We have put forward our own concept of socialism. Our aim was not to outline an ideal model to which Cypriot society will have to adjust. After all, the path towards a socialist society and the building of socialism will be primarily the result of social development itself with the conscious intervention of the progressive socialist forces. We have given certain guiding lines of our own concept of socialism which, as we have stressed from the beginning of this document, is liable to changes and enrichment on the basis of the experiences of life and the development of theoretical thought. At the same time we have given in brief a picture of the world and its contradictions, the position of capitalism and socialism in the world and the course of evolution and objective reality as it has developed in our country.
The sum up what we have said, and especially taking into account our own Cypriot peculiarities, we can say that our concept of socialism is characterized by the following:
a) Further improvement of the people’s standard of living by preserving and expanding all the gains and rights of the working people.
b) Utilization of everything positive we have inherited from social evolution.
c) A common consideration of, and respect for, the interests of the wage and salary earners, the self-employed, the free tradesmen, the lower middle class and the peas ants.
d) Absolute respect and utilization of all the facts, traditions, civilization and realities as they have evolved in Cyprus in the process of history.
e) Securing of equality between Greek and Turkish Cypriots and of all the rights of all Cypriots.
f) Insuring a multi-party system and plurality of opinions in society.
g) Recognition of the rights of the opposition, respect for different opinions.
h) Securing of socialist legality and the activities of all political and social factors within the framework of competition.
i) The transition to socialism will be achieved with democratic, peaceful means on the basis of winning the majority of the people.
Relying on the analysis of the theory and practice of the two systems we declare without reservation that, yes, socialism does have a future, that the future of mankind lies in socialism. Socialism which is based on the theory of Marxism- Leninism, which was founded on the best that mankind has created, socialism which has been enriched during the whole of the twentieth century, both in theory and practice both positive and negative. Socialism free from distortions and falsifications in both theory and practice.
We are fighting for socialism where the center of interest and the measurable criterion of values is man. Socialism which liberates man from exploitation and repression and secures for him what Engels called “the kingdom of freedom”. Man’s freedom is the idea of socialism itself.
As it has been stressed from the beginning our position can not be divorced from the realities of today. For this reason we should analyze these realities in all their complexities.
The modern world is multi-faceted, complex, dynamic, full of antagonistic tendencies and contradictions. At the same time, however, it is interdependent and united. We have unity in diversity. It is exactly this interdependence and unity of the world that give a new meaning and classification to modern contradictions.
The main contradiction is that between the possibility to save mankind and the danger of its extermination. The solution of this problem demands common action of the whole of mankind.
Another basic contradiction of our times continues to be that between socialism and capitalism,between capital and labor. Because the solution is bound to take a long time it is necessary for the two opposite souci-economic systems to co- exist in a spirit of peaceful cooperation and competition.
In our days the contradictions among the capitalist countries of the world, especially among the capitalist countries of the world, especially among the imperialist centers, continue to exist.
The inequality between the developed capitalist countries on the one hand and the “third world” on the other, is especially serious and this makes their contradictions more acute.
The contradictions between the countries of the “third world” themselves have been and continue to be a serious threat to world peace and stability.
All these contradictions, the interdependence and the complexity of the world, are accentuated by the huge progress of the Scientific and Technological Revolution (S.T.R.) which gives a wider dimension to the global problems faced by the world.
Under these circumstances the re-examination, the re- definition and the restructuring of inter-state relations on the basis of political and economic equality constitute an immediate necessity.
It is for this reason that in our days revolutionary reconstruction (perestroika) constitutes a new phase in the for ward movement of mankind.
It is with the modern and critical spirit of the new thinking that we are examining the historical position of both capitalism and socialism.
Modern capitalism constitutes a special phase in the development of this social system and today it poses as an overdrive loped system of state-monopolistic capitalism. Modern capitalism is the system which has so far been able, even in contradiction and to the detriment of other countries, mainly in the developed countries, to adapt itself to new situations.
The process of the adaptation of capitalism is a new phenomenon in the history of this socio-economic system. Historically readaptation became a characteristic of modern capitalism after the Great October Socialist Revolution and the great economic depression of 1929-33. The new characters tic of capitalism is its ability to do away with its old-fashioned forms while it preserves capitalist society in life.
The reasons for the existence of this phenomenon are (a) its own weaknesses and the appearance of the new social system, socialism, which exerted pressure on capitalism and enhanced the struggles of the working people. (b) The struggles of the working class for between living and working conditions and the improvement of its standard of living. (c)The use of the successes of the S.T.R. for an incredible development of the productive forces,. (d) The new role of the capitalist state. (e) The international capitalist organization and trusts, etc.
