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Party documents, relevant to the theme of the 20th IMCWP

Extracts from the Political Resolution of the 20th Congress of the KKE

THE TASKS OF THE KKE FOR THE REGROUPMENT OF THE LABOUR MOVEMENT AND THE POLITICAL WORK OF THE COMMUNISTS IN THE TRADE UNIONS

The 20th Congress of the KKE, on the basis of the programmatic documents as well as the experience from the activity of the party in the previous period, defined the tasks of the party in relation with the work for the regroupment of the labour movement. The basic content of the regrouping of the labour movement is defined as the preparation and development of its abilty to confront decisively and effectively and in alliance with the popular strata of the self-employed and farmers  the single elaborated strategy of capital and capitalist power.

The implementation of this task presupposes the intensification of the ideological-political struggle in the trade union movement. The bourgeois political forces intervene in the trade unions in an organized way, as well as the employers, the various state mechanisms, opportunism. The politicization of the activity of the trade unions in anti-capitalist direction above all is related to their general orientation, in the sense that they do not restrict themselves to a struggle framework of immediate demands. We aim for the trade unions to take positions in favour of the class struggle and the abolition of exploitation, against class collaboration, against the “common national interest”, against the submission to the capitalists. The labour movement paid a high price for the illusions that an allegedly “broader” line, which will only or chiefly focus on the specific problem in each workplace, can widen the framework of rallying and facilitate the main goal. Any short-terms results of such a line in other conditions quickly dissipated and led to the disillusionment and demobilization of even consistent forces.

Politicization occurs in the framework of the movement, through the participation of workers and taking into account that not all the members of trade unions have acquired political class consciousness. The work for politicization, to overcome sectional phenomena and attitudes must be developed on a daily basis with the creative concern and care of the communists in order to form the correct relationship between the party and the trade unions, so that the impression is not created unintentionally of transforming trade unions into “party organizations” sometimes, by mechanistically transmitting  overly general positions, slogans and methods of party work.

What is mainly needed is a better specialization and elaboration of demands and the content of each struggle, of the positions and slogans in each trade union, in each sector, in every workplace. This is the only way to overcome over-generalizations, the repetition of non-specific overly general strategic slogans. The communists act openly, do not hide their views, do not retreat from the positions and programme of the party, however their ability to form a framework of struggle and demands that facilitates the mobilization of workers and impedes their easier manipulation and co-option by the system is judged on a daily basis.

We need to acquire a stable orientation but also greater ability to strengthen from below- beginning from the workplace itself, the trade union- the line of struggle which sets in focus the contemporary needs of  the workers’-people’s forces. We must acquire the ability to project the fact that the obstacle to the satisfaction of contemporary needs and the demands which express them is capitalist ownership and  capitalist profit. We must also have the capability to convincingly expose- through the ideological confrontation that will be developing in the small or bigger struggles- the mechanisms of exploitation and especially the conditions for their abolition. The party and every communist must have the ability to work on the basis of a plan and with continuity inside working class-popular forces, to promote their organization, mobilization and education, with the aim of radicalizing their consciousness, raising the level of demands and the the combativeness of the activity to satisfy all their contemporary demands.

Despite the fact that today they must be at the focus of the demands, the satisfaction of the contemporary needs is not possible inside capitalism, but presupposes the socialization of the concentrated means of production and their integration into scientific central planning.

The projection of the demands for the recovery of the losses does not idealize the pre-2009 period, but highlights the worsening of the exploitation in relation to the previous generations, in obvious contradiction with the real contemporary needs and capabilities. The false arguments that the reduction of rights today is due to the previous existence of some irrational privileges must be answered.

The regroupment of the labour movement is based on the activity to organize the working class. This effort is expressed with specific goals:

