13 IMCWP, Contribution of German CP [En.]

12/11/11 2:30 PM
  • Germany, German Communist Party IMCWP En
http://www.dkp.de , mailto:dkp.pv@t-online.de
13th International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties
Athens, December 9-11, 2011
The international situation and the experience of the communists 20 years after the counterrevolution in the USSR. The tasks for the development of the class struggle in conditions of capitalist crisis, imperialist wars, of the current popular struggles and uprisings, for working class-popular rights, the strengthening of proletarian internationalism and the anti-imperialist front, for the overthrow of capitalism and the construction of socialism.
Contribution of German Communist Party
Athen, December 2011
Bettina Jürgensen, Chairwomen
Dear Comrades
The Programme of the German Communist Party DKP says: “The October Revolution in Russia in 1917 was the start of building up a socialist system of society. It gave mankind the signal for setting off for a new epoch.”
Rosa Luxemburg enthusiastically greeted the October Revolution just like many others. In her uncompleted essay “On the Russian Revolution“ she noted in 1918: “The Bolschewists … have gained for themselves … the immortal historic merit of proclaiming for the first time the final goals of socialism as an immediate programme of practical politics …. Their October Uprising not only was a factual rescue of the Russian Revolution but also a retrieval of honour of international socialism. “In her essay, however, she also warned of possible dangers.
In its Programme, the DKP states:”Under unfavourable preconditions, great achievements were made in the Soviet Union and later in further socialist states (….....).
Socialism has pushed through social achievements which have not even been made in the richest imperialist states... .“
The defeat of socialism in Europe in the years 1989 to 1990 and the fragmentation of the Soviet Union cannot diminish the influence of the October Revolution and the development of the socialist camp on the thinking and acting of the various class forces throughout the world during the last century. Their influence on present and coming-up struggles for a socialist future remains.
This is especially true for us in the Federal Republic of Germany. Millions of people in our country have had good as well as negative experience with socialism. Many more have only seen anti-communism and heresy concerning any socialist ideas for all their lives. At the beginning of the year 2012, we will have to commemorate the 40 th anniversary of ‘Berufsverbote’, the official debarment from one’s occupation in the FRG. The prohibition of the Communist Party of Germany KPD in 1956 has not been lifted until this very day.
But we also must learn from more than 70 years of socialist developments between 1917 and 1990. The defeat of 1989/1990 had internal and external, economic, ideological and objective and subjective political reasons.
From today’s point of view, the defeat of socialism in Europe, the dissolution of the USSR and the restoration of capitalism in eastern European countries pose numerous questions for communists, the response to which constitutes an essential precondition for the orientation towards a socialist future of mankind.
The Programme of the DKP says:
“It is our task as communists to gather the historical experiences of our movement and of the
construction of socialism if we now aim for a socialist society under new conditions. We
reject anti-communist falsifications. We defend the legitimacy of our movement which has
inspired millions and millions of people to fight for their rights and for peace. We
commemorate theses struggles but are at the same time conscious on the fact that mistakes,
wrong and crimes flank our history. These must be prevented in future.
The DKP stands for a critical reflection of its past in order to overcome ways of thinking and
structures that contradict the humanistic approach of our idea and philosophy.”
We must bring our anti-capitalist and Marxist positions to bear in today’s resistance struggles, meet alliance partners with respect and do everything possible towards an emergence of strong and extra-parliamentary movements, which must involve the trade unions.
This is all the more true of the advanced struggles for anti-monopolist and democratic changes, which can, given the conditions of our country, open up the path to socialism. Future socialism will look different from the one we have experienced because those who build it up will decide on this.
Offenses against socialist democracy and especially repression, mass persecution and crimes, which are inconsistent with the humanist nature of socialism also count among these experiences. The Programme of the DKP names reasons for this. Quite a number of German communists are amongst the victims of the persecutions in Stalin times.
In our programme, we point out: “Countless people , among them also members of the KPdSU, the Red Army and of the Communist International, became victims, much to the disadvantage of socialism and its image. Present insights and conclusions have become part of the political and organisational identity of the DKP; this process is to be continued.”
Dear Comrades
In our country, as well, there is an increasing development and active performance of social and democratic movements. Their importance and influence on pushing through social change is growing accordingly, this is also true of our task to convey anti-capitalist positions and to organise learning processes in the movements we are part of.
At the 19 th Party Convention, the German Communist Party DKP established in its ‘Political Resolution’ that the present crisis is leading to a massive deterioration of living and working conditions worldwide. This does not leave a capitalist industrialised country like Germany unaffected.
One example of this process is the state of future perspectives of German youth:
- More than half of the working youth under 25 work in unsafe jobs.
- Two thirds of young people under 35 work in precarious employments or are
- Terms such as " Internship Generation" and "Precarious Generation" have entered everyday language.
