Our concept for socialism
- THEORETICAL & HISTORICAL APPROACH
- OUR CONCEPT OF SOCIALISM WITHIN THE REALITIES OF CYPRUS
- CAPITALISM OF CYPRUS AS A HISTORICALLY DEVELOPED ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL REALITY
- DRIVING FORCES- MEANS AND METHODS OF SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION
- THE NATIONAL PROBLEM. NATIONAL COMMUNITIES
- THE ECONOMIC BASIS
- DEMOCRATIC PLANNING
- THE SOCIAL SUPERSTRUCTURE
- SOCIALISM AND ECOLOGY
- THE POSITION OF CYPRUS IN THE MODERN WORLD
Mankind is marching into the 21st century along a road that is both difficult and full of contradictions.
In our march into the year 2000 we are witnesses to radical changes throughout the world, in all fields of life:: Changes in the economic, political and social fields. Changes in the means of production, in our natural environment and in man’s conscience. Especially dramatic are the changes in those countries where historically “real socialism” has been recorded. Beyond the contradiction between peace and war, beyond the contradiction between the two social systems and between capital and labor, new contradictions have emerged such as that between man and the world that surrounds him, between the developed and the developing world as well as that between the poor two thirds and the rich one third.
These changes unavoidably lead to burning questions: What is the place of socialism in the world and what is its future? These questions are inseparably tied to the relevant questions, “What is our view of socialism?” The multi-faceted nature of socialist development is both unavoidable and understandable in view of the multi-faceted nature of life and of the peculiarities of every country and people and also in view of the intricate character of this course, the product of the thought and action of millions of people.
Having in mind the above as well as the peculiarities of Cypriot reality we will put forward our own concept of socialism without neglecting even for a moment the present phase of our political problem and the foremost need to secure a permanent just and lasting solution of the Cyprus problem.
In formulating our own concept of socialism we can’t forget the realities of the world. That is, that socialism and capitalism do not exist in a vacuum but constitute the two component parts of one world.
In addition, we can’t ignore the fact that socialism should, on the one hand, embody the best that humanity has created so far and will create in the future while, on the other hand, it offers a new dimension, a new quality of life at the center of which is man himself.
Before we proceed to formulate our own concept of socialism, we stress that except for certain basic principles the rest of the ideas put forward are liable to enrichment and changes on the basis of the experience and their theoretical elaboration to be gained on the way.
Putting forward our own concept of socialism we consider it necessary to examine the theoretical and historical foundation of the socialist idea. We can do this by giving our own appreciation for the ideological roots of socialism, the historical position of capitalism and socialism as they appeared in their application in practice and the complexity and contradictory nature of the modern world.
THEORETICAL & HISTORICAL APPROACH
a. Marxism and world civilization.
The appearance and development of Marxism was not an accidental historical event but an objective historical law. Marxism appeared as a result of the development of the capitalist social system and the creation of its social classes, the appearance on the historical scene of the working class, the great inventions in the field of science about the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries and the development of the social and humanistic sciences.
Marxism appeared as a direct continuation of the teaching of the greatest thinkers in the fields of philosophy, political science and utopian socialism. Marxism doesn’t constitute simply a combination of existing theories but a qualitatively new phase in human thought which is not a dogma given once and for all, but a theory which develops in a creative way. The most important phase in its development was Leninism.
Marxism as a theory helps in analyzing and understanding social development, while as a method it is a weapon in the hands of the working people in their daily economic and political struggle, in the struggle to change the unjust sys tem of exploitation and build a new society.
b) Social Democracy.
Social Democracy as part of the working people’s movement has got within its ranks multi-faceted trends ranging from consistent supporters of the socialist ideal to mere instruments of capitalist economy.
We appreciate the contribution of social democracy to the development of values and the dissemination of the ideas of socialism. We appreciate its contribution to social reforms which, in turn, contributed to the improvement of the well- being and social protection of the working people in certain capitalist countries.
It’s within this spirit that we are studying the rich and many-sided, through inconsistent, experience offered by social democracy and trying to make use of what is positive, both in daily practice as well as in formulating our own concept of a socialist society.
In spite of the fact that social democracy in power has not led to a qualitatively new phase of social development, because it has not led to the liberation of the working people from exploitation, we see in the face of social democracy allies in the struggle for peace and disarmament, the protection of the environment, social progress and the pas sage to socialism.
c) The Leninist concept.
Both social democracy and the entire knowledge and practice of the working class movement in general as well as the world progressive movement in a wider sense form the basis for us to think and draw experiences. Undoubtedly Leninism, which constitutes a qualitative phase of great and an enrichment of Marxism, is of sovereign importance. A critical study of the Leninist concept of socialism together with a parallel study of the falsifications and distortions of the Leninist concept constitute an essential part of the theoretical and historical approach as well as of the questions we are called upon to answer.
The Leninist concept of socialism constitutes the most important source of modern dialectical thought for socialism. The main elements of this concept are the following:
- 1. Strategy and tactics of social change.
