Working class and the tasks

The defeat of the working class was a defeat of an enormous size. Along with the economic and political attacks, international capital had found the opportunity to prepare a wide reaching, worldwide ideological attack on the working class. The pointed tip of the attack on the ideological front initially targeted the conception and ideas on independent party, revolution and power of the working class. Nevertheless, the fact that capital does not recognise any borders and the extent of the attack had extended to the denial of the working class with the entirety of its role as the fundamental revolutionary class had been recognised within a short period.

The association of socialism with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc and charging it with “technological inadequacy” and being “static” is another issue. This attack, intended to deny the working class, has been carried out on the basis of “technological revolution” and “its results”. The viewpoint that influences the propaganda activities of conservative, liberal, socialist and all other political currents of the capital without any exceptions is that scientific and technological revolution has “exceeded” the limits of the industrial society in all areas and that it has already “converted” the society into an “information society” which represents the “post-industrial” period of humanity. According to this viewpoint, the working class as a principal class now belongs in the history; regardless of its great population, this “class” does not have a fundamental place in the “information society”; hence it is nothing but a mass that is yet another ordinary element of production!

Put over the sum of what has been proposed; two “fundamental” conclusions have been derived from the theories of “scientific-technological revolution” and “information society” regarding the working class and its role in the society: a) “Non-material production of labour and knowledge, (etc.)” has replaced “material labour and industrial production” and risen to a level of being “the dominant form of labour” that identifies and governs all relations within the society; b) a new “division of labour” has emerged and the organisation of work (also dubbed “the transformation from fordism to post-fordism”) has gone through fundamental changes. The former has been put forward as the reason for the replacement of the working class as a fundamental class, losing its significance as a determinant in the society; the “grounds” for the disorganisation and dispersion of this class has been found in the second one. Although there are slight differences in shade between them; all the bourgeois ideological currents based the ideological theses of their sustained attacks on the working class on this double “transformation”.

The view that is put forward is that capitalism has in reality, in the character of “relationships” and “new division of labour” created by non-material labour, found the dynamics that sideline class struggle and revolution. The “change” in the prevailing form of labour and its division has changed the character of the working class: made its movement as a separate, independent class against the capital and its struggle to create a new society by tearing down the old one meaningless as well as impossible. Harmony and cooperation with capital; competition as individual and enterprise – the role of the “information society” workers in production and their responsibilities to the society has been shaped within this very context! As a matter of fact, there is no anomaly in the appearance of the theories of “supremacy of the non-material production”, “that a new division of labour is taking place”, “the loss of status of the working class, and its entry into a process of minimisation and dispersion” as “immune” theories1 that characterise the current progress and the future to all bourgeoisie ideological conservative, “socialist” and social democrat circles.2

Yet, the turning inside out of facts is not something uncommon: first, the turning on its head of scientific and technological gains; and second, the one sided raising of the huge defeat of the working class to the level of theory. Use of what is subordinate, conditional and temporary in replacing or covering up of what is fundamental, determining and the characteristic! The above mentioned theories that have been put forward and sought to be established as “currents”, are in reality based solely on this “simple” double turning inside out. The widespread illusions caused on a world scale by this very act can be explained by the fact that the “communist” parties that had led the movement for a long time considered these “theories” as “identical to socialism”.

Some issues relating to technical development and the working class

As far as the last couple of decades are concerned one can talk about the following undeniable facts: a) the volume of employed mass of the working class has gone through a temporary “slowing” in its growth in the world and a relative “shrinking” in the developed countries. b) types of labour such as part-time work, subcontracted work, hired work and working from home which were seen as a “necessary result” of the “new division of labour” have rapidly become widespread with the idea of “the collapse of the working class”. These two supposedly determining facts are presented as the proof of the “elimination” of the working class.

Leaving aside the demagogy aspect of the question in being turned on its head and in presenting the working class as “shrinking”, “dispersed”, “disappeared”; “the scientific technological revolution” is not the sole reason for the “slowing down” in the growth of the mass of the employed workers and the “shrinking”, and the spread of the mentioned “forms of work”, contrary to all that has been put forward and supposedly scientific claims: The greave general defeat of the working class; the absolute extension of the working day and the week, which should be cut down to four-five hours a day and five days respectively, due to the efficiency created by “technological revolution”, based on the conditions of this defeat; the grand scale and speedy intensification of work (the relative extension of duration of work), which could not be possible under any condition but this defeat – the search for the reasons in “technological revolution” instead of these manifest facts is the most “tragic” illusion that could be conceived.

It should be stressed primarily that the advancement in science and technology implies and plays a role in the replacement of workers by machinery and the decrease in the need for labour. Contrary to this, the technological revolution at the same time (artificially boosted or real) contains within itself the possibilities for new “needs” to emerge and for the formation of new industries and branches of work. This, without a doubt means an encouragement3 of the “growth of the working population” as a tendency. In short, if it is not obstructed by crisis or other reasons, growth4 of the mass of employed working class is inevitable: a) partly due to the growth of economies, and b) partly as a result of the development and gaining new positions by the labour movement. Regarding the forms of “working” portrayed as the signs of the physical dismantling and dispersion of areas of work for the working class, neither they are dismantling or dispersing nor are they modern or inevitable; in fact, they are the first (primal) forms of work in capitalism5 and will be removed for the same reasons6 as above, especially by the positional gains and advancement of the movement. The replacement by the immediate, modern contractual employment of these primitive forms is an inevitable prerequisite of the line of historical evolution.

Whichever way one chooses to looked at it, these two facts relating to the position of the working class has nothing to do with the “necessities” of the scientific technological revolution. They surfaced upon the conditions of class struggle developing in favour of capital but not for the working class. Their relationship to scientific revolution is that the international capital has used the opportunities of technology disgracefully and capably against the defeated working class.

Technological revolution and the growing working class

It is but an “improper conduct” to derive the result from the advances in science and technology or “the scientific technological revolution” that proletarisation in the capitalist society will disappear; that the working class will “shrink”, “become less important”, or that it will increasingly be dragged into “extinction”. Hence, technological advances under the rule of capital mean acceleration of capitalist development, accumulation and centralisation of capital, and increased expropriation in the society. Despite the relative slowing down by export of capital, this is a fact valid for the advanced countries where capitalism is already developed. In fact, the last fifteen years when the application of electronics to industry, communication and transport (and society) has been intensified demonstrates that bankruptcy among small agricultural, trade and industrial enterprises in these countries have occurred twice or thrice faster. And indeed, this wave of bankruptcies show the degree of growth and centralisation of the capital based also on the expropriation of substrata as well as the intensification of the proletariat movement7 in these countries. Data on expropriation, unemployment and poverty clearly stress that the working class in all these countries grows in higher proportions and speeds compared to the preceding fifteen years.

On the other hand, the growth of the working class in dependent countries, though from a backward and a relatively different point, follows the same path: dismantling of the peasantry left over from the old society; the collapse of the village-city small-medium enterprises that have existed as the intermediate categories of capitalist society, along with these old village enterprises, especially after the 1980s have been much faster, more violent and traumatic. Leaving aside the fact that the exploitation of workers is increasingly becoming excessive and violent, the expropriation of the stratum with little property in these countries has in this period been conducted as though in a form of a catastrophe. In fact, those named “agricultural countries” as late as 1970s have, within the following 20 to 30 years through these catastrophes, become the “free workforce” countries with their workers and unemployed filling up the cities and the countryside. As well as being connected to the world market and imperialism even in their farthest corners, what was pressing for these backward and dependent countries in the past two decades was the unprecedented leap in the development and growth of capitalism and of the working class.

The first result to be derived from what is happening both in the developed and the backward - dependent countries is that “modern industry”, as it has in the last 150 years, by “throwing of capital and working masses from one branch of production to another,” continues in a somewhat different manner “the turning upside down” of “the social compatibilities of work the current division of which it cannot but subject to revolution”. Leaving nothing settled; looking for maximum profit by demolishing one sector and jumping to another; while recreating the expropriation of workers, the driving in waves the naturally occurring strata of small property owners to ruin; acting with the instinct to leave nothing that is not owned by capital and capitalist monopolies. Capitalism today is still the continual division of societies into the two fundamental classes, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, and the ruling of the society through this division. Alongside being attached to the world market and imperialism up to their most distant corners; what has made its mark in these countries during the last fifteen years has been the soaring growth of capitalism and the working class as never seen before.

Surely, the thesis that industrial production and workers’ labour “has no importance” and is “on a path of shrinking, dispersion and infectivity” in the face of “non-material production” and “non-material labour” has nothing to do with “science” or “technology”. “Non-material production and labour”8 undoubtedly is not completely “insignificant” or passive. Despite this, that which is the motivating force and fundamental in the development of science and technology: without material production that will meet the material needs of the society and without the “material labour (manual labour)” that generates this production, “non-material labour (intellectual labour)” cannot materialise, as neither will the “non-material production”, especially under the conditions of capitalism. All “non-material production”, including technology and “the production of ideas, information, governance, image, etc,” in essence a production that aims the intensification and consolidation of exploitation and profits of the capitals and the “upside down” understanding of facts (as in the perception of today’s world as transformed) by human conscience. There is no doubt that, in the final analysis, it is the industrial (material) production and the working class which finances and feeds “the strata” that does this “non-material production” as well as all the capitalists, big or small.

On the other hand, dominance of capital is based not on “the production of knowledge, information, image, etc.” but on its monopoly on the means of production that are used in meeting the material needs of society. The capital’s “production of information, image, etc.” and its monopoly on it cannot even be mentioned in the absence of the industrial monopoly of capital. It can be clearly seen that the dominance of capital today is also made possible by its monopoly over industrial production. Hence, the fundamental productive class9 in society today is no other class or strata but the working class, the mass of which is being extended by the capital by sending new forces of labour to its ranks from “non-material production”.10 This class is not “losing its importance”, or “shrinking”, or “disappearing”, but is increasing, through work, capital as well as thereby producing (and is reproduced) itself and growing as a class; and it is the only class which is getting greater importance and influence. Also in today’s situation, the working class is a “special product” of the capital without which capital cannot ever exist and the mass of which inevitably grows as the capital grows and becomes centralised everywhere.

On the one side the capitalist bourgeoisie with its professors with sold souls, “genius” experts, dashing CEOs, high rank bureaucrats, pens for sale, show “stars” and other servants… On the other, the working class, with the agricultural and service sector workers and the masses of the unemployed amongst its ranks, but the nucleus and the fundamental base of which is constituted of the industrial proletariat! No matter how hard the ideologues try to deny its “existence”, the fundamental opposition and polarisation in capitalism today is essentially, without any doubt, no different from what it was in the previous century. No matter how much the capital tries to conceal, the aggression in which it finds itself and the struggle of the working class in the face of this aggression, exposes before everyone’s eyes this opposition and polarisation with all its clarity.

Nonetheless, this opposition and polarisation is not an opposition and polarisation stuck on the level of the century past or one which is stationary: a) the opposition11 between capital’s “tendency to infinitely grow” production and the “idiosyncratic limitation” this growth is subjected to has enormously matured; b) the conflict between the numerous opposing tendencies within capitalism has acquired a far more striking form. The growth in the productive forces and the economic and social evolution has given a clearer shape to the inability and destruction of capitalism in supporting the development of productive forces and the evolution, and has helped mature even more the concerning fundamental opposition and polarisation on its part.

The strengthening quality of the working class and its ability to struggle

As for the revolutionary characteristic and abilities of the working class, these are not characteristic or abilities “granted” to it by a theory or an ideology; it derives these characteristic and abilities from its place in production, its position in the face of the means of production and the fact that it is an organised class on the basis of mechanised industry. Despite being the fundamental class and the class that produces all the wealth of society, the working class is a class without possessions,12 which “has nothing but its chains to lose”. The historical role in the face of society of this class is linked directly with this situation of the workers: their place and position in the face of social production and the means of production. In other words, the quality, abilities, historical role of the working class and its aims linked with these, are borne out of objective basis13 and these cannot be changed or destroyed by the arbitrary aspirations and theories of the ideologues.

The working class is the only fundamental class in countries all over the world with rapidly growing mass and widening ranks, also due to technical revolution. This is undisputable; however, the meaning of scientific technical revolution for the working classes is not only the speeding up of the proletarisation or the growth of the mass of the class. The renewed separation of the few highly specialised (and even qualified) workers from the work force and the general standardisation of labour as simplified “basic workers labour” – the work and the conduct of labour becoming simpler as machinery develops is inevitable. No matter how many new sectors emerge and no matter how many “new type” of workers from “non-material production” participate in its ranks, this fact will mean the “contraction” of the aristocratic strata within the working class and the increased homogenisation of the class, while the occupational lines between workers becoming faint, albeit to a certain extent. Hence, the working class is not merely a class which is growing in mass but a class whose homogeneity and class character strengthens with technical advancement and intensification of the capitalism. Therefore, regardless of the weaknesses and obstacles generated by aforementioned primitive “forms of labour”, the homogeneity, maturity and ability to struggle of the working class is far more developed and powerful today. There is no power in today’s society to prevent the working class from struggling far more able against the entirety of obstacles appearing before itself compared to previous periods and from embracing its work far more tightly.

The position of the working class in the face of social production and of the means of production places it inevitably at the centre of society, and in the forefront of all those who are exploited and oppressed. It is because of this position and characteristic that the working class is the vanguard of the social evolution, progress and transformation as well as its fundamental driving force. Its struggle with capital is the source and fundamental basis of all advancement, development, change, and all social and economic transformation. The sharpening of the antagonism between the bourgeoisie and the working class (capital and labour); its arousal of the struggle of the working class against the attacks of the capital; the transformation of this struggle which develops through defeats and thrusts, under certain conditions, into a revolution that will eliminate the capital: the century left behind (for example, the victorious and defeated revolutions taking place in all major countries), has demonstrated to everyone this inevitable reality with all its clarity and simplicity.

The defeat of socialism (the new civilisation), which was established with the October Revolution and spread to 1/3 of the world after the Second War, does not clearly mean the subordination of the working class forever, or the giving up of its role in the face of society and history to “those who work” or to the capitalist class in the form of “knowledge, image, advertising, governance, etc. producers”. Even though it makes it difficult for a while, every defeat is a “new beginning” in the way of “new attempts” for revolution. As can be driven from the struggles of the last fifteen years, the working class, which becomes the centre of attention of all other labouring classes when in mobilisation, is the class “appointed” by the capital itself for the revolution which will emancipate, along with itself, all those oppressed.


