From Albania Today, 1976, 5

The Economic Crisis and the Sharpening of Contradictions in the Capitalist-Revisionist World

Hekuran Mara – Professor, specialist in economic issues.

Periodically, in the period after the Second World War the economy of the developed capitalist countries has several times passed into a situation of crisis. However until the beginning of the 70s, in the intervals between the cycles, it continued to mark a certain increase of production and a relative decrease of the number of the chronic army of unemployed. Although these phenomena were met only in some of the bigger privileged, capitalist countries and did not constitute a feature of the whole system of the world capitalist economy, the bourgeois ideologists rushed in to circulation with all sorts of theories about the so-called new capitalism which flourishes and develops without crises. Politicians and statesmen from among the ranks of the bourgeoisie took up these theories whenever the situation required it and the occasion presented itself, to deceive the working masses through demagogy, to disguise the policy of oppression, exploitation, aggression and war, pursued by the imperialist powers. Proceeding from these theories, the leaders of the social democratic parties drafted program after program about the so-called "integration of capitalism in socialism", to prove that allegedly now “there are no antagonistic classes and class struggle in bourgeois society, that capitalism has become more progressive, more liberal, more humane”.

The economic-financial crisis which has broken out in the capitalist-revisionist world is neither accidental, unexpected nor unforeseen. It is an inevitable result of the sharpening of contradictions which are ceaselessly gnawing at the capitalist order in the epoch of its general crisis; it is a natural result of the imperialist policy of aggression, world hegemony, oppression and exploitation of the peoples pursued by US imperialism and Soviet social imperialism.

The modern revisionists in capitalist countries did not lag behind the new theories, either; by trying to prove the “changed nature” of present-day capitalism, they aim to divert the working class from the course of struggle, revolt and violent revolution. In the countries where the modern revisionists are in power too, much speculation began around this question, with a great deal being said, about a "new historical stage" in the development of capitalism; seeking through such theorisations to justify the anti-Marxist thesis of peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism.

Although from the tactical aspect all this confusion of “theoretical” apologia about the development of capitalism without crises and the change in its nature has its own nuances and refinements in the arguments which the bourgeoisie and revisionists use in their “theoretical” thinking, from the strategic aspect it all has the one aim: to extend the life of capitalism, to ensure the state power of the imperialists and revisionist bourgeoisie, to confuse and disarm the working class ideologically, to avert the outbreak of conflicts and the social revolution as long as possible and whenever this can be achieved for the time being.

However, at the very time when the bourgeois-revisionist apologists were in ecstasy, because they thought that with their magic words and miracle working “theories” they had saved capitalism from the evil of economic crises, the capitalist world was seized in the grip of a new economic crisis. After all it became obvious that the capitalist order had remained what in reality is – an order of oppression and exploitation ofthe peoples, of the toil and sweat of mankind, a warmongering order and murderer of nations, that it had changed only in the imagination of the bourgeois-revisionist ideologists.

Now the world capitalist economy is experiencing the most difficult times it has known in the post-war period. Not a day passes in the capitalist world and the countries where the revisionists are in power, without talk and the publication of news about the economic-financial crisis. The level of industrial production has fallen and is still falling in all the main capitalist countries. Industrial and commercial bankruptcies follow one after another. Inflation, the increase of the prices of mass consumption goods and living costs are racing ahead neck and neck. Stocks of unsold goods increase from one month to the next. The number of unemployed people in the capitalist-revisionist world has reached about 100 million. The bourgeois and revisionist states are up to their necks in internal and foreign debts. The deficits of the budgets and balances of payments have risen to unheard-of sums. Currencies are devalued in chain reactions, causing alarm and panic on the money market. The imperialist and revisionist bourgeoisie has set its state machinery in motion to shift the entire burden of the crisis on to the shoulders of the working masses. The two imperialist superpowers are leaving no stone unturned to get out of the crisis at the expense of their partners, at the expense of the countries and peoples who are oppressed and exploited by them. In broad outline such is the situation which the economic-financial crisis has created in the capitalist-revisionist world today.

