By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples´ Struggle
August 10-11, 2018
The International Coordinating Committee and entirety of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), welcome and hail the founding of our national chapter in Colombia. We consider this a highly significant event for the people of Colombia at a time of rising popular struggle and worsening crisis of the domestic ruling system; and for other peoples of the world at a time of intensifying resistance and worsening crisis of the world capitalist system.
We thank and congratulate La Corporación para Investigación y la Educación Popular (CIEP), El Movimiento por la Defensa de los Derechos del Pueblo (MODEP), El Movimiento por la Constituyente Popular (MCP), el Colectivo Nacional Sindical Clasista “Guillermo Marín” (CNSCGM) y la Organización de Mujeres del Pueblo de Colombia (OMCP) for coming together and realizing this Constitutive Assembly to found the Colombia Chapter of the ILPS.
We are elated that you are cognizant of the need to integrate your chapter and struggles of the Colombian people with the international solidarity of the struggles developed by the peoples of the world who seek better social conditions and policies and that you are determined to link yourselves to the ILPS with the purpose of generating solidarity from Colombia towards other peoples of the world.
We are confident that with the formation of your national chapter the ILPS becomes stronger as a united democratic and anti-imperialist front of the mass organizations that arouse, organize and mobilize the peoples for the struggles against the ideological, political, military, economic, social and cultural domination of imperialism.
We assure you that the ILPS and its more than 200 member-organizations in 40 countries in the five continents will continue to strive for and strengthen unity, cooperation and coordination of the anti-imperialist and democratic struggles throughout the world by developing actions around 17 multisectoral concerns.
We take up the most important issues that involve the rights and well-being of the people now and in the future against oppression and exploitation by international monopoly capital and the local reactionary classes. We look forward to a a fundamentally better and brighter future where the working class and the oppressed people enjoy national independence, democracy, social justice, real development, cultural progress and international solidarity.
It is timely and appropriate that you have adopted as the theme of your assembly the demand for social justice. The whole world knows that the FARC has co-signed a peace agreement with the reactionary Colombian government and that the validity and viability of such an agreement is under question because social justice cannot be realized under the dominance of US imperialism and the reactionary classes and the oppression and exploitation of the people are escalating.
Your assembly is in an excellent position to describe the history and current circumstances of the people of Colombia. Thus, we can understand the context in which your chapter shall play a role in the service of the people. We look forward to the success of the assembly in defining the structure, direction, tasks and responsibilities of your charter. We propose to make a presentation now of the international context in which the people of Colombia and other peoples have the duty to wage anti-imperialist and democratic struggles.
After the full restoration of capitalism in the revisionist-ruled countries and the collapse of the Soviet Union in the years of 1989 to 1991, the US emerged as the apparent winner in the Cold War and the unchallenged sole superpower. It proclaimed the perpetuity of capitalism and the death of socialism. It proceeded to push hard the neoliberal economic policy of unbridled capitalist greed and the neoconservative policy of continuous wars of aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq, the former Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, Yemen and other countries.
The US did not consider fully the implications and consequences of China and Russia becoming capitalist powers in addition to the US, Japan and the European Union. It was overjoyed by having undertaken certain policies in the 1980s that accelerated the integration of China in the capitalist world by conceding to it consumer manufacturing in a big way and that drew the Soviet Union to a costly arms race that, together with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, aggravated the stagnation and decline of the Soviet economy.
The US presumed that it could continue to dominate the world capitalist system by financializing the US economy and by focusing on the manufacture of big items, especially those produced by the military-industrial complex, and waging wars of aggression in order to buoy up the US economy with war production and to increase client states and expand US economic territory and political influence abroad,
But in the long run, the costs of conceding consumer manufacturing to China and engaging in wars of aggression undermined the strength of the US and accelerated its strategic decline. At the end of the 1980s, the US became the biggest debtor of the world from being the biggest creditor. It could not stop the increased and worsening recurrence of the economic and financial crises within the US and world capitalist system.
Under the neoliberal policy regime, the acceleration of the accumulation and concentration of capital in the hands of a few through the wage freeze, tax cuts for the corporations and the wealthy, cutback on social spending by government and other austerity measures, liberalization of investment and trade, privatization of profitable public assets and the denationalization of underdeveloped economies has repeatedly brought about a worse crisis of overproduction and the rapid increase of the public debt due to the bail out of favored companies and other futile attempts at reviving demand and employment.
