Do you accept the current relevance of the view of Karl Marx that the historical basis for the overthrow of capitalism is that, as a system, it can no longer revolutionize the forces of production and, if so, given the People’s Republic of China has experienced economic growth unprecedented in human civilization; that it has elevated the Chinese nation from a poor and exploited one to a world power and that, in the past generation alone, it has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, how then, if the PRC is taken to be capitalist, on Marx’s critique of capitalism as a historically outdated system incapable of revolutionizing the forces of production still be valid? And why should we not consider the possibility that, given the continuity of CPC rule despite its revisionism, the PRC remains a dictatorship of the proletariat, albeit in a petial an distorted form and that the economy there is fundamentally planned, though with the intervention of market forces and capitalist exploitation?
And even if we are not unable to reach consensus on the question of China during the conference, given the document by the Filipino comrades warns that “countries are being used as pawn, staging point of military foothold” should we not be concerned that any assertion of the legitimate fishing rights of the Filipino people lead not to increased national sovereignty but instead to the weaponization of the Filipino people as a neo- colonial pawn of US imperialism in the latter¿s war provocations against China?
Tynan Liebert, Communist Workers Circle, Canada
When we speak of the forces of production under capitalism, we refer not only to factories, machines and technology, but more importantly, to the workers and other productive classes and sectors, who daily suffer deteriorating conditions of chronic and massive unemployment, wage repression and other worsening forms of capitalist exploitation and oppression. As long as it exists, capitalism, will push research and technology to unprecedented heights not to serve the betterment of workers who make and operate these technologies, but to pocket even greater amounts of profits, by further simplifying labor and bringing down the price of labor-power.
Robotics have long brought down labor costs in the assembly line, with a few exceptions, such as the assembly and quality testing of microchips which they have exported to countries with cheap labor. The recent advances in AI applications are also pulling down the costs of mental labor by bringing down the costs to produce programmers, data analysts, and others.
When China turned to the capitalist road in 1977 and eventually into an imperialist power in the 2000s, the broad masses of workers and peasants were disempowered. Workers democracy was suppressed with unions disbanded or placed under the control of state bureaucrats. Farmers were displaced from their land with the dismantling of communes and the re-introduction of private plots. Capitalism changed the face of China to its own image. Megafactories were erected, run like military camps where workers are instilled with “discipline” to follow orders, instead of being taught to become shapers of their destiny. Megaroads and high speed trains were built to accelerate the migration of the displaced rural population to the cities to ensure the steady supply of cheap labor.
The claim that hundreds of millions of people in China “were lifted out of poverty” is completely ill-informed. From the 1990s and up to the present, massive strikes have spontaneously broken out as resistance to grave factory abuses as workers are driven to their limits by the bourgeoisie. Cases of workers suicide in some factories, including those of FoxConn, have become so rampant, that the capitalists have set up nets to catch desperate workers who jump from the top floors of their factories and dormitories.
State planning of the economy, per se, does not make a country socialist. What makes a country socialist is the class orientation of the state. Prior to neoliberalism, and even recently, bourgeois states, including the US, have engaged in active economic intervention, including the operation of state-owned companies, or issuing policies that promote the interests of their capitalists, including the billions of dollars recently invested by the US government in semiconductor development to outrace China and Japan.
In the same way that the dictatorship of the proletariat was overthrown in 1956 in the Soviet Union through a power grab by modern revisionists of the helms of the communist party, the dictatorship of the proletariat was overthrown in China in 1977 through a power grab led by Deng Xiaoping and his retinue of capitalist roaders. Since then, the ruling state in China has been an instrument of monopoly bureaucrat capitalists, not of the proletariat. They are representatives of the super-rich billionaires in China who have emerged in the past decade of “state-planning.” Rival factions of billionaires have emerged. Some who are known in China to be close to Jiang Zemin, have been recently disenfranchised in the so-called “anti-corruption” drive of Xi Jinping, in his push to further concentrate state power and wealth in his faction.
The gross conditions of workers, peasants, as well as the pettybourgeoisie in China are driving more and more to return to the path of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, rebuild the communist party, repudiate and expose the ruling party as revisionist and organize the masses into a revolutionary movement. They face grave dangers. There are numerous reports of activists and organizers being abducted and going missing.
As to the second part of the question: it is a valid concern that the assertion of Philippine national sovereignty and rights to its territorial waters will be used by the US for its purposes of turning the Philippines into a pawn for its strategy of encirclement and provocation against China. This, in fact, is already happening, with the US more aggressively pushing its military presence in the guise of promoting the 2016 decision of the International Arbitral Tribunal under the UNCLOS or the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Seas to which, in fact, it is not a signatory to. Keenly aware of this fact, the revolutionary and patriotic forces in the Philippines comprehensively raise the demand for the demilitarization of the South China Sea or for the withdrawal of all US and Chinese military forces and facilities in the area, even as they can concentrate their aim at either China or the US at one point time or another. At the same time, the national democratic forces in the Philippines have heightened their call for the dismantling of all US military bases and facilities and withdrawal of all US troops in the Philippines, as well as the abrogation of a number of lopsided military treaties that bind the country to the US.
