The World Economic Forum, Davos, regularly presents its global risk report. If last year’s was a true confession of the incompetence of the ruling class, this year’s one marks a leap in the concerns of the cloud of experts who, around the world, advise the top of the corporate bourgeoisie and governments. In focus: the acceleration of workers’ mass impoverishment and imperialist tensions between states.
For the past few months NATO has been denouncing a Russian build-up of troops on the Ukrainian border. The US went so far as to state that it expected a Russian invasion earlier this year, to which it nevertheless promised to respond exclusively with sanctions. Now representatives of both powers are meeting in Geneva to “de-escalate” the tension and prevent the invasion supposedly underway. But is all this really about Ukraine? What are Russia’s and the US’s objectives? Is there a real danger of war? And if so, to what extent?
The crackdown on protests in Kazakhstan has become internationalized: Russian paratroopers and Armenian, Tajik and Kyrgyz troops under CSTO mandate have entered the country to tackle demonstrators. Russian agencies speak of a joint action to confront “terrorists” and “bandits”, American ones of an attempt by Putin to “expand his influence”. Both render invisible the reality: from last Sunday to today, the Kazakh state has collapsed in the face of a mass strike that spread throughout the country, but which nevertheless is far from the level of workers’ self-organization that we have seen in Iran.
In 2021 the global economy was reconfigured to prepare for war; imperialist tensions converged strongly around the US-China conflict; Europe lost its centrality; and new hot spots appeared that, for the first time, directly involved two of the main South American states on the road to war.
Gabriel Boric will be Chile’s new president. The global press and the left today hail a new stage in Chilean history. Is it that big a deal? What does it mean for workers in Chile and in South America?
The “Democracy Summit” organized by the US was intended to develop an ideological argument underpinning a “bloc ideology” amid the escalating imperialist conflict. The narrative of an increasingly polarized world between an authoritarian China and a democratic US nevertheless floundered, showing the difficulties of the US in rallying its own allies around an ideology that would commit them beyond their immediate interests.
Global food prices rose 31.3% in one year. Against the disastrous backdrop of capitalist chaos, which does not even enable 40% of the world’s population to afford a healthy diet and keeps 30% under food insecurity, the prospect of this runaway inflation is a wave of famines. Compounding it all: the Green Deal.
Infection rates are once again soaring across Europe, with the delta variant driving a new wave that is threatening to claim half a million lives in a few months. How has this happened? What can we do?
The group of fewer than four hundred bureaucrats and military officers who sit atop Chinese power held a meeting yesterday that heralded a “historic declaration.” The final text, encoded into the bureaucracy’s ledger was interpreted by nearly every media this morning as a play by Xi to stay in power. In reality that’s just the surface: the Plenum ideologically culminates an underlying movement that has been underway for months which disciplines economic power, refocuses and represses mass culture, and centralizes the bureaucratic apparatus in preparation for a war economy.
Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, has been talking about “a new kind of war” for days. The Baltic governments speak of “the biggest security threat in the last 30 years.” EU Council President Michel calls the arrival of a few hundred migrants a “brutal, hybrid, violent and undignified attack.” And the most enthusiastic European press echoes him today: “We are facing a hybrid attack from a clearly hostile neighbor” editorialized El País. But are we really facing a “hybrid war” action? Are a few hundred refugees a threat? To whom?
From the Maghreb to Bosnia via the Horn of Africa and Syria, a loop of simmering armed conflict is reactivating around Europe as the bulk of the U.S. imperialist effort shifts to Asia.
The elections in Virginia and New Jersey, the outcome of COP26 and the Chinese economic situation join the already long list of elements warning us that the danger of a war between the two great world powers may materialize before November 2022.
COP26 kicked off on Sunday in Glasgow with downcast royal speeches, war metaphors and tons of doomsday hypocrisy, but also with the significant absences of the Brazilian, Mexican, South African, Russian and Chinese leaders. The media is reporting in dribs and drabs on the content of the meetings and discussions and prefers to play at feeding the “climate anxiety” of the youth. But the issues on the table at COP26 go far beyond emissions pledges and even climate change. At issue is actually each country’s place in the Green Deal’s new international division of labor.
Tension between the U.S., Britain and China in the Taiwan Strait has been at its highest point since the 1950s. A formal declaration of independence, which the ruling party in Formosa is threatening to make at any moment, would be enough to trigger a war in Taiwan directly pitting the two great imperialist powers against each other with disastrous consequences. It sounds crazy, but nevertheless, there are underlying reasons that could push the U.S. to take a step with no turning back.
October 12 again. And back again with the barbarities and outbursts of the Spanish right wing, López Obrador’s cynicism and the moralizing and “decolonizing” delusions of the identitarian university left. Each one with its own agenda but, however noisy it may be, their confrontation is only apparent. All are in fact selling us the same outdated product: a terminal nationalism which is as anti-historical as the system feeding it.
What is the problem between the EU and Poland? Is the authoritarian drift of Hungary and Poland real or just an excuse? Do the Polish arguments have any basis? Does the PiS (Polish ruling party) want a “Polexit”? Why is this battle so important and why is the European Commission being so blunt now?
Industrial shortages are not just a British problem. In Spain they cut industrial output and weigh down the “recovery” despite rising demand. In Germany, the entire industrial production is being disrupted. Chaos reaches such a point that US industrialists call for a truce in the trade war against China and China is unblocking Australian coal imports. But make no mistake, all of these are part of what the EU calls “a war-like effort”. The world’s supply chains are on the verge of collapse.
Elections in Russia are held with unemployment on the rise and the Covid in full force -to the point of surrounding Putin. Predictable and contested results which, although deformed by fraud and the very nature of electoral processes in general, show the erosion of the political apparatus of the Russian bourgeoisie. What the European and Anglo-Saxon press does not tell openly is that the system lives in permanent and brutal war against the workers and that the economic bases of Russian capitalism see their expectations improving thanks to an unexpected ally: the USA.
Australia breaking its naval contract with France as part of the birth of AUKUS, is just “the tip of the iceberg” according to a senior British Foreign Office official. It is the culmination of President Obama’s “pivot to Asia,” as asserted by the US, recalling that “no matter how much one pretends otherwise it is impossible to pivot to Asia without turning away from other places.” The European ruling classes translate this as the end of a historical period in which they could rely – not without contradictions – on the US to defend their own imperialist interests. The future of Europe is changing.
