General Declaration of the ILPS issued by the 4th International Assembly

Build a bright future! Mobilize the people to resist exploitation and oppression amidst the protracted global depression, state terrorism and wars of aggression!

The global capitalist crisis continues to worsen and the broad masses of the people are rising up to resist the harsh consequences of the crisis and government measures that make them shoulder the burden of the crisis.

The protracted crisis exposes the bankruptcy and rottenness of the entire world capitalist system. It likewise points to the necessity for the world’s peoples to intensify their struggles against imperialism and local reaction and to build a new and better world.

The global crisis persists

The economic and financial crisis that started in 2008 has persisted and has become a global depression. The immediate cause of the crisis has been the runaway and unregulated indulgence by the monopoly bourgeoisie in financial speculation. But the underlying cause is the crisis of overproduction due to the inherent contradiction in capitalism between the high degree of socialization of production on the one hand and private appropriation of the social product on the other.

In spite of the current crisis however, the monopoly bourgeoisie have continued to reap profits by further reducing the incomes and social benefits of the working people and by persisting in speculative financial activities.

Public funds derived from the wealth created by the working people have been used to bail out the big banks and corporations, improve their balance sheets and revive the stock market. But there has been no real economic recovery and the general trend is for production and employment to stagnate and decline. And it is the working people who create society’s wealth that suffer the most from unemployment and underemployment, lower income, and rising prices of basic commodities and services.

Governments are incurring huge budget deficits and public debt because of tax cuts for the wealthy, subsidies for favored monopoly firms, overpriced contracts and unprecedented bailouts for the big bourgeoisie. Expenditures for military production and for military intervention and aggression have contributed further to the mounting deficits and public debt.

But the public sector employees and the rest of the working people are wrongfully blamed for the so-called wage inflation and the soaring public deficits to justify the looting of public resources decked out as “austerity measures” that further force the people to bear the burden of the crisis.

Oppressed and exploited peoples in the third world suffer the most from the ravages of monopoly capitalism in crisis. Speculative capital is now causing food and fuel prices to skyrocket, pushing millions deeper into destitution. Transnational corporations are frantically taking over vast tracts of land, forests and marine resources for the extraction and export of oil, food, minerals and other resources at an accelerating pace. With the complicity of big local landlords, compradors and client states, they are violently dispossessing peasants, farm workers, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, herders, pastoralists and other rural communities from their means of existence throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

In between the oppressed underdeveloped countries and the imperialist powers are the less developed capitalist countries economically and financially dependent on, and often subservient to, US, European and Japanese imperialism. The imperialist policies of neo-liberal globalization attack the livelihoods of the working people, small farmers and small business people of these countries. Intensified assault on workers’ rights and conditions, erosion of democratic rights and civil liberties are imposed on these countries by imperialism.

Imperialist globalization is wiping out manufacturing industries, jobs, local culture and spreading environmental degradation in these middle developed capitalist countries. Local agriculture and food production is taken over by the multinational agribusiness corporations and restructured to benefit their global profit interests. National resources are plundered by the multinational mining monopolies, with little benefit for the people. In some of these countries, the local ruling class agents of imperialism administer the neo-liberal policies of imperialism.

The anti-imperialist democratic struggles by the working people of these countries are a part of the worldwide united front against imperialism.

The ever-worsening crisis of the world capitalist system is driving the imperialist powers headed by the US to increase military production and launch wars of aggression, occupation and counterrevolution. The US and its NATO allies have no qualms in brushing aside international conventions and trampling on the national sovereignty of nations in launching wars of aggression such as those against Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya. In such wars of aggression as well as in counterrevolutionary campaigns in countries such as Colombia, India, Peru, the Philippines and Turkey, where the people are waging armed revolutionary struggle, the US and their local stooges commit the most heinous war crimes and crimes against humanity such as genocide, systematic torture, use of nuclear, biochemical and other weapons of mass destruction, and deliberate attacks on civilian populations.

The imperialists are united against the oppressed peoples and nations and countries that assert national independence. But they become increasingly entangled in contradictions as they fight for a redivision of the world. Certain countries led by Russia and China that now feel threatened by the increasingly blatant US-NATO aggression, have formed other alliances such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Collective Security Treaty Organization to serve as a counterfoil to the US-NATO alliance.

