In the following we publish the theses on the character of the communist party and on the self-understanding of the communist organization, which were adopted by the KO at its fourth congress in April 2022. They represent an intermediate state of the intensive work on the question of the Kommunistische Organisation, party building and the tasks arising from it, and are still a valid resolution. In the course of the secession of a wing, the KO has gained important experiences in the struggle against revisionism concerning the structures of the organization, which are not yet reflected in the previously adopted theses. We affirm that there is currently no revolutionary communist party in Germany and that the struggle against revisionist ideas on the party question, the question of imperialism and the question of strategy is central to being able to build one. This is the aim of the Kommunistische Organisation, which we will pursue in a planned way.
|German Democratic Republic
|International Communist Movement
|Party of a New Type
The Party of a New Type is the necessary form of organization of the communists for leading the working class in the epoch of transition from capitalism to socialism-communism.
The purpose of the communist party is to lead the working class in the daily class struggle and in the struggle for power.
- Since the end of the 19th century, we are worldwide in the imperialist stage of capitalism, in the epoch of transition from capitalism to socialism-communism, in the epoch of proletarian revolutions. Through the socialization of labour, the development of capitalist society inevitably pushes towards the solution of the contradiction between the productive forces and the relations of production through socialism-communism. The relations of production – characterized by the private appropriation of the socially produced products of labor by the bourgeoisie – tend to become more like shackles of the productive forces. The bourgeoisie defends its power under imperialism by means of the imperialist state and has learned to use it and a whole arsenal of methods to exploit and oppress the working class. It also creates and promotes the social basis of opportunism and revisionism by bribing a part of the working class. The main tasks of the working class as the bearer of the revolution are to lead the class struggle against the bourgeoisie in its own country and to wrest state power from it in a revolutionary situation and to smash the bourgeois state in order to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat and build socialism. This is the basis of communism, the classless society that no longer needs a state to subjugate one class to another.
- The insights into the laws of social development and the necessity and possibility of class struggle were only possible through the development and application of scientific communism. They were not spontaneous, immediate results of the workers’ experience. It is true that with the development of capitalist relations, resistance to them also arose and continues to arise, but spontaneously and without a clear consciousness of the fact that the struggle must be carried out in an organized way with the goal of revolution and socialism. This is because the capitalist relations themselves disguise their character and are therefore not directly recognizable, thus counteracting the consciously led class struggle. Moreover, the bourgeoisie always tries to keep the workers away from the revolutionary struggle, to confuse them, to paralyze them or to draw them to its side. It is the continuation of the class struggle on the level of consciousness that, under imperialism, becomes the condition for the ruling class to maintain its social order. Therefore, in the past and also today, the consciousness of the revolutionary class struggle had to be carried by the communists into the working class so that it can turn from a class in itself into a class for itself.
- A central insight that runs from Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and the Communist League to Lenin and the Bolshevik Party is therefore the need for a communist party that, on the basis of a scientific revolutionary program, places itself at the head of the workers movement as the leading fighting organization, the vanguard. This is its purpose, because without the CP, the communists will not be able to take the lead in the struggles of the working class, and the working class will not be able to win the struggle for power. The CP must bring the necessary class consciousness to the working class by politicizing the economic and social struggles of the working class and working out the interests of the whole class in individual struggles. It must advance the organization of the working class and lead it successfully in class struggle, revolution and socialism. To this end, it must develop a strategy and tactics for the working class and organize itself on the basis of the organizational principles of the Party of a New Type.
The communist party must establish the unity of theory and practice in order to develop the correct strategy and tactics in the struggle of the working class.
- In order to develop the correct strategy and tactics and adapt them correctly to the changing circumstances, the CP must apply scientific communism to the knowledge of the social conditions and combine it with the struggle of the working class. The establishment of such a unity of theory and practice oriented to the class struggle can only take place in an organized way in the CP. Without it, there can be no practice derived from theory, or only a defective one, just as there can be no further development of theory derived from practice, or only a defective one. Moreover, without the unity of theory and practice, it will not be possible to establish the unity of the working class in the struggle against the bourgeoisie. The working class can develop its striking power only if the CP’s orientations are based on an understanding of reality, that is, on a correct analysis and knowledge of the objective conditions of the struggle, and correctly determine the blow to be dealt to the enemy. Inseparable from this function of the party is the struggle against opportunism and revisionism in the working class movement, because opportunism and revisionism undermine the unity of theory and practice and thus weaken the striking power of the working class.
