Closing remarks by Giorgos Marinos, a leading member of the KKE (Communist Party of Greece), at the teleconference of the European Communist Initiative on the hundredth anniversary of the founding of the USSR.
This discussion can contribute to the intensification of the confrontation with anti-communism of all kinds emanating from the USA and the EU, the Euro-Atlantic forces, but also from the Russian leadership and the leaderships of the former Soviet republics, which use all means to tarnish the revolution, its leader, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, and socialism to support the counter-revolution and capitalism.
We defend the October Revolution, draw strength from it and utilize its lessons, which are a valuable asset to the struggle of communists today.
For the Socialist Revolution in Russia showed the insurmountable power of the working class, of the organized and armed workers’–people’s forces that, under the leadership of the revolutionary CP, defeated a tough opponent, i.e. the bourgeoisie, and overthrew its power.
This revolution changed the course of history. It paved the way for a new era, the era of the transition from capitalism to socialism; “the road is open” and this cannot be negated by the counter-revolution and capitalist restoration.
The exploitative system cannot tame its contradictions.
The conflict between the monopolies and the states that represent their interests causes imperialist wars, such as the war in Ukraine, with the victims being the people.
Capitalism has decayed. Poverty and unemployment are spreading, exploitation is intensifying, the basic opposition between capital and wage labour is sharpening, and the solution that lies in the people’s counter-attack, the struggle for socialism–communism, is becoming more necessary, timely, and realistic.
(…) We defend the socialist construction in the USSR and highlight its historically important achievements and accomplishments, without embellishing them or underestimating the difficulties, weaknesses, and shortcomings. We hold a systematic, honest discussion with the working class and the popular strata in order to record the historical truth.
Indeed, socialism in the USSR eliminated unemployment and secured the right to permanent work and housing. It provided the people with free healthcare and welfare, education, social security, and increased leisure time. It safeguarded the equality between nations. It made a great contribution to the emancipation of women, the development of culture and sports. Furthermore, the USSR’s contribution to internationalist solidarity, the struggle against imperialism and imperialist wars, the anti-fascist victory of the peoples in the Second World War, and so much more is invaluable.
At the heart of all this lies the feat of abolishing the exploitation of man by man that plagues the working class in the capitalist world.
How was this achieved? Where did the workers’ state, the revolutionary workers’ power rely on?
This is a crucial question.
For the backbone of socialism is the laws governing the new system, the socialization of the means of production as the foundation for central scientific planning, based on the meeting of people’s needs and popular prosperity.
When these laws were violated; when the laws and criteria of capitalist development and the market, the criterion of self-management of business and profit took their place, stagnation and backwardness manifested themselves, social forces whose interests were in opposition to socialism were created, and the road was opened for counter-revolution and capitalist restoration.
We have assessed all this. The gradual opportunist erosion of the CPSU and its leadership played a leading role in the counter-revolutionary process.
We stress this because it is very important that the causes that led to the counter-revolution be assimilated by the communists and the people, and that they be further studied, particularly today when a methodical effort is underway to question and trample on the principles of socialist revolution and construction, and the “formula” that led to the prevalence of capitalism in the USSR and the other states of socialist construction is being put forward as a guideline.
We are called upon to confront this line.
We are not only confronted with the vulgar promotion of the opportunist parliamentary road and the so-called humanization of the capitalist exploitative system. We are also confronted with a nexus of analyses, positions, and practices that negate basic principles and undermine the revolutionary struggle, in the name of socialism.
Such as in the case of the so-called market socialism or “socialism of the 21st century”, which back and are backed by capitalist enterprises, monopolies and their profit, with the characteristic element of treating labour power as a commodity and exploiting the working class.
The struggle of the CPs becomes meaningful when they struggle with principles for the overthrow of capitalism and the building of the new socialist–communist society, free from exploitation of man by man. This can only be achieved by the revolutionary workers’ power, the socialization of the means of production, and centralized scientific planning, in a constant effort to develop socialist relations of production.
The struggle of the communists under all conditions becomes meaningful through the confrontation with the bourgeois power, the bourgeoisie, and its political representatives, liberal or social-democratic parties and governments, with all imperialist centres and alliances.
Any deviation from this principle; any participation in, support for or tolerance of bourgeois governments and cooperation with bourgeois parties leads the CP to become the tail of the bourgeoisie, to participate in the management of the exploitative system, and to be complicit in the implementation of the anti-people’s policy and capital’s attacks against the peoples.
We study the developments, the specific conditions, the difficulties, and the possibilities in each country with the criterion of elaborating a revolutionary strategy; of concentrating, educating and preparing the working class in conflict with the monopolies and capitalism for its overthrow, in opposition to the notion of managing the system and and being co-opted into it.
The CPs are not assessed by the slogans they use. It is not enough for a party to declare that its goal is socialism or to make a general condemnation of imperialism.
The CPs are assessed in practice, under difficult times. They are tested by their steadfastness in the class struggle, their stance towards the imperialist war, their readiness to reject the bourgeois pretexts utilized to entrap the peoples. These pretexts are used to co-opt them into social democracy, into competing bourgeois political forces in the name of “anti-neoliberalism” and the so-called progressive fronts or in the name of the so-called anti-fascist fronts; or even in the name of “anti-fascism” utilized to justify the imperialist war being waged in Ukraine between the USA-NATO-EU and capitalist Russia —a war that kills and destroys the Ukrainian and Russian people for the benefit of the monopolies.
The struggle against fascism is the task of the communists, the working class, the peoples, pursuing a line to overthrow the dictatorship of the monopolies, capitalism that gives rise to it. The position that shifts this task to the bourgeoisie and its state downplays the importance of the popular struggle, fosters confusion, and does not serve the labour movement.
(…) We have a lot of work ahead of us. Today’s discussion can contribute to further reflection and give impetus to the effort of the necessary revolutionary programmatic changes, to the intensification of efforts to strengthen the struggle of the CPs, for the overthrow of capitalist barbarity, for the new socialist–communist society”.