This week’s news, especially after the massive general strike in Colombia, has continued to focus on South America. However, the most striking developments of both the economic crisis and international conflict point to Europe and Asia. The bourgeoisie’s plans in both regions unite around the attack on pensions, working conditions, health systems… and the development of militarism.
This week ends with impossible balancing acts in Bolivia and Spain, as well as a new progress in the mobilizations on class demands in France… Before which Macron yields as soon as they gain massiveness and visibility.
The third and fourth congresses of the Communist International were held in the midst of a waning of the world revolutionary wave. Therefore, if the first two congresses had revolved around theoretical clarification and the struggle for the seizure of power’s urgent matters, the next two were centered around how to create a revolutionary tactic and how to build the party in times of backlash. This was the moment when the new International realized that fighting for leadership and pushing the organized workers from the Second International’s fabric it inherited was not enough. The young revolutionary parties had to restart the organizing momentum themselves and lead it coherently. The verticals oriented to propaganda and organization of young workers and working women were strengthened, communist fractions were organized inside unions and cooperatives and around the latter a new generation of “People’s Houses”, already communist, was created in France, Spain and other countries. It is in this framework that the formative work developed during the previous period are re-examined and the tasks and ways of approaching this formative work for the communists defined.
The unraveling of the Bolivian situation, with Bolsonaro and the growing tensions between Brazil, Mexico and Argentina spurring Santa Cruz’s bourgeoisie, warn of what is to come in South America. Meanwhile, in Europe, the crisis is fuelling inter-imperialist tensions, putting NATO in the spotlight. And the most important thing of the week: the struggle of the Chatillon railroaders achieved a historic success by getting rid of the union police’s yoke.
Since 21 October, workers at the railway maintenance centre in Châtillon, the high-speed rail network’s linchpin in western France, have been on strike without prior notice independently of the unions. They stand up against the appalling working conditions and union control that led to the disastrous strike of 2018.
This week has been marked both by the impact… and the global political stalemate of revolts.
South America and Syria have been the two main scenarios of a week in which both the path of Brexit seems to be cleared out and the recession is flashing its teeth more violently than announced.
We arrived at this weekend with a Brexit agreement pending approval by the British parliament, a Turkish truce awaiting reciprocation by the PKK-YPG and a call for a general strike in Catalonia which, in the lack of common interests between nationalism and the workers, has become a lockout.
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Costa’s triumph in Portugal, the revolt in Ecuador, the Turkish offensive in Syria and the antisemitic attack in Germany have made headlines in the international press this week. Under the noise of cheers, gunshots and bombs, some important news has gone unnoticed. This week we will compose our weekly summary with them.
European stocks are bordering on a crash situation. In Spain the day opened with a sudden downturn in employment this September… despite European tourists delaying their holidays. Around the world, the worst oil production figures in 16 years and the stagnation of world trade (1.2%) speak of a productive engine unable to rev up or even keep up its rhythm. In Europe as a whole, industrial production has been at its worst since 2012. The first victim: Germany. Economic activity figures for 2019 have fallen so low that Germans coined the term “mini-growth” to describe the aggregate result.
This week started with the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook, the first sign of a crisis that is already plunging into recession; the trade war took over the universal postal system – a historic jewel of rising capitalism; it showed the inanity and immorality of the new ideologies of “sacred ecological union” with the bourgeoisie; it exacerbated the battle of the bourgeois factions in the United States; and it made clear the immediate limits that unions and the left impose on the only struggles that can offer a perspective of overcoming the morass that is unfolding before our eyes.
We are starting a new section: a weekly news report that puts into perspective the short term and its relationship with the interests and mobilizations of workers around the world.