- 2. Power of the working people.
- 3. The leading role of the party of the working people through the political leadership which is won on the basis of the daily struggles in support of the working people.
- 4. The planning of the national economy within the framework of the laws of planned development and full utilization of the law of value and market within the framework of socialism.
- 5. The application of the fundamental principle of socialism concerning distribution on the basis of a correct estimate of the value of labor offered.
- 6. Diversity of social, i.e. socialist ownership.
- 7. Recognition of cooperative societies as a form of socialist production.
- 8. An active participation of the citizens in the administration and the working people in the running of affairs.
- 9. Existence and functioning of a state machinery which, how ever, should not be turned into a power for its own sake.
- 10. A correct solution of the national problem.
- 11. A steady expansion of democracy with complete democratization of society.
- 12. A just socialist state with a consistent foreign policy in favor of peace and the rights of all the peoples.
- 13. Utilization of human power on the basis of meritocracy.
With the passing of time, especially under Stalin, many of the points listed above were replaced by positions which distorted and defaced this concept. The main distortions of the Leninist and scientific concept in general can and must be studied and analyses so that they many be avoided in the future. The most significant distortions were the following:
- 1. The socialization of the means of production was associated with state ownership while other forms were rejected or underestimated.
- 2. The expansion of democracy was replaced by the autocracy and infallibility of the leader and the leader ship.
- 3. The utilization of planned economy with a parallel use of the law of value and the economic methods of business administration in general were replaced by autocratic behavior and bureaucratic methods of administration which led to unbalanced development and situations of crisis.
- 4. The lack of democratic procedures and self control in the political, social and economic life gradually brought about the alienation of the people from political power, the means and administration of production and the distribution of material and cultural values.
- 5. The huge difficulties created by the enemies through the economic blockade and the existing objective difficulties forced the socialist state to isolate itself and offered good excuse for this action. This tendency was due to subjective shortcomings and weakness in both the theoretical and practical approach of the problems.
- 6. The association of the party with the state and the prevalence of the one party system as a model of government.
- 7. Dogmatism in various fields of life.
- 8. The alienation of the leadership from the party grass- roots the working class and the people.
- 9. The association of the interests of the bureaucratic machinery with the interests of the party, the working class and the people in general.
- 10. The distortion of the principle of democratic central ism to the point that it was turned into a bureaucratic system.
- 11. The wrong interpretation of internationalism led to
a) A mechanistic copy of model and ideas
b) Lack of sufficient communication among the communist parties.
c) A split of the world socialist system and the world communist and revolutionary movement.
d) The weakening of the power of the communists for united action against the attacks of international imperialism.
- 12. A delay in the creative development of Marxist thought and leveling tendencies in dealing with
These distortions influenced, to a larger or lesser degree, all the communist parties and led to the present phenomena of crisis in the international communist movement.
THE MODERN WORLD AND ITS CONTRADICTIONS
As it has been stressed from the beginning our position can not be divorced from the realities of today. For this reason we should analyze these realities in all their complexities.
The modern world is multi-faceted, complex, dynamic, full of antagonistic tendencies and contradictions. At the same time, however, it is interdependent and united. We have unity in diversity. It is exactly this interdependence and unity of the world that give a new meaning and classification to modern contradictions.
The main contradiction is that between the possibility to save mankind and the danger of its extermination. The solution of this problem demands common action of the whole of mankind.
Another basic contradiction of our times continues to be that between socialism and capitalism,between capital and labor. Because the solution is bound to take a long time it is necessary for the two opposite souci-economic systems to co- exist in a spirit of peaceful cooperation and competition.
In our days the contradictions among the capitalist countries of the world, especially among the capitalist countries of the world, especially among the imperialist centers, continue to exist.
The inequality between the developed capitalist countries on the one hand and the “third world” on the other, is especially serious and this makes their contradictions more acute.
The contradictions between the countries of the “third world” themselves have been and continue to be a serious threat to world peace and stability.
All these contradictions, the interdependence and the complexity of the world, are accentuated by the huge progress of the Scientific and Technological Revolution (S.T.R.) which gives a wider dimension to the global problems faced by the world.
Under these circumstances the re-examination, the re- definition and the restructuring of inter-state relations on the basis of political and economic equality constitute an immediate necessity.
It is for this reason that in our days revolutionary reconstruction (perestroika) constitutes a new phase in the for ward movement of mankind.
It is with the modern and critical spirit of the new thinking that we are examining the historical position of both capitalism and socialism.
Modern capitalism constitutes a special phase in the development of this social system and today it poses as an overdrive loped system of state-monopolistic capitalism. Modern capitalism is the system which has so far been able, even in contradiction and to the detriment of other countries, mainly in the developed countries, to adapt itself to new situations.
The process of the adaptation of capitalism is a new phenomenon in the history of this socio-economic system. Historically readaptation became a characteristic of modern capitalism after the Great October Socialist Revolution and the great economic depression of 1929-33. The new characters tic of capitalism is its ability to do away with its old-fashioned forms while it preserves capitalist society in life.
