A contribution to the 7th International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations

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Note:

The following contribution of the Revolutionary Marxist Organization A/synechia (predecessor of the Communist Organization of Greece), submitted to the 7th International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations, that took place in 2001, must be conceived as a continuation and further elaboration of our contribution to the previous, 6th IC:

  • On the General Line of the International Communist Movement in the contemporary conditions (1999)

That is why we consider both of them as papers of our Organization for the 7th IC, together with three articles we published in the International Newsletter in the interval between the 6th and the 7th IC:

  • After the European Union’s Summit in Nice: Who will say “No!”? (INL nr 22)
  • Solidarity with the Revolutionary Movement and the Peoples of Latin America! (INL nr 23)
  • About the Anti-globalization Movement (INL nr 24)

The present publication is an edited version. Some parts of the original text have not been reproduced here, and others have been edited, in order to conform to the Rules of the International Conference. In the Annex, containing the oral interventions of our Organization during the 7th IC (most of them based on and/or repeating the written text), the same procedure has been followed.

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The 7th International Conference of the Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations takes place in the context of a situation critical for the whole world. Our Conference is obliged to face serious problems concerning the orientation, the unity and the possibility of common action. Its main concern must be the necessity to elaborate a General Line for the International Communist Movement of our times. The International Conference has more than one reason to exist, and can contribute positively in the opening and holding of a serious debate concerning the General Line!

PART I

An introductory remark

In the 6th IC, our Organization’s intervention was pointing out the issue of the General Line, and our written and oral contributions expressed an opinion-proposition relative to this issue. As all the participants of the 6th IC know, there was no debate on this. First of all, it was difficult because of the agenda, and secondly we then limited ourselves in just underlining the necessity to discuss about the General Line.

In the period between the two International Conferences, however, this issue did not attract the attention of most of the participants. Of course, as far as we know, there have been a few contributions of Parties and Organizations concerning the problem of the General Line, like those of the CPI (M-L) Janashakti, the CPI (M-L) Red Flag and the ROL Group (USA) – and this is an extremely positive development. But the fact remains, that a debate on this subject has not yet started.

The main question that emerges is: Why such a discussion has not yet started? There is a point of view insinuating that the conditions are not mature for this. We do not agree with such an opinion, for the following reasons:

  • The lack of discussion and debate on the General Line continues for several decades – while many changes and overturnings took place during those decades. The last serious, thorough position on the General Line that the Communist Marxist-Leninist Movement disposed of, was the one of the Communist Party of China: the “25 Points” of 1963. But since then big changes took place on all aspects; the correlation of power was modified; the situation of the Communist Movement is very different too. So, the elaboration and formulation of a General Line (a General Line corresponding to those big changes, and taking them into account) is of outmost importance. As long as this discussion delays, the negative developments and the weaknesses to which we will refer later will be intensified.
  • The absence of discussion and questioning on the General Line made possible many negative “adaptations” and “U-turns” of the orientation of many components of the Marxist-Leninist Movement. It is also related to the crisis and the liquidarism that hit the revolutionary movement in the Eighties. But it is mainly related to the fact that the contemporary Marxist-Leninist Movement cannot and does not act anymore as a distinctive ideological and political current in the international arena. The groupings or attempts of grouping that took place in it, after a long period of crisis, do not demonstrate a serious occupation with the accumulated problems.
  • Finally, the non-elaboration and formulation of a General Line, the lack of discussion and debate on this important issue within our movement, creates the possibility of arbitrariness, facilitates enormously the revisionism, opens the door to the neo-revisionism, promotes the pragmatism/realism and, mainly, it prevents the building of forces able to counter the dominant reaction.

We believe that it is more than mature to, at least, open the discussion on the General Line – because we understand that, to resolve this problem, is a much more complicated issue. But if this is the case, why don’t we agree to engage in this discussion and debate, to find the procedures and the time necessary for its holding? In other words, why can’t we turn our attention to this critical problem?

In our humble opinion, some forces consider such a discussion as futile. Futile, because they have a line having the dimensions of the General Line – and this is told openly by some forces, and not so openly by some other forces. For example, within the Marxist-Leninist Movement exist forces, which are of the opinion that the General Line in the contemporary conditions is the Protracted People’s War. The forces that have this opinion, consider that the priority is to unite all those who agree with it, and to neutralize the rest.

It is natural that this opinion underestimates the changes that took place in the world, and invokes certain analyses and positions of the Chinese Communists of the Sixties. As we will show later on, this is rather intriguing, because actually the international situation is quite different. Within this current, the processes, the problems, the theoretical and political issues arising by the course of the capitalist/imperialist restructuring, and especially by the changes in the capitalist metropoles, are underestimated. Such an attitude does not help the research of a General Line in the modern world – for example, we must not forget that the International Communist Movement, the Communist International, but the Communist Party of China as well, always paid attention to the proletariat and the changes that were taking place in the imperialist countries. Furthermore, the changes in the wide “countryside of the world” and certain new phenomena are demanding an inquiry and response [we have referred extensively to those issues in our contribution to the 6th IC].

We were writing in our contribution to the 6th IC:

In the course towards the active resistance, many new phenomena and unknown situations will appear. Communists must be able to detect them, realize their importance, and evaluate them. The future will by no means be a simple repetition of the past. It has never been and it will not become one now. […]

In this struggle it is clear that the most advanced detachments of the international proletariat, those opening paths, with liberated areas, fighting in guerrilla zones, striking serious blows to the enemy, following People’s War and connecting it with a general line corresponding to the present stage, are playing and will play a vanguard role. The broad mobilization of the popular masses for the support and strengthening of these movements is very important for their victory and the fulfillment of the strategic objective, as we determined it. At the same time, we ought to pay proper attention to all the authentic mass movements, outbreaks, and revolts all over the world, because they pose a whole series of serious issues and problems. The movements of the working class and of the youth, all over the world and in the imperialist metropoles can teach the revolutionaries a lot, no matter where they are and the conditions under which they fight.

Through these trials on a worldwide scale, under different conditions, and through the dealing with unknown situations, the new world vanguard will be consolidated, and the international communist movement will be reconstructed. From its lines the objective law of the development of the class struggle in the present period will be discovered.

However, we would be unfair to the Comrades that consider that the objective law of class struggle’s development in the contemporary conditions is the Protracted People’s War, if we would consider them, and only them, as the sole responsible for not opening the discussion on the General Line! There is the other side of the coin: the general underestimation of this necessity; the huge difficulties in the elaboration and formulation of a convincing answer as far as the issue of the General Line is concerned. The Comrades that disagree with the equation “Protracted People’s War = General Line”, what do they put in its place?

The fact that it is most urgent and necessary to undertake the duty of debating, elaborating and formulating the General Line, does not mean at all that such a serious and critical issue will be rapidly resolved. While we are making such a proposition, we realize very well the present situation of the International Communist Movement. However, we firmly believe that such a discussion would create an ideological and political wealth and would activate forces in the direction of resolving this problem.

 

Some concrete examples of our deficiencies as an ideological-political current

The 6th IC concluded its works just a few days before the final phase of the second big war of the New World Order: the 78 days-long bombardment of Yugoslavia. The 7th IC takes place when the “10 years-long war against terrorism” has already started, in a moment that an aggression against the Arabic countries and Afghanistan is perpetrated. In the context of a deep world crisis that embraces the whole planet, we are observing the sharpening of all the contradictions of the contemporary world, and the aggravation of the antagonism among the big imperialist powers, that extends up to the “escape” to the war.

In the interval between those two International Conferences, we witnessed:

  • the war against Yugoslavia,
  • the development of the anti-globalization movement,
  • important changes and realignments in several countries (Indonesia, Philippines, Congo, Nepal, etc.), and
  • a big wave of struggles especially in the Latin America, with main spearheads the uprisings in Ecuador and the popular struggles in Argentina.

In a few words, we were and we are in front of very important developments that should lead us to, at least:

  1. try to adopt a common position concerning them;
  2. take the initiative for some common interventions concerning some of them;
  3. try to establish a network of better exchange of information and mutual arming of the participant Parties and Organizations.

We are of the opinion that on almost all levels and issues there were serious delays. The reason is the way in which various Parties and Organizations understand those developments – how they are trying to “integrate” them within their own moulds and forms. That is to say, there is quite a distance between what happens and the way that we understand it… Some vivid examples:

 

1. The War against Yugoslavia 

The whole revisionist and “radical” (overtly or covertly trotskyite) European Left, instead of focusing the main reason of Yugoslavia’s disintegration in the antagonism of the imperialist forces during their “Drag nach Osten”, was outbidding the slogans for “auto-determination” and “autonomy” – slogans that, in the concrete case, were promoted by the imperialist policy. Nationalities and minorities were manipulated and armed by the imperialists and turned against the unified existence of Yugoslavia; an anti-Serbian racism has been cultivated, accompanied by the demonization of Milosevic. This “Left” did not condemn the war and, to a great extent, participated in the governments that perpetrated this war. This was the final outcome of the shameful course of the most notorious revisionist parties – like the French and the Italian, which participated all the way long in the governments that bombarded the Yugoslav people…

Up to here, someone could say that this situation is “normal”, that we could not expect something different from such a “Left”. However, there are some additional problems… The Communist Party of Albania, for example, did not condemn the bombardments and the NATO aggression. On the contrary, the CPA supported them, and said that it is not against them, since the main enemy in Kossovo is Milosevic! This position is a shame for the communists of Albania, of the Balkans and of the whole world! This is chauvinism replacing communism! Furthermore: a Marxist-Leninist Party from the Indian Peninsula considered the struggle of the Kossovars against the Milosevic regime as a progressive cause, and supported that the UCK (KLA) was a … people’s army! This Party went even to the point to imply that in Kossovo was taking place a sort of … People’s War! [in the original text here follows the reference of publication]. What was and is the UCK? A gang, armed and financed by the German and, mainly, the US imperialists… The above mentioned article estimated that both the West and Russia want the liquidation of UCK: “…But on the question of the KLA and secession, both the West and Russia are united … seeking either to crush it, or force it through military action to accept autonomy within the Yugoslav Federation.” So many mistakes in just one phrase!

