As Lenin often emphasized, “The fundamental problem of every revolution is the question of state power”.[1] The organisation of the working class as the ruling class by seizing political power is the prerequisite for establishing the new social order (communist society) through which it will be emancipated. For this reason, the emancipation struggle of the working class must first of all be a political struggle centred on the seizure of state power, and the consciousness of the workers must rise to the level of political consciousness. The formation and maturation of objective conditions alone is not enough for the victory of the revolution and the seizure of power by the working class. In addition, subjective conditions must be formed and prepared. Subjective conditions do not mature by themselves. The party is both the most fundamental element and the preparer of subjective conditions.

As the positions of the countries in the capitalist-imperialist system, the level and form of development of capitalism, and accordingly the relations and contradictions between various social classes, the conditions of the class struggle, etc. differ, the urgent task before the working class, the strategy and tactics to be followed also vary according to countries and time. The class (or alliance of classes) to be overthrown, the allies of the working class, the forces to be neutralized and won (the main and reserve forces of the revolution) differ from country to country. However, the working class organising as the ruling class by seizing power, building the communist society will depend on the workers’ movement not losing its bearings under the complex and ever-changing conditions of the class struggle, developing through a correct strategy and tactical line, receiving the support of other oppressed and exploited classes and leading their movement, and neutralizing the faltering social forces. For this reason, the preparation for the revolution and the subjective factor involves the preparation of the working class as well as its allies in every historical period and winning them over to the revolutionary struggle, and the development of their movement in a correct line.

As historical experience has proven, the working class cannot overcome these tasks in the narrow field of the spontaneous movement. The condition for their realization is the fusion of the revolutionary theory with the workers’ movement, and the progress of its action and struggle under the guidance of this theory.

Only a party equipped with revolutionary theory can develop the right strategy and tactics and organise the work necessary for the preparation of the subjective condition for the revolution among the broadest masses. The working class cannot achieve its aim of ending the domination of capital, unless the party wins the growing segments of the working class, which is the main force of the revolution, as well as the other oppressed and exploited classes –consisting mainly of the urban and the rural semi-proletariat, poor peasantry and the oppressed nations, and their women and youth– which are part of the driving forces of the revolution, the reserved forces that may change from country to country, into the revolutionary political struggle. The existence and development of a strong workers’ movement under the leadership of its party is also a condition for winning all the oppressed and exploited masses and for their united struggle to progress in the correct line.

The revolutionary party of the working class must organise and lead the working class and the people in the struggle against the capitalist class, which holds political power and organises the state as an instrument of its hegemony for the protection of its interests.

The capitalist state is the expression of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie over the working class and all labouring classes. This dictatorship takes various forms, such as liberal democracy, authoritarian regimes, reactionary forms led by neo-liberal, social democratic and fascist governments, and military dictatorships. Whatever form capitalist-imperialist hegemony takes, the revolutionary party of the working class must be the most determined fighter for the daily confrontation of the working class and other labouring classes with the capitalist state and its policies, for the winning of freedoms and democracy, trade union and political rights against oppression and tyranny; it must oppose reaction and fascism under all conditions; it must raise the banners of struggle for national sovereignty and against imperialist domination in dependent countries.

In the trade union struggle, in the political struggle for freedom and democracy, in the exposure of capitalism with all its ills and injustices, and in the spread and promotion of socialism and its material and moral foundations, such as class solidarity and collectivism, the working class, under the leadership of its revolutionary party, will advance by comprehending and internalising scientific socialism.

We live in the age of imperialism and proletarian revolutions. The dominance of the capitalist-imperialist system is on a world scale. Despite the temporary defeat of socialism, the objective conditions for the struggle for the emancipation of the working class and to end the domination of the bourgeoisie and imperialism arising from the existence of capitalism exist all over the planet.

The struggle against capitalist-imperialism requires the national and international unity of the working class, which the bourgeoisie and imperialism try to divide and provoke against each other, as well as its unity with the oppressed peoples; it requires the unification of the struggle of the proletariat of the advanced capitalist countries with the struggle of the workers and peoples of the dependent countries.

I. THE FUSION OF SOCIALISM WITH THE WORKERS’ MOVEMENT

1. As emphasised by Lenin, the revolutionary party of the working class is the “combination of the working class movement and socialism”, though not with any socialism, not with the bourgeois or petit bourgeois socialism but with proletarian socialism, with Marxist socialism. In terms of its historical prerequisite, the two elements of this unity –the emergence and development of capitalism and the working class– have a shared basis, but they emerge and develop separately from each other.

2. In every country, those who encounter Marxism first and have the opportunity to learn it systematically are usually the educated sections of society, who can acquire, learn and use all kinds of scientific knowledge. Among them, there are some of those who are in search of a new world, a new social order without classes and exploitation, and they tend towards learning and implementing this theory. Therefore, as Lenin states “In every country there has been a period in which the working-class movement existed apart from socialism, each going its own way. And as long as they developed separately and could not combined or fused together,“in every country this isolation has weakened both socialism and the working-class movement. Only the fusion of socialism with the working-class movement has in all countries created a durable basis for both.[2]

3. This combination and fusion does not happen spontaneously, and as was shown by historical experience, it does not progress as an uninterrupted process – a unity, once realised, which develops by reproducing itself continuously, not shaken or being separated again. It is a challenging process with its ups and downs, being realised in different forms and acquiring specific characteristics in each country and in different historical periods and conditions. Like the process of formation and development of Marxist theory and socialism, the process of its combination with the workers’ movement is, among other things, the history of a determined and continuous struggle against all bourgeois currents, from the most liberal to the most reactionary, against bourgeois and petit bourgeois socialism on two fronts.

4. Towards 1890s, with Marxism gaining an unquestionable victory over all other ideologies in the labour movement” (Lenin), the main currents of bourgeois and petit bourgeois socialism which regressed vis-à-vis Marxism tended to maintain their existence and their fight against Marxism in the guise of Marxism, in its ranks and on its grounds in general and in appearance. It was also a time –inspired by the theses developed in bourgeois-capitalist academic circles– when we see the emergence, and development in favourable conditions, in proletarian socialist movement, of the tendencies and currents that tend to revise Marxism with bourgeois and petty bourgeois perspective and destroy its revolutionary-proletarian essence in the name of Marxism, using the changes and new developments for that purpose. These trends and currents went further and dominated the revolutionary workers’ movement in the years that led the Second International to collapse and in the second half of the last century.

