By the CP Greece ( KKE)
On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II
Investigating the course of the class struggle to overthrow capitalism and build socialism-communism during the 20th century is a great challenge for the communist movement.
It is also a necessity, a prerequisite for its ideological-political, and in several countries, its organizational re-groupment, its overall strengthening, for it to win to its side vanguard workers, the self-employed, youth and university students, to influence and attract whatever is the most advanced in the fields of science and art. It is a precondition for preparation so that under revolutionary conditions, the new revolutionary advance for a communist society will be waged decisively and be consolidated.
The experience of revolutionary uprisings during the 20th century has not yet been fully explored in terms of its potential and its weaknesses, nor in its difficulties. We do not consider it an easy task, despite the fact that the KKE, and other CPs, are oriented toward this effort. It is no coincidence that similar historical epochs, dense in landmark events and complexity of social developments – such as the era of transition from feudalism to capitalism, or even further back, from slavery to feudalism – are still being explored, important facts and processes that led to qualitative shifts are still being uncovered and interpreted.
The period marked by the outbreak of World War I (1914) or by the victory of the October Socialist Revolution in Russia (1917) was aptly characterized by Lenin as the “period of transition from capitalism to socialism”, for the revolutionary overthrow of “imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism”.
However, the developments in the class struggle throughout all the 20th century proved to be more complex than the unquestionably glorious victories, such as the October Revolution, the resounding defeat of the fascist troops at Stalingrad (1943), the post-war transition of 8 countries in Central and Eastern Europe to socialist construction, the Chinese Revolution (1949), the Cuban Revolution (1959), the defeat of American imperialism in Vietnam (1975). And yet, the widespread counter-revolution and capitalization characterizing the end of the century were not correspondingly predictable.
The 75th anniversary of the decisive advance of the Red Army in Berlin is an opportunity to articulate some general concerns within the context of what has been achieved so far.
CHANGES IN THE GLOBAL CORRELATION OF THE CLASS STRUGGLE FROM WORLD WAR I TO WORLD WAR II
World War I laid the groundwork for the revolutionary conditions in Russia that at first led to the overthrow of the Czar (February 1917) and then, in conflict not only with the bourgeois Provisional Government, but also with petty bourgeois and opportunist forces within the Soviets, to the successful carrying out of the October Socialist Revolution.
The initial victory of the October Revolution did not provide Lenin, its theoretical and political leader, with the certainty that socialist construction would be consolidated in Russia if a victorious revolution in Germany did not follow.
However, in Germany no such positive developments took place. The workers’ revolutionary uprisings (the most characteristic being those of 1918 and 1919) did not have a victorious outcome, mainly due to the impossibility of a corresponding revolutionary preparation of the subjective factor. In addition, other revolutionary uprisings, e.g. in Finland, in Hungary, did not end in victory. Thus, the Soviet Union remained the only socialist state in which external (imperialist) aggression/ counter-revolution fueled and strengthened the internal counter-revolutionary forces and actions for roughly two years.
Then, during a period of defeat of the counter-revolutionary forces and one of relative peace with the capitalist states (not only of Germany but also of the Entente, the USSR proceeded with a series of tactical diplomacy moves with the main goal being its survival – some with Lenin still in the leadership of the Party. Such were its participation in the Genoa Conference, the Rapallo Treaty with Germany, which was experiencing the consequences of the Treaty of Versailles, the attempt to reach out to China and the leader of the Kuomintang, Sun Yat-sen (whose name was given to a university in Moscow in 1925), but also other “anti-imperialist anti-colonial forces” – non-communist forces – in a number of countries, such as India, Persia, Afghanistan, South Africa, among others.
Yet also, the choice of the New Economic Policy (NEP) after the end of imperialist intervention and the defeat of the counter-revolutionary movements was a temporary adaptation of socialist power and construction to exclusively capitalist surroundings. The subsequent intensification of the class struggle in the USSR was also interrelated, in the effort at industrialization and collectivization, the isolation of the kulaks.
