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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 May 2001

What we think

Class struggle makes a comeback

TEN YEARS ago, after the Berlin Wall fell and Stalinist "Communism' collapsed the capitalist system's highly-paid commentators proclaimed the "end of history": the capitalist system was triumphant and class struggle was over.

Yet, on May Day 2001 more people probably protested against the horrors of global capitalism than at any time in the last two decades or more. The traditions of marching against the system are being revitalised.

It's true many came to protest with very different issues on their agenda. But one thing united them, an anger at capitalism's exploitation, which has created a huge anti-corporate backlash.

This movement is still undeveloped in its long-term objectives and doesn't clearly yet pose the need to remove capitalism. But, like Karl Marx said 150 years ago that the spectre of Communism haunted the world's capitalist rulers, then it is true today that the anti-capitalist spectre haunts today's global elite.

Worldwide, state forces were massively mobilised to try and stop effective protest. In London, policing costs of 3 million meant that every arrest cost over 46,000. That's the price Tony Blair and New Labour will pay to defend big business.

But the parasitic role of capitalist institutions like the WTO/IMF is increasingly understood by working-class people and youth alike throughout the world. These undemocratic and unrepresentative bodies impose stringent social and economic policies on countries internationally.

In Africa, IMF policies imposed since 1994 have seen poverty soar by an astounding 50%!

As the anti-corporate/anti-capitalist movement has developed it has become clear that whilst everyone knows what the movement is against, it's not so clear yet to them what the alternative is.

The best form of 'direct action' is for the anti-capitalist movement and organised workers to link together to abolish the capitalist system and establish a socialist system.

Anti-capitalist protesters caused 20 million-worth of disruption to big business on May Day. Two days later striking underground workers were being estimated to cause 100 million of economic losses for business.

As socialists we believe that institutions like the IMF/WTO cannot be reformed, any more than multinationals like McDonald's can be made more people or environmentally friendly.

The vast global resources held by these giant multinationals need to be taken over and run by working-class people and the oppressed in a democratic socialist society which will end poverty and exploitation.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 4 May 2001:

Global capitalism: A System Under Siege

Class struggle makes a comeback

Police provocation resisted

Public Health Not Private Profit

Baby Bonds: Labour's election gimmick

1926 general strike: A showdown between the classes

Foot and mouth disease outbreak: Crisis On Tony's Big Business Farm

Japan: Koizumi's mission impossible


 

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