Thursday, April 24, 2008

Letter of F. Caraballo to the organisations of the ICMLPO


After such a long and unwished absence, here I am, ready to continue that work so complex, where are compromised all of us yearning for a better world and a brighter future.

There is so much to do. Physical distance left me with many unfinished tasks. At the theory level there are many concepts to clarify, to develop, tο spread with a greater amplitude and in practic also, of course. I have been physically absent, but my feelings and my thinkings always have been with you.

Warm Greetings

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Francisco Caraballo set free!

The Comitee of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations (ICMLPO), announces with emotion and revolutionary cheerfulness the conditional freedom of our dear and respected comrade Francisco Caraballo, last April 18.

Caraballo (71 years old), has spent fourteen years inside a high-security jail. All this time he kept dignity and revolutionary firmness, as a consequente communist. Never his spirit weakened, nor he gave up under misfortunes, despite the hard conditions that he suffered.

We considered as own those words of the Executive Comitee of the Communist Party if Colombia (marxist-leminist):

«...conditional freedom for comrade Caraballo is a victory due to internationalist solidarity, to the ICMLPO, to the left and the democratic forces Colombia and those all over the world.

(...)We must to keep the fight for complete freedom if comrade Caraballo, and get the hundreds of political and war prisoniers oit of the dungeons of Ávaro Uribe.»

We manifest our solidarity and fraternity to Francisco Caraballo, his wife and his sons, as well as to the Party and all democratic and popular forces of our brother people of Colombia.

Long live to proletarian internationalism!

April 20th 2008

Coordination Comitee of the ICMLPO
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Friday, April 11, 2008

On the opportunist platform of Markos Vafiadis

Decision of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece

On the opportunist platform of Markos Vafiadis

I. For eight years now the people of Greece have waged a difficult armed struggle for their very existence. The Hitlerite conqueror was succeeded by Anglo-American imperialism which, with Monarcho-Fascism as its domestic instrument, wishes to turn Greece into a colony and a military base against socialism and People's Democracy in Europe.

With [the] Varkiza [agreement] and its aftermath, the leadership of the KKE, almost without exception, saw clearly that Anglo-Monarcho-Fascist policy was leading the country to a new armed confrontation, although it could not assure a broad and deep mass basis. The problem for the KKE was (a) to persuade the masses, from their own experience, that English and Monarcho-Fascist policy aimed exclusively and solely at their subjugation through civil war and (b) coolly to confront a situation that existed in the leadership of the KKE so as to avoid serious damage from the activity of the class enemy within the Party, and to negate every attempt to split the Party. Here it must be emphasised that the Party underwent a serious crisis and ordeal with the failure of December 1944, a failure that was the result of basic mistakes in the policy of the KKE in the tirue of the Hitlerite-Fascist occupation. The Party even confronted serious difficulties within EAM and had to handle matters carefully so as to be able, without making concessions in matters of principle, to assure the approval and support of its policy on the part of EAM. All this, under the conditions of the English occupation and of the civil war, which English policy and Monarcho-Fascism had organ­ised and put into effect, showed that a struggle leading to a new armed con­frontation would be very hard, difficult and long, and that it would put the KKE to its greatest test to date. On this matter there was basically no other opinion in the leadership of the KKE. it was clear to all that this new test would demand from everyone the highest degree of party discipline, firm­ness and decisiveness.

* Italicised matter within square brackets represents paraphrased text.

11. The fundamental political difficulty at the new stage of the struggle was the fact that the unlimited help that Monarcho-Fascism received from the Anglo-Americans and the regime of the English military occupation nourished many waverings and doubts, particularly among petty bourgeois elements, as to whether we could succeed. This situation was reinforced by the climate of barbarous terror that covered the country. These hesitations and doubts were reflected within the Party and within the membership of the Politburo of the Central Committee in Athens and in the leadership of the Communist Organisation of Athens. This opportunism at which the Party struck repeat­edly and openly, took the form of a passive waiting upon, and subservience to, Monarcho-Fascism which expressed itself: (a) in the view that the Demo­cratic Army of Greece would succeed itself without the active struggle of those who thought in this way, (b) in the view that only with decisive and energetic help from without could our people succeed. To the extent that this opportunism demonstrated a lack of faith in the strength and the just cause of the People it led to capitulation to the forces of reaction.

Ill. When the battle of Grammos began, the People and the Democratic Army of Greece had already been fighting for two years. During this time, the Democratic Army of Greece had nullified all attempts by the enemy to crush it. Monarcho-Fascism had experienced repeated failures and its manifest crisis progressively deepened. English policy in Greece was bankrupt and this obliged American imperialism to intervene openly in our country. During these two years the Democratic Army of Greece, overcoming unimaginable deprivations and difficulties, came to manhood, acquired experience, matured politically, militarily, and from an organisational point of view, took the form of a regular army. The leadership of the KKE thus readied the Democratic Army of Greece, because it saw that after the open American intervention the struggle in 1948 would be harsher and more difficult. For this confrontation the Democratic Army of Greece readied itself in Northern Pindos, an area which it chose itself, to engage in the greatest battle of 1948 against the monarcho-fascist army and its leadership.