The survival of the first and at that point, the only socialist state, the Soviet Union, definitely required on the one hand, international workers’ solidarity, and on the other, a relatively non-aggressive stance from the capitalist states that would at least be open to some trade and diplomatic relations. The latter, to a certain extent, also arose as the result of choices made by social democratic governments, under conditions where the old social democratic parties had become bourgeois, had been assimilated into the capitalist states.
Thus, the whole course of the Communist International (CI) during the decade of the 1920s, until the manifestation of the global capitalist economic crisis (1929), was marked by this complexity of this balance of forces: A single socialist state, defeat of the revolutionary workers’ uprisings in European states (Germany, Hungary, Austria), weak communist parties or others within which there were forces which have not broken away from Social Democracy. At the same time, in many cases Social Democratic parties controlled the trade union movement, while the direct or indirect mediation of the Social Democrats promoted trade relations between capitalist states and the Soviet Union.
On this ground, the CI formulated a line of a “united workers’ front” and opened the way for cooperation between communists-social democrats initially “from below”, and then “from above”, as well as with bourgeois democratic forces, when fascism-nazism begins to ascend in Italy and in Germany in the 1930s.
The more the possibility of a new war matured, and given that the USSR would once again be the target of opposing imperialist coalitions, the more the pressure increased, the more effort was made to limit and isolate internal adversaries (e.g. counter-revolutionary forces and sabotage), but at the same time the contradictions intensified: Adoption of the Constitution of 1936 which extended the right to vote to forces of bourgeois origin or reference, but mainly the electoral base shifted, from the workplace to place of residence, tactical moves towards capitalist governments on the part of the USSR.
The above estimates have been collectively adopted by the KKE and are analytically presented in a Congress text (the 18th KKE Congress) and even more extensively in the four-volume Essay on the History of the KKE (1918-1949) which was discussed and approved of by a Panhellenic Conference.
Their brief reminder is included in order for the terrain to be better understood, the global correlation of forces when World War II was in its conception. Today it is clear that there is need for a greater and more in-depth exploration of the issue of provision, on the part of the CP of the Soviet Union and generally of the CI, for the sharpening of the class struggle, the creation of revolutionary conditions in which countries or group of countries, on which continent, after the international capitalist economic crisis of 1929-1931, the new crisis of 1937. The orientation seems to concern – more intensely after World War II – semi-colonial countries, politically dependent ones, mainly in Asia and not in Europe.
However, World War II is born of and a continuation of the First World War and to a great extent develops on European territory. While both World Wars were waged by capitalist states in order to redistribute the markets, the colonies and semi-colonies, in WW II the only existent socialist state is involved. It is a direct target of attack by the fascist Axis, an aim that is not blocked by the other bloc of capitalist states. On the contrary, the second bloc were hoping for such an attack by the first, that on the one hand would strike the Soviet Union, and on the other hand, would weaken Germany and nullify its aspirations. This was reflected in the fact that the United Kingdom and France proceeded to the Munich Pact with Germany and Italy in September 1938, along with other events, such as the deliberate delay (for 9 months) of the opening of the Western Front, with the landing in Normandy.
The Ribbentrop-Molotov Agreement (August 1939) came a year later in response to the Munich Pact. After the attack of the fascist Axis in France, the bombarding of Britain, but also the attack on the Soviet Union, came the USSR-US-UK agreement, but also the decision to dissolve the CI based on problematic reasoning, which objectively promoted the detachment of the liberation-anti-fascist armed struggle from the struggle for the conquest of revolutionary workers’ power.
Of course, in the end, the Soviet Union dealt a decisive blow to the forces of the fascist Axis. The battles at Stalingrad were the turning point for the outcome of World War II, even for non-communist forces, regardless of their degree of class political consciousness. Following this, the liberation by the Red Army of countries occupied by the Axis powers politically strengthened the domestic labor-popular forces.
Thus, approaching the end of World War II, already from the autumn of 1944 there is a significant change in the international balance of power: One bloc of the divided international imperialist system is almost defeated, the Soviet Union is not isolated and has a great impact, at least on the international working class, while the other bloc of capitalist states, spearheaded by the US – UK, appears as a “democratic” ally of the USSR, but is methodically working to weaken it anew.
Under these new conditions, the Soviet Union sought a new, more favorable balance of power, mainly towards its Western borders.
