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Contribution of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) at the 22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties (IMCWP) in Havana
delivered by Giorgos Marinos, member of the PB of the CC of the KKE
We are holding the 22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties in the face of the difficulties caused by the pandemic. We are meeting here, in Havana, to continue the effort that began in 1998 in Athens and in the years that followed travelled to many regions across the world.
The Communist Party of Greece salutes the Communist Parties and thanks the Communist Party of Cuba for organizing the 22nd IMCWP and for its hospitality.
It expresses its long-standing internationalist solidarity with the CP of Cuba and the Cuban people who are currently facing serious economic difficulties.
It condemns US imperialism and its allies as well as the 62-year unacceptable blockade imposed on the island of the revolution to undermine its achievements. It denounces the anti-communist campaign and the orchestrated counter-revolutionary actions. It demands that an end be put to the imperialist blockade and all forms of intervention in the internal affairs of Cuba.
The struggle of Fidel, Che, Raúl and the other revolutionaries, the heroic armed struggle, the victory of the revolution on New Year’s Day 1959, the proclamation of its socialist character, and the long struggle against imperialism inspire the peoples.
The 22nd IMCWP is taking place amid very dangerous developments.
The capitalist system is marked by the sharpening of competition which leads to imperialist wars and interventions, the intensification of exploitation, the expansion of poverty and unemployment, the waves of refugees and immigrants seeking a better future.
The peoples are suffering due to grinding poverty, low wages and pensions, and energy poverty. The pandemic has highlighted the class character of the bourgeois states and the inadequacy of public health systems, the tragic results of the policy of commodification. Our Party deeply appreciates the measures taken by Cuba during the pandemic to protect the health and lives of the people, its internationalist contribution.
The so-called green transition under the pretext of saving the environment, as well as the so-called 4th industrial revolution, are the modern tools of capitalism for the exploitation of accumulated capital. They serve the interests of the bourgeois classes which escalate the attack on the peoples and intensify the exploitation of the working class.
Strengthening the communists’ struggle for the overthrow of capitalist barbarism is a task of primary importance. In this regard, we want to raise certain basic issues of strategic importance which concern the communist movement, in the ranks of which an intense and necessary ideological confrontation is taking place. We underscore these particular issues, considering that the new conditions of the class struggle and the confrontation with capitalism have given rise to greater demands and the communist movement is lagging behind. Its regroupment and the achievement of ideological-political unity will remain a wish unless there is a reexamination of its course with the revolutionary principles, Marxist–Leninist theory, and the valuable experience of the October Socialist Revolution as its compass.
The KKE is making an effort to contribute to this cause and at the same time seeks to utilize the possibilities for the development of joint action of the Communist and Workers’ parties. However, let us note that the call to “move forward with what unites us and set aside what divides us” embellishes the situation and hinders the necessary and meaningful discussion on drawing conclusions from the counter-revolutionary overthrows and the crisis in the communist movement. It prevents the identification of the causes, problems, and mistakes, the study of which is necessary to strengthen the struggle against any tendency to compromise with the establishment, against opportunism, and to intensify the efforts to achieve a unified revolutionary strategy against the monopolies and capitalism.
First, the imperialist war in Ukraine being waged between the US-NATO-EU and capitalist Russia, highlights the heavy consequences of the counter-revolution and capitalist restoration which led the peoples who had been building socialism for 70 years in the multinational state of the USSR to kill each other for the interests of the bourgeoisie.
The powder keg of war has been storing up in the previous period, starting even from the completion of the process of overthrowing socialism in 1991, and was set off by:
- The intervention of the Euro-Atlantic bloc in Ukraine in 2014, the support of fascist and pro-fascist forces, and the imposition of a governmental solution in line with its interests. The build-up of NATO military forces on the Russian border and the establishment of new US bases in the region.
- The moves of the Russian bourgeoisie and its political representatives who, after its courtship of NATO and the consolidation of bourgeois power, have promoted a plan to control the wealth-producing resources of Ukraine and other former socialist states of the unified Soviet Union, within the framework of Euro-Asian capitalist unification, in competition with the European and US monopolies. At the beginning of 2022, we denounced the intervention of Russian forces in Kazakhstan, which was made in the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization against the mass popular demonstrations.
