Senza Censura N.3 - Ottobre 2000




A crisis of internationalization and the internationalizations of the crisis

Supranational organisations and "counter-summits"


In September 1998, during the annual meeting of the IMF-World Bank, more than 20.000 people demonstrated in Berlin against this supranational and economic agency. They also denounced the devastating effects of structural adjustment programs on society. In the following years, the struggle against the international agencies and agreements of the imperialist bourgeoisie has been carried out by the proletariat and the opposition movements all over the world, including those in industrialised countries.

The protest of South Korean workers against the IMF and World Bank was one of the most unforgettable. After the mass dismissals in their country, those workers targeted this agency as guilty for their conditions in violent demonstrations.

As much unforgettable as the insurgency in Mexico on the first of January 1994, when the EZLN started its struggle at the same time as the NAFTA was becaming effective.

This process has definitely opened a new battlefield between the international proletariat and the imperialist bourgeoisie, which are both developing the struggle using all the possible means and turning to advantage it.

It is evident, however, that the conflict will be developed on the basis of the balance of power among the classes, which is in turn dialectically connected with the historical development of the hierarchies in the system of States and with the changes at the economic, financial, political and military level.

After the 2nd World War, this development was characterised by two, and very closely intertwined phenomena: the performance of new economic and political powers in the "Third World" area (especially in Asia) and the expansion of the financial form in the international process of accumulation (which represents today more than 1/10 of the world product). After 2 world wars, the "financialization" of the capitalist economy has lead to the creation of a few supranational organisations, whose task was "leading" the financial policies in the world, in the absence of a central world bank and based on the balance of forces in that period. 

But the permanent absence of a world monetary power, the expansion of the financial economy in new conditions of production and the performance of new powers have brought about an increasing economic mobility of world capital shares, which imposes a higher political and military control of the Planet by the "old powers". A new world order, according to the propaganda of the imperialist leading country in the last decade of the past century. Anyhow, when approaching the end of the so-called "bipolar world", the frequency and importance (especially according to mass media) of the summits and "agendas" of supranational agencies are increasing.

However, in consideration of the process of realignment of hierarchies in the system of the imperialist States and the definition of imperialist poles, a few supranational bodies have undertaken a major role over the others. Therefore, it's not by chance that the NATO and the IMF-WB have played a major role among the supranational "economic" structures (IMF-WB, WTO, OECD) and the structures of the so-called "world government" (UNO, G7, G8, NATO), which actually express the attempt of the  imperialist bourgeoisie to impose a world government. The war in the Balkans, the so-called "foreign debt" and the failures of the summits of other supranational organisations are just an example of that.

Anyway, the protests against supranational structures have gradually grown in these years,  involving various political and class sectors in the different countries.

More recently bourgeois mass media, when reporting about the failure of the Millennium Round (WTO), have  taken fright of Seattle people's globalisation. Mass media are very active in advertising the movements and counter-summits that, every time and now in a very specular way, protest against the summits of supranational structures. To the point that in industrialised countries the agendas of antagonist movements, "anti-capitalist neo-entrepreneurs", experts in media and "men of good will" are full in activities against every meeting of supranational agencies, without any clear idea of the priorities: first to go last to know!

Discussion and analysis about this phenomenon in the revolutionary movement are, as usually, sluggish and stagnating. In short, two "extreme" positions may be identified: the first one (optimistic) believes that this movement is a "good thing" on the whole, in spite of its old-fashioned positions in politics, because it represents the resistance against imperialism. On the contrary, the second position (pessimistic) considers this movement quite a negative thing, due to its old-fashioned positions, and because its opposition against capitalism is only virtual and spectacular.

The first one takes confort in the activism of the masses, the second in their passivity. However, both of them are wrong. First of all because they only consider an aspect of the phenomenon, separating it from the crisis of development of imperialist states and of the capitalist mode of production.

The first position makes absolute the right idea of a new battlefield between the international proletariat and imperialist bourgeoisie, but it underestimates its direction and the political contents. The prevalence of positions supporting reforms and democratisation (perhaps relaunching  a new model of the UNO) of the WTO, IMF-WB, OECD, NATO etc. actually weakens the international proletariat and legitimates politically these agencies, often in tow of sections of the imperialist bourgeoisie. In other words, they contribute to a peaceful world government from the imperialist bourgeoisie, although with some contradictions!

