Category: class struggle
The U.S. Rich-Poor Divide Through the Lens of Hurricane Irma
| September 10, 2017 | 9:00 pm | class struggle | No comments

The U.S. Rich-Poor Divide Through the Lens of Hurricane Irma

  • A person walks through downtown Miami as Hurricane Irma nears the city.

    A person walks through downtown Miami as Hurricane Irma nears the city. | Photo: EFE

Published 10 September 2017 (11 hours 8 minutes ago)

A haunting sense of déjà vu is panning out as Hurricane Irma churns its destructive path on the U.S. state of Florida as the rich-poor divide, so rawly displayed in New Orleans when the levees broke during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, is unfolding again.

Cuba Leads the Way in Hurricane Irma Preparedness

Inequality, more sooner than later at this late hour, is determining who can prepare or evacuate before the wrath of a historic storm reaches land.

Wilman Hernandez, a hotel dishwasher living in Tampa Bay, Florida, has been trying desperately to get his family to a shelter, but to no avail. Without access to a car, he complained that his repeated attempts to dial “311 to get information about the shelters that are available” have gone unanswered.

“No one answers the phone,” Hernandez lamented, according to Tampa Bay Times.

A different scenario is playing out in the affluent coastal residence known as Rio Vista. Here, the owners of multi-million dollar homes have spent small fortunes to secure their private boats, stock up on supplies and/or joined the ranks of those who have the wherewithal to fly north.

Case in point, one Florida businessman, identified only as Morse, chartered a private plane for his wife and two children to fly to Alabama and stay with relatives during the storm. He also purchased two generators, 50 gallons of water, 67 gallons of gas, non-perishable foods and other survival necessities, costing some $7,500, as he stayed behind to look after his business.

“You try to do whatever you can to protect your family … I wish everybody had the ability to take care of their families the way they want to,” he said without offering an idea as to how his wish could be fulfilled in a place like Florida or anywhere else in the United States.

Like Morse, Deborah Rosenberg, an interior designer, also took the luxury of chartering a private jet from Miami to New York City. Despite purchasing extra food for those who cook and clean in her posh home, she’ll watch Hurricane Irma from the Big Apple with her daughters and husband who works in the financ industry.

“It’s a complete contrast,” she commented about disparities that allow her family such respite while others are forced to endure the deadly storm.

Roughly 8.5 miles away from opulent Rio Vista is Liberty City, a working-class African-American neighborhood, where almost half the residents etch out a living below the federal poverty line.

Louis Diaz, a 29-year old resident said, “We’re in the inner city here. People don’t want to help folk like us,” adding, “Nobody is leaving Liberty City because there’s nowhere for them to go.”

Venezuela Extends Bolivarian Solidarity to Caribbean Neighbors

In Miami proper, homeless people, some 400, were being picked up by volunteers. They were given rides to shelters voluntarily or under threat of involuntary hospitalization, the Irish Times reported.

“We were driving in the vans and we had people jumping out into the streets to stop us so we would pick them up, said Ron Book, chairman of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust.

“Those folks were coming out of the woodwork, they knew we were out there,” said Ron Book, chairman of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust.

Lastly, about 9 miles away from the despair of Liberty City is 51-year old Max Borges, owner of a public relations agency and Miami Beach resident. The island enclave running along the coastline is home and playground to celebrities, art deco buildings and a large concentration of wealth.

With a reinforced home, built-in generator, food and water for days and other essential supplies, Borges and his family decided that they would ride out the storm in the comfort and safety of their home. Hence, only hours before Hurricane Irma was scheduled to reach Florida’s mainland, he cruised over to a Miami Beach golf course to practice his swing.

“That was a good one!” he indulged himself after striking a golf ball several feet through the air and onto the putting green.

Thousands of workers raised their voice against Tsipras government’s anti-people policies

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Thousands of workers raised their voice against Tsipras government’s anti-people policies
Thousands of working people, farmers, unemployed, pensioners and students participated in the large demonstration organised by the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) which took place in Thessaloniki, Greece, on Saturday evening. The rally was held on the occasion of the inauguration, by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, of the city’s International Trade Fair. 
Representatives of Trade Unions and labor organisations delivered short greeting messages, while the major speech was given by the member of the executive committee of PAME and General Secretary of the Thessaloniki Labour Center Leonidas Stoltidis. 
The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece, Dimitris Koutsoumbas, attended the rally and made the following statement to the Press:
“The Greek people have been filled with fake promises, by the big words, by the mockery about the development which “will come”. Nevertheless, development for Greek people means increase in the wages and pensions, increases in social benefits, means annulment of the ENFIA tax and the tax-related antipeople measures, means jobs for everyone, cancellation of the memorandums and all the anti-people, anti-worker measures which brought these memorandums.
This way, this way out for the development for the benefit of our people is what the KKE is proposing. This rally of PAME, of the other class trade unions, of the poor farmers and the self-employed people, of youth, women and people’s families, here in Thessaloniki, like every year, is only the beginning. New large militant mobilizations will come. 
The KKE will give all its powers towards this direction, so that the Greek people will be finally relieved after ten years of continuous economic crisis and barbaric memorandums”. (Source:
The demonstration was followed by a march in the central streets of Thessaloniki.
Kostas Papadakis – The equation of Communism with Nazism is unacceptable and provocative

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Kostas Papadakis – The equation of Communism with Nazism is unacceptable and provocative
By Kostas Papadakis*.
Article first published in the “Efimerida ton Syntakton” newspaper, 22/08/2017, reproduced from
The anticommunist conference-provocation of the Estonian Presidency of the EU is no bolt from the blue. Similar anti-communist events being organized in the framework of the so-called “European day of remembrance for the victims of totalitarian regimes”, as the EU with enormous budgets is trying to establish the 23rd of August. This is an orchestrated campaign that aims to slander socialism, rewrite history, and to unacceptably and provocatively equate communism with the monster of fascism. I.e. equating Nazism with the forces that in historical terms smashed it.
A basic goal is to conceal the fact that fascism is a form of capital’s power in specific conditions. In Germany, Nazism constituted the ideal form to support capital in the conditions of the military preparations for the conquest of new markets, in the conditions of a very deep capitalist crisis, of the rise of revolutionary ideas, of the increase of the prestige of the KPD and the USSR. It was supported politically and financially by sections of German capital, it identified with monopolies (Krupp, I.G.Farben, Siemens etc.), it collaborated with the colossi of the “democratic” capitalist states (General Motors, General Electric, ITT, Ford, IBM).
Nazism-fascism met its deadliest and most determined opponent in the socialist society of the USSR, which was established by the October Revolution 100 years ago. The 20 million dead soviets was the bloody proof of this deadly confrontation between socialism and Nazism. The communists in every country were the most determined and combative anti-fascist force, with the role of the KKE and EAM in our country being a characteristic example of this.
The  anti-communist campaign of the EU, of this capitalist union, goes hand in hand with the offensive against the workers’-people’s rights and has been going on for many years.
The wretched anti-communist memorandum of the Council of Europe in 2005 lent impetus to these anti-historical efforts. However it did not gain the necessary majority in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe that would have made the measures that accompanied it compulsory for the member-states.
Through the decisive contribution and mobilization of the KKE, it met with the broad and mass condemnation of the Greek people and other peoples of Europe, of trade unions and other mass organizations, of public figures. The then governments of Greece, Portugal and Cyprus expressed their intention not to support it. The majority of MPs, MEPs  of the Greek bourgeois parties stated their opposition.
There followed the anti-communist resolutions in the European Parliament in 2006 and particularly the resolution of April 2009 entitle “European consciousness and totalitarianism”, it should be noted that no Greek MEP voted in favour of it.  There then followed other anti-communist proclamations and decisions of the EU.
Beyond the declarations and resolutions, practical anti-communist measures are being pushed forwards in a number of EU member-states (e.g. Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania) as well as in countries connected to it (e.g. Ukraine). We are referring specifically to the persecution, prosecution, and condemnation of communists, bans on the activities of the CPs, bans on communist symbols etc.
A self-evident consequence of the anti-communist campaign is the justification, prettification and exoneration of Nazism-fascism and its atrocities. In these countries, honours are bestowed on, pensions and privileges granted to the Nazi collaborators and their political descendants are being promoted.
This year, the EU generously financed the “House of European History” in order to promote its anti-historical anti-communist proselytizing while for years it has been organizing the anti-communist programme “Europe for citizens” in order to slander socialism, with the involvement of local municipalities, NGOs etc.
Several forces utilized the opportunity provided by the anti-communist fiesta in Estonia to rear their heads. Primitive and crude anti-communism, in which ND plays the leading role, followed by PASOK and POTAMI, together with of course Nazi Golden Dawn, copies all the propaganda with aim of slandering socialism, the USSR, with the aim of falsifying the history of the peoples.
The absence of the government from this year’s anti-historical anti-communist fiestas in Estonia cannot conceal the fact that the forces of SYRIZA in the movement are propagandizing-overtly or covertly-the equation of Stalin with Hitler, are playing a leading role in anti-soviet and anti-communist propaganda, while they hide or distort the relationship between capitalism and fascism.
A characteristic example of the government’s hypocrisy is that fact that a representative of the government has attended similar anti-communist events last year in Bratislava, something the KKE had denounced, while a few weeks ago, on July 15th, “Avgi” published a vulgar article propagandizing the equation between communism and fascism.
The people’s experience proves that escalation of anticommunism is a precursor for new anti-people measures and restrictions on people’s rights, a precursor for the launching of a new round of imperialist wars. The struggle for the abolition of the anti-communist persecution and bans, the struggle against anti-communism, for the satisfaction of the contemporary needs of the people and their rights, is integrally linked to the struggle for workers’ power, for the working class and popular strata to be emancipated from the shackles of capitalist exploitation and the imperialist unions, for the peoples to become the owners of the wealth they produce.
Whatever they try to do, history is not going to be rewritten with blue, green or black letters. It has been written with the blood of the millions of militants and communists who fought Nazism-fascism. It is in the hands of the peoples today to join forces with the communists in order to consign capitalism, which creates poverty, wars, fascism-Nazism and its nostalgists,  to the dustbin of history.
* Member of the CC and MEP of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE).
Communist Party of Italy – Contribution to the scientific conference in honor of the 100 years since the October Revolution