Proletarian revolution – a world revolution

The transformation of the workers’ movement into revolution within its development, and the victory of revolution against the capital are unpreventable. The contradiction between labour and capital makes inevitable the struggle of the workers against the capital and the expansion of this struggle by breaking its chains. It constitutes the basis of the capitalist society; therefore, this contradiction cannot be solved without a revolution that will do away with the capitalist classes, that will transform the working class into being the ruling class and that will remove the conditions which give rise to it. To save the productive forces from destruction, and to save the society from collapse through fight and struggles, it is necessary for this contradiction to be resolved through revolution. This necessity emphasises at the same time the expansion of the workers’ movement, the preparation of its reserves and its transformation into revolution within its development.

It is clear that claims such as the “necessity” and “impossibility” of revolution are nonsense, to say the least. Today’s capitalism is long overdue to collapse and is over-matured to be replaced by socialism. The socialisation of production and the socialisation of knowledge as a form-direction of this have reached immense dimensions. It is impossible for the decaying facade kept standing through coercion and demagogy to contain the developing productive forces forever. Moreover, the working class, contrary to the past century, is currently a literate class to a large extent, which is culturally progressed and full of serious experiences, albeit gained painfully.

In short, the revolution is a much more urgent need and is a much more unopposable necessity today. Moreover, the progress of humanity, the level of development of the productive forces; the experience, education and culture of the working class indicate that revolutions, let alone their “impossibility”, will break out with much more advanced fronts compared to those of the previous century. There can be no doubt that the working class will ably utilise the reserves generated by imperialism and the possibilities of the advanced degree of socialisation of knowledge, and act with a revolutionary conception and conscious initiative. Despite this, the victory of revolution will not come about easily or by itself. For this, it is necessary for the working class to organise as an independent and revolutionary party which unites the main mass of the working class without divisions.

On the other hand, “the process of globalisation”, in reality, has primarily led to the connection of single economies over a much larger area and more intensely within the world economy. This also means, just as with the capital, greater international characteristics and necessities for the working class and the workers’ movement: a stronger dependence of the fate of the struggle and revolutions in individual countries on solidarity with international workers’ and popular movements and on the progress of the revolution across the world… The basis of struggles and revolutions is no doubt the individual countries; however, such consequences of the period of internationalisation intensified by the “global development” are undeniable facts. It is a fact that capitalism is a world system and that the revolutions will fulfil their ultimate goal only through the world-wide victory of the working class.

The capitalist classes has an international domination and its positioning against the working class is on an international scale. Because of this fact which condition the revolution to be a world revolution, also the positioning of the working class against the capital will necessarily be on the world scale; and this, before all, means the organisation of the working class on the international scale in terms of all the forms of its struggle and organisation. Leaving aside its other organisations needing to organise internationally, the world working class has to organise also as a party on the world scale as well as in individual countries. This is necessary not only for solidarity between countries; but at the same time in order to secure the unity of the (workers’ and the popular) movement on the common line of the world revolution.

Indeed, the history of the political organisation of the working class includes also the history of the three Internationals and of the Cominform which has collapsed without being fully formed due to the revisionist degeneration experienced in the ranks of the movement. Furthermore, also in that long period when its organisations had collapsed and its movement became dominated by revisionist degeneration, the attempts to organise on behalf of the working class have continued in many directions. It is widely known in concerned circles that the current International Marxist-Leninist Movement consists of those parties and organisations which had struggled primarily against the revisionist degeneration emerged within the workers’ movement, then against maoism, trotskyism and other petit-bourgeois currents, and founded in this struggle.

Nonetheless, the international work carried out within the working class has not stopped either in the period of disintegration and break up of the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc. Leaving aside the regrouping “efforts” of the liberal “socialist” and several petit-bourgeois “communist” currents, the international work of the parties and organisations which are affiliates of the International Communist Movement and their renewed efforts to organise with the 1994 Quito Conference, finds its reason in the revolution being a world revolution, in the orientation of the working class to organise on the world scale, and in the increasing international necessitates of the movement. These activities and efforts will no doubt continue bringing about an increase to the activity and credibility of the International Communist Movement and the M-L parties and organisations.

1) The International Marxist-Leninist Movement is the inheritor of the world working class movement; of the October revolution and the construction of socialism; of the theory and practise of all Internationals (the revolutionary period of II. International and Cominform) founded since the Communist Manifesto; and this inheritance forms its historical basis. Scientific (proletarian) socialism; in other words Marxism-Leninism is the essence of the general line of this Movement. Being persistently based on the working class in every country rather than on the sections which include small property owners such as “those who work” and “the public”, or, for instance, on the categories doing “non-material production” though not remaining uninterested in these and their issues: this is the fact constituting the foundation of the line that shape the International Movement and its affiliate M-L parties and organisations.

2) The “essence of the general line” of the Movement being formed by Marxism-Leninism means, first and foremost, depending on the theories of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin and (appropriating also the socialist culture developed through the history of struggle) their mastering. Despite this, this dependence and mastering does not mean getting stuck in rhetoric of what had happened in the past; Marxism Leninism is not a “completed dogma” or “a closed system”; it acquires meaning in so far as accounting again and again for the collapse of imperialism and the victory of the working class and socialism. It has been proved through experience that Marxism-Leninism (dialectical and historical materialism) can only develop through the explanation of all the fundamental facts and events in each period of capitalism and the entirety of all capitalist theories, their critique and refutation in all aspects, and enhances through struggle against deviations emerging from the ranks of the workers’ movement and from within itself. Marxism-Leninism is a “guide for action” that instructs the practice and infers results for practice: This treatment of the theory, and these conception and attitudes concerning the theoretical tasks of the International Communist Movement and its affiliate parties which act with the point of view of dialectical and historical materialism, and which regard as one of their primary tasks the elevation of the Marxist-Leninist theory over all other social theories and upholding it always over them, is the most fundamental and unique guarantee of their dependence on the working class not in any way but in a revolutionary way (with the attitude of scientific socialism).

3) One of the most important tasks of the International Communist Movement is to support its affiliate parties and organisations for the defence once again of dialectical and historical materialism (M-L), its dissemination across the world and its transformation into a growing power amongst the advanced workers, and to struggle in every way for this as a Movement. To support the struggle of the working class against the capital, and that of the peoples against imperialism and their mutual solidarity; to encourage the work of its affiliate parties and organisations and the sharing and exchange of experience between them; to help the efforts of organisation in countries without a representative: the work the International Movement and the fraternal parties and organisations undertake to fulfil derive their content from these tasks. The guarantee for the fulfilment of the work set in the Conferences regarding these tasks and for the progress of the Movement finds its manifestation in the consciousness and conduct of the closest cooperation of the fraternal parties and organisations with the Coordinating Committee and the most active participation in the running of the activities.

4) The International Communist Movement, with its current representative power, composition and structure, is not the world party of the working class and, in this respect, is not an International; as a theoretical current and political movement, it manifests the working class’ goal of emancipation, the solidarity perspective, consciousness and spirit of initiative amongst its advanced forces. Just as with the perspective of its affiliate parties and organisations, the perspective of the International Movement is the perspective of the world revolution which assumes the world domination of the working class. This means a new International which represents at least the advanced sections of the world working class within the movement, and to construct it is the most fundamentally central task of this Movement. Alongside theoretical and political representation, such an International, which will also represent the world working class organisationally, will not repeat the former Internationals just as future revolutions will not repeat the former ones. The way in which it will come about and the way in which it will take form is connected with the process of the mass socialist development of the movement in major countries, the possibilities generated by this process and the questions it will raise. Without a perspective for such an International, it is a dream for the world working class to unite, organise and mobilise its forces over a common line. When the organic relation between the development of the workers’ movement and revolution in individual countries and the course of the development of the struggle in the world, primarily in the advanced countries, is ignored, a real progress is not possible.

By establishing the world market, the international bourgeoisie had set off the epoch of world revolution where revolutions were no longer individual revolutions but became the links of a single process of revolution. The task then the working class undertakes is to realise the world revolution accordingly and to remove class divisions, class struggle and revolution out of the life of humanity: the free (golden) age of development without exploitation and oppression. The domination of the working class across the world is the most fundamental and the final turn for the refinement of the human society from all classes and class differences and for its definitive and ultimate emancipation.


The conception of revolution and the line of struggle

The working class of each country, although forming a part of the world working class, “in the non-bourgeois sense of the term”, contains “a national quality”. “To capture the political power, to ascend to status of being the ruling class of the nation” and “to become the nation itself” is the most fundamental task for this class. It is essential that the working class sets out for the revolution and seize political power in its country.

Hence, that the proletarian revolution is a world revolution is not a reason that rules out the working class from seize power in its own country and its organisation as a nation. Even if it was “assumed” that the revolution would be taking place in the world at once (which is impossible), the first task of each division of the working class in individual countries is the task of “seizing power” and “becoming the nation” in one’s own country.

Despite this, the “possibility of revolution at once” in the world cannot be even mentioned. The facts demonstrate without leaving any room for doubt that even though the “globalisation” of economies has reached great dimensions, there is no indication in today’s world of a “successive” or “collective revolution”. Just as the process experienced does not present any data for a “simultaneous revolution” in the world, all the major facts emphasise clearly that the uneven and spasmodic factors of development remain active in the economic and political fields, and that the activity of these factors will grow even more.

The possibility of revolution in a single country; revolution in one or a few countries that breaks the imperialist chain from its weakest link; the seizure of power from the hands of international capital and world imperialism portion by portion, part by part – the course of progression of revolution is such also today. Contrary to projects that discount revolution in the name of “global struggle against the global offensive” and of “international movement”; for the party of the working class this line is the line of organising the struggle and revolution in its country. If each division of the working class in different countries is not taking the struggle for revolution and power in its country as a basis, its mention of world revolution and internationalism is nothing but demagogy. No matter what anyone says, there is no more fundamental and internationalist task than advancing and organising a revolution that develops as an organic part of the world revolution.

Nevertheless it is clear that the defeat of the revolutions in the past century has led to the multifaceted degeneration of the function and meaning of the concept of revolution. Leaving aside the “revolutionary babble” of the narrow “leftist” groups concerning this concept which has turned into a kind of “conspiracy theory”, of those which are actually important here are the degenerations of the kind that presumes the “toleration” of capital to labour and “persuading” the labour to “accord” with capital, and regard as “revolution” the change of governments on the basis of “transformative projects” which presents the forms of democracy at the most primitive position as “participative democracy”. It is clear that the degenerations manipulating the public opinion are of this kind. Besides, the “socialist” currents which dominate this public opinion to a great extent introduce the revolution, the name which they are not at all fond of mentioning, in such degenerated terms anyway.

The refinement of revolution from socialism, a “socialism” that does not lay a hand on the capital or one that discounts revolution! The conceptions of socialism and revolution of the parties forming the liberal “socialist” current with names of communist, socialist and worker, has been put to test in the last fifteen years in the hands of parties which had been partner to or formed governments. And these experiments have clearly demonstrated that the conception of socialism and revolution of the liberal “socialist” current and groups is a conception that is firmly chained to “accord with the capital”.

Yet, revolution for the working class is a move that will overthrow the capital and that will transform itself into the ruling class. For the real overthrow of the capital and the transformation of the working class into the ruling class, entering governments1 or forming governments is not sufficient; for this, it is necessary for the state power to be seized by the working class. In other words, as was the case in the previous periods, the “fundamental question of revolution is the question of power” also today. And the capture of the power by the working class means the breaking off and the discarding of the bourgeois state apparatus and the establishment of its own state apparatus in its place which implies a “new social political organisation of society”. Indeed the Paris Commune, the soviets and popular democracies have emerged as the specific examples of this form of proletarian type of state2 and apparatus in the previous centuries. All these, no doubt, are organ and organisations emerged, not due to arbitrary or matter-of-choice reasons but rather as the “indispensable” condition of the workers’ becoming the ruling class.

The proletarian revolution is distinguished fundamentally from all revolutions which historically preceded it, which replaced an exploitative class with another, which re-institutionalised the oppression over toiling classes over a “new” basis. For, this revolution is one that will eliminate not only the capitalist class and bourgeois oppression but also all forms of exploitation and repression as well as all classes and class differences, and one that leads the humanity to a classless society. And this necessitates the independent movement3 of the working class which means the taking of its destiny into its own hands; the proletarian type of state and the state organs required by this type which while suppressing the classes of the capital, is a means of the rule for the workers and labourers, and a real democracy. Without the proletarian state organs which emerge primarily as organs of uprising and insurrection (the destructive force of revolution), and with the victory won become organisations in which workers learn en masse how to rule the state and the society, and which they rule themselves; it would have been entirely impossible for the working class to ascend onto being the ruling class, to achieve the elimination of capitalism and building of socialism (the constructive role of revolution).

Once the workers’ and popular movement assumes the form of uprising and insurrection, it is inevitable that the organs of the form of commune, soviet or popular (councils) committees will emerge today and, no doubt, tomorrow. On the other hand, these will in no way imitate the organs of the former period; and will come about with richer contents and perhaps in most places by finding new (due to peculiarities) forms. Nonetheless, for the achieving of victory and the transformation of these organs into organs of the new type of state; the revolutionary initiative of the working class, the existence of the workers’ movement as an independent, revolutionary movement and its development forward is a necessary precondition, a fundamental necessity.

The fact that the working class is an independent class is expressed in its mobilisation for its own class demands and goals, and its claim to emancipate other toiling classes. The emancipation of the working class, which is deprived of property and the experience to rule, and which has nothing else to depend on but its ability to struggle and initiate and the possibility of reserving the toiling classes that it is to emancipate, will wholly be “its own achievement”, contrary to other oppressed or exploited classes that had been “emancipated” always by the exploiting classes. The proletarian revolution is based on the awakening and organisation of the working class, its taking into its own hands the leadership of the movement and coming to lead the people; its conception is the “conception of popular revolution”. This revolution is distinguished from all upper class revolutions which depend on the sedation and exploitation of the labourers due also to this conception of popular revolution.

1) The International Communist Movement and its affiliate Marxist-Leninist parties and organisations regard the solution of any kind of significant question in being connected with the class struggle of the workers against the capital and in expanding this struggle to the capture of state power by the working class. Their line of struggle characterised by their recognition and unity of all forms of struggle, whether parliamentary or non-parliamentary, legal or non-legal, has found its expression in the mass struggle which derives its inspiration and meaning from the conception of popular revolution. The most evident and most fundamental feature of this line is being distinguished by thin lines and in all its aspects from the upper-strata tradition of the bourgeois or petit-bourgeois “socialist” currents; from tendencies toward parliamentarism on one hand, and from tendencies toward terrorism on the other; and similarly from both impulsive sycophantism that follows the masses from the rear, and also from adventurism alienated from the masses.

