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Anti-imperialism and international solidarity

The capitalist system has from its beginning driven nation states to war for profit and empire. During its early period, capitalist powers like England conquered the so-called New World, committed genocide against its native populations, plundered their land for wealth and profit, and subjected Africans to racist slavery. As Marx famously wrote, "capital comes dripping from head to toe, from every pore, with blood and filth."

At the end of the 19th century, the system entered a new phase of monopoly capitalism. Giant corporations turned to their states to prosecute their interests throughout the world system. Each capitalist power competed with their adversaries to divide the world into vast colonial empires and spheres of influence. This inter-imperial rivalry is the root cause of the wars that have wracked the system from the First World War to Bush’s Iraq War and Obama’s drone war.

In their struggle for supremacy, great powers subject weaker countries to national oppression. Initially this took the form of brutal colonial rule. After national liberation struggles swept the world, the imperial powers found new ways to maintain their dominance like America’s infamous gunboat diplomacy in Latin America or its imposition of structural adjustment programs through the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Masses of protesters filing Cairo's Tahrir Square during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 (Hossam el-Hamalawy)

Thus many countries around the world today suffer national oppression. The U.S. still maintains a colony in Puerto Rico, backs the UN occupation of Haiti, and supports Israel’s subjection of Palestine. Similarly China oppresses Tibet and Russia does the same in Chechnya and Ukraine. Such oppression provokes struggles for national self-determination.

Marxists believe that international solidarity against war and national oppression is the duty of all genuine revolutionaries. It is part of the struggle to unite the global working class against our common exploiters and oppressors. The ISO has therefore made the opposition to imperialist war and support for national self-determination a central part of our political organizing.

We oppose all American imperialism in its political, economic, and military forms. We do so through protests, public meetings, and study groups with the aim of re-building knee-jerk anti-imperialism on the American left. In recent years, we have organized with other forces against America’s repeated wars in the Middle East. In this effort we have campaigned against the Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism used to justify wars, discriminate against Arabs and Muslims, and provide a cover for implementing a surveillance state and shredding all of our civil liberties.

We are also active in building solidarity with struggles of oppressed nations for self-determination. In particular we focus on the Palestinian struggle for liberation. We have joined in the new campaign for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against the apartheid regime in Israel.

Solidarity activists hold a sit-in for justice in Palestine

The ISO is active in all these struggles to unite workers around the world to put an end the capitalist system that causes fratricidal competition for empire and profit. As Marxists we are committed to helping to lead workers around the world to get rid of this brutal system and replace it with an international socialist democracy that will liberate all of us and put an end to war.

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