TML Monthly Supplement

No. 13

June 11, 2021


Group of Seven Summit in Cornwall, England, June 11-13

Widescale Opposition to G7 Leaders' Summit

A Crisis-Ridden Alliance Holds a Crisis-Ridden Summit

- Pauline Easton -

The Content of the Values and Rules-Based
International Order the G7 Seeks to Impose

Discussion Related to the Promotion of "Shared Values"

Values Contained in the Charter of Paris

- Hardial Bains -

The Content of the "New World Order" Established
by the Charter of Paris

- Hardial Bains -

U.S. Imperialist Proposal to Resuscitate a "Concert of Powers"
to Further U.S. Striving for Domination

- Kathleen Chandler -

The Conception of a Rules-Based International Order and the
Role of Measuring, Standards and Human Agency to
Advance from Opening to Opening

- Ideological Studies Centre -

Group of Seven Summit in Cornwall, England, June 11-13

Widescale Opposition to G7 Leaders' Summit

The Group of Seven (G7) "Leaders' Summit" June 11-13, brings together Heads of State from the seven countries that comprise it -- the U.S., Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. It will be held in the small town of Carbis Bay in Cornwall, England. Carbis Bay has a population of just 3,500. To defend the G7 "partnership based on shared interests and values" more than 5,000 police from across England are mobilized at the summit. There will also be police boats, drones, 150 police dogs, and special police forces in riot gear. Hundreds of Armed Forces personnel will also be present.

Actions by the peoples of Britain and Europe and virtual meetings worldwide are taking place to denounce both the G7 Summit and the NATO Summit to be held on June 14 in Brussels, Belgium. These actions are raising the peoples' demands as concerns providing vaccines free of charge to the peoples of the entire world, demands related to the climate crisis, poverty, the demand for equality and reparations for the crimes of slavery and genocide and many others. Actions are opposing the warmongering activities of the U.S.-led NATO and denouncing the imperialist stand in defense of the Zionist attacks on the Palestinian people and occupation of the Palestinian homeland. The demands include dismantling these imperialist alliances and organizing for anti-war governments. Most importantly, they underscore the fight taking place worldwide for people's empowerment against the system which concentrates decision-making in ruling elites of seven countries neither of which represent the interests of the peoples of the world.

Protests have already taken place at finance and health minsters' meetings in advance of the "leaders'" summit and more actions are planned.

Two representatives of the European Union will also attend the Summit. Britain holds the rotating presidency this year and acts as the host country. It has invited representatives from non-member countries Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea.

The host of this year's G7, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, says the G7 summit "aims to unite leading democracies to help the world build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic and create a greener, more prosperous future." This is to be done by:

"- leading the global recovery from the coronavirus while strengthening resilience against future pandemics;
- promoting future prosperity by championing free and fair trade;
- tackling climate change and preserving the planet's biodiversity; and
- championing global shared values."

The G7 Summit also features meetings of ministers and representatives of what are called the G7 Engagement Groups: Women 7, Youth 7, Business 7, Civil Society 7, Labour 7 and Science 7. Their intention is to be spokespersons for G7 propaganda about "shared values" which covers up the state-organized violence and efforts made to divide the people on the basis of imperialist conceptions of rights and to funnel money to undermine the resistance of the peoples of both member countries and the world to the neo-liberal anti-social offensive.

The NATO meeting immediately after the G7 underscores that the way to enforce the so-called shared values, and demonstrate "solidarity" is by use of the military. As part of imperialist war preparations, NATO forces are being used to surround Russia, including bases, armaments and about 40,000 troops at present. U.S. and NATO troops continue to threaten the peoples of all of Europe, West and East Asia all in the name of protecting "shared interests and values."

Hidden behind claims about the alleged success of vaccination programs in the U.S., Britain, Germany and France are the real countenance of increasing poverty, inequality, harm to the natural environment, violence and abuse. Indicative of the "shared values" is the fact that people living in G7 countries are said to be 77 times more likely to be offered a vaccine than those living in the world's poorest countries. At the current rate, it would take the countries kept under the thumb of the "shared values" of the G7, some 57 years for everyone to be fully vaccinated. For the G7 countries to "share" their vaccines with the rest of the world is supposed to be on the agenda of the G7. What is hidden however is how Big Pharma benefits through pay-the-rich schemes. Protesters at the pre-summit meeting of health ministers called on the G7 to "stop making empty promises and protecting the interests of pharmaceutical companies." This goes to the heart of the matter.

Another "shared value" is the high level of legal corruption which makes the most powerful corporations ever richer and the ever larger numbers of poor ever poorer. A recent study shows that the average CEO compensation of the largest U.S. corporations rose 29 per cent to $15.3 million in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, while typical worker pay dropped by two per cent to $28,187. The compensation at the top is some 490 times greater than that of an average worker. Maintaining this status quo goes to the heart of what the "shared value" equated with "freedom, democracy and equal opportunity" is all about. The CEOs have "equal opportunity" to scam so as to triple their fortunes under the most adverse circumstances.

It is certain the G7 and NATO summits will not resolve any conflicts as the intensifying contending interests among the global oligopolies and their coalitions and cartels means war governments and more war plans as each narrow private interest strives for dominance. Even within the G7 itself, members like France and Germany remain in contention with the U.S., including over relations with Russia. Nord Stream 2, for example, a natural gas pipeline running from Russia to Germany, is being built despite U.S. objections. So too, the very presence of NATO troops means the presence of U.S. bases, troops and firepower and threatens the very countries whose soil they occupy. It shows that the mantra about "shared values" is a threat. Countries are told to either sort out the contradictions which abound on every front in a manner which favours U.S. imperialist interests, or refusal to do so will be met with defamation, sanctions, death and destruction. These contradictions include those over the nuclear deal with Iran and many others where the contention over control of markets, investment capital, resources and zones of influence and financial gain lead to policy clashes which means clashes between police powers. Massive disinformation on matters related to human rights, Belarus and Ukraine are all of this nature. The G-7 has long since trampled in the mud with impunity the right of the peoples of the world to have conflicts resolved without the use of force.

The "rules" which the U.S. imperialists make up as they go along, repeated slavishly by the likes of Canada, are no guide to action to sorting out these contradictions within the G7 or NATO, any more than they can sort out the contradictions within the U.S. and within Canada. These contradictions are the result of obsolete colonial and modern-day power structures designed to keep the people under control so that they cannot use their own agency to effect changes favourable to their interests.

It is the countries which form the G7 and their obsolete democracies which deprive the peoples of political power that are creating unbearable conditions for the peoples worldwide. The G7 has adopted the slogan to make their countries "Great Again" as well as the imperialist slogan of the U.S. administration, echoed by Canada, to "Build Back Better." The content of these slogans looks to the past for purposes of bringing it back to the future. In the present it takes the form of threats when the times are demanding political renewal so as to bring forms into being whereby the peoples can speak in their own names. Human agency is essential to change the present so that the path to progress serves humanity in the present. The watchword of the peoples is One Humanity, One Struggle for the Rights of All!

Youth Climate Strike March and Sound the Alarm Actions

(Photos: Extinction Rebellion, Resist G7, C. Paillard, Yudi, H. Lindon, S. Williams, Netpol.)

Resist G7 and No to NATO Events

Pan-Canadian NATO Counter-Summit
Building a National Resistance to the Alliance
Monday, June 14 — 4:00 pm PT/ 5:00 pm MT/
6:00 pm CT/ 7:00 pm ET/ 8:00 pm AT

To register for Zoom meeting: click here

London, England

Resist G7: Justice for Palestine Protest
Saturday, June 12 -- 1:00 pm
Opposite 10 Downing St.
For further information click here

Haut de page

A Crisis-Ridden Alliance Holds
Crisis-Ridden Summit

The G7 which claims to represent "the world's most influential and open societies and advanced economies," has adopted the campaign slogan of the President of the United States "Build Back Better." Essentially this means that the countries meeting together at the G7 "leaders' Summit" think they can impose their "shared values" and so-called rules-based international order on the entire world. They say that "might makes right" is something from the past but everything they do is to find new ways to bring it into the present and mold the future based on their pragmatic imperialist conception that nothing succeeds like success. In other words, they make the rules and then they use force to impose the rules against those who do not submit. They do that all over the globe. They did that when the Soviet Union fell and they adopted the Charter of Paris which dictated the rules they subsequently imposed onto the peoples of the world in the name of democracy, human rights and prosperity. They decided the rules for the so-called free movement of goods and capital, multi-party election systems and human rights, none of which adhere to the standards adopted by the United Nations which constitute the international rule of law. Whosoever does not abide by their own arbitrary rules faces sanctions and other forms of death and destruction.

