On the 1st and 2nd of October 2012, in Brussels, the KKE organised an European Communist Meeting with as subject to discuss about and on which subject the KKE hoped to get useful and concrete proposals: The stance of the Communist and Workers' Parties in relation to the capitalist crisis: Assimilation or rupture? The illusion of the pro-people management of capitalism and the struggle of the communists for the interests of the working class and popular strata, for the overthrow of capitalism, for socialism.
My opinion is that a lot of Communist Parties, also those who participated to this meeting, and also when they are to consider as authentic communist parties defending their revolutionary ambitions, are “contaminated” with some ideological opportunism (mostly -as I should say – with forms of dogmatism and eclecticism). And - as I see it - that opportunism makes them “blind” for real revisionist developments (revisionism is a bourgeois ideology formulated in Marxist-sounding phrases). And more: this revisionism is based on the existence of non-detected and so non-fought opportunist conceptions. I take the KKE as example of the former (here) and the Belgian WPB (PVDA/PTB) as example of the latter (here).
So about the Contribution of the Workers' Party of Belgium, I made a distinct article (like I did with the introductory speech of the GS of the KKE.)
I elaborated my analyses about existing opportunism which can lead to revisionism recently in two documents which I sent to 50 (presumed) communist organisations (the first to download here, the second here)
Here I would give my opinion, based on a indeed quick and superficial analysis – but as well published for the sake of promotion of discussion – of (just those) parties which published a contribution in English on the website of the KKE. (see the list of all those parties here)
Of course I know these are the points of view of an individual and not by collective discussion obtained points of view....but I publish them as well!
About the Contribution of the Communist Workers´ Party – For Peace and Socialism (Finland)
The Finnish CP gave some general remarks and formulated “intentions”, but gave no contribution to the discussions for which the KKE organised the meeting:
“Development of the EU into a federal state according to the will of the European economic consortium will trample underfoot more and more of the European peoples´ democratic rights. If the EU is able to convince peoples into this development, the capital will defend their new class power if necessary, even fascist-like way. To prevent the recurrence of the 20th century tyranny occurred in Europe, our communists have to clearly address the nature of the European Union as a fortress of the big business which oppresses the working class. The European Union cannot be changed to the Europe of peoples. That is why our Communist Worker's Party has been boycotting the EU elections. We did not want to adapt the Finnish people to EU´s supra-national decision-making powers and to believe that by participating in the election Finnish people will contribute the emergence of a democratic Europe. Our experience in the European Union has strengthened us to present identification: Off the European Union, boycott the EU elections. The European Union must be dissolved and Europe must be formed to a cooperative area of independent republics instead of a consortium of big capital.
The growing power of capital raises industry leaders, who are alien to the human emotions. Humanity does not move them. With their support and funding has raised political officials and political parties, who are ready to act obediently according the orders and plans of large-scale industry and the financial consortiums. Therefore, it is important that the labor movement nationally and internationally increasingly endorse irreconcilable class struggle against capitalism. Euro-communist, opportunistic communist parties and reformist parties, as well as the trade union movement led by reformists, which give their support to the European Union, in reality do support the policy of war and vandalism of European imperialist capitalism. They form together with the bourgeoisie the front against the revolutionary class struggle. Only by returning rich traditions of the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary struggle, can be achieved organizational and ideological unity, which forms a counterweight to the repressive politics of big capital. Only by that way the united working class are able to prevent that Europe will not be a large business enterprise of exploitation and oppression, and to promote that the peoples of Europe do not go into the fascism and more severe form of slavery.1
About the contribution of the New Communist Party of Britain
The Communist Party of Britain, mixed the need of revolutionary strategy against capitalism in the actual stage of imperialism with protest and demonstrations against imperialist wars and against the involvement of Britain in those wars:
”The labour and peace movement needs to reassert itself, pending possible attacks by the US on Iran and Syria, and stop the escalation to war that threatens to envelop Iran and Turkey. There has been a failure of CND and Stop the War to mobilise support for demonstrations in the localities as well as nationally.
The Achilles Heel of the US and British imperialism lies in the working class of those countries, who are suffering unemployment and economic stagnation. They demand major cuts in military expenditure and the withdrawal of troops from the Middle East, which has been subjected to outrageous wars. The resources should be switched from the wars in the Middle East to use for peaceful and civil purposes and creating jobs, which will be more fruitful for the British people.(...)
In Britain the NCP supports the efforts of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and other peace movements for unilateral British nuclear disarmament. We must campaign against any British participation in NMD and for Britain’s adherence to the non-proliferation treaty.
One immediate focus must be the demand to scrap the present Trident nuclear missile programme and to fight against the Conservative, Liberal-Democratic coalition government’s plan to spend further billions on upgrading and replacing the Trident system.
Trident is not an independent British nuclear-weapon-system, but a component of the United States’ global nuclear strategy. Its power is awesome, with the capability of bringing total destruction to humanity anywhere and everywhere in the world.
This relic of imperialism’s Cold War strategy has to go and the money spent on socially useful projects such as health care, education, affordable housing and decent state retirement pensions.(...)
We call for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all British troops from Afghanistan and an end to the occupation of all countries by the imperialist powers.(...)
We call for peace and for the acceptance of Palestinian rights, for justice and an end to the oppression of the Palestinian people by the US-backed Zionist leadership of Israel ― a cats-paw of the US in the Middle East.(...)
We support the efforts of the Stop the War movement and the other peace and anti-imperialist movements working in the broad movement and call for solidarity with the Syrian government and the Syrian communist movements that are working for genuine reform that preserves Syria’s independence and social system.(...)
The NCP opposes British entry to the eurozone and calls for unconditional withdrawal from the European Union (EU). The European ruling class hoped that British entry to the eurozone would have strengthened European monopoly capitalism and invoked an era of sophisticated class war on the working class.
That ruling class intent was that their rule would be strengthened by cutting wages, social welfare, trade union rights, increasing working hours and reducing job security. That by doing so the European ruling class would build a zone that would allow European imperialism to dominate the world. This must not be allowed to happen. Throughout the European Union mass resistance is growing against austerity and the ruling class offensive. Communists must be in the forefront the of every－day struggle, fighting for the maximum unity amongst the class to achieve winnable economic gains and political objectives. We must always present the case for revolutionary change and communism to end the whole system of exploitation.
Communists must confront the ruling class face on and help strengthen the labour movement so that the cuts to the social wage are reversed. This can be done by the Communists, left social-democrats, trade unions and other people’s movements working together. Though the immediate demand must be to reverse the cuts and to extend the social wage there must be a political campaign led by the communists that demonstrates that the social wage can only become a permanent feature by workers taking state power.
In this struggle we must expose bourgeois democracy for what it is – democracy for the exploiters and dictatorship for the exploited. Bourgeois elections, when they are held, are used so that the smallest number of people can manipulate the maximum number of votes. Parliaments no more makes the real decisions for the country than do the councils in the localities.
Socialism is the only way to eliminate exploitation, unemployment, poverty, economic crisis and war. That will only come through revolutionary change. And only a revolutionary party can make a revolution. Without a revolutionary party there can be no revolutionary movement. Only a revolutionary party can lead the class to overthrow the bourgeoisie. It cannot be done through elections or syndicalism alone.
We must work to restore the momentum for revolutionary change; strengthen co－operation and united action with communist and workers parties throughout Europe and around the world; build solidarity with the global anti-war movement and the forces for liberation in the Third World to unite the class and march towards a new tomorrow ― the world Marx and Engels predicted, the world that was heralded by the Bolsheviks led by Lenin and Stalin, and a world that will surely come to pass2”
About the Contribution of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia
The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, yet did not “digested” the fall of socialism in Eastern Europe and showed that they did not understand the role of revisionist development in this:
“The process of transformation in countries of the former socialist bloc affected deeply also communist parties and workers movements there. Several parties broke up, many of them changed their name, and many of them were prohibited. Some of them switched into social-democratic platform. Those which resisted realized that it would be necessary to get back to generally applicable ideas of Marxism and to start realizing them in totally new conditions of current capitalist society. The current development in Europe is affected by an exceptionally strong anticommunist movements directed against our parties. I mean alliances of right wing parties, mass-media, different pseudo –initiatives and individuals.
Communist party of Bohemia and Moravia means no difference. There was and still is a task in front of us to look for new forms of work, to gain allies but not only among workers, to use all the possibilities which the state legislation offers, to get into the state representation, and cooperate with trade unions and civil initiatives. We need to look for some alliances with central-left parties, not at a cost of compromises, but at concrete points which could be beneficial for non-privileged citizens. We are aware of the fact, that the Communist party does not exist only for itself, but it bears a big responsibility for the fight for rights and future of these non-privileged people.(...)
There is much more at stake today, the game is about a future of a human existence. That´s why the left has to strengthen its fight for world peace and world security. And make good use of steps of those countries, which defend peace in the international arena or the UN Security Council.
The situation in Europe and the EU is well-known. Therefore we think that in such a way how right wing and neoliberal governments in the EU are able to hang together even in conflicts and unite their attitudes against rightful demands of workers, youth, elderly, immigrants and small and medium enterprises, we should also find a way of common fight against these forces. There is a time for common solutions. Disintegrated Left can only serve in favor of interests and aims of the Right, and definitely not in favor of wide non-privileged public.3
About the Contribution of the Communist Party of Denmark
The Communist Party of Denmark gave just a description of the opinion of the “average” Danish worker about the European Union and gave some general remarks about the character of the European Union and ended with the intention of participating on the needed ideological struggle “ inside the Left and progressive movement, even inside the labour movement, in order to unmask the illusions caused by the apparent stabilization of capitalism inside the European Union”:
“The theme of our discussion has been stated: The stance of the Communist and Workers' Parties in relation to the capitalist crisis: Assimilation or rupture? followed by a short elaboration. I think the question mark will have to be taken in a rhetorical sense: For Communists, at least, there can be really no question. Capitalism will not be able to solve its own crises, or rather: What solution capitalism will be able to bring about spontaneously or by deft management, pro-people or other, will be of a strictly temporary nature; sooner or later, the crisis will be back. (...)
Neither can the debt crises of certain European countries be solved by the European Union or by European or international financial institutions. Theses crises are provoked by the relations of strength inside the European or global imperial systems, resulting from a striving of the dominant powers to shift the burden of the general economic crisis onto the shoulders of the populations of weaker or dependent nations. And the very institutions which supposedly should be able to remedy these consequences of the relations of strength and dominance inside the imperial systems were created in the first place to safeguard these same unequal relations and regulate them in the interest, not of the weaker but of the stronger parties.
(...) The Union created the impression that capitalism was, after all, capable of solving the problems it had itself created: Capable of peace, of progress, of growth seemingly undisturbed by crises. This illusion spread across Europe, east and west alike, and had disastrous consequences: Why choose socialism with all the difficulties, hardships and inevitable failures involved in building a new society, if indeed capitalism was able to solve its internal contradictions? For the ordinary European, the choice of socialism was no question of idealism, of suddenly seeing the light, but a matter of necessity. A necessity, which, it would appear, was no longer there.
So, the will to defend socialism in Europe collapsed. And despite the disastrous consequences of the counterrevolution, the illusions of the stability of capitalism and of the benefits of the European Union remain. How hard these illusions are to break was seen in the Greek election. The majority of Greeks, Italians, Spanish, Irish continue to look to the Union for solution of the problems created by the Union.(...)
Denmark, by referendum, joined the Union in 1972 by a comfortable majority, but rejected the Euro in 1993 by the narrowest of margins and again in 2000, now by a larger but still modest 5 % margin. Today, polls tell us that no less than 70 % of the Danes are against the Euro. The experience of Southern Europe has not been wasted on my people, and we hear surprisingly little talk from political quarters nowadays about a third referendum.
