Contribution to ‘International theoretical conference on imperialism and war’

MLPD Department for Internationalism

Dear comrades, dear friends,

Many thanks to the NDFP for organizing this seminar. The correct understanding of the changes in the imperialist world system and a unification on what imperialism is, is a central theoretical question for the revolutionaries of the world. It is therefore welcome that a whole series of conferences and seminars have been held recently to discuss this issue. They have the greatest practical relevance for what position to take on the Ukraine war, how to position oneself in the Middle East conflict, what strategy and tactics to pursue in the struggle for socialism, and who are – and who are not – the allies in the struggle against fascism and imperialist wars. There is a problematic confusion about this internationally, when, for example, fascist forces such as Hamas are seen as allies of the Palestinian liberation struggle, which must be supported at all costs, simply because it stands up to Zionist and imperialist Israel. Hamas itself is backed by (new) imperialist forces, such as Turkey for a long time and now Iran.

With the collapse of the social-imperialist superpower Soviet Union in 1990/1991, a unified world market emerged and international capitalist production was reorganized. On this economic basis, new imperialist countries emerged, especially in formerly socialist countries and large formerly neocolonially dependent countries. The MLPD put this analysis up for discussion in 2011 in the book Dawn of the International Socialist Revolution and in 2017 substantiated it in an all-round theoretical elaboration, in which it qualified 14 new-imperialist countries, including China, Russia, India and Turkey, among others. Today, more have been added.

The war in Ukraine must also be assessed on the basis of this analysis: It is an unjust war on both sides. New-imperialist Russia is the concrete aggressor. NATO and the EU have been pursuing an aggressive eastward expansion for years, acting in a highly provocative and aggravating manner. German imperialism, our main enemy, is carrying out an aggravated rightward development. US imperialism is aggressively making up ground in the competitive struggle and it remains the main warmonger worldwide! “The rivalry between the USA and China meanwhile is generally dominant among the inter-imperialist contradictions, the development of which at the same time is multipolar in character.” (“The Ukraine War …,” p. 7/8). This multipolar world order, with huge shifts in the imperialist balance of power, does not make the world more peaceful, as some revisionist forces think. It means an enormous intensification in the inter-imperialist competition and the preparation for world war of most imperialists. In recent weeks alone, the G20 accepted the African Union, with its 55 member states, as a permanent member, while the competing bloc of BRICS countries expanded to include Saudi Arabia, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Egypt and Ethiopia. In quarter II/2023, the main old imperialist countries of the G7 had reached only 97.2 percent of the level of industrial production before the global economic and financial crisis, which has existed since mid-2018 and has apparently not yet reached its low point. With the agreed expansion of the BRICS, they will comprise 46% of the world’s population and 37% of global economic output.

Rapid capitalist development is also taking place in non-imperialist countries. Today there are hardly any semi-colonial, semi-feudal countries. With the capitalist development the working class develops and lawfully also the communication as Karl Marx already analysed it. This includes modern telecommunications, mass media, roads, railroads, drones and satellite technology. In more and more countries of the world, the working class is becoming the main force of the revolution, which must unite with all those oppressed by imperialism. Such changes must be taken into account by the world’s revolutionaries in their strategy and tactics if they want to succeed in today’s conditions.

The General Crisis of Imperialism intensifies dramatically. The changes of the imperialist world system also include the fact that in the meantime the global environmental catastrophe has begun. This expands the Marxist-Leninist strategy and tactics. Without international socialist

But the masses do not want to perish in capitalist barbarism. It is the task of the revolutionaries of the world to help the working class and the masses to recognize their perspective in genuine socialism and to take up the struggle for it.

In Germany, the reputation of the government of SPD, Greens and FDP has reached a low point. The disengagement from the bourgeois parties, bourgeois parliamentarism and its institutions is leading to political destabilization. In this situation, the masses are looking for an alternative, whereby ultra-right and proto-fascist forces can divert a part of these people to the right. The MLPD therefore puts the emphasis of its rank-and-file work on the unfolding of a movement to help socialism gain a new standing among the masses.

The unification around the tasks in the struggle against imperialism was in the center of the 1st World Congress of the International Anti-Imperialist United Front against Fascism, War and Environmental Destruction, which successfully took place in Germany with 800 participants on September 5 and 6 as a twin event with the International Miners’ Conference. Here the leading role of the working class interpenetrated with the indispensable alliance with the struggles of the broad masses. This United Front includes communists, people not attached to a party, trade unionists, from the Marxist-Leninist to the (neo)revisionist spectrum, to religious people, from four continents and from all the main liberation movements. Here emerges a force of internationalism of action. Just a few days later, the United Front organized solidarity directly for those affected by the earthquake in Morocco, finding direct channels through militant miners, without aid disappearing into the channels of imperialist NGOs or feudal rule. The United Front has an open-door policy. The call, statutes and work program adopted at the World Congress have already been published and we invite everyone to check them out and become part of the United Front.

A process of regrouping and reorientation of the international revolutionary and workers’ movement is clearly unfolding. This process will lead to a strengthening of the international revolutionary movement, if it frees itself more and more from the influence of revisionism and social- chauvinism. Lenin had pointed out the fundamental importance of this question:

“You must side with one of the two immensely wealthy and immensely powerful groups of imperialist predators — that is how capitalist reality poses the basic issue of present-day foreign policy. That is how this issue is posed by the capitalist class. And that, it goes without saying, is how it is posed by the broad mass of the petty bourgeoisie who have retained their old, capitalist views and prejudices.

Those whose thinking does not go beyond capitalist relations cannot understand why the workers, if they are politically conscious, cannot side with either group of imperialist plunderers.” (Lenin, CW Vol. 25, p. 85 The Foreign Policy of the Russian Revolution).

Long live proletarian internationalism! Workers of all countries, unite!

Workers of all countries and oppressed, unite!