What is its Meaning and what should be the Response of Socialists?
by Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 13 July 2018, www.thecommunists.net
The Global Trade War has begun. After months of negotiations without result, a cycle of punitive tariffs and retaliatory tariffs between the U.S. and China – the world’s two biggest imperialist Great Powers – has started on 6 July.
On that day, the Trump Administration imposed 25% tariffs on $34bn of Chinese imports (e.g. boats, aircraft engines and nuclear reactors). Hours later, Beijing responded with matching tariffs on the same amount of US exports (e.g. soybeans, tobacco and cars) to China.
Furthermore, according to reports, China’s Dongming Petrochemical Group has suspended crude oil purchases from the United States and has now turned to Iran as one of its sources of crude. This is part of Beijing’s plan to slap tariffs on U.S. crude oil imports and replace them with West African and Middle Eastern crude, including crude from Iran. (1)
Infuriated by China’s refusal to back down, Washington is now escalating the trade war. On 10 July, the Trump Administration proposed tariffs on another US$200 billion of Chinese imports. It issued a list of thousands of Chinese imports which the administration wants to hit with the new tariffs, including hundreds of food products as well as tobacco, chemicals, coal, steel and aluminium. It also includes consumer goods ranging from car tires, furniture, wood products, handbags and suitcases, to dog and cat food, baseball gloves, carpets, doors, bicycles, skis, golf bags, toilet paper and beauty products. Hence, the new list targets many more consumer goods than those covered under the tariffs imposed on 6 July. The list is subject to a two-month public comment period before taking effect. (2)
On the next day, Beijing vowed to retaliate and warned the US of “damaging the world economic order”. Li Chenggang, the assistant minister of commerce, said: “The outburst of large-scale mutual levying of tariffs between China and the United States will inevitably destroy Sino-US trade.” (3)
In the recent past, we have pointed out repeatedly the likelihood of such a conflict and its dangerous consequences. (4) It is the unavoidable result of the acceleration of the rivalry between the Great Powers which is a key characteristic of the present historic period. Hence, half a year ago, we wrote: “Given the aggressive protectionism advocated by the Trump Administration there is a realistic possibility that a trade war could start in 2018 between the U.S. and China which would trigger another recession.” (5)
If one side does not back down in the next weeks, such a scenario will take place. While temporary compromises are not excluded, the fundamental dynamic of accelerating antagonism between the Great Powers is irreversible. The Global Trade War, of which we have warned, has now begun.
Nervousness at the Stock Markets
As a result, nervousness is spreading throughout the capitalist classes all over the world. After the White House’s announcement on 10 July, South Korea’s KOSPI lost 1% and Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.2%. The US-American Dow Jones mini futures fell as much as 1% while S&P500 e-mini futures, the world’s most liquid futures, were down 0.8%. In China, Shanghai’s main index fell 1.78% to close at 2,777.20 points, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng tumbled 1.29%. Likewise in Europe, where the British FTSE 100 finished the day 100 points lower at 7,591, down 1.3%, while the DAX slipped 1.5% in Germany.
Important sectors of the U.S monopoly bourgeoisie are deeply worried about the prospects of an all-out global trade war. The Republican chair of the Senate finance committee, Orrin Hatch, criticized Trump’s threat by saying it “appears reckless and is not a targeted approach”. A spokeswoman of the US chamber of commerce also criticised the administration’s move: “Tariffs are taxes, plain and simple. Imposing taxes on another $200bn worth of products will raise the costs of everyday goods for American families, farmers, ranchers, workers, and job creators. It will also result in retaliatory tariffs, further hurting American workers.” The Retail Industry Leaders Association, a lobby group representing the largest US retailers, said: “The president has broken his promise to bring maximum pain on China, minimum pain on consumers.” (6)
Such nervousness among the capitalists around the world is fully justified. We are experiencing the final phase of the current business cycle, the first cycle within the period of the Great Depression which began in 2008. (7)
The Global Trade War, in combination with the warmongering of US imperialism against Iran, could trigger an early economic collapse. While Washington’s attempts to exclude Iran – the third biggest global oil producer – from the world market will inevitable result in a massive rise of oil prices, the increase of tariffs will increase prices both for industrial as well as for consumer commodities.
