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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Hold High the Flag of Socialism - Communism: The Red Flag of Lenin

The political, trade union, ideological and cultural action of the KKE continues unabated. The forces of the KKE and its youth, the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE), are currently leading major strike battles organized in various companies, the preparation of a new strike on April 17, as well as mass demonstrations of university and school students against the privatization of higher education. At the same time the communists are mobilizing against the participation of Greece in the imperialist war in Ukraine, as well as in the imperialist plans in the Red Sea, strengthening solidarity with the suffering people of Palestine. Moreover, the forces of the KKE and KNE are fully preparing for the political battle of the European elections on June 9. In these context, events commemorating Lenin are taking place throughout the country, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his death.

On March 20, 2024 a great event was held in the Conference Hall of the headquarters of the party's Central Committee (CC) in Athens. The General Secretary of the CC of the KKE Dimitris Koutsoumbas gave a speech at the event, followed by a concert of classical music with works by the Soviet composers Dmitri Shostakovich and Volodymyr Femelidi, two composers whose works praised the October Revolution and socialist construction. The ERT National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Christos Kolovos presented Shostakovich's "October" (1967) and Femelidi's "Jubilee Symphony" (1927).

Addressing the event the GS of the CC of the KKE noted among other things:

In order for our course to be truly victorious all CPs must elaborate a revolutionary strategy in their countries and this attempt must embrace the international communist movement. The experience of the Bolsheviks headed by Lenin in this direction, enriched with the experience from all socialist revolutions, with the experience of the revolutionary movement in each respective country must serve as a beacon and as a guide in this process. We have been reflecting on why this experience was not assimilated and did not prevail thereafter and that the character of the revolution was determined on the basis of other mistaken criteria.

Today, in conditions of a general setback, of a negative correlation of forces at an international level and in each region separately, each communist party has the duty to intensify the preparation of the working class, on a daily basis with hard ideological-political work and class oriented activity for the revolutionary upsurge to come. Because, our era continues to be an era of transition from capitalism to socialism. The era of capitalism’s overthrow was inaugurated by the October Revolution 1917 that paved the way and marked the beginning of socialist revolutions. For that reason, we consider timely the words of Lenin that the start was made and the proletarians of which nation will complete this process is not important. For that reason, we do not fall back, we do not retreat; we are deeply convinced that we have to carry through this task.

The 100th anniversary of Lenin’s death finds the International Communist Movement (ICM), as a whole, deeply divided, faced with enormous difficulties, in a relatively perplexed situation, despite the partial positive steps made in separate countries with the undeniable effort of many vanguard leaderships and entire party organizations in various countries of the modern world. However, the ICM in the 21st century must get rid of pathologies of the previous century and must certainly be based on certain necessary and firm principles which, in our view, are:

First: Our guiding theory is Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism which we are developing and evolving continuously and incessantly on the basis of the new data. The role of the Communist Party is irreplaceable. Socialism is more timely and necessary that it has ever been in the history of humanity. The timeliness and necessity of socialism, the socialist character of the revolution do not depend on the correlation of forces at each time.

Second: The bourgeois class has lost its progressive role even before the revolution of 1917. It finds itself in the era of total reaction, in the era of monopoly capitalism, namely imperialism; capitalism in its last stage is capitalism in decay. As the experience from October Revolution has shown, there is no room for any cooperation-alliance with the bourgeois class or any sections of it in the name of defending bourgeois democracy or avoiding some more “pro-war powers" or "far-rightist powers”. The bourgeoisie and the bourgeois power, as a whole, undermine and suppress workers’ and people’s rights, achievements. In their “peaceful conditions” they prepare wars. Τhe consolidation of the anti-capitalist-antimonopoly alliance and struggle, of the struggle for socialism requires the alliance of the working class with the poor farmers and the self-employed craftsmen.

Third: Our clear answer to the question “reform or revolution” is that we side with the revolution, because no organ of bourgeois power can be humanized by a supposed reform. The line of social democracy since the beginning of the previous century until today has completely failed, it has caused great damage, it led to the defeat of the revolutionary communist movement, it assimilated working masses in the capitalist exploitative system, it led militant, progressive forces in favour of social development to be disarmed.

Fourth: The socialist construction as a first immature phase of the communist society highlighted the scientific laws that the revolutionary vanguard must be aware of and not violate so as to eradicate consciously and methodically the seeds of counterrevolution. More specifically, the theory and practical implementation of “market socialism” is disastrous for socialist construction, whether it is used to justify the toleration of capitalist relations or the long term support of the small commodity production or the long-term distribution of the social product in the form of trade. In these three instances, in each one separately and altogether, central planning is undermined as well the socialist character of the ownership over the means of production. As a result, the class state power is undermined and the counterrevolutionary forces are being recreated, developed and strengthened. Thus, instead of the victory of communism we return to capitalism as it finally happened in the USSR with the developments of 1991 being the milestone of this process and later on in other countries such as China.