The “US, Australia and UK make a deal against China” headlines in the official European media warned without sparing details about the danger of the AUKUS agreement and how it would signal the entry into a new stage of nuclear proliferation. True, it is a step closer to war, but the only reason it draws a line is because the European powers have been excluded by the U.S. from the ancillary weapons business they had been counting on until Wednesday. However, the organization of AUKUS as an “Anglophone bloc” is neither new nor limited to weaponry. It is the core of a bloc for trade and for war.
Yesterday the European Parliament held the State of the Union 2021 debate. In her speech, Ursula von der Leyen skipped central issues and tensions between countries in order to emphasize the constituent tone with which the Commission tries to curtail the memory of the many social disasters it drives and coordinates: from its infamous border and migration policy to the vaccination campaign via the impact of the Green Deal on the electricity bill.
Mercosur is living its final moments. The trademark may be recovered at some point, but the rupture of the former tariff union is a fact. Uruguay is going to sign a free trade agreement with China outside the founding agreement and the institution cannot follow it: one of the members, Paraguay, still recognizes the government of Taiwan as the only legitimate representative of China as a whole. The end of the bloc that never was tells us a lot about the nature of South American national capitals and states and what the future of the region will look like.
It has been 20 years since the 9/11 attacks of 2001. TV channels and the press are devoting thousands of pages today to what is already today a hazy memory for most. Understanding 9/11 in the perspective of these two decades requires putting it in the context of the global imperialist game and the evolution of the struggles and balances between classes in the Arab-Islamic world.
Britain is militarizing the Falklands/Malvinas at full speed. Argentina is building its largest military base in Ushuaia and its senate is preparing to create a new crime of opinion: doubting or belittling Argentina’s claims to sovereignty over the islands. And in case the increase in tension was not enough, Chile is unilaterally extending its southern borders, calling into question the already tense balance in the control of the Mar de Hoces/Drake Passage that separates South America from Antarctica. Why are this dance of positions and this apparently gratuitous increase in tension as well as the most crass nationalism happening right now?
The news are warning about the alleged imminence of a self-coup d’état in Brazil. The reality is even more complex and dangerous. The rift within the Brazilian ruling class is reaching a critical point where even a breakup of the army into rival factions cannot be ruled out.
The Anglo-Saxon press keeps the origin of Covid’s virus -SARS-CoV-2- as an open question. Scientists however realized long ago that the theory of “escape from the laboratory” has no material basis. The theory of animal origin, defended in the WHO report, strengthens and, far from excusing Chinese capitalism, reveals its most anti-human contradictions… and those of capitalism in general.
The signs of the end of the cold war between Morocco and Spain did not turn out to be such good news. The Moroccan overture involved more than just the dismissal of the Spanish foreign minister. Just a few days later, Algeria formally broke diplomatic relations with the Makhzen. With warlike rhetoric, Algerian diplomacy blamed Morocco for aggressions, threats and terrorist attacks. Since 1963, when the two countries went to war over Tindouf and Colomb Bechar, the situation has never been as tense as now. What are the bases of the imperialist conflict between Morocco and Algeria? What has triggered it now? Could there be another war?
The US is speeding up its chaotic evacuation of Kabul amid an apocalyptic chorus from its own allies. The European and American press comes daily full of articles and editorials about the “end of the American era” fed by bombastic declarations about “the debacle”. But what does the “end of the American era” mean: the end of the US as a global imperialist power capable of acting alone anywhere in the world? The end of US economic, military and ideological hegemony?
The US durum wheat crop is down 46% and is the smallest in 30 years. Canada, which produces 2/3 of the global wheat trade, is on track to lose 1/3 of production. Add to that the shortage of stockpiles in Europe, the new European CAP and the downward revision of the Russian crop. The result is a speculative boom in the grain futures market. Global durum wheat prices have already rose 30% since mid-July. The “durum wheat crisis” is beginning to hit the plate of workers on both shores of the Mediterranean and from October may have dramatic consequences on basic foodstuffs.
There has been a coup in Tunisia. After a day of anti-government demonstrations across the country, Tunisian President Kais ben Said, backed by the military leadership and trade unions, suspended the parliament, recalled Prime Minister Mechichi and stripped the ruling party of immunity. The islamists, who have been ousted from power are denouncing a coup d’état and the closure of the local branch of the Qatari channel Al-Jazeera is being used as proof of repression. Qatar, Turkey and the European media owned by Qatari capital, such as El País in Spain, are calling on Said to restore the Parliament. France and its press, on the other hand, support the President and welcome the opportunity. What is behind the coup in Tunisia? What does it mean for the workers?
China is getting ahead of the U.S. in the quantum race. Last week, it announced beating Google’s most advanced quantum computer. Meanwhile, IBM began installing a major quantum computer development project in Germany, announced to great fanfare by the German government, which it claims will generate €75 billion of “value.” The imperialist conflict is being played out in several fields at once. Information technologies and in particular the quantum race are among the main ones.
The industrial shortage is not limited to chips anymore. Hundreds of large companies are stopping production at different points in the global chain. The EU and Japan, fearful that U.S. harassment of Chinese products will affect their international investments, are pushing for accelerated repatriation of low-profit but high-impact industries. However, the new Covid wave and the floods in Germany and China have shown that industrial destocking and its aftermath for workers -temporary layoffs and even more precariousness…-are not a passing phenomenon.
83% of Japanese people reject holding the Tokyo Olympics. And yet the Suga government and the IOC are determined to stick with an event that is dangerous for public health and most likely financially ruinous.
Over the past month EU countries such as Denmark and Lithuania have unabashedly espoused new inhumane, if not criminal, policies towards migrants and refugees seeking asylum. Spiegel’s revelations and the European Parliament’s investigation have shown the involvement of border police in Italy, Malta, Greece and the head of Frontex, an EU agency, in real crimes against humanity. But this time there is no crisis or problem. The true face of an EU that routinely uses “Rule of Law” and “Human Rights” as imperialist propaganda is made visible.
