Image of Hammer and Sickle

New Communist Party of Britain

Intervention at Communist and Worker’s Conference

Athens 1998

by Andy Brooks

Comrades,

We are meeting at a time of developing economic crisis accompanied by political instability, social insecurity, deteriorating living and social standards, and extreme poverty for millions upon millions of working people.

It’s a world in conflict. The counter revolutionary wave of 1990 led to the break up of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The imperialists claimed this would usher in a “New World Order” and a new era of global peace under their control.

The UN Security Council was, until recently manipulated as a rubber stamp for acts of aggression against Iraq, Somalia and the former Yugoslavia. The United States and Britain, as expressed in the votes of the General Assemblies, routinely ignore the wishes of the majority of the UN membership. UN machinery is ignored by American imperialism in the pursuit of its blockade against Cuba.

But wherever there is oppression, there is resistance. The imperialists failed to spread the counter revolutionary process to China or Cuba despite the best efforts of their agents.

Today communists are leading the fight back in the former Soviet Union and above all in Albania, where the masses took up the gun and drove out the Berisha clan last year.

International Communist co-operation

A worldwide rallying of communist and workers’ parties followed the counter revolutionary setback of 1990. And in fact immense progress has been made in the past eight years.

Initially many of us believed that our first task was working towards establishing a new international communist information service. In essence that has now been achieved through the rapid development of information technology. Now virtually every Party, workers’ journal or national liberation movement is accessible through the Internet.

The second idea, which emerged soon after 1990, was the argument that communists should strive for complete ideological unity as the basis for international organisational unity.

While this would be an ideal situation we do not believe that it is a practical proposition. Now it is certainly possible for parties to develop a common understanding and opposition to modern revisionism and social democracy. The lessons of the downfall of the USSR and the socialist countries of Eastern Europe together with the analysis of the genuine communist resistance in the former Soviet Union has led to considerable reassessments by many communist parties in Europe and beyond.

It is clear that the basis of post war revisionism was laid down at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The vicious personal attack on Stalin by Nikita Krushchov had two main effects within the world communist movement. In Western Europe it opened the door to Trotskyite ideas, which until then, were confined to small groups drawn from the middle strata. In the socialist camp it encouraged the retreat from the socialist standards laid down by Lenin and Stalin. It reflected a lack of confidence in the masses and it rejected in practice, the leading role of the working class. It created a climate of compromise and defeat and led to the conditions which counter revolutionary traitors successfully exploited in the end.

In the socialist camp it encouraged a retreat from Leninist standards, which led to the downplaying of the role of the working class in society. In the international communist movement, especially in Western Europe, it reinformed the tendency towards accepting social democratic strategies and attitudes. It was gaining more and more support at that time, by virtue of the illusions that existed in the working class -- reflected within by many communist parties in the West -- that capitalism was, after all, now a better society.

This was the false creed of Gorbachov and his followers East and West. The counter revolutions in the former Soviet Union and the socialist countries in Eastern Europe were in some cases directed initially by the communist leaderships in those countries. In others, like Romania, Czechoslovakia and the German Democratic Republic, attempts to stop the counter revolutionary drive were thwarted through the direct or indirect intervention of the revisionist and treacherous leadership of the Gorbachov clique. Today former ruling parties with memberships once millions strong, have vanished or totally embraced social ’ democracy and bourgeois democracy -- collaborating with local exploiters to plunder their country’s resources and people while at the same time acting as the willing tools of American and European imperialism.

Social Democracy has never led to socialism, and revisionism has led to the destruction of communist parties and, indeed, socialist states.

Our opposition to social democracy and revisionism is not a dogmatic creed. It is a practical application of Marxism-Leninism. We must continue to combat these ideas, just as we continue to combat the pie-in-the-sky ideas of the utopian socialists or the anti-communist theories of the Trotskyite groups.

But in combating ideas we believe are fundamentally wrong, we must uphold the communist alternative and seek to win away from these erroneous and ultimately futile theories.

New World Order

Anglo-American imperialism worked for decades to destroy the Soviet Union and its allies. Their victory was followed by the “New World Order” which intended to set the seal on a globe dominated by the entire capitalist world under American leadership. The fact that it has failed -- in Serbia, Iraq, Somalia and the Congo -- reflects the determination of people in struggle and the other fact -- that over a quarter of the world remains socialist and outside control of the imperialist camp.