While Trump claims that his sanctions will hurt China (which is true), he seems to be unaware that they will also dramatically affect American consumers. As wages are stagnant, households are increasingly using their credit cards to pay for consumption. As a result, consumer debt service as a percentage of disposable income has risen back to the levels we last saw just before the 2008 crash. At the same time, personal saving was barely 3.4% of household’s personal income in 2017. (8) Never before did the US economy experience such a low level since 1945 – except in the years before the Great Recession in 2008/09! (9)
China warns the U.S. that it “has ignited the largest trade war in economic history”
From the point of view of US imperialism, the logic of Trump’s aggressive trade policy is perfectly clear. As we have shown in our analyses of the world situation, the world’s biggest Great Power faces a historic decline since years. Irrespective of its internal fragility and bizarre performance (like Nero, Trump is the perfect intellectual and moral personification of the decay of a hegemonial power), the White House attempts to stop or even reverse this decline by a policy of aggressive jingoism and protectionism.
The Chinese regime of Xi Jinping, representing an ascending imperialist Great Power and the most power rival of the the U.S., is fully aware of the dramatic meaning of the current cycle of punitive tariffs and retaliatory tariffs. Beijing’s Ministry of Commerce stated on 6 July that “the United States has ignited the largest trade war in economic history.” (10) A few days later, Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen, who is currently representing China during the country’s policy review at the World Trade Organisation, denounced the US as a “trade bully” and noted: “The United States started the war.” (11)
Aware of its class interests as a leading imperialist Great Power, Beijing understands that the Global Trade War is a result of the struggle for world hegemony. In a commentary in the regime’s English-language mouth piece, Beijing pin’s down the current events in the broader context: “[T]he fact is, for the past more than one decade the United States has identified China as a strategic competitor in its national security strategy report. (...) Actually, the ongoing Sino-US trade disputes reflect the attempts of the US as an established power to contain the rise of China as an emerging power. The US' China containment policy has changed over the past decades, and the tariff war shows it has entered a new stage with economic competition being the focus. The rising trade disputes between the world's two largest economies raises a serious question: Will they lead to a full-blown confrontation between the US and China, or do they suggest the two sides have entered a new "Cold War"? (...) [I]f the tariff war is confined to the current level, the two countries and their peoples could still bear the impact. But if Trump launches an all-out trade war, the US economy and society may not be able to withstand the impact of countermeasures from China and other economies. According to the US' economic cycle, its economic boom period is nearing its end and contraction is likely to begin around 2020 even in the absence of a massive trade war with China. So could the trade war advance the US' economic decline and to what extent?“ (12)
So, while most Stalinist and centrist organizations refuse to recognize the imperialist class character of China, Beijing’s ruling class is fully aware of the nature of current events as a struggle for world hegemony. Not only this, it also approaches such a conflict with full self-confidence.
Opening of a new World Political Phase?
Only a fool can ignore the explosive dynamic of the present developments. If the two imperialist powers do not reach a compromise in the next two months, a dramatic global trade war will begin. Combined with the consequences of Washington’s declared goal to exclude Iran from the world oil market by autumn, the outbreak of another Great Recession, with all its devastating social and political consequences, is inevitable under such conditions.
Add to all of this that the Trump Administration has also imposed tariffs on other imperialist powers like the European Union, Russia, Japan, South Korea, etc.
It is obvious that such an escalation of the Global Trade War would represent a new stage in the process of acceleration of the inter-imperialist rivalry. It could not be retained to economic tensions only but would inevitable spill over to massive political conflicts.
In other words, such a development would be the opening fanfares of a new world political phase, characterized by an escalation of rivalry between the Great Powers and a wave of imperialist chauvinism and jingoism.
