Ninety Years to Maki – the Party Which Used to be Communist (November 2009)

The October Revolution

92 years ago in the Russian Empire, the working class led the peasant masses to overthrow the rule of the landlords and capitalists and established the first and only workers’ state in history. The leadership of the working class consisted of the revolutionary workers’ party, known as the Bolshevik Party. Following this revolution communist parties were being established all over the world and a communist international was formed – the workers’ party of the world socialist revolution.

The crushing of the October Revolution

As Marxists, it was very clear to the Bolshevik leaders, Lenin and Trotsky, that if the October Revolution would not be the first of many all around the world, it will fail and be crushed isolated in a backward country like Russia.

The Stalinists led by the executioner of the revolution, Joseph Stalin, who took power after Lenin’s death, took a nationalist position and claimed that they will build socialism in one country. After the dictator’s death, his heir, Nikita Khrushchev, used his shoes to bang over the table in the UN Assembly and proclaimed that Soviet production will bury the capitalist system.

Twenty years ago the eyes of humanity were turned to the east and the economic, political and moral decay of the collapsing “Socialist Block” under the corrupt Stalinist regimes, which was portrayed by all “communist” parties as “modern day socialism.”

The western imperialist bourgeoisie celebrated “the victory of capitalism over Marxism.” Pro-imperialist ideologues proclaimed that “communism is nothing but a delusional theory completely divorced from human nature and spirit.”

The Question at hand

Today, in the midst of the most severe capitalist crisis since 1929, many realize that bourgeois economists, clergy of the capitalist system, understand nothing about the capitalist mode of production and have no idea how to save this decaying system which threatens the very existence of human kind. People like us dare to say that the capitalist mode of production should be overthrown since it prevents the continuation of the development of the means of production, starves millions each year to death, massacres millions of others in devastating wars, and destroys the conditions for human existence upon this planet. Lenin has written more the once: “In order for humanity to live, imperialism must die.”

In this epoch it is very important to be able to answer the question of “what happened in the USSR”? Why did the revolution degenerate and when did the workers’ state became an imperialist capitalist state?

When the “Socialist Block” collapsed a simple truth was discovered that the mode of production of these countries was not more advanced then the imperialist countries. Soviet economy lagged behind the American. Eastern European economies lagged behind western European countries. If these countries really had a socialist mode of production the situation should have been the other way around. Thus, both bourgeois and Stalinist ideologues have been lying to us all along when they told us that these countries were socialist while they were in fact capitalist.

To be precise, the USSR was an imperialist capitalist country while the eastern European countries were its colonies. “But how is it possible that these countries were capitalist while the economy was nationalized?”, will ask those who think socialism is nothing but a nationalized economy. Marx and Engels pointed to the fact that logically following the evolution of the capitalist system will lead us to a nationalized economy in which the state itself becomes the owner of monopoly capital.

If nationalized economies would have automatically meant socialism, then Israel up until the ’80s was a socialist society, England during WW2 was a socialist society and Nazi Germany was a socialist society as well.

One must be able to tell the difference between the statified capitalism which developed in the USSR and a workers’ state in which the working class acts as a ruling class, nationalizes the economy on its own, and struggles against the law of value (the way in which human labor produce is transformed into a commodity under the capitalist mode of production) for its own interests. One must be able to tell the difference between the workers’ state, a transitional stage which leads to a socialist society, and a society based on global socialist economy – a stage in which human society evolves into a communist society. A transitional stage means there is still a risk of turning back into a capitalist state.

The USSR became a capitalist state in the period of 1936-9, when the counterrevolutionary Stalinist bureaucracy finished the process of eliminating the Bolshevik Party and the workers’ state apparatus, becoming a separate ruling class. When World War 2 broke out the USSR was already an imperialist state.

The Yalta and Potsdam conferences were in fact negotiations over the dividing of the world between imperialist powers; when the Stalinists supported the establishment of Israel and provided weapons to the Zionist gangs, which they used to expel the Palestinian masses from their land, they were acting as imperialists who support the establishment of a bastion against the regional working class. They did this as part of a grand-scale policy meant to crush the workers’ revolutionary wave that broke out around the world after World War 2.

Maki – the Communist Party of Israel

What is a communist party? We take the positions of the great Marxists: Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky, seriously. They struggled for a communist society – the highest stage of a world socialist society. They devoted their lives to the establishment of an international revolutionary party which has sections of communist parties in every country. The task of these parties is to overthrow their respective bourgeois state apparatuses and replace them with workers’ state apparatuses. Is Maki such a communist party?

1. Maki is not a section of a world workers’ state and is not struggling for the re-creation of the Communist International. The Stalinists eliminated the revolutionary role of this International already in the 1930s, and disbanded it during World War 2.

2. A genuine communist party would have been struggling for the independence of the working class from the bourgeoisie. Maki, on the other hand, subordinates its supporters to the Histadrut instead of struggling for independent trade unions which represent the working class, whereas the Histadrut, which relies on the most aristocratic layer of the Jewish workers, ties the working class to the bourgeois state.

