Communist Party of Australia  

Home


The Guardian

Current Issue

PDF Archive

Web Archive

Pete's Corner

Subscribe

Press Fund


CPA


About Us

Why you should ...

CPA introduction


Contact Us

facebook, twitter


Major Issues

Indigenous

Unions

Health

Housing

Climate Change

Peace

Solidarity/Other


State by State

NSW, Qld, SA, Vic, WA


What's On

Topical


Resources

AMR

Links


Shop@CPA

Books, T-shirts, CDs/DVDs, Badges, Misc


 

AUSTRALIAN
MARXIST
REVIEW

Journal of the Communist Party of Australia

ISSUE 55March 2012

Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Sitaram Yechury, Member Polit Bureau, Head of International Department of CPI(M)

At the very outset allow me to thank the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), for making splendid arrangements and organising this 13th Meeting of International Communist and Workers’ Parties — all the more so in this most crucial juncture and in the midst of sustained resistance against the onslaught of capital. I also extend my revolutionary solidarity with all the fighting workers and people of Greece who are on the streets, led by the KKE, PAME [All Workers Militant Front] and KNE [Communist Youth], resolutely saying NO to the “austerity” measures and fighting for a better tomorrow. Let me also take this opportunity to greet all the fraternal parties gathered here on behalf of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

The year 2011 marks the 20th anniversary of the dismantling of socialism in the former USSR and East European countries. As the 14th Congress of the CPI (M) had concluded, these events had occurred not due to the inadequacies or lack of scientific rigour of Marxism-Leninism but due to the lack of scientific rigour on the part of those who have embraced this philosophy. It is not socialism as a system that had failed but it is the failure of applying the tenets of scientific socialism to the concrete conditions of the respective countries.

Looking back in retrospect, it is necessary to draw proper lessons from these events. Notwithstanding this it is equally important to record the contribution of socialism in advancing human civilisation in the 20th Century.

Socialism’s indelible impact on the 20th Century

The creation of the Soviet Union marked the first advance in human history of the establishment of a society free from class exploitation. The rapid strides made by socialism, the transformation of a once backward economy into a mighty economic and military bulwark confronting imperialism, had confirmed the superiority of the socialist system. The building of socialism in the Soviet Union is an epic saga of human endeavour.

This remains a source of inspiration to all peoples of the world who are in the midst of struggle for social emancipation. The decisive role played by the USSR in the defeat of fascism and the consequent emergence of the East European socialist countries had a profound impact on world developments. The victory over fascism provided the decisive impetus to the process of decolonisation that saw the liberation of countries from colonial exploitation. The historical triumph for the Chinese revolution, the heroic Vietnamese people’s struggle, the Korean people’s struggle and the triumph of the Cuban revolution had a tremendous influence on world developments.

The achievements of the socialist countries — the eradication of poverty and illiteracy, the elimination of unemployment, the vast network of social security in the fields of education, health, housing, etc — provided a powerful impetus to the working people all over the world in their struggles.

World capitalism met this challenge to its order, partly by adopting welfare measures and granting rights that it never conceded to the working people before. The entire conception of a welfare state and the social security network created in the post-Second World War capitalist countries was a result of the struggles of the working people in these countries inspired by the achievements of socialism. The democratic rights that are today considered as inalienable from human civilisation are also the product of the people’s struggle for social transformation and not the charity of bourgeois class rule.

These revolutionary transformations brought about qualitative leaps in human civilisation and left an indelible imprint on modern civilisation. This was reflected in all fields including culture, aesthetics, science, etc. While Eisenstein revolutionised cinematography, the Sputnik expanded the frontiers of modern science to outer space. The panicky American response to Yuri Gagarin’s flight into space in 1959, came in the form of President Kennedy’s assurance to the US Senate that within a decade they would put man on the moon. The US succeeded in doing this only in 1969 working overtime for a full decade. In the meanwhile, the USSR carried out many a space mission, including sending the dog Lyka.

