Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Red C Poll on EU changes

Red C poll finds lack of public awareness of changes in EU decision making process and strong public resistance to pay more for survival of Euro currency
At the launch of a Red C opinion poll in Dublin today the Peoples Movement warned that Irish people were unwilling to make further sacrifices to ensure the future of the Euro currency and that they were unaware of forthcoming fundamental changes to the voting system in the EU Council of Ministers.
The Red C poll was commissioned by the EU Democrats; a Brussels based pan-EU political organization, for the People’s Movement in Ireland.  The President of the EU Democrats, former MEP Patricia McKenna , said that the findings of the poll show a lack of public awareness of forthcoming fundamental changes to decision making at EU level and also shows a strong resistance to any further suggested costs to taxpayers to help bail out the Euro currency. 
McKenna said it was notable that despite two referendum campaigns 69% of Irish people were still unaware of the most significant political change introduced by the Lisbon Treaty - which is that voting in the all powerful EU Council of Ministers will move to a population based system giving a huge increase in voting power to the big States at the expense of small States like Ireland. In 2014 Ireland will see its vote more than halved to less than 1% while Germany will see its vote doubled to 16%.
She said, these findings come as no surprise to members of the Peoples Movement because we have argued consistently that there was a deliberate policy by the Government and the political establishment to keep Irish people in the dark about this fundamental change to the EU law-making process. From November, under the new population-based system, the six largest EU States will increase their share of Council votes from 49% to over 70% while the combined voting share of the 22 smallest States will fall from 51% to less than 30%.
People’s Movement patron and artist Robert Ballagh said, the findings that 72% Irish people would be resistant to any cuts in pay, social welfare or pensions to ensure the survival of the Euro currency should provide a strong health warning to any further plans by Government for continued austerity measures.  It is significant to note that despite Irish people’s current attachment to the Euro a large majority will resist any further pain to ensure its survival.  Clearly Irish people’s generosity will only stretch so far.  The Irish taxpayer has already paid a high price for the Euro’s survival. It is now a well known fact that in order to protect the Euro project the EU and ECB put pressure on the Irish Government to provided the infamous 2008 blanket guarantee for all loans by Irish banks thus ensuring that these debts were transferred onto the backs of the Irish taxpayer.
People’s Movement member, Kevin McCorry pointed out that while Irish public opinion appears polarised in terms how concerned they believe the ECB is with Irish interests, the findings overall show a slight majority, 52% of people have little or no confidence in the ECB’s ability to take account of Irish interests. He said this is a significant finding, in that the main EU institution controlling the economies of all Eurozone countries including Ireland attracts little public confidence from Irish people.  Furthermore, it highlights yet again the serious democratic deficit at the heart of the EU structure because even if 100% of people distrusted the ECB it would be irrelevant as there is no mechanism to hold this vital decision-making institution to account.

Communist Greetings...

CPI New Year

Syrian Communist Youth Union

Happy new year 2014!

Let us reinforce the struggle against imperialism!

Syria will not Kneel down!

Syrian Communist Youth Union - Khaled Bagdash Youth

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Priorities of the Peace Movement

Final Communiqué of the Executive Committee Meeting of WPCCaracas November 23-25, 2013

The Executive Committee (EC) of the World Peace Council held successfully from November 23-25, 2013 in Caracas its first meeting after the Assembly of Kathmandu (July 2012). The meeting was hosted in excellent conditions by the Committee of International Solidarity (COSI), the WPC member in Venezuela.

We recall very well the holding of our World Peace Assembly in 2008, where we declared Caracas as the “World Capital of Peace and Anti-imperialist struggle”. Our Assembly then was held under the auspices of the late President, Commander Hugo Chavez, to whom we paid our deepest respect for his huge contribution and successful leadership in the Bolivarian revolution, as a genuine leader of his people with broad recognition worldwide.

The WPC salutes the people of Venezuela which is struggling and defending its achievements, trying to open ways for the deepening of the Bolivarian process, against the subversive actions and the economic war carried out by the local oligarchy and imperialist forces, especially this period. We defend the sovereign right of the Venezuelan people to decide upon its future and wealth, for its empowerment in order to become the true master of its destiny.

The EC of the WPC met in a period of increasing aggressiveness of imperialism in all corners of the world, all fields and aspects of human life. The deep economic crisis of capitalism creates unprecedented new sufferings for hundreds of millions of people, poverty, unemployment, hunger and misery, along with the immense profits of the big capital and the multinational corporations. The synchronized expression in all parts of the world, the grave consequences in Europe for its peoples and youth, shows the nature of the crisis of a system which can not solve the problems of humanity, it is only aggravating them.

