Programme of the Revolutionary
Communist International Tendency (RCIT)
Founding Program of the RCIT, adopted in 2012
I. The world we live in
II. A new historical period of revolutionary character
III. The world we are fighting for
IV. The leadership we have and the leadership we need
The struggle for the unions
Changes in the working class
Action Committee - factory committees - Councils
The democratic protest movements
V. The Program of the Revolution
An action program to save the humanity from the misery of capitalism
Cancel the debts! Expropriate the banks and speculators!
Against wage cuts, job insecurity and unemployment!
Fight inflation! For the adjustment of wages to inflation! For price control committees!
Defence of public services! Fight the privatization!
An end to the “business secret”! For workers’ control! For a public employment programme!
No division – Joint fight, regardless of nation, and location!
No more tax breaks for the rich! Expropriate the super rich!
Against the attacks on education! Education for all under control of the working class and youth!
Revolutionary Struggle for Democracy
Free the oppressed peoples from the clutches of the banks and corporations!
Support the national liberation struggles of oppressed peoples!
Fight against the super-exploitation and national oppression of migrants!
Save our planet from the capitalist climate catastrophe!
Jobs and housing for the poor in urban slums!
The land to the peasants! Organise the agricultural workers!
Joint struggle for women’s liberation!
Combat the sexual oppression of church and state!
An end to the oppression of young people!
Down with militarism and imperialist war!
The arming of the working class and the oppressed
For a workers’ government, based on the poor peasants and the urban poor
From the armed insurrection to the dictatorship of the proletariat and towards socialism!
* * * * *
بيان التيار الشيوعي الثوري العالمي
(The Revolutionary Communist Manifesto in Arabic language)
Manifiesto Comunista Revolucionario de la CCRI/RCIT (The Revolutionary Communist Manifesto in Spanish language)
Manifesto Comunista Revolucionário da CCRI/RCIT (The Revolutionary Communist Manifesto in Portuguese language)
Das Revolutionär-Kommunistische Manifest der RKIT/RCIT (The Revolutionary Communist Manifesto in German language)
Manifesti Komunist Revolucionare i RCIT/TRNK (The Revolutionary Communist Manifesto in Albanian language)
Επαναστατικό Κομμουνιστικό Μανιφέστο (The Revolutionary Communist Manifesto in Greek language)
* * * * *
Our time does not lack protests, struggles and insurrections against social injustice, lack of democracy and national oppression. The Arab Revolution since early 2011, the general strikes in southern Europe, mass protests in South Asia, as well as in Nigeria and Chile, the national liberation struggles in Afghanistan, Palestine, and the Occupation Movement in North America and Europe are only the most outstanding examples of the global upsurge of class struggle.
As impressive and heroic as these movements are, they also suffer at the same time from widespread ideological confusion and disorganisation. This reflects on one hand their spontaneous nature. On the other hand, it also shows the devastating effects of decades of domination by forces within the workers and resistance movements, which are hostile to the interests of the working class. Examples of such forces include petty bourgeois Nationalism, Islamism, Social Democracy, Stalinism, Anarchism and Centrism.
For this reason, all these great movements of class struggle and resistance have not been able to record any lasting success. Instead, capitalism, in its decline, pulls humanity even deeper into disaster.
The central problem, therefore, is that the working class and the oppressed are missing above all a revolutionary vanguard, which has a common programme and a united, international organisation. Trotsky's statement in the Transitional Programme from 1938 that – "The historical crisis of mankind is reduced to the crisis of the revolutionary leadership" – therefore has today even more validity than it did during his era.
This lack of a revolutionary vanguard party is a tremendous threat to the new movements of class struggle and resistance. Various political forces and ideologies – Islamists, petty-bourgeois democrats and pacifists, open or masked henchmen of this or that imperialist power, reformist bureaucrats, overt or disguised anarchists, pseudo-socialist tendencies – take part in these movements and revolutions in order to expand their own influence.
This makes it harder for the movements to succeed in their goals, which in turn increases the risk that bourgeois forces and bureaucrats will try to exploit the struggles of the masses for their own purposes.
To prevent this from happening, and to lead the future revolutionary movements to the successful overthrow of the capitalist ruling class, the formation of a new world party of socialist revolution – the Fifth Workers' International – is required. The basis for this new formation must be a joint programme that draws from the lessons of the past and current class struggles as well as the necessary conclusions.
* * *
The programme presented here is the political platform of our organisation - the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT). At the same time it is also our proposal for the programmatic basis of the future Fifth Workers' International respectively those organisations which are formed as a step towards the future International.
Does this mean that our programme is "the last word"? Of course not. There is no "last word" because the world never stands still. Just as society continually develops, the workers and oppressed always gather new experiences, so a programme, by its very nature, must continue to evolve. It must reflect and include new developments, new experiences and new lessons. If this does not occur, it degenerates into a lifeless dogma.
Our programme builds on the methodology of the major programmes of the revolutionary workers' movement – in particular the Communist Manifesto of 1848, the Program of the Bolsheviks of 1919 and the Transitional Program of the Fourth International in 1938. It also continues the revolutionary tradition of the programmes of our predecessor organisation, the MRCI/LRCI/LFI.
* * *
This programme is the result of the political experiences and conclusions of the RCIT. The RCIT stands in the traditions of the first four revolutionary workers' international movements – which are associated with the names of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky and Luxemburg. This red thread of revolutionary continuity stretched from the 1840s up to the phase of the centrist degeneration of the Fourth International 1948-51. After this it ceased. It was only continued from the early 1980s onwards through the work of a small group of Marxist revolutionaries in the Movement for a Revolutionary Communist International (MRCI) (which was then later renamed into the LRCI and finally the League for the Fifth International (LFI)).
The founding cadres of the RCIT include activists who for years or even decades played a leading role in the LRCI/LFI. The political degeneration of the LFI led to a series of bureaucratic expulsions and splits, from which eventually in 2011 revolutionary organisations in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Austria and the United States emerged. After a period of collaboration, and after developing a common understanding of revolutionary theory and practice, these organisations have now joined forces on the basis of this programme to form an international tendency on a democratic-centralist basis. Since the majority of the LFI has proven unable to meet the challenges of the new historical period, it's up to us to continue the thread of revolutionary continuity.
* * *
The programme of us Bolshevik-Communists is the codification, the summary and generalisation of the lessons of past class struggles and the successful and failed attempts at building a world revolutionary party.
As previously stated, we consider our programme not as a "last word". Many experiences of the revolutionary movements worldwide could not sufficiently be reflected therein due to our limited presence in a few countries as the RCIT is currently a small international organisation with activists in Asia, Europe and North America. We are, therefore, fully aware of the limitations of our programme.
However, this awareness of our weaknesses is no reason for pessimism. Through despair obstacles can never be overcome. We are well prepared for the difficult path of revolutionary struggle as we can build on the political experiences of our predecessors as well as our own cadre with years and decades of experience as part of the working class. The realistic assessment of our strengths and weaknesses allows us to see clearly the challenges before us. We aim to broaden our international activities and to deepen our roots in the working class and the oppressed. By this, in turn, we already possess the conditions for a vibrant development of our programme.
We, therefore, turn to the many activists and organisations who participate like us in the class struggle and the resistance movements against capitalist rule. Let us fight together against the capitalist ruling class and for an international socialist revolution! Read our programme and contact us about this for an exchange of views. Let's build together the future Fifth Workers' International on a revolutionary basis! Join the RCIT!
Michael Pröbsting, Shujat Liaqat
The world is sliding from one crisis to another and from one disaster to another. A general perception is spreading that this system offers no future. Indeed, the system we live in - capitalism - is in its death agony. The rulers themselves know of no way to escape this crisis. They load the consequences of the crisis onto the shoulders of the broad majority of the population - the workers and the oppressed.
Apparently nobody can stop them. They are well organised and pursue their plans with vigour because the ruling class is well organised. With the help of their powerful state apparatus, they push through their decisions. In case resistance arises, they mobilise their police, judiciary and media. In addition, they send troops abroad to expand their spheres of influence. Capitalism is – either with or without parliamentary democracy – the dictatorship of a small minority who are the capitalist class.
Since the beginning of the 21st Century we have witnessed heroic revolutions and great resistance movements: the Arab revolution, many general strikes in Europe against the economic and debt crisis, the food riots in many poor countries, the armed resistance in a number of Islamic countries against the occupation forces from the USA, EU and their henchman Israel, the mass uprisings in Thailand against the military, the uprising of the poor in Britain, mass strikes and peasant uprisings in China and India, the mass uprisings in Argentina, Venezuela and other Latin American countries, the liberation struggle of Tamils in Sri Lanka and the global Occupation Movement, etc. .
But the ruling class is still in power and our future is becoming darker. Capitalism offers us only a future without hope - a horror without an end. Either we destroy their power and open the door to a socialist future, or they destroy the foundations of human civilisation. "Socialism or barbarism" - this is the alternative.
Why could we not stop the rulers so far? Because, unlike those in power we – the workers and the oppressed – have no organisation that serves our interests and our future. We have no leadership which is fighting for a programme for our liberation. So far at the top of the unions, of the supposed parties of the working population and of the spontaneous protest movements, there exist only non-revolutionary forces. (For example, Social Democrats, Stalinists, trade union bureaucracies, petty-bourgeois democrats and centrists) Usually they are either highly paid servants of the ruling class, who are always willing to sell out their rank and file basis, or they are well-meaning dreamers who have no programme, no strategy and no plan and who do not understand the necessity of obtaining such an agenda. But that's exactly what is necessary to lead victorious millions into the battle for the liberation of the working class and the oppressed.
The ultimate, most-important, problem is the lack of an organised vanguard, which can lead the liberation struggle of the working class to the overthrow of capitalism and the conquest of power. Such a leadership can only be a revolutionary combat party of the workers which is well-rooted in a number of countries and internationally united.
The key to liberation is therefore the immediate building of such an organisation. Such a formation process does not "happen", but rather it is made. It is made by us, through our contribution and through your contribution. Every small activity that serves the creation of a revolutionary vanguard party is important.
The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) is an international organisation that fights for the worldwide destruction of capitalist slavery. Our goal is to build a revolutionary vanguard party on the basis of a programme that is appropriate for the tasks of the struggle.
Our programme shows, therefore, the way out of the misery into which capitalism, in its death agony harms humanity. It is neither directed at the politicians of the bourgeois system, nor the bureaucrats in the labour movement, who serve them. Our programme is aimed rather at those who can turn the world upside down and open the door to the freedom of humanity.
It is our class, we as workers, youth, women, and migrants: it is up to US whether we are finishing off this system and win for ourselves a future worth living. WE decide whether we remain slaves of the capitalist class or if we can throw off our chains! We decide whether we can build a revolutionary vanguard party on time or if the doomed capitalist class draws us into the abyss. If you do not want to stand aside in this struggle, then you should decide yourself to participate in the revolutionary struggle for liberation, then you should decide yourself to participate in the construction of the revolutionary vanguard party - dedicate yourself to the RCIT! The RCIT is THE international organization that knows the path of revolution without hesitation, without any deviation from it and which is willing to take it to an end. Join us!
No future without socialism! No socialism without a revolution! No revolution without a revolutionary party!
I. The world we live in
To tread the path of revolution, we must assess the political world situation correctly and all the tasks that are in front of us. Without a political compass, an understanding of the chaos of decaying capitalism is impossible. The programme of the Bolshevik-Communists shall act as such a compass.
Reformists of various shades (left Social Democrats, ATTAC, Bolivarian movement, Stalinism, etc.) claim that the neoliberal policies are the cause of the worst crisis of capitalism since 1929. It is characteristic for non-revolutionary currents, that they consider a certain form of the system as the problem and not the system itself. As a solution, they propose therefore a reform of the economic and fiscal policy through the regulation of financial markets and a state-directed investment policy. But this is an illusion. The cause of the crisis lies not in a neoliberal (financial market-oriented) government policy, but in the inevitable internal contradictions of capitalism. Capitalism is a murderous beast that cannot be converted into a vegetarian lapdog.
Capitalism is in a period of decline. It breaks down because it is corrupted by its own contradictions. This decomposition leads to the discharge of these tensions by economic, political, social and military explosions.
The deeper development behind this is: the productive forces (manpower, machinery and equipment etc., and their products) are so far advanced that they collide with increasing severity with the ever-narrowing limits of the capitalist mode of production. Private ownership of the means of production enables the capitalists in their enterprises to guide production for the sole purpose of increasing profits. Any capitalist therefore has - regardless of his personality - the goal of making profit for him- or herself and not to work for the prosperity of the whole society. Otherwise he or she will not remain a capitalist.
The entrepreneurs – who are in constant competition with each other – have the goal to increase their profit mainly due to the saving of costs. The most effective way is to save at the cost of us, the workers: increasing work stress and work hours, they also try to increase their profit by raising the productivity of each individual worker by increased use of machinery.
A growing mass of capital, therefore, co-exists with a – in relation to it – decreasing use of human labour. Thus, the dependence of the workers on the capitalists and thus their exploitation increases. Instead of using the increased productivity for the increase of the overall prosperity of all people, it is used against the working masses. This increased productivity leads the majority of humanity under the conditions of capitalism not towards a better life but towards growing unemployment and exploitation. It becomes more and more difficult to sell an ever increasing amount of commodities profitably (overproduction). And the accumulated capital can be less and less profitably invested (over-accumulation). The profit grows in proportion to the wages of the workers (increasing the rate of surplus value), but it decreases in proportion to total capital employed (tendency of the profit rate to fall). In short, the capitalist has to pay an ever greater proportion of its expenditures for more machines, land, raw materials etc., tries to reduce the cost of our wages, and ultimately he or she faces a declining rate of profit. Although the capitalists are trying to escape this by outsourcing more and more factories to countries with particularly low wage conditions (the so-called Third World, i.e. the semi-colonial countries), this cannot stop in the long run the falling of the rate of profit. Therefore, ever-increasing amounts of capital move from the area of production into the realm of speculation and the debt-business. The inevitable results are ever-tougher economic crises, speculative bubbles as well as government and corporate bankruptcies. Capitalism is a moribund economic system, because its essence, its whole logic is pushing for a rupture of its internal contradictions.
Another expression of the inner contradictions of the capitalist mode of production is the increasingly obvious fact that the productive forces have reached the limits of nation-states. Globalisation shows that the modern productive forces can develop only in an international context.
