International links

[This is the text of a draft motion adopted by the conference of the Scottish Socialist Party in February 2000.]

We actively promote international solidarity of working and oppressed people to resist the injustices and barbarism of global capitalism and imperialism. We are part of an international struggle for a peaceful, cooperative and democratic socialist system.

Global capitalism has wreaked poverty, famine and environmental devastation across the world. The gap between rich and poor has never been so wide.

The Battle of Seattle, in November-December 1999, saw 100,000 people take to the streets of America's richest city, to halt the plunder of world resources by transnational companies in the pursuit of bigger and bigger profits. Trade unionists, community groups, anti-poverty campaigners, students, anarchists and indigenous peoples, all had one target, the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

While multinational companies move from country to country to get cheaper labour for bigger profits, or where they tear up the local environment and impoverish the community, the role of the WTO is to ensure that there will be no opposition from local people, workers or governments.

The WTO stands for the interests of multinational capital. The demonstrators in Seattle fired the first shots in what is a developing anti-capitalist movement around the world.

We in the Scottish Socialist Party are internationalists because capitalism is a world system, which oppresses and exploits in different ways the working class and the peoples of five continents. The capitalists and the governments at their service are always ready to unite to combat any threat to their rule anywhere. The workers and oppressed of all countries have to unite to support each other's struggles and to coordinate our action internationally.

It is one of life's ironies that in the very city which houses Microsoft, the computer multinational, the technology of computers and the internet was the biggest weapon in mobilising the anti-capitalist demonstrators.

The internet is a powerful tool in the struggle for socialism. It allows a free flow of ideas across countries and continents and the opportunity of extending real solidarity to our brothers and sisters cross the world fighting against capitalism. Information and links with other groups and workers internationally are a key part of building a real international alternative to capitalism.

Governments defending the interests of capitalism are always trying to restrict the flow of information and attempting to prevent workers organising within their own country and internationally.

They ban socialist and opposition newspapers, jail trade union leaders and activists and suppress publications which tell the real story of the effects of global capitalist exploitation.

The SSP will use the internet to contact and build links around the world with anti-capitalist networks and socialist groups and parties.

Today with the globalisation of the world economy it is easy to see that no country can live in isolation. The capitalists themselves are trying to overcome the limits of national states by creating regional blocs—the European Union, NAFTA, APEC. World capitalism also functions today through a series of supranational institutions: the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the WTO. These organisations are in no way neutral bodies, aiming simply to aid poor countries or to regulate trade.

They are instruments for the maintenance of the domination of a handful of imperialist powers over the rest of the planet. They play a key role in organising and perpetuating the super-exploitation of the Third World, whose riches are systematically pumped out to fill the coffers of Western banks.

Recent United Nations reports state that 60% of the world's population have just 6% of the world's income.

Western governments, agencies and banks together with capital investors, through interest on loans, have sucked resources out of the Third World for years. Between 1983 and 1990 the poorest countries paid $325 billion more to the West than they received in aid. Debt repayments are a huge source of poverty and environmental destruction. Third World debts to banks, governments and Western agencies should be cancelled immediately.

We in the SSP are internationalists because socialism can succeed only by developing on an international scale, through the cooperation of the workers of all countries and coordinated international action to rationally utilise the resources of the planet for the benefit of all.

The capitalist world economy tends to concentrate more and more wealth in fewer and fewer hands. This leads to huge increases in inequality, on the one hand between the rich imperialist countries and the rest of the world and on the other within each country, rich or poor.

Over recent years we have seen the development of new forms of international resistance to capitalist globalisation: the Euromarches, the international demonstrations against such capitalist gatherings as the regular meetings of the G7 and the European Union summits. The most recent and most spectacular example was the mass demonstration which filled the streets of Seattle last November-December against the WTO negotiations, contributing powerfully to the collapse of these negotiations. We support such initiatives and will seek to participate in them whenever possible.

Over and above collaborating around particular initiatives, socialists need to find ways to organise permanently on an international basis. We need to work towards an international alliance of socialist parties. It would be premature to attempt to launch such an alliance today. But we are ready to participate in all international conferences and forums which bring together socialist and working-class forces from different countries.

We will actively seek to establish links with those organisations in other countries who share our vision of a democratic socialist society.

  • The SSP calls for the immediate and unconditional cancellation of Third World debts to Western governments, agencies and financial institutions.

  • We are totally opposed to the use of imperialist military power to attack other countries, as in the 1991 Gulf War and the 1999 Balkan War.

  • We oppose the economic blockades imposed by the imperialist powers, for example the 40-year-long blockade of Cuba and the blockade on Iraq, which has caused so much suffering and death to the people of that country.

  • We support the struggles of peoples fighting to exercise their right of self-determination and freedom from foreign domination.

  • We call for the repeal of the immigration and asylum laws of the British government and the European Union, which are racist laws designed to close the doors of "Fortress Europe" to those who are fleeing political repression, poverty and hunger.

  • We support the international struggles of the working class and the poor against the injustices of capitalism and imperialism, and we stand for international action to put an end to the exploitation, poverty and inequality that are inherent in global capitalism.

  • We stand for a socialist world in which the enormous resources of the planet can be freed from the domination of the international capitalist class and put into the hands of the peoples through democratic ownership and control of industry, technology, finance and land.