Politsturm has existed for a long time. So, it became necessary for us to establish a clear and specific program, which can show our views on many problems of the modern communist movement.
- General Points
Politsturm is an independent communist information resource which covers events from the Marxist-Leninist point of view.
We have decided to keep our distance from the existing “communist” parties and organizations because we consider none of them to be the vanguard of the working class and represent its interests to the full extent.
Basing on the fact, we believe that our current tasks are:
- Development of Marxist ideas. We need to adapt the ideas of Marxism to contemporary realities.
- Popularization of the Marxist-Leninist ideas among workers. Communists’ main objective is to awake working people to class-consciousness.
- Analysis of the experience of the socialist countries, solving controversial historical problems of the communist movement, dispelling anti-Soviet myths. The Soviet Union became a pioneer in the creation and consolidation of the proletarian state. It is necessary to analyze all mistakes and failures that occurred along the way and led to the defeat of socialism. At the same time we need to dispel anti-Soviet and anti-communist myths spread by opponents of Marxism-Leninism.
- Development of Politsturm to the level of a major international resource connecting communists from different countries. Global capital has united in the fight against the working class. The oligarchs who pit one nation against another are actual shareholders of the same transnational corporations. Communists’ work cannot be restricted to a single state. The global unity of capitalists must be opposed by the international workers’ solidarity.
- Marxists’ training.
- Our theoretical platform is Marxism-Leninism. We do not support any specific biases, trends and directions.
- The only modern class capable of changing the world is still the proletariat, that is the class of employees who are deprived of means of production, sell their labor power and produce surplus value.
- Marxists’ aim is the transition to communism. It is a society where there is no exploitation of man by man and where conditions for all-round human development are created. The transition shall be implemented by the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the conversion of means of production to the workers’ ownership.
- We struggle against all types of reformism as a tactic corresponding to the interests of the bourgeoisie. Participation in bourgeois parliamentary work is possible only for outreach, under favorable historical conditions and without detriment to communists’ core activities.
- Democratic centralism is the basic principle of a communist organization formation and functioning. It is a combination of democratic mechanisms such as voting on all important issues, appointment of the governing bodies by grass-roots election, their accountability and possible recall at any time with comprehensive centralization through the subordination of a minority within a majority, compulsory execution of collective decisions and iron discipline.
- Internationalism is the solidarity and unity of the working class of all countries in the struggle against global capital. Our objectives in this direction are the exposure of and struggle against all forms of chauvinism, bourgeois patriotism and nationalism as well as bourgeois cosmopolitanism.
- Contemporary Capitalism
- General description of contemporary capitalism
Now capitalism is at the highest, monopolistic stage of its development which is called imperialism. It has grown to the world market and enormous international corporations, to the fusion of all countries’ economies into hegemony over the globe.
Throughout its history, capitalism has been accompanied by exploitation and impoverishment, unemployment and homelessness, economic crises and wars, which are an integral part of this mode of production. The transition of capitalism to the highest stage of its development (imperialism) signified the triumph of all reactionary elements that capital possessed.
The modern world as an extension and deepening of this phase is the eclipse of bourgeois society. Endless imperialist wars, bloody coups, more and more frequent and severe crises, the majority of the world’s population living in poverty, hunger, deadly diseases, environmental degradation, increased exploitation and unemployment are what the current dominance of capital can be characterized by.
Capitalism must be replaced by communism, which is a progressive and optimal social formation capable of solving the existing contradictions. Public ownership and scientific planning of the economy are the basis of communism.
In the recent past, humanity already tried to switch over to communism, but early efforts suffered a temporary reverse. While it has changed, the capitalist system still exists.
- The “Welfare State”
The main change of the capitalist system since the early 1950s was a patch-up policy and the improvement of mass living standards “at home” carried out under the pressure of the workers’ revolutionary demands.
The bourgeois “welfare state” improved the quality of life of the workers primarily in the Western developed capitalist countries by extracting excess profits from the colonies, lulled the proletarian class consciousness and expanded the segment of the so-called “labor aristocracy”.
