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Nature of the Period
north america / mexico | economy | opinion / analysis Tuesday March 30, 2010 00:18 by NEFAC - NEFAC flint at nefac dot net
Background and Perspectives
Social systems don't live forever. They have their own internal contradictions, which produce systemic crises. Capitalism is no different; someday it will end. The question we are addressing is whether it will be followed by barbarism, mass death, and barrenness, or by a better world. The current crisis is not only one of greatly increased attacks on the working class and oppressed people but is also a fundamental crisis of the system itself. We cannot predict the demise of the system, something in which the working class and oppressed people must also play a conscious part. We can, however, state that this is the most serious crisis of capitalism since the 1930's--and that one was only "solved" by World War II.
From World War I to the Great Depression and then World War II, the world capitalist system went through 30 years of crisis and decay, politically reflected in revolutions in Russia, Europe and Asia, the rise of fascism in Italy, Germany, Spain and elsewhere, and the counterrevolutionary consolidation of the Marxist-Leninist bureaucracy in the Soviet Union.
What we now faceFollowing the Great Recession, the state and capitalists seem to have stabilized the situation for now, preventing a collapse into another Depression. Yet nothing fundamental has been solved and the seeds are already planted for a new crisis. Speculation is rampant in stocks and commodities, and derivatives are still out of control. At the same time, unemployment is very high and likely to remain so for years. Foreclosures, homelessness and hunger continue to increase. State and local government budgets and services are slashed into the bone. Credit, even for fairly large businesses, is still tight. There will be no return to the post-World War II prosperity. Working people face long-term stagnation and increasing difficulties.
ResistanceThere has been a growing polarization in the country. On the one hand, a proto-fascist movement has grown up on the right, a minority but a big and very vocal one. There has also been a turn to the left by much of the population, reflected in the http://www.nefac.net/node/2456—and in a growing disillusionment in his policies by a large part of his liberal base. This is still mostly passive and electoral. For the most part, people are still in shock from the Great Recession, making do with temporary and personal solutions and taking advantage of whatever government programs exist. The union officials, liberal and moderate alike, do not have a clue as to how to respond politically to the decline in their membership and power, aside from electing more Democrats. However, we feel that popular resistance to the Recession's effects will grow. We don’t know when, where or how it will break out, but it will come.
Adopted by U.S. NEFAC, March 20, 2010
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