TRUTH AND LIES ABOUT SOCIALISM:
ON THE SOCIALIST POWER.
Central Council of the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE).
Published by Synchroni Epochi, 2013.
PART I: THE PHONY DILEMMA: "DEMOCRACY" OR TOTALITARIANISM"?
A great part of anti-communist, anti-socialist propaganda focuses on the issue of the so called lack of “freedom and democracy” during the construction of the new society, of socialism-communism. The main focus of that attack is the revolutionary workers’ power, the state of the working class, the dictatorship of the proletariat, the role of the Communist Party. The capitalists cannot abide it; they tremble before the idea that the working class will emerge as the dominant class, and that they will be thrown into the dustbin of history.
When someone reads the word “dictatorship” they imagine many things, as it is usually equated with harsh regimes, the authoritarian imposition of the will of a minority over a majority. However, if we examine the issue more carefully we will realize that the term dictatorship expresses the power of one class over the others. When we refer to the dictatorship of the bourgeois class and respectively to the dictatorship of the proletariat, we talk about the class that has the power. In other words, the meaning of dictatorship is not synonymous with the form of governance of military imposition of the exploiting classes (the slave owners, the feudalists, now the capitalists) over the poor working class- popular masses.
Dictatorship is also the power of one class even when it guarantees formal political equality between the members of different classes. Just as it occurs today in bourgeois parliamentary democracy, which is none other than the dictatorship of bourgeois class, as we have everywhere the domination of the capital, which is concealed and hidden behind formal equality, formal equal political rights, even though there is a whole legal “arsenal” and the mechanisms of the bourgeois state are ready to put aside any right if bourgeois’ power is threatened.
In reality, the bourgeois classes’ power to impose its will, to form its own institutions and mechanisms that serve its interests, originates from its economic power, the capitalist ownership of the means of production. The whole superstructure, the institutions and the mechanisms exist to defend and assist the reproduction of its domination.
Therefore, with the term “dictatorship of proletariat”, Marxism scientifically refers to the political domination of the working class. The conquest of political power by the working class is also a precondition for its economic domination, for the overthrow of capitalist relations and the socialization of the means of production. The liberation of the working class from the dictatorship of the capital, from the yoke of the monopolies and its emergence as a dominant class also liberates the rest of the working people.
What is the state?
The state in capitalism.
The state did not always exist. The state is a product of unresolved class contradictions that are present in the society. The state appears during the evolution of history in places when the class contradictions objectively could not be compromised. And vice-versa, the very existence of the state demonstrates that class contradictions cannot be resolved.
|The birth of the Athenian State.|
(Click on the picture to read).
In the primitive communal societies there was no need for a state, because classes did not exist. The state was born along with the class society thousands of years ago. This happened when the surplus product was created thanks to the development of the productive forces, meaning one part of the produced product (from working the land, livestock, etc.) which was not used for the satisfaction of immediate needs of the community. The appearance of the surplus product led, over the course of time to its private appropriation ,and furthermore led to the formation of private ownership over the means of production, in other words, class contradictions were born. The complete development of these contradictions created the exploitative distinction of society between the slaves and the slave-owners. The first state, in history, formed was the state of the slave-owners in order to impose their power on the slave class. Thereafter, during the evolution of the society the exploitative relations change according to the evolution of productive forces. The distinction between slaves and slave-owners was replaced by the serfs and the feudalists and today by the workers and the capitalists. In each corresponding period, the state evolved and strengthened to serve the specific exploitative relations.
The state consists of many institutions for the systematic implementation of compulsion against the exploited. It creates permanent, specific mechanisms and it organizes the violence of the dominant class, (army, police etc.). Also, several functions existing (administrative, defensive for the protection of the community etc.) before the appearance of state in the context of the primitive community become detached and are exercised by special institutions.
These transitions during the evolution of humanity were hard but necessary, since the relations of production must correspond to the development of the productive forces that has been achieved at a specific time. However, today, the productive forces –that mark huge progress and development– suffocate in the context of exploitative relations. The abolition of the exploitation of man by man, a great social leap, will contribute to a situation where the productive forces will correspond to the relations of production. The creation of these social relations, along with the institutions that emerged with them, was necessary in the evolution of history, and to that extent today their abolition is equally necessary for the further evolution of the society. Therefore, speaking of the state, we must always have in mind that the main issue is the issue of power of one class over the other.
The working class and the bourgeois state.