Make no mistake: the Global Trade War is the prelude to World War III. Of course, unlike in the opera, this prelude is not followed immediately by the main act. A new war between the Great Powers is not likely to take place in the near future. This is a longer process of acceleration of contradictions, of political crises, proxy wars, of diplomatic clashes and military tensions. Likely, the ruling class must first strike severe blows against their working class at home before it can start a world war. But in a historic sense, there should be no doubt: the Global Trade War is the first sign of the coming World War III.
Is an Escalation Inevitable?
Of course, it is not inevitable that a full-blown Global Trade War will take place in the next few months. As mentioned above, both U.S. as well as Chinese capitalists fear such a developmentand its consequences for the world economy.
Furthermore, the U.S. Republicans face the important mid-term election in November. If American consumers experience a dramatic increase of prices before the election and see the Trump Administration as culprit, it could have even more devastating consequences for the Republican Party’s electoral prospects than it most likely will have anyway. A loss of its majority both in the Senate as well as in the House of Representatives would be extremely likely in such a scenario. Hence, important sectors of the Republican Party pressurize the Trump Administration not to escalate the trade war.
For all these reasons, one can not exclude that Washington and Beijing might find a temporary compromise and delay an all-out g lobal trade war for some time.
However, given the fact that warmongering in the Middle East and economic protectionism are essential aspects of Trump’s political project, it is very unlikely that such a compromise could last very long. Despite all the inner contradictions and obstacles, there can be no doubt that militarism and protectionism are the key answers of U.S. imperialism against its decline as the hegemonial global power. This would also be the case if the U.S. would have a less mentally deranged and more perceptive President.
For all these reasons, a full-blown Global Trade War is inevitable sooner or later.
The Global Trade War is an Inevitable Result of the Nature of the Present Historic Period
Such an escalation of the tensions between the Great Powers is not surprising at all for Marxists. Quite the opposite, the RCIT has always insisted in its programmatic documents that the historic period which opened in 2008 is characterized by an acceleration of the rivalry between the imperialist powers – first and foremost the U.S., China, Russia, the European Union and Japan. (13)
The RCIT has summarized the character of this period in one of its world perspective document: (14)
“To summarize, capitalism is in the throes of a historic period of decline which threatens not only the world economy but also the living standard of the popular masses, and even puts the survival of humanity in danger. The current period is characterized by what Trotsky described as a “declining curve of capitalist development”. It is the decay of the productive forces which constitutes the fundamental, the most important factor, for the acceleration of the contradictions between the classes which is so characteristic of the historic period since 2008. It is because of the declining dynamic of capital accumulation and the growth of profits that the bourgeoisie is forced, lest it face ruin, to relentlessly attack the working class. For the very same reason the imperialist bourgeoisie is forced to relentlessly strangle the semi-colonial countries of the South and to wage more and more military interventions and occupations. And it is for the very same reason that the rivalry between the imperialist Great Powers is accelerating, since they have to struggle against one other to gain a larger share of the relatively decreasing production of global capitalist value. Finally, if the imperialist Great Powers are not smashed by revolutionary international working class, their rivalry will lead to World War III. The working class can only end this continuous chain of misery, wars and catastrophes via a world socialist revolution. Rosa Luxemburg’s statement that humanity is faced with the alternative “Socialism or Barbarism” is more relevant than ever. Under the conditions of the early 21st century, the concretization of Luxemburg’s statement means: “Socialism or Widespread Death through Climate Destruction and World War III”!” (15)
Naturally, as we have emphasized many times, it is impossible to understand the character of the present tensions between the Great Powers without the class character of the parties involved. Or more specifically, the precondition for a correct understanding is that socialists recognize the imperialist nature not only of the old imperialist powers – the U.S., Western Europe and Japan – but also of the emerging imperialist power China and Russia. (16)
