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CONTEMPORARY INTERNATIONAL SITUATION AND THE TASK OF PROGRESSIVE FORCES

02 December 2017
WORLD IMPERIALISM in spite of concerted crisis management efforts is incapable of recovering itself from the severe and deep economic and financial crisis of 2007-08 that has its roots in the chronic over-accumulation of finance capital. Speculative bubbles are recurring with worldwide stock market capitalization reaching new record high of around $ 80 trillion in mid 2017, 25 percent higher compared with $ 63 trillion in October 2007 just before the outbreak of the global meltdown. As such, the factors that led to this crisis which are inherent in the neoliberal accumulation are now bouncing back with intensified vigor. In the past, for instance, in the context of the Great Depression of the 1930s when socialist advancement and national liberation movements were advancing, imperialism was compelled to resort to ‘welfare capitalism’ and state intervention as solution to the crisis.

But today, taking advantage of the political weakness of the Left and progressive forces in general, almost everywhere fascist state apparatuses rooted in ultra-rightist, neo-fascist, racist, reactionary and religious fundamentalist forces are propped up by neoliberal capitalism to shift the burden of the imperialist crisis to the backs of workers and oppressed peoples such that workers and people’s upsurges against the reactionary ruling regimes are developing the world over. World unemployment, poverty and inequality have reached record levels and international environmental situation is worsening even as wealth concentration and the number of billionaires are rising. Collapse of the purchasing power of the broad masses and the consequent shrinking of the global market have prompted imperialists to intensify their struggle for domination of world market and spheres of influence giving rise to a growing multi-polarity and sharpening inter-imperialist contradictions.

Thus, a corollary of this crisis-ridden world imperialist economy has been the mounting global political instability in manifold ways. US imperialism, still the leading superpower and chief war monger, sponsor of terrorism and main threat to world peace led by its arch-reactionary president Trump followed by economic blockade is continuing its threat of destruction on North Korea with a nuclear strike characterizing the latter as a “sponsor of terrorism”. Trump administration’s unilateral termination on October 13, 2017 of the 2015 Nuclear Agreement with Iran is an aggressive action directed against Iran. Trump’s provocations and characterization of North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba as “rogue states” which in US diplomacy means those states who do not submit to the will of US imperialism have become open threats to world peace. Along with the tendency to fascistization as manifested in the domestic strengthening of the repressive state apparatus in both imperialist and dependent countries, bourgeois diplomatic deception is giving way to open external reaction and violence in international affairs. Everywhere revolutionary and democratic forces are increasingly intimidated and even arrested and incarcerated. In Europe, in continuation of the ascendancy of rightist and neo-Nazi forces in French and German elections, similar trends are recurring in Austria and Spain.

On November 13, an epoch-making event that points to an extreme crisis of the postwar geopolitical order has unfolded in Europe. While Trump was engaged in his Asia-Pacific tour, in Brussels foreign and defense ministers from 23 of the 27 EU member states (with the exception of smaller states of Denmark, Ireland, Malta and Portugal) has signed a framework document (“agreement on permanent structured cooperation” —PESCO) on a common defense policy, thereby committing themselves for close cooperation in the development and accumulation of weapons, and in making available troops and equipment for joint military interventions, all leading to a “military Schengen” zone. The driving forces behind PESCO that signifies an escalation of European militarism are Germany and France. This initiative that aims at the creation of a European army independent of the transatlantic NATO alliance is reportedly inspired by recent events especially that of the election of Donald Trump and Brexit. Until now, Britain, closest ally of Yankee imperialism, which was successful in preventing the emergence of an alternative to NATO has lost its clout due to Brexit. Further, Trump’s “America First” policy has sharpened the tensions between the United States and Europe. Trump’s sanctions on Russian North Sea gas pipeline to Germany have eliminated a cheap source of fuel to EU as a whole. All these developments have already lost the erstwhile coherence in NATO between the US and EU.In general, European imperialism led by Berlin and Paris has begun openly resisting the US policy particularly in West Asia as exemplified by its open defiance of US approach during the “Qatar crisis.” Today cooperation between EU and US is more or less confined to the tactical use of NATO against Russia, their common enemy. No doubt, in coming days, the increased military outlays in EU in connection with PESCO while on the one hand will unleash all reactionary, chauvinistic and neo-fascist forces shall also sharpen the class contradictions there on the other. Large scale trade wars among various imperialist powers especially in view of Trump’s protectionist policies are imminent.