Ultimately, some improvement of people’s lives became an instrument for restraint of revolutionary activities, i.e. the struggle against the workers. Capitalists were able to preserve the rule of capital, significantly increase their profits and extend their influence.
With the collapse of the socialist bloc,and the demoralization of the world communist and labor movement, the bourgeoisie has begun the attack on the workers’ rights and curtailment of the “social state”.
- The Structure of International Capitalism
The bourgeoisie of the major imperialist countries, the leaders in finance and modern technology, have not only tied all nations using economic, political and military measures but also defined the place and part of every nation, country and continent in the international division of labor and, consequently, the relevant global relationships of dependency and subordination.
Thus, global capitalism is a certain system that has the following structural units.
3.1. The Capitalist Center
The center of global capitalism includes the states which oppress the peoples of dependent and semi-dependent countries, put elite circles of semi-dependent and dependent countries in a subordinate position.
Using financial, material and technical base, military and political supremacy, using global institutions (WTO, IMF, EU, NATO, etc.), these states compel nations to their will, and temporarily smoothing away the internal contradictions of the capitalist system, they strive to prevent even any tiny opportunity to eliminate their monopoly.
The countries of the capitalist center are the United States of America and key European states (the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, etc.).
A good example of imperialist policy pursued by the capitalist center is the military entrances to Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine and other countries cloaked by peacekeeping motives. The US corporations influence the state policy and try to retain monopoly by controlling prices of energy resources, which dependent and semi-dependent countries specialize in. Various measures from dumping and other economic sanctions to direct military intervention are assumed.
3.2. Dependent Capitalist Countries
This category is composed of the least developed countries in all respects. These countries are deprived of any autonomy and are subordinated to the principal capitalist countries.
Dependent countries constitute the majority: aforementioned Syria (there we can see the struggle for the control over Syrian oil springs and pipelines between the central countries and the semi-dependent Russian Federation), Ukraine (dismembered because of its power resources by the US and EU on the one hand, and Russian Federation on the other hand), Kazakhstan enslaved by Chinese capital as well as Congo, Nigeria, Angola, Haiti, Afghanistan, Estonia, Greece, Armenia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, etc.
Foreign capital almost entirely rules over these states, and the countries themselves are markets for selling goods, and providing labor power, means of production and raw materials.
3.3. Comparatively dependent capitalist countries
These are countries which have not fallen into total dependence on the capitalist center. These countries make up the intermediate joint between the central capitalist powers and dependent states.
Such states are in a dilemma. They have all the features of an imperialist state and prove themselves as imperialist powers in their region and specific industry. At the same time, such states are dependent on the capitalist center in certain (e.g., financial, technological) fields.
As a rule, the governing bourgeoisie of semi-dependent countries cannot change their status, so many of these countries are rapidly falling into the category of “dependent” due to the deep-rooted division of labor, predominance of single-industry economies, technical backwardness and financial dependence.
For example, in the view of its technical backwardness, Russia has to attract big foreign “partners” even in the basic sectors of its economy.
However, Russian corporations make desperate attempts to defend their position trying to fix the optimal prices of carbohydrates. The active involvement of Russia into the Syrian conflict clearly shows it. Its main aim is to prevent laying of pipelines to the EU, which changes the “energy map”. Besides, Russian investments abroad in 2018 reached a peak figure since 2014 amounting to 38.6 billion euros.
However, there is an objective tendency for Russia to become a completely dependent state because of the absence of domestic engineering developments, galloping deindustrialization and scientific and technical brain drain. The tendency to turn into a totally dependent country shows itself in the sales of natural resources in the Eastern part of Russia to Chinese corporations.
On the contrary, the monopolistic Chinese bourgeoisie is looking forward to take the place of the central global power in the future. The tempestuous development of Chinese state monopoly capitalism and the rapid accumulation of capital necessitate the Chinese bourgeoisie to seize more and more new markets.
The growing appetite of the Chinese capital cannot be satisfied with a small number of subordinate countries: it must be placed in the center for the best gratification of its interests.
