Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Stop the judicial and political witch-hunt against Hungarian communists!

We, the undersigned parties note with deep concern that a state court is threatening to imprison the entire leadership of the Hungarian Communist Workers' Party (HCWP) for having committed "libel in a public place".
Our conviction is that putting political leaders on trial and banning their parties is the work of dictatorships, not democracies. The action of the Hungarian authorities violates all democratic norms.
We strongly condemn the political persecution directed by the judicial authorities against the HCWP, as a part of the anticommunist witch-hunt against communists in Europe and against all those who fight against mass privatisation of hospitals, schools, cutting down of social expenditures and other forms of neoliberal policy.
We consider this clear manoeuvre of the Hungarian authorities as a vengeful assault against the Hungarian Communists, and call on for international solidarity in defence of the legal and political rights of the HWCP.
We demand immediate stop of the judicial process against the leaders of the Hungarian communists.
We call upon Prime Minister Gyurcsany and the government of Hungary to step back from the abyss and keep its promises of political freedom, by cancelling all charges against the leadership of the HCWP.



The Parties

Progressive Tribune Bahrein
Communist Party of Belarus
Communist Party of Brazil [PCdoB]
Workers’ Party of Belgium
Communist Party of Britain
Communist Party of Bolivia
Workers Communist Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina
New Communist Party of Britain
Communist Party of Canada
Communist Party of Cuba
Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, Czech Republic
AKEL, Cyprus
Communist Party of Finland
French Communist Party
German Communist Party
Communist Party of Greece
Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party
Communist Party of India [Marxist]
Tudeh Party, Iran
Iraqi Communist Party
Communist Party of Ireland
Communist Party of Israel
Party of the Italian Communists, PdCI
Jordanian Communist Party
Socialist Party of Latvia
Socialist Party of Lithuania
Lebanese Communist Party
Communist Party of Luxembourg
Party of the Communists, Mexico
New Communist Party of the Netherlands
Communist Party of Norway
Communist Party of Sri Lanka
Peruan Communist Party
Communist Party of Poland
Portuguese Communist Party
PKP-1930, the Philippine Communist Party
Socialist Alliance Party, Romania
Communist Party of the Russian Federation
New Communist Party of Yugoslavia, Serbia
Communist Party of Slovakia
Party of the Communists of Cataluna, Spain
Communist Party of Peoples of Spain
Sudanese Communist Party
South African Communist Party
Communist Party of Sweden
Syrian Communist Party
Communist Party of Turkey
Party of Labour, Turkey [EMEP]

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Tide of Change -- A Century of Struggle


By Anne Rogers

OUR lives and those of our parents and grandparents have all been touched by war. World wars, regional wars, the Cold War and threats of war have seared and scarred the century we are about to leave.
Most of our family albums have photos of at least two generations dressed in military uniform. Many families have those little brass boxes of campaign medals. Every city, town and village has a memorial to its war dead. In northern France and Belgium the lines of graves fill field after field with the headstones of slaughtered young men.
In every corner of the world the markers of war are tended — from the mass graves of the siege of Leningrad to the haunting memorials of Hiroshima, from the resisters’ tunnels in Vietnam to the graves of murdered children in Soweto.
Each of these conflicts seems to have its own separate cause and background. We are taught to regard these events as the result of evil or insane leaders, or of militarism, intolerance and bigotry.
These explanations merely serve to hide the claws of imperialism — the bestial system that lurks behind the violence of our time.
The beast of capitalism has found itself slowly being cornered in this century and, like any cornered beast, it lashes out savagely.
This is not, of course, the way the capitalist classes of the world explain things. Capitalism doesn’t want its countless victims to realise how vulnerable it is. On the contrary, it swaggers and struts around the world with its monstrous weapons and flaunts the fabulous riches that the capitalist minority possess.
On the face of it the beast is thriving — the multi-billionaire bankers, oil magnates, business tycoons, arms manufacturers and other industrialists are richer than ever before. And it is certainly true that the counter-revolution in the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe has given capitalism a breathing space and some fresh meat to chew on.
And yet capitalism has only been able to temporarily rid itself of some of the conditions that caused it to be characterised as being in a state of general crisis. It cannot return to the position it held when this century began.
Then, the system of capitalism held sway in all of the industrialised countries, and the most powerful of those countries dominated almost the entire world through colonial rule. Capitalism was constrained by its own contradictions, the rivalries between the leading powers and the liberation struggles of the peoples it ruled. But it was nonetheless dominant.
The general crisis of capitalism started with the First World War of 1914-18 and the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917. The latter historic event was to free a sixth of the world’s surface from capitalist control.
Capitalism ceased to be a universal system; a progressive social system took root — socialism began to grow in the soil that had been cleansed by revolution.
This revolution was a catastrophic blow to the imperialist powers. And we can see why this was so when we consider these events in the light of Lenin’s definition of imperialism — the highest stage of capitalism.
Lenin wrote in 1916:'... we must give a definition of imperialism that will include the following five of it’s basic features:
1) the concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life;
2) the merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of this “finance capital”, of a financial oligarchy;
3) the export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance;
4) the formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves, and
5) the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed. Imperialism'is capitalism at that stage of development at which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital is established; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance; in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun, in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed.

Revolution

And then. .. the socialist revolution removes the large land mass of Russia from the clutches of imperialism. There is suddenly a part of the world that is out of imperialism’s reach.
Furthermore, the October Revolution demonstrated to the oppressed peoples of all countries that fundamental change was possible and that workers and peasants could seize state power and sweep the old capitalist order away.
From that moment on imperialism spared no effort, no expense nor hesitated to use any means in order to crush the new born socialist state and to denigrate everything that it did.
The imperialist powers initially tried to defeat Russia by direct military intervention. But the capitalist world, still wearied by the slaughter of the First World War, failed. The Russian Bolsheviks and people had a new spirit — for the first time they were fighting on their own account and not as mere pawns in an army of the class enemy.
Throughout the 1920s the new and developing socialist state advanced. Despite the enormous difficulties and suffering caused by the wars of intervention and the desperate last ditch battles waged by the remnants of the old order, the country moved forwards. Illiteracy in Russia was virtually eradicated, a programme of electrification was completed and great strides were made to build industry, housing and to develop universal systems for education and health care.
The 1920s and 30s were very different for the working class of the capitalist countries. This period was to become a byword for poverty and unemployment. The surviving troops from the First World War returned to homelands that were anything but “countries fit for heroes”.
There unemployment grew and wages and conditions were attacked. Capitalism had no answers and offered no respite. In Britain, as elsewhere, resistance was dealt with crudely and by 1926 the harsh and unjust treatment meted out to the miners became the catalyst for a general strike.
But general strikes, though they do directly hit the bosses and the ruling class, are not in themselves capable of bringing about fundamental change. Even if there had not been any class traitors, which sadly there were, the strike would not have resolved the crisis inflicted by capitalism. So the economic crisis went on after the strike and the working class continued to suffer.
The “Hungry Thirties” showed the total bankruptcy of capitalism for the majority of the people. The great depression gripped the capitalist world. Its brunt was borne by the working class everywhere.
While the rich elites swanned across the Atlantic on luxury ocean liners, lounged in the sunshine at Biarritz and Monte Carlo, the dole queues lengthened in the industrial heartlands. Hunger marches focused attention on the stricken towns of northern England. Unemployed workers, finding even their dole money under attack, had to organise and struggle in order to survive.
American workers also felt the full force of this capitalist-created slump — here in this land of much vaunted “freedom” and plenty, the soup kitchens sprang up and the bailiffs moved in.
In this period of profound crisis capitalism produced the vilest creature of its own making — the monster of fascism.

