BUILD ALL INDIA PARTY ORGANISATION ON BOLSHEVIK LINES
SERIES-2, PART-1, YEAR 2013
Explanatory Notes By KN Ramachandran
BUILD ALL INDIA PARTY ORGANISATION ON BOLSHEVIK LINES
1. A new revolutionary objective situation is emerging all over the world with the dawn of the 21st century. Two decades before, when the Soviet Union disintegrated, the US imperialists and their allies and their lackeys were celebrating the 'demise of socialism' and 'end of history'. They were predicting that the 1950s like situation when the 'east wind of socialism' was challenging the'west wind of imperialism' will never emerge again. But within a decade the situation has started changing. Once again the capitalist-imperialist system was in severe crisis, with the neo-liberal regime which had replaced the crisis ridden Keynesian recipes from the 1970s itself confronting unprecedented crises. In spite of all remedial measures possible within the ruling system being tried, with the 2008 meltdown in US the crisis has become more severe and is spreading all over the imperialist countries as well as in all the countries under neo-colonial plunder. As the imperialists and their lackeys are intensifying efforts to shift the burden of the crisis to the shoulders of the working class and the oppressed nations and peoples, the working class in the imperialist countries and the oppressed nations and peoples are coming out more and more powerfully to challenge the ruling system. It has created once again an objective situation favourable for a revolutionary wave to sweep all over the globe. The upsurges against the imperialists and their lackeys during the last one decade underline this sharp change in world situation. Similar is the case in India also. But what is lacking in these countries is a Bolshevik style party surrounded by class/ mass organizations with millions of members capable of leading these upsurges to seizure of political power under the leadership of the working class. So the cardinal task before the Indian working class and its vanguard party, the CPI(ML), is to practice the ideological-political line of the 2011Ninth Congress firmly and build the party with all India influence capable of leading the People's Democratic Revolution to victory
2. The Ninth Congress of our Party held in November 2011, 41 years after the Eighth Congress of 1970, adopted a new Party Program and Path of Revolution. The Party Program upheld the historic significance of the ideological struggle waged against revisionist lines of CPI and CPI (M) by the Communist Revolutionaries and of the Naxalbari uprising leading to the formation of the CPI(ML). At the same time, the Ninth Congress rejected the erroneous evaluation of the character of Indian state and society and the sectarian Program and Path of Revolution adopted by the Eighth Congress. Making clean break with them, in continuation to the position taken from its first All India Conference of 1982 which was continuously developed during last three decades, the Ninth Congress analyzed the transformation of the colonial phase of imperialist plunder to neo-colonial phase and the vast changes it has made in the agrarian relations and mode of production in the country under neo-colonial domination following the transfer of power in 1947. The Party Program stated: Rejecting parliamentary cretinism and the line of sectarianism and individual terrorism, upholding path of revolutionary mass line, it resolves to utilize all forms of struggle and organizations to mobilize the working class and all revolutionary classes and sections for a massive countrywide people's uprising to overthrow the Indian state and to seize political power. The path of Revolution explains the political and organizational tasks to be taken up to realize this goal.
3. The most important task to be taken up for pursuing this Path is the building of a Bolshevik style Party organization with countrywide influence, surrounded by class and mass organizations, capable of mobilizing and politicizing the vast masses of people, including building and strengthening the united fronts from tactical to strategic level, capable of uniting all spontaneous and organized people's movements coming up around the country. As the CPI(ML) was under sectarian influence right from its beginning, it had abandoned the task of party building with all India perspective and strengthening of committee system, and had rejected the organization of class/ mass organizations as a 'highway to revisionism'. As sectarian influence continued to haunt the movement even after its disintegration to many groups, none of these groups could effectively take up these organizational tasks for a long time as they continued to pursue the erroneous political line. Still it is the case with most of the remaining groups. In the name of keeping the party underground, Bolshevik style building of party and class/ mass organizations, revolutionary mass propaganda through regular publication of party papers and depending on the masses for party fund are not pursued. Fighting against these tendencies, for more than last two decades our organization is trying to build Bolshevik style party surrounded by class/ mass organizations based on the new ideological and political orientation put forward. Regularization of party membership, levy system, mass fund collections, regular publication of party organs and other pamphlets etc along with building of class and mass organizations at all India level were taken up. As a result, the countrywide development of the party and class/ mass organizations has taken place to a certain extent. Besides the regular publication of the central organs in English and Hindi, the party organs are published by almost all the state committees in different languages. The class/ mass organizations also have started publishing their quarterly organs at least in English and Hindi almost regularly. Campaigns for their distribution also are started. But considering the enormity of these tasks and the development of the class struggle at all India level, in a vast country like India having more than 125 crores of people with all its complexities, different languages and culture and uneven development, what is achieved so far is only a small beginning and lot more have to be done in coming days to make the party capable of capturing the political power and advancing towards socialist revolution. It is with this perspective the Central Committee has decided to include the task of building Party and class/ mass organization as one of the important subjects for study in the Party Schools during 2013.
4. After the formation of the Third or Communist International or Comintern in 1919, in its Third Congress in 1921, it had put forward the Guidelines on the Organizational Structure of Communist Parties, on the Methods and Content of their Work. The more than a century and half long experience of the international communist movement has shown that right opportunist, revisionist and alien tendencies gain dominance in a Communist organization when anti-working class, anti-revolutionary or reformist ideas start establishing influence within the leadership. Similarly adventurist, anarchist, or sectarian tendencies gain dominance when the leadership is influenced by petti-bourgeois world outlook, which leads to lose faith in the masses. It is by uncompromisingly struggling against both these deviations, Lenin developed the Marxist theory and practice of Bolshevik style party building in the concrete conditions of the imperialist era, proceeding to develop the CPSU, to lead the October Revolution to victory. The Third International or Communist International (Comintern), was soon formed based on the principles of proletarian internationalism. The Comintern in its Third Congress put forward the Thesis on the Organisational Structure of the Communist Parties, the Methods and Content of their Work in 1921, the Bolshevik concepts based on the experience gained in the process of developing the political line and the organizational concepts of the CPSU which had made the victory of October Revolution a reality under the guidance of Lenin. The Communist / Workers parties were formed around the world at the call of the Comintern based on these political and organisational concepts. It was under the leadership of the CPSU and these parties a great leap forward in the international Communist movement (ICM) took place leading it to a position of great strength by early 1950s.
5. But following the Second World War when leaderships of these parties failed to grasp the vast changes brought by the imperialist camp in its form of exploitation and dominance during its transformation from colonial to neo-colonial phase, various weaknesses started creeping up among them, deviating them to the capitalist path. As the content of the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary orientation was lost, these parties by and large turned in to bureaucratic organizations pursuing the capitalist path.
6. Marxist-Leninist organisations were formed in a number of countries rebelling against the revisionist lines of these Parties by 1960s. The Great Debate documents, including the Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement and the Nine Comments on the important points of debate during that period put forward by the CPC under the leadership of Mao Zedong had raised hopes of reorganization of the ICM on a new footing. But though the Marxist-Leninist forces led by Mao could defeat the right opportunist line within the CPC for the time being by launching the proletarian Cultural Revolution, the left adventurist sectarian line spearheaded by Lin Biao came to dominance in the CPC by the time of its 9th Congress in 1969, based on an erroneous analysis of the present era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, that 'a new era has dawn when imperialism is facing total collapse and proletarian revolution advancing to worldwide victory'. It advocated that the character of state and society in the Afro-Asian- Latin American countries is semi-colonial, semi-feudal and path of revolution is protracted people's war, similar to pre-revolutionary China. Failing to recognize this deviation, almost all of the newly emerging parties including CPI (ML) soon went under the influence of this sectarian line. Almost all of them mechanically pursuing the 'Chinese Path', abandoned the path of concrete analysis of the conditions in their own countries and the Bolshevik concepts about the organisational structure of the Communist Parties and their methods of work. Soon all of them succumbed to the adventurist/sectarian line. After the severe setbacks and disintegration suffered by them as a result, most of them claimed that they are going through a process of rectification. But almost all of them are still pursuing anarchist lines or other forms of sectarian path, refusing to make a concrete analysis of the vast changes that have taken place during post-Second World War decades.
7. In this situation, the central challenge before the Marxist-Leninist parties is two-fold: to develop the ideological-political line according to the concrete conditions of today when imperialist forces, especially US imperialism, are intensifying neo-colonisation to unprecedented levels, and to take up the organisational structure of the Party and the methods of work learning from the basic concepts of Comintern positions. It is in this context, the 1921 Comintern thesis become relevant for developing the organisational structure and methods of work of the Party. Both these aspects should be given utmost importance by the whole Party. So, soon after the All India Special Conference of 2009, this Comintern document was sent to all the SCs and SOCs for study.The task before the Marxist-Leninist parties is to assimilate these principles put forward by Comintern, developing them according to the concrete conditions of today and putting them to practice according to the concrete conditions of their own countries. It is with this perspective these Guidelines of the Comintern adopted in 1921, the Organization of Agitation and Propaganda Work by Sections of the Comintern adopted in 1925 and the Resolution on the Organization and Structure of Communist Fractions in Trade Unions adopted in 1926 are put forward as the study material for all comrades along with explanations and suggestions for their implementation in present concrete conditions.
ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTIES, METHODS AND CONTENT OF THEIR WORK
(Adopted at the 24th Session of the Third Congress of the Communist International, 12 July 1921)
I. General Principles
1. The organization of the Party must correspond to the conditions and the purpose of its activity. At every stage of the revolutionary class struggle and in the subsequent period of transition to socialism – the first step: in the development of a Communist society – the Communist Party must be the vanguard, the most advanced section of the proletariat.
2. There is no absolute form of organization which is correct for Communist Parties at all times. The conditions of the proletarian class struggle are constantly changing, and so the proletarian vanguard has always to be looking for effective forms of organization. Equally, each Party must develop its own special forms of organization to meet the particular historically-determined conditions within the country. But there are definite limits to national variations. Proletarian class struggle varies from country to country and according to the stage of the revolution, but the similarity in the conditions of struggle is of decisive importance for the international Communist movement. This similarity serves as a basis for the organization of all Communist Parties. It follows that we must develop and improve the existing Communist Parties, not try to replace them with new model Parties or invent absolute organizational forms and ideal statutes.
3. The bourgeoisie still rules over much of the world and so most Communist Parties and also the Communist International as the united party of the world revolutionary proletariat have to fight it. In the coming period the centrally important task for all Parties is the overthrow of the bourgeoisie and the seizure of power. Accordingly, all the organizational work of the Communist Parties in the capitalist countries must be directed towards establishing organizations which can guarantee the victory of the proletarian revolution over the ruling classes.
4. Leadership is a necessary condition of any political action and is a vital factor in the present most important struggle in world history. Organizing the Communist Party means organizing Communist leadership for the period of the proletarian revolution. The Party itself must have good leadership if it is to lead well. Our basic organizational task is therefore to create an organization and to educate the Communist Party under the guidance of its experienced bodies to be the effective leadership of the revolutionary proletarian movement.
