See cover story.
Anti-terrorist legislation and Islamophobia
This congress recognises:
1. that the crisis of imperialism is driving the leading imperialist powers to war, in particular war against the oppressed nations and peoples;
2. that imperialist wars are provoking fierce resistance on the part of the victims of these predatory wars;
3. that, while producing fabulous profits for the robber barons of capitalism, kings of finance and monopolist magnates, at the same time as piling misery on ever wider sections of the working class and sacrificing working-class youth as cannon fodder at the altar of capitalist profit, these imperialist wars are radicalising the working class, and in particular the youth from the ethnic minorities who are incensed at the slaughter of millions of people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Lebanon and Somalia;
4. that the radicalisation of youth from muslim families is especially strong in view of the fact that it is muslim countries which happen to be the main targets of imperialist slaughter and destruction at the present time;
5. that to deal with this radicalisation and the resistance it engenders, the bourgeoisie is putting on the statute book more and more draconian measures on the pretext of the fight against terrorism and ‘Islamo-fascism’.
This congress condemns the anti-working class measures of the government taken in the name of combating terrorism, and especially the Islamophobic hysteria accompanying these measures.
Furthermore, this congress calls upon the membership to work for the greatest possible unity of all sections of the population in their joint struggle against imperialist wars abroad and repression at home.
This congress recognises that the current credit crunch is a symptom of the ever-deepening crisis of overproduction in the capitalist system caused by the relative impoverishment of the working class and peasant masses of people in the world that is an inevitable characteristic of capitalism.
It further recognises that this crisis is beginning to cause a serious and rapid deterioration in the conditions of life of the masses all over the world, including in Britain. The contradiction between labour and capital in the advanced capitalist states has for some time been characterised by massive attacks on the living standards of the working class in order to try and boost the profitability of capital, including through the increased reliance on low-paid, precarious jobs, rising unemployment, erosion of pay and conditions, cuts in the social wage and attacks on future pension rights.
Throughout the world, hundreds of millions more people will experience long-term hunger, and infant mortality rates will soar along with the prices of all staple foods. In Britain, increasing sections of the working class and even the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia are having to cut back all expenditure on luxury items as they struggle to pay higher prices for food, heating and mortgage interest. Although house prices are falling, it is nonetheless becoming more and more difficult for people from the working class and petty-bourgeois intelligentsia to buy somewhere to live, as mortgages are increasingly hard to come by and rates of interest are climbing steadily. This is creating demand for public housing, which could not be satisfied even before the present crisis took hold in October last year, but is now far worse.
The contradiction between the British bourgeoisie and the British working class is eased so long as most people’s basic needs are being met, but in the present crisis that contradiction is bound to become sharper, as a result of which the bourgeoisie will redouble its efforts to cause workers to blame each other for the iniquities of the capitalist system, such as the shortage, inadequate quality and excessive cost of housing. It is a critical feature of the class struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie not to allow itself to be divided against itself because of the scarcity of the resources that the bourgeoisie deigns to make available to the working class.
Hence, this congress resolves that the party’s members should redouble their efforts to preserve the unity of the working class by explaining these issues, especially in areas where there is evidence of bourgeois success in poisoning workers’ minds with racism. It further resolves to ensure that workers understand that it is the capitalist system and the capitalist system alone that is to blame for the sudden decline in working-class and petty-bourgeois living standards and that sooner or later the proletariat will have to rise up, overthrow capitalism and seize the reins of power for themselves, whatever the cost, if they want to live a life worthy of human beings.
Break the link
1. Congress notes that, with crisis and war besetting capitalist society, it has never been more important for workers to unite as a class. Those public sector workers – postal workers, civil servants, teachers and others – who have come out on strike against the Labour government’s wage freeze have demonstrated their readiness for a united battle in defence of living standards. Yet despite the clear willingness of public sector workers and others (notably the oil workers of Grangemouth) to take action, industrial action remains at present confined to a series of random pinpricks – a one-day strike here by one group of workers, a two-day strike there by another group.
Congress affirms that what lies at the root of this seeming inability to achieve unity in struggle is the dead hand of social democracy that lies so heavy upon the working class.
2. Congress recalls that the historical roots of social democracy in Britain stretch back to the 1800s, when Britain’s colonial monopoly furnished the means to buy off an aristocracy of labour, by whose influence the revolutionary threat of Chartism was seen off, and by whose treachery the working class was tied to the apron strings of the exploiting class. Though in the latter part of the 20th century the British ruling class lost its empire, it gained enormously from the accelerating export of finance capital to a world bound economically to modern imperialism. A mere fraction of the superprofits thereby derived sufficed fatally to infect the Labour party and the leadership of the trade unions, keeping them subservient to the interests of British imperialism.
Congress recalls that the first ever Labour government, in 1924, implemented a policy of aerial bombing of Iraqi villages to persuade the inhabitants to pay their taxes to the colonial overlord. Labour has never looked back since.