Reverses to socialism

Yet, despite such tremendous advances, that too under the most exacting of circumstances and hostile environment, why is it that the mighty USSR could not consolidate and sustain the socialist order?

There were, generally speaking, two areas where wrong understanding and consequent errors were committed. The first pertains to the nature of assessments of contemporary world realities and about the very concept of socialism. The second concerns the practical problems confronted during the period of socialist construction.

Incorrect estimations

Despite the unprecedented and path-breaking advances made, it must be borne in mind that all socialist revolutions barring the few (not all) in East Europe took place in relatively backward capitalistically developed countries. While this vindicated the Leninist understanding of breaking the imperialist chain at its weakest link, it nevertheless permitted world capitalism to retain its hold over the developed productive forces and, hence, also the potential for its future development.

The socialist countries removed one-third of the world market from capitalism. This, however, did not directly affect either the levels of advances already made by world capitalism in developing the productive forces, or in capitalism’s capacity to further develop the productive forces on the basis of scientific and technological advances. This permitted world capitalism to overcome the setbacks caused by socialist revolutions to develop the productive forces and further expand the capitalist market. Given the existing correlation of class forces internationally, imperialism achieved the expansion of the capitalist market through neocolonialism.

On the other hand, given the pace and qualitatively higher advances made by socialism in a relatively short span (recall that the Soviet Union came to match the might of the fascist military machine in less than a decade — what took capitalism 300 years was accomplished by socialism in 30!) led to a belief that such advances were irreversible. The Leninist warning that the vanquished bourgeoisie will hit back with a force a hundred times stronger was not fully taken into account.

Such an underestimation of the capacities of world capitalism and overestimation of socialism was reflected in the assessment of the world communist movement.

The statement of the 1960 conference issued by 81 participating communist parties stated: “It is the principal characteristic of our time that the world socialist system is becoming the decisive factor in the development of society”. It goes on to say: “The world capitalist system is going through an intense process of disintegration and decay”. And, “Capitalism impedes more and more the use of the achievements of modern science and technology in the interests of social progress’. And that, “The time is not far off when socialism’s share of world production will be greater than that of capitalism. Capitalism will be defeated in the decisive sphere of human endeavour, the sphere of material production”. The statement continued: “A new stage has begun in the development of the general crisis of capitalism”, and talked of “the growing instability of the entire world economic system of capitalism”. Based on such assessments the statement concluded that “Today the restoration of capitalism has been made impossible not only in the Soviet Union, but in the other socialist countries as well”.

Self-critically, it must be noted that all contingents of the world communist movement were influenced by this incorrect understanding. They therefore must re-examine the basis for such an assessment.

In retrospect, the general crisis of capitalism was simplistically understood. The historical inevitability of capitalism’s collapse was advanced as a possibility around the corner. This was a serious error that inhibited a concrete scientific study of the changes that were taking place in the capitalist countries and the manner in which they were adapting to meet the challenges arising from socialism. In the process, the clear warning given by Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto was ignored: “the bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production and thereby the relations of production and with that the whole relations of society”.

The inevitability of capitalism’s collapse is not an automatic process. Capitalism has to be overthrown. An erroneous estimation of its strength only blunts the need to constantly sharpen and strengthen the revolutionary ideological struggle of the working class and its decisive intervention under the leadership of a party wedded to Marxism-Leninism — the subjective factor without which no revolutionary transformation is possible.

Thus, the overestimation of the strength of socialism and the underestimation of the strength of capitalism did not permit an objective analysis and consequently the proper assessment of the emerging world situation.

Further, socialism was perceived as a linear progression. Once socialism was achieved, it was erroneously thought that the future course was a straight line without any obstacles till the attainment of a classless, communist society. Experience has also confirmed that socialism is the period of transition or, as Marx said, the first stage of the communism — the period between a class-divided exploitative capitalist order and the classless communist order.

This period of transition, therefore, by definition implies, not the elimination of class conflicts but its intensification, with world capitalism trying to regain its lost territory.

