The Dismantling of the Soviet Union, a Hard Blow for the World Working Class

Raúl Martínez, Member of the PB of the CPTE, and Gorka Sáenz, cadre of the PCTE

1. Introduction

On December 26, 1991 the red banner weaving over the Kremlin was lowered. The Soviet Union was dismantled in spite of 77.8% of Soviet citizens who manifested for the preservation of its continuity in the March 17, 1991 Referendum. 

Facts seemed to confirm the thesis on the end of History supported by Francis Fukuyama —Deputy Director of the Policy Planning Staff in the US Department of State— in a well-known article published in Summer 1988. They decreed the end of ideologies and the end of class struggle. They claimed the total victory of capitalism. The times of the so-called single way of thinking started.

The new generations were raised in a simple and fallacious idea: there is no alternative to capitalism. They tried to ideologically incarcerate the workers' movement. If there was no alternative to capitalism, then the struggle would be reduced to the relief of its effects and limited to the support of the lesser evil. Thus the wage slavery seemed to become the only possible playing field.

To the temporary victory of counter-revolution, it should be also added the victory of social democracy over communism in the workers' movement, the victory of the bourgeois workers' movement over the revolutionary workers' movement. Many communist parties, in an exercise of apostasy, transformed themselves into social democratic forces under one or another name. Some of them, even though they kept the name “communist”, publicly abjured to the principles and undertook a gradual social democratic mutation.

The old ruling class tried to settle accounts with the past. Anti-communism escalated in all its forms. The world working class would soon test in their own flesh the outcomes of the counter-revolutionary victory in both the capitalist countries and the former socialist ones. Those peoples that became victims of new imperialist wars would test them too. 

In this article, we are trying to address some effects of the 1989-1991 counter-revolutionary events that deepened the dire crisis the International Communist Movement was being suffering from way back. Disorientation reigned in those lean years. There was not a scientific explanation of the real causes that allowed the bourgeoisie to regain power in the Soviet Union and other socialist countries.

Many chose to join the anti-sovietism (anti-communism) promoted by the imperialist centers and the most varied diversionist schools. Others chose to undertake the study of what had happened and extracted conclusions based on Marxism-Leninism to illustrate and continue class struggle. To these last ones, the ones who held high the red banner in those difficult days, we thankfully dedicate this article.

2. Perestroika. Effects of the counter-revolution in the USSR and other countries

The victory of counter-revolution cannot be explained without approaching the study of what was happening in the Soviet Union. The International Communist Review, and especially issues 2 and 7 —devoted to the discussion on socialism and the 100th anniversary of the Great Socialist October Revolution— has taken on such task.

In the Editorial article of issue 7, published in 2017, we stated:

 “Today the communist and workers parties ought to better study the contemporary elaborations of the parties that support the effort of the ICR and draw useful conclusions for the future regarding the economic changes that were implemented in the USSR and the other socialist states, mainly after the 20th and 22nd Congresses of the CPSU, with the return of market 'tools', like profit, and the more general strengthening of commodity-money relations in the conditions of the socialist economy. The changes that took place in the political superstructure of the USSR need to be studied, such as, e.g. the political line regarding an 'All- people's State', as well as the strategy of the USSR in international relations (e.g. the 'peaceful coexistence' and 'competition' of the two socio-economic systems) as well as the strategy of the international communist movement (e.g. dissolution of the 3rd International, strategy of stages to socialism). More generally, the causes of the overthrow of the socialist system must be more deeply studied. This was a counterrevolution because it brought social regression. The absolute domination of capitalism has piled up great sufferings for millions of people, inside and outside the socialist countries that we knew.” 

Indeed, after the 20th Congress of the CPSU, the gradual strengthening of market mechanisms of production (market-money relations) and the changes in the superstructure of the USSR —quite significantly the rejection of the dictatorship of the proletariat in 1961 and its replacement by the All-people's State— eroded the workers' power and strengthened the capitalist forces.

The so-called “shadow capital”, which tried to legally operate as productive capital and pressed on the CPSU and the Socialist State to restore capitalism, gradually emerged. Market relations were reinforced instead of strengthening the socialist productive relations.

