The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

The Crisis of Capitalism and State Intervention

Oct 13, 2021

The following is a translation of a text that the French Trotskyist organization Lutte Ouvrière published in issue #220 (December 2021-January 2022) of its journal, Lutte de Classe (Class Struggle).

The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting health crisis have not only worsened the crisis in the capitalist economy. They have also made the profound trends in its evolution more visible.

The bosses’ aggressive behavior, added to the government’s anti-worker measures, show the working class what to expect. But it also indicates the path workers will have to follow to defend themselves—that of collective struggles and counter-attacks—if they don’t want to be pushed into misery and degradation.

When you look at the record of the past two years, what stands out is the continuous and considerable strengthening of the most powerful trusts and the enrichment of the big bourgeoisie.

To quote a daily newspaper openly devoted to the interests of the bourgeoisie (Les Echos, July 29, 2021): "Some financial performances are frightening. In the midst of the health and economic crisis, the American tech giants are breaking records and accumulating billions of dollars. That is fueling the unease of those who, before the Covid pandemic, already found the power of the GAFAM [Google/Apple/Facebook/Amazon/Microsoft] worrying and extravagant. (…) The figures tell it all. Google, Apple and Microsoft alone almost doubled their profits in the second quarter of 2021, generating more than five billion dollars in after-tax profits every week! Although they have become gigantic, these huge companies in their prime have kept the growth rates of start-ups."

Those three American trusts are no exception. To quote Les Echos once again (July 22, 2021): "In the region comprising Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), companies have accumulated 1.3 trillion euros in liquidities in 2020, according to rating agency Moody’s. A sizeable part of those reserves is held by 25 large companies which grabbed 491 billion euros in cash, i.e., 37% of the total sum."

Those colossal sums, when they don’t go to speculation, are used for mergers and acquisitions. According to Les Echos (October 1 and 2, 2021): "2021 is a peak in the history of mergers and acquisitions, never has their global consolidation reached the same level. By the end of September, in only nine months, more than 4.36 trillion dollars had been spent on such deals. (…) This figure is already much higher than the previous record of 2015, 4.22 trillion dollars."

The economic daily added that this buyout fever is "exacerbated by private equity funds," which illustrates the central role played by speculation in the mergers.

But, even if the ongoing concentration is mainly financial, it concerns companies, that is, workplaces where surplus value is produced. As always, speculation has consequences in determining who in the capitalist class will be favored in the distribution of the overall surplus value, but that wealth comes in the last resort from companies that produce surplus value, that is, from the exploitation of workers.

The present phenomenon of concentration is characteristic of crises and of their function in the capitalist economy: to rid the economy of the less profitable enterprises and to do so for the benefit of the most powerful capitalist groups, allowing them to strengthen their hold over the world economy.

States play a considerable role in this accumulation. Macron said, several times, “whatever the cost"—this same attitude has been shared by all imperialist states. The counterpart of state aid to the capitalists has been a massive surge in the indebtedness of all states.

"European public debts are reaching records," wrote Le Monde on July 24, 2021. "At the end of the first quarter, public debt in the Eurozone peaked at 100.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), crossing the 100% mark for the first time, according to the figures published (…) by Eurostat. In France, (...), it amounted to 118% of the GDP, compared to 100.8% a year earlier. In Germany it was 71.2%, in Spain 125.2%. The figures exceeded the 150% mark in Italy (160%) and in Greece (209%)."

This considerable amount of cash is only marginally invested in production. Instead, because money must circulate and produce more money, this whole evolution has given a considerable boost to speculation, with the permanent threat of financial crash that it entails.

On July 24, 2021, Le Monde published an article with a revealing title: "The specter of a durably weakened economy." The article starts with the observation that, at a moment when the epidemic was reviving and not receding, many bourgeois economists no longer believed in the scenario they had once favored: of a one-time shock followed by a return to the pre-2020 situation.

The paper observes that the pandemic "has rehabilitated the role of the state after forty years of doubting it." Expressing the point of view now shared by most economists and businessmen, Le Monde recommends that the intervention of the state based on the circumstances of the pandemic be continued. "We have gone from an epidemic to an endemic situation. It means an impact on growth that is not so brutal but has several side effects: on inequalities, savings, businesses, households ... because the crisis is a lasting one." Evoking the future, Le Monde adds: "The crisis has given rise to new forms of precariousness in terms of housing, education and health." This is not just a forecast. It is the outline for a planned attack by the bourgeoisie against the workers.