The European Commission presented this week “Fit for 55”, a package of measures aimed at developing the European Climate Law. The stated aim is to reduce by 2030 emissions in the EU countries as a whole to 55% of what they were in 1990. The media linger on the end of cheap flights and the ban on the sale of cars with combustion engines by 2035. But first and foremost it is a way to inflate the speculative emissions market at the cost of higher fuel, heating, transport, food and construction prices.
Thirty years of Mercosur… and maybe this is the last one. After months of tensions whipped up by the radicalization of agro-exporting interests in the face of the crisis and pandemic conditions, the Brazil-Uruguay-Paraguay axis no longer speaks of flexibilizing, but directly of ignoring the treaties. The end of Mercosur is a fact… for the time being, since the continent is not governed by blocs of countries with stable strategies, but is struggling between two transnational currents that fracture each national capital. The synchrony and parallelism provide a background of reality to the old project of the “Patria Grande”, but also expose its utopian and reactionary character.
Today’s news alone makes it clear that the EU is coming apart at the seams in the East… both among its members and with those aspiring countries in the Western Balkans. Tensions from which China, Turkey and Russia are far from being alien. But France and Germany are looking for more than just public works markets. They seek to create a low-wage region in order to shorten their production chains, increase margins and become less dependent on Asia.
The Ethiopian army, reinforced by Amhara militias and Eritrean and Somali troops has been driven out of the Tigrayan capital, Mekelle. The Tigray war has been turned on its head as the unstable imperialist balances between Arab countries and the U.S. have shifted against the government in Addis Ababa. And despite the announcements, the war is not over yet, although it has already left mass killings, ethnic cleansing with tens of thousands of dead, crimes against humanity, famine and destruction. At issue now are the future of Ethiopia and the fear of an extension of the war to other regions of the country.
The week kicked off with US bombing raids on pro-Iranian militia bases in Iraq. According to the US it was a defensive attack aimed at containing the increasingly sophisticated drone attacks on its bases and interests in Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan. In other words, the message was directed at Iran, not toward the Iraqi state. The answer came tonight: the US forces in Syria were bombed by militias. The Americans apparently responded immediately. The military escalation is undeniable. But why is it erupting now – is it self-contained or could it end in a new generalized war in the region?
Spain now has the most expensive electricity in Europe. The labor income-sucking mechanism called Green Deal is now running at full speed… and with a bonus: Spanish imperialism is recouping its European failures through the electric power bill
Biden in Europe: G7 and NATO summit, a summit with the EU, and then meeting with Putin in Geneva… Biden’s agenda in Europe could not be denser. And after so many meetings and negotiations, one idea stands out: the US is no longer what it used to be in the world imperialist game.
Chips are in short supply. The production chains of the semiconductor sector, have been in crisis for several months. Industrial branches that depend on electronic components – 60% of all factories in some French regions, for example- report that they are suffering from critical shortages and automotive production lines are forced to slow down their production. Producers of microprocessor manufacturing machinery and other components are running out of capacity. And this situation will last for long.
The G7 summit kicked off in Cornwall with Biden warning the EU and Britain: “Don’t jeopardize peace in Northern Ireland”. Is he exaggerating? Not so much: the European Commission says it has “little patience” left with the British government and openly threatens a trade war. Meanwhile, the British services whip up the ultra unionist groups and use the media apparatus of the very US Democratic Party to sow discord between Dublin and Brussels.Welcome to the “sausage wars”, a supposedly amusing name for an imperialist feud that may well claim lives this summer.
After the departure of the self-proclaimed Saharawi president by the hand of the Algerian and Spanish secret services, we can only expect a cold war with Morocco… which, like all cold wars, will not only have consequences for the capital invested in Africa by the ruling class, but also for the security and lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
After almost 36 hours of crisis with Morocco and after a general mobilization of the Spanish state, everything is apparently back to normal… but only after the National Court reopened a case for genocide against the Polisario leader clandestinely sheltered by Spain, and it became clear that the European support would not go beyond statements and after the USA supported Morocco and disregarded Sánchez. A full-fledged triumph of the Moroccan simulacrum that was enough to bring about a state crisis and highlight the international isolation of Spanish capital. Now a good part of the Spanish interests call for a “Perejil moment” from Sánchez, a change of course in Spanish imperialism.
The unfolding events we are seeing in Ceuta are not a “migratory crisis” [originally posted on May 18th]. It is an event encouraged and organized by the Moroccan state. We are not facing a refugee tragedy but a happening serving as political pressure in the context of the imperialist conflict between Spain and Morocco. A conflict that is becoming increasingly dangerous.
The German Green Deal has a new rallying cry: end cheap flights to Majorca. At the same time, the Biden government’s new shoe tariffs threaten the Spanish consumer goods export flagship. And if that were not enough, the increased tension with Morocco is pushing towards the closure of companies and factories relocated there by Spanish capital over the last few decades. The Spanish imperialist model is in a state of crisis and is dragging down the industry. Spanish imperialism looks again to Argentina and Mexico looking for the first time not only for markets, but also for capitals to which it offers a beachhead in the EU.
Whilst recounting the “conflict” in national terms and with national subjects, the media do not even consider the absurdity of one country threatening its neighbor with a general strike of its own in retaliation.And yet it is the most revealing thing about how much is going on these days [this article was originally published in December 2017]. Telling because the threat is real for Israel and because Palestinian workers haven’t exactly embraced it with enthusiasm either. To understand Israel/Palestine let’s do a bit of history and for once, from the perspective of the workers.
After 12 days and having already suffered 47 deaths, 39 of which as a result of repression, protests in Colombia are entering a new phase.
Israel and Hamas are back on the brink of war in Gaza. The dead are still counted by the dozens due to the crossed bombardments. Outbreaks of pogroms and civil violence appear riding the nationalist wave, and imperialisms near and far are trying to gain positions.
The green transition is already paving the way for new wars. Current mineral production plus that in the pipeline is incapable of supplying the raw material demand of the energy transition. According to the International Energy Agency, by 2030 the production capacity calculated by then will only be able to supply 80% of the critical minerals and 50% of the copper demanded by the Green Deal. By 2040, the strain will be even worse: the demand for critical minerals will have quadrupled. What will large national capitals do along the way to secure the sources needed to supply their most valuable industries?
