Peter Mertens (WPB):”Socialism is 'redistribution of today'; parliamentary representation is needed 'to raise funds for the working of the party'.”

On the blog “otheraspect.wordpress.com/” I read an article “Workers Party of Belgium’s new revisionism – Peter Mertens attacks the CPSU (b) under Lenin and Stalin

(Other Aspect / February 12, 2013):
The following is an interview of Peter Mertens who is the leader of the Workers’ Party of Belgium, The Partij van de Arbeid van België, PVDA, French: Parti du Travail de Belgique, PTB) hosts the International Communist Seminar.

Peter Mertens in this interview attacks the CPSU (b) under Lenin and Stalin, where he said “I remain looking with nuances into this area. I know that I am starting to against the grain here, I know it’s not the sexiest opinion, but I reject not everything that happened under Communism. Should we, if we had to start again, to install again such regimes? No. Were there essential things that went wrong, in terms of hunger for power, in terms of concentration of power, in terms of lack of democracy and participation? Yes. “

‘Europe is slowly becoming a dictatorship”: PETER MERTENS (pvda) Interview by Joël De Ceulaer, (interview on De Stanraard website is available only for subscribers, but thanks to the website of the WPB itself we have the access to the full text: http://www.pvda.be/nieuws/artikel/interview-peter-mertens-tegen-brutale-ik-cultuur-van-het-neoliberalisme.html .1 ....

I remembered that I wrote already an analysis of this interview (in Dutch)...... So I translated my analysis now in English, which I will now send to the blog “Other Apect”.

Peter Mertens (WPB):”Socialism is 'redistribution of today'; parliamentary representation is needed 'to raise funds for the working of the party'.”

An interview with Peter Mertens in De Standaard (a mainstream bourgeois newspaper) is just without any remarks or comments placed on the website of the WPB. So it has the character of “official party-line” In his books Peter Mertens is writing big words about “socialism 2.0”... but here he admits, that he is (just) writing about “redistribution of today”. And why every member and sympathiser has to participate actively in the election-campaigns? “Until we are in parliament, we will continue to be a volunteer party. We have no funds to finance our operations”

But there are much more things about which Peter Mertens here is talking with apparently the authority of “official party-line”. It says a lot about the ideology by the majority of the cadres and members of the actual WPB, when this is accepted without any critic and further propagated...

- Last year a member of your party still sang the praise of North Korea in the TV show ‘In respect’.
Peter Mertens. “That man was back then a comrade of mine. But not anymore. “ (....) “He has put himself out of the party. I sat in amazement watching that interview. He knew very well that his position is not that of the party, and that whoever makes their position public, proclaims himself outside the organization. I have nothing to do with dictatorships and dynasties. Nothing. I have written two books, of which more than 20,000 copies were sold. Probably some pundits and politicians did not read those books, or they would know that I do not write about foreign regimes, but redistribution of today. “2

That man” was Jef Bossuyt who has written in Marxist Studies (still propagated -on their 8th congress in 2008-as the main instrument of formation in Marxism for the member of the WPB) several analyses about the former Soviet Union and how revisionism lead to its fall. In that certain program about North Korea Jef Bossuyt was not “giving the position of the party”. He was talking about his own experiences on his different visits to North korea and was doing in fact what attracted the WPB to Peter Mertens: “And in WPB I found the defence of real existing socialism. And Jef Bossuyt did about North Korea what Peter Mertens said he did about ...Cuba: ”For instance, I have always defended Cuba against overly simplistic attacks.
But when you are mainly worried about winning votes in elections then “defending Cuba....” is less problematic then “defending North Korea .....”

- Let’s come back later on those foreign regimes. In our own country today you stand far outside the mainstream.
Peter Mertens. “That is so. The liberal students often ask me for debates. And when I ask them why they are not asking one of the Greens or from the SP.A instead of me, they always say that they would rather have a real debate. And therein I can follow them. Today all parties are running in the neoliberal track. There are only two phenomena that are standing up to it, only two ideologies that are cropping up in Europe as a response to the brutal “me” culture of neoliberalism: nationalism and Marxism. “

Not CAPITALISM is the main problem for Peter Mertens ... and so not the struggle against it and not the organising of that struggle, which is defining the strategy and the organisation of the communists. No, it is just because the main issue is “winning votes in the election” for Peter Mertens the main concern is the spontaneous rage of the people against (without knowing exactly what is its real content) “the brutal 'me' culture of neo-liberalism”...and to this (proved by their collected votes?) only two “phenomena has a response”: “left” POPULISM and “right” POPULISM.
The biggest part of the potential electorate for the “left” populists are the workers. “Those, we have to win (as Peter Mertens is thinking) with Marxist-SOUNDING phrases”:

- Explain once again about Marxism, what does it mean?
Peter Mertens. “An important concept in Marxism is that of wealth creation. The question that we ask, ‘Who are the wealth creators, how does wealth actually actually comes tp existence? For Marxists it is the working people. The baker who gets up at three o’clock in the morning for the bread baking, makes the wealth, not the man who happens to have the ownership of the oven lying in his safe. “