5. To lead the revolutionary class struggle, the Communist Party and its leading bodies must possess great fighting power and at the same time the ability to adapt to the changing conditions of struggle. Successful leadership presupposes, moreover, the closest contact with the proletarian masses. Unless such contact is established the leaders will not lead the masses but, at best, only follow them. The Communist Party organizations are to achieve organic contact with the masses by practicing democratic centralism.
a. These general principles provide the guidelines for the functioning of the Communist Party. In this part as well as in the coming paragraphs the Communist International is presented as the united party of the world proletariat, based on the Constitution of Comintern. Later, as many Communist Parties started developing as leading parties in their countries, the necessity for transforming the founding principles was felt, though it was not given any formal shape. As the re-organisation of the Communist international is initiated, recognising the increasing international character of the Proletarian World Socialist Revolution, with the founding of the ICOR, it is organized more as an international forum of the Communist Parties.
b. It should be noted that in spite of presenting Comintern as the united party of the world proletariat, this General Principles call on each party to apply the basic guidelines according to the concrete conditions of their own countries and "each party to develop its own special forms of organization to meet the particular historically-determined conditions within the country". It is the failure to do so which leads to mechanical copying of the lines of other parties without making the concrete analysis of the conditions of one's own country.
c. In 1917 the Soviet Union had broken away from the imperialist world. That is why in para-3 it is stated that the bourgeoisie still rule over much of the world. With the degeneration of erstwhile socialist countries to capitalist path, this situation has changed. Today imperialism and its compradors and lackeys are ruling all over the world. This change in the concrete world situation should be noted.
d. In the large number of countries under neo-colonisation, the imperialist system is intensifying its plunder through the state apparatus led by the comprador bureaucratic bourgeois - landlord classes. In order to seize political power, the state which serves imperialism should be overthrown with the working class organized as the leader of the revolution, building worker-peasant alliance, along with uniting all other revolutionary classes and sections. It calls for building the party at all India level and to spread its influence through the network of class and mass organizations.
e. The General Principles emphasises: Organizing the Communist Party means organizing Communist leadership. So while building the party and class/mass organizations the importance of developing the leadership at all levels should be specially emphasized. Leadership means not individuals, but the collective leadership of the committees at each level. Special attention should be given to develop the committees as the collective leadership.
f. Special attention should be given to organize the committees at all levels, holding their regular meetings, maintaining their minutes, ensuring reporting to the top and to lower committees, discussion of ideological-political line and its implementation in each committee, ensuring the democratic functioning of the committee, combating all manifestations of liberalism and fighting against all manifestations of bureaucratic tendencies. The concept of organizing the communist leadership should not be seen as a static one, but should be developed continuously according to the concrete needs. When communist parties with great experience like CPSU and CPC have degenerated to bureaucratic, capitalist parties, this aspect should be given great significance.
II. On Democratic Centralism
6. The democratic centralism of the Communist Party organization should be a real synthesis, a fusion of centralism and proletarian democracy. This fusion can be achieved only when the Party organization works and struggles at all times together, as a united whole. Centralization in the Communist Party does not mean formal, mechanical centralization, but the centralization of Communist activity, i.e., the creation of a leadership that is strong and effective and at the same time flexible.
Formal or mechanical centralization would mean the centralization of 'power' in the hands of the Party bureaucracy, allowing it to dominate the other members of the Party or the revolutionary proletarian masses which are outside the Party. Only enemies of Communism can argue that the Communist Party wants to use its leadership of the proletarian class struggle and its centralization of Communist leadership to dominate the revolutionary proletariat. Such assertions are false. Equally incompatible with the principles of democratic centralism adopted by the Communist International are antagonisms or power struggles within the Party.
The same divisions emerged in the old organizations of the non-revolutionary workers' movement as had existed in the organization of the bourgeois state: the division between the 'bureaucracy' and the 'people'. Under the paralyzing influence of the bourgeois environment a separation of functions occurred; formal democracy replaced the active participation of working people, and the organization was divided into the active functionaries and the passive masses. Even the revolutionary workers' movement has nit entirely escaped the influence of the bourgeois environment and the evils of this formalism and division. The Communist Parties must overcome these contradictions once and for all by carrying out a systematic on-going plan of political and organisational work and by making many improvements and changes.
7. The transformation of a mass Socialist Party into a Communist Party must be more than a transfer of authority to the CC which leaves the old order otherwise unchanged. Centralization should not just be agreed in theory; it must be realized in practice. All Party members must understand how centralization positively strengthens their work and their capacity to fight. Otherwise the masses will see centralization as a bureaucratization of the Party and will oppose any attempts to introduce centralization, leadership and firm discipline. Anarchism and bureaucratism are two sides of the same coin.
Formal democracy by itself cannot rid the workers' movement of either bureaucratic or anarchistic tendencies because these in actual fact result from this type of democracy.
All attempts to achieve the centralization of the organization and a strong leadership will be unsuccessful so long as we practice formal democracy. We must develop and maintain an effective network of contacts and links both, on the one hand, within the Party itself between the leading bodies and the rank and file of the membership and, on the other hand, between the Party and the proletarian masses outside the Party.
a. Comintern principles provide excellent guideline to put in to practice the principles of democratic centralism. But the experience of the parties in the Comintern during its existence from 1919 to 1943 and thereafter shows that there were serious weaknesses in putting these principles in to practice. Often either 'formal democracy' or 'one sided emphasis on centralism' was in dominance. The weaknesses in strengthening inner-party democracy and in developing inner-party struggles also contributed towards the weaknesses shown by Parties in developing the concrete analysis of the changes taking place at international and national level and in developing the ideological political line accordingly.
The weaknesses of the Communist Parties who seized political power in developing proletarian democracy in the socialist countries fighting against and going against the constraints of bourgeois democracy also should be evaluated in this context. Assimilating these experiences, the Party should uphold the dialectical relationship between democracy and centralism. Centralism based on democracy should be the guiding principle. Inner-party democracy should be developed at all levels providing opportunity for inner party struggle.
b. Though the CPC called for utilizing the two line struggle within the Party to deepen the inner party struggle, instead of achieving the concentration of the correct ideas, it was soon utilized for usurping the leadership of the Party as was seen the 8th, 9th, 10th Congresses when Mao's line was reduced to a minority line. It eventually led to the usurpation of power by the capitalist roaders through military coup in 1976. The experience of the split in the CPI in India when the followers of the Soviet revisionist line succeeded to impose their control and of CPI(M) in which the minority line usurped leadership also should be seen in this context.
It is of primary importance that proletarian democracy should be practiced at all levels and centralism should be based on it. Our Party Constitution is drafted taking this principle as the basis. The regular study and practice of the Party Constitution, and its development according to the needs of advancing the democratization to higher levels should be an important part of party life.
III. On the Communists' Obligation to Work
8. The Communist Party must be a labour school of revolutionary Marxism. Close links between the various Party bodies and the individual members will be forged through day-to-day work in the Party organizations. Few members of the legal Communist Parties are taking a sufficiently active part in the day-to-day work of the Party. This is the major shortcoming of these Parties and an obstacle to their steady progress.
9. There is always a danger that the workers' Party will go no further than adopting a Communist programme: that it will merely accept Communism in the place of its old doctrine and replace its anti-Communist officials with Communist ones. But the adoption of a Communist programme expresses only the desire of the Party to become Communist. If the Party fails to carry out Communist work and if the mass of its membership remains passive, the Party will not have fulfilled even the minimum obligation placed upon it by its acceptance of the programme. The most important requirement is that all members should at all times participate in the day-to-day work of the Party.
The art of Communist organization consists in involving everything and everyone in the proletarian class struggle, effectively dividing Party work among Party members and organizing members to draw the broad proletarian masses into the revolutionary movement. It also means being always in a position of leadership over the entire movement, a position which the Party wins not by force but by the authority it derives from its great energy, ability, experience and flexibility.
10. A Communist Party, in order to ensure that its members are really active, must demand that they give all their time and energy to Party work. Then it will have a really active membership. Besides commitment to Communist ideas, membership of the Communist Party obviously entails formal admission, preceded in some instances by a period of candidacy, regular payment of membership dues, subscription to the Party paper, etc. But the most important condition of membership is that members participate on a day-to-day basis in the work of the Party.
11. For the purpose of carrying out day-to-day work each Party member should belong to a smaller working group: a committee, commission, board, group, fraction or cell. This is the only way Party work can be correctly allocated, carried out and supervised.
It goes without saying that members should attend the general meetings of their local organizations; it is not wise for legal Parties to try to substitute meetings of local representatives for these general meetings. All Party members must attend these meetings regularly. But this is by no means all. The proper preparation of these meetings and intervention in workers' meetings, demonstrations and mass actions presupposes work by smaller groups or by individuals delegated for the purpose. The vast amount of work that has to be done can be examined carefully and organized properly only by smaller groups. Unless all members are divided among a large number of working groups and participate daily in the work of the Party, even the most militant efforts of the working class to further the class struggle will lead nowhere and the requisite concentration of all revolutionary proletarian forces around a united and strong Communist Party will be impossible.
12. Communist cells must be formed to carry out the day-to-day work in the various spheres of Party activity: house-to-house agitation, Party schools. group newspaper reading, information services, liaison work, etc.
Communist cells are the basic units for carrying out the day-to-day Communist work of the Party in the factories, trade unions, workers' co-operatives, military detachments etc – wherever there are a few or more Party members or candidate members. When the number of Party members in a factory, a union etc. is large, fractions are organized, whose work is supervised by the Communist cell. Should it be necessary to organize a broadly-based opposition fraction or to take part in the work of an already existing fraction, the aim of the Communists must be to win a leading position through the work of their own separate cell.
The question as to whether the Communist cell should openly declare its Party affiliation is something that has to be decided in each individual case by a careful study of the dangers and advantages of each course of action.
13. The introduction of universal labour conscription and the organization of small working groups is particularly difficult in the mass Communist Parties. Results cannot be achieved overnight. Great patience, tact and energy are required.
It is particularly important that reorganization should be carried out very carefully from the start and should be preceded by a general discussion of the question. It would be very easy, of course, simply to divide up the members of the organization into small cells and groups according to some formal scheme and order them to take part in the general day-to-day Party work. But such a beginning would be worse than no beginning at all for Party members would soon become dissatisfied and disillusioned with the new method of work.
It is particularly recommended that the leading Party body hold a detailed preliminary discussion with those Party members who, as well as being committed and sincere Communists, are also good organizers and have a good knowledge of the general situation in the workers' movement in the country's main centres; on the basis of its findings the leading Party body can work out in detail the basic principles of the new method of work. Next, the instructors, organizers or organizing commissions should prepare the plan of work at the local level, elect the first group leaders and launch the campaign. Then the organizations, working groups, cells and individual members must be given specific tasks to perform that are clearly appropriate, useful and within their capabilities. If necessary, the Party should give a practical demonstration of how to tackle the job. In this case it is important to focus attention on the mistakes which are particularly to be avoided.
14. The reorganization should proceed one step at a time. The local organizations should not be in a hurry to organize too many new cells and working units at once. Party members should be allowed to see from experience that individual cells organized in large factories and unions are functioning correctly and that in other areas of Party work the working groups which deal with information, communications, house-to-house agitation, the women's movement, paper distributions, the unemployed, etc. are already organized and more or less established. 'The old forms of organization should not be blindly destroyed before the new organizational apparatus has begun to take shape.
However, Communist organizational work must always be directed as firmly as possible towards its main goal. This places great demands not only on every legal Party, but also on every illegal one. Until such time as a broad network of Communist groups, cells, fractions and working groups is established in all the centres of proletarian mass struggle, until the Party is strong and sure of its aims and until all its members participate in the day-to-day revolutionary work and accept participation as normal practice, the Party must not let up on its organisational work.
15. The leading Party bodies must not fail to be in constant and firm control of this basic organizational work and must give it a consistent direction. This requires a great deal of effort on the part of those comrades who direct the Party bodies. The Communist Party leadership is responsible not only for making sure that all comrades have work to do, but for assisting and directing this work systematically and with a practical understanding of the matter at hand. They must be familiar with the specific conditions of work and watch for mistakes. They must use their experience and knowledge to improve methods of work, always keeping the aim of the struggle in view.
16. All Party work is practical or theoretical struggle, or preparation for struggle. Up until now specialization in Party work has been organized in a very unsatisfactory manner. There are entire areas of very important work in which, if anything has been done, it has been quite by chance. The special struggle of the legal Parties against the political police is one example. Another is the training of Party comrades, which as a rule is conducted haphazardly and so superficially that large sections of the Party's membership are ignorant of most of the Party's important decisions – even of the Party programme and the resolutions of the Communist International. All Party organizations and all working groups of the Party must educate their members on a regular and systematic basis so that a higher level of specialization is possible.
17. One of the duties of the Communist organization is to make reports. This applies to all organizations and organs of the Party and to its individual members. Regular general reports must be made at frequent intervals and special reports when specific Party tasks have been carried out. It is very important that reports are presented systematically and become a firmly established tradition of the Communist movement.
18. The Party makes a regular quarterly report on its activity to the leading body of the Communist International. Every Party organization must present reports to the committee immediately above it (for example, local organizations present monthly reports to the appropriate district Party committee).
Each cell, fraction and working group must present a report to the Party body which supervises it. All members must report approximately once a week to the cell or working group to which they belong, and to the Party body which has given them a particular assignment, on the progress of their work.
Reports must be made at the first convenient opportunity. The report can be made orally, unless the Party or Party body specifically requires a written report. Reports should be concise and to the point. The person receiving the report is responsible for the safe-keeping of information that cannot be made public and also for ensuring that reports are communicated without delay to the relevant directing Party organ.
