Displaying items by tag: USA

Saturday, 13 February 2021 16:11

USA: First measures of the new administration

Joe Biden finally assumed the presidency on Wednesday, January 20th. In the midst of a pompous show of Hollywood and music industry stars, which failed to hide the militarization of the protocol act with the presence of 25,000 members of the National Guard, Biden and his vice Kamala Harris were sworn into office. The challenges of the new administration are enormous: after the failure of previous administrations, it will try to reverse the decline of US hegemony in its role as the world's leading imperialist power. We should not forget that Biden was part of the Obama administration as vice-president, and previously, from the Senate, he supported Bush Jr.'s warmongering and other imperialist adventures of both parties. The situation is urgent, so the first measures are aimed at curbing the economic crisis accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, trying to bring the health situation under a minimum control and continue with the stimulus policies. All this, in the midst of the deterioration of relations with the rest of the world determined by the economic antagonisms established by the crisis and by Trump's erratic foreign policy and, most recently, in the urgency of facing an unprecedented crisis of the institutions of imperialist democracy left by 2020 and the occupation of the Capitol on 1/6.


Pandemic and economic crisis

The curve that the imperialists are looking at is not so much that of contagions and deaths due to COVID-19, but that of the variation of GDP and the employment of workforce. The recovery, after the abrupt fall between February and April 2020, started relatively strong, but has been moderating until reaching a quasi-plateau. GDP growth in the last quarter of 2020 barely exceeded 1%. The country has recovered just over half of the 22 million nonfarm jobs lost between February and April 2020. The latest January number yields the creation of a meager 49,000 new jobs, and a downward revision to the previous 3 months' data. The balance sheet for the Trump era as a whole shows a red of 2,100,000 jobs lost since he took office in early 2017 (Washington Post, 2/6/2021).


(See chart 1)


Equally alarming is the accumulation of debt that has been recorded as a result of the imperialist policies to try to find a way out of the 2008 crisis, which has been raised to the nth power with the stimulus policies implemented by the various imperialist states to face the pandemic and through the mechanism of the private financial system, leading to twin bubbles between stocks and official debt. The tendency to weaken the dollar, expressed in the rise of the so-called commodities (generic goods used as raw materials and traded in bulk as metals, oil and grains) and of the money-metals (gold and silver), is another face of this crisis of indebtedness as well as of the deterioration of the world hegemony of American imperialism.

To size up the problem, a Bankia study from last December indicates that "according to a recent report by the Institute of International Finance (IIF), global public and private sector debt grew by $15 trillion, to a total of $277 trillion in 2020, the highest since the beginning of the historical series. As a percentage of GDP, the IIF projects global debt to jump to 365% this year, up from 320% at the end of 2019 and 315% five years earlier." It continues, "Of particular note is the US, which implemented a fiscal stimulus package of 13% of GDP, as well as the availability of multiple corporate credit windows from the Fed. The country accounted for about half of the debt increase in the group of developed countries, with the government debt ratio at around 125% of GDP, levels not seen since World War II."


(See chart 2)


Among Biden's first measures the continuity of these fiscal and monetary stimulus policies, with a new $1.9 billion stimulus plan for coronavirus assistance stands out. The package was enabled with the approval of the budget in the Senate on Friday 2/5, the first legislative initiative of the new legislature, which included the tie-breaking vote of the Vice-President (after the elections, the Senate was formed 50/50 by representatives of the DP and the RP). The difference is that Biden intends to give this stimulus by combining it with an aggressive health policy, ranging from the ridiculous "100 days of face mask" which he launched as one of his first presidential executive orders, to the massive vaccination plan, which is at the same time a big wink to the pharmaceutical industry, one of the main imperialist lobbies.


