Friday, January 31, 2014

PCP Central Committee Statement

The PCP Central Committee met on 15-16 December 2013

Having analysed the national situation, the worsening economic and social situation and the consequences that Portugal will suffer as a result of the 2014 State Budget adoption, it was reasserted that mass struggle is the key element in fighting the ongoing offensive. The Central Committee expressed solidarity with ongoing struggles, and appealed to workers, communities, and to all democrats and patriots to not give up in the face of the offensive and to fight for a patriotic and left-wing alternative.The Central Committee highlighted the dimension, scope and significance of the events held as part of Álvaro Cunhal's centennial, and adopted two resolutions: One on organisational party-strengthening, and another on the April Revolution's 40th anniversary celebration in 2014.

1. A State Budget to plunder workers and the people. A new social terrorism package.

The situation that Portugal is confronting today – the outcome of over 37 years of right-wing policies, of the European Union's capitalist integration process, and of the very nature of capitalism's structural crisis – reflects its journey of economic decline and social retrogression: Initially with the PS's [Socialist Party's] PECs [Growth and Stability Pacts], then with the Aggression Pact underwritten by the PS, PSD and CDS [parties] with the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Both were contributing factors to accelerate and exacerbate this decline and retrogression.

These policies have subjected Portugal to the interests of domestic and foreign big capital. They have plunged Portugal into the longest economic recession in its history. Unemployment is at close to one and a half million workers, poverty is spreading and huge sections of the population are being impoverished. Investment levels are close to what they were in the 1950s, and debt level and foreign dependence are at their highest since fascist times [1926-1974]. If left undefeated, these policies and this government threaten to destroy the living conditions of the vast majority of Portugal's population, to raze the national economy, to jeopardise Portugal's sovereignty, independence and future.

The 2014 State Budget, recently adopted at the Assembly of the Republic [parliament] with PSD and CDS votes, is one more tool for the policy of exploitation and liquidation of rights. With its more than 4,400 million euros worth of additional austerity measures, the State Budget exacerbates even further the earlier measures' class nature. On the one hand there are wage cuts for public administration workers, pension cuts, cuts in social benefits, in the National Health Service, in Public Education, in social services, in the justice system, in culture and in Local Governments. On the other hand, thousands of millions are channeled into the pockets of big business, as public debt interest payments, as public-private partnerships, as SWAP contracts and other ruinous contracts concluded with private interests. Tax breaks and privileges are granted to big capital (including Off-shore [banking] in Madeira [island]), with direct subsidies to recapitalise banks and guarantees granted to the financial sector.

Rather than “inevitable” (as they try to label the path that is being followed) what is happening in our country is a clear, well-planned and deceitful choice made by the current cabinet. It is clear because each euro stolen from wages, pensions or the incomes of micro and small-scale businesspersons and farmers, will be used as it has been in the past, to maintain the untouchable rentist and parasitic nature of the monopoly conglomerates that operate in Portugal, and not to solve any of the nation's problems. It is well-planned because what is being done at this time is to use the crisis as an excuse to settle old scores with the rights and gains attained by the April [1974] Revolution – the State is being reconfigured to serve big capital, to intensify the exploitation of workers, to cut wages and rights, to lengthen working hours. It is deceitful because it is portrayed as a path to “liberate” Portugal from the troika, while the much-touted “return to the markets” amounts basically to perpetuating impoverishment and austerity as a way of life throughout the next decades, as a future for Portugal and as a source of profits and privileges for big capital – thus sentencing Portugal to submission and subordination to transnational capital and to imperialism.

When confronted about the disaster into which they are plunging Portugal, the Government, the monopoly conglomerates and those who serve them lash out with a campaign of lies, manipulation and concealment of the truth to justify their continuation on the same policies that have led Portugal's people to such a dramatic situation. It is the “Portuguese miracle” fraud, based on gross manipulation of statistical figures: they ignore the more than 130,000 workers who have emigrated from Portugal in 2013 and the actual destruction of jobs, and tell us that unemployment is dropping; they portray the trade balance surpluses as successes, when in actual fact what they reflect is a dramatic drop in domestic consumption and investment which means poverty and backwardness (just like the dramatic poverty of 1943, with which they repeatedly compare it); they play around with seasonal GDP figures and employment fluctuations to portray the economic retrogression that has pulled national GDP back to year 2000 levels as a positive development.

2. Defeat the government and right-wing policies, to implement patriotic and left-wing policies
The PCP Central Committee reasserts that – with the march toward exploitation, decline and social retrogression that has been imposed upon Portugal, and the plans to perpetuate it – the government's dismissal and a call for early elections are decisive and urgent issues.

Together with the “signs of change” campaign, scaremongering has been stepped up with the fraudulent allegation that “we can't throw away now all the sacrifices of recent years”. Through the dominant mass media, government and economic and financial conglomerates are seeking to generate acceptance and conformism – to ensure that people accept the devastating measures introduced in the State Budget that has just been adopted, and also to create conditions to be able to adopti the follow-up measures that are being prepared to sustain the current policies.

The PCP Central Committee denounces the ongoing operations seeking to consolidate and institutionalise the current offensive against the incomes and rights of Portugal's workers and people. The so-called “blueprint for State reform” is not, as some have hastened to say, a vague text with no content.

Rather, it is a document that maps out further steps in the anti-democratic crusade that right-wing policies have been waging for a long time now. It is true that the “blueprint” does include some aspects that are already present in the government's line and practice, but its ambition is not just to consolidate the ongoing process to reconfigure the State to serve monopoly capital. It also seeks to include, and justify, subverting the Constitution as a pre-condition for implementing the process.
Far from any plans for Portugal to recover its status as a sovereign and independent country (as they deceitfully proclaim), what PSD and CDS are preparing – with the President of the Republic's full complicity – is to bind Portugal to new commitments and undertakings that will make it possible to continue to plunder the nation's income and resources, to maintain the conditions and factors of national dependence, to provide guarantees for the ongoing extortion process that benefits transnational capital and the European Union's directorate of powers. With the excuse of “returning to the markets” next June (“forgetting” that that was the goal set for last September), what the Government and the institutions that represent transnational capital are preparing is a new aggression programme, no matter what name it may be given. The PCP Central Committee calls attention to the ongoing manoeuvering to effectively ensure the Agrgression Pact's perpetuation – by invoking the case of Ireland and appealing to consensus and social peace (and also manoeuvering to once again ensure the UGT's [the PS-PSD-leaning trade union central] complicity in the social concertation council), presenting them as examples and necessary conditions to complete the Aggression Pact's implementation. The PS has stopped demanding the Government's dismissal and calling for new elections and is now involved with, and supporting, the European Union's major decisions to create mechanisms to expropriate nations' economic and budgetary sovereignty. This shows that the PS is clearly converging with the plans that are being drawn up under European Union auspices to continue on the current path of usurpation and exploitation.

The PCP Central Committee reasserts that it is urgent to break with right-wing policies and change Portugal's direction, clearing the road for alternative, patriotic and left-wing policies. This is absolutely necessary for Portugal to ensure that it has a future, a future of social justice and progress, as a sovereign and independent country. These policies must be capable of freeing Portugal from dependence and submission, of ensuring that what is Portugal's be returned to Portugal, and of reinstating workers' and people's rights, salaries and incomes.

