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International Meeting of the Communist and Workers' Parties

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Soviet cogitations: 830
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Jan 2008, 19:10
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 01 Dec 2009, 03:26
Delhi Declaration
http://11imcwp.in/content/participants

This 11th International Meeting of the Communist and Workers' Parties, held in New Delhi, 20-22 November 2009 to discuss on “The international capitalist crisis, the workers’ and peoples’ struggle, the alternatives and the role of the communist and working class movement”:

* reiterates that the current global recession is a systemic crisis of capitalism demonstrating its historic limits and the need for its revolutionary overthrow. It demonstrates the sharpening of the main contradiction of capitalism between its social nature of production and individual capitalist appropriation. The political representatives of Capital try to conceal this unresolvable contradiction between capital and labour that lies at the heart of the crisis. This crisis intensifies rivalries between imperialist powers who along with the international institutions-the IMF World Bank WTO and others- are implementing their 'solutions' which essentially aim to intensify capitalist exploitation. Military and political 'solutions' are aggressively pursued globally by imperialism. The NATO is promoting a new aggressive strategy. The political systems are becoming more reactionary curtailing democratic and civil liberties, trade union rights etc. This crisis is further deepening the structural corruption under capitalism which is being institutionalised.
* reaffirms that the current crisis, probably the most acute and all encompassing since the Great Depression of 1929, has left no field untouched. Hundreds of thousands of factories are closed. Agrarian and rural economies are under distress intensifying misery and poverty of millions of cultivators and farm workers globally. Millions of people are left jobless and homeless. Unemployment is growing to unprecedented levels and is officially expected to breach the 50 million mark. Inequalities are increasing across the globe – the rich are getting richer and the poor, poorer. More than one billion people, that is one-sixth of humanity go hungry. Youth, women and immigrants are the first victims.


True to their class nature, the response of the respective capitalist governments to overcome this crisis fails to address these basic concerns. All the neo-liberal votaries and social democratic managers of capitalism, who had so far decried the State are now utilising the state for rescuing them, thus underlining a basic fact that the capitalist state has always defended and enlarged avenues for super profits. While the costs of the rescue packages and bailouts are at public expense, the benefits accrue to few. The bailout packages announced, are addressed first to rescue and then enlarge profit making avenues. Banks and financial corporates are now back in business and making profits. Growing unemployment and the depression of real wages is the burden for the working people as against the gift of huge bailout packages for the corporations.

* realises that this crisis is no aberration based on the greed of a few or lack of effective regulatory mechanisms. Profit maximisation, the raison d' etre of capitalism, has sharply widened economic inequalities both between countries and within countries in these decades of 'globalisation'. The natural consequence was a decline in the purchasing power of the vast majority of world population. The present crisis is thus a systemic crisis. This once again vindicates the Marxist analysis that the capitalist system is inherently crisis ridden. Capital, in its quest for profits, traverses boundaries and tramples upon anything and everything. In the process it intensifies exploitation of the working class and other strata of working people, imposing greater hardships. Capitalism in fact requires to maintain a reserve army of labour. The liberation from such capitalist barbarity can come only with the establishment of the real alternative, socialism. This requires the strengthening of anti-imperialist and anti-monopoly struggles. Our struggle for an alternative is thus a struggle against the capitalist system. Our struggle for an alternative is for a system where there is no exploitation of people by people and nation by nation. It is a struggle for another world, a just world, a socialist world.

* conscious of the fact that the dominant imperialist powers would seek their way out of the crisis by putting greater burdens on the working people, by seeking to penetrate and dominate the markets of countries with medium and lower level of capitalist development, commonly called developing countries. This they are trying to achieve firstly, through the WTO Doha round of trade talks, which reflect the unequal economic agreements at the expense of the peoples of these countries particularly with reference to agricultural standards and Non Agricultural Market Access (NAMA).


Secondly, capitalism, which in the first place is responsible for the destruction of the environment, is trying to transfer the entire burden of safeguarding the planet from climate change, which in the first place they had caused, onto the shoulders of the working class and working people. Capitalism's proposal for restructuring in the name of climate change has little relation to the protection of the environment. Corporate inspired 'Green development' and 'green economy' are sought to be used to impose new state monopoly regulations which support profit maximisation and impose new hardships on the people. Profit maximisation under capitalism is thus not compatible with environmental protection and peoples' rights.

* notes that the only way out of this capitalist crisis for the working class and the common people is to intensify struggles against the rule of capital. It is the experience of the working class that when it mobilises its strength and resists these attempts it can be successful in protecting its rights. Industry sit-ins, factory occupations and such militant working class actions have forced the ruling classes to consider the demands of the workers. Latin America, the current theatre of popular mobilisations and working class actions, has shown how rights can be protected and won through struggle. In these times of crisis, once again the working class is seething with discontent. Many countries have witnessed and are witnessing huge working class actions, demanding amelioration. These working class actions need to be further strengthened by mobilising the vast mass of suffering people, not just for immediate alleviation but for a long-term solution to their plight.


