Understanding today’s world – a summary of the panel discussion
In Friday’s panel we heard from four different continents, presenting an analysis of the international context, drawing from their local realities and experiences in their struggles against fascists regimes and capitalist modernity.
A young women from Argentina, representing Poder Popular, spoke about the political bourgeoisie situation, which is alternating between liberal and progressive governments. This represents a crisis of representation and political identity that we can see throughout the whole continent. Amplified by the aftermath of the pandemic and a severe economic crisis as well as an increasingly dependency on social media, has led to a hyper-individualist society. The Argentinian friend also spoke about the role that the feminist movement “Ni Una Menos” has had in showing the youth’s capacity of building a grassroots political movement.
“The history of our regional revolutionary movements, like the ones from Cuba and Nicaragua, and the resistance against the US-backed military dictatorships that our parents and grandparents in the 70s built, should inspire us and show us that fighting for a new world is not only possible, but our responsibility”
A comrade from the Kurdish Youth pointed out that there has always been conflict – but also resistance and struggle in the Middle East. A conflict that represents the clashes between capitalist modernity and democratic forces. Capitalist forces have always created justifications for their their military and political interests, for example during the Iraq invasion of Kuwait or the US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, or in the Palestinian genocide. We, however, will never support war on behalf of nation-state monopolies. The comrade explained: “Thousands of comrades, from all over Kurdistan, are currently in prison, building great resistance even in the face of relentless oppression, and that’s why we understand the situation of the Palestinian people very well. We are never on the side of those who wage war on society on behalf of nationalist and fascist interests”
He continued: ” We are resisting Turkish fascism everywhere, in the cities, the prisons or the mountains – a fascism that has deep historical roots which stretches along a thousand years old struggle. The same is true for Palestine, there are people fighting against a fascist system that systematically targets the youth and the youth political will and identity. “
They want to destroy Abdullah Öcalan, his ideas and the reality that his ideas have inspired, so that they can show the youth that socialism is destined to fail. Hence, they’re targeting us and Öcalan. They’re scared of our ideology, of our ideas, even of us being here together at this conference.”
Another comrade from Anakbayan talked about the youth struggle against the neo-colonial and semi-feudal system that the US and China have been imposing on the Philippine society. The Philipinian has a strong dependency to the US, relating back to a history of colonialism of US interest in the Pacific. “We need to advance the popular struggle and reach out to people across all parts of society, to create a new world order, managed by the people, away from the neo-liberal policies and military and political domination constructed by imperialist forces.”
A comrade from the Malian UACDDD highlighted many problems in his country, which have worsened massively since the big economic crises in 2018. Problems include climate change, dehydration of the soil, the vast exploitation and appropriation of land (1 billion hectares of land have been “grabbed”) for mono-cultures and gold mines, migration and illegal hunting of animals.
“Many houses and villages were destroyed in order to exploit the land. Entire families and communities were evicted, especially from 1993 to 2017. In the struggle for land justice, we fight against land segregation, for housing, the rehabilitation of social spaces and for the security of people’s livelihoods and ecological restoration and preservation: the state cannot own the land, the land and people’s lives are one and cannot be separated. This struggle is felt strongly by our youth and women, who continue to lead the struggle.”
It is clear, as all panelists have emphasized, that nation-states, like China, the US, Turkey, Israel, are in a condition of deep contradictions. They are unable to hide the crises affecting our societies and use repression and genocidal politics against any form of dissent. This is why, as the comrades have reminded us during the panel, we need to use all possible means to fight fascism: It is the responsibility of the youth to create a democratic society! Therefore we need to live by an ideology, resist repression and its attempt to depoliticize the youth.