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By Pratyush Nilotpal
Like the Bubonic Plague of medieval world, the modern world today is grappling with Corona pandemic that has englufed almost all part of the globe.
The Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank (PMC) fiasco is an indicator of the impending economic catastrophe. PMC is on verge of bankruptcy due to it lending 2,500 crore to real estate company HDIL, which went bancrupt pulling the bank down with it.
After grabbing the bigger chunk from RBI, government has now directed the PSUs to loosen their pockets, and shelve out money for Capital Expenditure (Capex). What, does this mean? It is a jargon that amounts to ordering the few profit making PSUs to give money to corporates. When this amount would be invested into capex, it would translate to the corporates getting more work and ultimately getting sop indirectly from the government. Continue reading
Of late there has been a distinct unease among the bourgeoisie academicians’ world over on the rise of what they call as “crony” capitalism. Somehow there is an illusion among them of capitalism that has been derailed of its moral, ethics and the great ideal of freedom & free trade, usurped by what has increasingly been called as crony capitalism. Bourgeoisie academician from right to Left have been lamenting about the loss that capitalism has suffered and the crisis the capitalism is suffering and as a solution they say if the “real” capitalism is restored all the ills facing the planet would magically be solved. It is just a matter of bringing back real capitalism and get rid of cronyism or corporatism. Continue reading
Against the massive assault on the interest of working class, one day nationwide general strike called on 2nd September by Central Trade Unions (CITU, INTUC, HMS BMS and others)
On 2nd September 2015, CITU, AITUC, AICCTU, IFTU (New Democracy), HMS and BMS and few others have once again called for a country wide “one day strike” against the extensive anti-working class action being taken by the Modi Government by amending the provisions of Labour laws. They have particularly appealed to the working class to make this strike a success. IFTU (Sarwahara) supports the working class demands that forms the part of the agenda of this strike and so is not against the strike. Having said this, however, the real question arises as such: Is this call for a “one day strike” is, in genuineness a call for a struggle? Isn’t it, in reality, an attempted act to evade from struggle? Till when we will have this “one day strike”? Tokenism in name of struggle will go on for how long? The history and our own experience of these token strikes called by the central trade unions and federations since 1991 reveal that this tokenism is but an escape route to run away from the working class struggles and certainly not a call for a genuine working class action. When the history of the working class defeat will be penned, then these tokenism will be held as one of the major internal factors that led to the wkg class defeat. When the need of the hour is to build up a movement that can compel the capitalist-fascist government to halt its attacks on the working class as well as smash its bloated ego, then what is the logic of calling for such one day token strikes is understandable.
The place that such “one day strikes” have in the working class struggle needs to be understood here. These are like “flag march” of the detachments of the workers, through which the working class cautions the bourgeoisie and its government that if the assault does not stops then it will lead to battle on the streets. Thus, “flag march” can happen once, twice or even thrice. The point to ponder over here is: If, even after such marches, the capitalist assault continues, will workers still continue to do the flag march or will prepare for the combat? But we find since 1991 that these unions have done the “Flag March” for umpteen times and they are still doing it. They are not ready to move to the second i.e higher stage of struggle. They cannot think about a fight, even in their dream. And on the other hand, the assault on the working class continues unabated. The bastions of the working class are crumbling one after the other. These unions have made blunt this form of struggle i.e “Flag March” (One day token strike as a warning) which was once a critical weapon in the arsenal of the working class. They have converted it into a means of concealing their escapism thus disgracing and tarnishing it completely. The result is that the perpetual practice of tokenism has taken it toll on the moral of working class by killing the workers’ aspirations for struggles with each passing of the day.
We saw the result of the 6-10 January (5 days) “historic” Coal India strike. Not only the strike was called off after 2 days, but BMS, and behind it all the other unions (including CITU and AITUC) was seen fleeing from the battle and sitting in lap of Modi’s Govt. The working class could not prevent the Coal Ordinance from being passed. Today again, under the leadership of same BMS, the same deserter left unions and federations are undertaking one day strike against the Labour Laws reforms. Therefore its outcome is very well known even before its beginning. In a way, It is an indication to the government that now we have done the ritual of struggle, you do now whatever you want to do.
And, this is sure to happen. As we were unable to prevent the Coal India Ordinance, similarly we will fail to get the labour laws amendments revoked, due to the incongruity of these unions.
The extent of harm that these unions have bestowed on the workers movement, can be gauged from the fact that during the 6-10 January ‘historic Coal India strike’ they were silent on the labour laws amendments. Today they are howling at the labour laws amendments and are silent on the coal ordinance bill that was passed, and there is no word on revoking it. If due to their incompetence, defeatist and lackadaisical attitude, the provision to do away with the existing labour laws is passed, then should we understand that they will end all struggles against the passing of such amendments? What else than this will be a bigger service to the bourgeoisie and it’s Government?
In this situation, everything now rests in the hands of the working class and its truly advance rank and file spread throughout the country. How to get away with the quagmire of the central trade unions and what are the ways to get out of it, will depend on their preparedness and maturity. But what we wish to declare unambiguously today is that without getting out of the morass created by the central trade unions, thought of any meaningful struggle is a wishful thinking. This will happen only when the advance elements of the working class would take an initiative from within at the national level to demolish the present impasse created by these renegade unions, and take up full initiative to build the unity of working class. No doubt, the necessity of a single, united and a truly revolutionary vanguard of the working class is being deeply felt here, in the absence of which the main responsibility lies directly on the strong shoulder of its advance elements.
That is why, we call upon all the advance elements of the working class to expose those who have reneged on the class struggle by decoupling the working class from it, and have established a series of blunt “one day strikes” bringing the working class movement to such a sorry state. The time has come to take up the daunting task of creation of a nationwide revolutionary centre of workers movement. We are divided, yet we are the only real vanguard elements of the working class and we should initiate it unitedly right now.
It is to be noted that IFTU(Sarwahara), had declared its intention immediately after debacle of the 5 days strike in January. We noted that there is no possibility of a significant working class struggle and that is why we are moving towards the formation of a new national revolutionary forum of the working class. IFTU(Sarwahara) once again declares that these unions might be bigger in terms of numbers and size, but they have no future, as they have renegaded from the working class interest. On the other hand we or the unions like us may be smaller in size, but we have the future because we are the vanguard of the working class in terms of its both immediate and the long-term interests, and are in the struggle with firm conviction on working class.
We have not accepted defeat, whereas the other unions pretentiously carrying the Red Flag have not only accepted defeat, but they have found a safe haven of their own in the capitalist system itself. They can have small skirmishes with the bourgeoisie but are hand in glove with them. They have accepted to adjust with neo-liberalism and to harmonise their moves after some displeasure with them. They have accepted that the onslaught of capitalism-fascism is destined and have happily limited themselves to some petty reforms. This becomes palpable after witnessing their ground work and seeing how they have made for themselves a definite place in the management, government and the existing system.
The sum total of our above statement is that when the working class is unarmed amidst the massive onslaught of the capitalism-fascism, then the 2nd September ceremonial (one day) strike is a whimper. This nowhere arouses the hope of struggle among the vulnerable and dejected workers. This is not a call for the workers to arise against the exploitation and oppression.
Workers brothers and sisters, today we are in such a situation that we are being mugged by force and deceit. Hence we appeal to all the advance elements of the working class and particularly to our IFTU(S) comrades that we have to understand this dual task that is before us. It is not only arduous but tortuous. We appeal to our IFTU(S) comrades that during the 2 September strike we will have to boost our organisational, political and ideological activities among the workers. On one hand it is our duty that in spite of central trade unions’ ceremonial, defeatist attitude we counter the capitalist-fascist forces who oppose this strike. We need to agitate the workers in a mammoth way against the anti-workers steps being taken in the guise of labour amendments by the Modi’s government, and prepare them for the epic working class struggle that will be waged in the present and future. On the other side, it is our cardinal duty to expose the central trade unions who have enmeshed the entire strength of the working class and limited it to just “One day strike”, we would expose their incompetent and renegade character. We have to understand that we have to utilise this event to educate the working class by all possible means and to take the goal of the creation of revolutionary working class centre to the widest possible sections of the working class.
Let us participate in the 2 September strike with the following declaration:
End the ceremonial One day Strike, unite for a decisive, momentous militant struggle
*Jointly issued by comrade Shekhar, Damodar and Kanhai for the central committee of Indian Federation of Trade Unions (Sarwahara)
From Greece to Ireland and from USA to Japan a spectre is haunting international capitalism, the spectre of public debt. If the year 2008 would go into history as the year when banks started to default; 2010 would be remembered as the year when countries started defaulting on their loans.
The recent financial crisis has led to a sharp increase of public debt on a scale unprecedented since the end of Second World War. Today the debt-to-GDP ratio (that is the cumulative total of all government borrowings less repayments that are denominated in a country’s home currency) of the G7 group of nations is at its highest level for 60 years. The debt-to-GDP ratio of a country indicates its ability to pay back its debt, the higher the debt-to-GDP ratio the less likely the country will pay back its debt back and higher the chances of its default. The recent financial crisis has further exacerbated this problem with what we are witnessing today being systematic crisis of capitalism. The debt crisis is not an isolated event but continuation of the general crisis facing neo-liberalism, since the bursting of the sub-prime market. The more the government intervenes to avert the crisis the further it shifts to other sectors.
When the subprime mortgage crisis occurred in 2007, governments in US and Europe to stop the freefall of banking and other financial institutions made the people (taxpayers) take on the burden of all the toxic waste which these institutions had been accruing since the initiation of the golden days of unbridled free market economy, that replaced Keynesian economic theory with that of Milton Friedman’s theses of giving all power to the market. As a result of massive doles, amounting to trillions of dollars these countries have accrued the biggest deficits in peacetime. So from sub-prime mortgage crisis we have the ‘sovereign debt crises’ with particularly profound impact in Europe, with Iceland and Greece being the first casualties.