To deceive the peoples, imperialism, social imperialism, and their ideologists sometimes try to present, the economic-financial crisis as a crisis which allegedly came about simply as a result of the shortage or higher cost of oil. On other occasions they try to present the economic financial crisis simply as a crisis which came about as a result of the growth of inflation on a world scale. This crisis, they allege, can be overcome by reducing the prices of oil and raw materials, as well as by freezing the wages of the workers. But all reasoning of this nature is aimed at camouflaging the situation and its real causes, at hindering the disclosure of the essence of the phenomena.

In fact the present-day economic-financial crisis is of another nature, it has other causes and dimensions. It is an expression and direct consequence of the sharpening and deepening of the contradiction between the social character of production and its capitalist private appropriation; it is an expression of the sharpening and deepening of the general crisis of the capitalist system.

The temporary revival of the capitalist economy and the intensification of the antagonism between production and consumption

Beginning from the 50's the economy of the principal capitalist countries marked a certain revival. This revival was influenced by such factors as the technical-scientific revolution and, on this basis, the renewal of the fundamental capital, the militarisation of the economy, the external economic expansion, the increase of the level of exploitation of the working people, etc. These factors not only did not lead to the solution and overcoming of the contradictions of the capitalist system, but they sharpened the old contradictions even more and gave rise to new contradictions which brought about the outburst of the present economic-financial crisis.

As a result of the development of the technical-scientific revolution in the post-war period, new branches of industrial production came into being in the main capitalist countries, such as electronics, petrochemistry, etc. The creation of these branches and particularly the development of the mechanical engineering and automobile industry in this period, played the same role in the increase of the total industrial production as the building of railways played before the First World War (1900-1915). Whereas during 20 years (1951-1970) the total industrial production of the capitalist countries increased 92 per cent, over the same period the production of the electronics industry, of the chemical and automobile industries of these same countries increased 200 per cent.

The development of the technical-scientific revolution was accompanied by a mass and simultaneous renewal of the fundamental capital also in the old traditional branches of the economy. This phenomenon occurred because in most capitalist countries the renewal of the fundamental capital in these branches could not take place in large proportions either after the world crisis of the years 1929-1933 or during the Second World War. Moreover, the mass and simultaneous renewal of the fundamental capital was conditioned also by the need to restore the war-damaged industry in Western Europe and Japan, by the high rates of militarisation of the economy in USA and other imperialist states, as well as by the intensification of the struggle of competition among the monopolies in the capitalist market.

The accelerated renewal of the fundamental capital led temporarily to a rise in the demand for machines, industrial equipment, raw materials, fuels and other commodities of the first subdivision. In this way it stimulated the extension of the production of means of production. As a result of the rise in demand for means of production, the home market began to extend too, for the account of the first subdivision. This whole movement brought about the relative increase of the number of people employed and, together with this, also a certain increase of the volume of the market for mass consumption goods, particularly those of long-term use which were produced for the first time, such as television sets, washing machines, refrigerators, etc. However, the increase of the total demand with purchasing power (effective demand) remained limited and did not follow step by step the rates of increase of production in the first subdivision. This happened because even that rise which was attained in the wages of the workers, thanks to their persistent class struggle, was many times smaller than the increase of their labour productivity. In general the rise in the wages never managed to cover the increase in the cost of living, to cope with the essential minimum means of livelihood for the working people. Likewise, it must be pointed out that the increase of labour productivity was not accompanied with the reduction of prices, but, on the contrary, led to their increase.

In the final analysis, the development of the technical-scientific revolution and the renewal of the fundamental capital on the basis of it, led to the growth of the organic structure of capital and the relative reduction of the total effective demand for mass consumption goods. This is confirmed also by the fact that in the post-war period the production of mass consumption goods increased both relatively and absolutely much less than the production of means of production. Thus, for instance, in the USA in 1967, as compared with 1954, the production of the textiles and leather industries increased 9 per cent, the food processing industry 13 per cent, the foot wear and ready-made garments industry 11 per cent, while in the same period the production of electronic industry increased 168 per cent and chemical industry 177 per cent.