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Communist Party of Italy – Contribution to the scientific conference in honor of the 100 years since the October Revolution
Communist Party of Italy.
Contribution at the Scientific Conference in honor 
of the 100 years since the October Revolution.
Leningrad, August 10-13, 2017.
A hundred years ago scientific socialism became reality. Until then, Marxism had only been theorized within the First International and applied to the class struggle in conditions of bourgeois domination; after that, it became reality for a short while, during the Paris Commune, showing that the proletarian revolution was not only possible, but even necessary. With the October Revolution, Marxism is applied to building Socialism, as the first step in the construction of the Communist society.
This event gave world’s history an overwhelming impulse. Just to recall some of the main contributions that the USSR gave to the historical revolutionary process: the resistance to the imperialist aggression during the civil war, the push to the construction of Communist parties all over the world, the birth of the USSR and the solution of the problem of nationalities, the collapse of colonialism, the construction of socialism through the proletarian dictatorship and the centralized planning of the economy, the defeat of nazi-fascism by the Red Army and the support to the Partisan movement in Europe and Asia, the fast post-war reconstruction, the high cultural and social level achieved by the people not only in the USSR, but also in the People’s Democracies, the priceless contribution to anti-imperialist and class struggle allover the world.
These facts really changed history and the world. Today, a hundred years after that epic event, communists are called to think about the causes of real socialism’s collapse. Why? The question is simple and the answer is obvious: it would be unrealistic to propose that experience again after a century, if we did not understand the causes of its collapse or if we considered it as an “unavoidable” event, due to intrinsic flaws of the socialist construction.
On the contrary, we want to reaffirm (leaving room to further constructive contributions) the sole real alternative to capitalist barbarity and its substantial burn-out we can witness every day is scientific Socialism, based on the proletarian dictatorship and the centralized planning of the economy. According to our standpoint, this is what was built in the USSR and the People’s Democracies.
If 1917 marks the starting date of that construction, we consider 1953-56 as the starting period of its degenerative decline. Why do we adopt this three years period ? In 1953 Stalin died, and we will consider the events came up just after that and led, in 1956, to crucial congresses (the CPSU XXth in the USSR and the ICP’s VIIIth in Italy) which gave way to the degenerative turn. What did those events cause. Did they suddenly changed the nature of those Parties, which adopted the new political line? Did they suddenly changed the nature of the proletarian states, turning them into bourgeoisie-ruled states? Or did these parties and states keep the way of socialist construction until their collapse in 1989/1991? The two different answers would lead either to reject those experiences since their modification, or to reaffirm their validity up to the last moment of their existence, despite their well known limits.
Emotions do not help in giving an answer to this double-faceted set of questions. How can one sincerely reject the well-educated, united, economically and scientifically developed society, created in the Socialist countries and the people’s democracies? How can one negate their support to the liberation and anti-colonialist movements across the world? How can one overlook the contrast to warmongering imperialism? Turning to Italy, how can one negate the positive role, played by the Italian Communist Party and its sections, which nurtured the class consciousness of millions workers, rescued and strengthened their social rights?
On the other hand, we cannot forget that the Socialist society, as well as the Communist parties, a long before Gorbachev and Occhetto (the last ICP’s secretary general, who proclaimed its dissolution in 1991), were infected by a germ we are still studying. As we are Marx’s disciples, endowed with the instrument of historical materialism, we must connect all political and ideological processes to class and production relations, existing in the society. We must pay attention to both primary and secondary relations.
The ideological clash in the USSR.
Opposite to what, normally, is considered as the “historical truth”, at Stalin’s time the political debate in the USSR was far from being inhibited or paralyzed by “terror”. We can perceive this circumstance by reading one of the last works by Stalin, Economic Problems of Socialism in the U.S.S.R., written of 1952, where he criticized some comrades that were expressing different opinions in full freedom. By reading this interesting text, we can understand the economic debate in the USSR, as it was at that time, as well as its further political evolution.
The two lines.
During the whole period of socialist construction, two main political lines were confronting, revealing different ideological approaches, especially regarding the economic policy. The first line is represented by the line of thought, from Bucharin to Gorbachev, passing through Khrushchev and Kosygin. Bucharin opposed the accelerated end of the NEP, the priority of heavy industry development and the kolkhoz-based collectivization in rural areas, relaunching the concept of individual farms; Khrushchev, in the aftermath of Stalin’s death, sold machines and tractors’ stations to collective farms; Kosygin (and the economists of the 60’s) confirmed Khrushchev’s reforms; this process went on until the announced disaster of Gorbachev, who legalized the parallel economy, allowing it to finally poison the Soviet society, and canceled the leading role of the Party up to Socialism’s dismantling.
The second line is the one carried out by Stalin until his death, which finds full application in the five-year plans, the countryside collectivization and the constantly growing role of the socialized economy, centrally directed and controlled by the working class at the expense of the market’s influence in the Socialist society.
Here, we want to recall another loyal exponent of this line: Andrey Zhdanov. The year before his untimely death in 1948, he chaired the first Cominform’s meeting, where the ground was laid for the response to the growing threat by imperialism, the condemnation of the Titoist betrayal, the criticism of political opportunism of some western Communist parties (the Italian and French parties among the others), and for the acceleration of Socialist construction in the People’s democracies. Stalin’s point of view stems directly from his last work, Economic problems of Socialism in the USSR (February 1st, 1952), where he draws clearly his own vision about the strengthening of the proletarian dictatorship in the USSR and the relations between socialized production and the market.
Among the goals outlined, there is the following: «In order to ensure an economic bond between town and country, between industry and agriculture, commodity production (exchange through purchase and sale) should be preserved for a certain period, it being the form of economic tie with the town which is alone acceptable to the peasants, and Soviet trade — state, cooperative, and collective-farm — should be developed to the full and the capitalists of all types and descriptions ousted from trading activity».
Stalin, as a dialectical materialist, points out the route that the integral implementation of the proletarian dictatorship must follow during Socialism’s construction: commodities’ production for trade in the goods’ market cannot be immediately abolished. The aim is to decisively remove from trading the capitalist conditions and the control over it. Stalin goes on: «It is said that commodity production must lead, is bound to lead, to capitalism all the same, under all conditions. That is not true. Not always and not under all conditions! Commodity production must not be identified with capitalist production. They are two different things. Capitalist production is the highest form of commodity production. Commodity production leads to capitalism only if there is private ownership of the means of production, if labour power appears in the market as a commodity which can be bought by the capitalist and exploited in the process of production, and if, consequently, the system of exploitation of wageworkers by capitalists exists in the country. Capitalist production begins when the means of production are concentrated in private hands, and when the workers are bereft of means of production and are compelled to sell their labour power as a commodity. Without this there is no such thing as capitalist production.
Consequently, our commodity production is not of the ordinary type, but is a special kind of commodity production, commodity production without capitalists, which is concerned mainly with the goods of associated socialist producers (the state, the collective farms, the cooperatives), the sphere of action of which is confined to items of personal consumption, which obviously cannot possibly develop into capitalist production, and which, together with its “money economy,” is designed to serve the development and consolidation of socialist production».
What Stalin is saying here is that production, not distribution, does determine the real nature of the society. The market existed well before capitalism and could last even under a socialist economy for a certain period, but only if the relations of production are held firmly by the working class and the market is not allowed to generate new forms of capitalist accumulation, that impede Socialism or conflict with it. The various “if”‘s in italic Stalin puts in his discourse to underline the necessary conditions, are real nails in the coffin of capitalism, but they have been torn away one by one after his death.
In the following passage, Stalin approaches the issue of the Law of value. This law states that the commodities’ value entirely lies in the amount of human labor therein, either as previously accumulated labor (dead work) or, as newly incorporated labor through the current productive cycle (living work). Does this law exist and how does it operate under socialism? Stalin answers: «It is sometimes asked whether the law of value exists and operates in our country, under the socialist system. Yes, it does exist and does operate. Wherever commodities and commodity production exist, there the law of value must also exist. In our country, the sphere of operation of the law of value extends, first of all, to commodity circulation, to the exchange of commodities through purchase and sale, the exchange, chiefly, of articles of personal consumption. Here, in this sphere, the law of value preserves, within certain limits, of course, the function of a regulator. But the operation of the law of value is not confined to the sphere of commodity circulation. It also extends to production. True, the law of value has no regulating function in our socialist production, but it nevertheless influences production, and this fact cannot be ignored when directing production. As a matter of fact, consumer goods, which are needed to compensate the labour power expended in the process of production, are produced and realized in our country as commodities coming under the operation of the law of value. It is precisely here that the law of value exercises its influence on production. In this connection, such things as cost accounting and profitableness, production costs, prices, etc., are of actual importance in our enterprises. Consequently, our enterprises cannot, and must not, function without taking the law of value into account.
Is this a good thing? It is not a bad thing. Under present conditions, it really is not a bad thing, since it trains our business executives to conduct production on rational lines and disciplines them…. But does this mean that the operation of the law of value has as much scope with us as it has under capitalism, and that it is the regulator of production in our country too? No, it does not. Actually, the
sphere of operation of the law of value under our economic system is strictly limited and placed within definite bounds. It has already been said that the sphere of operation of commodity production is restricted and placed within definite bounds by our system. The same must be said of the sphere of operation of the law of value. Undoubtedly, the fact that private ownership of the means of production does not exist, and that the means of production both in town and country are socialized, cannot but restrict the sphere of operation of the law of value and the extent of its influence on production. In this same direction operates the law of balanced (proportionate) development of the national economy, which has superseded the law of competition and anarchy of production. In this same direction, too, operate our yearly and five-yearly plans and our economic policy generally, which are based on the requirements of the law of balanced development of the national economy. The effect of all this, taken together, is that the sphere of operation of the law of value in our country
is strictly limited, and that the law of value cannot under our system function as the regulator of production. … Value, like the law of value, is a historical category connected with the existence of commodity production. With the disappearance of commodity production, value and its forms and the law of value also disappear. In the second phase of communist society, the amount of labour expended on the production of goods will be measured not in a roundabout way, not through value and its forms, as is the case under commodity production, but directly and immediately – by the amount of time, the number of hours, expended on the production of goods. As to the distribution of labour, its distribution among the branches of production will be regulated not by the law of value, which will have ceased to function by that time, but by the growth of society’s demand for goods. It will be a society in which production will be regulated by the requirements of society, and computation of the requirements of society will acquire paramount importance for the planning bodies.
Totally incorrect, too, is the assertion that under our present economic system, in the first phase of development of Communist society, the law of value regulates the “proportions” of labour distributed among the various branches of production.
If this were true, it would be incomprehensible why our light industries, which are the most profitable, are not being developed to the utmost, and why preference is given to our heavy industries, which are often less profitable, and sometimes altogether unprofitable. If this were true, it would be incomprehensible why a number of our heavy industry plants which are still unprofitable and where the labour of the worker does not yield the “proper returns,” are not closed down, and why new light industry plants, which would certainly be profitable and where the labour of the workers might yield “big returns,” are not opened.
If this were true, it would be incomprehensible why workers are not transferred from plants that are less profitable, but very necessary to our national economy, to plants which are more profitable — in accordance with the law of value, which supposedly regulates the “proportions” of labour distributed among the branches of production. Obviously, if we were to follow the lead of these comrades, we should have to cease giving primacy to the production of means of production in favour of the production of articles of consumption. And what would be the effect of ceasing to give primacy to the production of the means of production? The effect would be to destroy the possibility of the continuous expansion of our national economy, because the national economy cannot be continuously expanded with out giving primacy to the production of means of production.
These comrades forget that the law of value can be a regulator of production only under capitalism, with private ownership of the means of production, and competition, anarchy of production, and crises of overproduction. They forget that in our country the sphere of operation of the law of value is limited by the social ownership of the means of production, and by the law of balanced development of the national economy, and is consequently also limited by our yearly and five-yearly plans, which are an approximate reflection of the requirements of this law. Some comrades draw the conclusion from this that the law of balanced development of the national economy and economic planning annul the principle of profitableness of production. That is quite untrue. It is just the other way round. If profitableness is considered not from the stand-point of individual plants or industries, and not over a period of one year, but from the standpoint of the entire national economy and over a period of, say, ten or fifteen years, which is the only correct approach to the question, then the temporary and unstable profitableness of some plants or industries is beneath all comparison with that higher form of stable and permanent profitableness which we get from the operation of the law of balanced development of the national economy and from economic planning, which save us from periodical economic crises disruptive to the national economy and causing tremendous material damage to society, and which ensure a continuous and high rate of expansion of our national economy.
In brief, there can be no doubt that under our present socialist conditions of production, the law of value cannot be a “regulator of the proportions” of labour distributed among the various branches of production». Why did we report this extensive quotation? Within it, we find the core of the question of the production relations’ regulation in the USSR, lately undermined by the reforms, carried out after Stalin’s death: it was not possible to “revise” the construction of Socialism without bringing into question this point, concerning the essential material basis of Socialist construction. Stalin identifies the role of the law of value in the domain of production rationalization, but he excludes it affects distribution proportions among productive sectors, such as agriculture, heavy and light industry. This proportion can only be fixed in a political way by the Plan, as a goal to be pursued. Can this be realized without taking into consideration technical and economical restrictions and relations within society? Of course, it cannot. I can fix by my will, that I want to reach a certain place by my car: this does not depend on the laws of physics, nevertheless I must take into account the restrictions, imposed by the same laws, like distance, weight, speed, fuel consumption, traffic, etc…
Stalin goes on: «Balanced development of the national economy, and hence, economic planning, which is a more or less faithful reflection of this law, can yield nothing by themselves, if it is not known for what purpose economic development is planned, or if that purpose is not clear. The law of balanced development of the national economy can yield the desired result only if there is a purpose for the sake of which economic development is planned».
In the same text, Stalin had previously stated: «The same must be said of the laws of economic development, the laws of political economy – whether in the period of capitalism or in the period of socialism. Here, too, the laws of economic development, as in the case of natural science, are objective laws, reflecting processes of economic development which take place independently of the will of man. Man may discover these laws, get to know them and, relying upon them, utilize them in the interests of society, impart a different direction to the destructive action of some of the laws, restrict their sphere of action, and allow fuller scope to other laws that are forcing their way to the forefront; but he cannot destroy them or create new economic laws. One of the distinguishing features of political economy is that its laws, unlike those of natural science, are impermanent, that they, or at least the majority of them, operate for a definite historical period, after which they give place to new laws. However, these laws are not abolished, but lose their validity owing to the new economic conditions and depart from the scene in order to give place to new laws, laws which are not created by the will of man, but which arise from the new economic conditions»
Stalin becomes very concrete in answering some comrades. In the first answer, addressed to Alexander Ilic Notkin, he says: «To equate a part of the means of production (raw materials) with the means of production, including the implements of production, is to sin against Marxism, because Marxism considers that the implements of production play a decisive role compared with all other means of production. Everyone knows that, by themselves, raw materials cannot produce implements of production, although certain kinds of raw material are necessary for the production of implements of production, while no raw material can be produced without implements of production. Consequently, it cannot be denied that the law of value does influence the formation of prices of agricultural raw materials, that it is one of the factors in this process. But still less can it be denied that its influence is not, and cannot be, a regulating one».
Here, the eventuality to step back in the construction of Socialism is totally excluded. Socialism here seems to be measured by, not made of, the ratio between socialized economy and the remnants of mercantile economy. The second answer, addressed to L.D. Yaroschenko, is of the greatest importance to understand Stalin’s conception of the relation between subjective factor, the political one, and technical organizational factor: «Comrade Yaroshenko thinks that it is enough to arrange a “rational organization of the productive forces,” and the transition from socialism to communism will take place without any particular difficulty. He considers that this is quite sufficient for the transition to communism. He plainly declares that “under socialism, the basic struggle for the building of a communist society reduces itself to a struggle for the proper organization of the productive forces and their rational utilization in social production.” It is not true, in the second place that the production, i.e., the economic, relation lose their independent role under socialism, that they are absorbed by the productive forces, that social production under socialism is reduced to the organization of the productive forces.
It is necessary, in the second place, by means of gradual transitions carried out to the advantage of the collective farms, and, hence, of all society, to raise collective-farm property to the level of public property, and, also by means of gradual transitions, to replace commodity circulation by a system of products-exchange, under which the central government, or some other social-economic centre, might control the whole product of social production in the interests of society». Here too we can appreciate the two distinctive aspects of Stalin’s thought: primacy of the political will over technical aspects, necessity of a lasting and unceasing guidance towards the limitation of the mercantile area of the production and distribution, in favor of socialized production and distribution.
In the third answer, to A.V. Sanina e V.C. Vensger, Stalin focuses on a technical issue, which will later acquire a great political value during Khrushchev’s reformation period. «Assuming for a moment that we accepted Comrades Sanina’s and Venzher’s proposal and began to sell the basic implements of production, the machine and tractor stations, to the collective farms as their property. What would be the outcome? The outcome would be, first, that the collective farms would become the owners of the basic instruments of production; that is, their status would be an exceptional one, such as is not shared by any other enterprise in our country, for, as we know, even the nationalized enterprises do not own their instruments of production. Can it be said that such a status would facilitate the elevation of collective-farm property to the level of public property, that it would expedite the transition of our society from socialism to communism? The outcome would be, secondly, an extension of the sphere of operation of commodity circulation, because a gigantic quantity of instruments of agricultural production would come within its orbit.

