By Reece Lawton
In order for the proletariat to seize power, it needs to be organised. The best way of organising is by creating a party of the proletariat to advance its class interests. This party can not be a small amount of revolutionaries attempting to overthrow the bourgeois state through covert activities, it must be a party made up of the most class conscious workers to educate and organise the proletariat as a whole. This party must be unified to maximise its potential and reduce the possibility of degenerating into sects due to splits, as has happened with many leftist parties.
All members must agree to the thesis, which will be the main ideals of the party. I emphasise ‘the main’ because there has to be room for dissent, probably best expressed by different factions. The thesis will be made up of the core Marxist principles, and disagreements on other matters can be solved via debate and democracy.
1) Capitalism, due to the way it functions, creates the working class. The working class is the only consistently revolutionary class because it is the only class that benefits from a radical break with the past, that is to say- capitalism, and propel humanity forward to communism, thus achieving an end to its misery.
2) Under class society, the state is an instrument of the ruling class. Thus, under capitalism we see a very specific form of state as opposed to, for example, feudalism. We see a state that is designed for the interests of a tiny minority and as a result is designed in a very vertical way: Professional bureaucrats, an army/police apparatus, the “rule of law”, the concept of elections (which go against the meaning of the word ‘democracy’) and the international financial markets are all key institutions of the state. States do not exist in a vacuum, but are part of an international state system, which reflects the global tendencies of capitalism, which also represents the interests of the capitalist class as a whole.
3) If the working class is to perform its historic task of transforming society from capitalism to communism – a society of free producers – it has to be transformed from a mere slave class, to a class of its own, with its own political agenda of revolutionary emancipation. This is not a spontaneous process, nor something that happens through mere labour struggles. What is needed is a political agenda that has basically three tasks: a) The weakening of the capitalist state and apparatus, undermining its rule, with the evental aim of toppling the constitutional order of the capitalist state; b) forcing concessions that enable the working to politically be free to organise and lift the heavy burden of economic exploitation by the capitalists as much as possible and will improve the general quality of life for workers;c) to organise a counter-culture opposed to capitalist society in the form of cooperatives, unions, cultural societies, educational collectives, community centers, etc.
4) The prior three things will come under the banner of a workers’ party, which is an ambiguous term, so allow me to briefly explain:
the workers’ party is the embodiment of the working class that aims and works towards socialism, or working class rule. The eventual goal is to be ready to topple the capitalist constitutional order and wipe away all state institutions mentioned in point 2 and replace them with institutions that fit majoritarian rule, whilst the short term goals will attempt to improve the quality of life for the working class whilst gaining concessions from the bourgeoisie.
5) Democracy has nothing to do with elections. By proving that this current system is not a democracy, and is in fact an oligarchy, we can gain mass support among the disillusioned masses. Democracy originated in Athens, where a lottery decided which people ruled for a short amount of time. This was the form Aristotle once despised as the “rule of the poor”, because it was the masses that ruled. By debating in parliament, we will achieve things:
1) Get known by the populace
2) Discredit the bourgeois politicians through debate, and gain support for our cause.
6) We must understand that, no matter what the Stalinists say, socialism cannot be established in one country. Capitalism is a world system, and socialism too must he a world system for us to be able to progress into communism. If we want to build communism we need to take the capitalist core: North-America, Europe, Japan, China, and establish working class rule. Once we have won these, the rest can only follow.
7) These are the main principles that all members should agree on, as this will be a Marxist party. The main things that we need to agree on, however, is a much smaller (yet vital) set of principles: a) the independence of the working class, from the state and from other classes; b) internationalism as there are no viable national ways out of the system; c) democracy as the organising principle of now and for the future.
This now leaves is at the present day. We can either organise and fight for democracy and socialism, or allow capitalism to continue with its systematic exploitation and destruction. This party cannot be formed out of two men and their dog: it requires dedicated revolutionaries, class conscious workers, support, etcetera.
If we were to agitate for this party in our workplaces, unions, parties, etc. we could build a mass party that is made up of, ran by and serves the interests of the working class
Dissent and freedom of criticism is vital to ensure the party does not go down the line of ‘the party is always right’. The most efficient way of wanting to change policies inside organisations is via factions. Factions must be allowed to minimise the chance of sectarianism, which weakens the working class movement as a whole. As stated before: this should constitute the basics of the party’s program, all other areas should be voted and debated upon.