On the top of the – by increasingly sharp contradictions marked – class society rises, like an octopus, a monstrous state apparatus, which manages in the interests of the capitalist class its political business and oppresses the proletariat (the working class) and the popular masses. This state machine - a true Leviathan of the bourgeoisie (a beast of the ruling class) - is merged with capital in many ways. Notwithstanding the liberal myth the state in the imperialist countries controls 40-50% of annual national income (through taxes, etc.) and manages this in the interests of the capitalists. The dramatically increasing national debt is in reality a tremendous source of income (via Interest, etc.) for financial capital (banks, stock exchange, etc.). At the same time the direct repression apparatus (military, police, justice, private security companies, etc.) is getting bigger and bigger. In the U.S., for example, the ratio of wage earners and armed men (army, state or private security officials) is already at 25:1. In Egypt there are 2.5 million armed security forces, compared with 26 million employees. In short: Capitalism in the 21st Century is state-monopoly capitalism. The state monitors the society, regulates the economy and distributes the tax revenue. The state under capitalism is the instrument of the capitalists, so it is their apparatus, and they must utilise it today more than ever to control and suppress.
The ownership of the means of production and the division of the world into nation-states competing with each other is an insurmountable barrier of capitalist production. This too inhibits and slows the development of productive forces.
These contradictions lead to an accelerated process of monopolisation. Fewer and growing corporations dominate the global market. Today's top 500 multinational corporations control the 53 percent of the world economy. A corporation such as the IT monopolist Apple has today more available funds than the government of the world's richest country - the United States. A tiny minority of super rich - 147 billionaires - owns more than the aggregate income of half of humanity.
A similar process takes place at the state level. We are witnessing an intensification of competition between nation states (or alliances of nation-states like the EU). The dominant nation-states - the imperialist countries (like USA, the richer EU countries, China, Japan, Russia, etc.) - subdue and plunder the comparatively weaker nation-states - the semi-colonies (Africa, Middle East, Latin America, South Asia, etc.). Alone in the years 1995-2010 the imperialist monopoly capital squeezed officially more than 6.500 billion U.S. dollars out of the semi-colonial countries. At the same time the Great Powers increasingly undertake direct and indirect wars for the submission of semi-colonial peoples.
Linked to that through the rivalry between the imperialist states (first and foremost among the great powers, the U.S., EU, Japan and the new imperialist power China) the Great Powers double and triple their military efforts to prepare for upcoming regional and world wars (including nuclear war).
Already, they lead directly or indirectly colonial wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Lebanon, etc.) to expand their spheres of influence and security.
The capitalists can acquire the enormous social wealth that has been created by the working people through their labour or which arises from the conditions of nature. How? Because of the capitalists’ ownership of the means of production - factories, infrastructure, land - and due to their control over the state. The working class (also called the proletariat) is hence the class of wage labourers who live by selling their labour power and don’t own any means of production. They are exploited by the capitalist class. The resulting extorted surplus labour forms the basis for their profits and the incomes of the middle layers, whose existence is necessary for the maintenance of the capitalist system. (police, army, smaller managers, sectors of the teachers and intellectuals etc.) Inside the working class there exists top layers (labour aristocracy), which receive certain privileges from the capitalist class. On the other hand there are various lower strata which are particularly oppressed and often super-exploited (migrants, women etc.)
For the broad masses the consequences of the capitalist crisis therefore are poverty, war and misery. Every day 100,000 people die of hunger or its consequences. More than 210 million people are now officially unemployed. Half the world's population lives in poverty and must survive on less than $ 2 per day. Even in the richest country, the U.S., a third of the population live at or below the poverty line. And this is not the case because all the poor have no jobs. Many of them indeed have jobs and are still desperately poor - this is the reality for the majority of these people.
It is not only the working class, but also the petty bourgeoisie, who is affected by this misery. This is especially true for the small peasants who cultivate their own land (often as a family business). But this is barely enough to ensure their existence and they have the additional burdens of paying rent, rising prices for seeds and declining revenue from their manufactured goods. Even if it is the working class, which is in the fight against the oppression taking the leadership role, it is still necessary to have a close alliance with the peasantry in the liberation struggle.
Increasingly, capitalism puts the existence of human civilisation itself in danger. By global warming, climate change, the expansion of unsafe nuclear power plants, the destruction of rain forests more and more dangerous disasters are provoked. Whole strips of land will soon become uninhabitable.
The dominance of monopolies and the Great Powers is typical of the era in which we live - the era of imperialism. This intensifies especially in the current historical period. Similarly, now the crisis and the contradictions, which are characteristic for the imperialist epoch, are exacerbated.
II. A new historical period of revolutionary character
These contradictions of capitalism have intensified dramatically in the recent past and have opened a new historical period - a period of comprehensive existential crisis of the capitalist system itself. At the beginning of the 1990s, the ruling class could cover up the susceptibility of the crisis of their system because of the historical defeats of the proletariat, caused by the destruction of the Stalinist degenerated workers' states (the former USSR, Eastern Europe and China). But already at the beginning of the 2000s, the contradictions of capitalist globalisation and imperialist war against terror lead to a growing global political destabilisation. There was a pre-revolutionary development that eventually turned in the late 2000s into a new historical period of revolutionary character. The current crisis is therefore not a coincidence, but a lawful necessity of doomed capitalism.
The vulnerability to crisis of capitalism has turned into its open decline. The phase of slowing the growth dynamics of the capitalist world economy has been replaced by open stagnation (on the whole there is no growth) of the productive forces.
The increasingly unbearable inner contradictions of capitalism mean that this system immediately and directly undermines the foundations of the continued existence of human civilisation.
We can say without exaggeration that the declining capitalism has never before to such an extent put humanity before the alternative socialism or barbarism. Because in the present historical period three lines of development meet together:
* First, capitalism has never before developed the productive forces on such a high level. The basis for the establishment of worldwide socialism is greater than ever;
* Second, capitalism has never before produced in its history to such an extent dangerous destructive forces;
* Third, capitalism is in a historically deep crisis, the contradictions have accumulated so much that the system as a whole is in a declining curve of development.
As a result, enormous dangers threaten humanity including impoverishment, (nuclear) wars, and environmental disasters. The alternative "socialism or barbarism" – formulated by the revolutionary Rosa Luxembourg - expresses what threats humanity faces: there is a danger of a historical retrogression, of social regression through natural disasters, wars right up to nuclear war, by famine, etc caused by capitalism.
It follows that it is impossible for the ruling classes to maintain their rule in an unchanged form. To exploit the working class and oppressed masses even more, they must replace their previous political regime by a more open and more brutal one. Therefore, democratic rights are systematically undermined or even abolished. The expansion of the police state, Bonapartist structures (the state apparatus is less and less subject to formal democratic control by Parliament) to coup d’états are increasingly on the agenda.
The downfall of capitalism expresses itself inevitably in the accelerated decline of the supremacy of U.S. imperialism. After their defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. administration now announces "America's Pacific Century" (Hillary Clinton), in other words, the struggle for supremacy in Asia.
At the same time the new imperialist superpower China is experiencing a dramatic rise. Beijing now controls 10% of world industrial production and is the world's fifth-largest foreign investor. This creates an intensification of rivalries between the great powers.
It is the same in Europe where the crisis of capitalism on the one hand increases the rivalry between states and even jeopardizes the unity of the EU. On the other hand, this increases the necessity of an imperialist confederation of states in Europe under the leadership of one or two major powers (like Germany and France). These driving forces pulling in opposite direction ensure that even in Europe there will be unavoidable sharp revolutionary breaks.
To maintain their power in the face of the death agony of capitalism, the capitalist class must resort to the means and methods that constantly provoke new clashes between the classes and – even if the bourgeoisie is successful – undermine their system of rule in the long-term. Therein lays the guarantee for the fundamental and long-lasting instability in the world situation.
Given this historical crisis of the system the ruling class of the corporate masters, bankers and their politicians tries to save their profits and their power by any means. Leaning itself on the billions-strong body of workers and oppressed, they are hoping to lift themselves like a kind of Baron Munchhausen at their expense out of the quagmire. The price of this desperate and ruthless struggle for the preservation of power and privilege has to be paid by us – the workers and oppressed. Therefore, poverty and the misery of the oppressed classes exacerbate beyond the usual level.
As inevitable as the decline of capitalism and its severe fever convulsions is, so is the resistance, the class struggle against it. Therefore, there is an increase of mass protests, spontaneous uprisings and revolutionary upheavals. This revolutionary unrest has gripped not only the working class and the lower layers, but also increasingly the middle classes. The new period differs from its predecessors not by the fact that it did not see revolutionary situations in different countries. But in the present historical period, revolutionary developments occur more frequently and can spread easily and quickly like wildfire to other countries or entire regions. The Arab revolution since January 2011, the revolutionary process in Greece, the August uprising of the poor in Britain or the world-wide Occupation movement, etc. - all these developments within a short time verify the assessment of the Bolshevik-Communists that the historical crisis of capitalism has opened a revolutionary period. The actuality of the revolution is on the agenda. Not only in one or another country, but worldwide.
The peculiarity of the revolutionary period of history is not that there is a linear radicalisation of the masses, a permanent revolutionary situation, or a constant leftward movement of the masses. Rather, the characteristics of the world situation is that the foundation of capitalism has lost its relative equilibrium, which causes sharp crises, disasters, wars, steep turns, and is thus provoking sudden upheavals and lack of any stability.
If we say that the declining capitalism has never before to such an extent posed humanity before the alternative “Socialism or Barbarism”, this leads also to another conclusion: never before has the working class suffered to such an extent from the lack of a revolutionary combat party that can show the way to socialism.
The ruling class could not hold on to power until now because of their strength and not because of the lack of combat readiness of the working class. The cause lies rather in the fact that the proletariat and the oppressed are lacking a revolutionary leadership. Instead, at the head of the labour movement, there exist reformist bureaucracies which betray and sell the struggle of the masses by their policies in order to enrich themselves. Either they execute the orders as a direct stooge of the capitalist class, or they help them as indirect henchmen by leading the proletariat with a strategy in the struggle which must inevitably end in defeat.
The likely extensive nature of the current historical period also follows from this. Due to the lack of a revolutionary combat party on the basis of a Bolshevik programme, the proletariat and the masses will rather first suffer painful experiences and bitter defeats. The task is to draw the necessary lessons of this experience and to forge such a party in the fire of the battles.
The masses get exhausted in the longer run and lose faith in the possibility of victory. At the same time, the ruling class upgrades its arsenal for a decisive counterattack and prepares the creation of open or semi-open dictatorships. Against the background of a deep economic and social crisis in the case of a continued failure of the labour movement the strengthening of the rabid nationalism and fascism is inevitable. The main question of the class struggle in the revolutionary period is: crush or get crushed. Only the timely construction of a revolutionary workers party based on a Bolshevik, thus a consistently revolutionary programme, can ensure that the resolute struggle of the masses ends with a victory - that is, the proletarian seizure of power – and not with a heavy defeat.
III. The world we are fighting for
We could all live well and look forward to a secure and peaceful future if we overthrow the dictatorship of the capitalist class globally and establish a worldwide federation of socialist workers' and peasants' republics. The misery, in which capitalism drives humanity, is neither God-given nor inevitable. Mankind has an alternative and this alternative is simply that humanity takes her fate into her own hands. A small minority must not, as the ruling class does, suppress and exploit the large majority. We say enough with any form of class rule - elimination of all forms of exploitation and oppression. Instead managing of all aspects of the society by the society itself, is what is required – and without a detached, ruling over the heads of society, state apparatus. That and nothing else means communism.
This goal can of course not be realised overnight. The burden imposed on mankind by thousands of years of class society is too large. But the global construction of socialism for the 21st Century can bring humanity closer to this goal and create tremendous improvements in the lives of the great majority quickly and promptly.
In socialism of the 21st Century, the decisions are taken by the broad majority of the working population from the bottom upwards. The working class, peasants and the urban poor (including those who are still in training or already retired) will discuss in their councils - regular meetings at work and schools, in the districts - the main local and general issues of society and elect delegates according to their decisions, which are required to implement these decisions. These delegates are accountable for their decisions (i.e. they will therefore have to answer for their deeds). In addition, they can be voted out at any time and receive an average salary of skilled workers. This principle of council democracy and of recallable delegates applies to all levels of society: the local councils elect delegates who in turn select the regional and national representatives and, finally, the peoples will internationally decide in this way the global issues.
Those decisions, which have only local significance, are taken locally. Decisions of general importance for society, which also require the use of large resources, should be taken at the appropriate place - in the regional, national or international council structures.
In socialism of the 21st Century the small peasants and traders will not be forcibly dispossessed as it was the case under the rule of the Stalinist bureaucracy. Of course we want a socially beneficial use of resources. For this a broad social division of labour and the production in larger units are essential to overcome the fragmented small property (ownership and labouring of a small piece of land for himself and his family alone instead of all). But the farmers and business people should be convinced of the benefits and should not be forced to adhere to this principle. Our principle is: voluntary collectivisation instead of forced dispossession.
Socialism of the 21st Century is therefore profoundly alien to the rule or even the existence of an aloof bureaucrat caste – as it was in the USSR, Eastern Europe, China, Southeast Asia and Cuba. Never again must the concept of socialism and communism be discredited by the dictatorship of a bureaucracy – an aloof, privileged layer – against the working class. The socialism of the 21st Century will therefore not be a one-party state. Nor has the socialism of the 21st Century anything in common with a Bonapartist regime led by a caudillio ("leader") – which may be combined with a bourgeois parliament – as it currently exists in Venezuela under Chavez.
In socialism of the 21st Century humanity does not serve the economy, but conversely, the economy serves the needs of humanity. This is only possible in the context of a democratic planned economy. The means of production are not in private ownership, but under social ownership. They are not managed by detached state bureaucrats. Nor is the economy fragmented among many small cooperatives and self-employed who are in permanent competition with each other – instead of collaborating together – and wasting in this way the economic resources. Under socialism, no mass of fruit and vegetables will be destroyed and no coffee dumped into the sea, to uphold the price. The completely unnecessary spending on advertising – for example, annually in the U.S. 2-2.5% of total gross domestic product which is spent for this purpose – will disappear with a stroke and replaced by useful, objective information for consumers through social institutions, which require far less resources and are thereby more effective.
Instead, we the producers as workers and peasants control in the factories and the countryside will control the production. In the councils the social needs will be recorded, the priorities set and with the help of experts and taking into account the technical possibilities of a detailed economic plan will be drawn up and implemented.
Such national and international planning of the economy is no illusion at all. In the era of computers and the Internet this is no problem. In fact, all corporations are already working on the basis of national and international plans and coordinate global production units with up to several hundreds of thousands of employees. Why should a plan for profit be possible, but not for the purpose of social need and satisfaction?! If a few hundred multinational capitalist corporations can control the world economy, then why should the international planning of the economy, after conversion of these corporations into public ownership, suddenly no longer be possible?
