Below is the full text of the intervention of the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE) at the 13th Meeting of European Communist Youth Organizations which was held in Istanbul, Turkey on 24-26 February 2017.
We greet all the organizations participating in the 13th Meeting of European Communist Youth Organizations. We would especially like to thank our comrades from the Communist Youth of Turkey that gave their best to host this meeting, under the difficult conditions in which they fight in their country.
The Meetings of the European CYOs are of a great importance, since they contribute each year to the exchange of experience from the action in our countries, and the substantial discussion among our organizations. They can contribute further on to the reinforcement of the coordination of our struggle, through cooperation and expression of solidarity in a bilateral and multilateral level, through common acts and announcements, ideological seminars, initiatives and forms of cooperation that life constantly brings before us.
Our goal is:
-To reinforce the common struggle in our countries, against the exploitative system, the EU, the parties of the capital and their governments.
-To take a step forward in the exchange of experience that can help us take with our side more class conscious youngsters in our countries, who will fight within the ranks of our organizations, and also to reinforce the workers' movement in our countries with a mass introduction of young age forces.
-For the Communist Youths to discuss how we are going to become even more stronger ideologically, politically, organizationally, thus contributing to the effort of the regroupment and reinforcement of the Communist Movement, with a revolutionary strategy, discussing openly and comradely all the critical issues,ncluding the differences that exist in our analyses.
-To continuously cultivate as a distinguishing characteristic of our members the proletarian internationalism, the education with the principles of Marxism – Leninism, thus, shaping the future members and cadres of the CPs with the values of class solidarity, love for the working class and the solid knowledge for its historical role, i.e. the conquest of the political power. By cultivating as a consciousness the struggle for the overthrow the bourgeois power, the power of the exploiters of the peoples, in addition to the knowledge of how the capitalist system works, and the reason why it is historically outdated and the source of all contemporary problems of the working class and youth.
The European meetings of the CYOs from the beginning of 2000 when they started, and travelling since then all around Europe, they have proven that they are a space for discussion and rich exchange of experience for the crucial matters of our action, refuting each year those who fight against them. The fact that they continue on a rise today, as it was shown in the most recent meetings in Madrid, Frankfurt and Rome, fills us with optimism for the continuation.
Especially, this year, we have a great weapon that we must utilize: that is the lessons from the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917 in Russia. October has proved the possibility and capability of the working class to carry out its historical mission as the only class that is truly revolutionary, to lead the construction of socialism - communism.
Today, despite the counter-revolutionary overthrows of the period 1989-91, after which of course many of our members were born or raised, we are even more sure and absolute for the timeliness and the necessity of socialism - communism. The aim of our struggle, our belief that it can become a reality, is what has always set the communists apart from those who speak of “struggles in general” and manage the barbarity of capitalism, it distinguishes us from the marsh of social-democracy and opportunism, but also from those who use the title of the “communist party”, but in practice are turning towards the marsh - if we would like to remember Lenin’s words in “What is to be done putting the blame on the struggle for socialism-communism, accusing it as sectarian.
The objective of our struggle, that is socialism-communism, which is necessary and timely today, reinforces us with strength in our fight against the bourgeois classes that cast the ghost of communism out by also adopting anti-communist measures such as in Poland, Turkey, Serbia, Germany (we are referring only to last year) where they prosecute the communists.
The counter-revolutionary overthrows do not change the character of our era, which expresses the necessity of the passage from capitalism to Socialism. The 21st century will be the century of a new rise of the worldwide revolutionary movement and of a new series of socialist revolutions.
Everyday struggles for individual and overall achievements are indisputably necessary. However, they cannot give significant, long-term and permanent solutions. The only way-out is still the society which is going to satisfy the expanding popular needs and shall abolish exploitation of man by man.
The necessity of socialism emerges from the very sharpening of the contradictions of the contemporary capitalist world, the international imperialist system. The material preconditions for socialism have matured within the framework of capitalism.
