Category: Marxism-Leninism
J.V.Stalin- The International Character of the October Revolution (Speech on the 10th Anniversary of the October Revolution)
| December 23, 2017 | 7:19 pm | J. Stalin, Marxism-Leninism, V.I. Lenin | No comments

Saturday, December 23, 2017

J.V.Stalin- The International Character of the October Revolution (Speech on the 10th Anniversary of the October Revolution)

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/12/jvstalin-international-character-of.html
Speech by Joseph Stalin on the occasion of the Tenth Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution; Pravda, November 6-7, 1927. 
Source: J.V.Stalin, Works, Foreign Languages Publishing House,
Moscow, 1954, Vol.10, pp. 244-55.
The October Revolution cannot be regarded merely as a revolution “within national bounds.” It is, primarily, a revolution of an international, world order, for it signifies a radical turn in the world history of mankind, a turn from the old, capitalist world to the new, socialist world.
Revolutions in the past usually ended by one group of exploiters at the helm of government being replaced by another group of exploiters. The exploiters changed, exploitation remained. Such was the case during the liberation movements of the slaves. Such was the case during the period of the uprisings of the serfs. Such was the case during the period of the well-known “great” revolutions in England, France and Germany. I am not speaking of the Paris Commune, which was the first glorious, heroic, yet unsuccessful attempt on the part of the proletariat to turn history against capitalism.
The October Revolution differs from these revolutions in principle. Its aim is not to replace one form of exploitation by another form of exploitation, one group of exploiters by another group of exploiters, but to abolish all exploitation of man by man, to abolish all groups of exploiters, to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat, to establish the power of the most revolutionary class of all the oppressed classes that have ever existed, to organize a new, classless, socialist society.
It is precisely for this reason that the victory of the October Revolution signifies a radical change in the history of mankind, a radical change in the historical destiny of world capitalism, a radical change in the liberation movement of the world proletariat, a radical change in the methods of struggle and the forms of organization, in the manner of life and traditions, in the culture and ideology of the exploited masses throughout the world.
That is the basic reason why the October Revolution is a revolution of an international, world order.
That also is the source of the profound sympathy which the oppressed classes in all countries entertain for the October Revolution, which they regard as a pledge of their own emancipation.
A number of fundamental issues could be noted on which the October Revolution influences the development of the revolutionary movement throughout the world.
1. The October Revolution is noteworthy primarily for having breached the front of world imperialism, for having overthrown the imperialist bourgeoisie in one of the biggest capitalist countries and put the socialist proletariat in power.
The class of wage-workers, the class of the persecuted, the class of the oppressed and exploited hasfor the first time in

the history of mankind risen to the position of the ruling class, setting a contagious example to the proletarians of all countries.
This means that the October Revolution has ushered in a new era, the era of proletarian revolutions in the countries of imperialism.
It took the instruments and means of production from the landlords and capitalists and converted them into public property, thus counterposing socialist property to bourgeois property. It thereby exposed the lie of the capitalists that bourgeois property is inviolable, sacred, eternal.
It wrested power from the bourgeoisie, deprived the bourgeoisie of political rights, destroyed the bourgeois state apparatus and transferred power to the Soviets, thus counter-posing the socialist rule of the Soviets, as proletarian democracy, to bourgeois parliamentarism, as capitalistdemocracy. Lafargue was right when he said, as far back as 1887, that on the morrow of the revolution “all former capitalists will be disfranchised.”
The October Revolution thereby exposed the lie of the Social-Democrats that at the present time a peaceful transition to socialism is possible through bourgeois parliamentarism.
But the October Revolution did not and could not stop there. Having destroyed the old, bourgeois order, it began to build the new, socialist order. The 10 years of the October Revolution have been 10 years of building the Party, trade unions, Soviets, co-operatives, cultural organizations, transport, industry, the Red Army. The indubitable successes of socialism in the U.S.S.R. on the front of construction have clearly shown that the proletariat can successfully govern the country without the bourgeoisie and against the bourgeoisie, that it can successfully build industry without the bourgeoisie and against the bourgeoisie, that it can successfully direct the whole of the national economy without the bourgeoisie and against the bourgeoisie, that it can successfully build socialism in spite of the capitalist encirclement.
Menenius Agrippa, the famous Roman senator of ancient times, was not the only one to uphold the old “theory” that the exploited cannot do without the exploiters any more than the head and other parts of the body can do without the stomach. This “theory” is now the corner-stone of the political “philosophy” of Social-Democracy in general, and of the Social-Democratic policy of coalition with the imperialist bourgeoisie in particular. This “theory,” which has acquired the character of a prejudice, is now one of the most serious obstacles in the path towards the revolutionization of the proletariat in the capitalist countries. One of the most important results of the October Revolution is that it dealt this false “theory” a mortal blow.
Is there any further need to prove that these and similar results of the October Revolution could not and cannot fail to exert an important influence on the revolutionary movement of the working class in the capitalist countries?
Such generally known facts as the progressive growth of communism in the capitalist countries, the growing sympathy of the proletarians of all countries for the working class of the U.S.S.R. and, finally, the many workers’ delegations that come to the Land of Soviets, prove beyond doubt that the seeds sown by the October Revolution are already beginning to bear fruit.
2. The October Revolution has shaken imperialism not only in the centres of its domination, not only in the “metropolises.” It has also struck at the rear of imperialism, its periphery, having undermined the rule of imperialism in the colonial and dependent countries.
Having overthrown the landlords and the capitalists, the October Revolution broke the chains of national and colonial oppression and freed from it, without exception, all the oppressed peoples of a vast state. The proletariat cannot emancipate itself unless it emancipates the oppressed peoples. It is a characteristic feature of the October Revolution that it accomplished these national-colonial revolutions in the U.S.S.R. not under the flag of national enmity and conflicts among nations, but under the flag of mutual confidence and fraternal rapprochement of the workers and peasants of the various peoples in the U.S.S.R., not in the name of nationalism, but in the name of internationalism.
It is precisely because the national-colonial revolutions took place in our country under the leadership of the proletariat and under the banner of internationalism that pariah peoples, slave peoples, have for the first time in the history of mankind risen to the position of peoples that are really free and really equal, thereby setting a contagious example to the oppressed nations of the whole world.
This means that the October Revolution has ushered in new era, the era of colonial revolutions which are being carried out in the oppressed countries of the world in alliance with the proletariat and under the leadership of the proletariat.
It was formerly the “accepted” idea that the world has been divided from time immemorial into inferior and superior races, into blacks and whites, of whom the former are unfit for civilization and are doomed to be objects of exploitation, while the latter are the only bearers of civilization, whose mission it is to exploit the former.
That legend must now be regarded as shattered and discarded. One of the most important results of the October Revolution is that it dealt that legend a mortal blow, by demonstrating in practice that the liberated non-European peoples, drawn into the channel of Soviet development, are not one whit less capable of promoting a really progressive culture and a really progressive civilization than are the European peoples.
It was formerly the “accepted” idea that the only method of liberating the oppressed peoples is the method of bourgeois nationalism, the method of nations drawing apart from one another, the method of disuniting nations, the method of intensifying national enmity among the labouring masses of the various nations.
That legend must now be regarded as refuted. One of the most important results of the October Revolution is that it dealt that legend a mortal blow, by demonstrating in practice the possibility and expediency of the proletarianinternationatist method of liberating the oppressed peoples, as the only correct method; by demonstrating in practice the possibility and expediency of a fraternal union of the workers and peasants of the most diverse nations based on the principles of voluntariness and internationalism. The existence of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which is the prototype of the future integration of the working people of all countries into a single world economic system, cannot but serve as direct proof of this.
It need hardly be said that these and similar results of the October Revolution could not and cannot fail to exert an important influence on the revolutionary movement in the colonial and dependent countries. Such facts as the growth of the revolutionary movement of the oppressed peoples in China, Indonesia, India, etc., and the growing sympathy of these peoples for the U.S.S.R., unquestionably bear this out.
The era of tranquil exploitation and oppression of the colonies and dependent countries has passed away.
The era of liberating revolutions in the colonies and dependent countries, the era of the awakening of the proletariat in those countries, the era of its hegemony in the revolution, has begun.
3. Having sown the seeds of revolution both in the centres of imperialism and in its rear, having weakened the might of imperialism in the “metropolises” and having shaken its domination in the colonies, the October Revolution has thereby put in jeopardy the very existence of world capitalism as a whole.
While the spontaneous development of capitalism in the conditions of imperialism has passed — owing to its unevenness, owing to the inevitability of conflicts and armed collisions, owing, finally, to the unprecedented imperialist slaughter — into the process of the decay and the dying of capitalism, the October Revolution and the resultant dropping out of a vast country from the world system of capitalism could not but accelerate this process, undermining, bit by bit, the very foundations of world imperialism.
More than that. While shaking imperialism, the October Revolution has at the same time created — in the shape of the first proletarian dictatorship — a powerful and open base for the world revolutionary movement, a base such as the latter never possessed before and on which it now can rely for support. It has created a powerful and open centre of the world revolutionary movement, such as the latter never possessed before and around which it can now rally, organizing a united revolutionary front of the proletarians and of the oppressed peoples of all countries against imperialism.
This means, firstly, that the October Revolution inflicted a mortal wound on world capitalism from which the latter will never recover. For that very reason capitalism will never recover the “equilibrium” and “stability” that it possessed before October.
Capitalism may become partly stabilized, it may rationalize its production, turn over the administration of the country to fascism, temporarily hold down the working class; but it will never recover the “tranquillity,” the “assurance,” the “equilibrium” and the “stability” that it flaunted before; for the crisis of world capitalism has reached the stage of development when the flames of revolution must inevitably break out, now in the centres of imperialism, now in the periphery, reducing to naught the capitalist patch-work and daily bringing nearer the fall of capitalism. Exactly as in the well-known fable, “when it pulled its tail out of the mud, its beak got stuck; when it pulled its beak out, its tail got stuck.”
This means, secondly, that the October Revolution has raised to such a height the strength and importance, the courage and the fighting preparedness of the oppressed classes of the whole world as to compel the ruling classes to reckon with them as a new, important factor. Now the labouring masses of the world can no longer be regarded as a “blind mob,” groping in the dark and devoid of prospects; for the October Revolution has created a beacon which illumines their path and opens up prospects for them. Whereas formerly there was no world-wide open forum from which the aspirations and strivings of the oppressed classes could be expounded and formulated, now such a forum exists in the shape of the first proletarian dictatorship.
There is hardly room for doubt that the destruction of this forum would for a long time cast the gloom of unbridled, black reaction over the social and political life of the “advanced countries.” It cannot be denied that the very existence of a “Bolshevik state” puts a curb upon the dark forces of reaction, thus helping the oppressed classes in their struggle for liberation. It is this that explains the savage hatred which the exploiters of all countries entertain for the Bolsheviks.
History repeats itself, though on a new basis. Just as for merly, during the period of the downfall of feudalism, the word “Jacobin” evoked dread and abhorrence among the aristocrats of all countries, so now, in the period of the down fall of capitalism, the word “Bolshevik” evokes dread and abhorrence among the bourgeois in all countries. And conversely, just as formerly Paris was the refuge and school for the revolutionary representatives of the rising bourgeoisie, so now Moscow is the refuge and school for the revolutionary representatives of the rising proletariat. Hatred of the Jacobins did not save feudalism from collapse. Can there be any doubt that hatred of the Bolsheviks will not save capitalism from its inevitable downfall?
The era of the “stability” of capitalism has passed away, carrying away with it the legend of the indestructibility of the bourgeois order.
The era of the collapse of capitalism has begun.
4. The October Revolution cannot be regarded merely as a revolution in the sphere of economic and social-political relations. It is at the same time a revolution in the minds, a revolution in the ideology, of the working class. The October Revolution was born and gained strength under the banner of Marxism, under the banner of the idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat, under the banner of Leninism, which is Marxism of the era of imperialism and proletarian revolutions. Hence it marks the victory of Marxism over reformism, the victory of Leninism over Social-Democratism, the victory of the Third International over the Second International.
The October Revolution has brought into being an impassable chasm between Marxism and Social-Democratism, between the policy of Leninism and the policy of Social-Democratism.
Formerly, before the victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat, Social-Democracy, while refraining from openly repudiating the idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat but doing nothing, absolutely nothing, to bring nearer the realization of this idea, could flaunt the banner of Marxism, and it is obvious that this behaviour of Social-Democracy created no danger whatever for capitalism. Then, in that period, Social-Democracy was formally taken as identical, or almost identical, with Marxism.
Now, after the victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat, when everybody has seen for himself to what Marxism leads and what its victory may signify, Social-Democracy is no longer able to flaunt the banner of Marxism, can no longer coquet with the idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat without creating a certain danger for capitalism. Having long ago broken with the spirit of Marxism, it has found itself compelled to discard also the banner of Marxism; it has openly and unambiguously taken a stand against the offspring of Marxism, against the October Revolution, against the first dictatorship of the proletariat in the world.
Now it has had to dissociate itself from Marxism, and has actually done so; for under present conditions one cannot call oneself a Marxist unless one openly and devotedly supports the first proletarian dictatorship in the world, unless one wages a revolutionary struggle against one’s own bourgeoisie, unless one creates the conditions for the victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat in one’s own country.
A chasm has opened between Social-Democracy and Marxism. Henceforth, the only bearer and bulwark of Marxism is Leninism, communism.
But matters did not end there. The October Revolution went further than drawing a demarcation line between Social Democracy and Marxism; it relegated Social-Democracy to the camp of the direct defenders of capitalism against the first proletarian dictatorship in the world. When Messieurs the Adlers and Bauers, the Welses and Levis, the Longuets and Blums abuse the “Soviet regime” and extol parliamentary “democracy,” these gentlemen mean that they are fighting and will continue to fight for the restoration of the capitalist order in the U.S.S.R., for the preservation of capitalist slavery in the “civilized” states.
Present-day Social-Democratism is an ideological support of capitalism. Lenin was a thousand times right when he said that the present-day Social-Democratic politicians are “real agents of the bourgeoisie in the working-class movement, the labour lieutenants of the capitalist class,” that in the “civil war between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie” they would inevitably take “the side of the ‘Versaillese’ against the ‘Communards.’
It is impossible to put an end to capitalism without putting an end to Social-Democratism in the labour movement. That is why the era of dying capitalism is also the era of dying Social-Democratism in the labour movement.
The great significance of the October Revolution consists, among other things, in the fact that it marks the inevitable victory of Leninism over Social-Democratism in the world labour movement.
The era of the domination of the Second International and of Social-Democratism in the labour movement has ended.
The era of the domination of Leninism and of the Third International has begun.
Inescapable Contradictions