- Strategy and tactics are expressed in the program of the CP. Strategy is the general plan of the class struggle, stating what the next big step is, who the main enemy is, what strengthens or weakens it, how its own forces are positioned and what social alliances the working class must seek. Tactics, on the other hand, evaluates what forms of struggle and organization are most appropriate in concrete situations to realize the strategy. The following essential insights must converge in the program of the CP:
- Ideological and political clarity through a solid grounding in the scientific communism;
- Conclusions drawn from a thorough appropriation of the historical experience of the workers movement;
- A comprehensive understanding of opportunism and revisionism and their current manifestations;
- Knowledge and understanding of the balance of power, the situation of the working class and the strategy of the bourgeoisie, both nationally and internationally;
Ideas of socialism oriented to the real objective conditions in one’s own country;
- Knowledge of dialectical materialism and its practical relevance, of political economy, of state analysis.
- Democracy and centralism form a unity in which the conscious, unified action of the entire party based on a common world view is combined with an efficient confluence of the information and experience of the party’s members and environment, and in which rapid decision-making is combined with systematic accountability and correction of mistakes. Democratic Centralism allows for maximum operational capacity in the class struggle through decisions made collectively that allow for unified and disciplined action, and through discipline that accepts the command of a leading center. It is not a rigid framework, but its form must be adapted to concrete circumstances to ensure the ability of the CP to act even in the face of severe repression. Centralism is expressed in the party’s election of a center that leads the party between congresses and is thus granted decision-making powers. It is expressed in a party hierarchy headed by the party congress, followed by the party center, down to the party’s grassroots organization. It is expressed in the fact that the decisions of higher organizational units are binding on lower organizational units. It is expressed in the prohibition of the formation of factions, as they are contrary to a common discipline. It is expressed in a reporting system that allows the center to incorporate all the knowledge, experience and assessments of the members in order to make decisions appropriate to the situation.
- The democracy of the party is a proletarian and not a bourgeois democracy. It is based on the principle of partisanship for the interests of the working class, serves its struggle and aims at a better understanding of the correct steps and a higher fighting power through a unified, conscious action of the entire party. It stands thus in contrast to the bourgeois understanding of democracy, which ignores the central importance of the correct decisions of the collectivity, which correspond to the understanding of objective necessity. The bourgeois understanding, in fact, places individual interests above the correct decision in accordance with class interests; in it, the plurality of opinions and the sum of the individual interests and needs of the participants are considered sufficient conditions for democratic decision-making. The proletarian democracy of the party, on the other hand, is expressed in the subordination of the minority to the majority and in the activity, initiative and discipline in reaching decisions of each member. It is expressed in the systematic application of criticism and self-criticism at all levels of the organization in order to correct mistakes. It is expressed in the fact that the party’s membership is recruited from the most conscious sections of the working class, and that the entire membership can and should bring its experience in the collective discussion of the central lines of strategy and tactics and decide on them. It is expressed in the fact that all members have the same rights and duties, and that differences between members arise only from their functions for the party. It is expressed in the fact that the entire membership participates in the election and dismissal of its leadership. It is expressed in the collegiality of the leading organizational units, and finally, the democracy of the organization is also expressed in the fact that it constantly strives to develop its entire membership in the penetration of the scientific communism and the actual class struggle, in order to increase the consciousness and the unity of the common decisions.
- The task of the CP to lead the working class in the class struggle involves a quantitative and qualitative demand for certain work that cannot be split among members or done “on the side”. This includes tasks such as maintaining the structures, guiding the implementation of the decisions of the entire organization and coordinating the activities of the members. For this purpose, the CP needs a body of cadres, i.e., available forces that it can deploy as needed and that are as free as possible from other constraints. However, we still see a need for clarification and discussion regarding the relationship between cadres and members. For the time being, it is important that a party is a cadre party only if it has a cadre base. This also means that at certain times a communist cadre party can consist exclusively of cadres (for example, under particularly repressive conditions in illegality). The cadre base can ensure the functioning and operation of the party.
