The Flame of Communism Burns On!
6. Proletarian internationalism
7. Proletarian women’s movement
10. The revolutionary strategy
12. The Fight against Opportunism and Revisionism
The Flame of Communism Burns On!
It has been a full century since the October Revolution ushered in the first successful socialist revolution and changed the world, costing imperialism its first great defeat. Under Lenin’s leadership in 1917, the actions of the Bolsheviks became a spark that spread like wildfire, heralding in a new epoch of revolution.
The victory of the counter-revolution of 1989/90, the destruction of socialism, and the worldwide solidification of capitalism cost the workers movement and communism greatly. Communist parties, once proud and influential – anchored in the masses and accepted as their revolutionary leadership – disappeared into the shadows of history. Our organizations were demolished, they lost their mass influence, they assimilated into the system under the influence of revisionism or dissolved. A revolutionary spark as powerful as that of the October Revolution seems far from reach today.
Still we say: the flame of communism burns on! The ruling status quo is today just as unbearable as it was then. Capitalism produces unimaginable wealth for the few and poverty, misery, and hardship for the many. The efforts of billionaires serve to accumulate profit and secure the enrichment of the select few, who already have more than they could consume many lives over. Capitalism is a parasitic social system, one where riches can only exist through exploitation, and in which war and recurring crisis are necessary components.
Resistance against these unbearable conditions can be found everywhere. On every continent, and in every land, including here in Germany. These struggles are, however, often too spontaneous, poorly organized, or are carried out based upon illusion, and are accordingly able to be integrated by the powers of the system or are shattered. These struggles are necessary, even when they restrict themselves to modest demands. It is nevertheless essential to grab the weed at its roots within these struggles – to attack capitalism, and to put socialism on the agenda. Socialism, the first stage of communism, is the only mode of production that is able to solve the problems of humanity. The essential element of these struggles – the leading, guiding role of a revolutionary organization, of the communist party – is too often missing. This revolutionary organization is necessary to overcome all the weaknesses and half measures of our movement – to collect experience in struggle, to analyze these experiences, and to make them collectively available for the entirety of our movement. There is no communist party in Germany that has proved able to earn this recognition. That the working class has been on the defensive for decades, and has given up on retaining hard fought achievements, has much to do with the lack of this organized core.
The construction of a fierce and class conscious working class movement and of a communist party in Germany is therefore the central, intimately interwoven task for revolutionaries in our time. Those comrades who have organized themselves in the Kommunistische Organisation (Communist Organization, KO) have taken this to be their task. The following programmatic theses are the preliminary theoretical basis of our organization. These theses function as our guide, upon which we orient our political practice. They are the basis for our analysis of the historical period in which we find ourselves. Their acceptance is a requirement for membership of the Kommunistische Organisation. They are however not a necessary condition for taking part in discussions, events, and in the related structures of our organization.
The following entails the political views from which we will organize the Construction and Clarification Process. At the same time we will note some of the thematic questions that are to be clarified. The listing of questions is therefore only exemplary, and is not meant to be in any way thorough or complete.
1. Our Worldview
The basis for our worldview is that of scientific socialism – Marxism-Leninism. There can be no revolutionary practice without revolutionary theory. The knowledge of the necessity of a revolutionary break with the bourgeoisie and their state – the struggle towards socialism and communism – cannot express itself from the struggles of the working class for their direct class interests alone. Scientific insights are necessity – insights that the revolutionary working class movement must utilize to rejuvenate their revolutionary practice and reassess past struggles – those that ended both in defeat and in victory. If we want to change our society, we need to understand it. This understanding can only come from utilizing a scientific approach. This sort of approach is distinguished not by its ability to simply observe societal phenomena, but by its ability to take these phenomena as a basis upon which we can correctly analyze the laws which dictate its inner workings. The epistemological basis of this science retains that the world is fundamentally understandable and changeable.
Scientific socialism is based upon the practical experiences of the working class movement, and on the theoretical insights of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and other important historical revolutionary figures. One most important insight retains that the working class is not simply a class that suffers under oppression, but that it is the revolutionary force able to topple the capitalist class. The goal of a classless society is no utopian fantasy, no wishful ideal or ethical principal – collapsing in on itself as it approaches reality. Communism is possible and necessary. Capitalism circles the drain, filled with irreconcilable contradictions for which it can offer no answers. These answers cannot be found within a capitalist order – they lie outside of capitalism, in the socialist future. However the transition to socialism does not simply fall from the sky. It can only be accomplished by the conscious, resolute, and concerted efforts of the revolutionary subject, the proletariat – and through the necessary and sole possible form of their organization, the communist party.
Communism as our goal, and a revolutionary movement that struggles towards this goal: both find their orientation in historical-dialectical materialism and its practical application as the science of the class struggle. It must therefore be practiced in a scientific manner, its deciding factor being the practical application of its insights to the class struggles of modern times. This struggle can only see a victorious end if based upon scientific socialism, on Marxism-Leninism. Marxism-Leninism is the synthesis of theory and practice in the struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat, for the rule of the many over the few, for communism. It is no collection of quotes and textbook wisdom, but rather a living, constantly developing science. At the same time, it bases itself on certain basic insights garnered throughout human history, adequately assessed through the development of the sciences. These insights are historical materialism, the dialectical laws of the development of all things existing, Marxist critique of political economy, the insight of the irreconcilable class contradictions within capitalism, the necessity of a classless society, the working class as revolutionary subject and the communist party as their organizational form, the analysis of imperialism as a monopoly-dominated epoch of capitalism, as well as the analysis of the bourgeois state as being the state of the ruling class.
2. Class society
We live in a capitalist class society. The working class produces the majority of all societal wealth, both in the centers of industry and in smaller and mid-sized companies, while the rest is produced by all other producing strata. However, this wealth belongs primarily to the bourgeoisie – the capitalist class, those proprietors and controllers of capital, who own the factories, the banks and insurance companies, the crucial means of transportation, the raw materials for production – in short, those who own the means of production and all wealth that they produce.
Standing opposite the bourgeoisie is the working class. This class consists of those who, under conditions of wage labor, create all societal wealth. They are forced to sell their labor power to the bourgeoisie – unable to dictate themselves where and how the wealth that they produce can be used to aid their own lives. This results in only a small part of the wealth that they produce landing in the pockets of the working class. The contradiction between the working class and the bourgeoisie is antagonistic, and irreconcilable within capitalism.