2) Contrary to the liberal currents longing for “a ‘revolution’ which does not deal with the capital or socialism without revolution”, the goal of state power and of the organising of working class as the ruling class characterises the conception and line of the working class. Despite this, success is not fulfilled in a single stroke; further, strategic goals cannot be reached by going through a “straight road”. For the workers to advance to revolution, a tactical conception, an attitude to participate in the daily struggle of the masses, in other words, forms of action and organisation with smaller goals are a vital necessity. One of the conditions of mass struggle is the existence of a tactical conception that bases the slogans of action and agitation on the actual knowledge of (given class power relations) the workers’ and popular movements and of real life. Tactics which also mean the grasping hold of the chain from its central (urgent) link: without tactical steps and successes it is impossible for the workers’ and popular movement to develop its dynamics, utilise the possibilities affectively (by overcoming deficiencies), and for the working class to advance towards the strategic goals it has set before itself.

3) The entire process up to the moment when the working class and the popular movement goes on a frontal offensive against the capital and imperialism and turns into a revolution is a process that consists of tactical periods which sometimes intertwine and sometimes differentiate with definite lines. The entirety of struggles in this process from the most backward to the most progressed are struggles of preparation which ease up and ensure the protection of its forces during defeats, and its growth, organisation for revolution and education in conditions of development. Revolution depends on the conception and initiative of the masses of workers. Nonetheless, “the masses learn from their own experience” and revolution could only become an unpreventable need in the consciousness and action of the masses in this process of learning and education. The “secret” of the party of the working class lies in the possibility of its participation amongst the masses and mass struggle, and in its conduct with the consciousness “of the masses learned through their own experience” and the conception of “appropriating it to the masses”.

The working class has no doubt turned the form and methods of struggle of the oppressed-exploited and revolutionary classes of the former ages (despite subjecting it to revolutionary critique) into its own historical and usable legacy. The workers have made great and insurmountable contributions to this historical accumulation with the strike and different forms of the use of the strike throughout the entire modern ages. Their recognition of the possibilities of electronics from a more advanced point; putting them increasingly to more effective use (in disseminating, centralising information, mobilising its forces towards the same target, etc.), and the enrichment of means, forms and methods of struggle is no doubt unpreventable.


The Workers’ Movement and the Trade Unions

The workers’ movement, in its general framework, is still a trade union movement. As well as the attacks of the capital and the governments itself; the resonance of these attacks amongst the workers demonstrates that the conditions needed for the development of the movement are maturing all over the world. Nevertheless, it is not only the facts of this kind that determine the situation or the course. There are also active and indispensable facts which draw attention to the other direction of the situation and the course, and they particularly emphasise that the workers’ movement will develop following stagnations and defeats, going through paths full of difficulties.

The whys and hows of these conflicting facts and the contradictory progress of the movement are examinable. However, what is important here is that despite constituting a significant shortcoming on the part of the movement, the facts of opposing directions and the contradictory progress are not factors of quality to stop the advancement or the spread of the movement. The rule and what is expected is the development of workers’ movement, bringing about with itself also the possibilities of overcoming the shortcomings and weaknesses arising out of this situation. It could be said that the trade union movement will develop today (leaving aside its broadening in the future), as has been the case so far, against the attacks in the following fields1 and will be shaped as a movement that is an amalgamation of the struggles in these two fields: firstly, the fields of struggle against the attacks implemented by the governments in order to destroy the gains of the past, and secondly, against those attacks implemented by the capitalists to worsen the conditions in the workplace. The aggression of the bosses and the governments has rendered the struggle of the workers in these two fields an inevitable “destiny” throughout the world.

Struggling against the attacks of the governments on a national scale and against those of the capitalists on a workplace scale… The convergence of these struggles in a way that will support one another, and in a way that will advance the workers and that will broaden the movement into “a real class movement”… Against all kinds of “deregulation” the orientation of the entirety of the movement towards a front demanding the retention of the workday and a workday and work week of 6 hours – 5 days – 30 hours2 (not through decrease of wages but in return of full wages). In so far as its development comes to concern its alliance amongst the employed and unemployed masses of the workers, this is the first “juncture” to which the workers movement will arrive.

In the case that it enters into a road of acquiring new gains, it is impossible for the workers’ movement to remain as a movement restricted for a long time by trade union questions. In such a situation, it will become inevitable or even unpreventable3 for the workers to push forward the demands such as “repossession”, “restriction of profits”, “workers’ control”, “nationalisation” against the capitalists’ and governments’ attempts and threats to close workplaces, relocation to other countries, appealing to purging of workers on the grounds of competitive forces, privatisation etc. At the least, indications of this kind in some important countries will undoubtedly imply for the workers’ movement the opening of a new period towards advancement. Although in most cases it will pass through an excess of winding routes and will not at the beginning be discerned with all its indications, this front which the workers will come to hold sooner or later initially in one or a few countries, will also prove to be the most fundamental turning point4 for the movement to enter into the road of becoming a political and “a real class movement”. The transformation of the workers’ movement into a mass political movement means, before all, the acquiring of the struggle of the peoples of dependent countries against imperialism a solid foundation and the working class’ renewal of its positioning with a revolutionary consciousness against the attempts on the part of the capital to confrontation.

When this is the expectation concerning the progress (albeit partially on the long term); the data about and the tasks conditioned by a) the conception and action of the advanced workers, and b) the life of workers’ organisations undoubtedly acquire a special significance. Especially in the period up to the era when the mass movement will sweep away the non-class conceptions over the advanced workers and the divisions amongst its ranks… the mass of advanced workers and workers’ organisations are the sole supports on which the working class and the people could depend. Moreover, it is a necessity to regard the situation in which the advanced workers and trade unions are as a mirror of the most important issues of the workers’ movement, and to move forward on the data provided by them.

The workers’ trade union movement and the section of advanced workers

Primarily the social democrat and “socialist” currents, all bourgeois parties depend within the working class on the labour aristocracy which consists of “bourgeois workers” who are bought off by the capital from amongst the workers. It can be said that the most important “nuisance” of the working class at this time is the calming and disenchanting role played by this aristocracy organised in the form of political fractions and the trade union bureaucracy which is a part of it amongst the advanced workers and the destructive work it carries out amongst them. Indeed, this nuisance is in a state of being a vital “nuisance” of the kind that whether or not the working class could use adequately its own class initiative, its ability to struggle and organise, and as demanded by the movement.

Firstly, the social democrat and liberal “socialist” currents have pushed a great section of the workers into a line “outside of politics” and have divided the remainder into different fractions.5 Although there are communist groupings amongst these divisions, the current situation of the groupings amongst the advanced workers shows clearly that the power relations within the working class are on the side of these outside-of-class social democrat and “socialist” currents. The ideological struggles between fractions are inevitable; nonetheless, the present power relations present serious possibilities for the use of these inevitable ideological struggles for flawed ends by the outside-of-class “socialist” currents. Thus, there are so many events concerning the way in which the aforementioned “socialist” fractions and the trade union bureaucrats on whom they depend have “utilised” these ideological struggles in order to submit the forefront of the movement and to drive the trade unions into a state of curfew if/when needed; that they are regarded “ordinary”.

Secondly, all the political currents depending on the labour aristocracy and trade union bureaucracy (whether on the left or right) have turned each defeat or each step taken forward as a means to appeal to scheming, and to deceive and stir the advanced workers. As well as representing the subjugation within the movement, these currents also provoke the erosion of the mobilising spirit of the workers and the further retention of falling outside politics, distrust, weariness and disinterestedness. These kinds of mood disorders, which also imply to an erosion of the moral and organisational values, as well as transforming the defeats into heavy devastation and ruins, are used by the concerning currents also to function as the veil forsitting onthe gains and achievements or “to induce sleep” (reformism).

1) It is a necessity that the working class parties will no doubt struggle against all forms of ideological influence amongst the advanced workers, be it left or right, with primarily those conceptions which impede the movement and sit upon the gains. However, being divided into fractions, disorders of conception and reflex, etc. is not the own fault of this mass of advanced workers. The working class parties conduct their work trusting that the workers’ mass movement will: a) inevitably position the advanced organising workers against the social democrat or liberal “socialist” currents to which they belong; b) the common sense of workers, the class instinct that will be evoked by the movement and its uniting, instructive and corrective power over the mass of workers.

2) To hold the unity of advanced workers and unity of action over and above all forms of concerns of ideological struggle, as a guarantee of the unity of workers’ movement; to act with the stance that the gains will become the bases by which the workers’ movement is taken forward in the process of the conscious struggle of the workers; to avoid falling into sectarian positions against the advanced workers who are gathered in different clusters or are disorganised: it is impossible to help in any way to the advanced workers within the movement or the workers’ movement without approaching these questions with utmost care.

The advancement of the workers’ movement by developing its dynamics is linked directly with the position and initiatives of the forefront of advanced workers whose mass is continuously renewed and reinforced with new young forces. The stance and initiatives of this advanced section of the working class will also determine, without any doubt, the changing of the trade unions which are the principal working class organisations of the day; the development of the trade union struggle by becoming more consistent, advancing the demands and turning into a political movement.

Trade unions as workers’ organisations and the work in trade unions

The workers’ syndicates and trade unions became the most significant mass organisations in almost all the major countries after the First and especially the Second World War. Further, the trade unions, especially after the second war, have organised in the international field on a broad scale.

Trade unions are the centres of workers’ unity and struggle against the capital. However, these organisations have, for a very long time, been bureaucratised step by step in the hands of labour aristocracy and trade union bureaucracy. Apart from a few exceptions in some countries, these organisations have been removed from being workers’ centres for struggle and a school of education, or are being sought to become so.

Actually, the capital, through the labour aristocracy, is seeking to “reorganise”6 the trade unions as devices of monitoring the workers’ movement according to the conditions. The confusion and set back caused by the defeat on the ranks of the working class had provided the international capital with this opportunity. The manipulations of the kind of “Japanese” or “service unionism” to get the trade unions out of being the means for the struggle of the workers and to forsake them directly to the hands of the capital cannot simply be regarded as coincidences.

The conditions of defeat and such forms of manipulations, have led to an exodus out of the trade unions in the last twenty years. Despite this situation and the other betrayals of the upper trade union administrations, at least the experienced sections of the international working class have not left the trade unions. Although the rate is low in contrast to its general mass, more than 200 million labourers are organised in trade unions today. Moreover, the trade unions are a “centre” and “authority” over not only these organised sections but over the yet unorganised workers as seen in France and many other countries.

The struggles in the last fifteen years have underlined that the trade unions, as was in the previous periods, are also organisations of workers today which cannot be replaced with anything else. Despite the existence of those who claim that they have become redundant as a weapon of struggle, almost every event in the economic and social field indicate that the trade unions are ever more necessary today and that they have to stand nearer to workers than ever before. It is not possible for the workers’ movement to advance and for the workers to be educated with the experiences of the struggle without trade unions and trade union organisation.

Despite being occupational organisations, trade unions are not solely organisations for economic struggle; due to a large number of reasons (of course with the change in the world), economic struggle has come nearer to political struggle and these organisations, as the levers of the political struggle, carry more importance today. There is no organisation but the trade unions that could unite the rear divisions of the working class with the advanced sections and organise them together. The fact that the trade union bureaucracy, which depend partially on local reactionary forces but actually on social democrat and liberal “socialist” currents, has coiled upon7 its administrative apparatus and organs does not rule out this characteristic of the unions. And indeed the attempts of the workers does not involve only the struggle against the capital but at the same time, the successful or unsuccessful new unionisation actions, and the attempts to capture trade unions, to transform them as their own organisations and to reorganise them.

1) The trade unions are working class’ the most important and, at present, “unrivalled”8 centres of unity and struggle against the capital. To recognise the trade unions with their qualities as such is one of the most important necessities determining the positions of the International Communist Movement and the affiliate M-L parties and organisations in the face of the working class and workers’ movement. Without working in the trade unions where they organise, not even a single word could be uttered about joining in with workers and their demands and contributing to their struggle against the capital. The dominance of the bureaucracy does not, on its own, make the trade unions no longer a workers’ organisation, and this cannot be a “criterion” for positions of not joining or leaving them.9

2) The economic field is where the capital is powerful; the trade unions, in order to be successful, have to broaden their struggle to the political field.10 To be untied from mere occupational constraints; to generalise the struggle of the workers’ against the capital and (the demands of the other toiling classes with those of the youth and women sections and their issues of environmental and cultural degeneration) broadening it onto the basis of anti-imperialism and democracy (acquiring, preserving, developing); to adapt all international issues amongst the classes, peoples and countries as the subject of the class struggle of the workers11 – is one of the most fundamental preconditions for the conduct of the trade unions as levers of the struggle and its development and enlargement as class and mass organisations of the workers.

3) The labour aristocracy and the trade union bureaucracy have not, for some time, even been conducting a struggle for pay issues, which even though is reformist nevertheless has some meaning. In almost all economic actions in the last fifteen years, the workers had to deal also with this stratum and its betrayals. The labour aristocracy today is a further deteriorated and extremely degenerated stratum. The struggle of the workers against the capital needs to develop to include the struggle against this stratum more today than ever before. On the other hand, the contraction of the basis of this stratum amongst the workers, and the uptake by the capital a stance of driving its lower strata amongst the workers have broadened the opportunities of the struggle as well as increasing the reserves of the struggle to involve also the workers’ and trade union bureaucracy.

4) It is essential that the trade unions have to be saved from the hands of the labour aristocrats and bureaucrats to be taken over by workers and to turn into real (democratic) class organisations12 of the working class in order for them to sustain the economic struggle and to broaden their interest to the field of workers’ political struggle. The struggle of the workers within their unions is a struggle that presumes the eradication from the unions these bureaucratic strata; and the “rebuilding” of their unions as organisations in which they unite through trust against the capital and which they personally control. Without the expulsion of the labour’ bureaucracy whose top is controlled by the upper trade union bureaucracy, a real progress and achievement in terms of the workers’ trade union struggle and the working class movement is impossible.

