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AUSTRALIAN
MARXIST
REVIEW

Journal of the Communist Party of Australia

ISSUE 55March 2012

Communist Party of Brazil

On behalf of the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB), we would like to greet the resistance which has presently engaged Greek people against the neo-liberal program with neocolonialist traces imposed by central powers of European Union, led by German imperialism. In this difficult struggle undertaken by Greek people, the vanguard role and participation of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) is highlighted and we greet it with enthusiasm.

We extend our solidarity to other peoples in the European continent, particularly the Mediterranean region, who have suffered with heavy programs that seek to abolish workers’ social gains and the dismantling of independent nations. Along with the national struggle, for sovereignty and independence, we can observe an important growing intensity of class struggles and militancy of the working class.

The crisis of capitalism and the changes in world geopolitical reality

The present crisis, one of the most serious of capitalism, has lately confirmed the accuracy of Marxist-Leninist views on the nature of capitalism, as well as the perception that it is a crisis that has a structural and systemic character, sharply exposing the limits and regressive tendencies of capitalism.

The crisis of capitalism impacts upon and has strong consequences over the correlation of forces in an international scale. It accelerates the tendency to relative decline of the United States on one side, and the ascension of other countries, China in particular, on the other hand.

Such a phenomenon — differentiated effects of the crisis in the “centre” and in the “periphery” of the system — is an outcome of the important concept regarding unequal development of capitalism, on terms formulated by Lenin in his theory of imperialism.

Essentially, the concept of unequal development of capitalism proposed by Lenin, points to a tendency to depreciation of profit margin in the “centre” of the system and, on the other hand, greater dynamism in what was so far considered the “periphery” of the system, with new frontiers for realisation of capital gains.

Present reality confirms that a structural tendency to relative decrease of power at the hegemonic “centre” of capitalism has been reinforced, as well as the growing ascension of new poles with greater economic dynamism, and consequently, new political poles.

Therefore, the crisis of capitalism, having as its cause the nature and dynamics of the system itself, has aspects that transcend the financial and economic aspects and start influencing upon a set of international forces, affecting positions in the world geopolitical game board.

Politically, large “developing” countries, to a larger or lesser extent, become important voices of dissent to the hegemonic centre. So, the effects of the crisis accelerate the tendency to the transition of geopolitical nature in the international power system, in the sense of a tendency to multi-polarisation that can lead, on the one hand, to greater tensions and more wars, in the near future, and, on the other, to greater possibilities of alliances and blocs that open the way to national and regional experiences of greater relative autonomy, such as the case of BRICS, made up by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The international situation is marked by critical tensions and contradictions in the near future, whether they are of inter-imperialist nature due to renewed neocolonialist threats, or whether they deal with the confrontation between imperialism and peoples, and between workers and financial capital, leading, in several countries, to the revolutionary accumulation of forces and to the conquest of political power and the beginning of the transition to socialism.

We understand the international situation as a struggle between the most aggressive and neocolonialist tendencies of imperialism and the emergence of potential for popular struggle for people’s liberation.

Imperialism increases its aggressiveness against peoples

The crisis of hegemony and the tendency to decline of North American imperialism, however, does not have its collapse as its immediate consequence, but rather the search for mechanisms to reverse this tendency towards the rapid loss of its relative position. So, imperialism sharpens aggressive tendencies against peoples, particularly aimed at the control of the flow of essential resources and goods that support the economies of central countries, beginning a new imperialist race.

The search for political and military control of the petrol provinces of Central Asia, the growing strategic siege of China and the intensification of militarisation in Latin America and Africa are symptoms of this phenomenon. The US reissued its doctrine of contention, aiming at BRICS and, more directly, at China. This is exactly what we saw, some days ago, in the journey of American authorities to the Asia-Pacific region.

Anti-imperialist resistance around the world is intense. The US, undoubtedly the major military power on the planet, in spite of its efforts, now sees, after ten years, the failure of its war in Afghanistan, just as in Iraq, where it announced its own withdrawal. However, they renew their threats, now turned toward initiatives that aim at overthrowing the governments of Syria and Iran, countries that follow their own, sovereign orientations, and imposing puppet governments upon them.

Here we can say a word about the Arab revolts, an outstanding feature of 2011. Starting from a promising direction, with popular and democratic, and even potentially revolutionary contents, part of these revolts have slowly been held up, manipulated or even co-opted by imperialism, seeing them as possible steps in their long-lasting plan of reorganisation aimed at a “New Middle East”.

We warn that serious precedents exist with the imperialist wars of the 21st Century — against the peoples of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. In the case of Libya, the concept of responsibility of protection — previously used in NATO’s aggression in the Balkans — when imperialist powers used the United Nations, taking one side in a context of civil war, stimulated by these same powers.