Capitalism has socialized labour and production in an unprecedented scale. The working class, the main productive force, constitutes the majority of the economically active population. However, the means of production, the products of social labour, constitute private, capitalist property.
This contradiction is the matrix of all crisis phenomena in the contemporary capitalist societies, such as the economic crises, the big amount of daily working hours despite the great increase of labour productivity, which of course coexists with unemployment, underemployment, the intensification of exploitation, as well as other problems that concern the life of the youth (access to culture and sports), the attempt to exterminate youth with drugs etc.
At the same time, however, that same fact signifies the necessity of the abolition of capitalist ownership of the concentrated means of production, their socialization and their planned use in social production, the planning of the economy by the workers' power, with the aim of popular prosperity.
The KKE has highlighted these issues, it studies them further, it has imprinted them in its documents such as in the Resolution of the 18th Congress of the KKE for the causes of the overthrow of socialism, it pursues to discuss them within the working class and the poor popular strata, but also within the framework of the International Communist Movement. KNE, having as a weapon these positions of the Party, conducts inside the youth, an ideological-political struggle with the bourgeois and opportunist forces, with the ruling ideology, which the bourgeois educational system produces and reproduces. For example, the 3 brochures of the CC of KNE “Truths and Lies about Socialism”, which you too received a few months ago in English, have been distributed in tenths of thousands of copies, and they truly open ways for the intervention of KNE in schools, universities, workplaces, opening the discussion for socialism, answering rational questions that the young people have today in our countries on how the society for which we fight will be.
The CC of the KKE has declared as a five years goal towards the completion of 100 years of revolutionary life and action of our Party and the 50 years of KNE in 2018, the dissemination of our Program, the unveiling of the decay and the contemporary barbarity of capitalism upon the working class and the popular forces, especially the young men and women. As a special goal, it has declared the ideological - political and organizational strengthening of the KKE and KNE, as a party of the revolutionary overthrow.
These days in Greece, the members and friends of KNE are preparing for the 20th Congress of the KKE that will take place in approximately one month. The theses of the CC of the KKE give emphasis on the international developments and the developments in our region, they analyze the contradictions that penetrate the imperialist system. It’s main content is the: “The comprehensive strengthening of the KKE for the task of regrouping the labour movement and developing the social alliance in an anticapitalist-anti-monopoly direction, in the struggle against imperialist war, for workers' power.”
In this process, a public discussion has started with the open participation of members of the KKE and KNE and fighters with whom we join hands, in a wider range with anyone who values the role of the KKE in the movement.
In the Theses that have been published by the CC of the KKE and constitute the basis of the discussion, stands out the sharpening of the inter-imperialist antagonisms, the increase of local and regional conflicts and the dangers of a more generalized imperialist war.
By Studying the developments of the recent years the following issues are noted:
The international capitalist economy shows signs of slowdown, capitalist recovery struggles to gain high level of growth rate. None of the powerful capitalist centres can play the role of the steam engine of capitalism.
In these years tendencies of in the correlation of forces amongst the powerful capitalist centres with a basic feature the strengthening of China in relation to the US, which however remains the most powerful economic and military capitalist force.
On this basis the contradictions and antagonisms are sharpening amongst the USA, Russia, China, the EU, while more intense problems of cohesion can be seen inside the EU and the Eurozone.
With these facts, the possibility of a sudden sharpening of the contradictions is reinforced, the possibility of more generalized imperialist conflicts in the region of Eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East (Syria - Iraq, the Aegean, North Africa, the Black Sea, etc), in Europe (Ukraine - Baltic), in Asia (S/E China Sea), the Arctic.
Especially concerning Greece the following are noted:
The possibility of entering the next period to a weak capitalist recovery that will be supported on crushing the workers'- people's rights. A recovery that will not bring a retrieval of the losses that the working-popular strata suffered during the period of the crisis, it will not bring a drastic decrease of unemployment, while the terms of entering labour for the next generation will keep deteriorating, by widening the flexible labour relations, the work with no rights, with a very small income. We also stress out that this course of recovery will be precarious because of the general international economic and political developments.
