Thursday, December 22, 2022

Report of the RSM NC meeting

Report of the National Committee (NC) meeting of Revolutionary socialist Movement held on 17 of December 2022
The meeting started around 11:30am with introduction of comrades with about twenty comrades from our local branches in attendance.  
Comrade Andros from Internationalist Standpoint gave the lead off on International perspective he talks about the epoch of crisis and immense instability of capitalism and how the global economy is heading into another major recession, the third since the 2007-9 “Great Recession”. how it slowed down dramatically in 2022 and will get worse in 2023. How Inflation is rising to unforeseen levels, which will make it worst the one we have 40years ago. With economies dramatically slowed down by the energy crisis and the supply bottlenecks, He explained how governments in major countries “developed” industrial countries, are raising interest rates, at the fastest pace in decades, to put inflation under control. but this is pushing their economies, which are already stagnant, deeper into economic contraction.
Comrade Andros Speaking during the International Perspective. 
He further explained how we have a phenomenon of stagflation, again which was never seen since the 1970s. How Global debt is at unprecedented levels, both private and public. The bourgeois economists and analysts have no clear way about how to tackle the challenges they are faced with, no economic “theory” that they can hope or present as able to provide solutions, even temporary, to the economic problems they are faced with. The recent “Modern Monetary Theory”, developed in the US, has been ditched as a result of objective developments.

 In his statement he stated it clearly that international capitalism is faced with huge geopolitical antagonisms, which have reached a new qualitative stage and manifested particularly by the war in Ukraine. In the background of this war there is the central conflict regarding the world balance of forces, as China is challenging the US as the dominant power on the planet. This contradiction will underline all developments in the epoch that we are living, and will last for decades, worsening conditions on all levels on the planet, unless the forces that fight for a socialist alternative to capitalist barbarism are able to take the lead in social and political processes. For the first time in many decades the danger of mass annihilation due to a nuclear war is being widely discussed – endangering the lives of 5 billion people, the majority of the planet’s population according to some estimates. At the same time the capitalist system is pushing the environmental crisis beyond the point of no return, threatening life and civilization on the planet. 
He further explained it with the emphasis that all of the above factors affect the lives of the working class and the poor in a dramatic way. Pauperization is becoming a feature not only of the poor countries but also of the “developed” industrial ones, while malnutrition affects around 850 million people, while 350 million face acute nutritional crisis, i.e., are in danger of dying of hunger. The perception promoted by representatives of the system and by sections of the Left, that society can only go forward, that as time progresses, the economy, civilization and culture, will also progress, is proved once again to be wrong. Civilization can collapse, life not only of humans but also of innumerable species can be massively destroyed. This is not a result of “human irresponsibility” and irrational behaviour, as capitalist commentators never tire repeating, it is a direct result of capitalist logic, of capitalism’s insatiable thirst for profit and fierce competition to maximize it and dominate. This general picture is posing extremely important tasks for the organisations of the working class. But the picture they present is one of tragic “deficiencies”. The trade unions and the parties of the Left are in crisis: they have failed to provide an alternative to the attacks of the system, never mind to the system itself. Old parties of the Left have either sold-out and completely capitulated to the ruling class or broke up in pieces, or both. At the same time, the new left parties that developed in the past 3 decades have also failed to provide a way forward to the suffering and struggling masses. The anti-capitalist Left is also faced with crisis, particularly in Europe. The task of building mass socialist parties of a revolutionary character, determined to fight for the overthrow of the capitalist system and for workers democracy is the only possible way forward and more necessary than ever. At the same time and particularly as long as their forces are weak, socialist revolutionaries have a duty to struggle for the building of fighting mass organisations of the working class.
He also talked about the inflation and how it affects the world economy in his lead off he explained that the rise of inflation is the result of a combination of factors. Initially the ground for it was provided by the massive injections of liquidity by the ruling classes in their effort to cushion the effects of the 2007-8-9 recession. Governments spent trillions to save the banks and big corporations from collapse, creating massive budget deficits and public debts, at the same time as lowering interest rates to provide cheap credit to governments, corporations and consumers. This was endangering the stability of the system for the period ahead. The next turning point came with the pandemic of Covid-19, which forced governments to again resort to massive injections of liquidity to avoid economic collapse. These injections, particularly at a time when production was at a standstill, was creating a discrepancy between demand and supply which was to manifest itself at a later stage. This took place when the lockdowns were over and demand showed a sudden leap which could not be immediately satisfied by the supply chains, thus pushing prices up. This was coupled and intensified by an “energy crisis” in the course of 2021 which was the result of the anarchic way by which the capitalist system tried to move to Renewable Sources of Energy (wind and solar). Without any plan, as is characteristic of capitalism, they increased taxes on fossil fuels and gave huge incentives to investment in Renewables, expecting the market to work… but it didn’t, it created bottlenecks. Then they “blamed” the weather, i.e., the “too cold” winter of 2020 and the “too hot” summer of 2021 for the high prices of energy. All governments and economists expected inflation, which by the end of 2021 was in the region of 5-6%, to fall in the course of the next 1-2 years down to 2% which is the desirable level of inflation for the capitalists. This expectation collapsed with the war in Ukraine of February 2022 and inflation surged. He made this clearly that capitalist system has only one way to tame inflation, and this is to contract the economy. The broader and more general picture is that in order for the capitalist system to be able to enter another period of growth and of capitalist profits, it has to destroy a section of the existing forces of production, i.e., close down businesses and increase unemployment, irrespective of the concrete detailed characteristics of different recessions. The mechanisms by which it will try to achieve this is by reversing the policies of the previous period. That is, cut down on government spending and government borrowing and increase interest rates making borrowing more expensive both for consumption and for investment. 

