20th International Meeting of Communist & Workers Parties Written Contribution of Russian CWP
Viktor Tyulkin, First Secretary of
Russian Communist Workers Party Central Committee
November 23-25 2018г. Athens, Greece
Unabridged text of RCWP contribution to the 20th International Meeting of Communist and Workers parties (solidnet): «Modern working class and its unions. Tasks of the political vanguard – communist and workers parties in the struggle against exploitation and imperialistic wars, for the rights of workers and peoples, for peace and Socialism”.
Plan and theses:
Dear comrades in arms, let me greet all the participants of the 20th Meeting on behalf of Russian Communist Workers Party. We’d like to express our special gratitude to the host of the meeting – to the heroic Communist Party of Greece. We congratulate Greek comrades on the centennial anniversary of their party! KKE adheres to revolutionary Marxism and for most of communist parties this party serves as an example of the organization of working class struggle. In was exactly on initiative of KKE that our regular meetings started in 1998 and now we have already the 20th meeting. We started in Greece and here we are again in Athens after 20 years. This is a good reason to sum up our deeds and come to some basic conclusions.
It’s clear that for all the complex and scientific descriptions of the theme to discuss, all of us prefer to talk about the subjects that seem to participants to be of greatest importance. The main concern of our party is to discuss the reasons for the defeat of Socialism in USSR and in Eastern Europe, the lessons for the communist movement as a whole and the ways to overcome the mistakes. 20 years ago when making my speech here at our first meeting I answered the question on what were the reasons of the defeat of CPSU and Socialism in USSR as follows: the main reasons for the defeat were internal. To put it briefly: the power wasn’t Soviet any more, whereas the party wasn’t communist at the times of Gorbachev. CPSU under Gorbachev stopped representing the interests of working class and took the course toward market economy, i.e. to Capitalism and towards political pluralism, i.e. to bourgeois parliamentarianism. Thus, the party had led Soviet people to Capitalism as if to say “under the Red Banner”. We represent the part of CPSU that was against those processes and we are of the opinion that all international communist movement should make corresponding conclusions.
From our current point of view, we all as worldwide workers’ movement have made little progress in analyzing those events and sometimes have even rolled back.
Last year we celebrated the centennial anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution. CPRF was the host of the event then and we met in Leningrad and Moscow. The celebration was carried out basically in the form of extensive festivities, even including attending the cosplay “parade” in the Red Square (though it was the first time in the history of our meetings that there was not enough time for all the participants to make their reports). We actually didn’t have too many reasons to celebrate as we met the anniversary of the Great October where it took place under conditions of temporary defeat of its cause. That’s why we think that we shouldn’t have allocated so much time to celebrations.
In August 2017 (centennial anniversary of the VI Congress of RSDRP that decided to start preparations for the armed insurrection) our party invited parties that adhere to Marxism-Leninism to take part in a conference held in Leningrad where we together analyzed our own mistakes while keeping in mind the famous expression of Lenin: “Nobody can defeat us but for our own mistakes”. Forty Marxist orthodox parties presented their analysis and conclusions. In the end there was adopted a joint declaration “CENTENNILA ANNIVERSARY OF THE GREAT OCTOBER SOCIALIST REVOLUTION – LESSONS AND TASKS FOR MODERN COMMUNISTS” – “October-100”.
The proceedings of the conference reflect the basic principle: Communism is science and it should be treated as such. In the declaration adopted at the conference there have been summed up and described both main achievements of the Soviet Power and the main mistakes committed. These mistakes are as follows:
- theoretical: rejection of the proletarian dictatorship concept and adoption of the nationwide state;
- political: rejection of the Soviet type of power where Soviets are based on objective reality that is common for working people – i.e. their organization in the process of material production, transition to parliament;
- economical: rejection of the planned, directly social nature of socialist production and introduction of commodity production, transition to market. All attempts to introduce socialist commoditization will inevitably bring about the destruction of Socialism. Now this is not only scientifically grounded thesis, unfortunately, this was also proven by history.
These mistakes have been repeated by both oppositional parties, as well as parties in power that bear the name “communist”. That is the crisis of communist movement has not only been overcome, it hasn’t been properly diagnosed. The situation nowadays resembles general transformation and degradation of the old parties at the times of II International.
In many countries of the world imperialists have been banning communist parties’ activities (e.g. Baltic states and Ukraine), making illegal communist symbols, preventing communists from taking part in elections etc. Anticommunist propaganda of various degree of rabidity has been spread everywhere. Still, these are not these bans that has come to be the main method adopted by anticommunists, their main tool is leading into false direction, emasculation of programs and goals of communist movement.
RCWP claims that under the influence of bourgeoisie, opportunism and revisionism have changed their nature and turned into a powerful guided weapon of imperialism. The most familiar example of such transformation is the trend of so called eurocommunism that gave birth to the Party of European Left. The right bias in Russia has also not ended with Gorbachev, the destruction of USSR and CPSU in 1991. The political course of Gorbachev in Russian Federation has been carried on by parliamentary party with communist name – i.e. by CPRF. It’s quite obvious that such parties don’t pose any threat to bourgeoisie and are in fact supported by the regime. These are our class enemies. Bourgeoisie has come to learn perfectly well how to castrate revolutionary ideas.
