The full text of the São Paolo Proclamation – Socialism is the Alternative! – of the 10th International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties, hosted by the Communist Party of Brazil and held on November21-23,  2008 in the city of São Paolo, Brazil.

São Paolo Proclamation – Socialism is the Alternative!

The world is facing a grave economic and financial crisis of large proportions. A capitalist crisis, which cannot be dissociated from capitalism’s own nature and from its unsolvable contradictions, that is probably the gravest crisis since the Great Depression commenced by the 1929 crash. As always the workers and the people are the main victim.

The current crisis is an expression of a deeper crisis intrinsic to the capitalist system which demonstrates capitalism’s historical limits and the need for its revolutionary overthrow. The current crisis also poses an enormous threat of social and democratic regression and provides, as history has shown, a basis for authoritarian and militarist movements that demand more vigilance from the communist parties and all democratic and anti-imperialist forces.

While billions of public resources are mobilized to save those responsible for this crisis – big capital, high finance and speculators – workers, small farmers, middle strata and all those who work for aliving are suffocating under the weight of monopolies and will experience still more exploitation, unemployment, lower wages and pensions, insecurity, hunger and poverty.

Powerful ideological diversionary campaigns are seeking to conceal the true origins of the crisis and to block the way to solutions that would be in the interests of the popular masses, which favor a new balance of power, a new international order in favor of popular forces, international solidarity and friendship among peoples. The main capitalist powers, starting with the USA, the European Union and Japan, by means of the international organizations under their rule – the IMF, World Bank, European Central Bank, NATO and others – and also manipulating the UN to suit their needs, are frantically working on “solutions,” which are themselves the seeds for new crises, and are attempting to rescue the system in the short term and reinforce the mechanisms of imperialist exploitation and oppression.

Resorting to scapegoats and insisting on false and failed options for “regulation,” “humanization” and the “reform” of capitalism, they seek to change appearances while keeping things the same. The parties supporting capital hastily accepted the dogmas of the “Washington Consensus” that has fed the brutal speculative financing of economy. Social-democracy, disguising its compliance with neo-liberalism and its transformation into a pillar of imperialism, attempts a belated return to Keynesian-type “regulation” that leaves intact the class nature of power and the relations of property, seeking precisely to avoid affirming the revolutionary alternatives for the workers and the peoples.

But that perspective is not inevitable.

As other moments in history have shown, the workers and the peoples, if united, can determine the course of economic, social and political events, squeeze important concessions out of big capital in the interests of the masses, curb advances towards fascism and war and open the path to deep transformations of a progressive and even revolutionary character.

The international outlook is one of increasingly sharp class struggle. Humankind is passing through one of the most difficult and complex moments in history; an economic global crisis that simultaneously coincides with an energy and food crisis and a serious environmental crisis; a world of deep injustices and inequalities, wars and conflicts. The scene is of an historic crossroads, in which two contradictory tendencies are being manifested – on one side lie great dangers to peace, to sovereignty, democracy, to peoples and workers’ rights and on the other side lie immense potential for struggles and the advance of the cause of emancipation of workers and peoples, the cause of social progress and peace, the cause of socialism and communism.

The Communist and Workers’ Parties that gathered at their 10th Meeting held in São Paolo salute the popular struggles emerging across the world against imperialist exploitation and oppression, against the increasing attacks on the historical achievements of the labor movement, against the militarist and anti-democratic offensive of imperialism.

Emphasizing that the neo-liberalism’s bankruptcy represents not only the failure of a policy of management of capitalism but the failure of capitalism itself, and confident of the superiority of the communist ideals and project, we affirm that the answer to the emancipatory aspirations of workers and peoples can only be found in the rupture with the power of big capital, with the imperialist blocs and alliances, and through deep transformations of a liberating and anti-monopolist character.

With the conviction that socialism is the alternative, the road to a real and total independence of peoples, the way to affirm workers` rights and the only way to put an end to the destructive crises of capitalism, we call upon the working class, the workers and the peoples across the world to join the cause of communists and revolutionaries and, united around their class interests and fair aspirations, to take in their own hands the building of a future of prosperity, justice and peace for Humankind. In this sense, conditions emerge for the convergence of the peoples’ struggles and resistances in an broad movement against the capitalist policies applied in the crisis and the imperialist aggressions that threaten peace.

Certain of the possibility of another world, a world that is free from class exploitation and the oppression of capital, we declare our commitment to continue the historical path to building a new society free from class exploitation and oppression that is socialism.

São Paolo, Brazil November 23rd, 2008
The 10th International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties.