Expose the Truth About the G8 Summit Agenda
ILPS Statement on the 33rd G8 Summit
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples' Struggle
3 June 2007
The 33rd G8 Summit will be held in the isolated Baltic resort of Heiligendamm in
Germany from June 6-8, 2007. The G8 or Group of 8 is the most powerful alliance
of the monopoly capitalist states. The G8 process is the most important way by
which these states coordinate on policies for dominating the rest of the world,
especially the semi-colonies and dependent countries, particularly in economic
matters. Decisions taken by the G8 are subsequently carried forward and
implemented by their state agencies (economic, political and military) domestically
and internationally as well as bythe major US-controlled multilateral organizations,
financial institutions and forums.
This year's summit is held at a critical time for imperialism. On one hand, the economic
and financial crisis of global capitalism continues to deepen and its adverse effects are
mounting which makes it increasingly difficult for them to maintain their superprofits.
US imperialism has unleashed brazen wars of aggression, such as those against Iraq
and Afghanistan, to advance its economic interests. On the other hand, the worsening
condition of billions of the world's people is generating resistance and struggle against
Crisis of "Neoliberal Globalization" Reflected by Agenda
The official motto of "Growth and Responsibility" is unable to conceal the critical situation
reflected in this year's G8 Summit agenda. The biggest capitalist powers are forced to
confront the adverse consequences of recent decades of increasing "neoliberal globalization".
Global growth has become uneven, slower and more volatile. Since the "globalization" of the
1980's, the growth rates of the world gross domestic product (GDP) have fallen to less than
half of the more than 5 percent annual average in the first three decades after World War II.
Over a hundred countries have suffered 5-year periods of sustained declines in per capita
income growth, not only in Africa but also in Asia and Latin America. Unrivaled speculative
excesses and financial instability persist. At any time, only 2-5 percent of international
financial transactions are related to trade and the productive economy. The US itself is
confronted by historically large twin deficits in fiscal and trade transactions. Europe is
saddled with collapsing domestic demand, while Japan remains mired in its decades-long
In the face of all these and the resulting threat to their profits, the main objective
adopted by the big powers is to push measures to further increase the imperialist
export of capital by hastening the removal of investment barriers and of course to
accelerate the remittance of profits and repatriation of capital. The number of liberalizing
bilateral investment treaties alone has more than doubled from 1,100 in 1995 to nearly
2,400 a decade later.
The global total of foreign direct investment (FDI) has already risen nineteen-fold since
1990 and stands at over US$10 trillion. Yet unbridled greed and the need to combat
the ever-present tendency for profits to fall have meant that even this is not enough.
Foreign investment regimes in general, mining and natural resource extraction, and
the plunder of the African continent are the real key areas for discussion in Heiligendamm.
The G8 is pushing for more open investment policies in the countries of Asia, Africa
and Latin America which still retain vestiges, however scant, of controls on foreign
capital. At the same time they aim to ensure their scientific and technological monopolies
in the name of "intellectual property rights" and "promoting and protecting innovation".
The big powers will however retain their investment protections for their own monopoly
capitalists even as they decry similar efforts of their rivals. US and European monopoly
capitalists have already opposed attempted investment incursions and takeovers in
their vital industries.
They also want to further open up the mineral and energy resources of neocolonies
to foreign plunder under cover of "sustainable mining practices". They will try to do
all these through the resumption of World Trade Organization (WTO) talks. Apart
from this they will continue pushing bilateral and regional free trade agreements (FTAs)
as well as take more determined efforts in this regard through inter-governmental
venues, such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Much-hyped by the imperialists and imperialist-funded "civil society" organizations are
pretended measures to counter the adverse social effects of "globalization", climate
change and volatility in financial markets. Yet there is no recognition or acknowledgment
that these are among the inevitable consequences of irrational capitalism and its central
dynamic of profit-making. The G8's efforts here are nothing more than embellishments
on the system of plunder and peddling of the deception that capitalism can be
"humanized" and "refined" to sugarcoat the dire and dismal results of "free market"
policies. The misery and problems caused by "globalization" have become so obvious
that the big powers have to make a show of addressing these.