- The owner of the furnace does take the risk.
Peter Mertens. “I’m not saying that the owner of the furnace plays no role in the process. I’m just saying that the working population effectively creates welfare . It is the workers who make a ship out of steel plates. The second source of wealth is nature, from which we derive commodities. These two sources of wealth must be protected and not exploited. “
(...)For a Marxist, entrepreneurship is in itself a public thing. We find it important that the government itself can control the key sectors. Certainly the sectors that are too big to fail.
(...) “The banks, for starters. We now have a system where the benefits go to the private sector, and the costs are borne by the society. That is not a coherent system. IT would have been consistent if you would earn a lot if it was going well, but to into the abyss, if it goes wrong. If a bank is so important that we do not let it fail, then it it must be owned by the government, not by poker players. “

You want to nationalize them?
Peter Mertens. “To make them more socialized, I find a better term.”
(...) “To nationalize” sounds twentieth century and it is. What we want is not only that the share structure changes, so that the banks come into the hands of the government. Socialization means that common objectives should be formulated. That risk investments should be avoided. “
(...) private banks (...) get no state guarantee anymore. Everyone is allowed under the free market to use the bank that takes part in “casino capitalism”, but if it goes wrong, they should no longer ask the government for help. “

Which sectors do you want to make socialized?
Peter Mertens. “The energy sector, for example. That is a vital artery of the society which is now held hostage by a number of monopolies, resulting in unacceptable prices. Mind you, we do not want to create a huge bureaucracy. Thanks to digital media, it is perfectly possible to extensively question the population and to involve them in the policy making. “

In fact is Peter Mertens pleading for state-capitalism (but still with a bourgeois class-character of the state) as other WPB-cadres like Boudewijn Deckers3 and Peter Franssen4 are defending as being (the only?) “real existing socialism”.... namely in ACTUAL China.
And is Peter Mertens with his statement “I’m just saying that the working population effectively creates welfare . It is the workers who make a ship out of steel plates” not recognising the essentials of Marxism namely: the recognising of the existence of classes?
And is Peter Mertens with “ make them more socialized” not skipping the essentials of Marxism?
Although he says he does not like people who are “literally parroting Marx” and “people who sway with doctrinal texts of Lenin” (but what he himself is doing when it suits him in order to defend HIS conceptions – as I have proven it in other articles) I will now give the word to Marx and Lenin themselves about “the essentials of marxism”. (I put it in italic-fat)

3. The Presentation of the Question by Marx in 1852
In 1907, Mehring, in the magazine Neue Zeit[4] (Vol.XXV, 2, p.164), published extracts from Marx's letter to Weydemeyer dated March 5, 1852. This letter, among other things, contains the following remarkable observation:
"And now as to myself, no credit is due to me for discovering the existence of classes in modern society or the struggle between them. Long before me bourgeois historians had described the historical development of this class struggle and bourgeois economists, the economic anatomy of classes. What I did that was new was to prove: (1) that the existence of classes is only bound up with the particular, historical phases in the development of production (historische Entwicklungsphasen der Produktion), (2) that the class struggle necessarily leads to the dictatorship of the proletariat, (3) that this dictatorship itself only constitutes the transition to the abolition of all classes and to a classless society."5
In these words, Marx succeeded in expressing with striking clarity, first, the chief and radical difference between his theory and that of the foremost and most profound thinkers of the bourgeoisie; and, secondly, the essence of his theory of the state.
It is often said and written that the main point in Marx's theory is the class struggle. But this is wrong. And this wrong notion very often results in an opportunist distortion of Marxism and its falsification in a spirit acceptable to the bourgeoisie. For the theory of the class struggle was created not by Marx, but by the bourgeoisie before Marx, and, generally speaking, it is acceptable to the bourgeoisie. Those who recognize only the class struggle are not yet Marxists; they may be found to be still within the bounds of bourgeois thinking and bourgeois politics. To confine Marxism to the theory of the class struggle means curtailing Marxism, distorting it, reducing it to something acceptable to the bourgeoisie. Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. That is what constitutes the most profound distinction between the Marxist and the ordinary petty (as well as big) bourgeois. This is the touchstone on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism should be tested. And it is not surprising that when the history of Europe brought the working class face to face with this question as a practical issue, not only all the opportunists and reformists, but all the Kautskyites (people who vacillate between reformism and Marxism) proved to be miserable philistines and petty-bourgeois democrats repudiating the dictatorship of the proletariat. Kautsky's pamphlet, The Dictatorship of the Proletariat, published in August 1918, i.e., long after the first edition of the present book, is a perfect example of petty-bourgeois distortion of Marxism and base renunciation of it in deeds, while hypocritically recognizing it in words (see my pamphlet, The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky, Petrograd and Moscow, 1918).
Opportunism today, as represented by its principal spokesman, the ex-Marxist Karl Kautsky, fits in completely with Marx's characterization of the bourgeois position quoted above, for this opportunism limits recognition of the class struggle to the sphere of bourgeois relations. (Within this sphere, within its framework, not a single educated liberal will refuse to recognize the class struggle "in principle"!) Opportunism does not extend recognition of the class struggle to the cardinal point, to the period of transition from capitalism to communism, of the overthrow and the complete abolition of the bourgeoisie. In reality, this period inevitably is a period of an unprecedently violent class struggle in unprecedentedly acute forms, and, consequently, during this period the state must inevitably be a state that is democratic in a new way (for the proletariat and the propertyless in general) and dictatorial in a new way (against the bourgeoisie).
Further. The essence of Marx's theory of the state has been mastered only by those who realize that the dictatorship of a single class is necessary not only for every class society in general, not only for the proletariat which has overthrown the bourgeoisie, but also for the entire historical period which separates capitalism from "classless society", from communism. Bourgeois states are most varied in form, but their essence is the same: all these states, whatever their form, in the final analysis are inevitably the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. The transition from capitalism to communism is certainly bound to yield a tremendous abundance and variety of political forms, but the essence will inevitably be the same: the dictatorship of the proletariat.”6