Fascism unleashed
It is not surprising that the capitalist classes hope they can wash their hands of the monster of fascism and pretend that it was just a phenomenon which sprang up by itself. The capitalist rulers are perfectly happy to let people think that everything can be explained away by simply portraying Adolf Hitler as an evil madman and Mussolini as a puffed-up megalomaniac.
This view, in which the capitalist classes are let off the hook, is unwittingly helped by many dedicated anti-fascists who also subscribe to the idea that fascism has a life of its own — that it arises because racists and ultra-right elements are allowed space in which to grow.
While it is certainly true that racists and fascists should always be opposed, the temporary success of fascism in Spain, Portugal, Germany and Italy before and during the Second World War was a result of the deliberate intent of the ruling classes in those countries.
Bulgarian communist, Georgi Dimitrov, said in 1935: “...fascism in power is the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital...
“Fascism is not a power standing above class, nor a power of the petty bourgeoisie or the lumpen proletariat over finance capital. Fascism is the power of finance capital itself.
“It is the organisation of terrorist vengeance against the working class and the revolutionary section of the peasantry and intelligentsia.
“In foreign policy, fascism is jingoism in its most brutal form, fomentmg bestial hatred of other nations.”
The ruling classes which turned to fascist rule did so for a number of different reasons. But common to them all was the background of the severe economic crisis, the fear of Bolshevism — a perpetual dread among all the ruling elites — and the inability of the existing forms of government to deliver the extreme measures the capitalist classes deemed necessary.
In the case of Germany this extreme measure was the need to go to war in order to expand within Europe and to challenge rival imperialisms, especially British imperialism and its global empire of colonies.
The features most commonly associated with fascism — of anti-semitism, racism and the elevation of supremacist ideas — were not the cause of fascism’s rise to power. Rather they were weapons the fascist leaders, and eventually the fascist state, employed to conceal the hand of finance capital and to galvanise the reactionary elements of those societies.
Some in those states which did not choose to go down the fascist path at that time were infected by the climate of reactionary ideas. Britain’s blackshirts, led by Oswald Mosley, were an example of this.
Mosley, even if he had been more successful, was never going to become Britain’s Hitler because the British capitalist class did not need him to be that. But his activities and following brought much anguish to Britain’s Jewish communities, against whom the blackshirt thugs used physical violence, intimidation and harassment, and his movement peddled the most pernicious and reactionary ideas in all sections of British society.
It is to the credit of the Communist Party of Great Britain that it stood shoulder-to-shoulder with those threatened communities, exposed the propaganda of the fascists and fought the fascists both ideologically and, when necessary, on the streets. The victory of the Battle of Cable Street was a victory for working class solidarity and a defeat for reaction.
Communists and many other progressive people around the world recognised the enormous danger posed by fascism. It was going to become an instrument for war, repression and open terror both within and outside of national borders.
This perception of the wider threat of fascism rallied thousands of communists and socialists to take action in defence of the Spanish Republic when it was threatened by the forces of Franco. The International Brigaders fought and died in Spain — but they did so in the knowledge that this was the first major battle in the war against fascism — they were fighting for all of humanity.
The terrible suffering of the Spanish Civil War from 1936-39 showed too that the nature of warfare had changed. Since the ruling classes had appropriated to themselves the technological advances made since the First World War, they had at their disposal new weapons and new means of fighting.
For the first time there were heavy civilian casualties and the aerial bombing of cities. France was assisted by Germany and Italy — this help proved militarily decisive since it is almost certain that France could not have succeeded without it.

World War


It would be quite impossible of course to write all that should be said about the Second World War in this article. But there are three key aspects of the European theatre which must be included.
The first is the imperialist nature of this war when it began. It was launched by German finance capital which saw territorial expansion as necessary and which needed to break free of the constraints placed on Germany by the post First World War settlement.
Annexation, Blitzkrieg and invasions were to bring Nazi forces jackbooting across Europe from Poland in the east to France in the west. Britain, with its strong naval force and its fighter air force held Germany at bay until the allied forces were eventually able to go onto the offensive.
The second aspect is the impact of fascist ideas which led to the most barbarous and inhuman treatment of many people, especially Jews from Germany and the German-occupied countries. This persecution of Jews in Germany and Austria had begun before the war. Concentration and work camps were in use before the war too.
The concentration camps contained those the state deemed to be anti-social elements. This included some of the political opponents of the fascist regime, thousands of Romanies, homosexuals, vagrants, criminals, Jews and others.
Far worse was to come. The persecution of Jews and Romanies became a policy of slave labour and super exploitation, it became murder by brutality and starvation and ultimately it became mass slaughter in the gas chambers of the death camps.
This Holocaust took the lives of six million people — civilians murdered in the most horrific circumstances for being of a certain race or religion.
The third aspect was the war against the Soviet Union. This was more than an attack against a state, it was also a direct attack on socialism. The Nazis even used this fact to try and lure other capitalist leaderships to support its anti-communist crusade against the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Union under the leadership of Joseph Stalin had, years before, realised that it would face a renewed military attack from the forces of imperialism. The rise of fascism in western Europe showed where this attack would come from.
Stalin’s leadership had seen the urgent necessity for the Soviet Union to prepare itself — and this meant engaging in a determined national effort to build up its industrial capacity as quickly as it could.
The signing of the German-Soviet pact in August 1939 has always been portrayed by anti-communists as, at best, an act of appeasement and at worst as a gesture of endorsement for the Nazis. It was of course nothing of the sort — it was a necessary and justifiable measure to enable the Soviet Union to buy some time. Even as this pact was signed Stalin knew that Hitler’s forces would invade the Soviet Union and that war was coming.
When Hitler’s forces did invade in 1941 the most savage onslaught began — civilians were murdered out of hand, the countryside was raped and the most terrible crimes were committed. The Eastern front of the war was to become total war. By the end the Soviet Union had lost 20 million people.
The Soviet people fought as heroes whether as members of the Red Army, Navy or Air Force, as partisans fighting behind German lines or as civilians fighting and working to defend the cities and towns.
Under the leadership of Stalin, the people and forces of the Soviet Union tore the guts out of the Nazi war machine and turned the tide of the war. Stalingrad, Kiev, Leningrad, Moscow — all hero cities of the former Soviet Union — must go down in history as examples of the courage, determination and endurance that was to prove decisive in the defeat of Hitler fascism.
In Asia the Nazis had formed an alliance with the Japanese empire. Japanese militarism sought expansion in south east Asia and the Pacific and had already begun invading other countries in the region. Manchuria had been turned into a Japanese puppet state in 1932 and China had been resisting Japanese forces long before the war in Europe began.
But it was Japan’s attack on the United States naval base at Pearl Harbour which precipitated the Americans into the war.
Just as European fascism had been defined as the work of evil leaders, the militarism of Japan was explained away by the capitalist classes as a characteristic of the Japanese people — a phenomenon that just came to the surface. Reports of Japanese cruel treatment of prisoners of war and subjugated peoples were attributed to the cruel nature of the perpetrators.
In fact, like German fascism, Japanese militarism and expansionism was a creature of capitalism itself. Though it was not the same as European fascism, the impetus for Japan’s move to war was the need for Japanese capitalism to acquire new sources of raw materials, especially oil.
At the war’s end the world witnessed the use of the most terrifying and devastating weapon — the nuclear bombing by the United States of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. At Hiroshima the bomb used (called “Little Boy” by the United States) was a uranium bomb and at Nagasaki the bomb used was a plutonium bomb (called “Fat Man”). The element of testing was quite clear.
Over 250,000 people were killed by these bombs. Many thousands more have since died from the effects of radiation and birth defects continue to this day.

Cold War and the nuclear threat

Even as the Second World War was being fought, and even though the Soviet Union was an ally of the United States, Britain and France, the ruling capitalist classes of the western alliance were preparing for a renewal of their offensive against the Soviet Union and socialism. The Hiroshima bomb was the warning shot.
Initially, some reactionary elements hoped the war in Europe could be continued and turned into a new war against the Soviet Union. This was unrealistic. Not only was the Soviet Union held in high esteem by working class people who recognised the struggle and sacrifice of their Soviet allies, but the peoples of Europe and the allied forces wanted peace.
The imperialists on the other hand began the anti-communist propaganda offensive as quickly as they could. The nuclear bombing of Japan was claimed to have a military objective in hastening the end of the war against Japan, was clearly intended as a threat to the Soviet Union.
Unlike the period following the First World War, the Second World War led to a period of boom in the advanced western economies. This was partly due to the enormous material destruction of this war — a war in which whole cities had been bombed to the ground and colossal damage done.
Reconstruction on a huge scale helped to relieve the pre-war crisis of overproduction which had been at the root of the terrible mass unemployment of that time.
Yet while the fifties and sixties were a period of economic boom in the United States and western Europe, the underlying general crisis of capitalism deepened. The cause of this intensification of the general crisis added new impetus to the Cold War.
The general crisis of capitalism deepened because the defeat of fascism and the victory of the Soviet Union enabled socialism to advance in the countries of eastern Europe. As a victorious ally, the Soviet Union shared in the postwar settlement thrashed out at Yalta and Potsdam.
The territory of the world taken out of the hands of imperialism was now even greater.
Furthermore, the socialist states were a progressive force in the world — at last the oppressed countries under the heel of colonialism had found a hand of friendship in their long struggles for freedom.
One by one the former European colonies in Africa and Asia won their independence. This process is almost completed — but sadly the north east of Ireland is still, despite the achievement of the Good Friday Agreement and the devolution process, under the aegis of the Crown — colonialism has not ended yet.
The capitalist world received a second shattering blow — China — the giant of Asia — crushed the barbarism of serfdom and the feudal order and defeated the Kuomintang nationalists. In 1949 the People’s Republic of China was declared by Mao Zedong, thus beginning the long march of the Chinese revolution, through difficult times, to the great developing economic power of today.
This takes us to mid-century. The Marxist dialectic clearly has been vindicated: While China appeared extremely backward, the process of counter-revolution and imperialist intervention ultimately ended the Soviet Union by the 1990s.
But China and other socialist countries carried the torch of socialism forward, and despite invasion and embargo, are clearly examples of how human progress could benefit all rather than the avaricious few. Out of every setback a renewed struggle for socialism makes its indelible mark.

