Welcome address marking the 3rd Party Conference of ,,Gegen die Stroemung":
To all forces of the world orientated towards Scientific Communism
30 years after ,,Gegen die Stroemung" was founded in 1974, the 3rd party conference took place in November and December 2004.
We believe that over these last 30 years, three distinctive features or , prominent characteristics' have developed, which can be seen as typifying the work of ,,Gegen die Stroemung":
Firstly, a great deal of time and energy, work and fight has been and is being expended on the restoration of the internal cohesion of the international Communist movement since Marx and Engels, via the October revolution and the Lenin and Stalin eras, and in opposition to the betrayal perpetrated by the modern Revisionists; on bringing consultations' with Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin to the forefront of ideological debates, whilst remaining steadfastly loyal to this tradition and to a line of continuity, even at the cost of temporary isolation.
This extremely difficult work in preserving the line of continuity represents the essential feature of the work of ,,Gegen die Stroemung". Such work should not be watered down but on the contrary deserves to be stepped up. What we have here is by no means purely a theoretical matter. It is closely connected with an intrinsic attachment to the world-historical events of the Communist struggle, bound to the firm conviction of the necessity of proceeding down this path, and that any ,,new" way would only end up in Revisionism and Opportunism.
Secondly, we are aware of our obligation to create and to communicate, both to those in our own ranks and those on the outside, the intrinsic connection between Communist morality and a willingness to act, between a hate for German Imperialism on the one hand, and proletarian Internationalism on the other. We are aware of the enduring nature of our obligations, whilst at the same time careful not to fall into petty-bourgeois, pseudo-radical cursing of the supposed, at the same time supposedly irrevocable full-scale gentrification of the German worker, male and female, seen against the successful deceptive manoeuvrings of the bourgeoisie. On the contrary, and without kowtowing to the working classes as they are today, we firmly believe that no alternative revolutionary social force can exist other than the majority of the working classes. At the same time, we are well aware that herein lies precisely the difficulty, that over and above the problem of modern Revisionism comes the poison of German Chauvinism.
Thirdly, a further element of the work of ,,Gegen die Stroemung" is the intensification of serious scientific research on a Communist foundation for the crushing of bourgeois-imperialist myths, historical distortions and concealed crimes. This is all the more imperative considering the barrages of historical falsifications and untruths, real and potential, which in order to fight requires sufficient weaponry, as a means to smash the authority of German imperialism on an argumentative and convincing basis.
8 years have passed since the second party conference took place in 1996 — the first one taking place in 1989- 8 years in which in which German Imperialism has continued along its Militarist and Revanchist path after the annexation of the pseudo-socialist GDR.
The introduction to the documents of the 3rd party conference first look back at changes to the German and international situation over the last 15 years, focussing especially on the last 8 years. Without ignoring or trivialising campaigns of resistance both in Germany and abroad as a form of defeatism, it would still be reasonable to conclude that internationally, global imperialism is even more prevalent, that the danger of conflict between the imperialist big powers is increasing, and that in particular German Imperialism, Militarism and Revanchism is on the march both internationally and in our own country.
On the international stage, the most prominent characteristics of German Imperialism include an increasing attempt to form alliances in competition to US imperialism, since the invasion of Iraq by the US Imperialists- in coalition with the British Imperialists; an attempt to dominate the EU more and more, that it is flexing its own muscles as a big power both in the furthest reaches of the East and in all areas of the world in its role as the ,,opposition" to US Imperialism. And it is for this role that it has been looking, not without some success, to win the support of the German populace in its own land using Revanchist propaganda on a massive scale. The German Imperialist army now occupies foreign territory as if it were its own, above all in Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. We need to emphasize and propagate Karl Liebknecht's statement without ambiguity and with ever greater intensity: ,,The Main Enemy is At Home!"