The contradictions inherent to capitalist production result in periodical crisis. The capitalist crisis is not an expression of scarcity, as it was in earlier modes of production, but is rather the result of over-production – with solvent demand for these products unable to keep up with this over-production, resulting in a decline of the profitability of companies. The coexistence of abundance and poverty is the direct result of capitalist crisis, and displays clearly the irrational and long-outdated character of bourgeois production. The relations of production – private ownership of the means of production – have long been the shackles of productive forces. During their rise to power, the bourgeoisie were, in contrast with their feudal environment, a progressive force. The capitalist mode of production revolutionized production, in that it gave production a social character, and did away with the scattered, individual production of feudalism. However, the more this form of social production progresses, the more it finds itself in an irreconcilable contradiction with the private accumulation of wealth. Increase in productivity leads to less people needing to work to secure the same amount of production – a definitive form of social progress. However in capitalist society production is not undertaken to satisfy the needs of general society, it is done to secure the profits of the few, leading to the massive unemployment of millions, and ever-worsening conditions for workers. Poverty in so many aspects of life – materially, culturally, individually – becomes the deciding factor for the living conditions of the people.
Worldwide, the working class stands opposite the capitalist class, as a political force: they are organized in the unions and in political parties. There often exists parallel cultures infused with working class solidarity – diametrically opposed to the brutal capitalist culture surrounding them. The working class is the most powerful oppressed class that has ever existed in human history. Through understanding the inevitability of their oppression, they can recognize the conditions for and possibilities of their liberation. The working class exists all over the world. Though there are often enough existing differences in the conditions of the working class in this or that nation, their class identity unites them in their basic interests. Everywhere, capital is their class enemy. The struggle between the two classes first takes place on the stage of the nation-state – however it must be coordinated on an international scale. The working class can only win – can only destroy capitalism – if it manages to overcome national and international divides. For this reason, international solidarity is among our most important values, and must be constantly filled with life through practical work.
To be successful in the struggle for socialism means that we must analyze and understand how class society, in total and in Germany, is developing. Which structures the bourgeoisie and the proletariat have, what the level of class consciousness among the proletariat is, how the development of the productive forces in Germany effects and has effected the living standards, both material and otherwise, of the proletariat (for example, what role laborers play in the so called service sector): we will set out to answer all of these questions in our coming clarification process.
3. The State
Bourgeois, capitalist society is defined by deep, irreconcilable contradictions. The most basic of these contradictions lies between the working class and the bourgeoisie. Internally, the capitalist class is also dictated by rivalry and opposing interests.
Bourgeois society is based on these class contradictions, and requires the state in order to control and guide the historical progression of these contradictions. The bourgeois state is, at its core, the expression of the irreconcilable nature of class contradiction, of two diametrically opposite class interests. Residing over these irreconcilable opposites, the bourgeois state carries out the will of the capitalist class, by securing the best possible conditions for the accumulation of capital. Therefore, the bourgeois state is nothing less than the political rule of the bourgeoisie – the ideal collective capitalist. It represents the interests of the entirety of the bourgeoisie, especially those of the most powerful. It is a “machine for the repression of the oppressed, exploited class.”1 It utilizes all forms of violence necessary, spreads bourgeois ideology, and oversees the integration of parts of the working class through concessions, holding the exploited class down. This class character of the state makes it impossible for the working class (and all other non-ruling classes) to take the political reigns and use the state for their own interests. However, the proletarian revolution does not mean the immediate destruction of the state. The revolution is the destruction of the bourgeois state and the construction of a new, working class state – the dictatorship of the proletariat.
These basic insights of Marxist-Leninist state theory are assumed in our organization – however, they leave many further questions open, for which we desire answers. We want to critically appraise the theory of state-monopolistic capitalism, in order to assess which interpretations of this theory accurately mirror reality. Here, the following questions will play important roles: What role does monopoly capital take on in relationship with the state? Which interpretations of state-monopolistic capitalism lent themselves to the creation of the erroneous “anti-monopolistic transition” strategy within the communist movement?
Today’s capitalism is imperialist capitalism. The economic core of imperialism is the monopoly. Today’s capitalism is dominated by monopoly capital, built through the concentration and centralization of capital. This characteristic dictates the entirety of our modern epoch. The pressure within imperialism towards capital exportation has grown exponentially. The partitioning of the world among the imperialist states and monopoly groups is long since finished – capital subsequently is constantly pressured to redistribute already conquered territories and markets.
This means conflict, dispute, and war. Imperialism produces reactionary ideology and politics within its national boundaries and aggression externally. Of course, imperialism is more than just aggressive foreign politics and military belligerence, however these phenomena are no exceptions, but rather are the basic characteristics of the imperialist system. It is impossible to “tame” imperialism, impossible to give it a more “human face.” Imperialism, the highest and last stage of capitalism, means regular economic crisis and permanent (and high) unemployment. It has shown itself incapable of unlocking and utilizing the full potential of the forces of production. The opposite is true: cyclical destruction of the forces of production and further attacks upon the great achievements of the working class are necessary to resolve the reoccurring crises of the bourgeoisie.
Capitalism developed itself in close connection to the creation of the modern nation-state. The further development of capital accumulation was dependent on the development of interconnected domestic markets, standardized currency, and other necessary requirements. The distribution of the world among the various nation-states is long since finished under imperialism, yet capitalist progression means constant struggles between different capital fractions and their nation-states, ever striving for a redistribution of already conquered areas and markets. The theory of a so-called “collective imperialism,” meaning an imperialism where the inner contradictions between imperialist nation-states gradually weakens and an international imperialism develops – nation-states exploiting the world in a collective manner – is simply a reification of Karl Kautsky’s “Ultra-imperialism,” an opportunist theory already long refuted by Lenin. This theory is as erroneous today as it was then. Also, a so-called “multi-polar world order,” in which the USA, the EU, and other capitalist centers dictate world order, is merely an expression of the unequal development of capitalism among nation-states, and of constantly changing power structures. Hope for a more peaceful world cannot be found through it.
Long-standing international coalitions, such as the EU, are coalitions of imperialist lands, aimed towards the better implementation and enforcement of their geopolitical interests. They are marked by constant competition between member-states, uneven development, and the constant danger of their alliances collapsing. They can only exist temporarily, and will sooner or later fall apart. They are no newly developed super-national states. The EU is an imperialist coalition, led by Germany and with smaller yet notable leading participation from France. It is at its core a reactionary entity, at its core opposed to the working class, its main function the betterment of the conditions of rule over and the exploitation of the working class and the procurement of an ever more advantageous position in international economic competition. The struggle against the EU is a necessary element of the struggles of the working class in Germany, as well as those of other member-states.
A central line of contention within the international communist movement is the debate surrounding the theory of “objectively anti-imperialist” states. This theory states that certain capitalist states play an “objectively anti-imperialist” role on the international scale, and are accordingly promoters of peace. Russia is often given this title due to its diverging interests with those of the USA. This theory is, however, false. It suffers under the false notion that imperialism is primarily the rule of “western” or “northern” states, such as the USA, Western Europe, or Japan. We hold true to the notion that imperialism is the inevitable progression of capitalism in its monopolistic stage. It is false to ascribe certain relatively smaller imperialist poles within this system an inherent potential for peace or a progressive role in international politics. The fatal consequence for such erroneous analysis include the working class potentially organizing under the flag of the imperialist interests of a foreign imperialist power.