The outcomes of such a revisionist policy were soon felt at all levels. In the economic sphere, “brake mechanism” started to be used as a reference to the decline of growth rates in the Soviet economy in the 70's, a decline that would turn into stagnation in the mid-80's.

The negative changes in the economic base of society were projected over the other spheres of social life. Problems that had been almost eradicated during the socialist construction began to increase. Crime rates and alcoholism also increased, prostitution was a phenomenon that reappeared and new social scourges —like drug addiction— arose.

The socialist values were eroded and social unrest increased among a population that witnessed how many corporate officers, officials and politicians became wealthier and increased their power outside the socialist legality. Growing sections of the people began to show signs of disaffection and question the official information, the CPSU slogans, and the Soviet institutions. They were increasingly exposed to the capitalist “mass culture” because of the lack of revolutionary proposals to face the workers' and people's problems.

In April 1985, a plenary session of the Central Committee of the CPSU would be called. Mikhail Gorbachev, General Secretary since March 1984, would advertise the basic principles of the Perestroika (restructuring) strategy. 

In the economic sphere, the Perestroika meant a spectacular increase of independence for companies and associations by prioritizing their own accountability and funding, justified by the effectiveness in management. It busted central planning of economy regarding price fixing, financial and credit mechanisms, the net of technological supplies and productive materials and the organization of the scientific-technical development, all of it on behalf of “self-management”, later promoted to a higher degree in the plenary session of the Central Committee of the CPSU held in June 1987, when the “Foundations of a radical restructuring of the economic direction” were approved. The “brake mechanism” they allegedly fought against —which actually expressed the clash between the development of productive forces and the productive relations— was used to justify new reforms in a capitalist sense.

In the political sphere, it was claimed that the Perestroika could be conducted only through democracy. The replacement of the dictatorship of the proletariat by the so-called “All-people's State” reached a new dimension. The Marxist-Leninist principles on the Theory of the State and Law were completely replaced by a bourgeois understanding of democracy complemented by the Glasnost (transparency) policies, thus contributing to the weakening of Soviet power from within and to the creation of the political conditions for the victory of counter-revolution in the following years.

The Perestroika, far from what some trends have stated, was not detached from the erroneous measures launched after the right-wing theses approved in the 20th Congress of the CPSU. Mikhail Gorbachev wrote in the book that explained the restructuring policy the following passage:

 “An important milestone of our history was the 20th Congress of the CPSU, as it decisively contributed to the theory and practice of socialist construction. Following this Congress, a great effort was made in order to realign the advance of the country and fulfill the overcome of the negative features of the social and political life bred by the personality cult to Stalin.

 The decisions adopted in the Congress contributed to the implementation of decisive political, economic, social, and ideological measures, but the possibilities arising from it were not fully used (…).

 This is precisely why in the following period —whose most characteristic fact was the plenary session of the Central Committee of the CPSU held in October 1964— the first measure taken was the correction of such extremes, adopting a stance trending towards stabilization. It was a well justified stance that received the support of the people and the Party. Soon some positive results were witnessed. The decisions made and adopted were better thought and substantiated. The beginning of the 1965 economic reform and the plenary session of the Central Committee held in March 1965 devoted to agriculture were two important initiatives addressed to the introduction positive changes in the economy.”

Hence, the Perestroika did not mean a rupture with the previous policies, but it was their deepening. Mikhail Gorbachev himself, by criticizing the opposition within the CPSU to such policies, proves to be fully aware of the basic features of the discussion, as he shows in this passage:

“Under such conditions, a prejudiced attitude on the role of the market-money relations and the law of value in a socialist system soon arouse, which frequently stated that they were alien and even against socialism.”

Far from what the bourgeois historiography has stated, despite the growth in the 80's of social forces that supported the restoration of capitalism, the Soviet working class and the popular masses did not reject socialism. Actually, it should be remembered that the policies that led to counter-revolution were justified precisely on behalf of socialism under a huge effort of diversionism and ideological manipulation.