Their striving to be "great again" harkens back to a past which they see as glorious even as the peoples of the entire world settle scores with the legacies of genocide, slavery and capitalist and imperialist relations of production and the nation-states whose structures are designed to defend property rights at the expense of human rights. They lord it over their competitors, especially China and Russia and all countries which defend their own path to development, by promoting the imperialist conception that the U.S. is the "indispensable" nation. In the words of the White House, the G7 Summit will serve to "advance key U.S. policy priorities on public health, economic recovery, and climate change, and demonstrate solidarity and shared values among major democracies."

Biden's message to the media on his departure for the G7 was "The U.S. is Back" and "Democracies Are Standing Together." He said his aim for the G7 is "Strengthening the alliance and make it clear to Putin and to China that Europe and the United States are tight, and the G7 is going to move." Seven countries and assorted allies are spending millions of dollars to attend and secure their meeting to declare what the remainder of the 193 nations which comprise the United Nations can or cannot do. Since their deeds do not constitute the argument they need so as to be convincing, all that remains is their firepower through which they seek to defend their monopoly on the use of force.

It is a prescription for war which must not pass. The peoples of the world are rising as one humanity engaged in one struggle to settle scores with the colonial and imperialist legacies. It is their struggles to advance the claims they are entitled to lay on societies by virtue of being human that are decisive to stem the tide of imperialist war for the redivision of the world's resources, zones of cheap labour, areas for the export of capital and zones of influence.

The use of bravado to inspire confidence is never convincing. The sigh of relief that with the presence of Biden in lieu of Trump, "collegiality" will prevail and on this basis all the problems can be tackled is both desperate and pathetic. For all his collegiality, the civil war scenario in the United States looms as large as ever. As for the dulcet tones of Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to further the rights of women and girls, or Indigenous peoples, or as concerns health and safety or the environment, his allegiance to the Queen of England and all the prerogative powers linked to the executive and judicial functions of the state makes him duty bound to preserve the colonial legacy and power relations which are enshrined in Canada's constitution. Political renewal is the order of the day in every country to keep up with the demands of the times while internationally, all peoples and countries are duty-bound to uphold international rule of law which guides relations between sovereign nations. The standards and content of international rule of law is violated by the so-called rules-based international order and this must be condemned without letup.

There was a lot of fire power and behind the scenes deal-making in favour of the global oligopolies and their cartels and coalitions under the cover of the Trump presidency's bellicose attitude towards U.S. partners in the so-called transatlantic alliance. Biden's affirmation of "the United States' commitment to NATO, Transatlantic security, and collective defence," while also demanding, like Trump, that NATO countries increase the presence and funding in NATO's war exercises reveals that this firepower and deal-making remain constant behind Biden's so-called collegial approach which is no less arrogant and even more demanding. Brinkmanship in the Black Sea and South China Sea is designed to test the strength of the armed forces of rival powers. It is a very dangerous game whose only outcome is inter-imperialist war.

Biden's open claims about the U.S. being the world's "indispensable nation" and the transatlantic alliance being "tight" flies in the face of the material conditions in the world today. The old equation according to which whoever controlled Europe would dominate Asia has no bearing on today's reality. Neither is the U.S. succeeding in controlling Europe nor can it dominate Asia whose productive powers far supersede those of the United States and on the global scale, the scientific and technical revolution has created productive powers which can be described as a geological force beyond the control of any narrow private interests. To settle scores with the imperialist warmongering led by the U.S. and its aggressive NATO alliance, the peoples have to advocate and find solutions on the basis of modern proletarian internationalism, not old geopolitical calculations based on the superiority of those who make the rules and get to interpret the rules of a so-called rules-based international order.

No peoples anywhere give a U.S. President, Canadian or British Prime Minister or the likes of Germany, France and Japan the right to declare that the "values" institutions like the G7 or NATO impose by economic, political and military force upon the world are the best that humanity has produced and must be defended at all costs. They present doing so as a given. It is a matter not to be discussed or questioned. To do so is to be labelled an extremist, a fringe element, a populist, an enemy agent or some other epithet that puts one into a category deemed unfit to be worthy of consideration. But what are these "values" and who decided that they are "our values"? Everything is done to squelch discussion on the so-called shared values the G7 and NATO push which are also said to be Canadian values, British values and so on.

Because of the surge of refusal to accept the state of affairs on the part of the peoples within the United States and the world, a common response on the part of ruling elites is to declare a "commitment" to do better. To realize that "commitment," war preparations are raised to a fever pitch and the disinformation campaign is directed to promoting Sinophobia and Russophobia, blaming China and Russia for all the ills in the world. It is done to undermine the people's movement against war, against the racist legacy and for empowerment. A main way they divert the movement is by setting the agenda and having everyone to respond to their agenda in lieu of establishing their own agenda and engaging in actions which further that agenda. The fact remains that their creation of a frenzy of hatred will never justify the anarchy, violence, deprivation and suffering in which the great powers have plunged the world.

    Sculpture entitled "Mount Recyclemore: The E7," created out of e-waste, in the likeness of the G7 leaders and in the style of Mount Rushmore by British artist Joe Rush on Sandy Acres Beach in Cornwall.

The G7 is a group in crisis which is why their own solutions are to go back and try to maintain systems that have shown themselves to be dysfunctional and unsustainable. Their democracies, with their "shared values" of "free and fair elections" and "multi-party systems" and "market economies" lurch from crisis to crisis. They are controlled by corrupt elites who have no arguments suitable for the present which address the problems of the present. Their so-called rules-based international order where the rules are opposite to what is recognized as comprising international rule of law are defined by them on a self-serving basis which no self-respecting country or people can accept.

The G7 is a crisis-ridden alliance holding a crisis-ridden summit. Indeed, the crises are such that even the rulers' own think tanks, like the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations that claim to bring the vying ruling factions together, are talking about eliminating the G7 and post war institutions altogether in favour of a "Concert of Powers." They propose this "Concert of Powers" should include the U.S., China, the EU, India, Japan and Russia to reach a consensus on how to sort out all the problems facing them and humankind and thus avert war.

Of course, all the countries would have to submit to the U.S. demand to be the "indispensable nation" and make the rules as it sees fit. It merely underscores how pathetic they have become and the very urgent need to save humanity from such condescending saviours!

This photo is circulating on social media decrying the massive police presence at the summit. The cruise ship, with a capacity of 3,000, hired to accommodate some of the extra police officers deployed to the area is moored in Carbis Bay, Cornwall.

(Photos: Extinction Rebellion, Circular, P. Egerton.)

Haut de page

The Content of the Values and Rules-Based International Order
the G7 Seeks to Impose

Discussion Related to the Promotion
of "Shared Values"

The Marxist-Leninist Supplement is posting below excerpts from two speeches by Hardial Bains, leader of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), which discuss the meaning of the shared values the U.S. imperialists and their allies, including Canada, have been pushing since the end of the bi-polar world when the U.S. striving to become the world's sole superpower and hegemon got underway.

Haut de page

Values Contained in the Charter of Paris

Excerpt from the keynote speech delivered by Hardial Bains to the International Seminar on Communism and the Requirements of Modern Democracy held in Chicago, USA, on October 8, 1994. The speech is titled Crisis of Values: For a Modern Indian Political Theory.


As the Soviet Union was collapsing, all countries of Europe with the exception of Albania (which signed later), together with Canada and the U.S., got together in Paris on November 14, 1990. In a demonstrative manner, they signed a document called the Charter of Paris for a New Europe. This was a charter to assert the superiority of that which had long become out-of-date. A New Europe nurtured on such a charter was bound to experience a deepening of its crisis of values as modern definitions and the striving of the peoples for progress clashed with the attempts to enslave the world anew. This document was a declaration of the bourgeoisie of Europe, the U.S. and Canada under the sway of the monopolies, which upheld the free-market economy, pluralism and human rights based on their notion of democracy.

The Charter states:

"We undertake to build, consolidate and strengthen democracy as the only system of government of our nations. In this endeavour, we will abide by the following:

"Human rights and fundamental freedoms are the birthright of all human beings, are inalienable and are guaranteed by law. Their protection and promotion is the first responsibility of government. Respect for them is an essential safeguard against an over-mighty State. Their observance and full exercise are the foundations of freedom, justice and peace.

"Democratic government is based on the will of the people, expressed regularly through free and fair elections. Democracy has as its foundation respect for the human person and the rule of law. Democracy is the best safeguard of freedom of expression, tolerance of all groups of society, and equality of opportunity for each person.

"Democracy, with its representative and pluralist character, entails accountability to the electorate, the obligation of public authorities to comply with the law and justice administered impartially. No one will be above the law.

"We affirm that, without discrimination, every individual has the right to:
- freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief,
- freedom of expression,
- freedom of association and peaceful assembly,
- freedom of movement;

"no one will be:
- subject to arbitrary arrest or detention,
- subject to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

"everyone also has the right:
- to know and act upon his rights,
- to participate in free and fair elections,
- to fair and public trial if charged with an offence,
- to own property alone or in association and to exercise individual enterprise,
- to enjoy his economic, social and cultural rights.


