The US-NATO-Russia war in Ukraine has set off a global class struggle in a barrel of dust. Within weeks, the war and unprecedented US and EU sanctions against Russia have deeply destabilized world manufacturing forces, plunging already fragile global supply chains into chaos, boosting inflationary tendencies and crippling global food and gas production.
The social and economic crisis, which worsened before the war, has now metastasized and brought billions into poverty and hunger.
The shock begins to replace the action. Significant strikes and demonstrations have erupted around the world as part of the largest wave of social protests since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Imperialist politicians and geostrategists who have spent years preparing war plans find that, despite all careful planning, they have set their bloody plans in motion at the top of a massive social upheaval.
The protests are heterogeneous in terms of race and religious background, have an international dimension and are based in a working class that is larger, more urban and more interconnected than ever before. In more developed and less developed countries, protests revolve around the same demand: rising living costs are unbearable, conditions must change and they must change immediately.
This is a social force that has the power to stop the hunt for world war and prevent a nuclear catastrophe. This global movement is evolving every hour.
On Thursday evening, a large demonstration blocked a trip to President Gotabay Rajapakse’s private residence in the outer suburbs of Colombo and demanded his resignation. The right-wing government is introducing a ruthless austerity regime for the IMF, while masses of people are trying to find medicine, food, milk and gas.
Oil has run out, currencies are scarce and long blackouts are blacking out the country. A 31-year-old teacher in Batticaloa said so Indian Express“On Sunday, I was standing in line for gas at four in the morning. There is a shortage of powdered milk. Rice and daal need to be fought. Candles are missing and many medicines are gone. I have a salary, but can we eat money? “
Similar movements are developing in the Middle East and North Africa, where Ukraine and Russia provide most of the wheat and cooking oil, and where Ramadan, the Islamic holiday of fasting and feasting, is to begin.
The United Nations said on Thursday that social conditions in the region were “at a turning point” due to food shortages. The New York Times he wrote on Thursday that the shortage and rising prices “are crushing the budgets of households and governments in countries that had little to save, increasing the possibility of mass popular unrest ten years ago since the Arab Spring protests, which stemmed in part from soaring food growth. prices. “
In Egypt, Times he nervously remarked that “videos of ordinary people ventilating food prices have become viral on social networks under the hashtag” revolution of the hungry. “
The US-backed al-Sisi dictatorship has deployed an army to distribute food and control bread prices. Al-Sisi addressed the nation and called on the population to “rationalize” food consumption during Ramadan.
In Tunisia, where workers first called the Arab Spring, The Eye of the Middle East he wrote on Thursday that “strikes intensified last week” and as a result “the country was visited by Ezra Zia, the US Deputy Secretary of State for Civil Security, Democracy and Human Rights.”
Food riots broke out in Iraq last week, involving thousands as the country, which is still recovering from the US invasion and occupation that killed millions, was hit by severe food and flour shortages.
Protests are also unfolding south of the Maghreb, in African countries where the working class has exploded in size and social weight, with many young people with the Internet in the palm of their hand. The average sub-Saharan African spends 65 percent of his household’s income on food. The head of the African Development Bank said on Wednesday about the sharp rise in food prices caused by the war in Ukraine: “If we do not do it very quickly, it will destabilize the continent.”
The protests in Sudan against the shortage, which was exacerbated by the war, coincided with strong strikes by teachers and youth. A mass protest against the military government’s inability to stop the rising cost of living took place in Khartoum yesterday, killing a 23-year-old protester.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to a report published on Thursday Al Jazeera“Rising fuel prices, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, have raised fears of heightened social unrest, forcing the government to reorganize the government to prevent social anger.
In South Africa, where major unrest broke out last summer, the head of a large youth non-profit organization described the social situation as a “time bomb that is ticking and can explode in our faces at any time.”
This movement is also developing in the world’s imperialist centers. In Spain, a weekly truck strike has halted international shipping and sparked wider support in the working class in the face of rising living costs. The PSOE-Podemos government has ordered grocery stores and retailers to limit what customers can buy, as large trade associations are demanding measures to prevent an impending social explosion.
In Germany and Austria, diesel will be reassigned. Large cost-of-living demonstrations took place in Albania last month.
In the United States, the cockpit of world imperialism, the emerging strike movement is driven primarily by inflation and spiraling rising living costs. Five thousand teachers are on strike in Sacramento, California after a two-week teachers’ strike in Minneapolis, Minnesota in March.
In an ongoing strike by 600 workers at an oil refinery in Richmond, California, workers explain that they cannot afford to fill their own cars with the gas they refine.
Thirteen hundred copper miners in Utah and 50,000 California grocery workers are set to go on strike in the coming days, with the contract for tens of thousands of workers in West Coast ports expiring in a matter of weeks.
In the United States and Canada, the government has banned or blocked major railroad strikes in the BNSF and the Canadian Pacific.
Rising prices in the main imperialist countries will intensify the class struggle as the war continues. According to the US Department of Commerce on Thursday, inflation will cost households an average of another $ 433 each month or $ 5,200 next year. With half of the country having less than $ 500 in emergency savings, workers will be forced to fight.
The impact of the war on living conditions will intensify dramatically in all countries in the coming weeks. Strategic food stocks are woefully inadequate in all countries except China.
Worse, Ukraine and Russia are not only leading producers of staple foods and oil, but Russia and Belarus are also leading the world in producing most of the fertilizers Putin has said will be subject to strict export restrictions in response to the United States and the EU. sanctions. This could halve global crop yields.
With the pandemic and the threat of world war as the immediate backdrop, there is a social settlement of historical dimensions after the deadline. Since the Arab Spring and the global protests of 2018-2019, the ruling class’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has prioritized gains over life, killing 20 million people.
Stopping the war means ending capitalism, and that requires political leadership. Unlike the previous period, the international working class does not owe political loyalty to the parties of Stalinism, social democracy and bourgeois nationalism, which are considered directly responsible for the existing conditions of poverty and inequality.
In each country, the unions are a bloc of this evolving movement, serving capitalist governments and corporations by isolating workers, preventing them from striking and demanding that they support the US-NATO war, regardless of the danger and cost to the working people.
The pseudo-left of the middle class, who once called for verbal support for socialism, are now cheers for NATO wars and zealous union advocates.
The danger of a world war is great, but the way is open for the Trotskyist movement to turn this objective movement into a self-sufficient movement for a socialist revolution.
Spontaneous protests, however militant, are not enough to change social conditions. The party of socialist equality must be built in every country and the historical experience of the international working class must be brought into the evolving struggles in order to acquire a conscious socialist and anti-war character. On this basis, the strategy of the socialist revolution of the working class can develop even faster than the strategy of the imperialist destruction of the ruling class.