Statement of Revolutionary Initiative.
Global capitalism has entered a crisis of historical levels, the worst seen since the financial collapse that lead to the Great Depression. This crisis has already resulted in widespread production slowdowns, a freeze in capital investment, job losses, and an increase in the oppression and exploitation of the proletariat world-wide. What sets this recession apart from the usual cyclical crises produced by capitalism is not only its severity, but it’s origins. Unlike previous bubble collapses such as the dot-com crash of the 1990s this crisis is occurring in the very heart of the imperialist system, within monopoly finance capital. It has begun to spread outward to infect other areas of the economy and will result in widespread destruction of the means of production as plants in various industries scale back production or close shop entirely, as well as an acceleration of the process of capital concentration in the hands of the surviving monopolies.
These developments have proven the correctness of the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist understanding of the moribund nature of the capitalist system. Finance capital, the dominant faction of the imperialist ruling class, has used its monopoly position to heavily distort the overall economy, greatly increasing the anarchy of production in the system as a whole. They were able to heavily concentrate capital in their hands, using it to create a speculative bubble detached from the real economy or any legitimate measure of value and drawing capital away from productive sectors of the economy. This reliance on speculative bubbles arises out of the stagnancy of the imperialist system, with rates of profit from productive investment on a continuous decline.
We are also seeing the acceleration of the tendency identified by Lenin and Mao for capital to merge with the state and the growth of the overall size of the state. Previously this took the form of marketing boards, economic planning departments, tax incentives, and the like to use central planning for the benefit of the monopoly capitalists struggling to maintain their dwindling profits and low levels of growth. With the private sector unable to provide capital investment, the state has advanced to a more direct fusion with monopoly capital. Over the last few months, the United States and Britain have nationalised some of their largest financial institutions. With minimal debate and without public consultation, the federal government in Canada has committed to buying up to $75 billion in insured mortgage funds from the big banks and has guaranteed another $200 billion, which is even more egregious since the profits will remain in the hands of the banks if the debts pay off, and the Canadian people will be made to pay if they fail. The very architects of neo-liberalism are now abandoning their free market rhetoric and rapidly moving towards a corporatist position (although without any corresponding alteration of social relations).
Across the imperialist centre, states have exhibited a previously unseen level of international cooperation and coordination in pouring trillions of dollars into bailing out finance capitalists. With the spill-over of the crisis into the real economy, similar payments will likely be made to other sections of the monopoly ruling class. The United States has already promised $25 billion for their auto sector and there are rising demands for similar pay-offs here. The Premier of Ontario is urging the federal government to get “more aggressive” and offer similar payments to the monopoly capitalists in the auto sector. The labour aristocracy is echoing that demand, with the CAW president writing, “Hard-working Canadians, who produce concrete goods and services, deserve government support at least as much as bankers and brokers do.” While this sounds admirable, the CAW leadership is not calling for assistance to actual workers, but to the monopoly capitalists who own the auto industry. Meanwhile, the state is using the possibility of an auto sector bail-out to demand concessions from the union – shoring up monopoly capital’s profit margin by increasing the rate of exploitation of the proletariat.
All these measure have shown to the masses whose side the state is on. The masses have endured decades of cutbacks to their social wage, with every savage cut to funding for assistance to the unemployed, maintenance of social housing, health care, education, public transit, infrastructure, and every other concession won by the working class after decades of struggle, justified by the same refrain: we don’t have the money. The federal government pleaded deficit and cut funding and downloaded services. The provinces pleaded deficit and cut funding and downloaded services. The municipalities blamed the downloading and hiked property taxes. Always with the excuse that they couldn’t find the money. Yet now that it is the imperialists who are in financial difficulty, all of a sudden the money is found. The urgency that the state has treated this crisis while ignoring the welfare of the people has exposed the allegiance of the politicians of all parties to the interests of monopoly capitalism. The masses are being saddled with the costs of the finance capital’s short sighted greed but the executives responsible for the crisis are walking away with “golden parachutes” worth millions of dollars. Meanwhile, the people who were taken in by the finance capital’s encouragement to take on wildly unrealistic levels of debt in the form of sub-prime mortgages and credit card debt are left with nothing.
Yet all indications are that even these billions upon billions of dollars will not be enough. While each new bail-out package has resulted in brief rallies on the stock market, the overall trajectory of the economy is still down. Private investors, with few opportunities for profitable and secure investments, are still hoarding their capital. Workers are scaling back their consumption to prepare for greater future insecurity. Unemployment in Canada is up to 6.2%, a number that is kept artificially low by statistical manipulation and the boost of 40,000 temporary state sector jobs to administer the 2008 Federal Elections. Meanwhile, 29,000 jobs were lost in the hotel and restaurant industry alone. Wages have been stagnant for a generation and will fall as the crisis worsens and the ranks of the unemployed increase.All of this means that conditions for building a revolutionary movement in Canada are improving. As the economic crisis advances, the working class will be forced by objective conditions to defend themselves. As revolutionaries we must increase our efforts in developing mass struggles and exposing the current economic crisis as an inevitable product of imperialism. The justified anger of the masses must be directed into the formation of militant mass organizations, located in in every arena of struggle and representing every sector of the proletariat and its allies, that can win concessions from the state while advancing the struggle against monopoly capitalism and for revolution. The proletariat needs higher forms of organization, the highest of which is its vanguard Party. We must take advantage of the current crisis to develop new proletarian revolutionaries, consolidate our ranks, and advance the movement to build a genuine Communist Party in Canada.
The masses in Canada will not be alone in advancing their struggle. All over the world, the crisis will push millions of people to advance their mass struggles and increase their support for the people’s wars for national liberation in India, Nepal, the Philippines, and Turkey, as well as light new fires across the semi-colonial, semi-feudal Third World. This can only weaken our mutual enemy, the imperialist ruling class, by reducing their areas of super-exploitation and choking them off from the profits necessary to buy off sections of the working class at home. It is of the utmost importance for the proletariat to increase its level of internationalism and render all possible assistance to our comrades struggling in the Third World. Together, we can break the power of imperialism! Our enemy is getting weaker! We must get stronger!