Reality speaks for itself, and sometimes it is heard. But generally, somebody has to put it into words and show the way. In concluding, I should like to concur with Comrade Papariga on the necessity of an ideological struggle inside the Left and progressive movement, even inside the labour movement, in order to unmask the illusions caused by the apparent stabilization of capitalism inside the European Union.4
About the Contribution of the (another?)Communist Party in Denmark
“The stance of the Communists and workers parties in relation to the capitalist crisis: Assimilation or rupture?The illusion of the pro-people management of capitalism and the struggle of the communists for the interests of the working class and the popular strata, for overthrow of capitalism, for socialism.
Assimilation is not a possibility for Marxists and communists. The date has run out for the capitalist system.(...)
The bourgeois, the social democrats and most of the left wing parties give people the illusion that the former so-called welfare policy still can be saved,by making the necessary cuts and priorities to save money. In the North they say to the people, that “we” cannot afford it just now. In the South they say that “we” have no money just now. Whatever they say and do, all their black reforms are “to save the welfare for the future”.
But is it true that we cannot afford it, that there is no money?
In all our countries the workers’ productivity has raised much more than the wages. It is why the quota for profit in the EU area has raised from 24 to 35 % since 1975. If the workers’ wages had been at the same quota of the BNP today as in the beginning of the 80’s, the states would have had billions more to secure welfare. So – by the way – it is not an advantage to the society to keep the wages low.
In Europe about 10 million people owes 10, 2 billion US Dollars. But 87 % of all active finance capital is spending on speculation. They are not taking part in creating any values.
So, there is enough money. Let us tell it again and again, and that the fact is, that the system doesn’t want to solve the socio-economic problems in the societies.
People ask: Where is all the money we have paid and pay in tax? Answer: They are redistributed. From 2008 to 2010 our EU member countries gave about 13 % of the total economical results in each country to the so-called Bank – securing. The income tax for the riches has been much reduced; the same goes for the company-tax.
The EU-Commission has just been forced to redraw their proposal to criminalize strikes and to report so-called social unrest. It was too much directly fascist dictatorship. Dictatorship in the EU must be carried out in a more discreet way. Like the Finance Pact, which also Denmark and Sweden – although they are not a part of the EMU countries – by freewill has acceded to join.
The Danish population have two times voted no to join the European Monetary Union. The Danes where very aware up to the referendums, that this was not about the name for the coin, but the importance of the possibility to have our own economic policy.
But the new government in Denmark has rapidly incorporated all the wishes and demands from the Finance pact. First the reform of our rights to early/ invalid pension if you have or get a handicap gets chronically ill, mentally disordered etc. Now you cannot get such pension before you are 40 years. The young handicapped will be parked on the very low social security benefit, and every five year they shall prove that they are still not able to work. This was in the spring.
In summer came the reform of income tax. It is the second reform in 2 years. Last time the bourgeoisie government gave huge tax reductions to the most wealthy. This time the social democratic leaded government gave tax reductions to all in job (as the employers’ wishes) and raised the amount from where you shall pay extra top-tax. It is financed by stop for regulations of pensions, social security benefit, unemployment benefit, and other more or less public payments.(....)
The most important for the majority – says the polls again and again – is jobs and welfare! The SD’s are dismantling the so-called Nordic welfare model paid through income tax. The SAMAK – North European SD parties and leaders from National Trade Unions has decided to make a common proposal, how to “adjust the Nordic Model into the new challenges”. They are giving people false illusions. The ruling finance capital has no use for welfare to the people. They accept a minimal variant securing survival. It means that the struggle for a social state, struggle for security and welfare will be an anti-capitalistic struggle. This is important to get people and labour movements to understand. This neo-liberalistic variant is sign of still more private security for those who can afford it, more private and supply assurances, forced labour for the benefit, forced tests to – what they cynical call – Possibility for help to self-help.
The level of the minimal variant will be depended on what working class can fight through. And here is the problem. In Denmark a new examination of what is the biggest worry tells us, that it is fear of unemployment, fear of being sacked. Frightened people are not the best fighters. And we see today people working longer than the labour agreements tells, that people goes to work although they are ill, accept lower wages “to save the working places” etc.5
Until here the Danisch Communist Party gave no analyse but a description and summed up some facts. Just the (very general) conclusion is somehow “practical”:
“Capitalism in our continent has a strong machinery of power: The EU, ruling all of us. We are all subjugated the same dictates. Some countries are more willing and fast to assimilate than others, and we still have differences about the EU among our population. In Denmark – if it was possible again to have a referendum about EU, it would be a huge NO. But if we could have a referendum about capitalism, the result would not be the same. In other EU countries it maybe will result in the opposite. Many Danes and Swedes too, say that everything will be better if we left the EU. If we came so far, the situation would be another than the present. But it is strengths to us all, that we in all our parties and countries mobilize to fight the EU and the EU policy. We shall try to coordinate and inspire each other. In Denmark we have called for demonstrations today October the 2nd where the finance budget for next year will be introduced.
No doubt that the system is having its death struggle. The problem is that many people say that there is no alternative. It is why it is fundamental important that our parties agitate and explain for people socialism as the alternative.6
About the Contribution of the PRCF, France
A certain French (Communist?) organisation had in fact only one thing to say:”Only a revolutionary party, closely linked to the masses and firmly relying on scientific socialism, can help the workers go beyond their immediate situations, challenge bourgeois power and build the future. Do we have in France this communist vanguard recognized by the masses? Sorry, comrades, not yet.”:
“The demoralising ideology of "lesser evil" is deeply rooted in the masses; not only by bourgeois media and by opportunist leaders, but also by their daily experience. Owning the means of production and controlling the states, the ruling classes do put workers in competition and this breeds reformist illusions. Ex: the "French" government allows the bosses to destroy industrial jobs, it also seriously weakens statutory employment in the public sector; but at the same time, its plans to create thousands of cheap, flexible "jobs" for the young unemployed may appear to them as an answer to their anguish; a distorted, a wicked answer, but an answer. That's why "with the masses" and "against the stream" are intimately linked.
That's why we suggest a few urgent claims to those who waver at the image they have of a revolution:
- No to privatisations, to factory reshufflings and closures…renationalisations under workers' control.
- Stop fuelling monopolies with public money; it's they who should refund all the gifts they've received.
- Banksters, we don't recognize your "debt". Not only we don't have to pay for your crisis, but you are the crisis, get out of our way!
- France, out of their strangling treaties, out of their vicious EU!
- France, out of Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Syria… France, out of their NATO!
If these claims get into the masses, the day will come when they will become: France, out of Capitalism!
Only a revolutionary party, closely linked to the masses and firmly relying on scientific socialism, can help the workers go beyond their immediate situations, challenge bourgeois power and build the future.
Do we have in France this communist vanguard recognized by the masses? Sorry, comrades, not yet.
Communists walk on both feet
- 1) Because we all act in quite different conditions and also because we trust our own world outlook, we are unreservedly open to exchanges with all forces which seek a more humane society, wherever they come from.
- 2) Because the Marxist-Leninist stance has led to historical steps forward and because its oblivion and betrayal has contributed to historical setbacks, we shall never discard or dilute it; in order to advance, renegades and opportunists who hinder revolutionary perspectives and pollute our cause must be ideologically beaten.
A new chapter
Our international communist movement has suffered serious drawbacks in the past; now, it has started to reorganize itself; though we are not at the end of the road, this fact should be better known.
In each country, workers are fighting back; in spite of many obstacles, their class struggle is stepping up; if we communists do what is required from us, they may open a new chapter in history, the name of which is socialism and communism.
1 Besides the principled standpoint that the mode of production is the basis of political superstructures, facts confirm that this so vaunted "redistribution" is a myth. Ex: French tax inputs structure: taxes on enterprises: 17%, taxes on incomes: 20% VAT (paid "equally!" by every citizen, rich of poor)…51%. These figures don't include: 1) state subventions to enterprises (50 billions a year). 2) General services (education & health of the labour force, transports & equipment) provided to the bosses at society's expense.
- Financial placements are practically tax-free and monopolies also have many tax evasion devices; but again, the key is not in the tax system but in the appropriation of surplus value by the owners of the means of production.
2 1 child dies every 4 seconds in countries often rich with material & human resources, but which are plundered by imperialism.7
About the Contribution of the Communist Party of Norway
Just some general declarations about intentions......and a dogmatic view on “actual capitalism” as if there exist a national capitalism, and so a nation-state which is “the” capitalist state to overthrow:
“The only way out of the capitalist crises for the working class and the people of Norway is the same as in any other capitalist nation, by rupture and not by assimilation. The struggle must be against the monopolies and their power. The opposition must be organized on the grassroots level of the trade union movement, building and developing the people`s alliance between the working class and the social forces with objective interest in fighting the monopolies and capital, (...) towards the overthrow of the power of the monopolies. The most important fight for the trade union grassroots in Norway is to win the fight for dissociation of Norway from the EEA association to the EU. This will be a decisive step on the road to overthrow the power of the monopolies in Norway. The strength of the CPN in the labour movement of Norway is far behind.”
“Communist Party of Norway acknowledge the character of the crises; capital over –accumulation, based on capitals exploitation of labour power. Bourgeoisie management policies have new difficulties managing a way out from the crisis. They choose between both restrictive and expansive bourgeoisie management. Selection between those is done based on the interest of the bourgeoisie, it is not a dispute in favor or against the peoples interests, it is not a dispute between a conservative and progressive-left political line as claimed by the European Left Party.(...)
The barbaric measures for the workers and people in Greece, Spain, Italy etc. is decided by the new governments in cooperation with the Troika. Their goal is to reduce the price of labour power to an extreme low level, to improve monopoly capital profits. The fight against the working class and the people is coordinated in the EU in cooperation with IMF and ECB.
Norway is in a special position with no state debts. In a small nation of 5 million inhabitants the state owns a huge investment fund of 450 milliard Euros. Because the Norwegian people twice have voted no to be a member of the EEC and the EU, our public sector is still relatively large.
The oil production of Norway in the North Sea still gives stable deliveries from the Norwegian industry to the oil production sector.
Despite our sound economic position, both bourgeoisie and social democratic governments follow the EU-directives attacking the trade union tariffs and the democratic rights of the workers and the people. And the Norwegian employers are getting more aggressive in support of the economic policies of EU. The Social democratic Party initiated privatization of big state owned companies of telecommunications, post, oil production etc.
They even initiated and fulfilled a complete change in the state pension system, which resulted in huge losses for the future pensions of the younger generations, which resulted in privatization of the pensions for those who can afford it, and poverty for those who can`t. The community and state owned hospitals have been reorganized into state owned companies, and are budgeted as private companies under the regime of “New Public Management”. The whole sector is under budgeted, and goes with deficits. This is preparation for privatization of the hospital sector, initiated by the Social democratic Party.(...)
The only way out of the capitalist crises for the working class and the people of Norway is the same as in any other capitalist nation, by rupture and not by assimilation. The struggle must be against the monopolies and their power. The opposition must be organized on the grassroots level of the trade union movement, building and developing the people`s alliance between the working class and the social forces with objective interest in fighting the monopolies and capital, with stronger participation of women and young people. The direction must be towards the overthrow of the power of the monopolies.
The most important fight for the trade union grassroots in Norway is to win the fight for dissociation of Norway from the EEA association to the EU. This will be a decisive step on the road to overthrow the power of the monopolies in Norway. The strength of the CPN in the labour movement of Norway is far behind. We have a long way to go, but it is the only way. At the same time we are building the anti-imperialist, anti-NATO “Norway For Peace”(NFF).8
About the Contribution of Communists People's Left – Communist Party, Italy
I think that the Italian Communist Party comes very close by giving the questions of KKE a real answer ....but - to my opinion – suffers of a same opportunism as the KKE, which danger it is that it makes one blind to the development of real revisionism. This because the conscious revisionists based there “analyses” on the already existing opportunist conceptions...:
“The European Union is a kind of "clearing chamber" of the internal contradictions of European imperialism, where national bourgeoisies of Europe try to solve those disputes among themselves that in the past regularly led to armed conflicts, on one side, and plan the exploitation and the oppression of the peoples, on the other side. In other words, it is like a negotiation table on the repartition of wealth.