Under such socialism of the 21st Century we could eliminate at a stroke the problem of hunger and poverty. Millions of people starve not because the Earth's natural resources are insufficient for 7 billion people. According to the UN representative Jean Ziegler, we have resources to feed 12 billion people easily. Yes, but only if they are not subordinated to the interests of profits and wasted and destroyed for no reason!
The revolution continues even in the period of the development of a socialist society. We have to reduce and overcome age-old prejudices and traditional forms of social oppression. Such a cultural revolution is a vital tool to end once and for all the discrimination and oppression of women, national minorities, youth, sexual minorities etc.
Socialism can only exist internationally. If the revolution remains isolated in a country or a few countries, it must sooner or later inevitably degenerate and collapse. The productive forces are already developed to such an extent that they can only grow by international exchange and the international division of labour. Moreover, the capitalist ruling class will defend their power and privileges by all means. If we succeed to overthrow them in one country, they will internationally attack the victorious revolution. Ultimately, the fate of socialism is decided in the worldwide civil war of the proletariat and its allies against the international capitalist class.
Socialism cannot be achieved gradually, not peacefully and not through the achievement of a socialist majority in parliament because capitalism is nothing but a dictatorship of the capitalist class – open or hidden behind a parliament. Never in history has the exploiting class given up their power voluntarily. Only the resolute armed struggle for power secures the victory of the revolution. Who does not consistently lead the revolution to the end shall be punished by the counter-revolution, and thus with more oppression. Bolshevik-Communists, therefore, do not conceal the necessary steps to resolve the question of power. They openly say that the question of power can be resolved only through a violent socialist revolution. Revolution means armed uprising and civil war of the organised working class, led by a revolutionary party. Revolution is the struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat – the leadership of the society under control of the exploited. For it is only under such a state form, the masses can be liberated from the yoke of capitalist domination, the economy can be planned in the interests of society, the class enemies who are fighting against the majority can be oppressed and the revolution can be spread internationally.
Under the term "dictatorship of the proletariat" we Marxists understand the rule of the working class (proletariat), based on the exploited masses, as the majority of society over the minority of the overthrown and expropriated capitalists. The dictatorship of capital – this is the dictatorship of a minority over the world, the majority of the people, this is the rule of the invisible hand of money. The dictatorship of the proletariat on the other hand is the open, transparent and controllable rule of the exploited over the former exploiters.
We speak of a "dictatorship" because the transformation from the bourgeois class society to a classless, communist society is inevitably met by the determined opposition of the former class of exploiters and their accomplices, and the imperialist powers. This counter-revolutionary resistance must - for the sake of the liberation of humanity - be suppressed with all available political, military and ideological means. It is a "dictatorship" of the majority of society, which operates in the interest of mankind and therefore represents the opposite of today's dictatorships, which are the institutions of the capitalist class to oppress the majority.
Rather, the dictatorship of the proletariat suppresses all those forces which fight against a society of prosperity for all. It suppresses all those forces who want to recreate the old order which meant plenty for a small group, and misery and death for billions of people. It, therefore, suppressed today's exploiters and their henchmen who don’t want to bow to the wishes of the masses for peace and prosperity, but who want to continue to exploit. Similarly, the desire of a mass murderer to kill must be suppressed in the interest of humanity, so the "capitalist" desire which drives humanity into its destruction will have to be suppressed. The dictatorship of the proletariat, which in reality is more democratic than any capitalist form of government, must be understood in this perspective.
IV. The leadership we have and the leadership we need
The bourgeoisie, whose economic basis is shaken by the decline of capitalism, rolls over the working class and oppressed peoples with a wave of austerity packages, tax increases, interest squeezing and the plundering of raw materials. At the same time for the past decade it undertakes a wave of military adventures under the pretext of "war on terror", which in reality only serves the expansion of geopolitical influence and colonial plunder of the Great powers.
The masses have responded with fierce resistance. Millions took to the streets against the Iraq war as shown by the fact that alone on 15th February 2003 15-20 million people marched around the globe. No summit of the powerful could take place without massive counter-mobilisations. In the new historical period the world, class struggle took on new dimensions. The Arab Revolution swept away several dictators and shook an entire region. In Greece, the working class went on a general strike more than a dozen times in the years 2010/11 alone. In London and other cities in August 2011 more than 30,000 young people, blacks and immigrants fought for five days on the streets against the British police. Millions of workers took part in general strike in India, South Africa, Turkey, Spain, Portugal and Italy. In countless cities around the world activists occupy public places to demand real democracy and social justice.
But governments still adopt draconian – i.e. massive – austerity packages one after the other. The capitalists still put millions of workers on the dole and cut wages. The banks still plunder the working masses and oppressed peoples. And the Great powers still wage wars.
So why has our resistance not met success? Obviously it does not fail because of a lack of militancy of the masses. The problem is rather that no revolutionary party stands at the forefront of the traditional organisations and the new movement. Instead, they are led by forces that are unable or unwilling to break with the bourgeois order.
The labour movement is controlled by reformist bureaucracies who sell and betray the struggle of the masses with their policies. The traditional parties of the "Socialist International" are usually completely bureaucratised, bourgeois workers' parties. (In this so-called "Socialist International" there are also many open bourgeois parties in semi-colonial countries which represent the interests of sectors of the capitalist class). These bourgeois workers' parties still rely on a sector of the working class as a social base and have - mostly through the trade unions - organised links to these. But the social democratic bureaucracy is connected through countless posts and privileges with the bourgeois state and constantly strives for capitalist government offices. If they are allowed by the bourgeoisie, they are only too willing to push through as a government party the most brutal austerity measures against the working class (e.g. PSOE in Spain, in Portugal, PS, PASOK in Greece). If they are in opposition, they seek to curb the resistance and steer them along safe paths. Social Democracy is a counter-revolutionary instrument, a henchman of the bourgeoisie within the ranks of the labour movement. Their existence is nourished by the lack of a revolutionary party that can offer an alternative to the masses.
Likewise, the trade union bureaucracy – regardless of whether they are officially affiliated with a party or if they are formally independent – is at best a reluctant and braking force on the resistance against the attacks of the ruling class because of its close connections with the state and capital. Of course the bureaucracy does not bite the hand that feeds them. Therefore, it has no own interest to initiate serious class struggle. Rather it seeks to exploit struggles of workers to improve their bargaining position with the state and capital and to control them for this purpose.
The Stalinist and ex-Stalinist parties may be different from their social-democratic twins in their rhetoric, but not in respect to the fundamental nature of their politics and nature as bourgeois workers' parties. They have proved in the past that they are ready to assume joint responsibility for the capitalist policies of attack against the toiling masses and imperialist wars and if necessary to enforce them with the help of the police. This has been proven by the decades-long ruling CPI (M) in West Bengal (India), the SACP in South Africa which is operating within the ANC, as we can see the same evidence in the case of the PCF’s involvement in the French Jospin government (1997-2002), the Rifondazione Comunista‘s in Italy's Prodi government, the Left Party/PDS’s in the Berlin state government or the KKE’s in the coalition government with ND and PASOK in 1990-91.
In many semi-colonial countries bourgeois and petty bourgeois nationalist and populist forces have a leading influence in resistance movements. The oppression and exploitation of these countries by imperialism and its local stooges often generate a broad opposition among the masses and catapult such parties sometimes into positions where they are at the forefront of this resistance. Islamist movements such as the Afghan Taliban, Hezbollah in Lebanon or the Palestinian Hamas are examples of this, as are the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. Against the backdrop of fierce class struggles, it also happens that these parties – contrary to their original intentions – are forced to nationalise imperialist corporations and domestic private companies. (See for example the Bolivarian movements of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela or the governments of Bolivia and Ecuador).
But once in power these petty-bourgeois movements degenerate into (state) capitalist parties of the ruling class, which suppresses and excludes the working class and peasantry from political decision making. The career of many former resistance movements demonstrates this irrefutably. (See e.g. the FLN in Algeria, ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe, the FMLN and the Sandinistas in Central America, the Ba'ath party and numerous other military coup in the Arab world etc.) The reason for this is that petty bourgeois movement – when they come to power – by its very nature become and must become defenders of the bourgeois civil order.
A dangerous development in the recent past is the open or semi-open support for the imperialist power China by (petty-) bourgeois forces who describe themselves as socialist. (E.g. a number of the Stalinist parties, Chavez and the Bolivarian movement) The working class has not the slightest interest to support a fraction of monopoly capital (e.g. China and its allies) against another (e.g. USA). The support of sections of reformism to the emerging Great power China is nothing more than "social imperialism" – that is an imperialistic policy disguised with social or even "socialist" phrases.
In the democratic protest movements in the Western World petty-bourgeois forces exercise with reformist, pacifist and populist ideas a central influence too. It is the nature of the petty bourgeoisie to prefer the taming of capitalism instead to its destruction. Their ideas on the regulation of all-powerful banks and corporations by capitalist laws and parliaments, the naive doctrine of pacifism and the principle of consensus in decision making, etc. are expressions of the leading influence of representatives of the liberal middle class and intelligentsia (the layer of the so-called "intellectuals") and the political inexperience of the movements.
With that come the illusions, nourished by many left-reformists and centrists, about the possibility of profound social change through a Constituent Assembly, or the illusions of the introduction of a "participatory democracy" under capitalism, by which supposedly the people could have a say (PT in Brazil, the WSF / ESF), or the idea of reform and control of the bourgeois state apparatus through council-democratic institutions. History has exposed these petty-bourgeois theories of an "institutionalised dual power" and of "radical democratisation" without a dictatorship of the proletariat as dangerous daydreaming. They have only misled the proletariat and thus merely hindered and weakened it in its liberation struggle.
The various versions of centrism are usually radical in words, but in practice they are incapable and unwilling to build a real alternative to the petty-bourgeois leadership. Its programmes and its practices reflect, in one form or another, bourgeois prejudices and adaptation to the labour bureaucracy (trade union leaders, reformists, etc.). Centrism ultimately represents a bourgeois influence in the labour movement which through its fluctuations and shrinking back in front of a consistent path of class struggle ultimately betrays the proletariat. Examples of this include:
* The utopian, reality ignoring, theory of peaceful transition to socialism.
* The lie that the democratic revolution can be completed without a socialist revolution, and that these two revolutions can be divided into separate stages.
* The ridiculous hope of the possibility of reforming the petty bourgeois and bourgeois forces such as the trade union bureaucracy, social democratic or bourgeois-populist parties into consistent socialist forces. This means the hope of being able to make them consistent fighters for the liberation - which is as "realistic" as transforming a tiger into a vegetarian.
* The opportunistic (adapting to non-revolutionary forces) tailist theory that the "objective process" would free revolutionaries from the responsibility of leadership. In particular the responsibility to outline the necessary steps of struggle in agitation and propaganda and to advocate openly the need for replacement of the existing leaderships by a revolutionary alternative. For example, for the replacement of the social democratic traitor parties by Bolshevik mass parties.
Therefore, centrism fails in crucial situations where the pressure of the bourgeoisie and the bureaucracy is strongest and the necessity of open revolutionary struggle against them is most urgent. To mention only a few recent examples: The failure of the French NPA in the fall of 2010 during the mass protests against the pension reform to openly agitate for the indefinite general strike and for the replacement of the existing trade union bureaucracy by rank and file organs; the cowardly desertion of virtually the entire left during the uprising of the poor in Britain; the adaption of many centrists to petty bourgeois pacifism and democracy in the Arab revolution and the Occupation Movement, or the ingratiation of many organisations to the Bolivarism of Chavez. Centrism is therefore not a form of Marxism, and it is no part of its tradition, but revises and distorts it. It is a vacillating movement that adapts to other class forces (the petty-bourgeois) that has to be countered politically with all its consequences by the Bolshevik-Communists. Centrism is not closer to the Bolshevik-Communists than any other class foreign (non-proletarian) forces. Who uses strong words, but never implements the appropriate action when it matters, is as useless as those who cannot bring themselves to use such stark terms. And it is our responsibility to ensure that our class must not pay for what such centrist loudmouths say so that we don’t follow them into disaster.
Given the weakness of the revolutionary forces, it is no surprise that a part of the militant youth and even some workers turn to anarchism. This development is a punishment for the bureaucratisation of the labour movement and the treachery of their leaderships in the past. Nevertheless, this involvement of young activists in the ranks of anarchism is misguided. For without a revolutionary (not bureaucratised!) party a revolutionary overthrow of capitalism is not possible. Without turning to the working class in the enterprises, without tactics towards the organisations of the labour movement, the working class cannot be won to the revolution. Without a disciplined approach at demonstrations and street fighting agent provocateurs can easily slip into the ranks of demonstrators and enact counter-productive actions. Without the dictatorship of the proletariat the counter-revolution cannot be smashed. Not the individual action, but the collective, organised uprising under the clear leadership of the most experienced and most consistent fighters from their own ranks will lead our class to their liberation.
The Bolshevik-Communists say bureaucracy and petty-bourgeois democrats cannot lead the working class and the oppressed to victory. They are pursuing a policy in the name of the masses where a separated detachment (guerrilla fighter, enlightened officials, etc.) acts for the masses and the later supports this detachment, rather than to organize the masses and make themselves the bearer of the fight.
Their policy is limited to the expulsion of this or that foreign occupying power, the establishment of real democracy without a revolution in property relations, the expropriation of this or that capital group. But this is all an illusion. If one does not overthrow the bourgeoisie as a whole and smash their state apparatus, if one does not break completely with imperialism, if one does not link the democratic revolution with the expropriation of the capitalists - then the revolution remains incomplete and will degenerate in the end. If the revolution does not progress until the actual seizure of power by the working class, then it inevitably ends in the re-establishment of the rule of bourgeois forces, then it ends with not only the failure of the socialist, but also of the democratic revolution.
In short, the current dominant forces in the resistance movements do not have a realistic program to break the power of the capitalist class and the imperialist powers and bring the proletariat to power. As long as these forces are at the forefront of the fight, we will lose.
We appeal to the activists in the reformist and centrist parties, in the democratic protest movements and in the anarchist camp: the fight for the abolition of all forms of exploitation and oppression necessitates abolition of the classes and the state. This is only possible on the basis of the communist programme and inside the ranks of an actual revolutionary combat party of the working class. Join us!
