10 IMCWP: Contribution of KKE
Sao Paulo, Brazil , 21 to 23.11.2008
“New phenomena in the international developments. Deterioration of national, social and environmental problems, intensification of the intra-imperialist contradictions and rivalries. The struggle for peace, democracy, sovereignty progress and socialism and the joint action of Communist and Workers’ Parties”
Contribution of D. Koutsoumpas member of the PB of the CC of KKE
We would like to salute all the participants to the 10th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties and especially the comrades of the Communist Party of Brazil. Having followed the route Athens-Lisbon-Minsk, our meeting has been held in Europe for nine years. Today, it has “spread its wings” for the first time and takes place here in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
The fact that the Meeting takes place in the American continent shows on the one hand the unlimited power of the international communist movement that, although it remains in a state of crisis after the counterrevolutionary overthrow, it still expresses the desire for progressive changes in all over the world. On the other hand, it shows our solidarity with the struggle of the peoples in Latin America, with socialist Cuba that continues resisting. It also shows the interest of the communist and other anti-imperialist minded people from all over the world for the positive as well as complicated and contradictory developments unfolding in this region.
The developments in the past year are characterised mainly by the crisis that broke out initially in the USA and then spread in the powerful capitalist countries. This element has brought to light and confirmed the positions that have been projected by the communist movement for decades. Nowadays, it underlines -more distinctly than in the past- the necessity to struggle for an alternative development proposed by our movement, it brings forward the issue of the capitalist ownership of the means of production, the need for their socialisation and the issue of the workers’ and peoples’ power.
The recent economic developments in the USA and the EU highlight once again the fact that no capitalist economy can avoid the periodic outbreak of crises. In a period of a crisis, the basic irreconcilable contradiction between the socialisation of production and the exploitation of the produced wealth by the capitalists becomes more obvious. All contradictions of the capitalist economy consolidate and break out violently. The problem derives from the capitalist production and not from the currency circulation.
The pursuit of additional profit by the rival companies and sectors intensifies all disproportions and contradictions of the capitalist economy. The various sectors develop unevenly, based on no rules, and as a result the contradiction between production and mass consumption increases. At the same time, the speculative action in the financial system increases. Thus, the crisis manifests itself through the destruction of productive forces, the closure and takeover of business.
The crisis phenomena in the economy of the USA, the member-states of the EU and in the rest of the world that manifested themselves through a trend of bankrupts in the financial system constitute manifestations of the anarchic capitalist development. They derive from decay and parasitism caused by the private and stock ownership of the concentrated means of production that breeds the daily buying and selling of shares -papers of no value promising a future profit- through banks, stock markets and insurance companies. The imperialist blocs are strongly concerned about the stability of the capitalist system in the face of a deeper and more synchronised crisis.
The actual proposals aiming at crisis management underline one more key issue: the bourgeois management in all its versions – old liberal or social-democratic – cannot avoid the consequences of the anarchic capitalist development. As the basic contradiction between capital and labour intensifies, capitalism will be suffering from even deeper, bigger and irreversible contradictions. The shareholders-parasites who make profit from companies for which they do not even know where they are settled or what they do produce, are symbols of the obsolete exploitative system.
The strategy of the capital restructurings, implemented the last years by the right-wing, left-wing, central left and central right governments, is not just a policy of choosing a “neo-liberal” management model. In fact, this strategy reflects the needs of capitalism at international level in a whole historical period, characterised by the development of its inherent tendency for exportation of capital and goods.
The fact that the crisis has been the destiny of all capitalist economies and it will be so in the future shows that capitalism is not almighty.
No management policy can relieve the system from its internal decay no matter whether the state bails out the over-indebted banks and other companies, or leaves it to the market to decide upon their bailout or depreciation. The working class and the people in every country have no interest to pay once again for the system to overcome its crisis. The workers and especially the communists should turn their back to the misleading views about “regulation”, “purification” and “humanisation” of capitalism that put the blame to neo-liberalism only in order to save capitalism.
Irrespective of the depth and the range of the current economic crisis, the bourgeois powers, the administrators of the system are reasonably anxious for the danger of not being in the position to control the consequences that can endanger their political stability.