Inescapable Contradictions

– from Greg Godels is available at:
http://zzs-blg.blogspot.com/

Marxists favor the term “contradiction.”

A discussion of “contradiction” as a Marxist technical term can become quite tangled and obscure, particularly when the discussion proceeds to Hegelian philosophy. But some clear and simple things can be said about contradictions without delving deeply:
  • Marxists use the term to indicate a conflict between elements, social forms, forces, processes, or ideas that expresses a fundamental opposition rather than a conflict that arises by accident or happenstance.
  • Contradictions are not resolvable without an equally fundamental or qualitative change in the antagonists or their relations (Mao Zedong, in his writings, chooses to allow for conflicts [“contradictions”] that are non-antagonistic as well).
Thus, the conflict between dominating and dominated social classes (the capitalists and the working class, for example) represents a contradiction since opposition is fundamental to the nature of the classes and cannot be resolved without a radical and qualitative change in their relations. The dominated class must become dominant or it must eliminate the relationship of domination.
In Marxist revolutionary theory, the class contradiction is the most important contradiction, the contradiction that informs social analysis and socialist strategy.
But other contradictions exist in capitalist society, in politics, in economics, in culture, in foreign policy, and in virtually every aspect of life under capitalism. When class contradictions become particularly acute, they manifest in the sharpening of contradictions in every other aspect of the dominant social form. When the contradictions, the underlying conflicts, result in dysfunctionality, Marxists recognize a systemic crisis.
Contradictions Abound!
Today, in the US, in the wake of the greatest economic downturn since the Crash of 1929, contradictions are found in every aspect of public life. The increasingly apparent class contradiction is exemplified by growing inequality, poverty, and social chaos. The explosive opioid epidemic (recognized only because it has crossed the racial and class “railroad tracks”) generates initiatives from all factions of bourgeois politics. Pundits cry out for punitive action or enhanced social service support, sometimes both. But they fail to locate the causes of the epidemic, causes that are located under the surface of bourgeois society. They fail to recognize that desperate acts accompany desperate circumstances. Wherever poverty and social alienation increase, anti-social, harmful behavior rises as well.
The contradiction between a brutal, uncaring, social regimen and the most fragile, the most marginalized people is as old as class society and the thirst for wealth. The economic ravage of the small towns and cities scattered across the Midwest attest to this contradiction. Capitalists exploited the workers for their labor until they could wring no further profit; then they tossed them aside and left them with no good jobs and no hope. Crime and other destructive behaviors will only increase, unless the contradiction is resolved with a departure from the profit-based system, an alternative profoundly alien to the two major political parties.
They, too, are fraught with contradictions. Both the Democratic and Republican Parties score low in poll approval (see, for example, CNN Poll: Views of DemocraticParty hit lowest mark in 25 years); since 2008, both have failed to advance their programs even when enjoying complete legislative and executive dominance (2009-2010, 2017-); and both parties are afflicted with dissension and division.
The fundamental contradiction in US politics arises from the fact that the two dominant political organizations, the Democratic and Republican Parties, are capitalist parties, yet they pretend to represent the interests of the 70-80% of the US population that have nothing in common with the capitalist class and its loyal servants. While the two parties have skillfully posed as popular while unerringly serving elites, the economic crisis, endless wars, and growing inequality have unmasked their duplicity.
Consequently, factions have broken out in both parties. The Republicans have sought to contain the nativists and racists, the religious zealots, and the isolationists and nationalists within the party while maintaining a corporate agenda. The Democrats have similarly attempted to hold the social liberals, the neo-New Dealers, the social democrats, the environmentalists, and the minorities in a party fundamentally wedded to promoting capitalism and market solutions. Neither strategy can escape the contradictions inherent in a system of two capitalist parties.
The Tea Party movement, Trump, and the Bannonites threaten to shatter the Republican Party. The slick corporate Republicans have lost their magic, unloading vitriol on the vulgar, crass Trump, who deviates from the corporate consensus. The Republican infighting exposes the damage in the party.
The Democrats are exposed as well by the fissure between the Sanders followers and those who are so fearful of working people and wholly beholden to Wall Street and corporate money that they can’t even co-exist with Sanders’ mild reformism. The schism is so great that fundraising has nearly collapsed. And the revelations of DNC collusion with Clinton’s campaign confirmed by Donna Brazile, a long-time ranking insider, demonstrate the rigid, undemocratic nature of the organization. The fact that Brazile also improperly fed debate questions to Clinton only serves to highlight the corruption of the Party and its leaders.
While both Parties are expert at diversion and deflection, the depth of the political crisis, the sharpness of the contradictions, have generated levels of hypocrisy and hysteria unseen since the height of the Cold War. After the debacle of the Clinton Presidential campaign, the Democrats, in collusion with many elements of the security services and most of the monopoly media, mounted a shrill anti-Russia campaign. Crudely, they have relied on the emotional remnants of anti-Sovietism to lodge a host of unsubstantiated charges and a campaign of guilt-by-association. To anyone awake over the last half century or so, the charge of “meddling in the US election” is laughable for its hypocrisy. Have we forgotten Radio Free Europe or Radio Marti? Or a host of other examples?
The high flyers of the stock market– the social media giants– added ridiculous claims of Russian sneakiness to appease the powerful investigative committees and deflect from their own profitable, but vile and socially harmful content.
Reminiscent of the worst days of the so-called McCarthy era, the targeted party– in this case the Republicans– recoiled from the struggle for truth and tried to out-slander the Democrats. Today, they are ranting about an obscure, meaningless uranium deal swung by the Democrats with the wicked Russians.
The first fruits of the farcical Mueller Russian fishing expedition– the Manafort indictment– say nothing about Russia and everything about the corruption infecting US political practices. At best, we will discover that Ukrainian and Russian capitalists are just as corrupt as our own.
Other cracks in capitalist institutions signal intractable contradictions. Both the widespread charges of sexual impropriety in the entertainment industry and the tensions between the players and owners in professional football are symptoms of weaknesses in two of capitalism’s most effective instruments of consensus. Both sports and entertainment are critical mechanisms of distraction that dilute political engagement.
The ever-expanding charges of sexual abuse within the giant entertainment monopolies are spreading to other workplaces, like the government and the news media. While the media are aggressively pursuing the prominent actors, directors, producers, government officials, and other high profile suspects, they wittingly ignore the contradiction that underlies these offenses. In most cases, the malignant behavior grows out of the power asymmetry of employer to employee. Invariably, in these instances, the employee’s reluctance to resist, to come forward, to fight back springs from the fear of retaliation, loss of employment, blacklisting, etc. In other words, it is not akin to other sexual abuses that come from misuse of physical power. Instead, these crimes are possible because of economic power, the power afforded by capitalist economic relations. Indeed, these crimes and similar exercises of employer power exist in many more workplaces and far beyond the world of celebrities. Of course, the corporate media are unwilling to explore the general question of employer abuse that extends beyond celebrities to millions of powerless victims.
Similarly, the conflict over standing for the national anthem is a battle between employees– admittedly among the highest paid in the world– and their employers, the owners of the professional football teams. When Houston Texans owner Robert C. McNair called the players “inmates” it was a not too subtle, vulgar reminder to the players that they are subservient to the owners. What emerged as a legitimate protest against the blacklisting of quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been reshaped by management into a battle over workplace rights and the terms and conditions of employment, a fundamental class contradiction.
Who Rules the World?
As long as capitalism has existed in its mature, monopoly form, it has demonstrated an inherent, relentless global predatory tendency, a form of exploitation that Lenin dubbed “imperialism.” For most of the twentieth century, imperialist governments were obsessed with smashing the leading anti-imperialist force, the socialist countries, while, at the same time, maintaining– often with force– colonial and neo-colonial relations with other nations and nation-states. Thus, the leading contradiction of that era was the opposition between the socialist community, along with its allies in the national liberation movements, and its capitalist adversaries (most often led by the US) and their military blocs (NATO, SEATO, etc.). In mid-century, the capitalist offensive took the virulent form of fascism.
With the demise of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the socialist community, the US and its most powerful allies declared global victory. Far too much of the unanchored left accepted this declaration, failing to see the various and varied resistance to US and capitalist hegemony springing up throughout the world as fundamentally and objectively anti-imperialist. Far too many disillusioned leftists retreated to vague, moralistic, and decidedly class-blind notions of human rights or humanitarianism, a “leftism” that squared all too neatly and conveniently with the decidedly self-serving concept of “humanitarian interventionism” concocted by the ideologues of imperialism.
But what many foresaw as an “American 21st Century” proved to be an illusion. The basic contradiction between the US and anti-imperialist forces of resistance and independence and the historic contradiction between US imperialism and its imperialist rivals operate as profoundly as they have at any time in the history of imperialism. The dream of “Pax Americana” dissolved before endless wars and aggressions and the emergence of renewed, new, and undaunted oppositional centers of power.
The long-standing Israeli-US strategy of goading and supporting anti-secular, anti-socialist, and anti-democratic movements in emerging nations, especially in predominantly Islamic nations, has failed, even backfired. Though recruited to stifle anti-capitalist movements, these politically backward forces have turned on their masters to stand against occupation and aggression.
The imperialist reaction to these developments has left failed states, environmental disaster, economic chaos, and disastrous conflict in its wake.
In addition, US and NATO destruction has generated a refugee crisis of monumental proportions, flooding the European Union with immigrants and fueling both a surge of anti-immigrant sentiment and the ensuing growth of nationalist politics. Anti-EU and anti-US sentiment grow accordingly.
While the US has not lost its ability to wreak havoc and destruction, it has clearly failed to secure the stability that it had long sought in order to cement the global capitalist order.
Indeed, there are significant sectors of the ruling class that now benefit from the chaos. The military-industrial sector is undergoing a dramatic revival of production and arms sales thanks to the fear and chaos stoked since the end of the Cold War, particularly with newly invented fears of Russian design and aggression along with constantly rising tensions.
The US energy sector, revitalized by new technologies, is now looking to wrestle markets from their traditional suppliers. Many of the sanctions against Russia and the isolation of Qatar and Iran are about capturing natural gas markets in Europe. In this regard, US capitalism benefits from instability and hostility in the Middle East and Africa, where volatility in energy production can only redound to the more stable US suppliers, protected by US military might. The conflict in Nigeria, continued chaos in Libya, the tension between former Iraqi and Kurdish allies, the confounding and disruptive moves by the traditionally staid Saudis, the destabilizing of Venezuela, and, of course, the sanction war with Russia all advantage US energy production.
This contradiction between the post-Cold War avuncular role of the US in guaranteeing the pathways toward global corporate profits and the contrary role of accepting a multi-polar world and forging US policy solely to advantage US capitalism is intensifying. It is a product of the failure of the US to impose what Kautsky (1914) called “ultra-imperialism,” the illusion of collaborative imperialism.
By employing the Marxist conceptual tool of “contradiction,” we are afforded a coherent picture of the crisis facing the capitalist order, particularly in the US. The picture is revealed to be one impervious to the theoretical programs (or anti-programs) favored by the social democrats or anarchists who dominate the US left (and much of the European left). Without a revolutionary left, the forthcoming debates will only be between defending the idealized “peaceful” global order of a stable, regulated capitalism or those salvaging an inward-looking, vulgar nationalism; it will only be between those dreaming of a mythical kingdom of class harmony with a generous net to capture the most disadvantaged and those leaving fate to market forces. All are roads that have long proved to be dead ends.
The intensifying contradictions of capitalism call for another option: a revolutionary movement for socialism.
Greg Godels
zzsblogml@gmail.com
The Rebirth of the Communist Party of Indonesia

