Several Communist and Workers' Parties from all over the world issue articles and statements on the occassion of the 150th birth anniversary of the great Bolshevik revolutionary, leader of the 1917 Great October Socialist Revolution and founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.
Read below the articles and statements:
COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION (CPRF)
Report by Chairman of the CC CPRF Gennady Zyuganov at the 10th Plenary Session of the Party Central Committee.
The lifespan of great ideas is measured in centuries and millennia. Meeting the aspirations of the common people they abide among the masses and inspire them in the struggle for building a new and just world. That is why Lenin’s ideas continue to live and triumph.
It will soon be 150 years since the birth of Vladimir Lenin. It is incumbent upon us to remember his legacy, to study it deeply, and energetically and correctly apply it under modern conditions.
To move forward, to move with the times
In the darkest pre-dawn hours of history Lenin’s genius shone brightly to illuminate mankind’s new path of development. It happened when capitalism expanded to cover the whole world. It divided continents into colonies and established a sophisticated system of exploiting people and resources. Zealous advocates of capitalism were already hailing it as the triumph of reason, proclaiming it to be the only possible path of development. But the blessings of that system were enjoyed only by a handful of capitalists. Seeking to enrich itself, it consigned the popular masses to poverty and disfranchisement, and used them as cannon fodder.
At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries capitalism was entering the stage of imperialism. Great powers started re-dividing the planet. They did not only kindle local conflicts. Millions of people died in the First World War, sacrificed to the Moloch of greed and lust for gain.
It was then that the world heard about Lenin. His immoral slogans – Peace to the Peoples! Bread to the Hungry! Land to the Peasants! Factories to the Workers! Power to the Soviets!—sounded like a clarion for the laborers sweating and straining in the field, in factories and mines. Leninism gave them hope for getting rid of suffering, for a decent and happy life.
Lenin’s genius was not an accident. The founder of Bolshevism was neither a lone philosopher, not a superman standing on a pedestal over the crowd. Quite the contrary, he devoted his life to serving the working people, liberating them from the shackles of oppression, ignorance, and lack of faith in their strength. As Vladimir Mayakovsky wrote,
He waxed tender toward comrades.
He was hard as nails toward enemies.
Being deeply convinced of the vast potential of the popular masses, Lenin never distanced himself from common laborers. He had close links with them, drawing inspiration for struggle and creative endeavor.
Lenin made a profound study of and developed the great theoretical legacy of Marx and Engels. At the same time he was a talented organizer, revolutionary and founder of a new type of state, the world’s first socialist state. As the outstanding Chinese revolutionary Sun Yatsen wrote, ”over the centuries of world history there were thousands of leaders and scholars with fine words on their lips, words that were never put into practice. You, Lenin, are an exception. You did not only talk and teach, but you implemented your words in reality.You created a new country. You showed us the way.”
These words have a particularly important kernel. Marxism-Leninism is not a body of dogmas and prescriptions for every life situation. To think that way is to make a mistake, to turn a genius teaching into a kind of religious cult. Lenin himself stressed that the communist doctrine is not so much a set of provisions as a method of analyzing reality. Marxism is a coherent scientific system. It combines philosophical, economic, socio-political views which serve as instruments of cognizing and transforming the world. “Applying materialist dialectics to rework entire political economy, from its foundation to history, natural science, to philosophy, to politics and the tactics of the working class – this is what interests Marx and Engels most of all, this is their most essential and newest contribution, this is their genius step forward in the history of revolutionary thought.” This is how Lenin defined the essence of Marxism. He was guided by this all his life. During the struggle with Legal Marxism , Economism and Menshevism. When creating the party of the working class, the RSDLP. When exposing the Second International revisionists. In April 1917 when he raised the question of socialist revolution in Russia.
Understanding Marxism as a guide to action is what made Lenin a great thinker and a popular leader. The result of his creative approach was Bolshevism. “We do not by any means look at Marx’s theory as something complete and untouchable, he pointed out, on the contrary, we are convinced that it only laid the cornerstones of the science which socialists must advance in all directions if they want to keep abreast of life.”
Lenin gives us an example of a thorough approach to every topic. In tackling any issue Lenin started with the study of all available sources. When writing his work The Development of Capitalism in Russia he made 583 references to various sources. The preparatory notes for Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism run to almost 800 pages.
Nadezhda Krupskaya recalled: ”When we lived in London in 1902–1903, Vladimir Ilyich (Lenin) spent half of his time in the British Museum which has a very large library.” In a 1916 letter to his mother Lenin wrote: “We currently live in Zurich. We came here to study at the local libraries.”
Lenin’s sphere of interest was not only social problems. Thus, discoveries in the field of physics prompted him to write his book Materialism and Empirio-Criticism. Lenin saw the achievements of natural sciences as the beginning of a grandiose scientific revolution. He provided a philosophical grounding for them and developed the doctrine of dialectical materialism, demolished bourgeois theories of Machism, pragmatism and set a brilliant example of creative development of Marx.
