4th IMCWP, Contribution of Workers' Party of Belgium

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

WP of Belgium, Contribution to the Athens Meeting 21J2002

The new situation in the World after September 11[1]
Peter Mertens, Member of the Political Bureau
June 2002

In the name of the Central Committe of the Workers Party of
Belgium, I tank the Communist Party of Greece for having
invited us for advance the unity of the international
communist momevement.

The 11th of September 2001 was foremost the anniversary of
the coup d'Etat organized by American imperialism against
the nationalist and democratic government of Allende in
Chili. From the 11th of September 1973 on, a tide of
terrorism submerged the country, causing the death of
30.000 Chilean communists, revolutionaries and patriots.

But the 11th of September 2001 also became the day when the
sole super power, the United States, that has given itself
the right to rule the world, has been stricken by a series
of war acts never before seen in the history of the U.S.A.

The symbols of the economic domination of American
imperialism over the whole world, the twin towers of the
Manhattan World Trade Centre, were destroyed by attacks.
The Pentagon, that uses 300 billion dollars per year or
more to plan the wars, interventions and covert operations
carried out by the United States all over the world was
struck in its centre by a great destructive force.

The great Italian artist Dario Fo, Nobel Prise for
literature in 1997, wrote: �The big speculators wallow in
an economy that every year kills tens of millions of people
through poverty; so what is the meaning of 20.000 deaths in
New York? It doesn't matter who committed the massacre,
this violence is the legitimate child of the Culture of
violence, famine and inhuman exploitation.�

The heart of the American military power had been hard hit,
the twin towers that represent the dollar's world
domination destroyed: the XXIst century set off with a
highly symbolic act.
The XXst century has been a dress rehearsal of the world
struggle against capitalism and imperialism, for
independence and socialism.
The XXIst century witness the liquidation of imperialism
and more specifically of American imperialism all over the
world. This is the thesis we formulated in 1997 on the
occasion of the 80th anniversary of the great October

What is today called �globalisation� is essentially a new
stage of the global crisis of the world imperialist system,
characterised by a deepening of all the contradictions that
are inherent to this system since its emergence at the
start of the twentieth century.

This new phase started with the triumph of the
counter-revolution in the Soviet Union and the socialist
countries of Europe in 1989-1990. It was characterised by
the liquidation of international law implemented following
the victory of the anti-fascist war and by the setting off
of a series of large-scale wars of aggression. The United
States went on the warpath on a planetary scale.
This new phase available is also marked by a constant
deepening of the economic crisis of the capitalist economy
and a limitation of the �emergency issues� still available
for the capitalist system.

Crisis threatens the foundations or imperialist order

A worsening of the economical crises that rock the
capitalist economy marks the new phase of the general
crisis of the world imperialist system.
Especially American economy lives on economic bombs. The
United States are heading towards an economic crisis that
will shatter the world in an even more dizzying manner than
the 1929 crisis.

At the start of the decade, the bourgeois ideologues
praised the new virtues of the US growth. According to
them, the United States had entered a new phase, that of
the �new economy�, an era of the knowledge and information
society. Accordingly, classes would disappear because
manual work would be replaced by knowledge and information
being at the center of the production process. This would
allow for economic growth without obstacles, thus without
crises. Capitalism itself would be replaced by a new social
form, the post-industrial society.

Since then, a spectacular collapse has shown that these
concepts were not based on any reality. The so-called �new
economy� functions just like the old and starts a crisis of
overproduction, as in the purest capitalist mode.

The US economy had been propelled by enormous speculation
on the financial markets. Since 1982, the level of US
production has increased 2.5 times, while that of the
financial markets increased tenfold.
The United States progresses by means of the fact that they
consume 450 billion dollar more than what they produce, or
4.5% of their GDP. For this to happen, 450 billion dollar
need to be attracted every year in the form of capital
(investments, stock market or speculative investments, bank
loans, etc.). This system is also based on the ever more
dominant position of the US dollar on the international
scene. The imperialist privilege that this continuous flow
represents may in the future be put into question by the
competition of the Euro or a possible common Asian
Households, enterprises and even the US State are heavily
indebted. Private savings are close to zero (meaning that
the Americans spend on average all what they earn). This
renders the economy particularly fragile and vulnerable.
Social inequalities increase. In San Francisco, the site of
Silicon Valley, only 10% of the inhabitants can buy
themselves a house. 20% are homeless. On a national scale,
798,000 people are homeless. And the financial development
only increases this social injustice. At Enron, with the
company bankrupt, the managers go home with compensation
payments of several hundreds of millions of dollar, while
the workers lose not only their job, but also their savings
plans, which were placed in company funds.
Since April 2000, the NASDAQ, the stock market exchange of
technology assets, has gone into a steep decline. In one
year, it lost 60 to 70% of its value. This has brought
about a major restructuring in the entire industry,
especially in the new technology sector. In 2001, in the
sector of the information technology alone, 188,000 workers
lost their job. This shows that the so-called �new economy�
is and remains capitalist in nature. Hence it is prone to
recession, depression and crisis.
The main federal interest rates have been lowered six times
in the course of 2001, reaching the extremely low level of
1.75%. Energy prices are maintained at a low level. This
has allowed private consumption to be maintained but has
not stimulated industrial production. Unemployment has
risen up to 6 percent. In three years' time, the Bush
administration will inject 500 billion dollar in the
economy, in the form of tax cuts, assistance to sectors in
difficulty and military orders. By this injection, the
stock markets appear to remain afloat, even after September

