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Workers Vanguard No. 930

13 February 2009

Foreclosures, Unemployment, Union Givebacks

Obama: CEO of Bankrupt American Capitalism

Break with the Democrats!

For a Class-Struggle Workers Party!

In the past few months, the economic crisis that has been devastating working people for over a year has taken a sharp turn for the worse. In 2008, almost three million workers lost their jobs in this country, with more than half the losses coming in the last three months of the year. In January, nearly 600,000 more workers were thrown out of work. Industrial production is at a 28-year low and, by all indications, the decline is accelerating. Private sector workers are being hit with widespread wage cuts for the first time since the Great Depression of the 1930s—their wages were slashed a total of $23.5 billion in December, following a $12 billion cut in November.

President Barack Obama’s proposed solution to the crisis is for the federal government to spend over $800 billion of taxpayers’ money in an effort to jump-start the economy. During the election campaign, Obama promised to create five million new jobs; today, he’ll be lucky if he can simply stanch the hemorrhaging. The dinosaurs who prowl the halls of Congress are clashing furiously over how to get the “best bang for the buck.” Yet they have scant confidence that their fiscal stimulus schemes will do the job. The New York Times (29 January) summarized the conclusion of a study by the Congressional Budget Office as follows: “The hole the economy is in is so deep that even the stimulus package will only dig us halfway out.”

It is above all the poor and working-class population that is condemned to suffer the consequences of the irrationality of capitalism. Despite skyrocketing unemployment, depleted savings and escalating home foreclosures, 18 states cut welfare rolls last year. In Michigan, where layoffs have been particularly severe, welfare rolls were slashed 13 percent. This is a direct consequence of provisions introduced by President Bill Clinton in 1996 that ended “welfare as we know it.” Obama has repeatedly singled out Clinton’s axing of welfare as a praiseworthy accomplishment.

Immediately upon winning the election, Obama spoke of the need for “sacrifice” in the interests of “national unity.” As the new Commander-in-Chief of U.S. imperialism, Obama aims to make the working class and oppressed pay in order to restore the profits of the American bourgeoisie. The hundreds of billions of dollars already poured into the coffers of Wall Street plus the hundreds of billions more slated for Obama’s stimulus package will be financed by deficit spending—that is, by increased government borrowing on international financial markets. Those loans will ultimately have to be paid back—with interest—out of the tax dollars paid by the working people of this country.

Because Obama’s stimulus package includes such things as increased spending on education and aid to states for Medicaid costs, it is being touted by administration supporters as a major social benefits program. This is simply cynical Washington spin. Obama’s plan to spend federal dollars comes as state governments, including those run by liberal Democrats, are cutting social spending to the bone. New York governor David Paterson has announced plans to slash more than $9 billion in state spending, primarily on health care and education, while jacking up tuition costs at state universities. Meanwhile, after bankers went ballistic, Obama quickly backed down from his initial proposal to include in his stimulus plan a home foreclosure relief measure allowing courts to revise mortgage contracts.

The bourgeoisie will hardly spend money on improving the condition of the masses unless it is forced to do so. Especially since the counterrevolution in the former Soviet Union in 1991-92, capitalists internationally have sought to increase their competitiveness against their rivals by taking an ax to whatever gains workers have been able to achieve. As Obama prepared to take office, he gave an interview to the Washington Post (16 January), which reported his intention “to rein in health-care costs, stabilize Social Security and prevent the Medicare program from bankrupting the government.”

Reforms such as Social Security were not enacted as return payment for electoral support by workers, black people and others to the Democratic Party; they were the result of mass social struggle. Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal reforms in the 1930s represented an attempt by the bourgeoisie to head off an extended period of deepening leftist political radicalization and hard class struggle that forged industrial unions, many of them led by reds. In 1934, the year before the passage of the Social Security Act, there were three victorious citywide organizing strikes: one led by Communists in San Francisco, the Trotskyist-led Minneapolis Teamsters strikes, and a general strike led by left-wing socialists in Toledo. Roosevelt’s efforts to keep the working class tied to the Democratic Party were greatly aided by the Stalinist Communist Party, which commanded the loyalty of most left-wing workers and promoted support to the “progressive” Roosevelt administration.