To quote the Financial Economics Review: "The developments that we have just described (...) resonate with the political and social changes that are shaking the world at the beginning of this century. (...) The pandemic only made them worse."

The “France 2030 Investment Plan” that Macron has just announced resonates with these developments. The announcement is obviously part of Macron’s presidential campaign. But, beyond Macron’s electoral ambitions, it reflects a concern of the capitalist class about the sectors which may yield profits in the future: nuclear energy, hydrogen, batteries, microchips, etc. "Invest better," read an editorial from Les Echos. They could have added: "And make sure the investments are financed by the State."

The “political and social changes that are shaking the world” sum up the aggravation of exploitation imposed on the working classes by the bourgeoisie to become ever richer despite the health crisis or, to be more precise, thanks to the opportunities it has offered.

The employers’ offensive combines with government measures to reduce the purchasing power of all sections of the working class, of workers in employment and of workers excluded from the labor market by unemployment or age. For those who still have a job, everyday life in the workplace consists of speeded-up production, of tightened discipline, of sanctions galore, all this to force fewer workers to produce more. Those pressures are also designed to remind workers of “who the boss is,” after months during which production was disorganized or interrupted by periods of short-time work. In addition to the nominal freezing of wages, there are multiple ways of lowering real wages: by the cutting of bonuses and by a lower payments for overtime hours, for example.

Official layoff plans do not tell the whole story of the rise of unemployment. The jobless masses are made up, above all, of temporary workers whose contracts were not renewed. The few legal protections that used to exist are suppressed one after the other. The condition of the working class is dragged down to pre-World War Two levels.

It’s convenient for economists who side with the bourgeoisie to see the pandemic humanity is still struggling with as the key factor behind the intervention of the state in the economy. But here again, the pandemic is not the cause, merely the indicator of an underlying, pre-existing reality.

For one thing, the role of the state in the capitalist economy illustrates how parasitic the bourgeoisie has become. But there are more fundamental reasons for that intervention, as Trotsky observed in 1940: "The acuteness of the social crisis arises from the fact that, as a result of the present concentration of the means of production, that is to say, of the reign of the great monopolies, the law of value and the law of supply and demand are now incapable of balancing economic relations. State intervention becomes an absolute necessity."

This was written in 1940. Over the years of depression which followed the 1929 crash, the bourgeoisie was able to test different political methods to try and avoid the collapse of its economy. From one imperialist country to another, situations varied considerably. However, broadly speaking, they fall under two headings: the “statism” of fascism, in Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany ("an attempt both to save private property and to control it," as Trotsky said), and the “statism” of Roosevelt’s New Deal in the United States. There were different specific aspects to each path, yet both led, first to the war economy (sacrificing everything for rearmament), then to World War II.

The “absolute necessity” of “state intervention” reflects two fundamentally opposed aspects of the reality expressed in the capitalist economy. Economic development is pushing for more coordination, expressing the need for an economy that is organized and planned on an international scale. It is however impossible to achieve this due to private ownership of the means of production.

Even if the bourgeois state manages to impose some regulation on the capitalist economy, it will not be enough to lead that economy out of the dead end it has reached. As Trotsky wrote: "The crisis of the capitalist system is caused not only by the reactionary role of private property but also by the no less reactionary role of the national state."

The unhappy ending of the French state’s recent “submarine deal” with Australia underlines how ridiculous France’s posturing is when confronted with American imperialism: a second-class “great power” simply cannot win when it plays out of its league.

But that episode also reminds us of the ruthless rivalries opposing imperialist powers, each player in this deadly game leaning on a "gigantic concentration of productive forces, on the fusion of monopoly capital with the state" (Lenin, Imperialism, 1916).

The internationalization of the division of labor has long been at odds with the fragmentation of the world into national states. "Imperialism is the very expression of this contradiction," wrote Trotsky. "Imperialist capitalism seeks to resolve this contradiction by extending borders, conquering new territories, etc."

Trotsky summed up the ultimate political consequences of that trend with this concise formula: "Centralization and collectivization characterize the politics of the revolution as well as that of the counter-revolution." This led him to the conclusion that capitalism needed to be overthrown in the only possible way, through the proletarian revolution, because the policy of the bourgeoisie in the context of the crisis could only lead to fascism and war.

