http://www.ncpn.nl , mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org , mailto:email@example.com
Beirut, November 2012
On behalf of the NCPN, New Communist Party of The Netherlands, I would like thank the Communist Party of Lebanon for this important initiative and the organization of this meeting.
"Hands off our income, our benefits and pensions, our jobs, our social services". "We do not pay for your crisis", "For social progress and socialism" these are the slogans of our party at this moment. Only in a socialist society real changes are possible and not temporarily is what we are writing in our party newspaper Manifest, and on our website and in many declarations and discussions.
Till now the ruling class in the Netherlands hesitated to solve their crisis by taking measures in a Greek, Portuguese or Irish way.
But in the Netherlands now we have a new government after the elections of last September. Liberals and social democrats did win the elections, very much influenced by the mass media and mass institutions of the ruling class. These parties are the leading political forces and they established a new government. Both parties will continue to support the European integration and neo-liberal politics. That means more poverty, more unemployment and more grave social and financial problems for the working class.
The extreme right-wing party PVV, the so called anti-Islamic party, of Mr Wilders did get less votes than before but is still the third party. Promising the people solutions for the crisis that electoral party without members still have lots of support from a big part of the working class. Wilders is waiting for the growing socio-economical problems in the country. Now his attacks on Muslims and his xenophobia has been changed in attacks against the EU. Saying his party is fighting the elite, being an anti-system-party. But be sure these are words only. He knows the new attacks on the living standard will come from the EU. So for him the EU is the new main enemy to collect as many votes as possible. Parties as the Dutch PVV of Wilders and others right-wing parties in Europe are doing the same: using the capitalist crisis for their own interests and confusing the working class. We all know however what fascism means and where it always leads to.
Many people that voted two years ago for the Dutch social democratic party - the so called tomato party SP - went back to the other social democratic party PvdA (Party of Labour). The leadership of the SP took a moderate political position to try to be part of the government. At the end a large part of their newly won electorate did not trust the modernists. They went back to their former party, now that young leaders came into power using left-wing talk and spreading new illusions. Another disappointment for this part of the working class will follow soon.
The working class in our country in general is still waiting for what is going to happen. The living conditions are, for a large part of the population, still high enough to wait and see. Poverty, unemployment and attacks on social security are though growing. The majority of the people however is still hopeful and has many illusions that the crisis will finish and will not knock at their own door.
The gap between what our party says and what the majority of the people thinks is wide! It's not only a question of better and more activities of a communist party also the masses should be prepared better to understand what the communists say, like we have seen in other countries.
Don't forget that it's only since a few years that Capitalism in our part of the world, the former colonialist states, is showing the people it’s real face. Only a couple of years ago the majority of the working class in the Netherlands - in one way or another - trusted the capitalist way. Socialism was not an option.
The NCPN takes part in the four-party talks of DKP, KPL, NCPN and PTB. These parties met recently for the seventh year. There are many similarities between Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. But there are also substantial differences between the four countries and political differences between the four parties, despite the fact that the countries are very similar and all are part of the northern Europeans countries. This makes comparisons complicated and even more between the struggle in the Mediterranean countries and the northern EU states, as well in the American, Asian, and African continents. Although the commitment of the different communist parties all over the world in the struggle for peace, justice and socialism reminds inspiring us to continue, also in The Netherlands.
So it is still complicated to make joint analyses and organize joint actions, however the need is growing. The importance of conferences like this is only underlined by this fact. Step by step we need to work on 'unity in diversity' to defeat the common enemy. That process will last for a very long time. Rapid changes do not seem to arrive yet. It seems, moreover, that European capital, step by step will be successful in resolving its contradictions and postpone the consequences of the systemic crisis for the system itself with the help of social democracy. At least temporarily.
The confusion among the population in the Netherlands is increasing. The belief in the possibility of capitalism is slowly eroded, but without broad-based alternatives are available. Socialism as a future model is hardly an option in our country. On the contrary: The term socialism is so discredited that it is not easy to use for mobilization. Not yet anyway. Everything now is done by the ruling class to continue and strengthen this discrimination process. A large scale of falsification of history in the Netherlands is taking place. Fascism and communism are putted as similar in their propaganda. The struggles and successes of the former Communist Party of the Netherlands against German fascism are played down, the successes and achievements of the Soviet Union and other countries of the real existing socialism are being embezzled or made negative. The mistakes magnified.
In the Netherlands these processes are being exacerbated because the former CPN-leadership, followed by a large proportion of the members decided in the early eighties to liquidate the party because they thought in the Netherlands a communist party would no longer be needed. The living standard was high enough. The gap thus created was politically filled by the SP, that grew rapidly after it changed its political and ideological position from a Maoist party to a social democratic party and also by a number of Trotskyist parties and groups. It took a long time to rebuild a new communist party. Only since about five years there is stability in the party and growth with serious young cadres. Although the ideology of a great part of the youth in our country is characterized by a high degree of individualism, the need for collective stands is growing day by day. Capitalism however tries - till now successful - to put a crowbar between the interests of young and old workers.
The NCPN focuses on the trade union struggle and the struggle in neighbourhoods and factories and workplaces. Previously, we also took part in the national debate about war and peace, but since no one in the peace movement in our country except us wants to put the role of the NATO in the middle of the discussion and we are currently unable to lead or organize such debate, the party now is forced to focus only on the socio-economic struggle. The developments in this field are very progressing.
The struggle against and within de Dutch trade union movement about their role in the Dutch society today is one of the main questions in the Netherlands. Now capitalism is in deep crisis in Europe and the USA, the position and power of the trade unions and the communist parties is extremely important. After 30 years of Dutch social partnership, class peace and social democratic leadership in the trade unions many members are asking for a change in behaviour of the reformist leadership. No more deals but struggle is the new wave, now the crisis is deepening and the people have to pay the bill. It seems the tendency within the labour movement aimed at a militant trade union movement instead of class peace is on the winning hand. Also this process, however, is not going to be ended in the short term.
For the party now remains first to produce many explanations and ideological struggle with Trotskyites and reformists. The main task for the party consists of the daily struggle of the party to maintain and strengthen the Marxist-Leninist education of its own members and internal and external ideological struggle. The NCPN concentrates on the struggle in the factories and the organized vanguard of the working class within the unions. The political and ideological attempts to connect with a growing number of young people without a future within the capitalist society is in the middle of the struggle.
The NCPN recognizes the need for international cooperation of communist parties. We are strong supporters of common meetings like this one and we will continue - as far as possible - participation in international meetings of communist and workers' parties. It's of absolute importance to be united. It's not enough to be strong in your own country, we have to find more and more effective forms of cooperation. Of course the class struggle in our own countries indeed is the basic task, but real concrete and continuous cooperation is becoming more and more important. Exchange of opinions is very important but not enough. We have to produce common analyses and find ways for common actions. We suggest to organize also on specific issues. Very important for us now is for instance the question how to organize in neighbourhoods and workplaces. Which concrete experiences can we share? How to overcome difficulties in these activities? How can we work as communists in an anticommunist environment but with people that have growing problems with their work and living conditions?
Our class enemies already have strong tables to coordinate their power and interests. In the EU strong tendencies are developing to strengthen the capitalist integration. Step by step the United States of Europe is growing, although there are huge differences in the way specific capitalist groups try to reach this goal, based on differences between capitalist groups and different states in Europe en the world. Anyhow we have to exchange views, make common analyses about weaknesses and strength of world capitalism today.
More than ever we have to recognize: workers of the world unite!
Alejandro de Mello
Member of the central committee of the NCPN
Nieuwe Communistische Partij Nederland
(New Communist Party of the Netherlands)