Overall, the average volume of consumption per capita in capitalist countries increased very little, so that even today the consumption of foodstuffs and footwear has not surpassed the pre-war level. The phenomenon of selling mass consumption goods on credit, which is widespread in capitalist countries, has its source in the fact that it is impossible for the working masses to cope with the daily needs of their livelihood with their wages. The increase of the volume of these sales is a supplementary means to increase the exploitation of the masses, because the prices of goods which are sold on credit are usually 30-40 per cent higher than the prices of the same goods paid for in cash. It follows from the official figures of the Department of State for Commerce that today the American workers use 40-50 per cent of their annual incomes to pay off debts created by the purchase of goods on credit. Another fact which it is no less important to stress is that the sale of goods on credit is direct evidence that the production of these goods has surpassed the limits of the effective demand of the working masses, it deepens the capitalist overproduction because, from the external aspects, it creates the false appearance that everything is going smoothly with the realisation of the goods produced, whereas this is a forced realisation.

As a result, the factors which conditioned the temporary upsurge of the capitalist economy in the post-war period at the same time also prepared the premises of the present-day economic crisis. They especially sharpened the antagonistic contradiction between production and consumption, which constitutes the ultimate cause in the series of causes that lead to the outbreak of economic crises in capitalism.

Militarisation and permanent inflation – insurmountable problems of the capitalist-revisionist economy

The policy of world domination, aggression and oppression of the peoples, pursued by imperialism and social imperialism, the operation of the law of maximum profit, as well as the narrowing of the world capitalist market have brought as a result that the capitalist economy is bound like Prometheus to the rock, to the production of the means of death, has taken the road of militarisation.

The militarisation of the economy is not a new phenomenon. From the moment of its birth, imperialism has been distinguished by its tendency towards the militarisation of the economy. But whereas between the two world wars the proportions of the militarisation of the economy were limited and were increased only for the time in which the war was being waged, now the proportions and rates of militarisation have increased beyond all comparison even in times of peace. Today, in the USA alone, the annual military expenditure amounts to 100 billion dollars. The military expenditure for aggression and war in the USSR, too, is at a similar level. The other imperialist states also spend huge sums in this field.

The militarisation of the economy and the armaments race in the post-war period became the sphere most attractive to the monopolies for investments of capital. They became the main source to ensure a sales market guaranteed by the state. The production and sale of arms has become the most profitable field for the monopolies. Today a total of 20 billion dollars worth of arms are sold in the world each year. Of these, 16 billion dollars worth are sold by the two superpowers, the USA and the USSR, alone (about 8 billion dollars worth each). In the present capitalist-revisionist economy it is more profitable to produce death dealing weapons than material blessings for the working masses. The fact that US imperialism, Soviet social imperialism, and the other main capitalist countries spend many times more material means and manpower for purposes of destruction than for purposes of creation shows that the capitalist system is definitely on a hopeless course, it demonstrates capitalism's colossal waste of human possibilities, the consequences of which are truly catastrophic. This is the most convincing proof of that great degradation which has encompassed the entire bourgeois-revisionist social order, just as occurred thousands of years ago in the slaveowner society of ancient Greece and later, that of Rome.

The truth is that militarisation influences the capitalist economy in a many-sided, but always contradictory way. The increase of the production of military means on the basis of state orders increases the demand for means of production, stimulates and accelerates the renewal of the fundamental capital which is used for the production of military means. Because of the high rates at which the military technique in general develops, the machines used in the war industry become obsolete, are subject particularly to moral consumption, and drop out of use very much more quickly and on a larger scale than the machines used in other branches of industry. This process brings about the extension of production in all the fields and branches of the first subdivision which are linked with the war industry, and leads to a certain increase of the number of people employed. Thus, in the final analysis, it leads to a certain increase also of the effective demand for goods of broad use, thus extending the limits of their realisation (sale) in the home market. In this sense, the militarisation of the economy is used by the monopolies and the bourgeois state as a temporary means against the outbreak of the economic crisis, mitigating the lag of the purchasing power of the working masses behind production. On the other hand, the militarisation of the economy brings about the non-productive use and the inevitable elimination of a good part of the national income and social production. Today, in the main capitalist and revisionist countries this elimination amounts to 20-24 per cent of the gross national product. Apart from this, the bourgeois-revisionist state draws the monetary means to pay for these war products from increased taxes on the working people and the increase of inflation. However, the increase of taxes and inflation inevitably leads to the decrease of the incomes of the working people, the further limitation of their purchasing power; hence, it leads to the sharpening of the contradiction between production and consumption. In this way militarisation creates a vicious circle for the capitalist economy. It brings about a temporary extension of the home market, which later must again reduce the effective demand in this market.

