Capitalism in Crisis

Theses of the Revolutionary Socialist Organisation (RSO) on the international situation and its consequences for the class struggle.

1. The capitalist global economic system is in the severest crisis since 80 years. This can be demonstrated on three instances: first, the extent of incursion of the economic growth and the downturn of the industrial production, second, the speed of crisis development and third, the fact that the crisis – different than the ones in the previous decades – proceeds internationally synchronous.

2. During the economic crisis in 1981/82 the industrial production, which is a crucial indicator of the economic development, decreased around 10% worldwide, during the crisis in 1974/75 by 13%. During the big world economic crisis in 1929/30 the industrial production on an international average nose-dived about thirty percent, whereby one could detect massive national differences: 47% in the US, 42% in Germany, 33% in Italy, 31% in France, 16% in Great Britain and 9% in Japan.

3. In the current crisis the decline of the industrial production in the US in between March 2008 and March 2009 was 12,1%, the capacity utilisation of the US-industry declined from 81% to 69,7%. The industrial production of Japan was in Febuary 2009 around 38,4% below the previous year’s value, that shows, that Japan was – among all main powers – until now the severest-affected one. In the Euro-zone the industrial production decreased in between January 2008 and January 2009 around 17,3%. In Febuary 2009 the industrial production decreased – in comparison to the same month of the prevoius year – in Germany about 23,2%, in Italy about 20,7%, In Great Britain about 14% and in France about 13,5%. Russia had during the same period of time, according to different sources and data, a minus of 13,2 or 16%. The decrease of the Brazilian industry with about 17,2% will respectively affect all the adjacent states, which export to Brazil. While the industry of South Korea produced within a year about 26% less, the industrial production of China was in Febuary 2009 still plus 11% compared to Febuary 2008. However, one has to consider, that the high growth was achieved in between spring and fall of 2008 and the rates in the first quarter of 2009 were just above 5,1% compared to the one of the previous year.

4. The international bourgeoisie is confused and shocked by the crisis and its extent, it is difficult for its representatives to provide explanations and forecasts for prospective developments. Nobel prize laureate Paul Krugman is talking about the „beginning of a second great depression“, speculator George Soros mentions in one of his (partly contradictory) comments, that the situation is „worse than 1929, comparable with the collapse of the Soviet Union“. Many bourgeois „experts“ proclaim the crisis hits rock bottom at the beginning of/mid-2010, after that, it is feared that there will be an ongoing stagnation-comparable to the one in Japan in the 1990s.

5. The institutions of the ruling class try to stabilize the situation and to „restore trust“ with their forecasts. To not lose the last bit of credibility, they had to adjust their forcasts downwards in the last months. The World Bank finally prognosticated in March 2009, that on a global scale the industrial production up to July 2009 will decline about 15%. The OECD has to take notice, that the recession „in a unique way proceeds synchronously“. In November 2008 there was a forecast proclaimed concerning 2009, that there will be a decrease of the global economic performance of about 0,4 %, in April 2009 the forecasts already showed a minus of about 2,75% for the current year. For the OECD-countries the decrease of the gross domestic product (GDP) is about 4,3%. That the World Bank as well as the OECD have to continue to correct their forecasts is very likely.

6. The global economic crisis in 1929/30 and the Second World War had – for the capitalist system per se – also positive effects. As a consequence of the massive destruction of capital the remaining capital could be invested profitably once again; the „Long Boom“ was the consequence, but not lasting. Around 1970 there was that much capital accumulated, that the rates of profit dropped and the system slid into the crisis of 1974/75.

7. The ruling class reacted to this over-accumulation-crisis with the back then politically predominant keynesian concepts, something that just failed: The so-called „multiplier-effect“ through state investment didn’t work, the credit expansion had no positive effect on the over-all investment, the national debt rose, the profits continued declining. As a consequence, there was the so-called „neoliberal turn“. Instead of „deficit spending“ (state debt to stimulate the economy) there was a national „savings“ policy announced, furthermore „improving investment conditions“ for capital, deregulation and an unrestricted free trade. The „armament-keynesianism“ in the policies of Ronald Reagan and various protectionist measures in the interest of the imperialist centres showed, that this orientation wasn’t always taken that seriously. A continous and central aspect of the neoliberal policies was the insistent attacks on the accomplishments of the working class to increase the relative and absolute surplus value. In addition, more and more capital flowed into the financial and speculative realm. At the expense of the wage earners and on the foundation of the upturn of the financial sector, a partial restoration of the rates of profit and temporarily high growth rates were possible. In addition, Stalinism collapsed in 1989/90, which created in Eastern Europe – the territory of the former Soviet Union as well as in China by the submission of non-capitalist economies under the law of value (and hence the transformation of the local workers in variable capital and producers of surplus value) – new expansion and investment opportunities for capital. That’s how for a certain periode of time the crisis tendencies of capitalism could be delayed, but couldn’t be resolved. The upturn was to a good part like a Ponzi scheme, an upturn on credit, one which has to be ultimately redeemed.

