Burma/Myanmar: Some Thoughts on the International Significance of the Popular Uprising

By Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 1 July 2021, www.thecommunists.net


The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) and our comrades of Convergencia Socialista (Argentina) have supported the popular uprising against the military dictatorship in Myanmar from the very beginning. [1] We did so not only because we recognize its progressive role for the liberation struggle in the country itself but also because we understand the importance of this insurrection for the international class struggle.


In a joint statement on this uprising we noted two month ago: “Finally, we ask all those committed to the liberation struggle of the oppressed masses to pay attention to the international significance of the current events in Myanmar. The country is centrally located in the region and a neighbor state of two powers – China and India. It also shares border with two other important countries in the region – Thailand and Malaysia. It is evident that all imperialist Great Powers – the U.S., China, Japan, EU and Russia – try to utilize the civil war in Myanmar for their geopolitical interests. Hence, the revolutionary struggle in Myanmar affects world politics in general and the international class struggle in particular. There are strong indications that the popular uprising could transform Myanmar into the Syria of South-East Asia. As the liberation struggle in Syria has become a key axis of the Arab Revolution, the popular uprising in Myanmar might become a focal point of the revolutionary process in Asia![2]


A key region for the capitalist world economy as well as for the international working class


In this article we want to explain such a Marxist approach in more detail. Let us start with emphasizing that Myanmar geographically lies in the center of East, South-East and South Asia. As we have pointed out on several occasions, this region plays a key role – one could even say the most important one – in the capitalist world economy. [3] Among the 12 leading countries in terms of global manufacturing production, five are from this region (and here we exclude Russia which in fact is also, partially, an Asian country). China is the global leader with a share of 25%. These five countries – China, Japan, South Korea, India and Indonesia – have a combined share of about 43% of global manufacturing production. There is no doubt that if we add the other countries of East, South-East and South Asia, they make up at least half of global industrial proudction. [4]


We see a similar concentration when we look to the global proletariat. As the RCIT demonstrated in a number of works, the majority of the global proletariat live in East, South-East and South Asia. Today, 866 million – this means 50,1% of all wage laborers on this planet – live in this region. And if we take the international industrial labor force, the share of this region is even higher (60%). [5]


In summary, the popular uprising in Burma/Myanmar takes place in the heart of a region which is of highest significance both for world capitalism as well as for the international working class struggle! From this follows the imperative that Marxists and revolutionaries must unreservedly support the popular uprising in Burma/Myanmar not only because of its legitimate and progressive cause but also because it takes place in a region which is in the focus of the global class struggle.


A region in the crosshair of the Great Powers


Naturally, the gigantic economic significance of the region of East, South-East and South Asia finds its translation into world politics. Except the Middle East, the Asian region is the most important arena where the rivalry between the imperialist Great Powers (and also smaller imperialist states like South Korea [6] or regional powers like India [7]) assumes its most pointed form. If the take the five Great Powers – the U.S., China, EU, Russia and Japan – it is only Western Europe which is not located in or close to this region. While the U.S. is not geographically located in East and South Asia, it has a strong military presence there (several bases, a strong and permanently present naval force, etc.) and it has security treaties with countries like Japan, South Korea or the Philippines. And while the European Great Powers don’t have a strong military presence in the region, they increasingly try to overcome this weakness as East and South Asia is of growing importance for their economic interests.


As we have dealt with the issue of Great Power rivalry in many works, we will not go further into detail at this point. [8] We limit ourselves to refer to the fact the region of East, South-East and South Asia is not only the scene of regular tensions between the U.S. and China, but also between China and Japan [9], between Japan and South Korea [10], between China and India [11], between the U.S. and North Korea [12] or between India and Pakistan. [13] Add to this the unresolved dispute between Japan and Russia over the Kuril Islands.