19. These Party reports should not, of course, deal only with the activity of the person delivering the report. They must also mention any observations that have been made during the course of the work which are relevant to the struggle, particularly if these might lead to changes or improvements in future activity. Party members should suggest how those shortcomings that have come to light during their work can be overcome. The Communist cells, fractions and working groups must discuss all the reports presented to them and presented by them. Discussion of reports must become customary practice.
Cells and working groups must see that individual members and groups of members regularly examine and report on the activity of rival organizations, particularly petty-bourgeois workers' organizations and above all the organizations of 'socialist' Parties.
a. In this section, the question of developing Communists' organisational and practical activities is explained in detail. Wherever reporting to the Communist International is mentioned it should be treated as reporting to the Party Central Committee.
b. As far as the tasks and methods of functioning of the Party Committees from the Central Committee to State Committee to District Committee to Area (Tahsil/Block) to Local Committee to Branch Committee are concerned, they are well explained in the Party Constitution. Regular functioning of the committee system including the method of their formation, their responsibilities, their method of functioning, reporting from top to bottom and bottom to top etc are also explained in the Party Constitution. The first and foremost task is to maintain and strengthen this committee system. There should not be any compromise on this question.
c. The Comintern directive repeatedly emphasises the importance of developing the day to day activities of the Party members and committees. It should be implemented from the leading committees themselves to lower levels without any compromise. The activities of all these committees in Party building and developing class/mass organisations, including the work distribution and developing practical struggles should be planned in such a way that the principle of day to day work is strictly put in to practice as the most important part of the task of Party members at all levels.
d. Our SCs/SOCs and the DCs are comparatively weak and the area / local/ branch committees are still not formed in most of the areas. Necessary attention is not given to formation of Local Committees at Gram Panchayat /Town/Municipal corporation ward level and to the formation of branch committees below them. Wherever they exist, their day to day functioning is not given emphasis. So the first point to be emphasised is to form the Local Committees and Branch Committees and strengthen the Party organisation from below. Through day to day functioning and strengthening the relation with the working class and other revolutionary classes/sections should be emphasised. Only by starting from organising and developing the Local Committees, the local level united fronts under working class leadership as local centres of political power can be promoted in line with the Soviets in Russia and People's Communes in China. When the Local Committees are developed and local level united fronts start functioning, in a revolutionary situation such local centres can be transformed as centres of political power by the revolutionary masses under the guidance of the party committees. Only in this manner the 'civil society' like concepts of the ruling classes, the influence of NGOs at grass root level and similar efforts by the ruling class parties, religious/caste organisations can be exposed and defeated .
e. Under the Local Committees the Party Branches should be formed at the level of gram panchayat wards/villages/neighbour hoods/factories/enter-prises etc. Generally all the Party Branch committee members may be part-timers. Day to day activities of them as members of the grass root working group should be discussed and worked out for regular implementation. According to concrete conditions, the party fractions should be formed in industrial and service enterprises, among government employees, factories, etc under the appropriate party committees. They provide "the closest contact with the proletarian masses".
f. As explained in: Resolution on the Organization and Structure of Communist Fractions in Trade Unions adopted in 1926, which is given below, formation of Party fractions is a basic task, which was long neglected under the influence of sectarianism. It should be given primary importance along with the formation of Local committees and Party Branches. Only in this way "all members (and candidate members) of the party at all times start participating in the day to day work of the party". As the functioning of the class/mass organizations develops, their committees at various levels up to village or ward committees, factory committees, shop level committees, school/institute/college level committees of students etc, should be formed. In all these committees, Party fractions should be organized. The members of these fractions or units even while being active in respective class/mass organizations, should be politically prepared for the study and discussion of Marxist-Leninist classics, party documents and organs, developing new contacts and increasing members in the fractions or units, house to house campaigns, sale of party publications, active participation in the anti- imperialist, anti-state struggles etc.
g. This section of the Comintern document also focuses on building the party cells which we have amended as party cells and fractions at all levels on the basis of Organization of Agitation and Propaganda Work by Sections of the Comintern adopted in 1925 and the Resolution on the Organization and Structure of Communist Fractions in Trade Unions adopted in 1926. In conformity with this fractions should be organised at all levels in the class/ mass organizations. Through them day to day functioning of the Party can be developed at grass root levels to politicise and mobilise the masses. Party committees at all levels should discuss the question of formation of party fractions at all levels. All party committees and fractions should be educated about linking all activities, how trivial or local they may be, with the Path of Indian Revolution, or revolutionary orientation should be put in the forefront and all activities should be linked with it.
h. Fraction formation should be taken up at two levels. The first level is forming fractions in the trade unions affiliated to the TUCI and in other class/mass organisations under the political leadership of the party, at various levels. While the fractions are formed at central, state, district, area and local levels, they should be led by the respective party committees. Regular fraction work should be started at all levels so that the relation between party and class/mass organisations can be developed in a healthy manner. In spite of repeated discussions and instructions, the weaknesses in developing fractions and fraction work are still persisting. They should be resolved.
i. The second level fraction work is related to formation of fractions in various trade unions of workers and employees in industries, service sectors, government departments, in security services etc where unions or organizations led by the Party led class/mass organizations do not exist. Preference should be given to building these fractions in the core sectors like railways, roadways, shipping, sea/ air ports, mines, various police and security services etc. In most of these cases in the present situation these fractions cannot be disclosed and should function in underground manner.
j. Taking railways, roadways, banking, insurance, postal , telegraph, etc for example, already the party members may have contacts with workers and employees in these sectors were trade unions affiliated to central unions like CITU, AITUC, INTUC, HMS, BMS etc. are in leadership and trade unions affiliated to TUCI are not functioning. Utilising these contacts formation of as many fractions as possible should be started, keeping their existence secret. In due course these fractions in each sector can be linked together. The aim should be to create a net work of fractions in this manner which can consciously work towards influencing the politics of the leadership or wage struggles for changing compromising policies of the leadership. The CC and SCs/SOCs should give importance to this task. Communists' dedication to work for revolution through active involvement in day to day activities to politicise and mobilize the masses continuously should be put into practice energetically.
k. Communist party is the vanguard of the working class. In the present situation when the number of workers is increasing rapidly and presently their number is more than 200 millions, the working class is not only the leading class of revolution, but its importance in fulfilling the tasks of revolution is increasing day by day. In order to prepare them to shoulder this historic responsibility, the organization of party fractions among them according to concrete conditions should be given utmost importance. Similarly conscious efforts should be made to link the working class with the numerous spontaneous and party led mass upsurges taking place.
IV. On Propaganda and Agitation
20. In the period prior to open revolutionary insurrection, revolutionary propaganda and agitation is one of our most important tasks. For the most part, however, this work is still prepared and carried out in the old-established formal manner and is limited to occasional interventions in mass meetings, without any special attention being given to the actual revolutionary content of speeches and pamphlets. Communist propaganda and agitation must take root in the proletarian milieu. It must grow out of the actual life of the workers, their common interests and aspirations and, above all, their common struggle.
The most important aspect of Communist propaganda is its revolutionary content. The slogans and the positions taken on concrete questions in different situations must always be carefully considered from this standpoint. The Communist Parties will not be capable of adopting the correct position on every question unless the full-time propagandists and agitators and all members of the Party are given a thorough and continuous political education.
21. The main forms of Communist propaganda and agitation are as follows: verbal propaganda on an individual level, participation in the trade-union and political workers' movement, and the Party press and Party literature. Every member of a legal or illegal Party must in some way be regularly involved in this activity.
Propaganda at the individual level must above all take the form of systematic house-to-house agitation by groups specially established for the purpose. In areas where the local Party organization has some influence, every house should be visited. In large towns specially organized street agitation with posters and leaflets can often have good results. In factories and offices the cells or fractions must carry out well-organized agitation on an individual level, combining this with the distribution of literature.
In countries where there are national minorities the Party must see that enough attention is given to agitation and propaganda among the proletarian sections of these minorities. It goes without saying that agitation and propaganda must be conducted in the minority languages and appropriate Party bodies must be established to carry out this work.
22. In those capitalist countries where the large majority of the proletariat still lacks a revolutionary consciousness there must be a constant search for more effective methods of work. Propaganda must be adapted to the understanding of the workers who are not yet revolutionary but are beginning to be radicalized, and must make the revolutionary movement comprehensible and accessible to them. Communist propaganda and Communist slogans must be capable, whatever the situation, of fostering the hesitant and unconscious aspirations – still influenced by bourgeois ideology, but nevertheless revolutionary – which the proletariat develops in its struggle against bourgeois traditions.
At the same time Communist propaganda should go beyond the present demands and hopes of the proletarian masses which are limited and vague. It is on the basis of these demands and hopes that we can build and develop our influence and bring the proletariat to understand and sympathise with Communism.
23. Communist agitation amongst the proletarian masses must be conducted in such a way that the militant proletariat recognises that our Communist organization is both courageous and far-sighted, and a loyal and energetic leader of the workers' movement.
To win this recognition the Communists must take part in all the day-to-day struggles and all the movements of the working class, and defend the workers in every clash with the capitalists over the length of the working day, wages, conditions of work, etc. The Communists must study carefully the conditions in which workers live; they must help the workers understand the problems that face them; focus their attention on the most flagrant abuses of their rights; assist them to formulate precise and practical demands; foster class solidarity and the awareness of their common interests and common cause as members of a national working class, which forms in its turn part of the world proletarian army.
It is only by means of such day-to-day grass-roots work and by constant and full commitment to participation in all the struggles of the proletariat that the Party can become a truly Communist party. Only in this way will it mark itself off from the obsolete Socialist Parties whose activity is confined to abstract propaganda, recruiting work, talking about reforms and exploiting the 'possibilities' of parliament. The conscious and principled participation of all members of the Party in the daily struggles and clashes between the exploited and the exploiters is a necessary pre-condition not only for the seizure of power but, even more, for the realisation of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Only by leading the working masses in the day-to-day struggle against the attacks of capitalism can the Communist Party become the vanguard of the working class, learning in practice how to lead the proletariat and prepare for the final overthrow of the bourgeoisie.
24. Communists make a grave mistake if they stand back passively, are scornful of or oppose the day-to-day struggle of the workers for small improvements in the conditions of their life on the grounds that they have a Communist programme and that their final goal is armed revolutionary struggle. However limited and modest the demands for which the workers are willing to fight, this must never be a justification for the Communists to stand aside from the struggle. Our agitational activity should not give the impression that we Communists stir up strikes just for the sake of it and approve of any kind of rash action. On the contrary, we must earn the reputation among the militant workers of being their most valuable comrades-in-arms.
25. The Communist cells and fractions in the trade-union movement have often proved in practice unable to cope with the simplest of their immediate tasks. It is very easy, but not at all helpful, always to preach only the general principles of Communism and then adopt a negative position of vulgar syndicalism when concrete questions are posed. Such a practice only plays into the hands of the leaders of the scab Amsterdam International.
A study of the real content of every question should determine the revolutionary position taken by the Communists. Instead of resting content, for example, with a theoretical and principled opposition to all wage agreements, the Communists should fight the actual provisions of the agreements put forward by the Amsterdam leaders. Anything that hinders proletarian militancy must be condemned and vigorously opposed; and, as is well known, the capitalists and their Amsterdam assistants are trying to use wage agreements to tie the hands of the militant workers. It is clearly the duty of the Communists to explain this to the workers. However, as a general rule, the Communists can expose the capitalists most effectively by counter-posing a wage agreement which does not tie the workers.
The same position can also be taken, for example, on mutual aid and other trade-union benefit organizations. Fighting funds and benefit funds to support workers on strike are in themselves very valuable. It would be incorrect to object on principle to the raising of such funds. It is not these methods of struggle themselves, but the way they are applied and the use to which the Amsterdam leaders put the funds, that contradict the revolutionary class interests of the workers.
As regards sickness benefit schemes etc., the Communists could, for example, demand the abolition of the contributory system, and of all the conditions that restrict the voluntary benefit system. If some members of the benefit system still wanted to insure themselves against illness by paying contributions we should not simply forbid them to do so as our reasons would be misunderstood. We would first have to conduct a great deal of propaganda work at the individual level to free members of petty-bourgeois aspirations.
