“To expressly highlight the vanguard role of the working class in the revolutionary process, in conditions when a series of forces dispute the Marxist-Leninist criteria of belonging to the working class, consequently, its leading position in the struggle for social progress and in the revolutionary transition from capitalism to socialism as well.”
(From the founding declaration of the ICR)
You have in your hands the 3rd issue of the International Communist Review, which is dedicated to the working class, to its contemporary living conditions, its struggle, and the conclusions which arise from the activity of the labour and communist movement, the experience from the construction of the world’s first workers’ state, the USSR.
In opposition to bourgeois and opportunist theories, the reality is that the working class has not only not disappeared, but is developing, growing, not only quantitatively but qualitatively, as the basic productive force, regardless of the changes which have taken place concerning its structure and composition due to the changes in the productive process caused by technological progress. There are variations and fluctuations in every country in relation to the concentration of the working class, its distribution, in the various sectors, there are different rates concerning the destruction of the intermediate strata, the destruction of small-scale agricultural production, fluctuations in the waves of immigration and other individual factors, which impact on the quantitative and qualitative indicators of the working class. Such factors need to be studied by the communist and workers’ parties, so that they can strengthen their strategy and tactics, contribute to the strengthening of the class unity of the working class, to the social alliance with the popular strata. The changes which are taking place substantiate with out any doubt the conclusion that the working class is the motor force of social development and that its historic mission is the abolition of private ownership of the means of production, the exploitation of man by man in the direction for the full eradication of the classes. There is no other social force which can fulfil this role.
The reality today of the capitalist economic crisis, which has manifested itself in a synchronised way in many capitalist countries demonstrates once again that capitalism finds itself in the highest imperialist stage of its development, tortures millions of workers all across the world, gives birth to poverty and unemployment, suffers from incurable contradictions which are manifested in the cyclical crises as well as the in the wars for the expansion of the business activity of the monopolies, the division of the markets, the control of the sources of wealth.
The crisis of capitalism demonstrates the historical limits of the system while the working class, which does not have the means of production at its disposal, is the “grave-digger” of the capitalist mode of production. This historic revolutionary role of the working class has its precondition that it will be organised as a class for itself. The formation and strengthening of the revolutionary party is necessary for the working class to become conscious of its mission, to shape a revolutionary strategic lead for the implacable class struggle against capital.
The working class cannot have success with line of “social consensus”, and social “peace”, as is claimed by reformist and opportunist forces. The many years of negative experience demonstrate that this line led to the assimilation of the trade union movement, with social democracy and opportunist forces having the main responsibility for this. Today it is a necessity for capitalism to overturn even the most basic gains which were won in previous decades as a result of the class struggle at a national and international level.
Neither the working class struggle for the prevention of the anti-people measures, for economic and social demands and gains in conditions of capitalism can be separated with a “Chinese wall” from the struggle for the socialist-communist society.
The struggle for economic, social and political demands, based on the contemporary needs of the people and working class, with the goal of rallying, concentrating and preparing working class forces for tough confrontations with the exploitative system, is not limited to the acquisition of some gains, but is linked to the goal for the overthrow of capitalist barbarity. The working class produces the wealth and must claim it in the struggle for its own power.
This effort is being waged today in more unfavourable conditions due to the counterrevolution in the USSR and the other countries of Central and Eastern Europe, which led, temporarily, to the retreat of the movement, to the increase of illusions, which the bourgeois class fostered, that capitalism allegedly is the “end of history”. 20 years later the impasses of capitalism point to the necessity and timeliness of socialism. We study the experience of socialist construction in the 20th century, without having a negative and nihilistic stance in relation to its positive and irreplaceable contribution. We seek to draw conclusions which will make our parties more capable, and which will also equip the working men and women all over the world with a revitalised consciousness and belief in working class power, in socialism-communism.