What took place in Yugoslavia was an outrageous shame: the disintegration of a sovereign country; the war declared by 19 countries (violating even the slightest remnants of international law and inaugurating in practice the new dogma of NATO, adopted on its 50th anniversary); the destruction of its economic and productive structures, through the embargo and the environmental destruction caused by the use of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

However, the shame did not end there! It continued with the overthrowing of Milosevic, through the combined pressure of the threat of a repetition of the bombardments, and of the forced construction of a pro-Western, collaborationist “democratic opposition” that would appear as a rescuer. The overthrowing was finally achieved by the means of a putsch in October 2000, and the subsequent gangster-style arrest of Milosevic and his handing over the “International Court of Hague”: an illegal organ that was created by the imperialists specially for the war in Yugoslavia, but will be used in the future for other wars as well.

We insist on those aspects, because they constitute concrete expressions of the New World Order in our days; and we see that our movement has not, in many cases, a correct and firm estimation of what is happening. For example a European Marxist-Leninist Party (one of the few European Parties that condemned the war and took initiatives against it) adopted an erroneous position concerning the overthrowing of Milosevic: “Solidarity with the uprising of the democratic working-class and people’s movement in Yugoslavia”, “… a democratic rebellion against the reactionary Milosevic regime”, “The Belgrade uprising has placed the governments of the NATO states and of Russia highly on alert” [in the original text here follows the reference of publication].

Here we are in front of a serious issue. The popular support that a change or a coalition of powers or a military force may have, does not prejudge the orientation and the result of that change, and does not obligatory give to that change a progressive character. Who benefits by this change? Who takes advantage by the military action? Who is served by the policy and action of concrete forces? These are the questions that must be in the focus of our attention. Of course the popular participation and support complicates the situation – but it does not change the pro-imperialist orientation of this change, especially when the forces that would promote the people’s interests (independent of imperialist centers, financing, etc.) are missing!

 

2. The process of the European Union integration

The EU integration is advancing and an imperialist block is under formation. A block aspiring to achieve the preconditions that will permit to it to compete with the other imperialist centers under better conditions and without the danger of getting squeezed. The French-German axis, despite the contradictions, promotes this process of integration, imposing (in cooperation with other forces) an unprecedented austerity, flexibility, etc., on European level.

But the European Union is an imperialist organism. It is a Union (maybe the most advanced) of imperialist nature, and as such it assures the imperialists’ interests, both in the interior of its member states and internationally. So, there is a question: Which must be the Communists’ attitude in front of this imperialist union?

The European and Trotskyite Left are, in the reality, silent. They do not feel concerned by this question, or they consider the existence of the EU as an unavoidable or even positive fact.

But the real problem is elsewhere: what do the Communists, the Marxist-Leninists answer to this question? We consider as extremely positive the fact that there are Parties and Movements struggling for the dissolution (yes, the dissolution – we need clear words!) of the EU, for the withdrawal of their countries, or for not entering the EU. As far as we know, such forces of the IC are the Parties of Scandinavia, the TKP/ML, and our Organization.

We believe that it is not enough to condemn the globalization as a fabrication and to say that it is not a new phenomenon. It is not enough to declare that we live the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution. It is not enough to say that the internationalization process advances and creates the conditions for an international revolution. All these are simply not enough, if we do not adopt a crystal-clear position concerning the imperialist unions!

The pro-imperialist attitude in front of the EU (a revisionist and social-democratic one) has been cultivated since many decades, since the moment of revision of the whole Leninist theory on imperialism. Afterwards, there was added the revisionist “theory of the Three Worlds” – a theory exculpating the “Second World”, with whom the “Third World” was supposed to build an alliance against the “First World”. All these theories gave birth to a series of improprieties, both theoretical and practical…

We believe that the influence of those “traditions”, as well as their very thin theoretical base (the theory of the productive forces) led a series of forces to remain silent in front of the EU, or even to consider this imperialist union as “one more” material preparation for socialism… [The representatives of the revolted proletariat are supposed to take over the positions of this mechanism and use it in order to construct socialism on European level…] The problem is that all that have nothing to do with the Marxism and the Leninism!

But let’s see this issue in a more wide, generalized way; maybe this can be helpful. There is not just the EU issue. What are our position and our line concerning all the contemporary imperialist unions? Which are those contemporary imperialist unions, and which is their position and role in the world economy? Here we are speaking of the IMF, World Bank, WTO, EU, APEC, NAFTA, FTAA, etc. Let’s broaden this question even more: What is our position concerning the multinational corporations?

Let’s consider some phenomena:

  • the destruction and abandonment of whole continents, and the disintegration of countries,
  • the huge destruction of productive mechanisms on world level,
  • the transformation of countries and regions in reservoirs of work force,
  • the transformation of their economies into sub-contractors of the multinationals, acting according to their priorities and wills,
  • the destruction of all the tools that could keep a national economy outside the snares of the globalized capitalism/imperialism …

All these phenomena do not lead to an easier break of the chain in the weakest links – on the contrary, they lead to a bigger imperialist domination. And this imperialist domination must be fought against! Because it brings greater barbarity and bigger deadlocks. [For more about the EU issue, see our relative article in INL nr 22]

 

3. The anti-globalization movement

Since 1999 and up today appears and develops the anti-globalization movement. From Seattle to Genoa, with many intermediate stations, continuously and in a more and more intense way, hundreds of thousands of progressive people all over the world demonstrate their opposition to the WTO, the IMF, the G8, the World Bank, the EU and the NATO, etc.

This mass movement brings into the scene in the most revealing and dramatic way the need for international coordination and struggle against the imperialist globalization. In other words, it underlines the need of a broad international anti-imperialist front, of a worldwide front against the New World Order. This movement, with its existence alone, underlines the possibilities to build such a front – on the other side, it shows in the clearest way the evident weaknesses of the Marxist-Leninist Movement! The international social-democracy, the trotskyites, some versions of revisionism, as well as the anarchists, all have a presence and activity in this movement – all but the coordinated intervention of the Marxist-Leninists! This absence is more than clear. And the question is, why? The answer we are giving is based to the following assumptions:

  1. The International Marxist-Leninist Movement lacks a General Line and the characteristics of a homogeneous ideological-political current able to intervene on international level.
  2. The International Marxist-Leninist Movement has not assimilated the necessity of building a broad anti-imperialist movement-front. This necessity may be mentioned to this or the other text, but there have being no practical serious moves towards its realization.
  3. The International Marxist-Leninist Movement underestimated this new movement against the globalization (a movement born without its coordinated intervention), left the initiative to other forces, and was speaking vaguely or limited itself to (a few) resolutions of solidarity.
  4. In several international forum, seminars, publications, etc. the term “globalization” has been accused as a child of the imperialist propaganda, spreading the confusion among the masses; the idea that dominated was that whoever refers to this term has no regard for the Leninist theory. But … in the real life … the spontaneous mass movement surpassed the vanguards! This movement achieved, thanks to its radicalism, to de-legalize the dominant pro-imperialist positions, and to give to the term “globalization” a clearly negative meaning!!! This movement imposed the opening of a discussion concerning the issue of “globalization” under its own conditions; it obliged the reaction to fall backs and tactical retreats. Maybe the vanguards should first ask themselves: “What we did for this movement?” – and then decide what they will do with it…

In the biggest and most massive expression of this movement up today, in Genoa, Italy, the position “Smash the imperialist globalization!” has not been heard. There was no coordinated intervention of the International Marxist-Leninist Movement. The reason is not the extreme weakness of the Marxist-Leninists in Italy or in Europe – the reason is the underestimation of this movement. Our International Conference (or, for those who stick to rather typical questions, its participants) could take an initiative; call the Parties, Organizations and Mass Formations to form a united block; distribute a joint tract; prepare a common intervention, etc. All these were perfectly feasible and realist – what was missing was an understanding of the importance of this movement, followed by the respective priorities. If something like that would happen, it would be extremely beneficial to the Marxist-Leninist Movement, to the members and supporters of the Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations. Furthermore: if the International Conference could not organize the above (either because it is blocked by an internal crisis or because it prepares the 7th IC – although these do not seem enough excuses), again it would be possible for some Parties to get coordinated and organize all these. And more: what did for that the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, whose creation provoked so much discussion and contradictions within our movement? With the exception of a communication published in its website, nothing…

This situation obliges us to another series of remarks. Maybe the opinion that these movements have a petty-bourgeois character, with no perspective and future, prevails within the Marxist-Leninists. And maybe this opinion is combined with the estimation that the priority is in the work of each Party/Organization in the interior of its own country. We understand this opinion. Nevertheless, we are obliged to remark that we all must be very careful, as such an opinion could be used to excuse the absence from a series of struggles… And we all know the law of Physics: other currents (like the trotskyites and the social-democrats) will run to fill the gap!

The following remarks, included in a communication of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (distributed in the International Seminar of Brussels, May 2001), are completely correct:

The proletariat and the people receive a good education concerning the imperialism, the state and the revolution. But there is still a lot of work to be done in order to eliminate the blindness created by the revisionism, the petty-bourgeois radicalism, the reformism and the social-democrat collaborationism.

It is positive that informal and tactical alliances are created between diverse forces, such as the revolutionary marxists, the democrats, the progressists, the anarchists, the ecologists, the human rights’ activists, etc., who oppose the imperialist globalization. The broadness of the movement prevents the use of anti-communist calumniations by the apologists of the monopolistic bourgeoisie.

In this context, the Marxist-Leninist Parties have the possibility to be reinforced, to guide the revolutionary mass movement in their own countries and to help to construct the international united front, based on the alliance of the proletariat of the imperialist countries and of the oppressed peoples of the neo-colonies against the imperialism and the reaction, for the national liberation, the democracy and the socialism. (our translation of the text in french)

Exactly because we agree with the above positions, we cannot but ask:

If this movement educates (despite the confusion, etc.) up to a certain point the proletariat and the peoples, and if the Marxist-Leninist Parties must help the construction of an international united front against imperialism, then … we must, or not, help, participate, support this movement in diverse ways?

Other forces participate in this movement (social-democracy, trotskyism, anarchism, ecology, NGOs, etc.), each one with its own aims and alliances. In order to form informal alliances, as the above text suggests, we have to participate! We have to define common tactical targets, possible compromises, etc.