In Germany, German Imperialism, in the Goebbels propaganda tradition is trying to catch the German populace in the net of the ,,master race" ideology — and not without success. Here German imperialism alternates between or simultaneously carries out campaigns against the Jewish population, against Cinti and Roma, or next against ,,Muslims", Turks or „Arabs", or darker-skined people, or the disabled, or own-sex orientated people, then against those on long-term state benefits or the homeless. The deadly deportation of annually more than 30.000 people from Germany, a number which includes democratic and revolutionary activists, who are handed over to states of torture states, coupled with the murderous turning away of immigrants by border police has cost the lives of several hundreds of people over the last 15 years.
Even when state-sponsored repression or Fascistization is the primary issue here, the onwards march of publicly active Nazis on the streets and in numerous lower parliaments (i.e. Land parliaments) of Germany means that for all those initiatives and organisations fighting against the Nazis this represents a direct threat to all people seen by the Nazis as non-German". In the last 15 years, well over 100 people have been murdered by Nazis on the streets.
The worker movement in Germany has shown its willingness to speak up during the course of several important campaigns involving tens of thousands of people. Larger and longer strike campaigns have shown that the only force which is really able to stand up to German imperialism is the conscious and organised working classes in the struggle against the labour aristocracy. At the same time, the great influence and power held by well-paid union leaders has become very clear. Time and again, they have succeeded in dividing and placating the working classes using a carrot and stick approach.
Even in the democratic and partially revolutionary-orientated youth movements against Nazis, against deportation, against Militarism and the belligerent politics of German Imperialism, revisionist, Trotsky-ite and autonomous anarchistic forces, with their common anti-Stalinist/Anti-Communist stand, still retain a significant influence, and it is this influence which must be broken.
Taking these developments into account, the 3rd party conference has decided, by way of a declaration of principles and succinct theses on the political and ideological line and a clear position on the reconstruction of the Communist party, to seek out offensive, ideological debate, to push on with the reinforcement of one's own ranks, and to actively seek debate with activists in the worker movement and the democratic and revolutionary youth movement.
In anticipation of the 3rd party conference, a number of theoretical studies have established a basis for this initiative:
Afar-reaching study on the life and work of Stalin in ,,ROT FRONT", the theoretical organ of ,,Gegen die Stroemung" published as an opposing voice to anti-Communism and Anti-Stalinism, and an explanation of the fundamental features of Communist society" taken from the theoretical theories and observations of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. As a means of underscoring the continuing necessity and essentiality of the war against modem Revisionism, the main enemy of the Communist movement, a wide-reaching study was published on the ,,Polemic" of the CP of China against the XXth Congress of the CPSU, i.e. the basically correct direction it took, but also its half measures and errors. This extensive work can be seen in conjunction with the 2 volume work assessing the work of Mao Tse-tung, which stands up against revisionist libel, but which can also be seen as by no means uncritical (especially in the period 1955-1965).
Advances in theoretical work relating to the history of the Communist Party in Germany have sprung from an analysis of its founding in 1918, the formation of the SED party in the GDR in 1946, and also the difficult phase of the struggle of the German CP between 1929 and 1933.
At the same time, extensive studies of the history of the Imperialist war of German imperialism in its attack on the socialist Soviet Union and a clear appraisal of the crimes of German Imperialism during the First World War as well as its colonial wars in China and Africa prior to the First World War appear in the leaflets published each month.
Not surprisingly, considerations on the racist genocide of German Nazi-Fascism perpetrated on the Jewish people and the Cinti and Roma play an important role within Germany. The conclusion reached within this area of study in the war against German Imperialism and its opportunistic accomplices is that one must analyse their increasingly Anti-Semitic propaganda and fight against it. Anti-Semitic hate campaigns against those Jews" and Israel have been stepped up in Germany. Against Anti-Semitism ,,Gegen die Stroemung" has issued two declarations, one against Anti-Semitism and one against the instrumental ism of the ,,charges" against Israel which clearly defended the Israeli state's right to exist and explained what are and have been the criminal policies of the ruling classes of Israel. It also looks at how the Palestinian people are increasingly allowing themselves to be dominated by Pro-Imperialist and reactionary, openly anti-Semitic forces such as Hamas, Jihad or Hezbollah, while the PLO has fully lost its democratic and progressive potency through its policy of creating alliances with such forces, based on basic errors going back to its foundation.