Foreign policy

In this field, there’s a continuity in the aggressive line towards China, which the Democrats had already launched with their "Asian pivot" under Obama. There is a "state agreement" between both parties and the entire imperialist establishment on the need to advance on China, the differences have to do with the how. Trump's trade war based on tariffs to negotiate foreign trade agreements has not been positively assed by the bourgeoisie, which is betting on an even harsher policy, which includes an offensive on third semi-colonial countries, to displace the influence that China has been winning through finances and infrastructure projects (new silk road). The policy towards Latin America maintains its hostility towards Venezuela and a carrot and stick policy to support the restorationist measures in Cuba, while seeking to discipline the entire region through a greater influence of the IMF (Chile, Argentina, Ecuador). As for the Middle East, it’s a more difficult tangle to untangle, but for the moment Biden has suspended the policy of withdrawal that Trump had been implementing. This can be seen in the re-evaluation of the line towards the Israeli enclave (which was strongly supported by Trump in the last 4 years), which tends to lean again on alliances with other bourgeois factions in the region, reviving Obama's policy, while supporting, veiled or not, Israel's reactionary offensives on Syria and Palestinian territory. So is the security policy towards Europe based on NATO. Closely related to the latter is the major offensive towards the Russian government, to which Biden came out to exert strong pressure due to the Navalni case. Many definitions are lacking in relation to foreign policy in Asia, although the coup d'état in Myanmar/Burma has accelerated the confrontation between the Sino-Russian bloc with the US and its allies in the UN.

In general terms, we maintain that the multilateralism that Biden is rehearsing by going back on all Trump's measures of rupture with the post-war international institutions such as the WHO, the Paris agreement, the questioning of the WTO, lacks for the moment a strategic axis. It’s impossible to turn back history, even less so when the accelerating effects of the decomposition of imperialism since 2008 have continued their sapping work, and continue to do so to date. In any case, although the advance on the assimilation of the former workers' states -above all China, and to a lesser extent Russi- and the establishment of a new capital-labor relations to increase the rate of exploitation trying to reverse the fall in the rate of profit are general aims, they appear as unresolved tasks that U.S. imperialism must face if it intends to stop its own fall. These are not easy tasks and it faces the resistance of the anti-imperialist struggles of the working class and the oppressed peoples who have been shaking the planet, from Tunisia, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, India and Lebanon, passing through Belarus, France and Italy, to Chile and all Latin America.


The boiler

The erosion of the institutions of imperialist democracy, mirror of the bourgeois and petty bourgeois sectors, of the semicolonies and of the former workers states that undertake the program of assimilation as their own under the garb of the promises of bourgeois democracy, is the main concern for Biden and his new administration. He must face the impeachment of Trump under this optic, which is not simple, but even more serious is the problem of the deterioration of the powers of the State and the relationship of the military-bureaucratic apparatus with the masses in the midst of the prevailing crisis and social decomposition. For the moment, the first measure has been to advance in the anti-terrorist agenda, with the support of the Republicans, something that should not surprise us since it was Bush (Jr.) who initiated this policy after the attack on the twin towers. The advance in the repressive policy of the State seems to be the way out, confirming that the Bonapartist tendencies generated by the immanent dynamics of capitalism are deployed over the personalities of the personages of capital. The fact that the first measures have been taken through decrees (executive orders), something that attracted the attention of Biden's staunchest supporters, goes in the same direction. And the fact is that the institutional recomposition of imperialist democracy cannot go through any other path, contrary to the illusions of the so-called progressives, the supposed left wing of the DP. As Engels indicated in his letter to Marx of April 13, 1866, "... Bonapartism is after all the real religion of the modern bourgeoisie". And the last 4 years of Trump's government in the US have served to expose the character of that imperialist democracy managed by an elite, which reassured many because "it was not going to let Trump do whatever". Bonapartism does not mean personal rule, although it can take that form. We take here another quote from Engels: "... in the modern Bonapartist monarchy the real governing power lies in the hands of a special caste of army officers and state officials.... The independence of this caste, which appears to occupy a position outside and, so to speak, above society, gives the state the semblance of independence in relation to society" (F. Engels, The housing question). Let us recall that, in the political theory of the enlightenment that underlies the American constitution, the President fulfills this role of monarch.

After the counterrevolutionary action of January 6th, an important part of the centrist left at the international level has fallen into the error of focusing the tactics on the need to confront fascism, coups or proto-fascism embodied in the pro-Trump forces: this is a serious mistake because the greatest danger is the way in which the forces of the political elite, which directs the apparatus of the Yankee State, will use the events to rearrange its structures in search of a bestial offensive against the working class and the oppressed peoples of the planet. Any anti-fascist united front or similar with sectors of the bourgeoisie is nothing more than a capitulation to the class enemy.

