The future, necessity and justification of socialism in the 21st century

By The International Department
Communist Party of the Philippines

Paper presented to the Seminar organized by the Communist Party of Turkey / Marxist-Leninist

In the coming years, the class struggle can be expected to intensify in the imperialist countries. As in previous times, the monopoly bourgeoisie can be expected to turn to fascism to oppose the mass movement of the proletariat and non-proletarian masses. At the same time, contradictions among the imperialist powers can intensify upon the aggravation of the crisis of overproduction and the rise of domestic fascist movements.

In the meantime, the highest potential for armed revolution led by the proletariat is now with peoples most exploited by the imperialists and the local exploiting classes in the underdeveloped countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. The greatest advantage available to them is that they can wage protracted people's war ahead of proletarian revolutions in the centers of world capitalism.

By The International Department
Communist Party of the Philippines

Paper presented to the Seminar organized by the Communist Party of Turkey / Marxist-Leninist

 

In the present period of the temporary setback of socialism on a global scale, proletarian revolutionaries must be able to answer people's questions about the past, present and future of the revolutionary cause of socialism. They must contend with the mocking claims of the imperialists and reactionaries that socialism is dead. Following the disintegration of the Soviet Union and other revisionist-ruled systems, the enemies of socialism have spread notions that are calculated to demoralize the proletariat and the people.

The world remains in the era of modern imperialism and proletarian revolution precisely because of the grave but temporary defeat of socialism caused by modern revisionism. Global conditions have basically retrogressed to those before the October Revolution of 1917 when there was yet no socialist country as bulwark of the world proletarian revolution and the imperialist powers seemed to be able to do anything they pleased against the toiling masses.

The conditions of oppression and exploitation of the working people by imperialism and reaction have become far worse than ever before as a result of the rise of modern revisionism and ultimately upon the complete restoration of capitalism in the great socialist states. The crisis of the world capitalist system is worsening.

The resistance of the people is steadily increasing on a global scale. Oppression and exploitation by the monopoly bourgeoisie invariably engender just resistance of the proletariat and people of the world. The epochal struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat continues. So do all the concrete forms of national and class struggles in various countries.

The people fight for national and social liberation from imperialism and reaction. And they strive for greater freedom and social justice to prevail and continue under the principles of scientific socialism.

The Necessity of Socialism

The proponents of imperialist globalization have boasted that high-technology in the service of the "free market" had abolished the business cycle of boom and bust and driven the last nail on the coffin of socialism. It is precisely the contradiction between the rising level of technology in social production and the rising level of greed and profit-making in the capitalist mode of production that leads to the crisis of overproduction and financial speculation and to the intensification of class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.

Capitalism is irrational and unjust precisely because the forces of large scale commodity production are social in character but the appropriation of the product in the relations of production is private. Thus socialist revolution is the scientific and moral necessity for socializing the ownership of the means of production as well as the appropriation and distribution of the product. Still valid today is the Marxist proposition that the possibility as well as the necessity of socialism arises from the laws of motion of capitalism itself and from the material conditions of capitalist society.

By its own laws of motion and its accelerated cycle of boom and bust, monopoly capitalism keeps on accumulating, concentrating and centralizing capital through the exploitation and oppression of the world’s proletariat and people.

In the course of competition, one capitalist wins against another capitalist by raising the organic composition of capital and decreasing the variable capital for wages in order to maximize his profits. The result is the crisis of overproduction relative to the decreased market demand.

Recurrent crisis leads to the bankruptcy of the losing capitalists or to their absorption by the winning capitalist, and to the concentration of capital until free competition is transformed into monopoly. It also leads to intensified class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat with the latter moving forward from being a class in itself to being a class for itself through the trade union movement and the building of the revolutionary party of the proletariat.

The industrial proletariat is historically the first exploited class that is capable of liberating itself as well as other exploited classes, and establishing a socialist society and making the radical rupture from the millennia of private ownership of the means of production. But precisely because the class-conscious proletariat has a high revolutionary potential, the bourgeois state confronts it with repression and violence. Therefore, the revolutionary goal of socialism can be realized only with the forcible overthrow of the bourgeois class dictatorship and its replacement by the proletarian class dictatorship.

