Commies: American vs Greek

US communist leader challenged by the Greek communists.
Sam Webb, who chairs the Communist Party, USA published an interesting thinkpiece in the party’s internet magazine Political Affairs with the title ‘A Party of Socialism in the 21st Century’. It is fair to say that this has created a fair degree of controversy within the US party and excited interest without.
Sam Webb is familiar to British communists, not least through his contribution to the Communist University in London. His style is refreshingly unencumbered by jargon and clear enough in its exposition. The problems he identifies are familar to British communists, not least because we too operate in the complex ideological and political conditions of a major imperialist power with our governments engaged in a variety of imperial military expeditions to butress the economic dominance that is now under threat from competing imperialist entities and an insurgent popular movement in many party parts of the world.

The Greek communists are no less direct in their contribution to this discussion and have taken the US communist leadership at its word. Their robust response is carried below.

Position of KKE on the Webb’s Platform and the Developments in the CPUSA
Athens, 13 April 2011
To the members and cadre of the CPUSA, To the workers that struggle in the USA, To the communist and workers parties

Dear comrades,

In February 2011 the chairperson of the CPUSA, Sam Webb, published an article in Political Affairs, the electronic publication of the CPUSA, entitled “A Party of Socialism in the 21st Century: What It Looks Like, What It Says, and What It Does”. Even if the specific article is accompanied by an editorial note which claims that “The following article represents the views of its author alone. It doesn’t necessarily reflect the official views of any organization or collective.”, it is obvious to us that the public position of the head of a Communist Party concerning such an important issue requires special attention.

On the 16th of February we received a letter from the editorial team of Political Affairs which invited us to send in our opinion.

Our party, after studying this article and the reactions it has provoked within the ranks of communists both in the USA and internationally, considers it necessary to take a public position through this letter, as is required by its responsibility as a part of the international communist movement.

Our assessment is that we are dealing with a comprehensive liquidationist platform of 29 theses which has been placed before the international communist movement and proposes the total revision of the principles and revolutionary traditions of the communist movement.

The KKE, as a section of the international communist movement, considers as its duty the refutation of this platform, which questions the need for the existence of a party of the working class in the USA, and in general is directed against the revolutionary and anti-imperialist movement internationally. The 18th Congress of our party stressed that “The battle against social-democratisation tendencies in Communist Parties – through the intervention of imperialist mechanisms, anti-communism and the bourgeois media – must be fought firmly and consistently by defending the historic role of the working class and its organised vanguard, the principles of Marxism-Leninism and of socialism. This task takes on even greater significance in face of the growing anti-communist offensive in the EU and internationally.”

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12 replies »

  1. Greek Commies are the most hardcore in Europe. KKE (Communist Party of Greece) is infamous for its unmodified Stalinism and militancy. It has fairly high vote percentage for an ultra-orthodox Communist party (8% in previous elections, if we believe current gallops it’s 10%) in a ‘liberal’ democracy. KKE is ultra-Old Leftist and probably against every single New Leftist cause, being for example against gay rights and for nuclear energy (nationalised of course). Also it’s position towards immigration is ambiguous, while claiming that it’s not the real source of the problems associated with it, it still attacks immigrant-friendly parties for “fetishization of immigrants”. KKE for its uncompromising and dogmatic Marxism-Leninism is being satirized as the “NO TO EVERYTHING party”

  2. @dennis v,sorry but you wrote 10 lines of lies. check the partys’ web site for its documents,theses,articles etc. dennisv copy-paste the right wing propaganda is not that “revolutionary”

  3. Well I would like an answer too. I have not checked the party’s website, but I have read positions of the party in “Rizospastis” and heard members of ΚΝΕ (Communist Party Youth). Of course they try to cloak their positions in a “when-capitalism-falls-everything-is-going-to-be-just-fine”, but that doesn’t change that they have certain positions on certain matters.
    Question: Is KKE against gay marriage and the legalization of drugs, or not?
    The only thing I am not to sure about, is their position immigration (where I might be wrong), but it is SYRIZA that has the lion’s share of activism in this area.

