We are living in truly historic times in the world: the times of the collapse of the greatest empire humanity has ever known. The West (the United States, Europe and a few other allies) still possesses considerable power, but in practice the world in many respects is now multipolar. What challenges does this situation pose for our peoples of Abya Yala?
The signs of the end of the unipolarity imposed by the West after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 are today evident in the resounding failure of sanctions against Russia in the wake of the war in Ukraine, in the growing thrust of the BRICS, in the development of China, and so on.
What is actually collapsing is not only the American empire, but also the entire civilization built up in the wake of the European colonization of the world.
Faced with the loss of their hegemony, the elite of the elite in the West are looking for some kind of escape that will allow them to maintain their privileges, those of the 0.00001% of the world’s population. The agenda is easy to see for anyone who cares to read the publications of the World Economic Forum and can see the common elements of the disparate statements of the American political leaders, be they democrats or “trumpists”: Neutralize China and Russia, ensure that Europe never becomes a serious competitor and destroy every sovereign state in order to impose the direct dictatorship of their multinationals over everything alive on earth.
Capitalism today, left to the mercy of the large financialized monopolies that control it, is capable of producing nothing but speculation, even greater concentration of wealth and, of course, wars. The downward trend of the rate of profit of capital does not motivate these monopolies to invest productively.
Only states with medium and long-term development policies are capable of forcing capital to produce, or of democratizing ownership, so that the real economy, which produces real tangible goods and services and not mere brands or marketing products, can develop.
What the Western elites seek is to “refurnish” the world according to their microscopically minority interests, and to achieve this they need to destroy the ability of the peoples to decide their destinies. They intend to get rid of most of humanity, which according to them consumes too many resources, and leave the Earth as a private hunting ground for the super-rich. Some dream of sending colonists to conquer other planets while others wish to upload their minds and souls to some Internet server and thus live forever.
In the name of a materialistic modernism, the Western elites want to destroy all that humanity has achieved and replace it with their vision of “progress”, far removed from human beings and their needs, but very close to the mechanisms of machines.
Beyond the destruction of state sovereignties, what the imperial agenda seeks is to destroy cultural and social sovereignties, as well as people’s subjectivity. They want the ultimate interchangeable being, they want a materialistic and soulless being, they want the mere consumer and not the producer, and with that objective they are implementing a corrosive policy to counteract the emerging multipolarity.
Multipolarity, contrary to the Western agenda, means several poles of diverse civilizations, with different ways of understanding the world but with a joint will to coexist in this common home that is Mother Earth. Each of these poles represents a historical civilizational struggle of peoples in different regions of the world. Multipolarity means both the preservation of cultural and existential roots, and the construction of new ways of being in and with the world.
We in Abya Yala have a heroic civilizing task to fulfill, the task bequeathed to us by Tupac Katari, Bolivar, Sandino, Che, Fidel and Chavez.
We are not Europeans nor are we “sons of Spain”, no matter how much we speak Iberian or European languages. We are destined to recover our indigenous, African and European roots (among many others) to build a present and a future of dignity. Our civilizing project is neither Asian, nor Slavic, nor Anglo-Saxon, nor European, nor African, nor Arab: It is the Abya Yala, the name of the living land of the Cuna people before the arrival of Christopher Columbus, and not the America of the Italian Amerigo Vespucci, who drew the first maps of our region.
Our peoples have never stopped fighting. The latter is especially true with respect to the last decade, when the empire unleashed a counter-offensive to neutralize the advances achieved by our peoples following the triumph of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela in 1998. The days of struggle of peoples such as those of Chile, Ecuador and Colombia against the neoliberal regimes in their respective countries were memorable, as well as the electoral victory of Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Mexico, to the point that in many places people have begun to speak of a true “pink tide” in Latin America. We believe that one cannot be overly optimistic. While the empire is weakened, the weaknesses in our own camp are quite evident.
The civilizational crisis that the world is going through affects us all, within the same country, the same organization or movement, or even at the level of the same family or individual.
The most important ideological constant of the imperial counter-offensive is its objective of sowing confusion and sectarianism among all the forces opposed to Western unipolarity. If after the attack on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001 they instituted the “war on terror” and instilled prejudices against Muslims and Middle Eastern people around the world, as well as demonized countries like Syria and Iran, today they intend us to choose sides in a war between supposed (social) “progressive” democrats and “neo-Nazis” in the style of the supposed supporters of Donald Trump or Jair Bolsonaro.
