Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume 2, Number 8 March 31 - April 6, 2002 Quezon City, Philippines
Imperialist Globalization and Terrorism
Prof. Jose Maria Sison
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am pleased to be invited by the International Coordinating Committee of the
International League for Peoples’ Struggle to speak on imperialist
globalization and terrorism. It is a welcome task for me to discuss such
an urgent topic of crucial importance to the people.
the way the topic is phrased, I presume that there is deep interest in the
relation between imperialist globalization and terrorism. I propose to
discuss that economic terrorism characterizes capitalism at various stages of
its development and that imperialism means war and terrorism.
terrorism in capitalism and imperialism
quote Marx, “Tantae molis erat(So massive a task it was), to
establish the "eternal laws of Nature" of the capitalist mode of
production, to complete the process of separation between labourers and
conditions of labour, to transform, at one pole, the social means of production
and subsistence into capital, at the opposite pole, the mass of the population
into wage-labourers, into "free labouring poor," that artificial
product of modern society. If money, according to Angier, "comes into
the world with a congenital blood-stain on one cheek," capital comes
dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt.”
the development of capitalism, the primitive accumulation of capital involved
the most brutal methods of exploitation, such as the use of slaves, serfs and
farm workers for the production of the agricultural surplus, compulsion on the
proletarianized peasants as well as women and children to work for as long as 12
to 16 hours at low wages and the sheer plunder of entire nations in old style
these methods of exploitation persisted from the 16th
century of initial colonial globalization to the 19th
century of free competition capitalism and constituted economic terrorism. Those
who did not own the means of production had to be exploited by the few who owned
these and had to work for their subsistence or else suffer from starvation and
proneness to illness and premature death.
the very process of production at the workplace, the bourgeoisie extracts the
surplus value from the mass of workers, who are forced to yield it under the
threat of being fired in a general situation where they are completely separated
from the natural economy of self-subsistence in feudal economy and they have no
means of subsistence other than selling their labor power.
fight for the improvement of their wage and living conditions and to strive for
the historic mission of building socialism, the workers have formed trade unions
and political parties and have waged class struggle against the bourgeoisie.
Never voluntarily yielding to the demands of the working class, the bourgeoisie
has used the most violent and most deceptive means to attack the working class.
terrorism is most brutal at the highest and final stage of capitalism, which is
monopoly capitalism or modern imperialism. The extraction of surplus value
from the workers becomes more intense in capitalist society. And the
crisis of overproduction becomes more disastrous for all the working people.
before the proletariat becomes strong enough to seize political power and build
socialism, the monopoly bourgeoisie tries to alleviate the economic crisis at
home by exporting surplus goods and surplus capital and subjecting the oppressed
peoples and nations to superexploitation.
colonies, semicolonies and dependent countries become the cheapest source of
labor and raw materials and the most profitable fields of investment. In
times of boom in the imperialist countries, it can even be said that the workers
take some share from the feasting table of monopoly capitalism and tend to lose
interest in the socialist revolution.
oppressed peoples and nations are forced to suffer the most brutal forms of
exploitation or else economic and military sanctions are undertaken against
them. Even when colonies acquire nominal independence and become
semicolonies or dependent countries, they are subjected to neocolonial methods
of superexploitation, with the imperialists requiring the puppet regimes to
carry out the dictates of monopoly capitalism.
neocolonialism appears to consist of economic and financial control,
imperialists are ever ready to use political pressure and military force to
compel the neocolonies to submit to the terms of superexploitation. Thus
they make bilateral and multilateral military agreements in order to have the
instruments for enforcing bilateral economic agreements and the dictates of such
multilateral agencies as the IMF, World Bank and WTO.
recent decades, the overproduction of raw materials by most semicolonies and
dependent countries as well as the overproduction of low value-added
semimanufactures by a few of them has resulted in either the closure of the
bankrupted enterprises or bigger overproduction and export of bigger volumes of
the same goods at lower prices in the global market.
crisis of overproduction, the trade deficits and mounting debt burden result in
the worst wage and living conditions. The worst conditions of mass
unemployment, low wages, impoverishment and deprivation are found in the
semicolonies and dependent countries. The majority of the people there
live on less than two US dollars a day.
