Speech by Elisseos Vagenas of the Communist Party of Greece at the seminar organised by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, on the 15-16 December 2012 in Moscow with the theme: “The International Communist Movement Today and Tomorrow.”
Participating in the Seminar were : Communist Party of Vietnam, Communist Party of Brazil, Communist Party of Greece, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of China, Communist Party of Cuba, Lebanese Communist Party, Communist Party of the Ukraine, Portuguese Communist Party, Communist Party of the Russian Federation,Communist Party of Bohemia-Moravia.
We thank the Communist Party of the Russian Federation for the invitation to this informal meeting of communist parties, with as its theme the problems and prospect of the international communist movement.
Our meeting today is being conducted in conditions of the deepening of the global capitalist crisis, which demonstrates the impasses and limits of the capitalist mode of production. But it will not be overthrown on its own, it will not fall like a “ripe apple”, if the subjective factor and above all the communist party, the communist movement, is not able to form a revolutionary strategy.
Unfortunately, the communist movement today is undergoing a deep ideological, political and organizational crisis.
The KKE from 1998 onwards has undertaken a series of initiatives so that the communists can meet, exchange thoughts, experiences from their activity, to coordinate themselves regarding issues on which they can agree. The International Meetings of Athens began in 1998 in this direction. They were embraced by dozens of Communist Parties and today have been established as an important annual event for the international communist movement. Our party insists that these meetings must remain meetings of communist parties, because they will lose their essence and be led to dissolution if they are blunted with the participation of other “left” parties or forces, which state that they are anti-imperialist.
At the same as a party we hold a series of regional and thematic communist meetings at the level of Europe, the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean. We actively participate in initiatives and invitations of other communist parties. But, dear comrades, we know, we are convinced that the communist movement will not be able to overcome the crisis in which it finds itself just through these activities.
The crucial issue is the acquisition of the revolutionary strategy and tactics which serve it, so that the revolutionary positions are strengthened in the communist movement and that reformist and opportunist ones retreat and are weakened in the tough confrontation which is being waged.
The line of “resistance-rupture” with the capitalist system must gain ground against the line “adaptation-assimilation” into the system.
It is obvious that we cannot we mention here in detail, due to the time restriction, all the issues regarding the situation of the communist movement and its prospects. Nevertheless, I would like to briefly focus on some basic positions of the KKE.
The KKE considers the stance in relation to the socialism we knew as well as the assessments concerning the causes of its overthrow to be an important issue. Our party defended socialism, even in the most difficult conditions, from the frenzied anti-communist offensive. It defended the contribution of the USSR to the struggle of the peoples. But it did not leave it at that. Even from the beginning of the 1990s we prioritized the scientific investigation of the causes of the victory of the counterrevolution in the USSR as well as in the other socialist countries. Later, after 18 years of study we came to the decision of the 18th Congress, in relation to the causes of socialism’s overthrow, the mistakes which were made at the economic and political level, in the strategy of the international communist movement and which led to the victory of the counterrevolution. Our approach focuses on the retreat from the principles of socialist construction, where to put it succinctly commodity relations were strengthened at the level of the economy with the reforms in the 1950s and 1960s and in the course of events social forces were created which were interested in the overthrow of socialism. At the level of politics we had the mistaken views regarding the “State of the Whole People” and also at the level of international relations the mistaken view regarding “peaceful competition” of the two socio-political systems. Socialism was overthrown from above and from “within”, due to the gradual opportunist corrosion of the CPs.
The KKE continues in this and its other elaborations to base itself on the worldview of Marxism-Leninism, which it considers relevant today, assessing as its priority the struggle against bourgeois and opportunist theories, and their organizations, such as for example in the past the current of so-called “Euro-communism” and today the so-called “European Left Party”.
Our party defends the character of the Communist Party, as a party of the working class, which does not merely struggle for the better sale of the price of its labour power, but struggles for the overthrow of the exploitative capitalist system, its struggles on a daily basis for socialism, which today is the only alternative solution for the worker.
