Facets of the Present Situation

1st of May, 2002       

The year 2002 is the year of the breakdown of capitalist illusions. For more than 20 years this capitalism has been celebrated, as victor, capable of solving all essential problems. The degenerative decay of socialist states and their liquidation from within as well as the development of capitalism in a number of new countries offered the occasion.
How enthusiastic they were about the new international division of labor, about the development of the services society! During the past two years several hundred thousand jobs in this sector, for example in the telecom sector, have disappeared in Europe, about 50% of the total number.

And the crisis is deeply rooted. It is a true overproduction crisis, as we know it from the earlier capitalism, but on an international global scale. The idea that the nations which concentrate the wealth upon themselves, the US and Western Europe, are able to reverse the negative economic trend again and again, serving as the economic "locomotives", proved to be an error, and war adventures aren't good for more than just a short flaring up. It is a matter of irreality that a minor part of the world soars up in everincreasing heights, and on the other side four fifths of mankind, a growing part, lives in everincreasing poverty and is barred from the participation in all the technical and cultural progress.
In Asia there has without doubt been a powerful revolutionary industrial development during the past 30 years. But if we look at the whole it is only a tiny minority in the "Third World" which is sufficiently participating in this development.
The exploitation of the former colonial countries which were newly industrialized and in which the toughest wage conditions were dictated, has for decades prevented any revolutionary development in the old capitalist countries. Now this exploitation is striking back upon these countries. Historically not without justification. It turns out that capitalism is not at all an adequate social order with regard to the level of productive forces and the global integration we've reached today. Down with the profit system! It is absurd that despite the close connection of the international production which makes everything interdependent with everything, the interests of a couple of billionaires form the standard for the whole world. This must inevitably lead into crisis.

Today, also in our country the unrest in the factories is growing. Many people have been feeling a creeping deterioration, the burdens have been growing. Thus there is hope for growing resistance. But one has all the time to be aware of the fact that the international exploitation with its billions of extraprofits is still influencing this society, also the workers. As soon as the demands are satisfied for a part, the struggle is quickly undermined. Today we see the federal government of Germany announcing that the Federal Republic takes over the leadership of the navy forces around the Horn of Africa without any objection by the trade unions and by many people who otherwise call themselves "leftists". Under the guise of fighting against terrorism here the interests of the rich countries, of imperialism, are consolidated opposite the poor countries, with the immediate participation of the German Federal Republic. Against this, various forms of resistance are justified, in particular here in Berlin, the center.

The international exploitation is the central subject for any kind of labor movement because without attacking it, nothing can be maintained here in the long term

The example of Argentina: here a country is falling into an abyss which for years has been standing under the directives of the IMF and the World Bank. The whole financial system has collapsed. And what are those in power doing, supported by the international institutions of the "democratic world"? They confiscate the savings of all citizens, they steal them in order to get just one moment of breathing space. Especially Argentina is showing that the nations and the workers in particular in the end cannot but enter again the path of independent reconstruction, which is to say that socialism reappears on the agenda. And Argentina is just the beginning, as there are quite a lot of countries which are at the brink in a similar way. The whole of Latin America is in a state of unrest. In Columbia and Venezuela there are deep social disturbances and popular movements. Corrupt US-tied plotters of coups were swept away, the machinations do not work any longer.

It is not necessary to look far abroad. The financial breakdown is typical also for the developed countries, see Berlin. And what did this regime here dare to do: the majority of the state parliament of Berlin, the "Abgeordnetenhaus", voted to give its blessing to the interests of the purchasers of dubious real estate investment funds which actually do not consist in ordinary civil business but are unlawful donations to certain persons, amounting to billions; they even gave additional guarantees for these funds. In order to guarantee these sinecures, day nurseries in Berlin are to become more expensive, public baths and sports institutions are to be closed. The demand is very clear: these unlawful real estate funds must be declared invalid. The financial resources for them must be set free for the tasks which are accumulating in the city.
Also here a caste is in charge which has made the decades of sinecures resulting from the international conditions its second nature and cannot but behave in this way. The majority of the population must exercise its authority: these sinecures have to be abolished!

The crisis is meanwhile reaching the country from which the capitalist tide after the overthrow in the end of the seventies started. For example, on April 29th dpa reported: "China is threatened by the worst unemployment in history, the number of unemployed might easily go up to 20 millions..." Here only the unemployed in the industrial sector are mentioned. The 150 million redundant people from the rural regions exist on top of them. Without scruples, capitalism is operating by means of unemployment and of ruining people. Strikes and robust resistance in several regions were mentioned, and it cannot be otherwise. It does not matter whether China has 1,4 billion or 700 million inhabitants, under capitalistic conditions there will always be the corresponding releases and unemployment.
All of these developments must be placed in the focus of attention by the labor movement in this country.

What occurs in the Middle East - Palestine is only the reflection of the breakdown which this kind of "order" is undergoing. How safe was the situation considered! Israel was anyway an outpost of the US. The Arafat leadership equally relied on the US and Europe. And the Islamic fundamentalists had their connections with the Western capitalism, the US included, in spite of their Anti-US-yelling. In the end they were funded mainly from Saudi-Arabia and the Gulf states. One should have thought that everything was under control. And what is now! The various reactionary forces annihilate the calculus. Israel does not exist there in order to consolidate the situation but in order to create a permanent pressure; it exists only on the fundament of expansion. A normalization of the situation is absolutely of no avail for Islamic fundamentalism. The situation has completely slipped out of the control of the initiators and will result in further radical changes. The development in the Middle East, however, is just something which is put on top of the whole. The base is formed by changes which have taken hold of the whole world.

1st of May, 2002
Group Neue Einheit

(Translation of the German original.)