By Satyaki Chakraborty
A coalition of leading left wing intellectuals and political leaders led by Noam Chomsky, Bernie Sanders, Yanis Varoufakis and Naomi Klein officially launched on May 11 the Progressive International (PI) with the support of the Democracy of the Europe Movement 2025 and the Sanders Institute.
This will be the biggest conglomeration of the left wing forces globally outside the official Communist Parties, which seeks to play its role in the post-Covid world to build a new society freed from the gross inequalities of the present neo liberal regimes in different parts of the world. Both Sanders and the former Greece Finance Minister Varoufakis have been calling for such front at a global level for the last two years and now they feel that the Covid-19 has exposed harshly how the existing inequalities in the capitalist system have led to the collapse of the health system in the western countries following neo liberal agenda resulting in the deaths of the underprivileged. Sanders has been most vocal in his recent campaign in the Presidential elections about this inequality issue and this has been the core issue of the campaign of the former Greece Minister for a new Europe.
“Never before has international solidarity been more necessary—and more absent,” General Coordinator of the PI David Adler said, adding that “only a common international front can match the scale of our crises, reclaim our institutions, and defeat a rising authoritarian nationalism.”
At launch, the Progressive International is supported by an interim Council of over 40 advisors, including Iceland’s Prime Minister Katriin Jakobsdottir, intellectual Noam Chomsky, former Greek Minister of Economy Yanis Varoufakis, author Naomi Klein, and many others.
From Latin America, political leaders such as the Ecuadorean ex-president Rafael Correa; former Brazilian presidential candidate Fernando Haddad; former Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim; Bolivian former Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera are part of the founding members.
The idea was born in December 2018, when the Democracy in Europe Movement (DiEM25) and the Sanders Institute issued an open call proclaiming “it is time for progressives of the world to unite.”
On the launch of the group Monday, Chomsky in an interview with the Guardian said that the urgency created by the COVID-19 crisis has pushed deepening economic inequalities and the rise of the far-right.
So as autocratic neoliberalism stands as one way, “the other way is to try to dismantle the structures, the institutional structures that have been created; that have led to very ugly consequences for much of the population of much of the world, [and] are the source of this pandemic.”
The activities of the initiative are divided across three pillars: the movement aimed to forge a global network; the Blueprint to develop a policy blueprint for a progressive international order; and the Wire which offers a wire service to the world’s progressive forces.
In September, the Council will meet for the inaugural Summit of the PI in Reykjavik, Iceland, hosted by the Prime Minister of Iceland and the Left-Green Movement, to analyze the challenges of the 21st century and consider proposals from the PI membership for its strategic direction.
It will be interesting how the relationship between the newly formed PI and the official Communist Parties develop. Of late, the Communist Parties, world over, have broadened their stance towards other left wing and green movements and formed front in a number of countries. Bernie Sanders has been getting full support from the Communist Party of the USA for his programmes and his agenda for political revolution in USA, despite some misgivings by fringe left elements. In different Latin American countries, the official Communist parties are collaborating with the other left wing elements to fight the rightwing parties backed by the US. In Britain also, the Communist Party of Britain gave full support to Jeremy Corbyn in his fight to turn Labour into a real pro people party.
That way, there is scope for some effective understanding between the PI and the Communist Left in meeting the challenge of the desperate capitalism in post-Covid era. It is to be seen how the new leadership of PI chooses their allies in the global fight against the neo liberalism and authoritarianism which they have professed. (IPA Service)