The programmatic statement of principle presented at the 3rd party conference is based on the underlying programmatic documents of the international Communist movement:
• The ,,Manifesto of the Communist Party" of 1848,
• The ,,Programme of the Communist Party of Russia (Bolsheviks)" of 1919
• The ,,Programme of the Communist International" of 1928.
The main focus in revising these documents to create one single document — seen against revisionist-counter-revolutionary developments in the former Socialist countries- lies on thoroughly developing the features of Communist society on the one hand, and those of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in the form of increased intensification of the class struggle coming from the extension of Socialist democracy on the other.
In the programmatic documents (theses) covering the right political line to be taken as well as questions on proletarian Internationalism, the main concern of the 3rd party conference documents primarily lies in portraying in detail the struggle of workers, both male and female, in a land such as Germany, both imperialist big power and source of war in its own right, for the modest, in no way presumptuous political-internationalist union with all sections of the international proletariat and the alliance with oppressed peoples, for a practical solidarity, especially with the fighting masses of countries oppressed and exploited by German Imperialism. At the same time, these documents set out to reveal and pillory on an ideological basis the combination of European Chauvinism with German Chauvinism, and how German Imperialism is using a variety of manoeuvres depending on the economic situation to disseminate its variations of the German ,,master race" ideology amongst the populace. A realistic assessment of positive struggles all over the world also includes an account of the enormous lag of the subjective factor, a huge weakness of Communists forces operating internationally.
The second part of the programmatic documents (theses) "Death to German Imperialism and Revanchism" begins by presenting the prehistory of German Imperialism — analysing the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin — also focussing on Revisionist-Chauvinist historical distortions. It then goes on to provide a no-holds barred account of the crimes committed by German Imperialism up to the present day.
As the main conclusion of this part shows, the enormous task of fighting a rigorous democratic and union battle against German Imperialism must be seen as secondary to the preparation and carrying out of the proletarian revolution in the fight against Anti-Communism, so as not to get caught up in Reformism and Revisionism.
On this basis, the third part of the programmatic documents (theses) ,,The principle direction for the socialist revolution in Imperialist Germany" looks at the real significance of the hegemony of the proletariat, the significance of each of its various allies in the different stages of the revolution, as well as the dangerous role played by the workers aristocracy. Given the absolute necessity of a class analysis of the worker masses in Germany from an economic perspective, the class struggle is also of core significance — based on a correct strategy and tactics- concerning which potential allies, above all in the countryside, can really be won over, or which can only be neutralised.
Of fundamental importance here is the question of establishing an autonomously prepared armed uprising. Analysing all previous experience of Communist-led uprisings it is clear, at least to these theses, that the core of the armed forces of German Imperialism must be destroyed, that the overwhelming mass of these forces cannot be won over or neutralised, since it is special forces or elite units we are facing here. Only if the worker classes systematically arm themselves in military combat will they be able to claim victory in the armed struggle, a struggle primarily against Revisionist concepts, but also against concepts of individual terror which although morally defensible, must be condemned political-ideologically.
In the struggle for the preparation for the proletarian revolution, the armed uprising, it is of vital importance, according to the theses, to expose and refute the empty ideals of ,,democracy'". The Communist Party has exposed the insincerity of the bourgeois-parliamentary ,,democracy" in the Imperialist system, and is moving forward consistently and aggressively in all day-to-day struggles within democracy. It continues to propagate as its primary aim a socialist democracy within the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, and within these struggles is concerned with the recruitment, education and organisation of the most advanced members of the proletariat for the direct and indirect benefit of the Communist party.
The programmatic documents (theses) move on from remarks on the ideological tasks of the struggle in advance of Scientific Communism to modern Revisionism, which remains the major obstacle to the reconstruction of the Communist Party. In a sketch of the history of Revisionism from Bernstein and Kaut-sky to Tito and Khrushchev (XXth Congress of the CPSU in 1956), a strong accent is placed on exposing Brezhnev revisionism, which still has significance today as the ideology of the social-imperialist Soviet Union in the remains of the party bureaucracy, and also worldwide.