To conclude this point: What we want to say is that today there is enough experience concerning the anti-globalization movement. In one or the other way, several Parties and Organizations of our IC came in touch with this movement: in the Philippines, Seattle, Prague, Gothenburg, Genoa, … The time came to discuss our estimations about this movement, and to attempt to define a certain common attitude towards it.

[Our opinion is far from non-critical to this movement, although we always tried to participate in its struggles and debates. Indeed, our Organization sent delegates in Prague and Gothenburg, distributed tracts in thousands of copies there, and participated in several discussions and debates. A block of the Organization, composed by tens of comrades, participated in the mobilizations in Genoa during 4 days. For a more analytical opinion concerning this movement, see our article “About the Anti-globalization Movement”, INL nr 24]

 

4. The upsurge of the people’s movement in Latin America, and its importance

During the interval between the 6th and the 7th IC, the popular struggles in Latin America continued and gained momentum. The revolts in Ecuador and the popular mobilizations in Argentina were probably the most important expressions of those struggles. But in many other Latin American countries as well the people’s resistance intensified and developed quantitatively as well as qualitatively. [For a more thorough evaluation concerning those developments, see the relative contribution of our Organization, INL nr 23]

This situation is of particular importance, because this movement of the Latin American peoples is fighting under the belly of the US imperialism, but also because it is the Left and Communist forces that constitute its vanguard. One more reason to call it particularly important is the fact that in this region the ideological context has not been influenced as heavily as elsewhere by the “collapse” of “socialism”.

We are of the opinion that, actually, the Latin American movement is the most advanced detachment of the world revolutionary movement. This movement is the one that approaches more than any other the level that we describe as “active resistance”. The outcome of the struggles in that region is a very important issue for the further course of the revolutionary movement on international level.

We consider that, on the basis of such evaluations, an international campaign of support and promotion of those struggles should take place, accompanied by a more intense debate with, and against, other political forces and currents. Indeed, the role and the influence of the genuine communist, marxist-leninist forces is bigger in Latin America than in any other big region of the world, and this should be exploited in the appropriate way by our current. And these communist, marxist-leninist forces must receive the biggest possible solidarity.

It would be possible for the ICMLPO to organize an international seminar, an internationalist campaign, to invite in other regions of the world comrades from the Latin American Parties, to take initiatives of solidarity, to send a delegation in Latin America, etc. This did not happen. Maybe we will be said that the character of the ICMLPO is different, that it is “a simple forum of debate and discussion”, so it cannot take such initiatives. But we “just” underline what we consider as politically necessary. Furthermore, we firmly believe that the cooperation, the exchange of opinions, the comradely debate, can be accompanied by such initiatives – initiatives that would contribute to the strengthening of a Marxist-Leninist Current, to the reinforcement of the ICMLPO’s repute, etc.

As far as we concerned, we tried to express our solidarity with the Latin American movement in various ways. In this context, our Organization participated last year in the International Seminar “The problems of revolution”, organized by the comrades of PCMLE in Quito, Ecuador. “Aristera!”, our fortnightly paper, continuously provided extensive coverage of the issues of this Seminar, as well as of the situation in Latin America more generally. Furthermore, we organized a broad campaign of solidarity with the Argentinean movement; this campaign culminated with the support of a protest against the De la Rua regime by 30 trade unions federations and other mass social organizations of Greece, and a public meeting organized outside the Argentinean Embassy in Athens. Another expression of solidarity was the organization, in May 2001, of a series of public meetings under the general title: “Latin America, an exploding volcano”, in which took part hundreds of progressive people.

 

5. Other important events and political developments

Important events and political developments took place in a series of other countries as well. There should be better information through the ICMLPO to all the participant Parties and Organizations. It is always possible to arrange a procedure that will further facilitate the information and discussion within the ICMLPO in relation with such developments: posing of questions to the Parties/Organizations of the concerned countries, timely circulation of informative material, documentation, etc. The adoption of respective positions by the ICMLPO would become, thus, also possible.

Finally, the 7th International Conference takes place in critical moments, and while the US-NATO forces have already launched their third big war within a decade (Gulf war, aggression against Yugoslavia, and now the “war against terrorism”). This war, that will have both classical and new characteristics, started with a great campaign in the interior of most of our countries for the condemnation of “terrorism – the number 1 enemy of the western civilized world”. The terrorist dilemma posed by Bush Junior (“with us, or against us”) must be reversed: with the war and the New Order, or with the peace and the peoples? The imperialists know very well that their real enemy is the popular movements and whatever reminds the possibilities and the perspectives of a different social organization. At the same time, the contradictions among the big imperialist powers will be intensified; their armies will spread on a big range and will dangerously approach each other in a series of critical regions. Despite the superficial unity in the common goal of “finishing off the terrorism”, the real antagonism concerns the promotion of the interests of the multinational corporations and of the basic imperialist powers for the control of regions, strategic materials and routes. We believe that we have to discuss about this new situation, and adopt resolutions for the unified action of the ICMLPO (a joint declaration, coordinated anti-war initiatives, etc.)

 

Some conclusions

From what has been said up to now, each one can extract some conclusions. For the sake of time economy, ours can be resumed to the following two:

  1. The discussion and debate over the General Line of the contemporary Communist Movement is an imperative necessity.
  2. Our International Conference must intensify its efforts in order to correspond to the duties posed by the developments.

[Here a long part of the original text is not reproduced, in accordance to the Rules of the International Conference]

 

PART II

Again! On the General Line and certain problems

In our intervention in the 6th International Conference, after analyzing the differences of the contemporary situation from that of the Sixties, when the Chinese Communists formulated the 25-point proposals, we proceeded to a general formulation, which we repeat here:

Let’s resist the New World Order, the greatest enemy of the humanity; let’s smash the holocaust prepared by the imperialist Directorate and its lackeys!

Let’s modify the correlation of power in favor of the forces of progress in a worldwide scale, through struggles and movements, by promoting the International Community of the Peoples, which is the large front of the classes, strata and nations fighting against the New World Order and the dual society.

Let’s, step by step, reconstruct the Communist Movement, that is the necessary and decisive force capable of uniting and offering perspective to the struggles.

Let’s construct the communist program, throwing away anything rusty, old-fashioned and anachronistic that was created by the domination of revisionism for more than thirty years.

Let’s spread the position of the timeliness of socialism and communism as the unique positive way out of the capitalist barbarity.

In this formulation there are three distinct levels:

  1. the identification of the main enemy, the one that should be isolated, the one against which the masses should be called in a wide mobilization;
  2. the international strategic target, that is the transition of the movement from the state of passive defense to the state of active resistance, that will be achieved through the building of the International Community of the Peoples; and
  3. the enrichment of the communist program with two concepts: the extraction of conclusions regarding the historical experience of the communist movement in the 20th century, particularly concerning the transitional attempts; moreover, the utilization of each new element that results from the effort to discover the objective law of the class struggle’s development in the conditions of the New World Order, the dual society, the imperialist globalization.

The answer given by each Party and Organization to all three issues mentioned above is not obvious, and there has been no sufficient discussion. Better said, the discussion up to now remains limited to some clichés. There is no deep examination of issues, and each Party/Organization proceeds as it wishes.

The formulation of the General Line that we propose is based on some concessions:

  1. Many and significant changes have taken place. The situation does not resemble that of the Sixties.
  2. The balance of power has been significantly modified, generally in favor of imperialism. We live in a period during which we still experience the consequences of a victorious counter-revolution.
  3. It is promising that a process of questioning and de-legalization of the ruling doctrines has started and that the people’s discontent finds ways to continuously strengthen its presence in the international scene.
  4. The international communist movement in general, as well as the international Marxist-Leninist movement, falls behind in facing these issues.

Let us examine some issues that derive from the three levels mentioned before.

 

  1. 1. The importance of understanding the political superstructure of the New World Order

Concerning the first one. The Chinese Communists in 1963 called upon to a decisive fight against US imperialism. For certain forces this is sufficient in the present conditions as well. Indeed, concerning the subject, there are views according to which the world is unipolar (such is the view of the Cubans, and not only). Other views, like the one of CPP, underline that there are three main centers (USA, Japan, EU), but only one superpower (USA). The PCR, Argentina believes that the world in multipolar, with one superpower (USA), three military world powers (USA, Russia, China), five international political centers (USA, EU, Japan, Russia, China), four world economic powers (USA, EU, Japan, Russia, China). The revisionists and neo-revisionists maintain that, apart from the three centers, there exists, even in an incomplete form, socialism (China), and/or that Russia can form an important anti-imperialist power. One could sum up, by saying that today US imperialism should be isolated as the only superpower. Again, however, we should underline a series of points: the US imperialism is not in the same position as in 1963; there is no socialist camp; other powers have arisen, as well, which lay claims to the new share-out. Apparently, the issue has not been resolved yet.

Talking about the New World Order and the imperialist directorate, we wish to stressfully underline the changes that have taken place in the political superstructure the imperialists are trying to establish right on the material basis of the globalized capitalism/ imperialism, in order to confront the crisis which plagues the system and to smash any resistance.  This political superstructure has some distinguishing features, which must be analyzed and assessed. Before we proceed to this analysis, however, we will recall two extracts. Firstly, our formulation of the New World Order in the 6th International Conference and, secondly, some points by Lenin which may help in the study of the subject. About the New World Order:

The New World Order is the necessary superstructure, which corresponds to the monopoly capitalism that globalized after a long split of the system. The New World Order is a slogan, and at the same time it is a reality under formation. It is a nazi slogan, repeated by George Bush during the Gulf War. The New World Order means the transition to a new phase, to a higher stage of the restructuring process (which started in the early Seventies). What are its basic features?