Peter Mertens further in the interview:
Is Marxism evolved?
Peter Mertens. “Marxism is alive. I do not like people who are literally parroting Marx, without taking into account the context. In this sense Marxism for me is like Darwinism. Darwin in the mid nineteenth century also had made a qualitative leap forward, and his ideas are essentially valid even today. But the theory of evolution is evolved. “

Well, it is in fact a characteristic of a revisionist that he will parroting Marx (and Lenin ...) by quoting good selected quotes out of their context by which he try to prove with Marxist-sounding phrases his in fact BOURGEOIS conceptions......and this is Peter Mertens doing very often as you can see in the document I made in this link.

Was Marx a scientist?
Peter Mertens. “A human science is of a different order than the positive sciences. In the human sciences there has always been a struggle of ideas. That was how the debate between capitalism and Marxism began, after all. They tried to take the economic discussions out of the emotional atmosphere, to retrieve it into a rational debate: who creates prosperity, where does the profit come from, and so on. The great ideologies of today are still attributable to those debates. This is logical, as long as we keep updating it. “

So “Marxism” is something which has to be “revised” (updated with “new ideas”...) regularly” ... so Peter Mertens is a REVISIONIST.
The WPB has according to Peter Mertens “two sides”, a consequent REFORMIST side and a “dogmatic” side:

In 1993, when you joined, the WPB was still very dogmatic.
Peter Mertens. “The party already had two sides. The group practice of Medicine for the People existed already, and in the campaign Objective 479917, where we wanted to gather as many signatures as the Vlaams Blok had received in votes, also many people of the Workers Party were involved. The actions to to give the facilities to the refugees during the winter also impressed me. “ (...)

- But that dogmatic reflex was there too.
Peter Mertens. “Absolutely. When I became a member, the Berlin Wall has just fallen, and everyone was wondering what exactly did go wrong in all those so-called socialist countries. I never agreed with the statement by Francis Fukuyama that history was over, that capitalism had triumphed. And in WPB I found the defense of real existing socialism. For instance, I have always defended Cuba against overly simplistic attacks.

He found the defense of the real existing socialism”.... but it is apparently “dogmatic” (and Peter Mertens “rejects dogmatism”....!) to defend North Korea as “real existing socialism”..... But Peter Mertens HIMSELF is NOT defending Cuba as “real existing socialism”... He is “defending Cuba against overly simplistic attacks” ...as Jef Bossuyt was doing in the case of North Korea.....but then “putting himself outside the party”....
....and in fact....(read carefully his reasoning!) he goes NOT further to defend the Soviet-Union of Lenin and Stalin NOT as “once real existing socialism” but “against to simplistic attacks”.(but not against anticommunist attacks!!!!)

- And the Soviet Union? In the 1990s your party still defended Lenin and Stalin.
Peter Mertens. “I remain looking with nuances into this area. I know that I am starting to against the grain here, I know it’s not the sexiest opinion, but I reject not everything that happened under Communism. Should we, if we had to start again, to install again such regimes? No. Were there essential things that went wrong, in terms of hunger for power, in terms of concentration of power, in terms of lack of democracy and participation? Yes. “
(...) “(I)n other areas things were achieved that we may call an achievement.”
(...) (T)hanks to the Soviet Union that Europe today is not German. Thanks to those 27 million people in Russia who have given their lives. The Communists were in Antwerp helping many Jews to hide. The Communist Party was the party of the executed. How many cities were not liberated by partisan armies? That all we can not deny. I think that is a handsome legacy of history that I am not going to throw overboard. “
(...) I do not defend the crimes and executions under the Soviet regime. That would be an absurd thing to do. And why you do not question the neoliberals about the crimes in Pinochet’s Chile? There were 80,000 people thrown into prison, in order to give the capitalism free rein. Is there anyone who makes supercritical interviews about it? “(...)
Nobody will reduce the whole liberal tradition to Pinochet, no one will reduce the entire nationalist history to the collaboration. But socialism can be reduced to the crimes of the twentieth century? That is too simplistic. “ (...)

- You are adamant not to give a complete condemnation of communism?
Peter Mertens. “No, I do not throw away the achievements. Put me against a pole in Breendonk and I will still say the same thing. Our social security, universal suffrage, the rights of man – we would have not achieved them without the influence of socialism. But now I want a new socialism. I want to be judged by what we do here. On our proposals today. “

Although he can not deny to “recognise” a by almost everbody (even by the bourgeoisie) “recognised fact”, namely the role that the Soviet-Union (under Stalin) played in the struggle against fascism, and the leading role of the communists everywhere in Europe in the organisation of the armed resistance, he is howling (ALSO with the bourgeoisie) about the “crimes and executions under the Soviet regime” .... But then he takes, shrewd and cunning as a “real bourgeois politician”, a clever twist: He is NOT defending the October Revolution and the building of socialism as the first stage of communism. No, he is REDUCING socialism to the same series of REFORMS as they were the result of the ANTICOMMUNIST REFORMISTS (and material supported in this by the Americans) in the so called “Cold War” that started after the Second World War.

