Skip to content Communist Party of Greece

Personal tools
You are here: Home » News » 2009 » 18th Congress: Report of the CC on the Second Subject

18th Congress: Report of the CC on the Second Subject


Report of the Central Committee of the KKE to the 18th Congress


18-22 February 2009


Second subject


Assessments and conclusions of socialist construction

in the 20th century in USSR

KKEs conception of socialism





As we have already assessed in the 1st subject of the 18th congress, developments confirm the need to enrich our programmatic conception of socialism by incorporating as much as possible both the positive and negative experience of the course of socialist construction during the 20th century, by drawing conclusions concerning the causes of the victory of counter-revolution, first of all in the USSR.

The revival of consciousness and faith in socialism is interrelated with the interpretation of the counter-revolution and the re-establishment of capitalism. Consequently, this duty emerges as imperative and ripe for our Party, as for every Communist Party in its own country, and as such a duty it has been faced all the years since the 14th Congress, the Pan-Hellenic  Conference of 1995, up to today.

The decisions of the 17th Congress set as the main duty for the CC, concerning issues of ideological-political front, “the elaboration of our conception of socialism, by continuing the effort to draw comprehensive conclusions about the causes of the overthrow of the socialist states. The new CC should draw up a specific programme and study forms of collective discussion of the elaborations” (documents of the 17th Congress, p. 98).

Between the two Congresses, the work to utilise all prior study-research was intensified, new sources of information were acquired and a theoretical symposium of “Communist Review” has been organised with the participation of delegates of communist journals, centers for Marxist research and Communist Parties.

 Most importantly, there was a rich internal party discussion, during the whole year in three consecutive sessions: in the first session, participated  both members of the Party and KNE. The CC re-elaborated the document on the basis of their remarks and proceeded to discussions inside the PBOs, in two stages, where there was plenty of questions and speeches. The Text of the Theses of the CC for the Congress was a result of taking into account all this procedure. In the third session, the one of the pre-congress debate, the discussion also took the form of a public pre-congress debate.

For the CC, the hostile and distorted attitude of the class enemy towards the Theses, which was manifested through the bourgeois Press, was expected. The convergence of the bourgeois polemics, to a great extent, with the polemics of the opportunist Press was also expected. They merged and reproduced the not at all new characterisations against our Party such as “dogmatic”, “insensitive to internal and public democracy”, “stuck in an old-fashioned past”. Practically it was attempted once more and through a variety of views, to delete from history the successes and the contribution of the socialist constructions course in the 20th century, having as focal point the USSR, to cultivate a sense of nihilism and rejection of the socialist prospect, of our Partys strategy.

For a century now the bourgeois polemics against the communist movement, appearing quite often in the form of intellectual elitism, are aimed  against the revolutionary core of the working class movement: it fights in general against the necessity of revolution and its political product, “the dictatorship of the proletariat”, that is the revolutionary working class state-power. In particular, it fights against the product of the first victorious revolution, the October Revolution in Russia, fighting with fierceness each phase where the revolution revealed and resisted any anti-revolutionary action, the opportunist supports, which ultimately weakened the Revolution, both on social and political level.

For a century now, every tendency of denial, concession or withdrawal from the necessity of revolutionary struggle has been promoted as “democratic socialism”, in contrast with the “totalitarian”, “dictatorial”, “communism by coup”. We are aware of this polemics and slander of scientific communism, class struggle, that concerns not only the conditions in capitalism, but also-in other forms and in other conditions- the procedure of shaping new social relations, as well as their extension and maturing to communist ones. Today international opportunism regrouped through the “Party of the European Left” which, in the conditions of simultaneous outbreak of capitalist economical crisis, raised their voices for “democratic socialism”.

This is the reason why in the discussion about “democratic socialism” events of one or another period are judged in different weights and measures, clearly in order to eliminate the contribution of socialist construction. Sometimes they reduce to nothing the 70 years history of the USSR, sometimes they dismiss in particular the period when the socialist base was set and they support, in any case, the political choices that constituted a deviation from the socialist construction and development.

The CC appreciates and brings out the fact that in a historically short time the status of masses changed in society, with the abolition of the capitalist exploitative relation. By this criterion, but out of totally opposite interests, the CC defined its position towards USSR and the international imperialistic system.

Today our Party is ideologically more steeled and politically experienced to meet the bourgeois centers ideological intervention, through their printed material and their bibliography or through the educational process; interventions that have a specific range of influence outside or even inside the Party.

We are not carried away in nullifying everything due to the emergence of contradictions of the class struggles course, for its shaping and development, for the expansion and closely examination of the new relations of ownership-distribution and of all social relations. In these latter, the shaping of the new man as labour power that consciously participates from the standpoint of social interest, in every unit of social production or organisation of social service, or from the standpoint of protection from every internal or external force which is opposed to the goal of socialist-communist construction, is included.

Of course, we do not turn a blind eye to contradictions, pressures, mistakes and deviations but we do not reduce everything to nothing. We examine them critically and self-critically, so that KKE can become, as part of the international communist movement, stronger in the struggle to overthrow capitalism, for the socialist construction. We study and criticise socialist constructions course self-critically too, that is in full consciousness that our own shortcomings, theoretical inadequacies and false assessments were part of the problem. These shortcomings have been related to, in the past, our false assessments for the socialist laws and the character of contrasts in the process of shaping and developing the new society. We underestimated the complexity of the struggle against inherited remnants ; we overestimated the socialist developments course, while we underestimated the strength of the international imperialistic system.

We move on with collectiveness, self-awareness of the difficulties and the lacks and with class determination we move on to the criteria and the pivot for the formation of a unified conception. We are aware of and we accept that future historical research, on behalf of our Party and the communist movement internationally, will definitely shed more light on the matters of the experience of USSR and other socialist countries. There is no doubt that matters of completion, improvement and thorough examination of some of our assessments will arise. Besides, the development of the theory of socialism-communism is a necessity, a living process, a challenge for our Party and the international movement, both in the present and in the future.