The various imperialist forces and centres are competing fiercely for their shares in markets and control of energy and natural resources while they act together against peoples and nations who do not submit to their plans. Whether it is the USA, or NATO, or the European Union with various alliances, the attacks on peoples’ rights, on their sovereignty and independence, on the right to decide upon their future is present world wide.

The WPC expresses its serious concerns about the situation in the Middle East which a focus point for the imperialist forces, while today the main target is Syria, Iran comes next in the bloody plans to control the area.

We denounce the operations of armed “opposition” groups inside Syria which are being sponsored, trained and guided in their subversive actions to destabilize the country, spreading death and terror over the Syrian people. With the dominant role of the Gulf Monarchies, Turkey and the supervision of the USA, NATO and the EU, the interference in the domestic affairs of Syria has reached new dangerous levels. Despite the opening of negotiations on the Iran nuclear energy issue and the consensus about a new Geneva conference on Syria, imperialist threats and provocations are alive, since the agreement on the control and destruction of the Chemical weapons of Syria cannot be considered a durable basis for peace, while war operations inside and outside Syria is going on.

The WPC is aware of the imperialist plans in the Middle East, in particular of the US-Plan for a “Great Middle East” which has been endorsed also by NATO. What is happening now in Syria is part of this very plan, which has Iran as its next target. Iran is being targeted with the pretext of its Nuclear Program, but the real motivation is the geo-strategical control and the rich energy resources of this country. The WPC expresses its solidarity to the people of Iran and its peace loving forces in their complex struggle to achieve peace, democracy and social progress and rejects categorically the external threats and sanctions which are aiming at a regime change.

While condemning the open support of the USA and the EU to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, we reaffirm our support and solidarity with the Palestinian people for ending the occupation and for the establishment of an independent Palestinian State within the borders of 1967 and East Jerusalem as its Capital. Furthermore we demand the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Syrian Golan heights and the Lebanese Sheba farms and we firmly support the solution of Palestinian Refugees’ issue on the basis of UN Resolutions 194 and the release of all Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.

The WPC reaffirms the demand for the complete withdrawal of all occupation forces from Afghanistan and Iraq and draws the attention of all peace loving forces to the plunder of the natural resources of Libya along with the suffering of its people, after the NATO aggression of 2011 and the dismemberment of the country.

While the capitalist economic crisis along with the policies of the governments and the EU are leading dozens of millions of people in Europe to poverty and misery, the EU is developing further its military pillar based on the Lisbon treaty for an active role in the cooperation and competition amongst imperialist centres and forces. The European Union does not restrict any more itself to “crisis management” or “security provider” worldwide but aims to become a “global player” also in the so-called “state building” which means the installation of protectorates and willing regimes. The main areas the EU is describing as targets are the energy supplies and management (oil, gas, the pipelines) the water resources and reserves. The EU is further militarizing its structures applying new forms of cooperation (“pooling and sharing”) for its members, it is developing the “Battle Groups” and adding as military aims the “security of European citizens”, which constitutes an open declaration to intervene in the future militarily in civil clashes and uprisings. The EU is enhancing its cooperation with NATO further, but at the same time trying to develop its research& technology capacity (program Horizon 2020) with the aim to obtain its own drones and military satellites.

The WPC denounces the plans of the government of Cyprus to affiliate to NATO’s “Partnership for Peace”. We support the solution of a Bi-Zonal, Bi-Communal Federation with political equality, one citizenship and one international entity in Cyprus as it is described in the relevant UN resolutions. A solution that will lead to the full demilitarization of the Island including all the foreign military bases.

In Asia Pacific Region, the so called “return of USA” in the region in reality is the increase of USA engagement in the region, to secure the strategic interests of the USA in economic and political field, to put a halt in China’s growing and emerging appearance in the region. The USA has declared that it would deploy 60 percent of its Military force in the Asia Pacific Region (“Pivot to Asia”). The USA is pressurizing countries in the Asia Pacific Region to have strategic alliance with them and already signed such treaties with some countries. This is aimed at expanding its military influence as well as exploiting the mineral resources like oil and gas in the sea around the area.

In central Asia, the US is trying exit its disastrous military presence in Afghanistan, while maintaining its extensive network of military bases. It continues to grossly violate the sovereignty of Pakistan, carrying out criminal bombings using drone aircrafts.

On the Korean Peninsula, the DPRK continues to be threatened by US military bases and nuclear warheads. Repeated joint military exercises by the US, Japan and South Korea serve to escalate tension. The WPC supports the Korean people's struggle against imperialist plans, for independence and sovereignty, for demilitarization and nuclear disarmament, and for the peaceful reunification of Korea.

