Message on the Plan to Establish the ILPS-Europe
By Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson Emeritus, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
April 4, 2020
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle is a united front of mass organizations for anti-imperialist and democratic struggle at various levels. Since its foundation in 2001, it has been international in scope. But to achieve depth, it must build its composite forces at the regional, national and local levels.
It can gain breath at each level by having more mass organizations as components under every concern. It can also gain further breadth by being able to have alliance with other united front formations at any level. We may call this broadening the alliance for gathering the largest strength possible to isolate and overwhelm the adversary.
To build the ILPS at any level, you must know the situation within its geographic scope and you must bring together the mass organizations that you can at a given time. You must bring together delegations of these organizations in order to exchange views and experiences and to agree on a program of action and to elect the organ to lead the work and struggle consequent to the assembly.
I am glad that in your plan to establish the ILPS-Europe you appreciate its place in the structure of the entire ILPS and that you have made preparations for the establishment of this regional formation by knowing the situation in Europe, bringing together delegations from various countries, formulating a program of action and electing your regional leading organ.
On the Formation of the ILPS-Europe
By forming the ILPS-Europe, you take into account and take advantage of the charter and program of the entire ILPS and proceed to focus on the conditions, concerns and demands of the people in the region and in the particular countries therein in order to pursue and advance the anti-imperialist and democratic struggle for socialism and solidarity in the interest of the people in Europe.
You must build ILPS-Europe as a united front of definite mass formations within its fold at the regional and national levels. You can draw to the fold of the ILPS more anti-imperialist and democratic organizations interested in any of the concerns of the ILPS. At the same time, you can have consensual, consultative and practical alliance and cooperation with other organizations that are independent of the ILPS but have a common interest with the ILPS.
As a result of the worsening crisis of the capitalist system in the world and in Europe, there are long-standing and new mass formations that are carrying out anti-imperialist and democratic struggles on a wide range of issues that are economic, social, political, cultural and environmental in character and affect the working class in general, the migrants and refugees, the women, youth, the intelligentsia and other sectors of society.
Monopoly capitalism has aggravated the exploitation of the proletariat and the rest of the people, especially under the policy of neoliberalism. It has inflicted on them unemployment, job insecurity, lower real wages, higher costs of living, erosion of social services, austerity measures, gender discrimination, dwindled opportunities for the youth, environmental degradation and higher taxation on the people (but not on the business corporations) on various pretexts.
At the same time, monopoly capitalism has aggravated the oppression of the people. Old and new laws, policies and practices are being used to curtail basic democratic rights and fundamental freedoms. The dominant means of information and education spread chauvinist, racist and fascist biases. Worst of all, fascist movements have arisen and collaborate with the coercive forces of the state against the people and the democratic forces.
You are building ILPS-Europe at a time that the proletariat and people in the region are rising up, as in other regions of the world, against the escalation of exploitation and oppression because of the neoliberal policy of unbridled greed, state terrorism, the rise of fascism and endless wars of aggression unleashed by US imperialism. Your struggle in Europe is necessarily linked to the struggles of the people on a global scale.
In Harmony with the International United Front
While building ILPS-Europe, you must also be in harmony with the international commitment and policy of the ILPS in united front with other international formations and individual organizations. At the moment, the ILPS is initiating jointly with the International Coordination for Revolution (ICOR) the formation of the International Anti-Imperialist and Anti-Fascist United Front (AIAIUF), which aims to include other international formations.
In this larger and wider type of international united front, the ILPS expects to amplify the joint and individual strengths of the participants, to agree by consensus on common tasks and actions and to maintain consultative and consensual relations among equals and mutually respecting participants.
The participants have the right to independence and initiative and are not bound by democratic centralism. They have a common understanding to keep and increase their respective strengths and capabilities, to issue common or similar statements, to undertake united actions and campaigns on certain issues on certain agreed dates or periods of time.
We can expect that the worldwide mass protests that have dramatically burst out since last year will continue to spread and intensify and take higher forms of struggle not only for regime change but also for system change. They signal the transition to greater anti-imperialist struggles and the resurgence of the world proletarian-socialist revolution.
The rise of the anti-imperialist and democratic struggles are the consequence of the rapidly worsening crisis of the world capitalist system. The crisis of overproduction has been deepened and accelerated by the adoption of higher technology, the deliberate diminution of the real and nominal incomes of the working people, the rapid accumulation of capital in the hands of the monopoly bourgeoisie and the emergence of new imperialist powers in addition to the traditional ones.