At the same time, the EU is the fig leaf used by national bourgeoisies, that bear the main responsibility for the robbing of their own peoples, to mask or legitimate their policy against the people, as if somebody else imposed it from above for some allegedly objective reasons.
The working class and the working people of Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal first are the victims of their own national bourgeoisie, and then, at the same time, of the bourgeoisie of other more powerful European countries.
The bourgeoisie of Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal are the first culprits of the crisis situation in their countries and are responsible for the mugging of their own peoples on the same level with the bourgeoisie of the European powers.!
Approaching the issue of the EU institutions as a matter of national sovereignty, as the opportunists do, is a big and serious mistake, because it removes any responsibility from the national bourgeoisie. This issue has to be correctly considered from the point of view of the class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, on one side, and the struggle for the repartition of wealth and dominance within the imperialist bourgeoisie, on the other side.9
A rather misty and vague, not-sharp reasoning not resulting in clear concrete strategical conclusions...
A not correct point of view on “capitalist state” (in global capitalism in the stage of imperialism) leads to incorrect views on the necessary steps to revolution, although one can not say that it lacks the Italian CP of revolutionary ambition and a firm position to the struggle against revisionism.(but a capitulation to opportunism lead to blindness to revisionism)
“To the logic of the "restoration of sovereignty" Communists should oppose the logic of proletarian internationalism and class solidarity, the logic of the struggle to overthrow the dominance of the bourgeoisie of any nationality and in any country.
From a coherent communist point of view no wink to the class enemy and its institutes is acceptable in terms of even a temporary freezing of the class conflict in the name of "saving the country from the crisis" which the working class is not responsible for. This way it would not the country to be saved, but only the rule of capital. On the opposite, the bourgeoisie should be pursued and nailed to its responsibility by a relentless struggle to 360 degrees, aimed at overthrowing its dominance and establishing the workers' and people's power.
This goal definitely requires a break with the international institutions of the imperialist bourgeoisie. Communists should firmly fight for their countries to leave the EU, NATO and the illegitimate Hague International Tribunal, aiming at their final dismantling, along with other tools of the imperialist oppression, the IMF and the WTO. UN have long ago turned into a body of ratification of the imperialist military aggressions masked as humanitarian interventions and also need an urgent revision of its representational and operational criteria and decision-making mechanisms.10
I think that the European working class has to fight for the destruction of the (imperialist) bourgeois dictatorship, the capitalist (imperialist) state European Union and has to install the European workersstate (the proletarean dictatorship) and of course dismantle all “instruments and tools (NATO, Hague International Tribunal,...), and all colonialist production-relations as ....support to Israel.”
“We must reject the opportunistic position of European Left Party and firmly fight against it. The European Left Party was founded with the purpose to divide the communist movement in Europe and neutralize it, attracting its least ideologically firm part to positions of actual conciliation with the European Union. ELP is nothing but the left crutch of the European capitalism.
The European Union is the home of industrial and financial capital, built to ensure its own dominance and at its home it will not allow anyone to carry out any reform to the benefit of the people! We have to explain this simple truth to the working people for them to understand that the European Left Party is deceiving them by the illusion these European capitalist institutes would be reformable and within them a softening of their anti-people policy would be possible. Even a partial support of this lie is a help for capitalism! Therefore, we would like to address those Communist parties that participate in the ELP as "observers": there is nothing to observe! The ELP is a fig leaf of capitalism! Do not help the allies of the class enemy, do not give them the dignity of a partner, separate from them!11
It is correct to warn for reformism but based on a correct analysis of this reformism (of the ELP)
“Regard to bourgeois national institutes, our position is equally clear and coherent: we do not believe in parliamentarism, or in the possibility of "peaceful" ways to socialism through reforms. Such illusions, peculiar to the 2nd International reformism and modern opportunism as well, are based on the false premise capitalism would be improvable and changeable from the inside to the extent it will turn into its opposite, into socialism. Our firm objection to this conception comes from our scientific Marxist-Leninist worldview and the study of the history and experience of the workers movement.
Any social-economic formation is historically determined. It arises, develops, decays and dies, carrying in its womb the embryo of the new formation that will replace it. History shows that its birth is not automatic or painless. The birth of a new formation is always traumatic. Old production relations and the correspondent legal and political superstructure, that have become an obstacle to the further development of the productive forces, are overthrown by the new emerging class which paves the way for new production relations and imposes by the use of strength the correspondent new superstructure. Of course, the old ruling class does not give its power up, but tries to resist.
Therefore, the change of ruling class requires the use of strength. (...)
We do not reject the parliamentary struggle, but according to Lenin we understand the parliament and the other bourgeois elected bodies only as a tribune that gives more opportunities to promote and spread the Party's program among the masses, and not as the main weapon in the struggle for social transformation. Where we can, we must and we want to offer communist electoral rolls, making every effort to make workers acquainted with our program and vote for our candidates.
We strongly condemn the fraudulent majoritarian electoral laws, the bipolar system, any percentage threshold, invented by the ruling class to deprive the proletariat of even the formal rights of the bourgeois democracy. Our position is to re-establish the pure proportionality electoral system on the principle "one head, one vote".
Our understanding of elections excludes any participation in “democratic” or left-centrist coalitions. Once more we would like to repeat that we are not compatible with any bourgeois, left-centrist or right-centrist, coalition as they both represent the political expression of capitalist interests.
Our participation in the elections and our presence, if our candidates would be voted, in the elected bodies of any level, but non in the government or the other business committees of the bourgeoisie, can take place only to the extent if they really help to build the Party and promote our ideological and political positions, as the access to a tribune.
We have no illusions about bourgeois institutions. We are not interested in the alchemy of coalitions with bourgeois parties, do not aim at algebraic electoral alliances, whose numbers reflect only the addition of political weakness.
The only alliance we want to develop is the social alliance of the people's strata, even of certain petty-bourgeoisie elements, proletarized by the monopolistic capital and the crisis, with the working class with the purpose to create around it a working social block, opposite to the bourgeois one, able to become the driving force of the socialist revolution in Italy.
The spine of the block, in our opinion, should be the United Work Front, a mass organization that could regroup, on the basis of a class platform, the largest number of workers, regardless of their party or trade union membership, able to develop mass struggles and to act as a transfer belt between the workers block and the Party, fulfilling at the same time the function of human reserve of the Party.
Only mass struggles, not only in the halls of parliaments, but in squares and streets, in all work places, in schools, universities and other places of culture and art production, are able to make a revolutionary situation emerge.
We must return to the working class, disoriented and betrayed by the opportunists, its class consciousness and its central place in society. We must help the working class to get back even its human dignity. Today, the working class attracts one minute of attention only if someone of the workers fired out slashes his wrists during a live broadcast or sets himself on fire in the street. We do not need such demonstrations of desperation and defeat, that are only able to arouse a pity's tear of some bourgeois ladies. We do not need compassion, we need a militant mood to fight, to really make ― as Marx said, - “the ruling class shake at the thought of the proletarian revolution”.
We are working to develop class alliances and people's mobilization, connecting the struggle for the working class' immediate interests and daily needs with the strategic goal of overthrowing capitalism and establishing socialism.
The right to a steady and safe employment, to a decent salary and pension, to health, to housing, to education and culture, to personal and collective safety are fundamental rights of the human beings that capitalism restricts or cancels through the criminal policy of the EU and its institutes. The struggle for these rights today means fighting against the European Union with the strong conviction that Europe of peoples, solidarity and co-operation can only rise from the ashes of Europe of monopolies and banks.
Withdrawal from the EU and the euro currency system, one-sided cancellation of the debt, expropriation of monopolies and banks, workers' power, centralized planning of the economy under the control of the people. These are the goals our Party is calling on the working class to fight for, as the only way to overcome the crisis and permanently achieve its fundamental rights.
The development of the working class' social alliances and mass struggles, and the emerging of favorable conditions for the revolutionary socialist transformation of society are biunivocally linked to the existence of a strong Communist Party, able to successfully direct the class struggle and lead the working class to the fulfillment of its historical role. On one side this is the result of the effective political work of the Party, on the other side this is a condition for the further strengthening of the Party. We cannot wait for a perfectly organized on paper party before starting to work in reality. We are not allowed by times and the understanding that a communist party ceasing to fight will not strengthen, but soon turn into something else.
The party and its cadres politically and organizationally grow and become stronger with the increase of the struggle, just as the struggle grows and becomes more effective with the strengthening of the Party.
This also makes our Party different from those in Italy are talking of reconstructing the communist party and there they stop. We are not only discussing about, we are reconstructing the Communist Party in deeds and not in words, despite the enormous difficulties of this undertaking! We are reconstructing the Party by calling on the workers and the people to rally for clear and concrete goals. We are reconstructing the Party by the efforts and sacrifice of our comrades, walking in the forefront of social and trade union struggle. We are reconstructing the Party by the consistency and sincerity of those, who think what they say, say what they think and do what they say.
These considerations lead us to tell of the situation of the communist movement in Italy.
The leaders of the largest communist party of West Europe, the Italian Communist Party, bear very heavy responsibility for the consolidation of reformism, revisionism and opportunism, deviations that led to its self-disbanding and currently still exist inside the International Communist Movement. We admit it with sincere regret and self-critical spirit. We are talking of a long-term degenerative process of the ICP, started since 1944, that we still have to explore deeper.
The Party of Communist Refoundation and the Party of Italian Communists, established after the ICP self-disbanding, have clearly failed in the attempt to recreate the communist party in Italy.
Not guided by the theory and the ideology of Marxism-Leninism, which is not mentioned neither in their program (we doubt they have one, because on their sites there is even no trace of it), nor in their Statute, both parties show an almost exclusive parliamentary calling and activate only when elections.
The Party of Communist Refoundation, that openly rejected the principle of democratic centralism, definitely is not a Leninist-type party. Characterized by its extreme ideological eclecticism, in its ranks a little of everything can be found: from Buddhists and Gandhians, to generic pacifists, to anti-globalists and Trotzkysts. Certainly, among its members, there are honest and sincere comrades, but they have no possibility, from a communist position, to influence the policy of their leaders. The Party of Communist Refoundation has already publicly declared to be ready to run for elections again without the symbol of red flag with hammer and sickle as it did in 2008 inside the coalition “The Rainbow”.
The Party of Italian Communists too can hardly be considered as a Leninist-type party, despite its formal acceptance of the principle of democratic centralism. Founded in 1998 after a split from the Party of Communist Refoundation, the Party of Italian Communists has always distinguished itself 4 for its “parliamentary fever” and the lack of principles of its political behavior. It is the typical example of opportunism that, unlike revisionism, does not deny the ideological principles, but just does not apply them, doing the opposite of what declared or written.
In both parties a big gap can be observed between members and leaders, that often respond only to themselves and act for purely personal advantage. Furthermore, the percentage of militants on members is very low.
Both parties have participated in the second left-centrist government headed by prime-minister Prodi and, in 2006, have approved the funding of military missions for imperialist aggressions and some of the worst anti-people steps of the last years. Their complicity with bourgeois governments, the concentration of their activity only in the parliament and other institutions, their activation only on the occasion of elections, their closure in internal debates, often regarding only the redivision of seats and positions, have led both parties to the loss of any parliamentary representative. The finish was the inglorious electoral collapse of the "Rainbow", a heterogeneous alliance with undefined lefts and greens. As a paradox, they got the opposite of what they were looking for, punished by deceived and disgusted voters.
Our position on bourgeois parliamentarism, elections and alliances makes our Party very different, on a strategic point of view, from the Party of Communist Refoundation, the Party of Italian Communists and their union, the Left Federation, the unborn child summing up the weaknesses of these two parties.