A communist must be a staunch adherent of dialectical and historical materialism. That is why the congresses of the CPRF and the plenary sessions of its Central Committee conduct a thorough analysis of modern trends, study their dynamics and the alignment of class forces. If we are to be successful and lead the masses we must exert painstaking effort. It is our immediate task to follow the dialectical method, to develop Marxism-Leninism and on that basis come up with practical conclusions. Without it we cannot ensure the victory of the working people.
Many in the left movement reject the theoretical and practical baggage of previous fighters for socialism. We hear all sorts of things from the adherents of various pseudo-socialisms. This is often the result of inability or reluctance to master our theory in all its depth. These were the people Lenin addressed back in 1920 at the Third All-Russia Congress of the Communist Youth League: “You can only become a Communist when you have enriched your memory with the knowledge of all the wealth worked out by mankind.” Today Lenin’s own ideas have become part of the intellectual treasure-trove of mankind. They occupy the key place in the political life of the modern world.
Globalism: modern form of imperialism
As we mark the 150th anniversary of Lenin’s birth we must highlight the most important elements of his great ideological legacy.
First, the teaching on imperialism. Joseph Stalin formulated it very precisely: ”Leninism is Marxism of the epoch of imperialism and the proletarian revolution”. Analysing the trends in the development of capitalism Lenin came to the conclusion that it had entered its highest and last stage. He identified the main features of imperialism:
- the emergence of monopolies which play the key role in the economy;
- the emergence of financial capital and financial oligarchy;
- priority of export of capital over export of goods;
- formation of monopoly alliances of capitalists who divide up the world;
- final territorial division of the world among the biggest powers
As Lenin stressed, the concentration of social production in the hands of monopolies does not remove capitalist contradictions. Conflicts emerge within states and on the world arena. Economic crises grow ever more profound and destructive. Contradictions between labor and capital become more acute. Monopolies exploit and ruin not only workers, but also peasants and petty bourgeoisie.
Lenin’s thesis on growing reaction under imperialism is very relevant today. Monopoly capitalism establishes its dictatorship. It suppresses the workers’ and democratic movement and eliminates rights and freedoms. Monopoly bosses seek annexations and challenge national independence. Lenin called it a pivot “from democracy to political reaction” and stressed that both in foreign and domestic politics imperialism seeks to violate democracy and to promote reaction. In that sense it is indisputable that imperialism is a negation of democracy in general.”
Equally relevant are Lenin’s words to the effect that Imperialism brings to the working class unprecedented sharpening of the class struggle, poverty, unemployment, high prices, oppression by trusts, militarism, and political reaction which rears its head in all, even the freest of countries.
Under these conditions all talk about “freedom” and “democracy” serves one purpose: to distract and dupe the popular masses. In reality, as Lenin never tired of stressing, financial capital and monopolies “everywhere bring dominance and not freedom.”
The oligarchs’ pursuit of profit and deepening contradictions under imperialism lead to devastating military conflicts and world wars. Weakened and divided by reaction, democratic strata are often unable to stop the doings of criminal warmongers. Bringing about unity calls for a core proletarian force.
Lenin’s discovery has lost none of its relevance today.The features of imperialism have not gone away, and globalization has brought all the contradictions to a head. Thus, the concentration, in the hands of the monopolies, of the means of production, sources of raw materials, transport, communications, scientific and technical discoveries and skilled workers and engineers has reached an all-time high. Five hundred corporations dominate the US economy.Half of them have assets in five or more sectors. They employ 20% of the total workforce and account for 60% of profits.
In 2020 mergers and takeovers account for 4 trillion dollars. The American oil and gas corporation Chevron took over the company Anadarco to become the world’s second largest after ExxonMobil. The merger of the American conglomerate United Technologies with the company Raytheon created a military industrial giant controlling the production of aircraft engines, helicopters, cruise missiles, air defense systems and other weaponry.
In Russia, too, merger and takeover deals account for billions of dollars. Thus, VTB bank has acquired the Magnit chain of stores. Leonid Mikhelson’s gas company NOVATEK bought Severneft-Urengoy Geotransgas, Urengoy Gas Company and a number of others.
Global imperialism boosts the role of transnational corporations. A major company today is a complicated multi-sectoral complex of production, trade, financial and investment structures. Through a network of contractors and subcontractors it is linked with a multitude of small and medium-sized enterprises which can only be called independent by a stretch. By spreading production to various countries, the mother company sprouts a host of branches. But the decision-making center in this international conglomerate is still the main headquarters.
TNTs are far more effective than other companies. They are in a position to avoid customs barriers, accumulate capital in the most profitable areas and allocate massive resources for R/D.
Capitalization of the leading TNCs exceeds the GNPs of most countries. They control over half of world industrial production, more than 60% of global trade, more than 80% of the world body of patents and licenses for new technology.
