10th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties
The São Paulo Proclamation:
Socialism is the alternative!
São Paulo, 23 November 2008
The world is facing a grave economic and financial crisis of large proportions: a capitalist crisis, which cannot be dissociated from its own nature and from its unsolvable contradictions, that is probably the gravest crisis since the Great Depression commenced by the 1929 crash. As always, the workers and the people are the main victim.
The current crisis is an expression of a deeper crisis intrinsic to the capitalist system, which demonstrates capitalism’s historical limits and the need for its revolutionary overthrow. The current crisis also poses an enormous threat of social and democratic regression and provides, as history has shown, a basis for authoritarian and militarist movements, which demand more vigilance from the communist parties and all democratic and anti-imperialist forces.
While billions in public resources are mobilised to save those responsible for this crisis—big capital, high finance, and speculators—workers, small farmers, middle strata and all those who work for a living are suffocating under the weight of monopolies and will experience still more exploitation, unemployment, lower wages and pensions, insecurity, hunger, and poverty.
Powerful ideological diversionary campaigns are seeking to conceal the true origins of the crisis and to block the way to solutions that would be in the interests of the popular masses, which favour a new balance of power and a new international order in favour of popular forces, international solidarity, and friendship among peoples. The main capitalist powers, starting with the United States, the European Union, and Japan, by means of the international organisations under their rule—the IMF, World Bank, European Central Bank, NATO, and others—and also manipulating the United Nations to suit their needs, are frantically working on “solutions” that are themselves the seeds of new crises and are attempting to rescue the system in the short term and to reinforce the mechanisms of imperialist exploitation and oppression.
Resorting to scapegoats and insisting on false and failed options for the “regulation,” “humanisation” and “reform” of capitalism, they seek to change appearances while keeping things the same. The parties supporting capital hastily accepted the dogmas of the “Washington consensus,” which has fed the brutal speculative financing of the economy. Social democracy, disguising its compliance with neo-liberalism and its transformation into a pillar of imperialism, attempts a belated return to a Keynesian-type “regulation” that leaves intact the class nature of power and the relations of property, seeking precisely to avoid affirming the revolutionary alternatives for the workers and the peoples. But that perspective is not inevitable.
As other moments in history have shown, the workers and the peoples, if united, can determine the course of economic, social and political events, squeeze important concessions out of big capital in the interests of the masses, curb advances towards fascism and war, and open the path to deep transformations of a progressive and even revolutionary character.
The international outlook is one of increasingly sharp class struggle. Humankind is passing through one of the most difficult and complex moments in history—an economic global crisis that coincides with an energy and food crisis and a serious environmental crisis; a world of deep injustices and inequalities, wars, and conflicts. The scene is of a historic crossroads, in which two contradictory tendencies are being manifested: on one side lie great dangers to peace, to sovereignty, to democracy, to people’s and workers’ rights, and on the other side lie immense potential for struggles and the advance of the cause of the emancipation of workers and peoples, the cause of social progress and peace, the cause of socialism and communism.
The communist and workers’ parties that gathered at their 10th Meeting held in São Paulo salute the popular struggles emerging around the world against imperialist exploitation and oppression, against the increasing attacks on the historical achievements of the labour movement, against the militarist and anti-democratic offensive of imperialism.
Emphasising that neo-liberalism’s bankruptcy represents not only the failure of a policy of management of capitalism but the failure of capitalism itself, and confident of the superiority of the communist ideals and project, we affirm that the answer to the emancipatory aspirations of workers and peoples can only be found in a rupture with the power of big capital and with the imperialist blocs and alliances and through deep transformations of a liberating and anti-monopolist character.
With the conviction that socialism is the alternative—the road to a real and total independence of peoples, the way to affirm workers’ rights, and the only way to put an end to the destructive crises of capitalism—we call upon the working class, the workers and peoples across the world to join the cause of communists and revolutionaries and, united around their class interests and just aspirations, to take into their own hands the building of a future of prosperity, justice and peace for humankind. In this sense, conditions emerge for the convergence of the people’s struggles and resistance in a broad movement against the capitalist policies applied in the crisis and the imperialist aggressions that threaten peace.
Certain of the possibility of another world, a world that is free from class exploitation and the oppression of capital, we declare our commitment to continuing the historical path to building a new society free from class exploitation and oppression, that is, socialism.