Advance the peoples’ cultural resistance, combat imperialist cultural offensive!
We, delegates of the 5th ILPS General Assembly, affirm the need for cultural resistance to counter the ongoing imperialist cultural of-fensive and to advance democratic and national liberation struggles among the peoples of the world.
For the past three decades, the foremost imperialist powers led by the United States have waged a renewed cultural offensive alongside economic, politi-cal and military offensives in their bid for dominance. Their campaign for full spectrum dominance and counter-insurgency targets not only the resist-ing peoples within their neocolonies but also against their very own citizens.
The monopoly bourgeoisie uses not only bombs and bullets to flex its mili-tary might, but also instruments of deception and “soft power” to manipulate and control information and opinion; to corrupt the concept of peoples’ struggles; to divert the people from resolutely pursuing struggles against exploitation and oppression, and to suppress revolutionary and progressive movements worldwide.
This cultural offensive is mainly channeled through several means:
Media (mass and social media alike) and the flow of information, which remains controlled by global media cartels and corporate conglomerates tied to the status quo;
The arts, including film, music, the visual and performing arts, literature, and the like, either remain oriented towards neocolonial, corporate, or counter-insurgency interests or are threatened in various forms whenever their practitioners embark on a progressive direction;
Education, which is increasingly privatized, commercialized, and engi-neered to produce a skilled but docile labor force or a coopted intelligen-tsia on a global scale.
The imperialist cultural offensive serves to promote the ideology of the free market, manufacture rationales for the global war on terror and imperialist military intervention in sovereign nations, and turn the tide against people’s democratic and liberation struggles. These promote themes, values and mes-sages conducive to fostering extreme individualism, consumerism and hedo-nistic materialism, covert or overt racism, and the glamorization of war, capital and empire.
The imperialist cultural offensive extends to the US’ so- called war against terror. Counter-insurgency and civil military operations consciously try to exert more powerful influence over populations by mobilizing local media and art forms to promote anti-people and anti-communist hysteria, threaten activists, and sow an atmosphere of terror and fear. Censorship remains preva-lent in many places, while progressive cultural workers, art practitioners, and media workers face threats to their practice, welfare and even lives.
But the most debilitating long-term effect of this cultural offensive is how it creates obstacles—big and small—towards developing a revolutionary or socialist class consciousness among the workers and other toiling masses, and a militant national and democratic consciousness among oppressed peoples. If not countered and eventually defeated, such an offensive pro-duces petty-bourgeois subcultures that numb the masses of working people.
A long-standing war exists between imperialism and oppressed peoples in the cultural arena. As the crisis of the world capitalist system worsens, the peoples of the world should advance and intensify further democratic and national liberation struggles against imperialism.
We are part of the people rising up against imperialism. Let us all collec-tively contribute our utmost to a unified cultural offensive of the people against imperialism.
To do this, we need strong organizations committed to advancing a revolutionary culture among the people. We also need artists, writers, cultural workers, and media practitioners in the struggles of the people and capable of advancing anti-imperialist propaganda, organizing, campaign and soli-darity work. In this age of internet and multimedia, we need cultural work that will support and amplify the people’s struggles to reach more masses in their millions.
Cultural work indeed is embedded in all of the concerns of the ILPS. What we collectively write, perform, enact, film, and produce are from the con-cerns, realities and struggles of the peoples of the world.
Through this Fifth Assembly, we call on all ILPS chapters and member orga-nizations to actively participate in Commission 14. The different commis-sions can also encourage the creation of cultural committees in trade unions and similar formations. We call on other commissions to incorporate cul-tural work within their own plans.
We must develop a common language: the language of resistance! We shall further advance the people’s cultural offensive against imperialism by pur-suing the following tasks:
1. Combat imperialist, reactionary and feudal culture, and advance an anti-imperialist, pro-people and scientific culture. The compilation of cultural groups’ experiences may provide modes, strategies that could help us con-solidate our collective struggles.
2. Organize and develop cultural activists among the masses. Develop vari-ous progressive, anti-imperialist and democratic guilds across cultural and media professions.
3. Find ways to embed ourselves, individually or as teams, within people’s formations (including workers’ unions, peasant associations, and other grassroots organizations of women, youth, children, and other sectors) and in the process help the mass movement develop an anti-imperialist and democratic culture. Integrate and learn from the masses that we are organizing.
4. Propagate and promote progressive and revolutionary arts and literature. Protect indigenous cultures and peoples’ right to self-determination.
5. Counter imperialist deception, psychological warfare and counterrevolu-tionary propaganda, focusing on the following tasks:
a. Campaign against the liberalization of trade of cultural goods, and the privatization and commercialization of education;
b. Expose and oppose the US Counterinsurgency Guide;
c. Resist the curtailment of freedom of information and artistic expres-sion. Campaign for politically persecuted artists, cultural workers and media practitioners.
6. Consolidate and expand the foundations laid down by the People’s Art Conference in 2011. Continue to lead and organize the International Con-ference on Progressive Culture. Organize global and regional actions. Utilize the People’s Art website and social media pages for public infor-mation, political education, sharing and archiving of progressive works and networking.
7. Expand and consolidate a broader global network of progressive arts and media workers.
8. Assist the ILPS in its messaging and public information work. Look into the possibility of setting up ILPS TV, YouTube/Vimeo Channel, Radio (including smartphone application) and newswires as alternative news channels.
9. Support or initiate campaigns promoting and protecting the rights and welfare of cultural workers, opposing neoliberal policies that contribute to their exploitation.