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Rebirth of the Communist Party of Indonesia

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-rebirth-of-communist-party-of.html
The following essay deals with the resumption of the legal activity of the Communist Party of Indonesia after 50 years of prohibition. 

The article offers interesting information about the heroic and tragic history of the once largest non-ruling Communist Party in the world and expresses the optimism that the new generations of indonesian communists will continue the path of the struggle, joining the marxist-leninist movement for the materialization of the communist ideal. 
By Srećko Vojvodić.
Prologue
 
This subject has a big moral importance for us, communists. Here we talk about the Communist Party of Indonesia. Rich is its history of blasts-off, tragedies and bravery of communists, and crimes against them, committed by the bourgeois reaction. Now, after a 50-year long ban, the Communist Party of Indonesia held its Convention and resumed its legal activity in its own country. 
 
Background
 
One of the largest communist parties of the world, one of the largest communist parties of Asia, the Communist Party of Indonesia had, at the moment of its ban in 1965, approximately three million members and followers and, among them, two million members. It was the third most numerous communist party of the world, just after the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and the Communist Party of China (CPCn). 
 
History of that Party began in May 1920. Indonesia is a country, spread over a vast archipelago in South Eastern Asia, which was at that moment a Dutch colony. 
 
Dutch social democrat Henk Sneevliet started gathering his comrades, left social democrats – both Dutchmen and locals, and organized a foundational Congress of a party, which entered the history thereafter as the Communist Party of Indonesia. It carries this name since 1924. 
 
Who was Henk Sneevliet? Already not very young man, at the age of close to 40, he had accumulated a lot of experience of trade union work in the Netherlands, and, as such, was appointed Representative of the Eastern Section of the Comintern. After founding the Communist Party of Indonesia, he went to China, where he stood at the foundation of the Communist Party of China. It was he, who organized, in July 1921, the foundational Congress of the Communist Party of China, in Shanghai. It was also none other than he, who invited to this Congress, among others, a young Beijing University student, Mao Tse-tung, seeing in him the traits of a future communist leader. 
 
After working in the Eastern Section of the Comintern, Henk Sneevliet returned to the Netherlands and then happened his dramatic rupture with the Dutch communist leadership, his switch to the positions of Trotskyism, and then his split with Trotsky. Later on, in the years of the WWII, independent MP of Holland, workers’ representative Sneevliet came to the helm of Dutch underground Resistance and organized the largest strike in the times of the Nazi occupation of the Western Europe against Hitlerism, in November 1941. He was apprehended and executed by the Hitler’s GeStaPo in April 1942. By then he was not yet 60 years old. 
 
The Party, founded by Sneevliet, developed in the same way as many other Eastern Parties of the Comintern – Asian Communist Parties: it went through the White Terror in 1926, through the fight with colonizers, through the Japanese occupation and the armed resistance to the Japanese allies of Hitler. 
 
After the debacle of the Japanese militarism in 1945, Indonesian nationalists, headed by the President Sukarno, began their independence struggle against the Dutchmen and their colonial rule. The CPI supported Sukarno – as any patriotic force should – to what he reciprocated with a dark ingratitude. It was none other than Sukarno who, together with Indonesian nationalists and Islamic generals, staged an armed provocation in 1948, involving Army and armed formations of the Party, whose outcome was a bloody massacre of Indonesian communists, killing of the then Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Indonesia, Munawar Musso and the member of the Politburo, Amir Sjarifuddin, who was Defense Minister in the coalition Government of Communists and Nationalists – the anti-colonialist Government of Sukarno. 
 
However, understanding that he still may need communists in the struggle against Islamic generals and Dutch colonizers, Sukarno stopped short of banning the CP, hoping that its new leaders would be more loyal to him than Munawar Musso and Amir Sjarifuddin, whom he executed. 
 
And, actually, to the helm of the Party came Dipa Nusantara Aidit, Njoto, M. H. Lukman and some others, oriented towards the victorious Communist Party of China and a collaboration of the Communist Party of Indonesia with the CPCn. 
 
By 1951, full legal activity of the CPI was restored and in this year, Indonesian communists adopted their Party Program, containing – as it turned out later – many erroneous points and confusion, which forced the leading Secretary of the CC of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolshevik), I Stalin, to express his criticism of the CPI draft Program. Unfortunately, under the conditions of semi-legality and terror conducted over the CPI by Islamist generals, in the absence of direct connection between the CPI and the AUCP(B), Stalin’s deliberations reached the new CPI leadership only after the adoption of the new Program. 
 
Instead of taking these criticisms into account while developing their activities, CPI leaders wrote a reply to Stalin refuting practically all his considerations and showing the aplomb of nephytes: their leader Aidit was not at that time 30 years old! Only one among the Politburo members, Rinto, who was actually Prof. Iskandar Subekti, knowledgeable Marxist who was fluent in Dutch, English and several other foreign languages, educated in Europe, thoroughly acquainted with the works of classics of Marxism, expressed his dissent and wrote a separate letter to Stalin, asking him to sketch some ideas about perspectives of the Indonesian revolution. To the amazement of Aidit and Njoto, Stalin replied to the letter of crde. Subekti, inviting him and other Indonesian communists to be guests at the 19th Congress of the CPSU in October 1952. 
 