The people rise up in resistance

In the imperialist countries, there is widespread social unrest because of the high rate of unemployment, the erosion of hard-won social benefits, the curtailment of trade union and other democratic rights, and the harsh austerity measures that punish the working people the most. Workers, youth and students, women, migrants, people of color, and other sectors of society are joining mass protests and general strikes.

On the other hand, the monopoly bourgeoisie has been shrewdly using the mass media, the new and emerging communications technologies, the bourgeois political parties, the churches and the schools in propagating anti-communist ideas and prejudices, and stirring up chauvinism, anti-migrant sentiment, racism, homophobia, religious bigotry, war hysteria and fascism to divide and deceive the people, advance counterrevolution, cover up the real roots of the crisis in the world capitalist system, and undermine the peoples’ revolutionary struggles.

However, the crisis conditions persist and provide the opportunities for the people to develop and strengthen the mass movement and for building and strengthening parties able to lead the mass struggle for the revolutionary transformation of society.

In the underdeveloped countries, the people are carrying out and intensifying various forms of struggle against the imperialists and the local reactionary forces. They are waging armed resistance against imperialist aggression and occupation as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Palestine. There are also the armed struggles against the reactionary ruling systems in India, the Philippines, Colombia, Peru, Turkey and elsewhere. The growing anti-imperialist sentiment among the masses in Latin America has encouraged certain governments such as those in Venezuela and Bolivia to assert national sovereignty in the face of US imperialist impositions and threats. The worldwide anti-imperialist movement has been strengthened in Latin America by the united resistance of the people of Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia.

The peoples who wage armed revolutions for new democracy and wars of national liberation have the best chance of seizing political power, unshackling themselves from the chains of imperialist oppression and plunder, and establishing a state with an anti-imperialist and democratic character.

The legal mass movements and unarmed mass uprisings that have recently shaken the pro-US repressive regimes in North Africa and the Middle East cannot by themselves change the reactionary ruling system even if they succeed in overthrowing autocrats or authoritarian regimes. But they create the conditions for proletarian parties and progressive mass movements to strengthen and develop the factors for revolutionary transformation.

The persistence of the crisis of imperialism and the growing contradictions among the imperialist countries create the possibility for the general weakening of imperialist control over the underdeveloped countries. It can give more room for underdeveloped and dependent countries to assert national independence and pave the way for anti-imperialist and democratic mass movements to advance.

The conditions are becoming ever more favorable for the peoples of the world to shape their own destiny, muster the broadest and strongest unity against imperialism and local reaction, and build a world free from imperialist exploitation, oppression and wars – a world of freedom, equality, prosperity and peace.

Constant and new tasks of the League

The continuing crisis of the imperialist system of exploitation and oppression offers excellent opportunities for anti-imperialist and democratic forces of the world’s peoples in advancing their struggles. The ILPS must seize these opportunities to expand and strengthen itself and assume greater responsibilities in advancing the worldwide struggle against imperialism and all forms of reaction.

All member-organizations of the League are urged to take guidance from and carry out the constant tasks enshrined in the Charter of the League, and the new tasks set forth by the Fourth International Assembly and by the resolutions of the Commissions under the new situation.

Tasks in political education

We call on you to intensify political education among the individual members of all the member-organizations of the League on the need for a broad anti-imperialist and democratic united front and international people’s solidarity in accordance with our Charter, General Declaration and the resolutions of the Commissions. We propagate the content of these documents in order to strengthen the League politically and organizationally.

We must always have an acute awareness of the political reality around us and take up issues promptly as these arise in the anti-imperialist and democratic struggles. The ICC, ICG, the Chairperson, the Commissions, the Global Region Committees, the National Chapters, and the member organizations must put forward their analyses and views as current events and issues arise within their respective scopes of responsibility. They must issue timely statements and conduct study meetings, seminars and conferences on major issues in order to raise the political consciousness of their ranks and those that they wish to invite as member-organizations or as allies.

The Commissions have the special task of undertaking research and publications on the various concerns, for expanding and deepening the knowledge of all our constituents, and for raising the consciousness of our friendly organizations to the level that they decide to join because of their interest in one, several or all concerns of the League. They must use the print and electronic media to spread the basic documents, primers, position papers, statements and other reading materials.

Organizational tasks

At this Fourth International Assembly, we elect to the International Coordinating Committee those whom we consider capable of contributing significantly to the further all-round development and fulfillment of the tasks of the League. To strengthen the ICC and the entire League organizationally, we must adhere to the Charter and to the By Laws which stipulates in detail the duties and functions of the leading organs and their officers at various levels.