The bourgeoisie always seeks to take back with one hand what it is constrained to grant with the other. To even preserve past gains, as well as to fight for new ones, requires hard class struggle by the working class, standing at the head of all the oppressed.

The main obstacle to such class struggle is the pro-capitalist union bureaucracy, which promotes the lie that the interests of labor and capital are compatible. This bureaucracy, which parasitically sits atop the unions, acts as a transmission belt for pro-capitalist consciousness into the working class. The labor bureaucrats’ class collaboration is exemplified by their overwhelming fealty to the Democratic Party, of which they are an integral part. No less than the Republicans, the Democrats are a party of and for the capitalist class—the difference being that while the Republicans make no bones about oppressing working people, the Democrats do the same while proclaiming themselves “friends of labor.” To unleash the social power of the working class requires a political struggle to replace the union misleaders by a leadership dedicated to the political independence of the proletariat. This is part of the struggle to build a class-struggle workers party that fights for a workers government.

The U.S. Bourgeoisie and the World Economy

What began as a financial meltdown centered on the U.S. housing market is now a full-fledged economic slump on a world scale. By one estimate, global manufacturing production fell in the last three months of 2008 at an annualized rate of almost 20 percent. The automobile industry internationally is seeing the sharpest drop in sales in its history; worldwide production of goods, from computer chips to machine tools, is plunging. And the collapse of the housing market continues apace, especially in the U.S. and Britain. Today, one U.S. homeowner in ten is in foreclosure or otherwise at risk of losing his home.

Japan, the world’s second-largest economy, is particularly vulnerable because exports account for almost half of its manufacturing output. In December, Japanese industrial output went into a record slide, caused mainly by the plummeting demand in the U.S. Meanwhile, the British economy is a basket case. Average debt per person in Britain is 180 percent of disposable income, the highest of any of the G7 industrialized countries. The pound sterling is practically in free fall, threatening much deeper hardship for the country’s already impoverished working people. According to the London Telegraph (6 February), the number of manufacturing jobs in Britain will drop below three million by the end of 2009. The Telegraph notes: “The last time that there were fewer than 3 million manufacturing workers was in about 1845, the climax of the Industrial Revolution.”

The economic crisis has especially buffeted the periphery of Europe, where smaller countries have fewer resources to defend their economies. In December, Greece was swept by weeks of rioting, mainly by anarchist and other student youth, that intersected planned strikes and protests by the trade unions against the impact of the economic crisis on workers. On January 13, the cobbled streets of Riga, the capital of Latvia, resembled a war zone as protesters smashed up the finance ministry in protest against wage cuts and tax increases. A few days later, police in Lithuania fired rubber bullets on a trade-union march of 7,000 people. Smaller protests and clashes erupted in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Hungary. In late January, Iceland’s government fell after the collapse of its banks triggered weeks of protests against soaring unemployment and inflation.

In France, a January 29 nationwide strike called by the country’s eight main trade unions shut down schools, post offices and much of the transport system, while mobilizing a large number of automobile and other private sector workers. As conservative president Nicolas Sarkozy proposed his own stimulus plan, some 2.5 million workers demonstrated across the country for higher wages and job security.

The fact that the crisis is now international means that there is no obvious engine to drive economic recovery. Exports and sales abroad by U.S. multinationals have until recently been among the few bright spots for American capitalists. Over the past two years, three-quarters of the growth in U.S. output came from net exports. During the same period, the share of U.S. corporate profits from overseas business has ballooned from 26 percent to a record 37 percent. Now those props are being knocked away.