The creation of a special and ever growing sector of the production of military means in the contemporary capitalist economy gave rise to a phenomenon typical of the second stage of the general crisis of capitalism. This refers to the permanent chronic monetary inflation as a means to redistribute the national income in favour of increased profits for the monopolies, as a means of additional exploitation of the working people by the monopoly bourgeoisie.

The extension of the production of war means, together with the increase of their prices by the monopolies to secure the greatest possible profits, inevitably leads to the increase of the deficit of the state budget. Today the annual deficit of the state budget in the USA amounts to 76 billion dollars. The increase of the budget deficit is coped with by the state's putting new paper-money into circulation. This leads to a new increase of prices on the part of the monopolies. And thus, the spiral of inflation goes up and up inevitably, bringing about reduction of the real incomes of the working people, a further increase of the level of their exploitation, as well as increased profits for the monopolies. In recent years the average annual rate of inflation in the capitalist countries has been about 7 per cent.

The permanent inflation has brought into sharp relief a problem of the capitalist economy, it has increased the level of chronic non-utilisation of the productive capacities, not only in times of economic crisis, but also in times of the highest level of growth. In the Common Market countries, even before the outbreak of the present economic-financial crisis many branches of industry suffered from incomplete utilisation of productive capacities. Such were the steel, automobile, refrigerator, shipyard, sewing machine, synthetic fibre, and other industries.

Neocolonialism in action and the struggle of the peoples for national independence and sovereignty

Immediately after the Second World War the old colonial system of imperialism began to collapse. One after another many of the former colonial countries won and proclaimed their political independence. In these conditions the monopoly bourgeoisie of the metropolises, was compelled to go over from open and direct colonial domination to a secret and indirect neocolonial domination. Consequently, the monopolies managed to preserve their old economic positions almost intact, whereas the countries which proclaimed their independence remained, as before, economically dependent, agrarian appendages and sources of raw materials for the industrial metropolises. Therefore the economic enslavement and exploitation of these countries became even more intensive with the new forms of neocolonialism, which represents a whole system of measures of military, political and economic character. All these measures are aimed at the subjugation of the economically weak countries to the developed capitalist-revisionist countries, the restriction and elimination of their national independence.

Neocolonialism constitutes the main obstacle to the economic and social progress of the underdeveloped countries. The developing capitalist countries, which represent 70 per cent of the population of the earth and where more than 60 per cent of the world's reserves of oil and minerals are concentrated, today have only 30 per cent of the world's income at their disposal. Of the population of these countries, 800 million are illiterate, about 1 billion are suffering from hunger or malnutrition, and 900 million have daily incomes of less than 1/3 of a dollar. The average per capita income in the developing countries is 22 times less than in the developed countries.

Imperialism and social imperialism are not only opposed to the socio-economic progress o£ the developing countries, but they also pursue a policy of aggression, blackmail and pressure towards those who are striving to take their fate into their own hands. They leave no stone unturned against these countries in order to impose on them political regimes and social and economic structures which will facilitate foreign domination, economic dependence and the neocolonial exploitation. The foreign capitalist-revisionist exploiters are always interested in the raw materials and energy resources of the developing countries, but they do not concern themselves at all about the peoples of these countries, about their fate as a nation, about the development of their economy and culture. Nothing can wipe this historical truth from the minds, hearts, and consciousness of all those peoples who have won their independence and today are fighting to strengthen this independence against the attacks of imperialism and social imperialism, who are fighting to fill the gap in their socio-economic development created by the old and new colonial domination.

