Viva CPS, Viva! Viva International Solidarity, Viva!
Comrades, I wish to congratulate the CPS on the 2022 Summer School and the incredible success in proletarian conscientization thus far. The tools of radical pedagogy such as these schools are truly the way to combat bourgeois ideology and foster revolutionary class consciousness. From afar, revolutionaries from across the world salute your struggle and this amazing gathering.
It is exactly this international dimension that I wish to discuss today. We know that the struggle of the CPS and the Swazi people is not just a fight against an absolute monarchy, nor just against colonialism and Neo-colonialism; it is all of these, but even more it is an anti-imperialist struggle. What do I mean by this? The forces that the CPS is confronting are international Western imperialist forces. We can see a few examples. AFRICOM, the American program for violent intervention and control of the African continent, has sponsored imperialist missions in the past, with AFRICOM boosting the Swazi monarch’s military health service in 2013. Even worse, American imperialist forces operate a spy base in Swaziland, and the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, which conducts American imperialism in Somalia and Ethiopia, has helped train the monarch’s military in ordnance and explosives removals. These military deployments are designed to protect the highly profitable businesses backed by American capital, such as Coca-Cola, which uses child labor in Swaziland to secure 40% of the country’s GDP and generate billions for itself and the monarchy off of the labor and resources of the Swazi people.
American sub-imperial puppets like Taiwan (which is nothing more than a province of China) perpetuate their own egregious imperialism in Swaziland. The Taiwanese donate helicopters and drones to the Swazi monarchy, to protect their own businesses run on forced, super-exploited labor. The 25 Taiwanese textile businesses that pump millions to the monarchy are further enabled by the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), an American imperialist scheme to exploit African nations. And if this wasn’t enough, this scheme is enabled by Israeli weapons, weapons worth $135,000 in 2016 and $21,000 in 2021. The same weapons used to murder the brave martyrs of the Palestinian liberation struggle are used against the martyrs of the 2021 first phase of the Swazi revolution.
Comrades, all of these facts present a dire situation. Imperialism seems to be an unbeatable force, replete with weaponry and capital. The worst and most odious fact of all is that the working classes of the West, now a labor aristocracy, have joined in the oppression of the Swazi people. As Arghiri Emmanuel, the theorist of “Unequal Exchange”, has demonstrated, the cheap products of Coca-Cola produced by the super-exploited Swazi laborer can only be made available to the Northern working class because of the inherent imperialism of Unequal Exchange and exploitation of nations like Swaziland.
Does this mean that imperialism cannot be defeated, and that the Northern working class is hopelessly imperialist? No comrades; just as Mao reminded us, imperialism is nothing more than a paper tiger. We must insist that the true revolutionary struggles of the world today are those like in Swaziland, against Neo-colonialism, imperialism, and unequal exchange. If we push this revolutionary line, we have the possibility of engaging in the re-proletarianization of the Northern working class, but only after the liberation of the proletariat of the Global South. This requires a strategy of internationalism: Lenin reminds us that true internationalism, that is proletarian internationalism, “demands that the interests of the proletarian struggle in any one country should be subordinated to the interests of that struggle on a world-wide scale”. And Che reminds us critically that “We cannot be indifferent to what happens anywhere in the world, because a victory by any country over imperialism is our victory, just as any country’s defeat is a defeat for all of us.” Unless we reject Eurocentrism and instead push internationalism and anti-imperialism, we will not win the final victory over capitalism anywhere, and we can deal a major blow to imperialism in Swaziland.
So comrades, in answering what we outside Swaziland can do, I propose that we intensify international solidarity through increased commitments to the Swazi struggle. We must bring the same intensity to our commitment that Ronnie Kasrils and other members of the anti-apartheid struggle’s International Brigade brought in the past. We can study the examples of previous anti-imperialist organizations like the Danish KAK Communist organization, to see what anti-imperialism can look like today. Or we can see the brigade missions to Cuba as a model that could be replicated for Swaziland. Above all, international solidarity must be channeled through the Friends of Swazi Freedom, the most principled and disciplined organization which has manifested real demonstrations of solidarity thus far. If communists in the imperial core intensify these efforts over the next years, going beyond only support in rhetoric and making political and economic commitments to the Swazi struggle, we will do our part to defy the imperialist system our countries create and force upon the Swazi people.
There is no more time to wait as Unequal Exchange continues to drain the life of the Swazi people. Forward to International solidarity! Forward to proletarian internationalism! Forward to anti-imperialism! Forward to critical support for the Swazi revolution!
The Cadre Journal