We do not fear this procedure. Starting with the 14th Congress (the first time our Party stood on this issue), the decisions of the National Conference of 1995, the communication and our theoretical discussions with other communist Parties, Marxist scientists and centres, we have the experience to ensure the continuity, the enrichment of knowledge and unified conception.

The text of the Theses of the CC for the Congress constitutes a continuation and further examination of the main assessments of the Pan-Hellenic Conference, which are taken into account in our programmatic conception of socialism.

Our conviction on the methodology, criteria and our lines of approach was reinforced from all of this inner party procedure.

The text of the Theses of the CC was voted for in the pre-congress sessions of the PBO on this matter, by the participation of 73% of the party members (27%  of the party members absent, 17% excused), while 0, 35% voted against and 0, 61%voted blank.

We do not consider our party members agreement to have a formal character, despite the fact of the subjects difficulty, especially the theoretical ones that were put in the discussion, some of which for the first time.

We asked for our comrades opinion on the directions of the text, the criteria and the lines, according to which we will enrich our conception of socialism, by taking into account our experience of the socialist construction first of all in the USSR, which was the first socialist constructed country but also a vanguard in the socialist course in the 20th century.

We trust the class criterion of party members and workers, regardless of their educational background. We do not share the opinion that discussions about the laws of socialist-communist construction should be a matter exclusively for the scientists, away from the development of class struggle.

In the internal party procedure important sides of the text were confirmed and illuminated by comrades that have lived in the USSR and other socialist countries, by communist scientists from these countries, by party members with relevant experiences.

Certainly, during the internal as well as the public discussion, different methodological approaches, theoretical views and assessments, as well as matters that need further clarifications-completions, suggestions for research matters arose. The position of the CC concerning these is the following:



I.Concerning the methodology of the CC :



Firstly: The CC takes it as a given that its assessment in 1995 that the victory of the counterrevolution and capitalist restoration were the result of a combination of internal and external factors and that the internal factors were the decisive ones.

The document examines the path of socialist construction in the USSR, with as its axis the relationship between politics and the economy. For this reason priority has been given to the exploration of the economic laws during the lowest level of the creation of the new society and the document takes a position on the related political and ideological struggle, which developed in the USSR, concerning the character of commodity and financial relations. The decisions of the Pan-Hellenic conference of 1995 stressed the need for a more developed position concerning this issue.

During socialist construction, that it is to say during the long passage from a capitalist to a developed communist society, politics -that is to say revolutionary working class state power with the party as its leading force- acquires precedence in the shaping, extension and deepening of the new social relations. This is not voluntarism, as certain comrades have argued.

The relations of social ownership do not come about spontaneously as long as relations of private ownership exist. This did not occur with capitalist relations which appeared while feudal relations were still predominant, even if in the case of capitalism that politics harmonised social relations with the new productive forces. Politics gave a new impetus to their development, and later through politics historically out-of-date capitalist relations were maintained and became an obstacle to the development of productive forces. Nevertheless, the relations of social ownership appear only as a result of the revolutionary political act. This does not mean an idealistic downgrading or denial of the decisive role of the productive forces in the relationship between productive forces and productive relations.

In the case of the relations of social ownership, their ability to appear in concentrated industrial production and their moulding comes about as the result of the revolutionary will of the working class and its victory over the state power of capital. From this point of view, revolutionary politics becomes decisive in the shaping of the new productive relations, and also in the course of socialist development, in the course of the disappearance of intermediate cooperative relations. The replacement of cooperative relations with relations of social ownership, the passage from cooperative production to direct social production is not carried out spontaneously through the planned development of productive forces in the cooperatives, but as a result of the revolutionary act.

We also clarify that we do not consider cooperatives as a non-developed firm of communist relation, but as an intermediate form between private commodity production and socialist production (the immature level of communist production).  History has shown that within cooperative relations it is possible, under certain conditions, for the private appropriation of the cooperative and even social product, which enter cooperative agricultural production in the form of industrial materials and goods, to appear and be strengthened.

Of course, when we talk of the precedence of politics we do not mean political arbitrariness. We mean the objective assessment of the social layering of society, of the general trends which are shaped, the common interests between different social forces (e.g. between the working class and the peasantry) , and the differences between them, which could form the basis for the appearance of class contradictions. We mean the planned intervention for their disappearance. From this standpoint, the struggle against opportunism-the political and ideological retreat in the fight to extinguish every form of private or group ownership of the means of production- acquires decisive significance as well as the abolition of other social divisions (intellectual-manual labour etc).

History confirms that the ideological justification of certain necessary for a period differentiations e.g. extra benefits for managerial work, leads to the political strengthening of these differences. It makes possible the acquisition of a larger share of the social product, violation of the relation “to each according to work”, which, even if it is not immediately transformed into capital, leads to the detaching of the managerial layer from the general social interest, it develops into a social force alien towards socialist construction and development.

We can see then that the position concerning the role of opportunism and the assessment of its dominance in the CPSU with the turning point being the 20th congress (1956) is not an idealistic interpretation of developments, because the rise of opportunism is understood as a reflection of social trends, internal and international.

We consider that these conclusions, from our analysis of the society of the USSR, based on the relationship between the economy and politics, form the necessary basis for further specialised research into the superstructure, such as the party, legislation, the institutions of the organisation of working class state power and the alliance with the self-employed and peasantry.