According to an estimate by Moody’s, the sovereign debt has jumped from 62 percent of world GDP in 2007 to 85 percent in 2009. Over the same period, the average fiscal deficit in the G20 rose from 1 percent of GDP to 7.9 percent. These trends were much more pronounced in advanced countries due to sharper output declines, a more severe banking crisis, and highly developed social safety nets. Since 2007, debt in seven out of the nine advanced G20 countries increased by more than 10 percent of GDP. By contrast, debt-to-GDP ratios declined or are little changed in eight of the ten emerging economies in the G20.1
As per the report of World Bank the debt-to-GDP ratio of the world’s advanced economies at the end of last year had reached an unattainable 99 percent. While that of Greece’s ratio stands at 111.5 percent; Japan’s is at whopping 219 percent; the US, 84 percent; even Germany long considered the cornerstone of Euro fiscal discipline has 79 percent and the United Kingdom, 69 percent.
In United States the federal government between 2011 and 2020 is expected to accumulate a deficit of almost $10 trillion as calculated by the Congressional Budget Office. By 2023 total government debt is expected to reach 100% of GDP.
Debt Levels, Bond Yields, and Governance Indicators
|Government Debt (% of GDP)||10-Year Government Bond Yield||Governance Indicatora|
|Country||2007||2009||2007 Q4||2009 Q4||Percentile Rank (0-99)|
a Average of World Bank Governance Indicators. 0 indicates lowest score; 100 indicates highest score.
Sources: World Bank, OECD, IMF Staff Report, European Commission. Quoted from Is a Sovereign Debt Crisis Looming2
Note: The figures for countries may change due to rapidly changing countries debt-default
The European Commission has warned that rising budget deficits, retarded growth and weakening banking sector support ‘feeding into significantly higher public debt levels.’ The governments since 2008 have been doling out large amounts to defaulting financial institutions so that they keep afloat, resulting in a massive bail out amounting to $10.4 trillion.3 According to The Economist, the amount of government debt per person has risen from $16,000 in 2001 to $34,000 now, and household debt has gone up from $27,000 to $44,000. In Britain government debt per head has almost trebled, from £5,000 in 2001 to nearly £18,000 today, and household debt has jumped from just under £14,000 to £24,000.
Bringing the debt to a more manageable level is a daunting task. Ramin Toloui of PIMCO, a fund-management group, explains the dilemma as: ‘When government debt reaches extreme levels, concerns about government creditworthiness become so severe that additional government spending produces increases in long-term interest rates that exacerbate, rather than ameliorate, the economic contraction.’4
In March 2010 a report to the Bank for International Settlements noted that ‘our projections of public debt ratios lead us to conclude that the path pursued by fiscal authorities in a number of industrial countries is unsustainable. Drastic measures are necessary to check the rapid growth of current and future liabilities of governments and reduce their adverse consequences for long-term growth and monetary stability.’5
To come out of sovereign default the governments led by both the right-wing and social democratic parties have announced various austerity measures aimed at cutting a range of social welfare schemes like cut in the health sector, pension funds, rise in students fee etc. People are being made to pay for the follies of bankers and capitalists. The present crisis has come handy for those protagonists of neo-liberalism who wanted to end all sorts of meagre benefits that the working masses have been enjoying in the bourgeois regimes. Austerity measures are being touted as the only way to resolve sovereign debt default. What is being targeted to end? Throughout the European Union the governments are planning to increase the retirement age beyond 65, while millions of young people are jobless. Mass dismissal and using the bogey of lay-offs as a blackmail to reduce wages are being carried out with impunity. There have been reports of a massive rise in tax in countries facing debt problem at the behest of IMF-WB and lender nations. Women and migrant workers are being particularly targeted.
In Greece the wages of public employees has been reduced by 15-20% and the government indicates that further cuts are in the offing. The French finance minister Christine Lagarde told theFinancial Times,6 promising €40 billion of spending cuts and tax increases. Whereas Ireland – the second casualty of this ongoing European roulette, has announced plans to slash public spending 20 per cent over the next four years to tackle the country’s soaring budget deficit. The measure also includes a 12 per cent cut in the minimum wage, cutting nearly 25,000 public sector jobs and bringing it to 2005 levels, a massive rise in the VAT and income tax rates. Even the fees of students are to be drastically increased. While the bail-out money would be made used for restructuring of the country’s battered banking industry,7 the Irish government has declared that ‘Most of the funds aimed for Irish banks will become part of a “standby facility” available to replenish the banks’ cash cushions if new losses flare up’’.8
Furthermore the rightist forces that act as mercenaries of the capitalist class have begun to raise the bogey of chauvinism and have in many places started threatening the migrant and workers from minority community and nationality in name of protecting national interest. These forces since long have been instrument of the bourgeoisies to break working class solidarity and create animosity between the workers of various nationalities so as to dilute the growing class struggle.
According to the Economist, one out of every six U.S. workers has taken a wage cut in this recession, and amazingly, four out of every 10 African-Americans has experienced unemployment during this crisis. Looking at food stamps, an additional 37 million people went onto food stamps in the U.S. in 2009 and 40 percent of those recipients are working for a wage. They’re not unemployed – they’re simply the working poor that can’t make ends meet.
The goal of these ‘austerity drives’ is ‘to carry out another transfer of riches of great magnitude, from labour to capital, to ensure the profits of the banks and the most powerful monopolies.’9
Lies, damned lies, and statistics: Poverty rise in capitalist countries
Since 2009 poverty in the working age population in United States has reached its highest level in almost 5 decades with more than one-third of those being children. In 2009 those living below the poverty line reached 44 million, that is 14.3 percent of the total population, the highest level since 1994. According to the U.S. Census Bureau statistics released in September, last year one in every seven persons lives below the poverty line of $21,954 for a family of four, and almost 40 percent of single women led families living in poverty. The rise in poverty is most severe among the blacks and Latinos.
How does the government plan to counter this increasing poverty? Simply – by readjusting the statistical data. The US census bureau is planning to change the methodology how the poverty figures are calculated. According to new rule of calculation the food coupons and tax credits would be calculated as income! So with one stroke of a wand almost 8 million additional people would be removed from poverty figures. This is not the first time when the US government and its agencies have readjusted their counting style to ‘readjust’ the figures. In 1994 during time of Clinton’s tenure as president of United States, the decision was made to count only those unemployed people who have been seeking for a job for less than one year as part of workforce. With this magical readjustment the administration was able to wipe out millions of out of job workers from the official unemployment count.
A report published by Eurofound observed: ‘In Portugal, the in-work poverty risk rose from 10% in 2007 to 12% in 2008, with a two percentage point increase for both men and women. In Bulgaria, the in-work poverty risk of self-employed people reached a record level of 10% in 2008. According to the Irish contribution, the recession hit Ireland particularly hard and had a very negative impact on the working poor: those who did not lose their jobs in many cases had their pay reduced and/or saw increases in taxes and social security contributions.’10
Public debt as primitive accumulation of wealth
The character of public debt was brilliantly depicted by Marx in Capital, Vol. 1 in the following words:
The public debt becomes one of the most powerful levers of primitive accumulation. As with the stroke of an enchanter’s wand, it endows barren money with the power of breeding and thus turns it into capital, without the necessity of its exposing itself to the troubles and risks inseparable from its employment in industry or even in usury. The state creditors actually give nothing away, for the sum lent is transformed into public bonds, easily negotiable, which go on functioning in their hands just as so much hard cash would. But further, apart from the class of lazy annuitants thus created, and from the improvised wealth of the financiers, middlemen between the government and the nation – as also apart from the tax-farmers, merchants, private manufacturers, to whom a good part of every national loan renders the service of a capital fallen from heaven – the national debt has given rise to joint-stock companies, to dealings in negotiable effects of all kinds, and to agiotage, in a word to stock-exchange gambling and the modern bankocracy.11
One of the features of ‘primitive accumulation’ as defined by Marx is the forceful appropriation of communally held resources like land by raiders and extraction of tribute or rent from the resources that passed to them now as personal asset. In today’s scenario the analogue has occurred, in banking and financial sector, when banks gave loans freely to corporate mercenaries to be used in buyouts or to purchase the public sector entities being privatised globally.
The financial investors today aim for total returns – that is earning plus interest, capital gains, dividends and distributions realised. The emphasis is on the capital gains in stocks, bonds and real estate. Even for the companies engaged in production there has been emphasis on financialisation to generate capital gains (or total return) for investors while neglecting the generation of industrial capital formation. The financial cycle aims at creating a perpetual cyclic motion, sustaining debt growth increasing exponentially by creating new credits to inflate the stock market and real estate sector to cover debtor’s falling interest.
This dynamics of stripping the assets, was characterised by Marx as usury capital that is opposite of industrial capital. Financial securities over period of time assume form of anti-wealth – that is claim on the means of production and income earned by engaging on productive sector. This mechanism of growth cannot remain viable for long; interest payments are sustained by stripping productive assets, diminishing the growth and creation of surplus in the productive sector.
This is what the ‘free market’ alternative to concept of ‘planned and regulated’ economy developed by Marx-Engels and enriched by Lenin and Stalin, has brought to the common masses. Yet the pro-financial ideologues of neo-liberalism depict the regulated and controlled economy as a road to serfdom, as if the alternative endorsed by Ayn Rand and Alan Greenspan have not been a road to debt peonage.
Public debt and neo-liberalism
A brief discussion about neo-liberalism that has come to dominate capitalism particularly since the 1980s is crucial to understand the root cause behind the present morass the capitalist economies find themselves in.
In the seventeenth century the British political Economist Sir William Petty formed the economic doctrine advocating a free enterprise system operating on its own without any sort of government intervention. This doctrine came to be known as Market Liberalism or laissez-faire. This concept was further systematised and examined in more detail scientifically in the eighteenth century by the famous economist Adam Smith in his treatise the Wealth of Nations. Smith a great defender of bourgeois liberalism believed that order not chaos would reign if individuals are left alone in matters of economic activity. His famous concept of the ‘invisible hand’ constantly guiding the market economy along with competition as its controlling mechanism became the cornerstone of bourgeois liberal economic thinking.