He is also “reducing” the contradiction 'revolutionary line' versus '(bourgeois) revisionist line', which can exist in a communist party to (what is concerning the WPB) to the contradiction between 'reformists who wants to give the WPB a electoral attractive profile with “Medicine for the People versus doctrinaires” and “dogmatists” ...IN FACT ALSO REFORMISTS but who think to make the WPB electoral attractive by giving the party a (syndical and antiracist) “combative” profile.
Considering that -with the exit of “dogmatics” and “doctrinaires” the WPB is since the 8th Congres of 2008 by the majority of delegates voted, HOMOGENIC reformist, there existed in the WPB - as Peter Mertens was knowing since 1993 – not any real (so not “dogmatic”) Marxists with a revolutionary conception of the world..... Or it had to be perhaps .....Jef Bossuyt? .... Well I know one at least: the late Ludo Martens!
Ok, now an evaluation of the actual program of REFORMS of the WPB!

- A SP Chairman Bruno Tobback find your millionaire’s tax nonsense.
Peter Mertens. “Then he completely ignores the finding that the disparity is growing by the dayr. Half a percent of the world has 38 percent of all property. “

- Agreed, but in Belgium it is still not too bad with inequality, is it not?
Peter Mertens. “No, but in Scandinavia it is still much better. And the point is that the gap is increasing, even here. There is a small club of rich people who are become richer. If we do nothing, we will get explosive situations. Our millionaire tax is also a way to activate dormant riches. And it will affect only half a percent of the population, not the regular saver. “

With oither words: when “explosive situations” (READ “revolutionary situations”) has to be avoided, then the bourgeoisie should better “take a look to our very moderate reformist program”!

- Is it a realistic plan?
Peter Mertens. “Very realistic. More realistic than separatism, because there is no support for it, says the N-VA itself. For a millionaire’s tax there is a support, which different surveys have shown. Eighty percent of the population is behind it. And for the people affected, it will be no problem. Take the families Spoelberch, the Mevius and Vandamme, who are behind AB InBev. With their five billion personal fortune they would not even feel the effect of millionaire tax. Unfortunately, much of the political world today is in the pocket of the financial world. The millionaire’s tax is unrealistic, they say. To abolish the bus route 23 in Antwerp so that ordinary people can not go to the hospital anymore, that’s realistic. “

- But if even the SP.A against is that tax, it will never come.
Peter Mertens. “We will continue fighting. Caroline Ven of the enterpreneurs organisation VKW recently announced that I am suffering from a morbid obsession about redistribution. (Laughs) I replied to her that I hope it is contagious. Oxfam has recently calculated that the wealth of the hundred richest people of the world can solve all poverty in the world four times over . If this is a populist remark, then I am proud to be a populist. “

The bourgeoisie, concerned as she is to avoid “explosive situations”, as Peter Mertens in fact is saying, has to know that for the WPB-propositions of REFORMS there is “enough support” in order to take the fuse out of a possible “explosive situation”... and in order to avoid the for the bourgeoisie possible “explosive situation”, one can “proudly” use populism!

-With that populism you have put your party on the map again. Ten years ago it seemed to be doomed.
Peter Mertens. “When we attempted in 2003 along with Dyab Abou Jahjah to go to the voters under the name Resist, we indeed ran hard with the nose against the wall. That was really completely wrong. We did not have too many voters already and tyhen have lost a half of those who were left. “

- Did Abou Jahjah not have a story of deprivation that corresponded perfectly with your program?
Peter Mertens. “Yes, as far as the deprivation of the immigrant community went, it was the right picture. The problem is that the campaign was more focused on the war in Iraq and the Middle East than on problems here at home. In that respect we were deviated from our core business, and you should never do that as a party. For that I do not blame Dyab, but I blame ourselves. “

Did you make that analysis then already?
Peter Mertens. “Then I for the first time did the stocktaking for the party after the elections. And for that I was greatly resented by the then party leadership . For six months we have been debating the future of the party. The people who came up to sway with doctrinal texts of Lenin, have left the party. The people who felt that we had to rejuvenate, have remained. It was then that we have lost our dogmatic wing. “

There were indeed some inconsequences in the position of the WPB towards ELECTIONS....and Peter Mertens defeated “the people who came up to sway with doctrinal texts of Lenin”....in fact he defeated the inconsequent petty-bourgeois position and was pleading for a consequent BOUGEOIS REFORMIST position while “swaying” HIMSELF with eclectic chosen “doctrinal texts of Lenin” when he “for the first time did the stocktaking for the party after the elections” (as you can read it here (in Dutch)
Although Peter Mertens is saying that he was “resented by the then party leadership” he was SUPPORTED by an important part of the leadership by leading an internal “coup” and putting the WPB into the direction of ....REFORMISM. And so the WPB became on its 8th congress in 2008 (by the choice of the majority of the delegates....) a party just like a social-democratic party of the Second International. (Here some articles in English about this development of the WPB).
The WPB has become a party with a REFORMIST ideology and political line (although formulated in Marxist-sounding phrases to make the difference with other “left” parties) using the still real existing reformist world-view by still a lot of the workers to win as many as possible VOTES among them. Also existing reformism in the unions is not anymore fought. WINNING votes has become priority and essential, in order to come to a parliamentary representation and the to it linked FINANCING!

