In the convergence of crises, the challenge is to take forward the workers and the people
First published at Fourth International.
The ongoing siege and massacre against the Palestinians in Gaza, executed by the Israeli state with the open support of the United States and the complicit silence of the other Western imperialist powers, comes in addition to Putin's war against Ukraine to prove the instability and brutal violence that characterise the new global geopolitical scenario. The multiplication of wars and the aggravation of tensions between states and intra-states are only one of the signs of the new historical period of convergence of crises, opened with the crash of 2008.
The present text is not a personal effort but the result so far of the debates we have held in recent months among the members of the International Committee of the Fourth International. We note a situation of unprecedented internationalization of the great questions facing humanity. The crisis of capitalism has taken on a new quality since the crash of 2008 and in particular with the Covid pandemic; it has clearly become multidimensional. There is convergence, articulation between the environmental crisis - which has been producing increasingly extreme weather phenomena for a number of years now, including recent excessive heat waves -with the phase of lasting economic stagnation, the intensification of the dispute for hegemony in the interstate system between the United States and China, the rise of authoritarianism and neo-fascism, the peoples’ and workers’ resistance, the weakening of states, especially in Africa, the multiplication of war situations around the world (such as those fought in Palestine and Ukraine, Yemen, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar.
This articulation shows that we have entered a new moment in the history of capitalism. A period qualitatively different from the one we have lived through since the establishment of neoliberal globalization at the turn of the 1980s, and particularly more conflictual from the point of view of the class struggle than the one opened up with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the bureaucratic regimes of Eastern Europe. As we said in March 2021,“The pandemic aggravates the multidimensional crisis of the capitalist system and opens a moment of imbrication of long-standing phenomena that were developing relatively autonomously and that, with the pandemic, converge explosively: (...)These are processes that manifest and interact with each other, modifying the world order inherited from the 1990s with the end of the Eastern European bloc, the implosion of the USSR and the capitalist restoration both in that part of the world and in China.”
The backdrop and meeting point of all the facets of this multidimensional crisis is the ecological crisis caused by two centuries of predatory capitalist accumulation. The escalation of the climate and environmental crisis, which is hitting humanity and life on the planet hard - climate emergency, loss of biodiversity, pollution, pandemic. The globalized corporate economy, based on burning fossil fuels and increasing consumption of meat and ultra-processed foods, is rapidly producing a climate that will reduce the limits within which humanity can live on the planet. Melting ice at the poles and in glaciers is accelerating the rise of the seas and water crises. Agribusiness, mining and the extraction of hydrocarbons are advancing - not without resistance - on tropical forests, which are essential for maintaining the planet's climate systems and biodiversity. The effects of the climate crisis will continue to manifest themselves violently around the world, destroying infrastructures, agricultural systems, ways of life, and producing gigantic human displacements. None of this will happen without a leap in social conflict.
Does this situation have precedents? This is a collateral but very hot debate among historians. Of course, the closest thing to what we are experiencing today is the convergence of crises at the beginning of the 20th century - the one that resulted in Hobsbawm’s “age of catastrophe” (1914-1946), with two bloody world wars in between. There are at least two very big differences: first, today we have the ecological crisis. The system has developed the conditions for a complete regressive transformation in the life of humanity and all forms of life. The second, but no less crucial, is that the ever more rapid changes are combined with the maintenance of one element of the previous period: the absence of an alternative to capitalism that is credible in the eyes of the masses, the lack of an anti-capitalist force or set of forces leading economic and social revolutions.
It is not that there are no struggles and resistances, on the contrary. We have had in this century at least two great waves of democratic and anti-neoliberal struggles, of which a renewed women’s movement and the anti-racist movement from the US were part. However, these major struggles have been objectively confronted not only with neo-liberal capitalism and its governments, but also with the dilemmas of structural reorganization of the world of work - the industrial working class has lost social weight in much of the West; oppressed, young and new sectors of precarious workers are not yet organized in a permanent way and in general have difficulties in uniting with the trade union movement. This is accompanied by a regression in the consciousness of the oppressed and exploited, affected by geographical, technological and structural reconfigurations and by neoliberal hyper-individualism. Added to this is the tremendous fragmentation of the socialist left, creating a situation in which struggles are more difficult and the results in terms of consciousness-raising and political organization are scarcer.
