communist movement [En, Ru, Es, Pt, It, Ar]
Monday, 07 July 2014 15:01 Communist Party of Greece
Some questions on the unity of the international communist movement
[En, Ru, Es, Pt, It, Ar]
The fact that it was not possible for the 15th International Meeting
of communist and workers’ parties that took place in Lisbon in 2013
to issue a Joint Statement intensified the discussion concerning the
situation of the international communist movement and the question of
In the framework of this discussion we see completely schematic and
simplistic positions that avoid using the specific criteria that
arise from our worldview, from historical experience, from the
contemporary development of capitalism, and the necessity to resolve
the basic contradiction (between capital and labour) that governs
capitalism as this would require a self-critical examination of
strategic guidelines and the monitoring of whether they respond to
the current needs of the class struggle, the struggle for
The effort to slander the communist parties that struggle against
capitalism and highlight the necessity and timeliness of socialism is
a sign of great weakness. Even more so when the 15th IMCWP is used
in a selective way despite the fact that many parties exposed the
bankrupted strategy of “left governments”, highlighted the necessity
of the struggle for revolutionary change and opposed the effort to
impose a joint statement which was far removed from the principles
our worldview and functioned against the political, ideological
independence of several communist parties.
However, things have always been more complex than the scholastic
assessments like “right-wing or left-wing opportunism” as some of our
comrades in other countries sought to present the controversy that
took place at the 15th International Meeting, comrades who refuse to
draw conclusions from the course of the communist movement. Because
opportunism must be exposed in a concrete way and not with “centrist”
aphorisms, taking into account that in the history of international
communist movement e.g. in the period when Lenin was trying to form
his party there was also a “quagmire” between the revolutionary and
opportunist current. Later (1921-1923) there was the two and a half
International which had formally distanced itself from the
opportunist Second International while later on it joined it creating
the so-called “Labour and Socialist International”. Lenin wrote: “the
gentlemen of the Two-and-a-Half International pose as
revolutionaries; but in every serious situation they prove to be
counter-revolutionaries because they shrink from the violent
destruction of the old state machine; they have no faith in the
forces of the working class”.
The steps of the KKE in the elaboration of its strategy
It is well known that the communist movement had been facing various
ideological deviations already before the overthrow of socialism in
the USSR and the other socialist countries like the currents of
Trotskyism, Maoism and “eurocommunism”. The CPSU and other communist
and workers’ parties struggled against these ideological-political
currents in one way or another. However this does not mean that these
parties, amongst them the KKE, were free from weaknesses, mistakes,
ideological shortcomings. The KKE is one of those CPs which after the
overthrow of socialism showed great interest and studied the causes
of the defeat. It examined them carefully, studying many party
documents of that period in the framework of an arduous collective
At its 18th Congress, after a rich inner-party discussion, the causes
of the overthrow of socialism were embodied in a respective
resolution of the Congress. According to the resolution causes are
related to the economic basis of the socialist society, to mistakes
made in this field (see the restoration of the instruments of
“market” in socialist economy), as well as to the political
superstructure, the role of the party and the Soviets (see the
decisions of the 20th and 22nd congress of the CPSU). Our party has
also focused its attention on serious problems that existed in the
strategy of the international communist movement: the mistaken view
on the stages towards socialism which has never been confirmed as
well as the mistaken view on ” peaceful transition” that fostered
many parliamentary illusions combined with the mistaken division of
social democracy into a “left-wing” and a “right-wing” and the
equally schematic and mistaken distinction of the bourgeois class
into a “national” and a “comprador” section etc
It is necessary to carry out a substantial discussion
We would like to pose several serious issues in order to contribute
to a substantial discussion in the communist movement.
First, our party argues that the revolution in our country and in all
countries where capitalism has developed into its monopoly,
imperialist stage (imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism)
has a socialist character. This arises from the character of our era,
the sharpening of and the necessity to resolve the basic
contradiction between capital and labour, the indisputable maturation
of the material conditions for socialism today.
It is self-evident that there is no scientific basis that allows the
characterization of this analysis as sectarian and labels as
revolutionary the analysis that sets the communist movement back many
years, undermines the basic criteria of our worldview and supports
the mistaken view “about stages” on the grounds that the strategy of
a communist party is not determined by the solution of the basic
contradiction of our era but by the correlation of forces.
This is a big problem. The rationale of stages objectively (despite
any intentions) entails the search of pro-people solutions on the
terrain of capitalism on the grounds that the “intermediate stage”
will contribute to the maturation of the subjective factor and will
operate as a bridge to socialism, something that in many cases is
regarded as a result of parliamentary processes. This approach has
not been confirmed anywhere and in any period. It is in contradiction
with the lessons of the Great Socialist October Revolution in 1917.