A serious analysis demonstrates the left-centrist block is the force in Italy that more stubbornly and persistently represents and protects the interests of the European financial and industrial monopolistic capital, the force that has promoted this EU, so brutally striking at the working people. A serious analysis demonstrates the Democratic Party and its left-centrist allies today are the most fanatic supporters of the government, headed by the ECB and European Commission's agent, the prime-minister Monti, the most anti-people oriented government in the history of the Italian Republic, that is destroying our country's real economy, sentencing our people to poverty and carrying off even their dignity. A serious analysis demonstrates that today's social massacre is the result of the breaches, opened by the left-centrist reforms and the collaborationist retreat of the Italian General Labor Confederation, the largest trade union under the hegemony of the Democratic Party. Finally, a serious analysis demonstrates that the ideological substratum for the cancellation of the workers' rights by the minister-headhunter Fornero is inspired by the anti-workers cerebrations of the labor legal experts of the Democratic Party.
After such a serious analysis, a party that wants to be called communist should conclude that no alliance is possible with the Democratic Party and the other left-centrist social butchers. The Party of Communist Refoundation and the Party of Italian Communists came to the opposite conclusion: as they have many time stated, the alliance with the Democratic Party and the left-centrist block is strategic!
For similar reasons, communists should admit no alliances with bourgeois pseudo-left parties, such as “Italy of Worth” or “Left for Ecology and Freedom”, that are in coalition with the Democratic Party at the local level, but are looking for any kind of profitable alliance at the national level.
The rejection of the principles of Marxism-Leninism and the loss of ideological and cultural autonomy, the unconditional acceptance of parliamentarism and bourgeois legality, the alteration in the class composition have led the PCR and the PIC to an evident opportunistic deviation. Currently, they are ready to make any concession in order to get in change a well-paid seat in bourgeois institutions or directors board.
The proof is their behavior after supporting the successful referendum against the privatization of water and other public goods. In the elections of local authorities in May 2012, the PCR and the PIC, united in the Left Federation, in 23 major cities out of 26 took part in left-centrist coalitions with the Democratic Party. For the rendered service, they have been given the possibility to accommodate their representatives, paid with taxpayers' money, in the boards of different agencies, charged of starting the very privatization, despite the referendum's opposite results! The famous thirty shekels of opportunism!
Some parties, actively using their right of veto, have founded, or are participating in, outer organizations, such as the ELP, that are often in contrast with the International Communist Movement. A slow, work seems to be going on for draining and paralyzing the ICM. A part of it is already actively acting outside in co-ordination with circles, where opportunistic and revisionist parties are grouping in an organized way. The Italian Left Federation, for instance, in Europe maintains relations primarily with non-communist organizations, such as United Lefts in Spain, Die Linke in Germany, Syriza in Greece, etc.
We think we all together have to approach this problem very seriously and with the necessary strictness, strengthening the ideological cohesion of the ICM on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and developing a closer co-ordination among brotherly parties to successfully withstand the onslaught of capital and resume the proletarian counteroffensive worldwide, for Socialism, for Communism!12
Leaving, -for my part – this without further analysis, although I could make some critical remarks, I think I can say that more or less I would make the same remarks and critics as I made to the KKE. But in the light of the current discussion about the development of a unified revolutionary line (“assimilation or rupture”) these remarks and critics are -on this moment – secondary. And on this point the People's Left Communist Party takes a firm position!
About the Contribution of the Unified Communist Party of Georgia
The Unified Communist Party of Georgia is just complaining:
“There are held the regular parliamentary elections in Georgia today. The Unified Communist Party couldn't take part in elections owing to its actual illegal status. The party symbolics is forbidden, and the communism is officially equated to fascism. But we are sure that as a result of elections there will occur such changes in the country that we will have an opportunity to work more freely.
Nine years ago the present powers of Georgia came to government with social slogans. The victory over corruption and restoration of social justice were the main slogans of party that ruled until today. But as a result of the promised reforms, Georgia received the opposite – a marginal aggravation of social problems, sharp increase in the unemployment, obvious stratification of society into very rich and very poor, the improved and strengthened repressive apparatus and folding of the signs of bourgeois democracy.
The western capitalism gives out Georgia for successful neoliberal experiment, deems the country as an example for imitation, having proclaimed it "the Democracy Beacon." But what actually occurred against the background of the proclaimed social slogans?
Actually there were realized the so called “neoliberal reforms.”
«Neoliberal reforms» that were carried out in an uncompromising and a specially aggressive way in Georgia, came to the logic end. Privatization of all spheres of economy and social infrastructure is complete. All plants and factories, which functioned at the very least, have found themselves in private hands. All power supply systems, the hydroelectric power stations, almost all city services including systems of electricity transmissions, natural gas and water supply, are privatized. Natural resources, the woods, seaports are privatized.
The process of total privatization implied simultaneous concentration and capital centralization in hands of several leading figures of the ruling clan. All main flows of the income are monopolized. All the import and export is monopolized. They became especially important, effective sources of fast enrichment of a local oligarchical clan. Enrichment by means of a monopoly of the right on the appointment of the prices for the imported goods is accompanied by elimination of internal production, the whole fields of industries and rural agriculture. Besides, it occurs in full accordance with the desires of International Monetary Fund.
Ultra-quick and fantastic enrichment of scanty minority is accompanied with a sharp fall-down of the standards of living for the vast majority.
Neoliberal reform destroyed all social guarantees of workers. Objects of healthcare found themselves in private hands. Education of a good quality can be received only for the large sums of money and only in private educational institutions. The labor legislation in reference to labor forces is one of the most discriminative systems all over the world.
In Georgia today there maintain their proper functioning only the establishments of health care, education, power supply, establishments of the central and local management, and the banking system. Banks don't credit the real production sphere. Being engaged in usury, they became the powerful lever of suffocation of so-called "small business" and the accelerator of aforementioned centralization and monopolization. Well-paid army and police faultlessly protect the established internal order. That is, there only function those systems which are absolutely necessary for the life support of any society. The state keeps only the function of service of the emerged private-capitalist neoliberal system is left only.
At the same time, unlike all or nearly all post-socialist states, at the lower level the bribery is destroyed, bureaucratic barriers are maximally cleaned when obtaining different references and documents. Gangsterism and theft, flourishing in the beginning of the 90-ies of the last century, are conquered. But this aspect of restoration of capitalism is presented as a national achievement, though the establishment of order in this area was also caused by the needs of the capital as a whole. The capital needs minimization of problems at a lower level without a damage of principal interests of the ruling elite.
In a word, there is created some kind of a classical system of neoliberal capitalism in Georgia - dictatorship of neoliberalism and paradise for all oligarchical elite.
But any dictatorship needs a certain order, means and methods of self-preservation.
Against accruing social contradictions excessive expansion of the rights of the Georgian police doesn't cause surprises. Police function of political prosecution is especially strong.
In prisons there are created intolerable conditions when it is possible to beat with impunity to death, to suppress morally, to eliminate physically or to destroy by an illness any opponent objectionable the present powers who has found himself/herself in prison. Even the European Parliament, traditionally loyal to the authorities of Georgia notes an abnormal situation in prisons of Georgia, urging to correct a situation. It is characteristic that in 9 years of neoliberal dictatorship the number of prisoners from 6 000 people in 2003 grew to 25 thousand people in 2012, that is, four times! The judicial system passed to frankly cynical, impudent and unprecedented practice of imprisonment of the persons objectionable for the authorities. Today in Georgia nobody is insured from such punishment. Number of verdicts of not guilty in Georgia is record-breakingly low: 0.084 (an average value across Europe amounting to 0.2, that is 20 %).
One political party rules the country calling itself United National Movement. It supervises exclusively all the spheres of public life. Anticommunism, antisovietism, the anti-Russian hysteria and social demagogy are raised to the rank of the state ideology. The ruling powers conduct the interests of the most reactionary representatives of the international capital – the American imperialism. There are evident all principal signs of fascism. In Georgia there is created approximately the same system of capitalist dictatorship, as it was created in Chile by Pinochet.
But the neoliberal capitalist system starts to devour itself. The policy of total privatization of economy and social system accompanied by the absolutely destructive foreign politics drove the country to full economic crash.
The population manages to make ends meet only at the expense of emigrants working abroad. The unemployment rate makes 67 % (according to official figures, 15 %).
The living wage (minimum of subsistence per month) in 2012, according to official figures, makes approximately: for an able-bodied man, 90 US dollars; for the families consisting of 4 members, 165 US dollars;
The average salary of practitioner doctors makes about 200, and that of the teachers, 170 US dollars. In general, by the most optimistic calculations, the salary in Georgia is received by 33-35 % of the active population.
The minimal pension makes 50 US dollars; in the country there are 826.8 thousand pensioners; to each pensioner there correspond 0.75 employed people, whereas the optimum value for this ratio would be 3.
According to Social Service Agency of Georgia, which is an official establishment, in the united database of poor families (needing the aid) there are registered 1 623 233 persons (514,102 families). It is half of the population actually residing in Georgia, according to our data; and if we rely upon the official data regarding the number of population in Georgia, then, at least, it will make more than one third of the resident population;
It is evident the deep social crisis that pours out into the political crisis at any favorable possibilities.
Need of a turn to the left even if solely within private-capitalist system became so obvious that bourgeois parties of frankly right sense start to shout about it. Without such turn the system will fail under its own weight as exhausted and paralyzed to death. Therefore, folding of neoliberal madness became an urgent need for the dominating clans, too.
There has occurred a split in ruling oligarchical elite. There was created the powerful bourgeois opposition, ready to soften policy of neoliberalism and to pursue more moderate foreign policy.
As well as 9 years ago, social slogans are again popular among the bourgeois parties, but regarding the plan of implementation of these slogans again we encounter empty statements of sufficiency of the reforms without cardinal changes in the property relations. The left-wing parties of reformist sense also keep to the purely outward capitalist reforms.
As to Unified Communist Party of Georgia, we are compelled to work practically in underground conditions, without access to Mass media, in the conditions of persecutions and prosecutions. Position of the party was aggravated every year since 2003. This is connected with accruing crisis of the present system which more and more necessitates repressive methods of self-affirmation. Yet, neoliberal capitalism devours itself right in our sight and we are sure that political changes, which shall facilitate our fight for the socialist future of Georgia, are at hand.13
About the Contribution of the German Communist Party
The DKP is just describing and is giving very general statements: “(I)t is mainly the trade unions and the workers movement as whole that can play a decisive role. It is necessary that it cooperates and acts together with other social movements. This is also the reason why the fights of the working class and the activities of the movements must come together on an international level and build up an international network. (....)the working class is the decisive force in these struggles. Anti-capitalist views and critical attitudes towards capitalism are growing.(...) The task of the German Communist Party ....is, ...to .... help strengthening resistance, to contribute to the counterforces in the country getting together and to the aim of establishing broad alliances so that their activities eventually lead to a change towards social and democratic progress....(and)... to work out political strategies for the development of resistance, for the enforcement of progressive reforms, for the support of the necessary fights as well as the way to fundamental social change towards Socialism and to put our results forward in the ongoing dabate.”
“...The evaluation of the crisis made by the DKP involves the notion that the present crisis most probably is a transitional or great crisis. There are first signs of fundamental changes ahead – in the forms of production and of exercising power, in the relationship between capital and labour, in the international balance of powers. In the past few years, the “crisis management” of great capital and its political representatives has lead to a deepening of the financial, economic, social and ecological crises and to a continued cutback of democracy. In the main countries of capital as well, working and living conditions have changed crucially. Deeper social contradictions have emerged, these contradictions cannot be solved within the framework of the capitalist system. In cooperation with the ECB and the IMF, the European Union has clearly enforced the effects of the crisis by implementing financial umbrellas for banks, by persuing rigid austerity and oppressive debt politics, and by cutting back the rights of the workforce.
EU borders are being ‘secured’ against war, poverty and climate refugees. Increasingly aggressive war politics are put in place internally as well as externally. Europe is a whole has been subjected to the interests of profits and power of transnational capital without the contradicting interests of the transnational and national bourgeoisie being lifted. European integration also remains a field of class struggle in particular. In EU Europe, the fiscal package, however, is meant to now finally accelerate and cement reactionary neoliberal politics of deregulation, privatization, and of the cutback of basic rights. Already now, national parliaments have largely been deprived of their power and national sovereignty is being restricted.