In short, Myanmar lies in the center of region which is in the focus of all imperialist Great Powers and which is – again except the Middle East – the region where a major war is most likely to take place in the next years. As we noted in a recent article, various high-ranking commanders in the U.S. expect a war with China in East Asia already as early as 2024 or 2026. [14]


It is therefore no accident that the Great Powers try to interfere in the events in Burma-Myanmar. China and Russia unabashedly take the side of the Tatmadaw regime. [15] The North American and European imperialists had closer relations with the detained Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi and hence they have opposed the military coup d'état. And Japan which has considerable business interests in Burma-Myanmar tries to keep relations with the regime without openly offending its Western partners. [16]


In summary, the popular uprising in Burma/Myanmar takes place in the heart of a region which is of crucial importance in world politics as all imperialist Great Powers have a stake there. These geopolitical interests result, on one hand, in the direct support of some imperialist powers for the regime of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing (mainly China and Russia) and, on the other hand, in sanctions and diplomatic protests by other powers (mainly the U.S. and the EU).


It is of crucial importance for the international solidarity movement to fight against the Chinese and Russian support for the Tatmadaw regime, to hit the business interests of the latter by their own working class actions, to keep its political independence from any Great Power and to refuse support for imperialist sanctions (by the UN or by any Great Power).


Can the popular uprising in Burma/Myanmar be the spark for the revolutionary process in South and East Asia?


Let us briefly deal with the question if the popular uprising in Burma/Myanmar can become the spark for the revolutionary process in South and East Asia? To an important degree, as we have pointed out in our statements, the events in this country bear strong resemblances with the Arab Revolution.


Now, there is also an important difference. The Arab Revolution has taken place in countries which have much in common – by their history, culture, language, religion, etc. Hence, it was not much surprising that the uprising in Tunisia in December 2010 / January 2011 soon provoked a revolutionary process in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen and other Arab countries. [17] Add to this that the Arab Revolution affected the global Muslim umma with 1,8 billion people around the world.


There are no such close bonds between Burma/Myanmar and the other countries in the region. While there are sentiments like Pan-Arabism or global Muslim solidarity, there is no such thing as Pan-Asianism. In this respect, the potential for international effects for the revolutionary process are more limited in the case of the popular uprising in Burma/Myanmar.


On the other, the region of East and South Asia has already experienced a number of important class struggles in the recent past. Take for example the gigantic peasant movement in India [18], the popular protests in Thailand [19], or the – now nearly defeated – uprising in Hong Kong. [20] Add to this the long-standing heroic Intifada in Indian-occupied Kashmir. [21]


In other words, there exist a number of starting points which could help to transform the popular uprising in Burma/Myanmar into a region-wide revolutionary process. In fact, there exist already bonds between activists in Thailand, Hong Kong and Burma/Myanmar – the so-called Milk Tea Alliance.


It is the task of revolutionaries to explain the necessity and to build for the internationalization of the revolutionary struggle so that the uprising does not remain nationally isolated.


Confusion and betrayal of the reformist left


Finally, the issue of international solidarity with and the internationalization of the popular uprising in Burma/Myanmar poses the question: where is the so-called “left”?! As we have already pointed out on other occasions, it is a matter of fact that large sectors of international workers and popular movement mostly ignore the uprising – despite its global significance. How can this be explained?


It seems to us that there are basically two reasons for this. First, there is a large degree of what we call imperialist-aristocratic arrogance among the progressive and left forces in the imperialist countries. The left in Northern America and Western Europe is to a large degree closely connected with the domestic labor bureaucracy and liberal state institutions and has therefore strongly assimilated a viewpoint of the “superior” imperialist civilization. They can not and they do not put themselves on the standpoint of the international proletariat (which is mostly centered in the South and East). [22]


The Russian “left” is not much better – often it is even more unabashed “patriotic” and centered on a reactionary “Russkij Mir” outlook. [23] And in China, an independent left is not allowed to exist by the Stalinist-capitalist regime, hence there are only small groups operating in the underground (often under heroic circumstances!).


One could and still can see a similar ignorance of these “leftists” in relation to the Arab Revolution which has already lasted for more than a decade!