We believe that the necessity and timeliness of socialism has not been shaken by the counterrevolutionary changes in the USSR and Europe as a whole, because the necessity does not spring from the correlation of forces, which is negative, but from the existence of objective conditions for the construction of socialism, from the impasses of capitalism, such as the current global capitalist crisis. A crisis which is not simply caused by a form of management e.g. neo-liberalism, as various apologists of the capitalist system claim, but by the basic contradiction between capital and labour.
We form our alliance policy on the basis of our strategic goal, which is socialism-communism. We have rejected the formation of “left” coalitions, “anti-fascist fronts”, the cooperation with social-democracy (We consider it a mistake to separate it into “left” and “right”) as dangerous and damaging. On the contrary we seek to rally and concentrate social forces, the working class and the popular urban and rural petty bourgeois strata in an anti-monopoly anti-capitalist direction, struggling for every popular problem, in conflict and rupture with the imperialist unions. Such a popular alliance in the period of the revolutionary situation will be transformed into a revolutionary workers front, it will give birth to new popular organs of power.
We continue to believe that the maxim of the Communist Manifesto holds true, that “The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie”1, i.e. we consider that the struggle at the national level is the main front. Nevertheless this struggle must be coordinated at a regional and international level because it is an international struggle with the slogan which still holds true “Workers of all countries, Unite”. Our party remains faithful to proletarian internationalism!
We face imperialism based on the characteristics given to it by Lenin. We do not identify imperialism only with the USA, because there are other strong imperialist powers and unions, such as the imperialist EU. We consider that every country, where the capitalist relations of production and the monopolies are dominant has a place in the imperialist system, based on its economic, political and military strength. The views which treat imperialism as a policy of the ruling class, as a foreign policy and not as a phase in the development of capitalism which is connected to the dominance of the monopoly in capitalist production, the fusion of industrial and banking capital, the export of capital and the economic character of imperialist wars (division and re-division of markets) do a lot of damage. It would be a serious mistake for the people’s movement to rest its hopes on the so-called emerging powers, or to choose them as a “camp”. Because as Lenin warned, this would lead us to the mistaken assessment that “monopolies in the economy are compatible with non-monopolistic, non-violent, non-annexationist methods in politics”.2 The so-called “multi-polar world”, the so-called “new architecture of international relations”, is not the world of peace and security for the peoples, but the world of sharpening inter-imperialist contradictions.
As a party we exclude the possibility of participating in bourgeois governments, even those called “left” or “patriotic”, because after the study of the history of our party and the international communist movement we have come to the conclusion that there are no intermediate stages between capitalism and socialism. There is no transitional power. The power will be in the hands of the working class or in the hands of capital. The participation of the CP in a “left” government in the framework of capitalism has proved damaging for the people’s movement. In essence the exploitation of the working class has been perpetuated and the profitability of capital has been supported with “left slogans”.
We focus on the organization of the struggle of the working class in the trade unions, in the labour and trade union movement, which will acknowledge the class struggle, will come into conflict with the so-called “social peace” and the “social dialogue” which the bourgeois power wants and the opportunists support.
We are not searching for new revolutionary subjects, because we consider that historic role of the working class, which is the grave-digger of capitalism, has not changed.
We defend the laws of the socialist revolution and construction and we reject the rationale of “national models”, which in essence negate these laws.
As a party we do not restrict ourselves to pointing out that there are diametrically opposing views amongst our parties on these fundamental issues, including those found here today. We seek the discussion, the exchange of views between the CPs. We seek the joint elaboration of contemporary theoretical issues, above all between CPs which have a significant convergence of views. But we are ready to develop joint action on issues of anti-imperialist activity with all the other communist parties, where we can agree at a bilateral, regional and multilateral level. We consider the ideological front against bourgeois and opportunist theories, against anti-communism and anti-Sovietism to be necessary. And we also consider the development of activities against the imperialist powers to be necessary, such as those decided on by the recent 14th International Meeting of Communist and Workers parties in Beirut. And today more particularly against the imperialist intervention in Syria and the imperialist war which is being prepared against Iran. As a party we are ready to contribute in this direction.
1 «Communist Manifesto”. Karl Marx. Collected Works. Vol. 6
2 “Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism”. V.I. Lenin. Collected Works. Vol.22