Speech by Jorge Pires, Member of the Political Committee of the Central Committee of the PCP, XXI Congress of the PCP

The struggle for the patriotic and left-wing alternative

The struggle for the patriotic and left-wing alternative


As was mentioned in the draft of the Political Resolution of our Congress, “the reality with which our people and the country are confronted, highlights the struggle for the patriotic and left-wing political alternative - which includes a government capable of materialise it - as a core and decisive element to guarantee the necessary path, able to respond to the demands of development, progress and national sovereignty”.

The struggle for the alternative acquires greater relevance when taking into account the changes in the correlation of forces with the emergence of political forces associated with the most reactionary centres of capital that intervene to disseminate anti-democratic ideas and intensify the ideological offensive against the Portuguese workers and people.

The policies that, over the past 40 years, have depleted the national productive apparatus, have systematically violated rights, namely elementary workers' rights, and which have led to an unsettling impoverishment of the democratic regime itself - in a context of an increasing external dependency and subordination of the country - becoming a central political issue of the present and future demands a patriotic and left-wing policy and a political alternative to materialise it.

The confirmation of the trend towards the worsening of the economic and social situation, highlights the urgency of this solution, bringing to the fore the objective of converging - courageously, assuming a break with right-wing policies - all those who aspire to a genuine left-wing alternative, in which the weight of PCP's proposals is decisive.

In a country marked by over forty years of right-wing policies; with centralised economic policies, concentration of capital and the supremacy of the financial sphere; associated with the absence of a clear economic and social development strategy suited to the realities and needs of the Portuguese economy - the development of the mass struggle and social movements, combined with a reinforced intervention of the PCP and of the communists in institutions and society, become a key factor in ensuring convergence and obtaining political, economic, social and cultural achievements to favour the popular masses, to defeat right-wing policies and « materialise a patriotic and left-wing policy.

A convergence and common action encouraged by the objective of putting in place a patriotic and left-wing political base that supports a patriotic and left-wing government; based on political forces and sectors, democrats and independent personalities, from mass organisations and non-monopoly sectors.

In his theoretical work, “Petty- bourgeois radicalism with socialist facade”, comrade Álvaro Cunhal made an important contribution to the understanding of the “the working class and their Party base their system of alliances, not on emotional reasons, but on political considerations”. Álvaro Cunhal wrote that “defining the allies does not mean by itself, however, the putting in practice of actual alliances. Allies are not reserves - in the sense that this word was once given -, ‘reserves’ that the proletariat (waging political struggle as if it were a military operation, and disposing of social classes and strata as if they were regiments) can throw into the battle for their mere decision, at that moment, in the conditions and the way which decides to. The materialisation of alliances of the proletariat is a great and complex political battle, whose fundamental objective is to clarify, win and lead the forces, the masses to the struggle, when those interests objectively coincide with those of the proletariat, in one struggle or another, with defined objectives”.

As we have stated, the construction of the alternative is a complex and long process, not only necessary, but also possible, which requires us to intervene without pauses, without impatience, without fatigue.

An intervention that contributes to the enlightenment of workers and the people, on the one hand, that discouragement, disbelief, hopelessness, abstention, giving up the political and electoral choices that can best defend the interests of the people from right-wing policies; and that, on the other hand, the achievement of the objective we strive for depends, above all, on the political awareness, the organised force, the will and the action of the workers and popular movement.

Ultimately, it is the masses that will be able to determine a shift to the left of wide sectors of opinion, including of the social and electoral base supporting the Socialist Party, creating the conditions for an alternative to right-wing policies and the power rotation that has marked national life in these past forty-four years.

But because there are legitimate doubts raised by some comrades in relation to the process of building the alternative, namely, the possibility of its objectives being reached, one should always remind that we can find, both in the Portuguese historical process, and in the scientific and philosophical conceptions of the theoretical framework of our Party - dialectical materialism and historical materialism -, not only the actual experiences but also the necessary response: both show us that history is not something fixed and immutable, but is in constant motion.

This means that the dialectical and interdependent relationship of the three necessary conditions for the alternative construction will lead to; the strengthening of the PCP with the decisive expansion of its social, political and electoral influence; a strong development of the mass struggle which converges to the creation of a social front; and the change in the correlation of forces on the political sphere, in favour of a rupture with right-wing policies, and the construction of a patriotic and left-wing alternative - will sooner or later lead to profound changes in the political awareness of the masses and, therefore, in the correlation of forces.

On our end, we will do everything to achieve such changes, working decisively, but without voluntarism, in actual forms of intervention that, above all, combat the hesitations and attitudes that weaken and paralyze the struggle; we will do everything to affirm a vast and active movement of opinion around essential values ​​and proposals of a left-wing policy in Portuguese society, which can give rise to a broad social front capable of fighting for a sovereign and independent Portugal, for progress and social justice.

The current political situation after the elections, the established correlation of forces, the continuation of the crusade against the Party, the promoting of reactionary forces and the far-right, demand, from our end, an intervention in the dynamism and strengthening of the unity of democrats and their action, built on a broad debate, reflection and dialogue - in a relationship based on mutual respect for the diversity of opinions and points of view. A convergence built on the basis of a serious and loyal dialogue, with clear and undisguised purposes, which seeks calculated adjustments to the political spectrum which aim to perpetuate the dominant policies over old or renewed expressions.

Today, as in the past, the Party's first duty is to be present with all its commitment and determination in all battles, stimulating and helping to organise the protest, resistance and struggle aimed at defeating right-wing policies and finding a new course for the country, based on patriotic and left-wing policies and the alternative that will forge it.

  • Intervenções
  • XXI Congresso
XXI Congresso