In ”The International role of China”, Elisseos Vagenas, member of the CC of KKE, responsible for the international section of the CC made an analysis about the actual character of China.
Almost three years later Alexandré Garcia wrote a critic on this analysis: “En defensa del pueblo chino (1a parte)”.
I wrote first my opinion about the original reasons why Elisseos Vagenas (or the KKE) produced his analysis, in: Will the WPB/PVDA/PTB join the accusation that the KKE is (still) not free of 'Chruchov-Breznjevian “left”-formulated, revisionism'?(1)
Later I analysed the “critic” of Alexandré Garcia in: Will the WPB/PVDA/PTB join the accusation that the KKE is (still) not free of 'Chruchov-Breznjevian “left”-formulated, revisionism'?(2) I concluded that the critic-article of Alexandré Garcia is not a consequent Marxist analysis. In fact where he is accusing the KKE-cadre Elisseos Vagenas of dogmatism he, himself, is not free of dogmatism!
Alexandré Garcia is referring several times to the Workers Party of Belgium (WPB/PVDA/PTB) or/and to its former president Ludo Martens.
Well, I am glad for this! It give me the opportunity to prove (with the example of the negative teacher) to what opportunism can lead. Dogmatism, proof with presumed historical analogy, eclecticism, it is all used as Marxist-sounding phraseology, in order to submit the party to a revisionist ideology which lead the WPB from a revolutionary communist party to a reformist (so bourgeois, capitalism preserving/protecting) party.
The references of Alexandré Garcia to the WPB and/or its former president Ludo Martens
I translated the Spanish into English:
The "official" communist parties of the pro-Soviet, participating at the International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties (IMCWP)1, have not, overwhelmingly, brotherly ties with the PRC, except for the exceptional case of the Workers Party of Belgium (one of the few parties of "Maoist" inspiration which not broke relations with China after the coming to power of Deng), or the Communist Party of Spain, which during their "euro-communist" stage, wove ties of brotherhood with the CPC by a series of historical circumstances, motivated by alliance policy of the CPC in its fierce confrontation with the Soviet Union. But generally, apart from certain organizations, of euro-communist origin, it seems that most of the parties attending the IMCWP share in more or less the critics of the leadership of KKE against China.
Moreover, the hoxhist parties (which are also present in Greece), hate anything that smells of China or Maoísm due to his blind suivism of the lurches which had Enver Hoxha in those days, who first had sympathy for the " Mao Zedong Tought " but ended in most extreme anti-Maoism2.
As the nostalgic Maoists of the Cultural Revolution, which are not exactly in favor of China today, (even if the leadership of the KKE and other related "pro-Soviet" parties try to cram everything what seems "pro-Chinese "in the same bag), if not practically disappeared in most countries (with few exceptions), are those who hate the most the new China which has taken off with Deng. In fact, we can say that the Marxists who, recognizing the positive role played by Mao Zedong in the past, are defending a greater or lesser extent actual China and the political decisions of Deng Xiaoping, are a rarity. As I said, the rare exceptions in the international communist movement, are for example the Workers Party of Belgium (WPB/PVDA/PTB) or the PC of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) led by Comrade Harpal Brar.3. (....)
I should therefore first make a brief reminder of the revisionist distortions of the Marxist-Leninist theory made by the leaders of the CPSU after the death of Stalin, and which did so much damage to the cause of communism in the world. These are some issues already known by many Communists in Spain, but probably not so for certain sectors of the communist movement, especially the younger communist movement. Therefore, I regret to not dwell much on these issues, I will discuss very sucintamente.1 Therefore, regretting not to dwell much on these issues, I will discuss very briefly.4 (the NOTE is pointing at the book which in fact assembled the CONGRESSDOCUMENTS of the 4th congress of the WPB in 1991:”The USSR, the velvet contrarevolution”, - Nico Oldenhof)
In the XX Congress of the CPSU (1956), in which the group Khrushchev took power, and clearly in contrast to the previous policy headed by Stalin:
- A complete and unilateral denial of Stalin, who was condemned as a criminal and despotic leader, lancing towards his person a series of slanderous and baseless accusations. Something like what the comrade Vagenas is doing with the People's Republic of China. With that denial of Stalin which did Khrushchev in his famous "secret report", resulting in a first mortal blow to the dialectics, since on Stalin was put all the blame of the developments of evils that could happen to the Soviét Union5, so breaking with the Bolshevik tradition of criticism and self-criticism, and making the way for the complacency that so characterized the Soviet leaders after Stalin's death.(...)
