The Romanian Participatory Socialism at the beginning of the XXI Century
The evolution of socialist theory and practice
More than 150 years ago, before the advent of the modern working class, socialism existed in an immature “utopian” form. Great thinkers like Robert Owen, Saint Simon and Fourier outlined socialist alternatives to capitalism. They were bitter critics of the system, but their alternatives, enclaves within the sea of capitalism, could not work.
With the development of the working class, more advanced socialist thinking emerged. One of the leading theorists of the British Chartist movement, Bronterre O’Brien, wrote:
The history of mankind shows that from the beginning of the world, the rich of all countries have been in a permanent state of conspiracy to keep down the poor of all countries, because the poverty of the poor man is essential to the riches of the rich man. All the crimes and superstitions of human nature have their origin in this cannibal warfare of riches against poverty. The desire of one man to live on the fruits of another’s labor is the original sin of the world.
The miseries of the working class were not due simply to the malice of the capitalist, but the automatic operation of the capitalist system itself. It is not a question of “good” and “bad” capitalists. It is the economic laws of capitalism, which dictate to big business (and governments), and not the other way round.
However, it was Marx and Engels who went on to develop these ideas and place socialism on a scientific basis applying the method of dialectical materialism in their analysis of all things. The present “globalization” was foreseen and analyzed by them more than 150 years ago. They appreciated that in capitalism is created a world market, has place a world division of labor, are putted the material bases of socialism and the working class become not only a source of exploitation but also as a revolutionary class. Marx wrote: “The emancipation of the working class is the task of the working class itself”.
The leading twentieth century social philosopher in the US, John Dewey, pointed out that until “the industrial feudalism” will be replaced by “the industrial democracy”, politics will remain “the shadow cast by big business over society “.
Over the last 100 years, the working class has tried again and again to eliminate capitalism, but only in 1917 it succeed to overpass from feudalism to socialism.
After the second World War the socialist system was extended in countries from South – East and Central Europe, in countries from Asia and Caribbean.
As a conclusion we can tell that:
in all the countries where succeeded the socialism system, with small differences, this countries passed from feudalism to socialism contrary to the principle mentioned by Karl Marx that “the passing to socialism will be made by working class on developed capitalist countries”;
- the socialist system developed on these new socialist countries was a “representative socialism post-feudal of State”;
- at the social level, in this countries, was in power “the representative democracy”;
- at the parties democracy levels was promoted “the democratic centralism”;
- the “representative socialism post -feudal of State” based his existence by “an industrial and agricultural State feudalism” where the socialist State replaced the feudals in agriculture and the capitalists in industry;
Albert Einstein in his study called”Why Socialism”is mentioning:
In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjust production to the needs of community, could distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman and child. The education of the individual, addition to promoting his own abilities, would attempt to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society. Nevertheless, it is necessary to remember that a planned economy is not yet socialism. A planned economy as such may be accompanied by the complete enslavement of the individual. The achievement of socialism require the solution of some extremely difficult socio-politico problems for preventing a too much centralization of the economic and politic power, for preventing as the bureaucracy to become all-powerful, for protecting the individual rights reducing the power of bureaucracy by democratic measures.
On 1989, when “the representative socialism post-feudal of State” from Europe disappeared, the capitalist strategists lunched an unprecedented ideological offensive against socialism. For them the capitalism system wined definitively and “the representative socialism post-feudal of State” was characterized as a ”bureaucratic system” which generated an “economic, social and political dictatorship”.
What differences was between Albert Einstein socialism and “the representative socialism post-feudal of State” from the former European socialist countries?