This period, therefore, was bound to be a protracted and complex one with many a twist and turn and many a zigzag. This was particularly so in these countries which were capitalistically backward at the time of the revolution.

The success or failure of the forces of world socialism in this struggle, at any point of time, is determined both by the success achieved in socialist construction and the international and internal correlation of class forces and their correct assessment. Incorrect estimations leading to an underestimation of the enemy both without and within the socialist countries and the overestimation of socialism had created a situation where the problems confronting the socialist countries were ignored as well as the advances and consolidation of world capitalism.

Lenin had always reminded us that the living essence of dialectics is the concrete analysis of concrete conditions. If the analysis falters or the true appreciation of the actual situation is faulty, then erroneous understandings and distortions surface.

It is such distortions and, importantly, deviations from the revolutionary content of Marxism-Leninism in later years of the USSR, particularly after the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) along with the unresolved problems in the process of socialist construction that led to these reverses.

Major shortcomings in socialist construction

In the process of socialist construction, there were essentially four areas where major shortcomings occurred. Before discussing these, it needs to be underlined, once again, that socialism was embarking on an uncharted path of human advance. There were no blueprints or any specific formulae. This reality also contributed in a large measure towards these shortcomings.

Class character of the state: The first of these areas is regarding the class character of the state under socialism. The dictatorship of the overwhelming majority over a minority of former exploiting classes, i.e., the dictatorship of the proletariat as opposed to the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie (which is that of a minority over the overwhelming majority) is the character of the state under socialism.

However, the forms of this class rule need to keep developing as socialism advances through various phases. The form necessary, say in a period of capitalist encirclement, or civil war, need not be the form, say in a period of post-Second World War socialist consolidation in the Soviet Union.

The theoretical elaboration of the different phases of the dictatorship of the proletariat and different forms of the socialist state, is made for the first time in the political report of the 18th Congress of the CPSU in 1939. Stalin deals in length on this issue in a section titled, “Questions of theory”. However, when such transformation of forms, whose changes represent the movement towards greater and larger participation of the people in the activities of the state, are not made at the appropriate time, the growing aspirations of people under socialism get stifled and this leads to alienation and discontent. Further, the same form need not be applicable uniformly to all socialist countries. The form will be determined by the historical background and the concrete socio-economic conditions in those countries.

Lenin had clearly stated in State and Revolution that as the forms of bourgeois states are varied, the period of transition from capitalism to communism “certainly cannot but yield a great abundance and variety of political forms”. But he goes on to underline that the forms may be different but the essence will inevitably be the dictatorship of the proletariat. “The forms of bourgeois states are extremely varied, but their essence is the same: all these states, whatever their form, in the final analysis are inevitably the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. The transition from capitalism to communism certainly cannot but yield a great abundance and variety of political forms, but the essence will inevitably be the same: the dictatorship of the proletariat” (emphasis added).

The adoption of the Soviet form of state in the post-Second World War socialist countries of East Europe, hence, was a development that ignored the concrete socio-economic conditions and the historical background of these countries. For instance, Czechoslovakia had communists elected to its parliament in a multi-party system before the revolution. The prohibition of a multi-party system under socialism was seen by many as a regression. This contributed, as well, to the alienation of the people and growing discontent.

Socialist democracy: The second area where there were major shortcomings was that concerning socialist democracy. Democracy under socialism needs to be deeper and richer than under capitalism. While capitalism gives the formal democratic right, it does not provide to the vast majority of people the capacity to exercise it (under capitalism, everyone has a right to buy anything that is available but the majority do not have the capacity to exercise this right), socialism must provide both the right and the capacity to the people to exercise that right.

However, in the process of socialist construction in many countries, two types of shortcomings occurred. First, the dictatorship of the class over a period of time was replaced by the dictatorship of the vanguard of the class, i.e., the party. This, over time, was replaced by the leadership of the party. The socialist state which represents the entire class and working people got substituted by a small section in the party. This led to a strange situation with the decisions, say, of the party polit bureau, becoming enforceable on all citizens.