In Africa, brutal exploitation by multinational corporations continues with the full military support of the US and EU.  Millions of people live in misery and thousands die every day due to hunger, lack of medicine, and contaminated water.  Imperialist forces pursue their long-standing policy of divide and rule by direct intervention, and also indirectly by fostering divisions and civil clashes. Africa has become theatre of intra-imperialist contradictions and rivalries which are further compounded by the presence of emerging powers on the continent. The overflow of the insurgencies from the imperialist war on Libya in 2011 is creating instability and the cultivation of religious extremist groups who have worked to nurture religious conformity in the region, who have used the countries who share open borders of the Sahara desert. The WPC reaffirms its solidarity with the people of Western Sahara.  We condemn the occupation of Western Sahara by the Kingdom of Morocco and underline our solidarity with the just struggle of the Saharawi people, for their inalienable right to self determination under a free and democratic referendum.

The WPC expresses its profound solidarity with the peoples of Latin America. US imperialism, in league with reactionary forces in the region, is threatening several governments in the area with particular pressure on socialist Cuba and Venezuela.  It is also trying to subvert progressive governments in Ecuador and Bolivia.  Many Latin American nations, inspired by the Cuban Revolution, have produced progressive social, economic and political achievements that have improved the living conditions of the poor and working people.  The WPC supports these developments, which reflect the peoples' long struggles for empowerment and determination of their future.

We are following the peace talks taking place in Havana between the Colombian government and the insurgency and express our solidarity with the Colombian people with the wish to reach durable peace and abolition of the causes which led to the political, social and military conflict in the country for decades now.

The USA but also the EU have not given up their reactionary role in the region. While competing with each other they go hand in hand in imposing political, trade and military agreements with many countries. The USA is deploying new military Bases in South and Central America additional to the re-launch of the 4th naval fleet.

The WPC reaffirms its full hearted solidarity with the Cuban Revolution and its people, 55 years after the triumph of the revolution and denounces the criminal blockade imposed by the USA on Cuba along with the demand to shut down the concentration camp at Guantanamo base and the complete removal of the Base from Cuban soil. We demand the release of the remaining 4 Cuban patriots from the US prisons, which constitutes an act of political revenge by the USA against Cuba.

Imperialism’s increased aggression against the peoples of the world puts humanity at serious risk. Today, more than ever, we need to intensify our anti-imperialist and solidarity actions and strengthen WPC member movements in each country. This way, we can confront and defeat our main enemy.

To meet this challenge, and place our movement at the forefront of the global struggle for peace, we must build a broad anti-imperialist front for peace. Especially during the deep economic crisis of the system, we need to highlight the relation of Capitalism, its crisis and the tendency to wars and aggressions. We must connect our peace agenda with all struggles – for decent jobs and wages, for social rights, for public health, against commercialization of culture and education, for a safe and secure environment.

In this context the WPC is going to take initiatives and actions, to hold meetings and conferences in the coming period giving also continuity to the decisions taken in the May/June Secretariat meeting in Portugal. We highlight some points of the plan of action below:

  • To observe in all countries an international action day on 8th December 2013 in solidarity with the Venezuelan people and the Bolivarian Revolution
  • To support the holding of the 18th World Festival of Youth and Students in December 2013 in Quito, Ecuador
  • To support the International conference for a Weapons of Mass Destruction free Middle East in Haifa and Ramallah in December 2013
  • The 65th anniversary of the World Peace Council, with the idea to hold events all over the world and culminate with a central event in Havana end of October 2014
  • The 100th anniversary from the start of the World War I by highlighting the dangers for new imperialist wars and aggressions today
  • The 15th anniversary of the NATO aggression against the peoples of Yugoslavia with a special international conference to be held in Belgrade on 22-23 March 2014
  • The 75th anniversary of the occupation of Czechoslovakia with an international event on 15-16 March 2014 in Prague
  • To hold the continental regional conference of the America in Buenos Aires in June 2014
  • Within the broader struggle against militarism and imperialist wars and International Campaign for the dissolution of NATO to be culminated on 4th-5th September 2014 at its summit in South Wales,UK(65th anniversary of NATO)
  • The 40th anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Cyprus with an international event in summer 2014 in Nicosia
  • The 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War II
  • The International Solidarity Meeting with the Cuban Revolution in Havana October 27-31, 2014
  • The support to the “International Initiative for Justice” in Turkey by the Peace Association aiming in proving the criminal complicity of the Turkish government in the war crimes against the Syrian people.
  • To carry out an International mission to Syria in solidarity with the Syrian people
  • To hold the Asia/Pacific regional meeting of WPC in India in 2014

CYM New Years Message

Merry Christmas to all the supporters of the CYM. In 2014, we look forward to working with all our friends and comrades, to build a broad left youth movement, that opposes the neo-liberal policies of both the Irish elite and the European Union technocrats. Young people in Ireland need a politically conscious and organised movement that struggles for jobs, services and equality.

