The crisis of capitalism and the European capitalist integration

Comrades,

Our greetings to all the delegates and guests to our Congress and especially to the foreign delegations with whose struggles we express the solidarity of the Portuguese Communists.

Comrades,

The international context is marked by a deep crisis. A crisis which is not a mere inevitability or the result of an error of management or regulation of the system.

No! This crisis has an identity card: it is a rapidly deepening structural crisis of capitalism. It has several expressions in the economic, environmental, food and energy fields, among others, and with it there is an ongoing multifaceted offensive by imperialism that seeks to impose a civilisational regression of historic proportions.

A crisis that has root causes – capitalism’s nature and contradictions – and which during the last four years has, as its main element and expression, the explosion of one of the most severe cyclical crises of overproduction in the history of capitalism. A crisis of overproduction that, occurring in the current imperialist phase of the development of capitalism, is also a crisis of over-accumulation of capital, due to the very high degree of financialization of the capitalist economy and its internationalization. A crisis that initially emerged in the main imperialist power, but which quickly spread across the entire globe.

The fundamental tenets of Marxism-Leninism on the functioning of the capitalist economy – namely the law on the tendency of the rate of profit to fall – are once again proven. The crisis proves that the financialization of the economy and the hegemony of finance capital not only do not eliminate capitalism’s contradictions, but tend to sharpen them. The trend towards stagnation deepens. Capitalism’s parasitic and decadent nature is even clearer today, bringing to light its historical limits and, consequently, the need for its revolutionary overthrow and the construction of a higher socio-economic formation – Socialism.

Long gone are the days of capitalism’s triumphant binge. Capitalism is under trial. The difficulties and contradictions swell. But this does not destroy it, quite the opposite. The system reacts to its crisis with extreme violence unleashing a brutal process of destruction of the productive forces and devaluation and destruction of capital. It is a process inherent to the system itself, which translates into a violent offensive that seeks to roll back the rights of peoples, to the situation that prevailed at the end of the 19th century. A process that has in itself the potential for new and more violent episodes of crisis, in a spiral of economic destruction and social devastation that can only be detained by the struggle of the peoples.

But, at the same time, this is a process that, as evidence shows, leads to deeper inter-imperialist contradictions. This fact is quite clear, for example, in the contradictions between the United States and the European Union, or even between France and Germany, although they do not cancel the continuing class concertation against the workers and peoples.

In a context of unequal development of capitalism, of economic decline of the main imperialist powers and of the evolving complex process of recomposition and rearrangement of forces in the international arena – whose outcome is yet to be defined and involves the so-called emerging economies and countries that resist imperialism’s hegemony, as in Latin America – such a process may result in an even more violent reaction, either through militarism and war, or the worsening of the reactionary nature of the political power and the resurgence of fascism as a strategic resort to condition and contain the struggle of the peoples.

Comrades,

In our continent, the European Union is submerged in a deep crisis that is simultaneously the expression of capitalism’s crisis in the European continent and of a crisis of the very foundations of the process of capitalist integration. A crisis to which capitalism’s superstructure in Europe responds by sharpening its neo-liberal, federalist and militaristic nature, thus making clear the European Union’s objective limits, revealing that it is not reformable, is constantly challenged, and hence is doomed to failure, and that another Europe, which will spring from the struggle, will be built upon the ruins of the European Union.

And so, the issue of breaking with the process of capitalist integration is on the agenda. But, as the integration processes in other continents reveal, there is a dialectical relation between the balance of forces at the national level and the nature and evolution of the processes of cooperation and integration. The defeat of the process of European capitalist integration is inseparable from the positive evolution of the balance of forces in each country and the ability of the peoples to rescue their national sovereignty.

As mentioned in the draft proposal of changes to the Party Programme «The PCP opposes the process of European capitalist integration and fights to tear such a process defending the inalienable right of Portugal and the Portuguese to define their own path of development». But this rupture is not a sudden act, a moment, but rather a process of gathering forces that constantly evolves according to the interrelation of internal and external factors in the struggle against big capital, for social progress and socialism.

That is why our strategy for struggle does not contemplate embarking on reformist baits, like the «refoundation of the European Union» or «more Europe, to end the crisis», nor supporting easy and apparently correct solutions which, detached from the real balance of forces can lead the struggle down a dead end.

The PCP always opposed Portugal’s integration within the European Union. And it will be the materialization of the alternative, patriotic and left-wing policy, that the necessary decisions to ensure the indispensable assertion of national interests - namely leaving the European Union - will be placed. Always in accordance with the reality on the ground, according to the interests of the people and country and aware of what is today an undeniable truth: that the Advanced Democracy that the PCP advocates for Portugal cannot be developed within the framework of the constraints and imposition of the European Union.

Comrades,

The objective conditions for important leaps in History gather at every step of the deepening crisis of capitalism, but at the same time the delay regarding the subjective factor of the struggle raises the need to look closely at the dialectic relation between the struggle of resistance and for very concrete objectives, and the struggle for socialism.

The demands of the times we live in are huge. The confrontation that lies ahead is violent. We are the bearers of a real alternative, but at the same time we know that it will not materialize with a magic wand. It is a situation which requires much organisation, much responsibility, much courage, much Party, much unity of our people and much solidarity and cooperation with other peoples in struggle.

This is the great challenge that we face: to resist, to advance, to wage the battle of ideas and to assert Socialism as the necessary goal and direction, a possible and increasingly urgent one. And, comrades, when we look at reality and see that in the four corners of the world people rise in historic actions of struggle, when we see that there is a growing awareness among the people regarding capitalism’s exploitative, oppressive, aggressive and predatory nature, when we see that the class struggle which intensifies is in fact the engine of history, then, comrades, our word to describe what we feel at this moment is: confidence, much confidence!

With our feet firmly rooted on the ground, connected to the people, anchored on our ideology – Marxism-Leninism – we look with our heads held high, with conviction and joy, to the struggle and to the future. Spirit, confidence and joy that emanate from our beautiful and courageous Party, that result from the justness of our Communist ideal and our project of society, that spring from the struggle and with it become strong. We are and will remain committed to this struggle. For April, for Socialism and for Communism. And we will overcome!

Long live the struggle of the workers and peoples!
Long live the Portuguese Communist Party!

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  • XIX Congresso do PCP
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XIX Congresso do PCP