The multiplication of crises amplifies them
To characterize the capitalist crisis as multidimensional means that it is not a simple sum of crises, but a dialectically articulated combination, in which each sphere impacts the other and is impacted by the others. As far as the relationship between the economic-social and the ecological is concerned, the central imperialist countries of the West and East (at least from the point of view of a non-suicidal part of the central bourgeoisies) have the very difficult challenge of implementing an energy transition that minimizes the effects of climate change at a time when the tendency to accelerate the fall in profit rates is worsening. The link between the war in Ukraine (before the conflict in Palestine exploded) and economic stagnation has worsened the critical food situation of the poorest people on the planet, with more than 250 million more people suffering from hunger in 2023 than in 2014. The flow of people displaced by wars, climate change, the food crisis and the extension of repressive regimes is growing, mostly between in the countries of the South, although the media gives more prominence to forced South-North displacement.
The disastrous prospects in the environmental and economic spheres, since at least 2016, have certainly played an important role in pushing part of the bourgeois fractions in different countries to detach themselves from the project of formal democracies as the best way to implement neoliberal precepts. Increasingly significant sectors of the bourgeoisie are embracing authoritarian alternatives within liberal democracies, leading to the strengthening of right-wing fundamentalist movements and ultra-right-wing governments (Trump, Modi, Bolsonaro) as well as the links between the supporters of these forces internationally.
The expansion of a hyper-individualistic neoliberal sociability which, combined with the right's use of social networks and possibly now AI, further encourages depoliticization, class fragmentation and conservatism. Digital technologies also help to deep the subordination-clientalization of the medium and small peasantry, considered as the main producers of the world's food, or even the massive reduction of these peasantries. On the other hand, neoliberalism, by continuing to violently attack what remains of the welfare states, imposing over-exploitation of industrial and services workers and particularly over caregivers, throwing women, particularly working women, into the dilemma between surviving (badly) or fighting back.
The system is brutally attacking the welfare services it had previously created through austerity plans - that is either getting rid of such services entirely or, where profit can be made, hiving them off to the private sector. Thus, neoliberalism keeps women in the formal labour force (in the North) or less formal, more informal (in the Global South), further reducing the wages and incomes of those who "work outside" or provide service, while burdening working women as a whole with the tasks of caring for children, the elderly, the sick, the different - the work that the welfare state once covered, where it existed. With the networks of social reproduction in crisis, greater in neo-colonial countries than in metropolises, neoliberal society “domestificates” (makes domestic again) and racializes (hands over to non-whites, blacks, indigenous women, immigrants) the tasks of caregiving, but does not take responsibility for social reproduction as a whole.
In a geoeconomic overview, today's neoliberal capitalism and its interstate system carry new productive forces (digital platforms), new types of social relations of production (uberization), and varied social relations mediated by the market, to digital devices and algorithms. At the same time, the centre of gravity of global capital accumulation has shifted in the 21st century from the North Atlantic (Europe-USA) to the Pacific (USA, especially Silicon Valley, to East and Southeast Asia). It is not just China that is decisive, but the whole region, from Japan and Korea to Australia and India.
