3 IMCWP, Opening Speech by Communist Party of Greece

6/22/01 12:58 PM
  • Greece, Communist Party of Greece 3rd IMCWP En Europe Communist and workers' parties

Communist Party of Greece
by Aleka Papariga

The movements against capitalist restructuring, the
international
imperialist unions, against the so-called
globalisation

Dear comrades

First of all on behalf of the Central Committee of our
Party I would like to welcome you to our meeting.

In recent years we have witnessed an explicit and raising
controversy and demystification of the so-called doctrine
of globalisation, a term used to obscure the class
character of the international imperialist system and to
impose the view that the capitalist road of
internationalisation is only one, unique, eternal.

We ascertain that the resistance to the strategy of
capitalist restructuring in the economy, industrial
relations, social policy is strengthened. It seems that in
some countries and regions pockets of mass awakening are
being formed, tendencies of revitalisation of the class
struggle appear, as compared with the early nineties. The
same takes place in our country, with the rise of workers'
struggles, the extension of labour sectors that are
resisting, the elevation of dynamic forms of struggle.
There is a significant dynamics which however haw not
achieved, as yet, the required degree of stability and
deeper politicisation. It was able however to put some
hurdles to the speed by which it is attempted to impose the
neo-liberal reforms, to a certain degree to erect
significant hindrance to the programming and the schedules
of the Greek government the employers.

The government, in an effort to conform to the general
international directions, but also wishing to prompt the
prospect of an impetuous development of the struggles, has
proceeded to the drastic increase of the forces of state
suppression. It voted a law against the so-called terrorism
according to which it is possible to equate the organised
crime with political activity and economic crime. It is
preparing a legislation for prohibiting demonstrations.

In the international mobilisations militancy and
significant diversity is expressed, as well as a spirit of
initiative and self action, as demonstrated in the
activities against the Multilateral Agreement for
Investments and the World Trade Organisation, in the
demonstrations at Seattle and Washington, on May Day 2000,
in the mobilisations at Davos and Prague, while now
preparations are made in view of the Meeting of G7 at
Genova, Italy.

We also consider that the new dynamics, from the point of
view of the class struggle, it is also expressed in the
referenda being held in member-countries of the EU,
culminating in the condemnation of the Treaty of Nice by
the majority of the people of Ireland. A country which
presumably has achieved high development rates, at the
detriment of the position of the working people. This is
the third rejecting referendum since the Maastricht Treaty
was voted. The reactionary measures of the EU do not have
an easy go as at the start of the decade.

We must not, however, underestimate the significant efforts
being made by governments, multinationals and forces active
in the trade union movement, in order to tame these
international movements, aiming at integrating protest,
acting as fire fighters of the class struggle.

Today, even more than before, we must bend over the
problems presented by this awakening, so that it assumes
stability ant he necessary political, class depth, it
transcends to a higher level of escalation. In our view
there is only one alternative: the working class, its
trade union movement to constitute the main body of
international action against monopolies, imperialism.

The working class and its movement must extend a hand of
alliance to the movements of the petty bourgeois strata of
cities and rural areas, where the small scale agricultural
production is still maintained, to all movements offering
resistance irrespective of the diversity of their political
affiliations and their depth. A particular problem is the
achievement of close bonds with the youth movement, the
anti imperialist struggle, against the so-called new order
of things.

Consequently there exists a major question of co-ordination
and joint activity of the communist parties, so that a more
powerful projecting force is emerged which will facilitate
the class orientation, alliances with radical anti
imperialist forces. Otherwise the international
mobilisations, the regional ones, face the danger of being
transformed into formally repeated occurrences not
threatening anyone, if they do not become picturesque
events, isolated from the large masses of working people,
from the class forces at national level.

We must concentrate our attention to the forms and content
of internationalisation of the class struggle with joint
actions not limited to the meeting in a country and a city,
as an expression of indignation and protest. we must work
so that there are joint campaigns and mobilisations with
higher and dynamic forms of struggle embracing, at the same
time, as many countries, branches and sectors of economy as
possible, so that the multinational companies, the
monopolies but the governments as well feel directly the
pressure of the movement. We have to contribute with
speculation to the organisation of the international
workers' solidarity.

Critical issues for the international communist and workers
movement

First:

There is the question of searching to greater depth as to
what strategy must be charted by the labour trade union
movement at a national and international level vis-a-vis
the capitalist restructuring currently being extended the
world over, vis-a-vis the capitalist barbarism which
abolishes gains and intensifies the sum total of
contradictions. The confrontation and distinction from the
reformist opportunist views is a major question. Without
this battle not even simple steps can be taken for the
unity of its action its radicalisation at a mass level.
This struggle must be waged integrally at the political
level but within the scope of the trade union movement, as
well.

If we cast a glance today at the demands and aims of
mobilisations being formulated by the trade union
leaderships in Greece and Europe, we will see that these
are mainly moving along the logic �we bargain as to how
much less we will lose� and not to claim on the basis of
the accumulation, the profitability of capital. The
defensive logic is out of steam, it clears the ground for
the ruling class to propagate the necessity of
modernisation, with criteria serving its own interests. On
this ground there are no real gains but only integration
and conformity, resignation and fatalism, namely defeat.