8. The neoliberal offensive of capital and the temporary economic upturn, which was linked to it, were by no means „crisis-free“. Just to mention here, are: the Wall Street-Crash in 1987, the financial crises in Mexico (1994), Asia (1997), Russia (1998), Brazil (1999) and Argentina (2001) as well as the bursting of the so-called dot-com bubble in the US (2000/01). Various neoliberal strategies and measures have lost their immediate (power of) effect. The fundamental problem, the over-accumulation of capital, has fully struck through and has reached the surface. After the Ponzi scheme at the stock exchange markets has found its (necessary) end, the destruction of capital is now on the agenda. By March 2009 about 30.000 billion US-dollars had been vanished into air. There is no end to these collapses at banks and corporations in sight. At the same time there can be no doubt, that all of the national „guarantees“ for banks basically just serve to calm down the situation. In case of an actual collapse of relevant parts of the financial sector, the national funds aren’t even close to covering the losses. Other state bankruptcies are quite likely.

9. It shouldn’t be forgotton, that for capital a crisis is not only destructive, but that it can also have a „productive“ function: the over-accumulation of capital can be (partially) dissolved through a kind of „land clearance“ and hence the opportunity for a new upturn is provided. From the viewpoint of capital the various deteriorations for wage earners are, of course, all improvements to the balance of power. Even if some companies fall apart, the capitalist class can – as a whole – benefit from the crisis. The current crisis is also about a redistribution process between separate capital groups, nationally as well as internationally, and it is especially about a gigantic centralization process of capital. For now, the crisis entails for bankers and bosses primarily economic and political risks.

10. The present crisis differs in some aspects from the global economic crisis of 1929/30. The depth of the crisis back then isn’t achieved in the current one (yet). Another national financial policy is deployed: whereas 80 years ago governments relied on monetary stability (gold standard) and in Germany on austerity budgets, governments act nowadays with a reduction of interest rates, the printing of bank notes and with economic programs. For the time being, the governments and financial institutions have managed to prevent a panic-stricken escalation of the crisis and a total collapse. So far, the international coordination regarding a crisis containment has worked to some extent – after all, national „solo-solution attempts” would lead to an enormous intensification of the crisis.

11. The still rather functioning international coordination is due to the U.S. (still) being a distinct imperialist hegemon. In the period of time between the World Wars there was no such power: Great Britain had lost that position with the First World War and the U.S. had gained supremacy not until the Second World War. The period of time in between was marked by a struggle for world hegemony among the ruling classes of Great Britain, Germany, Japan and the U.S. So there was little potential for an international cooperation of the imperialist bourgeoisie to cope with the crisis.

12. Today, the hitherto existing U.S. hegemonic power is still able to set the tone with initiatives. In case of a deepening of the current crisis, a collapse of the currently still intact international coordination, a revival of protectionism and national „egoisms“ is quite likely. Cracks are already visible, between the U.S. and China as well as between the U.S. and the EU and among the states of the EU. If the protectionist tendencies come out on top, this could lead to an undermining and ultimately overthrow of the U.S.’ role as a hegemonic power. This would substantially contribute to an upcoming period of instability.

13. The U.S. isn’t any longer stepping into conflicts with other powers and blocs with the same undisputed dominance of earlier decades. They’re weakened by the crisis and are burdened by an extreme national debt and by the costs of various wars. They won’t be able to shift their own crisis tendencies – as easily as they used to – on to other states and regions. Their potential to intervene militarily in different parts of the world at the same time, is undermined as well. An expression of this development is the attempt of the Obama administration to operate especially with the EU-states more intensely „based on a partnership“. The possibilty shouldn’t be excluded, that the ruling class of a battered imperialist power at a certain point reacts to the loss of significance with a very aggressive flight-forward-strategy.