- Cadres are professional revolutionaries, and their main activity is party work in the party. They are at the disposal of the party and can be appointed by it to a wide variety of functions. In order to work as leading party functionaries, cadres must be recruited by the party from among its most outstanding members. Since membership in a communist party is itself associated with a high standard, cadres must distinguish themselves by meeting that standard to a special degree:
- a practical attachment to the working class and the cause of the revolution;
- an internalization of the foundations of scientific communism;
- a certain knowledge of the history of the workers’ movement;
- experience and skill in the theory and practice of the organizational structure and functioning of a CP;
- experience in agitation and propaganda;
- necessary knowledge and skills in political activism;
- a minimum of knowledge of the various forces and allies of the enemy class and of one’s own;
- a combination of revolutionary zeal and initiative with dispassionate objectivity and discipline are requirements for cadres. All these skills can be mastered by members, but if they are not available among the party functionaries, they do not belong to its cadre body. The term “cadre” is therefore not a self-definition of specially educated party members, but contains the explicit appointment by the party: only those who work in a leading capacity as professional revolutionaries on behalf of the party are cadres.
- Cadres are and remain members and have, in principle, the same rights and duties as other members. The functions they assume on behalf of the party may each be accompanied by certain powers and may require certain development of the cadre. However, other members may also assume certain functions on behalf of the Party or be elected to leadership positions, each of which may be accompanied by certain powers. All members are at the disposal of the Party in the sense that they actively follow the Party’s decisions and directives. Each individual member is therefore an active member; there are no passive members.
- The requirements for CP members and cadres show that it is a central task of the party to enable and systematically promote the development of workers into CP members and of members into CP cadres. It must strive to increase the proportion of working-class members and cadres in its leadership in order to ensure a firm link to the working class, including in terms of personnel, and to live up to its claim to be a working-class party. In the process, not all party members will and must develop into cadres. The social anchoring and activity of all party members enables the party to gain a comprehensive insight into the living conditions and level of consciousness of the various sections of the working class and the masses of the people. Party members represent the Party in their lives, i.e. in their work and in their entire living environment:
- they carry out agitation and propaganda among the masses and organize them;
- they bring their experiences back to the party and thus verify strategy and tactics in the class struggle. Communists from petty-bourgeois or bourgeois backgrounds who are committed to the cause of the working class can also be involved as members and cadres. For this to happen, the party must work systematically to ensure that social background takes a back seat to commitment to the party and the cause of the working class.
The building of the communist party and the struggle against revisionism are the necessary tasks of the Communists in Germany today
At present, there is no revolutionary communist party in Germany. The communist movement is in a crisis, the central cause of which is the predominance of revisionism in its ranks.
- Today we are in a non-revolutionary period of the development of imperialism in Germany. The objective conditions for a revolutionary situation are missing, i.e. a crisis of the rule of the bourgeoisie in which the working class no longer accepts its rule and the bourgeoisie is no longer able to exercise its rule consistently. What is more, the working class today lacks, on the one hand, the maturity and readiness to seize, exercise and defend power and, on the other hand, its leading militant organization, the communist party, which can meet the demands of the class struggle. Because the communist movement (CM) in Germany is in a deep crisis. This crisis is at the same time an expression of the crisis of the international communist movement (ICM). The temporary defeat of socialism in the counterrevolution of 1989/91 was a heavy blow and at the same time an expression and driving force of the crisis of the CM: the power of the working class was crushed by opportunists and other forces of the bourgeoisie in many states like the Soviet Union and the GDR, quite a number of communist parties dissolved under the dominance of revisionism or became social-democratic. Today in Germany, the crisis of the CP is expressed in the isolation of the communists from the working class: in the sectarianism, stagnation and fragmentation of the CP and in the fraying and weakening of scientific communism. The non-existence of a CP capable of taking the leading role in the struggles of the working class and determining the road to revolution with a strategy and tactics is both an expression of the crisis of the CM and an obstacle to overcoming it.
- The defeat of socialism in 1989-91 was not inevitable, and the crisis of CM is not a theoretical crisis of scientific communism. Neither historical and dialectical materialism, revolutionary and party theory, nor the dictatorship of the proletariat and the centrally planned economy proved to be wrong. On the contrary, the central insights on these questions have been confirmed by historical development, by their realization in the socialist states and by the problems created by their disregard. The central, though not the only, cause of the crisis of the CM and the temporary defeat of socialism in 1989-91 lies in the imposition of revisionism in the ranks of the CM. Under the guise of further development, revisionism weakened or completely negated central insights of scientific communism.