The weight of the movement must be pulled behind the claim
of modern rights referring to the living standard, namely
the income and its appropriation, the contemporary human
material and spiritual, cultural needs, the social life.
The question is to claim militantly taking into account the
accumulation of wealth, reaching gigantic proportions, at
the detriment of the working class and the peoples
generally, the increase of productivity of labour, the
class contradictions constantly deepening and intensifying.
The modern strategy of the labour trade union movement must
not be traced without considering the dynamics of the class
struggle.

We must not give up the well known and reaffirmed truth
that capitalism itself leads to the development of human
needs, but also to the maximised discrepancy between the
law of the increase of needs and the degree of their
satisfaction.

The question resistance-severance or integration, is an
issue that in our opinion a Communist Party must have it
constantly in its vision, study it daily, because there are
no magic solutions and always ready practical recipes. We
must keep in mind the completely timely and totally
justified position of Marx regarding the tendency of
relative and absolute poverty.

Second:

The struggle against the decrease of the value of labour
power is necessary today as it was during the whole course
of the 20th century as well as at the time of Marx and
Engels. Especially today the struggle for the rise of wages
and salaries is of great importance. That's why we level
criticism at the views and proposals supporting, for
example, the false 35 hour week combined with the freezing
of wages, counterbalanced by some tax concessions pittance,
the logic of allowances instead of wage rises etc.

Of course even in conditions of barbaric attack upon the
workers' income, the effectiveness of the daily economic
struggles must not be overestimated, whether they refer to
wages or to the increase of state benefits in social
welfare. Irrespective of how important this struggle is, it
is not but a small war when it is cut off the more general
capitalist restructuring, the need for changes to be
demanded at the level of political power in favour of the
working class, of the peoples. A struggle without the aim
of battles for more radical changes will, sooner or later,
find itself confronted with stalemates and tragic
contradictions.

The labour trade union movement must claim in a
co-ordinated manner wage rises and shortening of the
working time, increases in pensions and benefits and
reduction of the pension age, in contrast to the main
tendency for the average level of wages to drop, the
flexible forms of employment as well, the policy of
redistribution of long term unemployment on the logic of
one position to be shared by 3-4 employees in turns. It
must put forward demands against the intensification of
labour, to aim at the improvement of the living standard
and the quality of life. To claim demands having as
criteria not the isolated worker, but the members of its
family, since additional means and ways as used in order to
distribute the value of labour power of an individual to
the whole of the family. The demands must be constantly
broadened with modern claims for democracy at workplace,
from the point of view of the general aim of the
perspective for workers and social control, also for free
education and health, for culture, s[ports, against social
criminality and racism, nationalism, for the environment,
equality and emancipation of women. The central
direction against the policies of EU and NATO is absolutely
necessary, in whatever is included in the term �new order�,
against the bilateral and multilateral capitalist
agreements and unions.

Third:

The ideological counter offensive on behalf of the C.P.'s
is required in questions of strategy of the movement, the
perspective of socialism. Certain theories and lies spread
like a contagious virus which, in our opinion, must be
confronted both by the C.P.'s and other radical forces.
These are promoted by liberal as well as by social
democratic parties, unfortunately however, they are being
rehashed also by political forces which tend towards
compromise and acquiescence with social democracy. They are
being promoted under the cloak of centre-left or
centre-right alternative.

The theory of the so-called globilisation, constitutes the
vehicle for delivering a blow at the struggle, at national
level, for towing the peoples and the movements behind the
policies of the regional and international capitalist
unions. We do not underestimated in anyway the rapid
changes being made to the rate of capital accumulation, the
fact that new manifestations appear also at the level of
the economy. We reject the theories and concepts attempting
to answer the modern problems by setting aside the general
directions and the character of developments analysed by
Marx in the Capital and demonstrated further by Lenin at
the beginning of the 20th Century. The concepts that the
so-called globalisation indicates the distancing of policy
from the economy and that the answer is �the political
regulation of globalisation�, are absolutely irrational
views.

We have to rebut, with contemporary studies of course, the
anti-scientific theories base on the distortion of the
Classics concerning the criteria of the working class, the
character and composition of industrial capital, theories
aiming at the spreading o the concept that capitalism has
been superseded and that we live in the post capitalist,
industrial society, the society of data information which
does away with the working class, therefore, the struggle
for socialism, as well. A steadfast answer is required to
the suggestions that what is needed is a modern
Keynesianism for capitalism to be corrected or a change in
the mixture of neo-liberal policy. It concerns theories
which when they do not serve expedience they certainly
express dangerous illusions, they detach contemporary
problems from the laws, the inherent tendencies of
capitalism at the imperialist level.