Characteristic features of such parties are as follows:
- claims that the limits for revolutions have been up;
- they not only reject proletarian dictatorship in the period preceding the construction of full communism, they also refuse to organize class struggle now;
- in practice they announce that parliamentarianism means the power of people and try to adopt to the system in the role of responsible and constructive opposition. Adherence to the model of market socialism;
This is a typical occurrence in communist movement worldwide. Simply put this is the adaptation of parties to capitalism under the guise of presenting themselves as parliamentary defenders of people.
As the result of this right transformation of communist parties masses are withdrawn from real political struggle and the role of working people is limited to this of electorate at the polling stations that give their votes to party leaders. The strategy of such opportunistic parties is limited to promises of success by way of next elections, these promises given to working people, whereas their struggles are limited to the struggle for honest elections. In case of success, opportunists promise some center-left governments or governments of people’s trust etc. Such limiting their activities to parliament only brings the parties a reward in the form of seats in elected bodies and in executive offices (like governors’ posts). More and more often they conclude behind the curtain deals, agree upon candidates or withdraw some of them when necessary, they get adequate financing from state budgets. European Left are among the most familiar example, whereas financing of parliamentary parties in Russian Federation from the state budget has increased 328-fold since 2003.
Such parties don’t recognize other forms of extra-parliamentary class struggle, or just pay them lip service while actually hampering them. In fact, they ensure the stability of bourgeois democracy by way of suggesting people the
Our program presumes that working people should develop struggle of their own. To reach any goal one has to struggle, begging brings nothing. Providing the struggle reaches certain degree of scope and organization, one can start considering the issue of taking power by working people – i.e. of the Soviet Power.
Meanwhile we have been feeling the most severe pressure of reaction, still we have to keep our resolve and struggle in order to deliver the revolutionary spark to the powder keg of people’s energy on time.
Lenin said: “Whether there will be revolution or not doesn’t depend solely on us. Nevertheless, we shall do what we should and these deeds will never get lost”. The task of Socialism is not in the least limited to only proclaiming power of people, working people should have real practical possibility to exercise this power. From our point of view, all the parties should study and reproduce the experience of Soviets. Soviets represent the most adequate form of realization power of working people, the organizational form of proletarian dictatorship. Working masses should participate in the struggle themselves, and this matters most of all. Initially they should take part in making the decision on taking power, later, under Socialism, they should participate in the implementation of proletarian dictatorship – i.e. universal involvement of working people in the management of the state as Lenin saw it should take place. It wouldn’t not be possible and just irresponsible to urge people to take part in the struggle, unless we have clear perception of what we are going to construct and how we are going to do this.
We in Russia focus upon creating class trade unions while using the experience of our Greek comrades from PAME, we also try to implement the tactics of alliances and Workers’ Front. To be frank, we cannot tell that we’ve been very much successful in establishing mass movement. Our opponents from parliamentary opposition often ask us gloatingly: where on earth are your proletarian battalions made of steel?
We have to answer that meanwhile workers go to polling stations as petitioners, in particular, this is due to your politics. Zyganov claims that it was three times when he and CPRF saved the country from crisis and collapse – in 1993 after the massacre of the Supreme Soviet, in 1996 when Zyganov gave up the results of the presidential elections and in 1998 after the default and coming to power of Primakov’s cabinet. It was essentially the regime of Eltsyn that was saved then.
We believe that our task is to retain and develop Marxist-Leninist political theory and practice for the future communist movement in Russia that nobody will be able to put out.
WE lived under Socialism and know for sure that the relations between people used to be much better, much more fair, chaste and honest, much more human. This is worth to struggle for!
One of the crucial theoretical issues pertaining to the development of Socialism is the issue of promotion of post-commodity system that means directly social production that is free from all traces of commoditization. This issue has been not only of great interest, but also a matter of dispute that has been splitting world communist movement. It’s clear that first of all here is meant CPC and the “Chinese type of Socialism”. Our reply to market oriented comrades that urge us to follow the example of Chine is as follows: unless you reach classical Socialism with directly social production, you’ll inevitably find yourself within plain commodityCapitalism. We’d like to avoid seeing in China the implementation of Gorbachev’s dream to move to Capitalism under the Red Banner.
Economic successes of China are indeed impressive and command respect, but they do not necessarily mean success in Socialist construction. As Lenin used to put it – a similar satisfaction can be obtained under Capitalism as well. In the list of countries with the biggest number billionaires China is ranked the second, whereas Russia is the third. It’s clear that both countries are very far away from construction of classless society, i.e. Communism. Chinese Capitalism has been even more increasing its reactionary role worldwide (it’s enough to remember the massacre of workers at Chinese oil drilling enterprises in Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan in 2011, as well as the current struggle of Greek workers and in particular the trade union ENEDEP of dockworkers against privatization of Piraeus by Chinese company COSCO. In Russia there has been observed increasing of tension and opposition to the expansion of foreign companies, esp. Chinese ones in the territories with special economic regime (TOR) in the Far East. There the authorities let foreign companies to ruthlessly exploit land and rob natural resources over extended period of time (70 years). All this may lead to direct clashes with local population and naturally causes growth of nationalistic feelings. All this taken into account we believe that it’s too early to tell about the success of Chinese Socialism and one can rather describe the process as expansion of Chinese imperialism).