To other socialist groups, we say that the situation right now is too serious for us to be divided by dogma or left wing sectarianism. Only the unity of young progressive people is capable of building a successful movement to defeat austerity. We should all focus on building the entire left, and not just work towards the growth of our own organisations.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Statement on Ukraine


On 8th sacrilegious act of vandalism - under the guise of European values, while the crowd cheered of brutal extremists was destroyed the Lenin`s monument in the center of Kiev. 

World leading TV channels showed shocking footage how frenzy representatives fascist "Freedom" party headed by Oleg Tyagnibok broken monument, shouting at the same time that the next target will be the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych. 

The so-called "opposition" in Ukraine has openly demands punishment of government officials, while virtually disrupted public order, starting in Kiev pogroms, built barricades, the center of the Ukrainian capital virtually paralyzed. 

At the same time, foreign ministers of Poland, Lithuania and Sweden, as well as some of the leading politicians of the European Union - do not hesitate to provoke further the intensity of the situation in Ukraine. Representatives of the European People's Party openly express approval of the situation in Ukraine. Many Ambassadors of the European Union in their comments express approval of overthrowing the government in Ukraine, breaking the immutable principle of non-interference of world diplomacy. Impossible to imagine a situation where the riots, such as in France or in Sweden - one of the politicians of other countries have expressed approval of the actions of aggressive crowd, the same way - it is impossible to imagine interference in the affairs of another state of the diplomatic corps. 

Tragic events in Ukraine are served under the guise of fighting for European values, but about what European values are we talking about, when in place of the demolished monument was the flag of the European Union, when there are calls for the physical destruction of the authorities in the name of European values. European values cannot be considered evidence of severe beatings aggressive crowd of hundreds of unarmed law enforcement officers under the Administration of the President of Ukraine, at the same time, many of law officers were seriously injured. 

We believe that the actions of the so-called "opposition" and fascist party "Freedom", which destroy monuments, committing massive provocation against law enforcement officials and public servants, numerous seizures of state institutions in Kiev - in no way can be European values. 

Unfortunately, pro-Western media only show only part of the truth, in fact, real of December, 2013 the entire civilized world has witnessed the events from a neutral point of view are silenced. European public is brought to the knowledge that, ostensibly, "the entire Ukrainian people defended for the European choice", but in fact there is a substitution of concepts, and instead of European rhetoric in Ukraine is carried out a coup d'etat. 

I ask you to support the left forces in Ukraine. The current situation in Ukraine is a continuation of a series of coups in the Arab world, but with European characteristics.
I ask you severely to condemn the "Freedom" party. 

I ask you to call to boycott by political elite all over the world as regards leaders  of "Freedom" party and deputies from the faction of "Freedom" in the Parliament of Ukraine. 

I ask you to call the World Community to sober assess of the real situation in Ukraine and to prevent further extremist and provocative actions of the so-called  "opposition" and "Freedom" party headed by Oleg Tyagnibok. 

I ask you to call all deputies in your National Parliaments of all level and officials who is a member of your party to support by all means the position of Communist party of Ukraine. 

About any your activity please inform the International Department of the CC of  Communist party of Ukraine, because we are going to inform Ukrainian society about  your position.
I sincerely believe in your support.

Yours faithfully

The First Secretary  of the Central Committee of the Communist party of Ukraine,
The Head of the deputy faction of the communists in Ukrainian Parliament, The Member of the Ukrainian permanent delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Petro Symonenko

Update from the YCL Israel

Young Communist League of Israel: Our current struggles
From Young Communist League of Israel: "Our current struggles", a declaration presented to the 18th World Festival of Youth and Students," held in Ecuador.

1. The Struggle Against the Prawer Plan

The Israeli government is planning to legislate a law (known as "Prawer Plan") which will drive away from their homes more than 35,000 Arab-Bedouins, who reside in the southern Negev desert. Up to 35 villages will be demolished and their lands confiscated, even though they are citizens of Israel and supposedly entitled to equality before the law.
The YCLI has been active in a broad youth movement to stop the Prawer Plan, with some of our cadres arrested during the last national day of protest.
We urge all the members of WFDY, and all progressive and democratic youth organizations, to raise their voice in protest against this barbarous plan.

2. Solidarity with the Refuseniks

For the majority of young people in Israel, military service is mandatory at the age of 18. The majority of Arab youth is exempted, but for those Arab youth who belong to the Druze community – military service is mandatory as well.
Our Comrade Omar Saad is currently imprisoned because of his refusal to enlist to the Israeli army, and to fight his own people. His statement of refusal acknowledged the fact that the Druze community is part of the broader Arab-Palestinian community in Israel, contrary to the Israeli government policy of divide-and-rule.
Previously we were involved in the successful campaign to free Natan Blanc, a young Jewish conscientious objector, who was jailed for 177 days for his refusal to serve the occupation.
The YCLI encourages our fraternal youth movements to organize solidarity with the young conscientious objectors (the so-called "refuseniks"), and to pressure the Israeli government and army to recognize the legitimacy of their refusal.

