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“Anti-capitalist project back on the agenda”

23. July 2009

Seminar of the Austrian section of the Anti-imperialist Camp in Carinthia

Under the title “Crisis: chance for an anti-systemic force?” the annual summer seminar of the Austrian section of the Anti-imperialist Camp took place in Carinthia from 9-12 July, 2009.

The current crisis of the capitalist world economy was analysed as a very deep and structural one. As the credit bubble burst, so did the US demand which used to be the engine of growth for the rest of the world. There seems to exist no relief measure whatsoever which could at least partially substitute US consumption. So an enormous contraction of production is unavoidable.

The impact first of all on European society will rock the entire political system as the capitalist promise of material prosperity for the broad middle classes will definitely come to an end.

While the once overwhelming liberalist ideology is suffering an ongoing loss of hegemony, its decomposition produces first of all a drive to the chauvinist and xenophobe right within the popular masses. This is helping the elites to increase the authoritarian features of the system.

Nevertheless, among chaotic conflicts and a bonapartist state apparatus there will open up some spaces for an anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist opposition – as ephemeral they might be or even forced upon as a kind of forward auto-defence.

We need to embark on the project of an antagonist, anti-systemic opposition which is at the same time radical and broad. Thus it should be designed in a way appropriate to crystallise the inevitable popular protests against the rule of the elites. Starting point could be the demand to cancel the public dept.

At the same time we need to figure out and present our proposal for a societal alternative which needs to explain what it learnt from the failure of the defunct socialist states. While the defeat of the ruling global capitalist imperialist elite and its subsequent ousting and expropriation remains a necessary pre-condition, a more collective social system needs to be based around the notion of self-determination.

Although the crisis put antagonist attempts back on the agenda also within the West, the main driving for against the elites remains the resistance of the popular masses of the periphery. We need to connect to them, to carry the message also into the West, not only on the purely political level, but also on a cultural one, transmitting the spirit of resistance. Therefore the seminar was closed with a presentation of the initiative “Sumud” (Arabic: steadfastness) which will take place in forthcoming August in a Palestinian camp in Lebanon. It is designed to expand to an anti-imperialist voluntary association carrying out projects in several focus points of the global resistance.