The Covid vaccine patent waiver has become the subject of global debate following the announcement on May 5th that the US will push for a “waiver of patent protection” at the WTO. Although sold as a humanitarian measure driven by the need to stop the slaughter in India and other countries, the reality is quite different: it is part of a competitive strategy opposed especially by Germany, which is determined to use Covid to capitalize its biotech sector and become the “pharmacy of the world.”
The US has acknowledged the Armenian genocide. From Bosnia to Azerbaijan via Turkey and Armenia, the declaration seems to have opened the cesspool of nationalist narratives, myths and delusions. But what was the Armenian Genocide? Who were the perpetrators? Why has the mere acknowledgement of its existence generated an international political earthquake? What does the Biden administration intend to do now?
Yesterday, the EU reached a provisional agreement on the European Climate Law. In case there were any doubts, the objectives are explicit: To provide predictability to investors and to ensure that the transformations generated by the Green Deal in industries and capital markets are irreversible. Moreover, in concrete terms, the European Climate Law represents an acceleration in the speed of change. No one is unaware of the reason behind the rush: U.S. and China at odds for virtually everything else, are about to turn the Biden summit into the staging of a two-way split of the capital markets they hope to revive.
Yesterday, 12 major soccer clubs released a statement announcing the Super League, a new European club competition backed by JP Morgan. The Super League would likely kill UEFA’s European competitions, depriving FIFA’s European structure of a good chunk of revenue. Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron and even the European Commission immediately took a stand against it. Meanwhile, the clubs involved – and some candidates to participate, such as Borussia Dortmund – soared on the stock market. Underneath the battle for the Super League lie deep-rooted contradictions between states and financial capital.
Russia mobilizes its troops on the Ukrainian border and launches with the US and EU a new exchange of armed threats. Meanwhile, strikes break out in the Donbass on both sides of the front. The only real alternative to a new slaughter will not come from a Putin-Biden deal to share out plunder, but from extending and uniting struggles across borders and armed fronts. Strikes in the Donbass lead the the way.
The map of world conflict is turned on its head. The US leaves Afghanistan to confront “new challenges”. The first: Russia… but also the EU’s “strategic sovereignty” aspirations. Meanwhile, the US military encirclement of China generates fears of war in Taiwan and configures the Falklands/Malvinas and the Magellan Passage as a new hot spot in the midst of an unprecedented naval deployment since the 81 war and with a surprising official announcement: Beijing and the Casa Rosada are preparing the first exercises of the Chinese army in South America.
The Argentinean disaster consists of a ruling class leading us towards health care collapse by prioritizing an unviable national capital which condemns workers to poverty and is oriented towards an increasingly difficult imperialist game which makes the development of militarism inevitable.
World War III is a forthright and conscious scenario that is already in the plans of the great powers. The horizon dates for which these powers are preparing their armies are official and vary between 2027 and 2034. In any case, outlines of military blocs and coordinated strategies are beginning to take shape, rendering the imperialist balance increasingly volatile and violent.
The collapse of the “just in time” chains during the Chinese confinement, the chips and the first global crisis of industrial shortages in “peacetime” and the interruption of the Suez Canal, signal and feed the new international division of labor. It will be paid for by the workers and it prepares the war.
Biden wants to encircle China and Russia with a ring not only of alliances but of wars and hotspots. But the U.S. has a weak spot: the Middle East. And it inflames the war on Europe’s border. Imperialism cannot be self-contained
Boris Johnson unveiled before the British Parliament his Global Britain strategy. A true militarist nonsense which increases the UK nuclear weapons arsenal by 40%, bares its imperialist teeth at such tenuous threats such as Spain and Argentina, will fill sea trade routes with nuclear warheads and openly plans to destabilize South America and Asia in order to gain weight in the trade war. All in a context in which its American and European allies are fueling a new conflict in Northern Ireland.
We begin a new series of articles that investigate the relationship between feminism and war since its emergence in the United States and Great Britain in the 19th century up to the present day. Why has feminism always been linked to the war effort and why has it hoisted up as its banner the mobilization of women workers for the world wars?
Last Thursday was the closing ceremony of the two sessions 2021, the most important Chinese political event/ceremonial of the year. At its center lay the global crisis of capitalism. In its outlook was militarism, war and the green deal. The good news: Chinese strategists do not expect an armed confrontation with the US before 2027. The bad news: the burden on the Chinese working class has already begun.
The visit by Spain’s foreign minister to Venezuelan refugee camps in Cauca has brought Venezuela to the brink of breaking diplomatic relations with Spain. This is not just another scuffle. The strategy of Spain in Venezuela is changing. During the last year, in a way invisible to the front pages of the media, the bases of the imperialist game in South America and the Caribbean have been profoundly altered. This is only one of the first consequences.
Syria bombing. The US is bombing Hezbollah in Syria, backing Kurdish terrorist groups in Iraq and Turkey and preparing to further protract the endless war in Afghanistan. With Biden America is back and intends to regain lost ground in the Middle East from its rivals by stirring up a hornet’s nest of imperialist conflicts.
The Perseverance rover landed on Mars. It will be followed by a Chinese mission (Tianwen-1) and another Emirati one, Hope. The supposed conquest of Humanity touted by media around the world is immediately undermined by the competition between powers in permanent conflict. If NASA’s Moon was not our Moon, the Mars of the current military-space race is not our red planet either.
From Argentina to the South China Sea, via Europe and the Mediterranean, the Biden administration is stepping on the gas in its imperialist policy, which is taking an even more warmongering turn than that of its predecessor.
The more contradictory the national interests within the EU, the more incentive Brussels has to try to counter them with more outward protectionism – which inevitably triggers its trade rivals – and new moves forward – such as vaccine centralization – that put the Commission and the interests it represents in a weaker position in the face of interference from those same rival states.
European Commissioner for External Action Josep Borrell landed in Moscow today. The eastern countries and France, but especially the US, are pushing Germany to halt the final section of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline works and see the opportunity for the Commission to mutualize the decision by dressing it up as retaliation against Russia. For now, the visit is providing evidence that tensions within the EU and NATO are not smaller than those pitting Germany against Russia.
