Information article of the International Relations Section of the CC about the 18th Congress
The 18th Congress of KKE
The 18th Congress of
KKE was held in
1. The action of the party since the 17th Congress and its duties until the 19th Congress 2. The theses of KKE on socialism.
In addition, it elected the new Central Committee of the Party, that comprises of 77 members.
The inner-party debate in the Party Base Organisations and the party pre-Congress Conferences (in territories, cities and regional organisations), the 3-month public debate in the pages of the daily newspaper “Rizospastis” , organ of the CC of KKE as well as a special issue of the “Communist Review”, the theoretical journal of the Party preceded the Congress. The debate has been oriented by the “Theses” on both issues published early enough by the CC.
How was the situation in the last years?
In order to
understand the duties discussed in the congress one should take into
consideration several issues concerning the positions and the action of KKE at
least over the 18 last years, the way they developed as well as some aspects of
the social-political situation in
The crisis of the
international communist movement, which manifested itself after the overthrow
of socialism and the dissolution of
Thanks to the
determination of the members and cadres of the Party who remained loyal to the
Marxist-Leninist ideology and the revolutionary role of the Party, the efforts
to diffuse KKE in SYNASPISMOS, had been prevented. KKE won this ideological and
political battle and started its ideological, political, and organisational
regroupment. All of them who hoped that KKE wounded by counterrevolution and
split would not be able to intervene in Greek political life and exceed the 3%
limit required in order to be represented in Parliament, have been disappointed.
In the elections after the split in
In the next few
years KKE has taken several particularly important political-ideological and
organisational steps. Thus, in 1993 it organised a special party Conference in
which it debated and drew conclusions about the character of the EU and the
stance of KKE towards this imperialist union. In 1995 followed the public
debate and Party conference that arrived at conclusions concerning the causes
of the overthrow of socialism and the restoration of capitalism in the
After the counterrevolution KKE has made important efforts for the regroupment of the labour movement. It opposed the notions of “consensus”, “social dialogue” and “social peace” promoted in the labour movement by bourgeois, reformist and opportunist political forces. Communists have promoted the line of class struggle and collision, in order for the workers to achieve gains. Thus, they preserved and gained new positions in trade unions, branch federations and trade union centers which are part of the integrated (concerning its organisation) Greek trade union movement that consists of the confederations of the trade unions in private (GSEE) and public sector (ADEDY). However, the struggle of the class oriented forces has been hindered by the leadership of GSEE and ADEDY. KKE examined this situation in 1997, through a special Conference on the labour movement. In 1999 PAME was organised on an initiative of communists. Trade unions, branch federations and trade union centers that recognise the class struggle participate in PAME. These forces work through an independent multi-faceted activity for the coordination of their struggle, for the interests of the working class, for the strengthening of the class unity and the change of the correlation of forces in the trade union movement.
The 16th Congress has specified the issues of the Front. The notions of People’s Economy and Power were established as a goal uniting the forces that will build the anti-imperialist, anti-monopoly, democratic Front. In addition, the Congress clarified the content of these notions. For communists, this content is identified with that of socialism. However, KKE does not regard the agreement with socialism or with its perception about socialism as a prerequisite. It seeks the agreement with the notion and the content of the terms “peoples economy and “peoples power” that are based on the socialisation of the basic means of production, the central planning and the workers control.
The 17th Congress dealt with the question: “what party do we need nowadays?”. It directed the party, organisational rearrangement in the workplaces and various sectors. In addition, it approved a special resolution for the situation of the international communist movement and the duties of KKE.
In the period between the 17th and 18th Congress, KKE held two nationwide Conferences, which focused on key-issues concerning the course of the Party, such as the work of the Party among the women and young people.
At the same time KKE has made an important effort to elaborate several issues concerning the history of the communist movement. The statements of the CC on the 60th anniversary of the Anti-fascist Victory, the 90th anniversary of the October Revolution and KKE, the 60th anniversary of the Democratic Army of Greece have not been merely some typical “anniversary” statements. On the contrary, they contributed to the strengthening of the ideological political unity to the unfolding of multiform events.
utilisation of the study-research work of the last 4 years on the issues of the
socialist construction in the
Some points regarding the influence of KKE today
KKE has developed
important bonds with the working class in
These class oriented trade union forces, as we mentioned, rally in PAME that constantly expands its influence in new trade unions and exerts strong pressure on the “yellow”, employer-led trade union leadership. PAME organizes strikes at enterprise, branch and national level. It strengthens the struggle in order to repel the attack launched by the government and the employers. A characteristic example is the recent battle in the chain of stores under the trade name “JUMBO” due to the dismissal of the communist trade-unionist.
The Communist Youth of Greece (KNE), the political youth organization of KKE, has also very important action within the youth movement for the politicization of the youth’s struggle. This is more obvious among the students. In the elections held in the students’ associations, PKS, the list supported by KNE, in 2007 was supported by more than 23,7 thousands of students, as it got a 15,38% in the Technological Education Institutes and a 15,97% of the votes in the Universities all over the country.