The challenge of rebuilding the institutions also implies facing the political and social polarization that has its origin in the economic-social bases, collapsed by the capitalist crisis. To this end, Biden's stimulus plan includes an increase in the minimum wage and a check of US$ 1,400 per person, which still generates debate between the government and big business, as well as within the divided Democratic Party (DP). These concessions are not only the result of the impulse of a sort of faded neo-Keynesianism, but are a response to a series of struggles that the American working class has been sustaining. The reasons are plentiful, all related to the deterioration of living conditions since the 2008 crisis and the recession generated by the pandemic: for health and safety conditions in the workplace, for wages, for unionization in companies and unorganized industries and companies. The large mobilizations against the police and racism after the assassination of George Floyd also had an important influence, especially in manufacturing industries where African-American and Latino workers are prevalent.

The last months of 2020, the influence of the reformist/counter-revolutionary leaderships of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the so-called progressives of the DP leaded these movements behind the electoral campaign, attributing to their main figures (Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar) who serve as the left wing of the ruling bloc in the House of Representatives of Congress (lower house), the victory in the Midwestern states reversing the results of 2016. In terms of class struggle, this led to the apparent paradox that while the right wing of the Democratic party, with Biden at the lead, won the presidency and the reactionary supporters of Trumpism showed muscle in the streets, its maximum expression being the 1/6 capitol takeover, while the anti-police and working-class movements turned to electoral expectations. This should not be seen as a snapshot: at the beginning of 2021, things have changed and we are witnessing new and important strikes, such as that of the workers of the fruit and vegetable market of New York, who through a strike of a little less than a week achieved a wage increase (although not of U$S 1/hour as they demanded) and stopped the employers' intention to increase the cost for health care. Union organizing processes are also taking place in companies such as Amazon and the German auto parts company Borgers in Ohio, and an important struggle against the return to on-site classes without adequate health and safety measures in several states.


Leadership question

It’s possible that the rank and file workers who are part of these conflicts may consider that Trump's exit from the government poses better conditions for struggle, but the vanguard should not be fooled by the DSA and other counterrevolutionary leaderships that offer as an orientation to "dispute" the Democratic government from within, pressing on the one hand for greater concessions from Biden, while on the other they defend a united front against fascism and the extreme right, putting emphasis on the institutional recomposition under a supposedly democratic prism. This is a deadly trap for the proletariat and the impoverished mass sectors, for the youth, minorities and immigrants in the US. The vanguard of our class must face the struggle to break the tutelage of that political elite of imperialist democracy in putrefaction over the North-American proletariat, tutelage exercised through the DP and the trade union bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO. The challenge is to conquer class independence on the basis of a workers' program of a way out of the crisis and of a revolutionary leadership that confronts the State and proposes strategic unity with the oppressed peoples of the world behind the banner of the anti-imperialist struggle. It will be a decisive step in the reconstruction of the Fourth International and its North American section. With this aim, we propose to the revolutionary currents that defend the program of the dictatorship of the proletariat on a world level that we promote in common an international conference for the reconstruction of the Fourth International, the world party of the socialist revolution.


COR Chile - LOI Brasil - COR Argentina

Published in TRCI
Monday, 11 January 2021 11:41

Imperialist democracy, a cracked shell

Statement of the TRFI

Imperialist democracy, a cracked shell


The assault on the Capitol in Washington, the seat of the US Congress, on Wednesday January 6th, shook the elite who run the most powerful capitalist country on the planet to its core. The institutional corrosion that has been going on for several decades, but which accelerated after the crisis of 2008, is taking a new leap.


