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2002 - Capitalist crisis set to deepen
Build The Socialist Alternative
THE TRIUMPHALIST launch of the Euro on 1 January cannot disguise the massive problems in the world economy.
By Ken Douglas
The International Monetary Fund have had to downgrade their October 2001 World Economic Outlook report less than a year after forecasting the best outlook for decades:
"We now envisage a deeper and more prolonged global slowdown ... A particularly disturbing feature of the current slowdown is its synchronicity across nearly all regions - the most marked in two decades."
The US has had its largest fall in output since the 1930s. Economic growth in Japan, the world's second largest economy, is predicted to fall for the second consecutive year and unemployment is at an all time high.
In Argentina, now on its fifth president in two weeks, 2,000 people fall below the poverty line every day. New president Eduardo Duhalde blames free market policies for the economic crisis but crises are endemic to capitalism and it is always the workers and the poor who end up paying the highest price.
Opposition to the effects of the world economic crisis is growing. Argentinian workers have taken to the streets in mass protests to kick out failed and corrupt capitalist politicians. In Brussels on 13 and 14 December 80,000 trade unionists and 30,000 anti-capitalists showed their opposition to the bosses' EU.
Italian workers have demonstrated in their hundreds of thousands against the policies of the Berlusconi government. In France even the Gendarmerie have taken to the streets.
But being against capitalism is not enough - workers need a socialist alternative. As one young Argentinian protester put it: "We had a revolution but all we got is more of the same."
If workers in Argentina and elsewhere replace one capitalist government with another then their misery will continue.
We need to build that socialist alternative. We need to lay the basis for mass socialist parties that will enable working class people to get rid of capitalism world-wide and replace it with a system that will provide everyone with the necessities of life and the chance for a decent future.
In The Socialist 4 January 2002: