An article by the International Relations of the CC of the KKE
It is a fact that the international developments as well as the developments in the communist and workers’ movement are complex. They require substantial examination, discussion, and exchange of experiences, the utilization of specific evidence as well as substantial arguments based on the principles of our theory.
Apparently this is not a simple matter because in practice one can discern that aphorisms, simplifications or pretexts are being used instead of arguments in order to disguise mistaken views or opportunist deviations on questions of strategic importance.
The most negative feature is that baseless and unsubstantiated attacks and characterizations are being spread via the internet (e.g. recent articles on a Swiss website) in this period by some people who think that they can attack the KKE, using vulgarities regarding “sectarianism”.
Of course, it is important that the KKE has been in the forefront of the class struggle in Greece for 96 years and in 2018 will celebrate the 100th anniversary since its foundation. It has passed through the harshest trials. Greek communists have been tested through many years of persecutions, imprisonments, exiles, executions, many years of illegality; they played the leading role in our people’s struggle against fascist dictatorships, in the armed struggle of the 1941-1944 resistance, in the civil war in 1946-1949. Based on this experience they are battling in the labour and people’s struggles up to the present day.
Of course, it is important that the KKE has an important course in the international communist movement – to the extent of its capabilities. It was the party that contributed to initiating the international meetings in Athens, to the organized efforts for the regroupment of the communist movement after the counterrevolution and the overthrow of socialism in the Soviet Union and in the other countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
Of course, it is important that the KKE has an open and consistent front against opportunism and seeks to conduct the ideological struggle on the basis of principles; to develop discussion and activity against the “opportunist Trojan Horse” that works for the capture of CPs and their social-democratic mutation.
The most important element, however, is that the KKE learns from its historical course and the course of the international communist movement and utilizes this experience as well as its knowledge in order to further assimilate the Marxist-Leninist worldview, in its practical activity; in order to adjust its strategy and tactics to the contemporary needs of the class struggle and contribute to the struggle for the interests of the working class; in order to become stronger and more effective in the struggle for the overthrow of capitalism, the construction of socialism.
This is what annoys the multi-tentacled opportunist mechanism which is trying in many ways, overt or covert, to slander the KKE, regurgitating claims made by the class enemy about dogmatism, incriminating the revolutionary activity of the party, incriminating its unwavering struggle against the bourgeois class and the imperialist coalitions, calling on our people and the peoples in general not to mobilize under a false flag.
In this article we will engage with certain aspects of the anti-KKE articles that seek to substantiate the alleged “sectarianism” of the KKE:
a) with the recent decision of the CC of our party for the KKE’s MEPs not to join any parliamentary group in the EU parliament.
b) the assessments of our party concerning the contemporary world, the emergence of new strong capitalist powers in the global imperialist “pyramid” and
c) Greece’s position in it.
1.1. The EU parliamentary group of the KKE, according to a recent decision of the CC of the KKE, withdrew from group GUE/NGL and did not join any political group taking certain basic elements into consideration.
It assessed that:
The confederal character of GUE/NGL has in reality been altered, as the ELP parties operate with a single line, grouped together, and speak in the committees and sessions on the basis of a common platform, promoting the political positions of the ELP as positions of GUE/NGL. The situation is deteriorating as the EU, in the framework of the deepening of its reactionary character, is prioritizing the functioning of EU parties that safeguard the further strengthening of the Commission and its multi-tentacled mechanisms.
There have been attacks against the KKE and attempts to distort and conceal its positions by GUE/NGL [a group of parties in the European parliament in Brussels, “the European United Left – Nordic Green Left”]
“Common positions” are being promoted on serious issues that are related to the policies of the EU and the international developments, despite the disagreements expressed by the EU parliamentary group of the KKE, whose positions have been concealed in several cases.
There have been ongoing attempts for the cooperation of GUE/NGL with the political groups of the Socialists and Greens in order to form an alleged “left bloc”, something that is also demonstrated by the statements of the ELP’s candidate for the presidency of the Commission, A. Tsipras. Joint motions have also been signed in the European parliament regarding very serious issues, sometimes even with the participation of the European People’s Party and the Liberals (e.g Joint Motion for a resolution on political agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020).
