Organization for the Construction of Workers’ Communist Party of Germany

Twenty years of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations

Diethard Moeller

Twenty years ago at the end of July 1994 I sat in a plane flying to Quito, Ecuador.

At that time there was a difficult situation in the world. The former socialist countries had collapsed. In Germany the Berlin Wall no longer existed. In all the former socialist countries open capitalism was restored. The international workers movement was in a deep depression. Capitalism seemed to have triumphed. In 1992 the US political scientist Francis Fukuyama proclaimed “the end of history” and declared that the neoliberal, “democratic” bourgeois state is the final stage of development of society. The apologists of capitalism and imperialism made a great deal of propaganda that now an era of peace and wealth for all would begin.

And although the Marxist-Leninist parties always had criticized revisionist degeneration and had a correct standpoint, some of them also passed through a deep crisis. The bourgeoisie tried to destroy any progressive and revolutionary attitude. The pressure on the working class, peoples, revolutionaries and the Marxist-Leninist parties was incredible.

But as Marxist-Leninists we knew that this was only a limited period. We knew that the “triumph” of the capitalist system would not last long. The contradictions within this system would lead again to deep economic crises, to social cuts, suspensions of staff, increasing competition and growing tensions among the imperialist powers. We were convinced that it was necessary to strengthen the unity of all revolutionary, Marxist-Leninist forces and to give a perspective for overcoming the capitalist system to the workers and the people of the world.

Therefore, some fraternal parties did a great deal of work for the preparation of a meeting of all the Marxist-Leninist parties from all over the world. From America, Europe, Africa and Asia delegates arrived to discuss how we could give a strong response to the attacks of the bourgeoisie and how to work together closely.

I thought about all these problems and our tasks during the flight, looking over the preparatory documents, reading them and preparing myself for the coming meeting. And I tried to improve my Spanish, because in the weeks before I had only very limited time to prepare for this trip.

When the plane had landed and I had disembarked, some comrades from the Ecuadorian party welcomed me warmheartedly. Two or three days after we had met the delegations from other countries and the Ecuadorian comrades had given us some impressions of their country and its richness, which is being plundered by the US and other imperialist countries, all the delegations came together in a big international meeting.

It was not easy with all the different languages. But we had the same firm conviction, the same analysis of the international situation and the same aim: We wanted to build a solid foundation for the unity of the international Marxist-Leninist movement. We wanted to give a clear perspective to the working class and the peoples of all countries for their progressive desires and for their struggle for liberation and for socialism. We wanted to make clear that socialism is not a concept of the past but the future of humanity. There existed some obstacles in this process, but we were all inspired by this great aim and a revolutionary spirit. With this we overcame the obstacles.

So at the end the Declaration of Quito was passed and at the same time the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations (ICMLPO) was founded.

Now, 20 years later, we can clearly see how important this step was. For all these 20 years the ICMLPO encouraged the fraternal parties and organizations in their fight against capitalism and imperialism. It organized common actions, for example, against the imperialist wars in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, etc. It organized solidarity with comrades in prison, against repression, etc. And it was a stable framework for the Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations on an international level.

As well, 20 years later, capitalism and imperialism are unmasked more than ever before. This system did not bring peace or wealth to the workers or to the people. On the contrary, it led millions to death by hunger, pollution, lack of health care and by many wars. Nothing got better. The situation of the vast majority on this planet is worse than 20 years ago. Even in the industrial centres like the US and Europe wages are so low now that millions of people cannot live on them. In order to pay for the bank crises and the Euro-crises, wages have been lowered to the extreme, taxes have increased, privatization has been promoted, enormous social cuts were carried out, millions no longer have jobs and are without any perspective. Especially the youths have no future under this system.

And who would today dare to speak about the “end of history”? There was no “end of history”. During the last 20 years we could see an increasing struggle by the imperialist powers for the redivision of their spheres of influence. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and today Ukraine – US imperialism is very active in extending its domination over the world. But this leads to more tension, interventions and military actions. And competitors like Russia and China are opposed to this plan. Actually these contradictions have culminated in Ukraine and increased the danger of an open war in Europe, in one of the important centres of imperialism.

On the other hand the struggle of the workers and people has increased as well. We have a popular outrage over the policy of US imperialism and the EU in the Ukraine, in opposition to their support for fascist groups. Huge demonstrations took place in Spain, Greece, France and Italy against the social cuts and the austerity policy of the bourgeois governments.

And this has lead to an increasing commitment of the Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations in this struggle. The International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations has proved to be an important instrument during 20 years, which is capable of analyzing the situation correctly and giving the necessary guidelines for our revolutionary work.

Looking back over 20 years, it is obvious that the founding of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations was a necessary and important step for the parties and organizations themselves, and for the revolution and the working class and peoples as well. And the present situation makes it even more necessary to work together closely and with strong determination, to take part in the daily struggle of the workers and people, to unmask the capitalist and imperialist system and to overthrow it, together with all forces who want a better future for themselves, for their countries and for this planet.

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