By Nina Andreyeva
October 1917, the star hour for the people of Russia ushered in the beginning of a new age in the history of humanity, the beginning of a new era which saw a radical solution to the worldwide antagonism between Labor and Capital, an era of the triumph of Reason over Strength. And it is not the fault of the Russian working class and their leader, Lenin, that the workers had to add strength to the Kingdom of Reason in order to destroy the resistance of the nobility, bankers, factory owners, members of the clergy, and merchants. The old world of oppression did not want to give up, did not want to compromise, and thus the proletarian revolution had no other choice but to fight and to destroy its class enemy which was fighting not for life but to the death.
The October Revolution, whose 74th anniversary we are celebrating today, not only saved the unity and sovereignty of Russia, in the first World War (a war which proved unfortunate for the Czar), but it also established the socio-political and later technological and economic foundations that saved humanity from the fascist genocide of the second world war.
Lately, opportunistic anti-communists, the heirs of the classes that were deposed by the revolution, the classes that had obtained their power illegally, are trying to settle accounts with our glorious historical revolutionary past, they are trying to carve out of the consciousness of the masses everything that is associated with October, Lenin, and Socialism, while at the same time they shudder internally at what they have done as they understand that history, which is unstoppable, will pay them back for their acts. Our patriotic and international debt is to raise the victorious banner of Lenin that was thrown out by the opportunists and traitors, to gather under this banner the Communists and workers, and to place the foundations for the rebirth of a renewed Socialist Homeland.
To prove that Gorbachev's perestroika has brought us to an absolute crisis is unnecessary for anybody. Everybody runs into this fact on a daily basis. The president has already officially conceded that there exists the problem of human survival. And he talks about this problem without blinking an eye, as if he is informing us about a routine conversation with Bush. Foreign analysts are already predicting that one and a half million of our citizens will die over the winter from cold, hunger, lack of medicine, inter-ethnic rivalry, and the increase in criminal activity. And not one of these "kind-hearted humanists" is upset about this fact the way they were when three muscovite "heroes of the Soviet Union" were killed during the August days.
Yeltsin and the "democrats" see the reason for the upcoming catastrophe in the slowness of the implementation of restorational reform. Gorbachev and Yakovlev talk about some mistakes of certain anonymous planners of Perestroika. But the real reason for this [catastrophe], on the one hand is the destruction of the economic, political, and ideological foundations of Socialism, and the other hand, the natural struggle of the workers against the forceful attempts to move them into the capitalist "heaven". And this destruction is being carried out under the supposed slogan of rights and personal freedom. But in reality these freedoms are only granted to the counter-revolutionaries who have the opportunity to exploit and oppress their fellow citizens.
As we know, it all began with the "anti-alcohol campaign" which quickly gave criminal structures a big boost in their accumulation of primary capital, which led to their financial-economic "coming of age". "The Law on Socialist Enterprises" which created a situation "without a plan and without a market", gave rise to the uncontrollable growth of profits, taking out of production the inexpensive goods that were necessary for the people, and undermined the useful market of Socialism. "The Law on Cooperatives" legalized the change of so-called fictional money into actual cash which disrupted the financial system, gave the green light for the abduction of natural resources out of the country, and accelerated the rise of the criminal element of businessmen, dealers and speculators. "The Law on Leasing" allowed for the exhaustion of the mineral resources and the manufacturing base, gave a rise to corruption and often bankrupted many enterprises, a fact that the sources of mass information prefer to keep quiet about.
"The Declaration of Sovereignty of The Republics" set for the destruction of the foundations of the U.S.S.R., the destruction of the single economic complex; it re-directed the main sources of natural resources and raw materials to foreign markets, it opened the gates for the plunder of property that belonged to all the people, it destroyed the understanding of a common fate for all the people that inhabit our land an understanding that existed in the mass consciousness, it created hundreds of thousands of refugees who were forced to flee their native homes from the troubles caused by perestroika, it led to a "war of laws" and allowed for the fighting between separatist, Bourgeois Nationalist powers.
The passage, without an all-union referendum, of the changes of the fundamental regulations of the Constitution of the U.S.S.R. were meant to separate the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from its administrative and integrational functions and to exclude from the basis of the law of the Soviet government the regulations on the public character of all government property, and to create an un-Socialist multi-party system which will turn power over to the anti-socialist and anti-communist forces.
"The Laws on Privatization" have created a lawful basis for the selling off of public property which was created through the labor of many generations, and through the liquidation of the main social rights of the workers, and the thief-like exploitation of the Soviet people by a criminal minority. In other words, there was a basic change in the socio-economic order established by the constitution.
"The Law on Foreign Investments" created a legal foundation for the intensive exploitation by foreign capital of the raw materials and energy resources of the Motherland and the theft of the cheap labor of the Soviet people, giving the West control over the economy, culture, and afterwards the politics of our homeland. "The Law on Concessions" widened these possibilities. The sponsors of the restoration of capitalism are dictating the socio-political terms for our country, they are forcing a change to the market, privatization, the "liberalization" of prices, a curb on pay raises, etc. The noose of foreign debt chokes our country, turning into debtors not only our generation but future generations as well. The independence and sovereignty of this former superpower is being taken over as is its ability to defend itself. The fate of a "banana republic" -- that is what the international monopolies in cooperation with the homemade capitalists have in store for us.