Later, under the period of Brezhnev, between 1965 and 1982 (the period with which Comrade Vagenas clearly identified himself, as can be inferred from reading his article), minor changes were made to the political line of the CPSU, without giving up the revisionist essence that characterized it. Other aspects of the revisionist line remained intact.
Indeed, to the discontent which generated in the lower levels of the Party the historical revision of the figure of Stalin and the rightist line which Khrushchev brought in international politics, with Brezhnev open attacks on Stalin ceased6. Also stopped the obsessively talking about the advantages of "peaceful coexistence" as a panacea that would solve all the world's problems. Instead, the foreign policy of the Soviet Union was directed towards a major confrontation with imperialism and towards greater cooperation with socialist and anti-imperialist struggles of the peoples of the world (the radical shift from the Soviet Union in 1965 to decide to support militarily Vietnam, as well as examples of Ethiopia, Angola, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, etc.., attest to this). Moreover, the new policy of confrontation with imperialism adopted a radical different way then the previous policy of Khrushchev, from the "peaceful competition" to a frantic arms race in order to overcome military capacity to imperialism, as Brezhnev stated was"impotent before the march of history "7. A policy which only served to accelerate the self-collapse of the Soviet Union.
However, in regard to the theses about the peaceful transition to socialism8, the "state of the whole people" and the "party of the whole people," Brezhnev not refuted them the least, and even developed them9. And although in international politics a left turn seemed to occur, in domestic politics deepened, at an incomparably faster rithm, measures to the restoration of capitalism. Thus the "Kosygin reform"10 in the year 1965, the key, which torpedoed central planning, stating that the five-year plans were not mandatory but were simply a set of "guidelines" and that each state enterprise taken separately should seek maximum profit and profitability. Among other measures, was demanded that state enterprises had to pay for the means of production. Thus, state enterprises were in fact functioning as capitalist enterprises. From there the black market went through the roof and proliferated further capitalist elements who had already distanced from the people and occupied positions of privilege with Khrushchev, and later became known as the "Nouveau Riches of Brezhnev".11
Alexandré is accusing the KKE of a Breznjev-like-revisionism because the KKE is - according to him - “softer” against the Soviet-Union in the Breshnev-years as the KKE is judging TODAY China. Because the CCP was very critical against the developments under the Breshnev-regime, it is clear for Alexandré Garcia, that China would never apply TODAY, what it criticized THEN.
(...) (W)ith Brezhnev, although the foreign policy of the Soviet Union had taken a turn to the left with respect to the revisionist line of Khrushchev, leaving aside the obsessive advocacy of "peaceful coexistence", that policy continued to maintain the same reactionary line, the same chauvinist nature of great power. Great-power chauvinism which with Brezhnev reached greater heights. If the nuclear weapon became for Khrushchev to be the new engine of history, to Brezhnev the engine of history is the socialist camp with the Soviet Union to the head. But for both, the Soviet Union is the "driving force" that by itself advances the cause of socialism in the world. In his report to the XXIV Congress of the CPSU in 1971, Brezhnev said: "The world socialist system is the decisive force in the struggle against imperialism [...] Each time it takes to help the victims of aggression, the Soviet soldier appears before the world as a selfless and courageous patriot, as an internationalist willing to overcome any difficulty. " But despite all the fine words and all the good intentions, this statement represented a distortion of the Marxist-Leninist theory of revolution.
As Ludo Martens said, criticizing the same thesis: "By saying that the Soviet Union is the" decisive force "in the struggle against imperialism, Brezhnev tends to place countries and anti-imperialist peoples under his " protection." He rejects the starting point of any revolutionary vision of the world: it are the people who make history; the working masses of the third world are the architects of their own liberation; the anti-imperialist consciousness, the organizational capacity and the power of struggle of the peoples of the third world are the main factor in the struggle against imperialism. "12(this quote could also had come out of the by the 4th WPB-congress apporoved document :”The URSS, the Velvet Contra-revolution”, - Nico Oldenhof) And not the" world socialist system ", as claimed by the Soviet revisionists. (...)