The working class, as a direct producer that does not have, however, ownership over the means of production, as the exploited class in capitalism, is placed in various ways under the coercion of the bourgeois class and its state. The bourgeois state, as a mechanism for the domination of the capitalists over the workers, is a mechanism of oppression, repression and manipulation against the workers.
Nevertheless, the bourgeois class does only not organize the brutal repression and the exclusive practice of violence by the state mechanisms (which is, however, a basic function of the state), but it also exercises multifaceted oppression. It organizes state judicial institutions in order to implement the law, which has as its core the defence of private ownership. It creates laws, constitutions; it establishes courts of justice and institutions to enforce this law, which in fact is “unjust” for the working class.
In modern capitalist societies, the state also organizes the state educational system, it builds schools and universities, i.e. it organizes the “consent” of the exploited working class and organizes the health and welfare system, guaranteeing the conditions for the reproduction of the working class. Namely, it guarantees a basic level of education, a basic satisfaction of health etc., as well as the reproduction of dominant ideology and politics in order to obscure class exploitation. Moreover, the bourgeois state intervenes in the economy by passing measures facilitating the reproduction of capital on an extensive scale.
The duty of the proletariat is to overthrow the bourgeois state as a precondition for the construction of the new society. The bourgeois state cannot change its class nature and cannot be used in favour of the working class and the poor popular strata. The working class must take advantage of any gains- democratic rights acquired as a result of the class struggle- but not by restricting its aims to the improvement and the democratization of the bourgeois state, but in the direction of organizing the struggle in order to overthrow bourgeois power. The bourgeois state is a state of the capitalists in order to secure their interests. In its place the working class must build its own state, the dictatorship of the proletariat. And the overthrow of the bourgeois state is not possible without violence, without the proletarian, socialist revolution.
The “withering away” of the state in developed communism.
The communist socioeconomic formation expresses the new leap in the evolution of human society, on the basis of the development of the means of production. Labour in capitalist production acquires an increasingly social character. There no longer exists the need for a class – owner of the means of production, i.e. the class of capitalists, who do not contribute anything to production; they are parasites. At one time, the division of society into classes was a necessary step in human evolution. Today, thanks to the development of the productive forces, this division of society has become an obstacle. The disappearance of classes is inevitable, as inevitable as was their creation during the past.
The socialization of the means of production and central planning as the new social relations eliminate, over a course of hard struggle and contradictions, the root cause of the existence of the class inequalities.
As during mankind’s past primitive societies managed to live without a state, therefore, the new, fully developed communist society will no longer need a state, i.e. it will no longer need a mechanism of coercion, of enforcement. However, this not due to incomplete development, but on the contrary is due to the enormous development of the productive forces, labour productivity and the new social relations.Nevertheless, the state as a state cannot be “abolished” all at once, because it is not possible to eliminate at once the root of class inequalities. Through the social revolution, the bourgeois state is abolished and is replaced by the state of the working class. Bourgeois power, disorganized in conditions of revolutionary situation by the decisive action of the organized workers and their allies, is crushed, destroyed, smashed. From the first moment of its formation, the dictatorship of the proletariat, the socialist state is a “semi-state”, according to Engels; it is not a “state per se”. This occurs because its mission is not the continuation of class exploitation, but the abolishment of any source of class exploitation. It is a state that is expected to abolish itself, to wither away, because it is no longer needed.
The state is withering away over the course of development, during the passage from the lower to the higher phase of the communist society. The economic base for the complete withering away of the state has to do with a high development of communism that eradicates the contradictions between intellectual and manual labour, the submission to the division of labour and transforms labour not only into means of subsistence, but also into a prime necessity of life, i.e. when the sources of the appearance of social inequality disappear.
Advanced communism as a classless society is a society without a state. The state will be able to wither away completely only when people have become so accustomed to observing the basic rules of living and their work is so productive that they are working according to their abilities and the distribution of products is carried out according to their needs.
The state in socialism.