The struggle against revisionism is a prerequisite for overcoming the crisis of the Communist Movement. Revisionism in the party question is a main obstacle to the creation of the communist party in Germany.
- Rolling back revisionist positions in the CM is a concrete practical task that must ultimately be reflected in the organization and actions of communists. We are committed to this struggle. We understand revisionism as the infiltration of bourgeois ideology into the workers’ movement. This diverts it from the road to communism. Examples of this, in our opinion, are the rejection of the goal of revolution, the planned economy and the dictatorship of the proletariat. The correct theory, on the other hand, is that which correctly reflects the world and is useful for the practice of the class struggle with the final goal of communism – which is fundamentally embodied in Marxism-Leninism. The struggle against revisionism cannot mean taking theoretical knowledge and rejecting everything that does not correspond to it. Rather, it is about identifying and fighting theories that are in contradiction with the liberation of the working class, by analyzing the precise conditions and problems of a field of struggle and, in the application of Marxist-Leninist theory, which is itself an embodiment and generalization of the experience of the working class movement, identifying the path that leads us to the goal of a liberated society. Accordingly, we understand the struggle against revisionism not as a mere dogmatic defense of the general wisdom of the “classics,” but as a concrete and scientific struggle for a theory and practice that does not integrate the workers’ movement into bourgeois politics, neutralizing it, but organizes it successfully against the bourgeois state and for socialism-communism. The right knowledge is not enough to be victorious, but it is an important condition for it. We are not alone in this – the struggle to overcome the crisis of the ICM after the defeat of 1989/91 is taking place throughout the ICM. In many countries, there are efforts to overcome revisionist positions and to form new revolutionary parties or to reorganize existing ones. Attempts to gather and exchange revolutionary parties at the international level, such as the European Communist Initiative and the International Communist Review, as well as broader ICM exchange platforms such as the International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties, are also expressions of the attempt to overcome the crisis of the ICM. We see ourselves as part of this movement and want to actively participate in the struggles and overcome our previous isolation within the ICM.
- In Germany, too, we want to combine an openness to discussion with other communists with our own elaboration of correct scientific communist positions and a relentless debunking of revisionism, in order to polarize the CM and rally around a revolutionary pole those who are ready for scientific clarification and the fight against revisionism. We mainly target communists, organizations and parties of our current, because we are united by the positive reference to the socialism of the SU and the GDR and thus have a certain common ideological basis. The above-mentioned positive reference to real existing socialism is therefore an important yardstick for us to enter into discussion with parties and organizations, because it is a matter of learning from the mistakes and achievements of our own history. Organizations and parties that have a detached relationship to the real existing socialism do not have this basis for discussion. With the organizations that were in solidarity with the Soviet Union after 1956, we are united by the defense of the GDR as the greatest achievement of the German labor movement and the defense of real existing socialism. At the same time, there are differences and great disagreements within this current. While one part criticizes and fights against revisionism after 1956, the other part has been shaped by revisionism and has departed from the foundations of scientific communism. Instead, the organizations of this direction sometimes take social-democratic and reformist positions on the party question, the state question, the road to socialism, socialist economy, or even demonize the Soviet Union at the time of Stalin with anti-communist positions. We strive for a critical but comradely discussion within this current. The organizations of the Maoist and Hoxhaist currents have left the ground of scientific socialism. Partly as a reaction to the revisionism of the CPSU, they have historically and still today adopted counterrevolutionary positions with regard to actually existing socialism, thus fundamentally opposing the workers’ movement. Their attitude towards socialism is also characterized by utopian ideas. The anti-revisionism of this current has long since ended in ideological confusion, arbitrariness and new forms of revisionism. The organizations of the Maoist and Hoxhaist currents have so far made little effort to revise their grave errors and attitudes towards socialism, and have thus pursued an opportunist policy. In the communist movement there is a confusion of different positions and a sharp separation of the historically developed currents is not always possible. Nevertheless, we want to seek a serious confrontation with these currents, deepen our criticism and express it publicly and transparently. The Trotskyist current has held counterrevolutionary positions since its inception and fought against socialism in the SU long before revisionism was able to gain strong influence in the CPSU. In the Trotskyist current today there is a contradictory mix of different viewpoints that fundamentally diverge from scientific communism.
