Category: struggle for socialism
Counterrevolution in the USSR – Mikhail V. Popov

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Mikhail V. Popov – Counterrevolution in the USSR (Михаил Попов- Контрреволюция в СССР)

By Mikhail V. Popov., 10 April 2017.

Transcript and translation by Srećko Vojvodić.

Now almost everybody understands that a counterrevolution took place in the USSR. It is so simple to see it since up until then there was socialism in the USSR, as a first phase of communism, whereas now we have a fully established capitalism in Russia. Therefore, it is not that only the counterrevolution happened, but also a restoration has taken place: all bourgeois institutions have been restored and we have a fully-fledged bourgeois state, with bourgeois democracy, as a form of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.
When did this happen?
Initially, some people deemed that it happened somewhere between the end of 1990 and the beginning of 1991. However, a deeper analysis shows that it was not so. Things do not happen that way.
Transitions from one system to another do not happen instantaneously in history. Let us review some examples. The transition from capitalism to communism took 18 years in Russia and the USSR: between 1917 and 1935. And how long did the transition between the first phase of communism back to capitalism take? This is the question to be deliberated.
When is a state socialist? A state is socialist if the working class holds the power in it. And when does the working class hold the power? The working class holds the power when the dictatorship of the proletariat is being implemented.
Then what is the dictatorship of the proletariat? The dictatorship of the proletariat is, as indicated in Lenin’s Great Beginning, a scientific, Latin-derived, historical-philosophical expression, meaning that only a specific social class, namely urban, factory-based industrial workers are able to lead the whole mass of working and exploited people in the fight for a complete destruction of all classes. To be explicit, this means not only the liquidation of the exploiting classes, but also the elimination of the differences between the city and the countryside, between men of physical and intellectual work.
Then there is another definition of the dictatorship of the proletariat, which fits our needs in deliberating the counterrevolution in the USSR even better, although it does not contradict the previous definition. This other definition was given by Lenin in his book ‘Left-Wing’ Communism: an Infantile Disorder, and says: “The dictatorship of the proletariat is a persistent struggle, bloody and bloodless, violent and peaceful, military and economical, pedagogical and administrative, against forces and traditions of the old society.”
Well, if we pose the following questions:
  • Are the forces and traditions of the old society disappearing under socialism?
  • Is not the class struggle waged under socialism against petty bourgeois mentality and attitudes?
  • Has the working class under socialism completed its task, and have all social classes been completely destroyed, effectively ending class struggle against petty bourgeois mentality and attitudes?
then the answer is:
  • If you do not fight them, then they fight you!
These are the petty bourgeois mentality and attitudes, which are present and which contradict the interests of the working people in a socialist society. Therefore, if we formulate the questions that way, it will become clear as to when the counterrevolution took place in the USSR: the counterrevolution took place in the USSR when the ruling party voted in its congress for the removal from its program of the centerpiece of Marxism, which is the dictatorship of the proletariat. This happened in 1961, at the XXII Congress. That meant that this Party did not want to wage a persistent struggle against forces and traditions of the old society any more, that it did not want to wage this struggle any more either as a party, or as a leading force of the society, i.e. as a political party, holding in its hands the political power in the state. Consequently, based on the decision of the XXII Congress, the state changed instantaneously its nature: once a state of the dictatorship of the proletariat, it became a state of the opposite nature.
What does this mean: a state of the opposite nature? It means: the bourgeois state. Some people ask “but where was the bourgeoisie?“ assuming that there was no bourgeoisie under socialism. That is true; there was no bourgeoisie – until the very moment, when this decision was made! However, as soon as it was made, what happened to the state apparatus, which managed the whole economic and political life? It started consisting of those people who, de facto, had a grip on the means of production. Then, if they earlier had to run those means of production for the sake of satisfying the needs of the whole society, in the interests of the working class – which expresses interests of all working people, now they became able to run those means of production for their own interests. In fact, it became their duty! A caste was thus formed which used the means of production for its own interests.
In general, state ownership – if we are talking about it – is not identical to social ownership. State ownership is a form of social ownership only if the state belongs to the working class and acts in the interests of the working class. Therefore, as soon as the state ceases to act in the interests of the working class, the state property becomes property of a part of the society, and the property of a part of the society is private property. That way, beginning in 1961, private property of the ruling nomenclature’s highest echelon appeared in the USSR.
Well, this private property was collectively owned – just as it is in any joint-stock company. In any such corporation private property is not individual, it belongs to all stockholders. In Russia, it happened that initially there was no fragmentation to individual stockholders; instead, everybody of this whole nomenclature highest echelon held it together in their hands. It should be noted that at this level of power only rare individuals remained in working-class positions, while everybody else jumped at the chance to appropriate this common, state property – which was no longer a social property.
We may say that the best solution was found in Belarus. They did not undertake a fragmentation of this common private property. Therefore, state property, as a large private property, remained there. However, in the rest of the USSR, at the easy hands of Chubais, Gaidar and other ideologues: Nemtsov, Iavlinskii, Boldirev and other gurus of liberal capitalism, which did not grow up even to the imperialism, to the state monopoly capitalism, a decision was made to squander this state property, to tear it down to smithereens.
This carve-up did not happen all at once. It was necessary first to bend the adversary; it was necessary to solve the problem that Nikita Khrushchov was solving when he put up the shooting of workers, and their children, in Novocherkassk in 1962. I think that anybody who will be considering this historical fact will have to conclude that if workers were being shot upon orders of the government head, then such a state was not exactly a working class state.
Now, what those workers were demanding? They were demanding only that prices not be increased and tariffs not lowered – the same thing that workers demand all over the world. This is a demand for which nobody in the world, even in the bourgeois world, shoots at workers. Therefore, in this aspect, Khrushchov spat even over those who carry out the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie in other countries. Because of this, one may say that so begins, since 1961, the transition stretch from the first phase of communism to capitalism and further, that a political revolution took place at the XXII Congress in 1961.
Accordingly, if we use the term “revolution” to denote transition from one economic order to another then such a process is very lengthy. It is evident that it lasted from 1961 to 1991 – which is a 30 years span – and it is much longer than the 18 years [needed for the transition from capitalism to communism, first in Russia, and then in the whole USSR].
This pushes against the popular notion that the Soviet Union “broke up”. No, it did not break up, it was fought against, from inside and from outside. By both traitors to the cause of socialism, to the cause of the Communist Party and to the cause of the working class within the top leadership, and by the external forces that were invited during Ieltsin’s years into all ministries, to reconstruct everything as a capitalist economy, and to direct it, not even towards interests of the Russian bourgeoisie, but towards the interests of foreign bourgeoisie, and especially those of the American bourgeoisie.
So the whole thing was long lasting, and bears no similarity with a “breakup” of the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Union resisted for a very long time and we know that there were forces that resisted.
In 1989 the Unified Front of Working People was constituted and I participated in it, together with comrades Pizhov and Krasavin, as candidates for people’s representatives of the USSR from the national-territorial ward of Leningrad. We constituted the Leningrad Section of the Unified Front of Working People and then another such section was constituted in Moscow. Finally, a Joint Front of Working People of Russia was constituted – with the support of our trade unions, of some Party organs and some Party cadres.
The Joint Front of Working People nominated Gen. Makashov for President and Dr. Sergueiev (Economics) – who used to be my Ph.D. thesis opponent – for Vice President, while I was Gen. Makashov’s Advisor. Therefore, it is impossible to say that nobody resisted – as a matter of fact, we resisted a lot. We had constitutive congresses of the communists of Russia – because all Party members who were in the Joint Front organized this constitutive movement, which stood against Gorbachov’s cupula, wrote a corresponding program and in this program we wrote: “Expel from the Party Gorbachov’s anti-communist faction conducting anti-people’s policies.” In my capacity of member of Leningrad Regional Committee, I moved a motion to vote on this proposal at a plenary session of the Leningrad Regional Committee. However, only 17 members of the Committee voted in favour of it, while some people who used to speak a lot about communism, such as Bielov, did not support my motion. They did not want to vote against Gorbachov.
We defended this demand: Dolgov, Jelmeiev and I. We collected Party organizations’ decisions, succeeded in constituting the Communist Party of the RSFSR and participated in authoring its Program. There was no revisionism in this Program and, therefore, those who wanted us to go to capitalism under red flags had to shut down both the CPSU and the CPRSFSR. Well, that was an openly counterrevolutionary action of Yeltsin’s power structure.
At the same time, this struggle never ceased. Russian Communist Workers’ Party and after that Workers’ Party of Russia was constituted – which means that forces, opposed to the counterrevolution, have been acting and keep on acting.
In conclusion, we have to answer the questions from the beginning: “When the counterrevolution began in the USSR, what was its course and what did it consist of?” Here is the answer:
The counterrevolution in the USSR took place in 1961 but its preparations began in 1956 and even earlier. Judging by the attitude towards the foremost person who fought for socialism – comrade Stalin, of his former comrades-in-arms, indicates that even in the Central Committee a counterrevolutionary and anti-communist group was formed. Judging by their voting at the Congress, how they voted unanimously against the dictatorship of the proletariat, it becomes evident how they selected the Congress delegates – which means that Khrushchov’s group functioned well and, not accidentally, managed to intimidate Party officials by killing Beria because this is a dark affair and it is understandable that, as we were told then that Beria was an English spy, it was a fairly ridiculous accusation since Beria supervised both the nuclear program and the missile program, while building, at the same time, Moscow State University. Therefore, when such things are published, and we were observing that those people, who glorified Stalin and, so to say, were putting him on the shield, did not utter a single loud word in his defense during all this time, then it becomes clear why only much later the first pronouncements and correct evaluations of Stalin’s work began – which are now dominant, we may say. At that time, however, nothing of that kind could be heard.
This is what we can say briefly about the counterrevolution in the USSR.