Would it not be truer to say that our advance towards communism would only be retarded by it? Comrades Sanina’s and Venzher’s basic error lies in the fact that they do not understand the role and significance of commodity circulation under socialism; that they do not understand that commodity circulation is incompatible with the prospective transition from socialism to communism.

They evidently think that the transition from socialism to communism is possible even with commodity circulation, that commodity circulation can be no obstacle to this. That is a profound error, arising from an inadequate grasp of Marxism.

What, then, does the collective farm own? Where is the collective-farm property which it disposes of quite freely, at its own discretion? This property of the collective farm is its product, the product of collective farming: grain, meat, butter, vegetables, cotton, sugar beet, flax, etc., not counting the buildings and the personal husbandry of the collective farmers on their household plots. The fact is that a considerable part of this product, the surplus collective-farm output, goes into the market and is thus included in the system of commodity circulation. It is precisely this circumstance which now prevents the elevation of collective-farm property to the level of public property. It is therefore precisely from this end that the work of elevating collective farm property to the level of public property must be tackled. Such a system, by contracting the sphere of operation of commodity circulation, will facilitate the transition from socialism to communism». It is impossible to be clearer.
What happened after Stalin’s death, when Khrushchev’s reforms started? As a first step, machinery and tractors’ stations were sold to Kolchoz. This laid the foundations for the restoration of capitalist accumulation in the USSR. What happened after Khrushchev’s removal from office on October 15th, 1964, when the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet accepted his resignation from the leadership? The policy to withdraw from the full social property of the means of production and the restrictions to mercantile commodity circulation went on. Here we cite an article by the economist E. Liberman, appeared on Novosti, November 9th, 1964. “Stimulated in pursuing high revenues, the enterprise itself will find in its plans the best ratio between quantitative and qualitative indexes. It will become easier, then, to fulfill the basic principle, upon which what is important for society must be important for every single corporation and worker. […] when the necessity of a substantial renovation of the planning system will come to evidence, it will be necessary to elaborate a sole general criterion, free from both corporate concepts and subjective stratification” (Piano e profitto nell’Economica Sovietica, Editori Riuniti, 1965, pp. 163-166).
Under the pretext, that the centralized planning was too “rigorous and inefficient”, a line of lack of principles and exclusive attention to indexes was adopted and liberalism started affecting Soviet economy. Contrary to Stalin’s standpoint, the task was no longer to achieve the fixed goal, but to move in the most “efficient” way, no matter in what direction. Just to refresh the example of the car trip, it’s like if the driver were now following the most rapid route without a precise destination: the only important thing is the lack of traffic or heavy slopes.
The fateful 1953.
The events following Stalin’s death and those before the XXth Congress are actually impressive. Here we list them following a geographical criterion just to highlight the impact they had not only on the USSR, but also on People’s democracies, as well as on the respective Communist and Workers parties, just to give an idea of the earthquake occurred.
In the immediate aftermath of Stalin’s death, Lavrenti Beria, one of his nearest collaborators, was imprisoned and sentenced to death. Notwithstanding the infamous accusation of being a spy of British imperialism and other charges later invented by Kruschev, Beria had been the leader of Soviet intelligence that put an end to repressions started in 1937, for which Ezhov was the major responsible.
Differently from the Moscow trials, which condemned the block of Bucharin, Zinoviev and Kamenev after legal trials, about which we have detailed information, charge proofs against Beria were never provided.
Bolesław Bierut, Komintern’s officer in the USSR (back in Warsaw in 1943), was one of the commanders during the anti-nazi Resistance, and the first President of the People’s Republic of Poland (1947-1952). After the Presidency, he substituted Władysław Gomułka as the Secretary General of the Unified Polish Workers Party and appointed Prime Minister (1952-1954). He died in Moscow, while heading the Party’s delegation to the CPSU XXth Congress. Władisław Gomułka was accused of “nationalist deviationism”, removed from all his offices
(1948-1949), expelled from the Party (1949) and imprisoned (1951). Released in 1954 and rehabilitated in 1956, he was re-elected Secretary General of UPWP and the following year became member of the State Council. He started his own reforms program, based on the idea of a “national way to Socialism”.
Mátyás Rákosi was the Secretary General of the Hungarian Communist Party between 1945-1956. He took part in the government held by Béla Kun under the Soviet Hungarian Republic; after its fall, he fled to the USSR, where he became one of the leaders of Comintern. In august 1952, Rákosi was appointed Prime Minister, but on June 13th 1953, he was invited to Moscow and obliged to resign in favor of Imre Nagy. In January 1955 the CPSU Politburo again summoned at the Kremlin all the Hungarian leaders and violently attacked Nagy. However, a few months after the XXth congress, in July 28th 1956, Rákosi was obliged to resign from the Party Secretariat, and to sign a humiliating self-criticism, where he took upon himself the absurd responsibility for the events that will occur shortly later in Hungary.
Klement Gottwald. One of the founders of the Czech Communist Party, Secretary General of the KSČ from 1929 to 1945 and Comintern Secretary from 1935 to 1943. Between 1945 and 1946 he was deputy Prime Minister, then Prime Minister until 1948 and President from 1948 to 1953. Gottwald died in 1953 in Moscow, only five days after Stalin’s funerals, in which he took part, on
March 9th.
Walter Ulbricht. He has been heading the illegal Communist Party during Nazism, then he fled to Paris and in 1938 moved to Moscow. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Ulbricht was one of the leaders of the Comintern. After Stalin’s death, on March 5th 1953, Ulbricht was charged with cult of personality.
Pietro Secchia. One of the undisputed leaders, along with Luigi Longo, of the Italian antifascist Resistance. In December 1947, Secchia traveled to Moscow and had long conversations with Zhdanov and Stalin, being entrusted with forwarding their harshest criticisms about the guidance of the Italian Communist Party, led by Togliatti. This criticism are confirmed by the hard fight Secchia engaged inside the leadership of the ICP.
«I do not propose», Secchia said, «to change our line or to adopt two lines, but we must not deceive ourselves, we must be conscious that this fight becomes more and more difficult… We must think about broader, harder and firmer fights, [without excluding the possibility of] being engaged in the near future in a fight different from the legal one, in a violent fight against reactionary groups, keeping in mind that the sole way to achieve victory is to act through broad unitary actions…». He concludes: «Today, the Italian situation, in my opinion, is still favorable for unleashing an offensive, we have forces to do this and, if the enemy will try to block us by violence, we still dispose of such a force potential to break their violence and lead the Italian workers to the final victory».
This policy was reported, in Italy, at the VIth Congress of the Italian Communist Party, which took place in Milan on January 4th, 1948. The report is heavily self-critical, «it reflects the criticism from the outside» Secchia contentedly commented, and warning against “constitutional illusions”, he alerted: «We follow a democratic line, but we will not let any provocation, any reactionary plan to take us unprepared. We acquired the experience of the partisan war». In that moment, no need was to add anything more to be clearly understood by those delegates. The new Central Committee, in its first session, elects the Party’s Directing Committee, the Secretary General and the Vice-Secretary. Togliatti and Longo were confirmed again in these positions. Anyway, this decision caused Secchia’s protest and a firm disappointment of the CPSU, to the extent Togliatti was obliged to find an immediate solution. Without even waiting for a new session of the C.C., Togliatti wrote a letter to the CC members, for them to immediately vote Secchia for Deputy Secretary General, along with Longo. Secchia was the Head of the Organization Department of the CC and, under his leadership, the Party reaches its highest political and organizational point, with two million members. “In the history of the Italian movement there never have been such a spontaneous, compact and extended general strike like the one of July 14-16th, 1948», Secchia commented after the attempt against Togliatti. The strike of July 14th had just been the first “great demonstration of unity, of class and national consciousness” and others will come. “The party – Secchia continued -, “has become under the ideological, political and organizational point of view thanks to this strike”. In 1954, the Seniga affair (Seniga was Secchia’s closest assistant, who fled away with the Party’s cash and many important documents) weakened Secchia’s position to the extent that he had to resign from the Organization Department, being excluded from the Secretariat too. Secchia also, like Rakosi, had to sign a humiliating self-criticism which paved the way for the final victory of Togliatti’s line.
Criticisms against the USSR.
Criticism against the USSR is not new and comes from the most different sources. Here, we want to briefly report the one by the Trozkyite wing, which broke up with the party a long before 1953, and the one by the Maoist wing, just to clarify the distance between us and them: a sidereal distance from the former, and a considerable one from the latter.
The Trozkyite wing.
As it is notorious, Trozky was used to talking of “Degenerated workers’ State”, accusing the bureaucratic “caste” which allegedly came to power after his expulsion. In the following years, Trozky himself had to admit the non-scientific character of the term “caste” and its scarce adherence with Marxist theory, given that it does not describe any kind of production relation. It is like saying that society is founded on theft: it’s a commonplace that does not describe who produces, what produces and why he does that. Coming back to Trozky’s “caste” theory, we find out that it is defined not as a class, but as a generic category of people, identified through sociological and psychological aspects. This theory unveils the personal aversion of its author to the Soviet leading group, who had reduced him to a scant minority, basing on a clear political line.
Trozky’s disciples are more refined and they are well aware of this serious gap. They defined the “caste” as a true class that imposes exploiting production relations on Soviet society, replacing the old bourgeoisie. According to this view, Socialism would have created a new class of appropriators of surplus value, produced by the working class. This interpretation is hardly justifiable from a Marxist point of view. In fact, in the USSR the property of the means of production was not private but public and, consequently, any kind of appropriation by the “caste” would have had the character of mere individual appropriation, not of capitalist class exploitation.
This question does not scrape Trozkyite critics, who solve the problem in the most simple way ever: by inventing new specially-made categories. As property belongs to the Soviet State, thus, we are talking of “State capitalism”, tracing back to Lenin’s definition of a completely different historical period, like the one of the NEP. No matter if there is no production of goods for profit to be realized on the market. The “Caste” is not the capitalist bourgeoisie? It does not matter: they coin the definition of a new class and new production relations, allegedly created by socialism, inventing a new stage, “more” supreme than imperialism. What does really matters for them is to “imitate” some Marxist and Leninist concepts, with no care of their coherence with the rest of the theory.