The reasons for the existence of this phenomenon are (a) its own weaknesses and the appearance of the new social system, socialism, which exerted pressure on capitalism and enhanced the struggles of the working people. (b) The struggles of the working class for between living and working conditions and the improvement of its standard of living. (c)The use of the successes of the S.T.R. for an incredible development of the productive forces,. (d) The new role of the capitalist state. (e) The international capitalist organization and trusts, etc.
In spite of its ability to adapt itself capitalism is today faced with a deadlock in its efforts to overcome its contradictions. The social and other deadlocks, old and new, are such that it cannot deal with them. In spite of this the capitalist world has not relinquished the ideology and policy of world sovereignty.
Bourgeois economists and theoreticians supported and still support that capitalism is the only system that offers a high standard of living and freedoms. They forget that capitalism doesn’t exist only in the developed capitalist countries but in the developing countries as well where the majority of the people live under conditions of misery. They forget that in this society there exist not only rich men and businessmen but unemployed, houseless, starving and illiterate people, too, who are created by the system. A product of modern capitalist society is the phenomenon that one third of the population constitutes the most deprived part of society. This phenomenon is witnessed mainly in the developed capitalist countries. As a result, class contradictions and class struggle have not disappeared in the developed capitalist countries.
Furthermore, the fact that the social system in the capitalist countries preserves discrimination among the people and deprives large masses of its citizens of basic human rights is deliberately overlooked.
It is also necessary to underling the fact that the exploitation of the third world, which has been gone on for many decades, has been a basic factor in the development of capitalism.
It is obvious that capitalism has not overcome the crisis which characterize it and cannot offer an outlet to the dead locks facing the man of our times.
Naturally this truth would have become universally obvious if socialism, in its first attempt in practice had made use of the real potentialities of the system. Unfortunately this failed to happen.
Today it is absolutely necessary for us to study in a critical way the particular way in which the application of socialism was attempted.
The Great October Socialist Revolution was a historical event of universal and diachronic significance because it inaugurated a new era in the history of mankind. It inaugurated the era of man’s advance into the socialist society. With the October Revolution the noble ideals of socialism for a society of free people free from every kind of exploitation and suppression began to be realized.
The social and other successes of the working people in the socialist countries influenced the class struggle of the working people in the capitalist countries. During the Second World War the contribution of the Soviet Union to the defeat of Nazism was decisive. In the years after the war military confrontation on a wider scale were avoided mainly thanks to the peaceful policy of the socialist countries. The movement for national liberation relied on the help and support of the socialist world in its titanic struggle against colonialism and neo-colonialism.
The achievements and successes of socialism in all spheres of life as well as its contribution to world progress and peace cannot be ignored or, more importantly, neglected.
In spite of this socialism did not succeed in developing the tremendous potentialities which it possesses. The reality established in the countries of the so-called real-socialism does not correspond to the aims of the socialist revolutions. In addition to objective difficulties this is due mainly to the way in which the construction of socialism developed, to the particular model which was developed in the Soviet Union and which prevailed in all the socialist countries.
After Lenin’s death and especially during the years when Stalinism prevailed, the course followed and the decisions made concerning both theory and practice led to distortions of the Leninist concept of socialism. The particular administrative model of socialism based on rule by decree gradually led to crisis and bankruptcy. This resulted in the historical need for a revolutionary renovation of socialism. The revolutionary reconstruction of socialism is attempted by perestroika which was initiated by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Perestroika aims at the restoration of the Leninist concept and the humanistic content of socialism and puts an end to distortions, dogmatism and beaurocracy. It condemns the crimes committed in the name of socialism and attempts to find solutions to contemporary problems through an open mind. The respect of human values, democracy and openness lies at the root of the renovation of socialism.
The antagonistic contradictions in the contemporary united and interdependent world underline the importance of and the need for internationalism and anti-imperialist solidarity. Internationalism and anti-imperialist solidarity constitute a significant weapon in the hands of the forces of peace and progress, in their struggle against those who yearn for a return to the cold and lethal war and world supremacy and who have not ceased to make their appearance and to act within the circles of imperialism.
These forces follow a reactionary policy expressed through the suppression of liberation movements, through neocolonialism, racialism and neofascism and through the intensified exploitation of the working people in the countries of advanced. capitalism. Having the objective picture of the contemporary world in mind we express our objection to the voices which doubt the need for internationalism and anti- imperialist solidarity. What is needed is not the abolition of internationalism and anti-imperialist solidarity but the enrichment and expansion of their content and of the forces and forms through which they are expressed.
Faithful to the principles of international solidarity and non-intervention, AKEL actively supports the unity of action of the working class, the anti-imperialist forces, the forces of peace progress and socialism locally and internationally.
AKEL will continue to cultivate among its members and the working people in general the spirit of internationalism and international solidarity with all the peoples who are fighting against every form of political, social and national suppression, against imperialism, colonialism, neocolonialism and racialism.