In other words, faced with the present crisis, the capitalists are forced to follow the exact opposite policies of what they would have liked to do under different circumstances when faced with a recession. In every recession the capitalists increase spending (through borrowing, pushing budget deficits and sovereign debt up) and lower interest rates, making money cheap, to encourage investment and consumption. There policies are the blue print in the case of any recession, what differs is the amounts and the balance between monetary and fiscal policies. This time, they have to cut spending and increase rates, thus pushing the economy further into recession instead of cushioning it.At the same time the ruling classes will fight hard to resist the demands of workers and other suppressed and poor layers to increase their income to make up the losses due to inflation, leading to increased pauperization not only for the unemployed but also for those in work. In the global south this will mean devastation and hunger. Thus, the system is making the poor pay for the crisis of the system. In this way also power and wealth will be concentrated in fewer corporations, the bigger ones, destroying massively the small and medium size ones.  

On class struggle
There is a more than evident rise in class struggle in the course of 2022.  In the global south, have witnessed a lot revolt such as Iranian women and youth together with sections of the working class is continuing  after the death of Masha Amini in September 2022. It is the most important, in terms of numbers, determination and duration, rise up against the reactionary Islamic regime of Khamenei and the mullahs since the revolution of 1979 which overthrew the dictatorship of the Shah but was hijacked by the mullahs. In July the Sri Lankan masses stormed the presidential palace and president Rajapaksa had to flee to save his skin. The revolt of the Sri Lankan masses had started in March 2022 and led, among other instances, to the resignation of the whole cabinet in April 2022. A whole list of countries are candidates for social explosions in the current conjuncture. This is openly admitted by the strategists of the system. The IMF and the UN are warning about hunger revolts in as many as 70 countries. Already the IMF is imposing austerity programs (in this way preparing itself the hunger revolts that it warns against) on a number of countries, like Argentina, Egypt, Lebanon Pakistan, etc. 
After comrade Andros leadoff there are some reaction from comrades first was comrade Kayode who explained how the war in Ukraine have greatly affected African and the need to unite the working class to fight back. Comrade Dammy who also join online contributed and gave wonderful insight on what is happening in Peru and call comrades attention to monitor the developments.