IV. When the battle on Grammos began the balance of power was as follows: in men, 1 to 10, and in material, 1 to SO, in favour of monarcho-fascism. Moreover, monarcho-fascism prevailed absolutely in the air and had mechanical and armoured vehicles, of which the Democratic Army of Greece had none. The balance was very much against us, because, on account of our inadequacies and weaknesses, we did not implement the plan of conscription and we did not make sure of the strategic reserves of the General Staff that we had called for. [ ... ]

V. [ ... ] Exactly at this time of trial and crisis Markos Vafiadis, member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece and of the Secretariat of the Politburo, commander of the Democratic Army of Greece and Prime minister of the Provisional Democratic Government, did not hold steady, broke down and underwent a nervous crisis that rendered

him incapable of being worthy of his position and of rising to the serious­ness of the occasion. The question of Markos Vafiadis then arose for the Party. [He was relieved o( his dl/ties and sent (or treatment.]

VI. Today Vafiadis puts forwards his own political platform, which shows that his crisis at Grammos was not merely a temporary confusion and loss of balance, but a political crisis with deeper roots. This obliges the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece, as well as unearthing his political platform, to examine the entire previous party life and development of M. Vafiadis to uncover the roots of his present anti­party stance. In the Communist Youth and in his Party life M. Vafiadis man­ifested a series of crises of which the most important were those which he underwent in prison, in Aigina and in Akronafplia. At their heart there always lay a clear anti-Party disposition and an unsatisfied egotistical ambition which led him always to complain about persons and things and brought him into conflict with the Party. In a sick fashion, M. Vafiadis harboured the feeling that the Party always failed to appreciate him and persecuted him. [Despite this the Party helped him to develop his abilities and to matl/re politically.]

Vll. Now M. Vafiadis emerges with his own platform which politically constitutes denial, a revision of the line of the KKE. The overriding element in his platform is a fractionist, anti-communist distortion of reality [It is characteristic that between the time that the Party sent Markos to the mOl/ntains as head of the Democratic Anny of Greece and his breakdown on Grammos he never indicated disagreement with the Party line, although he now seeks to indicate that he was opposed to Party policy since 1947.J In the thirty years of its existence the KKE has waged a fierce struggle against Archeiomarxism and liquid­ationist Trotskyism. (Trotsky once said that the strongest bastion of Trotskyism in the capitalist countries was in Greece.) This struggle lasted for over ten years before the KKE was able comprehensively to neutralise this rabid enemy of the working class. The KKE matured in the struggle against mur­derous Trotskyism. The stance and behaviour of M. Vafiadis at the meeting of the Politburo showed that it is a question of an anti-Party, fractionist, Trotskyist onslaught on the KKE and its political line.

Vlll. M. Vafiadis opens his platform with the assertion that within the KKE there is not 'by tradition, internal party democracy. Every alternative effort that takes place is drowned in an anti-Party fashion. The directives of the Party, instead of opening up before you the road for bold thought, kills off your thought'. [ ... ] The bankrupt Trotskyist spews out these slanders against our Party. [Vafiadis fails to understand that in present circumstances the inner party democracy o(the 'legal' parties cannot prevail. There is a need to preserve the ideological pl/rity and theory o( KKE. Responsibility (or ideological (ailings belongs 'to a series of higher and lower party cadres who do not share the life of the base of the Party'. What is needed is 'granite-like party discipline and modest party ethos, revolutionary discipline and multi-faceted theoretical­political education'.]

IX [ ... ] M. Vafiadis, he who at absolutely no time recognised any mistake on his part, speaks of the absence of self-criticism and inner-party democracy. As kapetanios of the group of Divisions of ELAS in Macedonia he followed a chauvinist policy towards Slav-Macedonian fighters. He never spoke of his stance in December 1944, when as kapetanios of the group of Divisions of ELAS in Macedonia, when a war was going on in Athens, he in effect made peace with the English and let them go to Athens to crush the popular uprising The Party made a serious mistake when at that time it did not pay attention to certain responsible accusations that were made against M. Vafiadis for contacts with English officers, agents of the [British] Intelligence Service, and that two days after Markos' flight for the mountains (end of August 1946), at the house of his relative Karamaouna, an agent of the Intelligence Service, it was mentioned that he (Markos) had gone to the mountains to organise guerrilla warfare [ ... ] In the Democratic Army of Greece, M. Vafiadis downplayed and struck at higher Party cadres and gathered round himself mainly his personal friends and officers from the bourgeois army. He trans­planted to the army, and from the army to the Party, the bourgeois and partisan-militaristic methods of warfare, organisation and leadership against which the Party had continually and repeatedly struck [ ... J M. Vafiadis is characterised by a pathological and anti-Party tendency to distance and alienate himself from the masses and from the cadres of the Party. M. Vafiadis is an irreconcilable enemy of the collective work of the leadership [ ... ]

M. Vafiadis did not believe and does not believe in the victory of the people [ ... ]

XI. A further Indication that Vafiadis did not believe in the power of the People, is that he saw the liberation of Greece as coming principally in the form of aid from outside, going as far as armed military aid [ ... ]

XIII. From the moment Vafiadis went to the mountains he believed that vic­tory would be easy and the result of unco-ordinated partisan activity [ ... ] Vafiadis does not understand that there is a basic difference between the armed struggle that we waged during the first occupation against the Hitler­ite conqueror and that which we are now waging against Anglo-American imperialism and monarcho-fascism. Then our struggle was only a small con­tribution to the colossal effort made by the Soviet Union to crush fascism. For a struggle of the kind we made then a partisan army and war was enough. Now the liberation of Greece will basically be brought to fruition by the Democratic Army of Greece. For this today a mature regular army is required, capable of overcoming the tremendous effort being made by monarcho-fascism with the help of Anglo-American imperialism [ ... ]

