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New Dynamics of Overseas Communist Parties after the Onset of the Financial Crisis

[Editor’s Note: For communist parties members in China and worldwide, the global economic meltdown triggered by the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis in October 2007 kindled their hope for the resurgence of the world socialist/communist movement. They view the crisis as proof of the Marxist theory that capitalism is doomed to fail and be replaced by socialism. An article published in Qiushi Journal on February 26, 2010, detailed the strategies and practices that communist or left wing parties in countries outside of China have used in recent years. Following are excerpts from the article titled, “New Dynamics of Overseas Communist Parties after the Outbreak of the Financial Crisis”]

Use Marxism to Explain the Cause of the Crisis to Provide Theoretical Ground for Socialism to Replace Capitalism

“All communists around the world generally agree that, although a lack of financial supervision was the direct cause of this crisis, the real issue and the root cause lies within the inherent contradictions of the capitalistic system. To the communists, the prevalence of financial leveraging and speculation in the economy are the inevitable outcomes and the existential pattern of the development of monopolistic capitalism. The unscrupulous nature of capitalism’s pursuit of profit caused the situation. The current world financial and economic crisis was a result of financial capital or virtual capital severely diverging from production capital (in the real economy). For instance, as shown by the real estate calamity, this crisis was caused by the contradiction between overproduction and laborers’ lack of demand. The bottom line is that this is caused by the fundamental contradiction, inherent in the capitalist system, between socialization of production and private possession. Therefore, this crisis once again exposed the inherent limitations of the capitalistic system. Only by replacing the capitalistic production with socialistic production, that is, by resolving the issue of ownership, can the root causes of the crisis be fundamentally eliminated. This also provides validity for the existence of communist movements and the need for the communist struggle.”

Adjust the Strategies of the World Socialist Movement

“First, it is generally agreed that ‘a new era of fighting for socialism has begun’ and it is time once again to bring up the political tasks of ‘class struggle’ and the ‘fight for proletariat’s political power.’ For example, from December 11 to 14, 2008, the French Communist Party held the 34th Congress and said, ‘the crisis of the capitalist system has opened a new historic era for us. A new chapter has opened in class struggles in France, Europe, and the rest of the world. The Communist Party can take advantage of this opportunity to establish a nation that belongs to the working class and their allies.’ The leader of the Portuguese Communist Party said, ‘It is time for the struggle to begin! It is time for revolution! …’ From November 29 to December 1, 2008, the Russian Communist Party held the 13th Congress and passed the special resolution titled, ‘The Way Out of the Economic Crisis is to Change Political Policies.’ The resolution stated, ‘Today (we are) still in the middle of the transition from capitalism to socialism.’ The resolution also named the party’s strategic goal, which is ‘building a brand new, 21st century socialism,’ and planned three steps for achieving and implementing this objective. The Greek Communist Party emphasized that the real solution to the crisis lies in the collective effort to overthrow the existing political and power system, and one must take advantage of the crisis to ‘promote the solidarity process of the worker class and its social and political alliances at the national and international levels.’”

“Second, advocate democratic nationalization in preparing economically for the transition into socialism. … Regarding the ‘nationalization’ news because some Western governments purchased banks or shares in large enterprises, the Communist Party declared that these measures were not really socialist in nature, and may not even be democratic nationalization in nature. At most they are just state capitalism in nature. Once the situation improves, these governments will again sell these shares. Therefore, this kind of nationalization is nothing but maintaining the dominant position of major capitalists and the stability of the capitalist system.”

“Third, we need to shift from a defensive position to an offensive position by increasing the strength of socialist propaganda and awakening people’s awareness about the existence of classes. … The Russian Communist Party said, ‘Now it is time to take the stage of history by holding high the flags.’ … During the 18th Party Congress of the Portuguese Communist Party, it was pointed out, ‘Reality once again proved the central proposition of the social movements of Marxism-Leninism, that we must take revolutionary action to overthrow capitalism.'”

“… Since the outbreak of the global crisis, through Marxist academic research institutions and platforms, the communist parties around the world have held various seminars and conferences about the global financial crisis. For instance, between November 2008 and May 2009, the Communist Party of Spain organized seminars and conferences through its national Marxist research agency, the Marxist Research Society. They invited Spanish and Latin American Marxist scholars and discussed topics including ‘Marx’s theory on the capitalist economic crisis,’ ‘union movements during the economic crisis,’ and ‘the economic crisis and the limitations of capitalism in Spain,’ etc.”

“… Ally with all the left-wing forces and conduct mass protests. … In the past year, the French, Greek, German, Russian, and Japanese Communist Parties each worked with different unions, youth organizations, and other left-wing movement forces, tp organize a series of strikes, demonstrations, and parades to protest their governments’ insufficient financial rescue plans, and demanded that the governments support the real economy, curb unemployment, and increase wages and pensions.”

“… Actively utilize modern media to expand the forefront of socialist propaganda.”

Build Up Communist Parties and Recruit Young Members

“… During the 13th National Congress, held at the end of November 2009, the Russian Communist Party achieved the goal of having more young leaders. More than half of the Central Committee members and alternate members were under 40 years old. On July 4, 2009, the Russian Communist Party held its third plenary session, which was devoted to discussing how to train the party’s leaders. During the session, it was discussed that the issue of local party leaders’ aging must be resolved as soon as possible, and every local Party Committee secretary was ordered to train a successor. Besides the current remote education system and the full-time training system, the Russian Communist Party also plans to build an online party school network to train people in developing special organizing skills for the party.”

“… In this past year, the Japanese Communist Party had an average of 1000 new members per month, and the total number of party members has reached 400,000.”

“The new Communist Party of Yugoslavia … regards building the party’s branch organization – the Youth Union – as a core task, and regards the Youth Union members just like party members. Currently young people account for nearly 30% of the total number of party members.”

“… The Communist Parties around the world have constantly been improving the way they recruit new members and have been relaxing the standards for becoming new members. For example, in order to expand their forces as soon as possible, the Communist Party of the United States simplified the procedures for becoming a member. In the past, in order to join the party, two people had to recommend the applicant, but now the applicant can simply apply to join the party via email.”

[1] Qiushi Journal, February 26, 2010