Reformulating what we fight for

Our 'What we fight for' column was first drafted many years ago in the 1980s as the factional platform of the Leninists of the CPGB. Subject to a couple of minor changes since then, it has though to all intents and purposes become somewhat fossilised. Updating the column is therefore long overdue. The Provisional Central Committee is submitting the following draft to the next CPGB membership aggregate on May 11 and calling for debate not only on our members' e-list, but also in the pages of the Weekly Worker

1 The Provisional Central Committee organises members of the Communist Party, but there exists no Communist Party today. There are many so-called leftwing parties, but in reality most are mere confessional sects. Those who disagree with the prescribed 'line' are expected to gag themselves in public. Either that or face expulsion. The Socialist Alliance represents a step forward. Communists are committed to building the Socialist Alliance organisationally and politically. 2 Our central aim is the organisation of all communists, socialists and politically advanced workers into a single revolutionary party - a Communist Party. Without such a party the working class is nothing; with it everything. 3 Communists have no interests apart from the working class as a whole. They differ from the rest of the working class only in that they recognise the importance of Marxism as a guide to practice. That theory - first established by Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels - is no dogma, but must be constantly added to and enriched. 4 Communists operate according to the principles of democracy and centralism. Through the fullest, most open debate we seek to achieve unity in action and a common world outlook. As long as they support democratically agreed actions, members of the Communist Party have the right to form temporary or permanent factions. 5 Communists are internationalists. It is an internationalists duty to fight for revolution against the existing state. Communists therefore organise according to the principle 'one state, one party'. We oppose every manifestation of sectionalism. In Britain that means striving towards the unity of all communists, socialists and advanced workers in one party. To the extent that the European Union becomes a state then that necessitates EU-wide trade unions, a Socialist Alliance of the EU and a Communist Party of the EU. 6 The working class must be organised globally. Without a global Communist Party, a Communist International, the struggle of the working class against capital is weakened and lacks coordination. 7 Capitalism in its ceaseless search for profit puts the future of humanity at risk. Capitalism is synonymous with pollution, exploitation and war. As a global system capitalism can only be superseded globally. Socialism is therefore international or it is nothing. All forms of nationalist socialism are reactionary and anti-working class. 8 Socialism can never come through parliament. The capitalist class will never willingly allow their wealth and power to be taken away without bitter resistance. Communists favour using parliament and winning the biggest possible working class representation. But workers must be readied to make revolution - peacefully if we can, forcibly if we must. 9 Communists fight for extreme democracy under capitalism and highlight all shortcomings and violations of democracy. Hence we are republicans and support the right of nations to self-determination. In Britain that means a federal republic of England, Scotland and Wales and supporting the voluntary unification of the two peoples of Ireland. That creates the best conditions for working class unity. Democracy must be given a social content. Women's oppression, combating racism and chauvinism, and the struggle for peace and ecological sustainability are just as much questions for the working class as the fight for pay, trade union rights and the demand for high-quality health, housing and education according to need. 10 Socialism is the rule of the working class and represents the victory of the battle for democracy. Socialism is either democratic or, as with Stalin's Soviet Union, it turns into its opposite. Socialism is the first stage of the worldwide transition from capitalism to communism - a system which knows no exploitation of person by person, no wars, no classes, no countries and no nations. Communism allows democracy and self-administration to flourish to such a degree that the remnants of the state wither away to be replaced by general freedom. 11 We urge all who accept these principles to join us - first as a supporter, then as a full Communist Party member.