In the 15th Congress of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) which took place between 22 and 25th of June in Caracas, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) was represented by its Political Bureau member Giorgos Marinos and Dimitris Karagiannis, member of the international relations section of the CC and journalist in 'Rizospastis'.
On June 21st, the PCV organised the 2nd International Ideological Seminar with the subject being "The timeliness of Lenin in the 100 years of the Great Socialist Revolution", in which 18 Communist and Workers Parties participated.
What follows is the speech by Giorgos Marinos, reproduced from inter.kke.gr:
We honour the 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, of the world-historic event of international significance, which demonstrated that capitalism is not invincible. The working class, the leading class of society with its allies have the strength to overthrow capitalism and construct the socialist society.
Whatever the supporters and apologists of capitalism do, they cannot erase the fact that this system has already entered a course of degeneration and decay, is becoming more reactionary and dangerous, is identified with the poverty of millions, with unemployment and capitalist crises.
Whatever the apologists of the system do, they cannot conceal the fact that two world imperialist wars were created by capitalism, as well as hundreds of local and regional wars and today we see the danger of a generalized military conflict.
The persecutions against communists and militant workers cannot stop the forward march of history. Social development does not stop, it is an objective process where the new social relations and the leading classes that express them in the class struggle, the motor force of history, overthrow the old social relations.
However painful the consequences of the counterrevolution are, the Leninist position is still of great importance: "We have made the start. When, at what date and time, and the proletarians of which nation will complete this process is not important. The important thing is that the ice has been broken; the road is open, the way has been shown."
We struggle in the conditions of monopoly capitalism, imperialism, with its basic characteristic being the dominance of the monopolies, which are the product of the concentration and centralization of capital.
At the end of the 19th century, Marx and Engels had already noted in Capital that the “centralization of the means of production and socialization of labour at last reach a point where they become incompatible with their capitalist integument. Thus integument is burst asunder. The knell of capitalist private property sounds. The expropriators are expropriated."
This is the great necessity. The abolition of private capitalist ownership that negates the potential for all the workers to live in conditions that correspond to their increasing human needs, with work, free time, housing, high level exclusively public and free education, health, welfare, culture, sports.
The necessity of socialism flows from the sharpening of the basic contradiction of system, the contradiction between the social character of production and labour and the capitalist appropriation of the results. Our era is the era of transition from capitalism to socialism and this has historical and international dimensions.
However, as the experience from the class struggle teaches us, despite the fact that the material conditions for the new society mature under capitalism, for there to be a change of system there must be a socialist revolution.
This revolution requires the creation of a revolutionary situation that is defined according to Lenin by the following factors:
- Those "above" (the ruling class of the capitalists) cannot govern and run the administration as they did in the past.
- Those "below" (the working class and the popular strata) do not want to live as they did in the past.
- An extraordinary rise in the activity of masses is observed.
The appearance of such a favourable situation has an objective character, but each revolutionary situation must be combined with the revolutionary uprising of the working class, led by the CP, its conscious vanguard, which must be equipped with the Marxist-Leninist worldview and be capable of leading the socialist revolution.
Despite the fact that it cannot be predicted when and how the revolutionary situation will manifest itself, historical experience highlighted the manifestation of a deep and synchronized capitalist crisis, combined with the outbreak of an imperialist war as being important factors.
The course of the Bolsheviks to the victorious October revolution passed through the "fire" of the harsh persecutions of the Tsarist absolutist state, of the strike and other tough conflicts connected to the revolution of 1905, which despite its defeat was a trial that contributed to the preparation of the oppressed for the victory of the revolution.
The Soviets were born in the revolution of 1905, the seeds of workers' power.
In this period, Lenin assessed that the revolution should establish a temporary revolutionary government, the "democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry", for the convening of the constituent assembly, universal voting rights, agricultural reforms etc. This power would eradicate the vestiges of Tsarism and would spark the proletarian revolution in the advanced capitalist Western Europe.
The entrance of Russia in the 1st World War sharpened the social contradictions. The defeats of the Russian army at the front, the loss of territories caused significant discontent, not only amongst the workers and peasants who were suffering due to the destruction of war, but also amongst the bourgeois class of Russia.
The plans of the bourgeoisie to overthrow the Tsar were combined with major popular mobilizations and strikes, which were carried out in February 1917, as a result of the rapid intensification of the social problems. The formation of a revolutionary situation, the mass political activity of the workers and peasants organized in the Soviets, the disintegration of the army, led in the end to the revolutionary overthrow of the Tsar.
The Provisional Democratic Government was established by representatives of the bourgeois liberal parties of Russia and constituted an organ of bourgeois power. At the same time,however, the mass political struggle of the workers and peasants brought to the surface the organization of the armed masses that participated in the overthrow of the Tsar via the Soviets.