us now consider what is deceptively called “free market” globalization,
which is actually imperialist globalization. This policy bias of the
monopoly bourgeoisie blames the workers for so-called wage inflation and
economic stagnation under the previous Keynesian policy bias. It also
considers as inflationary the social spending done by the capitalist state.
neoliberal myth of the “free market” (in fact monopoly capitalism) is that
growth follows from privatizing public assets, providing more financial
resources to the monopoly firms, fattening them with state contracts, eroding or
eliminating the hard won rights gained by the workers as well as doing away with
protection of women and children and the safeguards against damage to the
privatization and deregulation have devastated the lives of the working people
in the imperialist countries and much more of those in the semicolonies,
dependent and retrogressive countries. They have accelerated the outflow
of the social wealth created by the people, from the underdeveloped to the
imperialist countries. “Free market” globalization has not meant the
spread of productive capital in the world but the accelerated accumulation and
concentration of capital in the few imperialist countries, chiefly the US.
the US itself has sunk into deep recession as a result of the overproduction of
high-tech goods, the bursting of its high-tech financial bubble and the collapse
of the “new economy”. This so-called new economy was previously touted
as a constantly growing economy without inflation or with low inflation.
To keep the economy on balance, the US Federal Bank was supposed to simply
adjust and readjust the interest rates.
economic crisis in the US has plunged the entire world capitalist system into
the worst kind of depression since the end of World War II. All global
centers of capitalism are in recession. The rest of the world, dependent
on orders for raw materials and semimanufactures from the imperialist countries,
are in a rapidly worsening state of depression.
before the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, the Bush
administration had proposed stepping up military production as the solution to
the current economic crisis of the US and world capitalist system. In the
wake of the September 11 attacks, the US has provided the monopoly firms with
large tax cuts and fat military contracts.
the US drive for high-tech military production will not solve the economic
crisis either in the US or in the entire world. It will aggravate the
crisis, generate war hysteria and put the entire world in the danger of more
wars of aggression by the US and other imperialists.
means war and terrorism
all violent forces that have arisen in the history of mankind, imperialism has
committed the most numerous and the gravest crimes against humanity. The
interimperialist wars, the so-called limited wars and the puppet regimes of open
terror have been the most horrifying.
a result of their struggle for a redivision of the world, the competing
imperialist powers have brought about the deadliest global wars such as World
War I and World War II, which have resulted in the death of so many tens of
millions of people. Conflicting colonial interests and rising war budgets
led to World War
unbearable impositions on the losers and the rise of fascism led to World War
the start of the Cold War, the US has been responsible for the killing of at
least 12 million people through wars of aggression and through massacres
conducted by its reactionary puppets.
US killed 4.6 million Koreans in the Korean War of 1950-53. It also killed
6 to 7 million people in the war of aggression against Vietnam and the rest of
Indochina. Instigated by the US, reactionary puppets killed more than one
million Indonesians in 1965 and one or two more million people elsewhere.
wreaking vengeance on Iran after the overthrow of the shah, the US encouraged
Iraq to engage Iran in a prolonged war. It promoted Islamic fundamentalism
in Afghanistan in order to rouse the people against the Soviet forces and the
Soviet-supported regime. It also whipped up anticommunist religious
bigotry to motivate the “contras” in conducting terror raids against the
people of Nicaragua under the Sandinista government.
puppet regimes of open terror, the US has sponsored all kinds of acts of
terrorism against the people. These include illegal arrests and detention,
torture, extrajudicial killings, arson, looting, forced mass evacuation and so
on. So many millions of people in Asia, Africa and Latin America have thus
suffered from such acts of terrorism.
us not forget the human toll exacted by such US-propped terrorist regimes as
those of Chiang Kaishek in Taiwan, Ngo Dinh Diem in Vietnam, Suharto in
Indonesia, Marcos in the Philippines, Videla in Argentina, Pinochet in Chile,
Fujimori in Peru, Mobutu in the Congo and so on and so forth.
the US emerged as the sole superpower at the end of the Cold War, the
imperialists and their propagandists hyped that peace and civility would reign.