Later Jean-Baptiste Say, a follower of Smith’s economic thinking observed that supply creates its own demand and the income to purchase what is produced. What is saved will be invested; therefore there cannot be lack of purchasing power. Say’s idea was later expounded by several bourgeois political economists and providing the foundation of equilibrium theory. Marx refuted Say’s idea as ‘absurd dogma’ and pointed out in Capital that anarchy of production in a market economy leads to the crisis of overproduction and lack of consumer’s purchasing power, that is the key cause to the periodic economic crisis in capitalism.
The nineteenth century was an era of protectionism and departure from the concept of laissez-faire, as the US government of the time imposed restrictions on banking and interstate commerce and also enacted the anti-trust legislations. During the great depression in 1929, the economic thinking further shifted away from laissez- faire towards the Keynesian theory, as it was Keynes theory that was instrumental in bringing the economy out of recession. Keynes had vehemently disagreed with Say’s thinking arguing that lack of purchasing power can be due to lack of purchasing capacity due to not having full employment. According to Keynes a temporary deficit spending by the government to cure economic stagnation and mass employment can bring the economy out of recession and on path of growth
The Keynesian economic system in varying forms was followed by the entire capitalist countries and even by some newly independent countries (including India where Nehruvian Socialism was nothing but a potpourri of Keynesian and state socialist economic system). As an impact of Keynes the capitalist governments promulgated various kinds of legislations restricting banking and financial activity. For instance after the Stock Market Crash of 1929, the US government introduced the Banking Act of 1933 popularly called known as the Glass–Steagall Act primarily aimed at controlling speculation and keeping banks from doing business in Wall Street and vice versa; effectively it erected a wall between the banking and securities businesses. Commercial banking activities were tightly controlled and closely monitored. Commercial banks originated and retained consumer and commercial loans and were discouraged from giving excessively risky loans and providing liquidity to financial institutions during time of market stress.
This regulated version of capitalism worked till once more voices from various economic and political circles started once more for market reforms.
It was the time of neo-liberalism whose exponent, Milton Friedman, was a vocal proponent of laissez-faire capitalism who equated even personal freedom with free market stating, ‘Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself’. For him there was no other way but the unrestrained market that holds the key to people’s well being, his oft cited quote was ‘…there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.’
In the early 1970 during capitalism’s so called ‘golden age’ Friedman argued that laissez-faire capitalism can be revived by reducing public spending, deregulating the financial and banking sector, tax cuts and privatising public sector (government owned) industries. If such conditions are provided, then the free market can perfectly manage the economy on its own. Friedman and his colleagues at the Chicago University who internationally came to be known as the ‘Chicago boys’ became the driving force in popularising this thesis that became the underpinning ideology of the Structural Adjustment Programme (popularly known as Liberalisation) or neo-imperialism.
After the CIA sponsored coup in Chile which brought Pinochet to power in September 1973, the Chicago Boys went to carry out the ideology of Friedman to work to reconstruct the Chilean economy with a devastating outcome. The Chilean economy collapsed as real wages declined; unemployment rose severely, and the rich became richer at the expense of the working class. Chile became one of the most unequal societies where consumerism (for the few) flourished while the working class in the country was pauperised.
Even then neo-liberalism became the preferred economic policy of three major world leaders. Margaret Thatcher of Britain in 1979, and Ronald Reagan in the US in 1981 became the vociferous proponents of neoliberalism and unrestrained market economy. After the death of Mao and the consolidation of power by the Deng clique, neo-liberalism was gradually implemented in China in the grab of modernising the economy and development of Chinese economy to be at par with that of the advanced capitalist economies. After the implementation of the strategy in these countries the idea was prescribed as the solution to all the ills plaguing the Third world countries and the countries of the former Soviet Union including Russia.
This arrangement worked exceedingly well for capitalism till 1970s, when strong voices for financial deregulation and unleashing the financial sector’s prowess for growth started. It was also the period when the Third World debt and Savings and Loan crises had started in several countries. Voices against financial regulation started and in absence of strong Leftist opposition the free market ideology gained major victory. The elimination of the 1930s legislation segregating the commercial banking and financial markets in 1999 was the culmination of two decades of radical deregulation. The new system came to be known as the New Financial Architecture (NFA). NFA replaced all restrictions on financial market with lightly regulated capital market based globalised financial system, where speculation and generation of fictitious money became the normal business cycle. The world over the large commercial banks became integrated into giant financial conglomerates that include investment banks and mutual, hedge and private equity funds as well as bank-created SIVs (structured investment vehicle12).
In the words of George Soros:
Since 1980, regulations have been progressively relaxed until they have practically disappeared. The super-boom got out of hand when the new products became so complicated that the authorities could no longer calculate their risks and started relying on the risk management methods of the banks themselves.13
The banking and financial sector led growth, the stock market and information technology boom in the late 1990s, and the financial bubble of 2003-2007 led to a general perception that the growth was permanent and the efficiency of financial market under neo-liberalism (now called as the NFA) permeated the global financial sector. Not only the common masses but even the bourgeoisie economists and Wall Street pundits started wallowing in the glory of NFA, the government and the corporate controlled media were singing paeans to it. All discussions revolved around growth and increasing profit.
Meanwhile neo-liberalism was given a theoretical appearance in name of Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) by the IMF and World Bank for the third world countries. At one time the SAP was the prescribed medicine by the IMF and World Bank duo and was administered to at least 70 countries in Asia and East Europe. Wherever the SAP was implemented it killed the patient instead of the disease. The condition of countries where SAP was imposed has been analysed in following words:
‘The Bank-IMF sponsored SAP has two phases. The first phase is short-term macro-economic stabilisation. It is followed by implementation of a necessary structural reforms phase. In the early 80s, most SAPs focused on a narrow range of policies aimed at reducing account deficits. As the debt crisis deepened and it became obvious that the stabilisation programmes were not working, the US Treasury Secretary, Mr. James Baker came up with a strategy to solve the debt crisis. This was called the ‘Baker Plan’. Under this plan, the WB was asked to impose more comprehensive conditions on the debtor countries. By 1990, majority of the countries that had received conditional loans from the IMF also received structural adjustment loans with harsh conditionalities from the Bank. In 1992, the bank’s lending for SAPs totalled 5847 million or 27% of its total commitments. … These [the creditor countries – Pratyush] countries were told that the structural reforms were essential for sustaining growth and economic stability. Faced with the threat of a cut off of external funds aid needed to service the mounting debts incurred from western private banks in the 1970s, these countries had no choice but to implement the painful measures demanded by the Bank. Fourteen years after the World Bank issued its first structural adjustment loan, most countries are still waiting for the market to “work its magic”. Despite global adjustment, the third world’s debt burden rose from $785 billion at the beginning of the debt crisis in 1978 to $1.3 trillion in 1992. The structural adjustment loans from the Bank have enabled the third world countries to make interest payments to western commercial banks. Having done this, the Bank went on applying adjustment policies to assure a regular supply of repayments in the medium and long term. Thus, the structural adjustment has brought neither growth nor debt relief, it has certainly intensified poverty.’ 14
Behind all the euphoria trouble was brewing, which if the bourgeois economists were not able to see was clearly discernable from a Marxist perspective. The World Bank in one of its researches identified that between late 1970s and early 2000s 117 systematic banking crises occurred. Every time they were rescued by Central Bank intervention through monetary policy and many times by massive bail outs. Thus it is not only in the present crisis that financial gains were made to private benefit but the losses in the crisis were socialised.
The US credit market debt was 168% of GDP in 1981 and over 350% in 2007. Financial assets were less than five times larger than US GDP in 1980, but over ten times as large in 2007. The notional value of all derivative contracts rose from about three times global GDP in 1999 to over 11 times global GDP in 2007. The notional value of credit default swap derivatives rose from about $6 trillion in December 2004 to $62 trillion three years later. In the US, the share of total corporate profits generated in the financial sector grew from 10% in the early 1980s to 40% in 2006.15
Since 1980, the start of the neo-liberalism, the very wealthy have flourished, while everyone else has seen low growth or stagnation.
As the crisis deepens voices for going back to Keynesianism are increasingly being heard from various quarters. The solution of simply going back to Keynesianism or some variation of it as Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman and others have been suggesting is not sufficient nor is the solution to the present chaos. The Keynesian approach fails to confront the fact that conflicting class interest are at play in different economic strategies and that some forms of state intervention could resolve the crisis within capitalism.
The notion of Keynesianism and its various manifestations is the belief that the system will not self-organise. However, neither allowing the economy to deflate further from here via austerity, nor throwing more debt-marked stimulus will solve the present day problem. Keynesianism is only concerned about short-term crisis-management; while fully ignoring the capitalist cycles, at the most it mildly moderates the cycle’s amplitude and period. This approach at the most can buy space and time for bourgeois politicians to hoodwink people, while leaving the economy run through its usual spiral down effect.
The deficit spending as well as bail-outs become a major reason for capitalist countries’ sovereign debts. Lenders eventually deny further loans to the over-indebted countries, who then are forced to adopt the so-called austerity measures of raising taxes or cut on public spending to qualify for more loans. A consequence to austerity drive is a decline in the real wages and living standards. These measures only help in exacerbating the suffering of the masses further, as discussed in this article above.
Keynesian programmes being propagated or implemented to end the crisis, even if they succeed in stabilising capitalism to some extent, would surely over time initiate its own demise and then go back to laissez-faire capitalism. The approach may give some breathing ground to capitalism but can never provide a permanent solution.
The crisis has shown that in spite of the all recovery and protection mechanism, capitalism is inherently unstable and prone to failure. It does not only destroy financial wealth but also destroys productive economy, jobs, social security and even has a destructive impact on ecological wealth.
It produces ‘recovery’ for those who actually were responsible for the crisis and austerity for all others. The politicians and leaders are saying there is no alternative to economic austerity and raised taxes, even the social democratic and left bourgeois politicians have jumped to rescue finance capital, not realising that until industrial capital is freed from the clutch of neo-con finance capital the crisis cannot be solved. But can even rescuing the industrial capital solve the inherent crisis of capitalism? The older contradiction between labour and industrial capital over wages and working conditions would remain and it would only get accentuated as the class polarisation increases world over.