"The Law on the Presidency" has opened the way for curbing the power of the Soviets, for the transfer of the legislative functions to the executive branch as personified by presidents, governors, prefects and mayors. The growing hypertrophy of so-called "democratic" administrative power, strengthened by bourgeois nationalism, signifies the real possibility of a turn to authoritarianism, reaction and pro-fascist regimes. This is already visible in the Baltics, Georgia and other republics. The Emergency Meeting of the People's Deputies of the USSR continued the de-Sovietization of the political system by creating "Gossovet" (Government Advising) and many other authoritarian structures. At the same time, the meeting castrated both itself and the Supreme Soviet by making worthless its law-making role and its control of Parliament. In return, these "popularly elected officials" were mercifully allowed to maintain their solid salaries as compensation for their political impotence. Thus, the process of de-Sovietization became wider and deeper.
The destruction of the protective government structures under the guise of so-called "war reforms" and "reorganization" began with the separation of party, politics and ideology from these most important institutions, which by their very nature cannot be outside ideology and politics.
The main goal of these reforms -- to separate the military and security establishment from the workers, to destroy their class-based worker-peasant foundation, to force them to play by the dirty rules of the anti-people political powers, to destroy their role as the main source of defense of the constitutional public-political structure.
"The army cannot become the guard of the new, not yet created, order. It must become a victim of reforms" -- so gushes the "yellow" press. In the armed forces and other institutions that protect our rights, those professional cadres who are most loyal to the constitutional order are being chased out and replaced by hired soldiers and adventurers. The key positions are being filled, not by those who want to defend, but by those who want to destroy the defensive shield of our homeland. The first steps are being taken by the Gorbachev-Bakatin system of "government security" into something that is socially similar in function to the Czar's guard or Hitler's Gestapo.
In this way, the main steps for the destruction and liquidation of the economic and moral-political potential of socialism were coordinated. Here the plans of the internal counter-revolution are tied to the death with the geo-political interests of the enemies of our homeland, or to put it more accurately -- world imperialism. The same imperialism which, despite the babbling of our "democratic" fools, is not about to disappear from the international political arena, but prolongs its life through the destruction of socialism. Of course, the plans for the liquidation of the first-ever government of workers and peasants has not been set aside for one day from the desks of the government, military and intelligence offices of the "civilized countries." Today, right under our eyes, these plans are quickly turning into reality.
At the end of the "transitional period" the restorationists promise the Soviet people to switch so-called "barrack-style socialism" for the "consumer society" of the Western European type. The price of this "switch," as we have already said, -- millions of people are ruined and hundreds of millions are deprived. And how long before we get to this "heaven"? American experts have estimated that if we maintain the annual growth of per-capita income at 5%, our standard of living will reach half (?!?) the standard of living of Western Europe in 20 years... Of course, this is under the condition that we join the colonial exploitation of the "third World" and at the same time force the plunder of future generations through the complete selling-off of nonrenewable natural resources, land and territories.
Of course, if we do not follow this course, then after the recent destruction of the economic complex, we can not expect such a pattern of growth. So we are really talking about 50-60 "transitional" years. We must reason that most of us will not live to see such "happiness." That is why the number of people wishing to emigrate from the USSR, among them Germans, Jews and other so-called "marginalized" and "oppressed" people, is growing.
What does this "new social force" which has broken through to capture political power, and recently forced the capture of economic rule, look like? Today in the country there rules the rebirth of the Gorbastroika-inspired social class of new "soviet" bourgeoisie. Having within itself many nationalities and interests, this class includes big business, medium and small enterprises, middle-management and the national bourgeoisie of bankers, stockbrokers and other factions.
Under the false flag of a "pure democracy," this new ruling class has given birth to a multitude of political parties and movements, which quickly started fighting with one another over the division of the Soviet "pie." As recent events have shown, this class will only show its unity when it feels threatened by the forces of socialism. Not fully trusting in the "representative democracy" in the branches of government, these Soviet bourgeoisie are pushing to direct power, wishing to become political leaders, to obtain high government posts. In order to protect their egotistical interests, they are creating the "national guard" and other armed forces.
The recent generation of domestic entrepreneurs and businessmen, of course, has not matured economically, and it still lacks the ability to conduct political matters or even to extinguish the fighting among its factions. This recent generation does not seem to have the same experience in political combinations and trickery as does the French bourgeoisie, or the experience of the school of cheating compromises of the English fat-cats, or the calculating, high-handed, unceremonial "money-making" of American capital, and that is why these people give the appearance of temporary favorites, who have been historically wounded by their defeats in the battle against the government of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This new elite is realizing a cosmic increase in their own so-called standard of living through the sharp impoverishment of the working masses. And even while doing this, they are not investing capital in manufacturing or new technologies in the hope of future profits, but instead they are only obsessed with increasing their own consumption, with the purchase of villas on the French Riviera, the latest foreign cars, jewelry, and the deposit of money into Swiss bank accounts for a "rainy day."
Today, the Soviet bourgeoisie are "directing the ball," they are ready to use any criminal methods to keep their power. The further development of events in this country is heavily dependent on the recent regrouping of the new bourgeois forces, as was completely confirmed by the events of August not long ago.