On the political front - the main enemy
New extreme right-wingers, in various versions, are advancing in Europe, where they could conquer the government of France, and Latin America, where they have just conquered the Casa Rosada (Argentina), after Dima Boluarte's coup in Peru, in 2022, and in the United States, where Trump can return to the White House. They are real threats in Asia, where the son of dictator Marcos (Philippines) and the xenophobic anti-Muslim Hindu Narendra Modi rule in India.In this long-lasting political crisis, discontent has hit hard not only the "traditional" or cosmopolitan right, (in the sense of "progressive" neoliberalism, as Nancy Fraser puts it), as in the United States, Italy, India (Congress Party) and the Philippines. but also the social democracies and “progressivisms” that have co-administered the neoliberal states of recent decades – let us remember the victories of Duterte in 2016 against a right-wing coalition and of Bolsonaro against the PT in 2018, as well as the recent defeat of Peronism, the growth of Vox in Spain.
Since 2008, and more markedly since Brexit and Trump's victory in 2016, movements and parties of a “revamped” far right have strengthened and multiplied with electoral victories from within the political systems. They present themselves as counter-systemic, even though they are neoliberal, conservative in their customs, nationalist, xenophobic, racist, misogynist, enemies of the LGBTQIA+ people rights, transphobic and inspired or massively supported by religious fundamentalism, of neo-Pentecostal Christians in Latin America and the United States, and Hinduism in India. Unlike the fascists of a hundred years ago, They spread the denialism of science in understanding climate change – because they need to deny the tragic reality in order to present some hope –and in guiding the collective care of populations in the face of pandemics and epidemics.
The rise of this constellation of neo- or post-fascisms is primarily the result of at least two decades of crisis of neoliberal democracies and their institutions. These neo-liberal regimes have been responsible - and are seen as such by the people - for increasing inequalities, impoverishment, corruption, violence and lack of prospects for young people. They have proved incapable of responding satisfactorily to the aspirations of peoples and workers. So the deep root of the new extreme right is the desperation of the impoverished social sectors in the face of the worsening crisis, the disintegration of the social fabric imposed by neo-liberalism - in which religious fundamentalism is growing - combined with the failures of the “alternatives” represented by social liberalism and “progressivism”. As a result, fractions of the bourgeoisie around the world have emerged and grown to support neo-fascism as a political-ideological solution capable of closing down regimes, controlling mass movements with an iron fist, imposing brutal adjustments and dispossessions in order to recover profit rates. The most notable example of this division is the polarization between Trumpism (which has taken the Republican Party by storm) and, in the other hand, the Democratic Party in the United States.
In parallel and in combination, are gaining in strength murderous theocracies and veritable caliphates in the Middle East, dictatorships in Central Asia, Putin's oligarchic-imperial neo-fascism in Russia, while the Chinese Communist Party under Xi Jing Ping is expanding repression. This combination constitutes a historic threat to civil liberties and democratic gains throughout the world, among which revolutionaries, without lowering our criticisms of the limits of formal bourgeois democracies, value in particular the right of the exploited and oppressed to fight and to organize to fight. In this context unfavourable to those at the bottom, those who, from a supposedly nostalgic left of Stalinism, defend Putin and the Chinese model or Maduro and Ortega as alternatives to the imperial system, collaborate in the weakening and usurpation of those freedoms, creating yet another obstacle to the struggle for real, socialist democracy.
The economic and social crisis
We are still living under the impact of the great financial crisis of 2008, which would have opened a new great depression (in Michael Roberts' sense), like the one of 1873-90 years and particularly like that of 1929-1933. For most left-wing analysts, we are living through a crisis of neoliberal globalization. Firstly, because this mode of capitalist operation is no longer able, as before, to guarantee growth and the profit rates it guaranteed in the late 1980s and 1990s. Secondly, because geopolitical polarization, aggravated by the European war and the advance of nationalisms, is shaking up super-internationalized value chains (let's mention the Europe-Russia energy chain and global chip production, which is the target of US fury to prevent Chinese leadership in telecommunications and artificial intelligence). With Covid (with more lasting economic effects in China), then the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its consequences and the sharpening of the USA-China rivalry, there is a tendency to redesign the already shaken global production chains. None of these difficulties, however, prevent the imperialist neoliberal governments and their subordinates from continuing with their adjustments and ferocious attacks on wages, social budgets and the commodification of agriculture.
