On the disagreements among the US imperialist bourgeoisie over the levels of debt


There is a split in the US imperialist bourgeoisie over how to handle the growing debt of the state. The world capitalist economy has long been stagnating and the US economy along with it. The US economy is parasitic on the exploitation and violent subjugation of the world working class.  The revolts of the working class around the globe, overthrowing imperialist puppets, have also begun to place a limit on the parasitism. Already interest rates are close to zero in the imperialist centres- these and other measures are regarded by the imperialist Bank of International Settlements (BIS) as not a long term mechanism to stimulate profit growth for the imperialists. Even the BIS recognizes that interest rates have to rise in the imperialist centres. This means that imperialism recognizes that they have to turn on the working class in an accelerated way in the imperialist centres to keep growing their profits. The coming greater attacks on the working class in the USA is what is behind the split in the imperialist bourgeoisie there.

A section of the bourgeoisie represented by a part of the Republicans and the Tea party would like to put the full burden of stagnating profits on the back of the working class. On the other hand the section of the bourgeoisie represented by part of Democrats realize that if the full burden does not appear to be shared in part by the capitalists there would be an explosion of the working class that threatens the very existence of capitalist rule in the USA itself. Both sections of the US bourgeoisie agree that the major part of the burden should be borne by the working class but they differ on how best to achieve this.


The explosion of the working class and lower middle class in Wisconsin earlier this year when tens of thousands surrounded the state government centre for days on end, is a sign that the US working class is at last breaking from its conservatism. The Republicans tried to smash the unions while the Democrats used the union bureaucracy and the ‘left’ to betray the struggle from within. The explosion of the working class in Wisconsin shows that they are beginning to break from their traditional leaderships.


This is not just any working class, this is the arch conservative working class that has been used up to now as the bastion of US imperialist domination of the world working class. A radicalization of this working class, with it breaking from support for the imperialist apparatus, will threaten the existence of the world capitalist system, it will place US imperialist domination of the world and indeed world capitalist rule at greater risk of being overthrown by the masses of the world. Such is the importance of the factors underlying the split in the US imperialist bourgeoisie.


There is a fundamental difference between the current phase of the crisis and capitalist crises in the recent past. The past crises were economic, in the sense that the working class were vying for space within the system, for a greater share of the surplus they were producing. Now the crisis is political, cuts in social gains, massive increase in prices of food, electricity, fuel and housing brings forth mass revolts of the impoverished masses that threatens capitalist rule (Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen, Malawi,  Madagascar, Botswana, Bolivia, Chile, Algeria, Greece, Portugal, Kyrgyzstan, Portugal, Ireland, UK, France, etc). And further, this crisis is at once international- every capitalist regime is under threat from a mass revolt.


Since about the 17th July, hundreds of the Israeli youth have gathered in tents in the centre of Tel Aviv. They are demanding an end to the housing crisis- they want houses in Tel Aviv. The regime has repeated said that there is enough housing outside of the city (implying that more Palestinian homes are being bulldozed in Jerusalem and elsewhere to create space for the Zionist project). Yet the protestors refuse to go- they want housing in Tel Aviv, implying that they are unwilling to be part of the further destruction of Palestinian households. Thus within the arch conservative base of Zionism a split is emerging. Despite the efforts of imperialism to create a fascist elite that has been bought off with privileges, the international capitalist crisis has reached Israel through high housing prices and a lag in wages that cannot keep pace. Netanyahu has not been able to disperse the tent city by force- the entire Israeli population is armed- any forced suppression of the youth could be met with an armed rebellion against the Zionist state itself- the Palestinian, Egyptian, Jordanian, Syrian, Lebanese masses will not be passengers in such a fight that could shatter the main imperialist repressive apparatus in the region.


In the USA virtually the entire population is armed. A few months ago a desperate unemployed worker shot a Democrat senator- this is a reflection of the growing class hatred for the banks and their parliamentary representatives. The coming large scale attack by the imperialist capitalist regime on the working class in the US will bring forth a direct revolt- a threat of a tent city in Washington DC, a generalisation of Tahrir Square into the heart of the imperialist beast and the possibility of setting up a dual power to the imperialist capitalist regime.


In 2008 about $12.8 trillion of the savings and wealth of the US worker and lower middle class was wiped out (and handed over to the banks); now, from the 16th May 2011 the US government has taken from the Civil service employees and the entire pension of the Federal employees and handed it over to the banks. At the same time, the US state kept up with its interest payments to the banks. Among others, the US Chartered Commercial banks, life insurance and property insurance corporates (who are still being bailed out) received more than $88 bn. Even if the debt ‘ceiling’ is lifted, this further bailout of the banks means that the US government will force employees to work longer (retire later) to make up for the funds the state stole to give the banks; it also means that those who retire will have to make do with less. Homeowners in the US have between them $10 trillion in mortgages they still have to pay off. The US government will be raising interest rates, which means another bailout for the banks. Many more will not be able to keep up with payments- many will lose their homes. The youth, like those in Tel Aviv, will not be able to buy a house and will struggle even to rent. The children of the police, of the soldier, will also have no future under this system- the soldier will be forced to retire later. The war veterans, the injured and traumatised, will have their medical care slashed. These are but some of the implications of the coming attacks on the masses.


A system of demands, starting from the conditions of the worker and the masses in the US, and including transitional demands, needs to be developed. These should include demands for the confiscation of the profits of the military companies, for the confiscation of profits of all the companies and banks who directly and indirectly were bailed out with public funds. Expropriate all the banks, without compensation to the capitalist, place these under workers control. Not a single cent from workers pension or workers money for any ‘debt’. Let the capitalist pay. Recall all the troops from all the military bases around the world. The enemy is at home! For committees of action in every workplace, uniting local and immigrant workers, whether ‘legal’ or ‘illegal’, for a workers militia to defend against attacks by the state and its fascist groups; for committees of workers and rank and file soldiers.


For the setting up of a revolutionary working class party in the US, as part of an international fraction to refound the Fourth International.


1st August 2011