The International situation today presents many a challenge and many an opportunity before the Communist, Left and Democratic movements. The challenges are at ideological and political levels and equally at the level of mass movements and popular actions. The unfurling opportunities are represented by the resistance emerging all over the world to the imperialist globalization which has been widening the gulf between the rich and poor among the nations and within a nation.
The Iraq war has thoroughly exposed the so-called ‘War on Terrorism’ and the real intent of American imperialism. The death sentence awarded to Mr. Saddam Hussein is a travesty of justice it is a judicial assassination of the deposed President of Iraq. The imperialist forces led by the US imperialist waged a war against Iraq saying it possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). They ravaged Iraq but found no WMD under the circumstances the trial of Saddam Hussein was held violating all international legal norms by the Tribunal operating under the occupation of foreign forces. The verdict was in fact scripted in the US imperialist headquarters. The international community must challenge the verdict sentencing Saddam to death and US hegemony and demand that US-British forces quit Iraq.
The attempt to impose unipolar world that after the collapse of Soviet Union has been challenged. Now the real struggle is unipolarism versus multilateralism in international
affairs. This is reflected in the demand for reforming United Nations with more representative character and composition. Also the struggle is witnessed in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
After the nuclear test carried out by Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) which was deplored by all those who believe in peace and disarmament, the situation has thrown open a new debate on the whole question of de-nuclearisation and non-proliferation. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which has been really perpetuating the nuclear haves and have-nots is being questioned. The US and other nuclear powers cannot hereafter dictate to other Nation states.
Since the collapse of Soviet Union some imperialist ideologues tried to present the development as end of ideology and end of history and that there is no alternative to Capitalism. But the reality is otherwise, which has disproved all those campaigns. The emergence of World Social Forum as global coalition with a slogan that Another World is Possible, is one of the any indications of disproving such anti-people campaign.
Now, at this juncture the Communist Parties all over the world will have to strive for appropriate strategy, tactics and actions, not only within their respective countries but at global level to confront the imperialist machinations, powers and their allies.
The Collapse of Soviet Union and After
With the flow of time, it has become more and more obvious that the presence of Soviet Union played a powerful role in international politics as a factor of world peace and a bulwark of anti-imperialist struggles all over the world. This is not at all anyhow to mean accepting uncritically the Soviet type of socialism. We know that there were major flaws in the Soviet model of socialism. This might not be the place to discuss those problems. However, as years move on, the significance of the presence of Soviet Union as well as its loss is immensely felt. The Soviet Union was once named by the American President Reagan as the ‘empire of evil’ that spread war all over the world, but it is being realized now that in the absence of Soviet Union, indeed, war and destruction are being «sown in unprecedented scale all over the world, war on terrorism has been declared by the US Government, campaign for war against Afghanistan and Iraq is going beyond the limits of NATO countries and uninterrupted wars are waged in the Arabian continent for the last six years. The cold war has been replaced by the war against terrorism. It shows the bankruptcy of the US slogan of Soviet Union as the source of evil in world affairs and proves that it is US imperialism that remains as the imminent source of evil and war. Imperialism cannot live without war.
The course of events after the collapse of Soviet Union vividly evidences that world imperialism is not at all willing to allow the nation states and the people of the respective countries to freely opt their course of development in the construction of their future. It is not prepared to leave the countries and peoples of the world, particularly that of the third world, to work out their own independent paths of development. On the other hand, the world imperialism has acted nervously and anxiously to capture the world market that was as if ‘evacuated’ by the socialist influence. It is pertinent to take note of the urgency and hurry with which the American imperialism has gone to invade the world market, particularly the erstwhile third world countries. It is significant to take note of the urgency and rush with which the American imperialism has gone to declare its strategies of globalization and war on terrorism immediately after the collapse of the Soviet bloc. It has become evident that the American imperialism is intolerant to the possible formation of another center of resistance to its domination and imperial designs.