In fact, only such an understanding enables Marxists to take a consistent revolutionary and anti-imperialist stance in such conflicts, i.e. a position of consistently opposing all imperialist powers and of intransigently fighting against their chauvinism and militarism. In our “Six Points for a Platform of Revolutionary Unity Today” we have summarized the position which, in our opinion, is the only legitimate for Marxists:
“It is only possible to understand the driving dynamic of the present period of capitalist crisis and to take a correct position if one recognizes the imperialist character not only of the US, EU and Japan but also of the new emerging powers, Russia and China. Only on such a basis is it possible to arrive at the only correct, anti-imperialist program on this issue – proletarian internationalism and revolutionary defeatism, i.e., the perspective of consistent struggle of the working class independent of and against all imperialist powers. This means that revolutionaries refuse to lend support to any Great Power in inter-imperialist conflicts under the slogan ‘The main enemy is at home!’” (17)
Consequently, revolutionaries must oppose the Global Trade War and deploy a set of anti-imperialist tactics. Let us repeat the conclusions which we drew in our recently published joint statement with a number of other revolutionary organizations:
“In view of a looming global trade war, socialists call the workers and popular organizations around the world to act decisively on the basis of the principles of international working class solidarity. Such principles are valid in times of peace and war, in case of economic sanctions as well as in case of military aggression.
* No to a global trade war! Oppose Great Power jingoism in West and East! Against militarist saber-rattling! In imperialist states, socialists say: “The Main Enemy is at Home!” In case of sanctions or a trade war between the U.S., China, European Union, Russia, Canada, Japan, or other powers, socialists in all countries involved must oppose such sanctions.
* Down with imperialist sanctions against semi-colonial countries like North Korea, Iran, Zimbabwe, Venezuela and others! Defend these countries against all forms of imperialist aggression! But no political support for the anti-working class regimes in these states!
* Down with the imperialist border regime! Open the borders for refugees! Defend Muslim migrants against Islamophobic racism!
* Neither imperialist globalization nor imperialist protectionism! Against all Great Powers and capitalist corporations in West and East! For international solidarity and joint cross-border struggle in defense of the interests of workers and oppressed!“ (18)
The Left in Confusion
It is amazing that most organizations which consider themselves as Marxists have published until now very little or nothing at all about the Global Trade War. And those, who have published an article on this issue, limit themselves to an empirical recognition of the tensions between the U.S. and China. But, in opposite to the RCIT, hardly anyone of these organizations understands the historic importance of the Global Trade War – both as an event with massive consequences for the world economy as well as for the acceleration of the Great Power rivalry.
However, there is a reason for this. Most socialist organizations categorically reject to characterize China as an imperialist Great Power. (19) The only possible consequence from this would be to side with supposed non-imperialist China against U.S. imperialism. Understandably, many of these organizations – if we leave aside the Stalinists and semi-Stalinists – don’t feel very comfortable with such a consequence. As a result, they prefer to ignore the issue of the Global Trade War or, if they deal with the issue, to refrain from any thorough analysis which would contain a clear class characterization of the powers involved as well as unambiguous conclusions for tactics.
Such confusion on a crucial issue of world politics disables these organizations to deploy a consistent program of revolutionary defeatism and anti-imperialism. However, without such a program they are unable to act as a revolutionary force in the present historic period.
In fact, various centrist muddleheads have attacked the RCIT for our characterization of the conflict between the Western powers and China and Russia as inter-imperialist rivalry. For example, the misnamed “World Socialist Website” denounced our stance as a “right-wing, bourgeois and pro-imperialist orientation” as they violently reject our characterization of China and Russia as imperialist. (20) However, this is only a hysterical cover for their opportunist adaption to Putin and Xi regimes.
We repeat our conclusion in a recently published article: “Whatever these socialists conclude, the looming global trade war demands a concrete and practical program: either the program of anti-imperialist defeatism or the program of social-imperialism. There is no third option.” (21)
We say, without exaggeration, that any negligence of taking a Marxist position on the Global Trade War and of drawing the necessary programmatic conclusion is nothing but criminal!
