How should «democratic freedoms» in a bourgeois state be assessed and utilized?
Communists and alliances with progressive forces
Strengthen the international unity of Marxist-Leninists
Six months have passed by since the outburst of an open fascist reaction in Indonesia. And these six months have been characterized by an unprecedented fascist terror mainly against communists and progressive people. It is said that the number of people killed and cruelly massacred without being brought to court has reached to some hundreds of thousands. Some news agencies put it at 300.000 and others at 500,000 persons. It is also said that some of the principal leaders of the Indonesian Communist Party are among the victims of this white terror.
The tragedy which the Indonesian people and communists are experiencing should shock the conscience of all progressive people. Indonesian fascists, assisted openly or in a roundabout way by American imperialists and Khrushchevite revisionists, are repeating, on a much higher scale, what the Nazis once did when they had assumed power. A halt should be called to them. The powerful voice of protest of every honest man, of every revolutionary, of every anti-fascist should be raised against the massacring of Indonesian communists and progressive people. This is the most elementary duty of all, because it is a real and unpardonable crime to let such frenzied reactionaries kill off hundreds of thousands of innocent people (probably in no war, except the world wars, have there been so many victims) and let them run away with it.
The Albanian people and communists express their internationalist solidarity with the Indonesian communists, victims of fascist terror. We are convinced that the Indonesian Communist Party, which, is a Marxist-Leninist party, regardless of the great damage it has incurred, will respond, to the fascists with a determined revolutionary struggle to wipe out reaction. It is now clear that there is but one way open to Indonesian communists and patriots, namely, to respond to counter-revolutionary violence with revolutionary violence, with an armed struggle of workers and peasants, in defense of freedom and democracy, against fascism and terror.
The development of Indonesian events is a bitter actuality for communists and all revolutionaries. Yet, what happened in Indonesia constitutes a major experience which should be carefully studied and from which valuable lessons can be drawn. Revolution does never develop in a straight line. It advances through triumphs and setbacks; It is the duty of revolutionaries and Marxist-Leninists that, while consolidating their gains, to learn from temporary setbacks and. draw the necessary conclusions so as. to raise the revolution to a higher level and further .it by a greater force. The experience of one revolution is not of advantage to the revolutionaries and communists of one country alone, but to all revolutionaries, to all Marxist-Leninists of the world. Therefore, not only the Indonesian communists but the revolutionaries and communists of the various countries should draw their lessons from the Indonesian events. This is of primary importance.
The Indonesian Communist Party grew and developed as a Marxist-Leninist party in bitter class struggle against internal and external enemies. After the hard blows it received from reaction in 1927 and 1948, when thousands of communists and all the party leaders were massacred, the Indonesian Communist Party was set on its feet again through battles and endeavors until it became such a force that by the number of its members represented the biggest communist party of capitalist countries. There is no doubt that, in spite of the major losses it is now incurring, it will gradually rise to its feet again through a courageous and consistent revolutionary Marxist-Leninist struggle. We, Albanian communists, have unshaken confidence that the Indonesian communists will carefully analyze their work so far, that they will detect the shortcomings, mistakes and weaknesses which have been manifested in the work of the party, that they will draw the necessary conclusions so that the Indonesian Communist Party may lead the Indonesian people to a successful revolution in the days to come. None can do this better than the Indonesian communists themselves.
Indonesian events are not an isolated phenomenon. They are links of a chain, a component part of the assault of the international reaction against the communist movement and the liberation struggle of peoples. They are linked with the aggressive activity of American imperialists in Viet Nam and elsewhere, with bloody intervention of imperialists in San Domingo and throughout Latin America, with the organization of counterrevolutionary coups against several new states in Africa, with the diversionist and dissentient activities which the Khrushchevite revisionists have long resorted to within the ranks of the international communist movement, with their sabotage of the national-liberation struggle of peoples, with the active support they give to American imperialists and various other reactionaries, and so on.
It is for this reason that the revolutionaries and communists of various countries should consider these phenomena seriously, should analyze them carefully and draw the necessary conclusions so that the revolutionary struggle may forge ahead from victory to victory.
How should «democratic freedoms» in a bourgeois state be assessed and utilized?