"Economic liberty, social justice and environmental responsibility are indispensable for prosperity.

"The free will of the individual, exercised in democracy and protected by the rule of law, forms the necessary basis for successful economic and social development. We will promote economic activity which respects and upholds human dignity.

"Freedom and political pluralism are necessary elements in our common objective of developing market economies towards sustainable economic growth, prosperity, social justice, expanding employment and efficient use of economic resources. The success of the transition to market economy by countries making efforts to this effect is important and in the interest of us all. It will enable us to share a higher level of prosperity which is our common objective."

In conclusion, the Charter of Paris states:

"Aware of the dire needs of a great part of the world, we commit ourselves to solidarity with all other countries. Therefore, we issue a call from Paris to all the nations of the world. We stand ready to join with any and all States in common efforts to protect and advance the community of fundamental human values."

Looking at the Charter of Paris as one piece, it is clear that it was a declaration of old Europe, joined by the U.S. and Canada, an attempt to present old definitions to the world, definitions which it hoped to pass off as something modern with which to dominate the globe all over again.

But the Charter of Paris did not sort out the crisis of values. On the contrary, this crisis worsened as the Paris Charter began to be imposed on the whole world in the aftermath of the end of the bi-polar division of the world.

The signing of the Paris Charter was also a pledge taken by Anglo-American imperialism to continue the Cold War under the new conditions and proclaim its victory over communism.

The central issue in the crisis of values is that today European values -- those enshrined in the Paris Charter -- are being imposed on the whole world. This crisis of values is deepening as a result of resistance to it by many countries and the peoples everywhere.

Where did these values enshrined in the Paris Charter originate? Their origin lies in the Anglo-American Cold War conception of democracy, a conception which has anti-communism and the advance of the imperialist system in favour of U.S. imperialism as its aim -- even though today there is a challenge to U.S. interests on the part of the Germans, Japanese, French, British and others. These are the forces which have a stake in these values at this time. They may yet start pushing their own "values" at a later date. As a result, they are bound to clash with one another and with other expansionist forces and their values -- be they Chinese, Russian or what is called "Asian" or "Islamic," to mention but a few. Manifestations of this can be seen in the opposition to what is called "Islamic fundamentalism" from a Eurocentric point of view or to the position expressed by Indonesia, India and other countries on human rights, besides the clash with straightforwardly medieval forces such as the Vatican.

This Anglo-American notion of democracy and the values which accompany it are the expression of all the developments since the rise and decline of the bourgeoisie as the ascendant class and the civil society and world order it has given rise to in defence of private property -- in other words the developments which mark the colonial and post-colonial periods and the period following World War II to date. The reason the clash is taking place over "values" is because the concrete conditions in each country are crying out for solution. The old system of democracy which prevails all over the world today needs a replacement. A new system based on modern definitions should take its place. Instead of dealing with political problems on the basis of a modern political theory, one which is not based on obsolete 19th century notions of "good government," the rule of law and nationality, the clash is made into one of upholding values. In fact, the clash over values is one between progress and retrogression. [...]

(Originally published in Discussion Quarterly, Winter 1994)

Haut de page

The Content of the "New World Order"
Established by the Charter of Paris

Excerpt from a speech delivered by Hardial Bains in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in August 1991, on the unfolding international developments at that time. Focusing his analysis on the character of the period which was being ushered in, Comrade Bains pointed out: "This new period which has just come into being has many aspects which are characteristic of the old period, but it is a new period because it has its own specific features as well, so we cannot look at the situation from the perspective of the old period."


The period which just passed was a great period of revolutions on the world scale. This period was ushered in at the turn of the [20th] century with the rise of what was described at that time as a new kind of imperialism, as distinguished from the old kind of imperialism which was based on the direct conquest of peoples and nations on the world scale. The main feature of the old imperialism was colonization with, among other things, its reintroduction of chattel slavery. The most characteristic feature of the new imperialism is that it has all the pretensions of standing for all the freedoms and liberties which any progressive person could stand for; all the pretensions of being against any kind of slavery. Not only did this new imperialism come into being to "civilize" the entire world, to take its message of freedom and democracy from the imperialist countries to all the world, but it was on the basis of these slogans that they fought the First World War in defence of the civilized values and morality "of the empire."

At the time this war was going on, in which people from practically all over the world participated, an event took place which they could not predict: the Great October Revolution. The central theme in this revolution was that it was opposed to all the presuppositions of imperialism and all the presuppositions of the old society. There arose a new government which, for the purpose of peace, for the purpose of ending the First World War, was even willing to give away, through negotiations, large parts of its own territories. The first decree of the new government was to declare to the peoples of the world that they would have nothing to fear from it. Furthermore, the new government declared that it would never participate in secret negotiations with other governments; it would not participate in conspiracies and intrigues. In other words, this government came into being with an open policy -- a policy declared, both in terms of its principles and in terms of its tactics, in defence of the rights of the peoples on the world scale. V.I. Lenin, who was the leader of this revolution, gave a call to the colonial peoples to rise up in struggle for their freedom; that this new form of imperialism was a colossus with feet of clay; even though in appearance it seemed so powerful, it could be defeated.

The liberation of the colonial peoples was the cornerstone of the policy of this new government. At the same time, this new government supported all those people who were fighting for social emancipation. At that time, there was great danger coming from the fascists in Italy, as well as in Germany and other countries. Working people in Italy, as well as Germany and other places, were on the eve of a social revolution of their own and this new government declared its full support for the working class and other peoples who had risen in revolt against the system there.

Against this government, 14 countries, comprising what is called "the west," sent expeditionary forces to crush and destroy the new regime and install the feudalist elements who were overthrown; the generals who would re-establish the czarist regime. These 14 countries failed in their mission as concerns Soviet Russia, but they were successful in terms of stopping the opposition to the rise of Benito Mussolini, and there was not a single "western," "civilized," "democratic" government which did not support the rise of Benito Mussolini. Alongside with this, Hitlerite Germany rose in the process of development of several years, and these governments not only financed the rise of Hitler, facts which are quite well known, but at the same time struck secret deals with Hitler for the subjugation of the peoples in other places. In the 1930s, they were the ones behind the support of Francisco Franco who drowned in blood the struggle of the Spanish people in what is known as the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939. This period, from 1917 to 1939, is a period of greatest perfidy by these western governments in terms of the struggle of the peoples of the world. Today 1991, after so much water has gone under the bridge, the way the history is spoken about one would think that all the revolutionaries who fought in South America, in Europe, in Asia and Africa, were all fascists that fought against freedom, that they all stood for the enslavement of the peoples on the world scale and that it was really the United States of America, or the French, or the Germans, or the British governments which stood for freedom! [...]

The history since the Second World War shows that not a single dictator has emerged who did not have direct support from either the U.S. or France or Britain [...] or all of them together. The bloodthirsty dictator Pinochet in Chile survived with the direct support of the United States, Britain, the French and others. They did not call for his hanging. They did not call for the hanging of Imelda Marcos of the Philippines or that of various other dictators roaming around the world. When they failed to convince their own agent Noriega of Panama to remove himself, in like manner they invaded Panama so as to arrest him and take him to face trial in the United States. They are trying to convince the world that they have always stood for freedom, but they would have us forget world colonialism; this perfidious blot on humankind, the reintroduction of chattel slavery; they would have us forget all the crimes which are being committed today -- large scale famine in Africa, large scale famine in Asia, various diseases which are widespread. We are to commit ourselves to the bravado of the victory of Boris Yeltsin and say that now the world is safe from the bloodthirsty communists! This period which was ushered in by the October Revolution is finished. Here is a man called Mikhail Gorbachev who is presented as a good man who we are to support, despite the fact they say he is a communist and we are supposed to oppose communism. How is it?

Either we should oppose communism and Gorbachev should be deposed for being a communist, or communism is fine. Which is it? Gorbachev has been in the Party for over forty years, and has been an official at a certain level. He has been the general secretary for over six years. Or are we to consider him a democrat, a person who will speak against communism? In like manner personalities and issues are being created all over the world. For instance, they speak of the Chinese as hard-line communists, at the same time George Bush again gave them most preferred nation status recently. The imperialists carry out all kinds of social, cultural, trade intercourse with China, all the while presenting them as hard-liners and communists, and we are supposed to rise up against communism because China exists. How is it possible? In this period one should never forget that in the United States, in Britain, in France, and Germany, not a single personality of worth has raised the question of why mud is being thrown at J.V. Stalin -- that man who was respected by all the literary and scientific and political personalities of his period. There was not a person of any calibre who did not have great admiration for J.V. Stalin in the 1930s and '40s, including George Bernard Shaw, etc. Why would they be lovers of a dictator and murderer? Or is there something wrong with what is being said about J.V. Stalin?