Related to this is a widespread failure of many reformist and centrist organizations to oppose all imperialist Great Powers. Large sectors of the left refuses to recognize the imperialist character of China and Russia. Hence, if there is a popular uprising directed against a regime with close relations with Beijing and Moscow, these “leftists” refuse to support it. We have seen this already since many years in the case of Assad where these “leftists” have failed to side with the Syrian Revolution. [24] As the ruling class of China and Russia support the Tatmadaw regime, these “leftists” prefer to leave the popular uprising alone. Such an approach is not only relevant for the reformist and centrist left in the imperialist countries but also in various countries of the South. Just take the Bolivarian or Castro-Chavista forces in Latin America which are strongly pro-Chinese or various proto-Stalinist forces within the Pan-Africanist movement.


In summary, these “leftists” replace Marxist anti-imperialism with bourgeois “geo-politicism”. The concrete result is the betrayal of crucial liberation struggles as those in Syria and now in Burma/Myanmar.


All these political failures demonstrate once more the urgent necessity to overcome the crisis of working class leadership and to replace the reformist and bureaucratic parties with an authentic revolutionary leadership. Hence, building a Revolutionary World Party is the most important task of Marxists today. The RCIT is dedicating all its forces to this great, indeed historic task!


[1] All our documents on the military coup in Myanmar are compiled on a special sub-page on the RCIT’s website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/collection-of-articles-on-the-military-coup-in-myanmar/

[2] Myanmar: International Solidarity with the Popular Uprising! Arms for the revolutionary masses! Down with the imperialist masters of the Tatmadaw – China and Russia! No illusions in US and European imperialism! 6 May 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/myanmar-international-solidarity-with-popular-uprising/#anker_1

[3] In RCIT’s Manifesto for Revolutionary Liberation – adopted at a World Congress in 2016 – we stated: “Home to 60% of the world’s population and the location of crucial imperialist Great Powers (China, Japan, Russia), smaller imperialist states (South Korea, Australia) as well as important semi-colonies (e.g., India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia), Asia will be the most important single continent in the future world revolutionary process.” (p. 28, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit-program-2016/). We repeated this point in our latest Manifesto adopted at the III. World Congress in April 2021: “Asia and the Pacific region are of particular importance as they are home of the bulk of capitalist value production as well as of nearly all Great Powers.” (p. 13, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit-fire-manifesto-2021/). For a more detailed discussion of this issue see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South. Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, RCIT Books, Vienna 2013, pp. 382-385, http://www.great-robbery-of-the-south.net/.

[4] United Nations Industrial Development Organization: Industrial Development Report 2020. Industrializing in the digital age, Vienna 2019, p. 145

[5] The most comprehensive elaboration of the RCIT’s analysis of the changes in the world proletariat and the resulting consequences for the revolutionary strategy can be seen in Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South. Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, 2013, http://www.great-robbery-of-the-south.net/. See also chapter III in Michael Pröbsting: Marxism and the United Front Tactic Today. The Struggle for Proletarian Hegemony in the Liberation Movement in Semi-Colonial and Imperialist Countries in the present Period, RCIT Books, Vienna 2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/bookunited-front/. Furthermore we refer to the following articles by the same author: On the Composition of the International Working Class. A new report of the UN’s International Labour Office with interesting figures about social developments between 2000 and 2018, 25 February 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/on-the-composition-of-the-international-working-class/; Once again on the Composition of the International Working Class. Some additional information which confirm the shift away from the old imperialist countries towards the South as well as China, 10 March 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/once-again-on-the-composition-of-the-international-working-class/; Changes in the Composition of the International Working Class. Some interesting findings from a new report of the UN’s International Labour Office, 30 June 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/changes-in-composition-of-international-working-class/;

[6] On the RCIT’s analysis of South Korea as an imperialist state see e.g. the pamphlet by Michael Pröbsting: South Korea as an Imperialist Power. On the nature of South Korean monopoly capital and the ensuing programmatic tasks of the workers vanguard, December 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/study-on-south-korea-as-an-imperialist-power/; see also Michael Pröbsting: South Korea’s Transformation into an Imperialist Power, in the academic journal International Critical Thought (Volume 11, 2021 - Issue 2), https://doi.org/10.1080/21598282.2021.1924071.