A few thoughts aloud about this matter. By the summer of 1991, the politics of perestroika had caused not only the growing resistance of the communists and workers, but it had stopped satisfying the entrepreneurs, who regrouped their forces. Their social-democratic, chameleon-like path toward the restoration of capitalism had exhausted its possibilities. Under the leadership of Gorbachev and Co., there emerged the question of how to replace that path, colored with a few socialist phrases, with a radically authoritative path that could give a second life to the stalled restoration.
But how could this be done? How could the President and General Secretary shake from his feet the ashes of socialism and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, in such a way that he could modernize the restorational process without any problems? How do you take [the people] from a path that is camouflaged as being social-democratic onto an openly anti-communist, radically authoritative path? That the 29th congress [of the Communist Party] was scheduled for November under the pressure of the party masses -- did not help the General Secretary. More than that, it was entirely possible that the General Secretary could have lost the leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. To his aid came the agents of the Soviet bourgeoisie, who provoked the necessity of carrying out emergency measures because the need for order was necessary for the well-being of the people. And when the emergency measures were carried out, supposedly without the knowledge of the President, his loyal colleagues were accused of illegally assuming power, of overthrowing the government and even of staging a military coup. But even if we take into account the specially organized "ritual sacrifice" in front of the "White House," we can see that in reality a coup did not take place during the August events.
Quite simply, the counter-revolution changed all the first leaders of the government of the Union, those next-in-line to Gorbachev were given up as a sacrifice to the "victors of the coup." It is hard to think of anything more vile than this treachery and betrayal. The scenario of this provocation, I would assume, was prepared in foreign countries, produced by Gorbachev, possibly with Yeltsin, and the actors and performers were the "democrats"; the result -- a tragedy for hundreds of millions of workers out of whose hands was torn their political power. The Constitution was trampled on, and the authority of the armed forces was undermined, as well as the agencies for governmental security. After the betrayal by the General Secretary, the activities of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union were halted and in some places banned, the property of the party was plundered and its financial resources were nationalized.
Just like last summer, the same fortune-tellers of the counter-revolution: Shevernadze, Yakovlev and their subordinate press, again started talking, this time about "upheavals" which supposedly once again threatened the "democracy." There began strange "leaks" of information, the unmasking criticism of Gorbachev was increased, as were the "democratic" accusations of Yeltsin. What could all this mean? An indirect confession of the unworkability of bourgeois democracy? An ideological preparation for a new provocation designed to completely push the country into the pool of reaction and fascism? Or is this the next turn of the sharpening of conflict between the warring factions of the "new masters" of our lives?
Probably, everything points to the last political scenario. We cannot exclude the possibility that there is gathering a new regrouping of the Soviet bourgeoisie who are gaining power. It seems that they are no longer satisfied with the constantly lying, prestige-losing President of the USSR, who along with Raisa Maximova is busy writing his "latest memoirs" so as to receive accounts in foreign banks. Also losing "points" is his partner in the collapse and selling-off of the Union, the Russian President Yeltsin, as his low standard and primitive politics have become visible to his sponsors and former fans. Probably the foreign investors who are constantly visiting us have realized that the "architects" of the quietly ending perestroika can not be worked with on a new level, and that they have to "switch horses in mid-stream."
Who will replace these luckless presidents? Maybe Sobchak -- the garrulous pragmatist-sophist with the angry, hateful eyes and thee manners of an outstanding provincial lawyer. In that case we can consider successful the presentation of his lady Thatcher whom the brown-nosing mayor flatteringly took care of during her visit to "st. Petersburg" on the occasion of a meeting of businessmen from the "East European Express." It was this "Maggie" who in 1984 blessed Mikhail Gorbachev for the leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. And she was not wrong in her choice.
It is also possible that along with the Petersburg mayor, the former instructor of Marxism, Hasbulatov, is also being prepared for his ascent to Olympus, while on the sly he is biting his President and right after Gorbachev and Sobchak he is publishing his "memoirs of attaining power." The only question remaining is: Who next of the "guiltless" will follow, filling up the "Sailor's Calm" and other similar institutions that Russia has never had a lack of. [Translator's Note: I believe the "Sailor's Calm" could be a prison, although it could very well be something entirely different.] Beneath all of us today boils the volcano of restless social antagonism, ready to spew ashes on the much-suffering fatherland.
The degradation of the self, the lack of conciliation, the lack of trust, the fear, the drop in morale among wide spheres of our population, have become an evil reality of our times. As a result of the wild anti-communist and anti-Soviet propaganda, many people have lost the ideological and political orientation of their socially valuable activities, and have become easy prey for the restorationists and capitulators. Only a few are now beginning to realize what they have lost in terms of their recent well-being, stability and personal safety.
Softly playing up to the primitive moods of the deceived, the new bourgeoisie who have broken through to ideological and political power perceive the inertia and seemingly simple-minded nature of the workers as their inability to realize their interests and a lack of will to carry out concrete actions pertaining to their self-defense. This "social prostration" is being skillfully fed by the sources of mass information. Having turned the Soviet Union into an arena for the political dealings of the bourgeois-national and mafia clans, the main conductors of the counter-revolution fear above all a "forceful confrontation" with the workers, who in their own words present a "deadly danger to the inexperienced class" of the Soviet nouveau riche.
