Fundamental Principles of the
Revolutionary Workers’ and Communist Movement.
By Dimitris Gontikas* / Source: International Communist Review, Issue 3, 2014.
Every Communist Party which remains fixed on its mission and resolutely focussed on its central task to prepare and organise the working class and to guide its struggle for the fulfilment of its historic mission, is obliged to guide the working class on the basis of the fundamental principle of scientific socialism: “Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement”.
It is obliged to unrelentingly and consistently defend this principled position from every form of undermining. It must defend this by struggling continuously for the continual correlation between theory and practice.
The history of the revolutionary and labour movements teaches us that neither willpower nor declarations are sufficient to safeguard and secure a revolutionary struggle-line and the existence of the party as a revolutionary vanguard.
There is a necessity not only for secure theoretical foundations but also for the continuous enrichment of theory through the study of the developments, with a heightened class criterion, the study of the strategy of the opponent, the generalization of experience, as well as the open ideological front against every revisionist attempt. Ideological struggle should reach the level of an open break with the current of revisionism and opportunism within its ranks.
Without the break with the leaders of the 2nd International, Bolshevism would not have been victorious in the Russian labour movement nor would the October Revolution have triumphed. Today, without the defeat of opportunism in the communist movement of every country and at an international level, there can be neither regroupment nor the creation of the conditions for victory. The labour movement will be condemned to act as the tail of the bourgeois class in every country.
The KKE has a wealth of experience. It has paid a high price for retreats concerning matters of principle, the neglect of its theoretical training and level. Many efforts and tough battles were needed to heal the wounds, to restore its communist character and to elaborate its strategy in the contemporary conditions.
The experience of the KKE, as well as of other parties, which have a consistent stance in relation to Marxist-Leninist theory and proletarian internationalism, is not a national peculiarity or specificity.
No party can, for example, lend dynamism and perspective to the class struggle, where the central issue is the struggle for power, if it does not have clear views on the working class, its role, its development, the complex process for the development of class consciousness and its movement and finally the preconditions which are necessary for the fulfilment of its historic mission.
Maybe its is not true, that certain parties especially in developed capitalist countries lost their bearings, their proletarian and revolutionary character, because they adopted bourgeois anti-scientific theories concerning the working class and its role? Theories and practices which questioned or even denied its vanguard social role? The line of diffusing the labour movement into various social forums proved to be very damaging.
It is also true that the working class has developed not only quantitatively but qualitatively, as the basic productive force. The operation of the law of expanded capitalist reproduction and accumulation objectively creates the material conditions for the numerical development and concentration of the working class. The expanded reproduction of the labour force is an integral part of the overall movement of capital. The changes in the sectors of the economy, the internal immigration from the countryside to the urban centres through the destruction of thousands of farms, the closure of small and medium businesses, immigration, and the natural increase of the population are the basic factors which feed the expanded reproduction of labour power. In the final analysis the capitalist mode of production reproduces the working class on an even larger scale- the class which owns no means of production while it is the source of profitability through the unpaid part of its labour. This is the motivation of capitalist production, the safeguarding of the largest possible amount of surplus value and not the satisfaction of the social needs.
The interpretation of the new phenomena which are related to the composition of the working class, its role, etc, can lead to mistaken theoretical and political conclusions if they are not based on the theory of scientific socialism and the theory of class struggle.
Some basic starting points, which are matters of principle, for the scientific approach are the following:
- The working class is the driving force of social production, concentrated industry and from this flows its leading role in the passage from capitalism to socialism, the lower level of communism.
The bourgeois class has become reactionary because it resists the social ownership of the concentrated means of production-the only ownership relation which suits the deepening of the social character of labour and production. It has passed into the historical position of feudalism when it was defending the freezing of productive potential within the limits of feudal ownership.
The objective position of the two classes, the working class and the bourgeois class in capitalist society is what defines our era as the era of the passage from capitalism to socialism. The working class is the last exploited class in the history of social systems and bearer of the new relations of production – the communist relations of production. The working class is the only class which has developed in contrast to all the other classes which are in decline and its historic mission is the abolition of private ownership, classes, and the exploitation of man by man. There is no other social force that can fulfil this role.