Twenty years after the end of the USSR, socialism is present and future

In face of this contradictory and worrying international situation, we meet again in our annual meeting, motivated to bring observations and draw lessons about the “international situation and the experience of the communists twenty years after the counterrevolution in the USSR”.

First of all, we must stress that the Great Socialist Revolution of 1917 in Russia is among the most important happenings of world history, and is the most remarkable fact in social and political evolution of mankind. For the first time, the proletariat, allied to peasants and to the popular masses, through the leadership of the Communist Party directed by Vladimir Lenin, became the ruling class and started the construction of a society that is superior to capitalism. A few decades before, in 1848, when the Communist Manifesto was issued, written by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, emerging capitalism had already revealed itself incapable of accomplishing the promise of liberty, equality and fraternity.

The disappearance of socialism in the USSR and in East European countries at the beginning of the 1990s was a counterrevolution, with harmful consequences that are still felt worldwide. The political cycle that started in the 20th Century is conservative and counterrevolutionary.

We understand the conditions in which the Russian Revolution of 1917 happened cannot be repeated, but its inspiration and its ideals remain valid today. The Soviet Socialist Revolution, with its conquests and the contribution it made to the progress of humanity, is one of the monuments to the wisdom and heroism of the communist party and all workers.

So, comrades, it would be idealistic to say that there could be uniform or universal tactics and paths among communist parties in the struggle for revolutionary political power. What we have is a set of principles, formulated by Marx and Lenin and developed by other revolutionaries.

We come together along these great lines, respecting various tactics and strategies for different national realities at the time. On this basis of mutual respect, we will preserve and develop the unity of communists and their allies.

There are new and complex problems to be analysed, and a concrete study of contemporary reality, including present features of capitalism and the construction of socialism in the present. Marxist-Leninist theory, as developed, incorporates new contributions, according to the present reality and accumulated experience.

Dogmatism, which paralyses us in the face of reality, by trying to fit reality to manuals and preconceived scripts, as well as opportunism, are serious diseases which are well known in the communist movement, that, once in a while, can get even worse.

Historical experience has shown us that there is neither a single nor a non-historical model of revolutionary process of construction of socialism. Socialism is universal as a general theory and desire for freedom of the working class and the peoples in the entire world. But socialism takes on national features, in the sense that it is accomplished according to the social formation and the particular historical conditions of each people, which demands from revolutionary forces, especially from communists, in each country, the elaboration of original programs and the formulation of strategies and tactics that are adequate to present times.

The forces that struggle for socialism have to take into account the historical conditions, by which socialism cannot be built in an immediate way, without the mediation of stages and phases. The careful examination of history shows that the construction of socialism and the evolution towards a society without classes — communism — will demand labour for several generations.

For the anti-imperialist, revolutionary, progressive forces that defend socialism, it is a matter of re-starting the struggle for socialism under the new conditions of the 21st Century. The beginning of the 1990s was marked by generalised defeats of the revolution and socialism, due to difficulties to promote the communist parties and other revolutionary forces, in an environment of demoralisation, discredit and failure. In this environment, which has not been entirely overcome, however, we are just starting a new beginning. And this, happens only twenty years after a great defeat, which is not much in historical terms.

In the rearrangement of the struggle for socialism, we cannot be fatalistic and capture only the signals of offensives by imperialism. It is necessary to recognise and value these socialist experiences that are resisting and developing themselves, and notice the revolutionary potentialities that are emerging, particularly in Latin America.

The permanence and renewal of experiences in socialist construction that started with the revolutions of the 20th Century, such as China, Vietnam, Cuba, Popular Korea and Laos, had a great political and ideological significance. The successes and conquests of these experiences demonstrated the superiority of socialism with respect to capitalism, in systemic and structural crisis.

An outstanding factor in international scenery is the strengthening of China, that, based on the development of “Socialism with Chinese peculiarities”, builds an advanced country, prospering each day for its people. Vietnam, with its great dynamism, develops the socialist economy and society. Cuba is victorious in its resistance to the imperialist siege and blockade, and updates its “socialist economic model”.

Socialism is still on the agenda, because it corresponds to an objective necessity of evolution of society. However, the overcoming of capitalism will not happen through spontaneous generation. It is up to the revolutionary forces to adopt programmatic perspectives and strategic lines, tactic procedures and methods of action according to the necessity of approaching, in new conditions, the struggle for socialism in the whole world.

In Latin America the anti-imperialist struggle moves forward and progressive forces obtain political victories

With the military dictatorships and after neo-liberal governments, that had their peak during the 90s, Latin American peoples, with the honorable exception of Cuba, lived through the rules established by the Washington Consensus, which deepened and aggravated, above all, the national, economic and social dilemmas. Social differences and social exclusion, economic dependency, political submission, all of these were worsened, which also deepened the lack of hope of the peoples in this region. This set up conditions for profound regressive effects in this vast continent.