* Mikhail Vasilyevich Popov is a Professor of the Department of Economics and Law at Saint Peterburg State University.  
Interview with Ástor García (PCPE): “The antidote for nationalism is class identity”

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Interview with Ástor García (PCPE): “The antidote for nationalism is class identity”

SoL news portal interviewed Astor Garcia, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the People of Spain (PCPE), who was in Izmir, Turkey for the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution event by the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP). You can see the video of the interview in the end of the transcript.

soL: Wellcome to Izmir. How were the activities on the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution in your country and what were its repercussions?
Astor Garcia: We organized a number of activities in several cities in Spain on commemorating the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution. It started with the activity in Madrid on October 7 which aroused great interest among Party members, the Communist Youth Collective (CJC) and our sympathizers. The other activities are taking place in the regional capitals.
We published a special issue of Nuevo Rumbo which is a publication of our Party. Prepared in September by the Party’s Central Committee, this issue discussed claiming of the achivements of the October Revolution, analyzing the Revolution and taking the struggle of the Bolsheviks for socialist construction as an example for today.
soL: How do you express the timeliness of socialism?
AG: Basically we refer to the social achivements provided by the socialist countries whose absence is felt by the workers in capitalist countries. We also explain the timeliness of socialism by indicating that the former socialist block had been the guarantee of the achivements realized in capitalist countries.
The loss of social rights, worker’s rights and gains following the dissolution of the socialist block as a result of the counter-revolutionary attack confirms this proposition. The working class once again faces the severe consequences of capitalism.
soL: How does your Party analyze the issue of Catalonia? How do you observe the future of this issue?
AG: One cannot deny the complexity of the situation in Catalonia. It is a serious crisis in the development of the state with historical, political and economical roots. It would take too long to explain it here but we could summarize today’s situation. The small and middle bourgeois sections in Catalonia, faced with the consequences of the economic crisis and especially the contradictions of Spanish capitalism owing to the escalation of capitalist crisis, saw an opportunity to manipulate the national feelings and identity of the Catalan people and ventured to use it to start a bargain in reinforcing their own economical and political status within capitalist Spain.
During the last 40 years this situtation has persisted. Yet until now, it had been an issue which would end up in a compromise based on unity and struggle. In fact, there are many instances in history when the Catalan nationalist bourgeois forces have supported the Spanish government.
Today, the two forces challenge each other, the Catalan forces of independance led by the Catalan petty bourgeoisie and the Spanish government implementing the plans and programmes of the Spanish big bourgeoisie.
The current plan and program implies the dissolution of certain legal and economic features of the regions and the lifting of barriers amounting to a national centralization. The working class and the popular classes find themselves dragged into this challenge where the two sections of the bourgeoisie try to prevail against each other in the sharing of surplus value and exploitation.
We, as the Communist Party, point out that Catalan nationalism and Spanish nationalism mean to regulate capitalism in different ways rather than demolish capitalism itself. In view of this fact and analysis, we have openly called the working class and popular classes of our country and of Catalonia to create our own alternative.
We explained the necessity to seek the independance of the working class in order to construct a country for the working class. These are the main guidelines of our political activities. We oppose nationalism that poses a serious threat and has inflicted great pain to the people of Spain in history. We stand against the escalation of both Spanish and other nationalist movements with these argument.
soL: How do you see the European Union (EU)? What is your line of struggle against the EU?
AG: The EU is a bourgeois union whose main aim is improve its position in the rivalry among imperialists. It is a union of imperialist states and it promises nothing in favor of the European people and for the people around the world, as it can be clearly seen in Libya, Syria, Iraq.
From the very begging, before the European Economic Community (EEU) had turned into the EU and even before that, since Spain joined the EEC in 1986, we have firmly opposed to be a part of this union.
Today, as the EU glosses over the policies of the Spanish government against the working class and its anti-popular policies that aim to intensify exploitation, since it serves as a guise for these policies, our position is reinforced.
We observe that EU is in a crisis. Beyond doubt the alternative in favor of European peoples is for each member to leave this union of imperialist states and this is clearly what we need to fight for. We are seriously challenging and struggling against the political position which seems to be critical towards the EU and the euro but proposes reforms, the position which claims that EU may be turned into an instrument in favor of the people but is incapable of understanding the fact expressed by Lenin that a union of capitalist states in Europe would only be reactionary.
Besides giving false hopes to popular masses the EU institutions are also used in distorting history and spreading anti-communism. In this respect we insist on immediately leaving the EU by constructing a socialist economy in our country in favor of the working class and the popular masses.

