In the past months, the world economy has been creeping towards a state of disarray. Shops have been running out of goods, gas stations have been running out of gas, energy prices have shot up and major western harbours have become completely clogged up with swarms of ships queuing up, sometimes having to wait weeks to unload. Just as we were told that the Covid crisis was over and that life was bouncing back to normal, the world market is feeling the drag of a series of converging crises.

The recent agreement between Australia, the UK and the US has caused a crisis in international relations. With France temporarily recalling its ambassador from Washington and China issuing a protest, the new agreement has upset feelings across the board. This deal, however, merely constituted one more step in a wider realignment among the imperialist powers.

The following is a transcript of a lead off by marxist.com editor, Alan Woods, at the world perspectives discussion at the 2021 congress of the International Marxist Tendency. In this speech, Alan lays out the most fundamental processes unfolding in a global situation marked by unprecedented crisis and dislocation at every level. Capitalism has never been more unstable, nor the potential for class struggle greater. The missing element is a bold, revolutionary leadership to show the workers, youth and poor of the world a way out of this morass.

In the past two months, the regime of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has taken drastic measures that have shocked society and have triggered widespread speculation. The state has disciplined a number of large private corporations while instituting wide-ranging regulations on the entertainment industry. The motivation behind these measures was eerily summed up by an obscure blog post that was promoted by all major state media outlets, proclaiming that “everyone can feel that a profound transformation is underway!” But is the CCP state actually leading a social transformation? Or are these measures aimed at defending the foundations of capitalism in China?

The latest title from Wellred Books, The History of Philosophy: A Marxist Perspective by Alan Woods will be out in only a few days. We publish below an excerpt from the Introduction to the book, explaining why revolutionary Marxists should study the history of philosophy, and the enormous debt that Marxism owes to earlier thinkers, and in particular to the giants of philosophy that lived in the revolutionary, youthful phase of the bourgeois epoch.

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