Revolutionary Worker #902, April 13, 1997
On February 20, 1990, the Committee of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement issued an appeal to the people of Eastern Europe. It was called "Cast Away Illusions! Revolution--All the Way!" It was translated into Polish, Czechoslovakian, Romanian, Serbo-Croatian, German and several other languages. Tens of thousands of copies have been distributed throughout Eastern Europe. It also appeared in the journal A World to Win, #15. The following is an excerpt.
Western propagandists tell you to forget the evidence from Poland and Hungary of what more Western penetration will mean for you; look instead to Germany, Scandinavia or France--if you adopt democracy and join Europe, someday you too will live like this, they claim. What poison pours from their lips! Of course the West is richer--it has been more successful than its Soviet-bloc rivals in building a worldwide empire. Their exploitation fields stretch from Chile's copper mines to South Africa's gold mines up through the Middle East oil fields through South Asia and into the Far East, where tens of millions produce textiles and electronics for pennies an hour. Because the West is richer and has a relatively large middle class, it can allow some of its people to say what they want (some of the time) and go abroad (if they can afford it). The West is not rich because it is democratic, it is democratic because it is rich and it is democracy for the rich; the secret of its riches, and hence of its democracy, lies in its empire built on bloody conquest and maintained through savage wars like Vietnam, continual invasions of little countries like Panama, Grenada or the Malvinas, and perpetual misery and suffering for hundreds and hundreds of millions under apartheid regimes and military huntas and including within the borders of the imperialist countries themselves. If you want to know what Western democracy is really about, turn off Radio Free Europe and find the way to ask South Africa's blacks, or Palestinians in the Gaza strip, ask the Arab dustmen in Paris or Turks in Hamburg, ask England's coal miners or Chicago's ghetto inhabitants--get them to tell you about the "marvels" of Western democracy. Or you can just wait to find out for yourselves.
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