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From The Socialist newspaper, 28 September 2011

Socialism 2011: A weekend of discussion and debate

Capitalism in crisis: fight for socialism

Cédric Gérôme

In August 2009, Christine Lagarde, ex-French finance minister, and now head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), predicted "a definitive exit from the crisis in the middle of 2010." Now the IMF, which has been instrumental in conducting the austerity war against the poor, is forced to reluctantly concede what socialists have said from the very beginning: this savage austerity policy doesn't work.

For the last few decades we have been told that revolutions were not on the agenda any more. Now the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt have changed the face of the entire region.

Despite attempts by imperialist forces to cut across those struggles through military intervention and deals with elements of the old ruling élites as in Libya, these revolutions have drawn the outlines of a new era of struggle. They are inspiring the oppressed and the poor across the planet. They show that it is only through the mass intervention of the working class that society can be changed.

Worldwide, social tensions are being pushed to breaking point. Chile and Israel, both among the most unequal countries in the world, have been rocked by powerful social movements in the past months.

Mass occupations of Greek universities, starting even before the summer break is finished, have already given a glimpse of what the autumn will look like. Italian workers staged a general strike on 6 September against a government on the edge, while the "precarious generation" movement in Portugal is preparing for a mass mobilisation in mid-October.

30 November

Here in Britain, the public sector strike on 30 November provides an historic opportunity for 'our side' to take the initiative.

A wave of panic is hitting the ruling classes. They don't know how to get out of the mess they have created. And there is the threatening spectre of a new, deeper phase of the crisis. A default in Greece would trigger an explosive chain reaction with incalculable economic, political and social repercussions.

"Tax us", some of the fat cats are demanding, conscious that if they want to get away with this one, they will have to at least give the illusion that "we are all in this together".

Yet the number of people sleeping in the streets of London has increased by 8% in one year. The poverty rate has hit a record high in the US, with 46 million people living below the poverty line.

Everywhere, women are among the first victims of cuts in services, wages and allowances. The crisis is used as a pretext to attack their rights further, as shown by the recent discussions in the Polish and Russian parliaments about anti-abortion legislation.

The triumphalist epoch of capitalism is over. All the remedies that the big business rulers have attempted in order to heal their system have made things worse, except maybe for themselves. More and more people will come to the conclusion that this crisis is a systemic one.

Come to Socialism 2011, to debate about how to best prepare for the coming struggles, and ultimately, to replace this sick system with one that is planned to benefit the billions, not the billionaires.

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In The Socialist 28 September 2011:

Building for 30 November strike

Mass strikes can kick out Con-Dems

Jarrow march for jobs

Marching for a future

Join the Jarrow marchers on their 330 mile journey!

Why are you marching?

Why are you supporting the march?

Jarrow march - council puts high price on right to protest

The Socialist's editorials

World economy in meltdown - we won't pay for capitalist crisis

Pro-business Labour offers crumbs and promises cuts

Socialist history

1911 - Bermondsey women's uprising

Socialist Party youth and students

£6,000 uni fees? An offer we can refuse!

Fight fees and cuts - join Socialist Students!

Youth demand a future in Tottenham

What I spent my EMA on

Socialist Party news and analysis

As Murdochgate scandal goes on - release Tommy Sheridan!

Scotland: SNP do the Con-Dems' dirty work

Dale Farm - call off the evictions of residents

Metal thefts - The hidden crime of capitalism

Socialism 2011: A weekend of discussion and debate

News in brief

International socialist news and analysis

As debt crisis deepens... Greek workers and youth in revolt

Socialist Party workplace news

Construction workers strike to defend agreements

Greenwich Unite takes fight to cuts councillors

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

PFI schemes - a national scandal

Salford says: Save Lancaster House!

Stop coastguard cuts!

Stroud demo against private sharks killing the NHS

Socialist Party review

Film review: Tinker tailor soldier spy

Readers' comments

My impressions of the Work Programme

More whacko ideas from Tories

Standing up for our pension rights


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