5) There are to be sure possibilities for the trade unions to liberate from bureaucracy and for their transformation into real workers’ organisations. These, before all and necessarily, could be sought in the facts brought into the agenda by the class struggle the workers conduct against the capital: a) even though there is a decrease with the ascending hierarchy, the gaining by workers increasingly more fronts in trade unions and their branches; b) the emergence of new trade unions in some countries which stand close to the “grassroots” and the emergence of oppositional trade unionist or platforms of union branches; c) the uptake of workplace committees, seen during mobilisations of workers’ but long forgotten, and their progression into the path of becoming a habit amongst the fighting workers etc. etc. – these, as well as being the bases of the movement against the capital, are at the same time the gains of the workers’ struggle within the trade unions. The workers’ movement which is the fundamental factor directing the position of the narrowing lower sections of the trade union bureaucracy that has become a target against the attacks and the changing of their positions within the trade unions, has also brought forward new forces of the class and new opportunities. The formation of the organising forces on which the workers will depend within the trade unions, the reserves it will utilise and the platforms it will use, continues to advance.

6) As with success against the capital, the principal guarantee of the success against the trade union bureaucracy lies also in the struggle of the workers and their organised force. Alongside the renewing attempts against the attacks of the capital, it is of vital importance for the workers to organise in their workplaces and demand democracy from their union administrations. Since the trade unions will not be changed without demanding democracy, it will not be possible for workers also to form an organisation that embraces the main body of the workers’ mass and to learn to run their own organisations. In order to advance the struggle and strengthen the position of workers within the trade unions, it is necessary: a) to take advantage of (without falling into the state of a reserve) the conflict between the cliques of the trade union bureaucracy, and b) to enter into (unconditional) alliances with political fractions and all circles to unite the workers against the attacks. However, on its own, this does not suffice; without being treated with a conception based on the initiative of workers, it will not be possible even on paper for the tactical attempts to fall into place and to be of some use.

7) In many countries, the workers’ union movement is in a state of fragmentation; while very large sections of the workers are outside of union organisation and are unorganised, in a large number of countries (beginning with workplaces) there exists many trade unions, federations or confederations. This unorganised and divided state of the trade union movement and trade unions is linked strongly with the divisive and destructive activity of the present generations of the trade union bureaucracy as well as negative causes associated with its historical characterisation (in which the former generations of the labour aristocracy played a great role). The trade union division and rivalry is one of the most important present questions of the trade union movement and trade unions. The struggle against remaining unorganised and against trade union division and rivalry is essential especially for the uniting of workers within unions and the transformation of unions as real workers’ organisations.

a) Some in contrast to others may be “backward”; nevertheless, the working class parties join all the (mass) trade unions in which the workers more or less consistently participate. However, the workers’ parties, as a general rule, do not ever fall short of struggling for the unity of trade unions over a more advanced line or the gathering of workers in more advanced trade unions. Nonetheless, once again, the most vital factor for the development of trade union movement and unification of trade unions is, of course, workers belonging to different trade unions forcing their trade unions to gradually unite by relying on the common organisations of struggle established in their workplaces.

b) The point of departure of the parties of the working class in terms of their line relating to trade unions is constituted of the idea of transformation of the trade unions as organisations run by the workers themselves. However, this does not rule out new trade unions if/when needed within developments or if/when really needed. In countries that are unstable and where the action takes places explosively, new trade unions may become inevitable on the level of workplaces and sectors or on a general scale, in specific conditions where sector-based or general crises have pushed the movement outside of a trade union or trade unions and in some conditions which cannot be predicted from now. New trade unions cannot, of course, be rejected absolutely for every condition or circumstance; despite this, it is once again indubitable that the disaffiliation of the workers from the present unions will not be so easy (it cannot be forgotten that the gains have a history) and that the struggle in these fields will encompass enormous value. Instead of relying on the tendency and needs of the movement, to be overwhelmed by “infantile disorders” resulting always in being swept away from the class is a mistake that is unforgivable for the workers’ parties.

c) Even though it is still weak, a trade union movement is developing amongst workers, and the trade unions face the necessity of organising this movement even if it is solely because of preserving their existence. The organising of the trade union movement and the enlargement of trade unions presents an importance not only for the unorganised workers but also for the workers organised within the trade unions. The workers’ movement is a movement that has to develop through organising, and even if it does not receive some specialist support it will still inevitably get organised within the trade unions. Even though issues such as whether this or that trade union or a new one is to be chosen will arise; it is inevitable for the workers to overcome these issues and continue to get unionised and expand the unions relying on their own experience. While explicating and disseminating what is right and what must be within the movement to which they participate with all its possibilities, to remain dependent on the position of the workers’ majority in the choice of the trade union to be organised: so, this is the position of the organised forces of the class within the new unionisation movement or their action of changing unions.

8) The trade union movement and unions, owing to national, constitutional, traditional differences of countries, have been shaped passing through different routes in different countries and by forming different features and traditions. It is of enormous importance for all countries that, despite its unity in conception, its aspects and its common aims, the line pertaining to the trade union movement and work within the trade unions to be characterised as a line that takes into account the traditions of countries and the movement and its other particularities. A specific line that notes as a whole the national differences in the characterisation and traditions of the trade union movement and trade unions; that enacts all the tasks mentioned over national particularities; that is based on the dynamics of the concrete development of the movement and that is renewed within the movement and is applicable – otherwise, let alone successful struggles, even interventions and involvement in trade unions will be impossible.

The workers’ getting the control of their movement is, in one respect, identical to their increasingly taking over of the trade unions (not consisting only of this). The tasks could only be actualised in so far as the work in the trade unions could be made to rely on the workplaces and the advanced workers positioned amongst the mass of workers. Otherwise, despite the energy spent and the good work done, the development of trade unions, the workers’ taking control of unions, the re-establishment of unions on the basis of their needs and supporting the conscious advancement of their movement could only be “nice” words, if that.


The struggle against imperialism

The period dominated by the industrial capital was a period when capitalism has developed and expanded relatively stably and evenly on the world scale. In the beginning of the 20th century, this period of capitalism left its place to the period of imperialism when it was developed through a series of spasms filled with profound tremors and conflicts, and when the financial capital began to dominate economics and the entirety of the world.

For the workers’ movement the meaning of transition to imperialism has primarily been the acceleration of the buying1 of the labour aristocracy, the worsening of the living conditions of the working class and the unemployment becoming chronic. However, it meant, before all, the intensification, expansion of the workers’ movement and that its transformation into revolutionary eruptions and insurgence became a present and practical issue.

Imperialism had shaken and changed fundamentally not only the life of the working class but also that of all classes, nations and countries: firstly, the subjugation of the former free, backward and colonial countries; the buying of (systematically) the upper layer of the local bourgeois elements in these places; and consequently, the enslavement of these colonial countries and peoples and the blocking of the route to develop independently – the supremacy of imperialism in these countries and the content of their transformation into the rear front of developed metropol countries was characterised as such. Undoubtedly this implied firstly: a) the enlargement of the working class (due to developing capitalism) in also these countries, and b) acceleration of national awakening, insurgence against imperialist repression, and national liberation struggle.

Secondly, the completion of the market and territorial based division of the world had led to a new situation: it was “necessary” for the strong capitalist countries to struggle with their rivals with all means and ways possible, including also great and general wars which would drive all humanity to destruction, in order to divide once again the markets and territories which had been divided, and to expand their domination over the entirety of the world. This struggle between the big capitalist and imperialist countries also meant that: a) the basis of the movement of the workers and oppressed nations became strengthened and their forces broadened, while its fronts were weakening; b) possibilities for all struggles and revolutions erupting here and there expanded, they found a chance of victory and existence; and, c) imperialist wars resulted with great revolutions, which would do away also with the ruling classes of the warring countries.

The period of imperialism is a period when the entirety of tendencies and laws of capitalism and the entirety of its consequences are observed more and more clearly. It is for this reason that capitalism’s “contradictions encompassing the entirety of the world, its conflicts of international significance have most clearly” and most destructively occurred in the period of imperialism. In general, as well as being caused “by the conditions of capitalist development”, the meaning of the world proletarian revolution being born out of and becoming an actual issue “particularly in its imperialist stage”, as shown by all the facts, lies here.

The imperialist period of capitalism has not only bound all countries to one another as the links of a single chain, but has also made all issues in the world as parts of a single great issue. The transformation of the struggles of the oppressed nations and colonised peoples against imperialism and the national (and popular) liberation struggles into components of proletarian revolution, the ending of the position of the peasantry and all other exploited and oppressed sections in backward or dependent countries as the reserve of reactionary bourgeoisie, which has conducted alliances with the former reactions, and their acquiring a position of being instead a reserve of the working class and revolution.. Moreover, also the role played by the contradictions in the ranks of the classes of the capital, and the conflicts and wars amongst the major capitalist forces as the indirect reserve of revolution. All these emphasise that the proletarian revolution is an actual issue, and that its victory is inevitable and unavoidable.

The fundamental spirit of the epoch of imperialism being the epoch of proletarian revolutions is no doubt manifested in this fact. Put in summary: the reality of imperialism being the disintegrating capitalism and that the epoch being the epoch of proletarian revolutions has been shown with entire clarity by the facts and by the great events that took place in the 20th century when the first and second stages of the general crisis of capitalism were experienced. As seen in the previous century, capitalism is condemned to imperialism; there is no new “stage” to which it can “ascend”; its collapse through crises, conflicts and upheavals is inevitable. As was the case in the past, imperialism is the “last word” capitalism could utter to the world and to entire humanity today.

The growth of the productive forces has exceeded the limits of the imperialist state and had made it necessary “for the economy to organise on an international scale encompassing the entirety of the world”. Though its tendencies towards a single monopoly maintained its influence; the world economy was being divided by conflicts of interest amongst the monopolistic groups and was collapsing. The imperialist countries “attempted” twice through wars in the last century to organise as “a single trust” the constricted, collapsing and disintegrating economy. The result of both these attempts has been a bloody catastrophe for the productive forces and the humanity. But what is hoped and expected is that this time, the working class will not permit “trials” of this kind; and by overthrowing imperialism, it will reorganise the economy as a single and harmonious economy encompassing the entirety of the world. Imperialism, contrary to all its liberal demagogies, implies not the end of history and progress but the end of capital and capitalism.

Imperialism and political currents

There is no point in discussing here the demagogies of the liberal, “neoconservative”, “neoliberal”, etc. spokespersons of the capital defending-justifying imperialism. Similarly, it would also be meaningless to scrutinise the imperialist positions of social democracies in developed countries which has surpassed a hundredfold their ancestors in the 20th century. The most significant thing that could be said of these currents here is the “differences” between them; but it could already be seen with all its clarity that these stem from the necessity faced by the social democrats mostly to “consider” the trade unions and also from time to time, the situation amongst the workers.

And perhaps it is not sufficiently important to deal here with the conservative and liberal parties alongside the social democrat currents “sitting on the fence” which are the essential representatives of the collaborating capitalist classes in the dependent countries, and are the supports of imperialism in these countries. In accordance with the degree of ability shown (by the collaborating classes) in complying with imperialism’s impositions of “re-conquest” and “globalisation”; the mentioned are in a process of “transition” as parties which comply with the new “concept” and “the collaborating type” by partially being scattered, and in some places by break-ups and mergers. The only interesting thing in this is the “sad state” of social democracy which is in a position of “accord with globalisation” or the “fluctuation” around its axis.2

As for the liberal socialist currents with their status of being the “left” wing of social democracy, their conduct and position against imperialism and “globalisation” is not so different from their general line and conduct assuming the “accord” of labour against capital; the characteristic of these currents dominating their position on the face of imperialism is inconsistency and ambiguity: while the position against the activity of the imperialist capital of extorting the backward countries should be to approach it with a benevolent position in the name of “development, progress, modernisation” and to say “no”, the notions and attempts of supporting the monopolistic imperialist Europe3 for “the Europe of labour” have increasingly become widespread amongst these currents. Besides, among these, there are groups which deny the revolutionary potential involved in the national questions by appeal to arguments of the sort that “the workers have no country” or that “the struggle against imperialism does not emancipate the working class” and though little in number, those who regard the occupations and coups with “neutrality” or even support it with the pretext of “providing democracy and human rights”. Even their “opposition” to the “excesses” of (with the exception of some) the US is never able to conceal the compromise and opportunism widespread and considerably rooted amongst these.

It goes without saying that under the conditions of capitalism “the working class has no country”. Despite this, the task of the working class is to reorganise the nation which is, as well as being divided into classes, at the same time positioned by imperialism as oppressing or oppressed nations, as an independent, democratic and socialist nation. And naturally this shows primarily that as well as class issues, the national issues, whatever the position of that nation may be, are also issues which the working class before all classes deal with, intervene in and undertake its resolution.

On the other hand, the downfall of imperialism does not imply by itself the downfall of capitalism and the emancipation of the working class. However, imperialism is monopolistic capitalism and without struggle against imperialism, there can be no struggle against capitalism. Despite this, for the extermination once and for all of monopolistic capitalism and imperialism and its ultimate eradication, it is necessary to act with the perspective of the extermination and eradication of capitalism in general. Monopolistic capitalism is the pinnacle and the dominant element of capitalism; the struggle against it is the most important basis of the working class’ march to power and its extermination is the most determining step in capturing it. Without the struggle against imperialism, it is even impossible for the working class to unite as a class. Furthermore, imperialism, as well as being the power and the dominant element of the power in all countries, is also the ruling capitalist force on the international scale.

It is clear that the struggle against the capital is not a burden on the shoulders of the working class. On the contrary, this struggle implies the gathering of the entirety of those exploited and the repressed around the working class and the emergence from amongst the people new revolutionary forces. And indeed the facts have shown to all that the workers, even in periods when they are in the worst situation, have not approached the issue of the struggle against monopolistic capital and imperialism like the so-called “socialist” but actually opportunist and reformist groups.

The position and tasks against imperialism

As its struggle develops, it is inevitable for the working class in the developed countries to turn its attention also to the issues of armament and imperialist interventions. The workers’ and popular movement in the dependent countries, on the other hand, already comes into opposition at each step with international monopolies and imperialist attempts. The workers’ and popular movement in these countries is bound to turn to the issues related with international capital and imperialist repression, and develop from this field. In these places, the working class has become a much more powerful4 class compared to what it was previously. It is inevitable that the struggle against imperialism will, leaving aside temporary situations, largely begin to gather around the workers’ movement in all these countries.

The working class in all countries, whether developed or backward, has to act also as the vanguard of the whole nation and to assume the task of mobilising the people against the monopolistic capital and imperialism. Without acquiring a position that could unite the people as a whole against the monopolies and imperialism, it is not possible to resolve any serious class or national question.