The last attempt to forcibly unify the European market, in this case for the benefit of German imperialism, was that of Hitler, and it failed. Since the end of the war, the bourgeoisies of the main imperialist powers on the continent have claimed to be engaged in what they call “European construction"—a pompous and empty expression! They have tried to circumvent the difficulties caused by the division of the continent into national states, a division which they neither can nor wish to do without! The coronavirus pandemic shows how easily borders have been reconstituted, for the simple reason that the reality of national states was never questioned anyway.

What is currently happening in the energy sector illustrates the fact that the celebrated Europe built by the bourgeoisie has not done away with any of those contradictions. It has only changed their terms and has often made them more acute.

We are told, for example, that if the price of electricity is increasing in France, it is because it is indexed to the price of gas. But why is it indexed? The EU-wide common market of electricity was established within the wider common market of energy. However, the energy sources (coal, wind turbines, hydroelectric dams, nuclear power, etc.) are different from one European imperialist country to another. (As for the non-imperialist countries of Europe, they have the right to speak but not to decide.) After lengthy negotiations, a complicated system was set up to compensate the disadvantages suffered by certain countries in relation to one energy source or another by advantages in relation to other sources. The system also aimed to allow the less profitable companies to make a profit and, if they were in private hands, to pay their shareholders sizeable dividends.

The result is a system where the official price of electricity bears no relation to the reality of its production. Even the usual “regulator” of the capitalist system, i.e., the law of supply and demand, is dysfunctional and devoid of meaning.

Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire claims to have the remedy for this crazy situation but it’s all hot air: he can’t actually do anything! The prices of the different forms of energy may now have only a vague relation to the reality of their cost of production, but the sharp rise in prices is very real—much too real!—for consumers. And the ridiculously low financial help offered by Castex (a 100-euro check) cannot compensate for the loss in purchasing power endured by the working class due to the increases in the prices of gasoline and heating oil.

The complexity of the price system is advantageous for capitalist companies: it adds yet another smokescreen to those already hiding exactly how prices are determined in the capitalist economy in the time of imperialism.

In particular, it hides the machinations of the oil trusts leading to price increases for gasoline and heating oil.

Let these increases take place in the context where combustion engines are being replaced by hybrid and electric vehicles. Most European countries have set 2035 as the date by which sales of new combustion-engine vehicles must cease. While the owners of the major oil and automobile trusts are happy to have the ecologists impress people with the need for an “ecological transition,” the companies have been planning their own “transition” behind the scenes for a long time.

The few large trusts that have dominated the oil sector for more than a century are unlikely to want to lose the market that made them their incredible fortunes, or at least not without equally profitable substitute markets. Above all, their monopoly means that they are in a position to impose their choices, even if it is to the detriment of their less powerful fellow capitalists.

"The transition requires very large investments. And energy will of course cost more." The man who said this should know because it was Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of TotalEnergies (the new name for the Total oil trust). In the same interview with Les Echos (October 1 and 2, 2021), he made no secret of the fact that it is a voluntary operation that was planned long ago. "Two years ago," he stated, "when we started to work on our joint-venture with ACC (Automotive Cells Company) in the batteries sector with the CEO of Stellantis, Carlos Tavares, we discussed the commitment that Peugeot could make to guarantee purchasing batteries from plants." He went on to say, "The world has completely changed since then."

In the capitalist jungle, this is what you do when you have a monopoly. Those in the same position in whatever sector—paper, containers, microchips—all behave the same way.

Total’s CEO is talking only about batteries here, one of the major problems in converting from the combustion engine to electric.

But research into many other fuels is ongoing, notably hydrogen. And, to produce electricity, there are wind turbines and solar panels, even nuclear power is making a comeback—although of course it is now called “green"—and coal, which was vilified not long ago.

The oil trusts and their allies in the automobile and related industries may not even have chosen their future orientation yet. Yet they do know that the change will cost money, starting with the research to determine what will be the most profitable option. They intend to have their investments financed, in advance, by the consumers and the state.

Which goes to show that the sudden increase in the price of oil that the media and ministers alike have presented as “a surprise” is, in fact, a well-thought-out operation, planned and finalized some time ago!

It seems certain that the current price increases of petroleum products will continue and be exacerbated. This means that the oil giants are already planning to have consumers finance their partial conversion and the investments that they entail.