Two years ago, during the G8 summit in Gleneagles, the deception peddled by the
imperialists and pro-imperialist "civil society" organizations and some rock stars was
the supposedly "historic" deal of US$55 billion in debt cancellation for a handful of
deeply indebted countries. And yet today the whole of that trifling amount has
not been canceled. Indeed, international usury and the crushing neocolonial debt
burden of over US$2.8 trillion remain. Today the deceptions include such self-contradictions
as "corporate social responsibility" and monopoly capitalists "promoting and developing
social standards". But the limits are clear and the G8 cannot but incongruously assert
that the only "social protection systems" it is after are those based on privatized
"self-responsibility and accountability".
The declarations of concern over accelerating global warming likewise ring hollow.
The fundamental cause of adverse changes in the climate is the unrelenting drive
for profits of monopoly capitalism which aggressively pushes reckless consumption
as well as production heedless of the long-term impact on the planet's finite
resources - including its forestry and energy resources - and fragile ecology.
Reflecting this, the single greatest source of destructive greenhouse gas emissions
is US imperialism both in its homeland and through its plundering economic operations
in semi-colonies and dependent countries, including China, India and Brazil. But not only
is the G8 unable to address either of these, indeed it is even trying to use the specter
of ecological catastrophe as a bogus basis of unity to further befuddle, co-opt and
captivate the less critical segments of social movements.
The instability of financial markets is likewise also a matter of grave concern because
of the adverse impacts on the real economy. However financial speculation has served
as an increasing and important source of paper profits for monopoly capitalism confronted
by its crisis of overproduction. This instability will then remain and can only worsen for as
long as the big powers are after such profits. There is no historical precedent for any
kind of mutual arrangement by monopoly capitalists to voluntarily reduce their profits.
As it is, net capital outflows from the neocolonies or semi-colonies have been drastically
increasing since the mid-1990s to the level of US$670 billion in 2006 alone.
The G8 and "Neoliberal Globalization"
The G8 was first organized as the G6 in 1975 with the US, Japan, United Kingdom (UK),
West Germany, France and Italy. Canada joined, at the behest of the US, in 1976 to
form the G7. And then nuclear power Russia joined in 1998 to form the G8. The alliance
was put up as the global crisis of capitalism started to deepen further in the wake of US
imperialism's defeat in the Vietnam War. "Neoliberal globalization" and the renewed imperialist
offensive on the people of the world soon got underway in 1979 upon the sudden spike of
interest rates upon the initiative of the US.
Following the Third World debt crisis of the early 1980s, the G7 used its domination of the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) to force "free market" policies on
neocolonies through stabilization programs and structural adjustment programs (SAPs). At
the same time, monopoly capitalism squeezed the wages, benefits and social services to
the detriment of the working people. Come the 1990s, the biggest G8 powers extorted
more and more bilateral and regional free trade agreements (FTAs) as well as used the
WTO to come up with multilateral trade and investment agreements of unprecedented
The G8 countries constitute some 14 percent of the world population (with 856 million
combined) and account for 63 percent or nearly two-thirds of world gross domestic product
(GDP) at the level of US$28 trillion combined. The US is far and away the biggest economic
power taking up 28 percent of world GDP followed by Japan (10 percent) and Germany
(6 percent). The G8 accounts for half of worldwide trade in goods and, reflecting their
increased direct investments in production networks in the neocolonies, import slightly
more than they export. They completely dominate the IMF by taking up nearly half of
its voting power (48 percent), and likewise the WB by the same measure. In the WTO
the biggest factor determining the direction of talks is whether and how far the US and
the European Union (EU) give or withhold their assent.