This is the fundamental theoretical position for every CP, capable of explaining the phenomena in the development of the working class. Phenomena such as: The expansion of the waged relation between capital and labour in the commoditised fields of health, welfare education, social security, tourism etc. The rise in the educational level of the working class in general, even of sections in manufacturing, construction and mining. The expansion of the working class in sections of salaried scientists because of the further concentration in industries where there used to be a large number of self-employed (lawyers, accountants, engineers etc).
A result of the abovementioned development is on the one hand the increase in the size of the working class and on the other the deepening of its internal stratification. Thus the section of the working class which is in manufacturing is reduced in relation to the whole class. This decrease is used by bourgeois theories to claim that the working class is in the process of shrinking, a view which is often adopted by opportunist forces, when denying the historic role of the working class for social progress.
2. The historic role of the working class as a revolutionary class can only be fulfilled through its organization as a class for itself, so that it acquires a consciousness of its mission, something which requires the existence of an independent revolutionary party which expresses its general interests and will lead its struggle so that the working class becomes the gravedigger of capitalism. This organization of the class struggle, with this content and goal, is not formed spontaneously but through the creation of the ideological-political organized vanguard of the working class in the communist party.
3. A defining theoretical issue for every CP is the understanding of contemporary capitalism as imperialism, the final stage of capitalism. Its objective base is large-scale capitalist ownership which takes the form of the collective capitalist, the union of capitalists in companies. In this way strong monopolies were formed in industry, trade, banks and these were interconnected, there were created imperialist unions such as the EU, and generalised imperialist wars took place for the distribution and redistribution of markets.
It is very important to stress that the KKE was not trapped in the opportunist view, which is harmful to the movement, that the formation of the EU was a historically inevitable development, that he had progressive elements. The developments have vindicated its assessment that the EU was a union of monopolies and nothing more and that its dissolution is a crucial link in the struggle for socialism-communism.
It was not trapped by theories which say that “globalized capitalism” has been released from its contradictions. Uneven development is manifesting itself with particular intensity.
In imperialism the export of capital prevailed for direct investments, speculation around the export of financial capital has taken on massive dimensions (massive speculation on the buying and selling of state bonds in the form of contracts- stakes etc). The contradiction between capital and labour has sharpened as we can see that today the working class and people’s income is being reduced even in the recovery phase of reproduction after the crisis ( as in some countries in the Eurozone, in the USA and elsewhere).
In this way, old phenomena inherent in the capitalist mode of production, such as the periodic economic crises of overproduction of capital, acquired depth and synchronization, which we experienced in 1929 and throughout the 1930’s, and also in the first decade of the 21st century. These deep crises of over-accumulated capital have taken the form of financial or stock-exchange crises, on the basis of which the competition and contradictions between the sections of capital have intensified, between capitalists states, inside imperialist centres like the Eurozone and also between imperialist centres and inside wider imperialist unions such as the World Bank and the IMF. Opportunism attaches itself to one or the other side of the inter-bourgeois and inter-imperialist contradictions, concealing the capitalist nature of the crisis and the way out which is in the interests of the working class-popular majority.
It is a fundamental issue for the ideological and political struggle of the working class, and for its party to highlight that the capitalist system has lost its dynamism and passed into the phase of decline, that it is a system which is sinking into parasitism, it is rotting but it impedes the passage to socialism-communism. To highlight that for this reason there can be no passage from capitalism to socialism with the structures and functions of capitalist power, through the parliamentary process. It is a process of successive conflicts, ruptures, overthrows, both peaceful and bloody through many different phases. Everything will be judged by the level of organization, decisiveness, heroism, self-sacrifice and alliances of the working class, something which demands a powerful vanguard, a communist party, with the correct strategy.
It flows from the character of the era that the communist party must have a strategy and tactics which will have at the centre of its struggle the liberation of the working class from bourgeois and petty bourgeois ideology and its organization so as to crush with its strength the class violence of the monopolies’ power.
4. In order to forge the right strategy and tactics, for the victory of the working class, for the formation for an organizational policy and an alliance policy, one of the basic pre-conditions is the definition of the driving forces of the revolution. According to Lenin “….”