The revolutionary combat party is based on a scientific analysis of the conditions of class struggle and a revolutionary programme. It organises the politically conscious, militant vanguard of the proletariat and all oppressed and declares open war against the still dominating bureaucracies in the labour movement. It is based on the principle of Democratic Centralism – this means democratic decision-making within the party, collective implementing of these decisions and defending of it outside of the party.
The revolutionary party can only really play the role of an instrument to combat the exploitation and oppression if it is firmly rooted in the working class, if they organise its vanguard (the most militant and progressive parts) and if it also includes the oppressed layers. Therefore, the organising of women, minorities, youth, etc. plays a central role.
Such a party does not exist today. Strictly speaking, our class has not possessed a vanguard party since the mid of the 20th century. In this deep crisis of leadership - combined with the possibilities of the imperialist bourgeoisie for the systematic bribery of the labour bureaucracy and aristocracy - the ultimate cause can be found in the extraordinary bourgeoisification of the labour movement and the De-revolutionisation of Marxism, as is has been distorted by left reformism, centrism and the left-wing academics in recent decades.
The immediate and most urgent task is therefore to create Bolshevik pre-party organisation nationally and internationally, from which such a party can then grow. These pre-party organisations have the task of bringing together many activists on the basis of the revolutionary program through participation in the class struggle and the persistent spread of revolutionary ideas. For this purpose they base themselves on the model of Bolshevik organisation – Democratic Centralism. Thus they come out of the ranks of the class fighters, gain experience and enhance the fighting strength of the working class with the utmost devotion to the revolution. The revolutionary pre-party organisation creates from the beginning class fighters who oppose tough, fierce and implacable the non-proletarian forces, as "left" as they may present themselves. Accordingly, it is the duty of the Bolshevik pre-party organisation to recruit primarily from the most advanced and most militant sections of the working class. Like a runner who is preparing his training long before the actual competition by all means, our organisation strives to prepare the revolution with just as many hardships and sacrifices to perform, as the revolution itself will require from us.
An important tool for overcoming the crisis of leadership of the working class is the Marxist united front tactic. Revolutionaries stand for the greatest possible unity of the proletariat in the struggle for their rights. They also take into account that today there are still many workers who in one way or another have hopes in their traditional leaderships. They also recognise that the rotten nature of these forces can be exposed to the masses not only by revolutionary propaganda, but by their experience in practice. They, therefore, propose to the other organisations of the labour movement the common struggle for concrete demands. The central aim is to fight shoulder to shoulder with the workers who for now still follow the non-revolutionary leaderships. Of particular importance is the formation of common united front organs at the rank and file (action committees in the enterprises, neighbourhoods and schools, common workers' militias, etc.). To this end, they direct the proposal to form a united front especially to the rank and file of the non-revolutionary parties and organisations, but also to their official leadership. These tactics may also include a critical electoral support for non-revolutionary forces. The common struggle must never lead revolutionaries to give up the necessary criticism of the insufficient policy of the petty bourgeois leaderships and in particular to criticise them sharply when they betray a struggle. Rather, the united front tactic for Bolshevik-Communists is legitimate only under the condition that it is coupled with the readiness to immediately expose the betrayal of false leadership without any fear. Only through the application of such a united front tactic can the Bolshevik-Communists ultimately break away large sectors of the worker class who are today still under reformist leadership of the bureaucracy and win them a revolutionary perspective successfully.
The application of a principled but flexible united front tactic is also important because the intensification of class antagonisms progresses at a faster rate than the revolutionary organising of the proletariat. Therefore it is quite possible that the upswings of the class struggle finds mass consciousness firstly expressed in the medium of new reformist or centrist formations. The foundation of the NPA in France or socialist initiatives in Egypt are examples of this. Bolshevik-Communists advocate an active participation in such initiatives insofar as they express a political process of radicalisation of a sector of the working class. At the same time such non-revolutionary organisations must not be presented as a political solution. Rather, it is necessary to openly advocate a revolutionary orientation and warn that such initiatives must inevitably end in an impasse if they do not exist on a revolutionary basis. (See e.g. the sad fate of the NPA) This will inevitably have to lead to a break with parts of such a project. The Bolshevik-Communists do not shy away from such breaks, because they see the strengthening of the fighting power of the proletariat as the ultimate goal and know that this will also be associated with splits with former co-fighters.
In countries where no working class party – i.e. not even a reformist one – exist (like e.g. in many semi-colonial countries or the USA), Bolshevik-Communists advocate the formation of an independent workers' party. A similar tactic might be legitimate in situations where progressive sections of the working class turn away from the established bourgeois workers' parties and look for a political alternative. We turn to militant trade unions, movements for democracy and social justice, political organisations, and all workers and oppressed people who are looking for an alternative to reformism and call upon them to establish new working class parties. We also call on them to join us in building a Fifth Workers' International.
We are fighting for a Fifth International, which has a revolutionary and proletarian character. We, therefore, argue from the outset for a revolutionary programme. Unlike the IMT, the CWI and the Fourth International, we reject the stages model for a new International, which in their opinion should be formed first on a left-reformist, then a centrist and then at some point on a revolutionary basis.
We are of course aware that such a new national party or a Fifth International, under present conditions would have a contradictory class character, since it would involve not only revolutionary, but reformist and centrist forces. This would be an International, whose leaders would fail in a series of class struggles, or even stand on the other side of the barricades against the workers.
Bolshevik-Communists would in such a case assume the role of a revolutionary opposition faction from the beginning, and therefore would have to wage a sharp struggle within such parties or in the Fifth International against a reformist, centrist or populist leadership. Their goal would be to win these parties for a revolutionary program. Of course, this must be done in a pedagogical way, which takes into account the illusions of many workers to avoid unnecessary isolation from day one. The goal is to rally left-wing forces, newly radicalised workers and youth and lead them to the left and towards a revolutionary path. While the Bolshevik-Communists maintain an independent profile as an organisation with their full programme, they must also try to include broader forces in opposition to a possible reformist leadership. Ultimately, the goal is to build a Fifth International, which actually serves the interests of the working class and where therefore no room exists for forces who serve the class enemy in the liberation struggle.
Currently, we are in an upswing phase of the revolutionary period. How long this will continue depends on several factors that must be decided in the battle itself. In any case, it must be assumed that exactly because of the absence of a revolutionary vanguard party the working class will almost inevitably experience several setbacks and we must prepare ourselves in this historic period for a longer struggle with revolutionary upturns, downturns, and counter-revolutionary tides.
However, because of historical experiences, what we say now is the following: the timely formation of a revolutionary combat party decides the fate of the revolution and the emancipation of the working class and the oppressed. Only when the working class has at its head a vanguard party, that consciously learns the lessons of past revolutions and defeats and applies the strategy of permanent revolution in practice, only then it can seize power and defend it against the bourgeois counter-revolution and imperialist threats.
In the history of the modern class struggle the class-conscious workers have created an International – a revolutionary world party four times: The First International of Marx and Engels in 1864-1876; the Second International, founded in 1889, which in 1914 became an openly pro-capitalist force by their support for the imperialist powers in World War I; the Third International founded in 1919 under the leadership of Lenin and Trotsky, which became a victim of the Stalinist bureaucracy and degenerated from 1924 onwards; and finally the Fourth International which emerged out of the struggle of the Left Opposition of Trotsky against centrism and reformism, which - weakened by the persecutions of fascism and Stalinism - failed at the challenges of the post-war period and ceased to exist as a revolutionary International in 1948-51.
Today we are faced with the task of to building a world party of socialist revolution for the fifth time to end capitalism once and for all. This is why the RCIT stands for the formation of the revolutionary workers' Fifth International.
The struggle for the unions
The unions are and will remain one of the most important mass organisations of the working class in the struggle against capitalist attacks. This is true despite the fact that the unions have massively lost members worldwide. The average percentage of union members of all wage earners declined in the industrialised countries (OECD) between 1978 - 2010 from 34% to 18.1%. This general decline of unions did not just happen in the "old" capitalist countries in Europe, North America and Japan, but also in a number of emerging industrialised semi-colonies.
The main reason for this lies not in objective developments. The working class and its industrial core layers do not decline world-wide, but rather get bigger. Likewise, it is also a myth that the proletariat is employed in fewer and fewer large enterprises and increasingly in smaller enterprises. Still less is it true to think that the workers would have lost their spirit of resistance. The numerous protest movements against capitalist globalisation, the war and the crisis from the early 2000s until today, the Arab revolution, the August uprising in Britain in 2011 and the rapidly rising curve of strikes in the factories of China - all this is proof enough how broad and deep seated is the hatred for the rulers.
No, the real cause for this decline is to be found in the complete bankruptcy of the union bureaucracy. This bureaucracy is an aloof, striving for privileges and posts, caste (detached layer in society). Its goal is to preserve and expand their share of the capitalist trough. To this end, it binds itself to the bourgeois state apparatus, and often even merges with it. Likewise, they must find a compromise with the capitalists and therefore adapt to the pressure of this.
However, it is also exposed to a different pressure - that of the rank and file. If the bureaucracy sees no way to suppress this pressure, then it is forced to take actions and to lead strikes. But the bureaucracy always pays attention to control the trade unions and to limit and suppress as much as possible independent grassroots initiatives.
Moreover, the unions rely to a high degree on the upper, better-paid sections of the proletariat, and in particular on the labour aristocracy. The broad mass of our class and in particular the lower strata, however, are more or less neither organised nor represented by the union.
However, it would be fundamentally wrong to draw the conclusion that one should ignore the existing unions. The Bolsheviks-Communists reject such an ultra-left nonsense. The bureaucracy is not beaten by sectarian standing aside (separate from the union), but by the struggle for democratic, militant trade unions which are independent of state and capital. This struggle must be carried out wherever possible within the unions – regardless of the inevitable attempts by the bureaucracy to pursue the revolutionaries and expel them.
In the centre of the work within the unions stands the building of a rank and file movement. Such a rank and file movement has the goal to liberate the union from its dependence on the state and capital and to drive the bureaucracy out of the union.
The struggle to build a rank and file movement – which represents a united front with non-revolutionary workers – is not in contradiction with the necessary construction of communist factions in the union. On the contrary, the task of the communists is precisely to gain access to and win the confidence of non-revolutionary workers. The united front work in the rank and file movement and in the unions in general, therefore, goes hand in hand with the struggle for gaining broad support and, finally, winning over the trade union as a revolutionary leadership with a revolutionary programme.
The unionisation of the lower strata of the working class (especially the immigrants, women, precarious workers, etc.) is an indispensable task. These layers must not, therefore, play the role of the infantry in the union, but should play a central role and should also proportionally be represented in the trade union bodies according to their share among the employees.
The workers vanguard should not make a fetish out of union unity. Where the establishment of new unions makes sense because of the deep discrediting of the old trade unions, socialists will support such a step without reservation. Examples for this include the formation of the KCTU in Korea after the overthrow of the dictatorship in the late 1980s or the establishment of independent unions in Egypt after the fall of Mubarak's 2011. Sharp shocks through the class struggle can both cause new room for manoeuvring and radicalisation in the old trade unions (e.g. the UGTT 2011 in Tunisia) as well as lead to the creation of new unions. Bolshevik-Communists employ a tactical approach to this question but on the basis of a clear principle: seeking the unity of the union as long as possible as it serves the advancing of the struggle for the independence of the working class from the state, capital and bureaucracy; not being afraid of splitting or the formation of new unions if splitting does not lead to self-isolation of the revolutionaries, but allows the organising of large sections of the working class at a higher level of class independence.
Changes in the working class
The struggle for the international organising of the proletariat for the class struggle must take into account the major developments and changes in recent years and decades. A hundred years ago – the time of Lenin and Trotsky – the proletariat in the colonial and semi-colonial world was still quite small. Capitalist industrialisation had progressed only to a relatively small degree. The proletariat therefore constituted only a small minority among the toilers.
This has changed dramatically in recent decades. Contrary to the nonsensical claims of numerous petty-bourgeois "intellectuals", the proletariat has not become smaller, but is bigger than ever. The wage earners today make about half of the world's working population – concretely 46.9% (2008) and around 1.4 billion in absolute terms. Similarly, the proportion of women participating in the production process has increased. Furthermore, the proportion of migrants in the working class in the imperialist countries has increased significantly. In many countries they now make up 10-25% of the workers and especially in the centres – the bigger cities – the percentage is even higher.
Of particular significance is the shift of the weight of the proletariat from the old imperialist metropolises towards the poorer countries. Previously, the majority of workers lived in the imperialist metropolises (mainly Western Europe and North America) while today three quarters of all wage earners live in the semi-colonial and poorer imperialist countries. In the industrial sector – the core sector of the capitalist production of value – even 83.5% of all employees live outside of the rich imperialist metropolises. Added to this is that the share of the top strata of the working class which is privileged and corrupted by the capitalists – the labour aristocracy – is significantly lower in the poorer countries. In short, while 100 years ago, most of the world proletariat lived in the advanced imperialist industrial states, today we have the reverse situation: the majority of the world proletariat lives in semi-colonial world and the underdeveloped imperialist countries such as China and Russia.
But the growth of the world proletariat goes hand in hand with an increase in inequality among workers. Groups that have previously belonged to the middle class and are now proletarianised retain various privileges and prejudices. Certain upper layers of the working class in the imperialist metropolises receive privileges at the expense of new sub-layers of the working class in the metropolises (e.g. migrants, precarious workers) or in the poorer countries. Our class itself thus has layers, which are tempted by the capitalists to profit from the exploitation of the masses of our class.
Against this background, the problem of the labour aristocracy takes up an important place in the revolutionary strategy. The labour aristocracy is a thin layer at the top of the proletariat, which the capitalists bribe by the extra profits that they derive from the exploitation of the semi-colonial countries and the lower layers of the working class in the metropolises by means of various privileges and which they hope to bind as loyal supporters. It is this layer that defends an attitude like "things are still going well," against the broad masses of the proletariat – because they themselves actually live relatively "good" and for them the efforts of smashing the system appears too large.
On one hand, the capitalist crisis undermines the material basis of these privileges and this layer becomes smaller. Therefore, the aristocratic classes are increasingly forced to turn against capital and to defend their interests, thereby improving the opportunities for building a broad unity of the proletariat in class struggle. On the other hand, inequality has risen within the proletariat and the aristocracy was able to increase their share of the income of wage earners.
Hence we see the growing central importance of the lower and middle strata of the proletariat (including many immigrants, national minorities, women, youth) for advancing the class struggle and the renewal of the labour movement. These groups especially are living a life in noticeable chains. Therefore, the battle against the special, additional forms of oppression of these layers - such as the national and social oppression - takes an important role within the revolutionary programme, as these forms of oppression help the bourgeoisie to deepen the split in the working class and weaken it.
