64. The consistent struggle based on our programme, the revolutionary strategy, i.e. based on the goal for the concentration, maturation, organization of the working class as the leading social force in the revolutionary process, means that this struggle is also conducted when the conditions are not revolutionary.
This struggle is conducted by the party independently, without concessions in relation to the pressures exerted either by organized opportunist or other bourgeois forces or even by the working class-popular masses themselves that seek immediate solutions to manage the sharpening problems that are created every day by the capitalist system and its political personnel i.e. by the various governments and parties that constitute or support it.
This means that the daily, current political struggle must not be detached from the main revolutionary political task. The goal of workers’ power must not be shunted to one side by other transitional governmental goals on the terrain of capitalism.
This must be a central concern for our political guidance work from the “top” to the “bottom». We must increase vigilance so that our activity does not stray, whatever the conditions: a dramatic deterioration of the situation of the working class and popular strata, the threat or waging of an imperialist war in which the country’s bourgeois class participates, open terror, repression, the activity of fascist-Nazi forces or even the suspension of parliamentary processes through a coup d’état etc.
The historical experience and its collective study by the CC, the party as a whole and KNE, has equipped us with robust “anti-bodies”, which we must consciously activate in all conditions.
We must be fully conscious that all these things, the problematic views and practices, the various deviations, do not develop in a vacuum. There is an objective contradiction that runs through every communist party, every revolutionary workers movement that is active in non-revolutionary conditions. And this contradiction is based on the fact that while the CP is a party of the revolution, it does not operate in conditions that favour this.
65. Our party is active in such conditions today. Being active for over 4 decades in conditions of bourgeois legality, relatively “peaceful” bourgeois parliamentary conditions, makes it possible that legalist illusions can be formed in our ranks, in our periphery, amongst wider working class and popular strata. It is also possible that the mistaken view will gain ground, the view which says that through successive elections and the increase of the party’s percentage, through small changes and reforms a comprehensive revolutionary change will become possible.
Of course, the primary source that fosters such deviations and illusions i.e. the lack of an elaborated revolutionary strategy has been dealt with. However, this in no way means that the need for vigilance, for constant creative concern must be reduced.
Historical experience teaches that communist parties adjusted and restricted their activity, regardless of whether this adaptation took place and is taking place in conditions when these parties are struggling hard, militantly against an anti-people law, combatively demanding collective labour agreements, wage increases, the improvement of working conditions etc. Historically, on several occasions the contradiction between the leading militant activity, sacrifices, selflessness and the weak ideological buttressing against the infiltration of bourgeois ideology, the weak development of theory, the programmatic strategic problems, led these parties to being transformed in practice into parties of social-democracy.
Unquestionably, there need to be adjustments in line with the developing conditions. The daily leading struggle of the communists is necessary in order to impede anti-people measures, to seek measures to relieve the popular families etc. These adjustments, however, and the escalation of the people’s struggle in non-revolutionary conditions must not be detached from the revolutionary strategy. The danger of this detachment is just as dangerous as not taking into account the level of the consciousness of the workers’-popular masses, the difficulties caused by this and the measures that must be taken to form class consciousness.
It is a crucial issue as to how the party acts and builds itself in practice, as a leader of the class struggle, as a leader of the mobilization of the popular masses around daily issues and also around the more general issues regarding the future prospects, i.e. as a whole how to form the subjective preconditions in the class-oriented anti-capitalist anti-monopoly struggle for socialism-communism.
And this cannot occur without the axis of struggle for the revolutionary overthrow being connected to the struggle for immediate needs and demands, with issues related to the daily intervention in the economic, social and political reality in non-revolutionary conditions. Having a clear understanding that the economic struggle on its own does not lead to revolutionary political struggle. In the daily struggle concerning the everyday problems of the working class and its social allies, we do not lose sight of the main issue, which is the planned persistent ideological-political struggle for the deeper understanding of the necessity for the complete abolition of exploitation and the construction of a classless society.
Equipped with the decisions of the 19th Congress, the new Party Programme, the collective study of experience, one of the important issues that we have in front of us is the issue of the relationship of the party with the labour and trade union movement, as well as the difficult and complex issue of the relationship of the party with the movements of the allies of the working class, of the farmers and urban self-employed.
66. The difficulty in the relationship between the party and the labour-trade union movement-both in terms of political practice and as a theoretical issue-flows from the fact that the Communist Party is the highest, conscious form of expression of the labour movement. Consequently, when reference is made to the movement of the working class, reference has to be made to the communist movement, which consciously, and in a leading and planned way struggles for the socialist revolution and power, for the socialization of the concentrated means of production and the scientific planning of production and distribution of products and services so that constantly expanding needs of society can be satisfied.
However, lower forms of working class organization in terms of the ideological, programmatic and organizational formation and unity exist and will exist both in non-revolutionary conditions and in conditions of a revolutionary upsurge and during the period of socialist construction. The existence of a strong and organized CP and broad ideological-political and organizational work is prerequisite for the working class to be able to realize its historical mission.
The trade unions and the lower forms of organization in general have an influence and play a role in the organization and formation of the class consciousness of the working class. For this reason, the constant, decisive interventions of the forces of the communist party is necessary in the struggle over the orientation of the labour and trade union movement, in all conditions, whether revolutionary or not.