Through many sophisticated forms, such as their so-called “aid”, “economic and technical collaboration”, “joint enterprises”, “share in companies”, “division of labour, cooperation and specialisation”, etc. imperialism and social imperialism plunder the developing countries of large quantities of ores, fuel, other industrial materials and agricultural products at minimum prices, while selling these countries finished industrial product at maximum prices.

But the exploitation of the developing countries by the capitalist-revisionist monopolies by means of unfair prices (through non-equivalent exchanges) is not the only form of exploitation imposed on these countries by neocolonialism. There is also the direct plunder of the developing countries by the monopolies, creating such a situation in which the foreign monopolies decide everything concerning the exploitation and use of the riches of the developing countries regardless of the wishes of their true owners.

In the policy of hegemony, rivalry and division of spheres of influence in the world pursued by the two superpowers lies the main cause also of the shortage of fuel, the energy crisis that has harmed some of the countries of the capitalist-revisionist world. The US and Soviet monopolies, which control the extraction of oil and the market on which it is sold, sounded the alarm and began to challenge the oil producing countries, the Arab countries in particular. Things reached the point that it was publicly claimed that the imperialist metropolises have the right to exercise control in fixing the sale prices of crude oil. Such imperialist countries as West Germany, France, etc., which are in the greatest need of oil, hastened to intensify their penetration into the Arab oil resources. The two superpowers, which want no partners in their hegemony and in the division of spheres of influence in the Middle East, reacted with pressures and promises of “friendship and assistance” for the countries of this area.

The capital of the monopolies is not sent abroad and invested in the economies of the developing countries to assist their progress, but it is taken to them only to draw the maximum profits from the exploitation of the work and sweat of the people, from the plunder of their riches. As long as imperialism, social imperialism and their neocolonial system of exploitation remain in existence they will do their utmost to take back with the one hand many times what they have allegedly given with the other hand. Any illusions about the purposes of the so-called imperialist and social imperialist aid are dangerous for him who nurtures them. The most significant example in this field is the contrast between the USA and Latin America or between the Soviet Union and India. In Latin America, where the so-called American aid exerts its influence in the most extensive proportions, where the peoples live nominally independent, where the earth contains fabulous riches, 140 million are illiterate. The same situation exists in India, too, a country which continues to enjoy “the special privileges of the aid” of Soviet social imperialism.

History has presented the peoples of the developing countries with a favourable opportunity. Taking into consideration the increase of the extraction of raw materials and fuel, as well as the great role they play in the world capitalist economy, the time has come for the peoples of the developing countries to use these assets as a powerful short and long range political and economic weapon; they must use them not only to protect themselves against the hegemony and neocolonialism of the imperialist powers, but also to accelerate their economic and social development. To this end the evil must be rooted right out, and it is the radical who takes things through to the end, who fight to strengthen national sovereignty and independence, which cannot be achieved by begging and are never donated by the imperialists and social imperialists but are won, attained through struggle, relying on one's own efforts.

And the peoples of the developing countries really are fighting against the imperialist powers and monopolies to strengthen their national independence and sovereignty, striving to secure real economic independence. The first step they are taking in this direction is the nationalisation of the riches of the country, which are in the hand of foreigners. Along with this, the peoples of these countries are undertaking courageous initiatives and actions to create and develop a multi-branched and independent economy, on the basis of the principle of self-reliance. These measures are creating the possibility that the exploitation and use of local riches will be done in a sovereign and independent way, beginning from production and the fixing of the selling price, the quantity to be produced, the market on which it should be sold, down to the question of deciding how the income secured should be spent for the industrialisation of the country, the development of its agriculture, culture, etc.