The starting point is Lenin’s definition of class which summarizes and further elaborates the positions of Marx and Engels on class: “Large groups of people differing from each other by the place they occupy in a historically determined system of social production, by their relation (in most cases fixed and formulated in law) to the means of production, by their role in the social organization of labor, and, consequently, by the dimensions of the share of social wealth of which they dispose and the mode of acquiring it. Classes are groups of people one of which can appropriate the labor of another owing to the different places they occupy in a definite system of social economy” …”
Based on this theoretical principle, every CP must objectively assess the social forces which are found in between the two basic classes, to distinguish those intermediate strata whose long-term prospects objectively bring them closer to the working class from those which are more stably reproduced together with the capitalist class. With its political line, the CP must express the need to secure a living standard and cultural level for the popular sections of the intermediate strata of the city and the countryside. `
5. The bourgeois class in its struggle for the preservation of its power and its interests, private ownership and the regime of wage slavery, continually modernises the bourgeois state and its mechanisms, reorganises its alliances, and adjusts its tactics in relation to the labour movement. Of course it is constantly attacking revolutionary ideology and practice while it supports opportunism in every country, because it serves the subjugation of the working class to its interests under the umbrella of the national interest, chiefly through the buying off of sections of the working class, the well-known labour aristocracy in each country, a vehicle not only for the division and fragmentation of the labour movement, but also a propagandist for the conciliation with the bourgeois class. Consequently, the struggle against opportunism, the struggle against entrapment in parliamentarism and reformism, the struggle against the participation of CPs in governmental formations within capitalism is a condition for its class emancipation.
6. Internationalism in practice and in the most difficult circumstances. The national peculiarities do not negate the united international duty of the working class, its united interests.
“There is one, and only one, kind of real internationalism, and that is—working whole-heartedly for the development of the revolutionary movement and the revolutionary struggle in one’s owncountry, and supporting (by propaganda, sympathy, and material aid) this struggle, this, and only this, line, in every country without exception… The thing is not to “proclaim” internationalism, but to be able to be an internationalist in deed, even when times are most trying.”
The KKE guided by these principles has made serious efforts to analyse more deeply contemporary developments and changes in internationalised capitalism, the experience from the class struggle, to study the experience of the party itself and on this basis elaborated its strategy for the regroupment and counterattack of the labour movement.
Based on this political line and in the complex conditions which are determined by the economic crisis and the counterrevolutions, the KKE struggles to pave the way for revolutionary changes. And in this light it assesses its contribution to the international revolutionary movement.
THE ESSENCE OF THE STRATEGY OF THE KKE AND THOSE WHO FIGHT AGAINST IT
One of the most frequent accusations against the KKE is that its political line is characterised by sectarianism, that it is theoretically and ideologically trapped in outdated schema and dogmas. That it refuses cooperation with other forces which describe themselves as left-wing and that it postpones the solution of all the problems of the working class to socialism, to the “second coming” and denies the importance of the economic struggles and generally the struggle for the improvement of the position of the working class and popular strata through reforms within the framework of the current system.
This is the general direction of the polemics against the KKE in which bourgeois and opportunist forces converge, that is to say forces which split from or were driven out of the KKE as hostile to and deniers of the class struggle, as vehicles of class collaboration.
Nevertheless, these are views which do not contain a kernel of original thinking. They copy and regurgitate theories and ideological constructs which are circulated by the system’s staff, mainly by social-democracy or anarchism internationally.
They flatter the spontaneity of the masses, and today when even the liberal bourgeois parties operate in an organized way in the labour and trade union movement, in the student and school-student movement, and amongst women. Bypassing the organized bourgeois intervention and its ideological-political impact on working class and popular forces they speak of the “non-political party” or “autonomous” or “ unmediated” movement, or they cooperate with bourgeois forces in the name of “unity on the problem” or the local specificity of the problems in relation to the politics at the centre.
They could not and are still not able to follow the enormous efforts of the KKE at a theoretical and political level to elaborate and adjust its strategy to the contemporary developments of the class struggle and the major breakthroughs which it as achieved concerning outdated viewpoints and practices.
They remain dogmatically attached to class collaboration and to the logic of the reform of capitalism through new mixtures of bourgeois policies and institutions. Their periodic adjustments to the developments and the adoption of anti-capitalist slogans does not negate their real nature, their compromised political line. They stubbornly reject the abolition of private ownership of the concentrated means of production and openly display their class hatred for working class power. They were and remain agents of the bourgeois class in the labour movement.