3. Defending the Rights of Young Workers

The YCLI is issuing material, in Hebrew and Arabic, aimed at young workers, with the intention of educating them about their rights at the workplace: minimum wage, sick days, their right to a secure environment, without sexual harassment and without being discriminated against, etc.
We have motivated a bill in the Israeli parliament aimed at equating the minimum wage law, so that teen workers will paid the same as workers above 18 years of age.

4. Turning Student Councils into Instruments of Struggle

Many high schools have elected student councils, but these bodies rarely act as an independent platform for student organizing, and they are usually co-opted by the establishment and the Ministry of Education.
Comrades from the YCLI have initiated holding elections for student councils in schools where these bodies did not previously exist, and were elected to responsible positions within the councils, with the aim of using them as an instrument to politicize and radicalize students.

5. Against Forcing "National Service" on Arab Youth

The government wishes to force Arab youth – which is generally exempted from military service – to undergo "National Service" at the age of 18. The rhetoric used by government to justify this act, is saying that the fact that Arab youth is exempted from the army – is the reason for their discrimination in society. Therefore the "national service" is being promoted as a way to achieve equality.
The YCLI rejects this false equation, which ties together basic civil rights with the idea of "civil duties", and reiterates its call for achieving complete national and civil equality for Arab-Palestinian youth within Israel – first and foremost, without any government preconditions.

6. Strengthen Internationalism

The YCLI is thoroughly committed to internationalist ideals and values. We are a Jewish-Arab youth movement, inside a state where problems of racism and nationalism run deep. No other youth movement in Israel is active among both Jewish and Arab young people, and tries to build a joint vision for an equal, democratic and peaceful society.
The YCLI sees itself as part of the world Communist and Progressive youth movement, and wishes to strengthen its links with other similar organizations.
We stand in solidarity with the heroic uprising of the youth in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and elsewhere in the Middle East; an uprising which was grounded in the ideas of democracy, secularism, social justice, national independence, and respecting the rights of women and minorities.
We stand alongside the youth of Iran and Syria, which are being the target of the aggressive and provocative threats and actions of the Israeli government, US Imperialism, and its reactionary allies in the region.
We are inspired by the progressive developments in Latin America, and especially by the example of the Cuban Revolution and its leadership.
We feel a sense of solidarity with the social protest movements of young people in Spain, Greece, the United States, and elsewhere.
We believe that the goal of peace, democracy and Socialism – is the common ground that brings all of our movements together.

Young Communist League of Israel
P.O Box 26205, Tel-Aviv 61261
Tel: +972-52-833-0046, Fax: +972-3-6297263, Email: ycl.israel@gmail.com

Some writings from Samir Amin

Samir Amin is an Egyptian born Marxist and one time member of the both the Communist Party of France and the Communist Party of Egypt. Today, he is one of the formost Marxist thinkers on Imperialism, inspired by the critical Marxists developments of Lenin and Luxembourg.  Amin sees the world as divided in a centre and periphery controlled by the colllective imperialism of the US, EU and Japanese triad.

Below are a few short articles readers might find of interest:

At the Heart of Today's Problem: Capitalism of Oligopolies, Which Has Been Generalized, Globalized, and Financialized

Capitalism has reached a stage of centralization and concentration of capital out of all comparison with the situation only 50 years ago, and I thus describe this capitalism as one of generalized oligopolies.  "Monopolies" (or, better, oligopolies) are in no way new inventions in modern history.  What is new, however, is the limited number of registered oligopolies ("groups") which stands at about 500, if only the colossal ones are counted, and 3,000 to 5,000 in an almost comprehensive list.  They now determine, through their decisions, the whole of economic life on the planet, and more besides.  This capitalism of generalized oligopolies is thus a qualitative leap forward in the general evolution of capitalism.

The reason given for this evolution - and usually it is the only one - is that it is the inevitable result of technological progress.  This is only very partially true - and even so, it is important to specify that technological invention is itself commanded very largely by the requirements of concentration and gigantism.  For much production, efficiency not only does not demand gigantism but, on the contrary, "small" and "medium" enterprises.  This is the case, for example, with agricultural production, in which modern family agriculture has proved to be far more efficient.  But it is also true of many other types of production of goods and services, which are now subordinated to the oligopolies that determine the conditions of their survival.

In actual fact, the most important real reason is the search for maximum profits, which benefits the powerful groups who have priority access to capital markets.  Such concentration has always been the response of capital to the long, deep crises that have marked its history.  In recent history, it happened for the first time after the crisis that started in the 1870s and for the second time, exactly a century later, in the 1970s.

