Mao’s Evaluations of Stalin

Quotations from Mao Tse Tung

Mao’s Evaluations of Stalin

A Collection and Summary

Mao’s Evaluations of Stalin

“Generally speaking, all Communist Party members who have a certain capacity for study should study the theories of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin, study the history of our nation, and study the circumstances and trends of current movements; moreover, they should serve to educate members with a lower cultural level….
“The theories of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin are universally applicable. We should not regard their theories as dogma but as a guide to action.”
—“On the New Stage” (Oct. 12-14, 1938), MRP6, p. 537. In a slightly different translation in SW2, pp. 208-9.

[Edgar Snow writing:] “On another occasion I asked Mao whether, in his opinion, Russia’s occupation of Poland was primarily justified by strategic-military necessity or political necessity.

“Mao seemed to think that the governing factor was strategic necessity, but that the move was partly military and partly political. The political side was not related directly to the world condition of the revolutionary movement but to the Soviet Union’s historic relations with Eastern Poland. The Soviet-German Pact, on the other hand, was not political but a strategic-military necessity. Stalin wanted it in order to block Chamberlain’s effort to build a coalition against Russia. Mao claimed that Chamberlain had clearly indicated to Hitler that he had to make a choice between fighting Russia or fighting England. If Hitler attacked Russia, Chamberlain was prepared to tolerate his occupation of Poland, Rumania, Yugoslavia, and the Baltic states. If not, he would use Poland to oppose Hitler. Stalin was then compelled to seek his own agreement with Hitler.”
—Edgar Snow’s report of an interview with Mao, in “Interviews with Edgar Snow” (Sept. 24-26), 1939), MRP7, p. 229. Thus according to Snow, Mao fully supported Stalin’s decision to sign a non-aggression pact with Germany and to occupy eastern Poland. (See also pp. 221-228 of the Snow interviews.)

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Thesis and Report on Bourgeois Democracy and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat: V. I. Lenin

V. I. Lenin

Thesis and Report on Bourgeois Democracy and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
March 4

Delivered: March 2-6, 1919 at First Congress of the Communist International

1. Faced with the growth of the revolutionary workers’ movement in every country, the bourgeoisie and their agents in the workers’ organizations are making desperate attempts to find ideological and political arguments in defense of the rule of the exploiters. Condemnation of dictatorship and a sense of democracy are particularly prominent among these arguments. The falsity and hypocrisy of this argument, repeated in a thousand strains by the capitalist press and at the Berne yellow International Conference in February 1919, are obvious to all who refuse to betray the fundamental principles of socialism.

2. Firstly, this argument employs the concepts of “democracy in general” and “dictatorship in general “, without posing the question of the class concerned. This nonclass or above class presentation, which supposedly is popular, is an outright travesty of the basic tenet of socialism, namely, its theory of class struggle, which Socialists who have sided with the bourgeoisie recognize in words but disregard in practice. For in no civilized capitalist country does “democracy in general” exist; all that exists is bourgeois democracy, and it is not a question of “dictatorship in general”, but of the dictatorship of the oppressed class, i.e., the proletariat, over its oppressors and exploiters, i.e., the bourgeoisie, in order to overcome the resistance offered by the exploiters in their fight to maintain their domination.

3. History teaches us that no oppressed class ever did, or could, achieve power without going through a period of dictatorship, i.e., the conquest of political power and forceable suppression of the resistance always offered by the exploiters—the resistance that is most desperate, most furious, and that stops at nothing. The bourgeoisie, whose domination is now defended by the Socialists who denounce “dictatorship in general” and extol “democracy in general”, won power in the advanced countries through a series of insurrections, civil wars, and the forcible suppression of kings, feudal lords, slaveowners and their attempts at restoration. In books, pamphlets, Congress resolutions, and propaganda speeches, Socialists have everywhere thousands and millions of times explained to people the class nature of these bourgeois revolutions and this bourgeois dictatorship. That is why the present defense of bourgeois democracy under the cover of talk about “democracy in general”, and the present howls and shouts against proletarian dictatorship under the cover of shouts about “dictatorship in general”, are an outright betrayal of socialism. They are, in fact, desertion to the bourgeoisie, denial of the proletariat’s right to its own, proletarian revolution, and a defense of bourgeois reformism at the very historical juncture when bourgeois reformism throughout the world has collapsed and the war has created a revolutionary situation.

4. In explaining the class nature of bourgeois civilization, bourgeois democracy and the bourgeois parliamentary system, all Socialists have expressed the idea formulated with the greatest scientific precision by Marx and Engels [Engels Introduction to the The Civil War in France], namely, that the most democratic bourgeois republic is no more than a machine for the suppression of the working class by the bourgeoisie, for the suppression of the working people by a handful of capitalists. There is not a single revolutionary, not a single Marxist among those now shouting against dictatorship and for democracy, who has not sworn and vowed to the workers that he excepts this basic truth of socialism. But now, when the revolutionary proletariat is in a fighting mood and taking action to destroy this machine of oppression and to establish proletarian dictatorship, these traitors to socialism claim that the bourgeoisie have granted the working people “pure democracy”, have abandoned resistance and are prepared to yield to the majority of the working people. They assert that in a democratic republic there is not, and never has been, any such thing as a state machine for the suppression of labor by capital.

5. The Paris Commune —to which all who parade as Socialists pay lip service (for they know that the workers ardently and sincerely sympathize with though Commune) —showed very clearly the historically conventional nature and limited value of the bourgeois parliamentary system and bourgeois democracy; institutions which, though highly progressive compared with medieval times, inevitably require a radical alteration in the era of proletarian revolution. It was Marx who best appraised the historical significance of the Commune. In his analysis, he revealed the exploiting nature of bourgeois democracy in the bourgeois parliamentary system under which the oppressed classes enjoy the right to decide once in several years which representative of the propertied classes shall “represent and suppress” ( ver- und zertreten ) the people in parliament. And it is now, when the Soviet movement is embracing the entire world and continuing the work of the Commune for all to see, that the traitors to socialism are forgetting the concrete experience and concrete lessons of the Paris Commune and repeating the old bourgeois rubbish about “democracy in general”. The Commune was not a parliamentary institution.

6. The significance of the commune, furthermore, lies in the fact that it endeavored to crush, to smash to its very foundations, the bourgeois state apparatus, the bureaucratic, judicial, military and police machine, and to replace it by a self-governing, mass workers’ organization in which there was no division between legislative and executive power. All contemporary bourgeois-democratic republic’s, including the German republic—which the traitors to socialism, in mockery of the truth, describe as a proletarian republic—retain this state apparatus. We therefore again get quite clear confirmation of the point that shouting in defense of “democracy in general” is actually defense of the bourgeoisie and their privileges as exploiters.

7. “Freedom of assembly” can be taken as a sample of the requisites of “pure democracy”. Every class conscience worker who has not broken with his class will readily appreciate the absurdity of promising freedom of assembly to the exploiters at a time and in a situation when the exploiters are resisting the overthrow of their rule and are fighting to retain their privileges. When the bourgeoisie were revolutionary, they did not, neither in England in 1649 nor in France in 1793, grant “freedom of assembly” to the monarchists and nobles, who summoned foreign troops and “assembled” to organize attempts at restoration. If the present day bourgeoisie, who have long since become reactionary, demand from proletariat advance guarantees of “freedom of assembly” for the exploiters, whatever the resistance offered by the capitalists to being expropriated, the workers will only laugh at their hypocrisy.

The workers know perfectly well, too, that even in the most democratic bourgeois republic “freedom of assembly” is a hollow phrase, for the rich have the best public and private buildings at their disposal, and enough leisure to assemble at meetings, which are protected by the bourgeois machine of power. The rural and urban workers and small peasants—the overwhelming majority of the population—are denied all these things. As long as that state of affairs prevails, “equality”, i.e., “pure democracy”, is a fraud. The first thing to do to win genuine equality and enable the working people to enjoy democracy in practice is to deprive the exploiters of all the public and sumptuous private buildings, to give to the working people leisure and to see to it that their freedom of assembly is protected by armed workers, not by heirs of the nobility or capitalist officers in command of downtrodden soldiers.

Only when that change is affected can we speak of freedom of assembly and of equality without mocking at the workers, at working people in general, at the poor. And this change can be affected only by the vanguard of the working people, the proletariat, which overthrows the exploiters, the bourgeoisie.

8. “Freedom of the press” is another of the principal slogans of “pure democracy”. And here, too, the workers know — and Socialists everywhere have explained millions of times —that this freedom is a deception because the best printing presses and the biggest stocks of paper are appropriated by the capitalists, and while capitalist rule over the press remains—a rule that is manifested throughout the whole world all the more strikingly, sharply and cynically—the more democracy and the republican system are developed, as in America for example. The first thing to do to win really equality and genuine democracy for the working people, for the workers and peasants, is to deprive capital of the possibility of hiring writers, buying publishing houses and bribing newspapers. And to do that the capitalists and exploiters have to be overthrown and their resistance oppressed. The capitalists have always use the term “freedom” to mean freedom for the rich to get richer and for the workers to starve to death. And capitalist usage, freedom of the press means freedom of the rich to bribe the press, freedom to use their wealth to shape and fabricate so-called public opinion. In this respect, too, the defenders of “pure democracy” prove to be defenders of an utterly foul and venal system that gives the rich control over the mass media. They prove to be deceivers of the people, who, with the aid of plausible, fine-sounding, but thoroughly false phrases, divert them from the concrete historical task of liberating the press from capitalist enslavement. Genuine freedom and equality will be embodied in the system which the Communists are building, and in which there will be no opportunity for massing wealth at the expense of others, no objective opportunities for putting the press under the direct or indirect power of money, and no impediments in the way of any workingman (or groups of workingman, in any numbers) for enjoying and practicing equal rights in the use of public printing presses and public stocks of paper.

9. The history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries demonstrated, even before the war, what this celebrated “pure democracy” really is under capitalism. Marxists have always maintained that the more developed, the “purer” democracy is, the more naked, acute and merciless the class struggle becomes, and the “purer” the capitalist oppression and bourgeois dictatorship. The Dreyfus case in republican France, the massacre of strikers by hired bands armed by the capitalists in the free and democratic American republic —these and thousands of similar facts illustrate the truth which the bourgeoisie are mainly seeking to conceal, namely, that actually terror and bourgeois dictatorship prevail in the most democratic of republics and are openly displayed every time the exploiters think the power of capital is being shaken.

10. The imperialist war of 1914-18 conclusively revealed even to backward workers the true nature of bourgeois democracy, even in the freest republics, as being a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Tens of millions were killed for the sake of enriching the German or the British group of millionaires and multimillionaires, and bourgeois military dictatorships were established in the freest republics. This military dictatorship continues to exist in the Allied countries even after Germany’s defeat. It was mostly the war that opened the eyes of the working people, that striped bourgeois democracy of its camouflage and showed the people the abyss of speculation and profiteering that existed during because of the war. It was in the name of “freedom and equality” that the bourgeoisie wage the war, in the name of “freedom and equailty” that the munitions manufacturers piled up fabulous fortunes. Nothing that the yellow Berne International does can conceal from the people the now thoroughly exposed exploiting character of bourgeois freedom, bourgeois equality and bourgeois democracy.