Their military spending for defending and advancing their imperialist agenda is enormous
and far beyond what might be legitimately needed for self-defense. Combined G8 spending
in 2005 of US$707 billion is 71 percent of total world military expenditures. The US takes
up the overwhelmingly largest share with US$478 billion in spending (48 percent of world
total), distantly followed by the UK and France (5 percent each) and Japan (4 percent).
Four of the G8 members - US, UK, France and Russia - together account for 98 percent of
the world's some 100,000 nuclear weapons.
Imperialism has used this economic and military might for the last three decades to aggressively
push policies of "neoliberal globalization": de-nationalization of neocolonial economies, trade and
investment liberalization, privatization and deregulation. These "free market" policies aim to
support monopoly capitalist profits and overcome the crisis of global capitalism that has intensified
since the 1970s. The imperialists further exploit the cheap labor, natural resources and markets
of neocolonial economies.
They have had great success in imposing their plunderous policies on the people. In the last two
decades, worldwide cross-border direct investments have increased by some 14 percent annually
while world investments have increased by around 10 percent. About a third of these investment
flows have been to the neocolonies.
The propaganda that "globalization" would lead to development and a capitalist utopia is a deceit
that cannot be sustained. It was not long before the utter failure of these policies to result in any
sort of development as well as their real objective of feeding unbridled monopoly greed was
exposed by the harsh reality of far worse capitalist oppression and exploitation, resulting from
the accelerated concentration and centralization of capital in the global centers of capitalism
and the consequent devastation of the general run of neocolonies.
Monopoly capitalists have reaped their profits in the only way possible for them: at the expense
of the world's working people and, indeed, of the planet's fragile ecology. The removal of global
investment barriers has already resulted in the effective doubling of the global cheap labor force
that capitalism can prey on. Even as only scant millions are eventually employed, the effect of
the bloated reserve army of unemployed labor is severe. Unions have been attacked to bring
about declines in real wages and social entitlements, at the same time as welfare systems are
privatized and dismantled. Since 1980, the share of labor's wages and benefits in national income
in the G7 has fallen by 4 percentage points even as corporate profits as a percentage of GDP
increased by the same amount to reach historical highs.
Backward neocolonial agricultural and industrial producers have been overrun at the same time
as scarce natural resources have been exploited by big corporate mining and agri-business
investments. Millions of peasants have been economically and physically displaced. This has
caused human misery to continually expand. Global unemployment and poverty are massive.
Some 3 billion people, or half of humanity, struggle to survive on US$2 or less a day. Over
750 million people are without jobs worldwide. And even among the employed labor force
of the 2.8 billion, half are unable to earn enough to bring their families above the US$2 a day
poverty line. Nearly a billion people are undernourished worldwide, most of which are in Asia,
Africa and Latin America but also including some tens of millions even in the industrialized
countries. All these expose the hypocrisy of the G8's showy declarations of pretended support
for social standards and decent work for the laboring people.
The injustice of capitalism is affirmed by the worsening living conditions of the people. It is due
to the rapacity of the monopoly bourgeoisie that controls the world's resources and production
and corners the benefits of economic activity. "Globalization" has resulted in unprecedented
inequality. The richest two (2) percent of adults worldwide own more than half of global wealth,
while the poorest 50 percent own barely one (1) percent. Meanwhile, nine-tenths of the richest
one (1) percent of adults worldwide live in the G7 countries. Indeed the net worth of the richest
500 monopoly capitalists of US$2.6 trillion is equivalent to the annual output of the world's 48
poorest countries or to the income of the world's poorest 416 million people.
The deteriorating plight of the world's people is intrinsic to capitalism and G8 shows of false
concern and "social responsibility" cannot ever resolve these. Indeed all the G8 can do is endlessly
repeat the deception that "free markets" and capitalism offer the only path to human development.
Resistance to the G8 and Imperialism
The unbearable situation wrought by "neoliberal globalization" has fueled ever-mounting
people's mass actions and other struggles. There have been protests against the G8 since
the mid-1980s with counter-summits held highlighting the crushing debt burden of the
underdeveloped countries. Mass demonstrations began to grow in size since the mid-1990s
when a broad range of trade unionists, peasant organizations, indigenous groups, women's
organizations, church workers and other social activists started coming together to protest
during the G8 summits.