The events of January 6th were a counter-revolutionary action, carried out by parastatal groups but encouraged by the head of the imperialist State itself, Trump, and with the complicity of the police and other regular forces of repression. A farce of the "march on Rome," which was not intended to seize power in a kind of self-coup, but to carry out a demonstration of forces to mark territory for the establishment that leads imperialist democracy, beginning with the elite of the Republican Party itself, who had just broken up with Trump by refusing to reject Biden's certification as the elected president by mandate of the electoral college. It is clear that, after losing the second round to elect the two Senators of the state of Georgia, and therefore the control of both legislative chambers, the action of the Trump movement on Wednesday January 6th, has demolished what was left of the RP, one of the two pillars of imperialist democracy. We had already commented on our aftermath of the presidential elections that the high voter turnout left the Democratic Party in crisis as well, since US democracy is designed as an elite system: the seizure of the Capitol was a direct action, weapons in hand, against this elite. And it was promoted by the movement that brought Trump to power in 2016, based on petty-bourgeois and underclass sectors and whose precedent was the Tea Party. A clearly reactionary movement, that is fed by the failure of imperialism to give the masses a way out in view of the depth of its historic crisis, which accelerated in 2008 and deepened even more in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic and the entry into a new recession.


But we must not forget that last year a movement of the opposite sign also came on stage, which questioned what we saw again on Wednesday: the role of the forces of repression, in particular the police, as pillars of the imperialist State. Although without succeeding in defeating these forces, which is very difficult without a determined intervention by the industrial proletariat, the relationship of the masses with the forces of repression and of the class sectors with the State, covered by the thin veil of imperialist democracy, has been completely exposed. The Trumpist gangs broke up a little more that shell of the dictatorship of capital which is bourgeois democracy. And now, the problem of the imperialist leadership in crisis is how to solve that issue, beyond the disciplinary measures that Democrats and Republicans will try to impose to try to recompose this idea of democracy that served, we must not forget, as the ideology par excellence to sustain the dominant role of US imperialism in the world, justifying all kinds of interventions in Latin America and lately the invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria or the drive given to the reactionary offensives of Israel.


The tasks that Biden has to tackle are arduous and we may workout various hypotheses of how the inner struggle is to be developed within both imperialist parties and further developments of the Trumpist movement itself. But, without a doubt, the biggest part of the US business community, which, through its bosses' syndicates for now, are the only element that has managed to discipline Trump within a very limited institutional order, are the ones who impose the agenda. Their goal is to redefine the capital-labor relationship by discharging a heavier load of the crisis on the backs of the working class, including the health care debacle in which the country is immersed and the so-called "concessions" (understood to be from the unions to the companies) to recover the rate of profit at the expense of working conditions and workers' wages. And a much more interventionist line in foreign policy, both elements putting in the center the relationship with the armed and auxiliary forces that we indicated above.


We must follow the pulse of these developments, but without a doubt it is very important to have in mind that to characterize Wednesday's action as a coup or self-coup, or frivolously characterize these counter-revolutionary elements as fascism without any further assessment that make up Trumpism, carries within it the fundamental error of, next to a program of defense of democracy, keeping the proletariat and the sectors of the masses that expressed themselves in the streets against the murder of Floyd and other African-Americans, tied to the imperialist leadership of the DP. There, Bernie Sanders and the DSA are playing a devastating role. On the contrary, the democratic character of the struggle is its anti-imperialist content, a struggle that we must withstand in the semi-colonies whose presidents have come out to support their new master Biden, except for the grotesque case of Bolsonaro, not because of champions of democracy but because of lackey's servility.


We revolutionaries must fight for the proletariat in the US to recover its unions from the counter-revolutionary leaderships of the Trumkas and other bureaucrats. The task is to confront its own imperialist State by supporting the national liberation struggle of the workers and semi-colonial peoples throughout the world. Fighting also against the consequences of poor health conditions in the workplaces in the midst of the pandemic, against layoffs, unemployment and wage cuts and take off of conquests based on a program of transition and, taking up again the best traditions of the US working class: factory occupations (sit-down strikes), self-defense picket lines and strikes. These will not be merely economic struggles, since the dynamic posed by the situation makes it necessary, from the very first minute, to raise the problem of armaments, of how to disarm the enemy and confront the bourgeois State. From the TRFI we are struggling dauntlessly to contribute to build a Revolutionary Workers' Party in the US, which will be one of the pillar sections of the reconstructed Fourth International. We insist on the urgency of organizing an International Conference for the reconstruction of the Fourth International, in which the currents that defend the program of the dictatorship of the proletariat will set in motion the gigantic task of beginning to settle the crisis of revolutionary leadership of our class.


