Most important party-statements of the WPB, not voted on congresses but DICTATED by Peter Mertens

Originally – so people could read some time ago on the website icseminar.org – there would be in 2013 a Ninth Congress of the WPB (PVDA/PTB), on which would be discussed, amended and finally voted (“democratically by majority”), what would by the concrete and elaborated vision of the WPB on “SOCIALISM”, how capitalism would be “replaced” by socialism and what would be the concrete revolutionary strategy of the WPB to get there.....:
A Congress on socialism in 2013
All experience of this past year reinforces the importance of the 9th Party Congress that will take place at the end of 2013 and that will tackle the question of socialism. To reaffirm our goal of society, to update our vision based on the experience of the 20th century, and to ideologically strengthen the party1.
So this was said on the 21th International Communist Seminar (in 2012)....Well, in May 2013, on the 22th International Communist Seminar was written in a text ......but which now has disappeared with the whole website:
Towards the end of 2014, we will hold a Congress on our societal project, socialism. The theme of socialist democracy will be a major axis. 2
The website icseminar.org has disappeared, and also each reference or allusion to the Ninth Congress about “socialism”.
Finally NOT the party-members would, by any manner (General member-meetings or “democratic centralism”, or through discussion and voting by congress-delegates) decide about a principal substantive theme which “socialism” should be for a party as the WPB, which is still declaring to be a “communist and revolutionary party”,....but it is ONLY Peter Mertens, who is defining the point of view of the party. This is a rather undemocratic way of proceeding, certainly for a “communist” who is declaring in the press everywhere: “Iam/we are no longer Stalinists, I am/we are no longer Maoists3.... a populist appeal to the public opinion which is persuaded that Stalinism and Maoism is opposed to (either proletarian, either bourgeois...) democracy.
While a congress on which a clear party-point of view (voted by a majority of delegates) is postponed (from “end 2113” to “end 2014), it was the third time that Peter Mertens organised with reformists of all kinds the “Day of Socialism (in the last part of this article you can read more about Peter Mertens' initiative “Day of Socialism”)