XV. In its totality the platform of Vafiadis is an opportunistic ragbag, full of inaccuracies, lies and slanders [ ... ]

XVIII. So much for the question of M. Vafiadis. His Trotskyist, opportunist, fractionist statement together with his unprincipled attack on the leadership

of our Party comes to strike the KKE at one of the most critical moments for the people's liberation movement, at a time when the KKE is celebrating, with self-control and critically, but also with honour and pride, the thirtieth anniversary of its founding. [ ... ] Vafiadis confused the sword which the Party gave him to wield on behalf of the People with the sword which he himself raised up against the Party. The Party helped him to develop his abilities and to correct his great faults and failings. However, petty bourgeois egotism and his sick ambition overcame him and when he broke down at Grammos he did not have the Bolshevik courage to appear sincerely before the Party. The Politburo of the Central Committee of the KKE denounces him as an arriviste, an adventurer, a panic-stricken and capitulationist fractionist and Trotskyist. It has decided to bring his case to the first meeting of the Central Committee of the KKE. The KKE has experienced many trials and jolts in the thirty years of its life, which it has reached at precisely this time. It has always remained monolithic and indestructible, faithful to Marxism-Leninism. With the same monolithic quality it will overcome the present crisis which the panic-stricken, opportunist and unprincipled frac­tionist Vafiadis has created. Of this there can be no doubt.

5.11 The Communist Party of Greece and the Macedonian Question: a denial issued by the Central Committee of the KKE, March 1949

To Kommounistiko Komma tis Elladas, Episima Keimena, VI 1945-1947 (Athens 1987) 356

In recent days from different quarters, but particularly from monarcho­fascist Athens and from London, the false and slanderous news that the KKE has made different agreements, etc. for the creation of a Balkan Communist Federation and a Macedonian state that would unite all parts of Macedonia under Yugoslav, Bulgarian and Greek sovereignty is being repeated in different tones and in different ways. This infonnation is entirely false and slanderous. It is aimed at helping the monarch a-fascist and imperialist undermining of our struggle, at breaking the unity of struggle between the Greek and Macedonian peoples and at spreading dissension among the Balkan peoples.

The Fifth Plenum of the Central Committee (30-31 January 1949) declared that 'as a result of the victory of the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE) and of the people's revolution, the Macedonian people will find its full national restoration as they themselves wish, now offering up their blood so as to achieve it'. This is the position of the KKE on the Macedonian question. The two peoples, Greek and Macedonian, struggle together for their freedom.

As a result of victory each people will freely and in a sovereign manner decide its future course. As a consequence of victory the Macedonian people will itself decide how it wants to live and be governed.

No slanderous campaign and polemics on the part the enemies of our struggle can distort or falsify this popular and democratic position of the KKE.

Free Greece

15 November 1948

The Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece

Announcement of the Central Committee of the KKE

[ ... ] The Fifth Plenum of the Central Committee of the KKE, taking into account the fact that for many months Comrade Khrysa Khatzivasileiou and Markos Vafiadis have been gravely ill and unable to fulfil the important duties entrusted to them, the Central Committee of the KKE decided unani­mously to release them from all Party work.

Free Greece-Grammos 31 January 1949.

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece Free Greece, 7 March 1949

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First annual assembly of Communist Platform (Marxist-Leninist) convened

The Communist Platform (KPml) has recently convened its first annual assembly and elected a new leadership. KPml came into being in March 2007 as a response to the liquidation of the last remnants resembling a communist party organization i Norway, and the merger of this party (AKP) with the electoral alliance RV into a leftist reformist party project, named «Rødt» (Red).

KPml is the sole new initiative that has evolved following the disintegration of the Norwegian party that, in spite of serious errors and shortcomings, still had some resemblance to a party of communist type. Clearly aspiring for a new working class party, KPml has summoned communists originating from the AKP, (the communist student organization) NKS , (the Marxist-Leninist group) Revolusjon and (AKPs former youth organization) RU to join their forces in order to prepare the conditions for the reconstruction of a Marxist-Leninist Communist Party. We are aware of the fact that this is a process full of challenges that demands adherence to principles as well as patience.

In the year that has passed, we have shown will and ability to develop the basis on which to build communist organization and unity. KPml has arranged a successful seminar on the question of party organization and the struggle against revisionism, and we have through a public meeting and in other ways paid tribute to the 90th anniversary of the socialist October revolution , an event that was bypassed in silence by the Norwegian «left».

The need of a communist party that can mobilize the most advanced sections of the working class to put the problem of revolution and socialist Norway on the agenda, has not diminished; on the contrary, it is now more of a necessity than ever. As it is stated in the political report unanimously adopted by the convention:
«Present-day imperialism sustains and escalates the characteristics given by Lenin. It has become even more aggressive and reactionary than before. In addition, the globalized imperialist way of production and the imperialist world market is a direct cause of the awaiting ecological and environmental disasters that are tearing away natural resources, leaving vast areas uninhabitable and making millions og people refugees. (…)
(…) In a situation where the revolutionary and progressive forces are in need of clear thought and leadership, the whole «left» has fallen flat, with nothing to offer other than a reformed and more 'considerate' capitalism of old Social-Democratic brand.»

The first assembly of KPml could summarize solid progress in the development of political and ideological unity, resulting from extensive collective studies and common practice in new fields. The organization has taken important steps in regard to strengthening the propaganda work, theoretical studies, organizational tasks of construction and active participation in the class struggle and in the struggle against imperialism and war.