This policy shall be based on six basic tenets:

Renegotiate the debt – amount, interest rates, duration, conditions of payment – rejecting its illegitimate part;

protect and increase domestic production, returning the financial sector and other strategic companies and sectors to State ownership;

raise the real value of salaries and pensions, and explicitly undertake to reinstate stolen salaries, incomes and rights, including social benefits;

opt for a budget policy that rejects excessive and lavish spending, and is based on higher taxes over big capital's dividends and profits, and relief for workers, pensioners and micro-, small- and medium-scale businesses;

policies to protect and recover public services, especially those involved in social functions of the State;

adopt sovereign policies, and assert the primacy of national interests;

3. Mass struggle – the response to exploitation and impoverishment.

Workers' struggles have been a decisive factor in hindering right-wing policies and their consequences in these past two and a half years – confronting the fierce offensive against workers' and communities' rights, and the onslaughts against Portugal's democratic regime and sovereignty, that are set to become even worse with the social terrorism programme that the Government and the foreign troika have underway, and of which the 2014 State Budget is part and parcel.

The struggle has been waged in workplaces, against the theft of salaries, against the destruction of productive capabilities, in defence of jobs and for jobs with rights (particularly prominent has been the struggle of the Viana do Castelo Shipyard (ENVC) workers), for better working conditions, against the privatisation of public-sector companies, for better public services (as in the case of the public transportation and Post Office workers).

An especially prominent aspect of the ongoing offensive has been the campaign against the role of the State, and of the public sector in general. Its goal is to place more and more public resources in the service of big capital, instead of serving the workers, the people, and Portugal's development.
The PCP Central Committee highlighted – from among the many ongoing struggles against privatisation of the State's social functions, against the lengthening and deregulation of working hours, against the theft of wages, to defend jobs and dignify their function – the strongly-participated National Strike of 8 November last, called by the Common Front of Public Administration Workers' Trade Unions, as well as the sectoral protests by PJ [Judicial Police] Investigators, SEF [Border and Immigration Service], Public Attorney Magistrates and Court Officials. The PCP CC also highlighted the strikes at Carris [Lisbon buses and trams], CP [rail transportation], CP Carga [rail freight], REFER [railway infrastructure], Metro [Lisbon Underground], STCP [Oporto Public Transport], Transtejo and Soflusa [Ferry services] and CTT [Post Office].

The PCP Central Committee highlights three landmark struggles of workers and other strata, that have brought to the fore their courage and determination and raised the mass struggle to new levels. The “March for April, against exploitation and impoverishment” on 19 October in Lisbon, Oporto, and the Azores and Madeira Autonomous Regions; the “National Day of Indignation and Struggle” on 26 November all over the country. Both were convened by CGTP-IN and had the participation of hundreds of thousands of people from very diverse areas of work (workers from Public Administration, from the private sector, as well as micro, small and medium scale business owners), young people, pensioners, and other members of the population. And also the first-ever joint demonstration by all organisations representing security forces and services – PSP [police], GNR [republican guard - para-military body], Maritime Police, Municipal Police, SEF [borders and immigration], PJ [judiciary police], ASAE [health and sanitation inspection service] – against cuts in their pay and in their rights.

In broadening the struggle's social front, a significant role has been played by the struggles of old-age and other pensioners, of micro-, small- and medium-scale business owners, of working youth, of students, of intellectuals and technical workers, of culture workers, and of local communities. Particularly prominent have been the struggles against debasing and closures of public services: in health, education, Finance offices, Courts of law, security forces' stations and precincts, shutdowns of public transportation lines. These struggles have mobilised thousands of people in the struggle for specific goals, and have brought together many diverse sections and strata converging into the wider social struggle against right-wing policies.

The mass struggles' scope – involving the working class and working people generally, but also other non-monopoly classes and strata, – their strength, diversity, degree of convergence, as well as the causes and goals that have originated them, all confirm how important convergence is – both as a key element in holding back the right-wing policies, and as an important contribution to broaden the struggle's social front and to raise the masses' social and political awareness.

The deep crisis that Portugal is undergoing – with its serious economic and social consequences – is above all the result of 37 years of right-wing policies that have depleted the nation's productive apparatus, systematically violated workers' most basic rights, led to the impoverishment of democracy itself. This situation highlights the need to bring together all those who aspire to a patriotic and left-wing political alternative, a true alternative where the PCP's proposals count and weigh in, decisively.

The Central Committee reasserts that in this situation of deep social dissatisfaction, affecting working people as well as all anti-monopoly strata, that exhibits contradictory facets – on the one hand revolt, and on the other discouragement – unity-centered political work is particularly important. This work implies engagement and involvement by the whole Party, to bring about a convergence of all those who are available and willing to fight for the implementation of alternative policies.

Discouragement, disbelief, hopelessness, abstention, failure to make the political and electoral choices that best defend the people's interests from right-wing policies – would all only aid the continuation of right-wing anti-worker policies.

The PCP Central Committee draws attention to the fact that the 2014 State Budget's adoption – together with a bunch of anti-social measures such as raising the retirement age, dismissal of tens of thousands of Public Administration workers, longer working hours, a brutal cut in pensions and intensification of the State reconfiguration process – will in coming months necessitate intensified mass struggle as a decisive factor in upholding our rights and in resisting against the liquidation of social gains.

The PCP Central Committee calls upon the workers and people to confront this offensive, stepping up the struggle to solve their real problems – starting with participation in the struggles convened by CGTP-IN [trade union confederation], and in particular the Vigil next Thursday 19 December 2013 at Belem [presidential palace] – demanding a break with right-wing policies and early elections as important steps in the struggle for a patriotic and left-wing alternative.

Although hard and demanding, the struggle is decisive, to block the crisis, improve living conditions, condition and influence the political process, offset new offensives and attacks, redress injustices and gain new rights.

Portugal's future lies in the hands of its workers and people and their struggle for change.

4. Recent development of the European Union

The Central Committee analysed key aspects in the European Union's development. Contrary to dominant ideology's campaign about an alleged recovery, the European Union is in a deep economic and social crisis, that is reflected in expected economic stagnation following a period of deep economic recession in the whole of the eurozone and in the European Union-27, with an exacerbation of social scourges such as the unemployment affecting 27 million workers.

In attempting to respond to the contradictions and rivalries that have emerged as a result of capitalism's deepening crisis, big European capital and the German-led directorate of powers insist on propping up the European Union's neo-liberal, militaristic and federalist pillars.

The ongoing process to tighten Economic and Monetary Union; the economic governance guidelines from the European semester and from the 2020 Strategy; the “budget treaty”; the Banking Union and the Single Supervisory Mechanism; the Single Market's reinforcement and extension to new profit-making areas; the recently adopted macroeconomic conditionality rules for the allocation of European funds; the reduction in the already ridiculous community budget – taken as a whole, and viewed as a follow-up to what was already enshrined in the Stability Pact, imply that nearly absolute constraints are being imposed upon social and economic development and sovereignty. They are an attempt to “normalise” and institutionalise the “adjustment”, and to perpetuate the ongoing social retrogression in the EU. The sole goal of this process is to serve the big monopolies' interests and to continue to shell out millions to support Bankers.

At the same time, the European Union is continuing, and intensifying, its assertion as an imperialist bloc. The Central Committee alerts to the dangers inherent in the European Union's process of increasing militarisation, as part of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) that will be up for debate in the European Council. It is an attempt to transpose the NATO Strategic Concept into the EU's institutional structure – specifically by increasing military spending and developing the European industrial-military complex.

