4th IMCWP, Contribution of Portuguese Communist Party

6/21/02 11:41 AM
  • Portugal, Portuguese Communist Party 4th IMCWP En Europe Communist and workers' parties

Portuguese CP, Contribution to the Athens Meeting 21J2002
From: Portuguese Communist Party, Wed, 26 June 2002
http://www.pcp.pt/pcp , mailto:internacional@pcp.pt

JUNE 2002

Dear Comrades,

This Seminar, organized by the fraternal Communist Party of
Greece, is debating issues of great importance for the
workers and the peoples of the world. Our Party's National
Conference, which is held on Saturday, June 22, prevents a
direct participation of the Portuguese Communist Party at
the Seminar. We, nonetheless, wish to contribute to the
debate, and that is the purpose of this written statement.

Dear Comrades,

It has often been said that the world faced a new situation
after the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. The
novelty of the situation lies in the qualitative escalation
of the global offensive by imperialism in general, and U.S.
imperialism in particular, seeking to impose upon the
workers and peoples of the world a totalitarian �new
order�, under U.S. hegemony. But neither the goals, nor the
nature, nor the root causes of this offensive are new. And
considering the speed and scale of the initiatives
undertaken by the U.S. Administration in the past nine
months, it is legitimate to say that regardless of the
precise nature of the events of September 11 the plans and
preparations for this stepped-up offensive already existed
prior to that date. What the terrorist attacks against U.S.
territory created was an appropriate political and
psychological environment for such plans to be unleashed.

Imperialism's policy and goals are global. They are
aggressive, due to imperialism's very nature. In the
current imperialist offensive, we can highlight five
fundamental traits:

(i) an arrogant assertion of the specific interests of U.S.
imperialism and of its role as the hegemonic superpower;
(ii) a general escalation of militarism, war-mongering and
aggressive interventionism;
(iii) a widespread offensive against fundamental rights,
guarantees and freedoms;
(iv) an attempt to conceal the intrinsic causes of
capitalism's economic and financial crisis and to force the
workers and peoples to shoulder its consequences; and
(v) an attempt to deal a decisive blow against the
international legal and institutional framework that
emerged from World War II and was further developed in the
subsequent decades.

What has made this offensive possible is, in the final
analysis, the radical change in the world balance of forces
that resulted from the collapse of the Soviet Union and the
world socialist system.

The attempts to impose by force the worldwide hegemony of
U.S. imperialism are creating a crisis of global
proportions. They are bringing about realignments, as can
be seen in the current reactionary policies of the Russian
and Indian governments, but also in the creation and
exacerbation of old and new contradictions, not least
between imperialist powers. It is increasingly obvious that
what was initially presented as a `global coalition' for a
`war against terrorism' has become a unilateral crusade for
domination that is destabilizing international relations,
with unpredictable consequences. The systematic refusal by
U.S. imperialism to accept any international Treaty or Law
that will limit its power, or even force it to negotiate
(such as the ABM Treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, U.N.
Conferences and Resolutions) is accompanied by an
increasingly overt assertion of unilateral military might:
the aggression against Afghanistan; the threats against the
�Axis of Evil� and other countries; Star Wars and the plans
to militarise Outer Space; the Nuclear Posture Review with
its threatened use of old and new nuclear weapons; the
colossal increases in the U.S. military Budget; the total
support for Israel's policies of State Terrorism; the
deployment of U.S. troops and bases throughout the whole
world, with particular emphasis on the doorstep of
potential world powers of the future China, Russia, India.
The serious threats that such policies pose to world peace
are obvious. The struggle for peace and against imperialist
wars is a major priority for all progressive forces today.

If it is true that U.S. imperialism is the main enemy of
the workers and peoples of the world, it is nonetheless
necessary to strongly oppose the European Union's current
militarist escalation and transformation into an
imperialist military bloc. Regardless of whether the ruling
classes in the EU wish to use such military force to take
part as a junior and dependent partner in U.S. designs
for world hegemony (as happened during the NATO aggression
against Yugoslavia), or to contain and oppose U.S.
imperialism, the militarisation of the EU is not in the
interests of the European workers, of the peoples of the
world, or of world peace. This is a basic issue where,
unfortunately, not all left-wing forces are in agreement.
But it is not possible to oppose one (U.S.) form of
imperialism by strengthening and arming another (European)
form of imperialism. This, as the History of the 20th
century shows, is a path towards domination and war.

The so-called `war on terrorism' has brought in its wake
another development of the utmost gravity, of which all
progressive and revolutionary forces must be fully aware:
the attacks against democratic norms and rights, which are
becoming widespread throughout the capitalist world. We are
witnessing a qualitative leap forward towards the
criminalisation of social protests, of resistance against
exploitation and oppression, of the very existence of
progressive and revolutionary forces. The recent decision
by the EU to add the FARC and the PFLP to its list of
terrorist organizations, the increasingly insolent
attitudes towards Cuba, the Palestinian Authority and its
Chairman, and the ongoing plans to outlaw political parties
in European countries, mark a very serious new step in this
direction, which was also expressed in the comprehensive
changes to security legislation in the US and EU, in the
violent repression of anti-globalisation and trade-union
protests in Gotemborg, Genoa, and elsewhere, in the public
campaigns to `legitimise' torture, political assassinations
and other unacceptable practices. The recent upsurge of
fascist and far-right parties and policies in Europe is
also an integral part of this process. Imperialism is
setting in place the instruments and mechanisms for
repression against the working-class and popular resistance
to which its policies will inevitably give rise.


Dear Comrades,

In any situation, it is important not to lose sight of
economic issues. These are the factors that ultimately
determine political events. The policies and actions of big
capital, which is today indisputably hegemonic on a world
level are determined by their quest for profits and for
power. These are clearly visible in the targeting of the
world centres of production and routes of distribution of
energy. But a full understanding of the imperialist
policies and initiatives also requires a close study and
analysis of capitalism's current economic and financial
crisis, of its causes, nature and foreseeable future
course. Here too, we are talking about a crisis that began
before September 11th and, again, about its use as a
pretext to increase the exploitation of the masses
throughout the world, to destroy worker's rights and
achievements, to force through more public subsidies for
the benefit of (military or other) capitalist sectors, to
impose new �emergency� rules, whether domestically or
internationally, that will serve the interests of big
business, but also to redistribute and redefine the
relative dominance of each sector and national centre of
big business. Imperialist `globalisation' is an aggressive
process, a true economic and social war against the workers
and peoples of the world.

But it has to be recognised that popular resistance, and
the activity of Communist, working-class and left-wing
forces, does not yet correspond to the real dangers of this
very serious situation. The world balance of forces is
still unfavourable. The Communist and revolutionary
movement, and anti-imperialist forces as a whole, have not
yet overcome their crisis. The working-class and trade
union movement is still, to a large extent, under the
influence of a social-democracy that is increasingly
subordinate to big capital. All this requires major efforts
by the Communists, and other progressive and peace-loving
forces, to expand and strengthen the international movement
of resistance that the current situation requires. We have
unique factors at our disposal in this huge task that lies
ahead: the theoretical understanding provided by
Marxism-Leninism; the theoretical and practical lessons of
both victories and defeats resulting from decades of
experience of the Communist, working-class and
revolutionary movements; our historical and current
influence and prestige among large sectors of working
people. With confidence in our forces, in our ideals and in
the masses, there is the real possibility of building a
democratic and progressive alternative to the current winds
of unbridled reaction. In times of crisis events unfold at
an unpredictable pace. It is our common duty to be prepared
for the future.