  • The trade unions acquiring mass characteristics. The influx of new workers in their unions  must be a permanent concern and criterion for the regroupment efforts, insisting on the significance of the organized collective struggle and the concentration of forces against the class enemy. Greater focus on organizing women, young people and immigrants.
  • Coverage of all workplaces by sectoral trade unions, with their branches, and also by workplace trade unions, creating new ones where it is considered necessary, on the basis of the criterion of the organization and unity of the workers, irrespective of their employment relations. Development of an integrated network of such trade unions across the country.
  • The stable functioning of the trade unions as a basic criterion of regroupment, safeguarding the functioning of the executive committees, highlighting the importance of and consolidating the General Assemblies of the unions. Continuous updates for the workers by the trade unions, as well as the discovery of new ways and forms of activity that facilitate the participation of the working people (e.g. in the educational, cultural, sports sectors)
  • Systematic monitoring of the process of the elections, the changing of the correlation of forces in favor of the class forces. The utilization of the positive experience related to the more systematic and close control by the party organs, the early preparation, the effort to concentrate new forces, to promote new trade union cadres.
  • Strengthening of the solidarity, the mutual aid and class support for the workers’-people’s familoes and each worker. It must be realized that, essentially, this is not a means to attract workers, but chiefly a means to create a militant orientation, criteria, stance. On that point, the special work with unemployed and immigrants who are permanently settled in our country is of special importance.

The trade unions must be linked to the place of residence, to acquire access in organizational terms to the neighbourhoods, where a large section of  workers not organized in trade unions live and work.

PAME- as the class-oriented rally of the working class in the trade union movement, in whose ranks dozens of federations and labour centres and hundreds of trade unions, struggle committees and trade unionists participate, has a line of mobilization and struggle in an anti-capitalist anti-monopoly direction and this is a great advantage for the movement. The initiative of communists and others who work together with the communists to establish it, as well as its constant activity over all these years serves-as  the work of the communists in the trade unions in general does-the goal of developing militant bonds with the masses in order to mobilize them in the direction of overthrowing the capitalist system.

Its recent nationwide conference contributed, with its preparation and final decisions, to expanding it influence and the rallying of forces around it.

THE TASKS OF THE KKE CONCERNING THE SOCIAL ALLIANCE

 

There is detailed reference in the Programme of the KKE to the importance of forming the Social Alliance in order for the working class to play  its leading role in the revolutionary overthrow. The 20th Congress of the KKE, examining the experience from the party’s work to form the Social Alliance, noted the following:

Firstly:The working class due to its position in capitalist production is objectively the only revolutionary class, the builder of the socialist-communist society and therefore is the leading force in relation to the other popular forces. Only the labour movement can take on complete revolutionary characteristics and develop into a consistent class revolutionary movement. It is an issue of constant struggle and efforts for the popular sections of the middle strata, as potential allies of the working class and for their respective movements to be drawn to a greater or lesser extent actively into the revolutionary struggle and other sections must at least be rendered neutral. The overthrow of capitalism, which will be led by the working class, is also in the interests of the popular strata, provides solutions to the right to work, to all the social rights of the self-employed, the individual commodity producer, to the prospect of integrating them into direct social labour.

The KKE is in practice responsible for the realization of the Social Alliances, as it is the organized ideological-political vanguard of the working class in Greece. It is realized through the political activity of the KKE concerning the problems of the popular strata, through the corresponding activity of the members of the party, KNE, the friends of the party inside the labour and trade union movement.

Second:The Social Alliance in an anticapitalist-antimonopoly direction is comprised of social forces, which are determined on the basis of their position in relation to the prevailing mode of production, without gender of age discrimination. Women and youth belong to specific social forces, while the social position of  those sections of them that do not participate in production is determined by their family background.

Third:The Social Alliance must not be treated in a schematic way and identified with joint activity of the existing antimonopoly-anticapitalist forms of rallying like PAME, PASEVE, PASY, OGE, MAS. Particular care is needed because OGE, as the radical movement of women of a working class-popular social position or background and MAS as the rally of students cannot be considered as organizations that express distinct social forces. The certain form acquired through the joint struggle framework, which was formed in the previous years, does not remain static. It will develop according to the specific phase of the movement and the correlation of forces. It will emerge in other forms; it will be strengthened; it will be rearranged in movement terms, in relation to the real mobilization of the masses, strengthening and deepening the anticapitalist-antimonopoly goals of the alliance, constantly expanding its influence.

Fourth:In particular, the issue of developing the movement of allies of the working class, i.e. of the popular strata, must be studied. There needs to be a better understanding of our view as to how the work of the Social Alliance is served by our activity in the farmers’ movement, PASY and the Nationwide Committee of Farmers’ Roadblocks that is a new form of coordination, which was formed in 2014 and has developed into a Nationwide Coordinating Committee of Federations, Associations, Farmers’ Committees. The main orientation today is to organize the farmers into Associations, Federations etc. Similarly, we must examine the situation in the Associations of the self-employed, through the anti-monopoly rally of PASEVE.

