SF 39 Editorial; The world situation

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16/10/2021 by socialistfight

David Van Deusen, President Vermont State Labor Council, ALF-CIO. He called for a general strike in November 2019 in the event of a Trump coup. Richard Trumka’s AFL-CIO conservative bureaucracy, under the control of Biden’s Democrats, has attacked them.

The world situation is marked by two significant developments. We see increasing tension among the imperialist powers, while the class struggle is beginning to pick up. The shocks from the pandemic no longer stop sections of the working class from fighting back against capitalist attacks.

The assaults against China by American and European imperialism are entering a new stage. China has substantially strengthened its navy to the point in which it was capable of chasing American warships. This gave China the confidence it needs to try to achieve one of its dreams, that is, to unify with Taiwan. But American and European imperialism want to weaken China and prevent the unification with Taiwan. They send a growing number of warships and airplanes to harass China, by playing war games next to the Chinese warships’ nose. An all-out war is not likely to be waged with only conventional weapons. And a nuclear war will be a total catastrophe to humanity. It could result in billions of deaths, and with catastrophic outcomes for the entire life on the planet.

The inter-imperialist tension is not confined to western imperialism conduct against China. There is also increasing tension within European imperialism. The old hostility between France and England is back. So far it is about fishing and the Aukus treaty between Australia, the UK, and the US. Climate change is devastating the fish around the world. There are less fish in the English Channel. As a result, after decades of “calm”, French warships were facing English warships in the English Channel.

France was informed of the Aukus deal just a few hours before Biden announced it on September 15 and l Macron instructed his Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to recall their ambassadors to the US and Australia. Aukus gives Australia the technology to build nuclear-powered submarines which reneged on a multibillion-dollar deal it had signed with Australia for submarines. Le Drian described the pact as a “stab in the back”.

Covid, of course, has had severe effects on the class struggle. For a while, strikes took place mainly to demand improvement in the workplaces in regard to Covid, with demands such as better ventilation and distancing among workers. But this is changing. After the first shocks from the Pandemic, the workers are becoming more audacious in their demands as important strikes develop.

For example, Hollywood’s behind-the-scenes crews vote to authorize strike; and the workers at Kellogg’s US cereal plants are also on strike against a company that refuses to improve the workers benefits and conditions after its profit went through the roof as a result of people eating more at home than going to restaurants. And perhaps the most important development is taking place in Vermont. Vermont AFL-CIO President David Van Deusen cited the Jan. 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol as a reason to bear guns and fight back against right-wing and fascist attacks.

This is important. The workers will not have a choice but to defend themselves against fascist attacks with guns, if necessary. Defense guards should also be extended to the oppressed neighborhoods, where fascist attacks take place. Such defence guards should also defend the neighborhoods against police brutality.

Strikes are also picking up in Europe. A strike by airport baggage handlers and ground crews in Portugal caused a second day of disruption, with most flights into and out of Lisbon cancelled. In Greece there are mounting strikes. Greece’s parliament is set to approve a labour “reform” which is an attack on the workers.

The workers responded with widespread strikes. Public transport workers shut down public transport for the second week to fight against the draft bill. Ferry services to the Greek islands were also brought to a standstill for at least 24 hours. Other public services were also stopped by striking workers.

In the background Climate Change is out of control. Massive fires, never seen before, were burning in California and Australia, destroying huge numbers of houses and structures, and causing a growing toll of deaths. Floods around the world have caused similar destruction and death.

Young people around the world have responded with growing numbers of demonstrations. Some activists, in London for example, have tried to block key roads, as they collided with the police. As Climate Change is worsening fast, the response will only escalate. The key for success for the youth is to link their struggle with the struggles of the working class.

Covid has caused many deaths in the semi-colonies. Brazil has more deaths than any other country, with the exception of the US. The Amazon is dying and as a result a drought is savaging Brazil. The Bolsonaro regime lost most of its popularity. Brazil is very polarized. The streets are filled with anti-fascist and fascist demonstrations. The Military brass is plotting a coup or a fascist dictatorship, depending on the support that they can get for a fascist dictatorship. This is a big warning to the world workers, as fascist movements are growing throughout the world.

The crisis of capitalism is developing on many fronts. The withdrawal of US imperialism from Afghanistan was a major defeat for global imperialism, which we cover elsewhere in the magazine. The workers must take power to stop fascism. Workers’ power is the only hope for humanity. Only workers power that institutes planned economies on the international scale, via technologies that do not rely on fossil fuel, has a chance to stop Climate Change and rescue the planet from total disaster. It could come down to socialism or fascism. Only an international response by the working class can stop the fascists as the crisis is getting out of control. The need to stop Climate change is urgent. Ultimately only the socialist revolution can reverse the massive attacks against the workers and the planet. ▲

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