By the G8 summits in Genoa (2001) and Gleneagles (2005), up to 200,000 protesters were
taking to the streets. All these moreover occurred amidst worldwide and year-round mass
actions opposing imperialist "globalization" including demonstrations, rallies, roadblocks and
even general strikes involving hundreds of thousands up to millions of people. These struggles
have been met with violent political repression and state terrorism not just in Asia, Africa
and Latin America but in the imperialist countries themselves.
State security forces in Europe - not just in Germany but also in France, UK and the
Netherlands - have been cracking down on anti-G8 organizations in the months leading
up to the June summit. Civil and political liberties have been systematically violated and
justified as part of "anti-terrorism" campaigns legally sanctioned by repressive post-9/11
laws. Groups that are preparing to hold or protest activities or have already launched
build-up activities have been subjected to raids, arrests and detention.
Protest marches and actions have been broken up. In Germany, thousands of police
have conducted synchronized raids in the cities of Berlin, Hamburg, Bremen and other
northern towns. Homes and offices have been ransacked and files, materials and
equipment confiscated. As it is, the imperialist powers are forced to hold their summit
and declare their more intense offensive against the people of the world from behind
a 14 kilometer steel and concrete barrier.
Monopoly capitalism is increasingly desperate in its efforts to deal with the deepening
global economic crisis. The limits of gfree market globalizationh have been exposed
by the relentless worsening of the crisis since the late 1990s. Such a policy have only
served to accelerate the concentration and centralization of capital in a few imperialist
countries and have resulted in a series of grave economic and financial crisis.
No less than the US, the principal beneficiary of the neoliberal policy, is battered by its
domestic economic crisis. It has resorted to gmilitary Keynesianismh in a futile
attempt to stimulate the US economy by stepping up military production and pouring
state financial resources into gilded contracts with the military industrial complex. To
this end, it has stepped up war hysteria, unleashed wars of aggression, engaged in
foreign military intervention on a widening scale and promoted state terrorism and
fascism on a global scale under the pretext of anti-terrorism.
US imperialism is using its military superiority to expand its economic territory and
political hegemony. It tries to maintain the imperialist alliance against the proletariat
and people of the world and against the semicolonies and dependent countries. But
the crisis of the world capitalist system has become so grave that it disturbs the balance
of forces among the imperialist powers and is generating sharper inter-imperialist
competition and rivalries.
The pressures for a redivision of the world are growing. The US is facing increasingly
strong demands from Russia which has nuclear weapons and massive oil resources as
bargaining levers as well as from the European Union and Japan which are trying to
overcome decades of military inferiority and submissiveness to the self-aggrandizing
initiatives of the US. Direct hostile confrontations among the imperialist powers are
not yet occurring but they wrangle more than ever before over the spoils in the
semicolonies and dependent countries.
At present, the US is most hard-pressed by its continuing failure to pacify the people
of Iraq and Afghanistan and is unable to collect the prize for its wars of aggression.
Instead, it is incurring heavy casualties and financial losses and is sinking in a quagmire.
It is lessening its ability to pay adequate and timely attention to other countries and
continents of the world. Conditions are favorable for the rise of anti-imperialist mass
movements and revolutionary armed struggles for national liberation, democracy and
socialism on a global scale.
The G8 summit is an opportune time to highlight the grave and insoluble problems
faced by the imperialist powers and to bring forward the historic struggle against
imperialist oppression and exploitation.
The International League of Peoples' Struggle calls on all its participating organizations
to expand their ranks and build anti-imperialist and democratic united fronts at the
level of national chapters, global regions and the whole world. The daily worsening
conditions of oppression and exploitation require the ILPS to intensify its efforts to
arouse, organize and mobilize the people in their millions for the cause of greater
freedom, development, social justice and world peace against imperialism and