Over the weekend of 25-26 November 2006, the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM) hosted a very important and successful international conference on the theme: ‘The Communists and Democratic Forces for Human Rights and Democracy in Europe and the world – Actively Against Anti-Communism’.
This conference was held in response to the anti-communist campaigns, accompanied by imperialist war abroad and suppression at home, launched by the imperialist bourgeoisie of Europe and the US. Its aim was, on the one hand, to facilitate exchange of views and information among fraternal parties and, on the other hand, to attempt to coordinate the efforts of the communist, democratic and progressive forces in their struggle against the latest anti-communist crusade of the bourgeoisie.
The conference was attended by more than 30 parties from Europe, Asia, Latin America and North America. There was a frank and lively exchange of views on the conference floor, with the delegates to the conference strongly condemning the imperialist anti-communist witch-hunt and pledging to wage a fierce struggle against the attempts of the bourgeois to criminalise the communist movement.
Particular condemnation was heaped on the Czech bourgeois government for outlawing the Communist Youth Union (KSM) in the Czech Republic in flagrant violation of all democratic norms and human rights, and a demand was made that the Czech government revoke this undemocratic and authoritarian measure with immediate effect.
The participants at the conference, while not underestimating the tasks confronting them, were cheerfully optimistic about the bright future and successes of the proletarian and national liberation struggles in the coming period. Imperialism had next to nothing to offer humanity – this was the unanimous opinion of everyone attending this conference.
The CPGB-ML was represented at the conference by Harpal Brar. Here we reproduce a summarised version of his contribution:
Comrade Brar’s contribution
Comrades, on behalf of the CPGB-ML, I bring greetings to this conference and thank the KSCM for inviting us and giving us the opportunity to exchange our views with you.
Comrades, the bourgeoisie, even in its revolutionary phase, was hypocritical in its commitment to democracy and human rights. The bourgeoisie of Europe at a time when it was smashing the shackles of feudalism at home was busy colonising tens of millions of people abroad. The fight of the American bourgeoisie against British colonial rule went hand in hand with the continued slavery of African Americans and the systematic extermination of the native American population.
However, in the era of imperialism, bourgeois phrasemongering about democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law becomes totally bereft of any content. The connection between language and thought-content becomes completely severed, so that conquerors and occupiers are characterised as ‘liberators’; reactionaries described as ‘radicals’ and revolutionaries as ‘conservatives’; the fighters for national liberation castigated as ‘terrorists’; ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ become code words for the rampant unhindered exploitation by imperialism of the working class at home and the oppressed abroad; and a handful of imperialist blood suckers strut around the world, arrogating to themselves the title ‘international community’, and waging imperialist predatory wars.
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. This summer, it backed the genocidal war waged by Israel against the people of Lebanon. 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 War stated that it was the Red Army that tore the guts out of the fascist Wehrmacht, may come in for the same treatment.
Imperialism today is engaged in 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. This attempt 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.
While arming itself to the teeth, imperialism is busy disarming everyone else as a means of bullying others. Imperialism does not respect logic or reason, equity or justice; it only respects strength, as the cases of Iraq and the DPRK have shown. Iraq was attacked because it was disarmed, whereas the DPRK stands upright and defiant because its leadership wisely took the decision to strengthen the DPRK defence capacity by providing it with the necessary weapons – both conventional and nuclear.
Now Iran and Syria are under great pressure for pursuing an independent policy. I am certain that these two countries will learn the lessons of history and refuse to be disarmed. In any case, all these countries deserve our wholehearted support in their fight against imperialist threats and intimidation, in their defence of national sovereignty.
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, Lebanon, Colombia and Nepal, and from the deepening economic crisis of imperialism, which is leading to the intensification of all the contradictions inherent to imperialism.
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.
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.
7. Establish a close and firm alliance with the hundreds upon hundreds of millions of oppressed people fighting against imperialist brigandage, aggression and superexploitation and for national liberation.
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 in 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, Afghanistan, Palestine and Lebanon to Cuba and Colombia, are proof of this fact.
In bringing to an end my contribution, I thank the KSCM for the warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to me. Thank you, comrades, for listening to me.