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Issue #1537      29 February 2012

The 13th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties was held in Athens from December 9-11, 2011. Seventy-eight communist and workers parties from 61 countries, including the Communist Party of Australia, took part in the meeting which was hosted by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). The main theme was Socialism is the Future! Here are two of a selection of contributions being published in The Guardian. There will be more detailed coverage in the forthcoming issue of the Australian Marxist Review.

Socialism is the future!

Contribution of Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (CPBM)

We are meeting here in Athens, in this glorious city, the cradle of European civilisation, at a very turbulent and momentous time, when what is being decided is not only the direction of our civilisation but the very survival of the human race or the interruption and backsliding of its development by hundreds or maybe thousands of years.

The 13th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties in Athens last year.

I may have chosen excessively graphic and radical language, but I must indeed agree with Aleka Papariga’s (General Secretary Communist Party of Greece) cautionary statement that “we are experiencing an extremely profound crisis of capitalism and this has always been the seed not only of local wars but, as we know from past experience, it will lead in all probability to a military confrontation between strong (imperialist) powers.” It is therefore the primary duty of our meeting to do everything and mobilise everybody to prevent such a development.

We are indeed witnessing the advancing death throes of the world capitalist system, when the systemic contradictions between the social character of production and private capitalist appropriation have reached a peak and when these contradictions can evidently no longer be solved nor overcome using the mechanisms of the system.

Just as in all the so-called developed capitalist countries of Europe, in the Czech Republic too, following the restoration of capitalism in November 1989 (with the agreement, by the way, of the albeit naively fooled four fifths majority of the population), what took place was the unlimited application of the principles of the free market without qualifications, known commonly as “neoliberalism” and the ideology of the so-called new freedom for everything.

The enactment of neoliberal concepts led to the application of the harshest forms of market mechanisms which progressively discredited and devalued just about everything. Affected first of all was equality itself among people, followed closely by the conditions governing the functioning of social organisations; then public services were steadily eroded, affecting the environment and consequently the quality of life, culture and interpersonal relationships.

The private interests of progressively smaller groups of shareholders of multinational companies disregarded and continue to disregard the public interest. Privatising profit and loading loss onto the public purse – these are the joint features of this policy. Social debt created in this way neo-liberal theory then treats with mindless cuts which exacerbates the crisis even further. At the same time, of course, the banks continue to increase their profits while the people become impoverished and more and more are becoming destitute.

Not only did the Czech Republic fall into this lethal neoliberal trap, but in actual fact the whole Eurozone and among the first and most painfully the country of our host – Greece. And we here today clearly affirm our solidarity with the working people of Greece and loudly declare: “No, it was not the Greek working people who took out loans, but the greedy Greek capitalists (not only Greek; pozn.překl.) who, in pursuit of profits, kept on borrowing more and more. Let those who took out the loans repay them.”

The people are prepared to make sacrifices and save, but the attempt by the Eurozone politicians to enforce in Greece austerity measures, the dissolution of the welfare state and the disintegration of society and the people must be resolutely brought to a stop. Against a Europe of cuts and impoverishment we must build a Europe of solidarity and social demands.

Wars of aggression

Before giving you a rundown of the situation in my country and the positions taken up by the CPBM to confront it, I would like to draw your attention to the most pressing problem of today’s world which is the need to maintain world peace and security.

The inability of the imperialist countries to deal with the consequences of the crisis by enforcing neoliberal economic models on the broad strata of working people and the systematic deepening of the crisis, primarily as a result of the rapacity and greed of the banks, has led the governments of these countries to perversely consider solving the crisis by wars of aggression.

The example of Libya is evidence of this and serves as a warning. Of course eating has stirred the appetite and the American government under pressure by the military-industrial complex is now sharpening its teeth for the next victim, maybe Syria, then Iran and in the not so distant future possibly Russia.

