Trump’s tariffs and sanctions. The Business Roundtable Economic Outlook Survey found that 95 percent of multinational and transnational CEOs surveyed, complained that tariffs were a danger to the economy, causing a higher risk of trade wars, increased costs, and potential lower economic growth. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, another representative of transnational corporations, also opposes the tariffs, writing, “American businesses and consumers are bearing the brunt of the emerging global trade war…tariffs are inflicting harm on the American economy and will continue to do so unless the administration changes course.”
In September 2018, a new U.S. business group of more than 100 major companies, representing some of the leading transnational corporations headquartered in the U.S. created a business coalition called, “Americans for Free Trade,” to fight the tariffs. Members include the American Petroleum Institute, which represents the largest oil refiners and producers like Exxon Mobil and Chevron. Other organizations who have joined represent the leading corporations in retail, technology, and agriculture. These are The Retail Industry Leaders Association, the Information Technology Industry Council, and the National Retail Federation, and the Farmers for Free Trade all of whom depend on Chinese consumer goods and the Chinese market for exports.
Corporations pursue the bottom line no matter where they are headquartered and pressure sovereign governments to do the same. The U.S., with its dominance over the financial system, coupled with its military might, is a formidable adversary. Under the Trump administration, as the recent arrest and attempted extradition of the CEO of the Chinese company Huwai shows, it will leave no stone unturned to assert its will.
Of course, in the short term, huge supranationals have the means to adjust their investments, business plans, and their political necessities. Yet, sanctions and tariffs, in the long run, ultimately tighten the market, heighten the competition and increase social and political instability. Capitalism has no logic other than maximizing profit, and every decision flows from that, regardless of its impact on the lives of the world’s people, or even other capitalists.
Furthermore, tariffs and unilateral sanctions threaten national sovereignty. They dictate to sovereign nations how, where and to whom they will produce and sell, with whom they can do business, and by extension, with whom they can build cooperative alliances. They challenge their national interests, by threatening to damage their economies and their standing in the world, even if they are not the subject of the sanctions. As unilateral sanctions are used as part of the U.S. plan for overthrowing governments and installing regimes who will carry out the interests of global capital, they are at the same time creating instability in the world economy.
China and Russia have long argued that the unilateral sanctions imposed by the U.S. are illegal and have refused to submit their dictates. In the recent Venezuelan crisis, Russia, China, Iran and other countries have opposed the sanctions and tariffs and pledged to continue relations and trade. Similarly, the European Union has worked with European based transnationals such as Siemens, Airbus, France’s Total and British-Dutch Shell, as well as Peugeot and Renault, who stand to lose from the Iranian sanctions. It is negotiating an alternative to the SWIFT system for processing international payments, so they can circumvent U.S. dominated currency and banking mechanisms. Russia has also created an alternative system to escape the impact of sanctions.
As Iran’s number one oil importer, China has refused to stop oil purchases, and both Russia and China have strengthened economic relations with Iran. Russia is one of Iran’s primary weapon’s suppliers. Russian firms have a prominent role in developing Iran’s civilian energy industry, including its nuclear power sector, where Russia recently finished constructing Iran’s first nuclear reactor at Bushehr. Chinese companies have invested $40 billion in Iran’s energy industry and Iranian and Chinese representatives are discussing building seven additional refineries in Iran. Overall, trade between China and Iran has been growing by 30 percent annually. China regularly obtains 10 to 15 percent of all its imported oil from Iran, while Chinese exports to Iran include motor vehicles, textiles, consumer goods, as well as machinery and equipment. Iran also purchases Chinese weapons, especially missiles.
National Security Strategy — Military Back up for Economic Warfare
The National Security Strategy is a document prepared by the executive branch that outlines the major national security concerns of the US. It sums up the principal problems facing the ruling class, both at home and in the world and puts forward general proposals for their resolution in U.S. interests. The problems emphasized, and the solutions proposed aim to protect the interests of the ruling class. At the same time, tactics and approach are conditioned by the particular ideological and political outlook of the Administration issuing them. Every NSS has reflected different stages of the ongoing polarization within the world. In every phase the goals and strategy have always remained the same — US economic and political hegemony. The control of the Middle East and Latin America, the isolation of Russia, and the encirclement of China historically have all been part of the grand strategy.
How the U.S. ruling class has sought to accomplish their goals has varied according to the stage of the development of the world economic and political order and the ideological beliefs, the specific political interests and the character of those who are leading the government at any given time. It also takes into consideration the thinking of the people and projects the various means of controlling them. Bitter conflict within the ruling class and the appeal to the workers have always accompanied these summations of any administrations specific foreign policy.
In 2002, George W. Bush moved away from the old Cold War doctrine of deterrence, to the concept of unilateralism and so-called “preventive war,” and the identification of “terrorism” and terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda. This reflected the beginnings of the rise of China, the efforts to restructure the Middle East to open it up to global capital, and the ongoing struggle to control oil to prevent China’s rise.
