which can be read online in full here. We present it with our own suggested discussion questions, below, developing the idea of reform and revolution.
Being fully submerged in class struggle offers an excellent opportunity to train new generations of [communist] cadres. A major part of today's youth, and certainly the generation that has known the anticommunist wave since 1989, has never experienced a crisis of the current magnitude or seriousness. It is today that this generation is preparing itself to take up its revolutionary role for the coming decades.
Every Communist Party [and every YCL - RY eds.] is faced with the challenge to acquire a profound knowledge and a Marxist analysis of the systemic crisis. The writings of Marx and Lenin are astonishingly relevant today to understand the profound origins of the current crisis and to formulate a socialist alternative.
Today, Communist and workers' Parties have an excellent occasion to strengthen their links with the masses. Marxist-Leninist theory has to be a guide for practice. It depends on the work of the communists among the masses, particularly in the class struggle, to what extent the conscientisation of the masses broadens and deepens.
This means that first and foremost, they have to be present and active in every struggle, to support the demands put forward by the workers themselves. Communists must propose a complete package of demands, based on the workers' needs. The class in power has accumulated its wealth on the back of the workers and they continue to enrich themselves during this very crisis. For the struggle to advance, it is important to formulate demands that put the burden of the crisis on the side of the big fortunes and the big capitalists.
Throughout these struggles, the perspective of socialism must be made clear. Communists must bring forward demands for which the workers are willing to fight today, while orienting them towards socialism. The Communist Parties must advance demands that break with the logic of capitalism, that enhance political consciousness and that forge class unity. It is of the highest importance that this struggle is politicised, allowing people to understand that more fundamental changes in the balance of power are necessary in order to enjoy the wealth that they themselves produce.
Every struggle must serve to broaden class solidarity, to build alliances, to counter division, racism, bourgeois nationalism and yellow trade unionism. The yellow trade unions accept the governments’ plans for social destruction in the name of the 'salvation of the nation'. In reality, there is no common interest the working class and the bourgeoisie.
It is important to support the troops' morale. We must have a feeling for the issues the masses are ready to mobilise for and to obtain small victories. We must continuously fight for immediate demands, for concrete measures that cushion the gravity of the problems and offer some relieve. They must be imposed through the power of the movement. Nevertheless, under capitalism these gains will be temporary and precarious. The militancy of the working class will be intensified as long as the struggle maintains the perspective of overcoming the capitalist framework and challenging the bourgeois power.
For the Communist Parties, parliamentary work serves to better develop the struggle. Any fundamental change depends on the mobilisation of the masses. In the capitalist system, there can only be victories through the development of class struggle. We should not count on parliaments but develop extra-parliamentary movements.
Strengthening the Parties as such deserves particular attention. We must recruit new members, convince and organise them. The role of the communist newspaper is irreplaceable and an important tool for the mass work. In addition, it is necessary to make better use of the new technologies for our propaganda work and to broaden the contacts.
1. The above text is a statement, or declaration (meaning that it aims to proclaim rather than debate and convince) and reflects the conclusions of a seminar of several Communist and left organizations. What are the main points it is trying to make? What do you think?
2. The statement claims that the writings of Marx and Lenin, while written many years ago, have ‘astonishing’ relevance. What do you think? How is Marxism useful for understanding today? Have you read any theoretical works that have impressed you? How, or why not?
3. What do you think the text means when it says Communists have to present ‘a complete package of demands’ that ‘put the burden of the crisis on the side of the big fortunes’? Why not just call for immediate revolution?¨
4. What do you think about the claim that the struggle must be ‘politicized’ – what do the authors mean by politics? What is the connection of their conception of ‘politics’ with the state? The statement also says that, by engaging in elections, Communists can develop the struggle but at the same time they should not count on parliaments. Why or why not? Do parliaments have any use in the struggle? How could Communist participation in parliaments ‘sharpen’ the struggle? How could parliamentary gains be unreliable?