Let’s be clear: the Global Trade War is not a purely economic conflict between two or more powers. It is inextricably linked with political and military tensions. It is inevitable connected with political and ideological mobilizations of chauvinism. As we stated above, it is, in the historic sense, the prelude to World War III. Understanding the nature of the Global Trade War and the resulting tactics of revolutionary defeatism and anti-imperialism is of utmost political importance for socialists in the present period!
It should be clear to all Marxists that the economic, political, and military struggles – between the classes as well as between Great Powers – are inextricably linked with each other. The conflicts between the imperialist states – be in on the economic, political, or military field – require one and the same program of revolutionary defeatism and anti-imperialism. They require one and the same struggle for international socialist revolution!
In an article published in 1911, Rosa Luxemburg pointed out appropriately the interrelation of the economic, political, and military conflicts between the Great Powers.
„From this same standpoint the tasks of the Social Democrats with regard to the declarations of the kind made by the British Government can only be to show up the idea of a partial limitation of armaments, in all its impracticability, as a half-measure, and to endeavour to make it clear to the people that militarism is closely linked up with colonial politics, with tariff politics, and with international politics, and that therefore the present Nations, if they really seriously and honestly wish to call a halt on competitive armaments, would have to begin by disarming in the commercial political field, give up colonial predatory campaigns and the international politics of spheres of influence in all parts of the world – in a word, in their foreign as well as in their domestic politics would have to do the exact contrary of everything which the nature of the present politics of a capitalist class state demands. And thus would be clearly explained what constitutes the kernel of the Social Democratic conception, that militarism in both its forms – as war and as armed peace – is a legitimate child, a logical result of capitalism, which can only be overcome with the destruction of capitalism, and that hence whoever honestly desires world peace and liberation from the tremendous burden of armaments must also desire Socialism. Only in this way can real Social Democratic enlightenment and recruiting be carried on in connection with the armaments debate.“ (22)
Karl Radek, a leading collaborator of Lenin since 1914 and later of leading figure in Trotsky’s Left Opposition against the Stalinist bureaucracy in the 1920s, also emphasized in a study about imperialism that failure to recognize the imperialist character of a tariff conflict will result in failure to struggle against imperialism as such.
“Whoever does not regard imperialism in its connection with the cartelisation of industry and the protective tariff-policy, i.e., as a necessary result of the last phase of capitalist development, will easily succumb to the temptation of underestimating imperialist antagonisms.” (23)
Let us conclude by emphasizing that the Global Trade War illustrates once more the dramatic crisis of leadership in the workers movement. Most so-called Marxist organizations fail to understand what is going on and what is necessary to do. Lenin’s famous dictum – “without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement“ – is truer than ever. (24) Indeed, the latest events in world politics underline once more that a correct theory is the precondition for a correct orientation and a correct tactic.
It is of utmost importance that all revolutionaries, who agree on the analysis of the fundamental features of the current historic period and the resulting tasks for the class struggle, must come together and fuse their forces! Hence, we invite all socialist organizations and activists to start discussion and collaboration with the RCIT in order to meet the challenges of the current world events and to draw the necessary organizational and practical consequences for concrete actions.