Whenever you are now searching with the term “socialism” on the website of thte WPB (pvda.be or ptb.be, as the website wpb.be has disappeared already for ages...) you get on a interview of Solidair with Peter Mertens about “some outlines of socialism of the future4
This “interview” is put (in English) on the site solidnet.org (a website made by the KKE on which all parties that once participated at a International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties or a International Communists Seminar can put (as long as they are able to login)
their declarations, analyses, messages on:
“Socialism 2.0 will be born not out of romanticism, not out of nostalgia, but out of today’s needs, with the technology and the wealth distribution we have nowadays. And for that socialism there are some outlines, some basic fundamentals of a socialist society we want to realize in the future. These outlines are contrary to the evolution of the present society, we are fully aware of this.” Workers' Party of Belgium (PTB) chairman Peter Mertens presents five principal outlines for the socialism of the future.
1. (...)We want a society based on solidarity. Precisely by developing solidarity you are capable of shaping quite a lot of creative elements which are currently being spoiled by capitalism. (...) Social status still determines much of your future. This means that many talents are being thrown away. (....)
When society regains control over production – a highly developed production with enormous possibilities – then man will no longer be dependent on his social status, on his inherited wealth or on external factors, as is the case today. In socialism you are dependent on the only issue a man should be dependent on, namely his own creativity, his own activity, his own self-deployment.(...)
2. (....)The ecological sources and accumulated knowledge of mankind should be recognized as common heritage which nobody can or may monopolize for self-interest, for profit or for short-term interests. The most important form of wealth belongs to all of us, common goods to be actively protected and managed for the use of everyone. The air we breathe, fresh water, the oceans, the raw materials, the climate have to be managed in common, and in a rationally planned manner. Climate degeneration is a social problem, and cannot be solved within the straitjacket of private interests and the pursuit of maximal profit.
Secondly, all aspects of technological progress in the history of modern man, since 10,000 years, have been passed on by mankind from generation to generation. With the first technological revolution, the neolithic revolution, nobody thought of privatizing or taking a patent on the invention of the wheel. Technological progress was shared and passed on from generation to generation. The entire development of the productive forces, of science, of research and so on, has been built up in the course of the centuries. This knowledge belongs to mankind as a whole.
The same can be applied to the most recent technological revolution. All developments of the past are essentially the fruit of historical knowledge, but also of collective research at universities, research financed with public means. (...)
We cannot allow this to get privatized. These days every scientific research gets immediately patented, in other words it gets enclosed in a cage by a number of big shareholders from transnational companies.(...)
In the 21st century, socialism will emerge from the recognition that the common heritage is collective and that public research will be liberated from the profit straitjacket.
3.(...)In the 21st century we will have to hold debates about the most important economic sectors which give form to our society. This debate is already ongoing, only it is not called as such. The energy sector and banking sectors, for instance, are sectors that are too big to fail. This means : if such sector fails by the mechanism of competition, then social damage is so extensive that we cannot allow this to happen. What is the current solution? These sectors are temporarily being saved with our tax money in order to return them as soon as possible to the private sector. But of course this is no fundamental solution.
The only fundamental solution for these key sectors supporting the economy – and which are indeed too big to fail – is to “socialize” them, to make them belong to society. In our vision they have to be turned again into a kind of modern “commons”. Commons in the past were those ecological sources that did not belong to the state neither to private people. They belonged to society as a whole.
This does not only mean that you have to bring these sectors under public control where it concerns the structure of its shares and property, but also where it concerns the appointment of a management that functions with total transparency, and that can be dismissed at any time. Public functions, not to be cumulated with functions in management councils of other companies. Neither can politicians be part of that management.
But more importantly, we also have to change the purpose of that kind of sectors. The purpose will be no longer to satisfy shareholders with returns of 12 or 13 percent. The purpose will become to deliver a public service, with these sectors thus becoming society-driven and no longer profit-driven. In the case of the energy sector : to provide society with energy in a sustainable way. In the case of the banking sector : to grant credit where needed, and not to speculate on the stock market. Sectors serving social interests have to be under the control of society.
4. (....)Mankind has reached a point at which we dispose of the technology and organizing power that allows us to set objectives we previously deemed impossible. It is perfectly possible to eradicate hunger worldwide. It is well-known what has to be done, and what it would cost. We have the technology to decrease the work pace, but instead of letting this technology work to our favour, it is used only for the profit engine, and man has become more than ever a slave of an infernal work pace. A very important factor to reverse all this is democracy.(...) People like Ford's CEO Stephen Odell or Lakshmi Mittal (Mittal's CEO) can decide from anywhere, far away, which worker loses his job and which other worker can keep his. (...) Never before in history has there been such a small group – transnational corporations, industrialists, the financial lobby – that exercises the real control over the objectives of society, over the direction society is taking. And – we have to say it as it is – they have a large group of professional politicians at their service, (...)
Socialism will be about real freedom, the freedom to make choices about the essential elements of your life, and the freedom to be free of worries about your basic needs. Will your needy mother still find a place in an affordable service flat? Will you still have your child registered at a school? Will you still be able to pay your hospital bill? These days people are again so occupied with these basic rights that almost all energy, creativity and leisure time are spent on them. But that is no real freedom. Real freedom means to be free of those kinds of worries, so that people are able to be really creative and can co-govern society.
5. (...)To cope with the major challenges concerning ecology, democracy… , we will have to plan. Or in fact I have to say : we will have to draw away a number of planning processes from the closed rooms of transnational management councils. For already now an enormous quantity of plans are being elaborated worldwide. TNCs as Bayer or Unilever plan from a to z, at an unprecedented scale: the exploitation, transport and processing of raw materials, the finishing and distribution of products… All that pertains to a very strict planning process. But this occurs behind closed doors, not serving socially rational objectives to meet basic needs, only serving profit purposes.
Big TNCs also plan their own research and development. Again, not to satisfy social needs, but only to realize the largest profit margins possible. (....) under capitalism, it is the market that determines the planning. A planning that is not rational, neither ecological nor social. What we have to achieve is a modern, democratically planned economy under control of the population.”5
In the “analysis” of Peter Mertens, ALL references to “classes” in, and “class-character” of the capitalist society, and ALL references to the historical revolutionary role of the working class or proletariat have totally disappeared. The role of the working-class is reduced by Peter Mertens (by the use of an elaborated Marxist-SOUNDING so revisionist analyse) to a mass of potential VOTERS.... for the WPB participating in elections.( see here my argumentation further elaborated in this document). Also in what a COMMUNIST society (of which “socialism” is just the first stage) essential and qualitatively DIFFERS with a capitalist society, Peter Mertens will not tell us.
In fact is HIS “socialism” just ..... “state-capitalism” and while he is not clearly speaking of the class-character of “the state”, it will not be “a state-power of the working class”.....but “a state-power of the BOURGEOISIE” (because “democracy”, “solidarity”, “freedom”, “control of the population” are NOT neutral, but have all a class-character about which Peter Mertens does not say a word)

