Summary of this New Period: A Dying Imperialism
by I. Langalibalele
As the World enters a new historical period, several factors separate this chapter from its preceding era. The spreading political crises – originating at the merger of the class struggle – afflicting the Imperialists suggest that the system of monopoly capital domination is approaching its limitations. How the revolutionary movement sees the broader implications of this period poses the key question for the future. Because, this crisis appears within a series of components each of which must not be analyzed as representative of the whole, but rather as a link in the Imperialist ensemble.
Recognizing Imperialism's weak links and how it shifts focus away from pressure provides both strategic and tactical objectivity for revolutionary organizing. Of course, economies remain strong within the Imperialist centers themselves; the United States continues unchallenged as the top industrial sector on the planet. But with relative class peace within the US, a critical problem in social relations is unavoidable.
The ecological crises combined with mounting competition for monopoly control of strategic resources, especially petroleum, highlight the basic anarchy in bourgeois relations. Also, America's domestic colonies, the Ghetto and the Barrio, still struggle valiantly against the bourgeois class peace. Furthermore, the parasitic, multi-national occupation of Irak presents a long-term disaster for the coalition leaders, the utmost striking failure in international policy. While America seeks military domination as part of its New World Order, that strategy only compounds antagonisms between this country, its competitors, and anti-Imperialist states.
Still, the colonial age is dead. Imperialism feeds off the rotten corpse of its colonial past as a new world struggles to free itself from capitalist bondage. Frantz Fanon stated the case nearly fifty years ago against the backdrop of the world anti-colonial movement. He further foresaw the rise of neo-colonialism. Kwame Nkrumah later gave that phenomenon its scientific name, while correctly analyzing it as the last stage of Imperialism. This is where we stand today, on the historic bridge between two great eras: The end of world capitalist slavery and the beginning of genuine freedom and equality with the advent of Internationalist revolution.
Neo-colonialism is the political weak link in the ensemble of international monopoly finance, i.e., Imperialism. Ideology forms the critical transmission belt in capitalist political theory. Bourgeois ideology produces faulty analysis, further reflecting the crisis in social relations. As I wrote several weeks before Zbigniew Brzezinski belatedly proclaimed the death of colonialism, both Korea and Vietnam in their turn instructed the American psyche that colonial domination will no longer provide solutions for the Imperialist crisis.
Attempting to create a post-colonial empire based on military superiority, America failed first in Korea, under the guise of stopping communism. America actually sought to test the strength of the Chinese Revolution versus its concept of white supremacy, which until then remained undefeated. Driven completely off the Korean Peninsula, the United States armed forces were defeated on the battlefield. Were it not for its threatened use of the atomic bomb against China, the United States would have no military bases in South Korea today. In Vietnam, the anti-colonial forces ingeniously waged a protracted war which broke down the American fighting spirit, and fought Imperialism wherever the US sought to establish colonial domination over the Vietnamese people. However, few US policy schools correctly analyzed these two expeditions as wars for colonial conquest.
Believing in its own phony rhetoric, the US white power structure therefore never clearly understood the character of its defeats in those countries. Blinded by anti-labor parasitism and white supremacist ego, the bourgeoisie convinced Americans that colonialism didn't succeed because of some political blunders. Hence, capitalism sold the idea that Iraq would now become an informal, direct neo colony of US Imperialism, and an answer for America's gluttonous energy requirements. When, after three years, it became apparent that Iraq refused to cooperate with the occupation, the policy analysts compared it to "another Vietnam", which Iraq obviously is not. That idiot-logical viewpoint precisely illustrates the subjectivism in bourgeois ideology, theory and analysis.
During this period, Imperialism entered a stage where its moribund tendencies have become apparent to almost everyone alive. In fact, a pervasive sense of impending cataclysm affects the masses. They turn to ancient texts and feudal religions to ask questions which only scientific socialism can answer. This stampede towards superstitious Millenarianism exacerbates the crisis in social relations already caused by capitalism.