3. Congress notes that, in the current period, social democracy is eager to draw workers into complicity with imperialism’s wars of national oppression against Afghanistan and Iraq, and threats of war against Iran, whilst simultaneously whipping up racist hysteria against migrant workers and asylum seekers coming to these shores. As ever, the aim is to keep workers divided – workers here from workers abroad, ‘British’ workers from ‘foreign’ workers, ‘legal’ migrant workers from ‘illegal’ migrant workers, and so forth. It is the Labour party in office that is conducting the British end of these wars, and social-democratic influence in the organised labour movement that strains every sinew to prevent all workers in Britain from recognising that they and the Iraqi resistance share a common enemy: British imperialism.
4. Congress notes that, despite formally disapproving of Britain’s warmongering, the TUC at key moments acts in cahoots with the aggressive propaganda of British imperialism. When imperialism wants to run a hate campaign against progressive development in Zimbabwe, Brendan Barber is wheeled out to rehearse the customary lies about Zanu-PF. When imperialism wants to camouflage its sanctions and war threats against sovereign Iran behind some human rights flannel, Barber is ready to hand. But ask this glorified butler for imperialism to say one word in support of the just war being waged by the Iraqi resistance against imperialist occupation, and you will hear only a deathly silence. And, closer to home, an invitation to lead a national campaign of even the most impeccably peaceful civil disobedience against Britain’s vicious anti-trade union laws will get no less short shrift.
5. However, congress notes that the crisis besetting capitalism will increasingly set new limits on the level of bribery affordable to keep the labour aristocracy afloat, even as the demolition of the welfare state goes on apace. In particular, as more and more of the world’s peoples (eg, Venezuela) refuse to accept dictation by the IMF and World Bank, instead asserting control over their own resources and forming their own trade and diplomatic links with such as China, the scope for the extraction of superprofits is narrowed – further thinning out the gravy on which opportunism feeds.
6. Congress affirms that these new objective conditions will (a) create new opportunities for the working class in Britain to advance on the road to its self-emancipation, and (b) impose new organisational tasks upon the revolutionary party of the proletariat. For example, such developments as the recent formation of the National Shop Stewards Network, and some of the work being done by union and community activists around the issue of organising migrant workers, indicate a groundswell of revulsion against social-democratic influence within the unions, which cries out for Bolshevik guidance and leadership.
Congress affirms that it is the duty of the party to do all in its power to intervene in such developments, keeping to the fore our key slogan: Break the link with Labour.
This congress recognises the importance of focussing on work in the area of housing.
Although it is not incompatible with capitalism to do so, the bourgeois ruling class in this country has not nationalised the land but has left it for the most part in private ownership, capable of being bought and sold and susceptible to speculation.
Nevertheless, in the post-war period of Keynesian consensus, bourgeois governments deemed it prudent, in the interests partly of drawing the working class away from setting out on the path to proletarian revolution, and partly in the interests of making workers readily available to capitalists who needed them in areas of high land prices, to make available affordable residences in the form of council housing.
However, the bourgeoisie in its drive to maximise profits can never prevent itself from trying to reduce the wages and other benefits enjoyed by the working class, including social benefits such as subsidised housing, and so it was with council houses. Under the Thatcher conservative government, better-off workers were encouraged to buy their council homes, and therefore take responsibility for repairing and maintaining them, thereby hugely reducing the number of subsidised homes. In addition, budgets for the repair and maintenance of the remaining council properties were slashed (in the interests of lowering the taxes that businesses had to pay to enable them to make higher profits). The effect of this was to create run-down and uncared-for estates, almost exclusively inhabited by the poorer sections of the working class, which naturally produced a higher than average rate of alienation and crime, blighting the very concept of council housing.
Since very few new council properties have been built to take the place of those that have been sold off, the supply of council homes in relation to demand (at least in areas where there is employment available) is woefully inadequate. This enables both ‘respectable’ racists (such as the main bourgeois political parties) and the avowed far right parties to stir up divisive racist sentiment among workers, who are encouraged to believe that their housing problems are being caused by there being too many foreigners coming in and ‘taking’ ‘their’ houses. Needless to say, the poorer workers of all nationalities, races and creeds are equally downtrodden in the capitalist system, all are equally deprived of the right to a decent home, and they need to join together to fight the real culprit, the bourgeoisie and its political representatives, not each other!
Recognising the above, this congress resolves that party members must actively participate in popular movements to defend council housing, to demand the provision of decent housing for all, to demand that councils be permitted to use the money they have made from the sale of houses for the purpose of building new ones, to protest against institutionalised neglect of public housing, and to oppose the transfer of public property to ALMOs and other private proprietors, even when ‘non-profit making’, as this is merely intended to eliminate subsidisation by the state of working-class housing.
Furthermore, this congress proposes that party members should seize the opportunity presented by falling house prices to demonstrate to the working class the evil of private property in houses, notwithstanding the not inconsiderable short-term gains that have been made by many people who bought their council properties since the right to do so was introduced by Mrs Thatcher, not forgetting that the mortgage that accompanies the right to buy has a deadening effect on class struggle, as workers fear losing their homes and facing break-up of their families if they are sacked and cannot pay their mortgages.