The International Communist Movement’s basic conception regarding the role of the workers within the struggle against imperialism is the conception of relying on the working class and the working class’ acting as the vanguard of the people and of the nation as a whole: a) to treat the questions of the struggle against imperialism with a conception to connect them with the daily class struggle of the workers; b) to struggle for the inclusion of this class into the anti-imperialist struggle with all its organisations; c) to work as the consistent, responsible and militant organiser of the struggle against imperialism amongst the people… This conception characterises the line of struggle of the International Communist Movement and of the affiliate M-L parties and organisations and the front they hold against imperialism. The transformation of the working class into the vanguard force and organiser on the part of the people of the anti-imperialist struggle is linked closely with the conduct prescribed by this conception.

While a foothold of the domination of imperialism over the world is in the developed metropol countries, the other is in the backward and dependent countries. The positions of these countries as oppressing and the oppressed countries are opposite; and the anti imperialist tasks are naturally different in these countries whose situations are counter posing. It is necessary not to overlook both this differentiation and also the reality that the struggle against imperialism is a struggle on the world scale. The uptake of a revolutionary front against imperialism and the unification of the movement in common objectives cannot be achieved in any other way.

1) Although it is the same for all countries; the struggle of the working class in the imperialist countries has always been of a special importance. Indeed, the working classes in these countries are the working classes of the imperialist and oppressing countries; they form the most advanced section of the world working class. To act with the outlook that “the workers have no country,” and as an expression of this, with primarily in one’s own country, to oppose the political, diplomatic and military interventions of the imperialist governments; again, with primarily against that of one’s own countries, to support the struggles of the workers and peoples of the dependent countries against imperialist impositions, imperialist suppression and attacks and occupations; to assist the development of these struggles by driving the monopolistic capital and imperialism to defeats... These are the main tasks of the struggle against imperialism and international solidarity in the developed countries. Nonetheless, it is also necessary for these tasks to be accredited to the core mass of the workers and the people within their daily struggle.

It is without any doubt that the basis of any initiative within the class struggle is to support the workers’ struggle against the offensives of monopolies and (including the national and international platforms for the decisions of G-8 and the EU commissions) of the governments, to participate in these struggles and to organise them. Nevertheless, it is extremely a vital necessity a) to embrace the intermediary strata5 which the monopolistic capital has distanced from itself; b) to persistently defend the economic, social interests of the people and their demands for democracy; and to make every effort to turn the demands against militarization, war and occupation, and against the destruction of nature and culture into the subject of daily struggles; c) to establish platforms which involves the urgent demands associated with all these issues and which embraces every organisation in opposition, ranging from the peace movement to the anti-globalisation movement; d) not to forget tasks such as conducting a special agitation in order to direct the workers’ struggle into the centre of a popular democratic movement that targets the monopolistic capitalist and imperialist attacks.

There is no other way for the working class to seize the destiny of the nation and for the entirety of the people to gather around itself against the monopolistic capital. On the other hand, there is also no other way of supporting the people of the dependent countries under imperialist suppression and their anti-imperialist struggle.

2) What characterises the backward and dependent countries is financial, economic and commercial dependency (which has also been politically and militarily increasing) on imperialism and anti-democratic implementations which go with the existence of remnants of feudalism. Emancipation from imperialism and real democracy is the sole possibility for the working class to seize the leadership of the people, to overthrow the collaborating classes and imperialism, to make dominant national freedom and democracy based on the rule of the people and to pave the way for the elimination of the capital. The main basis of the workers in these countries is the workers and peasants alliances in some places as well as the alliance with the rural and urban toiling strata in others. Without these alliances, the abolition of imperialism and its elimination with all its foundations is impossible. However, the question of the abolition of imperialism is the central issue where the ways of resolution of all the other fundamental questions are intersected, and it is the most determining and most pressing question in these countries.

Programs of minimum nature for the abolition of imperialism and real independence and democracy; tactical plans in order to expand the attention of the workers and the people to the issues of freedom and democracy and the struggle for demands of freedom and democracy which are becoming urgent besides the economic demands, etc… All these are necessities in these type of countries; nonetheless, there are other necessary questions and anti-imperialist tasks for these type of countries that cannot be disregarded.

a) A section of the dependent countries are multi-national countries; as well as the national suppression of the weak nations in these countries, in most, there also exists national and religious minority questions. The working class, in particular the workers of the oppressing nation must give its unconditional support against the collaborating classes of the capital for the right of the oppressed nation to self-determination, up to and including the establishment of a different state, and for all the minority rights of the national and religious minorities. However, this support is not restricted to a general defence but one which entails a genuine struggle for the conditions of its emergence. On the other hand, to support the movements of democratic nature emerging from amongst the ranks of the oppressed nation; and in the conditions where these movements are not democratic to oppose their suppression; is yet another task of the working class, in particular the workers of the oppressing nation, on the face of the nations oppressed by its nation. When these tasks are neglected, the class unity of the workers from different nations and the development of the struggle of the workers against imperialism as a revolutionary struggle is bound to remain merely as a word.

b) The struggle against imperialist exploitation and oppression in the dependent countries constitutes also a support for the workers of the developed countries. Nonetheless, the workers of these countries (utilising also the opportunities of communication) have to particularly learn to work in solidarity with the workers of developed countries. To support the public and the workers of the other dependent countries and to work in solidarity on the international scale with them is yet another essential and internationalist task for the workers of these dependent countries.

3) The intensifying offensive of imperialism of the last fifteen years and its impositions of a kind of colonisation has caused mobilisations amongst the middle strata outside the monopoly in the dependent countries, the consequences of which were observed in some countries. In the case of the resumption of the current status it is a possibility that cannot ever be disregarded to observe new mobilisations which target one or another grouping of imperialism and which depends on middle strata, and their relative increase.

a) This type of national independence attempts imply to the weakening of imperialism to some extent, to the progress of the oppressed nations and the encouragement of their desire for freedom and democracy. The vanguard of consistent national independence is the working class; nonetheless, the position of the international working class is to support national mobilisations and governments of this character, and assist them to stand stronger against imperialist attempts and to hold more consistent and advanced fronts.

b) The working class is the sole consistent representative of the nation. Wihtout giving up criticising (appropriately) their inconsistencies, and the persistent continuation of the claim and the conduct to become the vanguard of the nation; we must collaborate with them and support6 them to make progress; this is the very task of the workers’ parties in countries where this kind of national mobilisations take place and where governments of this kind are established. For the party of the working class, this process is also the process when the experience and consciousness of the national freedom and democracy of the popular masses will develop; and a process when it will turn towards a platform against imperialism that is more consistent and that will turn its attention to the working class, having surpassed the inconsistencies of the middle class.

4) The apprehension and conflicts between the capitalist monopolies and big imperialist countries are on the rise. On the other hand, the course of events is such that it seems inevitable that, in a not so distant future, the question of national independence of many small developed countries with an “imperialist” position will come onto the agenda as a serious and pressing question on the part of the peoples of these countries as well as on the part of the circles of the capital. Moreover, the period of last fifteen years has also “shaken” the collaborating classes and has accelerated even more the clustering and factionalisation amongst them. The course of events in these countries shows that the issues and conflicts between this or that faction with this or that imperialist group and government, or between this or that collaborating faction with this or that imperialist group or government may increase, expand and acquire a more active position in these countries. In order to advance its struggle and the struggle against imperialism the working class has to capitalise on all these issues, frictions and conflicts among the monopolistic capital and imperialism: a) to direct the sharp end of the struggle to the dominating7 imperialist power; b) to utilise the contradictions between the imperialist and reactionary groupings; c) to avoid leaning on (becoming the crutches of) another imperialist or reactionary force while struggling against an imperialist and reactionary grouping – unless these are comprehended with all their fundamentals, it is almost impossible to capitalise on the opportunities of the struggle and develop its forces.

Emphasised as a general conclusion, the downfall of imperialism and the working class’ transition into the ruling class is inevitable. However, each nation, as with the struggle for democracy and socialism, will progress also into the struggle against imperialism, participating in it from different fronts and making different contributions to it. One of the superiority of the real working class parties undoubtedly lies in their individually being conscious of this characteristic of the anti-imperialist struggle.


International solidarity of the workers and the peoples

The highest form and the most fundamental means of the international solidarity of the working class is the Communist International which also is a unity of parties. However, the working class is not satisfied merely with forming solidarity with political parties and organisations.1 The most important means of international solidarity of the working class are trade unions, youth and women organisations and their international institutions. Also, the contribution by organisations of class struggle on special fields (art, science, media, etc.) to the anti-imperialist solidarity of the people is no doubt a contribution whose importance cannot be denied.

The process of international class solidarity of the working class and the anti-imperialist solidarity of the peoples is a process strongly linked with the course of historical development of the working class movement and the status of its organisations. Indeed, the great defeat suffered by the world workers’ movement during the 1955-60 period constitutes a turning point also for the international organisations of the working class, and the international class and popular solidarity.

The facts are evident: international class solidarity and solidarity with the liberation struggles in the dependent countries and colonies, the nuclei of which is constituted by this movement; has weakened in the period following this defeat, and has receded into an impasse. Undeniable signs can be seen in this respect in the gradual disappearance of events of great class solidarity in the period following this defeat and facts such as the remaining of the support given to the Vietnamese revolution as the last serious instance of solidarity with anti-imperialist struggles. Today it can be seen by all that the collapse of Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc has in effect been also a declaration that all forms of international solidarity, progressively receding, have long since hit the bottom.

Yet, this collapse and hitting the bottom, as with everything else, has not been the end of the solidarity of the workers and the peoples on the international scale: Sector-based solidarities taking place under the trade unions and their international organs, general protest actions and some struggles of international scale; conferences of opposition trade unions and trade unionists seen in almost every continent; a variety of international symposiums, seminars, forums and other platforms of discussion; actions of solidarity with countries which are under the encirclement of the US or other major powers or which have been subject to armed attacks, etc… No need to mention more; it is a requirement of the nature of the movement that the solidarity movement will develop everywhere so long as the working class and the peoples struggle.

The advancement of technology has yielded such results that even isolated sections such as the impoverished and small peasantry can no longer remain isolated. The facts that: a) the solidarity between the parts of the working class in different countries has become more of a necessity; b) the obligation of other exploited sections and peoples of dependent countries to break away from imperialism and allying with the working class have increasingly become more apparent, are characteristics of this period. Both these facts, and the increase in the simultaneous attacks of the capital in all countries, inevitably encourage the solidarity between the workers and peoples of the dependent countries. The workers will comprehend this encouragement from an increasingly more advanced point and will organise the solidarity they need by a more conscious initiative. The facts of the last fifteen years have proven that there can be no doubt in the compatibility and initiative of the workers with regards to solidarity even in the worse conditions.

1) Even in being under the destructive, divisive influence of the labour aristocracy; the advanced workers, representatives and fighting trade unionists, just as on the scale of individual countries, do also find ways that to some extent encourage the trade unions into struggles and solidarities of international scale: forming links with trade unions and workers on the level of the lowest branches and workplaces2 and pressurising the trade union centres and their international organisations, etc. The efforts of workers, just as on national dimensions, are the fundamental dynamic also with regards to solidarity on the international scale. It is inevitable that the common movement of the workers and labourers against the attacks of the international institutions of the capital (IMF and EU commissions, etc.) and their actions of solidarity with struggles in individual countries will advance, and that these movements and actions will increasingly attract the trade unions into struggles.

a) The solidarity of the advanced workers, fighting trade unionists and working class trade unionists of different countries against the attacks of the capital and imperialism, and against the trade union activity of the trade union aristocracy; their exchange of experiences, forming a common position and a common line is currently one of the most fundamental needs of the workers’ and the popular movement. Alongside being able to communicate directly, conferences based on advanced workers, workers’ and trade union representatives, fighting and revolutionary (trade unions and) trade unionists are necessary. It is an important task that the conception, experience and energy of the vibrant forces of the world working class must be of a common and collective nature.

b) It is a necessity for the trade unions and as well as other workers’ and popular organisations to be in solidarity against all forms of destructive activity of monopolistic capital and the armament, aggression and occupation movement of imperialism. Along this, there are some possibilities that cannot be disregarded: International youth and women’s forums; anti imperialist youth camps; international congresses concerning science, art and culture, and regional and general symposiums and conferences of the youth, women and intellectuals, etc. It is necessary to get the solidarity of these sections, between themselves, as well as with the workers and peoples fighting against imperialism, which requires active and mass actions. International solidarity against the attacks and repressions of capital and imperialism is one of the most important possibilities of the workers’ and the popular movement.

2) The “unexpected” eruption of the action of the working class and labourers against the generalised offensive of the capital, has not only shaken the bourgeois and petit-bourgeois “socialist” currents and the trade union aristocracy; as well as encouraging the international solidarity of the workers, but it has also led to the emergence of new international “organisations”: ATTAC3 a form of “organisation of organisations” and Social Forums which are again another form of “organisation of organisations”. On the other hand, this process has also led to developments such as the revitalisation and “renewal” of the functions of “former” movements and organisations such as the “peace movement” and “human right organisations”. The Social Forums enjoy the status of being platforms which attract attention amongst fighting trade unionists, advanced workers, sections of youth and women. As for the peace and human rights organisations, as well as playing a role in the exposition of official terror, militarization and aggression, they do, at certain situations and times, become the organisations of reaction against undemocratic practises, armament issues and events of occupation. So long as they attract attention and do possess a function, participation in the preparation and the organisation of Social Forums and similar platforms, cooperating with movements, organisations and initiatives such as the peace movement and human rights initiatives are necessary for international solidarity as well as for national solidarity. Utilising all forms of movement and organisation which will advance the struggle and solidarity of the workers and labourers against the monopolies and imperialism is presumably a “logical” thing.

Imperialism not only pushes and makes it necessary for the peoples of dependent countries and the other oppressed sections to rise up, but it also increasingly compels them more to alliance with the working class. International class solidarity and the support provided by the workers and workers’ organisations to the oppressed peoples and the other oppressed constitutes a progress against the capital and imperialism; and it is also an indicator for the degree of consciousness and maturity of the working class.


Special fields and some possibilities

The promises of the capital to the labourers and young population have gone bankrupt completely with the attacks of the last period. The youth is increasingly experiencing more unemployment and lack of education and concerns over its future. Now everyone has come to believe that the young generation, together with the masses of the jobless across the world, is the future of the working class and increasing poverty.

In the developed countries, the proportion of young people from a working class background amongst university-educated young people was in a poor state with 5-8 % even in the best of times. With the latest attacks, it can be seen that these proportions have been getting clearly worse for young people from these families. It is interesting that even the statistics published by the government (the chance of a young people from a working class family in relation to young people from upper classes is 1/7) admit clearly that from now on “every class is in a position to reproduce their own descendents” in Germany. Moreover, in other developed countries where universities are no different than those in Germany, the situation does not seem “any better”. Leaving aside university education, the youth is being pushed rapidly into a situation where they cannot even receive basic employment training.

