|Andy Brooks addressing conference|
By Andy Brooks
Delegations from 91 communist parties, representing 73 countries, took part in the 20th international meeting of communist and workers’ parties that was held in the Greek capital of Athens last month. New Communist Party (NCP) leader Andy Brooks, together with Peter Hendy from the Central Committee, took part in the congress at the headquarters of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), where the first conference began in 1998. The theme of the meeting was the task of the working class and its political vanguard in the struggle against exploitation and imperialist wars. This is the NCP’s contribution to the debate.
We meet again at a time of sharpening contradictions – and the primary contradiction in the world today is that between US imperialism and the rest of the world it seeks to dominate.
When the Cold War ended the bourgeoisie of Europe as a whole closed ranks behind the US bid to rule the world in the name of the “new world order”. They supported US “regime change” in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and Ukraine, and supported US efforts to overthrow the Syrian government.
Licking the boots of the Americans has been the policy of the British ruling class since the Second World War in the belief that this would help ensure continued US protection of their global interests in the post-colonial world. To a certain degree it did but only when it served the over-arching interests of American imperialism.
The Trump administration has widened existing divisions within America’s ruling circles over how to pursue those interests. Donald Trump claims that the Republicans want to “Make America Great Again”. But that is exactly what the Democrats want as well. The entire American ruling class wants to establish US hegemony over the world. What divides them is how to achieve it.
During his presidential campaign Trump claimed he was in favour of a rapprochement with the Russians. In the White House however, Trump is a prisoner of the most aggressive circles within the American ruling class.
Democrat leaders still believe in the ‘new world order’, though they now prefer to call it “globalisation”. Trump, on the other hand, represents circles who want to cut back US military expenditure in Europe and north-east Asia so that they can concentrate on controlling the global energy market by taking over the entire Middle East and restoring US imperialism’s hegemony over south and central America.
In Britain working people have rallied to Jeremy Corbyn’s left social-democratic Labour banner amidst increasing demands for a new referendum or another general election to end the crisis over Brexit.
The call for a second referendum, which began the day after the Remainers lost the first one in 2016, comes from the Europhile wing of the ruling class with the support of many Labour MPs, the Liberal-Democrats and Scottish Nationalists, most of the trade union leadership, the European Union (EU) institutions and the Soros foundation.
Their objective is, of course, to force the May government to agree to a new vote or call for an early general election. This, they believe, will result in a Labour minority government dependent on the Scottish nationalists and the Liberal Democrats, whose support can only be bought with a second referendum, which they believe is now winnable.
The problem we face is that amongst Jeremy Corbyn’s own supporters there are many who believe that “Another Europe is Possible” whilst the old mainstream Brexit campaign that was largely based on the chauvinist and anti-immigration platform of UKIP reinforced the claims of the Europhiles within the labour movement that Brexit would lead to further attacks on the unions and what’s left of the ‘welfare state’.
Most of the unions have swallowed the Brussels lies that the EU safeguards workers’ rights and guarantees jobs. This is reflected in Remainer support within the Labour Party that goes far beyond the Blairite ranks in parliament. This view must be challenged. But although British communists, of all hues, have long opposed the EU and the Treaty of Rome, the left case against the EU has still to be won within the labour movement.
The New Communist Party has never confused the Labour Party with a revolutionary party nor imagined that we can overthrow the bourgeoisie through parliamentary elections. But we believe that a Labour government, with its organisational links with the trade unions and the co-operative movement, offers the best option for the working class in the era of bourgeois parliamentary democracy.
Our strategy is for working class unity and our campaigns are focused on defeating the right-wing within the movement, and strengthening the left within the Labour Party and the unions. We support Labour’s demands for the restoration of trade union rights, progressive taxation, state welfare and a public sector dedicated to meeting the people’s needs.
We know that social democracy of whatever trend can never lead to socialism. But the struggles of the future can only come from a labour movement confident to lead the struggle for revolutionary change.
Our party came into being out of the struggle against revisionism, with the intention that we serve the interests of the working class. We shall not be diverted from that. Let us work together to build the movement that will ensure that this century becomes the era of socialism.