soL: Could you tell us about your policies on the immigrant problem and on the issue of unemployment?
AG: In our daily political activities we always try to connect strategic issues to tactical issues. Capitalist forces, the capitalist media and the capitalist government, at times when unemployment dramatically increases, especially as it’s happening at this moment in Spain as a result of the crisis, hold out that having a job and creating employment is important.
However, our perspective is stable, we don’t attribute an abstract meaning to employment. Very basically, when talking about reclaiming work, we don’t say that people should have a job, shouldn’t be unemployed, but we refer to employment in conditions denied by capitalism, enabling workers and popular masses to have rights, to realize a project of life providing self-sufficiency in a way that will enable them to achieve their expectations from life.
On the other hand it should be pointed out that even though unemployment figures in Spain are phasing out, this is achieved by ruining working conditions. Just as defending the October and the Bolshevik Revolution signifies, we say that it was possible and it is still possible for a worker to have a profession and a job and take part in organizing social tasks while welfare conditions are enhanced rather than worsened. We put the socialist model against capitalist development; the model where workers are free from the pains they suffer under capitalism.
Our political activity on the immigration issue is based on one idea; we explain that most of the immigration that we see in Europe today is caused by the interventions of the European imperialist forces towards other countries.
If the European imperialist forces had not intervened and plundered African and Asian countries and had not manipulated their governments, the phenomena of immigration would be far from its present form which has been shaped in recent years.
In all circumstances our claim as communists is clear, we believe that the working class is a single class internationally. We regard the working class struggle, as communists, as equal whatever the workers’ homeland or origin.
Even though it has hardships, another one of our tasks is to struggle against the idea that foreign workers have come to our country to worsen the living conditions of the Spanish working class. Our main acitivity on this issue is to struggle against racism and xenophobia while unifying the working class, I emphasize, with all its sections whatever their origin, in the struggle against capitalism and the capitalist class.
soL: What is the main slogan of your youth activities?
AG: Since September the CJC is carrying out a campaign named ‘The Youth is Organizing the Attack’. In this sense, our intention is to show the working class youth that it is not only the time to resist against capitalist government’s attacks but also it is the time to organize and struggle for new gains. This is true for gaining new rights both in education and in work.
For instance, in recent years many rights and gains have been abolished under cover of the crisis. The CJC conducted an intense activity within the student movement and made an important organisational achivement. In fact, they not only organize ‘The Youth is Organizing the Attack’ campaign but meanwhile they play a complementary role in the Party’s campaign carried out with the slogan ‘A Country for the Working Class’.
soL: How do you analyse the parties such as Podemos and what is your stance regarding them?
AG: We analysed the establishment and development of the phemonenon of Podemos and explained it again and again at great length. Podemos could be identified in general as the Spanish version of new social democracy.
It was an organisation founded by capitalizing on the protests known as ‘the movement of the furious’ in Spain in 2011. It gained ground among the discontentedness which had arisen not with a working class character but rather as the reaction of the petty bourgeoisie and middle strata against the proletarianization they were facing.
Podemos realized itself as an agent institutionalizing this discontentedness in the perpetuation of capitalism. When conditions necessitate, they are ready to replace and fulfill the mission of PSOE, the ex-social democrats existing since the 70’s. The PSOE is now in deep crisis and is facing an uncertain future precisely because of its dilemma of addressing the working class with an abstact discourse while practically perpetuating the system of exploitation in recent years.
No matter how much Podemos uses new tools and adopts a more young and fresh style and no matter how much they use a discourse closer to the previous social democrats, their parliamentary activities and their policies indicate that, just like their role in maintaining the continuity of PSOE in certain localities, despite their first impression of bringing about change they are in the last instance sustaining the capitalist system in Spain.
To be precise, let me give a classical example; we may say that Podemos is exactly the SYRIZA of Spain. Just as SYRIZA chose the financial forces when it had to decide between the popular masses and the financial forces, Podemos would also make such a choise since it has the very same character.

