Presentation of M-L CPG
International meeting 5 of November 2017 in Athens
Topic of Discussion:
Capitalist restoration: causes – effects – the answers of the movement.
With the October revolution the track of global social evolution met the most rapid acceleration, unparalleled with any seen by humanity ever before. History went forth with gigantic steps. In some scant decades 1/3 (one third) of the globe became red. Under the influence of the ideals of October new communist parties were born and in every corner of the world unrelenting and vehement struggles for social causes and national independence came to the fore, people in one country after another swept away the old regimes, that were founded on class exploitation and national oppression. The October revolution was followed by the great Chinese revolution and other popular revolutions in countries across Asia Europe and Latin America. Three decades is a meager(minimal) amount of time in a historical frame. They were enough however for socialist social transformations of tremendous historical significance to happen, to confirm the inevitability of social development, to certify that our era is the era of imperialism and proletarian revolutions, to illuminate with their inexhaustible fire the future of all the peoples and to show that true hope and the only true guaranty for social emancipation, was, is, and will be found in October’s road.
This is what is expressed and incarnated by the October’s path for us.
This path is not just the momentary historical event that started and finished with the storming of the winter palace, as many try to present it, but everything which was offered during its development and course, the revolutionary state of the dictatorship of the proletariat that it built ,the huge accomplishments that happened because of it, the global influence that was exercised, the innovative unprecedented ways that it opened and the redemption of peoples from the shackles of capitalist slavery and imperialist subjugation. This is what is represented and meant by the path.
Those that dismiss the morrow of the October revolution, they defy in truth the path of October. Under the regime of the dictatorship of the proletariat that was installed after the victorious revolution , great feats were carried out.
The young Soviet state from the start, dealt with civil war, hunger,suffocating economic exclusion from the West. It had to deal with the military intervention of fourteen capitalist countries,the imperialist aggression and encirclement. The Bolshevik party and the red army managed to overcome all these huge obstacles that seemed insurmountable ,by mobilizing the millions of workers of farmers,of soldiers,by crushing all the endeavors of the local and foreign reactionaries that wanted to drown the soviet power in its cradle.After four years of imperialist war,and three of a civil one and foreign intervention,in a country that was lagging behind and ruined,cut off and encircled from very powerful enemies,starts the construction of a new society, the building of socialism.
The imperialist world predicted that, in a short span of time the new regime would be overturned by hunger and poverty from the excruciating economic embargo and external political and military pressure that they exercised.
But the Soviet Union under the guidance of Lenin and after him of Stalin , that struggled and enforced with consistency and constancy the Leninist political line, managed though radical socialist transformation in the economic base and the superstructure, relying solely on her own powers, to take off in every field and to end up in the same development level as the most developed capitalist countries by going through that distance in fifteen years when these countries needed one and a half century of exploitation of the working class in the galleys of capitalism combined with the immeasurable wealth that was stolen from the colonies to achieve the same.
By accomplishing the deposit of faith industriousness and will of millions of humans, inspiring and guiding and organizing the working people for the fulfillment of its high targets, socialism proved that it can free huge productive forces therefore showcasing its absolute superiority compared to the capitalist system. These unprecedented developmental rhythms and the great feats in every field, in the economy,science,arts,culture were to be intercepted by the break of the second world war, the fascist aggression of Hitler, that was reinforced and thrust by the imperialist west to attack the SU(Soviet Union) in order to extinguish from the face of the earth the country that showed in every people the road to social liberation.
This war was not a just a giant militaropolitical conflict. It was also a big ideological confrontation between the most extreme and barbaric expression of capitalism, fascism on one side and socialism on the other. The outcome was judged on the field of ideology and political systems too and the soviet system proved its excellence and won.
The soviet people with Stalin as leader crushed the biggest war machine that had ever presented itself in the world, it hunted down and annihilated the hitlerite fascism in its own nest and against the terrifying losses and the wreckage of that war, managed in less than five years to rebuild for a second time its country from ruins, while the appeal of socialism, its prestige and the radiation of the SU to every people was without precedent.
Now there was not just the SU of 150 million peoples but ten socialist countries with a population of over a billion inhabitants, constructed socialism in a big unified socialist camp,while at the same time communist parties in capitalist and dependent countries mobilised millions of workers,a fact that changed the global balance of power towards the progressive socialist side.
As a result of all these radical changes and under the influence of the Chinese revolution a new wave of revolutions for national independence broke during the decade of the 50’s,that shacked the domination of colonialism and imperialism.
Where are these titanic successes of the Soviet Union and the 3rd International(comintern)owed so that in less than four decades the global situation changed radically towards the benefit of peoples?
We can search nowhere else for the reason of the victories and the unrelenting advancing development of the world’s communist movement during the entirety of this period than the revolutionary Marxist –Leninist orientation of the movements general political line under the leadership of Stalin.
