“We will live unprecedented situations”
When in 1990 the father Bush declared that the humanity enters in the period of New World Order, he did not simply repeat a Hitler’s slogan: He expressed the conviction of the imperialists and of the free market preachers that finally they finished with the cursed History and its socialist parentheses. Fifteen years later, the supposedly omnipotent New World Order already has sunk the humanity in an unprecedented International Disorder. The wars, the invasions and occupations, the genocides and the partitioning of countries spill blood all over the planet as never before since World War II.
The same moment, the "finished" History confirms Mao’s words: "Wherever exists oppression, exists also resistance". Indeed, in the dawn of the 21st century the rise of several movements and resistances in local, regional and international level is obvious. There is no single corner of the planet that does not experience struggles and mobilizations. Side by side, "traditional" and "new" movements strengthen and begin to affect the course of things, placing more and more obstacles to the policy of imperialists, multinationals, bourgeoisies and generally all the reactionaries.
Something new (or so much old that we had almost forgotten): Movements with results!
One of the new elements that mark the last five years’ period is that a lot of movements actually bring visible results and succeed in their goals - something that did not exist in the entire period of the 90s: the overthrowing of several reactionary governments by popular revolts in Latin America, the people’s war in Nepal, the failure of the USA in Iraq because of the Iraqi Resistance, the “No” to the European Constitution that blocked for good the “promenade” planed by the European ruling classes, the blocking of neoliberal measures and laws in several countries, the Cypriot people’s “No” to the Anan Plan, are some of the examples.
This does not mean that we passed already from the period of passive defense in that of active resistance. These resistances continue to be defined mainly by the spontaneity and the discontent, the fragmentation and the lack of co-ordination. But at the same time the disproportion (asymmetries) in the rhythm of development of the movements is intensified, meaning that certain movements are developing in a quick pace and deal blows to the opponent. However, this fact does not reverse, still, the general situation.
These asymmetries bring us nearer to the active resistance
Almost the entire Latin America constitutes henceforth such an asymmetry: the popular revolts block anti-popular laws and force presidents to flee, governments are elected that are not appreciated by the USA, indigenous people - for the first time in the history - reach the presidential rank of a Latin American country, alongside with Cuba appears also Venezuela (confirming once again the "forgotten" principle that it is possible for a small country with resolute people to resist the commands of imperialism). Moreover, the uprising of 2001 in Argentina, the famous Argentinazo, where the workers were in the lead and the Left forces played an important role, brought up a big number of different forms of struggle and organization, humiliated the neoliberal doctrines and their representatives in the entire continent, and constituted an important inheritance of experience for the future fights towards People’s Power.
But Latin America is not the only case. In Nepal, the "ignored" Maoist guerrilla movement marks an impressive growth in the last five-year period, controls a big part of the country, forms wide social and political alliances and threatens seriously the dictatorial regime. In the Middle East, the Iraqi Resistance has turned the “promenade” of the US imperialists and their allies into a nightmare, causing them important material and, mainly, political losses: the peoples of the whole world see that the “barefoot” Iraqis have encaged and keep corroding the “omnipotent” USA. Even the Palestinian movement, that has suffered serious blows from the inside, continues inspiring the whole world as a symbol of stubborn resistance: it is not accidental that the Palestinian flag always waves in the demonstrations in each one of the five continents. In the “developed” world (from Europe to Northern America and Oceania), the repeated general strikes and militant struggles in many countries, the beginning of mobilizations and organization of "flexible" workers, and finally the outbreak of the youth of French suburbs, and recently of the whole France, show the increase of resistances and a promising mobility.