But the fragility and vulnerability of the US economy will
remain a basic feature. An attack on the dollar could
engender a storm that could shake the entire world economic

At world level, American imperialism can no longer count on
�emergency exits� to the crisis as it did in the sixties
and the seventies by indebting the Third World. The debt of
the dominated countries amounted to 2.141 billions of
dollars in 2000 and the debt of the Eastern European
countries and ex-USSR to 359 billions of dollars. Which
amounts to almost exactly 2.500 billion dollars. The
service of the debt amounts to 338 billion dollars for the
Third World and 50 billions for the Eastern European
countries. It represents 21,8% of the export revenue of the
Third World, with a peak of 49,6% for the countries of
Latin America.[3]

The �end of the crisis� is also made more and more
difficult by the over-capacities existing in important
sectors. In the automobile industry, the constructors are
able to produce 375 million vehicles each year. But sales
did not exceed 56 millions in 1999. There is therefore an
over-capacity of about 20 million vehicles per year. The
over-capacity in the steel-works field, according to OCDE
data, is of 340 million tons of steel in 1998, as compared
with 150 millions in 1989.

The economic laws of monopoly capitalism are implacable.
When the system buckles beneath the weight of
over-production and crises, the thirst for profit pushes
the monopolies towards war, the ultimate way of �spurring
production� and making substantial profits thanks to the
sacrifices imposed on the workers

As concerns this point, the New York Times foreign affairs
columnist wrote a great truth with disarming candour.
Thomas L. Friedman explained that the �globalised liberal
market� cannot exist without a military force on the
international scale �For globalisation to work, America
can't be afraid to act like the almighty superpower that it
is. The hidden hand of the market will never work without a
hidden fist. McDonalds cannot flourish without
McDonnell-Douglas, the designer of F-15, and the hidden
fist that keeps the world safe for silicon valley's
technology is called the United States Army, Air Force,
Navy and Marine Corps.�[4] This should be sufficient to
open the eyes of those who believe in the fable spread by
the apologists of capitalism who affirm that �free market
and democracy� go hand in hand. No, free market and war are
the inseparable couple

The United States are preparing wars on a planetary scale

Another characteristic of the current phase of the general
crisis of imperialism is the orientation towards militarism
and war.

Since the counter-revolution in the Soviet Union, the
United States reigns as the sole super-power in the world.
The United States immediately took advantage of the
situation to launch a first war of strategic importance
against Iraq, aiming for military control of the oil
resources of the Middle East, especially the Gulf and Saudi

From 1991 on, German and American imperialism provoked
armed conflicts between the different nationalities of
Yugoslavia. The objective was to introduce NATO in the
Balkans and establish military bases there. The 1998
aggression against Yugoslavia was a terrorist aggression
that violated the basic principals of the Charter of the
United Nations. During 78 days, Yugoslavia underwent
terrorist bombings that destroyed factories, hospitals,
bridges, power stations and killed thousands of citizens.
Serial destruction was estimated at least 100 billions of
dollars! The implantation of the American army in the
Balkans announces new wars in the Caspian Sea area for the
control of oil sources and opens the way to the possibility
of major wars against Russia.

Africa was especially stricken since counter-revolution in
the Soviet Union created a new balance of power on world
level. Africa underwent the American and Allied aggression
in Somalia in 1993. The following year, there was the
genocide of 1 million Tutsis and democratic Hutus in
Rwanda, carried out by the extremist Hutu ethno-fascists
with he support of France. Since the 2nd of August until
today, in the heart of Africa, the Congo, a war of
aggression and occupation backed by the United States has
completely ravaged the country, causing the death of
3.750.000 Congolese!

The aggression war of the United States against Afghanistan
on the 7th of October is a new development of the American
orientation towards world war. The war against Kabul is not
directly linked to the attacks against New York and
Washington. The American intervention In Afghanistan to
control the roads leading to the petroleum areas of Central
Asia had already been previewed long before these
incidents. The former Pakistani Minister of External
Affairs, Niaz Na�k, declared in July 2001 that �American
civil servants had told him about American plan aiming to
launch a military action to the Taliban regime and install
in its place a government of `moderate' Afghans. Was to be
carried out from bases installed in Tajikistan. It was said
to him that if the action was it maintained, it could be
done before towards mid-October.�[5]

If, thanks to the occupation of Afghanistan, imperialism
can control Asia's oil, this movement also expresses
hostility towards Russia and China. China had plans to
transport oil from central Asia. A lasting military
presence of the United States in the area will make this
impossible. The occupation of bases of the strategy of a in
view of the wars of aggression to come.