We are told of tax havens as a kind of small parasitic states stealing tax revenues from large states by eroding their revenue-raising capacity and social policies. Nothing could be more untrue. Tax havens were established as such as a result of the deliberate policies of large states, Germany, France, Great Britain, the USA… and Spain, whose relationship with Andorra and Gibraltar fits into that general pattern.
The World Economic Forum, better known as the Davos Forum, presented yesterday its Global Risks Report, a two-, five- and ten-year analysis assessing whether present trends will get generalized. The panorama is awful and therefore a true confession of historical and systemic incompetence.
For the first time since the nineties a peace process seems to be moving forward in Palestine. It is being driven by Egyptian diplomacy and neither Israel nor the United States are directly involved. Its main rivals are Iran and Hezbollah, the Shiite Islamist state-party that the Tehran regime supports in Lebanon and Syria. The centerpiece, and also the most fragile party in the negotiations, is Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, supported by Turkey and Qatar and in simultaneous war against Israel, the Palestinian National Authority led by the PLO… and Egypt itself.
South America begins 2021 with very bad prospects for workers.
With the new year, the EU-China agreement, the African single market, the new British mission in the China Sea and the convertibility of the Cuban peso are launched.
2020, was the year in which the war became a continuum of hot spots from the Atlantic to the China Sea, but also the year in which the spontaneous mobilization of workers put a stop to the war in Libya.
The horizons of Spanish capital are shrinking. And with them, its political borders – in the Americas and in Brussels – and even physical ones – in Gibraltar and Africa – are beginning to be called into question.
European leaders were publicly outraged to see the WHO turned into a battleground between the two great current imperialisms. But was it ever anything other than a battleground between the various imperialist interests in conflict at every moment?
Biden’s “Green New Deal” is presented as the most important change that the new U.S. government will implement. Its consequences for workers will be enormous… and not good.
Argentine capital is in an impossible trap: its imperialist game depends on three-way carom with major powers; its capacity to recover profitability depends on a plan that Fernández has not dared to define yet and that can only aggravate what he already has set in motion: drastically worsening the general conditions of exploitation and pensions; and increasing profitability by lowering further the real wages. The real decision-maker of the future is therefore the working class.
Our review of the most relevant TV series of November.
We are witnessing globally the development of the class struggle, the first consequences of the “green deal”, transformations in the forms of competition and trade conflict and fundamental cultural changes.
On both sides of the Mediterranean Sea, the consequences of the crisis are increasingly devastating. Impoverishment, inequality… and a burning war belt.
The so-called locomotives of the EU, France and Germany, are increasingly divided and confronted with each other. Their attempts to give momentum end up being counterproductive, separating sometimes the East, sometimes the South. At this point it is undeniable that the pandemic and the recession have accelerated the process of implosion of the EU. And there is no let up and no respite.
As the concern of Egypt and Mauritania corroborates, the situation threatens to deteriorate into a new Sahara war. This time it would not be a war by interposed force. The Polisario does not even have the capacity for a guerrilla war like in the seventies. It would be a frontal combat, an open imperialist war between Morocco and Algeria.
The permanent ceasefire agreement in Nagorno-Karabakh leaves winners and losers. But these do not always coincide with the military outcome of the contest.
A brief historical perspective of Ethiopia to understand how and why this country of 110 million people is now facing the abyss of a new war between factions.
The reactions and expectations of the powers on all continents make it quite clear that no relaxation of imperialist tensions can be expected if Biden is finally inaugurated as President of the United States.
The Chinese bureaucracy has set its goals for 2025 and 2035 this week. They will shape the imperialist crisis and conflict throughout the world.
Questions sent by our readers on what is happening in France and the conflict with Turkey.
The street battles in Italy, the wave of Islamist violence in France and Germany and the debates on 5G have one element in common: they show, under different forms, the impotence of the European states to stop, on their own territory, the offensive of their competitors and rivals.
The intellectual and moral sterility of the rising blocs today is such that the old churches see their opportunity. The Vatican offers itself as an ideological partner to the European aspirations it encourages and participates in. And so we see the apparent paradox of a European anticlerical left shouting «Long live the Pope!» in the parliaments facing national-catholic right-wing extremists, aligned with the USA, who dream of an anti-Pope. It would be difficult to think of something more grotesque if both parties, supposedly confronted by the application of the right to life to fetuses, did not coincide in denying it to millions of people in their eagerness to «save the economy». That is to say, saving the profitability of capital.
Prospects in the middle of the pandemic and the resurgence of the crisis.
No one has the slightest expectation that in the coming years, with Biden or Trump, even the most dangerous and genocidal tendencies that we see today will ease up. The opposite is true. The outlook for workers is worse, whoever wins, as long as the workers’ struggles don’t spread even further.
If we accept that whatever supposed “balance” between an “acceptable” number of deaths by Covid and the monetary costs of a new confinement is humanitarian and sensible, what will stop them from using the same cost-benefit morality to justify war?
Today, China accounts for 85% of Argentina’s meat exports, 63% of the total foreign currency coming in from foreign trade and 45% of the Central Bank’s reserves.
The so-called recovery fund is becoming not only a way to accelerate the transfer of income from labor to capital throughout the continent, aggravating the conditions of exploitation of the vast majority of workers, but also is becoming the way in which Germany conditions the development of Europe.
Russia, Turkey, Iran, Israel, USA, France, Germany and even Italy and Spain, play different roles and weave unthinkable alliances. The criminal and impudent game of imperialism is unfolding with one leg in the Caucasus and the other in the Maghreb.
A short FAQ with maps to understand the dimensions and danger of the clashes that broke out yesterday in the Caucasus.
Just this morning a new war seems to have broken out between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Four keys to understanding the moment of imperialism that we are living and the perspectives and dangers it imposes… but also its limitations and the basis of its real fragility: us.
The United States tightens its grip again and tries to revive Guaidó. The EU, on the other hand, is betting on Capriles and will help him run in the elections organized by Maduro for December. The reality is the collapse of national capital and the hunger of the workers. With the national bourgeoisie divided into three blocks, each with its international allies, what now awaits the workers in Venezuela?
