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Strategy for the “correction” or for the overthrow of the system?
Article of the International Relations Department of the CC of the KKE
As is well-known, The KKE on the 1st of December 2010 in its letter to the Communist and Workers’ parties of Europe called on them to weaken the ELP and to abandon it because it is a tool for the entrapment of the revolutionary forces within the framework of capitalism and as the "tail" of social-democracy.
This initiative of the KKE provoked, as was expected, discussions within several parties, which are either members or observers of the ELP. At the same time, it became the target of attacks by forces which seek the further estrangement of the communist movement from its revolutionary traditions and principles. And so, completely groundless and offensive criticism was levelled against our party, that we allegedly hurled at the ELP “False and baseless accusations”. Indeed they claimed that the KKE is of the opinion that “the ELP divides the left”. In reality a careful reader of the letter of the KKE will see that there is a reference to the “divisive and undermining role of the ELP against the international communist movement”. A symbolic demonstration of this was the organization of the ELP’s congress on exactly the same dates as the International Meeting of CPs in South Africa.
Simple arithmetic or…political “algebra”?
Those who engage in polemics against the KKE, in order to back up their choice to assimilate themselves into the ELP resort to a “headcount” of the parties which participate in the ELP, even of those which observed its congress. What is not dealt with by these people is the political content, that is to say the opportunist direction in which the ELP is in the forefront and attempts to pull these parties into following it. The issue is not the number of parties which participate, but the character of each individual party. Many of these parties were forces which in the past aligned with the opportunist current of “Eurocommunism”, CPs and other forces which renounced socialism and were “social-democratized” after the counterrevolutions in the USSR and Eastern Europe, forces which have devoted themselves to anti-communism. It is not by chance then, that these parties play a leading role in the ELP today and strive to achieve what they were not able to before, to finish off the communist movement and the CPs which withstood the storm of the counterrevolutions. The aim of the opportunists remains the same, that the CPs should not forge a modern revolutionary strategy. The question of the ELP is not a matter of simple “arithmetic” (how many participate), but of political… “Algebra” (that is to say what political “quality” is created by those who participate in it).
The opportunist strategy of the ELP
The basis for the arguments which the KKE put forward in its letter on the 1st of December is substantiated within the letter itself, and by the content of the congress documents and resolutions of the 3rd congress of the ELP.
The rather generalized reference to “socialism with democracy” (undermining the socialism which we knew in the USSR and the other socialist countries by asserting that they were allegedly “undemocratic”) aims to muddy the waters! The ELP in reality, as is clear from its congress document, has other goals, which are contained within its slogan “We cannot improve the world if we do not save it, but we can save the world by improving it”. What the ELP admits in this slogan is that it strives for a humanized, improved capitalism. In a period when the impasses of capitalism are becoming even clearer to the workers, even more so now that the worker can understand from his own experience that capitalism both in the period of development and crisis is barbaric and aggressive, the ELP has taken it upon itself to give capitalism a face-lift, intentionally leaving capitalist exploitation and the power of capital untouched.
“Transformation of the mission of the European Central Bank. Through cash generation and based on social criteria, the ECB should extend low interest credit to member states…Issue of Eurobonds to allow member states to borrow at reasonable interest rates…Another Europe is possible…We are struggling for a democratic re-founding of Europe and the EU”. The ELP with this position proves that it proposes measures, which operate within the framework of the capitalist system, aim at its management and are utopian, because they demand that capitalism should return to its previous pre-monopoly phase. Allegedly in this way the “humanization” of capitalism will be achieved, the “purification” of the EU from the profiteers and “neo-liberalism”. The anxiety of the ELP to “re-found” the EU, “purifying” it and transforming the ECB into an allegedly benevolent and pro-people institution, demonstrates that it has no relation to a class approach and analysis of the imperialist character of the EU. Nevertheless , the communists which follow Marxism-Leninism know very well what objectively exists within capitalist society, that this exploitative system cannot be improved through various reforms, nor can its imperialist organizations be re-founded on a pro-people basis-it can only be overthrown.
If the EU is not able to halt speculation, who is?” asks the ELP. It is thus clear that the illusions and hopes within the congress documents of the ELP exceed even those found within the documents of the imperialist EU itself. The stance of a Euro-party is explained by the fact that the pre-condition of its existence is its acceptance (in its founding document and its Statutes) of the principles of the EU, the eternity of this imperialist union, and thus of capitalist exploitation-in this way illusions simultaneously are fostered that there can exist capitalists who do not seek profits.
