The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) organized an International Conference – Socialism International 2016 – in Malaysia. The Conference was held at Kuala Lumpur on 25-27 November.
Comrade Balasubramanian, Central Committee member of the CPI(ML) Liberation attended the Conference. Comrade Balasubramanian participated in a panel discussion on ‘Exit Capitalism – Build The Left’ along with Comrade Pierre Rousset, Fourth International, France; Comrade Alex Bainbridge, Socialist Alliance, Australia and Comrade Soh Sook Hwa, Central Committee of PSM.
Comrade Balasubramanian also delivered a talk on ‘Breaking Away from Neo-Liberal Globalization’ along with Comrade Pierre Rousset, as well as Comrade Jayakumar Devaraj, Member of Parliament, Malaysia, and Central Committee member of the PSM.
In sessions on ‘The Left Alternative in Elections’; ‘Climate in Crisis: Are we too Late?’; ‘Fighting Homophobia and Sexism under Global Capitalism’ and ‘Rebuilding for Socialism in 21st Century,’ activists from all over the world participated, including Comrade Mohamad Zaki Hussein, Partai Rakyat Pekerja (PRP) Indonesia; Comrade Jayantha Appudurai, Saya Anak Bangsa, Malaysia; Comrade Merck Maguddyao – Partido Lakas ng Masa, (PLM) Philippines; Comrade Pang Khee Teik, Activist, Sexuality Rights; Comrade Rachel Evans, Socialist Alliance, Australia; Comrade Farooq Tariq, Awami Workers Party, Pakistan; Syed Farid Al–Attas, Associate Professor, National University of Singapore and Dr. Mary Jane Ainslie, Social Scientist among others.
In his talk on Breaking Away From Neo-liberal Globalisation, Comrade Balasubramanian pointed out that neo-liberal globalization operates primarily by creating and enforcing a neo-liberal policy consensus – by suggesting that there is no alternative, that the only ‘logical’, rationale and possible economic system is neo-liberal globalization. It is able to maintain this consensus not only by coercion by the IMF or World Bank but with the help of local ruling classes. For the consensus to break, therefore, the battles against capital will be local. He emphasised that “our battle has to be two-pronged” – it has to combat Islamophobia and xenophobia even as it confronts and fights the neo-liberal economic policies. He said that the election of Modi in India, Donald Trump in the US, and the Brexit vote in the UK have reminded us that the struggles against communalism, casteism, misogyny, xenophobia and racism have to be a crucial and integral component of battles against capitalist and imperialist economic policies.
He added that “country-specific revolutionary projects still continue and constitute a key component or contingent of the global quest for socialism… The clarion call of the Communist Manifesto to workers of different countries not just to unite on a worldwide scale but also to defeat capital in their respective nations by emerging as the new ruling class and establishing themselves as the nations remains the cornerstone of the revolutionary orientation of the working class and the people. The challenge of beating capital on the national terrain of course presupposes a firm rejection of and resistance to the usually chauvinistic and often jingoistic plank of bourgeois nationalism and the framework of narrow and sectarian national rivalries.” He ended with the call, “Let us share our experiences, let us learn from each other, let us face this formidable challenge together.”