IC Quarterly Analysis – 2021 Q3

At its 2019 convention, Democratic Socialists of America voted that its International Committee (IC) should produce for members a quarterly newsletter of news and analysis about international events. In our first newsletter of the new IC term 2021-2022, we share videos from an emergency call on Afghanistan, as well as calls for No Cold War with China and for a Just Global Recovery, including the left’s case for special drawing rights, and finally we call out the IMF for its attacks on democratic control of central banking.

Period: July–September 2021*
Volume 2 Issue 1

* From the editors: Much of the Q2 and Q3 IC activity went toward the 2021 DSA Convention held in August 2021. See report back here.

DSA IC – Organizing call on Afghanistan

DSA’s International Committee hosted an urgent organizing call on Afghanistan on August 21, 2021. Watch the video to learn more about the decades-long imperialist interventions + unfolding crisis in Afghanistan. We also share ways to organize in solidarity with Afghans and against U.S. war and imperialism.

We were honored to welcome:
• Zaher Wahab, Professor Emeritus at Lewis & Clark College
• Taimur Rahman, General Secretary of Mazdoor Kisan Party and Associate Professor at Lahore University of Management Science
• May Jeong, investigative journalist at Vanity Fair with pieces in the New York Times, The Intercept, and more
• Organizers from DSA International Committee

Read our statement on Afghanistan here.

DSA IC – No Cold War: Opposing the USICA and US Escalations Against China

The US escalation of tensions with China is well-documented, but the looming passage of most anti-China bill since the Chinese Exclusion Act has received little attention in the US. Join the IC, Richard Wolff, Vijay Prashad, and Tings Chak for a discussion on the US Innovation & Competition Act (USICA), which was originally recorded on Monday, September 20, 2021.

For a Just Global Recovery: Debt, Solidarity, and the Left Case for Special Drawing Rights

The people of the Global South are struggling to survive Covid’s economic storm, and the neocolonial world order is pulling them down. The shackles of debt, dollar supremacy, the specter of a new round of IMF-imposed austerity — join leading development economist Jayati Ghosh and Director of International Policy at CEPR Alex Main as we discuss how the inequities of the global economic order have hindered the Global South’s recovery, our vision for a just alternative, and how DSA members are organizing to support the “Robust International Response to Pandemic Act” to help the Global South in the here and now.

Presented by the Economics and Trade Subcommittee of the DSA International Committee

Read the DSA IC’s statement on the Robust International Response to the Pandemic Act here.

The International Monetary Fund

From Ecuador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been ramping up its efforts to force loan recipient countries to relinquish democratic control of their central banks. The DSA International Committee (DSA IC) condemns these assaults, and urges mobilization to fight back.

The IMF has long played a leading role as enforcer of a global economic system that benefits the few at the expense of the many, and wealthy nations at the expense of the Global South. As one of the most powerful financial institutions in the world, the IMF has used loan “conditions” to systematically force on the Global South an agenda of austerity, deregulation, and privatization—with devastating effect.

As a part of this wider agenda, the IMF has recently escalated its efforts to force recipient countries to divest control of their own central banks and let these institutions run of their own accord—a policy that is misguidingly known as central bank “independence.” 

Last year, the IMF forced Ecuador to hand over its central bank in April, followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo in May, and, just recently, Ukraine.

Central banks play a critical role not only in determining the distribution of wealth, but also in financing the response to crises like COVID-19 and climate change. They have enormous power to set the space for fiscal policy and critical social spending, to raise or curb inflation, growth, and employment, and to shape the nature of investment within a country. Central bankers represent their countries at virtually every gathering of the economic elite the world over. The values that guide them should be democratically determined by the people they serve. But, by mandating “independence”—by insulating these banks from the will and the needs of their electorates—the IMF hands that choice over to the same kinds of institutional players that have steered the world into crisis after crisis and are failing disastrously to meet their climate transition obligations before it’s too late. Far from making them “independent,” this policy simply leaves the banks unaccountable to their people.

See DSA IC condemns IMF attacks on democratic control of central banking