26. In the struggle against the social-democratic and other petty-bourgeois leaders of the trade unions and the various workers' parties there is no hope of achieving anything by persuasion. The struggle against them has to be organized with great persistence. It can only be waged successfully by depriving the leaders of their followers and by showing the workers the real role the social-traitor leaders play at the beck and call of the capitalists. Therefore, when the opportunity arises, these leaders should be put in a position where they have to show their true nature; then a vigorous attack can be launched against them.
It is by no means sufficient just to label the Amsterdam leaders 'scabs'. Practical examples of how they sell out the workers must constantly be found. Their activity in the trade unions, in the International Labour Organisation of the League of Nations, in the bourgeois ministries and administrations, their right-wing speeches at conferences and in parliament, the attitudes expressed in their numerous lulling articles in hundreds of papers and, in particular, the hesitancy and reluctance they show in preparing and conducting even the smallest campaigns for wage increases and improvements in working conditions – all this provides the Communist with daily opportunities to expose in simply formulated proposals and resolutions and in clear speeches the unreliable and right-wing activity of the Amsterdam leaders, who do indeed deserve to be called 'scab' leaders.
Cells and fractions must conduct a systematic practical struggle. The Communists must not be put off by the lower-level trade-union bureaucracy, who often have good intentions but who, not being strong enough to put them into practice, use the statutes and resolutions of union congresses, or the directives of the central administration, as excuses not to act. Communists should stick firmly to their chosen course of action and always demand that the lower-level bureaucrats give definite answers to their questions, say what they have done to eliminate the obstacles hindering the struggle and whether they and the members of their unions are ready to fight openly to remove these obstacles.
27. The fractions must carefully prepare in advance the interventions of Communists in the meetings and conferences of the trade union organizations. Suggestions, for example, must be drafted, speakers and orators chosen, and capable, experienced and energetic comrades put forward as candidates (for union positions).
In the same way the Communist organizations through their agitational groups must carefully prepare their interventions at workers' public meetings organized by opposing parties, as well as at election meetings, demonstrations, working-class political festivals, etc. If the Communists are themselves organizing an open workers' meeting, large groups of agitators should, wherever possible, work together, both before and during the meeting, following an agreed plan of action. In this way the meeting will have maximum impact.
28. Communists must learn how to draw the unorganized and politically uneducated workers into the Party's permanent sphere of influence. Our cells and fractions must persuade these workers to join the trade unions and read our Party press. Other working-class organizations can be used to spread our influence: consumer co-operatives, disabled ex-servicemen's organizations, educational unions and study groups, sports associations, theatrical groups, etc. Where the Communist Party has to work illegally, Party members can take the initiative in organizing such workers' organizations – including sympathisers' organizations – outside the Party, but only with the agreement and under the supervision of the leading Party bodies. The organizations of Communist youth and of women may also arrange courses, literary evenings, excursions, festivals and picnics, which can interest working-class people who have previously been indifferent to politics in the life of the Communist Party, and should later link these people firmly with the organization and draw them into useful Party work (the distribution of leaflets, Party literature etc.). By actively participating in the general movement these workers will find it easier to overcome their petty-bourgeois attitudes.
29. In order to win the semi-proletarian layers of the working population to the side of the revolutionary proletariat, the Communists must use the conflicts between these layers and the large landowners, the capitalists and the capitalist state and, by conducting a continuous campaign of propaganda, dispel the mistrust these intermediate groups have of the proletarian revolution. This may be a long-term project. The semi-proletarian layers will have more confidence in the Communist movement if the Party takes a sympathetic interest in their day-to-day needs and, without asking for favours in return, provides them with information and assistance in overcoming difficulties which are small in themselves but otherwise could not be surmounted, and if, at the same time, it draws them into special associations designed to further their education. Communists must work cautiously, but must never relax their efforts to counter the influence of organizations and individuals that are hostile to Communism but are respected by the poor peasants, domestic servants and other semi-proletarian elements in the locality. They must show that the enemies who are close at hand and known to the working people from their own experience as exploiters are representatives of the whole criminal capitalist system. Communist propaganda and agitation must take up any day-to-day events which reveal the discrepancy between ideals of petty-bourgeois democracy and the 'legal state', and make the point forcibly and in language accessible to all.
Local organizations in rural areas must carefully divide the work of house-to-house agitation among their members and make sure that all villages, estates and individual houses in the area are reached.
30. As regards propaganda in the armies and navies of the capitalist states appropriate methods must be sought for each separate country. Anti-militarist agitation of the pacifist variety is extremely harmful. It only assists the bourgeoisie to disarm the proletariat. The proletariat opposes on principle all military organizations of the bourgeois state and of the bourgeois class and fights consistently against their influence. Nevertheless these institutions (army, rifle clubs, territorials, etc.) can be used to further the military training of the workers in preparation for the revolutionary struggle. This means that intensive agitation must be directed not against the principle of military training for young people and workers, but against the military regime and the autocratic rule of the officers. Every opportunity of getting weapons into the hands of the proletariat must be exploited as vigorously as possible. The rank and file must be made aware of the class antagonisms underlying the material privileges of the officers, the insecure social position of the ordinary soldiers and the rough treatment meted out to the rank and file. The agitation carried out among the soldiers must make clear to them how closely their whole future is bound up with the fate of the exploited class. At a time of growing revolutionary ferment, agitation for the democratic election of all commanding officers and sailors and for the establishment of soldiers' Soviets can be very effective in undermining the foundations of bourgeois class rule. Careful and vigorous agitation has to be conducted against the special troops employed by the bourgeoisie in the class war and in particular against its armed volunteer bands. The Communists must choose the right moment to undermine morale and encourage the break-up of the ranks, wherever the social composition and conduct of the troops indicates that such a campaign might be successful. When these troops are all of the same class as, for example, in the officers' corps, they must be denounced before the whole population so that, becoming the objects of universal hatred and scorn, their discipline crumbles and their cohesion evaporates.
a. This whole section dealing with Propaganda and Agitation is more relevant for launching the revolutionary offensive today than when it was drafted almost a century ago. Compared to the situation then, the communist movement is confronting presently many times more severe challenges, ideologically, politically and organizationally. The role of creating public opinion in capturing political power by the working class was repeatedly stressed from the initial years of international communist movement. As the working class and the masses under their leadership have to be aroused for the capture of political power, it is vital that the influence of pre-capitalist, capitalist ideas, culture and social traditions and habits are fought and defeated and they are imbued with the revolutionary ideas.
b. If the Paris Commune was a dress rehearsal for proletarian revolution, the October Revolution had asserted that it is possible for the proletariat to capture power and to advance socialist transformation of the society along with shouldering tasks of proletarian internationalism. Great strides were made by the CPSU including the founding of Comintern and supporting the national liberation movements. By 1950s the communist movement and the national liberation struggles were on an upswing and one-third of the world population was living in socialist countries. But very soon the ICM started facing continuous reversals. The erstwhile socialist countries have degenerated to capitalist path and almost all communist parties have disintegrated or turned in to bureaucratic social democratic parties. Transforming its plunder and hegemony from colonial to neo-colonial phase, the imperialist system has intensified its loot and domination manifold in all fields, from economic to socio-political to theoretical fields. It is utilizing all degenerate ideas, religions, caste/race system, culture etc for this purpose. It is utilizing post-modernist, identity politics, like ideas to emphasize that no alternative to imperialism is possible. Imperialist funded NGOs, 'civil-society groups', comprador intellectuals are organized and used for this purpose. A plethora of anti-communist ideas are spread like 'the age of socialism is over', 'end of history' etc. In short, the ICM is confronting the severest ever challenges, unprecedented in its history. In such a situation, the significance of ideological struggle against all alien ideas and creating public opinion for proletarian revolution have become extremely important.
c. In spite of these grave challenges, all those communist parties which were tailing the Soviet revisionist path, even while raising red flag and calling themselves communist, have degenerated to apologists of 'neo-colonialism' and are implementing the 'neo-liberal policies' wherever they get opportunity to share power within the reactionary ruling system. All those parties which opposed Soviet revisionism and upheld 'Chinese path', mechanically clinging to analysis of the state and society in their country as 'semi-colonial, semi-feudal' and path of revolution as 'protracted people's war', refuse to make concrete analysis of the vast changes taking place in the country as part of the momentous developments at global level and to develop the party program and path of revolution accordingly. In spite of the severe setbacks and disintegration faced as a result of these, most of them still refuse to change their approach, and cling to their old positions in one form or other. Many others, repeating the Trotskyist, Enver Hoxhaist like analyses or refusing to recognize the transformation of imperialist hegemony from colonial to neo-colonial phase are interpreting the changes taking place in the countries under neo-colonial plunder as 'independent' capitalist development and stage of revolution there as 'socialist', ignoring the growing hegemony of imperialist forces in new forms. Many of them belonging to all these deviations are compromising with NGOs' and 'civil society' like concepts. As a result, they have abandoned the need for the ideological struggle against all alien trends, thereby contributing to the intensification of the counter-revolutionary theoretical offensive against working class movement by the imperialists and their lackeys.
d. Till the disintegration of Soviet Union and degeneration of China to capitalist path, most of the Marxist-Leninist classics and many progressive publications were available at book stalls and were published and propagated by the left parties. But presently Marxist literature is not at all available except at very few book stalls in cities of traditional left strongholds. CPI, CPI(M) like social democratic parties very rarely publish Marxist classics. As the erstwhile Marxist-Leninist organizations have fragmented or do not recognize the significance of Marxist education, do not publish even their organs regularly or any Marxist classics in local languages. So except for those who are proficient in English language and use online/internet facilities, Marxist literature is practically unavailable. This is happening when the imperialists, their lackeys and various reformist trends have intensified the publication of counter-revolutionary literature and are intensifying anti-communist propaganda through the print and electronic media. In this situation, the Party central and state committees should give great importance to publication field. It includes: (a) regular publication of party organs in all languages as frequently as possible, their mass distribution through party squads and regular group reading and discussion of materials published in them; (b) translation and publication of all party documents, other party publications and Marxist classics and their mass distribution; and (c) organizing publication centres and book stalls for this purpose and ensuring their efficient functioning.
e. As one of the most important aspect of party building, the politicization of party cadres, members and fraction members should be taken up. As a part of this, party schools should be developed at central, zonal, state and district levels regularly with centrally decided agendas and publication of study material in all languages. Along with the holding of the committee meetings at all levels regularly, some time should be devoted in as many meetings as possible to discuss international and national developments, and materials published by central and state organs. The question of establishing permanent party schools where batches of party members are given regular party education also should be given attention to.
f. Creating public opinion as an important part of the revolutionary offensive calls for mass revolutionary propaganda. It involves: (a) Regular selling of party literature and Marxist classics among the masses by propaganda squads including party cultural squads, giving short speeches, presenting revolutionary songs and other methods suitable for local conditions; (b) Ensuring that as many party members as possible, leading cadres of class/ mass organizations, party fraction members and party sympathizers are made regular subscribers of central and state organs; (c) organizing as many public meetings, street corner meetings, village meetings, conventions, seminars etc as possible regularly to explain party's approach to all important political developments; and (d) organizing central, state, district, area and local level party jathas to propagate party's political line and to mobilize support for agitations and mass movements launched by the party. In this manner a continuous and intensive political campaign should be organized to propagate the politics of revolutionary seizure of political power. All party members should be invariably involved in these campaigns.
g. Fighting against parliamentary cretinism and boycottism, participation in elections at all levels should be developed as an integral part of class struggle, utilizing it for mass political propaganda. Based on the party's election manifesto, an intensive campaign should be organized to take the politics of 'people's alternative' and the people's democratic program explained in Party Program to the masses. Along with other forms of propaganda, door to door propaganda and canvassing should be effectively practiced so that party' relation with working class and peasant households increase continuously.
h. Wherever possibilities exist or as party's membership and mass base start increasing, regular agitation-propaganda squads (agit-prop squads as during October Revolution) including political orators and cultural activists who present line along with street dramas and songs should be organized in increasing numbers so as to go to all areas of mass upsurges, to propagate party's political line and to link all mass upsurges with revolutionary movement.
i. What is mentioned above are only some of the regular practices of past revolutionary movements. According to present conditions these practices of mass political propaganda should be developed continuously so as to intensify the efforts for creating public opinion to seize political power through countrywide mass uprising led by the working class.
