Franz J.T. Lee, April, 2005

Historic Lessons of Bandung for the Bolivarian Revolution

Between April 18 and April 24, 1955, a historic conference took place in Bandung, Indonesia, attended by African and Asian States, organized by Indonesia, India, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Burma and Pakistan. In the epoch of decolonization ... rather of North American neo-colonization and "dollarization" of the globe ... the major objective of this decisive meeting was to promote Afro-Asian economic and cultural cooperation, against Euro-American imperialism and Stalinist expansion.

In other words, the aim ... of the delegates of 29 countries, representing then over half of the global population ... was to search for a "third" option, for viable non-alignment alternatives for the future development of the colonized "Third World."

In reality, the historic questions at stake were:

a) to be absorbed by the coming North American neo-colonialist imperialism;
b) to confront world imperialism and "Sovietism" in a global class war; or
c) to find a third independent path of historical development, that was neither fascist world imperialism nor corrupt "communist" hegemony.

Concerning the severe, global, social contradictions that existed, what generated the Bandung conference during the Cold War period, was simply the refusal of the Western Great Powers, in the aftermath of the two intra-imperialist world wars, to have any real free democratic negotiations and dialogues with Asia or Africa, with regard to their uncertain future.

To assist the allies against nazism and fascism, the "Third World" was promised "democracy" and "independence", however, then already it became obvious that capitalism and imperialism were talking about future Orwellian "globalization."

Apart from negating all forms of colonial slavery, inter alia, categorically, they opposed North American terrorism against the People's Republic of China, French colonialism in Algeria, and wanted to resolve the conflict between Indonesia and The Netherlands, with regard to western New Guinea.

Of course, most of the delegates, already seriously affected by "Cold War" anti-communist propaganda ... an ideological epidemic that is still rife to this very day ... demonstrated a critical attitude towards China's future intentions. The Chinese prime minister, Comrade Chou En-lai had a tough time to pacify the startled anti-Marxist spirits.

Finally, heavily influenced by the United Nations Charter and Jawaharlal Nehru's principles, unanimously a "10-Point Declaration" was signed, to promote "world peace" and "cooperation".

The Final Communique underlined the necessity to achieve economic independence from world imperialism, also, by means of exchange of experts, to provide each other with technical training, assistance and research work towards planned social projects and future domestic industrialization.

The immediate concrete result of the Bandung Conference was the establishment of the Nonaligned Movement of 1961. However, due to the counter-revolutionary mechanisms of world imperialism, and serious conflicts among the leaderships of the member states, cooperation and solidarity eroded and the movement became ineffective without any clear liberation policy.

Recently, between April 14 and 15, 2005, celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the Bandung Conference, various participants from 14 countries and 40 organizations met at the Permata Bidakara Hotel, Bandung, to commemorate the above liberatory spirit of Asian-African solidarity.

Inter alia, what have they discovered? Or, with what are they really confronted today?

a) Formal political independence did not end economic exploitation, domination, racism, militarism and alienation;
b) Ideology, mind and thought control, the Intellectual Holocaust, have played havoc with all "Third World" countries;
c) except oil, their productive participation on the world market is diminishing by the second;
d) the annual profits of some global corporations exceed the total budget of all African States;
e) about 2% of the total global labor force, mainly metropolitan "intellectual workers" produce the lion's share of the major goods on the world market;
f) economically, the "Third World" is disappearing from the global map, its manual laborers have become obsolete;
g) the metropolitan powers, especially the USA, have practically militarized the whole world, and are launching genocidal campaigns against the peoples of the "Third World";
h) a devouring world energetic crisis drives the USA to grab, in brute colonial style, all their natural resources and reserves;
i) all their oil, gas, biodiversity, oxygen and water supplies are being violently plundered by the metropolitan powers.

Furthermore they have noted:

"Though Bandung called for a free Palestine, today, Palestine is under more intensive occupation and the list of states under occupation has increased with US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan."

Even Indonesia finds herself in a critical situation:

"The people of Indonesia, hosts of Bandung conferences then and now, find themselves trapped in debt and poverty, environmental degradation, political intervention and erosion of their democratic aspirations."

They have observed, with scientific precision:

"The victory of Western imperialism at the end of the Cold War has created a new and unprecedented situation for the peoples of Asia, Africa, and others in the South. Economically, the capitalist-imperialist policies have intensified the appropriation of the wealth of Asia and Africa to capitalist nations. Politically, the people are subjected to violation of their democratic rights, new forms of militarism, fundamentalisms and violation of national sovereignty. Culturally, ever more sophisticated means of subordination through control of mass media, and propagation of mono-cultural consumerism, masquerading as cultural freedom has colonized the minds of the people."

Precisely the above is the international, historical link between Bandung and Latin America, encompassing Venezuela and the Bolivarian Revolution.

However, much has changed over the last decades, the world has passed from Decolonization to "Globalization", to Global Fascism. Latin America, considered by the USA as its personal private property, has become a time-bomb, ticking at accelerated, globalized velocity, flaming in Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay, Nicaragua, and elsewhere.

Everywhere the omnipresence of the Bolivarian Revolution sui generis can be seen, sensed and perceived. To verify this, one just needs to study the economic desperation and the militarist megalomania of the Bush administration.

In fact, Bolivar, Bandung, Kwame Nkrumah's Pan-African daydream, Malcolm X's revolutionary spirit, Ernesto Che Guevara's "One, two, three Vietnams", his "New Man", Ho Chi Minh's "Dien Bien Phu", etc., all meet each other in Caracas, are in total battle array, threatened by Bush's "Full Spectrum Dominance."

They know that first things must come first: Currently, the Path is the Negation of Capitalism, is Revolution, is Socialism. Next is "Home, Sweet Home": the human destination is not "non-alignment", not a "third way", not even Socialism, it is neither Affirmation nor Negation, it is Exodus, Superation, Transvolution, is Human Emancipation.

However, precisely Bandung has taught us a dear historical lesson.

Within the global productive order, by means of intra-systemic reformism, by trying to copy metropolitan imperialism, to develop ourselves along capitalist lines, to believe in discriminatory, ruling class democracy, we will get nowhere, we will land in the epicenter of the global fascist Moloch.

From Bandung till here and now, real, true history of all social revolutions of the 20th Century has taught us, that we could unite, integrate, solidify, consolidate ourselves ad infinitum, could even eliminate all our social contradictions, all class struggles, all our human motion and energy, even achieve "world peace", but without a concrete, revolutionary, scientific, anti-capitalist praxis and an intellectual, emancipatory, philosophic, anti-imperialist theory... that logically must be superior to any current global fascist ideologies and practices ... we never ever will get anywhere, will not be able to annihilate global fascism; we will just terminate in another version of the United States of America, in Orwell's Oceania versus Eurasia.