This was done through a fiat instead of convincing the majority of the people who are not members of the party through democratically decided state bodies like the Soviets. The Leninist principle of a party decision being articulated in democratic people’s forums and party’s leadership established through a democratic process with maximum people’s participation was replaced, unfortunately, by diktats. This, naturally, strengthened the sense of alienation amongst the people.

Secondly, in the process of implementation of democratic centralism, inner-party democracy, often, became a casualty while centralism became strengthened, as certain periods in the history of the USSR shows. This led to the growth of bureaucratism which is the very antithesis of democracy. Tendencies alien to socialism, such as, corruption and nepotism also surfaced. An example of this was the institutionalisation of privileges to large sections of the leadership of the CPSU and other ruling communist parties. In this process, the vitality of this revolutionary principle is robbed, alienating the party from the masses and the party ranks from the leadership.

It must be noted that instead of correcting these distortions both in the area of the class character of the state under socialism and socialist democracy, the Gorbachev leadership set about a course of abandoning both the concept of the leading role of the working class and democratic centralism. In the process, it disarmed the revolutionary party, prevented it from undertaking the necessary corrections, which finally led to the dismantling of socialism.

Socialist economic construction: The third area where some shortcomings took place was in the process of socialist economic construction. As productive forces are rapidly developed under the social ownership of the means of production and centralised state planning, the methods of economic management that arise precisely due to this rapid economic development need to constantly change.

The inability to transit to new levels by introducing such changes can lead to the stagnation of the economy. For instance, once all available land for agricultural production is utilised, then any further increases in production can happen only through increases in productivity. If such change is not affected in time, then problems arise. This is precisely what happened in the USSR in the 1970s and the ’80s.

Once again, instead of effecting such changes, the Gorbachev leadership set about a course of abandoning the socialist economic foundations of social ownership of means of production and planning. Under the influence of the “bourgeois god of market economy”, the systematic dismantling of the socialist economic foundations took place, which contributed to the dismantling of socialism itself.

Gorbachev and the liquidationist leadership of the CPSU thus emerged as the children of the illegitimate relationship between revisionism and imperialism.

Neglect of ideological consciousness: The fourth area where major shortcomings occurred was in the field of strengthening the collective ideological consciousness of the people under socialism. Socialism can be sustained and developed only by the growing collective consciousness of the people which, in turn, cannot be reared without the ideological steadfastness of the ruling communist party.

The weakening of such ideological consciousness led to a steady erosion of the class consciousness and vigilance, both amongst the people and the party rank and file. This facilitated the process of undermining of socialism with minimum resistance. Due to these shortcomings, a situation arose where counter-revolutionary forces, both external and internal, acted in concert to dismantle socialism.

These reverses to socialism, therefore, have occurred not because of any inadequacies in the basic postulates of Marxism-Leninism. On the contrary, they have occurred primarily due to departures from the scientific and revolutionary content of Marxism-Leninism; incorrect estimations of the relative strengths of world capitalism and socialism; a dogmatic and mechanical interpretation of the creative science of Marxism; and also due to major shortcomings during the course of socialist construction.

Soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union and East European countries, we, in our 14th Congress, came to the conclusion that this constitutes a big reversal for the forces of world socialism.

Consequently, the correlation of class forces internationally has shifted in favour of imperialism permitting it to launch a renewed offensive in political, economic and social changes on a world scale. Imperialism, during these two decades, has, indeed, consolidated its hegemony in all spheres, though not to its desired levels due to growing resistance developing in certain parts of the world.

Lenin had defined imperialism as the highest and last stage of capitalism — “Eve of the Socialist Revolution”. Many have mechanically sought to interpret this to mean the imminence of the collapse of capitalism and the rise of socialism. However, within a stage in the historical framework, there are and can be many phases through which imperialism or, for that matter, any social order can develop. Therefore, there are different phases of imperialism while it continues to remain the last stage of capitalism. These phases are determined by the unfolding of the fundamental laws of capitalist development and the attendant levels of capital accumulation and importantly within the political conjuncture where this is happening.