5. The process of dispossession and proletarianization leads sections of other social classes and strata to join into the ranks of the working class with their own perspectives and characteristics. High monopoly profits expand the possibilities of the systematic purchasing and degenerating activity of the bourgeoisie in the monopoly stage of capitalism and the development of the labour aristocracy and bureaucracy that constitute the bourgeois strata of the working class. In addition to all this, the social conditions of existence of the working class, the multi-faceted pressure of the bourgeoisie on the working class and its movement, etc. are all among the main factors that enable bourgeois, petty-bourgeois socialism, including those with a Marxist appearance, and other reactionary currents and ideologies, to exist and spread within the working class and its movement.

6. With the lessons from class struggles, from the Paris Commune to the October Revolution and other proletarian revolutions, the bourgeoisie has used and continue to use every opportunity and instrument to prevent the fusion of proletarian socialism with the workers’ movement, and to destroy that unity if already taken place. For that, the bourgeoisie uses all kinds of economic, political and military instruments in a coordinated manner and in accordance with the conditions of the class struggles and the priorities determined by these struggles, and these instruments include all forms of terror from the most brutal to the most sophisticated, a systematic and continuous buying off and corruption, trying to create props within the working class and its movement, etc.

7. It was with the emergence and development of opportunist tendencies and their domination in the Second International that, at an international level and for the first time, the process of combination of the workers’ movement and Marxist socialism and of the advancement of the working class organising as an independent social force was interrupted, even though partially and temporarily. However, this shaken and regressing unity was re-established on more sound bases, reinforced and advanced through the creative implementation and advancement of Marxism on the final stage of capitalism (Leninism and the Bolshevik Party experience), the waging of a determined fight against all forms of opportunism and deviation, especially the opportunism and revisionism of the Second International, the victory of the October Revolution and the formation of a new type of ML parties of the working class and of the Comintern. This advancement continued for some time following the destruction caused by the First World War and the struggles thereafter, throughout the 1920s when capitalist world economy entered a process of relative growth and the 1930s when the capitalist-imperialist system had undergone one of its worst crises and fascist dictatorships were established in many countries, as well as during the Second World War and its aftermath.

8. In the first half of the 20th century, with the influence of the October Revolution –by which the working class embarked on building socialism– the process of combination of scientific socialism and the workers’ movement was materialised at a much more advanced level, but this was shaken and interrupted on a mass scale once again following the hegemony of modern revisionism on the workers’ movement. As the historical conditions which gave rise to the opportunism of the Second International and to modern revisionism as well as the characteristics determined and shaped by these conditions were significantly different from one another, their effects and repercussions on the workers’ movement were also different.[3] Modern revisionism has caused and unprecedented destruction and defeat on the part of the working class and its movement, the effects of which are still felt today.

9. Despite the fact that a resolute fight was launched and waged by Marxist-Leninist parties, organisations and circles, especially by Enver Hoxha and the PLA, against modern revisionism, its hegemony on the revolutionary movement of the working class could not be prevented; moreover, this hegemony went on from late 1980s to early 1990s, although weakened in time. One of the consequences of this considerably long period of hegemony was that the combination between Marxism-Leninism and the workers’ movement, which was established and developed following the victory of the October Revolution and the founding of the Comintern, has been undone to a great extent, and the two have become separated and weakened.

II. DAILY PARTY ACTIVITY BASED ON THE WORKING CLASS

10. CIPOML, founded in 1994, is “the inheritor and the body which carries out the revolutionary principles and implementations of the revolutionary periods of the First and the Second Internationals, of the Third International (Comintern) and the revolutionary period of the Cominform[4], all the theoretical and practical gains of the struggle for the emancipation of the working class; an uninterrupted continuation of the struggle launched and carried out on the basis of Marxism-Leninism against modern revisionism and all types of opportunism and reaction. CIPOML, unlike other trends with the claim of socialism and communism, came forward with an open and clear Marxist-Leninist ideological, political and organisational platform and line; and in the following period, it clarified and developed this even further, and still does, despite its weaknesses and shortcomings.

11. Although it is becoming bigger and stronger with new parties and organisations joining it, CIPOML is still organised in a limited number of countries. There are not any member parties or organisations of CIPOML in the most advanced capitalist countries and/or countries with large concentration of the working-class, such as Japan, Great Britain, Canada, China, Argentina, South Africa, etc.; and in those countries where it is represented, our parties and organisations have weak ties with the working class and its movement. Except for a limited number of countries, CIPOML and its member parties and organisations still do not constitute a strong centre of attraction or focal point neither for the advanced elements of society inclining towards socialism nor for the advanced sections of the working class, let alone its majority or its main bulk. The level of unionisation is low in many countries we are represented in and trade unions are controlled by the union bureaucracy and labour aristocracy that usually adopt a line of class collaboration. Despite differences between our parties, CIPOML activity and influence among unions and other mass organisations of workers is still weak. In countries where revolutionary conditions arise and mass movements develop, turning into uprisings, where our parties play important roles in these movements, our parties are not in a position of command, mobilising the bulk of the working class, especially industrial workers, through factory and workplace organisations.[5]

12. Lenin often emphasizes that we should not be ashamed or afraid to openly expose mistakes and “learn, on the basis of the mistakes made, how to organise the struggle better[6]. He wrote: “A political party’s attitude towards its own mistakes is one of the most important and surest ways of judging how earnest the party is and how it fulfils in practice its obligations towards its class and the working people. Frankly acknowledging a mistake, ascertaining the reasons for it, analysing the conditions that have led up to it, and thrashing out the means of its rectification—that is the hallmark of a serious party; that is how it should perform its duties, and how it should educate and train its class, and then the masses.[7] The way to overcome our weaknesses, shortcomings and mistakes, first of all, goes through revealing them in all their simplicity, with their reasons and by learning lessons, and we have to do this in order to move forward.