Cold War

THE second half of the 20th century was overshadowed by the Cold War — a war that had begun with the October Revolution of 1917 and which intensified in the second half of the century to become a sword of Damocles hanging over the entire world — the sword being nuclear armed and capable of destroying all of humanity.
The post Second World War phase of the Cold War got under way almost as soon as the war had ended. The Soviet Union, which had been hailed as a heroic ally in the war against fascism just a year or so before, was, by 1946, being held up as a new danger to the “free world”.
Winston Churchill’s notorious “Iron Curtain” speech, delivered to an audience at Westminster College in Fulton Missouri (1946) was an opening shot in this renewal of the Cold War. It is interesting to note that Churchill had to be careful to express his respect for the courage of the Soviet people and Marshal Stalin and give recognition to the wartime alliance — a reflection of the popular goodwill towards the Soviet people that existed then.
But these expressions of regard were drowned by the rest of the speech which sought to portray the Soviet Union and those parts of Europe within the Soviet zone as areas under totalitarian control. And, Churchill went on to assert that the Soviet Union had expansionist intentions. The speech concluded that this threat of expansion by a so-called “totalitarian” state had to be countered by an Anglo-American-led United Nations force that would defend “democracy” wherever necessary.
Churchill was really showing imperialism’s reaction to a further deepening of the general crisis of capitalism — which, despite the post-war economic boom, had intensified with the advance of socialism throughout eastern Europe.
The defeat of fascism and the victory of the Soviet forces on the eastern front had ended the opportunity to inflict military defeat on the Soviet Union, created the conditions for socialism to flourish in eastern Europe, and reduced still further the territory of the world open to imperialist control and exploitation.
Capitalism was not long in lashing out. Just three years after Churchill’s Fulton speech was delivered the imperialist powers formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) — despite objections from the Soviet Union who said its formation was contrary to the United Nations Charter.
In a 1982 CND booklet, No No Nato, John Cox writes: “The formation of Nato was preceded by a year of intense diplomatic activity during which the impending Treaty was opposed vehemently by the Soviet Union, on the grounds that it was directed against the ‘socialist and democratic’ countries.
“The Soviet Union claimed that the Treaty was an exclusive grouping and therefore ‘contrary to the United Nations Charter’.
“The Nato response to this was to issue solemn assurances about its non-aggressive and defensive character. The Soviet Union then applied to join Nato and, by being rejected, proved that the alliance was indeed directed against it”.
Throughout the decades which followed, the imperialists poured out a steady stream of lying propaganda. Part of this propaganda attack was aimed at making Nato appear to be a purely defensive organisation which was merely responding to a variety of alleged Soviet threats. The lies were used to justify a costly and insanely dangerous nuclear arms race.
In truth, the Warsaw Treaty Organisation was not set up until 1955 — six years after the formation of Nato — and the nuclear arms race was, from the start, led by the United States and its Nato allies. The Soviet Union issued no threats and claimed no territory or sphere of influence beyond the terms of the agreement reached at Potsdam in 1945.
This intense period of the Cold War is often spoken of as if it were a long-running stand-of between east and west which fortunately for all of us didn’t degenerate into a “hot” war.
While it’s true that the peoples of the United States of America, Europe and the former Soviet Union did not experience nuclear war or bombing of their countries, the Cold War was neither “cold” and bloodless nor a “stand-off” for millions of people in the developing world.
For example, the United States’ war of aggression against Korea in the early 1950s, albeit cloaked behind the flag of the United Nations, and the later US war against Vietnam, were both terrible and bloody “hot” wars that were part and parcel of the Cold War.
The reason this was so is because the Cold War was not a struggle between east and west nor a national struggle between the US and USSR. It was in fact a global battle launched by the imperialist powers against the ideas and practice of socialism everywhere, though of course, the strongest — the Soviet Union and China — were especially targeted.
Indeed the capitalists’ great fear that socialism and socialist ideas would prosper was expressed by Churchill at Fulton. He said: “However, in a great number of countries, far from the Russian frontiers and throughout the world, communist fifth columns are established ... Except in the British Commonwealth and in the United States where communism is in its infancy, the communist parties or fifth columns constitute a growing challenge and peril to Christian civilisation”.
And so it was that any peoples which turned to the Soviet Union or China for friendship and alliance, that struggled against the oppression of capitalism, that began to follow communist leaderships or even progressive nationalist leaders, were implacably opposed by the imperialist camp.
Rabid anti-communism — the essence of the Cold War — fuelled the West’s response to the post-war struggles of people throughout the world. For instance, this feature was present in Britain’s war against the people of Malaya. It was present in the United States’ war to crush the Huk rebellion in the Philippines. In these anti-colonial struggles communists were at the forefront of the resistance movements.
Imperialism also waged the Cold War in its own heartlands where it sought to deal, often very crudely, with communist parties and other progressive movements. The most blatant of these Cold War attacks on the organised working class within the leading capitalist countries was the persecution of communists in the United Slates unleashed by the chief witch hunter, Senator Joseph McCarthy.
But the West’s worst efforts could not stop the struggle of the oppressed nor douse the flame of socialism that had been well and truly lit in the world.
The people of Korea, along with many troops from China, courageously defended their country against the US-led forces which had launched a bloody war against it in the summer of 1950. (The United States asserted that this war had been started by an invasion of south Korea by the north. This was a lie — but it is a lie that is still repeated by the western media).
Unfortunately Korea remains divided by a vast concrete wall, put up at the behest of the United States, and south Korea continues to have thousands of US troops and weapons (including nuclear weapons) stationed on its soil.
But in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea the total devastation of that war has been overcome by the great efforts of the people under the leadership of the Workers Party of Korea. Modern cities, highways, great dams, energy plants and other sites of industry have grown up where once there was nothing but rubble. Above all the DPRK continues to advance on the socialist path.

Breaking the chains of colonial rule

After the Second World War the struggle of peoples around the world to break free from the bonds of colonial rule gathered pace.
In the decade after the war the long-fought struggle against British imperialism succeeded in the sub- continent and the Republic of India was formed in 1949.
To some extent the anti-colonial developments were regarded in Washington as no bad thing — the break-up of the old European empires could be considered by the rulers of the New World as a chance for extending their own sphere of influence.
But, of course, none of the imperialist leaders, on either side of the Atlantic, wanted newly independent countries to become independent of western capitalism. They certainly didn’t want any to follow a socialist course nor did they want them to forge alliances with the socialist countries.
The West’s economic interests and its Cold War was a clear threat to the developing world and the anti-colonial movements.
Solidarity was needed. This became reality in April 1955 when a great conference was held in Bandung (Indonesia) attended by 29 countries from Africa and Asia.
The conference outlined its ideas of positive neutrality and active non-alignment.
Since the socialist countries had no reason or desire to exploit or economically control the newly founded states, the call for neutrality and non-alignment would in practice be a policy to prevent the developing world’s enforced isolation from the socialist world and to help protect the new states from neo-colonialism — the iron fist of imperialism inside a velvet glove.
From the Bandung conference the Non-Aligned Movement grew. It had its first summit conference in Belgrade in 1961 attended by representatives of 25 countries. Over the years it grew to almost 100 member countries.
The Non-Aligned Movement became a potent advocate of world peace. It opposed the use and threatened use of nuclear weapons and incurred the anger of the West by speaking out on these matters.
The existence of strong socialist countries, Bandung (later the Non-Aligned Movement) and anti-imperialist consciousness among the peoples of the former European colonies, enabled a number of progressive movements to advance and many gains to be won.
Among these was the Nasser’s Free Officer movement in Egypt which in July 1952 had forced the abdication of the pro-British stooge, King Farouk, and proclaimed an anti-colonial and anti-feudal policy.
In 1956 the progressive nationalist government of Gamal Abdel Nasser took British imperialism head on and declared the nationalisation of the Suez Canal. The British government of the day responded with traditional gunboat measures but, with no support from the US, it failed to overthrow Egypt’s right to own the Canal.
A year later the Nasser government announced the nationalisation of all foreign property.
In the same period, Kwame Nkrumah and the Convention People’s Party led a campaign of “positive action” which forced the British to agree to elections in the Gold Coast in 1951.
The CPP won a majority of the vote and Nkrumah became head of what the British termed the “responsible government”. From then until 1957 Nkrumah and the CPP waged a ceaseless struggle for independence — which was proclaimed on 6 March 1957.
Nkrumah was a Pan-Africanist and believed strongly that Africa had to stand together if it was to shake off colonialism and neo-colonialism and advance.
In 1958 he sponsored an All-African People’s Conference in Accra. It was attended by the major national liberation movements of the continent including Algeria’s FLN, and the Congo’s MNC led by Patrice Lumumba.
That conference was to develop into the formation of the Union of African Anti-imperialist Governments — a body which Egypt later joined.

Cuban Revolution

The decade of the 1950s, while it was a time of frenzied Cold War activity instigated by the imperialist powers, was also a decade which witnessed the ending of direct colonial rule in many parts of the world.
The decade ended with another major blow to the forces of imperialism — a new victorious socialist revolution occurred — this time in the western hemisphere and just 90 miles away from the United States. The oppressive Batista dictatorship in Cuba was overthrown and a new order of socialism welcomed in.
The revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, became Prime Minister in February 1959.
The Cuban Revolution was not just a political blow to the United States — it had a direct economic impact as the Revolutionary Government began to implement its policy of state ownership, including a programme of agrarian reform. Under Batista a good deal of Cuban property had been in the hands of American business interests. On 6 August 1960, the principal US companies were nationalised and a month later all banks with US capital operating in Cuba were taken under the control of the state.
By the end of that year all foreign banks were nationalised as well as the remaining US companies operating in Cuba. All large Cuban companies were also brought under state control.
At the beginning of 1961 the United States broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba.
As the Cuban people began to free themselves of the old order of capitalism and build a socialist society in the interests of the majority, so the imperialist powers, led by the United States, started its Cold War attack on the infant socialist state. This attack has continued unabated to the present day.
The Cold War crusade against Cuba has included military threats, incursions by US-backed forces, an economic blockade, a propaganda campaign which involved the setting up of anti-Cuban radio and TV stations based in the US, attempts to kill Fidel Castro, germ warfare attacks and the cynical use of Cuban exiles — regarded by Washington as potential counter-revolutionary agents.
But Cuba’s Revolution has always had the support of the majority of the Cuban people. The might of the United States has been successfully resisted and the socialist revolution strides forwards.
Cuba has won the respect and friendskip of millions throughout the world and a great movement of solidarity with the revolutionary island now exists in country after country around the world.
At the United Nations it is the US which is isolated — it is Cuba which has won support.