But in fact, the US has become ever more arrogant and bloodthirsty and has
engaged in flagrant acts of bullying, interference, intervention and aggression.
the last 12 years, it has launched three large-scale wars of aggression, such as
those against Iraq, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan and in the process collected such
spoils as sources of oil and military contracts. The people have suffered
from the terrorism of imperialism in all these wars of aggression spearheaded by
makes these US-led wars of aggression exceedingly abominable is the cowardliness
of using its air power and other high-tech weapons to bomb and massacre the
civilian population and destroy fixed civilian structures, including dams,
electric plants, hospitals, nurseries, schools, factories, office buildings,
churches and mass media facilities.
US and its imperialist allies are responsible for the economic and social
ruination of the underdeveloped countries. This is the outcome of the
outflow of social wealth, excessive foreign borrowing and the austerity measures
that crimp both production and consumption. Relatedly, the US instigate
ethnic and religious conflicts and generate civil strife and massacres in order
to deflect the people from the revolutionary course and allow the US to extend
further its hegemony.
US is now using the September 11 attacks as a pretext to drum up war hysteria,
step up military production, curtail the democratic rights of the American
people and other peoples and carry out acts of aggression and terrorism against
the people waging revolution, the nations fighting for liberation and countries
asserting national independence.
US is the No. 1 aggressor and terrorist of the world. It has used the
September 11 attacks to misrepresent itself as the champion of antiterrorism and
to terrorize the people of the world. No matter how shocking occasionally
is the handiwork of small private terrorist groups, all of them fall under the
shadow of the superterrorism of the US.
US is oppressing the people within its own borders, especially the new arrivals
from Asia, Africa and Latin America and those who belong to the Islamic faith.
It has enacted the fascistic Patriot Act and, under the guise of antiterrorism,
is imposing this on other countries as the model for antidemocratic legislation
and draconian measures.
US is encouraging and undertaking arbitrary arrests, indefinite detention
incommunicado and without charges, military courts against civilians, and the
assassination of anti-imperialist leaders or their kidnapping for trial under
US-controlled courts. The CIA has been given the license to assassinate
anti-imperialist leaders abroad.
US has practically declared war on Iran, Iraq and North Korea by condemning them
as the “axis of evil”. It has also pointed to 12 countries as
“harboring terrorists” and warning them that the US would take actions
unilaterally if the governments of those countries are unwilling or fail to wipe
out so-called terrorists.
now, a total of 1000 US combat troops are already deployed in Luzon, Visayas and
Mindanao in the Philippines. The pretext is for said troops to train the
Filipino officers and men how to fight in the combat zones of Basilan and Jolo
against a small bandit group, the Abu Sayyaf, a creation of the US CIA with the
collaboration of some Filipino puppet military officers in the early 1990s
against the Moro National Liberation Front.
real main objective of US military deployment in the Philippines is to
participate actively in combat against the New People’s Army and the armies of
the Bangsamoro and establish US military bases in southern Philippines in order
to be at the center of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines and
exercise control over the oil and other natural resources as well as the routes
of international commerce in the region. The first three aforementioned
countries are major oil producers and the Cotabato basin and Palawan waters in
Mindanao are also acknowledged as having rich oil reserves.
view of the warmongering, increased war production and actual acts of aggression
by the US, the broad masses of the people must be vigilant, resolute and
militant in opposing US imperialism. They must not be cowed or confused by
the great disorder, turmoil and war generated by US imperialism. Instead,
they should recognize these as signs of the desperation of imperialism and
should take advantage of these favorable conditions for advancing the
the ILPS can do
ILPS must do the best it can to arouse, organize and mobilize the broad masses
of the people to fight imperialist globalization, war and terrorism, which are
chiefly being carried out by the US. It must uphold, defend and promote
the rights and interests of the people, as manifested in the 18 concerns of the
The ILPS must struggle for the national and social liberation of the people. For the purpose, it must attract more participating organizations, engage in political education, conduct mass campaigns and link with other forces in order to build a broad anti-imperialist solidarity and international united front.
Rode Hoed, Amsterdam
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