The urgency and hurry of imperialism for world market has to be interpreted adequately. Firstly, imperialism offence witnesses its own economic weakness that it wants to overcome its crisis by taking hold of the energy and strategic raw materials of the third world. It is obviously a neocolonial strategy. Secondly, the American imperialism wants to recreate the world in its own terms. It wants to undermine the unexplored territories of third world countries, particularly agriculture and the natural resources of the third world to capitalist relations. Thirdly, world imperialism has decided to pursue its tested weapon of strategic alliance with the bourgeoisie of the countries of South. Hybrid corporates with the participation of first world capital and third world capital are appearing on the economic map of the world. Fourthly, the American imperialism has rushed to enter into competition with its continental European counterparts to capture the third world market. The latter reminds the colonial competition that was rampant in the earlier centuries.
Globalization and War on Terrorism
Globalization, as we understand, is the attempt to change the international relations in favor of world imperialism through economic, political and military means. While the entire Euro-American imperialism is involved in the process of globalization, it is the American alliance that occupies the most aggressive place in the process. Through the process of globalization, the American imperialism desires to reach out the less capitalized zones of the world, particularly the biologically diverse and mineral rich regions of the third world countries and thus the sources of strategic raw materials. As well it targets the cheap labor force available in third world regions for its human resource intensive information technological industries.
It has to be noted that the present offensive of globalization coincides with the growth of skilled labour-intensive industries such as information technology and multimedia communication. The characteristic feature of the present phase of growth of productive forces is such that it overlaps with knowledge industry and culture industry. It means that the present phase of development implies certain global dimensions. But globalization as it has been spearheaded by world imperialism is not at all intended to support the growth of the present phase of productive forces in their global implication, on the other hand, is aimed to distort the process by spreading the imperialist domination and transforming the international relations in favour of it. We are reminded of the words of Karl Marx. Marx wrote,” The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. Ali fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melt into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man at last is compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and relations with his kind.” (Marx and Engels Selected Works Vol. 1 p.1 11)
The Asian, African and Latin American countries had their experience of capitalist relations during 18~ and l9th centuries that was under the limited and distorted conditions of colonialism. The 20th century opened up possibilities of anti-imperialist freedom movements and options of national democratic development. The present process of globalization is unprecedented intensification of the expansion of capitalist relations and neo-colonialism in those countries. They are undergoing the painful processes of capitalism both at the economic and cultural spheres of life that too in the neocolonial frame. India is one the best cases of this process.
We do not consider that globalization and the war on terrorism are two separate and unrelated phenomena. On the other hand, we are inclined to consider the two interrelated, contributive to one another and two sides of the same coin. If globalization is spreading of capitalist relations and expansion of neocolonial aims more by economic and political means, then war on terrorism is pursuing the same objective through military means. The concepts of consent and coercion as interrelated strategies of dominance suggested by Antonio Gramsci, the Italian Marxist come to help us to understand the present process. Although the process of globalization is involved with a big amount of arm-twisting and other means of political persuasion, it is more of a process that tries to achieve the economic consent of the development hungry developing countries. Through globalization, development is promised to these countries. The third world bourgeoisie is stretching its hands to the international corporate capital. Thus globalization as an economic and political process is addressed to the moderate zones of the world. The case with the war on terrorism is different. It is unilateral military intervention and thoroughly a coercive operation against such countries where potential threats are anticipated by the American imperialism. The Project of New American Century that was prepared well before the September 11 attacks by the think tanks of US Government, as it gets revealed now, contained a two pronged strategy of economic globalization and military occupation of energy rich regions of Arabian subcontinent. With globalization and war on terrorism, the American imperialism is trying to achieve its world dominance in economic, political and military realms.