  1. It is an extremely aggressive policy of the imperialist camp in order to answer two important problems: 1. the capitalist crisis, and 2. the uprisings and outbreaks all over the world.
  2. It is an extremely aggressive policy of the imperialist directorate in order to cover the vacuum created by the “collapse”.
  3. It is an extremely aggressive policy of the imperialist directorate signifying a new great exacerbation of the inter-imperialist rivalry.
  4. It is an extremely aggressive policy of the imperialist directorate, which is trying to eradicate anything that reminded and reminds of a different social organization, socialism, communism, etc.
  5. It is an extremely aggressive policy of the imperialist directorate attacking the working people and the people’s masses on a global scale, deepening the dualization and imposing modelization by marginalizing the individual and making it incapable of any participation in organizations, struggles, etc.
  6. It is an extremely aggressive policy of the imperialist directorate, which, in the name of internationalization, interdependence, globalization, destroys national economies, levels national particularities, oppresses whole nations and condemns them to the utmost degradation.
  7. It is an extremely aggressive policy of the imperialist directorate, which more and more –next to the generalized economic war among the multinational colossi and their coalition against the working people and national economies– presents the fact of limited, regional, local, etc. wars as a normal and frequent situation.
  8. It is an extremely aggressive policy of the imperialist directorate leading to an international situation among countries, regions, etc. directly under the heel of the international gendarme and its legitimizing organizations. Embargoes, interventions, punishments, bombardments are decided by the Directorate, validated by the international organizations and imposed by the armed axes of counterrevolution.
  9. It is an extremely aggressive policy of the imperialist directorate, where the return to the pre-October landscapes (partitions of countries, change of borders, revival of reactionary symbols and slogans, balkanization of regions, national slicing, adoption of nationalisms, formation of countries-protectorates, etc., etc.) is associated with the most phantasmagoric display of technological power (mainly through smart weaponry and information networks). Elements of past centuries’ barbarity, associated with pictures of a dark science fiction, are used with the permanent aim of the subjugation of the masses.

What is the Directorate, which forces make part of it? As we know, the USA, Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Canada make up the G7. Of course, within it the main role is played by the USA, Germany and Japan. Canada and Italy’s role is comparatively secondary. Great Britain and France also play an active role, as they possess a significant arsenal and impose their interests wherever they can, despite the fact that they have been downgraded by the rise of Germany and Japan. Within the Directorate there are numerous conflicts, compromises, changes of temporary alliances, etc.

When we talk about the Directorate (whether referring to the imperialist system nowadays as a whole, or the Directorate of the EU – meaning its main imperialist powers), we do not mean that the conflicts among those comprising it are somehow abolished! Although they agree in their common front against the peoples, they are rent by very deep antagonisms, competitions and conflicts. We can say that the entrance in the New World Order has extremely sharpened the contradictions and conflicts, and it has hurled competition to new levels. The reasons are:

  1. An important imperialist power, the Soviet Union, has been downgraded and a coalition (COMECON, Warsaw Treaty) has dissolved. Thus, the conditions were created for the covering of its vacuum by the other imperialist powers.
  2. The economically ascending imperialist powers thought it was time for them to claim the corresponding plunder from the markets and conquer more.
  3. The American superpower should prevent its serious questioning by its competitors and, therefore, take initiatives, etc.

The sharpening of the inter-imperialist contradictions is something unavoidable, as long as we are in the era of imperialism.

The Directorate is not super-imperialism. It is the temporary form taken by the concert, and the competition, of the main imperialist powers on a global level. After all, the fact that the system does not feel any serious threat by an organized power (they are afraid only of systemic dangers, that is: unpredictable uprisings, collapses of the monetary and banking systems, etc.) leads to a more rampant attack against the peoples, and aggravates the competition among the main powers. Furthermore, within the Directorate, the asymmetry between the economic and military power is expressed. The USA is in the first place both as an economic and as a military power, but its economic power relatively shrinks. Germany and Japan have progressed in the economic sector, but are relatively backward in the military sector. Nevertheless, they have already developed a remarkable weapon industry; they have already made their military presence (even if limited) noticeable in several regions of the world and are fighting to become standing members of the Security Council, in order to play a more energetic role.

According to what has happened in the past two years, we can say that these estimations remain valid. The gradual and even more active intervention of Russia and China in the international arena can be easily observed. The former demands –and probably deserves– to be regarded as a member of the imperialist Directorate (G8 in Genoa, co-administrative power in the recent crisis in Afghanistan and in the fight against “terrorism”, obtaining as a present the green light for the “settlement” of the Chechen problem).

The following extracts are taken from two of Lenin’s works, written in the same period. The first one is from “Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism”, and the second one from the article “About the rising aspect of imperialist economism” (August-September 1916).

The first one:

The non-economic superstructure which grows up on the basis of finance capital, its politics and its ideology, stimulates the striving for colonial conquest. […] Since we are speaking of colonial policy in the period of capitalist imperialism, it must be observed that finance capital and its corresponding foreign policy, which reduces itself to the struggle of the great powers for the economic and political division of the world, give rise to a number of transitional forms of national dependence. The division of the world into two main groups –of colony-owning countries, on the one hand, and colonies on the other– is not the only typical feature of this period; there is also a variety of forms of dependent countries; countries which, officially, are politically independent, but which are, in fact, enmeshed in the net of financial and diplomatic dependence. (Further on, Lenin mentions two such examples, Argentina and Portugal) (our underlining)

And the second one:

Political superstructure of the new economy, of the monopolistic capitalism (the imperialism is monopolistic capitalism) is the turn from democracy to political reaction. To the free competition, corresponds the democracy. To the monopoly, corresponds the political reaction. […] The democracy is one of the possible forms of political superstructure of the capitalist society. (our underlining)

Lenin does not refer only to the economic analysis or military aspect of issues. He examines all possible forms of political superstructures, the extra-economic superstructures, the international policy corresponding to the finance capital, the diversity in the forms of dependence (he stresses that the colonial and colonialized countries are not the only typical), he refers to webs of finance and diplomatic dependence. The question is whether all this helps in analyzing the contemporary situation. General expressions such as “we live in the age of imperialism and proletarian revolution”, though totally correct, require further definition as regards the exact contemporary conditions, and we need to analyze specifically this particular situation.

Our remarks both on the New World Order and the imperialist directorate are based on the attempt to analyze and trace the modern forms of imperialist policy, diplomacy and the political superstructure on the whole, in the stage of the imperialist globalization. We simply note that the main fire of all the peoples, the working class and nations must be turned upon the New World Order and the imperialist directorate. That a great historical turn, which will smash this reactionary and aggressive superstructure with the dangers it means for the whole humanity, is necessary in the world scene.

What are the main characteristics of the New World Order?

  1. The total modification of international law. The sovereignty and wholeness of a country is no more taken for granted. If the interests of the Directorate are in danger, it can intervene or impose sanctions anytime it wishes.
  2. The UNO is occasionally sidestepped. Whenever they take notice of it, its role is to register and legitimize the imperialists’ resolutions.
  3. The NATO is converted into an international gendarme and it can intervene wherever it wishes.
  4. The economic organizations (World Bank, IMF, WTO, etc.) set conditions and ultimatums to countries and regions in order to forward restructuring and serve the monopoly interests.
  5. At the same time, all the instruments the countries might possess for the formation of an individual economic policy are eradicated. The destruction, even with arms, of productive mechanisms that are not included in the international economic system is not an absurdity.
  6. Terrorism is acclaimed the main enemy of the “free world” and of its “ideals” (free market, democracy, human rights). All the reactionary forces are cooperating against the popular and revolutionary movements.
  7. War is declared against all “anachronisms”. Communism, socialism, countries not completely aligned – called “rogue states” by the imperialists, etc.

All this was not the political superstructure of the mid-war period, of the post-war years or in the so-called bipolar world. The political superstructure has been modified since 1991, acquiring these aggressive features and signifying a new, negative correlation between the big imperialist powers and the peoples.

 

2. The imperative necessity of modification of the present correlation of power: this is the strategic target

Concerning the second level. Although we live in the age of imperialism and proletarian revolution, the specific task we have to face is not the launching of a revolutionary upsurge or revolutions in a country or region. We rather have to face the consequences of a significant falling back of the communist movement, of a grave worsening of the correlation of power due to the domination of a many-sided and complex counter-revolutionary process. This means that, by fighting against the New World Order and the imperialist directorate, we gradually create the conditions for the overthrow of the established correlations and, consequently, we pave the way for a new revolutionary upsurge. There is no room for prophecies about lengths of time, nor are revolutionary situations and even revolutions or upsurges excluded. Comrade Jose Maria Sison is right in his speech in this year’s International Seminar of Brussels, when he says:

From the Communist Manifesto and the workers’ uprisings of 1848, it took more than 40 years before Marxism became the dominant trend in the European working class movement in the last decade of the 19th century. Within that same period, the most significant armed revolution was undertaken by the proletariat to establish the Paris Commune of 1871. Marx celebrated this as the prototype of the proletarian dictatorship and drew revolutionary principles and lessons from its short-lived victory and its defeat.

That is, revolutionary ruptures or even revolutions between two great revolutionary waves are not excluded. The possibility of the outbreak of ruptures or revolutionary processes, even in conditions of counter-revolutionary domination, is not excluded. This is a great historic lesson we must keep.

For the history (since we opened this parenthesis), it would be useful to say a few things. First of all, Marx disagreed with an upsurge of the Parisian proletariat, and shortly before the Paris Commune he advised that it should not break out. But as soon as it actually broke out, Marx, as a genuine revolutionary, supported it, studied its experience and virtually regarded it as the first example of proletarian dictatorship.