As the recent political agreement between the right wing and social-democrats in Germany seems to indicate (it includes specific points on European issues), those in charge of the capitalist integration process agree on not only sticking to the current path – which is in itself a factor that will generate fresh crisis episodes – but also on intensifying it, with new thoroughly anti-democratic and anti-social measures to concentrate and centralise economic and political power.

5. Elections to the European parliament and the struggle for patriotic left-wing policies
The PCP will be contesting the upcoming 25 May election to the European parliament as part of the CDU [coalition]. It will be an important political and electoral battle. Coordinated with the Party's overall work and with the struggle's development, it will contribute toward the government's inevitable defeat and to making a break with right-wing policies.

Some will seek – using the European Parliament election as an excuse – to conceal Portugal's economic and social problems and avoid addressing the class nature of the government's economic policies and their consequences. The PCP Central Committee stresses how necessary and important it is to build up a strategy of awareness-raising and electoral work that can – focusing on Portugal's situation and national problems – identify a CDU vote as the strongest and most decisive choice to assert our right to sovereign development.

The campaign should expose the nature of the capitalist European integration process – as a tool to serve big capital, to ensure heightened exploitation and liquidation of rights. It should expose the government's policies and the Aggression Pact as core factors in impoverishing Portugal and its people, and in denying us rights and social benefits that are enshrined in the Constitution. It should expose the ongoing manoeuvres – through EU tools created as a result of capital concentration – to perpetuate the theft of wages and incomes and the plunder of national resources. It should expose the increasingly untenable constraints being imposed by the Euro and by other aspects of the capitalist integration process, and show how to protect the rights of Portugal's workers and people, who have already suffered through decades of policies and decisions that run counter to their aspirations and rights. It should call attention to the smokescreens – raised by PSD and CDS, and also by PS and others who invoke a so-called “left-wing Europeanism” – that are being used to promote European federalism (labelled as “European democracy” and the like) as an alleged solution for Portugal's problems – while in fact what that would mean would be further centralisation of political power and expropriation of peoples' sovereignty in favour of big capital and the big powers.

The European Parliament election must be viewed as an opportunity to strengthen the CDU, and thus provide the thrust to build patriotic and left-wing policies – as an essential pre-condition to uphold the rights and interests of Portugal's workers and people, to assert national sovereignty and free Portugal from the path on which it being led by right-wing policies: social retrogression, economic decline and dependence.

The PCP Central Committee calls upon its members and organisations to build up an election campaign based on personal contact with workers, with people. This is essential to raise awareness and to confidently assert that it is possible to open up a new path, with alternative policies and a new direction for Europe. The campaign should present the vote for CDU as the most consistent contribution possible to:

socially and politically isolate the government and lead to its dismissal, to early elections, and to a defeat for right-wing policies;

broaden and intensify the struggle to protect workers' and people's rights, salaries and incomes, and to reinstate them;

expose all those who – like the PS – while feigning opposition and distance from the current government, actually fully share the EU's neo-liberal, federalist and militarist views, and even wish to move further on the same path toward disaster using the EU's economic and political domination tools;

assert the April [1974 revolution's] values and achievements as key components of an alternative, patriotic and left-wing policy – a necessary condition to ensure a better life in a Portugal with a future, and to struggle for a Europe of peace, social progress and cooperation among sovereign States with equal rights;

struggle to free Portugal from the constraints imposed by the European Union, recovering its political, economic and monetary sovereignty;

The PCP Central Committee stresses how important it is to strengthen the CDU, increase the number of its MEPs to steadfastly defend Portuguese interests, to minimise the conditioning and negative effects of integration, to use all available means and opportunities to struggle for social progress and against supra-national impositions and the limitations placed on democracy and on the people's will, to act specifically and in coordination with the workers and peoples of other countries to break with the capitalist European integration process. These MEPs' presence will be different from all others': it will consider Portugal's specific problems as the core reason for their participation in the European Parliament. Distinct from all others, their presence will assert Portugal's right to sovereign development according to its workers' and people's national interests, which should prevail over any conditioning or constraints.

6. For a stronger International Communist and Revolutionary Movement

The Central Committee highly values the 15th International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties held in Lisbon on 8-10 November 2013, with the participation of 75 parties from 63 countries of all continents.

The 15th IMCWP was an important step in the International Meetings process, due to the significant number of participants, the topical themes debated, as well as the extensive exchange of information, experiences and opinions that it enabled. A significant number of guidelines for common or convergent action were adopted, and a will was expressed to continue and reinforce this multilateral cooperation process.

Since the adoption of a final Declaration was not possible, the PCP took the initiative of, and responsibility for, drafting a Motion on “The world situation and the workers' and peoples' struggle” that was underwritten by 56 parties.

As the host Party, the PCP worked wholeheartedly to prepare and host the 15th IMCWP, striving – within the terms of fraternal relations, and using collective work as a method – for it to contribute to strengthen this important forum of internationalist exchange and cooperation.
Fully aware of the fact that there are inevitably differences of opinion and even, in some cases, major disagreements, the PCP will continue to strive toward strengthening, unifying the International Communist and Revolutionary Movement and its operational capabilities – based on a frank and fraternal debate of common problems, and on the principles of equality, mutual respect, non-interference in internal affairs and mutual solidarity, and rejecting the various – be they adaptation to the system, or dogmatic and sectarian – types of opportunism.

The PCP will continue its engagement in international solidarity with the political and social forces that – in their respective countries – fight to defend workers' and peoples' interests, and to broaden and expand the anti-imperialist front.

7. A stronger and more influential PCP

Concerning the implementation of the 19th Party Congress's resolutions and goals, the PCP Central Committee stresses how important it is – as a continuing priority task for all party members and organisations – to strengthen the Party and all its components.
The PCP Central Committee analysed and extolled the national campaign against exploitation and impoverishment organised by Party organisations all over Portugal with the slogan “We've had enough of thefts and lies”. Hundreds of thousands of people were contacted in street actions, public meetings and rallies, to denounce the 2014 State Budget's goals and the right-wing policies, and to put forward the alternative, patriotic and left-wing policies for which the PCP stands.

The PCP Central Committee highlighted the success of all the events that were organised to celebrate Álvaro Cunhal's centennial. Among the most prominent was the Conference on “Álvaro Cunhal, the communist prospect, Portugal and the world today”. It was held on 26-27 October, and its breadth of participants and contributions confirmed Álvaro Cunhal's influence, as well as the relevance of his theoretical and political legacy for the current times. There was also the rally at Campo Pequeno [arena in Lisbon] on 10 November, whose size, level of participation, and the strength and unity it demonstrated made it a high point in the commemorations. There was the Central Exhibition on Álvaro Cunhal's “Life, Thinking and Struggle: An Example That Lives On In Our Time And Into The Future”, that was visited by thousands of people at the Oporto Customs Conference Centre.

The commemorations are still ongoing, with dozens of events taking place all over Portugal. The commemorations will close on 3-4 January 2014 celebrating the heroic [January 1960] escape from Peniche [prison], in what will also be the opening event for the April Revolution's 40th anniversary commemoration.

