People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 48

November 29, 2009

11th IMCWP

Significance of the Meeting


 Sitaram Yechury


THE 11th international meeting of the communist and workers parties successfully completed the agenda that it had set for itself. It unanimously adopted the Delhi Declaration and decided that the 12th meeting would be held in the Republic of South Africa hosted by the South African Communist Party in the last quarter of 2010.  Elsewhere in this issue, these documents and other reports of the meeting are carried, hence those details are not repeated here.


This meeting is significant in many ways. The communist parties across the globe have given their analysis of the current global recession and reasserted that capitalism is increasingly showing its historical limits and underlined the need for strengthening the political alternative of socialism as the only enduring means for ensuring emancipation and human liberty. In the interim, it has put forward certain alternatives to the manner in which global capitalism is seeking to emerge from this recession. For instance, $ 14 trillion has been doled out as bail out packages, on the basis of which the corporates are seeking their way out of the crisis. Instead, if this huge amount of money was spent through public investments in various countries, this would have built the required economic and social infrastructure while generating employment on a large scale. The consequent enlargement of demand by itself would have rejuvenated the capitalist production process and allowed the global economy to break out of this recession. This path however would have meant a greater delay for the corporates in reaching back to the pre-crisis profit levels. On the other hand the current path adopted by them has already begun to rake in millions of dollars of profits to those very financial giants who in the first place triggered the current crisis. This path however, results in greater unemployment and also pushes more people globally into poverty and hunger. By offering an alternative course, which global capitalism will not adopt in its own interests, the communist parties are putting before the people an alternative which should form as the basis for political mobilisation of the popular masses. It is the strength of such political mobilisations which will strengthen the struggle for a political alternative to capitalism � socialism.


This meeting was held in the background of frenzied euphoria built around the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. All across the West, this occasion was utilised to mount an intense anti-communist ideological offensive. This was also used to serve as a diversion of the people's attention from the agonies of the present recession. All across Europe, a diabolic ideological campaign has been unleashed of equating communism with fascism. This seeks to rewrite history and obfuscate the fact that it was not the American or the British or the French flag but the Soviet Union's Red Flag that was hoisted over the Reichstag in Berlin announcing to the world the defeat of fascism and Hitler. The anti-communist frenzy has reached such levels that a member of the Communist Youth in Greece was suspended by his school authorities for advocating socialism. The significance of this meeting lies in the reassertion of the communist identity and the determination to combat such ideological offensive that is based on falsifying history and distorting scientific analysis.


This meeting also saw the coming together of the communist parties from the USA and Cuba, from Israel and Palestine, places from where people find it very difficult to meet the others in their own countries. This is the true communist spirit. When the Internationale was sung in Hindi at the beginning and the end of the meeting all other delegates joined the singing in their own languages. This is the brotherhood of humanity that only the communist ideology reflects in the political space in the world today.


Representatives of parties working in very difficult and exacting conditions brought their experiences here. The Communist Party of Israel, one of the most courageous contingents of the communist movement proudly upholding the Red Flag under the very nose of Zionism, denouncing Israeli occupation of Arab lands, informed that they are organising senior high school students to refuse Israel's mandatory army service policy. In the most difficult circumstances, the Communist Party of Israel sends three members regularly to the 150 member Israeli Parliament. Two of these are always Jews and one an Arab. It is the only Israeli party that has both Jews and Arabs as its members.


There is often a cynical perception that many of these communist parties have a very small mass following in their countries. Even if this is so, they carry out political struggles in the face of fierce assaults by the ruling classes. In many countries their influence is on the rise. The fact remains that it is these communist parties that offer the sharpest and the clearest alternative to capitalism. Most often they are the ones that combat Social Democracy which as Rajni Palme Dutt had once said champions the working class when in opposition and champions the ruling classes when in government. It is to the credit of the communist parties in many countries under the barrage of an intense anti-communist propaganda to champion, uphold and advance the communist identity. Without this, the possibilities of the emergence of the social alternative would recede even further.


It is precisely to reassert this communist identity that this process of international meetings was embarked upon. Many, if not all of the participating communist parties are important constituents of broader anti-imperialist groupings in their regions and countries. While participating and strengthening such fora, the need for asserting the communist identity lies precisely in its ideology of being the only alternative to capitalism. Clearly this process is not aimed at recreating a `communist international' like the one that existed prior to the Second World War. Those times are now history. What is being attempted here is a greater coordination and expression of solidarity between the communist parties of different countries. For, in the final analysis it is this communist identity which will be the foundation and the core for forging the broader anti-imperialist united fronts.


These international meetings, apart from providing clarity on specific themes engaging the attention of the communist movement and reasserting the need to strengthen the political alternative of socialism, are a forum that unequivocally declare that socialism alone is the answer to human misery and exploitation.