New movements and new forms of struggle appear
The beginning of the new century, however, was also marked by the appearance of new situations, such as the anti-global movement. The regroupment and common action of different political and social forces, the utilization of new forms of information and communication, organization and struggle, the international co-ordination of mobilizations, the fact that it is no longer possible for the “big powers” to organize summits anywhere in the world without whaving to face the popular rage… all these did not even exist 5-10 years ago. In fact, it is impressive how this anti-global movement continues to exist for so long, since it is a movement primarily spontaneous and heterogeneous (meaning that in this movement came together very different, traditional and new movements). The mass character, the radicalism, the enthusiasm, the inventiveness and the determination of millions that were inspired by this movement and mobilized in its ranks have modified the political scenery and, more important, the consciences of a big part of the world population.
These characteristics are not limited, of course, in the anti-global movement. The utilization of tools and capabilities provided by the internet and other new technologies gave an enormous impulse in the creation of networks of information, solidarity, co-ordination and organization of mobilizations, which tremendously increased the asymmetry between the (relatively small) political-military force and the (relatively big) political influence/effectiveness of several movements. One of the most characteristic examples: the Zapatistas - who, despite their small military force and their restriction in only one province of Mexico, not only were not shattered by the reactionary Mexican regime, but managed to mobilize personalities, parties and simple persons from all over the world in favor of their cause. The utilization of knowledge, communication and technical means in the highest degree from various movements, in combination with the increased sensitivity for struggles that are considered just, often prevents the imperialism and the reaction from dealing overwhelming blows against forces that politically and militarily are very weak.
The creation of world networks of information and debate, as the Indymedia, the immediate flow of information about what is happening all over the world, the increase of international initiatives and meetings between the most different movements, the direct and many times successful solidarity, the international character of many movements (that is to say the joint discussion and action of collectives from many countries), show that there exist the possibilities as well as the will for united and effective mobilizations.
Here we must stress one more characteristic that is present in many of these movements: the implementation of forms of direct democracy and the will of the people to participate in a way that their opinion is heard. For example the popular assemblies of the repeated "demonstrations of Monday" all over Germany, where whoever wanted could speak and all those gathered together would decide how to proceed with the mobilizations. Or the direct democratic processes in the assemblies of neighborhoods in most cities of Argentina during the revolt of Argentinazo, and also in many other movements of workers, unemployed etc. And also: the assemblies of women, with the direct and active participation of thousands (for instance in Argentina and Germany), the 1.400 committees of base against the “European Constitution” in France, the various consultations of local or even international character, etc. Also, relatively new forms of struggle appear and generalize, as for example the blockades in motorways; a form of struggle that we witness both in South and North America as well as in Europe. Such types of mobilizations come out from the experience of masses and cause important objective problems to the ruling classes and the “world of business”.
Finally, one of the most important facts of the beginning of our century, that was achieved because of these¦ new characteristics mentioned above, was the organization of the first worldwide demonstrations against the war on the 15th of February 2003, where tens of millions of people, simultaneously in all five continents answered with positive enthusiasm to the first international call-need for united and coordinated mobilization. It will not be indeed an exaggerated expectation if we estimate that we will witness many more worldwide mobilizations of this type in the new century.
The emergence of a new conscience
Another important change that appeared in the last five-year period, the most important, perhaps, in comparison to the 90s, was the awareness of broad popular masses that it is necessary and possible for things to change, that we need to create a new world, very different from the present one. Often beginning from the small direct problems that they face, millions and millions people meet, discuss, they come out in the streets, are getting organized… and gradually they realize that they are all threatened by the same enemy, by the same reactionary policies. Thanks to them, the fabricated arguments of imperialism and the doctrines of neoliberalism are submitted to a continuous corrosion, are delegalized in the eyes of the majority of the world population.
The “unique thought” of the ’80s and the ’90s has suffered serious blows. Imperialism, which seemed to be "forgotten" until a few years ago (only mentioning the term “imperialism” back in the ’90s could get us classified in the category of "quaint types") is recognized today as the Nr 1 enemy of the peoples of the world, with the USA as the head of the imperialist camp. Broad masses understand and discuss that the wars and the generalized poverty are caused by the competition for markets and raw materials, and that the neoliberalism constitutes a direct threat for the big majority. Moreover, examples as Venezuela and Cuba confirm the belief that if a relatively small population fights in a resolute way, they can achieve and defend their national independence. The previous decade, whoever supported such possibilities “in the era of globalization and defeat of the socialist camp” instead of accepting the very… realist theory of “world revolution or nothing”, was considered a madman. Today, this constitutes conquest of a new conscience of millions.