COR Chile – LOI Brasil – COR Argentina

Published in TRCI
Sunday, 23 February 2020 12:24

For the defeat of Imperialism in the Middle East

For the defeat of Imperialism in the Middle East

Stop USA’s war machinery

 COR Argentina - January 2020

Thursday 2nd January at dawn. Assassin drones sent by Trump under the advise of the Yankee military high command shoot on the Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, who dies along with several collaborators. Soleimani was in Baghdad and was executed with no previous trial, like many others under imperialist fire. But in this case, we are talking about an officer of a foreign State and within the territory of another State –in the papers independent, although it is clear that the occupation of Irak on behalf of the Yankees has never ceased.

Trump hesitates. His policy was to withdraw the American troop out of the Middle East, including Afghanistan and Iraq. He wants to take advantage of the fact that the USA don’t depend so much on the oil of the region, thanks to the “fracking revolution” within their own territory and an eventual “recovery" of Venezuela. But the high commands of the Pentagon convince him of responding to the attack on the American Embassy in Iraq, that took place the last day of 2019. This attack had peculiarities: it was a popular demonstration against the American presence in Iraq. Trump accepts that its necessary to respond and orders the assassination of the Iranian General. It is an act of war against another State, outside any umbrella of imperialist international legality. It is a brutal demonstration of force on behalf of the imperialist Power that leads the world.

But the killing actually shows the weakness of the US. Of course, not from the military point of view, where its supremacy is uncontestable, at least in the mid-term. It is a weakness of its position in the State system, configured as superstructure of global capitalism. It is a structural weakness, due to the deepening of imperialist decomposition, and it’s as well determined by the dangerous cracking of the postwar balance. The attack against Soleimani was not included in any action plan. The events that happened later show it. The Iraqi Parliament voted a request for the Prime Minister “in charge” (a definition itself) Adel Abdul Mahdi –that had given up the job under the pressure of the popular demonstrations in November- to start the process of American troops out of the country. The high command of American forces in Iraq answered in a letter that they would get out, but they requested that they did it in order. Then the Pentagon discredited they command “in the field”, denying any initiative of troops withdrawal. Of course, that withdrawal would ultimately configure a resounding victory for Iran and a huge defeat for the USA.


Mass processes


The American weakness doesn’t contradict the weakness of the Iranian government itself. Obviously, it is a semi-colony that cannot confront imperialism in an open war. But this weakness also finds its roots in the situation of national sub-bourgeoisies within the capitalist crisis, who receive the pressure of imperialist aggressions, on the one hand, and, on the other, of mass mobilizations –that in Iran took were very strong in November, in the frame of a regional process that also crosses Lebanon, Iraq and, at the same time, there are class struggle processes going on in Latin America and the Caribbean, Hong Kong, Africa, Europe, etc.

The element of mass processes is qualitative to analyze the ongoing conflict. If we go back to the previous processes (2010-2011) that took place in the region after the economic outburst of 2008, with the downfall of many dictators that governed their countries with iron fist (Ben Ali in Tunisia, Gaddafi in Libya, Mubarak in Egypt) we may see how those processes leaded to several failed way outs –from the coup in Egypt to the Tunisian semi-democratic semi-Bonapartism. But what predominated was the decomposition of the States in their most brutal way: civil war in Syria and the upsurge of ISIS, an actual anti-State. This decomposition blocked out the paths for mass processes through cooptation by counterrevolutionary bourgeois or petty bourgeois leaderships. Once again, the crisis of revolutionary leadership of the proletariat has appeared as the crisis of humanity. The confusion of aims of the new generation of fighters in this crisis situation determines the tortuous element of the process.

Now, the upraise of ISIS and the civil war in Syria forced imperialism to agree with old enemies in order to try to stop the threat of this monstrosity, against the very idea of nation-State, that is the form of class domination of the bourgeoisie. So, the anti-ISIS fronts and the compromises with Russia (and Iran) are born to limit this. In the middle, there are other very important events like the failed coup in Turkey and the development of autonomic experiences in Kurdistan, which we will not deal with in this article. It is important to underline that the current stationing of American troops in Iraq happened under the pretext of this war against ISIS. In 2019 imperialist forces announce the end of ISIS. But with its defeat, any of the contradictions in the region have been closed and this is proved by this current military escalation with Iran.