Despite the paltry growth after 2008, the neoliberal economy dribbles out its own crisis by fleeing forward, through the continued concentration of capital, financialization, public and private indebtedness, digitalization - which brings increasing power to the big transnational companies in general and Big Tech in particular. The combination of stagnation - which now seems to be impacting China as well - rising inflation (aggravated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine) and the implementation of the same neoliberal policies only exacerbates social, regional, racial and gender inequalities between and within countries.
The recovery of international economic exchanges and the large credit supply to encourage the resumption of activities after Covid pandemic have created a sudden increase in demand, speculation on energy and raw material and an unknown level of inflation for decades – a situation aggravated in every way by the economic impact (on global production and distribution chains) of the Ukrainian war.
The sharp rise in inflation is being exacerbated by a spiral of higher profit margins and higher prices, and not by a spiral of higher wages and higher prices, contrary to the assertions of the heads of the ECB and the FED in particular. The FED, ECB and other central banks have been increasing interest rates, with a risk of a global recession in 2023, as well as impacting less regulated financial systems such as those in the US and Switzerland. Unbridled search for crisis protection (or profit maintenance) encourages financial speculation and permanently threatens the system with the wave of bankruptcies of 2008 that affected not only banks but also big industrial corporations like General Motors, Ford, General Electrics, or big real estate corporations. Besides its recessive nature – that shakes the standard of living of the working masses – the hike of interest rates is causing sovereign and private debts to grow, creating the conditions for new regional or even global default crises.
The reconfiguration of the world geopolitical order
The “geopolitical chaos” we were talking about a few years ago has worsened, on the one hand, On the other, it gives rise to what the Marxist economist Claudio Katz calls the crisis of the imperial system - that is, a weakening of the hegemonic power accompanied by the affirmation of new imperialisms, such as China and Russia. It is a reconfiguration underway in a global context of immense instability, with nothing consolidated, so that any categorical affirmation today is a bet on the most probable hypothesis. In any case, there is no longer the unipolarity of the bloc under US leadership.
The facts show, however, that with the strengthening of the Asian giant in the economic, technological and military spheres, we are at the very least experiencing an inter-imperialist dispute based on rivalry between the North American bloc on the one hand (with European imperialisms, the Canadian province, Japan, South Korea, Australia), and a bloc being built around China on the other. The Chinese bloc, expanding and on the offensive, includes Russia (despite its particular interests and contradictions with Beijing), North Korea, many Central Asian republics, is making new friends among the caliphates of the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Iran) and is trying to turn the BRICS into an alliance against Western imperialisms.
The nature of the Chinese “great leap” of the last 30 years was capitalist. Heir to a great social revolution and a turn towards restoration from the 1980s onwards, which was essential to the neoliberal redesign of the world (carried out in partnership with the US and its allies), Chinese imperialism has peculiar characteristics, as all imperialisms have. Its basis is a statist capitalism that is planned and centralized in the CCP and the Chinese armed forces, with classic developmental policies, and a lot of big corporations that are joint ventures between state-owned or state-controlled companies and private companies. Its imperialism is still, of course, under construction, but very advanced in this construction. In the last 10 years China has become the country that applies for and registers the most patents in the world. Now is China becoming more of an exporter than an importer of capital, with an emphasis on its holdings in energy, mining and infrastructure companies in neo-colonial countries (Southeast and Central Asia, Africa and Latin America). It has been investing more and more in armaments and vehemently crossing the line - Taiwan and the South Sea - that rivals must not cross, but it has not still invaded or colonized “another country” in the classic sense (although its policy towards Tibet and Xijiang is essentially imperialist and colonialist).