Socialism, as the first, the immature phase of communism, is a society in which initially classes and class contradictions still exist, while afterwards some class contradictions and differences, potential class differences, are still maintained, i.e. differences including the potential of historical regression. Firstly, there are the remnants of the defeated bourgeois class, which will fight until the end in order to take back the power that they lost. In addition, several contradictions or differences remain such as these between the people of the city and the countryside, between manual and intellectual labour, which have their origin in the entire history of exploitative societies. Moreover, there are contradictions originating from the possibility that some sectors of production are not socialized directly, at once. These are differences resulting from the division of labour. The historical experience of the USSR showed that sections of agricultural production etc. maintained commodity relations. Commodity relations are a source of class inequalities. In addition, the conscience corresponding to the new, communist relations, e. the communist conscience, the Assembly of Petrograd’s soviet, 1918. “Proletarian democracy, of which Soviet government is one of the forms, has brought a development and expansion of democracy unprecedented in the world, for the vast majority of the population, for the exploited and working people. (...)Proletarian democracy is a million times more democratic than any bourgeois democracy; Soviet power is a million times more democratic than the most democratic bourgeois republic.” (V.I. Lenin, The Proletarian Revolution And the Renegade Kautsky, Sinchroni Epochi, p. 31-33) https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1918/prrk/ communist attitude towards labour, is not shaped in a cohesive and “automatic” way among all the sections of working class and the people. Namely, there are still elements of the past that struggle against the new society that has been born. Historical experience has highlighted that this kind of struggle continues for a very long time.
Thus in socialism, the working class is constituted as the dominant class by its state, the dictatorship of the proletariat. The working class opposes the dictatorship of the bourgeois class (regardless of the form that it takes, e.g. parliamentary system, fascism, military dictatorship etc.) with its own dictatorship, the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is the democracy of workers who are dominant since they overthrew the power of the bourgeois class; they took the means of production in their hands and are leading the construction of the new society expressing also the interests of the other exploited strata by liberating them.
Consequently, the dictatorship of the proletariat constitutes a means of continuing the class struggle with other means and forms under the conditions of the socialist construction.
The necessity of the dictatorship of the proletariat, of the socialist state arsies from the basic revolutionary duty of the workers’ power, namely the formation of the new communist relations. A difficult task, since the passage to communism is not just a passage from one society to another; it is not a replacement of one exploitative class by another, but the definitive and complete abolition of any form of private and group ownership over the means and results of production, of every exploitative class and every social inequality. This necessity also arises from the continuation of the class struggle internationally, since the simultaneous passage socialism at global level, in every country at the same time, is impossible.
Only the vanguard social force, the working class, which is the vehicle of the communist relations, can accomplish this task with the leading role of its Party, the Communist Party.
The phony dilemma: "Democracy" or "Totalitarianism".
“One the opposite side of “democracy” lies “totalitarianism”. In this (socioeconomic) system only one, the ruler, possesses absolute power and has the ability to control the society. Dictatorship is one of the forms of totalitarianism, which constitutes an authoritarian system of governance based on violence. The characteristics of totalitarianism are the following: imposition of a particular ideology, the one – party system, existence of an organized plan of intimidation of the citizens, absolute control of the army, absolute control of mass media, an economy controlled and planned, by the state”
( “Sociology” Coursebook, 3rd grade of High School).
“Democracy” for whom?
For many centuries, beginning from ancient times until the present day, the concept of democracy has been the centre of numerous discussions and written texts. Democracy has existed as an ideal, as a political demand and slogan for millions of militants, as well as a deceptive ideological construct, a fraud.
The bourgeois and opportunists theoreticians and propagandists do not understand political history as a result of interchanges of socioeconomic formations, as scientific communism does (because they would be forced to admit the inevitable overthrow of capitalism), but as succession of regimes. Based on that they distinguish regimes (democracy, oligarchy, monarchy, etc.) concealing class relations, the class essence of socioeconomic formations and their respective state.
In general, they identify democracy with bourgeois parliamentary democracy. They claim that within the framework of the bourgeois state ‘’all of us are equal citizens, we have the right to vote and to be elected, we have universal voting rights and trade union rights, etc guaranteed by the Constitution”. The political system, the administration mechanisms, the Constitution, therefore, are presented as “classless’’. But, behind the term “citizens’’, the class division that exists in capitalism and the division between the exploiters and the exploited are being concealed.
Lenin noted that when someone hears the words democracy and freedom he should ask: “democracy and freedom for which class?”
Since the dawn of capitalism, when the bourgeois class was still a revolutionary force, it became clear that the slogan “equality, freedom, brotherhood” of the bourgeois French Revolution -that overthrew feudalism– had a content that was expressing the interests of the domination of bourgeois class. For example, just two years after the victory of the French Revolution, measures were taken in order to dissolve all trade unions and to ban strikes. These were the so-called Le Chapelier laws (after the French bourgeois judicial and politician Isaac Rene Guy Le Chapelier), which were in effect from June 14, 1791 until 1864, i.e. they were applied for 73 years.