V. On the Organization of Political Struggles.
31. For a Communist Party there is never a situation in which political activity is impossible. Organizational strategy and tactics must be developed so that Communists can take advantage in an organized manner of every political and economic situation and of every development.
However weak a Party is, it can always turn big political events or large-scale strikes which shake the entire economic life of the country to its advantage by organizing and carrying out systematic and practical propaganda. If a Party decides upon such a course of action, it should enthusiastically involve all its members and all sections of the Party in the campaign.
The Party above all must make use of every contact it has established through the work of its cells and workers' groups to organize meetings in the areas where political feeling or the strike movement is strongest. At these meetings Party orators must explain how the Communist slogans point the way to overcoming the difficulties. Special working groups must be set up to make careful and detailed preparations for these meetings. If the Party cannot call its own meetings, suitable comrades must speak at the general strike meetings or at the meetings attended by the militant workers, and must take a leading part in the discussion from the platform and from the floor.
If there is a possibility of winning over the majority or a significant part of the meeting to support for our ideas, the Communists should try to put them across in clearly worded and well-argued proposals and resolutions. In the event of such a resolution being passed, the Communists must try to get the same or similar resolutions either passed or at least backed by a strong minority at all meetings held in the same locality or in other localities involved in the same movement. In this way we shall unite the proletarian layers over which we have an influence and induce them to recognize our leadership.
The working groups which take part in the preparation and organization of such meetings must get together subsequently to discuss briefly a report for the leading Party committee and also to draw lessons for future activity from the experience and the mistakes that have been made.
Depending on the situation, we can get across our action slogans to the sections of workers most concerned by using posters and small-format leaflets or by distributing a more detailed leaflet that explains Communist ideas and shows how they are linked to the problems at hand and the slogans of the day. Specially organized groups are needed to ensure the effective use of posters and to choose the right place and the right time to stick them up.
When leaflets are being distributed inside the factory or at those places outside the factory where the militant workers congregate – in town centres, at traffic junctions, employment offices, stations etc. – someone should, wherever possible, give a short but convincing talk which can be understood and appreciated by the working masses who are being drawn towards the movement. Detailed leaflets should be distributed whenever possible, but only in factories, meeting halls, blocks of flats and other places where workers can be expected to read them carefully. Apart from conducting intensive propaganda, Communists should at the same time be intervening in all trade-union and general factory meetings where the issues at stake are being discussed. Our comrades should themselves organize meetings or be certain to co-operate with others in organizing such meetings and providing suitable speakers. Our Party newspapers must devote a lot of space to discussing these workers' movements and defending them with careful arguments. The entire organizational apparatus of the Party must allocate a certain period of time in which it will work unhesitatingly and unstintingly to further the movement's cause.
32. Protest actions require a very flexible and selfless leadership which does not lose sight of its aim for a moment and is capable of deciding when the protest has won the maximum gains or when there is a possibility of intensifying the campaign by organizing mass stoppages or even mass strikes. The anti-war demonstrations during the last war showed us that even when demonstrations are unsuccessful a genuine proletarian fighting party, however small and however greatly persecuted by the authorities, must not ignore issues that are of great urgency and importance and are bound to become increasingly relevant to the masses.
Street demonstrations should rely on the big factories for their main contingents. Our cells and fractions must prepare the way by systematically conducting oral propaganda, distributing leaflets and creating a favourable atmosphere for their ideas. Then the leading committee must call a meeting of Party representatives in the factories and the leaders of the cells and fractions to discuss and decide upon the best date for the demonstration, the time and place of assembly, the slogans, the publicity needed and the time the demonstration will begin and end. The demonstration must be stewarded by a group of well-briefed and capable Party workers who have organizational experience. Party workers must be placed at regular intervals in the crowd of demonstrators so that Party members can keep in contact with one another and regularly receive the necessary political instructions. If such a flexible and politically organized leadership is set up there will be more chance of organizing a second demonstration or using the demonstration to start a broad mass campaign.
33. Communist Parties which are already fairly strong and possess sufficient mass support must use the broad campaigns to put a final end to the influence that the social-traitors still have on the working class and persuade the majority of the working masses to recognize Communist political leadership. The way the campaign is organized will depend on the existing political situation and whether the state of the class struggle makes it possible for the Party to take up the leadership of the proletariat or whether the period is one of temporary stability. The composition of the Party will also have a decisive influence on the organizational methods of action adopted.
For example, the United Communist Party of Germany, which has recently become a mass Party, used the so-called "Open letter" to win wider layers of the proletariat than it had been possible to win by working in the individual districts.
In order to expose the treachery of the workers' leaders in this epoch of growing impoverishment and class conflict, the Communist Party has demanded that the other mass proletarian parties show where they stand. They must make it clear to the proletariat whether they are ready to join the Communist Party in the fight for a crust of bread and against the obviously deteriorating living conditions of the proletariat, and whether they are prepared to throw into the struggle those mighty organizations over which they say they have command.
Wherever the Communist Party initiates such a campaign, it must conduct the necessary organizational preparation in order to win a response from the broad masses of the workers. All factory fraction members and all trade-union officials who are Party members must carefully prepare their interventions at the factory and trade-union open meetings and raise the question of the Party's "Open letter", explaining how these "letters" put forward the fundamental and relevant demands.
Leaflets, handbills and posters must be skillfully distributed amongst sections of the masses which are sympathetic to the aims of the movement and whose support the cells and fractions want to win for the "Open letter". During the campaign our Party press must carry daily articles (short or more detailed) which discuss the different aspects of the movement and its problems. The organizations must provide the press with a continuous stream of up-to-date and suitable material and must make sure that the editors continue to reflect the progress of the fight in their pages. The Party fractions in parliamentary and local councils should also be used systematically in the political struggle. They must raise the question of the campaign in the manner laid down in the Party directives. Their resolutions in parliament and in the factory councils must act to centralise the disparate actions and the various groups who are taking up the issue. The broad movement thus formed transcends individual trade-union interests and puts forward several of the main basic demands which can be fought for by the joint efforts of all the organizations in the area. In such a campaign the Communist Party will prove itself to be the real leader of the militant proletariat. The trade-union bureaucracy and the Socialist Parties on the other hand, by their opposition to the broad organized movement, will compromise themselves ideologically, politically and organizationally.
34. If the Communist Party is attempting to gain the leadership of the masses at a time when political and economic conflict is leading to mass action and struggle, it is not necessary to advance a series of demands. Instead, the Party can appeal directly to the members of the Socialist Parties and trade unions not to shrink from the battles against their poverty and their increasing exploitation at the hands of the bosses even if the bureaucratic leaders are against action. For only by fighting can a complete catastrophe be avoided. The various Party bodies, and in particular its daily press, must constantly emphasise and demonstrate that the Communists are prepared to take part in any and every struggle of the impoverished proletariat and that in the present tense situation they will take every opportunity to assist all the oppressed. The Communist Parties must demonstrate day in, day out that without a fight the working class can never hope to win a tolerable standard of living and that even though this is the case the established organizations are attempting to avoid or prevent working-class struggles.
The factory and trade-union fractions must explain repeatedly to their fellow-workers at meetings that the paths of retreat are closed, and stress that the Communists are ready for battle and prepared to make sacrifices. The organizational unit which has developed out of conflicts and campaigns is a most important factor. The cells and fractions of the unions and factories which have been drawn into the struggle must not only maintain permanent organizational links with each other, but must also rely on the district committees and the central administration to arrange for officials and Party workers to join the movement immediately and work with those in struggle to extend, strengthen, centralise and unite it. The Communist Party's main task is to discover and draw attention to the elements which the different struggles have in common so that, where necessary, a political programme of united action can be proposed. As the struggle develops and becomes widespread. it will be necessary to create unified bodies to lead the struggle. Should the bureaucratic strike leaders abandon the struggle prematurely, well-timed efforts should be made to replace them with Communists, who can give the struggle a firm and decisive leadership. Where the co-ordination of various individual actions has been achieved, the aim should be the creation of a common leadership, in which, wherever possible, the Communists should occupy leading positions. If adequate organizational preparation is made, it should not be difficult to create a common leadership, using the trade-union and factory committee fractions, general factory meetings and, in particular, mass strike-meetings.
If the movement assumes a political character as a result either of the internal dynamic of its development or of intervention by the employers and government authorities, it may prove possible and essential to elect workers' Soviets. In such a case, Communists must start to conduct propaganda and make organizational preparations. All Party bodies must place great emphasis on the fact that the working class can only achieve its real liberation by means of organizations such as the Soviets, which have arisen directly out of the struggle, and by fighting hard and independently of the trade-union bureaucracy and its fellow-travelers from the Socialist Parties.
35. Communist Parties which have reached a certain level of organization and in particular those which are large mass parties must always be ready to launch broad political campaigns and back them with organizational measures. When demonstrations, mass economic struggles and other campaigns are under way, it must always be remembered that the organizational experience gained in these campaigns will steadily and surely lead to increasingly firm links with the broad masses. The experience of the most recent and most important campaigns should be discussed and debated at broadly-based conferences attended by officials, Party workers and also delegates from the large and medium-sized factories, so that an improved communications network can be organized through the factory representatives. Close links based on mutual trust between the various levels of Party workers and the factory delegates are the best safeguard against premature mass action and the best guarantee that campaigns will be on a scale appropriate to the circumstances and the level of Party influence.
Unless the Party organizations maintain close contacts with the proletarian masses in the large and medium-sized factories, the Communist Party will not be able to conduct large-scale mass action and genuinely revolutionary campaigns. One of the reasons for the premature ending of the revolutionary rising that took place last year in Italy, [The last instance of mass proletarian self-assertion before Mussolini's March on Rome] reaching its height with the factory occupations, was undoubtedly the treachery of the trade-union bureaucracy and the inadequacy of the political party leaders. However, another reason was the complete lack of politically educated factory delegates interested in Party life, who could have maintained organizational links between the Party and the factories. For the same reason, the large miners' strike which took place in Britain this did not have as much influence on political events as it could have had. [In March 1921, the British government ended the wartime control of the mines. The private owners immediately cut the pitmen's wages. When the miners resisted they were locked out. Unemployment had already soared well over the million mark and there was general unrest throughout industry. The miners called for a general strike and the government prepared a middle-class Defence Force. On 'Slack Friday", 15 April, the Triple Alliance backed down. By the end of June, the pitmen accepted defeat.]
a. During the formation period, the Comintern was entirely consisting of European Communist/ Workers parties. Most of them were functioning in the capitalist imperialist countries. So it is natural that the documents prepared during this period and even in the later period even after some of the Communist Parties from the colonial/semi-colonial/ dependent countries in other continents also became its members, were by and large Euro-centric and city oriented in nature. Though the Path of Revolution pursued by our Party also calls for capturing political power by organizing countrywide mass uprising led by the working class, this limitation of this document should be taken in to consideration while applying it in conditions like India, which is presently a country under neo-colonisation, in the stage of People's Democratic Revolution. If these documents are studied and applied with this basic understanding, they will provide immense help in building the party and in making it capable of developing day to day work towards completion of the PDR and advancing towards socialist revolution.
b. As the Communist revolutionaries in our country are influenced by the concept of protracted people war for last four decades, the efforts to mechanically copy it in Indian conditions have led to the belief that the countryside can be liberated through area wise seizure of political power, and one day the guerrilla army shall march forward and liberate the cities. By trying to mechanically copy this path of revolution which succeeded in the unique conditions of China where the CPC had retreated to Chingkang Mountains in 1927 with an army of many tens of thousands split away from the Kumintang army and in a basically different world situation, already the CR forces in our country have suffered grievous losses. Still the anarchist Maoist groups are persisting in this line which should be exposed and defeated.
c. As a result of the influence of this line, building of class/mass organizations and making conscious efforts to politicize and mobilize the working class as the leader of revolution and peasantry and other revolutionary classes and sections as its allies, developing day to day activities throughout the country including the cities involving the party in all the struggles of the proletariat and other revolutionary classes and sections, and taking advantage of every political and economic situation in an organized manner and of every development were neglected or not given due importance. Even after the degeneration of the erstwhile socialist countries to capitalist path the importance of mass line and of educating the masses to assimilate and defend socialism is not given the primary importance it calls for.
d. This document is giving guidance to work among the working class through fractions and other details about transforming every struggle coming up to big political movements. According to concrete conditions, and extending this method of work to the peasantry for developing agrarian revolution according to present conditions, and to other revolutionary sections, this orientation should be applied in our country.
e. Gaining leadership of the masses in the course of these mass struggles is needed to form Soviets or people's communes or local centres of people's political power. The experience during the numerous mass movements getting strengthened against the SEZs, against displacement from the land in the name of so-called development projects, during the struggles to capture land under land struggle committees, in the slum movement etc taking place all over the country shows that if the party and class / mass organizations can establish their leadership over them, immense possibilities for developing embryonic forms of Soviets or People's panchayats exist. Presently it is difficult to reach this stage due to the weakness of the party leadership in these areas. This question should be seriously discussed by the SCs/SOCs and ways of strengthening the party in these areas so that these embryonic forms of people's political power can be developed combating the 'civil society' like concepts advanced by NGOs and government agencies to confine people's struggles within the boundaries of existing social system.
f. The discussion in para. (35) should be translated to conditions in our country and put in to practice. At the same time this discussion should be extended to mobilising and politicising of other classes/sections, especially the peasantry for agrarian revolution according to the present situation. Launching broad-based political campaigns and backing them with organizational measures should be given priority to advance towards mass uprisings. Once again this is possible, as noted in this para, only if due importance is given to persist in the struggle against alien trends and linking the struggle to develop the revolutionary movements. Presently when increasing number of spontaneous mass upsurges are breaking out at many places, some of them massive as the recent uprising in Delhi following the gang rape of a girl on 16th Dec. 2012 shows, the party committees should develop capability to interfere effectively and influence them politically. The experience so far gained by participating in different anti-nuclear movements like the one in Jaitapur, anti-POSCO movement, slum movement in Bhubaneswar, agrarian movements in Raichur should be evaluated and developed.