We are of the opinion that our party-the new CC must take on this responsibility- must continue this research on the issues we mentioned above, as well as a series of others which have been referred to in the document as areas of which need further study: how the international balance of forces during the second world war impacted on the ideological and political situation in the CPSU as well as in the international communist movement; the balance of forces in the “Council for Mutual Economic Assistance“, and its relations with capitalist economies; the further research of the differentiations amongst workers in the socialist production units and services and the social layering amongst private and cooperative agricultural producers.

The new CC is charged with the duty of organising further research on these issues, to seek the cooperation of communist forces, especially from countries which in the past underwent socialist construction, and to choose the methods of participation of the party organisations in the final shaping of the conclusions which emerge from these specialised studies.

Secondly: The recognition of the theoretical principles of the works of Lenin, and even of Stalin, should not be confused with political positions which were put forward in a certain period, which concerned political questions of that specific period. It is dangerous for someone to support a position using references to these works taken out of context. We must carefully follow the development of their thought, under the influence of the development of class struggle, when and why they referred in a specific way to a certain issue e.g. the question of the peasantry. Both Lenin and Stalin in their analyses recognised the social differentiation in the peasantry and the common interests of the working class with the small and medium peasantry in Russia, but also the differences that existed between the working class and the poor peasantry. These differences were not underestimated when, on certain occasions, they referred to the “worker-peasant government” for instance. Then they put emphasis on the alliance, without negating their theoretical position concerning “working class state power” (the dictatorship of the proletariat). The same is true of cooperative relations. In their works we find references to “socialist cooperatives”, cooperative relations as a form of social ownership. Despite this, they recognised their intermediate and transitory character in relation to social ownership.

In parallel, we note that the non-dogmatic study must recognise that there are incomplete predictions, assessments, positions, chiefly concerning new phenomena, which demand generalisation through their analysis, taking into account that the theoretical study of the laws of the new society has not been completed. The position of Stalin concerning the law of value in socialist construction is one such issue, concerning the section on “its regulating role in the distribution of individual consumer products which are produced in socialist production, “a position contradictory, in the view of the CC of our party, with his correct assessment concerning the character of commodity-finance relations in socialist construction.


Thirdly: we aim to enrich our programmatic view of socialism. This does not come into conflict with our programme which we fashioned at our 15th congress, because it does negate the character of our strategy, the necessity of the revolutionary passage to socialism. This enrichment is related to the development and sharpening of the more general theses in our programme.

The congress is the suitable organ to approve such matters, which have already been put to the whole party for discussion in the theses of the CC. But it is not a new procedure. Most congresses enrich and develop our strategy or programme e.g. the 16th congress further developed our theses concerning the Anti-imperialist Anti-monopoly Democratic Front. Today we are attempting to deepen our understanding concerning distribution in the field of direct social production “to each according to the quantity and quality of work”, as well as concerning the ownership and use of land, and productive cooperativism.

In any case, the programme of the party itself indicates the need to deepen our understanding of socialist construction based on the lessons of socialist construction in the 20th century (documents of the 15th congress p 124). Life itself, the social and political developments give rise to the need to develop the partys positions, a process through which the need to form a new programme matures.

In conclusion, the CC does not agree with views which argue that the further elaboration of certain positions constitutes a change in our programme.



II.Concerning Different Theoretical and Methodological Approaches. Questions for Clarification, Issues for Further Research.


We will now take a position on basic questions which arose in the pre-congress discussion, on various viewpoints which we reject. In addition, we will clarify and develop certain issues and adopt certain suggestions.


A.    Concerning the Relationship Socialism-Communism


Firstly: There was a criticism of the document that it identified socialism with developed communism, and some argued that our criticism of the course of socialist construction in the USSR had voluntarist criteria and expressed a tendency which underestimated objective difficulties, which is also expressed in our programmatic understanding concerning the socialist level and its laws.

We clarify that:

1.    The document does not in any place confuse the highest and the lowest phase of communism. On the contrary, in thesis 2 ps, pp 5-6 there is a long reference to their differences. In addition, there is specific reference to the character of the transitional period in thesis 4, p7.

2.    According to Marx and Lenin, the basic difference between the lowest and the highest phase of communism is the full and total elimination of classes (“Critique of the Gotha Programme” “State and Revolution”” Ultra-leftism, Infantile Disorder” etc). The full elimination of classes requires not only the abolition of every form of private or group ownership of the means of production, but the elimination of every significant social difference, which existed as a contradiction in all the pre-communist history of exploitative systems (intellectual vs. manual labour, city vs. village etc).

We consider that the above criticism of the document displays a partial approach or a lack of an overall theoretical understanding of the issue.

3.    More specifically, certain comrades base their criticism on the argument that the document ignores the special character of “socialist relations”.


The CC makes it clear that:


The term “socialist relations of production” is not accurate to the extent which it is separated fully from communist relations; to the extent which it hides the fundamental relation of ownership, social ownership in the concentrated means of production. The document recognises the differentiation in their development, with their central impact on distribution relations (at the socialist level “to each according to work”, while at the higher communist level “to each according to need”) Thesis 2, p 5 (And capitalist relations underwent changes from the end of the 18th century until the dominance of the monopoly, but their essence did not change the private ownership of the means of production, the purchasing of labour power).

The reflection of the level of the development of productive forces on communist relations is not ignored, of course : How social ownership and distribution were realised, how workers control in management developed into real communist self-management, the real merging of managerial and non-managerial labour, how, through the generalised mechanization of labour and the educational development of all members of society who could work, labour time is decisively reduced and the difference between  manual and intellectual labour is eliminated.

Secondly: there was a disagreement (to a limited extent) concerning the theoretical and methodological approach of the document of the CC, claiming that social phenomena and contradictions (forms of private and cooperative production, the existence of finance-commodity relations, the city vs. village) were not the bases for the development of the forces of capitalist restoration, that they are not phenomena which exist in socialist construction, the immature level of communism. According to this view, the above-mentioned phenomena exist in a transitional period, in the dictatorship of the proletariat, during which even if capitalist relations have been abolished and a socialist base has been created, the related superstructure has not been formed. Overall the characteristics of the new (communist) society at the lowest (socialist) level have not been formed.