With this in mind, the scared pro-Gorbachev party apparatchiks are warning that "sobriety will come only after a major part of the country's population has experienced suffering which has been brought about by the destruction of social, manufacturing, government and cultural structures." In order to save the Soviet bourgeoisie, the authors of one of the projects of the program of the Communist Party suggested "the gathering, saving and use of the experience of crisis in the Communist Party" and also the party "infrastructure," in other words the agencies of party administration. However, Yeltsin and Gorbachev refused such an enticing offer by stopping and later banning the activities of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
The restorationists see their main social danger in the form of the working class, who constitute 62% of the population of the country. Last year, the demonstration of the working class in the mining regions almost destroyed Gorbachev's perestroika. Today all powers are being used to smash the workers, to turn them against each other, to blame them for the difficulties of the crisis, to bring into their midst the virus of nationalism. And if it becomes possible, to bribe its leaders such as the former chairman of the O.F.T., Yarin, who was included in the Presidential Council, given a beautiful apartment in the capital, and made an active leader in restorational politics. A split in the union movement is being encouraged, while at the same time the collectives in big establishments and the defense industry are falling apart, and the transfer of highly skilled workers to cooperatives is being stimulated.
The ideologists of the restoration keep stressing that the contemporary working class has lost its progressive role and no longer has a historical perspective. To relieve it, supposedly, are arriving the "geniuses" and "white-collars" who are becoming the pillars of their community in the post-industrial icon. The motive behind such statements is to politically disarm the workers, to divide them into separate detachments, and not to allow them to create a single anti-imperialist front on an international scale and to overthrow the powers of the nationalist bourgeoisie in other countries. In the country of socialism -- to push through the restorational breach and "softly" switch to the rails of the capitalist market economy and private ownership.
Actually, the importance of the working class is not only not decreasing in the contemporary world, but quite the contrary, it is increasing. With all the structural changes brought about by the scientific-technological revolution, the working class is growing in quality and quantity. And in the West the working class does not "wash out" into the so-called "middle class" as much as it changes into the service sector. Today, based on its relationship to ownership and other class-forming effects, the working class is being joined by rural workers, the working intelligentsia and other layers of the population who are working for public production, and who exist because of their productive labor. This strengthens the base of the working class through its opportunities to unite even the most diverse layers of the population, and to make them their allies.
It is that, namely, that is getting the attention of our class opponents who in perspective cannot count on the support of the cheated masses, but are forced to pay a salary to their hired guard dogs, and most importantly to their sell-out writers and diviners, who not only confuse the people, but can also for some time trap entire layers of the working class in the social dead-ends of restoration. From here comes the false myth about "all-human values" which are supposedly wider and more humane than all-proletarian values. However, it is clearly obvious that the all-human values today are being used solely in the interests of the exploiters and the elite layers that serve them.
The main tragedy of the workers in the USSR recently consists in the fact that the working class has lost its major role in society, has lost its political organization. For the past three or four decades the Communist Party of the Soviet Union has been sliding toward right opportunism, taking with it columns of fraternal Communist Parties. In the years of perestroika the positions of opportunists are being transformed into social-democracy, Menshevism and bourgeois restorationism. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union is being liquidated as the party of the working class, and after that it will be completely removed from the political arena. However, the blame for this lies with the opportunistic administration of the Central Committee of the Communist Party from the '60s through the '90s, and not with the millions of communists who became the first victims of the unseen betrayal. Most of them toiled honestly and selflessly, strengthened and defended socialism, and nobody can cast a shadow on them as opportunists or capitulators. Even today Communist-Leninists are leading the anti-restoration front of the workers, inviting into their ranks the most loyal defenders of the Socialist path.
During our days of difficult experimentation on the basis of the destroyed Communist Party of the Soviet Union, there have formed and emerged three new socio-political directions. One of them -- the anti-communists (formerly belonging to the "Democratic Platform"), another the social-democrats (formerly the "Centrists"), and the third -- the Communists-Leninists. The war between these groups, as I understand, will in the final summary determine the fate of the nation.
Those belonging to the "Democratic Platform," since the August events, have reorganized into the People's Democratic Party of Russia. We can suppose that following the path of Russia's Vice-President Rutskoi will be Yakovlev, Shevernadze, and other "democratic" restorationists, who will attempt to realize their possibilities. These parties of the "middle-class businessmen" are called upon to push through the "unpopular reforms" of Yeltsin and the recent restorational adventurism. Decisively separated from the politics and ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, they are at the same time declaring in a Pharisee-like manner that they "are the sole lawful heirs of the property of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union." And apparently they will get this from the grateful presidents.
"The Anti-communists from the Communist Party" have today filled the ranks of a multitude of parties and movements of an openly bourgeois character. Some of these "Russian Democrats" and "pure Democrats" have an untrusting attitude towards the former party members. They are already sick of their impudence. Those who are jealous of the purity of their "democratic" ranks are rightly concluding that those who have betrayed them once are capable of following "pluralism" to betray them many times.