Meanwhile, the latest East Asia Summit (EAS) in Manila is effectively utilized by the US to revamp the concept of the “Quadrilateral” (Quad) in alliance with its key regional partners, viz., Japan, Australia and India to further develop the so called “Indo-Pacific” bloc targeted against China whose influence is growing in Asia, Africa and globally. That Australia which was unwilling to form part of the Quad—the de-facto anti-China alliance among four states—a decade ago due to Chinese opposition has now joined it shows the growing contradictions between Australia and China but also between the latter and Japan which has started militarizing itself on a large scale. As a result, the Asia-Pacific region has become a hot spot of growing inter-imperialist rivalries especially between the US and China. Quad’s assertion to address the nuclear and missile programs of North Korea also displays US intention to isolate China in dealing with the former. At the same time, Quad’s main thrust will be on challenging Chinese territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea. While US is harping on war and regime change in North Korea in the pretext of the latter’s weapons program, it has intensified its “interventions” in Philippines, Indonesia and other countries of the region in the guise of “countering terrorism.”

Obviously, while China is emerging as a rival centre of global production and world market leader pertaining to trade and finance backed by such initiatives as Shanghai Cooperation Organization along with Russia, Belt and Road Initiative (which is characterized as the Chinese equivalent of America’s postwar Marshall Plan in Europe), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Shanghai based BRICS bank, etc., the US economic position is waning both at regional and global levels. To counter this, while Trump is pursuing extreme protectionist policies as manifested in his repudiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which had been the economic front of Obama’s “pivot to Asia” policy, his criticism of WTO and so on, China has become the ardent champion of “globalization” and open market policies today. US imperialism under Trump is trying to overcome the consequent relative deterioration in its economic position through military means and intimidations everywhere.

Thus, the irreversible imperialist crisis and developments thereof today are leading to disintegration and redrawing of the postwar international relations. These are resulting in new tensions and deep contradictions within imperialism which are moving toward further global instabilities as manifested in large-scale trade wars and regional military conflicts in different parts of the world as evidenced from the situation in West Asia, Syria and Afghanistan including the ongoing US sponsored Saudi slaughter and blockade in Yemen. Along with West Asia, the Asia Pacific is also transforming as dangerous “flash points”.

Imperialist intervention in West Asia and North Africa has led to the biggest-ever exodus of refugee whose number has already crossed 65 million. The Rohingyas in Asia have become one among the most persecuted refugees today.

When poverty, unemployment and inequality are on the rise and environmental catastrophes are recurring, the neoliberal states everywhere are resorting to pro-corporate development paradigm, domestic fascistization and unleashing of threat of war. Against the imperialist and ruling class offensives, workers and oppressed people’s struggles are developing in several Latin American, African and Asian countries. Workers and youth are rising up in the US and in many countries of Europe. Across Asia, workers, peasants, women, youth and students are leading struggles in many countries against neoliberal policies, fascism and reaction. Revolutionary situation is developing in many parts of the world.

However, when the objective situation for a revolutionary transformation is developing everywhere, the subjective factor essential for social change is still weak as is manifested in the relative absence or weak condition of Marxist-Leninist parties and revolutionary organizations deeply rooted among the working class and oppressed masses capable of leading such struggles within the country and at the same time supporting and coordinating them internationally.

As the reactionary essence of imperialism is more catastrophic today, a worldwide anti-imperialist movement based on a revolutionary ideological-political orientation that can effectively challenge the threat of aggression, resist corporatization and all forms of reaction and moving towards democracy and socialism has become an urgent necessity. 

The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.