On Monday 25/2 the proceedings of the “round-table discussion” organized by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) were held in Moscow, on the topic “The Image of Socialism we are Fighting for”, with the participation of foreign delegations, which participated in the 15th Congress of the CPRF.
Elisseos Vagenas, member of the CC and Responsible for the International Relations Section of the CC of the KKE, made a contribution to the “round-table discussion” on behalf of the KKE. The speech was as follows:
We thank the CPRF for the opportunity that it is providing us today to exchange thoughts about this important issue.
The KKE, after the counterrevolutionary changes in the Soviet Union in 1991, despite the fact that it emerged organizationally weakened, due to the inner-party struggle with the opportunist forces which in the end left the party, maintained its communist identity: Its faith in theMarxist-Leninist worldview and the necessity of the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism. It defended the hammer and sickle and its other historical symbols and at the same time began long-term research and inner-party work on the causes which led to the defeat of socialism in the USSR. Through this work, which was consolidated in the Decision of the 18th Congress of our party, our party enriched its conception of socialism. An enrichment which in turn is expressed in the new draft programme of our party, which will be the work of our 19th Congress in about a month.
Today we are certainly “one step” forwards compared to the revolutionaries before the Great October Socialist Revolution. This is because today there is the vast experience, positive and negative, of the socialist construction in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and other countries. The KKE, in contrast with the forces of the so-called “Party of the European Left” (PEL), defends the enormous contribution of the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries to the progress of humanity as a whole. Socialism which existed in the 20th century was able to satisfy important needs of the people, which capitalism not only cannot but does not want to satisfy: free education, health, social security, vacations, housing, pensions at 55 for women and 60 for men, certainty about the future and many other things.
It is no accident that that this experience, the construction of socialism in the 20th century, is subject to the rabid attack of the bourgeois political forces, the EU, the USA, as well as of the opportunist forces, with as a “common denominator” the attack against the person ofJoseph Stalin, who was head of the CP and the soviet state, when the foundations of socialism were laid. Our party is of the assessment that this socialist soviet experience must be studied and utilised regarding the issue as to what the socialism we are struggling for should be like.
The overthrow of socialism did not occur due to “totalitarianism”, or because the workers had exaggerated gains and rights, as various forces, which are struggling against the communists, claim. The overthrow of socialism happened because in conditions of the aggressiveness of capital’s forces, basic laws of socialist construction were violated, such as the replacement of the dictatorship of the proletariat by the “state of the whole people” and the strengthening of commodity-money relations in the decades after 1950.
A second point that the KKE has come to is that the socialism which we are struggling for cannot arise from bourgeois parliamentarianism, through “left-patriotic governments”, which promote the “gradual” correction, “democratization”, “humanization” of capitalism, without a socialist revolution, without the destruction of the bourgeois state structures, without the construction of new popular organs of power.
Socialist construction is an uninterrupted process, which starts with the conquest of power by the working class. Our party has a different view from those parties, which in the name of “national specificities” or “21st century socialism” retreat from the fundamental characteristics of the socialist-communist society. In our evaluation socialism is the first phase of the communist socio-economic formation; it is not an independent socio-economic formation. It is an immature communism. The basic law of the communist mode of production is valid: “Planned production for the extended satisfaction of social needs.”
A basic feature of socialist society is the socialization of the means of production.
- The socialisation of the means of production in industry, energy-water supply, telecommunications, construction, repair, public transport, wholesale and retail trade and import-export trade, the concentrated tourist –restaurant infrastructure, the capitalist agricultural cultivations.
- The socialization of land and the mineral resources. State production units will be created for the production and processing of agricultural products whether as raw material or consumer products.
- The abolition of private ownership and economic activity in education, health-welfare, culture and sports, in the mass media. They are completely and exclusively organized as social services.
- The abolition of the use of alien labour, i.e. wage labour, by those who still possess isolated means of production in sectors that have not been compulsorily socialized, e.g. in crafts, agricultural production, tourism-restaurants, in certain auxiliary services.
- Means of production, raw materials, industrial materials and resources, and labour power will enter a process of production and organization of social and administrative services via central planning.
- Industry and the largest part of agricultural production will be carried out with relations of social ownership, central planning, workers’control over the whole spectrum of management and administration.
The development potential of the country will placed at the service of the people and their needs through central planning, as well as whatever has been created by human activity in Science, Technology and Culture. This will safeguard a higher standard of living and of the development and cultivation of the intellect. Unemployment and labour insecurity will be eradicated, free time will be increased, so that the working people will have the ability to actively participate and exert workers’ control in order to safeguard the character of working class power.