We condemn the reactionary Zelenskiy regime as well as the Ukrainian anti-communist, nationalist governments that committed crimes against the people in Donbas, outlawed the Communist Party of Ukraine, persecute communists, and infringe the rights of the Ukrainian people.
The condemnation of US–NATO imperialism and the Ukrainian governments cannot justify Russia’s unacceptable invasion of Ukraine, the violation of its territorial integrity and sovereignty, causing thousands of deaths and suffering to the Ukrainian and Russian people, the peoples of the region.
The root cause of the war in Ukraine is the competition over the division of markets, the control of the wealth-producing resources and areas of strategic importance. It is being waged and led by the bourgeoisie; it is imperialist on both sides; it is directed against the peoples and there are great dangers of its generalization, even with the use of nuclear weapons.
The pretexts used by both sides are intended to mislead and manipulate peoples. The Euro-Atlantic powers’ pretext of a clash between “democracy” and “authoritarianism” is unfounded. They have criminal responsibility for dozens of imperialist wars, including the wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya.
The Russian leadership’s pretext of the “denazification” and “anti-fascist” character of the war is misleading. The Russian state and government leadership —which is the result of the counter-revolution and guilty of plundering the property of the Soviet people— while bearing its own weighty responsibility for strengthening the fascist forces in Ukraine, insists on blatantly slandering the invaluable contribution of Lenin, the great October Socialist Revolution, and the achievements of the building of socialism. It engages in anti-communism.
The leading forces in Russia today are representatives of the interests of the Russian monopolies and managers of capitalism. They cannot serve as an anti-fascist force.
Fascism is the creation of capitalism, a reserve of the exploiters against the peoples. It can be confronted with an organized, mass workers’–people's struggle and not by delegating this task to a part of the political forces, the bourgeoisie and its state. The struggle against fascism is linked to the struggle to eliminate the causes that give rise to it, to the overthrow of the capitalist system.
The developments highlight that the conflict in Ukraine is part of the bigger picture of imperialist competition raging across the globe. We particularly underscore the dangers of the rivalry between the USA and China for supremacy in the imperialist system, the conflict between the Euro-Atlantic camp and the emerging Euro-Asian one led by China and Russia.
The stance of the communists towards the imperialist war is a crucial issue. It is determined by the fact that in the era of imperialism, that is, monopoly capitalism, the wars waged by the bourgeois classes are unjust and imperialist. The peoples are called upon to condemn them, to strengthen the independent ideological, political, and mass struggle to overthrow the power of capital, to eliminate capitalist exploitation, to build socialism–communism.
Any deviation from this principle objectively leads to alignment with the interests of the bourgeois classes, of one or the other camp of “thieves”, with painful consequences.
Communists oppose the horrors of war but do not foster illusions. They define the social-class content and the conditions that can secure true peace and the development of friendship among peoples, making it clear that in the context of “imperialist peace”, competition is sharpening and the conditions for imperialist wars are formed.
The position concerning the creation of a ‘new security architecture’ and the finding of a mechanism that will supposedly reconcile the interests of the USA, NATO, and the EU with those of Russia and China in order to achieve, as they say, “peaceful coexistence” fosters illusions.
These theories create false expectations and disregard the main issue, i.e. that monopolies and capitalist states confront one another, a fact that puts its stamp on economic and military conflicts. It has been historically and theoretically proven that no temporary agreement between capitalist states can permanently guarantee peace.
The Minsk agreements, for example, expressed temporary and fragile compromises of a certain period, were utilized according to the plans of both sides, and eventually collapsed. This is also true of dozens of other agreements used to defuse imperialist conflicts.
Confusion is also caused by the promotion of the role of the UN and the international law, which was shaped in the previous decades in favour of the peoples thanks to the intervention of the Soviet Union.
Today the situation has changed, the correlation of forces has dramatically deteriorated, the UN practice is linked to the cover of US–NATO planning and imperialist interventions, as we have seen in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya. Earlier UN resolutions that were shaped thanks to the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries are now a dead letter, as shown by the examples of Israel’s continued occupation of Palestine or the Turkish occupation of Cyprus.