The PCP highlights the following as the key tasks in implementing the 19th Congress resolutions and to provide the necessary response to Portugal's current plight:

in the course of 2014, to undertake a national event focusing on the April [1974 revolution's] values, and on advancing a patriotic and left-wing policy. This should be integrated, and coordinated, with the run-up to the European election, the 25 April [revolution's] 40th anniversary celebration, and the work and struggle to defeat the Aggression Pact, dismiss the cabinet and break with right-wing policies. It should stand out in asserting workers' rights and improving living conditions, and in asserting national sovereignty and independence as key elements in solving Portugal's problems;
work to extend, dynamise and diversify workers' and communities' struggles;

strengthen the unitary trade-union movement as well as the mass organisations and movements;
undertake wide-ranging work to improve Party organisation and structure, raise militancy, assign more responsibilities to more members, step up work. This will involve contacting Party members, delivering the new Party cards, updating their data, creating better conditions for more extensive, far-reaching and intensive political work. This is to be an overall party-strengthening exercise, with special attention to workplace-based actions, to dynamising grassroots organisations, to assigning responsibilities to members, and to recruiting those who stand out in developing the struggle.

contribute toward the success of the 10th JCP [communist youth] Congress, to be held on 5-6 April in Lisbon;

improve unitary work, to broaden the range of convergent actions together with the thousands of democrats and patriots who want to break with right-wing policies;

promote a large number of events to mark the 40th anniversary of the 25 April [1974 revolution], to assert its values and achievements, as well as its relevance today in establishing the core elements for a progress-oriented, developed and sovereign Portugal;

start work to prepare the 25 May European Parliament election, publicising and highlighting our past work there and raising awareness about how important it is to strengthen the PCP's representation – as a pre-condition to a more consistent defence of Portugal, its workers and people, and to ensure sovereign development;
the PCP Central Committe
e has decided to schedule the 38th “Avante!” Festival for 5-7 September 2014;

develop internationalist solidarity, contribute to strengthen the anti-imperialist movement, to improve cooperation with left-wing forces and progressive organisations, and to enhance the convergent action of communist and workers' parties for a stronger international communist and revolutionary movement.

Placing its trust in the workers' and people's strength and capabilities, engaging in developing and broadening the front of fighters, the PCP reasserts its determination in the struggle to break with right-wing policies and to implement a patriotic and left-wing alternative for Advanced Democracy, for Socialism and Communism.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The working class, the popular strata need a strong Communist Party

A delegation of the KKE, headed by Dimitris Koutsoumpas, GS of the CC, visited Rome to participate in the 2nd Congress of the Communist Party of Italy. The delegation of the KKE met with the Secretary of the party, Marco Rizzo, the International Relations Section of the CPI and other cadres of the party.
Speaking at an open meeting at the conclusion of the Congress, D. Koutsoumpas noted the following in his greetings message.
Dear comrades,
We feel particular joy that we are here with you at the 2nd Congress of your party. From this podium we want to salute the communists of Italy, who have not given up on the struggle for the rights of the working class and the other popular strata, the struggle for the overthrow of the capitalist barbarity, the construction of the society without the exploitation of man by man, socialism-communism.
Dear comrades, our parties are waging this struggle together, both through the development of bilateral relations and through the new form of cooperation of communists parties in Europe, the “Communist Initiative”. Our goal is to strengthen the struggle against the imperialist EU and at the same time, through the struggle of the workers, to promote the only pro-people alternative solution, the Europe of peace, progress, Socialism.
Italy, the Italian working class, the popular strata, the youth need a strong communist party. A party with a revolutionary strategy, with strong bonds with the working class. They need a party based on the principles of Marxism-Leninism, which will play the leading role in the organization of the struggle of the workers and will inspire the vision of the new communist society. Socialism is not some whim of the communists, it is the only way out of the crisis and the other social impasses of capitalist society. It is the only guarantee for the development of the productive forces in favour of and with as its criterion the working class-people’s interests. Only socialism can guarantee the people’s sovereignty, the self-determined development and at the same time the mutually beneficial cooperation and solidarity of the peoples.
We know that the counterrevolution in the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries and Eurocommunism, did a lot of damage to the communist movement, not only in Italy and the rest of Europe, but also at an international level. They sowed disillusionment, demobilization amongst the workers. They fostered dead-end illusions that the solution allegedly can be found inside the “framework” of capitalism, through “left” “patriotic” governments, through a so-called better, more “just” management of capitalism.
However, today, 20 year now after the completion of the restoration of capitalism in the former socialist countries, during which period the peoples have tested both “right” and “left” solutions for the management of the system, the need is being highlighted for the revival of the socialist vision . The KKE studies the historical experience, not only its own, bit also of the international communist movement, of the construction of socialism which we knew in the previous century. We have settled on basic conclusions regarding the causes of the retreat of the communist movement, the restoration of capitalism in the socialist countries of Eastern and Central Europe. We learn both from the positive and the negative experiences, so that we can inspire the working class again, its vision of social liberation, to lend impetus to the class struggle, to the ideological-political class struggle for the new socialist society. This course of ours also constitutes the basis for drawing essential conclusions about the mistakes, weaknesses, in order to modernize and enrich our conception of socialism, its timeliness and necessity.
Today, when the opportunist forces are attempting to entrap the workers in the line for “humanizing” capitalism, it is of major, historic importance that we stably and persistently defend both the achievements of the October Revolution, the contribution of the socialist countries, despite the fact that we criticize deficiencies, deviations.  To defend the contribution of the Communist Parties, the international communist movement, the necessity of the overthrow of the rotten and corrupted capitalist system. A task, which must be instilled in a unified way in all our daily struggles for the working class-people’s interests, concerning the everyday problems of our peoples.
This task of ours, the organization of the workers’ struggles, the revival of the socialist-communist ideals in our continent and beyond, can not be advanced without the ideological-political confrontation and the exposure of the role of the so-called “European Left Party”, which has been promoted as the “left mouth-piece” of the EU, and even of its anti-communist campaign. The role of the opportunists and the formation which they have created at a European level is doubly dangerous because it fosters illusions amongst the workers that there can be a pro-people EU, as well as a similar management of the capitalist system in each country, leaving the power of the monopolies untouched, the capitalist ownership over the concentrated means of production. These views are fostered in our country by the SYRIZA party.
With this opportunity, allow me to say that the forces of the ELP, which in Italy present SYRIZA and an “example”, and as a force that serves the people’s interests, conceal the truth.  SYRIZA is a force for assimilation into capitalism and not for its overthrow. It seeks to become the new social-democratic vehicle of the two-pole bourgeois system in Greece, indeed incorporating the most rotten elements from the old PASOK which governed Greece for many decades and is responsible for the many problems which have accumulated as well as for the situation and degeneration of the labour movement. In reality, SYRIZA, despite the sloganeering and the certain left-wing terminology that it uses, acts in a direction which is opposed to the line of rupture with the imperialist organizations, the monopolies, capitalism.
The KKE recently honoured the 95 years of its history, during which it waged particularly tough battles, and has acquired blood ties with the working class and the other popular strata of our country.  It is also today in the front line of the working class-people’s struggle regarding every problem that concerns the worker, the poor farmer, the employee, the youth and the women of the popular strata. The KKE plays the leading role in the struggle against the criminal Nazi organization of Golden Dawn,  so that it is isolated in the workplaces, schools and universities, so that its stops poisoning the youth with its fascist sermons.
At our recent 19th Congress, the Political Resolution, the new Programme and Statutes were unanimously approved, confirming the ideological-political unity of the party.
In the documents of the 19th Congress, the KKE makes it clear that today in Greece, in the conditions of monopoly capitalism, there are objective material preconditions for the construction of a socialist-communist society. The impending revolution in Greece will be socialist. Our party assesses, as in its previous Programme, that there do not exist intermediate stages between capitalism and socialism, and that there do not exist intermediate forms of power. The class struggle, the line of revolutionary struggle will lead to working class-people’s power or otherwise with another line and intermediate stages will be defeated, will be assimilated, will give breathing space to the system for the long-life of capitalism. We propose to the working class, the poor popular strata, to the self-employed and farmers, to the youth and women from the popular families that a People’s Alliance be formed of social forces that have their interest in struggling in an anti-monopoly anti-capitalist direction, having as its basic slogans the socialization of the monopolies and the creation of agricultural producer cooperatives, the unilateral cancellation of the debt, the non-participation in military-political interventions and wars, the disengagement from the EU and NATO, with working class-people’s power.
The KKE acts in the direction of preparing the subjective factor for the perspective of the socialist revolution, even if the time frame for its manifestation is determined by objective conditions, by the revolutionary situation. We are working for the creation of a KKE with solid bases inside the working class, a KKE which will be capable of responding to every sharp turn in the class struggle, as we say an “all-weather party”. This does not at all mean that we are detached from the reality, from the struggle and demands concerning the sharpening problems of the workers, unemployed, the youth, the poor pensioners, the popular households that are suffering, can not pay for electricity, can not afford food, have no heating, can not pay for their medicines and medical examinations, are threatened with seizures by the banks. We play the leading role, through the struggles, mobilizations, with interventions in Parliament, for the satisfaction of the basic needs of our people, to relieve those who are persecuted.
At the same time we seek the regroupment of the labour movement on  a class basis and we support the All-workers’ Militant Front (PAME) and the alliance with other anti-monopoly rallies of the small businessmen (PASEVE), the poor farmers (PASY), the students (MAS), the women (OGE). We believe that the formation of the People’s Alliance, which will have a social basis (and it will not be a welding together of political “leaderships”) is what is needed today. A social alliance  which will struggle regarding every popular problem, for salaries, pensions, public health, education, social security, for the relief of the unemployed etc and will have a clear anti-monopoly and anti-capitalist character.  This social alliance, in conditions of the revolutionary situation, can be transformed into a revolutionary workers’-people’s front, will create organs of working class-people’s power, it will pose the issue of power to the people, the working class, so that they themselves become the protagonists in the developments.
Dear comrades,
In today’s conditions, the urgent need for the revolutionary regroupment of the international communist movement, which today continues to find itself in a situation of ideological, political, organizational crisis, is being highlighted.
With this assessment as its starting point, the KKE not only supports the international and regional meetings of the CPs, as well as the idea of the emergence of a “communist pole” in the international movement, comprised of CPs that remain faithful to Marxism-Leninism, proletarian internationalism, defend the positive experience of the socialism we knew, study the contemporary developments, and seek to chart a revolutionary strategy, recognizing the timeliness and necessity of socialism.
With these thoughts we wish every success to your congress!
Long live Marxism-Leninism and Proletarian Internationalism!
Long live the friendship between the KKE and the CP of Italy!