- What became your mission?
Peter Mertens. “We then decided to conquer the neighborhoods which the social democrats have left in the lurch, with a modern socialism. We have also made it tangible, including the kiwi model of Dirk Van Duppen. And we have restored our relationships with the unions . The right want to limit the power of the unions, we unreservedly are on the side of the unions. That is today one of the key battles. “

-Are you electorally speaking on schedule that you as the party chairman had in mind in 2008?
Peter Mertens. “Not all of our plans came true, but we have made an electoral breakthrough at the municipal elections in Liege and Antwerp, and we have a strong students movevement now. Only the bar is now higher than we had anticipated in 2008. Because of the crisis the need for a party like ours has only grown. The question is how we can sharpen our ambition. It will not be easy. We are faced today with two drawbacks. Until we are in parliament, we will continue to be a volunteer party. We have no funds to finance our operations. And until that threshold in the elections will exist, it is not easy to get into parliament. “ (...)

- Europe is the real debate?
Peter Mertens. “One of the most important debates. Europe is destroying itself by spending cuts. And so the crisis will soon get worse. We go to a recession, the closure of Ford Genk was the overture of a second crisis wave, including the closure of ArcelorMittal. This second crisis wave is much harder, because the social security everywhere is being phased out. There is mass unemployment, in Europe today are 27 million people without a job. In some countries, half of the young people have no future. I think most politicians underestimate what that means. That increasing division of society is a threat to democracy. “ (...)

-Should the government create jobs?
Peter Mertens. “We must have a major social debate about it. We also want people to look for work actively, like the other parties do, but then there must be jobs. Antwerp currently has 36,000 unemployed for 6,000 vacancies. We urgently need an industrial policy. Multinational companies such as Ford and Arcelor have to come under democratic control. “

- How are you going to succeed?
Peter Mertens. “Today, politicians look at those big companies like a cow to a train. While outrageous things happen. We have given ArcelorMittal eleven billion euros as a gift made through the notional interest deduction. That money should be returned to us. And for any subsidy or allowance that a company will want in the future, there must be guarantees in terms of employment. We are gliding down to social relations as we have known them in the nineteenth century. And we must take a stand against it. “

Now Peter Mertens is “allowed” just for once in the “bourgeois media” to deploy his populism ... as it is “allowed” to reformists and the reformist (social-democratic) party in a well dosed way in order to be able to “recuperate” possible future “explosive situations”.
The measures which Europe is propagating in an attempt to control the existing over-capacity-crisis by increasing the competitiveness of the “own” monopolies are experienced by the workers as “we are always paying”. This feeling creates “explosive situations” and an “increasing division of society” which “is a threat to democracy”...in fact he means “the threat” of the convincing power of RIGHTIST populism which he want to oppose with LEFT populism: “Create jobs” and having “a major social debate about it”...”We urgently need an industrial policy. Multinational companies such as Ford and Arcelor have to come under democratic control. “... “We have given ArcelorMittal eleven billion euros as a gift made through the notional interest deduction. That money should be returned to us. And for any subsidy or allowance that a company will want in the future, there must be guarantees in terms of employment.” and Peter Mertens would gladly add “So, vote for the WPB in the next elections.” ....because “We are faced today with two drawbacks. Until we are in parliament, we will continue to be a volunteer party. We have no funds to finance our operations. And until that threshold in the elections will exist, it is not easy to get into parliament.

Workers Party of Belgium’s new revisionism – Peter Mertens attacks the CPSU (b) under Lenin and Stalin
2Source: http://www.standaard.be/artikel/detail.aspx?artikelid=DMF20130130_00451431 Translated from the Dutch
3In http://marx.be/nl/content/archief?action=get_doc&id=60&doc_id=278, Nummer 64, publicatiedatum: 2003-11-01 Copyright © EPO, Marxistische Studies en auteurs — Overname, publicatie en vertaling zijn toegestaan voor strikt niet-winstgevende doeleinden."Vragen over de ontwikkeling van het socialisme in de Chinese Volksrepubliek", Boudewijn Deckers
4http://marx.be/nl/content/archief?action=select&id=72, Nummer 78, publicatiedatum: 2007-11-22 Copyright © EPO, Marxistische Studies en auteurs — Overname, publicatie en vertaling zijn toegestaan voor strikt niet-winstgevende doeleinden. "Welke weg slaat China in?" by Peter Franssen, Marxistische Studies nr. 87
5 See Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Correspondence, Moscow, 1965, p. tb').

6http://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/staterev/ch02.htm#s3. Out "The State and Revolution", by Lenin, chapter II, part 3 "The Presentation of the Question by Marx in 1852". Written: August - September, 1917 . Source: Collected Works, Volume 25, p. 381-492. First Published: 1918 . Transcription\Markup: Zodiac and Brian Baggins . Online Version: Lenin Internet Archive (marxists.org) 1993, 1999.


Wordt de ideologie van AMADA (1970), op 9e PVDA-congres (2015) gewist uit collectief geheugen?