Imperialism is a global system of societal relationships, enveloping all capitalist nations – not only the USA, Japan, and Western Europe. Other states in which the conditions of monopoly capital dominate, for example in China, cannot have an anti-imperialist character. Devolution from monopoly capitalism to the capitalism of free competition is not possible, due to contradictions with the basic intrinsic laws of development within the capitalist mode of production – especially the law of the further concentration and centralization of capital. Anti-imperialist struggle must for this reason be aimed against capital and the capitalist system, the source of imperialism. As communists in Germany, we see German imperialism – and its actors, the monopoly bourgeoisie and the state – as our main enemy. We fight however shoulder to shoulder with our international comrades, against imperialism as a whole, as a worldwide system. Special stress is placed upon the role of the EU as an imperialist coalition, the rapidly-developing BRICS group, and US imperialism – still today the most dangerous militaristic imperialist pole of the world.
Over the course of our clarification process we want to deepen our knowledge and analysis in questions of the political economy of imperialism: The composition and interests of German capital; the development of capitalism in lands such as Russia and China, and the forms of their connection to the imperialist world system; property ownership structures among decisive monopolies and their relationship to the nation-state; the current position and strategies of German imperialism; empirical examination of the theory of so-called “trans-national capital,” and what meaning it has for the strategy of “anti-monopolistic transitions;” questions regarding dependency and interdependence within the imperialist world system; the role and relevance of non-monopolistic bourgeoisie; the fusing of industrial capital and bank capital into finance capital; the differing imperialist poles, their development, and their relationships to one another.
5. Fascism and anti-fascism
As a form of society that intrinsically tends to be reactionary, imperialism always implies the possibility of fascism. The term fascism is commonly used either to describe an especially aggressive form of rule, a terrorist movement, or a specific ideology.
The Communist International analyzed fascism as the dictatorship of finance capital, and capital as the driving force behind the fascist parties and movements. This analysis has not lost any truthfulness. On the contrary: experiences, both modern and historical, prove its continued relevance. This definition should not be misunderstood as the belief that non-monopolistic capital is entirely excluded from representation by – and control over – the state. The formulation of the Communist International that labeled fascism as merely the dictatorship of the most reactionary parts of finance capital accordingly needs to be reassessed. This formulation has, in the history of the communist movement, given rise to problematic views concerning ideas of an alliance between the workers movement and parts of the bourgeoisie, going so far as to see less reactionary parts of the monopolistic bourgeoisie as potential coalition partners.
Other explanations of fascism that, for example, analyze fascism to be the rule of a single person, fascism as being the personification of the petite bourgeoisie, or even that of the masses, are wrong. They do not provide for any furthered understanding of fascism. They effectively help the bourgeoisie and its state shirk its responsibility for fascism, or to relativize its role in it.
One often finds in bourgeois – even in Marxist circles – a tendency to analyze fascism as being in opposition to bourgeois democracy. This is an erroneous understanding of bourgeois rule. Any form of bourgeois rule must be understood as a form of class dictatorship. This dictatorship can change its shape based on the needs of the capital and the power dynamics within the class war. It can transform itself to accommodate more open and/or more obscure forms of oppression. Neither fascism nor bourgeois democracy is class neutral.
Another common mistake is the indiscriminate labeling of any perceivingly bad government, state, or movement as fascist. This too separates the concept of fascism from its class content, and reduces it to a moralistic, polemical concept.
When capitalist crises subdue the integrative power of the liberal form of bourgeois rule, the bourgeoisie, in an effort to secure its control, replaces their obscured dictatorship with an openly terrorist dictatorship. The intensification of oppression is often linked to the prevention of a proletarian revolution. For that reason, it has as its primary goal the suppression and persecution of the revolutionary parts of the working class movement. Fascism not only oppresses progressive elements, but also bourgeois and reactionary elements that strive for a competing form of capitalist rule. Fascism necessitates a massive reduction in the legal means of struggle for the communist party and the working class. Fascist elements are not exclusive to fascist rule – within bourgeois democracy they complement the mechanisms of state oppression, and are often partially organized by the state itself. These fascist elements weaken the working class through violence and division.
Fascism, in general, encompasses the most reactionary, fierce oppression of the working class, the incitement of resentment and hatred against minorities, war-driven politics, and genocide. The relentless fight against fascism is a necessity for the survival of communists and the working class movement. Only through understanding fascism as a bourgeois movement and bourgeois form of rule can we develop an effective anti-fascist strategy. Only an anti-fascism that fights against capitalist property relations and the capitalist mode of production as the breeding grounds of fascism can fight more than just fascism’s societal symptoms. The illusion that fascism stands in absolute contradiction to bourgeois democracy leads to defending capitalism’s less authoritarian form. This undermines even the struggle against fascism itself.
We want to examine the historical variants of this form of rule, and work out its general characteristics, as well as the differences among its various forms. We want to explore both the historical and the current relationship between social democracy and fascism – for example through investigating the role of social democracy in the rise of and transfer of power to fascism in different nations. We do not believe that social democratic and fascist ideology and methods of rule inherently exclude one another. The bitter experiences of the working class, with social democratic actors working with fascistic structures during and after the November Revolution all the way up to the installment of fascist dictatorship in 1933, show us the relevance of these questions.
Central to our work will be an examination of the experiences of the anti-fascist struggle of the communists, with particular attention given to discovering how fascism could win in Germany in 1933, and with the orientation of workers’ front and peoples’ front politics in the 1930s within the Communist International (Comintern). We want to investigate what contradictions and which deficiencies are present within current analyses of fascism. This also includes the question of how to understand and use the term “fascism”. Finally, we will assess which forms of coalition politics can be effectively utilized in the struggle against fascism.
Regarding current events: we desire to investigate the meaning of fascism and anti-fascism in modern times. For example, the different developments of the new right, and the ideological overlap of the Alternative für Deutschland (Alternative For Germany Party, AfD) and the Identitären (Identitarian movement) with the so-called anti-German2 movement; an examination of such structures as the Kameradschaften3 and Reichsbürger4. Linking reactionary anti-Germans and the petite bourgeois left, there exists an “anti-national” spectrum that necessitates further examination. Lastly, the modern antifascist movement must be critically analyzed, so that the requirements of the antifascist struggle today can be understood and undertaken.
6. Proletarian internationalism
While fascists and nationalists incite the international working class against itself, we believe in the fundamental unity of the interests of all workers worldwide. We fight against all forms of racism and national and ethnic oppression, and oppose any discrimination based on heritage, language, nationality or race.