KKE: Condemns the fascist attack on the Communist Party of Paraguay’s headquarters in Asunción

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

KKE: Condemns the fascist attack on the Communist Party of Paraguay’s headquarters in Asunción
In a message of solidarity towards the Communist Party of Paraguay (Partido Comunista Paraguayo), the Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece states the following:
“The KKE decisively condemns the attack by a group of fascsist against the headquarters of the Communist Party of Paraguay in Asunción, the desecration of the offices’ entrance with vulgar anticommunist slogals and the destruction of a mural dedicated to the October Revolution.
This attack is not the first one; a similar event had occured in 2014, for which there was never a substantial action or response from the side of the state, despite the complaints of the PCP.
The government of Paraguay bears serious responsibilities because it leaves free space to the undisturbed activity of fascist gangs, while on the same time it escalates repression and persecutions against the workers-people’s struggles.
The KKE expresses its solidarity to the CP of Paraguay. It demands the clarification of the incident and the punishment of the perpetrators, the safeguarding of the free political and trade-unionist action of the communists and of the people’s movement in general.
The popular strata of Paraguay must think that the attacks on communists always consist a precursor to broader attack against the workers-peoples’ rights and freedoms. They must isolate such forces, express their solidarity and support towards the CP of Paraguay and strengthen their struggle for their rights.
Source: / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
The USA, European Union and Ukraine denied to condemn Nazism at the UN General Assembly

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The USA, European Union and Ukraine denied to condemn Nazism at the UN General Assembly
Hiding behind the pretext of “freedom of speech”, the United States– accompanied by Ukrainevoted against a resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism introduced to the Third Committee of the U.N. General Assembly by the Russian Federation. 
The resolution was approved by a recorded vote of 125 in favor to 2 against, with 51 abstentions. 
Among the abstentions are the countries of the European Union (including Greece), Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Turkey and Libya. 
Following the draft’s introduction, the United States representative proposed an amendment to the text that would change all sections deemed to violate- according to the US- individual freedoms of speech, thought, expression and association. The amendment was rejected by a recorded vote of 81 against, to 3 in favour (Israel, Ukraine, United States), with 73 abstentions.
Speaking after the draft, as a whole, was approved by a vote of 125 in favour to 2 against (Ukraine, United States), with 51 abstentions, several States commended efforts to combat Nazism, yet expressed concern over the scope of the draft.  
Showing the EU’s hypocrisy, Estonia’s delegate, on behalf of the European Union, said all contemporary forms of racism should be addressed in an impartial manner! We must remember that the government of Estonia- like other Baltic countries- have a leading role in glorifying Nazism during the last years, by honoring the Waffen-SS, organizing anticommunist fiestas and distorting history under the auspices of the European Union. 
No matter how hard they try to distort history, to glorify Nazism-Fascism and vilify Socialism-Communism, the historical truth is one and only: The Soviet Red Army and the peoples’ antifascist resistance crushed Nazism in WW2.
US Role in 1960s Indonesia Anti-Communist Massacre Revealed
Indonesia elite troops parade in Bandung, June 1966. The red caps are paratroopers in red berets.

US Role in 1960s Indonesia Anti-Communist Massacre Revealed

© AP Photo/ Horst Faas
Asia & Pacific

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Thirty thousand pages of files have been released on US activities in Indonesia during the archipelago’s gory transition from a socialist dictatorship to a pro-West military dictatorship in the mid-60s. The documents confirm that Washington was aware of, and supported, the military takeover of the government and purge of communist opponents.

The anti-communist purges in 1965 and 1966 were horrific, described by the CIA as “one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century.” Between 400,000 and 1 million accused leftists were killed, with some estimates going as far as to place the figure at 3 million.

It has long been known that the US and allied governments supported the 1965 military takeover. The US embassy, as well as the CIA, have been accused of providing weapons, economic assistance, and training to Suharto’s forces as well as lists of names of 5,000 communists. The embassy asserted in 1990 that the list in question was compiled by a single official acting on his own direction, and scholars debated whether or not the US helped facilitate the mass killings.

One of the newly released cables came from the embassy’s first secretary, Mary Vance Trent, who told Washington about a “fantastic switch which has occurred over 10 short weeks” that saw an estimated 100,000 people slaughtered.

A particularly shocking 1966 cable from CIA officer Edward Masters discussed the “problem” of captured communist prisoners. “Many provinces appear to be successfully meeting this problem by executing their [communist] prisoners, or killing them before they are captured, a task in which Muslim youth groups are providing assistance,” Masters reportedly said.

The documents were compiled in 2001 by the US State Department and subsequently classified, only to be released today. “We frankly do not know whether the real figure is closer to 100,000 or 1,000,000,” read an April 1966 cable attached to the 2001 report.

US Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), who introduced a bill in 2015 calling for the declassification of all US documents related to the matter as well as Indonesia to create a truth and reconciliation committee on the massacre, praised the release of documents. “These documents will provide greater transparency about the United States’ support for the Indonesian government during the same period that these horrible crimes were committed,” Udall said in a statement.

“Today represents real progress. But in Indonesia, many of the individuals behind these murders continue to live with impunity, and the victims and their descendants continue to be marginalized and unrecognized. These injustices are holding back Indonesia from achieving reconciliation and realizing its democratic potential. Here in the United States, we must encourage the continued democratic progress of a vital ally, and we must confront our own role in these terrible acts. Only by acknowledging the truth about our own history will the United States be able to speak out forcibly and credibly to defend human rights in the future.”

Indonesia, which had been a loose colony of the Netherlands for centuries, declared their independence in August 1945 and created the modern state of Indonesia, with the socialist and anti-imperialist Sukarno as the new nation’s first president. Sukarno attempted to balance the military, political Islam and communism in a policy called “Nasakom” and was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement with other formerly colonized countries like Egypt and India.

But over time, Sukarno favored his communist allies more, especially those abroad in China and the Soviet Union. Poverty and hunger besieged the world’s third largest communist country, and Indonesia accrued huge debts to Beijing and Moscow. Sukarno also cracked down on Islamists and attempted to weaken the society’s military elements through measures like the creation of a communist-aligned peasant militia.

After a failed coup against Sukarno in September 1965 that the military blamed on the Indonesian communist party and Chinese actors, the nation quickly dissolved into a brief but extremely bloody purge. The military and Islamists allied to annihilate Sukarno’s regime, slaughtering the communist party’s leadership. The documents also suggested that the US embassy had credible evidence that the coup was not orchestrated by the communists — later analysis would question the Indonesian military’s claim, and the culprits and motivation behind the coup attempt remain under dispute.

