12th International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties
"The deepening systemic crisis of Capitalism. The task of Communists in defense of sovereignty, deepening social alliances, strengthening the anti-imperialist front in the struggle for peace, progress and Socialism"
Speech by Francesco Maringiò - Communist Refoundation Party (Italy)
Mr. Chairman, fellow delegates: It's an honor for me to be delegated by the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Refoundation Party of Italy to attend this important International Meeting. First of all I would like to thank, on behalf of the Refoundation Communist Party of Italy, the South African Communist Party for organizing this important Meeting, which is held for the first time in Africa. An event that takes place prior to the 17th World Festival of Youth and Students that will stress even more the importance the young people's struggle to defeat imperialism and to achieve a world of peace, solidarity and social transformation. I also greet all the fraternal delegations who are attending this meeting and express my conviction that this 12th International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties will be successful.
1. The new international scenario is defined by contradictory trends. On the one hand, the countries with a mature capitalism are experiencing a deep economic crisis that will profoundly change the political balance of the world in the next years, on the other hand there is the rise of non imperialists economies and countries led by democratic governments, liberals or socialists that break the U.S. unilateralism and imperialism towards the development of anti-neoliberal and anti-imperialist struggles in many important parts of the world.
The world has rapidly changed since 1989. In the aftermath of the collapse of the USSR no one seemed able to stop the rise of U.S. as the only undisputed worldwide power. And it is not by chance that the three major works, that will become the azimuth of the neo-cons philosophy, are: "The End of History" by Francis Fukuyama (who theorizes the domain of liberal democracy, after the collapse of the USSR), "The Clash of Civilizations" by Samuel Huntington (that interpret history as the result of a conflict between civilizations, not between social classes) and "The Grand Chessboard" by Brezinski, geopolitical manual par excellence of the world and politics in the era of American supremacy. "
Yet, fortunately, the world has changed in a remarkably short period of time. At all latitudes, we have seen a major reversal of power relations, in Latin America (where we experience the construction of the socialism of the XXI Century), in South Africa (which after having freed itself from colonialism and apartheid, today experiences the protagonism of a democratic process and progressive revolution), the Asian countries (where most of the world population live and the continent's political balance is the expression of non-aligned governments -India- or is led by communist parties in power - China, Vietnam, Laos- ). Without forgetting the role that in Europe, where the struggle for the transformation is more difficult and long breath, have the organization of the working class and social conflict by social organizations and communist parties.
According to some studies of the major banks in the U.S., the upcoming scenario looks like this: while today the G7 countries influence the 41% the GDP of the world, and the BRIC economies the 26%, by mid-century the G7 countries will decline to 25 % and the BRIC economies will rise to 50%, almost the double. If you add up the economies of the countries in the sphere of influence of BRIC economies, the weight would increase to 65% (two thirds). And out of this not aligned with the imperialist triad (U.S., EU, Japan) 65%, the 35% would be expressed by China and the socialist-oriented countries.
These figures tell us that an entire world is now devastated by an earthquake and that the ideological system which was based on the "end of history" is completely finished. A study made by Goldman Sachs in 2003 says: "In 2050 we could find ourselves in a world dramatically different from the current one, where the top 10 economies will be very different from today”. This study-case clearly speaks of a post-western world in which the dollar loses the primacy of international currency, and on this, Joseph Stiglitz recently spoke about the birth of a new world "outside the rules of the Washington Consensus."
But we would be misleading if we think that the solution is just around the corner. This crisis of hegemony, interlinked with the explosion of this devastating economic crisis, can have, especially in the EU, different exits. On the one hand, it can lead to the opening of a new phase that sets the conditions for the defeat of the more aggressive fractions of the capitalist class while imposing the resumption of a policy defined by public intervention in economy and planning, work-oriented and not towards capital. But we cannot disregard fully different and opposing exits. Europe is facing the rise of racist and xenophobic organizations, the rise of authoritarian measures, the limitation of democratic freedoms, and the resumption of a pervasive and dangerous, anti-communist campaign in the heart of Europe.
2. The ongoing crisis in the mature capitalist countries is not "the final crisis of capitalism," but its importance should not be underestimated. This crisis marks the end of a long cycle of capital accumulation, which began in the late sixties and early seventies, when the postwar period of great economic growth arrives to an end. It is important to recall, briefly, that in 1971 the United States decreed the end of the gold-exchange standard and the dollar became a currency absolutely trustable. In 1973, during the oil crisis, the dollar becomes a "world currency", despite its trade balance was in deficit since 1976.