Proletarian internationalism serves as a basis for the united struggle of workers from different countries against capitalism and imperialism. Its practical expression lies in class solidarity across borders. From proletarian internationalism derives as well the need for the international working class to strive for unity in action in the class struggle. The principled defense of socialist states against imperialism plays a special role in proletarian internationalism. This was the stance of communists on the Soviet Union during its existence and is the stance communists should have today regarding Cuba.
For revolutionaries, the positioning of the worker to its home country is defined by capitalism’s main contradiction: the struggle of the national working class for liberation – the end of exploitation. This means that the nation constitutes the field of battle for the worker and the revolutionary party in their respective country – always as a part of the total struggle for the victory of socialism worldwide. It means that the communists have a hostile attitude towards national chauvinism and the bourgeois national state, but not to their home country, nor to its history, people, and culture.
Struggles for national liberation have played an important and positive role in the history of class struggle. Struggles for national liberation fought today, such as the struggle in Palestine, deserve our support. However, the position of a communist to the national question needs to always keep the interests of the entire international working class in mind.
We oppose constructivist theories that see the nation as an imagined idea, a “construct”, void of any material reality. This idealistic understanding leads to failure to adequately differentiate between state and nation and between nation and nationalism, and ignores the differences between the early nationalism of the European 19th century and imperialistic nationalism today. This ideology entails a bourgeois understanding of the nation.
The congresses of the first and second international workers’ associations, the victory of the October revolution, and the founding of the Communist International (Comintern) have been critical historical steps in the development of proletarian internationalism. Thanks to the existence of a revolutionary world organization, the class struggle was able to be internationally coordinated, and based on a common strategy. With this, a unique historical level of international class solidarity, aiding international working class movements and progressive national liberation movements became a possibility. The dissolution of the Comintern in 1943 and of the Communist Information Bureau (Cominform) in 1956 were enormous setbacks for the communist movement. The resurrection of the Comintern based on the rebuilding of the national communist parties must to be a priority for communists.
Questions that need investigation include: How and in what form can national class struggles be internationalized, and under what conditions must they be internationalized? What evaluation can we give to the historical experiences of the international organization of the working class? What is a precise Marxist definition of the term “nation?” What is our analyses of – and our relationship to – those countries that call themselves socialist today? Finally, we will have to refine our stance on the national question and investigate under which conditions a national liberation movement can be beneficial for the liberation of the working class.
7. Proletarian women’s movement
In capitalism, women of the working class are oppressed in two ways: as women and as workers. Women today are nearly everywhere disproportionately more exploited and more economically and socially disadvantaged than men. They are forced to do unpaid reproduction work while still doing wage labor. They often do not have the same rights as men, and their respective bourgeois state-apparatuses do not satisfy their particular wants and needs. Recruiting working class woman for the class struggle is a necessity for victory in class struggle. Only the class struggle offers a realistic perspective for women’s liberation.
The saying “without socialism no women’s liberation – without women’s liberation no socialism” still holds true. In primitive society there was no oppression of women. This oppression started with the development of private ownership over the means of production, and can only be abolished by dismantling this private ownership. Socialism, as a society not based on the private ownership of the means of production, is the requirement for the liberation of women. The attitudes, ideologies, and habits of the previous mode of production can be pushed back, though a conscious and active fight will still be required.
The proletarian women’s liberation movement has been, since the beginning of the working class movement, an essential component – this too holds true for the communist parties. The working class women’s movement is a central part of our movement, and a valuable reference point for our theories and practice.
We fight against the economic disadvantage of women and the resulting modern forms of discrimination and hate against women. The differing veins of bourgeois feminism view the question of women’s liberation as independent from class struggle, or as on the same level as this, the main contradiction. This also rings true for “postmodern” theories that see the oppression of women as a phenomena based on individual attitudes, a problem caused by men, or a question of gender roles. They look at culture and ideology with no regard for the economic basis. With this, the real relationship between the struggle for women’s liberation and the class struggle becomes blurred, and the fight for women’s liberation is weakened. The battle against these ideologies is part of the struggle for women’s liberation, and is a task for the working class movement.
A scientific critique of the bourgeois understanding of gender needs to be developed. The development of a Marxist position concerning the subject of sexual orientation and identity is also necessary. Finally, is it our task to establish forms of practices with which the question of women’s liberation and its particular needs can be connected with the class struggle.
8. The communist party
The communist party is principally different from the bourgeois parties, including social democratic ones. While the bourgeois parties, in their different variants, all constitute an apparatus for the security of bourgeois rule, the communist party represents the working class as a whole. The communist party forms a fighting organization of the most conscious and dedicated elements of the working class movement. The communist party strives to be the vanguard of the working class, by understanding the driving laws of development in society, by having a deep connection with its class, and through its progressive role in the class struggle. This vanguard and leadership role must also be achieved in relation to other working class organizations.
The party develops its political agenda based on a scientific methodology grounded in Marxism-Leninism. It improves itself and its actions through the critique and self-critique of its members, and strives to improve its forms of organization and education for the revolutionary class. It connects theory and practice. It can neither be a place for academic self-satisfaction nor for scholastic discussions on “pure theory” or blind practical engagement. It needs to connect with the working class and the oppressed everywhere, to win their trust and communicate its worldview.
The principals of the new type of party developed by the Bolsheviks describe the necessary form of organization for the struggle of the working class in the period of imperialism. It has not only proven itself accurate in the past, but has been shown to be necessary for all phases of societal development. The application of its principals upon concrete situations and conditions is the task of the communist party. It has to be organized based upon democratic centralism. Only this principle ensures the unity of action of the party. While the party allows for free discussion and critique within its ranks, democratic decision making, and a democratic structure elected from bottom to top, it makes centralized, binding decisions for all members. It guides all members on the basis of its political line. Controversies are resolved within its ranks and between individual comrades, not between organized fractions.
Democracy and centralism do not constitute a contradiction, but rather a necessary unified entity. The centralization of the experiences, thoughts, initiatives, and ideas of the party’s members and the binding nature of its decisions allow for a united and disciplined course of action. Only through these means does democratic discussion and decision making produce relevance for the political line of the party and for practical action. Democratic centralism must not be reduced to formal principles. It lives and breathes through the activity, initiative, and discipline of the members of the party. An understanding of individual freedom, in contradiction to the will of the collective, is bourgeois in nature. Freedom is here seen as individualistic self-fulfillment within the borders of the current system, and not as a collective struggle for liberation.
The development of every individual member into a communist cadre is only possible on the basis of collectivism and democratic centralism.