This was the deep cause of the emergence of an ascending movement of popular resistance that led the way to the rise of an unprecedented and peculiar progressive cycle, of patriotic anti-imperialist and democratic character, in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Socialist Cuba heroically overcame the exceptional period that it went through with the end of the USSR. The new political situation of South America emerged with the victory of Hugo Chávez, in the presidential elections in Venezuela, in 1998.

Since then, this new cycle has nowadays reached the largest portion of South America, and is also present in Central America and the Caribbean, and is still happening, as shown by the recent victory of President Ollanta Humala, in Peru. This year, progressive forces were also victorious in the presidential and parliamentary elections of Argentina and Nicaragua.

The countries of Latin America comprehend different social and economic formations: forces leading each government have different origins, orientations and strategic objectives and their ascension to national governments results from different levels of accumulation of forces by popular sectors.

This is why there has been a diversity of political processes in train. But, as a whole, the present tendency that has been developed in Latin America and the Caribbean has one general common orientation, which points to the sovereignty of the nations, to the search for a deepening of democracy and popular participation, for more rights for the working masses and the majorities of the people, and for a special emphasis upon the continental integration of “Our America”.

The defeat of the project Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), a broad strategy by the United States for integration of the Americas under its full control, has already demonstrated the turn of the political course towards which this vast continent is headed.

Most important is that the present tendency being developed in Latin America and the Caribbean has a common anti-neo-liberal and anti-imperialist direction. The present progressive Latin American experiences, in the present historical setting, keeping in mind the correlation of forces in the region and in the world, are increasingly situated in objective contradiction with the neo-liberal policies and with imperialism.

Many Latin American communist and workers’ parties, even with different characteristics and critiques, value and support the course of present experiences of progressive governments in Latin America, and in certain cases participate in them. A few parties, which, in practice, are in the opposition to these new Latin American experiences, have, in general, a dogmatic and “ultra-leftist” orientation, sectarian and disconnected from the working masses.

One of the fundamental causes for the success of these popular, patriotic and progressive forces, along our continental history, has been political unity. From a diversity of political and ideological left-wing and progressive forces in Latin America, and the different national realities, we have reached an unprecedented unity in the Latin American political process, in which the Forum of São Paulo, with a 21-year experience, is an important expression.

For many communist parties in Latin America and the Caribbean, participation in different anti-imperialist, democratic and progressive broad political fronts that govern these countries, allows these communist parties to make advancements in the revolutionary accumulation of forces. Such political and social fronts are part of a tactical process of accumulation of forces, within the borders of capitalism, which, for communists and revolutionaries, have a strategic objective of conquering political power, to then start the transition to socialism in each country.

It is true, the support and even participation of the communist parties in these front governments does not represent the conquest of political revolutionary power. Supporting and participating in these governments, the communist and revolutionary forces seek to strengthen the programming potential of these governments, in the advancement of national sovereignty, deepening of democracy, promotion of social and economic development according to workers’ interests and intensifying regional integration.

We need to defend our principles and, at the same time, be dialectical and contemporary. It is not possible, therefore, to transplant the reality of any other continent to Latin America, nor the other way around, neither is it possible to re-edit, or copy, revolutionary paths trailed by other peoples in past historical times.

As the communist Peruvian leader, José Carlos Mariátegui, once said, the socialism in our Latin American countries, cannot be a copy, it must be a heroic creation of our peoples, or it will not be. So was the Cuban Revolution and so is the economic updating and improvement of Cuban socialism. So is happening in the process of revolutionary accumulation of forces in Venezuela, in Bolivia, in Ecuador, where there are more advanced experiences.

The creation of CELAC is another step further in the struggle for solidarity and integration of Latin America and the Caribbean. The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) was created through a self-convocation, with the participation of Cuba, and without the participation of the USA and Canada, which was a great step towards the rupture with the “pan-Americanism” policy in which the USA has hegemony.

The creation of CELAC, a fact of enormous historical dimension, occurred a few days ago [December 2], in Caracas, Venezuela. The integration with solidarity of Latin America and the Caribbean makes progress with the convergence among the process of ALBA, Mercosur, UNASUL and others*. About the meaning of the creation of CELAC, commander Raul Castro, in his Report to the 6th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, pointed out this is the most transcendental institutional fact in the last one hundred years on our continent.

The project of integration with solidarity will assure national sovereignty combined with continental sovereignty and anti-imperialism. An integration with solidarity must be characterised by the efforts against asymmetries and inequalities among countries, and the promotion of solidarity, cooperation and complementarity within the region.