Subekti arrived to Moscow and later on, in December 1952, Dipa Nusantara Aidit with Njoto also came to the capital of the Soviet Union, after attending the Congress of the Communist Party of the Netherlands. So, in the first decade of January 1953 conversations of Stalin with the leadership of the CPI began: about moving forces, perspectives and character of the Indonesian revolution. 

Conversations were fairly interesting and meaningful, comradely. Stalin tried to convince Indonesian communists that his conclusions were correct. All-in-all, he managed to do it.
 
Based on these talks, Stalin composed a large document on 16 February 1953, addressed to Aidit: “On the Character and Moving Forces of the Indonesian Revolution, on the Perspectives of the Communist Movement in East Asia, about Strategy and Tactics of Communists in the Agrarian Question”. De facto, this was the last theoretical work of Stalin, unfortunately unknown in the USSR for a long time. For the very first time it was published in Russian language in 2009, printed directly from his manuscript. This handwritten original is kept in the Presidential Archive of the Russian Federation, Stalin’s Fund. 
 
This last theoretical work of Stalin of 16 February 1953, only two weeks before his passing away, is very interesting, in the first place, because in it he formulated the key point of the Indonesian revolution: the agrarian question. He criticized Indonesian communists since they were writing: “We will fight against feudalism,” without clarifying which remnants of feudalism in the Indonesian society they were talking about and clearly insisted that the CPI must put the slogan about delivery of the land to Indonesian peasants into their private property, without compensation – providing a firm theoretical explanation why it had to be done exactly so, how agrarian situation in Indonesia at that time was different from the agrarian situation in pre-revolutionary Russia, from the agrarian situation in Eastern Europe and why, therefore, in Indonesia it was exactly the slogan about delivery of the land to Indonesian peasants into their private property, without compensation that was necessary, while explaining why a slogan about nationalization of the land would not work in the given situation. 
 
It is exactly in this work where Stalin raised the question of National Front, warning the leadership of the Communist Party of Indonesia about possible absorption of the Party of Communists by the national bourgeoisie, about conversion of the Party into an appendix of the President Sukarno and his clique, so that the communists of Indonesia do not become a bargaining chip in a clan fight between nationalists and Islamists, between direct colonizers and their accomplices, so that they conduct an autonomous line of an alliance of the working class and peasantry and pointed out that the stronger the alliance, the firmer positions of the Party in the National Front would be. 
 
The work is interesting in itself because of its completely undogmatic approach. For instance, while analysing the agrarian situation in Russia on the eve of the October Revolution, Stalin positively evaluates not only the Bolsheviks’ agrarian program but also of the Socialist Revolutionaries (SR), calling them both “socialist parties”.  He further declares that the October was victorious due to the alliance of the working class with peasantry, which materialized politically in common actions of the two socialist parties, Bolsheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries – which was an absolutely non-traditional view in Soviet social sciences of that time! 
 
In this situation, Indonesian CP armed itself, naturally, with all these clarifications. Stalin’s formulations found their place, also, in a new version of the CPI Program, adopted in 1954, and in a large theoretical work of Aidit, published a year later.  Of course, given the circumstances of the Khrushchov’s campaign of discrediting the revolutionary struggle for socialism and communism, under the nonsensical guise of “anti-Stalinism”, Stalin’s name was nowhere mentioned in these documents and his formulations became known only after their text was published in Russian language in 2009. 
 
Practically, the mere fact that Stalin’s suggestions to move the focus of the CPI’s political work to the villages were implemented resulted in such a growth of the CPI in numbers and strength that it became the third most powerful communist party of the world! Mass inflow of peasants, creation of peasants’ associations, led by communists, strengthening of Party’s positions in the workers’ movement, brought about electoral victories, as well as a boost to the reputation of communists in the Indonesian society. Three million members and followers, among which two million were members of the Party and one million: members of youth, trade union, peasants´, women´s and other organizations, led by communists. These numbers speak for themselves. And these numbers are not mythical, they are thoroughly documented. 
 
Growth of social contradictions in Indonesia, lack of solution to the agrarian question, worsening of the working people´s situation, covered by nationalist slogans and the anti-imperialist rhetoric of President Sukarno and his friendship with Khrushchov; resulted in a gradual transition of the CPI into the opposition to the Sukarno’s regime, albeit two of its members still remained ministers in Sukarno’s Cabinet – one of them being the Politburo member Njoto, and in a renewed move to the positions of Maoism – seeing in Mao’s saying that the rifle bears the power a simple solution to all problems of the Indonesian society. 
 
Khrushchov’s actions contributed a lot to it. He had been meeting Sukarno all the time, presenting him exclusive gifts from the USSR Treasury – without consulting anybody about it, calling him “a distinguished progressive figure of our times”, while treating Indonesian communists as his servants. Unlike Stalin, who spared no time or effort to convince them comradely in the validity of his arguments, Khrushchov treated them as a haughtily walking landlord treats his serfs: “Chief has spoken, period! Those who disagree: get out!”  All this contributed to the atmosphere and psychological background for the transition of the CPI leadership onto the Maoist vector of the Party development. And this became one of the most important causes of the tragedy that occurred on 30 September 1965 and of the subsequent debacle of the CPI, of the physical liquidation of almost a million of communists and their followers at the hands of bourgeois reaction. 
 
 
Looming explosion
 
On the surface, and in the hearts of a sea of illiterate but devout peasants, Indonesia was run by Sukarno’s pseudo-revolutionary phraseology about “Indonesian socialism” – which declaratively fitted everybody – from landless villagers to the hereditary landlords, with the comprador bourgeoisie and the swelling bureaucracy in between. In truth, there were some significant achievements, mostly in health care and education, but the economy generally declined: in early sixties, its output was below 1940 levels. Industry worked at ¼ of its capacity, mostly because of a chronic lack of raw materials, and the budget received in 1961 only 1/8 of the projected income from the state sector! Even the expensive imported equipment massively idled in the absence of any systematic planning, was often left to decay, or was just stolen away. 
 
Under such circumstances, regular financing of the Army dried up and the commanders turned to the business, down to the plunder of state property, smuggling and even drug trafficking. Many young officers, born in scarcity, quickly merged with compradors and landlords and all of it inevitably favoured a development of militarist sentiments and worldview, adverse to the politicians in general, but particularly to communists. 
 
Preparing conditions for the establishment of their dictatorship and suppression of all resistance attempts, Indonesian militarists focused their main efforts to the villages. From the times when the state of emergency was introduced, in 1957, Army commanders ran all village affairs: they appointed and replaced village elders, trained administrators and so on. In fact, Army cupula decided, as an American journalist expressed it, “to enter a competition with the CPI in the field of the work with masses”. Then Defense Minister, Gen. Nasution, assigned to the troops, relieved after Irian Conflict with the Netherlands between 1961 and 1963, a “civic mission”, naming it “Operation Work”. Those soldiers upturned virgin soil together with villagers, built and repaired housing, schools, health centers, roads, canals and dams; they distributed food and seeds to the villagers, whom they taught to become literate and to purify the water. In light of a constant protraction of the agrarian reform, this “civic mission” of the Army attracted many peasants. However, useful work was always accompanied by propagandistic brain-washing of both soldiers and peasants in an anti-communist spirit. 
 
According to Nasution’s doctrine, “civic” activity of the military was interspersed with the Army preparation for the “defense of the country” together with peasants, as in the times of the war against Dutch. However, this time “the enemy” was not external, but internal. Villages were not been prepared so much for a war, but for mass terror. Armed escorts of the landlords, detachments of religious fanatics and criminal gangs were all merged into a system of pogrom-terrorist formations. As in Latin America, they were going to become known, several year afterwards, as “death squads” – according to the name of one of them. 
 
Tacking of the regime between antagonistic social and class blocks was gradually exhausting itself, summing close to the transition of all power into the hands of one of them. This general national crisis could have been resolved only in one of the two ways: either through a 
 
· revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the working people, with the hegemony of the proletariat, which would open a socialist perspective to the country, or through a 
 
· reactionary dictatorship of the exploitative classes, with the hegemony of corrupted bureaucracy (just 100 ministers!) amalgamated with uniformed entrepreneurs. Communists used to call them together “cabirs” (capitalists-bureaucrats). 
 
The clash was inexorably approaching. In August 1965 President publicly joined the call of the CC of the CPI to “strengthen the revolutionary offensive”. Prosecutor General declared that the judiciary is ready for liquidation of “cabirs”. In September, left forces went several times to the streets of Jakarta under the slogan “Death to cabirs!” On 8th and 9 September, protesters-communists besieged US Consulate in Surabaya. On 14 September, Aidit called the Party to watchfulness. Finally, on 30 September People’s Youth and Women’s Union organized in Jakarta a mass demonstration against inflation and economic crisis. On the eve of it, at a student rally, President openly called to “smash Generals who became protectors of the counterrevolutionary elements.” 
 
If this is not a revolutionary situation, what is? 
 
However, as Lenin warned in ‘The Collapse of the Second International’: “…it is not every revolutionary situation that leads to revolution; revolution arises only out of a situation in which the [elsewhere] mentioned objective changes are accompanied by a subjective change, namely, the ability of the revolutionary class to take revolutionary mass action strong enough to break (or dislocate) the old government, which never, not even in a period of crisis, ‘falls’, if it is not toppled over.” Specifically, he pointed out: “You cannot win with the vanguard only. Victory requires that not only the proletariat but also really broad masses of the working people, oppressed by the capital, arrive through their own experience to the position of either direct support of the vanguard, or, at least, benevolent neutrality towards it and a full inability to support its enemy.” 
 
Therefore, the objective character of the mass base of Indonesian counterrevolution showed that, in that situation, it was useless, and even worse than that, it was mortally dangerous to wait for a more favourable balance of forces. There was just one way to prevent the catastrophe: using all chances to elevate the revolution to a new, people’s democratic stage, opening not only to the proletariat but also to the petty bourgeois masses a visible perspective of a better life. 
 
The lost battle
 
On 30 September 1965 a group of young military officers, mostly belonging to the Presidential Guard and the Air Force, tried to capture and destroy the top brass of the Ground Army, standing on Islamist positions. Five generals and their entourage were killed but the main figure among the top commanders captured by left wing officers, Ground Army Chief of Staff Nasution escaped, hid and then launched, together with the Ground Army Commander Suharto, a counter attack on the Revolutionary Council, constituted by these young left oriented officers. Ground Army had numerical superiority and secured support of Airborne Troops and the Navy. Their joint numerical superiority over the Presidential Guard and the Air Force was so huge that at the end of next day, 1 October, smashed the Revolutionary Council, which practically fell apart under a fierce attack of Suharto and Nasution troops. Leaders of the Revolutionary Council hid in Halim Air Force Base and the Army launched an onslaught on it. 
 