Underlying the current crisis there is an excess of offer: a massive overproduction of goods and capitals, combined with the unregulated use of finance and credit. In 2007 a phase was closed: one in which finance and debt could hide an inadequate appreciation of capital in capitalist countries. So the current crisis is the result of two processes: the fall tendency of the rate of profit in the mature capitalist countries and the crisis of the US accumulation regime. It was useless the "state aid" given to economy: in January 2010 the U.S. had spent more than 2.5 trillion dollars to save their financial institutions, the Unite Kingdom 700 billion pounds. The result is the transformation of a private debt into public debt and a further reduction of the role of the state economy.
3. The general context of the 21st century, then, is a global competition for hegemony, where EU, U.S. and Japan perceive the risk of a decline. It is from this context that raises the push for war leaded by the U.S., which tried to win the global military competition on the ground, a field where they were supposed to be the strongest. At the end of November it was held in Lisbon the Atlantic Alliance Summit to adopt the new Strategic Concept. The last one was adopted after the collapse of the USSR and shortly before the start of the Iraq war. It represents an attempt to redraw the new international relations focusing them on the Atlantic axis and calls for greater involvement of EU countries. The latter, henceforth, will be increasingly called upon to deal with the various U.S. war scenarios in the world and, above all, they will be called to increase their military spending. NATO continues to be the main instrument of political-military global domination by the imperialist powers. During the Lisbon Summit, there was the attempt to bring to life what Diana Johnson calls a new imperialist condominium, as a response to the deep crisis that U.S. hegemony lives in this part of the century.
For these reasons, an historic battle, and a priority for all anti-imperialist forces of the world is to win the struggle for peace and disarmament, making stepping back the most aggressive sectors of U.S. imperialism. Within this framework a bigger space opens for the affirmation and growth of the progressive forces and countries that pursue models of socialist development or other alternatives to neoliberalism.
4. In the new global context a dynamic driving comes from all peoples and countries that are pursuing a “national” project, that goes objectively in the opposite direction to the policies of imperialism. In this sense, for an alternative strategy to capitalist globalization this is a necessary but not sufficient condition, is the partial restoration of sovereignty of nation states. This does not mean the supporting the self-sufficient thesis. The defense of national sovereignty requires a deep network of relations between sovereign states, with agreements between sectors and public enterprises in their respective countries, aimed at building integrated economic entities at the supranational level. But every continental and global convergence needs to be built at the national level, and consolidated as a new political power in the state. Changes in the balance of social, political, state power relations in favor of popular classes can only be achieved by a struggle carried out at national level.
For these reasons, a strategy must be based on a political and strategic programme that should include:
a. the creation of national political powers, able to cooperate among them on a regional and global level, and that cannot be subordinated to neo-liberalism in the economic sector and to imperialism in the international arena;
b. The creation of productive, technology, financial, and communication public areas, with ability to offset capital of private corporations.
c. The struggle for peace and disarmament: the dissolution of NATO, the removal of foreign military bases, the banning of mass destruction weapons.
5. The need to propose again, at the beginning of the third millennium, the question of the overcoming of capitalism and the prospect of socialism is rooted in old and new contradictions that capitalism is incapable of solving. For all these reasons it is important to develop all efforts of cooperation and mutual work. My party has considered of special interest he proposal made by Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez of a new International which, as we said then, is useful to “harmonize a common strategy for the fight against imperialism, the overthrow of capitalism with socialism and solidarity on the basis of a new type of economic integration" because nowadays, it is necessary, more than before, to strengthen the unity of action and work together with other anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist forces. Anyway the workers and the people, in order to attain a new political, economic, and social system to enjoy rights, sovereignity, security and peace, shall have to carry out the political class struggle, in which gain prominence the patriotic antimperialist struggle, the democratic struggle, and the action of national States governed by revolutionary and progressive forces. My Party believe that the International meeting of the communist and workers party play an important role in this context. Our cooperation, our point in common, our ability to advance in common or convergent actions, assumes a crucial importance. In this context of crisis, the communist and workers parties may and should play a fundamental political and ideological role in the struggle for peace, progress and socialism.