This concentration is at the origin of the "financialization" of the system, as this is how the oligopolies siphon off the global surplus value produced by the production system, a "rent monopoly" that enables oligopolistic groups to increase their rate of profit considerably.  This levy is obtained by the oligopolies' exclusive access to the monetary and financial markets which thus become the dominant markets.

"Financialization," therefore, is not, in any way, the result of a regrettable drift linked to the "deregulation" of financial markets, even less of "accidents" (like subprimes) on which vulgar economics and its accompanying political discourse concentrate people's attention.  It is a necessary requirement for the reproduction of the system of generalized oligopolies.  In other words, as long as their (private) status goes unchallenged, the talk of bold "regulation" of the financial markets is in vain.

The capitalism of generalized and financialized oligopolies is also globalized.  Here, again, "globalization" is in no way a new characteristic of capitalism, which has always been "globalized."  I have even gone further in the description of capitalist globalization, stressing its inherently "polarizing" character (producing a growing gulf between the "developed" centers of the system and its dominated peripheries).  This has taken place at all stages of capitalist expansion in the past and present, and it will in the foreseeable future.  I have also advanced the thesis that the new phase of globalization is necessarily associated with the emergence of the "collective imperialism of the Triad" (the United States, Europe, and Japan).

The new globalization is itself inseparable from the exclusive control of access to the natural resources of the planet exercised by collective imperialism.  Hence the center-peripheries contradiction - the North-South conflict in current parlance - is central to any possible transformation of the actually existing capitalism of our time.  And more markedly than in the past, this, in turn, requires the "military control of the planet" on the part of the collective imperialist center.

The different "systemic crises" that have been studied and analyzed - the energy-guzzling nature of production systems, the agricultural and food crisis, and so on - are inseparable from the exigencies of the reproduction of the capitalism of generalized, financialized, and globalized oligopolies.  If the status of these oligopolies is not brought into question, any policies to solve these "systemic crises" - "sustainable development" formulae - will just remain idle chitchat.

The capitalism of generalized, financialized, and globalized oligopolies has thus become an "obsolete" system, in the sense that the socialization of oligopolies, that is the abolition of their private status, should now become the essential strategic objective in any genuine critical analysis of the real world.  If this does not happen, the system by itself can only produce more and more barbaric and criminal destruction - even the destruction of the planet itself.  It will certainly mean the destruction of the societies in the peripheries: those in the so-called "emerging" countries as well as in the "marginalized" countries.

The obsolete character of the system as it has reached the present stage of its evolution is itself inseparable from changes in the structures of the governing classes ("bourgeoisies"), political practice, ideology, and political culture.  The historical bourgeoisie is disappearing from the scene and is now being replaced by the plutocracy of the "bosses" of oligopolies.  The drift of the practice of democracy emptied of all content and the emergence of ultra-reactionary ideological expressions are the necessary accompaniment of the obsolete character of contemporary capitalism.

The domination of oligopolies is exercised in the central imperialist Triad under different conditions and by different means than those used in the countries of the peripheries of the system.  It is a decisive difference, essential for identifying the major contradictions of the system and then imagining the possible evolutions in the North-South conflict, which will probably increase.

The collective imperialist Triad brings together the United States and its external provinces (Canada and Australia), Western and Central Europe, and Japan.  The globalized monopolies are all products of the concentration of national capital in the countries that constitute the Triad.  The countries of Eastern Europe, even those that now belong to the European Union, do not even have their own "national" oligopolies and thus represent just a field of expansion for the oligopolies of Western Europe (particularly Germany).  They are therefore reduced to the status of the periphery.  Their asymmetric relationship to Western Europe is, mutatis mutandis, analogous to that which links Latin America to the United States (and, incidentally, to Western Europe and Japan).

In the Triad, the oligopolies occupy the whole scene of economic decision-making.  Their domination is exercised directly on all the huge companies producing goods and services, as well as on the financial institutions (banks and others) that pertain to their power.  And it is exercised indirectly on all the small and medium businesses (in agriculture as in other fields of production), which are often reduced to the status of subcontractors, continually subordinated to the constraints that the oligopolies impose on them at all stages of their activities.  The oligopolies of the Triad operate in the countries of the periphery using various methods that will be described later on.

Not only do the oligopolies dominate the economic life of the countries of the Triad.  They monopolize political power for their own advantage, the electoral political parties (right and left) having become their debtors.  This situation will be, for the foreseeable future, accepted as "legitimate," in spite of the degradation of democracy that it entails.  It will not be threatened until, sometime in the future perhaps, "anti-plutocratic fronts" are able to include on their agenda the abolition of the private management of oligopolies and their socialization, in complex and open-endedly evolving forms.