14. For the time being, the EU is in no position to replace the U.S. as a hegemonic power, regarding both: the degree of the political unification and the military potential. To parts the EU states are even more affected by the crisis than the U.S. and conflicts of interests and tensions among EU states in dealing with the crisis become evident; they may lead to centrifugal tendencies in the EU. On the other hand, the crisis has the potential to integrate, at least parts of the EU, to a higher degree, to strengthen the cohesion – especially versus external forces – during the crisis. For example, through the crisis, the Paris-Berlin axis was revived. In several countries, the resentment towards the EU has decreased, because the establishment was partly successful to portray the EU as a stabilizing factor. Whether the centrifugal or the bonding (together) tendencies will gain the upper hand, will depend on a number of economic and political factors within and outside of Europe.

15. China is often traded as the next super power. Some forecasts predict, that China will overtake the U.S. in the next ten years as the world’s largest industrial producer. However, China’s industry contibutes to a far bigger part to its GDP than in the U.S. The rate of the U.S. to the global GDP is 20,6%, the one of the EU is 21,3%, China`s – in relation to the purchasing power parity – just 11,2% (in relation to nominal exchange rates 5,4%). Even if China has significantly better figures in the development of the industrial production than all other relevant powers, there are now – due to the interweavement with the global economy – even in the Chinese economy declines noticeable. Particularly strong is the decline in the Chinese trade with other Asian countries, which is due to the more-than-average deep crisis in Japan and South Korea. China’s trade with South Korea decreased about 29%. Overall, China’s exports in Febuary 2009 were about 25,6% lower than in the previous year, the industry exports even about 31,9% lower than in the previous year. Imports to China dropped within one year by 43,1%, as a consequence of the empty order books of Chinese companies, which don’t order any raw materials. In addition, the Chinese government – faced with the crisis and export problems – tries to boost the domestic market. The Chinese government – unlike the U.S. government – has the necessary reserves to do this: With about $ 2000 billion China has larger foreign currency reserves than any other country in the world. The investment program introduced by the Chinese government provides about € 450 billion, which should be – within the next two years – invested especially into infrastructure and transport projects. The Chinese (domestic) market can’t, of course, fully replace the decreasing amount of exports on a global scale. The social consequences will be disastrous (30 million workers have already lost their jobs) and in China, there will arise a huge potential for social conflict and accordingly class struggles. However, it is quite possible, that China can strenghten its position in the world system. But for the forseeable future it won’t become the new hegemon.

16. The overall crisis of the capitalist world system can get worse, if the economic and political crisis of the ruling class and an increasing bloc confrontation are combined with the energy crisis and the ecological crisis. Even though the prices for oil and gas fell, through the reduction of industrial production and the world trade, the declining reserves (somewhat affordable) will question the power supply and will bring along enormous transformation costs. The „free market“ will be able to do so, only very hesitantly, inefficiently and at the expense of large sections of the populations. This inability of capitalism is accompanied by the rapid destruction of ecosystems and in particular the climate change will lead to increasing damages to human settlements, infrastructure, production plants and agriculture, whose poor containment and remediation will bring along massive additional costs for the global economy – apart from the fatal consequences for (especially non-privileged) people and the nature.

17. The ruling class of the imperialist countries have immediately responded to the crisis with rescue packages for banks: $ 700 billion in the U.S. and over € 2000 billion in the EU are provided, thereof € 500 billion in Germany and € 100 billion in Austria – more than the entire Austrian national expenditures of 2007 (nearly € 70 billion). It is a large-scale redistribution campaign directed from the wage earners to financial capital. Out of the mass taxes of the working class, the wealth of speculators shall be guaranteed. In addition, there are aid packages for various corporations, especially for the automobile industry. One cannot draw a line between „evil“ speculators and the „good“ so-called „real economy“. These are merely the two sides of the same coin of capitalism and thightly intertwined. The steady growth of financial markets since the 1970’s was the expression of the poor capital utilization conditions; conversely, the movements and speculation in the financial markets, of course, also have an impact on the productive sector. Several corporations such as Siemens have for years made more profits on the stock markets than with their products.

18. The U.S. government lead by Barack Obama has in early 2009 put forward an economic program with a budget of $ 1000 billion. Immediately differences surfaced between the U.S. and several EU states, which refused to join in with their own programs and instead demanded a greater regulation of financial markets. Apart from the fact, that both measures would be insufficient, in case of an actual collapse of the system, here the „seed“ of protectionism became quite obvious. The U.S. government accused the „Europeans“ of just being free riders of the U.S. economic programs, without really contributing to it. Conversely, the capitalists in the U.S. and in the UK are reluctant to substantial interventions in the financial markets, because they dominate these areas and are afraid of disadvantages. But even within the EU contradictions became evident. Germany tried with its export-oriented economy not so much to boost its own domestic demand, but to benefit from its imperialist competitors’ economic projects.