It follows that the struggle for political and organisational independence of the working class focuses particularly on the broad mass of the working class – i.e. its lower and middle classes. This means that the workers' organisations - trade unions, youth and women's organisations and in particular the revolutionary world party in formation – must reflect the changing composition of the proletariat. In other words, to meet the growing significance of the proletarians of the poorer countries, of women, migrants, etc. they must strive to attract and organise them and also to represent them in their own ranks and leadership structures. The future revolutionary communist world party therefore has a strong semi-colonial, young, female, migrant face or it fails in its task. Its members know the value of these layers and show a lot of respect towards them.
Action Committee - factory committees - Councils
As important as trade unions and other mass organisations of the workers' movement are for the daily resistance against the attacks of the capitalists, they are insufficient in periods of open struggle of the masses. The unions are dominated by an organized bureaucracy, organise only a minority of the proletariat, and even among these, the upper, partially privileged strata are over-represented. In every battle and in preparation for this the Bolsheviks-Communists are therefore keen to establish rank and file committees outside the bureaucratic control. They will often bring together the most active and most militant elements in Action Committees. The goal must be to convert these action committees in broad, comprehensive combat organizations at the work place, in the district, schools and universities. This orientation is not in contradiction to the work within the existing mass organisations (trade unions, etc.), but rather complement to these activities. The regular work within the unions at the grassroots against the bureaucracy improves the ability of the independent organisation of the working class. The support of each opportunity to build broad committees of struggle in turn strengthens a grassroots movement inside the unions. Only if the workers vanguard is working at these two fronts, it can implement a revolutionary policy which serves the liberation of the proletariat.
Indeed, history - even recent history - proved impressively that in upswing phases of class struggle and in particular during (pre-) revolutionary developments the workers and oppressed tend to spontaneously create independent organisations at the grassroots. Therefore, many revolutions in the past – starting with the Paris Commune in 1871, the revolutions in Russia, Germany, Austria from 1917 to 1920 up to modern times – saw the emergence of self-organised committees in workplaces and neighbourhoods. Whatever their names might be – Soviets, Workers 'and Soldiers' Councils, Defence Committees - they embody an alternative power. They organize the workers and the oppressed sections independent of the bourgeois state apparatus, they allow that the central question can be discussed and decided and that they can choose representatives who are controllable and adaptable and enjoy no privileges. Such councils also offer the possibility that the workers and oppressed are not in tow of bourgeois leaderships, but can determine their own policies.
Also, during the Arab revolution numerous committees were spontaneously created, which represent at least in embryonic form, a step towards councils. In many cities, the people of Tunisia drove out the hated (loyal to the old Ben Ali's regime) mayors, expelled the local police and took over the control themselves. Similarly, in Egypt, so-called popular committees emerged which tried to organise everyday life in the neighbourhoods and to defend themselves against the thugs of the regime and the looting by criminals. Finally, also in the course of the Greek revolution rank and file assemblies and committees emerged in factories and neighbourhoods.
We Bolshevik-Communists say that the spontaneous tendencies of many revolutions are great achievements. It is essential that such developments be expanded and organised. From sporadic rank and file committees we must build links and create a nationwide centralised coordination of the enterprise- and districts-based councils. Only in this way can the basis be laid for a struggle, controlled by the working class itself towards an armed uprising against the ruling class and eventually the establishment of the power of the working class (the dictatorship of the proletariat).
Such a "Soviet" strategy (the term “Soviet” 'means “Council” in Russian) – i.e. a strategy for the establishment and development of councils as a central pillar of the orientation – must be an integral part of the revolutionary programme of liberating the working class. It is an indispensable means of the working class and the oppressed to control the fight and the social transformation and to resist against the inevitable attempts of domination and oppression by the bureaucracy.
The democratic protest movements
The current upswing phase of the revolutionary period was characterised by the impressive entry into political life by spontaneous, democratic mass movements. The occupations of Tahrir Square in Cairo, the Kínima Aganaktisménon Politón (Enraged Citizens' Movement) in Greece and the Democracia Real YA (Real Democracy NOW!) in Spain, the global Occupation movement starting in New York – all these movements testify two things: first, that the masses have no confidence in the political and economic system of capitalism. And secondly, that they also have little confidence in the traditional mass organisations of the workers' movement (trade unions, political parties, etc.) as the dominant bureaucracy has alienated themselves in recent years and decades even more from the rank and file than ever before.
These movements once more demonstrate the utter nonsense of the thesis of centrists like Grant/Woods and the organizations they built (CWI, IMT), that when the masses enter the field of class struggle, they supposedly "always" and "inevitably" first turn to the traditional mass parties and become active within these. This assertion is contrary to historical truth and serves only to justify their deep burrowing and associated opportunistic adaptation to the bureaucracy of these parties (social democracy in Europe, PPP in Pakistan, ANC in South Africa, PRD in Mexico, etc.) and their refusal of building an independent revolutionary party.
What unites these movements and makes them so progressive is the desire for more radical democracy and social justice. That is why they are in fundamental opposition to the ruling political regime (dictatorships, corrupt bourgeois democracies) and therefore they are also willing to break with the ruling class legality with their occupations. Political forces that refuse to openly support these movements, because they cannot bureaucratically control them, only demonstrate their reactionary character. (e.g. Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the KKE in Greece)
On the other hand, the democratic protest movements also have significant weaknesses. Denying the existence of these weaknesses would inevitably lead to opportunist swamp. For example, they are characterised by a non-specific class character and by the disproportionate role that representatives of the lower middle classes, the intellectuals and the students play in them. However, the broad mass of the lower strata of the working class, the migrants etc., are often under-represented. This is accompanied by a lack of organised roots in the workplace and a partial rejection of participation of political organisations in the meetings. Equally harmful and impractical is the principle of consensus (something is adopted only if none of those present is against it). Nevertheless, many workers take part in these movements, and even more are full of hopes and expectations.
Bolsheviks-Communists advocate fighting within these movements for a proletarian revolutionary line and finally for the independent organisation of the proletariat and the oppressed sections so that they can lead other layers such as the salaried middle classes and the peasants. This means:
* The expansion of the movement to large and central parts of the working class through strike committees in enterprises which can become the engine of the movement towards higher forms of resistance actions (such as an indefinite general strike).
* To argue for a revolutionary programme in the form of a programme that raises and answers the question of power (i.e. including armed insurrection and dictatorship of the proletariat).
* Open advocating of revolutionary tactics in this programme (e.g. general strike slogan, self-defence units).
* Clear advocating of organisational forms - especially Councils - which allow for the revolutionary-democratic, proletarian orientation of the movement.
* Fight for the orientation of the movement to the working class and the oppressed.
* Criticism and enlightenment about the true nature of the current petty-bourgeois leaderships of these protest movements.
* In this sense, to educate, to make propaganda and to gain supporters for the revolutionary communism.
V. The Program of the Revolution
The struggle for a better future does not imply waiting for the socialist revolution at some time in the future. No God, no Saviour, no destiny, no foreign power can relieve our class from its historical tasks. Those who wait for the revolution will never experience it because proletarian revolutions do not happen by themselves like an earthquake or the rising of the sun. Instead, they are made. They are made by the organised working class and the oppressed, if they have forged from their ranks a fighting party of revolution. Similar to a lumberjack, who needs a sharp axe and a strong arm to strike a tree, our class needs a revolutionary party to bring down the colossus of capitalism. The creation of such a revolutionary party is therefore the prerequisite for the working class to take power on the path of a revolutionary insurrection in order to take the social revolution towards socialism.
But the working class cannot create the revolutionary party from out of nowhere. This can only be the result of a more or less prolonged process of fierce class struggles with all its hardships and preliminary defeats and the lessons learned from experiences and their fusion with the authentic teachings of the revolutionary workers' movement – i.e. Marxism, Bolshevism.
In these class struggles, the proletariat can only manage the challenges if it is equipped with a clear programme, a set of strategies and tactics. This also follows from the fact that the working class and the oppressed in the face of the wave of capitalist attacks cannot passively wait for doomsday. Instead of preaching abstract principles the struggle requires a clear Marxist programme, which begins with the most immediate, most pressing issues of direct capitalist attacks and creates a bridge to the revolutionary elimination of the root of all these evils - the rule of the capitalist class.
We call such a revolutionary programme, a transitional programme. It involves a series of demands, giving answers to the urgent attacks of the ruling class. We appreciate reforms, even the mere repelling of threatening deterioration is by no means a small gain. On the contrary, a class that does not fight for the defence of their achievements will never be able to achieve their liberation.
But we are not dreamers. Capitalism in its era of decline and decay is less and less able even to procure only small improvements. On the contrary, the capitalists must do everything possible to squeeze the workers more and more and to increasingly exploit the oppressed peoples, in their attempt to halt the decline in their profit rates. Precisely because of this the Bolshevik-Communist combine the current daily struggles with the question of power - which class is in charge of the economy and the state?
A programme that is thus limited to the struggle for reforms is through and through short-sighted and leads the working class to the false hope that it could gain a secure existence within capitalism. But the opposite is true: as long as the capitalist profit system exists, the working class cannot achieve reforms lastingly, not even defend the existing achievements. Only through the use of the sharpest means of class struggle, certain improvements can be enforced, but even these can be maintained – under the conditions of decaying capitalism – temporarily at best. The longer capitalism survives, the more are not only the existing social and democratic achievements at risk, but also the existence of humanity itself.
Therefore, the defensive struggle against the attacks of the ruling class today must be embedded in a longer-term perspective of the struggle for socialist revolution. But this connection in the programme must not be that the ultimate goal of socialism is mechanically added to the minimum programme of the daily demands. Such a scheme of a lifeless minimum/maximum program was characteristic for social democracy before its neo-liberal turn and is still true for the (ex-) Stalinist parties today. But if there is no connection, not a revolutionary red thread between the minimum program and the maximum goal, then the latter degenerates into a meaningless phrase, a cover for the sell-out by the reformist bureaucracy of both the ultimate objective of socialism and the struggle for the current demands of the day.
A programme is only valid as a revolutionary guide for the liberation struggle of the proletariat if it shows the transition from the daily struggle to the socialist revolution. The method of the transitional programme is characterised by demands that are not impotent appeals to the capitalists or their government. We do not raise demands in the hope they can be realised through the means of parliamentary combinations or even a participation in a government of the bourgeois state. They are not proposals to improve or reform the capitalist system.
The slogans of the transitional programme should help the working class to develop and organise their combat power. Therefore, the path of struggle for the demands is not to hope for the benevolence of the rulers, but that the working class and the oppressed organise in grassroots committees in the factories, neighbourhoods, the schools and villages. In this way the working class needs to develop its greatest militancy. Therefore, the programme of the Bolshevik-Communist emphasises that the methods of class struggle have a central place: the working class must fight for their demands with mass demonstrations, strikes, general strikes, occupations up to armed mass actions and uprisings.
This is linked to another feature of the transitional demands. The transitional demands challenge the logic and the power of capitalism. Against the ever-increasing work stress with simultaneous increase of the unemployed army, we raise the demand of shortening of working hours and the inclusion of all unemployed persons in a public employment programme. Against the rising prices, we respond with price monitoring committee of the labour movement. Against the allegedly tight budget of corporations and the impending closure of companies, we demand the end of commercial secrecy and the control of production by the workers. Against the increasing violence and high-handedness of police in neighbourhoods or at strikes and demonstrations, we propose the creation of armed self-defence units workers' and people's militias.
In short, the transitional program shall help to promote the self-organisation and self-consciousness of the working class. As a result, the revolutionary party will be in a better position to relate to the experiences of the workers, to convey to them the programme of the conditions and prospects of the revolutionary seizure of power and thus to bring the socialist class consciousness into the class.
This in turn requires, however, that the revolutionary party stands openly and clearly for the programme in its entirety. The Bolshevik-Communists reject hoping for a secret magical effect of this or that demand of the program. In itself these are not sufficient alone – like a magic formula that suddenly reveals the secret - to open the eyes of the masses about the true nature of capitalism and the necessary conditions of the revolutionary seizure of power. No, such a policy of tricks and of hide and seek we leave willingly to the falsifiers of Marxism of various colours. The dictum of Marx and Engels at the end of the Communist Manifesto that "the Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims" applies to the revolutionary struggle now more than ever. The power and superiority of the revolutionary program lies in its internal coherence and consistency, in the totality of its demands, tactics and strategies and in this totality the programme leads the working class to the armed insurrection and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
An action program to save the humanity from the misery of capitalism
The Bolshevik-Communists advocate the following action plan in response to the crisis of capitalism and imperialist power politics. They propose this programme for the common struggle of the workers and the oppressed. They call on all organisations of the labour movement and the oppressed to jointly call for these demands on the battlefield against the ruling class.
Cancel the debts! Expropriate the banks and speculators!
A small minority of super-rich people in the imperialist countries constantly plunder the people around the world through the banks and financial institutions they control. In fact, the whole world is their hostage. The rich countries have a national debt, which equals their entire annual economic output. Taking the entire debt (i.e. government, enterprises and households) in the imperialist countries this is two, three or even four times the value of the annual gross domestic product. Moreover, the imperialist financial sharks and their stooges in government, the IMF and World Bank, are forcing the semi-colonial world ("developing countries") to pay each year more than 240 billion U.S. dollars to their debtors (state of 2007). Greece for example is forced into submission by the EU because of its national debt of 340 billion €, but it has already paid until 2011 in the past € 600 billion in interest.
In other words, these bankers and fund speculators overwhelm the working class, the peasantry, and even large parts of the middle class and the oppressed people twice and three times with their debt burden. They exploit the popular masses on the one hand by the direct debt with its interest and compound interest and on the other hand they force them to pay as taxpayers for the ever growing national debt. And finally, the masses are also victims of the policy of serving the government debt via privatisation of public enterprises and the reduction of social and health services. The labour movement must reject all politics (of ATTAC, various left Social Democrats and others) which accepts the logic of reimbursement of only a portion of the debt. The Bolshevik-Communists propose the following slogans:
* No further interest and debt repayment! Immediate and complete cancellation of all private and government debt!
* Cancel the debt of all semi-colonial countries of Latin America, Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe!
* Expropriation of all banks and financial institutions! Combination into a single central bank under workers' control! Full security of the bank deposits of small and medium savers!
* Nationalisation of assets traded on the stock market and the abolition of the stock market! Compensation for small shareholders!
* Smash the IMF and the World Bank!
Against wage cuts, job insecurity and unemployment!