In our opinion, what bourgeoisie considers a threat to its economic and political stability is a hope for labour and peoples’ forces, as long as the communist parties and the anti-imperialist movement do not lose sight of the only real way out. In other words, we should utilise this situation to the maximum in order to promote the process of unity among the working class as well as its social political alliance with the other popular strata at national regional and international level. Furthermore, the working class should increase its class militancy along with its ability to run against the class enemy and consolidate in the frame of this struggle the vanguard segments of the popular forces. The crisis requires a counterattack by the working class movement as well as intensification of the class struggle around anti-imperialist goals in favour of the workers. Workers should follow the line of the irreconcilable resistance and struggle and not the line of conciliation, compromise and “consensus” that will enable capitalists to heal their wounds. The popular forces should attack united the “wounded beast” and not give it time to heal its wounds and recover. The strategy of the international communist movement and the strategy of the communist parties at national level should promote the rallying of forces in the class oriented trade union movement, in the anti-imperialist movement, in peoples’ alliance in order to lead the people to the social ownership of the concentrated means of production, the central planning of social production and workers control. All these require overthrow at the level of power in the various capitalist countries.
Our era is the era of imperialism and imperialist wars. Lenin made an economical and social analysis of the modern era and resulted to the scientifically funded conclusion that monopolies are the complete material preparation for socialism and therefore imperialism is the threshold of the socialist revolution.
The reference of the scientific communism concerning the character of our era as an era of social revolutions takes into account the dialectical relationship between economy and politics throughout the history. It is also true that the movement of the working class finds itself in the focal point of our era as well as the fact that the main contradiction nowadays is the contradiction between labour and capital. Consequently, the working class should focus its action on this point and its party should form the appropriate strategy and tactic.
The counterrevolution in the period 1990-1991 that marked the end of the 20th century has not changed the character of our era which is an era of social revolutions. The character of the revolution does not depend on the balance of forces at national or international level neither on the situation of the communist movement. Nowadays, the whole world lives under conditions of intensification of the main contradiction of capitalism. The capitalist society has got into an advanced stage of maturation of the material conditions for the socialist revolution.
The necessity of socialism emerges in all the aspects of the modern history and developments. The need for objective conclusions to be drawn from the viewpoint of the scientific theory of socialism-communism regarding the building of socialism in the 20th century has been more strongly demonstrated. Without such an assessment, even if it must be carried on leaving some issues still unresolved, it will not be possible for the communist movement to regroup or to achieve a formulation as comprehensive as possible of the strategy of the revolutionary labour and communist movement under modern conditions. This applies to all communist parties acting under any conditions whatsoever.
KKE believes that any reluctance to investigate the reasons for the victory of the counter-revolution is equivalent to agnosticism, and leaves the field open to the anti-communist views of bourgeois ideology and opportunism. In the 18th Congress of our Party in February 2009, apart from the review of the CC and its new tasks, we will also debate on another important document, the theses of KKE on socialism. In this text we make an effort to research the causes for the defeat in the USSR. We focus on measures that affected the character of the socialist power and economy as well as on issues that exercised a negative influence on the creation of a united strategy of the communist movement against imperialism. At the same time, we make an effort to generalize the theoretical theses of our party for socialism and present summarily our positions on socialism.
Of course this issue is not merely an issue of our party. It concerns all communist Parties and above all, those that have experienced the socialist building. Your contribution to further deepen the research on this issue will give us a great pleasure. Our text is based on the “basic conclusions on the victory of the counterrevolution” adopted by the national conference of our Party in 1995 however, it has been extended with issues concerning socialist economy and strategy. The general idea of the text is totally opposed to the reformist and opportunist views on the “national particularities of socialism” spread in the past by the current of euro-communism. The text also defends the laws of the socialist-communist building as well as the achievements of socialism in the 20th century. At the same time we try to draw some conclusions regarding the process of building socialism, the shortcomings, the mistakes and the causes of the defeat. For the elaboration of this text, we took into account the studies of many Marxist scientists from many countries, official texts and documents as well as debates in the former socialist countries. Since we are in Latin America please allow me to quote an important point formulated by Che Guevara in an article about the socialist economy and building: “in the socialist economy there must be a tendency for the stronger possible eradication of the old categories such as market, money and therefore the lever of the material motivation, in other words the conditions that cause its emergence”.
Nowadays, intra-imperialist rivalries are evolving on all levels – economic, military and political – and between the various groups of states as well. The hotspots of war that appeared after the creation of new markets in the former socialist countries are still hot, or at risk of being kindled anew, as rivalry is intensifying, above all, to control the sources and pipelines of oil and natural gas. Under these conditions, the US and NATO are deploying new missiles in Europe; while the US fomented the Georgian offensive against South Osetiya that provoked the response by Russia. The Caucasus region is becoming a hot zone of US-Russian competition, entailing new dangers of a more general conflagration in the region, in which the EU, NATO, and other regional forces are also involved.
