We reproduce the Theses of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) for the 20th Congress from March 30th to April 2nd. Download this document as PDF: Click here.
The Central Committee of the KKE publishes its Theses for the 20th Congress of the KKE, which will be held from the 30th of March to the 2nd of April 2017, four years after the 19th Congress, in line with our Statutes.
From the 19th Congress we have a new programme that expresses the elaborated strategy of the party for workers’ power, socialism, and provides directions for the leading activity of the party under all conditions.
The Programme that was adopted by the 19th Congress of the KKE and the Congress decisions as a whole have met with mass acceptance inside the party and KNE, and also amongst the supporters and friends of the party, more broadly amongst working class and popular forces in Greek society. This acceptance is borne out in practise by the significant activity developed by the Party and KNE on the basis of the decisions of the 19th Congress.
Despite all this, this deep agreement with our decisions, as well as the work developed in all the party’s fields of activity in the framework of the efforts to implement these decisions, does not lead us to complacency, self-satisfaction, and even more so to a lack of concern about the weaknesses, deficiencies and about how and to what extent the Programme and Statutes have been understood and are best served by our activity.
Furthermore, however, life itself, the domestic and foreign developments, the course of the international and Greek labour movement, the activity of the Party and KNE, the trajectory of the class struggle as a whole, constantly give rise to new elements that must be stably monitored and taken into account in relation to the party’s activity. These new elements can create new difficulties, but in parallel create -even if it is not always apparent to the naked eye-new possibilities.
The international and domestic economic-political developments that have taken place from the 19th Congress until today, the conclusions and the experience that is drawn from them, as well as the tasks that arise from the analysis and study of them, also determine to a great extent the content of the 20th Congress’ theme. We seek to provide- as best we can-answers, interpretations, predictions in relation to this and, on this basis, guidelines for the next period.
The basic goal of the Theses of the CC for the 20th Congress and the inner-party discussion that will begin after their publication, as well as the final decisions of the Congress, is the comprehensive ideological-political-organizational steeling of the party and its youth as a party for the revolutionary overthrow. This steeling is a necessary precondition so that we can carry out the complex tasks of regrouping the labour movement, of the struggle against imperialist war, of the construction of the social alliance in an anticapitalist antimonopoly direction with workers’ power as its goal.
This steeling of the party also determines its ability to prepare the workers-popular masses for these tasks through the development of the labour-people’s movement and the promotion of the alliance of the popular strata in a direction of rupture with and overthrow of the capitalist system. This is even more valid in conditions where everything seems immobile or moves slowly towards the goal of the workers’-people’s counterattack or is even characterized by setbacks.
In the Theses, we attempt to specialize, as far as we can, regarding aspects of this preparation and the activity that serves it. We are trying to identify the difficulties that we have to face today, but also to predict possible new difficulties that will emerge in the course of the development of the class struggle in our country and internationally, in the international communist and workers’ movement. At the same time, of course, we acquire the ability and readiness to utilize any possibilities, smaller or larger, that are created by the twists and turns of historic events.
We analyse the preconditions that are required so that we can proceed in an organized and dynamic way, with communist daring, responsibility and vigilance:
Building “all-weather” party organizations in strategically important workplaces and sectors.
Developing a network of party organizations everywhere the heart of the working class and popular strata beats.
Strengthening the KKE and KNE so that they can play their vanguard role.
Widening the influence and reach of the party into new working class-popular masses that express discontent towards the capitalist system, poverty and unemployment which it creates, as well as towards all the managers of the capitalist economy and the rotten and corrupt bourgeois political system, the bourgeois state.
Carrying out leading work for the regroupment of the labour and trade union movement.
Promoting the social alliance of the workers of the private and public sector, the toiling farmers and other self-employed and integrating more and more forces from the youth and women from the popular families into it.
In addition to the issues related to “mapping out” the domestic and international situation, the themes of the 20th Congress centre on the report of work of the Central Committee and the Party as a whole, on the new tasks and programme of activity up until the 21st Congress, as well as the election of a new CC and Central Audit Committee.
The basic content of theme of the 20th Congress in a condensed form is as follows:
“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.”
The Theses are comprised of 4 major chapters and various subsections.
The first chapter engages with the developments in the international imperialist system and includes assessments on the economic-social developments in the world at the end of the second decade of the 21st century. It identifies the arenas where the inter-imperialist antagonisms are sharpening, where there is an increase of local and regional conflicts and the dangers for a more generalized imperialist war in the conditions where the victims of war have increased the flows of refugees and immigrants. The adjustments-modernizations of the repressive apparatuses of the bourgeois states and their inter-state unions are being pushed to the fore on this terrain.
The second chapter engages with Greece’s position in the international capitalist system, its position inside the European Union, the relations between the national and international dimension in terms of capitalist development and the class struggle.
The third chapter concerns the assessment of today’s developments in Greece, both in relation to the Greek economy and also in relation to the situation of the working class and the other popular strata. It makes an evaluation of the government’s political line, as well as of the course of the reformation of the bourgeois political system, as this is developing, particularly over the last four years.
The fourth chapter consists of the report of work since the 19th Congress and the new tasks of the party and its youth organization until the next 21st Congress. It has as its centre the entire report of work of the four year period concerning the strengthening of the party and KNE, the axes of the party’s ideological-political intervention, the regroupment of the labour movement, the course of the social alliance. An attempt is made to more effectively shed light on the issue of the relationship between the party and movement in this report. This chapter engages in particular with the course of party building, the organizational redeployment of the party forces, the issue of the cadres, the party’s finances, the situation in the international communist movement and the activity and cooperation of the KKE with other communist and workers parties in the world. There is an overall summary assessment concerning the performance of the Central Committee and the proposals of the CC are tabled for the new activities that will be scheduled for the period up to the 21st Congress.
The year when the 20th Congress will be held is the year of the 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917 in Russia, headed by the Party of Lenin that paved the way for the working class and peoples all over the world to struggle and take power into their own hands. Irrespective of the mistakes, the weaknesses and deficiencies, of the fact that it ended in a counterrevolution and historic setback, the ice broke, the course was charted, the road opened.
In addition, the KKE will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its life and activity since its foundation in November 1918 in Piraeus. During this course it stood tall, was present in all the people’s struggles, highlighted the path of struggle for the new society, for the final liberation of the working class, the abolition of the exploitation of man by man, socialism-communism.
At the same time, the KKE demonstrates through its own revolutionary character and activity the reason why, despite its 100-year history, it is the youngest party: Because what it proclaims for the relations of ownership, for all the social relations, for social organization as a whole is the new, necessary and only progressive future for humanity. Because the first attempt in history to construct the socialist-communist society, the first efforts, demonstrated this trend, despite the fact that it did not acquire the internal and external strength to be victorious in the end.
The Central Committee of the KKE calls on the members of the Party and KNE to study the Theses, to contribute to improving them with their concerns, proposals, suggestions so that the final decisions reflect the multi-faceted individual and collective experience accumulated over these years.
The pre-congress discussion in any case also means the discussion of the Theses with the aim of collecting the opinions and observations of the friends and supporters of the party, of every militant man and woman who-regardless of the various views they may have-understand the necessity of a much stronger KKE. A KKE with scientifically elaborated theses, powerful in the struggle for the necessary regroupment of the movement, in the struggle against exploitation, imperialist war and poverty, in the struggle for the construction of the social alliance in an anticapitalist-antimonopoly direction, for the social overthrow and workers’ power.
DEVELOPMENTS IN THE INTERNATIONAL IMPERIALIST SYSTEM AND CONSEQUENCES
The economic-social developments in the world at the end of the second decade of the 21st century
1. In the four years that have passed since the 19th Congress, the same tendency for realignments amongst the capitalist economies has basically continued, which has been apparent for the last 15 years. In brief, the basic features of the developments are:
a) The strengthening of China in relation to the USA and Eurozone, with their share of the Gross World Product as a criterion. As a result of this fact the competition between China and the USA is sharpening, which is still in the first position, despite the trend for its share to shrink.
b) The slowdown of the rate of growth of the international capitalist economy in the last three years, without any imperialist centre emerging in order to function as the motor force to increase the rate of growth. An important feature is that fact that certain imperialist centres (EU, Japan) have not in essence exceeded the pre-crisis levels of 2008.
c) The large quantity of over-accumulated capital and the inability of the bourgeois governments in all the imperialist centres to devalue it in a controlled and satisfactory way (e.g.in the form of an inflated state debt).
d) The sharpening of the basic contradiction, the reinforcement of the trend for the absolute and relative destitution of the working class, above all in the most developed capitalist economies, the increase of the level of the exploitation and the sharpening of all the social contradictions.
e) The impact of uneven development amongst the various member-states of the inter-state imperialist alliances, such as the EU. This fact, in combination with the increase of the divergence of interests between the bourgeois classes of these states, increases the uncertainty regarding the cohesion of these specific alliances.
The global capitalist economy is permeated by the following contradiction: On the one hand, the trend for capital expansion (both in the form of Foreign Direct Investments and also through the movement of money capital) intensifies the international synchronization of the periodic outbreaks of crises of capital over-accumulation, and on the other, the various competing interests of the imperialist centres and the various bourgeois states impede the joint management of capital devaluation.
2. More generally, the developments confirm that the objective trend for the internationalization of the movement of capital in the framework of the capitalist market cannot negate the impact of the law uneven development, or cancel out the reality that the reproduction of social capital is chiefly carried out in the framework of the nation-state formation of the capitalist economy.
The conditions for the expanded reproduction of the capital of the monopoly groups, the stock companies, continue in their majority to be formed in the framework of the nation states and the various inter-state imperialist alliances which they participate in. The bourgeois nation state remains then the basic organ that safeguards the economic dominance of capital, the monopolies, the concentration and centralization of capital in competition with similar processes and aims in other states. It remains an important arena for the relentless class struggle between capital and labour.
The inter-imperialist contradictions and the intra-bourgeois struggle inside every bourgeois state are intensifying, on the basis of this contradictory functioning of the capitalist economy.
In this period, the bourgeois current of nationalism and protectionism is being temporarily strengthened in the economy, both in the USA and G. Britain as well as in powerful Euro zone states like France and Italy. Various parties of bourgeois euroscepticism express this specific current in the EU. The current of protectionism is developing as a choice of sections of the bourgeois class in the USA and EU in order to defend themselves against the deterioration of the conditions of competition, above all of their industrial capital, particularly in conditions of the slowdown of the international capitalist economy.
The intervention of the bourgeois political line in order to curb a significant devaluation of capital in essence delays the beginning of a new phase of dynamic capitalist recovery and increases the impasses of the bourgeois political system. The apparent strengthening of the political line of protectionism will have a negative impact on the development of international trade which is already at relatively low levels. At the same time, the inter-imperialist antagonisms and contradictions are sharpening. The danger of more extensive, more generalized imperialist military conflicts is objectively increasing. The possibility of realignments and the disturbance of the cohesion of imperialist alliances, like NATO, is also increasing.
The KKE consistently and comprehensively fights against both bourgeois nationalism and the cosmopolitanism of capital which are two aspects of the ideology of the ruling class. It is in favour of the international unity of the working class and its movement.
Every communist and workers party, the international communist movement, the working class and its movement in all countries must be prepared for the possibility of a more generalized imperialist war. They must oppose the various warmongering nationalist battle cries and the creation of an atmosphere of hostility of the people towards another people. They must chart a line of struggle that does not detach the defence of borders and sovereign rights-from the standpoint of the working class and popular strata-from the struggle to overthrow the power of capital in every country. The communist and workers movement, representing the interests of the working class, of the peoples, which do not have any relationship with defending the plans of the various imperialist poles and the profitability of the various monopoly groups.
More specifically as regards the global capitalist economy
3. The USA continues to be in 1st place as regards its share of the Gross World Product, however with a marked tendency towards this decreasing. It is predicted that 2016 will end with a minor slowdown of the US economy, with the main factor acting as a brake being the reduction of exports, which is related to the revaluation of the international dollar rate and the slowdown of trade transactions at an international level.
The share of the Eurozone in the GWP is showing a reduction, while the share of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) is increasing.
China is in 2nd place as regards it share of the GWP. Its rate of growth in 2015 (6.9%) remains high, even it has decreased significantly and is at its lowest point during the last 20 years, with a trend for a further decrease. This fact is causing more general concern in the centres of international capitalism, due to the possible major consequences that a significant decrease of the growth rate of the Chinese economy would have for the global capitalist economy. These are fears are provoked by its large share of the international market (large share of international trade, of financial investments in foreign bonds etc.).
Respectively, the predictions for a very slow and weak recovery of the EU focus on the comparatively lower rate of productivity in comparison to the USA and on the consequences of the tight monetary and restrictive fiscal policy, which in turn hold back the rate of new investments. The difficulty in managing the indebted states and the international banking groups, as well as the major deficits in the balance of payments of states, are continuing and causing “headaches” for the state and inter-state apparatuses.
The global state debt increased by 27 trillion dollars in the 2007-2014 period, increasing its percentage in relation to the GWP by 20.8% (Mckinsey Report, 2015).
Leading European banking groups (Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Barclays, RBS, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, etc.)are undergoing a significant devaluation of their share capital and losses. Deutsche Bank, the largest German bank, announced losses of 6.8 billion euros and has exposure to derivatives worth 55 trillion euros. The banking sector in Italy is burdened with non-performing “red” loans of 360 billion euros, 16.7% of all loans.
The contradictions between the USA and China are sharpening, as well as amongst other powerful capitalist states
4. The competition between the USA and China and between the USA and Russia is sharpening at the economic-military level.
China is already the USA’ s most significant creditor-state. The USA’s relative share of the GWP decreased from 31% in 2000 to 23% in 2015, while China’s share has increased from 3.6% in 2000 to 14.9% in 2015. In relation to their trade transactions, 8.95% of imports to China come from the USA, while 21.8% of imports to the USA come from China, a fact that explains the current concerns of the US bourgeois political system. China’s export of commodities to the EU has also increased. China’s share of imports to the EU increased from 5.2% in 2000 to 13.8% in 2015, while in the same period the share of the USA decreased from 14% to 10.2%.
The USA still possesses the first position in the pyramid of the international capitalist system, in terms of economic, political and military strength. In parallel with its supremacy in the IMF and World Bank, it formed two basic proposals during the period of the Obama administration in order to reinforce its presence in the European and Asian markets.
As regards Europe, the “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” with the EU (TTIP), while as regards Asia, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was proposed, from which China is excluded. The US proposal for the TTIP has been aptly described as a proposal for the creation of an “economic NATO”. If it is implemented, and there are already inter-capitalist contradictions being expressed over such a prospect, it is assessed that it will cover 50% of global production, 30% of global trade and 20% of Foreign Direct Investments internationally. The so-called “Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement” (CETA) that was recently between the EU and Canada is a precursor and a launching pad for the TTIP.
A section of the German and French bourgeois class assesses that the US proposal is in essence a “Trojan Horse” in order to safeguard US hegemony in Europe. The negotiations have been proceeding tortuously since 2013, with the characteristic reactions of the French President Hollande, the German Vice-Chancellor Gabriel and various leaders of the “eurosceptic” current, like Le Pen.
The strengthening of the bourgeois current of nationalism and protectionism of the economy, which was reflected in Trumps’ victory in the US presidential elections, signals the re-examination of the aforementioned plans of the previous US government.
Before the elections, Trump took a negative position towards the inter-state free trade agreements of the USA in the Pacific (TPP) and in the Atlantic (TTIP), talking about the need for tariff protection of domestic production with the aim of boosting US industrial production. At the same time, he posed the issue of re-examining the current agreements of the World Trade Organization (WTO).In addition, he also highlighted as prospect the radical renegotiation of the US foreign debt, leaving the possibility of a haircut open, while he also talked in essence about the need to re-examine US foreign policy, with as its basic features rapprochement with Russia on the one hand and targeting China as the main opponent of the USA on the other. After his election, he has already softened some positions with milder statements in relation to his tough line before the elections; this softening is due to the fact that as President he now expresses the general interests of the US ruling class. Despite all this, he has clearly announced the US withdrawal from the TPP..
5. On the other side, China in 2014 presented the initiative “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR), i.e. the creation of a free trade zone, a network that will unite China with the rest of Asia, Europe and Africa through preferential economic agreements. The plan includes a land and a sea route which are called the “21st-century Silk Road and Maritime Silk Road». At the end of 2014, the state fund to finance the infrastructure for the Silk Road (Silk Road Fund) was activated with 40 billion dollars of start-up capital (e.g.in order to finance high-speed railway lines, the modernization of ports etc.)
At the same time, China played a leading role in establishing the New Development Bank (NDB) of the BRICS, as well as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which numbers amongst its 57 members Britain, France, Germany but not the USA. These are two initiatives that constitute an “economic response” to US hegemony in the IMF and World Bank.
Despite the disagreement of the rest of the BRICS members (Brazil, Russia, India and S. Africa), China imposed its leading role in the New Development Bank (NDB), both through safeguarding the greater share in composition of the start-up capital and also through the choice of Shanghai as its headquarters.
6. At the level of economic competition, a significant development is the testing of the continuing cohesion of the EU and the future prospects of the Eurozone, especially after the victory of the Brexit in the referendum held in Britain. This reality makes the inter-imperialist competition even more complex and increases the fluidity of the current inter-state collaborations. The developments in the EU impact on the developments and contradictions in Greece, an issue that is examined in more detail in the following chapter.
The new, more synchronized economic crisis which is on the way, the sharpening of the struggle to control markets, energy resources and oil and natural gas transport routes, the existing war flashpoints in the Middle East and Ukraine, the friction in Eastern and Central Europe in relation to Russia, in the Arctic and South China Sea, increase the danger of a wider imperialist war.
Class inequality is expanding in the world
7. Class inequality is constantly expanding at a global level. The unequal distribution of the world’s wealth was further intensified after the international synchronized capitalist crisis. According to the annual research on global wealth (carried out by Credit Suisse), 90% of the population possesses about 10% of the wealth, while the poorest 75% possess less than 3% of the wealth. Indeed, of the 10% of the population that possesses 90% of the wealth, 1% alone possesses almost 50% of the wealth. At the same time, 71% of the world’s population lives with less than the equivalent of 8 euros per day.
The results of these class inequalities are also reflected in the lack of access of 780 million people to clean water, the lack of access of 2.5 billion people to health facilities and 1.3 billion people’s lack of access to electricity.
Almost 3 billion people gather wood and biomass residues in order to cook, a practice that is connected to 3.5 million premature deaths due to poor indoor air quality.
Finally, almost 800 million people are recorded as being chronically malnourished, while 3.5 million people die from hunger every year.
An intensification of local-regional military conflicts and the increasing danger of their generalization
8. The very sharp inter-imperialist antagonisms and the major contradictions of powerful capitalist states and interests are today leading to continuous upheavals in the alliances, to the constant phenomena of the creation of axes and anti-axes internationally.
The intensity of the inter-imperialist antagonisms has led not only to an increase in military spending, but also to changes in position amongst the capitalist states in terms of military strength. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), global military spending in 2015 reached 1.7 trillion dollars, with an increase of 1% in relation to 2014.
The USA remains the strongest military power on the planet, spending more than 600 billion dollars a year, i.e. what the next ten strongest military powers spend combined.
Russia is the second strongest military power. With the modernization and reinforcement of its military strength, it seeks to safeguard the economic interests of its monopolies. So, in 2015 it spent 66.4 billion dollars, a 7.5% increase in relation to 2014 and a 91% increase in relation to 2006.
The “race” in this period of China and India (the 3rd and 4th military powers in the world) to cover deficiencies and upgrade their military power in order to correspond to the economic strength and reach of their business groups is also noteworthy.
Other states that are allies of the USA have also concentrated significant military strength, either in the framework of NATO, such as France (5th), G.Britain (6th), Turkey (8th), Germany (9th), Italy (10th) or outside NATO, like Japan (7th), S.Korea (11th) and Israel (16th).
Of course, military strength is not determined just by calculating military spending, the arms potential and control of the global production of weapons and arms trade, but also by a more complex issue that is related to the overall ability of each bourgeois class to defend its interests, both inside the country and also at an international level, using military means, when economic and political-diplomatic means are not sufficient.
So, apart from annual military spending, military power is also related to the size of military forces acquired over time, technological superiority, the existence of bases outside borders in combination with the control of territories of strategic importance, the superiority in collecting information, the ability to conduct unorthodox warfare. Military power depends on economic power, although a strong economic presence of a state does not necessarily mean it is militarily strong. The latter presupposes a strong military industry, the ability to train and retrain forces in the art of war and the relevant new technologies, the continuous modernization of the military means and a high level of expertise that as regards some types of weapons, such as nuclear weapons, requires many years of research and a great deal of spending.
9. Nuclear weapons are of great importance in today’s era. The states that possess nuclear weapons are the USA, Russia, China, India, Britain, France, Israel, Pakistan and N.Korea.
Nevertheless, there are also enormous differences amongst these nuclear powers, as the USA and Russia stand out amongst them in terms of their nuclear potential. Apart from these two countries, which have thousands of nuclear warheads ready for launch, only Britain and France possess nuclear weapons ready for use, and possibly Israel.
Russia is potentially the only military power that can respond to the USA, if it is on the receiving end a nuclear strike, causing enormous destruction. It is thought that this danger acts in a way to prevent the use of nuclear weapons. However, it has been demonstrated historically that in the instance of a sharpening of the inter-imperialist competition and its escalation into a military conflict, the capitalist states do not hesitate even to utilize such weapons.
Based on the above, it is understood the reason why one of the crucial issues related to the current confrontation between the USA and Russia is the installation of the US anti-missile “shield” in Europe and the Pacific region. These moves serve the aim of impeding a possible Russian response, if the USA and the NATO alliance attempt a “first nuclear strike”.
The potential for military rapid response is also of great importance. NATO pays a great deal of attention to forming military rapid response units, which of course need modern infrastructure, like aircraft carriers or strategic bomber aircraft in order to be able to carry out their tasks, as well as new territories as a form of geopolitical support, something that is served by political-military alliances and bases in foreign countries.
In the next period, the military correlation of forces will be decisively influenced by the utilization of new technology, 5th and 6th generation aircraft, laser weapons etc.
Political-military alliances and confrontations
10. Every bourgeois class seeks to increase its strength through political-military alliances. NATO continues to constitute the strongest political-military alliance, despite the sharpening of the contradictions inside it and the apparent trend for the formation of an independent EU military apparatus. The decisions taken by NATO in Warsaw “set the tone” regarding the determination of the US and European imperialists to defend their interests against the bourgeois class of Russia, utilizing the military means they possess along the entire perimeter of the Russia-NATO borders.
NATO and the USA are developing similar plans to strengthen their presence in the Pacific region (with the “pivot to Asia” strategy), as well as in other regions.
As regards the arenas of existing or potential military confrontations, the SE Mediterranean, SE Asia , N.Africa and the Arctic Circle stand out, without ruling out other possible flashpoints or volatile regions, like the Caucasus, the Persian Gulf, the Aden region and the Balkans.
In addition, the military confrontations in Europe (SE Ukraine, Crimea) as well as the reinforcement of NATO in the Baltic, Black Sea and also in the Balkans and Aegean, are factors that militate in favour of a possible outbreak of military conflicts on European soil.
Besides NATO, however, other political-military alliances have now emerged (Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Collective Security Treaty Organization etc.), which despite the fact that they are still “looser” and less developed than NATO have the same class character, i.e. they are alliances of capitalist states.
At the same time, in a number of regions, like Latin America and Africa, political-economic alliances are being formed that are connected, amongst other things, to specific political choices and collaborations, for example, with the EU. In addition, separate states in Latin America (such as Colombia, Peru, Chile, Mexico) and also elsewhere (such as Australia) are integrated into the more general promotion of NATO’s “partnership” relations.
In recent years, there has been a significant growth of mercenary armies, i.e. private military businesses which under various pretexts (e.g. piracy, the drugs trade, military training, “terrorism”) undertake missions in dozens of war zones as the envoys of capitalist states. These armies are integrated into the imperialist plans, the so-called unorthodox warfare, provide the bourgeois governments with the potential to better manage the human losses that they undergo in the interventions in which they participate.
11. The military confrontations are being conducted over the following issues:
- The control of the energy deposits and the transport routes of the energy resources (e.g. oil, natural gas, pipelines etc.)
- The control of land and maritime transport routes for commodities (e.g. the Silk Road, the sea passages in the Mediterranean, the Bosporus, the Horn of Africa etc.)
- Control of the subterranean wealth in the Arctic region, the mineral wealth, rare earth elements, as well as water reserves.
- The utilization of space for military goals.
- The struggle over the market shares, over the course of which military means are used not only to acquire new market shares, but also to reduce the share of their competitors.
In these conditions, the activity of the so-called “Islamic terrorist” groups is a substantial feature of imperialist war in the 21st century. And this is true, regardless of the extent to which the activity of such organizations is formed with the support or toleration of imperialist centres or manifests itself as an element asserting the independence of these forces from those powerful centres that reinforced them in the past.
The activity of these organizations is being objectively utilized either as an element of the “unorthodox warfare” of a state or certain sections of it against the interests of another capitalist state or as a pretext for imperialist intervention. Of course, in parallel with these goals, the activity of these organizations is also utilized to reinforce the repressive mechanisms of a number of bourgeois states, as well as for the ideological preparation of the workers in the face of the possible involvement of their countries in new imperialist interventions, in the name of combating “terrorism”.
