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Contribution of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) at the 23rd International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties (IMCWP) in Izmir
delivered by Giorgos Marinos, member of the PB of the CC of the KKE
We salute the 23rd International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties. We thank the Communist Party of Turkey for hosting it and express our appreciation to our Turkish comrades with whom we struggle in coordination to strengthen the joint struggle and solidarity between our neighbouring peoples, against the imperialist alliance of NATO, the bourgeois classes, the governments and parties that serve their interests, for the overthrow of the exploitative system and the building of socialism in a region of particular strategic importance.
We condemn the murderous military offensive of the Israeli occupying state on the Gaza Strip and the barbaric blockade, with the support of the USΑ, NATO and the EU, and demand that this genocide be stopped immediately. We express our full solidarity with the heroic Palestinian people and their just struggle. We join with them, together with other peoples, in calling for an end to the inhumane Israeli occupation and the creation of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
We express our internationalist solidarity with all the peoples and their struggles, with the Communist Party of Cuba and the Cuban people and demand an end to the blockade imposed by US imperialism and to any interference in the internal affairs of Cuba.
We stand by the side of the CPs that are facing bans and anti-communist persecution. We support the struggle of the CP of Venezuela and we denounce the unacceptable decision of the Supreme Court to appoint a fake leadership to the CP of Venezuela effectively outlawing it; an intervention made at the behest of the government and the ruling socialist party in order to suppress the struggle of the communists.
The international experience examined by the 23rd IMCWP stresses that the attack of capital is intensifying; the real income of the people is decreasing; social, social security and labour rights are being taken away; inflation, high prices and unemployment continue to rise; flexible forms of employment are expanding and working hours are increasing; education, welfare and health care are being further commercialized; the problem of people’s housing is becoming more acute.
The lack of integrated planning and necessary infrastructure to prevent and deal with fires, floods and earthquakes, which cost thousands of human lives and cause the destruction of people’s property —as happened this year in Turkey, Greece and other countries— have dire consequences.
Poverty and imperialist wars increase the waves of refugees and immigrants who face capitalist exploitation, racism and xenophobia, fall victims to traffickers and lose their lives. The KKE extends a hand of solidarity with refugees and immigrants and struggles for their rights. It makes sure that they join their trade unions and that the most vanguard elements among them are organized in the KKE.
The conclusion is obvious:
The system of exploitation, which is based on the power of the bourgeoisie and the private-capitalist ownership of the means of production and is driven by the profit of the monopolies, has transcended its historical limits. It is becoming more reactionary, aggressive and dangerous. The exploitation of the working class is intensifying, the condition of the peoples is worsening, state and employers’ repression and anti-communism are sharpening. The over-accumulation of capital is leading to a new capitalist crisis, as demonstrated by the slowdown of the capitalist economy and recession in Germany.
The so-called 4th industrial revolution, artificial intelligence, the green and digital economy are at the service of big capital, forging new shackles for workers around the world and sharpening the contradiction between capital and labour. Behind the destruction of the environment and the so-called climate change, which is being used as an alibi to justify the anti-popular policies of bourgeois governments, lies the pursuit of capitalist profit.
Under these circumstances, it is imperative that each CP country should raise its demandingness and intervene decisively in the class struggle in its country; it should strengthen its ties with the working class and undertake the responsibility for enlightening the workers and organizing the struggle, in conflict with the monopolies and capitalism. We are aware of the prevailing situation and the severe consequences of the ideological-political crisis in the communist movement. However, the communists have the duty to cope with the demands of the struggle even under the most difficult conditions, to exhaust all possibilities and to combine the daily struggle with the task of revolutionary regroupment, taking into account that our era expresses the necessity of transition from capitalism to socialism.
The revolutionary regroupment is an urgent task. We are facing the intensification of imperialist competition for the control of markets, raw materials and economic-trade routes of strategic importance, which is the cause of imperialist wars, such as the one being waged in Ukraine between the USA-NATO-EU and capitalist Russia.
The Russian and Ukrainian people lived together for decades building the new socialist society. They fought against Nazism together in the Second World War and today they are killing each other for the interests of the US, European, Ukrainian and Russian monopolies, suffering tens of thousands of dead and injured.
The counter-revolution and the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union and the countries of socialist construction proved to be disastrous for the peoples.
After the counter-revolution, NATO imperialism expanded into Eastern Europe and supported fascist and pro-fascist forces in Ukraine who persecuted the communists and the people living in the Donbas region. However, these developments cannot justify the unacceptable Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory. The bourgeoisie, the Russian bourgeois state and the Putin government, which are vehicles of counter-revolution and anti-communism and have their own share of responsibilityfor the reinforcement of the fascist forces in Ukraine from 1991 to 2014, invaded Ukraine in 2022 to promote their own plans for controlling the region against NATO’s plans, with the the two peoples being the victims. The war is being waged on the responsibility and for the interests of the bourgeois classes and is imperialist on both sides; and this is a crucial issue for the stance of the communists.