The basis of the formation of the Soviet Union in the 1920s, which they do not even want to admit, was to crush Russian chauvinism; was to make sure that there could not be a Russian government dominating other nations; that there would be a house of nationalities where all nationalities of the Soviet Union are equal. [...]

By definition, according to the constitution adopted in the 1930s, the Soviet Union had crushed the legacy of the Russian chauvinism of the czars. It had eliminated Czarist Russia. It had created a new situation of proletarian internationalism, of fraternal solidarity between the peoples of the Soviet Union, whereby they worked together for a common cause. It is shameful on the part of all the scholars and scientists and others today, that not a single one is brave enough to speak in public that what is being said about the history of the Soviet Union -- how it was created and why it was created, and the history of Lenin and Stalin is all false. Some characters seek to cause confusion by saying that in the former Soviet Union the issue is whether you are for Stalin or against Stalin. For a long period of time we have heard enough of this nonsense. If you ask me, it doesn't matter whether in the Soviet Union somebody is for Stalin or against Stalin. I will not deliberate on this matter -- whether I am for Stalin or against Stalin. The issue is: does this situation favour us or not? Do we accept this concept of state relations, whether the United Nations, with entire Europe, can declare that socialism is invalid; that nobody in the world can go for revolution? We don't accept that. Those people who say they are pro-Stalin in the Soviet Union or elsewhere do not speak against what is really happening on the world scale. Thirty-four countries, including Albania, got together in Paris at the Summit of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) last year and declared that a free-market economy and multi-party society are the precondition to establish relations between countries. This is the content of the new period. They describe this as the "new world order." The main thing in the "new world order" is that the Soviet Union must submit to the U.S. and, by submitting to the U.S., the Soviet Union declared that the U.S. now has supremacy everywhere. In the earlier period, for reasons of its own, the Soviet Union took the side of what they called the national liberation movement. They supported countries like Cuba, the PLO, stood with the Arabs and others, and blocked the U.S. from carrying out some of its activities. The U.S. wants the Soviet Union to be prostrate. That is what Gorbachev, this great democrat, has accomplished. From this content flows all the rest.

In this new world order, they want to have one superpower, the U.S.; one economic system dominated by the World Bank, controlled by the U.S. which controls over 20 per cent of the World Bank. They want one International Monetary Fund, one United Nations all under their control. The precondition for this new world order is that everybody must submit to these institutions. The United Nations which has never, ever stood for principled positions and enforced any of its own resolutions, disgraced itself by actually sanctioning a war in this new world order against the people of Iraq. The Persian Gulf War was the first act of this new world order.

The conflict in the Soviet Union, as you see it today, which is the destruction of the Soviet Union and the rise of Russia, is another act of this new world order. The dismemberment of Yugoslavia and the rise of the fascist forces there is another act. There will be many more infamies of this new world order. This new world order is not the same as the order in the previous period. As far as the overall situation is concerned, it is not devoid of the contradictions of the previous period. This period has inherited all the contradictions of the previous period, the problems stemming from the contradiction between the working class and the capitalists, which remains and has become acute on the world scale; the contradiction between the oppressed people and those countries dominating them which has also become very acute and exists on the world scale. At the same time, the contradictions between the imperialist countries themselves remain and that contradiction can be seen in the Soviet Union, in Yugoslavia, and other countries. Within this present situation when all the old contradictions have been inherited, and transferred, passed on, to the new period, this new world order demands that everyone in this world should find a solution to these problems through any other ways, any other methods, but not through revolution and not on the road of socialism.

In other words, that this new world order gives itself the right to impose, by force, its dictate on the world scale; that there will be no revolution and there will be no socialism. However, the objective contradictions, the objective causes for which the quest for socialism arises, for which the demand for revolution takes place -- these objective causes not only exist, but these contradictions have become extremely sharp. The subjective factors also exist. Within Europe, Germany is not thinking in the same way as the United States; there are contradictions between Japan, the U.S., as well as Germany, China and others. Powers will arise which would not want the U.S. supremacy and these contradictions will come into the open. There will be people on the world scale who would not want to submit to the U.S. They would want to have integrity, to fight for their dignity. These subjective causes cannot be eliminated, just as objective causes cannot be eliminated. What will arise, and is arising, not as the basic contradictions, but as the main fight, will be between those who want to impose the new world order by force onto the world, and those who oppose it. For this, all the progressive and democratic forces have to prepare.

In our estimation, this period in which neither revolution nor war are immediate prospects is bound to give rise to a period of revolution if all the democratic and progressive forces examine this situation, this period. When we analyze in this way, we are not saying that our era which has been given birth to by the rise of imperialism and revolution has changed. This era remains the era of the victory of socialism. But within this era, the first period of revolutionary assaults against imperialism in the form of colonialism, in the form of various feudalist regimes or fascism, the struggle against fascism itself, is ended and the new period has been ushered in.

The new period which has been ushered in is not the defeat of the quest of the peoples for their rights. On the world scale, there is a deepening consciousness among the people, not only about the economic problems -- that they face every kind of deprivation, every kind of insecurity -- but in terms of discrimination against various types or classes of people, as well as the intensification of exploitation on the basis of domination of one country by another, as well as the problems of the environment, the quality of life and so on. This consciousness is developing everywhere. Nowhere, whether it is the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia, or Romania or other places have the peoples given up the struggle for their rights.

Of course, this is in a new period, a new situation, not in the old period of revolution. Within this, the champions of the new world order are extremely worried that their activities will end up with their burial. The peoples of Eastern Europe are already protesting that all the changes to bring in a free market economy and multi-party society have not brought any good to their societies. The people should not have any illusion that these big powers are going to set things right but within a short period of less than two years, already masses of the people are arising saying, "You promised all these things. What happened?" In Albania, just before the elections, the U.S. and their agents were promising everyone a colour television. Within a matter of a few months, people were facing worse conditions than before. But the most important thing is that people in no country have reconciled themselves to either the U.S. and its Rambo mentality or to the capitulationist policy of the Soviet Union and people like Boris Yeltsin and others.

Within this situation, as far as our Party is concerned, we believe that there is a need for a new alliance of forces. For example, our Party is working on this premise, that for us, just to keep on talking about Marxism-Leninism in the sense of reading the classics, talking about Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, their revolution, their strategy, their tactics -- is not going to be helpful to us anymore. This is because the problems of philosophy in Canada, which has its roots in British philosophy and the French pre-revolutionary thinking, have to be dealt with. Our outlook has to arise; it must not be an appendage of an outlook of some other country. We cannot go by the experience of other countries alone.

This is not a violation of Marxism-Leninism. Far from it, it is its application. All the classics, Marx and Engels, as well as Lenin and Stalin, advocated that we must look into our own condition; ideas do not develop in isolation from the struggles of the people of the nation. According to Lenin, theory develops only in the process of a genuinely mass and genuinely revolutionary movement. This mass and genuinely revolutionary movement cannot exist up in the air. We cannot forget about ourselves, how we think, and start just repeating various things which are written in the classics. Of course, they can be useful as a guide to action, but if we have none of our own actions, if we have none of our own activities, what is this guide going to do?

Today, through the IMF, the World Bank, and various other means, imperialism still has the people by their throats. This shows us we still have work to do. But this old Europe is telling us that they will unite against us; they will send armadas in the name of democracy, in the name of human rights, if we go against them. But this world is larger than Europe. These old minds, they are again going to be mistaken. First of all, the European working class has not forgotten the lessons of the Second World War and its aftermath. The European working class suffered a great deal. In South Asia, there are close to one billion people. These south Asians have aspirations of their own. People already know what it means to have a "free market economy" and they know it does not favour the people. There are over one billion people in China. They are trying to suggest that these are faceless people but the Chinese people have stood up and will make their mark. In Latin America and the Caribbean countries taken together, there are millions of people, 130 million in Brazil alone.

These are colossal forces but the media are trying to tell us that we should have all our heads stuck in what happens in Europe, with what happens in Moscow and other places. Sooner or later people are not going to worry about what happens in Europe. They will worry about what happens in their own country, what happens in their own regions. The bombs and airplanes of the U.S. are not going to stop the rise of revolution. This gunboat diplomacy, as happened in the Persian Gulf, is a repetition of what the British used to do in the 19th century. They would go to the shores of various countries, and simply bombard the hell out of them and then send forces to take them over. This is what the U.S. and the coalition did in the Persian Gulf.

People were able to solve this problem. The weapons which are being used against the people may be terrible; these planes may be very skillful, but still their own newspapers had to admit that the airmen who were sent to bombard were given drugs and alcohol to enable them to do what they did. In other words, a normal person would not do such a thing. There are a lot of normal people in this world. During this period it looks like everything is lost. As far as our Party is concerned, not everything is lost. These are tough times for the working people. It would have been preferable if, for example, the working class in the Soviet Union had arisen and changed the situation there, if the old regimes in the countries of Eastern Europe had been overthrown for the purpose of establishing real democratic new regimes. But, in this difficult situation, all the factors are pointing out that we should occupy the space for change. There is no room for pessimism. On the contrary, we should be optimistic and do our work. This is the way our Party looks at the situation.