13. Adoption of Marxist-Leninist theory, its application to concrete conditions and developing strategies and tactics accordingly, is just a beginning and one of the conditions of becoming the revolutionary party of the working class. This party will also need to carry out a multi-dimensional, systematic and uninterrupted daily revolutionary activity among the masses, especially the industrial workers, and have the appropriate organisational structure and functions in order to become the revolutionary party of the working class. To the extent that it fulfils all this, the party will become the organised unity of the most advanced, devoted and consistent elements of the class, equipped with revolutionary theory, with tight discipline and the support and trust of ever widening sections of the class, as well as being a part of it in terms of its cadres and ties with the masses, becoming the vanguard of the class.

14. In its initial years the “great majority” of Comintern parties were not yet “real communist parties”. In his letter to German Communists in August 1921 Lenin said this clearly and went on to say that “In the overwhelming majority of countries, our parties are still very far from being what real Communist Parties should be; they are far from being real vanguards of the genuinely revolutionary and only revolutionary class, with every single member taking part in the struggle, in the movement, in the everyday life of the masses. But we are aware of this defect, we brought it out most strikingly in the Third Congress resolution on the work of the Party. And we shall overcome this defect.”[8]

15. This shortcoming was overcome through determined and patient revolutionary work, “joining the struggle, movement and daily life of the masses with every single one of the party members”, and in combination with the construction of parties on the basis of the international experiences of the working class, primarily the October Revolution and the Bolshevik Party, Marxist-Leninist theory and –one of its components– Leninist teachings on the party. In time, increasing number of parties became mass parties of the working class, which advanced and organised the most devoted, determined and conscious members of the class; which was a part of the working class in terms of the class combination of its organisations and members; gaining the trust of the working class and consequently the trust of other labourers, organising among them and advancing.[9] Nevertheless, this was not straightforward or simple; it was a process with difficulties, ups and downs, deviations, mistakes and shortcomings as well as the critique and overcoming of these. The fusion of the working class with socialism, which was not only shaken but also regressed by the betrayal of the opportunism of the Second International, was re-established at a more advanced level through determined and devoted, multi-dimensional and uninterrupted daily revolutionary work carried out in workplaces, and primarily factories, with concentrated numbers of workers and labourers. Although we live in very different circumstances from the victory of the October Revolution and the years of the Comintern’s foundation and development, it is essential that we examine this great experience and learn lessons in order to overcome our weaknesses and shortcomings mentioned above, and in terms of our development and progress.

16. The material conditions of the proletarian revolution and the working class as its component have developed qualitatively and quantitatively at such levels that cannot be compared to the years of the October Revolution and the founding of the Comintern, or to the period during and the aftermath of the World War II when the imperialist-capitalist system was ruptured in new fronts, when the revolutionary working class parties became alternative mass parties in many countries, including some of the most advanced capitalist countries. However, the level of political consciousness and organisation of the working class is far behind those years; this contradiction between the objective conditions of the working class and its movement and their subjective situation remains as an issue that needs resolving not only for achieving the victory of the proletarian revolution but even to meet the current social political demands of the working class and the peoples. We can only overcome this contradiction through organising determined and devoted work among the masses, especially the working class, and combining it with an ideological-theoretical struggle based on the Marxist-Leninist theory.

17. To this end, a series of orientations brought forward by the Third Congress of the Communist International are guiding in order to “gain decisive influence over the majority of the working class and to lead its decisive sectors into struggle” and to spread the influence of these sections towards other oppressed classes and sections and “to become the clear, complete and uncompromising expression of their problems and needs.

This Congress expressed the need to establish contacts with proletarianised petty-bourgeois layers“; stressed the importance of working among the army of the unemployed who “constitute a great revolutionary force“; and, referring to the experience of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which organised the power of the proletariat through the soviets of workers, peasants and soldiers, underlined the necessity of working among the peasants, “a decisive factor in the revolutionary struggle alongside the working class“. The same Congress, when analysing the situation in European countries, underlined the need to “win and organise the agricultural workers as one of the most important preconditions for the victory of proletarian dictatorship, as winning the small peasantry to the ideas of communism would enable the revolution to extend out from the industrial centres into the countryside“; it insisted on the importance of working among the “large sectors of the urban petty bourgeoisie, who constitute a large section of the working people and who, under the pressure of inflation, the lack of housing and the insecurity of their lives generates a ferment which jolts them out of political inactivity and draws them into the struggle between revolution and counter-revolution“. The congress also expressed the need to “win over substantial layers of the commercial and technical employees, the lower and middle civil servants and intellectuals, which would make it much easier for the proletarian dictatorship to master the technical and organisational challenge of economic and government administration during the transition from capitalism and communism“, noting that this would cause confusion in the ranks of the enemy and put an end to the isolation of the proletariat in the eyes of public:

Communist parties must pay close attention to the ferment among petty-bourgeois layers and find appropriate ways to utilise such forces, even if they are not free of petty-bourgeois illusions. Intellectuals and office employees who are free of such illusions should be recruited to the proletarian front and utilised to draw in the discontented petty-bourgeois masses.[10]

III. THE CHANGES IN THE SITUATION

OF THE WORKERS AND LABOURERS AND THE PARTY WORK

18. The years when modern revisionism has dominated International Communist movement and its aftermath, was also a process in which new developments have taken place, with multidimensional outcomes, not changing the essence and historical tendencies of the capitalist development process, but deepening its antagonistic contradictions. One of the fundamental characteristics of the capitalist mode of production is the renewal and advancement of the production process, especially its technical base, even though this is temporarily interrupted from time to time in this or that country. This characteristic continues in the monopolist stage, the final stage of capitalism, since the monopoly, despite its limiting effect on the progress of the productive forces, does not eliminate competition and maintains its existence alongside and above competition. Uneven development is an absolute law of capitalism in every respect and it becomes even more prominent in the monopolist stage. Production process, primarily its technical base, develops in such a way to include unevenness and bounces.

19. The developments in the production process inevitably lead to consequences that affect all sectors of the economy, from transport to communications, trade to finance, education to health, the base and the superstructure, all social classes and the relations between them. At times when these developments acquire a bouncing characteristic, such as the scientific and technological revolution,  their effects and many-sided consequences become deeper, more striking and more visible. The industrial revolution, the developments in the second half, especially the last quarter, of the 19th century, and the scientific and technological revolution during the Second World War and in its aftermath and its current consequences are striking examples in this respect.