Of course, along with the fierce competition for the profits of the monopolies, efforts are under way for compromises, agreements, the temporary suspension of any generalization of the confrontation, even the rearrangement of alliances, as the developments inside the Euro-Atlantic “camp” itself demonstrate.
The developments in Turkey and Syria are characterized by fluidity and mobility in terms of the formation of alliances between different capitalist states and by the possible realignment of alliances. However, neither the trend towards maintaining old alliances nor the trend towards differentiations in the alliances should be treated as absolutes. It is important to continuously monitor such processes because they are related to upheavals in the correlation of forces in alliances and imperialist centres as regards Europe as well, and can trigger more general developments.
In this phase, despite the fact that NATO is developing and expanding even further, always maintaining the Euro-Atlantic states at its hard core, we cannot say that it has totally safeguarded a permanent, stable and undisturbed trajectory, as the alliances are formed in the context of sharpening contradictions.
Greek-Turkish relations and the danger of war
12. The Greek bourgeois class and the Greek government are already actively promoting NATO’s plans in the region (armada in the Aegean, utilization of bases, support for operations in the Balkans, Ukraine etc.)
The sharpening of the contradictions between the Greek and Turkish bourgeoisies is directly influenced by the developments in the wider region of the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, North Africa and can constitute a basic factor that provokes the direct involvement of Greece in a war.
The bourgeois class of Turkey-which other powerful capitalist states are trying to weaken at this moment, to an extent, -is attempting to upgrade its position through the control and acquisition of new territories and maritime regions. It continues the military occupation and the violation of the rights of the state of Cyprus, as well as the provocative disputing of the sovereign rights of the Greek state (disputing of borders, violations of air and maritime space, “grey zones” in the Aegean, climaxing in the recent repeated statements of Erdogan that call the Treaty of Lausanne into question etc.). It seeks to utilize minorities (religious, national etc.) in order to realize its plans in the wider region of the Balkans.
The regions of the Aegean and Thrace are potential arenas for a military conflict between the bourgeois classes of the neighbouring states of Greece and Turkey, with the possible involvement also of the inter-connected plans of Albania and FYROM, which in recent years have been developing a close political-military cooperation with Turkey. The provocative statements of the Albanian Prime Minister are integrated into this framework (stirring up the non-existent issue of the Chameria etc.) as well as the stirring up of irredentist slogans on the part of FYROM. The rise of Albanian nationalism against Greece and other states in the region feeds nationalist circles in Greece and other states. The enlargement of the EU and NATO leave their mark on the developments in the Balkan region as a whole and as a consequence they are more directly entangled in the imperialist plans and competition in the region.
Aside from these Balkan states, Turkey in this period is taking initiatives to approach and cooperate with Russia. These initiatives are a new feature and need to be constantly monitored.
The fact that both states, Greece and Turkey, are NATO members complicates the situation. A possible escalation of the confrontation would mean a rupture inside NATO in a sensitive region in terms of its interests, but which could at the same time be utilized by the USA and NATO to reinforce their role in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean. Of course, a very serious rupture inside NATO will mainly be the result of a total disintegration of any agreement or balance between the basic imperialist centres and not merely due to friction or confrontations between Greece and Turkey.
The stance of the Greek bourgeois class towards the possibility of a more general confrontation between Russia and the USA or even China and the USA in the future needs to be constantly monitored. Today the Greek bourgeois class, through the policies of the SYRIZA-ANEL government, participates actively in the NATO plans that are aimed against Russia. It supports the decisions that are taken against Russia, facilitates the increased NATO presence in the Aegean under the pretext of managing the flows of refugees-immigrants (but with as its real goal the better control of the passages of the Russian fleet), participates in joint airforce activity with Bulgaria, which has its basic objective the warding off of the “Russian threat” in the Black Sea.
At the same time, the government seeks to form special relations with Russia, as well as with China, in the framework of the aim to enhance the position of the Greek bourgeois class via the particular role of Greece in connecting the Asian market with the European market.
In the previous period, the Greek government advertised its role as a “bridge” between Russia and the West”, a role that had the toleration or even support of the USA. In any case, a possible sharpening of the contradictions between Russia and the USA-NATO will be a factor that intensifies the contradictions and dilemmas inside the bourgeois class of Greece, as its participation in the Euro-Atlantic framework is to its benefit.
The axis of cooperation between Greece and Israel is not a factor for peace in the region, regardless of whether the rapprochement between Turkey and Israel proceeds.
On the Cyprus Issue
13. In the framework of the competition between the bourgeois classes of Turkey, Greece and Cyprus , as well as the negative role that has been played historically up until the present day as regards the resolution of the Cyprus problem by the USA, G. Britain, NATO and the EU, plans are developing that are negative for the peoples.
The Cyprus issue is an international problem of the invasion and occupation of the northern part of Cyprus by Turkey. Its international character is reflected in the relevant decisions of the UN Security Council.
The new processes are leading to the finalization of the partition of Cyprus, in essence to the formation of two separated state entities that only formally and in the short-term will form a federation.
We oppose-just as we fiercely and decisively opposed the Annan plan that was rejected by the Cypriot people-any effort to impose a solution that will perpetuate the partition and will not provide a viable and reliable solution for the Cypriot people as a whole, Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots, Armenians, Latins, Maronites.
Our struggle is directed to the aim of a united Cyprus, independent, with one single sovereignty, one citizenship and one international personality, without foreign bases and armies, without foreign guarantors and protectors.
14. As a whole, war is phenomenon inherent to capitalism, as well as to every exploitative society. Imperialist “peace” prepares the new imperialist wars. In any case, “war is the continuation of politics by other means”, especially in the conditions of the deep crisis of capital over-accumulation and important changes in the correlation of forces in the international imperialist system, where the redivision of markets rarely occurs without bloodshed, on the basis of the experience of the entire 20th century.
The KKE, in contrast with the other parties, consistently reveals to the Greek people the dangers created by the imperialist wars, contributes decisively to strengthening the struggle against the country’s participation in the imperialist plans, against the foreign bases, against the changes to and redrawing of the borders in the region that the imperialist centres are systematically attempting. It stably struggles for the disentanglement of Greece from the imperialist unions and the capitalist development path which is the root cause of the wars.
The KKE examines the developments with the peoples’ interests as its criteria, as well as the necessity to coordinate their struggle to confront the regime that is the cause of every invasion-occupation. It integrates this struggle into the goal of the total liberation of the people from the shackles of capitalist exploitation and imperialist barbarity.
The repressive mechanisms are being upgraded and modernized
15. The discussion is intensifying at the level of the EU and each bourgeois state in relation to the so-called “new security doctrine of the states”.”Security” is being promoted as the number one issue for the states of the European Union. The activity of the jihadists is used as an opportunity and pretext, as well as the control of the refugee flows and more general issues related to the internal stability and cohesion as necessary conditions for the recovery and for dealing with the consequences of the crisis.
What lie behind this are the aims of the bourgeois classes at home (prevention of the possible sharpening of the class struggle) and abroad (defence of the interests of the EU and its member-states through more active interventions in international conflicts).It is characteristic that the German “White Book on Security” directly connects the issue of internal security with the Germany’s aim to strengthen its military role internationally. We had the following developments in the previous period:
- The decisions of the NATO summit in Warsaw regarding the enhanced cooperation with the EU on security matters.
- The imposition of “states of emergency” in France, in Belgium, in cities in Germany, activating relevant provisions that exist in the bourgeois constitutions and EU treaties.
- The reinforcement of the trend to upgrade the Euro-army and reinforce the EU’s military bodies through the formation of the “European Defence Agency”.
- The formation of new military-police mechanisms (e.g. G. Britain)
- The invocation of Article 42.7 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU by France, after the murderous attack in Paris, in order to carry out the coordinated bombing of Syria together with other European states.
- The replacement of Frontex by the European Border and Coast Guard that will have the ability to intervene directly wherever it considers that there is a lack of security measures and vulnerable borders.
- The “Radicalisation Awareness Network” which has already been set up by the EU and seeks to equate terrorism with every activity that is aimed against or disputes the capitalist system. It is directly connected to the reactionary EU legislation about the protection of “crucial infrastructure” (energy companies, transport companies, telecommunications etc.)
These mechanisms and trends serve the aim of further buttressing the bourgeois states in the framework of the sharpening of the inter-imperialist contradictions and the possibility of their participation in more generalized conflicts. At the same time, they aim to control the working class and popular strata, to restrict popular freedoms and rights through further militarization and increasing tendency to reaction.
Of course, the ability to form a “common security policy” of the EU states depends on the level of cohesion and the course of the contradictions inside the EU itself that is certainly not only expressed at the level of the economy.
The communist movement must confront this expanded network of repressive and surveillance mechanisms, by reinforcing coordinated class struggle at a regional and international level.
On the flows of refugees-immigrants. Our stance towards the victims of the imperialist wars and capitalist exploitation
The uneven capitalist development and also mainly the imperialist interventions and wars, the activity of new reactionary political and state formations (“Islamic State”, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram) in the region extending from Ukraine, the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean, to North and Sub-Saharan Africa, have led to major flows of immigrants and refugees, to the sharpening of the problem of the flows from these countries to Europe.
In 2015, the number of refugees and internally displaced people all over the world saw a new increase, reaching 65.3 million people (i.e. 1 out of every 113 inhabitants on Earth), 50% of whom are children. Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia are the countries from which more than half the refugees come from. At the same time, Syria and Iraq are in the 2nd and 3rd place respectively as regards the number of internally displaced people.
In recent years, Greece has become the main country for the entry and passage of refugees that seek shelter in the EU. Especially in 2015, about a million refugees, the majority of them Syrians, were channelled via the Greek islands in the Aegean to EU member-states in Central and Northern Europe. These refugees also utilized the policy of “open borders” that was adopted by bourgeois governments and forces in the EU member-states for a short period of time, with the aim of providing their monopolies with cheap scientific personnel and workforce, who would have very few rights, from the ready supply of refugees. Later, when the flows of refugees and immigrants intensified, the policy of “closed borders” became prevalent. The essence of the EU’s policies on refugees and immigrants is, despite the contradictions and controversies, the sorting of a number of refugees-immigrants for the needs of the capitalist economy and the turning on and off of the “tap’ of these flows, according to these needs.
The most important decisions of the EU that are being implemented in relation to the refugee-immigration policies are: the decisions regarding the sorting of the refugees via the hot-spots and the programmes to distribute the refugees amongst the member-states (relocation), the adaptation of the Dublin Regulations to the demands of the implementation of the more general EU policies on the refugee-immigrant issue and the control of the flows to benefit capital, the new more reactionary legislation on asylum, the EU-Turkey agreement that openly violates international law on refugees and -in combination with the closing of the borders-led to the entrapment of refugees in Greece, the military-naval operation of the EU “SOPHIA” off Libya, NATO’s operation in the Aegean and the creation of a European Border and Coast Guard that can carry out operations along the borders of a member-state, even without its permission and the developments around the Schengen Treaty.
The SYRIZA-ANEL government, despite the differences in rhetoric in comparison to its predecessors, supported and implemented all the decisions of the EU and NATO that further entangle the refugee-immigration issue into the competition between the imperialist centres in the region. These developments had a particular impact on Greek-Turkish relations, with the pressures for the implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement being a characteristic example.
The government has formed conditions of permanent entrapment for the majority of refugees and immigrants, is responsible for the wretched living conditions in the majority of the refugee camps, the consequences for the lives of residents and the activity of the members of Golden Dawn, fascists and other reactionary groups and mechanisms which orchestrate provocations at the expense of refugees, immigrants and local residents. It has handed over service sector related to refugees and immigrants to NGOs. The SYRIZA-ANEL government has also taken temporary and makeshift measures in relation to the long-term economic immigrants, many of whom are being tormented due to the non-renewal of their residence permits, which in some cases, like in the case of agricultural workers, have an even more anti-worker direction.
In opposition to the policies of the imperialist unions, capital and the Greek governments, the KKE is struggling to relieve the consequences of the problems, for the disentanglement and safe transport of the refugees to their destination countries, for humane conditions for their temporary accommodation. It has contributed with its forces in the labour-people’s movement to the organization of genuine people’s solidarity, which has nothing to do with cosmopolitan charity. It prioritized and continues to prioritize the highlighting of the root causes of mass immigration and refugees, as well as organizing the struggle of the people, regardless of their national background-race-language-religion, against imperialist war and its creator, capitalism. The anti-capitalist struggle, the struggle against the consequences of the capitalist crisis and the imperialist wars, is necessary in order to eradicate the factors that stop the people from living with dignity and security and from becoming the masters in their own lands.
GREECE IN THE INTERNATIONAL IMPERIALIST SYSTEM
The European Union and Greece’s position in it
17. The developments after the outbreak of the international crisis of 2008-2009 confirm that the EU, the Eurozone are not a cohesive, stable, permanent formation.
In the years that followed the outbreak of the international crisis, the correlation of forces was altered-both in the EU as a whole and in its leading group-in favour of Germany. The widening of the gap at the expense of France and Italy is expressed above all by the limited average annual rate of changes in the GDP per decade, while it is reflected in balance of current accounts and their fiscal situation.
Over the last decade (2006-2016), the average annual GDP growth rate in the Eurozone fluctuated around 0.54%, i.e. was stagnant. Germany’s superiority is also reflected in its average annual growth rate, which stands at 1.2% in comparison to 0.6% for Italy and 0.7% for France.
A number of factors that played a role in the weak recovery of the Eurozone, such as the significant fall in fuel prices and the devaluation of the Euro are expected to dissipate. At the same time, a number of developments (e.g. Brexit, a tendency for the reinforcement of protectionism, major problems in big European banks) will influence the prospect and rates of capitalist growth in the EU and Eurozone.
The European Commission is attempting to support the recovery trajectory through a small relaxation of the fiscal policy, while the European Central Bank, on its part, is implementing measures for a relative relaxation of fiscal policy. At the same time, all the institutions of the EU, in accord with the governments of the member-states, are promoting restructuring in order to ensure cheap labour power for the business groups.
The policies of the European Union cannot however blunt the unevenness inside the Eurozone, which is reflected in the increasing gap between the countries that have stable trade surpluses (Germany and the Netherlands etc.) and the majority of the member-states that have trade deficits. In this context, the well-known proposal of the 5 presidents was tabled (of the Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Parliament and the Eurogroup) with aim of functioning as a negotiating framework for «Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union». This proposal focuses on the issue of the Financial Union, the Fiscal Union and the deepening of the process with Political Union as the goal, based on the existing EU treaties.
18. The result of the British referendum and the rise of bourgeois euroscepticism in France, Italy and other EU member-states, create the potential for the reinforcement of centrifugal forces, new referenda and a new weakening of the EU.
The result of the Brexit reflects to an extent the more general negative stance of the British bourgeois class as regards the trajectory of deepening the EMU and EU, its stable convergence with the USA in its competition with Germany, the existence of sections of British and US capital that desired Britain’s exit from the EU and the entrapment of the people’s discontent in the current of bourgeois euroscepticism. At the same time, there is also some activity in the direction of seeking a rerun of the referendum.
From what it seems, however, the general direction of the negotiations will be to maintain a “close relationship” with the EU. On this terrain the dilemmas for the bourgeois political line in Germany and the rest of the EU member-states are becoming more complicated. To begin with, the dominant line of the German bourgeois class operates between maintenance of the intergovernmental character of the decisions of the EU and the imposition in practice of a multi-speed EU of many concentric circles with the application of strict rules in fiscal policy. However, German social-democracy converges to a great extent with the proposals of France and Italy for the deepening of European integration.
The governments of France and Italy-as well as the rest of the countries that belong to the so-called “Club Med” that was formed through the signing of the “Athens Declaration”-are demanding the relaxation of the fiscal policy so that they can to a greater extent utilize fiscal tools to assist capitalist profitability and the course of deepening the unification of the Eurozone ( a unified parliament and a unified budget for the Eurozone, unified governance etc.) so that Germany in practice takes on the role of the guarantor for the indebted states and the problematic big banks in the EU. At the same time, the eurosceptic current of the opposition is strengthening in France and Italy.
Some member-states that maintain close relations with the USA, such as the Visegrad group (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia) as well as Sweden and Denmark seek the maintenance of the intergovernmental character and the reinforcement of the independence of national politics concerning various issues (e.g. immigration-refugees).
The confrontation over the formula that will be politically implemented is objectively linked to the controversy regarding the international alliances of the EU. And here there are major differences, both amongst the member-states and inside them. There is also a confrontation concerning the relations of the EU and some of its member-states with the USA, Russia, and also with China.
The USA intervenes in the developments in the EU, supporting Italy and France concerning the issue of relaxing the fiscal policy as well as the Visegrad group and the Scandinavian countries.
Russia, in turn, intervenes concerning the antagonisms inside the EU, supporting political forces and states that take a position against the deepening of capitalist unification in the framework of the EU. This stance of Russia’s was reinforced even further by the increase of the tension in EU-Russia relations, as a result of the aim to attach Ukraine to the EU, against the Russian plans to integrate it into the Eurasian Economic Community. Russia is also opposed to the EU’s plans for the gradual integration of the states of the Western Balkans. The EU’s accession negotiations with Serbia and Montenegro have already begun, despite that the situation remains changeable.
It is worth noting that these contradictions, as regards the political formula implemented by the EU, are unfolding in the context of the G20’s decision in favour of relaxing fiscal benefit to support public investments.
The relations and the competition inside the EU will be influenced-and possibly will sharpen-in the next period by a number of political developments, such as the result of the recent referendum on the revision of the constitution in Italy and the impending elections in France and Germany.
19. The domestic bourgeoisie has a strategy and, based on this objective situation, adjusts and prioritizes basic goals that the negotiating line and more general economic policies of the SYRIZA-ANEL government must serve. Its main priorities are:
a) The restructuring of the state debt, more generally the terms of service of state financing from abroad, in order to stabilize and accelerate the Greek economy’s exit from the phase of the capitalist crisis.
b) The realization of major investments that will contribute to promoting the country as a transport hub for energy and commodities from the wider region.
c) The capitalist productive reconstruction that will also change the current sectoral structure of the economy in order to strengthen the orientation towards exports and the production of innovative competitive commodities and services. In this framework, emphasis is placed on attracting investments in the industrial sectors of hydrocarbon extraction, transport and logistics, renewable energy, specialized tourism, the agricultural/food-processing sector with an export orientation, and sectors of the economy are being prioritized that could function as new powerhouses for capitalist growth, together with the more measures to strengthen oceangoing shipping.
d) The promotion of “restructuring” measures to ensure cheap labour power (e.g. labour relations, social security) and new profitable areas of investment for capital (e.g. liberalization of markets, privatizations).
e) The modernization of the structure, functioning and infrastructure of the bourgeois state so that it can more effectively contribute to advancing the goals of the ruling class (e.g. the improvement of the tax collection capacity of the state through the creation of the digital property register).
The negotiating line of the domestic bourgeois class in order to promote these goals in a combined way:
- Supports the pressure exerted by Italy and France for the relative relaxation of fiscal policy in the Eurozone.
- Actively participates in promoting the plans of the USA and Israel in the wider region.
- Develops contradictory relations of competition and cooperation with Turkey.
- Attempts to enhance bilateral relations with China and to a lesser extent with Russia in order to implement the investment plans related to the transport of energy and commodities to the EU.
The dominant line of bourgeois politics in Greece considers the country remaining in the EU framework of imperialist alliances as a given, while at the same time there continue to be the especially close relations between Greek shipping capital and the USA and Britain, the reinforcement of the economic relations with China.
ASSESSING THE DEVELOPMENTS IN GREECE
The developments in Greek Economy
20. The Greek economy tends to enter a phase of weak recovery in 2017. The consolidation of this tendency, however, will depend on other parameters particularly on the developments in the international economy.
Over the five year period GDP -based on the stable rates of 2010- fell by 10.4%, while in relation to the beginning of the crisis in 2008 the reduction exceeds 26%. In 2015 the GDP was reduced by 0.2% while a further reduction of 0.3% is expected for 2016. In 2015, for the first time after 2007, the industrial production volume index increased slightly by 0.7%, a tendency that continued during the first two quarters of 2016. The dynamic branches of manufacturing were oil production, pharmaceuticals, chemical industry, and basic metals.
The structure of the Greek economy’s sectors has not changed essentially over the last four years. The primary sector has slightly increased its share in new production as a whole: from 3.7% in 2012 to 4% in 2015. Likewise the share of tertiary sector increased from 80.1% in 2012 to 81.8% in 2015. Accordingly, the share of the secondary sector (manufacturing, energy, construction, mining) decreased from 16.2% in 2012 to 15.2% in 2015.
It should be underlined that, apart from the general methodological problems regarding the separation into primary, secondary, tertiary sector, the above-mentioned figures are influenced by the fact that bourgeois statistics classifies a series of industrial sectors such as telecommunications and transport in the tertiary sector. This methodological problem is aggravated in Greece due to the fact that shipping (which belongs to transport) has always been the strongest sector of the Greek capitalist economy.
In 2015 Greek shipping ranked first at an international level, increasing the tonnage of its ships, with a significant share of the international fleet of tankers and bulk carriers and a high degree of workers’ exploitation.
The tendency the number of the employers and of self-employed to be reduced due to the crisis has continued during the past four years while there has been a marginal increase of salaried employees. More specifically the number of employers decreased from 261,000 in 2012 to 248,000 in 2015. The number of self-employed (including farmers as well) decreased from 908,000 to 856,000. The number of employees increased slightly from 2.34 million to 2.35 million. Family members who work in family-owned businesses also decreased from 185,000 to 158,000.
These changes have not caused any remarkable difference as regards the proportions or the shares in employment as a whole: the employers’ percentage/share was reduced from 7.7% to 6.9%, the percentage of self-employed from 24.6 to 23.7% and the percentage of employees increased from 63.4% to 65%. The percentage of family members who work in family-owned businesses has also seen a slight reduction. It should be taken into account that these percentages are not significantly differentiated in relation to the economically active population which, apart from the working population includes also the unemployed, a large section of whom are former salaried employees.
21. The tendency for the concentration and centralization of Greek capitalist economy has been reinforced in the period of crisis. After a cycle of buyouts and mergers, the 4 big systemic banks have gathered banking operations as a whole.
A significant increase of the market share of big retail groups has been recorded in the retail sector. In telecommunications three groups (OTE, VODAPHONE, WIND) are practically controlling the market while the second strongest group has concluded a strategic partnership with the third one.
The energy sector is dominated by three large groups in the field of fuels that entirely control oil refining. Concentration in the construction sector has increased significantly with the big groups undertaking smaller projects as well.
Ιn the metal industry, the 2 biggest consortia control almost 2/3 of the sector. Similar developments have been observed in tourism, the food and beverages sector.
22. International imperialist unions (OECD, IMF, European Commission) as well as the Bank of Greece forecast a recovery of Greek economy in 2017-2018, with an increase of investments (except construction) with the contribution of the new law on development planning, a recovery based on EU funding, on the acceleration of important privatizations.
They also forecast an increase in exports as a result of an improvement of the Greek economy’s competitiveness, expansion of the service sector (tourism, ship transport) and an increase of domestic consumption caused by the increase of employment and income and by the improvement of credit conditions.
The potential deterioration of the international economic situation and the course of the EU after Brexit constitute factors of uncertainty which can lead to a more negative outcome. Likewise, there are potential negative consequences on tourism and trade due to an aggravation of the refugee issue and the situation in the wider region of Eastern Mediterranean, and the consequences of governmental policies (e.g. increase of indirect taxation, more burdens on popular strata).
These facts underline the uncertainty of bourgeois predictions particularly if the course of the Eurozone deteriorates and centrifugal forces increase.
It should be noted that the realization of certain major investments will not be easy (e.g. ports, rail transport) unless a mid-term compromise amongst the USA, EU, China and Russia takes place in the wider region
The situation of the working class, the other popular strata and the governmental policies
23. The measures that radically changed labour relations, wages, collective bargaining agreements, pensions, social benefits etc. had been elaborated long before the crisis with the Treaty of Maastricht and particularly since 1993 with the “White Paper”. They concerned all EU countries irrespective of what phase in the cycle of capitalist reproduction they were in. The aim of these capitalist restructurings and the respective anti-labour reforms was to promote capitalist profitability in the framework of the sharpening of international competition. Of course such reforms become more urgent for the capitalist system in periods of crisis.
These strategic plans had been promoted in the long term and methodically by the EU and the bourgeois governments in every country. These measures were accelerated and fully developed, especially in Greece, after 2010 with three packages of measures and ten application laws just focusing on restructurings regarding labour rights (4 laws in 2010, 2 in 2012, 1 2013, 1 in 2014, 1 in 2015, 1 in 2016).
The following objectives are promoted in the framework of the unified strategy:
• Unified policy for the drastic reduction of salaries and wages and the promotion of alternative and part-time forms of employment. Large scale abolition of stable daily working time, of permanent employment in the state sector and of any relatively more stable jobs in the private sector, sweeping changes in labour relations with the reinforcement of flexibility. These policies are part of the strategy for the liberalization of the labour market in the long term and the tendency to adjust salaries and wages to the low levels which are being formed in the international capitalist market.