Exactly at that moment, neither a day before nor a day later, CPI leadership declared its support of the Revolutionary Council and the 30 September Movement! At the moment when it already fell apart it was quite clear that its adversaries were winning. It is understood that it was not easy to convene a congress, conference or the Central Committee plenum. But the Chairman of the Central Committee, Aidit, did not even convene a session of the Politburo. Five of them, Aidit, Njoto, Aidit’s First Deputy Sakirman, his Second Deputy Lukman and the Politburo member Sudisman made the decision to support the Revolutionary Council. Then, in the morning of 2 October, when Halim Air Force Base was practically seized by the enemies of the Revolution – Islamist commanders – the central organ of the CPI published a call to support the Revolutionary Council – which, at that moment, already did not exist – and a declaration of the CPI position. 
 
Catastrophe
 
It goes without saying that all of it was taken as a pretext for a mass killing of communists by forces of Islamist fanatics. They burnt the Central Committee building, editorial office of the central CPI organ and its print shop. All along the country, enraged fanatics started killing communists, in most bestial ways. On the chests of captured communists and their family members, they used to cut out hammers and sickles, and five-pointed stars; then they did the same on their backs and foreheads; they were cutting off their genitals; cutting open their stomachs; impaled them on stakes, were beheading them in villages to put stockades around such villages, with their heads on top… Mass anti-communist terror in October 1965 took the lives of approximately 500 000 CPI members while its leadership hoped Sukarno would protect them. Alas, nothing of that kind happened! On 6 October, Sukarno delivered his cabinet minister and member of the CPI Politburo Njoto to the military, which executed him the next day; then on 7 October, First Deputy of the CPI CC Chairman, Sakirman, and Second Deputy of the CPI CC Chairman, Lukman were executed. Aidit himself run away into a village, trying to organize a resistance, but was captured on 22 November 1965 by paratroopers and shot. Sudisman, who led the Party after killing of Aidit, Lukman. Sakirman and Njoto, survived until 1967, while organizing underground resistance in the cities, but was captured by counter-intelligence units of Admiral Sudomo and was also killed, after being bestially tortured. 
 
On 12 March 1966, under the pressure of Suharto and Nasution, President Sukarno, Khrushchov’s buddy and friend, made a decision to ban the Communist Party of Indonesia. Next month, trade unions were banned, as well as other mass organizations led by communists. 
 
Islamist fanatics were replaced by Admiral Sudomo’s counter-intelligence troops and military Special Forces, who launched mass anti-communist terror. Killings on the streets, detention of communists and their family members in concentration camps and their executions therein, killings at hands of soldiers, Special Forces, counter-intelligence troops, Islamist death squads… 
 
It seemed like a dark shadow had covered Indonesia. However, a human factor played, as always, its role and Admiral Sudomo’s counter-intelligence officers made a miscalculation. Member of the CPI CC Politburo, Iskandar Subekti, pushed aside by Aidit and Njoto as a pro-Soviet element – theoretician, intellectual and orator but not organizer, the man who never held in his hands anything heavier than a pen or pencil, remained out of the zone of influence of Admiral Sudomo’s counter-intelligence officers, who concluded that he would emigrate to the Soviet Union, to write memoirs at a Moscow suburban datcha, or would be lecturing Marxism in European universities. 
 
However, Iskandar Subekti did not emigrate but went instead to rural Eastern Java, where communists had the strongest influence in peasants associations, and launched a peasants’ insurrection! Together with his comrades in arms: Indonesian YCL leader Sukatno and the trade union deputy chairman Ruslan Wijayasastra. 
 
Peasants’ Army started implementing the agrarian reform – the one Stalin wrote about back in 1953! Distribution of landlords’ lands to the peasants without compensation made it a really mass force. Armed detachments of communist not only put fight to the Islamist fanatics but crushed their gangs, expelling them form their territory, and began the onslaught on the military and police forces of Sukarno’s regime. At the same time, preparations were underway for a constitution of a joint front of all insurgents’ detachments on all islands of Indonesian archipelago, for the establishment of a joint command and the Indonesian Red Army. After their first victories, they acquired heavy weaponry. 
The first ones who picked up the fight were the US diplomats, US spies – scared that Indonesia would become another Viet Nam. They put heavy pressure on Sukarno and on Suharto; provided financial and technical support to Indonesian Army, as well as armament and instructors. They silenced the existing contradictions between Malaysian and Indonesian regimes, enabling Suharto to withdraw troops from Malaysian border, and organized, de facto, a reprisal operation against liberated red territories. 
 
Having had both numerical and technical superiority, as well as better soldiers’ training, Indonesian Army destroyed last hotbeds of resistance in 1968. 
 
Prof. Iskandar Subekti himself, the one who used to meet Stalin, fell, and his comrades Ruslan and Sukatno fell, as well – together with many thousands of Indonesian communists… 
 
Epilogue
 
A shadow of bourgeois reaction finally fell on the country and Sukarno, having sold everybody and everything, was no more necessary to Islamist Generals and was thrown away in the political nothingness. Suharto became country’s President and Nasution – his Vice President. 
 
For more than thirty years the country was in the grip of anti-communist terror. Communists were killed or sent to concentration camps and jails. The last death sentences for participation in the events of 30 September 1965 were carried out at the very decline of Suharto’s regime, in 1996. For thirty years people were sitting in jails, waiting in death rows. However, the Asian financial crisis erupted. Since Suharto and Nasution’s regime did not solve any of the burning economic problems, not only did not improve the situation of the working people but, actually, worsened it, massive popular demonstrations washed away this regime to mere political garbage. 
 
Civic President Abdurrahman Wahid, who was the first elected President of Indonesia after the resignation of Suharto in 1998, declared a general amnesty and people who were sitting thirty and more years in jails and concentration camps started coming out. In 2000 he tried to legalize the activity of the Communist Party, invoking the Constitution of Indonesia. Generals, however, objected to it. 
 
Equally unsuccessful was the second attempt to legalize the CPI, in 2009 – local Islamists objected against it arguing that it is not admissible to have in Indonesia a political party that openly declares its atheism. 
 
Stubborn buds
 
Nonetheless, in 2004 and after forty years, all limitations in regards to the civic rights of communists were removed. Marxist circles started to pop up, as well as communist organizations in companies, students residences, etc. In addition to it, the External Committee of the CP of Indonesia was working during all 50 years among the numerous Indonesian emigration, in Europe and China, leading Indonesian left activists – although without direct connection with the homeland. 
 
Eventually, the growth of social contradictions, development of the class struggle, development of capitalism in Indonesia, as well as the courage and tenacity of Indonesian communists forced the regime to retreat. 
 
Here we are: in June 2016, the CP of Indonesia resumes its legal activity. 
 
However, the authorities did not lift the existing ban. Therefore, the coming congress of the CP of Indonesia will be counted as first, and not eight – after the previous, seventh, in 1962, as if the Party is being constituted from scratch. Nevertheless, the Party will keep its name: the Communist Party of Indonesia, and its foundational symbols: the red flag with hammer and sickle and the five-pointed star. It holds to the ideology of Marxism-Leninism and collective leadership. 
 
The Party will unite all those, who remained loyal to the communist ideas, during long decades underground, in Suharto’s dungeons, or in the emigration, all those who were and remained communists. 
 
Conclusions
 
The resumption of the legal activity of Indonesian communists is in itself an important moral event, regardless of how the CPI will develop further, which role it will be playing in the political and social life of its country and how much communists will manage to win the confidence of masses, of the working people. 
 
It shows that the ideas of communism cannot be quartered, shot down or burned alive. They cannot be killed or banned. Even after a fifty-year long ban, as it happened in Indonesia, they will win their way, under the same red flag with hammer and sickle and the five-pointed star. This is the ideology, founded by our great teachers: Marx, Engels and Lenin! 
 
We are sure that the new generation of Indonesian communists will continue traditions of their teachers: Munawar Musso, Iskandar Subekti and many, many others, who fell at the hands of Islamists, military and bourgeois reaction. 
 
We are sure that the Communist Party of Indonesia will join the international communist movement, the army of fighters for socialism-communism. 
 
Therefore, we wholeheartedly wish to the Indonesian communists, on behalf of so many comrades, victories in the struggle for our common cause, for the materialization of our communist ideal! 
 
In summarizing: communism cannot be killed, cannot be banned. Red idea, idea of social justice and brotherhood of the workers of all lands, of the social equality will win, regardless of the obstacles! 
 
So it will be! 
 
June 2016.
Main sources: 
· The presentation by Vladimir M. Soloveichik on the Leningrad Internet TV, on 27 June 2016 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMA1akb535g) 
· The book ТЯЖКИЙ УРОК ИСТОРИИ: К 50-летию антикоммунистического геноцида в Индонезии автора А.В. Харламенко © Рабочий Университет им. И.Б. Хлебникова 2007 – 2016 https://prometej.info/blog/istoriya/tyazhkij-urok-istorii/
· The book Pretext for Mass Murder: The September 30th Movement and Suharto’s Coup d’Etat in Indonesia, by John Roosa, Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 2006.
The Communist Party of Canada’s contribution to the 19th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties

CPC contribution to 19th International Meeting of Communist & Workers’ Parties

October 4, 2017

The Communist Party of Canada’s contribution to the 19th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties

We are honoured to bring greetings to this historic gathering on the centenary of the Great October Socialist Revolution.

Great October is the historic marker between all class divided, exploitative and oppressive societies heretofore; and the end of the exploitation of one human being by another achieved with the victory of Soviet power in Russia.  The epoch of the transition from capitalism to socialism was irrevocably opened for the working class to pass through, according to the objective and subjective conditions in each country. 

As Lenin said, the road to socialism is not straight like the Nevsky Prospect.  The loss of the USSR showed that the transition period is intense – a life and death struggle with imperialism, in which socialist states can be overthrown and great setbacks sustained.  But the political struggle of the working class and its allies for socialism cannot be stopped and will prevail, because the working class is the grave-digger of capitalism, as Marx proved.  This is the irreconcilable contradiction of capitalism that foretells its inevitable passing.

Imperialism has seized the moment to drive the world to the brink of world war and environmental devastation, and to unleash the forces of reaction and fascism aimed to destroy socialism, to overthrow socialist and progressive governments, to eliminate the Communist and Workers’ parties.

US imperialism’s threat to “totally destroy” DPRK, to overthrow governments in Venezuela and Syria, and to effect regime change in Cuba, is an invitation to world war and nuclear catastrophe.  US imperialism is sliding towards fascism.  The growth of fascist movements and parties globally, of austerity, xenophobia, racism and misogyny, is imperialism’s response to the changed balance of forces after 1991.