[7] See e.g. the following essays by Michael Pröbsting: The Kashmir Question and the Indian Left Today, 26 September 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/kashmir-question-and-indian-left-today/; India: A Prison House of Nations and Lower Castes (On the Reasons for Modi’s Coup in Kashmir). Essay on the social and national contradictions of Indian capitalism and the rise of Hindutva chauvinism, 16 August 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/india-is-a-a-prison-house-of-nations-and-lower-castes/; See also Michael Pröbsting: Is India a New Emerging Great Power? In the academic journal Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory (Volume 48, Issue 1, 2020), https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03017605.2019.1706783; https://doi.org/10.1080/03017605.2019.1706783; The same author also published: India: A Regional Power With Failed Ambitions, in the academic journal Problems In Political Economy (Vol. 4. 2020), https://yadi.sk/i/kyqjrL4Y74im8A

[8] On the RCIT’s analysis of the Great Power rivalry see the literature mentioned in the special sub-section on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/. In particular we refer to the book by Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective, RCIT Books, January 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/anti-imperialism-in-the-age-of-great-power-rivalry/. See also our numerous documents on the Global Trade War which have been collected at a special sub-page on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/collection-of-articles-on-the-global-trade-war/. The RCIT regularly publishes documents in the Great Power rivalry. Our latest pamphlet is by Michael Pröbsting: “A Really Good Quarrel”. US-China Alaska Meeting: The Inter-Imperialist Cold War Continues, 23 March 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/us-china-alaska-meeting-shows-continuation-of-inter-imperialist-cold-war/

[9] See e.g. Michael Pröbsting: No to chauvinist war-mongering by Japanese and Chinese imperialism! 23.9.2012, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/no-war-between-china-and-japan/

[10] See on this e.g. Down with the Imperialist Trade War between Japan and South Korea! Down with all chauvinist boycott campaigns! Class War instead of Trade War! Joint Statement of the Revolutionary Communists of South Korea and the RCIT, 19 July 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/trade-war-between-japan-and-south-korea/

[11] See on this e.g. RCIT: China-India Border Conflict: Down with Chauvinist Warmongering on Both Sides! Support the national rights of the Kashmiri and the Nepalese people! 28 May 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/china-india-border-conflict-down-with-chauvinist-warmongering-on-both-sides/; Michael Pröbsting: The China-India Conflict: Its Causes and Consequences. What are the background and the nature of the tensions between China and India in the Sikkim border region? What should be the tactical conclusions for Socialists and Activists of the Liberation Movements? August 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-india-rivalry/

[12] See on this e.g. See on this e.g. Korea: There Is No Peace Without Overthrowing Imperialism and the Rule of Capital! Peace through the Proletarian Socialist Revolution! Joint Statement of the Revolutionary Communists of South Korea and the RCIT, 8 March 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/joint-statement-on-south-korean-imperialism/; 홍수천: 한반도 전쟁 위기와 · 제국주의 패권 쟁투 (Hong Su-Cheon: War Crisis on the Korean Peninsula and the Rivaly between US and Chinese Imperialism, Article in Korean language, Spring 2019), https://www.thecommunists.net/home/%ED%95%9C%EA%B5%AD%EC%96%B4/crisis-on-korean-peninsula-us-and-chinese-imperialism/

[13] See on this e.g. RCIT: India-Pakistan: Defeat the War Mongers! Free Kashmir! 27 February 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/india-pakistan-defeat-the-war-mongers-free-kashmir/

[14] See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: “Next Time We Will Bomb the Target”. Shooting incident in Black Sea between UK and Russia shows that capitalism in decay is stumbling towards war, 24 June 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/russia-uk-next-time-we-will-bomb-the-target/