The rebellion’s leader, Major General Suharto, seized control of the presidency and placed Sukarno under house arrest, where he died in 1970 of kidney failure. Suharto would remain the nation’s US-friendly military dictator until he was forced to resign in 1998.

The legacy of the massacre remains complicated in Indonesia. School textbooks briefly discuss a “patriotic campaign,” a national uprising where 80,000 communist oppressors were killed. A 2016 symposium meant to discuss the tragedy was met with severe backlash, and in September 2017 an anti-communist mob disrupted a meeting of activists to discuss the massacre.

Indonesia massacres: Declassified US files shed new light

Indonesia massacres: Declassified US files shed new light
Relatives visit the site that is believed to be the burial ground for victims of a 1965 massacreImage copyright EPA
Image caption Relatives visit a site believed to be the burial ground for victims

The US knew people were being “delivered for slaughter” during a political purge in Indonesia during the 1960s, declassified documents reveal.

At least 500,000 people were killed between 1965 and 1966, after the army and local Muslim militia went on a rampage following an attempted coup.

It was one of the worst massacres of the 20th Century, but, at the time, Washington remained silent.

But these newly released memos reveal they had detailed knowledge of events.

The documents show US staff describing them in telegrams as “slaughter” and at times “indiscriminate killings”, exposing an intimate knowledge of the Indonesian army’s operations to “completely clean up” the Communist Party and leftist groups.

It is thought as many as three million could have lost their lives within a year.

Young people stood outside an hotel in Indonesia with a military armoured vehicle on stand byImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption The events of 1965-66 have been taboo for over 50 years in Indonesia

The violence – which was a taboo topic in Indonesia for almost 50 years and remains extremely sensitive even today – was unleashed after communists were accused of killing six generals at the end of September 1965.

It was the peak of the Cold War, and the struggle for power between the Communists, the military and Islamist groups was in full swing.

‘Delivered for slaughter’

Five decades later, the contents of the US telegrams are chilling.

According to one from US embassy staff in East Java, dated 28 December 1965, “victims are taken out of populous areas before being killed and bodies are buried rather than thrown in river” as they had been previously.

The telegram says prisoners suspected of being communists are also “being delivered to civilians for slaughter”.

Another document compiled by the US embassy’s first secretary, dated 17 December 1965, was a detailed list of the communist leaders across the country and whether they had been arrested or killed.

But the documents also make for uncomfortable reading for Indonesia’s biggest and most powerful Muslim organisations.

Young people holding flags with Arabic inscriptionsImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Muslim students in Jakarta demanding a ban of communist groups in 1965

A December 1965 cable from the US consulate in Medan in Sumatra said that Muhammadiyah preachers were telling people it was a religious obligation to “kill suspected communists”. They were the lowest order of infidel, “the shedding of whose blood is comparable to killing chicken”, the report said.

The US cable said this was being interpreted as a “wide licence for killing”.

Another telegram notes that people with no connection to the Communist Party were being killed by the youth arm of Nahdlatul Ulama because of “personal feuds”.

Breaking the silence

Brad Simpson, founder and director of the Indonesia and East Timor documentation project, pushed for the files’ release

“These documents show in great detail just how aware US officials were of how many people were being killed,” said Mr Simpson, noting “the US stance at the time was silence”.

Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono also says his extensive research has found no public comments from the US government at the time about the killings.

Mr Simpson said there was growing public interest in Indonesia to know the truth after years of state anti-communism propaganda.

Oscar-nominated film The Act of KillingImage copyright Kevin Winter
Image caption Oscar-nominated film The Act of Killing re-enacted the mass executions

“Indonesians can now read for themselves and learn about these important events in Indonesian history as part of a larger struggle for justice and accountability,” he said.

The 39 formerly classified documents come from a collection of files, daily records and memos from the US embassy in Jakarta during the period 1964-1968.

They have been released by the National Declassification Centre, a division of the US government’s National Archives and Records Administration. More documents, including CIA files, are set to be released later this year.

Revisiting the violence

Lieutenant General Agus Widjojo’s father was one of the Indonesian generals killed in the alleged communist coup.

When the BBC showed Gen Widjojo the documents released on Tuesday, he said: “I cannot say anything to justify or reject what is explained in these documents, but basically the tragedy of 1965 was a struggle for power between the Communist Party and the army.”

He denied knowledge of reports in the US memos about ethnic Chinese being killed in the violence and their businesses being burnt down.

“I have no knowledge that the violence went as far as that, the intensity of the violence and the atrocities I have no first-hand witness or information,” he said.

But he believes the country needs to go through a truth-telling process.

After 50 years, the Indonesian government is going to investigate one of the worst massacres of the 20th Century.

“We should bring all parties concerned together to share their experiences but there must be one condition – the victims, they have to be at peace, they have to move on and see in reflection the tragedy of 1965 from the point of view of Indonesia in 2017.”

He says Indonesian society, including his own institution, the military, is not ready to openly discuss the killings. Attempts at holding seminars to mark the anniversary of the killings last month were shut down by violent demonstrations from right-wing groups.

A 2012 Oscar-nominated documentary, The Act of Killing, is among a list of films about the killings banned in Indonesia.

“We are not looking for a situation to reopen the wounds, we are looking for a situation to heal the wounds and to move on,” he said., “We would like to focus on what went wrong as a society that we were able to conduct such violence and such killings in such large numbers in such a short time.”

Reporting by the BBC’s Rebecca Henschke in Jakarta.