The communist party constitutes a cadre party. Cadres are people that have taken as their primary task in life the construction of communism. They are educated for this task, and live and act based upon it. As part of the communist organization they prepare the working class and its allies for the revolution. The cadres lead the revolution and guide the construction of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Cadres are rooted in the masses, and provide them with political leadership and orientation. They have clear class consciousness, and act resolutely based on communist principles. They critically evaluate their own activities and development and strive to improve themselves in light of their Marxist-Leninist worldview as well as in practical action. They prioritize their political work over individualistic self-fulfillment. It is the task of the party to continually develop its members as cadre.
At the same time, it is necessary for a cadre to have a collective, to evaluate their actions and demeanor, and to better resist repression and systemic integration. The development of cadres constitutes a prerequisite for the effective mass agitation of the communist party. Only an ideologically clear and battle-hardened core of cadres allows the communist party avoid erroneous decisions and to prepare the working class for the deciding battle.
The communist party needs to be able to react to societal changes, and needs to be able to utilize all means of fighting necessary. It needs to be able to recognize these changes quickly and correctly, and to develop the methods that, in practice, deliver the best political results.
A communist party in this sense does not currently exist in Germany. Our goal is to build it. To accomplish this, we want to create the necessary structures and collect experiences, step by step. We want to find the most fitting form through which these general organizational principles can be applied.
To build a communist party, we need to develop ourselves. We are not yet the cadre that such a party would need. The constitution of solid organizational structures is necessary to develop such cadre. The use of critique and self-critique helps to continually develop cadres and the organization as a whole.
A particular source of important experiences can be found in the history of the Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands (Communist Party of Germany, KPD). The KPD was one of strongest communist parties in the world. It led the taxing struggles of the working class from the Weimar Republic, through fascism, and into the Bundesrepublik. It developed working class leaders like Ernst Thälmann, Wilhelm Pieck, and Walter Ulbricht. The KPD was united in struggle with the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) against the reconstruction and rearmament of imperialist Germany. Knowledge and critical analysis of the achievements and experiences of the KPD and SED are of absolute necessity for the organization of the working class in Germany. This is also true of the experiences of the KPD-ban of 1956, which could potentially aid us in further understanding the character of the FRG bourgeois state.
In 1968, under the leadership of the SED, the Deutsche Kommunistische Partei (German Communist Party, DKP) was constructed, resuming the organizational existence of the KPD, and with the majority of former KPD members rejoining its ranks, bringing with them the most class-conscious elements of the working class. The form of this reconstruction was controversial, and must be researched during the clarification process. The programs of the KPD and the DKP showed a growing tendency towards revisionism. Still, viewing these parties as entirely corrupted by revisionism does not adequately represent reality – such a view does not fully account for their contradictory and disputed ideological-political development. A more in-depth analysis of the revisionist development of the DKP is important, as is learning from the historical experiences of this party.
The so-called “K-Gruppen,” smaller groups primarily influenced by “Mao Tse-tung thought” which had their heyday in Western Germany in the 1970s – developed in part as splinter groups from the KPD – took from their inception onward a stance against socialism in the Soviet Union and the other countries of the Warsaw Pact. They rejected a central task of the working class movement, that of the defense of the socialist countries. Some (but not all) even went as far as to join in counter-revolutionary struggle against the USSR and the GDR, ultimately joining sides with the NATO and the imperialist German bourgeoisie. Still, it is essential to analyze the experiences and developments of these groups, and develop conclusions accordingly.
9. Socialism and Communism
Our goal is to create a society without exploitation, without social classes and without a state, without oppression and without war – a communist society. We are fighting for a society with freedom and equality for all. The time is ripe – more than ripe: if we do not transition to socialism/communism, the worlds most pressing problems cannot be solved.
However, it is not possible to move directly from the capitalist present to the communist future. Therefore, between today’s dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and the classless society there must be an earlier, imperfect stage of communism. This stage is called socialism. Socialism can only be constructed under the leadership of the working class in collaboration with its allies and under the dictatorship of the proletariat. In the dictatorship of the proletariat, the working class and its allies (I.e. small farmers and small shop-owners, etc.) create institutions for the exertion of their political rule, for the administration of production and social life as well as institutions for the political and military defense of the revolution. Although it is a dictatorship against the enemies of the new order and for the defense against every attempt to re-establish class society and exploitation, for the majority it represents democracy to its greatest extent. Although the communist party must take a leading ideological and political role even under socialism, the true power is in the hands of the working masses.
The goal of the socialist society and its state is to socialize all the means of production and to develop them quickly and methodically. For the first time in human history this development is undertaken to fulfill the societal and individual needs of the people who are producing the riches of the socialist society. With a highly developed stage of production, and well managed with scientific methods, it will be possible to achieve this goal while conserving the natural environment on earth.
Thus, a centralized, planned economy is the mode of production of socialism. It is the most democratic mode of production, because it allows the people to decide on the form and improvement of their livelihood. Planned economy must be centralized, for in order to best accommodate the needs of society as a whole, there must be a singular plan, made according to the needs and abilities of society as a whole. The base for this is the gradual nationalization of all means of production. Planned economy needs to widen the socialist character of production continually. It cannot fall back into antiquated, less social modes of production like cooperatives or private enterprises. Theories that assume that the law of value permanently stays in effect during socialism, or that socialism must still have commodity production, have been proven wrong and harmful. Wherever such a theory was implemented in practice in socialist countries, it has been detrimental to socialism.
Through the societal planning of production and distribution and under social control, the material and cultural base is laid for communism, the classless society. We can draw on experiences, mistakes, and successes of the since fallen socialist societies with critical appraisal. Of particular interest to us is the construction of socialism in the Soviet Union and in the German Democratic Republic.
The Soviet Union was the first country in which the construction of socialism was undertaken in earnest. The peoples of the SU and the soviet communists proved that it is possible to overthrow the bourgeoisie and erect a worker’s state under socialist conditions. After the backwardness of czarist regime was overcome, the economy was strengthened according to a central plan. Exploitation and production for the profit of the capitalists had been abolished; the product of the countries labor for the first time in history was distributed to all of society. For these reasons and more, the October Revolution and the Soviet Union were beacons for the liberation of mankind.
Following liberation by the Red Army, the working class and the popular strata in the GDR built socialism in Germany, under the leadership of the communists and socialists. German imperialism had been denied access to a significant part of its historical territory. The fascist criminals, capitalists and big landowners were expropriated, their former private property became the people’s property, the exploitation of man by man was abolished. The whole economy of the GDR was subject to the central planning of the state. Agriculture was collectivized, and all production was made to serve the needs of society instead of the profits of capital.
As members of trade unions and other organizations, the masses were involved in the process of planning the economy, just as they participated in the institutions of the state. There were socialist armed forces which kept the power of the West German bourgeoisie at bay. By these means, the Socialist Unity Party led the East German working class in the construction of socialism. Although there were problematic developments, it was a socialist country; a fact first changed through the counter-revolution and subsequent destruction of the GDR in the years 1989/90.
