- Created: Thursday, 07 May 2009 14:38
FRFI 170 December 2002 / January 2003
Addressing activists and analysts from the Americas, Cuban President Fidel Castro declared that neo-liberalism was unsustainable, doomed to failure and could bear no more fruits, only tragedy and misery. ‘The system is in crisis’, he said. ‘That is why they resort to war, it is a new design to look for a way out’ (see page 4).
Neo-liberalism is the manifesto of capitalism. Oil is the lifeblood of the capitalist system; energy supplies are crucial for the accumulation of capital. Capitalism is a raging fire with a growing hunger for fuel. It consumes the world’s resources; human and environmental... destruction, exploitation and misery intensify.
Most of the world’s oil reserves will be largely depleted in 25 years, apart from those in the Persian Gulf region. US reliance on imported oil is set to rise from 52% today to 66% in 2020. The US warmongering in the Middle East is not least to secure its future reserves. Meanwhile, two of the world’s three largest oil companies are British (Shell and BP). Corporations dominate the British Labour government. No mystery then, why Bulldog Blair froths at the mouth with the same warmongering vehemence as US President Bush to wage war on Iraq. Finite resources can only be exploited on a first come, first grab basis...the international ruling class are beginning to squabble amongst themselves. The United Nations has become an arena for this struggle (see pages 5 and 7).
Investigative journalist Greg Palast tells Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! that Bush’s warmongering was part of his campaign to secure victory in the mid-term congressional elections. Palast reminds our readers that Saddam is a ‘fascist and a murderer, a genocidal maniac’ nurtured by Bush and the CIA, and is horrified by Labour MP, darling of the left, George Galloway for taking tea with him, likening it to Margaret Thatcher’s shopping trip with that other dictator, General Pinochet of Chile (see page 7).
US determination to control the world’s resources is also manifested in the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), being imposed on every country in the Americas and the Caribbean, with the sole exclusion of Cuba. The Cubans are proud to be outside the deal, a wholesale sale of Latin American sovereignty and economy to the US transnationals. Cuba provides an alternative vision for Latin America, based on national development and social welfare for its people (see page 12). Cuba also provides a space on the continent where progressives and activists can meet to discuss resistance to neo-liberalism, a space where their gathering is not dispersed by the army, by tear-gas, water canons, or tanks.
The Colombian people have suffered the most brutal arm of neo-liberalism. There is barely a distinction between US imperialist interests and the fascist national government of President Uribe. The recent elections of both Lula da Silva of the Workers’ Party in Brazil and Luis Gutierrez who represents the indigenous people, peasants and workers in Ecuador, reflects the growing rejection of neo-liberalism by the poor majority (see page 6). These new presidents join Hugo Chavez of Venezuela on a tightrope, balancing between the powerful interests of their domestic ruling class and the foreign multinationals with which they are aligned, and the vast majority of the population who live in dire and deteriorating poverty. It remains to be seen if they can break with foreign capital and begin the process of national development as Cuba has done. This involves breaking with reformism, with bourgeois social democracy, which has become the human face of the brutal capitalist system. It involves breaking with imperialism, and hence with the domestic ruling class, and initiating class war. It involves empowering the masses; the poor majority, redistributing wealth, nationalising industries and reorganising production. It involves real democracy, which means mass participation by the people in the process of building a more just and equal society, and it necessitates arming the people to protect their gains.
The need to break with bourgeois social democracy – the apologists of capitalism, of war, of neo-liberal policies that plunder the earth – and to establish mass class-conscious anti-capitalist organisations is present throughout the world. It is urgent in the anti-privatisation struggle of the black working class in South Africa (see page 10). It exists in the Palestinian Intifada where the Arab masses must break with the Palestinian bourgeoisie that depends on Israel and western imperialism for its position (see pages 8/9). It exists in the anti-globalisation movement with its uneasy coalitions of liberals, pacifists and radical anti-capitalists (see page 11). It even underlies the potential for success of the striking firefighters in Britain, who must remain vigilant against attempts to compromise and sell out to the ruling class which have such a strong tradition in British trade unions (see page 16 [firefighters] and page 3 [spies in trade unions]).
We cannot compromise with capitalism, nor can we make neo-liberalism user friendly. We call on the readers of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! to help us build a real anti-capitalist movement in Britain; against racism, against imperialism, and in the interest of the world’s majority; the working-class, the poor and oppressed.
Please send contributions to:
Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! BCM Box 5909
London WC1N 3XX