Obama’s 2010 and 2015 NSS documents reflected the effort of the U.S. to dominate the advancing global economy through multilateralism, with the U.S. at the lead, with transnational economic alliances such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and a shift from a focus on land engagements to cyberwar, covert operations, and drone warfare.
The rise of Russia and China on the global stage presented a challenge to the capitalists in the U.S. (and Europe) that led the U.S. to devise ways to confront the threat to its global hegemony over the years of these Democratic and Republican administrations. The wars in the Arab world are examples of how the U.S. has been dealing with the perceived threat to its hegemony. The 1991 attack on Iraq – Operation Desert Storm, the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, followed by the war against terror in Syria and Iraq, were orchestrated by the U.S. and its western and regional allies to encircle China and threaten Russia, in order to counter their influence in the Middle East. They were also intended to wipe out any resistance from regional States and non-State actors to U.S. hegemony. Those wars opened more floodgates of refugees to the European Union, especially when Turkey began to use the Syrian refugees as pawns to achieve Turkey’s strategic goals.
The most recent NSS is a product that is based on the effects of the deepening polarization and is shaped by the particular ideological and political worldview of those in and around the Trump Administration. The goals have not changed. Foremost is the effort to maintain U.S. hegemony and its domination of the world economy, with the tactic of surrounding Russia to attack China. The NSS and its military implementation, the National Defense Strategy, while not abandoning their focus on combatting terrorism, have now designated both China and Russia as “strategic competitors,” who “want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model, gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions.” If the US does not stop them now, the documents argues, it will face “decreasing U.S. global influence, eroding cohesion among allies and partners, and reduced access to markets that will contribute to a decline in our prosperity and standard of living.”
The current NSS also singles out Russian and Chinese involvement in Latin America as a threat to US interests. The policy view that the U.S. has exclusive rights to Latin America goes back as far as the 1823 Monroe Doctrine.
The NSS specifically targets Venezuela and Cuba as “governments [which] cling to anachronistic leftist authoritarian models that continue to fail their people.” It accuses China of seeking to pull the region into its orbit, through its State-led investments, and loans [and] accuses Russia of attempting to execute “its failed politics of the Cold War, by bolstering its radical Cuban allies, as Cuba continues to repress its citizens. Both China and Russia support the dictatorship in Venezuela and are seeking to expand military linkages and arms sales across the region.” The NSS gives encouragement to the fascist forces under U.S. sponsorship and signaled its intentions stating, “We look forward to the day, when the people of Cuba and Venezuela can enjoy the freedom and the benefits of shared prosperity, and we encourage other free states in the hemisphere to support this shared endeavor.”
As we have stated many times the dangers of world war, even nuclear war, are everywhere. Worldwide armament trade totals some $1.69 trillion in 2016, just over 2 percent of global GDP. China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. are collectively responsible for over 70 percent of the arms trade. The U.S. and Russia are responsible for over half of all weapons exports globally.
Both Russia and China have been developing their military capabilities to counter the aggressiveness of NATO and the U.S. Estimates are that Russia, with its large nuclear stockpile, cyber warfare prowess, conventional military strength and electronic warfare capabilities, will be able to challenge U.S. dominance by 2025. While still defensive in doctrine, China has also expanded its military, to include advanced naval and air forces, leapfrogged ahead in software and computing, pursuing both quantum and AI at a breakneck pace.
Understanding the Importance of Venezuela
The U.S. and world ruling class have their hands full with Venezuela. Venezuela is by no means a weak nation, isolated from the world. It sits on the largest proven oil reserves in the world, and it is one of a growing number of countries across the globe attempting to unshackle themselves from the domination of the U.S. financial and petrodollar system. Fighting back against the U.S. attempts to destroy the country, Venezuela stands as an inspiration to the peoples of the world, for its efforts to better the lives of its people and its defiance of U.S. power.
Within ruling circles both nationally and internationally, a struggle is underway, grappling with changes in the world economy and geopolitics. The Venezuela crisis is at the center of this global process, set in motion by the revolution in technology. The overriding quality of the process is deepening polarization and instability.
The attacks against Venezuela cannot be separated from the U.S. strategy of economic warfare and military aggression against Iran, Russia, China, and the regional blocs throughout the world, who are challenging U.S. economic, financial and geopolitical dominance. The current administration is exacerbating this polarization, but is by no means its cause.
Control of, and access to the global oil supply is central to U.S. strategy. In tandem with the transnational corporations, the U.S. aims to wield control over the vast amounts of Venezuelan oil, and through that control, dictate to and even strangle the economies of any country that attempts to defy them, particularly China.
In the U.S., both political parties are also playing their role in accelerating fascism, protecting the interests of the corporations and the power of the U.S. State. The Democratic Party and its various media mouthpieces all of a sudden forgot how much they hated Trump and started clamoring for Venezuelan blood, right along with the Republicans.