Today's Russia, for its part, is the state resulting from the great destruction of the foundations of what was the Soviet Union, and the chaotic, non-centralized restoration that took place there - from the takeover of old and new businesses by bureaucrats turned into oligarchs. Putin and his group, which comes from the sectors of the old espionage and repression services, came up with in the beginning of the century, with the project of re-centralizing Russian capitalism, using Bonapartist relations among oligarchs and a 21st century version of the old national-imperialist ideology of Great Russia, transformed into the main instrument for reaffirming Russian capitalism in imperialist competition and for qualitatively increasing the repression of the peoples of the Federation - including the Russian people.
It is in this new panorama that we must understand Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the war that has been going on for almost two years now, as well as the Israel-USA offensive against Gaza. The war in Ukraine could go on for a long time yet, without one armed force prevailing over the other, were it not for the United States much greater interests in the last month, in guaranteeing military and financial aid for the Palestinian massacr rather than the defensive war of the Ukrainian government and people for their self-determination. The USA is on the offensive with Israel in Palestine, its bloc is active in the Eastern European theatre of operations, while preparing for the possibility of conflicts in Asia (Taiwan, China Sea) and Oceania. With China in economic trouble, Putin strengthened for the time being and the US regime in serious crisis - with the possibility of Trump's return to the White House - the scenario for the capitalist interstate system is one of growing tensions and equally great uncertainties for the workers and peoples.
This new imperialist (dis)order has not only brought the wars in Ukraine and Palestine). We are seeing a multiplication of war situations around the world, such as those fought in Syria, Yemen, Sudan, the Israel war against Palestinians, and the conflict in the East part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, not to mention the obvious or disguised civil wars: such as the civil war in Myamar, an example of the former, and the permanent war of Latin American states against criminal organisations, and of these against the masses, as in Mexico and Brazil.This conflictive situation is advancing in the geoeconomics and geopolitics of Africa, where Russia is competing with France and US economically and militarily in particular in the ex- French-speaking colonies of West Africa. By its side, China keeps trying to increase its economic influence in all parts of African continent. The new disorder is threatening more inter-imperialist conflicts and the resumption of the nuclear race, making the world more unstable, more violent and more dangerous.
The emergence of rivals does not take away from US its nature as the richest and most militarily powerful country, with the bourgeoisie most convinced of its "historic mission" to rule the planet at any cost, and therefore to wage war in favour of the continuity of its hegemony. The point is that while the US is unbeatable at coercion, it has a serious problem: an imperialist hegemony (like all hegemonies) can only be sustained if it also convinces its allies and its domestic public. Uncle Sam is the one who effectively gives the final word in the still hegemonic imperialist "collectivity", but he has very serious problems that didn't exist in the previous period: his business and political elite is divided as never before over the project of internal domination (a society and a bourgeois democratic regime in open crisis since the Tea Party and Trump took over the Republican Party from within) and is forced to face the imbroglio of undoing the value chains that have deeply tied the US economy to the Chinese economy over the last 40 years.
The place of the war in Ukraine
The invasion of Ukraine by Putin’s military has accelerated the redesign of the geopolitical world. In view of the escalating tensions in East Asia around Taiwan and the South China Sea, the danger of direct wars between the main imperialisms in competition has increased. There is a danger of a nuclear escalation, even if it is not the most likely. The "new order" in construction, already carrying the threat of more interimperialist conflicts and a resumption of the nuclear race, makes the world more conflictual and dangerous.
The unjustified and atrocious Russian invasion of Ukraine decided by Putin on 24 February 2022 and the war it provoked have already caused over 250 000 deaths (50 000 for Russian army) and almost 100 000 of Ukraine civilians. Russian continues bombing in civilian zones and strikes over railroads, roads, mills and warehouses, that have been destroying Ukranian infrastructure. Millions of Ukrainians have been forced to flee the country tearing apart their families and social networks, putting them in the situation of refugees which in different countries may mean without permanent status, housing, work or income, and placing a great burden on the neighbouring countries whose populations have also mobilized to give material support.
We defend the right of the Ukrainian people to determine their own future in their own interests and in respecting the rights of all minorities; their right to determine this future independent of the interests of the oligarchy or the current neoliberal capitalist regime, the conditions of the IMF or the EU, with full cancellation of their debt; and the right of all refugees and displaced persons to return with full security and rights.
