On 1 and 2 October the KKE organised a European Communist Meeting. I made my comment about the initiative itself (here), I commented the “contribution” of the WPB (PVDA/PTB) here and the (at least those in English) contributions of some of the participating parties here.
I think at the end one can detect a contradiction between the attempt to develop (with discussion, study and ideological struggle) a revolutionary strategy (as the KKE for example is doing, but also some other parties in the ECM.....) and the attempt to submit the parties of the ECM to a REFORMIST “strategy (using some existing points of opportunism in a pseudo-Marxist reasoning).
There can only exist at the end (after a struggle between real scientific analyse in order to find the most effective revolutionary strategy and analyse which has just the purpose to “prove” the already -in advance - taken reformist positions) just one correct analysis, which will lead to the best possible revolutionary strategy.
When metaphysical and idealistic mistakes are not detected and so not countered, the conscious revisionists can replace the struggle between two lines by a struggle between two (or ore) “opinions” all placed on the same level.
A second “tactic” followed by conscious revisionists is to use one opportunist aspect in the whole of a for the rest authentic revolutionary analyse, to “correct” that one opportunist point by one (on itself) “more” correct analysed aspect, and so based on this “correction”to counter the for the biggest part of a revolutionary strategy by their advanced (and so “proved” to be correct by that one correct aspect) REFORMIST strategy.
The development of a revolutionary strategy is not guaranteed free from some opportunism, as for the defence of a reformist strategy, also correct arguments can be used.
I think that the KKE is basing her analyse of the actual capitalist world on dogmatic conceptions of what is capitalism in its imperialist stage.
“The workers’ people’s power will proceed to the disengagement from the imperialist unions, NATO and the EU, that is to say from the NATO of wars, interventions and threats against the peoples and the EU of the 30 million unemployed and the 127 million people who live below the poverty line, the EU which was built in order to serve the interests of capital, the multinational companies at the expense of people and will become more reactionary (...)
The EU is not a supranational organization, but it is an inter-state imperialist union. That is to say a union of capitalist states, in which the bourgeois class and its parties unite their forces against the peoples.
The bourgeois state remains the basis of the monopolies. The bourgeois state as an apparatus for the oppression of the working class by the bourgeoisie does not disappear inside the imperialist union, but it adjusts its functions. We see this every day. The conflict of interests, the competition for new markets and for more profits remains, the inter-imperialist contradictions are sharpening.
Unequal relations are manifested among the capitalist states inside the inter-state union, and inside the imperialist system more generally, due to the differences that exist in their historical starting points, their development potential, their geographical advantages, their economic and military-political strength.1”
So is their development of a revolutionary strategy “influenced by nineteenth century's liberal nationalism”, as I see it (read here my analysis, here another comment) Remark: the KKE is not the only CP which is influence by that form of nationalism, read here about French communists and here and here my attempt to develop some theoretical analysis against this.
The CONSCIOUS revisionist (having a big knowledge of the works of Marx, Lenin, etc....) - as had in a similar way the “renegade” Kautsky a very good knowledge of the works of Marx - is grasping this one opportunist aspect of analyse, replace it by a “more correct” analyse, by which he will “prove” the revolutionary character .....of his REFORMIST strategy.
Read how Jo Cottenier is “correcting” the KKE:
“With the concentration and centralization of capital at the European level, the European big bourgeoisie is fighting to build a European State. An imperialist State, better capable than the current patchwork of nations to defend the interests of capital on a world scale. The appearance, next to its old competitors, the USA and Japan, of the emerging countries, headed by China, has doubled the EU's fervour to save the Euro and the European construction. The mere fact that the old Europe has to beg for financial help from China is revealing for the new correlation of forces. The European Union is a competitive war machine against the peoples and for world domination. This imperialist character of the European construction is supported by all bourgeois parties -- which does not withhold several of them to play the card of nationalism to divide the working class and the masses.2”
Based on these - on itself - correct statements Jo Cottenier of the WPB will come to a defence of a REFORMIST strategy (in the form of “one of the possible proposals of the communists advanced in their mutual discussions”):
“(W)e have to ask ourselves the question of which strategy for the communist parties. The communist parties are at the vanguard of the mobilization to defend the social achievements, the collective services and the purchasing power of the workers, those receiving social allowances and their families. Everywhere we put our finger on the deeper source of this crisis, the capitalist system, and we explain that the only way out of this barbarity is socialism. However, we are forced to observe that there are three different strategies – outside of the one proposed by the Party of the European Left – that co-exist among us regarding the attitude to adopt vis-à-vis the European Union, notably on the slogan of national sovereignty. There are those parties that defend a return or a strengthening of national sovereignty as an intermediate demand, in order to create better conditions for socialist revolution. There are those parties that reject national sovereignty as a slogan under capitalism but who conceive the revolution at a national level, as a way to leave the European Union and build another Europe. I want to clarify the third position, undoubtedly in the minority, which is ours.
