Work within the working class and its labor movement, as a necessary prerequisite for a clash with the EU, the overthrow of capitalist barbarism and the construction of socialism
I warmly greet you on behalf of the New Communist Party of Yugoslavia, and express gratitude to the Communist Party of Greece for organizing the European Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties.
Today, it is a privilege to be in the city in which great minds, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote pages of the Communist Manifesto, which saw the daylight 170 years ago. Under the specific historical – political circumstances, centuries later this city became the center of powerful, but not all-powerful imperialist NATO pact and bureaucratic anti-people apparatus, the European Union.
The topic of today’s meeting is of great importance. Communist movement is inseparable from the working masses because communists “have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole.” (Communist Manifesto)
The global financial and economic crisis has had a particular devastating effect on the Balkans. The economies of the countries in Southeast Europe have been in an ongoing recession or stagnation since 2008. Factories and enterprises are being shut down, unemployment rate has reached historical peak, and austerity measures are being imposed. Neoliberal policies of privatization of the remaining state owned companies and flexibilization of labor relations to the disadvantage of workers are being enforced.
Economic anatomy and the social effects of the current crisis in the Balkans are similar to the situation of the other countries on the periphery of Europe, whether in the Baltic states, Greece, Spain or Portugal. However there is a stark contrast in the political reaction to the crisis. Especially in Greece, Spain and Portugal we can witness strong protest movements. In Serbia and most of the Balkan states the workers’ movement is silent. We must contribute to the building of a new workers’ movement, which is able to react to the enormous challenges facing Serbian society.
As the global financial crisis worsened and its effects became more and more severe in Serbia, decisiveness of the Serbian government to force the poorest layers of the population to pay the price that the IMF demands by pushing through further privatizations and an even more neoliberal legislation, grew.
On the other side, the heads of the trade union bureaucracies effectively thwarted any form of grass roots union organizing, routinely refusing support to striking workers of any of the hundreds of Serbian firms destroyed by the privatization, and insisting in vain on the importance of the social dialogue with the representatives of the state and the employers.
In the recent Serbian history position of the workers has never been worse. Large competition for open jobs has made Serbian worker to be silent and suffer, because he is aware that, if he loses his job, it will be difficult to find new one. For Serbian capitalists, worker today is cheap expendable good, easily replaceable.
Marx wrote “It isn’t important what the worker as an individual thinks or does, but it is important what workers as workers, as a class have to do in order to fulfill their historical task”.
In thoughts and in actions, the place of the Marxist-Leninist parties is always in the vanguard. And if thoughts are to be combined with actions, we must not go into battle alone, but at the head of the working class and its allies. In order to go into battle together with them it is necessary to penetrate into their ranks and become one with them. It must be said, however, that unclear views, hesitation, fear and lack of perspective still exist in this direction.
The working class cannot follow us, our Marxist-Leninist groups or parties, if it does not see us in action, because in regards to the means of propaganda which the capitalist bourgeoisie and its parties possess, their means of propaganda are far more powerful than ours. Therefore, the masses of the people have to see us, the communists of action, in concrete actions against the imposed order, against the status quo, against the flabby activity which the propaganda of the bourgeoisie creates.
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.
Our Marxist-Leninist theory teaches us that: Every revolutionary activity must be guided by the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary theory which the Marxist-Leninist party masters, defends and faithfully applies. The objective of every genuine revolutionary movement must be to establish the hegemony of the working class. This hegemony does not in any way imply that the working class and its Marxist-Leninist party should not link up with all those classes and strata of the population, which are very interested in opposing the oppressive capitalist order. On the contrary, the hegemony of the working class presupposes alliance with the working peasantry, the progressive intellectuals, etc.
Dear comrades, we wish you a successful meeting and many other successful actions until our final victory!