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The KKE: “a thorn in the side” of social-democracy
It is no secret that the political line formed by the KKE is particularly irritating for the forces of social-democracy, both “old” and “new” social-democracy, as well as its “leftwing fellow travelers”.
This has been demonstrated once again by an article in the Turkish journal “Özgürlük Dünyası”, at a moment when the KKE was waging a serious political battle- with the title “Modern Social Reformism and the KKE”. This article was then translated into English and uploaded onto the internet.
There are a number of slanders against the KKE in this article, about “sectarianism” and “party fetishism” that in our opinion rely on baseless references to the alliance policy of our party, which the article distorts, references to its stance against the new social-democracy (the SYRIZA party) as well as to our party’s principled position about the socialist character of the revolution in Greece and more specifically our party’s abandonment of the view, which tormented the international communist movement for many decades, about “stages to socialism”.
On the alliance policy
As regards the first issue, the alliance policy of our party, there are assessments in the specific article that baselessly argue that allegedly the KKE is identical with PAME and the other popular rallies. That they are one and the same. This is a well-known accusation for us, which both the forces of social-democracy (old and new) and also small ultra-left groups unleash with the aim of limiting the dynamism that these social rallies and their alliance are continually acquiring.
However, a simple piece of research on the part of the article’s authors would have demonstrated that the trade unions which are rallied in PAME have many more registered members than the total votes the KKE receives in the elections. Hundreds of trade unions where the communists are not in the majority of the executive committees take part in the mobilizations organized by PAME. For example, if the authors were to visit the farmers’ mobilizations, the farmers’ roadblocks on the highways, where the rally of poor farmers, PASY, plays a leading role, they would see that the vast majority of the farmers struggling against the anti-people political line and the EU are not communists or KKE voters.
We could mention that the recent proposal of PAME for demonstrations on the 22nd of October all over Greece and a general strike on the 12th of November against the anti-people political line of the SYRIZA-ANEL government and the EU was supported by over 600 trade unions and mass movement organizations.
Consequently, the accusation found in the article that the KKE works for “organisational unity” with itself is completely slanderous.
The KKE never concealed its full support for those popular social organizations that struggle in an antimonopoly-anticapitalist direction. It does not conceal that it supports the social alliance of the working class with poor popular strata in the cities and countryside against the monopolies and capitalism. We believe that such a social alliance can come into conflict with the anti-people measures, fight for the restoration of the losses of the workers’ income which have shrank due to the capitalist crisis and the measures to strengthen the profitability of capital. At the same time, such an alliance, in our estimation, can pave the way for the social overthrow and rupture with the capitalist system and the imperialist unions, like NATO and the EU.
Of course, we know that this alliance policy, which has nothing to with “left alliances”, “anti-neoliberal alliances” i.e. alliance policies that narrowly focus on rallying political and not social forces, upsets social-democracy. It also upsets those small ultra left political forces like NAR and Antarsya, which today are following a social-democratic programme and have become the political “tail” of social-democratic SYRIZA. However, this unhappiness has crossed the Greek borders and has become an article in Turkey and is being published in English, which misleads the workers in your country and internationally, who do not have the sources of information and data to discern where reality ends and slander begins.
On the stance towards social-democracy
This article suggests that our party “establish a platform that incorporated the urgent and pressing demands of workers and the public, join in a wide alliance with Syriza and other progressive forces through this platform, and make adhering to these demands as a precondition of its alliance with Syriza” while it also assesses that “It was of course going to be wrong for the KKE to be coalition partner in a government led by the social reformist Syriza”.
In other words what is suggested is that the KKE transform itself from a party that works for the overthrow of capitalist barbarity into a party that will support the government of the “leftwing” SYRIZA and nationalist ANEL, without directly participating in it. This is being proposed to us in conditions when the means of production in Greece, the keys of the economy, will continue to be in the hands of the capitalists and our country will remain trapped inside the imperialist NATO organization that promotes imperialist wars and inside the EU, which amongst other things determines how its member-states will implement measures to reinforce capital by reducing the workers’-people’s rights. The EU also determines what the country produces and also the quantities and methods of production.
However, such a policy of “critical support” for the bourgeois governments of social-democracy, i.e. the governments that operate inside the political-economic framework of capitalist society, never and nowhere led to positive results for the workers. Quite the contrary! This policy led to the major disillusionment of the workers and popular masses, to revulsion with politics, to the rise of far right and fascist forces. In our country, these fascist forces are being strengthened. But the KKE is not responsible for this as the article groundlessly accuses us, just because we do not follow the political line the authors propose. These forces are on the rise due to the political line of the bourgeois parties and of social-democracy in particular. First of all, there are the responsibilities of PASOK which completely shattered the hopes of the popular strata on the eve of the capitalist crisis, promising a better and more humane management of the crisis. The new social-democratic government, SYRIZA, did something similar when it made the utopian promise before the elections of “placing people above profits”, but ended up implementing the old and new anti-people measures, transforming, once again, the people into the fuel for the profits of capital.
