14th International Seminar: Problems of the Revolution in Latin America
On July 16 the work of the 14th International Seminar ‘Problems of the Revolution in Latin America’ concluded successfully. This year the discussion was over the question of revolution or reformism in the historic context of the crisis of capitalism and imperialism on the world level. Each year this International Seminar is held under the initiative of the PCMLE [Marxist Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador] and the MPD [Democratic Popular Movement], and each year new organisations from various countries take part.
The seminar, attended by 32 leftist organisations from 14 countries in Latin America, Europe and Asia, was marked by five days of intensive work in discussion of papers that were distributed by the organising commission to participants in the Auditorium of the National Union of Educators where the event is held.
The various speakers were identified with the position of the peoples who do not conciliate with the measures imposed by imperialism and the international bourgeoisie to place the weight of this crisis on the backs of the workers and peoples in order to rescue the capitalist system of exploitation and its fundamental means of production.
The seminar agreed that the peoples should maintain an irreconcilable position towards the imperialist measures aimed at resolving the crisis and to combat them as the working class in Europe is doing by resisting and mobilising under the banner: ‘Let the capitalists who are responsible pay for the crisis, not the workers.’ America, Asia and Africa are also scenes of popular struggle.
The crisis – the seminar noted – created better conditions for the increasing lack of confidence of the peoples in capitalism and is leading to better conditions for revolutionary work. The popular masses are starting to understand that there is no way out of the situation under present conditions, and that the only way to confront decadent capitalism is socialism, as the only real alternative for humanity in the process of change, progress and development.
The international seminar concluded that the political conditions in Latin America are favourable for the revolution, despite the fact that the bourgeoisie is trying to curb the struggle of the masses or derail it from its strategic objectives, through the renovation of old theories that seek to disarm the workers and peoples ideologically, politically and organisationally.
The event reiterated that the seizure of power by the workers is necessary to put an end to the exploitation of man by man and that reforms, although necessary, are in no way the definitive solution to their problems. To limit oneself to the struggle for reforms – the speakers pointed out – means relying on capitalism, is to play the game of those in power, is to fall into reformism and the social-democratic politics that are instruments of the ruling classes; they reiterated that the workers, youth and peoples in general are struggling for social change.
At the conclusion of the seminar the participants, in a revolutionary act of unity, signed the Final Declaration pledging to work for fraternity and solidarity of the peoples and to bring the revolution to victory in their respective countries as the best tribute in practice to the work for the world revolution.
Final Declaration of the Seminar
Despite the desperate efforts of the international bourgeoisie to put an end to the crisis of the capitalist system, and in spite of the ‘optimistic’ analyses of bourgeois economists that months ago predicted its end and the beginning of an economic recovery, today we are witnessing a new period of deepening crisis of the system, a continuation of the one that began at the end of 2008 in the United States and soon caught up the biggest economies of the planet and whose effects were felt around the world. The course of development of this phenomenon has created the impression that it began in the financial sector, but it is a crisis of relative overproduction of consumer goods. As we noted it in the previous seminar, its cause is the contradiction between the social character of production and the private ownership of the goods and wealth produced, which is the fundamental contradiction of the prevailing capitalist-imperialist system.
In countries like ours, as an effect of the international crisis, a process of destruction of the productive forces, native capital, national industries and jobs has accelerated. Thousands of our countrymen are forced to leave their homes to sell their labour power in the most developed capitalist countries, where they are victims of super-exploitation and xenophobic and racist policies.
As in the past, the international bourgeoisie is trying to place the cost of the economic recovery of its system and companies on the backs of the workers and peoples. A vivid example of this are the structural adjustment measures proposed by the International Monetary Fund, the Central Bank of the European Union and the governments of Greece and Spain that are harshly striking the workers in these countries.
However, the people are not going along with these measures: they are fighting them. In particular, these days in Europe the working class is playing a fundamental role in the resistance and is mobilising under the banner: ‘Let the capitalists who are responsible pay for the crisis, not the workers.’ America, Asia and Africa are also scenes of popular struggle against the crisis and those who benefit from it.
By its magnitude and intensity it is the most serious crisis in the history of capitalism, however this system will not collapse by itself. Historical experience shows that it has the ability to recover, but it is clear that the negative effects of the crisis cause the peoples to have increasing distrust in capitalism and are creating better conditions for revolutionary work, so that the masses understand that there is no way out within the framework of this decadent system and that socialism is the alternative for the development and progress of mankind. Undoubtedly, this crisis is an opportunity for the revolutionary forces to advance.