[15] See on this e.g. RCIT: Myanmar: Popular Masses turn against Chinese Imperialism! For an indefinite general strike and armed insurrection to bring down the dictatorship! No illusions in US and European imperialism! 16 March 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/myanmar-popular-masses-turn-against-chinese-imperialism/

[16] See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: Myanmar: Popular Anger also Turns Against Japanese Corporations. Once more, Stalinist slander against a popular democratic uprising is refuted by reality, 17 March 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/myanmar-popular-anger-also-turns-against-japanese-corporations/

[17] The RCIT has published numerous documents on the Arab Revolution. They can be found at https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/. Our documents on the second wave of the Arab Revolution are compiled here: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-2nd-wave-of-great-arab-revolution/. Our numerou booklets, statements, and articles on the Syrian Revolution that can be accessed: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-the-syrian-revolution/. And our documents on the latest Gaza War and the Third Intifada are compiled here: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-fourth-gaza-war/.

[18] See e.g. RCIT: India: Victory to the “Dilli Chalo” Uprising! Poor peasants are waging the largest struggle in modern history against the reactionary BJP government, 22.12.2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/india-victory-to-the-dilli-chalo-uprising/

[19] The RCIT has published various documents on the popular protests in Thailand. See e.g. Thailand: Another Bloody Crackdown Looms against the Democracy Movement! Down with the military dictatorship! Abolish the monarchy! 15 October 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/thailand-another-bloody-crackdown-looms-against-the-democracy-movement/; Laurence Humphries: Thailand: Over 100,000 Students and Workers demonstrate against the King and the Regime. For the Removal of Prayut Chan-o-cha and his Regime! Abolish the Monarchy of King Vajiralongkorn! 2 October 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/thailand-protests-october/

[20] The RCIT has published various documents on the mass protests in Hong Kong. See e.g. China / Hong Kong: The Beginning of the Counterrevolution. The new National Security Law represents a full-scale assault on democratic rights by the Stalinist-Capitalist regime! 1 July 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/china-hong-kong-the-beginning-of-the-counterrevolution/. At the end of this statement, readers find references to several other documents on this issue.

[21] We refer reader also to our documents on the Kashmiri liberation struggle which are collected in a special sub-section on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/collection-of-articles-on-the-liberation-struggle-in-kashmir/

[22] We have dealt with the consequences of these issues for revolutionary party building in various works. See e.g. Michael Pröbsting: Building the Revolutionary Party in Theory and Practice. Looking Back and Ahead after 25 Years of Organized Struggle for Bolshevism, RCIT Books, Vienna 2014, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/rcit-party-building/; we have also dealt with this in the above-mentioned book Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry.

[23] Weh ave dealt with the Russian left on several occasions. See e.g. chapter VIII, XXIV, XXV and XXVIII in the above-mentioned book Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. See also: Michael Pröbsting and Petr Sedov: Mr. Ichlov’s Truth Barometer. A reply to a polemic against the RCIT by the Russian left-wing journalist Boris Ichlov, 7 September 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/truth-barometer-reply-to-russian-journalist-boris-ichlov/

[24] See on this e.g. two pamphlets by Michael Pröbsting: Is the Syrian Revolution at its End? Is Third Camp Abstentionism Justified? An essay on the organs of popular power in the liberated area of Syria, on the character of the different sectors of the Syrian rebels, and on the failure of those leftists who deserted the Syrian Revolution, 5 April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/syrian-revolution-not-dead/; Syria and Great Power Rivalry: The Failure of the „Left“. The bleeding Syrian Revolution and the recent Escalation of Inter-Imperialist Rivalry between the US and Russia – A Marxist Critique of Social Democracy, Stalinism and Centrism, 21 April 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/syria-great-power-rivalry-and-the-failure-of-the-left/.