Titoism belongs to the same category of opponents, who collided with the socialist field in 1948. Here too, arguments stand on a non-scientific level, focused on distribution aspects with no connection to production relations, often resulting in pure tautology (“Capitalist State strengthens capitalism, Socialist State strengthens Socialism”).
All these gaps do not escape to more able Trozkyite thinkers, who are more used to Marxist theory, such as Ernest Mandel. He highlights that some features of capitalism are lacking in the USSR: the law of the maximum profit, that pushes capitalists to invest in the most profitable sectors, does not operate, since the heavy industry is more favored; there are no capital exports, no economic cyclic crises, no private international trade, no reserve army of labor. 
In our opinion, these features have been existing in the USSR more or less until Gorbachev’s reforms. However, Mandel too, at least, is obliged to take shelter in the distribution issue. Obviously, in order to give these ghosts substance, he too was obliged to invoke “the exclusion of proletarians from corporate administration”, “the regime of terror and espionage” and the “soviet expansionism”, up to the most vulgar lies from the dirtiest bourgeois trash. Our duty is to clean away the waste, tossed on real socialism.

The Maoist wing.
The other wing that opposed the USSR after the XXth Congress was the one led by the Chinese Communist Party, headed by Mao Tzetung, and by the Albanian Party of Work, headed by Enver Hoxha.
The controversy came out gradually, about Stalin’s heritage defense and the concept of peaceful coexistence. Actually, the controversy did not patently came out until 1960. A record from the Moscow Conference between the 81 Communist and Workers parties says: «The popular republics of Albania, Hungary, Germany, Viet Nam, China, Korea, Mongolia, Poland, Romania and Czechoslovakia, together with the great Soviet Union, constitute the mighty socialist field» And «The Communist and Workers Parties unanimously declare that the Communist Party of the Soviet Union has been and still is the universally recognized vanguard of the world Communist movement, being the most expert and trained contingent of the international Communist movement … 
The historical resolutions of the XXth CPSU Congress are not only of great importance for the CPSU and for the construction of Communism in the USSR, but they also started a new stage of the worldwide nCommunist movement, promoted and developed on the ground of Marxism-Leninism». The controversy initially mounted in an indirect way, without mentioning parties and leaders, then it became more stinging, by attacking such leaders, as Togliatti in 1962/1963 and Khrushchev in 1964, accusing him of being a revisionist (the Work Party of Albania already did that in 1962). Soviets replied with the counter-charge of breakaway activity.
Later, the controversy turned from ideology to the relationship between states, leading to the breach of diplomatic relations and trade cooperation. We will not mention here the breach between the Workers Party of Albany and the Communist Party of China after Mao’s death and the criticism by Enver Hoxha of the Cultural Revolution in China. We want to focus on some aspects of the Sino-Soviet controversy. From an ideological point of view, the Maoist criticism on the subject of the Soviet system after Stalin could be closer to our criticism of opportunism from Khruschev to Gorbachev, but the mode it took since the second half of the ’60s is unacceptable.
First, the charge of the USSR with “social-imperialism” does not have any Marxist scientific basis. In the USSR, until 1988, if a primitive capitalist accumulation existed, it was far from being dominant and, in any case, from the five features identifying imperialism, according to Lenin. The “Hoxhaist” version, according to which Kruschev wanted to impose on Albanians the construction of Socialism without the working class, by placing Albania in a given sector of the division of labor and cooperation within the Socialist area, reports a typical opportunist attitude, lacking in ideology, that focuses on the result without considering who, for whom, why and how that result should be achieved. This kind of argument in any case cannot define the USSR as an imperialist power.
In the 70’s the Maoist-Hoxhaist wing charged the Soviet leading group with the accusation of having turned the country of Socialism into a fascist one, dominated by a a bureaucratic-militarist “caste”. The absurdity of this charge is evident and it is not necessary to waste time in objecting that even basic prerequisites, supporting this thesis, do not exist in the real world. At the end of Mao’s life, Chinese policy became more and more embarrassing. This circumstance became evident not only with the rupture with the Socialist field, that such leaders as Kim Il Sung and Ceausescu tried to prevent, but also later, with the “thawing” towards the USA. Until that point, the Chinese Communist Party was accusing the USSR of being too submissive to imperialism. After the growth of the controversy, the USSR became the “main enemy”, considered more “aggressive” than the USA, that were supposed to be in a defensive position. Among the other consequences, this deviation led China to undermine the support to anti-colonial movements, as it happened in Angola. The crisis of relations with the USSR resulted also in a territorial dispute along the Siberian

Our analysis.
In the following lines, we propose our own arguments about the reason of socialism’s fall in the USSR and the People’s democracies. The analysis starts from an economic examination of the evolution (or involution) of society, with the creation of a parallel economy out of public control, which allowed capital re-accumulation and the re-organization of a reborn bourgeoisie in antisocialist
political groups.
These groups, skillfully supported by western imperialism, initially infiltrated the Party, undermining its authority and prestige, then led it to a substantial incapacity of ruling society. How could those people and those ideas rise and make their way in the Party and Soviet society?
In our opinion, the answer is the following:
– In Socialist society interests, opposing the full enforcement of the proletarian dictatorship, continue to exist. We are not talking of the big agrarian and industrial bourgeoisie, which was eliminated, but small dealers and businessmen, who find the possibility to realize an original wealth accumulation, which cannot be defined as a capitalistic one yet;
– these groups, small but powerful and wealthy, find are connected to the “economicistic” wing of the Party. This wing is not Marxist-based, it lacks in principles and prioritizes results rather than values, the amount of road traveled rather than the direction taken. It is basically wanting to get out from the working class dictatorship;
– these two groups, supporting each other, manage to become prominent in the party and society; the shell formally remains unaltered, as well as the apparent features of the society. Step by step, both the parallel economy and the parallel ideology find their way. If, to a certain extent, the parallel economy was able to fill eventual gaps of the centrally planned economy, slowly it turned into the cause of these gaps: robbery and embezzlement grow, and neither a party that is losing ideological principles, nor a state that lost its class characteristics, being declared “state of the whole people”, can fight this drift;
– at a certain moment the break occurs: economic groups became so strong and powerful that they bring into question even the existence of such a super-structural crust, as the Communist Party, which is no longer needed to cover their parallel activities. The Party, where a confrontation between the Marxist-Leninist part and the opportunists is going on, became an obstacle to their goals;
– the prevalence of opportunists in the leading group of the CPSU discredited the Party in front of the working class and the people, while the delay of reaction and the lack in mobilization capacity by the revolutionary forces remaining in the Party brought to its selfdissolution by means of the betrayal of the group, headed by its Secretary General, supported by the imperialist circles;
– at this point, the way was paved for the destruction of Socialism and the restoration of capitalism in Russia and the other republics of the USSR. The biggest assault in history to the people’s wealth began. 
Summarizing, in our opinion, a dominant “caste” never existed: the cases of robbery and embezzlement did not alter the class nature of society until they gave birth to a parallel system of “black” economy.
The crisis and the degenerative process were generated outside the Communist Party, but were carried into it, due to a lack in surveillance and alertness, especially from the ideological point of view: this is a typical feature of opportunism. The economic structure of the Soviet system remained mainly socialist until the reforms by Gorbachev, even if the causes of its own fall were growing inside it.
We hardly can definitely draw some conclusions, even if temporary, because the issues herein deserve the most accurate study in order to synthesize various experiences in different countries. Nonetheless, avoiding to answer the question highlighted in this work, is an obstacle to the ideological relaunch of the international Communist movement. These answers should give new oxygen and new lymph to the Communists’ struggle allover the world.

We have a great theory behind us, Marxism-Leninism, and a great history also: the history of the USSR and the Socialist countries.

Finally, we have a great task too: to change the world.
TRUTH AND LIES ABOUT SOCIALISM – Dictatorship of the Proletariat: A Higher form of Democracy

