Thirty movement and political leaders from all over the world participate in the advisory body of Progressive International. These are leaders of powerful movements from 23 countries, with the aim of bringing the experience of their struggles to the heart of Progressive International’s decision-making. All of them have a new, adapted objective, as it was formulated after the meetings of the Consultative Body that assessed the current needs after the pandemic and the global crisis.
Progressive International was founded only three years ago. Its stated mission was simple: To make solidarity more than a slogan.
With Covid-19 rampaging across the world, that mission acquired burning urgency. As Samir Amin set out in his prescient call for a new International, our conjuncture is defined by three awful trends: the destruction of democracy by a consolidated oligarchy; the persistence of imperial relations across the world system; and the “extreme fragmentation” of progressive forces despite the increasing coordination of their reactionary opponents. The intersection of these trends propelled the formation of the Progressive International.
The urgency was made all the more apparent by the inhumanity of the capitalist world’s response to the pandemic. Billionaire wealth soared. Big banks came to collect. The poor lost jobs, housing, and health. Large swarths of humanity were declared unworthy of life as vaccine apartheid was brutally enforced — and budget cuts imposed by the so-called “international institutions” decimated public health services. Through the trauma and death shone a painful clarity: global institutions, designed to serve the interests of the old imperialist powers, would not serve the interests of the great majority.
These confusing and rapidly changing conditions necessarily created many contradictions.
Resurgent progressive political forces claimed power through the ballot box, supported by powerful and organised social forces, in Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, Peru and Honduras; at the same time, the hard right gained strength all over the world, speaking the language of a challenge to the ‘system normal’ while buttressing it.
The era of capitalist globalization, already on the decline with challenges to the United States dollar hegemony, and rising economies like China and India, came to a close in these years. The war in Ukraine accelerated this development, but it alone did not create it. As did the climate crisis, which broke record after record and left a trail of devastation from Pakistan to Hawaiii.
In this maelstrom, the Progressive International completed its first three-year mandate. Over the coming weeks, we hope to share and celebrate our successes over the past years. But, for now, we must continue to move — and move quickly.
History has entered a new strategic era, with its borders, narratives and forces still coming into view. In this context, we are announcing a renewed International — with a renewed mission.
Our Council, whose new members we announced this week, met this weekend. They shared perspectives from their respective struggles — representing millions on every continent and carrying the hope of the world — and deliberated on our present conjuncture.
The urgency was perhaps more palpable than when our International launched. Council members urged the International to tackle head-on the major questions of our time: unjust debt, oppressive patriarchy, the resurgent far-right, destructive development policies, and the New Cold War that increasingly threatens to turn hot, incinerating entire regions in its reckless path.
The Progressive International, armed with new Council members, a new co-General Coordinator, enhanced internal governance and new powerful member organizations set to be announced next week, is increasingly prepared to face this moment in history.
In it, we will continue to advance the mission with which we launched: to make solidarity more than a slogan.
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