The Bank of Italy or the ECB (whose delegates participate in the meetings of the IMF) are perhaps democratic institutions? Is it democratic for Italian workers the Italian Manufacturers' Association (Confindustria)? Since the old Greece, democracy is the expression of the political power on slaves and foreigners. Today it isn't very different. Therefore, these tendencies must be criticised and opposed.

The second position takes as absolute the right consideration of the prevalence of bourgeois ideas within this movement, but it underestimates that there's a real and not only virtual battlefield in various countries and at the international level.

This movement isn't fully aware that there's a hierarchy in the supranational agencies established by the States at the economic (IMF-WB, WTO, ASEAN, etc.) and political level  (UNO, NATO, G7 ).

Moreover, it doesn't consider that these agencies - the true expression of the hierarchic system of the States and the imperialist bourgeoisie - have not only the responsibility for the exploitation and poverty in the world. They also represent "the clearing houses" where the domination of the multinational bourgeoisie over the world proletariat is carried out.

We all know that the last loan of the IMF-WB to Italy was negotiated in 1977: 530 millions of US dollars which marked a turning point in the class struggle, pushing a unprecedented political and military attack against the proletariat and its vanguards, in order to restore conditions of  valorisation acceptable for the capital and the political domination of the imperialist bourgeoisie.

It's also known that the so-called "programs of structural adjustment" not only bring about a "dependent development" in the developing countries, but are also a major instrument for getting rid of the forgotten area of "non-aligned countries".  From the late Seventies onwards, the financial "strangling" of Yugoslavia has opened the road to the political and military destruction in the Nineties.

The crisis of internationalisation of the capitalist mode of production hides the internationalisation of its crisis, which re-opens the issue of the hierarchies within the system and the domestic and international super-structures in which they are  embodied. The miracle formulas of the "new economy" as the instruments to manage an integrated market of production and reproduction of living conditions and to solve the internationalisation of the crisis are showing what they really are: the instruments of an aggressive "imperialist protectionism", already responsible for two world wars.

Let's only consider this journalistic example. When the agreement FIAT-General Motors was officialized (an agreement that forms part of the recent process of rapid and huge concentration in car industry)  last March, the representatives of Italian manufacturers, government (headed by D'Alema) and trade-unions underlined the good quality of that agreement. They also maintained that the economies of scale resulting from it would allow the development of domestic industry. Only three months later, the industrial-financial cartel FIAT-GM announced the proposal of buying the South-Korean (and financially dying) Daewoo!

In a definitely new process of internationalisation of the crisis of capitalism in terms of extension and importance, the hierarchies in the system of super-structures of the imperialist bourgeoisie will come out more and more evidently. Therefore, the choice is either the formulation and practice of an independent class initiative or following the "claims" of the various fractions of the imperialist bourgeoisie (even claiming "social clauses" aimed at defending the conditions of market created by the bourgeoisie itself).

Today, the struggle for the proletarian autonomy is based on new historical conditions and material conditions more stable than those of the previous cycle of international revolution.

After the 2nd World War, the proletariat has developed and strengthened itself, acquiring an international and metropolitan profile. The same difficulties coming out of the crisis of expansion of the current cycle of the capitalist accumulation tend to level the conditions of reproduction for the proletariat at the international level. In order to stop its internal conflicts, the imperialist bourgeoisie claims at the same time "social clauses" for its slaves in the Tricontinent and more "flexibility" for those in industrialised countries.

On the other hand, the so-called globalization clashes against the mechanisms of regulation of the law of values at the international level and with the process of polarisation of wealth and classes imposed by the unequal development of the capitalist mode of production. All that promotes an acceleration of the economic, political and military organising of imperialist poles, which can save not even their wageworkers from the unavoidable interventionist militarism.

Given these conditions, the idea that the "democratic reform" of supranational agencies can solve these problems is definitely absurd.

The last cycle of capitalist accumulation has changed the world. The proletariat has learnt to survive in the new conditions. Now it has to learn to act them!