If you think things in the USA are bad now, wait till after the US elections. Once the result is in the bag (either for Bush or whoever stands for the Democrats) economic policy will switch from the present spending spree (mainly on arms) to cuts in welfare. The present level of indebtedness cannot be maintained for ever. Sooner or later the capitalists will make the workers pay.

More than two years have passed since George W Bush declared his "war on terrorism." What has the result been? In Iraq the USA has shown its impotence to control the situation. It has been unable to build up a stable base. It is bogged down in a bloody impasse. But what about the other field of operations – Afghanistan?

Forty years ago, yesterday, Malcolm X stood up at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem (New York) to speak. He was going to speak against the racial segregation all over the US. He was going to appeal to his brothers and sisters to resist and fight back against the “oppression of the white man” when he was gunned down. More than one or two breathed a sigh of relief at the top of the US establishment. One of the loudest voices against injustice had been lost.

In presenting his Administration’s proposed budget, President Bush has shown the real face of his “compassionate conservatism” – guns before butter.

Many skeptics say that a socialist society could never exist in America. They say that Americans are greedy and unwilling to join together in common struggle. But US labour history is rich with examples of the heroism of the working class in their struggle for a better world.