Second, Lenin, referring to that period (1871-1914), makes the following remarks:

My fourth argument: we must take into account the objective situation of socialism in the hole world. The situation is not the same with that of 1871-1914, when Marx and Engels consciously accepted the erroneous opportunist term “social-democracy”. Because at that period, after the defeat of the Paris Commune, the history put on the agenda the duty: slow organizational – instructional work. Nothing else was possible. The anarchists were (and still are) radically wrong, not only theoretically, but also economically and politically. They evaluated erroneously that moment, because they did not grasp the world situation: the English worker had been corrupted by the imperialist profits, the Paris Commune had been crushed, the bourgeois-national movement in Germany had just won, the half-serf Russia was immersed in an age-long sleep. Marx and Engels evaluated correctly the moment, grasped the world situation, and understood the duties of the slow course towards the initiation of social revolution. So, let’s grasp us too the duties and the particularities of the new era. Let’s not imitate those miserable marxists, for which Marx was saying: “I sew dragons and I reaped fleas” (The tasks of the proletariat in our revolution, 10.4.1917) (Lenin’s underlining – our translation from the text in greek language)

If we now cast a general glance over a fully completed historical period, namely, from the Paris Commune to the first Socialist Soviet Republic, we shall find that the attitude of Marxism to anarchism in general assumes most definite and incontestable shape. In the final analysis, Marxism proved to be correct, and although the anarchists rightly pointed to the opportunist character of the views on the state that prevailed within the majority of he Socialist parties, it must be stated, firstly, that this opportunism was based upon the distortion and even deliberate suppression of Marx’s views on the state (in my book, The State and Revolution, I called attention to the fact that for thirty-six years, from 1875 to 1911, Bebel kept secret a letter by Engels which very vividly, sharply, directly and clearly exposed the opportunism of the stock Social-Democratic conceptions of the state) and, secondly, that the rectification of these opportunist views, the recognition of the Soviet power and of its superiority over bourgeois parliamentary democracy, had all emerged most rapidly and broadly precisely from the most Marxian trends in the European and American Socialist parties. (Left-wing communism, an infantile disorder)

If we combine these uncontested facts with a demand of Revolutionary Marxism:

Marxism demands from us the most exact, objectively verifiable calculation of the correlation of classes and of the concrete particularities of each historical moment. […] “Our teaching is not a dogma, but a guide for action” – that is what Marx and Engels always said, and they correctly always laughed at the memorization and the simple repetition of “formulations”, which are only able (in the best case) just to prescribe the general duties; duties that are inevitably modified by the concrete economic and political situation of each particular period of the historical process. (Letters about the tactics, Lenin, 8-13.4.1917) (our underlining – our translation from the text we dispose in Greek language),

then we must seriously wonder which the specific tasks posed to us on an international level and in each country are. We must seriously wonder about the precise and objectively verifiable estimate of the correlation of classes on an international level. We should wonder about the specific particularities of the historical period we are in. We should specifically study the inevitable modifications that take place on a social, economic and political level in the specific period of the historical process we are in. And after we have done this, we should reach some firm conclusions, which will guide our action.

What we can say from the little we know and from what we perceive, is that we are not facing a revolutionary wave and, therefore, our tasks are different. The main task is to change the correlation in favor of the revolutionary forces through a complex and contradictory process of rebuttal of the New World Order, of confronting all the aggressive policies of the capital and imperialism, through the development of movements, the participation in greater and smaller struggles, uprisings and revolutions (that might break out). Our objective must be the transition in the shortest period possible from the state of passive defense (a situation typical of the whole world resistance after a great retreat of the movement) to the, higher, stage of active resistance. [This is valid on global level – but it does not mean that there are not cases of movements or regions that have already arrived to that stage; however, these cases are not able to characterize the whole international historical moment.] This transition means that significant people’s movements, organizations and fronts appear all over the world or in many countries, struggles can be coordinated and the movement on the whole is capable of striking heavy blows against imperialism. This must be the strategic objective in the present stage of the international communist movement, and the greatest efforts and forces should be directed to it.

In the 2001 International Seminar of Brussels, comrade Nabin Sapkota, representative of the Anti-imperialist Revolutionary Forum of Nepal, which supports the People’s War, brought up an extremely important issue:

Therefore it seems obvious that nowadays we are maintaining the challenge of a vast contradiction between the objectively suitable situation and subjectively unfavorable situation. […] But a question can be arisen - what is quite necessary to make a revolution as a major tendency or to get victory over the left and rightist opportunism? For the reasonable answer, I think, (i) it is quite necessary to conceive principally by heart the supreme essence of the Marxism, Leninism and Maoism as well as to stand confidently for its defense and (ii) it is also necessary to have practically creative experiment and to develop the continuity of Marxism, Leninism and Maoism. So by a proper understanding and implementing the dialectical inter-relation of these two aspects, the above question can be solved in reasonable way.

The issues raised by the Nepalese comrade are serious and worthy of our attention. The huge contradiction, between the objectively suitable situation and the subjectively unfavorable one, is a finding that may let us draw conclusions for the situation of the revolutionary movement. The tendency is not actually the revolution; but we have to labor in order that the revolution will again become the main tendency. And he gives what himself calls a reasonable answer: to stand on the ground of Marxism, Leninism and Maoism and try to open paths through various attempts, experiments, revolutionary movements, etc. – and in this way to contribute to the enrichment of MLM as well. What he says may be characterized as reasonable and correct, and even consequent, especially if we consider that such a process and effort advances in Nepal. However, we cannot follow his general conclusion:

By the strategic point of view, protracted people's war, including armed revolt in the oppressed colonial and semi-colonial countries and armed revolt, including people's war, in the imperialist countries (so in brief, in one strategy there is submitted other's part) is an inevitable necessity for the present world; and that is the solid base of the socialist revolution in the world.

Here, the General Line of the Protracted People’s War is stabilized, on one hand, and becomes more flexible, on the other. The armed revolt is considered as one form, or a particular moment, of the People’s War. Here we are in front of errors, because the armed revolt and the people’s war are two different things. Generally speaking, the road of the October Revolution and the one of the Chinese Revolution were two distinctive roads. Up today, there has not been proposed another, different, third road – in spite of the fact that such a possibility must not be excluded theoretically; Lenin says enough on this, and Leninism teaches us enough as well. However, it is not correct to confuse those two roads that exist up today, and to merge them into one.

Another problem is that the invocation of such a General Line, as described by comrade Nabin Sapkota, does not grasp the importance that has, under the actual conditions, the creation of an international united front against the New World Order, against the imperialist globalization. Up today, the various supporters of the Protracted People’s War are privileging specific and quite restricted cooperation, aiming at promoting and imposing this General Line. Consequently, they are quite indifferent in front of a series of problems that exist; these problems desperately demand the attention of the communists all over the world – and especially the attention of those communists who consider that, in their countries, the General Line of the Protracted People’s War is not valid.

The result is to find us considerably delayed as far as the duty of building a worldwide front against imperialism is concerned.

If we wish to make some useful historical comparisons as regards the issue concerning us, we think that comrade Jose Maria Sison, in the same intervention in Brussels, points out correctly the following:

As a result of the betrayal of socialism by the revisionist ruling cliques, we are now in a world situation similar to the period before World War I, in the sense that no formidable socialist power confronts the imperialist powers, and that monopoly capitalism once again waves the anachronistic flag of “free market” or “free trade” while exploiting and oppressing the proletariat and the people of the world in the most retrogressive and ruthless way.

Some writers and intellectuals attempt a comparison of the contemporary New World Order, as well as the imperialist policy on the whole, with nazi-fascism and the suffering it brought about to the whole world. Let us not forget, not even for a moment, that the slogan “New World Order” has been borrowed from Hitler’s arsenal; Nazis used it in their propaganda and in official documents. In the name of the imposition of a “thousand-year-long Third Reich”, a vast ethnic cleansing was to be carried out; the “genuine Aryan race”, together with the representatives of the “superior racial formations” (e.g. the Japanese in Asia), was to undertake the creation of a new civilization, which, through discipline, hierarchy and differentiation, would inflict the enslaving of whole peoples.

We should seriously wonder which are the differences between the contemporary political superstructure, forwarded by the imperialist directorate, and the one of Hitler. The invocation of the triptych “free market, democracy, human rights” declines quickly as soon as one reflects on what has happened and what has been proclaimed in the past decade of the New World Order:

  • A new Aryan race (the ruling western bourgeoisie, in complete collaboration with the upper strata of the international comprador bourgeoisie) declares war against the peoples and populations of the whole world,
  • terrorizes countries and the whole of the planet with weapons,
  • takes to a systematic propaganda (in front of which Goebels’ propaganda seems child’s play) through the mass media and information networks, and
  • carries out systematic genocides, whose number of victims cannot be compared even to the Nazi crematories, the “retaliation acts” and the murder of millions of Soviet citizens, etc. They are incomparably greater.

At the same time countries, regions or city suburbs are converted into real concentration camps for vast populations, accumulating due to the depopulation of the world countryside, to all forms of proletarianization and to social exclusion on the whole. All this happens under the triumphant cries of this “race”, which increasingly bares its teeth to the peoples of the world.

Therefore, if we are allowed to make a general historical comparison (provided that the above mentioned is right), then this should be with the tasks posed to the world movement for the smashing of Nazi-fascism, the first version of the New World Order. The tasks set by the 7th Congress of the Comintern were not the launching of revolutions, but the formation of the united front of the working class and of the people’s antifascist front for the rebuttal of fascism and the confrontation of the approaching imperialist war. Only through the confrontation and the smashing of the “open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, chauvinist, imperialist elements of the finance capital” and the threat this signified through the launching of a world war, would it be possible to make way for revolution in general. There was no other course under the specific circumstances then.

Similarly, nowadays the struggle against the New World Order and the imperialist directorate is in the agenda, because these are the most aggressive, counter-revolutionary policies of the finance capital, which can only cause enormous suffering for the world. Only through the confrontation of this central issue and the determined fight against them, we can change the balance of power on a global scale and, then, be able to talk about other objectives and tasks. This will be possible only after the strategic objective (transition from the passive defense to the active resistance) has been accomplished.

The processes that have taken place in the past two decades and changed so many aspects in the world (especially the forwarding of the New World Order and the activity of the imperialist directorate), affect the basic contradictions of the modern world, modifying the mutual stand and the influence of one on the others. The three main contradictions meet, intersect and interlace in such a way, that the contradiction “imperialism (the New World Order and the imperialist directorate) / working class, peoples and oppressed nations” tends to take the place of the main contradiction in the world.

 

3. The necessity of enriching the Communist Program and of criticizing the revisionism and neo-revisionism

Regarding the third level. The defending of Revolutionary Marxism in the current conditions has to confront lots of problems posed by the historical course of the 20th century, the current processes and, of course, issues such as the visions and social plans that the Revolutionary Marxism is capable of applying and for which it calls upon the masses to fight. The prestige of socialism and communism is not the same today as it was in the Forties-Fifties or even in the Sixties. The capitalist restoration has set a series of issues – if we want to really face them, it is not enough to just speak of a betrayal that took place. We need scientific answers and convincing arguments. We need the self-criticism of the communist movement; and we need a deep cleansing process from a series of revisionist theories and practices-rituals, that have nothing to do with the reality and the needs of the peoples. A lot more of progress has to be made in the broader ideological and cultural sector.