As for the situation of the youth in the backward and dependent countries, it is perhaps ten times worse and is really hopeless. An important section of children and young people (with the majority of girls) cannot even set foot in school in many countries. Almost a quarter of educated young people are chronically jobless, and in these countries, occupational training exists only for an extremely small minority. An important section of the collaborating and the small to medium industry in these countries is based on the shameless exploitation of children and young people of school age. The working, student and peasant youth in the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America are today more concerned and hopeless compared to fifteen years ago.

The situation of women population, which makes up more than half of the world’s population, and the position of whom capitalism preserves as the oppressed sex (despite opening them to economic, social and political life) by wrongly putting them against the men, has been getting worse over the last years. One of the most important questions which “the social state” was said to have “resolved” was the question of the “freedom” and “equality” of women. Yet, it was seen before long: In the conditions of disintegration of the family even in the most developed countries under the pressure of increasing unemployment, social degeneration and poverty; under prejudices and all forms of de facto (and sometimes, in backward countries most of the times, legal) inequalities within society, there is not even a single mention of women, who remain defeated also with childcare “responsibilities”, finding valid and considerable “equality” or freedom in the system of “social capitalism”.

Even in the developed countries which comes first to mind when the women’s liberation is mentioned and which are in the position of being the spokespersons for the question, that the importance given to this question is mostly demagogic is set before everyone’s eyes with all its bluntness: In comparison to the male worker who does the same work, working for a wage that is 25% to 40% less in almost every job cannot even save them; the women workers in the developed countries are in a position of “being encouraged” to return home as the first victims of crises and unemployment, and in order to “feed” and “bring up” the “receding workforce” with the new generations they will “breed”. Leaving aside the other developments against them; women workers even in the EU countries where they have the “best” conditions, with their growing mass of unemployed, have by now left the male population behind (on average by 2%).

While disappointments and concerns over future are on the increase amongst the masses of women in the developed countries; hundreds of millions of women of backward countries, condemned to illiteracy and poverty, into the claws of traditional life to which they are tied with thousands of links, are in a “hopeless” state. There is no need to mention the sorrowful and darkened future of tens of millions of female children and young women, condemned to severe working conditions and pushed onto the streets for prostitution. Even the women workers who have participated in the economic and social life in these countries, leaving aside their strong attachment to house work and their working for wages next to nothing, do not even have any social security that can be taken seriously beyond its formality. Nonetheless, very big sections of the women workers in these countries are in general labourers who are treated as slaves in “unregistered sectors”. Furthermore, religious and traditional prejudices which are contrived to be resurrected and which are used in the repression of women all over the world are still very much alive and functional in these countries.

Moreover, it is a fact that due to reasons conditioned by the increasingly chronic unemployment, the acceleration of the fall in wages and the great defeat of the movement, “modern” prejudices which differentiates the working women from men and which encourages them to return to “traditional work” have been increasing their influence in all countries, developed or backward. It could be seen in more clarity in the conditions of capitalism with its “balance” increasingly more shaken that the “sexual revolution”, which is said to have taken places in the 1960s and which is regarded as the expression of the “equality and liberation of women” and as an instance of the transformation of this into a fundamental principle of “social state”, is in fact an illusion. The actual role the capital plays against the aspirations of women for equality and emancipation, as with all other social relations, is nothing but the disruption, abuse and degeneration of the evolution and progress which is actually taking place also in this field in spite of capitalism. Considering it in terms of the “continuation” of capitalism and the “needs of its workforce”, the attitude of capitalism to the women question is not even an attitude of minimal “solution”, and this emphasises the impossibility for capitalism to resolve this question.

To conclude: the “trust” the youth and the women have towards the system of capital adorned with promises of “social state” and “new order” is increasingly trembling. It is not without a reason that the attacks are attempted to be “presented” in the forms of “reforms”, “measures”, etc. Indeed, what is clearly and increasingly seen is that the efforts of deception are progressively losing their influence and the attack is also acquiring a feature that awakens, organises and mobilises the youth and women labourers. It could be asserted due to what has been happening in the last fifteen years that the only class that will support genuinely the youth and enable its freedom, and that will help the women, really enable its equality with men; that will eliminate the position of family as an economic unit, and that will hand child care along with all other housework to the society as a whole, and that will enable its freedom, is the working class. That the “schemes” will “backfire” and that the youth and women’s movement with the workers, peasants and students will become an inevitable and serious problem for the capital and the reactions could be seen from today.

On the other hand, the monopolies and imperialism are looting, not only the labour and wealth of the working class and dependent countries, but also the nature of which these are also a part. Alongside the irresponsible intervention to its products through the ruining of natural balances; the leaving over of industrial and other waste to nature in a way that will pollute the water, air, land, and that will destroy the plants and existence of animals, is one of the most important threats to social and natural life today. Yet, the character and level of the productive forces and production technology permits the materialisation of industrial, agricultural and all other productive activity without devastating the nature, even in a way that will contribute to its upbringing.

While this is the situation, at no time in the period of dominance of the capital, there has been any real measure (those which it took out of its volition) for the protection of nature. The facts of the capitalist world that are becoming increasingly evident are: that the capitalist classes1 have become increasingly so ruthless that, leaving aside not being aware of the destruction caused in nature, environment and society, they are not even in the possession of a mentality to think about the “future” of their own descendents and their lives tomorrow.

It was the working class, which was defeated in the 1955-60 period and whose struggle receded to the “trade union” field, that represented ever since its emergence the well-being of humanity, nature and environment.2 The shrinking of the scope of the workers’ movement has caused a political vacuum. It was some of the “urban” petit-bourgeois strata whose alliances with the working class have been disrupted and which set out to compete with it that has utilised this political vacuum emerging. The green movement had emerged in that very period as an anti-industrial opposition movement. However, it was not possible for this movement to conduct opposition from within the people for a long time. And indeed, the Green movement and parties, which are in the main idiosyncratic to developed countries, had, after a certain period of opposition, increasingly receded and taking a turn towards the middle strata, became the liberal bourgeois movements and parties which served as the props of the governments of the capital. No reasons remain any longer to expect a more or less consistent struggle from these currents and parties.

It is indubitable that as the workers’ movement develop, it will widen its perspective and expand its aspirations and actions concerning the protection of nature and the environment. However, it is not only the nature and natural environment which is destroyed and destructed by the capital and imperialism. The offensive in the cultural field has already taken the shape of an unprecedented material and moral cultural catastrophe.

The capital and imperialist reactions, are conducting a kind of a campaign of destruction and extermination of not only the socialist, anti imperialist and democratic culture but also of the entire human culture accumulated by the humanity until now. The monopolies dominating all forms of media, press, art, science, cultural institutions, organs and means are operating as the “battering rams” and “hit squads” of this campaign.3 The moral collapse and disintegration of the working class, labourers and the peoples: true, the activity in the cultural field is a profitable “investment sector” for the capital; but in essence it is an activity of destruction, extermination, collapsing and unravelling.

It is not necessary to consider its history separately; what is attempted to be done is the repression and elimination of the historically formed human culture, of the advanced national, class conception, instincts, traditions and customs within workers and labourers, of the humane personality traits, sense of trust, popular form of thinking, artistic taste and belief in science. Instead of masses acting as nations, peoples and classes, disorderly crowds that are bereft of a behavioural line and that are within a cosmopolitan degeneration; instead of the human individual, a commodity “individual” unravelled within animalistic competition – this is the very point to which the capital and imperialism attempts to arrive.

Leaving aside some circles of progressive intellectuals that exist in some respect in every country; the world of science, art and media has been transformed into a colossal “cultural” army comprised of “elites” which have either become wholly reactionary, or subjugated. Even though its possibilities are small and these possibilities will become even smaller in the future; there is no single social force other than the working class that will stand against this army of cultural pillage whose mass is continuously enlarged and that will defend the entire humanity and the entire human culture. The field of cultural struggle is one of the fields of struggle that cannot ever be neglected by the working class.

Questions concerning the youth, women and nature and culture are amongst the most important questions and dynamics of the general popular movement. The winning over of the youth; the awakening and mobilisation of women; alliance with the intellectuals and the fostering of new progressive young intellectual generations etc. etc: once the working class neglects this, the acknowledgement of the working class amongst the people and for it to become a force which it can rely on cannot even be conceived.

1) The working class does not treat the female gender and generations of youth with its men and women, only as sections supported against the capital and imperialism and those which are promised emancipation. These sections and their movement are the closest ally of the workers’ movement and are its indispensable reserves. The initiative and organisation of the youth and the women is of a vital value for the working class. It is essential to support the organisation of youth and women based on occupational and gender basis, to help the development of these organisations over an anti imperialist, democratic platform, to undertake the entire responsibility of these organisations to form means of agitation and propaganda, and to learn to use them capably. Oblivion on the face of youth and women, who imply energy, initiative, renewal and revolutionary spirit, means an incurable “inertia” for the working class.

2) Put in a way emphasising that the struggle to protect nature and environment is also a part of this struggle, the struggle in the cultural front, is one which very firmly ties in with the “three forms” of the struggle of the working class. Just as this struggle cannot be conducted by hobby groups and “non-governmental organisations”, it cannot be conducted without connecting it to the daily life of the working class and the people and to the daily struggle between the capital and labour. At least the revitalisation and advancement of the cultural lives of the advanced workers and the awakening sections of the youth; the establishment of organ and institutions that will serve this; mobilisation of the trade unions and cooperation with oppositional press, art, science institutions and organisations, etc. These are necessary; otherwise, while triviality and narrowness in politics become inevitable, the acquisition of depth and individuality of the workers’ and popular movements will become impossible.

Put in summary, the working class with a big section of the youth and women has to assimilate to its ranks the energy, creativity and initiative of the young generation and women gender of the society. On the other hand, it is a necessity that cannot be neglected for the working class, which undertakes the work of transformation the present of humanity and building its future, to undertake also the struggle against the attacks of the capital and imperialism in the cultural front and also to defend the entirety of whatever there is belonging to humans that is progressive, democratic and humane.


The party as part and as the leader of the working class

What the capital, which is itself organised as a party and as the ruling class, could not ever stand1 in the previous century was the organisation of the workers as an independent party. The reason is clear: no force can impede the working class organised as an independent party from overthrowing the capital and organising as the ruling class in this age when the monopolistic capitalism is dominant.

The centre of the capital’s struggle against the workers has at all times and all situations been comprised of the idea and attempts of the independent party of the working class. The methods are diverse: a) to coercively suppress the advanced forces of the class; b) through the renewal (and expansion) of the labour aristocracy, the generation of tendency of conciliation in the forefront of the movement; c) using the methods of coercion and buying2 in tandem, encouraging the elimination of revolutionary party or its attempts, and opportunism and liquidationism.

The past century is one which witnessed all forms and methods of struggle of the capital against the working class. Suppression through war and fascism; through encirclement with McCarthyism and nuclear threats; supporting the workers or trade union bureaucracy with a range of “compromise” and “social state” policies, etc… All these attacks had targeted inevitably the advanced, qualified forces of the world working class, that is to say, their parties. Indeed, it was impossible for the working class to be deceived or to be suppressed for long so long as its party did not surrender and its organisation did not become degenerated.

It was extremely natural for the liberal bureaucratic petit-bourgeois corrosion which was accumulated within the workers’ movement in the forty years following the first great defeat conceded at the end of 1950s, and which was to become entirely decayed in the 1985-90 period and has been carried forward to the current era, to degenerate primarily the conception and practise of the independent party of the working class. The past two centuries had proven that the question of the independent party of the workers was a determining question which incorporated also the questions of the conception of revolution and of state power.

One of the most significant results of the offensive of the capital and the defeat of the working class has been the complete degeneration and fundamental rejection of the conception and practise of the “independent party” amongst the workers, socialist and progressive intellectual circles. Mention of two types of this degeneration and rejection can be made here: the first of them is the conception and practice of “vanguard party” represented by petit bourgeois currents with terrorist tendencies whose origins are to be found in Maoism, Foucault or other types of petit bourgeois revolutionarism, and which have transformed into closed sects, having been completely degenerated today. This conception and practise had been shaped in the past over the reduction of class leadership into “ideological leadership”. Today it retains its existence, again in mostly dependent countries, within different peasant and urban petit bourgeois circles, lumpen “well-read” groups and narrow-minded student groupings.

The second of them finds its origins in the degeneration experienced on the ranks of the working class earlier, and it is the conception and the practice of “vanguard party”3 represented by workers’, socialist and communist parties who have attained a completely liberal position with Gorbachevism and the downfall in the 1989-90. And indeed this conception and practice is based on a notion of “power” that is refined from the overthrow and the purge of the capital and is characterised as an ordinary parliamentarist conception and practice of party.

This conception and practice formed out of an attack against the existence and the history of the party that realises the revolution and builds socialism represents also a “return” to social democracy in the most vulgar forms. Although this is the liberalised version4 of the former outside-of-class bureaucratic tradition, it is precisely because of its discovery of “new dynamics” within the society that the notion of “socialism” of this conception and practise is a confusion of reformist-liberal tendencies based on educated substrata, generally on those who work, various “movements” and even on the middle class. These, despite the existence amongst them those named “worker”, are generally against the separate party of the workers; and are characterised on a conception and practice in which different interests and tendencies are intertwined and in which the worship of liberal democracy has become a rule.

The differing tones and some impressions which remain local of both these conceptions could be mentioned. Nevertheless, these are not widespread and do not constitute much significance. Despite hindering the formation by the workers of an independent party due also to different reasons; it is known by all that the conception and practice dominant within the working class and progressive public opinion is characterised under the influence of social democracy and movements connected to these two conceptions. Hence, it is clear that so long as the progressive, socialist public opinion and the mass of advanced workers is not freed from the influence of these two conceptions and practices of “party,” including social democracy; even in the “best” situation, it is outside the realm of possibility for the working class to possess an independent, revolutionary party that will represent its own principal mass.

Yet, the modern history and particularly the past century have proven that a class can participate in political struggle only through its own party. Accordingly the working class, as a fundamental class, necessarily has to participate in political struggle through its own independent party. Otherwise, there could be no mention of the own independent movement of the working class and a socialist working class fighting for power.

The working class and the party unity of the advanced workers

The International Communist Movement and the affiliate Marxist-Leninist parties and organisations regard the revolutionary and independent party of the working class as the unity of the workers’ movement with the socialist (M-L) movement. This, in tandem with other things, means the unity of intelligentsia and young intelligentsia who recognise the social dynamic as the working class through adopting Marxism-Leninism; with the advanced, conscious workers organising and leading this class with the aim of joining the working class.

