From Roter Morgen
Organ of the Communist Party of Germany
August 18, 1994
The conference and the subjects for discussion were thoroughly prepared in advance by the Parties. The agenda of the conference comprised four points:
1. The Current Crisis of Capitalism and the Situation of the Workers' Movement
2. Revisionism and Socialism
3. Rules and Norms in the Relations between the M-L Parties
4. Joint Action
Regarding point 1 "The Current Crisis of Capitalism and the Situation of the Workers' Movement" the Communist Party M-L of Ecuador (PCMLE) presented a detailed working paper with theses on the development of imperialism and the situation of the workers' movement.
In this they analyzed, among other things, the "increasing capitalist accumulation" and the "sharpened concentration of capital." It was established that the current international crisis "drives on capitalist competition and concentration."
In particular it was established that crises in the dependent countries are barely interrupted by periods of economic recovery, since they possess little economic potential of their own, that they take a very long time to overcome a crisis and by then already the next international crisis cycle begins. Thus, for example, in Ecuador 72% of the people are unemployed or underemployed.
The intensified competition between the individual imperialist powers and their uneven development creates the conditions for a ("peaceful" or violent) struggle for the redivision of the world. It was stresses that the "foreign debts... have been transformed into one of the principal means of capital transfer from the dependent countries to the coffers of the international monopolies."
Thus, for example, Latin America currently owes $490 billion dollars in foreign debts, but in the last 10 years it has transferred $500 billion dollars in payments on it to the industrialized countries, without the debts becoming any smaller. "The IMF, the World Bank, the UNO and other international organizations have enforced a thorough economic plan" on the highly indebted dependent countries, by which their economies are fully exposed to access by international capital.
The crisis also has political and moral effects. Instability, decreasing credibility of the bourgeois parties, openly dictatorial regimes, the rise of fascist bands, corruption, crime, etc. The capitalist crisis places the way out through the revolution and socialism on the order of the day.
But the influence of bourgeois, social-democratic ideas is great. Therefore there is likewise established a "weakness and poor work of the M-L parties." In the last months one can observe a new beginning in the struggle of the working class: strikes, spontaneous movements, tendencies towards votes for the left (even if often for social-democratic or revisionist parties). All this makes the strengthening and the concrete intervention of the M-L parties urgently necessary.
In the subsequent lively discussion on the subject at issue, the representative of the KPD stressed that the intensified competition between the monopolies in no way signifies a strengthening of "free competition." On the contrary, this increasing competition takes place on the basis of monopoly. Components of this competition are typical monopolist methods such as subsidies, struggles around orders from the state, tax relief, tariff limits, creating of free trade zones, etc. Also the privatization of state enterprises promoted by neo-liberalism leads as a rule not to more competition, but to the taking over of the most profitable sections of the state enterprises (such as Telecom) by the strongest monopolies.
Furthermore, the comrade of the KPD pointed out, a constantly increasing share is laid out for speculation. The capitalist economy is artificially inflated and there is a constant threat of a serious financial crisis (such as a stock-market crash, collapse of the banks). Furthermore there has developed by international investment a growing international labor market. Capital increasingly creates an international average labor power, it goes where labor power is the cheapest and so it is able to lower wages and working conditions. This situation demands therefore also the strengthening of international solidarity and cooperation of the working class.
In the same way, capital in the industrial centers, on the basis of the increasingly social character of production, seeks to involve the workers in the decision-making processes of production (for example group work, quality insurance groups). Actually, though these developments are limited by their goal of maximization of private profit, they clearly show, however, that capitalism is rotten and that a social management of production is urgently necessary.
In a summary of the discussion it was determined, among other things, that it is necessary to examine more precisely the following questions:
The different expressions of the crisis in the dependent and the developed countries; the effects of the technical scientific revolution; the accumulation of capital and the domination of the speculative sphere over production; the ever increasing socialization of production, the necessity of a social management of production and the incapacity of capitalism for this; the role of the UN and the struggle of the workers and the peoples; the stronger concentration of the monopolies and free competition.
Regarding point 2 of the agenda, "Revisionism and Socialism" a working paper of the KPD was already presented since the M-L conference of last year in Europe.
In it the KPD stressed that with the degeneration of Albania it has been shown that the roots of revisionist degeneration have not been adequately analyzed and that there are partly illusions about this. The KPD criticized the fact that some parties are satisfied with superficial objective and subjective explanations. Such are, for example, the small size of Albania or the strong pressure of imperialism. Or the degeneration as the work of individual people such as Ramiz Alia, for example. These are so much individual aspects, remarked the KPD, that the roots are to be found in the internal contradictions of socialism and its material relationships, in the transitional society from capitalism to communism.
