Socialist Worker

Inspiration for the year ahead

Issue No. 1781

THE NEW year has opened with two different sides of the world on show. The first is the horror and the barbarism seen in the US's continuing bombing of Afghanistan after the overthrow of the Taliban. US president George Bush declared there is more slaughter in store. '2002 will be a war year as well,' Bush said last week.

'We're going to continue to hunt down these Al Qaida people in Afghanistan, as well as other places. Our war against terror extends way beyond Afghanistan.'

The Bush gang have their sights set on Iraq, Somalia and a number of other countries. These are the 'rogue states' that become targets because they have failed to do the US's bidding.

US ally Israel is maintaining its brutal war against the Palestinian people. Israeli troops killed six Palestinians on Sunday alone. There is the horrific possibility of war between the two nuclear states of Pakistan and India over the state of Kashmir.

And the economic downturn that is stretching from the US across other major economies will mean many tens of thousands more people will be thrown out of work. But the new year also brought the inspiring example of the uprising in Argentina.

Ordinary people took to the streets in the Latin American country, defying police brutality as they took on their own rulers and the international bankers. They chanted many of the same demands as people on the anti-capitalist demonstrations in Genoa and Gothenburg.

They wanted an end to the devastation caused to their lives by the neo-liberal policies rammed through by the International Monetary Fund and their government. The protest by the mass of ordinary people succeeded in toppling two presidents. It also sent a shiver of fear around governments and bankers across the world. They are another example of how the movement against capitalism and all its horrors is growing across the world.

This year there will be even more challenges to those who want a better world where people and the planet are put before the profits of the multinationals. Socialist Worker urges all its readers to continue to organise and protest, and to build an even stronger movement against capitalism-against the war, recession and devastation to people's lives that it brings.

Euro-the real debate

WHAT WILL the introduction of the euro across many countries in Europe mean? Supporters of the euro play on the genuine feelings of people across Europe that they do not want a continent riven by nationalist divisions which contributed to two world wars.

Those in the Tory party who oppose the euro wrap themselves in Little Englandism and anti-European bigotry while at the same time wanting Britain to be drawn even closer to the US.

But the establishment figures who argue over the euro are really debating how best to organise British and European capitalism to compete globally. The euro is about drawing together European big business and handing more power to unelected bankers. It is another route to deregulation and privatisation. Public spending cuts are built into the rules for joining the currency.

The answer is not to line up with the rival fat cats and privatisers who are waving the Union Jack. People in Argentina have shown how to deal with the bankers by rising up and refusing to suffer for the sake of profit.

Only last month 100,000 workers from many countries in Europe united on the streets of the Belgian capital, Brussels, to demand a 'social Europe' where the interests of ordinary people are protected.

The following day a further 25,000 people joined an anti-capitalist march through Brussels. That movement from below offers the hope of truly uniting people. It does not stop at the borders of the European Union, which are creating new and deeper divisions as every European country enacts vicious measures to stop poor people seeking refuge from elsewhere in the world.

Capitalism is bearing down on people globally. Resistance to it has to be global too.

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