The pursue of the Greek bourgeois class of a geostrategic upgrade of the country as an energy and trade hub, as well as the restoration of its status in the wider region of the South-Eastern Mediterranean Sea which has suffered during the period of crisis.
The sharpening of the contradictions between the bourgeois class of Greece and Turkey in the font of the wider imperialist antagonisms and contradictions in the region and the danger of a military engagement between the two states.
Our Party facing these developments and the probability of an imperialist war with the direct involvement of Greece in it, it has stated a position that in our opinion has an international importance and deserves to be studied by communists of other countries. This position studies the experience of preceded imperialist wars, and of course the experience of the Bolsheviks' Party on the stance against war, the excruciating work of preparation for the revolution, the utilization of the inter-imperialist antagonisms in its favour. Especially this year, marking the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution, it is worth studying once more this experience. We remind that Lenin and the Bolshevik party intensely conflicted with the section of social-democracy, which, violating the decisions of the 2nd International, supported the bourgeois class of their countries, by sometimes voting the war credits in the parliaments, or participating in the governments that conducted the wars, supposedly for a “peaceful development”, defending the “imperialist peace” holding the gun to the peoples’ head. A line that inevitably pushed them deeper inside the imperialist war, the sharpening of the contradictions and antagonisms of the imperialist states and their alliances.
Lenin with the strategic line that he followed, specified that, from the standpoint of the revolutionary movement of the working class aiming at revolution and the conquest of the workers' power, the issue is not a simple “pacifist” opposition to war, but mostly the utilization of the rifts that will be objectively created in this conditions inside the imperialist camp, the utilization of the weakening of the bourgeois class of each country with the purpose of transforming the imperialist war of each country to a struggle for the complete overthrow of the power of the bourgeois class that brings killings and poverty for the children of the working class, the peoples of each country.
In the Theses of the CC of the KKE for the 20th Congress is noted that:
"A decisive issue for the implementation of the revolutionary strategy is the relationship between the imperialist war and the destabilization of the bourgeois power in all its forms. The deepening of the economic crisis and the possible escalation of the inter-imperialist contradictions in military conflicts or even in a generalized imperialist war can create such destabilization conditions for the bourgeois power, both in Greece as well as in other countries in the region.
In the case of Greece's military engagement in an imperialist war and in imperialist interventions, the Party – defending the interests of the working class and the Greek people- must lead the organisation of the working-peoples struggle in order to disengage Greece from the imperialist war. That requires not only the defeat of the any possible imperialist invader- whether it is a temporary “ally” or a temporary “rival” of the country's bourgeoisie- but the total defeat of the local bourgeois class itself. This is the only way for the passage of power to the working class and the exit from capitalist barbarity which, as long as it prevails and decays, will bring either war or imperialist “peace” with the gun held to the peoples' head.
In case of such a war, the Central Committee, with the corresponding readiness, must evaluate step by step the course of the imperialist war in order to intervene promptly and accurately, thus preparing the working class-people's forces. There may be a long period of the country's participation in an imperialist war, without the outbreak of a revolutionary situation, especially in case of invasion-occupation. Special effort is certainly needed in a non-revolutionary situation for the successful creation of the conditions which are required for the defeat of the domestic and foreign bourgeoisie. It is a job which has specific difficulties that cannot be solved simply with some general slogans about the condemnation or exit from the imperialist war, but includes multifaceted issues which the political vanguard must continuously study.