The only lasting solution to this war can be through an end to bombing of civilian populations and energy supplies, the complete withdrawal of Russian troops. All negotiations must be public in front of the Ukrainian people. We fight for the dismantling of all military blocs - NATO, CSTO, AUKUS – and we also continue to fight for global disarmament - especially in terms of nuclear and chemical weapons.
In Russia and Belarus, those who oppose Putin’s imperialist war are criminalized. Deserters from the army and those who dare protest openly are severely repressed in Russia. Hundreds of thousands have also been forced to flee Russia, often without refugee status and confronted with the effects of measures designed to punish supporters of the Russian regime. They also merit our full solidarity. - We call for an end to all repression of Russian opponents to the war and, if necessary, their welcome in the countries of their choice.
The recent coups in Africa
The recent military coups in former French colonies in Africa (Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger) are an indicator of the deep social and political crisis in this region, which has been weakened by the rise in military action by Islamist terrorist groups that have been strengthened by the defeat of Gaddafi in Libya and the intervention of the Western powers. In these four countries, the military who took power, without encountering any resistance in a context of regime crisis, took advantage of the total discredit of the political institutions and the widespread rejection of the French imperialist presence among the population, particularly among the youth of the Sahel. This rejection of imperialist France among the population was also very clearly expressed in Senegal during the social movements of 2021. In the case of the military coup in Gabon, which is part of Central Africa and also a former French colony, the decisive factor is the crisis of the regime, because there is not the same rejection of France as in its neighbours.
However, the military who have come to power offer no real alternative to imperialist policies and the neo-liberal model, in much the same way as the Islamists who came to power through elections in Tunisia and Egypt since the Arab Spring. None of them even speak on the issue of anti-imperialism - so powerful on the continent in the 1960s and 1970s - and the need for an African unity radically different from the supposed unity represented by the AU and its orientation towards integration into neoliberal globalisation.
As the Fourth International, we reject the Western imperialist discourse which, under the pretext of restoring constitutional order in these countries, wants to support military intervention in order to preserve its interests. We support the demand for the departure of French military troops from the entire region, starting with Niger. We demand the closure of the US military base in Agadez in Niger and the departure of Wagner group troops. We support all efforts to regain the political and economic sovereignty of peoples in the direction of a new, anti-systemic movement for unity of countries and peoples in Africa.
Those from below respond with mobilizations
After the 2008 crisis, there was a resumption of mass mobilizations around the world. Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, Plaza del Sol in Madrid, Taksim in Istanbul, June 2013 in Brazil, Nuit Debout and yellow vests in France, mobilizations in Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Santiago, Bangkok. That first wave was followed by a second wave of uprisings and explosions between 2018 and 2019, interrupt-ed by the pandemic: the anti-racist rebellion in the US and the UK, with the death of George Floyd, women's mobilizations in many parts of the world, including the heroic struggle of the women of Iran, revolts against autocratic regimes such as in Belarus (2020), a massive strike by Indian farmers that mobilized hundreds of thousands and was victorious in 2021. The year 2019 saw demonstrations, strikes and attempts to overthrow governments in more than 100 countries – six of them succeeded in overturning or modifying counter-reforms, in four governments were overthrown, and in two governments were completely reformed (study by the French news site Mediapart, 24/11/2019).
Highlights after the pandemic include the three months of resistance in France against Macron's pension reform; the workers', students' and people's uprising in China that helped to defeat the CCP's Covid Zero policy. In the US, the process of unionization and struggle continues in the new branches of production (Starbuck's, Amazon, UPS), with the emergence of new grassroots anti-bureaucratic processes (rank and file), with strikes by workers mainly in education, healthcare in 2022/2023, the big strikes of Hollywood screenwriters and actors, as well as the historic and so far victorious strike of the workers of the three big car manufacturers in the country.