When the ELP is in favour of a “new democratic process based on active participation by people, European and national parliaments via new participatory powers and rights…”, it is serving up again a whitewashed view of the bourgeois parliaments which aims to trap the labour and popular movement within the bankrupt logic of Eurocommunism.
When the ELP writes that “That means we want to create a political and social front against neoliberalism at the national as well as at the European level.”, it causes damage to the popular movement, because it propagates false hopes that capitalism can allegedly resolve the peoples’ problems today, without capitalist economic relations and its political superstructure being touched. What is promoted within these dangerous andmisleading “anti-neoliberal fronts” is the failed “solution” of bourgeois reforms, leaving the door open to social-democracy.
In the period when the social-democrats constitute the basic “strike-force” of capital in order that the anti-worker barbarity and the massive expansion of poverty in Europe pass ( e.g. Greece, Spain, Portugal), the ELP hypocritically condemns “neo-liberal management”, even going as far as to attribute the capitalist crisis to it. And so it pretends that it does not see the character of the crisis as one of the capitalist system itself, as a crisis of capital over-accumulation which is rooted in the basic contradiction capital-labour, as the CPs concluded at their International Meeting in South Africa. On the contrary, the forces of the ELP leave the real causes of the global capitalist crisis untouched.
They restrict with this line any development of working class struggles into condemning “the bad Right” (e.g. Sarcoxie in France) and thus in essence work for the return of social-democracy, which has a proven record of taking up the anti-people project and continuing it in an even more barbaric way from where the liberal governments left off. CPs which play the role of a partner in government with social-democracy promote the same opportunist line, in order to push forward the anti-worker policies, a line which , as is well-known, led to the ideological castration of the CPs in Europe in the recent past, to the loss of their connections with the working class and popular masses.
The revolutionary strategy of the KKE
The forces of compromise in the communist movement, promote as their ideal a line in which the CPs play a “supplementary” role to social-democracy in order to create a so-called “social majority for solidarity”. The model of “left unity” is promoted within this framework in Greece and more generally.
In relation to the question of alliances, the KKE did not submit to the pressure which has been exerted in Greece by the argument of “left unity”. An argument which in our country is supported by the member of the ELP, SYN. (This is a union of opportunist forces, some of which left the KKE in 1968 under the flag of eurocommunism and in 1991 under the banner of “Gorbachevism”)
The fact that the KKE has rejected the dead-end of so-called “left unity” means that the KKE has an alliance policy which responds to the interests of the working class, the popular strata, and the needs of the class struggle. We focus our attention on the socio-political alliance, which is based on the common action and common interests, on the common line of struggle of the working class, the urban and rural self-employed. An alliance that will come into conflict with the monopolies, imperialism, and at the same time struggle for another development path for our country, the path to the people’s power and economy, in which the means of production will be socialized, there will be central planning of the economy and workers’ control. For communists there can be no “intermediate power” or “intermediate system” between capitalism and socialism. For communists the People’s power and economy mean the socialist society.
The KKE assesses that you cannot have such a negative situation in the labour movement today where the partners of the ELP, the yellow bureaucrats of the ITUC, are dominant and on the other hand at the political level the existence of a radical political alliance.
Today the CPs have accumulated significant experience and can liberate themselves from the viewpoint that an alliance policy means joining together with forces which defected from the communist movement. The necessary conclusions must be drawn from this defection. This is because they did not withdraw from the ranks of the CPs and create opportunist parties and groups by accident, not because they simply disagreed with some details but with the essence, and they handed themselves over in submission to capitalism, and for the perpetuation of the exploitative system. Their answer to the crucial question “with the people or the monopolies?” is that both in theory and practice they are with the latter. And while they might invoke their communist roots, they wage a systematic anti-communist and anti-socialist attack against Marxism-Leninism; they seek the corruption and ideological-political disarmament of the CPs, their dissolution, their submersion into opportunist formations and vehicles which lead to the arms of social-democracy. Therefore these are not forces which “do not say things quite as well as the communists”, but forces which are hostile.