Furthermore, this congress resolves that party members will at all times, in every working-class housing campaign, stress the unity of workers of all races, nationalities and creeds in the fight for decent homes.
Furthermore, this congress resolves that party members will struggle to spread the understanding among the working class that the way forward on the question of housing is for the working class to seize state power, nationalise the land, allocate all existing housing in accordance with need at rents no higher than what is needed overall to cover the cost of keeping all homes in a proper state of repair, maintenance and decoration, and to prioritise the building of new homes to the extent that existing provision is insufficient to meet the needs of all.
National Health Service
This congress notes that:
The National Health Service was put in place over 60 years ago with a view to providing effective medical care for all residents in the UK. It is ostensibly funded out of general taxation and a portion of National Insurance contributions, although in reality it is a taxation on the profitability of capital (hence the reluctance of the capitalists to invest in the service), and historically it has enabled Britain to be a front runner in the provision of medical services, in the development of pioneering treatments and in the delivery of medical services. The socialised system of health care delivered outstanding results at relatively very low cost. The National Health Service is of benefit not only to the masses of the working class and their dependants whose health it safeguards but also to the bourgeoisie by ensuring that the pool of workers remains healthy and that killer diseases that can also spread to the wealthy are contained and even eradicated.
However, despite the obvious benefits to all classes of society, including those who do not directly use its services, that the National Health Service provides, the capitalist greed of Britain’s bourgeois ruling class has been forcing it since the very inception of the service to reduce what it has to pay, in taxes and national insurance contributions, to maintain the service. Prescription charges were introduced and have kept rising. Dental charges and charges for glasses have always been made but, although they are to some extent controlled, they keep rising. Hospitals have been closed down while others are required to have an ever-increasing patient turnover, despite the fact that high bed occupancy is strongly correlated with the spread of MRSA.
On top of that, hospitals have, since the Thatcher regime of the 1980s, been required increasingly to open their doors to private contractors out to profit from the provision of hospital services, such as cleaning, patient meals, television rental, telephone rental, car park operations, etc, etc. This is done mainly in order that taxpayers’ money on which the health service is run should increasingly end up in the hands of capitalist profiteers. As a side effect, it also ensures that workers in hospitals are much more vulnerable to competition for their jobs and are thus easier to intimidate should they try to unite to improve or even defend their pay and conditions.
Currently, Thatcher’s heirs, our present Labour government, after years of pouring taxpayers’ money into the pockets of private building contractors commissioned to build new hospitals at uncompetitive prices (facilitated by the fact that the monopolist building contractors approached to ‘compete’ for bids form secret cartels to ensure the ‘lowest’ bid is outrageously overpriced) and of forcing hospitals to pay extortionate ‘rents’ for the buildings thus supplied, are now looking for ways to sell off vast numbers of NHS sites in prestigious areas such as Central London to developers in order to help finance government spending, thereby reducing the tax burden on, above all, the filthy rich exploiter bourgeois class.
This congress salutes the dedication, commitment, enthusiasm and sacrifices of workers in the NHS, who in practice run and deliver the service on a daily basis, and who do so much to ensure a reasonably good quality and human service continues to be provided, despite the pressures, strains and demands placed on them by subverting this fundamentally socialistic approach to healthcare to capitalism. In relation to the money spent on the service, however, it is no longer producing good value, since such a high proportion goes into the pockets of profiteers in the form of profit for the provision of ‘services’, the payment of interest on loans and the payment of rent, and so a decreasing amount is in fact spent on patient care.
This congress recognises that, notwithstanding concessions that may be made by the bourgeoisie from time to time in the interests of social peace, the provision of healthcare to the masses will be under relentless downward pressure as long as Britain is ruled by the bourgeoisie.
Congress demands the effective renationalisation, reintegration and reuniting of the NHS, through the abolition of new Labour's version of the Tory internal market, which consists of commercialisation, competition between providers, market testing, the split between commissioners and providers, practice-based commissioning, ‘payment by results’, separate NHS, Foundation and Primary Care Trusts, etc. This will generate significant savings in management and process costs and will enable the whole service to be far more focused on the delivery of comprehensive, quality
and effective services for patients and the improvement of public health.
Congress calls for the simultaneous democratisation of a renationalised and reintegrated NHS to help make it more accountable and responsive to local communities, the patients who use or have used its services, and to the staff employed in the NHS, thus combining central direction and coherence in the setting of national minimum standards and required service models of care, with democracy, innovation and initiative in the shaping of local service delivery.
Congress calls for private and independent sector health provision, together with privately owned and run facilities and assets in the NHS (eg, PFI assets, pay beds and private wards), to be subject to nationalisation without compensation, to be either integrated within the local health economy,
transferred to other parts of the public sector, or disposed of.
