Globalisation

In Britain, a handful of super-rich plutocrats control our lives. On a world scale, according to Oxfam, a mere 85 top billionaires, who could all comfortably fit into a double-decker bus, own more wealth than half of the world's population put together.

The farce has ended, but the tragedy continues. In the idyllic surroundings of a secluded lakeside resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland the leaders of the United States and the other major industrialized nations met last week to discuss Syria and the global economy. The leaders, we are told, were casually dressed, presumably to assist friendly and informal conversation.

In the last few months we have seen two “surprise” exercises by the Russian military. This is the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union that such exercises have been carried out. Meanwhile, in the South China Sea a naval arms race is developing with China in the lead. And at the same time American imperialism is withdrawing ground forces from Iraq and Afghanistan and is increasingly reluctant to engage in Bush style invasions.

The Swedish state has requested the extradition of Julian Assange to Sweden to be questioned about rape allegations. This is portrayed by the media as an attempt to “seek justice”. But the extreme determination with which they are pursuing the case indicates that there are other interests at play than concern with justice. Contrary to the carefully cultivated image of a neutral country, Sweden, in order to protect its own interest, is deeply involved in the intrigues of US imperialism.

The persecution of Julian Assange represents an all-out assault on democratic rights. For what “crime” is this man being persecuted? The Swedish authorities are trying to get him extradited on a trumped up “rape” case that has long been exposed as fraudulent. No serious person will believe for a single moment that this is the real reason for the witch-hunting of the founder of Wikileaks.

Today we publish reports from May Day celebrations in Quebec, Indonesia, Austria and France. The reports relate how there is a growing anti-Capitalist mood across the world as the Capitalist class is making the workers pay for the crisis.

As Barak Obama took the podium to speak at the annual session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday (of last week), his speech seemed to be coming from another planet, about another planet. His posture and sophistry of oration had waned. He was saying things he didn’t really believe in.

On the tenth anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers millions of people will relive the horrors of that fateful day. The television screens are filled with shocking images of death and destruction.

It is ten years today since in 2001 an outrageous attack killed 3000 innocent people and maimed hundreds of others in New York. This anniversary will be commemorated at a grand ceremony in New York where the US elite will gather in an outpouring of more pseudo-patriotism and chauvinism to dupe the working classes of the mightiest empire in history which is now plagued with economic disaster and social decay.

A decade ago George W Bush and the neo-cons took advantage of 9/11 and combined pseudo-democratic demagogy with a thirst for revenge to launch American foreign policy on the road of brute military force. But after the disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the wake of the deepest slump since the 1930s, the mood has changed.

How the mighty have fallen! Whatever the truth of the allegations of sexual assault and rape brought against him in New York, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is guilty of horrific crimes. As the head of the IMF, he is guilty of the political rape of the working people and the poorest sections of society in many underdeveloped countries. He is guilty of the rape of Greece and Portugal. Before finding himself in prison, he contributed to locking millions of people into a living hell. His brutal “remedies” inflict suffering and hardship on the poor in order to protect the interests of the bankers, the capitalists, the rich.

The case of Julian Assange has been the subject of intense speculation and dispute in the media and also among sections of the Left. In order to take a correct position it is necessary to cut through the fog of propaganda and lies, to separate the essential from the secondary and to distinguish what is progressive from what is reactionary.

The cables published by WikiLeaks revealing the underhand, secret dealings of imperialist diplomacy are the largest leak of state secrets in human history. They lay bare what the bourgeois state really is, what class interests it defends. That explains the undisguised rage of the bourgeois class that is now mustering all its forces in a desperate attempt to silence WikiLeaks.

In the last year, the world’s governments have been rattled by several major leaks of secret documents through the WikiLeaks website. First releasing thousands of US Military reports from the war in Afghanistan, then the same from the Iraq war and finally tens of thousands of secret diplomatic cables, WikiLeaks has stunned the world.