By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
We of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle are deeply pleased and highly honored by the invitation to participate in the 3rd International Anti-imperialist Conference, jointly convened by the International Anti-imperialist and People‘s Solidarity Coordinating Committee (IAPSCC) and the Socialist Party of Bangladesh in Dhaka, from November 27 to 29, 2011.
We are in solidarity with all the anti-imperialist fighters attending the conference. We consider this conference a major opportunity for raising the level of consciousness and militancy against imperialism. In this connection, we have authorized our Vice Chairperson for External Relations Comrade Bill Dores to represent the ILPS. He carries full mandate to express our determination to unite with you against imperialism and to take active part in the Conference.
The conference is of urgent importance in view of the brutal imperialist attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Libya, the threats of regime change in Syria and Iran and the blockades against Cuba and North Korea. The theme is keenly appropriate: “IMPERIALIST ATTACK : Economic, Political, Cultural and Military Aggression and Occupation, with special reference to imperialist attack and aggression in Latin America, Middle East, Afghanistan, Cuba and DPRK.”
We agree with the purposes of the conference: to discuss the economic, political, cultural and military aspects of imperialist aggression, to exchange experiences of struggle, to clarify the ways and means of building a global movement against imperialism and to heighten solidarity among the various anti-imperialist forces of the people. We look forward to the formulation of a comprehensive declaration against imperialism.
The imperialist powers headed by the US are stubbornly clinging to the neoliberal policy of so-called free market globalization, which has led from one serious crisis to another and more serious crisis. They continue to aggravate the chronic crisis of overproduction by pressing down wages and cutting back on hard-won social benefits in order to help the monopoly bourgeoisie maximize profits and accelerate the accumulation of capital. However, as the profit rate tends to fall in the real economy, the monopoly capitalists have abused finance capital to generate profits and financial bubbles through debts and derivatives.
The result is an economic and financial crisis comparable to the Great Depression and worse in certain respects. Public funds have been used to bail out the big banks and corporations in order to improve their financial statements and induce temporary spikes in the financial markets but not to stimulate production and employment. Now, the
imperialist powers and their client states are confronted with a far bigger financial crisis in the form of public debt bubbles bursting and about to burst.
Their reaction is to impose austerity measures on the people and further shift to them the burden of crisis. The toiling masses of workers and peasants are subjected to higher rates of unemployment, lower incomes and soaring prices of basic goods and services. They are made to suffer worse forms of exploitation to enable the monopoly bourgeoisie, especially the finance oligarchy, to obtain their superprofits. The global depression is protracting, worsening and deepening.
Year after year the summits of the G-8 and G-20 and the conferences of the IMF, World Bank and WTO have failed to come up with any solution or relief from the global economic and financial crisis. The imperialist powers are increasingly engaged in a struggle for a redivision of the world in seeking to expand their respective economic territory in a constricted global market. They are scrambling for cheap sources of labor, oil and other raw materials, for markets, fields of investment and spheres of influence. The integration of Russia and China into the world capitalist system has further crammed the space for mutual accommodation among the imperialist powers.
As a result of the ever worsening crisis of the world capitalist system, all major contradictions are intensifying: those between the imperialist powers and the oppressed peoples and nations; those between the imperialist powers and certain states that assert national independence and democratic rights and invoke socialist aspirations;, those between capital and labor; and those among the imperialist powers themselves.
The imperialist powers continue trying to override their differences, maintain their alliance and assert their joint and separate ultra-national interests against the oppressed peoples and nations in the underdeveloped countries. They continue to control as semi-colonies most of those countries that have ceased to be outright colonies as a result of struggles for national independence, The preferred neocolonial means of control are economic and financial.
But the imperialist powers and their local puppets are ever ready to use military means to suppress revolutionary movements for national liberation, such as in India, the Philippines and Colombia as well as against the states assertive of national independence, such as Iraq of Saddam, Yugoslavia of Milosevic and Libya of Gaddafi. For extended periods of time, they use a wide spectrum of military and non-military means, blockades, sanctions and threats against states that assert national independence, such as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and others.
After the end of the Cold War, the imperialist powers have so far avoided direct military confrontation with each other. They have preferred to use proxy wars by backing different sides in local and regional wars. They have taken different positions on whether or not to take unilateral or joint military actions within or outside the purview of the UN Security Council. So far, no rival imperialist powers or blocs of imperialist powers have threatened to use high tech weapons of mass destruction against one another.