• Unified policies for the restriction of welfare and social benefits and above all social security, the expansion of privatizations.
• Policies for the legitimization of slave trading employment offices and the utilization of immigrants as cheap manpower and a lever to exert pressure for a general reduction of salaries and wages.
• New restriction on the right to strike, trade union activity.
• Steady increase of indirect taxation, leading to increases in mass consumer goods (e.g. electricity, food, transportation etc).
“Europe 2020 Strategy” which was adopted by the European Council in June 2010 specializes the anti-labour framework which had been created so far. These measures, whose aim is to increase the competitiveness of European monopolies including Greek ones, cannot eradicate the contradictions of the system, uneven development, inter-imperialist contradictions. This is more evident in EU with the appliance of the “Economic Governance-European Semester” and the preparation of the “White Paper” which will be announced in spring 2017 with the aim of making the EMU more resistant to “future shocks”.
The consequences of the economic crisis and the anti-worker measures which were taken with the well-known memoranda and the application laws have caused deep, large-scale and permanent upheavals in the living and working conditions, in the composition of the working class as well as of a large section of the self-employed and the small owners in the urban and rural regions. The ranks of the working class have been expanded with new sections from ruined urban and rural intermediate strata. Several sections of the intermediate strata have approached the working class, the number of semi-proletarians has increased. At the same time, emigration increased, especially among young people.
The restructurings and the crisis shrunk the layer of labour aristocracy in the private and public sector and among state employees. However, the bourgeois class is still interested in maintaining, renewing and creating new mechanisms for the manipulation of the labour movement. There is still a significant differentiation and stratification among the working class and the salaried workers in general that constitutes the material basis for the formation of a labour aristocracy.
24. Recent data confirms the tendency of absolute destitution to increase amongst the working class. After their dramatic decrease in the period 2009-2012 from 85 million to 66.1 million euros the total earnings of salaried employees in the period 2012-2015 fell to 59 billion, a further reduction of 10.7% while in comparison with the pre-crisis levels the general decrease exceeds 30%. Apart from the reduction of salaries, the drastic decrease of the total earnings of salaried employees also reflects the sharp increase of unemployment during the crisis.
Based on the data of the Bank of Greece the earnings per employee were reduced by 7% in 2013, by 2.1% in 2014 and 2.7% in 2015. The nominal annual compensation per employee has been reduced from 24,300 euros in 2012 to 21,800 in 2015, a reduction of 10.3% that followed the cuts of the period 2010-2012 which caused the average annual wage to drop from 26,100 to 24,300 euros. In constant terms (taking inflation as well into consideration) the reduction of the average wage exceeds 20%. On the basis of the information from IKA (the private sector social security fund), the minimum wage has shrunk nearly 35% since 2010.
In 2014 the purchasing power of the average gross wage in Greece fell from 82% in 2009 to 66% of the average purchasing power in the 15 most advanced countries of the EU. The fall of purchasing power is even sharper if we take into account the heavy taxation over the past years. Taking all these factors into account we can assess that the total losses in the living standards of the working people during the period of crisis amount to or approach 50%.
As a result of the assault on the minimum wage (22% reduction for ages above 35 years and 32% for ages below 25 years) the earnings in 2014 were lower than the minimum wage at the beginning of 1990s.
The laws of the past years continue to lead to a deterioration of the wages, the income and the life of the working class and their families. The following figures outline the difficulties that the working people face, the situation of wages and labour relations.
Low-paid workers make up 60% of the working people. More specifically, workers with a net salary below 1000 euros amount to 63.17%. At the same time, there is a decline as regards the classification of the working people into various groups. Workers receiving 501-600 euro increased by 13.24% and those receiving 601-700 euros by 10.56%.
As regards “mobility and flexibility” in the labour market which was brought by the recent laws and the capitalist crisis, we should underline the following: in 2015 the labour contracts terminated by the employers –along with the «voluntary departures” and the termination of temporary labour contracts- exceeded the number of the employees in that year.
Labour relations are rapidly deteriorating. In 2015 the percentage of “flexible working relations” (part time employment and employment by rotation) in the new contracts increased to more than 55%, from 29% in 2009 and 45% in 2012. Almost 30% of the workers in the private sector are underemployed, while 20% work less than 20 hours per week. In any case, half of the workers recruited today work under these flexible forms of employment which of course influence the average level of wages.
The average consumption of households in Greece declined by 25% in the period 2010-2014 and decreased to 1,460 euro from 1,950 in 2010. A more evident differentiation in the nutrition of Greek households has been observed in the same period. More specifically the quantity of the food consumed was differentiated (e.g. meat and fish consumption was reduced by 12%). In 2015 the population facing material deprivation increased significantly to 40% from 24% in 2010.
The general unemployment rate has fallen slightly over the past four years, but it still remains extremely high. In 2015 it dropped to 24.9% from 27.5% in 2013 and 26.5% in 2014. The number of the unemployed remains extremely high: 1.2 million. The unemployment rate is very high among young people (ages 15-29) exceeding 40%.The percentage of the long term unemployed has seen a significant increase (i.e. people unemployed for more than 12 months). In 2015 the long-term unemployed numbered 875.000 that is to say 73.1% of the unemployed as a whole, while in 2012 they numbered 59%.In addition, unemployment is higher among women. In 2015 unemployment rate among women was 28.9% and 22% among men. Women’s unemployment rate increased compared to that of 2012 (28.1%) and reached 618,000.
25. In its recent report the Bank of Greece confirms the position of the KKE that the improvement of competitiveness and the policies for the way out of the crisis was based on “low wage cost and on the institutional framework that supports flexibility in labour market”, namely on cheap labour power.
The Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) gives priority to the rapid and effective implementation of the programme of the third memorandum, to the acceleration of the restructurings and privatizations, to the reduction of the so called “non-wage costs”, to the granting of greater tax incentives for the attraction of private investments. Generally the Greek bourgeois class (SEV, Union of Greek Ship-Owners, Hellenic Bank Association) is in line with the IMF and the EU regarding the imposition of measures that increase the rate of exploitation and push down the rights and the income of the working class.
Despite the actual differences among the various EU member-states the basic guidelines of these policies are being decisively implemented in all states, e.g. the recent measures in France and Italy.
26. The SYRIZA-ANEL government claims, for reasons of propaganda, that its orientation regarding the restoration of the country’s capitalist production is different from that of the previous governments. It promotes the slogan of “equitable development” which allegedly has as new elements the turn to innovation and quality, to the utilization of science and specialized technology for the increase of productivity, the use of the restructured bourgeois state as a lever to promote development and mainly to “support society and the market”.
The government conceals that in capitalism the utilization of science and innovation for the increase of productivity is not used for the improvement of the workers’ position (increase of income, reduction of working time) but for the increase of capitalist profit. This is proved by the fact that even in states that hold leading positions in the utilization of new technology and are not in a phase of crisis , e.g. Britain, Germany, USA, income inequality is rapidly increasing.
The truth is that the governmental policies do not lead to a partial recovery of the losses that the popular strata suffered during the crisis. On the contrary, they worsen the position of the people. At the same time, the declarations of the government regarding the effective state conceal the fact that the bourgeois state operates in favour of capital and as a consequence any adjustments made to it aim at increasing the effectiveness of its activity in favour of capital. This is the target served by the squeezing of the people through taxation and the cuts in social policy as well as of the state aid to domestic business groups and capitalist profitability in general.
The increase of indirect taxes, the reduction of the tax free threshold, the upholding of property tax (ENFIA), the reduction of pensions, the increase of social security contributions are characteristic examples of the escalation of the anti-people offensive. As regards the self-employed and farmers, the large increase of their taxes and their social security contributions is combined with a drastic decrease in their turnover leading to the significant deterioration of their position. On the contrary, monopoly groups contribute less than 5% of the annual tax revenues and the government is planning new state aid through the law on development planning.
No possible recovery can absorb unemployment or restore the basic rights of the working class which were achieved in the 20th century to their pre-crisis level.
The developments as a whole are smashing the illusion that capitalism can be managed in favour of the people and that the increase of capitalist profitability can be harmonized with the prosperity of the salaried workers and the self-employed. It has been proved there can be no pro-people policies within the framework of capitalist power, the EU and NATO.
The course of the reformation of the bourgeois political system
27. The reformation of the bourgeois political system is taking place under the considerable influence of international developments, the inter-imperialist contradictions, difficulties concerning EU and EMU cohesion, and contradictions within the interlocking grid of international alliances being pursued by the bourgeoisie of Greece in its efforts to manage the transition to a recovery phase after the eight-year crisis period 2008-2016.
The main forces of the bourgeois political system agree on the strategic objectives of the bourgeois class, which can be summarized as follows:
• A course of recovery for the capitalist economy.
• An attempt to upgrade the country’s geostrategic position as a trade and energy hub.
• Increasing the country’s active role within NATO and the EU.
• Restoration of the status of the Greek bourgeoisie within South-eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean which has suffered as a result of the previous years of crisis.
The different opinions which exist amongst the bourgeois parties around specific issues of management do not negate basic shared elements such as the need to accelerate anti-people restructuring, a deeper participation in NATO projects, the need to relax fiscal policy and increase state support of investment capital plans etc.
Of course, these common objectives and shared strategy cannot cover up the contradictions that exist within the bourgeois class and which penetrate virtually all the bourgeois parties. These contradictions -which are objectively sharpened- concern as much the priorities regarding the reinforcement of the sectors of the capitalist economy as they do the choices and priorities in relation to international capital alliances. Thus, some sections of the Greek bourgeoisie are closer to the German centre, others are closer to the US or France (which has upgraded its influence in the country) and others with China, Russia etc.
The political forces in Greece
28. In the last two years the governments of SYRIZA – ANEL have proven more effective for capital, for the bourgeoisie in general, but also for their key international allies. What the bourgeois class and its foreign allies recognize is not only the determination of the Tsipras government to legislatively support capitalist profitability (a characteristic which is common to all bourgeois parties), but also its ability to manipulate the public. They recognize its capacity to mitigate the people’s resistance by projecting its ideological differentiation from ND, to assimilate the broad masses into the system, to distract, to repeatedly deceive the working masses, something that occurred after 1981 when PASOK first came into government.
This is the basic “card” that the SYRIZA government plays and utilizes in its confrontation with the other bourgeois parties. Of course, this effort intensifies the contradictions within SYRIZA, although they are not manifested as sharply as they were in the summer of 2015.
At the same time, SYRIZA is making an effort at reaching towards the centre-left, ‘playing its card’ of cooperation with European social democracy. However, this attempt encounters rivalries within social democracy, particularly within PASOK, its basic representative in Greece for decades. Such rivalries are fuelled by the fact that Syriza has not managed to gain a strong foothold in the unions in several sectors, while PASOK has maintained such a foothold in sections of the labour aristocracy and the intermediate strata. Despite this competition, they keep various channels open with the prospect of a future government composition, enlarging the ruling majority towards the so-called “centre”, with a clearer “centre-left” position, abandoning in the future the path of cooperation with ANEL.
Particularly dangerous is the government’s tactic of vulgarly exploiting the history and struggles of the workers’ and popular movement, promoting itself as some type of communist force, a phenomenon which is regularly reinforced by the other bourgeois parties and the media. This ideological cloak aids in entrapping those workers who identify themselves as being leftwing, who have a militant background. A basic element of this effort is the attempt at exploiting the heroic EAM Resistance, the struggle of thousands of communists, left-wingers and other radical militants. At the same time, the government pursues various bourgeois modernization projects, not consistently however, propagandizing them as radical and groundbreaking.
29. ND, the current official opposition party, is struggling to be recognized as the most consistent alternative government, capable of consistently adhering to the aims of capital. At the heart of the confrontation with the government is its stance on restructuring – reforms, delays, accelerating their implementation. Nevertheless, it seems that it still does not have the power to act as an option for the immediate replacement of the SYRIZA government.
Recently strenuous efforts were made to establish within the political system a new bipolar schema with SYRIZA at the core on the one hand, and ND on the other with all their various satellites i.e. available governmental partners who are necessary for this objective. They continue to intensify their struggle over who will be the most authentic proponent for capital, who will implement more effectively the anti-people policy of capitalist restructurings and the EU, IMF and Quartet guidelines in general.
Regarding the space of social democracy, the emergence of SYRIZA as its basic pillar and its recognition by European social democracy creates considerable difficulties for the efforts at reforming the so-called “centre-left”, including the classic social democratic PASOK, POTAMI and other smaller political formations. Given the current difficulty this space has in terms of playing a more independent role, there is struggle and vacillation over the role it would play as a third pole: a privileged partner of Syriza or ND.
Two different trends coexist:
• On the one hand, there is a trend towards conditional cooperation with SYRIZA, the pre-requisite being an even more substantial centrist turn of the latter that will be expressed by its choice of leading personnel. This trend seems to be supported by circles of European social democracy.
• On the other hand there is a tendency to favour the need for alliance of the consistent European and reformist forces which include ND under K. Mitsotakis.
30. The “Eurosceptic current” in Greece is currently still under development. ‘Eurosceptic” tendencies exist within the broader popular forces and are expressed in a series of elements disputing the EU and EMU (including the referendum in July 2015), they have not yet acquired stable political characteristics and are characterized by inconsistency.
There are forces across the political spectrum of the bourgeois political system that are moving in this direction. “Plefsi Eleftherias” of Z. Konstantopoulou seeks to play a key role, as do the opportunist formations of LAE (Popular Unity) and ANTARSYA with some of their smaller satellites. These parties and groups try to camouflage their Euroscepticism, at different levels, with some anti-capitalist slogans, and help in disorienting and entrapping radical elements in their version of bourgeois management. Overall, they are forces that strive to act as a bulwark against radicalization and the alignment of popular forces with the KKE, adopting essentially the same positions and practices that SYRIZA had when it was in opposition. Several of them were in the ranks of SYRIZA, helping it climb to the higher echelons of government power, serving as ministers or elected institutional officials, they have contributed in their own way, providing it an alibi for imposing harsh anti-worker policies and cultivating mass illusions.
31. There are also forces that have detached themselves from ND and moved into the “Eurosceptic” space. The activities in the area of so-called extreme right must not be underestimated, although currently they have a marginal nature (e.g. the formation of L.E.P.EN. by former leaders of the “Golden Dawn”; the party of Failou Kranidiotis “New Right “; the party “National Unity” of Karatzaferis – Baltakou; the «National Unity Association” of Velopoulos; the “Front Line” of Plevris; “National Front”, the party of Artemis Sorras,; the “Greek Assemblies” party, etc.)
This space is also undergoing a process of transformation in which the final outcome of the trial of the criminal Nazi organization “Golden Dawn” will contribute, along with other processes that are taking place within certain sections of ND.
The “Golden Dawn” Nazis and indicted criminals continue on as a pillar of support for the system, spewing racist venom, leading the way in a kind of primitive anti-communism. They maintain a variety of suspicious connections with centres and services outside of Greece, with shady networks. Inside the Parliament they pretend to be an anti-systemic force, at the same time demanding more privileges and tax exemptions for sections of capital and continue to operate as traffickers of cheap labour for big employers.
This superficial contradiction, on the one hand that the entire leadership of Golden Dawn is being criminally indicted and on the other its acceptance as a respectable bourgeois parliamentary party confirms that the bourgeoisie wants a backup force with the characteristics of “Golden Dawn”, but more moderate, to be used more effectively in attacking the movement and intensifying anti-communism.
A common feature of the Nazis and other nationalist political forces is their utilization of the large waves of refugees – immigrants and the anxiety that this creates for some sections of the people in order to distract them from the real cause of their problems and to disseminate reactionary attitudes.
32. In conclusion: Overall, the bourgeois propaganda that accompanies the efforts for the reformation of the bourgeois political system, aiming to gain active popular support for this process is a critical issue that must be addressed even more decisively.
The following delusions and illusions that are being systematically cultivated must be confronted i.e. that through a process of creating new parties and government alliances something positive, in the people’s interest, can emerge. Just consider the recent rich experience of the reformation process that took place during SYRIZA’s rise to power as a governmental reserve force for the system.
It is also essential to address the fear cultivated in relation to the possibility of political instability, the concern about the need for stable bourgeois governments and parliamentary majorities, the calls for consensus and cohesion. All these aim to manipulate workers so that they facilitate through their stance – in the name of national unity –the implementation of anti-people measures, even so that they “lend their support” for institutional changes in a reactionary direction.
On the Reform of the Constitution
33. SYRIZA, with constitutional reform as a spearhead, has presented a series of proposals for institutional reforms of the bourgeois state, the key elements being a change in the electoral law and an increase in the President’s powers (PoD) in parallel with his/her direct election by the people. These interventions are presented in a falsified manner through propaganda concerning the “widening of democracy”, while intending to safeguard the bourgeois state and ensure smooth conditions for the change of parties in bourgeois government. The proposals of the other bourgeois parties, despite their differences, are also aimed at strengthening bourgeois power.
These interventions adapt the bourgeois political system to the new situation created by the capitalist crisis, the difficulties in managing it and the urgency to accelerate the state facilitation of capitalist profitability at the expense of the popular strata. All of these elements weakened the ability of the bourgeois parties to incorporate the popular strata in a mass way into the framework of one-party governments and increased the need for wider consensus among bourgeois parties in favour of setting up coalition governments. These elements can be detected behind the long-term course of realignments and adaptation of the bourgeois political system to the new circumstances
In this direction, increasing the degree of proportionality in the electoral law does not serve the strengthening of the popular will, but attempts to accelerate the adaptation of the bourgeois political system to the current needs of forming coalition governments, large or smaller blocs, like those formed in other capitalist countries, such as Germany, Belgium etc. Proportionality objectively increases the pressure for broader consensus and cooperation between the bourgeois parties and mitigates the “petty” considerations and aspirations.
The same holds true for the proposal to strengthen the role of PoD, increasing the regulatory powers of governments in cases where it’s difficult to form a government and turning it into a reference point for the bourgeois political system, which will organize governmental majorities and parliamentary consensus. In this way the PoD is upgraded as a source of legitimacy for executive power and as one of the constants of bourgeois governance, without the parliament losing its primary role.
In every instance, the bourgeois political system will become more aggressive in order to serve more effectively the needs of capital, its competitiveness and profitability.
The Separation of Church and State
34. Within the constitutional reform proposed up until now by SYRIZA the question of the separation of Church and State is completely missing. The government introduces –attempting to mislead radical people– various issues that come into conflict with the hierarchy of the Church, which periodically slides into obscurantist positions characteristic of previous periods in the history of the Greek bourgeois state.
The KKE believes that for Greece the issue of the separation of Church and State, with all that this implies for education, ceremonial procedures in public institutions, civil marriage, civil funerals, the possibility of cremation, the naming of children, the issue of Church-owned property, has been long delayed.
The separation between the Church and the State and the secularization of the state, of education, of all institutions, was carried out in many countries by the bourgeoisie and the State, even before the October Revolution of 1917 and the emergence of socialist states during the previous century.
The KKE will continue to consistently fight against every effort to divide the people based on religious beliefs. Religious consciousness is a form of social consciousness in class societies, under conditions of the capitalist system, while it survives for a very long time in conditions of socialist construction. It cannot be abolished by decree or by law.
The longstanding position of the Communist Party on these issues is first is to protect the right of religious freedom, non-persecution of religious faith or atheism and equal treatment irrespective of religion. At the same time, the KKE defends the safeguarding of the possibility to carry out an ideological – philosophical debate around issues related both to religion as a social phenomenon and the individual religions and their history. In this discussion, the KKE intervenes waging a systematic struggle against irrationalism and metaphysical thinking and defending a dialectic interpretation of nature and society, dialectical and historical materialism
On Local and Regional Government
35. Local and Regional Government as an institution of the bourgeois state, structured objectively closer to the working class – popular masses, played throughout the course of the capitalist crisis an important role in subjugating working people to the needs of the bourgeois system. Its functions were adapted to the new conditions, connecting it to the central administration (government) in order to serve the general strategy of capital and to assimilate the working – popular masses through various programs and interventions. In this effort they utilized an expanded axis of social policy, including the various EU-based and other programs to “combat poverty and unemployment”. They have created many types of structures, either independently or with NGOs, volunteers “social cooperatives” etc., which are included in the concept of “social economy.” SYRIZA, with its government and party forces, plays a leading role in this direction.
Reforms in Regional and Local Government contributed to fiscal discipline, expanding anti-people taxation, the commercialization of services and goods, the dissolution of labour relations and rights. These are supported by the entire bourgeois political staff that administrates them.
There is a need for better and more in-depth monitoring of the activity of municipal and regional authorities and the bourgeois political forces in them. The confrontation against the political line of Local and Regional Government is based on the people’s problems and the exacerbation of such caused by the offensive of capital and is also based on the highlighting of the class character of the state and its local institutions.
On the “social and solidarity economy”
36. The bourgeois political system, with particular emphasis in recent years, has been promoting the “Social Solidarity Economy” sector (SSE) as the “third sector” of the economy, following the state and private, supposedly engaging in activities not only for profit, but for heightened social needs.
With the “Social Solidarity Economy” it attempts to exonerate the capitalist path of development supposedly promoting the possibility of economic activities within capitalism, which would have the sole aim of satisfying social needs. The term itself is misleading; firstly, because both the governmental and the private sectors under capitalism serve the needs of the expanded reproduction of social capital, secondly, because under capitalism any private activity that does not aim at profit will have no economic importance.
The “SSE” is used by the bourgeois state as a mechanism for the further reduction of state social benefits, transferring responsibility for a series of activities to it. Utilizing the Municipalities and the Regions as the basic vehicle, it primarily intends to exonerate entrepreneurship. In addition to this, it is being developed in the area of social services, replacing the need for mass permanent hiring, but also additional unemployment support measures. It assists the abolition of workplace and other rights of the working people, making use of “volunteerism” which of course has nothing to do with people’s solidarity and genuine voluntary contributions.
At the same time, the “social economy” does not exclusively pertain to state social benefits, but through “Cooperative Social Enterprises” (CSP) it is spreading to many sectors of the economy (e.g. construction) and is utilized as a temporary mechanism to relieve high unemployment. Essentially the “Social Economy” serves as an additional lever for the deterioration of labour relations and for the further increase of the rate of exploitation, through “voluntary” work, long hours and the low wages of workers engaging in this, in the name of the “social character” of these activities. Within the framework of the EU the ‘European Solidarity Corps’ have been established, comprised of 100,000 volunteers to “deal with the crisis” in EU member states.
Overall, the position of the Party which states that the bourgeois political system still has the potential to repair its cracks, to the extent that the movement does not threaten it in a unified manner, with its organization, its mass strength and the direction of its struggle, has been confirmed. The main conclusion is that the struggle of the workers’ – people’s movement should be directed against the bourgeois class and its parties as a whole, and not only against whatever ruling majority is in government at any given moment.
REPORT OF WORK AND NEW TASKS OF THE PARTY AND YOUTH UP TO THE 21st CONGRESS
General report of work regarding the efforts to strengthen the party and KNE over the last four year period
37. The party has been working in complex and to a certain extent new conditions since the 19th Congress. The political developments and the rearrangement of the bourgeois political forces, the repeated elections, the social-democratic government of SYRIZA brought new issues to the surface that need an enhanced political-ideological and organizational readiness of the party, more demanding standards at every level, from the CC to the PBO (Party Base Organization) in order to be dealt with.
The party, equipped with the decisions of the 18th and 19th Congresses, struggled in these complex conditions without wavering from the main axis that determines its character as the organized ideological-political vanguard of the working class. It attempted to improve its activity so that the implementation of the tasks regarding the rallying and development of the people’s struggle around the sharpening everyday problems is integrated in and linked to the discussion and struggle concerning the historical mission of the working class, the abolition of exploitative social relations and their replacement by socialist-communist relations. It attempted to link every economic and political struggle, whatever the correlation of forces, to the main political task, the struggle for revolutionary workers’ power and to repel the anti-communist offensive.
It has been confirmed that the struggle concerning the sharpening problems is not sufficient, despite that fact that it remains important. On the contrary, it has become even clearer that is necessary for the struggle to be directed towards the rupture with and overthrow of the system, to have an anti-capitalist content.
The aim of achieving an “all-weather party” has not yet been fulfilled. In this effort, we utilize both the positive experience that we have acquired in every aspect of our work (mass, ideological, organizational) as well as the corresponding negative experience.
In the four years since the 19th Congress, certain substantial changes have occurred in the bourgeois political system, with the most characteristic feature the emergence of SYRIZA as a party of government, in cooperation with ANEL. Finally, the SYRIZA-ANEL government that emerged from the parliamentary elections on the 25th of January signed the 3rd memorandum with the EU-ECB-IMF, which of course included a new raft of antiworker-antipeople measures. Its antiworker-antipeople “achievement” was realized with the consent and support of the official opposition (ND), PASOK and POTAMI.
The noteworthy “achievement” of SYRIZA in relation to the previous governments of ND and PASOK was the significantly greater ability at manipulating working class popular forces through the cultivation of false expectations in a mass way, which were later dispelled .In its efforts, SYRIZA utilized views that had been fostered in previous periods and remain lodged in the consciousness of the broad working class-popular masses. These are views related to the character of the struggles, the role of the bourgeois parliament and bourgeois democracy, the role of “foreign powers” in a way that is disconnected from the choices of the domestic bourgeois class itself etc.