D. Koutsoumbas: “We continue on the road opened by the October Socialist Revolution. For the victory, for Socialism – Communism”

Friday, September 29, 2017

D. Koutsoumbas: “We continue on the road opened by the October Socialist Revolution. For the victory, for Socialism – Communism”
Speech by the Secretary General of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Dimitris Koutsoumbas in the political event of the 43rd KNE-Odigitis Festival in Athens. Source:
“Friends and comrades,
The future is here! The future is here, at the 43rd festival of KNE and ODIGITIS, in this beautiful picture of the enlightened future world which all visitors can admire.
The future is here, in the Tritsi park, in the center of the western Attica, which has been transformed into a red city thanks to the volunteer work and will of our KNE’s members and friends.
You can see the future in the faces of the thousands of young people who are determined to fight for a life with modern rights to work, education, life,  sports and culture. That’s the origin of our slogan, “Youth does not bow its head, it attacks and struggles alongside the KKE!”
The young people’s hearts beat here these three days and this is a proof that  the festival –the unique political and cultural event for the youth- continues to be a meeting spot  a place for thousands of young people to explore and have fun. It enhances itself as the years pass.
The festival reminds us of the “Tree” one of Manos Loizos’ songs that we are going to listen to at the concert in a short while. It’s a tree that never bends, a tree that keeps growing with dozens of events in different cities, islands, neighborhoods and villages in our country.
This year, thousands of young people heard our message, that we have to take measures in order for the future to come in order for young people to take the place they deserve in the workers’ movement, in the social alliance which will crush the exploiters of the peoples.
The future is here! We honor the great October Socialist Revolution, the monumental  event of the 20th century  which paved the way 100 years ago. Now the working class and the peoples of the world can get prepared in order to make the 21st century the century of the final victory of the ‘new’ against the ‘old’, in order to make history and conquer the future of socialism and communism.
The future lies in the revolutionary, unique political  position of  the KKE .  Thanks to the tireless and vanguard work of the youth’s members and friends thousands of workers and young people get in touch with this position every day!
History isn’t over! Earth will finally turn into red! Red out of life! We believe in it! We fight for it every day! Our weapon is our 100-year history of the ΚΚΕ, its revolutionary program  and  the  resolutions of its 20th Congress.
Our Congress confirmed that our party is politically and ideologically united. It confirmed the decisiveness of our cadres and members of KNE and KKE   to make the KKE stronger, to make it more capable of  fighting for the regroupment of the labor movement. Make it more capable to build the social alliance in an anticapitalist, antimonopoly direction. Make it more capable of fighting against the imperialist wars,  for  workers’ power, for socialism.
The October Socialist Revolution paved the way 100 years ago in Russia.  As Lenin said “We have made the start. When, at what date and time, and the proletarians of which nation will complete this process is not important. The important thing is that the ice has been broken; the road is open, the way has been shown”.
Since these days of October, we passed definitively to the era of the overthrow of capitalism, to the era of socialist revolutions.  This happens independently of the setbacks, the new  difficulties in the correlation of class forces.
We ask young people to search, to ask, to learn about communists’ action. Also, to read and study about the days that shook the world, about the October Revolution and discover all that is hidden about USSR.
We ask young people to see beyond all the slander and falsification about Socialism that was built in the 20th century. We ask young people to wonder why anti-communism is so intense, why do they care that much every single day on the media, the radio, they even write books, organize events about socialism that, as they say, failed and collapsed?
Why do they insist to write and  talk about it? Why do the keep attacking a system that they like to call obsolete and inapplicable?
We recommend that young people read “Bolsheviks’ way to victory”. In 1914 the Party of the Bolsheviks had already (later on Communist Party) opposed betrayal of social democracy that supported Ist WW.
 Bolsheviks did not support bourgeois government. Nor that formed by the February Revolution of 1917, overthrowing the Czar. With the struggle of the Bolsheviks, it became possible for the poor peasants and soldiers to ally with the revolutionary vanguard of the working class.
Under these conditions, in October 1917 they made the socialist revolution. Under these conditions, they were theoretically, ideologically, organizationally prepared in the harsh class conflicts and won when conditions of revolutionary situation were created. In conditions when vast masses of workers, peasants, soldiers, turned their backs to the bourgeoisie that weakened and was defeated in the final confrontation.

The workers who produced the wealth became its owners.

The country came out of the imperialist war.

The 8 hour working day, social security, free healthcare, unemployment were established, unemployment was finally eliminated.

Millions of acres of landowners passed into the hands of the Soviets, of the workers and peasants.

General education became compulsory and free, illiteracy was abolished.

Women’s inequality was eliminated in family law, voting rights, the way for right to work, for  participation in  social action was opened.

All the nations of the multinational Russia of that time acquired the same rights.

The Soviet Union contributed decisively to smashing  the Nazi-fascist war machine with 20 million dead, with 1,700 cities and 70,000 villages destroyed by the troops of Hitler.

In this titanic struggle for socialism, Communist Parties in all countries, members, cadres, leaders in every country had a very important role.

Communists also had a huge contribution for the peoples, for the revolutionary movements in all countries. The  National Liberation Front (EAM), the Greek People’s Liberation Army (ELAS), the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE), were the heroic creations of the KKE in our country. As many times as our people accepted to fight, based on the revolutionary policy of the KKE, it had successes and victories.

The October Socialist Revolution, proved that capitalism is neither eternal nor invincible. A superior organization of the society can be built without exploitation of man by man.

Of course, never before in the history of mankind, has a more progressive, superior social system been established. Today’s capitalism consolidated itself over feudalism as a new superior social system, over the centuries: Since 1400 it appeared, only in the 19th century, it fully developed its own characteristics.

Workers’ power emerged for the first time in the 19th century and lasted only 70 days in France, with the Paris Commune. The second time, comparatively more mature, with the October Revolution in 1917, it lasted about 70 years.

The third time in our century it will win definitely and irrevocably, and only so will humanity be saved from hunger, environmental destruction, exploitation, unemployment, wars.

We have studied and have drawn conclusions about the causes of the overthrow, except that we do not ignore the contribution of socialism, as the apologists of capitalism do.

A gradual slide into capitalist functions, with the so-called market socialism theory, weakening the social character of the product and central planning, led to the overthrow.

The 20th Congress of the CPSU in 1956 was a turning point, because by employing the  so-called personality cult, it adopted a series of opportunist positions, mainly on the issues of strategy of the communist movement, of international relations, and partly of the economy.  Perestroika in 1985 became the final vehicle of the counter-revolution

For the KKE, however, these 26 years that have passed, they have made even more categorical the timeliness of socialism – communism.

But what is even clearer is the truth of Mayakovsky’s verses that called us to unravel the future. “The future will not come by its’ own … if we do not take measures too.”

And the future is not behind us, it is not capitalism, it is the new world, socialism – communism.
Comrades and friends,
Lately, SYRIZA and Mr. Tsipras are more exposed, giving us lessons of defense of capitalism.

