Neoliberal financial-market capitalism has dragged the world into a crisis which threatens human civilisation as such. It is characterised by an extreme form of the combination of, on the one hand, the expansion of production, transport and life-style, with, on the other, the destruction of its own foundations, and suffers from a crisis of social reproduction, societal integration, democratic identification and security. Climate destruction, resource wars, terror, the transformation of democracy into oligarchy, class divides, a new racism and fundamentalism, etc. are unavoidable. It therefore leads to a crisis of civilisation, and produces ever stronger elements of barbarism and authoritarian power, which can only be contained at ever greater expense. (Michael Brie)
In the contemporary global situation, the principal focus of the working masses in the world is on the ongoing and the unabated economic crises that lay centred in the US enveloping the world, as the brunt of this phenomenon is being borne by them. Bailouts and stimulus packages have been doled out by the governments of the imperialist triad – US, Europe and Japan in a bid to pull out their economies from the quagmire of this crisis variously named as – Financial Meltdown, Financial Crisis, Recession and Economic Downturn. (MURTHY PK) The current crisis marks an important historical moment, as it marks the end of a capitalist phase that has been unprecedented, from its very beginning with the industrial revolution of the 19th century and its undisputed victory over what had been its unfortunate “alter ego” for half a century: the rapidly dismissed experiment of Soviet socialism. This crisis is both fortunate and pertinent, as it is a result of capitalism itself; and that is why we must seek the reasons for the catastrophe – and why not also for its «passing» – in capitalism. (Ali El Kenz)
Part 1: Synopsis of thesis papers
Part 2: Thesis Papers
Elmar Altvater: The crisis and green ways out
Samir Amin: Exiting the crisis of capitalism or capitalism in crisis?
Pierre Beaudet: Beyond the crisis: North American perspective
Michael Brie: Five theses for the conference on alternatives and transformation paths to overcome the regime of crisis capitalism
Bernard Cassen: Short thesis
Sandeep Chachra: Socialising a socialist vision
Jennifer Cox and Cheri Honkala: Building the "Unsettling Force": To make another U.S. and another world possible: the economic crisis, the new class and historyopportunities for organizing in the U.S.
Wim Dierckxsens: Requiem for the free market: towards a post-capitalist utopia
Bernard Founou: Prerequisites for an effective struggle against imperialism in sub-saharan Africa: a detour via the Bandung era
Mamdouh Habashi: I have a dream
Francois Houtart: The multiple aspects of the crisis and the way out
Dot Keet: Emancipatory transformation and alternative development paths within and from regions of the South
Ali El Kenz: An anthropological view on the crisis
Lau Kin Chi: Transformation of politics: The new role of the state and the social movements
Gustave Massiah: Opposition movements foreshadow ways out of the crisis
P. K. Murthy: India in the midst of the global econoic crisis
Paulo Nakatani: The world financial crisis
Pedro Páez: Towards an environmentally sustainable, culturally and scientifically sensitive planetary program of decent fully employment
Florian Rochat: A note on Switzerland
Vera Vratusa: Short thesis
Hilary Wainwright: From the heartlands of a persistent neo-liberalism: a union led alternative
Wen Tiejun, Liu Huaiyu, Li Chenjie: Global crisis and grain security in China
Rick Wolff: Short thesis (addressing especially the crisis in the US and a proposed new strategy to mobilize workers).
Protest and resistance is forming at all levels, still fragmented and without clear direction, but periodically rising.
(CANDEIAS) But first of all there is a crisis of natural resources and the environment. Growth without limit on a world scale is not possible. In this way, capitalism is reaching its limits. By far the most dangerous crisis is the ecological crisis of climate change and loss of biodiversity. Why should we fear it most? Because with finance, food, or even social inequality, if we make enormous political efforts, it is possible to go back and start over, we can correct our mistakes and prevent these crises from recurring. Not so with the environment - once runaway global warming has taken hold, the game is over. We are on the threshold of such an extreme event, perhaps we are already past it. But since we don't know, we must act as if we still had time and make an all-out effort, right now, to reduce the burden we place on our unfortunate planet.
The principle of endless accumulation that defines capitalism is synonymous with exponential growth and the latter, like cancer, leads to death.1 The current crisis is therefore neither a financial crisis nor the sum of multiple systemic crises but the crisis of imperialist late capitalism of generalized and financialized 'oligopoles'. This crisis is also at the same time a crisis of US hegemony. Taken together, the following phenomena are inextricably linked to one another: the capitalism of 'oligopoles', the political power of oligarchies, barbarous globalisation, financialisation, US leadership, the militarisation of globalisation in the service of 'oligopoles', the decline of democracy, the plundering of the planet's resources, and the abandoning of development for the South. The contemporary world is governed by oligarchies whose management of the system is in crisis.
1 The industrial capitalism, which was triumphant in the nineteenth century, entered a crisis from 1873 onwards. The 'long twentieth century' - 1873-1990 - is therefore both the century of the deployment of the first systemic and profound crisis of ageing capitalism (to the point where Lenin thought that this capitalism of monopolies constitutes the 'supreme phase of capitalism') and that of the first triumphant wave of anti-capitalist revolutions (Russia, China) and the anti-imperialist movements of Asia and Africa. The second systemic crisis of capitalism began in 1971 with the abandoning of the gold convertibility of the Dollar, almost exactly a century after the commencement of the first. Investment levels and growth rates all collapsed (and never again reverted to the levels in the period 1945-75). Capital responded to the challenge not unlike in the previous crisis by a double movement of concentration and globalization. As such, capital established structures that defined the second 'belle époque' (1990-2008) of financialised globalization, allowing oligopolistic groups to levy their monopoly rent. he same discourse accompanied this process: the 'market' guarantees prosperity, democracy and peace; it's the 'end of history'. The same rallying occurred, this time by the European socialists to the new liberalism.
The world's leaders and their advisors, particularly economists, largely remain in a state of denial. First they denied that the crisis would go beyond the housing sector; then they denied that it could spread beyond the borders of the United States; then, as the crisis did rapidly spread to the rest of the developed world and to the global South as well, they pretended that finance capitalism could somehow be »decoupled« from the real economy. Then they pretended that throwing more and more money at the banks will somehow jump start the world economy. They act as if modest measures regulating capitalism around the edges will suffice and that the crisis will quietly go away.
(GEORGE) Uncertainty prevails regarding the duration of the current crisis and future prospects. Let us remember the last structural crisis, its official beginning
The World Crisis - and Beyond Brussels, October 28 - November 1, 2009 Conference on Alternatives and Transformation Paths to Overcome the Regime of Crisis-Capitalism Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in cooperation with World Forum for Alternatives and TNI 6
to read the 182-page free Internet book "The World Crisis and Beyond" published in 2009 by the Rosa Luxemburg foundation, click on