11. In Germany, the most developed capitalist country of Continental Europe, the very first months of full Republican freedom, establish as a result of imperialist Germany’s defeat, have shown the German workers and the whole world the true class substance of the bourgeois-democratic republic. The murder of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg is an event of epoch-making significance not only because of the tragic death of these finest people and leaders of the truly proletarian, Communist International, but also because the class nature of an advanced European state—it can be said without exaggeration, of an advanced state, on a worldwide scale —has been conclusively exposed. If those arrested, i.e., those placed under state protection, could be assassinated by officers and capitalists with impunity, and this under the government headed by social patriots, in the democratic republic where such a thing was possible is a bourgeois dictatorship. Those who voice their indignation at the murder of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg but fail to understand this fact are only demonstrating their stupidity, or hypocrisy. “Freedom” in the German republic, one of the freest and advanced republics of the world, is freedom to murder arrested leaders of the proletariat with impunity. Nor can it be otherwise as long as capitalism remains, for the development of democracy sharpens rather than dampens the class struggle which, by virtue of all the results and influences of the war and of its consequences, has been brought to boiling point.

Throughout the civilized world we see Bolsheviks being exiled, persecuted and thrown into prison. This is the case, for example, in Switzerland, one of the freest bourgeois republics, and in America, where there has been anti-Bolshevik pogroms, etc. . From the standpoint of “democracy in general”, or “pure democracy”, it is really ridiculous that advanced, civilized, and democratic countries, which are armed to the teeth, should fear the presence of a few score men from backward, famine stricken and ruined Russia, which the bourgeois papers, in tens of millions of copies, described as savage, criminal, etc.. Clearly, the social situation that could produce this crying contradiction is in fact a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.

12. In these circumstances, proletarian dictatorship is not only an absolutely legitimate means of overthrowing exploiters and suppressing the resistance, but also absolutely necessary to the entire mass of working people, being their only defense against the bourgeois dictatorship which led to the war and is preparing new wars.

The main thing that Socialists fail to understand—which constitutes their shortsightedness in matters of theory, their subservience to bourgeois prejudices, and their political betrayal of the proletariat—is that in capitalist society, whenever there is any serious aggravation of the class struggle intrinsic to that society, there can be no alternative but the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie or the dictatorship of the proletariat. Dreams of some third way are reactionary, petty-bourgeois limitations. That is borne out by more than a century of development of bourgeois democracy in the working-class movement in all the advanced countries, and notably by the experience of the past five years. This is also borne out by the whole science of political economy, by the entire content of Marxism, which reveals the economic inevitability, wherever commodity economy prevails, of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie that can only be replaced by the class which the very growth of capitalism develops, multiplies, welds together and strengthens; that is, the proletarian class.

13. Another theoretical and political error of the Socialists is their failure to understand that ever since the rudiments of democracy first appeared in antiquity, its forms notably changed over the centuries as one ruling class replaced another. Democracy assumed different forms and was applied in different degrees in the ancient republics of Greece, the medieval cities and the advanced capitalist countries. It would be sheer nonsense to think that the most profound revolution in human history, the first case in the world of power being transferred from the exploiting minority to the exploited majority, could take place within the time-worn framework of the old, bourgeois, parliamentary democracy, without drastic changes, without the creation of new forms of democracy, new institutions that embody the new conditions for applying democracy, etc.

14. Proletarian dictatorship is similar to dictatorship of other classes in that it arises out of the need, as every other dictatorship does, to forcibly suppresses the resistance of the class that is losing its political sway. The fundamental distinction between the dictatorship of the proletariat and a dictatorship of the other classes — landlord dictatorship in the Middle Ages and bourgeois dictatorship in all civilized capitalist countries — consists in the fact that the dictatorship of landowners and bourgeoisie was a forcible suppression of the resistance offered by the vast majority of the population, namely, the working people. In contrast, proletarian dictatorship is a forcible suppression of the resistance of the exploiters, i.e., of an insignificant minority the population, the landlords and capitalists.

It follows that proletarian dictatorship must inevitably entail not only a change in the democratic forms and institutions, generally speaking, but precisely such change as provides an unparalleled extension of the actual enjoyment of democracy by those oppressed by capitalism—the toiling classes.

And indeed, the form of proletarian dictatorship that has already taken shape, i.e., Soviet power in Russia, the Räte-System in Germany, the Shop Stewards Committees in Britain and similar Soviet institutions in other countries, all this implies and presents to the toiling classes, i.e., the vast majority of the population, greater practical opportunities for enjoying democratic rights and liberties than ever existed before, even approximately, in the best and the most democratic bourgeois republics.

The substance of Soviet government is that the permanent and only foundation of state power, the entire machinery of state, is the mass scale organization of the classes oppressed by capitalism, i.e., the workers and semi-proletarians (peasants who do not exploit the labor of others and regularly resort to the sale of at least a part of their own labor power). It is the people, who even in the most democratic bourgeois republics, while possessing equal rights by law, have in fact been debarred by thousands of devices and subterfuges from participation in political life and enjoyment of democratic rights and liberties, that are now drawn into constant and unfailing, moreover, decisive, participation in the democratic administration of the state.

15. The equality of citizens, irrespective of sex, religion, race, or nationality, which bourgeois democracy everywhere has always promised but never affected, and never could affect because of the domination of capital, is given immediate and full effect by the Soviet system, or dictatorship of the proletariat. The fact is that this can only be done by a government of the workers, who are not interested in the means of production being privately owned and in the fight for their division and redivision.

16. The old, i.e., bourgeois, democracy and the parliamentary system were so organized that it was the mass of working people who were kept farthest away from a machinery of government. Soviet power, i.e., the dictatorship of the proletariat, on the other hand, is so organized as to bring the working people close to the machinery of government. That, too, is the purpose of combining the legislative and executive authority under the Soviet organization of the state and of replacing territorial constituencies by production units—the factory.

17. The Army was a machine of oppression not only under the monarchy. It remains as such in all bourgeois republics, even the most democratic ones. Only the Soviets, the permanent organizations of government authority of the classes that were oppressed by capitalism, are in a position to destroy the Army’s subordination to bourgeois commanders and really merge the proletariat with the Army; only the Soviets can effectively arm the proletariat and disarm the bourgeoisie. Unless this is done, the victory of socialism is impossible.

18. The Soviet organization of the state is suited to the leading role of the proletariat as a class most concentrated and enlightened by capitalism. The experience of all revolutions and all movements of the oppressed classes, the experience of the world Socialist movement teaches us that only the proletariat is in a position to unite and lead the scattered and backward sections of the working and exploited population.

19. Only the Soviet government of the state can really affect the immediate breakup and total destruction of the old, i.e., bourgeois, bureaucratic and judicial machinery, which has been, and has inevitably had to be, retained under capitalism even in the most democratic republics, and which is, in actual fact, the greatest obstacle to the practical implementation of democracy for the workers and working people generally. The Paris Commune took the first epoch making step along this path. The Soviet system has taken the second.

20. Destruction of state power is the aim set by all Socialists, including Marx above all. Genuine democracy, i.e., Liberty and equality, is unrealizable unless this aim is achieved. But it’s practical achievement as possible only through Soviet, or proletarian, democracy, for by enlisting the mass organizations of the working people in constant and unfailing participation in the administration of the state, it immediately begins to prepare the complete withering away of any state.

21. The complete bankruptcy of the Socialists who assembled in Berne, their complete failure to understand the new, i.e., proletarian, democracy, is especially apparent from the following. On February 10, 1919, Branting delivered the concluding speech at the International Conference of the yellow International in Berne. In Berlin, on February 11, 1919, Die Freiheit, the paper of the International’s affiliates, published an appeal from the party of “Independence” to the proletariat. The appeal acknowledged the bourgeois character of the Scheidemann government, rebuked it for wanting to abolish the Soviets, which are described as Träger und Schutzer der Revolution — vehicles and guardians of the revolution—and proposed that the Soviets be legalized, invested with government authority and given the right to suspend the operation of National Assembly decisions pending a popular referendum.

That proposal indicates the complete ideological bankruptcy of the theorists who defend democracy and failed to see its bourgeois character. This ludicrous attempt to combine the Soviet system, i.e., proletarian dictatorship, with the National Assembly, i.e. bourgeois dictatorship, utterly exposes the paucity of thought of the yellow Socialists and Social-Democrats, their reactionary petty-bourgeois political outlook, and their cowardly concessions to the irresistible growing strength of the new, proletarian democracy.

22. From a class standpoint, the Berne yellow International majority, which did not dare to adopt a formal resolution out of fear of the mass of workers, was right in condemning Bolshevism. This majority is in full agreement with the Russian Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, and the Sheidemanns in Germany. In complaining of persecution by the Bolsheviks, the Russian Mensheviks and Socialist revolutionaries try to conceal the fact that they are persecuted for participating in the Civil War on the side of the bourgeoisie against the proletariat. Similarly, the Sheidemanns and their party have already demonstrated in Germany that they, too, are participating in the Civil War on the side of the bourgeoisie against the workers.

It is therefore quite natural that the Berne yellow International majority should be in favor of condemning the Bolsheviks. This was not an expression of defense of “pure democracy”, but of the self defense of people who know and feel that in the Civil War they stand with the bourgeoisie against the proletariat.

That is why, from the class point of view, the decision of the yellow International majority must be considered correct. The proletariat must not fear the truth, it must face it squarely and draw all the necessary political conclusions.

Comrades, I would like to add a word or two to the last two points. I think that the comrades who are to report to us on the burn Conference will deal with it in greater detail.

Not a word was said at the Berne Conference about the significance of Soviet power. We in Russia have been discussing this question for two years now. At our Party Conference in April 1917, we raised the following question, theoretically and politically: “What is Soviet power, what is its substance and what is its historical significance?” We have been discussing it for almost two years. And at our [Seventh] Party Congress we adopted a resolution on it.
On February 11 the Berlin Die Freiheit published an appeal to the German proletariat signed not only by the leaders of the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany, but also by all members of the Independent Social Democratic group in the Reichstag. In August 1918, Kautsky, one of the leading theorists of these Independents, wrote a pamphlet entitled The Dictatorship of the Proletariat, in which he declared that he was a supporter of democracy and of Soviet bodies, but that the Soviets must be bodies merely of an economic character and that they must not by any means be recognized as state organizations. Kautsky says the same thing in Die Freiheit of November 11 and January 12. On February 9, an article appeared by Rudolf Hilferding, who is also regarded as one of the leading and authoritative theorists of the Second International, in which he proposed that the Soviet system be united with the National Assembly juridically, by state legislation. That was on February 9. On February 11 this proposal was adopted by the whole of the Independent Party and published in the form of an appeal.