The measures which the peoples of the developing countries are taking to ensure the independent exploitation of their natural assets have been received with the point of bayonet by the imperialist monopolies and powers. And what pressures, blackmail, conspiracies and sabotage, open and underground, have not been concocted to compel these peoples to retreat from the course on which they have set out, from their struggle and efforts for a rapid development. The monopolies and the governments which back them up go as far as to proclaim the struggle waged by the peoples of the developing countries to ensure true political and economic independence as the “principal cause” of the difficulties the world capitalist system is experiencing, as a gamble which is allegedly jeopardising the future of mankind! However, the time has gone when the monopolies and imperialist powers can dictate their will to the peoples of the developing countries as they did in the past.

The change of the ratio of forces in the world capitalist market and the intensification of competition

After the end of the Second World War the ratio of forces in the world capitalist market changed. The old British empire and the French colonial system went into decline and collapsed. This greatly weakened the economic potential and the competitive strength of these two powers. Germany, Japan, and Italy, defeated and ruined by the war, temporarily lost any possibility of competing in the world capitalist market. The vacant place left in this market by the other imperialist powers was occupied by US imperialism. The US monopolies penetrated rapidly and in large proportions into the economies of the semi-colonial countries which had recently, proclaimed their political independence. They began to exploit the peoples and plunder the riches of these countries as never before. Just from the differences of the prices of raw materials they bought and he industrial articles they sold in the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, the US monopolies began to secure supplementary profits which amounted to more than 10 million dollars in 1951. In later years this sum increased five fold (50 billion in 1960). Now more than half of the exports on the world capitalist market belonged to the US monopolies, as against 13 per cent before the war (in 1938).

This change of the ratio of forces in the world capitalist market allowed the US monopolies to double their economic power. Today the USA, which accounts for only 6 per cent of the population of the world, exploits and uses 60 per cent of the mineral resources of the world (without counting its own resources). If this factor is not kept in mind many of the phenomena of the present-day economic-financial crisis, cannot be thoroughly understood, it cannot be grasped that the so-called prosperity of the US economy and the economies of the other capitalist countries is founded on the blood, sweat and toil of the peoples of the developing countries and the riches plundered from these countries.

Immediately after the war, and because of the devastation it caused, in the main capitalist countries of Europe a great need arose for foodstuffs, goods of mass consumption, as well as for new up-to-date means of production. This situation gave the US monopolies the possibility to invade and take over the economies even of capitalist metropolises. This time the normal export of goods and capital was accompanied with the extension of neocolonialism to the old industrial metropolises, with the extension of technological colonialism. The inventions and technological advances achieved in the USA, the sale of patents, investments to produce new technical equipment in the countries which needed to effect the renewal of their fundamental capital which was outdated or out of use as a result of the ravages of the war, were the mains forms which were used to spread technological colonialism. The old imperialist powers were temporarily under the control of US imperialism. J. V. Stalin pointed out at that time that “Germany (West), Britain, France, Italy, Japan, which have fallen into the clutches of the USA, carry out the orders of the USA with servility”. (J.V. Stalin, “Economic problems of socialism in the USSR”, Tirana, 1968, p. 39.)

On the other hand, in the struggle against the revolution and socialism, as well as to cope with the rising tide of the liberation movement of the peoples, US imperialism was compelled to help in the economic rebuilding of its two defeated old opponents; German imperialism and Japanese imperialism. On this basis the multinational monopolies, which spread to Europe and other dependent and semi-colonial countries, came into existence. If we add to this circumstance also the policy of US imperialism for world hegemony and its consequent preparations for war, the causes of that extension which inflation assumed in the USA in the post-war period can be more clearly understood. However, through the connections created by the US monopolies with the entire system of the world capitalist economy, as well as by exploiting to its own advantage the privileged position given to the dollar as international currency, the inflation which arose in the USA would certainly be exported to the other countries of the capitalist world too, it would become, as it became in reality, an international phenomenon of this world.

The post-war US empire stood on two legs; on the underdeveloped semi-colonial countries and the old capitalist metropolises. It seemed as if these two legs were unbreakable. But history showed that they were only two crutches which sooner or later would collapse, and US imperialism, and together with it the whole world capitalist economy, would be faced with a new reality. The ratio of forces in the capitalist world change, and in fact it did change.