The entire mess that world capitalism finds itself has been told by Merrill Lynch banker, who said, ‘Our world is broken, and I honestly don’t know what is going to replace it.’
The basic question that emerges from this Greek tragedy and European roulette is what final act the working class of Greece, Ireland (as well as the European working class) enact. Will it end in tragedy where the people would be condemned to suffering and terminal decline or will they stand up and resist the system that has brought them nothing but austerity programmes so that the rich may live a comfortable life. Progressive forces all over the world are closely watching this play being enacted in Europe, because they know that sooner than later they would also be called to play their part.
Let us wait and see.
1. Uri Dadush, Bennett Stancil, Is a Sovereign Debt Crisis Looming? at http://www.carnegieendowment.org/ publications/ index.cfm? fa=view &id=24798; accessed September 25, 2010.
3. Nomi Prins and Krisztina Ugrin, It Takes a Pillage: An Epic Tale of Power, Deceit, and Untold Trillions; (New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc, 2009).
4. The Unkindest Cuts, The Economist; June 24, 2010.
5. ibid Unkindest Cuts.
6. ‘Fiscal Rules Face Obstacles, warns Lagarde’, Financial Times (14 September) accessed 25th September.
7. Online Walls Street Journal, Ailing Ireland Accepts Bailout; http://online.wsj.com/ article/SB1000142405274870 356730457562836 2883493 310.html; accessed on 22 November 2010.
9. Communiqué of the European Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organisations meeting in June in Paris. In Europe and the world, the workers, youth, people, refuse to pay for the crisis of the capitalist system at http://www.revolutionarydemocracy.org
10. Eurofound, Working poor in Europe, http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/ewco/studies/tn0910026s/tn0910026s_6.htm; accessed September 25, 2010.
11. Karl Marx, Capital Vol. 1, Chapter 31: Genesis of the Industrial Capitalist, Penguin Publisher, Pelican Classics.
12. A structured investment vehicle (SIV) is a special purpose vehicle i.e. a company that is created solely for a particular financial transaction or series of transactions. It may sometimes be something other than a company, such as a trust. The SIV’s debts may, or may not, be raised with recourse to the ‘real’ borrower. SIV buys long term bonds and other fixed income securities, funding this by issuing short or medium term debt such as commercial paper. SIVs are also called conduits because they create a channel through which the long term debt they invest in can be funded by short term debt. They have also proved to be a conduit through which banks have bought back mortgage debt that they had apparently off-loaded through securitisation – although the banks that buy may not be those that sold, the risk comes back into the banking system (definition from moneyterms.co.uk).
13. George Soros, ‘The worst market crisis in 60 years,’ Financial Times, January 23, 2008.
14. The Bank and Structural Adjustment, at http://www.ieo.org/wb-index.html; accessed on 16 November 2010.
15. James Crotty; Structural Causes of the Global Financial Crisis: A Critical Assessment of the ‘New Financial Architecture, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2008.
Hindi Translation of Greek Trade Union Front PAME (All Workers Militant Front) statement — Information On The Attack of the SYRIZA Government Against Social Security–
सिरिज़ा सरकार ने लगभग सारे बुर्जुआ दलों की मदद से सामाजिक सुरक्षा क्षेत्र में नई मजदूर विरोधी कदम उठाना शुरु कर दिया है. वो इसी तरह के अतिरिक्त अधिनियम/प्रस्ताव को पारित करना जारी रखेगी, जिनका उद्देश्य जो थोडे सामाजिक सुरक्षा बची है उसे ख़तम करना, तथा निजी बीमा मॉडल जिसमें व्यक्ति का योगदान उसके नौकरी पर आधारित होगा. यह यूरोपियन यूनियन की पेंशन पर ‘ग्रीन बुक’ में लिखित नियम पर आधारित है.
यह तथाकथित गैर-वेतन(मज़दूरी) कटौती बड़े पूँजी कि पिछ्ले कई वर्षों से मांग थी और अभी भी है.
सरकार और पूंजीपति वर्ग नें जल्दी से जल्दी यूरोपियन यूनियन के स्तर पर हुई कई वर्ष पहले के निर्णय को लागू करने का फैसला कर लिया है, इस फैसले के तहत सामाजिक सुरक्षा प्रणाली की जगह एक ऐसी व्यवस्था स्थापित की जायेगी जिसमे पेंशन दान की तरह होगा, और इसमें राज्य और मालिकों को उनके योगदान से पूरी तरह से निजात मिल जायेगा। वे एक ऐसे सामाजिक बीमा प्रणाली की तैयारी कर रहें हैं, जहाँ बीमा धारक अपने रिटायरमेंट के 67 के उम्र बाद भी नौकरी की भीख मांगेगे, ताकि वह जीने के लिये न्यूनतम पेंशन की आवश्यकता को पूरा कर सके।
अभी तक इन प्रावधानों को लागू सिर्फ एक ही कारण से नहीं किया जा सका था, वह था वर्ग आधारित ट्रेड यूनियन का प्रतिरोध आन्दोलन।
अभी तक संकट के दौरान भी हमने जिन (सामाजिक सुरक्षा) व्यवस्था को हमने बचा कर रखा था उसे यह “वाम” सरकार ने ख़तम कर दिया, जिसका जनहित पर दुखद परिणाम पड़ा है।
यह संगठित होने और लड़ने का समय है। निराशा और हार के लिये कोई जगह नहीं है। यह समय है मजदूर वर्ग के प्रतिकार का। अपनी महाशक्ति को जांचने का, वह महाशक्ति जो अभी तक इस यूरोपियन यूनियन से टकराव के बिना सरकारी परिवर्तन पर उमीदें लगा रखी थी।
सामाजिक सुरक्षा पर अबतक पारित कर दिये गए कानून
कानून जो पारित होने वाले हैं
अभी और जो प्रस्ताव अक्टूबर २०१५ तक पारित किये जायेंगे उनमे ट्रेड यूनियन विरोधी सुधार और हड़ताल करने के अधिकार को ख़तम करना तथा मजदूरों कि व्यापक स्तर पर छटनी शामिल है।
हमें बर्दाश्त नहीं है, और ना ही हम इसकी इजाज़त देते हैं – हम उन्हें उखाड़ फेंकने के लिए संगठित हो रहे हैं!
केवल संगठित वर्ग आधारित संघर्ष इन नये और पुराने प्रस्ताव और मजदूर विरोधी कानून को ख़तम कर सकता है।
हमें इस दरिद्रता भरे भयंकर दुस्वापन को ख़तम करना होगा~केवल वर्ग संघर्ष में ही सच्ची उम्मीद है। हम जो भी पेंशन और स्वस्थ्य सेवा में अधिकार बचे हैं उनकी रक्षा करनी होगी। हम लड़ेंगे अपने हुए नुकसान को वापिस पाने के लिये और पेंशन और सामाजिक हक़ को आज के स्तर पर लाने के लिये। हर कार्यस्थल पर मजबूत और बड़ा ट्रेड यूनियन, जो कि मजदूरों को एकत्रित और संगठित करेगा, वो एक मज़बूत संयुक्त मोर्चा तैयार करेगा मालिकों, ग्रीस की सरकार और ई.यू के खिलाफ। सामाजिक भागीदारी और मालिकों द्वारा पोषित वर्ग सहयोग की बात करने वाले दलाल ट्रेड-यूनियनवादीयों के ज़हरीले प्रभाव के खिलाफ संघर्ष करना. सामाजिक गठबंधन को मज़बूत करना। सामाजिक सुरक्षा, पेंशन और स्वास्थ्य सुविधा स्वरोज़गार और छोटे किसानों का भी मसला है।
यह हमारी प्रतिक्रिया है। मजदूर विरोधी ‘समझौतों के खिलाफ हमारा गठबंधन। कोई फर्क नहीं पड़ता कि वे कितने ही कानून बनाये, केवल जिस कानून के प्रति हमारी निष्ठा है, वह है “जो मजदूरों के लिए न्यायसंगत है”!
हमें अपने शक्तियों को संगठित करते हुए, यह मांग करना हैं कि जो हमारा है, वह जनता की ज़रूरतों को पूरा करने के लिये है, ना कि (पूंजीपति) एकाधिकार के मुनाफे के लिये.
Translated from English to Hindi by Damodar
Lenin on Keynes
This excerpt has been taken from Lenin’s report to the The Second Congress of the Communist International, highlights his thinking on world debt and his thoughts on Keynes.
The piece is still relevant amidst the backdrop of the economic crisis and the subsequent debt crisis that started in 2008 shows no signs of abetting. Globally the disenchantment with capitalism is growing, so is the yearning of the masses to sweep away old political and economic landmarks. World over we are seeing capitalism’s frantic effort to reinvigorate itself and the imperialist powers attempt to scuttle voice of dissent with increasing military ferocity. The Arab dream has turned into a nightmare thanks to the capitulationist position taken by the so-called ‘revolutionary’ leaders and the US imperialist’s new game to subjugate and divide the world. Yet on the other hand we are also witnessing a change where US no longer occupies the same unchallenged hegemony it held at the end of the Cold War. NATO is no longer a cohesive alliance, and the divisions in the Western imperialists are growing more and more to get the share of pie. The temporary successes of the counter-revolution in parts of Africa and Asia are a harsh reminder that imperialism still has been able to maintain its stranglehold in large part of the world and still we are living in the era of imperialism—the highest stage of capitalism. Continue reading
The international situation is becoming ever more complicated. In saying this I have in mind that the situation is not tranquil either for capitalism or for the revolutionaries. Capitalism is in a great fever, in crisis.
In my opinion, we Marxist-Leninists, the working class, the revolutionaries and ordinary progressive people in the world must take greater efforts to increase the superiority of the forces of the revolution. Why? Because capitalism, which is experiencing great disturbances at present possesses powerful means and has developed diverse modes of government, action, sabotage and disruption which hinder the advance of the revolution.