It is necessary to critically examine the emergence of revisionist ideas, as well as the economic measures derived from them. In order to do this, it is a prerequisite to reject the false and itself revisionist theory of “State Capitalism” in the GDR and the Soviet Union. For the construction of a communist party within Germany, the experiences of the comrades during the construction of socialism in the GDR must be appraised, as well as those of the millions of people who lived under socialism. As communists, we must defend the GDR as the greatest success of the German working class movement. This will not prevent us from critically and scientifically examining the history of the GDR. Instead, it serves as a prerequisite.
The first attempt at socialism, beginning in 1917 and ending 1989/90, led to great victories and immense achievements, but also to severe mistakes and eventually to a fatal defeat. One significant reason for the counterrevolution was the spread and eventual dominance of revisionist ideas and “market socialist” tendencies.
The communist parties did not defend socialism anymore, but rather gave rise to the conditions for its destruction. As materialists, we believe that false consciousness does not spontaneously drop from the sky, but rather has its roots in the material world.
In analyzing the causes for the defeat of socialism, we are working towards the conditions for the renewed construction of socialism, from which there will hopefully be no turning back towards capitalism. The defense of socialist countries and the fight against anti-socialist notions which revise history is a given principle of our politics.
The anti-communist term “Stalinism” must be combated, as unscientific slander used by capitalist and Trotskyist tendencies to defame socialism. The same is also true for the theories which state that the Soviet Union lost its socialist character and became “state capitalist” or even “social imperialist” and “fascist.” Such theories can be found within certain Trotskyist, Maoist and Hoxhaist (tendencies which have historically been influenced by the Albanian workers party) tendencies and have in common an unscientific view of capitalism and socialism.
Areas of research on these topics that we would like to discuss further over the course of our clarification process include: The role of councils and other forms of worker’s power and people’s power under socialism; the role of the communist party during the construction of socialism; Marx’ critique of the bourgeois “separation of powers”; the necessity of class struggle even under socialism; the analysis of the causes of the counter revolution and the revisionist degeneration of communist parties in the 20th century and the people’s role therein; the deficiencies of socialist democracy; the question of the cultural revolution as a means of fighting the “vestiges of the old society”; the economic problems of socialism (i.e. commodity production under socialism); possibilities for the efficient planning of the economy in future socialist constructs; and finally an analysis of the practical economic and social conditions for the construction of socialism in Germany
10. The revolutionary strategy
The socialist revolution is a prerequisite for establishing socialism: the conquest for state power by the proletariat, the destruction of bourgeois power structures, and the formation of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is the immediate goal of the revolutionary working class movement. There are no intermediate stages or transitional phases; there is no “anti-monopolistic democracy” that within capitalism, within the framework of the bourgeois state, can create the prerequisites for socialism or – still less – for a social formation somewhere between capitalism and socialism..
When we say that socialism is the immediate goal of the revolutionary working class movement, we do not intend to say that the required correlation of forces are already in place or that our position right now is a revolutionary position. Nor do we intend to say that empty left-wing radicalist platitudes can replace the long-term organization of the working class and the development of political consciousness. What we mean is that, starting today, socialism needs to be proclaimed as the next strategic goal in all class struggles, and that the working class movement and the communist party need to work towards this goal immediately.
To achieve this goal, the communist party must develop an adequate coalition strategy. The core of this strategy must be the development of social alliances. Instead of focusing on the alliances of the communist party with other organizations, the organization of the working class and its alliance with the other social classes – those also in objective conflict with capital – must be focused upon. In doing so, communists must promote the development of labor organizations, in which the origin of working class power can manifest itself. In these organizations, the workers gain experience in economic class struggles, and they organize, educate, and equip themselves for the ideological fight. For other oppressed classes, for example parts of the petty bourgeoisie, mass organizations must also be developed – yet these organizations can only play a supporting role. The social core of such an alliance can only be the organized working class. Alliances with parts of the bourgeoisie, including its non-monopolistic fractions, are not applicable to revolutionary strategy.
The social alliance is designed to gather the forces of socialist revolution. During this concentration of powers, however, it will already create fighting bodies: councils that will form the core of the future working class and people’s power. Councils are the indispensable roots and bodies of power of the working class. During the German November Revolution of 1918-1919, the German working class movement gained valuable experiences with these organs. We will have to learn from and build on these experiences.
We are not yet a communist party, and we do not pretend to be one. One reason being that we have not yet developed a scientifically valid communist strategy, based on profound, hands-on experiences. Although revolutionary strategy cannot overly depend upon national peculiarities, an analysis of the concrete conditions for class struggle in Germany must be the foundation of a strategy that does not exhaust itself in abstract theorems – an action-oriented strategy that is applicable to everyday struggles. Still, as a political organization, we need a strategic orientation to develop our political practice. For now, we are forced to confine ourselves to the main strategic statements listed above. The task of the years to come will be to further explain and concretize these statements by developing suitable forms of organization and class struggle, adopting appropriate tactics, and by constantly reflecting on our experiences.
11. Revolutionary Practice
A successful communist practice can only be developed based on a scientifically grounded and correct strategy. This practice is itself the basis of – and the precondition for – the development refining of revolutionary strategy. It must be connected to the daily problems that the masses face – results of the antagonism between capital and working class in society. Characteristic of successful communist practice is that it activates those involved to act themselves and become self-empowered, in addition to creating and raising class consciousness: as part of this practice the workers learn to struggle for their interests themselves, to become active themselves, to gain experiences and to understand them in social context. The socialist revolution is only possible if the working class movement creates its own organizational structures, gains experiences, and evaluates these experiences systematically.
We must create open possibilities for the organization of the masses in which the experiences of class struggle and class solidarity can be achieved, and this relatively independent of their general political opinions. Such possibilities can be found in already existing organizations, in which communists must struggle to create the opportunities and conditions for a class-orientated organization. In other cases, where the balance of power is favorable for the bourgeoisie (especially for social democratic tendencies), it is impossible to create such opportunities and conditions – in these fields we must create new organizations. Examples for this are associations for mutual help, neighborhood councils and the like.
In any case, these forms of organization must be independent from the state and any reformist or similarly bourgeois organization. These forms of organization need to gather the workers where they work and live. Their character must be class-orientated. The approval of communism and of our worldview cannot be a precondition for participation. Rather, the basis for participation in such organizations should be a willingness to struggle for common (class) interests. Special importance must be given to the principle of mutual help, as a method for experiencing living solidarity. The communists must work inside these organizations, and must prove themselves worthy of leadership within these organizations, based on convincing arguments and collective experience in struggles.