The radical rallies in an anticapitalist-antimonopoly direction must not be treated statically, but as apart of the dynamic of the class straggle which is not one-sided or linear. The depth of the anticapitalist-antimonopoly content of the struggle is not the same in every phase, something that is reflected in the forms that will be taken by the alliance, which will develop

The 20th Congress of the party decided that the CC should organize a Nationwide Body in order to discuss comprehensively and in detail the issues of the Social Alliance, the updating of the framework of struggle and demands that are related to the farmers’ movement (the forms of organization, the alliance, the anticapitalist-antimonopoly rally etc.)

Fifth:The People’s Committees as forms of expression of the Social Alliance at a territorial-local level need to more solidly established. We must overcome the phenomena of some of them resembling “citizens’ initiatives”, where some members of various organizations participate, mainly members and friends of the party, without expressing existing trade unions, struggle committees, people’s movement organizations at the level of the city and neighbourhood where the working class-popular forces are mobilized. They must be forms of rallying where the trade unions or their local branches play the leading role, with the participation of forms of organization and mobilization of the self-employed and farmers, the participation of the associations of OGE or MAS, student’s committees, school students’ committees, at the level of the neighbourhood, the place of residence.

Sixth:The Social Alliance-due to its character as an alliance of social movements-is not a form of cooperation between parties nor a form of cooperation of the KKE with mass organizations. To the extent that other political forces of a petty bourgeois political character are active with their members in the forms of rallying of the Social Alliance, they will meet together with the communists in common struggle at the level of the movement and an ideological-political struggle will be conducted inside the movement. Any common activity and ideological struggle will be expressed within the ranks and the organs of struggle of the Social Alliance, which is rooted in the workplaces, the General Assemblies of the trade unions and associations, in the struggle committees in the neighbourhoods etc.

The KKE- with its activity, both independently as a party and via the activity of its members in the ranks of the organizations of the Social Alliance and the forms of rallying that are created for its more effective advancement-understands its responsibility to act more effectively, with the aim of approaching and mobilizing workers’-people’s masses. In the framework of these efforts, the following question arises: which political line provides a real answer to the problems of the people, the line in favour the monopolies or the one against their domination? The line supporting the power of the monopolies and capital or the line supporting the power of the working people, who are the creators of all of society’s wealth?

The rallying of the majority of the working class with the KKE and the attraction of leading sections of the popular strata will pass through various phases. The labour movement, the movements of the urban self-employed and farmers and the form that their alliance takes on with anti-monopoly and anti-capitalist goals, with the vanguard activity of the KKE’s forces, in non-revolutionary conditions, constitute the first form for the creation of the revolutionary workers’ and people’s front in revolutionary conditions.

The working class and popular masses, through the experience of their participation in the organization of the struggle in a direction of confrontation with capital’s strategy, will be persuaded of the need for their organization and confrontation to take on the character of a full and multi-faceted confrontation against the economic and political dominance of capital.

 

THE ROLE OF THE KKE IN THE LABOUR-PEOPLE’S MOVEMENT

 

The KKE as the vanguard of the working class has the responsibility of guiding the movement, not only in terms of its general programmatic direction or through the content of its statement, but also in organizational terms, i.e. through its leading organs, the Party Base Organizations, the Party groups that work directly in the movement, the comrades elected to trade union bodies.

The leading role of the party is secured through the activity of communists in the ranks of the trade unions, the mass organizations of the self-employed, the farmers, the radical forms of rallying, working to safeguard their anticapitalist-antimonopoly orientation.

The trade union groups, the election lists, and initiatives that exist or are being created cannot have this leading-vanguard role, nor the forms of rallying in the movement, even those that have a clear anticapitalist-antimonopoly line. Their basic role is the concentration of forces, the rallying of trade unions, federations, struggle committees, workers’ groups in an anticapitalist-antimonopoly direction, to coordinate their joint activity, to promote the anticapitalist-antimonopoly struggle, strengthening and enriching this direction.

