By Jose Maria Sison, Chairperson
International Coordinating Committee
June 23, 2019
Dear Colleagues and distinguished guests,
Let me reiterate the warm greetings of welcome already expressed by our First Vice Chairperson Len Cooper at the opening of this historic event: the 6th International Assembly of our League.
This is a happy occasion to celebrate the achievements that have made our League the largest and most significant international alliance of mass organizations engaged in anti-imperialist and democratic struggle.
The Historic Role of ILPS
Since its founding upon its First International Assembly in Zutphen, The Netherlands from May 25 to 27, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) has grown in strength and proven itself as a reliable force of the people of the world in their struggle for greater freedom, democracy, social justice, all-round development and International solidarity against imperialism and all reaction.
We have stood firmly, spoken clearly and acted militantly in defense of the political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights of the people against the depredations of monopoly capitalism, the unbridled greed unleashed by neoliberalism, the ceaseless wars of aggression, and the plunder and environmental ruination by US imperialism and its allies and puppets.
We have seen how US imperialism took advantage of its position as sole superpower in a unipolar world in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. It has generated crises, unleashed wars of aggression, and inadvertently undermined its own privileged position through reckless military spending, accelerated its strategic decline and given way to a multipolar world.
Since the financial meltdown of 2008, the accelerated US strategic decline has become conspicuous and the inter-imperialist contradictions have intensified. The rise of new imperialist powers like China and Russia, and the wanton abuse of finance capital in futile attempts to override the crisis of production have led to the escalation of the oppression and exploitation of the working people.
In view of these conditions, the broad masses of the people are increasing their resistance against imperialism and all reaction. They are fighting back even as the imperialists and reactionaries are resorting to all forms of schemes and devices, including reformism and terrorism, to head off the rise of the revolutionary movements of the people.
Current World Situation
It is timely and fitting that our assembly has for its theme, Win a bright socialist future for humanity! Unite the people to fight and end imperialist war, racism and fascism. We underscore the socialist future, while the world capitalist system is in unprecedented crisis and is wreaking havoc on the lives of the people. And we likewise stress the need for unity against the worsening conditions of oppression and exploitation that the capitalist system inflicts on the people.
Under the current conditions of global capitalism, we are today witnesses to ceaseless wars of aggression, racism and fascism. We are in the midst of unprecedented barbarism as we perceive the gory crimes against the people, such as massacres of the Palestinians, Kurds, Filipinos, Rohingyans, Yemenis, Sudanese, Syrians, Libyans and Iraqis and so many others upon the instigation of the imperialists and their puppets.
The neoliberal policy regime instigated by US imperialism has aggravated all the features of monopoly capitalism as the highest and final stage of capitalism. The US swing back to protectionism and trade war against China are putting the US in an even worse situation and causing mutual damage. The US cannot take back its various concessions to China without further upsetting its already dire economic and social conditions.
The US neoconservative policy of ceaseless wars of aggression has not resulted in the expansion of stable and profitable economic territory in order to outweigh the high costs of aggressive wars. After devastating the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, it has come against the solid wall of the Russia-Syrian alliance and has failed to complete its war of aggression against Syria with the overthrow of the Assad government.
In the meantime, Russia has succeeded in courting Turkey to collaborate in the making of the so-called south stream of Russian gas, while the US seeks to provoke new wars of aggression at distant points by colluding with Israel and Saudi Arabia against Iran and with the Lima Group against Venezuela and the ALBA. The US is desperately trying to reverse the anti-US currents that arose with the rise of oil prices in the early years of the 2Ist century, such as the Shiite tide in West Asia and the “pink tide” in Latin America.
For decades in East Asia, the US has tried to vilify and isolate the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and to subject it to military and economic blockade and to threats of nuclear war. But the Korean people have put forward their desire for reunification in order to render inutile all the US threats of devastating the DPRK and the entire Korean Peninsula.
Now, the US is conspicuously taking on China as its chief rival in East Asia and the whole world. But it is being stymied by the latter’s invocations of the WTO and declarations of avoiding war, despite its expansionist claims over 90 percent of the South China Sea. In its economic and military rivalry with China, the US is trying hard to keep Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the ASEAN and India as allies.
The trade war between the US and China is becoming more pronounced. The US is trying to upset the Chinese economy in order to undermine China’s development of its strategic military weapons and its drive to create the biggest new center of world trade through its Belt and Road Initiative which extends to Central Asia, Russia, Europe, South Asia, West Asia and Africa.
Even as the inter-imperialist contradictions between the US and China are sharpening, those between the US and Russia are also sharpening in Europe, Central Asia and West Asia. The US is banking on its traditional alliance with Western Europe and Japan in facing up to the Eurasian alliance of Russia and China. But among all the imperialist powers, there is still a complex interweaving of contentions and collaborations.