Therefore, to Brezhnev the victory of socialism in the world would not occur by a number of qualitative leaps that would be the sum of "concrete, imperfect and varied attempts to create one or another socialist state" but would be the result of small quantitative increases of the "sphere of influence" to Soviet throughout the world (including military interventions). And so is lost out of sight of an elementary law of dialectics, which is the priority of the qualitative jumps over quantitative leaps. This growth in the trend toward hegemonism is what gave rise to a theoretical formulation made by Brezhnev, which was the theory of "non-capitalist development." Following a thread of continuity with Khrushchevite revisionism, Brezhnev considered a number of third world countries under Soviet "protection" as "socialist-oriented countries," despite the fact that those countries were feudal, semi-feudal regimes or simply bourgeois. This was the case of countries with social and economic conditions as disparate as Angola, Mozambique, Syria, Burma, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and South Yemen.13 14
In fact, the conclusion of the analysis of Alexandré Garcia is:
“A lot of communist parties (in the IMCWP) followed the KKE in its revisionist attacks on socialism in China and on the CCP. Only a few communist parties remain on the correct Marxist course of refuting chruchevian revisionism (of attacks on Stalin) and so defending the achievements of the October-revolution, defending the achievements of socialism under Mao after the Chinese revolution AND defending the continuing of real building of socialism after the death of Mao and the coming to power of Deng Xiaoping. In fact there are just the CPB(ml)....and the WPB/PVDA/PTB.”
My analysis (knowing the WPB from the inside): the positions of the WPB and those of its former president Ludo Martens are not automatically identical and even - more and more - OPOSING each other
Well, as someone who know the WPB from the inside (I was militant in the WPB almost from its founding in 1979, lead several basis-”cells”, participated in the “study-service”, and worked my whole “working-career” as a production-workers in two multinationals with production-base in Belgium (where I was two times an elected union-steward,....in 2005 expelled by the self-installed REVISIONIST leadership) I am well placed to comment this statement. But I will PROVE this with texts of the WPB itself!
First, the most analyses, for which the WPB is known and appreciated in the IMCWP, are the analyses made by her former president Ludo Martens. What apparently NOT is known that those analysis are “just” the analyses by “just” Ludo Martens, although they FORMALLY were approved on the 4th and the 5Th congress, so getting (but just formally) the label of party-statement. But they are NEVER assimilated by the majority of party-militants and -cadres. A lot of the positions taken once by Ludo Martens are TODAY even refuted by the (leadership of the) WPB/PVDA/PTB or “replaced” by OPPOSING positions.
Some of the positions taken by the (leadership of the) WPB TODAY, and which are “supported” by communists as Alexandré Garcia, are NOT positions once taken by Ludo Martens.....I will prove that THOSE positions are similar to positions.....once taken by chruchevian-revisionists. ALSO is there a similarity between the positions taken by the CCP under Deng Xiaoping and the positions taken by.....Chruchev.: “state of the whole people”, “party of the whole people”, “end of the class struggle”, “peaceful coexistence”...... The Russian translation of the title of Dengs program “Reform and Opening” is .......”Glasnost and Perestroika”.
Positions of Ludo Martens which ought to be (because approved on 4th or 5th WPB-congress) positions of the WHOLE WPB. (ACTUAL WPB-leadership takes OPPOSING positions)
It is now, today, that I realise how the actual revisionist leadership once manipulated the congresses in preparation of a later “revisionist transformation”.
Important political analyses (compared with analyses made in the KKE and then submitted to the 19th congress) made by Ludo Martens - when he was still on congresses elected president of the WPB – should have normally been discussed, eventually amended and then voted in order to be a party-point-of view which had to be assimilated by alle party-members.
But those analyses, presented as “books written by Ludo Martens” are integrally – but very formally – presented as “party-points-of view” in reports ABOUT the congresses. And - in the beginning – everybody was urged “to buy, read and promote around him or her “ those books. But this “guideline” quiet down and now (while those books are not printed and sold anymore by EPO itself) the new leadership can take OPPOSING positions whith former positions.
So for example there is the book (not existing in English) “From Tien An Men to Timisoara - struggle and debates inside the PVDA(WPB) (1989-1991)”, (EPO, 1994, ISBN 90 6445 898 7)
In the book “Party of the revolution” (compilation of the documents of the 5th congress in 1995) there is made references to the book “From Tien An Men to Timiisoara...”:
“Inside the Workers Party of Belgium is existing a huge consensus on decisive political questions on which a lot of organisations have split.