There is vacillation again, despite the fact that the National Assembly already exists, even after “pure democracy” has been embodied in reality, after the leading theorists of the Independent Social Democratic Party have declared that the Soviet organizations must not be state organizations! This proves that these gentlemen really understand nothing about the new movement and about its conditions of struggle. But it goes to prove something else, namely, that there must be conditions, causes, for this vacillation! When, after all these events, after nearly two years of victorious revolution in Russia, we are offered resolutions like those adopted at the Berne Conference, which say nothing about the Soviets and their significance, about which not a single delegate uttered a single word, we have a perfect right to say that all these gentlemen are dead to us as Socialists and theorists.

However, comrades, from the practical side, from the political point of view, the fact that these Independents, who in theory and on principle have been opposed to these state organizations, suddenly making the stupid proposal to “peacefully” unite the National Assembly with the Soviet system, i.e., to unite the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie with the dictatorship of the proletariat, shows that a great change is taking place among the masses. We see that the Independents are all bankrupt in the Socialist and theoretical sense and that an enormous change is taking place among the masses. The backward masses among the German workers are coming to us, have come to us! So, the significance of the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany, the best section of the Berne Conference, is nil from the theoretical and Socialist standpoint. Still, it has some significance, which is that these waverers serve as an index to us of the mood of the backward sections of the proletariat. This, in my opinion, is a great historical significance of this Conference. We experienced something of the kind in our own revolution. Our Mensheviks traversed almost exactly the same path as that of the theorists of the Independents in Germany. At first, when they had a majority in the Soviets, they were in favor of the Soviets. All we heard then was: “Long live the Soviets!”, “For the Soviets!”, “The Soviets are revolutionary democracy!” When, however, we Bolsheviks secured a majority in the Soviets, they changed their tune; they said: the Soviets must not exist side-by-side with the Constituent Assembly. And various Mensheviks theorists made practically the same proposals, like the one to unite the Soviet system with the Constituent Assembly and to incorporate the Soviets into the state structure. Once again it is here revealed that the general course of the proletarian revolution is the same throughout the world. First the spontaneous formation of Soviets, then their spread and development, and then the appearance of the practical problem: Soviets, or National Assembly, or Constituent Assembly, or the bourgeois parliamentary system; utter confusion among the leaders, and finally—the proletarian revolution. But I think we should not present the problem in this way after nearly two years of revolution; we should rather adopt concrete decisions because for us, and particularly for the majority of the West European countries, spreading of the Soviet system is a most important task.

I would like to quote here just one Mensheviks resolution. I asked Comrade Obolensky to translate it into German. He promised to do so but, unfortunately, he is not here. I shall try to render it from memory, as I have not the full text of it with me.

It is very difficult for a foreigner who has not heard anything about Bolshevism to arrive at an independent opinion about our controversial questions. Everything the Bolsheviks assert is challenged by the Mensheviks, and vice versa. Of course, it cannot be otherwise in the middle of the struggle, and that is why it is so important that the last Menshevik Party conference, held in December 1918, adopted the long and detailed resolution published in full in the Menshevik Gazeta Pechatnikov . In this resolution the Mensheviks themselves briefly outline the history of the class struggle and of the Civil War. The resolution states that they condemn those groups in their Party which rallied with the propertied classes in the Urals, in the South, in the Crimea and in Georgia—all these regions are enumerated. Those groups of the Menshevik party which, in alliance with the propertied classes, fought against the Soviets are now condemned in the resolution; but the last point of the resolution also condemns those who joined the Communists. It follows that the Mensheviks were compelled to admit that there was no unity in their party, and that its members were either on the side of the bourgeoisie or on the side of the proletariat. The majority of the Mensheviks went over to the bourgeoisie and fought against us during the Civil War. We, of course, persecute Mensheviks, we even shoot them, when they wage war against us, fight against our Red Army and shoot our Red commanders. We responded to the bourgeois war with the proletarian war—there can be no other way. Therefore, from the political point of view, all this is sheer Menshevik hypocrisy. Historically, it is incomprehensible how people who have not been officially certified as mad could talk at the Berne Conference, on the instructions of the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, about the Bolsheviks fighting the latter, yet keep silent about their own struggle, in alliance with the bourgeoisie, against the proletariat.

All of them furiously attack us for persecuting them. This is true. But they do not say a word about the part they themselves have taken in the Civil War! I think that I shall have to provide the full text of the resolution to be recorded in the minutes, and I shall ask the foreign comrades to study it because it is a historical document in which the issue is raised correctly and which provides excellent material for appraising the controversy between the “socialist” trends in Russia. In between the proletariat and bourgeoisie there is another class of people, who incline first this way and then the other. This has always been the case in all revolutions, and it is absolutely impossible in capitalist society, in which the proletariat and bourgeoisie formed to hostile camps, for intermediary sections not to exist between them. The existence of these waverers is historically inevitable, and, unfortunately, these elements, who do not know themselves on whose side they will fight tomorrow, will exist for quite some time.

I want to make the practical proposal that a resolution be adopted in the which three points shall be specifically mentioned.

First: one of the most important tasks confronting the West European comrades is to explain to the people the meaning, importance and necessity of the Soviet system. There is a sort of misunderstanding on this question. Although Kautsky and Hilferding are bankrupt as theorists, their recent articles in Die Freiheit show that they correctly reflect the mood of the backward sections of the German proletariat. The same thing took place in our country: during the first eight months of the Russian Revolution the question of the Soviet organization was very much discussed, and the workers did not understand what the new system was and whether the Soviets could be transformed into a state machine. In our revolution we advanced along the path of practice, and not of theory. For example, formally we did not raise the question of the Constituent Assembly from the theoretical side, and we did not say we did not recognize the Constituent Assembly. It was only later, when the Soviet organizations had spread throughout the country and had captured political power, that we decided to dissolve the Constituent Assembly. Now we see that in Hungary and Switzerland the question is much more acute. On the one hand, this is very good: it gives us the firm conviction that in the West European states the revolution is advancing more quickly and will yield great victories. On the other hand, a danger is concealed in it, namely, that the struggle will be so precipitous that the minds of the mass of workers will not keep pace with this development. Even now the significance of the Soviet system is not clear to a large mass on the politically educated German workers, because they have been trained in the spirit of the parliamentary system and ingrained with bourgeois prejudices.

Second: About the spread of the Soviet system. When we hear how quickly the idea of Soviets is spreading in Germany, and even in Britain, it is very important evidence that the proletarian revolution will be victorious. Its progress can only be retarded for a short time. It is quite another thing, however, when Comrades Albert and Platten tell us that in the rural districts in their countries there are hardly any Soviets among the farm laborers and small peasants. In Die Rote Fahne I read in article opposing peasant Soviets, but quite properly supporting Soviets of farm laborers and of poor peasants. [C] The bourgeoisie and their lackeys, like Sheidemann and company, have already issued the slogan of peasant Soviets. All we need, however, is Soviets of farm laborers and poor peasants. Unfortunately, from the reports of Comrades Albert, Platten and others, we see that, with the exception of Hungary, very little is being done to spread the Soviet system in the countryside. In this, perhaps, lies the real and quite serious danger threatening the achievement of certain victory by the German proletariat. Victory can only be considered assured when not only the German workers, but also the rural proletarians are organized, and organized not as before—in trade unions and cooperative societies — but in Soviets. Our victory was made much easier by the fact that in October 1917 we marched with the peasants, with all the peasants. In that sense, our revolution at that time was a bourgeois revolution. The first step taken by our proletarian government was to embody in a law promulgated on October 26 (old-style), 1917, on the next day after the revolution, the old demands of all the peasants which peasant Soviets and village assemblies had put forward under Kerensky. That is where our strength lay; that is why we were able to win the overwhelming majority so easily. As far as the countryside was concerned, our revolution continued to be a bourgeois revolution, and only later, after a lapse of six months, were we compelled within the framework of the state organization to start the class struggle in the countryside, to establish Committees of Poor Peasants, of semi-proletarians, in every village, and to carry on a methodical fight against the rural bourgeoisie. This was inevitable in Russia owing to the backwardness of the country. In Western Europe things will proceed differently, and that is why we must emphasize the absolute necessity of spreading the Soviet system also to the rural population in proper, perhaps new, forms.

Third: we must say that winning a Communist majority in the Soviets is the principal task in all countries in which Soviet government is not yet victorious. Our Resolutions’ Commission discussed this question yesterday. Perhaps other comrades will express their opinion on it; but I would like to propose that these three points be adopted as a special resolution. Of course, we are not in a position to prescribe the path of development. It is quite likely that the revolution will come very soon in many West-European countries, but we, as the organized section of the working-class, as a party, strive and must strive to gain majority in the Soviets. Then our victory will be assured and no power on Earth will be able to do anything against the Communist revolution. If we do not, victory will not be secured so easily, and it will not be durable. And so, I would like to propose that these three points be adopted as a special resolution.

Thesis published March 6, 1919 in Pravda No. 51; report first published in 1920 in the German and in 1921 in the Russian additions of the minutes of the First Congress of the Communist International.


Source: Lenin Collected Works, Volume 28 (p. 455-477)

The Path Which Led Me To Leninism: Ho Chi Minh

By studying Marxism-Leninism parallel with participation in practical activities, I gradually came upon the fact that only socialism and communism can liberate the oppressed nations and the working people throughout the world from slavery.

After World War I, I made my living in Paris, now as a retoucher at a photographer’s, now as painter of “Chinese antiquities” (made in France!). I would distribute leaflets denouncing the crimes committed by the French colonialists in Viet Nam.

At that time, I supported the October Revolution only instinctively, not yet grasping all its historic importance. I loved and admired Lenin because he was a great patriot who liberated his compatriots; until then, I had read none of his books.

The reason for my joining the French Socialist Party was that these “ladies and gentlemen” – as I called my comrades at that moment – has shown their sympathy towards me, towards the struggle of the oppressed peoples. But I understood neither what was a party, a trade-union, nor what was socialism nor communism.

Heated discussions were then taking place in the branches of the Socialist Party, about the question whether the Socialist Party should remain in the Second International, should a Second and a half International be founded or should the Socialist Party join Lenin’s Third International? I attended the meetings regularly, twice or thrice a week and attentively listened to the discussion. First, I could not understand thoroughly. Why were the discussions so heated? Either with the Second, Second and a half or Third International, the revolution could be waged. What was the use of arguing then? As for the First International, what had become of it?

What I wanted most to know – and this precisely was not debated in the meetings – was: which International sides with the peoples of colonial countries?

I raised this question – the most important in my opinion – in a meeting. Some comrades answered: It is the Third, not the Second International. And a comrade gave me Lenin’s “Thesis on the national and colonial questions” published by l’Humanite to read.

There were political terms difficult to understand in this thesis. But by dint of reading it again and again, finally I could grasp the main part of it. What emotion, enthusiasm, clear-sightedness and confidence it instilled into me! I was overjoyed to tears. Though sitting alone in my room, I shouted out aloud as if addressing large crowds: “Dear martyrs compatriots! This is what we need, this is the path to our liberation!”

After then, I had entire confidence in Lenin, in the Third International.

