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Proletarian issue 7 (August 2005)
Editorial: Imperialism in crisis
Imperialism is in crisis. The desperate fight for control of markets, sources of raw materials and avenues of profitable investment is the root cause of all the seemingly unconnected problems facing the world's people today.

The world's markets are glutted with products that cannot be sold because the masses of humanity (and real creators of all that wealth) are too poor to buy the goods that they themselves have produced. Avenues of profitable investment are drying up, and the fight to control those that are left is becoming fiercer and more desperate as imperialist multinationals struggle to survive the crisis.

It is no coincidence that sub-Saharan Africa, home to the world's poorest people, is also the world's most profitable investment destination. African poverty is not the result of inept government or inherent African inferiority - it is the result of centuries of plunder by the imperialist powers.

Africa is a continent that is extremely rich in natural and mineral resources, but, the harder Africans work, and the more profit they make for imperialist multinationals, the poorer they become. Under capitalism, the wealth created by workers merely serves to reinforce the dominant position of the exploiters and strengthen the chains of the exploited. African riches thus become the very source of African misery.

Similarly, the wars that have plagued the Middle East for more than a century have nothing to do with Islam or the bellicose nature of the Arab people and everything to do with the imperialists' fight to control the region's vast oil riches.

War is inseparable from imperialism - wars of conquest to subdue local resistance and conquer markets, and, when crisis bites and the competition for markets and materials boils over, full-scale inter-imperialist wars for redivision of the spoils.

In the last century, imperialist crisis was responsible for two world wars, leading to loss of life on a horrific and unprecedented scale. On top of those global bloodbaths there was not a minute when one part of the globe or another was not engulfed in flames directly attributable to imperialism's interference.

Meanwhile, as the economic crisis deepens, the government is forced to cut back on social provision at home in order to make British imperialism more competitive. Imperialism thus reveals itself to be the root cause of poverty, inequality, war and misery - an irrational, outmoded system, incapable of utilising its own massive productive forces for the benefit of humanity.

Oppression breeds resistance, however. As capital becomes more rapacious, pushing ever harder on the impoverished masses, the latter are bound to retaliate.

While it is only natural that the imperialists, real perpetrators of terrorism on a global scale, should characterise all opposition to their domination as 'terrorism' perpetrated by 'criminal gangs', we must not be taken in by this hysterical propaganda. Characterising resistance as something foreign and irrational is what enables the ruling class to push through draconian 'anti-terror' legislation, but the real target of these far-reaching powers is the British people, whose own worsening situation is bound to lead to resistance sooner or later.

Racism is a tool by which our ruling class keeps us divided and weak - divided from each other and divided from our brothers and sisters across the globe who are struggling for freedom and independence. It is one of the secrets of working class impotence and a major enemy in the struggle for socialism.
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