As pointed out by Lenin, the dominance of the TNCs in the world is ensured by capital export. Foreign direct investments increased 20-fold between 1982 and 2006, with 90% of them coming from the TNCs. One percent of the biggest corporations control 50% of all foreign investments.
Only a small part of the world economy functions in a free-market environment. Internal transfer prices are set by the corporations. In general, TNCs operate strictly according to plan, which guarantees success. This is what offered competitive advantages to the Soviet Union. The founder of the Japanese company THK Hirosi Teramachi wrote: ”In 1939 you Russians were smart and we Japanese were foolish. In 1949 you became smarter while we were still fools. In 1955 we got smarter and you became five-year-old kids. Our whole economic system is a carbon copy of yours. All our firms display your Stalin-era slogans.”
Contrary to what the demagogues say, globalization has not changed the nature of capitalism. Lenin’s epoch-making work Imperialism: the Highest Stage of Capitalism is prophetic. It explains the modern world even more than it explains the world vintage 1916.
The best brains of our time are coming to the conclusion that economic and political colonialism has not gone away. It is more sophisticated and tough than in the 20th century. The onslaught on the sovereignty of states continues. The national liberation movement is suppressed. Cultural diversity is supplanted by the consumer ersatz culture. As William Robinson writes, globalization supplants the nation state as the main principle of social life under capitalism.
The world economy is becoming transnational economy. Liberal ideologists would have us believe that this process is not connected with capitalism and speak about a “post-capitalist” reality. But, as the British researcher Barry Jones notes, globalization is the highest stage of the capitalist integration of the world economy. And his colleagues add that capitalist relations are both expanding and deepening to embrace the ever multiplying areas of human activity.
Let us be clear: if globalization reflects objective processes of integration of countries and peoples globalism is the modern form of imperialism which smothers the world in its embrace.
Read the full article here: cprf.ru/2020/04/lenins-ideological-legacy-and-the-struggle-of-working-people-for-socialism-in-the-21st-century/
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HUNGARIAN WORKERS' PARTY (MUNKASPART)
By Gyula Thürmer, president of the Hungarian Workers' Party
150 years ago, on April 22 1870 Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was born. We honor the memory ofthe outstanding personality of the Russian and international workers' movement, the founder of the Russian communist movement, the leader of the 1917 revolution, the prime minister of Soviet Russia. The man, who changed the 20th century.
Lenin is the enemy of capitalism
Throughout the decades of socialism everyone could read Lenin's works, his legacy was taught in the schools. There were Lenin monuments in almost every town, many streets were named after him. Generations have grown up with his ideas.
During the transition from socialism to capitalism in 1989-90, the statues were removed, the streets were renamed. Over the past 30 years, not a single book of Lenin has been published, the old editions cannot be found even in the second-hand bookstores.
In the more civilised countries of the capitalist world Marx is respected or at least tolerated as a philosopher, an economist who discovered the mechanism of capitalism. In our region, in the former socialist countries, Marx is also blacklisted.
But Lenin is particularly loathed by every capitalist. It's no accident! Lenin was the first one to fulfill the century-old dream of the working people, he defeated capital, toppled the rule of money. He fulfilled Marx's and Engels's ideas, created a functioning socialism.
Lenin is unacceptable to social democracy too. Lenin fought against capital, while the social democrats – from the mensheviks to today's socialists – haven't only come to terms with capital but they have become the executives of capitalism. Lenin advocated socialism, the rule of the working people, while social democrats believe in the purest form of capitalism. The only difference between them and other capitalist forces is that they hide their intentions behind high-sounding slogans – such as "democratic socialism" or the nowadays trendy "social Europe".
The goal of the capitalist world is to smear Lenin, to fade out his legacy, blot out his teachings. Lenin gave an intellectual weapon to the working masses, he taught them how to organise a party, how to bring the revolution to victory and rule the state of workers and peasants. This teaching threatens the very life of capital, so it pursues and uproots it.)ű
Lenin and we
Thirty years ago in Hungary it was the Workers' Party who took up Lenin's intellectual legacy. It wasn't an easy decision from both domestic and international perspectives)ű.
We had to face our own predecessors and rethink several doctrines of the socialist era. During the decades of socialism the ruling parties built monuments to Lenin, they made him a legendary, even mystical personality of the movement, but at the same time they were increasingly drifting away from the ideas of the living and fighting Lenin.
The persecution of Lenin's ideas didn't beginduring the period of the change of regime. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) already in 1956, on its famous 20th Congress made decisions that deviated from Lenin's interpretation on fundamental issues. The views of the CPSU were unfortunately adopted by the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party (HSWP) too.
Since then it has been proved more than once that Lenin's views were the correct ones. It's not possible to create socialism through parliamentarism, because the capitalists would never let it happen.
Strategic cooperation with the social democrats is not possible, because by now it has been proven that they are unequivocally on the side of the capital, although they are continuously trying to delude the working masses.