America's ideological crisis behaves as a key transmission belt in the Imperialist chain. By far the dominant power in world economic and political life, America suffers profound ideological contradictions. As ideological deterioration sets in, political crises must follow. Where America had ideological domination in prior periods due to its cultural and economic hegemony over so many societies, capitalist greed began to reveal its bloodsucking inhumanity. Monopoly finance toppled central government across Africa like so many dominoes, taking a vast toll in human lives. Instability threatened Asian and Latin American countries simply because of US policy. Only ideologically strong societies weathered the storm of a vengeful monopoly finance empire, despite their economic underdevelopment.
September eleventh two thousand and one, also known as Nine-One-One, the police emergency code, marks a date that will someday prove to be a vicious bourgeois swindle. Revolutionary forces cannot afford to wait for that day, nor may they waste time convincing others of it. Our task involves articulating the crisis and bankruptcy in the bourgeois cause, and organizing a revolutionary movement to build a new society. Because, today, rather than saving America, the occupation of oil-rich Iraq has become a quagmire. The bourgeoisie lack any compelling theory on how to extricate themselves from a ruling class catastrophe.
Indeed, ruling class politicians who supported the war with near unanimity have now either reversed themselves or they are presently waffling. Even as the president continues to link the Iraqi Baathists to Al-Qaida – instead of the CIA which organized them as a response to the Soviet invasion – no strategic or tactical link has ever been proven. The multifarious pretexts which led Imperialism into war have become a bottomless political rift. No possible military solution can give the bourgeoisie room to maneuver. Clearly, the US lacks both the economic strength and the political will to rebuild Iraq. A political solution requires resources which the American ruling class refuses to consider. Without broad collaboration attracting contributions from all major economic sectors, Iraqi reconstruction will not originate from America. Hence, destabilization in Iraq has become an act of anti-Arab attrition by the capitalist class to cover for its own inadequacies.
The neo-colonial regime posing as a democratic state lacks the competence to govern even in its own capital, Baghdad. Millenarian cults, sectarian strife, ethnic cleansing, unchecked rape of oil fields and a shattered infrastructure are the fruits of Democracy thru Imperialism, America's gift to Iraq.
Democracy thru Imperialism and Imperialism thru Democracy, the strategic directives of the US monopoly two-party system, precipitate out of an aspiration for world domination in the name of international monopoly finance, Imperialism. Monopoly finance control thru the World Bank/IMF has effectively reduced most of the non-Imperialist world to neo-colonial vassalage. On the other hand, Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Venezuela constitute a group of weak yet anti-Imperialist states which by their mere existence insinuate a challenge, to which US leaders historically lack a sound political approach. Such ideologically strong societies will resist the monopoly finance empire, despite their other relative weaknesses. As seen, the aforementioned anti-Imperialist states are only nominally industrialized, although the US exercises as much political and, often, military pressure as it can muster, much like the old plantation slave-breaking process. The World Bank/IMF system, being as ruthless and genocidal as Hitler's own war machine, cannot tolerate dual and
competing political power from an anti-Imperialist bloc.
Recognizing all of the above points the way towards deposing the rule of
a minority class and bringing a self-led working class majority into power.
Ideology functions like a connective tissue for the transmission and dissemination of ideas, theory, analysis and philosophy. The ideological crisis doesn't represent a disruption of the function; it exposes rather the inadequate and faulty premise upon which capitalism itself rests. As neo-colonialism itself forms a crucial link in the capitalist system of monopoly domination, in the fragile relationship that neo-colonial regimes juggle between their bourgeois masters and their oppressed subjects they become exposed as the weak link in the Imperialist chain.
Therefore, neo-colonialism must die; its impending demise presages the collapse of Imperialism by stripping away the most exploited sector from the control of monopoly finance. This process begins by solving the ideological crisis within the revolutionary movement itself and transmitting revolutionary thought to the oppressed classes.
Neo-colonialism must die, and Imperialism will follow.