The Mensheviks and the SRs dominated the Soviets in this period and supported the Provisional Democratic Government. This situation was characterized by Lenin as being "dual power".
Lenin studied the February revolution, assessed that power had passed into the hands of the bourgeois class and that the bourgeois-democratic revolution had been completed and with the "April Theses" he adjusted the strategy of the Bolsheviks for the overthrow of bourgeois power and the socialist revolution.
The adaptation of the tactics, the slogans to the needs of strategy and of the revolutionary struggle led Lenin to withdraw the slogan "All power to the Soviets" in July 1917, when the repression of the Provisional Government had escalated and brought it back in September when the Bolsheviks had won the majority in the Soviets of Moscow and Petrograd, giving it new content, as a slogan for the overthrow of the Provisional Government and the revolutionary uprising.
The decisiveness of Lenin and those from the leadership of the Bolsheviks who supported his positions led in the end to the victorious socialist revolution on October 25 (November 7, according to the new calendar) 1917.
We must underline the decisive importance of the important events and political choices, such as:
- The separation of the Bolsheviks from the Mensheviks at the 2nd Congress (1903), the formation of a separate party (1912), the intense constant struggle against opportunism.
- The systematic theoretical efforts for the development of the strategic view of the Bolshevik party for the socialist revolution that matured in the difficult conditions of the 1905-1917 period.
- The tireless efforts for the preparation of the subjective factor, the party, the working class and its allies.
- The consistent communist stance against imperialist war and the tireless struggle against the bourgeois class in all conditions.
- The prediction of the changes in the correlation of forces and the correct decisions gave the Bolsheviks the initiative.
A decisive contribution for the formation of the strategy of the socialist revolution was provided by the study of capitalism in Tsarist Russia, of the characteristics of monopoly capitalism-imperialism (in the work "Imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism"), of the stance towards the bourgeois state and the character of workers' power, i.e. the dictatorship of the proletariat ("State and Revolution") and other valuable works.
These elaborations highlighted the potential for the socialization of the concentrated means of production in the era of monopoly capitalism and also the potential created by uneven economic-political development and the sharpening of the inter-imperialist contradictions in order for the weakest link in the imperialist chain to break and for the efforts for socialist construction in one country or in a group of countries to begin.
Soviet power paved the way for the abolition of capitalist relations of production and this was what dealt with the intense problems of the workers (land, bread, peace) and not bourgeois power or some form of "intermediate" power, which in reality cannot exist.
|Giorgos Marinos (Archive Photo).|
The October Revolution confirmed the leading role of the revolutionary communist party, the need to rally the working class against the power of capital, the need to draw the poor peasantry and the other middle strata to the revolution, and to render other sections neutral. The historically outdated and reactionary character of the bourgeois class, the necessity of not participating or supporting a government in the framework of capitalism, the non-existence of transitional forms of power between capitalism and socialism, the need to smash the bourgeois state.
The October Revolution led to the building of another superior society, with as its basic characteristic the abolition of the exploitation of man by man.
The right to work and the eradication of unemployment were secured in the USSR. The foundations were laid for the abolition of discrimination against women. Science developed very rapidly. Free education at all levels, free high-quality health-care for all the people, and universal access to culture and sports were ensured. Institutions were created that would safeguard the substantial participation of the workers in building the new society.
This was a historically significant leap in conditions of the backwardness of pre-revolutionary Russia in comparison to the powerful capitalist states, in conditions of imperialist encirclement and pressure, with the grave consequences from the 1st and 2nd World Wars, in the latter the USSR made the decisive contribution to the defeat of fascism, with 20 million dead and enormous material destruction.
Socialist construction in the USSR was not free of problems. Until the Second World War, in the USSR the struggle for the development of the communist relations of production, the abolition of wage labour and the dominance of the socialized sector of production on the basis of Central Planning was generally successful.
After the Second World War, socialist construction faced new challenges and demands that were interpreted as inevitable weaknesses existing in the nature of central planning and not as a result of the contradictions of the survival of the old, as a result of the mistakes of the non-scientifically elaborated plan.
Thus, instead of seeking a solution towards the invigoration and expansion of the communist relations of production and distribution, it was sought backwards, i.e. in the exploitation of tools and production relations of capitalism. The solution was sought in the expansion of the market, in “market socialism”.
The 20th CPSU Congress (1956) stands out as a turning point because in that, with the vehicle being the so-called “personality cult”, a series of opportunist positions were adopted on the issues of the communist movement strategy, while the central management of the economy was weakened.