(Originally published in TML Daily, September 1, 1991)

Haut de page

U.S. Imperialist Proposal to Resuscitate a "Concert of Powers" to Further U.S. Striving for Domination

Recently, the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) came up with a new scheme which it hopes can unite the military, industrial and financial/civilian bureaucracy within the United States and impose its monopoly on decision-making and the use of force onto its allies. The CFR is a U.S. think tank of long-standing that brings together the vying factions within the U.S. ruling class in an attempt to devise a U.S. foreign policy which can be seen to justify whatever the U.S. is up to. At this time, CFR is proposing what they call a "Concert of Powers" for contending with international relations.

The Council is among those whose starting point is the claim that this is a period of transition because U.S. power is in decline. "History makes clear that such periods of tumultuous change come with great peril. Indeed, great-power contests over hierarchy and ideology regularly lead to major wars. Averting this outcome requires soberly acknowledging that the Western-led liberal order that emerged after World War II cannot anchor global stability in the twenty-first century. The search is on for a viable and effective way forward," a CFR article titled "How to Prevent Catastrophe and Promote Stability in a Multipolar World" says.[1] The thesis is that a great-power steering group is the best option for managing an integrated world no longer overseen by a hegemon. Of course, the U.S. chooses "the great powers" which will comprise the group, chooses the rules and the penalty for not following the rules and, at the end of the day, claims that the hegemon has survived to see another day.

While U.S. President Biden and the likes of Canada boast about the superiority of the "shared values" of the G7 and NATO countries and the need to make everyone obey or beware of their military might, the think tank engages in much hand-wringing about what they perceive to be the decline of the U.S. and liberal democracies. The fact that the conditions which gave rise to the institutions of liberal democracy no longer exist and that the peoples of the world have rejected them is not to be discussed. All that counts is resuscitating them in the vain belief that the past of the U.S. as "indispensable nation" will project into the future and the U.S. will emerge as the last man standing, no matter what -- the sole survivor of the battles which are raging worldwide, when everybody else has fallen. It is a desperate ahistorical plea for obedience, a silly proposal which has already met its maker as far back as the period prior to World War I when the first attempt at achieving a balance of the big powers of Europe called the Concert of Europe was smashed on the rocks of the Crimean War in 1853.

The CFR juxtaposes the righteous path and values of the U.S. and the other "civilized" nations to what it calls "illiberalism and populist dissension" of a "rising China" and "pugnacious Russia" which it claims are challenging the "west's authority and republican approaches to both domestic and international governance."

"As Asia continues its economic ascent, two centuries of Western domination of the world, first under Pax Britannica and then under Pax Americana, are coming to an end. The West is losing not only its material dominance but also its ideological sway. Around the world, democracies are falling prey to illiberalism and populist dissension while a rising China, assisted by a pugnacious Russia, seeks to challenge the West's authority and republican approaches to both domestic and international governance. U.S. President Joe Biden is committed to refurbishing American democracy, restoring U.S. leadership in the world, and taming a pandemic that has had devastating human and economic consequences. But Biden's victory was a close call; on neither side of the Atlantic will angry populism or illiberal temptations readily abate. Moreover, even if Western democracies overcome polarization, beat back illiberalism, and pull off an economic rebound, they will not forestall the arrival of a world that is both multipolar and ideologically diverse."

Striving to contend with what it sees as a U.S. in decline, the CFR is attempting to find a way for the U.S. to somehow extricate itself in order to continue being the world's "indispensable" power. The CFR is compelled to go backward for answers, in this case to an old form called the Concert of Europe. They state: "The best vehicle for promoting stability in the twenty-first century is a global concert of major powers. As the history of the nineteenth-century Concert of Europe demonstrated -- its members were the United Kingdom, France, Russia, Prussia, and Austria -- a steering group of leading countries can curb the geopolitical and ideological competition that usually accompanies multipolarity." The fact that this steering group curbed nothing when it came to pursuing their national interests as they saw them counts for nothing. The CFR calls for a new grouping to include China, the European Union, India, Japan, Russia and the United States.

Thus the CFR is calling for the creation of yet another exclusive club while refusing to even acknowledge the striving of the peoples of the world to affirm their right to be and develop political arrangements where the people themselves govern and decide. They also ignore the lessons of history. Their Council of Europe goes back to 1814, which means it even precedes the Great Game of Lord Palmerston fame which was introduced in the 1850s and put geopolitics on a modern footing, so to speak. Those politics set in motion the imperialist scramble to control Africa and ended with World War I which smashed three empires to smithereens, the Empire of the Russian Czars, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire, while Britannia never ruled the waves again. The Council of Europe did not balance the rival powers and in fact contributed to their demise under those conditions.

In today's conditions war is no longer politics by other means, eventually settled through negotiations to once again establish peace in favour of the victor. War is not what happens when negotiations fail because there are no negotiations. If there are no negotiations, there can be no peace treaties which contain conditions which presumably bind the parties involved. U.S. withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan was not negotiated, nor has it ended the war of aggression and occupation of Afghanistan. At least 18,000 private contractors remain in Afghanistan, under Pentagon command.

The treaty the U.S. signed with Iran is another case in point. The U.S. violates such treaties with impunity even as Iran, and sometimes the European signatories, try to uphold it. Or treaties such as those binding the members of the World Trade Organization which carry no weight because the U.S. defies them and nobody takes action to stop that. There are U.S. threats of what will happen if a country does not submit, which then means bombings, aggression, occupation, assassinations, etc. The U.S. sets the direction on the basis of such actions and threats that take many forms. These include the brutal sanction regimes -- themselves acts of war -- and the use of weapons such as depriving countries of loans or vaccines or the theft of their gold reserves and bank accounts or properties.

All of it shows that negotiations no longer exist and, should the countries targeted not submit, then they are subjected to wars of destruction of human productive powers. This is what has happened since Desert Storm with disastrous consequences not only to Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Palestine, but also to the millions who are forced to migrate from Africa, or Mexico and Central America and the Caribbean, or as contract labour, visa workers, migrant labour, and so forth. The aim is to make sure it is the U.S. drive for domination which sets the course to which everyone must react.

Despite this reality, according to the CFR, the "Concert of Big Powers" will function because "Democracies and non-democracies would have equal standing, and inclusion would be a function of power and influence, not values or regime type. The concert's members would collectively represent roughly 70 per cent of both global GDP and global military spending. Including these six heavyweights in the concert's ranks would give it geopolitical clout while preventing it from becoming an unwieldy talk shop." The CFR anticipates the "Concert of Powers" would bring an end to both the G7 and G20 with their public declarations and meetings.

Throughout, there is no recognition that the U.S. is on a permanent war footing, wars are not politics by other means but for destruction, and negotiations have been eliminated in favour of rule by decree and use of police powers. This is the case whether the matter at hand is to end wars, or settle disputes in dysfunctional bodies like legislatures and parliaments, or settle disputes between workers and in matters related to the cartels and coalitions involving oligopolies, governments and financial interests.

While failing to recognize the role of the peoples, the CFR also ignores the fact that in today's conditions it is not nation-states but oligopolies which strive to control everything and to politicize their narrow private interests by seizing and controlling states which were formerly said to be sovereign. Integration into the U.S. war machine, such as what the U.S. is doing with Canada, Mexico and now Central America and the Caribbean, is part of this. The CFR's "Concert of Powers" is a means to further undermine and eliminate international law and standards and put in their place a so-called rules based international order. The effort is aimed at further removing the people and their struggles from the equation while strengthening U.S. hegemony and dictate.

As part of replacing international law with its enforceable standards, the global Concert of Powers promotes shunning "codified rules," meaning international law: "A global concert would shun codified rules, instead relying on dialogue to build consensus. Like the Concert of Europe, it would privilege the territorial status quo and a view of sovereignty that precludes, except in the case of international consensus, using military force or other coercive tools to alter existing borders or topple regimes. This relatively conservative baseline would encourage buy-in from all members. At the same time, the concert would provide an ideal venue for discussing globalization's impact on sovereignty and the potential need to deny sovereign immunity to nations that engage in certain egregious activities. Those activities might include committing genocide, harboring or sponsoring terrorists, or severely exacerbating climate change by destroying rainforests."

In other words, they make the rules so they get to interpret the rules. The fraud of having an exclusive club of six powers take decisions that affect the entire world is evident. Nonetheless, the CFR says their proposal "wins by default."