The world´s bourgeois super-rich who are merely merely one per cent of the population own half of the world’s wealth. Their share have increased from 42.5 per cent in 2008 to 50.1 per cent in 2017. According to the latest data of the International Institute of Finance, at the end of the first quarter of 2018, global debt has galloped to 247 USD trillion, which is 318 percent of the global GDP. This is the biggest bubble expected to burst soon.
In the meantime, China has continued to accumulate trade surpluses and increase the US trade deficit and public debt. Russia has been able to recover from the steep economic dive and social turmoil as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 by availing of its huge oil income. The mortgage meltdown in the US, which started to become conspicuous in 2006 and resulted in the global financial meltdown of 2008. has led to a protracted global economic depression.
All the summits and conferences of the capitalist powers (G-7, OECD & G-20) , US-controlled multilateral agencies (IMF. World Bank & WTO)and various groups of states have been unable to solve the ever worsening global crisis of overproduction and the resort to huge debts of households, corporations and central banks. China and oil producing countries have shown economic growth above the low stagnant global average. In contrast, the strategic decline of the US has become exposed, especially in economic terms.
We now see the US as increasingly debilitated to the point that it cannot solely and unilaterally dictate what it wants in a multipolar world. We now confront a world capitalist system in which the major capitalist powers are increasingly competing and contending with each other. The No. 1 instigator of the neoliberal economic policy is now instigating the opposite, which is protectionism, and is scheming to take back the economic and financial concessions it had given to China since the 1980s. It has initiated a trade war with China. And it continues to exert military and political pressures on Russia, on its borders and its allies elsewhere.
China and Russia have consolidated their relations of mutual support and have formed the BRICS and the SCO to counter US foreign policy initiatives. In contrast, the US under the Trump administration is trying to push America First policy by imposing tariffs on imports even from its traditionally closest allies and is demanding higher financial contributions to the NATO from its European allies. Germany and France are increasingly at odds with the US on a wide range of issues.
In East Asia, the US has more pliant allies in Japan and Australia in dealing with China, ASEAN and the south and north of Korea. But it is increasingly outmaneuvered in Northeast Asia. In Southeast Asia, China has put itself at a disadvantage by claiming ownership over 90 per cent of the South China Sea in violation of the UNCLOS and thus offending several member-states of the ASEAN. In South Asia, US influence is being diminished by India and China. In Central Asia, West Asia and Africa, the US has wasted its resources by preoccupying itself with wars of aggression in contrast to the efforts of China to realize its Belt and Road Initiative.
In Latin America, the US has reactionary allies and plenty of political and economic assets to use against the anti-imperialist, democratic and revolutionary forces and the people and also against what it considers as the incursions of China in certain countries. But governments no less, like those of Cuba and Venezuela, have continued to stand up against US sanctions and other impositions. But we can expect the US to be relentless in seeking to impose dominance on a nearby region which it has long regarded as its own backyard. We must be ready for the intensification of various forms of struggle between US imperialism and the peoples of Latin America.
We are still in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution. The betrayal of socialism by modern revisionism has not put to an end the epochal struggle between the bourgeoisie and proletariat and the just and noble objectives of fighting for national liberation, democracy and socialism against US imperialism and all reaction. Since 1991, the people have suffered the intolerable economic and financial crises and the wars of aggression and are desirous of resisting imperialism and all reaction.
The imperialist powers are once more in a period of intensifying economic competition and political rivalry among them and are escalating their oppression and exploitation of the peoples of the world. Acting according to their narrow selfish interests, they are unwittingly goading the proletariat and people to rise up and liberate themselves. The people cannot accept oppression and exploitation without fighting for emancipation. In the next 5 to 10 years, we shall see the unprecedented bursting of the economic and political bubbles of the world capitalist system and the unprecedented rise of people´s resistance.
We are now in the midst of great turmoil and upheavals of unprecedented global proportions. We are in a period of transition to a period of resurgence of the revolutionary forces and people against US imperialism and reaction. In this period, we shall increasingly see in the industrial capitalist countries the see-sawing struggle between fascist movements and the anti-fascist movements that are democratic and socialist in character. In the less developed countries, we shall increasingly see the rise of fascist movements and the movements of the proletariat and people who fight for national liberation, democracy and socialism.
In this period of transition, we have to do our best in arousing, organizing and mobilizing the people in various forms of revolutionary struggle in order to isolate and defeat US imperialism and its reactionary allies. Thus, we can ensure our advance to the period of revolutionary resurgence of unprecedented global proportions.
Long live the Colombia chapter of the ILPS!
Long live the people of Colombia!
Long live international solidarity!