As noted above, new polarities are developing between the U.S. and its allies, as these allies are forced to protect their national economies. They need gas and oil. Regional blocs outside of the U.S. sphere of influence are also consolidating to protect their markets, and more countries are trying alternatives to using U.S. petrodollars as the exchange currency for oil trading. China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, India and many smaller nations vulnerable to the U.S. aggression, are increasingly tied together through regional blocs, set up to defend themselves against the economic and geopolitical domination of the U.S. These countries are found throughout the world – Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. It is these very countries who have opposed the U.S. campaign against Venezuela.
The rulers of these countries cannot submit to the U.S. and still continue to develop their economies. The growing economic instability in the world, the inability of the consumer to buy, and the intense competition for markets, lay the foundation for the inevitable trade wars to turn into shooting wars.
At the same time, there is a global workers’ movement in the making. Social upheavals are increasing – protests, marches, and civil disobedience worldwide are characteristic of this epoch. The world’s workers need democracy, peace, and the economic conditions to build a stable and cultured life. These demands are the basis of unity for the workers of the world and tie U.S. workers to those of Venezuela and to the rest of the world.
Political Polarization – Building a Fascist Order
The U.S. ruling class and the world ruling class need a new form of the State and political relations to navigate the struggles shaping the leap from the old world order, to one yet to determined. The complex of ideas, institutions and values of bourgeois democracy, the rule of law, and the various freedoms that were necessary for the development of capitalism are being destroyed. Millions of people around the world are on the move, struggling to survive the destruction of their home countries. Millions are jobless, poverty-stricken and without any course of redress. The capitalists cannot remain where they are, yet they cannot go forward. It will be in their fight to make the leap from capitalism that is dissolving, to a new order still based on private property that they will fight for new political forms to advance their fascist world order.
The views and policies of the Trump Administration are one form of protecting the common interests of the ruling class amid the destruction of capitalism. At the same time not all of the ruling class agree on the means to this common end, and as a result, they are engaged in bitter and dangerous battles with one another.
A world fascist movement is emerging from the margins to assist in this process, which has now entered into mainstream politics, and is becoming a feature of everyday political life. It is grounded in the ongoing merger of the corporations and the State, the deep integration of the political police, the military, and an extensive national security structure. It is evolving the means by which the capitalists are politically ensuring their survival in the midst of the destruction of the capitalist system and the unmooring of private property relations from that foundation.
As we have seen, this movement has advanced on its sustained attack against immigrants and refugees. When capitalism was expanding, workers were needed, and migration was encouraged. Workers from the colonies, former colonies and the poorer countries of the world flowed into the Western nations looking for work. Despite discrimination and repressive colonial practices, Africans, especially North Africans, for example, immigrated to France, and Sub-Saharan Africans from British colonies migrated to Britain.
Labor-replacing technology has made human labor superfluous. Globalization has spread the use of this technology intensifying competition and exacerbating the drive toward war. Immigration is no longer solely for work. Migrants flee violence, the devastation caused by climate change, the unravelling of the social fabric and the spread of war. The fascist movement has used the refugee and migrant crises to convince workers with common interests that the immigrants are the source of the problems they face.
It is critical to note the efforts that are being made to connect and unite the fascist movement throughout the world, especially the European fascist movements and parties, all of which are anti-immigrant, anti-liberal and anti-social democratic European parties. In this regard, it is noteworthy to see Trump attacking NATO and the European Union, something that the respective fascist movements and parties in the EU are also against, as they fly the economic nationalist banner and “my country first” slogan. Similarly, the U.S. has been supporting and financing fascist movements in Latin America, in a bid to topple left populist regimes in Venezuela and elsewhere.
While they are building a mass base in their own countries to support their fascist policies, they cannot solve the problems the workers face. The constant protests, both massive and small and the many everyday people who are getting involved in politics for the first time, or who are running for office, speaks to a growing movement which is not merely resisting, but which is objectively fighting for a different vision of society than the one the fascists are offering. This opposition will only grow and deepen as repression and violence against our class is intensified and the economic conditions continue to deteriorate. The historical goal of our class is a peaceful, cooperative society based on the principle of “from each according to ability, to each according to need” — a communist society. To accomplish this goal our class needs to know its interests, to have a vision of the society that is possible, and to know the path that can take them there. They cannot succeed unless they come to see that communism is the only practical solution not only to their plight, but to the survival of humanity throughout the world.
As American revolutionaries, we have a special role. We have to develop consciousness, so the American working class fights its own ruling class for education, health care, food, and housing and against war. In these battles for the necessities of life, we bring to the fore our real class interests. We bring forward a vision of a peaceful, cooperative communist society as the practical solution to the problems of our class. We revolutionaries shed this light so that we, the working classes of the world, can unite as a class and fight for our own interests, not for the interests of the capitalist class. This is the real meaning of proletarian internationalism.
The age-old vision of a world without scarcity, without exploitation, class domination, organized violence, and stultifying labor has been the dream of millenia. The new completely socialized labor-eliminating means of production ... sets the basis for its realization. Now human history can begin, the light of the individual shining in the full brightness of liberated life, that can only be realized within true equality and cooperation: communism, a cooperative society.'Without Vision, the People Perish'
Rally, Comrades ! May/June 2011