OUR CONCEPT OF SOCIALISM WITHIN THE REALITIES OF CYPRUS
CAPITALISM OF CYPRUS AS A HISTORICALLY DEVELOPED ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL REALITY
Until recently Cyprus was an underdeveloped rural country. With its declaration into an independent state Cyprus inherited a relatively backward and underdeveloped economy.
The economic and social progress in the three decades which followed independence, especially during the last fifteen years, is characterized by significant quantitative and qualitative changes which may be summed up in the following:
We had high rates of development which led to the expansion and modernization of the material and technical basis of the economy.
The various fields of the economy were modernized, new branches made their appearance and the achievements of the S.T.R. became an inseparable part of the productive method. This led to an increase in the productivity of labor. Indus try won the first place in material production while the field of services is in first place with regards to employment and its share in the Gross National Product. At the same time the part played by our country in the international division of labor was strengthened. The capitalist enterprises expanded their size and activity, so the monopolistic capital exists alongside of the small crafts and the middle enterprises. Finally the labor force was upgraded and adapted itself to the demands of production while, at the same time, the standard of living of the people rose signify cantly.
On the basis of these changes Cyprus can be considered to be a country with an average capitalist development.
With the development of capitalism in Cyprus its contradictions were accentuated as well. The distribution and redistribution of income has become relatively even more unfair and the gap among incomes has become even wider. To a large extent the economy depends on foreign loans. Unplanned development clashes with the physical environment on the one hand while on the other, in addition to a number of problems concerning the structure of the economy, it creates social problems as well. Unemployment among the younger university graduates and the abandonment of the countryside form chronic and unsolved problems.
At the same time the standard of living has improved, though this has not been given by the bourgeois class as a present. The improvement in the standard of living is primarily due to the hard class struggles of the working people under the guidance of their class organizations headed by the Party of the Working People, AKEL.
THE CLASS STRUCTURE OF CYPRIOT SOCIETY
A definite class structure has been formed in Cyprus as a result of the development of capitalism.
A correct evaluation of the real potentialities of the working class movement and the correct determination of goals and duties depend largely on the ability to shape an objective concept of the social and class structure of the country.
The numerical increase of waged and salaried employees is evidence of the changes which have occurred. This increases the special weight of the working class for the whole population. In Cyprus the wage and salary earners have shown an ascending tendency through the years and in 1985 they formed about 70% of the profitably employed population.(PEP).
The Working Class.
The working class is numerically the largest class in Cyprus. It includes wage and salary earners who don’t own the means of production and provide their labor force to earn a living. It also includes wage and salary earners who, on the basis of their income, position and role in production, belong to the middle class or the bourgeois class. In 1985 the Working Class formed about 56% to 57% of the profitably employed population.
The Bourgeois Class.
It is not a homogeneous class. It is divided into the lower, the middle and the monopolistic Bourgeois Class. The majority of capitalist enterprises range from small to average. The big businesses however enjoy the biggest share in the distribution of profits. In Cyprus the Bourgeois Class forms about 5% to 6% of the profitably employed population.
They present a steadily declining trend and their percentage of the profitably employed population is about 13%. Most of them are poor or middle class farmers.
The Middle Class.
It consists of self employed tradesmen of all kinds and wage or salary earners who play an important role in production and receive higher wages. They don’t form a homogeneous class; many belong to the class while some belong to the bourgeois class. They form about 20% to 30% of the profitably employed population.
They constitute a social strata. The intellectuals belong to all classes; the bourgeois, the working class and the middle class. There is tendency for salaried intellectual work with a parallel passing of the intelligentsia into the working class. In Cyprus they form about 10% to 13% of the profitably employed population.
The analysis of the development of capitalism in Cyprus as well that of the class structure of society are basic elements of the realities of life in our country. This picture is supplemented by an analysis of the progressive traditions of our people.
The progressive traditions and generally the historical heritage of our people are sources of example and inspiration. Relying on the achievements of the struggles of the people and using the experience of the past constructively we march steadily towards the future.
The building of the new socialist society can be realized if we rely on our history and the high spirited traditions of our people which reflect the historical phases of the struggle for the liberation of the people and for the improvement of the working and living conditions of the working people. Patriotism, which is in full association with internationalism, and the sacrifices for the continuous progressive path of our people have been and still are the main characteristics of the fighting spirit and liveliness of our popular movement.
The continuation and enrichment of the traditions which spring from the struggles against colonial rule remain our basic target for the liberation of Cyprus, for unity of action against the occupation, foreign interventions and fascism, for the promotion of friendship and cooperation between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, for the defense of the rights of the working people and for the consolidation of democracy and legality.
DRIVING FORCES- MEANS AND METHODS OF SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION
In Cyprus, like anywhere else, the composition of the driving forces as well as the form of their political alliance will be decided by the particular conditions, the character and the nature of the social and political procedure for the establishment of socialism.