Formerly, during the meetings of the Party branch, I only listened to the discussion; I had a vague belief that all were logical, and could not differentiate as to who were right and who were wrong. But from then on, I also plunged into the debates and discussed with fervour. Though I was still lacking French words to express all my thoughts, I smashed the allegations attacking Lenin and the Third International with no less vigour. My only argument was: “If you do not condemn colonialism, if you do not side with the colonial people, what kind of revolution are you waging?”

Not only did I take part in the meetings of my own Party branch, but I also went to other Party branches to lay down “my position”. Now I must tell again that Comrades Marcel Cachin, Vaillant Couturier, Monmousseau and many others helped me to broaden my knowledge. Finally, at the Tours Congress, I voted with them for our joining the Third International.

At first, patriotism, not yet communism, led me to have confidence in Lenin, in the Third International. Step by step, along the struggle, by studying Marxism-Leninism parallel with participation in practical activities, I gradually came upon the fact that only socialism and communism can liberate the oppressed nations and the working people throughout the world from slavery.

There is a legend, in our country as well as in China, on the miraculous “Book of the Wise”. When facing great difficulties, one opens it and finds a way out. Leninism is not only a miraculous “book of the wise”, a compass for us Vietnamese revolutionaries and people: it is also the radiant sun illuminating our path to final victory, to socialism and communism.


Source: In the Soviet review Problems of the East on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of V.I. Lenin’s birthday, April 1960

Cadres are the backbone of Revolution: Ernesto Che Guevara 1962

Summary: The cadre has the important mission of seeing to it that the great spirit of the revolution is not dissipated, that it will not become dormant nor let up its rhythm. It is a sensitive position; it transmits what comes from the masses and infuses in the masses the orientation of the party.

Cadres are the backbone of Revolution: Ernesto Che Guevara 1962

September 1962

It is not necessary to dwell upon the characteristics of our revolution; upon its original form, with its dashes of spontaneity which marked the transition from a revolution of national liberation to a socialist revolution; one full of rapidly passing stages, led by the same people who participated in the initial epic of the attack on the Moncada Barracks; a revolution which proceeded through the landing from the Granma and culminated in the declaration of the socialist character of the Cuban Revolution. New sympathisers, cadres, organisations joined the feeble structure to such an extent that they imparted to our revolution its present mass character, which has now placed its stamp upon our revolution.

When it became clear that a new social class had definitely taken power in Cuba, the great limitations which the exercise of state power would encounter because of the existing conditions in the state became evident: the lack of cadres to cope with the enormous tasks which had to be carried out in the state apparatus, in political organisation, and on the entire economic front.

Immediately after the taking of power, administrative assignments were made “by rule of thumb”; there were no major problems – there were none because as yet the old structure had not been shattered. The apparatus functioned in its old, slow, lifeless, broken-down way, but it had an organisation and with it sufficient co-ordination to maintain itself through inertia, disdaining the political changes which came about as a prelude to the change in the economic structure.

The 26th of July Movement, deeply impaired by the internal struggles between its right and left wings, was unable to dedicate itself to constructive tasks; and the Partido Socialista Popular (Popular Socialist Party), because it had undergone fierce attacks, and because for years it was an illegal party, had not been able to develop intermediate cadres to cope with the newly arising responsibilities.

When the first state interventions took place in the economy, the task of finding cadres was not very complicated, and it was possible to select them from among many people who had the minimum basis for assuming positions of leadership. But with the acceleration of the process which took place after the nationalisation of the North American enterprises and later of the large Cuban enterprises, a veritable hunger for administrative technicians manifested itself. At the same time, an urgent need was felt for production technicians because of the exodus of many who were attracted by better positions offered by the imperialist companies in other parts of the Americas or in the United States itself. The political apparatus had to make an intense effort, while engaged in the tasks of building, to pay ideological attention to the masses who joined the revolution eager to learn.

We all performed our roles as well as we could, but it was not without pain and anxieties. Many errors were committed by the administrative section of the Executive; enormous mistakes were made by the new administrators of enterprises who had overwhelming responsibilities on their hands, and we committed great and costly errors in the political apparatus also, an apparatus which little by little began to fall into the hands of a contented and carefree bureaucracy, totally separated from the masses, which became recognised as a springboard for promotions and for bureaucratic posts of major or minor importance.

The main cause of our errors was our lack of a feeling for reality at a given moment; but the tool that we lacked, that which blunted our ability to perceive and which was converting the party into a bureaucratic entity and was endangering administration and production, was the lack of developed cadres at the intermediate level. It became evident that the policy of finding cadres was synonymous with the policy of going to the masses, to establish contact anew with the masses, a contact which had been closely maintained by the revolution in the first stages of its existence. But it had to be established through some type of mechanism which would afford the most beneficial results, both in feeling the pulse of the masses and in the transmission of political orientation, which in many cases was only being given through the personal intervention of Prime Minister Fidel Castro or other leaders of the revolution.

From this vantage point, we can ask ourselves what a cadre type is.

We should say that a cadre person is an individual who has achieved sufficient political development to be able to interpret the extensive directives emanating from the central power, make them his, and convey them as orientation to the masses, a person who at the same time also perceives the signs manifested by the masses of their own desires and their innermost motivations.

He is an individual of ideological and administrative discipline, who knows and practices democratic centralism and who knows how to evaluate the existing contradictions in this method and to utilise fully its many facets; who knows how to practice the principle of collective discussion and to make decisions on his own and take responsibility in production; whose loyalty is tested, and whose physical and moral courage has developed along with his ideological development in such a way that he is always willing to confront any conflict and to give his life for the good of the revolution. Also, he is an individual capable of self-analysis, which enables him to make the necessary decisions and to exercise creative initiative in such a manner that it won’t conflict with discipline.

Therefore the cadre person is creative, a leader of high standing, a technician with a good political level, who by reasoning dialectically can advance his sector of production, or develop the masses from his position of political leadership.

This exemplary human being, apparently cloaked in difficult-to-achieve virtues, is nonetheless present among the people of Cuba, and we find him daily. The essential thing is to grasp all the opportunities that there are for developing him to the maximum, for educating him, for drawing from each personality the greatest usefulness and converting it into the greatest advantage for the nation.

The development of a cadre individual is achieved in performing everyday tasks; but the tasks must be undertaken in a systematic manner, in special schools where competent professors – examples in their turn to the student body – will encourage the most rapid ideological advancement.

In a regime that is beginning to build socialism, you could not imagine a cadre that does not have a high political development, but when we consider political development we must not only take into account apprenticeship to Marxist theory; we must also demand responsibility of the individual for his acts, a discipline which restrains any passing weaknesses, and which will not conflict with a big dose of initiative; and constant preoccupation with all the problems of the revolution. In order to develop him, we must begin by establishing the principles of selectivity among the masses; it is there that we must find the budding personalities, tested by sacrifice or just beginning to demonstrate their stirrings, and assign them to special schools; or when these are not available, give them greater responsibility so that they are tested in practical work.

In this way, we have been finding a multitude of new cadres who have developed during these years; but their development has not been an even one, since the young companeros have had to face the reality of revolutionary creation without the adequate orientation of a party. Some have succeeded fully, but there were others who could not completely make it and were left midway, or were simply lost in the bureaucratic labyrinth, or in the temptations that power brings.

To assure the triumph and the total consolidation of the revolution, we have to develop different types of cadres: the political cadre who will be the base of our mass organisations, and who will orient them through the action of the Partido Unido de la Revolucion Socialista (United Party of the Socialist Revolution; PURS). We are already beginning to establish these bases with the national and provincial Schools of Revolutionary Instruction and with studies and study groups at all levels. We also need military cadres; to achieve that, we can utilise the selection the war made among our young combatants, since there are still many living, who are without great theoretical knowledge but were tested under fire-tested under the most difficult conditions of the struggle, with a fully proven loyalty toward the revolutionary regime with whose birth and development they have been so intimately connected since the first guerrilla fights of the Sierra. We should also develop economic cadres who will dedicate themselves specifically to the difficult tasks of planning and the tasks of the organisation of the socialist state in these moments of creation.

It is necessary to work with the professionals, urging the youth to follow one of the more important technical careers in an effort to give science that tone of ideological enthusiasm which will guarantee accelerated development. And, it is imperative to create an administrative team, which will know how to take advantage of the specific technical knowledge of others and to co-ordinate and guide the enterprises and other organisations of the state to bring them into step with the powerful rhythm of the revolution.

The common denominator for all is political clarity. This does not consist of unthinking support to the postulates of the revolution, but reason supports it; it requires a great capacity for sacrifice and a capacity for dialectical analysis which will enhance the making of continuous contributions on all levels to the rich theory and practice of the revolution. These companeros should be selected from the masses solely by application of the principle that the best will come to the fore and that the best should be given the greatest opportunities for development.

In all these situations, the function of the cadre, in spite of its being on different fronts, is the same. The cadre is the major part of the ideological motor which is the United Party of the Revolution. It is something that we could call the dynamic screw of this motor; a screw that in regard to the functional part will assure its correct functioning; dynamic to the extent that the cadre is not simply an upward or downward transmitter of slogans or demands, but a creator which will aid in the development of the masses and in the information of the leaders, serving as a point of contact with them. The cadre has the important mission of seeing to it that the great spirit of the revolution is not dissipated, that it will not become dormant nor let up its rhythm. It is a sensitive position; it transmits what comes from the masses and infuses in the masses the orientation of the party.

Therefore, the development of cadres is now a task which cannot be postponed. The development of the cadres has been undertaken with great eagerness by the revolutionary government with its programs of scholarships based on selective principles; with its programs of study for workers, offering various opportunities for technological development; with the development of the special technical schools; with the development of the secondary schools and the universities, opening new careers; with the development finally of our slogans of study, work and revolutionary vigilance for our entire country, fundamentally based on the Union of Young Communists from which all types of cadres should emerge, even the leading cadres in the future of the revolution.

Intimately tied to the concept of cadre is the capacity for sacrifice, for demonstrating through personal example the truths and watchwords of the revolution. The cadres, as political leaders, should gain the respect of the workers by their actions. It is absolutely imperative that they count on the respect and affection of their companeros, whom they should guide along the vanguard paths.

Overall, there are no better cadres than those elected by the masses in the assemblies that select the exemplary workers, those that will be brought into the PURS along with the old members of the ORI (Organizacion Revolucionaria Integrada -Integrated Revolutionary Organisation) who pass the required selective tests. At the beginning, they will constitute a small party, but with enormous influence among the workers; later it will grow when the advance of socialist consciousness begins converting the work and total devotion to the cause of the people into a necessity. With the intermediate leaders of this category, the difficult tasks that we have before us will be accomplished with fewer errors. After a period of confusion and poor methods, we have arrived at a just policy that will never be abandoned. With the ever-renewing drive of the working class, nourishing from its inexhaustible fountain the ranks of the future United Party of the Socialist Revolution, and with the leadership of our Party, we fully undertake the task of the forming of cadres which will guarantee the swift development of our revolution. We must be successful in the effort.


