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Aspects of the ideological–political struggle in the ranks of the international communist movement
Article by the International Relations Section of the CC of the KKE about the recent international teleconference of the CPs
Recently, in conditions of an ongoing 5th wave of the pandemic, an Extraordinary Teleconference of the International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties was held under the responsibility of the CP of Greece (KKE) and the CP of Turkey (TKP). The developments confirm that bourgeois governments were not able to tackle the coronavirus pandemic to the benefit of the workers. Moreover, the restrictions on travelling from one country to another hindered in-person meetings. This negative development is rooted in the enormous deficiencies in the public healthcare systems as a result of the anti-popular policy followed by governments serving the capital. This constitutes a policy of commercialization and privatization of health, support of the profitability of monopoly groups, as well as a refusal to meet the demand put forward by the Communist Parties for the vaccine and medicine patent waiver, which would contribute to faster vaccination and the prevention of new coronavirus variants.
Under these conditions, the Communist and Workers’ Parties, which continue struggling for the life and rights of the working class and the other popular strata, must exchange views and experiences about their activity through different means. In the past years, several similar activities took place. The extraordinary international teleconference, which demanded a special and well-prepared way of conduct for the participation of Parties in different time zones, helped exchange views around crucial issues of the developments.
Once again, the close cooperation between the KKE and TKP for the success of this effort is an apt example of proletarian internationalism.
The main issues discussed in the meeting
The contributions of the Parties highlighted aspects of their activity, as well as the approaches of each Party on the main international and domestic developments. They expressed solidarity with the CP of Cuba and the Cuban people overall, who have been struggling for decades against the blockade of the imperialists. They also expressed solidarity with the people of Palestine who fight for their rights.
All contributions are published on the SOLIDNET website, together with the text of Joint Actions that was approved and includes joint and converging actions that the CPs will develop in 2022. These actions concern workers’–people’s rights, the reinforcement of public healthcare systems, against anti-communism and the distortion of the historical contribution of the USSR and socialism, utilizing milestone anniversaries such as the founding of the USSR on 30 December 1922 as well as solidarity actions with communists and other militants who face persecution and bans, actions against imperialist wars and interventions, NATO, and other imperialist military alliances, foreign bases, for the highlighting of the necessity, timeliness, and realism of socialism as the only alternative solution to capitalism.
All the above have been published in SOLIDNET, Rizospastis, and 902.gr in Greek, together with the introductory speeches of the General Secretaries of the KKE and TKP, comrades D. Koutsoumbas and K. Okuyan.
The imprint of the ideological–political struggle within the International Communist Movement
Certainly, crucial ideological–political issues continue affecting the international communist movement. Besides, international meetings are attended by parties such as the French CP or the CP of Spain, which played a leading role in the opportunist current of the so-called “eurocommunism”, and other parties that participate in the “pillar” of the current opportunist European centre, the so-called “Party of the European Left” (PEL) and the “left” group in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL, which, as we had assessed, has slid into a kind of PEL representation in the European Parliament. Even the parties that have rejected Marxism–Leninism as well as the hammer and sickle and incriminate the construction of socialism in the USSR.
The struggle on the issue of participation in bourgeois governments
The issue of participation or support of CPs in “left” and “progressive” governments emerging in the context of managing capitalism, continues to be a crucial point in the ideological–political confrontations. First of all, for the reason that the Parties following this political stance with various ideological constructs, such as the “humanization” of capitalism, the “democratization” of the EU, the “stages to socialism”, and the so-called rupture with right-wing policy, foster illusions about managing capitalism, whitewash the dirty role of social democracy, and focus their criticism on a form of bourgeois management, i.e. neoliberalism. Such forces overlook and disparage the laws governing the capitalist economy and the de facto and irrevocably reactionary character of the bourgeois state, which cannot be negated with any kind of bourgeois management formula. These forces defer the struggle for socialism for the “long-term prospect” and in practice assume enormous responsibilities to the peoples as they renounce the arduous daily work of mobilizing social forces that have an interest in clashing with monopolies and capitalism.
Thus, we see that they focus on governmental solutions of management, even voting for the military expenditure for NATO’s needs and the imperialist missions (e.g. in the Sahel belt) or replace the demand for the disentanglement of the country from NATO with a vague demand for its “dissolution”. The result of this policy is revealed in Spain, where the CP of Spain is participating in a government that is managing the pandemic in a barbarous and anti-popular manner, is taking new anti-labour measures based on EU directions, and is even taking measures to undermine Cuba, while it consistently participates in NATO plans.