Bourgeois democracy is democracy within the framework of capitalism. It is a form of expression of the dictatorship of the bourgeois class. Of course, bourgeois democracy was progressive compared to feudal autocracy, which was overthrown by the former. But bourgeois democracy defends capitalist exploitation. The democratic rights and freedoms, existing in most of the bourgeois Constitutions, reflect the victory of the bourgeois class against feudalism, they weren’t generously granted by the bourgeois class to the working class but only after a tough class struggle and only when the bourgeois class acquired the ability to assimilate wider workers’ and people’s masses due to these concessions.
|(Click on the picture to read).|
During the era of bourgeois revolutions, the bourgeois class consisted of a large mass of small and big owners of means of production. In order to overthrow feudalism, they attracted to the political struggle large popular masses of farmers and proletarians, the ancestors of contemporary working class. On this basis, the democratic and political freedoms were established on the terrain of capitalism. The bourgeois class didn’t hesitate to restrict or ban these freedoms when it considered it necessary for the stabilisation of the capitalist system. In conditions of contemporary capitalism, the imperialist stage of its development, where the bourgeois class has the place once held by feudalism, the rise of reactionary influences, the restriction of rights and freedoms and the manipulation of people’s protest, is the general tendency.
In our country we have certain examples proving that the bourgeois class takes action as soon as it becomes aware that its profitability and power can be negatively affected. For example, there were certain moments during the 20th century when the bourgeois class suppressed strikes, even though the strikes were for economic demands only, without disputing bourgeois power and these strikes resulted in harsh conflicts between the working class and the mechanisms of bourgeois state, with many dead militant workers as a result.
Although, even those who claim that “the above mentioned events happened years ago, now democracy is consolidated and t things have changed” conceal the fact that bourgeois class imposes itself using its own power over the popular masses with multifaceted mechanisms that combine manipulation and repression. Let’s remember the tremendous persecution of the monumental students’ demonstrations struggling against the so-called Arsenis – law (High school educational reform 1998), or even the repression against struggles in the following years. At that time the government applied the despicable Legislative Act (implemented by the subsequent governments) which considered that student protests were a “statutory offense” and brought district attorneys to schools in order to terrorize the school students. Hundreds of school students across Greece were tried on charges such as “disruption of domestic peace”, “occupation of public areas”, etc.
The bourgeois governments tried more than 10,000 farmers across the country on the charge of ‘’obstruction of transportation’’, during the period of the monumental agricultural protests. Do not forget the dozens of strikes and workers’ protests declared illegal by civil courts. Based on the data of the First Instance Court of Athens relating to the period 1999-2008, 215 out of the 248 employers’ appeals against strikes were accepted. In other words 9 out of 10 strikes were deemed illegal .The bourgeois governments attacked large demonstrations of seafarers, having the bourgeois courts and their court rulings as their weapon and at the same time using brutal repression in order to impose “civil mobilization” of the workers and use savage means of repression. Recently, the bourgeois governments the magnificent strike of the steelworkers in Aspropyrgos declared illegal and deployed riot police at the factory in order to break the strike. Additionally, the state utilizes against the organized class-oriented movement and the Communist Party, a complex of mechanisms of provocation, thugs, various agencies - operating in cooperation with the ‘’official’’ repressive forces – in order to strike against the struggles. Provocation was always a powerful weapon in the hands of the bourgeois class against the working class and its Party.
The bourgeois parliament, the multi – party system and the bourgeois elections are the ‘zenith of the Democracy’’.
We face the argument that capitalism has a multi – party system, many different parties can express their views and can participate in elections, that even the enemies of capitalism, even the Communist Parties, have the potential to exist and act. On the other hand they say that in socialism there is no parliament and multiparty system, so there is ‘’totalitarianism’’.
First, the bourgeoisie conceals a fact that applies first of all to themselves, namely that the classes form political parties with the aim of serving their interests. This also applies to their own parties, which serve the interests of the bourgeois class. However, the bourgeois class is expressed by more than one party. These parties are formed on the basis of historical, ideological differences that concern the management of capitalism, express intra-bourgeois contradictions. The differences between bourgeois parties guarantee the alternation in the formation of bourgeois governments; reproduce the support of the workers’- people’s strata through the universal right to vote. This is the essence of the multi-party system. Namely, these are parties that don’t express something different taking into consideration their class essence, because they agree on the perpetuation of capitalist exploitation over the working class and any differences concern the different “formulas” for the workers’ exploitation.
