May 22, 2013

The peaceful struggle for socialism

This article is part of an seven-part series of short quotes Rebel Youth is issuing about class struggle, revolution, civil-war, and parliamentary democracy. See also: Lenin on elections; the Communist Party of Canada on a counter-offensive against capitalismEngels on voting and street fightingLenin on Democracy and Class struggleCommunist and Worker's parties on the struggle for socialism; and Lenin on tactics and guerilla war; theCommunist Party of Canada on force, and a peaceful transition to socialism.

From November 14-16, 1957, representatives of 12 Communist and Workers Parties of Socialist countries, came together in Moscow for the celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the great October Socialist Revolution in Russia, and adopted a declaration, from which is taken this excerpt about the struggle for socialism. Among the endorsers were the Communist Party of China and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The text below is one section of the full statement.

The forms of the transition of socialism may vary for different countries. The working class and its vanguard—the Marxist-Leninist party—seek to achieve the Socialist revolution by peaceful means. This would accord with the interests of the working class and the people as a whole as well as with the national interests of the country.

Today in a number of capitalist countries the working class headed by its vanguard has the opportunity, given a united working-class and popular front or other workable forms of agreement and political cooperation between the different parties and public organizations, to unite a majority of the people, to win state power without civil war and ensure the transfer of the basic means of production to the hands of the people. It has this opportunity while relying on the majority of the people and decisively rebuffing the opportunist elements incapable of relinquishing the policy of compromise with the capitalists and landlords. The working class then, can defeat the reactionary, anti-popular forces, secure a firm majority in parliament, transform parliament from an instrument serving the class interests of the bourgeoisie into an instrument serving the working people, launch a non-parliamentary mass struggle, smash the resistance of the reactionary forces and create the necessary conditions for peaceful realization of the socialist revolution.

All this will be possible only by broad and ceaseless development of the class struggle of the workers, peasant masses and the urban middle strata against big monopoly capital, against reaction, for profound social reforms, for peace and socialism.

In the event of the ruling classes resorting to violence against people, the possibility of non-peaceful transition to socialism should be borne in mind. Leninism teaches, and experience confirms, that the ruling classes never relinquish power voluntarily. In this case the degree of bitterness and the forms of the class struggle will depend not so much on the proletariat as on the resistance put up by the reactionary circles to the will of the overwhelming majority of the people, on these circles using force at one or another stage of the struggle for socialism.

The possibility of one or another way to socialism depends on the concrete conditions in each country. In the struggle for better conditions for the working people, for preservation and extension of democratic rights, winning and maintaining national independence and peace among nations, and also in the struggle for winning power and building socialism, the Communist Parties seek cooperation with the Socialist parties. Although the Right-Wing Socialist Party leaders are doing their best to hamper this cooperation, there are increasing opportunities for cooperation between the Communists and Socialists on many issues. The ideological differences between the Communist and the Socialist parties should not keep them from establishing unity of action on the many pressing issues that confront the working-class movement.

Declaration of the Twelve Communist and Workers Parties, Meeting in Moscow, USSR, Nov. 14-16, 1957

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