The Clash of Civilizations
The American imperialism has opened up another front of confrontation against the third world culture that has acquired the name Clash of Civilizations. The terms ‘clash of civilizations’ emerged out from the title of the book penned by Samuel Huntington, a US political scientist who held the view that the economic and ideological confrontation between capitalism and socialism had come to an end, the future world politics would unfold in terms of culture and civilization. It means, Huntington predicted, that the value conflicts between the Euro-American civilization on the one hand and the Arabian, Asian, African and Far eastern civilizations on the other hand might come to the forefront to occupy the political agenda of the future world. Huntington went on to say that the clash of civilizations might unfurl in terms of clash of religions. Despite the political intentions of Samuel Huntington, the agenda of clash of Civilizations has been appropriated by the American imperialism particularly after the September 11 attacks. The American leaders are widely articulating their political confrontation in terms of religions such as Euro-American civilization versus the uncivilized world, Western versus the non-Western, Christianity versus Islam, crusade versus jihad etc. It is a very dangerous development that globalizes the conflict and attempts to polarize the people in each and every country, and ultimately provokes civil wars between / among religious groups in multi-religious countries.
The theme of clash of civilizations belongs to the realm of cultural politics. In tune with the growth in knowledge and culture industry, and activism of media and computer-cum-internet technology in recent times, the platform for cultural politics too gets expanded. Cultural war is utilized for achieving economic and political dominance, and in the present case, neocolonial dominance. The west wants to establish the world empire of capitalism not only in terms of economics and politics, but also in terms of the western capitalist values. Consequently, an open call for clash of civilizations has been issued.
The Marxists too enter into the cultural politics of clash of civilizations. Karl Marx, exposed the falsity and hypocrisy of the bourgeoisie values of Europe. Marx wrote and talked about the fetish of the money values and abject individualism and philistinism of the European bourgeoisie. Marx discovered the alienated consumer values into which the workers were thrown in to. The writings of Young Marx revealed the inhumanness of all capitalist values. In one with the writings of Marx, many 2Oth century Marxists have exposed the depth of alienation and consumer culture in to which the western people are thrown. Even bourgeois thinkers widely wrote about the in-authenticity and practico-inert nature of the western ways of living. They indicate how the ideals of rationality and democracy soundly declared by the early bourgeoisie have come to a disappointing end. Man westem scholars hold the view that economism, scientific rationality, technologism are the root causes of the erosion of spiritual values in the western society. A few other scholars have criticized the colonial intentions laid as epistemological foundation to the western sciences, particularly to the corpus of knowledge produced in humanities. There are anthropological critiques of western values of individualism and rampant consumerism, and consequently calls to return to community values that are abundant in Asia, Africa and Latin America. There is a powerful voice of ecological criticism addressed to capitalism and its irresponsible attitude to the environment. Finally, there are well-articulated postcolonial criticisms that charge the Euro-American imperialism in terms of racism, colonialism and neo-colonialism. In the context of the above-mentioned multifarious criticisms addressed to the western culture, it becomes difficult to understand which sets of western values are represented and defended by the American imperialism in the present debate of clash of civilizations. Rule of capital, individualism, anarchy of market, lack of humanity, ecological disasters, commodification of social values and politics of power and dominance are the western values that stand behind the Euro-American civilization.
However, it is not to glorify the third world values in the present debate of clash of civilizations. The countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America had inhented 50 many social values that are stagnated, semi-feudal and colonial. With inadequate resources and with inefficient political will to start with, many countries of the Southern region are struggling to construct their future. Marx during his late years paid attention to the commune values that were prevalent in Russia and other Asian countries, and predicted that the common property and commune values of these regions could become a powerful source of inspiration to non-capitalist path of development and socialist transformation. Without mystifying the state of affairs in third world countries, we can confidently affirm that the Marxist understanding of commune values in third world countries can become a strong counterweight to the western values of individualism and consumerism. A popular communist mobilization of the third world masses against the neocolonial politics of the imperial west would yield positive results. We can assure that the clash of civilization declared by the American world would not end with the victory of the west.