The bourgeoisie and, together with them, the modern revisionists too speak a lot of and highly assess the so-called democratic freedoms. In fact, in every bourgeois state called democratic there exist, pro forma, certain relatively democratic «freedoms». We say relatively because they never exceed the bounds of the bourgeois conception of «freedom» and «democracy», because they extend up to the point where they do not jeopardize the vital interests of the bourgeoisie in power.
'These conditions are, of course, taken advantage of by the working class and progressive people to organize themselves, to propagate their views and their ideology to pave the way for overthrowing the exploiting classes and taking over the reins of power.
Following the second world war, as a result of the victory over fascism and the role played by communist parties in the anti-fascist war, communist parties in many capitalist countries of Europe succeeded in taking part also in the government (as in France, Italy, Finland and so on), in having a large number of deputies in the parliament, important posts in the state apparatus and even in the army, and so on.
Favorable conditions were likewise created during these last fifteen years, in various periods in certain countries of the Middle East like Iran and Irak, in Latin America as in Guatemala, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela etc. Quite a favorable situation was created also in Asia, particularly in Indonesia. The Indonesian Communist Party marked a rapid growth, it took part in the government, it exerted a major influence in the internal and foreign policy of the country and so on.
But a bitter class struggle, a struggle for life or death, goes on between the revolution and reaction, between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie also under conditions of «democratic freedoms». If the proletariat and their party strive 1o consolidate their positions, reaction and the bourgeoisie are not less active. On the contrary, by using the bourgeois state apparatus, police and armed forces, corruption and diversion, by nurturing opportunism and reformist and pacifist illusions within the ranks of the working class and so on they make serious preparations to consolidate their positions and crush revolutionary forces.
Development of events after the second world war shows that within the framework of «democratic freedoms» the bourgeoisie have, in various ways, acted energetically to suppress the revolutionary movement of the working class.
When the bourgeoisie and reactionaries consolidated their positions, they ousted the communists from the government, from state functions and from the army as in Italy, France and in Finland. In England, Austria and elsewhere the communists were deprived of their last place in parliament whereas in Greece they were put to prison or even to death.
When the bourgeoisie and reactionaries see that their rule is in jeopardy as a consequence of the mounting prestige of the communist party and the revolutionary movement of the masses they play their last card: they put the armed forces in motion, they organize pogroms in order to break and suppress the revolutionary movement and communist parties as in Iran and Irak and, of late, in the tragic events of Indonesia. In cases of this kind the bourgeoisie and reactionaries of one country have taken direct advantage also of the aid of world reaction and even of its armed forces as in San Domingo and elsewhere.
What conclusions can be drawn from this historical experience?
First of all, the so-called «bourgeois freedoms» and «democratic movements» in capitalist countries are not such as to allow communist parties and revolutionary groups to attain their objectives. No. The bourgeoisie and reactionaries allow activities of revolutionaries up to the point where they do not jeopardize the class rule of the bourgeoisie. When this rule is endangered or when the reactionaries find the opportune moment, they suppress these democratic freedoms and resort to all methods and means to crush revolutionary forces with no moral or political scruples. In all countries where communist parties are allowed to work openly the bourgeoisie and reactionaries utilize this occasion to get acquainted with all the activities, persons and methods of work and struggle of Marxist-Leninist parties and of revolutionaries. Therefore, communists and their genuine marxist-leninist parties would commit a fatal mistake if they would lend credit to the bourgeois «freedoms» which this conjuncture allow them and advertise everything openly, if they would not keep their organization and plans to themselves. Communists should take advantage of conditions of legal work, they should even make use of them in order to carry a wide work of propaganda and organization, but, at the same i time, they should be prepared for clandestine j work.
Secondly, opportunist illusions on the «peaceful way» to assume power are a bluff and constitute a real danger for the revolutionary movement. On the surface the Indonesian Communist Party seemed to have had the most suitable ground to achieve this end by this method. Yet, the Indonesian communists had stated more than once that they nurture no illusions about the peaceful method. In the greetings of the Central Committee of the Indonesian Communist Party addressed to the Congress of the Communist Party of New Zealand they affirmed that «events in Indonesia proved once again that there is no class in power... and reactionary force to allow revolutionary forces to attain victory by ’peaceful methods’». From the tragic events of Indonesia communists draw the lesson that it is not enough to discard opportunist illusions on the «peaceful way», nor to admit that the only way to assume power is the revolutionary way of armed struggle. The party of the proletariat, Marxist-Leninists and every revolutionary should take effective steps to prepare for the revolution, from educating communists and the masses in a militant revolutionary spirit to making concrete preparations to meet the counter-revolutionary violence of the reactionaries with an armed revolutionary struggle by the popular masses.