Thus, the discussions-negotiations between the class different allied states (USSR – USA – UK) did not only concern the confrontation of enemy forces, but also the prospect of a truce with the warring forces (which Axis powers would sign the agreements, with what terms, etc.). In fact, the Anti-fascist Alliance also touched on the post-war political regime of these countries.
What is certain is that the class struggle ran through the confrontation between the USSR and the capitalist states of the USA and the United Kingdom during the negotiations. The Soviet Union was interested in its neighbors entering a process of a more stable alliance with it, in the direction of socialist construction, while the US and the UK were interested in securing capitalist dominance in Europe, in as many countries as possible, certainly in the Mediterranean, in the Balkans and especially in Greece.
As all the subsequent evidence from the archives of the capitalist states, but also of the USSR, proves, the leaderships and services of the “allied” capitalist states, already in the middle of the war, were working feverishly for the “next day” with a clear class orientation, the strengthening of capitalism. This also concerned their aims for the USSR, with plans and practices to erode socialism from within, exploiting the approach of the USSR through its diverse diplomatic, military, economic missions and mechanisms.
At the same time, they laid the foundations for new imperialist unions, economic and political ones (World Bank, IMF), transnational unions, such as the OECD, the UN, through which they would entrap Soviet foreign policy, weaken its class orientation. They were also preparing for new imperialist wars with new weapons, such as the atomic bomb, which was tested in Japan without any military operational reason, only as a threat to the USSR.
But even after the end of the war, they quickly switched to more open aggressive actions, e.g. the Truman Doctrine, which essentially signalled the Cold War, the Marshall Plan for the capitalist economic recovery of Europe, and in particular the FRG, and the subsequent founding of the NATO military-political alliance.
They took advantage of the confusion or even the complete disorientation created by the Anti-fascist Alliance in the strategy of the International Communist Movement, in dozens of CPs of countries that in one way or another had experienced war (Greece, Italy, France, Belgium, Austria, etc. They gained time, mainly in the period that was critical for the destabilization of bourgeois power 1944-1945
In addition, the opportunist entrapment of the communist movement in countries such as the USA and the UK caused the communist movement to be deprived of the necessary proletarian internationalist solidarity in countries with revolutionary conditions, such as Greece and Italy. Instead, the CPs of the USA, of the UK, of France, became perpetrators of the disastrous for the labor movement notion, the support of democratic anti-fascist or anti-monopoly bourgeois governments.
What is certain is that the revolutionary labor movement found itself without a revolutionary strategy during the outcome and end of World War II. The ideologization of the foreign policy of the USSR, even its tactical maneuvering, also contributed to this, for which the CPSU itself is responsible.
Today, we can say that some of the USSR negotiating positions for the “next” post-war day did not correspond to the real dynamic of the developments, with the result that we can now estimate that they did not favor the strengthening of the socialist prospect, both in the USSR itself, as well as in other countries. Such proposals, were, for example, “the acceptance in principle of the necessity of the dismemberment of Germany” (February 1945) , the acceptance in principle of mediation for cooperation between the first post-fascist or post-occupation governments and the exiled bourgeois political forces (e.g. of Poland, of Yugoslavia), the negotiation for joint (between the UK, the US, the USSR) control of the post-war political developments in the defeated countries of the fascist Axis (e.g. Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Italy) or in countries which had been subjected to fascist occupation, such as Greece or Yugoslavia.
THE SLIPPERY SLOPE OF “PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE”
A key issue is how the foreign policy of the worker’s state under socialist construction can be determined under unfavorable conditions, that is conditions of imperialist aggression, surrounded by powerful capitalist states. Today, we must examine this issue with the analytical eye of the completed actions, so that we can become more penetrating, dialectical, less sentimental, examining complex facts together with the inclusion of historical facts.
The USSR pursued a foreign policy towards the capitalist states that was determined by its need to safeguard itself from its external and internal enemies.
This contains a contradiction regarding the given historical conditions: The class ideological-political goal of preserving the USSR as a workers’ state imposes foreign policy choices that in part, are not fully in keeping with the international dimension of the class struggle, e.g. a truce agreement, a trade agreement, diplomatic relations, etc. Of course, such moves should not lead to an attenuation of the class struggle in a capitalist country with which a socialist state is trading.