The main differences consist of:
- on the economic field was not realized an “industrial and agricultural democracy” in which working people to realize the importance and responsibility of owning the means of production as its own, not as a state property;
- in the social field was not able to be replaced the “representative democracy” by “participatory democracy”;
- on the party democracy field was not preoccupation for replacing “the democratic centralism” with” the “participatory centralism”. As a result the improper application of the principles of “the democratic centralism” made as the party democracy to get in time a formal character, transforming the party leadership functions on “command functions”, what encouraged the appearance and manifestation of a “command personal leadership” which was at the base of the destruction of “the representative socialism post-feudal of State” from the European socialist countries;
- the relations between the former socialist parties from European socialist countries and the Communist Party of Soviet Union was not based by equality and solidarity, being relations based by a military, economic and political subordination (the only country from which the Soviet Union withdrawal his military bases, on 1958, being Romania). This subordination permitted to Mihail Gorbaciov the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Soviet Union to coordinate directly, on 1989, in cooperation with George Bush, the president of the United State of America and other capitalist leaders of West European countries as Francois Mitterrand, the destruction of the European socialist system, ending his personal initiatives by the disappearance from the political life also of the Communist Party of Soviet Union. On October 1989 Mihail Gorbaciov putted in practice the so called “Frank Sinatra Doctrine” (after the song of this singer called “I Did It My Way”) promoting the idea that “each country have to decide his own way of evolution”. The question is what kind of evolution thought Gorbaciov for the former European socialist countries when, on 1989, he personally changed all the former leaders of this counties. In Romania he realized his plan for changing the party leadership with the help of over 38000 soviet military special troupes arrived on the country as tourists and which created the frame for “a military State strike” on 22nd December 1989.
With all this deficiencies “the representative socialism post-feudal of State” proved in practice the viability of socialist theory, respectively that can be realized an society based by social justice, equality and solidarity, in which the social protection was realized by assuring work places for all members of the society, which guaranteed a decorous livelihood for all people, free educations and medical assistance and dwellings for the bigger majority of the people. As result of this policy, at present, in Romania there is the bigger number of flats owner from all Europe.
Analyzing the economic, social and political experience accumulated by “the Chinese Socialism” we can see that, at present, in China is builder a “joint economy” in which coexist “the public property” with “the private property”. Acting by this way the People’s Republic of China is accumulating the necessary capitalist experience which lacked from the first stage of socialism, respectively from “the representative socialism post-feudal of State”. This new stage of development permits to the People’s Republic of China to make concrete steps for achieving the “post-capitalist socialist society”, at which made reference Karl Marx on his theory.
This socialist society, in accordance with the law of deny of negation, have to be a society of “the participatory socialism post-capitalist of working people”.
As a conclusion:
- “the participatory socialism post-capitalist of working people” will promote higher values than “the representative socialism post-feudal of State” acting for replacing:
- “the industrial and agricultural feudalism of State” with ” the industrial and agricultural participative democracy of the working people”:
- “the representative democracy” with “the participatory democracy” on the social life;
- “the democratic centralism ” with ” the participatory centralism” on the political life.
Streams in the world socialist movement
Appearing originally as a reformist current within Marxism, “social democracy” brought some criticism to that ideology. At early twentieth century, “social democrats” were defined as “socialist reformers” opposed to “the revolutionary socialists”. Both socialist currents, believed that socialism, based on common ownership is the main purpose of mankind. Unlike the “revolutionary socialists” the “socialist reformers” thought that the transition to a socialist society must be done through “evolution” rather than “revolution”.
The break between the “revolutionary socialists” and “the socialist reformers” came with the outbreak of the first World War. With this occasion the “revolutionary socialists” campaigned against the war on the consideration that the proletarians of different nationalities should not fight against each other, their real target being “the class solidarity “against the bourgeoisie.
On the same time the “socialists reformers” supported the war efforts of their nations governments replacing” the principle of class solidarity” with “the principle of national solidarity “- principle which had been developed in some countries, to fascism.
Following this division “the revolutionary socialists “was known as “Communists” and “the socialist’s reformers” as “Social – Democrats”.
The history of “the social – democracy “is therefore a long history of slow, steady and unabated slide to the right. The “social democrats” are slowly but surely turning into” pro-capitalist”.
After abandoning the revolutionary way to socialism, from “the social–democracy” raised another branch which advocates for replacing capitalism with socialism, but using “the representative parliamentary democracy”, not the revolution. These are known as “the Democratic Socialists”.
After the fall of “the representative socialism, post-feudal of State”, in Europe, on 1989, in some of the former socialist system countries “the democratic socialists” putted the bases of two different branches:
- one branch of them have remained adepts of replacing capitalism with socialism by promoting “the representative parliamentary democracy “in the social life and “the democratic centralism” into the political life. These are known at present as “the Representative Democratic Socialists”.