What is happening today? We must understand that the Western empire in its state of senility does not produce ideology, rather it seizes issues that are relevant to the peoples in order to subvert them. Throughout the history of the United States, great tycoons like Rockefeller, Ford, Carnegie, Soros, Pierre Omydiar (eBay) and others have invested billionaire sums in all kinds of foundations and think tanks to manipulate the peoples, but there are no new ideas.
They changed the script from “you’re either with us or you’re with bin Laden” to “you’re either with us or you’re with Trump’s fascists”: on one side, the “fascists”, and on the other, the “socialist-globalist-totalitarians”. These are images that do not fully correspond to reality, chinesesque shadows with which they want us to braid ourselves to bleed our friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, peoples and countries.
The danger for the peoples of the world is to assume that these caricatures truly express their interests and agree to take sides in a war that has been designed to destroy them, both north and south.
Biden and Trump have fundamental things in common: Manifest Destiny; belief in America’s exceptionalism; and having a great closeness to money. Neither of them will go against the dictates of the Deep State, banking, the arms industry or any of the few oligarchic families that control the United States.
The center of power in the United States is financial-military and its strategic agenda is globalist. The scarecrow to implement it is “the fascist Trump” (or Bolsonaro, or any other local variant), but the general orientation is always the same.
That agenda is easy to see for anyone willing to read the publications of the World Economic Forum: The direct dictatorship of multinationals over everything alive on earth. Beyond the nice-sounding (to some) words, what they seek is to destroy the world economy and monopolize the remaining debris by dictatorial means, both in the North and in the South: a high-tech medieval dictatorship, simply put.
Economically, the “progressive” (social) democrats in the United States and Europe recommend variants of the so-called Modern Monetary Theory, based on printing money without productive backing to (supposedly) combat unemployment, create jobs and reactivate the economy. Many times their proposals are seen as progressive, for example the promises of “universal basic incomes”, especially compared to the proposals of the “fascist” supporters of the “crazy Trump”, which only consist of lowering taxes, preferably those of the rich, left and right.
What neither the “progressives” nor the Western “fascists” like to do, is to question the sacrosanct capitalist system, to democratize the economy, to redistribute land and much less wealth.
In the economic sphere, the measures of one or the other do nothing but deepen the financial, economic and technological dependence of our peoples and our countries, which do not have international reserve currencies such as the dollar or the euro.
While the “progressives” are constantly talking about the danger of climate change and even proposing a “green new deal” (a “green” public investment program similar to Roosevelt’s New Deal against the Great Depression in the 1930s), the “fascists” deny any threat of ecological collapse and propose to continue using fossil fuels, nuclear energy, etcetera. In this cacophony between Western “progressives” and “fascists”, the voices of the majority of humanity that raises the problem of the ecological crisis in terms of climate justice are drowned out.
The West based its development on the merciless exploitation of the planet’s carbon dioxide space. It is now up to the Western countries to tighten their belts and allow the countries of the periphery, especially the poorest, to develop.
The “Green Deals” of Western progressives are unfeasible because they cost enormous amounts of carbon dioxide in the production of equipment such as solar panels, wind farms and electric cars. Proposals for large-scale cultivation of grain for biofuel are a pipe dream and the massive use of genetically modified crops in food is a threat to biodiversity. These proposals are only attempts to extend the lifespan of Western capitalism by financing the private capitalist monopolies of the West with public funds.
On the other hand, the climate change denialist proposals mean suicide for our peoples, not only because the consequences of climate change have been felt for some time now. The ecological crisis is real, with totally unsustainable models of fishing and agriculture based on the destruction of peasant economies all over the planet.
What our peoples need are responses that take into account all aspects of the problem, that guarantee development without losing sight of Mother Earth as a subject of rights, combining scientific research and the most advanced technologies with the knowledge, wisdom and ancestral practices of the peoples.
The “progressives” claim to be champions of women’s rights and sexual diversity, but the truth is that these rights, especially in the West, seem to be going backwards by leaps and bounds. The “fascists”, for their part, claim to be champions of family rights, although they take it for granted that the family they claim to defend is of a very particular type, according to their own preferences.
