The 9th issue of the "International Communist Review", which you are holding in your hands, is dedicated to the working class, the labor - trade union movement and the work of the communists in it. For the Communist and Workers’ parties, this issue is certainly not only a matter of serious theoretical aspects, but also the "backbone" of their activity.
The meeting of the Editorial Board of the ICR, which was attended by representatives of the Communist and Workers' Parties who contributed in the 9th issue, examined the articles of the 9th issue. During the discussion it was underscored that despite the difficulties, the struggle and the intervention of the communists in the labor - trade union movement are being strengthened. The communists through their positions and activity stand against class co-operation and the path of parliamentary illusions promoted by the opportunist current within the working class.
A significant amount of experience has already been accumulated. By elaborating this experience and taking the necessary measures, new impetus can be given to the struggle of the Communist and Workers’ parties in order to strengthen the preconditions for the development of the class struggle. The material of the 9th issue, which hosts articles not only about the situation in Europe and the Balkans, but also in Latin America and Central Asia, can be used in this direction.
"The working class is the main force of the revolution", noted the comrades from Venezuela (PCV) in their article, underlining that "trade unions are the broadest organizations of workers at the level of the class struggle, which unite in an independent and voluntary way to defend the economic, social, and political interests of the working class against the employers and any factors opposed to their class interests. The trade unions, through the roar of their actions, can and should favour the formation of class-consciousness of the workers". The article presents the efforts of the PCV to organize the working class under difficult and complex conditions.
The article by the Spanish comrades (PCPE) stresses the damage done within the workers' and communist movement by positions of the so-called "Eurocommunism", as well as the bourgeoisie's attempt to impede mass workers' struggle under today's conditions. The article presents the line of "the workers’ shift", which has been charted by the PCPE. As noted, among other things, "the workers' shift means the practical implementation of a strategy of political work which links the Party to the Class. The workers' shift demands the communist militants to be present not only in the struggles our class leads, but also in trade unions; as well as unveiling the class-oriented nature of all of the measures our class enemy puts on the table, assuming there is no room for ideological neutrality in class struggle. Revolutionary project, leadership skill and class composition define, therefore, the class nature of the Communist Party we want to become".
The article by the Irish Comrades (WP of Ireland) makes a historical review on the trade union movement in Ireland, but also presents its contemporary problems, stressing that "the reactionary role of the EU has had a significant impact on the trade union movement and workers' rights". Referring to the current difficulties and obstacles that the degenerate, bureaucratic and opportunist trade union leaderships raise to the development of class struggle, the article by the Irish comrades estimates that "trade unions remain an important weapon in the arsenal of economic and industrial struggle. They can be used to create a consciousness of workers of their identity as workers although this will not, of itself, be sufficient to create revolutionary socialist consciousness. That is a task for the communists".
The article by the Turkish comrades (TKP) refers to the need for strong organizations (cells) of communists at workplaces. Making a reference to the trade unions' control by the capitalist class, the article underlines that "in order for the unions to be "liberated", i.e. to become organizations that represent the working class, the communist movement must make its organizations stronger everywhere. This implies the organization of the party at workplaces directly, the means of which would be nothing but workplace cells".
The article by the Serbian comrades (NKPJ) notes that "At these difficult moments, when capitalism in crisis is seeking to establish its savage dictatorship, sacrifices on the part of Marxist-Leninists, the working class and progressive elements are indispensable, but every revolutionary task requires courage, intelligence and vigorous action. There must be no retreat in the face of this situation".
As noted by the Mexican comrades (PCM), who make a historical review and also a concise contemporary summary of the situation of the labor movement, "it allows us to draw some lessons for our activity: 1) The intervention of the communists prepares the activity of the labor - trade union movement, which may otherwise be headed without object, from defeat to defeat, even for decades. 2) The existence of a Communist Party and base organizations which firmly work among the working class are of vital importance. 3) The role of communist ideology in the labor movement and its conflict with bourgeois, petty bourgeois and social-democratic ideological trends is a matter of life and death".
The article by the Latvian Comrades (SP of Latvia) describes the state of the labor movement over the years and the difficulties created by nationalism, the effect it exerts on different parts of the working class on the basis of their national origins. "In the countries of the former USSR, nationalism manifests itself as a uniquely reactionary factor, which is being successfully used by the local and globalist bourgeoisie in order to oppose the unity of the working class".
The article by the comrades from Kazakhstan (SM of Kazakhstan) includes the developments in the former USSR's labor - trade union movement. It describes, among other things, the struggle for the class-oriented reconstruction of the labor - trade union movement, the massive strike struggles that have occurred over the past years and their violent bloody repression by the employers and the bourgeois state, which has acquired characteristics of bourgeois dictatorship, by banning parties and trade unions. It is noted that "the struggle against dictatorship is not only a struggle against the specific rulers, but a struggle against the whole socio-economic system established in Kazakhstan in the early 1990s. This presupposes an elaboration of an effective tactic of struggle on the basis of the international experience of the communist and labor movement, without any kind of "transitional stages" or "bourgeois-democratic periods". In practice this must mean the rejection of any block with the liberal bourgeois opposition or groups within the ruling class. On the contrary, it presupposes only supporting the class allies having as representative the broad masses of the self-employed, who accept and agree with the socialist platform".
The article by the Russian comrades (RCWP), briefly and through the historical review on the labor and trade union movement in Russia, presents the emergence of the Soviets, the development of workers' democracy through them. "Workers’ class can participate in the work of bourgeois representative bodies. Still one has to dispose of the illusions: bourgeois parliament if only a supplementary tool of the workers’ struggle. Modern opportunists do their best to tame workers’ democracy, to alleviate its protests and to send workers to polling stations instead of trade unions and Soviets. Prevention of workers democracy institutions’ destruction by opportunists is the task of communists and conscientious workers".
The article by the Greek comrades (KKE), after presenting the assessment of the prevailing situation, sets the tasks "for the regroupment of the labor movement, which mean the preparation and development of a labor movement capable of decisively and effectively confronting, in alliance with the popular strata of the self-employed and farmers, the unified elaborated strategy of capital and capitalist power. These tasks include a series of ideological-political and organizational measures that mean: Elaboration of a class line and struggle demands (on all issues: salary, social security, health-care, working hours etc.) and the choice of forms of organization and alliance with popular forces. Adequate knowledge of the working class’s structure, of the fragmentation that characterizes it, of the new mechanisms and the methods to manipulate the working class used by the bourgeois class that never resigns from trying to assimilate the labor movement. Accurate and objective assessment of the correlation of forces, of the mood of the masses, of the employers’ tactics and the political forces that act in the trade union movement".
The articles presented in the 9th issue note, each one in its own way, the need for the communists to work with a complete plan of struggle and concentration of forces with an anti-capitalist content, incorporating the individual trade union claims in it, based on strong party organizations at factories, businesses, branches of strategic importance, and dialectically creating conditions for these forces to be multiplied. The Communist and Workers’ parties struggle to prepare the working class and the popular forces to overthrow the power of the bourgeoisie which, as long as it exists, brings crises and wars.