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.