Oligopolies exercise their power in the peripheries in completely different ways.  It is true that outright delocalization and the expanding practice of subcontracting have given the oligopolies of the Triad some power to intervene directly into the economic life of various countries.  But they still remain independent countries dominated by local governing classes through which the oligopolies of the Triad are forced to operate.  There are all kinds of formulae governing their relationships, ranging from the direct submission of the local governing classes in the "compradorized" ("re-colonized") countries, above all in the "marginalized" peripheries (particularly, but not only, Africa), to sometimes difficult negotiations (with obligatory mutual concessions) with the governing classes, especially in the "emerging" countries - above all, China.

There are also oligopolies in the countries of the South.  These were the large public bodies in the former systems of actually existing socialism (in China of course as in the Soviet Union, but also at a more modest level in Cuba and Vietnam).  Such was also the case in India, Brazil, and other parts of the "capitalist South"; some of these oligopolies had public or semi-public status, while others were private.  As the globalization process deepened, certain oligopolies (public and private) began to operate outside their borders and copy the methods used by the oligopolies of the Triad.  Nevertheless, the interventions of the oligopolies of the South outside their frontiers are - and will remain for a long time - marginal, compared with those of the North.  Furthermore, the oligopolies of the South have not captured the political power in their respective countries for their own exclusive profit.  In China the "statocracy" of the Party-State still constitutes the essential core of power.  In Russia, the mixture of State/private oligarchies has returned autonomous power to the State that had lost it for a while after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  In India, Brazil, and other countries of the South, the weight of the private oligarchy is not exclusive: power rests on broader, hegemonic blocs, including mainly the national bourgeoisie, the middle classes, the owners of modernized large estates (latifundia) and rich peasants.

All these conditions make it impossible to confuse the State in the Triad countries (which functions for the exclusive use of the oligarchy and is still legitimate) and the State in the peripheries.  The latter never had the same legitimacy as it has in the centers and it may very well lose what little it does have.  Those in power are in fact fragile and vulnerable to social and political struggles.

The hypothesis that this vulnerability will be "transitory" and likely to attenuate with the development of local capitalism, itself integrated into globalization, is, even for the "emerging countries," unquestionably mistaken - a hypothesis that derives from the linear vision of "stages of development" (formulated by Rostow in 1960).  But conventional thought and vulgar economics are not intellectually equipped to understand that "catching up" is impossible in this system and that the gap between the centers and the peripheries will not "gradually" disappear.

The oligopolies and the political powers that serve them in the countries of the Triad pursue their sole aim of "emerging from the financial crisis" and basically restoring the system as it was.  There are good reasons to believe that this restoration - if it succeeds, which is not impossible, although more difficult than is generally thought - cannot be sustainable, because it involves returning to the expansion of finance, which is essential for the oligopolies if they are to appropriate monopoly rent for their own benefit.  A new financial collapse, still more sensational than that of 2008, is therefore probable.  But, these considerations apart, the restoration of the system, designed to expand the fields of activities for the oligopolies again, would mean aggravating the process of accumulation by dispossession of the peoples of the South (through seizure of their natural resources, including their agricultural land).  And ecologist discourses on "sustainable development" will not prevail over the logic of expansion of oligopolies, which are more than capable of appearing to "adopt" them in their rhetoric - as we are already seeing.

The main victims of this restoration will be the nations of the South, both the "emerging" countries and the others.  So it is very likely that the "North-South conflicts" are destined to become much greater in the future.  The responses that the "South" will give to these challenges could thus be pivotal in challenging the whole globalized system.  This may not mean questioning "capitalism" directly, but it would surely mean questioning the globalization commanded by the domination of the oligopolies.

The responses of the South must indeed focus on helping to arm their peoples and States to face the aggression of the oligopolies of the Triad, to facilitate their "delinking" from the existing system of globalization, and to promote multiple substantial alternatives of South-South cooperation.

Challenging the private status of the oligopolies by the peoples of the North themselves (the "anti-plutocratic front") is certainly an absolutely strategic objective in the struggle for the emancipation of workers and peoples.  But this objective has yet to become politically mature and it is not very likely to happen in the foreseeable future.  Meanwhile, the North-South conflicts will probably move to center stage.