A lot has been said about this term to describe Iran’s policy in the region in the last years. Superficially, it is described as an asymmetric war policy between a military weak State and the main world Power, only considering the field of tactics. Vietnamization so understood would be the use of guerrilla war or “proxy” confrontation (through others). Without denying this tactic element, Soleimani was the General in charge of a more complex challenge: to unify the different ethnic and religious factions in Iraq and, in a more general way, of the whole region with the only aim of freeing it from the “great Satan" that is America. In fact, that is the official line that Iran has made public with the declarations of Ayatollah Jamenei. So we are talking about a policy that aims to give a national liberation goal to the religious movements by building up the so called “resistance front", that includes Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and other bourgeois or petty bourgeois groupings. This policy on behalf of Soleimani, and its relative success, could be one of the most important motives for his assassination, above all, taking into account the immediate cause that lead to it was the demonstration against the American Embassy in Baghdad, that made the American administration evacuate its diplomatic staff. Now, the Iranian’s government policy does not aim national liberation of the peoples of the Middle East, but rather the strengthening of a semi State able to bargain with imperialism, using as cannon fodder the heroic resistances of Palestine and Iraq, and supporting without hesitations one of the main war criminals in the region, Al Assad, only after Trump, Obama and the Israeli  governments. The negotiations for the nuclear plan are a good example of the class character and the counterrevolutionary nature of this policy.

The quagmire in Iraq resounds like the situation in Vietnam, that is real. As we said before, even with a Trump administration looking forward to leave the occupation behind, it can´t be done now, nor any way put can be found to withdraw without that being understood as a huge defeat for imperialism. Therefore, now it is possible that the ongoing conflict continues to escalate. Specially now, after the first Iranian response, that consisted in a bombing of two military bases in Iraq on Janury 8th, that although quite limited were still a humiliation for the US. Trumps response has limited to minimize the damage caused by these bombardments and to announce new economic sanctions; while he asks the rest of the imperialist Powers to commit to isolate Iran and abandon the nuclear agreement by imposing sanctions, and request the NATO a more active intervention in the region.


Uncertain scenario


A lot has been said about the American domestic front as a reason for the attack. We mean the consideration regarding the impeachment process against Trump and the presidential elections. Although this might have an influence, the strategic elements (or of weakness of this strategy) we believe are more important so as to develop a characterization of the possible new war of American imperialism. And here there exists a determining factor of the so-called domestic front, which is the inability of the imperialist State to win over a solid social base –in which the labor aristocracy must play a role- to launch a large-scale military offensive. We think that the conquest of such a social base, which was one of Trump’s aims, has not been achieved, as we can see in the development of a variety of labor conflicts in industry, services and public workers, and as it is also shown by demonstrations against an intervention in Iran that took place the first weekend of January, immediately after Soleimani’s killing, in many cities of the US. For the time being the demonstrations have not been massive, but they open the possibility of the development of a mobilization against a greater imperialist intervention.

Another important factor are the economic consequences of the war, that could accelerate the entrance in a recession of the global economy, which has been forecasted and, up to now, is being retarded. Geopolitical instability has shaken financial and commodity markets. This instability becomes uncertainty and it is pointed put by the withdrawal of some NATO allies of their troops in Iraq, the European lack of definition in face of the events and even Israeli hesitations towards the assassination of Soleimani. If for some time we have been assessing the contradictions of Trump’s policy at implementing a turn of imperialist policy, today come up some doubts about the possibility of a failure that leads the cracking of the postwar balance to a much more chaotic world situation.