The economic slowdown in the U.S. has been accompanied by increasing calls for chauvinist protectionism, pushed by both Democratic politicians and the trade-union bureaucracy. Thus, the stimulus bill as passed by the House contains a “buy American” provision requiring that “all of the iron and steel” used in any project funded by the bill must be made in the U.S.A. One is reminded of the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Act, which greatly increased tariffs on U.S. imports and deepened the effects of the Great Depression.

Protectionism is deadly poison for workers in the U.S., not least because it serves to conceal the fact that it is the capitalists and their system that are responsible for the destitution of the working class; it is based on the lie that the enemies of U.S. workers are the workers of other countries. (The United Steelworkers bureaucrats have twisted into more contortions than a pretzel trying to explain how the “buy American” policy that they support would supposedly benefit Canadian members of their union.) Blaming foreign workers for the loss of U.S. jobs feeds into anti-immigrant bigotry and support for the government’s deportation of undocumented workers. (For an example in Britain, see article, page 3.)

In opposition to protectionism, the labor movement must fight for international labor solidarity, linking the economic and other struggles of workers in the U.S. with those of workers around the world, particularly in such semicolonial countries as Mexico. This must be part of a fight for full citizenship rights for all immigrants. What is ultimately necessary is the sweeping away of the global capitalist system through a series of socialist revolutions that establish an international planned economy.

Defend the Chinese Deformed Workers State!

There is one major country centrally involved in the world economy that is not capitalist: China. China has become the second leading exporter of manufactured goods after Germany and has displaced Japan as the largest holder of U.S. government securities. Despite its integration into the world capitalist market, China remains a bureaucratically ruled deformed workers state, structurally similar to the former Soviet Union and its East European bloc partners.

The 1949 Chinese Revolution overthrew capitalist/landlord rule and ripped the world’s most populous nation out of the clutches of the imperialist powers that had long held China in their grip. Emerging from the military victory of the peasant-guerrilla forces led by the Stalinist Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the People’s Republic of China was established. Despite Stalinist bureaucratic parasitism and mismanagement, the 1949 Revolution was of world-historic significance. The creation of a centrally planned, collectivized economy laid the basis for an enormous leap in social progress and China’s advance from abject peasant backwardness. The revolution enabled women to advance by orders of magnitude over their previous miserable status. A nation that had been ravaged and divided by foreign powers for a century was unified and freed from imperialist subjugation.

Following the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, the CCP regime, seeking to overcome the inefficiencies and distortions resulting from Mao’s bureaucratic commandism and economic autarky, abandoned central planning and introduced a series of market-oriented “reforms” in the economy. These included attracting large-scale investment, concentrated in manufacturing, by Western and Japanese capitalists as well as offshore Chinese capitalists in Hong Kong and Taiwan. A sizable class of capitalist entrepreneurs has also emerged on the mainland. However, capitalists in China are still prevented from organizing themselves and vying for power. While many members of the CCP officialdom have financial interests and familial ties to private enterprises and capitalists, the political power of the Beijing Stalinist bureaucracy continues to be based primarily on the core sectors of the industrial economy, which remain collectivized, and on the state-owned banking system.

Smashing the Chinese workers state is a strategic goal for the capitalist powers, centrally the U.S. imperialists, who seek to turn China into a vast sphere of untrammeled exploitation. To that end, they are increasing military pressure on China while also pursuing a policy of internal economic and political subversion. This includes promoting anti-Communist dissidents in the name of “democracy” and “human rights.”

We stand for the unconditional military defense of China against imperialist attack and internal counterrevolution, just as we stand for the military defense of the other remaining deformed workers states: Cuba, North Korea and Vietnam. Defense of the Chinese workers state is undermined by the rule of the nationalist Stalinist bureaucracy, whose policies are encapsulated in the anti-Marxist dogma of “building socialism in one country” and “peaceful coexistence” with world imperialism. We call for a proletarian political revolution to oust the venal and oppressive CCP regime and replace it with a government based on democratically elected workers and peasants councils and committed to revolutionary internationalism.