The mass character, the radicalism, the meeting and regrouping of different movements, the internal democracy that distinguishes them, the will of their base to participate in the discussions and the planning of further steps, the search of new paths, show not only their colorfulness, their polyphonic and pluralist character. The meeting and the agreement of so different movements around the requirement-need "another world is possible!" shows that there is a material reality that pushes millions of persons, with different experiences and starting points in their beliefs, to place same questions and to seek common answers, that objectively exceed the current system. This slogan, “another world is possible”, summarizes exactly this elementary common will: A will to achieve not just some small changes, but a social and economic system radically different than the present one.
More and more people are suffering, more and more people call in question the actual order and seek a way out
This quest for another society is proceeding of course slowly and in conditions of great confusion. The defeat of socialism and the consequent blow against the communist ideology, with the shameful attempt to present communism as criminal, had, and still has, repercussions in popular masses - and naturally it would be a mistake to consider that the masses are responsible for this! However the movements that emerged the last period do not take by any means a hostile attitude towards the organized workers and the revolutionary and communist movement, contrary to what happened with some “new” movements a few years ago (for instance the ecological movement, the autonomy etc.). The segregation that various sides sought, as well as the “sanitary areas” that various ruling forces wanted and could impose in previous decades, did not survive in the new situation that was created, and this is a particularly positive fact.
The contestation of "one-way roads" and of the fabricated arguments of the ruling class from increasingly bigger sectors of popular masses is not achieved, of course, because of the organized, coordinated, determined participation and action of the communist Left. Unfortunately, such a stand of the communist Left is still an unaccomplished demand… Therefore, a question is born: On which base does the meeting of so different movements become feasible? How is it possible that the demand of more radical changes, even with the not so determined and loose way that was described above, comes up? The answer should be sought in the fact of the enormous enlargement of the modern proletariat internationally, and in the fact that the 90% of the world population is affected and oppressed and needs a big turn in the social life. Despite, therefore, the obstacles set by the artificial separations and all the division policies of the capital, and despite the problematic attitude and the relative weakness of the Left, the movements manage to bring up needs, to put on the table essential questions, to turn the wheel…
The same moment, broad masses that feel the danger, the threat of being swept away by the economic, political and cultural bulldozer of the New World Order, are searching for identity. It is not fortuitous that we meet so many different colors and such crowd of flags in the international demonstrations, a fact that is more than just impressive. Thus, we see for example indigenous populations, small nations, all kinds of “minorities” claiming their identity with pride and defending their particularities - something that the "cosmopolitan" left, that admires everything post-modern, neither wants nor is able to understand. This is why, especially in the “developed” world, various left currents (even “radical” ones) feel uncomfortably when facing movements that bring up questions of identity and questions of national, political and economic independence – unless of course they are placed in the other end of world, in some Mexican jungle for example.
The price is heavy, but the hope strengthens
Everything written above in no case leads to the conclusion that the prospects are rosy. The aggression and the barbarity of imperialism and capitalism are at their zenith. Tens of millions people are taken their lives away because of genocides, wars, imperialist interventions and the generalized poverty. Three billions of people, that is half the population of the planet, “survive” with less than two dollars per day. The movements that fight against this situation (only a few of which were mentioned in this text) have not reached the stage of active resistance on an international level. Their action however in this beginning of the 21st century, the qualitative and quantitative changes in comparison to the passed decade, the higher frequency and intensity of revolts, the new facts that we witness, allow us to consider as well-based the estimation that they constitute the herald of big future resistances.