The other search-results with “socialism” on the website of the WPB ( pvda.be or ptb.be) are one limited and very general text of the 8th congress and for the rest only texts and quotes in books of Peter Mertens himself:
“What is the vision on society of the WPB? What is for her, socialism. Which kind of ideas the party has about economy, democracy, morality, the environment? You will find the answer on these questions and on many other questions in the following texts:
1. In the chapter “Party of principles” of her 8th congress, the party gives her Marxist vision, her strategy en her perspective on a society without exploitation, her party-concept.(...)
2. In the 4th part (“the future begins now”) of the book “On human scale”, Peter Mertens, president of the WPB gives his vision on socialism, the social development of the economy, about planning, democratic participation,about socialism on human scale.(...)
3; In the 5th part (“Socialism 2.0 on the rhythm of man and nature”) in the book 'How dare they” Peter Mertens is deepening his vision on socialism, more exactly on democracy, education and emancipation, equality between man and woman, security, health, freedom and sustainable development. He is calling to “become futuremaker yourself”.

About the three search-results on “socialism” by the WPB (PVDA/PTB)
1.In the chapter “Party of principles”, a document of the 8th congress (2008) you can find about socialism only:
“ We want the social ownership of the big means of production. This means that the big enterprises, farming fields, agro-business, means of communication and transport will come under public ownership. We want a planned economy in service of the community and of man and in balance with nature. Social ownership of the big means of production is unifying the different enterprises for a common goal. It is elimination the anarchy in the production. A planned distribution of the means of production and the labour-forces becomes possible. The planning comes about by active participation of the whole working people. She concerns the essential issues and allows as much decentralisation, autonomy, personal initiative and creativity, as possible.(...)
There exist a totally different, much richer vision on the concept democracy.
A vision which is supposing another state. Democracy still means, participation of the whole population, power to the people? It means that the working people will participate in essential matters in the organisation of the society. On all levels: the quarter, the enterprise, the province and the country.
It means also participation in the planning of the economy, the organisation of the education and the technology.
It means also a new judicial apparatus and another public authority which are democratic.
That the elected ones work at a regular salary, take responsibility for their work and are dischargeable. And it means also that the socialist state has the right to defend herself against aggression and undermining. So it means that political power is wielded by the working people. We are speaking of a socialist, participative democracy and of a socialist state.(....)
The world of tomorrow, with a planned economy, a participative democracy and a socialist state, shows that also other “standards and values” are possible. Capitalism creates individualism, but socialism creates solidarity.
Capitalism leaves people alone on themselves, is promoting “each for himself” and is opposing people against each other. But socialism is directed towards the integration of man. It wants collectivism, humanism, internationalism and anti-racism. It wants modesty, justice and responsibility.6
Very general (and so dogmatic) declarations of intentions. No concrete analysis and no concrete strategy. General concepts which are clearly “above all classes” (Which are neutral on themselves?): “state”, “democracy”, ”freedom”..... In an idealist way(so not materialist way) “mixing” aspects of socialism as realised just after revolution with aspects which will exist in later communist stage, without saying that under socialism (as first stage of communism) the production-system will become out of commodity-production (of which capitalism is the highest form) into production in function of needs. This, Marx criticised already in “Critic on the Gotha-program”...to which critic Lenin referred in “State and Revolution” in HIS critic on revisionism of Kautsky, which is similar of that of.....Peter Mertens!
So finally this “socialism” is nothing more than state-capitalism where the power comes from “the active participation of the whole working people”. That “active participation of the whole working people” ...in parliamentary elections will be, as Peter Mertens see it, the historical role of the working-class, which she can practice today already by......voting for the WPB and her program of reforms.