The imperialist powers try to maintain amicable relations among themselves by uniting against the proletariat and other working people in both developed and underdeveloped countries and shifting the burden of imperialist crisis to them. But they are inevitably driven to increase their superprofits, engage in economic competition and political rivalry and to expand their share of global hegemony.
There are increasingly sharper social and political contradictions in the home grounds of the imperialist powers. But the sharpest of them are still those between the reformist and fascist trends. The revolutionary parties of the proletariat still need to strengthen themselves ideologically, politically and organizationally in order to gain the initiative in mass struggles.
By way of maintaining the system of exploitation, they resort to racism and fascism in their own home grounds and in the underdeveloped countries of the oppressed peoples and nations. But the proletariat and the people are rising up on a global scale and waging various forms of struggle, including legal mass protests and armed revolutionary struggle.
Armed revolutions for national and social liberation are thriving in the Philippines, Palestine, Turkey, Kurdistan, India and other countries in South Asia; and in various countries in Latin America, despite the absence of a powerful socialist country in the current world situation. They are the growing guarantee for the rise of armed revolutions as a consequence of the violent character of the competing imperialist powers.
ILPS has the urgent task to rally the proletariat and the people of the world to resist imperialist plunder, war, racism, and fascism. To be able to perform this task, it must develop further its own strength in more countries and to ally itself with all forces that are waging anti-imperialist and democratic struggles.
Status and Prospects
The ILPS has been outstanding in spearheading the anti-imperialist and democratic struggle. It has now hundreds of member organizations, global region committees and national chapters. It membership covers all the major continents worldwide. No other international anti-imperialist formation with a mass and nongovernmental character is as comprehensive and as deep-seated as the ILPS in scores of countries.
The ILPS is relatively strongest in the Asia-Pacific region. But even here it needs to do more work in order to strengthen itself. In North America, Western Europe and Latin America, we have the base for becoming stronger. But we need to exert more effort to strengthen the ILPS in Africa, West Asia, South Asia, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics
At any rate, it must be recognized that the ILPS is so far the strongest anti-imperialist and democratic formation of international scale in a period where the forces of monopoly capitalism are riding roughshod over the peoples of the world after inflicting severe defeats on the anti-imperialist and socialist cause by a long series of major attacks which include neocolonialism, anticommunism, modern revisionism, reformism and neoliberalism since the end of World War II.
The ILPS has been successful at providing a beacon light for the resistance of the proletariat and people in a dismal period and for showing the revolutionary way to the great resurgence of the anti-imperialist struggles and the world proletarian revolution. As of this moment in world history, we can state that the ILPS has played an effective role as torch-bearer of the people’s resistance.
We are in a period of transition from unprecedented imperialist dominance, inter-imperialist contradictions, social and political turmoil, state terrorism and aggressive wars to a period of great resurgence of the revolutionary forces of the anti-imperialist resistance and the world proletarian revolution.
Despite the fact that we are already the strongest anti-imperialist and democratic alliance, we are not exempt from the law of uneven development. As I have previously pointed out, we are weak or even nonexistent in certain countries. Thus, we must find ways of making up for the weaknesses and absence of any strength anywhere in the world.
We must strive to expand the work of the ILPS through an international anti-imperialist united front, which is even wider and stronger than what the ILPS is now. We can have a united front with other international anti-imperialist and democratic formations and social networks. We can have bilateral and multilateral alliances and strive to create a wider global anti-imperialist alliance based on consensus, consultations and coordination.
I think I have already done my best to serve the principles, policies, aims and purposes of the ILPS for a long period of time. I wish therefore to announce that I shall not run for reelection to the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) and shall therefore step down as the Chairperson of the body as soon as the new ICC is elected towards the end of the International Assembly.
I have already served the ILPS for more than 20 years: as chairperson of the International Initiative Committee that prepared the founding of the ILPS from 1998 to 2001, as Chairperson of the First International Assembly before it elected the First ICC in 2001, as General Consultant to the First ICC with term of office from 2001 to 2004, and as Chairperson of the ICC elected by the second, third, fourth and fifth international assemblies.
I wish to thank the entire ILPS, its leading organs, its commissions and every member-organization, every national chapter and every global region committee for having extended trust, confidence and support for every ICC that I have chaired and for letting me serve in various capacities.
I am confident that the 6th International Assembly, over which Vice Chairperson Len Cooper continues to preside on my behalf as Chairperson, will elect a new ICC that will carry forward the principles, policies, aims, and purposes of the ILPS through the campaigns and activities to a new and higher level of success.
I wish the 6th International Assembly and the prospective ICC the utmost success. I congratulate in advance the ICC to be elected by the assembly and the colleague whom the ICC shall elect as Chairperson.
I fervently hope that in the years to come the League will become ever stronger and more powerful in carrying out the anti-imperialist and democratic struggle and in helping to advance the cause of national liberation, democracy and socialism.