The report from the coordination committee and the adopted plan of work, puts forward a number of targets and work fields of priority for the period to come. The convention decided to strengthen relations with the parties and organizations of the international Marxist-Leninist movement. Statements were passed concerning the forthcoming trade union tariff negotiations and the pensions issue, as well as on the role of Norway and NATO as war criminals in Afghanistan.

A new coordination committee was elected. Comrade Kjell Arnestad will proceed as spokesperson.

Communist platform KPML Communist platform
February 2008
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Concerning certain distortions of Stalin’s work and L. Martens’ revisionist view of socialism

This article appears in the issue 16 (May 2008) of "Unity & Struggle"

It has been more than ten years since the book “Another view of Stalin” by Ludo Martens was published. This book was hailed by many unsuspected and well intentioned communists all over the world as an “excellent pro-Stalin book”. However, at the same time a number of Khruschevian revisionist and opportunist parties that have traditionally adopted an anti-Stalinist line advertised and promoted the book in many ways. Taking into account the virtually unchanged ideological and political line of all these parties, Marxists-Leninists-Stalinists should be suspicious about the “sudden” urge to publish a book about Stalin. Indeed, a careful look at the contents of this book we will find out that, at least, in three very fundamental questions, the answers to which delineate Marxists-Leninists-Stalinists from Khrushchevian revisionists, Martens maintains essentially revisionist views.

Question of Stalin: The question of Stalin, that is, the revolutionary theoretical and practical work of the great communist leader of the world proletariat and classic of Marxism, has been, since the middle of 1920s, at the centre of a sharp ideological-political struggle between the revolutionary communists and all kinds of counter-revolutionaries (social democrats, Trotskyites, anarchists, titoists, Kruschevians and others). All the fundamental issues of socialism and the revolution come down to this. It marks the boundary that separates the real Marxists-Leninists and all kinds of revisionists and opportunists.
In the first and most important question of the revolutionary movement, the question of Stalin, to which all the fundamental issues of socialism and the revolution come down to, Ludo Martens propagates, not the crude anti-Stalinism of Khrushchev, but a more refined and camouflaged version that appeared in the communist movement between the mid-50’s and the beginning of 60’s, namely the “mistakes’ theory”. The latter is usually comes from various “anti-Khrushchevian” opportunists and it is formulated in certain clichι phrases such as: “Stalin was great but he made mistakes”. It is exactly this “mistakes’ theory”, of an allegedly “left orientation”, that is adopted by L. Martens in his “criticisms” of Stalin and exposed in the chapter “Weaknesses in the struggle against opportunism”.

In this context, Ludo Martens blames Stalin that “this struggle was not done to the extent that was necessary”, that “he was not able to formulate a consistent theory explaining how classes and the class struggle persist in a socialist society”(!) that he “had not completely understood that after the disappearance of the economic basis of capitalist and feudal exploitation, that there would still exist in the Soviet Union fertile ground for bourgeois currents”(!), that Stalin “was not able to formulate a theory about the struggle between the two lines in the Party” and “did not appreciate” the dangers of “bureaucracy and technocratism” and many other things that Stalin “was not able to do…,understand” etc.

But if there was any grain of truth in any these accusations related to Stalin’s views on the most fundamental question of the revolutionary communist movement, namely the one of socialism-communism, any person of good intentions would ask the following: in which, then, questions Stalin developed Marxism-Leninism further if not in this question and how can he be considered a classic of Marxism since he “committed”, according to his critics, so grave “mistakes” in such fundamental, theoretical and practical, questions of the communist movement?

Question of socialism: Stalin, as a Marxist, had, first and most importantly, a scientific view of socialism and, secondly, approached the question of the construction of socialism-communism in a materialistic, historic-dialectic way in contrast to all the representatives of the various bourgeois-revisionist currents. He understood the construction of socialism – the first stage of the communist society which constitutes a period of class struggle that is inevitable as long as classes still exist during which the dictatorship of the proletariat is absolutely necessary” (Lenin) – as a long process of revolutionary transformations that passes through different phases of historical development wherein a class struggle is waged in all levels that becomes sharper as the construction of socialism proceeds. The transition period from capitalism to communism, as Lenin pointed out, “cannot be but a period of struggle between the dying capitalism and the newborn communism or in other words: between the defeated but not yet liquidated capitalism and the, new born but still very weak, communism”.

Ludo Martens, as mentioned above, blames Stalin that “he was not able to formulate a consistent theory explaining how classes and the class struggle persist in a socialist society”.

First of all, the theory of the “persistence of classes” in socialism even after its economic basis has been constructed, is an anti-Marxist, bourgeois theory because: in the first place, it contains the bourgeois revisionist view of socialism according to which the exploiting classes and the proletariat will be preserved; in the second place it revises the Marxist-Leninist theory of the classes when it maintains that there can be exploiting classes without private property, that is, after the construction of socialism’s economic basis and in the third place it completely contradicts the final goal of the revolutionary communist movement which is the liquidation of all exploiting classes in socialism and, subsequently, of all classes in communism.

Contrary to the groundless attack of Martens, it is obvious that Stalin, as a Marxist, neither had formulated, nor could he have done so, a theory on “how classes persist in a socialist society”, that is, a bourgeois-revisionist theory because it would directly oppose the theory of scientific socialism-communism. On the contrary, he followed and put into practise the Marxist theory on the liquidation of the exploiting classes in socialism and, subsequently, of all the classes in communism. This liquidation proceeds gradually and it is completed together with the construction of the economic basis of socialism, that is, with the establishment of the social ownership on the means of production in the form of state- and kolkhoz-cooperative property and the transition to the unified type of communist property.