The notion that the Russian ruling class and Putin took it upon themselves to cleanse Ukraine of fascists is unrealistic. What is confirmed is that the Russian invasion contributed to the so-called decommunization of Ukraine. Fascism is a product of capitalism and the struggle against it is directly linked to the struggle to overthrow the decayed system that uses it as a reserve for its own purposes.
The war in Ukraine becomes permanent. The decisions of the NATO summit in Vilnius, the accession of Finland and Sweden to the Euro-Atlantic alliance and the supply of modern weapons systems to the Ukrainian army, combined with the intensification of the Russian army’s attacks, are leading to an escalation and the risk of an extension of the war.
Imperialist competition is intensifying. The rivalry between the USA and China for supremacy in the capitalist system is assuming major dimensions in the economic and geostrategic fields, in the Indo-Pacific, in Africa, in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, in the Balkans and in other regions.
Both the “Euro-Atlantic” and the emerging “Eurasian” bloc, despitethe contradictions that manifest themselves inside them, promote their interests against the peoples at an international level. The expectations fostered about the role of the BRICS are illusory. The monopolies at the core of the BRICS are competing with the US and EU monopolies. The BRICS’ share of world GDP exceeds that of the G7. Other capitalist states such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina and Ethiopia, are in the process of joining the BRICS. Inter-imperialist relations are in a dense tangle.
The so-called multipolar world promoted by the bourgeois channels seeking to co-opt people’s consciousness expresses the orientation of theimperialist system nowadays and not progressive tendencies, and cannot tame the inter-imperialist contradictions that lead to imperialist wars and interventions. Unfounded notions are being cultivated e.g. that a supposedly “peaceful world” is possible through the reconstitution of the UN or regional security systems, without overthrowing capitalist barbarity. In practice, new alliances and counter-alliances are being created today, and competition and cooperation coexist between capitalist states that have joined one bloc or another, regardless of the format of the alliance that they choose. China, which plays a leading role in the BRICS, maintains high-level relations with the USA and is a creditor state. Chinese monopolies export capital to the USA, the EU, Africa and all over the world.
The starting point for the communist movement is that imperialism is monopoly capitalism, i.e. the final stage of the system of exploitation, which is not reduced merely to US foreign policy or the interventions of NATO and the EU.
The prevalence of the monopolies permeates the capitalist states. Each state, depending on its economic, military and political power in the framework of unequal development, occupies its own position in the imperialist system, seeks economic and geostrategic enhancement and takes advantage of its participation in one or another imperialist union. Changes in the correlation of forces and realignments take place.
The capitalist system cannot be humanized. The so-called progressive governments used by social democracy to manage the system maintain the economic base of capitalism and the bourgeois state and perpetuate the impasses for the working class and the popular strata in Latin America, in Europe and all over the world, in alternation with liberal parties.
It is necessary to deepen the debate and the ideological-political confrontation over these and other issues where strategic disagreements arise. The CPs must take a militant, independent and principled stand against the bourgeoisie of their countries, against all bourgeois classes and imperialist alliances. This will determine whether the communist movement will be able struggle against the factors that bog it down and set course for a revolutionary regroupment, taking into account that our era expresses the necessity of transition from capitalism to socialism and that the character of the revolution is socialist.
We defend the principles of socialist revolution and construction, workers’ power, the socialization of the means of production and scientific, central planning, which are under an organized attack. Socialism has nothing to do with the preservation of monopolies, the criterion of profit, the treatment of labour power as a commodity and the exploitation of the working class by capital. The so-called market socialism perpetuates the capitalist system.
The above are crucial issues for the international communist movement, followed by the very important issue of information and channels of communication; all the more so today because the parties have various information tools at their disposal, such as SolidNet, which presents the views of all the CPs participating in the IMCWPs. From the IMCWP in Havana to the IMCWP in Izmir 75 parties have made use of SolidNet, publishing a total of more than 1,150 documents, news and information. The KKE, which is responsible for SolidNet, is open to constructive suggestions for the improvement of this important information channel of communication of the CPs.
The Communist Party of Greece is leading the struggle against the imperialist war and our country’s involvement in NATO plans. It is very important that our party, together with dozens of CPs and Communist Youth Organizations from all over the world, have taken a consistent, revolutionary stand and condemned the imperialist war waged between two “thieves”. Hundreds of KKE and KNE demonstrations were held outside the US and NATO bases all over the country, against Greece’s involvement in the war and its disengagement from the EU and NATO, which can only be guaranteed by workers’ power.