Several years ago a veteran of the war wrote to me about an incident that always comes to mind when I am thinking of the meaning of the current activities of Yakovlev, Shevernadze, Yeltsin, Rutskoi and other former party members. During the victorious year of 1944, at a time of calm in the battle, a soldier from one of the Central Asian nationalities fled from his nightly guard duty to the German side. The reason for this was That the uneducated soldier, who could hardly speak Russian, had a conflict with his sergeant. The next morning, on the battlefront there began shooting and confusion. From the German trenches, fleeing from the automatic rounds of a machine gun, ran a man with a cardboard sign on his chest. On the cardboard the Germans had written: "To us, he's not a prisoner. To you, he's not a warrior." With that sign he fell down into our trench. The war tribunal, without bureaucracy, resolved his fate within hours. The deserter was added to the numbers of "victims of Stalinist repressions." If that unfortunate soldier can today elicit some sympathy, then the recent deserters from the Communist Party deserve only our contempt.
The party apparatchiks faithful to Gorbachev, who had without a sound given up all the possessions and finances of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, have recently not only started blaming the General Secretary, expecting for themselves new presidential appointments, but they have begun to assemble parties to help them, attracting leaders to their organizations that are popular with the average man. Thus recently, under the unofficial patronage of his colleagues, Kuptzov became a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The Socialist Workers Party was created which was headed by deputies, astronauts, former party workers and "dissenting Marxists." The speaker, a professor of sociology and former communist, A.A. Denisov, called upon the newcomer socialists to move away from the "drowning Marxist and Bolshevik doctrines and to become the party of common sense." Packaging his thorough opportunism into his professorial cunning, this People's deputy has called for "the peaceful growth of socialism into capitalism." He argued for "the dominance of private enterprise in the service sector" and he called for the cooperation of everyone, except the Bolsheviks of "Yedinstvo" [Unity]!!
Similar parties of "small entrepreneurs" are being organized in the republics where they take on their national color. Their ideo-political base consists of the leftovers of a multitude of variations of projects from the program of the Party, created before by the pro-Gorbachev Central Committee of the Communist Party. The purpose of the creation of these social-democratic bourgeois organizations is to neutralize the party masses, to interfere in their consolidation on the basis of the working class. If the "Party of Rutskoi" was founded "under Yeltsin" then the "Party of Roy Medvedev-Denisov" was created under Gorbachev himself who, after betraying and abandoning the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was lacking the direct support of the party. The party apparatchiks, who had broadened their activities by enticing Communists into this party, are probably hoping to recover some of their lost influence with this party's help. However, I think that the social-democratic party, whether they have a right or a left center, will by and large not have any future. They are inheriting from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, a party that was infected by opportunism, all her sickness and weakness, which will someday destroy them.
After the Marxist platform entered the Socialist platform through the rights of faction, and Communists in the recent political spectrum were presented with the Communist Initiative and the Bolshevist Platform. Here lies the real question: Why is the position of the Communists flowing into two streams, forming separate parties? Why can they not agree about joining forces? Hundreds of comrades are rightfully asking this question, and it deserves a concrete answer.
First of all, from the very beginning we have supported and are supporting such a union and are practically carrying out a unity of action. Moreover, such socio-political movements as O.F.T. and Yedinstvo (Unity), who then became the base of the Communist Initiative and the Bolshevist Platform of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, started out in early 1989 as one organization. But at the very last moment the future coordinators of the O.F.T. under the influence of Smolny separated and declared that they will be acting apart from us. And up to this point they refuse to attend our conferences to which they are personally invited. But at the same time, they are constantly making difficult the participation of the most active members of Unity in their activities, which provides rich food for the "yellow" press.
Of course, there exist certain differences between us in political status and in our approaches to the program. While, for example, we were not given access to the party press by official decree of the "leaders" of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the "Initiative" was allowed onto the pages of the press, although not often. More than that, they received money from their newspapers from the budget of the Communist Party and anything else that was necessary to them was provided with amazing speed. Our newspapers are published through membership fees and through the means of our supporters, frequently experiencing unbelievable difficulties with paper, typography, etc. The conferences and meeting of the O.F.T. and the "Initiative" take place in respectable halls belonging to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, but Unity has to rent out vastly inferior spaces at commercial rates.
Important party apparatchiks participated in the forums of the "initiative." However, our meetings were attended only by a few party apparatchiks who attended in the role of "observers" and "controllers." The leaders and propaganda officials of the Communist Initiative attended business trips of party agencies throughout the whole country, something we could not even dream of. And finally, in their official speeches Gorbachev and Co. have named Unity and the Bolshevist Platform as their first and main opponents which, given the system that has been created, brought out a completely predictable reaction.
We are not trying to determine who is, so to speak, more ideologically "Marxist." Marxism-Leninism, as is known, is not a collection of ready-made decisions hammered into quotations, but a method and a plan of action. Furthermore, many admit that the idealistic positions of the Bolshevist Platform are more consistent, certain and radical. The people of the "Initiative" as a rule, arrive at the same views and conclusions that we do, but only after some time has passed, for the situation in the country is "working" to bring our positions closer.
