Comrade Caleb Maupin, ideological leader of the Centre for Political Innovation (CPI), introduces Comrade Joti Brar’s speech at the CPI convention in Portland, Oregon by condemning the recent arrest of the four CPGB-ML comrades for selling a pamphlet on zionism. He proudly states that copies of this pamphlet are on sale at the conference. “Just try and arrest all of us,” Caleb challenges.
Beginning by talking about her attitude as a communist, Joti insists that even at a time when history seems to be against us, as was the case during the 1990s as a result of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, it is never the wrong time to say the right thing. She touches on how becoming a communist during the reactionary period of the 1990s makes her quite the anomaly, but has imbued within her this lesson.
Summing up the communist attitude to political study, Comrade Joti says:
“I invite you to read Capital. It’s quite readable. Back in the day, there were workers in Britain who were so motivated to know what was in that book, they used it to learn to read. Now that’s motivation. If you want to know what’s in it, you’ll read it and understand it. So I invite you to read it. Don’t trust people who tell you what’s in it; read it for yourself. Don’t be afraid of knowledge.”
Proceeding on to the international situation, she brings up the principle message of the World Anti-imperialist Platform: that lines were drawn on 24 February 2023 when a shift in the balance of power in the world became apparent – when the nature of the third world war into which we are heading is between the US-led imperialist bloc on the one hand, and the forces of socialism, national liberation, independence and sovereignty on the other.
There is no third choice between these two sides. It is not possible to be an apolitical bystander, for to do nothing makes you complicit in the actions of the prevailing imperialist forces. You have to pick a side.
The crisis of the system is not just economic, but also social. Joti points out that capitalism “offers the working class no future in the current system”. It doesn’t just throw millions of people out onto the streets – as if that weren’t bad enough – but it further damns billions into a hopeless existence, a pointless struggle through life; a life full of empty distractions that try to paper over the cracks of an otherwise bleak existence. This criminal squandering of the potential of the people of the world has broken lives and broken communities.
On the communist attitude to war, Joti makes it clear that communists love peace as we love humanity. But you cannot have peace whilst your enemy is armed to the teeth. We are not pacifists, because we understand that you can’t defeat an armed opponent by disarming yourself.
Using the contrasting examples of the DPRK and Libya, Joti affirms that “you cannot disarm yourselves in the era of imperialism”. Which country has survived and remains independent, and which has fallen into war and disarray?
Concluding, Joti encourages the audience to take up meaningful solidarity work. One of the best ways workers in imperialist countries like the USA can support anti-imperialism around the world is to disrupt their government at home. Antiwar work to keep the imperialists busy lends a great helping hand to anti-imperialists taking them on in Palestine and other countries. This is the practical programme of the World Anti-imperialist Platform.