2. In th 4th part “the future begins now” of the book “On human scale” (EPO, 2009) “....Peter Mertens, president of the WPB”, as the website says herself,” gives his vision about socialism, about the social development of the economy, about planning, about democratic participation, about socialism on human scale.
“When the community would get the control on the production, but today on a highly developed production, than enormous possibilities will become possible. Than man will no longer depend of his social status in which he is born, neither of inherited wealth or of another external factor. The own labour, the own activity and creativity, own initiative and the development of the individual will become the indicator of his development. Than “taking responsibility for life” will no longer be an idle call. Than man will really have the opportunity to do so. Than man will become his own maker. (....)
Of course, the economic system in which we live is not determined by physical laws. It is made by men. So it can also be changed by men. The Pharaoh's in Egypt, the aristocrats in Athens, the Chinese emperors, the nobility in the Middle Ages were all convinced that their realm was eternal, and that no other form of community was possible.
Until their model came under pressure: by new developments in science and technology, by new possibilities of production and by new perceptions.
Until social tensions increased to a level that the community-form has to change. A new social order is not breaking through in one stroke. Also capitalism has needed a long period of time to install herself. The first attempts were in Genoa and Venice in the second half of the fourteenth century.
There was the development of capitalist relations in Holland and England of the sixteenth century. It was just after the whole process of conflict and compromises with the worn out feudalism that capitalism in the nineteenth century as system could really persist. Capitalism has not succeeded from her first attempts.”7

Nothing about the come into existence and development of classes, nothing about the concept class-society, or about the ruling class exploiting and oppressing other class(-es). So , “a community-form has to change” by a revolution of the oppressed class against the ruling class in the “old” society, where by the oppressed class is in fact the “grave-digger” of the “old” society, and the pacemaker of a new society, a new production-system and new class.
Further Peter Mertens about “socialism”:
“It would be really narrow-minded to dispose of socialism because it succeeded not by the first attempt.(...)
Serious leakages have generated. (...) the crisis, the ecological challenge, the collapse of the financial system, the massive closures...(...)
the debate about socialism is an open debate, a search to tracks for a society on human scale. Where man is put in the centre, not the profit. We want a real society in which labour, education social care, housing, pensions and a clean environment form a factor of certainty. This means that they are guaranteed, whatever the thickness of the wallet. We demand a correct justice, which protect people against exploitation, corruption and arbitrariness. We strive for a society in which labour is not serving for the realising of the dividends and the profits of the few, but to be a source for the development of the whole society.
Therefore we demand that the key-sectors will be brought under public ownership. Therefore we want to stimulate collective scientific research. Therefore we want that there comes a modern, elaborated planning. And therefore we strive for a democratic model, in which the people can participate about the essential issues of life.(…) Let the society not turn around the level of profit. She better turn around on human scale.8

For Peter Mertens: “socialism is desirable”. So not necessary and inevitable as the working-class does not want to go further with the “old” production-relations?
And for Peter Mertens socialism is not a RUPTURE with capitalism, capitalism has to be TRANSFORMED to something what then will be called “socialism”.
Peter Mertens about “socialism”: means of production become “social” or “public” property. The class-character of the state “disappears”, so a proletarian dictatorship is not needed in exchange of the bourgeois dictatorship..…. And so is consequently, as Peter Mertens is making clear in another article (where Peter Mertens is affirming the world that “The WPB is no longer an extremist party”), no longer considered to be needed, the “extremist” violence of a revolution and the “extremist” violent expropriation of the capitalists.9