Populist far-right parties as well as openly fascist forces can keep winning agreement in EU Europe and in Germany as well.(...)
In this process, we, the German Communist Party DKP think, that it is mainly the trade unions and the workers movement as whole that can play a decisive role. It is necessary that it cooperates and acts together with other social movements. This is also the reason why the fights of the working class and the activities of the movements must come together on an international level and build up an international network.
From an objective point of view, time for the radical disempowerment of the profit sharks, of national and international banks and groups has come
But what are the experiences and the lessons we have learned in the past few years and months?
Nearly all over Europe, protests and resistance are growing, people are taking to the streets against class politics of the rulers. Objectively, the working class is the decisive force in these struggles. Anti-capitalist views and critical attitudes towards capitalism are growing.
This, however, is not yet enough to enforce change. Portugal, Spain, France, Greece, they all show how in such a situation left-wingers are becoming the centre of resistance and that even votes can be won over in elections.
It is all about acting together and at the same time keeping up one’s own political identity and convictions.(...)
The task of the German Communist Party DKP in today’s struggles is, above all, to actively help strengthening resistance, to contribute to the counterforces in the country getting together and to the aim of establishing broad alliances so that their activities eventually lead to a change towards social and democratic progress.
As a revolutionary workers party founding its activities on the theories of Marx ,Engels and Lenin, Communists bear a special responsibility. They must bring the expertise of scientific Socialism into the class struggles and democratic movements. Our task is to work out political strategies fort he development of resistance, for the enforcement of progressive reforms, for the support of the necessary fights as well as the way to fundamental social change towards Socialism and to put our results forward in the ongoing dabate. The German Communist Party DKP points to the fact that there is no solution to today’s economic, social and political contradictions in the framework of the present system.
Looking at the ongoing internationalization of the economy and the integration processes within the framework of the EU, building up another, a socialist order of society can, however, only be carried out within the framework of a process of changes in the same direction involving the main countries of the European Union and the resulting changes of the international balance of powers.
Communists must strengthen their cooperation on an international level - especially in the face of the capitalist crisis, the cooperation of Communist workers and left parties has become an even more urgent task in order to credibly challenge capitalism by offering a Socialist alternative.(...)
In the Federal Republic of Germany, events supporting solidarity with the ones fighting in Spain, Portugal and Greece are being organised. The German Communist Party DKP, as well, is planning a solidarity event mainly involving workers from Greek companies. At the moment, we are also discussing the question if it makes sense and how it is possible to organize an international discussion meeting on a European level. We will send you information on the progress of this project as soon as possible.14
About the Contribution of the Hungarian Communist and Workers' Party
The Hungarian Communist and Workers' Party is taking a consequent communist position, and whatever opinion one can have on some concrete points of analysis or strategy, this overall position should be an example to those parties which are only “describing”, “complaining”, “following the events”, or (as it is the case of for example the WPB), objectively, are preaching reformism and so promoting the continuation of capitalism (imperialism):
“There is no revolutionary situation in Hungary but the question of revolution objectively rises on the agenda. It is clear that capitalist forces are unable to solve the crisis and it will continue for years. If the European affairs worsen, the situation in Hungary could change dramatically. We see it as our task to prepare the party and the working masses for this course of events.(...) It does not mean that there is a revolutionary situation in Europe today. But it means that our duty is to demonstrate to the working people that only socialism can solve their problems. It means that we should fight against ideologies and policies telling the people that they need nothing more than partial reforms, modernisation, a social Europe etc. It means that we should teach our parties to fight on the streets and to prepare them for radical changes. It means that we should seek allies among workers and other working groups of the society suffering from capitalism.”
Or read more:
“On behalf of the Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party I would like to thank the Communist Party of Greece for initiating and organising our meeting today.
We are grateful for the evaluation given by comrade Papariga about the events in Greece. We confirm our solidarity with Greek communists. The KKE has fresh combat experience of class struggle. It is important for our fight. We have included the study of the recent experience of the Greek communists into the agenda of Political Academy of the HCWP.(...)
There is no revolutionary situation in Hungary but the question of revolution objectively rises on the agenda.
It is clear that capitalist forces are unable to solve the crisis and it will continue for years. If the European affairs worsen, the situation in Hungary could change dramatically.
We see it as our task to prepare the party and the working masses for this course of events.
We can say on the basis of concrete facts that the crisis of European and Hungarian capitalism has changed the conduct of the working people and their attitude towards our party.
● The number of people hurt, annoyed by capitalism, is rising. High inflation, high unemployment, the bank credits which people cannot pay are hanging over working masses like a sword of Damocles. Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow.
● More and more people realise that there are no definite individual solutions. You can go to work to Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Scandinavia but it is not the real solution.
● People begin to understand that they should do something to change their life. Unfortunately, in this respect we are still behind Greece, Spain, and Portugal..
● As far as more and more people lose confidence in the parliamentary parties the communist alternative is becoming for many of them a possible alternative. No doubt it is one of the alternatives, but not the single one yet.
● Civic organisations, which some time ago used to share the most anti-communist positions, want to cooperate with us. I am speaking about civic organisations representing people who lost their flats or their car because they are not able to repay their loans to the banks, or organisations fighting against poverty or against the new electoral law limitation the citizens’ right to vote.
● The moral authority of communists, the public respect to us, communists has been raising. There is not an earthquake movement towards us yet but if things are going to be worse - and they are going to be - , our influence can rise rapidly.
The actual conservative government of Mr. Orban swore to save Hungary from the Greek disease. They are full of fear. If the EU cannot solve the crisis, it will immediately lead to worsening of the situation in Hungary. The Greek disease will come inevitably.
The conservative government tries to prevent it by new counterattacks. They buy a part of the workers. The railway transit of goods was privatised and the government gave 5% of the income to the railway workers. Now the government promised to sell some of the shares of the state owned companies to the employees themselves.
The government uses anti-communism, nationalism and Catholicism to frighten people and to change the moral basis of the society. Now they want to change electoral law with the aim to prevent working people to participate in the elections.
What are we doing in this situation?
● First, we explain people that the capitalist system is responsible for their problems, and the system should be changed.
● Second, we go on the streets to hold as much as possible meetings to talk to the people.
● Third, we pay serious attention to the political education of our leading cadres.
● Fourth, we study the experience of other communist parties.
● Fifth, we declared to build up an alliance of workers’ and all working people suffering from capitalism. We are far from being satisfied but we have started this work.(...)
We think that our evaluation of the crisis accepted more than a year ago is correct also today. We said: „The historical limits of capitalism are being demonstrated objectively, as it cannot solve the basic problems of the peoples.” It is correct.
It does not mean that there is a revolutionary situation in Europe today. But it means that our duty is to demonstrate to the working people that only socialism can solve their problems. It means that we should fight against ideologies and policies telling the people that they need nothing more than partial reforms, modernisation, a social Europe etc. It means that we should teach our parties to fight on the streets and to prepare them for radical changes. It means that we should seek allies among workers and other working groups of the society suffering from capitalism.
We agree that capitalism threatens peace. We condemn the aggression against Syria and we support the actual system headed by president Assad. We must not repeat always the same mistakes. We supported Yugoslavia, but we did not support Milosevic. The imperialists have problems not with Syria, but with the anti-imperialist Syria.
The threat of war in Europe is becoming a reality. No matter whether there will be a new European Union subordinated to Germany, or there will be a Europe of two speeds, both of them are wrong for working masses. If capitalism does not see other possibilities they will use war to oppress masses.
The United States would try to regain its lost positions and to re-divide the word. They would attack China and the Islamic world.
The process of the so-called democratic transition in Eastern Europe has stopped. Belarus is alive despite the sanctions. Ukraine turned away from NATO and EU. In Serbia a more national line triumphed on the elections. The EU seems to come to an end of its political possibilities. A war in Europe would be a disaster but capitalism will risk it if it does not see other chances.(...)
Our parties are different. Some of us are in the bourgeois parliament, or even in the bourgeois government. But all of us are communists. To be communist is not just a word. It means that we hate the existing system, we want to overthrow it. This is the word what Marx and Engels used in 19th century. And we should do it in the 21st. And we shall do it.15
About the Contribution of the Workers' Party of Ireland
The Workers Party of Ireland, is making general remarks. You cannot say they are wrong, but in their generality (=dogmatism) they are not a contribution to a concrete strategy. They are also complaining about the ideological power of the bourgeois ideological apparatus (media, reformist politic parties,....). What a difference with the Hungarian Communist and Workers Party!
“In Ireland, in common with the rest of Europe, the crisis is now impacting on all areas of life – employment; social protection; health; education; and the provision of public services. The consequences of this crisis have dealt a devastating blow to working people and the crisis is also being used by capital to expand the power of the capitalist class through the agenda of privatisation. Increasingly, important sectors of education, healthcare, energy, transport, communications and state infrastructure are being transferred from state ownership to private control. Inequality and child poverty has increased. The Irish government is planning to close 40 community nursing units for the elderly. Schools are being closed, hospital services curtailed or ended and public and private sector pensions are under attack.
The Government has also introduced a punitive annual Household Charge which faces a campaign of popular resistance. Students who already face massive cuts to the education system are now confronted with the prospect of local authorities threatening to withhold payment of student grants to children whose parents have not paid the Household Charge in a despicable act which will demonise young people and families already struggling as a result of the cutbacks. Since 2007/2008 there has been a major collapse in employment. Long term unemployment is growing in Ireland. Unemployment is officially at 14.8% and some 16.8% of young people under 25 are now underemployed or unemployed. A recent study has revealed that successive Irish governments have handed over a minimum of almost 21 billion barrels of oil equivalent to transnational oil corporations. The study has estimated that at today’s prices 21 billion barrels of oil equivalent is worth approximately €1,600 billion. While this is merely the price for crude oil, it dwarfs by a factor of almost 25:1 the money “borrowed” from the EU/ECB/IMF Troika. After refining and use in downstream petro-chemical industries that base of €1,600 billion is multiplied into several trillion Euros.
This report makes clear that the long-standing theft of Ireland’s natural resources, its oil and gas reserves, continues. Ireland has immense natural resources which, if harnessed for the benefit of the Irish people, could provide jobs, fuel security, and industrial development and yet the parties which have formed successive governments, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour steadfastly refuse to take this step and opt instead to serve the interests of the monopolies. The Irish government has also appointed the Competition Authority to undertake a review of the role of Ireland’s state ports in what is clearly an attempt to privatise the most lucrative part of Ireland’s major state port companies. At a time when Irish workers and vulnerable sections of Irish society are haunted by fear of further savage cutbacks to basic services which will put their very lives in danger these parties demonstrate their class nature and their philosophy that private profit trumps the needs of the Irish people.
Bourgeois ideology has established almost total dominance in public discourse and debate in Ireland, not only in the mass media but in the universities and schools, in the trade unions and, of course, in the so-called Labour Party. It has reinforced values and beliefs which are the total antithesis of the common good and which seeks to suggest that the economic crisis is simply a temporary aberration as a result of individual greed which can be fixed by a stronger, better, cleaner capitalism. And workers are threatened and intimidated, first sold the lies that “we are all in this together” and that “there is no alternative to austerity” and then left in fear that if the working class do not accept the present economic policies that something else, even more terrible, will befall them - that the present economic system, bad as it may be, is preferable to what may happen if we do something different, that banks are too big to be allowed to fail, the euro too essential to be replaced by something different, and the European Union too important not to succeed. Every day in the mass media these are the unrelenting messages to which workers are subjected.
This was exactly the tactic used in the referendum on the Fiscal Treaty. The adoption of the Treaty means further and permanent austerity measures which will not only subvert the democratic rights, sovereignty and independence of the Irish people but sentence even more of our young people to forced emigration, and increased poverty for those who remain. The European Union remains an irredeemably capitalist project.