These issues occupied the Soviet state from the very moment it achieved power. As we mentioned earlier, these became more complex during the period following the defeat of the revolutions of 1918-1923 in Europe.
Yet, more generally, the history of the struggle, between different states of the same class character, will certainly show tactical maneuvers in foreign policy. That is, we observe that the formation of an alliance takes on a conjunctural character, agreements serve the interests of the given state at a given time. This is evident throughout the History of the 18th and 19th centuries, where no socialist state existed. It continues however to be a regular part of the foreign policy of the capitalist states throughout the 20th century as well, even though strategically the Soviet Union was consistently their common target.
However, the newly formed Soviet state had also unsuccessfully attempted to conclude joint armistice agreements between the states of the Entente, Germany, etc. in the First World War. Thus, it wasn’t new to the logic of agreements between class enemy states (the USSR on the one hand and the UK, then the USA, and France on the other) in order to safeguard post-war peace. The difference was that now in World War II the bargaining power of the USSR was stronger, while the class fear of the capitalist states was heightened over developments that could lead to overthrows in a series of countries, among them Greece and Italy. From the perspective of the capitalist “allies”, the subsequent developments prove that behind the coercive and conjunctural diplomatic moves, the unleashing of the so-called “Cold War” was being prepared, the incitement of counter-revolutionary forces in a series of countries such as Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, later Czechoslovakia, along with the at-all-costs extermination of the armed popular forces in Greece and Italy.
Certainly, the Party and state leadership of the USSR did not relax their guard, but instead gave greater than necessary weight to the joint confrontation of German fascism. It needs to be explored whether it followed the problematic logic that the weakening of Germany (by depriving its military industry or its partition, etc.) would be a factor in stabilizing peace with the prevalence of realistic, “peace-loving” anti-fascist democratic bourgeois governments in a series of capitalist states.
It was quickly reaffirmed that a factor of imperialist aggression was not only German (or Italian, Japanese, etc.) nationalism, but the general tendency of the capitalist states to expand their territories or at least their influence and control over the preferential exploitation of natural resources and labor force potential of other areas.
That is why in the following decades, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France alike conducted military operations in Africa, Asia, Latin America, in an effort to avoid such operations on their own soil.
Of course, the conflict between them was paid for mainly in blood, poverty, refugee movements, and immigration by the peoples from countries that had not yet established powerful capitalist states (semi-colonies or military or royal dictatorships that cooperated with one or another leading capitalist states). But, it was also paid for by their own troops, such as the case of the USA in Vietnam.
As early as the 1940s, towards the end of World War II, Soviet diplomatic and negotiation moves, as well as its stance towards other Communist parties, were impacted by the problem of ideologizing the foreign policy of the USSR. In other words, strategically specific political choices were theoreticized, a problem that had a negative effect on the development of the international class struggle for the victory of socialism.
The issue of estimating the correlation of forces in relation to the formation of the states as they were established territorially after the Second World War, but also their political establishment, was not realistically assessed by the CPs, by the CPSU itself.
The unrealistic assessment of the correlation of forces in Europe and worldwide – not only from the standpoint of the correlation between the capitalist states, but also between capitalism and socialism – was reflected in the documents of the 19th Congress of the CPSU and in following, the International Conferences of Communist and Workers’ Parties.
European imperialism (e.g. of the United Kingdom, France) was underestimated, often its leaderships were considered to be subservient to and acting on behalf of the United States, and the possibility of their post-war reconstruction was underestimated. The role of the USSR and the 8 new states in Europe in the global correlation of the class struggle between capitalism and socialism was overestimated, while the existence of a revolutionary situation in other European countries was rather underestimated, e.g. in Greece, Italy.
The Soviet documents, the documents of CPs of capitalist states, but also those of their International Conferences, and through the following decades, 1950, 1960, 1970, reveal the serious problem of a non-class interpretation of war and peace, that was described as “peaceful co-existence” between socialist and capitalist states with a bourgeois democracy.