The socialist strategy must be present, to provide an orientation target, in the national and popular projects underway in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our continental integration project can only be fully achieved if it is inscribed as a fundamental portion in the struggle for socialism in each country and on a continental scale.

So, as Latin American countries and peoples, with unique economic and social background, we will develop original and national paths to achieve the transition to socialism.

Presently in Brazil and in all of Latin America and the Caribbean, we struggle for the success of these national governments, which represent a parcel of power that inaugurate the challenge to build not simply another democracy, but also a new popular power. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to have a differentiated and prolonged process of accumulation of forces, in which one of the main tasks is the demand to update and renew revolutionary theory, with principles but without dogmatism, and starting from a concrete and specific reality, both national and continental.

The PCdoB supports and participates in the government of President Dilma Rousseff

In Brazil, PCdoB is an integral part, since 1989, of a left-wing alliance with the Worker’s Party (PT), the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) and the Democratic Labor Party (PDT), an alliance that in turn integrates a wider coalition, of democratic and progressive character, which governs the country since the year of 2003.

During Lula’s two governments, from 2003-2010, and in this first year of government of comrade Dilma Rousseff, in the year of 2011, Brazil contributed to the development of anti-imperialist integration with solidarity in South America and Latin America; a country that strengthened national sovereignty and achieved a greater democratisation and a greater economic and social development, and an enhancement of the value of work.

Since the first year of Lula, PCdoB has played an important role in the Brazilian Government, a highlight being its performance in the Ministry of Sports.

PCdoB is going through a phase of much growth and faces a violent anti-Communist media campaign

In this process and mainly in the last few years, the Communist Party of Brazil lived, and is living through, a great growth in its political influence and a strengthening in organisation in all fields, either in workers’ and popular movements or through its presence in parliament or in governments of national and local levels, and in the struggle of ideas.

We will give two examples: in the municipal elections of 2012, the candidates of PCdoB for the position of mayor led the preferences in public opinion for the municipal governments of Porto Alegre and other important cities; another example is that in the last six months the party grew from 270,000 members to over 340,000 members.

This advancement of the communist and popular forces finds the right-wing and its main instruments of political action, such as the monopolised means of communication, desperately willing to do anything in order to hold the advancement of the communist and anti-imperialist forces. During three weeks, all the media monopolies promoted a cowardly campaign of enormous lies against the Communist Party of Brazil and its leaders in the Ministry of Sports, which is conducting the preparations for the World Football Cup and the Olympic Games.

Such a campaign could be compared to the criminal attacks against communists in the authoritarian periods of our history. Something like an “exception court” was set up against the Minister of Sports, Orlando Silva, and against the party, which in a brief procedure “denounces”, judges and condemns. After two months, the accusations against the Minister of Sports have still not been proven, because they are false. This expediency is an attack on the democratic liberties won through sacrifices in Brazil.

We state with indignity that we will not allow our history to be stained. The only stain we have in our red flag is the blood of our militants who were wounded, tortured and killed. And we shall honor them forever.

And why this dirty anti-communist campaign? The strengthening and visibility of a revolutionary party such as PCdoB annoys the powerful pro-imperialists and the finance capitalists with its instruments of intervention. This trap is part of a wider objective of reactionary forces to stop the strengthening of democratic and progressive forces in Brazil, in particular the communists.

90 years of the Communist Party of Brazil

The Communist Party of Brazil, founded on March 25, 1922, will complete ninety years of history in 2012. The present expansion of its strength occurs along with the cultivation of a historical journey and its communist identity, in which the distinctive trace is its historical mission in the struggle for socialism and for the new communist society.

In order to set forward its revolutionary project, the PCdoB disseminates its Socialist Program to people, linking its ideological banners to the present and setting out the way to achieve it. It concentrates efforts on deepening its roots within workers’ and people’s struggles, aware of its historical responsibilities. It carries out strong internationalist activity, in support of and in solidarity with the peoples who struggle for peace, self-determination, and for the right to sovereignty in their countries.

Socialism is the future!

The paths in the struggle for socialism will not be easy nor a straight line. The 21st Century, this century which has just started, even more than last century, might be the century of the victory in the construction of socialism on a global scale, because this was never as necessary to workers and to humanity. Socialism is the future!

  • * ALBA is the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas including Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Ecuador which is working towards social, political, and economic integration. It has a common currency, the sucre.
  • * Mercosur is both a political (including parliament) and trade group. Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Brazil are full members, Venezuela’s membership is awaiting ratification and Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru are associates.
  • * UNASUL is the Union of South American Nations — an inter-governmental union integrating two existing customs unions: Mercosur and the Andean Community of Nations.

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