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On the ideological–political confrontation at the 22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties and the “trick” about the “anti-Russian” and “pro-Russian” sentiment
The discussion about the results of the International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties (IMCWP) held in Havana continues.
Some forces and even bourgeois newspapers sought to interpret the results of the IMCWP through their own prism. Thus, the Russian Nezavisimaya Gazeta spoke of “a split in the international left movement” in Havana due to the Russian “special military operation”, as the Russian media refer to the war in Ukraine. The first thing one can notice is the obvious haste of this newspaper to replace even the title IMCWP with the bland and insipid “international left movement”.
However, in reality the Russian bourgeois newspaper is pushing at an open door since —as the KKE has noted several times— a fierce ideological–political confrontation is taking place within the international communist movement (ICM) on many important issues. We have spoken of the ideological–political crisis in the ranks of the ICM, as well as of the need for its revolutionary regroupment.
The confrontation within the ICM, as the KKE has highlighted many times, has many aspects. For example, it is taking place:
- Between the parties that support the co-opting of the CPs into “broader left progressive alliances” and those that struggle for the preservation of the ideological–political independence of the CPs and the strengthening of their ties with the working class and the popular strata.
- Between the parties that remain entrapped into the old strategy of “stages towards socialism” and support the participation in bourgeois “left”, “anti-neoliberal”, “progressive”, and “centre-left” governments in the framework of capitalism, and those that have rejected the participation in bourgeois governments and the rationale of stages and struggle for the overthrow of capitalist barbarity.
- Between the parties that identify imperialism exclusively with the USA or some powerful capitalist countries of Europe or foreign aggressive policy, and the parties that are based on the Leninist conception that imperialism is monopoly capitalism, the highest and last stage of the exploitative system.
- Between the parties that consider that the struggle for peace is inextricably linked to a “multipolar world” that would supposedly tame the USA, fostering illusions about a supposedly “peaceful international architecture”, which is promoted by social democracy and opportunists, and the parties that believe that the capitalist world cannot be “democratized”, that it cannot escape from wars no matter how many “poles” it has, and that it is necessary to strengthen the struggle for the overthrow of capitalism, for the new, socialist society.
- Between the parties that consider China to be a country “building socialism with Chinese characteristics” and the parties that believe that socialism has principles that have been violated in China, where capitalist relations of production have now prevailed; that this is a country of the modern capitalist world, which in fact is competing with the United States and threating its supremacy in the imperialist system.
There are also other serious matters on which a fierce ideological struggle is taking place at the IMCWPs, including the issue of the imperialist war in Ukraine following the unacceptable Russian invasion. So the scoop of the Nezavisimaya Gazeta that a “split in the international left movement” has occured turns out to be a mare’s nest. As regards the stance of parties that describe themselves as being “left”, it is worth noting here that the MEPs of the “left” SYRIZA party, together with the right-wing New Democracy (ND) and the social-democratic PASOK, voted in the European Parliament for the creation of a “mechanism of military assistance to Ukraine”. In the past, SYRIZA had also supported the expansion of US–NATO bases in Greece and the accession of new countries to NATO, issues to which the KKE was opposed.
What happened in Havana?
During the IMCWPs, common positions are sought to be formulated, which, when feasible, are expressed through the adoption of the “Final Declaration”. Of course, this document remains a result of an ideological confrontation and an amalgamation of views. However, anyone who reads the specific document of the 22nd IMCWP (http://www.solidnet.org/article/22nd-IMCWP-Final-Declaration-of-the-22nd-International-Meeting-of-Communist-and-Workers-Parties/) will see that it is free of problematic analyses of “stages”, of support for “left and progressive governments”, of “the struggle against neoliberalism” that overshadows the struggle against capitalism, of a “multipolar world”, etc. Instead, it highlights the joint line of the CPs’ struggle against capitalism, in support of the workers’–people’s struggles, as well as the path towards the construction of the new, socialist society.
At the same time, the IMCWP provides each party with the opportunity to express its position through its contribution as well as to table or support resolutions on various issues.
Thus, despite the different approaches expressed in the contributions of the parties at the 22nd IMCWP on the war in Ukraine, the Final Declaration of the 22nd IMCWP includes a specific reference to the situation in Ukraine, which the International Relations Section of the CC of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), avoids mentioning in its response to Nezavisimaya Gazeta. The reference reads as follows:
“3. As a consequence of the growing aggressiveness of imperialism and the geopolitical recomposition underway, we face a new escalation of the arms race, the strengthening and expansion of NATO, the emergence of new military alliances, the aggravation of tensions and military conflicts, such as the one in Ukraine, the resurgence of fascism in various parts of the world and the ‘cold war’ and the threat of a nuclear conflict, which we must reject.”