(1) Irina Slav: Chinese Refiner Stops U.S. Oil Imports, Turns To Iranian Crude, July 09, 2018, https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Chinese-Refiner-Stops-US-Oil-Imports-Turns-To-Iranian-Crude.html
(2) Tony Munroe, Eric Beech: China says will hit back after U.S. proposes fresh tariffs on $200 billion in goods, Reuters, July 11, 2018 / https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china/china-says-will-hit-back-after-u-s-proposes-fresh-tariffs-on-200-billion-in-goods-idUSKBN1K1074
(3) Asia Times: United States wrecking the global economy, China warns; July 11, 2018 http://www.atimes.com/article/united-states-wrecking-the-global-economy-china-warns/
(4) See e.g. our recently published documents: Global Trade War: No to Great Power Jingoism in West and East! Neither Imperialist Globalization nor Imperialist Protectionism! For International Solidarity and Joint Struggle of the Working Class and Oppressed People! Joint Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), Marxist Group ‘Class Politics’ (Russia), Alkebulan School of Black Studies (Kenya), Pan-Afrikan Consciousness Renaissance (Nigeria), Courant des Jeunes Penseurs Congolais (Democratic Republic of Congo), and Sınıf Savaşı (Turkey), 4 July 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/joint-statement-on-the-looming-global-trade-war/; Michael Pröbsting: Where Do Socialists Stand in Face of the Looming Global Trade War? A Showcase of the Practical Consequences of the Assessment of the Class Character of the Chinese State, 17 June 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/where-do-socialists-stand-in-face-of-the-looming-global-trade-war/; Michael Pröbsting: World Perspectives 2018: A World Pregnant with Wars and Popular Uprisings. Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries, RCIT Books, Vienna 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2018/
(5) Michael Pröbsting: World Perspectives 2018: A World Pregnant with Wars and Popular Uprisings, see link above, p. 40
(6) All quotes from Phillip Inman and Lily Kuo in Beijing: Global investors rattled as all-out trade war moves step closer, The Guardian, 11 Jul 2018 https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jul/11/global-investors-rattled-as-all-out-trade-war-moves-step-closer
(7) On the RCIT’s analysis of the world economy see For the RCIT’s analysis of the capitalist world economy since the Great Recession in 2008/09 see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: World Perspectives 2018: A World Pregnant with Wars and Popular Uprisings, see link above; RCIT: World Perspectives 2017: The Struggle against the Reactionary Offensive in the Era of Trumpism, Chapter I, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 59, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2017/; RCIT: Advancing Counterrevolution and Acceleration of Class Contradictions Mark the Opening of a New Political Phase. Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries (January 2016), Chapter II and III, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 46, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2016/; RCIT: Perspectives for the Class Struggle in Light of the Deepening Crisis in the Imperialist World Economy and Politics. Theses on Recent Major Developments in the World Situation and Perspectives Ahead (January 2015), in: Revolutionary Communism No. 32, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-situation-january-2015/; Michael Pröbsting: World economy – heading to a new upswing? in: Fifth International, Volume 3, No. 3, Autumn 2009, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-economy-crisis-2009/; Michael Pröbsting: Imperialism, Globalization and the Decline of Capitalism (2008), in: Richard Brenner, Michael Pröbsting, Keith Spencer: The Credit Crunch - A Marxist Analysis, London 2008, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialism-and-globalization/
(8) Bureau of Economic Analysis: Personal Income and Outlays: May 2018, Table 2
(9) David P. Goldman: Consumption is America’s Achilles’ heel in a trade war, Asia Times, July 11, 2018 http://www.atimes.com/article/consumption-is-americas-achilles-heel-in-a-trade-war/; see also Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Personal Saving Rate, July 11, 2018, https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/PSAVERT
(10) Xinhua: U.S. has ignited largest trade war in economic history: China's MOC, July 06, 2018, http://en.people.cn/n3/2018/0706/c90000-9478459.html
(11) South China Morning Post: US should ‘take the gun off’ China’s head, says Beijing’s vice-minister of commerce, 13 Jul 2018 https://www.scmp.com/news/china/economy/article/2155063/us-should-take-gun-chinas-head-says-beijings-vice-minister?edition=international; Reuters: China Says 'Bully' United States Started a Trade War, July 12, 2018, https://in.reuters.com/article/usa-trade-china-wang/china-says-bully-united-states-started-a-trade-war-idINKBN1K22HZ
(12) Mei Xinyu: Normal growth can help fight tariff war, China Daily, 2018-07-11 http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201807/11/WS5b4536a0a3103349141e1f97.html