미얀마 민중봉기의 국제적 의의에 관한 몇 가지 단상

미하엘 프뢰브스팅, 혁명적 공산주의인터내셔널 동맹 (RCIT) 국제서기, 2021 7 1


KOR trans of Burma Myanmar Some Thoughts
Adobe Acrobat Document 137.0 KB

혁명적 공산주의인터내셔널 동맹 (RCIT) 사회주의통합당 (CS 아르헨티나) 미얀마에서 군부독재에 반대하는 민중봉기를 시작 때부터 지지했다.[1] 우리가 그렇게 것은 미얀마에서의 해방투쟁 자체의 진보적 역할을 인정해서이기도 하지만, 그와 함께 국제 계급투쟁에 봉기가 갖는 중요성을 이해해서이기도 하다.


우리는 봉기에 관한 공동성명에서 이렇게 말했다. “끝으로, 우리는 피억압 대중의 해방투쟁에 헌신하는 모든 이들에게 미얀마 사태의 국제적 의의에 주목해 것을 요청한다. 미얀마는 지역의 중앙에 위치하고 있으며 중국과 인도라는 열강의 인접 국가다. 지역의 다른 주요 국가인 태국과 말레이시아와도 국경을 접하고 있다. 미국, 중국, 일본, EU, 러시아 모든 제국주의 강대국들이 자신의 지정학적 이익을 위해 미얀마 내전을 이용하려는 것은 분명하다. 따라서 미얀마의 혁명투쟁은 세계정치 일반과 특수하게는 국제 계급투쟁에 영향을 미친다. 민중봉기가 미얀마를 동남아시아의 시리아로 전화시킬 있다는 강한 조짐이 나타나고 있다. 시리아에서의 해방투쟁이 아랍 혁명의 핵심 축이 되었듯이, 미얀마에서의 민중봉기는 아시아에서 혁명적 과정의 초점이 될지도 모른다!”[2]


동아시아·남아시아 - 자본주의 세계경제와 국제노동자계급 투쟁에 핵심 지역


글에서 우리는 이러한 맑스주의적 접근법을 보다 구체화하고자 한다. 먼저 미얀마는 지리적으로 동아시아 · 동남아시아 · 남아시아의 중심에 위치해 있다는 점을 강조하는 것으로 시작하자. 우리가 여러 차례 지적했듯이, 지역은 자본주의 세계경제에서 주요 지위 심지어는 가장 중요한 지위라고 말할 수도 있겠다 점하고 있다.[3] 세계 제조업 생산 면에서 선도적인 12개국 5개국이 지역에 있다. (여기에 러시아는 빠져 있는데, 실제로는 러시아도 부분적으로는 아시아 나라다). 중국은 세계 제조업 생산의 25% 점하는 글로벌 리더다. 이들 5개국 (중국, 일본, 한국, 인도 인도네시아) 세계 제조업 생산의 43% 담당하고 있다. 여기에 동아시아·동남아시아·남아시아의 다른 나라들을 추가하면, 지역이 세계 산업 생산의 최소 절반을 차지한다는 것에는 의심의 여지가 없다.[4]


세계 프롤레타리아트의 지역별 분포 면에서도 비슷한 집중도를 지역에서 있다. RCIT 여러 문서를 통해 보여주었듯이, 세계 프롤레타리아트의 다수가 동아시아·동남아시아·남아시아에 살고 있다. 오늘, 세계 임금노동자의 50.1% 해당하는 866백만 명이 지역에 살고 있다. 그리고 국제 산업 노동인력 면에서 지역의 점유율은 그보다도 높은 60%.[5]


요컨대 미얀마 민중항쟁은 세계자본주의와 국제노동자계급투쟁 양쪽 모두에게 최고의 중요성을 지닌 지역의 심장부에서 전개되고 있는 싸움이다! 이것이 지시하는 바는 사회주의자들이 미얀마 민중봉기를 유보 없이 전면적으로 지지해야 한다는 것이다. 항쟁의 정당하고 진보적인 대의 때문만이 아니라, 항쟁이 글로벌 계급투쟁의 초점을 이루고 있는 지역에서 벌어지고 있기 때문이기도 하다.


