In this year of the 20th anniversary of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations, its plenary session, held in Turkey, took on a special significance. The big meeting organized by the EMEP Party of Turkey, on Sunday, November 30, was the highlight of the activities that took place all this year around the Conference and its journal, “Unity and Struggle.” Events took place in Latin America, especially in Ecuador, where our sister party is a founding member of the Conference and which hosted the first meeting in Quito. In several countries, the parties organized the distribution of the issue of the journal dedicated to this anniversary. In Istanbul, several thousand people participated with revolutionary enthusiasm in the meeting organized in a large hall, under the sign of the Conference and internationalism.
A conference in tune with the revolutionary processes
“Twenty years ago, there were 14 of our Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations who met in Ecuador, and now the Conference has 24 members.” This quantitative strengthening, emphasized at the conclusion by the Coordinating Committee, is the result of a great political, ideological and organizational work to defend and propagate Marxism-Leninism, to gain new forces in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe.
The Conference has been strengthened by new members who bring their experience of the revolutionary struggle, their work to organize and lead the working class and popular masses. This is especially the case for the organizations from India and Pakistan, which are participating in a session for the first time. They expanded our field of knowledge about the reality of the struggle of the working class in these countries and the important ideological struggle they are waging against Maoist and revisionist currents, which have a real presence in their countries. These comrades stressed the contribution provided by the journal Unity and Struggle, which they translate and distribute.
In this session, we also had the possibility of discussing the direct experience of several parties involved in the fight to lead the revolutionary process, especially that of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Volta and that of the comrades of the Tunisian Workers’ Party, which in the last parliamentary and presidential elections focused on the needs and proposals of the revolutionary pole.
We also emphasize the contributions of the Party of Labour of Turkey (EMEP), which is waging the fight in a country and region where the aggressions of the imperialist powers are concentrated and where the resistance of the peoples is developing against these wars and against the reactionary forces, such as the Islamic State and other groups trying to impose their reactionary views and practices. As the final resolution of the Conference stated: “organizations such as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, which are developing in this context, are instruments of the international bourgeoisie and imperialism. Imperialism and finance capital support reaction, especially ones that advocate medieval ‘values'."
We must also recognize the contributions of the Latin American parties fighting in countries whose governments, in the eyes of much of public opinion, pass for being revolutionary, that claim to be “socialist.” This is particularly the case in Ecuador, where our sister party and the revolutionary organizations are the target of attacks by the government of Correa. This ranges from the illegalization of parties such as the MPD [Democratic Popular Movement] and unions that it does not control. “The workers' and trade union movement have been leading the restructuring of the workers' and popular movement," organizing the resistance and struggles of the workers, who see that billions in public money are going into the great works, “so that the profits of the banks rates reach 27%!" while at the same time, poverty is increasing, even though the government is paying $50 a month to two million people.
“Our Conference will make a leap in the coming years”
The Conference closed with this perspective. It is based on the quantitative and qualitative strengthening, in connection with the deepening of the crisis of the imperialist capitalist system and the rise of workers’ and popular resistance that are taking place everywhere, obviously with different breadth and depth.
Our party was acknowledged in the evaluation by a comrade member of the Coordinating Committee, that “there is not a revolutionary situation on the world scale, but there are weak links in the imperialist chain. One of them is Burkina Faso and we are fortunate to have a Marxist-Leninist party in that country. There are other regions where there are weak links where we do not exist. We must ask ourselves this question: how can we intervene in these processes?”
This obviously requires the work of each party and organization to strengthen itself in its own country. But the Conference has shown that its progress, as an organized force, united on the principles of Marxism- Leninism and proletarian internationalism, is helpful in the work of entrenching the parties in the reality of the class struggle, nationally and internationally. To develop together the work of solidarity with the revolutionary processes in which the Marxist-Leninist parties are fighting to the end, is to aid these parties and peoples. This aids each and all of us in the fight against this system of exploitation, oppression, poverty and wars, for the revolution and socialism.
La Forge, December 2014
Statement of the Plenary of the ICMLPO
The Plenary session of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations (ICMLPO) to mark its 20th anniversary, met in Turkey to discuss important issues of the international situation, of political work, of the question of the Popular Front, and of the orientation for activity with working and communist women in their respective countries.