When October’s path was deserted during the 50’s in the Soviet Union,the pace of history was reversed.Humanity today is living the dramatic results of this significant regression.
In the place of an omnipotent Soviet Union that radiated in the world’s stature and made appealing the ideas of socialism,there is now a dismembered capitalist imperialist Russia.
The Bolshevik party, later the Communist Party of the USSR, that organised and guided October’s Revolution, united and mobilized the soviet people into the great struggles for the construction of socialism, the repulsion and crushing of hitleric fascism, was dissolved while many other parties in countries of eastern and southern Europe were desolved or de-communizationed reformed into bourgeois parties.The capitalist-imperialist system, that had received many decisive blows, had lost 1/3 (one third) of worldwide population from its sovereignty and was submerged in general crisis, now has once again imposed a global domination and based on that, proceeds to waging wars, to conquering and enslaving peoples and countries.
By consequence it is of decisive importance for the communist movement and its prospects,whether and to what extent shall the problems be illuminated,the deeper reasons explored and presented and whether the most consequential answers will be given to the big questions that occupy the minds of thousands of communists,popular strugglers concerning the matter of restoration of capitalism in the ex-Soviet Union.
For us, for ML CPG (Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Greece), the turning point that began the counter-revolution is the 20th (twentieth) Congress of the Communist Party of Soviet Union in February on 1956 (nineteen fifty-six). It overturned the previous revolutionary path that dominated in the soviet party and the international communist movement as well as laid the foundation that led to the undermining and the degeneration of the socialist system, to the peculiar bureaucratic capitalism of Khrushchev-Brezniev, which, after a process of transformations, it evolved, along with Gorbachev’s Perestroika, into complete, open, classical capitalism in 1991.
Did this general overturn happen suddenly and most importantly, out of the blue? Of course not. For four decades within the Soviet Union a merciless class strife took place, a class contest that manifested within the communist party, with the struggle between those who expressed the proletarian political stance and those that expressed the bourgeois political stance.
The configuration of social terms and conditions that would prohibit the growth and development of the new bourgeois elements and that would make their ascendancy impossible, the historic development of the Soviet Union and China proved that it is not the case of one single generation, but of a whole historical period and that conducting class struggle is connected to the policies of the party and the state in all fields, with the objective restrictions and the historical context/situation that the revolution faces at its every stage of development and it is an unimaginably more difficult, more complex and deeper task than that of the occupation of political power.
The Soviet and the Chinese revolutions and the historical experience of the dictatorship of the proletariat in USSR and China, their positive and their negative experience must be studied, researched and analysed in the most serious, reliable and extensive manner by the the marxist-leninist movement,by communists, especially the Soviet and Chinese communists .From these we need to draw conclusions in a most exhaustive and complete way, conclusions that will enrich our theoretical arsenal on the causes and the factors that led to the revisionist overturn.
It is of the utmost importance for the communist movement – only then the duty of that study we mentioned before makes any sense – the matter of clarifying which is the turning point for the overturn, the incision, the passing from revolution to counterrevolution, based on the conclusions that were confirmed with the most flawless of ways by the historical process of half a century. It needs to be clarified when the construction of socialism was taking place and when its corrosion and degeneration began, what where the characteristics, the realities and the content of the socialist and capitalist paths in USSR and China.
Without such a clarification there cannot be reconstruction of the communist movement. It is not just a matter concerning only the movement’s past.
It primarily concerns its present and future.
It is directly and definitively related with what kind of party and movement we want to build. After all it concerns whether the movement will persist on a constant objective and will walk under October’s banners or whether it will descend in the way of reformism, reproducing the same tragic dead ends that revisionism brought the movement to.
As we mentioned before, for us open reestablishment of capitalism in the USSR, its dissolution, as well as the dissolution of the Communist Party of the USSR, was the inevitable conclusion, the tragic end of a disintegrating route that began with the ascendancy of Khrushchev’s revisionism.
What was his general political line and its consequences when he usurped authority of the party and state apparatus?
Its very basic element was that he declared, along with imperialists, a rampant “Antistalin” struggle, under the pretext of the so-called cult of personality, but with the unmentioned -by him and his clique- aim to condemn in communist’s conscience, to slander and overturn the genuinely revolutionary policy of the USSR Communist Party and the international communist movement of the previous time period.
By attacking Stalin, in truth they attacked Lenin, the October’s Revolution, the building of socialism, the great victories of the international communist movement and the Comintern(3rd international).
Afterwards they elaborated on many antimarxistic-antileninistic theories and based on them they applied a general line such that gradually changed the revolutionary character of the party and the state.