강대국들의 표적이 되고 있는 지역


동아시아·동남아시아·남아시아 지역의 거대한 경제적 중요성은 당연히 세계정치에서도 거대한 중요성을 부여 받는다. 중동을 제외하고 아시아 지역은 제국주의 강대국들 ( 한국 같은 보다 작은 제국주의 국가들[6]이나 인도 같은 지역 열강들[7]) 패권경쟁이 가장 첨예한 형태를 띠는 중요한 무대다. 다섯 강대국 미국, 중국, EU, 러시아, 일본 EU 제외한 강대국이 지역에 위치해 있거나 또는 가까이 있다. 미국은 지리적으로 동아시아·남아시아에 위치해 있지는 않지만, 지역에 강력한 주둔군 (여러 기지, 강력한 상설해군 ) 가지고 있고 일본, 한국, 필리핀 같은 나라들과 안보조약을 맺고 있다. 그리고 유럽 강대국들은 지역에 주둔군을 가지고 있지는 않지만, 동아시아·남아시아가 자신의 경제적 이해에 중요성이 더해 감에 따라 이러한 약점을 극복하려는 노력을 배가하고 있다.


강대국 패권쟁투 문제에 대해서는 많은 문서들을 통해 다루었으므로 여기서는 세부적으로 나아가지는 않을 것이며[8], 다만 동아시아·동남아시아·남아시아 지역이 · 간에 상시 긴장의 현장일 뿐만 아니라 · [9], · [10], 중국·인도 [11], · [12], 인도·파키스탄 [13]에도 상시 긴장의 현장이라는 사실을 언급하는 것으로 국한하겠다. 여기에 가지 추가하면, 쿠릴 열도를 둘러싼 · 간의 미해결 분쟁이 있다.


간단히 말해서 미얀마는 모든 제국주의 강대국들의 표적이 되고 있는 지역이자, 향후 안에 본격 전쟁이 일어날 가능성이 다시 중동을 제외하고는 가장 높은 지역인 동아시아·남아시아의 중심에 놓여 있다. 우리가 최근 글에서 언급했듯이, 미국에서 여러 고위 지휘관들이 이르면 2024 또는 2026년에 동아시아에서 중국과의 전쟁을 예상하고 있다.[14]


그러므로 강대국들이 미얀마 사태에 개입하려 하는 것은 우연이 아니다. 중국과 러시아는 부끄럼 없이 군부정권을 든다.[15] ·유럽 제국주의자들은 구금된 아웅산 수치와 긴밀한 관계를 맺고 있어 군부쿠데타에 반대해 왔다. 그리고 미얀마에 상당한 비즈니스 이해관계가 있는 일본은 공공연히 서방 동맹들을 불쾌하게 하지 않는 선에서 군사정권과 관계를 유지하려 한다.[16]


요약하자면, 미얀마가 중심에 위치한 지역에 대한 모든 제국주의 강대국들의 지정학적 이해관계가 한편으로는 ·러가 군부정권을 직접적으로 지지하고, 다른 한편으로 ·EU 제재를 가하고 외교적 항의를 제기하는 것으로 표출되고 있다.


이러한 상황에서 미얀마 민중봉기에 필요한 것은 이른바 국제사회 개입이 아니라 국제연대운동이다. ·러의 군부정권 지지에 반대하는 싸움, 군부정권이 맺고 있는 비즈니스 커넥션을 노동자계급 직접행동으로 타격하는 싸움, 모든 강대국으로부터 노동자계급의 정치적 독자성 견지, 제국주의적 제재 (유엔 또는 강대국에 의한 제재) 대한 지지 거부 등등.


미얀마 민중봉기가 남아시아·동아시아에서 혁명적 과정의 기폭제일 있을까?


미얀마 민중봉기가 남아시아·동아시아에서 혁명적 과정의 불씨가 있을지 문제를 간략히 짚어보자. 우리가 성명에서 지적했듯이, 중요한 지점에서 미얀마 사태는 아랍 혁명과 매우 닮았다.


한편 중요한 차이점도 있다. 아랍 혁명은 역사, 문화, 언어, 종교 많은 공통점을 가지고 있는 나라들에서 일어났다. 때문에 2010 12