Are the trusts responsible for all the “ecological transition” hype? Are they just trying to anticipate what will happen so they can make the most of it? It certainly looks like the petroleum giants are trying to reproduce the same mechanisms as those of the great oil crises in the 1970s. At that time, the stocks of low-priced oil were not enough for anticipated consumption. In order to have the consumers pay, in advance, for the investments needed to exploit less profitable oil fields (offshore petroleum, then shale gas, etc.), the oil giants imposed a price explosion for oil and natural gas on the world economy. They prepared for the operation with a misleading campaign that invoked, in no particular order, the depletion of oil deposits—it was stated at the time that there would be no oil left in the year 2000!—as well as the greed of “the oil sheikhs,” and the omnipotence of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries). Today, it is the Chinese demand for oil, gas-pipeline problems, Putin wanting to sell Russian gas at the highest possible price, the rising price of maritime transport, etc.

Behind the scapegoats and the fictitious excuses, there is today, as there was half a century ago, an operation that has been consciously planned and executed by monopolies in the oil sector and some in the automobile sector.

The oil crises of the 1970s led both progressively and brutally to general price increases. They exposed the uneven balance of forces between the capitalist companies themselves. And this is going to happen again now. The disruption that the energy price increases are likely to engender will exacerbate the crisis and will tip the distribution of surplus value a little more to the side of the most powerful trusts. The energy price increases will have an effect on the whole of the economy. This process has already begun, slowly but violently, to have an effect on the price of goods that are the most vital to the working classes.

We must make it clear that the corporations, particularly in the energy sector, are responsible. They have a double interest: cashing in now on the excess profits resulting from the sale of petroleum-based goods and preparing for their future conversion. It is time to expose what is hidden behind the hype that was defended in the beginning by the pundits of ecology politics and has now been adopted by all the bourgeoisie’s political stars.

Recognition of this must be used to highlight the need to abolish business secrets. It is a necessary step in the control that workers and the laboring classes should exercise over production and the distribution of what is produced.

Ecological problems are very real. But the solutions of the bourgeoisie are those of their class. The increased cost of transport and heating weighs heavily on the working class. Money is the criterion used to decide who gets heating and unlimited travel. The economy is organized on the basis of private property, and the national state has no answer to problems that require planning on an international scale.

But above all, the opportunity must be seized by wage earners to demand that wages be indexed on price increases. Wages must be based on what all workers feel as consumers—that price increases mean less buying power, i.e., a loss of wages in real terms.

The State’s Growing Authoritarianism—an Inevitable Condition for Its Intervention to Save The Capitalist Economy

The Financial Economics Review observed that “the pandemic … has given states a power to intervene and coerce that is far too high. They are once again the major players in economic life…. They are taking responsibility for everyone’s health and their subsistence. The welfare state is omnipresent."

In the 1930s, barely two decades after the Russian revolution and despite the bureaucratic degeneration of the Soviet Union, the basic political condition of fascism’s economic policy—to save capitalism by reducing workers to poverty and preparing for war—was to start by breaking a living, fighting working class.

What Hitler managed in Germany by breaking the working class, Roosevelt managed in the U.S. by giving a bonus to the working-class aristocracy through the intermediary of the reformist trade union apparatus. Once the powerful mobilization of the American working class in the 1930s had faded away, the war gave the American state the means to engage in a policy that handed money over to the capitalist economy the money that the state took directly from the laboring classes.

The situation today is obviously not the same. To try to prevent and defuse their resistance, the workers have to be anesthetized. The pandemic and the government measures to fight it were not the fundamental reason for establishing restraints on the working class, but they presented an opportunity to do it. The public health measures used to fight “the war on coronavirus"—of which Macron spoke at the beginning of the pandemic—were a smokescreen for collective constraint. It is part of the "exorbitant power of intervention and coercion" evoked in the quarterly magazine Revue d’économie financière.

The political conditions that allow statism to be used to help capitalism when in crisis were given to the bourgeoisie way before the pandemic by the political apathy of the working class. Decades of betrayal by parties claiming to represent the workers have turned them away from politics.

Trotsky’s opening words in the Transitional Program, "The world political situation as a whole is chiefly characterized by the historical crisis of the leadership of the proletariat" define a reality that has worsened over time. Stalinism has annihilated the very notion of "leadership of the proletariat."

