The pace of the imperialist conflict
Ongoing carnage in Israel and Gaza
Hamas unleashed a massive offensive of bombings, kidnappings accompanied by humiliations and machine gunning of the civilian population throughout southern Israel. The first result: hundreds of hostages, 960 civilian deaths - including 260 young people encircled and slaughtered at a rave - and 2,000 Israeli wounded and 413 killed and 2,500 wounded by the Israeli army's response in Gaza. In Netanyahu's words, "we are heading towards a long and exhausting war" that threatens to spread with the involvement of Hizbullah on Israel's borders with Lebanon and Syria.
Beneath the long prepared offensive lies the Iranian imperialist game with support or complicity to varying degrees from Russia, Qatar and Turkey. For its part the US has already mobilized its Mediterranean fleet and placed it at the disposal of the Israeli army's counter-offensive.
There is no doubt about the genocidal character of the Hamas program - Hamas makes no attempt to hide it either in deeds or in discourse - or about its aspirations to monopolize, bloodily, the exploitation of the Palestinian workers. Nor about the perverse game between the Israeli and Palestinian bourgeoisie configuring a criminal mode of partition, domination and exploitation based on ethnic division, the most unbridled militarism and war as a way of life.
When experts and supposedly well-meaning international politicians speak of the prospect of a binational solution as a supposed alternative, they speak of arriving at a stable partition that would consolidate the system under relatively peaceful parameters avoiding open war and avoiding the competition of the different imperialist allies and bosses. A reactionary utopia to be built on exploitation and slaughter.
As always, as everywhere, the only real - and therefore realistic - alternative to the endless carnage and intensified exploitation, is the overthrow of both ruling classes by the workers. As long as the ruling classes hold power this will not end. That is why, here, as in Ukraine, defensism is nothing more than a recruiting tool to perpetuate the slaughter.
According to this argument, in every war there is an aggressor nation and an aggressed nation, and the aggressed nation would have the "right to defend itself" by all available means, starting with the forced recruitment of young people and workers.
The point is that the vulgar argument about the right to defend oneself in a fight between individuals does not apply to nations.
Nations are not a single, homogeneous being. They are divided into classes. And war does not mean the same thing to all of them. For the ruling classes, war is "politics by different means", i.e. an extreme and risky way of advancing their interests. For the workers, war means accepting slaughter and misery so that the ruling classes can get what they want, which in the end is nothing more than more profitability by organizing and exploiting their labor.
That is to say, "the right of nations to defend themselves" - invoked by both Moscow and Kiev and their respective allies - is nothing but the "right" of "the owners of society" to sacrifice the lives of thousands and even millions of subordinates in order to keep up - i.e. in a profitable way - the economic system they run and the control over the territory in which they do it.
That is why, in reality, workers and in general the subaltern classes do not care about who is the aggressor and who is the aggressed in an imperialist war (all those known to the present generations), because the main victims will always be the workers on both sides of the front.
There will be no peace in the Caucasus
The surrender of the puppet republic (of Armenia) in Upper Karabakh to the Azeri offensive, its dissolution as a para-state and the flight as refugees of 136,000 of its 150,000 inhabitants (a full-fledged ethnic cleansing) does not seem to be enough for the ruling class of Azerbaijan and its Turkish imperialist allies. The new goal seems to be to obtain from the defeated Armenia a corridor connecting its recovered territories with the enclave of Nakhichevan, bordering Turkey.
The game played by France -which is arming Armenia-, Germany and behind them the EU, taking place within the framework of the long French imperialist conflict with Turkey, is not increasing the chances of a definitive end to the war. In fact, for the time being, the European refusal to allow Erdogan's participation has served as an excuse for the president of Azerbaijan to not show up at the EU summit in Granada and put on hold the signing of the peace treaty with Armenia.
Ukraine and accelerated destruction
The level of daily destruction reached in the Ukrainian war is such that NATO and the US are stating that their military industry no longer has the stocks and capacity to feed the killing machine at its current accelerated pace.
The solution? Germany, Great Britain and Turkey will open factories on Ukrainian soil, bringing the proxy war against Russia one step closer to an open and total war. Russia, for its part, has not only reorganized itself as a major armaments factory to keep the pace of its imperialist rivals at bay, for the first time it is looking for international suppliers and seems to have found one in North Korea.
The amount of explosives and weaponry already used on Ukrainian soil and their destructive capacity are a stark statement about the future that the imperialist powers in conflict are going to inflict at the very least on the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine and their population.
Following the heartbeat of the capitalist crisis
Even on Wall Street, they no longer trust in the slow landing of inflation and take it for granted that the Fed's interest rate policy will lead to a recession which in turn will drag down the economy (=accumulation) of the rest of the world.
In Europe, the scenario that this perspective has been outlining for at least a year and a half is becoming imminent: the U.S. (and British) recession may be the final trigger of a real estate crisis - already looming in Germany - and of the definitive collapse of the German export model, a situation rendered unavoidable by the war, accompanied by the end of European automotive hegemony and the fall in industrial production and aggravated, of course, by a new austerity.
This will not be a pretty picture and the first signs are already visible, for example, in the fall in international freight rates and in the abrupt drop in industrial gross profit, which in Spain has fallen by 40%.
The heartbeat of class struggles
Self-organized strikes (also called wildcat strikes).
- Great Britain. Oxford riders' wildcat strike.
- Ireland. Wildcat strike of bus drivers in Dublin.
- Sweden. Stockholm commuter rail company withdrew 95 of 105 lawsuits against its own workers on account of the wildcat strike last April. 150 drivers then went on strike in protest against a plan by the Socialist government to eliminate switchman positions. The company had initially sued 105. It eventually withdrew all but 10 of the complaints because if the drivers participated in the lawsuits - and they were entitled to do so because they were defendants - the commuter network would have been paralyzed again.
- Nigeria. The two main trade union centers called off the indefinite general strike which was to begin last Tuesday, the 3rd, following the government's announcement of an increase in the salary of civil servants and another, smaller increase in the minimum wage and a reduction in diesel, as well as the purchase of gas buses which will supposedly make the already prohibitive public transport cheaper. In this way they redirect in favor of the government an increasingly tense situation in which the galloping inflation (25%) and the government measures to curb it have impoverished the workers in record time and transferred mass incomes from salaries to the profits of the companies, especially of the oil industry.
- USA. The three-day union strike at Kaiser Permanente, the largest strike so far in the health sector in the country, has ended in a new round of union negotiations without tangible results.