Furthermore, two resolutions were tabled. The first one was proposed by the Russian Communist Workers’ Party (RCWP), the CPRF, and the Communist Party of Ukraine, and justified and supported the Russian invasion, reproducing the “anti-fascist” pretexts utilized by the Russian bourgeoisie to hide its aspirations. The other one was put forward by the Union of Communists of Ukraine (and not by the KKE, as claimed by D. Novikov, vice-chairman of the CC of the CPRF in the article of Nezavisimaya Gazeta). This resolution, which reveals the imperialist character of the war, condemns both the reactionary government of Ukraine and the objectives of the Russian bourgeoisie, and was supported by the KKE.
On the attack against the KKE
The International Relations Section of the CPRF, in its attempt to downplay the importance of the particular resolution highlighting the imperialist character of the war, aligns itself with the author of the article published in Nezavisimaya Gazeta. They both resort to the “convenient” claim that “almost none” of the parties that signed it “enjoy prestige within their country”. In the same spirit, a few days earlier, G. Afonin, vice-president of the CC of the CPRF, in an interview with Radio Aurora spoke disparagingly of the KKE, saying that it only has 10 MPs and gets 5–6% in elections, wondering about “the extent of its influence in society” and adding that “it has missed many opportunities to unite the left and progressive forces” in Greece.
The above shows that the CPRF seems to measure the “influence” of other CPs relying on purely bourgeois parliamentary criteria, such as the number of MPs or the electoral percentage, while it is well known that the electoral percentage of a revolutionary party struggling for the overthrow of capitalism is achieved through hard effort, under the conditions of the dictatorship of capital. Moreover, both the historical course and recent developments should have taught us that CPs that have no ties with the working class, the labour–trade union movement, and the struggles of the working class of a country and whose action is only confined in the parliament can vanish overnight, and this happens regardless of their high electoral percentage or the large number of their MPs.
Therefore, the vice-president of a party that in the 29 years of its existence has not made any substantial contribution to the development of the trade union movement in Russia and particularly at a time when unionists are being imprisoned for their trade union action, such as the president of the Moscow couriers’ union, Kirill Ukrayinchev, should be less conceited. He ought to study the rich history and activity of the KKE, which has been at the forefront of the struggles of the working class, the toiling farmers and self-employed, and the youth, a fact widely acknowledged in the previous period by CPRF cadres.
How does the CPRF measure its influence, at a time when, while having dozens of MPs, it has forgotten about class struggle and has not yet managed to utter a single word of criticism against Russian President V. Putin, who has repeatedly attacked the leader of the October Revolution, V.I. Lenin, and the Bolsheviks? How can it fail to notice that almost every important speech by V. Putin has been littered with quotations from the books of the Russian philosopher and founder of Russian fascism, I. Ilyin?
Slander against the KKE regarding the “anti-Russian” sentiment
On various social media platforms supporting the CPRF, reality is even more brutally distorted. It is claimed that two Resolutions were tabled at the 22nd IMCWP; one expressing a “pro-Russian” sentiment, put forward by the two Russian parties, and one expressing an “anti-Russian” sentiment, supported by the KKE.
However, how does it follow that one resolution echoes a “pro-Russian” and the other one an “anti-Russian” sentiment? The only criterion for this distinction is whether or not each resolution supports the pretexts and choices made by the Russian bourgeoisie in the imperialist war safeguarding its own interests.
Can a resolution that accepts that the children of the Russian people should become cannon fodder for the imperialist war to better serve the interests of the Russian monopolies, which are clashing with the Euro-Atlantic monopolies in Ukraine over the division of raw materials, fertile lands, mineral wealth, industrial infrastructure, labour power, and market shares, be called “pro-Russian”?
Despite the fact that the claims regarding a “pro-Russian" and “anti-Russian” sentiment are a misleading trick, one could logically say that “pro-Russian” —in the language of the CPRF— is precisely a resolution that reveals and supports the independent interests of the working class and the popular strata of Russia, as opposed to the interests of the bourgeoisie of the country, its alliances, and the imperialist war.
Can a resolution be called “anti-Russian” because it clashes with the interests of the Russian bourgeoisie?