Ludo Martens (1969): 
"Het is van vitaal en direct materieel belang voor de arbeidersklasse dat zij ideologisch, politiek en organisatorisch is voorbereid op de revolutie. De burgerij ontmaskeren en zich voorbereiden op de socialistische revolutie: dit is de enige betekenis van de uitdrukking 'het klasse-bewustzijn ontwikkelen.' "

“In een fabriek van Hainaut-Sambre staan een aantal wagens op een spoor om een hoogoven binnen te rijden. Een arbeider moet een aantal van deze wagens aan elkaar koppelen, die dan de oven binnenrollen. De veiligheidsvoorschriften luiden, dat men de wagens die op het spoor staan éérst moet blokkeren vooraleer ze aan elkaar te koppelen. Men moet een blok voor de wielen leggen zodat de wagen niet kan verschuiven. De voorschriften worden nooit in acht genomen omdat men veel te snel moet werken. Een arbeider koppelt twee wagens aaneen.
Een wagen gaat plots aan het rollen en de arbeider wordt tussen de wagens verpletterd. Hij is op slag dood.
Er ontstaat meteen een wilde staking in de fabriek. De vakbond wil echter niet volgen.
De volgende dag kunnen de arbeiders de staking niet doorzetten. Ze beslissen echter een soort 'stiptheidsstaking' te houden: ze zullen alle wettelijk voorgeschreven veiligheidsnormen in acht nemen. Meteen daalt de productie met 30 %! Dertig procent van de productie wordt dus op 'onwettige' manier uit de arbeiders getrokken!
Maar wat gebeurt er? De patroon beslist alle premies in te houden. Meteen daalt ook het loon van de arbeiders met 30%...
De meesten kunnen daarmee niet leven. Na een week is de productie weer op 'normaal peil'... en de 'veiligheid' eveneens.
Er breekt een 'wilde' staking uit in ACEC-Gent. De arbeiders spreken er al maanden over de staking, 's Namiddags trekt plots een groep van 200 man naar buiten.
De vakbonds-délégué is een ... 'communist'... Hij loopt achter de 'wilde' stakers en zegt, dat de staking niet 'wettelijk' is. Een staking is immers maar 'wettig' als die weken tevoren door de vakbond is aangekondigd. Dan begint men een verzoeningsprocedure en allerlei onderhandelingen. Dit laat de patroon toe om alle nodige 'voorzorgsmaatregelen' te treffen. Als er dan 'gestaakt' wordt, komt dat niet meer ongelegen voor de patroon.
Als de vakbonden de 'wilde' stakingen -die de patroon pijn kunnen doen- vermijden, dan krijgen ze van het patronaat een premie van 0,6 % op de jaarlijkse lonen.
In Citroen-Vorst produceerde men een jaar geleden 90 auto's per dag. Nu moet men er 160 maken met hetzelfde aantal arbeiders. De patroon wil binnenkort overschakelen op 210 wagens... Er is veel reactie tegen dit helse ritme. Om het verzet van de arbeiders te breken, wordt een combattieve arbeider ontslagen. Als hij de volgende dag toch komt werken, wordt hij opgeleid door de politie. Zijn kameraden leggen onmiddellijk het werk stil.
Er zijn 80 % vreemdelingen in de fabriek. Alle syndicale délégués zijn echter Belgen... en vele délégués zijn ploegbaas of chef!
's Namiddags staat een groep arbeiders voor de poort te praten. Plots staan er een aantal rijkswachters voor hen en de arbeiders staan verwonderd en ongelovig te lachen. Opeens zien ze, dat er ook langs de achterpoort rijkswachters in de fabriek zijn binnengetrokken. Een rijkswachtofficier: 'Onmiddellijk aan 't werk of ge wordt over de grens gezet!'. Een colonne rijkswachters —100 à 150 man sterk — trekt in nieuwste gevechtskledij door de fabriek, geweer in de hand. De ploegbazen duiden 63 man aan die worden meegepakt.

Dit zijn drie concrete feiten uit de honderden die het laatste jaar aan de linkse studentenbeweging zijn gesignaleerd. Urenlang is er over gediscussieerd.
In de Studenten Vak Beweging van Leuven en in de Gentse Studenten Beweging.
Deze feiten zijn de achtergrond die men moet voor ogen houden als men de analyse leest die wij onszelf over de 'intellectuelen' maken.
Het intellect is een gigantische macht geworden tegen de arbeiders.
Het intellect is één van de sterkste wapens geworden die de bourgeoisie hanteert tegen de arbeiders. (...)

De arbeiders zijn de leidende kracht van de sociale revolutie. Waarom niet het 'intellectueel proletariaat', de technici, de leraars, de studenten?
Eerst een voorafgaande opmerking: de sociale revolutie komt maar tot stand wanneer de activiteit van leraars, technici, bedienden, ambtenaren, studenten zich verbindt met de activiteit van de arbeiders. Studenten, leraars, bedienden kunnen dus een belangrijke rol spelen. Ze spelen echter niet de fundamentele rol, ze zijn niet de leidende kracht van de revolutie. Hun actie krijgt maar een revolutionaire zin, wanneer ze de belangen en de strijd van de arbeiders als leidraad nemen. (....)
Het volstaat echter niet verdrukt te worden en het slachtoffer te zijn van de bourgeoisie. De arme boeren, de kleine middenstanders, de gepensioneerden hebben het dikwijls nog moeilijker dan de arbeiders. (...)
Materieel en fysiek hebben de arbeiders belang bij de vernietiging van een systeem van uitbuiting. (...)