Rivalry is intensifying as regards the military presence and political influence of various imperialist centres in Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, as well as in the Arctic. Military spending is increasing, as are arms exports and plans to produce and deploy new nuclear weapons.
The trend towards changes in the correlation of forces in the world market continues to deepen and has become predominant throughout the past four years. A trend is developing for the US positions in the international market to be lost or disputed. This trend is reflected in the reduction of the US share of GWP despite the fact that it still holds first place. At the same time China and EU have upgraded their position while there is a gradual improvement of Russia’s, India’s, and Brazil’s share in the GWP.
The EU as a whole strengthened its position in the international capitalist market.
At the same time, there is growing rivalry between the dominant imperialist forces of its member-states: Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy etc. France is developing discernible cooperation initiatives in Eastern Europe, in Ukraine and in the Caucasus. It played a leading role in the new initiative of the “Mediterranean Union”, a Euro-Mediterranean free trade zone, aiming to upgrade its influence in the region. The initial French government proposal was addressed only to EU member states bordering on the Mediterranean, so that France would acquire a leading role. Germany objected, with the result that a compromise proposal was worked out by the European Commission that included all EU member states.
The US has created its own support within the EU, e.g. by forming an arc that includes the Baltic states, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Albania and FYROM, which act as a group in the deployment of the US missile “shield” in Europe and more generally in support of the economic and political interests of the US-British axis.
Every alliance is governed simultaneously by countervailing trends (centrifugal and centripetal), both within itself and in relation to rival alliances.
Russia has crystallised its strategic energy alliances with Germany and Italy in the North and South Stream natural gas pipelines and has utilised the countries through which they pass to increase its geopolitical influence within NATO (Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary). To the degree that Russian plans are realised, the rival plans of the US will be either weakened or cancelled. Capitalist Russia, with its enormous deposits of natural resources, its nuclear arsenal, and the infrastructures inherited from the USSR, as well as a skilled work force, has the prerequisites to upgrade its position in the imperialist pyramid. This eventuality does not constitute a guarantee for the peoples against the US and other imperialist centres – as was the case with the USSR, the socialist system and the Warsaw Pact as a whole – because the character of present-day Russia is imperialist.
It has been proved that the “multipolar world” is a world of sharpened intra-imperialist competition. On no account should the communist movement support the one on the other imperialist in the frame of their rivalry. On the contrary, it must utilise the intra-imperialist contradictions. The response of the communist movement should be the resolute development of the anti-imperialist struggle, the struggle against the military bases, the US anti-missile shield, the military occupations missions that serve the imperialist interests and the imperialist organisations such as the EU and NATO.
The intra-imperialist rivalries are manifested even in the field of the environmental policy between transnational monopolies and as well as capitalist states. Thus the visible climate changes -which, to some degree are the result of anarchic development based on the criterion of capitalist profit and the commercialisation of land and energy- are exploited by the various imperialist centers to develop a new market for energy conservation technology products as well as the trade in pollutants. Some organisations often present the causes for the phenomenon of climate change in a fragmentary way and inflate its consequences.
The environmental issue as well as other issues concerning the democratic demands for the modern needs of the workers can not be detached from and regarded as irrelevant to the policy of the monopolies and the plans of the imperialist organisations. The struggle for the environment constitutes an integral part of anti-monopoly anti-imperialist struggle. Under certain conditions and lead by the Communist Party this struggle can unite all the social and political forces that will be benefited from the overthrow of imperialism and the building of a new society.
The vote against the “new” Euro-Treaty- as the “European Constitution” was renamed- by the people of Ireland on 12th June 2008 , in conjunction with increase of the popular discontent and the growing tendency in all member states to dispute the EU, gives new thrust to deepening and stepping up the anti-imperialist struggle by the labour and popular movement. These movements should become the pole of anti-imperialist struggle and cooperation in Europe, the countervailing force against imperialist wars, anti-popular policies and their agencies, the pole to break with and overthrow the EU.
This positive development is very much dependent on the action and initiatives of the communist parties that have a clear-cut about the nature of the EU as an interstate imperialist union, and on stepping up the struggle against reformism and opportunism.
The EU intends to demolish the rights of the working class, it shields the political system of the bourgeois and reinforces repressive mechanisms.