Given the fact that the political correlation of forces internationally has shifted in its favour, imperialism has been permitted circumstances whereby the quest of profit maximisation can proceed unhindered, aided by colossal levels of capital accumulation leading to the emergence of international finance capital (IFC). This is one of the salient features of the post-Cold War world capitalism.

Lenin in Imperialism ... had defined finance capital as capital “controlled by banks and employed by industrialists”. Further, unlike in Lenin’s time, IFC operates not in the pursuit of specific strategic interests of specific nations but internationally. It also operates in a world not riven by intense inter-imperialist rivalry but in a world where such rivalry is muted by the very emergence of this international finance capital which seeks to operate over the entire undivided world.

This does not suggest the cessation of inter-imperialist contradictions. These not merely exist but are bound to intensify in the future given the basic capitalist law of uneven development. This leads to conflicts of interests between capitalist centres given their relative future strengths. This international finance capital is no longer separate or detached from the world of production. The financial structure is a superstructure of capitalist production, but it is not detached, but it is enmeshed with industrial capital in its pursuit of profit maximisation. The IFC now leads the commonality of purpose to unleash fresh attacks to vastly increase levels of capital accumulation and profit maximisation.

It is the new attacks and the reordering of the world for profit maximisation, under the dictates of IFC, that defines neo-liberalism. It operates, firstly, through policies that remove restrictions on the movement of goods and capital across borders. Trade liberalisation displaces domestic producers engendering domestic de-industrialisation. So also liberalisation of capital flows allows multinational corporations to acquire domestic productive assets vastly enlarging capital accumulation.

The raison d’etre of capitalism is profit maximisation. It is the unfolding of this that leads to the law of concentration and centralisation of capital leading to capital accumulation. Similarly, it is the drive to maximise profits that leads to cut-throat competition between capitalists themselves and those who succeed are the ones that have technologically upgraded their production system. Without constant technological innovation, neither the individual capitalist nor capitalism can survive.

Therefore, both accumulation and technological progress are a coercive necessity under capitalism — both being the offshoots of the drive for profit maximisation. Likewise, the economic growth that occurs under capitalism is also a consequence of profit maximisation and not the other way around.

The second way of consolidating capital accumulation is through the imposition of deflationary policies, like restrictions on government expenses in the name of fiscal discipline which leads to the lowering of the level of aggregate demand in the world economy, a shift in the terms of trade against the peasantry in the developing countries and a rolling back of the state sector globally, more pronounced in the developing countries, which increasingly become privatised with the opening up of huge new areas for private accumulation. Thus, the new feature of current imperialism is the prising open of new and hitherto non-existent avenues for profit maximisation.

The imposition of such neo-liberal policies by browbeating the developing countries is achieved by imperialism through the agencies of IMF, World Bank and WTO — globalisation’s triumvirate (and of course these are joined by the EU in the European Union). The structural conditionalities imposed by the IMF and separately by the World Bank while disbursing loans to the developing countries ensured compliance with neo-liberal reforms. The WTO similarly, especially in the current Doha round negotiations is used for further prising open the markets of the developing world for imperialist profit maximisation.

This new phase of imperialism turns large segments of the third world bourgeoisie into collaborators. In several of these countries, the struggle for decolonisation had been fought under the leadership of the domestic bourgeoisie which, after independence, had tried to pursue a path of relatively autonomous capitalist development. While allying itself with domestic landlordism, while compromising with the big capitalist powers, it had nonetheless retained a degree of autonomy, pursuing non-alignment in foreign policy which enabled it to use the Soviet Union to keep imperialist pressures in check. But the internal contradictions of such regimes, combined with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of international finance capital keen to prise open third world economies, altered the perspective of the third world bourgeoisie. From a position of relative autonomy, it moved towards greater collaboration with imperialism to embrace neo-liberalism.