Representatives of various opportunist currents in our country often take issue with the position of the KKE on the lack of a revolutionary strategy of the International Communist Movement during World War II, our estimation of the ideologization of USSR foreign policy. Their main argument being the fact that in 8 countries of Central and Eastern Europe “regimes of People’s Republics” were formed, some of which through their development came to be considered as a form of a revolutionary workers’ state, “Dictatorship of the Proletariat”. This argument is unfounded, and neither is it confirmed by the programmatic intentions that were initially declared by these governments, nor by the historical developments (labor conflict with bourgeois forces).
The formation of mixed governments (with bourgeois and communist forces), with a bourgeois-democratic program, is evident in the armistice agreements. Of course, the struggle intensified very quickly and leaned towards the revolutionary working class, but left significant room for tolerance of capitalist forces: Foreign wage labor was not completely abolished, and the debate over “market socialism” and “self-preservation” of enterprises and other such concepts became widespread in the 1960s. On the other hand, in countries like Greece, the armed liberation struggle was entrapped in a line of agreement with bourgeois anti-fascist forces in Agreements like that of Lebanon, Caserta.
Undoubtedly, in the decade that followed, the class struggle intensified. International imperialism was not reconciled with the correlation as was evidenced in the Agreements to end World War II. The escalation of the class struggle also affected the domestic situation in the Soviet Union. This was reflected in the Theoretical Conferences of the CPSU, for example, on the Economy (1952), in the process of electing a GS of the CC after Stalin’s death and was crystallized in the right opportunistic turn at the 20th Congress of the CPSU (1956), in its interventions in a series of CPs, including the KKE (in the 6th Plenary Session of the same year).
ON THE ROLE OF THE REVOLUTIONARY PERSONALITY
The right-wing turn in the CPSU was justified as a liberation from the “cult of personality”, while the corresponding turn in the KKE as a “condemnation of the sectarian line”, essentially renouncing the most heroic political action against domestic and foreign reactionary forces.
The prevalence of right-wing opportunism deliberately used the attack on leaders to change the general climate, knowing that the masses – not exempting the vanguard communist forces – tend to mythologize or demonize their leaders, attributing to them almost complete responsibility for victories or defeats respectively. Of course, to a large extent the same is done by the bourgeois staff for their leaders, precisely to exploit this tendency of the masses, allowing them to perpetuate their power, by sacrificing even their figureheads.
We are interested in the relationship of the revolutionary leader personality with the specific economic – social – political conditions within which it develops, evolves and acts as a revolutionary personality.
Undoubtedly it is a matter that needs to be studied as its theoretical generalization has not been fully and satisfactorily developed, while the historical experience of the KKE and the CPSU at least, offer important material for such a study, especially during the critical decades 1930, 1940, and 1950.
Among the factors to be studied is the ability of the personality to mobilize all the party dynamic, the vanguard forces of the working class and the militant radical intellect.
In other words, a leading personality and collective leadership in the revolutionary struggle are among the basic preconditions for its outcome.
A decisive factor is the dialectical unity of a class perspective with a scientific approach in politics, much more so in the revolutionary political struggle, a relationship that is subjectively mediated, and therefore intertwined with the relationship of personality – collectivity in leadership.
As much as it may seem to be a peripheral or secondary issue in relation to the outcome of the struggle between capitalism and socialism, in relation to the intensity of this struggle during the two World Wars, it is anything but.
Of course, from our point of view, the issue cannot be examined from the point of view of the bourgeoisie who overemphasize the characteristics of the personalities in World War II, for example, Hitler negatively, Churchill positively or even Stalin. However, we must counter the corresponding negative effects where even in communist historiography, we may encounter exaggerations of exultation or condemnation of the particular personality characteristics of leader; e.g., even in the party documents of the CPSU we encounter particularly negative references in relation to the personality of N. Zachariadis.
In conclusion, we would say that revolutionary leadership, the distinct personalities of revolutionary leaders, are judged beyond intentions and dispositions, by their ability to respond appropriately and promptly to the tasks set before them each time – this is also what distinguishes the Party’s vanguard. In this respect, the Bolshevik Party took on a complex and unprecedented task, the long-term survival of the revolution under conditions of imperialist encirclement, the intensification of the internal class struggle in the direction of building new social relations, while at the same time the communist movement was developing, with its contradictions and problems, in Europe and in the rest of the world, along with its international duties for socialism to prevail in a group of countries.
