1989 fall of the Berlin Wall: Where did all the euphoria go?

Twenty-six years after the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 the world is truly a different place but not the one we were told it would be. That much is clear.

Twenty-six years ago, the event seized the imagination of the entire world unleashing a flood of events in rapid succession. Even before the Berlin Wall was torn down in November, an agreement was reached in April 1989 in Poland between the government and Solidarnosc. Later in December, came the assassination of President Nicolae Ceauseşcu of Romania. Within two years, the Soviet Union had collapsed, ending the bi-polar division of the world. The period of flow of revolution went into a period of retreat of revolution.

Brandenburg Gate the day after the Berlin Wall was brought down

At that time, the imperialist media and governments created a climate of euphoria and victory. Euphoria and more euphoria based on a massive campaign against communism was the order of the day for the ruling classes in the U.S., Canada and the big powers of Old Europe, its scale unprecedented even by Cold War standards. Everything would be set right, they declared.

What is there to show for it?

First came the war in Bosnia, the Russian invasion of Chechnya, Georgia’s claims over Abkhazia, Armenians and Azeris fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, the bombing of Somalia, the NATO war to dismember Yugoslavia, 9/11 and its aftermath of even more anarchy and violence.

Protest against Canadian participation in NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, Ottawa, April 4, 1999

Under the aegis of “making everything right,” nothing has been “made right.” Crimes against humanity have become the distressing “new normal,” whether in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and now Syria and many other countries. Crimes against the peace and killings of civilians are dismissed as collateral damage by the criminal imperialist leaders George W. Bush and Tony Blair and their cabals, and the others of their ilk who have followed.

The most common method has been to launch a known lie such as, “weapons of mass destruction” to justify a response considered merited. Invasion, regime change, responsibility to protect, training of police and military including former and current Nazis in the name of peace missions, coloured revolutions, anti-terror legislation, and the extension of NATO beyond the borders of the north Atlantic to encircle Russia are all justified with false pretexts which are cynical to the extreme. These include “responsibility to protect,” “defence of women and religious minorities” and “humanitarian aid for refugees.”

This has gone hand in hand with free trade mania in all directions under the control of the most powerful global monopolies, accompanied by massive unemployment and the accumulation of poverty at one pole and the greatest riches at the other. Humanity is subjected to the worst treatment by the monopolies and oligopolies and by the world bourgeoisie, which does not want to depart the scene of history and give way to the new.

This onslaught against the working class, against the communist and workers’ movement, and against the broad masses of the peoples the world over has been facilitated by those who failed to deal with the Cold War period and its quest to extinguish the revolutionary flow of the post World War Two period. The Anglo-American imperialists launched the assault to ensure humanity would not march to the drumbeat of democracy, freedom and emancipation following the victorious defeat of Hitler Nazism, Mussolini fascism and Japanese militarism. They imposed a definition of rights, which would not recognize economic, social and cultural rights but only civil rights on an anti-communist basis. The Americans organized a Marshall Plan economically to restore Old Europe to its reactionary might and put it under their control. They entered into a social contract to keep the working people and especially their leadership tied to the outmoded capitalist system in the imperialist heartlands.  Last but not least, they imposed and enforced a public political authority to make sure the police power represented by NATO and the secret services of the U.S. and Britain, called the shots.

In Western Europe as a case in point, an Anglo-American imperialist sponsored mafia was put into the seat of power in Italy. The same imperialists imposed on Greece a 40-year rule of dregs of the British-spawned monarchy, fascist generals and directors of concentration camps. So too the instruments of counter-revolution were covertly established in all the people’s democracies in Eastern Europe. The same Anglo-American imperialists organized the assassination or imprisonment of communist leaders, the heroes of the anti-fascist resistance and those who were in the van of the world anti-imperialist and anti-colonial movements. Within this bloodbath of imperialist repression, some communist parties fought valiantly, some suffered terrible irreparable losses and some were incorporated into the parliamentary political system driven by the Anglo-American police power.

Ultimately, the failure to defend the revolution in the former Soviet Union and people’s democracies, and the success of the Anglo-American so-called social contract to subvert the workers’ movement in the imperialist heartlands distorted communism to such an extent the people rebelled against the hopelessness of its fictional representation. This ushered in the current period of retreat of revolution towards the end of the twentieth century, emboldening the U.S. imperialists to launch their bid to fashion through military might and subversion a “unipolar world” under their hegemony.

The U.S. imperialists sang the refrain “mission accomplished” over and over again to announce victory but each time the facts on the ground tore the banner to shreds. The unipolar striving for world domination of the U.S. imperialists and the collusion and contention of their NATO allies cannot be consolidated because nobody anywhere agrees to submit, not even within their own camp, while the consequences of their actions deepen the crises in which the old world is mired.

U.S. hegemony has shown itself to be unsustainable, constantly demanding a change of tactics to deal with new forces and alliances that emerge daily, which are encouraged by one another to hold the U.S. and its aggressive NATO axis in check. Talk turns to the establishment of a new balance of power internationally to preserve the peace, even as others pursue warmongering as a means to achieve the upper hand.

What is all this about? Is the world beginning to come to terms with what happened 26 years ago? What comes next? What role will the Trudeau government play in these developments?

The unfolding events have to be observed, studied, deliberated on and analyzed in the coming period:

  • the developments in Syria and throughout West Asia and North Africa, and the relevant speeches of the presidents of Russia, Syria, Iran, China and others, as well as the response of the U.S. ruling circles and those of their allies; the upcoming G7 and G20 summits taking place in Turkey;
  • the Climate Conference taking place in Paris and ongoing related events and unfolding developments are all occasions to undertake study and actions with analysis.

Certainly the euphoria which accompanied the destruction of the Berlin Wall 26 years ago has long since evaporated. But has the dust settled? What do we see?

We see that the working class and the peoples of the entire world are a decisive part of the equation. They have come to see ever more clearly that the destruction of the power of the imperialist bourgeoisie does not happen merely with a change of government, with regime change or with changing the form in which elections are held. Summing up the experience of how to deprive the imperialist bourgeoisie of its power to deprive the people of their right to solve problems and move society forward is the crux of the matter today.

TML Weekly will do its best to provide information and orientation pertinent to these questions of war and peace, and the need for democratic renewal and an anti-war government, which so profoundly concern humankind.

Source: TML Weekly Information ProjectOctober 31, 2015 – No. 34


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