Thursday, August 3, 2017

TRUTH AND LIES ABOUT SOCIALISM – Dictatorship of the Proletariat: A Higher form of Democracy
Central Council of the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE).
Published by Synchroni Epochi, 2013.
The leap that takes place during the socialist construction, i.e. during the transition from capitalism to communism, is qualitatively higher than any previous one, since communist relations, as non-exploitative, cannot be formed in capitalism. The political revolution is the precondition for these new relations to be imposed and dominate, i.e. the conquest of power by the working class and the establishment of its own state, the dictatorship of the proletariat. 
This is a basic difference in the transition to the communist socioeconomic formation in relation with the previous. In the framework of the transition from an exploitative socioeconomic formation to another, the new relations could be developed and dominate first in the confines of the previous socioeconomic formation and then, as the last part of this process, the class that was the bearer of the new relations struggled for and took power. This happened for example in relation to capitalism. 
Capitalist relations were first developed and dominated within the confines of feudalism, which brought about an unavoidable conflict between the rising bourgeois class and the class of the feudalnobility that was declining. The great bourgeois revolutions completed the absolute domination of the bourgeoisie through the seizure of political power, which of course was necessary in order for the capitalist relations to dominate everywhere and become fully developed. 
But, communist relations are non-exploitative relations. Only their preconditions are developed within capitalism. Their appearance and domination requires the abolition of capitalist ownership of the means of production, which can only be done after having overthrown capitalist power and its state.
Thus, the dictatorship of the proletariat has a ‘’double’’ duty. On the one hand to suppress and overcome the efforts of capitalists to retake the power, on the other to form and develop the new relations, a task that is longterm and includes the whole period of the socialist construction, which is the period of the social revolution.
The task of the revolutionary workers’ power is to deepen and expand the communist relations in production and distribution, to form the new communist consciousness, the new man. This task is complex and long-term and includes economic, political, cultural, educational activity of the dictatorship of the proletariat, under the guidance of the Communist Party.
The core of power and the character of the organs of power.
Revolutionary workers’ power, the dictatorship of the proletariat, expresses a higher form of democracy, having as a basic feature the active participation of the working class in the construction of the socialist society.
Democratic centralism is a fundamental principle in the formation and functioning of the socialist state the direction of the production unit, every social service. That is, the united will and action of society in the direction of socialist construction, the active participation in making and implementing decisions, the subordination of the will of the minority to the will of the majority, the ability to elect and recall the organs of power. Revolutionary workers’ power will be based on institutions that will be born from the revolutionary struggle of the working class and its allies. The bourgeois institutions will be replaced, after being overturned, by the new institutions of workers’ power.
The Communist Party of Greece through its resolutions has set some basic principles regarding the characteristics of the workers’ power, the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The representatives in the organs of power will be elected and recalled (if necessary) by the assemblies of the workers in the production unit, decisions will be made, control will be exercised . The representatives for the intermediate institutions will be elected and recalled directly ; there will be indirect representation through the assemblies of the representatives of the highest organs of power (i.e. the representatives to the intermediate organs will elect the representatives to the highest organs of power). The representatives will not have privileges, they will have responsibilities and they will be accountable ‘’to those below’’.
The organs of power that are elected by the workers in the production units have as their tasks the specialization of the central planning, the implementation of the tasks of social production, the social services, the cultural development, the protection of the revolution. There, at the level of the production unit, the participation of the working class is established and ensured, from the ‘’bottom’’ to the ‘’top’’, as is the exercise of workers’ control, the criticism of decisions and decrees, complaints about arbitrary and subjective attitudes, bureaucratic attitudes, weaknesses and deficiencies that can appear during the socialist period.  
The workers’ collectives are accountable and monitored in order to promote the collective decisions of the higher organs of the workers’ power, which have the overall responsibility of guidance, specifying the goals of each project that is decided on in the context of central planning. The effectiveness or otherwise of each project is associated with the ability to understand the scientific laws in order to produce for the expanded satisfaction of social needs. The effectiveness of the project is tested in life itself, by practical experience itself. It is confirmed by the participation of the working masses in the control and the management of power.
Workers’ participation in the control and the management of the power is guaranteed by the reduction of working time, which enables the development of the cultural and educational level of the workers. Besides, the dictatorship of the proletariat means just that: The state of the workers is based on the organization of the working masses and their participation in the management, the organisation of the production and all services, the control of the administrative machinery, planning and its implementation. 
With special provisions, it the participation in the organs of power for sections of the population who are not in the process of the production will also be ensured. For example, young men and women who are still out of production because they are in the educational process will take part in the election of representatives through the educational units. In a similar manner the participation of the non-working women, the pensioners, will be guaranteed etc. 
The highest organ of workers’ power is an organ of workers. It legislates and administers at the same time, within its framework there is a division between legislative, executive, supervisory and disciplinary powers. It is not a parliament. The representatives that participate are not permanent but subject to recall, they don’t have financial or other benefits, they are not cut off from production, from their work, but they are detached for the duration of their term. 
On the basis of the new relations of production, social ownership, central planning, workers’ control, a new revolutionary constitution and legislation is formed to correspond to these new social relations and defend them. Similarly the entire legal system, all the legal establishment of the new social relations is also formed. A new judicial system is established, which is based on revolutionary popular institutions of justice. The new courts are under the direct responsibility of the organs of the workers’ power. They consist of people’s judges that will be elected and recalled by the people itself, and by a permanent judicial staff that will be accountable to the institutions of workers’ power.
The revolutionary workers’ power replaces all the old mechanisms of administration that receives with new ones, corresponding to the character of the proletarian state. 
The new organs of the revolutionary protection and defence are based on the workers’ and peoples’ participation, but also on permanent professional personnel. In place of the bourgeois army and the repressive forces new institutions are created on the basis of the armed revolutionary struggle in order to crush the resistance of the exploiters and to defend the revolution and socialist construction. 
Historical experience of the USSR.
The new state power that emerged from the October Revolution had to face a lot of problems and complex conditions; the working class was a minority within a population of farmers that were in a state of political and cultural backwardness. It was from the very first moment encircled by the counter-revolutionary activity and imperialist attack. A huge part of the vanguard of the working class was lost because of the imperialist intervention and the civil war. Initially, it had to utilize sections of the old bureaucracy and bourgeois specialists in sectors of the economy, production and administration, while the kulaks (the bourgeoisie in the villages) maintained great power in the countryside; they even had the control of the rural soviets. The establishment and stabilization of soviet power was not an easy or quick task.
The new power was based on the institutions that were borne from its revolutionary struggle. The institutions of socialist power were the soviets, the councils of the workers representatives, the representatives of military and afterward the farmers’ soviets, hence the name Soviet Union. 
The new state that was constructed was the revolutionary workers’ power, the dictatorship of the proletariat. Based on the social ownership of the concentrated means of production and on the cooperative of peasants from the 1930’s onwards, it expressed the interests of the majority of the exploited that overthrew the power of the minority of the exploiters. The dictatorship of the proletariat proved to be a superior form of democracy, since workers’ power led the working masses into participation, control and administration of the power and of the social life in general, it drew the masses from the sidelines. Through the organization of power in the production unit, the working class was able to develop organization and discipline. Through participation in the control and administration of the production unit, there had been steps in order to change the consciousness, in order to put the social interest above the individual.
Apart from the institutions of the workers’ power, the soviets, a vast number of mass organizations were also developed; trade unions, cultural, educational, women’s, youth, where the majority of the population was organized and participated.
The direct participation of workers took place until 1936 through the nuclei of the workers’ power at the factory, the production unit, the village, but also through the function of a series of mass organizations. During the procedures for the approval of significant state laws, i.e. the constitutional amendments, assemblies of the nuclei of the workers’ power were held, where the workers expressed their opinion and, through voting, their position. 
The direct participation of workers was accompanied by the indirect election in the representative bodies as was established in the first Constitution of the USSR in 1924. The representatives were accountable and the collective unit had the right to recall them and elect others in their position. The indirect electoral representation ensured the will and participation of workers in the institutions of the soviet power. In that way the will of the majority was established. 
The soviets were not only responsible for the decision making but also for their application. During the assemblies, the nuclei of the workers’ power discussed the central and particular plans of the branches, the decisions that they made, they implemented them as working organs, with delegates that were not cut off from production.
In the Constitution of 1936, direct electoral representation was established through geographical electoral wards (and not through the production unit). As it is stated in the Resolution of the 18th Congress of the KKE: “The critical approach to these changes focuses on the need to study further the functional downgrading of the production unit as the nucleus of organisation of workers’ power, due to the abolition of the production unit principle and of the indirect election of delegates through congresses and assemblies. We need to study its negative impact on the class composition of the higher state organs and on the application of the right of recall of delegates (which according to Lenin constitutes a basic element of democracy in the dictatorship of the proletariat).”
After the 20th Congress of the CPSU in 1956 and under the weight of more general weaknesses, a deviation, a retreat in the Party’s perception was expressed, regarding the class-oriented revolutionary character of the state and the rejection of the scientific law for the continuation of the class struggle during socialist construction. 
Nevertheless, in the USSR the institutions’ functioning expressed an unprecedented participation of the masses in political action. According to statistical data of 1977, the local organs of state-power (i.e. the soviets of representatives) were more than 50,000 all over the country. In these soviets there were more than 2,200,000 elected representatives, namely around 1% of total population of the Soviet Union. It is also estimated that within 41 years, from the Constitution of 1936, more than 25 million people participa- ted in the soviets. In addition, it is estimated that in the organs of people’s control, at the production units, the services and the kolkhozes (production cooperatives) were elected every 2 years at the workers’ assemblies and that about 9.2 million workers participated in these organs. Comparing to this, the bourgeois parliamentary democracy seems like a joke… 
In the soviet constitution, despite any criticism that may be made, the nature of the organs was safeguarded. For example, even in the Constitution of 1977 (a period in which the opportunist turn of the CPSU was already a fact and there are serious problems in its strategic and the socialist construction), article 104 described the non-professional nature for the elected delegates and their exclusion from privileges: “Deputies shall exercise their powers without discontinuing their regular employment or duties”. In addition, article 107 specified the obligation of the deputies to report on their work and the possibility to be recalled; “Deputies shall report on their work and on that of the Soviet to their constituents, and to the work collectives and public organisations that nominated them. Deputies who have not justified the confidence of their constituents may be recalled at any time by decision of a majority of the electors in accordance with the procedure established by law.”
However, in that process there were some weaknesses. The procedure of the socialist construction constantly creates new problems that seek new solutions, and this is when the ability of the workers’ power is judged. First of all, is judged the ability of the CP to lead in accordance with the scientific laws. 
In the Soviet Union, the legacy of the old social system weigh heavy, as the new one Assembly of women in a village of the Soviet Union. 1920. Soviet power had been proved a superior form of democracy. It drew the masses from the sidelines and led them to participation, control and administration. 44 emerged from its bowels For example, from the first years of the social construction problems of detachment from the interests of the working class arose re employees of the state mechanism and especially by those who came from the old, tsarist state mechanism.
The adoption of the thesis concerning the “state of the whole people” (consolidated in the constitutional revision of 1977) cancelled out the nature of the dictatorship of the proletariat as workers’ power, rejected the vanguard role of the working class as the bearer of communist relations.
The sharpening of the problems in soviet power was a consequence of the weakening of the socialist economy through the adoption of the market reforms (q.v. first part of the publication “Truths and Lies About Socialism”), which led to the reinforcement of the individual and group interests vis-a-vis the overall interests of society. As a result, the forces that had an interest in the overthrow of socialism and the restoration of capitalism gained strength.
This development influenced the structures of power and the workers’ control which had attained a formal character. In the decade of the 1980s, through perestroika, which was the final attack by the counter-revolution, the soviet system degenerated into a bourgeois parliamentary organ with a division of the executive and legislative functions, a permanence of office holders, an undermining of the right to recall, high remuneration, etc. I.e. everything negative that was developed was an element of the forms of the bourgeois power. 
TRUTH AND LIES ABOUT SOCIALISM – The phony dilemma: “Democracy” or Totalitarianism”?
| July 29, 2017 | 9:56 pm | Analysis, class struggle | No comments