The struggle for socialism will rely on securing a political majority among the people expressed through the daily struggle for the promotion of the rights of the broader strata of the people and through continuous enlightenment. The securing a political majority will be achieved through the cooperation and alliance of all those political forces which, to a larger or a lesser extent, will be interested in the realization of social transformation.
Objectively the vast majority of the people-workers, employees, peasants, self employed tradesmen, middle class people, intellectuals, the lay clergymen- are interested in social justice and equality, each one of them naturally having the promotion of his own interests as a starting point. In building socialist society we will therefore have to go through a number of transitional stages each of which will solve a number of concrete problems. At every transitional stage definite social and political alliances will develop according to the targets to be achieved.
The Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities as well as the Armenians, Latin’s and Maronites constitute the components of the driving forces from the point of view of ethnic origin. This is another reason which makes a just solution of the national problem necessary. A just solution is a prerequisite for both social transformation and the building of socialism.
THE NATIONAL PROBLEM. NATIONAL COMMUNITIES
Socialism has all the power to solve the national problem without any attempts to wipe out artificially the national differences and peculiarities.
Under conditions of colonial rule Lenin put forward the radical principle of the right of nations to self-determination. Decolonization is now in its final stages while Lenin’s fore cast that with the development of society the advantages of the larger states will become all the more obvious has also been confirmed. The objective trends for integration do not comply with “ethnic” states and lead to the development of multi-racial states where ethnic groups and peoples preserve their specific character successfully through various forms of autonomy. Human rights acquire primary importance and their violation in the name of national rights is considered to be an anachronism.
The Cyprus problem is primarily one of foreign interventions, invasion and occupation which form the source of the problems in the relations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
The solution of the Cyprus problem has first place and takes precedence over the struggle for socialist transformation. The people of Cyprus as a whole has already decided about the manner of its self determination as to the international aspect which is the preservation of an independent, sovereign and territorially integral state. As far as the internal aspect of self determination is concerned the conversion of the Republic of Cyprus into a federal state in accordance with the wishes of the people of Cyprus constitutes a correct basis for the solution of the problem.
The victory and building of socialism within the particular conditions of Cyprus is a cause which concerns both communities.
The socialist future of the two communities is not in accordance with gnosis, secession or double gnosis. It is inter woven with a united Cyprus.
The socialist federal state must be based on strict respect of human rights and freedoms as well as the rights of the two communities within the framework of their political equality. In the socialist state we will aim at creating such conditions that secessionist policies will be looked upon by the people of Cyprus as an anachronism and where solutions to pending problems will be sought for in the relations of the two communities.
THE ECONOMIC BASIS
Undoubtedly the main elements in the building of any society are the economic basis, the relations of production, the mechanism of management and administration. Thus it is necessary for us to examine the essence of the relations of production, i.e. ownership and its forms.
OWNERSHIP UNDER SOCIALISM
Ownership and its forms constitute a central and fundamental element of the concept of socialism. Ownership forms the basis on which social relations, legal and other institutions, in general everything that Marxism defined as super structure, are built. Social ownership (state, communal, municipal, cooperative) of the means of production constitutes the most fundamental characteristic of the socialist system. In contrast to capitalism, where the most essential means of production belong to a relatively small group of people, under socialism the working people are the rightful owners of the riches of society.
Social ownership of the means of production creates the conditions for the extinction of economic exploitation so that production may be placed at the service of society as a chole.
The phenomenon of the alienation of the workers from the means of production and the product of their labor shows that what is necessary is the safeguarding of the socialization of ownership in practice and self management with the participation of the working people.
The identification of state ownership with social ownership led to the same phenomenon especially when, under conditions of centralized administration and management, state ownership came to be considered as the only form of social ownership.
The mistaken concept of ownership under socialism was expressed in life with the absence or very limited presence of other forms of ownership, the application of violent methods of compulsion, with forceful joining into of cooperatives etc. with very painful consequences on the economy.
Today diversity of ownership under socialism is generally accepted. According to our, as well as the general, concept the following are accepted as basic forms of ownership under socialism.
Universal, cooperative, private and personal forms of owner ship. In turn these forms can be divided into other forms as follows: Universal ownership can be divided into state, municipal, communal ownership. Cooperative ownership may adopt the role of the cooperative system which is accepted in Cyprus, as a progressive form in the sphere of rural economy production, marketing and consumption. Private ownership may take the form of the means of production and other equipment.
Naturally we can add combinations of the above-mentioned forms, i.e. mixed forms of ownership.
In the special conditions of Cyprus within this framework the sector of free trades, crafts etc., will be preserved and assisted.
On the basis of these forms of ownership it is right that a corresponding mechanism for the administration and management of the economy should be set up.
The planning of the economy and social progress on the one hand and the existence and smooth running of a free market within the framework of socialism on the other hand constitute fundamental elements of this mechanism.
Democratic planning of the economy in a socialist society must combine the good qualities of the administration of the national economy as well as those of local and individual initiative.