This view recognises the decisive role of politics during the transitional period, but not during the lowest (socialist) level of the communist system. It considers the socialist level to be a classless society and recognises only the contradiction between manual and intellectual labour. On this basis, it considers that the withering away of the state begins at the socialist level, that the dictatorship of the proletariat is not relevant, as there are no property relations other than social ownership. The references to the “All-peoples state”, concern the defence of society only against the external opponent, since socialism has not triumphed worldwide. That is to say it considers the socialist level highly developed, but not yet mature communism.

This assessment concludes that in the USSR the transitional phase had not been completed, that socialism was still at a very early stage. On this basis the possibility for the restoration of capitalist relations is explained.

In the CCs opinion, this approach underestimates the role of the subjective factor in socialist construction and development, it tends to support the spontaneous withering away of forms of private-cooperative ownership, finance-commodity relations, and it downplays the character of social-ownership on the basis of existing problems in the “mediation” between producers.

Concerning the use of the term “transitional period” we stress the following:


When Marx and Engels refer to the transition from capitalism to communism, generally they do not use the term socialism to define the first level of communism. They spoke of the passage from a capitalist to a socialist society, which is realised through the dictatorship of the proletariat (revolutionary working class state power, with at its vanguard, the communist party), i.e. they referred to the social revolution with as its starting point the political revolution. Of course, they clearly distinguish the first from the final phase of communism. In their works, they were concerned mainly with the societies of Britain and Germany, and thus calculated a shorter transition.

Lenin had to face the practical issues of political revolution: the development of civil war and foreign intervention, after the seizure of ate power, i.e. with the development of the counterrevolution. The massive destruction put the economy back, the material basis, to pre-1913 levels. The international balance of forces took a negative turn (the betrayal of the revolution in Germany, the defeat in Hungary etc) after the end of the first revolutionary upsurge in Europe. The difficulty for the subjective factor in organizing production and society based on the new politically-decided relations, in conditions where the black market was growing, because of the war.

In this phase, the lack of enough “civilisation” for the immediate passage to socialism was mentioned, even if the political conditions existed.

For this reason a plan for an organised retreat from the elimination of capitalist relations was elaborated, through the existence of small and medium businesses, with the survival of capitalists in agricultural production, through the import of foreign capital (NEP).

From this standpoint, Lenin spoke of a transitional period between the acquisition of state power by the working class and the creation of the socialist base (the abolition of capitalist relations). This distinction is related to the specific course of the socialist revolution in Russia- the 7 year delay in the elaboration of the first 5 year plan and the existence of kulaks for over 10 years after the revolution.

Lenin considered that for a series of more developed capitalist countries these transitional measures would not be necessary.

Lenin mainly had to face the problems of the political struggle for power, i.e. the transitional period for the establishment of revolutionary state power and the creation of the socialist base. In practice, he did not have to face social phenomena and contradictions between socialist ownership and forms of private-group ownership.

Therefore, the necessity of the dictatorship of the proletariat, of class struggle, has political significance not only in the “transitional period” to establish the new authority and implement measures to create new economic relations and abolish capitalist ones, but during the whole transition form capitalism to communism, in the phase of development of the lowest level (socialist) and the approach to the higher level.

Thirdly: the doubting of the existence of the socialist base, in certain instances, attempts to distinguish between the nationalisation of the concentrated means of production on the one hand, and socialisation on the other, by claiming that, socialization requires the full development of workers control and the abolition of the distinction between managerial and non-managerial labour.

Of course, we take into consideration the time lag between legislated and real socialisation. We consider, however, that real socialisation occurs when the concentrated means of production are no longer privately-owned, and have been incorporated into the central plan and workers control, even if this is not fully developed.

We do not agree with the view that real socialisation requires the full abolition of the distinction between managerial and non-managerial labour. Likewise, with the view that real socialization requires the full elimination of the distinction between managerial and non-managerial labour. We do not agree with the view that distinguishes the “nationalsation” of the means of production on the part of the dictatorship of the means of production from socialization. Essentially, if indirectly, this view tends to question the role of the dictatorship of the proletariat as a tool of the class struggle of the proletariat which is not restricted only to the duties of crushing the counterrevolutionary activity of bourgeois class, but also for the construction of new relations, the elimination of every social difference and inequality. Socialisation in socialism, such as the organisation of the economy and society is realised by the state of the working class, under the leadership of the CP, which is supported by the mobilization of the working masses, workers control etc.


B Specifics regarding the assessment of the USSR


Firstly: A certain amount of criticism directed towards the CC Document claims that it presents the viewpoint that the 20th Convention turn towards opportunism came out of nowhere, without recognising previously existing problems, that it beautifies the period before the 20th Convention and that it judges the 20th Convention and the following ones with voluntarism and for that reason it incorrectly makes an assessment of an opportunist turn of the CPSU, that it generally aimed to proceed quickly to developed communism, overlooking the real level of development of the productive forces.

In reference to the voluntarism  we have already stated our points.

In terms of the beautification of the period before the beginning of WWII and the sudden surprise appearance of the opportunist deviation we would like to clarify the following:

1. The Document specifically deals with every phase of socialist construction in the USSR. It accepts the necessity of the NEP during the 1920s, without however considering it to be inevitability in every historical form of socialist revolution. We consider that the inner-party conflict at the end of the decade 1920-1930 to be an manifestation of class struggle for the abolition of capitalist remnants and for the move towards collectivization, as a necessity during that period for the founding and the development of a new society.