The struggle for peace

In the second half of the 20th century imperialism threatened the whole of humanity with its insane nuclear arms race and with the development of other new weapons of mass destruction The dangers were met with widespread resistance. Peace movements sprang up in every continent and the issue of world peace came to the forefront of the political stage.
Some, like Britain’s Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, grew out of the campaigns in the late 1950s to oppose the above-ground testing of nuclear weapons. Others were focused directly against the surging imperialist war machine.
The peace movements swelled as the Cold War erupted once again into bloodshed with the US government’s war of aggression against Vietnam.
Vietnam This was an appalling crime against the people of Vietnam who had already endured a long war to free their country from French colonial rule. The people of Vietnam won that war when the French forces were defeated at the battle of Dien Bien Phu in May 1954.
But, as elsewhere, the departing colonial power and its allies were unwilling to see the implementation of full independence. The departing French forces retreated to south of the 17th parallel under the terms of the ceasefire and, egged-on by the United States, encouraged the setting up of the pro-French local government of Ngo Dinh Diem. The People’s Army of Vietnam remained to the north of the 17th parallel.
In the south of the country, the imperialist stooge government of the self-proclaimed Republic of Vietnam refused to hold elections.
A resistance movement sprang up in the south where the US was taking over the reigns from the departing French. This movement became the People’s National Liberation Army. By the end of 1960 a Front of National Liberation was formed.
The war became a struggle between the US occupiers and the patriotic resistance forces. By 1964 the US attacked the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the north with bombing raids.
The US leadership’s hysterical determination to wage war on Vietnam was based on its fear that Vietnam, under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh, would become another socialist state and another obstacle to imperialism.
US politicians poured out a stream of propaganda which ludicrously claimed that if Vietnam was allowed to develop into a communist state, it would only be a matter of time before the rest of south east Asia, and even Australia, would topple into the communist camp like falling dorninoes.
In fact, the very opposite was the case — the imperialist powers were themselves concerned with stamping their hegemony on the region and feared the progressive forces in Vietnam would act as a brake on these designs.
The United States threw its full might against this small Asian country. It committed the most obscene crimes against the people including blanket bombing, the use of terrible weapons such as flesh-burning napalm, Agent Orange and defoliants. Many Vietnamese citizens and US veterans and their families are still suffering from the effects of these crimes against humanity.
The enormous suffering caused by this war was matched only by the great heroism of the Vietnamese people. Their’s was the victory and the forces of imperialism had to eventually swallow military defeat at the hands of a small developing country.
Imperialism not only lost to the progressive forces of Vietnam, it had to also face the mounting anger of a growing army of peace activists in every corner of the earth. The huge US losses fuelled the growing anti-war movement in the United States itself. The end of the war was received with relief in the US.
The legacy of that war still affects US foreign and military policy — it feels unable to commit to any engagement that could lead to large numbers of US fatalities.
Vietnam was reunited and in July 1976 the National Assembly declared the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and began the process of reconstruction.
Not a penny was paid to Vietnam in war reparations and the US imposed a blockade against the country.

The Cold War and revisionism

The imperialist powers not only carried out an intense anti-communist propaganda war but spent fortunes on intelligence operations designed to undermine socialist regimes and to assist counter-revolutionary elements within the socialist world.
These efforts included the setting up of propaganda stations such as TV Marti (targeted at Cuba), Radio Free Europe, The Voice of America and so on.
Just as the socialist countries gave solidarity, help and friendship to the national liberation struggles, the peace movements, anti-racist struggles and anti-imperialist campaigns around the world, so too the capitalist heartlands provided every help they could to the remnants of the old orders in the socialist world.
So it was that the Cold War went hand in hand with the spread and growth of revisionism within communist parties, including the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
The tactic is to gradually and bit by bit erode and water-down Marxist-Leninist ideas until a point is reached when a communist party can be led away from its revolutionary path. At the end of the process there is liquidation of the party or its transformation into a social democratic or even liberal organisation.
One of the first examples of this was the adoption by the Communist Party of the USA of the ideas introduced by Earl Browder which became known as Browderism. Fortunately this was exposed and did not last.
A much more damaging and dangerous development was the body of ideas known as Euro-communism which grew throughout the 1970s and 80s. These ideas which often used the writings of the Italian communist Gramsci had a strong influence on the communist parties of Italy, Spain, France and Britain. And the problem was not confined to these parties or to just Europe.
What was not clear at the time was the fact that the disease of revisionism was already well established within the Soviet party and those of its allies in the Warsaw Pact.
In the Soviet Union the defeated remnants of the Czarist regime and the old bourgeoisie were waiting in the wings for things to change and actively assisting whatever negative elements they could find. There was always an element of danger within.
When comrade Stalin died in 1953 a dangerous blow befell the CPSU with the 20th Party Congress and Khrushchov’s supposed “secret” speech in which Stalin was denounced. Whatever its intentions, this opened a door to those who wanted to weaken Marxism-Leninism and undermine the fundamental principles of the revolutionary party. The speech also gave ammunition to the imperialist camp to enable it to intensify its own anti-communist propaganda. In this way revisionism and the Cold War joined hands.
The counter- revolution which took place in the Soviet Union at the end of the 1980s and beginning of the 90s was in fact a moment of qualitative change — a long period of revisionism, of quantitative changes, had already taken place.
As the revisionism advanced so the party degenerated along with the economy. By the time of the counter-revolution the CPSU included many in its ranks who sought only to serve themselves and worse, it included the class enemy and those hell bent on restoring capitalism.
The counter-revolution was undoubtedly a terrible setback for the people of the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe as well as being a setback for the working class everywhere.
Imperialism had gained a breathing space and was relieved of the restraining hand provided by a strong socialist superpower.

Conclusion
And yet, even despite the setback of the counter-revolution in Europe, the 20th century has ended much further along the road to socialism and progress than when the century began.
A quarter of the world is now socialist whereas there were no socialist countries at all in 1900.
Colonialism has almost completely ended — the struggle for Ireland’s freedom continues and will without doubt be won.
The obscenity of Apartheid was brought to an end in South Africa and universal suffrage achieved for that country’s people.
Even the counter-revolution in the former Soviet Union has taught us important lessons so that the mistakes of the past may not be repeated — principally the need for constant vigilance against revisionism of both left and right.
Capitalism no longer holds sway in every corner of the earth and, despite the current short-term economic upturn in the West, is in a state of deepening crisis — a crisis it cannot resolve.
Around the world communist parties exist and flourish — where revisionism did its worst new and healthy Marxist-Leninist forces are rebuilding a new future.
We have every reason to go into the next century with confidence and enthusiasm. Long live the Revolution!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Black History Month: The tipping point in the struggle