We must recruit more member-organizations through the efforts of our existing member-organizations, the National Chapters and the Global Region Committees, as well as through the efforts of the Commissions on various concerns. We must carry out the long-standing guideline that a National Chapter may be formed in a country where there are at least three member-organizations of the League and the Global Region Coordinating Committee may be formed in a global region where there are at least three National Chapters.

We must build the National Chapters and the Global Region Coordinating Committees in order to reduce the work load of the ICC, ICG and the General Secretariat, and develop a more solid mass base of the League. We must cover the regions of Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, North America and Oceania. We must pay special attention to the attraction of member-organizations in the global regions of Africa, Latin America, Central Asia, South Asia and Eastern Europe.

We must complete and strengthen the organization of the Commissions. These should not be allowed to slacken after international assemblies. They must have continuous organizational life and activities. The lead organizations and secretariats must make sure that the Commissions develop in full through internal communications and meetings, and through conferences to engage other organizations at the national, global region and international levels.

Inter-commission cooperation and coordination and joint projects or activities must also be undertaken and availed of to augment and combine capabilities, especially those that are closely related and on specific issues, campaigns and activities of mutual concern. But the Commissions should always bear in mind that they primarily serve the entire League as the main engine for informing, educating and mobilizing the entire League and the people on various concerns.

We must collect efficiently the membership dues and donations from the better-off member organizations and from friends. We must recognize the disparity of circumstances and incomes in the South and North of the world, and allow member-organizations in the South to pay annual membership dues less than the 150 USD which member organizations in the North can afford to pay. The incoming ICC should spell out the specific guidelines, criteria and the corresponding amounts for rationalizing the membership dues accordingly.

We must also raise funds by soliciting donations and funding for programs, projects and campaigns and by undertaking cultural performances, sale of publications, t-shirts, paraphernalia and the like. We must continue to strengthen the self-reliant financial standing of the League and strive to raise the much-needed resources for the League to function more effectively and launch more campaigns and other activities.

Tasks in mass mobilization

Under the policy of the international united front, we must aim for and initiate more widely-coordinated mass campaigns, more frequent activities of mass mobilization, and more broad international conferences along the anti-imperialist and democratic line of struggle. We invite other organizations and alliances to participate for the purpose of advancing the common cause and attaining mutual benefit. We thereby augment and amplify the given strength of our League with the strength of other forces. In turn they do likewise for their benefit. Under the same policy, we can participate in campaigns and activities initiated by other organizations and alliances.

We must intensify our efforts to initiate or join the aforesaid campaigns and conferences on various multi-sectoral and sectoral concerns and issues, and in varying geographic scales. We must calendar in advance these activities in order to prepare and carry out well the tasks of arousing and mobilizing our member-organizations and the broad masses of the people.

We must further develop our capacity to hold globally coordinated actions on major global issues as well as specific regional or national issues that have global implications. We have had a number of positive experiences where a local struggle initiated or participated in by our member-organizations was augmented or bolstered by supportive actions by our member-organizations in other countries, thereby visibly manifesting the breadth and strength of our League and attracting more organizations to join us.

We must seek the cooperation of national liberation movements, campaign centers, organizations, institutions and alliances for the purpose of mass mobilizations. We must take advantage of the contradictions among the imperialist powers and among the local reactionaries to expose and isolate the worst and most reactionary targets at any given time and place. We must further strengthen the League by availing of the mass mobilizations and broad international conferences to increase our member-organizations.

We must ceaselessly study, clarify to ourselves and carry out our tasks for strengthening our League and our movement, in accordance with our basic documents, on the basis of the consensus we reach, and the decisions we make in this Assembly. Our current Assembly serves to chart our course and line of advance and open a further stretch of the road towards our ultimate goal.

A bright future

The people have a bright future because they wage revolutionary struggles and build their strength against those forces that oppress and exploit them. As the ever worsening crisis of the world capitalist system wreaks havoc on their lives, they have no choice but to fight back. The anti-imperialist and democratic forces of the people ensure the rise of mass protests and revolutionary struggles for national and social liberation against imperialism and reaction.

The broad masses of the people are inexorably moving in the direction of a fundamentally new and better world. Through resolute and militant struggles, the people and the people alone can liberate themselves and create a bright future.

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