This generally correct direction is not negated by partial subjective mistakes made by the party and the state organs, either in the collectivisation process or in the political struggle. We resolutely reject the bourgeois and opportunist viewpoints referring to “red fascism” or “totalitarianism” during the Stalin period.

We do not consider the appearance and dominance of opportunism to have been a sudden surprise. In any case, we have called attention to the inner-party conflict which preceded the opportunist turn (at the end of the 1920s, during the 1930s, at the beginning of the 1950s) as a reflection of the class struggle. The heart of the conflict was the position concerning the question of ownership, before WWII the position concerning the necessity for the struggle against capitalist elements, especially in the villages, and after WWII mainly against forms of individual - group ownership. We recognise the existence of opportunist tendencies inside the Party before the 20th Convention, which became dominant inside the Party after the death of Stalin, during the proceedings of the 20th Convention and afterward. Further historical research will shed light on all of the factors and the conditions which made this change of course possible.

The CC Document recognises the problems based on which the sudden strengthening of opportunism was made possible. Playing an important role among these, are the theoretical confusions and weaknesses in a period during which the necessity for the extension and deepening of socialist relations was vital.

The CC Document clarifies, as well, that the problems in the struggle for the further development of the socialist course reappeared more urgently after the end of WWII and during the post-war economic reconstruction. That is, the conditions that objectively created a turning point either forwards or backwards, were historical, domestic and international.

We agree with the need to reveal more clearly the international conditions that favoured the strengthening of opportunism that finally dominated during the 1950s:

The multi-faceted external pressure from the beginning of the 1940s took the form of:

§ German imperialist occupation of significant sections of the USSR.

§ Imperialist encirclement of the USSR within its obligatory alliance with the USA - Great Britain.

§ Problems with the line of the international communist movement, especially the Communist Parties of the USA and Great Britain, that is, the Communist Parties of the major imperialist powers that became allies, when an important section of the USSR was under German occupation.

§ Pressure from petit-bourgeois forces in liberation fronts and their respective governments in states that became new USSR allies.

The external pressure was entangled with internal pressure from petit-bourgeois (or bourgeois background cadre in sectors of the economy and administration) forces. Individual commercial production was reinforced in the USSR with the integration of new regions after WWII.

All of the above constitute factors encouraging the development of opportunism, conditions which resulted in a great widening of the Party ranks, loss of cadre and members of the Revolution.

An area for further investigation is the evolution of the social composition of the Party, of internal-party procedures (the causes of the great delay in the carrying out of the convention).

2. The assessment of the CC is that the 20th Convention of the CPSU constitutes a backwards turn ideologically and politically is not new; it was stated back in 1995. Those viewpoints that interpret the CC Theses as ones that consider that the 20th Convention overturned the course of socialist construction are unfounded. The CC supports that with the 20th Convention the dynamic of socialist progress was evolutionarily cut short, in a course which reinforced rather than blunted social inequalities and differences, the process of restraining the extension and deepening of socialist relations reinforced the elements and the possibility of overturning socialist construction. This process was evolving through struggle, with mileposts and gradations. The vanguard guiding role of the Party, as the party of power and the core of a political system with revolutionary character, was lost in the process. There was relaxing and blunting of the principles and rules of Party function and of the policy for cadre selection. In the Party ranks, struggle took place before, during and after the 20th Convention, even during the “final act of the drama”, at the 28th Convention, independently of the level of ideological and political clarity and the cohesiveness of communist forces, against the counter-revolutionary forces. History proved that at the 28th Convention, “on the eve” of the final attack of counter-revolution, inside the CPSU co-existed bourgeois, opportunist and communist forces. Communist forces did not have the strength to dominate, to overturn the victory of counter-revolution, despite the fact that they resisted at the 28th Convention, and in continuation they amassed together in the “United Workers Front of Russia”, they nominated their candidates for the positions of President and Vice-President of Russia, in the “Movement for Communist Initiative”, they tried to achieve the expulsion of Gorbachev from the Party for anti-communist actions.

The CC does not agree with the viewpoint of certain comrades that the 20th Convention constituted an overturn of the socialist course, that it constituted a reinstitution of capitalism. The CC continues to maintain the position (and that of the 14th Convention and the Pan-Hellenic Conference in 1995) that the socialist course began a course of regression with the 20th Convention, and the possibility was gradually widened for the accumulation of products outside of Central Planning. In continuation, the overturning of the socialist course as counter-revolutionary was put on a forward course with the vehicle of “perestroika” which used socialist slogans as a diversion. The counter-revolution delivered the final blow during the period 1988-1991, following the betrayal of the working class and socialism by the dominant section of the CPSU leadership.

Certainly, there are issues that require further investigation: The struggle in the international communist movement and the mutual impact this had towards and from the CPSU. The internal struggle taking place in the CPSU. The evolution of class stratification and the organisation and direction of production in the USSR, especially in the final decades of its History.

Secondly: Some viewpoints were expressed maintaining that the socialist base was not formed, because the material prerequisites were immature in Czarist Russia, as well as, in other countries where initially the proletarian political revolution was victorious.

Another version of the above viewpoint claims that the socialist base had not dominated in the USSR; it was just developing, and for that reason it retreated after WWII in the new conditions that arose.

We emphasise the following:

In all certainty, the “capitalist inheritance”, even more the pre-capitalist remnants, determine both the duration of the transitional period from the political revolution to the formation of the socialist base, as well as, the course of socialist development, the approaching towards the communist stage.

We do not uphold, however, that what took place in the USSR was simply an extensive nationalisation and not the socialisation of the concentrated means in industry, with which great progress was made in the productive forces and with which aid was given to other countries so that they could free themselves from colonization and imperialist dependence. We characterise the course of the USSR as socialist, based on the criteria of the abolition of capitalist relations and the tremendous development in the productive forces, first of all for the totality of human productive forces for decades, even after WWII.