Objectively, there are no politically neutral trade unions. Either the line of class collaboration, employer and government led trade unionism or the line of the reformist, opportunist current or the line of anticapitalist-antimonopoly struggle will dominate in them. Consequently, the ideological and political struggle inside the movement has importance in terms of achieving the goal of organizing a significant section of the working class in an anticapitalist direction, in order to deepen and widen its bonds with the party.
For all these reasons, the relationship between the party and mass working class organizations is quite complex in practice. The attempt to formulate this relationship has caused difficulties for the international communist movement and has often been accompanied by absolute approaches and mistakes, both at a theoretical level and in practice.
The line that has been elaborated by our party equips it with correct guidelines. Consequently the central problem of political guidance work in the party continues to be related to how far these guidelines have been assimilated.
Of course, the conditions and correlation of forces must be taken into account, as well as whether we are in a period of revolutionary upsurge or not. It must be understood that in conditions of revolutionary retreat, the struggle against the reformist line of social-democracy in the trade unions must not recede even an inch. What is even more important is that the need for working class unity, the struggle for its organization and the functioning of the trade unions, the activity and discussion inside the movement around demands or forms of struggle must not be translated as being a result of or having at its precondition the cooperation with a section of the labour aristocracy, with a section of social-democracy-under the pressure of the line that says “we must all work together”.
67. The relationship of the party with the movements of the poor farmers and urban self-employed is objectively even more complex and difficult, as these are movements of forces that cannot be the vehicles of a new society due to their social position. Despite all this, a significant section of them have an interest in struggling for this new society, integrated into it through producer cooperatives or as workers in direct social production or services. It has an interest, as the new working class power can satisfy the multi-faceted needs regarding work, housing, health, education, pensions, free time, for rest and participation in the structures of workers’ power etc.
On the basis of this perspective, the communists are struggling today, in non-revolutionary conditions, with aim that these movements approach the class-oriented labour movement, without losing sight of the fact that the wavering, the bourgeois and reformist illusions, the various petty bourgeois views and trends are stronger and more constant in these movements.
A special issue is the relationship of the party with the radical women’s movement for the emancipation of women of a working class background or from other popular families from the potential social allies of the working class.
The inequality and discrimination against women at every level, in life, in the family, at work, in the struggle, in the political struggles, have deep class roots, which means that this problem affects the labour movement.
Only the Communist Party can consistently express the identification of the struggle for emancipation and equality with the struggle for the complete liberation of men and women from exploitation. However, this presupposes the leading activity of the party organizations, of communist women workers, employees, trade unionists and intellectuals, who through their activity in the ranks of the women’s movement can radicalize it in an antimonopoly, anticapitalist direction.
The activity of communist women inside the associations and groups of OGE cannot take for granted that the level of the understanding of the problem of women’s inequality or the level of class, political consciousness of the women rallied there is unified.
The confusion as regards the necessity and the content of the party’s specialized work amongst women and the activity of communist women in the radical women’s movement is expressed in the party organs, and also amongst women cadres who, taking their own life stance as their starting point, do not understand the additional objective difficulties that limit the political and social activity of women, even of women who are party members and members of KNE, particularly in periods when their living conditions change. These women comrades find it difficult to specialize their work to prepare the recruitment of women who often carry a greater burden of reactionary habits and hesitations, even inside the party, in sectoral and workplace PBOs, finding it more difficult to participate in the discussions.
The need for the double awakening of women has been borne out, i.e. their political class consciousness and the realization that the political awakening of women has additional difficulties, that additional objective obstacles must be overcome. Therefore there needs to be additional specialized work, not only inside the movement, but also inside its vanguard, the CP.
Certain steps continued after the 19th Congress of the party concerning the efforts to specialize the party’s political line for women, both independently and also in the framework of the labour-people’s movement, taking into account that the movement rallies women from the working class and popular strata, including some outside of the political influence of the party and KNE.
The necessary inner-party educational work-especially amongst women party members in the sectors and KNE-begins with the necessity for our view on the woman question to be assimilated, which amongst other things presupposes the utilization of the party’s special publications. Independent activity on the issue of the equality and emancipation of women in conditions of socialist construction must be developed by the party organs and PBOs, as well as on the importance of the liberation of personal relationships, the relationships between the two sexes inside or outside the institution of the family from every form of economic, social and ideological coercion.
The assimilation of the essence of the woman question is necessary for understanding both the need for a radical women’s movement, i.e. a movement for the equality and emancipation of women with a working class-popular socio-economic position or background (poor farmers and urban self-employed), and also the task of the women party members, regardless of their sector, to approach women workers, employees, unemployed, self-employed, farmers, young working mothers, students, pensioners, immigrants, as well as women excluded from social labour, such as house wives.
The KKE has accumulated over the course of all the previous years’ rich and significant experience from its activity in different conditions. It particularly studies the relationship between the party-movement-masses as a constituent element both of the development of theoretical understanding around this issue and also of the day to day political guidance work. It utilizes its conclusions as a guide for daily political activity, as a means to strengthen the revolutionary capacity of the organs and the PBOs, of the party as a whole.