- the militant branch of “the democratic socialists” acts, at present, for replacing “the democratic centralism” with ” the participatory centralism” on the political life and ” the representative democracy” with ” the participatory democracy of the working people” into the social and economic life, considering that “the idea of revolution should be achieved only when was demonstrate that there are no other possibility”. These militants are known as “the Participatory Democratic Socialists”
Result ,therefore, that at present only “the Social Democrats” still prefer to compromise with capitalism, starting from the conception that “instead to advocate for removal capitalists better join them and through switching to power we can to value for our personal economic and social benefits the advantages provided by capitalist society”.
By making the Socialist International in 1951 (political body to promote the principles of :liberty, equality, social justice and solidarity), the social-democrat parties members of this organization became a counterweight, on the social and economic fields at the positive achievements obtained by “the representative socialism, post-feudal of State “promoted in the same period by the former socialist countries.
At the end of the 80s, social democracy has made another step to the right by adopting the theory of “the Third Way”. This means the abandonment of the original ideal of “social justice” by shifting the emphasis on this topic on collateral, secondary, circumstantial, symbolic, fashionable, issues like: ecology, human rights, feminism, racial equality, multiculturalism, minority rights, homosexuality etc. Through these transformations “the social democracy” has now reached from the doctrine of the left and supporter of the interests of the many and poor, at the beginning of its activity, to support the interests of the few and the riches. They renounced at the idea of nationalization even made by democratic way and became fierce supporters of the idea of privatization, namely, to take from the poor and to give to the rich.
“The Social Democracy” is currently promoting liberal policies as: tax cuts for multinational companies with the corresponding drop of resources for the budget and social programs, with the drawback of the economic activities of their domestic investors, giving up, therefore, the idea of “Welfare State” promoted a long period of time .Except for “the principle of liberty”(which was largely observed till the events from September 11,2001 after which have promoted police politics to limit the liberty principles),the rest of the principles respectively “equality and social justice” was replaced by the principle of “equal opportunities”. But is clear for all that “cannot be a real equality of opportunities between reach and poor”.
The Social Democracy has abandoned also “the principle of solidarity” acting systematically in the sense of fragmentation and division of the left electorate. This policy was strongly manifested in Romania after 1989, when social democracy under the initial name of the National Salvation Front, than the Party of Social Democracy of Romania and now the Social Democratic Party of Romania, has consistently acted to divide, to absorb and elimination from the political scene of any party or political movements located to the left of the Social Democracy.
In 2003, when was in government, the Social Democratic Party of Romania managed suppression of the most representative socialist left party from our country, respectively the Socialist Labor Party, by non-statutory means and through incentives for some members of the party leadership.
The present socialist movement in Romania consist of:
- The Social Democratic Party -which officially declare that is a left party but in reality act with consistency to split, to absorb and control all the Romanian socialist left parties and movements, in order to deprive the left-wing voters by another alternative. The result of this policy promoted for 20 years is that much of the left Romanian electorate, disappointed with the right policy promoted by the Social Democratic Party refuse to vote. The Social Democratic Party is a member of “the European Socialist Party” and of “the Socialist International”( which in reality is an international of the social-democratic parties);
- Groups of “the revolutionary socialists” – some of whom declare themselves “communists” and others “non-PCR communists” (which do not accept as members the former Romanian Communist Party members) They are followers of “the representative democracy”, of ” the democratic centralism” and act for the taking the power by “representative parliamentary democracy” or “revolutionary means”;
- “The representative democratic socialists” – promoters of ” the representative democracy” on the social and economic life of “the democratic centralism” at the level of the party democracy and of the idea to obtain the power promoting “the representative parliamentary democracy”. They act now in “the Socialist Alliance Party” which is member of “the European Left Party”.
- “The participatory democratic socialists”-promoters of “the participatory democracy of working people”, on the social and economic life, of “the participatory centralism” at the level of the party democracy and the idea to obtain the power promoting “the participatory democracy of the working people”, considering that at” the idea of revolution should be achieved only when was proved that there are no others possibilities”. These militants act as members of the Founding Committee of “the Romanian Participatory Socialism Party”.
Directions of the activity and the organization of the “Romanian Participatory Socialism Party”.