The elaboration and adjustment of the strategy and tactics of the KKE in the labour and trade union movement is a major achievement and guarantee of important successes in the class struggle. It is the path for the final victory of the labour movement in its struggle against capital.
We already can count successes and victories- the formation and activity of PAME as the class pole in the labour movement and the alliance with the popular strata of the self-employed which is beginning to be constructed.
It is the creation and stabilization of a strong current of resistance, rupture and overthrow against the anti-people political line and the monopolies and the EU, as well as against every imperialist centre, economic and military-political alliance of the capitalist states. It is a current of forces which is expanding and is strengthening within the ranks of the working class, the self-employed, the farmers, youth, women and is an inspiration in the decisive struggle for revolutionary overthrows and changes.
The basis for the changes, adjustments and overthrows concerning several issues of the KKE’s line of activity in the labour and trade union movement is the deeper and more substantial study of the contemporary developments in the capitalist mode of production and the strategy of capital in today’s conditions. Over the last 20 years our party has carried out persistent and serious work recorded in a series of documents which complete or enrich one or the other issue within a unified line of struggle.
BASIC ISSUES OF THE STRATEGY AND TACTICS OF THE KKE IN THE LABOUR AND TRADE UNION MOVEMENT
The KKE, in the face of the new facts which the predominance of the counterrevolution created, was not disoriented by the current of defeat and ideological confusion. It mobilized all its forces and elaborated its strategy in the new conditions. Examining the causes of the overthrows of socialism, it was obliged to deeper study the history and development of the class struggle in the 20thcentury.
One initial and strategically important conclusion is that the capitalist states and indeed those with the most developed capitalist economies no longer have the capability to make concessions to the working class.
After the 2nd World War in Europe, in conditions of the dynamic rebuilding and development of the capitalist economy and a new balance of forces, as was shaped after the war, the labour movement acquired a series of important gains.
The same occurred in Greece where important gains were acquired chiefly after 1974.
In the period after the war the opportunist current was strengthened and took the form of the “Euro-communism” with particular expression in Italy in the form of the Italian Communist Party, which developed the theory of the so-called “historic compromise”.
The basis of this current was that capitalism could be transformed, to be reformed into a more modern and fair society, in the direction of socialism without ruptures and overthrows.
A cornerstone of these views was the extensive state sector, the state-monopoly reforms in the management of the system and certain provisions which were made within the framework of the system.
This line caused a great deal of damage within the labour and trade union movement. It led the Communist Parties into the embrace of social-democracy and today to their dissolution or mutation. The labour and trade union movement passed into a period of decades of shrinkage, bureaucratization, inertia and assimilation into the various governmental, EEC and capitalist designs.
This current exerted a powerful influence over a series of parties, amongst them the KKE. Repeated confrontations were needed to free the party from its influence.
Our party, studying the historical development of class struggle at a European level, came to the conclusion that the capitalist system has not only exhausted its capability for concessions but has moved into a reactionary counterattack to overthrow all the basic gains of the workers. From the middle of the 1970s, this tendency was apparent and was completed in the 1990s by the unified strategy of the EU. This is an important conclusion which assisted our party not to be disoriented and to fight against a series of theoretical, political positions and practices which caused confusion and damage.
The acceleration of capitalist internationalization, the creation of the EU and the formation of centre-left governments, were interpreted by many and particularly by various opportunist currents as a new era of positive developments. Various social forums were promoted as new subjects of the class struggle which called into question the role of the working class and the necessity of the revolutionary party.
The strategy for the overthrow of the gains and rights of the working class came about due to the difficulties in the expanded reproduction of social capital, the successive crises of capitalist over-accumulation, the fall in the average rate of profit, due to the internal contradictions of the capitalist system. This strategy had as its goal to strengthen the profitability of capital, i.e. to stop the tendency for the average rate of profit to fall in the 1970s. The implementation of this strategy was assisted by the changes in the correlation of forces which were caused by the counterrevolutions in the socialist countries.