Imperialism, buoyed by the demise of the Soviet Union and the periods of boom preceding this crisis had carried out unprecedented attacks on the rights of the working class and the people. This has been accompanied by frenzied anti-communist propaganda not only in individual countries but at global and inter-state forums (EU, OSCE, Council of Europe). However much they may try, the achievements and contributions of socialism in defining the contours of modern civilisation remain inerasable. Faced with these relentless attacks, our struggles thus far had been mainly, defensive struggles, struggles to protect the rights that we had won earlier. Today's conjuncture warrants the launch of an offensive, not just to protect our rights but win new rights. Not for winning few rights but for dismantling the entire capitalist edifice – for an onslaught on the rule of capital, for a political alternative – socialism.

* resolves that under these conditions, the communist and workers parties shall actively work to rally and mobilise the widest possible sections of the popular forces in the struggle for full time stable employment, exclusively public and free for all health, education and social welfare, against gender inequality and racism, and for the protection of the rights of all sections of the working people including the youth, women, migrant workers and those from ethnic and national minorities.
* calls upon the communist and workers parties to undertake this task in their respective countries and launch broad struggles for the rights of the people and against the capitalist system. Though the capitalist system is inherently crisis ridden, it does not collapse automatically. The absence of a communist-led counterattack, engenders the danger of rise of reactionary forces. The ruling classes launch an all out attack to prevent the growth of the communists and the workers' parties to protect their status quo. Social democracy continues to spread illusions about the real character of capitalism, advancing slogans such as 'humanisation of capitalism', 'regulation', 'global governance' etc. These in fact support the strategy of capital by denying class struggle and buttressing the pursuit of anti-popular policies. No amount of reform can eliminate exploitation under capitalism. Capitalism has to be overthrown. This requires the intensification of ideological and political working class led popular struggles. All sorts of theories like 'there is no alternative' to imperialist globalisation are propagated. Countering them, our response is 'socialism is the alternative'.


We, the communist and workers' parties coming from all parts of the globe and representing the interests of the working class and all other toiling sections of society (the vast majority of global population) underlining the irreplaceable role of the communist parties call upon the people to join us in strengthening the struggles to declare that socialism is the only real alternative for the future of humankind and that the future is ours.
Kamran Heiss
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 830
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Jan 2008, 19:10
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 01 Dec 2009, 03:30
Presentation -- CPUSA





Intervention of Scott Marshall, Communist Party USA






Dear comrades, it's great to be here in Delhi at this important gathering of communist and workers parties and to see all of you face-to-face. We want to express our deepest appreciation for the organizers of this conference and especially to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India for hosting this important meeting. I am pleased to bring you the warmest greetings of our party's national committee and leadership.


In this terrible time of global economic crisis it is most timely that we seek ways to expand and broaden our slogan "workers and oppressed peoples of the world unite." While our slogan has been around for many generations, today it has more meaning than ever. Today global economic integration has reached new incredible levels. Today global finance capital roams the world pillaging and profiteering on a scale unimaginable in Marx's day.







First let me say a few words about how the crisis is affecting working people in the United States. Just this month the percentage of workers in our country who are long-term unemployed has reached levels not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. In the beginning stages of this crisis we were losing 700,000 jobs or more a month. Today, when some mainstream economists are declaring the recession over, when obscene banking profits are on the rise again, when the stock market is rising again, when finance capital is returning to its unregulated predatory ways with a vengeance, we are still losing around 200,000 jobs a month.

Among young people in the US the unemployed figures are staggering. In the age group of 16 to 24 only about 45% have jobs. And that number is much worse for African-American, Latino and other racially and nationally oppressed youth. Racism in the US takes an even more terrible toll in this kind of an economic crisis. In the communities of the racially and nationally oppressed the crisis strikes with a particular violence and vengeance.

At the same time, experts who follow the housing markets, say that 2010 will see a whole new rash of home foreclosures with workers and their families being evicted and thrown into the streets. 40 million people are without health care and every month that number rises because in the US many people get their health care through their employer. In what is supposed to be the richest country in the world, because so much of the world's finance capital is centered there, hundreds of thousands of children go to school hungry every day. In many hard hit working class communities, the schools and medical clinics are crumbling and closing. The streets and bridges, the sewage and water systems, the basic infrastructures are neglected and decaying. And vital public services at all levels of government are being cut back and stopped.

The list of capitalism's failures in this crisis is very long. And of course we know that the crisis hits many in the developing world much harder than it hits the developed countries.

There are always two sides to the class struggle. Two major events are now turning the tide of working class struggle in a more militant and fighting direction in my country. The first is the rise of the movement that defeated the ultra-right Republican Party in the 2008 election and elected Barack Obama. That same movement also defeated many ultra-right members of the U.S. Congress. I know that internationally there are some mixed feelings about the role of president Barack Obama. Let me be clear, he is not a communist, he is not a socialist, and on some issues he is quite a moderate liberal. At the same time, after eight years of George Bush, the worst warmongering president and administration in US history, the election of Barack Obama opens a whole new terrain of struggle for the working class in the US and in the world. And after 30 years of vicious neoliberal attack on the US labor movement, on the working class and on the People's movements in the US, the election of Barack Obama opens the door for a whole new fight for economic justice, peace and equality.

