Red Youth comrades can apply each year to enter onto a cadre development programme in Marxism-Leninism. This year Red Youth has just over twenty young comrades on the programme run by the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist). Comrade Aberrabii a student in the West Midlands has completed his first module which requires a written assignment, assessment and public presentation. He gave his presentation to a meeting in Birmingham this month which was well received. Red Youth will publish a select number throughout the course of the year and encourages comrades to work their way through our online education programme. We’re happy to publish his speech here.
What is imperialism? That is the first question that should be asked when debating or having a discussion about imperialism. If we look at the dictionary definition then imperialism is essentially the policy of extending a country’s power and influence through colonialism, use of military force, or other means.
So then, what is a definition of imperialism meaningful to Marxist Leninists? It is the highest stage of capitalism as Lenin said in his Imperialism: The highest stage of Capitalism, its most advanced and parasitic stage. It is not a policy of this or that government but rather something inevitable and imperialism has to come to life in order for capitalism to be fully developed, in other words imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism
There are various contradictions within the imperialist system that will contribute to its destruction. These contradictions are why imperialist nations are in terminal decline. Lenin clearly outlined three primary contradictions that contribute to this decline, as well as eventual collapse of capitalism and imperialism.
The first contradiction:
There is a contradiction between labour and capital, between the exploiter and the exploited in the imperialist countries. The dominance of finance capital and the total power of the financial oligarchy invades, saturates and subverts all means of social control, such as the police, the courts and the media. Also the products produced are appropriated into the hands of the ruling class (the bourgeoisie), which use the wealth to accelerate and repeat the same process. It then becomes clear to the people that no change of government has any influence on how things really run, that no matter who you vote for no change is going to happen and that revolution is only way to freedom.
The War waged in Iraq and the truth behind it, was one of the biggest crimes that was committed by the US. It revealed the truth about the US and its desires of waging more and more wars so it can oppress more and more people. Official statistics state that up to 65% of the American population believed that the US invasion of Iraq was a huge mistake. This is leading people to get more politically conscious because there is obviously some people who had relatives that participated in that war and after they saw the truth about the Iraq war, they started to despise the establishment for making their relatives take part in their inhuman imperialist war. Britain and the US used 1,100 to 2,2000 tons of armour-piercing shells made of depleted uranium during attack on Iraqi forces. It therefore becomes evident that the US was the one trying to wage chemical warfare and not Saddam Hussein.
There are a handful of contradictions within the imperialist camp. There is frenzied competition between the various imperialists. The first and second world wars are ample proof of the truth of this thesis. The First World War was an imperialist war as each imperialist nation took part to fulfil their own imperialistic interests. It was a war for the division of the world, for the partition and repartition of colonies and spheres of influence of finance capital, etc. It is indeed thanks to the First World War that the October revolution was won took place.
In the Second World War the US was not fighting against Nazi Germany in order to eliminate Nazism but rather to protect its economic interests in European and Asian markets. Yet as an example of a clash between US corporate interests William Hearst, a friend of Hitler’s and the founder of the Hearst mass media empire, did much to spread myths about the Soviet Union. The American mass media did many favours for Hitler of this kind, including spreading fictional creations such as the holodomor being calculated genocide.
Other examples of a clash of interests between competing imperialist states can be seen in the wake of the Second World War, such as the Suez Canal Crises, in which during the last death throes of the British and French colonial empires the US sought to cast its own sphere of influence over the Middle East. Thus the US denied any support for the old empires in order to ensure its own hegemony. Such contradictions between imperialist nations persist to this day, the conflicts in Iraq, Libya and Syria highlight the varying interests and clashes of interest between them when committing themselves to imperialist wars of aggression
There is a contradiction between the oppressor nations and the vast masses of the oppressed world. There is constantly an increase in the export of capital, necessitated by the need to find profitable sources of investments. This means taking capital to where the cheap labour and raw materials are. Setting up production there and extracting super-profits. Super-profits are derived from the super-exploitation of workers, who are living in horrible conditions and are denied any kind of rights or health and safety at work. The USA is notorious to have done this to Mexico and to people living near the borders where poor peasants with super low wages have to work for the privileged white capitalist.
Oppression and being oppressed for a long time lead the oppressed to create resistance, in order to fight against the imperialists. Some of them are led by communists with the ultimate goal of establishing Socialism such as the people’s war in Colombia with FARC-EP or ELN and the Philippines with the New People’s Army. Some resistance movements are nationalist in nature such as the Palestinian and the Irish movement. Lenin thesis on imperialism shows that no matter what the class of origin of these movements, in the context of the world system of imperialism, all those whose struggles tend to weaken imperialism are anti-imperialist.
In conclusion, as Lenin says ‘Imperialism is the eve of the social revolution of the proletariat’. In that it is the horrible acts that are done by Imperialism that gather people to revolt, it has so many contradictions to the point where Imperialism will self-destroy itself.
Therefore how can we as Marxist Leninists fight against Imperialism?
We have seen what the imperialists have done in Yugoslavia, the attack carried out by NATO that left hundreds if not thousands innocents dead. We have seen their crimes in Libya, where the so-called rebels were only proxy armies working for the US. NATO completely destroyed Libya and has turned the country to ashes and left thousands of Libyans dead. Libya now is a destroyed country rife with tribal and factional civil war. This is why a socialist nation must protect itself against imperialist aggression. It is for this reason that the United States is not able to invade the DPRK, and American proxies in Syria are losing ground because Syria has defended itself admirably.
Marxist Leninists support national liberation and anti imperialist movements despite any reactionary ideology where it advances the cause of proletarian revolution. Communists need to support Syria’s Assad against proxy armies despite the fact that Ba’athism is a reactionary and bourgeois ideology, as it has however popular support in Syria. Leaders such as Muammar Gaddafi and Gamal Abdel Nasser were progressive and revolutionary, because they were fighting imperialism. Refusing to support anti imperialist nations and movements is purely opportunism. Lenin taught us that the interest of the oppressed and anti imperialist movement is of the same interest of the proletariat.
There are a lot of parties in Britain which style themselves as left wing but fail to support any national liberation and anti imperialist movements. The Stop the War Coalition expelled the CPGB-ML due to its opposition to the NATO war in Libya, and the support we gave Gaddafi. Our organisation also opposed the invasion by NATO that was going to take place in Syria in late 2013. It becomes clear to us that groups such as the Stop the War Coalition are counter revolutionary, they are not Marxists nor they are Leninists as Lenin said at the 2nd congress of the Communist International, that all Communists must assist bourgeois democratic liberation movements where they advance the proletarian revolution. Failure to do so is the worst kind of opportunism.
The SWP, CPB, Labour, Socialist Party etc… are not revolutionary at all but want to preserve British imperialism. Joseph Stalin said in Foundations of Leninism that the struggle for independence made by the Emir of Afghanistan is revolutionary, for it is a struggle against imperialism. The struggle waged by social democrats such as Karl Kautsky and others are reactionary for their purpose is to preserve imperialism.
The main question is not whether this or that party calls itself in words communist, the question that should be asked is in deeds is it fighting Imperialism? For example the Syrian Social Nationalist Party is far more revolutionary than The French Communist Party or the Communist Party of Britain because it is actively waging a struggle against imperialism. European nationalism on the other hand reactionary for its purpose is to praise countries that wage countless wars.
It is very important to support anti imperialist struggles, because they will weaken imperialism and serve the purpose of clearing a wider path for the development of socialism it is therefore of great significance to support anti imperialist movements so that the path towards socialism flourishes here in Britain!