19. At the G8-summit in March 2009 in London an escalation of the differences could be avoided for this time. The results were „sold“ to the public as „a new era of international cooperation“ (Gordon Brown) and Obama was talking about „a series of unprecedented steps“ and about a „historic“ success. Out of tax money there should be another $ 1000 billion provided to boost the economy. Taken together with the previously agreed on „cash injections“ in the separate countries, the package covers about $ 5000 billion by 2010. Just a small amount should hereby cover investments in infrastructure etc., but is about money transferred to banks and corporations, that through such „stimulations“ should themselves invest more – something that could easily turn out to be an illusion.

20. Some concret measures are showing, in which direction the agreements of the political executives of the international capitalist class are heading towards. The US-dominated International Monetary Fund (IMF) shall receive additional funds of about $ 500 billion in two installments. The capital stock (the special drawings rights) of the IMF will be „pumped up“ by additional $ 250 billion. The World Bank receives additional funds of about $ 100 billion, officially to help poor countries. In recent decades, the IMF and the World Bank were leading in the global implemenation of various deregulations, aid has always been connected to the economic and political (good) conduct in the interest of the imperialist centers. There’s no doubt about it as to whom these institutions are committed to. In Pakistan, for example, the IMF currently executes, despite wide-spread public critizism of „neoliberalism“, one of the classic „structural adjustment“ and cutback programs.

21. The state and government leaders agreed to „boost“ the collapsed world trade – or more accurately to minimize further intrusions – with an amount of $ 250 billion. The money will be used as an insurance and monetary guarantee for export enterprises. That means: If corporations mis-calculated on their foreign enterprises, the wage earners should pay with their tax money. The „list of tax oases“ presented to the public is mainly a propagandistic act. On the one hand, weaker imperialisms, which benefit from the banking secrecy (thus tax defraudation) should be further weakend, on the other hand, this should not restrict the opportunities for fraud of the bourgeoisie, but the money should be placed directly in the stronger imperialisms. But even in the affected countries (e.g. Austria, Switzerland) the conflict is used to instigate the population by pretending – in opposition to all the facts -, that when it comes to bank deposits it is actually about the savings of the working class.

22. The increased regulation of financial markets and the so-called „new financial market architecture“ (Angela Merkel) the G20 summit decided on are that vague, that only the future will tell, what will come out of it. Regarding the financial companies labelled as hedge funds, it’s just said, that they will have to assume an oversight. Until now the present financial market authorities didn’t tread on big business’ toe’s. At the G20 summit there were merely any concrete resolutions, how the financial market regulation should really „look like“. In the upcoming specification of the diffuse declarations of intent, conflicts between the various states and the capital groups related to them are practically guaranteed.

23. Given the global economic crisis and the battered dogma of the miraculous effects of the unrestricted laws of the market, there is now much talk of the end of neoliberalism and of a paradigm shift. Aspects of neoliberal policy could be (temporarily) abandoned or reduced: State deficits are – when it comes to the rescue of banks and corporations – nevetheless back on the agenda, they won’t be able to overcome the crisis of capitalism as well as they weren’t able to back in the 1970’s. Some deregulations could be withdrawn and for the purpose of the collectivization of losses, there will be a number of nationalizations. Privatizations are now much harder to „sell“ to the public, but they will continue to be on the agenda of the capitalists; given the crisis they don’t want to give up on promising profit opportunities (such as in energy supply and in health care). No doubt that the various well-established parties will be largely guided by the interests of capital. Precisely because the economic margins have shrank, for the bourgeoisie and their governments a withdrawal of the neoliberal attacks on the working class and a reintroduction of the welfare state – as parts of the wage earners in the capitalist centres once knew it – is not up for debate.

24. On the contrary, to „finance“ the crisis and to provide „cash injections“ to big business, massive attacks on the working class will be on the agenda of the ruling class. The current policy means nothing but a redistribution in favor of capital on a grand scale. If the bourgeoisie succeeds with its policy, that would lead to a dramatic expansion of misery of the so-called „Third World“, all around the world it would lead to mass dismissals and mass unemployment. Wage cuts, welfare cuts and short-time work affect wage earners, who still have a job. The bourgeoisie of the dominant imperialist countries try to partly shift the crisis on to the bourgoisie of the imperialised countries. However, the international bourgeoisie mainly works on charging the costs of the crisis on the working class.