In place of the familiar welding together of the leaderships with opportunist formations and parties and social-democracy in the name of “left unity”, from which the communist movement has suffered so much in the past, the main duty today for the CPs is the mass liberation of working class and popular forces from the influence of the bourgeois parties, both social-democratic and liberal. On this basis the pre-conditions for the concentration of forces for the social alliance in Greece will be created, through the rallying of forces in common front of activity of the organizations of the All Militant Workers’ Front (PAME), the All Farmers’ Militant Rally (PASY), Nationwide Antimonopoly Rally of the Self-employed and the small Tradesman (PASEVE) , Greek Womens’ Federation (OGE) and the Students’ Militant Front (MAS). It is this common activity which will determine how quickly we will have a fully-formed socio-political alliance at a political level of the anti-monopoly anti-imperialist forces. Only this work can create bonds with the working class and popular masses. In any case the communist cannot build anything without persistent work amongst the masses, constantly guided by their strategic goal of socialism and by the alliance which will lead them there, by strengthening their party, which is the irreplaceable leader of the working class.
This is the political line which the KKE has followed since the departure of the opportunist forces in 1990, and it has been demonstrated that the KKE not only has not been “isolated from the masses”, as some had hoped, but has strengthened its bonds with the working class and popular masses. This is apparent from the mass mobilizations and strikes, where the communists were in the vanguard. It is also apparent from the election results, which is not the most important indicator for communists, but one of many. In the first elections after the split (1993) with the opportunists, the KKE received 4.5% (about 300,000 votes), in 2010 it received nearly 11% and 600,000 votes.
The goal of overthrowing imperialism rather than humanizing it is as relevant as ever for the KKE. For the KKE the stable front against opportunism is characteristic of our communist, Marxist-Leninist identity. This identity and its defence are today predicated upon the rejection of the ELP, its abandonment by the CPs which are either members or observers. This experience is not related to the peculiarities of each individual country. On the contrary they are part of the collective wealth of experience of the communist movement. They are principles which are necessary prerequisite in any period and are true for every CP so that they can meet the challenge of the harshest class struggle, overthrow the power of the capitalists and construct socialism-communism.
The stance taken in relation to anti-communism is a basic criterion
Twenty years after the overthrow of socialism in the USSR and in Eastern and Central Europe, in the conditions of a global capitalist crisis, the bourgeois regimes and their ideological mechanisms intensify their assault against the communist movement and continue to slander the USSR and the other People’s Democracies. We had a recent example of this in Germany.
The so-called “engine” of Europe, must be well “assembled” so that it can “drive” the profitability of capital. All the “mainstream” political forces whether “left” or “right” are called on to contribute in their own way to this effort.
In this country there have been in force for decades proscriptions against communists working in various positions in the public sector. A trigger for a new outbreak of anti-communism was given by the intention of Gesine Lötzsch, president of the Party of the Left (Die Linke) to speak at a meeting which included the word “communism” in its theme. This event provoked “hard” class reflexes of the German bourgeois parties, as well as of the media, which accused the specific party and its president of …. sliding into “communism”.
German bourgeois… “Democracy”
“Whoever has communism as his goal, attacks the liberal democratic order of our constitution”, stated Alexander Dobrindt general Secretary of theChristian Social Union (CSU), and demanded that “Die Linke be monitored at a national level by the National Intelligence service”. While theSocial-democratic party (SPD), in the statement of the secretary of its parliamentary group, Tomas Oberman, focussed on the internal upheaval which was provoked in Die Linke by the presence of its president at such a meeting, concluding that the “left has broken into directions in its leadership”.
This is the much vaunted “bourgeois democracy” of European models and the “European achievements” of the “engine” of Europe, which openly declares its anti-communism and persecutes anybody who dares to pose the question of the overthrow of the exploitative capitalist system and the necessity of constructing a society without the exploitation of man by man.
Statements renouncing communism
Nevertheless, as is the case in such instances, there is often some “collateral damage”. The president of Die Linke as well as receiving “hostile” fire was on the end of “friendly” fire from cadre of her own party. Even if she herself has made many statements “renouncing communism”,stating that she is “a socialist and not a communist”, remembering “Stalinism” and condemning the “crimes of communism”. They curse “existing socialism” and swear oaths of allegiance to so-called “democratic socialism”!
The cadre of Die Linke lined up to state the loyalty to their party and to praise bourgeois democracy. For example, Lothar Bisky, an official and former president of the party, had stated few days ago that “the reunification of Germany guaranteed freedom and individual rights and brought us an exceptional constitution. And- if I can talk on a personal level- my students and sons can grow up in a country in a way that previously was beyond anyone’s wildest dreams”.
Nevertheless, all these … “exorcisms of communism” do not seem to have helped Die Linke,
A stance alien to the values, traditions and history of the communist movement.