We will pose a more general question, which might seem peculiar at first: Is the fight against revisionism necessary, and what forms does it take nowadays? At this point, it is important to examine whether a unified confrontation of revisionism by the Marxist-Leninist Communist Movement in the present conditions is possible. It is important to examine, as well, what the quality, the argumentation, the depth of this contradiction will be. What is the essence of revisionism? In a few words, it is the denial of class struggle; it is class collaboration, productivism and statism. These are the main features of revisionism in the present conditions. The voluble declarations, the big words, the vows of “Faith to Marxism-Leninism”, etc. (the revisionists have developed to the utmost this virtue) can cover only a little the essence of revisionism. They can fool only those who wish to be fooled, or those who strongly wish to unite with revisionism.

It is exactly because of this situation that we are speaking of the emergence of neo-revisionism. This current consists of:

  • sections of the former parties of the Eastern countries, which found themselves out of the “game”;
  • revisionist parties of the capitalist countries, which did not go through an open social-democratic transformation;
  • and, last but not least, organizations of the Marxist-Leninist current, which think that a unity without principles can lead to fruitful results.

For the forces that derive from the disintegration of the Khrushchevite and Brejnevite camp, the particular need to interpret the process of the capitalist restoration has led to the … discovery of Stalin, the halfhearted criticism of the 20th Congress, and the strong criticism of Khrushchev and Gorbatschev (but not Brejnev). This pretension is an attempt to obscure the lack of any self-criticism for the fact that those forces consciously served the capitalist restoration and the attacks against the genuine communists. It also serves as a certain answer to the base, which demands explanations.

The forces deriving from the Marxist-Leninist current are of the opinion that the split of the Sixties should not have taken place, and that a new unity needs to be established with all the trends of historic communism (of course this is rather verbalism – because many forces are excluded so that the rest of trends can meet!).

Their common meeting point is the support of anything reminding, even slightly, of socialism (China is regarded as a socialist country, just like Vietnam, North Korea, etc.) on the one hand – and the international meetings they frequently exchange on the other.

Many parties, for instance, regard the Greek revisionist party (“KKE”) as a genuine revolutionary force. They prefer having relations with it rather than with us. It is a big force, while we are a small one. If their intention is to unite with the big forces, and the latter sets the condition of the exclusion of the small force, then they exclude the small force without lots of inhibitions. This is what happened this year with our Organization in the International Seminar of Brussels: our Organization has been purely and simply excluded, as this was the condition set by the Greek revisionist party to the organizers of the International Seminar…

The arising question is: How are we going to carry out the ideological and political struggle against revisionism and neo-revisionism? Are we going to have a more or less unified position, or each Party/Organization is supposed to do whatever it wishes? If the issue seems to be secondary, we are going to prove that it is not so.

Independently of the course of the relations between the Revolutionary Marxist Organization A/synechia and the organizers of the International Seminar of Brussels [a discussion is pending between the two Organizations, that may provide the necessary explanations and, thus, make possible to overcome the problem that was created by the arbitrary and uncomradely expulsion of our Organization from the International Seminar of Brussels], there is a more important issue: that of the International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS).

[Here a part of the original text is not reproduced, in accordance to the Rules of the International Conference]

Of course, in the issue of cooperation with other political forces, the argument can be used, that the ideological unity is one thing, and the political unity is another. But we do not mix them at all! We underline, firstly, this lack on political level: the lack of intervention of the Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations, on the basis of a common line, in a series of central issues. The issue of the international cooperation and solidarity is of extreme importance; that is why we underlined, in Part I of our contribution, some concrete deficiencies of our current.

However, we insist on the third level, the one of the enrichment of the Communist Program with the need to deepen the criticism of revisionism and neo-revisionism. Consequently, we refer to concrete examples in order to show that the ideological struggle, as well, must have a certain emphasis, and, if possible, must be waged in a unified manner – and not as (and if) it pleases to each one.

[Here a part of the original text is not reproduced, in accordance to the Rules of the International Conference]

When an organization is arbitrarily excluded from a seminar (because of the blackmailing of a revisionist party!), steps can be taken, and this attitude can be criticized. [Here a part of the original text is not reproduced, in accordance to the Rules of the International Conference] When questions of ideology or principles are concerned, the diplomacy and the pragmatism cannot help but those who want to cloud the issue.

To make our position more clear: We, too, do not restrict our relations only to the Parties and Organizations participating in the International Conference. Nor would we even think that the other Parties should restrict themselves to this limit! We have and pursue relations with Organizations and Parties that have different origins and course. We have some criteria and prerequisites for the establishment of relations – and the ideological unity is not one of them, because we are well aware of the existing confusion. We will only mention one example. We suggested last year that the All-Union Communist Party - Bolsheviks, a Party from the ex-Soviet Union whose secretary general is Nina Andreeva, could take part in the International Conference. After our efforts, this Party applied for participation in the International Conference. We would regard the participation of a Party from Russia (in spite of all its problematic, in our opinion too, positions) as mutually positive, given the character of the International Conference. We think that such participation could influence positively the evolution of AUCPB towards more clear positions, and that it could diminish the neo-revisionist influence over it. It would also bring our International Conference in contact with a huge region that, up today, remains in the mercy of revisionism and neo-revisionism. However, this application was not accepted [...].

The issue is whether it is possible to achieve a uniform and organized, as much as possible, course and position of the Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations. Is this of no importance? Or, maybe, this has no meaning in the context of the International Conference?

One more remark: We have noticed a certain underestimation of the Communist Parties and Organizations of Europe and, more generally, of the “first world”, by other forces. This underestimation is generalized with the underestimation of the working class struggles and of the radical movements developing in this part of the world. The position that the main contradiction is defined by the contradiction “imperialism/peoples” and is geographically located in the zones of revolutionary storms (Latin America, Asia, Africa) might lead to the conclusion that nothing serious can be born in the imperialist metropoles. Although we have clashed against Euro-centrism and Western-centrism (the conception that the center of the revolution is located in Europe and generally in the developed capitalist countries), we maintain that such attitudes are of no use; on the contrary, they are harmful.

It is forgotten that, firstly, revolution started and made its first steps in the West. Eventually, the weight of revolution has shifted to the East – but the communist movement has never before faced the West and the western parties and organizations, the working class movement and the radical youth movement with so much contempt. We cannot understand this imposed dichotomy. If indeed the East is stronger than the West, then the former should help the latter in all possible ways, not despise it! Furthermore, to not bear in mind the struggles and movements in these countries as well, when we co-estimate the world balance, would be contrary to the Leninist teachings.

Have a look at the capitalist countries during the last three decades: did we, or did we not, experience significant outbreaks and uprisings? Why is there so much partiality? It is us who raise the issue, since we come from a country that is almost in the middle, between the East and the West. A discussion about the General Line could and would clarify such issues as well!

Instead of epilogue …

… we would like to say only a few more words: in the past three years, we tried to act with the spirit of unity and of sincere, comradely solidarity. We have defended the International Conference. Our generally positive attitude towards the International Conference is obvious in our position, as well as in the greater demand we have regarding the necessity and the possibility of common stand and joint action. We would like to think that the problems it is facing today would be overcome in a positive way. With our small forces, we will do our best for this. In any case, we believe that the International Conference has reasons for existing, and it must continue its work by upgrading its role and acquiring a more effective functioning.

Forward, to a higher unity and cooperation, in order to accomplish our duties towards the peoples of the world!

Long lives People’s Power! Long lives Socialism! Down with all reactionaries! Down with revisionism! Communism is the Youth of the World!

Honor to the millions and millions of communists and progressive people who generously gave their lives in the struggle for national and social liberation!

Reconstruct the Communist Movement! Build the International Peoples’ Front! Smash the imperialist globalization! Fight the war and barbarity of the New World Order!

 

*****

ANNEX

Transcription of some oral interventions of the Greek delegation in the discussion during the 7th IC (edited extracts, according to the Rules of the IC)

A. The economic and political situation in the world

First intervention

About the basic characteristics of the international situation:

1. Deepening of the world crisis:

  • Huge dimensions
  • Exhaustion of all the “tools” that could be used to deal with the crisis
  • Intensification of the attack against the working class
  • Expansion of the dual society.

2. Escape towards the war:

  • The three wars in one decade (Iraq, Yugoslavia, “against the terrorism”) pulverize the theories of the “entrance of humanity in an era of peace”
  • The new war will be diffuse, spread, unorthodox; the style of repression used by the Israelis will be generalized: assassinations of popular leaders, state-terrorist attacks, aggressions against locals of popular organizations, etc.
  • Imposition of the counter-revolution.

3. The New World Order advances. The New World Order is the political superstructure of the world imperialism in the present period. Since we all refer to Lenin, in “Imperialism” he spoke of “non-economic superstructure which grows up on the basis of finance capital, its politics and its ideology”. In one article about the imperialist economism, he underlines that the “political superstructure of the new economy, of the monopolistic capitalism … is the turn from democracy to political reaction.”. Its main characteristics:

  1. The total modification of international law. The sovereignty and wholeness of a country is no more taken for granted. If the interests of the Directorate are in danger, it can intervene or impose sanctions anytime it wishes.
  2. The UNO is occasionally sidestepped. Whenever they take notice of it, its role is to register and legitimize the imperialists’ resolutions.
  3. The NATO is converted into an international gendarme and it can intervene wherever it wishes.
  4. The economic organizations (World Bank, IMF, WTO, etc.) set conditions and ultimatums to countries and regions in order to forward restructuring and serve the monopoly interests.
  5. At the same time, all the instruments the countries might possess for the formation of an individual economic policy are eradicated. The destruction, even with arms, of productive mechanisms that are not included in the international economic system is not an absurdity.
  6. Terrorism is acclaimed as the main enemy of the “free world” and of its “ideals” (free market, democracy, human rights). All the reactionary forces are cooperating against the popular and revolutionary movements.
  7. War is declared against all “anachronisms”. Communism, socialism, countries not completely aligned – called “rogue states” by the imperialists, etc.

All this was not the political superstructure of the mid-war period, of the post-war years, or of the so-called bipolar world. The political superstructure has been modified since 1991, acquiring these aggressive features and signifying a new, negative correlation between the big imperialist powers and the peoples.

4. The antagonism between the USA, the European Union, Japan, Russia and China is strengthening. The war that is actually taking place will further aggravate this antagonism.

5. Several movements are strengthening all over the world. There is a fermentation that did not exist just a decade ago:

  • Latin America (revolts in Argentina, Ecuador, etc.)
  • Anti-globalization movement
  • Other regions – big changes and important developments (Nepal, Philippines, Congo, Indonesia, etc.)