(13) For an overview of the development of our analysis of the present historic period see e.g. chapter 14(i) in Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South. Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital. Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, RCIT Books, Vienna 2013, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/great-robbery-of-the-south/, pp. 372-382 as well as Michael Pröbsting: Building the Revolutionary Party in Theory and Practice, RCIT Books, Vienna 2014, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/rcit-party-building/, pp. 81-84, pp. 101-103
(14) For a detailed analysis of the different political phases in the current historic period, we refer readers to the various World Perspective documents which the RCIT has published since 2013. (See the links above)
(15) RCIT: World Perspectives 2016: Advancing Counterrevolution and Acceleration of Class Contradictions Mark the Opening of a New Political Phase, see link above
(16) On the RCIT’s analysis of China and Russia as emerging imperialist powers see the literature mentioned in the special sub-section on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/. Concerning China, we refer readers in particular to Michael Pröbsting: The China-India Conflict: Its Causes and Consequences. What are the background and the nature of the tensions between China and India in the Sikkim border region? What should be the tactical conclusions for Socialists and Activists of the Liberation Movements? 18 August 2017, Revolutionary Communism No. 71, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-india-rivalry/; Michael Pröbsting: The China Question and the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, December 2014, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/reply-to-csr-pco-on-china/; Michael Pröbsting: China‘s transformation into an imperialist power. A study of the economic, political and military aspects of China as a Great Power, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 4, http://www.thecommunists.net/publications/revcom-number-4.
Concerning Russia, we refer readers in particular to Michael Pröbsting: Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism and the Rise of Russia as a Great Power. On the Understanding and Misunderstanding of Today’s Inter-Imperialist Rivalry in the Light of Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism, August 2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialism-theory-and-russia/; Michael Pröbsting: Russia as a Great Imperialist Power. The formation of Russian Monopoly Capital and its Empire – A Reply to our Critics, 18 March 2014, Special Issue of Revolutionary Communism No. 21 (March 2014), https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialist-russia/.
(17) Six Points for a Platform of Revolutionary Unity Today. A Proposal from the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), February 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/6-points-for-a-platform-of-revolutionary-unity-today/
(18) Joint Statement: Global Trade War: No to Great Power Jingoism in West and East! See link above
(19) For our criticism of various socialist organizations, see e.g. the RCIT pamphlet by Michael Pröbsting: Syria and Great Power Rivalry: The Failure of the „Left“. The bleeding Syrian Revolution and the recent Escalation of Inter-Imperialist Rivalry between the US and Russia – A Marxist Critique of Social Democracy, Stalinism and Centrism, 21 April 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/syria-great-power-rivalry-and-the-failure-of-the-left/. Furthermore we have elaborated our criticism of various organizations on this issue in the literature mentioned in the special sub-section on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/.
(20) See Johannes Stern: Behind the designation of Russia and China as “imperialist”: A case study in theoretical charlatanry, WSWS, 14 April 2016, http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/04/14/prob-a14.html. We have published two replies: Michael Pröbsting: The Involuntary Self-Exposure of the WSWS. A Brief Reply to a Lengthy Attack by David North’s WSWS Attack against the RCIT, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 18.4.2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/reply-to-wsws-short/; Johannes Wiener: In Response to the Self-Proclaimed “Leadership” of the World Socialist Movement- A Reply to the Recent Polemic of the ICFI/WSWS against the RCIT, 30 April 2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/reply-to-wsws-long/
(21) Michael Pröbsting: Where Do Socialists Stand in Face of the Looming Global Trade War? See link above
(22) Rosa Luxemburg: Peace Utopias (1911), in: Richard B. Day and Daniel Gaido (Ed.): Discovering Imperialism. Social Democracy to World War I, Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden 2012, p. 447, online: https://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1911/05/11.htm
(23) Karl Radek: Our Struggle against Imperialism (1912), in Richard B. Day and Daniel Gaido (Ed.): Discovering Imperialism, p. 551
(24) V. I. Lenin: What Is To Be Done? (1902), in: LCW Vol. 5, p. 369