The gains of the October Revolution in the struggle for peace and the tasks of communists
International Seminar of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia
The gains of the October Revolution in the struggle for peace and the tasks of communists
31st May – 1st June 2017, Prague, Czech Republic
Speech by Yiorgos Koukoumas, member of the C.C. of AKEL
First of all, I would like to convey the congratulations of AKEL to the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia for taking the initiative to organize this meeting and, at the same time, to express our thanks for this invitation.
Militarism and chauvinism – the precursors of imperialist wars
This year in reviewing the October Revolution’s gains and legacy over 100 years, we cannot but tackle the issue of imperialist war, given that, according to Lenin, World War I was the “great forebear” of the revolution. The First World War, but also the entire historical experience throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, confirms that capitalism-imperialism, like the previous exploitative social systems, bring and will always carry with them the seed of unbridled competitions for profit that will find a way out through waging wars and bloodshed. It also confirms that the precursors of imperialist war are militarism, which also reproduces the war industry’s profits, and chauvinism which conceals the real – class – contradictions and the true interests behind wars and warmongering in the minds of the peoples.
The gains and legacy of the October Revolution and Leninism underline the long-standing principle: Communists defend their homeland with their very blood against imperialist interventions, but at the same time refuse to kill or be killed for thee profits of monopolies, even if these are hidden behind slogans about “national interest” in their own country.
The explosive inter-capitalist contradictions are threatening global security
Although the parallels between different historical periods pose the danger of oversimplification, the current international conditions present similar characteristics: the dramatic exacerbations of energy and geopolitical confrontations, the intense militarization of the planet and international relations, the resurgence of old and new hotbeds of military tension. The capitalist crisis, with the relative decline in the G7 countries share of the global GDP, goes hand in hand with a gradual shift of capital, trade and industrial production from the West to the developing countries.
It is in this economic environment that an upsurge in the military-political and economic aggression of the Euro-Atlantic bloc US-NATO-EU is being noted, which seeks to defend their hegemony, targeting principally Russia and the PR of China. It is this strategy that is undermining the world’s security and intensifying the danger of even a generalized war conflict breaking out.
- In the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean, the blood of the peoples of Syria, Yemen and Palestine is being shed headed by the three regional policemen of Western imperialism, namely Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia. It should be stressed that the militarization of the Eastern Mediterranean has reached unprecedented levels in recent years. The arms trade between the West, the Middle East and the Gulf Monarchies is of crucial importance.
Furthermore, key sections of the NATO machine are situated in our region. NATO has deployed a naval patrol operation for 15 years, while it is now also controlling the Aegean on the pretext of managing the flow of refugees. In this part of our region two military-political programs are in operation, two satellites of NATO, the “Mediterranean Dialogue” and the “Istanbul Cooperation Initiative”.
On the part of the EU, the Maritime Dimension of the Common Security and Defense Policy is unashamedly promoting the militarization of the seas, focusing particularly on the Eastern Mediterranean.
- In the South China Sea, the United States is strengthening its military presence, inciting differences and encouraging the militarization of Japan.
- In Latin America, the economic-political destabilization of governments that are not subordinate to and in line with American interests is underway.
- In our continent, Europe, the EU-NATO economic-political penetration into Eastern Europe is dominant – a strategy that also provoked the pro-Western coup d’état in Ukraine and the continuing bloodshed that subsequently followed – while at the same time NATO-led forces are gathering on the borders with Russia.
The European scene is complemented by the dramatic militarization of the EU, the EU’s declared “shift in investment” towards the war/arms industry, the development of EU military structures, the NATO-EU coupling and synergy, but also by the fact that huge nuclear arsenals are maintained and deployed on European soil.
The confrontations expressed either within the EU or within NATO, with the recent NATO summit a characteristic example, do not reflect any positive trends or hints of any less aggressive and dangerous policies. On the contrary, they demonstrate that, no matter how the capitalist world develops, its contradictions and deadlocks are unbridgeable. The imperialists of the world are monolithically united when they are about to impose their plans on the peoples, but they also clash and slaughter each other when they are going to share profits and markets.
Under these conditions, AKEL considers that the international communist movement has a double duty to fulfill. Firstly, to reveal the class roots of imperialist wars, the undisputed truth that capitalism generates wars and to point out that the ultimate solution lies in a qualitatively more advanced socio-economic system. Secondly, it is to work to rally and unite broader sociopolitical forces in the mass anti-imperialist peace movement, that is to say, forces that either do not identify with our own outlook and views about war or have not yet been convinced of them.
