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Keynote Speech to the Conference Towards a Just and Lasting Peace
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples' Struggle
June 16, 2006

Let me express first of all the deep gratitude of the International Coordinating Committee and entirety of the International League of Peoples' Struggle to the Canada-based ILPS participating organizations and their conference secretariat and organizing committees for organizing this international conference towards a just and lasting peace against imperialist war and plunder.

We appreciate that this conference is meant to build on the previous work and resolutions of the two study commissions on ILPS Concern No. 1 (the cause of national liberation, democracy and social liberation) and Concern No. 4 (the cause of a just peace against wars of counter-revolution and aggression) to deepen our understanding of these two concerns and to renew and strengthen our resolve to carry forward the peoples' struggle.

The two concerns are necessarily linked. A just and lasting peace can be realized only with the people achieving national liberation, democracy and social liberation and defeating the wars of counterrevolution and aggression. Imperialism and reaction are culpable for the oppression and exploitation of the people, for state terrorism and wars. The people can obtain a just and lasting peace only by overcoming imperialism and reaction.

Imperialist Plunder, Crisis, Repression and War of Aggression

The monopoly bourgeoisie maximizes its profits right at the workplace by reducing the wage fund for the workers while increasing capital for the plant, equipment and raw materials. It always seeks to raise the rate of exploitation in order to improve its competitive position vis a vis rivals within the same industry in the same country and on an international scale.

Because the monopoly capitalists in various industries constantly seek to press down the wage level in order to raise their profitability, they ultimately decrease the purchasing power of the workers and reduce the market for their products. The result is a crisis of overproduction relative to the constricted market. Production cutbacks, mass layoffs and bankruptcies of companies ensue. Upon the breakdown of the real economy, the financial crisis takes the form of stockmarket crashes, an epidemic of bad loans, currency devaluation, and so on.

In the era of imperialism, the monopoly bourgeoisie seeks to counter the falling rate of profit and the economic and financial crisis in the metropolis by exploiting the working people in the economic hinterlands of the world, consisting mainly of countries described politically as semi-colonies and dependent countries or economically as underdeveloped and less developed. These are the sources of cheap raw materials and labor, markets for surplus goods, fields of investment for surplus capital and spheres of influence.

But the expanded field of exploitation leads to bigger and more bitter economic competition and political contentions among the imperialist powers. Economic and financial crises become more devastating, more frequent and more prolonged, generating repression and fascism, wars of counterrevolution and aggression and global wars among the imperialist powers that try to redivide the world, as in World War I and II.

As a result of inter-imperialist wars, new nation-states and socialist states have arisen. But still the imperialist powers jointly and separately have been able to impose neo-colonial forms of exploitation and domination on most nations of the world. At the same time, the phenomenon of modern revisionism has undermined and paved the way for the restoration of capitalism in socialist states.

Since the 1980s, the US unleashed the policy of neoliberalism or "free market" globalization, which is a misnomer for the narrow character and selfish interests of monopoly capitalism. The main tool of the policy consists of the manipulation of the interest rates and the supply and flow of money to consumption of durable and nondurable goods and to whichever are the favored sections of production, such as high-tech weapons under Reagan, high-tech consumer products under Clinton and once more high-tech weapons plus major wars of aggression under Bush.

The policy objective is economic growth in terms of the growth of monopoly capital but certainly not in terms of employment and higher income for the working people. The neoliberal policy is aimed at solving the problem of stagflation by reducing regular workers in favor of part-timers, pressing down the wages of workers, attacking workers' rights and cutting back on social but certainly not military spending by government.

The monopoly firms and banks are given all the leeway to build up their resources and capacities through tax exemptions, denationalization of the economies of the underdeveloped countries, liberalization of trade and investments, privatization of public assets and deregulation against the protection of the workers, women, children and the environment.

Under the US-instigated policy of neoliberalism, the world capitalist system has hurtled from one crisis to a deeper and graver one in more than 25 years. The policy has not prevented but has served to accelerate the economic and financial crisis of the following in chronological order: the general run of raw-material exporting countries of the third world, the monopoly bureaucrat capitalism of the Soviet bloc and industrial overproducers like Japan, Germany and such so-called economic tigers as South Korea and Taiwan, the so-called emerging markets in the ex-Soviet bloc countries and ultimately the US.