The dictatorship of the proletariat was abolished and replaced by the “All-people’s state”. They transformed the communist party of the working class into the “all-people’s party”. But what did that mean and what did that disarming and riddance of the two most basic means and weapons the working class have to stabilize its power and transform the society deeper, meaning the party and the state, conceal? The only alternative solution against the proletariat’s dictatorship in socialist society, is the bourgeois’ dictatorship and that was exactly what the“all people’s state” express. Declaring that class struggle ceased to exist, what they actually did was to conduct class struggle against the working class, the same working class they were trying to disarm, deceive and demobilise. The conversion of USSR’s Communist Party from the workers’ party into “all people’s party” meant the distortion of its proletarian character and its corrosion by the bourgeois ideology, making it an means to serve their antisocialist aims.
Rejecting the course of the October Revolution, they proclaimed the theory of the “peaceful transition” from capitalism to communism, that expressed the submission of the communist parties to the bourgeoisie class and their transformation into reformist and social – democratic parties.
On the stage of international politics they overthrew the general line, that the Soviet Union and the global communist movement applied until then, on every issue, of war and peace, of proletarian and national liberation revolutions, adopted the policy of “peaceful economic competition and development of systems”, meaning the collaboration with imperialism and the subversion and sell out of the peoples’ revolutionary struggle.
Under these conditions and to the extent that these fundamental overturns and the pernicious consequences of this policy were realized, a great polemic broke out, during the sixties, within the ranks of the global communist movement.
It was a polemic about the general line of the movement between Marxism – Leninism, represented by the Chinese Communist Party with Mao Ze Dong at its head, on one side and revisionism with Khruschev as leader of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on the other. In general, this polemic spread in all communist parties, like our party the Communist Party of Greece, and through this controversy, the international and the Greek Marxist Leninist movement were born.
Summarizing the historic experience of the dictatorship of the proletariat and analyzing the phenomenon of revisionist dominance in the Soviet Union, Mao developed the theory of the continuation of the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat, that constitutes an advancement of the Marxist – Leninist theory. Its core is that: “The socialist society covers a long historical period, during which classes, class contradictions and class struggle are always present, as is the struggle between the capitalist road and the socialist road and the danger of the restoration of capitalism.”
This theoretical position collided with the revisionist theories claiming that, in the Soviet society there were no classes and no class struggle, that the prevalence of communism was final and irreversible and that the Soviet society was rapidly heading towards communism. In fact, in the programme of the 22th congress of the CPSU in 1961, there is the… insightful prediction that: “In 20 years in the Soviet Union, we will have reached communism.” After 30 years, whether they reached communism, or regressed to the most vicious capitalism and anticommunism, is known to everyone.
The phenomenon of opportunism was thoroughly analyzed by Lenin, as early as during the period of the Second International and revealed the social and political conditions that contribute to its appearance, coming to the basic conclusion that opportunism is the expression of bourgeoisie politics inside the workers’ and communist movement. But what happens when it dominates and achieves political power under socialist conditions? History, both in the case of the Soviet Union and China, confirmed Mao’s position summarized in one phrase: “Revisionism in power is the bourgeoisie class in power”, while emphasizing that: “You are making the socialist revolution and yet do not know where the bourgeoisie is. It is right in the Communist Party – those in power taking the capitalist road.”
In the Soviet Union and in China, Lenin, Stalin and Mao carried out long lasting struggles against those representing the bourgeoisie inside the party and the result of each of these struggles determined the fate of the revolution.
The most turbulent and prolonged of these struggles that presented new elements to the communist movement, was the launch of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution by Mao, aiming to the prevention of the capitalist restoration in China and to the deep revolutionary transformation of the economic base and the superstructure.
Presented new elements because, under socialist conditions, implemented the direction that, the struggles for their consolidation, cannot be simply carried out on behalf and in the interests of the working masses, but with their direct, wide and fervent participation in mass criticism and struggle against the capitalist forces and (the direction) for the socialist rehabilitation, education and emancipation of the entire society through class struggle.
Mao’s theory constitutes an essential contribution to the development of Marxist Leninist thought, since it reveals the law of development of the socialist society. Based on this theory, we can explain the phenomenon of capitalist restoration.
Of course, it is not possible for a theory that refers to social and not physical phenomena, to give an answer to every problem the revolution faces, in each phase of its development.
The political vanguard of the working class, the communist party, must make specific class analysis of its country, take into consideration the class balance of power that exists in each phase, class alliances that need to be built domestically and internationally and on this basis, apply the necessary political and economic measures for the consolidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the crushing of the bourgeoisie.
Consequently, this theory, as every theory developed by Marx and Lenin, is not a tool that automatically solves all problems that the working class faces, on its course to revolution and communism. It is more like a compass for a journey, that humanity has only recently embarked on. The course is set as we speak. Whenever mankind tried to advance and open new paths, through endless twist and turns, there were always reactionary forces that furiously tried to set it back to the so called “right track”.