In the work “I, Mikhail Gorbachev. Perestroika. My Message to the World”, widely spread in the capitalist countries through massive free-of-charge deliveries to the main newspapers, the then General Secretary of the CPSU attempts to present the Perestroika as “the return to Lenin, an ideological source of the Perestroika”, making a biased interpretation of the works written by Lenin in his last years of life and the NEP and justifying his positions under slogans such as “more socialism and more democracy” or “the Perestroika is a revolution”. He even claims that “we will not attempt to walk away from socialism, but advance towards a better socialism. We sincerely say so, without the slightest intention to deceive our own people or the world”.

Evidently, the subsequent events refuted Gorbachev. Several years after the victory of counter-revolution, he was willing to participate in an advertising spot in which several customers in a Pizza Hut restaurant were discussing in front of him about the legacy of his policies and eventually an old woman stated that “thanks to Gorbachev, Russians have Pizza Hut” while the customers show their pizza portions and toast with Gorbachev. He also participated in advertising spots for the well-known French luxury brand Louis Vuitton, and several years later he recognized that “had I proclaimed then the final goal, I would have been immediately overthrown”.

Gorbachev was not overthrown in the confusing events of August 1991, which opened the door to his resignation and the dismantling of the Soviet Union. It was workers' power and socialism what was really overthrown in the USSR and other socialist countries, being the results of it for the working class and the popular masses quite different to those claimed in advertising spots. Let us see just a few data:

  • State expenditures went from 47.9% of the 1991 GDP to 26.9% in the first half of 1995, below the USA.
  • On January 2, 1992 practically all the prices were opened up.
  • Since January 1992 Russia endured the most severe and long-lasting economic decline of all the powers in the 20th century in times of peace. Between 1991 and 1996, real GDP and industry production dropped to almost a half, investment dropped more than 70% and agricultural production to a third.
  • By the end of 1994, 78.5% of industry production was coming from non-State companies. A regime of free import, free movement of capital and free foreign exchange was quickly established.
  • In September 1996, estimations claimed that the unpaid wages summed US$6.8 millions, which was approximately 64% of the monthly wage mass in the country.
  • The death rate in Russia increased from 11.4 per mille in 1991 to 15.5 per mille in 1994, and to 14.3 per mille in 1996. The high rate was caused by sharp increases in the number of deaths related to alcohol, suicides, murders, circulatory and respiratory problems, infections and parasites, connected to the economic policies and decline. The higher mortality rate in the '92-'96 period caused 2.1 millions of premature deaths in that term in Russia.

These were some of the results of the overthrow and the policies of liberalization and privatization implemented according to the recommendations of the International Monetary Fund and based on the complete legalization of private property, free trade within the country, removal of obstacles in the foreign trade, liberalization of prices and transfer of socialist property to private hands.

The CPSU was banned, just like other Communist Parties in the Soviet Republics and other socialist countries. The working class lost power and was again expropriated.

3. Effects of the counter-revolution for the working class in the capitalist countries

The counter-revolution was rampant not only in the USSR and the former socialist countries. The bourgeois offensive could be felt worldwide. Soon it was verified that the Welfare State theorized by bourgeois ideologists in the expansive cycle of capitalism between 1945 and 1973 was dismantled thanks to the decisive involvement of the international social democracy. With it, the labor and social rights conquered by the workers' movement in the capitalist countries were also dismantled.

Far from what supporters of capitalism had foreseen, the periodic economic crisis did not disappear along with the disappearance of the socialist camp: Japan —the then second economy in the world— entered a crisis in the early-90's and endured a long stage of stagnation. Mexico suffered a crisis in 1995. The so-called Asian Tigers in 1997. In 1998, it was the turn of Brazil and Russia. In 2001, there are expressions of a great over-productive crisis in the United States, especially among the great high-technology companies serving as models at Silicon Valley. The well-known corralito in Argentina was in 2002. Eventually, the so-called Great Recession shook the economy in 2008-2014.

In all those periods of crisis, the capitalist State actively intervened the economy. Nevertheless, after the capitalist restoration in the USSR, the economic and political discussion was trapped between the two basic forms of bourgeois answer to the crisis: the Keynesian one on one side, and the answer coming from the claims of the Chicago school, baptized as neoliberal. In the political sphere, these two forms of capitalist management basically match the two political trends narrowly related between themselves by their common defense of capitalism: social-democratic and liberal. On them, the multi-party democracy dogma —consolidated after World War II by the process of constitutional regulation of political parties— is built.