Stop the attack on schools
The current Labour government, like its Conservative predecessor, is making every attempt to abolish comprehensive schooling and entrench a two-tier system in state-school education. Every major change in primary and secondary education over the last 20 years – the proliferation of tests, the national curriculum, the publication of league tables, the ‘parental choice’ system, reductions in funding, ‘special measures’ for failing schools, the introduction of city academies, private finance initiatives, etc – has supported the aim of creating a handful of well-funded, properly-resourced schools with overwhelmingly middle-class intake (selective grammar schools in all but name) and a mass of poorly-funded, badly-resourced schools with overwhelmingly working-class intake (sinking secondary moderns in all but name). Maximum resources are being channelled to the middle class and a few bright working-class kids that the bourgeoisie feels will be useful in the attainment of profit, whilst the majority of working-class kids are left to founder.
The reason for the attack on education is simple. With British manufacture in freefall, there are few job opportunities for working-class people, and those jobs there are (predominantly in the service industry) tend not to require even basic education. Poverty rates in Britain over the last thirty years have more than trebled, and a third of Britain’s children now live below the poverty line. There is little incentive for the state to provide education to these children – not only is it expensive, it’s dangerous, as a well-rounded education can only help the working class on the road towards radical resistance to capitalism. Inasmuch as the state is forced to provide some schooling for the working class, it shunts kids off into sink schools – institutions of demoralisation and despair, a reflection of the impoverished and neglected communities surrounding them.
Meanwhile, with creeping privatisation starting to rear its ugly head, the failing schools are at least allowed to succeed in one thing: advertising! Nick Davies cites the examples of Cadbury’s producing fact sheets for the schools they sponsor with important lessons such as “chocolate is a wholesome food … [which] gives you energy and important nutrients that your body needs to work properly”. This is not an isolated example. Private corporations are increasingly becoming a dominant source of funding for schools, especially schools that were badly-funded to begin with. Needless to say, these companies expect a return on their investment.
Only socialism will bring true freedom and equality to the classroom. Meanwhile, this congress puts forward the following demands for the interim period – demands which go some way towards alleviating the gross inequalities of the present educational divide:
• the abolition of all private schools, grammar schools, religious schools and city academies;
• a return to public funding and an end to PFIs;
• an end to local management of schools, the internal market, league tables, ‘parental choice’, SATs, the privatisation of services, and the national curriculum;
• the establishment of a proper comprehensive system of education with mixed ability teaching;
• a dramatic increase in schools’ funding.
Further, this congress calls on the trade unions to step up their campaigning around the issue of education. The unions’ link with Labour has consistently prevented them from acting in any meaningful way in relation to the attacks on the education system. The working class should use its power to reverse the losses of the last 20 years.
Iraq and Afghanistan
This congress condemns British imperialism's continued involvement in the US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and calls for the immediate recall of all British troops from both these countries.
This congress reaffirms its wholehearted support for the Iraqi and Afghan resistance movements, in view of the anti-imperialist content of these movements.
This congress deeply regrets the inability of certain parties in Britain and the world who call themselves ‘communist’ to understand the need to back genuine anti-imperialist struggle to the hilt, even if the leadership of that struggle is anti-communist.
In view of the above this Congress resolves to continue with its campaign to popularise the slogans Victory to the Iraqi resistance and Victory to the Afghan resistance throughout the working-class movement.
Hands off Zimbabwe
This congress condemns the interference of Britain and its imperialist allies in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe.
Big business in Britain is determined to effect regime change in Zimbabwe. Its motivation is not the protection of human rights – history amply demonstrates that “capital seeks domination, not freedom” – but the protection of the right of private property. British imperialism and its allies, including the United States and a significant section of the white minority in Zimbabwe, seek to secure unfettered access to Zimbabwe’s mineral and agricultural wealth. They seek to reverse the land reform programme, which courageously and vigorously addressed the gross inequality of land ownership in Zimbabwe. They seek to privatise all sectors of the Zimbabwean economy, leaving it open to complete domination by foreign capital. They seek to replace subsistence crops with cash crops.
Britain and its allies know that their aims cannot be achieved whilst the fiercely nationalist Zanu-PF government remains in power, and therefore every attempt is being made to unseat Zanu-PF and to promote the quisling Movement for Democratic Change.
Extensive sanctions have been applied to Zimbabwe. Ostensibly these are ‘smart sanctions’ targeted at a few individuals; actually they are a form of collective punishment designed to destabilise the country and shake the population’s faith in Zanu-PF. The sanctions have brought about real economic hardship in Zimbabwe, and have been accompanied by the message that the government must be removed before the sanctions are removed. This is one of the imperialist states’ most favoured techniques for imposing their will, and has, sadly, succeeded in overturning Zanu-PF’s majority in parliament.
Britain and its allies have made every attempt to prejudice the results of elections in Zimbabwe. Millions of pounds have been pumped into the MDC in order to help it to power. During the 2008 elections, foreign NGOs were found to be advising voters that food distribution would stop if people voted for Zanu-PF. Meanwhile, there was an international media campaign to support the MDC and its presidential candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai. Long before the results were announced, the media were proclaiming victory for the MDC. By claiming that the elections were not free and fair, the various imperialist governments and press organs were pre-emptively justifying any attempted coup (and western support for it) by the MDC.