Spoken: September 1962
Source: Cuba Socialista

Party Constitution of Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Party Constitution

Constitution  &  The Rules 

Under the Constitution

 ARTICLE  I

Name

 The name of the Party shall be the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

 ARTICLE II

AIM

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) is the revolutionary vanguard of the working class of India. Its aim is socialism and communism through the establishment of the state of dictatorship of the proletariat. In all its activities the Party is guided by the philosophy and principles of Marxism-Leninism which shows to the toiling masses the correct way to the ending of exploitation of man by man, their complete emancipation. The Party keeps high the banner of proletarian internationalism.

 ARTICLE III

Flag

 The flag of the Party shall be a red flag of which the length shall be one-and-a-half times its width. At the centre of the flag there shall be a crossed hammer and sickle in white.

 ARTICLE IV

Membership

 1.  Any person residing in India, eighteen years of age or above who accepts the Programme and Constitution of the Party, agrees to work in one of the Party organisations, to pay regularly the Party membership dues (fee and levy as may be prescribed)  and to carry out the decisions of the Party shall be eligible for Party membership.

 2. (a) New members are admitted to the Party through individual application on the recommendation of two Party members. Party members who recommend an applicant  must furnish the Party Branch or the unit concerned, full information about the applicant from personal knowledge and with due sense of responsibility. The Party Branch shall make recommendation  to the next higher committee, if the applicant is to be admitted. The next higher committee takes a decision on all recommendations.

(b) All Party committees higher to the Party Branch and up to the Central Committee level have the power to directly admit new members to the Party.

 3.  (a) All applications for Party membership must be placed before the appropriate committee within a month of their presentation and recommendation.

(b) If the applicant is admitted to the Party, he or she shall be regarded as a candidate member for a period of one year commencing from the date of such admission.

 4.  If a leading member from another political party of local, district or state level comes to the Party, in addition to the sanction of Local Party Committee or District or State Committee, it is necessary to have the sanction of the next higher committee of the Party before he or she is admitted to membership of the Party. In exceptional cases the Central Committee or the State Committee can admit such members to full membership of the Party. And whenever a State Committee admits such members it should obtain previous sanction from the Central Committee.

 5.  Members once expelled from the Party can be re-admitted only by the decision of the Party Committee which confirmed their expulsion or by a higher committee.

 6.  Candidate members have the same duties and rights as full members except that they have no right to elect or be elected, or to vote on any motion.

7.  The Party branch recommending or the Party committee admitting candidate members shall arrange for their elementary education on the Programme, Constitution and the current policies of the Party and observe their development, through providing for their functioning as members of a Party branch or unit.

8.  By the end of the period of candidature, the Party branch or Party committee concerned shall discuss whether the candidate member is qualified to full membership. If a candidate member is found unfit,  the Party branch or committee shall cancel his or her candidate membership. A report on admission to full membership shall be regularly forwarded by the branch or the Party committee concerned to the next higher committee.

 9.  The higher committee may, on scrutiny of the report, alter or modify any such decision after consultation with the branch or the Party committee which has submitted the report. The District and State Committee will exercise supervisory power over the recruitment of candidates and over admissions to full membership and have the right to modify or reject the decision of the lower committee in this respect.

 10. A Party member may transfer his or her membership from one unit to another, with the approval of his or her unit and by sending his or her application through his or her unit to the higher unit under whose jurisdiction the concerned unit functions.

 ARTICLE V

Party Pledge

 Every person joining the Party shall sign the Party Pledge. This Pledge shall be:

“I accept the aims and objectives of the Party and agree to abide by its Constitution and loyally to carry out decisions of the Party.

 “I shall strive to live up to the ideals of communism and shall  selflessly serve the working class and the toiling masses and the country, always placing the interests of the Party and the people above personal interests.”

 ARTICLE VI

Party Membership Records

 All membership records shall be kept under the supervision of the District Committee.

 ARTICLE VII

Check-up of Party Membership

 1. There shall be annual check-up of Party membership by the Party organisation to which the Party member belongs. Any Party member who for a continuous period and without proper reason has failed to take part in Party life and activity or to pay Party dues shall be dropped from Party membership.

 2. A report on check-up of Party membership by a Branch or a Party committee concerned shall be sent to the next higher committee for confirmation and registration.

3.There shall be right of appeal on decisions of droppage from Party membership.

 ARTICLE VIII

Resignation from Party membership

 1. A Party member wishing to resign from the Party shall summit his or her resignation to the Party branch  or to the Party unit to which he or she belongs. The unit concerned may accept the same, decide to strike his or her name off the rolls and report the matter to the next higher committee. If the resignation is on political grounds the unit may refuse to accept the resignation and may expel him.

2.  In the case where a Party member wishing to resign from the Party is liable to be charged with serious violation  of party discipline which may warrant  his or her expulsion and where such a charge is substantial, the resignation may be given effect to as expulsion from the Party.

 3.  All such cases of resignations given effect to as expulsion shall be immediately reported to the next higher  Party committee and be subject to the latter’s confirmation.

 ARTICLE IX

Membership Fee

 1.  All Party members as well as candidates shall pay a Party membership fee of rupees five per year. This annual Party fee shall be paid at the time of admission into the Party and by March end of each year to the branch or unit secretary by the member concerned. If he or she does not clear the fee in due time his or her name shall be removed from the Party rolls. The Central Committee may extend this date if the circumstances warrant such extension.

 2. All Party fees collected from Party members by Party branches or units will be deposited with the Central Committee through the appropriate Party committees.

 ARTICLE X

Party Levy

 Every Party member must pay a monthly levy as laid down by the Central Committee. Those whose incomes are of annual or of seasonal character have to pay their levy at the beginning of the season or at the beginning of every quarter on the same percentage basis. If a member fails to deposit his levy within three months after it is due, then his name is to be removed from the Party rolls.

  ARTICLE XI

Duties of Party Members

 1.  The duties of the Party members are as follows:

(a) To regularly participate in the activity of the Party organisation to which they belong and to faithfully carry out the policy, decisions and the directives of the Party.

(b) To study Marxism-Leninism and endeavour to raise their level of understanding.

(c) To read, support and popularise the Party journals and Party publications.

(d) To observe the Party Constitution and Party discipline and behave in the spirit of proletarian internationalism and in accordance with the noble ideals of communism.

(e) To place the interests of the people and the Party above personal interests.

(f) To devotedly serve the masses and consistently strengthen their bonds with them, to learn from the masses and report their opinions and demands to the Party, to work in a mass organisation, unless exempted, under  the guidance of the Party.

(g) To cultivate comradely relations towards one another to constantly develop a fraternal spirit within the Party.

(h) To practice criticism and self-criticism with a view to helping each other and improving individual and collective work.

(i) To be frank, honest and truthful to the Party and not to betray the confidence of the Party.

(j) To safeguard the unity and solidarity of the Party and to be vigilant against the enemies of the working class and the country.

(k) To defend the Party and uphold its cause against the onslaught of the enemies of the Party, the working class and the country.

2. It shall be the task of the Party organisation to ensure the fulfillment of the above duties by Party members and help them in every possible way in the discharge of these duties.

 ARTICLE XII

Rights of Party Members

 1.  Rights of Party members are as following:

(a)   To elect Party organs and Party committees and be elected to them.

(b)   To participate in discussions in order to contribute to the formation of the Party policy and of the decisions of the Party.

(c)    To make proposals regarding one’s own work in the Party.

(d) To make criticism about Party committees and Party functionaries at Party meetings.

(e)   To be heard in person in his or her unit when a Party unit discusses disciplinary action against him or her.

(f)     When any Party member disagrees with any decision of a Party committee on organization he or she has a right to submit his or her opinion to the next higher committee. In case of political difference a member has the right to submit his or her opinion to the higher committee up to the Central Committee. In all such cases the Party member shall, of course, carry out the Party decisions and the difference shall be sought to be resolved through the test of practice and through comradely discussions.

(g)   To address any statement, appeal or complaint to any higher Party organisation up to and including the Central Committee.

2.      It shall be the duty of Party organisations and Party functionaries to see that these rights are respected

ARTICLE XIII

Principles of Democratic Centralism

1.      The structure of the Party is based on, and its internal life is guided by, the principles of democratic centralism. Democratic centralism means centralised leadership based on inner-Party democracy under the guidance of the centralised leadership.

In the sphere of the Party structure, the guiding principles of democratic centralism are:

(a)   All Party organs from top to bottom shall be elected.

(b)   The minority shall carry out the decisions of the majority; the lower Party organisations shall carry out the decision and directives of the higher Party organs, the individual shall subordinate himself to the will of the collective. All Party organisations shall carry out the decisions and directives of the Party Congress and of the Central Committee.

(c)    All Party committees shall periodically  report their work to the Party organisation immediately below and all lower committees shall likewise report to their immediate higher committee.

(d) All Party committees, particularly the leading Party committees, shall pay constant heed to the opinions and criticism of the lower Party organisations  and the rank-and-file Party members.

(e)   All Party committees shall function strictly on the principles of collective decisions and check-up combined with individual responsibility.

(f)     All questions of international affairs, questions of all-India character, or questions concerning more than one state or questions requiring uniform decisions for the whole country, shall be decided upon by the all-India Party organisations. All questions of a state or district character shall be ordinarily decided upon by the corresponding Party organisations. But in no case shall such decisions run counter to the decisions of a higher Party organisation. When the Central Party leadership has to take a decision on any issue of major state importance, it shall do so normally after consultation with the state Party organisation concerned. The state organisation shall do likewise in relation to districts.

(g)   On issues which affect the policy of the Party on an all-India scale, but on which the Party’s standpoint is to be expressed for the first time, only the Central leadership of the Party is entitled to make a policy statement. The lower committees can and should send their opinions and suggestions in time for consideration by the Central leadership.

2.  Basing itself upon the experience of the entire Party membership and of the popular movement, in the sphere of the internal life of the Party, the following principles of democratic centralism are applied:

(a)   Free and frank discussion within the Party unit  on all questions affecting the Party, its policy and work.

(b)   Sustained efforts to activise  the Party members in popularising  and implementing the Party policies, to raise their ideological-political level and improve their general  education so that they can effectively participate in the life and work of the Party.

(c)    When serious differences arise in a Party committee, every effort should be made to arrive at an agreement. Failing this, the decision should be postponed with a view to resolving differences through further discussions, unless an immediate  decision is called for by the needs of the Party and the mass movement.

(d) Encouragement of criticism and self-criticism at all levels, from top to bottom, especially criticism from below.

(e) Consistent struggles against bureaucratic tendencies at all levels.

(f) Impermissibility of factionalism and factional groupings inside the Party in any form.

(g)   Strengthening of the Party spirit by developing fraternal relations and mutual help, correcting mistakes by treating comrades sympathetically; judging them and their work not on the basis of isolated mistakes or incidents, but taking into account their whole record of service to the Party.

ARTICLE XIV

All-India Party Congress

1.      The supreme organ of the Party for the whole country shall be the All-India Party Congress.

(a)    The regular Party Congress shall be convened by the Central Committee ordinarily once every three years.