It is impossible to understand the crisis or articulate a response without understanding the character of the crisis and setting out a clear class analysis. A false critique of the crisis will facilitate the promulgation of neo-Keynesian “solutions” which fail to acknowledge that capitalism is the problem, not the solution. Capitalist production cannot cease accumulating without disrupting the foundation on which it rests. Capitalist accumulation reflects the concentration and centralisation of production and capital together with the growing exploitation of millions of workers throughout the world. The private ownership of the means of production, private capitalist appropriation and the contradictions of capital formation block the general development of the productive powers of society. Contradictions, crises, social convulsions all demonstrate the incompatibility of social productive development with capitalist relations of production. Capitalism is inherently unequal, exploitative, wasteful and fundamentally undemocratic concentrating instead on consumption, competition, profit and the accumulation of capital. Capitalist production relations and a society organized around production for the accumulation of profit patently does not work, however it is managed.
Structural changes in capitalism lead to crises, imperialism and war. Imperialism, and US imperialism in particular, has threatened, threatens and continues to threaten the progressive, political, economic and cultural development of the vast majority of the human race. US threats of military action against Iran, the Turkish provocations against Syria, the increased military aid by the Obama administration to Israel (a power which already possesses nuclear weapons and has a long history of military aggression against its neighbours), the escalating external pressure on Syria and the growing attacks by criminal terrorist elements demonstrate the dangerous role of the imperialist powers and the attempt by the monopolies and multi-national corporations to seize control of the energy resources of the region. We must demand full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria; an immediate end to all overt and covert financial and military assistance to the so-called Free Syrian Army and other armed terrorist groups and insist that there be no intervention by imperialism against Syria and Iran.
As Marx and Engels pointed out the driving force of modern history is the struggle between classes and the conflict of their interests. It the task of the communist and workers’ parties to make clear to workers that the crisis is systemic, that it did not arise by mismanagement or accident and we must strive to raise class consciousness and to place the peoples struggles manifestly and openly in the arena of class struggle.
We must assert without equivocation that the interests of the capitalist class and the working class are mutually antagonistic and irreconcilable. It is the task of workers in the class struggle to bring about the transition from capitalism to socialism and in order to do this the working class must take power into its hands.
Political struggle is impossible without an ideological struggle. Building a socialist society means abolishing private ownership of the means of production and the exploiter class. A socialist society is built on workers’ power and the construction of a socialist society necessarily involves a revolutionary transformation in which there is a transition of state power from the bourgeoisie to the workers.
In the present circumstances we must be alert to the dangers from reformism and opportunism. The ambition of the social democrats, even those more radical elements which have emerged in several countries in response to the crisis, is at best to stabilise and to manage the crisis.
It is clear both from historical experience of the social democrats in power and their words and actions that they are unprepared to take any step which threatens to change the economic system under which we live and are, indeed, wholly committed to the preservation of capitalist society. No social democratic party is prepared to take a single step to abolish the dominant position of monopoly capital. They have long abandoned any pretence at nationalisation and are easily persuaded along the route of the privatisation of the public sector. Promises to improve, regulate and better manage capitalism, while entirely baseless, must be exposed and a clear alternative characterisation of the crisis provided which highlights the systemic nature of the crisis and the relationship between the power of the monopolies and the state.
Now is the time, against a background of the deepening crisis of capitalism and the increasing intensification of contradictions in capitalist society and where the working class has a vested interest in destroying the old economic order, to mount a counterattack and to advance the arguments for the economic, social, cultural and political advantages of an alternative social system and to reassert the dynamic of socialism as a viable alternative world vision in which the working class possesses absolute power and where the goal is the construction of a society where the “free development of each is the condition of the free development of all”.
There can be no revolutionary change without a revolutionary ideology. This requires the existence of a disciplined and effective Marxist-Leninist party capable of generating revolutionary class consciousness, confronting and exposing opportunism and reformism and demonstrating that there is only one answer to the crisis and that socialism is the answer.16
About the Contribution of the New Communist Party of Netherlands
The NCPN is also more complaining than giving a real contribution in the discussion:
“The confusion among the population in the Netherlands is increasing. The belief in the possibility of capitalism is slowly eroded, but without broad-based alternatives are available. Socialism as a future model is hardly an option in our country. (...)The term socialism is so discredited that it is not easy to use for mobilization. Not yet anyway. (...) (T)he former CPN-leadership, followed by a large proportion of the members decided in the early eighties to liquidate the party because in the Netherlands a communist party would no longer be needed. The living standard was high enough. The gap thus created was politically filled by a former Maoist party - the SP - (...) and also by a number of Trotskyist parties and groups. It took a long time to rebuild a new communist party.”:
“(...)"Hands off our income, our benefits and pensions, our jobs, our social services". "We do not pay for your crisis", "For social progress and socialism" are slogans of our party. Only in a socialist society real changes are possible and not temporally is what we are writing in our party paper Manifest, on our website, in many declarations and discussions.(...)
Till now the ruling class in the Netherlands hesitated to solve their crisis by taking measures in a Greek, Portugese or Irish way.
But in the Netherlands now we will have a new government in a short time. Liberals and social democrats did win the elections, very much influenced by the mass media and mass institutions of the ruling class. These parties will be the leading political forces to establish a new government. Both parties will continue to support the European integration and neo-liberal politics. That means more poverty, more flexicurity, more unemployment and more grave social and financial problems for the working class.
The extreme rightwing party of mr. Wilders did get less votes than before but is still the third party. Promising the people left solutions for the crisis that electoral party without members still have lot's of support from a big part of the working class. Wilders is waiting for the growing social economical problems in the country. Now his attacks on muslims and his xenophobia has been changed in attacks against the EU. Saying his party is fighting the elite, being an anti-system-party. But be sure these are words only. He knows the new attacks on the living standard will come from the EU. So for him the EU is the new main enemy to collect as many votes. Parties as the Dutch PVV of Wilders and Golden Down are doing the same: using the capitalist crisis for their own interests and confuse the working class. We know however what fascism means and what it is leading to.
Many people that voted two years ago for the soft social democrat party - the Dutch tomato party SP - went back to the social democrat party PvdA (Party of Labour)they came from a few years ago now the leadership of the SP took a moderate political position to try to be part of the government. At the end a great part of their newly won electorate did not trust the modernists. They went back to their former party now young leaders came into power using left words and spreading new illusions. Another shock for this part of the working class will follow soon.
The working class in our country in general is still waiting what will happen. The living conditions are still high enough to wait and see. Poverty, unemployment and attacks on social security are growing. The majority of the people however is still hopeful and has many illusions that the crisis will finish and will not knock at their own door.(...)
The gab between what our party says and what the majority of the people thinks is wide! It's not only a question of better and more activities of a communist party also the masses should be prepared better to understand what the communists say, as we have seen in Greece.
Don't forget that it's only since a few years that Capitalism in our part of the world, the former colonialist states, is showing the people the real face. Only a couple of years ago the majority of the working class in the Netherlands - in one way or the other - trusted the capitalist way. Socialism was not an option.(...)
The NCPN takes part in the four-party talks of DKP, KPL, NCPN and PTB. These parties met recently for the seventh year. There are many similarities between Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. But there are also substantial differences between the four countries and political differences between the four parties, despite the fact that the countries are very similar and all are part of the northern countries. This makes comparisons complicated and even more between the struggle in the Mediterranean countries and the northern EU states.
So it is still complicated to make joint analyses and organize joint actions, however the need is growing. The importance of conferences like this is only underlined by this fact. Step by step we need to work on 'unity in diversity' to defeat the common enemy. That process will last very long. Rapid changes - even in countries like Greece - do not seem to arrive. It seems, moreover, that European capital, step by step will be successful in resolving its contradictions and postpone the consequences of the systemic crisis for the system itself with the help of social democracy. At least temporally.(...)
The confusion among the population in the Netherlands is increasing. The belief in the possibility of capitalism is slowly eroded, but without broad-based alternatives are available. Socialism as a future model is hardly an option in our country. On the contrary: The term socialism is so discredited that it is not easy to use for mobilization. Not yet anyway. Everything now is done by the ruling class to continue and strengthen this discrimination process. A large scale of falsification of history in the Netherlands takes place. Fascism and communism are similar in their propaganda. The struggles and successes of the former Communist Party of the Netherlands against German fascism are played down, the successes and achievements of the Soviet Union and other countries of the real existing socialism are being embezzled or made negative. The mistakes magnified.
In the Netherlands these processes are exacerbated because the former CPN-leadership, followed by a large proportion of the members decided in the early eighties to liquidate the party because in the Netherlands a communist party would no longer be needed. The living standard was high enough. The gap thus created was politically filled by a former Maoist party - the SP - that grew rapidly after it changed its political and ideological position and also by a number of Trotskyist parties and groups. It took a long time to rebuild a new communist party. Only since about five years there is stability in the party and growth with serious young cadres. Although the ideology of a great part of the youth in our country is characterized by a high degree of individualism the need for collective stands is growing day by day. Capitalism however tries - till now successful - to put a crowbar between the interests of young and old workers.(...)
The NCPN focuses on the trade union struggle and the struggle in neighborhoods and factories and workplaces. Previously, we also took part in the national debate about war and peace, but since no one in the peace movement in our country except us - because of the false point of view of the SP - wants to put the role of the NATO in the middle of the discussion and we are currently unable to lead or organize such debate, the party now is forced to focus only on the socio-economic struggle. The developments in this field are very progressing.
The struggle against and within de Dutch trade union movement about their role in the Dutch society today is one of the main questions in the Netherlands. Now capitalism is in deep crisis in Europe the position and power of the trade unions and the communist parties is extremely important. After 30 years of Dutch social partnership, class peace and social democratic leadership in the trade unions the grass root members are asking for a change in behaviour of the reformist leadership. No more deals but struggle is the new wave, now the crisis is deepening and the people have to pay the bill. It seems the tendency within the labour movement aimed at a militant trade union movement instead of class peace is on the winning hand. Also this process, however, is not ended in the short term.
For the party now remains first to produce many explanations and ideological struggle with Trotskyites and reformists. The main task for the party consists of the daily struggle of the party to maintain and strengthen the Marxist-leninist education of its own members and internal and external ideological struggle. The NCPN concentrates on the struggle in the factories and the organized vanguard of the working class within the unions. The political and ideological attempts to connect with a growing number of young people without a future within the capitalist society is in the middle of the struggle.(...)
The NCPN recognizes the need for international cooperation of communist parties. We are strong supporters of common meetings like this one and we will continue - as far as possible - participation in international meetings of communist and workers' parties. It's of great importance that KKE is organizing this possibilities. It's of absolute importance to unite, in this part of the world especially for European parties. It's not enough to be strong in your own country, we have to find more and more effective forms of cooperation. Of course the class struggle in our own countries indeed is the basic task, but real concrete and continuous cooperation is becoming more and more important. Exchange of opinions is very important but not enough. We have to produce common analyses and find ways for common actions. We suggest to organize also on specific issues. Very important now is for instance the question how to organize in neighbourhoods and workplaces. Which concrete experiences can we share? How to overcome difficulties in these activities? How can we work as communists in an anticommunist environment but with people that have growing problems with their work and living conditions?
Our class enemies already have strong European tables to coordinate their power and interests. In the EU strong tendencies are developing to strengthen the capitalist integration. Step by step the United States of Europe is growing, although there are huge differences in the way specific capitalist groups try to reach this goal, based on differences between capitalist groups and different states in Europe. Anyhow we have to exchange views, make common analyses about weaknesses and strength of European capitalism today.
More than ever we have to recognize: workers of the world unite!17
About the Contribution of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation
By the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, the analysis based on generalism (= dogmatism) has lead the Party ideology to a very dangerous level of opportunist conceptions. I think that you can compare the actual political line of them with the “economists” or their successors, the “Menchevics”: following the events, making a main point of activity of the parliamentary work, reinforcing a “real parliamentary democracy”, etc:
“We have gathered to discuss the problems of the communist and labour movement under conditions of the protracted global crisis that has hit many countries of the world. It gains the strength and leads to the ever-increasing pressure on a growing number of economies.
The global financial crisis of the recent years has once again confirmed the everlasting value of basic Marxist-Leninist concepts of the cyclic nature of capitalist production and inevitability of crises. However, it must be pointed that this time it has certain significant distinctions. In particular, it is not associated with overproduction in any way.