For more than three decades under the neoliberal economic policy, the monopoly bourgeoisie has one-sidedly waged an intense and relentless class war against the working classes by pressing down wages, and social spending by government and suppressing trade union and other democratic rights, while the corporations and wealthy enjoy tax cuts and the benefits of trade and investment liberalization, privatization of public assets and deregulation. Now that the workers and the rest of the people are steadily fighting back, the monopoly bourgeoisie is unleashing all kinds of reactionary currents, including chauvinism, racial discrimination, religious bigotry, fascism and war-mongering in a vain attempt to obfuscate the roots of the crisis and distract the people.
Long before 9-11, the US and its imperialist partners laid the legal, ideological and political justification for state terrorism and wars of aggression. Thus, when 9-11 occurred, the PATRIOT ACT USA and the war plans could be instantly promulgated and put into effect. The monopoly bourgeoisie orchestrates the think tanks, academic departments, special committees of the executive and legislative branches, the political parties, nongovernmental organizations, the churches and most important of all the corporate mass media to drum up and spread the most specious arguments and schemes for state terrorism and wars of aggression.
The imperialist powers headed by the US have extremely powerful high tech weapons of mass distraction and mass destruction in order to realize imperialist objectives. The weapons of mass distraction can be used to impose overnight a police state on any of the imperialist countries, as indicated by the swiftness of the Bush regime in generating abroad both state terrorism and wars of aggression consequent to 9-11. At the same time, the high tech weapons of mass destruction have distinctively made wars of aggression look as easy as playing video games.
The ever worsening crisis of the world capitalist has generated a strong tendency towards fascism and bellicosity in the imperialist countries. The monopoly bourgeoisie, particularly the military-industrial complex, has stepped up war production and has used war hysteria and actual wars of aggression for the purpose. They consider these as effective means for stimulating the economy and expanding economic territory abroad. They unleash wars of conquest against countries that are ruled by nationalist regimes and have rich natural resources, especially oil and mineral ores of strategic value.
But these wars of aggression have their downside even for the imperialist powers. They are costly, with expenditures running into trillions of dollars and aggravating the public debt crisis. They inflict large casualties on the people of the victim countries and destroy their private properties and the social infrastructure. They arouse deep-seated hatred for the aggressors and result in wars of national liberation. The imperialist powers get bogged down in certain countries and cannot give attention to other countries. They become fundamentally weaker by being overextended.
Under the neoliberal economic policy, the US has developed close economic relations with China but US policymakers now openly regard it as the rising main US rival and are trying to use the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership to perpetuate US hegemony in East Asia. However, the US and its NATO partners are still bogged down by wars in such areas as Central Asia, South Asia, West Asia and Africa. The US and NATO war of aggression against Libya and the growing threats against Syria and Iran show that US has difficulties in shifting the focus of its aggressions to East Asia, particularly against China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. In the meantime, China has the opportunity to strengthen its own defense capabilities and develop the Shanghai Cooperation Organization even as the US maintains the deployment of large military forces in East Asia and the Pacific.
The imperialist powers headed by the US cannot do their evil work without meeting the resistance of the people. National liberation movements have arisen and are growing in countries that have suffered wars of aggression and extreme forms of oppression and exploitation. Revolutionary armed struggles have a high potential for spreading against imperialism and puppet states, Mass uprisings have spread in entire countries and continents, such in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and Latin America.
The broad masses of the people are rising up against the crisis of the world capitalist system and its consequences, including high rates of unemployment, austerity measures and other impositions. Millions of people have risen in mass protests in major capitalist countries. Right at the center of global capitalism, the occupy movement has expanded and intensified and the US authorities are now brazenly carrying out repressive measures.
Our representative Bill Dores can explain further our brief description of the world capitalist system, the scourge of imperialist plunder and war and the people’s resistance. He can share with you the results of the Fourth International Assembly of the ILPS, especially the General Declaration and resolutions on 17 concerns in the global anti-imperialist and global struggle of the people. The point is to raise the level of common understanding between the ILPS and the IAPSCC and to enhance practical cooperation between them.
We of the ILPS are of the view that the international united front against imperialism and reaction includes a wide range of progressive and democratic forces and is ever expanding because of the growth and advance of the people’s struggle. We are always receptive to mass organizations that wish to become our member-organizations in accordance with the ILPS Charter. But we are also always ready to forge strong links of militant solidarity with other international formations and to cooperate with them in undertaking definite campaigns and activities against imperialism and reaction. By all means, let us unite in the anti-imperialist and democratic struggle and aim for greater freedom, democracy, social justice, development and world peace.