(b)   An Extraordinary Party Congress shall be called by the Central Committee at its own discretion, or when it is demanded by two or more State Committees representing not less than one-third of the total Party membership.

(c)    The date and  venue of the Party Congress or of the Extraordinary Party Congress shall be decided by the Central Committee at a meeting especially called for the purpose.

(d)   Regular Party Congress shall be composed of delegates elected by the State Conferences as well as by Conferences of Party units directly under the all-India Party Centre.

(e)    The basis of representation at a regular Party Congress and the basis of representation and method of election of delegates  to the Extraordinary Party Congress shall be decided by the Central Committee on the basis of total Party membership, strength of the mass movements led by the Party and the strength of the Party in the respective States.

(f)     The members of the Central Committee shall have the right to participate as full delegates in the Party Congress, whether regular or extraordinary.

2.      Functions and powers of the regular Party Congress are as follows:

(a)  To discuss and act on the political and organisational  report of the Central Committee;

(b)       To revise and change the Party Programme and the Party Constitution.

(c)        To determine the Party line on current situation;

(d)      To elect the Central Committee by secret ballot.

3.      It elects a Credentials Committee which goes into the credentials of all the delegates and submits a report to the Congress.

4.      The Congress shall elect a Presidium for the conduct of its business.

ARTICLE XV

Central Committee

1.      (a) The Central Committee shall be elected at the Party Congress, the numbers being decided by the Party Congress.

(b) The outgoing Central Committee shall propose to the Congress a panel of candidates.

(c) The panel of candidates shall be prepared with a view to creating a capable leadership, closely linked with the masses, firm in the revolutionary outlook of the working class and educated in Marxism-Leninism.

(d) Any delegate can raise objection with regard to any name in the panel proposed as well as propose any new name or names, but the prior approval of the member whose name is proposed is necessary.

(e)   Any one whose name has been proposed shall have the right to withdraw.

(f)     The panel proposed, together with the additional nominations by the delegates, shall be voted upon by secret ballot, and by the method of single distributive vote. In case there is no additional nomination, approval of the delegates will be taken by show of hands.

2. The Central Committee shall be the highest authority of the Party between two all-India Party Congress.

3. It is responsible for enforcing the Party Constitution and carrying out the political line and decisions adopted by the Party Congress.

4.  The Central Committee shall represent the Party as a whole  and be responsible for directing the entire work of the Party. The Central Committee shall have the right to take decisions with full authority  on any question facing the Party.

5. The Central Committee shall elect from among its members a Polit Bureau  including the General Secretary. The number of members in the Polit Bureau shall be decided by the Central  Committee. The Polit Bureau carries on the work of the Central Committee between its two sessions and has the right to take political and organisational decisions in between two meetings of the Central Committee.

(a) The Central Committee shall elect a Secretariat from among its members. The number of members of the Secretariat shall be decided by the Central Committee. The Secretariat will, under the guidance of the Polit Bureau, look after  the day-to-day work of the Party Centre and assist the Polit Bureau in the implementation of Central Committee decisions.

6. The election of the secretaries of the State Committees and of editors of state Party organs shall require the approval of the Central Committee.

7. (a) The Central Committee shall remove any member from itself for gross breach of discipline, misconduct or for anti-Party activity by two-thirds of the members present and voting and in any case by more than half the total strength of the Central Committee voting for such removal.

(b)   It can fill up any vacancy occurring in its composition by simple majority of its total members.

(c)    In case a member or members of the Central  Committee are arrested the remaining members can coopt substitute member or members and they shall have full rights as the original members but should vacate their places as and when the arrested members get released and assume their duties.

8.      The time between two meetings of the Central Committee shall not normally exceed three months and it shall meet whenever one-third of its total members make a requisition.

9.      The Central Committee shall discuss and decide political and organisational issues and problems of mass movements and guide the State Committees and all-India Party fractions in mass organisations.

10.  The Central Committee is responsible for the Party’s finances and adopts the statement of accounts submitted to it by the Polit Bureau once a year.

11. The Central Committee shall submit its political and organisational report before the Party Congress, whenever it is convened.

12. With the aim of strengthening the revolutionary leadership of the Party and ensuring a check-up over the State and district organisations, the Central Committee sends representatives and organisers, who must work on the basis of special instructions laid down every time by the Central Committee or Polit Bureau.

13. The Central Committee may when it deems necessary convene an extended session of the Central Committee, or Plenum or Conference. The Central Committee shall decide the basis of attendance and method of election of delegates for such bodies.

14. In case of emergency or in case of large-scale arrests, the Central Committee, the State Committees, and the District Committees shall be reorganized into smaller compact bodies. The names for such reorganization of Central Committee are prepared by the remaining members of the P.B. and should be approved by the members of the Central Committee inside and outside. The names for the reorganisation of State and District Committees are prepared  by the remaining members  of the respective committees and are to be approved by their next higher committee. They can form sub-committees as they deem it necessary, to discharge their functions and responsibilities. The reconstituted Central Committee is empowered to frame new rules for safeguarding the Party organisation. But when the situation normalises the elected Committees are restored.

15. No person can hold the position of the General Secretary for more than three full terms.  Full term means the period between two Party Congresses. In a special situation, a person who has completed three full terms as General Secretary may be re-elected for a fourth term provided it is so decided by the Central Committee with a three-fourth majority. But in no case can that person be elected again for another term in addition to the fourth term.

 ARTICLE XVI

State and District Party Organs

 1. The highest organ in the State or District shall be the State or the District Conference which elects a State or District Committee.

2. (a) The organisational structure, the rights and functions of the State or District Party organs are similar to those enumerated in the Articles concerning the Party structure and functions at the all-India level, their functions being confined to the State or district issues and their decisions being within the limit of the decisions taken by the next  higher Party organ. In case it becomes necessary to increase the number of members of these Party Committees they can do so with the permission of the next higher committee.

(b) The State or District Committee shall elect a Secretariat  including the secretary. But the State or District Committee may not have a Secretariat if permitted by the next higher committee.

(c)    The State or District Committee shall remove any member from itself for gross breach of discipline, misconduct or for anti-Party activity by a decision of majority of the total members of the State Committee or District Committee.

3. (a) The State Committee shall decide on the area of the District Committee taking into account the needs of the movement. It may not necessarily be confined to an administrative division.

(b) The State Committee shall decide on the various Party organs to be set up between the primary unit (the Branch) and the District or the region and shall make necessary provisions relating to their composition and functioning. This will be done in accordance with the rules laid down by the Central Committee.

4. No person can hold the position of Secretary of the state/district/intermediate committee for more than three full terms.   Full term means, the period between two Party conferences of the respective committee. In a special situation, a person who has completed three full terms as Secretary may be re-elected for a fourth term provided it is so decided by the respective committee with a three-fourth majority  and with the approval of the state committee. In the case of state Secretary, it will have to be approved by the Central Committee.  But in no case can that person be elected again for another term in addition to the fourth term.

ARTICLE XVII

Primary Unit

 1. (a) The primary unit of the Party is the Party Branch organised on the basis of profession or territory;

(b) Party members are to be organised on the basis of their occupation or vocation, when  they are working in a factory or an institute or any industry. When such Branches are organised the members of such Branches shall be associate members of the Party branches in place of their residence or organised as auxiliary Branches there. The work to be allotted in their place of residence shall not be detrimental to the work allotted to them by their basic units in the factory or institute or occupation;

(c)    The number of members in a Branch shall not be more than fifteen. The functions and other matters related to  the Branch will be determined by the State Committee.

2. The Branch is the living link between the masses of workers, peasants and other sections of the people within its area or sphere and the leading committee of the Party. Its tasks are:

(a)   To carry out the directives of the higher committee;

(b)   Win the masses in the factory or locality for the political and organisational decisions of the Party.

(c)    Draw in militants and sympathisers into activity to enroll them as new members and educate them politically.

(d) Help the district, local or town committee in its every day organisational and agitational work.

3.  To carry out the current work, the Branch elects its Secretary who is confirmed by the next higher committee.

 ARTICLE XVIII

Central and State Control Commission

1.      The Party Congress shall directly elect a Central Control Commission consisting of not more than five members. The Chairperson of the Central Control Commission will be an ex-officio member of  the Central Committee.

2.      The Control Commission shall take up:

(a)   Cases of disciplinary action referred to it by the Central Committee or Polit Bureau;

(b)   Cases of appeal where disciplinary action has been taken by the State Committee.

(c)    Cases involving expulsion, suspension from full Party membership and decisions of droppage from Party membership against which an appeal has been made to the State Committee or to the State Control Commission and rejected.

3.      The decision of the Central Control Commission will be final and binding. But the Central Committee can withhold, modify or reverse the decisions of the Central Control Commission in extraordinary cases. Any such decision shall be supported by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting. All such decisions shall be reported to the next all India Party Congress.

4.      The detailed rules for the functioning of the Control Commission shall be framed by the Central Committee after consultation with the Control Commission.

5.      In the eventually of a vacancy arising in the Central Control Commission between two party Congresses, the Central Committee shall have the right to fill the vacancy.

6.      The State Conference may elect a State Control Commission to go into the cases of disciplinary action. In whichever state the State Control Commission is set up, the functions and authority will be similar to that of the Central Control Commission, but within its own state.

 ARTICLE XIX

Party Discipline

 1.      Discipline is indispensable for preserving and strengthening the unity of the Party, for enhancing its strength, its fighting ability and its prestige, and for enforcing the principles of democratic centralism. Without strict adherence to Party discipline, the Party cannot lead the masses in struggles and actions, nor discharge its responsibility towards them.

 2.      Discipline is based  on conscious acceptance of the aims, the Programme and the policies of the Party. All members of the Party are equally bound by Party discipline irrespective of their status in the Party organisation or in public life.

 3.      Violation of the Party Constitution and decisions of the Party as well as any other action and behaviour unworthy of a member of the Communist Party shall constitute a breach of Party discipline  and is liable to disciplinary action.

4.      The disciplinary actions are :

(a)   Warning

(b)   Censure

(c)    Public censure

(d) Removal from the post in the Party

(e)   Suspension from full Party membership for any period but not exceeding one year

(f)     Expulsion

5.      Disciplinary action shall normally be taken where other methods, including methods of persuasion, have failed to correct the comrade concerned. But even where disciplinary measure has been taken, the efforts to help the comrade to correct himself shall continue. In case where the breach of discipline is such that it warrants an immediate disciplinary measure to protect the interests of Party or its prestige, the disciplinary action shall be taken promptly.

6.      Expulsion from the Party is the severest of all disciplinary measures and this shall be applied with utmost caution, deliberation and judgement.

7.      No disciplinary measure involving removal from the post held in the Party, suspension from full Party membership other than suspension pending enquiry, expulsion from the Party, shall come into effect without confirmation by the next higher committee. In case of expulsion the penalised Party member shall be removed from all Party activities pending confirmation. The expelled member stands suspended from the Party till the expulsion is confirmed by the next higher committee. The higher committee will have to communicate its decision within six months.

