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Results of the G7 summit – the West is mobilising

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It is not only Olaf Scholz, the German Chancellor and host of the G7 summit, who is looking pleased with himself. In the midst of the war over Ukraine, facing the next economic crisis, an impending famine and the advance of climate change, the heads of state and government of the Western powers and their EU guests presented themselves as the saviours of the planet. The new unity of this select club was ostentatiously celebrated, pats on the back, praise and ...

Sure, the tensions between the seven have not disappeared, but the invasion of Russia and the ever-growing economic and political weight of China are pushing the G7 towards unity and resolutely taking up the struggle for the long-challenged hegemony of the Western imperialist powers. That is what the gathering at the Bavarian Schloss Elmau was all about, and that is what the NATO summit in Madrid that will immediately follow it, is all about.

Battle for Ukraine
Not surprisingly, the war over Ukraine was the focus of the conference. At the final press conference, Olaf Scholz announced that the G7 was "closely and unbreakably on Ukraine's side" – as if anyone had doubted that. New weapons systems and credit lines were announced. The Ukrainian state budget is to be supported with 28 billion euros. For the future, the final declaration also promises a kind of Marshall Plan for the country.

Further steps to tighten the ring around Russia will follow at the NATO summit in Madrid.

For all the unity on display, the G7 is facing a real challenge to its hegemony globally. Of course, the sanctions against Russia are having a massive effect – especially with regard to the impoverishment of the Russian population. At the same time, however, the Western powers are having a hard time enforcing their sanctions regime – partly because of their own dependence on Russian oil and gas, partly because other countries such as China and especially India are massively buying Russian energy.

No wonder, then, that central so-called emerging economies such as Indonesia, India, South Africa, Senegal and Argentina were invited as guests – undoubtedly to draw them into a Western alliance against Russia and China.

The immediate military challenge posed by Russian imperialism serves to justify the revival of the US-led Western alliance and an expansion of NATO not seen since the Cold War. For example, the NATO intervention force is to be increased from 40,000 to 300,000 soldiers. The times when Russia was seen as a "partner" are irretrievably over.

G7 as a helper in times of need
The war over Ukraine is only one aspect of a larger struggle, which the G7 has been pushing since long before their meeting in Garmisch. The internal economic crisis of Chinese imperialism is to be used to push back its project, the New Silk Road, and to re-consolidate the dominance of Western finance capital over the semi-colonial world. The Western heads of state gleefully denounce the harsh credit conditions of China, which does not offer its "partner countries" fair conditions, even abandoning them in the face of currency crises, impending bankruptcy, hunger and poverty.

The G7 presents itself as selfless, even in the face of the misery that their own corporations, their banks, their economic order have produced. More than US$600bn are to be invested by 2027 in ports and rail transport, but also healthcare, renewable energy systems and power grids. US$ 200bn will be provided by US imperialism alone. According to EU President Ursula von der Leyen, "Team EU" is to contribute almost US$300bn.

African nations in particular are to "benefit" from this well-known IMF-style aid. In addition, Scholz holds out the prospect of a "climate club" that will be founded at the end of 2022 and will help the "emerging countries" above all, that is, those states that the West wants to win as allies against Russia and China. In view of the threat of famine in many countries of the so-called Third World, the heads of state and government pledged a further 4.3 billion euros. Even though the total amount of aid promised by the G7 to the poorest of the poor amounts to 13 billion euros, this remains far below the 44 billion euros that would be needed according to UN calculations to effectively contain the current food crisis.

G7 as a Western Imperialist Club
Unlike a few years ago, when the G7 appeared to be sidelined in world politics, they are now back on the world political stage as a force. Even if their meetings do not make binding decisions, they do serve as a central means of coordinating the economic, political and geostrategic goals of the Western imperialist powers.

The G20, which for some time appeared as an alternative regulatory body for globalisation, will lose importance and become little more than a means of competing with Russia and China. In view of Putin's announced participation in the next G20 summit, a boycott of the meeting was even considered briefly, but was quickly taken off the table – after all, they did not want to leave the stage to Russia.

As much as the G7 has rediscovered its core business and found a new meaning in the struggle for the redivision of the world, the fight against poverty and climate change has fallen by the wayside, not surprisingly, despite all the democratic, humanitarian and social declarations of intent.

Scholz and Macron, Biden or Trudeau may present themselves in their own countries as liberal or even social democratic alternatives to right-wing populism, even as men of social balance. Seen from a global perspective, of course, their aim is to re-establish their own, faltering global hegemony and secure the profits of their own capitals against the background of an approaching global economic crisis. In other words, the strengthening of imperialist rule, the exploitation of labour power both in their "own" and in "foreign" countries, that is the semi-colonial world.

Ultimately, not only military spending, but also the billions of dollars in "aid programmes" are aimed at this.

In view of the barbaric Russian attack on Ukraine and the support of almost all bourgeois forces, the West is by no means unsuccessful in presenting itself as a haven of democracy. The struggle for Ukraine is presented as one between the global forces of authoritarianism and dictatorship against those of democracy and freedom. In this sense, the G7 is also trying to forge an alliance of "democratic" states, including such regimes as that of Modi in India.

As is well known, other allies of the democratic states are also some distance from democracy themselves. This does not prevent trade union leaders, Greens, US Democrats and social democratic parties from transfiguring the G7 into a respectable institution and concealing its true, imperialist character. In the face of public pressure and opportunism with regard to "democratic" imperialism, some left-wing parties are also faltering. At the forefront of those who effectively gloss over the G7 are the NGOs, which often enough also live on the funds of the G7 states. In their call for a demonstration against the G7 summit, they demanded: "Draw consequences from the Russian war against Ukraine! Free us from dependence on oil, gas and coal as soon as possible! Act consistently against the climate crisis and species extinction! And finally fight hunger, poverty and inequality!"

It is just stupid to think the G7 states are "neutral" and above class antagonisms and global conflicts. They themselves form a central body of the dominant Western imperialist powers. Those who hope that the leading imperialist bourgeoisies will save the world are only throwing sand in the eyes of themselves and others.