EU members are working out a joint offensive and reactionary theories in order to control the labour movement.
The EU is in the front ranks of the outrageous falsification of history with its anti-Stalinist and anti-communist campaign equates socialism and communism with overt forms of dictatorship by the bourgeois class and by Nazi and fascist regimes. It is obvious that if the peoples want to take steps forward they need to oppose to the EU, its choices, its policies and not comply with its reactionary measures; they need to break the chain of the EU commitments.
The developments in the international imperialist system bring forward the need for a faster strengthening of the communist parties in our countries. Nowadays there should be a communist Party in each country, competent and ready to act under any possible circumstances. A strong communist Party is required even in case of a sudden rise of the class struggle or in case of an unpredicted, dynamic growth of the movement with inexperienced popular masses carrying illusionary political views, in order to guide them ideologically, politically and organisationally.Also in case of backsliding or conciliation of the peoples’ struggle or rise of opportunism and reformism in various countries we need a strong, vanguard communist Party, to retain its forces and find its feet again in order to support the movement ideologically and politically and be able to counterattack.
We underline that the prolongation of the crisis of the international communist movement entails dangers of even greater backsliding. The revolutionary communist forces need to take initiatives to confront the crisis, which has a broader influence on the anti-imperialist movement of the peoples, and prevents the regrouping and counter-attack of the labour movement. The battle against social-democratisation tendencies in communist parties – through the intervention of imperialist mechanisms, anti-communism and the bourgeois media – must be fought firmly and consistently by defending the historic role of the working class and its organised vanguard, the principles of Marxism-Leninism and of socialism. This task takes on even greater significance in face of the growing anti-communist offensive in the EU and internationally.
The existence of the communist movement and the reinforcement of its communist characteristics at national and international level is a key prerequisite for the strengthening of the peoples struggle for peace, democracy, people’s power progress and socialism. Since its foundation, our party has accumulated varied experience concerning coalition policies and has drawn important conclusions. One of its basic conclusions is that the action of the Party itself in the various political and social alliances should be out of the question. No communist party should decide its dissolution in order to participate in wider movements; all communist parties should ensure their existence. The communist Party expresses and serves specific class interests which can not be served by any other party no matter how progressive it claims to be.
Allow us to make some comments on an issue that concerns the communist and the revolutionary movement on general. Lately there is an effort to condemn and reject the armed revolutionary struggle for instance in Latin America but also in general, using FARC as the excuse. This political stance, which has been widely adopted by pro-imperialist forces, but is also supported by the forces of reformism and opportunism, concerns the armed struggle against occupation and the resistance to dictatorial and despotic regimes. It also concerns the development of the revolutionary movement, the right to protect one’s self against the repression and weapons of the bourgeois class and bourgeois political forces. In essence, this stance argues that the movement should abandon the policy of breaking with and overthrowing the system.
Our party believes that the International Meetings of Communist and Workers’ Parties (IMCWP) are particularly useful and should be continued and developed.
At the same time our Party will continue its efforts for the pole for a more distinct presence of the communist and Workers’ Parties which are based on Marxism Leninism and struggle for the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism, for socialism-communism. The IMCWP should continue focusing on issues related to the struggle against anti-communism, to assessing the main trends in the modern imperialist system, to developing resistance against capitalist restructurings, to anti-imperialist solidarity, to the class trade union grouping, and to the struggle for peace and other movements on a national and international level. Utilising our positive and negative experience alike, we are required to take concrete measures to implement the annual directions for action formulated by the IMCWP and to encourage initiatives by parties and groups of parties, through the broadest possible dissemination and discussion.
Regional and issue-oriented meetings of Communist Parties should be held more frequently and effectively than in the past, as part of the process of jointly working out issues related to assessing events and developing the ideological and political struggle against bourgeois and opportunistic trends, neo-fascist practices, nationalism and chauvinism.
The ideological front should be significantly improved on issues related to the international communist movement and the anti-imperialist struggle, so that it can respond in a more rapid and substantiated way, and deepen its assessment of struggles, demands and their results, especially regarding the struggles of the working class and young people.
The Party will continue its effort to promote common action around anti-monopoly and anti-imperialist goals with those communist and workers’ movements with which there are ideological differences, without waiving the right to critical discussion of these differences.
We wish success to the 10th meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties. We firmly believe that, despite the difficulties that many parties face in their countries, we will all contribute through this meeting to the development of our struggle and the coordination of our action around common goals in all over the world.