We live in a very dangerous time, facing the stark choice of socialism or barbarism.   We must soberly assess how to roll-back the threat of fascism, reaction and war, and how to advance the struggle for fundamental social transformation which working people increasingly seek, despite growing anti-communist campaigns.

In Canada, nascent fascist movements are also blooming, given new life by developments in the US and Europe.  These include Soldiers of Odin, PEGIDA, and La Meute.  They prey on the insecurity and fear of working people who are victims of the capitalist crises and who are aware that there is no recovery for them, while the biggest corporations rake in super-profits, lay-off workers, drive down wages and pensions, and demand social spending cuts.  Social democratic governments and parties, including in Canada, continue to offer prescriptions to better manage capitalism.

In Canada, the Trudeau government was elected on a platform promising peace, jobs, democracy, equality, and redress for Indigenous Peoples, most of which they have abandoned.  Trudeau has bowed to US demands to increase support for NATO and NORAD, and will increase military spending by 70%.  Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland (grand-daughter of a Ukrainian fascist collaborator) has stick-handled the government’s pro-US positions, including threats to Venezuela, and permanent stationing of Canadian troops in Latvia and Ukraine.   We vigorously oppose these policies, and campaign for peace and disarmament, withdrawal from NATO and NORAD, and cutting current military spending by 75%.  We are working hard to build the peace movement, and in particular the Canadian Peace Congress, affiliate of the World Peace Council.

The climate change crisis, causing major disasters this year, has forced itself onto the global agenda.  The struggle for climate justice must be a priority for our movement.  Socialism will prevail, provided the globe has not been destroyed by war and environmental devastation.

The NAFTA negotiations are collapsing, killed by US protectionism.  A revived Trans Pacific Trade and Investment Partnership is on the horizon.  We have campaigned hard against these deals and capitalist globalization generally, designed to cement corporate control of the world’s resources and markets, eliminating national sovereignty.

We fight for mutually beneficial, multi-lateral trade that includes long-term credits for developing countries.

We have closely followed developments in Catalonia and Kurdistan.  Like other parties, we condemn the use of force by the Spanish government against the Catalan people and their struggle for national self-determination, a right that Lenin invoked as inviolable for Marxist Leninists.

Canada is a multi-national state, created at the point of a gun, after British colonialism defeated France in North America in 1763 and then subdued the French speaking populations in what is now Quebec.  During capitalism’s rise, colonial governments aimed to exterminate or forcibly assimilate Indigenous Peoples.  This unequal and involuntary union of oppressed and oppressor has been maintained by force and violence of the Canadian state ever since.

While the CPC does not support the option of Quebec secession, because it will weaken the struggle of the working class as a whole against capitalism and for socialism, we unequivocally support the right of Quebec and other nations in Canada to self-determination and to secession if they so choose.  This puts the onus on the English speaking nation to offer a new, equal and voluntary partnership as the basis for unity in Canada, one which recognizes the national rights of all, including the right of each to leave, in a new democratic Constitution.  This is the option we favour and campaign for.

In conclusion comrades, we thank the CPRF for hosting this historic meeting in Leningrad, the cradle of the Great October Socialist Revolution.

We express our confidence in the unity and coordinated action of the Communist and Workers’ parties, in our historic struggle for socialism, peace, and a sustainable global environment.

Long live Marxism-Leninism!

Hasta la Victoria Siempre!

Delivered by CPC leader Elizabeth Rowley on behalf of the Central Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Canada to the 19th Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties held in Leningrad, November 2-3rd, 2017.

Speech by KKE GS Dimitris Koutsoumbas in Leningrad: “Hold high the flag of Marxism-Leninism!”

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Speech by KKE GS Dimitris Koutsoumbas in Leningrad: “Hold high the flag of Marxism-Leninism!”

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/11/speech-by-kke-gs-dimitris-koutsoumbas.html
The following text is the speech of the Secretary General of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Dimitris Koutsoumbas at the 19th International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties that takes place in Leningrad, Russia. 
 
Dear comrades, representatives
of the Communist and Workers Parties,
 
We are particularly moved to be here in Leningrad, at the meeting being hosted by the CP of the Russian Federation, precisely 100 years after the Great Socialist October Revolution.
 
We continue to call Petrograd, Leningrad, the name that it took in honour of the leader of the world historically important revolution that changed the fortune and course of humanity, inaugurating the beginning of the end of capitalist barbarity  and the dawn of a new society; the name of the founder of the young workers’ state, the first socialist democracy known to mankind, irrespective of the fact that this course was interrupted in 1991, after tragic mistakes and weaknesses that allowed the restoration of capitalism.

We are firmly convinced that the earth will become red in any case, red with life and creativity and that the red flag will be raised again in Leningrad, in Moscow, all over Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union, in Europe, in Asia, in America, in Africa, in Oceania, all over the world. The KKE feels particular pride, because on the first day when the red flag was being brought down from the Kremlin, it had the courage to declare in Rizospastis  “Comrades, hold the flag high! Hope lies in the struggle of the peoples!”

 
Dear comrades,
The study of history, the class struggle itself confirms a general fundamental conclusion: the struggle for power is objective when the class that is in power, in the specific historical context, represents a historically obsolete socio-economic formation, while the class that can assert power is the motor force of the new, higher socio-economic formation.
 
History has demonstrated that in class societies the class conflicts are always violent, precisely because the very concept and the essence of power and the struggle for it entail imposition, violence. The radical changes in terms of the character of power only come about through revolutions, i.e. the movement of masses, under the leadership of the emerging class in each phase and guided by its political party, its political representatives. Such were all the bourgeois revolutions and subsequently the proletarian ones, while before the bourgeois revolutions, the radical changes were also brought about by wars, with the invasion and military superiority of peoples-tribes that possessed more developed means of production.
In the struggle for power, as well as during the development and prevalence of the new social relations, progress is not linear and upward, but there are several zigzags, leaps and setbacks.
Dear comrades,
Being fully aware of all the above, at the same time we must not forget the greatest lesson of the October Revolution:
the emerging force, the working class, with its revolutionary movement can play the leading role in the cause of social progress, in the transition from the old mode of production and organization of society to the new communist one.
And this is what happened in October in Russia. In a very short period of time, centuries of backwardness and pre-capitalist vestiges were swept away. The achievements in Soviet Russia and later in the USSR were attained in conditions of imperialist interventions, permanent threats by the imperialist centres, the undermining of production.
 
There is no way they can convince us that the course of the populations in the endless expanse of the Tsarist empire, their general political level would be as it is today without the victory of the October Socialist Revolution, without the beginning of socialist construction. The same is true for the other countries of socialist construction in Europe, Asia and America.
The achievements of socialism in the USSR, even if they later suffered a catastrophic setback, cannot be compared to the current situation of the working class in capitalism. Likewise,  we cannot compare the level of capitalism of the 21st, 20th and even 19th centuries with what was provided by the newly emerging capitalist relations in the 14th century in the urban centres of Italy.
The experience of socialist construction indicates the trend for the rapid development of society as a whole, the amazing increase of the level of social prosperity. However, it cannot show us what it would really be like today, when science, knowledge, labour potential and productivity have objectively reached even higher levels. In general, the bourgeois criticism of the history of the USSR conceals that it constituted the first historical steps of the immature level of communist society.
This what the younger generations should be aware of, in particular the youth of our countries, so that they do not easily fall into the trap of the deliberate distortion that is promoted with a “scientific” camouflage. Of course the various historical researches who serve capitalism today know that the upsurge of the labour movement all over the world had a solid basis, namely the impact that the achievements of the Soviet Union have had for decades.
However, We, the communists know that we have the duty not to conceal the weaknesses of our movement, but openly criticize them in order to get rid of them once and for all. For that reason, at our meetings there is no room for verbalisms, big words and mere applause. Our meetings should focus on the essential presentation of views that will contribute to the correct assessment of the past as well as to the clear definition of the present in order to be able to make a leap into the future.
For that reason, the experience from October Revolution is inexhaustible and above all timely. This is the basis on which the communists from all over the world should rely on, enriched with the experience from the other socialist revolutions that followed within a strictly defined historical context.
The victory of socialism –as a first immature phase of communism- against capitalism has demonstrated that the working class, as the only truly revolutionary class, has the historical duty to complete its basic tasks:
 To overthrow, smash the exploiters i.e. the bourgeois class which is their main economic and political representative; to beat their resistance and thwart their attempts to reinstate the yoke of capital, wage slavery.
 To attract and lead under the revolutionary vanguard of the Communist party, not only the industrial proletariat, either as a whole or its vast majority, but the entire mass of the working people and the people exploited by capital and monopolies; to enlighten them, organize and educate them through the process of a tough battle and class conflict against the exploiters.
 At the same time, it must eliminate and render harmless the inevitable wavering between the bourgeois class and the proletariat, between the bourgeois power and the working class power, that the middle strata, the small-proprietors in agriculture, trade, crafts and other services of various scientific fields will manifest, as well as by state employees, all of which represent numerous sections in all capitalist countries.
 the success of the victory against capitalism requires a proper relationship between the party that leads the revolutionary change, the Communist Party, and the revolutionary class, the working class, as well as with the working masses and the exploited people as a whole. Only the Communist Party can lead the masses in the most decisive struggle against capitalism, imperialism, provided that its members are committed communists, steeled and educated by their participation in the class revolutionary struggle, and provided that it manages to become part of the life of the working class and consequently the exploited masses as a whole and it gains the trust of the working class and the people. 
 Only the guidance of this Party enables the proletariat to release the power of its revolutionary assault, to eliminate the resistance of the labour aristocracy, which is bought off by the bourgeoisie,  as well as of the corrupt and compromised reformist, opportunist trade unionists and achieve the victory. Only the workers and the other popular strata who are liberated from capitalist slavery can develop at the utmost their initiatives and activities through their new institutions which emerge from the revolutionary process, as they were organized for the first time in history in the working class power in the soviets in Russia. Only in that way can they achieve the participation in government , which they are deprived of during the bourgeois power, despite the illusions fostered regarding their participation. The working class, participating in the organs of state power from the bottom up, is actually learning through its own experience how to build socialism, how to develop a new voluntary social discipline. It forms, for the first time in history, a union of free people, a union of workers in a new society, in a society without the exploitation of man by man.
 The conquest of political power by the proletariat does not entail the end of class struggle against the bourgeois class.  On the contrary, it renders this struggle “extremely broad, sharpened, relentless” as Lenin noted. In this framework we should pay particular attention on the following assessment which all of us have confirmed in practice: any inconsistence or generally any ideological-political weakness in revealing the revisionist, opportunist, reformist forces may significantly increase the danger of the overthrow of  working class power by the bourgeois class that will utilize these forces for the counterrevolution as has happened many times in history. 
 In order for our course to be truly victorious all CPs must elaborate a revolutionary strategy in their countries and this attempt must embrace the international communist movement. The experience of the Bolsheviks in this direction, enriched with the experience from all socialist revolutions, with the experience of the revolutionary movement in each respective country must serve as a beacon in this process. The fact that this experience was not assimilated and did not prevail thereafter and that the character of the revolution was determined on the basis of other mistaken criteria requires our serious reflection.
 Today, in conditions of a general setback, of a negative correlation of forces at an international level and in each region separately, each communist party has the duty to intensify the preparation of the working class, on a daily basis with hard  ideological-political work and class oriented activity for the revolutionary upsurge to come. Because, our era continues to be an era of transition from capitalism to socialism. The era of capitalism’s overthrow was inaugurated by the October Revolution 1917 that paved the way and marked the beginning of socialist revolutions. For that reason, we consider timely the words of Lenin  that the start was made and the proletarians of which nation will complete this process is not important.  For that reason, we do not fall back, we do not retreat; we are deeply convinced that we have to carry through this task.
 
