5th IMCWP, Contribution of Communist Party of India (Marxist)

6/19/03 11:59 AM
  • India, Communist Party of India [Marxist] 5th IMCWP En Asia Communist and workers' parties

Athens Meeting 19-20 June 2003, Contribution by CP of India
(Marxist)
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From: SolidNet
http://www.cpim.org, mailto:cpim@vsnl.com
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by Sitaram Yechury

CONVERGENCE OF PEOPLE'S MOVEMENTS CAN FIGHT
US HEGEMONISTIC DESIGNS

At the outset, I would like to extend our gratitude to the
Communist Party of Greece for having provided, once again,
such an opportunity for interacting with our fraternal
movements across the world on this most important theme and
at this crucial time.

All of us assembled here are not only interested but are
actively working to seek the convergence of the growing
people's movements against globalisation, on the one hand,
and against the US-led war on Iraq, on the other. We are
all aware that it is only the combined power of such a
convergence that can halt, if not reverse, the current
hegemonic aggressiveness that US imperialism has embarked
upon.

Ideological Clarity Warranted

Such efforts, however, warrant the need for ideological
clarity centering around two important propositions. First,
this war against Iraq is not isolated from or independent
of the US-led process of globalization. Secondly, the
crimes being committed against humanity, both through
globalization and through such wars, can only be reversed,
in the final analysis, by an alternative socio-economic
order to the current world capitalism. The stronger the
struggles for such an alternative, the more effective will
be the halting of globalization's offensive.

This war against Iraq is part of the overall strategy to
establish an unquestioned US hegemony in the world, a
hegemony that extends to all spheres --- military,
political, economic, social, cultural, etc. The process of
creating a "new world order" that the US leadership had
begun with the end of the cold war has culminated in this
unprecedented unilateral action against Iraq.

Following the bipolar cold war, the natural process in the
development of the international situation was the movement
towards multipolarity in international relations. This
natural process is being subverted by the USA in order to
establish a unipolarity under its hegemony. It is this
frightening reality that faces all of us today.

Important Consequences

This reality has four important consequences for the world
situation. These, in fact, seek to determine the contours
of relations between nations.

First, such US hegemony implies that the economic offensive
against the developing countries in the name of
globalization and liberalization will be mounted further.
Already, the WTO is being goaded by the USA to widen its
agenda which imposes greater burdens on the developing
countries. The degree of economic exploitation of the poor
people of the world and the poor countries of the world is
bound to be intensified. Even the World Bank and the IMF
are forced to admit that the last decade of globalization
has seen many developing countries actually slide back in
terms of absolute levels of poverty and hunger.

The political aim of such intensification of economic
exploitation, under globalization, is to seek the economic
recolonization of the third world.

The second consequence will be the effort by the USA to
direct the domestic politics of every country in its
favour. The slogan of "regime change" actually means that
the regimes in independent countries will be determined by
the furthering of US interests and not by the democratic
will of their own people. This will be an outright assault
on the sovereignty of independent nations. Such US
interference was seen in the past in many countries,
especially in Latin America. This will now be sought to be
generalised across the globe.

The third consequence would be that the world will be a
place of greater insecurity after this war on Iraq. State
terrorism practiced by the USA invariably feeds individual
terrorism. The victims of both are innocent lives and
massive destruction of people's wealth. The post-Iraq war
developments in Riyadh, Casablanca, Chechnya and elsewhere
vindicate this. Far from eliminating the scourge of
terrorism, the US-led war on Iraq provides it a fresh lease
of life.

This, in turn, will be used by reactionary regimes to
impose an authoritarian order in their countries. In the
name of fighting terrorism, draconian laws severely
curtailing civil liberties and democratic rights will be
put in place. All in the name of democracy!

The fourth consequence of this US hegemony will be the
marginalization, if not the negation, of all norms and
institutions that guided international relations in the
post-second world war period. The virtual marginalization
of the United Nations, during this war, is there for all to
see. The US has now succeeded in rallying the UN Security
Council to undertake the reconstruction of Iraq under its
leadership. The United Nations will be relevant only if it
endorses the US initiatives; otherwise it will be reduced
to what President Bush called a "debating club."

