(Dean Capone is a candidate seeking the Socialist Party USA’s presidential nomination for 2016. The following was originally published on his campaign website.)
Socialism, by definition, is an internationalist world view. The cause of erasing class and economic inequalities and social injustice – while empowering freedom for all peoples – is a global prospect, not confined to borders of nations.
It’s the view of this campaign that the United States – especially a democratic socialist United States has a both an opportunity and responsibility to export hope that a future world will turn back the mistakes of the past.
Yes, the first step is in the re-calibration of its own economic and social policies – aims this campaign and the Socialist Party USA take seriously.
That said, in addition to the economic and social realities of establishing a new domestic and global future, there is also the plain fact that the United States, as the world’s pre-eminent power, also has the responsibility to confront and correct its own – and the capitalist world’s – failed past.
It’s almost impossible to ignore that the geopolitical issues in the Mideast have continued to dominate world affairs, not only since 9/11, and not only since the breakup of Empires that began with the close of World War I, but for centuries.
The particular rise in extremism in the past 40 years – as ‘hard line’ orthodoxy has taken root in not only some portions of Islamic society, but among all groups (including American conservatives), has uprooted the cradle of human civilization itself.
This campaign believes that the use of force to eradicate brutally reactionary groups is sometimes required in a capitalist or transitory society, so long as the end game is not mere oil mongering or profiteering – but the creation of a new paradigm from the ashes of failure.
In contrast to others on the American ‘left’, or even with our own party, this campaign believes that the eradication of the Islamic State and its self-proclaimed ‘caliphate’ is justifiable. In, given its current standing in global affairs, the United States has a responsibility to take this action. Complicit also in the rise of extremism as a political gambit, the respective nations of the region must also recognize their own responsibilities and take united action to confront such threats.
However, it’s also the view of this campaign that an exclusively military response to this or future extremist uprisings will also fail, continuing a vicious cycle of nearly permanent war.
Rather than continuing the perpetuation of grave errors made a century ago – as western empires already on the wane wrangled competitively for mandates – the United States, the UN, and all nations of the region must now begin to address the core geopolitical issues that fuel these crises.
If Socialism honors and defends the right of self-determination of individual ethnic, religious and cultural ‘nations’ in the context of a globalist worldview, then this campaign must therefore stand for the devolution of ‘nations’ that exist only as a result of century-old backroom dealings.
The responsibility of eradicating a present extremist threat is serious and valid. And, so is self-determination for the national and ethnic groups held together under the yoke of false boundaries.
This campaign supports self-determination, peace, social justice and true democracy. These objectives are possible, so long as they are applied – once the dust has settled on today’s crisis – toward all in the region. Not under a failed status quo of a world long-since vanished.
If this means Iraq partitioned into new nations of Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites, so be it. If this means Jews and Palestinians sharing a single, secular state that respects the right of each other to exist and prosper, so be it. If this means (by extension), a free Tibet and a Uighur nation, so be it.
The old ways are tired and do not work. They lead only to incessant war and threat. A world outlook based on universal justice must replace lines on a map drawn a century ago.