38. During this entire period, the KKE fiercely resisted the pressure exerted on it to support or tolerate this political line, warned about and exposed the true character of SYRIZA, its relationships with domestic and foreign capitalists, with various imperialist centres. Life has clearly vindicated the assessments and positions of the KKE concerning the necessity to direct the people’s struggle against capital, the imperialist unions, the bourgeois parties, both liberal and social-democratic, old and new.
The KKE battled against the entire spectrum of opportunism, which with forces inside and outside of SYRIZA in essence exerted pressure on the KKE to adopt a governmental political line for the management and humanization of the rotten capitalist system.
Over the entire 4-year period, the KKE successfully met the challenges of the ideological-political struggle against:
- The aim to marginalize it, as well as the attempt to classify it as being one of the parties of the system, on the basis of the viewpoint that says “they are all the same”.
- The attacks, which came in the guise of “friendship”, initially from SYRIZA and then later from LAE (Popular Unity) and other opportunist forces, in the name of demanding allegedly a “fairer distribution in the conditions of the sacrifices”,sought to drag the party into a so-called “anti-memorandum line”.
- The slandering, distortion and rewriting of the KKE’s role in the EAM movement and chiefly as regards the character of the DSE.
- Anti-communism and anti-sovietism, fascism-Nazism, xenophobia and racism.
- The view that capitalism, despite its inherent problems, the economic crisis, the competition, even wars, is the most durable system that can be rendered moral and humane.
- The opportunist view that the change in the correlation of forces (between the opposing classes and their allies) can begin with a change in the correlation of forces inside the Parliament, through the ascendance of the workers’-people’s party to government inside the framework of capitalism, and correspondingly at the level of the European Parliament and the organs of the EU and Eurozone.
The KKE developed extensive inner-party and public ideological-political work against parliamentary illusions, against the reformist political line (as is expressed by the acceptance of and struggle for “transitional stages” between capitalism and socialism-communism), which for many decades was and continues to be prevalent in the communist movement internationally. This crucial battle was not just waged inside the ranks of the party, KNE and their supporters, but also embraced allies more widely inside the movement.
In the course of this entire struggle, “Kommounistiki Epitheorisi”, ‘Rizospastis”, the publications of “Synchroni Epohi”, “Odigitis”, the 902 news portal, were ideological-political tools of the party.
39. Inside 2015, in conditions of significant ideological-political pressure with the aim of making it abandoning its strategy or isolating it from the working class-popular masses, the party’s endurance was apparent through various indicators. The forces of the party and KNE were renewed.
A small trend became apparent in terms of the party’s recovery from the negative consequences of the reformation of social-democracy, which has been under way since 2012 to the benefit of SYRIZA, the contradictory impact of the economic crisis on the stance of the working class-popular masses. This trend emerged in the conditions of the rise of both the reformist and the fascist current, the global retreat of the revolutionary workers’ movement, the generalized reversal of socialist construction and the opportunist corrosion of the global communist movement.
The party equipped itself with new elaborations and decisions concerning its activity in the youth through the process of the “Nationwide Conference on the Youth and its Movement, our activity amongst younger age groups” (December 2013), as well as through the process of the 11th Congress of KNE (December 2014).
It held the Extended Plenum of the CC (December 2015) with the regroupment of the labour and trade union movement as its theme, as well as the party’s work in the working class and party building, updating and equipping the party and the movement with decisions and goals of struggle for the contemporary conditions.
It conducted repeated electoral battles: General parliamentary elections (January 2015 and September 2015), the referendum aimed at deceiving and misleading the people (July 2015), European elections and municipal and regional elections (May 2014).Over the course of all these battles, it developed significant propaganda work, bringing broad masses of workers, employees and other popular strata into contact with the political proposal and positions of the KKE.
The forces rallied in PAME increased, as well as its influence amongst combative forces of the small and medium farmers and the urban self-employed. The activity of women in the radical women’s movement intensified. The political influence of the party, of KNE increased in the universities and technological educational institutions.
Two years after the 19th Congress, the CC discussed in a specific way “issues related to the improvement of inner-party education and the enhancement of ideological work”, confirming the relationship between revolutionary theory and revolutionary political activity as being fundamental to the communist identity of the party. More Marxist educational schools were organized at the level of the Regional and Sectoral Organizations of the party and KNE. There was an increase in the circulation of ideological-political-historical books published by “Synchroni Epohi”, as well as a stable increase in the circulation of “Kommounistiki Epitheorisi”. The visits to the internet resources of the party increased (902 news portal, websites of KKE, KNE, the party archive, “Rizospastis” etc.)The CC considering that the circulation of its print material is an unmistakable indicator regarding the forging of communist consciousness, set goals for the increase of their circulation by 2018, in honour of the party’s 100th anniversary.
In particular, the CC at a special meeting engaged with the need to increase the circulation of the daily and Sunday editions of Rizospastis, and its study as the daily journalistic leading organ, which is an irreplaceable comrade and guide for the daily activity of every member and cadre of the KKE and KNE.
The adjustment of the work of the leading organs to today’s conditions is crucial. The Sectoral organs are the important links in the chain.
d Despite this slight increasing trend, the CC insists on evaluating its political guidance work, the level of intervention by the Party and Party’s Youth (KNE) organisations, based on the objective needs of the multifaceted class struggle.
The Political Resolution of the 19th Congress of the KKE assessed that: “Beginning from the CC to the PBOs, the party organs must adjust their activity to the needs of the class struggle, to become a real fighting organization, to utilize every site of resistance at the base, generalizing the experience from the struggle. The party organizations must multiply their initiatives for the rallying and organization of the popular masses, the supporters of the party must be systematically informed, proposals which arise from the experience of the class struggle must be utilized and incorporated in the planning of our activity.”
The above aim, which encapsulates the current requirements of the struggle remains- despite the significant steps that have been taken- to be achieved for all organs, from the CC to the PBOs. It is directly connected to the strengthening of the Party’s ability to act as an “All-Weather Party”, to concentrate forces under any circumstances, both in conditions of the counterrevolution’s victory, the retreat of the movement, economic crisis and reversal of long-time achievements, local imperialist conflicts or of a more generalized war, as well as in conditions of the sharp rise of the class struggle, the uprising of the masses, the objective formation of a revolutionary situation.
The building of such a Party today, capable of influencing more decisively, ideologically-politically the organisation and mobilization of the popular masses, constitutes a key responsibility for the next period of the Party’s Central Committee itself, the Regional Committees and the Central Council of KNE. Nonetheless, the link which more decisively must be strengthened is the Sectoral Organ, something which of course requires the improvement and specialization of the political guidance work of the above organs.
The concept of specialization is often understood in a completely formal way, tending to be exhausted in references to local factors, local factories, the local municipality etc. However, specialization means aid from the Central Committee and the Regional Committees so that the sectoral organs acquire the ability to adapt the general guidelines- and not just to repeat them thus falling into sterile organizational approaches and formalistic approaches to assessing their work- to the data of their area, taking into account a number of factors (social composition, actual living standards, views etc). Then to generalize their own experience, thus feeding the configuration of the central guidelines and processes with new material. The acquisition of this ability requires the ability of specifically studying the impact of the general developments on their area. Specialization also means a hierarchy of objectives based on the central key goals for the regroupment of the labour movement, the promotion of the social alliance, ideological and political maturation of cadres and members, the conduct of independent ideological struggle within the movement as well. These are actions which serve the same direction of struggle, without having the same weight in terms of the depth and the purpose of the class struggle.
Today, the measures and the monitoring of work in the sectoral organs have not acquired this orientation. As a result of that, they face difficulties in studying the developments in their area and drawing conclusions from the experience, while many times the control is limited only or mainly to the numerical results of the work. The issue is not only or mainly an organisational one. However, it is to the extent that is related to the taking of measures and the control of their implementation in order to achieve this ability. It goes without saying that this also requires the utilization of the collective critical and self-critical examination of the history of the domestic and international revolutionary movement and socialist construction, taking into account that individual or even the partial collective experience is not enough.
This discrepancy between the level of the political guidance work and the contemporary requirements is influenced by the underestimation of the fact that even the most innovative activity in the struggles does not give spontaneously the ability of elaboration and generalization, cannot on its own effectively help towards the class political consciousness and maturity. As regards this issue, it is necessary to rid ourselves of mistaken views which affect us as a form of inertia from the past. The daily leading struggle and the acquiring of closer and solid bonds in the workplaces can decisively contribute to the political consciousness only if they are simultaneously developed with the ideological and political intervention of the Party.
In other words- along with the class instinct, the spontaneous communist disposition and life stance- a certain level of dialectical materialist thinking is needed. A good knowledge of the collectively elaborated conclusions from the history of the Party and the international communist movement is needed, combined with a minimum but adequate level of assimilation of the positions of dialectical-materialist philosophy, the Marxist analysis of the capitalist economy, the scientific laws of the socialist-communist society along with the conclusions from socialist construction in the 20th century. A good knowledge of the Party’s positions and elaborations concerning a number of economic-social and political issues is needed.
Only through the achievement of the above characteristics will the political guidance work- which orients the organs and the PBOs towards the monitoring of the general and specific issues of the struggle, of the elaboration and specialization of our own intervention and the generalization of the experience from this intervention- acquire substance. The major issue which should concern us is not only if and how much we work but how we work.
The effort for the specific contribution of the organs in the ideological-political struggle as a key element of the plan and control of their work objectively helps the assimilation of our elaborations, promotes the study of our worldview, the utilization of ‘Rizospastis’, ‘Kommounistiki Epitheorisi’ and political book, while at the same time it supplies with material (facts, questions, opinions, positions) the central elaborations and directions.
Another obstacle that we face in this effort is the fact that also within the Party, the general trend in society for the substitution of knowledge with information, exerts an influence. The relationship of the communist with reading and study has been significantly broken. That objectively creates- besides other difficulties- also a danger of gaps and differentiations in political level with multiple effects on collectivity, as well as on control.
The progress criterion of the guiding work is the increase of our forces’ capacity to promote the Party’s strategy to counter the strategic choices and the respective adjustments of the bourgeois political line, to form conditions which contribute to the regrouping of the labour movement and the promotion of the social alliance, to the concentration and preparation of working class and popular forces towards the struggle for power. A criterion of progress is the ability of our forces to demonstrate the superiority of socialism, to effectively orient the popular resentment against the real opponent, thus preventing the bourgeois efforts to divert them towards painless-for the system- channels. Of course, this effort must take into account the ideological-political level of the masses, not in order to be subordinated and limited to this, but as a necessary precondition in order to raise it.
The acquisition of the ideological and political level required by the present circumstances is a very demanding, continuous process, which must be developed at a collective and individual level alongside the leading activity in the labour-peoples struggles.
41. The ideological level of the organs is a prerequisite for their functioning as real command centres, for the strengthening of the initiative of the party organizations towards rallying and organizing popular masses, for the utilization and integration of proposals in the plan of the Party’s work arising from the experience of the class struggle. It also constitutes a precondition for the development of a well-aimed ideological-political front in industrial and other sectors of capitalist economy, at all levels of education, in the field of Culture and Sports, on the issue of the equality and emancipation of women, in the farmers’ movement and the movement of the urban self-employed.
The continuous work for the development of the ideological level of the organs, and in particular of every member of them, is a prerequisite for the development of the mass enlightenment capability of the party, for the improvement of the enlightening, propaganda media that the Party has, for the specialization of cadres in this very demanding special field.
The Sectoral Organs must discuss in a planned way in the PBOs broader issues, to draw experience from this discussion, thus trying to generalize at the level of the organs. The necessary prioritization of discussions on such issues by the organs must not “put on the back burner” other issues which daily concern the working class-popular family and regarding which bourgeois power has multiple mechanisms and services that it activates in the workplaces, the places of residence and the places of study thus intervening actively (Municipalities, NGOs, Church, various governmental services, riot police etc).
42. Some other issues of political guidance work on which we must focus our attention on, based on the report on the Party’s work are:
- The daily use of the Party Press as a tool for the most direct and effective guidance, for the fastest promotion of the Party line without many lengthy procedures. This issue is directly related to the increase of the circulation of “Rizospastis”, as well as of the other Party publications. This is a personal obligation of each member of the Party, an indispensable precondition in order to act in a guiding and leading way in the workplace, the place of residence and study.
- The political guidance work based on the objectives of the regroupment of the labour movement and the establishment of the social alliance. This issue is related to the organization and mobilization of working class-popular forces and the functioning and activity of the movement’s bodies, while it is especially complicated mostly in the area-based leading organs, without meaning that it has been solved in the sectoral ones. The entire deployment of party forces and the allocation of work in the organs must support this effort. A crucial issue, in every district of the large urban centres, as well as of the smaller ones in the rural areas, is the organisation of workers in trade unions and their local branches in all sectors of the private and state sector, the organisation of the self-employed people of the city and the village, the high-school and university students, the women from the popular families. Simultaneously with the above, it is necessary to strengthen the effort for the organisation of the joint action of popular forces through peoples’ committees and other forms of rallying, for the deepening of the struggle’s content, for the promotion of the social alliance towards an anticapitalist-antimonopoly direction aimed at worker’s power. This must be the basic element of the organs’ political guidance work.
- The concentration and deployment of our forces having as a criterion the construction in critical sectors (industrial, others of strategic importance, etc.), the organisation of workers and especially younger workers in the movement. Despite the important steps that have been taken towards this direction, we need a more daring shift in the orientation towards productive age groups and the respective deployment of our forces.
- The ability and readiness for sharp turns in the class struggle. That has to do with the ideological political readiness and the respective preparation. It is related to measures which should be taken from today in a number of sectors, the guidance and training for intervention and building in a range of strategic importance areas which are related to the ability and capacity to act in rapidly evolving conditions.
Axes of focus of the Party’s ideological intervention
43. For the next period as well, until the 21st Congress, the core of the ideological work remains the deep assimilation of the Party’s Program, of the conclusions from the socialist construction in the USSR, as well as those resulting from the study of the Party’s history from its establishment until the crisis of 1991, but also from the history of the international communist movement.
We have achieved a significant degree of assimilation by the Party and the Party’s Youth forces, even from a circle of people influenced by the Party regarding aspects of our Programme which relate to the socialist character of the revolutionary change and the fundamental features of the socialist-communist society that can objectively give a way out to the sharpening social issues, to the contemporary needs of the working class and the popular strata.
Nevertheless, the assimilation of those aspects of the Programme, which are connected to the relation between the objective and subjective conditions which are required in order to give a character of revolutionary overthrow to the class conflict, needs to acquire greater depth. Due to the adverse international correlation of forces, there is a danger of underestimating the need to develop the subjective factor in non-revolutionary conditions. Conversely, in the attempt to overcome this potential underestimation, there is the danger of underestimating the subjective element in the development of the correlation of forces between the rival classes. The proper understanding of this relation requires first of all the understanding of the internal contradictions of capitalism which lead to deep synchronized economic crises, to crises within the bourgeois parties, to the sharpening of the contradictions within the framework of imperialist alliances, to the possible military escalation of these contradictions etc.
The Communist Party must- as a party which is opposed to the bourgeois management parties- follow these developments, in order to be able, as far as it can, to sharpen and utilize them to the benefit of a revolutionary overthrow.
It must be understood that there is a great deal of fluidity in developments and processes in the global capitalist system, in the capitalist economy. What today seems immovable, immutable, tomorrow can change rapidly. Especially when today there is an accumulation of elements which may lead to sudden changes and alterations. In this sense, nobody can anticipate the course of events, the possibility of rifts being opened, the creation of possibilities and conditions for sharp upheavals in the correlation of forces. From this standpoint, there is a need for a corresponding ideological-political-organisational readiness and preparation which is cultivated on a daily basis in non-revolutionary conditions.
An aspect of the same issue is the better understanding of the dialectical relationship between the domestic, regional and international correlation of the class struggle. The fact that each CP has the leading role in terms of leading the class struggle in its country for the abolition of exploitation does not negate the significance of the regional- at least- correlation of forces in the development of the class struggle in one country or a group of countries.
The history of revolutionary upsurge periods of the labour movement and of the working class revolutions proves that the main difficulty faced by the revolutionary forces was the absence of subjective conditions for the victory of the revolution during the outbreak of the revolutionary situation and not the fact that in the surrounding regions there prevailed conditions of capitalist stability sufficient to suffocate the uprising in one country or a group of countries.
44. 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 at 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.
Alongside the deeper understanding of the above issues in terms of the dialectical relationship between objective-subjective factors for the revolution, communist endurance is also needed so that the communists can fight in non-revolutionary conditions without being co-opted by the system in the relatively “legal”, “peaceful” period.
This is the key issue that especially the younger communists will confront ideologically, but also in terms of their life stance. The whole activity that has unfolded so far, towards the celebration of the KKE’s 100 years has had a multifaceted positive influence on the Party and- especially- Party’s Youth, on younger comrades. The aims set for the next two years in honour of this celebration also include the maturation, education, as well as the invigoration of militancy and moral potential of KNE and its periphery.
45. Ahead of the ideological-political activity for the 100 years of the Party and the 50th anniversary of KNE, the political enlightenment work regarding the socialist character of the revolution, of power and the economy, must be deepened in its content as well as in the explanation of the causes and the character of the counterrevolutionary overthrows. A necessary prerequisite is the effort to confront the bourgeois and opportunist offensive, through the knowledge of the scientific laws of the capitalist and the socialist-communist society.
There are still significant weaknesses in understanding these laws. Such weaknesses are reflected in the concepts about “de-industrialization” as a result of the economic crisis; about “de-hellenization” because of the strengthening of the EU control mechanisms or because of mergers-acquisitions of large companies by monopoly groups; about the so-called “Greek particularity” in relation to the large proportion of economic activities which the bourgeois mechanisms classify as “services”; about “underconsumption” or “over-consumption” or the way of managing the financial debt as causes of the capitalist economic crisis etc.
Another such problem is the erroneous association of the state capitalist enterprise with the socialist production unit. Apart from the respective Party positions, the aims of struggle within the labour-trade union movement must help towards the sharpening the struggle against this concept in order to highlight the total distinction between these two forms of organisation of production. The existing similarities on issues such as the effort to reduce labour or raw material costs must not hide the essential difference between them; a difference which arises from the radically different property relations in the means of production, which result in benefiting different social forces.
Also, both the promotion of the contemporary working class-people’s needs which are determined by the current capabilities of science and production, as well as the emergence of the terms and conditions for their satisfaction, must be intensified in the Party’s positions and the labour-trade union movement’s goals of struggle.
As it becomes easily apparent, all these require a deeper understanding of the laws of the capitalist economy’s motion and of the particular characteristics of each period and conjuncture, the interpretation of the current economic and political developments (unemployment, wage cuts, government changes etc.) through the prism of these laws and their comparison with the respective laws of socialist production and the consequences for the producers of wealth.
46. The position that only the working class is objectively a revolutionary class, builder of the socialist-communist society and therefore is the leading force in relation to the other social forces, must be assimilated. Only the labour movement can take on revolutionary features, become a consistent revolutionary class movement, while the movements of the other popular forces cannot become consistent vehicles for the rejection of private ownership of the means of production. At the same time, another position which must be assimilated is that the objective leading role of the working class in the revolution, objectively benefits the self-employed people today (individual commodity producers) as well, thus providing a way out from their contemporary problems through the perspective of their integration in direct social labour. The KKE, as the ideological-political working class vanguard in Greece, highlights the necessity of the joint action of the self-employed people with the working class under capitalism, but also their smooth integration in direct social production in times of socialism-communism.
The efforts for the development of the anti-capitalist struggle and the struggle for workers’ power will have to face the constantly renewed pressures of opportunist and bourgeois political forces or even politically manipulated working-popular masses for political management solutions “within the walls of capitalism”, in the name of the notorious national unity.
These appeals subordinate the interests of the large popular majority to the interests of the exploiting minority of the bourgeois class. The danger of these appeals increases in conditions of upheavals in the imperialist pyramid, in conditions of the destabilization of imperialist alliances and the emergence of new ones, in periods of crisis of the governmental bourgeois parties and the emergence of new such parties, in conditions of an intensification in the confrontation between bourgeois liberalism and social democracy, between bourgeois parliamentarism and fascist or military dictatorship, between bourgeois modernization and religious-racial or other anachronisms.
A major issue of the ideological-political struggle continues to be the Party’s ability to fight against the illusions that through parliamentary reforms and gradual improvement of the electoral correlation of forces there can be the transition to socialism; to reveal the role that objectively every bourgeois government has; to highlight and utilize towards this direction the contemporary, as well as previous historical experience in a number of countries of Europe, Latin America etc.
Both the theory and the history of the communist movement prove that the proclamation of the socialist character of the revolution and power is weak when it is punctuated in practice by transitional governmental aims, in the name of the prolonged economic crisis, the intensification of state and employer violence, the open terrorism against the labour and communist movement, the Nazi-fascist violence, the suspension of parliamentary processes, the threat or conduct of imperialist war.
The daily political struggle on all issues must never be detached from the main revolutionary political task of the struggle for worker’s power.
In the next period, the EU and Eurozone cohesion problems, the strengthening of the BRICS, the interventions of the US for the consolidation of its positions in Europe and Asia, will create such conditions which will update again the significance – decisive for the revolutionary movement- of the connection of the struggle against the imperialist war with the struggle for workers’ power.
47. The deepening of the argument regarding the radical differences between bourgeois democracy and the institutions of workers’ power is of particular importance. The formal character of the participation in bourgeois democracy is in direct contradiction with the substantial character of the participation in conditions of workers’ power. Workers’ power constitutes a superior form of democracy because its key feature is the active participation of the people in the formation of the socialist society and has, as its foundation, the productive unit, the social service, the administrative unit, the producer cooperative.
Today- more than in the past- the intensification of the struggle to expose bourgeois democracy as a form of exercising bourgeois power, which means the dictatorship of the capital, is needed. What are needed are the- based on arguments- debunking of bourgeois democracy’s tools (e.g. the parliamentary, euro-parliamentary and local elections) and the highlighting of the class character of every bourgeois constitution in capitalism etc. In this effort, the exposure of modern reactionary changes related to the bourgeois state and the bourgeois political system, such as the modernization of the repressive mechanisms and the changes in Constitution etc., must be utilized accordingly.
Also, it is necessary to strengthen the effort for the rejection, by the working class, of the reactionary theory of the “two extremes”, which obscures the actual two “extremes” in capitalist society; these extremes are none other than the exploiting class of capital and the exploited working class. It is necessary to sharpen the struggle against the illusions according to which the labour movement must fight the fascist “current” under the flag of bourgeois democracy and to highlight the fact that, historically, social democracy and fascism have been the “two extremes” of capital’s power.
On “Rizospastis” and 902 news portal in particular
48. The Party’s Media, “Rizospastis” and the news portal 902 will play a significant role in the above.
The Central Committee has made an effort to improve the content of its daily organ as well as strengthening its staff. Despite all the positive efforts that have been made, despite the fact that, in general terms, “Rizospastis” corresponded to its basic task as the medium through which the Party’s line reaches members, friends and supporters daily, we are still far from fulfilling the need to establish it (“Rizospastis”) as the daily guide for action. More steps have still to be taken for the improvement of its content, for the ability to wage daily, in a successful way, the ideological-political struggle, to present and popularize the Party’s policy, to vividly highlight the small and big fights of the workers and the popular strata against the class enemy. All these tasks must be accomplished, taking into account that “Rizospastis” mainly addresses productive age groups of the working class and the popular strata.
The low circulation of the newspaper remains a big problem, as long as it is far behind the real capabilities and the downward trend continues. The issue must be addressed in the coming period. At the core of this problem is the utilization of the Party’s daily organ, under the responsibility of the leading organs themselves, from the CC to the sectoral organs, and the integration (of the newspaper) as an instrument of daily party action, as an element of political guidance work.
The creation of the news portal 902.gr as a news medium of the KKE was an important step in the Party’s intervention in the area of the internet and direct-online information. From the moment of its creation until today there has been a significant effort for its improvement and, since 2015, its new version has been uploaded. More improvements in its themes and appearance must be made in order to ensure a bigger circle of daily readers. This issue must be addressed within the framework of the Party’s 100th anniversary in 2018, combined with the upgrading of “Rizospastis” website.
In any case, the existence and functioning of the news portal 902.gr, like any other portal or Party’s website, cannot replace the reading and use of “Rizospastis”, both for the ideological equipping and promotion of the KKE’s positions and politics. Towards this direction, the daily political guidance work must be accompanied by the explanation about the significant differences that exist between knowledge and actual information on the one hand and simple pieces of information and news on the other.
At the same time, the special role of “Kommounistiki Epitheorisi” which brings together the contemporary elaborations of the Party as well as texts of lasting importance from the international communist movement, must be highlighted. The role of the book study must be highlighted and the need for the enrichment of every Party office and communist house with Marxist books, with political and literary publications, etc.
The struggle for the regroupment of the labour movement.
49. Today, the course of the movement, the development of the struggles, the fight for the regroupment of the labour trade-union movement and the promotion of the social alliance, are of critical importance.