Peaceful co-existence doesn't mean that we should capitulate to capital, based on projects such as "the common values of humanity", "the European security and cooperation" or "the European house". Peaceful co-existence cannot replace the goal of world revolution, the victory of socialism throughout the world.
The parties of the former socialist countries, among them the HSWP too, never formally broke up with Lenin, they made their policies accepted under Lenin's name, with his quotes. At the same time, they deemed consequent attachment adherence to Lenin's ideas dogmatism. In the intellectual life of these party and even in their political decisions increased the role of petty bourgeois, opportunistic forces, those striving in one way or another to come to an agreement with capital.
During the last decades of socialism Lenin has become a burden for those, for whom socialism was not enough and who already started to flirt with capitalism.They thought that by giving up Lenin's ideas they can get their entry ticket to capitalism. Monuments, paintings, visually everything was still the same, but the real content, the essence has vanished. The socialist state has gradually given up the fight against capital, and a power which had abandoned its ideals was easy to topple.
Communist parties resurrecting in former socialist countries have no easy job. It's not the imagined, mystified Lenin we have to return to, but the revolutinary, the thinker, the pioneer. We can't disown the socialist path, we even have to protect it from the anticommunist attacks of the capitalists. But we must be able to draw up the programme of a new socialism. This is our duty too, the mission of the Hungarian Workers' Party.
Several parties of the international workers' movement, especially the Western-European "eurocommunist" parties drifted away from Lenin and the ideas of 1917 already from the second part of the last decade. They deleted everything from their programs that Lenin said about the duties of workers' parties, the power of the working people and even about the class struggle against capital. The collapse of Eastern European socialism intensified the intellectual chaos and many parties saw the opportunity to escape in disowning Lenin.
In the last decades the former "eurocommunist" parties have formed with the support of the capital their EU-conform organisation, the European Left. Their goal is clear: with their pseudo-leftist slogans they want to win over those, who don't believe anymore either the conservaties, the liberals or the social democrats. They want to take away these voters from the communist parties who are consequently fighting against the capital, and thus precent the possibility of a socialist revolution in Europe.
Other parties hold on to Lenin, but they have forgotten the most important thing. Marxism is a living doctrine that develops in the course of history. We won't become stronger by turning Lenin's theses into dogmas. The dogmatic understanding of Marxism has contributed to the isolation of these parties in many countries.
Luckily many parties of the workers' movement hasn't only hold on to Marxist-Leninist ideas, but understood that Lenin's set of ideas is a compass in our hands, but we have to find and take the new paths ourselves. We have to stay true to the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism, but we have to be intellectually open to everything new.
Advocating Lenin's ideas wasn't easy in Hungary either. Under socialism we learnt only a simplified version of many things. And when we had to creatively implement Lenin's ideas in a new situation, we often balked or even failed.
As time was passing by, however, many have forgotten what they were once taught. The Hungarian Workers' Party did a lot to give new knowledge to its members, to encourage them to learn, but without money and enough motivation this is a very difficult task with little result.
Today's generations are brainwashed by the capitalist schools and the media. They rewrite and falsify history. Luckily Fortunately even despite that, there are young people who are interested in the ideas of socialism and the Hungarian Workers' Party. Their sympathies for socialism have primarily an emotional basis. We have to form their feelings towards ideological commitment. Among other things by cleverly educate them about Lenin's ideas.
Thirty years ago the Hungarian Workers' Party decided to rethink the hundred-year-old history of the Hungarian and international workers' movement in the spirit of Marxism-Leninism. We are trying to clear it from unnecessary layers, free it from mystification. We decided to learn from the experiences of our past.
We decided to be more open to new thoughts, just like Lenin, who was also open to them in his time. We will build on reality instead of illusions, just like Lenin did.
We decided to protect Marxist-Leninst ideas in the international workers' movement too. We don't give up the fight against the capital. We believe in the power of the international cooperation of the working masses. We believe and know that the future must be socialism.
Are we Marxists?
Lenin's life's work is grand, it extends from the struggle against capitalism, seizing power by the proletariat to the organization of the socialist state. Don't let Lenin's books gather dust on the shelves of party headquarters! Let's read, learn, understand and implement Lenin!
We should highlight the most important elements of Lenin's rich heritage on which we can build even today. For a start, let's define ourselves! If we don't know who we are, we won't know which direction to go.
Lenin stepped on the the political scene in the late 19th and early 20th century. In an era when significant changes happened in the world. The 19th-century capitalism, in which Marx had lived, was already a part of the past. The world was ruled by monopolies, we stepped in the era of imperialism.
Lenin had to face the question: can Marxism, a product of 19th century Western European thinking be implemented in the 20th century? Can it be implemented in the underdeveloped Russia and in general in the Eastern European region?
Lenin's answer: yes, Marxism can be implemented, because it's fundamentals are valid regardless of time and space. Lenin's historic achievement is that he protected Marxism and proved its validity in the 20th century.
Marxists are those who think that the origin of the world is material. As the world is not determined by gods and other external factors, it can be changed.