Thirdly, regardless of the favorable conditions and positions which the party of the working class may enjoy at a given moment, it should in no way slacken its revolutionary vigilance, overestimate its strength and that of its allies and underestimate the power of the opponent, of the bourgeoisie and reactionaries. The Indonesian Communist Party exerted a major influence in the country, but, apparently, it has overestimated and has placed undue confidence especially on the political authority of Sukarno and of that part of the bourgeoisie which supported it. At the same time it seems to have underestimated the strength of reaction especially of reaction in the , army. The Indonesian comrades seem to have j nurtured the opinion that whoever has Sukarno on his side has the key of Indonesia, without making a careful analysis of where Sukarno’s strength lay and how real this strength was based on the people. Recent events in Indonesia showed clearly that Sukarno’s prestige and authority were not well founded either socially, economically or politically. Reactionary generals succeeded in checkmating Sukarno and even of utilizing him for as long as necessary to further their counter-revolutionary ends.
Fourthly, a marxist-leninist party and every true revolutionary should consistently and persistently pursue a revolutionary line and fight with courage against opportunism and its most arrant manifestation, modern revisionism, Khrushchevite I and Titoite revisionism. Opportunists and modern 1 revisionists have made the struggle for «bourgeois freedoms» their banner and have renounced the revolution, they preach «the peaceful way» as the only way to assume power. It is precisely this j opportunist and revisionist line, the influence of Khrushchevite and other revisionists that have turned many communist parties, which represented once a major revolutionary force, into parties of social reform, into appendages and assistants of the reactionary bourgeoisie. This took place in the Italian, French, Finnish, English, Austrian and other communist parties. Opportunism and pursuance of the opportunist line of the 20th Congress of the Khrushchevites led the Communist j Party of Irak, the revisionist Party of Brazil, the Communist Party of Algeria and others to their collapse and elimination. The Communist Party of Indonesia is a marxist-leninist party. It opposes modern revisionism. Recent events in Indonesia and the undermining role the Khrushchevite revisionists played there show that a genuine, revolutionary party loyal to Marxism-Leninism and determined to carry the revolution ahead with courage, should maintain a clear-cut stand towards opportunism, towards Khrushchevite and Titoite revisionism. It is not enough to be at one with the struggle of Marxist-Leninists against revisionism alone, but it is necessary that the party launch an uncompromising, open war against revisionist treason, for only thus are communists educated in a revolutionary spirit and the party protected from any danger of revisionism. Imperialism, reaction cannot be fought, the cause of the revolution and of socialism cannot be furthered without waging a persistent and courageous war against opportunism and Khrushchevite revisionism.
Communists and alliances with progressive forces
Historical experience shows that in their revolutionary struggle the communists have always allied and ally themselves with various progressive forces. Because, especially when it is a question of democratic revolutions or of national emancipation from imperialist and colonialist oppression, this interests, besides the communists and genuine revolutionaries, also the broad strata of the population ranging from workers and peasants to the national bourgeoisie and other progressive-minded people. It could have been a mistake, sectarian and dangerous for the revolution if all those that can be united are not united to carry j
it through. And communists and genuine revolutionaries, as the most daring fighters and most faithful representatives of the broad masses of people, are always interested in uniting all those who are eager to carry the revolution ahead.
Indonesian events are a great lesson also as regards the problem of alliances. NASACOM, which represented the alliance of nationalist, religious and communist forces had been in existence for a long time in Indonesia. The Communist Party of Indonesia did well to take part in NASACOM. It consolidated its position and that of the working class in the whole life of the country through it. But, as events go to show, no sound organizational and revolutionary work was done there, the NASACOM, which represents the alliance of nationalist religious and communist forces and «freedom» of action were given undue publicity. The fact is that the first storm brought the whole NASACOM structure down. NASACOM was not so strong a dam as to ward off the wave of counter-revolution.
In their revolutionary struggle, therefore, the communists and revolutionaries should never be content with the formal conclusion of alliances. They should not be enthusiastic over statements about the «vitality» of such alliances but should see to it that these alliances should best serve the revolution.