The Bush administration has pushed massive military
production. It has increased the military orders and the
defense budget will be raised from 299 billion dollar in
2001 to more than 379 billion dollar in 2003. Robert Barro,
professor at Harvard, estimates that every dollar increase
in the Defense budget has an impact of 60 or 70 cents on
the economy. Such arms monopolies as General Dynamics,
Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon have seen their
stock prices rise.

September 11 has been used as the pretext for wars and
aggressions against any country or movement that opposes
imperialist domination and for further fascisation of the
political regimes of the West. The United States, followed
by the other imperialist powers, have launched a major
campaign of �anti-terrorist struggle�. But it is clearly
meant to suppress all forms of people's resistance and all
attempts to anti-imperialist sovereignty. On May 2, 2002,
the Council of European ministers of Justice and of the
Interior decided to put 12 organisations on a list of
terrorist organisations, among them the DHKP-C and the PKK.
This decision means, among other things, that all funds of
these organisations will be blocked, what boils down to
their de facto prohibition on the entire European
territory. Later on Colombian FARC and Palestinian PFLP
followed. This way, the European Union follows the wish of
the United States and Germany, who had already previously
banned these organisations.With the war in Afghanistan, the
declaration of war against the �rogue states�, with the
announcement of a long and comprehensive offensive, the
United States clearly affirm their will to dominate the
world. In the first place, they aim at the Middle East,
East Asia and Latin America.

This brings about stronger and even more devastating
antagonisms that may translate themselves into conflicts of
worldwide consequence. We can no longer exclude a US war of
aggression against China, in which the United States see a
major threat to their hegemony. In the long run, the
inter-imperialist contradictions may also result into a new
world war.

Towards great revolutionary struggles for peace,
independence and socialism

The unification of capitalist Europe has triggered off a
never-before seen tide of concentrations. �Mergers and
acquisitions� in Europe amounted to 1.218 billion dollars
in 1999 and1.478 billions in 2.000. This is a truly
qualitative leap. The maximum amount for the Eighties was
of 148 billions of dollars. In 1996, the sum of 253
billions had been reached[6]

According to the World Investment Report of 1988, the
number of car manufacturers operating on the global world
market will fall from 15 to 10, or even 5. �The men who sit
on the German Management boards all fear that if they do
not manage to be amongst the Top Five of the global
companies in their market, they will no longer be
competitive in the future.�[7]

This fundamental economic evolution has three consequences.

First, the struggle to death of the leading American,
Japanese and European monopolies will become more and more
ferocious and will be carried out on all the markets of all
Then the oppressed all over the world will become conscious
of the fact that their oppression and exploitation are
caused by the same multinational forces, �protected� by the
same military forces. The development of an
internationalist revolutionary conscience is now possible
amongst the masses and it is an urgent necessity.
Finally, the contradiction between these global monopolies,
upheld by the different imperialist powers, and the
dominated countries, will deepen ever more. Fractions of
the local bourgeoisie in the Asian, South American and
African countries will inevitably stand up against
imperialist domination.

Imperialist globalisation that pushes all the
contradictions of the imperialist world to the utmost will
inevitably produce a counter-offensive of all the popular
forces crushed by poverty, super-exploitation, domination,
terror and war.

More than ever, the three major revolutionary currents of
our times must go forth hand in hand: the democratic,
anti-imperialist revolution in the dominated countries, the
socialist revolution in the capitalist countries and the
construction of socialism in the countries that have torn
themselves away from imperialist and capitalist
All over the world, there is a growing awareness that the
capitalist mode of production is no longer compatible with
the simple survival of humanity, that imperialism has
effectively become a genocidal system.

But imperialist globalisation confronts all workers with
the same enemies. The exchanging of experiences and
analyses, the development of common policies and the
organization of common activities are more than ever
necessary for the progress of all struggles. Facing the
global policies of American imperialism, Nato, FMI, the WB
and the WTO, the oppressed all over the world will have to
oppose a common policy of liberation and development.

Socialism will develop as an international system of
federated Socialist Republics. It will be guided by
principles of solidarity and mutual assistance so as to be
able to share, in a planed fashion, the progresses stemming
from development. Proletarian internationalism will guide
the bringing together of the peoples, the liquidation of
all national or ethnical barriers, the disappearance of
discriminatory acts and attitudes and of chauvinism, the
mutually advantageous exchanges between the peoples, the
sharing of knowledge without mercantile considerations, the
harmonious and proportionated development of all the
regions of the world, if, on this basis, production is
submitted a plan taking into account, in a cooperative
mode, the needs of all mankind.

[1] Based on the paper �Counter-revolution and revolution
in the XXIst century�, by Ludo Martens, Workers' Party of
Belgium, 30th November 2001
[2] Ludo Martens, `La voie de la r�volution mondiale au
XXIe si�cle', in Etudes Marxistes n�39, sept.-oct. 1997.
[3] IMF, World Economic Outlook, October 2001, p.249-250.
[4] Thomas Friedman, New York Times, 28 March, 1999.
[5] BBC, 18 septembre 2001.
[6] Financial Times, Octobre 14, 1997.
[7] Sunday Times, August 29, 1999.