On Saturday 21 January, 17 communist parties took part in a meeting in Brussels, organised on the initiative of the PTB (Workers Party of Belgium), to condemn the anti-communist draft resolution entitled ‘Need for international condemnation of the crimes of totalitarian communist regimes’, which was due to be presented to PACE (the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) on 25 January in Strasbourg. The CPGB-ML was represented at this meeting by Harpal Brar, and we reproduce below a summary of his contribution.
Comrades, on behalf of the CPGB-ML, I bring greetings to this meeting and thank the PTB for inviting us and giving us the opportunity to exchange our views with you.
Monopoly capitalism, said V I Lenin, seeks domination, not freedom. While hypocritically talking ad nauseam about human rights, the imperialist bourgeoisie is busy today trampling underfoot all basic civil liberties and human rights, at home and abroad. It is engaged in attacks on welfare and trade union rights, as well as on civil liberties (through anti-terror laws), at home. Abroad, it is waging fascist wars of aggression against Iraq and Afghanistan, and is busy attempting to suppress national liberation struggles from Palestine to Colombia. It is conducting a ceaseless campaign of vilification, accompanied by an economic blockade, against Cuba and the DPRK.
Imperialism today, whether managed by conservative or social-democratic governments, is waging a relentless war against the proletariat at home and the oppressed peoples abroad. The Labour Party in Britain is privatising schools and hospitals, is enacting the most draconian anti-terror laws and is waging war against Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet in our country there are still some shameful ‘communists’ who continue to support the Labour Party on the pretext that it is the ‘party of the working class’. It is the considered view of the CPGB-ML that the Labour Party is not, has never been, and will never be a party of the proletariat; right from its inception, it has been a party of imperialism.
The imperialist bourgeoisie today is trying to ban all radical thought in a manner reminiscent of the medieval Inquisition or of the Nazi terror. At this rate, it will not be long before the municipalities of Brussels and Paris will be prosecuted for having a Boulevard Stalingrad and a Stalingrad metro station respectively. The books of the historians of the French restoration period, of the historians of the English revolution, and of the American war of independence will have to be burned. Churchill, who in his History of the Second World Warstated that it was the Red Army that tore the guts out of the fascist Wehrmacht, may come in for the same treatment.
The anti-communist resolution of PACE is an attempt to outlaw not only proletarian revolution and national liberation movements, but also to outlaw all economic and democratic struggles; to criminalise all working-class activity. The very existence of this resolution is proof enough that the bourgeoisie, which in its youth produced brilliant theoreticians and revolutionaries, has in its decrepitude become incredibly reactionary, and that it is fit only to be put in the tumbrel and carted off to the guillotine.
The October revolution opened a broad new highway for mankind. Since then, the history of socialism is of unprecedented achievements in every field – economy, science, construction, education, military and diplomacy. It was the Red Army, built on the successes of socialist construction in the Soviet Union, that made the most signal contribution to the defeat of the allegedly ‘invincible’ Nazi war machine.
By contrast, capitalism, democratic as well as fascist, is responsible for all the crimes that claimed more than 100 million lives during the 20th century and caused colossal material devastation. Socialism, meanwhile, brought to hundreds of millions of people a new life of culture, prosperity, science and fraternal harmony, free from the scourges of unemployment, poverty, destitution, racism and war.
The question arises: why has the bourgeoisie embarked on the course of condemning communism and equating it with fascism just now? In our view, this course of action represents both the strength and the weakness of the bourgeoisie. Right now, the bourgeoisie feels strong: the once-glorious USSR and the eastern bloc of socialist states are no more, while the working-class movement in almost all the imperialist countries is in a state of disarray. This state of affairs emboldens the bourgeoisie to conduct its anti-communist witch hunt.
At the same time, the conduct of the bourgeoisie is also indicative of its weakness – a weakness arising from the troubles in the former socialist countries, the rising tide of national liberation struggles in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Colombia and Nepal, and from the crisis of imperialism, which is leading to the intensification of imperialist contradictions. The bourgeoisie therefore quite correctly feels that things are not going its way, and thus feels the necessity of arming itself ideologically and militarily to deal with the coming crisis. Various imperialist countries are engaged in a fierce, no-holds-barred struggle to redivide the world. US military expenditure stands at a staggering $400bn a year – more than the defence expenditures of the remainder of the world’s countries combined. This surely is a sign of weakness and insecurity rather than of confidence and self assurance.
What must we do?
Faced with this situation, it is the firm belief of the CPGB-ML that we must do the following:
1. Reaffirm our faith in the correctness of Marxism Leninism.
2. Reaffirm the correctness of the road of October and its historical inevitability.
3. Uphold the achievements of the USSR and the leadership under which those world-historic achievements were made.
4. Recognise that socialism in the USSR was not destroyed by imperialism but by opportunism in the form of Khrushchevite revisionism and the ideology of social democracy, and increase our efforts 100-fold in the fight against opportunism.
5. Instead of apologising, as some do, we should go on the offensive and defend the world-historic achievements of socialism, treating with contempt the attempts of the bourgeoisie to criminalise the theory and practice of socialism. Take away the history of that glorious period of socialist construction in the USSR, and there’s not much left for the international proletariat to celebrate.
6. Build powerful communist parties in our respective countries: parties that are faithful to the theory of Marxism Leninism, uphold the road of October and, purged of opportunism, march fearlessly at the head of the proletariat in the latter’s struggle for socialism and communism, practising fraternal solidarity and proletarian internationalism.
Comrades, the bourgeoisie is triumphantly declaring that communism is dead. This assertion is not made for the first time; it was also made just after the victory of fascism in Germany n the early thirties of the last century. Responding to these absurd assertions, Joseph Stalin, delivering his report to the CPSU’s 17th party congress, declared that Marxism is the ideology of the modern proletariat and, as such, it can no more be destroyed than can the proletariat itself. The very fact that the bourgeoisie feels the need to declare the demise of Marxism Leninism on a daily basis shows that, far from being dead, communism is alive and marching relentlessly on.
Two systems – imperialism and socialism – are engaged in mortal combat. This combat can result only in the victory of socialism. Marxism Leninism teaches, and life confirms, that imperialism is headed for certain defeat. Struggles everywhere, from Iraq to Cuba and Palestine to Colombia, are proof of this fact.
> Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis statement on the anti-communist resolution