The unified strategic offensive against the labour movement did not only have to with the conditions of the outbreak of the capitalist crisis, but also the conditions of capitalist development, because the economies of the USA, Japan, Britain etc were losing their position in the international capitalist market, the competition was sharpened with the emergence of new powers, such as China, and the fiscal deficits grew.
Particularly in the last two decades, the growth phases were anaemic and did not lead to a rise in prosperity in the most advanced capitalist societies.
The deeper and synchronised economic crisis which broke out in 2008 not only confirmed the theses of the KKE, but also confirmed in the clearest way the theory of scientific socialism. At a theoretical level and also at the level of political and class struggle, the superiority of the Party against the opportunists was once again confirmed.
These analyses helped the party modernise and develop its strategy, an element of which was the creation of PAME and the confrontation with the leaderships of the trade unions which have as their main line of struggle the strengthening of the competitiveness of the economy and the convergence with the EU countries as a precondition for the prosperity of the working class.
The KKE rejected and exposed the bourgeois and opportunist theories and guarded the movement against dangers.
It promptly opened a front of struggle against theories concerning convergence with the EU, competitiveness, the smaller state, against illusions concerning the dynamism of capitalist development.
It helped the movement resist and defend gains which in other European capitalist countries had been swept away one after the other.
The class-oriented trade union movement was better prepared to face the crisis and fight against the various anti-scientific theories concerning the causes of the crisis.
The assault which is escalating today with the economic crisis is the continuation of the strategy of capital elaborated in the previous period, in the development phase. It is one more piece of evidence that capitalism has lost whatever dynamism it had concerning the development of the productive forces. It is fully opposed to the needs of ordinary families. The only capability which the system has is to distribute labour through the expansion of part-time work and the generalization of flexible labour relations, the liberalization of labour time through the abolition of overtime rates of pay and the establishment of compulsory overtime. The capitalists, their governments and imperialist unions, in order to ensure the greatest possible profits operate in opposition to the capabilities of the productive forces and the productivity of labour which have created possibilities not only for the end of unemployment but to allow shorter working hours and the total satisfaction of the continually expanding needs of the people.
The capitalist relations of production, i.e. the private ownership of the means of production, not only put a brake on the development of the productive forces, but, due to this massive discrepancy, reveal the historic boundaries of the capitalist mode of production, its parasitism and its deeply reactionary nature.
The labour and trade union movement in these conditions, without a strategy directed towards the abolition of the capitalist relations of production, is doomed to dissolution or full assimilation into the system, to mutate into a partner in capitalist management. Even defensive struggles cannot slow down or impede this barbaric assault, if they are not part of a strategy for the concentration of forces for the final confrontation, for the overthrow.
Capital’s contemporary strategic offensive which is escalating on every front in the conditions of crisis will continue after the crisis as well in order to stabilise the recovery which will be temporary and anaemic. What is apparent today and constitutes a relatively new element is that the capitalist system at a national, regional and international level has very limited capabilities in terms of managing the crisis in comparison to the past, due to the competition, the even greater anarchy in the conditions of the liberation of the movement of capital and the increase of the imperialist centres which fight for the redistribution of markets.
The labour movement will only achieve victories through a strategy of confrontation.
The KKE, within this framework, after studying the line of struggle of the labour and trade union movement at a national and European level and more generally, observed serious and deep deviations in the leadership of the class struggle. The main deviations were the detachment of economics from politics. And the abandonment of the tested theoretical principles of the class struggle. We saw the absolute elevation of the economic struggle as the determining factor for the improvement of the life of the working class.
For many years collective bargaining agreements were at the centre of the struggle of the trade unions, in general the conditions concerning the price of the sale of labour power, while some basic necessities for the reproduction of labour power (education, health) were mainly the responsibility of the state as the overall representative of the interests of capital.
A problem in the leadership of the class struggle was the denial of the basic principle of Marxism concerning the relative and absolute destitution of the working class as a permanent trend within the framework of the capitalist mode of production.
These deviations led the labour and trade union movement in several countries, and especially in the developed capitalist countries to subordinate the interests of the working class to the plans and interests of the bourgeois class in each country and to abandon internationalism. The labour and trade union movement found itself essentially disarmed in the face of the counterattack of capital and in dealing with the economic crisis.