75th assembly of the UN. Digital screens with the messages of the heads of state. And after the messages, the map of a world in which the division into antagonistic blocks and therefore the prospect of a new series of wars becomes explicit and closer.
So what’s going on with the Brexit? Is the bluffing between Brussels and London getting out of hand? Underlying the debate about the future of the Irish border there is actually a struggle over the conditions to sell on the European market. But there are consequences that go far beyond that and a risk… that goes even further.
Was there ever a Chilean «path to socialism»? What was the Allende presidency? On the 47th anniversary of the military coup, we recovered and published in our archive the FOR’s publications on Chile during those years.
In the end, jihadism ended up being a neutral ball in the imperialist game used by one and all to hit each other. And it failed because it did not succeed in winning over the great masses of the population, not even in Syria or Iraq, destroyed and fractured into small dominions by the policy of the American occupier.
Global confrontation between the two powers emerging as bloc leaders has already begun. Workers from all over the world are already the victims, who are paying in deaths on not a few sides, in [[precarization]] and unemployment on all sides, the needs of a capital to which the world has become too small. Another sign that, just as it is not in its interests to have a homeland, neither is it in its interests to link up with any bloc.
The merger, announced today, of Bankia and Caixabank, marks the ways in which Spanish capital will reorganize itself in the face of the crisis, points out its consequences for the workers and advances changes in its imperialist orientation and even in the face of Catalan independence.
Between now and the end of the year, the crisis is going to arise all over the world in all its harshness. The first signs are already here.
National capital of Argentina, Turkey or South Africa, semicolonial economies triumphantly presented as “emerging” for years, are coming out of a decade in which they have lost weight in global capital, to enter a new and dangerous phase of crisis.
The change of rudder -and imperialist alignments- of a country that until now has been the last frontier of Europe, is a stone thrown violently into the already uneasy waters of African equilibrium. It will leave waves of war in its wake.
Underneath all this ideological unhinged charivari there is a materiality that can be summed up in two terms: incompetence and incapacity. Incompetence both of the bourgeoisie and it’s theorists to imagine a progressive future, and of the petty bourgeoisie to find a way of articulating its interests capable of dragging the rest of the social whole, that is, to organize and create what they themselves call a people.
Rare earths were the tool of the first attempt to enforce Chinese global monopolies in mass industries and the reason why the search for alternative suppliers has triggered the imperialist conflict in Africa and pushed the basis of a bloc of Anglo-Saxon powers. Rare earths are and will be for a long time at the center of technological development… and therefore, of imperialist conflict.
The acceleration in imperialist movements and tensions that we are seeing still has a potential counterweight in the development of the workers’ response.
We are facing an armed negotiation in which the different and contradictory imperialist interests of the coastal countries increase their pressure to the edge of an armed conflict. Of course, none of them has any intention of openly initiating it. All would prefer to see their interests flourish with no other violence than that of threat and imposition by the facts. But they are not playing alone. And if tension escalates, the turnaround will be little less than impossible.
The world’s news programmes depict the elections and protests in Belarus in a completely contradictory way. While the Spanish TV links the electoral fraud to Russia, the BBC recalls the background of recent clashes between the two regimes and the German TV highlights the joint statement of Poland and Lithuania lukewarmly calling for further talks. What lies beneath the political crisis in Belarus?
Capital is in a deep and widespread crisis. Capital responds with increasing aggressiveness at all levels to its same needs in every country. And its forms are increasingly obscene, coarser, more desperate, closer to war.
With the epidemic on the rise but silenced, August is turning into the prologue to a global and drastic wave of attacks on the living, working and retirement conditions of workers around the world that is set for September. By October, it is more than likely that the pandemic and war will be in the foreground as well.
A quick summary of the day’s news to avoid being disconnected from reality by the media.
The imperialist conflict between the U.S. and China is accelerating with each blow of the crisis. Both powers are pushing towards the formation of «close blocs» that are strategically and economically very much aligned with those national capitals with which they are most integrated, leading to a wider fracture by reorganizing trade out of them and with it the international division of labor and the technological standards of the industries most capable of placing capital today. We are in the first steps of a deep fracture in the world market, which can only strengthen the tendencies towards crisis… and war.
Turkey, Egypt, Ethiopia and of course Russia, the US and the EU are all playing at establishing faits accomplis, using diplomacy as a form of disinformation warfare. Disinformation that is primarily aimed at the general population. We live in a mixture of generalized information blockade – in Spain, for example, the danger of war has not even merited a brief appearance on the television news – and intoxication. Breaking this lie and half-truth-powered blockade by opening up conversations about “what is going on” with co-workers, neighbours and friends is today a crucial task in order to be able to respond.
For the workers of the countries that have been affected, the credits really are cutbacks and the direct aid that they receive will only serve to accelerate the transfer of income from labor to capital. And in the case anyone had hoped that the European Council could serve to prevent the escalation of war in the Mediterranean and the horizon of barbarism that it opens, they were deeply mistaken.
War is spreading, directly involving the working class of a major industrial country like Egypt, threatening to stop Mediterranean merchant trade and hindering gas supplies to Europe. We are at a critical time for workers throughout the region, with the threat of mass slaughter looming ever closer and all the incentives for a seemingly endless escalation.
Imperialism is not an adventure game taking place in exotic landscapes and control rooms where the level of abstraction makes hunger and blood invisible. It is the daily life of our lives and the threat it poses to us. It is the universal day-to-day life of a capital that cannot find enough markets to give free rein to accumulation and destroys the capacities it organizes socially, the main one of them being us, labor power.
The EU, one of the most contradictory imperialist projects both among its partners and in the global imperialist arena, will probably be one step closer to imploding.
The agony of the EU, the possible nuclearization of a Turkey increasingly at odds with the US and the EU, and the militarization of the US-China conflict were the main red lights of the imperialist conflict this week.
The U.S. is focusing its imperialist strategy on weakening China. Its consequences are both global and often unexpected.
Three highlights of this week: Covid is still around and the “reopenings” are proving to be more dangerous than what they told us; the alleged return to “business as usual” is a disaster pushing towards ever more serious conflicts between national capitals; and strikes and struggles are spreading and gaining strength as the only counterweight to the anti-human and warmongering tendencies of global capital.
