At the moment when we realize this bulletin, it has now become clear for everyone that the out-standing episode of the economic crisis that strikes the capitalist world today is going to have – and already has – serious and even dramatic consequences for the life of millions of men and women throughout the world.
The "slowing down of the economy", that is to say the world recession - which is a new and violent expression of capitalism chronic overproduction -, is here with all its terrible implications on the exploited masses: in its center, that is to say in the so-called « developed » countries, this system increases ceaselessly workers' misery by growing attacks on the working and living conditions of the proletariat and by relaunching massive unemployment, whereas in its periphery it plunges, now, millions of proletarians into famine. The fact that the "crisis" affects capitalist production in its heart unmasks all the lies and all the false explanations that the economists, the politicians and the bourgeois medias deal us out.
In particular, the real-estate speculation and now the speculation on raw materials - as oil and certain food resources - are not the cause of the crisis, but well and truly a product of this one. Clearly a product of the inability for enormous masses of capitals to invest in the productive sector. That, in turn, the financial bubbles resulting from the wild speculation are, at a certain moment, an aggravating factor of the opened crisis, even the activating factor of its current episode, as the spark can start the fire in the tank of gasoline, doesn't changes anything to the real cause of the crisis.
It's the same as regards to the colossal debts of all States, and in particular that of the first world power, the United States. The mountain of debts - which, obviously, will never be paid back - is not the cause of the crisis, no more than the financial bubbles; it is the product of this one. It is the sign of the inability of the capitalist world to continue to produce and to accumulate capital without cheating over the law of value by means of debt and financial manipulations.
In brief, it is the dead end and the economic disaster of capitalism which express themselves openly and brutally today.
But, capitalism in an open crisis doesn't content itself with entailing the whole proletariat in misery and starvation. It also entails the whole planet in warlike barbarism. The imperialist rivalries and the local wars didn't begin with this new episode of the economic crisis. On the other hand, this last one, because it worsens the competition between capitals, and in particular between national capitals, comes to intensify, to sharpen, to aggravate even more these rivalries and these imperialist tensions. Capitalism is inexorably pushed forward to the flight towards generalized imperialist confrontation, that is to say towards a 3rd World war which, already, and even if we don't know its term, is in preparation, notably on behalf of the main capitalist powers.
This dynamic toward war imposes, in any case, on each and every capitalist nation, from the biggest to the smallest, a new relaunching of the armament race in order to develop at most their military capacities. The armament expenses and the immense growth of the industries directly turned toward war expressed themselves, and are going to express more and more, in an escalation of "public" debts and an accentuation of the exploitation of the work force of the proletariat.
Essential expressions of the historic bankruptcy of capitalism, the crisis and the war add up and become a reality, even today, by a new unprecedented attack against the working and living conditions of the world proletariat. Crisis and war pose the question of the historical alternative in front of capitalist barbarism and the bloody disaster which annonces. Only the world proletariat, as an exploited class, has the means to offer this alternative: the fight to death against capitalism, its destruction and the institution of another society where exploitation, misery and wars will disappear.
But this possibility doesn't come from nothing, from day to day. It has to be prepared. To be asserted. It develops in the concrete reality in the « real life », in the daily struggles that the proletariat drives so as to defend itself as a class in front of the attacks it suffers today.
This process, as difficult as it can seem, is at present on march. Workers struggles of various orders, various importances, developed recently in all continents, in capitalism central countries (Germany, Great Britain, Russia, France, Belgium...) as well as in the countries of the periphery (Egypt, Benin, the Philippines...), against the blocking and the decline of wages, against attacks on the pensions, against redundancies, price increases. These struggles have a meaning and express the state of the balance of forces between bourgeoisie and proletariat, and in particular the strengths and the weaknesses of this last one.They reveal that the revolutionary class tends to refuse to support all the sacrifices which the bourgeoisie tries to impose on it. They thus show a tendency to the break of solidarity with "its" national capital " and with "its" State. They express the fact that, if the international proletariat, in its great majority, still has illusions with regard to capitalism and submitted to bourgeois ideology, it does not adhere to it profoundly nor durably
Nevertheless, this does not prevent us from noticing that, till this day, the proletarian reactions are widely insufficient and do not manage to make the bourgeoisie move back, to make it remove or, at least, to make it "suspend" its attacks. These reactions reveal, also, great political weaknesses In its larges masses, the proletariat continues to have illusions on bourgeois democracy and on capitalism – even if the present depth of the crisis constitutes, and will constitute, for it, more and more, a major factor of consciousness. In the same way, it continues to suffer decline of the extent of class consciousness in its own ranks provoked by the anti-communist campaigns led in the 1990s which made it lose sight of its own revolutionary historic perspective - the idea and the hope of another society - as well as its own historic responsibility and its capacity as a revolutionary class.
