We stand at the dawn of the 21st century. What will it bring humanity? Following the bourgeoisie’s celebrations of the year 2000, we wrote in no.101 of our Review: “So ends the 20th century, the most tragic and barbaric in human history: in social decomposition. The bourgeoisie has celebrated the year 2000 in pomp: it is unlikely to do the same in 2100. Either it will have been overthrown by the proletariat, or humanity will have been destroyed or returned to the Stone Age“. And so we stated clearly what is at stake: the 21st century’s outcome depends entirely on the proletariat. Either it will make the revolution, or all civilisation, even humanity, will be destroyed. Despite all today’s fine humanist speeches and euphoric declarations, the ruling classes will do nothing to prevent such an outcome. Not because they or their governments do not want to. The insurmountable contradictions of the capitalist system are driving society to its inevitable fate. For a decade, we have been inundated with daily campaigns on the “death of communism”, or even of the working class. It is therefore necessary to reassert with all our strength that whatever difficulties the proletariat may encounter, there is no other force in society capable of resolving its contradictions. Because the proletariat was unable to fulfill its historic task of overthrowing capitalism, the 20th century foundered in barbarism. It will be unable to gather its strength to meet its responsibility in this century unless it is able to understand the reasons why it missed its appointment with history during the century that has just ended. This article proposes to make a modest contribution to that understanding.