The reinforcement of state intervention obviously has not eliminated the contradictions of capitalism in decay. Even with the intervention of different states, the market is completely incapable of balancing out the economy.

The concentration of production in trusts and multinational corporations is a result of free-market capitalism. The development of capitalism into imperialism, even with the help of state intervention, has not eliminated economic crises. It has only diminished their role in regulating the economy.

The growing anarchy of capitalist production and the different forms it has taken, falsely attributed to the consequences of the pandemic alone, are illustrated by the complete disorganization of a large number of production chains around the world: delays or interruptions in the supply of provisions, disturbances in the transportation of goods (from natural gas pipelines to shipping containers), jolts in prices at different stages of the production process, etc.

The anarchy of capitalist production is nothing new when it comes to how companies function and the interrelations between the companies that produce the final products and their subcontractors. In fact, it’s even one of the trademarks of the capitalist mode of production. Individually, however, each capitalist company is characterized by a strictly regulated division of labor which depends on the enforcement of tough discipline on workers. Even so, the current chaos is affecting companies internally.

The whole automotive industry is completely disorganized and this may not be temporary. In fact, it could last for some time because, even with the help of state intervention, the market is unable to regulate the supply and demand of a number of essential parts. And it’s not because of strikes or blockages resulting from class struggle but for reasons inherent to the way the capitalist system functions. The production process is completely disorganized both on an international scale and at company-level, where managers and supervisors don’t know where to turn in order to make capitalist production work.

Revolutionary communists must, of course, condemn the fact that workers are paying for all these disruptions in the production process through the worsening of their living and working conditions: faster production rates, interspersed with periods of partial unemployment, the laying-off of temporary workers, low wages and long work hours, wage reductions, etc. But beyond condemning these consequences on their daily lives, they must also contest the social and economic organization of society that is ever more incapable of regulating the fundamental balance between production capacity and the human needs to be satisfied.

The ministers keep repeating in every possible way that the economy is recovering. Their optimism is due in large part to the presidential election campaign going on here in France. But leaving that aside, some elements do seem to support this claim.

The upturn in world trade is one example used by experts in bourgeois circles to justify their optimism. According to Les Echos, "the volume of goods traded around the world is expected to grow by 10.8% this year, after a 5.3% drop in 2020."

But another observation counterbalances this one, and that is shortages. According to the October 7th issue of Le Monde: "Spices, wool, toys, smartphones ... shortages are set to last. There is sand in the gears of a worldwide supply chain that had been well-greased up until now. A strong increase in demand has put it under strain and even made it go haywire. The world economy has become completely unpredictable."

The October 7th issue of Les Echos speaks of "an upturn in European industry that is still under pressure. The rebound is strong since after falling by more than 25% between January and April 2020, industrial manufacturing on the Old Continent returned to its pre-crisis level last July. It’s almost the same case in the United States."

But, again, there’s a downside: "In Germany, industrial manufacturing remains about 4% below what it was in January 2020. French manufacturing is also at a low level since its output is about 3% lower than what it was before the pandemic."

According to one of Coface’s economists1, "Germany and France are lagging behind, which can be explained by how their industries are made up. French industry is highly dependent on aircraft manufacturing and Germany on the automotive industry. And both the automotive industry, which accounts for nearly a quarter of Germany’s industrial production, and aeronautics, which makes up 12% of France’s overall production, are still being affected."

A "recovery on the edge of a knife,” as the editor of Les Echos puts it. His newspaper, basing its forecasts on those of the IMF, states that "global growth is showing signs of running out of steam."

The coming months will tell whether there really has been an upturn in production or whether it’s just a temporary catching-up after the disruptions in production linked to the pandemic.

The only sector where there has definitely been an upturn is in finance. It has been fueled by the billions of liquidities injected into the economy by the central banks. These sums were generated through the creation of money, the giving out of loans left and right, but also through the buying back of public and private debts and especially government bonds in almost unlimited amounts.

In economist jargon, this policy is called “quantitative easing.” In practice, it combines two elements: the purchase of asset-backed securities and the lowering of interest rates. Purchasing asset-backed securities means pouring unlimited amounts of money and credit into the economy; lowering interest rates means making this cash available to capitalists at the cheapest rates.

