At the end of July the Communist Party of Ireland participated in an on-line International Marxist Parties Forum organised by the Communist Party of China. The theme of the forum was “Adapting Marxism to the National Conditions and the Times of the 21st Century.”
The CPI was represented by Eugene McCartan, Graham Harrington, and Unu Li. Nearly 300 participants from a large number of countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia, North America and Europe represented more than a hundred political parties.
The conference was opened with a message of support from Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC. He emphasised the need for Marxist parties to adapt Marxism to their specific national conditions.
Other messages were received from the general secretary of the Communist Party of Viet Nam, Nguyen Phu Trong, and the president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel. The vice-president of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Pany Yathotou, also participated in the meeting.
The opening speaker was Liu Jianchao, minister of the International Department of the CPC. He described the huge economic and social advances made in China, applying socialism with Chinese characteristics. The key to this success was the application of Marxism to Chinese conditions, taking into account China’s particular context and the needs of its people. We were informed that Marxism has not failed China, and China has not failed Marxism.
There were very interesting contributions from Rosario Pentón, member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, who outlined the political and economic situation in Cuba arising from the sixty-year illegal US blockade and the recent impact of the covid pandemic, as well as important interventions made by senior political figures from Viet Nam and Laos.
Communist parties from South Africa, Portugal, the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Russia, India, Kenya and Venezuela, as well as a number of non-communist parties, made contributions. The gathering included a significant number of parties that declare themselves Marxist but are not necessarily communist, such as the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.
The general secretary of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Gennady Zyuganov, described how the overthrow of the USSR shows that a communist party can never discard its leading role—a lesson that the CPC has learnt.
The central theme was the importance of building and strengthening anti-imperialist solidarity and of struggling for global peace and for people-centred economic and social development, the need to enrich our understanding of capitalism, to apply Marxism to the real, concrete material and national conditions as well as applying the generalised experience of the international workers’ movement.
Socialism cannot be copied or exported but rather is the result of conscious struggle by the people themselves.
The meeting was informed that the parties represented had more than 100 million members. Several parties were governing parties; others, such as the CPI, were parties involved in important working-class struggles, including the struggle for peace. This was proof that the “end of history” has not happened.