6. This concerns a following subject of the agenda, but we would like to underline, here too, a big gap: in spite of all these developments, the Marxist-Leninist movement does not act as a unified political current. There is no coordinated, unified attitude and intervention. It “follows” the events. This situation must change.

Second intervention

The discussion is focusing, up to now, to several interesting issues. Let us make some remarks.

1. The US imperialism is in front of a crisis of strategy. It is not at all sure that whatever the US imperialism attempted after the 11 September attacks constitutes the answer to that crisis of strategy. The escape towards the war and the extremely wide range it covers provoke the worries of the US allies as well; these developments may drive the US imperialism into a big adventure, from which other forces can take advantage. A wounded lion is always dangerous – but at the same time everybody knows that this lion is relatively weak. Independently of the agreement among all the imperialist forces to attack the movement and the peoples, the antagonism between them will be aggravated. Consequently, we agree with the analysis of the Argentinean Comrades about the multipolar world, because this analysis conceives a tendency that will play a basic role during the years to come.

2. About the globalization or, as we call it, the imperialist globalization: We must be in a position to detect the changes that took place during the last two decades in the productive sector, the society, the politics and the military power. Only such an analysis will help us to see how the basic laws are activated in the era of imperialism, and especially the most important among them, the law of uneven development. Just a few examples:

Α. The 200 bigger multinational corporations control the 25% of the global turnover, while they employ just 0,05% of the world population, that is to say 3.000.000 people. This means a lot, and from many points of view. The productivity, the concentration, as well as the submission of the science to the capital, increase in an unprecedented way. Without the three economic networks (IMF, WB, WTO) and the policies they impose, the multinational corporations would not mark such scores. But they take advantage not only of the financial networks – they use the informative network and the military one, the military interventions and the contemporary wars. The processes of the internationalization of the production get stronger. But this alone, does not mean a lot.

Β. On social level, the biggest change within the last two decades is the throwing of huge masses out of the productive process. The biggest and gigantic reserve labor army that the capitalism ever met has been created. Hundreds of millions of unemployed, of immigrants, of human creatures are squeezed in the shantytowns. This development is related to the previous one. On global level, there is a de-population of the countryside, through the destruction of the agricultural production and the control of the agricultural-food supplying monopolistic filiere. All these destroyed peasants either are going to the cities or emigrate to foreign countries. This coercive agrarian exodus does not mean that we have a development of capitalism locally. It rather has a bigger relation with the destruction of productive forces imposed by the world imperialism. But again! In spite of that, it is a fact that the living conditions of hundreds of millions of ex-peasants are changing. This agrarian exodus is also combined with other processes of proletarianization that are taking place all over the world. Proletarianization does not obligatory mean productive employment. It means enlargement of the people who, in order to survive, they have nothing but their labor force. Consequently, the urbanization does not automatically mean industrialization, neither development of capitalism.

Since we spoke here a lot about urbanization, let us refer to an example from Greece. Before the 2nd World War, Greece was mainly an agrarian country. It was just in the Sixties that the industrial production exceeded the agricultural production. Today, the employment in the agriculture amounts to 18%, while the European Union considers this percentage still “too high” and imposed its reduction to 8%. Greece is a dependent country, with medium level of capitalist development. The depopulation of the countryside started with the civil war of 1946-49. The reactionaries emptied the villages, in order to cut off the guerrilla from its base. They opened roads in all the mountains in order to hit the guerrilla. The left people took refuge in the big cities in order to escape the white terror. Another big part emigrated in foreign countries. What we want to say by that is that the depopulation of the countryside and the urbanization may have not only economic reasons, but political and military as well.

C. The discussion brought up two more, very important issues, according to our opinion: the agrarian question and the national question. It was correct to say that we have not finished with those questions. It was Lenin who paid great attention to those two issues. These must be raised within all the movements, and especially the anti-globalization movement. If we will manage to achieve that, it will be an important contribution of ours. Comrade A., who comes from a developed capitalist country, underlined the importance of the national question, and he rightly did so – there has not been enough discussion on this issue, in spite of the fact that imperialism means barbarous national oppression. Now, just a remark about the agrarian question: in the imperialist countries only 1-2% of the economically active population is agrarian, while in the semi-feudal countries the peasants are the majority, with 50, 60%, or even bigger part of the population. However, it would be a mistake not be interested in the changes happening in the imperialist countries, and in the study of the contemporary capitalism – that is what our teachers did as well. It would be a mistake to generalize, or not pay attention to the particularities needed by imperialism in order to dominate.

D. The world is not divided exclusively in imperialist/capitalist and semi-colonial/semi-feudal countries. There is a bigger diversity. When Lenin, in “Imperialism”, refers to a multitude of transitional forms of dependent countries, and mentions Argentina and Portugal, he intends to suggest something. Apart that: there is also a huge region that we do not take into account: the whole Eastern world. This cannot be included neither to the developed capitalist countries, nor to the semi-feudal countries. The situation is little bit more complicated. And the term “neo-colonialism”, while it describes processes, does not provide a big exactitude and clarity. The remark of the Comrade from [...], who spoke of processes of primary accumulation and, consequently, of violent separation of the producers (peasants) by their land and tools, has metaphorically a big significance for what happens today. Something like that happens in all the semi-colonial and semi-feudal countries, but also –in a certain sense– in Eastern Europe and China. In such cases what “must” be done is the destruction of whatever remains as a collective or cooperative property of the means of production. However, this new “primary accumulation” serves and wants to further impulse the economic, political and military force of the imperialist countries.

Conclusion: We must pay attention to the processes and repercussions of the imperialist globalization in their totality and not fall into particularism.

 

B. The advance of the proletariat's and of the people' struggle

First intervention

There is a discussion on the basic contradictions that goes on today.

The processes that have taken place in the past two decades, affect the basic contradictions of the modern world, modifying the mutual stand and the influence of one on the others. The three main contradictions meet, intersect and interlace in such a way, that the contradiction “imperialism (the New World Order and the imperialist directorate) / working class, peoples and oppressed nations” tends to take the place of the main contradiction in the world.

This means that the duty deriving from this situation is the building of the International Anti-imperialist Anti-new order Front.

And this, by turn, means that a bigger coordination of the struggles on world level is necessary.

The issue of the basic contradictions is not an easy one. It is possible, and this happened in history, that the main contradiction becomes the one between the imperialist powers. Stalin writes in “The Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR” (1952) regarding the subject: “They say that the contradictions between capitalism and socialism are stronger than those among the capitalist countries. Theoretically speaking, this is right of course.”. But in the case of the 2nd World War, “the struggle of the capitalist countries for markets and the desire to stifle their competitions, proved stronger in practice than the contradictions between the camp of capitalism and the camp of socialism”. So, we shouldn’t be surprised if today these contradictions prove to be stronger in some cases than the other main contradictions.

Moreover, history posed in the past the duty of crushing nazi-fascism and the creation of a world anti-fascist people’s front – that made possible the opening of the road towards the revolution. The teaching is evident for today as well. The Marxist-Leninist Movement has not done up today whatever it could and should make in order to accomplish this duty. Why?

In our contribution, that has been distributed this morning to you, in the first part, we refer to concrete examples of deficiencies of the Marxist-Leninist Movement. There are five examples that we use there: the war, the European Union, the anti-globalization movement, the Latin America, and the late developments.

Here we will limit ourselves to one of them, the anti-globalization movement.

Since 1999 and up today this movement appears and develops. From Seattle to Genoa, with many intermediate stations, continuously and in a more and more intense way, hundreds of thousands of progressive people all over the world demonstrate their opposition to the WTO, the IMF, the G8, the World Bank, the EU and the NATO, etc.

This mass movement brings into the scene in the most revealing and dramatic way the need for international coordination and struggle against the imperialist globalization. In other words, it underlines the need of a broad international anti-imperialist front, of a worldwide front against the New World Order. This movement, with its existence alone, underlines the possibilities to build such a front – on the other side, it shows in the clearest way the evident weaknesses of the Marxist-Leninist Movement! The international social-democracy, the trotskyites, some versions of revisionism, as well as the anarchists, all have a presence and activity in this movement – all but the coordinated intervention of the Marxist-Leninists!

Maybe the opinion that these movements have a petty-bourgeois character, with no perspective and future, prevails within the Marxist-Leninists. And maybe this opinion is combined with the estimation that the priority is in the work of each Party/Organization in the interior of its own country. We understand this opinion. Nevertheless, we are obliged to remark that we all must be very careful, as such an opinion could be used to excuse the absence from a series of struggles… And we all know the law of Physics: other currents (like the trotskyites and the social-democrats) will run to fill the gap!

This movement achieved, thanks to its radicalism, to de-legitimatize the dominant pro-imperialist positions, and to give to the cloudy and general term “globalization” a clearly negative meaning!!! Similarly, the G-8 is conceived today by the peoples as a bad gang of the dominant powers, and an antidemocratic one. This movement imposed the opening of a discussion concerning the issue of “globalization” under its own conditions; it obliged the reaction to fall backs and tactical retreats.

Our International Conference, the participant Parties and Organizations, should be more active in this movement. We must enter this movement in a coordinated way. We must put on its agenda the issues of imperialism, war, agrarian question, national question. We have to oppose the social-democracy, revisionism, neo-revisionism, trotskyism, and anarchism. We have to convince the people on the correctness of our line. But in order to achieve that, we have to be present!

Second intervention

With all the respect towards the participant Parties, allow us to make a general comment.

The Revolution started in the West: the first labor struggles, the theoretical and political revolution of Marx and Engels, the Paris Commune.

Eventually, the revolution shifted towards the East: the 1905 Revolution and the October Revolution in Russia took place in a context of revolutionary fermentation in Europe, that lasted up to 1923.

It was during this period that Lenin was discussing with Swiss, Dutch and other communists. Those were small communist parties. However, Lenin was trying to help them. He was not at all arrogant towards them.

Later on, the Revolution shifted even more decisively towards the East. However, the struggles and the class struggles did not stop in the imperialist countries. We should not underestimate them, they do have a theoretical, political, organizational importance.

We have fought against Euro-centrism, Euro-communism, trotskyism – that underestimate the agrarian and the national question. Still, we believe that, if indeed the Western Parties and Organizations are much weaker than those of the East, they must be helped – and not be faced only as providers of solidarity.