The worst thing is that the rationale of stages leads to the search
of solutions for the management of the system e.g. of
“left-progressive or patriotic governments” that will (objectively)
manage the interests of the monopolies which will continue to have
the ownership over the means of production and the political power.
This choice fosters illusions; it does not contribute to the
preparation of the labour movement for fierce class confrontations;
it condemns it to backwardness and makes it vulnerable to bourgeois
ideology and politics, it entangles it in the web of parliamentary
Second, our party argues that the revolution in Greece will have a
socialist character and thus it determines the line for the rallying
of forces and struggle, placing emphasis on the regroupment of the
labour movement and the reinforcement of the class orientation, on
the strengthening of the class unity of the working class. At the
same time, it works for the construction of the people’s alliance,
i.e. the alliance between the working class, the poor farmers, the
small self-employed, women and young people from the working class
families. In the current conditions this alliance is expressed
through the coordination of the struggle of the militant rallies:
PAME in the working class, PASY in the farmers, PASEVE in the
self-employed in urban centres, MAS in students, OGE in women.
The people’s alliance is a social alliance and has an
anti-capitalist, antimonopoly orientation. It will be reinforced in
the daily struggle concerning all the problems of the people, it will
adapt and prepare itself so as to play the leading role in the
conditions of the revolutionary situation (which has an objective
character and all parties must prepare themselves for it), in the
popular uprising for the overthrow of the capitalist barbarity.
In this direction, the KKE, the class oriented movement and the
people’s alliance are in the forefront of the struggle in Greece.
They mobilize hundreds of thousands of working people, forces that
come in conflict with the forces of capital, the parties and its
governments, the imperialist European Union. There are numerous
examples of this struggle. The positions that try to incriminate the
revolutionary struggle with the slander about sectarianism,
downplaying the vanguard, mass activity of the KKE and PAME and the
other militant rallies that struggle for specific goals concerning
all the problems of the people against the monopolies and capitalism
are causing damage to the communist movement.
Obviously the struggle for socialism cannot be postponed for the
indefinite future neither is it a matter of proclaiming it.
For example unemployment is a scourge and torments millions of
working people. What should the communists say? Should they say that
this problem can be solved in the framework of capitalism with a
“left government”? This has no basis because the causes of the
problem continue to exist. The solution of the problem of
unemployment and generally the satisfaction of the contemporary needs
of the working class and the popular strata requires the solution of
the central problem of power, the socialization of the means of
production, central planning. Thus the necessity and timeliness of
socialism emerges from the very developments.
The development of capitalism has led to the maturation of the
material preconditions for the construction of the new, socialist
society. This is undeniable. It is also a fact that a revolutionary
situation has not been formed and that the creation of class,
political consciousness in the ranks of the working class is delayed
and that the consequences of the counterrevolution are negative.
Consequently, the maturation of the subjective factor is a very
With what line and with what content can the maturation of the
subjective factor be carried out? Can it be achieved on the basis of
positions concerning left governmental solutions which objectively
will manage the system, will be assimilated or will be politically
bankrupted? Can it be achieved through vague references concerning
“deep anti-monopoly transformations” on the terrain of capitalism?
What are these transformations? The nationalization of enterprises,
the increased taxation on the profits of capital, the restriction of
its “unaccountability”, as certain parties argue?
All these things have been tried and constitute different aspects of
the system’s management. The basic problem will remain unsolved. And
the basic problem is which social class will possess political power
and the means of production.
The actual experience of “left governments” demonstrates that (left)
management of capitalism even with the use of “revolutionary slogans”
not only can not provide an answer regarding the paving of the way
for socialism, but on the contrary functions as a means of
assimilating the people’s consciousness into parliamentarianism,
fosters false hope and delays the organization of the working class,
its struggle in the direction of challenging the exploitative system,
its preparation for the overthrow of capitalism.
Even a positive electoral result of a CP does not constitute a
guarantee of a substantial change in the correlation of forces, when
e.g. the popular forces are rallied around positions, slogans that
express the political line of adopting a “humane” management of
capitalism at a national level and does not pose the issue of
overthrowing the system and withdrawing from the imperialist unions
The example of Brazil itself, which in this period is in the news due
to the World Cup, is characteristic. A “left government” is managing
capitalist power in Brazil. It is apparent according to the
statistical data that the country’s richest 10% possesses 42.5% of
the national income, 40 times more that that possessed by the poorest
10%, while 5% of the richest possess an income larger than that of
the poorest 50%. The monopolies are dominant in Brazil despite the
“left” government. The gross profits of ten big business groups in
sales turnover amounts to 25% of the GDP. These groups prevail in
industry, mining sector, in the trade of agricultural products as
well as in trade and services in general. This means that monopolies
prevail in all sectors of the economy of Brazil.