The issues that we have to face, especially within the working class, in the labour movement, are to some extent in a new phase, as it has already been mentioned in the chapter on the domestic and international political and economic developments. The assessment about the situation of the labour trade-union movement, the degree of the development of the political consciousness of the working class, the stance and the struggles of the working class’ natural allies (poor peasantry, self-employed) has not changed and touches also the young productive age groups. The picture of the overall recession and retreat of the movement, of the generalized insecurity, of fatalism, of fear, is known, we find it in every step.
Nevertheless, there are new outbreaks of resistance and struggles are developing. The mobilizations which began as a Party’s initiative, by the communists in the working class’ trade-union movement, on the important front of struggle around Social Security had important mass characteristics and constitute a legacy for the movement’s development. A key conclusion is that there are possibilities, although all the subjective and objective difficulties continue to exist.
Although the work for the development of struggles in individual fronts of struggle and the engagement with all the small and big problems of the working class in workplaces and sectors are indispensable, a decisive rise of the labour movement cannot take place as long as there is no enlargement of a workers vanguard which is convinced by the socialist perspective, mainly in factories, in businesses, in the workplaces.
This mainly concerns the Party’s independent work, the communists’ work in the workplaces, in the trade-unions. The struggle within the labour and trade-union movement, the experience from the participation in this, the work in an anti-capitalist line help, facilitate such a process, but, nonetheless, cannot give a comprehensive answer.
The mobilizations in 2016 gave vivid examples of the power that the working class can acquire, of the significance of the social alliance. They strengthened the political influence and the prestige of the Party and the influence within the movement of radical rallies in which Party members actively work.
A major conclusion is confirmed: In order to have powerful forces in the main fronts of struggle, in order to improve our ability to work with and influence militant popular forces with different levels of consciousness, there is a need for a higher ideological-political, organisational and practical intervention of the Party, of the members and supporters in the working and popular masses.
A basic criterion of our guidance work must be the maintaining of militant links with all those who want to resist, independently their level of understanding today and acceptance of the totality of our positions. This of course does not mean a retreat from the task of highlighting the real causes of the problems, the substantiated and specialized highlighting of the direction for their solution which in reality is in an antimonopoly-anticapitalist direction. Naturally, the ideological-political struggle within the movement will be sharpening, but vigilance, readiness, capacity to conduct it in movement terms are needed.
The KKE has the ability to lead major struggles. In the cycle of mobilizations which have developed, there was elaboration of positions and struggle’s aims for big social problems which, up to a point, met wider acceptance. There was an action plan and preparation. Of course, there are still the various hostile (bourgeois, reformist, opportunist) views of the opponents and alongside them the opinions about the ineffectiveness of the struggles, the illusions, the fear, the whole mesh of factors which limit the influence of our positions.
It is not a coincidence that along with the economic war for the increase of the exploitation, the political and ideological war for the division, manipulation, disorientation and entrapment of working-popular masses is developing and strengthening. The ideological-political intervention of the employers, especially in the large workplaces, is diverse. This intervention is not limited to the cultivation of the notion of “partnership” and “our company”, but takes an even more practical expression with initiatives such as the so-called “Corporate Social Responsibility” and other activities (e.g. the “all together, we can do it”) or even through initiatives of psychological support and counselling in the workplaces by the personnel management staff.
50. A serious problem for the rise of the class struggle is the prevalence of the reformist-opportunist forces in sectors of strategic importance, in factories and large workplaces, where we have few forces. That constitutes a powerful obstacle to radicalisation. This conclusion was also confirmed in the recent mobilizations for Social Security. In the struggle it was proved, once more, how dangerous the role of the reformists, of opportunism is, as useful pillars of system in critical moments, as well as the role of the trade union leaderships which have the majority in GSEE and ADEDY, in big Federations and Trade Unions.
These forces are responsible for the disorganization of the trade union movement, the prevention of the movement’s radicalisation in conditions of prolonged crisis. They bare huge historical responsibilities, because with the whole range of their ideological and political views and practices, they spread confusion and disorientation. They contributed to the entrapment of working and popular masses in- convenient for the system- views, with as their major vehicle the view in favour of class collaboration, the denial of class solidarity and unity.
Such views prevail in sectors of strategic importance, such as in Energy, Banks, Transportation, Telecommunications, Public Administration, Health and Education and in other sectors. In some sectors, there are forces supported by the Party which have the majority in boards of Federations and Trade Unions, but, at the same time, even the party presence, intervention and, above all, organisation is very limited and quite weak in large workplaces covered by these mass organisations.
On the terrain of its ideological and political domination, the class enemy, with the help of reformists and opportunists, managed widely inculcate working class and popular consciousness with the perception that the crisis is a consequence of poor management by the liberal and social democratic parties, that it is a deviation from a supposedly healthy capitalist system and therefore, with a better policy formula, the system and the EU can be corrected.
After the two-year government of SYRIZA, which sowed disillusionment in wide sections of the working class and other popular strata in a mass way, the idea that “nothing can happen, nothing can come about”, “the foreigners decide”, appears more intensely. For that reason it is important to explain adequately where the struggles and the correlation of forces which have been formed since 2009 led us and why the movement must change direction. Alongside this, we must highlight also the different room for manoeuvre that the capitalist system itself has in its various periods and phases.
Here a serious ideological-political task for the Party as a whole is raised. To integrate into the labour, popular, militant experience all this course of the movement and struggles, the course of the developments of the whole eight years of the crisis. We are fully aware of the fact that all these have a contradictory impact on working class consciousness, on the majority of the working class.
Today, it is of special importance to clarify the character of modern reformism, a major vehicle of which are the forces opportunism within the labour and trade-union movement. Today, the reformist line in the trade-union movement has more openly the character of a proposal for the management of the system, while it incorporates demands and goals of struggle that are not simply detached from the struggle for the revolutionary overthrow, but are fully integrated into capital’s strategy. For example, the content of the slogan regarding the reconstruction of production, which are promoted within the framework of the various transitional programs, is in fact identical with the aim of capitalist recovery and change of the production model, despite the fact that it is camouflaged with seemingly radical slogans and demands (such as the ones for direct democracy, exit from the Eurozone, etc). They are goals of struggle within the movement which- through their integration in various transitional programs and other kinds of supposedly direct political proposals- are utilized for the entrapment of the people in various versions of bourgeois politics and in the line of governmentalism.
The confrontation against the opportunist-reformist line in the movement, therefore, has to do with the struggle also around the demands and objectives, around the direction of the struggle itself. Every time, the elaboration of the struggle line must have those elements of stability and flexibility that facilitate the liberation of radical working forces- especially those of a younger age- which are trapped in various management proposals.
In this ideological-political fight the communists must lead, utilizing in the confrontation the advantage of the confirmation of the Party’s evaluations on the above key issues.
The fact that the Party did not retreat ideologically and organisationally despite the very intense pressure, the fact that it led the significant struggles thus opening major ideological and political fronts, objectively establishes new bases of contact with the working class and the popular strata. Especially, the Party’s position for its non-participation in bourgeois governments proved a powerful weapon in the struggle for the emancipation of the working class, it constituted a protection shield for labour movement forces against compromise and subjugation to the bourgeois plans.
The development of the correlation of forces in the labour and trade union movement and the Party’s influence.
51. The total percentage of workers’ participation in the trade unions, as it has been recorded both the by the data of the GSEE and ADEDY congresses as well as by the elections in the base-level unions in the sectors, today does not exceed the 25%, while it is continuously decreasing. There is a retreat also in the organisation and participation of women (especially younger ones) and immigrants. This is one of the most fundamental problems we have to deal with.
For various reasons, the actual situation is even worse than the one indicated by the official data and statistics. One of the reasons is the intervention of the employers and the employer-government led trade-unionism which aim to distort the results in a series of elections through the presentation of spuriously registered (or double-registered, etc.) persons and union members.
The situation in terms of the level of organization in the federations and associations in the movement of the self-employed working people and farmers is even worse.
The Party maintained its forces in the labour and trade-union movement and in some areas and sectors it won new positions and forces. As relevant data show, the major losses of the Party are located in sectors which were seriously hit both before and during the crisis, as a result of the shrinking of the labour force (construction, textiles, clothing, footwear, tobacco, etc.) and due to retirements
The mobilizations of recent years strengthened the Party’s political influence, the influence of the rallies within which members of the Party actively work. Due to the strengthening of monopoly capital we must expect further intensification of the contradiction between capital and wage labour and, on that basis, the sharpening of all social contradictions.
From that point arises the need and the possibilities of the more planned work of the Party Organisations, of the Party as a whole, within the ranks of the working class and its movement, in order to strengthen the class struggle against the capitalists, their parties and governments, in general against capitalist power, towards a perspective of coming into conflict to overthrow it, for revolutionary working power.
The Party, equipped with its strategy, its elaborations about various issues arising in the course of the class struggle, armed with the elaborated experience of the recent period, as well as of its almost centenary course, can impact decisively in order to enhance and embed the necessary anti-capitalist orientation of the struggle.
The recent experience confirms that politically inexperienced forces will come out into the streets under the weight of the sharpening problems, despite the fact that they will not agree on everything with us, they will have limited endurance in the difficulties and twists and turns of the struggle. What has been proved in practice is the ability of the Party to promptly and objectively evaluate the attitude of the masses, to intervene in a planned and organised way as the vanguard in the framework of the struggle, in the forms of organisation and struggle, playing a leading role in the mass collective procedures of the movement, with attention and flexibility in order to broaden it, without weakening its vigilance and ideological struggle.
Such an intervention does not take place suddenly and spasmodically, it requires- collective and individual- long-term Party work with vanguard features. This work is the one which, at the right time of conditions, brings prestige, recognition and through this the ability to concentrate forces which do not follow the Party politically, or follow it in occasionally and on a sentimental basis. It is necessary to raise the readiness of the Party forces, to utilize the Party’s friends more, to improve the ability to contact such forces and impact on the direction of their struggle.
The tasks that arise for the regroupment of the movement
52. In the Decision of the Extended Plenum of the CC on December 2015, the content of the regroupment is defined as “…the preparation and development of a labour movement capable of confronting decisively and effectively and in alliance with the popular strata of the self-employed and farmers against the unified elaborated strategy of capital and capitalist power». This is a task which requires more complex and higher ideological, political and organisational work by the Party, both in its ranks as well as in the ranks of the movement, focusing on the contemporary needs of the working class-popular forces and requires the inclusion of various demands in a plan of concentrating forces and struggles with an anti-capitalist content.
The plan for the regroupment will be based first of all on strong Party Organisations in the factories, in businesses, in the sectors of strategic importance. It will be checked continuously with critical examination of experience, highlighting the objective difficulties, but also of the subjective weaknesses, in a unified and nationwide level, with stability and relentlessly, with the necessary adaptations and specialisations in each sector.
Therefore, our orientation for the development and regroupment of the movement must embrace every city and area, focusing on the monopoly groups, the factories, the electricity power plants, the telecommunications, the Public Transportation, the shopping centres, the health and welfare units. At the same time, the focus must include the self-employed toilers of the city and the farmers in the countryside, the youth’s places of education, the places where young people of working class-popular families gather.
A central issue which must be addressed is to what extent a single viewpoint amongst the Party’s forces has been formed in relation with the content of the regroupment and the duties arising from advancing it.
Despite the steps that have been made, there are still delays in the overcoming of fragmented approaches and embedding our conception for the tasks of the communists based on the above direction. The conditions created by the outbreak of the capitalist crisis brought to the surface new difficulties. Despite the related prediction, we were not sufficiently prepared for quick adjustments to the new conditions which the deep and prolonged crisis created; we had not studied new restrictions or difficulties in the assimilation and implementation of the planning for the regroupment.
During the next period, with more determination, we need to take measures in order to raise the effectiveness in promoting this central task in the whole Party and in KNE, from the CC to each PBO and BO, in every Party group.
The need for the formation of a unified view on the content of the regroupment of the labour and trade-union movement
53. As we have already pointed out, it is necessary to consolidate the view that the problems of the working and living conditions of the working class- even though they constitute the basis of the struggles and must constantly be developed with the leading contribution of the communists- do not lead on their own to the development of class political consciousness. The tasks of the ideological-political struggle of the communists in the movement for the strengthening of its anti-capitalist direction flow from this. These tasks include the elaboration of struggle demands and the choice of the forms of organisation and alliance with popular forces and require the adequate knowledge of the working class structure, the fragmentation that characterizes it, but also of the new mechanisms and methods of manipulation by the bourgeoisie which does not give up on co-opting the labour movement.
Daily attention and training is needed, as well as concern and care by the leading organs in order to raise the initiative, the daily activity of the communists, especially of the youth. Orientation and creative control is required for the formation of a clear understanding of the developments in each sector, an accurate and objective assessment of the correlation forces, of the masses’ attitudes, of the tactics of the employer and other forces, as well as of its impact. Daily and tireless individual work is required for the formation of stable bonds with the working class- even in periods when there are no visible results- which, under specific circumstances, would be converted into an increase of the prestige and influence of the communists.
We need to acquire a stable orientation but also greater ability to strengthen from below- beginning from the workplace itself, the base-level union- the line of struggle which focuses on the recovery of the losses, combined with the contemporary needs of the working class-people’s families. We must acquire the ability to project the fact that an obstacle to the satisfaction of contemporary needs and the related demands is capitalist ownership itself and capitalist profit. We must also have the capability to convincingly reveal- through the ideological confrontation that will be developing in the small or large-scale struggles- the mechanisms of exploitation and especially the conditions for their abolition. This is related to the ability of the Party and individually of each communist to work with a goal, a plan and continuity, inside the working class-popular masses, to help the organisation and rallying, the propaganda aiming at the radicalisation of their consciousness, the rise of the level of demands and militancy for the satisfaction of their contemporary needs.
The trend for the increase of the contemporary needs is objective. This is due to the modern level of development of the productive forces, the rise of productivity, the achievements of science and their application in all sectors (health, education, people with special needs etc).The contemporary needs also involve the reduction of working hours, the increase of leisure time, of vacation and recreation. They involve also factors related to the living standards, such as the quality and quantity of nutritional needs, housing and employment conditions, the role of physical education and exercise, healthcare with emphasis on prevention, the tackling of environmental problems and occupational illnesses, the increasing life expectancy, culture etc. They also involve the necessary infrastructure and means for their satisfaction.
Objectively, today the satisfaction of contemporary people’s needs is possible in Greece, a country which has proven development potential (technological resources, skilled workforce, modern methods for the organisation of production etc)and natural advantages, such as the capacity for nutritional self-sufficiency, utilization of the mountains and the sea, the infrastructure for the vacations of working class families etc.
Our difference with the bourgeois parties lies not only in the quantity and quality of the provided public and free-of-charge social services, but goes even deeper, thus touching on the organisation itself and the content of these services. So, for example, in terms of healthcare we demand not only better and free health services, but the priority of the prevention and early rehabilitation or in education. We demand not only the public and free books at all educational levels, but primarily a radically different content in these books, radically different methods and forms of teaching which must aim at the all-round education of the children.
Similarly, on the question of unemployment, beyond highlighting demands for the protection of the unemployed, we emphasise the issues of stable labour with rights, the potential to reduce working hours and, finally, the conditions for the elimination of unemployment. This is a constant front of struggle, due to the large number of unemployed people, especially amongst young people and their specific problems in terms of participating in the labour and trade union movement.
In all these together in a unified way, one can find the essence of our view concerning the contemporary needs of the people, knowing of course that, despite the fact that they must be fought for today, their full satisfaction does not “fit” within the framework of capitalism, but requires the socialisation of the concentrated means of production and their integration in the scientific central planning of production.
The highlighting of the importance of the development of the struggle and demands based on the contemporary working-people’s needs is primarily aimed at young workers and unemployed, especially those who joined production or reached a productive age after 2009. These sections have not experienced as many rights and achievements that existed before the economic capitalist crisis and, even more so, before the overthrow of socialism.
However, caution is needed so that the projection of the demands for the recovery of the losses does not idealize the pre-2009 period, but highlights the exacerbation of exploitation conditions in relation with the previous generations, a process which is in contradiction with the actual needs and potential that exist today. The argument which blames today’s decline on the existence of “unreasonable privileges” in the past must not remain unanswered. It is important to understand that the situation in capitalist development that allowed some “benefits”, rights and achievements, under different conditions of capitalist development, different correlation of forces and also influenced by the struggle of the labour movement itself, in all its aspects, has passed. Today the struggle is necessary, even for the very minimum, which must be connected with the overall struggle, the confrontation with the strategy of the capital.
The strengthening of the organised trade union activity as a constituent element of the regroupment
54. The existing experience from the work of the organisations must be utilized more systematically and their activity must be enhanced based on the following objectives:
- The acquisition of mass characteristics by the existing unions, first of all by the ones where we have forces. The entry of new workers into the unions and associations must be a permanent concern and criterion of the regroupment effort, insisting on the significance of the organised collective struggle and the concentration of forces against the class enemy.
- The coverage of all areas and workplaces with branches of sectoral unions, but also with workplace unions or the creation of new ones where necessary, depending on what is best for the organisation of the class itself. Development of an integrated network of such trade union organizations across the country.
- Stable functioning of the unions as a basic criterion of the regroupment. This includes the functioning of the union committee itself, the highlighting of the importance and the safeguarding of the General Assembly as a collective examination process that studies the situation in the workplaces and sectors and plans and organizes the struggle. Continuous gathering of information as well as the discovery of new ways and forms that facilitate the participation of the working people. The forms of activities (e.g. in educational, cultural and sports field) which have been developed in many cases and the establishment of relevant committees associated with these aspects of the working class’ lives have provided a positive experience and must be utilized. The unions in which our forces have the majority must be exemplars of functioning in this direction.
- Systematic monitoring of the process of the elections, the changing of the correlation of forces in favour of the class-oriented forces. There is positive experience related to the more systematic and close monitoring by the organs, the early preparation, the effort to concentrate new forces. These are some of the issues which must constitute a method of work for all Party groups.
- Strengthening of the solidarity, the mutual aid and class support of the working class family and each worker. This strengthening has been historically proved that especially in critical situations of crises, mass poverty, unemployment, wars, can be a key element for the activity and concentration of new masses. Often this is underestimated and acquires a perfunctory character, under the difficulties created by the lack of bonds with the workers and is not utilized as a tool for their improvement. Forms and ways of expressions (of the above solidarity) have been used on many occasions and need to become systematic and more general in the next period. It must be realized that, essentially, this is not a medium to attract workers, but mainly a medium for the formation of their orientation and criteria, for fostering militancy. On this issue, specific work with the unemployed and immigrants who are settled in our country is of particular importance. We need to integrate the relevant initiatives more organically in our orientation, in order to contribute to their systematisation in every union and to render them stable components of their work.
The course of PAME as a crucial factor of the regroupment
55. PAME is a great achievement of the labour and trade union movement that has followed a long and remarkable course until today. It constitutes a point of reference within Greek society and the movement.
It was established as an initiative of the communists who are actively involved in the movement and is a front for the rallying of unions, labour centres, federations, struggle committees, trade unionists. In the unions which participate in its ranks, the communists and the forces rallying around them may be the majority- a fact which to some extent reflects the recognition of the Party’s role by the working people- but within their ranks there are different levels of political class consciousness and agreement.
Large sections of the working class which we want to mobilize, to have contact with, are permeated by confusion, fears and even prejudices. That applies even to workers with trade union experience and even more those without ties to trade unionism. Thus, the work of the communists for the maturation of the revolutionary working class consciousness is complex even within the ranks of PAME, and even more in unions which do not belong to PAME or in workplaces with a complete lack of ties to trade unionism. As we have already noted, the experience of the workers from the struggles is not enough, although it is an important precondition.
There is rich experience from our activity all these years, however, although we all agree on key issues, mistakes may take place in practice. PAME is neither an “arm of the KKE” nor a faction of the KKE in the trade union movement, as opportunists and the government-employer led trade unionism claim. It is not only its members and their followers. PAME constitutes a rally of trade union organisations in an anticapitalist-antimonopoly direction, a consistent class rally distinct both from the government-employer led trade unionism as well as from the line of the reformist and opportunist current. PAME expresses the necessity of the struggle for the orientation of the labour movement in today’s circumstances. It is also our responsibility to strengthen the role of the unions which are in PAME’s ranks. They must operate with independence and our activity in them must facilitate the maturation and confirmation of their rallying in PAME and their adoption of the core of its line of struggle.
Today, the need to plan more precisely the enlargement of PAME with new forces in every sector and region is urgent. Such forces exist in the movement. They are the unions and the trade unionists who, during the previous period, developed joint activity with PAME and adopted aspects of its positions. A larger section- in comparison with the past- follows its activity and positions. These capabilities became clearly apparent in the recent 4th Nationwide Conference of PAME. We must have in our mind that we will not find forces ready to join PAME, that it is our task to shape them, through action, propaganda work and confrontation with the government-employer led trade unionism.
The role of PAME becomes more necessary in today’s conditions also due to the further bankruptcy of GSEE and ADEDY, due to the situation of the trade union movement itself, but also because of the plans for the reorganization of the reformist forces and the government led trade unionism.
The Party’s forces which operate within PAME must contribute to the implementation of the unified plan which was decided at the Nationwide Conference of November 2016. This plan includes a plethora of activities for the strengthening of the working class’ organisation in the unions, the functioning of the unions, the further rallying of unions and trade unionists, the development of struggles and mobilizations on the basis of specific objectives and demands, the promotion of the working class’ unity, the establishment of the social alliance.
A separate and especially complex front is the organisation and mobilization of unemployed people at the side of the unions, the labour centres, the People’s Committees in the neighbourhoods. This work presupposes the constant recording and monitoring and persistent systematic efforts to form strong bonds that will withstand the pressures, the difficulties, will safeguard the continuation of the struggle. This effort cannot take place outside the strengthening of the initiatives based on specific aims of struggle.
The initiative of the Patras municipality in the previous period for the march of the unemployed people in Athens must be utilized as a way of work and, adjusted to each case, must penetrate the work of the unions and the People’s Committees. At the same time, the initiatives in the neighbourhoods must be extended.
The experience from the People’s Committees, through the creation of solidarity structures and other activities (e.g. people’s schools, cinema, solidarity on health issues, welfare and with disabled people, soup kitchens etc.) is positive.
The course of the Social Alliance
The necessity and value of the Social Alliance have been confirmed in the struggles
56. The programme adopted by the 19th Congress of the party stresses:”The rallying of the majority of the working class with the KKE and the attraction of leading sections of the popular strata will pass through various phases. The labour movement, the movements of the urban self-employed and farmers and the form that their alliance takes on (the People’s Alliance) with anti-monopoly and anti-capitalist goals, with the vanguard activity of the KKE’s forces, in non-revolutionary conditions, constitute the first form for the creation of the revolutionary workers’ and people’s front in revolutionary conditions. The working class and popular masses, through the experience of their participation in the organization of the struggle in a direction of confrontation with capital’s strategy, will be persuaded of the need for their organization and confrontation to take on the character of a full and multi-facetted confrontation with the economic and political dominance of capital.”
The decisions of the 19th Congress refer in detail and at length to the issue of the social alliance. Useful experience has already been accumulated, both positive and negative. This experience must be utilized and constitute the basis of a more elaborated new plan so that the construction of the alliance can acquire a more stable base and prospect, to constantly and ever increasingly correspond to the demands that the conflict against the monopolies and capitalism has.
The social alliance in an antimonopoly-anticapitalist direction refers to social forces, i.e. to the working class and the other popular strata, irrespective of gender, age, education, national background. The labour and trade union movement has the basic role here, especially the class-oriented trade unions that are rallied in PAME.
The role of the party members is also decisive, as the political vanguard of the working class in the struggle to reinforce and deepen the social alliance of the working class, the toiling urban self-employed and the farmers in the countryside, with an emphasis on the participation of young people and women from these social forces. Inside this movement, the demands increase on the communists to win over the people, especially the poorest sections of the popular strata, from the ideology and political line of the bourgeois class and the influence of the financially stronger sections of these strata.
The mass influx of petty bourgeois strata into the struggle, the general strike, the joint demonstrations with the working class, on the occasion of the struggles against the social-security reforms, constitutes valuable experience from the previous period. This experience demonstrates both the potential for the joint activity and mobilization of wider popular forces in an environment where the opponent uses all means to trap and manipulate the people, and also the difficulties as regards the consolidation and expansion of the progress that is being made to form conditions for the continuation and escalation of the common struggle, for the strategic character of the alliance of the working class with the popular strata to be understood.
The joint struggle framework of PAME-PASEVE-PASY-OGE-MAS, which was formed in 2010, as a response to the needs, was the starting point for a relatively better coordination of activity. Today it is behind the needs and must be updated.
The various positive steps in joint activity should not hide the fact that the promotion of the aim of the social alliance in an antimonopoly-anticapitalist direction is at an embryonic stage. Apart from the objective difficulties that exist in this effort, we focus on what we can do something about, on the serious weaknesses and delays in the activity of communist men and women who work in the movement. These subjective weaknesses highlight the still inadequate understanding of the strategic significance of the social alliance, as well as underestimation of the complexity and difficulty of the specific duty.
The communists inside the labour and trade union movement must show greater concern in terms of rallying popular-intermediate strata (farmers, self-employed) in common struggle together with the labour movement. They must seek to work with better consultation between the movements, to persuade them of the leading role of the working class in a practical way.