Persistence of the exploiting classes in socialism after the construction of its economic basis? By purporting the theory “on how the classes persist in a socialist society”, L. Martens doesn’t specify either which classes (exploiting or not) or which exactly historical stage of the socialist society (before or after the construction of its economic basis) he is referring to; this is an characteristic example of the anti-historical, anti-dialectic approach of socialism. It is obvious, however, that he means the persistence of the exploiting classes after the construction of its economic basis, and concerning the Soviet Union, in particular, he refers to the phase after the Constitution of 1936 was voted when Stalin pointed out that in this phase “all the exploiting classes were liquidated, leaving the working class, the peasants and the intellectuals” (I.V. Stalin “Questions of Leninism).

Stalin in his report on the Draft Constitution of USSR (1936), having scientifically analyzed the new economic, social, class reality of the socialist Soviet Union, rightly concluded that the country’s class structure had changed since the 1924 the year the then Soviet Constitution was established: “The landlord class, as you know, had already been eliminated as a result of the victorious conclusion of the Civil War. As for the other exploiting classes, they have shared the fate of the landlord class. The capitalist class in the sphere of industry has ceased to exist. The kulak class in the sphere of agriculture has ceased to exist. And the merchants and profiteers in the sphere of trade have ceased to exist. Thus all the exploiting classes have now been eliminated. There remains the working class. There remain the peasants. There remains the intelligentsia”.

The above extract from the report should convince even the most recalcitrant opportunist that Stalin doesn’t talk about “absence of classes” or “elimination of classes” in the Soviet Union of that period but only about elimination of the exploiting classes, of landlords, capitalists, kulaks, merchants-profiteers whereas the classes of workers, the peasants, and intelligentsia remained.

It is necessary to emphasize that Stalin’s analysis of the Soviet Union’s society at that time is the only one carried out on Marxist lines and its scientific conclusion is absolutely correct, that exploiting and antagonistic classes neither existed nor could exist since they had been deprived of the means of production: there are no that exploiting and antagonistic classes without the existence of capitalist property on the means of production. “With the term bourgeois class we mean the class of modern capitalists who own the means of social production and exploit wage labour. With the term proletariat we mean the class of modern wage labourers who sell their labour power in order to survive since they don’t possess no means of production at all” (Engels).

In the Soviet Union of that period, there were no antagonistic classes but remnants of exploiting classes and the new bourgeois elements that inevitably appear during the transition period from capitalism to communism. Of course, it is perfectly possible that the numerous remnants of the exploiting classes and the bourgeois elements (which are not classes according to the Marxist since they had lost their domination in the means of production) can form illegal organisations and wage their struggle against socialism-communism in a coordinated way and in increasingly acute forms.

It is therefore obvious that when the revisionist L. Martens attacks Stalin blaming him that he hasn’t formulated a “theory on how the classes persist” in socialism, in essence, he criticises him for applying the Marxist theory on liquidation of the exploiting classes in the course of socialist construction instead of the bourgeois theory on the “persistence of the classes” (in other words, of the exploiting classes)!

The class struggle during socialism. L. Martens falsely claims that Stalin didn’t formulate a theory explaining “how class struggle persist in a socialist society” when, as known to everybody, the theory maintaining the continuation of class struggle in socialism had already had already been enunciated by Lenin – “the dictatorship of the proletariat is period of class struggle which is inevitable as long the classes are not liquidated” – and it was defended and further developed by Stalin who stressed that “the progress we make, the more successes we achieve, the sharper forms of struggle these remnants (of the exploiting classes) will adopt, the more harm they are going to cause to the Soviet State, the more desperate methods of struggle they are going to employ, as the last resort of people doomed to disappear”.

Consequently, the further development of the theory maintaining the continuation of class struggle in socialism by Stalin lies in the thesis that the more socialist construction advances, the sharper the class struggle becomes, a thesis that was fully confirmed by the historical course of USSR when, following Stalin’s death, the dictatorship of the proletariat was overthrown.

When the opportunist L. Martens claims that Stalin “thought that the class struggle in the ideological sphere would continue for a long time”, he distorts his thesis even more: first because he restricts the class struggle only in the ideological sphere and second because he rejects the thesis of the sharpening of the class struggle with the advance of socialist construction.

But this is not sufficient for L. Martens since, as we saw, he makes the provocatively false claim that Stalin allegedly didn’t even have a theory on “how class struggle persist in a socialist society”, obviously implying that he allegedly deviated from Leninism, that is, he had abandoned the theory of class struggle already formulated by Lenin!

Another claim made by L. Martens is that “this struggle was not done to the extent that was necessary” and that “after 1945, the struggle against opportunism was restricted to the highest circles of the Party”, rendering, thus, Stalin responsible for the appearance of revisionism which is refuted by the activity of the Bolshevik Party during that period: first, during the war and afterwards, the Bolshevik Party headed by Stalin waged a continuous ideological-political struggle against the bourgeois-revisionist ideology and the various degenerate phenomena; there are the well-known party decisions and wide discussions held on questions of art-literature (1946), philosophy (1943 and 1947), political economy (1947-1952), music (1948), linguistics (1950) etc. Second, the revisionist counter-revolution didn’t prevail during Stalin’s lifetime but after his death. Stalin’s great historical contribution to the construction of socialism lies in the scientific analysis of the competitive and the non-competitive contradictions in the soviet socialist society and the successful and victorious waging of the class struggle against the internal and external enemies, preventing thus the restoration of capitalism.