The working class in a broad sense, which is now preparing for the impacts of Artificial Intelligence (and resisting, as can be seen in the strike by Hollywood screenwriters and actors), is still alive and numerous, although restructured, repressed, less conscious and organized than in the last century. The big industrial complexes survive in China and spread throughout Southeast Asia. Peasants in Africa, South Asia (India and Pakistan) and Latin America are also bravely resisting the invasion of imperialist agribusiness. Indigenous peoples, who make up 10% of the world's population, are resisting the advances of capital over their territories and are defending common goods that are essential for all of humanity. The defeat of the Arab Spring and the Syrian tragedy retard the capacity for resistance of the peoples of the Near and Middle East - despite this, we have the heroic uprising of the women and girls of Iran.
In Latin America, the social explosions and struggles – which combine democratic and economic demands – are channelled into the election of so-called "progressive" governments, with all the differences that exist between the governments of Lula and AMLO, on the one hand, and Petro and Boric, on the other. Our general policy should not be one of frontal and sectarian opposition to these governments, but of demands and mobilization (including to better ways to combat the far right), while maintaining the independence of the movements and parties in which we operate. with all their contradictions.
Workers continue to resist capital and fight for living conditions, albeit under new forms of work organization and new ways of organizing to fight, and therefore with more difficulty than in the glorious years of the 20th century welfare state. The point is to work harder than ever, in every country, in every urban periphery, in every workplace, in every occupation and strike, in every new grassroots union, in every new category and new popular movement of resistance to the order, in unifying with each other for common demands, in creating and strengthening self-organization and in the anti-capitalist politicization of demands, towards the reconstruction of a consciousness of the exploited and oppressed against capitalism and of their class independence.
In sub-Saharan Africa, on the one hand, the so-called citizens' movements (Le Balai citoyen, Y en a marre!, Lucha, etc.) seem to be looking for a new lease of life; on the other hand, popular demonstrations, including those of the political opposition, to which the regimes also respond with fierce repression (Senegal, Swatini/ex-Swaziland, Zimbabwe, etc.). Generally, a left-wing or "progressive" (anti-neoliberal) anchoring is not obvious, let alone an anti-capitalist perspective (put forward by the Algerian comrades during the Hirak).
The central demands for a new time
In such a situation, the situation of the working classes, exploited and oppressed people brings out different demands combining ecological questions, gender and racial questions, democratic questions in general - against authoritarian regimes, neo-fascisms and all imperialisms. Unitary left-wing policies (single fronts) and even transitional unity with middle or bourgeois sectors against fascism (broad fronts) are an important part of our repertoire in these times, although never negotiating or accepting the loss of our political independence and that of the social movements.
Basic needs, basic rights have to be satisfied for all humans, free of charge health care, decent housing, decent job and decent wage and pension, water access. A large part of humanity have less and less these benefits because of privatization of lands and production means for capitalist profits, because of austerity policies and climate changes catastrophic consequences.
We have to fight against authoritarian governments and for democratic rights, for society's general right to care, against the discrimination suffered by women to dispose of their own bodies and their own lives, for the right to abortion, for wage and income equality, against structural racism that discriminates black people, indigenous populations and other racialized ethnicities, and the conservative homo and transphobia that attacks the global LGBTQI community.
All these struggles have to be brought together to overthrow the regimes of exploitation and oppression, to enforce the struggle against capitalism. All these tasks and war threats induce the need for a new internationalism, a fighting internationalism of those from below. While many social movements and mobilizations are exploding today, we need to rebuild internationalist links and initiatives - such as those of port workers from all over Europe boycotting Israel - and campaigns that bring together the left and social movements, with exchanges that make it possible to defend common demands, to facilitate victories and advances capable of turning the situation in favour of the social majorities.
Ana Cristina Carvalhaes is a journalist, a militant of PSOL (Brazil) and a member of the Executive Bureau of the Fourth International.