The course of the workers’ movement, and on the other hand, the yet other course of intelligentsia (socialist and one with that potential) movement... In the case of perpetual continuation of this, it is inevitable for the unity of the workers’ movement and its transformation into a political movement to be atrophied. As it could be understood easily, such a thing would at the same time imply the disruption of the adoption by intelligentsia a proletarian conception and their re-characterisation as a Marxist intelligentsia that belong to the class.

Today, in almost every country, there are a large number of parties with claims to socialism, communism, working people, labour etc. But these are not independent workers’ parties. The number of parties and organisations which are members of the International Communist Movement and which are genuinely based on the working class is yet too small, and these parties and organisations, leaving aside perhaps one or two small countries, have not as yet embraced the substantial sections of the advanced workers who organise the movements in their respective countries. Nevertheless, the most important question of the workers movement today, is the unity of the mass of advanced workers, and put more fully, the unity of this mass as a party.

For the majority of the advanced workers to unite within the ML party in the countries where there exists one, and to form a revolutionary party where there is none; there is necessary and unavoidable tasks that are valid for all countries independently of the particularities of individual countries. It is such that, if their requirements are not persistently fulfilled, it will not be possible to reach the party unity of the advanced workers and the generations of young intelligentsia.

The most significant of these tasks, as can be known, are the following: a) to expand resolutely the struggle in the theoretical front (as incorporating the entire fields of economic, philosophical, historical theory) to the struggle against the liberal ideological offensive run from a “post-modern” position; b) not being satisfied with the ideological struggle against the “projectionist” idealist conception which views the party unity of the workers as a sole propaganda, education and a sort of “public relations” issue outside of the class struggle; on the contrary, to perform this task as one that could be realized within everyday struggle and action. Leaving aside necessities such as coming to occupy an advanced position in theoretical struggle and implementing it by linking it to the interests of the practical movement and the objective of bringing together of the mass of advanced workers within the party; it can be asserted that these are the primary conditions of the unity of the masses of advanced workers and socialist intellectual and young intellectuals within the party.

In terms of the expansion of the unity of the mass of advanced workers developed within the struggle into the unity of a revolutionary party, these two conditions are inescapable and their tasks cannot be postponed. Despite this, tactical attempts concerning the course of the movement are important to the degree that they cannot be just evaded in terms also of this party unity of the workers: attempts which assumes the unity of advanced workers and their unity in action and which encourage the most widespread sections of the mature and maturing young generation of intelligentsia to become acquainted with the real Marxist alternative and their tendency to join with the working class… Various blocs, unities of action and alliance platforms, etc. Once the necessities of everyday struggle and the power relations between the ideological currents organised within the working class and working amongst workers are taken into account, the vital importance of these forms of tactical attempts will be apprehended by itself.

The influence of the currents under the “guidance” of bourgeois liberalism within the ranks of the working class, despite being an issue in terms of the party unity of the mass of advanced workers, is not an issue that cannot be overcome. Firstly, the advancing struggle of workers, albeit through falls and rises, broadens in an unpreventable way the awakening and unity amongst these advanced sections. And secondly, despite being weak yet, communist groupings amongst workers have been getting stronger and are spreading also in different countries; and these are in a state of being a guarantee whose importance could never be disregarded in terms of the unity and party unity of the advanced workers (especially also for new beginnings). Further, once socialism becomes a tendency amongst the workers once again, that the guarantee presented by the real Marxist-Leninist communist groupings and the parties representing these groupings in terms of the massive party unity of the workers is far more vital than it seems today would become far more comprehendible.

On the other hand, communist groupings amongst workers, as well as against the capital, are not alone in the struggle against “liberal” socialist influence either: the former revisionist parties could not achieve arriving at Gorbachevite liberalism totally or as a whole. There have been breakaways from these parties in almost every country, or this emerged from the “left wings” which held them at a certain “point”. Although small in number, parties of some (small) countries has turned back and have headed towards a position nearer to workers and Marxist-Leninist conception and traditions. Most of these parties or groups, despite some with hesitance or contradictions and their positions not as yet definitive, consider the 20th Congress of the CPSU as the beginning of the “restoration” and collapse in the Soviet Union and defend Leninism and Stalin in one form or another. Parties and organisations belonging to this “current”, which did not experience as yet a clear breakaway from the overtly revisionist parties and groups, and some revolutionary groups which are seen in some countries and are in the attempts of being closer to Marxism; are also in a state of being another important possibility in terms of the struggle against the liberal and social democrat influence amongst workers, the defence of Marxism amongst the workers and the unity of advanced workers.

Despite being subject to criticism in many aspects (amongst them there are those who stand in a Khrushchevite-Brezhnevite front); the International Marxist-Leninist Movement and its affiliate parties and organisations are not without a position towards these parties and groups including their susceptibility to criticism. Not positioning it against the unity with the workers and advanced workers without a party or under the influence of liberal “left” parties, close cooperation and common work in order to treat it as an element of the enabling of the broadest unity and alliance amongst the mass of advanced workers – every step taken for the unity of action of the mass of advanced workers is at the same time a step taken for the preparation of the party unity of this mass. If it is not acted with the aim of unity of action amongst the advanced workers, the unity of these advanced workers and a revolutionary and mass workers party that unites the main section of the class will be an impossible thing.

Marxist-Leninist parties which are affiliates of the International Communist Movement are parties established essentially with the conception of “uniting the mass of advanced workers”. Nevertheless, since the conditions of the pre-1980 period are different from those of today, it is ever more urgent today to unite, with the smallest possible damage and with the possible breadth, the advanced forces of the working class movement. Despite this, it is necessary not to forget that questions such as how this process will be fulfilled in different countries; what the national, original and need is, what course is to be followed and what attempts are to be set out; are questions bound on a number of historical, current and prospective factors which are different5 in every country.

What is important here is that it is necessary to act with a broad perspective, claim and persistence and at the same time, not to be estranged from life itself and its realities. The party unity of the majority of the advanced mass of the working class or their considerable sections; while being fulfilled going through shortcut routes and in a process that is developed more rapidly in some countries; it is extremely natural for this process to enter into more roundabout routes and to progress causing unexpected difficulties in others. The experiences have demonstrated that the winning over of the mass of advanced workers is not something that could be achieved with a single stroke. This task will perhaps be materialised through struggles over a long period in many countries which are important in terms of the workers’ movement. The tasks are an essential condition; however, what will determine the course of this process is again, in the final analysis, the own dynamics and tempo of the workers’ movement.

Put as a conclusion, the following has to be underlined: a) the growth of Marxist Leninist parties and organisations amongst the mass of advanced workers (with the possible participation of intellectuals) to a degree of addressing the needs required by the movement, and b) the question of the organisation of the masses of advanced workers in countries where there is no party yet as revolutionary parties committed to the general line of the International Movement is the most vital question of the workers’ movement today. Once this is not comprehended and the plan running the organisation is not bound to this, there is not even a single step that could be taken forward.

Party and party organisation as an organisation of struggle and fight

The independent party of the workers could only be established with a point of view (and of course a programme) and line shaped on the basis of state power and the ultimate goals of the working class. However, despite this, the revolutionary and independent party of the workers cannot be considered merely as a unity of point of view (and of course a programme) and line; for the working class the party also means the unity of will, action and organisation.

That the party is the unity of line, action and organisation, before everything, necessitates: a) an apprehended general theory, a programme and tactical conception inspired by it that will rule the movement; b) an organisation that conducts a multi-aspectual and continuous daily work amongst workers to whom it assumes to attach with unbreakable bonds. There is no doubt that a theory, programme and tactical conception distinguished with its revolutionary character is an essential condition for a real and revolutionary workers’ party. Nonetheless, in the absence of a combatant organisation demonstrating the ability to conduct continuous and multi-aspectual daily work, even though all its other aspects may be excellent, the “party” of the working class is a crowd without a shape; it cannot be an organisation of struggle and combat but perhaps a parliamentarian circle, a “crowd”. The working class extracts all its power from its organisation; once it has no organisation or it is degenerated, it becomes “nothing”.

The workers’ party is the most fundamental and most advanced form of organisation amongst the working class organisations. The party depends on the organisation in its ranks the advanced mass of workers who organise and lead the workers movement, and is a part of the working class. Getting organised on the basis of workplace and residence, and not expecting the working class “to accord” with itself, but rather getting organised according itself with the situation of the working class is a necessity for the party of the working class. From the outset, the party has to position its organisations amongst the working class and as workers’ organisations.

For the working class, the conditions of struggle are various; its party and organisation has to know how to struggle in the most deprived conditions where blunt oppression and brutality hold sway as well as in conditions where legality and parliamentarism are in the forefront. On the other hand, the party, as well as not being a parliamentarist organisation, it also is not an organisation of conspiracy that puts itself in the place of the masses. Supporting in every possible way the advanced worker who struggles, organises and runs the movement; this is the essence of the party’s enlightening of the working class, mobilising it, organising it and being its vanguard.

The conditions of struggle demands from the working class developed, tried, professional abilities as well as a great energy, persistence and altruism. Hence, the workers’ party depends on the young generation of the working class;6 it is the party of the youth of the working class with its women and men. Thus, throughout its history, even in the most deprived and hopeless conditions, the young generations of the workers (both men and women alike) have primarily and most intensely supported the party of the working class. The party of the working class, at all times and conditions, is required completely to become the party of the sections of the working class which are most susceptible to comprehending the new and to make progress, and which are most altruistic and energetic, and of the young male and female workers.

On the other hand, its organisation amongst the workers and its dependence on the young generations of workers; is not sufficient for it to be able to conduct work under all conditions and in a continuously developing way. The quality and composition of the organisation has a great importance in terms of the acquisition by the party of robustness, flexibility and expertise and the retention of its struggle against all attacks of the capital. Viewed from this point, the party has to be an organisation that is centralised as much as it possibly can, and to work depending on a professional nucleus (and apparatus). It is conceivable that: a) the centralisation of information and all leadership as much as it possibly can;7 b) the necessity to follow party decisions (the bounding of lower organs to upper ones, the minority to majority, the entire organisation to party centre); c) along this, central party apparatus and discipline which also implies the responsibility of working systematically amongst the masses are all the most fundamental guarantees of the progress of the party and the continuous development of its work.

However, the organisation of the party in this way is not solely a centralist organisation; democracy as the reverse of side of centralism is one other indispensable means that regulates the life of the working class party. The organisational principle which presides over the organisation of the party of the working class is democratic centralism. Democracy alongside centralism (discipline) functions as the formation of the will of the mass of advanced workers and of the party, and bringing to the fore of creativity, ability and energy and as a form of uniting the masses. Just as there cannot be democracy without centralism and discipline, there can also be no centralism without democracy. Criticism and self-criticism, as well as being the weapon of learning and developing within this party, is also one of the most fundamental weapons of the fight. The democracy within the party is completely distinct from the irresponsible democratism of market socialism (as a veil for bureaucracy); alongside other things, it is a real democracy8 that is purposive and functional, based on linking with masses and responsibility.

The party of the working class is an organisation of combat that conducts in harmony the “three forms of struggle” (economic, theoretical and political) of the working class and that organises and presides over the workers’ movement. On the other hand, the party is a school where the proletarian and popular mode of work is developed and where the workers (and naturally the young revolutionaries) are trained with proletarian revolutionary features. The education within this school is mainly placed on the basis of class struggle and “task allocation”; its aim, before all, is their learning of responsibly and capably leading the movement of advanced workers and the party. The essential feature of learning here is to depend on the general experience of the movement and its own experience. It could be said that one of the superiorities of this school of struggle and combat is that the Marxist education therein is conducted with a maturity based on the assimilation and critique of the modern progressive culture.

The quality of the organisation, that is to say: a) the establishment of the party organisation as an organisation of struggle and combat in charge of realising the revolution and capable of daily struggle; b) at the same time, being a school where the workers are educated; these two facts, as well as directing completely the shaping up of the organisation, is also the basis of its mode of work and cadre policy. And indeed, it is a necessity for also the central mass publication organs which undertakes the role of being the “skeleton” in the positioning of the organisation amongst the workers and its centralisation at all levels to organise on the basis of the axes of these facts. The principles, norms and means forming the organisation have to be linked firmly with the aims of the party which gives life to them.

On the other hand, there will be organisational and inner-organisational tasks of the party of the working class whose degree of significance will change according to different periods and which it will have to adapt as special political problems: for instance, such as the constitution by the workers an increasing bulk9 in the party and at all levels of leadership in the party; special encouragement of young people, and in particular the young working men and women, to be trained, to progress within the party and their involvement in rapidly increasing numbers in the leadership organs. Expressed in a way that emphasises the importance of the independent youth organisation, in today’s conditions when “a petit-bourgeois atmosphere” is still dominating within the workers’ and socialist public opinion around the world and in almost every country, special elaboration on these and similar questions is of utmost importance. There is no other opportunity today to appropriate to the movement and the party the class outlook, spirit, energy, ability and creativity required for taking further steps forward.

An independent, revolutionary party that has united in its ranks the masses of advanced workers who are tied unbreakably with the masses of workers who follow from behind, and which is capable of gathering around itself the workers’ organisations with primarily the trade unions, and which knows how to do its work and how to utilise everything: this is the party needed by the working class which has been struggling under the suffocating influence of the liberal and outside-of-class “socialist” currents. The working class will sooner or later possess such a vanguard mass party in all countries through the work of Marxist-Leninist parties and organisations in countries where they exist; while in countries where there exists no party or organisation, through the revolutionary workers of these countries and the intellectuals loyal to the working class and Marxism. This is beyond any doubt.



The defeat conceded by the workers movement and socialism, the retreat experienced over half a century and the collapse and disintegration taking place in Soviet Union; alongside attacks which were underlined above, are being distorted due also to other reasons. It is known by all that the process of defeat and retreat and the collapse experienced is used also to strengthen sentiments such as that the struggles expended were “futile” and that they were “expended for nothing”, and for the spread and legitimisation of disbelief and denial.

The propagandists of the capital, by acting this way, have in fact oriented towards the workers with “close expectations”; and once defeat comes to agenda, have been attempting to “keep alive” the state of mind of the petit-bourgeois, which has lost “belief” and entered into a tendency of subjugation and surrender, in the public opinion. Yet, it is not so difficult to see the “futility” of these attempts.