The capitalists, as always, do everything in order to shift the burden of the crisis on the working class. Before the crisis 177 million people were out of work worldwide (2007), this number grew in a short time to 210 million unemployed people (2010). Particularly affected are young people. For example, in North Africa and the Middle East nearly a quarter of all young people are officially without a job.
Those who still have jobs often have to work in highly insecure employment conditions and receive a small wage. More than half of all workers worldwide are employed – according to official statistics (the actual rate is probably much higher) – in insecure employment conditions. While in the rich imperialist countries this affects nearly 10% of all workers, their share in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union is a fifth, in Latin America one third, in East and Southeast Asia at 50-60% and in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa more than 75%.
1.2 billion Employees – this is about 40% of world's working population – are so-called "working poor" (those who are poor despite having a job and who must make a living on an income of less than $ 2 per day to feed their family). In Southeast Asia this is the case for more than half and in South Asia and in sub-Saharan Africa for about 80% of all employees.
It is no wonder that against the background of the entrepreneur and the capitalist crisis offensive, the profits rise at the expense of wages everywhere. In India, for example, the share of wages in income have halved from the early 1990s until the late 2000s, while that of profits has doubled. Similarly, the share of wages has dramatically reduced in China.
We can improve our situation only if we oppose the capitalist logic of the subordination of our wages and jobs under the profit with the proletarian logic of the safety of working class and the entire society. We say: wage and job security at the expense of the profits. Faced with these demands the capitalists are howling and whining that they cannot pay for this. We answer: You are all stuffing a large part of the value in your pockets each year and leave only the rest for the wage earners, small farmers and the urban poor – i.e. the great majority of working people. If you're not willing or able to pay, then we expropriate you!
* No to any pay cut! For massive wage increases and a minimum wage, the amounts of which should be set by independent workers' committees!
* Fight insecure employment! Conversion of unprotected, informal and temporary contracts into permanent contracts, with alignment of the employment protection provisions and wages. The adherence of these should be regulated by collective tariff agreements and controlled by trade unions and workforce representatives!
* Fight all layoffs and plant closures! Expropriation without compensation of all enterprises that don’t pay wages completely, who threaten with layoffs, who don’t pay their taxes in full or threaten with closure or relocation of the site! In such cases: the entrepreneurs must be made to pay out of their private property! Continuation of these companies as public companies under the management of the employees!
* Cut the working hours now! We support any reduction in working hours. The aim must be the division of labour on all hands. This means that everyone should have a job and work with less hours at unchanged wages!
Fight inflation! For the adjustment of wages to inflation! For price control committees!
Even if we achieve a small wage increase, this is undone mostly due to price increases (inflation). In this case, the speculation of monopoly capital in the financial markets plays a major role. Especially in the last decade, food prices rose so dramatically. In 2003 a ton of rice cost 600 U.S. dollars but in 2008 it was already 1.800 U.S. dollars. In the second half of 2010 alone the price of grain increased by 32%. Our nutrition and health has become a roulette ball for financial speculators!
Here, too, one has to oppose the logic of the free market with the interests of workers and consumers. Therefore, the Bolshevik-Communists propose to the organisations of the workers' movement to fight for the following demands:
* Fight inflation! For automatic adjustment of wages and all social benefits and pensions to price increases!
* For the control of prices through price monitoring committee, elected by the workers, housewives and -men as well as consumers! The basis should be a cost of living index, which is determined by representatives of the working class, the peasants and small traders.
* Nationalisation of assets in commodity trading at the stock markets and the abolition of the stock market!
Defence of public services! Fight the privatization!
For many years all bourgeois governments (including the Social Democrats and Stalinists) have pursued a policy of cuts and the privatisation of public services. The result is impoverishment and the exclusion of growing portions of the population to the social, health and pension system. What are the causes of this policy? The ruling class must make sharp cuts in public services in order to reduce the taxes for the rich, to open new areas to increase profit, to pay for the bailouts for monopoly capital and to finance its bloated state apparatus and its wars.
Here, too, one has to oppose the logic of profit with, the proletarian logic of the safety and future of the workers and oppressed. But to secure it and expand our achievements, we must wrestle control over the economy from the capitalists and take over ourselves.
* Defend all public services! Hands off the social and health systems! All essential services such as water, electricity, health care, education, etc., must be publicly owned and controlled by the workers and the users! Free access to basic services for all!
* A pension may not be a roulette ball of the financial markets! The pension system must be entirely in public ownership - nationalisation of private pension funds with total security for the money paid by the people! Consolidation of all pension funds into a single, state-run pension system! Increase of pensions and reduction of the retirement age to a level agreed to by the workers’ movement and the pensioners' associations!
* Special consideration for workers of physically strenuous or hazardous professions for retirement.
* Massive increase in the minimum pension and the right to claim it for all who are living in the country. Increase in pension payments for women and migrants to the level of men and natives. Crediting of maternity leave and periods of care for family members as full working time for the pension entitlement!
* No to the privatisation of public property - neither to domestic nor to foreign capitalists!
* Nationalisation of all media under the control of employees, the labour movement and the consumers! Democratic participation of all sections of society in the media!
* Re-nationalisation of privatised and outsourced companies under workers' control and without compensation!
An end to the "business secret"! For workers' control! For a public employment programme!
While business and government know always exactly about the level of wages of each worker, the entire financial management and the actual profits of the businesses remain a secret to the public. Thus the doors are opened for fraud and misrepresentation against the employees. Moreover, under the pretext of the business secret, corruption grows, including the extensive bribery of public officials. We call for an end to the "business secret", because what happens to the products of our work must not be kept secret from us.
Particularly in times of crisis, businesses try to raise their profits by tightening of work stress, increasing unpaid overtime, etc. No wonder that the businesses were able to increase the labour productivity in recent decades. Our struggle must aim to change the system so that we are not slaves and that we can veto the arbitrary decisions of the bosses. We are fighting against the tyranny of the boss in the enterprise and for control by the workers. However, we reject any form of "co-management", "social partnership", etc. – i.e. the inclusion of worker representatives in the management – as this makes the workers' representatives only the lackeys of the capitalists.
In all countries there is a tremendous need to improve the economic base and infrastructure. In Africa, millions of people are starving because of a lack of supply of basic necessities. In Pakistan, there are systematic failures in the power supply. In the U.S. – the richest country on earth – 26% of all bridges are in poor condition and more than 4.000 dams in America have serious security flaws. Worldwide, huge investments in environmental protection are necessary to prevent climate change. At the same time, millions of people are sacked and their labour skills remain unused. All this shows once more the absurdities of a profit-based economy. Against this background, the slogan for a public employment programme under control of the working class and the oppressed and paid for from the profits of the rich is of central importance. This applies especially to the poorer countries where the economy is strongly characterised by small, financially weak companies and where, therefore, the combat power of workers is limited.
* Open the books – bookkeeping, bank accounts, tax returns, etc.! Inspection by accountants who enjoy the trust of the workers!
* For workers inquiry committees for comprehensive detection of corruption between companies and between companies and government agencies!
* For the control and the veto right of the workers against all decisions of the management! Against any participation of workers representatives in management positions!
* For a public employment programme to improve infrastructure (energy supply, public transport, education and child care, etc.), to take action against climate change, etc. This programme must not be subject to state control of bureaucrats, but must be planned and controlled by the workers and oppressed people. It is to be paid out of profits and the assets of the super rich.
No division – Joint fight, regardless of nation, and location!
In the world of capitalist globalisation multinational corporations play an enormous role. They control more than half of production. Not only does the trade of goods increase enormously, but also the emergence of international production chains. Thus, for example 80% of all industrial imports of U.S. are intermediate goods.
The management of multinational corporations often try to pit workers at the various sites against each other. One must answer to this with a joint struggle and a joint plan to defend all jobs and at the same wages. Our goal is not the destruction of the multinational corporations along the lines of nation-state, which is why the slogan of nationalisation has only limited significance. The aim should rather be taking over those companies by the workers, so they can continue the production in the framework of an international economic plan.
At the same time, migration is growing dramatically and so does the proportion of migrants amongst the workers. These results in the capitalists doing everything they can to divide the workers of different national origins against each other. The trade union bureaucracy, which is closely linked with the capitalists and usually represents only the interests of the most privileged workers helps them here often, as do several centrist groups in tow of the bureaucracy. A famous example for this is the chauvinist strike in Britain in the spring of 2009 under the slogan "British Jobs for British Workers" (supported by CWI, IMT, etc.!).
The Bolsheviks-Communists advocate that the workers across all borders and all national differences don’t turn against each other, but fight for equal rights, equal access to employment and to fight for joint control over the corporations.
* Instead of divisions – joint struggle of workers in different locations in multinational corporations! For joint, transnational collective bargaining of trade unions within a multinational corporation! Equal pay for equal work in multinational corporations – raising the salary to the top level! Joint workers organisations in multinational companies! For joint workers' control over the corporation!
* No to outsourcing and relocation without the consent of the workers! Instead of the conflict between wage labourers of different nationalities about the same job: Equal pay and division of labour on our hands! Full alignment of the collective agreements and employment rights for employees of subcontractors to the level of the general contractor!
* Joint struggle of the unions across the nation-state boundaries for an increase in the working and living conditions!
No more tax breaks for the rich! Expropriate the super rich!
While the vast majority of the population is getting poorer while dealing with an ever larger share of the tax burden, the rich and super-rich accumulate an ever more luxury wealth. These families – related with the state apparatus by numerous channels of corruption – determine directly or indirectly the affairs of the countries. Whether it is the Rothschilds, the Rockefellers, the Murdochs, Berlusconis or the royal families in the Gulf states - they are all parasites on the prosperity made by the workers. A handful of the richest among the superrich - 147 billionaires - owns more than the aggregate income of half of humanity. If one would seize their assets, as one might delete at a stroke the problem of hunger in the world.
* Abolition of all indirect taxes such as VAT!
* Massive reduction in taxes on wages! Drastic increase in taxes on profits and speculation! Elimination of tax loopholes for businesses! Immediate recovery of outstanding tax debts of the companies!
* For the confiscation of property of the powerful and influential families and their utilisation in the context of a national economic plan! For the expropriation of the super rich!
* Nationalisation of banks, large corporations and in wholesale trade and transport, social, health, education and communication areas, without compensation under workers' control!
*Stop the tax evasion of capitalists by moving their wealth to other countries! Complete expropriation of all companies associated with fake companies! Abolish all opportunities for multinational corporations, to move their profits and losses within the business group across countries for the purpose of tax benefits!
* Confiscation of capital in the so-called tax havens! Use it to combat environmental degradation, hunger and poverty in the semi-colonial countries!
Against the attacks on education! Education for all under control of the working class and youth!
In many countries, the capitalist class (with the help of social democracy) promotes a policy of privatisation and increasing costs of education. The corporations gain more and more influence in the schools and universities. Access to education is increasingly expensive and the stress in the education system itself is constantly increasing.
In many other countries, large segments of the population are excluded from education. Illiteracy is therefore still widespread. In large countries like India, Pakistan or Bangladesh, for example, 40-50% of the people over 15-year-old find it impossible to learn to read and write. In many African countries the percentage is even higher.
Education in the bourgeois society primarily serves the formation of labour forces which are qualified and prepared to subordinate themselves to the capitalist command. Therefore, the education system transmits not only knowledge to the youth but they are also ideologically manipulated and indoctrinated in the spirit of slavish subordination under the bosses. More than ever, the school is the factory of the youth.
Just as the capitalist state apparatus as such, also the education system – which is part of it – must be smashed. The Bolsheviks-Communists, therefore, seek a fundamental revolution in the education system to build a Unified Labour School, in which work and education, theory and practice are combined and in which the society and in particular the teachers and the students actively participate in the decisions. But this will be possible only in a socialist society.
As long as the working class and the oppressed have to live under the conditions of the profit system, we call for the best possible access to education for qualified, class-struggle militant workers and the strengthening of institutions of alternative-power. It is therefore of utmost importance to fight for self-government and the control of the schools by the trainees in cooperation with the teachers. We fight against the bureaucratic state control from above and the authoritarian rule of directors and teachers over the trainees. At the same time it is the task of the workers movement to build, as far as possible, a proletarian education system in order to help the oppressed classes to get education in conjunction with the formation of proletarian solidarity and the teachings of the class struggle.
* Consistent and mandatory education for all with 12 school levels!
* For vocational training (apprenticeship or second chance education) in public education, in conjunction with state enterprises and controlled by the unions and the students!
* Free school and university access for all! No charges or credits and any access restrictions in the education system! Offering of preparatory courses for visiting the university for workers during working hours and paid for by the state! Abolition of final graduation and of the entrance requirements to the universities, which make access to college even more difficult for workers, apprentices and migrants!
* Financing of education and living expenses for the students by the state!
* Against cuts in education! Massive increase of teachers and the expansion of public schools to improve the quality of education!
* No private and religious schools and universities! No religion or ethics classes in schools! For a unified, secular education system in public hands!
* Instead of a pseudo-participation in the educational institutions – build a militant student union respectively a university student union! Instead of meddling and domination by capitalists or state bureaucrats – for joint control of schools by students, parents and teachers and of universities by students, teachers and representatives of labour organizations!
* Election and possibility to re-call the teachers by students and parents – without harming salaries, social-benefits or job-security of re-called educational personnel! Abolition of the post of school principal!
* Joint development of the curriculum by democratically elected student representatives with representatives of the workers' movement with equal rights. Unified education hours per week staggered by school year, with a maximum of 35 hours per week for all students without additional work at home. For the right to political activity in the schools!
* For a Unified Labour School system for all until the age of 18 years, in which education and work, theory and practice, is linked!
* The research and science should be organised according to a plan that is based on the needs of society and not the profit – controlled by the workers' movement and in cooperation with the employees of these institutions! Abolition of the patent system!
Revolutionary Struggle for Democracy
The struggle for more democracy takes a central place in the class struggles in many countries. The ever-increasing powers of the police and army against its own people rightly provoke outrage and resistance. The revolution against the dictatorship in North Africa and the Middle East, against the military regime in Thailand and also the August uprising in Britain and the square occupation movement in 2011 demonstrate how great the anger about the omnipotence of the bourgeois state and the desire for social participation is.
But the struggle for democracy must be pursued with all consequences. We do not want a democracy in which the masses may throw a piece of paper into the ballot box every few years and where the owners of the banks and corporations bribe the state apparatus from top to bottom and thus control the "democracy". We fight for revolutionary democratic demands and connect them with the question of ownership and control over the economy.