The arguments are so incoherent and weak, it is evident the spokespersons for U.S. imperialism are on their knees and cannot conceive of an alternative to what has got the U.S. and the G7 and other institutions established under U.S. tutelage in the aftermath of World War II mired in crisis. Proposals like the one to establish a "Concert of Powers" leave out the huge developments of human productive powers taking place independent of anyone's will and also out of anyone's control. The U.S. imperialists are reigning over anarchy and violence in an attempt to control the exploding productive powers which cannot be controlled. Their failure to do so gives rise to acts of revenge, to the destruction of anything they cannot control.

What is kept hidden by covering it up is that the working class, which created these massive productive powers, can control them by directing them to serve humanity. This is what the imperialists are afraid of. It is the writing on the wall which they are using might and main to erase. The proposal to create yet another group of big powers as a solution is not even likely to get off the ground. No self-respecting country worthy of its people will ever agree with such a fraudulent attempt to usurp power in the name of high ideals.

Current developments in the world today show that the authority of Old forms created out of the constitutions which originated out of conceptions given rise to avert civil war at home no longer have a material basis. New forms which recognize the right of the peoples to speak in their own name are coming into being. The Old seeks to block the agency of the working class, required at this historical juncture to open a path to progress in each country as well as internationally. The Old and its representatives such as the countries which comprise the G7 act to block the free expression of the will of the working class, and its right to lay its claims on society.

To contend with U.S. fraud and proposals like the "Concert of Powers," it is necessary to keep human agency uppermost in mind and the conditions that exist, with their material system and processes. Changes to the advantage of the peoples are based on human agency finding and occupying openings, as is occurring with the battles for a global human-centred response to COVID and the battles being waged against state-organized racist attacks and for accountability and equality. Feeble attempts to block such openings and divert the movements into reliance on Old forms such as the relations the CFR is engaged in, are very weak. The peoples in their struggles are bringing forth the New, providing new forms and content that empower them. Their strivings are imbued with an effort to harmonize interests and with the internationalist spirit seen in contending with COVID, with defending immigrants and refugees, in standing with Palestine and many other battles waged as one humanity with one struggle for the rights of all.


1. Richard N. Haass and Charles A. Kupchan, Foreign Affairs Magazine, March 23, 2021

Haut de page

The Conception of a Rules-Based International Order and the Role of Measuring, Standards and Human Agency to Advance from Opening to Opening

Today it has become commonplace to hear the ruling elite of the neo-liberal democracies speak of a rules-based international order. This idea has been repeated since the end of WWII, including during the Cold War. Relations among nations are said to follow rules, or just that there are rules to be followed. The rules-based order referred to is distinct from what constitutes international law and what it means to uphold international law. Indeed it is meant to eliminate the conception of international law and the public standards, crimes and responsibilities international law establishes.

Rules are not at the level of law. By using discretionary powers, rules are something that can be policed by those who control the rules. The fraud of what is referred to as a "rules-based international order" is that there are those who control the rules and decide according to their sole discretion what it takes to follow the rules and the punishments for failure to abide by the rules. Palestine is an example where the U.S. and Israel decide what the rules are, such as what constitutes self-defence, who is breaking them and the punishment merited. Their declarations and decisions are seen as utterly irrational, as well as self-serving and reactionary, as there is a complete lack of standards which accord with international law. Unless the standards on the basis of which decisions and declarations can be judged are rational, the decisions and declarations reveal how incoherent and unacceptable they are to the peoples who they target.

A feature of the administration of U.S. President Biden is to promote this so-called rules-based international order. Both Biden and Secretary of State Blinken are going all out to say there is such an order. This is part of the Biden administration's wild desire to deprive people of a say over any matter of concern so that they can exercise control over their lives. By using arguments which claim that liberal democracy and especially U.S.-style democracy are the best and most elevated form of government humanity can achieve, the disinformation about a rules-based international order is part of an assault on any intelligible historiography that would assist the people to open a path forward. The arguments are both incoherent and meant to disorient and divide people as they strive for political empowerment.

So too in Canada and other countries these arguments are used to defame people, criminalize conscience and speech and mete out crimes and punishments in a spurious manner which serves the aim of isolating the peoples' movements which affirm their rights.

At the May 7 UN Security Council debate on multilateralism, the incoherence of the argument presented by Blinken was obvious. The policy that might makes right is in the past, he claimed saying: "When countries came together after World War II to form the United Nations, virtually all of human history up till then indicated that might made right. Competition inevitably led to collision. The rise of a nation or group of nations necessitated the fall of others." Then, he said, by forming the United Nations, "our nations united in choosing a different path."

Note how a perspective of time orientation is given, a feeling of going forward in time conveyed by his sequence of "in the past" followed by "then." But this going forward in time is separate from the actual before and after. His "before" is: "might makes right." He follows this by saying that when might makes right nowadays, yes, there are a lot of problems. "In the years since, we've faced daunting challenges, from the divisions of the Cold War, the vestiges of colonialism, and the times the world stood by in the face of mass atrocities. And today, conflicts, injustice, and suffering around the globe underscore how many of our aspirations remain unfulfilled."

His point is to say that, for the U.S. going forward, there is a future which is not based on "might makes right." That was "in the past." Today, he says, we have "commitment": we have done these crimes in the past but now we are committed to change. People then look at the U.S. policy on Palestine and ask themselves how this commitment applies to Palestine where the U.S. support for Israel's use of might is causing untold devastation and suffering. Strong in the popular consciousness is that this is wrong. But what is not readily understood is that there are rules which are being followed over which they exercise no control whatsoever. This is the "rules-based international order" advocated by the U.S. imperialists and countries such as Canada. In their striving for world domination, the U.S. imperialists use whatever means and arguments they see fit.

Consider how Biden has been presenting the rules about Palestine. First he said Israel has the right to self-defence. In other words, the aggression and bombings by Israel do not measure up to being criminal. Then, in the face of relentless Palestinian resistance and their general strike, Biden said that before there can be a cease-fire there has to be serious de-escalation. By what measure can it be said one day that there is nothing to comment on -- everything is fine, Israel has the right to self-defence, what it is doing is fine, and, the next day it can be said there is more and more escalation and, before we stop it, what is needed is de-escalation?

The positions are not coherent. The peoples of the world raise the most legitimate question: why not just stop it? When someone in authority, like Biden or Blinken, make such incoherent statements which abide by no standards, how are people to judge either statement? The "rules-based international order" cannot but be seen as irrational.

A rule is supposed to be something that anyone can take into account. It furnishes a standard against which anyone can measure what is taking place. They can see if what is occurring measures up to that standard. To take the measure of something involves publicly recognizing a standard which is independent of oneself and following that standard. Following rules is not a matter of inventing things as one goes along or interpreting things in an incoherent or self-serving manner. It is rather the recognition of a measure and standard established in a manner which accords with a reality outside of oneself. Genocide and aggression, for example, can be measured based on the public standards that have been established for them, with a due process to implement them. The same can be said if we refer to rules for sports, which are to be followed independent of the individual interpretation or feelings of this or that player. Even the discretion accorded a referee follows a standard to measure if the rules are being followed or not. So too when speaking of the rules of the road or in any other field; there is recognition of a measure and standard to follow.

Following rules involves the relationship of cause and effect. However, when speaking of a "rules-based international order," this relationship of cause and effect is used by the rulers to cause confusion. It is the main problem the peoples have to contend with when dealing with this conception of a "rules-based international order." It signifies the use of fraud in the disinformation perpetrated by the state in order to deprive people of an outlook. In practical terms, it brings disorientation in terms of cause and effect.

The need to follow rules is premised on the recognition that there is something which requires sorting out. But if there is no fidelity to a principle, such as Palestine's right to be, then the demand to follow the rules, based on the claim that they will sort the matter out, is merely for purposes of disorienting people. It is one of the ways of defrauding history.

The fact is that Israel was a creation of the post-WWII development of the United Nations. International law provides the standard for judging that Israel is an occupying power violating all standards of conduct acceptable to humanity. It must be kept in mind that in the post World War II period, the U.S., Britain and other imperialist and former colonial powers commonly used partition as a weapon against the peoples, as in India/Pakistan, China/Formosa, Vietnam, Korea, Germany, to say nothing about how the African and West Asian nations were carved up into countries in every which way to suit the interests of these powers.

Keeping this practice of partition in mind, there were two conditions given for Israel to be accepted into the UN. 1) it was to be "bi-national" as it was put then -- two subsystems side by side, Palestinian and Jewish and 2) it was to uphold the Right of Return. Once there is consciousness that these were the conditions for Israel to be accepted as a member of the United Nations, then one can also acquire the consciousness that there has never been a time when either of those conditions has been met since Israel was founded. Every year resolutions are passed by the General Assembly concerning the Right of Return, amongst others. The Zionist Israeli state has done everything in opposition to the requirements mandated by those resolutions. The consciousness that this is the case exists worldwide.

Nonetheless, one effect of the disinformation to disorient people in terms of what are the achievements of history is the idea that the Zionist state as it exists has to be defended. This idea is contrary to the conditions established for it to qualify as a member of the United Nations. Nonetheless, the idea is that Israel has to be defended.

