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“A man of his time, ahead of his time and, now, of our time”

As I reread these lines, written earlier this year, it occurs to me that the validity of this appraisal has been reinforced by the horrifying events that are presently unfolding, before the eyes of the world, in Gaza. An imprisoned population living in an area that is only 25 miles long and between 5.5 and 7.5 miles wide is being pulverized by military forces directed by the criminal regime of the Israeli state. Two thousand pound bombs and munitions laced with white phosphorus are being dropped on a defenseless population of 2.3 million people. Neither the aged nor children nor even infants are spared. Hospitals and schools are being deliberately targeted. And this is being done with the unstinting support of every imperialist regime in the world. The hypocritical self-styled champions of human rights in Washington, London, Paris and Berlin have banished the word “ceasefire” from their political vocabulary. Nothing shall be done to interfere with the killing of Palestinians.

But what they are witnessing are the political manifestations of an epoch that Leon Trotsky defined 85 years ago as “the death agony of capitalism.” It is an era, he wrote, of “convulsions, crises, catastrophes, epidemics, and bestiality.” As the class antagonisms between the ruling elites and the working class grow ever more intense, all the “elementary moral precepts” disappear from the formulation of state policies: “Mendacity, slander, bribery, venality, coercion, murder [grow] to unprecedented dimensions.”

Trotsky wrote these words not as a moralist but as a revolutionary. He warned, in the founding document of the Fourth International, written in 1938 on the very eve of World War II: “Without a socialist revolution, in the next historical period at that, a catastrophe threatens the whole culture of mankind.”

[wsws.org]

William_Mary 8 Nov 26
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