The trade unions have always been a central part of the organization of the working class. They are the oldest and the most important organizations of the working class, founded and developed as a direct result of the capitalist mode of production. They are necessary classrooms of class struggle for the working class, and they were the means through which many successes have been achieved throughout history. From the beginning, two completely different policies inside the trade unions have existed: on one hand an orientation for “social partnership”, focused on reaching compromises between workers and the capitalists. Today this orientation is most accurately represented by the Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund (German Trade Union Confederation, DGB) and its member organizations. On the other hand, there have ever been class-oriented powers inside the trade unions, in whose eyes struggle for economic reforms is nothing but a necessary step towards the independent organization of the working class, geared toward proletarian revolution.
Today, the majority of the working class is not organized. Even those belonging to bourgeois, reformist organizations, such as the trade unions inside the DGB, can rarely be seen successfully activated in the struggle for economic, political, or social goals. The trade unions incorporated within the DGB are led by social democratic and other bourgeois influences. Their goal is not the organization of the working class – independent from capital – for its own interests, but to secure their integration into the capitalistic “social partnership” model of the Federal Republic of Germany, to instill adherence to law and order, and to guarantee a continuous, uninterrupted capitalist production cycle. The duty of communists is to fight against these influences and against the powers who represent them inside the trade unions, especially when found in the leadership of the DGB. The class struggle inside companies and factories cannot and may not ignore the trade unions, yet cannot be reduced purely to the confines of practice within the trade unions of the DGB. The key goal of the struggle inside companies and factories is to build up resilient, class conscious proletarian trade-union organizations, though the exact path for reaching this goal is yet to be discovered in the course of the coming struggles. How social democratic hegemony can be broken in order to achieve this is a question that needs an adequate answer.
Our approach to mass organization must take into account the struggles of different classes, social strata, and social groups, focalizing them on the central goal: on the struggle against the enemy, against capitalism and imperialism, and on the struggle for socialism. The continual duty of communists is to secure and to strengthen the anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist character of mass struggle.
An orientation on organizational coalitions between parties, associations and organizations describes a sectarian constriction of practice based upon the organized few, and excludes the vast majority of the working class. Additionally, these coalitions are most often an obstacle to exposing the innate bourgeois, reformist, opportunist character of these parties and organizations vis-à-vis the working masses. A clear, class oriented position must be formulated in stead of such erroneous coalition politics, with the clear goal of naming and exposing illusory views of capitalism and its state.
Beyond these fundamental aspects are many further questions to be answered – for example: Which forms of mass organization are the most suitable? What are the terms for a class-oriented organization of our colleagues inside the DGB, and how can we struggle for the construction of class-orientated trade unions? How can communists fight for an anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist orientation within these organizations, while accounting for the actual level of consciousness of those involved? Which social strata of the working class should be focused upon? What role does the relatively well-off strata of the working class, the “labor aristocracy,” play, and how are they to be understood? Are we to work in organizational coalitions at all, and if so on what premises?
12. The Fight against Opportunism and Revisionism
Revisionism entails a deviation from fundamental Marxist-Leninist insights and positions, following the intrusion of bourgeois ideology into the world-view of the proletariat. In practice, revisionism begets opportunism. The typical social basis of opportunism is the petty bourgeoisie and the labour aristocracy. Opportunism means choosing a supposedly easy, yet essentially wrong path in the class struggle – a path that leads to a dead end.
Right-wing opportunism subordinates the strategic goal of the revolution to its tactical goals, ultimately abandoning all revolutionary strategy. Left-wing opportunism conversely reduces the class struggle to the singular goal of revolutionary breach, to the extent that it disregards the necessity of struggles for marginal improvements within the immediate circumstances of the proletariat and in the conditions of the class struggle – struggles necessary to develop a revolutionary movement in the first place. For the communist movement, it is essential to fight against both of these expressions of opportunism and against all forms of revisionism.
After the imperialist First World War, communist parties were founded in many countries to finally break with opportunism in political and organizational terms and to lead the working class in the fight against the bourgeoisie. Still, especially after the Second World War, opportunist and revisionist tendencies once again gained ground in communist parties. This phenomenon shows that communism finds itself necessarily in a continuous struggle with bourgeois ideology, even within the ranks of the working class movement in the form of opportunism.
At the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU)’s 20th party conference in 1956, the representatives of opportunism, headed by Nikita Khrushchev, secured political victory. In the most important party of the international communist movement, revisionist tendencies were able to pervert the basic tenants of Marxism-Leninism, perversions all too commonly taken up by other significant communist parties, subsequently giving rise to the significant economic changes in the Soviet Union that would undermine its socialist character in the following years. The socialist social order remained essentially intact, but erroneous economic concepts and a watered down planned economy inhibited socialist development, and laid the grounds for the gradual rise of revisionist tendencies. As personified by Michail Gorbachev, the CPSU’s last general secretary, these tendencies assumed an openly counter-revolutionary character during the second half of the 1980s, and finally achieved in abolishing socialism in the Soviet Union.
In the post-war years (and under this revisionist influence) the communist movement of the FRG – namely the KPD and later the DKP – developed a strategic orientation focussing on the peaceful transition to socialism within the existing state institutions, through the formation of coalitions with bourgeois powers and parts of the bourgeoisie. We oppose these notions.
Despite their opportunist deviations, the communist parties in the FRG still clung to some of their theoretical and practical Marxist-Leninist principles. Simultaneously, under the guise of the importance of “national peculiarities,” communist parties in other European countries – especially in France and Italy – completely cut their ties to the communist movement. Under the banner of so-called “euro-communism,” they propagated and practiced the most open forms of opportunism and revisionism, revoked their solidarity with the socialist states, accepted the capitalist system of exploitation, and broke with their close connection to the working class. The “euro-communist” parties participated in the management of capitalism at the expense of the working class, turning the once powerful, revolutionary communist parties into social democratic parties, and in some cases finally liquidating their own structures completely. “Euro-communism” is a dangerous form of revisionism that must be contested.
A further variance of right-wing opportunism is centrism. Centrism uses revolutionary rhetoric and acknowledges Marxism-Leninism as a summation of textbook maxims, while not engaging – or at least not engaging enough –in the fight against the influence of openly revisionist tendencies. In the name of the party unity and of the movement at large, centrism tries to avoid political and organizational breaches with openly opportunist currents, watering down the ideological differences between resolute communists and opportunists. Among other things, centrism also abandons Marxist-Leninist revolutionary strategy and organizational politics for the propagation of opportunist ideas in these fields. It is a disguised form of revisionism and is consequently especially dangerous. Centrism is thus an impediment for the development of the revolutionary party and must be contested by the communist party.
The fight against social democracy is of particular importance for the communist movement. Social democracy is more than simply one of many variants of bourgeois ideology. Its particular nature is described through its attempts to mask its bourgeois nature, allying itself with the working class movement while simultaneously avoiding any responsibility in preparing the working class for a revolutionary breach and objectively working to maintain and strengthen the conditions of capitalist exploitation.