Zijn de arbeiders nu minder bewust dan vroeger, hebben ze nu alles wat ze kunnen dromen? De bourgeoisie maakt ons graag wijs, dat 'het niet is gelijk vroeger, men is er toch zo op vooruitgegaan', etc.
Dat lijken ons dan allemaal enorm moderne theorieën. Maar een blik in de geschiedenis leert ons, dat deze theorieën zo oud zijn als de staat. Of liever: ze zijn zo oud als de bourgeoisie zelf, die er alle belang bij heeft, dat de arbeiders zo worden bedrogen.
In 1870 had men de laatste grote oorlog gezien in West-Europa. Sindsdien waren Frankrijk en Duitsland een industrie gaan opbouwen. De grondige verovering van Azië en Afrika bracht enorme schatten op. Dank zij die superwinsten kon men loonsverhoging en sociale voorzorgen geven aan de arbeiders. Het kapitalisme kende geen oorlogen meer... omdat men op volle kracht oorlogen voerde in Azië en Zuid-Amerika.
Tussen 1890 en 1900 ontwierp Bernstein een 'totaal nieuwe' theorie. Volgens deze geleerde en moderne theoreticus, kende het kapitalisme geen crisissen meer: de welvaart van de arbeiders nam gestadig toe; de arbeiders hadden geen belang bij een verafgelegen revolutie waarvan ze niet weten wat het wordt.
Wat was het gevolg van deze 'totaal nieuwe' theorie?
De arbeiders hebben zich niet politiek, ideologisch en organisatorisch voorbereid op de totale botsing tussen de klassen, op de sociale revolutie. In diezelfde periode stapelden zich de tegenstellingen binnen het kapitalisme op: de kapitalisten begonnen onderling de strijd om de heerschappij in Afrika en Azië. Het volstaat niet voor de bourgeoisie van een bepaald land, dat ze haar eigen arbeiders naar willekeur kan uitbuiten elke bourgeoisie wil ook een zo groot mogelijk deel van de Derde Wereld aan haar uitbuiting onderwerpen. In 1914 begonnen de Westerse kapitalisten de oorlog om het bezit van de rijkdommen in de Derde Wereld. De 'socialisten' hadden tientallen jaren de arbeiders vergiftigd met hun 'moderne theorie' over de rustige vooruitgang van het kapitalisme. De arbeiders waren niet gewapend voor deze bloedige confrontatie. Honderdduizenden arbeiders werden geofferd op het altaar van de 'nationale bourgeoisie'.
En de 'moderne theorie' van de socialisten kende een nieuw hoogtepunt: de socialisten hebben deze oorlog geleid vanuit hun ministeriële zetels, in naam van de verdediging van het vaderland.
Toen de arbeiders in 1918 van het front terugkeerden, wilden ze maar één ding; de revolutie. In Duitsland en Hongarije grepen de arbeidersraden de macht. Ze waren echter politiek en organisatorisch niet voldoende voorbereid op deze revolutie. Ze hadden zich te lang laren bedriegen door de 'moderne theorie'. Ze werden verslagen en tienduizenden revolutionaire arbeiders werden zonder vorm van proces neergeschoten.
Dit is de enige directe, praktische en logische consequentie van alle 'moderne theorieën' die verkondigen: er zijn geen crisissen meer, er is stijgende welvaart, het kapitalisme beheerst nu zijn eigen kontradikties, de arbeiders hebben geen revolutie nodig.
Het is een theorie die de arbeiders voorbereidt op de nederlaag.
Vijftig jaar na de eerste wereldoorlog zaten de 'linksen' in Griekenland nog altijd met dezelfde 'moderne theorie'.
Voor hen was het niet waar, dat de bourgeoisie een klassedictatuur uitoefent over de arbeiders en de boeren: zo erg was het nu ook weer niet... Ge moet niet overdrijven. Het was niet waar, dat de staat een instrument was van de bourgeoisie. Het was niet waar, dat de arbeiders en boeren de burgerij moesten verslaan om de macht van de arbeiders en de boeren te vestigen.
Neen: de macht van de arbeiders en van de boeren zou gevestigd worden door een grote stembusoverwinning.
De arbeiders en de revolutionairen waren ideologisch, politiek en organisatorisch niet voorbereid op de sociale revolutie. Zesduizend mensen werden dan ook zonder enig verweer uitgeschakeld, mishandeld of vermoord.