We need to be particularly careful about creating a formal schema of the social alliance “from above”, as this is expressed as a “seed”, with the various forms it takes, in line with the specific phase the movement finds itself in, in terms of the correlation of forces and the consolidation/deepening as regards its anticapitalist-antimonopoly goals. Its progress must be constantly monitored, so as it may possibly proceed, it will be strengthened and recomposed on the basis of the movement, of the real activity of working class masses-allies, possibly taking on other forms.
The social alliance in relation to the self-employed farmers
57. The farmers’ mobilizations since 2014, which were triggered initially by the tax measures and later (2015-2016) the farmers also fought against the social security measures, have been multifaceted and mass in character. The government’s measures that worsen the living conditions of the self-employed farmers led to the militant manifestation of the accumulated indignation, even immediately after the parliamentary elections in September 2015, creating fissures in the climate of political consensus.
The power contained in the joint activity with the working class manifested itself, as was also expressed by the march of the tractors to Athens, with the support of two-day mobilizations of the federations and labour unions rallied in PAME.
PASY as an antimonopoly rally made a substantial contribution to the struggle against the former degenerate leaderships of GESASE, SYDASE, PASEGES (nationwide federations), against the CAP of the EU. It played a leading role in forming a framework of struggle with a clear demarcation line from the interests of the big farmers, in activating certain farmers’ associations and some Federations of Farmers’ Associations, in orienting the farmers’ movement to joint activity with the working class.
The farmers’ struggles brought a new form of rallying and organization of the nationwide coordination of the farmers’ movement to the fore, through the Nationwide Coordination of the Roadblocks, which had the roadblock from Nikaia at its centre, based on Federations of Farmers’ Associations and other local committees and roadblocks that were based on federations and farmers’ associations, where members and friends of the party are active. The Coordinating Committee of Nikaia played a role in this specific form of rallying and in the coordination of the organized farmers’ movement. The forces of PASY, the communists played a leading role in forming the basic framework of demands, in the related forms of struggle and organization, while today these are being adopted by farmers’ federations and associations that have not yet decided to rally in PASY.
We must attempt in the new phase the farmers’ movement is going through to deepen the anti-monopoly direction of these forces. The communists must rise to the challenge of the ideological struggle and also meet the danger of these forces being entrapped again.
We must persist so that the participation in the meetings and the other processes of the movement express the executive committees of federations, farmers’ associations, struggle committees and not individual participation as “important personalities». We must also stably renew the framework of demands of the nationwide coordination, developing the ideological struggle in the movement, excluding forces like “Golden Dawn”, as well as other pro-EU and pro-CAP forces.
We must more actively utilize the general positive climate to create associations, federations, with increased vigilance, but also with the goal of expanding the rallying which has been realized, to consolidate and deepen the antimonopoly orientation in relation to the other development path for agricultural production, the connection of producer cooperatives with socialized industry, the state-controlled retail sector and what this entails in terms of prices, infrastructure, protection from natural phenomena etc.
At the same time we must contribute to the organization of the poor, small farmers who no longer work as farmers, but have been transformed into agricultural workers or self-employed workers in other sectors, or semi-employed workers etc. These are sections of semi-proletarians or even sections of the working class itself that are no longer connected to the farmers’ movement and we must plan our intervention in another way in order to organize them in the trade union movement.
In the years to come there must be results in party building, with an intensification of our independent ideological-political intervention.
All the developments in the agricultural sector and the farmers’ movement, in forms of rallying that are created must be systematically followed. The new CC must study these developments in a nationwide body, in particular the course of the social alliance in an anti-monopoly anti-capitalist direction and to set the goals and determine the activity of the communists amongst the self-employed farmers of the Greek countryside.
The integration of the self-employed of the urban centres into the Social Alliance
58. in the previous period there was-after many years- an increased participation of the self-employed in the militant mobilizations, particularly in those regarding the social security system. However, it was also apparent in these mobilizations that the leaderships of GSEBEE-ESEE-GSAE (the various nationwide federations), the chambers, the various scientific associations, have a decisive influence-expressed through the dominance of their demands-on the poorer sections of the self-employed, trapping them into aligning with the interests and aims of the financially stronger sections of the intermediate strata.
What happens in essence is that the interests of the upper intermediate strata-and from time to time a section of the lower intermediate strata that are reproduced by and dependent on powerful monopoly businesses-are promoted as being the common and stable interests of the mass of the self-employed. It is no accident that wide sections of the self-employed supported the so-called line of “national productive reconstruction” over the entire previous period, hoping that in the framework of capitalist growth their share of the market would be maintained.
As regards the level of their organization, large sections of the self-employed that are in a wretched financial position remain unorganized, while compromise and the rationale of the individual solution are dominant amongst them. Even deeper ideological-political work is needed to detach the activity of the self-employed from the upper intermediate strata that are predisposed towards or align with the bourgeois class.
PASEVE as an anti-monopoly rally that attempts to express with its framework of demands the interests of the poorest sections of the self-employed in their struggle against the monopolies and their state, in opposition to the interests of the upper intermediate strata, still has-despite the small positive steps-a limited influence amongst the unorganized mass of the self-employed. A precondition for the influx of new associations and forces into its ranks is the more apt and convincing ideological-political line of confrontation, as well as the ability of the communists themselves to form conditions to come into contact with and rally sections that are basically wavering, that do not agree with us on everything.
The more systematic and mass-oriented ideological, political and mass activity of the communists amongst the petty bourgeois sections and their movement, the improvement of our ability to intervene in these sections and to form conditions so that they can be won over from the class enemy, are preconditions for progress to be made in terms of changing the correlation of forces, to pave the way for the strengthening of the social alliance.
Women and youth from the working class and popular strata in the Social Alliance
The activity of the radical women’s movement and the Social Alliance
59. Over the last 25 years, the support for maternity by the state has increasingly deteriorated, together with the increase of the intensification of labour, the unstable work shifts, unemployment and in general the factors that worsen the position of working women and young women. Capitalism and interstate-imperialist unions, like the EU, in the name of treating men and women equally and “reconciling family and professional obligations”, promoted and continue to promote anti-people, anti-worker measures with the aim of removing gains and increasing the rate of exploitation of both sexes. In Greece, the “equality” of the sexes was utilized by all the governments to abolish positive reforms that favoured women, e.g., by making the retirement age for men and women the same, by abolishing the ban on night shifts for women etc. The gender aspect of the woman issue is not only related to discrimination against women in the framework of the exploitative society, but also to the special social needs of women due to their role in reproduction.
In capitalism, the woman’s relationship with maternity is utilized to advance reactionary plans. For example, it is utilized as a vehicle to pull women into programmes of temporary and badly paid work, into forms of volunteering that are substitutes for the state’s responsibility for social services and infrastructure to support the family (especially regarding children, the elderly, the disabled, particularly in terms of health, welfare and education services etc.)In the same direction, there will be an effort in the next period to integrate women (unemployed, semi-employed) into the sector of the “social and solidarity economy”, in conditions of the intensification of the rate of their exploitation and their manipulation. At the same time, the view that the education and full development of the child is an individual matter for the woman, “a family matter”, is prevalent. The problem of the lack of free time has intensified with negative consequences in terms of women’s ability to be informed, to study and to take the decision to take part in the organized class struggle.
It is even more urgent for the party to carry out specialized work amongst women of a working class-popular background or position in production independently and through the ranks of the labour-people’s movement, with the aim of increasing women’s participation in the anti-capitalist, anti-monopoly struggle. This work continues to be considered today to a certain extent superfluous in the framework of the organs of the class oriented labour and trade union movement and the anti-monopoly oriented movement of the farmers and self-employed.
The leading organs including at the level of the PBOs, with the CC having the main responsibility, must orient the women cadres and party members, the supporters, the leading women in the movement, irrespective of their sector of work and responsibilities, to follow the developments as regards the contemporary forms of women’s inequality. At the same time, they must participate in the activity of the radical women’s movement through the associations and groups of OGE (Federation of Greek Women) and the development of militant mobilizations, to channel the elaborated positions and militant demands concerning women into the workplaces, sectors, university departments, vocational training centres and educational institutions in general.
What is most important is that the participation and initiative of women in the movement be increased. The joint activity and communication of OGE with the class oriented trade union movement, with the mass organizations of the urban and rural popular strata can be safeguarded through the intervention of the communist women. The class character of the woman question must be discussed through relevant specialised work in the movement. Demands for the protection of maternity, the female body and the family must be developed.
At the same time, the efforts to increase women’s participation require the intensification of the ideological struggle against the contemporary forms used to manipulate women, i.e. against the bourgeois, petty bourgeois and opportunist views regarding the causes of women’s oppression, i.e. the modernized theories about the “patriarchal society”, “modern sexism”, as well as the new anti-scientific theories concerning the “socially constructed gender». These theories are expressed through the appeals of the bourgeois political currents and their vehicles (even in the trade union movement) regarding the need to increase women’s participation in a number of institutions, without any references to class characteristics, presenting this participation in a narrow way as an element of competition between men and women. In particular, they promote the elevation of women to the boards of directors of businesses, consortia, institutional centres, as an element of equality of the two sexes. They propose quotas for women’s participation in “decision making centres” as a measure. In practise, the right to vote and to be a candidate in elections remains to a great extent a formal right, or more accurately are subject to the manipulation of capitalist power, for the majority of women, for those women who belong to the working class and popular strata.
Our party forces and those influenced by us must counter this by promoting the working class-people’s view regarding the participation of women. By the next congress, all the necessary measures must be implemented-which the party has already elaborated-concerning the systematic political promotion of women from the working class and poor popular strata to the organs of the movement. This is a necessary precondition so that a more mass and stable radical women’s vanguard can be formed, capable of drawing increasing numbers of women into the ranks and organs of the movement, into militant activity.
The youth of the working class-people’s families at every level of education and the Social Alliance
60. In the period after the 19th Congress, the bourgeois adjustments in education are characterized by changes that are related to its structure and content, its more direct connection with the needs of capitalist reproduction and profitability, its modernization with the aim of reproducing the ideological dominance of the bourgeois class,
In the conditions of the capitalist crisis, the guidelines were combined with measures to restrict spending, with serious shortages of teachers, with problems regarding the access of students to school, inadequate infrastructure, mergers-closures of schools etc.
The cuts in state funding for the universities and technological institutions paved the way for the even further restriction of spending on student welfare (food-accommodation).The so-called “viability” of departments was set as an inviolable condition, i.e. the safeguarding of funding from the private sector so that they can maintain aspects of their functioning and research in particular. There were serious consequences for the content of the courses themselves-expressed sharply in the technological institutions-with cuts in lessons and teaching hours, with the compression of course programmes in order deal with the loss of educational personnel.
In this period, the party, with the corresponding assistance of KNE, developed combined ideological-political-mass activity:
- To promote the strategic elaboration of the party regarding the unified 12-year school system that will serve the contemporary needs of the people and the potential that exists in our era, as well as the updating of our proposal for United Higher Education.
- To confront the classic and modern ideological constructs of bourgeois and petty bourgeois forces that are active in education and to militantly defend historical truth.
- To develop resistance and lead struggles against the government’s policies in combination with an effort to strengthen the forms of rallying in which communists participate.
The basic task of the party in the places of education is to reinforce its ideological-educational efforts, through a multi-faceted and multi-thematic axis centred on the party’s proposal for education under socialism and the highlighting of the potential of the new scientific achievements, which are utilized under capitalism for capitalist profitability and not for the prosperity of the people. Light must be shed at every level on the relationship between education and the dominant ideology and also the relationship between education and the dominant economic social relations. Teachers at every level bear a particular responsibility for this work, objectively due to their specific position.
More specifically on the student movement
61. An important weapon for our activity in the student movement is the radical rally, the Students’ Struggle Front (MAS) that has been formed by student unions, struggle committees, year committees, thousands of students. MAS has made a very important contribution to all the positive militant processes that have manifested themselves in the universities and technological institutions. In the 7 years since the foundation of MAS, important steps have been taken in terms of its consolidation. We can say with certainty that today MAS is recognized by wide sections of students all over the country.
However, there remains significant room for the improvement of our work in this direction. A basic precondition for this is the strengthening of the KKE and KNE in the universities and technological institutions, the reinforcement of the ideological-political and organizational work of KNE, the cooperation, planning and coordination with the respective party organizations. The role of the members and cadres of the party and KNE in the movement is decisive, as well as the way they work in the student unions, in those that are rallied in MAS and of course in the rest that are not. This work requires well worked out goals and forms of struggle with the aim of ensuring the leading activity in the student unions, the ability to rally around us wider masses of students who do not have experience from the struggles or agreement and clarity about the direction of the struggle.
Despite the particularly important problem of the non-existence of an organized structure in the student movement, the main problem is the line that is prevalent, the line of compromise and consent with the dominant political line. Therefore, the militant regroupment of the student movement must be at the epicentre, which chiefly means that the antimonopoly-anticapitalist line of struggle must gain ground, that the struggle against the EU’s and capitals’ strategy in higher education and in the other aspects of lives of young people must be strengthened. Sites of activity must be formed so that they can assert their contemporary needs.
MAS is not a narrow grouping of KNE. It is not a label that we use when we want to organize struggles in the student movement. It is a rally of student organizations with goals and aims that come into conflict with the political line of the government, capital, the EU, taking into account the level of consciousness of the young people rallied in it. A form of rallying with these characteristics, with the leading activity of KNE, enables the lively, multi-faceted, assertive, creative functioning of the student unions, struggle committees that are rallied in MAS. That is to say, it is based on the revival and not substitution of the functioning of the organizations of the student movement.
Today, there exist certain conditions so that our intervention in the student movement can take step forwards. The positive recognition of MAS will proceed to the extent that student unions will be formed, function and struggle with this orientation, above all those where the lists of Panspoudastiki KS has received the largest number of votes. These student unions must be an example in terms activity and functioning for the rest. Our intervention must be intensified in student unions were the correlation forces remains negative.
Activity in the junior and senior high schools, the technical schools and the training/apprenticeship schools
62. Just as in the universities and higher technological institutions, KNE has a particular responsibility in the schools (junior and senior high schools, the technical schools and the training/apprenticeship schools), due to the major concentration of young people there, to specialize, study and gather experience which will assist the leading organs of the party better understand the problems.
There needs to be very good coordination between KNE and the party so that all the forces we have available can be utilized for the establishment of groups of schools students, parents and teachers in every area or even school, which can constitute the basis for the beginning of a new effort in the school student movement.
Even though the degenerative situation in the school student councils has taken on permanent characteristics, there needs to be more persistent and better elaborated work so that their activity can be enriched by initiatives “from below». The role of the members and friends of KNE who have been elected onto the student councils is decisive here in terms of organizing events and multifaceted activities (theatre, music and sports groups, small publications etc.) with the aim of sharpening the struggle against the dominant ideology which is expressed in the school books and by the degenerative situation in student councils and the more general consequences of capitalist barbarity on the lives of the school students.
The councils must constitute organs of struggle that rally the school students to struggle concerning the sharpening problems and their needs. With such work as a starting point, it will be necessary for us to return to elaborating a proposal for the struggle and organization of the school-student movement beyond the limits of the individual schools, at the level of the cities and nationwide. Similar experience from other countries must be utilized.
The work for the prospects of the working class, for the regroupment of the labour movement requires the concentration of more forces, as well as efforts in vocational education centres and apprenticeships, with focused work in the departments and specialties and targeted efforts to form militancy amongst the youth, to educate them in the struggles, to connect them to the trade union movement.
The intervention of the labour unions based on the various professional specialties can pave the way for establishing contact with and rallying more students. The coordination of the student union bodies by department, specialty-sector and region can be the basis of our intervention and monitoring of the developments and changes in technical-vocational education.
The party has a direct and independent responsibility in this work. Our work in vocational education must be organized in coordination with the party groups in the federations and sectoral-level trade unions. The basis must be the coordination between the party and KNE. The planning for the building of KNE must be integrated into the corresponding plan of the party, with specific monitoring and support.
We must also enhance our intervention in the Merchant Marine Academies (AEN) all over Greece, as well as in the night schools.
The Social Alliance at the level of the neighbourhood, town, village, in the places of residence
63. In conclusion, the role of the communists is decisive for the regroupment of the labour and trade union movement and for the development of the social alliance in an anticapitalist-antimonopoly direction. And from this standpoint, the delays and confusions that still remain need to be overcome. Taking steps in this direction and acting in a unified way in order to form the preconditions to reinforce the joint activity and alliance of the workers, employees, poor self-employed, farmers, will better contribute to highlighting the common interests of the popular forces in the struggle against the monopolies and their power and to overcome the points of friction which objectively exist between them.
The experience from the activity in the previous period confirms the fact that the basis for such preconditions is the struggle for the contemporary needs of the working class-popular family, with demands that are part of a plan to concentrate forces, with goals and demands that are in opposition to those of capital, which shed light on the prospects of a solution that is to the benefit of the people, for the change of class in power in confrontation with the constant changes in government inside the framework of the system.
Today, however, the common steps are basically limited to certain joint central initiatives of the various anti-monopoly anti-capitalist rallies, in which the communists work; however they find it difficult to acquire continuity in the neighbourhoods and sectors. In order to overcome these problems, more initiatives are required, better elaboration of the content, of the framework of struggle, and also of the demands and slogans in each phase of the development of the joint antimonopoly-anticapitalist struggle.
The experience of the People’s Committees is positive in certain instances and must be better studied in order to deal with the difficulties that are identified, to overcome the confusion that exists. The People’s Committees are not general “initiatives of citizens” in the neighbourhoods. They are the local expression of the social alliance of labour unions or their local sections, self-employed associations, farmers’ associations, women’s’ associations and groups, student unions and committees in the universities, technological institutions and schools, as they are expressed through their participation in the anti-monopoly anti-capitalist radical rallies, in which the communists work.
Today, they acquire additional significance, as “new structures” are being promoted rapidly at the level of the neighbourhood, in the framework of the “social economy and solidarity». It is a crucial issue to study and confront them, as they are a new sector that is well-designed to assimilate popular masses into the system, to shackle the movement and corrupt the people’s consciousness, especially in conditions of extensive poverty and unemployment.
The direction of the struggle of the People’s Committees and their prospect as a form of the Social Alliance in neighbourhoods do not mature automatically, nor are they imposed from above, especially amongst popular forces that are not rallied in these organizations and will objectively have a low level of political class consciousness.
The reinforcement of the independent activity of the various components, mass organizations, struggle committees that are rallied in these on the basis of this direction, through the activity of the communists will assist the maturing of the need for there to be common activity, for them to acquire prestige in the neighbourhoods via the initiatives and activities that they develop.
What are needed are a good coordination and a plan so that they can acquire a basis and foothold in the working class, the self-employed, the farmers. It is necessary for the youth and women of the working class and popular strata to participate in these actively. They must be the expression of the alliance at the level of the neighbourhood.
Experience demonstrates that the promotion of the task of the Social Alliance in the sectors is a complex matter, has more difficulties, as the influence of the bourgeoisie and its allies is expressed here more clearly in the poorest sections of the urban and rural self-employed, as well as the delays in the regroupment of the labour movement itself.
More substantial ideological-political work is required so that the common prospect and the common enemy, the monopolies and their power, is understood. The labour movement with its initiatives, its stability, can pull such sections into the struggle against the monopolies. What is required is good coordination and planning so that the preconditions for common activity are formed.
We must shed more light on issue of the relationship between the party and movement.
64. The consistent struggle based on our programme, the revolutionary strategy, i.e. based on the goal for the concentration, maturation, organization of the working class as the leading social force in the revolutionary process, means that this struggle is also conducted when the conditions are not revolutionary.
This struggle is conducted by the party independently, without concessions in relation to the pressures exerted either by organized opportunist or other bourgeois forces or even by the working class-popular masses themselves that seek immediate solutions to manage the sharpening problems that are created every day by the capitalist system and its political personnel i.e. by the various governments and parties that constitute or support it.
This means that the daily, current political struggle must not be detached from the main revolutionary political task. The goal of workers’ power must not be shunted to one side by other transitional governmental goals on the terrain of capitalism.
This must be a central concern for our political guidance work from the “top” to the “bottom». We must increase vigilance so that our activity does not stray, whatever the conditions: a dramatic deterioration of the situation of the working class and popular strata, the threat or waging of an imperialist war in which the country’s bourgeois class participates, open terror, repression, the activity of fascist-Nazi forces or even the suspension of parliamentary processes through a coup d’état etc.
The historical experience and its collective study by the CC, the party as a whole and KNE, has equipped us with robust “anti-bodies”, which we must consciously activate in all conditions.
We must be fully conscious that all these things, the problematic views and practices, the various deviations, do not develop in a vacuum. There is an objective contradiction that runs through every communist party, every revolutionary workers movement that is active in non-revolutionary conditions. And this contradiction is based on the fact that while the CP is a party of the revolution, it does not operate in conditions that favour this.
65. Our party is active in such conditions today. Being active for over 4 decades in conditions of bourgeois legality, relatively “peaceful” bourgeois parliamentary conditions, makes it possible that legalist illusions can be formed in our ranks, in our periphery, amongst wider working class and popular strata. It is also possible that the mistaken view will gain ground, the view which says that through successive elections and the increase of the party’s percentage, through small changes and reforms a comprehensive revolutionary change will become possible.
Of course, the primary source that fosters such deviations and illusions i.e. the lack of an elaborated revolutionary strategy has been dealt with. However, this in no way means that the need for vigilance, for constant creative concern must be reduced.
Historical experience teaches that communist parties adjusted and restricted their activity, regardless of whether this adaptation took place and is taking place in conditions when these parties are struggling hard, militantly against an anti-people law, combatively demanding collective labour agreements, wage increases, the improvement of working conditions etc. Historically, on several occasions the contradiction between the leading militant activity, sacrifices, selflessness and the weak ideological buttressing against the infiltration of bourgeois ideology, the weak development of theory, the programmatic strategic problems, led these parties to being transformed in practice into parties of social-democracy.
Unquestionably, there need to be adjustments in line with the developing conditions. The daily leading struggle of the communists is necessary in order to impede anti-people measures, to seek measures to relieve the popular families etc. These adjustments, however, and the escalation of the people’s struggle in non-revolutionary conditions must not be detached from the revolutionary strategy. The danger of this detachment is just as dangerous as not taking into account the level of the consciousness of the workers’-popular masses, the difficulties caused by this and the measures that must be taken to form class consciousness.
It is a crucial issue as to how the party acts and builds itself in practice, as a leader of the class struggle, as a leader of the mobilization of the popular masses around daily issues and also around the more general issues regarding the future prospects, i.e. as a whole how to form the subjective preconditions in the class-oriented anti-capitalist anti-monopoly struggle for socialism-communism.
And this cannot occur without the axis of struggle for the revolutionary overthrow being connected to the struggle for immediate needs and demands, with issues related to the daily intervention in the economic, social and political reality in non-revolutionary conditions. Having a clear understanding that the economic struggle on its own does not lead to revolutionary political struggle. In the daily struggle concerning the everyday problems of the working class and its social allies, we do not lose sight of the main issue, which is the planned persistent ideological-political struggle for the deeper understanding of the necessity for the complete abolition of exploitation and the construction of a classless society.
Equipped with the decisions of the 19th Congress, the new Party Programme, the collective study of experience, one of the important issues that we have in front of us is the issue of the relationship of the party with the labour and trade union movement, as well as the difficult and complex issue of the relationship of the party with the movements of the allies of the working class, of the farmers and urban self-employed.
66. The difficulty in the relationship between the party and the labour-trade union movement-both in terms of political practice and as a theoretical issue-flows from the fact that the Communist Party is the highest, conscious form of expression of the labour movement. Consequently, when reference is made to the movement of the working class, reference has to be made to the communist movement, which consciously, and in a leading and planned way struggles for the socialist revolution and power, for the socialization of the concentrated means of production and the scientific planning of production and distribution of products and services so that constantly expanding needs of society can be satisfied.
However, lower forms of working class organization in terms of the ideological, programmatic and organizational formation and unity exist and will exist both in non-revolutionary conditions and in conditions of a revolutionary upsurge and during the period of socialist construction. The existence of a strong and organized CP and broad ideological-political and organizational work is prerequisite for the working class to be able to realize its historical mission.
The trade unions and the lower forms of organization in general have an influence and play a role in the organization and formation of the class consciousness of the working class. For this reason, the constant, decisive interventions of the forces of the communist party is necessary in the struggle over the orientation of the labour and trade union movement, in all conditions, whether revolutionary or not.
Objectively, there are no politically neutral trade unions. Either the line of class collaboration, employer and government led trade unionism or the line of the reformist, opportunist current or the line of anticapitalist-antimonopoly struggle will dominate in them. Consequently, the ideological and political struggle inside the movement has importance in terms of achieving the goal of organizing a significant section of the working class in an anticapitalist direction, in order to deepen and widen its bonds with the party.
For all these reasons, the relationship between the party and mass working class organizations is quite complex in practice. The attempt to formulate this relationship has caused difficulties for the international communist movement and has often been accompanied by absolute approaches and mistakes, both at a theoretical level and in practice.
The line that has been elaborated by our party equips it with correct guidelines. Consequently the central problem of political guidance work in the party continues to be related to how far these guidelines have been assimilated.