The KPD warned against stamping Comrade Stalin as guilty of everything, which some parties are doing instead of carrying out a materialist investigation. Likewise the KPD warned against [verwischen] the boundaries with revisionism and seeking a united front with allegedly "socialist" countries such as Korea, China, Vietnam and Cuba and confusing this with the question of the necessary anti-imperialist solidarity. Decisive for the degeneration of socialism are "the remnants of bourgeois production and life relationships within the socialist order, which can only be completely eliminated under communism, while under socialism they will give rise to revisionist tendencies." It is an important question, whether and how these remnants are combated or whether they gain greater influence, and whether wider and wider sections of society are involved in or excluded from management. This is also noticeable in the treatment of the contradiction between mental and manual labor, between managing and carrying-out activities. These contradictions can also lead to degeneration in M-L parties that are not in power.
The KPD stressed that the foreign regulation over the masses is an essential characteristic of revisionism, while the M-Ls promote the activity and independence of the masses. In conclusion the KPD stressed that revisionism is by no means "dead," but that the struggle against it is necessary for the construction and strengthening of the M-L parties.
The comrades of the Communist Party of the Workers of France (PCOF) also presented a short-term paper, in which they investigate the economic relations under socialism and their contradictions. The paper based itself on the investigations of Comrade Stalin and fit well with the theses of the KPD.
The theses of the KPD were not undisputed. There were voices that said that a further materialist investigation of the degeneration of socialism is no longer necessary, that Comrade Stalin had already analyzed everything. Likewise there were voices that rejected a statement such as "Korea is not socialist."
Nevertheless the investigations of the KPD and the PCOF found interest and agreement from the overwhelming majority of parties. The Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP) supplemented these examinations with interesting remarks about the relationship of mental and manual labor and its influence on the process of degeneration.
In a further contribution to the discussion the KPD explained that Comrade Stalin partially underestimated the material contradictions under socialism. This, however, does not diminish either the role or the achievement of the comrade, since many phenomena and problems were left now -- in retrospect -- for more precise investigation. In the conclusions and summary of the discussion the necessity of further discussion and investigatory work were determined.
Regarding point 4 "Rules and Norms between M-L Parties" a short-term theses paper of the TDKP was presented. The discussion therefore will have to be continued. It was decided, however, to hold regular future conferences of M-L parties. All M-L were parties for it. For all points of the agenda working papers and proposals should be worked out on time. The list of parties to be invited will be determined at each preceding conference. The place and approximate date of the next conference will be agreed upon. A common theoretical newspaper of the M-L parties under the name of "Unity and Struggle" will be published in Spanish, French and English. The public ideological arguments will be carried out in it. Subscriptions can be gotten from all M-L parties. The KPD will take an active part in it.
A committee for technical coordination was selected from the majority of parties present. The KPD expressed its considerations that the time for this was premature and therefore took part neither in the committee of its selection. Nevertheless the KPD will support the committee in its work, since it is striving for a successful international effort.
Under point 4 several concrete points of cooperation were discussed. Joint solidarity campaigns for the arrested Comrade Francisco Caraballo, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Colombia (Marxist-Leninist), and likewise for arrested Comrade Hamma Hamani, spokesperson for the Communist Party of Labor of Tunisia, were agreed upon (see the call for Comrade Hamani on page 1).
It was decided in addition that an international anti-imperialist and anti-fascist youth camp would be held in Ecuador in 1995.
All in all the second conference of M-L parties had good results and brought about the prerequisites for a further strengthening of cooperation. It can be expected that still more parties will come to the third conference and that the cooperation will be deepened.
Hamma Hamani, spokesperson for the PCOT (Communist Party of Labor of Tunisia) has been arrested by the Tunisian police and thrown into prison. He is being tortured. The Tunisian prisons are known for their brutality and cruelty, for which they have always been accused by human rights organizations.
Hamma Hamani's "crime," in the eyes of the Tunisian officials, consists in being a member of a forbidden political organization. This violates the fundamental right of being and organizing against a regime that is an enemy of the people.
Many voices have been raised in Tunisia, throughout Africa and in France denouncing the conditions of his imprisonment as well as his imprisonment itself and demanding his immediate release. We make this demand our own and appeal to all democrats to take a stand to free Hamma from the clutches of the reactionary Tunisian regime.
This demand is put forth by the communist parties and organizations of the following countries:
Dominican Republic, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Upper Volta, France, Germany, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Ireland, England.
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