In this new, 25,000 word document, Alan Woods and Ted Grant analyse the world relations that have emerged after the collapse of Stalinism in the East. It looks at the effects of NATO's bombing campaign over Yugoslavia and Russia's war in Chechnya. It also looks at how the balance of forces between the major power blocs have been affected. The document analyses this new world (dis)order in which the US have emerged as the dominant imperialist power among growing tensions and instability, and draws the lessons for Marxists today.

An update to The New World Disorder - World Relations at the dawn of the 21st Century. Events on an international plane are moving with lightning speed. In just over a month after the present document was written, its general lines have already received striking confirmation. The world crisis expresses itself in continuing instability. The most striking manifestation of this was the revolutionary movement in Ecuador. But no less important in its long-term implications was the surprise resignation of Boris Yeltsin on New Years Eve. The fall of Yeltsin is yet another example of the sudden and sharp changes which reflect the nature of the present period, not just in Russia, but on a world scale.

The document which we publish below puts forward the position of the Marxist tendency on the perspectives for the world revolution in a comprehensive way. It analyses the global crisis of world capitalism, economic perspectives and the stage reached by the class struggle in the developed capitalist countries, and also the revolutionary developments in the former colonial countries, the worldwide struggle against imperialism, the attitude of Marxists to war, the situation inside the mass parties and trade unions of the working class, and the tasks of the revolutionary tendency.

We are publishing a speech made by Alan Woods in January. The main emphasis was on the extreme volatility of the present epoch. The state of the whole world system has reached a point where even small events can unleash massive movements. This has been clearly demonstrated by Spain in the last few days with rapid changes and swings in the mood of the masses taking place literally within a few hours.

The second part of Alan Woods' speech in which he deals with the US economy, the US political leadership, the Middle East, the nature of the present period and the question of the mass organisations. He concludes with the urgent task of building the forces of genuine Marxism internationally.

Two years ago we published "Prospects for the world revolution". The present document – which was discussed and approved at a gathering of Marxists from many different countries in early August – updates the analysis of the Marxist tendency on the world situation in the light of the latest developments.

In Part Two we deal with the growing contradictions within the European Union, products of the crisis of capitalism which is pushing the various member states in different directions. It also looks into the polarisation between rich and poor worldwide and how world relations are affected.

Here we look at the situation as it is developing in Iraq and the difficulties of US imperialism in holding the country, the Middle East and the conflicts between US imperialism and the European Union in this region, the impasse in Afghanistan, the revolutionary potential of the Indian proletariat and the developments in Pakistan where the Marxist tendency has started to develop in a serious manner.

Latin America is in the vanguard of the process of world revolution. In Venezuela, where the masses have defeated reaction three times, the revolution is at a crossroads. The Cuban revolution is threatened and can only survive by spreading to the rest of Latin America, starting with Venezuela, but also moving on to countries such as Peru and Ecuador, and linking up with the Bolivian revolution, also at quite an advcanced stage.

In this final part we look at the effects of changes in the economic environment on the consciousness of the masses and on the mass organisations of the working class. These effects do not take place automatically, but only with a delay. Human consciousness tends to lag behind events. But every day the masses are learning painful lessons, for the new situation does not allow the ruling class the luxury of serious reforms and concessions.

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