Mass actions and organizations have been growing against imperialism and state terror. Keep up the momentum to build an even broader and greater movement of the people for peace with social justice, social and national liberation and genuine democracy! Take another step forward by organizing people’s actions on U.N. International Peace Day, September 21! Challenge the United Nations members to confront the aggressors and occupiers, and negotiate resolutions the major issues facing the people: food insecurity, lack of housing and infrastructure, violence, insufficient means of livelihood, state repression, climate change, etc.
Popular dissent in the forms of street actions and discussions have been intensifying as the world crisis has been intensifying since last year. Historic achievements have been made. There have been large international gatherings to analyze the crisis and oppose the chief cause of the crisis, the imperialist system led by the US. Solidarity and collective work are blossoming. People have been taking to the streets in resolute, direct response to police brutality, systemic discrimination and exploitation and the lack of decent health services. The world has also been witnessing great efforts to lift the painful chains of colonialism that still exist. The youth have been getting in motion to call for action to oppose racism, relieve climate change and stop large-scale extraction industries.
Through these activities, individuals are getting politically active and new organizations are springing up, while previously existing groups are expanding and stepping up their work.
This is the correct path to take. Build on these developments. The people must become more politically aware and engaged in grassroots organizing. Fundamental change will take a united, global movement that understands the exploitative and plundering nature of the global system of monopoly capitalism, its armed defense, policies of neoliberalism and hostility to any non-compliant nation or state.
The peoples of the world must represent themselves and take up the cause for just peace, liberation and real democracy. The powers that be will not simply give up unless the working people and oppressed actively and as a whole face them and demand it. The people must not gamble that capitalism will develop a heart or that new faces in the capitalist countries signify big change. They must not give up their struggles. Imperialism as defined by Lenin is the contemporary form of global capitalism, with its monopolies dominated by financial oligarchs that put profits before people in their quest for exponential growth and ceaseless, forceful, worldwide expansion.
Military and industry are tied. They work in tandem mostly outside the political processes and scope of the law. Imperialism is an inherently irrational and violent system that operates without concern for human welfare and that has abandoned social development and human rights altogether. The crisis of overproduction, inflation, disparity and debt never resolved, austerity measures have been imposed to grab more land, exploit labour further, privatize state resources, deregulate industry and trade to the max and rely on non-productive, even destructive, and intangible markets. The chief result is more conflict. In fact, war and “state security” are a very lucrative industry that wants to keep business booming. States crack down on the people, turn over more land and ruin ecologies at the behest of foreign and local corporations, violating indigenous lands and rights more and more, destroying nature and farmlands, displacing communities, causing starvation, pandemics and other hardships and stirring up resistance. War and resistance rage. The US and its allies strategize to take every possible measure to damage states that nationalize industries and expand public services, and they punish national liberation movements that seek to throw out occupiers or build their own, self-reliant nations, even financing and unleashing terrorists and meddling in internal affairs to win.
Misinformation is spread and racism, communalism and gender bias incited to preserve the status quo. Cruel economic blockades that deprive working people of daily necessities are exacted to strangle societies that do not conform. Comprehending the motivations, relations and machinery of the imperialist system, one can see why the questions of, for instance, Palestine’s or the Kashmir’s independence, peace between North and South Korea, social equality and guarantees of home and livelihood are never settled. We can see how and why the Crimea, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq are in constant turmoil and why the US and company want to destroy Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. The minority of the world’s very wealthy and their way of amassing private wealth
would be greatly disrupted if such problems were properly addressed and resolved. They wish to stem and confuse popular criticism and rebellion. It does not make much difference which political officials they prop up. When Barrack Obama became US President, some political commentators suggested it meant the end of racism and a resolution to race relations. Hardly so, as we can plainly see today. Likewise, merely voting in women to high positions of power has not relieved women of daily oppression, inequality and discrimination.