20. The developments which led to changes in the combination of the working class have caused many-sided results in terms of other social classes and strata as well as the working class. One of the consequences of the lengthening of the daily, weekly or monthly working hours; the increase in the labour intensiveness and productivity, as well as the renewal and advancement of production, including transport and communication, was the transfer of production, especially some labour intensive sections, in almost all sectors, to those countries which have the possibilities of higher profits and the advantage of closeness to markets and raw materials, etc.

In addition to those mentioned above, due to the advancement of the technical basis of production, specialization and the development of the division of labour, some of the tasks that were previously part of the factory workplace organisation –research and development, maintenance and repair, security, etc.– became new separate fields of work. These fields and jobs, which are a part of industrial production and organisation, are considered as a part of other sectors. In addition, some divisions of industrial enterprises are shifted to other sectors and considered as their part in order to weaken and divide the movement and organisation of industrial workers. On the other hand, in addition to the increased labour productivity due to technical progress, the workday has been extended in the last 30 years, the labour intensity has also been increased, and more production is being made with fewer workers. As a result of all these developments and practices, although the proportion of industrial workers in total employment decreased in some countries, in many others, and most importantly, on the world scale, the share of industrial workers in total employment continued to grow, let alone a decrease, numerically and proportionally. According to ILO data, in the 30-year period between 1990 and 2019, the share of industry in total employment rose, despite fluctuations due to recession and crises, from 22% (498.6 million) to 23% (749.6 million), the share of the service sector from 34% to 51%, while the share of agriculture decreased from 44% to 27%.

In addition to agriculture, transport and communication, in almost all branches of the service sector, from finance to trade, from warehouse-storage to local services, from health to education, mechanization and the use of machinery have become widespread. As the ever-expanding sections of the working people became more and more an extension to machines just like the industrial proletarians, the process of proletarianization progressed. These areas became areas in which capital was invested in large scales and where huge profits were made by the intensification of exploitation. Whilst transport and communication have gained in importance in the production process, with the addition of privatisation policies, teachers and health workers, for example, have largely become wage labourers. Due to technical advancement and other developments, the same amount of commodities is produced with fewer workers, while the use of industrial products is expanding and the industry is penetrating more into all branches of the economy.

On the other hand, while the peasantry has been disintegrating rapidly and becoming weaker in terms of its number and proportion in the general population, class contradictions and divisions have become more prominent. Alongside the working class, the number of semi-proletarian masses flowing to urban areas have increased. Mass migration between countries and continents has reached unprecedented levels, making it more important for workers from different nationalities in individual countries to organise together, and leading to significant consequences in terms of advanced capitalist countries. Therefore, our parties and organisations must review their work in view of these developments and their effects, advancing their activities on the basis of a concrete analysis of concrete conditions. This is partly how we can advance our work.

21. In late 1980s and early 1990s, modern revisionism’s long standing hegemony on the workers’ movement[11] ended with the disintegration of the revisionist parties and of the revisionist bloc led by the USSR, and with the disintegration and weakening of revisionist parties and currents of all forms gaining speed. While some of them disintegrated and their remnants have become reformist right or left social democratic parties and currents, some others have maintained their existence by renewing their platforms. This disintegration which was also portrayed as the bankruptcy of socialism by all bourgeois-capitalist circles, was perceived in that way not only by the backward sections of the masses but also by the great majority of the advanced sections of workers, partly due to the fact that modern revisionists had carried on with their system, which was also bourgeois capitalist in essence, with the appearance of a Marxist socialism till the last moment. The world bourgeoisie and all reactionary currents and circles, using all means in their hands, launched and attack with the most effective anti-communist campaign in terms of its results in order to eliminate all the gains of the working class and peoples, to denounce and to root out everything related with revolution and communism. On the other hand, the renewal and advancement of the technical basis of production, including transport and communication, in this process has led to repercussions which also affected the process of development of, alongside the working class, the other social classes and strata and of their relations with each other. One of the most significant short-term consequences of all this, together with other factors and developments, was that socialism with all its currents, and anti-imperialist and democratic-progressive thoughts and currents, even social democracy with all its forms, were weakened; and that, among the workers and labourers, bourgeois ideology and political currents, from liberal and neoliberal forms to the most reactionary ones, including Medieval religious currents and sects, were strengthened, spread and heightened their influence. In the conditions of the temporary historical defeat of socialism and the labour movement and the ideological encirclement of the working class, the development of our parties depends, to a certain extent,  as much on the renewal and advancement of the work they carry out among the masses on the basis of all these developments and of the concrete conditions in their countries, as on their ideological-theoretical platforms.

IV. PRIORITY IS THE WORK AMONG THE WORKING CLASS,

ESPECIALLY FACTORIES AND LARGE WORKPLACES

22. Bourgeois and petit bourgeois ideologs and the bourgeois academic circles they inspire, based on the differences in the composition of the working class which accompany capitalist development and which are also not new –that presents differences according to countries and are in part characterised as conjectural–, are putting forward views which purport that new social forces have developed, that the working class is no longer the leading and basic force of the struggle against the rule of capitalism and capital, that it has now lost its character of playing its historical revolutionary role Marx identified, etc. Quite contrary to these claims reiterated repeatedly at every opportune moment ad nauseam; not only is the process of expropriation advancing but together with it and as a consequence of it, the working class is also developing in all countries and let alone reduction, its role in the continuously progressing class struggles is growing. The working class, as well as being the most resolute, most consistent and most revolutionary class of the struggle against all kinds of reaction in increasingly a greater number of countries, also quantitively, constitutes the main and basic force of this struggle and as much as the process of the quantitative and qualitative development of the working class, the need for it in the struggle against reaction continues to develop and grow on the world scale.