Dear comrades,
The 100th anniversary of the October Revolution finds the International Communist Movement, as a whole, deeply divided,  faced with enormous difficulties, in a relatively perplexed situation, despite the partial positive steps made in separate countries with the undeniable effort of many vanguard leaderships and entire party organizations in various country.
The unity of the International Communist Movement in the 21st century must be based on certain essential indisputable principles.
1
 Our theory is Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. The role of the Communist Party is irreplaceable. Socialism is more timely and necessary that it has ever been in the history of humanity. The timeliness and necessity of socialism, the socialist character of the revolution do not depend on the correlation of forces at each time.
The bourgeois class has lost its progressive role even before the revolution of 1917. It finds itself in the era of reaction, of monopoly capitalism, namely imperialism; capitalism in its last stage that is in decay. As the experience from October Revolution has shown, there is no room for any cooperation-alliance with the bourgeois class or any sections of it in the name of defending bourgeois democracy or avoiding any “pro-war powers”. The bourgeoisie and the bourgeois power, as a whole, undermine and suppress workers’ and people’s rights, achievements. In their “peaceful conditions” they prepare wars. Τhe consolidation of the anti-capitalist-antimonopoly struggle, of the struggle for socialism requires  the alliance of the working class with the poor farmers and the self-employed craftsmen.
2
 Our answer to the question “reform or revolution” is revolution because no organ of bourgeois power can be humanized. The line of social democracy since the beginning of the previous century until today has completely failed, it has caused great damage, it led to the defeat of the revolutionary communist movement, it assimilated working masses in the capitalist exploitative system, it led militant, progressive forces in favour of social development to be disarmed. 
3
 The socialist construction as a first immature phase of the communist society highlighted the scientific laws that the revolutionary vanguard must be aware of and not violate so as to eradicate consciously and methodically the seeds of counterrevolution. More specifically, the theory and practical implementation of “market socialism” is disastrous for  socialist construction, whether it is used to justify the toleration of capitalist relations or the long term support of the small commodity production or the long-term distribution of the social product in the form of trade. In these three instances, in each one separately and altogether, central planning is undermined as well the socialist character of the ownership over the means of production. As a result, the class state power is undermined and the counterrevolutionary forces are being recreated, developed and strengthened. Thus, instead of the victory of communism we return to capitalism as it finally happened with the developments of 1991 being the milestone of this process.
4
 The forms and the modes of this setback are not that important. In the USSR this happened gradually through the opportunist sliding that started in 1956 and broke out violently in 1991 with the final dissolution of the USSR and the CPSU and the ascending of new capitalist forces to power that exercised state power in the form of bourgeois parliamentary democracy. Elsewhere, this may happen gradually, with the CP maintaining state power and following a clear course of capitalist restoration and consolidation of the capitalist relations of production. The capitalist relations are bound to take the upper hand, even in cases where they have not prevailed yet, no matter if this course is presented as or is honestly considered to be a temporary solution. The result will be a new wave of confusion and disillusionment among the working masses and the people. This line is the beginning of the end of our perspective. Historical experience has demonstrated that the problems that arose in the course of socialist construction were mistakenly interpreted as inherent weaknesses of central planning. The solution was sought in the expansion of market, which was a step backwards, instead of making a step forward expanding and strengthening the communist relations of production.
5
 Today, in the 21st century, capitalism in its imperialist stage prevails at international level. The socialist relations – remnants of the socialist past – that survive in some countries, exist only to remind us that they are the swansong of the first attempt of socialist construction that began in 1917 and continued in several countries during the 20th century. In the final analysis, it is not possible for two kinds of production relations to coexist for a long time with various forms in the framework of a new superior social system like socialism-communism i.e. the exploitative capitalist relations and the ones that lead to their abolition, the socialist ones. The one or the other kind shall prevail. Our worldview and the historical experience have proven that their coexistence can only serve as a vehicle for counterrevolution.
6
 In the framework of this complicated situation inter-imperialist competition is sharpening  as well as the great contradictions over the division of the markets, the control of the energy resources and their transport routes, the geopolitical control and the upgrading of each country in the region and generally. New alliances and blocks are being created that lead to the creation of axes and anti-axes, increasing the danger of involvement in wars, at local and regional level, as well as the possibility of a generalized imperialist war. In any case, it is certain that the regional confrontations and wars will continue as well as the involvement of stronger regional powers and imperialist centers by means of direct military involvement or through diplomatic, political  means, economic war etc.
7
 In this confrontation the international communist movement and each communist party separately cannot stand in puzzlement. It must elaborate its own line for the struggle in each country, in each continent and internationally: a line for the overthrow of the imperialist barbarity that breeds economic crises, poverty, unemployment and wars or “peace” with the gun to the people’s head. For that reason, it is essential to study historical experience, to consciously reject mistaken positions of previous decades that led the revolutionary forces to political disarmament, perplexity and ineffectiveness. Every communist party must elaborate a line for the disengagement of their countries and their people from imperialist interventions and wars, defending the sovereign rights of each country; a line which will lead to the defeat of the bourgeois class which is attacking, and simultaneously a line of rupture with the domestic bourgeois class, aiming at its overthrow that will bring about real peace and prosperity for people and not the return to the previous situation that will prepare new crises, military interventions and wars in the name of the national interest . At the same time, it is necessary to elaborate and promote suitable slogans that will facilitate and escalate the  people’s struggle and prepare these forces so that in conditions of revolutionary situation they will direct the working and popular masses that are in revolt to a successful overthrow of the capitalist power and to take power into their hands.
8
 This dynamic will not emerge like an oasis, merely in one country. In this discussion about what is to be done, which is taking place today in the squares, at our demonstrations, at strikes, in cities and villages, in factories and work places in general,  in universities and schools , in all over the world, the bourgeois class and the opportunists pose the dilemma “how can we do it ourselves? It is not realistic!”.
9
 Only the communist movement, the communists that believe in the visions and the struggle of the October Revolution, in Marxism-Leninism can put them in their place, refute defeatism and fatalism.
10
 Our weapon is proletarian internationalism, our joint struggle, our class and comradely solidarity which is necessary against national isolationism and imperialist cosmopolitanism. The principle of proletarian internationalism is also a significant message for the 100th anniversary of the Great October Revolution. Without the practical expression of the people’s internationalism towards the Revolution and the young Soviet Union the victory might not have been possible.
This is a valuable conclusion and lesson.
Dear comrades,
The KKE, as other Communist Parties, was born and developed under the impact of the Socialist October Revolution. In 2018 it will celebrate 100 years of heroic life and activity. It focuses its attention on its internationalist duties and as is known, it has applied to host the next IMCWP in Athens, the city where our International Meetings started from.
Comrades,
Hold high the red flag
of socialism-communism!
Hold high the flag
of Marxism-Leninism!
 
Source: inter.kke.gr.
Georgi Dimitrov: An Antidote to False Prophets and Naysayers

A new posting –

Georgi Dimitrov: An Antidote to False Prophets and Naysayers

– from Greg Godels is available at:
http://zzs-blg.blogspot.com/

By Zoltan Zigedy (Greg Godels)October 16, 2017

Marxists have been prolific correspondents, engaging others in polemics and collective ideas. The Marx and Engels correspondences, for example, number 1,386 letters! Marxism is, or should be, a collaborative effort.

Thus, I read the recent Sam Webb/Max Elbaum correspondence with some interest. Webb was the National Chairperson of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) for fourteen years until 2014. Elbaum was a sympathetic chronicler and active leader of the so-called “New Communist Movement” (NCM) in the 1970s. It is important to note that the CPUSA and the NCM were bitter rivals at that time.

So, it is strange that they exchange warm emails today, sharing the pleasantries of senior life–swimming, camping, time with grandkids, and marathon running– while adding their voices to the chorus calling for an all-out effort on behalf of the Democratic Party in the 2018 elections.

Or is it strange?

Webb holds the dubious distinction of leading the CPUSA down the rabbit hole of irrelevance. After the death of long-time CPUSA leader, Gus Hall, Webb and his cohorts transformed the CPUSA into a social democratic organization, eschewing both the legacy of the Communist Party and much of its organizational structure. Webb further entrenched the “lesser-of-two-evil” electoral strategy that began with the panic over the Reagan victory in 1980. The final years of Hall’s chairmanship and the Webb era snuffed out the last measures of the CPUSA’s political independence, turning it into a servile handmaiden to the Democratic Party.

Webb resigned from the eviscerated CPUSA the year after he gave up the national chair.

Elbaum’s career emerged very differently, but landed in nearly the same place as Webb’s. Elbaum, like many other veterans from the 1960s student movement, moved away from the radical democratic reformism of that era in the direction of a more anti-capitalist ideology, Marxism-Leninism. Unable to overcome their infection with the anti-Communist virus of the Cold War, many were drawn to the militant rhetoric of the Communist Party of China (CPC) that was simultaneously befriending Nixon’s administration and roundly condemning the Soviet Communists and most of the World Communist Movement. With amazing chutzpah, Elbaum and the New Communist Movement found no contradiction in the two positions. But by the end of the 1970s, the opportunism of the CPC was more than even the most faithful could hold their noses and swallow. China’s Communists had sided with the US against every legitimate liberation movement in Africa, including the ANC. The Red Guard anarchy and the Gang of Four excesses tested the conviction of the devoted, leading to defection for all but the most cultish.