The function of “the classical democracy” is based, at present, by representation being thus “a representative democracy”. The citizens delegate to some representatives (elected only by vote of a part of the population of the country) the power to decide on their behalf the destiny and the future of their country. Become so possible as to a small number of “representatives” to be given the power and right “to represent” the political will of hundreds of thousands of people without to have the minimum responsibility to consult those who chose them ,when they cast their vote on their behalf. The efficiency of this “representative democracy” is materialized, now, by corruption, crime, drugs, prostitution, the neglect of interests of citizens, the lack of preoccupation for the public interests, for the present and future of the country. “The representative democracy” is ,thus ,the base of” the capitalist democracy”, which in reality is manifested as “a dictatorship of capital” in which ” the profit of multinational companies ” is putted before “the interests of the people and peoples”.
The fight for “the decolonization of information” in the world and current means of communication allow more and more to “the working people ” from all the world to express and coordinate the social, economic and political choices and to participate directly to transpose them into practice.
For these reasons “the Romanian Participatory Socialist Party” militate with consistency to replace “the representative democracy” with “the participatory democracy” within ” the working people” can decide and establish the directions and ways of action for building “a society of participatory socialism, post-capitalist of working people “and to assume the role of driving force in completing, at all levels, the taken decisions.
“The Romanian Participatory Socialist Party” appreciates that the time has come to be intensified the struggle against imperialist neo-liberal policies of globalization of capital which generalize the role of “market economy” and of “the multinationals”. Arrived the time as the citizens of our countries to become active participants in establishing and finalizing of economic and social policies promoted in their name. Economic recession and increasing unemployment continue to require a change in the economic and social policy in favor of ensuring jobs for all citizens by modernizing public services and an efficient investment policy, based on “a new national public space” and transforming the present “Minimal State” in a efficient “Participatory State” which has to be the owner of the reserves and strategic natural resources of the country, to achieve a balance based on efficiency between “the public property” and “the private property”, to provide free of charge education and medical performance assistance, to support and protect scientific research, art, science, culture and human, spiritual and material national values.
As a conclusion the social and economic priorities have to be changed in favor of the people not to increase the profits of the multinationals companies.
“The Romanian Participatory Socialism Party ” advocates:
- To promote “the joint economy” and to transform the present inefficient “Minimal State” in an efficient “Participatory State” which has to be the owner of the reserves and strategic natural resources of the country and capable to achieve a balance based on efficiency between “the public property”and “the private property”;
- For a national social protection ensured by creating jobs for the entire active population of the country, promoting:
- new modalities of socialization of the economic and social activities ;
- new efficient associative modalities of work in industry, agricultural and services;
- the utilization of the incomes obtained by capitalization of the reserves and strategic natural resources of the country on the interest of all the people :
- the right of “the working people” to assume the management and the ownership of the economic and social institutions in danger of bankruptcy for avoiding the destruction and alienation of the national patrimony.
- in order that, on the field of foreign relations policy to return to the traditional “reactive policy” by replacing the current “pro-active policy” which allows the presence of the foreign military bases in Romania, the presence of Romanian militaries troops in other countries and participation of our country in military offensive alliances which are a threat to world peace and security;
- for an Europe without “double standard” of equal, sovereign and independent countries ,able to promote their economic, social and cultural traditions and national character, to preserve and capitalize on the interest of all members of the society their national strategically resources and reserves;
- for forbidding the imperialist policies and neo-colonialist wars, the threats, the preventive strikes and embargoes, for the decolonization of information and free access of all countries from the world at scientific and technical progress, for the peaceful settlement of all conflicts, the renunciation of force and threat with the force in international relations, for realizing a multi polar world based on respect for international legislation.
Starting from the analyses of “the democratic centralism principles” and the results obtained in practice in the former European socialist countries resulted that these principles has been interpreted unilaterally, as “the right of party members to choose their leaders, through elections, from bottom to top and the right of the elected leaders, to decide on behalf of those who chose them, from top to bottom, without consulting them”. This interpretation, permitted often in the former socialist European system of “the representative socialism, post-feudal of State” the appearance and manifestation of a “command personally leadership”, which reduced the ideological cohesion and actions of the parties members and at the same time enabled errors such as “the personal leadership of Communist Party of Soviet Union by Mihail Gorbaciov and his personal understanding with George Bush in Malta” which was the basis for the destruction of European socialist system.
