A most visible feature of today’s political scene is the intensification of the anti-imperialist struggles in many parts of the globe. Imperialist oppression and the policies which enforce it are under challenge as never before.
A significant and most welcome feature is the breadth of social forces which comprise these movements.
The range of social forces under attack from imperialism is wider than ever before. The working class is imperialism’s main enemy, but not its only enemy. Imperialism seeks to bring every aspect of life on the planet under its prey.
That is why there is such a range of social strata, interest groups, NGOs and others struggling against imperialist globalisation. The sixth World Social Forum, held in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela in January this year, attracted trade unionists, small farmers, women’s representatives, non-government organisations, peace activists, delegations from industrialised capitalist countries and from underdeveloped ones, representatives from many continents, including a delegation from socialist Cuba. All were brought together by their desire to unite to strengthen their battle against imperialism.
Modern-day imperialism is built on the power of the transnational corporations, which today exercise decisive influence over the domestic and foreign policies of capitalist governments. In this, Australia is no exception. Indeed, the role Australia is playing or seeks to play, in this region, in the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and East Timor, illustrates this. Australia’s aims are predatory and exploitative.
Imperialism’s constant goal is to build dependence, to exercise control over the economic, military and cultural development of all states. There is nothing imperialism hates more than independence. Ask Cuba; ask the DPRK; ask Venezuela; analyse events in East Timor.
Imperialism in its grab for resources, in its worldwide campaign for re-colonisation, is militarising economies. The United States will spend at least $567 billion in 2007 to support its military adventures. Australia spends $20 billion each year and it’s rising. In the United States, parents are campaigning to keep the military recruiters out of public schools. In Australia, as part of a new recruiting drive, the ADF (Australian Defence Force) is offering $500 prizes to school students, “for displaying leadership qualities.”
Imperialism’s reactionary policies are spreading. Restrictions on democratic rights and freedoms, including trade union rights, are now the norm. Much is done under the mantra of “fighting terrorism” as in previous times similar policies were enacted under the reactionary imperative to “fight communism”.
But imperialism isn’t having everything its own way.
Hundreds, thousands, millions in today’s world are gaining an anti-imperialist political education, through their experience in struggle, through their reading of history, through their study of Marxism. A fundamental realisation for today’s world is to be aware that imperialism is a system. We must consistently expose the links between the transnational corporations and governments, between corporate power and military power, between corporate aims and images and the mainstream media, including much that passes as “entertainment”. Every aspect of our lives is becoming a battleground on which the aims of the corporations contend with the needs of the people.
It is then, no coincidence in this historical period that one of the most frequently discussed topics among the communist parties around the world is the politics of alliance building, against imperialism. It has frequently been discussed at the Athens conferences, hosted by the Communist Party of Greece.
This is not, of course, the first time in the history of the communist movement, that alliance building has been such a hot topic.
Georgi Dimitrov, the leader of the Bulgarian communists and one of the leaders of the Communist International, wrote much about the unity of the working class and the unity of all democratic forces in the fight against fascism. In The Popular Front Against Fascism and War, written in 1936, he noted:
... when the disunited proletarian detachments ... begin to join hands in the struggle against their common enemy, when the united working class begins to act in common with the peasants, with the petty bourgeoisie and with all the democratic elements on the basis of the popular front programme, the offensive of the fascist bourgeoisie runs up against insuperable barriers. A force now emerges, capable of putting up a decisive resistance to fascism, of preventing its advent to power in the countries of bourgeois democracy, and of overthrowing its barbarous domination wherever it has already been established.
Such political wisdom should not be forgotten.