It is unfortunate (but not surprising) that the malicious campaign of lies about Zimbabwe has been supported – and in some cases preceded – by the fake left in Britain.
This congress calls for an immediate end to all imperialist meddling in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe and to the demonising of Robert Mugabe and his party, Zanu-PF.
This congress calls on the party to campaign vocally in support of Zanu-PF and against imperialist interference. It further calls on the party to ruthlessly expose the pro-imperialist, anti-Zimbabwe line that has been enthusiastically taken up by the various social-democratic and Trotskyite groups. The congress further instructs the party to pursue unity on the question of Zimbabwe with those groups, in Britain and abroad, that share our anti-imperialist view.
Congress notes and reaffirms our principled position on Korea as set out in the resolution adopted by the Third Party Congress in 2006.
Congress notes that the successful testing of the DPRK’s nuclear deterrent for self-defence compelled the US and Japanese imperialists to return to the negotiating table, both bilaterally and in the context of the six-party talks hosted by China.
In the course of these negotiations, the DPRK has demonstrated firmness on matters of principle and flexibility in tactics. However, the US and other imperialist powers show no signs of abandoning their hostile and aggressive policies towards the socialist DPRK, which aim to isolate the country politically, strangle it economically and effect ‘regime change’ so as to overthrow the socialist system and return the Korean people to colonial slavery, by means of war if necessary.
Therefore, despite the DPRK having largely disabled its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon and provided the United States with a declaration of its past nuclear programmes, the US and its allies have failed to meet their obligations in terms of the provision of energy and energy-related aid, removing the DPRK from the State Department list of ‘terrorist supporting states’ and ceasing to apply the provisions of the ‘Trading with the Enemy Act’ to the country. Instead, new and ever more specious allegations are constantly raised against the DPRK, most recently those concerning alleged DPRK nuclear collaboration with Syria, which serves the dual goal for imperialism and its zionist lackeys of both pressurising the DPRK and also preparing the ground for a possible extension of the Middle East conflict to Syria as well as Iran.
The election victories for the conservative, pro-American forces in south Korea’s presidential and parliamentary elections have also served to intensify the pressure on the DPRK and have complicated the hitherto good progress towards national reconciliation and reunification on the Korean peninsula.
Faced with this situation, the DPRK has no choice other than to once again harden its anti-imperialist stance. Congress affirms its understanding and support to this. We also applaud the DPRK’s successes in reinvigorating traditional friendly relations with China and Russia as well as with numerous developing countries throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Congress also salutes the party, government and people of the DPRK for their continued advances in socialist construction despite intolerable external pressures and successive natural disasters.
This year, 9 September marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the DPRK by the great leader of the Korean people Comrade Kim Il Sung. Congress sends its warmest greetings to Comrade Kim Jong Il, the Workers’ Party of Korea and the Korean people on this occasion.
Our party proposed the formation of the Friends of Korea and has consistently played a leading role within it, both politically and practically. The majority of politically organised and active friends of socialist Korea in Great Britain are now united in this body. Congress resolves that the party will continue to support and seek to give leadership to the Friends of Korea, as well as to unite all who can be united on a principled basis within its ranks.
The Workers’ Party of Korea was one of the first parties to establish fraternal relations with ours. Congress highly values these relations and resolves to strengthen them in every possible way.
This congress affirms its support for the government and people of Sudan in resisting the insidious propaganda campaign launched by western imperialism against them in the name of human rights in Sudan's western province of Darfur.
It is understood that western imperialism has not the slightest interest in human rights anywhere in the world. What it is interested in is in monopolising the world's energy supplies and in the large oil deposits that have been discovered lying underneath Darfur. What it is also interested in is obtaining cheap oil for the benefit of western imperialist enterprises while at the same time depriving China of its energy needs, or at least forcing it to pay very high prices in order to meet them.
We demand: withdrawal of all imperialist-imposed foreign troops from Sudan and that the Sudanese should be left to solve their own internal problems without outside interference, bearing in mind that if there is no outside interference, healthy oil revenues should go a long way to help regenerate the Sudanese economy and thereby assuage the contradictions among the people.
Long live the Nepalese revolution!
This congress extends warmest fraternal greetings and heartiest congratulations to the comrades of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) on their historic victory in the constituent assembly elections.
This election victory marks the culmination of more than a decade of arduous and determined struggle by the comrades of the CPN(M) and the People’s Liberation Army of Nepal. The rebellion that was started by Maoist guerrillas against the feudal autocracy has grown from its small beginnings in remote countryside areas 12 years ago into a mighty and unstoppable people’s movement.
A decade of people’s war had already liberated some 80 percent of the country, heralding an end to all oppression based on caste, sex and nationality, introducing land reforms, education and health care, building roads and starting a programme of electrification – all in areas where previously the mass of the peasantry had suffered under conditions of the most grinding and degrading poverty and feudal backwardness.
It is to the great credit of the Maoists that in a country previously renowned for the downtrodden position of its women, some 40 percent of the fighters in the PLA are young women, finding dignity through struggle and fighting side by side with their male comrades to build a new Nepal in which all citizens are equal.