Therefore, it is essential that in the various popular democratic, national and national-liberation fronts genuine marxist-leninist parties should win the confidence of their allies through their work and struggle, should come to the fore in these fronts and lead them effectively. The leadership of a marxist-leninist party, its correct revolutionary course in the interests of the broad masses united in these fronts is the guarantee of power and vitality of fronts and their major role in achieving the objectives of the revolution. It is proven more than once that when these fronts are guided by other social forces and political parties they are wavering, no consistent revolutionary line is pursued, they are often used for counter-revolutionary purposes and blow off like soap bubbles at their first encounter with reaction.
By following the line of unity with all those that can be united in the front marxist-leninist parties, contrary to the views of modern revisionists, should not only preserve their independence and their role of leadership but they should, at the same time wage a war against the wavering of various allies, against their reactionary inclination, their attempts to split the front and start bargaining with reactionary forces. The line of unity and of struggle helps strengthen the fronts, cleanse them from reactionary and counterrevolutionary elements, raise their compactness and revolutionary spirit, attain a unity based on more sound grounds. Pursuance of the line of unity alone neglecting struggles create a false, formal kind of unity and enable reactionary elements and forces to undermine and eliminate it more easily dealing a hard blow on the cause of the revolution itself.
In their alliances with various social strata and elements to achieve one objective or another in the various stages of the revolution, the communists should never lose sight of their ultimate goal — the triumph of socialism. «One must know how to join the struggle for democracy with the struggle for socialist revolution subjecting the former to the latter. Lenin has said: «Herein lies all the difficulty, herein all the essence... Don’t forget the main thing (the revolution), place that on the front row... subject to and coordinate with it all your demands for democratic rights» (V. I. Lenin; Works, vol. 35, p. 213, Russian edition). Communists are frank in their alliances with other social forces, they will fight with determination to carry out the programs of united fronts, but at the same time, they make no secret of their ideals and, once they have accomplished their democratic and national tasks, they are determined not to stop half way but carry the revolution ahead to the ' triumph of socialism and communism.
The struggle of our party during the National-liberation War, its agreements, talks with progressive-minded elements and, even, with factions of bourgeois reactionaries, taught us how to take the correct bearings in this labyrinth. This experience gained in battle helped our party, and helped it a great deal in its correct policy with the broad masses of workers, it helps the party in its internal policy and in orientating its foreign policy, in studying and solving non-antagonistic and antagonistic contradictions both in the country and outside it as well as in the international communist movement.
The world proletariat, marxist-leninist parties and all genuine revolutionaries are engaged in a bitter war against imperialism, against the reactionary bourgeoisie, against modern revisionism, against their ideology. This is a battle for life or death, a war of great international significance. The war between us and our enemies is a bitter and merciless class struggle. Neither the enemy nor we give way to each other. The development of this class struggle is not presented alike everywhere, not only from the point of view of its intensity but also of its forms, its dynamic development, of the Weltanschauung of its participants, of its conjunctures, zigzags, of the progress of the revolution, of temporary retreats, of attacks and of many other objective and subjective factors.
It behooves all marxist-leninist communist and workers parties to bear all these important and essential things in mind, to analyze them scientifically under the prism of creative Marxism-Leninism carried out not as a dogma but as a live revolutionary theory in action, keeping always pure the basic principles, the general laws of development and of the revolution, and not let right-wing opportunism or dangerous sectarianism hide under the slogan of the alleged «real conditions of the country» or «the conjunctures of the time or of the moment».
Recent events, the ruthless assaults of the imperialists, of Khrushchevite and other revisionists and of different reactionaries against socialism, against the liberation wars of peoples, against communist parties and revolutionaries of various countries, show that international marxist-leninist unity is now, more than at any time ever, an essential condition. He who does not understand this great truth, does not understand Marx’s great slogan «Proletarians of all countries, unite!». Marxism-Leninism teaches us that all revolutionaries should unite against the enemies of the proletariat and people, against capitalists, imperialists and their allies, against the reactionary bourgeoisie, against the varieties of its ideology one of which at present, is modern revisionism headed by Soviet revisionism.