However, this ability is judged by the dialectical relationship between the revolutionary leader personality and the collective function of the Party, by the relationship of the scientific-class approach. Today, almost 100 years later, we can judge all this effort more objectively, without sentimentalism, more comprehensively, with the goal of drawing conclusions for the present and the future.
SUMMING UP ESTIMATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS ON WORLD WAR II
1. World War II was imperialist, and that applies to all the capitalist states involved, regardless of whether some are responsible for starting it, such as Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, and others for shaping the conditions that imposed it, such as the United Kingdom, France, the United States, for not reacting to the military attacks of the former.
The imperialist character of World War II, that is, the war between imperialist states for the divvying up of markets, does not negate the fact that the fascist alliance, the Axis, also attacked the Soviet Union, the first and then, the only workers’ state.
Other capitalist states are also responsible for this development; like the United Kingdom and France, which may not have attacked the Soviet Union, but they certainly did not hinder Germany from preparing to strike the USSR. On the contrary, they fueled and hoped for such an attack, in order to achieve the overthrow of the workers’ state. These aspirations are not invalidated by the fact that every war has its own dynamic, thus bringing provisions and rearrangements of alliances between the capitalist states, even conjunctural alliances such as that of the US with the Soviet Union from one point and on, when the U.S. naval force was attacked by Japanese forces (Pearl Harbor).
2. The Soviet Union, as a workers’ state, fought not only to defend its sovereignty, but also to defend its workers’ socialist character. This defense also concerned the International Communist Movement, its struggle to broaden the transition from capitalism to socialism-communism.
From this standpoint, the CPs of capitalist countries could and should have understood, and not taken a position against the tactical moves of the Soviet Union to gain time (e.g. the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact) or to organize its defense and its counter-attack (e.g. negotiations of agreement with the USA-United Kingdom).
It is legitimate for a socialist country which is in danger – under conditions where the international imperialist system is at war, is divided – to make some foreign policy moves in order to gain time so it can better organize and confront, possibly jointly with some other forces, any military operations which are directed at it by the offensive bloc. Even to carry out negotiations during war, possibly with the goal of ending the war, ceasefire agreements that require international conventions, etc. All of this is warranted.
However, the factors that shape the “next day” and concern the class struggle are more complex. Each war has its own dynamic within each country involved in the war, initially either as the aggressor state or as the occupied one. In the occupied one, e.g., resistance develops, armed struggle, in many cases the correlation changes within the process of the armed liberation struggle, such as in Greece, which was mainly led by the KKE, not the bourgeois class of Greece. This means that a process take places that changes the correlation of the class struggle, between the working class and the popular forces on the one side, and the bourgeois, dominating till then, class on the other.
These changes must play a role in “the conquest of the next day by which class” and not only or not mainly be determined by negotiations between the countries that won the war, in this particular case by the allies, but class different states, the USSR-USA-UK. From this perspective, the primary element in the post-war developments is related to the development of the domestic struggle in each country, and in this the internal structures must have a decisive say from the standpoint of the revolutionary labor movement, drawing to the greatest possible extent, the internationalist class solidarity of the communist movement or a socialist state or a group of socialist states.
However, the elements of foreign policy of a socialist state in no way should be theoreticized or ideologized, to become elements of the strategy of the International Communist Movement, neither on the part of the USSR, nor on the part of the CPs of the capitalist countries. In both cases, this weakens the strategic direction and the capacities of the communist movement in each capitalist country.
The incorrect ideologization on the part of the CPSU and the opportunistic stance of CPs in leading capitalist countries constituted the vicious circle that directly and in the long run, weakened the communist movement in a series of countries that were involved in World War II, either as aggressors (e.g. Italy) or as occupied countries (e.g. Greece).