Technological and financial dependencies are also real problems for Chinese capital which cannot control all the industries of world production, much less subdue the existing financial and credit system created by the capitalist center. Playing the role of the “world factory”, China is interested in the constant increase of exported manufactured goods to Europe and the US, which are China’s main markets and sources of income.
At the same time, the natural rise of labor costs in the country and the growth of a proletarian resistance force Chinese monopolies and the government of the “red populists” from the CPC to expand their imperialist influence not only geographically but also from the perspective of their role in the global labor division.
Partial transfer of the least profitable facilities to the poorest countries, their credit enslavement, intensive borrowing and development of technology as well as attempts to create the largest banking system in the world to replace the existing one suggest far-reaching plans of Chinese imperialism.
The embodiment of these plans and plans of the other imperialists to change their place in the world system of capitalism provokes the growth of contradictions between the imperialist countries, new interest conflicts over monopolistic redivision of the world, increasing exploitation of workers, endless wars or another global war and other social upheavals.
- The Working Class and Left Movement
The automation of production realized mainly in the advanced capitalist countries is ousting people from certain industries.
This process combined with the transfer of real production to the least developed countries affects the structure of the working class primarily in the central capitalist countries. The number of industrial workers is declining while the number of knowledge and service workers is increasing.
In the former socialist countries, the contraction of the industrial proletariat is primarily caused by de-industrialization.
Such alterations have an extremely negative impact on the entire labor movement. Bourgeois ideologists keep speaking about the eclipse of Marxism and the appearance of new classes.
“Socialist” movements and parties willingly collaborate with capital pointing out false or minor problems and watering down all the contradictions.
Some opportunist movements do not identify the working class as the revolutionary class and therefore they deny the dictatorship of the proletariat.
We are convinced that the proletariat alone remains the driving force of history. No other class will be able to overturn the basis of the capitalist production and replace it with communism.
However, a proletarian is not just a person in overalls standing at a machine or clasping a sledgehammer. He or she is an employee who takes part in the creation of surplus value.
There is a segment of “bourgeoisified workers” or labor aristocracy among proletarians. They are so-called elite employees: top managers, leading engineers/developers/producers and so on.
High wages and privileged status of the labor aristocracy correspond with neither their humble contribution to the common creation of surplus value, nor their labor costs. It is a bribe given by the bourgeoisie which shares its superprofits and deliberately overpays a certain number of employees allowing them to own some capital. This is the way the bourgeoisie turns some workers into co-exploiters.
Officials and deputies, military, police and employees of other security agencies are the bureaucracy. Doctors and teachers of municipal-state institutions are the employees. They do not belong to the class of proletarians.
The ones who produce goods or provide a service with their own tools also cannot be classified as proletarians: individual entrepreneurs and small staff firms; farmers who sell their own products on the counters and so on. They are the petty bourgeoisie.
The communists’ main aim is to awake the proletarian class consciousness, unite workers all over the world and fight their common enemy which is capital, struggle against imperialism, expose revisionism and opportunism inside the communist movement, struggle against social chauvinism. This work under the modern capitalist system has some peculiarities.
In the central capitalist countries, first of all, we should focus on the struggle against philistine illusions about the “social welfare state”, and unmask the rapacious plans of “home” imperialists.
In relatively dependent countries, we need to confront both the imperialist policy of the “home” government and aggressive policies of the central capitalist countries.
In the most dependent countries, the struggle against expansion of the imperialist powers and against degradation of anti-imperialist resistance into parochial bourgeois nationalism comes to the fore.
- The Collapse of Socialism
Notwithstanding the bourgeois lies, the workers all over the globe have an example of a better life.
In 1917 Russia started the socialist revolution, and other peoples continued it. Due to their tenacity and labor, the socialism of mere dreams turned into reality. The actual revolution and socialism differed from what had been written about them by the Marxist classics.
The revolutions took place in backward countries, not in developed ones. The revolution in Europe was defeated, the world revolution expanded very slowly moving from undeveloped countries to advanced ones, and socialist system appeared to have much more holdovers. As a result, the world revolution failed, the socialist bloc fell, and there were counterrevolutions monstrous in scale and cruelty.
