A few decades ago the organizers of this blog identified the world situation as one where imperialism was on the offensive worldwide. It was driving the working class back on every front. It was expanding its military control and occupations. Its offensive was successful because of the refusal of the working class leadership to organize the working class and fight back. The degree of its success was also made possible by the collapse of Stalinism.
We said this offensive would not be successful forever. We said that due to the refusal of the leadership of the working class to lead it would probably take a catastrophe which would mobilize the working class into action to halt and throw back this offensive. We said this could take the form of an economic catastrophe , military catastrophe or an environmental catastrophe.
In 2008 2009 we had the world economic collapse. But capitalism was able to get out of this by having the working class bail it out. The second shoe of the economic catastrophe is yet to fall and people have seen what happened before, and it will be much more difficult for capitalism to get them to bail them out again.
We have the developing climate change, fracking and the Fukushima catastrophe. These are building and building and the affects are becoming more and more know. As such developments worsen this too will increase the consciousness of the working class that something has to be done and will mobilize the working class into action.
Then we have the military situation of imperialism. Iraq is a catastrophe. Afghanistan not much better. Now US imperialism is backing itself into a corner in Syria. I find it hard to see how it will not launch military strikes there. Perhaps, but it is very unlikely, Putin will give them a small crack through which they can escape but this is unlikely. Most likely US imperialism will have to strike to keep intact its offensive, its strategy of increased control in the region and its credibility as the world's superpower.
But I would like to enter a factor into the situation which is not sufficiently considered in my opinion. That is the role of the US masses. The US masses correctly have no time for the vicious Syrian regime and its methods. Neither are they much enthralled with the opposition. But the US masses were told lies to drag the country into the Iraq war. This is now well understood. They are very cautious about being lied to again. Fool me once and so on. They are also bearing the brunt of attacks on the economic front day after day while trillions are being spent on military offensives on behalf of the US corporations worldwide. They are not in favor of getting into a new war.
Last December over 60% of the US population were in favor of military action if there was a chemical attack in Syria. Today this has halved to just over 30%. This is a dramatic shift in opinion. It is also a dramatic shift away from the US masses automatically seeing the country as the world's cop. This complicates US imperialism situation seriously. If it cannot keep the US masses on board with its worldwide military offensive it will not be able to continue with this military offensive.
It is by no means certain. But it should be considered that the US masses will enter into the scene of world events at this time and in a way as to put a halt to US imperialism's worldwide military offensive. This is not that likely due to the refusal of the US workers leaders to act and the pathetic role of the liberal politicians. But it is not excluded. If it were to happen this would open up a new phase in US politics and in the world balance of forces. The military offensive of US imperialism would take a hard knock. Maybe even be halted.
At some stage the US masses will enter into the scene of world affairs, not as passive supporters of its own corporations and their intereststs. This might be coming sooner rather than later. Whenever it comes, and it will come, it will open up a whole new world situation where the balance of forces will be shifted in favor of the international working class.
Apparently US politicians are being overwhelmed with phone calls and emails against striking at Syria. The pressure is on. The role and consciousness of the US masses should not be ignored.
- AFSCME Local 444 negotiations assesment 1997
- Preparing for Revolution: A discussion document
- The Internal lives of Revolutionary Organizations
- Socialist Alternative members: Questions and Answers
- Sanders: Our Alternative
- The Nature of the New European Left
- Catastrophic Climate Change: Caused by Capitalism
- University of California workers and Unions
- An Invitation to Our Readers