Such a rationale is deeply flawed! Let us consider the following: The KKE in its statements and its contributions at the IMCWPs fist of all takes a stand against the plans and the stance of the Greek bourgeois governments — today the ND and previously the SYRIZA and PASOK governments— which, in order to serve the interests of the shipowners, the bankers, the industrialists, and the other sections of the bourgeoisie, have entrapped the country in the plans of the imperialist organizations of NATO and the EU. Can anyone, apart from the nationalists, accuse the KKE of an “anti-Greek stance” because it disagrees with and condemns the choices of the Greek bourgeois parties and governments?
- When the KKE mobilizes against the US bases and the strategic agreement with the USA, it does not mobilize against the people and the working class of the USA, whose struggles are honoured by the Greek communists that have made a contribution to them through the immigrants to this country.
- When the KKE mobilizes against the procurement of French weapons and the strategic agreement between Greece and France, it does so because it considers that this involves the country in new imperialist interventions and wars, e.g. in the Sahel region, and not because it has “anti-French” feelings. On the contrary, the KKE honours the historical contribution of the struggles of the working class in France, from the Paris Commune to the present day.
- When the KKE mobilizes at the side of the struggling dockers of the port of Piraeus, which is controlled by the COSCO Chinese monopoly, it is not driven by “anti-Chinese” feelings, but is oriented towards the need to support the workers’ struggle for safe working conditions, decent wages, collective labour agreements, etc.
The KKE, adhering to the principle of proletarian internationalism, is at the side of the peoples and the working class of all countries, against the interests and plans of the bourgeoisie and imperialist unions. The KKE stands for the mutually beneficial cooperation of all countries and peoples and opposes any manifestation of racism and any kind of xenophobia.
A lie never lives to be old
“People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election”, as the saying goes and in our case at least the last two conditions apply. Some people, from our country as well, are trying to fling mud at the KKE claiming that it expresses an “anti-Russian sentiment” because it maintains its principled stance against the imperialist war. However, a lie has no legs, as t is known that the KKE:
- Over all these years has resisted, highlighted, and denounced the dangers of NATO’s enlargement with new countries towards Russia’s borders. It has condemned the previous SYRIZA government, which brought in an agreement with North Macedonia only for it to join NATO and the EU. The KKE also condemned the ND government that brought the NATO membership of Sweden and Finland before the parliament for voting, which was also voted for by the other Euro-Atlantic parties in the name of the alleged “self-determination” of the above-mentioned countries.
- All these years the KKE has denounced and opposed the encirclement of the Russian Federation with new US–NATO military bases and troops, including in our country. Before the war broke out, it had stressed that this development was creating a powder keg.
- It spoke out against the Greek air force flying patrols over the airspace of Balkan countries, an action clearly taken against the so-called Russian threat.
- All these years the KKE has denounced and voted against the trade war and the EU sanctions against the Russian Federation in the Greek and the European Parliament and has highlighted that these sanctions affect first of all the popular strata, such as the farmers in our country.
- The KKE has highlighted that the EU’s so-called decoupling from Russian natural gas is perfectly suited for both the EU’s dependence on the very expensive US liquefied natural gas and the promotion of “green” taxes for the so-called green transition.
- The KKE opposed and condemned the decision of the EU and the Greek government, at the beginning of the imperialist war, to ban the operation of the Russian media.
- The KKE opposed and condemned the decision of the EU and the Greek government, at the beginning of the imperialist war, to ban events with cultural organizations from Russia in our country.
Of course, parties such as the CPRF, which are influenced by nationalist views and fully support the ideological constructs of the bourgeoisie such as the so-called Russian World, cannot help but see an “anti-Russian” sentiment in the rejection of the pretexts utilized by the Russian bourgeoisie and in the firm condemnation of both the Euro-Atlantic imperialism and the Russian bourgeoisie.
We respond with the last paragraph of the Resolution tabled by the Union of Communists of Ukraine that the KKE supported: “It is shameful and criminal for communists all over the world to trail behind the governments of bourgeois countries and work for the interests of their national bourgeoisie, to support one or another bloc of bourgeois countries. Our immutable task is to help workers all over the world realize that imperialist wars do not lead to the emancipation of labor, on the contrary, they enslave it even more; that in the imperialist conflict the working class has no allies among the ruling circles, only enemies; that their friends are only the proletarians, no matter what nationality they may be. The duty of the communists is to bring about the end of capitalism as such, both nationally and internationally: to end capitalism is to end wars. For this noble cause, communists all over the world, unite with your proletarians!”.
Member of the CC of the KKE,
Head of the International Relations Section of the CC of the KKE
Published in Rizospastis – Organ of the CC of the KKE on 26–27/11/22