Marxists are those who acknowledge that in capitalism the worker produces surplus value and the capitalist expropriates it, so in other words, the capitalist becomes richer by what he takes from the worker.
Marxists are those who acknowledge the existence of social classes and the struggle between them, who acknowledge that the working class can realise its fundemantal interests only by defeating the capitalists and creating socialism.
Today we also face a very similar question. Can we be Marxists in the 21st century, in the era of information technology and transnational corporations? This question must be answered by us.
Our answer is: yes! The era of information transforms the world, but doesn't change the essence of capitalism. As the essence of capitalism is not changed, the essence of the workers' movement is not changed either – this is the struggle against captalism, the rule of money. Lenin defended Marxism in the 20th century. In the 21st century it's our grand and common duty.
Does Marxism change?
Lenin raises another question too, whether Marxism can be changed in the context of time. Lenin's answer is yes! Marxism is not a dogma, not a collection of eternal rules but a new way of thinking. New questions need new answers, but in accordance with the fundamentals of Marxism. Lenin is the one who makes changes in Marx's teaching on a number of issues. He realises that in the 20th century capitalism overruns national frameworks, monopolies take the place of traditional enterprises, the new stage of capitalism, imperialism is established. He points out that in this situation the differences between the development of certain capitalist countries can be significant. As capitalism develops disproportionately, the conditions of the socialist revolution can appear faster in some countries than in others.
Marx and Engels believed that socialism will triumph in developed countries and at the same time. Lenin prvoes that socialism will triumph right where capitalism is the weakest. We don't have to and shouldn't wait for the situation to develop in other countries. Where the conditions of the socialist revolutions are given, the revolution must be accomplished.
Lenin's thesis, that the chain of capitalism will break at its weakest link, meant a fundamental turn. This made it possible for the Russian workers' movement to choose its own direction, to carry out a socialist revolution and to build socialism in a single country
In which direction is today's capitalism developing? At what point, in which country does the crisis of capitalism – that we have every reason to talk about – turn into a revolutionary situation? These are the questions of today to which we have to find an answer.
The workers' movement is more organised in the developed Western countries than on the Eastern part of Europe. The disadvantage of the Western workers' movement is thaton the one hand, it has no life experience of socialism, no benchmark. On the other hand, in these countries the capital has more experience in manipulating the working people, and more money to prevent the socialist revolution providing a higher standard of living.
In recent years a new tool appeared in ther arsenal. They are using migration to split the working class of the leading capitalist countries, to undermine its anti-capitalist fight.
The Eastern part of Europe is poorer than the West and it will stay like this for a while. The Western capital is exploiting the region. The countries of the region are mostly members of the NATO and the EU. Is a socialist revolution even possible under these circumstances?
Class struggle against capital is still on a low levelin the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. But the situation is changing. Today the capitalist order is not threatened anywhere in the region, but the system can change dramatically if a war erupts, the EU collapses or another migrant wave starts.
The peoples of the region lived under socialism, they know how it was. More and more people are realizing that capitalism has changed their lives, but it has also destroyed a lot of things: security, predictability, and social solidarity. Moreover, capitalism - and this is true not only for former socialist countries-destroys common human values.
It's not an accident that it is in these countries that capitalist forces are making the biggest efforts to manipulate the masses. They are protecting the stability of the economies by the state capitalist methods and prevent the capitalist crisis from generating uncontrollable social conflicts.All this is combined with the ideological tools of nationalism, religion, and anti-communism.
This is also where the attack of liberalism is the strongest. They promise "European values", the "European minimum wage", by warning of fascism try to incite fear, diverge the attention of the working masses from the fight against capital.
We don't know when capitalism will waver in our region. But we know that it can waver. We know that we must prepare ourselves, our party and the working people for the possibility of a change.
The road to power
The socialist revolution is not on the agenda anywhere today. But the situation can quickly change. What should be done until then, how can we fight under the conditinos of the bourgeois democracy?
Today's electoral systems make the impression that there's a democratic competition between parties and the winner is the one who can convince the people more. Lenin says something else: "so-called modern democracy ... is nothing but the freedom to preach whatever is to the advantage of the bourgeoisie, to preach".
The purpose of the institutions of bourgeois democravy, the electoral system and the media is not to help the opponents of capital to reach power. Their purpose is to prevent the anti-capitalist forces to reach the power and at the same time to keep the competition of the pro-capitalist forces in a framework which ensures the stability of the capitalist system.
This means that the fight against the capital cannot only be focused on the electoral fight, even if it's successful. The Hungarian Workers' Party has never been a parliamentary party, but we had representatives in many county, city and district councils in the 1990s. We have lost these positions. Not only because the Hungarian capitalism has stabilised itself and the structure of the Hungarian society has changed. But also because we had no experiences in the bourgeois democracy. Many of our deputies didn't represent the theoretical policies of the Workers' Party, the feelings and interests of the working people who had elected them, but joined the fights of the bourgeois parties. In many places they falsely took the side of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP). And at the same time they forgot the struggle on the streets, the ideological fight and the fight for the youth.