Fascists target Cypriot youth

Fascist act against EDON youth militant

Yesterday's incident of the beating of a young school pupil, a militant of the EDON Youth Organisation, which took place at the time of a school break, is the last straw that has fuelled our anger. The extremist fascist acts of violence, in whatever way these are expressed, are no longer isolated incidents and cannot finally be tolerated. The agencies and bodies of the state of an otherwise state governed by the rule of law must assume their responsibilities or else if the law of the jungle is allowed to prevail each and every one of us can imagine where things can lead to. .

Democracy and the free expression of opinions, in this specific case the handing out by the school pupil about the annual bi-communal peace and reunification mobilisation and excursion organised by EDON to Troodos, must not represent a political opportunity for exercising brute force by some so-called patriots who felt that their national beliefs were offended.

We warn that such serious cases cannot go unpunished. We unequivocally declare that we will not tolerate such unacceptable incidents by a small section which espouses fascist ideologies. In Cyprus today terror cannot be allowed to pass as a tool for the imposition of views and particularly destructive views.

In response to yesterday's incident too, we call on the Minister of Justice to give an answer to the Cypriot people on what has happened with the public accusations made by AKEL about the activities of the ultra-right organizations in Cyprus. Has the investigation of the accusations been completed? Will the matter be brought to court? The Minister of Justice Mr. Ionas Nicolaou must send out a decisive message that such dangerous phenomena alien and dangerous to Cypriot society are resolutely combatted. If he cannot do so then he should declare so publicly and submit his resignation to the President of the Republic. In any case, he should have shown political sensitivity also with regards the failure to handle the tragic and criminal incidents in the Central Prison.

Furthermore, we also expect from the President of the Republic himself, besides expressing his frustration, to take concrete action. In particular, we expect that he states his position on the question of his Minister not assuming political responsibility. We also expect from the parties supporting the government that they will not show in this case as well the same deafening silence as they exhibited concerning the tragic events that have taken place in the last days in the Central Prison.

"State terrorism is NOT the key to achieve peace": FARC

End of nineteenth round of peace talks between FARC-EP and government

The FARC-EP presented five sub-points of their third minimum proposal: Recognition and encouragement of alternative uses of the coca, poppy and marijuana crops.

In the last weeks, the guerrilla movement has launched many proposals in order to find a solution to the problem of drug-trafficking in Colombia, which, it claims, requieres a comprehensive solution with social investment. This morning, they highlighted another aspect of the issue: the dietary, nutritional, medicinal, therapeutic, artisanal, industrial and cultural uses of the coca, poppy and marijuana crops. These, explained Andrés París, one of its spokesmen, should be recognized and even promoted.

The Peace Delegation also proposed a state regulation for the artisanal and industrial processing of these crops, in consultation with the producers and the peasant, indigenous and Afro-descendant communities. The guerrilla asked special protection of the ancient practices of communities and indigenous peoples, recognizing the cultural value of the coca plant. Therefore, they proposed to create a coca research center.

Read whole communique: Recognition and encouragement of alternative uses of the coca, poppy and marijuana crops: 5 sub-points

At 11 o'clock, head of the Peace Delegation of the FARC-EP, Iván Márquez, read a press release, as they usually do at the end of each round.

The document is a reply to an article released by government chief negotiator Humberto De La Calle. The FARC-EP clarified that it is not at the Peace Talks as a result of military pressure, but because peace is -and has always been- a strategic goal of the insurgency.

Furthermore, Iván Márquez underlined that people still belief that there is a democracy in Colombia and that representatives of the establishment are its defenders, which is completely false. He explained that what really exists in Colombia is called state terrorism, and therefore the FARC proposes to strengthen popular political participation and establish true democracy.

FARC also critized persecution, criminalization and death of many popular and opposition leaders while the peace talks are being held, which, according to the guerrilla, showed the "fragility of the guarantees for Political Participation they have offered us". Read whole communique Myths of the peace process: FARC

Guerrilla and government finished the nineteenth round of dialogues, and are in the middle of the discussion on the fourth item on the agenda, "Solution to the problem of illicit drugs". This is the third item being discussed at the Table, for the delegations decided to postpone the third item: "End of the conflict". eading role in the construction of peace, as we have asked for.

Peace Delegation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army

Communist Party of Ukraine statement on events...