by Daphne Liddle


IN 1947 African workers on the Dakar-Niger Railway, in what was then called “French Africa”, staged a successful strike to win equal pay and conditions with French railway workers. They wanted a living wage, sick pay and pensions – demands dismissed by the French bosses as “nonsense”.
The Dakar-Niger Railway connects Dakar, (Senegal) to Koulikoro, (Mali). It serves many cities in Senegal (including Thiès) and Mali (including Kayes, Kita, Kati, Bamako). The line covers a course of 1,287 kilometres of which 641 km lies in Mali.
Construction work on the Dakar-Niger Railway began at the end of the 19th century under the French general Joseph Gallieni, commander of French Sudan. The railroad connected the Niger River with the port of Dakar, allowing the transport of raw materials across the globe. The line was completed at the beginning of the 20th century, the Kayes-Koulikoro section being inaugurated in 1904, but the final section of line did not open until 1924.
Goods transported along this railway include hundreds of tons of shelled peanuts, peanuts in shells, gum arabic, animal skins, cotton and millet.
In 1947 the railway workers staged a strike lasting several months to demand the same rights as French railway workers.The French colonial authorities were surprised and angered. They decided to starve the workers back by not only cutting off wages but also cutting off water supplies and pressuring local traders not to sell food to the strikers.
But after a long and bitter struggle the strikers won. The extreme measures taken by the French authorities left the workers dependent on the women and bush-hunting skills of the apprentices for food. It was the mobilisation of the women – after a shooting incident that left two youths dead – that tipped the balance and forced the bosses to the negotiating table.
The revolutionary writer and film-maker Sembène Ousmane described how this happened in his novel, Les bouts de bois de Dieux (God’s bits of wood), written in 1960.
He described the way in which a group of apprentices at first regarded the strike as a bit of a holiday and were left to their own devices by the strikers and the women.
Then, when hunger began to bite, the small gang of teenage boys helped out by rounding up stray chickens and harvesting “monkey bread” fruit from the wild baobab trees. When this ran out they started hunting lizards and other small bush creatures – honing their skills with slings made from old inner tube rubber, which they had stolen from one of the traders.
Then: “One day Dienynaba, who had noticed their constant absences, stopped her son as he was on his way to join the others.
“‘Where are you going, Gorgui?’ she demanded.
“‘I’m going to look for Magatte, Mother.’
“‘What do you do all day, you and the others?’
“‘Nothing much – we usually go walking in the fields.’
“‘Well, instead of wandering around doing nothing, why don’t you do your wandering in the toubabs’ [white bosses’] district. Some of them have chickens running around loose…’”
“It took Gorgui a minute to realise what his mother meant but then he went off like a shot.”
The boys started raiding the white settlement for chickens and anything else that might be edible. And as feelings were running high, they threw in a bit of vandalism to the white bosses’ property while they were at it. They took a delight at night to creep about with their slings targeting motor headlamps, windshields and windows.
“Hidden behind the trunk of a tree, flattened against a wall or crouched in a ditch, they adjusted their slings, fired and vanished into the shadows. Everything that shone in the night was a target, from windows to lamp posts. At daybreak the bulbs and the glass might be replaced but it was a wasted effort. The following night the ground would again be littered with sparkling splinters.”
“The bosses thought they were being targeted by a deliberate campaign of terror and became very nervous and kept their guns handy. This inevitably led to a tragedy. One evening the boys were practising by slinging stones at lizards, one lizard ran under a car to hide; one of the bosses emerged from behind the car, terrified and with a gun and three shots rang out. The man then fled back into the European quarter as two boys lay dying and another was wounded. “They were shooting at me! They were shooting at me!” he shouted.
Sembène Ousmane’s story continues: “Magatte ran straight to the union office to tell the men what had happened.
Breathless, his lips trembling, his eyes swimming with tears of shock, he tried to explain how he and his comrades had been hunting lizards when Isnard had suddenly appeared with a revolver, fired on them, and killed them all. At his first words everyone in the office moved out into the street, where there would be room for the others to join them. Lahbib and Boubacar, Loudou and Sène Masène, the father of one of the dead boys, were there already. They were joined almost immediately by Penda, who had taken to wearing a soldier’s cartridge belt around her waist since she had been made a member of the strike committee.
“The news spread like fire through the courtyards of the district, travelling from compound to compound and from main house to neighbouring cabins. Men, women and children flowed into the streets by the hundreds, marching towards the railroad yards.
“The crowd swelled at every step and became a mass of running legs and shouting mouths, opened on gleaming white teeth or blackened stumps. The headcloths floated above the crowd for a moment before falling and being trampled in the dust. The women carried children in their arms or slung across their backs, and as they walked they gathered up weapons – heavy pestles, iron bars and pick handles – and waved them at the sky like the standards of an army. On their faces hunger, sleeplessness, pain and fear had been graven into a single image of anger.
“At last the crowd arrived at the siding and the bodies of the two dead children were wrapped in white cloths, which were rapidly stained with blood. Gorgui was carried away, weeping and moaning, and the long cortège turned in the direction of home.
“This time the women were at its head, led by Penda, Dieynaba and Mariame Sonko. As they passed before the houses of the European employees, their fury reached a screaming peak; fists were waved and a torrent of oaths and insults burst from their throats like water through a shattered dam.
“In front of the residence of the district administrator the two corpses were laid out on the ground and the women began to intone a funeral dirge. Watchmen, soldiers and mounted policemen were hastily summoned and formed a protective cordon around the house.
“When the last mournful notes of the dirge no longer hung in the air, the entire crowd simply stood there silently. But the silence was heavier with meaning than the oaths or clamour; it was a witness to the unlit fires, the empty cooking pots and the decaying mortars, and to the machines in the shops where the spiders were spinning their webs. For more than an hour they stood there, and the soldiers themselves remained silent before these silent people.
“At last the cortège formed up again but the ceremony was repeated, and the bodies of the children laid out, four times again – in front of the station, in the suburbs of N’Ginth and Randoulène and in the market square in the heart of Thiès.
“It was not until almost nightfall, when the mass of this human river was already undistinguishable from the shadows, that the funeral procession ended and the remains of the two children returned to their homes.
“Three days later, the directors of the company notified the strikers that their representatives would be received.” The strikers won their demands.
The book goes on to describes the transformative effect of the strike, which challenged the racial categories of the colonial world and showed that the real division is between classes. By the end of the book the strikers realise that their white bosses don’t speak for the French workers, but for a set of interests and a class. One striker explains that it is “not a question of France or of her people; it is a question of employees and employers”.
Sembène Ousmane had a remarkable life. He was born in 1923 and attended an Islamic school in the Casamance – the poor southern region of modern Senegal, then part of the huge French West African colonial empire.
He was expelled from the school in 1936 for indiscipline and had to work as a fisherman before leaving to find work in the capital, Dakar.
In 1944 he was drafted into the French army and served in Niger, returning to Dakar after the war. He then went to France where he worked on the Marseille docks and became an activist in the powerful CGT union and a member of the Communist Party in 1950.
One contemporary remembers him at the time as “tirelessly attending seminars on Marxism and Communism”. He read everything, consumed socialist and Marxist classics and took part in protests against the French colonial war in Vietnam.
Sembène Ousmane was self-educated, teaching himself to read and write in French. He published his first novel, The Black Docker, in 1956. The book charts the experience of a black man recently arrived from West Africa working in Marseille.
In later years, with the independence of Mali and Senegal, after the break-up of the Mali Federation, control of the railroad was divided between two national organisations, the Régie des Chemin de fer du Mali (RCFM) and the Régie Sénégalaise.
An agreement between Senegal and Mali in 1962 determined the common exploitation of the line by the two railway companies. The difficulties of management and the lack of investment have led to a degradation of the infrastructure and rolling stock and numerous delays.
In October 2003, Senegal and Mali entrusted the management of the network to a Franco-Canadian consortium, Transrail. In spite of Transrail’s obligation to maintain a passenger service, the company intends to concentrate on the transport of goods. Many stations have been closed and the numbers of connections reduced, creating difficulties for isolated communities.
In June 2006 the workers on this railway were once again in struggle and the Bristol branch of the RMT transport union in Britain sent them messages of solidarity to the National Workers’ Union of Mali and issued a press release to the media in Britain.
“At Transrail, activity ground to a halt the day before yesterday and yesterday (14/15 June, 2006) because of the joint strike begun by Malian and Senegalese railway trade unions.
“Following privatisation of the Dakar-Niger Railway by the governments of Mali and Senegal in October 2003 and its sale to French/Canadian company, Transrail, the railworkers have suffered large-scale job losses, wage reductions, an attitude of contempt towards health and safety by management and the closure of about a third of the rail network.
“In Mali, a sacked Malian railway engineer founded a mass popular campaign for rail renationalisation in Mali – COCIDIRAIL (Collectif Citoyen pour la Restitution et le Developpement Intu Rail Malien – The Citizens Collective for Taking Back and Developing the Mailian Rail Network).
“In Senegal, railworkers took strike action in September 2005 to defend their working conditions. Now the railworkers of Mali and Senegal, who have a famous history of launching the struggle for national independence against French colonialism with their illegal national strike in 1947 immortalised by Senegalese writer Ousmane Sembène in his 1960 novel God’s Bits of Wood (Les Bouts de bois de Dieux), have launched a jointly-organised rail strike on 14 June against the foreign-owned Transrail corporation.”
The struggle goes on…


Belgian communists chart their way forward

BELGIAN COMMUNISTS have responded to the challenges facing their deeply divided country with a new programme that was discussed at the plenary session of their 8th Party Congress in Brussels last weekend.
The programme revolves around the slogan “A principled Party; a flexible Party; the Party of the Working People” and proposes tactical, strategic and organisational changes to the rules and stance of the Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB) to reach out to working people disillusioned with social-democracy and the sectarian politics of Flanders and Walloonia, which have brought the country to the brink of collapse.
Twenty-two international communist observers attended the Congress including comrades from Cuba, Democratic Korea and Vietnam and the NCP was represented by general secretary Andy Brooks.
Four hundred and fifty seven delegates representing some 3,000 members took part in the plenary session on Sunday. Discussions revolved around the main document which seeks to shed vestiges of dogmatism, ultra-leftism and sectarianism that the leadership argued had been a barrier to growth in recent years.
The new rule changes would make it easier to recruit supporters and members for a mass Marxist party.
The final session of Congress will be held in November.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Unforgettable years -- Kim Il Sung and the Workers' Party of Korea