All through the history of capitalism, accumulation takes place in two ways: one is through the normal dynamics of capital expansion (appropriation) through the unfolding of its production process and the other is through coercion (expropriation) whose brutality Marx defines as primary accumulation of capital.

Historically, these two processes continue to coexist. The process of primary accumulation has taken various forms, including direct colonisation. The aggressiveness of primitive accumulation is directly dependent on the direction of the international correlation of forces. In the current phase, the hallmark of contemporary imperialism is the intensification of such brutal primary accumulation assaulting a vast majority of the people of the world’s population, both in the developed as well and all other countries.

All over the capitalist world, especially in the third world, disinvestment and privatisation of the state sector is nothing else but private accumulation through the expropriation of state assets. Public utilities such as water and energy, public services such as education and health have increasingly become domains of private accumulation of capital. Control over mineral resources is increasingly becoming private, agriculture is increasingly being opened up for multinational seed and marketing companies leading to the virtual destruction of traditional agriculture in the developing countries and throwing the peasantry into acute distress.

The removal of trade tariffs and free trade agreements is leading to de-industrialisation in many developing countries. Common resources such as forests, water etc, are increasingly being taken over as private property. This “accumulation through encroachment” (expropriation) as opposed to “accumulation through expansion” (appropriation) is the hallmark of contemporary imperialism.

This entire process is leading to the severe impoverishment of vast sections of the people world over, while on the other hand a select few are increasing their wealth — at the cost of this vast majority. Capitalism inevitably plunges into a crisis when what is produced is not sold. Under these circumstances, the only way that capitalism can sustain its levels of profits is by encouraging people to procure loans whose spending will maintain the levels of profit generation. However, when the time comes to repay these loans, there is the inevitable default, given the declining economic status of the vast majority of the borrowers.

This is precisely what happened in the USA in the current sub-prime crisis leading to large-scale defaults. Under globalisation, with a sharp decline in the purchasing power in the hands of the majority of the world’s population, finance capital, in its eagerness for quick profits, chooses the speculative route of artificially enlarging purchasing power by advancing cheap (sub-prime) loans. Profits are made while these loans are spent but when repayment is due comes default, ruining the loan taker, also crippling the system. To put it simply, as seen above, this is precisely what happened on a gigantic scale.

The capitalist system is inherently a crisis-ridden system. The current global recession is a systemic crisis of capitalism demonstrating its historic limits. No amount of reform could rid the world of this crisis. In spite of the brave claims by many countries that the “worst part of the crisis is past them”, each coming day exposes the shallowness of this claim. This global crisis has sharply brought forth the main contradiction of capitalism — between its social nature of production and individual capitalist appropriation. Capitalism tries to emerge from its self-created crisis by further intensifying exploitation. This is precisely what is happening today.

The world so far was familiar with bailout packages for resurrecting financial giants that collapsed in the wake of their own making. It is this international finance capital that is leading imperialist globalisation today. The reckless creation of new financial animals and mind boggling intermeshing of these to generate higher profits led to large-scale bankruptcies. As is the logic of capitalism, the governments rescued the corporate giants by building up a mounting debt of their own. They tried only to address the concerns of the corporates and did not undertake to increase the purchasing power of the people or demand generation.

The governments that bailed out these corporates are now caught in the vortex of mounting debt. Thus, what had started as the crisis due to the insolvency of some corporates has now emerged as full-fledged sovereign insolvency. If corporate insolvency heralded the global meltdown and recession in 2008, now it is this sovereign insolvency that is threatening to snowball a deeper crisis. Sovereign insolvencies were bound to occur given the manner in which capitalism chose to recover from the current recession. The bailout packages — conservatively estimated over $10 trillion — came from the taxpayers. While they suffered, the governments also became bankrupt.

