From La Forge
Central Organ of the Communist Party of the Workers of France
December 15-31, 1989

The Upheavals in the East:

A Respite for Imperialism?

When in the 60s the USSR and along with it almost all of the countries of East Europe (with the exception of Albania) took the path of revisionism, these facts represented a real respite for the capitalist countries, with the U.S. at the head. Without doubt a new competitor, and not an unimportant one, came to rejoin the camp of imperialism and international reaction, but the proletariat and the peoples of the world came to suffer an immense loss. The revisionist treason, as is known, led to the degeneration of numerous communist parties, and this had a particularly negative effect on the advance of the world revolutionary process.

Can one compare what is happening now in the East with the situation of the 60s? In no way. It is not a matter of the passing of several countries from one camp, the socialist camp, to the other, the imperialist camp, but of bureaucratic state capitalist countries coming over to a "classic" liberal capitalist system. Today it is not a counter-revolution, that is the change of power from one class to another. Everything is occurring in the same camp, that of the bourgeoisie, of the exploiting classes. But there is an important element: that is that if at the start this occurred at the initiative of the Soviet bourgeoisie and its leader Gorbachev, it has unleashed rapidly a chain reaction of a movement of the masses which has been stifled under the revisionist and social-imperialist yoke for many years. They have rushed into the breach opened in the bureaucratic system and have made a wider and wider opening, they have pushed ever further their demands and have insisted that they be satisfied rapidly. That this has happened amidst the most extreme ideological confusion, that Western imperialism tries to utilize this movement for its own benefit, is obvious. But it can not be concealed that objectively the masses have taken on the bureaucratic capitalist system, that they have put a hurt on the domination of social-imperialism. Gorby has lost the initiative, he is now obliged to take account of the movement which he does not control, which moreover the Western imperialists do not control either. This is fine because, if the capitalists would like to rejoice and profit from the difficulties of a competitor such as the USSR, they are afraid even more of the uncontrolled mass movements, and Bush and Mitterand have appealed for support for Gorby, to respect the borders and alliances.

On the other hand, the markets which have been opened in the East stimulate the rivalry between the Western imperialists themselves, in particular between France and West Germany within Europe, but also between Europe and the USA, between the USA and West Germany, etc. Those markets which have enticed them are not without risks. The USSR, East Germany and Czechoslovakia can pay. But it is not the same for a country like Poland or Hungary; there have already been enormous difficulties for the IMF to make them respect their austerity plans. One cannot forget that the opening of these markets has taken place in the context of a crisis, that the economy of the countries of the East is in a catastrophic state. If it is certain that the capitalist countries are rejoicing from the changes in the East, if they have taken advantage of this to reaffirm that the capitalist system is the only viable one, the situation is not without risk for them, and their euphoria is largely tempered by the different problems created by the occasion of these upheavals. What is taking place in the East today does not weaken on any account the genuine communist forces, who have reorganized themselves since the 60s. Quite the contrary, for them the facts confirm their analysis and brighten their hope for the future.

The capitalist and revisionist world are in agony. The fact that the leaders of the USSR and of the countries of the East have thrown off their mask under the pressure of their economic difficulties and of the mass movement can not but help in the clarification. The working class of the Western countries is reflecting on what is taking place in the East, and without any doubt, it will integrate this experience in its struggles. Certainly the development of our Marxist-Leninist parties is behind compared to the objective evolution of the class contradictions. We know that this delay is a problem because the working class and the masses have need for a direction to their struggle for this to lead to solid and durable advances. But the masses are the makers of History, and the genuine communists are not afraid of these advances. They analyze with the tool of dialectical and historical materialism the changes which are taking place before their eyes, in order to understand in depth and to adapt. They want to be the conscious actors of this History, those who work with the masses to make advance in the sense of progress, and to contribute in this way to the coming of a world of justice and fraternity.

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