These facts do not prove the falsity of the Marxist theory or the impossibility of socialism but show the consequences of the new specific historical situation that the working class faces.
As well as the first workers’ demands and protests, the first dictatorship of the proletariat, the first world revolution and the first socialist states should take their rightful place in the history of revolutionary struggle from which we are to draw appropriate lessons.
We can divide the history of the socialist countries into two stages that cover the whole history of socialism:
- the transition period and building of socialism, the socialist period and building of communism;
- the counterrevolutionary period and dominance of revisionism.
The first stage. It is a revolutionary stage characterized by the dominance of Marxism-Leninism.
In practice, the communist vanguard faced a lot of difficulties, hostile conditions, imperialist environment, time-worn state apparatus, people’s illiteracy and the characteristics of the inherited economic basis: the absence of the entire industries, underdevelopment of productive forces, and large masses of peasantry.
Due to the Bolsheviks correct policy, adequately reflecting reality, the proletariat was able to overcome these difficulties and defend its power, build the foundations of socialism and create the global socialist system.
The second stage. It is a counterrevolutionary stage and the dominance of revisionism.
In the course of their development, socialist countries faced serious problems: death of leading communists in the war fronts, careerists’ and petty bourgeois elements’ entry into the party, uncritical estimate of the party due to its indisputable authority on the workers, survivals of the previous formations, and commodity production.
All these things contributed to the development of revisionism and its consequent triumph. The top communist party leaders betrayed the ideas of Marxism-Leninism. Reactionary elements carried out anti-socialist market reforms, turned Marxist-Leninist theory into empty words, maintained commodity production and the army of “professional managers”, developed bureaucracy.
Since the late 1950’s, the Soviet Union entered the period of the revision. This stage is marked by the destructive “market reforms”: the expansion of goods circulation in the farming industry was introduced by Kosygin and Liberman’s reform in 1965 and resulted in the transition of the Soviet economy to market categories.
The quantity of planned targets decreased significantly, and they were mostly replaced by abstract cost indices. In an effort to get profit, facilities were interested in the simple overvaluation of their products. The profits that were not backed by real products caused unsecured demand, material and products were deficient with which critics of socialism reproached communists.
At the same time, the shadow economy was developing, more and more party members were being involved in it; so, the bourgeoisie class appeared.
Eventually, it led to the counterrevolution.
- The Situation in the United States
The United States is the major capitalist and imperialist country. It is one of the principal countries in the capitalist center, and the shock fist of the imperialist bloc.
The United States was able to develop its industrial base and financial systems and gain key monopolies in certain industries. The United States industrial production, like that of the other imperialist countries, is in a precipitous decline. Its financial sector and dominance in key industries, however, enables it to expropriate massive amounts of surplus value from the global working class.
Capital seeking diversified investment by its nature allows the bourgeois class to take their accumulated money capital and extract surplus value in the form of dividends, interest, capital gains, return of capital, etc. The United States along with other core imperialist countries first developed their industry and subsequently became centers of finance capital. In light of this situation, the major imperialist nations attempt to impede the development of other countries so as to maintain this exploitative relation.
The labor movement in the United States has been in a prolonged decline. Union participations rates are at historic lows and have been declining for many years. The labor movement has been desperately plagued by opportunism and currently lacks the proper theoretical foundation to expose the bourgeois class.
The lack of basic healthcare, growing inequality, and precarious and dangerous working conditions in the country are the outcomes of a failed strategy. The American bourgeoisie fight tooth and nail to cut social programs, reduce their taxes and maximize their profit.
It is necessary to develop class consciousness necessary to expose the American capitalist class. Firstly, it is necessary to form a communist vanguard in the United States. Secondly, it is necessary to agitate the working class and raise class consciousness. Thirdly, it is necessary to fight against revisionism and opportunism which can undermine the working class.
By organizing as a class and having the representation of the Communist Party, the workers will be able to resist the bourgeoisie and establish their power, thereby eliminating capitalism and starting the construction of socialism.