These consensus is the result of broad debates: and is formulated in definitive documents.(...) “From Tien An Men to Timisoara” (...)”The USSR, the velvet contra-revolution” (...) ”Another view on Stalin”...”15
I will give some CONCRETE examples about these OPPOSED positions of the “earlier” WPB and of the ACTUAL WPB, in the next article.
1Alexandré Garcia meant here the IMCWP as they are organised yearly since 1999, see here: http://www.solidnet.org/1st-imcwp/1999-1st-imcwp
2 See section "Some questions about China" report to the Plenum of the Central Committee of the PCE (m-l), Februari 2011 http://www.pceml.info/2012/02/14/informe-aprobado-por-el-pleno-del-comite-central-del-pce-m-l-extractos/
4 For those who want to be more documented on the break with Marxism-Leninism as became a fact on the XX and XXII Congress of the CPSU, I recommend reading “the Polemic about the general line of the international communist movement” (http://marxists.org/espanol/tematica/china/documentos/pol.pdf) published in 1963 in People's Daily (organ of the CCP) and the work of the leader of the PTB, Ludo Martens The USSR and the velvet contrarevolution, Edited by EPO, 1995 http://es.scribd.com/doc/56763029/La-URSS-y-la-contrarrevolucion-de-terciopelo-Ludo-Martens
5 In the same way, being too lenient with the ineffectiveness of many Western Communists, and especially the Greek communists, Comrade Vagenas lays the guilt by China blaming it for countless misfortunes suffered by the Greek people, while the responsibility is only and exclusively bu the Western Communists themselves, incapable of making revolution in their own countries, as is the KKE still after 95 years.
6 Indeed, in a speech in 1965 in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany, Brezhnev mentioned Stalin positively, which had not happened in over a decade.
7 L.I. Brézhnev, report to the XXIII Congress of the CPSU, 1965.
8 In 1973, after the Pinochet coup in Chile, which shattered any illusions about a peaceful road to socialism, Brezhnev declared, with all the tranquility of the world: "The tragedy of Chile in no way ruled out the deduction of the Communists that different paths are possible to revolution, including the peaceful one, if the conditions required exist for this." condition. "The less daring and unfortunate statement after the tragedy, overlooking the damage done to the revolutionary movement by the pacifism and reformism of Khrushchev.
9 In its report to the XXIII Congress of the CPSU (1965), Brezhnev stated: "In all these years, the CPSU, inspired by the line emanating from the XX and XXII Congress party, firmly guided the Soviet people in the path of construction of communism. "Later in the Report to Congress XXV (1976), you can read things like the following: "In our country a developed socialist society is built which progressively transformed into a communist society. Our state is the state of the whole people. In our nation is built a new historical community - the Soviet people - resting on the indestructible alliance of the working class, the peasantry, the intelligentsia, the friendship among all nations and nationalities of the country."
10 More information about the economical reforms in the Soviet Union after the XX Congress of the CPSU in Harpal Brar's: “Perestroika: the complete failure of revisionism”, Ed. Progressive Printers, 1992.
11https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B251oYOXh6QgR3RmZGNUSjlESDA/edit, “En defensa del pueblo chino. Respuesta a Elisseos Vagenas (1ª parte)”; Alexandré Garcia.
12Ludo Martens, “Los años Brézhnev, ¿estalinismo o revisionismo?”, Études Marxistes nº8, 1991, http://marx.be/fr/content/%C3%A9tudes-marxistes?action=get_doc&id=7&doc_id=354
13 Of course, needless to say that it may seem shocking that superficially seen, the "pro-Soviet" tradition define these countries as "socialist" without anyone tear the clothes for it, while some "pro-Soviet" communists as Elisseos Vagenas ad eternum denied to China the status of a socialist country. But it must be borne in mind that those third world countries under Soviet influence were, "Friends", a very important detail.
14https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B251oYOXh6QgR3RmZGNUSjlESDA/edit, “En defensa del pueblo chino. Respuesta a Elisseos Vagenas (1ª parte)”; Alexandré Garcia.
15“Partij van de Revolutie”, EPO, 1996, ISBN 60 6445 933 9.