The myth of ‘’Totalitarianism’’.
The identification of the former socialist societies and socialism in general with so called totalitarianism is one of the new-old ideological constructs re-emerging in the political analysis of the bourgeois mass media, public interventions of governmental cadres and cadres of bourgeois political parties, but also in the curricula of higher education institutions. Most often, the concept of totalitarianism, the totalitarian phenomenon, totalitarian ideologies (...) is mentioned in newspaper articles and magazines artfully and uncritically. They never give a definition of this phenomenon, and it is presented as something well-known and obvious. (...) Substantial emphasis is given to the identification of fascism, especially Nazism, with existing socialism and respectively fascist with communist ideology. (...) The concept of totalitarianism first appeared in the "Times» in 1929 and described as totalitarian a type of state that is "cohesive», with a oneparty system either communist or fascist, generally it appears as a reaction against the state of parliamentary democracy. The equation of this two incompatible phenomena, namely the fascist and socialist, state and society ,aims to impose the political forms of the state as the main criterion and characteristic based on which we can compare different types of society without any further analysis (on the contrary, it aims to obscure) over the content of state power and its relations with the structure of society, i.e. the social classes and the struggle waging between them. Bourgeois ideology, since defends the capitalist system and generally chooses to face the world in that way, presents the world as the embodiment and struggle of some ideas and ideals, the most important of which is (bourgeois) "democracy».
The theoreticians that “confront totalitarianism” perceive man and “human nature” as something static and metaphysical, they cannot see the possibility of the change of social relations and they perceive it as destruction of humanity and abolition of freedom. Socialism does not aim to turn people into “servants of the State” and spineless beings, as these theoreticians claim. This duty belongs to the daily tasks of the capitalist system (either fascist or “liberal”), which we are experiencing today intensively. Socialism aims to construct a new civilization, a new type of social relations (that means a “new human’’, not to uproot all human qualities, as these theoreticians claim!), which will release the creative capabilities of people in order to be able handle collectively and to develop further the tremendous forces and potential accumulated in the current stage of mankind’s development.
Kommounistiki Epitheorisi, issue 2/2000 "”Totalitarianism”, the return of Cold War mythology».
The differences developed during the previous years are significant, not only among the Greek bourgeois parties, but at a European and international level, in relation to the variations of crisis management. There are different tendencies and intra-bourgeois contradictions, however what all of them have as common ground is the attempt to exit the capitalist crisis at the expense of the working class and the popular strata, and these are not differences in favour of the people’s interests. The working class has nothing to expect from such ‘’polyphony’’, besides it has important acquired experience. Basically, for decades two parties were alternating in government, the bourgeois social-democratic party and the bourgeois liberal party, however now we have a period of rotation between alliance governments. now of the ‘’centre-right’’, tomorrow of the ‘’centreleft’’, without excluding other forms. History has shown that when the rule of bourgeoisie is questioned then the differences between bourgeois parties “disappear” and united as a fist they struggle for their class. In our country for example during the period of the armed class confrontation, in 1946-1949, all the bourgeois parties were united to face the Communist Party and the Democratic Army of Greece. It is significant the example of the so-called ‘’seven-headed’’ government formed in 1947, named as such because of the participation of all the political leaders from the whole range of the bourgeois political system (C. Tsaldaris, G.Papandreou, S.Venizelos, P.Canellopoulos, N.Zervas, etc). Also, more recently, under the present conditions of the economic capitalist crisis, New Democracy and PASOK (old social democratic party) put aside their differences and formed anti-popular governments under the Prime Minister L.Papademos and A.Samaras later: The former with the support of ‘’extreme-right’’ party LAOS, the later with the support of the ‘’centre-left’’ party DIMAR.
The bourgeois parliament and elections express the ‘’popular will’’ determined by the influence of employers’ intimidation, threat of unemployment, mechanisms that buy the workers’ consciousness off, anticommunism, fear before the revolutionary perspective, bourgeois ideology fostered through education and so many other factors that form attitude of assimilation and submission to the system among the larger part of popular strata and their families. Only when the above factors are secured firmly, then the bourgeois class allows the realization of universal right to vote that operates as an assimilation tool. Besides, the universal right to vote presented as the “cornerstone” of bourgeois democracy, was neither established at once, nor was truly universal. During the period of bourgeois revolutions the right to vote initially was connected to class criteria, such as the possession of land, property, wealth, etc. It didn’t concern everyone. The same happened with the right to vote of women, of black people, etc. In our country the right to vote for women was established in 1952 by the bourgeois laws [while they had voted for the first time in the areas freed by the National Liberation Front (EAM) – Greek People’s Liberation Army (ELAS) in 1944]. In Switzerland, presented as a particularly democratic country, women gained the right to vote in 1971! In the US, the right to vote for black people was acquired in 1965.