We knew Lenin's warning: "limiting the class struggle to the parliamentary struggle... is actually desertion to the side of the bourgeoisie against the proletariat". We knew it but didn't take it seriously or couldn't implement it.
The bourgeois democracy means dictatorship, the rule of the capitalist class over the working masses. This dictatorship has been prevailing in Hungary for thirty years. It's not one or the other capitalist government that took away press freedom from us, it's capitalism. It's not one or the other group that prevents us from getting into the parliament, because neither of them is interested in our entrance.
When today the liberal forces are protesting against "dictatorship", they don't fight for the working people to own the power. They want to gain more influence and more money from the other groups of the capitalist class. Replacing a capitalist government with another one doesn't bring democracy to the working masses, but places one or another capitalist groups in power.
The media is an important tool, but the masses should realise the necessity of change. The road goes from the struggles at the workplace through the trade unions to the communist parties. In Hungary, where only 9-10 percent of the employees are unionized, where there are no major strikes and demonstrations, there's plenty to do.
In compliance with Lenin's teachings, the Workers' Party attends the elections. The party doesn't get into the parliament but the people get to know its policies. As Lenin writes: "The party of the revolutionary proletariat must take part in bourgeois parliaments in order to enlighten the masses; this can be done during elections and in the struggle between parties in parliament." This is what we do.
The parliamentary struggle, getting into the parliament is not a goal, only a tool for us. One of the tools in our fight against the capital. We run in the elections, we have representatives in some of the local councils, but at the same time we are present in the fight on the streets with our stands. We are engaged in the ideological battle with our party weekly (A Szabadság) and our online tools. We have to build the party knowing that the situation can quickly change and something that's a distant programme at the moment, can turn into our militant duty.
We have experience in this field too, pretty much. In 1990 the taxi drivers blockaded Budapest because the gasoline prices were raised. The young Hungarian capitalism waivered, but didn't fail. Partially because we weren't able to join this mass movement either. We didn't have the relevant experiences. In order to support social actions, we have to know them from the inside. And what's not less important: we must distinguish between genuine social dissatisfaction and actions provoked by the bourgeois parties. We have to support the first, and debunk the second.
What socialism is really like?
The temptation is always great to draw up in detail the picture of the socialism that's ideal for us. We have to learn from Lenin in this matter too. There's an approriate moment whenwe can and have to do things. Of course, Lenin drafted what socialism means long before 1917, how is it different from capitalism and how capitalism can be toppled.
His work, The State and Revolution - which explains the duties of the socialist state - was written only in the summer of 1917, shortly before the victory of the October Revolution. It was the moment when it was necessary and it was the moment when he was able to see the actual duties. Many things we know from Lenin about socialism, Lenin wrote after the revolution and not before it, by analysing and generalising the experiences of the party and the working masses.
We have many experiences about socialism now. We already know how the socialist system were established after 1945, how it functioned and how it was overthrown. Among the many experiences the most well-known are the ones of the Soviet Union. The experiences of other socialist countries gain less attention – even though there was Yugoslavia, there was the GDR, there was the Hungarian People's Republic, they were similar in many ways, but not the same.
Lenin never said that socialism should be the same everywhere. He drafted only the fundamental characteristics of socialism. This is our duty today too, completed by the experiences Lenin couldn't have.
The power must be in the hands of the working class, the toiling classes. Where it's notthe case there's no socialism. Capital in order to maintain its power can limit itself and give many social benefits to the masses. Sweden had a better social system than many former socialist countries but it was not socialism. In today's Hungary liberals are attacking the conservative government by claiming that it leads the country into "socialism" by providing the social benefits. But it's not the case!
Lenin's explanation is clear: "the proletariat cannot overthrow the bourgeoisie without first winning political power, without attaining political supremacy, without transforming the state into the "proletariat organized as the ruling class". After the victory of the socialist revolution the working class exercises its power through the worker-peasant state, the dictatorship of the proletariat. Lenin considers it fundamental. He underlines that anyone who doesn't extend the acknowledgement of the class struggle to the acknowledgement of the dictatorship of the proletariat, is simply not a Marxist.
The ownership must be in the hands of the society. This is when we can speak about socialism. This comes from the fact that we are Marxists. As Marxists, we believe what Marx and Engels said: "communists bring to the front, as the leading question in each, the property question, no matter what its degree of development at the time ".
Lenin believes that socialism can finally defeat capitalism only when its labour can ensure greater productivity. Lenin says: "We will achieve the victory of communist labour". This is one of the most important points which we often forget.
Socialism can reach results in distribution relatively easy. At the beginning of the socialist revolution it's enough to take away from the capitalists and give it to the people. But after that, the factories which are owned by the society, should reach (achieve) greater productivity. The more efficient organisation of labour is a historic task which wasn't successful everywhere.