Sometimes employing “healthy entrepreneurship”, sometimes “social economy” or “innovation and research”, Mr. Tsipras performs well at what any seller does to meet the goals and get the bonus, in this specific case the renewal of the support of  capital.

He seeks to acquit a whole social system based on the exploitation of man by man, which is enshrined in countless anti-labor laws, which, of course, are implemented by healthy companies.

He tries to absolve a rotten system that has profit as the main motive. This motive applies even when states, governments in capitalism are tricking workers, telling them that there are also some supposedly non-profit companies, public utilities, NGOs and others.

Research and innovation are exploited to the benefit of capitalist accumulation, not to the satisfaction of the needs of the working class, the people.

Of course, we are not in 2015, nor in 2012. SYRIZA has completed its mutation into a bourgeois party and has already completed two and a half years of bourgeois management.

It can now turn to capital by advertising his government as the best “dealer” for businesses and investors, and can sometimes take off its left masque to reveal its real face as a servant of monopoly groups, of capitalist development.

Capitalist development, despite what SYRIZA says when talking to the people, cannot be fair. Because fair development in an unfair system cannot exist.

Examples are countless and more the recent is the shipwreck in Salamis. On the one side, they celebrate that Piraeus becomes an “entry gate”, an international hub “and on the other, ships that are floating coffins destroy health and the environment, they deprive the people of Athens even of swimming in the Saronic Gulf.

That’s is their development.

Greece is  on fire, popular dwellings flood from the rains, everyone is afraid of a major earthquake.

Because their growth is motivated by profit rather than the protection of the life of the working class, the people.

The abolition of the Sunday holiday, the extension of the memorandum regulations for the Collective Labor Agreements, the essential legal establishment of the lock out, the liberalization of collective layoffs, the abolition of trade union rights, the attack against the right to strike through the facilitation of its outlawing and many other measures recently voted by the SYRIZA-ANEL government and also what it is preparing to vote with the 3rd assessment pave the way for capitalist development.

And all these anti-worker measures, independently of how SYRIZA baptizes them, are deeply class-based and unjust!

This is capitalism! In Greece and all over the world. Barbarity, unemployment, misery for the lives of the workers.

The  promises of New Democracy, which, of course, claims that, unlike SYRIZA, it knows and wants, and can better do the dirty work on behalf of the capital, function inside the same unjust class framework.
In fact, in order to overcome SYRIZA as for its anti-people character and also its devotion to the capital, it brings up against reactionary slogans like “parties out of the schools and universities”, ” parties and trade unions out of the workplaces”.
It goes so far as to say that social inequalities stem from human nature by reproducing reactive theories drawn from the textbooks of the Nazi Mengele.

Both of them are particularly focused on the youth and  they pretend to worry for its future. Their hypocrisy has no limits.

SYRIZA’s “fair development” and “sustainable growth” that will not leave anyone behind” of New Democracy the historically outdated capitalist growth that is accompanied by rising unemployment, especially among young people and women, that obliges youngsters from  a very young age  to experience the unfairness of unemployment, the unfairness of starvation wages, uninsured labor, non-payment,  impossibility to work  in their chosen profession, to experience the unfairness of immigration abroad. It’s the capitalist development that leaves behind the children of the workers’ people’s family and their rights.

They avoid talking even about the minimum. That no one should be paid under 751 euros.
Comrades and friends,
In a society that that everywhere projects the principles  “your death is my life”, “take care just of yourself” that “the capitalist system is invincible and the end of history and  whatever we do is in vain ” we know there are youngsters, and there will be much more in the next few days, who are concerned.

They are angry because the system of exploitation deprives them of their rights and life and they fairly say that “something must happen, the situation must change”. They wonder about how this can be done.

We address all these young people and say: “There is a solution! With the KKE on the way of the overthrow “! The youth is fed up with messiahs who “save them” every time, is fed up with lies that the governors say each time to become such, is fed up with promises.

SYRIZA and New Democracy, as well as the other parties only acknowledge  to the young generation the right to have no rights, to claim no rights. Both Mr. Tsipras and Mr. Mitsotakis talk continuously about the new generation, at the same time that they crush its life. Give them the answer now!

The time has come for action! KNE, the Youth Organization of the KKE, is here for you all! It has a clear struggle proposal, it has proposals and positions on all the issues that concern young people of the workers’ peoples’ families. However, in order for these proposals of KKE and KNE to take effect, they need your support, the struggle of all of us in the workplaces, the  centers of education,  the neighborhoods.

So let’s all overcome the dirty propaganda of the system, the hesitations that everyone may have!

Each one of us counts in the big struggle that we have in front!

Every youngster organized in KNE means a great failure of the system to control the,, to neutralize their soul and body! It means that no one will be alone, to be exploited, to  be deceived.
But it also means much more … Every youngster who decides to join KNE  in fact is  not just one, but thousands. The slogan “One for All and All for One” and all together for the most sacred aim, the abolition of exploitation of man by man is put into action. Every youngster organized in KNE is part of the collective struggle, of the effort to change our lives, to “make man a human”.

The fact of being organized multiplies the power of each and every one of us!

Think … Would the great revolutionaries, whom we admire and honor this year – by devoting the festival to the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution – such as Lenin, Stalin and so many others – had made their thoughts come true without the conscious action, the organization of thousands and millions of people?

The people’s struggle is all-powerful, and we communists have confidence, even when the opponent imagines itself omnipotent, even when the movement is not on the up.

So we say to every youngster something that has been repeatedly confirmed by historical experience: The struggle of the youth, of the people in our country is connected by a red thread with all the revolutions and uprisings that humanity has experienced, in order for the peoples to live better days.
We proceed with this course of the peoples to the final victory! With its ups and downs, with its turns and stops, and sometimes with huge leaps forward! But we do not hesitate; we are constantly trying to conquer knowledge, to understand developments and to make our own battle plan with only one purpose: “For the need to become history”!

The future will come! The new generation will live it!

This is undisputed. The question is whether the black future where the capitalists will continue having the power, crushing the rights of the workers and the youth, to make wars  shall continue  … or the bright future, without exploitation of man from man, socialism – communism shall come earlier!