The pressure of world imperialism on China is now intensifying not only through the effects of the global economic crisis but also the replacement of the Republican Bush by the Democrat Obama. The Democrats have generally pushed for a more aggressive line against China than the Republicans. During Senate confirmation hearings late last month, Obama’s designated treasury secretary Tim Geithner accused China of “manipulating” its currency, the renminbi, in order to boost exports. This is a loaded code word used to justify trade protectionism. Interestingly, the CCP regime of Hu Jintao was one of the few governments in the world to publicly praise Bush when he left office.

Unlike the major capitalist countries, China’s economy—with its collectivized industrial core and state-owned banks—is actually continuing to grow, although at a much reduced pace. Nonetheless, the global capitalist crisis has had a disruptive and depressive effect on the economy, with potentially destabilizing political consequences. The divisions, fostered by the Stalinists’ “market reforms,” between the wealthy capitalists and bureaucratic elite on the one hand and the workers and peasants on the other, have intensified.

The Beijing authorities have long maintained that 8 percent is the minimum annual increase in gross domestic product (GDP) necessary to prevent unemployment from rising among both urban youth entering the labor market and migrants from the countryside seeking jobs in the cities. In the fourth quarter of 2008, the growth of GDP fell sharply to 6.8 percent. According to official figures, over 20 million migrant workers have been laid off, most of them from factories owned by foreign and offshore Chinese capitalists that produce consumer goods for First World markets. Additionally, the collapse of a housing boom has depressed construction activity, another major source of employment for migrant workers. A large part of the income of rural households is derived from remittances by family members working in the cities. So, many peasant families are now facing severe economic distress.

The Beijing Stalinist bureaucracy fears, and correctly so, increased labor strife and protests by workers and peasants. Zhang Xiaojing, a director of the Institute of Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, sees troubled times: “There will be lots of laid-off migrant workers returning to the villages, not to mention the many college graduates and this will affect social stability” (London Financial Times, 21 December 2008). Likewise, Chen Jiping, deputy secretary of the CCP’s central political and legislative affairs committee, warned in a magazine published by the official news agency: “Under the current situation, new social conflicts will be created nonstop.”

In fact, there has already been a big upsurge of labor conflict, especially among migrant workers in the Pearl River delta, the main center of China’s export industry. To dampen worker unrest the CCP regime has pursued a policy of offering to pay part of the unpaid wages of laid-off workers. But this tactic didn’t work at the Jianrong Suitcase Factory in Dongguan. After the workers refused to accept an offer of 60 percent of their unpaid wages, they battled with riot police seeking to keep them locked in the factory compound. At another Dongguan factory, a protest over severance pay also led to a clash with the police, as angry workers tore through the building destroying computers and equipment.

Facing a rising tide of labor conflict, the Beijing Stalinist regime is attempting to offset the depressive effect of the world capitalist downturn by expanding the state sector. The bureaucracy’s aim is to maintain and increase employment and output. In contrast, the various stimulus plans in the U.S. and other advanced capitalist countries are an effort to jump-start investment by private capitalists, whose interest is not the expansion of production but the generation of profit.

In early November, the Beijing government announced a big stimulus package (equivalent to $585 billion) centered on investment in infrastructure—railways, roads, ports and the like. However, only one-quarter of the funds will be provided by the central government; the other three-quarters are supposed to come from provincial and local government bodies and the state-owned banks. These institutions have far more limited financial resources, so all of the additional money might not be forthcoming. Last week, Premier Wen Jiabao indicated the possibility of additional stimulus measures. The government has also told managers of state-owned enterprises not to lay off workers or cut back planned capital investment. Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang called on “state-owned enterprises to further expand domestic and international markets
…assume the responsibility and continue playing the leading role” in the economy (Financial Times, 27-28 December 2008).