In these conditions the “pedagogical” role of the KKE can not be fulfilled by supporting illusions fostered by social-democracy, as the article proposes to us. It will be fulfilled in the struggle to impede these illusions and the anti-people measures advanced by the government of the “left”.
The people will be educated and the correlation of forces will change through this struggle, with the formation of the great people’s social alliance that will fight against the anti-people measures and will have the struggle against the monopolies and capitalism as its stable orientation. This will strengthen the organization and militancy of the working class and other popular strata against submission and fatalism, against the subordination of the people to the old and new managers of capitalism’s barbarity.
A stronger KKE everywhere is needed for this path and not for reasons of “party fetishism” which the article attributes to us.
However, we should point out that the strategy proposed by the specific article is not “new”. This political line of closer or looser alliances with social-democracy was followed and is still being followed by many Communist and Workers’ parties all over the world. In the past, especially after the 20th Congress of the CPSU, this political line prevailed in the communist movement, ideologically based on the “peaceful road” to socialism, the “many forms of transition to socialism”, the parliamentary road etc. Often this rationale separated social-democracy into a “rightwing”(bad) and “leftwing” (good) and also separated the bourgeoisie into a “comprador-subservient” section and a “patriotic-nationally conscious” section. An alliance was sought with this “good” social-democracy and the “good” section of the bourgeoisie, even for the management of capitalism, as a “first stage” of a unified revolutionary process.
The paradox is that while this article criticizes the 20th Congress of the CPSU, it at the same time defends this logic which prevailed then in the CPSU and later expanded its influence in the international communist movement, with painful consequences for the revolutionary movement.
The KKE studied the historical experience at a national and international level. However, the KKE forged historical blood ties with the working class and poor farmers of Greece from the very first moment of its establishment. Through the armed struggle against the foreign occupation, it has come into direct conflict twice with bourgeois power. Our party, studying its almost 100-year history, as well as the experience of the international communist movement, came to the conclusion that this specific strategy of intermediate strata not only has not led to a revolutionary overthrow anywhere (something that is obvious and well-known) but acts as an obstacle to the formation of a revolutionary strategy. Our party abandoned the rationale of stages in 1996 and even earlier in the 1980s had formed a stable ideological-political front against social-democracy, which is a pillar of the bourgeois political system.
Our party has shaped its strategy which is not determined by the correlation of forces at any given moment but by the fact that the material preconditions for the passage to a higher form of society without class exploitation and imperialist wars have been formed. Our party strives so that the working class acquires consciousness of its historic mission to abolish its exploitation and as a result all class exploitation and oppression and this would be negated by adopting the theory concerning the process of stages and forms of intermediate power on the terrain of capitalism.
On this basis, the KKE is the only party today that reveals to the people that what it faces is a unified strategy that aims to benefit capital and not merely a “bad” government or a political line imposed by overlords or colonialists, a consequence of the timidity and bad negotiations on the part of the government, as other political forces claim.
The KKE reveals to the people the nature and real cause of the capitalist crisis. It demonstrates that solutions proposed by the bourgeois political parties (rightwing and social-democratic) are forms of pro-capitalist management.
The KKE explains to the people that there is only one solution that is in their interests and not in those of the plutocracy: people’s power, the other development path that exclusively serves their needs. The positions of the party and the way out it proposes are gaining ground in the people’s consciousness, making it difficult for the bourgeoisie to advance its anti-people political line. They trigger processes that help emancipate the people’s consciousness from the bourgeois political line and constitute a pole of popular mobilization against the anti-people political line.
The KKE is fighting to make the people conscious of the need to struggle in order to pave the way for people’s power and the people’s economy. It plays the leading role in organizing the people’s struggles, with forms of struggles and demands that respond to the needs of the working class and popular families today. It refutes the ideological constructs promoted by the bourgeois, i.e. that the people are jointly responsible for the crisis, the capitalist debts and deficits, and therefore should pay for them.
This political line and activity of the KKE in the workplaces, neighbourhoods, places of education, is characterized by the efforts to organize and develop the struggle, to forge the alliance of the working class with the other poor popular strata, the small and medium farmers, the self-employed, the women and youth so that there is a unified expression for their struggle and demands, with the aim of establishing a powerful people’s alliance. This alliance is a necessary condition for the victorious outcome of the struggle, with the overthrow of the power of the monopolies, the construction of socialism-communism.
International Relations Section of the CC of the KKE