After having recovered themselves, Europe and Japan began to raise their heads against the US monopolies. The European and Japanese monopolies began to penetrate into the world capitalist market and even the US home market by increasing competitive power. Little by little the US dollar began to decline, until at last it was shaken to its foundations and was openly opposed as an international means of payment. The dominant position of the US monopolies and US imperialism in the capitalist world began to waver.

Meanwhile a new factor had appeared in the world scene. The Soviet Union had turned into a social imperialist power, also with open aims and strategy for world hegemony. Its economy was transformed into a capitalist economy and the entire social order was turned into a bourgeois-revisionist order.

In these conditions the most characteristic feature of the capitalist-revisionist world became the collaboration and rivalry between the USA and the USSR to establish their hegemony in the world, to divide the world between them into spheres of influence, economic expansion, exploitation and plunder. The present-day economic-financial crisis found the capitalist-revisionist world in this situation.

The capitalist-revisionist world in the grip of inevitable class conflicts

The present economic-financial crisis brought to surface the antagonistic political and economic contradictions which had long been gathering in the bosom of the capitalist world.

As long as capitalist private property over the means of production, private appropriation, exploitation, anarchy and competition exist, it will never be possible to use the entirety of the productive forces created by capitalism “normally”. Capitalism will continue to be shaken periodically by even more profound political, economic and social crises, it will continue to bring the working masses increased exploitation, poverty and unemployment, it will continue to sharpen the contradictions, antagonism, and the class struggle.

In order to extend the existence of the capitalist order the bourgeois monopolies and state are seeking to mitigate and get out of the present economic-financial crisis by saddling the working class with the burden of it. To this end, they use all sorts of methods, they freeze the wages of the workers, increase the exploitation of them and the other working masses, intensify inflation, the militarisation of the economy, the policy of aggression and war, raise the prices of goods and services, etc.

The effort of the bourgeoisie to shift the consequences of the grave economic crisis on to the working masses has further increased the antagonistic contradictions between labour and capital, between the working people and the capitalist-revisionist bourgeoisie. This has meant that these recent years have been years of great class clashes. Those taking part in strikes, manifestations and demonstrations of protest are counted in millions. In the first six months of the past year alone, over 2,600 strikes took place in the USA. In Italy the past year began with the strike of 14 million workers and continued with the same intensity over the whole year. In Japan, there have been about 100 strikes every month, etc. It is important to note that the proletariat has had beside it and has led, the other working masses of the town and countryside, oppressed and exploited by the monopoly bourgeoisie in increasing numbers.

All these things show that the “class peace”, so loudly and bombastically preached by the bourgeois and modern revisionist ideologists is just a myth which has nothing in common with the reality. At present the class struggle is seething in the capitalist countries which are heading towards new conflicts and struggles, towards the sharpening of antagonisms between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. This increases even more the possibility and necessity for all the working people, under the leadership of the working class and its Marxist-Leninist revolutionary party, to unite into a single front to seize the political and economic state power from the bourgeoisie.

In these situations the revisionist parties in the capitalist countries and all the modern revisionists are flocking to the assistance of the bourgeoisie, and they will do this more and more. They try to “persuade” the bourgeoisie to make some economic-political “concession”, to accept some “structural reform”, etc. Thus, the Italian revisionists put forward their “historic compromise” for the purpose of taking part in the government and “running the country together with the bourgeoisie”, the French revisionists put forward “their democratic program of united action” to come to power, while publicly proclaiming that they have given up the doctrine of the dictatorship of the proletariat and its establishment. The ideas, policy, and actions of the modern revisionists are open betrayal of the proletarian revolution and socialism, open support for the purpose of extending the life span of capitalism and the domination of the bourgeoisie, by seeking to quell the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.