The meeting emphasized the commitment to continue the struggle against capitalism, imperialism and the international bourgeoisie, and adopted decisions on the current situation of the class struggle in the world and the tasks of the working class.
The plenary of the ICMLPO denounces all forms of injustice, reduction and freezing of wages, the policy of the imperialist monopolies and their governments, the accumulation of capital on the basis of imposing more taxes and raising the prices of goods and services, policies that are provoking rebellion and struggles of the working class and the peoples.
The defenders of the capitalist-imperialist system launched the idea that a democratic and prosperous world, without crises and wars, was possible. They claimed that capitalism was the only way to achieve the objectives and aspirations of the peoples. However, undisputable facts show, once again, that capitalism cannot provide any better future for the working class, the workers and the peoples.
The productive forces, industrial production and services are developing constantly. The development of these productive forces can no longer be contained within the framework of the capitalist relations of production. At present, the level of the contradiction between socialized production and capitalist appropriation of the means of production surpasses all previous times in history. Finance capital, which imposes parasitism and corruption that generate super-profits in the capitalist metropolises has developed and spread to the farthest corners of the world.
Outsourcing and fragmentation of the time and place of the labor processes and flexible working hours have become general. However, they have imposed disorganization, low wages, primitive conditions of work, unemployment and layoffs that are increasing; capitalist exploitation is growing. The intensification of exploitation and the profits of monopoly capital, the worsening of working and living conditions, are the main factor of the contradiction between labor and capital.
The development of capitalism means poverty alongside wealth and increased inequality in distribution. Impoverishment and misery are spreading. Even in the developed capitalist countries of Europe, the number of homeless families is increasing, begging is spreading and the search for food thrown away in garbage cans is becoming usual. Hunger has spread to other places, beyond the regions of endemic drought and famine in Africa.
As a consequence of capitalism the deterioration and exploitation of the environment is becoming so serious that it cannot be ignored: soil erosion, water and air pollution, the destruction of nature by the unbridled pursuit of profit, has reached high levels, has caused major climate changes that threaten the future of human beings and other living species.
The inter-imperialist contradictions and competition are leading to a renewal of economic and commercial alliances which constitute a new offensive against the living standards of the workers and peoples. Agreements such as the Asia-Pacific bloc, the BRICS under the leadership of China and Russia, the Free Trade Agreement between the United States and the European Union, are part of the effort of the imperialists and bourgeois governments to seek new areas of influence for their capital and to further exploit the working class and increase the oppression of the peoples.
The capitalist crisis that broke out in 2008, which began in the US, affected all countries. It destroyed productive forces. The imperialist and capitalist countries through their governments initiated a policy of corporate bailout using billions of dollars and euros for this purpose. These funds were taken from the public treasury, from the workers and peoples through taxes; they led to a reduction in wages, to unemployment and cuts to social security among other measures. Thus the bourgeoisie has shown once again its hostile and contemptuous attitude to the working classes. In various countries, more than 10 million workers were made unemployed; their salaries were reduced to as little as one third; their retirement age was increased; their pensions were drastically decreased.
All this shows that capitalism lacks a humane conscience. While the centralization of capital increases, the full weight of the crisis lies on the workers and oppressed peoples, with very severe results, particularly in unemployment, among the women and youth.
The economies of the US and some European countries, where a process of relative recovery and revival began in 2009, have failed to maintain this; now signs of a new crisis are arising. The debts incurred by the States to carry out the bailouts of corporations in 2008 represent a heavy burden on the economies of the capitalist countries. Except for China, all the countries are in debt.
Currently, one sees a decline in growth rates and also signs of recession. Moreover, the economies of several countries are showing a negative growth.
The figures for unemployment and poverty are alarming. According to data of the International Labor Organization, there are 202 million unemployed worldwide. Poverty rates for 2013 show that there are 1,000 million people whose daily income is less than $1 while 2,800 million people have daily incomes of less than $2.
There are 448 million malnourished children; each day 30,000 children die from lack of treatment for curable diseases.