In the short term, economic conditions in China will depend on the extent to which the expansion of the state sector offsets the contraction of the private sector. In this regard, the London Economist (24 January) cited a financial analyst, Chris Wood, who argues that “the effectiveness of the stimulus hinges on the extent to which China is now a capitalist economy. The more ‘capitalist’ it is, the deeper the downturn now; the more it is still a command economy, the better chances of recovery in 2009.”

The restoration of capitalism in China will not be determined by the quantitative extension of the private economic sector relative to the state sector. As in the former Soviet Union and East European deformed workers states, the decisive arena in which the restorationist forces would have to triumph is at the political level, through the conquest of state power. At some point, likely when the bourgeois elements in and around the bureaucracy move to eliminate CCP political power, the explosive social tensions building up in Chinese society will shatter the political structure of the ruling bureaucratic caste. When that happens, China’s fate will be starkly posed. Either the workers will sweep away the parasitic ruling elite through a proletarian political revolution that defends and extends the gains of the 1949 Revolution and makes China a bastion in the struggle for world socialism, or capitalist counterrevolution will triumph, bringing back devastating imperialist subjugation and exploitation.

The $700 Billion and More Bank Bailout Scam

In the past few weeks, popular outrage over the bank bailout scheme that began last fall under the outgoing Bush administration with the support of Obama and the Congressional Democrats has focused on the exorbitant bonuses given to Wall Street executives. John Thain, the former head of Merrill Lynch, in particular has become a poster boy for the unbridled greed of Wall Street bankers. In early December, Thain pushed through $3-$4 billion in executive bonuses a month or so ahead of schedule, just before the firm was taken over by Bank of America. Both Merrill and Bank of America had gotten their share of the bailout booty and were then asking for more. It was also revealed that Thain had earlier spent $1.2 million remodeling his office, including $35,000 for an antique commode. Overall, the moguls of Wall Street gave themselves $18.4 billion in bonuses last year—the sixth-largest amount of such largesse on record—while also managing to lose a trillion dollars or so of their investors’ money. Obama found it opportune to indulge in pseudo-populist rhetoric, describing the bonuses as “shameful.”

The political effect of the current focus on the personal greed of Wall Street bankers—greedy though they certainly are—is to divert attention from the destructive irrationality of capitalism as an economic system. Even if all financial executives were willing to work for free and were philanthropically minded, the government bailout would still be a gigantic financial swindle of American working people. This money will not be lent to businesses to maintain, much less expand, employment and output. And it will certainly not be lent to families facing foreclosure and eviction from their homes.

Reportedly, Obama and his economic chieftains are planning another bailout scheme centered on buying up “toxic” loans from the banks and then warehousing them in a government-owned “aggregator” bank. Eventually, the government will supposedly recoup some of the money as the loans are repaid when economic conditions improve.

For starters, the discussion and debate over the price the government should pay for the “toxic” loans—whether 70 or 50 or 30 cents on the dollar—is meaningless. The future market value of a given mortgage-backed security, for example, will depend on the proportion of the loans embodied in it that default as the downturn continues to accelerate. Michael G. Thompson, a director of a division of Standard & Poor’s that evaluates “troubled securities,” exclaimed: “We are not masters of the universe who can predict the macroeconomic environment” (New York Times, 2 February). In his own way, Thompson recognizes that capitalists—even the wealthiest and most powerful—cannot control what Marxists call “the anarchy of the market.”

For the same reason, the notion of a “good” bank loan under present economic conditions is also meaningless. Many companies that were profitable enough to meet their debt amortization schedule when they first took out these loans are now losing money and will lose a lot more in the next year or so. Likewise, many households which had enough income to make their monthly mortgage payments have since had family members who have been laid off, reduced to part-time work or had their wage rates cut.

