Special interview with Ilya Ferberov, General Secretary of the Russian Communist Workers’ Party (RCWP)
ICP, 06 October 2017
ICP: We know that in August you organized a successful conference on the political and theoretical legacy of the Great October Revolution and on the current tasks of the Communists. Could you briefly comment on the results of this meeting?
Ilya Ferberov: We rate these results as positive. First, we were able to gather representatives of 45 communist and workers' parties of the world (of which 30 parties participated in full time, and 15 more parties in absentia, by sending their reports to the conference.) We invited only the parties closest to us in terms of their ideology, ie, the party of revolutionary Marxism. And the reports of all parties, in our opinion, were at a very high theoretical level.
Secondly, the conference held a principal discussion on ways to move towards our common goal. Sometimes this discussion took a rather severe nature, which is natural, given the severe contemporary situation. But as a result, we were able to work out the final Declaration "Centenary of October", a document that in our opinion has an important theoretical and practical significance for the international communist movement. At the moment, 40 parties participating in the conference have already signed this declaration.
Thus, as a result of the conference, the positions of the parties were more clearly articulated and closer to each other.
ICP: What is your consideration on the existing situation of the international communist movement in the centenary of October? What kind of obligations do the communists have in a world where a systemic crisis of capitalism makes itself widely evident?
IF: We believe that the state of international communist movement is close to a crisis. It is all because opportunism prevails in the movement. The most influential among the working masses are the opportunist forces. This is understandable, this happened more than once in the history (let us recall at least the crisis of the Second International). But this should not deprive us of historical optimism. The systemic (general) crisis of capitalism is indeed progressing, which leads to a rapid politicization of the masses, creates objective preconditions for the formation of the working class as a revolutionary class for itself. In many countries and in the world as a whole, the truly communist forces are gaining more and more influence. Their various international groupings are being created, which in the long term should also lead to the creation of a new Communist International. Our perspective in this situation is clear: struggle.
ICP: Do you think capitalism has been successfully restored and stabilized in Russia during the long years of Putin in power? What kind of revolutionary potentialities are there in today’s Russia? What will be the dynamics of a new socialist revolution in Russia?
IF: Yes, we believe that the capitalist system is fully formed in Russia and even moves towards the level of imperialist capitalism. If in the first years (under Yeltsin's government) the main task of counter revolutionaries was the destruction of the socialist economy and social relations, now at the fore is the preservation and strengthening of the existing system of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. However, it is difficult to call the current situation as “stable”. The ruling elite is under double pressure: from its people, its working masses, who return to social struggle in various forms, and from other imperialist predators, who do not want to put up with the emergence of a new toothy competitor.
The economic situation in Russia actually entered a state of crisis. The life of the working people is steadily deteriorating. Inside the ruling elite there are constant sharp contradictions. All this inevitably leads to the ripening of the objective factors of the revolutionary situation. However, subjective factors are lagging behind. Bourgeois propaganda skillfully cultivates in the minds of people all sorts of bourgeois prejudices - from national patriotic and military ones, calling for unity before an external threat, to religious obscurantism and manifestations of frantic chauvinism, dividing the workers through the lines of national and confessional features.
In addition, there is a very real danger of establishment in the country of an open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic circles of financial capital, that is to say the establishment of fascism. The authorities have been consistently following this path in recent years.
Thus, while objective revolutionary factors are strengthening, subjective factors are going down. In what direction the mood of the masses will swing, depends on many things. We must frankly admit that at the present moment our party (the only revolutionary Marxist party in the country) is still weak and does not have enough strength to influence millions.
ICP: Could you tell us about the current objectives and work of your party? What are the political themes that you especially focus on? What are the reflections of the political propaganda and organizational activities you carry out, in the society?
IF: The main orientation is coming before everything: working among the working class; that is to say, working to organize a class, which is revolutionary, conscious of their fundamental interests and able to fight for them. We consider that organizational work, and ideological work by enlightening the masses, introducing communist ideology into their consciousness, is the way for this purpose. We are actively fighting against numerous illusions in the minds of the working class, with petty-bourgeois consciousness.
Further. An important orientation for us in this situation is our own organizational strengthening on the basis of ideological unity. And as a result - the struggle for the growth of our party's ranks, first of all - for the inflow of young people - workers and students. We plan to significantly expand the scale and raise the level of theoretical training of communists and sympathizers. For the moment we regard our work as preparatory activities for obtaining a real influence in society. So far we have achieved only a significant influence in the left, communist circles and organizations, but not in the masses.
We don't abandon our work in the international arena; on the contrary we seek for closer cooperation with our close, fraternal communist parties and carry out an irreconcilable struggle against opportunist forces.
ICP: What are your plans and preparations for the commemoration of the Great October Revolution on the November 7th?
IF:Along with active participation in the scheduled Solidnet meeting, we plan to organize a number of events. We will start with the ceremonial events in Leningrad - a ceremonial meeting, a demonstration, a rally, a gala concert (this program will be on approximately from the 3rd to the 6th of November), then will come the events in Moscow (6th - 7th November). They will be less ambitious, because, firstly, November 7 will be a working day, and secondly, in Moscow, authorities implement a more stringent policy towards the opposition. Probably, they will not allow us to hold a separate demonstration, and we will have to confine ourselves to a rally.