Particularly, where authoritarian regimes or the military openly trample on democratic rights, mass movements rise and fight with determination for their rights. Other states and even great imperialist powers try to exploit such domestic crises and are only too happy to expand their influence. The Bolsheviks-Communists support any real movement of the popular masses against the suppression of democratic rights. We reject any influence of reactionary forces and defend the national sovereignty of semi-colonial countries against imperialism. This can not mean that revolutionaries renounce the support of revolutionary-democratic movement. In reality, the imperialist meddling is no help for the revolutionary-democratic struggle, but threatens to undermine it. That is why we have supported progressive liberation struggles of the masses against dictatorships, but at the same time rejected sharply imperialist interventions. (E.g. the struggle of the Bosnians 1992-95, the Kosovo Albanians in 1999, the uprising against the Gaddafi dictatorship in Libya in 2011). Only when the imperialist intervention is becoming the dominant feature of the political situation, revolutionaries must subordinate the democratic struggle to the fight against such an intervention.
Similarly, this is the case in the still-existing degenerated workers states (such as Cuba or North Korea). We support real mass movement against the ruling bureaucracy (such as those in Eastern Europe, China and the USSR, 1989-91) and advocate for political revolution. However, we defend the achievements of the workers' state (planning, state ownership, foreign trade monopoly, etc.) against any attempt for the introduction of capitalism.
Where there are basic issues of political sovereignty on the agenda and there is still no awareness among the masses about the superiority of proletarian council democracy, in certain phases the slogan of a revolutionary Constituent Assembly can be important. Bolsheviks-Communists advocate that the delegates should be controllable and open to recall by its people. Thus such a Constituent Assembly cannot easily become an instrument of the ruling class, they should not be called by a bourgeois government, but by a revolutionary government of workers and peasants' councils.
* Down with the monarchies and dictatorships! For the elimination of Bonapartist institutions such as a Military Council or National Security Council, a second parliamentary chambers, the presidency, etc.
* In the struggle against dictatorships, and also against the corrupt "democracies" we advocate a radical purge of the state apparatus! For the complete screening of all state officials and their actions - especially police, army, intelligence, administration, legal, enterprise directors, etc. - under the control of councils!
* Defence of the right to strike, freedom of speech and assembly, freedom of political and union organising, as well as the freedom to make use of all communication and information media!
* Radical democratisation of the administration and jurisdiction: election and possibility to recall the entire administrative apparatus by the people! Trial by jury for all crimes and misdemeanours! Abolition of judicial office and replacement by jurisdiction by a jury under the advice of legally qualified experts!
* For the extension of local self-government!
* No to police and the surveillance state! Against expanding the powers of police and courts! For the replacement of the apparatus of repression by workers' and people's militia!
Free the oppressed peoples from the clutches of the banks and corporations!
Modern capitalism is characterised not only by the exploitation of the working class by the capitalist class, but also by the exploitation and oppression of peoples in the non-imperialist – the semi-colonial – countries by the imperialist monopoly capital. On the basis of this exploitation monopoly capital is also able in the rich countries to finance a bloated state apparatus associated with a relatively "democratic" form of rule and the corruption of the middle class and the labour aristocracy.
In 1995-2010 alone imperialist monopoly capital squeezed out from the semi-colonial countries to the metropolises more than 6.500 billion U.S. dollars. Similarly, the imperialist countries enforce free access for their commodities to the markets of poorer countries, while simultaneously closing off their own markets for the products of semi-colonial countries.
This imperialist exploitation leads to daily disasters in the semi-colonial world. Every day 100,000 people die of hunger or its consequences. Similarly, the poor countries are affected much more dramatically and immediately by the impacts of climate change as the annual flood disasters in Pakistan and Bangladesh show. The Bolshevik-Communist demand that the international workers movement fights together with organisations of peasants and the poor for the following demands:
* Cancel the debt of all semi-colonial countries of Latin America, Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe! Instead, the imperialist states must compensate the semi-colonial world for the plundering of their natural and human resources!
* Smash the IMF, World Bank and the WTO!
* No to protectionism in the imperialist countries against the commodities of poorer countries! Abolition of the NAFTA and the EU's common agricultural policy and similar protectionist weapons of imperialism! On the other hand, however, we defend the right of ‘third world' countries to protect their markets from cheap imports from the imperialist countries.
* Nationalisation of the imperialist banks and corporations under workers' control!
* For an international emergency plan to rescue the starving and to fight against the consequences of climate change – funded from the profits of the banks and corporations in rich countries!
Support the national liberation struggles of oppressed peoples!
Capitalist exploitation could never be sustained if it would not be supported and strengthened by the rule of a class state and social forms of oppression. National oppression therefore is an important component of the capitalist class rule. It allows the over-exploitation of oppressed peoples, national minorities and migrants, and thus the corruption of the reformist bureaucracy and the uppermost part of the working class. It facilitates the stirring up of chauvinistic prejudices among the relatively better-off nations, and thus the splitting up of the working class and the oppressed.
Real equality is impossible as long as capitalism remains. Our goal is to bring closer and finally the amalgamation of nations to a higher stage of human culture. But this is only possible in the age of communism and the withering away of the classes. To get there, the closest possible internationalist union of the workers and oppressed people of different nations are necessary. This in turn requires that the working class of the oppressor nation gains the trust of their class sisters and brothers by proofing in words and deeds that they are the most consistent fighter against all forms of oppression and discrimination. This will then also allow fighting against prejudice and nationalistic tendencies on all sides. Our goal is the internationalist unity of the working class.
We therefore call for unified revolutionary parties and trade unions, in which the workers and oppressed organise together regardless of their racial and national origin, gender or age. We also support the possibility of these oppressed to organise caucuses/sections within the revolutionary parties and trade unions. And we are in favour of building special revolutionary mass movements of the oppressed. (Women, Youth, Migrants, Black People etc.) These mass movements must play an important role in building of the Fifth Workers International.
National oppression takes place on one hand in the aforementioned oppression and exploitation of the semi-colonial peoples by imperialism. It takes a particularly sharp form in those countries where the imperialist powers do not rule indirectly, but directly and transform these countries into colonies (e.g. Afghanistan, Iraq). On the other hand, we see the oppression of national minorities in the states themselves, such as the Tamils in Sri Lanka, the Kashmiris in India and Pakistan, the Tibetans and Uyghur in China, the Kurds in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, the Chechens and other Caucasian peoples in Russia, the Basques in Spain or the Irish in Britain. Similarly, many indigenous peoples – such as Indians in Latin America or the various ethnic minorities in Africa and Asia – are suppressed. The Bolshevik-Communists call for:
* Equal rights and equal pay! Full citizenship rights for all persons belonging to national minorities!
* For a public employment and education programme under the control of representatives of national minorities and the workers movement - paid for by the capitalists profits!
* For the abolition of the official state languages! Equal treatment and equal supply of languages of national minorities in the schools, courts, public administration and in the media!
* For extensive regional autonomy and self-government of regions with specific national composition! Defining the borders of self-governing territories by the local population themselves!
* No to the nationalism of the (petty) bourgeois forces in the oppressed nations! Against the policy of isolation of communities from each other and for the closest possible union of workers of different nationalities!
* For the right to self-determination of oppressed peoples including the right to form their own state, if they wish so! Wherever oppressed people have already clearly stated their desire for a separate state, we support this and combine this with the slogan for a workers 'and peasants' republic. This applies for example for a socialist Tamil Eelam, a united Ireland, a united Kashmir, an independent Kurdistan, Chechnya, Tibet, etc.
* Unconditional support for the liberation struggle – including in its armed form!
A special case is the Palestinian people who have been suppressed and expelled by the Zionist apartheid state of Israel since 1948. The State of Israel is a racist settler state based on the expulsion of the indigenous population and also serves as a watchdog of imperialist great powers. Therefore, the national oppression can only be overcome when the Palestinian refugees are given the full right of return, get their land back or receive proper compensation and if the State of Israel is destroyed.
* For a joint Arab-Jewish workers' and peasants' republic in Palestine, where there are no privileges for the Jewish Israeli population any more.
Up to 12 million people across Europe belong to the ethnic group of Roma and Sinti. Thus, they are the largest ethnic minority in the EU. Their unique story as a group which has for centuries been pursued and more or less excluded from the social production process is making them an ethnic minority in different countries, mainly living in Eastern Europe. Their national development has been hampered by the oppression. They live in extreme poverty and are victims of persecution. It is no wonder that their life expectancy is lower by 10 and in some countries by 15-20 years than the rest of the population. In addition to the demands valid for all national minorities there are particularly important slogans for Roma and Sinti:
* Building of comprehensive, high quality free housing opportunities for poor Roma and all who live in ghettos and slums!
* Down with all restrictions on the movement for Roma! Immediate employment and housing rights in any country!
* For the formation of armed self-defence units in Roma neighbourhoods and camps, organised by the Roma, the labour movement and the progressive sections of the local population!
* Local self-government for areas with a high proportion of Roma! Special consideration to the wishes of the Roma population in defining the borders of self-governing regions! Financial support by the state!
* For a revolutionary movement of the Roma as part of the 5th Workers International! For the right of caucus of Roma in the unions and the organisations of the workers' movement!
Black people form an important minority in several imperialist countries (especially the USA, Britain and France). While in the USA they were brought into the country under the most terrible conditions during the 17th and 18th century and exploited as slaves, most black people in Britain did not come until after the Second World War as migrants from oppressed nations of the British Colonial Empire.
The black people in their struggle against oppression have created a number of organisations and movements. But these remained mostly under a bourgeois or petty-bourgeois leadership. Even the greatest and most heroic movement of the black people in the USA – the Black Panthers – could not overcome the limits of the petty-bourgeois nationalism. The Bolshevik-Communists support the building of a revolutionary movement of the black people and are in favour of the closest possible cooperation with the workers movement.
* For a public employment and education program under the control of representatives of the black community and the workers movement - paid for by the capitalists profits! For a massive building programme of houses!
* An end to the widespread practice of the bourgeois state, to condemn black people and migrants en masse to long prison terms. Roll up of all court cases, in which black people and migrants were convicted, before democratically elected trial by jury, of which at least half of it are members from the national/racial minority of the accused!
* For the formation of armed self-defence units of black people and its support by the entire workers' movement!
* Local self-government of areas with a high proportion of black people! Special consideration to the wishes of the black people in defining the borders of self-governing regions! Financial support by the state!
* For a revolutionary movement of black people as part of the 5th Workers International! For the right of caucus for black people in the unions and the organisations of the workers' movement!
Fight against the super-exploitation and national oppression of migrants!
In the era of imperialism and especially globalization, migration from poorer to richer countries has massively increased. In many rich, imperialist countries migrants constitute now – particularly in urban centres – 10, 20, 30, 40 or more percent of the population. In the Gulf States the proportion is even higher.
Migrants from poorer countries are brought into the country by capital in the vast majority of cases as cheaper labour forces. Therefore, they experience super-exploitation. Moreover, they are oppressed because of their national origin in different ways – either due to special immigration laws, lack of civil rights or due to language discrimination. This oppression and super-exploitation is justified and reinforced by the ideology of racism.
The fact that the unions usually organise primarily the better-off strata of the working class and not the oppressed and lower classes – including especially the migrants – is an expression of their bureaucratic, aristocratic orientation and must be strongly opposed.
To produce the greatest possible unity of the multinational working class, the workers' movement must consistently fight against all forms of national oppression and super-exploitation of the migrants as well as against the racist prejudices. By this they can undermine the ground for nationalist isolation trends, promoted by (petty) bourgeois leaders of the migrant communities. The Bolsheviks-Communists advocate therefore:
* Full citizenship rights and abolition of all special laws for all migrants – regardless of nationality, race, religion or nationality! Equal pay for equal work!
* The right to stay and immediate legalisation of all illegal migrants and asylum seekers! Right of asylum for those fleeing war, oppression and poverty in their countries! Open borders for all!
* Fight the incitement against Muslims. For the right to free exercise of religion – including the right to build mosques and the right of Muslim women, to wear a veil (scarf, burqua etc.) wherever they want! Similarly, we say: No one must be forced against her or his will to follow religious guidelines (such as the wearing of a headscarf)! The same applies e.g. for the wearing of the Dastar of the Sikhs.
* For the abolition of the official state languages! Equal treatment and equal supply of languages of migrants in the schools, courts, public administration and in the media! Free and voluntary offer for all to learn the languages of other national groups in the country!
* Local self-government of areas with a high proportion of migrants! Special consideration to the wishes of migrants in defining the borders of self-governing regions! Financial support by the state!
* For a revolutionary movement of the migrants as part of the 5th Workers International! For the right of caucus for migrants in the unions and the organizations of the workers' movement!
Fascism is the deadliest weapon of the capitalists against our class. Once fascism is in power, it means the reign of terror of capitalism at its worst and bloodiest form. Today, the fascists are getting stronger as the rise of Jobbik in Hungary, the German NPD, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in India, etc. shows.
That is why we say: No democratic rights, no parade, and no event for the fascists. The fascists are trying by force to enslave our class – we will fight their reactionary violence with our revolutionary violence.
We advocate broad united front’s of the organisations of the labour movement and of migrants for the purpose of organising joint action against fascists and racists. We want to fight side by side with these organisations, but we will not stop the fight if their leadership's hesitate or retreat. The Bolshevik-Communists advocate the establishment of anti-fascist self-defence units of the workers movement.
In their struggle against fascism the labour movement put no faith in the bourgeois state, i.e. the police and judiciary. We refuse to appeal to the state forces to ban on fascist or militant racist organisations. This fuels only illusions in the state amongst wage earners and young people. It is also a very dangerous game, because the state will in an emergency leave the fascists unharmed and use its executive powers against us revolutionaries and all militant organisations of the workers and oppressed.
Fascism gains strength not by virtue of its ideas, but because of the desperation, which affects the middle class and the politically backward, disoriented sections of the working class, faced with the massive crisis of the system. The mobilisation of these desperate elements on the streets, the goon squads, which the fascists use as a battering ram against the labour movement, the migrants etc. – all that makes fascism so dangerous and distinguishes it from other bourgeois forces. The struggle against fascism must, therefore, connect with the struggle against its roots – capitalism – and an alternative, radical program (public employment program, expropriation of monopoly capital, etc.).
* Smash the fascist organizations! No platform for fascists and militant racists!
* For the formation of joint self-defence units of workers, migrants and youth to protect against fascist and racist attacks!
Save our planet from the capitalist climate catastrophe!
In this system the capitalist class subordinates the whole society under their profit interests and thus endangers our future. This is most evident in the global warming and climate change. The reckless use of fossil fuels for the purpose of rapid transportation, the expansion of unsafe nuclear power plants, the clearing of rain forests - all this has the profit interests of monopoly capital as its cause.