Two-party systems, more or less imperfect, are settled basing on the two basic political proposals belonging to the two aforementioned economic schools. Both schools equally support capitalism. Only those unquestionable claims will, within the framework of capitalist democracies, face the new capitalist crisis and become the base of the role of the State.

The correlation of forces was thoroughly altered. Due to the social democratic forces within the workers' movement made, the thesis claiming that there was only room for resistance struggles in defense of the Welfare State became hegemonic. It was hidden that such Welfare State —where it actually did exist— was the result of the correlation of forces arisen from the victory of the 1917 Socialist Revolution and the development and strengthening of the International Communist Movement, the result of the Antifascist Victory of the Peoples in World War II, and the result of the formation of the socialist camp and the development of a strong revolutionary workers' movement in the capitalist countries able to gain significant rights with its struggle. It was hidden that, if the pillars on which such correlation of forces was based were torn down, the conquests gained thanks to them were also torn down. But, quite especially, the Marxist criticism to the Welfare State was hidden.

There was a colossal manipulation which claimed that the capitalist system had entered a new stage in the 1970's because of the outbreak of the 1973 crisis, the so-called neoliberal stage. Indeed, in the sphere of capitalist management, a heavy political, economical, and ideological offensive started. It questioned the model elaborated by Maynard Keynes and other bourgeois economists, based on State intervention in order to stimulate the demand as a means to —paradoxically— boost the private appropriation, the capitalist accumulation. This was actually the key: capitalism did not enter a new stage, it just changed the prevailing form of State management. 

Hence the workers' movement —ruled by social democracy— entered a long stage of resistance against the new capitalist offensive based on the conquests gained previously. Both the Welfare State and the Keynesian policies that provided its basis were assimilated as if they did belong to the workers' movement. Old formulas once supported by social democracy arose again: the theory on the “organized capitalism”, on the “economic democracy”, on “State capitalism”, all of them allegedly addressed to the streamlining of capitalism in order to make it less harmful for workers.

The capitalist State, which is —like every State— nothing but a machine for the oppression of one class by another, was paradoxically presented as the great benefactor of the wide toiling masses. Also paradoxically, in times of over-productive crisis, the policies of “State monopolistic capitalism” were and are presented as policies for the majorities, thus concealing the subordination of the bourgeois State to capitalist monopolies in order to intervene in the process of expanded reproduction of social capital at all its stages: production, distribution, exchange and consumption.

This leads to the basic program of the contemporary social democracy, which has turned its proposals into the bars that trap today the working class in the bourgeois ideological prison.

As a result of this process, the dismantling of the public systems for social protection was observed in all the capitalist countries. The privatizing processes of the educational and health systems increased with dire results for the life of the working people. The public pension system was hardly blown and the age of retirement was raised, the requirements for gaining the right to a public pension were tightened. Labor rights went back at all levels, which eased the exploitation of workforce by capital, and hard blows were made to collective agreements and to the class-oriented union movement.

4. Effects of the counter-revolution in the change of the correlation of forces worldwide. The imperialist wars.

After the victory of counter-revolution, George H.W. Bush —the US President between 1989 and 1993— proclaimed in a well-known speech the beginning of a New World Order. The so-called Cold War unleashed by the imperialist powers after the end of World War II had ended up in the defeat of communism. They promised a world without international contradictions, without arms, and without wars.

They told us:

“We stand today at a unique and extraordinary moment. The crisis in the Persian Gulf, as grave as it is, also offers a rare opportunity to move toward a historic period of cooperation. Out of these troubled times, our (…) objective —a new world order— can emerge: a new era —freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, and more secure in the quest for peace. An era in which the nations of the world, East and West, North and South, can prosper and live in harmony. 

 (…) A hundred generations have searched for this elusive path to peace, while a thousand wars raged across the span of human endeavor. Today that new world is struggling to be born, a world quite different from the one we’ve known. A world where the rule of law supplants the rule of the jungle. A world in which nations recognize the shared responsibility for freedom and justice. 

 … A world where the strong respect the rights of the weak. This is the vision that I shared with President Gorbachev (...). He and other leaders from Europe, the Gulf, and around the world understand that how we manage this crisis today could shape the future for generations to come.” 