In the local
elections in 2006, KKE had candidates in all 54 prefectures, as well as in all
major municipalities, covering 80% of the country. It elected 64 prefecture
council members (
In the parliamentary elections in 2007, KKE occupied the 3rd position, receiving 583.818 votes and 8,15%, and elected 22 MPs.
Despite these considerable successes since the 17th Congress until today, KKE has assessed in its 18th Congress the weakness to advance the building of the Party, the low pace of recruitment from the working class and the need for a more methodical effort for an overall development of cadres from the working class and especially women. However, this does not entail that the Party has not made any progress. During the last 4 years the social and age composition of the Party members improves slowly but steadily, at national and local level. The organisational rearrangement of the Party Organisations on productive basis has proceeded and has brought positive results by gathering and developing forces according to work sectors and workplaces. A very important element is the increase of the number of women party members by 4,5% as well as the renewal of the party forces. A 37,2% of the party members joined the Party after the crisis of the period 1990-1991. There is an increase of the PBOs in factories, in various workplaces, of the branch organisations by 4% with a simultaneous increase of the party members that joined them. There is also an increase of the percentage of the employees of the private sector by 2,3%, of the self-employed by 2,3% as well, and of the students by 1,9%. There’s been a decrease of the number of party members who are pensioners and housewives.
The 18th Congress has assessed that we should utilize and strengthen the positive elements.
Congress and developments
It should be noted
that although the inter-party procedures (assemblies, conferences) objectively
absorbed valuable time, at the same time KKE was present at the struggles of
the workers, the youth, the peasants as well as the anti-imperialist struggle
that broke out in
The consequences of the capitalist crisis are used by the liberal government of ND, by the social-democratic PASOK but also by capitalist employer-led bodies so as to ensure the unity and consensus in order to face the crisis, as the claim, “all together”. These incentives, revealed by KKE, are absolutely false, misleading and very dangerous and aim at the disarming of the labor movement and the movement of the popular social forces; it’s a call for new sacrifices and submission.
Equally dangerous for the labor movement are the views put forward by various opportunists, such as SYRIZA (a social-democrat medley in which the main force is SYNASPISMOS), exonerating the capitalist system, presenting the issue of the crisis as a result of the subjective choices of one or another bourgeois party, or as a deviation of the supposedly healthy capitalist system.
The communist were and still are the vanguard in the labor and trade union struggles so that the workers won’t pay the crisis. At the same time, KKE has revealed the causes of the capitalist crisis which are inherent in the exploitative character of the society, raised the imperative need to popularise and increase the influence of the Party policy, the importance of socialization, cooperative production, national planning and workers’ control.
Of equal importance
was the political intervention of KKE during the outbreak of the youth, and
generally people’s indignation for the cold blood murder of the student in
This outbreak of the youth’s indignation was described as “peoples uprising” especially by a social-democrat oriented part of the bourgeois Press. On the other hand, SYRIZA characterised the movement as an “uprising of the youth”. Τhere has also been an attempt to mark the mobilisations of the youth through the comeback of structured, “trained” groups calling themselves “anti-establishment movement”, characterized by hoods and “blind violence” as well as by the use of Molotov cocktails for the destruction and plundering of shop-windows, banks, public buildings etc. In addition, they were characterised mainly by the absence of political slogans, demands and goals of struggle and for being against all forms of guidance and organisation.
Our Party distinguished from the beginning the mass youth demonstrations from the action of the so-called anti-establishment forces, groups engaged in anticommunism. The massiveness and the politicization of the protected demonstrations of the school students, the university students and the workers, organized by KKE, PAME and the Coordinative of Struggle of Schools’ Unions might not have reached to the TV screens of various Greek and foreign bourgeois-led television networks (in which predominated the scenes of blind violence), left, though, an important legacy for the political maturing of large section of the youth.
The communists were
also in the vanguard of the struggles of the small and medium scale peasants
that a few weeks before the 18th Congress of KKE preceded in road blocks. The
basic element of the movements was the mass participation of young peasants who
felt that their survival is threatened through the CAP that has been
The members and
cadres of KKE and KNE were in the vanguard of the the anti-imperialist struggle
against the brutal Israeli attack on
The discussion and the resolutions of the 18th Congress
This article does
not intend to substitute the study of the Documents of the Congress (Theses of
the CC, Reports of the CC, closing remarks and resolutions). We call all
Communist and Workers Parties, the communists from other countries, who are
interested in the developments in
We briefly refer that the 18th Congress showed that there is a noticeable improvement concerning the main duty set by the 17th Congress: the orientation of our work towards the working class and young people. The conditions for targeted activity of the Party among young people have improved. At the same time, KNE has also made progress. We have developed our tactics concerning the mobilisations, the mass movement nationwide in order to rally and mobilise the workers’ and people’s masses around demands and goals of struggle, to strengthen the anti-imperialist, anti-monopoly line and consciousness; to promote the struggle for another path of development, for the people to realise that we need a change at the level of state power and not the alternation of the two partners or the coalition governments which manage the system. Nowadays KKE is more capable of combining its tactics and strategy; it is more prepared to struggle for its new duties arising from the outbreak of the global economic crisis and against the efforts of the bourgeois political system to hinder the radicalisation of the masses.