Counting on the election of nominally democratic or liberal political parties has not brought about real democracy or any substantive, lasting relief from war and crisis. Far from impeding militarization, aggression and the arms trade, they more often facilitate military practice and allow fascism to rise. Despite the people’s hopes, this has been the case no matter who gets into power or what narrative they tell in France, the UK or Canada, for example. The people must get directly involved in movements for real change themselves. They must hold high a clear peoples’ agenda for just peace. The UN leadership has been calling for a global ceasefire because of the pandemic. Certainly, suspension of military operations and withdrawal of troops would reduce the spread of the coronavirus. It would not resolve the question of peace, however. A whole host of issues would have to be addressed for conflicts to be resolved.
Perpetrators such as the US, its allies, Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia would have to be recognized as aggressors and they would have to give up arms trading and use, close bases, scale down and send their troops home. All weapons of mass destruction would have to be outlawed. Plans for reparations including reconstruction and legal justice would have to be drawn up, and treaties and apologies made. Land, social and political reforms that benefit the people would have to be negotiated, as well. Adherence to well-known principles of social equality, healthcare and education for all, human rights (labour, civil, gender, national, etc.) and national sovereignty would have to be respected and enforced. Occupations and civil wars must go through peace processes with reconciliation and justice defined and planned.
For example, Palestinian resistance to Israel’s occupation cannot be resolved until the occupation and aggression against Palestinians are acknowledged and ended. Then negotiations would have to work on a plan for reparations, demilitarization, justice for the victims of crimes against humanity, poverty and social inequality, expropriation, food insecurity and housing. Other examples are the peace process between the US, South Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and that between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the Philippines state. For the former, all parties would have to cease military activities, the US would have to pull back its forces and sign a treaty, territorial rights be respected, past wrongs addressed and issues concerning North-South relations negotiated.
As for the Philippines, the questions of land distribution, dire poverty, food insecurity, human rights violations, democratic norms and public services, as well as restitution, must be negotiated and settled. In that peace process, the human rights conditions have been signed off, but past and present governments keep balking at settling the land and social demands. Instead of settling the conflict, the government has walked away from the table to intensify its military operations and
state repression against resisters and critics to heights not seen before. The human rights situation is worse than ever. The so-called democratic states such as the US, European Union and others continue to let the atrocities happen while they help the vicious state of the Philippines and profit from the abominable conditions. With respect to world peace, aggressor states must be named and held accountable. Arms trade and the use of weapons of mass destruction would have to be sternly contained along with unconventional weapons including cyber- and psy-war, biological and chemical warfare. Unjust economic coercive measures (i.e., “sanctions”) would need to be suspended. Foreign militaries would have to withdraw and foreign bases close.
Sovereignty and diverse models of political-economy must be respected. Reconciliation with indigenous peoples would have to be worked out and colonialism dismantled once and for all. These are huge, long term tasks. The main obstacle to accomplishing these steps is the global military-industrial complex that profits from conflict and imperialist expansionist and harbors land/ market-grabbing intentions. The US plays the key role in defending and overseeing the intrusions and bullying of monopoly capital. It and all its allies such as NATO and ANZUS members have to be subdued and held accountable, international law and United Nations decisions followed.
To the ILPS and Commission 4, peace does not mean acquiescence and silence. Humankind would be doomed were we to be passive and quiet as the world becomes increasingly dangerous and unsustainable and human life more precarious. Let us deepen our commitment to struggle against imperialism for just peace on September 21 and make Peace Day meaningful. Build a unified struggle for a better world! The people cannot afford to give up their rights and future, and stand by as the chaos, excess, violence and suffering burn up the planet. Waiting for each election period to mark a ballot is not enough political involvement. Join the movement for change. It is a matter of life or extinction. There are many ways to be a part of it and contribute. Use your best skills and knowledge and the time and connections you have. Most of all, make sure your voice is heard and that you are there to listen to others and plan a workable, sustainable course together with your peers and communities to guarantee a better world for future generations. Together the best of human know-how, values and wisdom will prevail.
Long live international solidarity! Peace with social justice! Social equality for all!
Stop the US war machine! No weapons of mass destruction!
Close the bases! Troops go home! Down with fascism, bigotry and all reaction!