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Free Internet Book: "The World Crisis"

by Rosa Luxemburg foundation Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 at 2:17 AM

Once the source of hope, the US is often a source of fear. Closing most of the 700+ bases would be a step from empire to republic. Security is a political and social challenge, not only a military project. Development should be a right, not only a hope and a promise..

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. (GEORGE)
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 182page free Internet book "The World Crisis" published in 2009 by the Rosa Luxemburg foundation, click on

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