Party of the Radical Left – Declaration on Anti-Imperialism


Anti-imperialism is one of the primary policies of the Party of the Radical Left. The struggle against imperialism is not just a matter of values or foreign policy; it entails a complete understanding of contradictions of the world of neoldisiberal financial capitalism. Imperialism is more than a matter of foreign policy, it is a world system that influences all aspects of life – from the price of bread, or the position of workers in society, to the liberation struggles of opressed groups.

Imperialism, as the highest stage of capitalism, entered a new unipolar phase after the end of the Cold War. The defeat of the Axis powers in the Second World War laid the foundations of the international order in which we live to this day. Then, the old order of imperialist world-division through colonies started breaking down, and the new world of the United Nations arose; of nations which are nominally sovereign and based on the principle of self-determination, but which remain split into the capitalist center and its periphery. The fall of the Soviet Union and real socialism in Europe removed the last force which could oppose the savagery of finance capital and its assistants – the NATO war machine and the “independent” “international” – in truth, imperial – monetary and financial institutions of the capitalist center, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

The so-called “developed countries”, the countries of the capitalist center, form a cohesive whole which holds the greatest concentration of capital, and which controls international institutions. Beyond this center, the other countries carve out their existence in a state of financial and technological dependence on the “developed” countries, and their natural and human wealth and resources are constantly absorbed into this center. This global inequality, in its sheer greatness, surpasses even the inequalities which exist within the countries themselves – and it enforces and strengthens, if not outright creates, these inequalities. The leading state of the capitalist center are the United States of America, which – by projecting its military and political power abroad – enforces and maintains this system, with the support of the other countries of the “first world”.

Post-Cold War imperialism manifests itself through the economic and the military spheres. On one side, through enforced structual reforms, “shock therapy”, privatization, austerity; on the other, through direct military interventions. As a socialist party, we recognize the central importance of imperialism in devastating the economy and dispossessing the working class in our country, but also in other countries of capitalism’s periphery; and we consider anti-imperialism an integral part of our struggle for a more just society.

In the decades of transition towards neoliberal capitalism, our industry was devastated and sold away, and hundreds of thousands of workplaces were wiped out in the robbery of privatization. Labour and housing legislation was “reformed”, with the direct participation of US and European “partners”, into the framework for a society of cheap and disenfranchised labour, which is supposed to live in a total absence of existential security; a society without the resources to refuse any kind of exploitation. Both the state and the population were pushed to the brink of debt-slavery, and every loan by the IMF or the World Bank comes with new privatizations, new sales of public resources, and new cuts to public services.

This transition – a transition into greater and greater poverty – is, just like in other countries, not caused by a lack of expertise or some imagined failing in the “mentality” of the population. It is the result of a criminal joint enterprise by the neoliberal government and its western instructors – who inspire it, provide it with “solutions”, and furnish it with logistical, financial and ideological support in its constant assault on the working conditions and existential security of the people.

At the same time, there is great pressure – from outside and within – for Serbia to ritually abandon its last vestiges of non-alignment and sovereignty. We must resist the attempts of the imperial bloc to draw Serbia into its projects and hybrid wars. With the dangerous escalation of the global situation these last few years, this has become imperative. All anti-war and anti-imperial forces in Serbia need to take a stand to prevent the pushing of our country into the next cold war – and possibly the next world war, as well.

The source of these global escalations is the economic rise of China, which calls the current division of power into question and because of which the imperialist powers now openly refer to combating China and its allies as a strategic priority. That is why we are witnessing an ever increasing concentration of military might in Europe and the Pacific, and the return of a Cold-War era authoritarian atmosphere, the dissolution of democracy, the return of censorship and witch-hunts against the alleged agents of this “malign influence”.

The imperial powers often misuse various progressive social causes, such as the struggle for women’s rights, LGBT+ rights or ecological struggles, to justify their armed interventions, coups and un-democratic regime changes across the globe. Using this fact, various right-wing parties and organizations hide behind a false nationalist “anti-imperialism” and use it to spread reactionary ideas and foment violence against the opressed and the minorities. Painting all progressive causes as a supposed product of the imperial West, they – instead of fighting against the neoliberal system which they allegedly oppose – prop up that same system and serve as its guard dogs, attacking those parts of society which the system oppresses the most. This can especially be noticed in right-wing racist rhetoric against migrants and in the violent practices through which they reveal themselves as the servants of imperialism’s raw underside – the idea of “white Christian Europe”.

That is why today it’s more important than ever for us to turn to the legacy of the Non-Aligned Movement, to fight against the bloc-division of the world which the empire wishes to impose on us, and to insist on the right of countries like Serbia to choose their own path of development.

Death to imperialism – freedom to the peoples!

adopted at the Congress of the Party of the Radical Left, 18/12/2022 in Belgrade


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