23. Because the stage and form of capitalist development presents major differences from country to country, the stage of development of the sections of the working class concentrated in different sectors such as industry, agriculture, mining, services, and the composition and structure determined by this also presents major differences in each country and is also subject to a process of change. However, despite all these developments and differences, the industrial proletariat, just as it was the case yesterday, also today, presents the “greatest compatibility to” Marxist-Leninist “ideas, has the highest intellectual and political maturity”, and constitutes the most developed section of the working class in all respects including its spirit of solidarity and unity, political, economic, cultural and all kinds of organisation, collective mobilisation, its capacity and ability for struggle, etc. Further, in the vast majority of countries, “due to its number and concentration, it is determining in the major political focal points of the country.” Because of this, not only in countries where industry and industrial proletariat have developed but also in countries where this is weak, “the creation of a firm revolutionary organisation among factory workers,” the mobilisation of our forces and opportunities according to this is the “first and most urgent task” of our parties.[12]

24. Today, with especially the newly established ones, a section of our parties and organisations are, to use Lenin’s phrase, in the “beginning period” of the process of the combination of the workers’ movement and proletarian socialism when “we have to dedicate ourselves completely to working among the workers and be resolved to vehemently deny the smallest deviation from this route”.[13] On the other hand, our parties with the most developed and strong ties and organisations within the working class, are not in a position where they have won over almost the majority even if not the majority of workers and particularly the industrial proletariat, organised most advanced sections of it amongst its ranks or have become a part of the class in terms also of the class composition of its organisations and members from its executive organs to its basic organisations. Despite the presence of positive examples, it cannot be asserted that we have established firm and permanent organisations in the factories and workplaces that are critical for the development of the workers’ movement, or that we have turned these places into the fortresses which cannot be unrooted easily. Hence, our parties and organisations should take working among the working class and especially the modern industrial workers to the centre of its entire work, should allocate the distribution of its forces and tasks accordingly and should treat and conduct the three main aspects of the struggle, namely the theoretical-ideological, political and economic struggle, with this perspective.

25. The weakness of our ties with the working class, at the same time, constitutes one of the main reasons for the weak inclination from other social classes and strata to our parties and our limited influence within these sections and why it is not able to develop. To the extent that our parties advance their work within the working class, especially the industrial proletariat, and establish firm organisations, to the extent that they win the trust and support of its growing sections and become a part of the working class in all respects, their influence will increase among the intellectuals, other labouring classes and especially the semi-proletarian masses, and the opportunities for their organisation and work among these sections will also widen.

Furthermore, the different sections of the working class do not lead a life only amongst themselves, in isolation from other social classes and layers. The strengthening of the party among workers and its establishment of organisations among workers in which it involves all its members by conducting a daily uninterrupted mass struggle will inevitably lead to the growth of its influence and development of its relationships in all fields of social life and relations. Therefore, the party’s positioning of the work amongst the workers and especially the industrial workers in large factories to the core of its entire work, taking this as a basis and deploying and organising its forces accordingly does not mean that it disregards and leaves aside the other sections of the working class and labourers or the work amongst them. On the contrary, this is also the way through which the expansion of the possibilities for the party to organise and work and grow its influence in these fields will be paved. The work in the working class, no doubt, should be carried out also incorporating the energy production and distribution, communication and transport work sectors which gained strategic importance on the international scale.

26. On the other hand, in almost all countries, our parties have forces, party circles and members with no possibility to “go among the workers”, to undertake direct work within the working class and especially industrial workers, in large factories. Alongside their social positions and relations, taking their abilities and the needs of the party into consideration, the party must assign and organise these forces for conducting work in the fields they are located –workplaces, institutions, localities, villages, etc.– and even in cases where they are not able to participate directly in the work amongst the working class, to contribute and strengthen the organisation of this work.

27. The revolutionary party of the working class adheres to the conception of work among the masses laid down by Lenin in “What is to be done?“: “A Social Democrat, if he really believes it necessary to develop comprehensively the political consciousness of the proletariat, must ‘go among all classes of the population’. […] As theoreticians, as propagandists, as agitators, and as organisers we must ‘go among all classes of the population’.”

The process of organising the revolution, which presupposes first of all the accumulation of forces to overthrow the government, implies the need for the revolutionary party to work within the working class and other exploited and oppressed classes, to build a bloc that confronts and fights the capitalist-imperialist regime and leads the working class to take power.

28. No party can have the cadres, means and other possibilities required to conduct a multifaceted and uninterrupted struggle amongst all sections of the working class, in large industrial enterprises and major workplaces as soon as it is formed. What is important and definitive for the development of our party organisations is the most effective and efficient use of our forces, a designation of duties and deployment in accordance with our programme and priorities, and to secure the uninterrupted and multifaceted running of the activity targeting the prioritised and core fields – with primarily factories and workplaces. At a period when there are extremely limited forces at our disposal, there is a need not to disperse forces and to focus on  the workers and the factory work.

29. If the party does not concentrate its forces and means, on the basis of an accurate assessment of them, on the prioritised factories and workplaces identified in accordance with this assessment, and steers to spread “its network of party organisations” and its work immediately to an entire region, trying to reach everywhere and every resistance, it will not be able to “even succeed in building up a firm base”, nor will it be able to fulfil developing a stable and permanent party work and relations with the masses or winning over new elements. It should be clear why such form of work will not be able to fully realise any of the short and long-term goals of a well-meaning minority, that it will find it difficult to even enter amongst the masses let alone uniting with them, and that such work will acquire a character that constantly repeats itself and becomes generalised.

V. ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL EXPOSURE, AGITATION

AND PROPAGANDA

30. For our parties to fulfil their tasks and responsibilities that they undertake for the working class and peoples, it will not be enough to adopt the idea of the right deployment of our forces and take decisions accordingly. What is as much important and determining is the implementation of these decisions and for all members and organisations of our parties to organise their lives and social relations in accordance with the tasks they have undertaken, to be “the real leaders participating in the struggles, movement and daily lives of the masses”, as Lenin stated, and to advance their work in accordance with the concrete conditions and developments in terms of the content, prevalence, depth, continuity, etc., and to heighten it to the level required by the Marxist-Leninist doctrine.[14]

31. The working class differs from other classes not only in terms of its position vis-à-vis the means of production and its place in the production process but also in terms of the things that arise on the basis of these such as its daily relations, life, approach to events, its culture, etc. The kind of work that would advance the workers in every field cannot be carried out by remaining detached from the working class or by addressing it from outside. Party organisations and members must be within the working class also with their daily lives and relations, as class conscious part of the masses, not alienated or detached from it. This is the condition for carrying out such work and developing such tactics which would advance the workers in every respect, and which would minimise the possibility of mistakes in terms of understanding their thoughts and inclinations, formulating their demands and connecting the two, etc.