Both of these elements tend to lead to inflation. Should this policy be pursued or on the contrary abandoned, which would create panic in the spheres of finance and precipitate a financial crisis? The bourgeoisie’s experts are divided on the issue, and for good reason! It’s a no-win situation. Yet again, the remedies that could be used to cure one ailing phase of capitalism turn out to be poison for the next one.

In the meantime, the headline of the October 11 issue of Les Echos reads: "European banks at their best on the stock market." With a 44% increase in stock-market value, banks have made the best performance of any sector on the stock market since the beginning of the year. And their stock-market prices could rise even more by the end of the year. Many institutions have announced very generous profit distribution plans to their shareholders.

In business newspapers, economists are almost unanimous about the threat of another major financial crisis, a “systemic crisis.” There are, however, a number of different hypotheses as to how it will erupt. The one in the spotlight right now regarding real estate speculation is the threat that the Chinese companies Evergrande and Fantasia might go bankrupt.

The whole manufacturing economy is dancing on a volcano with a financial eruption waiting to happen, especially since the real estate speculation leading to the bankruptcy of Evergrande is a widespread phenomenon in almost all major industrialized countries. France itself has played a role in this phenomenon by increasing real estate prices in small and medium-sized cities. As well-off Parisians have rushed to buy property and set up residence in regions with fast-train connections to Paris, prices have gone up significantly for local buyers. And speculation will inevitably make them go up even more.

Whether or not there actually is a certain degree of economic recovery, it won’t put an end to the main underlying crisis which started with the monetary and oil crises. It has been this way for over half a century, during which the stagnation of the world economy has been exposed to successive periods of recession and recovery.

The usefulness of following these successive phases is to know how to adapt the different demands summed up in the Transitional Program, matching them to workers’ immediate concerns. The sliding scale of wages and the indexation of wages on prices, for example, have always been part of revolutionary communist propaganda. But it’s obvious that, as a slogan for day-to-day agitation, it was less effective a few months ago when inflation was barely perceptible than it is today, as working-class people suffer when filling up their gas tanks or working out how much they can afford to pay for heating.

The capitalist economy will probably recover from the current phase of the crisis, just like it recovered from its previous ones, notably the one which almost made the entire banking system collapse in 2008. It has a great capacity to adapt. But looking back on the half-century that has gone by since the beginning of what bourgeois economists call “the secular crisis,” the increasingly frequent jolts in the economy (whether it be the oil, monetary, banking, real estate crises or that of the euro, or crises affecting specific regions of the world) are a striking demonstration of capitalism’s inability to continue managing the productive forces that it is cracking to pieces.

Nearly 150 years ago, Engels noted in Socialism: Utopian and Scientific that "these productive forces themselves, with increasing energy, press forward to the removal of the existing contradiction, to the abolition of their quality as capital, to the practical recognition of their character as social productive forces." Another one of Engels’s observations from the same book comes as a forewarning of the present situation: "The partial recognition of the social character of the productive forces is forced upon the capitalists themselves: taking over of the great institutions for production and communication, first by joint-stock companies, later on by trusts, then by the state. The bourgeoisie is demonstrated to be a superfluous class, all its social functions are now performed by salaried employees." He adds: "The solution of the contradictions: the proletariat seizes the public power, and by means of this, transforms the socialized means of production, slipping from the hands of the bourgeoisie, into public property."

No matter how much the bourgeoisie clings to its power, no matter how fiercely it clings to the capitalist organization of the economy which ensures its predominance and privileges, the laws of economic development are far more powerful.

Since Engels wrote these words, economic development has led to scientific advances and technological inventions, from the use of atomic energy to instant communication all around the world and the beginning of space exploration. It has created connections between all human beings on an international scale. From multinational corporations to big banks and retail giants like Amazon, a multitude of different forms of organization emanating from the development of capitalism offer society the means to consciously and rationally manage the production and distribution of the goods manufactured by society in the interest of everyone.

Capitalism is senile, worn out and crippled with so many ailments. Will it collapse? In order to avoid having the whole of human civilization collapse along with it, the working class will have to succeed in overthrowing the capitalist system. This is why the absence of a revolutionary leadership, of a revolutionary communist party, weighs heavily on the future, just as much and for the same reasons as in Trotsky’s time.

1 Coface (Compagnie française d’assurance pour le commerce extérieur) is a trade credit insurance company which specializes in corporate financing, credit insurance, debt collection and surety bonds.