As long as the working class and the popular strata believe that through the elections they will serve their own interests, they will remain chained of the bourgeois class, their political emancipation will be blocked. Of course the Communist Parties are “obliged” to work in parliaments in order to uncover exactly their bourgeois exploitative character. But only when the working masses believe in their power, in their ability that they have to get organized and rule themselves, only when they overcome their parliamentary illusions, they will be able to enforce radical changes for their profit. In parliament, decisions that in reality are taken elsewhere, outside of it, that are based on the economic domination of the bourgeois, are simply validated. The bourgeois state has at its disposal institutions and mechanisms of enforcing the domination of the bourgeois class (judges, police officers, army etc.) that their class orientation is not affected from the correlations in parliament.
Besides, historically it has been proved that within the bourgeois parliament, there cannot be formed political correlation that will express the general interests of working class and popular strata. Even in the theoretical occasion that something like that happens, the bourgeois class will not stay with crossed arms). History has shown examples that even reformist majorities got violently overthrown (e.g. Allende in Chile).
Some present the argument that, like in capitalism that the lawful action of the Communist Parties is permitted, in socialism the action of parties that express capitalists or other defenders of “open market” should be permitted.
This comparison cannot be, because the historical role of working class in relation to the bourgeois’ role, concerning the social progress, is different. With the consolidation of capitalism and the domination of bourgeois, this class ceases to be pioneer and emerging. It becomes reactionary, it survives only because it exploits the working class. It has a parasitic role in social production because it does not produce anything, but because it owns the means of production, it usurps the wealth that the workers produce.
The pioneer social force is the working class because it is the conveyor of the new productive relations, the communist ones. It is the class that produces the biggest part of social wealth, that in capitalism it does not own any means of production and that in its struggle for its own domination, it has nothing to lose, but its chains. In Socialism it’s not just one party in power, but the working class organized as the dominating class, led by its party.
The bourgeois “forget” that when bourgeois class took power it did not leave the feudal lords-aristocrats that it overthrew, safe and sound. Not only did it not permit them to form parties, but it also it also sent them the guillotine.
The defense of the open, public action of the Communist Parties in capitalism by the working class and the people, is in essence the defense of the political expression of the pioneer social force. In contrary, the defense of the existence of capitalist parties in Socialism, in a society that exploitation is abolished, and as a result the class that represents it, can only be realized as a setback and an obstacle of social development. As in capitalism today, not only is it not permitted but it would seem unheard of for parties that support the totalitarian (slavery) or the partial (serfdom) ownership of people by other people, to exist, i.e. the previous productive relations, in socialism it will be unheard of for parties that support and propagandize the exploitation of people by other people, the exploitive relations, to exist. This is how the comparison should be.
The position of the bourgeois democracy against the Communist Parties.
The working class is expressed by its own party, the Communist Party, that its own formation is a result of the maturing of the working class. The CP struggles for the working class to gain conscience of its historical mission, which is to abolish all kinds of exploitation and oppression and to lead the way into a classless society.
It is a lie that the bourgeois class generally lets the Communist Partiess to act undisturbed. It knows that they fight to overthrow it and when its domination is in danger, it takes harder measures against the Communist Parties. The history of the global communist movement and of KKE in Greece is full of persecutions against communists. Lawful, public action of the Communist Party is a conquest.
of the working class. In our country the democratic government of El.Venizelos in 1929 declared communism as a statutory offense and criminalized the communist ideology. KKE remained illegal for 27 years (1947-1974), the 20 of which were not during facist or dictatorship governments, but during “bourgeoisdemocratic” governments, years that were accompanied by terrorism, tortures, exiles, executions.
Bourgeois state against KKE.