Life itself would soon bring the imperialist hoaxes in the international sphere down. On January 17, 1991 a US-led coalition made by 34 countries launched Operation Desert Storm against Iraq. The war formally ended on February 28, 1991, but a new and bloody portioning of the world began as the Soviet Union and the socialist countries could not be the counterweight they were for decades. The Iraqi people was bombed in July 1992, in June 1993 and in December 1998. Finally, in March 2003, a new US-led imperialist coalition invaded Iraq in a military campaign that lasted until December 2011. 

In November 1989, an alleged People's Congress elects Dzhokhar Dudayev —a General of the Soviet Air Force— as the leader of the Chechen independentists. He would not hesitate in supporting the putsch that drove Boris Yeltsin to power in 1991. Soon afterwards, Dudayev would carry out his own putsch by assaulting the Supreme Soviet at Grozny. Where peace and friendship among the peoples had ruled before, war would soon begin. On December 11, 1994 the Russian army entered Chechnya. A war that would cause thousands of victims, with the direct and indirect involvement of different powers, began. What was the goal? The control of the Caucasus, of Chechnya, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, the rule of the oil resources in the area and the assurance of the irreversibility of the restoration of capitalism in Russia and the former Soviet Republics, thus opening new spheres for the export of capital and the activity of monopolies. A zone of conflicts which is until now a land heavily disputed by the main imperialist powers.

Meanwhile, the dismantling of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia opened the imperialist feud in the Balkans. From 1991 to 2001, the struggle between the different local bourgeoisies, and also between the imperialist powers, was carried out through subsequent episodes of a new war that reached its decisive moment from February 1998 to June 1999, when NATO bombed Yugoslavia in support to the Kosovo Liberation Army, a terrorist group previously armed by Germany. Eventually, the struggle resulted in the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the creation of a NATO protectorate in Kosovo. 

The new century had barely begun when the TV channels broadcast live the terrorist attacks against the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. The former USA allies in the counter-revolutionary war undertaken against the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan in order to reverse the socialist path and weaken the Soviet Union then hit the heart of New York. The answer was given quickly: George W. Bush announced the beginning of a new imperialist war with the support of NATO and a new imperialist coalition that declared its goal to be the defeat of Al Qaeda and the Taliban, the same ones they had labeled just a few years before as “freedom fighters”. 

The withdrawal of imperialist troops from Afghanistan in August 2021 —giving all the power to the Taliban— confirmed what always was an evidence for communists: the imperialist wars launched after the victory of the counter-revolution in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Chechnya, Libya, and other parts of the world had very few to do with the propaganda pretexts of those who attempt to justify such wars. It is the continuation of the imperialist politics —based on the insurmountable contradictions corroding world capitalism— through war. It is the struggle for the portioning of an already portioned world, the rivalry of monopolies in the export of capitals, the struggle for controlling natural resources, transport routes, and markets.

The social democracy —whether they come from the Second International or they mutated from the communist ranks into new social democrats— actively participates in such struggle. We have several examples in our country. The Felipe González (PSOE) Government gave its support to Operation Desert Storm. The bombardment of Yugoslavia was carried out when the NATO General Secretary was Spanish socialist leader Javier Solana —whom would be later the High Representative of the European Union for Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Chief Commander of the EUFOR. The Afghanistan war counted with the support of the Rodríguez Zapatero (PSOE) Government and Spanish military involvement. The Spanish participation in the Libyan War was led by Julio Rodríguez, then Chief of the Defense Staff and currently a leader of Podemos. The Spanish Government formed by PSOE and the Unidas Podemos coalition (Izquierda Unida and the Communist Party of Spain belong to this coalition) has sent at the beginning of 2022 two military battleships to the Black Sea, deployed fighters in Bulgaria, and maintained the Spanish military presence in Latvia under the command of NATO, whose summit will be held in Madrid next June. Prominent Spanish socialist leader Josep Borrell is currently the High Representative of the European Union for Common Foreign and Security Policy and hence the responsible to lead the involvement of the European imperialist alliance in the new struggles for the portioning of the world being waged right now. 