Within this framework the power of centralization doesn’t lie in the number of problems the center deals with but in the content of the problems. It lies in the quality of the problems it deals with and the possibilities of their solution. Under the authority of the center must be included only problems which cannot be solved at a lower level. Such problems can be the following:
1. The development of an economic strategy.
2. The definition of goals and priorities in the development of a national economy.
3. The definition of basic balances in the national economy.
4. The definition and application of a common scientific and technical policy for the structuring of the economy and investments.
The influence of the center on the lower levels must not be secured through administrative, beaurocratic methods but through economic methods and means.
Central planning must depend on the combination of, and take into consideration, the various interests through the elaboration of scientifically proved economic and social targets with a parallel project of measure which will secure the implementation of the targets and define the efficiency of the measures with respect to the various interests.
Diversity of forms of ownership under socialism constitutes a basic prerequisite of a successful planning of economic and social development.
The representatives of the people and the working people themselves participate in the democratic planning.
The market within the framework of socialism.
The functioning of the market within the framework of social ism, is a condition for the development of a socialist society. Consequently smooth functioning of the market within the framework of socialism constitutes a must and it is necessary to establish the necessary conditions to secure it.
The economic system of a combinuously renovated socialism which will combine planning and a free market must secure the dialectical unity of the following:
- 1. The maximum quantitative and qualitative development of production according to the targets set.
- 2. The differentiation of reward on the basis of the work offered and its relation to its final result.
- 3. The release of extra labor force from one field or sector of the economy and its diversion to fields where it is necessary under conditions of full and productive employment.
- 4. The consolidation and development of the co-operative system as a fundamental form of production and consumption.
- 5. The productive and profitable utilization of the state and public sector of the economy.
The aim of the above is to combine the improvement and modernization of the methods of planned development with the strengthening of the market within the framework of socialism which will secure a balance of the economy and at the same time add to its flexibility.
The full exploitation of the results of the Scientific and Technological Revolution and their adoption in the process of production and the broad participation of the working people in the administration and control of business constitute essential prerequisites for the achievement of the above.
The corresponding social superstructure is built on the given economic basis. Among other things, essential elements such as the functioning of a multi-party political system, open ness, a just state, a legal system, individual liberties, social justice etc., must find their place in this super structure.
THE SOCIAL SUPERSTRUCTURE
a) SOCIALIST DEMOCRACY AND THE MULTI-PARTY SYSTEM
AKEL believes that the sovereign will of the people is the only source of power. The just socialist state we are aiming at is opposed to the dictatorship of any class.
Even under socialism the interests of the various sections of the people will be diverse and different and this makes the free functioning of various movements, unions or parties necessary. The necessity for the existence of parties is also shown by the process of political and ideological change taking place in the world.
Furthermore the separation of powers offers the necessary balance to the administration of the state as well as a guarantee for the existence of controls and the avoidance of the usurpation of power. But the separation of powers is impossible without the free functioning of Parties. In their turn the parties are the main form of individual involvement in political process without the existence of parties the participation of the citizens in the affairs of the socialist state and society will face difficulties and this will lead to alienation and decadence. AKEL doesn’t claim the monopoly of power for itself. It accepts the democratic interchange of power as well as any changes in the constitution or the regime provided they are the product of the sovereign will of the people as expressed through genuine democratic processes.
The application of openness in all aspects of life constitutes one of the essential target during the period leading to socialism as well as under the democratic socialist state we are looking forward to.
The prevailing of conditions of openness in the activities of the parties, the government, public organizations and the mass media and the exercise of criticism and self-criticism are strong factors which will inspire the people to fight for socialism and the progress of the country.
The development of openness is not only an essential condition for the expression of the democratic and humanistic essence of the socialist system. Its application among the people and the involvement of the citizens in public affairs and the affairs of the state constitute an effective guarantee against any attempt to distort socialism. Openness secures the control of all the activities of the state, the government and all the socialist institutions by the whole of the people. The effectiveness of this control, is impossible without the guaranteed freedom of the press and the mass media.
Openness forms a necessary condition for the socialist self- government of the people, the exercise of constitutional rights, the freedoms and the duties of the citizens and a means for the accumulation and comparison of the various interests and opinions. We aim at the safeguarding of the right of the people to be kept informed about the constitution as well as in the enactment of special lows which will define the rights and duties of the state, the government officials and the citizens so that the principle of openness may be effectively promoted. For our Party democracy and openness go hand in hand and one cannot exist without the other. Openness forms the natural climate for the life and progress of democratic humane socialism.
c) THE SOCIALIST STATE OF THE RULE OF LAW. THE LEGAL SYSTEM. THE FREEDOMS OF THE INDIVIDUAL
The idea of the rule of law has a universal character because the ideas of the superiority of justice, the protection of human rights and liberties, freedom and democracy are them selves universal.
At the same time the interpretation and application of the idea of the rule of law differ according to class interests, national traditions and the level of culture.
