Speech by the Secretary General of the CC of the KKE Dimitris Koutsoumbas at the internationalist event hosted by the KKE in Athens, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution / Source: inter.kke.gr.
We honour here at the headquarters of the CC of the KKE the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution, a great epic of struggles and sacrifices for the construction of a new society, without the exploitation of man by man, which the peoples experienced and continue to experience under capitalism and also under the previous exploitative social systems.
This epic, which began victoriously in the country of the Soviets inspired the working class and the peoples all over the world.
From it emerged its own heroic figures:
- The heroic red guards, who protected Soviet Power in revolutionary Russia, during the imperialist intervention of 14 capitalist states.
- Millions of communists and leading workers, who defied the decisions of the courts, and even the guns of the bourgeois armies and waged tough battles.
The millions who crushed fascism, which emerged from the bowels of capitalisms and is the "flesh of its flesh".
We salute the presence, here at the headquarters of the CC of the KKE, at today's event, of the Communist and Workers' parties that participate in the efforts of the "International Communist Review".
Our party particularly appreciates the effort of the ICR, the joint effort of a number of parties that base themselves on Marxism-Leninism, defend the revolutionary principles and at the same time study and form a modern revolutionary strategy at a national and international level.
After the restoration of capitalism in the USSR and other socialist countries, it is very difficult even impossible to inspire, to play a leading role in the workers'-people's movement, which is rising up, to have some results against the most reactionary offensive of capital since World War II, against the new cycle of imperialist interventions and wars, if we do not assimilate and use the assessments, experience and lessons from socialist construction in our strategy
There are new features in the general developments that must increase the level of demands in the international communist movement, in the international labour movement.
We live in a period when the old is dying and the new is struggling to be born.
Despite the global domination of capitalism and its apparently undeniable victory over the last 30 years after the counterrevolution, capitalism is permeated with very sharp contradictions and implacable antagonisms between various capitalist states, their military-political and economic-political alliances, antagonisms that have led to wars and realignments.
These contradictions are intrinsic to capitalism, especially in its monopoly stage, namely imperialism.
The phenomena of decay, parasitism, the varied destruction of forces of production are intensifying in this period.
These are consequences related mainly to the expansion of the gap between the productive potential of our era and the level of satisfaction of the contemporary social needs.
A new, more synchronized economic crisis is gestating, as well as the sharpening of the struggle for the control of markets, energy resources and the transport routes of oil and natural gas.
The basic contradiction between capital and labour is intensifying.
The trend of the absolute and relative destitution of the working class is being reinforced.
The percentage of the long-term, permanently unemployed is increasing.
The rate of exploitation of the working class is also increasing in the most developed capitalist economies.
All the social contradictions are intensifying.
The communist and workers' parties that base themselves on scientific socialism must take initiatives, not just to coordinate the struggle, to promote some just worker's demands all over the capitalist world, but also to form a unified revolutionary strategy against the strategy of capital.
Such efforts cannot be made by parties that have given up on the goal of the socialist revolution and worker's power and have chosen the path of managing capitalism.
These efforts can only be made by communist parties that believe in the overthrow of the barbaric capitalist system and the construction of the new socialist-communist society.
Proletarian Internationalism was and remains a strong weapon in the hands of the communists and the working class, against the attempts of the bourgeois and opportunists to spread division amongst the workers.
No isolated specific feature, no existing or fabricated secondary contradiction, such as "North-South", "Centre-Periphery", "developed-under-developed countries", "Golden Billion-rest of the world"and other such things, can eliminate the basic contradiction between capital and labour or the necessity for the working class to emancipate itself and achieve workers' power.
Of course the communists, in forming our tactics, take into account the situation in each country, the course of the class struggle, various contradictions, but this cannot be at the expense of our strategy and the general laws for the overthrow of capitalism and the construction of the socialist-communist society.
In any case, tactics are integral component of strategy. They are the flexible element of strategy.
An issue that was borne out by the October Revolution is that 100 years ago, in a relatively backward country in relation to other advanced western countries, with many vestiges of previous social systems, capitalism had created the material preconditions for the construction of the new socialist society.
This socialist society provided enormous impetus to the development of the productive forces, overcoming backwardness and centuries old prejudices.
As today, the necessity and timeliness of socialism in even more intense, we cannot speak in a general and abstract way about some vision of socialism, without answering some fair questions in an objective way.
Why was socialist construction interrupted?
Was this development inevitable? Or was it due to specific factors and what were they?
At the same time, there needs to be an evaluation of the strategy of the International Communist Movement in the implacable international confrontation between the socialist and capitalist systems.
The counterrevolution and the current negative correlation of forces does not alter this fact, that a socialist revolution was carried out and socialism was constructed.
They do not change the character of our era, as an era of the transition from capitalism to socialism, as this emerges from the impasses of the capitalist mode of production itself, such as the crises, wars, unemployment, poverty and other torments for the peoples.