Forces from the GUE/NGL, like the German Die Linke party, participate in the EU’s anti-communist campaign, in the falsification of historical truth, the anti-historical equation of communism with fascism, the slandering of socialist construction and the gains of the working class.
Throughout this period the EU parliamentary group of the KKE opposed these dangerous choices. It fought against the unacceptable stance of parties and MEPs from GUE/NGL that supported the war inLibya, the EU’s intervention in theCentral African Republicand in the internal affairs ofSyria, its campaign of underminingCubawhile at the same time they have not condemned the EU’s intervention inUkraine. It fought against the ELP’s position that there can be a pro-people management of the crisis, while the monopolies remain in power.
It came into conflict with positions that prettify the imperialist character of the EU and claim that this union of the monopolies can become a union that will serve the peoples. However, despite the efforts of the KKE, GUE/NGL is being used as a tool of the ELP. As a result a completely negative situation has been created as well as new conditions that objectively impede the continuation of our participation in GUE/NGL.
The participation of the KKE in a group, where these forces dominate, would become an obstacle to the ideological, political and organizational independence of the party in the EU parliament, to the promotion of the strategy in favour of the working class and the popular strata in our country and Europe, to the regroupment of the communist movement inEurope.
At the same time, the continuation of the KKE’s participation in GUE/NGL would be used as a “left-wing alibi” for the imposition of the opportunist and social-democratic political line of parties that act in favour of the EU and accept capitalist barbarity.
What does the KKE do?
It analyzes the specific situation and takes decisions with the criterion of defending the working class-people’s interests. We explain in substantiated way that this cannot be served through GUE which has been captured by the ELP.
What are those people who hide behind the slanders about sectarianism doing?
They are turning a blind eye to the specific reality that has been formed and are continuing to foster false expectations arguing that it is possible to serve the people’s interests through cooperation with parties that have overt social-democratic goals, like SYRIZA, die Linke etc, as well as with mutated parties that still bear a communist title, in the name of a false unity that favours opportunism and social-democracy.
What does the KKE do?
It exposes the real imperialist nature of the European Union, as a union of the monopolies, it fights against it and calls on the people to come into rupture with this predatory alliance, to change the correlation of forces and to strengthen the struggle for workers’-people’s power that can pave the way for socialist development, a path of development that will have the people’s needs as its criterion and not profits, with disengagement from the EU and NATO.
What are those people who hide behind slanders about sectarianism doing?
They submit to the EU, they operate within the “walls” of the system, promoting various governmental “left”-“progressive” solutions and foster the illusion that this union of the monopolies can be built form scratch and can become a union that will benefit the peoples.
What does the KKE also do?
It participates and puts forward its positions in the International Meetings of CPs. It supports the common activity and at the same time it insists on the acquisition of a higher level of coordination of the struggle of the CPs against the imperialist EU and capitalist exploitation through participation in the INITIATIVE of 29 Communist and Workers’ Parties in Europe.
What do the slanderers do?
They try to undermine this important effort. Even more so, they seek to insult CPs that struggle in difficult conditions against the bourgeois class and the exploitative system.
The communists can draw conclusions.
And something further on this specific issue: certain anti-communist slanderers, such as Mr Tobias Clausen of the Red-Greens of Denmark claimed that “The KKE placed itself entirely outside the influence of the EU parliament. It ended up in a group with the dregs of the MEPS who no one wants to cooperate with, including the Golden Dawn. The KKE will no longer have the ability to follow draft laws, to intervene, make changes and speak.”
This slander by the specific Danish “left-winger” operates within the framework of the EU that is trying to “group together” fascism with communism under the label of “totalitarianism”. This slander reveals amongst other things the dirty tactics that are being used by the opportunists. And this is true because this gentlemen, who presents himself as an “authority on EU matters”, ought to know that:
The MEPs of the KKE do not join any political group and as cadres of the party will promote its political line without being restricted by any other commitments. Consequently, any innuendo regarding Golden Dawn is unacceptable and insults the intelligence even of those people who do not know the entirety of the KKE’s struggle, but know of its confrontation against the fascists.
As regards the issue of whether the KKE will have from now on, after its withdrawal from GUE/NGL, the ability to make speeches and interventions in the EU parliament, we inform them that from now the MEPs of the KKE will not possess less means and possibilities on in order to expose the reactionary character of the EU, the anti-people measures, and to contribute to the regroupment of the movement in Greece and Europe.