The confusion over the notion of imperialism
The same forces actually approach imperialism not by using Leninist criteria, that is, as capitalism in its monopoly stage, but simply as aggressive foreign policy. Thus, they overlook that in our era monopolies, capitalist states, and their unions clash for raw materials, energy, mineral wealth, transport routes of commodities, and market shares. Even worse, some Parties reject that competition among monopolies is the base for the sharpening of contradictions internationally.
For those Parties, the issue focuses on the aggressive foreign policy of the USA, NATO, or some other great powers, which they selectively interpret as “imperialist aggression” and suggest the so-called “multi-polar world”. However, the position that restrains capitalism in the USA as well as the position adopting the existence of many international “poles”, where one will control the other, resulting in a “peaceful world” is totally disorientating for the peoples. It obscures reality. It fosters illusions that there can be “non-aggressive” imperialism, a so-called “pro-peace” capitalism.
The KKE and other parties have criticized similar views developed in the past century both by opportunist forces in Europe and the CPSU, especially after its opportunist turn in its 20th congress, where the line of “peaceful competition” between the two social-political systems prevailed.
The “anti-fascist” cooperation with bourgeois forces
Confusions arise in some parties by the fact that the capitalist system in various cases plays the card of the system’s bullies, i.e. various fascist groups, and utilizes them for the promotion of various plans of the bourgeois classes, as in Ukraine. Even some forces, which acknowledge that fascism is the creation of capitalism, tend to detach this issue from the struggle against capitalism and are led to the notion of an “anti-fascist” collaboration with bourgeois forces or their support.
Today, the assessment reached by the KKE from the study of the History of the Second World War is becoming crucial for the current international developments; that war was imperialist and unjust to both the capitalist fascist forces and the capitalist “democratic” countries, which also committed great crimes against humanity, such as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings; that the war was only just for the USSR and the partisan and people’s liberation movements in the occupied countries, where the communists played a leading role.
This position is directly linked to today when inter-imperialist contradictions are manifested in Ukraine; when the US, NATO, and the EU utilize fascist forces in Ukraine for their geopolitical machinations and on the other hand capitalist Russia promotes the interests of its own monopolies. It is clear that the USA, the imperialist unions of NATO and the EU, and the bourgeois classes that have formed them, bear heavy responsibilities for the developments. At the same time, the bourgeoisie of Russia bears heavy responsibilities for the current situation as well. All those who make it up today played a leading role in the dissolution of the USSR. December marked 30 years since its dissolution. Then, the concern of Yeltsin and the social and political forces that followed him was to dismantle the USSR, and he did not care at all e.g. what would become of Crimea, of the millions of Russians and Russian-speakers that would end up outside Russia, of all those people. It is, therefore, more than provocative to see politicians who then supported Yeltsin in dismantling the USSR, today constantly accusing Lenin of the dissolution of the USSR and call us on an “anti-fascist struggle” in Ukraine.
The approach of China today
Furthermore, of crucial importance is the issue of the ideological–political confrontation over what socialism is. There are numerous Parties that distort the notion of socialism. Some years ago, we faced various theories about “socialism of the 21st century” or “socialism of well-being”, as various social democratic governments in Latin America were called, which attempted to manage the capitalist system with “radical” slogans and measures to mitigate the extreme poverty of the people. Today, attention is focused on China, which claims to construct “socialism with Chinese characteristics”. However, what is being constructed there has nothing to do with socialism or the principles and scientific laws of socialist construction. Socialism means socialization of the means of production, workers’ power, and central planning. None of the above exists in China today, where Chinese monopolies determine the developments and promote their choices, which, among other things, lead to huge social inequalities and injustices, through the CP of China.
The issue has not only a theoretical aspect but directly a political one, connected with the struggle between the USA and China for supremacy in the imperialist system.
The issue of struggle for supremacy in the imperialist system
This issue is not simple, as life has shown that in similar cases, when the supremacy in the imperialist system was disputed, we were led in great, generalized war conflicts, with the involvement of dozens of countries and a huge death toll for the clashing capitalist interests.
Today, the USA, which remains the greatest political–economic and military imperialist power in the world, feels China breathing down its neck. Due to the law of uneven capitalist growth of capitalism, we see Chinese monopolies occupying prominent positions in the global capitalist market as well as the export of commodities and capital.
