FORUM ON SOCIALISM
The main side event of the 6th International Assembly was the forum on socialism which was appropriate because the theme of the Assembly was “Win a bright socialist future for humanity! Unite the people to fight and end imperialist wars, racism and fascism!”
There were two speakers, ILPS Chairperson Prof. Jose Maria Sison and Irina Malenko.
Prof. Sison gave in broad strokes a history of socialism from the establishment of the first socialist state, the initial but significant accomplishments in socialist revolution and construction up to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the restoration of capitalism in the former Soviet Union and China. But he also pointed to the bright prospects and the main requisites for resuming the pursuit of the socialist project in the face of the continuing global capitalist crisis and the growing resistance of the people against the intensified exploitation and oppression under capitalism and the great desire for revolutionary change.
According to Prof. Sison, the struggle for socialism would take a whole epoch. He said that it would be an epochal and cumulative struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie which shall eventually bring about socialism and pave the way for communism.
Irina Malenko was born in Russia when there was still a Soviet Union. She lived there until her university days. She later moved to the Netherlands for further studies and later went to Ireland were she now resides. She has written a book Sovietica comparing her life under the former Soviet Union and in the capitalist countries of the Netherlands
Having lived under both systems, Irina testified to the superiority of socialism over capitalism. Virtually free universal health care, free high quality public education from the primary to university level, cheap and efficient public transport—impossible even in the most developed capitalist countries—were enjoyed by ordinary citizens under the Soviet system. Her direct experience is concrete proof that socialism is possible contrary to the lie that socialism is an idealist utopia that cannot be realized as the apologists of capitalism would like the people to believe.