Already, the USA is showing scant respect to international
laws and treaties. It has chosen to boycott the Kyoto
Protocol. It walked out of the Durban UN conference on
racial discrimination. All international laws and treaties
henceforth would be treated or considered only if they suit
the interests of USA.

Unsustainable Process

Clearly, this is a world that many of us would not want to
live in. The USA is not only seeking to act as the world's
policeman but will also play the role of the prosecutor and
the judge at the same time.

If we wish to live in this world with a decent degree of
freedom, liberty and dignity, then we need to change this
world.

The huge unprecedented protests against this war on Iraq
saw millions of people on the streets all across the globe.
To the extent that even The New York Times had to
editorially comment that there is not one superpower in the
world, but two. Counter to US's superpower status are the
people of the world who need to assert and prevent the USA
from hijacking the civilizational advance of mankind.

On the other hand, the process of globalization itself
intensifies these tendencies of war and aggression. This
comes precisely because of the fact that in its efforts
towards the economic recolonization of the third world,
globalization has led to an intensification of economic
exploitation on a world scale. This is all too evident in
the economic data provided by the World Bank itself, which
shows that a large number of world's people are today worse
off than a decade earlier.

Further, the sharp widening of inequalities, both between
the developing countries and the developed countries and
between the rich and poor in all countries, is leading to
large-scale depravation and want. Such large-scale
impoverishment of a majority of the world's people means
the shrinkage of their capacity to be the consumers of the
products that this globalized economy produces. This
renders the entire process of globalization to be simply
unsustainable.

The only way imperialism seeks to sustain this
unsustainable exploitative order is by intensifying its
political and military hegemony. The burdens of the
economic crisis will surely be shifted to the people who
are already groaning under the globalization onslaught. In
this context, it is pertinent to recollect what Marx had
said in the Das Kapital: "With adequate profit, capital is
very bold. A certain 10 per cent will ensure its employment
anywhere; 20 per cent certain will produce eagerness; 50
per cent positive audacity; 100 per cent will make it ready
to trample on all human laws; and 300 per cent and there is
not a crime at which it will scruple, nor a risk it will
not run, even to the chance of its owner being hanged."

Socialism: The Only Alternative

Thus, what awaits humanity is a fresh wave of assaults and
onslaughts. Unless of course, the people's movement against
globalization, which has been rapidly growing in recent
years, attains levels that can halt and reverse this
process. But that can be possible only if an alternative
to the capitalist system emerges as the objective to
achieve freedom and liberty. History has repeatedly shown
that no amount of reform within the capitalist system can
eliminate exploitation which is inherent in the very
production process of the system. An alternative
socio-economic political system has to be put in place and
that can only be socialism. Humanity, thus, has a choice.
As Rosa Luxembourg many decades ago and Fidel Castro
recently put it, this choice is between socialism or
barbarism.

The convergence that we, as communists, are seeking amongst
the anti-war and anti-globalization movements is the key
factor that can prevent humanity from being engulfed by
this slide to barbarism.

Finally, there is a need to address some of the questions
that have emerged in the intense debates within the
anti-globalization movement itself. There has been a
tendency which suggests that the anti-globalization
movement should work for the elimination of corporate
control over resources as well as the state control over
resources. Instead, the movement should aim to establish
people's control over resources. Obviously, corporate
control here refers to capitalism while state control
refers to socialism. Given the experience of the collapse
of the USSR, it has become fashionable to suggest that
state control over resources is neither sustainable nor an
alternative to capitalism.

From this, two tendencies emerge. First, that suggesting
that since socialism has failed, there is no alternative to
globalization (the famous TINA factor). The second
suggests a nebulous alternative called people's control of
resources. Now, people's control requires a social order
that sanctions and legitimises such a control. The only
social order that can ensure the real control over
resources by the people is socialism. True people's control
can never be achieved except under socialism.
Notwithstanding the reverses to world socialism in the
past, the period since has only vindicated that these
reverses do not constitute either a negation of the
socialist ideal or that of the creative science of
Marxism-Leninism. If anything, these reverses are in the
main due to the distortions and deviations from
Marxism-Leninism and socialist ideals. Hence, the
communists' answer to the TINA argument is that the
alternative to TINA is: SITA --- socialism is the
alternative!