Sunday, July 30, 2017

TRUTH AND LIES ABOUT SOCIALISM – The phony dilemma: “Democracy” or Totalitarianism”?
Central Council of the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE).
Published by Synchroni Epochi, 2013.
A great part of anti-communist, anti-socialist propaganda focuses on the issue of the so called lack of “freedom and democracy” during the construction of the new society, of socialism-communism. The main focus of that attack is the revolutionary workers’ power, the state of the working class, the dictatorship of the proletariat, the role of the Communist Party. The capitalists cannot abide it; they tremble before the idea that the working class will emerge as the dominant class, and that they will be thrown into the dustbin of history.
When someone reads the word “dictatorship” they imagine many things, as it is usually equated with harsh regimes, the authoritarian imposition of the will of a minority over a majority. However, if we examine the issue more carefully we will realize that the term dictatorship expresses the power of one class over the others. When we refer to the dictatorship of the bourgeois class and respectively to the dictatorship of the proletariat, we talk about the class that has the power. In other words, the meaning of dictatorship is not synonymous with the form of governance of military imposition of the exploiting classes (the slave owners, the feudalists, now the capitalists) over the poor working class- popular masses.
Dictatorship is also the power of one class even when it guarantees formal political equality between the members of different classes. Just as it occurs today in bourgeois parliamentary democracy, which is none other than the dictatorship of the bourgeois class, as we have everywhere the domination of the capital, which is concealed and hidden behind formal equality, formal equal political rights, even though there is a whole legal “arsenal” and the mechanisms of the bourgeois state are ready to put aside any right if bourgeois’ power is threatened.
In reality, the bourgeois classes’ power to impose its will, to form its own institutions and mechanisms that serve its interests, originates from its economic power, the capitalist ownership of the means of production. The whole superstructure, the institutions and the mechanisms exist to defend and assist the reproduction of its domination.
Therefore, with the term “dictatorship of the proletariat”, Marxism scientifically refers to the political domination of the working class. The conquest of political power by the working class is also a precondition for its economic domination, for the overthrow of capitalist relations and the socialization of the means of production. The liberation of the working class from the dictatorship of the capital, from the yoke of the monopolies and its emergence as a dominant class also liberates the rest of the working people.
What is the state? 
The state in capitalism.
The state did not always exist. The state is a product of unresolved class contradictions that are present in society. The state appears during the evolution of history in places when the class contradictions objectively could not be compromised. And vice-versa, the very existence of the state demonstrates that class contradictions cannot be resolved.
The birth of the Athenian State.
(Click on the picture to read).
In the primitive communal societies there was no need for a state, because classes did not exist. The state was born along with the class society thousands of years ago. This happened when the surplus product was created thanks to the development of the productive forces, meaning one part of the produced product (from working the land, livestock, etc.) which was not used for the satisfaction of immediate needs of the community. The appearance of the surplus product led, over the course of time to its private appropriation, and furthermore led to the formation of private ownership over the means of production, in other words, class contradictions were born. The complete development of these contradictions created the exploitative distinction of society between the slaves and the slave-owners. The first state, in history, formed was the state of the slave-owners in order to impose their power on the slave class. Thereafter, during the evolution of the society the exploitative relations change according to the evolution of productive forces. The distinction between slaves and slave-owners was replaced by the serfs and the feudalists and today by the workers and the capitalists. In each corresponding period, the state evolved and strengthened to serve the specific exploitative relations.
The state consists of many institutions for the systematic implementation of compulsion against the exploited. It creates permanent, specific mechanisms and it organizes the violence of the dominant class, (army, police etc.). Also, several functions existing (administrative, defensive for the protection of the community etc.) before the appearance of state in the context of the primitive community become detached and are exercised by special institutions.
These transitions during the evolution of humanity were hard but necessary, since the relations of production must correspond to the development of the productive forces that has been achieved at a specific time. However, today, the productive forces –that mark huge progress and development– suffocate in the context of exploitative relations. The abolition of the exploitation of man by man, a great social leap, will contribute to a situation where the productive forces will correspond to the relations of production. The creation of these social relations, along with the institutions that emerged with them, was necessary in the evolution of history, and to that extent today their abolition is equally necessary for the further evolution of the society. Therefore, speaking of the state, we must always have in mind that the main issue is the issue of power of one class over the other.
The working class and the bourgeois state.
The working class, as a direct producer that does not have, however, ownership over the means of production, as the exploited class in capitalism, is placed in various ways under the coercion of the bourgeois class and its state. The bourgeois state, as a mechanism for the domination of the capitalists over the workers, is a mechanism of oppression, repression and manipulation against the workers.
Nevertheless, the bourgeois class does only not organize the brutal repression and the exclusive practice of violence by the state mechanisms (which is, however, a basic function of the state), but it also exercises multifaceted oppression. It organizes state judicial institutions in order to implement the law, which has as its core the defence of private ownership. It creates laws, constitutions; it establishes courts of justice and institutions to enforce this law, which in fact is “unjust” for the working class.
In modern capitalist societies, the state also organizes the state educational system, it builds schools and universities, i.e. it organizes the “consent” of the exploited working class and organizes the health and welfare system, guaranteeing the conditions for the reproduction of the working class. Namely, it guarantees a basic level of education, a basic satisfaction of health etc., as well as the reproduction of dominant ideology and politics in order to obscure class exploitation. Moreover, the bourgeois state intervenes in the economy by passing measures facilitating the reproduction of capital on an extensive scale.
The duty of the proletariat is to overthrow the bourgeois state as a precondition for the construction of the new society. The bourgeois state cannot change its class nature and cannot be used in favour of the working class and the poor popular strata. The working class must take advantage of any gains- democratic rights acquired as a result of the class struggle- but not by restricting its aims to the improvement and the democratization of the bourgeois state, but in the direction of organizing the struggle in order to overthrow bourgeois power. The bourgeois state is a state of the capitalists in order to secure their interests. In its place the working class must build its own state, the dictatorship of the proletariat. And the overthrow of the bourgeois state is not possible without violence, without the proletarian, socialist revolution.
The “withering away” of the state in developed communism.
The communist socioeconomic formation expresses the new leap in the evolution of human society, on the basis of the development of the means of production. Labour in capitalist production acquires an increasingly social character. There no longer exists the need for a class – owner of the means of production, i.e. the class of capitalists, who do not contribute anything to production; they are parasites. At one time, the division of society into classes was a necessary step in human evolution. Today, thanks to the development of the productive forces, this division of society has become an obstacle. The disappearance of classes is inevitable, as inevitable as was their creation during the past.
The socialization of the means of production and central planning as the new social relations eliminate, over a course of hard struggle and contradictions, the root cause of the existence of the class inequalities.
As during mankind’s past primitive societies managed to live without a state, therefore, the new, fully developed communist society will no longer need a state, i.e. it will no longer need a mechanism of coercion, of enforcement. However, this is not due to incomplete development, but on the contrary is due to the enormous development of the productive forces, labour productivity and the new social relations. Nevertheless, the state as a state cannot be “abolished” all at once, because it is not possible to eliminate at once the root of class inequalities. Through the social revolution, the bourgeois state is abolished and is replaced by the state of the working class. Bourgeois power, disorganized in conditions of the revolutionary situation by the decisive action of the organized workers and their allies, is crushed, destroyed, smashed. From the first moment of its formation, the dictatorship of the proletariat, the socialist state is a “semi-state”, according to Engels; it is not a “state per se”. This occurs because its mission is not the continuation of class exploitation, but the abolishment of any source of class exploitation. It is a state that is expected to abolish itself, to wither away, because it is no longer needed.
The state is withering away over the course of development, during the passage from the lower to the higher phase of the communist society. The economic base for the complete withering away of the state has to do with a high development of communism that eradicates the contradictions between intellectual and manual labour, the submission to the division of labour and transforms labour not only into means of subsistence, but also into a prime necessity of life, i.e. when the sources of the appearance of social inequality disappear.
Advanced communism as a classless society is a society without a state. The state will be able to wither away completely only when people have become so accustomed to observing the basic rules of living and their work is so productive that they are working according to their abilities and the distribution of products is carried out according to their needs.
The state in socialism.
Socialism, as the first, the immature phase of communism, is a society in which initially classes and class contradictions still exist, while afterwards some class contradictions and differences, potential class differences, are still maintained, i.e. differences including the potential of historical regression. Firstly, there are the remnants of the defeated bourgeois class, which will fight until the end in order to take back the power that they lost. In addition, several contradictions or differences remain such as these between the people of the city and the countryside, between manual and intellectual labour, which have their origin in the entire history of exploitative societies. Moreover, there are contradictions originating from the possibility that some sectors of production are not socialized directly, at once. These are differences resulting from the division of labour. The historical experience of the USSR showed that sections of agricultural production etc. maintained commodity relations. Commodity relations are a source of class inequalities. In addition, the conscience corresponding to the new, communist relations, e. the communist conscience, the Assembly of Petrograd’s soviet, 1918. “Proletarian democracy, of which Soviet government is one of the forms, has brought a development and expansion of democracy unprecedented in the world, for the vast majority of the population, for the exploited and working people. (…)Proletarian democracy is a million times more democratic than any bourgeois democracy; Soviet power is a million times more democratic than the most democratic bourgeois republic.” (V.I. Lenin, The Proletarian Revolution And the Renegade Kautsky, Sinchroni Epochi, p. 31-33) communist attitude towards labour, is not shaped in a cohesive and “automatic” way among all the sections of working class and the people. Namely, there are still elements of the past that struggle against the new society that has been born. Historical experience has highlighted that this kind of struggle continues for a very long time.
Assembly of Petrograd’s soviet, 1918. “Proletarian democracy, of which Soviet government is one of the forms, has brought a development and expansion of democracy unprecedented in the world, for the vast majority of the population, for the exploited and working people. (…)Proletarian democracy is a million times more democratic than any bourgeois democracy; Soviet power is a million times more democratic than the most democratic bourgeois republic.” (V.I. Lenin, The Proletarian Revolution And the Renegade Kautsky, Sinchroni Epochi, p. 31-33)
Thus in socialism, the working class is constituted as the dominant class by its state, the dictatorship of the proletariat. The working class opposes the dictatorship of the bourgeois class (regardless of the form that it takes, e.g. parliamentary system, fascism, military dictatorship etc.) with its own dictatorship, the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is the democracy of workers who are dominant since they overthrew the power of the bourgeois class; they took the means of production in their hands and are leading the construction of the new society expressing also the interests of the other exploited strata by liberating them.
Consequently, the dictatorship of the proletariat constitutes a means of continuing the class struggle with other means and forms under the conditions of the socialist construction.
The necessity of the dictatorship of the proletariat, of the socialist state arises from the basic revolutionary duty of the workers’ power, namely the formation of the new communist relations. A difficult task, since the passage to communism is not just a passage from one society to another; it is not a replacement of one exploitative class by another, but the definitive and complete abolition of any form of private and group ownership over the means and results of production, of every exploitative class and every social inequality. This necessity also arises from the continuation of the class struggle internationally, since the simultaneous passage socialism at global level, in every country at the same time, is impossible.
Only the vanguard social force, the working class, which is the vehicle of communist relations, can accomplish this task with the leading role of its Party, the Communist Party.
The phony dilemma: “Democracy” or “Totalitarianism”.
“On the opposite side of “democracy” lies “totalitarianism”. In this (socioeconomic) system only one, the ruler, possesses absolute power and has the ability to control the society. Dictatorship is one of the forms of totalitarianism, which constitutes an authoritarian system of governance based on violence. The characteristics of totalitarianism are the following: imposition of a particular ideology, the one – party system, existence of an organized plan of intimidation of the citizens, absolute control of the army, absolute control of mass media, an economy controlled and planned, by the state” 
( “Sociology” Coursebook, 3rd grade of High School).
“Democracy” for whom? 
For many centuries, beginning from ancient times until the present day, the concept of democracy has been the centre of numerous discussions and written texts. Democracy has existed as an ideal, as a political demand and slogan for millions of militants, as well as a deceptive ideological construct, a fraud.
The bourgeois and opportunist theoreticians and propagandists do not understand political history as a result of interchanges of socioeconomic formations, as scientific communism does (because they would be forced to admit the inevitable overthrow of capitalism), but as a succession of regimes. Based on that they distinguish regimes (democracy, oligarchy, monarchy, etc.) concealing class relations, the class essence of socioeconomic formations and their respective state.
In general, they identify democracy with bourgeois parliamentary democracy. They claim that within the framework of the bourgeois state ‘’all of us are equal citizens, we have the right to vote and to be elected, we have universal voting rights and trade union rights, etc guaranteed by the Constitution”. The political system, the administration mechanisms, the Constitution, therefore, are presented as “classless’’. But, behind the term “citizens’’, the class division that exists in capitalism and the division between the exploiters and the exploited are being concealed.
Lenin noted that when someone hears the words democracy and freedom he should ask: “democracy and freedom for which class?”
Since the dawn of capitalism, when the bourgeois class was still a revolutionary force, it became clear that the slogan “equality, freedom, brotherhood” of the bourgeois French Revolution -that overthrew feudalism– had a content that was expressing the interests of the domination of the bourgeois class. For example, just two years after the victory of the French Revolution, measures were taken in order to dissolve all trade unions and to ban strikes. These were the so-called Le Chapelier laws (after the French bourgeois judicial and politician Isaac Rene Guy Le Chapelier), which were in effect from June 14, 1791 until 1864, i.e. they were applied for 73 years.
Bourgeois democracy is democracy within the framework of capitalism. It is a form of expression of the dictatorship of the bourgeois class. Of course, bourgeois democracy was progressive compared to feudal autocracy, which was overthrown by the former. But bourgeois democracy defends capitalist exploitation. The democratic rights and freedoms, existing in most of the bourgeois Constitutions, reflect the victory of the bourgeois class against feudalism, they weren’t generously granted by the bourgeois class to the working class but only after a tough class struggle and only when the bourgeois class acquired the ability to assimilate wider workers’ and people’s masses due to these concessions.
(Click on the picture to read).
During the era of bourgeois revolutions, the bourgeois class consisted of a large mass of small and big owners of the means of production. In order to overthrow feudalism, they attracted to the political struggle large popular masses of farmers and proletarians, the ancestors of the contemporary working class. On this basis, the democratic and political freedoms were established on the terrain of capitalism. The bourgeois class didn’t hesitate to restrict or ban these freedoms when it considered it necessary for the stabilisation of the capitalist system. In conditions of contemporary capitalism, the imperialist stage of its development, where the bourgeois class has the place once held by feudalism, the rise of reactionary influences, the restriction of rights and freedoms and the manipulation of people’s protest, is the general tendency.
In our country we have certain examples proving that the bourgeois class takes action as soon as it becomes aware that its profitability and power can be negatively affected. For example, there were certain moments during the 20th century when the bourgeois class suppressed strikes, even though the strikes were for economic demands only, without disputing bourgeois power and these strikes resulted in harsh conflicts between the working class and the mechanisms of bourgeois state, with many dead militant workers as a result.
Although, even those who claim that “the above mentioned events happened years ago, now democracy is consolidated and things have changed” conceal the fact that the bourgeois class imposes itself using its own power over the popular masses with multifaceted mechanisms that combine manipulation and repression. Let’s remember the tremendous persecution of the monumental students’ demonstrations struggling against the so-called Arsenis – law (High school educational reform 1998), or even the repression against struggles in the following years. At that time the government applied the despicable Legislative Act (implemented by the subsequent governments) which considered that student protests were a “statutory offense” and brought district attorneys to schools in order to terrorize the school students. Hundreds of school students across Greece were tried on charges such as “disruption of domestic peace”, “occupation of public areas”, etc.
The bourgeois government tried more than 10,000 farmers across the country on the charge of ‘’obstruction of transportation’’, during the period of the monumental agricultural protests. Do not forget the dozens of strikes and workers’ protests declared illegal by civil courts. Based on the data of the First Instance Court of Athens relating to the period 1999-2008, 215 out of the 248 employers’ appeals against strikes were accepted. In other words 9 out of 10 strikes were deemed illegal .The bourgeois governments attacked large demonstrations of seafarers, having the bourgeois courts and their court rulings as their weapon and at the same time using brutal repression in order to impose “civil mobilization” of the workers and use savage means of repression. Recently, the bourgeois government declared the magnificent strike of the steelworkers in Aspropyrgos  illegal and deployed riot police at the factory in order to break the strike. Additionally, the state utilizes against the organized class-oriented movement and the Communist Party, a complex of mechanisms of provocation, thugs, various agencies – operating in cooperation with the ‘’official’’ repressive forces – in order to strike against the struggles. Provocation was always a powerful weapon in the hands of the bourgeois class against the working class and its Party.
“Greek steelworks”, Aspropyrgos, July 2012. The Constitution and the laws of bourgeois state exist only to ensure the capitalist ownership over the means of production. The attitude of bourgeois state against the heroic struggle of the steelworkers was characteristic. Complete support for the capitalist Manesis, court rulings and persecution, brutal repression against the strike.
The bourgeois parliament, the multi – party system and the bourgeois elections are the ‘zenith of the Democracy’’.
We face the argument that capitalism has a multi – party system, many different parties that can express their views and can participate in elections, that even the enemies of capitalism, even the Communist Parties, have the potential to exist and act. On the other hand they say that in socialism there is no parliament and multiparty system, so there is ‘’totalitarianism’’.
First, the bourgeoisie conceals a fact that applies first of all to themselves, namely that the classes form political parties with the aim of serving their interests. This also applies to their own parties, which serve the interests of the bourgeois class. However, the bourgeois class is expressed by more than one party. These parties are formed on the basis of historical, ideological differences that concern the management of capitalism, express intra-bourgeois contradictions. The differences between bourgeois parties guarantee the alternation in the formation of bourgeois governments; reproduce the support of the workers’- people’s strata through the universal right to vote. This is the essence of the multi-party system. Namely, these are parties that don’t express something different taking into consideration their class essence, because they agree on the perpetuation of capitalist exploitation over the working class and any differences concern the different “formulas” for the workers’ exploitation.