    As for “right-wing lies” I don’t give a shit about these charges. The Greek left is nothing but a bunch of useless ideologue idiots that destroyed Greece (KKE included). You might have not noticed this in your rush to protect “The Party’s Reputation” but this is a ‘beyond left and right’ site, so we don’t feel the need to pray to the idols neither of the Left nor of the Right. And a member of KKE talking about lies and propaganda is really ironic, when the party’s newspaper read red-colored glasses in every matter. Rizospastis, KKE’s newspaper is synonymous in Greece with party propaganda and sclerotic ideology, and that’s so not for no reason.

    BTW, One of the reasons that I comment in non-Greek “alternative political blogs” is that I can discuss interesting political ideas, without falling into ignoramus party-or-ideology-watchdogs, with the political education of a brick. Thank you for spoiling my day, by showing me that nowhere in the Internet I’m safe from my idiot compatriots.

  4. Why do you care THAT much what I have to say? I have merely presented some facts about the Communist Party of Greece to show what makes it special in relation to other Communist Parties. The last thing that I want is to start an Internet fight with Red trolls about KKE in an AMERICAN BLOG. I have better things to do. I cannot but admire your determination to smash anti-KKE heretics all over the Internet and across Greek cultural borders. I hope that you and DennisW are one and the same, otherwise you’re really hopeless dudes.
    By the way, do your instructors know that you’ re reading anarchist sites? Sorry I could not resist.

  5. “The Greek left is nothing but a bunch of useless ideologue idiots that destroyed Greece”

    they also refuse to pay taxes. the government of greece is losing $30 billion a year to tax evasion–30% of greek gdp is now underground.

    and a lot of these “riots” you see are massive nationwide-revolts. i mean, these are organized. did u see the way the greek commies bulked up the revolts in tunisia? tunisia is in AFRCA! so, i think antistatists of the right could learn a little something from the greece left. if we were able to strengthen the anti-state struggle in america the same way the kke has strengthened the anti-imperialist struggle in their region–americans would be rejecting the irs, fbi, and smashing up the state as well.

    so, i agree with you dennisv, that the left fails ideologically, but they score prefiguratively

  6. Ryan

    Very interesting ideas. While I think that Greek Left is a massive failure, I cannot deny what you wrote. There are a lot of things that radicals can learn from KKE’s strategies and outlook. One of the main gripes that I have with Greek self-described libertarians – besides being non-libertarians but right-corporatist social liberals- is that they refuse to understand that because KKE supports a position it doesn’t mean it’s evil ‘Stalinist’. The imperialist War on Libya is one example. Greek corporate welfare is another, along with raising direct taxes and VAT, an action which hurts the working class. Of course one could say that their economic program is going to reduce us to the level of North Korea. But few people in Greece, both members of the elite and the people take seriously the whole ideological package of KKE. On the other hand a lot of people take seriously the ‘non-Stalinist’ socialism of other parties.

  7. DennisV @ What a troll are you…
    You don’t even read this article but you just came and start lying about KKE.
    Go somewhere else.This is serious for the members of CPUSA.
    CP of HOUSTON and Mexico also criticized Webb’s platform.

  8. I agree Greece is a model to learn from, of course, but one of the most immediate problems with trying to transfer the Greek model to North America is that the economic situation here is not quite as dire, though it may become so at some point in the future.

    I do like the idea of Greek-like uprisings against the various alphabet soup agencies, but it’s got to be accompanied by a workable economic program that can win over the support of a significant sector of the middle class, even if we regard the lumpen sectors as the vanguard classes. Uprisings of that type in the US would probably start among the lower socioeconomic levels-inner cities, rural areas, etc. The question from there would be one of how to turn such uprisings into a general popular revolt that the state is not able to co-opt.

  9. Dear DennisV,
    Your description of KKE is very accurate.
    About the percentages of the elections I have to say they come just from the history of straggles of communists in common with the other levtists in 50s and 60s (the party of ΕΔΑ – Common Democratic Left). After the fall of dictatorship in 1974, many communists have left the KKE, and now are in small parties that all together have 12-13% in the polls, but they cannot unify yet (sorry for my English, I hope you understand).
    Everybody can understand the stalinism and sectarism of KKE after he reads the positions about Webb’s platform.

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