At the same time, the ideological alliance of the opportunists with bourgeois ideology is once more apparent. In any case both Die Linke and the parties of the so-called “European Left Party” (ELP) are joined together in their opposition to the class struggle and the construction of socialism. It is no accident that based on its statutes; the ELP actively participates in the crude anti-communist campaign in Europe, condemning the history of socialist construction in the USSR.
We should ponder for a moment what this attitude could possibly have in common with the proud stance taken by thousands of Greek and other communists, who in the face of firing squads, torture and exile did not wilt and did not sign statements renouncing communism, which their torturers demanded of them? The answer is – nothing! And Die Linke and the ELP have nothing in common with the traditions, history, values and experience of the communist and labour movement.
Their claims that they struggle for a …. “Democratic socialism” in opposition to “totalitarian” “dictatorial” “arbitrary communism” is not new. They are the continuation of the “democratic socialism” of Bernstein (which was formulated over a hundred years ago), of the related arguments of the 2ndInternational concerning the peaceful acquisition of political power through parliament, which was adopted by the “eurocommunist current”.
As the 18th Congress of the KKE assessed: “Bourgeois and opportunist propaganda, speaking of lack of freedom and anti-democratic regimes, projects the concepts of “democracy” and “freedom” in their bourgeois content, identifying democracy with bourgeois parliamentarism and freedom with bourgeois individualism and private capitalist ownership. The real essence of freedom and democracy under capitalism is the economic coercion of wage slavery and the dictatorship of capital, in society in general and especially inside capitalist enterprises. Our critical approach regarding workers’ and people’s control and participation has no relation whatsoever to the bourgeois and opportunist polemics regarding democracy and “rights” in the USSR”.
The KKE which, unlike the ELP, defends the achievements of socialism, after studying the experience of socialist construction in the USSR came to the following conclusion amongst others “In order to solve the problems that arose in the economy, ways and means that belonged to the past were used. With the promotion of “market” policies, instead of reinforcing social ownership and Central Planning, the homogenization of the working class (with the widening of the abilities and capacities for multi-specialization, for alternation in the technical division of labour), workers’ participation in the organization of labour, workers’ control from the bottom up, the reverse trend began to strengthen itself”
Different aspects of the ideological front
In reality, the assertions of the opportunists concerning “democratic socialism” are the “fig leaf” by which the opportunists seek to conceal their rejection of and opposition to the necessity of revolutionary struggle!
The so-called “democratic socialism” is the “fig leaf” by which the opportunists seek to conceal their complete conformity with the bourgeois system, their submission to bourgeois “democracy”, to the power of the dictatorship of capital!
“Democratic socialism” is the “task”, which the opportunist forces have undertaken, in the hostile slanderous campaign of the bourgeois system against scientific communism, against the class struggle. A campaign which is not only in operation in capitalist conditions, but also has a clear stance against the experience of socialist construction in the USSR and the other European countries! Thus, the bourgeois political forces, together with the opportunists of Die Linke and the ELP with their talk of “socialist democracy”, criticizing in an unhistorical way various periods of history, have as their clear objective the negation of the contribution of socialist construction. Sometimes they attack the entire 70 year history of the USSR, on other occasions they attack the period in which the socialist base was laid under the leadership of J. Stalin.
Indeed, the leadership of this particular opportunist party from Germany “excelled itself” at the meetings which were held on the anniversary of the murder of the communist leaders of Germany, Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, in the following way: it placed on the cemetery of the socialist-communist militants a memorial plaque for the ….”Victims of Stalinism”. The persistence of Die Linke to continue this act of provocationwas demonstrated for the fourth consecutive year, since the plaque, naturally, provokes strong reactions.
Through these actions, they are successful in demonstrating “the umbilical cord” which connects bourgeois “democracy” with opportunism. Like a well-known double act, in which one shapes all the arguments for the apologists of bourgeois democracy-the arguments which condemn socialism, the fundamental principles of its construction, and the arguments in favour of capitalist management.
It is this member of the double act which serves up to the workers the slogan “people before profits”. At the very moment when every aspect of today’s situation ( capitalist crisis, unemployment, imperialist wars, the recent food scandal concerning dioxins in Germany etc) promotes the need for the abolition of capitalist profits and the exploitative system which gives rise to them.
Whatever they say, one thing is certain: The class struggle has not been abolished, revolutions have not been abolished nor will those who carry them out ask permission from bourgeoisie. The experience of socialist construction in the USSR and other countries, where through unprecedented struggles the construction of socialism was attempted, is for communists an irreplaceable contribution to the social revolutions of the future!