Welcome... / FRFI 189 Feb / Mar 2006

The neo-liberal counter-revolution that began at the end of the 1970s is being pushed back. Mass resistance to imperialism’s brutal exploitation of the world’s people and resources is consolidating and creating political shockwaves in the imperialist centres. The most recent period of uncontested US imperialist domination of the world is at an end. Revolutionary resistance is being given political expression in many parts of the world as inter-imperialist rivalries for the control of surplus profits from oppressed nations of the world intensify. The balance of class forces internationally is changing. This issue of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! looks at recent developments.

The landslide victory of Evo Morales in Bolivia in December reinforces the socialist and anti-imperialist forces throughout Latin America and further undermines US imperialism’s hold over the region. That victory has its roots in the anti-imperialist movements of the indigenous peasantry and working class that toppled previous neo-liberal governments. The support of socialist Cuba and revolutionary Venezuela will give added impetus to those forces fighting for revolutionary change (see p4). Political and military power in President Chavez’s Venezuela is in the hands of a revolutionary national movement, yet much of the economy, as well as the media, are controlled by Chavez’s bourgeois opponents. A situation of dual power exists with the government attempting to transform the economic process, destroy the corrupt old state apparatus and build a socialist state demanded by the working class (see p11).

Cuba continues to defy the expectations of supporters and enemies alike as the complex and fascinating process of building socialism develops. Now that Cuba has survived and gone beyond the devastating conditions inflicted on its people by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the US blockade, there are many new issues to resolve: the relation between the individual and the state, how the wealth of socialist society should be distributed, the mediation of such class antagonisms as still remain in Cuba, and the reversibility or otherwise of the socialist revolution, amongst many other matters facing the Cuban people (see p5). Cuba’s growing co-operation with Venezuela and now Bolivia, a real internationalism, and its increasing links with the rest of the world through medicine, education and biotechnology are strengthening the influence of anti-imperialist forces internationally.

The remarkable electoral victory of Hamas in the January elections has struck another major blow against imperialism’s strategy in the Middle East. It is a massive victory for those who refuse to give up the resistance against the Zionist occupation of their country and a devastating defeat for Fatah and the corrupt Palestinian Authority for openly collaborating with the imperialists and the Zionists and enriching themselves at the expense of the popular masses (see front page and p6).
The Iraqi resistance continues to put pressure on the occupation forces and their Iraqi collaborators. The recent elections have not taken the pressure off the imperialists. Talk of early withdrawal is wishful thinking. US and British imperialism cannot be seen to be defeated in Iraq. A failure in Iraq would have major consequences for US imperialism’s global strategy of military domination to sustain its economic and political domination internationally (see p7).

These international developments have created divisions inside the US ruling class. The present gang of ‘liars, swindlers, cut-throats, bullies and thieves’ who run the government are undermining US imperialist interests throughout the world. With them the US ruling class has scraped the bottom. It is approaching its final nadir as it exhausts its historical mission, demonstrated by its inability to do anything but delay the inevitable crisis (see p10).

As the imperialist powers desperately search for new sources of surplus profits throughout the world, unprincipled alliances are made and remade as the interests of profit dictate. China is increasingly drawn into this process as it has moved from ally of the Soviet Union, through the Sino-Soviet dispute to Chinese chauvinism. China will be an important factor in shaping the next 50 years and it is important for the socialist movement to understand China’s international role (see p8/9).

The intensification of the struggle by the imperialist powers over surplus profits in Africa finds a horrendous expression in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Africa’s richest source of minerals. Control of these vast resources is behind the ongoing civil war in which 3.8 million people have so far lost their lives (see p6). The need to destroy imperialism is a matter of life and death for the vast majority of the world’s population.

British imperialism directed by the Labour government continues along its increasingly reactionary and repressive path both internationally and in Britain. It keeps 8,500 troops in Iraq, some 13,000 in Ireland protecting British and Unionist interests (see this page), and will soon deploy nearly 6,000 troops in Afghanistan, while being complicit in the kidnap and torture of detainees (p13). In Britain the private sector’s role in education, health and housing continues to expand, exacerbating inequality (see p3). Repression directed at the working class continues unabated with Labour’s asylum policy (see p16) and its latest Respect Action Plan (see p3).

It was the weakness of the socialist movement in the imperialist countries which allowed the counter-revolution of the 1970s to take off and spread with such devastating consequences. Today that movement is still the weakest and most backward link in the chain of growing worldwide anti-imperialist resistance. The British left movement is a grotesque expression of this. The massive anti-war movement which existed just before the start of the Iraq war has been totally dissipated with the main organisation of the left, the SWP, throwing itself into electoral politics and its members becoming foot soldiers for George Galloway’s Respect coalition. The spectacle of Galloway acting the clown in the Celebrity Big Brother house (see p12) shows what a low point this trend has reached.

There is an alternative and the RCG and other anti-imperialist forces are attempting to build it, by totally breaking with the imperialist Labour Party, campaigning on the streets for all imperialist troops out of Iraq and the Middle East, supporting the struggle of Palestinians for self-determination, and campaigning in solidarity with socialist Cuba, revolutionary Venezuela and Bolivia. There is much to be done in Britain fighting the privatisation of the public sector, combating the ever growing assault on our civil liberties and defending the rights of asylum seekers to stay in this country. Now is the time to rebuild the socialist movement in Britain.
Get in touch and join us in the fightback.

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New £10,000 Fund Drive

FRFI needs to raise £10,000 now to develop and expand our political work:
• amongst students through the Student Anti-Imperialist Network (SAIN)
• against asylum and immigration laws
• in support of socialist Cuba and revolutionary Venezuela
• to defend the Palestinian people against imperialist aggression
• fighting Labour’s privatisation policies

FRFI is the only newspaper in Britain to take a consistent stand against British imperialism and its Labour defenders. Your financial support is crucial. Please give generously. Make cheques payable to Larkin Publications and send to FRFI, BCM Box 5909, London WC1N 3XX

FRFI 189 February / March 2006


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