Elbaum’s political journey continued, but swung sharply away from Leninism. The hyper-sectarian model embraced by NCM generated a sharp reaction, an extreme swing away from the classic Leninist notion of a vanguard party with a centralized, but democratic structure. Having little or no experience with Leninism apart from the brief heyday of the NCM, Elbaum began a steady retreat towards social democracy, a trend expressed in the US by investing in the perceived positive, progressive potential of the Democratic Party. Where Webb argues for unquestioned conformity to the Democratic Party leadership, Elbaum opts for a more critical attitude with the hope of steering the Democrats leftward.

Judging by the odyssey of Sam Webb and Max Elbaum, many roads lead disillusioned radicals, Marxist short-timers, and weak-kneed Communists back to the Democratic Party. Of course, many of the privileged (and violence-prone), elite-school New Lefties have been welcomed back to the Democratic Party as well.

In retrospect, two notions have provided excuses for disillusioned Marxists to retreat to the social democratic camp: first, the perceived threat of fascism as present or around the corner and, secondly, the firmly held conviction that resistance to fascism necessitates some kind of broad, anti-fascist front. Both notions, though widely cited, belong to the theoretical legacy of the Marxist-Leninist left. And both were elaborated most clearly and authoritatively by the Communist theoretician of fascism, Georgi Dimitrov.

Dimitrov on Fascism and Anti-fascism
Hardly a day goes by without someone on the left raising the shrill alarm of fascism. As Diana Johnstone reminds us in her brilliant essay on Antifa, “…historical fascism no longer exists.” What does exist, however are movements, formations, and personalities that bear various common features with historical fascism. Of course, we should not diminish the active role of these movements, formations, and personalities in their vicious attacks on the democratic and economic gains won by working people.

But these elements have always been a part of the political landscape of the US, both before, during and after the era of historical fascism– the Know Nothing Party, the Ku Klux Klan, the Liberty League, Father Coughlin, Joseph McCarthy, Barry Goldwater, the John Birch Society, George Wallace, the Tea Party, Trumpets and Trumpettes, etc. It is far harder to identify a time in US history when the fascist-like elements did not exist as a significant force. For that reason, vigilance and militant resistance is always important. But that is a far cry from urging that something identical with historical fascism is now imminent. If the wolf is always lurking in the shadows, is it helpful to cry “wolf”?

This should in no way be construed as a dismissal or underestimation of many of the forces arrayed around and unleashed by President Trump. They, like their predecessors, are present as a reserve army for the ruling class should political matters get out of hand. They should be met with the same resolute resistance as the left has mounted in the past against rabid hate-mongers and right-wing terrorists.

Historical fascism arose as a response to the success of revolutionary socialism, in Dimitrov’s words: “Fascism comes to power as a party of attack on the revolutionary movement of the proletariat, on the mass of the people who are in a state of unrest…” Clearly, there are, with perhaps a few exceptions, no serious threats to capitalist rule today, certainly not in the United States; there are few revolutionary movements contesting state power. There can be no counter-revolutionary “open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital” when there is no revolution to counter.

While Dimitrov warns of the dangers of fascistic tendencies and urges their resistance, he reminds us that: “The accession to power of fascism is not an ordinary succession of one bourgeois government by another, but a substitution of one state form of class domination of the bourgeoisie — bourgeois democracy — by another form — open terrorist dictatorship.” Few of the harbingers of fascism today acknowledge this point. Since the right in the US manages its agenda well within the confines of a corporate dominated two-party system, why would it need to move to an open terrorist dictatorship?

In a real sense, the premature cry of “fascism!” disarms the revolutionary left, the advocates of socialism. Instead of building an alternative to the failed two-party system, a system that demonstrates a constant rightward shift, Webb, Elbaum, and far too many on the left argue for compromise with those who have been fully compliant with this rightward drift. They misunderstand or distort much of what we have learned about historical fascism.

Contrary to the vulgar distortion of Dimitrov’s views, fascism did not come to power in Germany because sectarian Communists refused to work with Social Democrats. Dimitrov is clear on this: “Fascism was able to come to power primarily because the working class, owing to the policy of class collaboration with the bourgeoisie pursued by Social Democratic leaders, proved to be split, politically and organizationally disarmed, in face of the onslaught of the bourgeoisie…” and owing to “…their campaign against the Communists and [failure] to accept the repeated proposals of the Communist Party for united action against fascism.”

Webb and Elbaum neither understand the historical basis of fascism nor grasp the Marxist theory of united front designed to meet the fascist danger when it arises. Rather than viewing the united front as a specific historical response to a specific historical development, they generalize the united front tactic to a universal response to the ascendency of the right.

If fascism is on the horizon, they argue, then we need to adopt a united front policy that brings together any and all forces willing to stand in its way. But that is not the lesson that Georgi Dimitrov– the Communist who stood against and defied the Nazi judiciary when charged with the Reichstag fire– drew from the experience of historical fascism:

Whether the victory of fascism can be prevented depends first and foremost on the militant activity of the working class itself, on whether its forces are welded into a single militant army combating the offensive of capitalism and fascism. By establishing its fighting unity, the proletariat would paralyze the influence of fascism over the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie, the youth and the intelligentsia, and would be able to neutralize one section of them and win over the other section.

Second, it depends on the existence of a strong revolutionary party, correctly leading the struggle of the working people against fascism. A party which systematically calls on the workers to retreat in the face of fascism and permits the fascist bourgeoisie to strengthen its positions is doomed to lead the workers to defeat… [my italics]

Both Webb and Elbaum have long given up on building “a strong revolutionary party,” either for its own sake or for a battle against fascism. Instead, they take their lead from the Democratic Party, a pathetic answer to the rightward shift of the last four decades.

They fail to grasp the application of the united front strategy to US conditions. Rather than tail the Democrats, Dimitrov, writing specifically in 1935 about the US, called for the creation of a third party and for a decisive break with the bourgeois parties (the Democrats and the Republicans):
It is perfectly obvious that the interests of the American proletariat demand that all its forces dissociate themselves from the capitalist parties without delay. It must find in good time ways and suitable forms to prevent fascism from winning over the wide mass of discontented working people. And here it must be said that under American conditions the creation of a mass party of the working people, a Workers’ and Farmers’ Party, might serve as such a suitable form. Such a party would be a specific form of the mass People’s Front in America and should be put in opposition to the parties of the trusts and the banks, and likewise to growing fascism. Such a party, of course, will be neither Socialist nor Communist. But it must be an anti-fascist party and must not be an anti-Communist party.

Of course, this was written at a moment when historical fascism was at its zenith internationally. Today, without the imminent threat of fascism, the prescription for a break with the Democrats is even more urgent.

It is not simply a question of stopping fascism, but a question of winning people away from it with a peoples’ program.
Those who confuse the anti-fascist united front with capitulation to the leadership of liberals or social democrats often see the problem of united action as left-sectarianism. Certainly, sectarianism, characterized by Dimitrov as finding “…expression particularly in overestimating the revolutionization of the masses, in overestimating the speed at which they are abandoning the positions of reformism, and in attempting to leap over difficult stages and the complicated tasks of the movement…” was then and remains a significant obstacle to building a Communist Party or a third party.

But Dimitrov gave equal attention to the dangers of right opportunism:
…we must increase in every way our vigilance toward Right opportunism and the struggle against it and against every one of its concrete manifestations, bearing in mind that the danger of Right opportunism will increase in proportion as the broad united front develops. Already there are tendencies to reduce the role of the Communist Party in the ranks of the united front and to effect a reconciliation with Social-Democratic ideology.

Nor must we lose sight of the fact that the tactics of the united front are a method of clearly convincing the Social-Democratic workers of the correctness of the Communist policy and the incorrectness of the reformist policy, and that they are not a reconciliation with Social-Democratic ideology and practice. A successful struggle to establish the united front imperatively demands constant struggle in our ranks against tendencies to depreciate the role of the Party, against legalist illusions, against reliance on spontaneity and automatism, both in liquidating fascism and in implementing the united front against the slightest vacillation at the moment of decisive action.

Thus, it is a mistake to surrender the revolutionary program to appease tactical alliances or coalitions. Joint action is possible, maybe essential at times, but without sacrificing the integrity and revolutionary ideology to tactical partners. This is a nuance lost on those rushing to uncritically embrace the electoral slates of the Democratic Party and to hide the goal of socialism under a basket.

Those abandoning the struggle against capitalism, for socialism, should be honest about their change of heart. They should not hide behind an inflated threat or a misrepresented tactic.

Historical fascism was a mortal, worldwide threat in the 1930s and 1940s. Communists devised special tactics to broaden and deepen the fight against it. They did so without illusions about the commitment of other forces or without corrupting or compromising their principles. They led and won that fight, except, unfortunately, in Spain.

A similar threat may arise again when revolutionary forces present an existential challenge to the conventional rule of the capitalist class.
Or it may not. That will depend, as Dimitrov points out, on the balance of forces between revolutionaries and their adversaries.

But those who imagine a world without capitalism should not be misled by false prophets who pretend to find a road to socialism through the Democratic Party. Those who aspire to socialism should not be seduced by naysayers who insist that the struggle for socialism should be postponed until all of the specters and ghouls of the right are exorcised.

The 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution was honored in Athens (+Video)

Monday, October 16, 2017

The 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution was honored in Athens (+Video)

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/10/the-100th-anniversary-of-great-october.html

“Long live the October Socialist Revolution! Long live Marxism-Leninism and Proletarian Internationalism! Our future isn’t capitalism; it is the new world, socialism!”.

 
Under these slogans and with the presense of representatives of Communist Parties from various countries, the Central Committee of the KKE honored the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution. The event, which took place at the KKE’s headquarters in Perissos, Athens, consists part of the celebrations organised by the CC of the KKE for the centennial of the 1917 October Revolution. 
 
The major speech was delivered by the Secretary General of the CC of the KKE Dimitris Koutsoumbas, while greeting messages were delivered by representatives from other Communist Parties, incuding the Communist Party of Turkey, the Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain (PCPE), the Communist Party, Italy; the New Communist Party of Yugoslavia, the South African Communist Party, the Hungarian Workers Party, the Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan, the Socialist Party of Latvia and the Russian Communist Workers Party. 
 
The event included an exhibition of Soviet banners, as well as Vladimir Lenin’s post-mortem mask made by the prominent Soviet sculptor-monumentalist Sergey Merkurov
 
Below, you can see the whole video of the internationalist event, as it was published by 902 portal.