Barack Obama, as I said, is no revolutionary – it’s true. But he doesn’t have to be a revolutionary to do some pretty important things to support labor and the working class. I won’t go into a whole domestic list but it is significant for those of us who work for a living in the US. He did inspire a movement and mobilize the democratic (small “d”) forces to defeat Bush and the ultra right. And, more importantly for our meeting here – he has taken some steps to curb some of the worst features of the international policies that he inherited from the previous administration. As on the domestic scene, in international affairs it will be the mobilization of the peoples forces and labor that will be decisive in shifting US policy even more – the left and the people’s forces had very little affect on the Bush administration – we can help move the Obama administration in a better direction.

The movement that elected Obama was, and continues to be, a broad coalition of social forces including even some sectors of capital. But at its heart is what we like to call the core social forces, the working class and its organized sector the labor movement, the racially and nationally oppressed, women, youth, and the gay rights movement.

The other major event that is helping to turn the tide was the September 2009 convention of the AFL-CIO, the largest labor federation in our country. I believe history will record that convention as a major turning point for our working class. This convention was the culmination of changes and developments that began in the mid-1990s. The AFL-CIO convention in 1995 was a major break with some of the worst features of class collaboration and the Cold War that began with the anti-Communist witchhunts of the early 1950s. In the mid ‘90’s the labor movement began to develop a more class struggle approach. After the '95 convention US labor began to develop its own independent political apparatus. It became more militant in the economic struggle. It increasingly began to see the global nature of capitalism. Further it even began to understand that the labor movement had to be more than just the defender of its own members, it had to become the voice and movement of the whole working class.

The 2009 Convention of the AFL-CIO, which I attended, deepened these trends and was remarkable in many ways. It elected a new leadership, more militant and more rooted in the fighting industrial union traditions of my country. Richard Trumka the new president comes out of the militant traditions of the mine workers union. On the day after his election at the convention he went straight to Wall Street and blasted the banking and insurance industries for causing the economic crisis both at home and abroad. He called for strong new regulatory steps to curb their reckless speculation and for breaking up those banks deemed “too big to fail.” The federation has vigorously pursued a “break up the big banks” policy and mobilized it’s member unions to fight for sharp new limits on finance capital. In another first for our labor movement the convention also elected two women, one African-American, to the other two top leadership positions of the AFL-CIO.

There are way too many examples of labor’s new policies for me to list now but I would like to mention one that I think is important to our international movement and illustrates a new direction and new possibilities for international labor solidarity. I have with me a letter, well publicized in the labor press in the US from Richard Trumka to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In it he says that the AFL-CIO believes that the coup government in Honduras to be totally illegitimate. The letter says the coup’s repression of the trade unions and democratic movements in Honduras make it impossible for there to be free and fair elections this November. And the letter strongly calls on the US State Department to stop all aid to Honduras until the coup is overturned and President Zelaya is returned to power. The letter also says that the position of the AFL-CIO was taken in consultation with the Honduran labor unions.

This is but one dramatic example of the new thinking in US labor on international questions. US labor also strongly opposes the wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. (And I should mention here that labor has unprecedented access to President Obama and can be a significant voice in helping to move him.) These are examples of US labor breaking with the US State Department and US imperialism on international issues for the first time since the cold war began after WWII. We think this opens a whole new world of possibility for rebuilding and strengthening world labor and working class solidarity. And we think that Communist and Workers parties have a critical role to play in helping to take advantage of the new possibilities. It is really time for labor, on all sides of the old cold war political divide to reconsider and rethink labor unity.

Comrades, in our opinion the global economic crisis continues unabated. According to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund the world nation’s produce somewhere in the neighborhood of $65 trillion in goods and services each year. At the same time, according to the International Bank of Settlements, over $515 trillion is speculated in derivatives, credit default swaps and similar forms of exotic finance schemes. Think of it – such incredible imbalance. It’s staggering – think of the stolen surplus value represented in this deadest of all parasitic finance capital. Think of the problems of the world’s people that could be solved with that kind of money.

We think it is also important to look at the splits in capital in this period. In the US there is growing evidence of splits between manufacturing capital and banking capital. This is not just splits between big and small business and may open up serious lines of attack for regulating and reigning in some of the most predatory practices of speculative finance capital around the world.

We have much to discuss and think about. But I would like to end with a paraphrase of something Fredrick Engels once said, “an ounce of actions is worth a pound of theory,” something to that effect. We are most interested in how our parties can play a concrete role in helping to bring about real organized struggle along the lines of “workers of the world unite.” This needs to begin with what we can do to help unite and broaden the global labor movement. Marx and Engels did not say, “Workers of the World – unite to share information.” It was clear that they meant workers of the world unite for struggle. How can we make that a reality in today’s real world. What are our first concrete steps. We hope our meeting and deliberations can move us closer to making it happen.

Thank you comrades for your kind attention.
Kamran Heiss
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