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Towards a Communist Theory of International Relations

Posted by sorev on 30/08/2009

A discussion of how communist societies will relate to underdeveloped and developed non-communist societies, respectively, begins from the same basis – namely, our desire not to be “red imperialists” or manipulate foreign peoples as though they were pawns in the chess match of intrigue between labour and capital on the world stage. The two diverge, though, out of a number of practical differences which will be elaborated throughout clarkequote1the series and with those differences emerges a different approach to be taken to relations with advanced capitalist and developing societies in a post-revolutionary context.

With relation to both classes of non-communist societies, the relationship for perhaps a generation after the revolution will be limited, as a great post-revolutionary push will be undertaken to re-industrialize the former Canada and, depending upon the quantity and quality of peoples’ infrastructure at the revolutionary moment, we may depend to some small degree on progressives from the “third world” to provide supplemental raw materials, manufactured goods, and “international brigades” of fighters to stave off an invasion. How this should be accomplished is beyond the scope of the present series, which will focus on the period following re-industrialization.

The Developing Countries

Because capitalism is a system which requires imperialism (and the lopsided development of infrastructure in the colonized world which results from it) in order to sustain itself, a good portion of the world will be subject to underdevelopment when our revolutionary moment arrives. This may be due either to our own national imperialists or to others, but the difference in either case will likely not be more than the degree of suspicion the colonized and decolonized have toward us. Materially speaking, the question is identical.

Though for a time we may simply supply the developing world with what resources we have to spare, this must be only a supplementary measure because we do not want to recreate the relationship of dependence between the developing world and ourselves. Our goal with relation to these people should be to assist in their social and industrial development, tending when possible toward peoples’, rather than state-controlled infrastructure and projects which will raise the actual standard of living for those people in a way which facilitates their independence from more-developed societies – including our own.

Decolonized nations have, as outlined by Fanon [cite], been thrust into a situation where all the financial and social capital of the colonizer have been removed and were forced to take loans from the First World in order to buy equipment and expertise from the First World. Chained to this debt and dependent on the “mother countries” both not to recall those loans and to keep providing technical experts (who over-estimated, wilfully at first, the amount of infrastructure they’d need in order to inflate the debts accrued), the decolonized have been forced to adjust their economic policies (workers’ rights, environmental protections, taxes on foreign investment, state ownership of industries, agricultural products, etc.) to the will of those imperial powers. We want both not to replicate this relationship with the developing world and to create a situation where it cannot be replicated by any others.

In order to do this, we may have to forego a “quid pro quo” in our development projects and, primarily, undertake those projects entirely within the parameters established by the communities affected by them. It is tempting in this light to approach the question with the mindset that “we’ll do for real what the ruling class tells us they’re doing now and lies about” – that is, effective, grassroots, good-faith development and “aid” work. We must avoid this temptation though, as even the best-stated intentions of current development and aid work springs from a notion that it is the burden of the white man to make humans out of the animals who inhabit the colonized world, that they haven’t the essential capacity to do it on their own. Our development work must begin with an understanding that, until all are free, our own freedom is insecure and that, until development happens, all cannot be free.

After our re-industrialization, there will be a glut of technical experts who have, by necessity, specialized in the speedy industrialization of a country. Looking around and having nothing left to industrialize, some will choose clarkequote2to apply their skills in other fields in the new society, and others still may “retire” from the field altogether. There should be an opportunity for these technical experts to relocate to the developing world and, between a number of them, found a university. Provided the university is around long enough to start producing PhDs, the technical experts (engineers, for example) currently lacking in the underdeveloped world and still required for its development will be more ready at hand.

We’ll want to accomplish more than just infrastructure development in these countries. A focus on social/movement development is also paramount in our goal of establishing communism worldwide. The quantity and quality of social/movement/political intervention undertaken by a communist society will be explored in the next piece.


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