Contribution by Costas Christodoulides Member of the C.C. of AKEL, to the 15th International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties (Lisbon, Portugal 8-10 November 2013)
Against the background of a complex assault of the ruling class at the level of propaganda, the working class is at a better condition to understand some fundamental issues regarding the capitalist crisis. Can capitalism be reformed in the direction of a real progressive society? The answer is, no. Not only because it has been scientifically proven that it can’t but also because it is clear today in the midst of a grave capitalist crisis. Big capital, assisted by the bourgeois governments, whether socialdemocratic or of the Right, can only push for increasingly more reactionary changes towards the concentration of production, selling-off of public wealth and over-exploitation of labour force. Right now, the big bourgeoisie is implementing, for example in the European Union, all that is envisioned in the Lisbon Strategy and the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. They are crushing the working class. They present themselves as “generous”, offering the working class underpayment and semi-employment without rights, as redemption from the spectre of unemployment. They are increasingly concentrating production and wealth in the hands of a smaller and powerful handful of monopolies. The billionaires today are earning more than before the beginning of the crisis of capitalism, according to Forbs magazine.
At the same time the poor have become poorer. They are imposing the single market to serve the ruling class of the imperialist forces. Reducing sovereignty, even more. This trend corresponds to the level of development of the productive forces of the powerful capitalist countries, on the basis of uneven development. Not only they are exploiting the local working class, but they are also creating the conditions for exploitation and their intervention in the rest of the European Union countries. The response of big capital and governments of the EU is the same. Our political work is to unmask the propaganda of the establishment institutions and to formulate through our class struggle the premises for a fundamental change into the minds of ordinary people, the poor strata, the army of the unemployed, the working class and even other strata.
Currently, AKEL is evaluating the experiences of the government of President Christofias. Certainly the work produced was significant, bearing in mind that the main issue in deciding our choice was the achievement of a fair under the circumstances solution of the Cyprus problem. However, many attacks were organised by the establishment, both local and foreign. With the Cyprus problem remaining unsolved, the occupation by Turkey, the non-implementation of UN resolutions for liberation and reunification of our country and people as a whole, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, our position is that the policy of cooperation at grassroots level and at the broader political level must be utilised – taking also into account and having analysed beforehand how far we can go and what we can achieve based on the international and local situation. But the most important parameter is the empowering of the Party of the working class, its ties to the people. The factor of class struggle and its organization, the response to systemic options, the projection of popularised proposals that create the preconditions for the working class and other strata to understand who their real allies are is a factor that must always be analyzed and prepared.
NATO today is intensifying the struggle for the redistribution of wealth resources. It wants to create a web of governments under their control either through economic dependencies, or through war. This is taking place in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America. AKEL supports the struggle of the fraternal parties and peoples against the imperialist policy of the monopolies and the governments of the US and others. Cyprus is a victim of this policy and its people is still suffering. The current right wing government is bringing Cyprus closer to NATO.
On the issue of the Working Group and International Meetings
What are the general conditions? Do they allow the functioning of a Working Group operating according to binding decisions? The answer is no. Are there differences between us on issues of struggle? The answer is, yes. Must there be a consensus or at least a clear majority for the inclusion of a party in the Working Group? In our opinion, the answer again is yes. Such a decision must also be based on objective criteria. We agree with the position that the Working Group should not become a forum for confrontation, not because different answers do not exist, but because these are given through the projection of the positions of parties in the International Meetings, through their actions etc. We have a duty to safeguard the International Meetings. This is not to the detriment of our bilateral activity or our other international initiatives. It is not to the detriment of our own character.
The conditions still demand, in our view, that consensus should prevail. Yes, we have to work together in order to share our experiences in our countries, maintain and strengthen a body of join initiatives. Constantly work together even if at this point we do not share the same evaluations in some. When we say that in our view the content of our cooperation and solidarity should be enhanced, we mean that, for example, it is important to organize meetings on the consequences for the working class, the poor strata, small businesses, arising from the implementation of the Memoranda and Memoranda demolishing policies in the EU. We should exchange views and experiences, to connect the imposition of the Memoranda as the systemic imposition of the advanced stage of capitalism’s development, which is the imperialist era, where the monopolies and finance capital impose their levelling policy. We should express precisely our common struggle against the system and all its inhuman manifestations; prepare through joint proposals, not the acceptance of this situation as a fait accompli but project together with our analysis, our own alternative proposals and also our conviction in overcoming the misery and exploitation through Socialism. We are not only a force of resistance; we are forces that open up a perspective for the people and the working class. In our view, we need to undertake such initiatives.
Socialism stands as the opposing force to the system of exploitation and maximisation of profit by a handful of oligarchs. We resist their selfish policies and their system. We must and will keep this faith in our ideals of an advanced developed society, of equality and justice despite the anti-communist hysteria, the overt or disguised war waged by big capital.