History is portrayed as a string of events from the past. But history involves relations, with advances and retreats and significant achievements and their effects, such as the worldwide defeat of fascism and all that the anti-fascist struggle gave rise to, including the establishment of international law. The disinformation of the rulers seeks to hide the historical developments of societies that exist and movements that exist and their effect on society.

Israel was one of the first creations of the UN. The creation was designed to disorient people from the historical achievements coming out of WWII. This disorientation takes place as a time disorientation: what led to what, what came before and what came after, what is cause and effect. There is also space disorientation. These are two important conceptions in dealing with cause and effect: time disorientation and space disorientation.

According to the U.S. think tanks and propagandists, including Biden, there are rules and those who created the rules should have a say because they know the rules. Furthermore, those who agree with the rules, advance because of those rules. Those who do not agree with the rules face problems if they refuse to follow the rules. At no time is there to be any discussion about the rules. Nonetheless, quite a few countries are challenging the conception of a "rules-based international order" on the grounds that it does not uphold the standards set by international law. Furthermore, more countries are beginning to openly challenge the creator of the rules which are touted, which is the U.S.

The U.S. conception of the "rules-based international order" is clearly in defence of Israel vis a vis the Palestinians and not in conformity with the international order based on international law and standards. The defence of the Zionist Israeli state as it exists today is also not simply to disorient the resistance movement as regards the crimes being committed but also to undermine, subvert and even overthrow the achievements that came out of WWII, with its anti-fascism, opposition to aggression, equality of nations big or small, and respect for their sovereignty and right to self-determination. This also in part explains how the anti-fascist united front of the peoples which was brought into being during WWII was transformed into an anti-communist united front in which the peoples no longer had the initiative or played a decisive role.

Cause and Effect and the Perversion of History

A main point here is the relation of cause and effect and that there is a relation. As an example, there is the cause of the Palestinians for liberation and independence which involves upholding the underlying principles on which international law is based, and there is the cause of U.S. imperialism and its allies which involves defence of their so-called rules-based international order. The U.S., Canada and others start from their so-called rules-based international order, with history rendered in an irrational abstract manner as in "before there was might makes right" and "now we have rules that make might right for the rule makers like the U.S. but not for others."

There is nothing in their arguments to be understood, nothing indicating that they are striving to work something out, as occurred during the period of the European Enlightenment when the bourgeoisie was rising and it needed to provide itself with arguments and forms on the basis of which it could sort out their rebellion against the old feudal order. This emphasis on rules-based order is something very different to what was provided by the Enlightenment used by the bourgeoisie to constitute the nation. Instead of recognizing that there is history, with its triumphs and tragedies, history is defrauded by the rulers as part of disinformation. This is the case no matter what issue arises -- whether it be Israel, or the U.S. Civil War, or slavery, or the genocide of Indigenous peoples or the development of the U.S. Constitution, or any other. There is a denial of history itself and of the world as is today.

As an example, speaking at the UN forum on Multilateralism, Blinken said, "Let me be clear -- the United States is not seeking to uphold this rules-based order to keep other nations down. The international order we helped build and defend has enabled the rise of some of our fiercest competitors. Our aim is simply to defend, uphold, and revitalize that order."

Blinken here explicitly says the U.S. is not defending and upholding international law and its standards. He says there is a "rules-based order" that the U.S. will "defend, uphold, and revitalize."

Blinken also attempts to defraud the history at the foundation of the UN which recognizes a world that united against fascism to bring into being the UN and international law, which extends beyond humanitarian law. Through the efforts of the Anglo-American imperialists and especially the U.S., attempts have been made without letup to force everyone to accept their perversion of this history, twisting it into a world united against communism.

In this vein, Blinken continued his presentation at the UN forum by posturing that the U.S. is the defender of human rights. "Second, human rights and dignity must stay at the core of the international order," he said. He elaborating this further saying: "The foundational unit of the United Nations -- from the first sentence of the Charter -- is not just the nation state. It's also the human being. Some argue that what governments do within their own borders is their own business, and that human rights are subjective values that vary from one society to another. But the Universal Declaration of Human Rights begins with the word 'universal' because our nations agreed there are certain rights to which every person, everywhere, is entitled. Asserting domestic jurisdiction doesn't give any state a blank check to enslave, torture, disappear, ethnically cleanse their people, or violate their human rights in any other way."

The problem here is not that people don't often recognize the crimes the U.S. is known for committing as concerns human rights. The aspect often missed is the perversion of history that occurs, the defrauding of history. There are laws and standards for crimes like genocide and crimes against humanity and on the basis of these laws and standards we can see if what is occurring measures up to them. But once these laws and standards are perverted, confusion sets in when it comes to making a judgement about what is taking place.

The example of Palestine speaks volumes of how the perversion takes place as concerns cause and effect and the defrauding of history. The Israeli conception of Al Nakba, the Catastrophe when Palestinians were driven from their homes and land, is that it is a Palestinian version of the creation of Israel used to oppose the Israeli state. Israel says the cause is the establishment of the state of Israel, which they defend, and the effect is Palestinians who call it Al Nakba. It is often said history is written by the victors. Israel would say that of course that is how it is done. One response to the history written by the victors is that there is an "alternative" history, a "people's" history, as though two histories exist. But neither the history of the victors nor the "alternative" history gets at whether there is a standard of measure of what was before and what was after and their consequences. This is the heart of the matter.

One can legitimately list all the crimes and express the righteous anger and fight against U.S./Israeli aggression and for Palestine, as people worldwide are doing. A serious problem remains, however, which is that to be effective, there is a need to dislodge the imperialist's perversion of cause and effect. The peoples are certainly united in a mighty cause and the effect it can have on the world is recognizable, such as its effectiveness in exposing the crimes of the Zionists and to rally the peoples to reject the U.S./Israeli claims about self-defence. Similarly, if we take an example related to human rights, we can consider what is the measure of a person and the qualities of personhood being put forward by the U.S. and Israel. Israel is going all out to impose the fascist conception that a person is not necessarily a human being, with the qualities of what makes someone human. Those qualities of thinking social beings with claims on society are linked to history. We are not speaking here to what can be recognized, say, as a human emerging from its ape-like conditions and after. There were several different ape-like beings that existed but we end up with Homo sapiens. This result is not based on a sequence of events either, as is often presented, just as the emergence of a modern democratic personality and the qualities of personhood today are not a matter of sequencing events. History is not a sequence of events. It takes people and their interventions in the world to effect change and advance humanity to make history.

Similarly, the measure of a Constitution in providing a structure of equality, for example, is the conditions the people face. The broad and persistent conditions of inequality, state racism, injustice and lack of accountability people in the U.S. face -- which the Constitution does nothing to prevent -- are the measure of the U.S. Constitution and its invalidity for the present.

To hide the incoherence of the arguments advanced by the U.S. and its hopeless cause to perpetuate itself as "indispensable nation" by imposing its so-called rules-based international order, Blinken has created the impression that this order and international law are one and the same. Pushing back forcefully against those he says are undermining the rules, he says: "When UN member-states -- particularly permanent members of the Security Council -- flout these rules and block attempts to hold accountable those who violate international law, it sends the message that others can break those rules with impunity." He emphasizes rules for purposes of equating them with international law. His speech however refers repeatedly to rules and "rules-based order" while for the most part he limits reference to international law to one of its parts -- humanitarian law.

The points he makes serve to defend U.S. actions, weaponize human rights and intervene into the sovereignty of countries in the name of an abstract human being. The claim is that U.S. leadership is to be judged by its acts going forward, not by what it has done in the past. Fraud is straightforwardly given as content. It is similar to when Obama did not deal with the torture, black ops and rendition to torture the U.S. was carrying out by saying: the past is past and we should look forward to the future. What is not said is that the future does not yet exist. What the U.S. imperialists sell is a future benefit of some sort or another. In similar fashion, the U.S. sells future threats to justify what cannot be justified. This includes their talk about potential violence by protesters or potential terrorist acts. One cannot bring in evidence to deal with such threats so they pledge the "commitment" to deal with them. The commitment is going forward, to a future that does not yet exist. It is not a matter of deeds in the present. Obama's justification for refusing to bring charges against former President Bush for his crimes of torture and aggression, was that "past is past." In other words, there is no need for the U.S. to account for itself in the present.

There is also a long-standing notion among rulers that it is necessary to take measures worldwide to protect against what is not feasible and assess what is feasible. For the ideologues of U.S. imperialism, possibility gets mixed up with necessity. They do not assess what is needed and then what can be done based on an assessment of the resources, the available forces, the costs and so on and on this basis assess whether the various costs are too high or not and so on. In other words, they do not draw what are called warranted conclusions. This is because they ignore standards for deciding anything. We can see this in the day to day directives given during the COVID-19 pandemic which change without rhyme or reason and contribute to creating an atmosphere of irrationality and incoherence. As concerns the war in Afghanistan, it is now said that the cost of the war is too high or that the time required to prosecute it is too long. How much is too high or too long? It could be anything but the only thing people know for sure is that the human cost in death, casualties and destruction of human productive powers is not counted by the U.S. The U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright expressed this succinctly in 1996 when she was asked by 60 Minutes about the sanctions against Iraq that killed more than half a million children. She said, "I think that is a very hard choice, but the price, we think, the price is worth it."