The impetuous development of science and technology must
not cause embarrassment and uncertainty as to what must be
the strategy of the trade union movement, the revolutionary
movement generally. On the contrary it constitutes a weapon
reaffirming the class struggle, it provides arguments and
the capacity to comprehend the necessity for the political
problem to be solved at the level of power and not at the
level of change in the way of managing the system and the
mixtures of pro-monopoly policy. The question who owns and
who utilises the new technologies can become a factor for
realising the contemporary rights, a factor of maturing of
political conscience.

The negative effects from the use of new technologies refer
exclusively to the laws of the capitalist system. The
new technologies not only do not lead to the
transgression of capitalism but, in the conditions of
exploiting society, are used exclusively for the
intensification of exploitation, for carrying out the
ruthless inner-capitalist competition.

As far as the theories of post industrial society are
concerned, we can prove that what we live through today is
the broadening of the use of industrial capital, state and
private, for the production of surplus value, in the sphere
of material production irrespective of the branch of the
economy it is placed. Today we speak about the industry of
data and telecommunications.

We have to expose the theories regarding the white and gold
collars which try to prove that the working class shrinks
and above all it is not a unified force. All evidence show
that throughout the world the number of working people who
earn a living by selling their labour power, is increasing
fast and the majority of these people are paid wages and
salaries. The new technologies lead to the increase of the
proletariat in contrast to what is being alleged, for
obvious reasons.

Fourth:

The working class of each country and its trade union
movement must refuse in practice every kind of
participation in military forces and mercenary units
belonging to NATO, or acting on behalf of NATO, the EU, in
any military force which through war opens the way for
capital, or imposes imperialist peace, as is repeatedly
being done in the Balkans, in areas of Yugoslavia, now in
FYROM. It must disassociate itself in practice from
government policy, from its country's ruling class from the
moment it participates in the distribution of spoils at the
detriment of other peoples. It must also undertake
initiatives for informing the youth which is called upon to
participate in mercenary forces.
Joint struggle is needed against European army that has no
relation at all with Europe's defence, as well as the
intensification of struggle against the so-called missile
defence of the USA, against the NATO occupation armies. The
struggle against the American and NATO bases, against
nuclear weapons, against the international apparatuses of
violence, repression, against the operation in the name of
wiping out terrorism, the new imperialist doctrine, in
order to convince the peoples to accept the imperialist
intervention and war, must be flared up.

Our experience from the effort of rallying and co-operation
of class forces for the regeneration of the trade union
movement, for the rise of role of the working class

Two years have gone by already since the setting up in our
country of the All Workers Militant Front (PAME) It
consists of trade unions, Federations and Trades and Labour
Councils, but elected trade unionists as well, aiming at
the concentration and rallying of class forces for
confronting problems of compromise and integration of the
leaderships of the T.U. movement.

The government, but also the parties who are satisfied with
a quite trade union movement, which does not spoil their
daily tranquillity, took care in posing to the CPG the
dilemma, pretending they do not see that the PAME is not a
CPG satellite, neither
its own union force, but the bonding together of trade
union forces being supported by other parties also.

They say to us: �Either you set up red trade unions and
take an exit from the legitimate organs of the T.U.
movement or limit yourselves in acting within the
executives and the presidiums of T.U. following the
decisions of the majority.� In other words democratic
centralism in the trade union movement.

The class forces who decided to set up the Front (PAME) did
neither this nor that. They remained and still do so within
the structures of the movement, trying to achieve the best
possible result within, but, at the same time, taking
initiatives for the development of an autonomous struggle
of trade unions while the leaderships are sleeping and
constantly walking out with the policy of the government,
the EU, but the employers as well.

Today PAME does not constitute an experiment seeking
confirmation, but a real rallying pole working for the
militant unity of the Trade Union movement, it contributes
to the effort for changing the correlation of forces, it
struggles for the domination of class steadfastness and
intransigence vis-a-vis the government and the apparatuses
of the employer class. It gives weight for the
revitalisation of the life of the primary T.U.
organisation, for increasing the number of unionised
workers, for the participation of the working people in the
decision making process, in the organisation of
mobilisations.

PAME tries to confront narrow trade union and splitting
activities, to attract to the action of trade unions
foreign workers, it promotes their full membership. It
struggles to open ways for joint action with movements of
self employed, small scale merchants, proprietors of small
enterprises, with the struggling forces of peasantry.

It has developed significant initiatives for communication
with T.U. movements in Europe, in other continents, it is
active around the issue of the revitalisation of the world
Trade Union Organisation. It opens a front against
international and European Trade Union organisations which
have become the right arm of intergovernmental, interstate
imperialist organisations.

We believe we must exchange speculations as to how we are
going to contribute, at regional and international
anti-imperialist forces so that the struggle assumes
internationalist character of practical solidarity against
capitalist restructuring, in the struggle against
imperialism, for socialism.

Finally we think that we must co-ordinate our actions much
more in order to rise the anti-capitalist consciousness,
the necessity and timeliness of the struggle for socialism.
Such an ideological counter offensive, in addition to its
long term dynamics, will give impetus to the daily
struggle, it will wrap it up with the meaning of
perspective.