The Communist Party of Ukraine has expressed its condolences for the tragic loss of life “during the ultra-radical extremist-provoked armed clashes on Hrushevskoho street in Kiev.”

The party says responsibility for these deaths, for the bloodshed and violence in equal measure rests on (govermental) power, and the leaders of the so-called opposition and the ultra-neo-nationalist militant organizations plus foreign politicians, that  urge people towards the radicalization of protests and to fight to the bitter end.

The party demanded that the government and leaders of the Maidan (demonstration) to immediately to stop the use of force, to ensure non-interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine and foreign powers and bring their representatives to the negotiating table.

Any attempts to create parallel structures of power are unconstitutional as is the ‘People’s Parliament’, the ‘interim president’ and the like, and will only strengthen the opposition and create a real threat of the escalating conflict to a civil war said the party.

“One part of the population will support the current government, and the other – the self-proclaimed so-called opposition, which will inevitably lead to a final split of Ukraine.”

The Communist Party said it is ready to present concrete proposals to resolve the situation.

It believes it is necessary:

1. Declare Ukrainian referendum on the definition of foreign economic policy of Ukraine’s integration.

2. To carry out political reform, eliminate the institution of the president and install a parliamentary republic, significantly expand the rights of territorial communities.

3. Adopt a new electoral law and return a proportional system of elections of people’s deputies of Ukraine.

4. In order to overcome the administrative chaos and ensure strict control over the government and politicians to establish an independent civilian body – “National control” by giving it the broadest powers.

5.Hold judicial reform and introduce the institution of electing judges.

Communist Party drew attention to the fact that from the very beginning it warned that the rejection of democratic mechanisms for solving social contradictions, a ban on a Ukrainian referendum, organized jointly with the power of so-called opposition, could be catastrophic.

There can still be a peaceful solution to the political crisis, said the party condemning extremism.

“We encourage people to stop, not to succumb to provocations and claim for constructive talks with the President, the leaders of political parties and public organizations.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Partying about Ireland's poverty

By Nessa Ní Chasaide, from Eurodad’s member The Debt and Development Coalition Ireland

People in Ireland could have been forgiven for thinking that the largest debt crisis in the history of the Irish state had been solved last week. News headlines blared “market confidence in Ireland”, “bumper sale” of Irish debt, “positive market sentiment” toward Ireland.

These headlines were ‘reporting’ on Ireland’s first entry into the markets since last March, selling 10 year bonds worth € 3.75 Billion at a yield of 3.543%. The Irish Minister for Finance commented that the successful bond sale “illustrates the strength of Ireland’s international reputation“.’

Yet, the people of Ireland have not joined in the celebrations. This is because nothing has changed – that is, for most people.

Winners and Losers

The reality is that some people have gained from Ireland’s crisis. Investors that have bought up Irish assets at knock down prices. Powerful individuals that have been given personal debt write downs at the taxpayer’s expense. The bankers in charge of Ireland’s failed banks - some paid salaries of close to one million euros per year. 
But the cost of the crisis is devastating for the majority of people. Ireland is paying about €14,000 per person in private bank debt. Ireland has lost one in every seven jobs. Twenty-five per cent of people in Ireland suffer multiple forms of poverty. One in 10 people are hungry. 

Why? Because we are funding the debts of six Irish banks that became insolvent. The people of Ireland are paying €64 billion in socialised banking debt. That is 40 per cent of Ireland’s GDP. It’s probably the largest bank bailout per capita since World War II. Thirty-five billion euros or so of this € 64 billion has already been paid – given by the Irish government from public funds to the banks to keep them open and to enable them to pay their debts to bondholders. The balance remains in the Irish Central Bank – the hangover debt of our most odious and illegitimate bank – Anglo Irish Bank. This has yet to be paid and should not be. It should be written off.

The celebratory headlines pay no heed to this more fundamental story. Instead we see a deeply misleading discourse that serves an elite and covers up the real suffering of ordinary people.
So we will hold off on the celebrations.

Instead, we will celebrate the continuing resistance of justice campaign groups in Ireland, like Debt Justice Action,Ballyhea Says No! Campaign and the Spectacle of Defiance and Hope which draw attention to the injustice being done to the majority of people in Ireland.

We call for non-payment of the remaining socialised banking debt and compensation to the people for the amount already given blithely to bondholders who…guess what…still like investing in Ireland. 

Nessa Ní Chasaide

Debt and Development Coalition Ireland

Friday, January 17, 2014

South Sudan: When the Empire is Your Liberator, You're Not Really Independent

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The South Sudanese military has broke up into its component warlord parts.”

For decades, the United States and Israel sought to bring about the fracturing of Sudan, which had been, geographically, the largest nation in Africa. Secession of the South was a special project of Israel, whose most enduring and fundamental foreign policy is to spread chaos and dissention in the Muslim and Arab worlds. Sudan, under the political control of the mostly Muslim North, joined the Arab League immediately upon independence, in 1956. Israel has sought to destabilize Sudan ever since, both to strike a blow at “Arabized” Africans and to curry favor among Christians on the continent.

John Garang, who rose to leader of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army, received military training in Israel in 1970, during Sudan’s first civil war. However, Garang favored keeping the South in federation with a united Sudan. In 2005, under a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Garang became vice president of the whole of Sudan and premier of the southern part of the country. He died in a mysterious helicopter crash six months later. Garang was succeeded by Salva Kiir, who sports a black cowboy hat given to him by President Bush, in 2006.

Dismembering Sudan became a U.S. obsession under Bill Clinton, who bombed a pharmaceuticals factory in the capital city, Khartoum, in 1998, falsely claiming it was a chemical weapons facility. After 9/11 Sudan moved to the top of President Bush’s enemies list. The U.S. and Israel provided arms and training to rebel groups in Darfur, in the west of the Sudan, fueling another front of civil war.

Washington openly bragged that it was the Godfather of the South Sudanese state.”

President Obama entered the White House the year after AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command, came into being, and two years before the South Sudanese were to vote in a referendum on whether they wanted to become an independent nation. With much of Africa now under the sway of the U.S. military, Washington dropped all diplomatic pretense and openly bragged that it was the Godfather of the South Sudanese state that emerged in July of 2011. What was left of Khartoum’s part of Sudan lost most of its oil. China had good reason to be worried, having invested $20 billion in Sudan before it was split, and pledged $8 billion more to South Sudan after independence – but now the Americans were strutting around like they owned the place.

Then came the collapse, as the South Sudanese military broke up into its component warlord parts. Suddenly, the U.S. political class is talking about repossessing the country’s sovereignty. In the pages of the New York Times, Princeton Lyman, the former U.S. special envy to South Sudan calls for the United Nations to assume the role of “protector” of the country, with oversight of the economy and the oil fields (of course). Another establishment foreign policy “expert,” G. Pascal Zachary, calls on the United States to assume “trusteeship” of South Sudan, including control of its military and police. That sounds a lot like Haiti, a country whose independence was stolen by George Bush in 2004 and which remains a “protectorate” of the United Nations – actually, of the United States, France and Canada and any corporation that wants to set up a sweatshop. What the American Godfather giveth, he also claims the right to take away.

