There are still four months left until the end of 2022, but the global crisis of capitalism has deepened to such an extent that never before, in its hundred years of life, has the old slogan of "socialism or barbarism" reflected so exactly the dilemma we are faced with.
The confrontation between the two great imperialist blocs led by the US and China has already gone beyond the limits of commercial and economic conflict to openly enter a war that, although it is currently located in Ukrainian territory, could at any time spread to other geographical areas or suddenly start an escalation that, with the Zaporiya nuclear power plant in the line of fire, would open the door to an even greater disaster.
In the last three decades Western imperialism has promoted wars that have left a balance of more than a million dead, 40 million refugees and a trail of destruction that reduced entire countries to ruins. But now a further step has been taken. US imperialism, in a desperate attempt to prevent its decline and preserve world hegemony, seeks a head-on confrontation with China and Russia. For this reason, the war escalation has precipitated itself in Ukraine with signs of lasting much longer, and new provocations break out in other areas such as the island of Taiwan and Southeast Asia.
Skyrocketing inflation and the prospect of a new recession
The war escalation and the sanctions against Russia have set in motion an uncontrolled dynamic of rising prices and impoverishment for the European and world population. Six months after the start of the war, the EU's strategy, submitting completely to the dictates of Washington, has reaped a resounding failure with enormous political consequences.
The capitalist economy is far from having overcome the crisis of overproduction that began in 2007 and 2008. Just as it happened after the crash in 1929, after a phase of acute recession — between 2008 and 2012 — a period of growth in trade began and, with the essential help of the monetary stimulus and expansion policies of Central Banks around the world, a certain recovery in economic activity and employment. Those years were characterized by rampant speculation, especially in raw materials, but also expressed in financial and stock market bubbles. Corporate profits grew vertiginously, until, coinciding with the pandemic, the momentum of the economic stimulus began to run out and the root causes of the 2008 crisis came to the fore, placing us on the verge of a new and, very likely, deeper recession.
But the gloomy outlook for the economy does not affect the profits of the big capitalist corporations. Quite the contrary. Quarter after quarter, banks, industries, large distribution companies and, above all, the hydrocarbons and energy sectors, announce new records in their revenue statements. How do they manage it? Wildly increasing the exploitation of their employees and taking advantage of the wave of inflation, which they themselves feed by raising the prices of their products and services through speculation and hoarding, to cut the real wages of the working class.
But not just the working class suffers the consequences of the incessant search for private profit that is inherent to capitalism. Our planet is also suffering devastation that, if it continues, will endanger the lives of millions of people and our very survival as a species.
The heat waves this summer, the forest fires, the historical drought that Europe is suffering, the unstoppable rise in sea temperature and the melting of glaciers and polar ice caps, the loss of crops around the world, are the more evident symptoms that capitalism kills life.
And when the destruction of our habitat is greater and more clear, the governments and the big capitalist monopolies, who yesterday filled their mouths with "ecologist" speeches, "environmental responsibility" and other empty phrases, now take a step back and postpone any action against climate change. The big funds, like BlackRock, are once again investing massively in coal mines and the EU declares that gas and nuclear are "green energies". Everything, including life on Earth, is subordinated to the profits of capital!
A perspective of great conflicts and social uprisings
The crisis of the traditional methods of capitalist domination, which became evident as a result of the 2008 crisis, has continued to worsen.
The decomposition of the parliamentary system in the United States, with an active president who tried to carry out a coup d'état, unpunished until now; the collapse of the British Conservative government or the prospect of a far-right executive in Italy are symptoms of the bourgeoisie's difficulties in maintaining its domination through the parliamentary mechanisms that yielded them such great services after the Second World War.
But at the same time that the inner circles of big capital increasingly yearn for authoritarian solutions, social unrest is spreading throughout the world, and in recent weeks it has reached great dimensions in Europe.
The United Kingdom is experiencing a wave of strikes that, in practice, is already equivalent to a general strike, although trade-union leaders are reluctant to formally call it. In Belgium, the trade-unions have called a large rally on September 21 in Brussels, to prepare for the general strike in November.
On November 14, 2012, at the height of the first phase of this crisis, the first European general strike was called, which had a great following in Portugal, Italy, the Spanish State and Cyprus, and was supported by large mobilizations in Greece, France and Belgium.
Much more than in 2012, today all the conditions are in place for a European general strike that gives a combative response to the attacks of capital and the permanent deterioration of our living conditions.
There is not a lack of strength. Quite the contrary. But what is really urgent is to provide the powerful movement of the working class that is beginning to strongly rise up with a program that offers a real alternative to the capitalist crisis and the catastrophe to which it is pushing us.
Today more than ever, the socialist revolution is the only alternative! Only by taking the means of production out of the hands of the handful of plutocrats who own them for their exclusive benefit, will we be able to organize and plan the production of goods and services in such a way that, with full respect for the environment, the basic needs of the entire Humanity are covered. The most urgent task is to get organized now to prepare it!
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