"Aid" - a Complementary Instrument to Control Vulnerable Countries

"International aid," presented as being indispensable for the survival of the "least developed countries" (UN terminology for many African countries and a few other ones), plays its role here.  Because its real objective, aimed at the most vulnerable countries of the periphery, is to create an extra obstacle to their participation in an alternative front of the South.12

Concepts of aid have been confined within a straitjacket.  Its structures were defined in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (2005), which was drawn up by the OECD, then imposed on the beneficiaries.  The general conditionality, alignment with the principles of liberal globalization, is omnipresent.  Sometimes it is explicit: promoting liberalization, opening the markets, becoming "attractive" to private foreign investment.  Sometimes it is indirect: respecting the rules of the WTC.  A country that refuses to subscribe to this strategy - which has been unilaterally defined by the North (the Triad) - loses its right to be eligible for aid.  So that the Declaration of Paris is a step back - and not an advance - in comparison with the practices of the "development decades," the 1960s and 1970s, when the principle of free choice by the countries of the South to follow their own system and economic and social policies was recognized.

In these conditions, aid policies and their apparent, immediate objectives cannot be separated from imperialism's geopolitical strategies.  For the different regions in the world do not have the same functions in the globalized liberal system.  It is not enough to mention their common denominator (liberalization of trade, opening to financial markets, privatizations).

Sub-Saharan Africa is very well integrated into this global system, and in no way "marginalized" as it is claimed, unfortunately all too often without thinking.  Its foreign trade represents 45 percent of its Gross National Product, compared to 30 percent for Asia and Latin America and 15 percent for each of the regions constituting the Triad.  Africa is thus quantitatively "more" and not "less" integrated, but in a different way.13

The geo-economy of the region depends on two production systems that determine its structures and define its place in the global system:

1.      the export of "tropical" agricultural products: coffee, cocoa, cotton, peanuts, fruits, oil palm, etc.; and
2.      hydrocarbons and minerals: copper, gold, rare metals, diamonds, etc.

The former are the means of "survival" (apart from food for the auto-consumption of peasants), which finance the transplanting of the State onto the local economy and, through public expenditure, the reproduction of the "middle classes."  This kind of production is of more interest to the local governing classes than to the dominant economies; in contrast, what interests the latter is the products of natural resources of the continent.  Today it is hydrocarbons and rare minerals.  Tomorrow it will be the reserves for developing agrofuels, the sun (when long-distance transport of solar electricity becomes feasible, within a few decades), water (when its direct or indirect "export" becomes possible).

The race to convert rural areas for the expansion of agrofuels is under way in Latin America.  In this field, Africa has tremendous possibilities.  Madagascar has started the movement and already conceded large areas in the west of the country.  The implementation of the Congolese Rural Code in 2008, inspired by Belgian aid and the FAO, will no doubt enable agribusiness to take over agricultural land on a massive scale to "exploit" it, just as the Mining Code has already enabled the pillage of the mineral resources of this former colony.  "Useless" peasants will pay for it, and increasing destitution that awaits them will perhaps attract future humanitarian assistance and "aid" programs to reduce poverty!  In the 1970s I learnt about an old colonial dream for the Sahel, which was to expel the population (useless Sahelians) in favor of extensive, Texas-style ranches raising livestock for exportation.

The new phase of history that has opened is marked by the sharpening of conflicts for access to the natural resources of the planet.  The Triad intends to reserve for itself the exclusive access to this "useful" Africa (that of natural resource reserves) and to prevent such access by the "emerging countries" whose needs in this respect are already great and likely to increase.  Guaranteeing exclusive access means political control and reducing African countries to the status of "client states."

It is not therefore wrong to consider that the aim of aid is to "corrupt" the governing classes.  Apart from the financial appropriations (which, alas, are well known and for which we are led to believe that the donors are in no way responsible), aid has become "indispensable" as it is an important source of financing budgets and fulfils a political function.  It thus becomes necessary to think of aid as being permanent and not prepare for its elimination through a serious development effort.  Hence it is important that it is not reserved exclusively and wholly for the classes in power, for the "government."  It must also give stakes to "oppositions" that are capable of succeeding them.  The so-called civil society and certain non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have a role to play here.  The aid in question, if it is to be really effective politically, must also help to maintain the entry of peasants into this global system, this entry bringing another source of revenue for the State.  The aid must also be concerned with progress in "modernizing" export crops.

Right-wing criticism of aid is based on the notion that it is for the countries concerned to take action to liberate themselves from this dependence by opening up still more to foreign capital.  This was the substance of Sarkozy's speech at Dakar and Obama's at Accra.  This oratorical appeal avoids the real question.  For aid, an integral part of the imperialist strategy, in fact seeks to marginalize the peoples of Africa who are useless and troublesome, the better to continue their pillage of African resources!

The critique made by the "do-gooder" left, which is that of many NGOs, accepts that the "donors" will honor their pledges.  It limits itself to pointless talk about "absorption capacity," "performance," "good governance," promoted by "civil society."  It calls for "more" and "better" aid!  Radical critique, on the contrary, supports autonomous development.  One can imagine that aid in this context would derive from peoples' international solidarity, confronting (and against) the cosmopolitanism of capitalism.