Intensifying Inter-Imperialist Contradictions
All the imperialist powers, traditional and new, appeared to get along well together under the auspices of neoliberal globalization for so long as they could exploit the working people in all countries and shift the burden of crisis to the underdeveloped and less developed countries. But the crisis of overproduction has worsened too fast as to upset the balance of strength among the imperialist powers to the extent that economic competition and political rivalry have become increasingly pronounced.
The most dramatic change has been the strategic decline of the US from being the sole superpower from 1991 to 2008 to being merely one of the powers in a multipolar world. China has developed its economy to an extent that it is deemed by the US as its chief economic competitor and chief political rival. The European Union itself is being shaken by the exit of Britain and is being strained by prolonged recession since the 2008 financial crisis.
The proletariat and people of Eastern Europe and the Russia are outraged by the far worsened conditions in the shift from revisionist rule to unbridled capitalism. They resent the rise of unemployment, the drastic loss of social services and the repressive measures. They have a strong desire for system change from capitalism to socialism.
The imperialist powers of Western Europe are still aligned mainly with the US and Japan in the IMF, World Bank and WTO, G-7, G-20 and the NATO but particular countries have certain needs that require them to have amicable relations with Russia and China. The alliance of the US and Western European powers is being tested and strained by the frequent US demands for sanctions and aggression actions against its enemies.
Except in Southeast Asia where China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea and is aggressive, the US still remains the No. 1 troublemaker in the capitalist world. But it has declined precisely because of imperial overstretch by overspending on overseas military bases and endless wars of aggression, and by having made major economic, trade and technological concessions to China until 2018.
As the inter-imperialist contradictions worsen, we can expect more efforts of the imperialist powers to shift the burden of crisis to to the client states as well as to their own working class and middle class. We must pay close attention to how the monopoly bourgeoisie exploits the working class and how it generates chauvinism, racism, and fascism in order to obscure the roots of the crisis and preempt the rise of revolutionary forces.
The crisis of the world capitalist system that has unfolded since the financial crash of 2008 has remained unsolved by the monopoly bourgeoisie and has led to a deeper and graver crisis in this year of 2020. The neoliberal line of imperialist globalization has unraveled after more than 40 years of dominance.
While it runs and alarms most countries, the Covid-19 pandemic is being used by bourgeois governments to tighten social control and apply repressive measures. But it also serves to expose and underscore the anti-social character of monopoly capitalism and the gross depredations that neoliberal policy has wrought. The broad masses of the people are therefore aroused to rebel.
They are outraged that the monopoly bourgeoisie has long used the neoliberal mode of unrestrained exploitation and is using the pandemic as excuse to take financial bailouts and benefit from so-called stimulus packages. They are incensed that they are being subjected to worse conditions of low income, unemployment, homelessness, erosion of social benefits and deprivation of health care and other social services.
Build the Mass Movement through the United Front
We can expect that in the months and years to come there will be an intensified class struggle between the monopoly bourgeoisie and the proletariat and the tug of war between fascist and anti-fascist movements in Europe as well as in other regions of the world. There is urgent need to build the mass movement through the united front of revolutionary forces in anti-imperialist and democratic struggles for national liberation, democracy and socialism.
In Europe, we must be able to arouse, organize and mobilize the proletariat (including the migrant workers) and the middle class, which is shrinking and living precariously. The neoliberal economic policy has brought out the worst anti-social, anti-proletarian and anti-people character of monopoly capitalism.
Whatever is the rate of growth of the GDP, it signifies the relentless rise of the unsustainable public debt for the benefit of the monopoly bourgeoisie, the maximization of private profit by squeezing the income of the working class, rise of unemployment, austerity measures, the erosion of social benefits and the shrinkage of social services.
In Western Europe, the proletariat and people of all countries suffer from the worsening conditions of economic and financial crisis, with those of certain countries suffering more than those in other countries. In Eastern Europe and in Russia, the proletariat and people are disgusted with the further deterioration of their conditions from the period of revisionist rule to the current period of unbridled capitalism.
As the crisis of the capitalist worsens, every ruling clique of the monopoly bourgeoisie uses the coercive apparatuses of the state to suppress the rise of the revolutionary mass movement and generates the currents of chauvinism, racism and fascism. The proletariat and people are thus challenged to fight back with the anti-imperialist and democratic movement for socialism.
Many issues are arising and crying for action by the broad masses of the people. But the main task is to build the mass movement through the united front of revolutionary forces and to advance the class struggle against the monopoly bourgeoisie and aim for socialism. The revolutionary forces in Europe must carry forward the anti-imperialist and democratic struggles in concert with the peoples of other regions and the entire world.