In any case, the KKE and its MEPs never had any anxiety about “correcting” the EU and capitalism through the parliaments, as the parties of the ELP have. They are in the EU parliament for specific reasons:
A) To have a clear picture about the anti-people measures that are decided on by this imperialist centre.
B) To contribute the preparation of the party, the class oriented labour movement, and the other anti-monopoly-anti-capitalist rallies organize in a timely fashion the workers’ struggle against the anti-people measures of the EU and the bourgeois governments.
C) So that the party has the ability to promote its positions in a detailed way on all issues to the workers, to cast light on the causes of the capitalist crisis, to expose the anti-people character of the EU, to come into conflict with bourgeois and opportunist views etc. And it will continue to do this, as before, prioritizing the cooperation of the CPs of Europe. And once again those who resort to anti-communism wearing a “left” mask will be refuted in practice. The communist men and women can draw conclusions.
1.2. The Leninist position that imperialism is the highest, final stage of capitalism is a foundation for the class analysis of the economic base in each capitalist state and the definition of its position in the imperialist system. However, there is a serious problem with the stance of many parties towards this crucial matter. We are not concerned by the invective unleashed against the KKE by some people on the internet. What concerns us is that while there is talk about the Leninist theory of imperialism, in reality it is replaced by a caricature that restricts imperialism to theUSAand identifies it with the aggressive foreign policy. This is a tragedy, as this analysis violates reality and promotes very misleading positions.
For example: Capitalism was restored with the counterrevolutionary overthrow of theSoviet Union. This is undeniable. Monopolies dominate the economic base ofRussia, we are referring to major economic groups such as Gazprom, Rosneft, Lukoil, Rusal, VTB Bank etc. The exploitative relations of production prevail. It is precisely this situation that the Russian Presidency and government are trying to manage with the aim of better serving the interests of the Russian monopolies that compete and cooperate with the monopolies of theUSA, EU, China etc, always with the goal of controlling the markets, energy sources, pipelines. At various historical junctures,Russia’s foreign policy can oppose, for example, the aggressiveness of the USA in Syria.
But this does not indicate that it is an anti-imperialist power that the peoples and the CPs should subordinate themselves to. The developments in Ukrainealso demonstrate the same thing as they are linked to the intervention of the EU-USA and the competition withRussia, with the “dilemma” of whetherUkrainewill be led to the embrace of the EU or to Russia’s customs union withBelarusandKazakhstan. Russia and Putin’s stance is determined by the interests ofRussia’s monopolies and not those of the peoples.
Even the USA in certain instances adjusts its foreign policy. For example, it undertakes initiatives, it exerts pressure for a “solution” e.g. to the Cyprus problem in this period as well as the Palestine issue, it manoeuvres, but this is related to the promotion of the interests of the US monopolies in the Mediterranean region, with the aim of controlling or utilising hydrocarbons or confronting the plans and aims of its competitors which are also active in the region.
These simple truths are very useful for us to overcome confusion and for the class criterion to prevail, which is being abused in certain interventions on the internet. What should be carefully examined? The tendency for important changes in the correlation of forces among the capitalist states became more apparent with the deep crisis of capital over-accumulation in 2008-2009 which in several capitalist economies has in reality not been overcome. This process occurs under the impact of the law of uneven capitalist development.
This tendency concerns the higher levels of the imperialist pyramid as well. The USA remains the first economic power, but with a significant reduction of its share in the Gross World Product. Until 2008, the Eurozone as a whole maintained the second position in the international capitalist market, a position which it lost after the crisis. China has already emerged as the second economic power, the BRICS alliance (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) has been strengthened in the international capitalist unions, such as the IMF and the G20.
The change in the correlation of forces among the capitalist states brings about changes in their alliances, as the inter-imperialist contradictions over the control and re-division of the territories and markets, zones of economic influence are sharpening, chiefly of the energy and natural resources, the transport routes of the commodities. The foreign policy of states that are incorporated in BRICS differs from theUSA(depending on the historical juncture) because they have a different starting point and other aims.