Socialism can create such economic, social and political conditions that the creation of the rule of law will be closely associated with democratization in all spheres of life, with the application of real sovereignty of the people. Our concept of the rule of law is not simply that of the supremacy of the law in all spheres of social life. The con tent of the law itself is of decisive significance. The character of the socialist rule of law is determined to a large extent by the socialist concept of social justice which is based on the principle: “From everyone according to his abilities, to everyone according to his work”.
The socialist state of the rule of law constitutes an institution, any violation of which leads to a disastrous result.
Within the framework of the socialist rule of law our aim is to construct a legal system which will guarantee individual liberties and the democratic rights of the people, equality before the law, equal political rights and a just administration.
This legal system will consist of a number of institutions, laws and regulations which aim at the strengthening and consolidation of law and order in all the spheres of social life. The role of the independent legal power, which will not be answerable to any other power expect the laws and the constitution, is essential in securing the laws and the exercise of control over their application and the awarding of justice.
All citizens of the state, without discrimination, will feel its care; its authorities and their instruments will secure for all the citizens full security and the certainty that no law bracer will be able to get away with it. Freedom of conscience and respect for the religious convictions of all the citizens of Cyprus will be guaranteed by the constitution. We aim at a dialogue and cooperation with the church authorities.
The care for the safeguarding of the basic freedoms and rights of the citizens, not only political but social and economic as well, has a special place in the legal system which will be put forward within the framework of socialism. These rights and freedoms are guaranteed and expressed in the Constitution, in the laws embodied in international conventions and special laws of the state enacted for this purpose.
Socialist society will safeguard in practice everybody’s right to equal opportunities to education. Education will aim at the creation of free personalities, responsible citizens educated in the traditions of universal values, democracy, peace, freedom and social justice. Through education the younger generation will absorb the achievements of world civilization. Academic freedoms will be respected and protected. The structure and curricula of the educational systems at all levels will be organized with the participation of those directly concerned.
The socialist society will pay special attention to cultural affairs. The multiplicity of ideas and consequently multiplicity of expression constitute the essential prerequisites without which the forward course of civilization is impossible.
d) SOCIAL JUSTICE UNDER SOCIALISM
The achievement of prosperity and free all-round development of all the members of society constitutes a basic principle of socialist social policy. Especially in the sphere of securing social justice the humanitarian nature of the socialist system and the qualitative difference between socialism and capitalism become obvious. Socialist social justice has the following basic characteristics:
1. Equality between all the members of society irrespective o social or ethnic origin.
2. Participation of all citizens in the production of the social, material and cultural product and its fair distribution according to everybody’s labor contribution.
3. Opportunity for citizens to participate actively in the social and economic life of the country.
4. Observance and protection of the rights and freedoms of the individual together with a high level of social grants and guarantees.
Socialist social justice includes the rational development of the provinces and the realization of justice in the relations between town and village in practice. Development in Cyprus has been and still is unbalanced. The aim and duty of the new society is to develop a comprehensive policy of regional development which will create all the prerequisites for a many-sided social, political and cultural life in both the towns and the villages.
Social grants and social guarantees for all the citizens occupy a significant place in the system of socialist social justice.
AKEL, relying on the people’s past successes will struggle unceasingly for the improvement and expansion of social grants and guarantees so that they may be in accordance with social and economic development in general. Under socialism the gains of the working people and the people as a whole will not only be preserved and protected but they will be further and decisively improved.
The women, the children and the pensioners as well as anybody suffering from any kind of physical or mental disables, will receive special attention with guaranteed social rights and safeguards in a socialist society.
For any economic base and the corresponding superstructure to function, it is absolutely essential to have a correct relation between man and the world which surrounds him. Without a living physical environment it is impossible for man and human society to live and function. It is for this reason that the tackling of ecological problems constitutes a vital component of our concept of socialism.
SOCIALISM AND ECOLOGY
Ecological problems influence the life of modern man to a very large extent. The scientific and technological revolution which has offered modern man so many positive things has also created and accumulated a series of problems which, if not faced decisively and radically, will lead our country and our planet in general to unpleasant adventures.
Under socialism the solution of all these problems is a matter of primary importance. The overcoming of these problems is attempted through the reform and improvement of the special legislation and the necessary supervision which secures the application of this legislation and through the existence and continuous improvement of a comprehensive program for the protection and management of the environment. It is further attempted through a continuous efforts for the development of an environmental consciousness and through continuous efforts for the improvement of working conditions and through the struggle for the protection and preservation of peace.
The main directions we will have at the center of our attention will be that of a balanced town planning development, that of a continuous upgrading of the home and work environment, that of the protection of nature, wild life, the atmosphere, water and the earth and that of the continuous limitation of noise pollution.
Our aim through the environmental policy is to create a human environment.
THE POSITION OF CYPRUS IN THE MODERN WORLD
Everything we have put forward so far comprises our proposal about our concept for socialism within the framework of Cypriot society. Beyond this it is necessary for us to explain our stand on the position of Cyprus in the modern world of which, our country, forms a part.
a) OUR POSITION ON THE WORLD DIVISION OF LABOR
The position of Cyprus in the international division of labor is determined by factors such as our participation in international trade, the movement of capital and the movement of human labor from and to our country. We are firmly opposed to the isolation of our country. On the contrary, we support the participation of Cyprus in the European and world processes towards integration.