8.      The comrade against whom a disciplinary  measure is proposed shall be fully informed of the allegations, charges and other relevant facts against him or her. He or she shall  have the right to be heard in person by the Party unit to which he or she belongs and shall have the right to submit his or her explanation to any other unit which takes action against him or her.

9.      When a member is simultaneously a member of two Party units, the lower unit can recommend disciplinary action against him or her but it shall not come into operation unless accepted by his or her higher unit.

10. Party members found to be strike-breakers, drunkards, moral degenerates, betrayers of Party confidence, guilty of grave financial corruption can be summarily suspended from Party membership and removed from all responsible positions in the Party by the Party unit to which he belongs or by a higher Party body pending the issue of the charge-sheet to him and getting his explanation. This summary suspension and removal from all responsible positions in the Party cannot be extended for a period of more than three months.

11. There shall be right of appeal in all cases of disciplinary action.

12. The Central, State or District Committee has the right to dissolve and appoint new committees or take disciplinary action against a lower committee in cases where a persistent defiance of Party decisions and policy, serious factionalism, or a break of Party discipline is involved. But the State and District Committee will immediately report such action to the next higher committee for whatever action it deems necessary.

13. In exceptional circumstances Party Committees in their discretion may resort to summary procedure in expelling members for grave anti-Party activities.

ARTICLE XX

Party Members in Elected Public Bodies

 1.      Party members elected to Parliament, State Legislature or Administrative Council shall constitute themselves into a Party group and function under the appropriate Party Committee in strict conformity with the line of the Party, its policies and directives.

 2.      Communist legislators shall unswervingly defend the interests of the people. Their work in the legislature shall reflect the movement and they shall uphold and popularize the policies of the Party.

The legislative work of the communist legislators shall be closely combined with the activity of the Party outside and mass movements and it shall be the duty of all communist legislators to help build the Party and mass organisations.

3.      Communist legislators shall maintain the closest possible contact with their electors and masses, keeping them duly informed of their legislative work and constantly seeking their suggestions and advice.

4.      Communist legislators shall maintain a high standard of personal integrity, lead an unostentatious life and display humility in all their dealings and contact with the people and place the  Party above self.

5.      Salaries and allowances drawn by communist legislators and local body members are considered to be Party money. The Party Committee concerned shall fix up the wages and allowances of the members.

6.      Party members elected to local bodies such as corporations,  municipalities, town or area committees, zilla parishads, block samities, gram panchayats shall function under the appropriate Party Committee or Party Branch. They shall maintain close day-to-day contacts with their electors and the masses and defend their interests in such elected bodies. They shall make regular reports  on their work to the electors and the people and seek their suggestions and advice. The work in such local bodies shall be combined with intense mass activity outside.

7.  All nomination of Party candidates for election to Parliament, Legislatures or Councils or Centrally Administered areas shall be subject to approval by the Central Committee.

Rules governing the nomination of Party candidates for corporation, municipalities, district boards, local boards and panchayats shall be drawn up by the State Committees.

ARTICLE XXA

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) shall bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established and to the principles of socialism, secularism and democracy and would uphold the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.

ARTICLE XXI

Inner-Party Discussions

1.                  To unify the Party, free and business-like discussions of Party policy in the various organisations of the Party as a whole are useful and necessary. This is the inalienable right of Party members arising from inner-Party democracy. But interminable discussions on issues of Party policy which paralyse the unity and will of action of the Party would be a gross misuse of inner-Party democracy.

2.                  Inner-Party discussion shall be organised on an all-India scale by the Central Committee:

(a)   Whenever it considers it necessary.

(b)   Whenever over an important question of Party policy there is not sufficient firm majority inside the Central Committee.

(c)    When an inner-Party discussion on all-India scale is demanded by State Committees representing one-third of total Party membership.

3.                  A State Committee can initiate inner-Party discussion on an important question of Party policy concerning that particular State, either on its own, or on a demand of  District Committees representing one-third Party membership in the State with the approval of the Central Committee.

4.                  Inner-Party discussion shall be conducted under the guidance of the Central Committee which shall formulate the issues under discussion. The Central Committee which guides the discussion shall lay down the manner in which the discussion shall be conducted.

When the State Committee initiates the discussion, it can formulate the issues under discussion and the manner in which the discussion shall be conducted, with the approval of the Central Committee.

ARTICLE XXII

Discussion Preparatory to Party Congress And Conferences

1. Two months before the Party Congress, the Central Committee will release the draft resolution for discussion by all units of the Party. It is obligatory on the part  of the State Committees to render it into respective languages and forward to all Branch Committees the required number of copies in the shortest possible time after its release by the Central Committee. Amendments to the resolution will be sent directly to the Central Committee which will place its report on them before the Party Congress.

2.  At  each level, the Conference shall take place on the basis of reports and resolutions submitted by the respective Committees.

ARTICLE XXIII

Party Members Working in Mass Organisations

 Party members working in mass organisations and their executives shall organise themselves into fractions or fraction committees and function under the guidance of the appropriate Party Committee. They must always strive to strengthen the unity, mass basis and fighting capacity of the mass organisations concerned.

ARTICLE XXIV

Bye-Laws

 The Central Committee may frame rules and bye-laws under the Party Constitution and in conformity with it. Rules and bye-laws under the Party Constitution and in conformity with it  may also be framed by the State Committees subject to confirmation by the Central Committee.

ARTICLE XXV

Amendment

The Party Constitution shall be amended only by the Party Congress. The notice of proposals for amending the Constitution shall be given two months before the said Party Congress.

 RULES UNDER PARTY CONSTITUTION

(Adopted by the Central Committee in its Meeting on April 8-10, 1988)

Under Article IV, Section 10:

Membership

Regarding Transfer of Member from one unit to another or from one state to another:

(Explanation: Though in practice all transfers from one State to another  are done by the CC, the particulars mentioned generally are inadequate. Therefore when a State asks the Centre to transfer a comrade to another State, it must specify the following so that a proper record is kept of each Party member at each level. The same would apply to transfers within the State.)

 Rules : Transfer of Membership

 The following particulars must be supplied along with the letter of transfer:

 Name of comrade

Age

Year of joining the Party

Unit to which he/she belonged

Mass organisation in which he/she worked

Levy amount per month and paid up to

Any record of disciplinary action

State from which he/she is to be transferred

State to which he/she is to be transferred

Year of renewal of Party membership

Address where he/she can be contacted

Auxiliary Groups:

(Explanation: The Salkia Plenum has directed that militants thrown up through mass struggles should be put into auxiliary groups, trained and educated so that they can be recruited as Party members. For this provision is to be made in the rules.)

1.      Party units should take steps to organise active participants and militants thrown up in the course of mass movements and from the mass organisations into auxiliary groups which are groupings of broad sympathizers.

2.      Party Committees should arrange for the education and training of such auxiliary group members about the Party Programme and basic policies, so as to equip them in a reasonable  period of time to be capable of joining the Party as candidate members.

Under Article VI:

Party Membership Records

Rule: The Constitution provides for the membership records to be kept under the supervision of the District  Committee. While the final authority for veracity of the records and its authenticated copy will be the DC, the maintenance of records can be delegated to the intermediate/local committee in a State, if so decided by the State Committee concerned.

Under Article VII:

Check-up of Party Membership

(Explanation: Clause (1) states that a Party member may be dropped from membership who “for a continuous period and without proper reason has failed to take part in Party life and activity or to pay Party dues”. This is to safeguard against arbitrary droppages without the due reasons stated in the Constitution. Some specific rules are required on the procedure to be adopted.)

Rules

(1)    The unit concerned which wishes to drop a member must do so after giving the member a chance to explain his or her position. The branch must convey the decision to drop the member in writing to the next higher committee.

(2)    The higher committee, when confirming and registering the membership, must examine the list of droppages and give its specific opinion  on the same.

(3)    The committee concerned must submit a renewal report to the next higher committee giving details of the Party membership enrolment, droppages, transfers and composition of the membership.

(4)    For renewal of Party membership there should be a renewal form to be filled up by the member concerned every year which includes basic data such as age, year of joining the Party, income and front in which working.

(5)    The receipt for the membership fee has to be given to the member concerned.

(6)     The concerned Party unit should inform the Party member about the decision to drop the  member from Party membership within 30 days from the date of confirmation of the decision to drop the member.

(7)    The appeal against droppage from Party membership should be filed by the concerned comrade within 30 days of intimation of droppage from Party membership.

 Under Article IX :

Membership Fee

Renewals: (Explanation: Article IX, Clause 1 states that the annual membership fee is to be paid by a member by “March end of each year to the branch or unit secretary by the member concerned.”

If membership fees are deposited only by March end to the units, by the time it is forwarded to the District/State Committees,  it takes time. So in practice now the CC gets the consolidated membership fees from the State over a varied period of time. Now the duration stretches from April to December even. There has to be a cut-off date by which the membership fees should reach the Centre.)

Rules

(1)   Renewal of Party membership each year must be completed by March 31st.

(2)   The State Committees must deposit the membership fees with the Centre by 31st May each year.

(3)   In case of any contingency the date can only be extended by the Central Committee/PB.

(4)   New enrolment during the current year of candidate membership fees to be remitted by the end of the year or before.

Note: New enrolment of candidate members (after the renewal period) continues throughout the year. Their fees are to be deposited with the Central Committee separately.

Under Article X:

Party Levy

Rules

1.      Party members levy rates:  The Central Committee has decided that the levy from Party members shall be collected as per the following rates:

Income Slab

% of levy

1,000 & below

Re. 1/-

1,001-3,000

0.50 %

3,001-5,000

0.50%

5,001-7,000

1.00%

7,001-8,000

1.00%

8,001-10,000

1.00%

10,001-20,000

1.50%

20,001-30,000

2.00%

30,001-40,000

2.50%

40,001-60,000

3.00%

60,001 & above

4.00%

 2.      If a member is to pay quarterly or annually, calculate his/her monthly income on the basis of his/her annual income and calculate amount which he or she has to pay applying the above rates.

3.      If spouse or any other member earning and contributing to the family income, is not a Party member, their income is not to be included, for calculation of levy rates.

 Note:

1.      Income means with regard to salaried employees and wage earners, all their total gross income, including DA and other allowances. Apart from this, if the member has additional income from land, business or buildings, that too is to be added.

2.      In case of peasants, income will be calculated after excluding actual amounts expended towards agricultural production.

3.      If a person is living off joint family income, then his share of income only has to be taken into account.

4.      In extreme cases, unemployment, drought or illness, if exemptions are to be given, it is for the respective State Committee to take necessary decision.

Note: The percentage share of local, area, district and state is to be decided by the State concerned.

 Under Article XV, Section 10:

Central Committee Finances

 Rules

1.      The Central Committee is authorised to appoint a Trust to manage its properties.

2.      The Central Committee is to decide each year, or as the case may be, the quantum each State will pay towards Party fund or special Party fund drive to run the Party’s central apparatus.