In the forefront of the global crisis we see the speculative banking capital and international stock market transactions that ignore national boundaries and differences in social and economic policies of states and leveling the conditions of exploitation and oppression of populations.
It should be marked that the financial and economic crisis in Russia has its specific national features. The destructive liberal economic course of the 1990s has resulted in Russia’s exclusive dependence on the export of hydrocarbons and, to a lesser extent, timber and metals. Over the past fifteen years, global hydrocarbon prices have been fluctuating on a very high level. They exceed the mid 1990s level by fifteen times on the average. It is the only reason why the destruction of industry has not had a major impact on the state budget. However, this oil and gas addiction has been damaging for the Russian people. Due to the forced transition to lopsided economic development the level of state security has dropped dramatically. Over 50% of food products is imported. Moreover, their quality is often dubious. The state sanitary control service has been virtually eradicated. The fire surveillance service has been destroyed; thousands of hectares of commercial timber burn out annually. Company hijacking has been replaced with property redistribution by way of legislative lobbying. Corruption has blossomed with renewed vigor with the adoption of the new land, forest and housing codes. The ratio between the aggregate income of the richest and the poorest 10% of the population has reached 40, testifying to the extreme wealth divide of Russia’s population.
Despite the full obedience to the state of formerly independent TV channels and a great number of mass media, diclosing information is leaking to people from our party’s printed editions with a total monthly circulation of some 10 million copies and liberal democratic press.
During the twenty years of domination of the national oligarchy that has brought about an intensive inflow of international capital to Russia, dramatic changes have occurred in the social and economic spheres. It can be said now that de-industrialization is practically completed in Russia. Domestic car making and mechanical engineering giants that constitute the basis of any developed industrial nation have been destroyed. Aircraft, agricultural engineering, food, textile and light industries have fallen to decay. The unified power system and collective farming have been shattered.
All these structural changes cannot but have an impact on our party’s working conditions.
On the one hand, the destruction of major industrial enterprises makes the working movement uncoordinated. The number of workers in our ranks has declined drastically since 1995. Many have melted into the de-classed mass of working people struggling for survival alone at the everyday level, doing unskilled odd jobs. Alongside with the destruction of large working groups, trade unions have also lost their significance with the majority of them turning into an appendage to the unjustifiably overgrown bureaucracy.
On the other hand, during this period small and medium business has fully experienced first-hand all the horrors and power of the corruptive pressure of bureaucracy and has drastically veered to the left. The same has happened to office employees. In the early 1990s, owing to the inflow of foreign capital and establishment of numerous joint ventures with high wages, the white collars became enthralled by illusions of the emergence of a stable middle class. However, actual labor productivity did not grow, and by the early 2000s this prosperity, which was based on the embezzlement of state-owned assets, threw away; the joint ventures eventually found themselves under command of Russian managers unwilling to pay much, and the well-being of hired employees vanished into thin air.
During the twenty years without any state-controlled system offering employment to graduates of higher educational institutions, young people have had a rough time looking for their first job. An overwhelming majority of them are not working in their specialization. The unemployment level acknowledged by the state has reached 7-8 %. Of course, in practice it is much higher.
Many regions are experiencing economic chaos and a complete breakdown of law and order. Prosecutors are giving cover to illegal casinos, officers of law enforcement agencies have strong crime affiliations, and it is now common practice when backbone enterprises are closed down overnight with thousands of employees left jobless. The prime minister has been repeatedly forced to intervene and control the situation manually to prevent social unrest.
Another problem is the wear limit of engineering facilities in practically all sectors of the economy. This problem is aggravated by the lack of technical skills of the staff of major enterprises and by the desire of new owners to cut costs by neglecting the maintenance of sophisticated engineering facilities. Consequently, man-made disasters have become more frequent. The wear level the housing and utilities sector exceeded 70% long ago. Collapses of apartment buildings and major railway and aircraft accidents have become common. In the summer of 2012, the criminal negligence of bureaucrats caused major floods in two towns in the south of Russia.
Until 2010, the country’s population had been decreasing by an average of 800,000 to 1,000,000 annually.
The Communist Party consistently exposes the inability of the ruling United Russia party and the state machinery to provide the required control over the situation in the regions, which leads to staff fluctuations and confusion. We regularly remind citizens of the inability of the authorities to honor their pre-election pledges and carry out numerous governmental programs announced in the not-too-distant past. We have witnessed the total failure of the pension reform in the recent years. Numerous facts of inappropriate use of funds and peculation have come out into the open. Most of them are left unpunished or are simply not brought to court, thus also raising the level of protest sentiments in the society.
In these circumstances, the onset of a global system crisis of capitalism has aggravated the discontent in all strata of the population, has led to a drastic growth of distrust to the announced course of state reforms and in turn compelled the government to take a number of unpopular measures. This is fueled by the lobbying in the State Duma for the ratification of the treaty on joining the World Trade Organization. Communists have consistently spoken not against joining the WTO as such, but against the totally unacceptable time and conditions of joining. Unlike most other countries that have joined the WTO, Russia has come to this stage completely unprepared. Over 400 regulations protecting national producers have not been adopted, and the texts of protocols describing the joining terms were not provided even at the time of voting on this issue. This autumn Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about the need of immediate and efficient upgrade of the entire economy along the lines of the one undertaken by Joseph Stalin in the 1930s.
Understanding that the economy cannot be oil-dependent for a long time, the ruling oligarchy has been aggressively attacking the habitual rights of the Russian citizens in recent years.
For example, they in fact disavowed the constitutional right for free education and healthcare. The number of educational institutions of all levels has been reduced drastically; schools and hospitals are being made self-supporting. The communist faction in the State Duma proposed an alternative draft program for reforming the educational system. Its fundamental difference from United Russia’s program is a guaranteed level of state funding to cover the needs of secondary education in full. United Russia is stalling for time and hindering the discussion of the draft program at a plenary session.
This April, the ruling party made an attempt to push through the State Duma a bill to cancel the state’s obligations to perform capital repairs of apartment buildings. This obligation was imposed on the government by law in 1991, during the initial stage of housing privatization. Actually, this is an attempt to put on citizens’ shoulders costs exceeding 10% of the annual gross product. Besides, to prevent riots, they pushed through a number of laws, in particular the Law on Governor Elections legitimizing political filters that are almost impassable for opposing parties, the Law on Increasing Responsibility Related to Meetings and Demonstrations raising penalties up to USD45,000 for any violation, the Law on Non-Profit Foreign-Funded Organizations, etc. Trying to support the growth of protest sentiments, we successfully insisted on consideration by the State Duma of our bills concerning nationalization of enterprises that were unlawfully privatized and are currently run inefficiently; besides, we demanded the adoption of progressive tax. In September this year, opposing factions of the State Duma proposed a bill On State Control of Prices for Natural Monopoly Services to curb the galloping growth of public utility rates keeping well ahead of inflation. Needless to say, they were rejected by United Russia. This fact was widely covered by mass media controlled by or friendly to our political party.
This year United Russia, instructed by the ruling circles, proceeded with intimidation tactics aimed at the general public and, first of all, opposing deputies as the voice of public opinion. Unlawful repressive actions were taken against two deputies. One of them, representing the communist party, was deprived of his deputy immunity and the other, representing the Just Russia, party, was deprived of his deputy seat in violation of Article 98 of the Constitution without any court proceedings, but exclusively owing to United Russia’s stolen majority of 13 seats.
A social research carried out in 2011 revealed that United Russia’s rating had dropped so low that the government could not expect to get the required number of seats both in December 2011 State Duma elections and in March 2012 local elections. As a counter measure, a plan was adopted to falsify the elections. Of course, falsifications used to take place before, but only locally and their size was determined by the desire to please federal officials. In 2011, such falsifications were made a compulsory requirement and their scale was planned on the federal level and communicated down to the regional level as a compulsory directive. Moreover, regional authorities assisted in these falsifications by directly arranging the transportation of voters from nearby regions. Preventing this form of falsifications is hindered by the introduction of a computerized system for registration of voters moving from one region to another on the election day. For example, during the last elections held on 4 March 2012, the number of voters in large cities was increased by 8-9% by bringing in people from other regions.
Due to many years’ consistent attempts of the Communist Party aimed to reveal the falsifications and manipulation of public opinion both at the community level, through uneven coverage of election campaigns in mass media, and at the legislative level, by pushing through the State Duma laws providing preferences to the ruling party, the general public became widely informed of the scale of falsifications made in previous years. Well in advance in 2011, the Communist faction proposed a package of election-related bills based on the generally accepted international standards for protection of voting results. United Russia’s refusal to adopt these bills is just another evidence that large-scale falsifications were already planned.
As a result, the expectation of large-scale falsifications that had formed in the public mind was accompanied by a sharp desire to prevent them. Suddenly, it became popular with young people to act as observers at voting stations to secure free and fair elections. Hundreds of thousands of non-party people, who had never participated in the election process before, came to our party’s offices requesting to be appointed as election observers. Due to its long-standing consistent policy, clear and well-defined election program and principal errors in the social and economic policy of the ruling United Russia, the Communist Party got 50% more votes than at the previous parliamentary elections. In the presidential election, the incumbent Russian President Vladimir Putin got less than 50% of the vote in Moscow and St. Petersburg. In Moscow, despite the unprecedented election falsification, the Communist party managed to get 13 percent of seats in local authorities, which is two and a half times as much as four years ago.
As a result, the Government got a mass public discontent with the scale of falsification; if earlier only communists spoke about the problem, after 2011-2012 elections the unprecedented falsification and rigging of election results became obvious for thousands of Russians.
This circumstance was capitalized on by the heroes of the 1990s representing liberal and democratic political forces that had successfully destroyed the USSR, broken down the Soviet economy and stolen everything they could lay their hands on using legal loopholes. The Communist Party’S relations with these forces are quite complicated. On the one hand, we cannot afford ourselves to stand together with militant anticommunist figures, on the other hand, tens of thousands of people took to the streets for protests. Many of them believed and still believe genuinely that they are not led by any forces. The Communist Party made a compromise decision. We agreed to partial cooperation. Our representatives stand for fair elections and support of working people’s social rights, but we hold our own mass street protests.
Therefore, summarizing the above arguments, I would like to note that in the context of the impending system crisis of capitalism the Communist Party of the Russian Federation is taking a pro-active stand to expose the essence of this phenomenon by clarifying the reasons why the current national government is unable to reconcile the basic differences between the interests of hired employees and the greed of capitalists, whose sole passion has always been making excessive profit by oppressing workers.
Socialism, without doubt, is the only system capable of settling these differences by ensuring effective government regulation of social and economic processes, repairing the devastated economy and protecting the interests of hired workers. We consider it inexcusable to pursue a wait-and-see policy, since it will invariably have a detrimental effect on the social status of communists. Only by the decisive disclosure of the essence of capitalist crises with their mimicry ability based on the current conditions, as well as by the decisive disclosure of and resistance to the antisocial policy of the oligarchic administration and United Russia as its obedient instrument, the communists will be able to save their place in the public mind.
On the contrary, delays and sluggishness in propaganda efforts and outreach activities will have dangerous ends for our party. There is no empty space on the political arena and indecisive political parties are quickly replaced by new leading forces.18
About the Contribution of the Communist Party of Sweden
I think that, based on generalising (=dogmatic) analysis, the Communist Party of Sweden, is making wrong priorities: By seeing “ as one of its primary obligations to tirelessly propagate against a continued membership in the European Union,” one can conclude, as the CPS conclude for another reason: “ we fight blindly, we are divided and conquered”
“First of all on behalf of the Communist Party of Sweden (SKP) I wish to thank the Greek Communist Party for the invitation and for organizing this important meeting. Furthermore I wish to express our deep solidarity with your heroic struggle as well with the struggle of all our fellow comrades and parties present and non-present here today!