We conclude with two brief observations: the one has to do with Martens’ claim that Stalin “was not able to formulate a theory about the struggle between the two lines in the Party” and the other with the claim that he “had not completely understood the dangers emanating from bureaucracy”. Regarding the first claim, we note that Stalin as a Marxist could have never formulated a revisionist theory “about the struggle between the two lines in the Party” which presupposes the existence of two factions in a party and, as a result, leads to the negation of the revolutionary party of a new type defended by Stalin. A revolutionary, communist party has only one line: the Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist line and fights all revisionist, opportunist deviations. As for the second claim, there is nothing to be said except that it emits the unpleasant odour of Trotskyism.

The question of the dictatorship of the proletariat. As all the “anti-Khrushchevian” versions of contemporary revisionism, Ludo Martens doesn’t raise the issue of the overthrow of the dictatorship of the proletariat after Stalin’s death and in combination with the 20th Congress of the CPSU – the first and absolutely necessary condition for the gradual restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union. It is more than obvious of every Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist that the open, official domination of the Khrushchevian revisionist counter-revolution was preceded by the violent overthrow of the dictatorship of the proletariat and its replacement with a bourgeois-revisionist dictatorship. Domination of the Khrushchevian revisionist is tantamount to the overthrow of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the ousting of the working class from power, the beginning of the capitalist restoration. The overthrow of the dictatorship of the proletariat was ratified by the 20th Congress and the counter-revolutionary, social-democratic line it adopted.

Question of the capitalist restoration. L.Martens, just like the “K”KE leadership, regards the period of Khrushchev-Brezhnev, the period of capitalist restoration in the Soviet Union, as a period of “socialist construction” and believes that the breach with socialism took place in the Gorbachev era. He writes that it is only the 28th Congress, on July 1990, that “clearly affirms a rupture with socialism and a return to capitalism”. At the end of his book, after having quoted an excerpt from the “History of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of the USSR” in which, among others, is mentioned that “it is from within that fortresses are more easily captured”, Martens makes the following comment: “thus Stalin had foreseen what would happen to the Soviet Union the day a Gorbachev or a Yeltsin entered the Politburo”. This comment is quite indicative and revealing because it confirms the fact that L. Martens is identified with “K”KE leadership on this important issue.

But the communists, the Marxists-Leninists-Stalinists, know very well that the fortress was captured from within not in the time of Gorbachev and Yeltsin, who are anyway legal “heirs” of Khrushchev and Brezhnev, but almost 40 years earlier, after Stalin’s death, by the agents of international imperialism Khrushchev, Mikoyan, Brezhnev, Kuusinen, Suslov and others. Moreover, contrary to the claims of the Belgian revisionist “the breach with socialism” – first in the level of political power, and subsequently in other levels – didn’t take place in the 28th Congress (1990) but shortly after Stalin’s death and this breach was officially inaugurated in the 20th Congress which paved the way for the gradual liquidation of the socialist productive relations, through the introduction of capitalist reforms, and restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union.

There is nothing paradoxical that the parties of Khruschevian revisionism – including “K”KE – have published and promoted the book of the Belgian revisionist L. Martens. Essentially, it expresses their own views on the questions of Stalin, socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Without abandoning any of these views, they found an opportunity to wear a “pro-stalin” mask. The “K”KE in particular, was unmistakeably carrying out its class mission – as it was when it funded the publication of D. Volgogonov’s anti-Stalinist abortion “Triumph and tragedy” in 1989 – assigned one of its chief ideologues, Eleni Bellou, to conclude the book review in “Rizospastis” with a lengthy presentation of the infamous “mistakes theory”.

Even within the current of contemporary revisionism – expressed in the “mistakes theory” – the views L. Martens are clinging to the right. This is shown by the criticism that these views received by a party that belongs to the same ideological current as L. Martens’ Workers’ Party of Belgium, namely the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD). Stefan Engel writes:

”To pose the question of power – dictatorship of the bourgeoisie or the proletariat – is tantamount, for L. Martens, to the “scholastic restriction of reality. In this way, he rejects the ABC of Marxism. Lenin clearly emphasized that “there can be nothing intermediate between the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Any dream for something else is a petty bourgeois attitude. The vacillating character of the petty bourgeois thinking is typical for neorevisionism, When Gorbachev appeared in 1985, the petty bourgeois immediately promoted him. In total euphoria, L.Martens got attached to this current writing, in 1991, that “in this ideological confusion comrade Gorbachev emerged; he unleashed himself like a hurricane all over the hibernating country to steer up the dormant consciousness of the people” (Ludo Martens, "The USSR and the velvet counter-revolution”).

“The bedazzled L. Martens used this chance in order to introduce a new appraisal for the Soviet Union after 1956 and to revise the programmatic basis of the Workers’ Party of Belgium declaring that: ”New appraisal means also to take into account that the economic basis and the core of the political structure remained socialist despite the influence of the dominant revisionism. New appraisal means, finally, to take into account the possibility of a positive development, of a Marxist-Leninist rebirth”(ibid)

“When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, neorevisionists regarded Gorbachev as the main culprit. But Gorbachev didn’t bring the restoration of capitalism, as the Workers’ Party of Belgium argues. Rather, it is the restoration of capitalism itself that brought Gorbachev. He completed the capitalist restoration and took openly the side of the international social democracy. Neorevisionism covers up the fact that the restoration of capitalism started in Khrushchev’s time".