Overall, the maturity of the subjective factor in revolutionary conditions is also determined by today's work: By the ideological-political maturation, the assimilation of the Party's Programme, the ability to act in all kinds of circumstances, but also by the education of working class-popular masses in the framework of the activity in an anticapitalist-antimonopoly direction in today's conditions. "
The main issue that we are going to encounter ideologically, but also as a life stance, especially the young communists, is the revolutionary work in non-revolutionary conditions, the non-integration to the relatively “legal”, “peaceful” period, something that the International Communist Movement has paid a lot of times and still does. The maturity of the subjective factor in revolutionary conditions depends also on our work today, on our capability to educate workers’- popular masses in action in an anti-capitalist – anti-monopoly direction. This is applicable even more in conditions when everything seems still, or moving very slowly towards the aim of the workers’ - people’s counter-attack or even when they retreat.
From this point of view, it is very important to reinforce the discussion on the causes of the imperialist wars through acts, interventions, articles on a daily basis is very important. And also, to reinforce the struggle against the presence of NATO bases located in our county, as well as of the EU Commands, by claiming their closure. The demand for the return of all Greek troops that are abroad, not having even a single soldier outside the borders. To reinforce the struggle in order for the NATO naval force to leave from the Aegean Sea.
We, communists oppose to the various warmonger and nationalist cries, to the creation of any climate of hostility between one people and another. Our peoples do not have any interest in their alignment behind the aim of capitalist development, independently of the means of its achievement. We also oppose to the trap of bourgeois cosmopolitanism of capital. We lay out a line of struggle that does not detach the defense of the borders and the sovereignty rights from the struggle for the overthrow of the power of capital in each country.
We seek all of the above to constitute an integral part of the daily work of KNE, which gives important fights in the workplaces, in the vocational training places, in universities and schools in order to win the section of the youth that has an objective interest against the system of exploitation with the political proposal of the KKE. November and December were months of great militant mobilizations and rallies of young workers, unemployed, university and school students all around Greece, with literally tenths of thousands of young people participating in them. The highest peak was the great worker’s strike on December 8th, thus giving an answer to the bourgeois class of the country, the government and its international “partners”. Just 3 days ago, rallies took place in cities of Greece against the new anti-people’s measures of the government.
The forces of KNE led the organization of the fight, against the anti-popular policy, authoritarianism and the propaganda of the coalition government of SYRIZA (opportunist party that transformed rapidly into a social-democratic party) with ANEL (a bourgeois nationalist party). And also against the terrorism of school directors and employers at workplaces. It is a typical example that at the same period the government put pupils on trial for their participation in previous mobilizations, with the most distinctive being the arrest of a university student, member of KNE, who was talking to pupils outside a school and her prosecution according to an article that was embodied in the Penal Code the years that followed the civil war and relates to political repression.
Against the dissolution and degeneration of the university students’ movement that the groupings of the bourgeois and opportunist parties conserve and reproduce, us communists give the fight daily for the revival, the functioning and action- first of all the militant orientation- of the students’ unions. The Students’ Militant Front (MAS), the militant pole of rally of students, councils, unions, which was created on the initiative of KNE has a stable and recognizable action of nationwide range. The grouping of KNE in the universities emerged as a second force with a percentage a little higher than 20%.
We give all our powers so that the steps that were counted in the worker’s movement are stabilized, in order to augment the part of the youth that firmly stands militantly by the side of its natural ally, the working class.
In light of the strike of last December we collided in the workplaces with the employers. We confronted decisively the employers’ threats and the fear cultivated by the repression mechanisms, we fought inside the organizations of the movement, in order to organize general assemblies, tours and discussions with hundreds of people in the workplaces in big sectors. Many young people took the step to come for the first time to the general assembly of their trade union, to participate to a trade union committee in their workplace, to be recruited in their union. There were thousands of young people who went on strike and took part in the rallies of the class-oriented trade-union movement in our country, which is expressed through the All-workers Militant Front (PAME). The initiative of trade-union organizations to submit their own Draft Law for the Collective Labour Agreements according to the criteria of the contemporary needs of the working class had preceded. This initiative was supported by more than 500 trade-union organizations all around Greece.