The myth of ‘’Totalitarianism’’. 

The identification of the former socialist societies and socialism in general with so called totalitarianism is one of the new-old ideological constructs re-emerging in the political analysis of the bourgeois mass media, public interventions of governmental cadres and cadres of bourgeois political parties, but also in the curricula of higher education institutions. Most often, the concept of totalitarianism, the totalitarian phenomenon, totalitarian ideologies (…) is mentioned in newspaper articles and magazines artfully and uncritically. They never give a definition of this phenomenon, and it is presented as something well-known and obvious. (…) Substantial emphasis is given to the identification of fascism, especially Nazism, with existing socialism and respectively fascist with communist ideology. (…) The concept of totalitarianism first appeared in the “Times» in 1929 and described as totalitarian a type of state that is “cohesive», with a oneparty system either communist or fascist, generally it appears as a reaction against the state of parliamentary democracy. The equation of these two incompatible phenomena, namely the fascist and socialist, state and society, aims to impose the political forms of the state as the main criterion and characteristic based on which we can compare different types of society without any further analysis (on the contrary, it aims to obscure) over the content of state power and its relations with the structure of society, i.e. the social classes and the struggle waging between them. Bourgeois ideology defends the capitalist system and generally chooses to face the world in that way, presents the world as the embodiment and struggle of some ideas and ideals, the most important of which is (bourgeois) “democracy».  

The theoreticians that “confront totalitarianism” perceive man and “human nature” as something static and metaphysical, they cannot see the possibility of the change of social relations and they perceive it as destruction of humanity and abolition of freedom. Socialism does not aim to turn people into “servants of the State” and spineless beings, as these theoreticians claim. This duty belongs to the daily tasks of the capitalist system (either fascist or “liberal”), which we are experiencing today intensively. Socialism aims to construct a new civilization, a new type of social relations (that means a “new human’’, not to uproot all human qualities, as these theoreticians claim!), which will release the creative capabilities of people in order to be able handle collectively and to develop further the tremendous forces and potential accumulated in the current stage of mankind’s development. 

Kommounistiki Epitheorisi, issue 2/2000 “”Totalitarianism”, the return of Cold War mythology».

The differences developed during the previous years are significant, not only among the Greek bourgeois parties, but at a European and international level, in relation to the variations of crisis management. There are different tendencies and intra-bourgeois contradictions, however what all of them have as common ground is the attempt to exit the capitalist crisis at the expense of the working class and the popular strata, and these are not differences in favour of the people’s interests. The working class has nothing to expect from such ‘’polyphony’’, besides it has important acquired experience. Basically, for decades two parties were alternating in government, the bourgeois social-democratic party and the bourgeois liberal party, however now we have a period of rotation between alliance governments. Now of the ‘’centre-right’’, tomorrow of the ‘’centreleft’’, without excluding other forms. History has shown that when the rule of bourgeoisie is questioned then the differences between bourgeois parties “disappear” and united as a fist they struggle for their class. In our country for example during the period of the armed class confrontation, in 1946-1949, all the bourgeois parties were united to face the Communist Party and the Democratic Army of Greece. It is significant the example of the so-called ‘’seven-headed’’ government formed in 1947, named as such because of the participation of all the political leaders from the whole range of the bourgeois political system (C. Tsaldaris, G.Papandreou, S.Venizelos, P.Canellopoulos, N.Zervas, etc). Also, more recently, under the present conditions of the economic capitalist crisis, New Democracy and PASOK (old social democratic party) put aside their differences and formed anti-popular governments under the Prime Minister L.Papademos and A.Samaras later: The former with the support of ‘’extreme-right’’ party LAOS, the later with the support of the ‘’centre-left’’ party DIMAR.
The bourgeois parliament and elections express the ‘’popular will’’ determined by the influence of employers’ intimidation, threat of unemployment, mechanisms that buy the workers’ consciousness off, anticommunism, fear before the revolutionary perspective, bourgeois ideology fostered through education and so many other factors that form attitude of assimilation and submission to the system among the larger part of popular strata and their families. Only when the above factors are secured firmly, then the bourgeois class allows the realization of universal right to vote that operates as an assimilation tool. Besides, the universal right to vote presented as the “cornerstone” of bourgeois democracy, was neither established at once, nor was truly universal. During the period of bourgeois revolutions the right to vote initially was connected to class criteria, such as the possession of land, property, wealth, etc. It didn’t concern everyone. The same happened with the right to vote of women, of black people, etc. In our country the right to vote for women was established in 1952 by the bourgeois laws [while they had voted for the first time in the areas freed by the National Liberation Front (EAM) – Greek People’s Liberation Army (ELAS) in 1944]. In Switzerland, presented as a particularly democratic country, women gained the right to vote in 1971! In the US, the right to vote for black people was acquired in 1965.
As long as the working class and the popular strata believe that through the elections they will serve their own interests, they will remain chained of the bourgeois class, their political emancipation will be blocked. Of course the Communist Parties are “obliged” to work in parliaments in order to uncover exactly their bourgeois exploitative character. But only when the working masses believe in their power, in their ability that they have to get organized and rule themselves, only when they overcome their parliamentary illusions, they will be able to enforce radical changes for their profit. In parliament, decisions that in reality are taken elsewhere, outside of it, that are based on the economic domination of the bourgeois, are simply validated. The bourgeois state has at its disposal institutions and mechanisms of enforcing the domination of the bourgeois class (judges, police officers, army etc.) that their class orientation is not affected from the correlations in parliament.
Besides, historically it has been proved that within the bourgeois parliament, there cannot be formed political correlation that will express the general interests of the working class and popular strata. Even in the theoretical occasion that something like that happens, the bourgeois class will not stay with crossed arms). History has shown examples that even reformist majorities got violently overthrown (e.g. Allende in Chile).
Some present the argument that, like in capitalism, that the lawful action of the Communist Parties is permitted, in socialism the action of the parties that express capitalists or other defenders of “open market” should be permitted.
This comparison cannot be, because the historical role of the working class in relation to the bourgeois’ role, concerning the social progress, is different. With the consolidation of capitalism and the domination of the bourgeois, this class ceases to be pioneer and emerging. It becomes reactionary, it survives only because it exploits the working class. It has a parasitic role in social production because it does not produce anything, but because it owns the means of production, it usurps the wealth that the workers produce.
The pioneer social force is the working class because it is the conveyor of the new productive relations, the communist ones. It is the class that produces the biggest part of social wealth, that in capitalism it does not own any means of production and that in its struggle for its own domination, it has nothing to lose, but its chains. In Socialism it’s not just one party in power, but the working class organized as the dominating class, led by its party.
Sunday 3rd of December 1944. When the bourgeois power is in danger the bourgeois class does not hesitate to drown the people in blood. “The struggle of KKE during the decade 1940-1949, with the armed fight of EAM-ELAS on December of 1944 and DSE (1946-1949), constitutes the biggest offer of our Party to the working class and the poor popular strata, as well as its biggest contribution to the action of the international communist movement during the 20th century”. (From the introduction of the History Essay of KKE, Volume 2, 1946-1968).
The bourgeois “forget” that when bourgeois class took power it did not leave the feudal lords-aristocrats that it overthrew, safe and sound. Not only did it not permit them to form parties, but it also sent them the guillotine.
The defense of the open, public action of the Communist Parties in capitalism by the working class and the people, is in essence the defense of the political expression of the pioneer social force. In contrary, the defense of the existence of capitalist parties in Socialism, in a society where exploitation is abolished, and as a result the class that represents it, can only be realized as a setback and an obstacle of social development. As in capitalism today, not only is it not permitted but it would seem unheard of for parties that support the totalitarian (slavery) or the partial (serfdom) ownership of people by other people, to exist, i.e. the previous productive relations, in socialism it will be unheard of for parties that support and propagandize the exploitation of people by other people, the exploitive relations, to exist. This is how the comparison should be.
The position of the bourgeois democracy against the Communist Parties.
The working class is expressed by its own party, the Communist Party, that its own formation is a result of the maturing of the working class. The CP struggles for the working class to gain conscience of its historical mission, which is to abolish all kinds of exploitation and oppression and to lead the way into a classless society.
It is a lie that the bourgeois class generally lets the Communist Parties to act undisturbed. It knows that they fight to overthrow it and when its domination is in danger, it takes harder measures against the Communist Parties. The history of the global communist movement and of the KKE in Greece is full of persecutions against communists. Lawful, public action of the Communist Party is a conquest of the working class. In our country the democratic government of El.Venizelos in 1929 declared communism as a statutory offense and criminalized the communist ideology. KKE remained illegal for 27 years (1947-1974), the 20 of which were not during fascist or dictatorship governments, but during “bourgeois democratic” governments, years that were accompanied by terrorism, tortures, exiles, executions.

Bourgeois state against KKE.

Since its primary years of existence, KKE faced persecutions, class hatred of the bourgeois state. State violence does not only show its superiority in the correlation of forces, it mainly shows the fear of the bourgeois against the working class, the people. The bourgeois legislative grid against the workers movement is dated before the founding of KKE, when the socialist ideas started being appealing. It is constantly strengthened after the founding of the party in 1918.The law on the constitution of Committees on Public Security in each Region” ” of the government of Al. Papanastasiou in 1924,that the dictatorship of Pangalos in 1926 modified and used, the concentration camp of communist soldiers in Kalpaki, the “Idionym” of Venizelos in order to “Protect for now, but mainly for the future the social regime“, the forbiddance of the circulation of “Rizospastis” are characteristic examples. Thousands of communists convicted, martyred in prisons and exile of bourgeois government parliamentary or of dictatorship. KKE during the king’s and Metaxas dictatorship of the 4th of August 1936 took a big blow. State security could constitute the squealer “Temporary Leadership ” in the role of the leading body of the party that issued a “Rizospastis”with a content directed thereby. KKE was deprived of the important service of hundreds of cadres that the government of Metaxas gave to the Germans, even its general secretary of the Central Council Nikos Zahariadis. 

After the liberation of Greece in 1944, the bourgeois forces resorted to murderous violence, they chose the bloodshed of the struggling people that were united around KKE, EAM and ELAS. During the armed struggle of KKE in 1946-1949, the state repression was shielded even more with the “3rd decree” in June 1946 and the voting of O.L.. 509/1947. The armed struggle highlighted the ethical greatness, the heroism, the contribution and sacrifice of thousands of communists, popular fighters. After the civil war, new heroic pages were written at the jails and exiles, the Military Courts, the firing squads, cladestinity and political refuge. New persecutions and sacrifices for thousands of communists at the purgatories of the soldier dictatorship in 1967-1974, at the dungeons of EAT-ESA, at the places of exile. But even after the junta, in times of democracy and legality, KKE faced employer violence and terrorism by the bourgeois democracy. A martyr of this struggle, Sotiria Vasilakopoulou, member of KNE, was murdered at the gates of the ETMA factory at 28/7/1980. KKE follows that road today, the one of class struggle, with consequences such as layoffs, persecutions and trials of communists and other fighters. Against the violence of the bourgeois class today the answer is: “We never did and we never will sign a declaration of repentance to the national and international bourgeois class”.