32. It is known that the working class cannot gain class consciousness within the narrow field of spontaneous movement. As early as the beginning of the 20th century, Lenin drew attention to this aspect of the problem, emphasising the necessity of carrying out the three aspects of the struggle, namely ideological-theoretical, political and economic struggle, in an harmonious, systematic and continues way. It is true that political class consciousness is imported to the working class from “outside”, but this does not mean that it will be given from completely outside of the class, for example by bourgeois intellectuals. The meaning of importing consciousness from outside is clear: “Class political consciousness can be brought to the workers only from without, that is, only from outside the economic struggle, from outside the sphere of relations between workers and employers. The sphere from which alone it is possible to obtain this knowledge is the sphere of relationships of all classes and strata to the state and the government, the sphere of the interrelations between all classes.[15]This can only be done by its party that carries out systematic daily work within the masses of workers.

33. Despite the fact that within the narrow field of spontaneous movement the workers cannot reach spontaneous socialist political consciousness or the level of organisation which would lead them to victory in their fight against the bourgeoisie and to emancipation, their struggle around partial demands lights the first sparks of consciousness and paves the way to the possibilities of advancement through their own experiences. How these first sparks would grow depends on many factors such as the form of struggles that develop spontaneously, the process of their development –a strike in a workplace, a general strike or an uprising would create different results in terms of workers– or on the multidimensional and systematic work of the class conscious workers and their organisations.

34. Therefore, the ML party should not underrate developing workers’ struggles even if they are based on the smallest class demands, mobilise all their possibilities to advance these struggles by leading and taking part in them. However, this does not mean that the party should immediately concentrate all its forces to wherever there is a strike or resistance, dragging its limited forces from one strike and resistance to another, leading to the weakening and dispersal of its basic organisations and work in the factories, workplaces, schools, neighbourhoods, etc. This would surely fall into the worst kind of tailing behind the masses and spontaneous movement in the name of leading spontaneous eruptions. However, the party, on the other hand, cannot stand idle in the face of important strikes and acts of resistance where it does not have any organisations or ties, or in the face of the struggles of other oppressed and exploited classes and strata for their just demands or the attacks on these struggles, watching them from afar. It should try to intervene in these through its basic organisations, without dispersing them, forming temporary special organisations if necessary. It should carry out activities in all areas where its organisations and work are present, especially in the factories and workplaces, with the aim of joining in these struggles, supporting them, establishing and developing links. It is only when the workers oppose all forms of oppression and exploitation on other exploited and oppressed classes and peoples, fights with them for common demands such as anti-imperialism, peace, democratic freedoms, education, health, protection of environment, etc., defends all their just demands, then they can become the vanguard of all those classes.

35. The organisation and the advancement of the struggles of the masses for their urgent daily demands, and the agitation and organisation work it necessitates are vital for developing links with the widest sections of the working class and labourers and to support them in advancing through their own experiences. Organisations that do not uninterruptedly carry this out will not develop wide-reaching relations and achieve unity with them. Lenin’s critique of economism is used, especially by some currents within petty-bourgeois socialism, to belittle and trivialise the struggle for urgent –and especially economic– demands of the workers. Our parties must fight against tendencies that underrate the spontaneous movement so much that they are indifferent to it, as well as tendencies that overrate it and worship it, forgetting their primary tasks, and they must not let these tendencies affect their work. We must join in the struggle of the masses for urgent demands but not limit our activity among the masses with that. Our activity must not only fully formulate the demands of the workers and be the most advanced participating  elements of these struggles, but it must also unite the economic agitation among the workers, utilising all tools available to us, with our exposure-agitation and propaganda work based on real and concrete examples, carried out during and in fitting with these activities. Political exposure and agitation work must surely involve the spread of political demands and party’s political programme, the overthrow of bourgeois power and the organisation of the working class as ruling class. Unless the party organises systematic, uninterrupted daily political exposure, agitation and propaganda work among the workers, it cannot raise the consciousness and action of the working class to the level of political consciousness and struggle necessary for its emancipation.

36. A direct consequence of the necessity to carry out economic and political exposure and agitation work based on the urgent demands of the masses, and not being indifferent to their movement is to be present wherever the masses are, to carry out party work in mass organizations, especially trade unions, associations, federations, etc. It is imperative for the party to sustain its work in mass organizations, especially in trade unions, including those under the control of the reactionary forces, because these organizations serve as transmission belts in terms of the party to unite the working masses and mobilize them by educating them and organizing them as their base and accumulating strength for the revolution.

It has therefore become increasingly important that trade union work is one of the fundamental aspects of party work in factories and other workplaces, and that this work is combined with our party work in trade unions and other mass organisations. The party organisations in factories and other workplaces and the work it will carry out is the basis and determining factor for gaining permanent and solid positions in the unions. In its work in the workplaces and in the unions, the party should build on class unionism, however, it should develop relations with opposition and progressive, revolutionary trade union movements and tendencies that do not adopt the party line yet but support the struggle against the bosses and capital, it should fight together with them and benefit from the contradictions between the labour aristocracy and the bureaucracy. It should seek to establish and develop the broadest trade union and political unity of the working class in the struggle against capital and reaction. This unity develops and is consolidated in the political struggle for material demands and against bourgeois domination. The trade union movement of the working class and the ideological, political and organisational disorganisation of the workers’ movement require that we work for the unity of the working class, build this unity in struggle, raise the immediate demands of the working class, and unite these struggles, daily, with the struggle against capitalists, bourgeois governments and their reactionary policies. The broadest possible trade union and political unity of the working class and the unity of the working class with other oppressed labouring classes and strata of society must be achieved in order to fulfil their immediate demands as well as their participation in the struggle against capital and reaction and in the process of proletarian revolution.