I will tackle it using an example. Our party has been waging, for several years already, a campaign against austerity and budget cuts by propagating as a direct alternative a tax on fortunes that could yield 8 billion Euro, or 2% of Belgium's GDP. To stress that such a tax would only touch the 2% richest Belgians, we baptized it the 'millionaires' tax'. The campaign pops up every time anti-people measures are decided, in a way that the word 'millionaires' tax' has already become a concept in the national press. It was at the heart of the discussions among the masses and in the media when mister Bernard Arnault, the first fortune of France, demanded Belgian citizenship to evade taxes and plan for his heritage without the French State's interference. You should know that Belgium is considered by the OECD just like the Cayman Islands, because of its fiscal benefits for the capitalists and the wealthy.
The bourgeois parties often reply to us: yes, but over the past twenty years all other European countries have progressively liquidated a tax on fortunes. The only exception is France, and see what happens: all the wealthy French flee with their fortune. We have always responded to them: the only way to remedy this is to reintroduce such a tax everywhere in Europe, and it is for us, in Belgium, to set the example. So why not, and I address myself to the parties present here, why not launch such a campaign in the whole of Europe? You can count for yourself how much 2% of the GDP, now amassed in the coffers of the wealthy, could do to greatly diminish the suffering of the popular masses. Until now, there is even nothing in the Lisbon Treaty, the European constitution, that goes against imposing such a measure at a national level. But our party wants to go beyond that. Why not counterpose such a measure at a European level to the memoranda, the budgetary dictates, the privatization orders and the attacks on the pensions?3”
The proletarian class-position of the KKE is opposing the petty-bourgeois prayers of the WPB for “socialism without revolution”
While the KKE is still not aware of their development of “some” opportunism (but this can only be solved by internal discussion which can last some time), they are opposing reformism as is presented by the WPB:
”The KKE is struggling on a daily basis for goals of struggle which correspond to the people’s interests. It struggles for the increase in the taxation of capital, at the same time it is struggling for the increase of salaries and pensions, for free social services, for the reduction in the taxation of families from the popular strata.
The combining of the goals of struggle is necessary, but what is central is the direction in which this struggle is incorporated. What is central is that the struggle for one or the other problem is incorporated into the efforts for the improvement of the organization of the working class, the change of the correlation of forces, it must be incorporated in the struggle for the overthrow of the system, for the abolition of the regime of the exploitation of man by man.
The violation of this line of struggle, the substitution of strategy by current initiatives regarding one or the other problem leads the communist parties onto pathways for the management of the system.
Even if the goal for the increase in the taxation of capital is achieved, it does not negate the basic tendency of capital which is connected to the political line of the bourgeois state for the reinforcement of business activity, for the strengthening of the competitiveness of capital, the funding of businesses from the state budget.
The struggle for socialism cannot simply be a statement, a proclamation. It is the basic direction which determines the daily activity of the communists in every field. In this direction the class struggle can be strengthened and the communists should play the leading role in order to create strong bases in the factories, in the workplaces, to strengthen the class unity of the working class, to defeat the forces of class collaboration in the trade union movement, to defeat opportunism and every management policy..4”
1http://inter.kke.gr/News/news2012/2012-10-03-ecm-kleisimo/, The closing speech of Giorgos Marinos, member of the PB of the CC of the KKE, at the European Communist Meeting
2http://inter.kke.gr/IntAct/int-meet/ecm2012/ecm2012-belgiumwp-enhttp://inter.kke.gr/IntAct/int-meet/ecm2012/ecm2012-belgiumwp-en,ECM 2012, “Contribution of the Workers' Party of Belgium (PTB) on the European Conference of Communist Parties, by Jo Cottenier, member of the Party Bureau of the Workers' Party of Belgium (PTB), Brussels, 1-2 October 2012http://inter.kke.gr/IntAct/int-meet/ecm2012/ecm2012-belgiumwp-en,http://inter.kke.gr/IntAct/int-meet/ecm2012/ecm2012-belgiumwp-en
3http://inter.kke.gr/IntAct/int-meet/ecm2012/ecm2012-belgiumwp-enhttp://inter.kke.gr/IntAct/int-meet/ecm2012/ecm2012-belgiumwp-en,ECM 2012, “Contribution of the Workers' Party of Belgium (PTB) on the European Conference of Communist Parties, by Jo Cottenier, member of the Party Bureau of the Workers' Party of Belgium (PTB), Brussels, 1-2 October 2012http://inter.kke.gr/IntAct/int-meet/ecm2012/ecm2012-belgiumwp-en,http://inter.kke.gr/IntAct/int-meet/ecm2012/ecm2012-belgiumwp-en
4http://inter.kke.gr/News/news2012/2012-10-03-ecm-kleisimo/, The closing speech of Giorgos Marinos, member of the PB of the CC of the KKE, at the European Communist Meeting