The imperialist conflict enters new phases with a surprising synchrony and speed. What we have witnessed this week in the Mediterranean, between the two Koreas, in Hawaii between China and the US and between India and China shares a troubling element: despite the fact that they are more or less obviously trade negotiations, in all of them the main theme is the immediate threat of war.
From the Ivory Coast to Niger, from Libya to Crete, and from Ethiopia to Egypt, the northern half of Africa is being torn apart by a violent reshuffling of forces between imperialist powers that is threatening to overwhelm the continent’s borders and lead to war in Europe and the Middle East.
Tensions fueled by the pandemic have accelerated the dismantling of the network of multilateral international organizations. The alleged global nature of large companies and financial groups is also disappearing. The national bourgeoisies and bureaucracies are “re-nationalizing” and “decoupling” themselves, putting an end to the framework that had been promoted by the Anglo-Saxon powers during the last century, from the League of Nations to the WTO, the UN system and the “international capital funds”.
US is loosing its power to encourage new global ideologies and movements. The renationalization of production chains also means the renationalization of information agendas and imaginaries.
We are experiencing a general clarion call throughout the world that threatens to produce a proliferation of armed conflicts.
Nuclear proliferation is a real threat to all mankind. It starkly reflects that the severity of the crisis of the system is far greater than what the media tells us and that the urgency of affirming a global alternative goes well beyond a “recessive economic moment”
“Decoupling” is the new slogan running through think-tanks, chancelleries and economic ministries. It means a reduction in the interdependence between national capitals. But the reality is that not only capitals will become “decoupled”, but also the institutional system and the balances between classes will.
A crown of conflicts is exploding around China at the worst possible time. They point out, in case it needs to be emphasized even more, that the United States is willing to use the military threat to “encourage” the movement of capital, modify the global trade map and accelerate the renationalization of productive chains.
What we are seeing, from China to Brazil to Turkey, is an initial phase in the development of militarism. The political weight of the military reappears as a resource and a safeguard against the internal conflicts of the bourgeoisie (Brazil) but above all as a way of ensuring a viable medium-term strategic perspective (China) in a context where the centrality of the imperialist conflict shifts from the commercial and the placement of capital to the military (Turkey).
Germany wants an empire that will buy its overproduction and generate applications of capital, with a currency subordinated to its logic of accumulation, a Central Bank subordinated to its courts and a well-controlled nuclear army… but also wants to organize everything at a bargain price. No, the scaffolding does not seem to be solid enough for this historic era of economic, political and social tornadoes and hurricanes. But is there anything to be regretted? Are we workers losing something important with the collapse of the “European perspective”?
This evening Macron and Merkel will be presenting their “salvation of the EU”. But in today’s historical conditions, every step forward is one step closer to a zombie structure.
The only things de-escalating are the lockouts and security measures. All dangers are escalating instead: dangers of epidemic resurgence, of being unemployed, of marching off to war…
The collapse of Saudi Arabia has gone virtually unnoticed by the international press. The impact, however, is enormous. In the Arab world, comparisons are rife with the collapse of Russia and its model of state capitalism in the early 1990s, with Prince Salman playing the role of an increasgly powerless Gorbachev, racking up imperialist defeats, economic disasters and internal enemies.
The U.S. has a background game with China. China is debating whether to enter a nuclear race with the American giant. And Europe… starts to keep its distance.
Four clues of what we are living and what is to come, about topics the media are barely talking about in order to sweeten an unacceptable reality.
The false trade truce between the US and China, the impasse in the conflict within the EU, the endless struggle between the state and Bolsonaro and between the military and pro-US economists within the Brazilian government, the failure of the craziest military adventures… are all moments of relief in the context of a tension that keeps growing. The whole thing can only end in fragmentation and open conflict. The only force that can restrain and reach a certain level of development, stop the process that points towards the generalization of war, the workers’ struggles, despite coming up all over the world, are still on a local level. It is more urgent than ever to contribute to their development. And there are no shortcuts.
The de-escalation of the pandemic is turning into an escalation of imperialist conflicts and confrontations.
We are not seeing the dawn of a “post-American world order” as the media would have us believe. We are seeing an acceleration of chaos driven by the recession that makes each day more dangerous than the last.
A new phase of economic recession and political crisis is beginning worldwide. All the contradictions of the system have accelerated with the pandemic and the ability of capital to recover will depend on its ability to impose a massive transfer of income from labor to capital in each country. The losses and needs of capital are even more brutal than in 2009. But unlike ten years ago, we are entering this new phase with a working class that has mobilized under an almost universal program of demands and that in not a few cases has been strong enough to overcome the unions and twist the arms of companies and governments. But this was not even the first act. It has been the overture.
We are living through an acceleration of chaos whose scale has only begun to show in the media when the UN has begun to warn that the coming famine will affect more than 136 million people.
The fall in prices from confinement has made evident the irrationality and inefficiency of an international division of labor conditioned to the extreme by imperialism, magnifying the industrial impact of the deflationary shock on an industry as gigantic as it is fragile.
The EU cannot resolve its contradictions, only by raising them again and again to a higher level, in the hope that the developing global environment of “economic warfare” will be enough, as external pressure, to precariously hold the structure together.
The post-confinement world is beginning to take shape. On the one hand, the tendencies shown by capital outline a world of war economy and exaltation of sacrifice; on the other hand, the world wave of workers’ struggles presents a world that imposes life by orienting production to satisfy people’s needs. On this struggle, which can only be understood as a class struggle, depends the immediate future and the destiny of the whole Humanity.
Neither Dutch, Danish or German nordism nor Spanish anti-EU pro-sovereignty narratives fall from the sky. But in order to understand them, one must first discover the particular place of Spanish imperialism between Europe and Latin America.
It is impossible to “play down” both the situation we are living in and the challenges and responsibilities that will follow from it. After the slaughter, comes the biggest attack since the end of world war two on the living conditions and basic needs of the workers. The worldwide wave of strikes and struggles that we are experiencing must serve as an accumulation of the forces needed to confront the post-epidemic world.