Social democracy is based on the illusion that capitalism can overcome its unbearable contradictions via reforms. Its perspective lies in the maintenance and incremental “amelioration” of capitalism, rather than in its revolutionary destruction. Social democracy leads the working class astray by propagating reformist illusions. It ties revolutionary powers down and renders them harmless. Due to its bourgeois character, it necessarily supports reactionary politics directed against the working class. Both history and present conditions show that, in the end, social democracy is willing to protect capital’s interests against the revolutionary movement by all means and with any force necessary. Therefore, social democracy is a necessary pillar of capitalism, and our relationship to it is one of irreconcilable antagonism.
Breaking its influence on the working class is a central prerequisite for the successful struggle of the working class. Right-wing opportunism in general and social democracy in particular do not simply result from the labor leaders’ treason or their weakness of character. It is a systemic phenomenon that occurs under the conditions of imperialism. Sourced from the extra profits arising from its hegemony on production and exchange, monopoly capital is able to bind a substantial part of the working class through material concessions. This “labor aristocracy” tends to become a social pillar of social democracy – and thus of imperialism. Such analysis, however, does not exclude the possibility that individuals – and in times of successful revolutionary class struggle even larger parts of the labor aristocracy – can be won over to our movement.
As social democracy ceased to be a revolutionary organization, instead becoming a pillar of capitalist dictatorship and the enemy of the working class within its own ranks, it promoted the strengthening of left-wing radicalism (despite its already established existence in various forms and shapes). Left-wing radicalism, too, is opportunist and is an impediment in the organization of the working class and the revolution. This entails those tendencies only willing to accept revolutionary phraseology, while denying the necessity of the working class fighting for its interests within the capitalist system.
This also entails the positions held by the communist parties of China and Albania in the 1960s and 70s. These parties – and the international movements gathered under their banner –critiqued right-wing opportunism in the soviet leadership, while pursuing opportunist positions themselves. In doing so, they used unscientific and revisionist concepts like “state capitalism” and “social imperialism” – concepts that break with the Marxist-Leninist understanding of capitalism, imperialism, and socialism. On the grounds of such revisionist theory, the communist party of China, the party of labor of Albania, and several Hoxhaist, Maoist, and other organizations based on “Mao Tse-tung thought” took on openly anti-Soviet stance, effectively working against the development of socialism in the Soviet Union. Still, it remains important to approach and analyze the Chinese and the Albanian revolution as well as the above mentioned parties and their positions in a differentiated manner. Nevertheless, their deviations from Marxism-Leninism must be criticized heavily. Its hostile stance against the Soviet Union and most other socialist states assumed an objectively counter-revolutionary character and benefitted imperialism in its war on socialism.
Trotskyism is another form of opportunism, originally emerging from an ultra-“left-wing” critique of the Bolsheviks’ policies in the Soviet Union – since long time ago, however, in essence Trotskyism has manifested itself often as a form of right-wing opportunism and ingratiation to social democracy. Trotskyism called into question the development of “socialism in one country”; that is, within the Soviet Union. All Trotskyist movements are defined by an unscientific and effectively counter-revolutionary approach to historically existing socialism, finding expression in the use of the anti-communist denunciatory termof “Stalinism” and in the uncritical reproduction of bourgeois falsification of our revolutionary history. In many countries, these movements cause confusion and erroneous orientations in the working class still today.
This list of opportunist movements and tendencies is exemplary and thus incomplete. Dealing with them will be an imperative task in better understanding their nature and impact on the working class. The analysis of the role of social democracy in Germany will be of particular importance in effectively fighting its influences on the working class: this includes an investigation into the modern elements of social democracy within the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (German Social Democratic Party, SPD) and Die Linke (the Left Party), how social democracy operates in labor unions today, how big its influence on these unions is in actuality, and how firmly established this influence is in the working class. Moreover, we must analyze which veins of Trotskyism, Maoism, Hoxhaism, and other deviations from Marxism-Leninism exist today, distinguish their particular positions, and identify the source of their influence on the working class. In the case of Maoism and “Mao Tse-tung thought,” we must analyze if there were preexisting revisionist deviations from scientific socialism within Mao Tse-tungs’ general ideological positions, that facilitated the Communist Party of China’s later anti-Soviet politics.
Capitalism cannot offer anything to the majority of the working class, cannot offer anything to the masses of the youth and the people. It cannot dissolve its internal contradictions and trudges from crisis to crisis. In more and more European countries, mass unemployment is on the horizon, and millions of other disenfranchised workers are forced to sell their lives for pittances – and for the profits of capital. Most sharply, outside of the developed industrial countries, this degenerate, barbarian society rears its ugly head. In these regions, imperialist wars – revolving around nothing but the control of resources, markets, investment opportunities and routes of transportation – wreak havoc, bring death, destruction, mutilation and poverty for millions and millions of people. Every year, several millions die of poverty or curable diseases – while the development of the productive forces has long since had the abilities necessary for their salvation. Simultaneously, the ruling class lives in unprecedented luxury: in their castles, their villas, their yachts – built by the hands of the working class.
The capitalist class finds answers to its own crises in even greater reaction, in the destruction of our hard-won achievements, in more exploitation, more poverty, more oppression, and more wars. The imperialists’ conflicts with one another, capable of bringing the world to the brink of atomic war or ecological destruction, threaten the human race’s capability for survival. Nevertheless, the fight for freedom cannot be one fought by all of humanity, but can only take place as the struggle of the oppressed and exploited against their oppressors and exploiters.
Nothing will remain as it was. The ruling class fight the class war from above – with exacerbated exploitation, the depletion of hard-won achievements, and against every limitation of its rule over man and nature. It is time that we oppose it once again by fighting from below. We will not stop at individual demands, but will fight for every inch of societal progress, in preparation for the complete and final overthrow of the bourgeoisie.
Their system is built on sand. May the ruling class tremble at the communist revolution.
Workers of the world, unite!
1 “Maschine zur Niederhaltung der unterdrückten, ausgebeuteten Klasse” (Engels, MEW 21, P. 170f)
2 The “Anti-German” (“Antideutsch”) movement entails a loose collection of reactionaries with primarily a petty bourgeois class background, with common ground in the uncritical and complete support for the Israeli state and US foreign policy, vehement anti-communist sentiment, and anti-Muslim racist positions.
3 Kameradschaften are small, autonomous Nazi organizations which most closely fulfill the terrorist fear mongering and intimidation aspects of the fascist phenomena through violent means.
4 Reichsbürger are reactionary and often armed groups in Germany which deny the existence of the Federal Republic of Germany and claim that the German Reich still exists.