25. On a global scale, an increase of social conflicts and class struggles is guaranteed. Rebellions and (hunger-) revolts will emerge, there will be mass demonstrations, strikes and probably even uprisings. In some countries factory occupations already occured, in order to prevent the closure of the factories. The government in Iceland was overthrown by mass protests. In France, Greece and Italy there were mass strikes, in France half of the population perceives the practice of confinement of managers by the staff as justified. In Greece, which is hit hard by the crisis, there was due to the assassination of a leftist youth by a police officer, a militant youth revolt, which had the support of most of the wage earners. On the French Caribbean Island of Guadeloupe a six-week lasting general strike – lead by Trotskyist trade unionists – had forced a wage raise of € 200 per month and a series of social improvements; the strike committee had control over parts of public life.

26. That intensified social misery and anger at the current developments go into a more socialist direction, is not guaranteed at all, but the result of a political struggle. Hereby it is possible that right-wing forces also benefit from the discontent; as well as the extreme right-wing, that is counting on a pseudo-„socialist“ rhetoric in the national context with a „critique of capitalism“, which is confined to the sphere of circulation. The crisis can lead to an intensifying of the so-called „site competition“, that means, that in social protests elements of a nationalistic distribution conflict would occur. Racism is generally a crucial instrument of rule of the capitalist class and will be – faced with the risk of class struggles – intensively exerted. The current opportunities of the extreme right-wing to use the bitterness of the population for their advantage, are nationally varied – in Austria, Switzerland or Hungary better than in France or Greece.

27. Overall, the opportunities for a development to the left are dominating. Even in the countries, in which right-wing forces could benefit at the elections from the anger of the population, the leftists can play a crucial role in mobilizations and examples from other countries will have a positive effect. The crisis is obviously a global system problem and there will come along a reflex not just against „the bankers“ and bosses, but against capitalism per se. There will be a massive expansion of class strugglist reactions and hereby a great potential not just for anti-capitalist, but also for explicitly socialist forces will emerge.

28. The trade unions are dominated in almost all countries by reformist bureaucracies, which are bound by privileges to capitalism and act in favor of the ruling class. They have internalized the capitalist logic of site-competition and foremost pursue a policy of damage limitation for the better-off sections of the working class of each nation. They already receded further in the recent decades from neoliberal attacks, have co-managed various deteriorations and „sold“ them to the workers as an unevitable lesser evil. The trade unions, which are affected by the reformist apparatus, are helpless in the face of the consequences of the crisis. Instead of focusing on mass mobilizations, they hold on to the illusion of a boom of a regulated capitalism and negotiate in favor of the bosses reduction of working hours, wage cuts and the „cushioning“ of mass layoffs. It would be naive to expect something else from the trade union apparatus. To get trade unions, that act for the workers, the wage earners have to get rid of the reformist bureaucracies and have to revolutionize the structures from scratch. This will only be possible through the rootedness of revolutionary-socialist forces in factories and broader class struggles.

29. A danger to the development of class struggles are reformist, neo-keynesianist forces, that don’t detect the problem within capitalism, but merely in its „neoliberal“ characteristics. They are concerned with the regulation of financial markets and they align protest movements with a „better functioning“ of the capitalist system. ATTAC and other fans of the Tobin-tax, various stalinist tendencies with their popular front concepts of cooperating with bourgeois currents or Latin-american forces as the Venezuelan Chávism are obstacles to the evolving struggles in the course of the global economic crisis. They force activists into an alliance with the allegedly progressive parts of capitalist class and thus confine them to the framework of the capitalist system. The often targeted alliance with the „productive“ capital against the „evil“ speculators and finance capitalists opens, ideologically, the gates for extreme right-wing forces with its anti-Semitic ideology of the (German) „productive“ and (Jewish) „reaping“ capital.

30. Simultaneously, the increasing capitalist-critical moods and resistance struggles also provide improved opportunities to question the system itself. Transitional demands, which are demands, that connect the immediate daily struggle with the prospect of the overthrow of capitalism, can find a much broader response than up to now.