So, what have the South Sudanese won? Certainly, not independence. It’s just another oil rich, neocolonial spot on the map of U.S. empire.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to

People's News Issue 97 out now

Strong public resistance to paying more for survival of euro
At the launch of a REDC opinion poll, the People’s Movement warned that Irish people were unwilling to make further sacrifices to ensure the future of the euro, and that they were unaware of forthcoming fundamental changes to the voting system in the EU Council of Ministers. The opinion poll was commissioned by the EU Democrats, a pan-EU political organisation, for the People’s Movement in Ireland. Read more below...

WPC demands release of Cuban 5

The World Peace Council (WPC) is raising the voice of the millions of peace loving people around the world for the release of the remaining four (4) Cuban political prisoners from US jails.

15 years now the arbitrary and false accusations of the USA and its security mechanisms have led the 5 Cuban patriots to inhuman imprisonment, depriving them often even from vists of their families.
The WPC demands the immediate and unconditional release of Ramón, Gerardo, Fernando and Antonio who are victims of acts of revenge of the US administrations who can not accept for more than 50 years the fact that the Cuban people has chosen in 1959 a different path of development trough the triumph of the Revolution.

The arrest and imprisonment of the "Cuban Five" in 1998 and till today of the four of them, has pure political and ideological motives. It further constitutes a cynical and hypocritical act, since the US administration is carrying out supposedly a "war on terror" hosting and covering at the same time the terrorist groups in Miami, which were uncovered by the "Cuban Five".

The WPC expresses its solidarity to the five Cuban heroes, to their families and to the Cuban people. The World Peace Council stands firm on the side of the Socialist Cuba, its Revolution and leadership.

Free the Cuban Five- Solidarity with Socialist Cuba!

12th September 2013 The Secretariat WPC

An anti-monopoly or anti-imperialist strategy?

At the international meeting of communist and workers’ parties in Lisbon in November a different emphasis emerged among the parties gathered there that could be summed up in the question “Do we describe our struggle at this stage as one against monopoly capitalism or against imperialism?” (bearing in mind that these are different descriptions of the same phenomenon).
      These differences reflect the different historical experiences and the specific nature of the immediate struggles that the parties are involved in. Furthermore, they arise from the different economic and social conditions and the balance of forces in our countries.
      The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) are always worth listening to and their views worth reflecting upon, not only because they are one of the biggest and most influential communist parties in Europe, and because they have spearheaded the workers’ resistance in Greece, organising many successful general strikes (through which the working class throughout Europe benefited), but, most importantly, because they infuse Marxist strategy and theory into all their statements and actions. They think before they act.
      The KKE raise many issues and provoke many questions for communists about the strategy for advancing the cause of socialism in Ireland—as opposed to a reformist programme for managing the affairs of the capitalist class, providing subsidies to private enterprise, managing the trade union movement and workers through minimal legislative protections and picking up the cost when private business discards its workers, along the Danish “flexicurity” model, which is the only thing social democracy can now offer.
      The KKE raise a number of important areas of concern.¹
      1. They are explicitly opposed to communist parties participating in social-democratic governments or “progressive” national governments with bourgeois forces. In the light of Marxist theory but also of the historical experiences of both France and Italy, and arguably now of the ANC in South Africa, communist parties would do well to heed this warning.
      2. They warn against electoral opportunism and alliances with opportunist forces. Again according to historical experiences—and recent experiences here in Ireland—there are clearly forces on the “left” that are far more interested in their own short-term electoral success than in building actual mass, class-conscious, worker-led movements, and these forces do far more harm than good to our class in sowing illusions and creating disillusionment.
      3. The KKE are clear and unambiguous in their opposition to the European Union as an imperialist alliance of capitalist states representing their monopoly interests. Too many on the left, and indeed some important communist parties in Europe, which correctly see their own national states as a class structure, confuse and misunderstand, or opportunistically avoid, the nature of the European Union as a class structure.
      4. Finally, the KKE reject any strategy of alliances with any bourgeois forces. They are clear that the alliances they are building are between workers and small farmers and, as they call them, the rural and urban petit-bourgeoisie; one presumes they mean family-run small businesses and farms and the self-employed. They don’t see any progressive bourgeois forces that could be part of their revolutionary anti-monopoly strategy.
      In regard to the bourgeois ruling class in Ireland, our own party has shown² that the big bourgeoisie are increasingly either leaders in monopoly capitalism, such as CRH, Ryanair, and Smurfit Kappa, or are dependent on monopolies and tied to the system, including (but not solely) a variety of speculative and parasitic finance operations.
      But even the big Irish bourgeoisie account for only 19 of the top 50 companies operating here. It is difficult to see any bourgeoisie of any significance in Ireland not tied to or dependent on monopoly and that might be considered a “national bourgeoisie,” such as existed at the beginning of the last century.
      The KKE appear to call for a single revolutionary strategy for workers’ movements globally when they propose “the necessity of a single revolutionary strategy which will empower the discrete struggle of the communist movement for the interests of the working class, the popular strata, all over the world.”
      This is problematic today in a world marked by such uneven development, uneven power relations between capitalist states within monopoly capitalism, and vastly different levels of communist and workers’ strength.
      The law of combined and uneven development, as it’s known, suggests that once the capitalist market became truly global and under the domination of finance capital the normal road of capitalist development was blocked off to colonies or underdeveloped (from a capitalist production point of view) countries. This theory was more fully developed by Lenin when he identified monopolies and finance capital as the essential feature of capitalism in his day and explained how imperialism was the highest stage of capitalist development.
      The futility of former colonies seeking development through an accommodation with international monopoly capitalism has been shown, in Ireland as elsewhere, as they remain subject to international finance capital.
      Note that Lenin did not say that imperialism, as the highest stage of capitalist development, would not find temporary solutions to crisis. It has done this through war (we now live in a state of permanent war), privatisation, stagnant wages, increased pauperisation and proletarianisation globally, increased indebtedness (of both states and working people), a global shift in production and a race to the bottom to attract foreign direct investment, taxation, subsidies, the destruction of the environment (including increasingly destructive acts, such as fracking), and a massive growth in speculative, non-productive finance capital.
      But this has only served to accentuate contradictions within the system, making uneven development more acute and more defining as a feature of the system.
      If we acknowledge that uneven development exists, and that there is an imperialist centre and periphery within the system (Samir Amin suggests there is a “core imperialist triad” of the United States, the European Union, and Japan), then we have to continue this logic through to the nature and make-up of the ruling class in these countries and what strategy will most effectively weaken imperialism and the state and strengthen the class-conscious movement for socialism.
      In this context it has been a Leninist position to seek to exploit differences between enemy forces, which at particular points in time has correctly called for alliances with bourgeois forces to weaken the imperialist system as a whole, something the KKE are now ruling out of their single revolutionary strategy.
      Imperialism, rather than equalising power relations among states and indeed among capitalist classes at different stages of development, which might warrant the convergence of communist strategies, accentuates and polarises even further the exploitative core and periphery relations within imperialism.
      In a core country, such as the United States, Japan, Britain, or Germany, the local monopoly bourgeoisie are big enough and powerful enough, with a local alliance with the smaller bourgeoisie, not only to dominate and control the state and other classes domestically but also to spread their influence and control overseas and to dominate other states and peoples. The communist movement in a core country’s primary enemy is domestic, is local.
      In a peripheral country, such as Ireland, the monopoly bourgeoisie are not strong enough locally to rule unhindered and so have the options of either a local alliance that would negatively affect their monopoly position or becoming integrated in the monopoly system globally and therefore becoming dependent on imperialism to prop up their position domestically.
      This was obvious when the IMF and ECB directly intervened and took control over the Irish state (though it existed long before this), which it continues now through the EU’s direct and increasing control over policy and the economy, through the continued British occupation in the North, through American direct investment and indirect influence, and through the continuing uneven financial, agricultural and commercial relationship that remains following independence in the South, with Britain and the United States in particular.
      This dependence makes our domestic ruling class too weak to rule on its own. This was typical of colonialism, and subsequently neo-colonialism, which have been correctly identified as weaker links in the chain of imperialism.
      However, it also means that, for a strategy for building socialism to be successful, the struggle must be against all forms of imperialist rule in Ireland, the domestic and foreign, against imperialism itself. To strengthen the struggle for socialism the working class in Ireland must lead the anti-imperialist struggle and place its demands at its core—a crucial part of which is regaining sovereign control over many areas of life.
      Historically, the petit-bourgeois and national bourgeoisie led the national liberation movement but subsequently abandoned progressive and anti-imperialist positions once their own rule and interests were secured.
      The correct class strategy will be different in a core imperialist country from that of a peripheral country, the one distorted and dominated by imperialism and subject to a dependent ruling class, the other influenced and shaped by chauvinist imperialist ideology.
      This will mean different communist strategies in Germany, the United States, Greece, and Ireland. This is not to say that all are now correct: it is merely to suggest that attempting to forge one single revolutionary strategy in vastly different countries at different stages of development is potentially counterproductive, and could damage the much-needed exchange of communist experience and analysis.
      The KKE call for an anti-monopoly strategy with the central demand for the socialisation of monopolies, interestingly a phrase and demand also raised by Samir Amin (and note its vast difference from the Keynesian demand for the socialisation of investment). This is an important demand that very few on the left are considering or discussing.
      However, this demand means something vastly different in, say, Germany than in Ireland. What monopolies will we socialise? Ryanair? Google? Citigroup? CRH? Smurfit Kappa, Intel, Pfizer? And what effect would it have here? If a workers’ movement in a core country socialises monopolies it socialises vast amounts of wealth and productive capacity. If we did this in Ireland what would we actually get? A fleet of dodgy aircraft and some office buildings?
      This is simplistic—yes; but there is no doubt that the socialisation of monopolies in core countries is of significantly more value than in peripheral countries. While imperialism is the highest and final stage of capitalism, does it mean one can jump from combating imperialism to building socialism without a transformative period?
      So is an anti-monopoly strategy, as it’s framed, adequate for a peripheral country dominated by both a local and foreign monopoly class? Are the fronts of struggle the same in a core and a peripheral country in this anti-monopoly strategy? Are the alliances sought the same? Are the points of weakness of the ruling class the same in a core and a peripheral country?
      And, therefore, are the strategic demands to be made by the class-conscious socialist movement the same? Fundamentally, is an anti-monopoly strategy for building socialism the same as an anti-imperialist strategy both for national liberation from imperialism and as a platform for building socialism?
      Certainly the KKE have posed important questions for the international workers’ movement. This issue in particular goes to the heart of the debate and requires deeper clarity and analysis from all concerned if we are to defeat imperialism throughout the world.