This situation is not confined only to turbulence in global finance. The affects will be severe. It has laid the seeds of a more fundamental crisis. As the burden of sovereign debt is passed on to the common people, their purchasing power correspondingly declines. Combined with the growth of unemployment, this leads to a sharp contraction in domestic demand. Further, this global crisis has drastically reduced global trade. Under such circumstances, the manner in which the USA has handled its debt ceiling issue impacts not only its domestic economy but the global economy.

With the contraction of domestic demand in all the major economic powers, save China, the contraction of GDP in all these countries is inevitable. This, in turn, will lead to a further contraction in governmental revenues, imposing further debt. The servicing of this would lead to imposing further burdens on the people. This vicious cycle has been set in motion imposing unprecedented burdens and misery on the people. This would lead to many ugly manifestations of social tension like the spreading riots of looters in the UK.

Another way through which the dominant imperialist powers would seek their way out of the crisis is by seeking to penetrate and dominate the markets of developing countries. Efforts are on to coerce the developing countries to accept the various conditions and agreements that are detrimental to their interests. The Doha round of WTO negotiations, various free trade agreements between the imperialist powers and the third world countries, the on-going negotiations at the climate change summit, are all attempts to prise open the markets of the third world countries. As a result, various sectors such as agriculture, banks, insurance, education, industries, retail trade are sought to be opened up to serve the interests of the multinational corporates. These measures would ruin the lives of the people, adversely affect the economies of the developing countries and spiral them into further deep crisis.

In the developed countries too, the ruling classes want to come out of this “deep-hole” in which they find themselves in by putting further burdens on the working class. As a means to reduce their deficits they are advocating a cut in wages, pensions, education and other social welfare measures — all in the name of “austerity”. The struggles we are witnessing are for the protection of their hard-won rights that are under attack under the guise of these “austerity” measures.

The developments in West Asia/North Africa are basically due to a combination of economic and political reasons. The people in these countries, like people anywhere else in the world aspire for better living standards, human rights and liberty. This aspiration gets exponentially magnified in countries where for centuries they have been under oppressive, autocratic rule backed by imperialism. Many countries in this region are under the rule of dictators, who are allies of the US for years. They made a mockery of elections, if at all they were held, like in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen. The people were virtually stripped of all their democratic rights — right to organise, right to dissent and right to protest. This popular upsurge in West Asia/North Africa has been sparked by the acute impoverishment that has sharply escalated during the current global recession and in this background of the absence of democratic rights.

Apart from being subjected to authoritarian rule for decades, the people of these countries have suffered severely during the last two years of the global economic crisis. The impact of these hardships is the immediate backdrop that was triggered by WikiLeaks revelations that showed the enormous difference in the way the rulers lived and the people suffered, triggered the popular protests.

The political representatives of capital try to conceal the unresolvable contradiction between capital and labour that lies at the heart of the crisis. This contradiction has to be exposed and brought to the fore. An extensive ideological campaign exposing the limits of capitalist system and its inherent crisis-ridden character has to be carried out. Along with it, the struggle for political alternative to capitalism, socialism, has to be strengthened. A broad alliance of all the exploited led by the working class has to be built. Communist and workers’ parties guided by the principles of scientific-socialism — Marxism-Leninism — and with a “concrete understanding of the concrete conditions” should lead these efforts. Socialism is the only way out of the crisis-ridden, inequality prone, inhuman capitalist system.

The political alternative to capitalism, socialism, can be only achieved by strengthening the “subjective factor”. The responsibility of strengthening the subjective factor — the revolutionary ideological struggle led by the working class, uniting other exploited classes and its decisive intervention under the leadership of a party wedded to Marxism-Leninism — falls on our shoulders. The current struggles taking place here in Greece, in many countries — Europe, Latin America and in many other places of the world — are a testimony to this fact. It is imperative to utilise the objective situation and intervene to advance the movement by building a broad anti-imperialist front. It is thus upon us, the communist and workers’ parties, to further intensify these struggles and lead their advance towards the establishment of an exploitation free, crisis free, socialist society.

Long live Marxism-Leninism!

Socialism is the future and the future is ours!

Back to index page