The discussion on
the socialist construction in the 20th century focusing mainly on the
The Report of the CC in the 18th Congress mentions: “nowadays it is not possible for a communist party to act effectively, to have a revolutionary strategy elaborated from a scientific viewpoint, to provide answers to the big questions without utilising the positive and negative experience of the socialist revolution and construction. Those who gave up these principles before the counterrevolution, but also afterwards in the name of “renewal”, have been led to an underestimation even to a rejection of the struggle for socialism. This occurred in a period of increased confusion regarding the causes for the capitalist restoration, a period full of disappointment, reduced hopes and questions regarding the feasibility of a true a way out. Socialism is not a vision; it is a goal to be attained under specific preconditions. One of these is the preparation through the daily struggle as well as the ideological-political vigilance of the subjective factor, something that cannot be attained without drawing experience from the socialist construction”.
The 18th Congress confirmed that KKE will steadily and more effectively continue co-operating with other Communist and Workers’ parties on bilateral, regional and international level, for the continuance of the international Meetings, common activities on the basis of common resolutions, for the coordination of their activities, for the strengthening of the anti-imperialist struggle, against the imperialist wars and interventions, against poverty, hunger, for the environment.
KKE gives priority
to the development of bilateral relations, aiming at the strengthening of the
solidarity movement with the peoples in Latin America focusing on
KKE supports the
regional Meetings of the Communist Parties in the Balkans, the East
Mediterranean- Middle East and
KKE will make efforts to increase the regional Meetings according to the developments and the specific problems in order to strengthen the process of collective elaborations and common efforts for the development of ideological political struggle against the bourgeois, reformist and opportunist currents, new-fascist activities, nationalism and chauvinism.
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.
As it is mentioned in the document of the 18th Congress our reflection and activity focuses on the fact that the international communist movement remains organisationally and ideologically fragmented. As long as the situation does not improve, the danger for a new backsliding increases. Already, in a series of countries the process of de-characterization and mutation of the communist parties towards a social-democratic orientation continued. In a period whereby the pressure for denying the communist identity increases, the new wave of state anticommunism grows into new dimensions, whereas the content of this new anticommunism is being adopted also by the modern opportunist currents. The founding of the “Party of the European Left” in the EU signaled the organic merging of modern opportunist currents with the structures of the EU and the state mechanism of the member-states.
Today it appears even more demanding the need to speed up the processes of forming and shaping a communist pole, a distinct, in other words, presence of communist and workers parties, of communist forces that actively work in the direction of a united revolutionary strategy of the international communist movement.
We do not share the fears that such a collective effort may cancel the responsibility of each Communist Party at the national level, nor that it would make more difficult the general effort to coordinate communist and workers parties that have differences amongst them in various anti-imperialist goals. The effort for a united revolutionary strategy against the united strategy of imperialism can strengthen and put forward even better the duties of each Communist Party in its country and its responsibilities vis-à-vis the working class, and generally the working people. We view such cooperation at a higher level to be based on the equality of parties, the respect of their independence and the particular views they may have.
It’s the responsibility and right of every CP to study the theoretical issues of our movement, the formulation of revolutionary strategy, to draw lessons from the front of struggle with the bourgeois views, reformism and opportunism at an international level, to prepare the Party and, generally, the class forces for the ups and downs of class struggle, for the successes but also the defeats, that occur, to provide scientific explanations, to take advantage of experience in order to prepare for a new advance forward, to drawn gains, for the final victory. At the same time, in our opinion every CP has also the responsibility and right to brief, to make those studies common to the fraternal communist and workers parties, to study their thoughts and views, in order, ultimately, through collective work to achieve that all the hummers are hitting on the same direction, in the struggle for changing the correlation of forces and overthrow capitalism.
Our solidarity towards all the communist parties is a fact, especially towards those that act under harsh conditions. Our solidarity does not depend on the degree of our agreement, but from the need, and with our assistance, to help them overcome the specific problems that they face in their countries from state violence and oppression, prosecutions and prohibitions, etc. When there is a critical discussion of the various different views, in our opinion, it takes place for reasons of solidarity, common worries about being able to correspond to today’s increased needs at the national and international level. All of us anyway with our actions and with our attitude exert influence, not only on the movement in our country, but also on international developments, the international movement.
KKE characterised its 18th Congress, Congress of counterattack. This term refers to the counterattack of the labour and popular movement against the anti-people’s plans of the bourgeoisie; to the ideological political counterattack for the organization of the working people in view of the crisis; to the establishment of the Front and the prospect of the People’s economy and power, to the prospect of socialism.
The discussion in the 18th Congress and its resolutions make us stronger for our struggle.