We consider that the basic problems that concerned the deep internal inequality in the Czarism Empire, inherited by the Revolution, were historically overcome by the eve of WWII. This reality was recorded in the international balance of forces, regarding the share of the USSR in the world production of industrial materials and manufacturing and in the level of labour power (this reality had impressed and frightened even representatives of the leading capitalist power of that time, the USA). This tendency in the development of the international balance of forces in the share of production gradually ended and was overturned during the decade of the 1970s, especially during the phase of rejuvenation upturn that took place in the capitalist economy after the crisis of 1973.

This viewpoint expressed by the CC does not come in contradiction with the interruption of the socialist dynamic during the decades of the 1960s, 1970s and the change in the balance of forces during the decades of the 1980s. These developments, of course, were reflected in the character of the Party and state power, which was finally resolved with the victory of counter-revolution.

We must remember that over time, generally behind the concept of “immaturity”  there was an underestimation of the role of the subjective factor and opportunist positions were concealed: “Immature” was the socialist revolution (1917, the Mensheviks), “immature” the overcoming of capitalist relations (1930, Bukharin - Trotsky), “immature” the possibility of extending and deepening of socialist relations during the 1950s, conceptions that opposed the forward movement of the social revolution, that is the construction of communist relations of production.

Thirdly: Certain positions misinterpret the position of the Document of the CC, that at the beginning of the decade of the 1950s it was “mature” to present the issue of further expanding and deepening of socialist relations, considering that we maintain that at that point the USSR was approaching the mature communist stage.

More specifically, certain comrades doubt whether it was mature in the 1950s to advance the extension of socialist relations in agricultural production.

1. To begin with, we support that the extension of socialist (immature communist) relations in spheres of production such as agricultural, where they were held back, or their deepening in distribution, means approaching the communist stage but not realising it. Mature communism requires: the complete abolition of differences between city-country, intellectual-manual labour, the victory of the socialist revolution in the largest and most powerful part of capitalism.

2. We clarify the point pertaining to the criteria of maturity for the extension of socialist relations in agricultural production:

The capability of changing relations in agricultural production concerns to a great extent the capabilities of industry (the NEP was carried out first of all because industry could not support collectivisation): to allocate the appropriate machinery, Central Planning in order to carry out large-scale improvement projects in agricultural productivity, their protection from seasonal destruction, quick and secure storage - packaging - preservation - transport, the corresponding specialisation of the labour force, the fundamental change in the agricultural way of life with the development of the educational-cultural level and the transformation of the countryside with modern urban housing conditions.

Up until the beginning of the 1950s serious steps had been taken in the USSR in that direction (the document gives data e.g. the proportion of tractors for each kolkhoz). The CPSU dealt with the choice of direction in the resolution of old and then new problems.

Stalin, as the GS of the CC of the Party, recognised the difference between cooperative and social ownership as a problem that made planning difficult. He pointed it out as an example of the contradiction between productive forces relations of production in socialism, which must be resolved in a planned fashion. He rejected the proposals which essentially aimed at the reinforcement of the commercial nature of cooperatives. He set the goal of excluding the surplus kolkhoz production from the system of commercial circulation and their passage into the system of product exchange between state industry and the kolkhoz. (Stalin, “Economic Problems under Socialism in the USSR”, Synchrony Epochi Publications, pg. 118).

Generally, he opened up an orientation for the transformation of developed kolkhoz into sovhoz, and the unification of small and small-scale production kolkhoz into larger, etc.

3. The Theses of the CC support that in a large section, primarily in the developed cooperative production (kolkhoz), the pre-requisites had been created for mechanisation and infrastructure, such that they could pass into immediate socialisation, and for individual production to be completely abolished. It is a contradiction for there to exist e.g. planned, organised and mechanised cultivation of agricultural and livestock products and at the same time for the same product to be produced individually with the goal of selling it on the market. This combination was necessary only during the period of low-level of mechanisation and of non-existent infrastructure.

The facts, which certain comrades cite concerning the increase in the productivity of the kolkhoz and the concentration of the produced product, specifically attest to their maturity for the passage into direct social ownership, for their complete integration in Central Planning, for the complete inclusion in labour power in the corresponding relations of distribution (salary, work hours, social security, etc.). Of course, a number of the elements that are cited concern a later period (where reforms were applied), during which the kolkhoz developed, in parallel with agricultural, other types of productive activity (e.g. construction) and private production and private commerce were strengthened (the hectares of land allocated for private production and the share of their product to the market were increased).

In addition, we do not consider as a measure of the expansion of communist relations in agricultural production the numeric increase of the sovhoz in relation to the kolkhoz, because one part of the reduction in the number of kolkhoz resulted from merging. It is important to consider in which branches of agricultural production the sovhoz were extended, as well as, to consider the changes in the administration of the functioning of both the sovhoz and kolkhoz after the economic reforms during the 1960s.

Certainly, the issue of the relations in the agricultural economy requires further study.



Concerning the superstructure


Firstly: several comrades regard as main cause of the overthrow issues concerning the functioning of the Party and the State. They place emphasis on “democracy” and “freedoms” arguing that the relationship between the party, the masses and their concerns was weakened or that the party underestimated the allies. Other contributions, consider that the problem derives from the way that the innerparty conflict was carried out in the 1930s, with the responsibility of the leadership of the CPSU.

The above-mentioned positions ignore the relationship between the base and the superstructure as well as the special problems of the class struggle in the various levels of the socialist construction and development. They do not take into account the reflection of the class struggle in the party and the organs of state-power. They do not take into consideration the fact that the Party, as the leading force in the organs of State-power, acts according to the conditions, that the stance towards leaders of new opposition trends, and activities hindering the implementation of the decisions, is determined by what is considered to be the best for the course of revolution.

