The International Situation in Early 2018
There are a multitude of contradictions at play in the world today. They exist in the political, economic, cultural, and military spheres and interrelate with each other in dynamic ways. However, the principal contradiction continues to be that between US imperialism and the peoples of the world.
US imperialism represents everything reactionary and oppressive in the world. Politically, it enforces compliance by other nations with its own self-serving agenda, thus restricting, confining and, in extreme cases, completely obliterating the independence of nations and peoples. In our own situation, that compliance is manifested as a voluntary surrender of any capacity for independence in foreign policy by the leaders of the only two parties likely to be at the head of our national government. In the case of other countries which have aspired to develop independently of the dictates of US imperialism, it has resulted in interference, bullying and control up to and including invasion and so-called “regime change”.
Economically, we are all aware of China’s rise as a competitor to the US, but the latter retains overall control of the global economy, meaning the economies of most of the world’s countries, through the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. And although US imperialism is a debtor nation, its currency is still the global fiat currency, giving this debtor nation a power over others that it would otherwise be unable to exercise.
Together with British and French imperialism, US imperialism credits itself with being the repository of those values that it promotes as the bedrock of civilisation: free elections, the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the inviolable rights of the individual – all of which we should precede with the words “so-called”. In terms of popular culture, that is, in terms of the ideological underpinning of movies, songs, on-line gaming and other mass entertainments, we have a comprehensive means by which the people are their own captors, their own jailers, keeping themselves in unenlightened acceptance of the social status quo with US imperialism at its head.
The military power of US imperialism, especially taken together with its NATO partners and the India-Australia-Japan axis in our own region, remains substantially larger than its potential rivals – and Trump seeks to further expand its range and power. The three key flashpoints for large-scale war are the Ukraine, where US imperialism backs the Maidan fascists and where the reactionary influence of neighbouring Poland and its extreme right-wing government ensures an anti-Russian sentiment remains strong; Syria, where the Russian backing for Bashar Al-Assad has helped turn the conflict in his favour, and where provocations by Israel, Turkey and the US prevent a well-deserved final victory by the Syrians; and East Asia incorporating its own sub-set of the South China Sea, the Diaoyutai Islands and the Korean Peninsula.
Even with all of its political, economic, cultural and military advantages combined, US imperialism has feet of clay. It is shaking on its own foundations because in all aspects of its domination of the world, contradictions ensure that opposing factors are also brought into play. There are contradictions between US imperialism and its partner imperialisms; contradictions between US imperialism and other rising imperialisms; contradictions between US values and those of non-Christian fundamentalists seeking to emulate US imperialism by having their own empire of the Caliphate; contradictions between US finance capital and those nations seeking different capitalist development paths; and above all, and most fundamentally, contradictions between US imperialism and the working classes and landless masses of the world.
Our objective must be to utilise those contradictions, to do what we can to sharpen and intensify them so that US imperialism more quickly moves towards its opposite, towards its ultimate weakening and defeat. Our work must be strengthened at the level of efforts to promote an independent and peaceful Australia with a strengthened and conscious working class imposing its own independent agenda on the domestic political front.