A few years later, beginning with the so-called “Kosygin reforms” (1965), the bourgeois category of “business profit” of each individual production unit was adopted and the wages of managers and workers were linked to it.
The individual interest was strengthened at the expense of the social interest and the communist consciousness was damaged. The so-called "shadow capital" emerged that sought its legal function as capital in production, the restoration of capitalism. Its (the capital's) owners constituted the driving force of the counter-revolution.
In about the same period, the Marxist-Leninist perception about the workers' state was also revised. The 22nd Congress of the CPSU (1961) described the USSR state as an “all-people's” state and the CPSU as an “all-people's party”.These positions led to the mutation of the revolutionary characteristics and social composition of the party. The transformation of the CPSU's opportunist degeneration into an open counter-revolutionary force was manifested by the policy of "Perestroika" and "Glasnost".
The KKE tried all these years to study the contemporary developments, to draw conclusions from the historical experience of the class struggle in Greece and internationally and, at the same time, to deepen and expand its militant ties with the working class and the popular strata. It tries not to detach the daily struggle from the main revolutionary political task of overthrowing the power of capital
he KKE has charted a modern revolutionary strategy increases its ability to organize leading sites of resistance and counterattack in every sector of the economy, every large workplace, in every region of the country,with an anti-capitalist/anti-monopoly line of struggle, to prepare the working class and people in the instance of an imperialist war.
The ideological-political and organizational strengthening of the KKE, which was an important issue at the recent 20th Congress of the Party, constitutes a prerequisite for the promotion of its revolutionary policy.
An integral part of the KKE's contemporary strategy is its programmatic perception on the socialist character of the revolution. Socialist construction begins with the revolutionary conquest of power by the working class. The workers' state, the dictatorship of the proletariat, is an instrument of the working class in the class struggle which continues in socialism with other forms and means. It is utilized for the planned development of the new social relations, which presupposes the suppression of the counter-revolutionary efforts, but also the development of the communist consciousness of the working class. The qualitatively new feature of workers' power is the transformation of the workplace into the core of society's organization.
The Programme of the KKE states:
The concentrated means of production are socialized, but initially there remain forms of individual and group ownership that constitute the basis for the existence of commodity-money relation. Forms of productive cooperatives are formed, where the level of the forces of production still does not allow the socialization of the means of production. The forms of group ownership consist a transitional form of ownership, between the private and the social one, and not an immature form of communist relations.
On the basis of social ownership of the centralized means of production, the central planning of the economy develops as a communist relation that connects all the producers.
At the same time, the KKE struggles for the regroupment of the international communist movement, according to the principles of proletarian internationalism, the internationalist solidarity of the people against capitalism and imperialist war, which is expressed in the slogan “Workers of all countries unite!”.Its supports the efforts for the creation of a distinct pole based on the principles of Marxism-Leninism , through the “International Communist Review” and the European Communist Initiative.
The study of the experience of the October Revolution and the events that will be held will be effective to the extent that the communist movement stands up and fights against the negative correlation of forces, examining in a strict way and changing the line of intermediate stages and the so-called leftwing governments. This step will contribute decisively to the adaptation of the strategy of the CPs to the character of our era, the era of the transition from capitalism to socialism, which also determines the socialist character of the revolution.
The struggle for the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism, for the socialist revolution must leave its imprint on the everyday activity, political line of every CP so that they play the leading role in organizing the working class, to preparing it to meet the challenges of the class struggle.
This year, 100 years after the Great October Revolution, we must intensify our efforts to strengthen the struggle for the revolutionary regroupment of the international communist movement.
The October Revolution, the construction of socialism in the USSR and the painful experience from the counterrevolution highlights the need for a revolutionary strategy and the strict observance of the laws of socialist construction, for workers' power, the socialization of the means of production, central planning and workers'-social control. This is the basis for the abolition of the exploitation of man by man, in opposition to the caricatures and arbitrary fantasies about "21st Century Socialism" and "Market Socialism" which are features of the counterrevolution and function within the the framework of capitalism.
The communist movement has a great history and has made a significant contribution to the abolition of exploitation and today must learn from history, must be guided by our worldview and what Marx and Engels wrote in 1848 remains very relevant:
"The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workers of All Countries, Unite!"
We thank the CP of Venezuela and we wish it every success in its Congress. The KKE has always stood unwaveringly at the side of the CP of Venezuela and continues on this path. Our party denounces the imperialist interventions and expresses its internationalist solidarity with the working class, the people of Venezuela and the other countries of Latin America. The interests of the working class lie in strengthening its struggle against the bourgeois class and the capitalist shackles, in fighting for worker's power and to become the owners of the wealth they produce, in constructing socialism-communism.