3.      The Polit Bureau will constitute a Finance Sub-Committee which will meet and

(a)   Take decisions on financial matters and expenditure involving amounts upto Rs. ten thousand only. Expenditure exceeding this limit will be referred to the P.B.

(b)   Finance Sub-Committee will place quarterly accounts of the CC and its establishment to the Polit Bureau.

(c)    Finance Sub-Committee will submit yearly accounts as approved by the PB to the Central Committee for its approval (as laid down by the Party Constitution).

(d) One member of the Sub-Committee will be incharge of the income and disbursement of the Party finances after which these will be passed over to the accounts incharge for finalisation and compilation.

(e)   Half-yearly accounts of the Party organs and other establishments (if any) to be submitted to the Sub-Committee.

Under Article XVI: Sub-Clause 3(b):

 State and District Party Organs, Setting up of Intermediate Committees

 (Explanation: Clause 3(b) states, “The State Committee shall decide on the various Party organs to be set up between the primary unit (the Branch) and the District or the region and shall make necessary provisions relating  to their composition and functioning. This will be done in accordance with the rules laid down by the Central Committee)

The State Committee can decide to set up intermediate committees between the primary unit and the District Committee or the region under the following rules:

(a)   The State Committee will decide the size of the committee to be set up.

(b)   Such a committee will be elected by the conference of delegates at that level. The committee should elect a Secretary and /or the Secretariat.

(c)    The criteria of election of delegates to the conference of the intermediate committee will be decided by the State  Committee.

(d) The intermediate committee (local, area, zonal etc.) will exercise  all those functions enumerated for the State/ District Committees, their function being confined to the local area or zone under its jurisdiction.

(e)   Committees set up on an ad-hoc/nominated basis for  coordination purposes will not have the general powers laid out for full-fledged elected committees. Their scope of work is to be guided by the decisions of the respective committees who appointed  them.

(f)     The number of delegates to the District Conference and the conferences of committees below the district will be decided by the State Committee.

Under Article XVI: Rules on Party Finances  & Accounts

For Committees Below the CC (States & District Party Organs)

 (Explanation: Similar to the rules framed for the CC finances and accounting, the following rules will apply to all the lower level elected committees)

(a)   At State level (and for the intermediate/District committees as decided by the State Committee) finance sub-committee of the committee concerned will be constituted by the Secretariat.

(b)   The sub-committee will be responsible for the disbursement of the money and maintenance of the accounts under the supervision of the Secretariat.

(c)    The sub-committee will submit a six-monthly account to the Party  Committee and this statement should be forwarded to the next higher committee.

(d) Annual accounts should be audited by the sub-committee and placed before the Party committee for approval.

(e)   The district committee will submit the consolidated statement of account of its and all the lower elected committees to the state committee before July 31 every year after being duly audited by a chartered accountant.

(f)     The state committee will submit the consolidated statement of accounts of its and all the lower elected committees before August 31 every year to the Central Committee after being duly audited by a chartered accountant.

Under Article XVIII:

Rules For The Functioning Of The Central Control Commission

1.      On receipt of a reference or an appeal under Article XVIII, the Central Control Commission should take steps to investigate and decide upon the issue.

2.      No appeal can be preferred by any one other than the aggrieved  Party member.

3.      The Central Control Commission shall have the right to directly correspond with and examine the unit/units or persons concerned in order to ascertain facts and to arrive at conclusion.

4.      The Central Control Commission will ordinarily meet once in three months. The Chairperson shall call a meeting of the Central Control Commission after giving 14 days prior notice.

5.      Majority of the members will constitute the quorum of the meeting. The Central Control Commission can take a decision only if all the members agree or a majority  of the members of the Central Control Commission agree. Decisions taken may be informed to the absent member or members.

6.      The Central Control Commission may take decisions by consultation by correspondence among its members on such issues which are simple and not complicated.

7.      The Central Control Commission will communicate its decision to the appellant and the respective State Committee and the decision of the Central Control Commission has to be implemented immediately by the respective committees.

8.      The Central Control Commission will present before the Central Committee a consolidated report of its activities  and decisions at least once in a year.

9.      These rules shall apply mutatis mutandis to State  Control Commissions.

  Procedural Rules For

Central Control Commission To Conduct Business

1.      On receipt of an appeal, the Chairperson of the Central Control Commission shall intimate about the case  to the other members.

2.      The Chairperson shall also propose the immediate steps to be taken up for the investigation in a particular case. The other members of the Central Control Commission may send their proposals regarding the same.

3.      The Central Control Commission has the right to ask for any information which is required for deciding the appeal from the concerned committees and members and they should provide such information to the Central Control Commission within a period of two months and if no such information is received within this period, the Central Control Commission may proceed with the case.

 Procedural rules for the Central Committee

The Central Committee shall consult the Central Control Commission before a final decision is taken to withhold, modify or reverse a decision of the Central Control Commission in extraordinary cases under Article XVIII, Section 3.

 Under Article XIX, clause 11

1.  The Party unit which took disciplinary action  against a Party member should inform the Party member concerned about the decision within 30 days after the decision or within 30 days after confirmation by the next higher committee, if confirmation is required as per clause 7 of Article XIX.

2.  The appeal against the disciplinary action should be filed by the concerned Party member within six months from the date of communication of disciplinary action.

Under Article XIX, Clause 13:

Party Discipline

 Provision for summary expulsion in exceptional circumstance is meant for “grave” anti-Party activities. This means that only under extremely serious circumstances such as when a member is found to be a spy or enemy agent or when the member’s activities seriously compromise the Party’s position, should it be invoked.

  Under Article XX:

Party Members In Elected Bodies

 Rules

1.      Each CPI(M) Parliament member has to pay levy amount as decided by the Central Committee to the Central Committee.

2.      The percentage of the levy share as fixed by the PB for the State will be remitted to the State Committee concerned (to the State to which the member belongs) each month.

(Explanation: Article XX Sub-clause (5) in the Constitution states that salaries and allowances drawn by Communist legislators and local body members are to be considered Party money. Earlier there was no system of pensions for MPs/MLAs. Now it is there. So the following rule.)

3.      Salaries and allowances of Communist legislators, local body members include pensions drawn by them, if any.

 Under Article XXII

Discussions Preparatory To Party Congress And Conferences

 The forums of the Party conferences will be utilised  to discuss and review the work report since the past conference and political-organisational questions related to the implementation of the line laid down in the past conference/Congress. The discussion on the draft political resolution of the Congress will be conducted separately as per the provisions laid down in the Constitution.

Under Article XXIII

Party Members Working In Mass Organisations

1. The Party Committee at Central, State and District levels may form sub-committee from amongst its members and any other member considered suitably equipped to guide the work of the Party members working in different mass fronts. They will specialise in the problems of the front, check up on Party building, guide and coordinate the activities of the Party members in different mass organisations, whether they exist as Party units or fraction committees, and see that Party policy is being followed and implemented.

2.  All the Party members working in a mass organisation or the elected bodies of that organisation at various levels constitute the fraction of that body. They have to function under the guidance and decisions of the respective Party committees.

3.  Fraction committees are to be set up from amongst the fraction members where there are large number of them working at different levels in a mass organisation. The fraction committee will be set up by the respective Party committee by including those comrades, apart from members of the Party committee if any, who are equipped with the required level of maturity or mass experience considered necessary by the Party committee.

4. The fraction committee, as constituted above, should carry out the decisions of the respective Party committees in the Executive or General Council of the particular mass organisation, and all necessary measures to implement the decisions of Party Committees by the fraction in that mass organisation shall be taken by the fraction committee.

 Adopted By the Eighth Congress, Cochin, December 23-29, 1968

Amendments made to the Constitution upto the XXI Congress, April 2015, and to the rules by the Central Committee upto November 2014, have been incorporated.

  October 2015

 

Frederick Engels’ Speech at the Grave of Karl Marx [1883]

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Highgate Cemetery, London. March 17, 1883


On the 14th of March, at a quarter to three in the afternoon, the greatest living thinker ceased to think. He had been left alone for scarcely two minutes, and when we came back we found him in his armchair, peacefully gone to sleep — but for ever.

An immeasurable loss has been sustained both by the militant proletariat of Europe and America, and by historical science, in the death of this man. The gap that has been left by the departure of this mighty spirit will soon enough make itself felt.

Just as Darwin discovered the law of development or organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of development of human history: the simple fact, hitherto concealed by an overgrowth of ideology, that mankind must first of all eat, drink, have shelter and clothing, before it can pursue politics, science, art, religion, etc.; that therefore the production of the immediate material means, and consequently the degree of economic development attained by a given people or during a given epoch, form the foundation upon which the state institutions, the legal conceptions, art, and even the ideas on religion, of the people concerned have been evolved, and in the light of which they must, therefore, be explained, instead of vice versa, as had hitherto been the case.

But that is not all. Marx also discovered the special law of motion governing the present-day capitalist mode of production, and the bourgeois society that this mode of production has created. The discovery of surplus value suddenly threw light on the problem, in trying to solve which all previous investigations, of both bourgeois economists and socialist critics, had been groping in the dark.

Two such discoveries would be enough for one lifetime. Happy the man to whom it is granted to make even one such discovery. But in every single field which Marx investigated — and he investigated very many fields, none of them superficially — in every field, even in that of mathematics, he made independent discoveries.

Such was the man of science. But this was not even half the man. Science was for Marx a historically dynamic, revolutionary force. However great the joy with which he welcomed a new discovery in some theoretical science whose practical application perhaps it was as yet quite impossible to envisage, he experienced quite another kind of joy when the discovery involved immediate revolutionary changes in industry, and in historical development in general. For example, he followed closely the development of the discoveries made in the field of electricity and recently those of Marcel Deprez.

For Marx was before all else a revolutionist. His real mission in life was to contribute, in one way or another, to the overthrow of capitalist society and of the state institutions which it had brought into being, to contribute to the liberation of the modern proletariat, which he was the first to make conscious of its own position and its needs, conscious of the conditions of its emancipation. Fighting was his element. And he fought with a passion, a tenacity and a success such as few could rival. His work on the first Rheinische Zeitung(1842), the Paris Vorwarts (1844), the Deutsche Brusseler Zeitung (1847), the Neue Rheinische Zeitung (1848-49), the New York Tribune (1852-61), and, in addition to these, a host of militant pamphlets, work in organisations in Paris, Brussels and London, and finally, crowning all, the formation of the great International Working Men’s Association — this was indeed an achievement of which its founder might well have been proud even if he had done nothing else.

And, consequently, Marx was the best hated and most calumniated man of his time. Governments, both absolutist and republican, deported him from their territories. Bourgeois, whether conservative or ultra-democratic, vied with one another in heaping slanders upon him. All this he brushed aside as though it were a cobweb, ignoring it, answering only when extreme necessity compelled him. And he died beloved, revered and mourned by millions of revolutionary fellow workers — from the mines of Siberia to California, in all parts of Europe and America — and I make bold to say that, though he may have had many opponents, he had hardly one personal enemy.

His name will endure through the ages, and so also will his work.


Advocatetanmoy Law Library