37. Economic and political exposure, agitation and organisation activities must be linked to the causes of the most vital problems and developments and the formulation of the conditions necessary to achieve full solutions. The explanation of how the short and long-term aims of workers and their full and certain emancipation will be achieved, through real and concrete examples and contradictions, critique of capitalism and propaganda for socialism, will be more advancing and successful only when it is carried out in conjunction with educational activity that leads to the advancement of workers, and especially their advanced forces, in all areas.

38. Propaganda work that fits with economic and political exposure and agitation, progressively spreading to a large section of workers must become a fundamental part of our party activity and our daily work that we must carry out in an uninterrupted manner. Without this, it is impossible to progress the workers, especially its advanced sections, and for them to become the pillars of the party. Just as other parts of our activity, our propaganda –and the propaganda of socialism as a constituent part– must be based on social contradictions and the concrete and living facts that are the reflections of these contradictions. Otherwise, propaganda in general, and especially propaganda for socialism, will turn into repeated academic knowledge, divorced from reality; and this will be a return to the communist propaganda period before Marxism; it will be a step back, and with such work the goals cannot be fulfilled.

39. The working class party must also develop the class struggle in the ideological field; this means to oppose the theses and approaches of the bourgeoisie, which seek to divert the struggle of the working class and peoples from their central strategic goals; to explain the counter-revolutionary character of revisionism, Trotskyism, social democracy and opportunism; to disseminate Marxist-Leninist theses and approaches among the working class and the driving forces of the revolution.The fight against all forms of bourgeois and petit bourgeois ideologies, against anti-Marxist currents and tendencies; the spread and dominance of Marxism-Leninism primarily among  the advanced workers constitutes one dimension of the propaganda activity. Educational activities among workers, labourers and their women and youth sections, paying particular attention to their differing needs in terms of knowledge and consciousness is a complementary and advancing component of the work of the party among the masses.

40. Also, newspapers, TV, radio, etc., as means of organisation and propaganda, with regular activities on a local and national stage; notices, leaflets and posters are among the most effective tools of the activity of exposure and agitation. Brochures, books, magazines are also effective tools for propaganda. With the renewal of the technological basis of production, especially in transport and communication, TV, internet, mobile phones, use of digital platforms have been added to radio telephones, landlines and radio; their technical capabilities are improved daily and their use is spreading. Our parties must use these current technologies effectively and professionally as well as the previous means of publication and communication, which themselves are means of exposure, agitation and propaganda. Printed exposure, agitation and propaganda tools such as newspapers, magazines, brochures, books, posters must be widened and developed using all available methods and means, and they must go hand in hand with verbal and face-to-face agitation, propaganda and organisation work among the masses. New methods and their efficient utilisation cannot replace our printed and verbal exposure-agitation, propaganda and organisation work among the masses or conferences, panel meetings, other individual and group activities, but neither can they be an alternative to them. They cannot be a reason for avoiding the work necessary to be a part of the masses, but a class conscious part with their daily public life and relations, to develop relationships with their widest sections and to use all necessary tools to achieve this.

VI. UNINTERRUPTED DAILY PARTY WORK

41. The party cannot develop among the masses, and cannot establish lasting organisations primarily in the factories, with work carried out at periods when the workers’ movement gains pace or when workers’ actions begin or spread or with work which revitalises only to then wither away. Just as it was in the grandest heights of the workers’ movement, during periods when it withdrawn to lowest levels too, the party should not break away from the masses, and should act together with them, but as its real leaders, should develop the form and methods of its organisation, relations and work by renewing them in accordance with conditions. This is one of the indispensable requirements for conducting uninterrupted revolutionary work amongst the masses in darkest conditions of repression and terror as well as during periods when the movement is on the rise and when it has withdrawn. The revolutionary work Lenin emphasises frequently is not only that which is conducted during revolutionary periods but also the one conducted when the movement has withdrawn, even defeated, and in conditions of repression and terror which may be regarded as the darkest. Party work can be conducted as an uninterrupted activity if the entirety of the members and organisations of the party are able to renew the forms of work and organisation according to conditions by not breaking away from the masses and remaining within them, however grave the conditions may be. Just as well as being a necessary requirement for it, its first step is also to build our parties on the basis of workplace unit organisations/cells in primarily factories, mines, agricultural enterprises and in all sectors ranging from health to education, from transport to communication, and to turn these organisations into the basis of the party.

42. Party work among the masses must be treated as a fundamental element and means of our agitation and propaganda work, and it should not be reduced to the distribution and reading of or writing for the regular or irregular, national, regional or factory based publications. If basic party organisations unite this work with the kind of work that would enable effective use of all written-visual and verbal means and methods such as leaflets, brochures, posters, wall newspapers, narrow and large workers’ meetings, etc. then they could carry out concrete work which is based on the facts of life. It is only when this unity is materialised without interruptions, in line with concrete conditions and in a way that would meet the needs of the struggle, that the party work can acquire the character of a daily and multifunctional work which would heighten the level of consciousness, organisation and struggle of the masses. Another condition for the progressively expanding, uninterrupted, daily and many-sided party work among the masses is for the basic organisations and members in the factories, mines, agricultural enterprises, institutions, etc. to have a proper division of work, to mobilise the party circles and other relations in an organised way by assigning tasks and duties in accordance with their abilities, and to use all central and local instruments in an harmonious and efficient way.