- The destructive effect of revisionism is particularly evident in the party question. The abandonment and undermining of the lessons on the party question-such as the CP’s claim to leadership, democratic centralism, the necessity of the cadre party, etc.-has led to the dissolution or weakening of many parties. – led to the dissolution or weakening of many parties. Thus, opportunists in the ICM were able to dismantle and destroy strong militant organizations such as the CPSU and the SED. Revisionism in the party question, in addition to many ambiguities, is still present today not only in the CM as a whole, but also in our current, and in some cases it is very widespread. Ambiguity and revisionism in the party question are a direct obstacle to the building of the CP in Germany: in our view, the orientations of the existing organizations within the CM in Germany do not lead to the creation of a revolutionary fighting party. In individual cases, this goal is mentioned, but no planned, responsible approach is discernible. There is no serious and comprehensive examination of the crisis of the CM that would include a consistent review and clarification of its own agenda and strategic orientation. The principles of the Party of a New Type are either rejected or not fulfilled, or it is assumed that a militant organization based on the PNT can only be created in revolutionary times or in spontaneous struggles. On this basis, the idea that a militant organization based on the principles of the PNT can be created actively and according to plan is criticized as voluntaristic. Ultimately, this prevents a conscious, planned and purposeful development and rejects the claim of the CP to be the most conscious section of the working class and to become its leading militant organization. The rejection of the principles of the PNT, the unconscious handling of the crisis of the CM and the de facto rejection of the leading role of the CP are all ultimately expressions of the “worship of spontaneity” (Lenin), of running behind the unconscious uprising of the working class.
The planned and accountable building of the communist party is necessary. This is the goal and task of the Kommunistische Organisation.
- We reject all hopes that the militant party can be forged only in “more turbulent times” or in spontaneous struggles. And we reject all ideas of a vaguely defined party, a loose or politically diverse mosaic-party. We reject all hopes that the party could emerge from the development of the unity of action of independent groups. The militant party of the working class, as we outline it, must be built in Germany, and we want to build it. The necessity of this construction corresponds to the laws of the historical epoch in which we find ourselves, and it is confirmed every day in the experience of the working class. Understanding the necessity of building the party means putting it into practice today: building the party is not a theoretical question, but a practical one, and it must be answered with a planned, accountable approach. According to the goal and our possibilities, we will draw up a plan for building the CP.
- We do not plan the building of the CP independently of the objective development of society and the real political conditions. Accordingly, we must use the current relatively “quiet” phase of the class struggle to systematically build the party and equip ourselves for the upsurge of the class struggle. The better we are equipped with the structures of a CP, a strategy and the insights of scientific communism, the better we will be able to take over the leadership of the working class in hard and stormy times. The deepening of the knowledge of the class relations in Germany and worldwide and the active struggle against the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and revisionism and opportunism in the CM enable us to recognize our tasks in building the CP better and better, to recognize the mistakes made and to correct them. Planned activity and flexible reaction to rapidly changing conditions are not contradictory, as long as firmness of principle underlies every action.
- Against the background of the crisis of the CM, it was right that we founded the Kommunistische Organisation in 2018 as an independent organization with unified, binding and disciplined structures and a common ideological basis, the aim of which is to build the revolutionary fighting party of the working class. The KO is not an end in itself, it is the organization with which we practically create the conditions for the foundation of the CP by building the cadre base and the necessary organizational apparatus of the CP and by carrying out the work of clarification for the development of a revolutionary strategy for the working class in Germany. When we see that the conditions, we have set for a CP in Germany are fulfilled, we will found the CP. With the decision of a revolutionary program for the working class in Germany, the foundation of the CP will mean a qualitative leap in the development of the KO and thus its supersession. In order to make it clear that a development is still necessary for this, we members of the KO see ourselves as candidates for the CP to be founded.
