This text is an excerpt from the international report given to the party’s eighth congress in September.
The years since our last congress have been extraordinarily eventful, as US and EU imperialism continue to sink painfully into decline while China and Russia gradually gain ascendancy.
The war against Syria
This is most clearly seen in Syria, whose government, at war since 2011 with jihadis of mostly foreign origin, who have been trained and backed by US imperialism, is now, thanks to Russian military backing and that of the Iranians and Hezbollah, on the verge of taking back the whole of the country.
The aim of the jihadis was to overthrow the Syrian government headed by President Bashar al-Assad, but their fortunes began to decline when they started to take more interest in fighting each other than in fighting the Syrian government. At this point US imperialism began to distinguish between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ terrorists in Syria, the former acting according to its master’s wishes; the latter bent upon removing as much of the middle east as possible back to the 7th century.
Neither fundamentalist grouping was to the liking of the vast majority of the Syrian people, with the result that even opponents of the government who were in the least patriotic stood with the government against all the terrorists, whether they continued to be US-backed or not. Therefore the Syrian people greeted with joy Russian military intervention on their behalf at the invitation of their government.
Nevertheless, the fighting has been very vicious, with the fundamentalists being equipped by their various reactionary sponsors – the US, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states and Turkey, all with their own agendas – with all the latest and most lethal weaponry, and receiving from them tremendous logistical and financial support, as a result of which they have not given up without fights that destroyed practically all the housing in the cities they had occupied, as well as their civilian infrastructure.
With Russian support, however, the jihadis have now been cleared out of city after city, with only Idlib province (adjoining Turkey) remaining in enemy hands – and that too is now surrounded by government forces. It only remains to be seen whether yet another false-flag chemical attack will be staged to provide an excuse for US imperialism and its satellites in Europe to try to intervene militarily to stave off final defeat – at the cost of thousands of civilian lives and livelihoods.
Because US imperialism, desperate that the war against the Assad government was being lost, turned to supporting the Kurdish separatist YPG, Turkey, which faces problems with its own Kurdish separatists, indignantly refused to continue to cooperate with the US and is instead moving closer to Russia, thereby considerably weakening the front of the Syrian government’s opponents.
Ever-rising levels of debt
The combination of the shock of the economic crisis of overproduction that was unleashed in 2007-8, along with the cost of the various wars being pursued by or on behalf of imperialism, is causing indebtedness worldwide to escalate.
Since 2006, per capita public debt in the United States, for instance, has more than tripled and now stands at 94 percent of GDP. In Britain, public debt is 104 percent of GDP, up from 42.5 percent in 2006, and it’s the same story in all the imperialist countries. Repaying and servicing that debt falls on the working-class masses, including sections that have previously enjoyed quite a bit of privilege compared to the ordinary masses – ie, the skilled and highly-educated workers.
The result is rising anger among the masses throughout the imperialist world, leading them to exercise their voting rights in ways that cause problems for the ruling class – hence the election of Donald Trump as president in the US, the Brexit vote in Britain, and the support for ‘populist’ parties in many European countries.
For the most part, imperialism is able to misdirect the anger of the masses against immigrants or to cause one section of the proletarian community to resent some other section for an infinite variety of reasons, but more and more people are coming to the realisation, albeit instinctively, that the problem is capitalism – even if they still hold to the illusion that capitalism can be reformed.
In spite of its heavy expenditure on war, imperialism has proved incapable of imposing its will on any of the countries it has attacked – whether Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya or Syria – notwithstanding all the death and destruction visited upon them. Undeterred, the US is certainly contemplating military intervention in Syria and in Venezuela, quite unable to accept that such intervention will only harden the determination of the people to fight the aggressor so that they simply refuse to be defeated.
However, war after war is bound to follow, as imperialism vainly seeks to maintain and extend its domination, and the US and European armaments industries continue to make fabulous profits.
The continuing significance of Palestine
An important instrument for imperialism maintaining some kind of a bridgehead in the oil-rich middle east is Israel, created from the dispossession of millions of Palestinian people, driven out of their homes and the land from which they made their livings.
Out of sympathy for jews arising out of the horror of the jewish holocaust, many well-meaning people turned a blind eye to the monstrous injustice that the creation of Israel resulted in for millions of innocent Arabs – but as that injustice continues year after year, with ever more Palestinian land being forcibly replaced by jews-only settlements, and more and more takeover of territory that was supposed to be reserved for a Palestinian state by virtue of the Oslo Accords, public sympathy for Israel is fast evaporating.
The result is a Goebbelsian assault by imperialism and its zionist puppets, intended to equate any opposition to the existence of a jewish state, and any criticism of Israel’s treatment of Arabs, as racist and antisemitic. In Britain, we see the Labour party being browbeaten into accepting a ‘definition’ of antisemitism as including anti-zionism, which is being hysterically played up in the bourgeois media, although it is likely that the majority of people are simply not convinced.
According to a poll taken last year by the Institute of Jewish Policy Research, about 70 percent of the population of Britain had a favourable opinion of jews and did not hold any antisemitic ideas or views. On the other hand, the poll found that “The position of the British population towards Israel can be characterised as one of uncertainty or indifference, but among those who hold a view, people with sympathies towards the Palestinians are numerically dominant.” And this in a country which the report on the poll admits has one of the lowest rates of antisemitism in the world!
In Israel itself both the newspaper Haaretz and the Times of Israel have published articles condemning the conflation of anti-zionism with antisemitism – although this is a minority view in Israel, as might be expected.
Protectionism and trade wars
Because of the relatively high and growing level of dissatisfaction among the electorates of the imperialist countries, pressure is building up in those countries to try to recover their economic strength at the expense of others. Hence the outbreak, led by US President Trump, of trade wars, and the erection of tariff barriers with a view, theoretically, to repatriating jobs.
Snatch millions of jobs from poor people round the world and create a handful of jobs for relatively well-off people in America – that’s the way to make America great, according to this twisted thinking. The trade barriers the US is erecting are aimed not only at the burgeoning economies of the Brics countries but also at the faltering economies of the US’s allies in Europe.
Part of the problems faced by the imperialist countries today arises from the fact that their traditional superexploitation of Asia, Africa and Latin America is to some extent being curtailed because China has been active in all these regions offering fair trade terms, thus enabling the countries concerned to turn down foreign investment that is conditional on the acceptance of superexploitative terms.
This also weakens imperialism and makes all the more desperate its drive by both financial and military means to extend its world domination – to keep China out!
Supporting the forces of socialism and anti-imperialism
China, however, is going from strength to strength, asserting its control over the South China Sea at the expense of US domination of the area, building up its military strength and extending its commercial reach to every corner of the globe. Through its Silk Road initiative it hopes to break the imperialist stranglehold that has held back the development of so many Asian countries so that all are able to flourish economically as never before.
Throughout this period, our party has remained loyal to the socialist Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), defending its right to develop and have a nuclear deterrent thanks to the socialist economy that enables it to maintain such an advanced industry despite the draconian imperialist sanctions enforced against it. We have continued at our anti-imperialist summer barbecue to celebrate the anniversary of the DPRK’s victory, with fraternal assistance from communist China, against the combined forces of US imperialism, its fellow imperialists and various other satellites in 1953.
We are most happy to note that one consequence of US imperialism raising tariffs against the import of Chinese manufactured goods is that any temporary concessions that China may have made to the US-inspired sanctions regime against the DPRK appear to be falling away. The DPRK is a country which is very brave and stalwart in defending its right to maintain a socialist system of economy. It deserves the wholehearted and unreserved support at all times of any progressive person or country.