Of course, the conditions and correlation of forces must be taken into account, as well as whether we are in a period of revolutionary upsurge or not. It must be understood that in conditions of revolutionary retreat, the struggle against the reformist line of social-democracy in the trade unions must not recede even an inch. What is even more important is that the need for working class unity, the struggle for its organization and the functioning of the trade unions, the activity and discussion inside the movement around demands or forms of struggle must not be translated as being a result of or having at its precondition the cooperation with a section of the labour aristocracy, with a section of social-democracy-under the pressure of the line that says “we must all work together”.
67. The relationship of the party with the movements of the poor farmers and urban self-employed is objectively even more complex and difficult, as these are movements of forces that cannot be the vehicles of a new society due to their social position. Despite all this, a significant section of them have an interest in struggling for this new society, integrated into it through producer cooperatives or as workers in direct social production or services. It has an interest, as the new working class power can satisfy the multi-faceted needs regarding work, housing, health, education, pensions, free time, for rest and participation in the structures of workers’ power etc.
On the basis of this perspective, the communists are struggling today, in non-revolutionary conditions, with aim that these movements approach the class-oriented labour movement, without losing sight of the fact that the wavering, the bourgeois and reformist illusions, the various petty bourgeois views and trends are stronger and more constant in these movements.
A special issue is the relationship of the party with the radical women’s movement for the emancipation of women of a working class background or from other popular families from the potential social allies of the working class.
The inequality and discrimination against women at every level, in life, in the family, at work, in the struggle, in the political struggles, have deep class roots, which means that this problem affects the labour movement.
Only the Communist Party can consistently express the identification of the struggle for emancipation and equality with the struggle for the complete liberation of men and women from exploitation. However, this presupposes the leading activity of the party organizations, of communist women workers, employees, trade unionists and intellectuals, who through their activity in the ranks of the women’s movement can radicalize it in an antimonopoly, anticapitalist direction.
The activity of communist women inside the associations and groups of OGE cannot take for granted that the level of the understanding of the problem of women’s inequality or the level of class, political consciousness of the women rallied there is unified.
The confusion as regards the necessity and the content of the party’s specialized work amongst women and the activity of communist women in the radical women’s movement is expressed in the party organs, and also amongst women cadres who, taking their own life stance as their starting point, do not understand the additional objective difficulties that limit the political and social activity of women, even of women who are party members and members of KNE, particularly in periods when their living conditions change. These women comrades find it difficult to specialize their work to prepare the recruitment of women who often carry a greater burden of reactionary habits and hesitations, even inside the party, in sectoral and workplace PBOs, finding it more difficult to participate in the discussions.
The need for the double awakening of women has been borne out, i.e. their political class consciousness and the realization that the political awakening of women has additional difficulties, that additional objective obstacles must be overcome. Therefore there needs to be additional specialized work, not only inside the movement, but also inside its vanguard, the CP.
Certain steps continued after the 19th Congress of the party concerning the efforts to specialize the party’s political line for women, both independently and also in the framework of the labour-people’s movement, taking into account that the movement rallies women from the working class and popular strata, including some outside of the political influence of the party and KNE.
The necessary inner-party educational work-especially amongst women party members in the sectors and KNE-begins with the necessity for our view on the woman question to be assimilated, which amongst other things presupposes the utilization of the party’s special publications. Independent activity on the issue of the equality and emancipation of women in conditions of socialist construction must be developed by the party organs and PBOs, as well as on the importance of the liberation of personal relationships, the relationships between the two sexes inside or outside the institution of the family from every form of economic, social and ideological coercion.
The assimilation of the essence of the woman question is necessary for understanding both the need for a radical women’s movement, i.e. a movement for the equality and emancipation of women with a working class-popular socio-economic position or background (poor farmers and urban self-employed), and also the task of the women party members, regardless of their sector, to approach women workers, employees, unemployed, self-employed, farmers, young working mothers, students, pensioners, immigrants, as well as women excluded from social labour, such as house wives.
The KKE has accumulated over the course of all the previous years’ rich and significant experience from its activity in different conditions. It particularly studies the relationship between the party-movement-masses as a constituent element both of the development of theoretical understanding around this issue and also of the day to day political guidance work. It utilizes its conclusions as a guide for daily political activity, as a means to strengthen the revolutionary capacity of the organs and the PBOs, of the party as a whole.
On the course of party building
68. A basic factor that determines the role and effectiveness of the party in the labour movement, in the class struggle, is party building in industry, in strategically important sectors, in combination with the increase of its strength and influence in the great mass of the working class and especially in its younger sections. In this framework, the ability to penetrate strategically important sectors and emerging dynamic sectors of the economy is of particular importance.
The consequences of the economic capitalist crisis for the working class and urban and rural popular strata are serious. Important changes have taken place in the work sectors. Factories and companies closed, thousands of workers were laid off, many remained unemployed or changed profession, others retired. Many businesses have not renewed their personnel; others did so by hiring young people through the various subsidized programmes. Some others were profitable or carried out investments abroad. As is natural, these developments had their own impact on our party forces, as several party members and supporters found themselves outside the workplaces, because they had been dismissed or had retired. There remain a significant percentage of unemployed people in our ranks.
In the period after the previous congress, the party has made serious efforts to overcome difficulties and replenish the losses in the party as a whole with new recruits. The tortuous efforts to re-establish contacts in workplaces, to enter new workplaces in order to replenish a section of the losses, to form a new periphery next to the party organizations-work that is the necessary basis for the development of the party and the establishment of new party and KNE organizations- has had some results.
We have a 2% improvement in the social composition of the party i.e. a 2% increase of workers-employees from the private and state sector in the overall composition of the party, as a result of a better elaborated plan of the party organizations to build and recruit in workplaces.
The leading bodies are acquiring, with slow but stable steps, a unified view about the content of party building. They understand that it is not merely identified with recruitment, but is a broader combined ideological, political, organizational and mass intervention of the party concerning all the problems that torment the popular families.
It is understood to a larger extent that there needs to be greater and more frequent engagement concerning this issue on the part of the cadres, as well as a continuous examination of experience, real monitoring of the measures and forms used to implement the goals. Steps were taken regarding the coordination of work between the sectoral and area-based organizations, regarding the understanding and implementation of the task for the party and KNE forces to work everywhere with the same content, whether they are organized sectorally or on a geographical basis.
However, the central problem of party building was not dealt with, which is the delay in developing the party in large industries and strategically important sectors. This is an issue that makes the development of the party’s work as a whole amongst the working class difficult. This delay is not just a result of objective difficulties. These exist, but cannot conceal the problem in our political guidance work, i.e. that we are not always able to adequately combine the tasks of organizing the struggle with the goals of party building, while we have not yet rid ourselves-to a significant extent-of a narrow trade union approach that permeates our work in the working class.
The integration of new members into the party in the conditions of the crisis is a more complex matter. It requires the planned, systematic communication with and utilization of militants who distinguish themselves in the workplaces, who struggle in the labour-people’s movement, who march together with the communists in the daily struggles. The preparation of candidates for recruitment needs more systematic, comprehensive, political, ideological work with the political line and Programme of the party, with its ideology and historical experience, with communist values. These are necessary preconditions so that it can explain the causes of the problems and the additional difficulties that are created by the crisis: mass unemployment, the closure of businesses, mass impoverishment, the confusion caused by the various reformist and opportunist forces as regards the way out from the current situation.
69. If we look deeper we will see that the independent party intervention amongst workers with the Party Programme, with its analyses for each specific sector, are not suitably prioritized in our work. We do not persist in discussing this in the party organs and PBOs, placing the appropriate importance and weight on these matters that have indicators and results in terms of our planned work in the working class, in terms of the maturing of political consciousness, the rallying around the party and its political line, participation in the struggles. I.e. Those things we describe as being the results of the party political intervention of the PBOs in the workplaces.
The steps that were taken do not correspond to the gravity that the organizational development and improvement of the working class composition of the party has for the regroupment of the labour movement, especially in the current conditions of the movement’s retreat, of the pressure for the cooption of large sections of the working class. Consequently, the basic task “to achieve a leap forwards regarding party building and the ideological and political strengthening of the KKE in the working class”, which we posed in the Declaration of the CC for the celebration of the party’s 100th anniversary, remains integral and can be summarized in the codified goals, outlined below, which are connected to the friendly competition between the party organizations concerning party building:
- Improvement of the percentage of industrial workers and the number of PBOs in major businesses of strategic importance.
- Improvement of the social composition of the party in terms of the percentage of workers.
- Improvement of the age composition through an increase of recruits from KNE and from the 18-40 age groups.
- An increase of the recruitment of women and improvement of their overall percentage in the party and in the leading organs.
The achievement of these goals cannot be realized outside the development of the leading and well-planned political activity of the communists around the sharpening problems in the workplaces, sectors and neighbourhoods (in the city and the village).This political activity has as its axis the antimonopoly-anticapitalist line, while it is specialized with specific goals of struggle that bring us closer to the workers and their families.
The key to success is the correct organization of the work of every organ from the CC to the PBO and of each individual cadre. This work presupposes the utilization of the experience that has been acquired, the timely identification of the difficulties, the collective discussion to deal with them, the frequent monitoring and the focus on measures that assist the mass development and strengthening of the current of communist ideas in the places of work and education so that the ranks of the party will be reinforced with new blood. This work is closely linked to the activity for the establishment of new trade unions, for other unions to acquire mass characteristics, the creation of trade union committees, struggle committees, committees of immigrants and the unemployed, in line with the composition and potential in each workplace. At the same time, it is linked to the activity for the mass organization of the workers, employees, farmers and urban self-employed, the youth and women from the popular families in the radical and other forms of rallying in which we are active as communists, as well as through the participation and activity in the people’s committees, in other committees and associations for cultural and sports activities etc, in all the neighbourhoods, cities and villages.
Through such interaction with the masses, the ability of our forces to promote our line against the strategic choices of the bourgeois class will improve, as well as their ability to demonstrate the superiority of the development path of workers’ power, to orient the people’s discontent against the real enemy, the bourgeois class and the imperialist unions, to persuasively explain that the struggle cannot be effective without a decisive front against the compromising views of reformism and opportunism.
The party today has the necessary ideological weapons and resources to push hard for its political, ideological and organizational strengthening. We are referring to the Programme and Statutes of the party adopted at the 19th Congress, the conclusions regarding the causes of the overthrow of socialism and the collective elaborations for the 2nd Volume of the Essay on the Party’s History, the Nationwide Conference on our work amongst the youth, the Extended Plenum of the CC on the regroupment of the labour movement, the discussion of the experience from the multifaceted activity in the framework of the party’s 100th anniversary etc. We are referring to the party’s publications, ‘Rizospastis”, “Kommounistiki Epitheorisi”, the publications of “Synchroni Epohi” that are a pillar of support for the stable, multifaceted, permanent planned work, generalization of experience, transmission of experience to wider masses.
Each PBO, utilizing these tools and means of communication in a planned way with the workers, can form better conditions for the people to rally around the KKE for changes and upheavals, can increase the number of people that understand what a strong KKE means.
On the social and age composition of the party
70. Without a party that is strong in the working class, with strong PBOs oriented to the masses, which will ensure the stable systematic promotion of its political line, no steps can be taken to move forwards with the task of regroupment.
Consequently, the construction of strong party organizations oriented to the masses in the monopoly groups, the factories, major financial, industrial, retail centres emerges as a basic task. The leading organs and party organizations must focus on this task. The goals for party building have been set by the party organizations, focusing on productive age groups, on active new forces, with the following more specific priorities:
- Ports, airports, transport as whole
- Chemical industry-Pharmaceutical industry-Food
- Major works-Construction
- Major retail centres
In practice, it seems that we encounter difficulties in implementing the task of making party building the basic criterion of measuring the effectiveness of our work in each activity and mobilization. Under the burden of the tasks, the current demands of the struggle, the specific work that must be carried out in this direction is lost and is relegated to a secondary position, while there are forces around us that are close to the party, with a heightened level of agreement with its positions and experience from their participation in the movement. The monitoring of the course of party building must be reinforced in all the leading organs and PBOs.
The mass ideological, political work of the party in the factories and workplaces, with the aim of the stable-systematic dissemination of its positions and political line as a prerequisite for the formations of the party’s periphery, is a precondition for steps to be taken in terms of the influence and organizational strength of the party. This must be at the epicentre of the activity of every PBO, every communist-with all available forms and methods-as a basic precondition for party building. The propaganda methods on this axis must be widened; they must not be restricted to mass leafleting, to election campaigns, to short-term campaigning forms of activity. The dissemination of “Rizospastis”, “Kommounistiki Epitheorisi”, Marxist books, as well as the wide promotion and discussion of the positions and assessments of the party on the basis of current developments must also be reinforced.
At the same time, however, there needs to be systematic work and preparation so that the dissemination and popularization of the political line of the party, which flows from its programme, from its strategy for workers’ power and socialist revolution, consistently and persuasively permeates every aspect of the activity, propaganda and work of communists. It must be based on the experience from the workplaces themselves, on the concerns developing amongst the popular strata concerning our political line under the impact of the policies and propaganda of the bourgeois class, of its parties, of employer and government led trade unionism, as well as of the mechanisms of the employers.
The study and generalization of this experience must proceed more rapidly in all the leading organs, from the CC to the PBOs and party groups. Similarly, there needs to be an increase and improvement of specific individual work, especially in crucial and difficult places, with good coordination, persistence and monitoring. More cadres and party members must be systematically integrated into these efforts, like those party members that are elected to the executives of various trade unions. Appropriate forces must be more decisively deployed so that they can contribute to the implementation of this task, where this is judged to be necessary.
A party capable of guiding KNE so that it enters a phase of significantly developing its forces.
71. The goal of carrying out a leap forwards in terms of party building requires rapid renewal, the increase of the party’s forces with younger age groups, especially from the working class and its youngest sections.
The Decision of the Nationwide Conference for the party’s work amongst the youth (December 2013) and the specific measures that it includes strengthen this direction. They identify the independent responsibility of the party to attract younger people into the struggle for revolutionary change, as well as the responsibility it has to politically guide KNE.
The implementation of the decisions of the Conference is a necessary and urgent task, especially in view of the 100th anniversary of the party and the 50th anniversary of KNE so that the bulk of the party’s work can be more decisively focused on the youth of the working class and popular strata and so that the renewal of the party with new blood can become more stable.
Certain steps have been taken, over the course of all these years thousands of members of KNE have acquired membership of the party, while many party members who had been promoted to the organs of KNE passed over to the party and renewed and improved the age composition of the party organs. However serious delays still remain.
KNE is the basic source of recruits for the party. KNE’s entrance into a phase of significantly developing its forces and its ability to carry out communist education is undeniably an integral element for the revolutionary continuity of the KKE and party building and must be treated as such by the party organs. It is a precondition for the party’s quantitative and qualitative strengthening.
The work amongst younger age groups, even before they enter production, in the places of education, apprenticeship, vocational training, especially in the technical colleges, the technological institutes, the IEK, the professional schools, the merchant marine academies, as well as in the universities and high schools is crucial for building the party in the working class. The large majority of young people are gathered or will be gathered in the ranks of wage labour, consequently, the content of the party’s work must be stably oriented in this direction. There needs to be a unified plan and programme of work, form the organs of the party and KNE to the level of the PBOs-BOs (Base Organizations of KNE), with an emphasis on ideological-political reinforcement, on communist education as basic weapons for the vanguard propaganda work and activity. This plan must properly engage with the sharpening problems, as they are expressed in these specific age groups, in terms of insecurity about the future, unemployment, anti-worker labour relations and job insecurity, the efforts to acquire general and professional education. There needs to be solid activity in the fields of culture and sports, militantly confronting ideological and political issues, such as the increase of drug use.
The party is responsible for facilitating KNE in fulfilling the purpose for its existence and activity. This requires the elaboration of the plan in every sector of work and substantial assistance to KNE, which will contribute to the rallying of forces for the struggle regarding the contemporary needs of the youth and regarding the ideological-political struggle, regarding the development of KNE. This plan must have an orientation towards the communication, activity and transmission of the values and revolutionary goals of the party and KNE to school students from working class-popular families, to students in vocational-technical education, to university students with a working class-popular background, to drawing them into the labour movement.
This activity must develop in tandem with the ideological-political preparation of its members, Marxist education, the assimilation of the Programme and elaborations of the party, the conclusions from the study of the history of the communist and labour movement, the transmission of the lived experience of the party, the assistance for active participation in the internal life of KNE, the preparation and support for all the members of KNE so that they can later become party members.
The connection of the party with the leading sections of the urban and rural self-employed
72. The party’s intervention in the urban and rural petty bourgeoisie is an objectively complex matter due to their position in production. The rallying of those sections that have an objective interest in the perspective laid out in the Party Programme is a basic task related to the development of the correlation of forces as a whole and will be determined by our work in the current conditions.
The formation of strong cells of self-employed communists in all the major cities and sectors with a high concentration of self-employed is a precondition for the party to have links with their leading sections, as well as to limit as far as possible the influence exerted on them by the ideology and alliance policy of the bourgeois class and its state. It presupposes specialized ideological-political work and support for its deeper assimilation by the party forces themselves so that they can influence wider sections of the self-employed with the political line of the party, so that the necessary anti-monopoly orientation can gain ground in their movement.
Correspondingly, in the countryside and regions that are of particular importance for agricultural production, it is necessary to strengthen the intervention of the party organizations, as well as the planning so that the party’s ranks can be swelled with farmers, so that PBOs can be established in large villages or groups of neighbouring villages. Linked to this is also the planning for the promotion of many young farmers that emerged in the mobilizations as capable leaders in the farmers’ associations .The promotion of such cadres in the farmers’ associations is necessary so that the prospect of the financial destruction of many farmers can be better explained as a result of the competition of the monopoly groups and the centralization of capitalist agricultural farms and also the prospect of a better life in a society with a higher form of the organization of production, where cooperative agricultural production will be connected to socialized production.
It has been confirmed that in order to overcome the additional difficulties what is required is a comprehensive ideological, political, organizational plan of intervention related to party building, as well as the corresponding deployment and education of cadres who will specialize in the complex demands of politically guiding this sector and its movements.
A party capable of inspiring and mobilizing the people with the power of communist ideas and vanguard art
73. Today some important elements regarding the party’s intervention in the field of culture have been created: The scientific conferences, the Festivals of KNE-Odigitis, the special events, the exhibitions, the musical-theatrical productions, have tangibly enhanced the cultural level of the party and KNE.A significant section of people who specialize in a number of fields participated in or contributed to all these activities.
However, despite the steps that have been taken in recent years at a central and local level for the development of the party’s cultural intervention, a unified view concerning its importance has not been acquired, as an integral organic aspect of the functioning and activity of the party as a whole. The most widespread view in our ranks is that cultural work is needed just as a supplement to make the party’s political activity more attractive to wider popular forces. The most important characteristic, especially of art politically committed to the socialist-communist cause, is that it contributes to the all round formation of the personality, above all of the communists themselves.
Art is an important factor for the cultivation of the human emotions, imagination, sensitivities, inspiration as well as the will to carry out social change. These are necessary characteristics for the formation of a revolutionary political vanguard, for its ability to inspire in the struggle for the abolition of the exploitative society. It is no accident that throughout its history-in prisons, exile, clandestine conditions even more so in periods of the sharpening of the class struggle, as in the EAM-ELAS resistance and above all in great and harsh conditions of the DSE’s struggle-the KKE placed great weight on art as a means of inspiration and organization of social emotions, as means of political and ethical education.
The heroic struggle of the KKE inspired a plethora of writers and artists, created a valuable heritage which to various extents was continued in the later conditions.
In today’s conditions, after the overthrow of socialist construction, it has become more urgent for the party to inspire-through the development of its revolutionary communist ideology and the dynamics of the class struggle for socialism-intellectuals and artists, to develop militant bonds with them, to inspire all those who care about the people’s needs, resist individualism, the decay of capitalism, believe in the potential of a humane, higher form of organization of social production and social life in general.
This goal presupposes the more systematic and demanding work for the greater utilization of scientists, intellectuals and artists, members and friends of the party, which will encourage them to place their creative work at the service of the working class and the noble aims of the revolutionary transformation of society.
On the organizational redeployment
74. The organizational redeployment of the party lent significant impetus to the orientation of its work in the working class. The planned concentration of forces and the changes in the organizational structure of the party and KNE, which began with the creation of the Party Organizations of Attica and Central Macedonia, have proceeded step by step, studying the experience, in other Regional Organizations as well in recent years.
The experience from the redeployment of the party forces is positive.
- It was a necessary and positive measure that assisted, apart from the orientation, the concentration and political guidance of the party forces for the work in the working class and party building.
- The situation in the large workplaces was better and more objectively studied. There was a recording and prioritization of the workplaces, basic sectors where the working class is concentrated, of the monopoly groups in every region.
- There was a more specific plan for intervention and party building in the large workplaces, in the industrial zones, as well as specific allocation of tasks to sectoral and area-based PBOs. A wealth of experience emerges from the coordinated work and especially from the formation and activity of joint party groups from sectoral and area-based organizations in combination with forces from KNE. In the framework of these joint party groups, the allocation of tasks for recruitment and the creation of cells in specific factories and businesses, retail and other centres, industrial zones etc proceeded. This experience must be further studied in order to be more systematically utilized at the level of the regional organizations.
- Issues related to the preparation, carrying out and guidance of major mobilizations, sectoral and more general ones, trade union elections were better dealt with.
The Central Committee must systematically follow and study the experience that emerges from the deployment of the PBOs and the corresponding organizations of KNE. This deployment must be centred on the major urban centres (Athens, Thessalonica, Patras, Larissa, Irakleio, Volos, Yiannina, Lamia, Halkida, Korinthos, Kalamata, Kavala, Kozani, Serres), where the industrial zones are concentrated, as well as the bulk of the labour force and popular strata. In these places, there is a large concentration of industrial sectors (manufacturing, transport, infrastructure, major works), as well as retail centres, restaurants-tourism, administrative services, hospitals, schools and universities, as well as significant sections of youth and women.
The experience of party building and activity in the sectors and neighbourhoods, the coordination of sectoral work with the place of residence (neighbourhood and village) must be studied systematically and substantially. The goal and criterion is for each party member and cadre to develop all-rounded activity and to develop themselves in an all-sided way. This presupposes both the primarily important intervention in the workplace and the corresponding intervention in their place of residence. The latter intervention includes the activity around the multifaceted problems of the family, school and the education of their children, the creative utilization of free time. What is also important here is the participation and monitoring of activity in cultural, sports etc associations, committees and the forms of rallying around the problems of healthcare in the neighbourhoods, anti-flood, earthquake, fire protection, water, free public spaces, around the demands directed at the level of the municipalities and regional government etc.
The orientation for such a comprehensive and combined content of work, i.e. all efforts to be directed towards the same goal, will assist, aside from anything else, the younger cadres to acquire more direct and comprehensive experience in complex party work. So that they become grounded in the reality of the difficulties as well as the potential created by the intervention in the workplaces and the direct communication with the workers. They themselves must try to answer the ideological constructs that are used by the employers and the other political and trade union forces.
The issue of cadres
75. Hundreds of new cadres have emerged in recent years at every level of the leading organs of the party. Several of them were recruited to the party not only after the counterrevolutionary setbacks, but during the first 15 years of the 21st century. These are cadres who were recruited, struggled and were promoted with the contemporary strategic view of the party that was completed at the 19th Congress with the adoption of the Programme and Statutes. However, they also developed in a period of the complete victory of the counterrevolution, and in a period for the moment relatively barren of upsurges in the class struggle.
Of course, it is important that a new generation of cadres of the party and KNE are developing and being educated with criteria that are free of seeing parliamentarianism as the basis for measuring the political influence and strengthening of the party. However we must not underestimate the features of inexperience, one-sidedness, abstraction, confusion and the mistaken separation of political tasks that several young cadres have.
The development of these cadres, the reinforcement and utilization of their best characteristics, their education in the principles of the functioning and activity of the party, the study and knowledge of the long experience of the party, requires specific, long term, targeted assistance and education by the leading organs. This assistance must encourage initiatives, a responsible stance, endurance in the face of problems that arise, education to acquire a more solid communist method in their work. This is an issue that above all is the responsibility of the CC of the party.
The experience of the party over its turbulent history demonstrates that the cadres must be judged over a longer period, during which they acquire a more complete personality as communists. They must have passed through various positions of responsibility in the party and movement, have tested their endurance in the ups and downs of the class struggle, as well as how to deal with the problems of life, work, the education of children, other emergencies and difficulties. This is even truer today, as the conditions of life and social maturity have become more difficult; the acquisition of comprehensive social experience comes much later and in many cases is distorted by a number of factors which did not exist in previous decades.
We have not yet overcome in practice-not just at the level of declarations-fundamental weaknesses in the planning of the formation of party organs, of the allocation of tasks in them, the promotion and development of cadres, the topics for discussion in the organs on the basis of the need to reinforce ideological work, in combination with planning of the intervention in workers’-people’s struggles. Despite the fact that the need to form well-rounded cadres was identified at the 19th Congress, we have not yet been able to overcome the weaknesses of a longstanding separation between organizational, ideological and mass trade union cadres in our practical functioning.
Cadres develop in essence and better to the extent that there is from time to time a rotation of duties in terms of the allocation of party work. The specialization exclusively in one area of work for many years has the danger of leading to routine, to cadres not developing in every aspect, to delaying the maturation and the necessary sphericality in their work, their preparation to undertake increasingly difficult missions in the allocation of work to assist the party, the movement, the revolution.
