The year 2022 has been a year in which much of the inflammable material in world politics – accumulating and smouldering over decades – has burst into flames. War, hunger, mass displacement and spiralling prices torment humanity. Meanwhile, we have seen industrial unrest, revolutions, and accompanying them, coups, counter-revolutions and repression. But to recall a folk expression: “The fire that bends the iron, tempers the steel.”
So-called left activists, even some self-described Marxists, often exclaim with despair and frustration: "look at how terrible things are, why hasn't there been a revolution yet?" As Alan Woods explains in this article, those who ask such questions have no understanding of the consciousness of the masses, nor of the dialectical method, which Marxists use to penetrate below the superficial surface appearance of society, to the growing tension underneath. This article, which originally appeared in issue 37 of In Defence of Marxism magazine in March 2022 (buy and subscribe here), provides an excellent analysis of the world situation, and the real dynamics of revolution. The subsequent explosive movements in Sri Lanka and Iran in the summer of that year provided material proof of Alan's arguments.