In recent years, especially after the establishment of the BRICS, the so-called “multipolar world” has been put forward as a solution to ensure peace and people’s interests, as a response to the “unipolar” world and the supremacy of the USA.
In essence, this theory calls upon the peoples to renounce their own interests or to identify them with the interests of bourgeois classes and imperialist centres competing with US imperialism over the control of the wealth-producing resources and markets.
Such choices lead to the disarmament of the working class, cancel the independent workers’–people’s struggle against the exploiters, and place the peoples under a false flag, even using pretexts claiming that “there are no pure anti-imperialist struggles and pure socialist plans” and supposedly an “alliance of anti-imperialist and progressive forces” is required, including bourgeois political forces, capitalist states and alliances.
During the past period, the KKE has developed a rich anti-war and anti-imperialist activity. It took part in the important initiative, the Joint Statement of 4 CPs —the CP of the Workers of Spain, the CP of Mexico, the CP of Greece, and the CP of Turkey. We salute the participation of 43 Communist Parties and 30 Communist Youth Organizations that took a principled stand against the war and highlighted its imperialist character and its real causes.
Our Party is in conflict with the bourgeoisie, the governments and parties representing its interests, the bourgeois state and its policy of involvement in the imperialist war and the plans of the USA, NATO, and the EU.
It struggles for the closure of the US–NATO bases in Greece, which were established under the responsibility of all bourgeois governments, i.e. the liberal party of New Democracy and the social democratic parties of SYRIZA and PASOK.
It denounces that those governments have turned our country into a US–NATO launching pad. Together with the people, it demands that the sending of military equipment to the war in Ukraine be stopped, that the Greek armed forces return home from imperialist missions abroad. It struggles for the disengagement of Greece from NATO and the EU, from all imperialist alliances, with the working class in power and the people masters in their own land.
The KKE supports that the struggle for the defence of the borders and the sovereign rights of Greece, from the point of view of the working class and the popular strata, is inseparable from the struggle for the overthrow of the power of capital. This has nothing to do with defending the plans of one imperialist pole or another, the profitability of one monopoly group or another.
Secondly, there is a great debate, an ideological confrontation within the communist movement about what imperialism is. In our opinion, this a fundamental issue and it therefore must continue in a multifaceted, comradely manner, with an exchange of arguments.
The Leninist theory of imperialism remains timely and equips communists who have the task to further develop it, taking into account the rapid expansion and domination of the monopolies nowadays, the role of the bourgeois states as the basis of their action, the further sharpening of competition and the basic contradiction of the system between capital and wage labour.
Imperialism is monopoly capitalism. It is based on large stock companies, monopolies, the increase in the importance of the export of capital over the export of commodities, the creation of finance capital (as a merging of industrial and bank capital), the division and redivision of markets and territories.
These characteristics do not only concern the states at the top of the imperialist pyramid, but are uniform; they concern all states, stronger or weaker, because the monopoly, reactionary era of capitalism is single.
Each capitalist state is part of the imperialist system and pursues an imperialist policy, according to its economic, political, and military strength, within a web of unequal interdependencies and dependencies, with changes and realignments caused by the law of uneven development. In the era of imperialism, all bourgeois states are competing for the interests of their monopolies.
Consequently, confining the perception of imperialism to the US and its aggressive foreign policy or to the policy of powerful EU states, goes beyond the socio-economic content of imperialism and the reactionary nature of the system in a baseless way.
The analysis that reduces imperialism to the US leads to wrong political conclusions, to positions that promote the alliance of the working class with sections of its exploiters, with sections of the bourgeois class, in the name of confronting e.g. US imperialism and safeguarding “national independence”.
This option entraps workers’ and people’s forces, leaving the bourgeois class untouched while the latter promotes its interests within each country and in international competition and participates in the planning of imperialist alliances.
The law of uneven development, as a characteristic feature of capitalism, forms objectively unequal relations, some states stand out and are at the top of the imperialist pyramid because of their economic, political and military strength, but this does not exonerate the bourgeois classes and the bourgeois states which are weaker in the imperialist system and seek their upgrading.
The correlation of forces among the capitalist states is changing. Strong creditor states of the 20th century have today become debtor states (e.g. the large current national debt of the USA, France and Italy), while China is today a creditor state. The change in the strength of Britain compared to India from the 20th to the 21st century is one more typical example.