Epochal struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat

The struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie will run for an epoch until the proletariat permanently prevails over the bourgeoisie on a global scale. Communists must therefore take a long view of history. They must have the tenacity to persevere in the historic struggle for socialism and further on to communism.

No socialist country has ever been defeated by any imperialist in any war of aggression. What has proven to be most lethal to socialism is the rise to power of modern revisionists as a consequence of degeneration within socialist countries.

To build socialism, it is necessary to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat, socialize the means of production, raise the level of material, technical and cultural conditions of society and have adequate national defense that relies mainly on mass mobilization and secondarily on weapons. But all these are not enough.

A continuous and protracted proletarian cultural revolution, on top of scientific and technological revolution is needed. Otherwise, the victories in the overthrow of the old system, the liberation and development of productive forces and the improvement of material and cultural conditions are not sufficient for keeping alive the proletarian revolutionary spirit and preventing the rise of modern revisionism.

The proletarian cultural revolution must promote class struggle as the key link, put revolutionary politics in command of production, strengthen the socialist relations of production and revolutionize the superstructure in accordance with the Marxist-Leninist outlook and methodology and the proletarian revolutionary line.

Mao developed Marxism-Leninism to a new and higher stage by confronting the problem of modern revisionism centered in the Soviet Union, criticizing it and then putting forward the theory and practice of continuing revolution under proletarian dictatorship through the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR). On the whole, the GPCR succeeded for 10 years, 1966 to 1976.

The theory of continuing revolution under proletarian dictatorship through the cultural revolution is a crucial weapon for analyzing what went wrong with the former socialist countries, for holding our ground against the taunt of the enemy that socialism is hopeless, and for anticipating problems in establishing and consolidating socialism.

Future of Socialism

In the coming years, the class struggle can be expected to intensify in the imperialist countries. As in previous times, the monopoly bourgeoisie can be expected to turn to fascism to oppose the mass movement of the proletariat and non-proletarian masses. At the same time, contradictions among the imperialist powers can intensify upon the aggravation of the crisis of overproduction and the rise of domestic fascist movements.

In the entire run of the epochal struggle of the monopoly bourgeoisie and the proletariat, proletarian revolution in imperialist countries is certain. However, it is possible only with the steadfast propagation of Marxism-Leninism, the building of the revolutionary party of the proletariat and the development of the revolutionary mass movement.

In the meantime, the highest potential for armed revolution led by the proletariat is now with peoples most exploited by the imperialists and the local exploiting classes in the underdeveloped countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. The greatest advantage available to them is that they can wage protracted people's war ahead of proletarian revolutions in the centers of world capitalism.

The imperialists themselves and local reactionaries in the dominated countries, including their ideologues and propagandists, admit that the current conditions of global depression generate social unrest and political turmoil. The present crisis of the world capitalist system is the worst since the Great Depression in the 1930's. The severity of the crisis is such that the call for revolution and for socialism has become urgent.

On the basis of the current conditions and trends that we see clearly, we can be optimistic that in the next decade or so the people will intensify in a dramatic way and on an unprecedented scale their revolutionary struggle for national liberation, democracy and socialism against imperialism and reaction.

Revolutionary parties of the proletariat must lead the resistance of the people in all types of countries, in the imperialist countries and in the dominated countries. The increase in number of competing imperialist powers deepens the crisis in every imperialist country. The proletariat in every country is driven by worsening socioeconomic conditions to intensify resistance through strikes, protest rallies and other concerted actions. The working people and the oppressed nations and peoples suffering the most from imperialist plunder and war are the most inclined to rise up in armed revolution.

The present crisis conditions generate the immediate issues of the struggle against monopoly capitalism and local reaction. But the revolutionary parties of the proletariat must grasp firmly the need to carry out the historic mission of building socialism up to the theory and practice of continuing revolution under proletarian dictatorship.

There is the need to counter the propaganda of the enemy that socialism is successful only up to a certain point and then fails. There is the need to assure the proletariat and the people that modern revisionism and the restoration of capitalism can be prevented and that socialism can be consolidated repeatedly until it gains the upper hand over imperialism on a global scale and reaches the threshold of communism.

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