What has actually taken place in recent decades has been a Western appropriation of the struggle for women’s rights and sexual diversity rights in favor of a postmodern academic agenda that reduces everything to language and rugged individualism.
Language reforms do little to advance women’s real rights to control over their living conditions, especially material ones, and instead do much to further ideologize the debate and divide popular sectors instead of fostering broad alliances against violence.
Until about 20 years ago, the difference between biological sex (the chromosomal differences between the sexes) and gender as a “social construction” (what each society defines as belonging to the masculine, feminine, etc.), i.e., a historical construction of meanings made by large social groups, was generally accepted.
Currently, in the public debate, gender is understood as an identity essence defined by each individual “subjectively”; moreover, it seems that sex no longer exists but “gender” conceived in a subjective way. Beyond the right that every adult person has to transform his or her body as he or she wishes, this “trans” debate has had extremely pernicious effects, both for women and children, by confusing all the terms of identity.
Women, who have worked so hard to win (even precariously) a series of rights, are now being singled out, along with men, as part of the “problem” and accused of being “heteronormative” just for defending their identity as women.
The inclusion of gender change as a service in the public health care model is something very strange in broad sectors of Abya Yala that still struggle for access to the most basic health care, but not only that, but as an individual alternative “transgender surgery” is not very realistic for the vast majority of transsexuals because it is a very painful, dangerous, irreversible, expensive intervention that does not result in a real change of sex.
Likewise, with the excuse of the “trans” debate, the West sexualizes generations of children who had already been aggressively sexualized by the entire multinational media industry, creating serious identity problems for children, almost forcing them to choose their “sexual identity” from an early age when they do not even have the slightest idea of what that means.
It is obvious that this whole agenda is highly divisive and generates widespread rejection in the popular sectors. Not all conservatism is reactionary, especially if it tends to conserve values, conceptions and practices that have served people to resist oppression for hundreds of years.
For broad popular sectors in Abya Yala, regardless of their profession of faith, life has a value in itself, which is why they fervently oppose abortion. This position must be respected.
On the other hand, those who criticize the “trans” agenda of “progressives” often fall into the opposite position, which is to deny gender oppression and violence exercised by many men, deny discrimination against women and against sexual minorities and in some cases even defend child abuse. This is obviously an intolerable step backwards, especially in a region of the world where women simply do not accept gender oppression anymore.
Nicaragua has been criticized in certain circles for the course that the country under the leadership of Commander Daniel Ortega and comrade Rosario Murillo has taken on issues such as abortion, but the truth is that few countries in Abya Yala have advanced more in terms of women’s rights, sexual diversity and children’s rights through dialogue and consensus among the popular sectors.
The priorities imposed by the “gender” NGOs of the empire, often clash with the real priorities of women, who rather ask for real access to health, real economic power, political representation, protection of Justice and respect for their values.
Another front that imperial “progressives” have tried to manipulate to divide peoples is that of racism, anti-racism and peoples’ identities. Again, these issues are real in both the North and the South, not inventions of the empire.
The West as the center of imperial power owes everything to the genocide of entire peoples and the establishment of a universal racist order with its navel as the center of the world. However, the anti-racism raised as a banner by the imperial social democrats is not destined to do justice to these issues, but on the contrary, to prevent the peoples from finding effective political alternatives that would lead them to become subjects of history.
None of the 20th century anti-racist leaders, from Ho Chi Minh or Sandino to Franz Fanon, Martin Luther King or Malcolm X, could understand what many today call “anti-racism”, an anti-racism that is not in solidarity with the peoples attacked by imperialism, and that seems more interested in bringing down statues or waging wars of symbols than in helping to give birth to a multipolar world and to put an end to Western unipolarity, the true origin of racism on earth.
Anti-racists in the countries of the North who understand the need to fight against the empire are unfortunately in the minority. For example, the majority of the anti-racists in the West are more likely to swallow the Western anti-Russian and Slavophobic propaganda.
What dominates the Western-promoted media consciousness is a liberal anti-racism, based on individual attitudes and the promise that someday “everyone” will have a place in the sun of the neoliberal empire. What exists is not a struggle to win rights, but a perennial guerrilla war to keep alive the quarrel between the good progressives who fight against “discrimination” and the bad fascists who claim to be “discriminated against” by so much anti-racism. Unfortunately, it is often the poor on both sides who are pitted against each other and suffer the real consequences.