The monopolies based in Greece control the economy and export capital to many countries. Greek shipping capital is at the top of the global shipping. The bourgeois class seeks its strategic enhancement, the bourgeois governments that have entangled our country in NATO and the EU participate in a large number of imperialist missions abroad and in the sharing of the loot.
Third, the grave-digger of the system which is the working class, i.e. the leading force of society and the bearer of the new socialist relations of production, evolved in the context of monopoly capitalism. The productive forces were further developed, the material conditions for the new socialist society matured.
Capitalism has exceeded its historical limits, it is rotten.
Our epoch is an epoch of transition from capitalism to socialism–communism. The counter-revolution does not change the character of our epoch. On the contrary, it confirms it. It further highlights the barbarism of the exploitative system based on the power of capital, on the capitalist ownership of the means of production and on the criterion of profit.
The fundamental contradiction between the social character of production and labour and the capitalist appropriation of their products, the capital-labour contradiction is sharpening, taking on unprecedented dimensions and must be resolved by the socialist revolution.
The character of the revolution is not determined by the correlation of forces but by the maturation of the material conditions for socialism and by the basic contradiction that the latter is called upon to resolve; this is a crucial issue which puts forward in our days (in the era of imperialism) the necessity of programmatic changes with the socialist character of the revolution and the struggle for workers’ power as the central issue.
Objectively, there is no intermediate stage between capitalism and socialism–communism because there is no intermediate power between bourgeois and workers’ power. Any governmental solution on the ground of the system reproduces the power of capital and capitalist ownership of the means of production, maintains the exploitation of the working class by capital, the exploitation of man by man.
Approaches that reflect, in our opinion, erroneous earlier analyses and strategic choices of the communist movement about “transitional stages”, “anti-monopoly governments”, together with social democracy, which is proved to defend and perpetuate capitalist exploitation, undermine the progress of the movement and play a key role in the current crisis of the communist movement.
The one-sided reference to “neoliberalism” weakens the struggle against the strategy of capital promoted by both liberal and social-democratic anti-people’s policies, depending on the circumstances. It exonerates the social-democratic management of the system, pose false dilemmas and confuses popular forces.
The so-called progressive governments maintained, as was to be expected, the bases of capitalism; they supported the bourgeois state and were supported by it; they supported the power of the monopolies, were integrated into the system, imposed anti-people's measures and provoked popular indignation, suppressed popular mobilizations and undermined the action of the CPs. They provided a breeding ground for reactionary forces which returned to governance, in the context of a vicious circle of alternation of bourgeois political forces managing capitalism.
This result has been painfully proven through the well-known “experiments” in Europe, in Latin America and all over the world.
Not only has there been no change in the correlation of forces in favour of the communists, in favour of the working class and its allies, but in practice the workers' movement has been disarmed. Communist parties that participated in these governments lost their ideological, political and even organizational autonomy.
Long experience teaches us that the participation or support of communist parties in bourgeois governments makes communists accountable for the perpetuation of capitalist exploitation and afflicts their credibility.
The struggle for the overthrow of capitalism, for workers’ power is a beacon in the work of communists, gives strength to the daily class struggle, raises the urgent need for the regroupement of the workers’ movement, the formation of a social alliance among the working class, the poor farmers, the self-employed, the development of the anti-monopoly, anti-capitalist struggle, for the overthrow, in opposition to the logic of reforming the system and of the utopia of “humanizing capitalism”.
The KKE in Greece, plays a leading role in the struggle on all fronts concerning workers’ and people’s rights and needs, against high prices and energy poverty, for collective agreements, the increase of wages and pensions, health and education, and supports the struggle of All-Workers Militant Front (PAME), which rallies hundreds of trade union organizations in its ranks.
Important struggles are taking place in our country, with smaller or bigger conquests. In sectors such as construction, in COSCO’s monopoly in the port of Piraeus, in groups such as e-food, satisfactory Collective Agreements have been signed. Struggles of several months are organized in the ferro-nickel factory (LARCO), in the fertilizer and oil industries in the city of Kavala against the layoffs, in the Malamatina winery in Thessaloniki. The working class opposes the repression of the bourgeois state.