The Communist Party also acts independently inside the movement. It ensures the connection of the daily struggles with the revolutionary overthrow, with the strategic proposal of the party for socialist power and construction. The discussion and ideological struggle inside the movement, the content of the struggle itself must pose the issue and goal of power without becoming detached from the specific, everyday, temporary and immediate demands. The struggle we are waging today must acquire anticapitalist-antimonopoly characteristics and be a struggle for workers’ power. And this must permeate the movement as a focus for discussion and ideological struggle.

This is a basic task for the communists, which they must simultaneously work on, understanding the need for persuasion and an escalation of their line of argumentation. It is their task to acquire the ability to pose this issue in a popular, persuasive way, understanding that in non-revolutionary conditions it is a slogan that determines the direction of the struggle and is not an immediate goal for action.

ON PARTY BUILDING AND THE CONSTANT RENEWAL OF THE RANKS OF THE PARTY

 

A basic factor that determines the role and effectiveness of the party in the labour movement, in the class struggle,in its work for the regroupment of the labour movement is party building in industry, in strategically important sectors, in new dynamic sectors of the economy,  in combination with the increase of its strength and influence in the great mass of the working class and especially in its younger sections. It is of more general strategic importance.

Consequently, the construction of strong party organizations oriented to the masses in the monopoly groups, the factories, major financial, industrial, retail centres emerges as a basic task. The leading organs and party organizations must focus on this task. We underscore the following basic issues:

  • The deployment of forces and cadres focusing on the workplaces is what lends forward impetus to all party work. There must be no retreat from this. The adjustment requires time, a steady rudder, so that we are not pulled off course by the developments. The mobility in the structuring of the economic sectors as result of centralization, competition between businesses and new technological advances in production must be taken into account so that our intervention can be adjusted correspondingly. The political guidance work must improve; it must assist in the accumulation and generalization of experience, in the development of the ability of the party members, in the formation of young  labour movement cadres.
  • The “buttressing”, consolidation and strengthening of the party’s intervention in the sectors is a necessary precondition for the reinforcement of our party’s vitally important characteristics. The positive steps in the coordination and unified orientation of work between sectoral and area-based party organizations must be utilized. Work in the sectors and places of residence must not be treated as being in confrontation with each other. There must be a common orientation for all organizations:Work in the working class, in the sectors, in the large workplaces. The phenomena of workers that are employed in important economic sectors and businesses remaining organizationally in neighbourhood organizations, i.e. meaning that the orientation towards redeployment is not proceeding, must be overcome.
  • We must focus on the central problem of party building, which is the delay in developing the party in large industries and strategically important sectors, prioritizing the following:Ports and airports (transport as a whole), energy, telecommunications, metal, chemical industry, pharmaceutical industry, food industry, construction-major projects, large retail centres etc.
  • The precondition for steps to be taken in expanding the influence and organizational strength of the party is the formation of a periphery around the party through mass ideological-political work, through the stable and systematic dissemination of its positions and political line, with the dissemination of “Rizospastis” being the main feature. This intervention must be at the epicentre of the activity of every PBO, every communist, as a basic precondition for party building. The methods for educational/propaganda work must be expanded and must not be restricted to short-term campaigning forms of activity. The dissemination and study of “Rizospastis”, “Kommounistiki Epitheorisi”, the ideological-political, historical and even literary publications of “Synchroni Epohi” must be intensified by each PBO, as well as the wide promotion and discussion of the positions and assessments of the party on the basis of current developments. The goal is to expand the party’s influence in every workplace, neighbourhood, sector, to draw in more and more forces into the class struggle.

The major efforts of the previous period brought certain results, which are expressed by the replenishment of certain forces, the building of party organizations, the formation of a periphery and the mainly through the improvement of the social composition of the party. This experience must be utilized in the further improvement of the plans to recruit and build the party in the workplaces by the Party Organizations.

We persist in the goal of achieving a leap forwards in terms of party building and the political strengthening of the KKE in the working class in the run up to the party’s 100th anniversary. This task can be summarized by the following codified goals for party building, which must be the object of friendly competition between the party organizations:

  • Improvement of the percentage of industrial workers and the number of PBOs in major businesses of strategic importance.
  • Improvement of the social composition of the party in terms of the percentage of workers.
  • Improvement of the age composition through an increase of recruits from KNE and from the 18-40 age group.
  • An increase of the recruitment of women and improvement of the their overall percentage in the party and in the leading organs.

Athens, March 30 to April 2,2017

The 20th Congress of the CP of Greece