Our struggle is part of the struggle waged by the peoples of the world! And this is evidenced by the fact that today, among us, we have comrades, young communists from all over Europe, from Asia, Africa, and America.

We have comrades from Mexico, Palestine, Syria, Turkey and so many other countries that fight in very difficult circumstances. We also salute the representatives of the embassies present with us here at the festival: Palestine, Cuba, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

Our minds and our hearts are together with all the peoples that fight. We coordinate our action, and spot all together against the same aim, capitalism, imperialism, which crushes our rights all over the world.
Comrades and friends,
We address to those who are currently studying and making proper use of their experience. The experience that says that saviors are over, to those who have come to the conclusion that the lesser evil always leads to the greater evil.

We address to those who feel frustrated, cheated by SYRIZA, to those who instead of looking ahead, look back at their previous choices.

We say they shouldn’t have any confidence in New Democracy which tries to whitewash its anti-people policy, and once again asks for the support of the people for its turn of anti-people’s management, as SYRIZA succeeded New Democracy  two and a half years ago.

To have no confidence in PASOK and the other parties, which through the renaming of the center-left, with their historic support for the system, that they supported in the previous years, is attempted to be whitewashed by staff of the system.

Remember: Every new government will be worse than the previous one, because the system of exploitation itself becomes worse.

It is not a solution for the people and the youth, the constant rotation of parties and governments, which, when one fails, prepare each other to replace it and treat the people equally bad.

The hope, the way out for the working class is far and away from the bourgeois management where the bourgeois parties, sometimes one by one and sometimes in collaboration between them, carry out the anti-people policy.

The hope, the way out, to come along with the KKE.
In order to get rid of the causes of misery.
In order to overthrow and definitely abolish barbarity.

We invite you now, no matter what choices you made until yesterday, to come along with the  KKE. Here is your position, the position of the unemployed people, the workers, the employees, the self-employed farmers, professionals, scientists, the students, all the women of the popular families.
Now with the KKE, because it told the truth about SYRIZA.

It particularly warned those who felt that they were politically left-wing, they based their hopes on the “left for the first time “, to a bourgeois government that independently of its name, faces, phraseology did well the dirty work for the quartet, the EU, the NATO, the big capital.

Now with the KKE, because in the workers’ people’s movement, it has the line of rupture and conflict with the capitalist system.

With the KKE for the movement that regroups its forces, it prepares for the conflict with the real enemy.
That is why it does not retreat, it does not stumble on the traps of social consensus, political instability, it does not ask for sacrifices for the recovery of the profits of the capitalists but for sacrifices in the class struggle that bring closer the perspective.

We call upon the working class, the youth, not to be trapped again by obstacles that are being prepared. Do not submit to the system and the EU plans for the new disposition of their political staff.

Now with the KKE, because its truly promising alliance policy is not in meetings and summit agreements, but in the alliance of all the oppressed, in the social alliance where workers can meet with poor farmers and the self-employed can meet, with their children and the women of the popular strata and together they walk in the way of the conflict in order for all of them to be in the power.
In this social alliance, the KKE, through the members and cadres of the Party and KNE, as well as any power in an anti-capitalist-antimonopoly direction, through its people, can find its place.

Now, along with the KKE to strengthen the workers’-popular readiness and struggle against imperialist war plans, the scenarios of border change, against the  involvement of any country in these plans. These plans serve the so-called “geostrategic upgrading” of SYRIZA, New Democracy and other bourgeois parties, which in essence is the upgrading of the Greek bourgeoisie in the region.

Along with the KKE for the final closure of the murderous military base of Souda. In order not to be transferred NATO nuclear warheads to Araxos base,  which is being visited by US military delegations, inspecting its infrastructure maintenance and modernization in order to host nuclear weapons in their premises.

Alongside the KKE, because the struggle against the imperialist war is inseparably linked to the struggle for workers’ power, which is the only that can guarantee disengagement from the EU and NATO’s predatory alliances.

To make the slogan “neither earth nor water to the murderers of the peoples”. For the people not to take place “under a foreign flag”, not to spill its blood for interests that are not their own.

To isolate the Nazi criminal organization of the Golden Dawn killers, these henchmen of the bosses.

Those who deny and vote in the Parliament against the obvious, that the employee must be paid their wages, obviously because their ideal are the Nazi forced labor camps that offered for free slave-workers to the German and other monopolies.

Those who commit murderous attacks against PAME trade unionists, these henchmen of those who support military war operations that create refugees and immigrants who are then murdered by racist criminals of the Golden Dawn in the streets of our homeland, the leading henchmen that sow hatred, poison and discord in our people from the podium of the Parliament and leaving behind dead fighters such as Pavlos Fissas exactly 4 years ago.

That’s why we shout once again: “Deeply understand what fascism is!  It won’t die by itself, smash it!


We are addressing to all of you who, even though the prospect temporarily blurred before you, you never believed that capitalist barbarism was the end of the evolution of human society.

To all of you who are outrageous with raw anti-communism, with the methodical concealed anti-communism of the slander of socialism, but also with the anti-communism of  stupidity that lately has overwhelmed some people.

We invite you to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the October Socialist Revolution, to teach your children about the first attempt to make man a human, that you want your children to live in a society without unemployment, poverty and wars.

That’s the society for which the KKE fights. With the working class, the people in the power. This workers’, peoples’ government is the rival awe of capitalist barbarism. Because with the socialization of means of production, central planning and workers’ control, it can meet modern needs of the working class, the people and their children.

Come with KKE because it never abandoned revolutionary struggle. It did not abandon socialism in the 20th century. it did not conceal that against the harsh dictatorship of the capital, there is only the “dictatorship of the proletariat”, that is, the power of the working class that, together with its precious social allies constitute the vast popular majority, which is the only force capable of opening the way of the real freedom, peace, and satisfaction of great modern people’s needs.

Remember: The KKE, at the crucial moment, the day the Kremlin’s red flag came down in 1991, had the strength to summon the communists through “Rizospastis”, saying: “Comrades, keep  the flag high! Hope is now in the struggle of the peoples “! We are proud of this.

We continue to keep up this red flag!

We continue on the road opened by the October Socialist Revolution. For the victory, Socialism – Communism.

The days that will re-shake the world will come. We take our measures for this!”