Nevertheless it also serves the interests and plans of the bourgeois classes and monopoly groups. This is the basic feature that emerges from the trajectory of these states. And even their staunchest defenders can not dispute that the monopoly groups are dominant in their economic base, that the criterion for development is their profits and their characteristic feature is the exploitation of the working class by capital and the high level of the rate of exploitation.
1.3. We have never claimed that capitalism in Greece,Portugal and other countries with an intermediate position in the imperialist system has acquired the same level of capital concentration and centralization and have developed to the same level as US capitalism and the strongest capitalist countries of the EU. It is well-known that the system does not develop uniformly, in a balanced way but that its characteristic feature is uneven development which is an absolute law of capitalism.
However, the basic issue is that the concentration and centralization of capital has led for many years to the birth and development of the monopolies which are the core, the cells of capitalism in the imperialist stage. And this fact is undeniable; it is substantiated by the economic data itself. This very development constitutes the basis for the KKE’s analysis, for the formation of the strategy and tactics that flow form this fact.
The programme of the party which was approved at the 19th Congress poses the following issues: The Greek bourgeois class initially benefited from the counterrevolutionary overthrow in the neighbouring Balkan countries and from joining the EU; it achieved significant capital accumulation and capital exports in the form of direct investments which contributed to the strengthening of Greek businesses and monopoly groups. The capital exports also expanded to Turkey, Egypt, the Ukraine,China as well as to Britain, to the USA and other countries. It actively participated in all the imperialist interventions and wars, such as those against Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya etc. In the decade which preceded the outbreak of the ongoing crisis, the Greek economy maintained a significantly higher annual rate of GDP growth than the corresponding level of the EU and the Eurozone, without substantially changing its position within it. However, it enhanced its position in the Balkans.
After the outbreak of the crisis, the position of Greek capitalist economy deteriorated in the framework of the Eurozone and the EU and the international imperialist pyramid in general, something which does negate the fact that the accession of Greece to the EEC-EU served the most dynamic sections of domestic monopoly capital and contributed to the buttressing of its political power. The participation ofGreecein NATO, the economic-political and political-military dependencies on the EU and theUSAlimit the room of the Greek bourgeoisie to manoeuvre independently, as all the alliance relations of capital are governed by competition, unevenness and consequently the advantageous position of the strongest; they are formed as relations of uneven interdependence.
Over the last 20 years, the already mature material pre-conditions for socialism in Greece have developed even further. The capitalist relations have expanded and strengthened, in agricultural production, education, health, culture-sports and the mass media. There was greater concentration of wage labour and capital in manufacturing, retail trade, construction, in tourism. Enterprises belonging to private capital have developed with the abolition of the state monopoly in telecommunications and in the monopolised sections of energy and transport. Wage labour increased significantly as a percentage of employment as a whole, while the number of self-employed remained stable, as the reduction of a section of the self-employed was accompanied by their increase in the service sector.
The mature material pre-conditions for socialism have developed even further. This is a crucial issue and this development does not only concern Greece, something that has been confirmed by the development of monopoly capitalism in recent decades. The contradiction between the social character of labour and the private capitalist appropriation of the largest part of its results, due to the capitalist ownership of the concentrated means of production, is being highlighted intensely in every aspect of economic and social life. The need for social ownership, central planning with working class power is emerging as an urgent necessity.
Socialism is more necessary and timely than ever from the standpoint of the material conditions. On the basis of this analysis, the KKE’s programme stresses that the strategic goal of the party is the conquest of revolutionary working-class power, the dictatorship of the proletariat, for the socialist construction as the immature phase of the communist society. The revolutionary change in Greece will be socialist. The Greek people will be liberated from the bonds of capitalist exploitation and the imperialist unions when the working class together with its allies carries out the socialist revolution and moves forwards to construct socialism-communism. For this reason we insist that those who resort to slanders against the KKE should study our positions; they should speak on the basis of the real facts and substantiate their criticism with arguments and not hot air.
And finally they should avoid using claims utilized by bourgeois apologetics and opportunism in Greece in order to attack our party that demonstrably plays the leading role in the class struggle, has strong forces in the labour-people’s movement and recently, despite the difficulties, gathered several hundred thousand workers’ votes in the municipal, regional and EU parliamentary elections, and had hundreds of municipal-regional councillors elected, as well as four mayors in important cities including Greece’s third largest city and two MEPs.