Fifth: The forms and the modes of this setback are not that important. In the USSR this happened gradually through the opportunist sliding that started in 1956 and broke out violently in 1991 with the final dissolution of the USSR and the CPSU and the ascending of new capitalist forces to power that exercised state power in the form of bourgeois parliamentary democracy. Elsewhere, this may happen gradually, with the CP maintaining state power and following a clear course of capitalist restoration and consolidation of the capitalist relations of production. The capitalist relations are bound to take the upper hand, even in cases where they have not prevailed yet, no matter if this course is presented as or is honestly considered by certain people to be a temporary solution. The result will be a new wave of confusion and disillusionment among the working masses and the people, leading to their disarmament and co-option. Historical experience has demonstrated to us that the problems that arose in the course of socialist construction were mistakenly interpreted as inherent weaknesses of central planning. The solution was sought in recipes of capitalism instead of making a step forward expanding and strengthening the communist relations of production.

Sixth: Today, in the 21st century, capitalism prevails at the international level. The historical experience indicates that in the final analysis, it is not possible for two kinds of production relations to coexist for a long time with various forms in the framework of a new superior social system like socialism-communism i.e. the exploitative capitalist relations and the ones that lead to their abolition, the socialist ones. The one or the other kind shall prevail. Our worldview and the historical experience have proven that their coexistence can only serve as a vehicle for counterrevolution.

Seventh: In the framework of this complicated situation inter-imperialist competition is sharpening as well as the great contradictions over the division of the markets, the control of the energy resources and their transport routes, the geopolitical control and the upgrading of each country in the region and generally. New alliances and blocks are being created that lead to the creation of axes and anti-axes, increasing the danger of involvement in wars, at local and regional level, as well as the possibility of a generalized imperialist war. In any case, it is certain that the regional confrontations and wars will continue as well as the involvement of stronger regional powers and imperialist centers by means of direct military involvement or through diplomatic, political, economic war etc. Today we are witnessing the criminal policy of the State of Israel supported by the US - NATO – EU in the Middle East and the deployment of a Greek frigate in the Red Sea by the ND government; we are witnessing what is happening in our neighbourhood in Ukraine, where imperialist war between Russia and the Eurasian bloc on one side and Ukraine and the Euroatlantic bloc on the other side is being waged for three years now.

Eighth: Faced with this confrontation each communist party cannot stand in puzzlement. It must elaborate its own line for the struggle in each country, in each continent: a line for the overthrow of the imperialist barbarity that breeds economic crises, poverty, unemployment and wars or “peace” with the gun to the people’s head. For that reason, it is essential to study historical experience, to consciously reject mistaken positions of previous decades that led the revolutionary forces to political disarmament, perplexity and ineffectiveness. Every communist party must elaborate a line for the disengagement of their countries and their people from imperialist interventions and wars, defending the sovereign rights of each country and each people but at the same time a clear line which will lead to the defeat of the bourgeois class which is attacking, and a line of rupture-confrontation with the domestic bourgeois class, aiming at its overthrow that will bring about real peace and prosperity for people and not the return to the previous situation that will prepare new crises, military interventions and wars in the name of the alleged national interest. At the same time, it is necessary to elaborate and promote suitable slogans that will facilitate and escalate the people’s struggle and prepare these forces so that in conditions of revolutionary situation they will direct the working and popular masses that are in revolt to a successful overthrow of the capitalist power.

Ninth: This dynamic will not emerge like an oasis, merely in one country. In this discussion about what is to be done, which is taking place today in the squares, at demonstrations, at strikes, in cities and villages, in factories and work places in general, in universities and schools, all over the world, the bourgeois class and the opportunists pose the dilemma “how can we do it ourselves? It is not realistic!”. This can be illustrated by the great recent mobilisations of farmers, workers of various sectors, university and school students in Greece, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Portugal, the Czech Republic and elsewhere.

Only the communist movement, those who believe in the visions and the struggle of the October Revolution and in Marxism-Leninism can put the compromised supporters of social-democracy and opportunism in their place, refute defeatism and fatalism.

Tenth: Our weapon is proletarian internationalism, joint struggle, class and comradely solidarity which is necessary against both national isolationism and imperialist cosmopolitanism. The principle of proletarian internationalism is also a significant message for the 100th anniversary of Lenin’s death, a valuable conclusion and lesson. That is why we stand by the side of the Palestinian people, of all the peoples of the Middle East, of the people of Ukraine and Russia, of all the peoples of Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin and North America, Oceania.

The hope of overthrowing this system can only lie in the struggle of the working class and the peoples, faced with an increasingly barbaric and unjust world. Therefore, from this event of commemoration, of honour, but also of thought and reflection for all of us, we can only state loud and clear:

Hold high the flag of socialism-communism, the red flag of Lenin! With a much stronger KKE for a pan-European counter-attack of the peoples! We break the shackles of the EU! For a Greece and a Europe of Socialism, of the workers of all sectors, the farmers, the peoples!


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