Enemies of the proletariat and of Marxism-Leninism have opposed international Marxist-Leninist unity with all their might. They have used all the means at their disposal and have coordinated all their efforts to this end. This is what world imperialism, headed by that of the USA, is doing today; this is what modern revisionism, with that of the Khrushchevites at the head, is doing now; this is what all the various reactionaries of the world are doing. The unity of Marxist-Leninists of the world is the death’s door to the enemy and salvation to us.
The traitors to Marxism-Leninism, Khrushchevite and Titoite revisionists and their servitors have worked out a well defined scheme to hamper the unity of Marxist-Leninists and, in general, to deny the objective necessity for this unity. In the first place, with a view to achieve their treacherous goals, they attacked the idea of any international organization of communists. The revisionists stood in need of this in order to rehabilitate traitors and Trotzkyte betrayal and particularly to discredit the idea of internationalist marxist-leninist unity which would and will become a real danger for them. Soviet revisionists embarked on the road of discrediting every sound marxist-leninist thing in order to be able to build a new kind of unity on the basis of revisionism and under the dictates of Khrushchevites. This was, of course, building a castle on sand for no unity can ever exist outside Marxism-Leninism. The preachings of Khrushchevites for «unity» are directed principally against the idea of marxist-leninist unity and are made for the purpose of hindering its realization. Khrushchevite revisionists preach that kind of «unity» in order to oppose the true Marxist-Leninist unity for which we, Marxist-Leninists, fight and will fight to the end and which we shall certainly win. Revisionists speak of their «unity» but within this «unity» there are cropping up and developing every day various forms and ideas of disintegration, centrifugal ideas which will lead to the open degeneration of pseudo-Marxists under whatever guise they may appear. The heroic and consistent fight of Marxist-Leninists will tear many a mask. If not now, later on there will also be an unmasking of the game of those who play the role of centrists who feign to defend principles but who in reality distort them under the guise of «independence», of «pecific conditions» which they keep using to this day to conceal their gradual departure from Marxism-Leninism, their break with the international marxist-leninist unity in the world. Marxist-Leninists should consolidate their unity without heeding the slanders and considerations of revisionists. As ta the organizational forms this unity is to take, they should be thought out and worked out in a concrete way.
Khrushchevite revisionists make a lot of noise about the thesis of the independence of the communist and workers parties and the activities to comply with the concrete conditions of each country. This is in fact a Leninist thesis which only we, Marxist-Leninists, really observe with consistency. But modern revisionists try to speculate with the so-called pro forma independence of parties because, in reality, Khrushchevite revisionists want dependence of all the movement under their leadership. They think of independence something apart from internationalism, that Marxist-Leninists need not have a common line of action on basic issues like their attitude towards imperialism and the renegades of Marxism-Leninism, like the observance of the general laws of the revolution and of socialist construction and so on. Marxist-Leninists, while strictly respecting the independence of every party to determine its. own line and policy should, at the same time, submit to the principles of proletarian internationalism, to the general laws of the revolution and socialist construction, they should work out a common line and a common stand on most fundamental issues, especially, as regards the struggle against imperialism and the struggle to safeguard the purity of Marxism-Leninism from modem revisionism.
The events of Indonesia and the joint attacks of imperialists and Khrushchevite revisionists against the people, against Marxism-Leninism and socialism go to show that we should strengthen the international unity of Marxist-Leninists. All revolutionary communists, all genuine Marxist-Leninist parties, must overcome with courage and without hesitation and crush every obstacle that modern revisionists have laid in our way of marxist-leninist unity. Revisionists will reproach us with setting up new international organism; they will be doing us a great honor.
Because Marxist-Leninists of the world nurture a great and well-deserved faith in People’s China and in the marxist-leninist line of the glorious Communist Party of China, the enemies accuse them of becoming China’s satellites, of having lost their «independence» and other piffles like these. These calumnies of revisionists and imperialists have neither stopped nor will stop our Party of Labor or any other genuine marxist-leninist party from consolidating their unity with People’s China and its Marxist-Leninist Party, thus making a solid bloc with it. This bloc strikes terror to the imperialists and revisionists, that is why they try by all means to fight us, they try to bedazzle Marxist-Leninists with their slogans we talked of above.
But it is futile: the slogan «Proletarians of the whole world and all oppressed peoples, unite!» will triumph.
Click here to return to the
index of archival material.