For a few days now, the small farmers have formed roadblocks in central road interchanges all over Greece protesting against the unbearable taxation, the cost of production, the sale prices of their products, the disasters, damages from the bad weather. Us communists, we give the fight to win over the farmers with the small – medium holdings in the anti-monopoly direction of struggle, to separate themselves from the capitalist farmers.
After two years of the SYRIZA- ANEL governing, we could say that the KKE has been proven right for its main estimations of the anti-popular character of any government in capitalism. Instead of hope which it promised, SYRIZA brought the 3rd memorandum of anti-people measures and is preparing a 4th one, it approves with fast track processes in the parliament one anti-people measure after another, it drags tenths of school students, trade-unionists and strikers in court, it forbids demonstrations and rallies, it represses the pensioners with SWAT police and chemicals, its cadres make joint visits to the Aegean islands alongside the cadres on trial of the Nazi criminal Golden Dawn, in order for it to become a reputable bourgeois parliamentary party and to be used more effectively in harming the movement and in anti-communism.
The government, whose basic body is SYRIZA, had proven right the option of the bourgeois class of Greece for having supported it. It has proven the EU, the IMF, Obama, Hollande and other imperialists right, for the faith they have shown to it. And this is, not only because it managed to pass all the agreed anti-people measures, necessary for the capitalist recovery, but also because it managed to usurp militant traditions and slogans in order to deceive the people, as no pure bourgeois party could. It managed with a great success to stop the radicalization of an important part of the youth, which wanted to collide, .However , also because of its political inexperience, they believed that the conflict with the “partmerss” promised by the government would benefit the workers.
The KKE and KNE, we thank from the bottom of our hearts the communists, the workers and the young people all over the world that supported us over these last years in our struggle in Greece.
We are proud fof the stance that we held these last years, for the fact that we remained loyal to our principled positions about the non-participation of a revolutionary party in a bourgeois government, despite the election costs, despite the fact that there were even a few CPs in other countries that openly or secretly supported SYRIZA, and they have great responsibilities firstly towards the working class of their country, because they tried to lure it into supporting a force serving capitalism, NATO and the EU. We strongly believe that our stance is a consignment for our people, for our Party itself, for the International Communist Movement. We utilize the struggle and the high esteem for the KKE, the fact that more people now recognize that our Party was right, and we give a complex fight for the organization and the radical, anti-capitalist orientation of the workers’ struggle, the struggle of the youth.
The KNE gave and still gives a battle for the exposure of the class character of these measures, the fact that the capitalist growth is supported by the exploitation of the working class and will take place upon the ashes of the labour rights and consequently it cannot be a common “national goal”. We struggle against disappointment and fatalism, the rationale that says that nothing can change, that fights have no results, enlightening the only way out for the peoples of the whole world, namely the fight for the overthrow of capitalism and the construction of the socialist - communist society, the abolition of exploitation of man by man
We bring the warm and comrade greetings on behalf of the CC of the KNE to all of you. Allow us, however, to give special greetings to the comrades of the Communist Youth of Turkey for this very reason: the relations between our organizations are exemplary and in our opinion they deserve to be studied by other CYOs as well, mainly for the base on which they are built. We follow the very close and comrade relations of our parties, KKE and TKP, relations that are built in very complex conditions with leading light the class interests, the class unity of the working class of the two countries, the struggle for the overthrow of capitalism, the construction of socialism - communism. They are confirmed through tenths of common actions that we have developed especially in the last period, such as the recent visit of a delegation of the CC of the KNE in Istanbul after the invitation of the Communist Youth of Turkey.
Our deep comrade relations also derive from the fraternal relations between the peoples and the youths of our countries, since we have nothing to divide, and we declare that being loyal to the principles of proletarian internationalism we will fight alongside to put an end to the capitalist barbarity, to the causes resulting in imperialist wars, to put an end to the bloodshed of the peoples that happens for the interests of the exploiters. With these thoughts we wish every success to our works!
Long-live the common struggle of the Communist Youths of Europe!
Long live the 100 years of the October Revolution!