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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/22/21

Internationalism is the only way we can defeat imperialism

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We stand on the precipice of the confrontation that will serve as the tipping point in the demise of capitalism, imperialism, and colonialism. The confrontation that Mao implied is going to occur when he said that "Imperialism will not last long because it always does evil things. It persists in grooming and supporting reactionaries in all countries who are against the people, it has forcibly seized many colonies and semi-colonies and many military bases, and it threatens the peace with atomic war. Thus, forced by imperialism to do so, more than 90 per cent of the people of the world are rising or will rise in struggle against it."

When enough among this 90 percent succeed at throwing off imperial control, the oppressors will lose their grip, allowing the rest among the oppressed to easily overthrow the remaining capitalist states. Capitalismand the colonial order that it supportscan only exist for as long as it's allowed to continuously expand into new global markets. This is because capitalism inevitably creates for itself a crisis of overproduction, one which can only be stopped from throwing the system into total dysfunction by exporting capital's baggage. By foisting the costs of capitalism's crises onto the lowest classes within the capitalist-imperialist hierarchy. There can be no capitalism in one country. When the bourgeoisie lose access to enough global markets, their system will implode.

This is why when talking about revolution in the core imperialist countries, what must always be considered before discussing guerrilla tactics within these countries is how to bring forward revolutions in more of imperialism's neo-colonies. Imperialism can only start being dismantled within its peripheries, within the overexploited countries which the imperialists depend on for keeping capital strong within the system's center. When enough of these neo-colonies undergo revolution, and gain independence from neo-colonial instruments like multinational corporations and the International Monetary Fund, capital within places like the U.S. will become weak enough for the proletarians within them to carry out revolution themselves.

According to economist Michael Roberts, a new wave of revolutions throughout the exploited countries is indeed the only way the bourgeoisie's rule can be seriously challenged in the coming decades:

The world economy is in a Long Depression. However, world capitalism will not stay in this depressed state. Eventually, probably after another slump that will destroy sufficient value (the value of means of production, fictitious capital and employment), profitability for those capitals that survive will rise again to start a new upwave in investment and growth. This assumes, of course, that the class struggle does not lead to the forces of labor triumphing over capital in any major imperialist economy. A new wave of globalization is thus possible. There are yet more human beings in the world to be exploited and there are always new technological innovations that can provide a new cycle for expansion of value and surplus value.

Without a significant chipping away of imperial control in the peripheries, this working class victory in the center can't happen. As Stalin concluded in The Foundations of Leninism, the proletariat are consistently able to win in the places where capital is weakest, not where the productive forces are most advanced. This is good news for the class struggle, given that the ruling class in the imperial center is driving to make the productive forces more advanced than ever by leaning capital into the high-tech sector. But it means that in order to prevail, we in the center will need to proceed with solidarity for all oppressed nations in their fight for self-determination.

This applies both to the colonized or formerly colonized nations abroad, and to the colonized nations within the settler states which make up many of the imperial powers. In places like the U.S. and Canada, "socialist patriotism" needs to be forsaken in favor of an agenda for returning all the stolen land and paying reparations to all of colonialism's victims. The reality of imperialism, both external and internal, must be recognized for imperial center revolutionaries to succeed. As Frantz Fanon wrote, "This colossal task, which consists of reintroducing man into the world, man in his totality, will be achieved with the crucial help of the European masses who would do well to confess that they have often rallied behind the position of our common masters on colonial issues. In order to do this, the European masses must first all decide to wake up, put on their thinking caps and stop playing the irresponsible game of Sleeping Beauty."

Fanon's challenge applies both to the masses within Europe itself, and to the white European descendants within the imperialist settler colonies. With this consciousness of colonialism will come consciousness of how to rectify colonialism's cruel legacya task which is inextricably tied to the liberation of all proletarians, both nonwhite and white, from capitalism. This is what revolutionary internationalism means: the recognition that there are oppressed nations and oppressor nations, and that the rule of the bourgeoisie won't end until the oppressed nations become liberated. Until all proletarians are free, no proletarians are free. Which isn't merely a slogan, but a practical assessment of the fact that socialist revolution can't happen without the ending of colonial occupation.

This is so crucial for revolutionaries in imperialist countries to know because if we turn a blind eye to the ongoing subjugation of any of the peoples under imperialism's knee, or if we don't stand in solidarity with the countries which are resisting imperialism, we'll harm both the subjugated nations and ourselves. The global proletariat must be unified to overcome the beast we're fighting. And imperial chauvinism, whether it comes in the form of repeating fabricated CIA atrocity stories about the DPRK, equivocating between the new cold war's geopolitical blocs by falsely characterizing China as an imperialist power, or unfairly criticizing Maduro for making compromises which are necessary for keeping his besieged people from starving, is as detrimental to internationalism as claiming that the indigenous First Nations aren't living under colonial occupation.

I've seen self-proclaimed socialists from the U.S. express all of these chauvinistic sentiments, and many more like them. To succeed, we must combat them and proceed with a principled anti-colonial, anti-imperialist set of stances. It's this refusal to stray from our principles, to concede any narrative to the ideology of empire, that can serve as our guiding light in the face of capital's overwhelmingly violent coming reaction.

By totally rejecting what imperialism tells us, we can know not just how the lands will need to be distributed after the revolution (they'll need to be returned to the jurisdiction of the colonized nations), but how to order the socioeconomic model which we'll build within these lands (they'll need to function under the Marxist-Leninist framework). Internationalism gives us the tools to defeat both settler-colonialism, and the insidious economic control mechanism of neo-colonialism (which Marxism-Leninism prevents from taking over). Decolonial Marxism-Leninism is the path that the existing socialist countries of China, Vietnam, Laos, the DPRK, and Cuba have taken. And it's the path that we in the core of the empire must take as well.

When the U.S. dollar inevitably undergoes a drop in value unlike it's ever seen, spurred by the U.S. empire's internal contraction of capital and the global shift towards alternative reserve currencies, we're going to get far closer to the tipping point which makes this vision realizable. Washington's global financial grip, which for so long has rendered the revolutionary struggle in the exploited countries discontinuous, will loosen enough to allow for a new wave of Global South revolutions. Profits will be lost. Capital will contract even further. The bourgeoisie will react by imposing even more cruel neoliberal policies. Living standards will be driven down even further. The masses will become radicalized by their deteriorating conditions, increasingly recognizing proletarian revolution to be a practical necessity.

Whether they get revolution depends on whether the members of the revolutionary cadres, the trained Marxists, approach our task with the principles I've laid out. Chauvinism will leave our movement splintered, and largely held back by self-imposed ignorance of what we need to do. Principled internationalism will let our movement build alliances between the revolutionary parties in the imperialist countries and the existing socialist countries, and give us within the imperial center the knowledge to succeed.

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Rainer Shea is writing articles that counter the propaganda of the capitalist/imperialist power establishment, and that help move us towards a socialist revolution. Donate to me on Patreon here:

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