Unfortunately the leading world imperialist power is prepared to suicidally reject the calamitous experience of the 20th century and return the course of events to the end of the 19th century and redefine Pax Americana in such a way as, under cover of a missile defence system, to apply this doctrine to the whole world. As a citizen of a member state of NATO I am appalled by the total loss of any self-reflection and the instinct of self-preservation by NATO and the United States.

The speeded-up construction of the Euro missile defence system with the intended aim of disabling Russia’s nuclear potential and to gradually surround Russia militarily threatens world peace and security as no other adventuristic step in the past.

This playing around with the idea of small limited nuclear wars and conflicts at the beginning of the 21st century borders on total madness. And we today must have the courage and determination to clearly identify in our concluding statement who today threatens world peace – NATO headed by the USA, and who confronts this threat – Russia, China, the Asian countries with nuclear status and other free countries of Africa and Latin America.

Political reality

As to the situation in my country, I must state that sharp shifts have taken place in Czech society and that process is continuing. The majority of citizens have realised that the current government coalition has no intention of carrying out the pre-election promises of putting an end to corruption, of responsible state budgets, and also that it has locked on to its aim of having the debts, which all governments from 1992 have contributed to, paid for by those who did not create it – the working people.

And while living conditions for the majority are worsening, those who created the debts – whether coalition politicians, bankers or various privatisers – without risk to their acquired wealth, do not have to pay a cent.

Civil society has, however, woken up and is demonstrating that it can express its opposition out in the open. If elections were to be held now, the coalition parties of the Right would suffer their biggest loss since the middle of 1990, when the first post-November elections were held.

Measures limiting democracy and the free expression of ideas have been passed or are in preparation; the proceedings of juridical bodies are openly influenced to favour the members or patron of the coalition parties; the safety of citizens is not guaranteed; we are participating in military actions that are not in our interest; budget measures directed against low and middle income groups are constructed to give advantage to the wealthy.

The liquidation of Czech agriculture is proceeding; further measures are being prepared that will increase the dependence of our country on foreign globalised capital, the owners of which have no affinity with the needs of our people. This unfortunately will enable several interested parties to get control of the remaining public property, including the hospitals. These are the facts of our current political reality.

The CPBM reacts to this reality with its day-to-day political activity. As an undeviating opposition party we patiently unmask the government’s anti-people measures and perseveringly explain the danger that flows from them. We actively put forward our proposals on how to remedy the situation.

Our Party’s existence is the guarantee in the Czech Republic of further development in left-orientation and worker solidarity. Without our Party the centre-left political parties, especially Social Democracy, would not hesitate to form a coalition with rightist parties and betray their own program. So the CPBM today with its 15 percent electoral support plays an inalienable historical role in the Czech Republic.

Predictably the growing popularity of the CPBM is a thorn in the flesh of the rightist parties. They do not hesitate to use all the means at their disposal to arouse waves of anti-communism and to attempt to disrupt the Party’s work – its outdoor campaigns and its appeal to the unorganised left-leaning voters who are looking for a leftist solution to our problems.

Because the CPBM’s aim is to unite the forces of the left in the Czech Republic against the power of capital, it instigated the movement “Alliance for Work and Solidarity” (SPaS) as a platform for broad cooperation and a number of political and social organisations are involved in its activities.

This does not mean that a barrier has been created to other non-participating left or centre-left organisations including Social Democracy. SPaS offers cooperation with all who care to consider it. The CPBM will continue to do all in its power to develop this form of cooperation into a broad movement which will find ways for further as yet untapped possibilities of cooperation. Our Party will continue to fully support the efforts of the trade unions and organisations of people with disabilities and seniors and so help to put a stop to the anti-social plans of the coalition government.

Our steadfast objective, which our Party pursues with day-by-day action, is the building of a fairer socialist society in which people will be remunerated according to their work and merit and everything will serve the benefit of society.

The strength of the Left is based on what unites us, on what we struggle for together, on international solidarity.

*Chairman of the CC of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (CPBM)
NB: The above contribution is abridged (for reasons of space), to see full text visit  

Next article – Socialism is the future! – Contribution of CP of Sri Lanka (CPSL)

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