Emigration has reached unprecedented levels. Hoping to reach the developed countries, to achieve a better life, a job to earn a living, millions of people emigrate from the dependent countries, where there is poverty caused by imperialist plunder and where regional wars persist.
A large number of these people (including women and children) die before they get where they wanted to go. Those who do make it become victims of discrimination, racist and xenophobic attacks, of the most precarious conditions of work with the lowest wages.
The contradictions among the imperialists are sharpening and inter-imperialist contention is growing.
The claims of those who advocate “globalization,” based on manipulating the development of the trend towards integration of the world economy, say that “the old imperialism no longer exists,” that “the analysis of imperialism is obsolete, surpassed.” All this is nothing but propaganda of the imperialists themselves.
The hegemony of finance capital, whose networks continue to expand worldwide, financial speculation for the purpose of the monopoly looting, including the maximum advantage of state resources, are real and its existence needs no proof.
On the one hand, the number of millionaires is increasing daily, as are the profits of the monopolies and investment banks. On the other hand, the working masses and workers are growing constantly, but their working conditions are worsening and their poverty is deepening. These are also facts that do not need proof.
The regional wars and imperialist interventions are continuing; the contradictions and struggle for hegemony among the imperialist states are sharpening. One cannot say that the reactionary bourgeois and imperialist states only act outside their country, only through expansion, without recognizing the consolidation of the “home front”; the expansion of imperialism is also carried out through the exploitation of the working class in their own countries.
After the defeat of the workers’ movement and the demise of socialism, the world has become a place for bourgeois political relations, a completely reactionary world.
The norms of the so-called “welfare state” were considered unnecessary and rapidly “neoliberal” political measures were applied. The bourgeoisie, with its triumph over and disorganization of the workers’ movement, is carrying out an increasingly reactionary offensive in all countries.
Bourgeois democracy, whose duplicity and formal nature is undisputable on the issue of equality and freedom, has become even more reactionary with the “neoliberal process.”
Reaction is attacking all ideological, political, cultural, moral and legal spheres. The growth of conservatism together with medieval “values” is the defining feature of current development. Organizations such as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, which have become strengthened under these circumstances, have become useful tools of the international bourgeoisie and imperialism.
Imperialism and financial capital support this reaction, particularly in its medieval form, and are making it into the fundamental basis of their hegemony. Even the capitalist countries where bourgeois democracy is relatively advanced are showing fascist trends and a police state. In recent times, there have been the lessons learned by events in Ukraine, which highlight the limits of bourgeois democracy.
In Ukraine, a center of conflicts between the imperialist powers, the developed capitalist countries that were considered the “cradle of advanced democracy” have no qualms about openly supporting neo-Nazi and fascist forces.
The struggle of the workers and peoples is the other side of the coin.
The anger and discontent, accumulated due to the cruelty of the socioeconomic offensive of monopoly reaction, has provoked popular uprisings and mass struggles. The last years are filled with examples of popular movements that emerged in response to the offensive of reaction, of the international bourgeoisie and imperialism.
These popular demonstrations, strikes and massive protests, the uprisings and rebellions, although they have not yet managed to undermine the reaction of the bourgeoisie, show the prospects for development in the near future.
In the Middle East, divided by artificial borders by imperialism and its allies, which do not recognize the right of self-determination of the peoples, the “status” formulated one hundred years ago is disintegrating.
Syria, a country that has lost its territorial integrity, is seeking its future with the end of the civil war. Clearly, Iraq, a country that has never become firmly organized and integrated, influenced by the Syrian civil war, cannot continue as it has until today. The future of this country will be determined by the struggle of the Iraqi people of all faiths and nationalities, who have been dragged into conflicts and sectoral and ethnic divisions.
The future of Egypt is linked to the outcome of the struggle between the people and national and international reaction.
The Kurdish people have taken important steps to determine their own future, establishing democratic mandates in three cantons; joining with the nations of Rojava (Western Kurdistan).
The struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination and to organize themselves as a state is continuing despite the Israeli Zionist offensive.
Strikes and protests in Spain, South Africa, Portugal, Belgium, Italy and France, have emerged as new and dynamic subjects of the struggle.
In Tunisia, the struggle for rights and freedoms is growing and the Popular Front is being strengthened.