III. Tactics of the Current Situation
- The Communist and Workers Movement
Presently, we have no genuine communist party that would be able to lead workers to the victory of socialism.
The communist movement is fractured into a number of pieces that use the old methods and do not have any modern tactics and strategy, and therefore they cannot work efficiently. They are detached from the working masses.
Opportunism, revisionism, sectarianism, dogmatism, theoretical ignorance, deviation towards safe for capital “nostalgia” or petty-bourgeois “actionism” are the major problems of the communist movement.
Marxist-Leninist theory is being exposed to endless distortions. The majority of “communists” lack even basic theoretical knowledge that makes the things much worse and facilitates the work of bourgeois ideologists. The petty bourgeois consciousness and idealistic fallacies prevail among workers.
However, intensification of capitalist conflicts and fall of the working masses’ living standards exacerbate the situation which will naturally lead to the rise of the labor movement and the strengthening of the class struggle. The necessity of creation of some basis for the future communist party is getting urgent.
- What is a Communist Party?
A communist party is the highest form of political organization of the working class. The communist party unites the best representatives of the working class, it is its organized vanguard that manifests its interests. There is no talk about an effective struggle against capital without the communist party, a “combat staff” of the working class.
The main principles characterizing the communist party are:
- Marxism-Leninism as the theoretical basis of the whole work;
- the strongest connection with the mass workers’ movement;
- the struggle with right and left deviations, opportunism and revisionism;
- proletarian internationalism and resolute struggle against all manifestations of nationalism and chauvinism;
- democratic centralism as a principle of the party formation.
The majority of the contemporary “communist” organizations do not represent the vanguard of the working class, maintain the opportunist and revisionist policies, do not possess a proper number of people and a strong Marxist core. Thus, they disorient working people.
The reasons for such quasi-communist organizations to appear are the poor knowledge of theory and the dominance of opportunist and revisionist ideas in the left movement after the collapse of the socialist bloc. Some of these parties are directly sponsored by the bourgeoisie and discredit communist ideas.
Only a genuine communist party is able to head the struggle of the working class and, having become its vanguard, to lead to victory.
- Stages of the Communist Party Formation
Nowadays we single out several stages of the communist party formation which the communist movement must pass:
1) The establishment of a single political, theoretical resource that
- will provide a platform for the consolidation of communists, independent Marxist circles and organizations;
- will create conditions for ideological and tactical unity of Marxists;
- will create a strong Marxist core and the foundation for the future party;
- will be an effective instrument for class consciousness formation, teaching Marxism, agitation and propaganda among the working masses.
“In our opinion, the starting-point of our activities, the first step towards creating the desired organisation… should be the founding of an All-Russian political news-paper. A newspaper is what we most of all need; without it we cannot conduct that systematic, all-round propaganda and agitation, consistent in principle, which is… the pressing task of the moment, when interest in politics and in questions of socialism has been aroused among the broadest strata of the population.”- Lenin wrote.
2) Organization of Marxist clubs. They will become the basis for the preparation of competent Marxists.
3) Close connection with workers, maximal involvement of employees into Marxists ranks, class-oriented advocacy, etc.
4) Formation of a mass communist party and intensive work that the situation may demand.
“Broad left” tactics, emphasis on actionism, aspiration for socialism onset through reforms and other opportunistic methods of work are doomed to failure and contribute to further degradation of the communist movement.
Over the past decades, the communist movement not only in the US, but throughout the world, was in a deep crisis. We are convinced that the new, truly advanced forces of the proletariat will replace the old organizations of the opportunists and revisionists.
Marxist theory will cease to be a bunch of all sorts of biases and tendencies, regain its integrity and become a real tool in the struggle for progress and the liberation of the working class.
Summing up, a brief answer to the question “What is to be done?” in our time sounds like this: study Marxist-Leninist theory, wage an implacable struggle against opportunism and revisionism, agitate the workers and organize a real communist party, which will become the vanguard in the struggle against the power of capital.