I think that our Marxist-Leninist parties and the progressive elements ought to look at this situation realistically and, on the basis of the theory of Marx and Lenin, find such means and forms of struggle that will turn the situation in favour of the revolution. This requires the creation of new Marxist-Leninist parties and the strengthening of the existing ones, of course, adhering firmly to the teachings of Marx and Lenin. They alone are able to make detailed analyses of the situation in the country, the ratio of classes, the strength of the working class, its strong and weak points, as well as the forms and methods which the bourgeoisie employs to subjugate the workers and the people. Such a study will serve each party, in its specific conditions, for struggle, for action, and not for sterile discussions which do not bring the liberation of the working class or the country, but, on the contrary, bring disruption and subjugation.
Let us not forget that while capitalism and the various parties in its service are in deep crisis, they are struggling to find forms, ways and expedients to befuddle and confuse the Marxist-Leninists who stand at the head of the working class, so that they will not manage to make the class conscious of the need to take action and capitalism and its parties will be able to split it while keeping it under their rule. The clear Marxist-Leninist ideas absolutely must be combined with actions; we cannot proceed from the idea that actions should be carried out only when the forces of the party are great, or capable of confronting the military machine of imperialism. But this should not be taken to mean that now the communists must hurl themselves into adventurous actions. Avoiding adventurism should not prevent us communists from acting in a Marxist-Leninist way.
Naturally, our actions must be well calculated. We must foresee the dangers threatening us and the possibilities of victory and always bear in mind that the revolution will have its zigzags. One thing must be clear to all, that the lofty reputation of the communist and the genuine Marxist-Leninist party cannot be earned by tailing behind the situation and remaining at the stage of sterile discussions, without becoming a real example for the working class and the other revolutionaries who want to fight against capital.
In thoughts and in actions, the place of the Marxist-Leninist parties is always in the vanguard. And if thoughts are to be combined with actions, we must not go into battle alone, but at the head of the working class and its allies. In order to go into battle together with them it is necessary to penetrate into the ranks and become one with them. It must be said, however, that in this direction unclear views, hesitation, fear and lack of perspective still exists.
Therefore, the task devolves upon us, Marxist-Leninists, to make good these shortcomings. In order to achieve this we must have a thorough understanding of the situation, know the forms, methods, ways and mechanisms which imperialism and capitalism use today to remain alive. They do not readily down the weapons with which they intimidate and oppress the peoples. Then, apart from weapons, they also use policy, diplomacy and demagogy. We must cope with all these weapons of the enemy without underestimating them, but at the same time, without overestimating them. If we can find the weak points in the strength, thought and actions of the enemy, then we shall more easily find the course we must pursue in our struggle and the most appropriate forms and methods for this struggle.
We have to realize that present-day imperialism and capitalism have adopted new forms of oppression and exploitation which, in essence, do not differ from the forms of the old colonialism. At present the metropolises are applying these forms, which we call neo-colonialist in all those countries which were their colonies in the past, that is, the countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America and other countries formerly under their military occupation, in which to this day they continue to exploit the sweat and blood of the peoples.
This military occupation had the structure and superstructure of the monopoly capitalism of the metropolises, had the same method of exploitation that was used against the people of the metropolis, but in a more savage form. The colonies were the prey of capitalism which oppressed the peoples in the most merciless ways, without hindrance.
After the Second World War colonialism assumed new forms. Many countries, with the exception of the few remaining colonies, are called “free”, “souvereign”, “democratic”, or what you will. Naturally, an “independent” capitalist system has been established in those countries, but they are always dependent on the big capitalist countries.
Our Party and the Marxist-Leninists everywhere in the world must make clear to the working class and the people of their own countries that we ought to exploit the existing revolutionary situation to the full, not only by undertaking political and ideological actions, but also by striking blows when the conditions have matured and when the oppression has become intolerable, and as the people themselves say: “Each must defend himself!” We must explain clearly to people so that they understand that neo-colonialism applies the forms of domination, exploitation and oppression which it uses today not only in the countries in which colonialism and the capitalist monopolies reigned previously, that is in the colonies, but also in the metropolises themselves.
In the metropolises, the working class, students and progressive working people have been and are subject to twofold oppression: that of internal capital, on the one hand, and that of foreign monopoly capital, on the other; they live under the terrible pressure of local monopolies and multinational companies. This is the new characteristic of capitalist society and its highest stage, imperialism, which is quite indiscriminate in regard to its oppression of peoples and the extraction of huge profits from their sweat and blood, both within the metropolises and outside them. Capital has become international, without a homeland.
Thus, the group of international monopolist makes no distinction between peoples and states, provided that the profits are great. Thus, the monopolies and the multinational companies recognize neither the freedom, independence, nor the souvereignity of the peoples, which for them are only formal. In this feverish activity they have made common cause with one another in order to share in the profits. But in capitalism the law of the jungle prevails in every direction: the great fish eat the small. This law prevails also in the division of profits.
Our Marxist-Leninist parties and revolutionaries are aware that the people living in the developed capitalist countries are more favoured than those of the former colonial or neo-colonial countries. It is an indisputable fact that the people are exploited more in the neo-colonialist countries where the big joint companies invest their capital. The actions of capital on the workers in the metropolises are somewhat less burdensome than in other countries, but the aim is the same.
Of course, in the various countries of the so-called third world, or non-aligned world, there are very weak points for big and local capital, but there are weak points, also, for the working class and the revolutionary elements, because of their political and ideological backwardness. Therefore, in order to ensure its financial, commercial and military potential, big capital is strengthening the local capitalist cliques in power day by day in order to keep their peoples in subjection, darkness and ignorance and to drown in blood any attempt at uprising by the people or interference by rival foreign capital in those countries.
The time has come when the mentality of the working class in the developed countries, one of the main obstacles of the revolution is the trade-unions which have been transformed into tools of the bourgeoisie to restrain movements of the working class. The owning class and their agents, one of which is the worker aristocracy which is bound to the various parties of social-democracy and modern revisionism, make the law in the unions.
The social democratic parties and the parties of modern revisionism are reformist parties, opposed to the revolution and for the defence of capital, for reforms of the structure and for a corrupted anti-proletarian superstructure, in order to undermine any revolutionary sentiment and action. Just like the parties of social-democracy which were exposed by Marx and Lenin long ago as lackeys of the bourgeoisie and preparers of the terrain for imperialism, the present-day revisionists are precisely those elements who come to the direct aid of ageing social-democracy against socialist society, in order to quell the uprising of the working class and the peoples, the revolution.
Therefore, the trade-unions in the capitalist countries must be considered as tools of the parties of capital and must be fought as such, but without hurting or damaging the unity of the working class. In my opinion the trade-unions in the capitalist countries will play a major role only if their dependence on parties of the bourgeoisie, whether social-democratic or revisionist, is broken and only if the influence of the worker aristocracy in them is totally eradicated. In other words, the unions will be placed in the service of the working class only if true representatives of that class, educated with the Marxist-Leninist ideology, place themselves at the head of them, mobilize them and hurl them into struggle against the state power of capital. Hence, it must be understood that this power, with all its forms, means, laws and constitution, has nothing democratic and revolutionary about it, as those in its service try to make out. They are the same forms and mechanisms of the old capitalist state, but dressed up with new elements which respond and are adopted to new situations.
Naturally, the development of the economy, the technical progress in the capitalist countries have created overproduction, which has caused the present great crisis, which has become a gangrenous wound for capitalism and imperialism. The broad working masses are impoverished and their life is becoming ever more difficult, while the profits of the capitalists are increasing, but the capitalists sense the danger and are striving continually, every day, to create economic, political and military forms and structures which will withstand any possible opposition or revolt on the part of the oppressed.
For the time being, in the developed capitalist countries we see this revolt expressed in demonstrations, but still peaceful and limited to slogans for economic demands. Such manifestations serve capital as an expedient, in order to create among its own parties the impression that allegedly the working class and the working people of all categories have complete freedom to hold strikes and demonstrations, to make complaints and criticisms, etc. However, as I pointed out above, in reality these movements do not have the results that the working class desires and demands, irrespective of the fact that now and again, when such manifestations become widespread, the bourgeoisie is obliged to part with a few extra crumbs to placate the anger and threat of the working people.
Hence, the working class, with its Marxist-Leninist party at the head, must be capable of understanding when the suitable national moment exists to organize and proceed towards the uprising. In this direction it is precisely the Marxist-Leninists who must be the most capable, the most wide-awake, the best organizers in order to become the subjective factor of the leadership of the revolution. In no way should we proceed from the idea that the conditions are not yet ripe for the revolution, or that the revolution cannot break out in the developed capitalist countries, therefore, we have to wait for it to develop in those states or continents in which the oppression, the forms and methods of exploitation are allegedly different from those in the metropolises. The working class and the Marxist-Leninist parties of the metropolises ought to give the peoples of various countries great aid, should assist their revolutionary movements. The greatest support and aid is to make life possible for monopoly capitalism and the foreign capital which collaborates with the local capital for the oppression of the peoples in the colonial and neo-colonial countries.
The situation in many countries of the world today is like that in Albania in the time of the reign of Ahmet Zog who formed a comic opera kingdom, with beys, feudal lords and reactionaries in order to oppress, bleed and exploit the Albanian people to the bone. Zog, of course, was penniless. He made money when sold the assets of the country to foreigners and when he granted them concessions in Albania. The Serbs and Wrangel’s white guard army helped Ahmet Zog to return to Albania. Subsequently he became a lackey of the Italian imperialists who, before their military occupation of Albania, had, in fact, made it a colony of theirs, or a neo-colony, if we can use the current term. Although fascist Italy invested little capital in Albania, it seized all the key positions in the economy and the strategic points of the country and prepared its occupation.
Therefore, the Marxist-Leninist parties in the capitalist countries will have to work and struggle unrelentingly in order to weaken international monopoly capital, the multinational companies which oppress and exploit the peoples, and make life difficult for them so that the people attack wherever the links in the capitalist chain are weakest, that is they must rise in insurrection to seize power and carry out democratic reforms and then to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat, a socialist structure and superstructure.