Today, the goal is to promote many cadres from the working class, with working class-popular backgrounds, who will be assisted in acquiring multifaceted capabilities, specialization in sectors of work, a good ideological-political level, political guidance capabilities, contact with the masses, as well as a stable orientation to the regroupment of the movement, to the promotion of the social alliance and to the need to rally forces around the party and to draw new forces into it.
In order to implement this important task, there needs to be planning, research, timely and special preparation for KNE’s forces. At the same time, there needs to a more systematic utilization of scientists and artists who are members of the party in order for them to place their work at the service of the working class and the goal of revolutionary change.
We must persist in taking measures to assist cadres who are responsible for politically guiding PBOs and BOs. All the cadres, regardless of their allocation in specific sectors (organizational, mass, ideological), must acquire direct personal experience from discussions and communication with workers inside the movement, the trade unions, the mass organizations, the struggles so that the tasks are specialized in the movement in a specific and lively way, so that they directly engage with demands of the ideological-political struggle.
We must fight more decisively against weaknesses related to the underestimation of ideological work, as well as the separation of the mass activity of cadres from political and organizational activity, as well as a narrow administrative approach on the part of organizational cadres (this problem flows mainly from their weakness in acting as political-ideological cadres), to effectively and specifically help in every field and front of activity, as well as in politically guiding and cooperating with each party member, each member of KNE, each supporter, on an individual basis. There is also an urgent need to prevent mainly young cadres, who are engaged in science and research, from being detached from their mass activity, from their direct participation in the ideological-political-organizational work of the Party Organizations.
On the party’s finances
76. Over this four-year period, our party was forced to take painful but necessary decisions on the basis of the important conclusions that the 19th Congress came to and the decisions-guidelines that it took.
Utilizing the valuable experience acquired during the long period after the fall of the junta-and especially after 1991-we took measures to better manage our finances, to more strictly monitor the course of the implementation of the annual budgets, both in terms of the party’s income and expenses, from the level of the CC to the PBOs.
After the closures of the television and radio channel of 902, the cessation of the functioning of Typoekdotiki (the print company), the drastic reduction in the number of pages of “Rizospastis”, the drastic cuts to the spending of the headquarters of the CC and of the Regional Party Organizations-despite all this, safeguarding all the obligations towards the workers in the party’s apparatus (salaries, compensation, social security funds etc.)-we were able to cover the needs of the party with the greatest possible efficiency. Included in these needs are political propaganda work, material to inform the people about the developments, the promotion of its positions and the meeting of the requirements of its tasks related to developing the workers’-people’s struggles (with the important contribution of “Rizospastis”, the 902 news portal that was created in this period, the multifaceted publications of “Synchroni Epohi” etc).The real self-sacrifice and heroism of the communists, the members of KNE and the numerous friends of the party was a decisive factor in all this.
The party financially covered its political activity in the successive electoral battles (European Elections, local and regional elections, referendum, two general elections), its functioning, its constant daily contact with the people, its important events in the run up to the 100th anniversary of the party, for the 70th anniversary of the DSE etc., the cultural activities and the Festivals of KNE-Odigitis, its obligations in the international communist and workers’ movement.
The CC feels real pride concerning the hundreds of thousands of workers all over the country that gave financial support to the KKE from their meagre earnings, with smaller amounts than before-both during the fund-raising campaign and also throughout the whole year-as well as concerning the thousands of members and cadres of the party and KNE who struggle daily to help the party financially so that it can respond to its high objectives in service of the interests of the workers and all the popular strata.
We were and continue to be in a particularly difficult period for the working class, the Greek people as a whole. The consequences of the crisis continue to torment the popular families. The close comradely political relationship of the workers with the party, for 100 years, in even the most difficult moments of the struggle, is also expressed through their financial support, through the further development of the bonds of the party and KNE with their friends and supporters.
The increase of income from fundraising work and the support of the organizations, the increase of the circulation of “Rizospastis”, of “Kommounistiki Epitheorisi”, of “Odigitis”, of the publications of “Synchroni Epohi”, apart from the more general importance they have for the ideological-political intervention, can significantly contribute to reinforcing the party’s finances.
In the context of the offensive being escalated by the class enemy and its parties, via its mechanisms and its governments, the party must have greater readiness, competence, financial self-sufficiency for serious political, ideological, publishing activity, so that the political line of the party reaches the Greek people in a more decisive, mass, broad and comprehensive way.
The situation in the international communist movement and the activity of the KKE
77. The regroupment and development of the international communist movement is a permanent, consistent task for our party. It flows from the global character of the class struggle.
After the counterrevolution in the USSR, Central and Eastern Europe, the consolidation of capitalism in China and then later the strengthening of capitalist relations in countries that sought socialist construction, such as Vietnam and Cuba, worsened the situation in the international communist movement.
The communist movement as a whole is in retreat, and finds it difficult to react against the offensive of the class opponent, which combines repression with ideological-political means. In many cases the class opponent has been able to “overwhelm” the communist parties from within.
The influence of opportunism on the communist movement is being exerted through the forces of social-democracy (old and new) and new opportunist parties, which are mainly being coordinated via the “centre” that has been established in Europe, the so-called “Party of the European Left” (PEL).The CPs that participate in the PEL act as a “battering ram” for decommunisation, i.e. the further loss of the communist characteristics of other CPs as well.
In the context of this complex and lengthy process, tortuous steps are being made in the direction of regrouping the communist parties. This process is characterised by contradictions and difficulties as well as by weaknesses in the orientation to work inside the working class and labour and trade union movement.
In these conditions, our party took important initiatives in order to gather together communist forces from all over the world, to develop common activity:
a. The “International Communist Review” (ICR), as a first attempt to form the Communist Pole: The goal of the ICR is, through the discussion of different approaches, to attempt to form certain conditions that will lend impetus to the matter of the common strategy of the CPs, both through the circulation of the journal and also-in the future- through other forms that will serve the efforts to create a discrete pole of CPs that defend Marxism-Leninism.
b. The attempt to maintain the communist characteristics of the International Meetings of the CPs: Over 120 CPs that from time to time participate in the International Meetings of Communist and Workers Parties (IMCWP) over the last two decades have a joint website, Solidnet, where they can publish their news and documents, while a system for the rapid exchange of information between the CPs is integrated into solidnet. The “Information Bulletin” with the material from the meetings of the CPs is published in electronic form. The functioning of Solidnet and the publication of the “Information Bulletin” are commitments the KKE has undertaken towards the other CPs that participate in the IMCWP. This situation, which, in comparison with the first period in the 1990s, includes steps for the coordination of the parties’ activity, must not distract us from the essence, which is none other than the fact that the communist movement remains organizationally and ideologically fragmented and a harsh confrontation is being conducted in its ranks, which in recent years has intensified around strategic questions. The increasing interventions that are also related to state geopolitical interests create additional pressures inside the International Meetings, which together with the reinforcement of reformist views (both bourgeois and opportunist) concerning bourgeois management governments in the framework of capitalism and its imperialist unions increase the uncertainty about the course of these meetings. What is needed is a systematic monitoring and intensive effort to maintain some communist characteristics which they have had since their beginning in Athens and later their hosting in other capital cities around the world up until the present day.
c. The holding of regional meetings of communist and workers parties: at the initiative of the KKE, 3 regional meetings of Communist and Workers parties are being held. These are the European Communist Meetings, the meetings of the CPs of the Eastern Mediterranean, Red Sea and Persian Gulf and the meetings of the Balkan CPs. These meetings, which have been consolidated, constitute a space for the exchange of views and experiences amongst the parties.
d. The establishment of the “European Communist Initiative”. The “Initiative” that was created on the 1st of October 2013 is a new form of regional cooperation of CPs, in which 29 CPs participate. It is based on specific ideological-political principles that define its communist character, its opposition to the imperialist unions and its opposition to the PEL. In two years the “Initiative” has issued a number of statements on important current political issues; it has a website and common logo and holds regular meetings.
The internationalist task of strengthening the struggle for the regroupment of the communist movement makes it necessary to ensure the most accurate possible assessment of the objective situation.
Today, in the context of the general negative correlation of forces, the majority of CPs cannot respond to the offensive of capital, of international capitalism. The theoretical level that has been acquired is a long way behind the demands created by the situation in their countries. The level of Marxist-Leninist understanding and the deficiencies in infrastructure have led to major delays in collective analyses regarding crucial issues related to the ideological confrontation, including the analysis concerning the reasons that led to the counterrevolution. They have difficulties in studying their history and drawing the necessary conclusions.
The longstanding bourgeois legality has had a negative impact and in certain instances intensified phenomena of the corruption of the leaderships in the labour movement. The connection of revolutionary theory with revolutionary action is at a very low level and these difficulties impact decisively on party building, the work in the working class, the youth, especially amongst women working class-popular socio-economic position or background.
78. As a whole, the International Communist Movement continues to face serious ideological-political problems. All these factors impede the course of its regroupment. It is necessary to strengthen the discussion for the understanding and promotion of the necessary programmatic changes; to continue in a grounded way the ideological debate with CPs that directly or indirectly adopt a “reformist” strategy (with various forms of stages); to strengthen the confrontation against CPs that incriminate as being “sectarian” the strategy which rejects class collaboration-compromise and is directed towards resolving the contradiction between capital and labour, towards socialism
The process for the revolutionary regroupment will be slow-moving, tortuous, and vulnerable to deviations and setbacks, especially at turning points in the developments, such as an imperialist war. This is of great importance today for the formation of conditions that will lead to the creation of strong, as far as possible, bases to support the regroupment.
We treat the struggle for the regroupment of the communist movement as a crucially important task, a component of the class struggle, which is connected to the ability of the communist parties to strengthen themselves in a multi-faceted way:
- Ideologically-politically, overcoming mistaken positions that were prevalent in the ICM in previous decades.
- Organizationally, so that they have solid bases in strategically important companies and sectors, so that they can intervene decisively in the labour-people’s movement.
Through this systematic struggle it is sought to achieve the necessary preparation so that in conditions of the outbreak of a revolutionary situation each CP can meet its historic task in its country and fight for the overthrow of capitalism, for socialism and at the same time establish an effective apparatus that will provide internationalist support and solidarity.
Today, the line of conflict between the revolutionary forces and the forces of reformism (inside and outside the communist movement) is unfolding over a wide ideological-political front.
Some of these issues are:
- The recognition of the timeliness and necessity of socialism.
- The defence of the achievements of the October Revolution.
- The lessons drawn from the overthrow of socialism.
- The scientific laws of the struggle for the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism and socialist construction.
- The struggle against the participation in bourgeois governments and the vain efforts to humanize capitalism and democratize the imperialist unions.
- The causes of the capitalist crisis and sliding into policies that support bourgeois (social-democratic) reforms to manage the system.
- The study of the social composition and structure of contemporary capitalist society, highlighting the role of the working class and its historic mission.
- The issue of the alliances of the CPs, where mistaken views are developing about “left unity”, “cooperation with leftwing social-democracy”, “new anti-fascist fronts” etc.
- The issue of war in the era of imperialism and the struggle so that the communist movement is not pulled to the side of one or the other imperialist power, so that it defends consistently the class interests of the working class in conflict with the bourgeois class and does not choose a “false flag” under the pressure of petty bourgeois forces and also nationalist pressure on working class forces.
- The issue of the refugees and immigrants, which entails important immediate tasks for the CPs, at a time when views influenced both by nationalist positions and also by bourgeois cosmopolitanism are strengthening, even inside the parties.
- The struggle against the imperialist unions, above all the EU and NATO, and also alliances like BRICS and others that are being established now, against the non-class approach towards inter-state imperialist unions, as well as against providing political support for bourgeois choices to depart from an imperialist union.
- The issue of “dependence”, which is detached from the position of each capitalist country in the imperialist system and does not take uneven capitalist development into account as a factor which also determines the unequal relations in the framework of the contemporary interdependence of capitalist states in the international imperialist system.
- The issue of the relationship between the struggle at a national and international level and the view that the struggle at a national level has disappeared.
- The struggle against ideological constructs concerning a “multipolar world”, against the view about the “laws and rules of international law” that understands these laws and rules as a supra-class product of peaceful settlements and not as a reflection of a specific correlation of forces etc.
The struggle around these and other issues will intensify in the next period.
79. Our party is called on to strengthen its independent ideological-political activity, as well as its cooperation with other CPs with the aim of making its efforts against bourgeois and opportunist views at an international level more effective. On this basis, our party still has the goal of forming a Marxist-Leninist pole in the international communist movement.
The “International Communist Review”, as well as the “European Communist Initiative” are elements of this effort. These forms have contributed to an extent to the efforts of our party; however they are not free from the influence exerted by the class opponent and the longstanding delays of many CPs in terms of elaborating a modern revolutionary strategy at a national and international level.
Our party must continue its efforts, both through the “International Communist Review” and through the European Communist Initiative. It must work for their consolidation, for their expansion with new communist forces, as well as for the withdrawal of forces that are an “obstacle” due to the influence of the bourgeois class and opportunism, and even for the recomposition of these forms and their replacement by others, if this is deemed necessary.
The further specific forms that the formation of a consistent Marxist-Leninist pole of communist forces could take will also depend on the steps taken by other CPs in elaborating and shaping their revolutionary strategy -also by drawing conclusions from their history-, in overcoming old and mistaken analyses, in taking stable steps in party building acquiring and deepening their relations with sections of the working class and other popular strata. Our party will contribute with all appropriate means at a bilateral and multilateral level in this effort.
The KKE maintains relations, discusses, exchanges views and seeks common activity with dozens of communist and workers’ parties and will intensify this effort in the next period, irrespective of the level of agreement or disagreement on partial or more all-encompassing issues. It will continue to contribute at an international level, in the framework of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), the World Peace Council (WPC), the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) and the Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF).
Overall summary assessment concerning the performance of the outgoing of the Central Committee
80. Overall, the Central Committee that was elected by the 19th Congress worked on the basis of its decisions, the new Programme and Statutes of the party, the Political Resolution and the tasks set out in it. It made efforts so that the strategy of the Party, its Programme would be assimilated into every day work, via the practical experience of the struggles and developments.
The CC worked on the basis of the plan of action of the 19th Congress revealing the character of the capitalist economic crisis, the agreement of all the bourgeois parties to utilize the deep crisis as a launching pad for the expansion of the anti-people restructuring, for the increase of the rate of exploitation, for the acceleration of the centralization of capital, for the further bankruptcy of the self-employed in the cities and agricultural production, for the expansion of the capitalist businesses.
It successfully exposed the attempts and systematic efforts for the reformation of the political system, both in the first period of the ND-PASOK coalition government (2013-2014) and also in the next period of the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government (2015-2016).
It contributed to the ideological and political equipping of the party forces, the friends and voters of the KKE, as well as wider forces in Greek society, to confronting new illusions that were created both by the new government and both by the old and new parties of the opposition. It highlighted the reality of the gradual governmental transformation of SYRIZA into a clearly bourgeois social-democratic party, with the specific characteristic that it is comprised of opportunist forces that split from the communist movement, while it exposed in a timely fashion the efforts to set up new “buffers” after July 2015 by forces that split from SYRIZA and cooperate with other extra-parliamentary forces.
Over these years, it successfully waged 6 electoral battles, utilizing them for the wide political propaganda work amongst the people and to promote the political proposal of the party: Two parliamentary elections, where a small recovery of forces was achieved with percentages of 5.45% and 5.54%, a referendum-parody, fighting to expose the games of the SYRIZA government and the entrapment of leftwing and radical people under the banners of illusions and false hopes about it having a consistent anti-memorandum political line, the European elections (with a percentage of 6.1%), the local and regional elections over two rounds, with the election of 5 communist mayors in Patras, Kaisariani, Haidari, Petroupoli and Ikaria and hundreds of local and regional councillors all over the country. It fought against the criminal activity of Nazi-fascist Golden Dawn, especially after the murder of P. Fyssas in Keratsini and the murderous attacks against communist trade unionists in Perama and against the Egyptian fishermen. It stably, consistently, widely and tireless exposes its role in Greek society.
It undertook the task of exposing the major inter-imperialist contradictions, the expansion of interventions and military conflicts, of explaining the positions of the KKE against the predatory alliances, such as NATO or the EU, for the need to disengage from them. It worked to prepare the labour-people’s movement so that in the instance of an imperialist war it will not follow false flags, will organize its own independent resistance and will connect the resistance with the struggle for the complete and final defeat of the bourgeois class, both domestic and the foreign invader. It contributed to the development of the Greek anti-war movement, through EEDYE and other organizations, trade unions, rallies of the international anti-imperialist movement, through the WPC. There were multifaceted activities for the regroupment of the ICR, for the formation of a distinct pole of the communist movement, through the ICR and European Communist Initiative.
On the basis of the Resolution of the 19th Congress, the CC successfully carried out the Nationwide Conference on the party’s work amongst the youth and its assistance to KNE. It carried out an extended Plenum of the CC on the regroupment of the labour movement, the promotion of the social alliance and party building in the working class.
It continued the party’s historical research concerning the 1918-1949 period. It proceeded to writing and discussing the first volume on the Essay on the History of the Party, which is in its last stage. To an extent it also continued the research concerning the period of the dictatorship 1968-1974, through the publication of a collection of articles.
It took measures to improve the content of the newspaper of “Rizospastis”, of “Kommounistiki Epitheorisi”, the 902 news portal. It discussed in detail and decided on the improvement of the systems of inner-party education, the schools, seminars, the special lessons for KNE, for new members etc.
It elaborated our position on the unified 12-year school, on the school in socialism, on physical education in the education system. It updated our positions concerning the struggle against all drugs.
It continued cultural activities with workshops, discussions, with the established Scientific Conferences in the field of culture, dedicated to Bertolt Brecht and Nazim Hikmet.
It elaborated in a timely fashion its declaration and organized plan for the 5 years of activities (2013-2018) regarding the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the KKE. Hundreds of events have been held all over the country, organized by the CC, the Regional Committees, the Central Council of KNE, with the participation of tens of thousands of friends of the KKE, either on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the DSE or the 70th anniversary of the Great Anti-fascist Victory of the Peoples or on other anniversaries related to the party’s activity. It organized special events, meetings and publications about those unbowed by the class struggle and set up monuments and organized themed events in the places of exile, imprisonment, torture, execution and the sites of heroic battles.
81. Despite all the positive aspects in the activity of the CC and the enormous volume of work it implemented, the basic problems still continue to exist, the discrepancy between the major strategic goals we have outlined and the level of our political guidance and assistance to both the party organs and PBOs.
The CC has not yet been able-despite the efforts made through the comprehensive and substantial transmission of experience from the activity of the Party Organizations- to engage more systematically and show even greater care so that cadres who are active in fields of work inside the party or as elected trade unionists etc in the movement are equipped with and acquire multifaceted capabilities.
Empiricism, narrow conceptions, one-sidedness, continue to be negative features in our daily activity. The correct collective discussion in the highest leading organ of the party and in all the leading organs of the party organizations and KNE assists the stricter monitoring of implementation, substantially contributes to answering questions related to how we work, to whether theory corresponds with practice, to whether the strategy, the Party Programme are absorbed and understood and whether party work corresponds to this, to whether the level of political guidance work has improved.
The CC was not able to concentrate its work in an organized way, to reinforce the organizations responsible for political guidance work in sectors/branches of the economy and industrial zones that are of strategic importance for the party.
The improvement of the work of the CC is directly related to the improvement of the performance and contribution of the Sections of the CC. Despite the progress that has been made, there continue to be problems regarding the better coordination and specialization of the general directions so that organizations and our cadres that are active in the mass movement can be more effectively assisted via the party groups. Despite the relatively adequate staffing of certain sections, it still continues to be absolutely necessary to further reinforce and staff all the basic mechanisms of the Sections of the CC with new comrades who will be educated at the side of the older comrades.
The CC as a whole contributed to promoting and developing cadres, a necessary condition for the continuation of the development of the party. Even more effort is required today to promote many cadres from the working class. The basic source of cadres is KNE which continued in this 4-year period as well to supply the party with new cadres in many and different areas of work, contributing to the improvement and renewal of the work of the party organs. There need to be measures for continuous and multi-faceted ideological, political assistance, for the most rapid possible transmission of experience, as several young cadres have a relative lack of social-workplace experience.
Despite the problem having been identified, we have not yet been able to overcome, with the responsibility of the CC, the weakness of members of the CC and Regional Committees not regularly passing through organized systems of Marxist education at regular intervals, not writing articles, finding it difficult to elaborate propaganda material, even thematic reports, even more so in specializing political guidance work for movements, like the farmers’ movement, the movements of various categories of the urban self-employed, the radical women’s movement or fronts of struggle, e.g. education, health, against drugs etc.
The fact that the elaborations of the CC and its Sections are not systematically discussed is primarily the responsibility of the CC, of the PB and the Secretariat. For example, there was no discussion in any Regional Committee of the study carried out by the Economics Section regarding developments in agricultural production until 2009 by product and by region, with corresponding conclusions concerning the course of centralization, the criteria to analyze the stratification of the farmers and to define the objective allied strata for the working class, the criteria to define the agricultural workers and thoughts on their trade union organization. A result of this is also the weakness in elaborating in a unified and collective way at the level of the organizations-Sectoral and Regional- a tactical intervention in the mobilized forces of farmers beyond those rallied in PASY. In addition, the leading organs of the Party and KNE minimally engaged with our analyses concerning the unified 12-year school, on sports and physical education in the education system, that updated our position against all drugs etc.
The CC must contribute even more decisively to fostering a climate for the cadres and leading organs to take initiatives, on the basis of the directions, decisions, and tasks that are collectively decided by each Regional Committee and indeed by each PBO.
To strengthen comradely criticism and self-criticism in the framework of party procedures which assist the overcoming of weaknesses and deficiencies, to reinforce collectivity, responsibility and individual and collective monitoring, to educate.
The CC lagged behind in terms of providing direct assistance to “Rizospastis” and “Kommounistiki Epitheorisi”, as well as to the 902 news portal, in terms of writing articles on many topics that could convey in a lively way the daily accumulated experience of the organizations in the central journalistic organ and the theoretical and political journal of the KKE.
The contribution of the CC in improving the orientation of the party and undertaking initiatives, in generally improving the party’s work in the developments and struggles was as a whole positive.
A weak point in the CC’s work remains the insufficient study of experience and monitoring of the implementation of the policy of rallying forces, despite the fact that it was a basic orientation of the PB, often combined with current events and the developments themselves.
Overall, the CC also lagged behind in terms of the policy of systematically promoting cadres, in setting out a stable constantly-monitored policy for preparation and suitable assistance.
The CC, despite some small steps, is still seriously lagging behind in terms of creating an infrastructure on issues of propaganda, intervention in the internet, in the plethora of diverse technological means that exist in our era.
The CC was not able to establish solid and stable bases for work amongst younger age groups, on the basis of the decisions of the Nationwide Conference on the Youth (December 2013) and the 11th Congress of KNE (December 2014).
The Political Bureau and the Secretariat bear a particular share of the responsibility for all this, in the framework of the collective work of the CC and chiefly regarding the various delays that appear in the regroupment of the movement, in advancing and understanding the strategic importance of the social alliance in an anti-capitalist and anti-monopoly direction, in party building inside the working class, in the more decisive assistance towards KNE and the coordination and reinforcement of its auxiliary sections.
Proposals of the CC for activities until the next Congress
82. The Central Committee proposes that the 20th Congress decides the following:
- Nationwide Conference to monitor the decision regarding the regroupment of the labour and trade union movement, the promotion of the social alliance, the updating of the joint action framework of the rallies in which the party is active inside the social alliance and the labour-people’s movement, party building, especially inside the working class and strategically important sectors.
- Extended Plenum of the CC or Conference to study the issues of the urban self-employed, especially these in the major urban centres and their movement.
- Extended Plenum of the CC or Conference to study the issue of agriculture, the movement and rallies amongst the small-medium farmers, the development of the farmers’ movement and the activity of the party.
- Completion of the study on the class structure of Greek society.
- Continuation of broad work to shed light on our proposal for a unified 12-year school, as well as the completion of a number of elaborations related to the position of the party on pre-school education, Vocational and Unified Higher Education.
- Updating of positions on issues of health-social insurance-welfare.
- Nationwide Conference to approve the re-drafted first volume of the history of the party, from the years before its foundation until 1949. The study on the dictatorship period until its fall in 1974 should also be completed. At the same time the efforts to proceed with and complete the historical research for the final draft of the historical period 1974-1991 should continue.
- The Central Committee should hold an extended plenum for the continuous and systematic monitoring of the course of the events, publications and other cultural and political activities, the final steps for the 100th anniversary of the party in 2018, with the basic task being the approval of the Declaration of the CC on the 100th anniversary.
- Appropriate staffing of the Sections of the CC so that the further study of socialist construction during the 20th century can continue.
- Decisive promotion and completion of the schools of Marxist Education at the level of sectoral organizations and mainly the cycle of lessons on the Programme at the level of the PBOs and BOs.
- Organization of a discussion in the CC on propaganda and its forms, especially on the development of the work and circulation of “Rizospastis”, the internet tools and the enhancement of our intervention in social media networks.
Central Committee of the KKE
12 December 2016
Source: Communist Party of Greece / RedGlobe