Question: Is the category of “counter-aggressive imperialist countries” really useful? The proletariat and broad masses cannot side with any imperialist. The aggression & provocation of US/NATO is no justification to start a war of aggression against Ukraine.
To grapple with the fact that Russia’s assault against Ukraine as a counter-aggression is not to justify the death, destruction and suffering of the Ukrainian people, especially its workers and toiling masses. The keynote article authored by the CPP clearly denounced the Russian war in Ukraine for “unleashing a great catastrophe on the Ukrainian proletariat and people.”
We must understand Russia’s war in Ukraine as an imperialist counter-aggression in order that we can condemn it as an imperialist act, as a war that serves the purpose of defending the interests of the monopoly bourgeoisie in Russia in Europe; and at the same time, to condemn even more forcefully, the US imperialists and its NATO allies for its long years of imperialist aggression in Eastern Europe, using Ukraine for its expansionism and provocation against Russia. Like in any other phenomenon, there is a principal aspect and a secondary aspect to imperialist wars, which communists must comprehend in order to correctly define their tactics.
To insist that the description of the Russian assault on Ukraine as an “imperialist counter- aggression” is a “justification” will tend to obscure the principal role played by the US and its imperialist allies in Europe and how they consider Ukraine as a mere cog in its overall imperialist machination to wrest the European markets, sources of raw markets away from Russian hands.
Question: Various speakers referred to international coordination, and the need for proletarian internationalism (TKP-ML, CPI, CPP); What does this sort of strategic international coordination concretely mean? Is it the rebirth of a Communist International? If it’s something else what kind of concrete steps are being proposed? In the CPP statement no mention of an overarching body or mechanism was mentioned, why is there no proposal for an international organization on behalf of the CPP?
Kites publication, Montreal
We are presently in the era of strategic rebuilding of the international communist movement. We are confident that amid the insoluble capitalist crisis leading to widespread economic devastation and wars, these efforts are bound to lead to a global resurgence of new democratic and socialist revolutionary movements.
The revolutionary proletariat must make use of dialectical and historical materialism to analyze the internal conditions in their countries, and take advantage of the conditions to rouse the proletariat, to build its party and to lead the broad masses of workers, peasants and other oppressed classes and people onto the revolutionary path of armed struggle and class resistance. Majority, if not all, countries in the world today present ever favorable conditions for waging revolution, whether national-democratic or socialist, through protracted people’s war or armed insurrections.
The writings of our great communist teachers are widely available across the globe and have been translated in all major languages. What is crucial today is studying these writings and
applying in on the concrete conditions of every country, and availing of the experiences and summed-up lessons of successful revolutionary movements in history.
The international proletariat must exert efforts to promote this campaign to study and apply Marxism-Leninism-Maoism in as many countries as possible, through conferences and other means to exchange views, experiences and lessons, with the view of helping each other strengthen their revolutionary practice. As shown by experiences in the past few decades, misplaced efforts at building an International as a formal and unitary organization at this stage in history—where one party or group tries to “define the line” despite the fact that they themselves have yet to prove their correctness in practice—have mostly been counterproductive.
Comrade Jose Maria Sison discussed this matter in his article “On the World Situation” on September 26, 2022, a few months before his death. We urge everyone to review this article. In it he wrote:
It is not necessary for an International of Communist and Workers’ parties to exist for a country to start the development of the armed revolution. Lenin spent time debating with and exposing the revisionists, the social chauvinists, social pacifists, social fascists and social imperialists of the Second International to be able to clear the road of revolution in Russia.
He had first to win the Great October Socialist Revolution in 1917 to be able to build the most effective International so far in the history of the revolutionary proletariat. He founded the Third International in 1919. The lack of an international should not be an excuse for failure to start and develop the revolution in any country.
Since the dissolution of the Comintern in 1943, because of the inability of the Executive Committee to give directives to so many parties under conditions of World War II, communist parties that could communicate with each other could cooperate bilaterally and even multilaterally.
There is a far longer history of communist and workers’ parties that are equal to each other and independent of each other under proletarian internationalism and anti- imperialist solidarity. If there is yet no bulwark of socialism as strong as the Soviet Union or China in the past, the revolutionary parties of the proletariat can devise ways of conferences, consultations and communications in order to exchange information, experiences and ideas and raise the level of revolutionary struggle among the proletariat and the people.