Along with these events, in Latin America there is an important process of development of the political consciousness of peoples who, at various levels, have been able to identify and isolate the exponents and defenders of rapacious neo-liberalism. In the heat of combat, a democratic, progressive and left-wing trend has been formed that has led to a change in the relationship of social and political forces in the region. The democratic and progressive governments that exist are the result and expression of this new scene; however its limits are clear since, beyond their rhetoric, their achievements, with one exception, do not do anything more than shore up the prevailing system.
The political conditions in Latin America are favourable for the revolution; therefore it is no accident that the bourgeoisie is seeking various means to curb the struggle of the masses or to derail it from its objectives. Old theories are being renovated for this purpose and both within the popular movement as well as outside of it (including governments regarded as progressives) they preach the urgent need to achieve social changes by means of reforms within the institutional framework, while respecting democratic mechanisms and channels. Of course, within an institutional framework and a democracy designed and managed by bankers, big industry, landowners, that is, by the exploiting classes.
The constitutionalist and pacifist discourse, which speaks of social and national conciliation tries to ensure that the consciousness of the masses does not advance to revolutionary levels, tries to make sure that they are committed to reforms within the framework of capitalism as a way to resolve their problems. We revolutionaries understand that without power in the hands of the workers, the reforms do not play a revolutionary role and it is not possible to put an end to the exploitation of man by man and hence social liberation is not possible. We fight for reforms as material and political demands of the masses, needed to improve the conditions of life of the peoples, but by no means as a definitive solution to their problems. To limit oneself to the struggle for reforms is equivalent to relying on capitalism, to play the game of those in power, to fall into reformism and social democratic politics which are instruments of the ruling classes. From the political point of view we fight for reforms as a way to accumulate forces for the revolution.
Workers and peoples must go beyond the siren songs that tell us of peaceful revolutions, of citizens’ revolutions, or of socialism of the 21st century. These are political positions which do not challenge capitalism, because they do not take measures that affect the cornerstone on which this system is built: private ownership of the means of production. We must put an end, in a revolutionary manner, to the power of the bourgeoisie and this implies seizing power. To do this, we appeal to all forms of struggle and we work to incorporate all those social classes, strata and sectors affected by capitalism and interested in the social revolution.
The development of the struggle of the masses is an important tendency in the political life of the countries of Latin America. The workers, youth and peoples in general are fighting for social change, they are pressuring progressive governments to advance and radicalise their programs, fight the interventionist policy of imperialism – mainly U.S. imperialism – reject the presence of Yankee and English military bases, object to the looting of the natural resources by foreign monopolies, demand the recognition of the national rights of the native peoples, etc., actions that are violently repressed by various governments. We warn that, as part of the anti-communist offensive, they will criminalise popular protest and political and social leaders to terrorise the masses and curb their struggle: Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Peru are undergoing this process. In other cases, the ruling classes are calling paramilitary groups and their apparatus into action that strike at and disappear popular leaders and fighters, as in Colombia, Honduras, Mexico and Brazil on our continent, or the Philippines and Russia in other regions.
The bourgeoisie, whether social-democratic or neo-liberal, is demonising the popular fights by calling them terrorist, destabilising actions or sabotage; whoever rises up against the status quo is accused of being a terrorist; in the name of peace they deny the peoples the right to rebel under the pretext of rejecting violence, when in fact they are exercising it at all times against the peoples.
The local ruling classes and imperialism are responsible for hunger, unemployment, the backwardness of the peoples, foreign dependence; therefore they are our enemies and the target of attack of the revolution. To confront and defeat them we need the broadest unity of the workers and peoples, the democrats and leftists, the revolutionaries and all social and political forces involved in social transformation, putting an end to dependence. The struggle for national and social liberation that we are waging also demands anti-imperialist unity in a great front of the peoples which, above all, is demonstrated in the fight against all forms of foreign domination in the defense of the principles and sovereign rights of our countries.
We the participants in this 14th international seminar reiterate our internationalist position; we commit ourselves to work for fraternity and solidarity of the peoples, to bring to victory the revolution in our respective countries as the best contribution to the world revolution.
We are various political forces taking part in this event that we had the opportunity to express and discuss our views in an open and frank manner, an exercise of great value which should be reproduced in our respective countries. We have many points to discuss in the future; therefore we call for the 15th International Seminar on Problems of the Revolution in Latin America to be held in 2011 in this same country.
Quito, July 16, 2010Revolutionary Communist Party of Argentina
July 23-29, 2010
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