Joint action with anti-imperialist and anti-war goals
Despite the differences that exist within the international communist movement itself, AKEL believes that there are specific areas of action where joint actions can and must be achieved by the Communist Parties, but also the rallying of broader anti-imperialist and progressive forces at an international level.
Such joint actions include the following:
- The struggle against the nuclear threat, and more specifically as far as our region is concerned the struggle to declare the Middle East and the Mediterranean in general a Zone Free of Weapons of Mass Destruction
- Actions against NATO’s existence
- Resistance to the militarization of the EU and military arming
- Solidarity with struggling peoples for the just resolution of pending national issues such as the Cyprus problem, the Palestinian issue, the issue of Western Sahara according to and on the basis of International Law and the Charter of the United Nations.
A particular duty of the Communist Parties is to be at the forefront of the activities of the anti-war peace-loving movement and the world peace movement, more specifically within the ranks of the World Peace Council in order to continuously strengthen its broad, mass-political and anti-imperialist character.
Capitalism generates wars
At the same time, as has already been mentioned, the Communist and Workers Parties, the international communist movement have an irreplaceable role to play; a role stemming from their ideology and historical mission.
Communists are the ones who, with the strength of their ideology, can reveal to the peoples the real class interests behind wars, interventions and imperialist plans.
Communists can analyze and disclose to the peoples what really lies behind the realignments taking place in international affairs, the new transnational and regional alliances, phenomena such as the centrifugal tendencies within the capitalist unions and the separatist tendencies within states.
Communists are the ones who, both in theory and in practice, can consciously fight for peace, which is not just the absence of war, but the absence of the causes of war.
The dawn of a society and world we envision, namely socialism, is what will eradicate the causes of wars: that is to say, the drive for profit, nationalism-chauvinism, militarism, and so on.
Undoubtedly, the struggle against imperialism and war is connected with the struggle for socialism, not however in a one-dimensional and dogmatic way, but through the form and process determined by the national and historical conditions of each country, by the international and local balance of forces, by the goals and strategy which each Communist and Workers Party itself sets out and which is responsible to its own people.
The liberation-reunification of Cyprus is a precondition in the struggle for socialism
It is in taking into account these given facts and conditions that our Party, AKEL, has defined its strategy.
Our homeland, Cyprus, is one of the most militarized parts of the world that is subject to: the foreign Turkish occupation and colonization of the occupied territories, the division through the force of arms of its people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and foreign dependencies. At the same time it is being confronted with Turkey’s aggression which is threatening even with a “hot military episode” in the coming months aiming at preventing the Republic of Cyprus from exercising its sovereign rights within its Exclusive Economic Zone.
Based on this reasoning, AKEL has set as its primary strategic goal the struggle for the liberation of our homeland from the 42-year old Turkish occupation, ridding Cyprus from foreign dependencies and any rights of intervention, combating any thoughts of attaching Cyprus to NATO or to its branches. Furthermore, the reunification of our homeland and people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, through the transformation of our state into a federal state, and following that, the full demilitarization of Cyprus with the dissolution of the British bases from our island’s territory.
Such a development will represent a victory for our people and at the same time create preconditions so that the Cypriot people, united, will struggle for their just cause and rights, for the socialist future of our country. Such a development would also represent a contribution to the cause of peace throughout the neighborhood of the turbulent and blood-stained Eastern Mediterranean.
This year’s 100th anniversary of the October Revolution reminds us that the dissolution of the Soviet Union and socialist community, apart from all the other negative consequences it brought, also dealt a huge blow to the struggle of the peoples for independence and freedom. Peoples like the Cypriot people have lost a great and consistent ally, that rendered unprecedented diplomatic, political, moral and financial support to their struggle. The presence of the Soviet Union and the other socialist states in international relations remains irreplaceable and their absence is felt bitterly every day also in the struggle Cyprus is waging – like so many other peoples of the world – which is now being conducted in the negative conditions of the imperialist “new order”.
With these thoughts, I once again express our gratitude for the invitation and the unshakable faith of the communists of Cyprus in the socialist future of humanity, which is the only real alternative in the face of the danger of the devastation of war.
We honor the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution by continuing the struggle for peace, social equality and socialism.
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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