In the next 20 years the average temperature will rise, according to various estimates, by up to 4.5 degrees. Already, we see tremendous changes in the constitution of the earth. Ever-larger parts of the polar ice caps melt and the sea level rises. Large parts of countries like Bangladesh, with over 140 million people could soon be flooded. The gruesome death of a quarter of a million people as a result of a tsunami in Southeast Asia, the nuclear reactor disaster in Fukushima, the floods in Pakistan and the tragic fate of New Orleans would then be repeated many times.
The climate disaster is a class issue: the biggest destroyers of the environment are the imperialist states - most notably the USA (it alone produces 25% of all greenhouse gases!), the EU, Japan and, increasingly, the new imperialist superpower China. Britain e.g. produces 10 times as much CO2 per capita as India. On the other hand the poorest 3 billion people worldwide are contributing almost nothing to climate change.
Of course, today even the rulers talk about the need to reverse climate change. But these are phrases. The failure of the Kyoto Protocol, the climate summit in Copenhagen etc. shows that the capitalists and their governments are unable and unwilling to stop climate change.
A particularly cynical measure is the so-called emissions trade, which makes pollution to a business and where the rich countries pay to poor countries to emit more greenhouse gases.
The corporations are investing huge sums in the genetic manipulation of plants. While the use of genetic engineering will be quite useful under the dictatorship of the proletariat, their use poses under the rule of the greedy corporations tremendous dangers with devastating and long-term implications. We therefore reject the application of genetic manipulation in agriculture under capitalism.
Only a radical reversal of the energy and environmental policy can save our planet and our future. But for that we need to overthrow the capitalist class, because their profit motives drive us to destruction.
Only in the context of a world socialist society an economic order can be developed that is orientated not towards the profit of a few, but according to the needs of humanity and where therefore production is sustainable.
Numerous petty-bourgeois environmental organisations and reformist parties address appeals to the capitalist governments to put an end to the destruction of the environment and to take strong measures to reverse climate change. This is a false and dangerous illusion. Through determined global class struggle we can achieve this or that reform. But this is just a drop in the bucket, and as long as the rule of the capitalist class remains, even those reforms will endure only temporarily.
The Bolsheviks-Communists advocate a global mass movement fighting for an international emergency plan to combat climate change. The British trade unionists campaign "One million climate jobs" is one, albeit inadequate, example, which indicates the direction for such a movement. This struggle must be combined with the aim of overthrowing capitalism, because only then can such an emergency plan to be implemented fully and permanently.
* Nationalisation under workers' control of all energy companies and all companies that are responsible for basic supplies such as water, agriculture and airlines, ship and rail facilities!
* For an emergency plan to convert the energy and transport system and for a global phasing out of fossil fuels and nuclear energy production connected to a public employment programme! For the massive exploration and use of alternative forms of energy such as wind, tidal and solar power! For a global reforestation program of the woods! Radical expansion of public transport to push back individual car traffic!
* Prohibition of genetic manipulation and hazardous chemicals in agriculture! Abolition of the hybrid culture system!
* Force the imperialist corporations and states, to pay compensation to the semi-colonial countries for the environmental destruction caused by them! No emissions trade and “ecological points” system!
* Abolition of commercial secrecy in clean technology and energy sectors! Bring together the knowledge for the creation of effective alternatives!
Jobs and housing for the poor in urban slums!
More than one billion people – about a third of the urban population – live in slums in the big cities, especially in the semi-colonial world. These slums are home to many of the working poor, who constitute in the so-called developing countries up to ¾ of the workforce outside of agriculture - in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia more than 80%.
Most of the slum dwellers have no permanent job, but are unemployed, informal employed workers or self-employed. Therefore, they are mostly part of the lower strata of the working class, semi-proletarian elements, who are also involved in urban agriculture, self-employed or belong to the lumpenproletariat. The extremely precarious position at the work place increases the importance of their particular living and housing conditions. These are the reason why we can speak of the urban poor as a specific layer.
They lack mostly stable homes, good drainage, clean drinking water and waste services. Moreover, they have to deal with the everyday brutality of the police thugs, gangsters or the local Mafia speculators.
In the slums the struggle for socialist liberation must put a priority on the self-organisation of residents. To resist the daily terror of the authorities, the police and the Mafia, organising into local action committees as a first step towards councils and the formation of armed self-defence units is essential. Central to this is also to establish a close alliance with militant trade unions and organisations of migrants, women and youth. The Arab revolution – but also the revolution in Iran in 1979 – has shown that the urban poor can play an important role in the revolution, particularly in order to push back the conservative-retarding influence of the labour bureaucracy and the thin layer of the labour aristocracy. Revolutionary forces must be at the forefront here to prevent that any populist forces assume the leadership of the urban poor.
The perspective of the struggle must particularly focus on a public employment programme under control of the workers' movement and the organisations of slum dwellers. With such a programme on the one hand unemployment could be fought and on the other hand, the basis could be created for the massive construction of high-quality houses, the building of infrastructure, the supply of clean water etc.
* For a public employment programme under the control of representatives of slum dwellers and the workers' movement - paid for by the capitalists profits! For a large-scale state investment programme for the development of housing, energy, sanitation and waste management, hospitals and schools, roads and public transport!
* For the formation of local committees of action and self-defence units of the slum dwellers!
The land to the peasants! Organise the agricultural workers!
Capitalism means misery not just for the urban but also for the rural population. 85% of the world's 450 million farms are operated by small farmers with less than 2 hectares of land. Additionally, there are 800 million people engaged in agriculture in urban areas (of which 150-200 million are full-time peasants), 410 million people who live and work in the forests and savannas, 190 million shepherds and over 100 million fishermen. In addition there are hundreds of millions of landless peasants and rural workers.
The survival of poor and landless peasants is increasingly threatened by greedy big business which enriches itself at the expense of peasants in the decaying capitalism more and more. The unequal distribution of land was and is extreme: for example in Brazil 26.000 landowners possess 50% of agricultural land. Large parts of their lands are not or poorly utilised for agriculture. At the same time there are 12 million landless peasants.
The oppression of women is reflected in agriculture that despite the fact that they constitute nearly half of the workforce, but they posses only about 5% of the soil.
The peasants suffer not only from the greed of the landowners. They are also the victims of market economy dominated by monopoly capital and the finance capitalists. The extreme price volatility hits the peasants as hard as the conversion of agriculture to monocultures enforced by the corporations. 70 countries are no longer in a position to produce the necessary amount of food for their own population. Furthermore the banks enrich themselves by the debt trap, in which most of the peasants are caught. Add to this the rapid buying up of huge tracts of land by corporations and investment funds, often for purely speculative purposes. In the years 2008 and 2009 alone worldwide 80 million hectares of land in the semi-colonial countries were bought by investors.
The struggle for the liberation of the poor peasants must be directed primarily against the big landlords, banks and monopoly capital. It is, therefore, a struggle that has to be conducted internationally and must be directed against the foundations of capitalism. The poor peasantry must, therefore, in their own fundamental interest enter the road to socialism together with and under the leadership of the working class.
An important slogan is the struggle for breaking the rule of landlords, banks and monopoly capital and, ultimately, their expropriation. The land must be distributed to the poor and landless farmers. At the same time we are fighting for a radical and lasting transformation of agriculture - away from the depletion by monocultures dictated purely by corporations and export-orientation and toward a diversified and sustainable agriculture. The increased utilisation of agriculture in urban areas is desirable in principle as it removes the rigid separation of town and country. But only if it is not a desperate means of survival of the urban poor, but develops in the context of a comprehensive plan of distribution of economic resources and with massive support from the state. Our goal is to eliminate the separation of town and country - as it is desired in concepts such as the garden city.
The class struggle in the country-side requires that militant and revolutionary organisations of the poor and landless peasants are built, which should seek a close alliance with the working class.
Especially important is the independent organisation of agricultural workers. These can play a vanguard role in the fight on the country-side, if they lead the class struggle against the big land and plantation owners consistently. An example would be the Tamil plantation workers in Sri Lanka.
* Immediate ban on the purchase of land by multinational corporations and hedge funds! Immediate confiscation of all non-agricultural used land owned by large landowners! Abolition of all patents of capitalist monopolies in agriculture!
* For the expropriation of the big landlords, the church and the multinationals! For the nationalisation of the land under the control of workers and poor peasants! The land to those who cultivate it! The local democratic actions council representatives of the poor and landless peasants have to decide the question of the allocation and use of the land! Promotion of voluntary agricultural cooperatives and the formation of larger state production units!
* Debt cancellation and abolition of rent for the peasants! Nationalisation of the banks! Interest-free loans for small peasants!
* For a radical change of direction in the agricultural economy. Away from the monoculture! For sustainable cultivation methods in agriculture! As much international transport of agricultural product as necessary to supply the world's population as necessary and as much supplies of agricultural goods on the spot as possible!
Joint struggle for women's liberation!
In the entire history of mankind the system of class exploitation from the start existed hand in hand with forms of political oppression (by the state) and the social oppression of specific groups. (e.g. women, youth etc.) The oppression of women is, therefore, deeply rooted in the history of class society and can only wither away with the elimination of the later. Therefore, the struggle for women's liberation is naturally closely connected with the struggle for socialism.
Contrary to the claims of the bourgeois and liberal writers only the form of oppression of women has changed in recent decades, but not the essence. Although now nearly 53% of all women are employed, capitalist exploitation affects women particularly hard because of their oppression. Worldwide, 60% of working poor and about 70% of the poor are female. While we women do on average 2/3 of all works, we get only a tenth of total income and own only one percent of the property.
In short, we receive less pay for the same amount of labour; we make the bulk of unpaid domestic work and child-care and in addition are also often victims of violence and harassment. Moreover, the reactionary state attempts to prescribe what we have to wear clothing and what not. In the Western imperialist countries and Turkey, Muslim women are disadvantaged if they wear a scarf or a burqa. In many Islamic countries, we are subjected to pressure and open terror if we do not respect the religious dress code.
A particularly obvious form of oppression of women is prostitution, to which globally more and more women are forced – whether because of financial hardship and/or through open physical violence. Due to the largely non-legal working conditions prostitutes are easier victims of exploitation and criminalisation by pimps and police. We support the full legalisation of prostitution, the unionisation of sex workers as well as state-sponsored training programmes to allow an exit from prostitution. As long as capitalism and thus also the oppression of women remains, there will be also prostitution. Only after the socialist revolution can prostitution be fought and abolished.
We women make half of the working class and the oppressed, and among the broad mass of their lower layers we even constitute the majority. But in the mass organisations, we play only a subordinated role. Why? On the one hand, this is because social oppression makes our participation in the class struggle more difficult. On the other hand, this is also because most of the mass organisations are controlled by a reformist bureaucracy and dominated by the upper, aristocratic layer. The bureaucracy is afraid of the massive and active participation of us proletarian and poor women, because particularly we have nothing to lose but our chains. This is why a strategy that is aimed at revolutionising the mass organisations, must hopelessly fail if it is not based on the broad mobilisation of the proletarian and poor women.
While reformism hinders the participation of women in the class struggle, feminism stands for a separation of the struggle for the liberation of women from the general class struggle. Such a separation is deeply regressive, because it means the artificial separation of one form of class struggle from the whole of the class struggle. But the oppression of women is an integral part of the whole capitalist class society, and only in the fight against this it can be overcome.
Feminism is also a tendency which reflects the interests of the petty bourgeois and bourgeois women. While these women also experience women's oppression, they have, in contrast to the women of our class, primarily the desire to be equal to men of their class within the system and have no interest to smash the capitalist class system as such. In the 19th century the petty-bourgeois and especially the bourgeois women, who could not legally perform most academic professions, complained that even a male worker (someone from the "lower class") is superior to them since he could have a job. This reflects the interest of these bourgeois women to keep the class oppression of the workers', but to overcome their own oppression as women in the limits of their own class. It is also true for the feminists that their usually (petty) bourgeois class position is the determining factor and not the phrases of "women's solidarity," which they preach so often.
Exactly therefore the Bolsheviks-Communists consider it as the urgent task of the vanguard, to build a revolutionary women's movement, and promote the massive organising of women in trade unions and other mass organisations. We also advocate the right to caucus of women and to build their own sections within the mass organisations of workers and the oppressed. Of particular importance is the role of us women in the revolutionary party: The party of the revolution must be the party that is fighting not only for women's liberation, but in which the revolutionary women also take a central and leading role.
* An end to all forms of legal discrimination against women - whether in the workplace, in access to education or at the polls!
* Equal pay for equal work!
* For the massive construction of free, well-equipped 24-hour child-care facilities! For a wide range supply of affordable and high-quality public restaurants and laundry facilities! Our goal is the socialisation of housework!
* Massive support for the conversion of part-time to full-time employment for women!
* For a public employment programme to create the conditions for the socialisation of housework and simultaneously eliminate unemployment among women!
* Free access to free contraception and abortion on demand regardless of age and no matter in what month of pregnancy the woman is!
* Fight against violence against women! For the expansion of public women safe houses, controlled by women's organisations! For the formation of self-defence units by the workers' and women's movement against sexist violence!
* Down with all laws and public campaigns on religious dress codes! For the right to wear religious clothing, independently whether it is a form of Muslim veiling, the Dastar of the Sikhs etc. is! But also against any compulsion to wear these garments!
* For the building of a revolutionary women's movement! For the right to caucus for women in the mass organisations of workers and oppressed!
Combat the sexual oppression of church and state!
Worldwide, people with a different sexual orientation than the prevailing heterosexuality are discriminated against. In most countries, relationships of lesbians, gays and transgender persons are either legally not recognised at all or even explicitly threatened with penalties. But even in those countries where their sexuality is legally recognised, gay, lesbians and transgender people are oppressed in many ways. Many don’t even dare, therefore, to admit their non-heterosexual sexual orientation openly.
Those who whip up incitement against people with a non-heterosexual orientation are bourgeois forces, media and religious institutions. They fear a threat to the institution of the family. For the same reason, they also suppress the free sexual development of young people through laws that allow them sexual contact only above a certain age limit.
But it is the social relations of oppression against women, young people and people with a non-heterosexual sexual orientation, which open the doors for violence and abuse. Characteristically, most of these abuses take place in relationships that are characterised by clear hierarchical relationships (e-g. family, church, orphanages, prison). Therefore, the Bolshevik-Communists advocate the abolition of all forms of oppression of sexuality and the greatest possible protection against all forms of violence and abuse.
* An end to the paternalism by the state and religious institutions: everyone should be able to realise his or her sexuality without coercion and regulations, as long as this takes place with the mutual consent of the partners.