On Friday 2 November 2018 two members of the CPGB-ML central committee attended the 44th Prague theoretical conference organised by the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia.
The annual event, hosted by Prague No 1 branch, heard contributions from a number of comrades on the contemporary challenges facing Marxist-Leninist parties in Europe. Speakers included representatives of the Hungarian Communist Workers Party, Communist Party Slovakia, Party of Labour (Austria), Workers Party of Belgium, PRCF from France, the South African Communist Party, KPD of Germany, Communist Party of Ukraine, the Communist Party of Poland and the Communist Party of Greece.
Speaking for the Hungarian Workers Party, Dr Gyula Thurmer said: “Comrades, we should learn from the past. Our rich history strengthens our belief that we can win. Now it is belief in the possible victory of socialism what we need most.
“We are living in a situation which is very similar to the period of World War One. Capitalism is in deep crisis. The existing institutions of capitalism, including Nato and the EU, were established in other times and for other aims. They cannot manage the actual problems.
“Let’s see the European Union! It has never been an organisation for the welfare of the working masses. No; it has always been an organisation to safeguard the common rule of German and French capital over the people of Europe.
“And now the EU is in crisis. In western Europe the middle classes, who are the main social pillars of capitalism, are losing their economic and social positions. Western Europe is running into a moral catastrophe.
“In eastern Europe more and more people are putting the question: What have we won by destroying socialism? What has changed in thirty years? Do we get the same salary as the Germans or the Austrians? Do we live in peace? The answer is clear: No!”
Speaking of recent electoral successes for the PTB in Belgium, Herwig Larouge said that his party had become “stronger in terms of members, sections, and mainly in terms of ideas and activism.
“The party grew from 2,885 members in 2008 to nearly 14,000 members today, an almost fivefold increase. The party now has many more departments and grassroots groups, including in factories. The provincial and county leaderships have been renewed and younger comrades brought in.
“In these difficult times, this progression gives us reason to be optimistic because we have achieved it on the basis of a revolutionary strategy, elaborated in a context of non-revolutionary and even reactionary times.”
Lefteris Nikolaou, representing the KKE, confirmed the position of the Greek communists that the modern era remains the era of the proletarian revolution:
“Our era continues to be an era of transition from capitalism to socialism. The era of capitalism’s overthrow was inaugurated by the October Revolution 1917, which paved the way and marked the beginning of socialist revolutions.
“For that reason, we consider timely the words of Lenin that the start was made and that the proletarians of which nation will complete this process is not important. For that reason, we do not fall back, we do not retreat; we are deeply convinced that we have to carry through this task.”
The CPGB-ML would like to extend its thanks to the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia for the invitation to speak at this conference and for the warm way in which we were hosted. Our delegation’s contribution will be published in due course.