Now the election results have completely vindicated the correct line of the CPN(M), led by Chairman Prachanda. This line, which skilfully combined waging a people’s war with other forms of struggle, including the parliamentary, building the party, the people’s army and the united front, enabled the revolutionaries to win over the mass of the people of Nepal and lead them to victory against the combined forces of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, so that the bright future of a new People’s Nepal can now be seen as a radiant dawn shimmering just over the horizon.
With this election victory, the work of the Nepalese revolution to abolish the monarchy and destroy all remnants of feudalism, as well as to construct the economic basis on which a transition to socialism will be possible, enters a new stage. A protracted and arduous struggle still lies ahead for the CPN(M) and for the people of Nepal, against external and internal reactionaries and against age-old poverty and backwardness.
The outcome of this struggle is not the concern of the Nepalese people alone – a victory for them will be a deadly blow against imperialism, strengthening the world revolution both by freeing the Nepalese people from the imperialist yoke and through the shining example their victory sets to oppressed workers and peasants all over the world. The victory of socialism in Nepal is therefore of intimate concern to our party, to the British working class and, indeed, to the whole of progressive humanity.
This congress therefore instructs the party to do everything in its power to build support for the Nepalese revolution among progressive workers in Britain. Specifically, congress instructs the party to:
1. carry regular articles in Proletarian;
2. update the existing party pamphlet on Nepal and circulate this as widely as possible;
3. build ties of fraternal solidarity with the CPN(M);
4. work with other organisations to build an active solidarity movement for Nepal in Britain.
The establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, following a protracted revolutionary struggle led by the Communist Party of China, was the second greatest event of the world proletarian revolution following the 1917 Great October Socialist Revolution, significantly shifting the global balance of forces in favour of the then existing camp of socialism and people’s democracy led by the Soviet Union of JV Stalin.
The lessons of the Chinese revolution, led by Comrade Mao Zedong, an outstanding Marxist Leninist, also carry huge significance for the revolutionary struggles in all colonial, dependent, semi-colonial, semi-feudal and oppressed nations in a number of areas, including especially, but not limited to, the peasant and agrarian questions, the armed struggle and the people’s army, and the united front against imperialism. Their continued validity and applicability has been clearly demonstrated most recently with the triumphant advances of the Nepalese revolution.
In nearly 60 years since the founding of the People’s Republic, the Chinese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party, and guided by the science of Marxism Leninism, and its concrete application to their specific conditions, Mao Zedong Thought, have weathered and overcome all manner of challenges and difficulties and have scored enormous achievements in rebuilding their country along socialist lines, so that what was, in 1949, one of the poorest, most backward and most wretched societies on earth, is now advancing as a great world power, increasingly in the front ranks of global economy, culture, science and technology.
In the course of this process, the lives of the Chinese people have been improved immeasurably, with hundreds of millions of people lifted out of poverty. Only the progress registered by the Soviet Union in the era of Comrade Stalin can compare with this actual, material contribution to the liberation and betterment of humanity.
The growing strength and power of China is increasingly acting as a check on the unbridled aggression and hegemonism of US imperialism. China renders significant assistance to other socialist and progressive countries and, by establishing relations of equality and mutual benefit with China’s booming economy, countries throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America and elsewhere are increasingly able to resist imperialist blackmail, safeguard their independence, develop their economies and improve their peoples’ standard of living.
Faced with this situation, US imperialism, which has only ever attempted to disguise its hostility to the People’s Republic of China for opportunist and cynical reasons, is increasingly expressing renewed open hostility to China, openly labelling the country as the biggest potential threat to US global interests in the 21st century. The US bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade during the Yugoslav War, the spy plane incident in the South China Sea, the campaigns against China’s friendly relations with countries such as Burma and Sudan, the counterrevolutionary turmoil in Tibet and the related attempts to sabotage the Beijing Olympics to be held this August are all manifestations of the unrelenting hostility of US imperialism, along with other imperialist powers, including Britain, to the People’s Republic.
Congress completely condemns all manifestations of imperialist hostility towards the People’s Republic of China. We rejoice at all the achievements of the Chinese people in building a modern, strong and powerful country under the leadership of their Communist Party.
As Lenin pointed out, the struggle against imperialism would be a sham without the struggle against opportunism. In Britain, nearly all the opportunist forces in the working-class and progressive movements line up with their ‘own’ bourgeoisie, as well as with US imperialism, to a greater or lesser extent, in their hostility towards People’s China. Congress resolves that the CPGB-ML will continue and intensify our struggle against this opportunism as an integral and essential part of our revolutionary work.
Following the treachery of the Khrushchevite revisionists, the Communist Party of China took a leading role in the great international struggle against modern revisionism. Our party also traces its origins to this struggle. The treachery of modern revisionism, and, finally, the counterrevolutions in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe in 1989-1991 created complex and difficult conditions for the building of socialism in China.