The so-called New Economic Policy (NEP) was an important element in Lenin's teachings. According to Lenin, the NEP means that the communist party – as the owner of state power and retaining the right to decide the main issues of the economy – allows the functioning and prosperity of capitalist private ownership and the implementation of elements of the market rules.
«It was called a New Economic Policy because it turned things back. We are now retreating, going back, as it were; but we are doing so in order, after first retreating, to take a running start and make a bigger leap forward» – Lenin writes after the introduction of the NEP.
Looking back, it's not the NEP itself that's interesting, but the fact that later the NEP becomes the starting point of the reform measures of the European socialist countries. Of course the capitalist world praised these reform measures, because every step that got us farther away from socialism, was in the interest of capital. We also know that often in socialist countries – including Hungary – it was the liberal intellectuals and the leadership's pragmatic part that stood behind the reforms. This is all true. But from the future's point of view it's useful to examine every experiment which was aimed at defeating capitalism in the field of the labour's productivity.
If we speak about socialism, we can't ignore the experiences of those countries where socialism has survived after 1990 too. True, in China, Vietnam, Laos, Cuba and Korea the fight for the socialist revolution was connected to the fight for national independence and that gave them such power that Eastern European systems didn't have. We have to see this, but there's more.
We have to see that these countries made steps to revive their economies based on their own situation in order to defeat capitalism in the economic sphere. We also have to see that these countries created their own political systems, but didn't question the leading role of the party. We have to see that these countries are functioning.
Together with Lenin, we say: "One of the necessary conditions for preparing the proletariat for its victory is a long, stubborn and ruthless struggle against opportunism, reformism, social-chauvinism, and similar bourgeois influences and trends, which are inevitable, since the proletariat is operating in a capitalist environment." We are holding on to our Marxist principles, so we view the world on this basis.
But also together with Lenin, we think that the world can only be judged based on facts, our policies must be built on facts. We should be open to new things, we have to give new answers to new questions. Marxism is our compass, the hundred-year-old experience of the communist movement is our common treasure-house we have to use and we also have to contribute to it according to our capabilities.
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COMMUNIST PARTY OF UKRAINE
Astract of the theses on the 150th anniversary of V.I. Lenin adopted by the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine
Lenin in the fate of Ukraine
Lenin constantly studied the socio-economic and political situation in Ukraine and drew conclusions important for the liberation struggle of the working people. He maintained close ties with many public figures in the region.
Lenin at the end of the XIX century in the fundamental work "The Development of Capitalism in Russia" paid great attention to Ukraine. He made a scientific analysis of a complex national problem and the national liberation struggle in Ukraine. In the pre-October period, he resolutely defended the right of the Ukrainian people to self-determination, up to the creation of an independent state, to the free development of the native language and national culture.
The Great October Socialist Revolution is a turning point in the fate of the Ukrainian people, who for the first time became the master of their country, the real subject of the historical process. Workers' State - The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic ensured the simultaneous solution of the tasks of socio-economic development and national revival, the creation of highly developed industry and mechanized agriculture, the flourishing of education, science and culture. The Ukrainian SSR was one of the top ten most developed countries in the world.
The inclusion of the Ukrainian SSR in the UN founding member states was convincing evidence of the recognition by the international community of its real statehood.
On the basis of Leninist ideological and organizational principles, the Communist Party of Ukraine was created in July 1918 as an integral part of the single All-Russian (All-Union) Communist Party. The Communist Party of Ukraine has come a long and glorious path.
Ukraine within existing borders - Lenin's legacy
Immediately after the February Revolution, some of the states that were part of the Russian Empire turned to the Provisional Government with a request to secede from Russia, in particular Poland, Finland, and Ukraine. The interim government refused to all.
The Leninist party of the Bolsheviks was the only political force in Russia that supported the Ukrainian national movement after the February Revolution. Without Lenin, it could have died out already in the summer of 1917. Without Lenin and the Bolsheviks, there would be no Ukrainian statehood, which was fully implemented in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It was in the Soviet Union that Ukraine united all Ukrainian lands.
Without Lenin and the Bolshevik Party there would have been no Ukrainian state. It was on Lenin’s proposal that the party’s program laid the right of nations to self-determination, which, after the events of 1991, was the basis of Ukraine’s independence.
Lenin was the initiator of the industrialization of Soviet Ukraine. A powerful industry is also a Leninist legacy. Lenin attached greater importance to the development of modern large-scale industry: mechanical engineering, energy, the chemical industry, and other industries.
After the Leninist ideas of building a state were rejected, Ukraine found itself in the margins of civilization.
The relevance of the ideas of Leninism to the Communist Party of Ukraine, the present and future people of Ukraine
The historical achievements of the Soviet people are achieved through the fulfillment of the wills of V.I. Lenin, the creative development of his teachings. But in the second half of the 1980s, the class enemy managed to seriously damage the cause of socialism and the party itself. This allowed the anti-communist forces to destroy the Soviet Union by criminal means, liquidate Soviet power, plunder social wealth, launch a campaign to destroy the achievements of Soviet civilization, and restore capitalism.
