5th IMCWP, Contribution of Communist Party of Ireland

6/19/03 11:59 AM
  • Ireland, Communist Party of Ireland 5th IMCWP En Europe Communist and workers' parties

Athens Meeting 19-20 June 2003, Contribution by CP of
Ireland
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From: SolidNet
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie ,
mailto:cpi@indigo.ie
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by Eugene Mc Cartan

NEW FORCES ARE EMERGING

The title of this gathering is appropriate to and reflects
the important historical stage in the development of the
anti-imperialist struggle today. Today, right across the
globe from Europe, to Latin America, to Africa, in the
Middle East and on the North American Continent new forces
are emerging after decades of suppression, apathy, and
disillusionment.

The U.S led invasion of Iraq brought forth forces and
movements which were either dormant or drew new forces into
action in the struggle for peace. Particularly in Europe
millions of people where mobilised both in solidarity with
the Iraqi people and in opposition to Bush/Blair coalition.
We had for a moment, and we believe it is still there the
super power of ordinary people world- wide.

A number of interesting processes developed or came to the
fore at the same time.
These where:
People do believe in world governance and collective
security.
That the majority of the world's population still look to
the United Nations for protection, the defence of peace and
the maintenance of international law.
Despite the best efforts of U.S Imperialism and its decades
of striving to dominate and control the United Nations,
that body is still not totally amenable to its demands.
The crisis exposed more clearly than ever, to an even
greater number of people across the globe, the agenda of
the U.S imperialism towards the UN
The United Nations was the only truly international body,
which reflected, however imperfectly, the opinions and
desire of the peoples of the world during the current
crisis over Iraq and their wish to solve conflicts
peacefully.
You had closer co-operation and understanding between peace
forces and anti-globalization activists than ever before.
Increasing numbers of people are beginning to make the
links between relative economic security (developed
capitalist countries), global exploitation of natural
resources, poverty, abuse of national rights, environmental
degradation, and aggressive imperialism.
Although the peace forces did not stop the war it is
important to recognise. We certainly had an impact on how
the war was prosecuted.

The armies of so-called liberation led by the U.S have now
become turned into an army of occupation. The political
maturing of people in being able to see that the real
motivation for this war was not about getting rid of a
cruel dictator, as the world is full of these creatures of
imperialism, but essentially about oil and the
consolidation of the military and strategic foothold of U.S
in the Middle East.

Although the United States and Britain have succeeded in
acquiring Security Council sanction for their occupation of
Iraq, they have still not succeeded in subduing the United
Nations to their will. Thanks in part to inter imperialist
rivalry, but mainly in response to democratic pressure, the
UN remains an obstacle to their ambitions.

Clearly, the interests of the ruling elites do not always
coincide. The divisions which emerged between certain
leading EU states and the United States over Iraq and the
role of the United Nations reflects areas of tension and
potential division and dangers for the future. These
divisions have had the effect of speeding up the process of
European consolidation around the Franco-German axis.

We are also witnessing the attempts by the U.S to
consolidate its influence in Eastern Europe in its effort
to prevent an EU challenge to its world hegemony, its "Old
Europe" and "New Europe" tactic. With the help of the
governments of Britain, Spain, and Italy, it hopes to turn
the EU into a subservient ally. It is worried that an
independent Europe with its own strong currency and
political and military structures would be an obstacle to
its dreams of world domination.

Although globalization represents an acceleration towards
monopoly and homogeneity there are contradictions in the
situation such as competition between imperialisms (or
styles of imperialism) e.g. US verses EU V Japan, or within
the EU between Britain, France and Germany.

It is clear that the United States ruling elite will not
tolerate the emergence of any power, political, economic
most importantly military, which challenges its global
hegemony since the dismantling of the Soviet Union. As far
as it is concerned, it has seen off the challenge from
communism and will not allow any other movement, country,
or group of countries to emerge to rival it.

We are aware that within the wider labour movement of
Europe (and some within our own ranks of communist parties)
who believe that a strong EU is necessary as a bulwark
against the United States. We do not share this view. It is
both short sighted and short termist. It our belief that
there is not and can not be a social democratic or
democratic imperialism, or some unique European benign
imperialism, willing to save the world from the ravages of
a neo-liberal imperialism led by the United States.

The current consolidation of the EU now underway with the
proposed constitution is in our view a grave threat to
national democracy. The expansion of the EU eastwards is
more to do with the consolidation of Franco-German control
and influence and their desire to minimise the influence of
the US in Eastern Europe. They will and are expanding the
market for European monopolies to go into and control these
low wage economies with their resources and infrastructure.
It is also a clear attempt to prevent any return to the
socialist path.

Capitalism/imperialism has never been and by its very
nature can never be, benign. It has only interests.
Therefore, we believe that it is very important that we
have a very thorough discussion on the nature of the EU and
its emergence as a potential rival to the United States on
the global stage.

The consolidation of the EU poses a number of questions.

