United World International has started publishing papers that were presented to the Global Multipolarity Confernce held on April 29. UWI published the video address of Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, to the conference that was organized by Nova Resistência (Brazil), the New International Order Initiative (Türkiye), the International Eurasian Movement (Russia), the Thinkers’ Forum (China) and the International Russophile Movement.
Recent publications included the presentations of Dr. Elie Hatem, Vice President of the International Movement of Russophiles (MIR), Dimitris Konstantakopoulos, Greek journalist and geopolitics expert, Mitsuhiro Kimura, leader of the Japanese movement Issuikai and Kemi Seba, a renowned Pan-Africanist leader.
Today we present the speech of Keith Bennett. Bennett is Co-Editor of Friends of Socialist China and also the Editor of the International Manifesto Group.
Dear Friends and Comrades
I would like to thank Nova Resistencia of Brazil, the New International Order Initiative of Turkiye, the International Eurasian Movement of Russia, the Thinker’s Forum of China, and the International Russophile Movement for organizing today’s Global Multipolarity Conference and for inviting me to share some thoughts on the sub-theme of the Struggle Against Neo-Colonialism in a Multipolar World.
What is most significant about the present conjuncture is that the conditions are maturing for the final resolution of this historical problem, through the creation of a truly multipolar, or pluripolar, world, with independence as its foundation and at its core.
At the dawn of the twentieth century, the great African-American scholar and revolutionary, Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois said that the defining issue of that coming century would be what he termed the ‘colour line’. He spoke just a few short years after the European colonial powers had met in Berlin to carve the continent of Africa between themselves like so many slices of cake.
What Du Bois was referring to was the struggle of the oppressed nations and peoples for their liberation – a struggle that characterized the twentieth century. The 1917 revolution that led to the creation of the Soviet Union was the first great turning point in the anti-colonial struggle. For the first time, a great world power emerged that was unequivocally committed to the struggle and the freedom of the colonial peoples.
When the imperialist powers again plunged the world into a war for the redivision of the colonies, it was the Soviet Union and its Red Army that played the decisive role in what became an anti-fascist battle for democracy.
Arising from the historic defeat of fascism was the victory of the Chinese revolution, which had a profound impact on the global balance of forces.
The founding of the People’s Republic of China, the independence of India, the revolutions in Korea and Vietnam, and the 1955 Afro-Asian Conference in the Indonesian city of Bandung, were among the most important factors in creating a new reality, in which the persistence of the old colonial empires, in the form they had taken hitherto, became increasingly untenable.
Even amidst its tragic and bitter divisions, the existence of the socialist camp was the greatest mainstay and support for the wave of anti-colonialism that swept through Africa and Asia, the Caribbean and the South Pacific, and even in Europe, as the struggle of the Irish people, among others, demonstrates. Whilst formal decolonization remains to be completed, hundreds of millions of people won their national independence and embarked on the struggle to build a new society.
However, that struggle has proven to be no less arduous than that to win formal independence.
Just as Lenin had defined imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism, so it fell to Ghana’s first president Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah to define neo-colonialism as the highest stage of imperialism.
And just as it was the existence of the socialist camp that provided the greatest support to the cause of national independence and the building of a new society, so it was the collapse of the Soviet Union, in particular, that constituted the greatest setback, temporarily giving colonialism and imperialism a new lease of life.
Far from the ‘peace dividend’ we were promised, the ‘new world order’ and then the supposed ‘rules based international order’, ushered in a new period of colonial wars, in Afghanistan and Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya, Syria and Somalia, among others, wreaking havoc, destruction and misery in those countries and much farther afield.
Three factors, in particular, have, however, served to make the moment of imperialist triumphalism a fleeting one:
- The People’s Republic of China, far from changing its class character, has deepened its socialist orientation and has continued its steady rise, remaining on course to overtake the United States as the world’s single largest economy, a change unseen in well over a century.
- Under the leadership of President Putin, Russia has regained its dignity and self-respect and is once more a powerful and dependable ally of the Global South.
- Starting with the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela, and with the great example of socialist Cuba to follow, Latin America, considered by the United States to be its hereditary backyard for centuries, has advanced to the forefront of the global struggle for independence and social progress. The return of President Lula in Brazil has also served to greatly expedite that process.
One might say that today, on a state level, the anti-colonial forces have never been stronger and more cohesive. And it is precisely for this reason that imperialism has responded with a ‘new cold war’ targeted on Russia and China in particular. Indeed, imperialism no longer makes any pretense with regard to the fact that it is openly at war with Russia.
Today, once again, the multinational people of Russia stand on the frontlines of the struggle for civilization and against barbarism. I have no doubt that, as in 1945, they will prevail.
Thank you for your attention.
* Title given by editors.