In spite of its ability to adapt itself capitalism is today faced with a deadlock in its efforts to overcome its contradictions. The social and other deadlocks, old and new, are such that it cannot deal with them. In spite of this the capitalist world has not relinquished the ideology and policy of world sovereignty.
Bourgeois economists and theoreticians supported and still support that capitalism is the only system that offers a high standard of living and freedoms. They forget that capitalism doesn’t exist only in the developed capitalist countries but in the developing countries as well where the majority of the people live under conditions of misery. They forget that in this society there exist not only rich men and businessmen but unemployed, houseless, starving and illiterate people, too, who are created by the system. A product of modern capitalist society is the phenomenon that one third of the population constitutes the most deprived part of society. This phenomenon is witnessed mainly in the developed capitalist countries. As a result, class contradictions and class struggle have not disappeared in the developed capitalist countries.
Furthermore, the fact that the social system in the capitalist countries preserves discrimination among the people and deprives large masses of its citizens of basic human rights is deliberately overlooked.
It is also necessary to underling the fact that the exploitation of the third world, which has been gone on for many decades, has been a basic factor in the development of capitalism.
It is obvious that capitalism has not overcome the crisis which characterize it and cannot offer an outlet to the dead locks facing the man of our times.
Naturally this truth would have become universally obvious if socialism, in its first attempt in practice had made use of the real potentialities of the system. Unfortunately this failed to happen.
Today it is absolutely necessary for us to study in a critical way the particular way in which the application of socialism was attempted.
The Great October Socialist Revolution was a historical event of universal and diachronic significance because it inaugurated a new era in the history of mankind. It inaugurated the era of man’s advance into the socialist society. With the October Revolution the noble ideals of socialism for a society of free people free from every kind of exploitation and suppression began to be realized.
The social and other successes of the working people in the socialist countries influenced the class struggle of the working people in the capitalist countries. During the Second World War the contribution of the Soviet Union to the defeat of Nazism was decisive. In the years after the war military confrontation on a wider scale were avoided mainly thanks to the peaceful policy of the socialist countries. The movement for national liberation relied on the help and support of the socialist world in its titanic struggle against colonialism and neo-colonialism.
The achievements and successes of socialism in all spheres of life as well as its contribution to world progress and peace cannot be ignored or, more importantly, neglected.
In spite of this socialism did not succeed in developing the tremendous potentialities which it possesses. The reality established in the countries of the so-called real-socialism does not correspond to the aims of the socialist revolutions. In addition to objective difficulties this is due mainly to the way in which the construction of socialism developed, to the particular model which was developed in the Soviet Union and which prevailed in all the socialist countries.
After Lenin’s death and especially during the years when Stalinism prevailed, the course followed and the decisions made concerning both theory and practice led to distortions of the Leninist concept of socialism. The particular administrative model of socialism based on rule by decree gradually led to crisis and bankruptcy. This resulted in the historical need for a revolutionary renovation of socialism. The revolutionary reconstruction of socialism is attempted by perestroika which was initiated by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Perestroika aims at the restoration of the Leninist concept and the humanistic content of socialism and puts an end to distortions, dogmatism and beaurocracy. It condemns the crimes committed in the name of socialism and attempts to find solutions to contemporary problems through an open mind. The respect of human values, democracy and openness lies at the root of the renovation of socialism.
The antagonistic contradictions in the contemporary united and interdependent world underline the importance of and the need for internationalism and anti-imperialist solidarity. Internationalism and anti-imperialist solidarity constitute a significant weapon in the hands of the forces of peace and progress, in their struggle against those who yearn for a return to the cold and lethal war and world supremacy and who have not ceased to make their appearance and to act within the circles of imperialism.
These forces follow a reactionary policy expressed through the suppression of liberation movements, through neocolonialism, racialism and neofascism and through the intensified exploitation of the working people in the countries of advanced. capitalism. Having the objective picture of the contemporary world in mind we express our objection to the voices which doubt the need for internationalism and anti- imperialist solidarity. What is needed is not the abolition of internationalism and anti-imperialist solidarity but the enrichment and expansion of their content and of the forces and forms through which they are expressed.
Faithful to the principles of international solidarity and non-intervention, AKEL actively supports the unity of action of the working class, the anti-imperialist forces, the forces of peace progress and socialism locally and internationally.
AKEL will continue to cultivate among its members and the working people in general the spirit of internationalism and international solidarity with all the peoples who are fighting against every form of political, social and national suppression, against imperialism, colonialism, neocolonialism and racialism.
a. Marxism and world civilization.
The appearance and development of Marxism was not an accidental historical event but an objective historical law. Marxism appeared as a result of the development of the capitalist social system and the creation of its social classes, the appearance on the historical scene of the working class, the great inventions in the field of science about the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries and the development of the social and humanistic sciences.