The Zionist parliament, the Knesset, is not an ordinary bourgeois parliament, since it constitutes an organ of a settler-colonialist establishment which negates the national rights of the Palestinian people. Genuine communists would have been struggling for the establishment of a constituent assembly which will include the Jewish and Arab residents of Palestine and the refugees. As a result, the majority of the population will no longer be Jewish, thus ending the existence of the Zionist state as a Jewish majority state. Maki, on the other hand, ties its supporters to the Zionist state as a result of its participation in the Zionist Knesset.

3. A genuine communist party would have been struggling for a workers’ state from the sea to the river which will replace the Zionist bourgeois state. Maki, on the other hand, supports the imperialist program of establishing a Palestinian Bantustan mini-state alongside imperialist Israel.

Taking into account the number of the refugees which Israel expelled, the national character of the workers’ state cannot be but Palestinian. Maki, on the other hand, preaches to the Palestinian second-class citizens of Israel to humbly accept their status as a national minority.

4. A genuine communist party in this country would have been struggling for the right of the Palestinian refugees to return. Maki, on the other hand, which was an accomplice to the crime against the Palestinian people in 1947-8 when it helped to Zionist gangs obtain weapons, claims that the UN, an imperialist institution, will allow the refugees to return in numbers agreed upon between the Zionists and their PA accomplices. Thus, in practice, it opposes the return of the refugees and opposes the Palestinian people’s right of self-determination in its stolen land.

5. A genuine communist party would have been struggling for a workers’ revolution in alliance with the Fellahin in the entire Middle East as a part of the world socialist revolution. Maki, on the other hand, preaches to its supporters to politically support the Zionist and Arab bourgeoisie. During the civil war between Fatah and Hamas it refused to stand with the elected government of the Palestinian people, while it was clear that Fatah was backed by Israel.

6. A genuine communist party would have been struggling against Israel’s imperialist wars in order to turn them into a workers’ revolution. Maki, on the other hand, took bourgeois pacifist positions during Israel’s wars.

7. A genuine communist party would have been a reflection of the masses’ hatred towards imperialism. Maki, on the other hand, has been teaching to its supporters that the imperialists would force Israel to sign a peace treaty with the Palestinians.

Simply put, the only communist thing about the Communist Party of Israel is its name.

How did this come to be?

The Communist Party was established in the early 1920s as a revolutionary party. However, unfortunately for it, it joined the Comintern at a time it was degenerating into a counterrevolutionary force. During the workers and Fellahin revolt in Palestine, instead of struggling for a revolutionary leadership to this uprising, the party politically supported the reactionary leadership of the Mufti, Hajj Amin Al-Husseini. It continued this policy of supporting the enemies of the socialist revolution, when it supported the establishment of the state of Israel. It followed the line of supporting imperialism when it supported the Oslo Accords and the imperialist “solution” of establishing a Palestinian Bantustan alongside imperialist Israel. It stood with the PA, Israel and the U.S.’s accomplice.

Today, when even Benito Netanyahu speaks of two states, the bankruptcy of this line of thought is obvious to anyone in his right mind.

If imperialism could solve the Palestinian national question it would have done it long ago. The imperialists are simply unable to find a middle ground between Israel’s expansionism and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination in all of its land. They cannot force Israel to give up Eastern Jerusalem and the large settlement blocs and they certainly cannot allow the return of the refugees. The idea of “two states for two peoples” is nothing but a plain fraud and a reactionary dream of the imperialists and their supporters.

The Palestinian’s right to self-determination including the right of the refugees to return cannot coexist with the colonialists’ (who established an imperialist state) claims to recognize their own self-determination. This is true in Israel as it was true in South Africa, former Rhodesia, or “French” Algeria. The only solution to the national question in Palestine is a Palestinian workers’ state. In this state the Jewish residents will give up their privileges as settler colonialists. That is why we call for the establishment of a constituent assembly in which all of the residents of Palestine will participate including the Jews and the refugees.

It is no secret that the Palestinian working class is too weak to defeat the Zionist state by itself, but it does not mean that there is no revolutionary force that can change this reality. This force is the Arab and Iranian working class. Once it obtains a proletarian revolutionary consciousness through its struggles against its corrupt rulers, it would become an unstoppable force. Should it build parties like the once led by Lenin and Trotsky, its victory will be certain.

The Egyptian working class showed some of its strength during the cotton industry strikes. The Iranian working class fought in 1978-9 for a socialist revolution, which got hijacked by the Mullahs with the help of the “communist” Tudeh party. Today this working class is struggling against the reactionary rule of Ahmedinijad, although it doesn’t have a revolutionary leadership as of yet.

Thus, the solution should come in a form of a socialist federation of the Middle East, which will include the Palestinian workers’ state from the river to the sea. This does not mean that the Palestinian masses should sit around and wait for a revolution. We support any r struggle which sharpens the consciousness of the working class.

In order to win this struggle, the working class must establish a genuine revolutionary communist party as a section of the re-created 4th International, the party of the world socialist revolution.

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