by Andy Brooks


KIM IL SUNG was an outstanding communist leader and thinker who will always be remembered by working people all over the world. His name will forever be remembered as the founder of the modern Korean communist movement that began amongst the patriotic youth of Korea when he was a student in the 1920s.
From student leader Kim Il Sung became the guerrilla leader; the “Young General” who took up the gun to drive the Japanese colonialists out of the country. When Kim Il Sung gathered a small band of heroes to form the first guerrilla units to take on the might of the Japanese Army no one could have imagined that this would become the People’s Army that brought the American imperialists to their knees begging for an armistice in 1953.
But above all Kim Il Sung was the communist leader who built the Korean communist movement from the grass-roots in the 1920s to the Workers’ Party of Korea that was founded in 1945 and leads the Korean people from victory to victory in the 21st century.
The great leader of the Korean people was one of the giants of communism – the man who led the people in a war of liberation from Japanese occupation and then in 1950 defended that victory against invasion by the United States and its allies in 1950, who had been using the fledgling United Nations as a puppet. He then went on to lead his country in building its own, independent socialism, steering a careful path during the period of Sino-Soviet ideological conflict and managing to remain on good terms with both parties.
And after the demise of the Soviet Union and the loss of the eastern European socialist countries, an enormous setback for communism globally, when parties were becoming demoralised and failing around the world, Kim Il Sung stopped the rot by summoning a global conference of communist and workers’ parties in Pyongyang in 1992.
Comrade Kim Il Sung led the Korean masses to victory against the brutal Japanese colonialists in 1945. He took up the gun again to defend their freedom when US imperialism and its lackeys invaded the north in 1950. The Americans were fought to a standstill and forced to sign a humiliating armistice in 1953. Though the American terror bombers had left north Korea in ruins, the masses rallied round the call of the Workers’ Party of Korea to rebuild their shattered country and lead the drive for a modern, independent socialist republic in the free part of the Korean peninsula.
In the north the WPK led the drive to build a new life for all the working people of the DPRK. In American-occupied south Korea the WPK led the popular forces in their struggle against US imperialism and their local lackeys and pawns.
The Workers’ Party of Korea was founded on 10th October 1945 but the struggle began in those dark days of 1910 when the Japanese army marched into Korea, deposed the feudal ruler and the peninsula became a colony of Japan.
There was always resistance but it was drowned in blood. But the 1917 Great October Russian Revolution had a enormous impact on the Korean people, inspiring a new uprising in 1919. The Japanese occupation forces responded with predictable fury, driving the patriotic forces underground. And while the workers and peasants looked to the Soviet Union for help and inspiration, the bourgeois nationalists hoped that the other Pacific power, the United States, would come to their aid.
Lenin observed in 1920: “Take the two imperialist countries, Japan and America. They want to fight and will fight for world supremacy, for the right to loot. Japan will fight so as to continue to plunder Korea, which she is doing with unprecedented brutality, combining all the latest technical inventions with purely Asiatic tortures. We recently received a Korean newspaper which gives an account of what the Japanese are doing. Here we find all the methods of Czarism and all the latest technical perfections combined with a purely Asiatic system of torture and unparalleled brutality. But the Americans would like to grab this Korean titbit.”.
Korean patriotic groups tried to keep up the unequal struggle against the might of the Japanese Empire. The bourgeois nationalists meanwhile fled to China and set up a phantom “provisional government”. They hoped for aid from American imperialism and their “premier” Syngman Rhee begged Washington and the Nationalist Chinese Government for protection.But Syngman Rhee’s begging bowl approach and his embezzlement of “independence funds”, raised from overseas Koreans in Hawaii, made him an object of ridicule and contempt at home. And he received little concrete help from the Americans though they appreciated that he might be useful to them at a later date.
At that time the communist movement in Korea was small and bitterly divided into warring sects. Groups sent emissaries abroad to try and get recognition from the Communist International (Comintern). All claimed to be the authentic voice of Korean communism while furiously denouncing their rivals. All attempts to set up a united communist party quickly collapsed.
But a new generation of communists was emerging from the patriotic youth and students of the country who wanted to drive the Japanese out and build a new tomorrow for the Korean people. Kim Il Sung was one of them.
Kim Il Sung saw the hopelessness of the sectarians, flunkeyists, dogmatists and factionalists who called themselves communists in the 1920s. So he decided to form a communist movement from the youth and the grass-roots of the villages and factories.
When Kim Il Sung formed the Down with Imperialism Union at the age of 14 in 1926 no one, least of all the Japanese imperialists, could have dreamt that within 20 years Korea would be free. This was a movement that captured the imagination of all Korea’s progressive youth, which soon grew into the bigger Anti-Imperialist Youth League. From this organisation came many of the pioneers of the underground Young Communist League of Korea, directing student strikes and joining in the campaign to boycott Japanese goods.
The divisions amongst the existing Korean communists had left them isolated from the masses. Kim Il Sung strongly denounced their acts, of trying to rely on outside forces and striving for the recognition of others, as a disgrace to the Korean nation.
He stressed that a revolutionary movement was not something to carry on with the approval of others but a work to be done out of one’s own conviction. Problems should be solved by oneself, he said, and only when the struggle was waged well would others recognise it.
In words relevant today Kim Il Sung said: “Factionalism is a product of bourgeois and petty bourgeois ideologies, particularly of self-heroising, fame-seeking and careerism. It has nothing in common with the revolutionary ideas of the working class”.
Rank and file communist cells spread throughout Korea. In the north and amongst the Korean national minority in the Chinese province of Manchuria, also under Japanese occupation, a new guerrilla army was being formed. It soon began to deal telling blows against the Japanese army. In the liberated areas new cadres were trained and mass organisations set up. In the towns and villages under the heel of the Japanese, a broad and united front was growing stronger under the leadership of the communists.
A large working class, over two million by 1939, had grown, partly due to Japan’s exploitative industrialisation of Korea. Workers rallied to the national call, setting up underground committees, disrupting production in the arms plants and carrying out acts of sabotage in the factories, on the railways and at the airports. “Rice riots” erupted in the cities while in the countryside peasants refused to supply the Japanese army. By 1945 the Korean guerrillas had driven the Japanese out of parts of northern Korea.
The Japanese Empire, an ally of Nazi Germany, entered the Second World War in 1941. Its legions had over-run vast tracts of Asia in campaigns noted for their brutality and terror. Now it was facing defeat on all fronts.
In August 1945, the Soviet Union, at the request of its war-time allies, the United States and Britain, declared war against Imperial Japan. Together with the forces of the Mongolian People’s Republic, the Red Army swept down into Manchuria and northern Korea. Within days Japanese resistance collapsed and Korea was free. Or so it seemed.
Under agreement with the United States Korea was divided into two zones. Soviet forces occupied the north above the 38th parallel and the United States moved into the south. The USSR, Britain and the United States had agreed at Potsdam that this would only be a temporary measure to supervise the end of Japanese control and prepare the way for democratic elections and an independent Korea.
In December 1945 the Soviet Union took the lead in calling for an early withdrawal of all occupation forces to allow the Koreans to determine their future for themselves. But this was not to be.
Syngman Rhee’s hour had come. Recalled from Washington the US authorities started to build a reactionary centre around him to act on their behalf in the south.
In the north the Red Army was helping in reconstruction. Japanese plants, mines, power stations and railways were handed over to the people. Popular committees thrived with the assistance of the Soviet Headquarters while Moscow despatched food, transport and money to the fledgling administration. Democratic reforms, nationalisation of industries and land reform giving land to the peasants soon followed.
Giant strides were being made in the north. Unemployment, hunger and slave labour were the lot of the working people in the south while the US Army HQ ruled in the same way as the Japanese, grooming the traitor Syngman Rhee as their lackey.
By 1948 the situation was ready for the elections for a Supreme People’s Assembly. In the north elections took place normally but the south the US military ordered separate rigged elections for their puppet. But secret votes elected southern deputies, who with their northern compatriots proclaimed the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The new assembly called on both occupying powers to evacuate Korea. The Soviet Union immediately agreed and by the end of 1948 all Soviet forces had been withdrawn. The United States is still in the south today.
In June 1950 the US imperialists launched an invasion of the north. The Americans and their puppets used everything at their disposal, including germ and chemical warfare, terror bombing and massacre in their bid to destroy the Korean revolution. But under the leadership of Kim Il Sung the people stood firm and resolutely rebuffed the Americans, who had roped in hertheir Nato allies, including Britain, into hertheir insane adventure.
The Soviet Union, People’s China and the other socialist countries rallied to Korea’s aid. People’s China in particular sent a million volunteers to fight side-by-side with the Korean People’s Army in defiance of US threats to use nuclear weapons and dealt devastating blows to the United States and its satellites. In 1953 the United States bowed to the reality of military failure and world public opinion and sued for an armistice.
As usual the Americans promised speedy talks on the withdrawal of their forces and the reunification of Korea. But to this day US forces still occupy the south and the country is still divided. Syngman Rhee was forced to flee south Korea during the student-led uprising in April 1960. His own finance minister admitted that Rhee had embezzled $20 million in government funds and the Americans found new stooges to take Rhee’s place and divided the country with a concrete wall that runs from sea to sea.
In the decades that followed Kim Il Sung worked tirelessly for the peaceful reunification of Korea while creatively applying Marxism-Leninism to the concrete problems of Korean society emerging from feudalism and colonial slavery in the 20th century. Kim Il Sung’s philosophical works, based on the revolutionary experience of the Korean communist movement and generations of struggle, steered the WPK as it marched forward to build a new way of life for the Korean people.
When the Korean War ended the WPK led the campaign for reconstruction. Industry was restored and expanded. Illiteracy was conquered, unemployment abolished and a comprehensive educational system established. The people began to enjoy free housing and medical treatment. By 1970 north Korea had become a socialist industrialised republic, an achievement that has made it a powerful beacon for socialism in Asia.
Unlike British communist leaders in the past, and indeed many others in Europe and beyond, Kim Il Sung stressed that Marxism-Leninism goes far beyond simple economic formulas and the Soviet “model”.
Kim Il Sung not only grasped Marxism-Leninism but he applied it to the concrete conditions of the Korean people. He knew that once the masses realised their own strength they would become unstoppable. He knew that serving the people was the be-all and end-all for the Korean communists and for the Workers’ Party of Korea that he launched in 1945. He developed Korean style socialism into the Juché idea – which elevates the philosophical principles of Marxism-Leninism as well as its economic theories – and focuses on the development of each individual worker, who can only be truly free as part of the collective will of the masses.
Kim Il Sung knew that material prosperity and ideological strength were of equal importance to the people. He called this the twin towers. Though both couldn’t advance simultaneously, when progress in one was made the other had to be advanced to catch up. This was pointed out by Stalin in the 1930s when he told Soviet shock workers, the Stakhanovites, that working people had benefited concretely from the revolution. All previous revolutions had failed but:
Our proletarian revolution is the only revolution in the world which had the opportunity of showing the people not only the political results but also material results” he declared.
It is a good thing, of course, to drive out the capitalists, to drive out the landlords, to drive out the Czarist henchmen, to seize power and achieve freedom. That is very good. But unfortunately, freedom alone is not enough, by far. If there is a shortage of bread, a shortage of butter and fats, a shortage of textiles, and if housing conditions are bad, freedom will not carry you very far. It is very difficult, comrades, to live on freedom alone. In order to live well and joyously, the benefits of political freedom must be supplemented by material benefits”. Stalin said.
But Stalin’s revisionist successors abandoned the ideological tower and failed to even maintain the material benefits for the Soviet masses.
Kim Il Sung was the first to develop the formula now known as “one nation/ two systems” for the peaceful reunification of Korea, based on the withdrawal of all foreign troops and the establishment of an independent, neutral, peaceful and non-aligned Democratic Confederal Republic of Koryo.
The return of Hong Kong and Macau to People’s China in 1997 proved that it can work and it remains the only realistic model for the return of the breakaway province of Taiwan to China and the end of the partition of Korea.
Kim Il Sung was born in a world of oppression and exploitation. He lived and fought to end that rotten system and he lived to see the construction of a modern socialist system in the north of Korea. But he wasn’t just a Korean communist. He was a great internationalist.
The leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea championed the struggle for colonial freedom, non-alignment and Third World co-operation. He pioneered the call for south-south co-operation which is now bearing fruit today in the Shanghai Cooperation Council that includes China, Russia and three former Soviet republics of Central Asia and in the increasing co-operation between the oil-rich countries of Venezuela and Iran with Cuba and other countries confronting imperialism.
Kim Il Sung sent technical and military assistance to the African and Arab peoples struggling for independence and he constantly strove to strengthen the world communist movement.
Kim Il Sung, the great leader of the Korean revolution, died in 1994 but his work lives on in the Workers’ Party of Korea. His successor, Kim Jong Il told the Korean people and the world that they could “expect no change from him” and with Kim Jong Il at the helm, the Workers’ Party of Korea has won great victories in recent years. Natural disasters have been overcome. Diplomatic isolation has been broken and the intrigues of US imperialism have been exposed.
The DPRK stood up to American threats over the so-called “nuclear issue” forcing the imperialists to the negotiating table in Beijing and encouraging the national bourgeois of south Korea to stand up for their own interests. Kim Jong Il has held two summits with the south Korean leadership – the second, only last week, paves the way to easing the tension on the Korean peninsula based on dialogue and co-operation.
The Korean revolution is an inspiration to all communists and freedom-fighters throughout the world. The Korean people, determined to preserve their independence and socialist system, have closed ranks around the Workers’ Party of Korea and the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the face of new threats from American imperialism.
The achievements of Democratic Korea today are based on the sacrifices of generations of Koreans in the past and the tireless work of the leadership of the Workers Party of Korea that follows in the footsteps of the great revolutionary leader Kim Il Sung.
We have no doubt that the Korean masses, who are building socialism in the north and struggling for freedom and re-unification in the south, will be victorious in the struggles to come.
And we are confident that with Kim Jong Il and the Workers’ Party of Korea at the helm the Korean people will achieve the end of partition and the re-unification of the Korean peninsula.