It took the bourgeoisie two centuries to decisively win its confrontation with feudalism, to eradicate feudal relations and remnants. Actually, there were many times after bourgeoisie revolutions, when the ghouls of feudalism managed to restore their power for long periods and only after new struggles and new bourgeoisie revolutions, were they finally crushed.
And these feudalist restorations happened while the development of the capitalist mode of production was possible, even under feudalism, a fact that greatly empowered the bourgeoisie class and while the ascendance of the bourgeoisie in power, was not about the abolition of classes, but the perpetuation of the class society, of the domination of a tiny minority over the vast majority. Now if we consider, that the socialist mode of production cannot develop under capitalist conditions and that the working class has a final goal of completely abolishing classes, uprooting a legacy of millennia, we can more easily understand the phenomenon of the restoration of capitalism. And the sooner we grasp it, the sooner will mankind get rid of the ghouls of bourgeoisie.
If the new bourgeoisie usurped power in Soviet Union and China, this was neither unavoidable nor deterministic. This reversal was decided by the specific class balance of power that formed during critical periods and allowed the new bourgeoisie to reclaim state power.
This unfavorable balance of power for the working class, was the result of objective conditions, extreme retardation of the productive forces and immense imperialist pressure that often dictated compulsory solutions, not always the best, on serious problems regarding socialist development. It was also the result of subjective weaknesses and errors attributed to the revolutionary vanguards, the communist parties of these countries. Also the lack of historical experience on behalf of the working class, to govern society and build a new social system, of completely opposite nature compared to those mankind already had experienced, had a negative impact on the socialist development and proved favorable for the new bourgeoisie.
But such is the dialectical course of building the new socialist system, as with every new social system that mankind was introduced to in earlier times. For a whole period, failures form the conditions for victories that follow, until the final consolidation of the new social system. Regardless of setbacks that may occur in certain periods, these are setbacks within a historical course that goes forward in general. The working class, after numerous uprisings and defeats, achieved the first significant victory, acquiring power briefly in 1871, forming the Paris Commune. The crushing of the Commune and the ruthless repression the working class suffered, not only proved unable to halt mankind’s march towards socialism, on the contrary, through this defeat, the conditions were formed and invaluable experience was extracted for the victorious October Revolution to take place in 1917, that is 46 years later.
And now the defeats of these revolutions, no matter how painful for the working class and all revolutionaries around the world, no matter how the bourgeoisie brags that it has cast out the ghost of socialism forever, as they bragged a century ago, not only they will prove unable to halt mankind’s march to socialism, on the contrary, through these defeats the conditions are formed and the necessary lessons are extracted from the experience of the dictatorship of the proletariat, for the new revolutions to come, that will seal the victory of the working class over the bourgeoisie.
All the basic social problems, that come out from the nature of capitalism and formed the objective conditions for the maturation and outburst of the October Revolution are still present, unresolved and more intense than ever, setting the stage for new revolutions, despite the differences between these periods and today.
Life itself reveals that:
Society did not cease to be divided in classes, on the basis of capitalist relations of production. On the contrary, this division became sharper, the distance between the pole of wealth and the pole of poverty became longer. Every day we witness an unprecedented attack of the bourgeoisie on the working class in the developed capitalist countries, that leads millions workers into poverty, unemployment and immiseration.
The world did not stop to be dominated by a handful of imperialist states, that oppress the vast majority of peoples and nations. On the contrary, the revival of colonization itself, with the most crude forms of intervention, annexation and occupation of nations and countries from the imperialist powers, shows that this contradiction, not only continues to exist, but strengthens to explosive levels.
The imperialists themselves did not stop to be divided into rival to each other camps and the competition among them for the division of the world continues every moment, openly or more discreetly. War, as a result of this never ending inter imperialist rivalry, has become the dominant political dogma of the USA.
All these unresolvable contradictions of the capitalist – imperialist system, that provide the ground upon which, the first socialist revolution, the October Revolution, broke out, still exist, are becoming more tense and are preparing the ground for new huge class confrontations to take place. If this prospect seems distant at the moment, this does not have to do the maturation of the objective conditions, but with the particular situation the communist movement and the wider revolutionary movement finds itself today.
It is a painful phase, after a great regression, a phase of reorganization and extraction of the necessary lessons from the previous revolutionary period. At the same time, it is phase of renewed realization and maturation of the oppressed masses of the unseen base of society. Because of this, it is of outmost importance that Marxist – Leninist remain unfaltering and focused to the duty of reorganizing the communist movement on the basis of a clear Marxist Leninist line. It is a duty that will be fulfilled at the forefront of the struggles of the working class, creating strong bonds with the working masses and through uncompromising ideological and political collision with bourgeoisie policy and its representatives of all kinds, revisionists and fake leftist and fake revolutionary currents and beliefs.