Our main theoretical differences are our views on the socialist past of our country. We, for example, cannot agree that the 1936 Constitution of the USSR "legally abolished Soviet power" and laid the foundations for the "forcing through of the parliamentary system," as the theoreticians of the "Initiative" are claiming. Arguing against such a view in our Orel newspaper called "Yedinstvo" [Unity], V. Kovel rightly called such a view not only wrong in its basis, but dangerous in practice because it masks the true reasons for the crisis of the political system to the delight of party bureaucrats and the destroyers of socialism. It is characteristic that V. Kovel came to the Bolshevist platform from the "Initiative" and remains a warm supporter of cooperation with it.
As we have already remarked, perestroika legalized the right opportunism in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; it objectively placed party politics under the secret control of entrepreneurs and businessmen. Of course, the leadership of the Party then included "true Leninists" and "orthodox" people such as Ligachev, Polozkov, Euganov, Shenin, Belov and other party members. The opportunistic top leadership of Gorbachev-Yakovlev-Shevernadze adapted to the interests of domestic and foreign capital, and the "true Leninists" adapted to the opportunists in the interest of the preservation of "peace and unity in the party."
As a result, opportunism prevailed in the leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the chain between the politics of world capital and the politics of the "Leninists" was forged, millions of Soviet communists were betrayed and sold-out, and the country ended up on the threshold of reaction and fascism.
It appears that the current situation is in some ways identical to that of Germany in the early '30s. In the dramatic battle of the Communist followers of Thaelmann with Hitler's national-socialism, German social-democrats boasted of their "centrist" position, however, as Kautsky declared, communism was worse than fascism. With that talk they confused, smashed and destroyed the working class. It was right after Hitler came to power, the Social-Democrats as well as the Communists went to prisons and concentration camps. We do not want our "democratic" intellectuals, who are ready to blame the communists for everything, to forget this tragic history lesson.
In connection with this, I was recently perplexed by the statement of V. Tyulkin, one of the leaders of the Communist Initiative, who welcomed the creation of the Socialist Party of Roy Medvedev-Denisov and expressed his hope that "in the future they will be good allies of the communists." Probably the current influence of the pro-Gorbachev party of apparatchiks was reflected in that statement. However, conciliation with opportunism has never brought any benefits to anybody, no matter what tactical thinking was used to justify the departure from the strategic line of Leninism. We do not want conciliation to forge a link between opportunism, the bourgeoisie and Soviet communists. I think the leaders of the "Initiative" have obviously exaggerated their polemical opportunities, hoping to convince some of the socialists at their meeting. After all, the discussion today is not about the different views and formulations, but about the core difference between the proletarian and bourgeois positions.
Some comrades put the question as follows: Why didn't we go to the meeting with the "Initiative" in Sverdlovsk? It is because nobody invited us there and we only learned about it from the newspapers. After that we determined the time and place of our own meeting. A group of comrades was chosen to attend the meeting of the "Initiative" in Sverdlovsk. I think it will be helpful if from that group we will form a delegation that will represent us and express to the Communist Initiative our fraternal solidarity and readiness for united actions.
And finally, when the question of the unity between the Bolshevist Platform and the Communist Initiative is presented, as a rule, people do not specify with whom we will unite. It is known that the "Initiative" is divided into two or three directions, has programs written by three authors, and right now is not able to settle its own affairs. Our union can only increase their confusion and give birth to new difficulties. Today more than ever, Lenin's legacy holds true: before we can unite we have to divide, to finally sort out who is who. I believe that just the fact of the presence in this country of a responsible party of a Bolshevik-Leninist type can have a positive effect on the wavering and unstable communists, and can radicalize other parties that have appeared in place of the collapsed Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The problem of political correctness can only be solved by historical practice.
Let us stop to discuss the name of the party that has been created. We have received hundreds of letters on this question which suggest names and provide many reasons for such names. It seems that to solve the problem of naming the party, we have to begin from two considerations. First of all, we cannot dash aside because of the mood of the average man, and create a name to please him. If we follow that path we will be forced to name ourselves something like the Party for the Defense of Animals. On the other hand, drawing the principle strategic line of Bolshevism, we have to tactically take into account the current level of consciousness, the myths imposed on the workers, the necessity of the legal functioning of the party within the framework of the Constitution, and so on.
We cannot accept the lightweight reasoning of the type that "Lenin created the Bolshevik party not for the purpose of registration, but for the overthrow of czarism." The reborn party has to use all the legal opportunities it currently has for its normal functioning. And if these opportunities disappear, then we will start talking about other means. But currently, registration will give us the opportunity to have our own party newspaper, a bank account, the ability to demand our rights to the possessions of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and so forth.
I will now try to group together the suggestions we have received from our comrades. The first question, are we creating a party or a union? As is known, "party" means part. A part of a class or a social group can more or less consistently express its interests. The word "union" presupposes the existence of responsible political subjects who can create or disband the union. I will state that historically Bolshevism complies with the bringing together of people who think alike and not with "allies," in other words, we need a party and not a union.