In various undeveloped capitalist countries today the people are rising in insurrection and revolution. We see this in Iran, Nicaragua, Central America, in the struggle of the Palestinians against the Americans and Israelis, and to a certain extent, we see it in the still disorganized resistance of the Arab countries against the superpowers, which manipulate this resistance in their own interests. We see people’s movements and uprising in Africa, too. But although the peoples in those countries are rising, fighting, and making sacrifices, the elements of the bourgeoisie, united with the big capital, are still doing everything they can through numerous tricks and intrigues to quell the insurrection, or turn it into a movement in their favour, and in that case, such a movement serves merely to eliminate this or that clique from the political scene in order to bring to power another more moderate but likewise capitalist clique which operates in agreement with big monopoly capital. This happens, of course, because of the political unclarity and the lack of organization of the working class. Thus, the anger and hatred of this class, its political-economic suffering and that of the poor peasantry are thus exploited in favour of the bourgeoisie.
Hence, we communists must analyse this situation in general and in particular, so that we understand it and then act. We analyse the situation in order to understand it, so that we know how to act, eventually in order to understand it and allow this difficult situation for the people to continue as before. We must not underestimate, the fear of war which big capital has created. It is a fact that time after time, when the crisis reaches its climax, partial wars, and perhaps even world war, could break out. Only the revolution on the Marxist-Leninist road can prevent, avert, or defeat world war. Otherwise, the major contradictions that exist between the superpowers, between multinational companies may cause it.
Therefore, since we understand this important problem in this way, we must make every effort to defeat the plans and actions which the bourgeoisie and its lackeys are making in preparation for a bloody, general war. This can be an insurrection which is led only by the working class which has the Marxist-Leninist doctrine as its guide.
The renegade of the Spanish Communist Party, Carillo, preaches transition to socialism through reforms. He says we should not charge the army of the bourgeoisie, should not even alter its ideology, but should introduce elements and cadres of the working class into its ranks and make it a defender of its order! And according to Carillo, this order in which the bourgeoisie, the priests, the police, and so on, are in power, will allegedly be socialist (!).
Hence, if we think as this traitor does, then we will not be able to undermine the attack force of the capitalist bourgeoisie. Therefore, we must not think and act as Carillo advocates, but in order to oppose the army of the capitalist bourgeoisie we must organize the people’s revolutionary forces and make them politically conscious of their great role, make clear to them who are those who oppose their actions to attack the state and achieve victory. Such a thing is highly possible.
We saw that the insurgent people in Iran stood up to the heavily armed forces of the Shah and his terrible security force SAVAK. Until that time it was unimaginable that the uprising of the people of Iran would be able to cope with an army equipped with the most sophisticated weapons and trained by the CIA and American officers. But it happened! Therefore, all Carillo’s prattle that we must infiltrate the ranks of the bourgeois army allegedly to convince the officer caste and the defenders of capital in order to bring them to socialism, is unscrupulous deception.
In this direction the bourgeoisie and capitalism are talking savage measures of suppression. One of these measures is the use of terrorism. Terrorism is the preliminary preparation for fascist military coups of the bourgeoisie, which, at moments of exacerbation of the class-struggle, when it sees that it cannot resists the strength and attack of the people goes on the offensive, launches a coup d´état and the fascist military junta takes power. But in order to succeed this has to be prepared, and it is clear that this preparation is being done through the organization of gangs and gangsters, who are armed and operating, to a greater or lesser extent, in every state, disguised under various “communist” and “Marxist” labels like “Brigate Rosse”, etc., precisely to intimidate and confuse the broad working masses and justify the fascist coup d´état. These gangsters operate by attacking banks, killing people, often attacking directors of big enterprises, taking wealthy people hostage and demanding collossal sums for their ransom. They do all this, first of all, to deceive, but also to terrorize the working class and the broad working masses. We notice that in these disturbances the worker aristocracy and all the social-democratic and revisionist parties do not take any active, militant action against terrorism.
Hence, terrorism is the preliminary preparation for fascism to come to power. Through the action of these gangsters, the bourgeoisie threatens the working class and gives it to understand that the existing order which capitalism has established must be protected, otherwise, with the overthrow of this capitalist state (which itself creates the conditions for the terrorists to thrive and is not afraid that they will overthrow it) the workers will loose even those very limited “rights” they have won through struggle and sacrifices, in the economic field, in social security, etc. Thus, we see that in the demonstrations which are held in the capitalist countries, after each terrorist act, the revisionist or social-democratic chiefs and the worker aristocracy, which rules in the trade-unions, cry out against terrorism, while it continues to develop at the rapid rate.
The anti-Marxist theoreticians condemn terrorism in the forms in which it manifests itself today, but they make no distinction between acts of terrorism and the militant actions towards revolution which the working class, led by a Marxist-Leninist party, has to carry out. Being against the revolution, they are against any action, and the state power of the bourgeoisie and its social-democratic and revisionist defenders call any such action, any attempt in this direction, and any military organization of the working class, led by the Marxist-Leninist party, a terrorist act. Indeed, the revisionists vote in favour of strengthening the police and security organs in order to combat terrorism and anarchism. This means allowing the bourgeoisie a free hand to attack any form of organization and struggle of the working class and its vanguard to liberate itself from the yoke of capitalism.
Therefore, we Marxist-Leninists and the working class must understand this question thoroughly and be able to make the distinction, because there is a great difference between Marxist-Leninists and anarchists and the terrorists. On the other hand, however, this question should not be taken to mean that in order to restrain terrorism, the working class with its vanguard and the progressive people should refrain from acting or even from fighting with arms against this state which oppresses them, as well as against all terrorist, anarchist and revisionist forms that support this state power of the bourgeoisie. If we do not understand this situation correctly, if we equate revolutionary action with terrorism and anarchism, then it will be impossible for the revolution, to advance and the working class will remain for ever at the mercy of capital, under the oppression of laws of the bourgeoisie, and, as a consequence, will tone down all its efforts to liberate itself from bondage. Hence, there are certain moments when it is necessary to delve deeper into the meaning which must be distinct from the meaning and judgement which the revisionists and the social-democracy want to give it in the interests of the monopolies and their state.
At present there are difficulties and dangers for the new Marxist-Leninist parties which emerged after the 1960s, and especially for some that were created under the influence of the Chinese cultural revolution. In some of these new “Marxist-Leninist” parties, especially in certain countries of Europe and Latin-America, their emergence on the scene, the organization and uniting of their ranks was done not by sound elements of the working class, but by isolated elements, who had the experience of the weak, anti-Marxist, reformist work of revisionist parties. On top of this, these parties were formed and developed, so to say, in complete legality, and together with others, many elements who posed as Marxist-Leninists but were not such, entered their ranks.
Some leaders of these parties took the problem very lightly, a thing which, naturally, was reflected in their work. They considered the breaking away from the revisionist parties as a very important act. In fact this really was an important act, but the course they were to follow, the forms and methods of organization of their work, especially the political and the organizational line which were adopted and applied, were to have greater importance. As was seen, on certain international problems and theoretical issues they took more or less correct stands, but still, in some aspects, their political line was developed in the same forms as the line of the revisionist parties were unable to make a proper judgement of the situations within their own countries and in the international field. This was so over major events in the international communist movement, for example, over the struggle against Soviet revisionism and, later, in the analyses which should have been made of the development of the situation in China, the factional struggle which was developing there and the Chinese cultural revolution. In many instances it was clear that they lacked Marxist-Leninist depth in their judgements and opinions, but had sufficient arrogance to consider their actions as indisputable.
In fact, right from the formation of some of these parties it was apparent that among their members there were elements who were not properly tempered with the Marxist-Leninist ideas or whose mastery of them was superficial and rather for sentimental reasons. For example, many of them made no effort to gain a thorough understanding of the major role of the party as the vanguard detachment of the working class and of the major difficulties they would encounter in their work and struggle in the conditions of savage, oppressive and exploiting capitalist regime, a regime hostile, first of all, to Marxist-Leninists.
For these reasons, then, in some of the small parties, right from the start frictions appeared and splits occurred, no measures were taken against factionalists, because the leaders and members of the party were not properly acquainted with the Leninist-Stalinist organizational forms of the party in the dangerous and complicated conditions of their countries. Moreover, they did not foresee that reaction would have the activity of the party and its members under permanent surveillance, and would infiltrate dubious elements, their agents or wavering sympathizers into their ranks.
Performing our internationalist duty, wherever we had the possibility and contacts with some of these parties, we, the Party of Labour of Albania, stressed our experience to them and told them that in its whole line, including the problems of its organizational structure, our Party remained loyal to Marxism-Leninism, which it did not consider a dogma or a theoretical ornament, but applied it in practice with the greatest strictness and seriousness in the difficult conditions of our country, that is, in the struggle against the occupiers of the country and the local bourgeoisie which placed itself in their service.
Thus, in the organizational field, some of these new Marxist-Leninist parties which broke away from the revisionist parties, were organized, so to say, in those same legal forms as the revisionist and social-democratic parties, so the entire political and ideological opinion of the country could not fail to exert an influence within their ranks. To this day there are members of these parties who still think they can militate in legal ways as Marxist-Leninists communists without being disturbed by capitalism and its apparatus of oppression. In these circumstances, then, it can hardly be said that there exists that sound nucleus, as strong as it could be in conditions of illegality, which is able to withstand a sudden attack which reaction is sure to make against the party.
The very dangerous consequences of this work and this practice in some of these parties, especially in Europe, became apparent after the exposure of the Communist Party of China and the ideas of Mao Zedong. Splits occurred, anti-Marxist ideas and opinions emerged, which in some cases were embraced even by their leaders. That explains why some of those small, still unconsolidated parties, which began their activity with correct aims on the Marxist-Leninist road and were for revolutionary actions, deviated. This is what happened with the Communist (Marxist-Leninist) Parties of France, Belgium, Holland, the Scandinavian countries and recently with the Communist Party of Italy (Marxist-Leninist), etc.
In short, some of these Marxist-Leninist parties were split because they did not have a proper understanding of their role in the revolution, because they did not organize themselves for a fierce struggle with organized and armed reaction and the revisionist and social-democratic parties, which have long experience and numerous means to combat any opponents who emerge, to fight and undermine their work, as the tools of capital they are.