We respond to the attacks organized by various centres against the KKE, with the participation of opportunist disreputable groups lacking any working-class or popular basis, and parties in decline, by intensifying our action.
The KKE plays a leading role in the class struggle, in the struggles of the working class, of the toiling farmers and the self-employed of the city, of the women and the youth of working-class and popular origin, for the meeting of their needs. It clashes with capital and its power, with the policy of the government of the liberal New Democracy party and of the parties of social democracy, SYRIZA and PASOK, as well as with fascist - extreme right-wing creations.
The communists express their practical solidarity with those affected by the fires and the recent disastrous floods. They participate in the protests and, together with the people, condemn the policies of the EU, the government and the bourgeois parties that treat the needs of the people as a cost and prioritize the interests and profits of big capital.
The rich action of the All-Workers’ Militant Front (PAME), the class-oriented rallying in the labour–trade union movement in which the communists and other militants who believe in the class struggle participate, is supported and appreciated by workers.
The forces of PAME took second place in in the executive boards of the two confederations in the private and public sector, with a share of more than 20%. They took first place in the Labour Centre of Athens, the largest Labour Centre in the country, in other cities, in sectoral federations and in a large number of unions, which are leading the big strikes and other workers’ struggles against the government, capital and the compromised trade union leaderships.
University students appreciated the action of the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE). The list supported by KNE took first place in university student elections for the second consecutive year, gaining 35%.
The persistent ideological-political struggle throughout the previous period had a catalytic effect on the electoral battles fought by the KKE in May and June 2023 and, together with the confrontation with the New Democracy government and its policies, the exposure of the anti-popular role of social democracy and the strategic alliance of SYRIZA and PASOK with the government, led to the positive electoral results of the KKE within a general negative correlation of forces.
The KKE’s percentage rise to 7.7% and the election of 21 MPs, the fact that its electoral strength is increased in large urban-industrial centres and that it took 3rd place in Attica, the largest region of the country, gives strength to the struggle for the interests of the working class and the popular strata.
We believe that the communist movement should draw experience from the fact that an important role for the liberation of workers’-people’s forces and their decision to join forces with the KKE was fulfilled by the constant confrontation with the social-democratic party of SYRIZA, as a bourgeois party in the service of the monopolies.
The KKE was politically vindicated for its stance in 2012–2015 against the promotion of the social democratic illusions brought by the then electoral reinforcement of SYRIZA. Despite the electoral losses our party suffered, it stood tall and did not consent to support the bourgeois alternation in government.
We all remember how the party of SYRIZA, an opportunist party about which false expectations aroused in Communist Parties, was transformed into a key pillar of social democracy and bourgeois management in Greece and was promoted as a “force of subversion” in Europe and around the world.
It governed for 5 years and imposed memoranda and harsh anti-popular policies on the people, it supported big capital by all means, it involved the country deeper into the EU and NATO plans and it expanded the US bases.
After the crushing defeat it suffered in the recent elections, an attempt for its recomposition and of social democracy in general is being made.
The new president of SYRIZA, who is a shipowner and businessman that has come out from the “test tube” of the USA and the plans of the bourgeoisie, is being presented as the new saviour.
The degeneration course of this party was to be expected. It is another example of the true anti-popular character of the sinful social democracy, of the dangerous notion of the “lesser evil” and underlines the necessity for the communist movement to put an end to the illusions that have been fostered for years about left-progressive social-democratic parties and governments.
The KKE continues its struggle with more forces by its side. In the first round of the recent regional and municipal elections, the lists supported by the KKE were voted for by hundreds of thousands of popular forces, recording a nationwide percentage of over 10% (from 6.86% in the 2019 regional elections and 7.69% won by the KKE in the parliamentary elections in June). A communist mayor was elected from the 1st round on the island of Ikaria, while the communist mayor in the country’s 3rd largest city, Patras, won over 41% and will fight for his re-election in the 2nd round. The battle for the second round will be fought in 5 more municipalities. Hundreds of communists and other fellow militants were elected as municipal and regional councillors.
All in all, our Party assessed that a current —although still weak— disputing the dominant policy, its class character, the parties and governments that serve it and the state of capital is being strengthened, although within a negative correlation of forces.
We continue with determination. The way out lies in the path of the class struggle, in the battle to change the negative political correlation of forces, in the regroupment of the labour movement, in the strengthening of the social alliance of the working class with the urban and rural popular strata, in the formation of a robust workers’-people’s movement that will clash with capital and its political representatives, will resist and demand, will pave the way for the overthrow of the decayed system of exploitation, with a broader rallying around the political proposal of the KKE and its programme for workers’-people’s power, for socialism.