In the latter half of the 1990s, the US appeared to have a "new economy" of overvalued assets, high speculation, high-tech production and constant growth without inflation until the high tech bubble burst in the year 2000. All along the US was attracting foreign funds to finance its frenzied overconsumption and huge trade deficits. It was the principal beneficiary of the accelerated concentration and centralization of monopoly finance capital under neoliberalism but finally became afflicted with economic and financial crisis.

The Bush regime has sought to revive and sustain the US economy by sticking to the policy of neoliberalism but combining this with military Keynesianism. The occurrence of 9/11 gave the regime the license to whip up war hysteria, to stifle dissent with the USA PATRIOT Act, to make the resources and contracts flow to the military-industrial complex and to unleash wars of aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq with the obvious purpose of seizing major oil sources and supply lines in the Middle East and Central Asia.

The economic formula of Bush has failed. The housing bubble, an additive to the concoction, is in the process of bursting upon the rise of interest rates aimed at attracting more foreign funds. Trade and budgetary deficits are relentlessly widening. The high unemployment rate is camouflaged by taking out of the reckoning those who stop looking for work and by counting in among the employed the part-timers. The Bush regime continues to think it can still use war hysteria and the so-called war on terror to keep its political upperhand in US politics, despite the clear rejection of the US war of aggression in Iraq by the American people.

The US is the No. 1 imperialist power, the No. 1 propagator of terrorism and the No. 1 source of war. Its ongoing atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan, involving the mass murder of more than 200,000 civilians, are so many times bigger and more barbaric than 9/11 which killed less than 3000 civilians. US monopoly capitalism is an extremely aggressive force as it is being driven by the global capitalist crisis to engage in further acts of aggression.

The US has a track record of extreme violence against the people. It killed 1.5 million Filipinos from the Filipino-America War of 1899-1902 to 1913, 4 million Koreans during the Korean War and 6 million people in the Korean War. It has the despicable distinction of atom bombing the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Together with its British and Dutch allies, it masterminded the massacre of 1.5 million Indonesians through the instrumentality of the Suharto military fascist regime.

The US colludes with and contends with other imperialist powers in exploiting and oppressing the people of the world, in plundering the natural resources and social wealth created by the people, in employing state terrorism directly and through its puppets to repress the people and in unleashing the worst form of terrorism, which is the war of aggression, against the people and recalcitrant states.

The People's Resistance Against Imperialism

As the crisis of the world capitalist system worsens and the imperialist powers engage in war and plunder, the oppressed peoples and nations are compelled and impelled to resist imperialism and all reaction and to fight for their national and social liberation. They have long engaged in various forms of resistance against the impositions of the imperialist powers directly or through such multilateral agencies as the IMF, World Bank and WTO and through military alliances.

In the long run, the peoples engaged in armed revolution, such as those in Iraq, Turkey, Nepal, India, Tamil Eelam, the Philippines, Colombia and elsewhere, are the most potent in struggling for national and social liberation and realizing just peace against counterrevolution and aggression. They set the example for other peoples to follow. They keep alive the great legacy of armed revolutions that made possible national independence and socialism in many countries in the past century.

The current armed revolutionary parties and movements of the people are achieving their own brilliant victories and are strengthening themselves through hard work and struggle among the oppressed and exploited masses. They are driven by the needs and demands of the people and they rely on the people as the inexhaustible source of strength. But they also know how to take advantage of the contradictions among the local reactionaries, within the imperialist countries, between the imperialist powers and recalcitrant states, and among the imperialist powers.

Revolutionary parties of the proletariat have complemented armed struggle as the main form of struggle with legal forms of struggle and with the united front for armed and legal struggles. The armed revolution spreads faster as the revolutionary party not only relies on the toiling masses of workers and peasants it has organized but also reaches out to the masses that are still under the influence of other entities. It becomes so much easier to organize and mobilize the people as they grasp the general line for national liberation and democracy through the rousing slogans of the united front.