Ruling parties should be allies - all communist parties should be friends

We believe that the ruling communist parties in Asia and Cuba should be allies and that all communist parties should be friends. Though it seems a straight - forward position it hasn’t been achieved yet -- though considerable progress has been made since 1990.

We welcome the growing ties between the socialist countries of Asia and Cuba. We also welcome and support the initiatives taken by other parties to bring the movement together and focus it on the problems of the day.

Proletarian Internationalism

Over 240 parties and progressive movements have signed the 1992 Pyongyang Declaration including the New Communist Party.

Many communist parties have taken part in forums held in various parts of the world since 1990 including the 1993 Calcutta Conference in West Bengal hosted by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Damascus Conference organised by the Syrian Communist Party in 1994.

The Brussels May Day festival and seminar program organised by the Belgian Workers Party has become a regular focus for the exchange of views throughout the communist movement since they were launched on an annual basis in 1992.

We have supported many of these events. World-wide contacts between communist parties have grown and exchanges of views and experience can only strengthen the world movement.

But other moves, aimed at building a new communist international, have foundered because the move is premature.

A new international can only succeed, firstly if it includes and has the agreement of the ruling parties of People’s China, Cuba, Democratic Korea, Laos and Vietnam. It should be based on Marxism-Leninism and the principle of equality between big parties and small parties. It must recognise the principle of a collective secretariat, which reflects, the views of the co-operating parties and not that of one big party. And it must recognise that in countries where there is more than one communist party -- the case in most countries these days -- the differences between them is a matter for those parties alone to resolve.

Immediate Tasks

What we need to do can already be accomplished with the resources to hand if the political will to do it exist.

The communist movement must maintain and expand its international exchanges. The movement must build solidarity with Cuba and the socialist countries of Asia immediately focusing on:

The campaign to raise relief funds for the distressed areas in Democratic Korea

The demand to end the US imposed blockade of Cuba and the longer - term objectives for the peaceful re-unification of Korea on a confederate basis and the re-unification of China based in the “One country -- Two Systems” principle.

The international communist movement has already in the main rallied around the demand for an end to the brutal imperialist blockade of Iraq and for the restoration of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian Arabs including their right to statehood and their right to return. But more needs to be done to forge firm links with national liberation movements in the Middle East and wherever people are struggling against imperialism and oppression.

The world Crisis

As the century ends capitalism is in deep crisis. But it will not collapse of its own accord. It must be overthrown. The objective conditions for building socialism have existed in Britain, for example, for over a century. But the strength of the ruling class and its ability to split and divide the working class movement by buying off some sections in the past with the crumbs from imperialist plunder has thwarted all past moves for change.

The British ruling class has nurtured the class collaborationist theories of social democracy and revisionism, which still retain a strong grip on the labour movement. The European ruling class as a whole fosters the bogus theory of “globalisation” to encourage defeatism and fatalism within the working class movement.

But the way forward is clear. Working people need a strong communist movement based on Marxism-Leninism. And we must build the communist movement around the tried and tested principles of democratic centralism, iron discipline, regular self-sacrificing work in a Party organisation and an unyielding hatred of the capitalist system.

Every comrade must work to build the Party and take part in the day-to-day struggles in the trade union movement, the community and the struggle for peace. We want militant trade unionism with genuine militant working class leadership to take on the bosses and fight for the communist alternative.

We must continue to build solidarity with the struggling peoples of the world fighting against neo-colonialism and imperialist aggression. We must continue to forge strong links within the international communist movement.

Throughout the world the communist movement has been built on sacrifice and hardship. Our Party is no exception. We have survived for two decades thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of our members. Future generations will thank them for laying the foundations of the mighty movement, which will bring the whole rotten edifice of capitalism to an end in Britain once and for all.

A Better Tomorrow

Workers will not unite and fight for things they believe to be impossible. They will fight for what they consider just, fair and reasonable, and in doing so they win victories in their day-to-day struggles and paves the way for the socialist revolution.

What does socialism mean? Firstly, it means that the ownership of the means of production -- the factories, mines, transport, land and the machinery to till it -- is taken from the hands of the capitalists into state and collective ownership on behalf of the working class.

The people will own the banks; insurance companies and finances houses. They will be the masters of their own destiny and the age of classes and exploitation will be over. The greed, speculation and corruption of the bourgeoisie will end and a new era, a better tomorrow will dawn.

A news service for the Working Class!

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