Since its primary years of existence, KKE faced persecutions, class hatred of the bourgeois state. State violence does not only show its superiority in the correlation of forces, it mainly shows the fear of the bourgeois against the working class, the people. The bourgeois legislative grid against the workers movement is dated before the founding of KKE, when the socialist ideas started being appealing. It is constantly strengthened after the founding of the party in 1918.The law on the constitution of Committees on Public Security in each Region” ” of the government of Al. Papanastasiou in 1924,that the dictatorship of Pangalos in 1926 modified and used, the concentration camp of communist soldiers in Kalpaki, the “Idionym” of Venizelos in order to “Protect for now, but mainly for the future the social regime“, the forbiddance of the circulation of “Rizospastis” are characteristic examples. Thousands of communists convicted, martyred in prisons and exile of bourgeois government parliamentary or of dictatorship. KKE during the king’s and Metaxas dictatorship of the 4th of August 1936 took a big blow. State security could constitute the squealer “Temporary Leadership ” in the role of the leading body of the party that issued a “Rizospastis”with a content directed thereby. KKE was deprived of the important service of hundreds of cadres that the government of Metaxas gave to the Germans, even its general secretary of the Central Council Nikos Zahariadis.
After the liberation of Greece in 1944, the bourgeois forces resorted to murderous violence, they chose the bloodshed of the struggling people that were united around KKE, EAM and ELAS. During the armed struggle of KKE in 1946-1949, the state repression was shielded even more with the “3rd decree” in June 1946 and the voting of O.L.. 509/1947. The armed struggle highlighted the ethical greatness, the heroism, the contribution and sacrifice of thousands of communists, popular fighters. After the civil war, new heroic pages were written at the jails and exiles, the Military Courts, the firing squads, cladestinity and political refuge. New persecutions and sacrifices for thousands of communists at the purgatories of the soldier dictatorship in 1967-1974, at the dungeons of EAT-ESA, at the places of exile. But even after the junta, in times of democracy and legality, KKE faced employer violence and terrorism by the bourgeois democracy. A martyr of this struggle, Sotiria Vasilakopoulou, member of KNE, was murdered at the gates of the ETMA factory at 28/7/1980. KKE follows that road today, the one of class struggle, with consequences such as layoffs, persecutions and trials of communists and other fighters. Against the violence of the bourgeois class today the answer is: “We never did and we never will sign a declaration of repentance to the national and international bourgeois class”.
Let us not forget though that the defenders of parliamentarism and multiparty system, that until recently hypocritically presented EU as the apogee of democracy, hide that in a number of countries of the EU, Communist Parties and Youths, the communist symbols are forbidden by law. In Czech Republic, the Communist Youth was until recently illegal because, as the bourgeois court judged: “At its program it expresses the necessity to replace the private ownership at the means of production with social ownership” and that is a “crime” for capitalists! In Poland and elsewhere the use of communist symbols is forbidden, in Germany there is a law that forbids hiring communists to work for the bourgeois state, at the Baltics they forbid Communist Parties and praise the Nazi SS. EU has made its formal ideology the historically inaccurate and provocative identification of fascism and communism, the anti-communism.
But even in the occasion that the Communist Parties are legal, bourgeois class puts a lot of obstacles to the spread and promotion of their ideas and of course under no circumstances are they allowed to implement them. It is clear that for the bourgeois political system, the bourgeois state, the Communist Parties are their “Number One” opponent. For example, how many times has the KKE been attacked for its slogans, that compact political ideas, as “law is the right of the workers” but also its actions to defend the popular interests (strikes, organization of disobedience and indiscipline against the bourgeois poltcy etc) are at the verge of legality and ask from KKE to take oaths of submission to the bourgeois state? Besides, these are not just a matter of declarations for the bourgeoisie. How many times have we seen efforts to legally restrict and supress communist action (e.g. dismissal of members of KKE and KNE and pioneer fighters because they were ay the frontline of strikes. persecutions against members of KNE because they lead students’ mobilizations, persecutions of communists and other fighters for various mobilizations.
Besides the above, let us not forget that in the conditions of bourgeois democracy, the massive projection of the positions of the communists is objectively limited by socioeconomic conditions, as large-type complexes, electronic and printed media, publishers, internet etc. are under the control of the monopolies and the bourgeois state. Whatever means the KKE has (“Rizospastis”, “90.2”, etc.) to project its positions, the struggle of the labor movement are struck from every side from the bourgeois in order to be silenced (politically, economically, judicially with lawsuits etc.).
The screams that are occasionally heard on “KKE’s immunity” that it “moves on the limits of legality” and the like, prove that the constant aim of the bourgeois class is to achieve a crushing blow on the party of the working class by putting obstacles in on its relatively legal action, without leaving out the aim to integrate it on the bourgeois political system.