3. The third result on the search on “socialism” on the website of the WPB (pvda:be): “In the 5th part “Socialism 2.0 on the scale of man and nature” in the book “How dare they”10 (ed. EPO, 2011), Peter Mertens is deepening his vision on socialism, more exactly on democracy, emancipation and education, equality between man and woman, security, health, freedom and sustainable development. He calls to become oneself to become again future-maker. http://www.pvdashop.be/hoe-durven-ze.html
But the only thing which you read in surplus in this text (compared with the former texts) of what peter Mertens is telling about his “socialism” is a certain “what we have to do”
“History has reached a point on which we reach the knowledge, the technology and the capacity to organise, to make possible for us to make those objectives which were earlier still unreachable. We can help to ban poverty, war and illness out of the world. There is enough for the needs of everybody. But there is insufficiencies for the greed of a handful return-hunters who run away with phenomenal fortunes.
Reconquer democracy on this elite will be one of the most important tasks of socialism 2.0. This is only possible when the economic base of her power is attacked. Capitalism has created the illusion that economy is concerning only money. It is of course an important aspect but economy is in the first place concerning the satisfaction of needs of people now and later. Because the means are limited, choices have to be made. That is what economy matters. To have participation in those fundamental choices, that is democracy. And so democracy and economy are linked tightly.
Today the “supper-class” of the few make disastrous choices. She expropriate man of his labour-force and participation. She expropriate nature of her recovery-power. She expropriate and expropriate until the damned end.
What do we have to do? We can do no other thing than filch from the industrial and financial giants the “natural and inalienable rights”.which they are claiming today. We have to stop the expropriation by making of the veins of life of our economy, public sectors, by giving the people real participation, to make the community turn round public and ecological objectives. The democracy of tomorrow starts with the expropriation of the expropriators.11

The classes have disappeared again. Nowhere is said anything about the historical and revolutionary role of the working class, whose objective interests are OPPOSED to those of the capitalist class – the reason why the working class IS the revolutionary class because they have OBJECTIVELY as CLASS all interests that capitalism will disappear and be “replaced” by communism (of which socialism is the first stage). Peter Mertens talks about “democracy” as a neutral phenomena (above the classes?).
Of course, when you speak about the objective interests of the working class and about her revolutionary role, you have to speak about the tasks of the VANGUARD of the working class (and THAT is finally the communist party!). But Peter Mertens wants and dares not to follow that consequent logic, result of a real historical materialist (so MARXIST) analysis.

Peter Mertens' analysis of “socialism”, not to develop a strategy, but for an “anti-capitalist” IMAGE of WPB in elections
The revisionist analysis to which Peter Mertens is submitting the members/cadres of the WPB has the only goal to create a “socialism” which propagation can strengthen the “anticapitalist” IMAGE of the WPB, in order to win votes in elections by workers and petty-bourgeois. (Peter Mertens' final “role of the working class!”)
The WPB has no other strategy (in the daily work of her members, cadres and sympathizers) for the mobilisation and organisation of the workers.
The propaganda, the agitation, the discussions related to the development of the class-struggle is focused on making the objective or slogan of the class-struggle, the reforms as formulated in the ELECTION-program of the WPB. Therefore the formulation of what is “socialism” and what will be “the socialist state” is very GENERAL (in fact ABSTRACT) Will it be Belgium, will it be larger than Belgium, will it it be Europe,....Peter Mertens will not tell us. It is not needed either, because the propagation of “socialism” is just intended to emphasis the “anticapitalist” IMAGE of the WPB.
Read the message of the First of May of 2012.12

“Join the concrete radical being and Socialism 2.0. A European spring is sprouting at the protesting popular masses in Spain, Portugal, Greece and France. Join that concrete radical resistance. Reject “there is nothing possible”. Join those points of struggle which are reasonable, but also concrete and ciphered. They will give breathing-space to the working class:
  • the millionaire-tax is just a pay-back tax. A tax which will touch only the 2 percent very rich, but will obtain 8,7 billion euro. To invest a part of the wealth which disappeared in their bags back into the society
  • to make the banking-sector public is just to secure the saving- and pension-money. Private banks are unsafe. It is not the task of the public authorities to collect the money in the society in order to save failing banks.
Join the new socialist radicality which dare to dream again of a society that respect and protect man and nature. Capitalism is exploiting the father (labour) and the mother (nature) of wealth and is stepping on them. That model is bankrupt. Social life, democracy and ecology should be the starting point of an economy. A socialism 2.0 where the invisible become visible, where man is the regulator and the standard.13