At the moment, revolutionary armed struggles are being waged in countries such as the Philippines, Nepal, India, Turkey and Colombia. At the same time, there are wars of national liberation against imperialist aggression and occupation, such as in Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan. The social outcome of the politico-military struggles depends on the objective conditions and subjective factors. But whenever there is fierce struggle against imperialism and its puppets in certain countries, the revolutionary party of the proletariat can take advantage of such struggle to optimize the results of the revolutionary struggle.

Some countries steadfastly oppose US imperialism. These include North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela. The persevering struggle of the people and government for their national independence and their social system is admirable. It extends support to the revolutionary struggles of the people elsewhere. There are other countries in which the governments are not progressive but which are at loggerheads with the US imperialism for whatever reason. It is good for the revolutionary party of the proletariat to study and utilize the contradictions between the two sides and promote the revolutionary initiative and independence of the revolutionary forces and people.

The great revolutions of Russia and China in the 20th century were successful not only because of the correct revolutionary line set forth by the revolutionary party of the proletariat and followed by the organized masses but also because of the favorable objective conditions provided by the inter-imperialist global wars and the continuing contradictions of the imperialist powers. The line can only be correct and successful as it applies effectively on the concrete conditions.

Within the imperialist countries, the broad masses of the people are in discontent over the exploitative, oppressive and bellicose policies of their governments. They have risen up in gigantic mass actions against anti-worker and anti-people policies, against the ever deteriorating conditions of economic and social life, against all forms of discrimination against the immigrants, the people of color, women and youth, against repression of the people in the name of anti-terrorism and against the US-led wars of aggression in Iraq and elsewhere.

The people fighting for national and social liberation, the countries upholding and defending their national independence against imperialist impositions, and the people struggling in the imperialist countries are all linked by common needs, by a common determination to strengthen their solidarity and mutual support and by common aspirations to overcome their common enemy and achieve a durable and just peace.

How the ILPS Can Carry Forward the Peoples' Struggle

Since its founding in May 2001, the ILPS has become a major formation and rallying point of the peoples of the world in their struggle for a new and better world of greater freedom, democracy, social justice, all-round progress and peace. Despite its meager resources, it has stood out as one of the most resolute and most militant formations fighting against imperialism and reaction.

By pursuing the correct political line and relying on its constituent organizations and the broad masses of the people, it has successfully spelled out and espoused the most urgent vital issues and confronted the barefaced enemies of the people as well as the reformists and anarchists of various stripes. The worsening crisis of the world capitalist system and the rapidly rising resistance of the people require the constant expansion and consolidation of the ILPS.

The ILPS has assumed the duty of asserting the justness of the peoples' struggle for national liberation, democracy and social liberation and for a just peace against wars of counterrevolution and aggression, promoting the international solidarity of all the forces and people fighting against imperialist war and plunder and encouraging and supporting all forms of struggle by the people.

The ILPS should undertake educational activities such as research, publications, group studies, seminars, forums and conferences in order to propagate its anti-imperialist and democratic line on the 18 concerns and push the development of the study commissions at the national, regional and international levels. The ILPS coordinating committees at all levels should have a resource base for learning sessions and issuing statements on the urgent issues.

The initial participating organizations of the ILPS in any country should attract and invite other organizations to join the ILPS and form the national chapter of the ILPS as a broad alliance along the anti-imperialist and democratic line. Thereafter, national chapters in the same global region can hold its assembly to take up issues and elect its coordinating committee. The International Coordinating Committee is eager to see the national chapters of the United States and Canada to form the coordinating committee for North America.

At any level, the ILPS should always be ready to initiate mass campaigns of information, education, mass actions and raising of resources on important urgent issues, mobilize the participating organizations of the ILPS and engage other organizations, entire communities and individuals to cooperate in the common effort. The ILPS should also be ready to cooperate with other entities that initiate and undertake activities that are compatible with the character and objectives of the ILPS.

On its own account, the ILPS is determined to pursue all possible and necessary forms of legal struggle to uphold, defend and advance the rights and interests of the people. At the same time, it recognizes that the people in any country have the all-important sovereign right to decide and carry out what they consider as the most effective forms of struggle to empower themselves and get rid of those who oppress and exploit them. ###

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