Out imperialism of the Middle East


Iraq has been military occupied for the last 17 years. Palestine, since 1948, by the Israeli creature that responds to the imperialist needs of control over the Middle East. Imperialist plundering of the region has been going on for a long time, but the ongoing imperialist decomposition, worsened by the global crisis, accelerates the situation of unbalance of the system of States and the decomposition of the nation-State. In face of this, mass responses have not missed. They have come out in a spontaneous way and with confusion of aims, which allowed counterrevolutionary leaderships to lead the different national processes to dead ends. But imperialism has not been able to close the crisis and, therefore, the processes open up again placing before revolutionaries the main challenge to intervene decisively in them, so as to draw lessons from the previous defeats and make them useful to develop a transitional program between the current capitalist decomposition and the socialist future of humanity. The centrality of the working class in these processes is marked by the need to dispute bourgeois and petty bourgeois leaderships the leading role against imperialism. For that, internationalist policy and leadership are needed, working for the unity of the proletariat of the region, centered in the oil workers, along with the working class of the imperialist countries, especially the USA. Therefore, it is necessary that revolutionaries fight for the American and European unions to declare the stoppage of the imperialist war machinery, by occupying factories and blocking the supply of troops established in the region and Israel. In the Latin American countries, besides developing street demonstrations and denounce the complicity of Fernández, Bolsonaro, Piñera and other sepoys, we must propose the stoppage of imperialist industries against the intervention in the Middle East. This struggle is linked to the fight against the IMF’s reforms that those governments intend to apply in our region. We must develop the organization and the struggle to force all the imperialist troops to withdraw from the Middle East and the other semicolonial countries. For the military defeat of the US in Iraq and Iran. For the destruction of Israel. For a Federation of Socialist Republics in the Middle East. For the reconstruction of the IV International.

Published in COR - Argentina


By Orlando Landuci

More than a year ahead for the presidential elections, the US is already in campaign. The Republican side, leaded by Donald Trump, carries as banner the figures of the economic bonanza sustained in the last three years. The Democrats, on their side, promote the impeachment to the President for the scandal of the Ukrainian connection, in an attempt to undermine him. Meanwhile, Trump’s constant attacks against the chairman of the Federal Reserve (FED, the American Central Bank), Jerome Powell, let us see the fears that the administration and the whole capitalist class have for the bleak prospect of a likely recession.


Although economists and analysts do not reach an agreement, there are clear symptoms of a slow down in American economy. In the first place, there are the figures of economic growth of world economy –that since the crisis of 2008 has not been able to recover and it can be characterized as a stagnation. The fall in the figures of world trade and the entrance of Germany in a recession, as well as the sustained weakening of Chinese economy; the uncertainty on the structural effects of Brexit and the last escalation of oil prices due to the bomb attack in the main Saudi refinery show a worsening of foreign pressures on American economy.

In the main statistics US economy still shows good health, with a decrease in the unemployment rate and 124 consecutive months of economic growth. Nonetheless, some figures cause concern. According to the PMI index, elaborated by the Institute for Supply Management, this August, for the first time in three years, manufacturing industry’s activity contracted, after four months of slow down in its growth. Industrial exports also show a fall in the last three months, which means that the interest rate of the 10-year bonds paid by the Treasury becomes higher than the rate paid by 2-years bonds. Without a solid economic explanation, econometrists have determined that this phenomenon keeps a correlation with the beginning of a recession at the short term. The fear to this is such, that the main imperialist Central Banks have began to revert their increasing interest rates policy, which were extraordinarily low after the launching of the “Quantitative Easing” (QE), that means, wild money printing, applied to ride out the most catastrophic effects of the recession of 2008. Trump’s rhetorical offensive against the FED comes from the idea that a new QE, this time preventive, is necessary.

USA and the World

EEUU y el mundo

As we have written before in other publications, Trump has faced a new orientation for American imperialism, with the aim of acknowledging the crisis of balance within the system of States established at the end of WWII. His policy, focused on attacking the imperialist postwar institutions, has been coherent, but has not yet been able to show a so called new order. Currently, the trade war with China is the main instrument to face the task of imperialist assimilation of the former workers’ States; Russia and –above all- China. This policy, that has for sure affected China, however, has also generated domestic problems in the USA by producing divisions among the different bourgeois sectors, that appear to be either benefited or badly injured (agricultural exporters, industries based on imported commodities) by the tariffs rise. For the time being, the bargaining with China is still on, without reaching yet an agreement, that would be the result of a war that has revealed to be not so easy to be won as the President had declared. In the Middle East, the break up of the nuclear agreement with Iran and the pressure on the European countries to make them also drop it has created even more instability. Trump bets all to the gendarme role of Israel, though the consequences of this instability appear clearly at every step –the last one with the drone attack on refineries of Saudi Arabia that has led to the stopping of 50% of production of the first exporter of crude oil in the world and the rise in the prices of the top raw material to industrial machinery to work in the imperialist countries. By the time this article was written, USA was evaluating a military attack on Iran in reprisal to their supposed responsibility for the attack, which call on revolutionary forces and the vanguard of the working class on guard to confront this new offensive of imperialism. We must stand for its defeat in the military field, if it decides to get into a new war against the oppressed people of the Middle East.