Within this framework Cyprus must develop a policy of sincere and comprehensive cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual interest with all the countries and all the economies. A policy which will secure that Cyprus is not converted into a servant or a dependent of certain countries and monopolies. This position means support for the efforts to create a united Europe and build a Common European Home. We don’t agree, however, that the predominance of capitalism in all the European states is a precondition for a united Europe. In our opinion the Common European Home can have under its roof capitalist, socialist, non-aligned and neutral states. The Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe constitutes a basic means for the realization of European unity.
b) FOREIGN POLICY
The socialist state of the rule of law cannot but subordinate its foreign political activity to international law.
The most important characteristics of our times, which will remain with us in the foreseeable future as well, are the failure to solve a series of universal problems which constitute a danger to human civilization, the interdependence of the world and the coexistence of different socio-economic systems with their differences. In these circumstances we can no longer talk of development under conditions of isolation. No state and no coalition can secure its security by itself or develop smoothly outside the process for universal integration.
Our abilities to contribute towards the solution of universal problems, prove the superiority of our socialist system and at the same time absorb the best that experience of the other system has to offer, will develop through the influence of the one system on the other. The solution of global problems is impossible without a sys tem of collective military, economic and ecological security. The United Nations Organization has to play a unique part in this direction because it is universal from the point of view of member states and also from the point of view of the activities it embraces. Within such a system there is no room for an ideological basis in inter-state relations or for looking upon peaceful Co-Existence as a form of class struggle. Priority is given to concrete universal values. These values exist and cannot be interpreted arbitrarily or as one chooses. Such a value is the freedom to choose a social or political system which springs from the increasing diversity of social development. Any intervention in the internal affairs of other countries would have negative consequences on the establishment of a peaceful order.
Still, man, his interest, his rights and freedoms, constitute the highest value. In the light of present-day realities no progress is possible if made at the expense of human rights and freedoms.
The above don’t mean that we are abandoning our ideology and the principle of internationalism. Nor do we urge anybody to abandon his own principles. They mean, however, that we will act in inter-state relations according to international law and not according to our ideological interests. This leads to detente and the strengthening of the part played by ideology in social life. Faithful to the principles of international solidarity and non-intervention we offer our support to the international forces of progress, peace and socialism.
Inescapably foreign policy is also influenced by geographical factors. An objective analysis of the strategic and geographical position of Cyprus at the crossroads of three continents will have its influence on the determination of its role in the international system and will affect the aims and goals of our foreign policy- a policy of non-aligned friendship based on mutual benefit, and cooperation.
We have put forward our own concept of socialism. Our aim was not to outline an ideal model to which Cypriot society will have to adjust. After all, the path towards a socialist society and the building of socialism will be primarily the result of social development itself with the conscious intervention of the progressive socialist forces. We have given certain guiding lines of our own concept of socialism which, as we have stressed from the beginning of this document, is liable to changes and enrichment on the basis of the experiences of life and the development of theoretical thought. At the same time we have given in brief a picture of the world and its contradictions, the position of capitalism and socialism in the world and the course of evolution and objective reality as it has developed in our country.
The sum up what we have said, and especially taking into account our own Cypriot peculiarities, we can say that our concept of socialism is characterized by the following:
a) Further improvement of the people’s standard of living by preserving and expanding all the gains and rights of the working people.
b) Utilization of everything positive we have inherited from social evolution.
c) A common consideration of, and respect for, the interests of the wage and salary earners, the self-employed, the free tradesmen, the lower middle class and the peas ants.
d) Absolute respect and utilization of all the facts, traditions, civilization and realities as they have evolved in Cyprus in the process of history.
e) Securing of equality between Greek and Turkish Cypriots and of all the rights of all Cypriots.
f) Insuring a multi-party system and plurality of opinions in society.
g) Recognition of the rights of the opposition, respect for different opinions.
h) Securing of socialist legality and the activities of all political and social factors within the framework of competition.
i) The transition to socialism will be achieved with democratic, peaceful means on the basis of winning the majority of the people.
Relying on the analysis of the theory and practice of the two systems we declare without reservation that, yes, socialism does have a future, that the future of mankind lies in socialism. Socialism which is based on the theory of Marxism- Leninism, which was founded on the best that mankind has created, socialism which has been enriched during the whole of the twentieth century, both in theory and practice both positive and negative. Socialism free from distortions and falsifications in both theory and practice.
We are fighting for socialism where the center of interest and the measurable criterion of values is man. Socialism which liberates man from exploitation and repression and secures for him what Engels called “the kingdom of freedom”. Man’s freedom is the idea of socialism itself.
3-7 October 1990.
Intervention of Georgos Koukoumas, member of the C.C. of AKEL and the International Relations Department, at the Hearing “Palestine: What’s Next?” organized by GUE/NGL2015-07-1
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