International meeting on Party education

REPRESENTATIVES of seven communist and workers’ parties held a successful meeting in Madrid last weekend organised by the Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain (PCPE), to discuss co-operation and co-ordination in party education.
The meeting was attended by comrades from the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (CPBM), the Danish Communist Party, the Workers’ Party of Belgium, the Communist Party of Slovakia, and the Marxism-Leninist Communist Party of Brazil. Andy Brooks, NCP leader, and Theo Russell, from the Central Committee, represented the New Communist Party of Britain.
Two representatives of the Unified Communist Party of Georgia were denied visas by the Spanish government. Several other Latin American parties also expressed an interest in the meeting.
The discussions covered the educational arrangements of the parties present and a wide range of theoretical and practical issues faced by the various parties.
The parties present varied widely in the resources available for education. The PCPE, KKE and CPBM enjoy centrally organised education structures and operate or are considering setting up regional party schools.
Education in the KKE includes short courses for new party members in Marxism-Leninism, more intensive courses spread over six months at the central party school, and seminars spread over five months on topics such as the role of individuals in history, the law of value in socialist society, and tactical alliances.
Selection for the KKE’s intensive courses favours women, young and working class party members.
While the PCPE runs a Central Education School, the party is still in the process of drawing up an education programme and faces problems with insufficient numbers of teachers and educational materials.
However comrade Vassilis Opsimos of the KKE stressed that the theoretical content and direction of courses was more important than the human or material resources available to parties.
There was general agreement on the vital importance of theoretical education in the context of the ideological retreat of social democracy into neo-liberal economic policies, which rules out any return to the welfare state in capitalist countries.
Comrade Fernando Ferraz, the PCPE’s head of education, pointed out that both bourgeois academics and left intellectuals claim that Marxism-Leninism is “old” and “out of date”. He cited writers such as Noam Chomsky, who work entirely as individuals and have a powerful influence on young people in the west.
Ferraz suggested that all the European parties should have a common programme on the most basic subjects for Marxism-Leninist education; future international meetings on particular aspects of theory; and establishing a website similar to Solidnet for educational and theoretical materials.
Carmelo Suarez, general secretary of the PCPE, summed up the proposals decided at the meeting, including a future gathering based on an agreed agenda and the contributions in Madrid, and for the parties present to exchange educational materials.
The meeting was an important and a successful first step in bringing together parties with a common ideological position to develop the vital area of educational work, and to make a clean break with the theoretical legacy of revisionist parties in the international communist movement.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Chinese trade unions work for women



by Wang Xuemei

All China Federation of Trade Unions

A contribution to the discussion at the international trade union conference on working women that was held in Brussels in September.