The October Revolution confirmed that for the working class to be able to fight for power it must establish its own social alliance with the poor farmers, oppressed urban strata.
It must conquer political power,create its own institutions of workers' power, which based on the superiority of central scientific planning, on the solid terrain safeguarded by social ownership of the means production, the factories, the domestic energy resources, mineral wealth, land, infrastructure will develop the productive forces for the satisfaction of the contemporary needs of the people, rejecting once and for all economic categories such as capitalist profit.
At the same time, October highlighted the irreplaceable role of the revolutionary political vanguard, the communist party, which must demonstrate persistence, stability in terms of its revolutionary line and goal and at the same time adapt to the ups and downs of the class struggle so that the necessary measures are taken for the more decisive and effective confrontation against the forces of capital.
The necessity of proper preparation was apparent so that the working class and its party, the vanguard, can struggle in all conditions, in all forms of struggle, with endurance and self-sacrifice and to acquire a high level of ability so that they can make their mark on the developments in the revolutionary situation.
However, the role of the CP is distinguished not only as the leading force of the socialist revolution, but during the entire course of the class struggle in various forms in order for the new communist society to be shaped, strengthened and finally be victorious.
In all the historical phases, both in the period of preparation, as well as during the revolution itself, even more so during socialist construction, the need for the CP to maintain a strong front against opportunism was apparent.
Opportunism is a vehicle of bourgeois ideology and politics in the labour movement, and as we saw from the experience of the USSR after the 20th Congress of the CPSU and more openly during the period of Perestroika, it is transformed into a counterrevolutionary political force.
The 70-year existence of the USSR demonstrated that, despite the weaknesses and criticisms, socialism is a superior socio-economic system.
A system that can safeguard the right to work for all and solve major problems, such as free health-care, education, housing, transport, leisure and many other things that capitalism cannot and does not seek to solve, as they are spheres for the profitability and speculation of capital.
The historical contribution of the USSR to humanity was enormous.
Not only was it an inspiration for all the labour-people's-revolutionary movements, but its work in every field of daily life, science, culture, sports, created a great legacy.
Demonstrating that the construction of a new society is possible.
That the barbarity of capitalism is not the end of history.
We well know that no previous socio-economic system (not even capitalism) was established in a single moment.
That the socialist society is the lowest phase of the communism and not an independent stage between capitalism and socialism.
It does not mean because we are active in the era of the transition from capitalism to socialism that there cannot be a capitalist restoration in one or more countries as a consequence, e.g., of the negative correlation of forces.
However, these general and correct assessments cannot lead us into concealing or excusing specific mistakes, mishaps, deficiencies and serious weaknesses that are related to the subjective factor, to the party above all, during the course of socialist construction, as well as in the international communist movement (ICM) in its confrontation against imperialism.
We are referring to specific political choices that altered, initially at a gradual rate, and later rapidly the class character and scientific basis of the political line of the CPs, and ended up as an opportunist deviation.
Unfortunately, they were not effectively resisted, even if there were such forces willing to do so. However, in the end, the course to capitalist restoration and the opportunist corrosion of the ICM became irreversible in this specific period.
We recognize that, especially after the 2nd World War and in the USSR in particular, new needs and unprecedented issues arose in terms of the course of socialist construction, as of course there was no previous experience or detailed and elaborated plan for construction.
This, however, does not excuse the responsibility of the subjective factor, of the CP, whose leading role is dialectically related to the guidance of workers power and the active mobilization of the masses.
And in these conditions of capitalism and in the conditions of socialism, the party must be more advanced than the consciousness of masses.
In socialism, however, there is the potential and therefore the responsibility to strengthen the socialist elements, practically reinforcing the value of communist relations of production, with socialist construction aiming to approach socialism, in the sense of consciously overcoming features of immaturity which socialism has as the lower imperfect phase of communism.
The womb that gave birth to mistaken views and choices that transformed into the socio-political and ideological force of the counterrevolution is to be found in the fact that while after the 2nd World War and the impressive reconstruction of the Soviet economy from the destruction from the war, while the development of the productive forces received new impetus, political decisions for the expansion of communist relations in agricultural production, decisions, in addition, which would have led to measures to develop and orient industry to resolve issues of mechanization and infrastructure, to form the suitable central planning.
During the period of the preparation and realization of the 19th Congress there was a significant and positive confrontation between various viewpoints. Some on the one side supported the role of commodity-money relations and the market in socialism and on the other side there were generally correct views that the law of value and commodity-money relations must not regulate socialist production and distribution, something that led to the realization of the fact that the Kolkoz and the circulation of products for private consumption in form of commodities had bean to become an obstacle to the development of the productive forces.
Unfortunately the above-initially correctly based-positions did not become the object of complete scientific theoretical work, consequently they could not effectively oppose the pro-market views that flourished not only in the ideological field but influenced the social base in the Kolkoz, amongst management cadres in agricultural production and industry.