We proceed to Nigeria perspective after a short  break this section lasted for about two hours with comrade Larry been the moderator and comrade Dimeji Macaulay gave the leadoff it was an interesting session with interaction.
He started by analysing the Buhari government the over seven years since the Buhari/ All Progressive Congress (APC) government came to power which was an historic event even though it a dramatic election that saw an incumbent president and the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) defeated for the first time. and how by today all the hope and enthusiasm that defined that period have been replaced by disappointment and anger. certainly Nigeria working masses has been force to live in tight condition. which make  Nigeria now a poverty capital of the world,  with about 100m people living in poverty level out of estimated 200M population , Buhari neo liberal policies are reasons for the regime’s failure which no one agree less to this but  for us as a Marxists, the reality is that the failure of the Buhari regime, reflect the fact that Buhari failure is also the failure of capitalism and a sharp expression of the inability of the system, both in the neo-colonial world and in the industrialized nations, to implement lasting reforms to make life better for the mass majority. Even if the system is led by the most honest and straightforward person, so far the policies of capitalism are those being implemented, vast majority would still find themselves poor despite the enormous economic wealth and other potentials. He also makes reference to when Nigeria On October 1, 1960, Nigeria became independent from British rule. Since then, Nigeria has been battling with so many internal crises; a civil war between 1967 and 1970 and more than 30 years of military rule, before it turned to a corrupt civil rule with massive wealth as the largest oil producing country in Africa. But the nation is in shambles.  October 1st, 2022, was marked 62 years of independence from Britain. Lavish festivities, church thanksgiving, Jumat service in mosque, parades and banquets are organised. But it was a bittersweet celebration as nothing to show for the 62 years of existence.

He further discussed the problem facing Nigeria from the power sector to insecurities the issues of national question how the government are unable to manage the situation because of the greed of capitalism.
On economy he explained how Nigeria economy remains in a very bad shape; as ordinary people have been strangulated. while Nigeria remain one of the biggest oil producing country, but has suffered two recessions in the last seven years. With the rise in oil prices at international markets, one could imagine, Nigerians would be better off. But the corrupt ruling class makes life even more difficult for ordinary people. Nigeria doesn't have its own functional refineries. The refineries we have aren't working, so we export crude oil to refineries abroad and import petrol, then pay huge amounts on subsidies. Many of the subsidies are payed to oil giants whose only aim is to make profits. Nigeria suffered about six months of fuel scarcity. The economy is majorly dependent on oil and agriculture. But these sectors are controlled by few rich, making them work only for their profit. 

He added that the new Central Bank of Nigeria policies to redesign the naira notes and also introduce some new draconian policies for withdrawing at the Bank won’t change anything in the economy and won’t actually deal with the rich because they will always affect ordinary people. 
Cross Section of Participants
The 2023 election will come and go but any section of the capitalist politician that emerge will not solve any of our problem so we should ready to organise the people and build ahead in other to win more forces to our ranks. 
There are a lot of reactions and contributions after the leadoff and also a solidarity message from comrade Ay Lera a member of Socialist equality movement the sum up was done by comrade Kayode with the conclusion that the only by building the working class political  alternative  with a socialist programme , the only solution remain socialism in order to save humanity from the hand of  capitalism and this come with the responsibility at the feet of all members to take up the struggle to recruit, educate, sensitize and canvas for our ideas anywhere they found themselves harmed with our paper as a means to educate the public towards our ideas.
The low turnout of the event was also because many students in the university were written exams at this period after been affected by eight months strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). We hope to continue our intervention in class struggle and building of our fronts on youth, education and communities. 

About 20 copies of new edition Socialist Voice (SV) was sold. The meeting ended with solidarity songs at around 4:30pm. 

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