In introducing elements of a market economy, the Chinese comrades have pointed out that their country is today only in the primary stage of socialism. Alongside China’s undeniable achievements, serious problems have arisen, including, but by no means limited to, wealth, income and regional disparity, corruption, grave shortcomings in public education and health care, and environmental degradation. The leadership of the Communist Party of China itself openly acknowledges these problems and their gravity. Congress wishes the Chinese comrades well in addressing and resolving these issues and in progressively consolidating the position of socialism in China.
Congress recognises the need to enhance the party’s understanding of the Chinese revolution and of contemporary trends and developments in China. It instructs the incoming Central Committee to compile relevant study and discussion materials and to consider organising a national party school on China before the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic in 2009.
This congress applauds the advances towards socialism made by the people of Venezuela under the leadership of Hugo Chavez and particularly welcomes his change of heart in now recognising the right of the Communist Party of Venezuela to maintain its separate identity.
This congress takes the opportunity to condemn the various Trotskyite groups in Venezuela which, through their campaigns of disruption, provocation and sabotage calculated to confuse and divide the working class and to objectively serve the interests of imperialism and domestic reactionaries, fully consistent with the entire history of counterrevolutionary Trotskyism in any revolutionary process, helped to defeat the referendum on the Constitution which he had put forward and this congress expresses the hope that Comrade Chavez and his government will keep a vigilant eye on these agents of imperialism in order to safeguard and advance the programme of the Bolivarian revolution.
This congress congratulates the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on the 35th anniversary, in April this year, of its founding. The celebration held in Amsterdam on 26 April was a tribute to the many years of the Filipino people’s victories over imperialism and its local henchmen.
In the words of Comrade Jose Maria Sison, founding Chairperson of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and NDFP Chief Political Consultant, the NDFP “has succeeded in gathering, harmonising and coordinating the revolutionary forces and winning over the millions of people to the cause of armed revolution”.
We congratulate the NDFP on successfully forging an alliance of the working class, peasantry, urban petty bourgeoisie and indigenous peoples for “democratic revolution against monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism”. (Ibid)
We also look forward to the 40th anniversary in December this year of the founding of the CPP.
In a press release issued on the 39th anniversary last December, the CPP spokesperson Gregorio ‘Ka Roger’ Rosal cited the many tactical offensives launched by the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the CPP, which in one year had succeeded in capturing enough weapons from the enemy to equip at least three new companies of Red fighters. He derided claims that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) could put an end to the revolutionary movement in a few weeks by saying:
“How can the deeply factionalised, demoralised and useless government armed forces expect to defeat a solid, highly-spirited and battle-capable adversary in the NPA? … How can the fascist reactionaries expect to defeat the NPA when they are waging a brutal and barbaric war that only incites more and more people to hate the AFP and the regime that it serves? With the worsening poverty, oppression and sufferings the masses of the people have been going through under the rotten, puppet regime, more and more of them are taking up arms and joining the NPA.”
Comrade Sison summed up the celebrations this April by saying “the people of the world need to unite and support each other against imperialism and reaction. These are their common enemies in the struggle for national liberation, democracy, social justice, development and peace.”
The CPGB-ML heartily concurs and reiterates that the working class in the heartlands of imperialism is duty bound to support the anti-imperialist struggles of the oppressed peoples of the world. In particular, we hail the victories of the Filipino people over imperialism and domestic reaction as victories that contribute to the progress of our struggle for socialism.
Cuba and Latin America
Congress reaffirms its militant solidarity with socialist Cuba and the Cuban revolution. We send Comrade Fidel Castro our warmest greetings on his well-earned retirement as well as to Comrade Raul Castro on his assumption of the presidency.
US and other imperialists had hoped and schemed that the Cuban revolution would collapse like a house of cards without Fidel. Not for the first time, and doubtless not for the last either, the imperialists were deluding only themselves and their hangers-on. Following the counterrevolutions in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, US imperialism fondly believed that its long-cherished dream of destroying socialist Cuba could at last be realised.
However, the Cuban working class and people rallied around their Communist Party, overcame a grim situation through the Special Period, and are today scoring fresh achievements in economy, culture, health care and education. The internationalist support and solidarity of Venezuela and China in particular has also played an indispensable role in ensuring that the Cuban revolution continues to survive and thrive.
Developments throughout Latin America have proved to be a fundamental turning point in the life-and-death struggle of the Cuban revolution. Whilst the existence of socialist Cuba has facilitated the revolutionary process throughout the continent, so the inexorable deepening of that process, gradually replacing encirclement by imperialism with the encirclement of imperialism, as Comrade Kim Il Sung predicted 40 years ago, is in turn the greatest guarantor of socialist Cuba’s own survival.
Congress sends its warm and militant greetings to the peoples and revolutionary leaderships of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua, who are maintaining a staunch anti-imperialist position, aspiring to socialism and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their Cuban comrades.
Congress also supports the governments and progressive political parties of Brazil, Argentina and other Latin American countries to the extent that they oppose imperialism, promote independent national development and implement reforms in the interests of working people.