“According to L. Martens: it is possible today to get over the divisions among the Marxist-Leninist parties, broken up in pro-Soviet, pro-Chinese, pro-Albanian and pro-Cuban factions and achieve their re-unification”. Such a conglomeration is doomed to fail” (Stefan Engel: Der Kampf um die Demkweise in der Arbeiterbewengung, Essen)

“Concerning the defeat of socialism, the contemporary revisionists reproduced the bourgeois propaganda: For Erich Honecker, it was “the greatest defeat of the worker’s movement in global scale”, for the former president of the German Communist Party Herbert Mis it was “the greatest defeat of socialism” and for the president of Workers’ Party of Belgium Ludo Martens it was “an important regression for the communist and progressive forces al over the world” (Stefan Engel: Der Kampf um die Demkweise in der Arbeiterbewengung, Essen).

In a speech in Wuppertall (May 9th, 2002) Stefan Engel underlines that: “A variety of multi-colored currents of revisionism exists all of which we have summed up under the term neo-revisionism.

Thus the leader of the Party of Labor of Belgium (PTB), Ludo Martens, in an adventurous explanation, says on the times subsequent to the Twentieth CPSU Party Congress:

This great strength of the socialist system could still be felt even when the party leadership chose the path of revisionism, that is, the path of the progressing renunciation of Marxism-Leninism. In 1975, the Soviet Union had reached the peak of its power ..., but this power was already thoroughly undermined by the ideological and political currents which were soon to destroy it. Breshnevism is the continuation of a great strength inherited by Stalin and, simultaneously, an ideological and political degeneration which deepened progressively and which resulted in the complete destruction of socialism under Gorbachev. ("Leonid I. Brezhnev and the National-Democratic Revolution," p. 1; our translation from the German)

What an absurd theory!

On the one hand, the CPSU party leadership is said to gave gone the path of revisionism since 1956. On the other hand, the Soviet Union, in spite of this, could remain a socialist country and even gain strength until 1975. This means: socialism can exist and take a positive development even on the basis of revisionism.

This is not a Marxist-Leninist analysis, this is saying farewell to Marxism-Leninism, Mr. Martens!”

Concluding, we want to underline once again that Ludo Martens is a neorevisionist, anti-Stalinist (“mistakes’ theory”) that has developed as a prima ballerina of the international Khruschevian revisionism and supports counter-revolutionary reactonary positions such as that “Parties who used to belong to different tendencies, who support the positions of Mao Zedong or Brezhnev, of Che Guevara or Enver Hoxha, can unite on the basis of Marxism-Leninism, proletarian internationalism and the struggle against revisionism” (Speech of Ludo Martens in Leningrand Conference, 1997).

Movement for the Reorganisation of the
Communist Party of Greece (1918-55)

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Nikos Zakhariadis, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece: First Open Letter to the People of Greece on the Greek-Italian War, 31 October 1940; Second Open Letter on the Greek-Italian War, 26 November 1940; Third Open Letter on the Greek-Italian War, 15 January 1941

A. Papapanagiotou, ed., To Kommounistiko Komma Elladas ston polemo kai stin antistasi, Episima Keimena V 1940-1945 (Rome 1973) 16, 22-23, 31-35 First Open letter

[Printed in the Athenian daily papers 2 November 1940]

Mussolini's Fascism has murderously and impudently stabbed Greece in the back so as to enslave and subjugate her. Today all we Greeks fight for freedom, for honour, for our national independence. The struggle will be very difficult and very hard. But a nation that wants to live must fight, disregarding dangers and sacrifices. The people of Greece are today waging a war of national liberation against Mussolini's fascism. Alongside the main front EVERY ROCK, EVERY RAVINE, EVERY VILLAGE, COTTAGE BY COTTAGE, EVERY CITY, HOUSE BY HOUSE, MUST BE A STRONGHOLD OF THE NATIONAL LIBERATION STRUGGLE.

Every agent of fascism must be destroyed without mercy. We must give all our strength, without reservation, to this war directed by the Metaxas government. The reward and crown in the present war for working people must be, and will be, a new Greece of work, of freedom, liberated from all foreign imperialist dependence. With a truly popular culture.

All to the struggle, everyone in his place and victory will be the victory of Greece and of its people. The workers of the entire world stand at our side.

Athens 31 October 1940

Nikos Zakhariadis Secretary of the Central Committee of the KKE

[Letter 2 was sent by Nikos Zakhariadis to the 'Provisional Administration' of the KKE, which, unknown to him, was under the control of Konstantinos Mani­adakis, the deputy minister of Public Order. The letter was not published until after the war.]

26 November 1940

Second Open Letter

The entire people of Greece rose as one and wrecked the designs of fascism. The people ensured their freedom and independence with their blood. Beyond this, Greece has no place in the imperialist war between England and Italy-Germany. Since our people are decisively defending their independence and national freedom, today they want one thing only: peace and neutrality under the following conditions: 1) the situation to revert to what it was on 28 October 1940 without any territorial, economic or political damage at the expense of Greece: 2) all British forces to leave the soil and waters of Greece. On the basis of these two conditions we seek the immediate mediation of the USSR to bring about peace between Greece and Italy. Today this is the only national and popular interest. Events have shown that today only the USSR has protected the peace and neutrality of Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Turkey.

Nikos Zakhariadis

PS We are obliged to seek an honourable peace without sanctions and once more to make clear the national, defensive, liberating character of the war which we are undertaking and that we are foreign to the imperialist war being fought by the plutocratic Great Powers. If today we do not work for an honourable peace, the war will lose its national-defensive character for us, it will become expansionist and the people will be against it.