The dissolution of the bourgeois State is not realised through the cobbling together of several positive elements of bourgeois democracy with that of the new state power. The new state power has a totally different perception of rights and freedoms. It shapes its own structures and functionings, demolishing through its revolutionary impetus that of the bourgeois state power. In that sense, we cannot measure the extension of the peoples rights and freedoms according to quantitative criteria, on the basis of the civil rights. We should define them according to class criteria.  Moreover, there can be a period of restriction of rights according to the course of the class struggle. This should not be compared with the restriction of the action of Communist Parties in capitalism, but with the restriction of the political expression of the feudalists in the period of the revolutionary impetus of the bourgeoisie. Even more so, that the bourgeoisie is not merely historically reactionary, but also a small minority exploiting the majority.

The dictatorship of the proletariat will utilize all the possible ways in order to dominate: force, persuasion, compromise with the allies and conflict according to the levels and the turning points of the course of socialist construction. Power is not based only on ideological work but also on force. The new element of the dictatorship of the proletariat, namely of the workers state power, is that it is based on the mobilisation of the workers masses in organs of State power and the mass organisations.

The mistakes and deviations from the revolutionary line, if not dealt with or corrected on time, entail dangers and have a negative impact on the progress of the Party. This explains the gradual erosion of the party at the end of the 1980s, three decades after the right-opportunist turn and two decades after the negative impacts of the “Kosygin reforms”.

The document of the Pan-Hellenic Conference in 1995 includes the following conclusions, which we confirm: “one conclusion is that the party, even under the most complex and difficult conditions within the socialist construction, should not underestimate the fact that beyond the main issue, that is the threat of counterrevolution, there is a danger of the abuse of power and arbitrariness by cadres and organs of the state power. The danger exists to confuse and identify anti-socialist criticism and activities with criticism on existing mistakes and deviations”.

The realisation of the relationship “Party- Soviets-working and peoples masses” in different periods of the socialist construction in the USSR , the highlighting of positive experience, but also the shortcomings and problems should be studied further. The fact that life confirms that the revolutionary character of the party and its leading role in society continues to be a fundamental lesson.

Secondly: the view that regards the “all-peoples State” theoretically correct, but immature concerning the level of socialist development is also false. The State is always the State of a specific class. References to Lenin for the support of the “all-peoples State” have no basis, since Lenin talked clearly about the devitalisation of the “proletariat State”.

Thirdly: Certain contributions call into question the position that the working class becomes ruling class through its party. These views tend towards the position that the working class develops spontaneously and in a unified way, that the leading role of the working class is realised in a unified  way.

We clarify that the communist Party, as the vanguard of the working class, as the ruling class does not play merely an enlightening role, but it constitutes the leading force of the working class not only in the organisation but also victory of the political as well as social revolution. The issue of whether the Party fulfils this role or not, should not be confused with the role of the Communist Party in the socialist construction by definition.

Fourthly: The weak spot of several contributions is that they regard all the problems of the class struggle as problems of the of the party and State bureaucracy,  isolating the impacts of different interests of petty bourgeois forces and various segments of the working class on the Party. Thus, they mistakenly regard the party and State organ cadres as a different social force. This view is influenced by the bourgeois views on the parties and policy.


C Economic laws in socialism  


a) central planning

Several comrades called into question the central planning as a law of socialism. The proportional development was claimed to be a law of socialism and the central planning a product of the subjective factor.

We agree with the view that each plan of the central planning does not constitute a law of socialism , that it may approach less or more the necessity of proportional development.

In the notion of central planning the CC sees the necessity to realise the necessary sectoral proportions for the safeguarding of the growing social prosperity. Thus, it regards the central planning as a social relationship that expresses the relation of ownership, the merging of the direct producer with the means of production , the control of direct producers concerning the production and distribution to the various sectors of production, the amount of the product allocated for the satisfaction of the social needs through social services and the direct distribution to the workers for the realisation of the planned development of the productive forces.

We clarify the difference between the Central Planning as a law and the specific plan at each time, which may not imprint the laws, as it history proved.

The successful approach of the law by the central planning at each time includes the confirmation of each policy in practice, the role of the subjective factor (Party-State-working class) in the strategy of the socialist construction and development. We clarify that the definition of planning as central “central” is a pre-condition for the development of the initiatives and the activity of all the links.


 b) commodity-finance relations

Firstly: several comrades consider that the commodity-finance relations will disappear during the socialist construction (as in the case of the State). In some cases they imply that they will be overcome through their development. In addition, it was expressed that the problem of the Soviet economy, especially after 1956 was the way that the commodity finance relations developed which undermined the necessity for their existence. In any case, we do not consider these views to be correct. The commodity- finance relations cease to exist after the disappearance of the elements of the previous society that breed them. This cannot be realised spontaneously but consciously  through the policy of the workers power. That is the dictatorship of the proletariat should elaborate a policy for the elimination of the elements of the previous society and the incorporation of the individual labour in social labour.

Secondly: other contributions mistakenly regard the product of the socialist productive units that is not distributed for free as a commodity .

According to Marx,  a commodity is not a use of value produced in general, but one produced in order to be exchanged. The products for individual consumption are not distributed to all for free; however, they are not commodities, as they are not produced in order to be exchanged but according to a plan for the satisfaction of the social needs which is a result of the participation in the social production. The uneven distribution is caused by the fact that the products are not enough for all and due to the compulsory labour in socialism. The Theses refer that certain theoretical shortcomings and antinomies manifested on this issue in a period that the leadership of CPSU supported the planned abolition of the commodity finance relations. (theoretical debate 1951)


c) the distribution  relation “to each according to work”

Certain contributions disagree with the position referred in the Theses that the working time is the main criterion for the distribution of the non-free distributed social product.