Congress welcomes the victory of the patriotic and progressive forces in the Presidential election in Paraguay, overturning more than half a century of reactionary one-party rule by the Colorado Party.
Congress welcomes the significant steps to develop anti-imperialist unity in Latin America, in particular the Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas (ALBA), the Bank of the South, the Petrocaribe initiative and the proposed South American defensive military alliance, as well as the greatly enhanced cooperation with such countries as China, Iran and independent Arab and African states.
Congress further welcomes our closer ties with the Communist Party of Cuba and resolves to enhance our fraternal relations with the Communist Party of Cuba and our anti-imperialist campaigning activity in solidarity with the Latin American revolution.
This congress deplores the banning of the KSM (Czech Communist Youth League) by the Czech government and expresses its solidarity with the KSM and its struggle against this order, itself an expression of the inherent weakness of the Czech kleptocracy that has usurped power and stolen the Czech people's property since the downfall of the former socialist regime.
Just as a thief shuns the scene of his crime, the new Czech ruling class, mortally afraid of even the memory of the achievements of erstwhile socialism, is bent upon banning even the concepts of public ownership and social provision.
This congress expresses its full belief that the reactionary ruling circles in the Czech Republic will not succeed in preventing the march forward of humanity along the course charted by the October Revolution.
This congress believes that Israeli intransigence has killed off the Oslo accords under which the parties agreed to work towards a compromise to the effect that the Palestinians would recognise Israel's right to existence in return for having their own Palestinian state on 22 percent of historic Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Now that these accords have comprehensively fallen apart, this congress affirms its support for the destruction of the zionist state of Israel, to be replaced by a secular state of Palestine in which jews and Arabs would have equal rights and live side by side and in peace.
Furthermore, this congress is of the view that, for the attainment of the above aim, the various political organisations in Palestine need to forge the maximum of unity with each other.
In this regard, this congress, while condemning the attempts by sections of the Palestinian national movement, aided and abetted by imperialism, to isolate Hamas and other militant sections of the Palestinian resistance, welcomes the moves made by Hamas and sections of Fatah to end divisions and forge the closest possible bonds of fraternity in the common struggle against Israeli zionism and its imperialist masters.
Congress reaffirms our solidarity with the struggle of the Irish people for self-determination, independence and reunification, as expressed at our founding congress and subsequently.
The Irish people have struggled for centuries to restore their legitimate national rights and still do so today. Their unyielding spirit in the face of overwhelming odds has inspired freedom fighters throughout the world and continues to do so.
Through a masterful combination of political and armed struggle, the Irish people, led by the republican movement, forced the incomparably stronger forces of British imperialism into a state of strategic stalemate. Since then, Sinn Fein, for the last ten years and more, has skilfully built on the gains of the previous period of struggle to advance a political process aimed at reconciling the historic antagonisms fostered between Irish people by British imperialism through its strategy of ‘divide-and-rule’, so as to realise the vision of Theobald Wolfe Tone, founder of the United Irishmen, to supplant the different names of catholic, protestant and dissenter with the common name of Irishmen. This represents the next and possibly final hurdle on the road to independence and national reunification, inspired by the vision of Padraig Pearse, co-leader with James Connolly of the heroic Easter Rising of 1916, that, “the people are the nation” and of Connolly’s own words that “Ireland without its people means nothing to me”.
Karl Marx and Frederick Engels repeatedly taught that the British working class must support the Irish not only as a matter of justice for Ireland but above all in their own class interest. It absolutely remains the case that the British proletariat will remain slaves to capital unless and until they stand on the side of the Irish people. Our working class has much to learn from the Irish revolutionary struggle. Just as the words of Bhagat Singh and his comrades, Inquilab Zindabad (Long Live the Revolution), need to be inscribed on our banners, so do the words of Bobby Sands and his comrades, Tiochfaidh Ar La (Our Day Will Come).
Congress reiterates the demand that British imperialism stop its foot dragging and counterrevolutionary dual tactics and provocations and immediately and fully implement all provisions of the Good Friday Agreement as a step towards full British withdrawal from Ireland and the affairs of the Irish people, national reunification and independence. We congratulate Sinn Fein on their outstanding political skills and tenacious struggle in continuing to overcome all difficulties placed in their way, resulting in the immense step forward of constituting a power-sharing administration in the six counties.
Whilst British imperialism continues its enforced and protracted withdrawal from Ireland, new challenges face the anti-imperialist struggle of the Irish people, not least as a result of supine policies pursued by successive Dublin governments. These include not only the appeasement of the British occupiers in the north east of the country, but also the effective abandonment of Irish neutrality through signing up for Nato’s Partnership for Peace (PfP), allowing the US military the use of Shannon Airport, and through such developments in the European Union as the treaties of Nice and Lisbon.
Congress resolves that the party will support and campaign with Irish community and anti-imperialist organisations standing for national reunification and an end to British interference in Irish affairs, such as the Wolfe Tone Society and the Troops Out Movement.
Congress expresses its continued solidarity with Sinn Fein as well as with all political forces in Ireland standing for independence, national reunification and socialism.