The involvement of social democracy in the defense of imperialism and the imperialist war is a matter of fact since 1914, but after the victory of the counter-revolution the excuses used by social democracy to justify their involvement all over history have also affected a part of the communist movement.

The defense of an allegedly multipolar world against the US hegemony is one of such justifications. The renounce to the revolutionary struggle for power in each country is behind such stance and eventually leads to the election of one of the rival imperialist powers in every conflict. This stance places the working class in each country under an alien banner and has nothing to do with a strategy for the overthrow based on the proletarian internationalist principles. In the “Open letter of the International Relations Section of the Central Committee of the KKE about the Resolution of the Communist Party of Spain regarding the confrontation between the USA, NATO, EU and Russia”, recently published on Solidnet, and also in the different articles published by the International Communist Review, such matters corroding a part of the International Communist Movement are thoroughly addressed. 

At the same time, those Communist Parties that did not undertake the task to make a scientific analysis on the events leading to the counter-revolution in the USSR and other socialist countries are currently deepening in the same mistakes already made by the “peaceful coexistence” policy. The constant calls of those parties on making “the international architecture more democratic” and on defending a multipolar order based on the International Law and the international institutions —especially the UN— have nothing to do with the indispensable class approach that should rule the stance of communists towards the international organizations and the International Law, which does not represent any longer the correlation of forces between the imperialist and socialist camps and now represents exclusively the existing correlation in the imperialist pyramid and between the imperialist powers and alliances that are now portioning the world.

Such misunderstanding is also expressed in the analysis on the existing inter-State alliances and the changes within them. Those alliances —the old and the new ones— do not represent a space of collaboration and democratization of international relations. They are economic, political, and military unions created in order to intervene more successfully in the struggle for the portioning of the world. The stance of the members of the Party of the European Left —to which the Communist Party of Spain and Izquierda Unida belong— on this matter, calling to the democratization of the European Union, is quite meaningful. They are talking about the same European Union that has made pf anti-communism its official doctrine and that is persecuting communist parties and militants in different countries.

The stance on other imperialist alliances like NATO is expressed in the same direction. The general calls on “dissolving NATO”, without a determined struggle for the exit and breakup from such criminal alliance in each country, are sowing false illusions and contributing to conceal the contradictions behind the international events, just like the calls on “democratizing the EU” do.

All the topics approached until now try to offer a picture of the hard blow suffered by the international proletariat after the victory of the counter-revolution. To the plunder suffered by the Soviet working class and people and the other socialist countries where the counter-revolution prevailed, it should be added an overall setback —being furthered now— of social and labor rights in the capitalist countries. The peoples are still paying the outcomes of the imperialist looting, the inter-imperialist rivalries, and the wars they inexorably lead to. Furthermore, a significant change operated within the workers' movement, reflected nowadays in the existing discussions within the International Communist Movement, because of the predominance of social democracy and other system forces over the revolutionary positions and the weakening or mutation of numerous communist parties.

Indeed, in the difficult times when we witnessed the demise of the Soviet Union and the following decades, the revolutionary workers' movement was hardly blown. But, based on the capital-labor contradiction and the tireless work of those who stood in the principles, the bases that should lead to the overcome of the crisis in the communist movement, to new offensives in class struggle, and to the future proletarian revolutions were also laid.

5. Resistance against the counter-revolution

The breakup of the Soviet Union and the banning of the CPSU caused the collapse of the structures the International Communist Movement counted with. Amid the process of breakup or mutation of many communist parties —some of them had previously renounced to any proletarian internationalist collaboration according to the Eurocommunist stances on “policentrism”— the crisis was immediately projected to the international structures created by the class-oriented international movement, whose own existence was threatened. The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), the World Peace Council (WPC), the Women's International Democratic Federation (WIDF) and the World Federation of the Democratic Youth (WFDY) lived difficult times. 

The parties that stood in the Marxist-Leninist principles in spite of adversity started then the study of the causes leading to the temporary victory of the counter-revolution in the Soviet Union and other socialist countries and resisted the political-ideological pressure of the bourgeoisie. 