Proceeding from the experience of our Party and country, as well as from the experience of the genuine communist parties of the past, I think that the Marxist-Leninist parties must not isolate themselves, that is, they must not stand remote from the broad masses of the people, and especially, from the working class. In this question, we Marxist-Leninists reason and judge proceeding from the fact that the working class in the capitalist countries, or at least the overwhelming bulk of it today, is inspired and organized by the parties of social-democracy, the employers and modern revisionism in trade-unions manipulated by them, and that the bourgeois state has set up a broad network of informers and has brought out a large number of laws in order to implant the bourgeois mentality in this working class, to corrupt it ideologically and politically and intimidate it so that it does not undertake actions that are dangerous to the capital. Therefore, if the members of the Marxist-Leninist parties want to advance, to continue on the course for which the parties were set up, they must get into those big groupings of the proletariat, go among the ranks of the democratic progressive elements who are against the capitalist regime, against the constitution of the capitalist country and economic oppression and exploitation, and against the reactionary ideology which is presented in various forms in order to befuddle the minds of the people.
The new Marxist-Leninist parties cannot content themselves merely with the publication of a newspaper or magazine, which, naturally, have very limited circulation. These means of propaganda have their own importance, but frequently they fail to produce the desired effect among the masses, let alone penetrate and organize the work within big groupings of the masses. Both the Marxist-Leninists norms which organize, temper and make the party coherent and militant, and its penetration, organization and struggle inside the unions or other groupings of the working class, are matters of great importance for the revolution. The Marxist-Leninist parties, especially in Europe, must not remain onlookers behind the barricade on which the working class is fighting. In Latin America, many Marxist-Leninist parties newly formed after 1960 militated in illegality and not only operated correctly, in general, for their own development and education with the theory of Marxism-Leninism, but also accompanied this activity with concrete actions, with attacks through strikes and demonstrations setting their militant example. Of course, they also suffered losses during these attacks, but the party cannot be consolidated on the revolutionary road, cannot be the vanguard of the proletariat and the progressive and revolutionary elements without losses and without setting such a militant example.
Of course, legal work must be carried out, but parallel with this work the party must create its clandestine force which will direct the legal work. Precisely this force of the party is the soundest, most resolute part which will understand the situation thoroughly and correctly and will direct the activities. Some new Marxist-Leninist parties did not bear in mind this teaching of Marxism-Leninism. With their fraudulent propaganda, with allegedly leftist slogans, which in reality were reactionary slogans in the service of capital, the parties of the bourgeoisie deceived the working class and the revolutionary elements, because, as we know, in all their activity the revisionist parties aim to achieve alliances with the bourgeoisie and its parties, contenting themselves with a few concessions granted by the bourgeoisie through reforms. These comrades have been satisfied with some successes they achieved through demonstrations in the streets and meetings and speeches in the squares. But that is not enough to teach the working class how to fight and mount the steps of the revolution one by one until the final step, that is, the decisive attack against the apparatus of capitalist oppression.
Thinking that in the countries in which they militate the situations are such as to create the possibility for their legalization, some parties which now are in illegality have been faced with the question: “How should we act?” I think that the legalization of the party is a two-edged sword: it is good if the reason for, the forms and the limitations of this legalization are understood, but it is very harmful if elements of the bourgeoisie, wavering elements, revisionist elements and agents of the reaction penetrate the ranks of the party in legality. In this way the possibility is created for people trained for sabotage to infiltrate from the legal part of the party into the part working in illegality. While for illegality to serve the party actively, its members must not merely engage in propaganda for parliamentary reforms, as the revisionist parties openly linked with reaction do, but must go among the masses, work with them and organize them in a revolutionary way, winning them away from the influence of capital and its parties. Otherwise, the desired success cannot be achieved.
It is true that that section of the party which emerge in legality will have possibilities to go among the broad masses more easily and to organize joint fronts with them against the power of the bourgeoisie, to carry on propaganda and influence them in action. But the party must influence them in actions not in the revisionist and social-democratic way, because in that case the working class will be unable to distinguish between Marxist-Leninists and revisionists and will not be incited to actions more advanced than those which social-democracy and modern revisionism have taught it. In the contrary, the creation of fronts and the expansion of the influence of that section of the party which is legal, closely linked with the other part which is in illegality, must make the revolt of the people greater and in this way the revolutionary situations which are created will be turned to advantage. It is necessary to know how to utilize the contradictions which exist between the internal capital of the country and foreign capital, between the local bourgeoisie and the proletariat. This work will consolidate the existence of the party and its militant line, will disseminate genuine Marxism-Leninism and will expose revisionism.
It is absolutely essential that the exposures of revisionism and its parties, with their forms, methods and policies should be done, although the exposure through newspaper articles and speeches, but should be accompanied with actions so that the proletariat will clearly see the distinction between its Marxist-Leninist party and the revisionist and social-democratic parties, not just because their political and ideological objectives differ, but especially because the party of the proletariat struggles to put its objectives into practice and thus, it will strengthen its ranks with such elements by admitting them as party members. Only through such work can the Marxist-Leninist parties in the capitalist countries be sure that their ranks will be increased with convinced and disciplined people, loyal to Marxism-Leninism, prepared for the revolution through violence and not through reforms.
It is essential that the members of parties that militate in the capitalist countries understand that they are in stern struggle with the bourgeoisie and its repressive apparatus, especially with its parties, including the revisionist parties. Therefore, they must be clear and always bear in mind that this struggle demands efforts and material and moral sacrifices.
If they do not understand their being members of the party and their work and struggle in its ranks in this way, then the party in which they militate can hardly be called a genuine revolutionary party, but is a revolutionary party only in words. Such a party will fall apart at the first difficult moment, indeed it is likely to do so even before such a moment is reached. Even at moments which are allegedly peaceful, but which are not and never can be peaceful, hangs together simply because it presents no moral, political or material threat to anything.
We Marxist-Leninist parties must work to create the means of propaganda and struggle ourselves, without the material aid of anyone, because there is no one who will help is seriously and without destructive political motives.
It is impermissible for us Marxist-Leninists to work with the forms and methods of work of the permanent bureaucrats of revisionist parties who engage in commercial deals instead of revolutionary work. It is our duty to teach the members of the party and the elements of the working class they mobilize around themselves to make small sacrifices, while preparing themselves for greater sacrifices, up to giving their lives on the fronts of struggle against the bourgeoisie which are being waged and will be waged in the future.
In this sense, the objective of the Marxist-Leninist parties which militate in the capitalist countries is to be parties of the barricades, parties of the capture of factories, of clashes with the forces of the order, and not parties which submit to the laws, regulations and formulas that reaction has created. This is logical and lawful, because all the creations of reaction and capital have the objective of the suppression of the revolution and the genuine parties have the duty not to obey them, but to attack them. In saying this I am not advocating operating in adventurous ways. As I stressed above, we must consider where the weak spots are, although, once again, without ideo-politically sound organizational activity they cannot be exploited.
The important moments through which the capitalist world is passing at present, the moments of the great crisis, are objectively very suitable for launching attacks on capital at its weak points. It is up to us Marxist-Leninists to understand these weaknesses thoroughly so that the struggle and the resistance are developed both in the developed capitalist countries and in the backward countries. The responsibility devolves on the Marxist-Leninist parties of the developed countries to prove themselves up to their tasks and set the example for the Marxist-Leninist parties or the revolutionary elements of the backward countries.
At present we can say that the working masses and progressive elements in the economically backward countries, who suffer the oppression of capital, are more in the forefront, more active, more militant than those in the developed capitalist countries and although there are no Marxist-Leninist parties there, they have proved their superiority by carrying out militant activities against the internal oppression and external interference. This shows that the capitalist bourgeoisie in the metropolises has great experience in oppression and exploitation and, apparently, even though there are Marxist-Leninist parties, people have become accustomed to enduring this oppression and to being mislead by the false democracy and freedom advocated by the allegedly democratic parties.
The conclusion emerges that the metropolises continue to oppress the undeveloped, neo-colonial countries and, logically, that the Marxist-Leninist parties in some oppressor countries are not reacting with the revolutionary force required to prevent this oppression. It can be seen that the necessary internationalist solidarity with the progressive peoples of continents which are in revolt against the double yoke of foreign and local capital does not exist in these countries. This is a major problem of capital importance, which must concern all Marxist-Leninists, and in the first place, the Marxist-Leninist parties in the countries ruled by capital.
Our party is aware of these problems, has them on the agenda, makes every effort and has orientated its whole policy, propaganda and agitation, as well as its own actions, towards internationalist aid for the Marxist-Leninist parties and the people’s national liberation struggle. At this stage, the national liberation struggles of the peoples of the undeveloped countries have extraordinary importance, because they weaken the capitalist order, in general and facilitate the development of bourgeois democratic revolutions and their transformation into proletarian revolutions. Hence, it is up to the communist forces wherever they are, to reflect on their actions and activities and be guided by our great revolutionary theory, Marxism-Leninism, to assimilate it thoroughly and accurately and. through the practical actions, to incite and lead the masses in revolution.
We notice with regret that some Marxist-Leninist parties do not understand this question properly, do not operate actively, that is, they do not accompany their propaganda, however weak, with concrete actions, which they can do only if the militant spirit exists in their ranks. Indeed, in some countries there are occasions when we do not see Marxist-Leninist groups or parties which distinguish themselves with their political actions and give fire to the demonstrations, opposition and protests which the working class makes on the urging of social-democracy or modern revisionism- Such actions would really arouse interest among the workers who would see that the actions of Marxist-Leninists come into conflict with the slogans chanted by the revisionists and social-democracy in strikes and demonstrations. Tens of thousands of workers rally in the squares of various cities, and the Marxist-Leninist parties will strengthen and assert themselves if their representatives take the courage to come out with their own microphones, addressing the masses of the people with their line in order to explain to them how they should turn the strikes and demonstrations they hold into political strikes and demonstrations, and not limited themselves to economic strikes or “peaceful” strikes.