According to Marx the main criterion in socialism is the working time that expresses the individual contribution in the total social labour. Society gives back in a different form the quantity of labour offered by the individual producer. The Theses reconfirm this position. On the basis of this position, we consider that the leadership of the CPSU did not have a comprehensive assessment of the distribution relations.

The document does not present a salary scale as it is beyond its objectives. It rejects the evaluation of the result of the labour power according to value (reduction of complex to simple labour) in the socialist construction . We remind that the reduction of complex to simple labour is realised through the exchange of proportional values. In the direct social production, products do not consist a commodity.

We also clarify that the labours producing uses of value can be only beneficial and cannot be compared on the basis of the value approach.

The view that the position on distribution has a simplistic character of “war communism” constitutes a distortion of the Theses of the CC. We present the main criterion but other criteria as well (Theses on Socialism pos.7,pp 9-10) : the material conditions of the production process in which “individual” labour is included; the special needs of social production for the concentration of labour force in certain areas, branches, etc.; the special social needs, such as motherhood, individuals with special needs, etc.; the personal stance of each individual regarding the organization and the execution of the productive process. In other words, labour time must be linked to goals, such as the conservation of materials, the implementation of more productive technologies, a more rational organization of labour, workers control of administration-management.

This is a clear cut position that has nothing to do with the view that “those who are lazy, reluctant to work or to increase the productivity of labour through knowledge, specialization etc. are remunerated”

 This position of the CC constitutes a further development of the programmatic position “according to the quantity and the quality of the labour” which may be misinterpreted in its general form.

It places emphasis on the effectiveness of the collective-farm, the production unit or social service depended on the result of different special labours e.g. in health-care centres and hospitals the effectiveness does not depend merely on the work of doctors, nurses, technical assistants, cleaning and catering services etc. At the same time there is a tendency towards the reduction of the manual labours through the use of machines, towards their combination with incentives such as reduction of working time and education programmes, services for leisure, culture etc. We reject the monetary form of these incentives.

We also clarify that specialised labour is not identified with scientific labour. The salary policy is not the only mean in the dictatorship of the proletariat to increase the “quality and quantity” of the of labour and ensure the sufficient contribution of specialised labour (manual and intellectual). The socialist state power orients itself towards the solution of the differences in salaries ensuring the satisfaction of the social needs for all the workers and planning the shaping of the general material conditions as well as individual preconditions which determine the effectiveness of the labour. At the same time it promotes the communist consciousness in labour.

The development of the programmatic position eliminates the possibility to theorise any deviation policy on the basis of special needs, on the name of a different quality (transferring in socialism the differences between the remuneration of the managerial-scientific work and executive labour inherited by capitalism).


d) agricultural cooperatives

Certain objections were expressed on the view of the socialisation of land as it was considered that the agricultural producers would weaken the dynamics of the alliance and that this is against the Program of the Party. We remind that the cooperative production in the USSR had been realised on the basis of nationalised (socialised land) with the “Decree onLand ” from the first days of the Revolution.

We clarify the following:

We support the position that the agricultural producer will enter the agricultural cooperative by the use of the land he possesses.

The measure land socialisation excludes on one hand the possibility of land accumulation, inside or outside of the cooperative, and on the other hand the change of land use and speculation.

The Greek reality does not demand redistribution of the land. The peasants who do not possess land can be employed in the state organised agricultural state farms.

Besides the Greek reality is completely different from the Russian, that is, its problem does not lie in the lack of mechanisation but on the low productivity on the base of small  farmholdings. The basis of the small and poor farmers alliance with the working class is in reality its compression from the monopolies.

We note that the social alliance  involves compromise and conflict as well, as forces with joint but also different interests are allied.

The alliance is built by different social forces. In the framework of the alliance and the struggle for the overthrow of capitalism as well as during the socialist construction not all the forces play an equal role. The working class has a leading position. During the socialist construction this position is established through the state of the working class. This issue is not solved through negotiations or agreements but through the revolutionary action.

However this does not mean that this alliance is not expressed also through the participation of the representatives of the allied social forces in the organs of the people’s state power and the action of various mass organisations.

It is rather unrealistic to believe that the allies will follow steadily the steps of the socialist construction , that there will not be any conflict for the realisation of these steps.   


D The electoral rights for KKE

Several comrades consider that the electoral right of youth and pensioners are restricted through the following position of the CC: “The nuclei of working class state-power will be the units of production, workplaces, through which working class and social control of the administration will be exercised. The workers representatives to the organs of state-power will be elected (and if necessary recalled) from these “communities of production”.

We clarify that the restriction of the electoral rights of the non-working women, youth, pensioners has nothing to do with the perception of the CC. The students will participate through the educational units, while it needs to be further studied how the participation of pensioners and non working women will be realised eg. Through units of social services and social organisations.






Dear, representatives of Communist and Workers’ Parties,


Today we feel more proud than any other time in the last twenty years, because we have not bent to the polemic against the struggle for socialism but also to the pressure exerted by workers and people’s forces under the disappointment and confusion caused by the counterrevolution. 

We are revolutionary optimist that our party can be ideologically more strong and united, capable to inspire and rally in the socialist struggle new workers’ and people’s forces, especially young people. We believe that in the next years the regroupement of the international communist movement will be more distinct based on the development of its communist ideological and strategically unity.







Home | News | Campaigns | About KKE | Documents | International Meetings | On the EU | Theory & Socialism | Other Articles | About Greece | Photos / Music | Printings | Red Links | Contacts

Communist Party of Greece – Central Committee
145 leof.Irakliou, Gr- 14231 Athens tel:(+30) 210 2592111 - fax: (+30) 210 2592298 - e-mail:

Powered by Plone