The communists need the revolutionary theory and study of all the modern developments in all aspects. The 20th century was a century of revolutions, counter-revolutions and wars. The uneven development, basic law in the era of imperialism, leads to ruptures, wars, revolutions, counter-revolutions, and possibilities of revolution. The whole 20th century proved that. Who can say that the 21st century will be a century without revolutions and wars?

The 20th century shows two roads: the road of the October Revolution, and the road of the Chinese Revolution. Who can exclude the possibility that there may be other examples, or other types of proletarian revolution? Lenin wrote in “Left-wing communism”:

“… History generally, and the history of revolutions in particular, is always richer in content, more varied, more many-sided, more lively and “subtle” than even the best parties and the most classconscious vanguards of the most advanced classes imagine. This is understandable, because even the best vanguards express the class consciousness, will, passion and imagination of tens of thousands, whereas the revolution is made, at he moment of its climax and the exertion of all human capacities, by the class consiousness, will, passion and imagination of tens of millions, spurred on by a most acute struggle of classes. From this follow two very important practical conclusions: first, that in order to fulfil its task the revolutionary class must be able to master all forms or sides of social activity without exception ; second, that the revolutionary class must be ready to pass from one form to another in the quickest and most unexpected manner.

The road will be opened! The fate of the world will be decided in those regions where lives and is exploited the big majority of the world population. And it is very good that all the Parties are trying to clarify, and practically answer, the question of the character of the revolution in their respective countries. But in order to arrive at that point, it is necessary to build the International Anti-imperialist Front.

It is a fact that the movement is weak in Europe and North America. The Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations are small. Is this owed only to the objective conditions? But during the last 40 years we lived, in Europe and in North America, important movements and struggles of the working people and the youth. The reasons are rather subjective.

However, we had a huge retreat, as well, in the countries where the working class was in power: in the USSR and China. Will we accuse the communists there, too, because they do not have Marxist-Leninist Parties? This is not so useful. It is rather a simplification of the big problems and duties that we face. And we will not be able to respond to them if we make like if nothing happened. We will not be able to respond to them, also, if we will satisfy ourselves with the declaration that all the responsibility for the retreat is the revisionist betrayal. This is not enough.

Which are our great duties? To recognize what the reality is. To make a critical evaluation of the past. To build the communist program. To fight against revisionism and neo-revisionism – with arguments, and not with easy labeling. The discussion on the General Line must take place! It must take place in a comradely atmosphere! And whoever has something to say, must say it!

C. On the perspective of the world communist movement

First intervention

From what we already said, and the paper we contributed to the 7th IC, is concluded that the Marxist-Leninist movement still has many weaknesses. Many of them will be surmounted thanks to the following:
  • The efforts that will be made in each country
  • The coordination and joint action on regional, continental and world level
  • The propulsion of a discussion that will make possible for us to elaborate a unified General Line for the world communist movement.

From the accomplishment or not of this third element, will be decided whether the Marxist-Leninist movement will be reorganized and recognized as a significant political and ideological current.

Let us clarify just one question – because the repetition of terms alone is not very helpful.

We want say a few things on neo-revisionism, as this currents acts and is expressed in Europe; we would also listen with great interest the forms that neo-revisionism takes in other regions (for example, the Latin America and the Southeast Asia). This current consists of:

  • sections of the former parties of the Eastern countries, which found themselves “out of the game”;
  • revisionist parties of the capitalist countries, which did not go through an open social-democratic transformation;
  • and, last but not least, organizations of the Marxist-Leninist current, which think that a unity without principles can lead to fruitful results.

For the forces that derive from the disintegration of the Khrushchevite and Brejnevite camp, the particular need to interpret the process of the capitalist restoration has led to the … discovery of Stalin, the halfhearted criticism of the 20th Congress, and the strong criticism of Khrushchev and Gorbatschev (but not Brejnev). This pretension is an attempt to obscure the lack of any self-criticism for the fact that those forces consciously served the capitalist restoration and the attacks against the genuine communists. It also serves as a certain answer to the base, which demands explanations.

The forces deriving from the Marxist-Leninist current are of the opinion that the split of the Sixties should not have taken place, and that a new unity needs to be established with all the trends of historic communism (of course this is rather verbalism – because many forces are excluded so that the rest of trends can meet!).

Their common meeting point is the support of anything reminding, even slightly, of socialism (China is regarded as a socialist country, just like Vietnam, North Korea, etc.) on the one hand – and the international meetings they frequently exchange on the other.

Many parties, for instance, regard the Greek revisionist party as a genuine revolutionary force. They prefer having relations with it rather than with us. It is a big force, while we are a small one. If their intention is to unite with the big forces, and the latter sets the condition of the exclusion of the small force, then they exclude the small force without lots of inhibitions… This is what happened this year with our Organization in the International Seminar of Brussels: we were excluded, as this was the condition set by the Greek revisionist party to the organizers of the Seminar…

In our opinion, the struggle against revisionism must be reinforced. We must fight against:

  • the denial of class struggle
  • the class collaboration
  • the productivism
  • the statism,

that are the main characteristics of revisionism.

And this struggle must be conducted by the Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations in a unified way. This will be of great help for all of us.

Second intervention

1. Revisionism, neo-revisionism, trotskyism and social-democracy are, essentially, supporting the theory of the productive forces. This theory considers that the development of the productive forces is the most decisive factor, and not the class struggle. This theory was excellently exposed by the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution for what it is: an erroneous, revisionist theory.

2. But this unmasking is forgotten in the everyday struggle and in the general orientation. Like that, we arrive to the point that the recent changes in the productive structure are considered as a necessary and sufficient material preparation of socialism.

3. In our opinion, the Communist Program must be enriched in this direction – that is to say, with the criticism of the theory of the productive forces. The communist movement cannot consider the “Scientific and Technical Revolution” as the material preparation of socialism, as a neutral or even positive process! We have to raise questions: How? Where? Through which processes is the Knowledge produced? What is the position of the worker in the whole productive process? Which are the tendencies and the new phenomena in the productive forces? Except if some of us here think that the problems of the socialist construction will be resolved by the technology or the computers – if such a thing happens, it means we have been influenced by the bourgeois technological voluntarism and by the technocracy.

4. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution tried to give solutions to this issue – and the solutions had nothing to do with day-dreams. They tried to resolve this issue by promoting a double issue:

  1. the revolutionarization of the education system;
  2. the revolutionarization of the productive relations in the factories, with the aim of really putting the working class and the masses at the helm.

The slogan “Reds, and not Specialists” did not derive from a contempt of the Technics. It rather aimed at putting as a priority the control and resolution of the contradiction between the manual and intellectual labor, of the contradiction between direction work and execution work.

5. It is not enough to speak just against economism. We must study and get inspired by the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, and criticize productivism! We must enrich the Communist Program with that criticism – not an academic criticism, but the one brought to the surface by mass movements, progressive intellectuals, and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. We must promote the revolutionary point of view on these issues. It is very strange that today a series of other movements (like the youth, the environmental, the anti-globalization movements, as well as several progressive scientists) pose questions, criticize Science and Technics, but we ourselves consider this issue as not important enough to take care of.

6. We must not go back to the level of the Second International, but advance forward and enrich our program, based on the Revolutionary Marxism and the revolutionary experiences of the 20th century.

Third intervention

The discussion of today is, indeed, very interesting and fruitful.

In which situation found itself the communist, marxist-leninist movement 10 years ago? In which situation will be the communist movement in 10 years? In which situation will be the various regroupings? Who can say?

However, we all know the situation today. Comrade A. referred to 4-5 regroupings. We are one of them. We do not identify the IC with the International Communist Movement in general. We are aware of the existence of other international initiatives.

The question is, to see the positive points of the IC:

  1. It is the most large and democratic international regrouping. These characteristics are not liberalism – they are, today, necessary.
  2. It shows that it can be the context of exchange and genuine debate and, possibly, of a certain coordination.
  3. All the participants underlined the positive fact of its development, as the presence of 25 Parties/Organizations shows.

Dear Comrades,

There were, always, ideological and political differences within this IC. These are not at all new. At this moment, the important is the unity and the strengthening of the IC, by accepting the existence of differences. Not because we are in favor of the “unity for the unity”, but for the reasons we exposed above and, in a more analytical way, in our written paper.

The conditions in order to achieve the unity and the strengthening of the IC, are:

  1. No public attacks among the participant Parties/Organizations. We know that there have been mistakes, which violate this condition. And the time came that such mistakes cease!
  2. Support and promotion of the IC. We will not refer to the principles of equality, independence, mutual respect and solidarity – these are supposed to be obvious.

[Here a part of the original text is not reproduced, in accordance to the Rules of the International Conference]

Our Leading Committee deputed us to struggle for the unity, the continuation and the development of the IC. As you maybe understood, our Organization does pay particular attention to the ideological and political issues. But we do not believe that the ideological issues may be resolved, today, with organizational measures. We are convinced that this IC must and can remain united and develop further.

The question is and was: will we wage a coordinated struggle against revisionism and neo-revisionism? The C.P. of China had relations with the Romanian party of Ceausescu, or with the eurocommunist party of Carrillo in Spain. It should have some reasons for this. And, probably, the main idea should be to unite with the small revisionism in order to oppose the big revisionism. However, we do not think this helped the Marxist-Leninist movement, for example in Europe. And it did not help, in our opinion, the C.P. of China as well…

What we say has to do with the necessity to enrich the communist program with the struggle against revisionism. And to try to face the duty of elaborating a General Line of the contemporary Communist Movement.

This is the question, and, to answer the worries of Comrade […], the question is not if each participant Party/Organization has the right or not to go to whichever Seminar considers useful. Nobody objected this right ever. Let us repeat: we never demanded the attack against any other M-L regrouping. We spoke for the necessity to fight revisionism. And our IC can help to this, in our opinion – that’s why we want it to continue and develop. Except if someone considers the IC cannot contribute to this duty.

Now, about the so-called Seminar of Athens (that is in reality called “Conference of the Communist Parties”) – this is something else. This is a meeting organized by the Greek revisionist party, with the participation of the flagships of revisionism, of the most right-wing, opportunist parties.

Dear Comrades, we say it again. The important thing is: Will we wage a coordinated struggle against revisionism and neo-revisionism, or not?

*****