The criminal ideological cacophony of empire is a death trap: If our movements begin to think that half the population is “fascist”, it is a sign that the perspective of the struggle for hegemony is being abandoned and the danger of falling into the sectarian wars of the West is at the doorstep.
The examples of Chile and Argentina illustrate dangerous and destructive tendencies towards polarization within Abya Yala as a result of this imperial psychological warfare.
In Chile, the defeat of the “Yes” vote in the constitutional plebiscite last September 4, where 85% of the electorate (a historical record) categorically rejected the draft constitution prepared by the Constituent Assembly, shows the existing serious division. There was not only a “silent majority” that supported the right wing, there were also one million voters that two years before expressed themselves in favor of a Constituent Assembly, this year they rejected the document elaborated by it.
The cause of the defeat cannot be seen only in the aggressive disinformation campaign of the right wing, there was also a tendency to turn a document that should really be a declaration of principles and a framework for coexistence into the wish box of the participating organizations in a context in which it was already known that there were very conflicting ideas at a social level around a number of issues.
From a regional perspective, it is very questionable that it has been included that, in its international relations, Chile would commit itself to “the promotion and respect for human rights (etc.)” in other countries, especially in the region, which constitutes a rupture with the CELAC agreements in the sense of respect for sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. It would be very dangerous if any Abya Yala country wanted to set itself up as a moral judge of the rest of the region, in a very similar way to Western governments and their web of toxic NGOs.
Argentina is currently going through a serious crisis, with a long-standing right-wing media hate campaign and assassination attempts against Vice-President Cristina Fernandez, as well as a growing polarization, aggravated by an internal crisis over the direction of the process.
This polarization is taking place in the midst of great frustration, not only from middle class sectors, due to the disastrous economic results after the neoliberal management of Mauricio Macri, which indebted the country with record figures at world level, and after the effects of the pandemic, which implied enormous costs for the State. One of the few areas in which the ruling progressive coalition has managed to make progress has been the gender issue, certainly with much support in sectors of the population, especially regarding violence against women, but also with many rejections, for example on issues such as abortion.
Politically, President Alberto Fernandez one day says he wants to strengthen ties with Russia and the next day he votes with the West on Ukraine; one day he says he wants to lead CELAC and the next day he submits to US orders to hijack a Venezuelan plane with all its crew, and another day he travels to Washington to ask for economic aid.
Both in Chile and Argentina, governments influenced by Western-inspired progressivism, vacillate between the bet for a “Our American” and multipolar world and Western dictates, reaping even more frustration and paving the way for contradictions to be settled violently in the streets.
In Colombia, whose new president Gustavo Petro began his administration with a series of measures that aroused great expectation, both inside and outside its borders, to surprise with the proposal he made in early September to General Laura L. Richardson, commander of the U.S. Southern Command, to create a joint military force to “protect the Amazon from emergencies such as forest fires”.
It is true that Colombia is a country militarily occupied by the United States, with several bases in its territory, and also holds the dubious honor of being a “global partner” of NATO, but the mere fact of letting the boots of the Marines officially act in the Amazon is something that goes beyond national boundaries to become a direct threat to Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela and Brazil, not to mention the entire Abya Yala.
Richardson’s visit to Colombia was part of a tour of several countries in the region with the express purpose of counteracting the influence of China and Russia, and to promote the isolation of, especially, Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela. This type of diplomatic-military pressure is part of the imperial arsenal aimed at subverting the will of our peoples. It cannot be ruled out that the Western empire may seek to unleash one or more wars between sister countries in the region under the pretext of the Amazon fires, the triple frontier of lithium, drug trafficking or anything else.
The other imperial arsenal is a veritable army of Western NGOs using various themes as a cover (gender, environment, youth work, indigenous peoples, etc.) in order to co-opt the popular movements of Abya Yala. Likewise, all the social democratic foundations of North America and Europe allocate funds for political aid, but the objective of this aid is totally subordinated to NATO’s strategy and has nothing to do with those of our peoples. Finally, a whole similar paraphernalia is mobilized by the West to influence our peoples “from the right” and thus inflame and divide our region.
The social-political movements of Abya Yala must reflect in depth on the points we have made and study the strategies of the empire in order to know how to identify and combat them in each of their processes. The West is collapsing, but retains destructive power for a while.