VI. On the Party Press
36. Constant effort must be made to develop and improve the Communist press. No paper can be recognised as a Communist organ unless it is subject to Party control. This principle must be applied, within reason, to all Party publications, i.e., journals, papers, pamphlets etc., but control has to be exercised without affecting adversely their academic, propagandistic or other content. The Party must be concerned more with the quality than with the quantity of papers. The first priority for every Communist Party is to have a good and, wherever possible, daily central paper.
37. A Communist paper must never be run as a capitalist business in the way bourgeois papers and often the so-called "Socialist" papers are. Our papers must be independent of the capitalist credit institutions. Skilful use of advertising can substantially assist a paper's finances – provided the Party is a legal mass party – but it must not lead to a paper becoming dependent on the large firms that place advertisements. Our papers will establish their authority by the uncompromising position they take on all proletarian social questions. Our papers must not try to satisfy the 'public's' desire for sensation or light entertainment. They must not heed the criticisms of the petty-bourgeois authors and virtuosos of journalism or seek an entree to these literary circles.
38. The Communist paper must concern itself first and foremost with the interests of the exploited and militant workers. It must be our best propagandist and agitator, the leading advocate of the proletarian revolution.
Our paper must aim to gather the valuable experience of all the members of the Party and disseminate this experience in the form of guide-lines so that Communist methods of work can be constantly revised and improved. Experiences must also be shared at meetings, attended by editors from all over the country; this exchange of opinion will also bring about maximum consistency in the tone and direction of the entire Party press. In this way the Party press and each individual paper will be effective organisers of our revolutionary activity.
Unless the Communist papers and in particular the main paper are successful in their efforts to centralise and organize, it will scarcely be possible to achieve democratic centralism or an effective division of labour within the Communist Party and the Party will be unable to fulfill its historic task.
39. The Communist paper must strive to become a Communist undertaking, i.e., a proletarian fighting organization, an association of revolutionary workers, of all its regular contributors, type-setters, printers, administrators, distributors and sellers, and of those who collect local news, discuss and edit the material in the cells, etc.
A number of practical measures are required in order to make the paper a fighting organization and a real Communist association.
Each Communist should have close links with the paper for which he or she works and makes personal sacrifices. The paper is the Communist's daily weapon which has to be constantly steeled and sharpened in order to be effective. Communist papers can only survive if Party members are prepared to make substantial and regular financial and material sacrifices. Members must see that the papers have a steady supply of funds for their organization and improvement until such time as the legal mass Parties achieve a position of strength and stability enabling them to exist independently and themselves offer the Communist movement material support.
The Communists must be more than just lively canvassers and agitators for the paper; they must be useful contributors. Everything that happens in the Communist fraction of the factory or in the cell, any event of social or economic importance, whether it be an accident at work or a factory meeting, the ill-treatment of apprentices or the factory's financial report, must be communicated to the paper as quickly as possible. The fractions in the trade unions must collect all the important decisions and measures adopted by union meetings and union secretariats and any information on the type of activities our enemies are engaging in and send them to the paper. The round of meetings and the life of the street give the alert Party worker the opportunity to observe and critically evaluate various minor details which can be used in the paper to demonstrate clearly even to the workers who are indifferent to politics that we are in touch with their daily needs.
The editorial board must handle with particular care and feeling the reports on the life of working people and on workers' organizations, which can either be published as short articles to show that the paper is close to the life of working people or used as practical examples to illustrate Communist ideas – this is the best way to make the principles of Communism comprehensible to the broad working masses. Wherever possible, the editorial board must at suitable times hold discussions with the workers who visit the editorial office, listen to the hopes and complaints they draw from their experience of life's hardships, note them down carefully and use them to make the paper more vital.
Under the capitalist system, it is true, none of our papers can become a perfect Communist working association. But even in the most unfavourable circumstances it is possible to organise a revolutionary workers' paper. The paper of our Russian comrades, Pravda, for the years 1912 and 1913 is an example of this. It represented a highly active organization of conscious revolutionary workers from the important centres of the Russian Empire. These comrades jointly edited, published and distributed this paper, most of them financing it from their own wages. The paper gave them what they wanted and what their movement needed at that time; it was an experience which is still of benefit to them today in their work and struggle. Members of the Party and many other revolutionary workers could look on such a paper as 'their own'.
40. Contributing to Party election campaigns is an integral part of the work of a militant Communist press. When the activity of the Party is focused on some definite campaign, the Party paper must devote not just its leading political articles but as much space as necessary to the campaign. The editors must draw material in support of the campaign from all sources and design the paper's content and format so that this material can be presented in the most effective way.
41. Subscriptions for our papers must be collected very systematically. During periods when workers are joining the labour movement or when political or economic events are disrupting social life there are good opportunities for winning readers and the Communists should be able to make the best of them. When any large strike or lockout openly and energetically defended by the paper comes to an end, Communists should immediately persuade those who were on strike to take out individual subscriptions to the papers. Not only must Communists distribute subscription forms and carry out propaganda amongst the Communist fractions in the factories and trade unions during a strike but, wherever possible, they must develop a militant agitational campaign, visiting the homes of the workers who participated in the struggle.
It is also essential that after any political election campaign which has aroused the interest of the working masses in politics, special groups be set up to visit homes in the working-class areas.
At times of potential political and economic crises which affect the broad working masses through high prices, unemployment etc., Communists must make skilful propaganda around these issues. They must do everything in their power to obtain from the trade-union fractions detailed lists of the workers organised in trade unions and use them to approach these workers individually to win subscribers. Experience has shown that the last week of the month is the best time for this kind of canvassing work. Any local group that has not tried during this period at least once in a year is letting a good opportunity slip by.
Paper-sellers should not miss a single workers' meeting or demonstration; they should sell subscriptions before, during and after the event.
The trade-union fractions must sell papers at all meetings of the cells and the factory fractions as well as at the general factory meetings.
42. Party members must also defend the paper against its enemies. All Party members must also defend the paper against the capitalist press, exposing and criticising the way it distorts and suppresses information.
We must get the better of the social-democratic and independent socialist press by a constant offensive, which should not however degenerate into a petty polemic. The many examples from everyday life must be used to show up the disgusting attempts to smooth over the manifold social contradictions. Our fractions in the trade unions and other organisations must do all they can to liberate the members of the trade unions and other workers' organisations from the misleading and harmful influence of the social-democratic press. Our campaign to win subscribers by both house-to-house and factory agitation must involve a direct attack on the press of the social-traitors.
a. Though this document was drafted almost a century ago, as already pointed out, as the details and conclusions are drawn from the revolutionary experience, especially of Russia during the revolutionary years, this section is very self explanatory.
b. In present times when imperialists and their lackeys are utilising the press and publications as a whole, the media as a whole, as one of their most important tools to confuse and control the masses, the role of the Communist press to effectively combat them has increased manifold. It is also all the more importance as even the religious forces are having numerous publications and TV channels to divert the masses from the revolutionary path through their obscurantist and revivalist propaganda.
c. This section should be studied at all levels and all party committees should fulfil their responsibilities to publish and propagate the Communist press most effectively. With out giving full significance for the communist media as a whole the revolutionary campaign cannot be led forward. The concrete steps to be taken up for developing the party press are already explained while explaining the relevance of Propaganda and Agitation under Section 1V.
VII. On the General Structure of the Party Organization
43. In extending and consolidating the Party organization, the actual economic and political patterns and the network of communications the area exhibits should be given more consideration than any conventional geographical criteria. The chief emphasis should be on main cities and the centres of large-scale industry.
When a new Party is being formed, there is often the temptation to start immediately extending the network of Party organizations across the whole country, even though the forces at the Party's disposal are limited and widely dispersed. Consequently the Party is less able to recruit members and, though it may manage to create a highly developed bureaucratic system in the space of a few years, it will not even succeed in building up a firm base in any of the country's main industrial towns.
44. Maximum centralization of Party activity will not be achieved by constructing a schematic, hierarchical system of leadership with a large number of Party organizations, each one subordinate to its superior. The aim is for every large town which is a centre of economic and political life and of communications to have an organizational network extending over the economic and political area around the town. The Party committee in the regional capital, as head of the Party organization, must direct all the organizational and political activity in the district and maintain the closest links with the mass of working-class Party members who live in the main town.
The district organizers, elected by the district conference or the Party district congress and confirmed in office by the Party's CC, must play a regular part in the Party life of the regional capital. Party workers from the massin town must constantly reinforce the Party district committee, which provides the political leadership, so that close contact is maintained between it and the broad mass of Party members in the regional capital. As the forms of Party organization develop further, it is essential to work towards a situation where the leading Party district committee assumes political leadership in the town. The leading Party committees of the district organizations, along with the Central Committee, will provide real leadership of the Party organization as a whole.
It is obviously not essential for the boundaries of the Party district to coincide with the geographical boundaries of the area. What is important is that the Party district committee should be able to supervise equally efficiently all the local organizations in the district. If this is not possible, then the district must be divided in two and a new Party district committee created.
In the larger countries the Party naturally needs to have several general liaison bodies to unite the Central Committee with the various district committees (provincial bodies, regional committees, etc.), and the district central authority with those of the various local organizations (regional or divisional bodies). In some circumstances it may certainly be advisable to give a leading role to one or another of these liaison bodies (for example, to the main organization of a fairly large town with a big Party membership). But, as a general rule, it is wise to avoid such decentralisation.
45. The Party as a whole is under the leadership of the Communist International. The directives and resolutions of the central bodies of the International which concern the affiliated Parties are sent 1) to the Central Committee of the Party or 2) through the CC to the central body which is in charge of some special activity or 3) to all Party organizations.
The directives and resolutions of the International are binding on the Party and also, it goes without saying, on each Party member.