The working class and its movement cannot give up on the economic struggle for the improvement of living and working conditions even for a second. The working class through these struggles learns, understands its strength, and grows morally, intellectually and politically. Its gains are a question of the correlation of forces. But this struggle has limits. Whatever gains made are continually challenged. If this position was of importance at the dawn of the emergence of the organized trade union movement, then today it is a condition for its existence.
In today’s conditions of the dominance of the monopolies not only does the level of exploitation increase through the overthrow of all the gains of the working class, but the conditions of its reproduction have also become an object of exploitation for accumulated capital, through the generalised privatizations of education, health-welfare etc.
The economic struggle today is not enough. It is a defensive struggle, very limited and it is not sufficient for the working class to fulfil its socially liberating role. Only in combination with political and theoretical struggle can it realize its historical role.
Whatever gains the working class achieves through its struggle, its position in the system does not change, not does its position in the relations of production alter in the slightest- these are relations of exploitation, dependence on capital, a relation of wage slavery, the exploitative labour conditions do not change. The law of capitalist accumulation excludes any reduction in the level of the exploitation of labour- the boss remains the boss.
Consequently the basic content of the class struggle is the emancipation of the working class from exploitation.
The correlation of forces today of course creates significant difficulties for the development of class struggle with this content and orientation. The linking of economics with politics is a condition for the overcoming of difficulties and so that the balance of forces at a national and international level is overturned.
We are of the assessment that in conditions of crisis, both the communist party and the labour and trade union movement must conduct a very complex struggle. On the one hand they must create foci and conditions for rallying based on the daily problems which the crisis is sharpening, so that wider working class masses are drawn into activity, especially younger age groups which are relatively immature and have been educated in the conditions of the retreat of the global revolutionary labour movement. At the same time all these specific fronts in the workplaces and industries must be united into a single movement which will struggle for the overturning of the balance of forces, the overthrow of the power of the monopolies- it must be directed towards the prospect of socialism.
Of course this is not an easy matter, as in conditions of crisis the radicalism which can develop comes face to face not only with state violence and ideological intimidation, but also the systematic dissemination of reformist and opportunist views which muddy consciousnesses, weaken, fragment and assimilate.
But there is no other option apart from the strategy of rupture and overthrow.
Form many years and due to the detachment of economics from politics, the trade unions and their struggle will continually slide into a blunting of the class struggle. Views and practices were strengthened concerning the neutrality of the unions and the ideological and political struggle of the communists within them retreated in favour of reformism. Thus the way was left open for the domination of social-democracy in the leadership of the trade union movement.
This phenomenon was almost total in the EU countries and the USA. Today the trade union movement in the USA the trade union movement is on the verge of dissolution, while in the EU it is weak in every basic intervention. This will not change unless there occur major upheavals and the formation of a strong class current of confrontation and rupture with the reformist trade unions subjugated to class collaboration.
The party promptly declared war on this line, and not without difficulties.
The unity of the working class is a fundamental strategic matter for the KKE in the labour and trade union movement. But the unity in its ranks has as a precondition its emancipation from the influence of the bourgeois class and the reformist illusions which are powerful in its ranks and were strengthened in the specific historical conditions of the development of capitalism.
In today’s conditions, when the issue of the replacement of the capitalist mode of production has been objectively posed, the unity of the working class will come about through the regroupment of the labour and trade union movement with as its axis of struggle the contemporary needs of the working class which are irreconcilable with the monopolies and imperialism.
The orientation of the trade union movement and the struggle which is being waged in its ranks is a central problem of the class struggle and is of fundamental importance for the interests and fate of the labour movement.
The contradiction capital-labour is implacable, irreconcilable and cannot be bridged. The view of the reformists and opportunists that waged labour and capital can peacefully coexist, that their contradictions can be regulated, is the death knell for the trade union movement.
The defeat and bankruptcy of these views and practices is a condition for the regroupment of the labour movement, for the defence of the interests of the working class, a struggle directly connected to the main task: the liberation of the working class from the torments of capitalist exploitation and slavery.
The struggle for the strengthening of the class-oriented current in the trade union movement naturally met the rabid attack of the trade union leaderships at a national, and also a European level with opportunists of every kind playing the leading role.
Voices were raised that the unity of the struggles was being undermined and split, that the economic struggle was being abandoned and other such claims.