This part foes on to unequivocally reject the Revisionist-police state caricatures of socialism of today — the PR of China, North Korea and Cuba — as well as self-styled ,,Maoist" or ,,Hoxha- follower" forces in Germany who have done so without any critical analysis, and who have abandoned the basic principles of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, the basis of Scientific Communism, and who operate in a Reformist and Chauvinistic manner.
The following, extensive part of the programmatic documents (theses), explains why the existence of the Communist Party is necessary, and outlines the phases of its reconstruction and the essential features of its criticism of society and self-criticism, the struggle within the party, democratic Centralism. The need to develop theory, the cadre work and the organisational work before being able to carry out extensive work in the working classes, the focus on operative cells, the combination of legal with the underlying illegal work provide a starting point enabling the essential problem of the Communist discipline- dealing with Revisionist distortions- to be placed in the foreground. Of course, content- Scientific Communism and the associated ideological and political line- takes precedence over form- organisation and discipline. Nevertheless, given the correct underlying basis and political line, this becomes indispensable and significant.
Some very comprehensive papers have been written on the programmatic documents (theses) presented at the 3rd party conference (cf. ,,ROT FRONT"
No. 3 and 4 on the question of the reconstruction of the party). Extensive papers will also been written, and published in the theoretical organ ,,ROT FRONT" in 2005 which analyses studies conducted over the course of the last eight years.
Here is our unambiguous response to the smear campaigns conducted by Imperialists and Revisionists throughout the world, who have proclaimed the supposed death of Communism once and for all, who have ,,refuted" the theories of Marx, and who have declared the final demise of the practice of so-called ,,Stalin-ism":
We stand on the terra firma of Scientific Communism, as it was conceived and developed by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin.
It was the very consistent application of this theory which brought about the victorious Socialist October
Revolution, which led to the reinforcement of the magnificently brave international Communist movement, which led to the consolidation of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat and the reconstruction of Socialism in the Soviet Union up until the 1950s.
We declare unambiguously: It is not the application of the theory of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin that is the reason behind total destruction of the former Socialist and people's democratic countries and former Communist parties in the Soviet Union, Hungary, China etc. In fact, precisely the opposite is true: The betrayal of the basic principles of this theory ideologically sealed by the political line of the XXth Congress of the CPSU in 1956, and the mutilation and revision of the fundamental ideas of Communism, represent the reasons behind the destruction of the revolutionary substance of the Soviet Communist party and other Communist parties, the destruction of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat and the re-establishment of the Dictatorship of the Bourgeoisie.
This was the critical basis for the establishment of the counter-revolutionary, Capitalist development in the Soviet Union and the seemingly Socialist guise and the development of a social-imperialist big power. The rulers who followed Khrushchev and Brezhnev, such as Gorbachev, Yeltsin and the like, finally allowed the veneer of ,,Socialism" to drop once and for all, sealed the destruction of the revisionist camp, whilst flying the flag of Capitalism among cries of triumph from the Western imperialists.
Therefore, it is all the more important that we study and propagate the core ideas of a Communist programme in the tradition of the international Communist movement as a basis and starting point of our work.
The reason being that it is the theory of Scientific Communism, which has revealed the reality behind Capitalism, which has demonstrated the need for a Socialist revolution led by the proletariat, the armed crushing of the old bourgeois state apparatus, the dictatorship of the proletariat and socialist democracy, and has demonstrated and substantiated the objectives of Socialism and Communism based on Dialectical and Historical Materialism.
,,Gegen die Stroemung" embraces along this path all forces genuinely orientated towards Scientific Communism all over the world. It has stepped up its efforts with respect to the translation of its own publications and summary bulletins and the translation of documents produced by Communist-orientated forces in other countries.
We offer our solidarity to all comrades throughout the world in their struggle against Imperialism!
Long live Communism!
Death to Imperialism and Opportunism!
GEGEN DIE STRÖMUNG, December 2004