- We are not outside the CM and therefore not outside its crisis. We are also affected by it and we recognize it through our inexperience and shortcomings. We do not overestimate our political actions because we do not assume that through them, we can end the crisis of the CM in a direct and spontaneous way. But with the planned building of the CP and the struggle against revisionism, we want to propose and implement a way to finally overcome the crisis of the CM. This requires the greatest possible initiative, determination, perseverance and collectivity of the organization. This includes the discipline of decision-making and the activity of all participants to implement the reconstruction plan under the leadership of a center. Successful planned action also requires a functioning culture of criticism and self-criticism within the organization, the measure of which must be the fulfillment of the plan. Accordingly, we need clearly defined criteria for the accountability of plan goals. Both require not only the honest willingness of those involved, but also the best possible political and ideological understanding of our tasks.
- We cannot accomplish these tasks in building the CP with or within existing structures. There is no plan to build the CP in any of the existing organizations. Moreover, the willingness to discuss it is very low. In principle, it is possible to join forces with other organizations or parts of organizations before or during the establishment of the CP. However, this can only happen on the basis of clarification and agreement on the fundamentals of scientific communism, especially on the party question, and on an organized and practical struggle against revisionism. By making the different points of view in the CM transparent, by publicly exposing our own views to criticism, and by embarking on the path of planned practical construction of the CP, we will act as a beacon for other communists. This openness to the CM does not contradict the fact that we do not make the process of building the CP dependent on the success of such unification and on the rapid success of the gathering of communists. The organizational fragmentation of the communist movement and its ideological decomposition by revisionism will not be overcome with the foundation of the CP and the gathering of communists will not be finished.
The clarification process is an instrument of the Kommunistische Organisation to create the theoretical conditions for the foundation of the communist party.
- With the clarification process, the KO aims to work out the foundations of a strategy and tactics of the working class in Germany and a revolutionary program. The ideological foundation of this process is the agreement already reached in the Programmatic Theses of the KO. We carry out the clarification process in a planned and responsible way, collectively determining for which questions concerning the construction of the CP clarification is necessary. We discuss these questions in the whole organization and finally agree on answers. We ourselves determine at what point ideological clarity and unity are sufficient to develop the program of the CP. To do this, we must develop a deeper understanding of strategy and tactics and make a more accurate assessment of the understanding of strategy and tactics of other organizations of the CM. Our answers in the clarification process will reflect the state of our development and will need to deepen as we move forward, meaning that we will continue to address certain questions even after the CP is established. Thus, the clarification process also has the purpose of enabling the development of a scientific apparatus that we will need even after the CP is established. With this procedure, we prevent the clarification process from running on indefinitely as an end in itself, thus making the development of a program impossible.
- We want to work together on the party question. In the center of the clarification is the confrontation with revisionist ideas about the party in the communist movement, especially the rejection of the relevance of the PNT and its characterization as a cadre party. We want to deal with different party conceptions nationally and internationally, work out the experiences of the workers movement on the party question, and focus on the current positions and experiences after the counterrevolution of 1989/91. On the basis of this examination, we also want to sharpen our concepts of strategy and tactics, of theory and practice, of cadres, of democratic centralism, etc., and our understanding of the bolshevization of the communist parties at the time of the Communist International.
- Together we want to make a more detailed analysis of the German working class and imperialism. A comprehensive knowledge of the class enemy, the working class and the potential allies for the socialist revolution is the central content of strategy and tactics. Therefore, we must develop a more comprehensive understanding of our present period and for this we must undertake an examination of German imperialism in the economic, political and military fields and its placement in the imperialist world system. For this, we must also sharpen our understanding of imperialism and penetrate the debates in the ICM on the question of the imperialist world system. Identifying the direction of development of imperialism, knowing the enemies of the working class and the internal contradictions in the camp of the bourgeoisie is crucial to clearly determine the direction of the struggle of the working class and its potential allied forces. Understanding the composition of the working class and the level of consciousness in the different sections of the working class is a crucial basis for developing the orientations of the struggle. So is understanding the influence of social democracy and other bourgeois ideologies and actors, as well as the labor aristocracy within the organized labor movement. We must understand the development of the economic base as the decisive factor in the situation of the working class. We want to include our experiences in mass work in the class analysis, without limiting the analysis to the evaluation of these experiences.