The working class is a class which has proved its abilities and has “come of age” historically: acting as a class that presents the entirety of fundamental data of an unbeatable view of world such as Marxism-Leninism and the emergence and development of an advanced theory; to extract great Marxist classics (Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin) which will live for ages in the consciousness and action of humanity from its ranks; moreover, (even if only the period between or following the two wars were concerned) to form leaderships by upbringing revolutionary personalities from Kirov to Dimitrov, Zhdanov to Enver Hoxa, Thelmann to Thorez, Piek to Racoshi, Gottwald to Zachariades (…); to realise revolutions and win determining great wars guiding the world history by uniting as massive parties; while setting off into also great struggles in all countries, to construct a new civilisation over a third of the world and founding a new world. Leaving aside the determining cautionary influence of its current struggle; expecting the working class whose class qualities have strengthened even more to disregard this great historical heritage and to be subjugated to the tactics of “psychological war” for long could perhaps only be a stupid expectation.

There is no struggle that was “futile”, no matter how important the lost positions are and how heavy and effective the defeat is. The experimentation presented and experience gained by these struggles will continue to live in the conception, behaviour and reflexes of workers in even the worse conditions, in order to direct the leaps of consciousness through the course of events and in the future. On the other hand, that the scientific, artistic and literary culture, which developed by being extracted from Marxism-Leninism under the guidance of this theory, and the struggle of the working class is unbeatable, strong and rich, is linked with depending on the experiments and experience of these struggles and with summarising them. And this advanced theory and socialist culture is the guarantee for the shedding of light of the experiences of the historical struggle of the working class on future struggles and the heading towards far advanced fronts of the working class.

There is no doubt that defeat is not a destiny for the working class; despite this, history advances through the defeats conceded (of course as a consequence of its victories) by the revolutionary party setting its course, and no matter how heavy and how long the defeats and retreats of the workers are, they never transcend this outline. What is essential here is that the class of workers have to recognise learning from defeats, just as much as from victories, perhaps even more. Defeats do not change the objective position of the working class and the qualities born out of this. Even though the working class has been set back through a defeat, the history and humanity advances and the working class retains its position as “the driving force” in this advancement.

What has been happening is that the humanity (conditioned by defeat and its aftermath) is advancing through devastation and disruptions and by undergoing experiences different to those of the previous period. As for the surge and leaps which will render ineffective, leave in the past and accelerate the hesitations, sways and divisions in this advancement of humanity, they are inevitable and are undoubtedly drawing increasingly nearer. Once these surges and leaps and revolutionary indications become visible even from inside the fog, there can be no doubt that the workers will ably use the experiences of the period of great struggles.

Notes for the Introduction to Section III – Working Class and the Tasks

1 The theories of the denial of the working class are not new or unique to today, after every defeat attempts in this direction have increased and were sought to be made into a tide. After the 1968 movement, H Marcus (and plenty of others) had defended that the revolutionary role belongs henceforth to “intellectuals, students and other strata outside the society”. On the other hand, the Euro communists in clouding the differences between the working class and others have come out with theories of “white collars”.

2 Social democracy, on the part of “technology, information, governing – governing models, image, advertising, etc. producers”, has not refrained from discovering new dynamics as well as proclaiming that there is no need for historical moral links with the working class. Liberal socialist currents have been shaped by relying on the educated strata of city dwelling petit bourgeoisie in the name of all “those who work” and by taking a line to gather all “those who work” around this strata layers.

3 “The decrease in the changing capital which takes place in proportion to unchanging capital and which goes hand in hand with the developments in the productive forces, on one side creates perpetually an artificial population, while encouraging the growth of the working population”. (Marx, Capital, vol. III.)

4 The working population in the developed countries shows a tendency to shrink due also to the transfer of intense labour and dirty industries to backward countries. Nevertheless, developing countries need to keep high technology industries and basic enterprises in their countries in order to retain their imperialistic positions, and therefore a great shrinking of the working population through this route is not possible.

5 The supporters of capital are causing a commotion in talking about science and technology, but capital’s attitude towards technological advancement is contradictory, hesitant, and in most conditions a negative attitude: scientific technological development is not a special end for the capital; it supports it only in terms of the intensification of exploitation as and when it needs and due to monopolistic struggle. Here, profit is the main determinant; if it was to detect maximum profit in it, the ruling capitalist class, let alone developing technology, will be ready and willing to return even to “manual labour”.

6 As the economy accelerates and workers’ movement gain fronts, it should also be assumed that the mentioned modes of work can no longer be profitable for the capital.

7 The principal reason for the growth of the working class is capitalist expropriation. Due to the impulse of maximum profit, capitalism in the monopolistic epoch, has not been able to create the conditions to suck this dispossessed mass and has made the chronic mass of the unemployed grow and made this mass a permanent part of the working class. The mass of the unemployed are included in the working class; hence, the growth of the working class can be observed in these countries as well as the entirety of the world. Moreover, the formation of a mass of lumpen proletariat made up of those that are pushed out of society in increasing level can also be observed.

8 The separation of “material” and “non-material labour”, in other words between manual and intellectual labour, has started initially in the primal class divisions of humanity and this separation has become an opposition as time has gone by. Capitalism has done away with the cover of this opposition and matured it even more. Let alone losing its capability, the working class is the only class that will end the opposition between manual and intellectual labour and combine the two types of labour on the part of the free producer of the communist society by overthrowing the capital. The working class’ emancipation of intellectual labour from the authority of capital, setting of humans firmly on their feet and opening the frontiers of free development are inevitable.

9 It is a fact that as the capital opens “public affairs” such as education and culture to the market; persons and sections that help capital grow also in these fields, as well as (along with those who make themselves rich) those who become workers through living conditions emerge. On the other hand, it is possible to talk of similar developments in programming, informatics, and communication sectors. Nevertheless, they hold a minute place within the activity of capital and the general mass the working class.

10 This situation does not of course contradict with the existence of the small farmer and small artisan production which is always practically inevitable under capitalism.

11 This opposition is essentially the opposition between labour and capital. On the other hand, in this form it exposes the content of the irreparable incapability of capitalism.

12 The class character of the working class is identical to the social character of means of production. It is for this reason that, its emancipation is possible only through abolishing appropriation of private property, and the harmonisation of property with the character of the means of production and its becoming social.

13 It is known by all interested to certain degree that subjective factors do not carry the force to change objective necessities.

Notes for Section III B on the Conception of Revolution and Line of Struggle

1 Undoubtedly, this does not mean that, once its real conditions arise, the parties of the working class will not participate in any government. Accelerating the revolutionary development; joining into under certain conditions to governments that has the potential to repeal genuine counter-revolutionary attacks, to protect and develop the forces of the workers, peoples and the revolution, is undeniable for the party of the working class.

2 The manifestation of the proletarian type of state and organs has been used here in a way that implies also state organs of the popular democracies and popular power and their proletarian and popular character.

3 The term “existence and development of the independent workers’ movement” has been used in a sense that is more comprehensive than the existence of the independent party of the working class. Such as the main mass of the working class uniting the popular majority and gathering around the party and its struggle with aspirations for power.

Notes for Section III C on the Workers’ Movement and the Trade Unions

1 The direct or indirect political aspect of the workers’ (again developing under the roof of trade unions) action is left outside of the account and assessment here.

2 Undoubtedly this is a long termed demand; just as it does not contradict with the supporting of the 32 hour week put forward by some trade unions, it does not also rule out the decrease of the workday time by going through different stations in different countries.

3 The struggle for power will concretise for the working class once the workers put forward demands of this kind and set out to struggle for them. Nonetheless, the course of the development of the movement, will not follow a straight path as generally put here, and will take place by raising different forms of enhancement and passing through different routes in each country.

4 The dominant tendency in the aftermath of the expression of the defeat was escape from socialism. In the conditions of the development of the movement mentioned, the emergence of a tendency of socialism that is spontaneous and massive amongst the workers is inevitable.

5 The communist potential amongst the advanced workers is well beyond the groupings of today, and as the movement progresses, the transformation of this potential into an organised and energetic power is of the nature of the movement.

6 The inclination of the capital in general directs towards the elimination of the trade unions. But today, this is impossible and in general this doesn’t suit its interests. Now, while it seeks to undermine all the trade union organisation attempts everywhere; it is in search of the smallest, the ineffectual trade unions which have declared their function as a service.

7 The trade union bureaucracy owes its dominance in the trade unions to its influence over the advanced workers organised in positions (relatively conservative, predominantly social democrat, liberal socialist) which especially politically are close to the trade union bureaucracy. Once this stratum mentions socialism, it actually implies bourgeois socialism (social democracy, liberal democracy).

8 The real workers’ parties are still not massive amongst the workers. Currently there is not a workers’ organisation (such as a Soviet) which could compete with the trade unions either, and in this sense, the trade unions are, for the being, “unrivalled” organisations.

9 Due to reasons such as the workers or majority of workers leaving a trade union for various reasons or their orientation towards another trade union, leaving trade unions which are estranging or bogus trade unions, is of course possible and these do not contradict the view mentioned here. Verifying the tendency of the workers’ majority and not being alienated from the majority is essential.

10 The trade unions are already in the political struggle today. What is implied is their giving up of the political struggle they carry out from a bourgeois point of view and beginning to do this from the point of view of the working class.

11 The trade unions pay a special attention to international solidarity and organise their actions of solidarity utilising also especially the facilitation of the developments in the world.

12 This is the most fundamental condition for the trade unions to be real class trade unions.

Notes for the Section III D on Struggle against Imperialism

1 Despite the emergence of labour aristocracy at a historically earlier stage, its generalisation and spread took place in the period of imperialism. This is a stratum feeding on the crumbs of imperialist profit and has an imperialistic tendency. For the working class, the cross over to imperialism, as well as bringing about the systematisation of the practise of buying off, has also resulted in the intensification of attacks towards the working class.

2 The social democratic currents in these countries are currents which generally emerged not from the history of workers’ movement but rather from the national histories of these countries. The process of globalisation, while bringing about an increase in globalism amongst these, on the other hand, has also resulted in the increasing of nationalist dispositions. In some countries, they have also gone under divisions. Despite this, there has not been a tendency orienting towards imperialism emerging from these former social democracies.

3 The best example to this is the currents organising as the European left party.

4 This implies the expansion of the basis of the struggle against imperialism, its fortification, and the tying up with stronger links of the national freedom to the struggle against imperialism and the struggle of the working class for power.

5 The substrata in developed countries, precisely because of being supported with the crumbs of the imperialist profit, have imperialist tendencies and constitute the basis of the power of the monopolistic capital. Nonetheless, the oligarchy of capital has been attacking also these strata, and is in an attitude of distancing them from itself in a way that generates the reserving of these by the working class. In the case that the working class fails to achieve to turn them into reserves; these substrata, together with increasing lumpen strata, are becoming also props for reaction and fascism.

6 These forms of national bourgeois strata are rivals in an increasingly overt way against the working class and its party. In accordance with the developments in general, most of these has also been turning on to agreements with imperialist groupings. The working class is required to maintain its independence and alternative position and to continue without any hesitation its work as the work of the vanguard of the nation.

7 In this period, as before the 2nd war, there is no dominant or retreating, and as opposed to this, on the rise or aggressive imperialists, or a position contrary to this.

Notes for Section III E on the Solidarity of the Workers and Peoples

1 The solidarity between parties and the International are actually more of a decision making and declaration mechanisms of international solidarity. The organisations that actually appeals to masses and leads them to solidarity are the trade unions and other mass organisations.

2 For instance, workers of the same sector and workers from the same or different sectors that are associated with the same group of capital (through actions concerning trade union organisation or against sackings) have conducted massive solidarity actions with many countries. On the other hand, the most important decisions of commons struggle and solidarity to come out of the trade unions and their international organisations are mainly decisions taken as a result of the pressure of workers from the grassroots.

3 These organisations, alongside their establishment by taking advantage of the unexpected development of the workers’ movement, have emerged also due to utilising the weakness of the movement. The participation of trade unions, by leaving aside the possibility to gather together around themselves their international organisations, the organisations and international institutions of the other (youth, women etc.) sections and all other organisations into ATTAC is not “explainable”. The fact that individuals are also participating in this organisation, as well as not rendering this organisation no longer “an organisation of organisations” does not rule out its non-necessity either.

Notes for Section III F on Special Fields and Some Possibilities

1 That the USA, which is in the forefront of those who pollute the world and that is the main actor of the threats of catastrophe, did not even incline to signing the Kyoto protocol, which is a showpiece document, is interesting.

2 While there was not even an environmentalist movement in existence, the working class was conducting a struggle for the well-being of nature and humanity in mines and factories. In terms also of the conservation of nature, the basic and only struggle that is not temporal and that could be based upon is the struggle of the workers.

3 The process of the opening to the market of all educational and cultural affairs and their capture by the monopolies is one that is increasingly becoming more evident. Furthermore, using the governments as a support, the monopolies are using numerous possibilities and through “sponsorships” etc, are directing the entirety of the cultural activity.

Notes for Section III G on the Party:

1 The complete infuriation of the capital with the seizure of power by the working class and its establishment of a new socialist civilisation is left aside here. Despite this, the capital’s infuriation in this way is no different than its position against the party of the working class.

2 The policies of coercion and buying off (compromise) have been renowned as the policies of “stick” and “carrot” within the history of class struggles.

3 The party of each class or a coalition of classes is the vanguard of the class or the coalition. “Vanguard party” while being used in general terms, on the other hand, by being given in inverted commas, a certain reference is made to the histories of these currents (and also to the enmity they have towards the concept of vanguard party and Bolshevik organisation).

4 Perhaps it will not be a mistake to put the Trotskyite groups within this category.

5 Leaving aside unity of general line and discussion and exchange of views; the question as to what is national and what route is to be followed, is no doubt a question whose resolution is to be sought after, found and undertaken by the relevant party, organisation and party initiators.

6 To be sure, this does not mean the isolation of the mature generations from the party; the party, at the same time, is also a composition of generations based on men and women as well as the youth.

7 In conditions of today when the conception of socialism and party within the public opinion is deteriorated and when the prejudices in the face of ideological struggle are still influential; while centralising the leadership of the movement on the one side, it is essential to act with an inclusive and far-sighted attitude on the other.

8 The fundamental principle of democracy is of course the formation of the party organs through elections and the determination of the entire course by the party congress. However, democracy within party of the working class is much more than this. A party life dependent on openness, vibrancy, trust, criticism /self-criticism and sharing, and the relationship of mutual discussion with partyless masses is the foundation of the democracy within the party.

9 The workers’ party makes it a fundamental objective and especially assumes from the beginning point of its establishment attempt to develop as a party in which the workers increasingly constitute a majority in spite of being proportionally smaller at the beginning, and more importantly, in which they de facto stamp the leadership of the party.

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