In the rough draft of the documents that were prepared for this meeting, we conditionally called the party the All-Union Communist Party (Bolshevik-Leninists), or in short the VKP(B-L). Some comrades suggest calling the party the VKP(B), because this is what it was called before the XIX Party Congress. Others think that in the choice of the party's name we have to go forward and not return to old so-called "grandmother's" names. Our Ukrainian comrades object to the term "all-union," noting the recent mood in their republic. There are objections to the inclusion of Bolshevism in the party's name, because the meaning of Bolshevism is hard to explain to people today, for it is already history. Possibly the only thing that doesn't raise anyone's objections is the reference to the communist character of the party.
There is a growing number of comrades who think that the name of the party should reflect its proletarian, workers character. In this case, the party may be called the Leninist Communist Labor Party (LKRP) or the Communist Labor Party of the Bolsheviks (KRPB). I will note immediately that the labor party is a party based on the ideological-political positions of the working class -- the most progressive class which historically accumulates the core interests of all layers of laborers. By no means is it a party that consists exclusively of workers or is only for workers. These are the elements of Leninism.
Recently there has been spread an illusion, created in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and bourgeois parties, that the most important thing is to create names, slogans, terms, to endlessly create sharpened formulations, platforms, programs. However, this is far from the truth. The problem consists in how to integrate into life everything that is worked out at meetings and conferences, how to bring the decisions we have made to the wide layers of laborers, and convince them of their correctness. That is why today, accepting the main documents and decisions, we should not get stuck on particulars, no matter how important they may seem to any of us. Included in this, we should not get stuck in the process of naming the party. If we do so, we risk turning, figuratively speaking, into an unmovable tugboat which has lost all its steam by blowing its whistle. In the practice of concrete work we will have to discuss the questions we have raised today, and maybe we will have to change our minds about something. Life is such that it does not stand still.
The collapse of the Union has demanded that we approach the structure of the party that is being created in a different way. The structure of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was created in accordance with the national-territorial arrangement and was the support of the political system of the whole country. Today such a system does not exist. That is why we must act on the entire "social space" of the country as a party that has a strong class-based character. In other words, in all the "sovereign countries" the party we have created must present itself as the single multinational international political power, which does not have intermediate structures in the form of organizations and parties on the level of the individual republics.
The rejection of a federal structure will help us avoid the nationalist influences which have destroyed the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Only in this case will the Communists-Leninists feel themselves being supported by a unified international force. We have to establish cooperation and mutual aid with organizations and parties of a socialist orientation in the "sovereign countries."
One of the most important objectives of the party we are creating is the participation in the formation of a united patriotic front which will serve to rally the people who are concerned with the fate of the fatherland. Among those people can be not only the workers, but also the more reasonable cooperators, entrepreneurs, businessmen who are capable of understanding the abyss into which Gorbachev, Yeltsin and Co. are pushing the country, which includes them, as they are also citizens.
Does this creation of a party on the Bolshevist platform mean that the Party is becoming "Unity"? No, it does not mean that. The all-Union society "Unity -- for Leninism and Communist Ideals" is a mass social-political movement, which brings together a wide circle of people with differing viewpoints, who are inspired by the single goal of the defense of socialism and Leninism. The society created a charter, but softly speaking, very few organizations stuck to its laws. For example, the Moscow organization "Unity" throughout the period of its entire existence has not given one ruble to the Society's treasury, although the Society has established higher membership fees for Moscow than for the rest of the nation.
Furthermore: the charter of "Unity" foresaw only individual participation of the members of the Society in the work of related organizations. However, there were cases where their entire organizations joined the O.F.T., which was happily advertised by the "democrats" and resulted in break-ups and internal friction. Their Political Executive Committee did not spend any time on this problem, knowing that sooner or later the comrades will realize the discomfort of sitting "on two chairs." Essentially, a party of like-minded people cannot accept such behavior, and will impose stronger demands on its members. This especially pertains to members of the ruling bodies.
The draft of the Party's Charter suggested that the Party should not have representatives based on nationality, age, or other classifications, to sharply curb the number of members and candidates of the Central Committee, and to carefully choose its members, which was not always possible with "Unity," where one quarter of the members of the Political Executive Committee did not actively participate in the work of the organization.
It is obvious that we are interested that the leadership of the new party be filled with young people and workers. But in the current phase, when the party is being formed and may lack legality, the most important thing is that we gather people who are mature politically, selfless, full of initiative, comrades whose conditions of life and work allow them to be in different regions of the country, to carry out the propaganda and organizational work. The same applies to the party organizers of the Central Committee.
"Unity" became the original cradle of the newborn party of the Bolsheviks-Leninists. There the political experience was nurtured, the opportunities of hundreds and thousands of comrades were tested. There was an essential selection of those who were capable of working on the communist principles, who could personally carry the heavy burden of responsibility. Today, of course, far from everybody in "Unity" is ready to obey strict party discipline. Especially under the present circumstances, when belonging to the new party can be the reason for work-related and family problems, and can involve the known share of risks and ordeals. "those who are not ready can continue working in "Unity," just as those who do not know which party they want to join, or are drawn to two parties. Such activity is not concurrent with Bolshevism. I do not think that we should accept into the party those who are involved in dissension, hiding under the authority of "Unity" and who begin to create their own "parties' and "unions." We, of course, cannot limit the initiative of our comrades, but let them practice their creativity outside of our party ranks and the ranks of "Unity" also, which principally cannot become a basis for a bourgeois multi-party system.
