World Perspectives

The dead end of capitalismThe world has entered a protracted period of turmoil and crisis at all levels, which is being expressed by a crisis in world relations, wars, austerity, increasing misery and obscene accumulation of wealth in a few hands. We have also been witnessing the sudden eruption of the class struggle, insurrectionary movements and revolutions in one country after another, as the objective conditions are forcing millions of people to seek solutions to the intolerable burden that capitalism is placing upon us. 

What are the processes at play on a world scale that are determining this scenario? Trotsky once said that theory is the superiority of foresight over astonishment. The sudden, violent manifestations of popular discontent always take the bourgeoisie and its hired “experts” by surprise. The shallow empiricists of the bourgeoisie only look at the surface of events (the “facts”). They do not trouble themselves to look beneath the surface to uncover the deeper processes that are at work everywhere.

Marxist theory is a powerful guide to action for revolutionaries. In order for it to be applied, it is necessary to assess scientifically what are the fundamental processes at play and how they are likely to be reflected into the consciousness of all classes. This task is fulfilled by a constant appraisal of our analyses and forecasts, which have to be contrasted against the events as they develop in order to arm the most-advanced layers: those who are striving for the victory of socialist revolution, with a clear understanding of the perspectives and tasks. 

The documents in this section are the result of worldwide discussions throughout the IMT and have been adopted by our world congresses. These documents represent tools for sharpening our understanding of how the world situation is changing, and the tasks arising from this.

The discussions on World Perspectives are the foundations from which everything else flows in terms of the perspectives and work in each country, our priorities, tasks, etc. The instability on a world scale has only deepened since the World Perspectives document was drafted, in the autumn of 2009. But the main lines of the perspectives have been entirely confirmed by the march of events. This is a recording of the lead-off given by Alan Woods at the 2010 World Congress.

This document on World Perspectives, first drafted in November 2007, was discussed, amended and approved at the World Congress of the International Marxist Tendency at the beginning of August. 

The following is an audio recording of Alan Woods on World Perspectives which was recorded in April of this year at the National Conference of Socialist Appeal. We have clearly entered a new stage of the world crisis of capitalism, which is characterised by colossal volatility at every level. Perspectives are a guide to action, and therefore this particular contribution is very important in orientating Marxists to the likely developments which can unfold on a world stage.

Transcript of Alan Woods' speech on the world political and economic perspectives for year 2008 at a meeting of the leadership of the International Marxist Tendency on January 13, 2008. You can also listen to the speech here.

Listen to Alan Woods delivering a speech on the world political and economic perspectives for year 2008 at a meeting of the leadership of the International Marxist Tendency on January 13, 2008. (The speech can be downloaded in one MP3 file or divided into 3 parts: 1 - ...

Without correct perspectives it is impossible to conduct fruitful revolutionary work. This document makes the case that we have entered the most turbulent period in world history. One shock after another is shaking the system to its foundations. The world situation is characterised by extreme instability, which is a reflection of the impasse of the capitalist system on a world scale.

These are relatively brief extracts from discussion documents, dealing with world perspectives in the post-boom period. The Marxists had not been able to predict the long duration of the post-war boom, but what was clear was that the first recession to affect all the advanced capitalist economies simultaneously, in 1974-5, marked the end of one epoch and the beginning of another. Later than may have been anticipated, events nevertheless vindicated the correct stand that had been made by Ted Grant on the fundamentals of capitalist economics.

These are relatively brief extracts from discussion documents, dealing with world perspectives in the post-boom period. The Marxists had not been able to predict the long duration of the post-war boom, but what was clear was that the first recession to affect all the advanced capitalist economies simultaneously, in 1974-5, marked the end of one epoch and the beginning of another. Later than may have been anticipated, events nevertheless vindicated the correct stand that had been made by Ted Grant on the fundamentals of capitalist economics.