Resistance to Global Capitalism Demands Unity


Resistance to Global Capitalism Demands Unity of the Working Class

Presentation of the Communist Party of Canada at the International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties 'Current Trends In Capitalism: Economic, Social And Political Impact. The Communists' Alternative,' Athens, 18-20 November, 2005

We believe the main direction of the current century continues to be that of the transition from capitalism to socialism. The appearance of the first socialist state, the struggles and gains of the working class and its allies, the achievements of socialism, the spread of revolutionary ideology and the defeat of European fascism were monumental accomplishments of the past century. The overthrow of the USSR, the resiliency of imperialism and its counter-offensive, which has intensified the struggle and won imperialism a temporary advantage, does not alter the fact that we are in transition to socialism even though we have not yet regained the initiative.

We believe that the imperialist offensive which attempts to force the nations of the world into a 'submit, join' program of imperialist domination is the main danger to humanity. If not combated and eventually defeated, imperialism will threaten the existence of humanity and the natural environment necessary for sustaining human life. The hegemonic plans of imperialism are carried out politically through neoliberal policies and militarily through acts of aggression committed by individual imperialist states or by alliances that are transient and reflect the competition between imperialist states in their drive for world domination. The arms race today is characterized by the development of hi-tech weapons of terror to subdue resistance of the peoples and also to prepare for inter-imperialist wars of supremacy. The most powerful imperialist state, the U.S.A., continues to expand its nuclear monopoly, threatening first-use and the possible annihilation of humanity.

The agendas of the transnational and global corporations, based primarily in the leading imperialist states, are aggressively imposing their neo-liberal political programs onto all sovereign states. The neoliberal agenda delivers the people's wealth, social institutions, sovereignty, culture and resources into the hands of the global corporations whose 'profit and plunder' agenda destroys the quality of life, impoverishes the vast majority of working people and creates famine, disease, desperation and state repression. Neoliberalism seeks to destroy the sovereignty of nations and their cultural-political ability to resist. It seeks to put nations into conflict as a means of 'divide and control' and also as a means of internally destabilizing multi-national states. It seeks to impose 'free trade' deals and other corporate globalization schemes on all national economies, forcing them to integrate into one imperialist cartel or another. It uses economic sanctions and penetration by international financial institutions like the IMF and the World Bank, as well as overt military threats to bully states that resist and insist on developing national programs that favour their people and their sovereignty. The Cuban, Korean, Venezuelan and other peoples daring to challenge the global capitalist neoliberal agenda are coming under increasing attack.
At the same time capitalism, in its imperialist stage, is having difficulties coping with its intrinsic contradictions, global 'relative' over-production, spiralling debt, impoverishment, shrinking markets, and the intensification of inter-imperialist rivalries. The plunder and impoverishment of the peoples in the third world and the attacks on democracy and living standards in the industrial states have given rise to resistance and fightback movements that in turn require more and more repressive laws and responses to control.

One of the features of this period may be a tendency, even among some communists, to view phenomena in absolute terms rather than as part of a dialectical process. There have appeared, even in our movement, tendencies of adaptation and assimilation, born of despondency and the inability to foresee the defeat of the neoliberal agenda and ultimately imperialism. This gives an extended life to reformism and social democracy even though it is not able to provide the ideological and practical leadership the working class needs. At the same time, the resistance and fightback movements have not matured to the point where anti-imperialism has become their main feature and they reach for revolutionary ideology.

This is expressed in the trade union movement, to greater or lesser degree in different countries, as a turmoil, a disorientation, dissatisfaction with leadership and yet, at the same time, a fear of changing it. In Canada we have been going through a period where the trade union leadership weakens or sells out long before the workers have exhausted their ability to fight. Despite this weak and essentially collaborationist leadership however, workers are increasingly prepared to fight. A major victory, for instance, was won in October by a militant strike of school teachers broadly supported by both public and private sector workers who defied a government imposed contract, court injunctions and the threatened seizure of their union assets. Ultimately, the government was forced to make a tactical retreat and negotiate a settlement.

The resistance to neoliberalism is growing universally. Thousands upon thousands of workers are moving into direct conflict with it, and even though the real class-political enemy is not always fully understood or identified, class consciousness is continuing to develop, the nature of the capitalist state more clearly understood and the international imperialist character of globalization and neo-liberalism more fully exposed.

In this period of developing resistance, of fermentation, of transition, of the inability of imperialism to impose its full hegemony, the demand for revolutionary ideology and its ability to connect the past with the future, and provide practical leadership, becomes more important with each passing day.

The need for the communist parties to demonstrate a unified international presence in the struggle cannot be stressed enough. If we advise the masses of people all over this world that their struggle must mature into a united anti-imperialist front, then can we demand anything less of ourselves? We already have a common ideology, we already have a general class position, and we already have a legacy, having dealt numerous defeats to imperialism, and having provided the ideology and leadership for the proletariat to establish socialism in first one, and then a number of states.

Whatever obstacles stand in the way of greater coordination of the Communist and Workers parties must be overcome. Whatever levels we have achieved over these past years must be accelerated. Collectivity is one of the things that define us; should we not see its expression in our relations between parties as well as within them? The form can be as broad and flexible as necessary; autonomy, equality and non-interference can be guaranteed.

The failure to raise our presence to a higher level in the international struggle will allow a political vacuum that will be filled by reformist, collaborationist, anarchist or fifth column imperialists. Can we allow this to happen?

The message I carry to you from my party is a message of complete support for joint efforts directed at strengthening coordination which are already underway, thanks to the work of the Communist Party of Greece and other parties. We strongly urge that this work be carried forward with renewed determination.

Finally, we also wish to inform all parties that the World Peace Forum 2006 will be held in Vancouver this coming June 23 – 28th. In conjunction with this important gathering, our party will organize an international seminar focussing on the political economy of militarism, aggression and war in the world today, and the urgency of building an international democratic, ant-imperialist front. We will be circulating a special letter of invitation to all parties shortly, and hope many will be able to participate next June in Vancouver.

--Sam Hammond, Member, Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada.