Twenty years later and an ocean away, Hall’s declaration has found meaning among today’s current disciples of Marx, Engels, and Lenin. December 3 to 5, 2010, marked the 12th International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties, held in the city of Tshwane, South Africa.
The three-day international conference was hosted by the South African Communist Party (SACP) and was attended by “102 delegates representing 51 participating Parties from 43 countries from all continents of the world,” which came together under the theme of “The deepening systemic crisis of capitalism,” according to the SACP website.
The Communists declared their objectives as being for the “defence of sovereignty, deepening social alliances, strengthening the anti-imperialist front in the struggle for peace, progress and Socialism.”
Building on the analyses previously outlined at the 2008 Sao Paulo and 2009 New Delhi international Communist meetings, they asserted that “despite pre-2008 capitalist illusions to the contrary,” the current global economic crisis was the byproduct of the “systemic tendency,” which “capitalism cannot escape.”
From the ruins of capitalism, they pledged themselves to go back to their respected countries “in a common struggle for socialism which is the only alternative for the future of humankind.”
Furthermore, they vowed to “resolutely fight anticommunism, anti-communist laws, measures and persecution; to demand the legalisation of CPs where outlawed,” and to “defend the history of the communist movement, the contribution of socialism in advancing human civilisation.”
Among other things, all the delegates present pledged their solidarity for the release of the Cuban Five, members of the DGI (Cuban intelligence) who attempted to infiltrate anti-Communist Cuban-American organizations in the United States. The Five were arrested and convicted in Miami on charges of espionage and conspiracy to commit murder.
In addition to their support of the Castro government, the international Communist attendees also agreed to support the claims of the North Korean government, declaring that there is “enough evidences to endorse the declarations of Pyongyang that it had nothing to do with the sinking of the Cheonan-vessel last summer,” as stated by the communist Workers Party of Belgium, which was also in attendance at the meeting.
The Workers Party of Belgium continued to take swipes at “imperialist” U.S. military efforts abroad. Pointing to the U.S. 7th Fleet as being part of a U.S. ploy “geared towards the weakening and encirclement of China,” the Workers Party of Belgium concluded that “North Korea is not the final target — it’s China.”
Aside from condemning the United States and uplifting its enemies, the meeting also served as a platform for various speeches from the various participating countries.
Among the attendee were elected officials such as MP Sergey V. Gordienko of the Communist Party of Ukraine, which currently supports initiatives for Ukraine to join the Customs Union.
Aside from Gordienko, who addressed the conference, The Times of South Africa also reported that South African President Jacob Zuma made an appearance and gave a speech. Zuma, elected as a member of the African National Congress (ANC), is a self-described socialist who has received the “backing from the unions and the Communist party,” in South Africa, according to the Guardian.
The Times quoted President Zuma as urging a call for unity: “A majority of communists part ways because once they believe in something they have a culture to believe in it seriously. Unity is crucial.” President Zuma’s call for Communist unity was well received and reechoed amongst the many foreign party delegates present.
The Communist Party of Brazil relayed Zuma’s message, declaring: “Given this situation, the PCB is proposing to build an anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist front, which can cope with the difficulties of organizing workers, to overcome the hegemony of the bourgeoisie and carry forward the revolutionary process in Brazil and worldwide.”
The same message was reiterated by the Communist Party of Canada, which identified itself as having “long spoken of the necessity for such a global democratic and anti-imperialist front of struggle, to defend national sovereignty, to maintain regional and world peace, and to counter imperialism’s economic and military aggression around the world.”
In addition to Zuma’s remarks, G. Marinos, member of Politburo of the Communist Party of Greece, addressed the conference. “We are not any of party,” Marinos declared, “Communist parties and we have a specific mission. We must organize the working class struggle, class struggle to overthrow the system operator in each country and building the new society, the socialist-communist society.”
Marinos added that the “need for revolution, the overthrow of capitalism and the construction of the new communist socio-economic formation is determined by the balance of power developed in one or another historical moment but by historical necessity of resolving the fundamental contradiction between capital and labor, the abolition of the exploitation of man by man, the abolition of classes.”
Looking back at the “overthrow of socialism in Soviet Union and other socialist countries,” which occurred from 1989-1991, Marinos declared that the time has come to correct that mistake, asserting that with the current economic global crisis as the pretence that now is the “time of transition from capitalism to socialism.”
The solution, according to Marinos and the Communist Party of Greece, is for communists to come together and foster the revolutionary overthrow of existing governments in order to “abolish all private property” and to place the means of production under the regimentation of the state in the form of a command economy. Less individualism and total government control of the economy is the communist proposal to relieve the global economic crisis, which, they claim, is the direct result of capitalism gone wild in the West.
Marinos and the ideas of the Communist Party of Greece were well received by the other foreign Communist and Working Party members present. Taking this into account, it comes as no surprise that Athens, Greece, was named the location for the 13th International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties, to be held in 2011.
The fall of the Berlin Wall did not signal the fall of Communism; it may have retreated but it has not fallen — it is poised to continue its march toward world revolution, and is committed to the overthrow of republican government and free-market capitalism.