The editorial board of marxy.com is proud to announce the publication of the 10th issue of “Freedom and Communism”, the Arabic-language magazine of the International Marxist Tendency. We publish the editorial here, translated into English for our international readership. [Click here to download the pdf.]
This issue was prepared this summer, immediately after the International Marxist University. It includes two pieces on economics by members of the IMT in Britain: a theoretical article by comrade Adam Booth about Marxism vs Libertarianism, and a piece on Stagflation and Class Struggle, by comrade Rob Sewell.
In the section on the Middle East and North Africa, we publish an article on the escalation of violence against women in Egypt. In the international section, we include an article by Alan Woods, which was originally a speech he gave at the International Marxist University, in which he discusses the situation in world politics.
More than a hundred years ago, Lenin explained that capitalism is horror without end. Every passing day brings more evidence of the correctness of that position. Endless wars, crises, famines, hideous exploitation, slavery, pollution, and temperatures rising to catastrophic levels in one country after another… all while a tiny minority of rich capitalists accumulate vast profits.
This year alone (2022), capitalism will push an additional 260 million people into extreme poverty, which is equivalent to the populations of the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain combined. The rise in food prices alone will push 65 million people into extreme poverty, bringing the total number of people living in extreme poverty globally to 860 million.
At the same time, according to an Oxfam report, various forms of inequality (access to medical services, hunger, vulnerability to climatic disturbances…) contribute to the death of at least 21,000 people every day, which means one person dies every four seconds.
All this in the midst of an abundance unprecedented in history. The amount of wealth in society has never been greater, but never has it been in such a small number of hands.
During the time of the pandemic, the wealth of the 10 richest people in the world doubled, from $700 billion to $1,500 billion, at a rate of $15,000 per second (yes, you read it correctly: per second), or $1.3 billion per day. These 10 people alone have more wealth than the 3.1 billion poorest people combined. They got so rich that, even if they lost 99.99 percent of their current wealth, they would still be richer than 99 percent of the world’s population.
Is there no solution? Can this go on? Is this a ‘normal situation’? Bertolt Brecht said in his play The Exception and the Rule:
We particularly ask you
-When a thing continually occurs-
Not on that account to find it natural
Let nothing be called natural
In an age of bloody confusion
Ordered disorder, planned caprice,
And dehumanised humanity, lest all things
Be held unalterable!
Leaving aside the stupid fatalists and defenders of the current system, we find that even the more far-sighted strategists of capitalism admit that the situation is bad, and getting worse, although, of course, they have no answers. For instance, the managing director of the IMF comments:
“We are experiencing a fundamental shift in the global economy... to a world with more fragility, greater uncertainty, higher economic volatility, geopolitical confrontations, and more frequent and devastating natural disasters.”
For its part, the charity Oxfam stated in one of its reports that imposing an annual tax of only 0.2 percent on the wealth of millionaires, and 0.5 percent on the wealth of billionaires, would raise an amount of 2,520 billion dollars annually, which would save 2.3 billion people from poverty, and enable the provision of medical services and social protection to all residents of low-and-middle-income countries.
In reality, taxing the rich is not sufficient. The problem is one of ownership. The levers of production and the lion’s share of the world’s wealth is the private property of a handful of parasitic profiteers. If the meagre measures proposed by Oxfam could theoretically achieve the gains they suggest, just imagine what could be accomplished by expropriating all the wealth of the capitalist parasites without compensation, and placing it under the democratic control of the workers of the whole world, as part of a conscious, socialist plan!
It would be possible to eradicate hunger, poverty, wars, many diseases, and pollution, and reach unimaginable heights of well-being for the human race, in complete harmony with the environment. This is the future we are fighting for, and we invite you to join us in the International Marxist Tendency to fight alongside us for the world socialist revolution.
Take this magazine, read it and distribute it in your universities, workplaces and neighbourhoods; and if you agree with the ideas presented here, write in to discuss joining us, and help build a revolutionary leadership for the working class where you are!