Jan 18, 2016
On Monday, January 4th, a single statistic indicating that Chinese industrial growth was running out of steam was enough to send stock markets tumbling, first in Asia, then in Europe and the United States. The Chinese government shut down the stock exchanges to prevent them from spiraling even further out of control and “injected liquidities” in order to “reassure investors.” But “reassurance” didn’t last long: stock markets began to tumble again.
Many commentators have emphasized that the economy has never gotten back on its feet since the crisis of 2008. And they have recognized that capitalism is going toward a new crisis and is unable to stop itself.
The central banks, which are supposed to guide the global economy, continue to flood the financial markets with credit in hope, they say, of restarting the economy. But the capitalists don’t do it. They carry off billions of dollars and use them to speculate, to buy each other up, and to guarantee dividends to their shareholders – anything but to invest in the production of new wealth. The big oil companies, whose profits are relatively low this year because of the decline in oil prices, have even reached the point of borrowing from the banks in order to keep pouring out dividends!
The growth in wealth and profits on the part of a tiny handful of capitalists comes at the expense of the constant and increasingly dramatic impoverishment of the majority of humanity. This is at the same time the cause, the consequence, and the motor of the crisis, and it is what will inevitably bring about its explosion.
It is also what makes the revolt of the exploited to put an end to capitalism all the more necessary.