Bank executives are fearful that additional loans will become additional losses. Through the massive sell-off of financial stocks (Bank of America’s share price, for example, has fallen 70 percent since October), capitalist investors are forcing bank executives to rebuild their capital base however they can, including by reducing their outstanding loan volume. So any government bailout money is going to be hoarded, used to pay down the bank’s own debt or to take over weaker, failing competitors. Krishna Guha, who covers the U.S. economy for the London Financial Times (3 February) explained:

“It would be bold to assume that even removing toxic assets and injecting capital will result in increased lending….Banks are constrained by the need to hoard capital not so much to avoid breaching regulatory capital standards (not yet, anyway) but in order to meet much tougher conditions now imposed by the market.”

There are two sides to the current so-called “credit crisis.” One is the unwillingness of banks to lend; the other is the lack of willing borrowers with the financial capacity to repay. What corporation is going to borrow money to expand its operations in what increasingly looks like the early stages of a new world depression? In many cases, the firms most eager, even desperate, for additional credit are those facing imminent bankruptcy. The same economic logic operates in the household sector. Affluent petty-bourgeois families are now reducing their debts and saving money for the proverbial rainy day, while families facing mortgage foreclosure are for banks the most “toxic” of would-be borrowers.

It’s useful to look at what happened in Japan during its prolonged recession/stagnation of the 1990s. In 1990, the collapse of a stock market and real estate bubble wiped out much of the paper wealth—equivalent to three years of the country’s national output—of Japanese corporations. At the same time, their volume of outstanding bank loans remained unchanged. Many Japanese companies were thus technically insolvent, with their assets less than their liabilities. So they used any net cash flow (income minus expenses) to pay down their debt, instead of reinvesting it, much less borrowing more, to expand production.

A number of American bourgeois economists and financial capitalists (e.g., Stephen Roach, chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia) have pointed to the parallels between the U.S. today and the post-bubble Japan of the early 1990s. Liberal economist Paul Krugman has written: “Japan experienced a ‘lost decade’ of deflation and stagnation in the 1990s—and the only thing that let Japan escape from its trap was a global boom that boosted the nation’s exports. Who will rescue America from a similar trap now that the whole world is slumping at the same time?” (New York Times, 6 February).

To Krugman’s rhetorical question, we Marxists have an answer: a proletarian socialist revolution will take the means of production and exchange from the capitalists and establish a planned, collectivized economy based on production for use, not for profit.

The Dollar and the Global Capitalist Crisis

Only months ago, the dominant school of bourgeois economics was monetarism, the idea that government can effectively control economic activity by adjusting the amount of money in the banking system along with interest rates. In the U.S., interest rates have been driven nearly to zero; the government has injected hundreds of billions of dollars into banks by buying their shares and has provided several trillion dollars in temporary loans and guarantees—with almost no perceptible impact. Bourgeois economists now put their money on Keynesian policies like deficit spending to prime the economy. But Keynesian schemes, no less than monetarist ones, run up against the contradictions of the capitalist system.

Many economists have long feared that the U.S. economy could founder on the shoals of foreign borrowing. Since the 1960s, the U.S. has run balance of payments deficits, importing more than it exports. The difference has been financed by borrowing, mainly from foreign governments. Since 1992, the U.S. has been—to an increasing degree—a net borrower from the rest of the world. Today, U.S. public and private debt is more than 3.5 times the country’s GDP, by far the highest level in U.S. history. (The previous peak of three times GDP was reached in 1933 during the Great Depression.)

How much more can the U.S. government borrow before its creditors conclude that Washington is so overburdened with debt that it is no longer a reliable client? Most Keynesian economists—and the Obama administration—apparently think the answer to that question is: More, much more. They point to the fact that U.S. Treasuries continue to be seen as a “risk-free” investment, allowing the U.S. government to borrow at almost zero interest, while countries like Italy and Spain are paying high interest rates to finance their bailout plans. Likewise, as the economic crisis spread internationally, the dollar was actually strengthened as investors liquidated investments abroad and repatriated dollars to the U.S.

