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Sustainable Development for All

Sustainable Development for All
(Coordinator Comment)

The culture of peace requires that economic development be based on "sustainable human development for all." "Social development, social justice and the eradication of poverty are indispensable." In contrast the culture of war has always benefited "from military supremacy and structural violence and [is] achieved at the expense of the vanquished and the weak."

Economic justice cannot be attained under capitalism. Capitalism, by its very nature exploits workers and maintains its power and wealth through structural violence. As Engels says, economic justice can only be attained through a revolution to socialism which will provide "the possibility of securing for every member of society, by means of socialized production, an existence not only fully sufficient materially, and becoming day-by-day more full, but an existence guaranteeing to all the free development and exercise of their physical and mental faculties."

Capitalism continues to widen the gap between rich and poor not only internally in capitalist countries, but also externally between rich countries and poor countries. This follows from the very nature of imperialism which Lenin has described as the highest stage of capitalism. Today imperialism continues to profit enormously from the exploitation of workers and the environment under the protection of their own or proxy military force. But that is not all. They also profit financially from interest on the debts they impose and from the depression of prices for the raw materials they obtain.

Following their revolutions, to a remarkable extent, the socialist countries lived up to the promise of economic justice made by Marx and Engels. Despite economic blockades, sabotage and, in some cases, outright invasion by the capitalist countries, they eliminated extreme poverty and reduced the gap between rich and poor.

The revolutionary socialist countries reduced poverty not only inside their own countries, but also in the other poor countries of the world. True to its commitment to proletarian internationalism, the Soviet Union devoted as much as 7% of its national budget to assistance for other socialist countries and national liberation movements. This is in sharp contrast to the capitalist countries of the north whose policies drive the countries of the south deeper into debt and poverty.

But development is not automatically sustainable under socialism. Until the second half of the 20th Century, there was little understanding of ecology. Hence, it is not surprising that under the stress of the Cold War, the socialist countries destroyed their environments as much as did capitalist countries.

In recent years, socialist countries such as Cuba have come to understand and take the lead in the struggle for sustainable development.

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game administrator Jun. 13 2019,18:22
Readers' comments are invited on this topic.