The self-serving argument which underpins the positions of the U.S. is that because they are in a superior position, they get to make the decisions. Blinken says that the U.S. has moved out of crimes of the past and is superior now. That is the before and after they give. For instance, since they are the ones who created the various trade and financial institutions, they are the ones with superior judgment to decide on their use. The illogic introduced is that what was first remains first; it is most important, thus superior and the best possible and therefore it gets to be the judge. The past is superseded, it is passed over by the present. The conception is that the past created -- caused -- the present and the effect is the present. Totally absent is the role of human agency, of people changing conditions, of intervening to open a path that favours humanity.

By speaking of what was first, then of what came second, the latter is always a derivative of the first. The first remains primary and the second remains secondary. The denial is that what was secondary, or came after, overthrows or subverts what came first. This denial leads to the crisis that is being faced by what is called the rules-based international order.

If the logic of Blinken and Biden is to be accepted, then a standard of rule as presented is a paradox and confusing. Measure involves following a standard of rule, independent of oneself, like 1+1=2 is not a matter of opinion. The way the confusion gets expressed is by asking: does a rule determine the course of action? One can be for or against the rule, but is being for or against the rule what determines your actions? Does the human agency follow from the rule because it is against the rule or for the rule? Such claims present the rule as the cause of what happens and the actions that are taken are said to be separate from where the rule comes from, or even if there is a rule or what is its relation to the course of action taken, to how one intervenes. The Palestinians are rising in defence of their right to be and their right to resist, and this is not based on opposing U.S./Israeli rules.

Another way the right to resistance is expressed is: "If injustice is law, resistance is duty." It is not a matter of rules. It is a matter of a just cause and social responsibility to intervene for justice, for rights. Human agency is intervening to affirm rights. It is pro-active and not primarily a matter of being reactive to rules imposed by the imperialists.

History Is Not a Matter of Interpretation

Looking again at history and the defrauding of history, some say there is both a "people's" history and that of the oppressors, as if there are two different histories. History is given as a matter of interpretation, one looking from the people's perspective, the other from the perspective of the rulers. One says their perspective provides for cause and effect, the other says it does not because the interpretation is wrong.

U.S. propaganda endlessly repeats that Israel is merely defending itself against Hamas' rocket attacks. The counter response is often that Israel started the fight -- a notion commonly used to divert the movement from its just cause. Who fired the first shot was the argument used by the U.S. against Korea. It accused the north of launching aggression against the south which denied the fact that the U.S. divided Korea at the 38th parallel and that it was the aggressor who had no business being there, interfering in Korean affairs and funding trouble. It was used in Vietnam by creating the Gulf of Tonkin incident. The fact is that "who fires the first shot" is not relevant. The issue is whether one is resisting aggression or not. Accepting the "who fired the first shot" argument falls into the trap of first is best and gets to decide and second is derivative, is secondary and always remains so.

The notion of following a rule is given as following a course of action. Providing a "people's" vs. the oppressors' history is given as interpretations -- pro- or anti-people, racist or anti-racist -- which poses the immediate problem that comes with this outlook which is that at one moment one thing may be said and at another something very different may be said. When the Israelis hit the highrise building in Gaza housing the Associated Press and other press agencies, Israel said it was because Hamas was using the building to hide. The push-back against this, including by the Associated Press which routinely repeats the U.S. propaganda against Hamas and Palestine, was that no, this building housed the press and not Hamas and therefore should be protected. Others advance the view that Hamas is the legitimate government of Gaza and others say no it is not. What gets hidden is that aggression and resistance exist objectively, they are not a matter of interpretation of which "side" acted first or who is present in the building. The fact is that following rules is not a matter of interpretation but rather the recognition of a measure and standard.

There is also the fact that a standard has a public face; it is not private. A standard is not a matter of interpretation or new information which might make one change one's opinion. Both resistance and aggression continue separate from whether someone changes their argument or does not do so.

What is the difference between the conception of a measure being public, and the conception that it is up for interpretation? A ruler is 12 inches and inches are standardized; it is a public measure. The same can be said for measurements based on the metric system. But when it comes to defining a modern, contemporary, actual human being, the issue is presented as a matter of interpretation. The Palestinians have been saying their story is not simply a matter of numbers, that every person has their own story, their full life, the contributions they make, which should be put in the first place. How do you measure that? They are trying to find a public face for the standard. How do you do that?

The argument that everyone has their own perspective involving history, such as a "people's" history vs. the rulers' history, raises the problem that if history is a matter of interpretation by one person or group of people, this is tantamount to saying if you think you are following the rule, it is the same as following the rule. There is a failure to grasp measure. This is what the U.S. does, saying we are not to look at the past and how it measures up to international law and standards. The past is past, the U.S. says. Following a rule is not something that happens inside individual brains, or by a group that reaches a consensus saying this is the rule. If that is the case, then it becomes Blinken's rule, his interpretation.

Opening a Path

The promotion by the U.S. of the military-industrial complex and, more generally, of the claim that because of its complexity, society can only be understood by those who are superior, is in conflict with what was characterized by Marx as the defining feature of modern bourgeois society, its distinct feature, which is the simplification of the whole of society with its many antagonisms. There is a conflict between simplification -- the whole of society splitting more and more into two, which is the basis for two camps, one defending the Old, the other advancing the New -- as opposed to things becoming more and more complex, like the military-industrial complex, which complexes with finance capital, etc. The world, and each country, is said to be faced with this complexity. This is not to say there is no complexity, but rather that the distinguishing feature of modern society is the simplification, with the whole of society splitting in two.

If there is an historical process that leads to simplification of antagonisms, and a different order that says the world is more and more complex, then how does one measure complexity? No standard is given to measure complexity. It is just asserted as a reality. How does one establish a measure of this complexity that does not fall into the trap of following a rule, based on one interpretation after another, and the trap of thinking that because one is following it, it is the same as actually giving the measure based on a standard? Put another way, thinking you have a choice to make is not the same as occupying a decisive moment when choices are being made for you and you want to take advantage and avoid the disadvantage sought by the rulers.

Promoting confusion about measure and standards provides the basis for the defrauding of history. Everything is being done to undermine the reality that there is such a thing as history and definite courses of action taken and we can look at those actions from our vantage point. How do you look at opening a path? For the rulers, any action taken can be made to accord with a given rule, and for the people, everyone can decide to add their interpretation of the claims of the rich. Since nothing makes sense, this approach is very disorienting; it does not provide a guide to action.

We need to look more at cause and effect. The people have a cause. Yet how do you measure cause and effect? Cause has something to do with time orientation, past to present to future and also space orientation, which involves the relation of form and content. Cause and effect get conflated and mixed up in myriad ways that harm the movements of the peoples. Endless confusion gets promoted on cause and effect and the role of agency in the actual situation in the present -- in relation to past, present and future.

What is the orientation needed, the direction? "End of History" arguments turn out to be a big scam to sell false goods. But people have a collective memory that these arguments come up against -- as attested to concerning Palestine, or U.S. slavery and the genocides of today, etc. For us, human agency, activating the human factor and the basis for the information needed, all have to be addressed.

The argument we give about starting from the present and delving into the past to shed light on the present and work out a guide to action refers to analysis and synthesis in the form of a guide to action. It is not along the lines that cause and effect are usually spoken about, according to which the past caused the present which is the cause of the future. According to this, if you know what happened in the past you are also going to know what will happen in the future. That is a dangerous thesis of the balance between continuity and change, where first remains first and what comes second is a derivative of what comes first. According to this logic, the U.S. is the best example for empire. It has come in first, is "indispensable" and must remain so.

We say there is a line of march that can be traced, like footprints in the sand, and the responsibility is to march on. But keep in mind that change is not some particular event. There are upsurges and struggles. There are footprints in the sand. You cannot see footprints going forward until you actually make them with human agency. The line of march, the path forward, involves the concept of opening that path.

There is often confusion about what is closed and what is open, of how to take advantage of openings and the place of human agency in doing so. An act of conscious participation of the individual is intervention, human agency, the path is the act of finding out. The past has bound, closed information. However, the basis for finding an opening is that there are already different paths, traces, which make up the past. That is the basis for freeing up some of the information that is bound up in the whole system.

History is real relations, not a list of events from the past. It involves cause and effect. Making history involves human agency taking advantage of openings and advancing from opening to opening.

Haut de page

(To access articles individually click on the black headline.)



Website:   Email: