The terrorist attacks of September 11 raised the standing of President Bush at home, and allowed him and American imperialism to advance its designs on world domination. The “war on terror” and talk of confrontation with the “axis of evil” of Iraq, Iran and North Korea aimed not only at these targets, but at America’s imperialist allies—who are at the same time economic competitors and potential military rivals. Above all, the U.S.’s increased willingness to flaunt military power and its status as the most dominant imperialist is aimed at the world’s workers and oppressed masses. The Palestinian struggle and its massive support in the Arab world has stalled Bush’s war drive on Iraq for now. But a struggle for socialist revolution internationally is needed to smash Bush’s imperial dreams and the growing horrors of capitalism in decay.
This piece was originally a contribution to a discussion with the Partido Obrero Revolucionario (POR) of Argentina and the Brazilian Liga Bolchevique Internacionalista (LBI). It outlines the “great leap backward” that the Fourth International (FI) made in its analysis of the Stalinist expansion following World War II. The FI abandoned its characterization of the new Stalinist states as being state capitalist, in favor of designating them as “deformed workers’ states.” This was done despite the fact that these states and their nationalized economies were established with little or no role of the working class and in fact had required the crushing of mass workers’ struggles. With this analysis, FI theoreticians violated some of the most basic tenets of Marxism. The betrayal reflected changing world views in the FI. These changes in turn had material roots in the growing weight of the labor aristocracy and middle-class intelligentsia in society in general and the FI in particular in the post-war era.
This article analyzes the implosion of Enron. The failure of one of the largest corporations in the world was more than a singlular capitalist bankruptcy; it exemplifies basic decadent tendencies of the capitalist system itself, particularly in this its epoch of decay. These tendencies are detailed by the article. Despite the hot-aired condemnation of the scandal by capitalist politicians, financiers and others, the system is incapable is incapable of fixing itself, and unwilling even to try.
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