PAME is rallying new workers' forces, winning a majority in more unions. It has the majority or is the leading power in hundreds of unions, federations and regional trade union centers. The lists of PAME are in second place in the workers’ trade union movement. More than 500 unions participated in its recent Congress. A major nationwide strike mobilization is being prepared for 9 November.
The communists are playing a decisive role in the movement of the toiling farmers, supporting their demands related to their survival as well as the combative forms of their struggle, such as the tractor blockades on the roads. They support the city's self-employed in their struggle, despite the negative correlation of forces in the third level organizations led by the forces of big capital.
In the student elections, the lists supported by the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE) won first place.
Our party studies and fights against its weaknesses and tries to become more and more effective; the fact that thousands of workers–people’s forces are in action in Greece, developing militant struggles is due to the revolutionary strategy of the KKE, to the strong ties it has with the working class, the popular strata and the youth. It is due to the specialization of its ideological mass intervention in women; it is due to the overall ideological and political confrontation with the parties of the right and social democracy, with the pseudo-left integrated in the system, with opportunism.
From time to time, in various countries, large mobilizations, popular uprisings, mass and dynamic expressions of popular indignation break out. The recent examples in Kazakhstan last January and in Sri Lanka last spring and summer are typical and communists have a duty to study these events, to draw conclusions. These and other examples emphasize that today, in non-revolutionary conditions, systematic ideological-political work is required to prepare the subjective factor (i.e. the Party, the working class and its allies) for the perspective of socialist revolution, taking into account that the period of its outbreak is determined by objective conditions, by the emergence of a crisis embracing all fields, such as the economy, political and other state mechanisms, i.e. a revolutionary situation.
Fourth, our Party, through long years of research focused on the overthrow of Socialism in the USSR, came to essential conclusions which enriched its strategy, its perception of socialist construction.
Socialism was overthrown “from within and from above”, in the context of opportunist erosion of the CPSU, in a process of attempting to address problems of socialist construction, using capitalist tools, elements of the “market”, altering, undermining the principles of socialist construction, social ownership of the means of production and central planning.
In this context, a social stratum was created and developed, whose interests did not fit into socialism and this was expressed at a party and state political level. Perestroika was the last act of this drama.
It is therefore necessary to discuss these issues, to seriously address them, to examine them.
Especially since nowadays an organized attack is developing against the principles of socialist revolution and construction.
The positions that glorify the so-called market socialism are multiplied; “market socialism” leads to the negation of the principles of socialization of the means of production and central scientific planning; it promotes the economic activity of capitalist companies; it adopts the criterion of profit and legitimizes the exploitation of the working class by capital.
However this is capitalism, not socialism and there is an urgent need to raise this issue openly, for each party to assume its responsibility before it is too late.
The KKE has presented its position on China and its capitalist course, it has documented the position that capitalist relations of production have prevailed in China since many years, that the monopolies dominate and are being strengthened in all sectors and that the workforce is a commodity with a high degree of exploitation.
The monopolies based in China, with the support of the state, are expanding throughout the world, trillions of dollars are being exported, the “new silk road” is being utilized for the penetration of the monopolies in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and capitalist profits are multiplying. It is in this process that the more than 1,000 billionaires who are in the top ranks of the world plutocracy appeared in China.
The communists gave epic battles under their own banner, which is the struggle for socialism-communism. This gave them strength and on this path, on the path of the October Socialist Revolution, the communist movement can overcome the ideological political and organizational crisis it faces, based on Marxism–Leninism, on proletarian internationalism, on the defense of the principles of socialist revolution and construction, and proceed to harmonize its strategy with the needs of the class struggle, with revolutionary regroupment.
On this basis, the CPs can strengthen, build new organizations in the factories, in strategic sectors and companies, strengthen their bonds with the working class, the popular strata, the youth and women of popular origins.
On this basis, the struggle can be strengthened in the context of the imperialist wars and the new generalized capitalist crisis that is just around the corner, in the complex developments that lie before us.
Today, 100 years after the founding of the Soviet Union, we may unfortunately not have on our side such a power for supporting peace and the peoples as the USSR was, but we are convinced that socialism is the future, the only alternative pro-popular way out and that the peoples are the only superpower that can achieve it.