Before the events in Saudi Arabia, Trump had dismissed his national security adviser, Bolton, due to differences. One of the most important was the failure of the “Guaido Operation” in Venezuela, made up by Bolton as a more or less quick transition to get out of Maduro’s rule. Now Guaido is being accused for having links with the Colombian drug dealers and Trump seeks a direct negotiation with Maduro. In general terms, we could talk about major complications in the imperialist offensive on Latin America, where the structural reforms that the sepoy governments must impose are being stopped by workers’ and oppressed people’s mobilizations. The case of Brazil and the weakness of Bolsonaro’s administration to enforce the reforms and recover economic growth is resounding. But even more dazzling is the failure of the bet –with billions of dollars of the IMF- for Macri’s transition in Argentina. Trump’s influence to make the IMF give the greatest ransom loan in its history has today an uncertain future.

The greatest challenge

Trump intends to avoid being, like GW Bush, “the administration of recession”, even more taking into account that he bets all his electoral chances on economy. The contradiction of this imperialist course is that the only tool with which they count on to impose their way-out is the bourgeois State itself, based on a national territory –and therefore in open contradiction with the international character of productive forces. Trump’s orientation to try to revert the deterioration of USA’s imperialist hegemony is coherent, but it collides with the historical elements of structural crisis of imperialist decomposition. It will be very difficult that the pack of state measures to try to avoid recession (tariffs, FTA’s with other countries, interest rates lower up to less than 0%) will be able to counterbalance the deep trends of capitalist economy as world entity. 

But the greatest challenge is only beginning to develop in the field of production itself, with the coming out to struggle of workers of different industries; workers who don’t see the economic bonanza of the statistics reflected in their life conditions. Some people talk about a real labor unrest in the last years, with examples such as the strikes in Verizon (telephone workers), the 8,000 workers in Marriot (hotels) last year, the great teachers’ strikes in 2018, the 31,000 supermarket workers in the Northeast in early 2019. In total, almost half a million workers took part in strikes and block outs last year, reaching a record since 1986.

By the time this was written, 50,000 General Motors (GM) workers’, members of the powerful UAW union are on strike for the four-year contract bargaining. According to Credit Suisse, GM losses for the strike could reach up to $ 50 million a day. The Teamsters have declared solidarity by deciding not to cross the picket lines of the workers that blockade GM plants. This has led to a lockout in one of the plants belonging to the company in Ontario and possible problems in production in other GM factories in Canada and Mexico.

What do the workers of GM claim for? Although union bureaucracy of the UAW avoids to give any information about the details of the bargaining with the bosses and rejects the presentation of a concrete list of demands before the rank-and-file members, different interviews in the picket lines reveal the general content of what the workers are hoping to gain with this strike: recover what they have lost with the concessions that the UAW did to the bosses at the time of the Great Recession in 2008. This is, eliminate the two-tier contract system, make a permanent contract for temporary and outsourced workers, besides wage rise and health care benefits. That and to make GM take back their restructuring plan that includes the shut down of four factories in the US; a plan that shows how false Trump’s speech on repatriation of factories with his foreign policy turned out to be. GM has had three years of huge profits based on labor flexibilization introduced between 2007 and 2008; which the workers take as exceptional but that the bourgeoisie considers to be permanent in the sough for the establishment of a new relation between capital and labor. The confrontation is already there, as well as the evident centrality of the unions in their relationship with production. The “struggle for unions” appears to be clear, where Donald Trump’s promises blur away, while new trends like the Democratic Socialism seek to gain influence to lead the proletariat behind a bourgeois program incarnated in the Democratic Party. The struggle for the recovery of unions from a transitional program and a revolutionary leadership find a fertile soil in the current situation. The efforts of those who commit to the reconstruction of the IV International and its American section will be oriented in that direction in the next period.



Published in COR - Argentina