43. The conditions of class struggles, the struggle ongoing between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, are changing depending on many factors and developments on the national and international scale and will continue to do so in the future. The party must have the capacity to act in any situation that arises, develop means and forms of work and struggle to maintain its influence on the mass movement and the political life of the country; it must know how to combine all forms of struggle and legal and illegal work in accordance with the concrete conditions in which it acts. The party, from the most democratic of conditions to the darkest years of reaction, from periods of the rise of the movement to the periods of its withdrawal and defeat, in all conditions, must be among the masses and must carry out uninterrupted-daily work which reaches the broadest possible sections of the masses by utilising all means. This is also an aspect implied by uninterruptedness. The fulfilment of this necessitates the combination of the legal and illegal methods, various forms and means of work such as all sorts of publications and participation in elections and the parliamentarian struggle in accordance with conditions involving all organisations and every level of the party from its most basic organisations to its highest organ, and the constant development of this relationship through renewal in accordance with the change in conditions. Our parties, in all conditions, including also in democratic bourgeois republics, have to run their work in a way which the class-enemy and apparatuses of domination is able to have the least knowledge about party organisations and relations. This is necessary not only because of neutralising, repelling or keeping the losses of the attacks of the dictatorship to a minimum, which may become possible or intensify in the future, but also in terms of repelling the attacks of capitalists such as dismissals, etc. and establishing lasting and firm organisations. The combination of the method, form and means of party work appropriately in all conditions requires the organisation of a collective work based on division of labour in higher organs of the party as much as in its most basic organisation. The establishment of party organisations wherever the masses are located, primarily in large factories, is one of the prerequisites and main pillars of not only conducting uninterrupted activity among the masses, being a part of them, thus accurately determining their mood, keeping and measuring their pulse in the most effective way so as to follow correct tactics but also those of repelling the attacks of the enemy and being able to conduct work in the most adverse conditions.


[1] Lenin, Selected Works, Vol.6, p.40

[2] Lenin, Selected Works, vol.2, “The Urgent Tasks of Our Movement”, December 1900

[3] The following can be said regarding the differences between the two, and in explanation of the reason why the destructiveness of modern revisionism has been greater and has gone on for longer:

The opportunism of the Second International emerged and developed under the following conditions: a) the capitalist world was dragged into a new war for the redivision of the world which led to the sharpening of its contradictions and to many-sided destruction; b) therefore, the real face of the betrayal was seen by the masses relatively quickly through their own experiences; c) anger, discontent and a tendency to struggle developed among the workers whose living and working conditions had deteriorated in war conditions, and workers’ uprisings emerged in many countries, especially in Germany; d) with the October Revolution, the imperialist-capitalist system suffered a blow in Russia, and the USSR mobilised all forces for the organisation of the revolutionary party of the working class and the workers’ movement.

On the other hand, the conditions when modern revisionism emerged and developed were as follows: a) the capitalist world economy entered a period of growth on the rubbles of the second war of redivision despite the cyclical crises it went through, tough not causing massive upsets, and the fact that the imperialist-capitalist encirclement suffered new ruptures; b) although the struggles of the oppressed nations and peoples, which led to the disintegration of the colonial system, continued, the workers’ movement retreated and, in order to pacify the workers, especially in the advanced capitalist countries, the “welfare state” policies became widespread; c) it became possible for the imperialists to wage a united fight under the command of the USA which emerged from the war as the single dominating power in the capitalist world; d) the other socialist countries, with the exception of Albania, were no longer the motherlands of the workers’ movement and they became the pillars of the reaction, using the big prestige they had to mobilise all economic, political and military opportunities for the hegemony of modern revisionism.

[4] Platform of Struggle of CIPOML: “On Capitalism, the Working Class and the Fight for Communism

[5] Alongside the Arab Spring, the workers’ and peoples’ struggles that developed from time to time in many countries such as Sudan, Haiti, France, Greece, India, Bangladesh, etc. and the revolutionary situations that emerged in many others died down with temporary and limited gains or suffered a heavy defeat, let alone becoming victorious. The main reason for this is the fact that the main bulk of the working class could not participate in these struggles as an independent and organised force under the leadership of its party, and that these struggles could not develop under the leadership and the domination of the working class.

[6] Lenin, Speech at the Third Congress of The Communist International

[7] Lenin, Left Wing Communism, An Infantile Disorder

[8] Selected Works, Lenin, Vol. 10, “Letter to the German Communists

[9] In his article “Bolshevisation of the Parties” in the Communist International, Comintern’s publication, D. Manuilsky, the USSR delegate and the Secretary of the Executive Committee of Comintern states a fundamental aspect of bolshevisation as follows: “The fundamental task of our brother parties, the chief aim of their endeavours, should be to form the largest possible cadres of factory and workshop revolutionaries, devoted heart and soul to the cause of the revolution. Such is the goal that the reorganisation of the European parties on the basis of factory and workshop nuclei now aims at.”

He goes on to say that “… there is a common task in front of all our sections. It is necessary for all our sections to come closer to the workers at the bench. The reorganisation of parties on the basis of factory and workshop nuclei is not a mechanical reform reconstructing only outward relations. It means moving the whole centre of party work onto the field of lower factory nuclei. It is only a party that turns its communist nuclei in the workshops into fighting staffs for leading the revolutionary struggle of the proletarian masses, than can really say it is becoming Bolshevised.” And he draws attention to the progress of the CPF in this respect and says: “The Communist International can really note with pride the great step forward that the French Communist Party has made upon this path. Out of the 237 delegates to the French Congress, more than 200 comrades were workers.” (Communist International, vol.1, no.10, 1924)

[10] https://www.marxists.org/history/international/comintern/3rd-congress/riddell-translations/Tactics-and-strategy.htm

[11] As all kinds of opportunism and revisionism have in essence the same bourgeois view of the world, alongside their lines and the disillusionment and deviations they create among the masses, they create the conditions for the spread and consolidation of all forms of bourgeois ideology and currents, including the most reactionary ones.

[12] Lenin, Selected Works, Vol. I, 1897 article, “The Tasks of Russian Social Democrats

[13] Lenin, Selected Works, Vol. II

[14] The Rules of the Communist League, drawn up with the active participation of Marx and Engels at its First Congress in 1847, which was the first initiative to found the revolutionary party of the working class, and adopted at its Second Congress, stated as its 1st item the aims of the League, and on the 2nd item, the conditions of membership to the League. The first condition of becoming a member was to “lead a style of life and action” in line with the aim stated in the first item. From the initial years of establishing their theory as a guide of action for the emancipation struggle of the working class, Marx and Engels led a “life and action” in line with the aim stated very clearly in the first item of the Rules of the Communist League as well as the Communist Manifesto. As he did in other fields, Lenin developed on the views of Marx and Engels on the revolutionary party of the working class and the conditions of membership to it, by defending them against all forms of opportunism.

[15] Lenin, What is to be Done?, “3.5. The Working Class as Vanguard fighter for Democracy”