The policies and the current activity of the Party are directed by the International through its two 'bureau. The smaller leading body regularly calls general meetings of the central leading body of the Party at which important resolutions of decisive significance are issued. During the elections to the central body of the Party, attention must be paid to the wishes of the organizations in the various parts of the country and to any suitable suggestions made by any of them, so that the centre has an exact picture of the general situation and the stage of development of the Party, its morale and fighting capacity. For the same reason, serious tactical disagreements which surface during elections to the central body should not be ignored; on the contrary, they must be discussed by the central body, of which able representatives of the minority view must be members. However, the smaller leading body must as far as possible share the same ideas so that it is able to give the Party a firm and reliable leadership, backed up not only by its own authority, but also by a sizeable and even a strong majority on the central leading body. The larger membership of the central Party body will, for one thing, enable the legal mass Parties in a short period of time to ensure that the mass of Party members have absolute trust in their CC and observe strict discipline in their relations with it. Moreover, the Party will be able to diagnose and cure more rapidly any ailments and weaknesses which full-time Party workers may develop. This makes it possible in part to eliminate in a rational way the growth of disease in the Party and obviates the necessity of curing it at future Party congresses by surgical methods, which could have catastrophic consequences.
a. As already pointed out this section and the entire document was drafted on the basis of the understanding of the organizational structure of the Comintern. This principle was questioned later. So the Communist International is reorganized not be an international party, but as a co-ordinating centre or a forum of the Communist parties in which decisions are taken based on consensus. The CC of respective parties shall decide the revolutionary line and give leader ship to put it into practice. So even when the Comintern is reorganized its guiding principles should be re- defined so that the politics and current activities of the parties are not directed by it, and that the international centre will not have the right to call general meetings of the CC of a party. The second part of this para dealing with the functioning of the CC can be applied in the concrete conditions of each country. The founding document of the ICOR reflect this approach and the re-organization of the Communist International should be taken based on this.
b. As already pointed out these guiding principles were drafted mainly based on the revolutionary experience of Russia. There the population was concentrated in few cities which were also the main industrial centres. But the situation in India is basically different. Ours is a vast country with 125 crores of population dispersed in a number of states which have different languages and culture.
46. The central leadership of the Party (Central Committee or the Enlarged Central Committee) is responsible to the Party Congress and the Executive Committee of the Communist International. The Central Committee and the smaller leading organ are usually elected by the Party congress, but if the congress considers it expedient, it may instruct the central body to elect from its own membership a narrower leading organ consisting of members of the Political and Organisational bureaus.
Here again the section that the CC is responsible to the Executive Committee of the Communist International (ECCI) may be deleted. This para as well as paras from 47 to 51 should be applied as explained by the provisions in the Party Constitution.
47. Each leading Party committee must organize an effective division of labour enabling it to supervise Party work as fruitfully as possible. Special leading bodies may prove essential in many areas of work (propaganda, distribution of papers and periodicals, trade-union work, work amongst women, political Red Cross work, information and liaison work, etc.). Each special leading body is subordinate either to the central leading body or to the Party district committee.
The leading Party district committee and, ultimately, the central leading body of the Party controls the activity and the correct functioning and composition of all the committees subordinate to it. All members who are full-time Party workers are directly responsible to the Party committee. It may be advisable to rotate Party members who hold positions (editors, propagandists, organisers, etc.) between different jobs and towns, provided this does not interfere too much with the work of the Party. Editors and propaganda workers must also take part in regular Party work as part of some working group.
48. The central leadership of the Party and the Communist International are at all times entitled to demand comprehensive reports from all the Communist organisations, from their bodies as well as from individual members. The representatives and delegates of the central leadership are entitled to attend all meetings and sessions with a consultative voice and the right of veto. The central Party leadership must always have delegates available so that it can provide district and area bodies with instructions and information on political or organisational matters, not only through circulars or correspondence but also through verbal communication by its representatives.
The Central Committees and all district committees must have revision commissions, which are made up of tried and experienced Party comrades and which have the job of controlling funds and auditing accounts. At certain fixed times they must report to the Extended Central Committee.
Every organisation and every Party organ as well as every individual Party member has the right at any time to communicate proposals, comments or complaints directly to the central Party leadership or the International.
49. The directives and decisions of the leading Party bodies are binding on subordinate organizations and on all individual members.
The obligation and responsibility of the leading bodies to guard against leading comrades neglecting their duties or abusing their rights cannot be fully expressed in a formal manner. In illegal Parties, for example, their formal responsibility is less, but their obligation to take note of the opinions of other members of the Party, to try to receive reliable information regularly and make their decisions after considered and comprehensive discussion is that much greater.
50. In their public appearances members of the Party are obliged to act at all times as disciplined members of a militant organisation. If there are disagreements on the correct method of action on this or that question, these should, as far as possible, be settled in the Party organisation before any public activity is embarked upon and the members should then act in accordance with the decision made. In order that every Party decision is carried out fully by all Party organisations and Party members, the largest possible number of Party members should be involved in discussing and deciding every issue. The different levels of the Party apparatus must decide whether any given question should be publicly discussed by individual comrades (in the press, in pamphlets), in what form and to what extent. If the decision of the organisation or leading Party body is in the view of certain other members incorrect, these comrades must not forget, When they speak or act in public, that to weaken or break the unity of the common front is the worst breach of discipline and the worst mistake that can be made in the revolutionary struggle.
It is the supreme duty of every member of the Party to defend the Communist Party and above all the Communist International against all enemies of Communism. Anyone who forgets this or goes so far as to attack the Party or the Communist International in public must be considered an enemy of the Party.
51. The statutes of the Party must be drawn up so that they do not serve as a barrier to the development and growth of the Party.
The decisions of the Communist International must be carried out without delay by all those Parties affiliated to it, even in those cases where the requisite changes in the existing statutes and Party decisions can only be made subsequently.
a. That the chief emphasis should be on main cities and the centres of large scale industry was the analysis made in the context of pre-Revolutionary Russia and the West European countries. On the contrary taking the reversals in 1927 when the city based party organization was brutally suppressed in the then concrete conditions of China, CPC gave chief emphasis to the vast rural areas where 95% of the population of then China was. As a result of mechanically copying the Chinese path the CR organizations in India gave one sided emphasis to rural areas. But in the concrete conditions of present India a "walking on two legs" policy should be followed. While giving importance to organizing the working classes, the leader of the PDR, in the main cities and centres of large scale industries, emphasis should be given to mobilize the revolutionary sections of the peasantry for agrarian revolution under working class leadership and based on worker-peasant alliance.
b. The CPI (ML) is rebuilt not as a new party .The Communist movement has nine decades of history in India, which had practically extended its influence to almost all districts in the country. So unlike what is stated in this para about new parties, emphasis should be given for uniting all genuine communists all over the country and re building the party at all India level as fast as possible. The difference in the concrete conditions while the documents was issued by Comintern and present times should be concretely analysed while applying it.
c. The Party organizational structure developed in the concrete conditions of India and the inter-relation among various party committees are well explained in the Party Constitution. While assimilating the emphasis given to the district committees in the para, they should be made active under the leadership of the SCs/SOCs as explained in the Constitution. The main emphasis should be to transform the entire party committee system into a well oiled machine, like an organic system capable of leading the revolutionary struggles in every situation.
VIII. On the Combination of Legal and Illegal Work74
52. The day-to-day life of every Communist Party changes in accordance with the different stages of the revolutionary process. Essentially, however, every Party, whether legal or illegal, should aim at the same type of Party structure.
The Party must be organized so that it can adapt itself quickly to changes in the conditions of struggle.
The Communist Party must develop into a fighting organization, capable on the one hand of avoiding open encounters with the enemy which has superior forces, and on the other hand of taking advantage of its opponents' difficulties and attacking where an attack is least expected. It would be a great mistake for the Party organization to stake everything on an uprising, on street fighting or on the spontaneous response of the masses to their extreme oppression. Communists must prepare for revolution in all situations and always be ready to fight, since it is often almost impossible to know in advance when the movement will grow and when there will be a period of calm. But even when it is possible to forecast struggles, the signal rarely comes in time to allow for alterations to be made in the Party organization, since such changes in the situation usually occur very swiftly and often completely unexpectedly.
53. Legal Communist Parties in capitalist countries have, as a whole, not yet grasped fully how seriously they must work to prepare the Party for the revolutionary insurrection, the armed struggle and the illegal struggle.
If the Parties are not preparing for illegal work; they assume that they will be able to operate legally for a long period of time and adopt structures that meet only the requirements of the day-to-day legal struggle.
The illegal Parties, on the other hand, are often not sufficiently skilful at seizing opportunities to engage in legal activities that can build a Party organization which has real contact with the revolutionary masses. In such cases Party work tends to amount to a Sisyphean labour performed by ineffectual conspirators.
In both cases improvements need to be made. Every legal Communist Party must be organized so that, should it have to go underground, it is ready and capable of continuing its struggle. In particular, it must be prepared to respond to outbursts of revolutionary activity. Every illegal Communist Party, in its turn, must make good the opportunities provided by the legal workers' movement, so that by working hard it becomes the organizer and the real leader of the broad revolutionary masses. The direction of both legal and illegal work must always be in the hands of a single Party centre.
54. Both the legal and illegal Communist Parties often understand illegal Communist organizational work to be the creation and maintenance of a closely knit and exclusively military organization, isolated from other aspects of Party work and organization. This is undoubtedly a mistaken view. In the pre-revolutionary period our military organizations must be built primarily by general Communist Party work. The Party as a whole must become a military organization fighting for revolution.
When isolated revolutionary military organizations are set up prematurely, they tend to become demoralised and break up because there is no directly useful Party work for them to do.
55. It is of course vital that during any important campaign an illegal Party protect its members and its organizations from discovery and be careful not to give away their identity through membership lists, careless collection of dues or careless distribution of literature. The illegal Party is unable to use open forms of organization for conspiratorial purposes in the way the legal Party does. But it can learn to make increasing use of these methods.
Every precaution must be taken to prevent suspicious or unreliable persons joining the Party. The methods to be used will depend to a considerable degree on whether the Party is legal or illegal, whether it is in a period of growth or of stagnation. One method which has had favourable results in some places and in certain circumstances is the system of candidature, according to which persons wanting to join the Party are first accepted as candidates on the recommendation of one or two Party comrades, and are only adopted as full members if they carry out successfully the Party work assigned to them.
The bourgeoisie will inevitably send spies and provocateurs into the illegal organizations. These elements must be countered with great care and patience.
One method of combating alien elements is the maximum combination of legal and illegal work. The best test of who is sufficiently reliable, brave, conscientious, energetic and skilful to be trusted with illegal work, and of the kind of illegal work they are most suited to is an extensive period of legal revolutionary work.
The legal mass Party must prepare thoroughly to meet the unexpected, to arm itself and adapt itself to illegal work (for example, it must hide addresses with care, develop the habit of destroying correspondence, learn to preserve necessary documents, educate people in conspiracy, etc.).
56. Consequently, our general Party work must be conducted so that the roots of a fighting organization meeting the needs of the given stage of the revolution are developed in good time. It is particularly important that the administration of the Communist Party should keep these requirements constantly in view and as far as possible try to form a clear idea of its tasks before the revolution begins. Such a picture can never, it is true, be absolutely complete and precise, but that should never be an excuse for ignoring this important aspect of Communist organizational leadership.
For even a well-organized Party can find it extremely difficult to change its orientation in a period of open revolutionary struggle. The political party may have only a few days to mobilise for military activity. Not only the Party, but also its reserves, organizations of sympathisers and even the unorganised revolutionary masses, may have to prepare for action in this short time. In such a situation the formation of a regular Red Army is out of the question. Victory must be won without the assistance of a previously organized army; victory must be won by the masses alone, under the Party's leadership. The most heroic struggle may therefore prove useless if our Party has not organized itself for such an eventuality.
57. The revolutionary central leadership bodies have often proved incapable of carrying out their tasks. During a revolution the proletariat can make great strides forward with its grass-roots organizational tasks, even while disorder, uncertainty and chaos reign at headquarters. Sometimes the most elementary division of labour is lacking. The communications network is usually particularly badly organised, becoming more of a burden than an asset and one which no one can rely on. If secret postal and transport facilities, secret hide-outs and printing presses are operating where they are needed, this is usually quite coincidental. An organized opponent can initiate provocative action with every chance of succeeding.
Unless the leading revolutionary party has set up its own special apparatus to deal with these organizational tasks, this kind of chaos is inevitable. Military intelligence demands special training and knowledge, as does counter-intelligence work to combat the political police.
A system of secret communication can function reliably and efficiently only if it has been in regular operation for a long time. In all these spheres of special revolutionary activity, every Communist Party needs some secret preparations, if only on a small scale.
In most cases a system may be established legally, provided the type of apparatus that may need to be created is kept in view: for example, an underground apparatus organizing postal and courier services, transport, accommodation, etc. can be developed by the careful distribution of legal leaflets and also legal publications and letters.
58 The Communist organizer must from the outset think about the future historic role that each member of the Party will play as a soldier of our militant organization at the time of the revolution. Thus the organizer will place workers in that Party section and give them that work which best corresponds to their future position and role in the struggle. The work must be useful in itself and essential to today's battle, not merely an exercise which the activist does not understand. It must prepare the workers for the major tasks that win face them in tomorrow's final struggle.
