THE LAST 100 years of the millennium have been an era of wars and revolutions. The first half of the century saw generations slaughtered in two world wars. It has been the century which produced the Nazi Holocaust and the possibility that nuclear weapons would destroy the world. Capitalism's crazed rule for profit threatens ecological catastrophe.
But the century has also been marked by the most inspiring struggles against oppression and exploitation. Millions of workers have fought back in revolutions that have shaken the rulers of every country. Those struggles are set to continue.
The society we live in has enough resources so that no one in the world need die of hunger or cold, or for want of a roof over their head. Yet 800 million people around the world are malnourished. Many millions are without shelter, or are refugees fleeing persecution. In Britain one in three children are born into poverty. At the same time the richest 10 percent of people grab 51 percent of the wealth.
Capitalism has failed. In the last 25 years of this century there have been four major recessions. Unemployment has devastated the lives of millions. Over these eight pages Socialist Worker will show images of the last 100 years. They reveal the horror, but also the hope of workers who have fought to find an alternative to the rotten system of capitalism.
War from beginning to end
THE CENTURY started with a series of wars in the Balkans. It ended with NATO launching another war in the region in 1999. Tens of thousands of ordinary people were driven from their homes. NATO's bombs killed hundreds. But the war provoked a storm of protest by many hundreds of thousands of people across the world.