Whose World Will This Be?
Anti-imperialist resistance confronts World Trade Organization
Revolutionary Worker #1032, November 28, 1999
The Revolutionary Worker salutes all the people--from around the world--who are gathering in Seattle to confront the World Trade Organization and oppose the moves by the imperialists to step up their global rip-off.
"Whose world will this be?" This is the question of the hour in Seattle. The imperialist powers and their flunkies have their vision of the future. They tell us that capitalist investment and technology will bring unprecedented wealth to those who compete successfully in the global market. They declare that globalization is the "wave of the future"--and warn that those who fail to get on board will get left behind in poverty and backwardness.
But for the great majority of the world's people, this imperialist vision is a total failure and disaster--a nightmare of exploitation, oppression and degradation. It's a world where the gross prosperity of the few on the top is based on the hunger of hundreds of millions. A world where some capitalist executive in the U.S. can move huge blocks of investments at the push of a computer button and throw thousands of workers out on the streets halfway around the globe. A world where everything has a price--even human DNA, life-saving medicine and plants developed by Third World peasants over centuries of working on the land. A world where the blind drive for profit causes deadly pollution and ecological disasters.
In the weeks leading up to the Seattle meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the U.S. government reached a "free trade" agreement with China--paving the way for China's entry into the WTO. The agreement allows the U.S. and other imperialists even greater access into China--through ownership of telecommunication companies, operation of banking and financial services, increased foreign film imports, etc. Under Mao Tsetung's leadership, the Chinese people had broken free from the imperialist system and built a socialist, self-reliant economy that took the needs of the people as the starting point, not the dictates of the capitalist world market. But proletarian rule in China was overthrown and capitalist rulers came to power in 1976--and the imperialists are eager to carve up this country where a quarter of humanity lives.
According to the imperialists, the WTO and "free trade" benefit people everywhere. In reality, the WTO--along with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)--are key weapons in the hands of the U.S. and other imperialists. The WTO has three main roles: to maximize the freedom of action of imperialist capital--so that investments can be moved quickly from one location to another to maximize profits; to further pry open the economies of Third World countries to foreign investment and control; and to manage disputes and competition among the imperialist countries.
For the oppressed people of the world, there is nothing free about imperialist "free trade." Under the cover of "free trade," the imperialists claim the "right" to go into any oppressed country and do whatever they want, with as few restrictions as possible. The U.S. and other big powers enforce this "right" with their huge military forces as well as through the local ruling regimes in the oppressed countries.
With their 1999 WTO meeting, the imperialists intend to send out a "millennial" message--that the future belongs to them, and that the people of the world must bend to their every demand and requirement.
This vision of the future can only mean the intensification of an intolerable, disastrous situation--where a small number of monopoly capitalists control the wealth and means to wealth and rule over the masses of people. The only reason that there is still hunger in this world, that millions of children die each year from preventable diseases, and that many other outrages continue, is because these imperialists dominate political and economic power.
And it does not have to be this way! It is the life-crushing system of imperialism that is truly outmoded--the state of the world today cries out for radical transformations.
Maoists understand that such fundamental change can be brought about only through people's war that overthrows the imperialists and their local enforcers. Only revolution can bring into being a new society and solve the basic problems facing the people.
The imperialists tell us that their future is the only one possible or desirable. But the brutal and dehumanizing workings of the imperialist system is sparking mass struggles in many parts of the world--including revolutionary wars.
Carl Dix, national spokesperson for the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, points out: "Imperialist globalization is creating a world where workers and oppressed people all over the world are more bound together--bound together by ruin and misery, but more importantly bound together by a common enemy and a common future. Capitalism forces its competitive values on us by pitting us against each other in a desperate struggle to survive. In this way, they breed chauvinism among the workers of the rich, oppressor nations. They even get us on the battlefields, fighting and killing workers of other lands. But what we have in common is stronger than what divides us. This is why, when we see people struggling against harsh, brutal conditions in other lands, our hearts go out to them. Workers and oppressed people in any particular country have more in common with the workers and oppressed in other countries than with the capitalists in their own nation."
Whose world will this be? As Maoist political economist Raymond Lotta said in a statement to the Seattle People's Assembly, "The future belongs to those who dare to fight for a world free from exploitation and oppression."
It is up to the people to take the future away from global pirates of imperialism--and struggle for a very different future without the many injustices and vast inequalities that mark today's world.
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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