In present conditions when our Party is mainly functioning openly utilising all legal facilities, it is necessary that the points regarding the link between and the difference in legal and illegal work explained in this section are assimilated in proper spirit, without surrendering to any alarmist positions. Then only each Communist organizer and the Party as a whole can be prepared for the historic role of completing the task of the PDR and advancing to the socialist revolution by preparing the Party to face all eventualities.
ORGANIZATION OF AGITATION AND PROPAGANDA WORK BY SECTIONS OF THE COMINTERN
(Submitted by AGITPROP Department of the ECCI , Extracts from Inprekorr, v, 34, p. 514, 12 March 1925)
[In endorsing these rules at its meeting on 3 April, the ECCI emphasized the need for ideological training of the party membership; its resolution said, in part: 'The enlarged executive, while directing the attention of all sections to the decisions of the agitprop conference held in connection with the executive meeting, underlines the following current tasks in this field:
1. An end must be put to the passive attitude of sections hitherto towards the question of the party training of the entire party membership. . . .
2. 'For the theoretical training of the basic party cadres, every party centre must establish a central party school, with a two to nine months course, according to the practical possibilities. . . . The agitprop department of the ECCI must promote and support these schools in every way.
3. 'The enlarged Executive approves the plan to organize international party courses in Moscow, and instructs the presidium to see that work begins in this school in the autumn of the present year. . .
4. ' The steadily growing interest of the broad working masses in the economic and cultural life of the Soviet Union, and the continuing campaign of calumny in the bourgeois and reformist press, make it necessary to devote special attention to supplying correct and comprehensive information about conditions in the Soviet Union. . . .
5. All sections are obliged to maintain the closest contact through their agitprop departments with the agitprop department of the ECCI.]
A. CENTRAL COMMITTEE
1. For the unified conduct of party agitation and propaganda work in all its forms, verbal as well as printed, every section of the Comintern, regardless of the party's influence or the political conditions in which it works, must have an agitprop department attached to its central committee.
2. Instructed by the CC of the party, the agitprop department works out the entire plan of party agitation and propaganda in their various branches, and supervises the execution by all local party organizations of Congress and CC decisions concerned with these questions.
3. The CC appoints one of its members to take charge of the work of this department.
4. The head of the department works with an agitprop commission, consisting of four to eight members appointed by the CC, the head acting as chairman. The commission carries out all preliminary work on general agitprop questions, drafts the plan of work for the department. . . . The commission meets regularly, at least once a week.
5. In order to maintain contact with other departments of the CC, and with organizations related to the communist party, and to bring uniformity into their work, representatives of the organization department of the CC, of the women's secretariat, of the young communist league, of the red sports organization, the International Red Aid, and others will be attached to the commission. Care should be taken in appointing the commission to see that comrades concerned with educational work in the trade unions and co-operatives are included. . . .
6. In allocating functions within the agitprop commission the department should bear in mind the following three chief spheres of work: (a) agitation work among the masses;
(b) work concerned with propaganda or party education; (c) the political periodical press.
The commission may set up special sub-commissions to coordinate the work in these three fields. Their composition, and the choice of a responsible head of each sub-commission, is determined by the agitprop commission and must be ratified by the CC of the party. They may include comrades who are not members of the agitprop commission.
7. In sections which have not yet developed very far, it is enough to form a small agitprop department, consisting of a head of department and a commission of three (including the head), without any sub-commissions. A sub-commission for the press should be set up only where the party press is already well developed or where good opportunities are open for our comrades in the trade union press. . . .
8. It is desirable that two or three leading party members should receive regular pay for this work, so that they can devote all their time to it.
9. The entire work of the agitprop department of the CC must be carried out on the basis of a thorough study of the working experience of all local party organizations. If it issues a circular or directives, the department must see that the instructions really are carried out. . . .10. About twice a year the CC should call a meeting to discuss general questions of the agitprop department (or its sub-sections), to be attended by members of the department and the agitprop leaders of the most important district and local committees, as well as the agitprop organizers of the three to five largest factory cells. . . .
B. DISTRICT COMMITTEES
11. Agitprop departments shall also be attached to the district committees, on the same lines as the CC department, but on a smaller scale....
C. LOCAL COMMITTEES
12. One member of the presidium or bureau of the local committee must be appointed to take charge of the entire agitation and propaganda work of the area, for which he is responsible to the local committee. . . .
13. For all the preparatory work there will be an agitprop department consisting of the leader mentioned in para. (12) and a commission of five to seven members. One of these must be a member well versed in the theory of Marxism-Leninism, who will be in charge of all propaganda (party education) work in the area. ... At the meetings of this commission the cell agitprop organizers shall report on their work and take part in discussing and deciding general questions of the commission's work. . . .
14. All decisions of the agitprop commission which have a general character must be endorsed by the presidium or bureau of the local committee. . . .
15. At least once every two months the committee shall call a meeting of the secretaries and agitprop organizers of the factory cells and area party committees, to hear the report of the department and discuss agitprop work,
16. The agitprop department of the local committee must send regular reports to the central party agitprop department. . . .
D. Factory Cells
17. From the very beginning of the work to organize factory cells it is necessary to give great attention to the agitation and propaganda work of the cell among the working masses of the factory.... One member of the cell shall be appointed agitprop organizer to take charge of the work and supervise the execution of all decisions.
18. It is the job of the agitprop organizer to:
(a) draw up a list of members of the group suitable for agitprop work;
(b) organize a group to study the party programme and party tactics;
(c) organize individual agitation among non-party workers, in the first place those who sympathize with the party;
(d) organize agitation meetings;
(e) organize party participation at meetings called by trade unions and other bodies;
(f) organize the distribution of party liter.
The CC should work out a guideline for developing the Agitation and Propaganda groups at different levels and supervise their overall functioning. Even while the CC is developing this guideline the task of developing this group according to the concrete conditions should be left to the SCs/ SOCs because of the diversities among them in a vast country like India with uneven development and many complexities. Presently our Party committees have not developed to the level of organizing highly advanced agitprop groups. So presently the task of their organization and supervising the functioning can be left to the executive committees of SCs and DCs. Their functioning and further development according to regional conditions should be constantly reviewed along with the development of party membership and committee system.
RESOLUTION ON THE ORGANIZATION AND STRUCTURE OF COMMUNIST FRACTIONS IN TRADE UNIONS
(Passed by the Second Organization Conference and endorsed by the Sixth ECCI Plenum, 11 March 1926 Inprekorr, vi, 65, p. 986, 29 April 1926.)
The following instructions embody the principles on which the structure of communist fractions should be based. The varied structure of trade unions and the varying levels of development of communist parties make it necessary for the CI sections to determine their own methods by adapting these instructions to the particular conditions of their countries.
I. The Role of Fractions
Communist members of a trade union and of its organizations (executive, Conference, Congress, etc.) are obliged to unite in a fraction and to perform active fraction work. Communist fractions are to work energetically to bring the majority of the trade union members under their influence. They will be the more successful in this the more devotedly, intelligently, and vigorously they look after the interests of these members, the better they understand how to defend the proletarian class interests and to combine, in all spheres and on every occasion, the struggle for immediate demands with the struggle for the aims of the working class. Communist trade union work is carried on within the framework of the constitution and decisions of the union.
II. Party and Fraction
Party members must realize that fractions are not the foundation of the party and that they can therefore take decisions referring only to their special field of activity. The success of fraction work depends on the unity, determination, and discipline of all fraction members. It is not the individual fraction member, often not even the fraction as a whole, but the communist party in its entirety which is held responsible by the broad working masses for the activity of communist fractions and every utterance of a communist fraction member. The party committees determine the political and tactical line of communist fractions, give them instructions and directives, and supervise their work. Important fraction work must be discussed by the trade union department of the committee in the presence of representatives of the fraction. Serious differences of opinion between trade union department and fraction are to be resolved by the party committee in the presence of fraction representatives. Decisions of the committee are to be unconditionally carried out by the fraction. Failure to do so is a breach of discipline. Candidates for all trade union congresses, conferences, and executives are to be nominated by the fraction leadership and require endorsement by the appropriate party committee. If necessary the party committee may itself nominate candidates.
The relevant party committee is at all times entitled to amend or annul decisions of the fraction, and to dismiss or appoint fraction committees or leaders. In such cases an explanation must be given to the fraction members. Within the limits of general party instructions, the fraction decides internal questions and current work. Party committees should not interfere unnecessarily in the daily work of the fraction, but should grant it all possible freedom of action and initiative. Fraction committees are obliged to report regularly to the relevant party committee or relevant department, and to the fraction committee next above it in rank.
III. THE STRUCTURE OF FRACTIONS
Communist trade union work is carried out in factories by the cells, and in trade union bodies by the fraction. Trade union fractions do not operate in the factory. . . .The cell committee guides and supervises the activity of communist trade union officials in the factory. It must arrange for the nomination in factory trade union elections of comrades who carry out trade union work in the factory on the instructions of the cell. There is as a rule no direct contact between the fraction committee and the cell. Communication is carried on via the party committee. . . .
At the local level
1. All communist members of a trade union branch form a fraction in that branch.. . .
2. All communists in a trade union body (executive, union committee, etc.) form a fraction. The communist fraction in the local administrative centre of a union acts as the committee for the communist fractions of the branches within that area. . . .
3. All fraction members shall be called together for a fraction meeting whenever necessary, but in any case before every trade union meeting, to discuss the execution of the instructions given by the appropriate party committee. If, for objective reasons, it is impossible to lay down the attitude of the fraction beforehand, the instructions of the fraction committee are binding on the entire fraction at the trade union meeting. Whatever the circumstances, comrades must always speak and vote as one.
4. If in any city the union branches are organized in a local council with communists among the committee, they shall form a fraction which shall act as the committee for all fractions in the branches represented in the council. . . .
At the District Level
1. Communist members of trade union district committees form a fraction. This fraction also acts as the committee for all fractions of the branches of that union in the district. . . .
2. If the district unions are organized into a district trade union council, communists on that council form a fraction which serves at the same time as the committee for all fractions in the area covered. It works under the direction and control of the corresponding district party committee (trade union department). The district party committee may also communicate direct with the district fraction committees of the individual unions. . . .
At the National Level
1. Communist members of the national executive committee of each union form a fraction, which is in charge of the work of all fractions in that union. . . .
2. Communist fractions in the national executive committees are subordinate to the communist fraction of the executive of the trade union federation. The latter works under the direct guidance of the central committee (trade union department).
The CC may also treat directly with the fractions in the union national executives.. . .
Fractions in Unions of Different Tendencies
If in one industry there are unions of different tendencies (red, Amsterdam, syndicalist), fractions are to be formed in each of them, in accordance with their structure. Similarly, fractions should be organized in company trade unions of the Christian, Hirsch-Duncker, fascist, and other varieties.
To this end party organizations must try to recruit members of these unions to the party. In order that the fractions shall act in a planned and uniform fashion when the occasion arises, the relevant party committee (trade union department) shall when necessary call together the fractions or fraction committees in these different unions for joint consultation...
IV. Fractions at Conferences and Congresses
Party committees, working through their trade union department and fraction committee, must make preparations (selection of delegates, draft resolutions, etc.) for trade union congresses, conferences, and delegate meetings. They must convene fraction meetings before these assemblies open, and guide and supervise communist work when they are in session. For the duration of these conferences and congresses, the fraction elects a bureau to deal with current work; the fraction bureau, working under the guidance of the relevant party committee, bears full political responsibility for its work to that committee.
A uniform attitude and the strictest discipline of all communists at these meetings is particularly necessary, since the broad working masses follow their course most attentively and hold the communist party responsible for the utterances of individual communists.
V. Fractions and Oppositions.
Every fraction must maintain contact with the non-communist oppositional elements in the trade unions. Meetings and discussions should be held with these sympathizers to enable a joint and united stand to be taken when the occasion arises.
So far we have only made nominal advance in the fraction work. Based on the experience of CPSU and other European parties, the details about party fraction work at different levels are explained in this document. Drawing what is required from it, the party committees from CC level to lower most level should take up this task without any delay. The experience gained and practical problems faced should be constantly reviewed so that this important task can be developed fast.