Speech by Albano Nunes, Membro da Comissão Central de Controlo, XXI Congress of the PCP

The Actuality of the Marxist-Leninist ideology

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“In the ideology of the exploited classes, Marxism-Leninism is an instrument for analysing reality and a guide for action. It is a system of theories that merges into a revolutionary theory which ‘explains the world and indicates how to transform it’, following the objective transformations of reality”. This statement by comrade Álvaro Cunhal in “The Party with Glass Walls” is an excellent key to understand the power of attraction and the mobilizing force of an ideology that, as the ideology of the working class, exerts a great influence among other classes and anti-monopoly strata as well as in the liberation movement of peoples subjected to colonial and neo-colonial dominance.

The vitality and timeliness of Marxism-Leninism, the continuity of its fundamental principles and theses, resides in its materialistic and dialectical nature inseparable from practice and that, for this very reason, constantly renews itself according to the new realities, knowledge and experiences, accompanying and anticipating the movement of society.

The ruling class tries by all means to discredit Marxism-Leninism, an ideology it considers intrinsically perverse and contrary to the “natural order of things”. It thus intends to justify its policy of exploitation, to disarm the working class and to rob the workers of the indispensable compass to their struggle because, as Lenin stressed, without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement. In addition, ideas when appropriated by the masses become a powerful material force, a force that can be conservative – and the dominant ideology in society is always the ideology of the ruling class – or transformative and revolutionary. As Marx wrote “the weapon of criticism cannot, of course, replace criticism of the weapon, material force must be overthrown by material force; but theory also becomes a material force as soon as it has gripped the masses.”.

The struggle for ideas is a form of class struggle that at times can be decisive. Nowadays, the intensification of the ideological confrontation and the frequency of violent anti-communist campaigns to revise history and to whiten and promote fascism constitutes a striking feature of the international situation. Faced with the deepening of its structural crisis and the maturing of objective material conditions for the revolutionary overcoming of capitalism, the ruling class seeks to prevent the revolutionary ideas of Marxism-Leninism from gripping the masses, guiding their struggle and leading them to revolution.

Taking desire as reality, the ideologues of the bourgeoisie consider Marxism-Leninism to be outdated, surpassed, defeated, but as our Party has shown with the commemorative Conferences of the bicentenaries of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, experience shows precisely the contrary. And it shows it right away, confirming the great theses of historical materialism regarding the direction of world evolution.


It is true that the process of social and human liberation is irregular and rugged and that the road to the triumph of socialism has proved to be a more complex and time-consuming process than expected. However, this does not deny that the great revolutionary advances and transformations of the 20th century are inextricably linked to the revolutionary action of the forces that have Marxism-Leninism as their theoretical foundations and to the role of the USSR and the socialist camp.

The dramatic defeats of socialism do not erase this reality, which the ideologues of capital do everything to hide and even reverse. Thirty years after the triumphalism of the “death of communism” and the “end of history”, what decisively marks the present day, as stated in the draft Political Resolution, is the deepening of the structural crisis of capitalism and the demand for its revolutionary overthrow.

But capitalism does not fall by itself, it must be overthrown by force. Here, too, practice confirms the great theses of Marxism-Leninism concerning the revolution, the theory of the class struggle, the role of the masses and their struggle as an engine of revolution, the historic mission of the working class, the need for a new type party, the State as the central issue of each revolution, the socialization of the great means of production, and proletarian internationalism. The history of the international communist and revolutionary movement shows that it is in the living and creative application of the fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism that communist parties are strengthened and that, on the contrary, departure from these principles, as well as their dogmatic consideration, leads to degeneration and defeat.

In celebrating its 100th anniversary, the PCP can be proud of its contribution to the confirmation of the validity of Marxism-Leninism and to its enrichment. A contribution in which it is fair to highlight the role of Comrade Álvaro Cunhal, whose name will be forever linked to the theory and practice of the April Revolution, the first and only revolution in Europe after the 1940s. The creative application of Marxism-Leninism to the analysis of Portuguese reality – which, among other works by Álvaro Cunhal, has a brilliant expression in “Towards Victory”, pointing the Portuguese people towards the path of an original, democratic and national revolution, which the process of April Revolution confirmed – is a notable example of PCP's contribution to enriching the ideology of the working class. Also particularly relevant is his contribution, synthesizing and theorizing the PCP's own experience, to enrich the concept of a communist party, a contribution that he bequeathed us in “The Party with Glass Walls”.


With Marxism-Leninism as a theoretical basis, PCP is well aware of its anti-dogmatic nature and, within the framework of its fundamental principles and theses, rejects the existence of “models” of revolution. Lenin, while underlining the universal historical importance of the October Revolution, warned: “All nations will arrive at socialism—this is inevitable, but all will do so in not exactly the same way...”

The Portuguese revolution followed and follows its own path. Today we are fighting for the Party Program “An advanced democracy, the values ​​of April in the future of Portugal”, the current stage of the struggle for socialism in our country. A struggle that, as we well know, is particularly demanding and difficult, but to which we are dedicated with the deep conviction that, armed with the ideology of Marxism-Leninism, we are on the right side of history.

Long live Marxism-Leninism
Long live the XXI Congress
Long live the PCP

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