Even the formal rights stop for the workers in the workplaces.
The right of the working class to organize, although it is formally established, practically is blocked, while it is also limited institutionally.
For the bourgeois, even this formal democracy has no power in the workplace, inside the factory gate and company. The worker within the framework of parliamentarianism is “free” to vote for any party they want, to have any opinion they wish, formally they have the right to strike, but as soon as they stands up for themselves in the workplace, the employer is ready to crush them. There are maybe laws that allow the existence and action of trade unions and workers’ organizations, but these are only tolerable to the extent that they are manipulated and part of the network of assimilation of the working masses. In addition, there are laws that ensure labor rights, however, they are not actually applied or they are easily utilized to limit working rights to something “realistic” or “achievable” that is always determined by capitalist profitability. However, the moment that the working class fights for the contemporary workingpeoples’ needs that come into conflict with capitalist profitability, they are confronted by the multipronged attack of the employers and the bourgeois state. Besides, when the class struggle sharpens, when the workers’ struggles acquire tendencies to come into conflict with bourgeois domination, even minimal labor rights are abolished at once.
At the same time, the bourgeoisie also uses other methods in order to undermine the labor movement and to ensure the desired “class peace” in the workplaces. It forms a whole bribed stratum of workers, the labor aristocracy, representatives of which are promoted to the leadership of the labor movement. When needed, the bourgeoisie can also accomplish it by trampling upon the formal, legally protected correlation of forces in the trade union movement (e.g. deposing the elected leaderships etc.). In that way, the workers’ organizations are converted from defenders of the workers’ interests to defenders of the interests of the bourgeoisie, they become enemies of the workers, traitors inside the working class.
Regimes that suppress bourgeois democracy- the other side of bourgeois power.
However, bourgeois parliamentary democracy may not be in all the phases the “appropriate” form of management of bourgeois power. In times of difficulties, crises, fissures in the bourgeois system, there are many historical examples, as well as contemporary, when the bourgeoisie puts aside its “angelic face” and chooses to exercise its power through non-parliamentary regimes. Military dictatorships, fascism are all in the service of the capital and are just different forms of management. The changes and the differences in the mode of governance do not change neither the class nature of the economic relations or the class essence of the state. Namely, regimes presented as “anti-democratic” or as “democratic” serve the same class, the same system, that of the capitalist exploitative relations. For example, behind the “anti-parliamentary” rhetoric of the Nazi and fascist parties basically lies the need to confront more decisively the workers’ and people’s movement, to ensure order and stability in order to safeguard capitalist domination and the profitability of the monopolies.
These regimes suspend a wide range the formerly established freedoms and rights, which for the workers are rights won through blood, the product of hard class struggles. For the working class and its Party it means a wave of repression, a possible passage to illegality, imprisonments and persecutions, murders of militants, prohibition and restriction of workers’ demands and trade-union action etc. Their class nature cannot be obscured by the fact that within the framework of intra-bourgeois conflicts there is a restriction of rights for sections of the bourgeoisie, e.g. for political opponents, rival bourgeois parties etc. Intra-bourgeois conflicts can be savage when the contradictions of the bourgeois are very sharp. In Greece, and even within the framework of parliamentary governance, there have been times when the intra-bourgeois conflicts were so intense that there was bloodshed. For example, the conflict between the pro-venizelist and the anti-venizelist, in the 1910’s, or the “Trial of the Six” (1922), when the liberal group sent 6 prominent officials of the Popular Party, former prime ministers and ministers, to the firing squad in order to put the blame on them for the defeat in the Asia Minor in 1922. Global history is full of examples of anti-people regimes that were characterized by “emergency” measures to enforce order. Those kinds of regimes are usually temporary, and most of the times the transition to bourgeois parliamentary democracy is smooth and without serious consequences for a large number of their officials, which also proves the continuity of bourgeois power regardless of the form of governance. Those kinds of regimes have even been supported by other capitalist “democratic” states around the world. The example of the USA is characteristic. The country that is presented as the “land of the free”, a state-zenith of democracy, has in its record hundreds of antidemocratic actions, imperialist interventions, imposition and support of dictatorships, attempts to overthrow governments etc., actions that served its interests. This is the democracy of the capitalists.
However, even if the bourgeois liberties existed and were “fully” functioning, they would still be historically outdated. A chasm is separating them from worker’s democracy, the liberties and the rights under the conditions of the abolition of exploitation of man by man.