Despite all this, the developments had not been determined once and for all. A turning point for the prevalence of the opportunist deviation in socialist construction was the 20th Congress of 1956, which in the name of dealing with existing problems, strengthened views about commodity-money relations, "market socialism", which in turn led to the weakening of central planning, to the policy of the self-management of enterprises, to the forming of commodity-money relations horizontally between enterprises, which meant the dissolution of central planning.
Problems also emerged in the strategy of the ICM, which of course were rooted not only in the CPs that led worker's power in the socialist countries, but also in the CPs of the capitalist countries, especially of Western Europe, which exerted in turn a general pressure in the ranks of the ICM.
The underestimation of capitalist reconstruction after the 2nd World War, in combination with the mistaken assessment that due to the creation of postwar socialist system there was the possibility of peaceful coexistence of the two systems played and important role as fertile ground for deviations.
In the assessment about the favourable change at the expense of imperialism, they calculated the role of the so-called non-aligned countries, i.e. of bourgeois states that had not entered imperialist alliances and unions, while in some cases, bourgeois movements that sought to upgrade their position in the global capitalist market or abolish vestiges of the colonial system in favour of the local bourgeoisie were considered to be anti-monopoly-antiimperialist movements.
The opportunist line of peaceful coexistence that existed with the view about a variety of forms of transition to socialism prevailed at the 20th Congress and were linked to the alleged possibilities for a parliamentary road to socialism under some some conditions, with the expansion of bourgeois democratic freedoms as the vehicle.
Pre-existing positions regarding the participation or support of CPs for governments on the terrain of capitalism, with the criterion of utilizing contradictions with the USA, with bourgeois forces that were separated into "national patriotic forces" and "anti-patriotic subservient forces", an issue that demonstrated that the relations of dependence and inequality were not assessed as an element intrinsic to the capitalist system, but were identified with subordinate policies.
A serious factor that led to the reinforcement of deviations in opposition to the need for a revolutionary strategy was the fear of a nuclear war.
Of course, some of the above ideological and political views and choices did not arise only in the postwar period, but emerged in essence in the inter-war period in decisions and and congresses of the Communist International.
After the war, the character of the elaborated and flexible strategy of capitalism towards socialism was underestimated, which was based after a point on the understanding that a foreign military intervention was no longer realistic, but the encirclement in other ways, as well as the utilization of difficulties in socialist construction and the deviations in the ranks of the CPs and ICM.
Serious warnings, not just signs, were underestimated about the relationship between internal deviations and the tactic of imperialist encirclement, which began with a systematic psychological warfare, also networks aimed at undermining socialism, triggering counterrevolutionary developments, and even the role of the IMF, of economic and trade relations of various socialist states that bordered the USSR.
Phenomena related to inciting and supporting counterrevolutionary activity existed in the 1950s. Especially later in the 1970s and 1980s, while the victory and overthrow of Allende's Popular Unity in Chile, the Carnations Revolution in Portugal, and the assessment of the capitalist economic crisis of 1973 were not thoroughly studied and taken on board.
Only the restoration of the revolutionary strategy of the ICM could deal with the imperialist interventionist policies and the opportunist deviations.
Through the decisive struggle against opportunism and reformism.
Through the restoration of the laws of socialist construction and the abolition of the strategy of stages and intermediate forms of power.
As the KKE, we fully understand that we have a long way in front of us in order to deepen our analysis of he factors that the led to the counterrevolution even further.
At the same time, we must constantly study the developments in the capitalist world, without shying away from sacrifices in the daily struggles to improve the position of the workers and deal with new attacks.
However, in this struggle we must acquire the maturity and readiness to respond in revolutionary conditions which cannot be predicted, when they will break out and in what form, in one or more countries.
We must help the preparation of the peoples so that they do not follow the banners of their bourgeois classes in the conditions of imperialist war, regardless of whether the one or the other state was the first to carry out the military attack or is on the defensive.
They must struggle to exit the war, if it cannot be prevented, fighting not only against the bourgeois class that is leading the war but also against the bourgeois class of their own country, because the bourgeoisie does not wish to and cannot guarantee peace and the protection of the homeland of the worker, the employee, the poor popular strata.
The revolutionary enthusiasm, the appetite for sacrifice, the communist selflessness and internationalist solidarity, are not just big talk and slogans for us.
They are based on the indivisible unity of theory and practice.
On the historical experience of the ICM and our party.
On the contribution of socialist construction.
On the position at the end of our Party programme:
The KKE has traveled a long way and has a long way to go because "the cause of the proletariat, communism, is the most universally human, the deepest, the broadest
LONG LIVE THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE OCTOBER SOCIALIST REVOLUTION
LONG LIVE MARXISM-LENINISM AND PROLETARIAN INTERNATIONALISM