But the working class and the other working masses, who suffer the savage exploitation, poverty, misery, unemployment, the higher cost of living and other evils which the capitalist order and its present economic-financial crisis brings on their own backs, will never reconcile themselves either to the measures the bourgeoisie and its state are taking and will take, to get out of this crisis, or to the social demagogy of the modern revisionists, these traitors to the proletariat, the revolution and socialism. In fact we see that in the capitalist-revisionist world the working class and the working masses have risen in struggle against the bourgeoisie to defend their rights. They are coming out in the streets in demonstrations and declaring strikes against the closing down of factories and the laying off of workers; they are demanding increased wages, reduction of prices and taxes, they are demanding an end to inflation, the militarisation of the economy, the preparations for war and aggression against the peoples. All this shows that, contrary to the will, and plans of the modern revisionists, the working class is not surrendering to the domination of the bourgeoisie and its open and secret lackeys; that it is gathering, strength, increasing its consciousness and preparing for new class battles. Today, time is working for the peoples, for the revolution, the victory of which is inevitable. “The road of the development of present day human society”, comrade Enver Hoxha teaches us, “is opened and determined by the revolution” (Enver Hoxha, Report to the 6th Congress of PLA, p. 14).

Since imperialism first emerged, its history has been characterised by the unequal development of the capitalist countries. The present economic-financial crisis and the efforts of each capitalist country to come out of it at the expense of the others will further deepen the unequal development. It is known, however, that the unequal development of the capitalist countries has always led inevitably to the confrontation of the monopolies and imperialist forces to re-divide the spheres of influence, the markets and sources of raw materials. The unequal development leads the political-economic antagonisms between the imperialist powers to such a point that eventually war breaks out to resolve them by means of force. The two world wars which have broken out between the imperialist powers have fully confirmed this Marxist-Leninist thesis.

Analysis of the economic and political situation in the capitalist-revisionist world shows, without any doubt, that US imperialism and Soviet social imperialism are more and more intensifying their efforts and plans for hegemony and world domination. It shows likewise that the more the unequal development between the capitalist countries deepens, the more pressure, interference and threats of the USA and the USSR against their partners increase. On this basis confrontations have arisen between US imperialism and Soviet social imperialism, on the one hand, and all the other countries of the world on the other hand; confrontations have arisen between the imperialist forces themselves, as well as between the latter and the peoples. These pressures constitute the principal cause of the tensions which exist in the world and the hotbeds of wars which flare up periodically; they contain the danger, and are leading towards the outbreak of a new world war. “US imperialism and Russian imperialism”, says comrade Enver Hoxha, “are leading the world to another world war, more terrible than all the others” (Enver Hoxha, “Our policy is open, a policy of proletarian principles”, Pamphlet, p. 32).

US imperialism, Soviet social imperialism and the other imperialist powers are making special efforts to come out of the economic-financial crisis, at the expense of the peoples of the semi-colonial developing countries in particular. As a result, the ruling classes in these countries will be faced even more than up till now, with two pressures: the external pressure of the imperialist powers which want to plunder their riches at low prices, and the internal pressure of the working masses, who demand the strengthening of national independence and sovereignty and that the riches be used to the benefit of the country, of its economic and social progress, by relying on their own forces. The outcome of this clash will be decided by the ratio of forces of the classes inside the country. The unceasing flow of history shows that all these countries and all those peoples who are suffering from monopoly and imperialist oppression and exploitation will, without fail, rise in struggle to defend their national independence and sovereignty. All the colonialists, old and new, fear this struggle and the unity of these peoples more than anything else.

The sharpening of the political, economic and social contradictions in the capitalist-revisionist world is inevitable. US-led imperialism and Soviet social imperialism are advancing towards new upheavals. Their hegemonistic, enslaving, predatory and warmongering policy is being exposed. All this is intensifying the revolutionary struggle of the peoples for national liberation and is weakening the enemies of the proletarian revolution and socialism.

The predictions of the Party of Labour of Albania, the teachings of comrade Enver Hoxha, based on objective Marxist-Leninist dialectical analyses of the situation in the capitalist-revisionist world, will certainly be vindicated in the future just as in the past. They testify to the correctness and farsightedness of the revolutionary Marxist-Leninist line the Party of Labour of Albania is pursuing.

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