At the same time, the low salaries of the working people do not at
all correspond to the Brazilian economy’s rate of development as the
profits of the businessmen rank amongst the highest in the world. The
social problems are on a long-term trajectory which will lead to even
What does the KKE do in Greece?
The KKE is trying to contribute to the preparation of the subjective
factor (Party, working class, alliances) for revolutionary
conditions, for the realization of its strategic tasks.
For this reason its insists on the timeliness and necessity of
socialism, not through phraseology “devoid of content”, but by
popularizing issues regarding working class power, socialization,
central planning with examples from important sectors of the economy.
It insists on its position for the regroupment of the labour movement
and the strengthening of its class orientation so that the labour
movement does not limit itself to negotiating the conditions for the
sale of labour power, but so that it becomes a force that will
struggle for the overthrow of capitalist barbarity.
It works for the social alliance, the alliance of the working class
with the poor farmers and urban self-employed, in order to strengthen
the struggle in an anti-monopoly-anti-capitalist direction, focusing
on the development path which has the people’s needs and not profits
as its criterion.
The KKE’s struggle against the EU is not being waged from the
standpoint of utopian solutions that a union of the monopolies can be
transformed into a union of the peoples. Nor is it restricted to the
confrontation against the “integration processes” of the imperialist
union but poses the issue of withdrawal from the EU and NATO with
working class-people’s power and socialization of the concentrated
means of production.
This is also related to issues of sovereignty, independence. Our
party approaches these issues from a class standpoint, from the
standpoint of changing the class in power and the utilization of the
productive potential of the country and this is connected to the goal
of disengagement because otherwise the people’s sovereignty can not
be safeguarded, the bourgeois class will remain dominant, dozens of
ties of dependency will remain in place.
The fact that the KKE has ceased to separate social-democracy into
two sections -“good” and ‘bad’- and does not divide Greece’s
bourgeois class into a “national” section and a section “subservient
to foreigners” does not mean that the KKE does not take into account
and does not seriously study the differences that the political
parties in Greece have, as well as the existing contradictions inside
the bourgeois class, as well those amongst the strong capitalist
countries and amongst the imperialist unions. On the contrary! What
we have completely abandoned is the management of capitalism in any
form, a management that is linked to the rationale of
“left-progressive or patriotic governments”. We openly struggle so
that the working class in our country and internationally does not
fight “under a false flag”.
Someone could say: fine, these are the positions of the KKE but we
have other conditions in our country.
What is the basic issue?
We live in the era of monopoly capitalism, imperialism, the
characteristic feature to a greater of lesser extent of the economic
base of the capitalist state is the monopolies, which dominate all or
many sectors of the economy and own the means of production.
The bourgeois state is the “collective capitalist”, it is the state,
the power of the monopolies.
The working class is the exploited class.
Consequently, whatever “national specificities” exist they do not
change this situation, they do not change the basic rule, the
necessity of the socialist revolution, of the construction of
socialism, so that the exploitation of man by man is abolished and
the conditions for a classless society are formed.
The KKE does not refer to “models” of revolution, or to a mechanistic
transferring of the revolutionary experience. It assesses the
difficulties, the complex character of the revolutionary process. But
the basic issues are the following:
Are the laws of socialist revolution and construction valid or not?
Will the working class conquer power or not?
Will it struggle together with its allies, obviously in difficult
conditions and in conflict with the counterrevolution, for the
socialization of the means of production?
Will working class power attempt to implement central planning?
These are the problems which we are obliged to discuss, and we can
say that aphorisms regarding sectarianism impede this discussion,
conceal retreats and strategic impasses.
On the Crisis in the International Communist Movement
The KKE studied its history, the issues of socialism, the strategy of
the international communist movement. It came to useful conclusions
regarding the past, present and future and plays the leading role in
the struggle of the working class in Greece. Its positions and
experience, which are reflected in its party documents, public
statements in international forums, are recognized by many CPs.
Other CPs followed other paths. Some of them have cut the “umbilical
cord” with the October Revolution and abandoned our worldview (e.g.
