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Issue #1782      June 21, 2017

To defend gains and advance democracy

National Congress of the Mazdoor Kissan Party
(Workers & Peasants Party Pakistan – MKP)

Report by the Secretary General Dr Taimur Rahman

The MKP held its all party national congress in the year of the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution in order to emphasise the continuing importance of the lessons of the Russian Revolution, the experience of building socialism in the former Soviet Union, and most importantly the lessons learnt from the defeat of socialism in the recent past.

We resolve that the path to the emancipation of the working people lies only through a struggle for socialism.

In the context of a historical period when the working class is still reorganising from the defeat of socialism the ideological terrain remains littered by many opportunistic theories that are repackaged and represented to the working people as new and novel solutions to the contradictions of capitalism.

Although Pakistan is largely isolated from the international intellectual currents within the socialist movement, the same opportunist theories and trends can also be found in our country. Therefore this Congress represents a step forward in the reorganisation of communist politics in the context of Pakistan.

The Congress itself represents the culmination of a process of several years for the reorganisation of the party on revolutionary ideological principles. The growing opportunism of a section of the former leadership of the party lead not only to continuous splits and factions but eventually to the liquidation of the party into other social democratic formations.

However, those elements that remained ideologically loyal to revolutionary principles, and those that remained strongly embedded in the revolutionary struggles of working people, came together in this Congress. The Congress united three organisations into one. The Pakistan Mazdoor Kissan Party, the Peoples National Congress, and the Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party united to form the Mazdoor Kissan Party.

There were 540 party delegates from all over Pakistan and an additional 60 observers from fraternal political parties and trade union organisations in Pakistan. The Congress of the MKP emphasises the continuing relevance of the fundamental methodology of dialectical materialism and the political praxis of Leninism.

History has demonstrated time and time again that the working people cannot take power or maintain power without a Marxist-Leninist party guided by the most advanced theory of the time. The MKP resolves that the state is not, has never been, and can never play a neutral or non-partisan role in the class struggle.

The state

The state is nothing other than the concentrated expression of the rule of a class. Hence, we reject the view that the emancipation of the working people can be accomplished by pursuing a path of class reconciliation. The MKP emphasises that the nature of the dictatorship of the capitalist class has dramatically changed, especially since the fall of the Soviet Union. The dictatorship of the capitalist class relies heavily upon the monopoly over information through the ownership of mass media.

Hence, the illusion of consent is created whereas in fact this brutal system of exploitation is preserved through the manipulation of public opinion in what appears to be a free and open media but is in fact controlled entirely by different sections of the capitalist class.

The MKP resolves that in the context where the working class is just now recovering from three decades of various defeats it is very easy to fall prey to all sort of opportunist theories that in one way or another serve only to manage capitalism rather than to overthrow it.

We feel that it is incumbent on Marxists, though they may be few in number and/or influence, that they continue patiently explaining to the people the need to grasp revolutionary theory, build working class organisations, and work for a socialist tomorrow. The end of the Cold War has proven without a single doubt that the end of the socialist bloc did not bring about a peaceful world, let alone the end of history. It brought about an imperialism that was even more aggressive than in the past.

It brought about new wars of conquest, new forms of barbarism, the crisis of immigration, the destruction of Iraq, Libya, Syria. An immoral coup in Brazil, attempts to overthrow governments in Venezuela, attempts to subvert the remaining vestiges of socialism in East Asia. The faster and more aggressive concentration of capital through derivatives, finance capital, and other forms of accumulation by dispossession.

Hence, the MKP holds its Congress in a highly polarised and charged world today. The liberal cosmopolitan consensus has given way to a nationalist right-wing and even fascist narrative that is eerily reminiscent of the 1930s.

As was the case in the past, this new turn is also the result of the sharpening of contradictions between the classes. It is now quite clear that business in the old way is no longer possible. The revolt against the 1%, against neo-liberal policies, against environmental catastrophes, against the continuous wars and genocides waged on the Third World have exposed all the brutal contradictions of capitalism today. Hence, we feel it necessary to educate and inform the working masses that the solution to the contradictions do not lie either in liberal cosmopolitanism or in rightwing fascist and nationalist narratives.

Defend gains

The solution lies only in the struggle for a socialist future. In this time, when the psychological war has reached a new zenith of perfection, it is very important to remind the working people to defend the gains of socialist struggles of the past, defend those countries against imperialist onslaught that are charting an independent course of economic and political development for themselves, defend the states created by national liberation movements no matter what shape of form they may be in today.

Defending such movements and states does not mean that one becomes apologists for them. In fact, defending them presupposes a Marxist critique of the class character and the reasons for their weaknesses in the struggle against imperialism. At the same time, such critiques can never be framed in a way that serve to advance imperialism against the working people of the world. In the context of the Muslim world, the fascism of religious extremism is very real.

And it can and will be countered by the progressive forces within those countries. We need to remind the working people that these religious extremist groups were created by imperialism itself in order to quell the tide of the progressive movement in the Third World. Hence, it is not imperialism that can reverse the tide of religious extremism. In fact, it is now perfectly and adequately clear to the politically advanced people of the world that imperialism utilises religious extremism as an excuse to destroy and occupy strategically important countries.