- We want to deepen our collective understanding of the crisis of the movement and the role of revisionism and opportunism. We need to study the prevailing positions of communist organizations, parties and currents in Germany and their development in order to lead an effective struggle against revisionism and take steps to overcome the crisis. An examination of the ICM and individual forces within it will also help us understand the crisis of the CM and revisionism in a broader sense. The different positions on working-class revolutionary strategy and socialism are of paramount importance. On the question of socialism, the revisionist positions on the defeat of socialism in 1989-91, on the economics of socialism and the false propaganda of the “socialist market economy,” and on the role of the CP in the dictatorship of the proletariat are of particular concern. The disputes over the assessment of political and economic developments in Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the People’s Republic of China and others show the importance of these questions for understanding the role of revisionism. The confrontation with revisionism does not end with the founding of the CP but is a necessary continuous process. With each deepening of our understanding of revisionism, the conditions of its emergence and growth, and its current manifestations, we will be better able to recognize and roll back the influence of revisionism in our own ranks.
- In the Programmatic Theses and other publications, we formulate our basic positions on the necessity of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the centrally planned economy, the socialization of the means of production and the leading role of the CP. When the CP is founded, we will not yet be able to give a comprehensive idea of the conditions for building socialism in Germany. Nevertheless, the questions of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the socialist planned economy are of outstanding importance for the clarification process and must be worked on in depth. By this we mean above all the elaboration of a well-founded critique of the concept and implementation of the “socialist market economy,” which represents a significant point of division in the ICM.
- The Working Groups (WG) of the KO are bodies that perform specific tasks for the clarification process of the KO. Their purpose is not to carry out clarification on their own. The WGs will deal, to varying degrees, with the central issues of clarification that have been collectively decided. Independently of this, all WGs work on essential issues of the scientific communism, and in all of them we lead the struggle against revisionism. The goal of the WGs is to train a continuously working core of comrades with exceptional expertise in their field over the years, in order to create a high scientific quality for the clarification process in the medium term and the basis for a scientific apparatus in the long term. The clarification process thus also plays an important role in the planned development of membership and the formation of a cadre base. By continuously improving our ability to analyze current and historical social conditions, we are laying important foundations for building the CP.
- The clarification process is not an instrument for the unity of the whole CM. On the contrary, it is the main weapon in the struggle against revisionism. The starting point of our clarification was and is the criticism of the revisionist positions within the movement. The sharp scientific demarcation from revisionism is a prerequisite for a higher unity among the revolutionary forces of the movement. Therefore, the clarification process must also be a public process in which we expose our own positions to criticism, sharpen our positions in the dispute, and expose and push back revisionism. In this way we want to gather around us those communists who are interested in a scientific clarification process for the practice of the reconstruction of the CP in Germany. The invitation for communists outside the KO to cooperate in the clarification process is therefore meant seriously but must not lead to diluting the sharp subject-matter criticism and debate.
The building of the cadre body is the practical prerequisite for the establishment of the CP. It is carried out on the basis of the planned development of all members and candidates of the KO.
- The building of a cadre body is a priority task of the KO in building the structures of the CP and a prerequisite for the development and further growth of the activity of the entire membership and the collective functioning of the KO. Our own experience confirms the necessity of cadres, i.e. leading party functionaries. Among other things, it is already clear that there are always bottlenecks and delays in our work, and that potential remains unused because the comrades in charge do not have enough time to think through and plan their tasks carefully, or because the necessary structures for a collective working method have not yet been created.
- Without the development of cadres already in the KO, we will not be able to build the necessary organizational apparatus of the CP. This includes roughly:
- a political leadership, including an apparatus that ensures operational capability (security, finance, technology, anti-repression, etc.);
- functioning local or regional structures in the metropolitan areas of the FRG;
- the capacity for agitation and propaganda, including an organ with a corresponding editorial staff;
- the deployment of cadres in various fields of struggle, such as the workplace, school/university, social struggles, antifascism, etc.;
- a scientific apparatus, an educational apparatus and a theoretical organ. In the development plan, we have to specify, in a way that can be accounted for, where the priorities are for the development of the cadre body and constantly improve this planning.
- A central basis of the building of a cadre body is the planned development of all the members, candidates and supporters of the KO. We need the individual willingness of all comrades to work reliably and in the long term to build the CP and to develop themselves according to the requirements. Concretely, it is a matter of giving more time and priority in one’s life to the revolutionary activity for building the CP. We know that a declaration of readiness today is not a binding commitment for tomorrow. Comrades who want to become cadres today may revise this decision tomorrow. Other comrades, who are again unsure today, will – because they are developing politically – show their readiness tomorrow. This process is dynamic and not linear. We want to take this fact into account by constantly expanding the number of developed comrades and thus increasing the potential for cadre development. By raising our collective development level, we will be able to identify outstanding comrades and enable their development into potential cadres of a CP. Without raising the level of development of the entire KO, there is the risk of lowering the demands on cadres by actually lowering the demands on the entire membership.
