A new political phase has begun. The following document summarizes the most important political developments in the world during the last 12 months which mark the opening of this new phase. Based on this analysis we offer an outlook for 2016 and elaborate the crucial tasks for the working class. We will not deal with all issues in similar detail, since the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) has published extensive statements and analysis on many of them in the recent past. Therefore, in this document we shall focus on our analysis of the world situation, while elaborating in less detail the RCIT’s strategic and tactical conclusions for the class struggle. For these latter perspectives we refer readers to our recently published Open Letter for Revolutionary Unity as well as other documents.  Finally we draw the readers’ attention to the fact that this document expands upon the analyses of the global political situation which the RCIT has published during the past three years. 
I. The Main Features of the New Political Phase
1. The following issues will be decisive on world politics in the coming period:
i) The stagnation of the global capitalist economy and the looming next Great Recession;
ii) The advancing counterrevolution as a result of the offensive of the bourgeoisie against the working class and the oppressed exemplified by (a) the anticipated liquidation of the Syrian Revolution by a Great Powers’ settlement, (b) the rise of the right-wing forces in Latin America, and (c) the increasing repression and militarization of the EU.
iii) The accelerating imperialist war drive – by the US, Russia, UK, France and Germany – in the Mashreq and Maghreb (Middle East and North Africa) against Islamist-led popular rebellions and, related to this, the stream of refugees flooding into the neighboring countries as well as into Western Europe;
iv) The continuing aggravation of the inter-imperialist rivalry between the western imperialists (the US, EU, and Japan) on one hand and the eastern imperialists (Russia and China) on the other.
2. The counterrevolutionary offensive in the context of the accelerating capitalist contradictions opens a new interim period. In this period the working class and the oppressed – particularly in the Mashreq and Maghreb, Latin America and Europe – are faced with the danger of serious defeats. Against this backdrop, the working class suffers particularly seriously from its crisis of leadership. Given the lack of revolutionary leadership, the working class and the oppressed are misled by reformists, petty-bourgeois nationalists and Islamists.
3. At the same time the class struggle is on the rise in the two most populous and demographically growing continents, Africa and Asia. While, with important exceptions, many of these struggles currently ostensibly have just an economic character, they reflect the growing importance of these regions of the world proletariat (one could say its “strategic reserve divisions”). In particular, the economic crisis in China, combined with an increasingly combative and self-confident proletariat, could result in a political explosion. Naturally, such a possible revolutionary situation in the world biggest country and one of the two biggest imperialist powers would have dramatic global implications and would immediately change the character of the current political phase. However, here too the working class desperately needs new, revolutionary leadership in order to meet the challenges.
4. The accelerating crisis of the global capitalist system will unavoidably sharpen – in all world regions – the clashes and struggles being waged along the three fronts of imperialism’s contradictions: (a) the struggle between the bourgeoisie and the world proletariat; (b) the struggle between the Great Powers and monopoly capital against the oppressed people in the South; and (c) the conflicts between the imperialist rivals. These, in turn, will provoke revolutions, counterrevolutions and wars, and offer numerous opportunities (as well as dangers) for the working class to advance in its struggle for liberation.
This is why the RCIT considers the main task to be the overcoming of the crisis of working class leadership by advancing the formation of a revolutionary party, both nationally and internationally. In order to draw closer to this goal, the RCIT calls for serious discussion and if possible steps towards unification among serious revolutionary forces. This is the purpose of the RCIT’s Open Letter which we launched recently.
 RCIT: An Open Letter to All Revolutionary Organizations and Activists. At the Outset of a New Political Phase: For the Unity of Revolutionaries in the Struggle against Advancing Counterrevolution! 29.12.2015, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 45, http://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/open-letter-revolutionary-unity/
 See 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, pp. 3-26, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-situation-january-2015/
RCIT: Escalation of Inner-Imperialist Rivalry Marks the Opening of a New Phase of World Politics. Theses on Recent Major Developments in the World Situation (April 2014), in: Revolutionary Communism No. 22, pp. 36-49, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-situation-april-2014/;
RCIT: Aggravation of Contradictions, Deepening of Crisis of Leadership. Theses on Recent Major Developments in the World Situation Adopted by the RCIT’s International Executive Committee, 9.9.2013, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 15, pp. 24-40, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-situation-september2013/;
RCIT: The World Situation and the Tasks of the Bolshevik-Communists. Theses of the International Executive Committee of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency, March 2013, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 8, pp.33-42, www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-situation-march-2013