The solution to religious extremism and imperialism can only be worked out in every individual country in accordance with the objective and subjective conditions of that country.

Unity

However, the only force that can chart the course for a progressive future is the working people of those countries.

To counter these fascist currents the need is more strongly felt than ever before for the unity of the progressive forces of South Asia against those who are creating national hatred between two nuclear armed Third World countries, namely India and Pakistan.

Only progressive forces can counter the threat of war looming over South Asia and resolve the remaining problems left by British colonial partition because only progressive forces represent the classes of society that are not interested in conquest, predatory wars, occupation, or exploitation. The working people cannot emancipate themselves by subjugating other people. And that is why it is only the working class that can create international peace.

To bring about this progressive change the party resolves to strengthen all working-class organisations, trade unions, student unions, women’s organisations, peasant organisations, civil society organisations, and lead them in the struggle against the ruling class for a people’s democratic revolution leading to a socialist future.

The party resolves to defend and advance the principles of democracy and secularism against the right-wing onslaught of religious extremist and fascist forces. This includes the struggle for the rights of women, religious minorities, and all other threatened communities within Pakistan.

The party resolves to defend and advance all the gains of the past in relation to imperialism. The party will struggle against the criminal policies of neo-liberalism that should be considered a form of social murder of the working people. The party resolves to defend and advance the principles of national equality, autonomy, and democracy for all the nationalities that exist within Pakistan. It vows to struggle against national oppression in order to bring about the union of all working people of all nationalities against capitalism, imperialism, and landlordism.

The party resolves to struggle against any form of military rule in Pakistan. The party resolves to defend and advance the principles of people’s rule and will oppose any form of theocratic or military dictatorship that infringes upon the hard-won democratic rights of the working people.

The party resolves that the international and national contradictions that are the result of modern-day capitalism cannot be solved within the framework created by the ruling class itself. They can only be resolved by a determined struggle for socialism in Pakistan and in the world. We send our fraternal and comradely greetings to all our comrades around the world and greet them with the good news of the reorganisation of the Marxist Leninist within Pakistan.

Decisions of the Congress 2017

The ideological and organisational debates and resulting decisions during the Congress are as follows:

  • The Congress resolved that the term between Congresses should be three years.
  • There was a lengthy debate on the national question.

The consensus of the Congress was to uphold the resolution of the national question as stated in the program Some comrades raised the point of view that the right of self-determination to other nations within Pakistan should be revisited. They argued that it would be difficult to convince people that the future socialist Pakistan should consist of four republics with the right of nations to self-determination.

The Presidium defended the view that without the determined struggle for complete equality of all nations and ethnicities that live within Pakistan guaranteed by the right of nations to self-determination it would not be possible to bring together the toilers of Pakistan who all come from different national and ethnic backgrounds.

That these measures were necessary in order to bring about the unity of the working class against the ruling class.

  • There was also a lengthy debate on the class character of the Pakistan Peoples Party. An opinion was expressed that it should be considered purely a party of the landed classes (i.e. a feudal party).

The Presidium defended the view that the capitalists and landlord classes were distributed in all the major political parties of Pakistan. Hence, no one party can be said to be the exclusive party of capital or of the landed gentry.

  • There was also a debate about whether the word imperialism should be substituted for the word army where questions of religious extremism were being debated. This was also not approved as the passages in question were examining the policy of the Pakistani state specifically rather than imperialism as a system. But it was decided that the word “state” would be preferable to the word “army”.
  • There were some important suggestions made about correcting language and rechecking the statistics within the party document. But since these were not points of ideological contestation they were quickly approved by the Congress.
  • There was a lengthy debate about the procedure through which the new Central Committee should be chosen.

The procedure whereby the outgoing Central Committee presents a suggested list of candidates to the Congress that is then amended, ratified or rejected by the Congress was challenged by several comrades. In fact, there were also two opinions on this matter within the Presidium of the Party Congress. It was suggested that the new Central Committee should be proposed by the District Committees. And that this proposed list could be approved or rejected by the Congress.

The motion was challenged on the grounds that districts of the party were in such far away places that they were not in a position to know the vital work of comrades in fields that may not have resulted in high membership but are equally vital to the party (such as ideological work or the work of publishing party literature). After a lengthy debate on this issue the suggested list made by the outgoing CC was read to the Congress and the House was invited to suggest names. The list of suggested names went up to 30 candidates.

Then the house was invited to debate how large the new Central Committee should be. The house accepted that it should be a relatively small committee and came to a consensus that the new CC should be about 21 members. After this debate several candidate members of the new CC voluntarily asked for their names to be dropped.

The proposed list now came down to 25. A suggestion was made and approved by the Congress that any member that missed two meetings of the Central Committee within a year will be dropped. With this new rule introduced in place, the Congress finalised these 25 candidates and unanimously elected the new Central Committee.

Next article – Why does the US want to destroy the Venezuelan govt?

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