Nikos Zakhariadis Secretary of the Central Committee of the KKE

[Letter 3 fell into the hands of the Security Police and was suppressed, despite Zakhariadis' plea that it be drmlated. It was first published after the war.]

Third Open Letter Dear Comrades,

I have a request for you: print, distribute, post on walls in Athens, Piraeus and Thessaloniki, if possible throughout the country and at the front, my letter below. Hold high the banner of the Communist Party of Greece and continue with the greatest spirit your political and organisational work. Long live the Communist Party of Greece and the Communist International.

N. Zakhariadis


15 January 1941

To all the members and cadres of the organisations of the Communist Party of Greece and of the Organisation of Communist Youth of Greece

I am writing this letter because a basic, radical difference has arisen between me and the 'Provisional Administration' which since September 1940 claims to represent the KKE. I had accepted political cooperation alone with the 'Provisional Administration' (despite my serious reservations) because I had entrusted an old comrade to purge the KKE of the wasps' nest of police informers of Mathesis and Papayiannis.

From the outset I had noted serious mistakes in the political line of the 'Provisional Administration', which it refused to correct despite my proposals, just as it did not accept other of my recommendations. My basic disagreement, however, which I mention below, requires me to speak out openly.

My letter [Le. Zakhariadis' first letter of 31 October], which was published in the newspapers of 2 November, had the following objectives: 1) to give reliable, uniform guidance to communists throughout the country; 2) to mobilise the people in an anti-fascist crusade for national independence and freedom; 3) to re-establish popular freedoms, a popular anti-plutocratic policy domestically; 4) to make the war national, anti-fascist and anti­imperialist with the basic and sole objective of ensuring our national independ­ence, peace and our neutrality, apart from the general imperialist war. This we could achieve only with a wholehearted orientation towards the USSR and true Balkan co-operation.

From the outset, Metaxas did the opposite. He conducted a fascist and expansionist war. Mter we had thrown the Italians out of Greece, our basic objective should have been to make a separate, honourable peace, without concessions, between Greece and Italy. This could have been achieved with the mediation of the USSR. But the monarcho-fascist dictatorship continued the war on account not of the people of Greece but of plutocracy and British imperialism.

After the expulsion of the Italians from Greece, the blood of our soldiers is being unjustly shed. Today British imperialism expends the blood of the children of Greece, as the interest on the capital that it expended in 1935-36 for the restoration of [King] George [11] and the establishment of the monarcho-fascist dictatorship of Metaxas. Since Metaxas refuses to restore the freedoms of the people, to ensure peace for Greece and wages a war of imperialist conquest, the whole burden of which falls on the people, he remains the main enemy of the people and of the country. His overthrow is the most immediate and pressing interest of our people. The people and the army should take the government of the country and the conduct of the war into their hands with the objective of peace, national independence, of an anti-fascist, anti-plutocratic popular domestic regime, of total alignment with the USSR and Balkan co-operation on the basis of the peaceful solution of intra-Balkan disputes.

I have developed these views in an open letter and a draft resolution which I sent to the 'Provisional Administration' on 26 November 1940. The latter refused to accept and publish this, and developed a clearly social-patriotic argument along these lines: Greece's war against Italy in Albania is similar to the war between the USSR and Finland, and Metaxas is a protagonist in the world-wide anti-fascist struggle. The 'Provisional Administration' seeks utterly to subordinate the KKE to the monarcho­fascist dictatorship instead of organising its overthrow. Thus the 'Provisional Administration' reduces my open letter of 2 November 1940 [written on 31 October] (full responsibility for which I bear before the KKE and Communist International) to a clearly social-patriotic document and besmirches the honour of the KKE. This is my dispute with the stand of the 'Provisional Administration'. From this stand it is abundantly clear that the 'Provisional Administration' is the creation and organ of Maniadakis and that Yannis Mikhailidis, Psilos, Katsanevis, Kamos have' betrayed their mission of purging the KKE of the Mathesis gang, which is sold out to the monarcho-fascist dictatorship.

In the light of all this, the stance of all members, cadres and organisations of the KKE and of the Organisation of Communist Youth of Greece in the country and at the front should be this: the people of Greece in this war are solely defending their national independence. They are foreign to the imperialistic war between England and Germany and co. They want a separate, honourable, immediate peace through the mediation of the USSR. They recognise the principle of self-determination as far as secession for all. They want freedom, work, and their will to prevail, which is being denied by Metaxas. They want an external alliance with the USSR and true Balkan understanding. The peoples and soldiers of Greece and Italy are not enemies but brothers, and their fraternisation at the front will put an end to the war being waged by their capitalist exploiters.

To bring all this about, the people and the army must overthrow the monarch-fascist dictatorship of Metaxas, which is their principal and fundamental enemy, and establish a popular anti-fascist government. If a people are to preserve national freedom they must enjoy domestic freedom. A domestically enslaved people is not worthy to preserve its national inde­pendence and every victory of its domestic tyrant will strengthen its slavery.

Today this must be the path of the KKE. Every member and cadre of the organisation should instil this line in the masses and organise them around it, ensuring that it prevails. And do not forget for a moment those of us in prison or in exile. In Corfu[prison] the life of our best comrades is minute by minute in imminent danger from the knife of Metaxas and the bombs of Mussolini. I am healthy and well. All my thoughts and my heart are with the Party, just as my life is dedicated to it.

Long live the Communist Party of Greece! Long live the Communist International!


15 January 1941

Prison of the General Security Health and happiness Nikos Zakhariadis

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