Is the consolidation of the EU now complete, and has it the
potential to oppose United States hegemony?
Is it in the interest of world peace to have another
imperial power bloc?
Are we witnessing the consolidation of German/Franco power
and control?
Has the nation state outlived its historical life?
Has the potential for democratic social change been moved
from the nation to the super national entity or level?
Should we abandon our own national programmes for a
European wide political programme in order to deliver
change at home?
Whatever the previous question to what extent do we need to
co-ordinate our activities with respect to the European
Union, and its policies?
Whatever our attitude to the EU, should we just accept it
as it is, and do the best we can within it?

It is our belief that the emergence of the E.U as a
potential rival to U.S imperialism will add greater
instability in the long term and cause more difficulties
than it will solve. As far as we are concerned, the nation
state has still not lost its democratic revolutionary
potential. In fact as the limitation of bourgeois democracy
become more apparent, then the struggle for democracy will
intensify both at the political and economic arena.

We are of the belief that the emergence of a centralised
European super state is a grave threat to world peace and
can only lead for future conflict and inter-imperialist
rivalry. As Jacque Delores former EU President put it so
well the future wars of the 21st Century will be resource
wars. Whose resources do they want to control and by what
means to they wish to bring this about?

We witness every day that as more and more powers are ceded
to the EU there is no automatic democratic structure there
to replace that democratic control. The consolidation of
the E.U is in fact part of the historical process of
globalization on our continent. The E. U. is the first
state in history, in so far as it is a state, specifically
designed to serve the interests of monopoly capitalism and
trans-national corporations. The state is not some benign
or impartial force or arena. Whether it is the nation-state
or some super-national state, it plays the same role and
function as it always has done.

There has always been an element in European Social
Democracy, which has cooperated with imperialism. In the
present situation much of the organised working class
movement seems quite happy to go along with the process of
globalization provided its effects on European workers are
ameliorated. In practice, a segment of the working class in
Europe has been convinced there are benefits for them in
globalization/imperialism. This tendency must be countered
by education and information campaigns and, above all by
developing solidarity movements.

US imperialism, in its drive for total world domination,
has promised us never-ending war. The explicit threats
against Iran and Syria in the Middle East, against Cuba and
Venezuela in America have to be taken seriously.
Intoxicated by their apparent victory in Iraq, the American
imperialists and their British and Spanish acolytes regard
themselves as all-powerful, unconstrained by any
considerations of international law or public opinion.
However, they have created problems for themselves, which
they cannot understand, let alone solve. They do not have
the capacity to control the world, according to their
fancy. They can, however, destroy it. Nobody here needs
to be reminded that peace is our priority peace and
solidarity.

The people of Iraq need our continuing solidarity, as the
Saddam dictatorship is replaced by a new colonial regime
the old colonialists the British are back, now in a
subordinate role to the US who have a reluctantly agreed
mandate from the Security Council. The Iraqi Communist
Party is playing a heroic role in leading the resistance
there.
Cuba needs our solidarity The US has made very explicit
threats, saying that the occupation of Iraq has lessons for
Cuba, and their diplomatic representative, James Cason
openly set about organizing subversion of the state. In
addition, a wave of terrorist acts, hi-jacking of boats and
planes was organized.

The very least this conference can do is to send a message
of support to the Cuban party and government, in its
defence of socialism and independence, in its heroic
tenacity in the face of 44 years of blockade and constant
threat from the north. It is worth noting, in passing, that
one of the few times the European Union adopted a common
foreign policy position it was to attack Cuba.

Venezuela has led the continent-wide wave of resistance to
US domination in South America. The US and Spanish
governments were closely involved in the coup d'etat of
April 2002 and the sabotage campaign, reported as a strike,
of December. They continue to support the anti government
campaign of the media and the oligarchy. The US ambassador
entertains the opposition and makes speeches about press
freedom, which can only be regarded as a threat. There is
no doubt that Venezuela continues to be a target for the
US. Support for the government and people of Venezuela is
an essential task for the peace movement.

Communists must be the champions of democracy, both
nationally and internationally. Democracy will be the
bedrock on which we can advance the movement for social
change.

This means we should champion the cause of national
democracy and sovereignty. Champion the struggle for
democracy in international affairs, with a much-reformed
United Nations, which will be accountable to all its
constituent parts equally. These should include more
democracy and control over the role and powers of the
Security Council and the removal of the veto and permanent
status of certain states.

Communists, as well as socialists and democrats in general,
have suffered much from the defeat and collapse of the
Soviet Union and the socialist block. It has affected our
influence particularly within Western Europe and many parts
of the east of the continent. We have been, and are
perceived, as a declining force with a few notable
exceptions.

However, the emergence of new social movements provides us
the opportunity to influence a new generation of political
and social activists. We can bring to these new movements a
very rich political experience of internationalism and
struggle against capitalism on a daily basis. Far from our
time having passed, we believe that our time is just
coming. The conditions are maturing for our
anti-imperialist analysis to find ground that is more
fertile.

It maybe stating the obvious but sometimes we need to do
that. We already are a global movement with nearly a
century of experience, a very unique global
anti-imperialist working class movement. We can bring
something solid and incisive to sharpen the emerging
struggles.