The restoration of capitalism in Ukraine over the past 29 years has become:
- the elimination of the socialist basis — the destruction of public ownership of production methods, the collapse of collective farms and state farms, the social arrangement of villages on a collectivist basis;
- profound changes in the social-class structure of society, first of all, the emergence of a class of exploiters - capitalists and landlords, who have seized dominant positions in the economy, government structures, and the media;
- the destruction of the domestic economy, social sphere and the most advanced social protection system in the world;
- ecological catastrophe;
- the property and social stratification of society, the growing antagonistic contradiction between wage labor and capital, class opposition;
- degradation and extinction of the people;
- the dominance of bourgeois-nationalist ideology, the tendency towards fascization of the ruling regime, the bloating of anti-communist psychosis, Russophobia, violation of the rights of Russian-speaking citizens, falsification of the history of Ukraine, loss of its territorial integrity, cruel brother the disastrous war in the Donbass, the external governance of the country and its transformation into a colony of the USA and the EU.
In the context of the illegal ban of the Communist Party of Ukraine, despite the anti-communist psychosis, the Communists did not stop the struggle for upholding the rights of workers, for returning Ukraine to the socialist path of development. The flag of the Communist Party banned in 1991 was picked up by the Communist Party of Ukraine, created in June 1993 and registered in October 1993. As a result of the persistent struggle, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine as an act of historical justice recognized the unconstitutionality of the decrees of the Presidium of the Supreme Council prohibiting the activities of the Communist Party.
A reflection of the systemic crisis of capitalism, the failure of liberal concepts, and the historical doom of a unipolar model of world development are evidence of the global financial and economic crisis of recent years, which hit the economy and well-being of working people in Ukraine.
Under these conditions, the world bourgeoisie seeks salvation by fanning the hysteria of anti-communism, and above all, by trying to discredit the genius of mankind V.I. Lenin.
The development of events in the world gives more and more evidence that, despite the temporary setbacks of the revolutionary movement, the content of the modern era is the transition from capitalism to socialism, only socialism can overcome the contradictions organically inherent in the capitalist world - exploitation of man by man, the wasteful nature of the capitalist production and consumption.
Today, in the conditions of capitalism restored in the country, in an atmosphere of brutal reaction and persecution of the Communists, as a result of the adopted law on decommunization, the strategic goals of the Communist Party of Ukraine continue to be:
- assertion of the power of the working people;
- building socialism - a society of social justice, in which the means of production are socialized, and man is the main goal and factor of social development, bearing in mind the prospect of building communism as “an association in which the free development of everyone is a condition for the free development of all”;
- preservation of statehood, territorial integrity and creative potential of the political society of Ukraine;
- the revival, in the light of new conditions, of the Union of fraternal peoples of the criminally destroyed Soviet Union.
Lenin’s doctrine is immortal, because it was not created to require personal ambition. It lined up in a system that gives the correct vector of movement into the future. Today this is confirmed by China, Vietnam, Cuba, Laos and other states, at the helm of which are the Communists. It was these countries that were able to increase the pace of production even today, in the context of the global economic crisis. The fact that it was precisely the refusal to follow the Leninist course that threw Ukraine into the margins of civilization and the overthrow of the working man into the position of a beggar and an outcast is becoming ever more evident.
Lenin’s time has not passed. It is just beginning its refreshing run across countries and continents, it aims at struggle, makes it work and win. The ideas, deeds and personal qualities of Vladimir Ilyich remain at the center of a sharp ideological and political struggle.
The reactionary forces organize sabotage against monuments to Lenin and provocations regarding the historical and cultural heritage associated with his name, the activities of the Communist Party, the falsification of the socialist period of the development of the USSR and Soviet Ukraine, and the persecution of communists for dissent. Despite the terror and the persecution, the Communist Party of Ukraine continues the political struggle on the basis of its Anti-Crisis Program “From War to Peace”.
The Communist Party of Ukraine - the party of the people, the party of Lenin is convinced: the best monument to the founder of Bolshevism is thoughtful study, creative development and active propaganda of the Leninist legacy, its implementation.
The Communist Party of Ukraine will further develop cooperation with fraternal communist and workers parties, progressive anti-imperialist movements around the world, and advocates closer coordination and unity of action of communists and other left forces in the international arena.
The Communist Party of Ukraine is one of the units of the international communist and working-class movement, it bears the banner of internationalism, has fought, is fighting and will fight for the implementation of its program goals: "For the power of the working people, socialism, the Union of fraternal peoples."
Since the time of Marx, Engels and Lenin, the motto of our party has remained:
“Workers of all countries, unite!”
as a condition for the victory of the working people in the future socialist revolution.
Communist Party of Ukraine
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COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (CPI)