Down with the Imperialism of Austria, the EU and Russia! For the Permanent Revolution in Bulgaria, on the Balkans and in Eastern Europe!
Resolution of the Revolutionary Communist Organization for Liberation (RKOB), Austrian section of the RCIT, 25.2.2013
In the last weeks we could see a heroic uprising of the Bulgarian working class. This uprising was directed mainly against increasing poverty and unemployment. The trigger for these events were high electricity prices, caused especially by foreign companies. With our minds and our hearts we stand with our class brothers and sisters. Their struggle is our struggle. They have our solidarity especially because their struggle is directed against our common enemy: the imperialism of Austria and the EU! They are an impressive example for working class fighters in Western Europe against imperialism and his monopolies! Their struggle did already overthrow the bourgeois government of Boiko Borissov who has connections to the organized crime. Bulgaria is now in a pre-revolutionary crisis.
Bulgaria is one of the poorest countries in the EU. Even if Stalinism disempowered the working class on a political level, the proletarian property relations brought social and economic advantages in comparison with capitalism. One can see this very well in Bulgaria, which was plundered by the imperialist banks and companies after the restoration of capitalism in 1989. The standard of living rapidly decreased, the population shrank by 15% in just 20 years. The life expectancy is far below the average of the EU, the rate of poverty is one of the highest in the EU, more than a quarter of the young people have no job and the average salary is not more than 400€. For many Bulgarian working people as well as retired people who often earn less than 100€ it is hardly possible to pay the electricity prices. The country is exploited in first line by the big capitalists of Austria, Germany and the Netherlands.
Movement at the crossroads: radicalization with illusions
After two weeks of mass protests the conservative government was forced to resign. But the ruling class is now trying to find a way out of this threat of a pre-revolutionary situation and has announced new elections.
However the protesting workers oppose not only the ruling GERB party, but all parliamentary parties. They continue to protest after the government resignation as the mass demonstrations on 24th Feb showed. They shouted at the demonstrations: "Enough of the illusion, citizen protests every day!" They realize that the ruling class is thoroughly corrupt. At the demonstrations slogans like "Mafia", "End to the Economic Domination of the Mafia" and "Out with All Parties" were shouted. They also demand the resignation of local mayors especially of Kiril Jordanov – the major of Varna which was the starting point of the protests. They call for a suspension of utility bills, the abolition of VAT on electricity bills and on the review of all privatization contracts in the energy sector. Even though the activists have no clear concepts of a socialist system that breaks with bourgeois democracy they show signs of a questioning of parliamentary democracy. At a meeting on 24th February, activists called for a change of the constitution which allows to elect representatives in the different constituency and to judicially pursue representatives who do not meet the electoral mandate. Even if these demands are still connected with many bourgeois illusions as well as Bulgarian patriotism, they also show that the mass consciousness can change within a few weeks and radicalize massively.
How can the Bulgarian workers win?
The rule of small elite of capitalists in alliance with the foreign EU-imperialists and the mafia just brought misery for the working class and all oppressed people in Bulgaria. This rule of the parasites that live just out of the work of other people has to end now!
Now the workers should not orient to snap-shot elections! Rather the time has come to take their fate into their own hands and not to hope for one or the other party of the bosses! Therefore it is necessary that in the factories, in the districts and villages action-committees are formed that organize the struggle and the masses. These committees must be extended to soviets. These soviets must take all the power. But this is just possible on the way socialist revolution – that means an armed uprising - against all representatives and friends of the capitalist ruling class and imperialism!
The construction of action-committees and their country-wide connection can be reached in the best way through an indefinite general strike against the attacks of the ruling class.
Here the Bulgarian trade unions can play a key role. Of course, the leaders of the trade unions will try to betray their membership. It is therefore important to force them to organize actions by building a rank and file movement inside the trade unions.
Mass demonstrations have to be defended against police violence. Therefore we call for construction of self defense committees and to expand them step by step to workers militias. Such organs could implement the order which the corrupt police don’t want, namely the order in interest of the working class against the rich and the fascists. All people who were imprisoned during the mass protests must be freed immediately!
Communists in Bulgaria have to fight for the equality of the national minorities which make up 15% of the population officially - especially of the Turkish minority and the Romany. That means: for the right to speak their own language in offices and to teach it in schools. We are fighting for equal salary for equal work, national minorities and women should not be discriminated.
All enterprises which were privatized after the fall of Stalinism in 1989 or which are in the hands of foreign companies must be immediately confiscated without compensation and put under the control of the workers. A committee composed out of representatives of the labor movement as well as of experts must develop a plan to provide the working population with cheap and high quality goods. That’s the only way to reduce poverty effective! A public employment program has to be implemented to give everybody work. After all, there are enough things that have to be built up (public housing, schools, utilities, public transport, etc.).
Bulgaria is a semi-colonial country which is oppressed and exploited by imperialist countries. This means that the country is formally independent, but in fact it is exploited and oppressed by imperialist corporations and states. The national liberation is therefore an important task which has to be taken by the working class. This means: struggle against the imperialism of the EU and Russia. The Bulgarian economy has to pass into the hands of the Bulgarian working class! For the exit of Bulgaria from the NATO and the EU! The withdrawal from the imperialist EU must be connected with the conquest of power by the working class in Bulgaria!
For the building of a revolutionary party in Bulgaria! This party must aim to organize the vanguard of the working class and to lead them into the class struggle. For the construction of revolutionary parties in Eastern Europe which are intervening in the class struggle as sections of 5th International!
For a Bulgaria in which the working class, in alliance with the peasantry, takes the power! For the extension of the revolution to Greece, the Balkans and Eastern Europe! For a Socialist Federation of the Balkans, for the United Socialist States of Europe!
For the Eastern European Revolution against Imperialism and for Socialism!
What are the tasks of the workers in Austria and the EU?
The workers in countries which exploit and oppress Bulgaria have to make clear that they have nothing in common with the politics of "their" imperialist governments and corporations. This means: full support of the mass protests, including material support and solidarity actions. We call on the trade unions in Austria and the EU to organize strikes in the companies which super-exploit the Bulgarian working class (for example the Austrian electricity company EVN). We call for the complete cancellation of all debts of Bulgaria and other Eastern European countries.
We strongly condemn Austrian imperialism, as well as other EU states (Germany, France, Netherlands, etc.), which enrich themselves over the costs of other nations. We stand for the full equality of Bulgarian migrants (as well as all other immigrants) in Western Europe. That means: full citizenship, labor rights, the right to stay, the right to speak their own language in offices, as well as to teach them in schools. We are against any discrimination of workers because of their origin: equal pay for equal work! Bulgaria is exploited by imperialism through migration – already the country lost 15% of its population in 20 years. It is mainly the imperialist corporations which gains from this. We call up on the labor movement in Western Europe to send experts (doctors, engineers, scientists, teachers, etc.) to Bulgaria and Eastern Europe to try to compensate the damage done by the imperialist corporations. For the destruction of the EU and its replacement by the United Socialist States of Europe!
Even if the bosses who live in our countries exploit and subjugate Eastern Europe, we will sooner or later go the common path of socialism with our class brothers and sisters.
Long live workers international solidarity.