Even if an agreement on debt mutualization were reached today or in the next few days, what would follow would be a struggle to change rules, protect national sector-based markets and reduce the interdependence among national bourgeoisies. And so the EU would also dry up and the old reactionary dream of the United States of Europe would come to an end, not with a bang but with a whimpe
Mexico and Brazil are distressed by a crisis that fuses the impending health disaster with a paralysis of export markets and political chaos. The situation is extremely dangerous for workers throughout America. Only the generalization of the struggles can impose the priority of saving lives instead of investments, stopping the spread effectively and guaranteeing the satisfaction of basic needs for all workers.
We are in the middle of the most synchronous and geographically widespread wave of strikes and struggles in the last century. It shows to what extent universal, human needs can only be defended by the workers as a class, because only to the workers do they present themselves as their immediate and direct objective throughout the world. And what is no less important, it shows that we workers are capable of affirming a global alternative when we break with the subordination of our demands to companies’ profits, in other words, when we break with the discourse that unions have been hammering out for years and that they continue to repeat today
Winners and losers of the inter-imperialist brawls in the EU have a common objective: “recovery”, in other words, organizing a brutal transfer of income from labor to capital. Once again, as always, as in any imperialist conflict, the main enemy is within the country itself.
The epidemic will not only change the competitive place and access to markets of European big business. It will also change the correlation of forces within the EU. It is now doubtful whether Italy, Portugal, Spain and even Greece would again support the adoption of “defensive measures” against China from Brussels. In a few weeks, when the health and economic crises further exacerbate the brutal instincts of the German bourgeoisie, it is more than possible that Germany and France, not China, will be the ones in an uncomfortable position on the European imperialist map.
The covid-19 pandemic is exposing the permanent disaster that capitalism is today and the extent to which its imperatives are antagonistic to the most basic human needs.
What is developing before our eyes is an increasingly direct connection between trade quarrels and military conflicts on the one hand and between these and the attack on the living conditions of the workers and the whole population on the other hand.
From the Sanders and the Sánchez to the Trumps and Putins, all ideological variants, all national capitals, have the same needs and lead us to the same place. It is not with them but against them that the only possible alternative can be affirmed.
Europe is at war… against refugees, migrants… against all of us.
76,000 Syrian refugees are already crossing Turkey. Thousands are crowding in front of the militarized borders between Greece and Turkey and in the last four hours alone, four hundred have arrived on the Greek islands in boats.
The most dangerous and constant enemies of human needs and life are within each country and are neither the viruses that come “from outside” nor the armies of neighboring countries.
The speed at which the trends towards recession and war are developing, the violence of the attacks on the living conditions of millions of workers around the world, still do not correlate with the level of response achieved by workers’ struggles so far this year.
The pockets of war are expanding, the global arsenals are widening and the tensions between powers are worsening at the pace of the difficulties of global capital. And do they expect us to close ranks with “our” national capital, which reserves more misery and militarism for us every day?
A strange and false “peace” built on the temporary impotence of its protagonists, who have every intention of blowing it up. Behind the fog, both war and crisis continue to rage.
We’re entering a critical time. The forces and tensions driving the spread of war in the Mediterranean and North Africa are constantly unfolding, while European workers are close to suffering -thanks to the trade unions- the first serious defeats in the fight for their pensions.
This week demonstrates that we cannot trust the ability of imperialisms to stand still on the edge of the abyss of open warfare, and how the trade unions are bringing all workers to the brink of dismantling the pension system.
In just three days, this week has given us the clues not only to the year that is beginning, but to the historical period in which we are living. Where the workers accept to follow the democratic revolt of the petty bourgeoisie, the latter, unable to assert itself, will end up framing them for the imperialist conflict and war. And yet, be it in Iran, Turkey, China, America or Europe, where the workers are affirming themselves through their own struggles and slogans, the infernal machinery of war grinds to a halt.
In addition to the path of crisis and trade warr, there is now an industrial and transport reconversion -the “green new deal”- and its immediate consequence: a new global impulse towards imperialist conflict.
The scenario that is being drawn is that of a generalization of the frictions between states feeding internal “civil conflicts”, generally led by sectors of the discontented or drifting petty bourgeoisie (Hong Kong, Catalonia, Chile, Lebanon…). For the workers this means that the “popular revolts” are becoming increasingly mined land.
Tendencies towards confrontation and inter-imperialist conflict are inextricably woven with the strategies to deal with the crisis of the bourgeoisie all over the world.
This week ends with impossible balancing acts in Bolivia and Spain, as well as a new progress in the mobilizations on class demands in France… Before which Macron yields as soon as they gain massiveness and visibility.
The unraveling of the Bolivian situation warn of what is to come in South America. Meanwhile, in Europe, the crisis is fuelling inter-imperialist tensions, putting NATO in the spotlight. And the most important thing of the week: the struggle of the Chatillon railroaders achieved a historic success by getting rid of the union police’s yoke.
The week has been marked by the impact… and the global political stalemate of the revolts.
South America and Syria have been the two main scenarios of a week in which both the path of Brexit seems to be cleared out and the recession is flashing its teeth more violently than announced.
We arrived at this weekend with a Brexit agreement pending approval by the British parliament, a Turkish truce awaiting reciprocation by the PKK-YPG and a call for a general strike in Catalonia which, in the lack of common interests between nationalism and the workers, has become a lockout.
This week’s big picture is the beginning of a real general offensive… not on the Syrian-Turkish border, but all over the world. A recession is coming and every national capital wants to arrive with the best possible cards. That means with the greatest capacities both to face its external rivals, and to increase our exploitation in absolute terms.
This week started with the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook, the first sign of a crisis that is already plunging into recession; the trade war took over the universal postal system – a historic jewel of rising capitalism; it showed the inanity and immorality of the new ideologies of “sacred ecological union” with the bourgeoisie; it exacerbated the battle of the bourgeois factions in the United States; and it made clear the immediate limits that unions and the left impose on the only struggles that can offer a perspective of overcoming the morass that is unfolding before our eyes.
We urgently call upon all internationalists in South America, whether formally organized or not, to build together with us an international coordination under the principle that every faction of the bourgeoisie is today reactionary and that therefore, in any war to come, the first real enemy will always be the capital of one’s own country.