The American war of civilizations is trying to make use of religion as one of its focal points. This is a very dangerous development. George Bush and Tony Blair often speak the language of conservative Christianity. Even unfortunately Pope got into this politics of religions. The use of religious language by the imperialist leaders shows the bankruptcy of the otherwise secular politics of the western leaders. They invoke the medieval cultural memory of the Christians and the Muslims, thus substantiating the fundamental nature of the conflict. But it is a false substantiation. Religions do not have anything to do with the present conflict of imperialism with the oil-rich Arabia. Religion is addressed to gain popular support to the neocolonial wars. Addressing religion shows the irresponsible attitude of the imperialist politicians to the peoples’ fate. They incite civil wars in every country where people of various faiths live together. Christian religious language is used to contain and discipline the dissenting trends of theology of liberation, Asian theology, black theology or feminist theology within Christianity itself. There is no need to prove the total anti-democratic nature of such disciplining.
The Question of Terrorism
The question of terrorism did not at all start with the September 11 attack on the twin towers of WTC. On the other hand, the American imperialism is trying to insist upon the world opinion that it did start on September 11. It tries to show the world that the attackers of the twin towers and their suspected supporters are the only terrorists against whom the war on terrorism was to be launched. By way of beginning the history from the date of September 11, the US imperialism is compelling the people to forget the political developments that led to the event of September 11. The US imperialism and Israel have postponed the political solution of the Palestinian question for more than 50 years. The US had shattered the national democratic development opportunities of the newly liberated Arabian countries for the last five decades. By direct intervention or with the help of the local stooges, the US had destroyed the democratic movements of these countries. The Al Quaeda and Bin Laden were recruited and trained in American bases to abolish the democratic and pro-socialist movements in Afghanistan and other Arabian countries. To disown this specific history behind the so-called phenomenon of terrorism, the US government wants to start everything from September 11. Terrorism was basically given birth by US imperialism to distort the democratic politics of the Arabian countries.
The present situation is that a polarization is constructed in terms of terrorism and war on terrorism. All countries and political movements, and even every people are asked to get allied either with terrorism or with war on terrorism. Ali the Muslims and all the Arabians are named as terrorists. The space for leftist politics, democratic and moderate social movements in Arabian countries or among the Muslims is thoroughly denied by the above polarization politics.
The communist politics is neither with terrorism nor with the war on terrorism. We want to retain the space for communist and democratic politics in Arab countries or among the Muslims. We do believe that there is a lot of space within the Arabian world for democratic or leftist politics. The American conspiracy to kill such a space has to be countered effectively. The present stage of our struggle has to be fought to assert and affirm the democratic space in middle-eastern politics. Often another dangerous view is created among the Arabian populace that terrorism is the only effective opposition to the American imperialism and its partner in the Middle East, Israel. It would also mean that even political changes within Arabian countries too could be achieved only with the help of the terrorist groups. It is a disastrous hope that is spread among the frustrated Arabian youth. Such a hope would again serve the American designs. It must be made clear that the terrorists should not be taken as the heroes of the Arabian people. The terrorists cannot bring freedom or peace to the Arabian toiling masses. They cannot guarantee the democratic functioning of state and society. The terrorists cannot replace the real democratic initiatives of the people. The terrorists cannot substitute the class struggle of the workers, peasants and other toiling people of the Arabian continent.
The Developing Countries (third World) and Imperialism
The present international situation places the developing countries in the most strategic position. It places the developing countries in exact opposition to world imperialism. It has to be admitted that the third world is not a homogeneous entity. The Third world is in-itself uneven, for a long while intimidated by colonial politics of imperialism, poverty-stricken and development hungry, ethnically and nationally tom by internal confrontations. The nation states are without adequate political will to withstand the onslaughts of imperialism. The people of third world are yet unorganized on class lines as the growth of class formation itself hampered by traditional conflicts. However, the present introduction of the politics of globalization has called for polarization of the third world politics against imperialism. Imperialism threatens to loot the strategic raw materials of the third world, its rich biodiversity, its traditional knowledge and technology, and finally its human resources. Imperialism introduces and aggravates the traditional ethnic or caste conflicts of the third world countries.