121st International Communist Seminar Brussels, 18-20 May 2012www.icsbrussels.org – ics@icsbrussels.org
The relation between the immediate tasks of communists and their struggle for socialism Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB) The experience of the Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB) David Pestieau, Member of the PTB Bureau, head of the PTB’s Studies Department andeditor-in-chief of the PTB’s weekly, Solidaire (this reference does not work anymore, but you can get the full text by putting this in google and then choose IN CACHE)
222nd International Communist Seminar , Brussels, May 31 – June 2, 2013, www.icseminar.org – info@icseminar.org, “ The attacks on the democratic rights and freedoms in the world capitalist crisis. - Strategies and actions in response. Workers Party of Belgium (PTB) (the WPB wiped it from the web, but I put it online again)
3http://antwerpen.pvda.be/nieuws/article/de-morgen-pvda-beschouwt-zich-niet-langer-als-extreem-linkse-partij-1.html, 25 februari 2008
08:54 |, [De Morgen] 'PVDA beschouwt zich niet langer als extreem linkse partij', Interview of Walter Pauli with Peter Mertens: “ We will stay Marxists .... The WPB is no longer Stalinist neither Maosist .... we continue defending 'the little man', but .... not anymore with big theories. Certainly with concrete actions, in comprehensive language....It will be simpler to become member. You subscribe the political program of the WPB and pay twenty euro.....In the nineties Ludo Martens wrote a persistent and elaborated defence of Stalin. We want to be now more modern communists and choose for another approach..... We are no Stalinists.....I just have nothing to do anymore with the Soviet Union or China .....So has the WPB nothing to do anymore with Stalinism or Maoism.....Also Cuba of Fidel Castro is for us not a role-model..... (“Was/is the WPB still a revolutionary party?”)....I can understand that Nelson Mandela saw in the sixties no other way out than the armed struggle . But the WPB is not extreme left. We are opposing extremist violence as that from the CCC or the DHKP-C .... We focus first of all on the revolution with ideas.”
4http://www.pvda.be/nieuws/artikel/enkele-hoofdlijnen-van-het-socialisme-van-de-toekomst.html, 6 maart 2013, “Enkele hoofdlijnen van het socialisme van de toekomst”, Nick Dobbelaere
5http://www.solidnet.org/belgium-workers-party-of-belgium/wp-of-belgium-some-outlines-for-the-socialism-of-the-future-en, WP of Belgium: Some outlines for the socialism of the future [En.], Monday, 08 April 2013 01:00 Workers' Party of Belgium E-mail Print PDF, http://www.wpb.be , mailto: wpb@wpb.be, , “Some outlines for the socialism of the future”, by Peter Mertens, chairman of the Workers' Party of Belgium (PTB)
9 http://antwerpen.pvda.be/nieuws/article/de-morgen-pvda-beschouwt-zich-niet-langer-als-extreem-linkse-partij-1.html, 25 februari 2008
08:54 |, [De Morgen] 'PVDA beschouwt zich niet langer als extreem linkse partij', Interview of Walter Pauli with Peter Mertens: “ We will stay Marxists .... The WPB is no longer Stalinist neither Maosist .... we continue defending 'the little man', but .... not anymore with big theories. Certainly with concrete actions, in comprehensive language....It will be simpler to become member. You subscribe the political program of the WPB and pay twenty euro.....In the nineties Ludo Martens wrote a persistent and elaborated defence of Stalin. We want to be now more modern communists and choose for another approach..... We are no Stalinists.....I just have nothing to do anymore with the Soviet Union or China .....So has the WPB nothing to do anymore with Stalinism or Maoism.....Also Cuba of Fidel Castro is for us not a role-model..... (“Was/is the WPB still a revolutionary party?”)....I can understand that Nelson Mandela saw in the sixties no other way out than the armed struggle . But the WPB is not extreme left. We are opposing extremist violence as that from the CCC or the DHKP-C .... We focus first of all on the revolution with ideas.”