Unfortunately, some CPs erroneously attempt to bring back schemes of the past and talk about a new “Cold War”, with the difference that they now place China in the USSR’s position against the US. However, the current situation has nothing to do with the USSR–USA confrontation, since today we are witnessing a confrontation based on the conflict among monopolies, thus, an inter-imperialist confrontation. The KKE with its position highlighted this difference. Other Parties, such as the CP of Mexico and the CP of Pakistan, highlighted the current capitalist character of China, while the Philippine Communist Party [PKP-1930] openly talked about China’s expansionary desire for hegemony against its neighbouring countries in the Pacific, a fact also used by the USA as a pretext to intervene in the area.
Under no circumstances are we dealing with an issue of struggle between capitalism and socialism, as falsely claimed by some parties, such as the CP of Brazil. It is inappropriate for communists to lead political campaigns, such as the one conducted by the CP of Canada for the release of the CFO of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, daughter of the president of the Chinese monopoly whose personal fortune exceeds $ 3.4 billion, who was briefly detained due to the fierce clash among high-tech monopolies. It does not behove a CP to hold a mobilization for a businesswoman, whose bail reached $ 7.5 million, and even at a time when communists in dozens of countries are dragged to court (e.g. Ukraine, Poland), imprisoned (e.g. Swaziland), persecuted (e.g. Kazakhstan), killed in cold blood (e.g. Pakistan, India), and need our internationalist solidarity.
We should note, in parenthesis, that the KKE has sent MPs, MEPs, and other cadres to trials of persecuted communists and Parties in Ukraine, Poland, in the Baltic countries in the past; it has denounced murders and persecution against communists in other countries such as Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Sudan, India, Venezuela; it has raised such issues in the European Parliament.
On the issue of “unity”
There cannot be a contrived “unity” with forces disputing and revising the foundations of Marxism–Leninism, such as the principles of socialist revolution and construction, in the name of the notion “let’s stick to the things that unite us for now”. Such a unity, apart from the false and disorientating image that would convey to communists around the world, is also dangerous because half-truths are in essence lies. Moreover, it conceals the disagreements existing within the communist movement and impedes discussion to overcome them. In case communists do not have a clear picture of the contemporary imperialist world and only focus on USA–NATO or neo-liberalism or fascism, detaching all the above from the cause that gives rise to them, i.e. capitalism and the necessity for its overthrow, they will be lead to tragic choices.
The KKE, being aware of this situation and enlightening the people about it, is today leading the anti-imperialist movement in our country against US and NATO bases, the so-called “defence agreements” between Greece and the USA and France, the involvement of the Greek armed forces in missions abroad, for the disengagement from the NATO–EU imperialist unions, with the people in power. Taking all the above into consideration, the KKE struggles with all its might against the anti-popular policies of the ND government, SYRIZA, and the other bourgeois parties, as well as against the fascist criminal groups, seeking the formation of preconditions for the Social Alliance and the overthrow of capitalism, putting an end to the vicious circle of class exploitation and imperialist wars.
On the course of the revolutionary regroupment of the international communist movement
It is necessary to continue and openly conduct the ideological–political confrontation, to clarify issues. We do not agree with the exchange of epithets between the parties but seek to hold a substantial discussion. We also seek joint and convergent actions when they are feasible and particularly the expression of internationalist solidarity.
We support the existing forms of exchange of views and cooperation among the CPs, such as the International, regional, and thematic meetings of CPs.
We reinforce the most advanced forms of cooperation of the ICM, such as the “European Communist Initiative” (ECI) and the “International Communist Review” (ICR), for the formation of a communist pole which will struggle for the revolutionary regroupment and the unity of the communist movement, equipped with our world view, Marxism–Leninism.
The recent 21st Congress of our Party elaborated important criteria for our closer cooperation with the Communist Parties, which: a) Defend Marxism–Leninism and proletarian internationalism, the need to form a communist pole internationally. b) Struggle against opportunism and reformism, reject the centre-left management and any other variation of the strategy of stages. c) Defend the scientific laws of the socialist revolution and utilize them to assess the course of socialist construction, seek to research and draw lessons from problems and mistakes. d) Have an ideological front against erroneous perceptions on imperialism, particularly those detaching its military aggression from its economic content, against all imperialist alliances. e) Forge ties with the working class, seek to act within the trade union movement and the movements of the popular sections of the middle strata, seek to include the daily struggle for workers’– people’s rights in a contemporary revolutionary strategy for workers’ power.
The teleconference of the IMCWP, the ECI, and the ICR, which were also held in the past period, help our Party better study the precise condition of the ICM and all forms of cooperation, prioritizing its joint actions with other Parties based on the above criteria.
Published in Rizospastis on 22/01/22