I’ve posted extensively on political economy and the current financial crisis. This video (below) is particularly interesting given some of the advanced demands coming from those that oppose the bailout (see No Bailout for Billionaires!). A lot of progressive demands are being put forward to deal with the financial crisis.
Some of the key demands are:
- a moratorium on forclosures, evictions and rent hikes
- more government assistance to low-income people
- criminal prosecution of banking, finance, insurance and all other executives whose companies have benefited from the foreclosure crisis
- creation and funding of jobs programs throughout the country to eliminate unemployment
- an immediate end to the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan.
I want to draw particular attention to the last demand on the list, and we need to look at all of this from a class struggle perspective. We need to look at all of this with the understanding that it is only the rich that profit from these wars. These brutal imperialist wars are all about neo-colonial dominaton and strategic control of resources for the benefit of the U.S. ruling class. They deserve opposition for that reason alone. Sure, these fat cats are making money by the fistful by sending poor and working people to fight and die and kill more poor folks in far away lands, but we don’t see it. Our class sees nothing but rising unemployment, inflation, declining wages, cutbacks to social services, and all the rest of it. Reaganomics doesn’t work. Nothing is ‘trickling down’ on us but shit. It is becoming more and more obvious to everyone, as the finanical crisis grows, that the money from those wars could be much better spent on the needs of poor, oppressed, and working people here at home (after reparations are paid to the Iraqi and Afghan people) than on these unjust wars for profit and control. We must continue to put forward the slogans, Troops Out Now! and Money for Human Needs, Not for War!
These wars are imperialist wars, and this is a crisis of imperialism, which is capitalism in its most advanced (and most moribund) stage.
Lenin defines imperialism this way:
(1) the concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life; (2) the merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of this “finance capital”, of a financial oligarchy; (3) the export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance; (4) the formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves, and (5) the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed. Imperialism is capitalism at that stage of development at which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital is established; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance; in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun, in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed.
(V.I. Lenin – Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism)
What is the role of communists in all of this? “Everything reactionary is the same,” Mao Zedong once said, “if you don’t hit it, it won’t fall.” We are coming closer to a point where the people cannot live in the old way and the ruling class cannot rule in the old way. To go from there to social revolution, there must be a strong revolutionary organization. The role of communists in this crisis is to organize for revolution around the immediate demands of the masses, based on the mass line, in all of the movements of progressive struggle. We need to fight along side the broad masses of the people to help win these demands, we need to work to raise the level of consciousness and struggle based on the dynamic objective conditions of the time, and we need to build up our subjective forces. We need to win the advanced activists in these struggles over to Marxism-Leninism and, on that basis, build a new communist party that can contend with the ruling class for power.
Mao said it best in one of his poems:
So many deeds cry out to be done,
And always urgently;
The world rolls on,
Ten thousand years are too long,
Seize the day, seize the hour!