The question which the KKE poses is the combination of the economic and political struggle and the need for one-sidedness and assessments of an absolute nature to be overcome. In conditions of the domination and expansion of monopoly capital, in conditions of economic crisis, in conditions where the need for another path of development has been posed objectively, you are surrendering the working class bound hand and foot to the enemy if you restrict the struggle to sectoral or enterprise-level demands in the name of unity. It means not only abandoning the economic struggle, but the struggle in general.
The problem which has been placed before the communist movement as a vehicle of working class unity is exactly the strengthening of this unity, based on its common problems, in the organized and coordinated struggle which overcomes narrow sectional interests and fragmented struggle against individual employers. It is a line which raises the economic demands to a more advanced basis, in confrontation with the monopolies, big capital and the political line which serves it. In any case, the economic and other problems are not exclusively the creation of any individual employer, but of the general political line of the unified strategy of capital and its imperialist unions.
Consequently the issue is not the abandonment of the economic struggle and the unity of the working class, but the direction and goal of the struggle: if it is to be restricted to a small increase in the salary or on the other hand aims to satisfy the contemporary needs of the workers and thus be directed on the path of class struggle. Either we offer prospects to the unity and struggle of the working class or we will become accomplices along with the reformists and opportunists in its immobilization within the limits which the exploiters and their system set.
Will we have unions which are controlled by the employers and the sold-out trade union leaderships or class-oriented trade unions which will fight against the unified political line of the monopolies and imperialism? There can be no reconciliation between these two lines. It would be an unacceptable and dangerous compromise and conciliation with opportunism. It is a denial of the class struggle. It is one thing to take the difficulties into account and the complex problems of the class struggle and another to subordinate oneself to these things, to retreat, to compromise.
Amongst these complex problems is the entrance of new and inexperienced forces into the ranks of the working class which require specialised policies, as well as the manoeuvres of the bourgeois class through governments of cooperation with reformist and opportunist forces. The expansion of its forces with new sections which come from petty bourgeois strata does not negate in any way the fact that the industrial proletariat is its basic component, as industrial capital-as was proved by Marx-is uniquely essential for the existence of capital as a whole.
The question of political power for the working class and its allies must enter the labour movement itself not in a sloganistic or voluntarist way, but in a planned way, taking into account the experience of the masses. It is true today that the working class, as large a section of it as possible, must be convinced from through its own experience. But for this political experience to be transformed into political maturity, correct revolutionary strategy and tactics are required, otherwise the experience of the masses will be formed not only on the basis of their problems, but by the ideological rubbish of bourgeois ideology and reformism, opportunism which will determine a compromised stance of assimilation.
3. The issue of alliances
The KKE, by studying the developments and especially the arrangement of the social forces, enriches its strategy with new elements.
The monopolies, their dominance and their prevalence to a greater or lesser extent in all the branches of production and their expansion into every field of social life from the birth of the child to old age, does not only increase the exploitation of the working class but of all the popular strata, the self-employed, even those who use a limited amount of waged labour, and of the small and medium sized farmers.
The alliance of the working class with these strata is a crucial issue for its interests in opposition to the yoke of the monopolies. The main line of the alliances is subordinated to this goal and serves the need to form a strong socio-political front to confront and overthrow the power of the monopolies.
This strategy has dynamism, exerts influence, brings results and opens a hopeful perspective. The joint platform of struggle operating in this direction which PAME has agreed with the All-Greek Anti-monopoly Rally of the professionals, craftsmen and tradesmen and the All- Greek Rally of Farmers, the radical women’s movement, the Federation of Greek Women, and the Students’ Struggle Front, is a good start. The social alliance will win over the working class and popular masses to the extent which it will be taken up by them and assist them to be freed from the illusions concerning the management of the system and parliamentarism.
It will be enriched and develop through the generalization of the experience from the activity of the popular masses, in a constant front against its class and political opponents.
The political line for the regroupment of the labour movement and its alliances does not only concern the defence of the working class and popular strata from the aggressiveness of the monopolies and imperialism, but is subordinated to the struggle for the change of the correlation of forces at a social and political level. It is a goal of a strategic alliance for overthrows at the level of the economy and power.
* Member of the Political Bureau of the CC of KKE.