CP USA) and our symbols (PCF). Some are in coalition governments or
seek to take part in such governments together with social-democrats
inside the framework of capitalism. They laud the imperialist EU and
fight to make it “better”. They support the imperialist
interventions, for example, in Libya and in the Central African
Republic (as parties from the ELP and GUE have done). These parties
have crossed the “Rubicon”, in the sense of their acquiring bourgeois
Other CPs did not take care over the last 25 years to focus on and
study the developments, to draw conclusions. So we see that some of
these parties repeat, for example, the positions of Gorbachev circa
1985 about “openness” and “democracy” to explain the causes for the
overthrow of socialism in the USSR.
Nevertheless, when conclusions are not drawn, the corresponding
changes to strategy and tactics on the basis of dialectical
materialism are not made. These CPs continue to “dogmatically”
support the strategy which most CPs had in the 1960s and 1970s and
which has assimilated all the mistaken viewpoints that we mentioned
above. And this leads them, despite the “revolutionary rhetoric” and
expression of loyalty to Marxism-Leninism, to struggle for the
improvement of capitalism through the rationale of its
“transformation”, through various versions of “left-progressive or
patriotic governments” on the terrain of capitalism.
The strengthening of opportunism is reflected in the
ideological-political and organizational crisis of the international
Of course, there are CPs that in very difficult conditions study the
developments, follow the discussion in the international communist
movement, take steps in the elaboration of their tactics and strategy
in the struggle to strengthen the labour and communist movement in
their countries and internationally.
On this basis, the unity of the communist movement can not be
constructed with faulty material, with parties that, even if they
keep the communist title, have abandoned Marxism-Leninism, use
bourgeois arguments concerning the history of the communist movement.
The unity of the international communist movement can only based on
the defense of Marxism-Leninism, on the struggle for the
revolutionary overthrow of capitalism, for the socialist revolution.
Despite the differences of the historical period, the experience
gained in confrontation against the opportunism of the 2nd
International is important for today because now an even greater
concentration of forces and discipline is required for the struggle
against opportunism, which is reinforced in various ways by the
imperialist powers, like the EU. A glaring example is the “European
Left Party” (ELP), which is funded by the EU. What unity can be built
with parties that are in the leadership of the ELP and have made
their choices? On what basis, with what goals?
What can be the goal, for example, of a Joint Declaration on the EU
parliamentary elections with parties of the “hard core” of the ELP,
this instrument that has been created in the EU’s framework for
“European Parties” and works to castrate the revolutionary communist
We leave to one side the fact these parties participated actively in
the election campaign of SYRIZA for the EU parliamentary elections
against the KKE, even if this is not insignificant, but we will focus
on the essence, the choices that create space for the development of
opportunist positions, fostering confusion amongst the workers and do
not in any way help the unity of the international communist movement.
The unity of the international communist movement in order to be
robust and stable can not be merely based on a minimum of issues,
where there may exist a consensus. What is required is a deeper
ideological-political unity of the CPs on the principles of
Marxism-Leninism, proletarian internationalism, the elaboration of a
modern revolutionary strategy.
Of course, the KKE has very responsibly dealt with forms that can
contribute to the exchange of views, and the development of joint
activity , like the International Meetings of the CPs and for this
reason it made great efforts from the very first years of the
counterrevolution up to today, efforts that have been appreciated by
The KKE also seeks joint activities on various issues with CPs that
have differences with it. In any case this is not something new. It
even seeks the study of serious topics for the development of the
strategy of the communist movement, the stable development of the
joint struggle against the EU, the forces of capital in Europe, it
participates in and supports the effort of the “INITIATIVE” of 29
Communist and Workers’ parties.
However the unity of the international communist movement goes beyond
this and has enormous demands. Even more so, it must be clear that
unity does not mean the imposition of positions via Joint Statements
when there are intense differences on positions of strategic
importance, as was attempted at the last International Meeting. This
attempt met with the opposition of the KKE and other CPs, not because
the KKE seeks the role of a “guide” or “leading centre”, these are
not serious assessments and have no relationship with reality. The
opposition of the KKE and other parties to the draft Joint Statement
was due to the fact that there were positions contained within it in
contradiction with the positions of the KKE and dozens of other CPs,
as well as with our theory. And the respect for the political line of
these CPs alone should have led to the option of reaching an
understanding, as the KKE has done several times in the past in the
Meetings in Athens, by not insisting on the issuing of a joint
In the run up to the 16th International Meeting of CPs in Guayaquil,
Ecuador, it is necessary for the correct conclusions to be drawn so
that there will not be a similar situation that is unpleasant for
everyone. Because unity can not be imposed, it must be built!
International Relations Section of the CC