After the difficult times following the breakup of the USSR, a tough work in the recomposing of the International Communist Movement was undertaken. Several first steps are taken, like the meeting organized in Leningrad by the Communist Workers' Party of Russia in 1997, devoted to the 80th anniversary of the October Revolution, the regional meeting of Communist Parties in the Eastern Mediterranean or the symposium organized by the Communist Party of Cuba on the validity of socialism. 

The holding of the 14th World Festival of Youth and Students in Havana in July 1997 was also highly significant, as it brought in contact a new generation of communist youngsters that had been incorporated to the struggle under counter-revolutionary conditions, thus assuring the survival of the festival movement and the WFDY itself.

In 1998, the Communist Party of Greece organizes an important meeting under the slogan “The Communist Parties under the current conditions” on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the “Manifesto of the Communist Party” and the 80th anniversary of the KKE. Such initiative, which makes some agreements like the creation of the first Information Bulletin, will become a decisive step towards the calling of the first International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties, held in Athens on June 21-23, 1999. It discussed on “The crisis of capitalism, globalization and the answer of the workers' movement”. 57 parties from 50 countries participated in the Meeting. 

The recovery of meeting spaces by the International Communist Movement nevertheless did not mean the overcome of the crisis. On the contrary, it is confirmed that substantial differences on relevant political and ideological questions survive. Under those conditions, the parties that agreed on the need to rebuild the International Communist Movement and its unity based on Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, thus forging a contemporary revolutionary strategy, took new practical steps. The creation of the International Communist Review in 2009 proved that the conditions for a higher level of collaboration among several parties with common insights on essential political-ideological issues had been created. As it is explained in the Editorial article of issue 1 of the ICR:

 “The 'International Communist Review' continuing the traditions of Lenin is a publication with a clear ideological-political character. It is a journal with a point of view and does not merely record theses of the Communist Parties, besides, the latter process is served by other corresponding publications, such as the Information Bulletin of the international meetings of Communist and Workers’ parties, as well as other parties’ publications. Our goal is to contribute to the popularization and development of the Marxist Leninist theory through the ideological analysis and political positioning on modern developments in capitalism and the issues of class struggle. We believe that the enforcement of the Marxist-Leninist orientation within the international communist and labor movement is a precondition for its necessary reorganization.”

Until now, the International Communist Review has openly shown our stances, our understanding, and our criticism towards the existing setback and distort of Marxism to the ensemble of the International Communist Movement and has contributed to the start of an important discussion among its ranks for its theoretical and ideological orientation.

The creation in 2013 of the Initiative of Communist and Workers' Parties in Europe is found within the same sense of reinforced collaboration and ideological resolve. It aims to contribute to the research and study of the issues affecting Europe from the viewpoint of scientific socialism and struggles for the withdrawal of our countries from the European Union within the framework of a strategy for the overthrow of the bourgeois power.

6. Some conclusions

Three decades have elapsed since the breakup of the Soviet Union. The objective need of the existence of communist parties —of the party of a new type that plays the leading role as the vanguard of the working class in the struggle for the overthrow of capitalism and the construction of socialism-communism— is confirmed. Facts have evidenced that it is required to face the imperialist barbarism and fight the imperialist unions. 

The communist parties that were able to approach the study of the causes of the counter-revolution in the USSR and other countries, to support the socialist conquests in the 20th century, and to use self-criticism in order to make an analysis of their own history and the problems the International Communist Movement went through are in a better position to face the political-ideological pressure of the bourgeoisie.

Today, the development of a distinctive pole of steady communist parties basing their strategy on Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, and also struggling against all kind of opportunism and ideological diversionism, is an urgent necessity. The new generations of workers incorporated to production under the difficult conditions arisen after the counter-revolutionary process require communist parties capable of leading class struggle, defending the red wire going through History, and defining a strategy for the overthrow of capitalism and construction of socialism-communism, which proved for many decades its superiority over capitalism.

The working class is subdued to tremendous pressure. Along with the analysis on the causes that led to the counter-revolution and the defense of the successes in the construction of socialism in the last century, it is necessary that the communist parties answer to anti-communism in all its forms, to historic revisionism and to a whole number of ideological phenomena that poison and deform the consciousness of the working class nowadays.

If victory was possible yesterday, we must make today every effort required to put an end to barbarism and assure that the mistakes made in the past are not repeated.