The two major global issues this week have been the acceleration of the crisis into a global recession and the unsustainable tension between Turkey and Russia in Syria. Meanwhile, in Europe, Macron’s “Republican Reconquest” campaign has fueled radio talk shows across half the continent as big business results and speculative movements spoke of a deeper crisis than just the impact of China’s problems with the Wuhan Coronavirus pneumonia epidemic. But there were more important issues, the first definitions of Europe after Brexit, the logic of the trade war and… of course, the global attack on the pension systems.
In the European media the week of the Oscars and Sinn Féin’s election victory in Ireland was accompanied by new episodes of political crisis in Germany and Spain. All these issues were dealt with in detail during the last few days, but we cannot close the week without focusing on at least two more issues: the renegotiation of Argentina’s debt and the global escalation of the war and militarism.
In Europe, the opening of trade negotiations between Great Britain and the EU, worldwide the economic and social consequences of the Wuhan pneumonia epidemic, and in Spain the bad employment data as well as the mobilizations of farmers were the focus of headlines and news. But there was much more to the week than that.
Although the media this week around the world have mostly made headlines about Wuhan’s pneumonia and the final parliamentary ceremonies at Brexit, the center of the world’s conflicts has once again been the Mediterranean Sea. On its southern and eastern shores war is raging. On the northern shores, the offensive against pensions is raging.We’re entering a critical time. The forces and tensions driving the spread of war in the Mediterranean and North Africa are constantly unfolding.
This week the Anglo-Saxon media focused on Trump’s impeachment, a process considered the first installment of the U.S. election campaign in almost all the world’s press, which gave much more coverage to the “green” show in Davos, the spread of Wuhan’s pneumonia and the “Luanda Leaks”. However, the week has had many more fronts, which were certainly more important.
This has been the week when the British government presented a strategic perspective in which it will wage wars on its own, when the war in Libya grew tense with the dispatch of 2,000 Syrian soldiers to Tripoli by Turkey, when the European Commission presented a trillion-euro plan to implement the “Green Deal” and when a truce was signed in the trade war between China and the US that does not bode well for any relaxation of inter-imperialist conflicts. But while these were the issues we focused on this week, from Chile to Russia to Germany and Turkey, other news emerged that illustrated both some very important aspects of the global situation and some hopeful outbreaks of mobilization that augured well for class responses.
This week demonstrates that we cannot trust the ability of imperialisms to stand still on the edge of the abyss of open warfare. Before there can be a sigh of relief in Iraq, the next flashpoint threatening widespread war is already escalating in Libya. And meanwhile, in France, the trade unions are bringing all workers to the brink of dismantling the pension system.
In Baghdad, the United States kills General Soleimani, moving closer to open war with Iran, while Turkey is preparing to send troops to Libya, and AMLO and Fernández are trying to create a new institutional framework for the international conflict in Latin America. This year, the tacit New Year’s truce has not even come close to Epiphany. What follows is a summary and analysis of the first, short and violent week of 2020.
In a context of a constantly developing struggle for markets, the trade unions’ tricks and the “democratic struggles” led by the petty bourgeoisie are a trap with no other purpose than to instrumentalize the working class and to force upon the class the demands of the petty bourgeoisie. In order to escape from this trap, we need concrete slogans that will enable us to advance the struggles, but we also need to form political groups that will accelerate the development of a class program and party. This week has shown us this clearly.
The week closes with an overwhelming conservative victory in the British elections immediately greeted by speculative markets. Labour has lost seats where the brexiters won the referendum while Boris Johnson has an absolute majority in Parliament allowing him to lead the EU’s exit from a position of strength after three years of tug-of-war and truces. But these elections alone will not heal the fractures within the British ruling class. The political apparatus has been damaged and the triumph of the nationalists in practically every Scottish constituency forebodes an internal front no less tough than Brexit itself.
As we have seen in South America, inter-imperialist conflicts are projected along the fracture lines of the national bourgeoisies, to the point of becoming a key point to understand even the most modest local elections.
From Beirut to Baghdad, from Santiago de Chile to Mexico City and from Bogotá to Paris. Wherever we look, students are the erupting revolts’ vanguard. But not all mobilizations represent the same social class, nor do they impart the same meaning to the social uprising.