Let us not forget though that the defenders of parliamentarism and multiparty system, that until recently hypocritically presented EU as the apogee of democracy, hide that in a number of countries of the EU, Communist Parties and Youths, the communist symbols are forbidden by law. In Czech Republic, the Communist Youth was until recently illegal because, as the bourgeois court judged: “At its program it expresses the necessity to replace the private ownership at the means of production with social ownership” and that is a “crime” for capitalists! In Poland and elsewhere the use of communist symbols is forbidden, in Germany there is a law that forbids hiring communists to work for the bourgeois state, at the Baltics they forbid Communist Parties and praise the Nazi SS. EU has made its formal ideology the historically inaccurate and provocative identification of fascism and communism, the anti-communism.
But even in the occasion that the Communist Parties are legal, bourgeois class puts a lot of obstacles to the spread and promotion of their ideas and of course under no circumstances are they allowed to implement them. It is clear that for the bourgeois political system, the bourgeois state, the Communist Parties are their “Number One” opponent. For example, how many times has the KKE been attacked for its slogans, that compact political ideas, as “law is the right of the workers” but also its actions to defend the popular interests (strikes, organization of disobedience and indiscipline against the bourgeois poltcy etc) are at the verge of legality and ask from KKE to take oaths of submission to the bourgeois state? Besides, these are not just a matter of declarations for the bourgeoisie. How many times have we seen efforts to legally restrict and supress communist action (e.g. dismissal of members of KKE and KNE and pioneer fighters because they were ay the frontline of strikes. persecutions against members of KNE because they lead students’ mobilizations, persecutions of communists and other fighters for various mobilizations.
Besides the above, let us not forget that in the conditions of bourgeois democracy, the massive projection of the positions of the communists is objectively limited by socioeconomic conditions, as large-type complexes, electronic and printed media, publishers, internet etc. are under the control of the monopolies and the bourgeois state. Whatever means the KKE has (“Rizospastis”, “90.2”, etc.) to project its positions, the struggle of the labor movement are struck from every side from the bourgeois in order to be silenced (politically, economically, judicially with lawsuits etc.).
The screams that are occasionally heard on “KKE’s immunity” that it “moves on the limits of legality” and the like, prove that the constant aim of the bourgeois class is to achieve a crushing blow on the party of the working class by putting obstacles in on its relatively legal action, without leaving out the aim to integrate it on the bourgeois political system.
Even the formal rights stop for the workers in the workplaces.
The right of the working class to organize, although it is formally established, practically is blocked, while it is also limited institutionally.
For the bourgeois, even this formal democracy has no power in the workplace, inside the factory gate and company. The worker within the framework of parliamentarianism is “free” to vote for any party they want, to have any opinion they wish, formally they have the right to strike, but as soon as they stands up for themselves in the workplace, the employer is ready to crush them. There are maybe laws that allow the existence and action of trade unions and workers’ organizations, but these are only tolerable to the extent that they are manipulated and part of the network of assimilation of the working masses. In addition, there are laws that ensure labor rights, however, they are not actually applied or they are easily utilized to limit working rights to something “realistic” or “achievable” that is always determined by capitalist profitability. However, the moment that the working class fights for the contemporary workingpeoples’ needs that come into conflict with capitalist profitability, they are confronted by the multipronged attack of the employers and the bourgeois state. Besides, when the class struggle sharpens, when the workers’ struggles acquire tendencies to come into conflict with bourgeois domination, even minimal labor rights are abolished at once.
At the same time, the bourgeoisie also uses other methods in order to undermine the labor movement and to ensure the desired “class peace” in the workplaces. It forms a whole bribed stratum of workers, the labor aristocracy, representatives of which are promoted to the leadership of the labor movement. When needed, the bourgeoisie can also accomplish it by trampling upon the formal, legally protected correlation of forces in the trade union movement (e.g. deposing the elected leaderships etc.). In that way, the workers’ organizations are converted from defenders of the workers’ interests to defenders of the interests of the bourgeoisie, they become enemies of the workers, traitors inside the working class.
The parliamentary group of the Nazi party in the German Parliament in 1930. The bourgeois pretend to “forget” that fascism arose from the bourgeois parliament. Hitler was elected to the Parliament, with the support and tolerance of the bourgeois political world. He was supported financially and politically not only by the German bourgeoisie, but also by American monopolies and British interests that sought profitable transactions and support from Germany against the USSR.

Regimes that suppress bourgeois democracy- the other side of bourgeois power. 
However, bourgeois parliamentary democracy may not be in all the phases the “appropriate” form of management of bourgeois power. In times of difficulties, crises, fissures in the bourgeois system, there are many historical examples, as well as contemporary, when the bourgeoisie puts aside its “angelic face” and chooses to exercise its power through non-parliamentary regimes. Military dictatorships, fascism are all in the service of the capital and are just different forms of management. The changes and the differences in the mode of governance do not change neither the class nature of the economic relations or the class essence of the state. Namely, regimes presented as “anti-democratic” or as “democratic” serve the same class, the same system, that of the capitalist exploitative relations. For example, behind the “anti-parliamentary” rhetoric of the Nazi and fascist parties basically lies the need to confront more decisively the workers’ and people’s movement, to ensure order and stability in order to safeguard capitalist domination and the profitability of the monopolies.
These regimes suspend a wide range the formerly established freedoms and rights, which for the workers are rights won through blood, the product of hard class struggles. For the working class and its Party it means a wave of repression, a possible passage to illegality, imprisonments and persecutions, murders of militants, prohibition and restriction of workers’ demands and trade-union action etc. Their class nature cannot be obscured by the fact that within the framework of intra-bourgeois conflicts there is a restriction of rights for sections of the bourgeoisie, e.g. for political opponents, rival bourgeois parties etc. Intra-bourgeois conflicts can be savage when the contradictions of the bourgeois are very sharp. In Greece, and even within the framework of parliamentary governance, there have been times when the intra-bourgeois conflicts were so intense that there was bloodshed. For example, the conflict between the pro-venizelist and the anti-venizelist, in the 1910’s, or the “Trial of the Six” (1922), when the liberal group sent 6 prominent officials of the Popular Party, former prime ministers and ministers, to the firing squad in order to put the blame on them for the defeat in the Asia Minor in 1922. Global history is full of examples of anti-people regimes that were characterized by “emergency” measures to enforce order. Those kinds of regimes are usually temporary, and most of the times the transition to bourgeois parliamentary democracy is smooth and without serious consequences for a large number of their officials, which also proves the continuity of bourgeois power regardless of the form of governance. Those kinds of regimes have even been supported by other capitalist “democratic” states around the world. The example of the USA is characteristic. The country that is presented as the “land of the free”, a state-zenith of democracy, has in its record hundreds of antidemocratic actions, imperialist interventions, imposition and support of dictatorships, attempts to overthrow governments etc., actions that served its interests. This is the democracy of the capitalists.
However, even if the bourgeois liberties existed and were “fully” functioning, they would still be historically outdated. A chasm is separating them from worker’s democracy, the liberties and the rights under the conditions of the abolition of exploitation of man by man.
The Great Lie of the “American Dream”: Capitalism perpetuates poverty in the USA
| July 28, 2017 | 8:51 pm | Analysis, class struggle | No comments

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Great Lie of the “American Dream”: Capitalism perpetuates poverty in the USA

According to a New York Daily News report, earlier this month, the number of homeless people living on New York City’s streets surged by nearly 40% this year, according to the results of an annual count. “There were 3,892 homeless people on the street, the Homeless Outreach Population Estimate done in February found — up 39% since last year, when the number was 2,794, according to results released Wednesday” the report writes.

New York City is of course an example which highlights the great problem of homelessness that affects the United States of America. According to the official data published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) more than half a million people – a quarter of them being children- were homeless during 2015.  On a single night in 2016, writes the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, 549,928 people were experiencing homelessness in the United States. A majority (68%) was staying in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs, or safe havens, and 32% were in unsheltered locations. According to the same report, over one-fifth of people experiencing homelessness were children (22%), 69% were over the age of 24, and nine percent were between the ages of 18 and 24. These are the official statistics- anyone can imagine that the real number of people living on the streets is much larger.

Lets see some more data about homelessness in the capitalist “paradise” of the United States of America:

  • HUD reports that on any given night over 138,000 of the homeless in the US are children under the age of 18. Thousands of these homeless children are unaccompanied according to HUD.
  • Over 40,000 veterans are homeless each night.  Sixty percent of them were in shelters, the rest unsheltered.  Nearly 5000 are female.
  • On a single night in 2016, 194,716 people were homeless in 61,265 families with children, representing 35% of the total homeless population in 2016.
  • On a single night in 2016, there were 35,686 unaccompanied homeless youth, roughly seven percent of the total homeless population and 10 percent of people experiencing homelessness as individuals.
  • In 2016, half of all people experiencing homelessness did so in one of five states: California (22% or 118,142 people); New York (16% or 86,352 people); Florida (6% or 33,559 people); Texas (4% or 23,122 people); and Washington (4% or 20,827 people).

As we can see, in the capitalist “paradise” of the USA, the country of the so-called “American Dream”, in the 21st century, there are hundreds of thousands people who live in the streets, without shelter. Nonetheless, homelessness is just part of the whole issue of poverty and inequality in the United States.

* * *

“As capitalist, he is only capital personified. His soul is the soul of capital. But capital has one single life impulse, the tendency to create value and surplus-value, to make its constant factor, the means of production, absorb the greatest possible amount of surplus-labour. Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks.”  

– Karl Marx, Das Kapital, Volume I, Chapter 10.

* * * 

The numbers about poverty and hunger in the United States of America reveal the real “face” of the capitalist system; a system of social barbarity, wide inequality and immense exploitation. There are 565 billionaires in the USA whose combined net worth is about $2.76 trillion. On the same time, in the same country:

– As of 2015, 43.1 million people (13.5%) live in poverty (The overall poverty rate according to the Supplemental Poverty Measure is 14.3%). – 19.4 million Americans live in extreme poverty. This means their family’s cash income is less than half of the poverty line, or about $10,000 a year for a family of four.

24.4 million (12.4%) of people ages 18-64 live in poverty.

14.5 million (19.7%) children under the age of 18 live in poverty.

4.2 million (8.8%) seniors 65 and older live in poverty.

(Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2016).

In the capitalist “paradise” of the United States- where the “American Dream” has “triumphed”- food insecurity consists a major issue for many households. More specifically:

– As of 2015, 42.2 million Americans live in food-insecure households, including 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children.

– 13% of households (15.8 million households) are estimated to be food insecure.

– 5% of households (6.3 million households) experience very low food security.

– As of 2014, 5.4 million seniors (over age 60), or 9% of all seniors, are estimated to be food insecure.

(Source: Coleman-Jensen, A., Rabbitt, M. P., Gregory, C., & Singh, A. (2016). Household Food Security in the United States in 2015. USDA ERS). 

The above numbers verify the harsh reality of capitalist development in the world’s “richest country”,  the United States of America. On poverty, food insecurity and homelessness we should also add many other issues such as the absence of social security for millions of Americans, the deterioration of living standards for thousands of working class families, racial discrimination, etc.

Like in every other capitalist country, the United States are divided into “two Americas”. The America of the monopolies and the America of the workers. The America of the multimillionaire capitalists and the America of the poor masses. The America of luxury and the America of deep poverty. The America of the capitalist elites and the America of the proletariat which faces a daily exploitation.  The blatant lies of capitalism’s apologists about the supposed success of the “American Dream” and the “opportunities created by the free market economy” have been exposed. The rotten capitalist system reached its limits and can only perpetuate poverty, unemployment, food insecurity, social inequalities, wars, immigration etc.

The only realistic solution for the working people- in the United States and in all over the world – lies in the revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist system and the struggle for a new society, for socialism-communism.


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