For these reasons the Romanian Participatory Socialism Party has replace in his programmatic documents “the party democratic centralism” with “the party participatory centralism” which also promotes the principle of democratic elections from bottom to top, based on practical experience and personal political qualities tested in practice, but putting the main emphasis on “the participatory leadership principles ” based on the fact that “any function of leadership” must be primarily “a function of execution” for putting into practice the decisions of the base organizations of the party at every organizational level, and not a “command function” for the party leader or a group of executives, to impose to the party the personal points of views, without a full debate within the party.
Based on conclusions drawn from analysis of political activity of the former Romanian Communist Party and other European socialist parties, before 1989, the Romanian Participatory Socialist Party acts for the election of the President by “the Central Committee” and not by “Congress” to prevent as the President to be out of the control and the collective leadership of the party.
On the same time from the analysis of the evolution of human society on the twentieth century resulted that the traditional “social classes” have been diversified in many “social categories” including also the technocracy. These “social categories” have many common features and goals founding together “the working people”.
For these reasons Romanian Participatory Socialism Party considered as an objective necessity the replacement in his programmatic documents of the notion of “class struggle” with a more ample idea of “working people struggle for social justice”.
Regarding the concept of “dictatorship of the proletariat” this is confronted, at present, on the social and political theory and practice with the so-called “capitalist democracy” which is in reality a “dictatorship of the capital “but which is presented and promoted under the name of “democracy”. On the same time, for all former socialist European countries, where more than 20 years the history was written in accordance with the directives of the “capitalists winners”, the idea of “any kind of dictatorship”, especially for the new generations of youth is unacceptable. For these reasons on the programmatic documents of the Romanian Participatory Socialism Party the notion of “dictatorship of the proletariat” was replaced by” the participatory democracy of the working people”.
About “the Internationalism” and the necessity imposed by the international present political realities to be created a new “International of the workers, left socialist and communist parties” distinct by “the Socialist International” which in reality is “an International of the social democrat parties”, in accordance with the experience of the Romanian workers, left socialist and communist parties and movements result that “the new internationalism” has to be enriched with the experience accumulated by each member party and the decisions that are taken within it, must have legitimacy through consensus of all parties members. Only acting on this direction will be possible to be avoided the mistakes of the past, which manifested in the European socialist system, where in practice could not be achieved a fellowship cooperation based by equality and without any interference in the internal affairs of the members countries and parties. The new internationalism have to give continuity to all positive elements of the theory and practice of workers, left – socialist and communist parties and movements from al over the worlds, based by relations of equality and solidarity between all parties, non-interference in internal affairs of other parties and respect for the international legislation into a multi polar world.
Starting from the fact that the future belongs to young people “the Romanian Participatory Socialism Party” aims as an objective necessity to act for educating the new young generations for knowing the theory of the scientific socialism, of the participatory socialism, our true national history, the traditions of work and struggle of the working class for a better living standard, for peace, solidarity and international cooperation. Only by a adequate political preparation, guidance, training and promotion in the political activities of the new generation of young’s militants will be able to be given continuity and develop, to a higher level, the traditional relations of friendship, solidarity and cooperation between all workers, left socialist and communist parties from all over the world.
Only united all workers, left socialist and communists political forces and movements from all over the world will can change the present savage capitalist society, which base his existence on the unlimited growth of the “multinationals profit” through imperialist policies, neo-colonialism, wars and a wild exploitation of labor force and the sea and earth raw material resources and reserves of the biggest majority of the countries from all over the world, with a new “society of the participatory socialism, post-capitalist of the working people”, able to provide material and spiritual welfare, social and economic progress, peace and prosperity for all peoples of the world.
The Romanian Participatory Socialism Party, is continuator of the progressive theory and practice of the workers’, left socialist and communist parties and movements from Romanian and all over the world , and apply on his political activity Karl Marx statement that: the philosophers did not done more than to give different interpretations of the world, important is to change it!.
President of the Founding Committee of the Romanian Participatory Socialism Party