Present International and National Situation and Our Tasks
- Deficit reduction has become the mantra for big finance and the super monopolies since they were bailed out after 2008 by huge state funds, causing the huge deficits in the first place. This has resulted in drastic and inhuman cuts in welfare and large-scale and rising unemployment. Health, education, food availability, pensions and other welfare measures have been badly affected. In plain terms it means that the burden of the crisis caused immediately by deregulated finance has been pushed on to the shoulders of the working and middle classes. This story repeats itself all over the US, Japan and Europe, the core area of world capitalism. Nowhere in this area will finance capital allow the reinstatement of regulations that were in place before the triumphal march of finance capital. The sharp decline in the rate of profit in manufacturing forces capitalism to financialise and more unbridled speculation will hasten it to its doom sooner than later.
- Core capitalist countries and their multinational monopolies still control world production by producing very high-tech items and designs in their own countries. The rest of production is contracted out to peripheral countries according to the availability of cheap unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled labour. Eastern Europe and the leading ASEAN countries have the skilled and semi-skilled labour to produce the intermediate products that are then sent mainly to China to become finished products through largely cheap and unskilled labour.
- Although the lion’s share of the profits from such a process goes into the coffers of the multinationals, the monopolies have also to share a part of the profits with powerful peripheral (national-comprador) monopolies. This has given rise to strong middle income countries such as China, India, Brazil, South Africa, etc. These countries have more or less small home markets and depend on cheap labour to export raw materials, services, and manufactured goods. The shrinkage of markets due to the crisis has affected these countries in accordance with how much they have opened up to foreign capital and its commands. The Chinese and the Indian state still retain some restrictions on foreign capital and have saved themselves to a certain extent from the full impact of the crisis. But their GDP growth and, especially, their growth in manufactures have slowed down.
- In India, the ruling classes appear divided over what is termed “the next generation of reforms”. The dream team of the Bretton Woods twins (i.e. US imperialism) headed by Manmohan Singh and its cohorts consisting of Pawar and others are trying to press full steam ahead towards deregulating the entry and exit conditions of imperialist capital, changing the labour laws for such entry, curtailing the social wage and privatisation. On the other hand, there are forces that would appear against such moves or at least to be more cautious about them. This division is also reflected to some extent in foreign policy initiatives such as on Iran, China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Doha round, etc.
- The world economic crisis and the shifting of its burden onto the working people throughout the world have provoked widespread resistance struggles. In countries such as the US, Spain, Greece, Italy and France, these struggles have achieved a qualitatively new dimension by bringing forward capitalism as the enemy, a position that is unprecedented for the last half century or so. The OWS in the US is in the forefront of this development, but the Greek and Spanish movements are not very far behind. The working classes in these countries are yet to fully mobilise behind this development, but the struggles in Wisconsin, Oakland and New York promise greater things to come. But as of now, the anti-capitalist struggles are the arena for ideological struggle on what is to be done and how. The failures of the actually existing socialisms of the last century are still roadblocks on the way to clear understandings. Without a thorough overhaul of our ideas on socialism, the working class movement cannot move forward towards world-wide victory.
- In India, the contradictory tendencies within the ruling classes have not proceeded to the extent of any splits or even the full identification of specific forces in contention. But it is clear that in the political arena, these tendencies and the rise and consolidation of various kinds of regional forces have weakened the ruling class parties, mainly the two big ones, considerably. This has created grave instability and opened up spaces for the workers and the poor and lower middle classes to consolidate the innumerable ongoing struggles against, in essence, capitalism and imperialism.
- With its limited strength, the party and other unofficial left parties and formations, must abjure the kind of left adventurism practiced by the CPI (Maoist) and lead mass struggles on class and identity issues while uniting as and when possible with all forces, including regional forces and parties, NGOs and others. Imperialism must be the focus of our struggles and all forces which oppose particular imperialist policies without being against all such policies in any thoroughgoing manner should also be united with on issue to issue considerations. Only such a policy can unleash the mass struggle on a national scale.
- All forces to the left of the official left parties must build up close unity leading to possible mergers. But such mergers are still quite rare and unstable. While our unions and unions in which we work have begun to federate with the NTUI, we have discovered that this federation is a heterogeneous body combining industrial workers, rural and informal workers. Large non-party left forces are active in it, although some undesirable NGO-type elements are also there. Mutual learning among these powerful working class forces and struggling steadfastly against alien elements could deliver both a strong working class movement and a firm left unity.