The enemy in power is afraid of such political strikes, therefore he calls them ferocious strikes. The question here is not that we should come out with weapons or fire them, but we must stand up to the repressive organs of the order, the police, the carabinieri, the army and, at the same time, expose the evils of capitalism and the revisionist parties among the people gathers in the streets and in squares. This, for example, is a field in which Marxist-Leninists can mobilize the working masses. But there are other fields and forms of work like this, which prepare public opinion for sterner actions against the wretched existing state of affairs, so the people see more clearly the crisis of the regime, the great economic financial crisis, the great energy crisis, all of which, in the final analysis, are loaded on to the backs of the working class.
The working class cannot follow our people, our Marxist-Leninist groups or parties, if it does not see us in action, because in regard to the means od propaganda which the capitalist bourgeoisie and its parties possess, they are far more powerful the ours. Therefore, the masses of the people have to see us the communists and men of action in concrete actions against the imposed order, against the status quo, against the flabby activity which the propaganda of the bourgeoisie creates.
The purpose of the propaganda of the bourgeoisie is to retain its electorate. By saying that voting for this or that party of the bourgeoisie will alter the situation, each bourgeois party tries to arouse vain hopes among the working class and the working masses, hence, it canvasses for votes. The only result of such propaganda is to lull the revolutionary energies of the masses to sleep, whereas we Marxist-Leninists face the task that we must involve the masses in concrete actions.
Wherever the capitalist bourgeoisie operates, it is striving with all its might to cope with the terrible economic crisis which has gripped it, and which, far from diminishing is becoming deeper, by shifting its consequences on to the shoulders of the masses. The energy-crisis, the financial crisis, the mounting prices, inflation, unemployment and terrorism which day by day is assuming alarming proportions, are arousing the distrust of the broad masses of the people towards the regimes ruling them, but at the same time, they frighten the middle strata of the people, obscure their view of the future, of the ways and means to escape from the crisis, that is, from the regime which has given birth to all these evils. Precisely here and in opposition to this situation, the burden falls on us Marxist-Leninists and our parties to fight the opposing current, to find the ways, means and forms to mobilize the masses.
On many capitalist countries the crisis is great, terrorism, which is supported by capital, is assuming major proportions. In order to emerge from the crisis and crush any possibility of insurrection and revolution by the working class and the people, the reactionary forces in these countries are preparing the terrain for an authoritarian state, for the fascist dictatorship. If the working masses, we Marxist-Leninist parties and the progressive peoples fail to understand that the fascist dictatorship comes as a result of the difficult situation which the power of the capital is experiencing and do not fight it, then,, sooner or later fascism will be established, because the crisis will continue, since capitalism will strive to protect its income at the expense of the working masses who will become more and more impoverished. Being unarmed, because they do not understand why such a thing is occurring and do not fight against it and the other actions of the capital, these masses will accept the bondage of a fascist circle, thinking that it will be a way out of the crisis. In fact it is not a way out for the working class and the working people, because fascism represents the most ferocious dictatorship of capital, which will oppress the masses of the peoples even more than it is doing today. It is the last resort of exploiting capital.
In all the capitalist countries, separately or jointly, in the political, military and economic organism in which they have assembled, there exits a situation of terrible crisis, which has brought about consequences in the economy and in all the other sectors of the life of the country and has aroused the sentiments of the internal disintegration of the capitalist state and nationalism. Thus, in the capitalist and revisionist countries we see the development of profound contradictions, not only between states combined in blocs, but also between individual states. Even in the so-called socialist community at present there is a very great crisis, caused by the relations of dependence on the Soviet Union which is in a major economic-financial crisis itself. The other countries, satellites of the Soviet Union, likewise, are suffering the consequences of the world capitalist crisis. Thus, recently we see a great rise of prices of every sort in those countries, a rise which amounts to 50 per cent. This has already stirred the broad masses of the people to silent revolt, and in some cases, as in the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Poland, to open clashes.
The foreign debts of these countries are colossal. They amount to billions of dollars. These states are facing bankruptcy, because they are unable to further develop their economies, or even to pay their existing debts to the Soviet Union and the other capitalist countries. Hence, there is great discontent within this bloc. Wherever ethnic unity does not exist, nationalist groupings have begun to emerge.
I have said on other occasions that modern revisionism created difficult and complicated economic, political, and ideological situations. It disrupts the political unity of the country and incites desperate nationalism. In other words, modern revisionism incites the most reactionary, fascist nationalist elements to create those situations which are in the interest of world capital. Therefore, both in the capitalist countries and in the countries ruled by revisionists, the revolutionary situation, as an objective condition for the triumph of the revolution, has matured. The only thing lacking is the spark to kindle a revolt, organized and led, for the overthrow of the bourgeoisie, whether of the capitalist West or the revisionist East.
We find the most concrete example of this situation in Yugoslavia, where the national question has become as acute as it was at the time of the Second World War. The situation has not yet reached the stage where it bursts into flames, but the fire may break out due to the Titoite regime, which, contrary to its propaganda about “unity and fraternity”, is splitting the nations and nationalities more and more in Yugoslavia. The reactionary circles of the most powerful “krals” are operating for division, fragmentation and domination in Yugoslavia. These circles are the offspring of the anti-Marxist, capitalist-revisionist regime, which is arousing feuds, divisions and enmities among the peoples.
Our people have a wise saying: “Poverty breeds discord”, and this poverty is an outcome of capitalist regimes. The peoples in those countries are impoverished, therefore, in order to escape from poverty, the wretched absolutely must be made conscious and understand the situations, must organize themselves and strive to organize the resistance against oppression, to organize that popular striking force which gradually becomes a terrible force against the rotten capitalist regime, where the situation is ripe for revolutionary activity.
Our Marxist-Leninist theory teaches us: Every revolutionary activity must be guided by the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary theory which the Marxist-Leninist party masters, defends and faithfully applies. The objective of every genuine revolutionary movement must be to establish the hegemony of the working class. This hegemony does not in any way imply that the working class and its Marxist-Leninist party should not link up with all those classes and strata of the population which are very interested in opposing the oppressive capitalist and revisionist order. On the contrary, the hegemony of the working class presupposes alliance with the working peasantry, the progressive intellectuals, etc.
In the ranks of the unemployed in the capitalist-revisionist countries there is a great spiritual force of people revolted because they are short of food. In those countries there is a great force of people revolted because the prospects for a decent life have been closed to them. They cannot find jobs, and made desperate by this situation, they are easily corrupted and misled by the special intensive preparation of the regime to involve them in acts of terrorism. This is the source of the participation of young people in the terrorist “red brigades”. Many of these young people do not see any way out other than through terrorist acts. We Marxist-Leninists must show them that the isolated terrorist acts and gangsterism, in which the capitalist regime has involved them and is trying to involve them ever more deeply, do not bring any improvement of the situation for the people, the youth, or the unemployed, but, on the contrary, bring about the fascist coup of the reactionary bourgeoisie. These groups of youths are nothing but the vanguard detachments of fascism. In the face of these capitalist phenomena, we Marxist-Leninists must not sit idle. We must not permit the masses of the people, to be intimidated by the acts of terrorists, anarchists, on the contrary, we should work so that the people of this or that capitalist country are not afraid of them.
When the Marxists act against terrorism, it is likely that the class enemies will tax them with “taking part in the activity of elements who support the capitalist regime”, but the slanders of enemies must not inhibit the revolutionary activity. The Marxist-Leninists act in two parallel directions: both against the regime in power, against the bourgeois parties, whether social-democratic, socialist or revisionist, and at the same time, also, against terrorism. The revolutionaries cannot wage this struggle, simply by issuing a newspaper, but by carrying out extensive political, ideological propaganda and by acting together with the masses in order to make the truth clear to them and convince them in concrete actions, against the evils of the old society. The enemies must be attacked on all fronts in unity with the masses, otherwise, success cannot be achieved. To do this requires strong organization, courage and many sacrifices from our Marxist-Leninist parties.
At these difficult moments, when capitalism in crisis is seeking to establish its savage dictatorship, sacrifices on the part of Marxist-Leninists, the working class and progressive elements are indispensable, but every revolutionary action requires courage, intelligence and vigorous actions. There must be no retreat in the face of this situation.
The just and heroic struggle of the Palestinian people for the liberation of their territories seized and occupied by Israel is a fine example. Despite the fact that it is not led by Marxist-Leninists we support it. We support it since it is a national liberation, anti-imperialist struggle. In assessing their struggle we must appreciate their bravery in coping with countless difficulties against extremely strong powers, armed to the teeth, such as the American imperialists and the Israeli Zionists. We must also bear in mind the fact that, at the same time, the Palestinians have to fight the reactionary Arab forces, too. They are left without a homeland, but they have the strength of their spirit and the strength of their arms, their courage and honest aims to have their homeland liberated, which keep them alive. They are fighting tooth and nail against the Israeli Zionists, fighting for their existence as a people and for their right to have their own homeland. It is useful for the Marxist-Leninist parties of the capitalist countries to bear in mind this wonderful experience for the organization of their struggle, to draw inspiration from the example of the resistance of this small people who, although displaced and scattered, have been able to rally their energies for a great purpose. They are fighting in the ways which the conditions of bourgeois domination have allowed them for the creation of a Palestinian state in opposition to the great forces of capitalism and imperialism.
Despite some activities of a terrorist character by some groups, an activity which we Marxist-Leninists do not support, the struggle of the Palestinian people, in general, is a liberation struggle and should be assisted.
The tasks which emerge for us Marxist-Leninists in these situations are certainly very great and very difficult, because our enemies are numerous, highly organized and very powerful. These tasks become still greater and more difficult for the Marxist-Leninist parties which militate in the capitalist countries. But profound and correct understanding of Marxism-Leninism, that unerring guide which leads and directs us in every step of our life and ideological line, as well as in the organizational field, the effective co-ordination of illegal with legal activity, the selection of reliable allies and alliances, etc. will make our struggle and the overcoming of difficulties easier and will lead us to victory over the bourgeois-revisionist enemies.