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Two steps into the abyss

6 May, 2020 · News> Global situation

The German Constitutional Court torpedoed the EU treaties. The US and China move from exchanging accusations about Covid to acknowledging that there is a war on the horizon. The de-escalation of the pandemic is turning into an escalation of imperialist conflicts and confrontations.

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“De-globalization” discourse is sounding loud in Germany. On Tuesday, the Constitutional Court declared the collaboration of the Bank of Germany with the European Central Bank (ECB) in the policy of massive purchases used during the last recession “partially unconstitutional” and gave the ECB three months to justify its monetary policy. The initial assessment is obvious: Germany is claiming the right to curb at will the expansionary monetary policies – inflationary in theory – that are structurally necessary for the national capitals of the South to survive within the euro. But in reality it goes much further: according to the common interpretation in Germany, it gives the German parliament and government primacy over the decisions of the ECB and the German courts over the European courts.

Although official responses have been merely dilatory so far, and the ECB has been quick to leak that it can go ahead in the short term without the Bank of Germany, the southern European press is beginning to take note:

The German national court claims that the European court’s ruling is worthless and that the ECB’s action is not in accordance with the law, and that it therefore feels no attachment to either: the most important country in the Union is telling the Union that it is it that ultimately assesses its actions; and, secondly, that although the ECB was entitled to take the measure it did take, by ignoring the effects it may have on economic policy, it will not take part in it (unless it is justified within three months).

In other words: the EU has officially begun its implosion.

Chinese PLA maneuvers in the South China Sea yesterday.

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The increase in tension between China and the US is escalating by the day. The trade war is accelerating again and the tone of the Chinese government’s statements matches those of its rivals: including accusations of “artificially creating” the virus.

First signs that the trade war and declarations were open-ended: While the pre-war tone of the Chinese press was increasing, the government last week leaked the existence of a report in preparation for a war with the US in Asia and reopened the “debate” about the advisability of a military conquest of Taiwan .

But now we have reached a critical moment: the Chinese navy has deployed forces to the South China Sea and executed maneuvers in front of the US Navy… while the US sends signals of its willingness to finance and support any petty bourgeois movement against the Chinese bureaucracy and fuels the pressure for reparations to China opened by Trump. The point is that this claim for reparations is a red line for Beijing and the Asian press is already talking openly that, if it becomes official, it could precipitate a war.

Where are we going?

The de-escalation of the pandemic is turning into an escalation of imperialist conflicts and confrontations. We are basically in the same frame as we have been in the last few years. A direct confrontation between powers could happen at almost any moment…

We are facing a simultaneous acceleration of the trend towards crisis and of workers’ struggles that keep growing, forming the largest global wave in decades. The former pushes towards imperialist conflict and accelerates trade and military tensions on a daily basis. The second raises, in the demand of the satisfaction of human needs, the historically necessary alternative. An alternative that is increasingly urgent for all of humanity.