We think that inclusion of CPC representatives into Working Group will further increase the general right bias.
We believe it’s necessary to mark a special role that modern capitalist Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin have been playing in spreading anticommunism. On the one hand, RF is allegedly the assignee of USSR and is viewed by many people as anti-imperialist force that resists USA and NATO and contributes to the just struggle of people in Syria and Donbass (though we always warn everybody that RF conducts backroom negotiations and may betray). On the other hand the country has sort of overcome Communism and is in the process of establishing normal life under bourgeois democracy. Russian authorities herewith have been carrying out refined and gradual, but still adamant politics of anti-communism and anti-sovietism. They blacken and distort history, they lie and exaggerate past mistakes and difficulties, still they appropriate past successes and victories and boast of them. Thus, RF portrays herself as the heir to the victors over Fascism, as defender of national-liberation movements and progressive forces all over the world, as the successor of the pioneers of space research. The authorities have even gone so far as to allow recognizing the role of Stalin as constructor of the state and the Supreme Commander.
They present the events of the past so as if the achievements of Socialism had not been the outcome of the socialist social order, but were rather obtained despite and contrary to it and to the horrors of totalitarianism. Russian authorities carry this politics out through the system of education, through mass media and cinema, literature, through introduction of religion. The last World Festival of Youth and Students in Sochi, Russia can demonstrate this tactics well. Dances and festivities, elements of anti-Americanism Putin’s style instead of anti-capitalism and anti-imperialist struggle constitute the essence of the event.
Against this background, the outwardly friendly relations of Putin’s RF and communist Chine, as well as with Cuba, Vietnam and DPRK give the people of Russia as well as of other countries the impression of regularity and positivity of counterrevolutionary changes. (Example. Chairman of China Xi Jinping in the cause of the BRICS summit held in India in 2016 congratulated Putin on the victory of the party United Russia in parliamentary elections: “Recently there have been successfully completed parliamentary elections to Duma of new convocation. United Russia has won decisively and this ensures stability and good political background for further sustainable development of Russia”. He actually congratulates Putin on the improving of the basis of anti-communism and anti-sovietism and strengthening of Capitalism. No comment.). It’s obvious that international communist movement should resist these lies.
In XX Century the parties that adhered to orthodox, i.e. revolutionary Marxism united themselves into Communist (the third) International, this being a reaction to the prostitute like transformation of the II International parties. In the 21 conditions of admission to Comintern there were described tasks of communist parties, i.e. their responsibilities, whereas the struggle for proletarian dictatorship, for the revolutionary nature of the parties, the struggle against opportunism were listed as the most important. The issue of Comintern’s dissolution needs a special consideration, still one thing is clear: the main outcome of its activities was the defeat of Fascism and creation of world socialist system with the powerful nucleus in the form USSR and the countries of CMEA.
Soviet Union saved world civilization by its decisive contribution to the victory over Nazism. What matters even more is the fact that this victory demonstrated benefits of Socialism over Capitalism. On reconstruction of the ruined economy in the shortest possible terms USSR turned into one of the most educated countries of the world and could demonstrate advanced science and technologies. This was the reason why the precedence in space research came naturally. The first man on Earth who went into space on board the cosmic ship “Vostok” was a soviet pilot, a worker, communist Yuri Gagarin.
Soviet Union has influenced greatly the total course of human history. Socialism of USSR and of other socialist countries, its social achievements forced capitalists to give concessions and introduce more extended and concrete social guarantees to working people in their countries.
The main lesson that Lenin gave to all proletarian parties (in its narrow sense) is as follows: Bolsheviks could raise working class and people of Russia to revolution not because they joined all sort of opposition, but first of all because they defeated opportunism of Mensheviks in workers’ movement both in the field of theory and organization.
In the world there are still many parties that adhere to revolutionary Marxism. Theoretical thought is still active, the work of scientists who stick to Marxism-Leninism goes on. All this means that the task of integration of Marxists carried out through delimitation with those who distort Marxism is still actual. Eventually, we’ll have to take this task. Without the solution of this issue, the struggle of working class is doomed to stalemate.
Taking into account the processes of imperialistic globalization of the world economy, we have to go back to the issue of possibility of socialist revolution in one separate country with unique conditions of self-sufficiency as in Russia, this revolution to be assisted by proletariat from other countries. Sure that the revolution in a number of countries would be more advisable. That’s why the topic of proletarian internationalism and the task of revolutionary Marxism victory over opportunism acquire special import.
Our party has unequivocally sorted it out with this issue and we are not going to falter!