- The fulfillment of development tasks is only possible if the tasks themselves are clearly and concretely formulated. Therefore, we need a development plan that gives all comrades and new comrades who join us clarity about what development the building of the CP and especially of the cadre body demands from us, how we as KO implement it, and what the individual possibilities and requirements are. The development plan contains the following components or covers the following areas, among others:
- education in scientific communism;
- acquiring skills in agitation and propaganda;
learning the skills of mass work and scientific work;
- learning collectiveness, criticism and self-criticism, discipline, conscientiousness and initiative, taking responsibility;
- in addition to learning leadership skills for building CP structures and staffing them with cadres, it is also necessary to have some specialization in various fields of activity; therefore, the KO development plan should include not only collective learning goals, but also learning goals of individual specialization. The specialization of the comrades must be based on the requirements of the structure of the PC. The development plan is therefore a training program for all comrades of the KO with defined contents and learning goals, which must be accountable and verifiable.
- The various executive functions of the KO already play an important role in the development of its members. Currently, almost all members of the KO have an executive function. For a period of time in the qualitative development of our structures and individual comrades in these roles, we need to increase the level of stability and continuity. We need to develop the process of taking on executive functions in a more conscious and unified way, seeing it as part of the development plan. The need for more focused development is most evident in Central Leadership (CL). The leadership of the organization itself needs to be fully trained for the tasks of class struggle. Above all, they need a clear and binding relationship to the organization and its political mission. The leadership of the KO must quickly develop the character of a board of cadres.
- Within the framework of the building of the communist party, the communist mass work serves first of all for the development of the comrades and the deepening of the collective knowledge about the situation of the working class. It will not be possible to expand mass work continuously in a linear way in order to build the necessary structures and personnel of the CP. Communists can only develop side by side with their class brothers and sisters, and through tireless efforts it will be possible to close the gap between the general-abstract conception of capitalist relations and the understanding of their concrete manifestations, and to truly penetrate class relations comprehensively. Only in this way will we learn to take concrete practical leadership in the struggles and to organize the working class. In the KO development plan, we set common standards and formulate collective and individual learning goals. Important development tasks in mass work are:
- learning to organize, i.e. the ability to activate and involve those who participate on the basis of their class interests, to delegate tasks and to create structures.
- learning to access the political, social, economic conditions in a field of struggle (factory, university, school, neighborhood, etc.), to recognize friends and enemies, and to develop appropriate tactics in the interests of the struggling workers in that field;
- learning revolutionary patience, i.e. to match one’s own demands and expectations for the mobilization, politicization and development of the workers with the real conditions and possibilities for development of those involved, and to keep the long view in the struggles without being quickly disappointed by defeats and setbacks. In addition to these developmental tasks, there are many other aspects of communist practice, such as effective agitation and propaganda, that we can and must learn in mass work.
- During the building of the CP, agitation and propaganda are directed primarily to organized and unorganized communists and to people interested in communism in general. A developed agitation and propaganda in the working class can only be developed gradually by the CP. Despite this limitation, the development of agitation and propaganda is important for the building of a cadre body and for the building of the CP in general. Agitation and propaganda are the culmination points where the concentrated experience and scientific ability of an organization and an individual are condensed into the comprehensible communication of current events from a revolutionary point of view. Successful agitation and propaganda require:
- the penetration of scientific communism;clarity of concepts;
- creative application of the experience of the history of the workers’ movement;
- sufficient knowledge of current social conditions;the ability to present facts in a comprehensible and vivid manner;
- adaptability of the method of presentation;
- experience with the different layers of the working class and other skills. The planned specialization of comrades in historical and current areas of world politics will gradually enable us to write our own KO publications on increasingly diverse topics. Through the development of individual comrades in journalistic and editorial work, we can also gradually form the necessary structures for a communist organ and its editorial staff. In this sense, individual and collective development are closely related, and training in these skills must occupy an important place in the organization’s development plan.