1. See
2. See

Thursday, January 16, 2014

79 year old Peace Activist Jailed

Demand the release of 79-year-old anti-war activist

The Communist Party of Ireland condemns in the strongest possible terms the arrest of the Galway peace activist Margaretta D’Arcy, who was arrested today and brought to Limerick Prison to serve a three-month sentence. Ms D’Arcy suffers from Parkinson’s disease and is also being treated for cancer. 
She refused to sign an undertaking that she would keep away from unauthorised zones at Shannon Airport, as a result of which her three-month suspended sentence has been activated.

Margaretta D’Arcy and Niall Farrell were sentenced in Ennis District Court in December 2013. Each received a three-month prison sentence, suspended on condition that they enter into a bond to uphold the law for two years and stay out of unauthorised zones at Shannon Airport.

Shannon Airport is a major hub for US warplanes on their way to sow death and destruction in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries in the Middle East. It is also a transit point for aircraft carrying US military drones, also victims of “extraordinary rendition” were transported through the airport. 
The Communist Party of Ireland demands her immediate release. It also calls on peace and democratic forces around the world to write to the Irish Government demanding her release.

Alan Shatter, Minister for Justice:

Send messages of support to Galway Alliance Against War :
Statement ends:
Eugene McCartan
General Secretary
Communist Party of Ireland

Monday, January 13, 2014

100 years on from the great Imperialist war

100 years after the onset of World War I, we live through a renewed debate about who lit the fuse. When again German imperialism’s major responsibility for the four years of butchery among peoples is being questioned, this for sure is not in search for historical truth. It is about seeking theoretical and political legitimization for today’s imperialist politics.

World War I arose from the major imperialist European powers’ desire for expansion. It aimed to conquer new markets and resources, and to re-allocate the given ones. As the co-founder of the Communist Party of Germany, Karl Liebknecht, soon stated, it was “a capitalist war of aggression and conquest”. At the same time, it was an opportunity for the rulers to contaminate the working class’s conscience in their countries with the poison of opportunism, nationalism and chauvinism.

In summer 1914, there were two tight military blocks opposed in Europe: the tripartite alliance of Germany, Austro-Hungary and Italy versus the Entente of England and France which then also Russia allied with. In 1915, Italy entered the war siding with the Entente .

The Sarajevo assault was a very welcomed opportunity for the great powers, already eager for war, to put their strategic concepts into practice. A war followed, which for the first time in history held grip of all continents. 38 countries were involved, not counting the then colonies. Also for the first time ever, a war was waged in industrial manner. Seven million people fell victim to the manslaughter. Civilians became victims of famine and diseases in dimensions unknown before. 20 millions were wounded and crippled, and an incredible amount of values destroyed.

The slaughters ended by the aggressors’ military defeat. The November Revolution in Germany and the revolutions in Austria, Hungary and other countries were stalled because of the right-wing social democratic leaderships’ active role in crushing the Revolution. In Germany the monarchy was overthrown and the republic was founded, but the generals, however, and the powers of the monopolist capital remained. Their political survival gave way for World War II later on.

The social democracy split in the course of World War I. The revolutionary forces separated from the 2 nd International and founded Communist Parties all over the world. The Great Socialist October Revolution in Russia paved the way for the first workers’ and peasants’ state in the history of mankind. Thus from the World War emerged a new hope for the world—the hope for Socialism. This is what the signing parties are still standing for.

“And, finally, the only war left for Prussia-Germany to wage will be a world war, a world war, moreover of an extent the violence hitherto unimagined. Eight to ten million soldiers will be at each other’s throats and in the process they will strip Europe barer than a swarm of locusts. The depredations of the 30 Years’ War compressed into three to four years and extended over the entire continent; famine, disease, the universal lapse into barbarism, both of the armies and the people, in the wake of acute misery irretrievable dislocation of our artificial system of’ trade, industry and credit, ending in universal bankruptcy, collapse of the old states and their conventional political wisdom to the point where crowns will roll into the gutters by the dozen, and no one will be around to pick them up; the absolute impossibility of foreseeing how it will all end and who will emerge as victor from the battle. Only one consequence is absolutely certain: universal exhaustion and the creation of the conditions for the ultimate victory of the working class.”

Friedrich Engels, 1887
Communist Party of Germany
Communist Party of Luxembourg
Workers Party of Belgium