In brief, the current retorts are far from being up to the stakes, with the risk that in the end the whole working class will be undermined by a feeling of impotence and resignation and that it will undergo, in its confrontations with the bourgeoisie, heavy setbacks.
We are not at that point. Far from it ! The way toward self-confidence, determination and massive and united struggles passes not only by the reactions to the current attacks but also by the taking in hands of these struggles by the workers through the search for solidarity, for extension and for unification of the struggles, against all the obstacles which oppose to it and which are set up by the unions and the left parties.
For the world proletariat, the immediate stake, the first one, is thus already political: what "direction", what orientation for the fight, to give to the struggles? Each one on its part or all together ? Who really has to steer the struggles ? The workers, the general assemblies or these appendixes of the bourgeois State that are the unions ? Here is where are situated the immediate stakes and the political struggle. Here is where is situated one of the central axes of intervention of the communist minorities today in the current struggles.
But, obviously, the historical stake is not limited to the immediate struggles. The development of the current struggles against the effects of the crisis and the march toward the generalized imperialist war involves all the dynamics, all the course of the evolution of the balance of forces between the two main classes of the society by calling to the proletariat to its historic responsibility. It's in the evolution and the development of the today's struggles, in its experiences of struggle, that this last one is going to be able, or not able, of loosening and of asserting its revolutionary perspective. This political and historical dimension of the class struggle is largely determined by the capacity of the communist forces, which exist today, to play their part as political vanguard in a way as determined, clear and grouped together as possible.
And, no doubt, that is precisely the main expression of the political weakness of the proletariat. In front of a situation in which the historical alternative « generalised war or proletarian world revolution » comes to crop up again with acuteness, as ever since the 1930s, the question of the current state of the communist Left - main "factor" of class consciousness, the carrier of the communist program, thus only force capable of being completely conscious of the historic stakes and to defend them within the class - is particularly alarming. Dispersed, weakened by opportunism – particularly the one of the International Communist Current - and by sectarianism, the proletarian camp is, obviously, not up to the stakes and its particular responsibilities today. Certainly, it can presently act at the margin on the very weak extent of class consciousness in the great proletarian masses and its immediate influence is small at that level- but it has still to lead a decided intervention, as minority and limited it can be, which is not always the case. On the other hand, the fact that this proletarian camp has difficulty to assume and to develop its unity - not only in its intervention towards the class in front of the current historic situation, but especially in and by the confrontations and the public debates of the different positions which coexist within it, by an active and voluntary policy of regrouping of organizations and militants who compose it - is of its own responsibility.
To fight against the current weaknesses of the existing communist forces is the main political struggle that our fraction, since its constitution, tries to lead within the proletarian camp. This struggle, this orientation, this vital necessity for our class, we have still just reaffirmed it during a general meeting of our fraction in which we adopted a resolution of activities that we publish in this issue of the bulletin. This resolution is not addressed only toward our own fraction. It is addressed to the whole proletarian camp, to the groups and elements which compose it.
For us, it constitutes a real call so that this one comes out of its dispersal and tightens its links. Indeed, nothing would be more dramatic, for the massive confrontations between the classes which the escalation of the current situation, the crisis and the imperialist conflicts, announce the approach, than the international proletariat find itself without its political vanguard, or at least in the situation of having to face the bourgeoisie with political minorities so weak and dispersed than they are at present.
Now, it is today that the conditions of the constitution of a party must be discussed, debated and put clearly and that the process leading toward the unity of the communists and toward the party must be seriously engaged. It requires a real political consciousness and a will from the organizations and the elements which are a part of what we call the proletarian camp.
Without effective, affirmed and determined communist presence in the classes confrontations to come, without true Party before the revolutionary period, the international proletariat is inescapably heading for historial failure. Here is the stake for the proletarian camp.