Program Conference of NAR: A communist response for today and tomorrow

An important step forward, for the formulation of a modern communist strategic response, was the programme conference of NAR (New Left Current for the Communist Liberation), which took place in Athens from 14 to 16 December 2018. Hundreds of delegates of the NAR and nKA (youth Communist Liberation) organizations, members of the organization as well as other activists that are inspired by the suggestion for a new communist program and party took part in the proceedings. The draft of the Program Declaration, together with the inclusion of various remarks and suggestions, was approved by 92,3% of the delegates (1,1 downvoted and 6,5% null-voted), in accordance to the nationwide vote within the organization (91% in favor, 1,3% against and 7,7 null-vote). After the proceedings for the Program Declaration were completed there followed a discussion regarding the necessary steps for the promotion of the process towards a modern programme and the party of communist liberation.

Hundreds of people, mainly young men and women, made plans for the future, discussed about the communism of our time, the way we will get there and how the process of emancipation will not be disrupted. They dissected modern capitalism and pinpointed the hidden opportunities for overturning the present situation. They shifted their gaze towards a different path for the workers, the youth and the poor popular masses in Greece and at a global scale, following a path of clash with the capital, the EU and NATO, a path of overturning the euro-memorandum capitalist barbarism, a path of struggle, solidarity and dignity, which creates the conditions for the anticapitalist revolution, for the workers’ power-democracy and the communist liberation.

They tried to give answers to the notorious “TINA” (There is No Alternative), to the notions that “nothing can be done”, that “there is only chaos outside the EU” and that “the grand narratives and revolutions lead to totalitarianism”.

Hundreds of communists worked together for hours and through many productive speeches and multiple amendments they co-created a communist programme declaration against the capitalism of our time. The major deficiency of the previous crucial period, which was a strategy of a communist revolutionary response, is not only acknowledged as such (and therefore can be challenged), but there are struggling forces (surely not only within NAR and nKA) which are capable of confronting the issue of a programmatic reconstruction. What’s more, this is not an academic discussion. On the contrary, a modern communist strategy and demeanor sheds light on the revolutionary tactics, gives a positive meaning to the anticapitalist struggle, supports the emergence and autonomy of the workers’ policy, reinforces the class characteristics of the demands, molds a consciousness of long-term revolutionaries, getting inspired by the inextinguishable passion of communism, the flag of all liberties as Sergei Yesenin once put it.

In this sense it is strategy which enriches action, but at the same time it is an independent response and a condition for recruitment with more total characteristics. Because communism is “the goal”, which, as it emerges from the movement, it orients it. It allows it –in contrast with no-principle policies, fragmented actions and everyday improvisations- to clarify what brings us closer to this goal and what steers us away from it. It is, therefore, a regulatory strategy, a programme which guides the movement relentlessly towards the vision of a different society of justice, equality, solidarity: the communist society. It is the path to and the means for the achievement of this goal. A path of class action, social overturning and not a parliamentary stroll or a reforming utopia. A path of mass struggle of the labor-popular movement and not a path of governmental assignment, self-proclaimed saviors and fortress-like parties. A path of revolutionary tactic – and its connection with the revolutionary strategy, which especially nowadays is evaluated and tested on whether it will repulse and overthrow the capitalist assault, by responding to the vital needs of the workers and the youth; but as well as whether it will accelerate-prepare the anticapitalist revolution. Secondary, the capitalist system of our time, which cannot surpass its crisis and turns to reaction in every field (from the everlasting state of emergency and the far-right participation in governments to the threat of war and the escalation of competitions) is not invincible.

During the conference a lot of the speakers contributed to a deeper and more versatile analysis of the modern totalitarian capitalism and the anatomy of multiple present-day phenomena as the digital universe, modern labor and culture and the multiple contradictions that are being intensified on the basis of the conflict between capital and labor. They noted the need to trace the role and the dynamic of the class struggle better, the varying forms of resistance and the new possibilities-tendencies for emancipation that are emerging from society. Some speeches tended to focus on these sides and the need for them to be more clearly demonstrated in the Declaration. Since for us communism is a social potential and not a Adventist faith, an ideology, a revolutionary blabbering or a “segregating identity”. Thirdly, based on the previously mentioned elements, the discussion about the modern communist party and a – superior to NAR – communist organization was enriched, obtaining a more substantive meaning and regarded as a step towards this goal without fetishizing the form (party). Although there was no discussion, during this body, regarding the principles under which this party would operate in our time (this issue will be addressed in a future gathering), what was clearly showcased was a great potential for a model based on workers’ democracy since tens of comrades spoke up, broached various subjects, agreed and disagreed, in a process which was free from opposing factions and seeked for more meaningful agreements as well as different points of view.

The Program Declaration as a boost for further discussion

Is the Program Declaration the “final word” about the communism of our time? “By no means” was the response during the closing speech of the conference. One speaker said that she “is pleased that our declaration is not perfect”. Apart from the fact that there is no such thing as a perfect programme, how would it be possible for NAR, with its “current social composition and mass, its class intakes and its current political-theoretical acquisitions, to achieve such a goal? This would be such a non-dialectical thing for someone to believe”, as was characteristically stated. “But this is our necessary basis, the specific contribution for a greater step forward in the discussion of the combative left and the people of communist pursuit. The programme declaration which will soon be published and distributed through the NAR and nKA organizations, is set for discussion and further development. This is NAR’s creative and non-dogmatic contribution to the discussion and the proceedings for the new communist programme and party, which is presented with confidence but not “stubbornness”, in a way that opens and does not close the discussion. This is the time for a grand discussion and for common interventions along with the hundreds of activists nationwide who have already expressed their commitment to contribute to a new communist programme and party and NAR will contribute to the strengthening of the action of the various initiatives and committees. Because we want those in the forefront to be the active subject of this process and not just a passive receiver.

Rupturing the bourgeois policy to unite the combative forces

Even though the main topic of the conference did not directly concern the political tactics, it is estimated that it can have an effect and give a boost to the activity of NAR, as well as ANTARSYA and the anticapitalist Left in general. In what way? Firstly, by reinforcing the necessary revolutionary shift within the Left, in order to overcome the characteristics that led to the domination of the SYRIZA current, which is the administrative reformist ideology aiming to improve the current status, to make capitalism more humane. There must also follow a rejection of the defeated logic of the traditional communist movement (which is expressed by KKE – the Communist Party of Greece) which places strategy in the far future and deals with the present in terms of guarding and boosting the Party instead of aiming in the counterattack of the movements and the boosting of class consciousness and class struggle. With a modern communist logic, with a principled policy, which is based on the expressions of the needs of the workers, the people and the youth, instead of a logic of politicking tricks, NAR has the ambition to turn things “upside down”, to shake things up within the field of the anticapitalist revolutionary left which often becomes fertile ground for the development of politicking rationales or parallel “plans” that seek ties with reformism. These ties not only fail to pull forces towards the left, but cancel the potential of the anticapitalist revolutionary left to successfully achieve political shifts.

NAR decisively differentiates itself from the systemic left and the bourgeois perception of politics and its proponents, aiming not to divide the people of the movements, but to formulate a new political plan which will unite them in an anti-government orientation, for the class reorganization of the labor popular movement, with anticapitalist, anti-EU, anti-administrative characteristics and clear anti-war, anti-imperialist, anti-nationalist activity.