Agricultural productive cooperatives will be promoted, which will have the right to utilize the socialized land as a means of production. The integration of small farmers will be carried out on a voluntarily basis. The incentives for cooperativization are: the reduction of the cost of production through collective cultivation work and collection of agricultural products. The protection of agricultural production from natural phenomena through the state infrastructure and scientific and technical support. Agricultural produce will be made available through its concentration via the state retail sector.
In addition, we are of the assessment that socialist construction is incompatible with the participation of the country in any imperialist union, such as the EU and NATO, IMF, OECD, and with the existence of US-NATO military bases in our country.
The new working class power, depending on the international developments and regional situation, will seek to develop mutually beneficialinter-state relations between Greece and other countries, especially with countries whose level of development, the nature of their problems and immediate interests can ensure such a mutually beneficial cooperation.
The socialist state will seek cooperation with countries and peoples who have objectively a direct interest in resisting the economic, political and military centres of imperialism, first and foremost with the peoples who are constructing socialism in their countries. It will seek to utilize every available “rupture” which might exist in the imperialist “front” due to inter-imperialist contradictions, in order to defend and strengthen the revolution and socialism. A socialist Greece, loyal to the principles of proletarian internationalism, will be, to the extent of its possibilities, a bulwark for the world anti-imperialist, revolutionary and communist movement.
Social needs are determined based on the level of development of the productive forces that have been achieved in the given historical period.
Basic social needs (education-healthcare- welfare) are covered for free in a universal way, according to the needs, while another part of them are covered by a relatively small part of the labour monetary income (housing, energy-water supply- heating, transport, nutrition).
A characteristic of the first stage of communist relations, i.e of the socialist relations, is the distribution of a part of the products “according to labour”. The distribution of a part of socialist production “according to labour”, which resembles commodity exchange only in terms of its form, is a result of the capitalist inheritance.
The new mode of production has not managed to discard it yet, because it has not developed all of the necessary human productive power and all the means of production to the necessary dimensions through the widest use of new technology. Labour productivity does not yet allow a decisively large reduction of labour time, the eradication of heavy and one-sided labour, so that the social need for compulsory labour can be abolished.
The planned distribution of labour power and of the means of production entails the planned distribution of the social product. This is a fundamental difference compared to the distribution of the social product through the market, based on the laws and categories of commodity exchange.
The socialist power is the revolutionary power of the working class, the dictatorship of the proletariat. The revolutionary workers’ power requires a high level of organisation with all the available means. It requires workers’ control in the exercise of the administration of the industrial units in the sectors of strategic importance so that it carries out its creative, economic-social and cultural work, in order to achieve the supremacy of the workers’ and people’s majority against the organised domestic and foreign resistance of capital, their counterrevolutionary activity after the loss of their power.
The extent and the forms that the revolutionary working class power uses for the repression of the counterrevolutionary activity depend on the stance of the political and social organisations towards the two conflicting powers, the working class and the capitalist class.
The socialist state as an organ of the class struggle, which continues with other forms and under new conditions, does not have merely a defensive, repressive and organisational function. It also has a creative, economic, cultural, educational operation under the leadership of its ideological –political vanguard, of its party. It expresses a higher form of democracy whose chief characteristic is the active participation of the working class and generally of the people who are educated on the basis of (non monetary) incentives that arise from the superior mode of production and democracy during the formation of the socialist society during the resolution of the old contradictions and social inequalities through the control of the administration of the productive units, of the social and administration services of all the organs of power from the bottom up.
The exercise of workers’ and social control will be institutionalised and safeguarded in practice, as will the unhindered criticism of decisions and practices which obstruct socialist construction, the unhindered denunciation of subjective arbitrariness and bureaucratic behaviour of officials, and other negative phenomena and deviations from socialist-communist principles.
The foundation of working class power is the production unit, social services, the units of administration, the production cooperatives where the working people exercise their right to elect and recall the representatives.
The communist party, as an ideological-political organised vanguard of the working class, constitutes the leading force of the revolutionary working class power, the dictatorship of the proletariat. It vindicates its revolutionary leading role as long as it expresses the general interests of the working class and the scientific laws of socialist-communist construction in practice.
At the end of this brief contribution, allow me to say that the communists in Greece keep alive in our hearts the mass heroism of the proletarians who stormed the Winter Palace, of the communists and Komsomols who crushed the counterrevolution in unprecedented historical conditions and laid the foundations of the socialist construction, of the Red Army soldiers who crushed the Nazi hordes! Their sacrifices and their struggles were not in vain. They sustain and encourage the communists all over the world, the forces that struggle for the revolutionary regroupment of the international communist movement. _