WOMEN WORKERS are an important force to build a harmonious socialist society, and so are a very important component part of Chinese working class, and of its total employment population of 750 million, women account for about 46 per cent. The total membership of the ACFTU is nearly 170 million and the unionisation rate is 73.6 per cent on the whole, of which we have more than 61 million women members, making 36.4 per cent of the total. Therefore it is very important for Chinese unions to protect the women workers and staff.
The Chinese government has attached importance on the work of working women and intensified its efforts in the formulation, revision and enforcement of relevant laws, policies and regulations to protect the legitimate rights and interests of women in earnest.
China has built a complete legal system concerning the protection of women’s rights and interests, promotion of gender equality, and improvement of women workers’ employment environment based on the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, the Labour Law of the People’s Republic of China. The Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Women is the main body of law protecting women workers and various separate laws and regulations, local regulations and administrative rules adopted by various government departments give supplementary provisions.
Along with the continuous growth of China’s economy and the overall progress of its society, women are being given more guarantees of enjoyment of equal rights and opportunities with men, and the development of working women’s rights and interest’s protection is being given unprecedented opportunities. The social status of women workers is being improved and the employment environment is getting better.
So the work of trade unions on women workers’ affairs has very good opportunities for development. However, along with the development of economic reform and changes brought by industrial restructure, we recognise that trade unions’ work on women workers’ affairs is also facing serious challenges, especially on the context of globalisation.
For example, the degree of women workers’ participation in national and social affairs, enterprise management and policy/decision-making is not yet high enough. There are more difficulties for women workers’ employment and re-employment than for men due to some extent of gender discrimination in the employment market and encroachment on women workers’ employment rights and interests. These include special care during menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth and lactation periods, and child-bearing – the so called four periods of care for women employees and so on – they are not as well practised as we expect .
It is the basic task of Chinese trade unions especially their women workers’ organisations to protect workers, women staff and workers’ legitimate rights and special interests in particular. In recent years, with the deepening of economic reform and industrial restructure in China, we have seen many changes in social economies, form of organisations, types of employment, interest relations and mode of distribution; they are all getting increasingly more diversified. Labour relations are expected to become more complicated and conflict between different interests groups is increasing.
While the total number of women staff and workers is tending to increase, requests for the protection of women workers’ rights and interests are becoming diversified and more difficult. A large number of women in the rural workforce have shifted to non-agricultural industries and moved to urban areas. Rural women workers have become an important component part of the total workerforce.
Women workers in non public-sector economies are increasing as the non public-sector economy is developing rapidly. The diverse type of employment and intense competition in employment has caused an increase in laid-off and unemployed women workers. According to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, unemployed women workers account for around 45 per cent of all unemployed workers.
The new changes for women workers have many effects. For example, due to industrial restructuring, the proportion of women workers in organisations with established trade unions, which work relatively well for the women is decreasing. Meanwhile the number of women workers is increasing in non public-sector economies, where women workers’ organisations are relatively weak or non-existent. The establishment of organisations and the form they take, even the working methods of the trade unions and women workers organisations face challenges of innovation to achieve a breakthrough.
Chinese trade unions take whatever pains are necessary to protect women workers. Women workers committees, set up by trade unions at various levels, voice the concerns of women workers and protect their legitimate rights and special interests. For a long time, Chinese trade unions have devoted major efforts to protecting the legitimate rights and interests of women workers related to gender equality, employment, pay, social security and workplace safety. They have offered education and training programmes tailored to the special needs of women workers in a bid to improve their professional and technical competence. Their efforts are largely succeeding.
Recently the ACFTU has adopted a regulation on the work of trade unions in the enterprises which includes one particular chapter on women workers. Now the women workers’ organisations at different levels are working to implement this regulation and through this effort to do a better job, to protect the legitimate rights and special interests of women workers in the enterprises.
Meanwhile the ACFTU pays much attention to the protection women staff and workers regarding their rights and interests of equal employment. The ACFTU now actively focuses on driving forward the special collective contract to protect the rights and interests of women workers, and give prominence to the contents of the following key points: employment, equal pay for the same job, leave and holidays, four periods care, vocational education and skill training and so on. Women workers organisations at all levels take various measures to guarantee the effectiveness of their performance through a good efficient supervisory mechanism.
To target the problems of women workers – say for example, four periods care is not doing well as we expected, conditions of vocational safety and health are not good enough, and their intensity of labour (they are working too hard and need to decrease the amount of human labour) in non public-sector enterprises, especially small and medium enterprises – women workers’ organisations within trade unions participate possitively at different levels . They push up the revision of the regulations on labour protection for women workers and give policy suggestions to government concerned to improve it.They try their best to protect the rights and interests of women workers’ labour safety and health.
Concerning the daily life and difficulties of women workers in need, particularly one-parent women worker, the women workers’ organisations give their personal assistance in concrete forms and push the local governments to solve the problems of re-employment for unemployed women workers, and give assistance when they are in difficulties.
The Chinese trade unions strengthen the investigation and research on women workers, try to unionise women workers, and establish the protection mechanism for women workers’ rights and interests. Now we have established 760,000 union grassroot units of women workers’ organisations, which account for 57.8 per cent of grassroot unions in the whole country.
With the contemporary situation of economic integration and globalisation, with transnational capital transferred from one country to another, women staff and workers in China are affected more than men, for many reasons.
Dear colleagues, sisters and brothers. The ACFTU insists that we will unionise them wherever we have women workers. Let’s fight for women workers legitimate rights and special interests together.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Demand the whole cake -- and the bakery!

Last week Ray Jones, New Communist Party SE District Chair, gave a talk to students at Varndean Sixth Form College, Brighton. The event was one of a series of lectures organised by Roy Cullen of the Politics Department covering a broad political spectrum. About 40 students attended and a lively discussion developed. What follows is the text of Ray’s speech.


LET ME START with a quote: “I don’t see how you can ever get any real justice or prosperity, so long as there’s private property, and every thing is judged in terms of money — unless you think it just for the worst sort of people to have the best living conditions, or unless you’re prepared to call a country prosperous, in which all the wealth is owned by a tiny minority — who aren’t entirely happy even so, while everyone else is simply miserable”.
Does any one happen to know who said that? It sounds quite modern doesn’t it? Phrases like, “everything is judged in terms of money” and “all the wealth is owned by a tiny minority — who aren’t entirely happy even so”, can be heard in our media today.
But it was Thomas Moore in 1515. He went on to be executed by Henry VIII and to be made a saint by the Catholic Church; although not for ideas in the quote in either case!
The point is that socialist ideas have been around for a long time and are not foreign to Britain.
But it was Karl Marx and Frederick Engels who laid the basis of scientific socialism.
In 1848 they published the Communist Manifesto — a call to the working class of the world to get ride of capitalism and replace it with a fairer and more just system — socialism.
Marx pointed out that it is capitalism itself which creates the working class and that ironically they will be its gravediggers.
Industry and mass production bring workers together in factories, mines, mills, offices and social services.
There they get a special education. They learn how employers tend to exploit them for all they can get.
They learn that isolated on their own they can do little about it.
They learn the need to cooperate with each other.
They learn how to organise to resist the employers — first in their own work place, then in their industry and then nationally.
I’m not claiming that all bosses are bastards! Although some of course are, others are not. It is not about “nasty” people, it is the nature of capitalism that forces them to try to increase profit and so try to increase exploitationSo from simple limited trade unionism the whole thing grows to politics on a national scale.
This could be said to be a sketch history of the Labour Party, which was formed initially to take the workers’ union demands for a bigger slice of the cake to Parliament.
But it took something more to move from the demand for more crumbs off the cake to the demand for the whole cake — and indeed the whole bakery!
It took people like Marx and Engels, thinkers and philosophers as well as doers and activists, to show the need for revolution and not merely reform.
The only way of ending the conflict between bosses and workers is for the working people, the vast majority, to win the conflict.
For them to take over industry, offices and services and run them for benefit of all and not the profit of a few.
And to do that they will need to build themselves a new state organisation after the old one is thoroughly smashed.They must spurn the crumbs to win the prize (to paraphrase a socialist song).
You could argue, and many people do — if they happen to be in work at the time, have a home and are healthy — “Well, things aren’t so bad, why rock the boat?
“Why go through a period of change and probably chaos [chaos because the capitalist class will, history shows us, fight tooth and nail to keep its lifestyle, power and privileges] to an uncertain future?”
Communists don’t take this argument lightly. It is probably the biggest ideological barrier to revolution in advanced capitalist countries.
There are however strong arguments against it.
The level of prosperity in countries like Britain is to a very large extent dependent on the super exploitation, and hence abject poverty, of millions of people around the world.
You only have to watch your television carefully, ignoring the vacuous celebrities and presenters, to see that millions of people in Africa, south Asia and South America are living in conditions our medieval ancestors would have known well.
No running water, inadequate shelter, bad sanitary arrangements, poor diets.
This not the fault of our working class, it is the fault of global capitalism, but it is not necessary and we can change it!
Even here in Britain there are far too many cases of extreme poverty — people down-and-out, without a home, who don’t know where the next meal is coming from.
And far too many families, who are struggling on, weighed down by debt and low pay; while the rich live lives which the rest of us can hardly conceive of.
For example I met a garden centre owner the other day who specialises in providing plants for the gardens and homes of the rich and famous. He had recently sold a number of plants and pots to a client for her balcony for £50,000.
After a week or two the plants developed a slight browning on some of the leaves. It was nothing, she was assured, that a little pruning and TLC wouldn’t put right. But no, the whole lot, including pots, had to be thrown out and new ones bought.
Then there is the state of our planet — the phrase “going to hell in a handcart” springs to mind.
Global capitalism is busy destroying our world for profit and any recent conversions to a green perspective are limited and superficial — and only taken up if there’s a quick buck in it.
Capitalists will happily take government subsidies for new wind farms and then build them in unsuitable places or to produce biofuel from crops which are harming the environment or are needed for food.
If we are to have a world worth living on workers must organise and take the power out of their hands.
Also capitalism regularly resorts to terrible wars to try and solve its problems for example to get more resources, such as oil in Iraq, or to increase its spheres of influence from where it can screw its profits.
Wars are useful to capitalism because they use up material and goods at a high rate and stimulate production in the short term.
They can take up surplus labour which might other wise get up to mischief at home.
Wars are not useful to the working people because they kill us and cause untold misery!
The above problems are not simply the result of conspiracies, although conspiracies happen, as do bad people. They are part and parcel of capitalism.
And there is no alternative system to capitalism but socialism.
But even if all these arguments are discounted, we just cannot sit on our hands and do nothing if we value our future and out children’s future.
The capitalist system is inherently unstable. It goes through regular crises, booms and slumps, which it cannot prevent.
From the terrible depression of the 1930s to the recent crash of the Northern Rock Bank which saw people queuing outside for their money (reminiscent of the scenes in Western films when the small town bank goes under after the manager absconds with the money), the history of capitalism can be traced from crisis to crisis.
Capitalism is very brittle in spite of its strength — the housing market in the United States has problems and the whole capitalist world banking system starts to crack.
One day however capitalism will just fail to recover, the whole system will collapse and everywhere will descend into barbarism.
Unless, that is, the workers act first and transform this mad, unjust, unstable system into a rational, fair and cooperative society. Into socialism.
The keys to that transformation are organisation and ideas.
History shows that to be successful the working class must have an organisation that will lead and coordinate its struggles, one that acts in a disciplined way for the whole class and not just part of it.
One that understands and can explain what is happening and can show the way forward.
The New Communist Party is attempting to build that party in Britain.
We are fighting on issues that can unite our class, such as higher wages, better education, better healthcare and against things that divide us, such as racism and fascism, sexism and homophobia.
All around the world other workers are doing the same.
In some places such as Cuba, Vietnam, China and north Korea they have done it and gone further and embarked on the great project of socialism; each in their own way, determined by their own conditions and history.
Naturally the capitalists see the challenge and attack and obstruct them as best they can, but others will follow, must follow — the alternative is unthinkable.