The people of Burkina Faso are carrying out a revolutionary struggle to take their future into their own hands, defeating one dictatorship after another.
In the Arab countries of the Middle East and North Africa, the peoples are fighting against religious reaction and the governments allied to imperialism.
In Turkey, the resistance of Gezi in June, in Taksim; in Brazil the protests against rising fares; in Chile the student demonstrations have increased the confidence of young people in themselves; they are demanding democracy and freedom.
The struggles that emerged in Latin America, particularly in Mexico, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic, are being strengthened.
In the popular resistance and mobilizations that are taking place in these countries, the mass participation and attitude of resistance of the workers stands out. This also shows concretely the determining role of women in the advance of the struggle of the working class and peoples.
Clearly these demonstrations, resistance and strikes are a source of hope in the struggle of the working class and peoples. However, the massive mobilizations of the workers and peoples also have the weakness of the lack of organization and consciousness, and on the vanguard level the participation of the working class as an independent class.
In recent years the popular demonstrations show that we have not yet overcome the disorganization caused by the defeat suffered by the working class.
Our immediate and concrete task is to change this situation. The disorganized demonstrations cannot have a definitive success without a revolutionary program with independent demands, although they may achieve some advances over bourgeois reaction.
On this issue the responsibility belongs to our parties and our organizations. To increase our numbers among the workers and laboring people; to recognize the immediate democratic and economic demands and link the fight to the victory of the revolution and socialism; this is the only way. The objective conditions for socialism are more mature than ever; however, these demand in an unquestionable way the unity and organization of the working class and laboring people.
Today, just as yesterday, the revolution necessitates strategic alliances. Class alliances built in action, that correspond to the practical political needs of the struggle, in various forms. The working class, the labouring and oppressed peoples, are advancing in their struggle to repel the attacks by building partial and temporary alliances. What is fundamental is to build these alliances around programs of struggle that include concrete and immediate demands of the working class and oppressed peoples. The present task of achieving unity, alliances, of building Popular Fronts, is inevitable, as were the united fronts against fascism in the past.
This is especially important in order to increase the political and ideological power of the working class and of our parties, and to create and develop popular organizations that advance the wheel of history.
There are countries in which the ideologues and spokespersons of the opportunist and revisionist parties and organizations invent “new” ideas and proclamations every day and try to distort the class struggle.
In Brazil, the social democratic government, in Spain Podemos [We Can], in Greece the “left” of Syriza, etc. are current examples. On the other hand, the “progressive” governments are becoming worn out, they are losing ground and prestige in Latin America.
Once again events show that reformism and liberalism have nothing to give the working class and the peoples.
Another mystification is the supposed progressive nature of Russian and Chinese imperialism as opposed to United States imperialism and its Western partners; this falls under its own weight, since their confrontations correspond to the preservation and expansion of their own interests. This is nothing more than embellishing bourgeois reaction and imperialist capitalism.
The present events confirm that the class struggle is the motive force of history, that the working class is the fundamental force and the vanguard of the revolution and socialism.
That is why we call on the workers and peoples of all countries, on the youths, the progressive scientists and intellectuals of the world to unite and raise higher the fight against the international bourgeoisie, reaction and imperialism.
In this process, the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations will assume all its responsibilities and fulfill its necessary tasks.
ICMLPO, Turkey, November, 2014.
Communist Party of Benin
Revolutionary Communist Party – Brazil
Revolutionary Communist Party of Volta (Burkina Faso)
Communist Party of Colombia (Marxist-Leninist)
Workers’ Communist Party of Denmark
Communist Party of Labour of the Dominican Republic
Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador
Communist Party of the Workers of France
Organization for the Construction of the Communist Workers’ Party of Germany
Movement for the Reorganization of the KKE (1918-1955) of Greece
Revolutionary Democracy Organization of India
Party of Labour of Iran (Toufan)
Communist Platform of Italy
Communist Party of Mexico (Marxist-Leninist)
Democratic Way of Morocco
Workers Front of Pakistan
Peruvian Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist)
Communist Party of Spain (Marxist-Leninist)
Workers’ Party of Tunisia
Party of Labour of Turkey
Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Venezuela