Once the confrontation in the developed world had gone to the background, imperialism returns to its colonial politics. The present world situation is aggressively against developing countries. The entire economic, political and military might of imperialism; particularly of the American imperialism is turned against the developing countries. The first victims might be the Arabian countries, however, the other third world countries too have started feeling the heat of the offence. Globalization, war on terrorism and the clash of civilizations are the varying faces of the unified strategy of war against the third world countries. The basic contradiction of the world politics is getting transformed into the contradiction between imperialism and the erstwhile third world countries. The qualitatively new situation has to be taken into account if we want to plan our response. The term terrorism in relation to the third world means the nomenclature coined by imperialism stamped upon the most uncompromising resistance to the imperialist designs. It means that although at present the term terrorism has certain ambiguities, potentially it is aimed to cover every form of strenuous resistance, democratic and communist resistance, to imperialist neo-colonialism. The American imperialism wants to dissolve the multifarious forms and levels of third world resistance to imperialism into the term terrorism by which it wants to achieve success in the politics of language.
The third world is not unaware of the imperialist offence. It has begun to respond to the situation. No world meet on globalisation goes without demonstrations of resistance. Regional and international coordination are emerging among the third world countries in encountering the trade and other economic policies of global superpowers. However, it should be stated that we have to intensify our means of organizing the third world peoples’ movements against the politics of globalization. The Left and democratic forces are to be effectively mobilized to pressurize the national states to act against the global polities of neocolonialism. The arena of national polities must be filled up with fresh energy of anti-imperialism and anti-colonialism. Often it is felt that the amount of unity achieved against globalization has not been yet reached in questions of fight against war on terrorism. This happens due to lack of understanding that globalization and war on terrorism are unrelated. Many national states of third world are indirectly attracted to the side of imperialism in the issue of war on terrorism. Certain regional problems distort the standpoints of the nation states. Many third world countries are yet to realize sufficiently that the imperialist war on terrorism is aimed ultimately against them. Countries like India or Sri Lanka or Pakistan due to their internal problems still feel that terrorism is to be fought globally. They join hands with imperialism and allow the imperialist powers to meddle with their internal problems to contain the militant resistances within their own countries. This is a dangerous line of development. Such countries are yet to escape from the imperialist trap. Their internal problems, even of militant character, no doubt, are to be addressed, but not at all through the imperialist mediation. Imperialism must be kept out by all means and the pending problems are to be resolved with earnest efforts. The nation states must rely upon their own peoples’ will and the democratic forces within their own country.
The Latin American Option
The developments in Latin American countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina at the wake of 21st century are strikingly illuminative. If the US government by its war on terrorism wanted to design the world politics as at the aftermath of September 11, the progressive world history of 2lst century has started taking shape from the Latin American developments. It is very much and fundamentally against the will of the American imperialism. The entire world is presently looking at Latin America curiously. In Latin American countries the Left forces have achieved political power through popular elections. Of course, it would be naïve to believe that the Left in Latin America have achieved the present success exclusively by electoral means. Behind the successes of Venezuela and other Latin American countries stand the years long struggles of Cuba and the legendary leaders of Che Guevara, Castro and many others. Behind the victories of the Latin American countries stand the political and cultural memory of the Latin American people who heroically fought the American inspired fascist dictatorships in Chile, Salvador and Nicaragua. The victories of the Latin American Left only typically express the many years of armed and democratic resistance fought in that continent during the entire 20th century. It was a very long period of ardent anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggles that have come to fruit today.
Latin America today symbolizes the inalienable unity of patriotic nationalism, democracy and communist forces. It is fervently anti-colonial and was consistently resisting the politics of globalization in its earlier form. The Latin American Left have succeeded to reach the popular masses, the native Americans, the peasants, the intellectuals and artists. Thus the support is overwhelming. For a very long time the American imperialism had distorted the democratic path of the Latin American national states. The people have responded to the neocolonialism appropriately.