The conclusion is that the internal and international situation of the class struggle and the ability of the conscious vanguard to estimate both the correlation and interaction is important in all the phases of revolutionary activity, both during the revolution and in the first steps of its consolidation, as well as during socialist construction, after the consolidation of the revolution and for as long as the appropriate conditions have not been formed internationally so that a communist society can be completed.
3. The communist parties, even though they led the armed liberation struggle, eg in Greece, or the anti-fascist struggle, eg in Italy, could not connect that struggle with the struggle for the conquest of power under revolutionary conditions. That is, under conditions where bourgeois power had already demonstrated a deep political crisis, instability, either during the withdrawal of the occupying forces, or during the defeat of the aggressors.
The CPs were entrapped in an anti-fascist line of struggle, in the domestic or other (of the USSR) negotiations for the post-war political regime in their country.
This problem is not negated by the fact that for some countries, e.g. Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, the outcome of the negotiations between the USSR and the USA-UK seemed to be relatively favorable or, better yet, the presence of the Red Army guaranteed a favorable outcome for the new escalation of the class struggle and at the governmental level, independently of their initial composition (bourgeois forces also participated).
However, despite the relatively favorable developments in these countries, the entire course of the class struggle, with some tolerance towards bourgeois forces, left its negative stamp: Capitalist relations were not completely abolished (the Constitution allowed the hiring of foreign labor up to a certain limit and of course with state control over the amount of salary and working conditions). The right-wing opportunist turn at the 20th Congress of the CPSU had a social basis, the gradual prevalence of market theories about socialism.
4. Other developments, which were the product of the USSR-US-UK-France correlation, such as the formation of two states in Germany, ultimately proved unsustainable (division of Berlin, assimilation of part of it into capitalist Germany), constantly fueling counter-revolutionary actions that prevented the revolutionary transition from capitalism to socialism.
But also, the outcome of the class struggle in countries such as Greece, to one degree or another, was influenced by the contradictions in the conception and policy of the “peaceful coexistence” of socialism with “democratic” and “peaceful” capitalist states, which were considered to be guided by political realism.
The “Cold War”, the “hot” US attacks on Korea, the Middle East, the formation of NATO, later the imperialist war against Vietnam, quickly revealed the real face of the US aggressor which was every bit as aggressive as Nazi Germany.
The objective assessment of the correlation of forces always requires that the exploitative, aggressive character of the capitalist power not be underestimated, regardless of the form of its state or its particular ideological references. That is why the “democratic” EU refutes the decisive contribution of the USSR in World War II and classifies it with Germany as those “undemocratic regimes”, refuting their enormous class differentiation; capitalism on the one hand, socialism on the other.
5. The International Communist Movement must be deeply aware of all the aspects and conclusions of World War II, not be afraid of the truth of its weaknesses and mistakes, but also “not to throw the baby out with the bathwater”, that is, to defend the socialist character of the USSR, to judge its policy from the point of view of the consolidation, endurance, and deepening of the new communist relations at all levels, domestically and internationally.
The KKE, for 30 years now, has dared and dares, continuing its research, its study, the collective party discussion, comradely discussions with other CPs, always with the goal of strengthening the class struggle for socialism-communism.
This article was published in the journal “Communist Review” the theoretical and political organ of the Central Committee of the KKE, 2020, Issue Three.
1. The NEP was a plan of organized retreat regarding the elimination of capitalist relations, with their controlled existence in cases of small and medium-sized, for that time period, enterprises; with capitalists remaining in agricultural production, with the import of foreign capital. This retreat was related to the great catastrophes that brought the economy, that is the material conditions, back to 1913. This resulted in a 7-year delay in the creation of the first Five-Year Central Plan and the more than 10-year existence of the Kulaks.
Lenin considered that for a series of more capitalist developed countries such types of measures would be unnecessary. See CC of the KKE, 18th Congress of the KKE. http://inter.kke.gr/en/articles/18th-Congress-Resolution-on-Socialism/ , point 14.
2. Draft telegram to the embassies of the USSR, 15.2.1945, as it appears from the accompanying note of JM Maiski to V. Molotov. The archive material is listed on the page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, in:https://idd.mid.ru/-/altinskaa-konferencia?inheritRedirect=false&redirect=%2Fhome%3F