For a long time Sweden has stood as one of the primary examples of the so called Scandinavian model, the model of peaceful coexistence and cooperation between the capitalist and the working class. A truce withheld by the so called welfare state which by social security institutions and progressive taxation sought to even out or compensate for the unequal distribution of wealth caused by the class based society. Based on a high level of organization among the workers and a strong Social Democratic Party this model has been celebrated and pictured as a form of compromise between unchecked capitalism and the real socialism of the former eastern bloc and the Soviet Union. Today it should be perfectly clear to all how treacherous this so called alternative model is and always have been and its historical function as safeguarding the private monopoly of the means of production against democratic control until the working class organizations has become sufficiently undermined, weakened and desillusionized. It was never a compromise, never an alternative, just a prolonged period of capitalistic exploitation saved and paid for by the working people. By letting go of the revolutionary vision and programme the working class organizations under the stern leadership of the Social Democratic Party gradually transformed into an organizational weapon aimed not at the capitalist exploiters but at the workers themselves, whose class interest was replaced by the monopolistic bourgeoisie´s – a process which became more or less complete with the membership in the European Union, initiated by the Social Democratic government in 1991. By willingly restricting the national sovereignty and democratic control and imposing the budgetary and political straightjacket of the EU we now find ourselves in an ever escalating and seemingly uncontestable spiral of privatizations and cut-downs demanded by the monopolistic financial capital safeguarded by the great imperialistic European Union – who’s dictates all parties in parliament, regardless of colour, full heartedly accepts. Our democracy has now become a game of “god cop –bad cop” between the parties holding government and the opposition; a game with the aim and purpose of giving the people an illusion of choice as the agenda of the monopolistic capital is being imposed and our involvement in imperialist aggressions and collaboration with NATO increases and deepens.
In light of this the Communist Party of Sweden sees as one of its primary obligations to tirelessly propagate against a continued membership in the European Union and for cutting all ties with NATO; to educate the people on the true nature of this imperialistic union and to remind the working class of its historical imperative: to take control over the means of production and replacing the horribly dysfunctional, destructive and exploitive capitalist mode of production with a socialistic one. A struggle which by absolute necessity must be oriented and guided by Marxism-Leninism with the socialist mode of production as concrete alternative and solution to the deep contradictions and problems inherited in capitalism – an aim functioning both as the common reason and model for the immediate problems facing the working class in all its diverse and specific situations.
Without theory we fight blindly, we are divided and conquered.
Furthermore it is of outmost importance to contradict and fight every form of nostalgic view of the so called welfare state and the good old days of the Scandinavian model – it should be viewed and condemned as the illusory solution to the class struggle that it always was. It should be condemned as a retreat from the absolutely necessary aim and goal of the working class for the sake of petty crumbles from the tables of the bourgeoisie; as the road leading to the current situation of unemployment, insecurity and impoverishment and the ever increasing segregation and segmentation of society.
The road of capitalism is the road of imperialistic military aggressions and competition; of growth of the repressive state apparatuses defeating more and more of the basic human rights in a gradual development and realization of the fascistic tendency of monopoly capitalism.
It should be clear - and it is our most pressing obligation to make it clear - that a future worthy of its name can only be realized as socialism – the road to communism!19
About the Contribution of the Communist Party of Turkey
This good analysis, which is very concrete, is leading to good strategical conclusions. Of course there can be – non-antagonist - discussions about some conclusions, but discussions which are facilitated by the concreteness of the analysis of the Communist Party of Turkey, No “complaining”, no giving priority to “parliamentary activity”.... In fact, for me, the Communist Party of Turkey is giving an example what advantage it would be when Turkey would JOIN the European Union, an so expanding the European working class by millions AND its organisation of the working-class vanguard by “adding” the Communist Party of Turkey to a European Communist Party: I am sure that the discussion “first disengagement out of the EU before a (national) revolutionary change” would be resolved:
“I would like to dwell on the following point made by Comrade Papariga in her introductory speech to this meeting. Comrade Papariga said, “any peculiarities in the manifestation, the intensity or the duration of the crisis from country to country do not determine the character of the crisis neither should they influence the strategy and the tactics of the communist party.”
This point shall be highlighted, as clearly stated by Comrade Papariga, for the entire communist movement. Yet, it shall be highlighted for the case of Turkey in particular as the peculiarities in the manifestations of the crisis are quite different than those in Europe. Nevertheless, the strategy and the tactics of the communist movement in countries such as Turkey do not and shall not differ in its essence.
What are those manifestations?
As regards the economic situation in Turkey, if we take the statistics at face-value, we cannot talk about an ongoing economic crisis. Representatives of the bourgeois government constantly brag about the economic performance of the Turkish economy, which grew around 8.5 percent last year and 3.5 percent in the first half of this year on a year-to-year basis. The official unemployment rate has declined to 8.9 percent as of June 2012 and the serious current account deficit seems to be falling as economic growth decelerates.
Yet, these are very crude data indicating only superficially that the Turkish economy is doing relatively well. If you go to further detail on each and every indicator showing the performance of the Turkish economy, you see deep vulnerabilities; a country that is walking on a knife edge.
For instance, the sharp decline in the rate of growth points to a hard landing. One may say 3.5 percent growth is still okay considering the situation in the world economy. However, when you look a little bit further, you see that the sustainability of these growth rates is strictly dependent on capital inflows from abroad. As net capital inflows to Turkish economy declined around 31 per cent with respect to the first half of last year, the growth rate had shrunk almost 60 percent. In other words, the growth performance of Turkish economy relies widely on the decisions taken by the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve. Yes, there are attempts to attract more capital from the sheikhdoms of the Gulf, but the Turkish economy is large enough that would not allow it to keep its macroeconomic balances intact solely by the help of the money channeled through Islamic finance institutions.
The current account deficit, that had been more than 10 percent of the GDP since the latest trough in 2009, seems to be recovered. However, the declining volume of imports is nothing but a manifestation of the falling domestic demand and growth. On the other hand, around 20 percent of the rising volume of exports is “fictitious” gold exports to Iran, which reached to 1.7 billion in the first half of this year. If you deduct this fictitious amount from the volume of exports, you get the real rate of growth further decelerated to 2.6 percent, and a still ongoing problem of large current account deficit even though the economy is slowing down.
And finally, the rates of unemployment… At this juncture, we have the well-known tricks to hide the real level of unemployment and misery. But if you look further into the data, you see that Turkey has the highest level of urban unemployment and one of the highest youth unemployment rates in Europe. Furthermore, if Turkey had a “labor participation rate” equal to that of Spain, it would have an official unemployment rate of 24.2 percent, which is only slightly below Spain’s 25.1.
Enough for the outlook of Turkish economy…
In short, even though the current situation does not manifest an economic crisis in Turkey, each and every data shows that the Turkish economy is on a knife edge;and its prospects are very much dependent on what is going on in imperialist centers. But the economic situation in Turkey, the deepening immiseration and exploitation of toiling masses are not perceived as the major manifestations of crisis. The crisis is perceived rather very deeply at the political sphere, in the form of social resistance and resentment from the ruling the party’s policies and the new regime it had established.(...)
Communist Party of Turkey has been emphasizing that there has been a procedure of regime change in Turkey, which started in 2002 and pretty much completed with the general elections of June 2011. The main pillars of the First Republic established in 1923 had been destroyed in order to build the Second Republic based on pro-market, pro-imperialist, expansionist and Islamic foundations.
This is not to say that the First Republic excluded these characteristics entirely, but the new regime has reinforced the anti-popular elements of the bourgeois republic while eradicating any progressive element in it. The regime change in Turkey, akin and precedent to those happening in the Middle East and North Africa, enabled Turkish capitalism to assume more active roles for the sake of imperialist interests in the region, and to this end, this new type of articulation with imperialism has been supported drastically by the United States.
Yet, as our party has been emphasizing for a long time, the regime change in Turkey does not and cannot render this country politically stable. Indeed, the very roles embraced by the Second Republic of Turkey in the region have proved to be sources of dire instabilities.
The aggressive role pursued by Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the imperialist “proxy war” in Syria, for instance, led to severe disturbances especially among the Arabs and the Alawites in Turkey. As the border town of Hatay, which is widely populated by Arabic Alawis, has been resisting to the installation of Syrian Islamist groups and all sorts of foreign intelligence services operating in the region, the AKP government’s search for legitimizing its actions against Syria has taken a major blow. Such resistance and repulsion have not only remained local, but also become widespread among especially the Alawite population.
The quest of the new regime of Turkey in the region has also made the Kurdish issue even worse. Despite all the talk of the AKP government on a new, so-called “Kurdish opening”, hundreds die every month in the Kurdish war. On the other hand, the pretext of the government for the deteriorating situation on an alleged Syria-Iran-PKK alliance hold no water since it is the AKP government itself that has riddled the borders for the mercenaries. As the Kurdish war has grown worse, the talks on the so-called “Kurdish opening” have lost its credibility not only among the Kurdish people but for the Turkish people as well.
As the new regime of Turkey has been up a blind alley with its Neo-Ottoman fantasies, it pushed forward even further Islamization and oppression inside the country. The new system of education imposed by the government foresees children at the age of 9 to be enrolled in religious schools. Many ordinary public schools have been transformed into religious vocational schools, and hours of new religious courses have been imposed in the curricula of all primary and secondary schools. Such agenda is defended militantly by the Prime Minister himself as a prerequisite for “raising religious generations”.
Sunni Muslim indoctrination in public schools goes hand in hand with increasing pressure exerted on secular social behaviors and conducts, with opening huge religious complexes in metropolitan areas etc. There is, as well, a resistance especially among the urban population against such reactionary policies and oppression.
Furthermore, as the new regime imposes greater Islamization and authoritarianism, and show further aggression against neighboring countries in the region, many people have been disillusioned from the political trials that are actually designed to purge the leading cadres of the old regime. For a huge section of the population, these trials are nothing but a sham that are staged for the sake of building a new, Islamist regime. On the other hand, many people start to realize that the purged elements of the old power bloc are defeated, powerless and incompetent vis-à-vis the attacks of the Second Republic.(...)
In a nutshell, this is how the crisis manifests itself in Turkey. There has been a regime change, which does not and cannot render Turkish capitalism stable and safe. A huge section of the population; the workers, the youth, poor peasants, the Kurdish people, the Alawite poor etc. resent from the Second Republic and resist the Islamist transformation it imposes.
The social democracy and the opportunist, liberal sections of the “left”, serve several crucial functions for legitimizing the deeds of the new bourgeois regime. First of all, they serve to isolate the resisting social elements from each other. They isolate the Alawite poor from the Kurdish people, the workers from the families who resist the Islamic indoctrination in public schools etc. The liberals that present themselves as the “left” still try to legitimize the acts of the AKP government and its new regime under the banner of “democratization” and claim “Islamization” and “populism” as one and the same.
So what would the communists do under these circumstances; how would we interfere?
The crucial point is to indicate the class character of opposition to the new bourgeois republic, to underline that its anti-peoples stance is a whole and it can be defeated only as a whole. We have to clarify the class interests common to all resisting elements in Turkey, we need to unify these elements under the agenda of building a Third Republic, the Socialist Republic of Turkey.
We need to politicize the social resistance against expansionist and reactionary policies, and make it clear for the toiling people that deepening capitalist exploitation and immiseration of the working class constitute the objective ground for all these. We have to debunk the myths created by the opportunists, the liberals, who claim that Islamist Turkey is more democratic. We have to challenge the social democracy which divides and alienates the resisting elements to the logic of the new regime.
In short, the communists must unify the various elements of resistance, which have been consolidated as the crisis deepens, under the banner of socialism by pointing to the working class interests. This is the way how the communist movement will achieve a mass character. This is the way how the struggles will achieve a well-aimed political orientation.20
, ECM 2012, Contribution of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia [En.], (Published: 04.10.2012)
15http://inter.kke.gr/IntAct/int-meet/ecm2012/ecm-hungarian-cwp-en, ECM 2012, Contribution of the Hungarian Communist and Workers' Party [En.], Contribution of Gyula Thürmer,, president of the Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party, (Brussels, 1-2 October 2012.)