Jobs, however, cannot be created by giving up rights, which people long struggled for. We fight for shorter working hours with full wage compensation. This can be one way of achieving the ban of precarious jobs. And it must be young and old people together to fight for this aim.
In many countries, people are no longer willing to carry the burden of austerity programmes on their shoulders. In Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and other countries general strikes are being called for. There are active movements everywhere.
We think that trade unions and the other activists often do not work uniformly here, and we think that this is a weakness of the counter-movement. In addition, communist parties or left-wing socialist forces are not or only partly among the organisers of the protests.
Current developments show that resistance is necessary and that it must not slow down, that it must broaden and grow and become better organised and stronger.
The crisis is far from being over. Nowadays, even bourgeois papers discuss it. Economic Growth is collapsing. Nearly each day, there are warnings that “growth” is coming to an end. Even adjusted and pimped-up unemployment rates do not help anymore.
But the ruling leaders also have realized that the crisis cannot be controlled using purely economic or financial means, that one must act politically.
They increasingly try to win over large parts of the population, majorities for themselves and their ruling policies are to be gained. Here, they at the same time rely on the strengthening of an emerging surveillance state and increased repression
In Germany as well, activities and movements have not gone by without leaving their impact on its leaders. This is the reason for the zigzagging of the Christian Democratic Party CDU and Chancellor Merkel. For or against nuclear power, for or against banning fascist organisations, for or against the protection of our climate? The debate about alleged compromises is just an attempt to win back lost credibility.
At the same time, the EU is trying to find a common way out of the crisis. It looks like they are only trying to save the Euro. In the end, however, Germany and France in particular are merely trying to keep and expand their position and power within the EU, in Europe and worldwide.
As it was the case in the past, the political conditions in the core countries and the relations of power between them have a strong influence on the development.
It is becoming more and more obvious that the current crisis, as well, will not be solved or overcome but that it is supposed to be handled and regulated by means from days gone by. In doing this, the process does not focus on the interests of the people in Europe but merely on capital interests.
Greece, Ireland, Portugal and others are supposed to be put under the custody of the EU, ECB
und IMF, national parliaments are deprived of their budget authority and national budgets are planned to first be approved by the European Commission. Through the EU, national austerity programmes are imposed, destroying social systems and stalling domestic demand, pushing millions of people into a state of unemployment and poverty.
Whole countries within the EU become impoverished because they will never be able to pay back the forced credits. Only those countries – if this is possible at all – can ascertain themselves that hand out the cheques (there is only a small number of them, Germany in particular), the “markets”- i.e. a handful of big banks, finance institutes and rating agencies – want to dictate politics.
Once, however, the Project of Europe has been reduced to its pure core – to the interests and to the power of banks and transnational as well as national groups, this process results in a climate for right-wing populist parties to prosper.
In this situation one must work out answers towards a progressive solution focusing on the interests of the people. It must not focus on strengthening the Europe of banks and groups, of militarism .
We, however, are not blind to the processes going on on an objective economic basis. We must consider this.
It is not the austerity programmes which are a consequence of indebtedness and an instrument to fight it. It is the other way around, i.e. the indebtedness of states is used to legitimize more and more new austerity programmes.
It is not about reducing debts but about paying interest to the rich. For this purpose, laws are being made to make this possible. Naturally, this must involve breaking down democracy
Meanwhile, not only Greece is used as a “guinea pig“, which is supposed to give an answer to the question “how far can this spiral be turned without things getting out of control ?”
If a democratic and social alternative is supposed to be opened up, one must interfere with the current mechanism and it must be broken up: the rich shall pay!
The finance sector must be converted into public property under democratic control, this must be done before they have distributed their profits to the shareholders, are indebted and then seek refuge under the state umbrella.
The tasks and responsibilities of the ECB must be changed. The militarisation of the society and war politics, the continued restructuring towards a surveillance state must be stopped.
The dramatic climate change can only be slowed with common international efforts – against the interests of the big groups.
All this cannot be achieved if the majority of people and most of all trade unions do not work towards this aim in all European countries. Even if just little steps are taken - it is all about developing common aims, demands and struggles, to win majorities among the population to achieve social and democratic change. This is the task of communists, of the anti-capitalist forces.
We are a communist party, implementing the teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin in theory as well as in practice.
Spreading Marxist knowledge on the basis of a uniform view of the world is what we are measured by. The working class is the decisive force to change this society and to build up a socialist society . We must share and discuss our positions in trade unions and alliances where we are active. If we want to organise common learning processes, we must dock onto today’s factual living and working conditions.
The long and winding road to the development of things the working class and progressive people have in common must be taken in this respect, too. We must evaluate positive experiences from struggles in other countries and must put hem to good use. Only then will changes be made which take us closer to our aim of “overthrowing all conditions in which man is a humiliated, an enslaved, an abandoned, a disrespected creature…”(Karl Marx) . For socialism is the future.