Marxism appeared as a direct continuation of the teaching of the greatest thinkers in the fields of philosophy, political science and utopian socialism. Marxism doesn’t constitute simply a combination of existing theories but a qualitatively new phase in human thought which is not a dogma given once and for all, but a theory which develops in a creative way. The most important phase in its development was Leninism.
Marxism as a theory helps in analyzing and understanding social development, while as a method it is a weapon in the hands of the working people in their daily economic and political struggle, in the struggle to change the unjust sys tem of exploitation and build a new society.
b) Social Democracy.
Social Democracy as part of the working people’s movement has got within its ranks multi-faceted trends ranging from consistent supporters of the socialist ideal to mere instruments of capitalist economy.
We appreciate the contribution of social democracy to the development of values and the dissemination of the ideas of socialism. We appreciate its contribution to social reforms which, in turn, contributed to the improvement of the well- being and social protection of the working people in certain capitalist countries.
It’s within this spirit that we are studying the rich and many-sided, through inconsistent, experience offered by social democracy and trying to make use of what is positive, both in daily practice as well as in formulating our own concept of a socialist society.
In spite of the fact that social democracy in power has not led to a qualitatively new phase of social development, because it has not led to the liberation of the working people from exploitation, we see in the face of social democracy allies in the struggle for peace and disarmament, the protection of the environment, social progress and the pas sage to socialism.
γ) The Leninist concept.
Both social democracy and the entire knowledge and practice of the working class movement in general as well as the world progressive movement in a wider sense form the basis for us to think and draw experiences. Undoubtedly Leninism, which constitutes a qualitative phase of great and an enrichment of Marxism, is of sovereign importance. A critical study of the Leninist concept of socialism together with a parallel study of the falsifications and distortions of the Leninist concept constitute an essential part of the theoretical and historical approach as well as of the questions we are called upon to answer.
The Leninist concept of socialism constitutes the most important source of modern dialectical thought for socialism. The main elements of this concept are the following:
- Strategy and tactics of social change.
- Power of the working people.
- The leading role of the party of the working people through the political leadership which is won on the basis of the daily struggles in support of the working people.
- The planning of the national economy within the framework of the laws of planned development and full utilization of the law of value and market within the framework of socialism.
- The application of the fundamental principle of socialism concerning distribution on the basis of a correct estimate of the value of labor offered.
- Diversity of social, i.e. socialist ownership.
- Recognition of cooperative societies as a form of socialist production.
- An active participation of the citizens in the administration and the working people in the running of affairs.
- Existence and functioning of a state machinery which, how ever, should not be turned into a power for its own sake.
- A correct solution of the national problem.
- A steady expansion of democracy with complete democratization of society.
- A just socialist state with a consistent foreign policy in favor of peace and the rights of all the peoples.
- Utilization of human power on the basis of meritocracy.
With the passing of time, especially under Stalin, many of the points listed above were replaced by positions which distorted and defaced this concept. The main distortions of the Leninist and scientific concept in general can and must be studied and analyses so that they many be avoided in the future. The most significant distortions were the following:
- The socialization of the means of production was associated with state ownership while other forms were rejected or underestimated.
- The expansion of democracy was replaced by the autocracy and infallibility of the leader and the leader ship.
- The utilization of planned economy with a parallel use of the law of value and the economic methods of business administration in general were replaced by autocratic behavior and bureaucratic methods of administration which led to unbalanced development and situations of crisis.
- The lack of democratic procedures and self control in the political, social and economic life gradually brought about the alienation of the people from political power, the means and administration of production and the distribution of material and cultural values.
- The huge difficulties created by the enemies through the economic blockade and the existing objective difficulties forced the socialist state to isolate itself and offered good excuse for this action. This tendency was due to subjective shortcomings and weakness in both the theoretical and practical approach of the problems.
- The association of the party with the state and the prevalence of the one party system as a model of government.
- Dogmatism in various fields of life.
- The alienation of the leadership from the party grass- roots the working class and the people.
- The association of the interests of the bureaucratic machinery with the interests of the party, the working class and the people in general.
- The distortion of the principle of democratic central ism to the point that it was turned into a bureaucratic system.
- The wrong interpretation of internationalism led to:
- A mechanistic copy of model and ideas.
- Lack of sufficient communication among the communist parties.
- A split of the world socialist system and the world communist and revolutionary movement.
- The weakening of the power of the communists for united action against the attacks of international imperialism.
- A delay in the creative development of Marxist thought and leveling tendencies in dealing with problems. These distortions influenced, to a larger or lesser degree, all the communist parties and led to the present phenomena of crisis in the international communist movement.