31. An important demand, which is tied in with the anger at the machinations of the capitalists, is now the opening (up) of account books of banks and corporations and the abolition of the trade secret. Through a slinding scale of wage, wages can be adjusted to the inflation. The workers’ movement has to demand – against the increasing unemployment – the apportionment of work to all through appropriate reduction of working hours – financed by the gigantic profits of the bourgeoisie in the recent decades. Capitalists, who refuse, should be exproriated without compensation as well as several banks, which at first made big gains with their financial businesses and now receive state aid, and corporations, that want to lay off its employees. After all, banks should be replaced by a central state bank. All these steps – which consciously question the functioning of the „free market“ and the power of conrol of the bourgeoisie over their property – have to happen under workers’ control, thus under control of a self-organized staff and working class. Occupations of factories, seen in recent years especially in Latin America, may be first steps to initiate such dynamics.

32. As right and necessary it is to demand the support of trade unions for such struggles, at the same time it must be payed attention, that a bureaucratic nannyism has to be prevented. It is crucial to create structures, in which activists (of strikes, demonstrations, occupations etc.) in assemblies discuss and deliberate upon further steps and tactics of the struggle. If such strike committees, fighting committees, councils (or whatever these structures may be called) are electing commissions, these must operate transparently and there must always be the possibility to unseat (the members of) these commissions.

33. In a lot of struggles the need for militant self-defense becomes evident: Occupied factories must be defended against eviction attempts by the state, strikes must be enforced against strike-breakers. In the Greek revolt in December 2008 the self-defense of the movement against police reprisal and fascist gangs was an immediate necessity. In Guadeloupe, the strikers had to stand their ground against the French police and the thugs of the capitalists. Given escalating fights, the workers’ movement will finally need a militia to stand its ground against state and extreme right-wing henchmen of the ruling class and to ultimately smash the bourgeois state.

34. Capitalism is in a deep crisis. The struggles of the working class will probably turn out in national contexts differently, but in the next few years they can reach the limits of the system. To which extent – at that time – the question of power can actually be posed and capitalism can be overrode, will depend crucially on whether revolutionary-socialist forces can win substantial influence within the workers’ movement. Thereby the previous strength of these forces will play a role, but in the course of radicalized class struggles there can be a growth by leaps and bounds. A crucial question will ultimately be, whether the working class succeeds in forming a revolutionary party, which can connect the intense class struggles with a societal alternative, which has the plan to develop out of revolutionary fighting structures as councils and workers’ militia, the bodies of power of a new, socialist society.

35. Socialists – just like the working class as a whole – are facing a pretty different situation. The RSO and its predecessor organizations have always been proud of their realism, that we weren’t – like many other tendencies with a Marxist and/or revolutionary claim did – proclaiming for decades a deep crisis imminent, but, that we analyzed the deminishing, but still existing scope of capitalism. The grown contradictions of the system condensed in 2008 to the financial and global economic crisis with all its social and political consequences. That means a substantial break, which has to be perceived as such in all of its clarity and with all of its consequences by Marxists.

36. In the next couple of years, organizations with a socialist claim will be put to the test. Throughout history there have been situations, in which conservatism has crept into organizations with a revolutionary claim, in which one got used to the routine of the previous period and finally got overrun by events. In organizations which perceive themselves as socialist, there can be elements, whose earlier hopes were disappointed and which were discouraged by past attacks of capitalism. The new international situation makes the reorientation of socialist organizations an urgent necessity. For revolutionary socialists it is essential to recognize and to act according to the new opportunities, which are created by new struggles and by new layers of activists.

37. The crisis of capitalism and its accompanying class struggles will create the possibility, that revolutionary-socialist organizations will grow significantly. Due to different political balances of power and different struggle dynamics these opportunities won’t be the same everywhere, but they will be present in almost all countries. Even in countries, where the level of class struggle is low (e.g. in German-speaking countries), anti-capitalist moods will increase and examples of advanced countries will exert influence. Internationalism and an exchange of experiences between different countries will therefore be very important, to be able to go with a broadend horizon into conflicts.

38. A revolutionary-socialist organization has to recognize the new situation and has to react with an internationalist perspective. To use the emerging opportunities, to be able to grow substantially and to play a role in class struggles, two more things are necessary: 1. The organization must be established with a focus on the working class and in interaction with at least parts of it; 2. In a longer-term, a revolutionary-socialist organization just can be successful and take its task for the working class, if it is based on a stable cader, i.e. a layer of activists, who have a deeper political understanding, a clear common direction, a realistic perspective, a commitment to the revolutionary struggle of the working class and a collective determination. To be contributing to the buildup of such a cadre is a central task for any anti-capitalist.


Adopted unanimously by the CC of the RSO (26.4.2009), draft by Eric Wegner



Translated by M. Nava (RSO Vienna)