Some scholars are inclined to see the latest development in Latin America as a version of popular Marxism. Popular Marxism, according to them, is the overwhelming support to Marxist forces as they are seen as conjoining the varying interest of the toiling classes of the country. It is a popular alliance of the workers, peasants and intellectuals above all. More broadly, it means the popular alliance of the all the toiling masses, the local ethnic and nationalist forces along with the intellectuals and artists. It has to be noted that the peasantry and the rural populace occupies the majority in this alliance. The Communist party plays the role of mosaic or cementing in this alliance. This is in une with the thought of Antonio Gramsci, the great Italian Marxist. Although Antonio Gramsci designed this particular idea of popular politics keeping in mind the alliance of workers of North Italy, the peasants of South Italy and the new intellectuals of Italy, the idea has come to stay with the Latin American Marxists who were inspired very much by Antonio Gramsci. The popular alliance or the historic bloc is achieved without much valorizing the role of any particular class as the hegemonic force of the alliance. It is also stitching together the varying interests of the toiling social groups that exist in a particular historical period in a country. It is the concrete alliance of the concrete Left and democratic forces in the given conditions of a country. The revolutionary changes in Latin American countries are not conditioned by a unilinear or a monolithic contradiction, but over determined, to use a term by Althusser, by various historical contradictions. The Left and democratic forces could sensitively bring to alliance the entire factors of resistance to imperialism and its local stooges. The communists could succeed in not allowing the pro-imperialist national bourgeoisie to assume the leadership of the country. This means that in the present stage of struggles against imperialism, the communists are to achieve and consolidate national democratic and socialist strongholds in their respective countries.
Ever since India embarked upon the path of neoliberal economic development adopting the structural adjustment programs of liberalization, globalization, and privatization (LPG), only a tiny section of the society has been reaping the so called ‘benefits’ of reforms leaving behind vast majority of the toiling people with poverty, unemployment and even destitution. Working people of both Organized and Unorganized Sectors are under attack, since agriculture is in deep crisis with farmers committing suicides unabated and vast majorities of unskilled agricultural workers migrating to urban centers for livelihood. As the majority of the country is languishing under the onslaught of the LPG, tiny islands of prosperity have started appearing depicting the stark difference in the way the fruits of LPG has been distributed to the rich. The big business houses and MNCs are making most out the reforms, by subverting the labor laws and pursuing anti-labour practices. The juggernaut of the privatization has been displacing tribals from their lands in the name of mining and even killing them if necessary, if they protest.
The right-wing communal and imperial forces are trying vehemently to disrupt the growing movement of working people, tribals, dalits and peasantry. This is overlapped and juxtaposed by the deep social divide that exists in India in the form of caste discrimination wherein Dalits (Untouchables) and Tribals are kept out of the ongoing process of LPG. The isolation of these communities is deep rooted. Even though the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, headed by Indian National Congress Party which is presently supported by Left in India has brought about few progressive legislations such as Rural Employment Guarantee and Right to Information, the imperialist forces have worked their way into influencing economic and foreign policies. The Left and Communist movements must strengthen the class struggles of toiling people in a comprehensive way against economic oppression and social discrimination keeping in view social justice aspects of the discriminations against Dalits and Tribals which are unique to India due to the existence the pernicious Caste system.
The above exposition of the international situation is founded upon the concrete analysis of the situations prevailing in the world. The communists are to take note of the dangers into which the world is thrown as well as to work out strategies to handle them. The major battles are to be fought against imperialism from the point of view of the perspectives of Socialism and anti-colonial democratic changes in world. The question of world peace and campaign against war acquires significance here. Once again the situation reiterates that Socialism is the future and it is the alternative for long lasting peaceful world to live in. The Socialism in future will have pluralistic forms. There cannot be a single model. Each nation will have its own path of Socialism, depending upon the historic conditions and social background. The ideological and political pursuits to accomplish revolution and building nations with socialism will have to continue with more determination based on our own experiences and drawing lessons from similar situations all over the world.
Communist Party of India