In this way it is necessary not to curtail, but just the opposite, to widen and improve the activities of "Unity," "Toh," and other social-political movements, to do everything to register them on an all-Union level. It is important to consider the work of our comrades in these organizations as a most important party responsibility. Just as the work of the unions, strikers, youth and other social organizations.
The theoretical basis for the party should become fundamental Marxism-Leninism, but it should be based not on words but on actions, and we should examine this Marxism-Leninism as a philosophical-sociological, economic, socio-political foundation of the historic mission of the working class -- to create a classless society, which does not know exploitation, oppression, war or social injustice. Marxism-Leninism cleansed of the opportunist vulgarism and creatively developed in contemporary circumstances. And not developed in the ways of Gorbachev, meaning the ways of inclusion of so-called "global humanitarian thought." The enrichment of the scientific proletarian theory by the ideas of Bernstein, Kautsky, Berdyaev, Trotsky, Bukharin, Djilas, Lefevre, Willy Brandt and the fathers of the Socialist International, as suggested by the traitors -- can only turn Marxism into a bourgeois. anti-communist world outlook.
During the period of the restoration of capitalism in our country, a special importance is being given to the communist branches of political thought and experience which has been realized through the works and speeches of J. Stalin, Mao-Tsetung, G. Dimitrov, E. Thaelmann, M. Thorez, P. Togliatti, Ho Chi Minh, D. Ibarurri, Kim Il Sung, F. Castro and other famous leaders of the international communist movements at the sources of which stands V.I. Lenin.
It is known that opportunists starting with Khrushchev removed from the libraries and liquidated anything that could expose their betrayal. For decades, young generations of party members were separated from the fundamental works of revolutionary Marxism. Most Soviet people who are 50 years old are not familiar with the works and positions of the famous fighters for socialism in the mid-20th century. Even specialists are not aware of the real criticism of the Khrushchev-Brezhnev opportunism by Chinese and other foreign communists.
This criticism today takes on a special meaning, and an examination of this betrayal should be reviewed in the light of current events.
In our days, even the works of Lenin are being thrown out from the prop-like shelves of the offices of leadership and public libraries. The reasons for this are understood. With the growing intellectual might of Lenin's thought, the impoverished ideas of the restorationists cannot stand. Even under the circumstances of public stupefaction, the texture and logic of the works of Lenin speak for themselves. Currently it is necessary for us to collect and save the works of Ilyich. Otherwise they can become us much of a bibliographical rarity as currently the works of J.V. Stalin are.
Turning to the historical and global revolutionary experience is necessary not just to litter quotations or to mechanically transfer into contemporary times the formulation of problems, terminology, and solutions which relate to completely different times and circumstances. Today we have to take from our predecessors and foreign colleagues, figuratively speaking, "not ashes, but the flame." That means having an ability to overcome any obstacles, to be firm in battle, to find an exit out of seemingly impossible situations, to have an unlimited faith in the working class, to fight an irreconcilable battle with revisionism and opportunism, to obtain a full arsenal of means and methods in the defense of the interests of the working class.
In our days, when Yeltsin received the go-ahead to implement in Russia the full program of the International Monetary Fund, to neo-colonize poorly developed nations, Yeltsin was entrusted with extraordinary authority, and he began to "realize" and "liberalize" prices, then the bony hand of hunger and unemployment began looming over the Soviet people. The workers began responding with walk-outs and strikes which are already appearing in various regions. One or two years ago "Unity" categorized these strikes, and not without reason, as a method of worsening an already difficult situation for the people. Just then the restorationists began destroying the economic system of socialism and Soviet rule. With the exception of the Baltics, the strikes were provoked by "democrats" and served the counter-revolution.
Now the situation has basically changed. The country, socialism and Soviet rule are in a state of final collapse. The society is being ruled by bourgeois, nationalist and mafia structures. Under these conditions, the Communist-Leninists have to not only uphold, but together with the unions, to become the organizers of the strike battles of the workers for their rights, and to give the battle an actual political character. However, only a united political strike with a decisive demand for the abolition of all restorational structures in the center and all regions can stop the upcoming catastrophe today. As a result of the use of various forms of civil disobedience, there should be formed a transitional government, which would be charged with taking the country out of crisis and reestablishing the socialist order. Currently this is the only way to avoid a civil war and foreign domination. Time will not wait!
The positions of reaction in the country are strong today, but they are not all-powerful. Their anti-public character limits the historical prospects and possibilities of a bourgeois counter-revolution. Only the unity of the working class can save the country. The path to this unity is difficult, but historical truth is on our side. Only a Marxist-Leninist party, that "steel cohort of warriors," that is capable of breaking with the opportunism and the capitulation of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, that can without wavering and reservation express the interests of the working class, that can help organize and bring about the defeat of the restorationists of capitalism, can direct us on this path.
Two days ago B. Yeltsin banned the Russian Communist Party and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Today we have gathered from the entire country in the city of the great Lenin, to set the foundations and give a start to a new party which will continue and develop the revolutionary traditions of Bolshevism. A party which will always be true to the victorious banner of the October Revolution and will do everything to make sure that it will again freely and victoriously wave over our Soviet homeland. Under this banner we will win!
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