Nu pas groeit het verzet en groeit het inzicht in de noodzaak de arbeiders te organiseren voor de revolutie, hen politiek te vormen voor de revolutie, hen te bewapenen voor de revolutie. (...)
Het is van vitaal en van direct materieel belang voor de bourgeoisie, dat de arbeidersklasse niet wordt voorbereid op de revolutie. Vandaar het enorme belang, dat zij hecht aan de verspreiding van haar theorieën: 'De arbeiders zijn bourgeois' - 'De welvaart gaat steeds vooruit' - 'Er komen geen crisissen meer'. Het is anderzijds van vitaal en direct materieel belang voor de arbeidersklasse, dat zij ideologisch, politiek en organisatorisch is voorbereid op de revolutie. Zij moet ontmaskeren welke belangen er schuil gaan achter de modetheorieën van de burgerij.
De bourgeoisie ontmaskeren en zich voorbereiden op de sociale revolutie: dit is de enige betekenis van de uitdrukking: 'Het klassebewustzijn ontwikkelen'.
Een alternatief wordt niet gevonden door de 'slechte' bourgeois uit te schakelen en 'goeie' sociaal bewogen mensen in de plaats te zetten. Een alternatief wordt niet geboren uit de 'revolutionaire' of 'positieve' ideeën van een groep intellectuelen. Een alternatief kan alleen ontstaan op de basis van de klassebelangen van de arbei­ders.
Studenten, technici, leraars kunnen aan dit alternatief meewerken, maar hun eigen belangen als groep kunnen nooit de basis zijn van een alternatief.
De bourgeoisie vormt de wereld om naar eigen beeld. Alléén het proletariaat heeft belang in een totaal andere wereld. Het proletariaat moet de wereld omvormen naar zijn eigen beeld.
De wetten die de burgerlijke maatschappij regeren, zijn de wetten van de winstmaximering en van de strijd van iedereen tegen iedereen. Wanneer de ene kapitalist zijn macht kan uitbreiden dooreen andere kapot te maken, dan zal hij dat niet laten. Geheel de wereld, geheel de maatschappelijke orde wordt omgevormd naar deze wet: de strijd van iedereen tegen iedereen. (...)
De bourgeoisie stort zich op alles waar ze 'winst' kan uitzuigen. De bourgeoisie laat alles, waar geen winst uit te halen valt, over aan de edelmoedige beoefenaars der naastenliefde.
Iedere arbeider gaat zijn arbeidskracht elke dag opnieuw te koop aanbieden aan de kapitalist. Elke dag moet hij dulden, dat de kapitalist nieuwe metodes uitvindt om het uiterste uit de arbeidskracht van de arbeider te persen. De burgerij vormt de wereld om naar haar eigen beeld.
Het proletariaat moet de wereld en elk aspect van het maatschappelijk leven, omvormen naar zijn eigen beeld.
De solidariteit, de onderlinge hulp en het rationeel gebruiken van alle middelen zijn de wetten van deze nieuwe wereld.
Het werk in de fabrieken moet gebeuren in onderlinge hulp en in onderlinge opvoeding (maar tevens in permanente strijd tegen alle burgerlijke dictatoriale reglementen en metoden!). De arbeiders moeten de dictatuur van de arbeidersklasse uitoefenen over alle burgerlijke kader-functionarissen en ingenieurs die de arbeiders willen blijven uitbuiten en onderdrukken, zoals in de goeie burgerlijke tijd.
Wanneer het werk zijn eigenlijke zin krijgt, dat wil zeggen: wanneer de arbeiders de macht hebben over de productie en de verdeling, dan kunnen de ontspanning en het toerisme niet meer los gezien worden van de arbeid en van het collectieve leven.
De studie kan niet meer los gebeuren van het werk in de fabriek en de geestelijke en materiële belangen van de arbeiders moeten de leidraad zijn bij de studie. De meest klassebewuste arbeiders die vooraan hebben gestreden voor de bevrijding van de arbeid, zullen de beste en de eerste professoren zijn aan de universiteit.
Het proletariaat wil de wereld omvormen naar zijn eigen beeld. De bourgeoisie vormt de wereld om naar haar eigen beeld. Het centrale probleem hierbij, is het probleem van de macht: welke klasse heeft de politieke macht in handen?
Wanneer de burgerij de politieke macht in handen heeft, vormt zij de wereld om naar haar eigen beeld. (...)

De theorie van Marx, Lenin en Mao Tse-toeng is de samenvatting van de levende ervaring van miljoenen en miljoenen revolutionairen.
Deze theorie vormt de neerslag van talrijke dramatische nederlagen van het proletariaat en van talrijke nieuwe stappen vooruit. Het is echter niet voldoende de theorie te bestuderen.(...)
Alleen de concrete actie met het proletariaat, maakt het de intellectueel mogelijk, de revolutionaire theorie van Marx, Lenin en Mao Tse-toeng werkelijk te begrijpen. Het begrijpen van deze theorie is van onschatbare waarde om de concrete praktijk beter en meer trefzeker te maken.

Wij zeggen dat de fundamentele taak van de intellectuelen erin bestaat de revolutionaire theorie te assimileren en toe te passen. We zeggen dat de fundamentele voorwaarde daartoe de omvorming van de intellectuelen is ten dienste van de arbeiders. Alleen wanneer men direct en praktisch contact heeft met de realiteit en de strijd van de arbeiders, kan men de theorie op een juiste manier ontwikkelen.(...)
Het proletariaat en de werkende mensen zijn de vruchtbare bodem voor de revolutionaire ideeën om deze materiële reden: de revolutionaire ideeën drukken de klassebelangen uit van de arbeiders. (...)
Wanneer we ten volle willen renderen voor de sociale revolutie moeten we de juiste “bodem” opzoeken om te gaan werken. Er is maar één criterium om uit te maken of een intellectueel werkelijk revolutionair is. Men moet nagaan: slaagt hij erin zich concreet onder de arbeiders te integreren of slaag hij daar niet in? (...)
(A)ls gewone arbeider in een fabriek gaan werken. Dit is ongetwijfeld de meest resolute en meest geschikte integratie....” 1

1Uit “De kontestatie is vlees geworden”, P. Goossens, L. Martens, L. Reyntjens, e.a.,  De Gekleurde Boekjes, Sonneville Press, 1970, hernomen in “Een kwarteeuw mei '68”, Ludo Martens, Kris Merckx, EPO, 1993, ISBN 90 6445 748 4