More fundamentally, the dollar continues to be the major reserve currency throughout the capitalist world and also for China. Foreign capitalist powers and the Chinese Stalinist bureaucracy are inhibited from a major sell-off of dollars because this would lead to a rapid devaluation of their own financial reserves. Nonetheless, what was an unstable situation before the current crisis has become much more so.

Mainstream bourgeois economists admit that sooner or later the U.S. debt explosion must come to an end. The question is: How will that reversal be financed when the U.S. is, as Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf put it in a January 14 column, “both a deficit and a debtor country”? Wolf wrote that Obama speaks “as if a large fiscal stimulus would be enough to restore prosperity. If that is what he believes, Mr Obama is in for a shock. The difficulties he confronts are much deeper and more global than that.... The likely longevity and scale of the needed fiscal deficits are quite scary.”

The nightmare scenario, invoked by not a few economists these days, is a potential run on the dollar. If one of the various countries holding immense dollar reserves were to rapidly diversify out of dollars—for example, in response to a diplomatic or military crisis—it would drive down the value of other countries’ holdings, potentially touching off spiraling sales of dollars. The impact on the U.S. economy would be skyrocketing prices of imported goods, a freezing up of economic activity and a sharp fall in the standard of living of everyone except the most well-to-do. Harvard economist Jeffrey Frankel invoked the danger in 2007 as the current financial crisis first hit:

“The Chinese and the Japanese, the two biggest holders [of dollar reserves], are kind of at odds. And then you throw in Saudi Arabia and a whole diversity of countries that have nothing in particular in common, and you could argue that, even if they all got together and came to an agreement not to sell dollars, there would still be a huge temptation at some point to defect. But they are not even trying to agree. That says to me that at some point, somebody is going to start selling.”

—“Debtor Nation,” Harvard Magazine (July-August 2007)

The destructive irrationality of the capitalist system is highlighted by the boom-and-bust cycle. In a 1921 speech to the Third Congress of the Communist International, revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky declared:

“So long as capitalism is not overthrown by the proletarian revolution, it will continue to live in cycles, swinging up and down. Crises and booms were inherent in capitalism at its very birth; they will accompany it to its grave....

“It might be asked whether the great struggles over wages...will lead automatically to the world revolution, to the final civil war and the struggle for the conquest of political power. However, it is not Marxist to pose the question in such a way. We have no automatic guarantees of development.”

—“Report on the World Economic Crisis and the New Tasks of the Communist International,”
The First Five Years of the Communist International, Vol. 1

Indeed, the victory of socialist revolution requires the instrumentality of a revolutionary party that, in the course of sharp class struggle, patiently educates the working class in the understanding not only of its social power but of its historic task as the gravedigger of capitalism. We fight for a revolutionary workers party, part of a Leninist-Trotskyist international dedicated to the task of fighting for socialist revolution to overthrow the capitalist order worldwide. This will lay the basis for a rationally planned international economy based on production for need, not for profit. Only then will productive forces be developed such that poverty, scarcity and want will be eliminated, laying the basis for the creation of an egalitarian socialist society.


Workers Vanguard No. 930

WV 930

13 February 2009


Foreclosures, Unemployment, Union Givebacks

Obama: CEO of Bankrupt American Capitalism

Break with the Democrats!

For a Class-Struggle Workers Party!


Defend the Tamil People!

Army Bloodbath in Sri Lanka


A Salute to Charles Darwin

(Quote of the Week)



Unions Must Defend Immigrant Workers!

Down With Reactionary Strikes Against Foreign Workers!

Full Union Pay for All Work!


Revolutionary Marxists and the Fight for Black Freedom

(Young Spartacus pages)

(Black History and the Class Struggle)


Milton Friedman—Braintruster of Bloody Pinochet Dictatorship

University of Chicago Honors Capitalist Pig, Again

(Young Spartacus pages)