I. A new stage in the epoch of the agony of capitalism
1. The characteristics distinguishing the present historical stage were determined from the time of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and by the restoration of capitalism now in course, in varying degrees, in Russia, in China and in all of the former degenerated worker states. Although they never left the framework of the world capitalist economy, which they could not have done either, their disappearance has widened, geographically and socially, the domination of capital on an unprecedented scale.
The capitalist restoration has reinforced competition within the world working class as hundreds of millions of workers reenter the world market. The expropriation of capital, by limiting that competition through revolutionary means, had signified progress in the struggle of the working class against the capitalist class for the allocation of world income.
2. The restoration of capital in the former worker states put an end to a long series of attempts by the proletariat to overthrow the bureaucratic regimes through revolutionary means. The political revolutions against the governing bureaucracies of all the former worker states, between 1953 and 1989, debuted as a rebellion of the productive forces that had developed in the framework of the planned economy against its deforming and strangulation by the counterrevolutionary bureaucracies. However, following the growing economic, political and diplomatic alliances of the counterrevolutionary bureaucracy with imperialism, those revolutions were transformed, objectively, into a rebellion of the productive forces against world capital. The capitalist restoration signifies, as a whole, that is, independently of the partial and relative results it may have had in this or that country, a historic regression of the productive forces imposed by the socially existing relations.
The entrance of the bureaucratic regimes into the international system of foreign debt; the increasingly frequent accords of their governments with the FMI; the international treaties which committed the bureaucracy to the defense of property and of the capitalist market (Helsinki, 1975, the ceding of Hong Kong, 1982), were further manifestation of the tendency of the bureaucracy towards capitalist restoration.
The disintegration of the state apparatus in China and in Poland, in the framework of the “cultural revolution,” the former, and factory occupation towards the end of the seventies, the latter, marked the turning points that left the “transitional” social regimes without a ‘third option’ between the restoration of capitalism and the proletarian revolution.
This revolutionary crisis not only reflected the exhaustion of ‘socialism in one country’ but also the overall impasse of world capitalism. They took place when the so-called international economic ‘boom’ of the post-war had drawn to a close and a decade after the international crisis of 1971-75 that initiated a relatively prolonged and extended economic decline.
3. The restoration of capitalism, which is in its initial stages, has widened the radius of exploitation for international capital. The opening up of the former worker states has offered capital a new possibility for exploitation, involving hundreds of millions of people (China) or the possibility of appropriating, moreover, a sophisticated technical park (Russia). But this onset of a solution for the saturation of the world market has been accompanied by a greater saturation of that same world market itself.
It occurs that in close connection to this widening, competition has intensified between the international capitalist monopolies who have in their sights the conquest of those new markets and a new division of the world market. The greater geographic mobility gained by capital has accentuated competition within the proletariat on an international level. Competition between workers is made manifest, indirectly, through the exploitation of the productive forces and cheaper workers, and, directly, by the wave of immigrants towards the metropolis. In the backward countries relative overpopulation resulting from the collapse of small production and the agrarian crisis is worsening, while in the metropolis a marked social degradation is made manifest.
Since capital faces the capitalist restoration with methods of its own, its fundamental tendencies have also been reinforced: concentration of wealth at one pole and social misery at the other; accentuation of economic anarchy and, as a result, of financial and commercial crises; liquidation of the intermediate strata and of small production; sharpening of the agrarian crisis and a rise in peasant uprisings; a greater limit placed on the independent development of the backward nations. In the end, driving towards new wars and new revolutions.
With the capitalist restoration, the historical crisis of capitalism has not attenuated but instead has sharpened. Because the collapse of the degenerated worker states is processed in the framework of the tendencies of the world capitalist crisis. From the former East Germany to Russia a true degradation in the level of civilization is unfolding. In China, the invasion of foreign capital has burst wide open the breach between the world economy and the historic backwardness of China, giving way to development as explosive as unilateral, but which provokes, together with an enormous polarization of wealth, the demolition of the state economy, still the most prevalent, and a gigantic agrarian crisis. The most advanced economies, on their side, suffer a series of financial crises each one wider and more intense than that which preceded it, drawing monopolies and entire nations into bankruptcy and social and political upheaval. For the first time the survival of the European Union as a political entity is threatened. The historical crisis of capital has advanced various rungs up the ladder, which has reinforced the tendency towards the creation of revolutionary situations and of social revolutions. The tendency of capital towards its own dissolution is thereby made clear for all to see.
4. The stage opened by the collapse of the degenerated worker states has dissolved the system of international relations established by the accords of the post-war and, with it, has generated ever deeper international crises. The exhaustion of 'diplomatic architecture' of the so-called 'cold war' is an expression of a new stage in the overall relations between the social classes.
Those parties responding to the international apparatus managed by Moscow have failed in their prolonged attempt to recycle themselves into 'national' reformist parties and in general are in a state of disintegration. In the same way, numerous client states of the Russian bureaucracy have fallen, especially in the Balkans, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. The capitalist restoration in the former USSR has not only provoked a generalized economic disorganization, but has also sparked the emergence of all the national antagonisms which lay beneath the surface in its police state. The nations of Central Asia and of the Caucasus have turned into a gigantic field of dispute for world imperialism. On the plane of international political relations the new stage is characterized by generalized state crises and wars on all the continents.