Year 2000 No. 212, December 28, 2000
Workers' Daily Internet Edition : Article Index :
The Challenge RCPB(ML) Accepts: Preparing for the Coming Revolutionary Storms is Decisive
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Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)
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RCPB(ML)s National Consultative Conference 2000 was held on December 9-10. For a report explaining the significance of the Conference, please see [WDIE No.211].
A representative of the Central Committee gave a presentation setting the context for the discussions of the Conference, giving an overview of the work of the Party in the start-up period after the 3rd Congress, highlighting some of the principles underlying the work and pointing the way forward to the tasks to be crystallised. The presentation was given under the theme of the 3rd Congress when deliberating on the tasks facing the Marxist-Leninists: "The Challenge RCPB(ML) Accepts".
Stage of the Work
The speaker explained that the stage of the work of the Party that the National Consultative Conference 2000 represented was a very significant one. After the victory in the life of RCPB(ML) that was its 3rd Congress, a Congress that declared that the Party not only existed but was holding its Congress to give birth to a new quality that will prove decisive in settling scores with the old conscience of society, the National Consultative Conference was the first important milestone in ensuring that that new quality is nurtured and matures successfully. Though there have been other important events in the life of the Party since the 3rd Congress, this was the most significant because it involves delegates representing the entire Party and its fellow travellers, as well as other comrades from the communist movement in Britain in participating, in formulating and in recommending what tasks are required to rise to the occasion, the speaker said.
The representative underscored that the Party is on course in tackling the challenge that the 3rd Congress declared that the Party accepts. The commencement of the 21st century saw the launch of the Partys Millennium Project as the immediate project it must undertake in order to organise the working class in its mission to lead society out of the crisis and to bring about a socialist Britain. This is the line of march that the Congress delineated.
In pinpointing that the communist party, consolidated and strengthened on a new historical basis, is the decisive factor in ensuring that the working class is organised to prepare for the coming revolutionary storms, the Millennium Project opened up the possibilities for all the communists to unite around this line of march. The Workers Daily Internet Edition provided the possibilities for Marxist-Leninists to organise themselves to raise their level to come on a par with the necessities of the time. The Workers Resource Centre provided the possibilities for every support to be given to building groups of writers and disseminators. And the press project itself has opened the possibilities for discussion and implementation of the building of the mass party press. The Consultative Conference, the speaker said, is now involving all the activists and sympathisers in participating and summing up their work along this line of march and answering the challenge posed as to now define that task in clear and concrete form to take the Party to the 4th Congress.
Issue of grasping programme for Britain
The CC speaker went on to talk on the issue of grasping what is the political programme for Britain. The adoption of a political programme, a fighting pro-social programme for the working class of Britain was a central victory of the Partys 3rd Congress, he said. The Congress pointed out that the fight for the victory of the programme Stop Paying the Rich Increase Investment in Social Programmes is the immediate political task in preparing for the triumph of socialism in the strategic sense. It pointed out that the elaboration and the implementation of a fighting pro-social programme is the stand that the workers must take right now as the necessary step in preparing for the coming revolutionary storms. The Congress emphasised that workers taking up the work for the victory of this independent programme of the working class will find their bearings in the revolutionary storms ahead and take the road to a new socialist society.
The independent pro-social programme of the working class centres around the demands for a change in the direction of the economy, and the struggle for political renewal, central to which is the demand for a modern constitution which will empower the people, as well the international demand of the programme which is based on the right of every people to sovereignty, and support and sympathy for peoples fighting for national and social emancipation world-wide. The spirit of this fighting pro-social programme is of the working class taking hold of what belongs to it with the Communist Party being the vanguard of the class. The working class must organise to take the leading position in the nation and utilise this to ensure that the people are vested as sovereign.
The speaker explained that humankind is striving to bring forth a new consciousness, as it struggles to take human society on to its next stage through revolution and overcome all the roadblocks that the old society and everything connected with the old society puts in its way. This new consciousness is a social consciousness and is inextricably linked with the human factor, the strivings of humankind to bring about the new society. The communist party is the highest expression of the human factor/social consciousness, he went on to say. The character of the working class gives its stamp to this human factor/social consciousness its character of socialisation as a class and its lack of interest in a basis of the exploitation of others. The self-motion, self-consciousness of the Party, the vanguard, is working to overcome the old and bring about this new, the speaker affirmed.
In our opinion, the CC representative went on to say, it is mistaken to think that the political unity of the communists in the vanguard can come through putting forward a programme and demand that everyone should support it as a condition in unity in action. It is in the course of the struggle to elaborate, to implement the programme which accords with the actual experience of the working class, which has the orientation of bringing about the political unity, that the communists can strengthen their unity in action, and the working class unite around the vanguard which is leading the struggle for establishing a society which recognises the rights of all. In the course of this they must seek the arrangements which actually challenge Tony Blairs Third Way, that is, the direction the government is taking society, he said. In other words, it is not simply a matter of waging polemics against illusions created by the Third Way, but organising the workers and other sections of the people to discuss their own experience collectively and in the course of this discussion and as an integral part of it discuss what must be done to change the situation. This inevitably leads to the conclusion that the problems are not simply connected with this or that governments policies on which they can be persuaded to change direction. Nor that there is a society up in the air which will be a socialist paradise. But organising in this way will lead to the conclusion that the problems are connected with capitalist society as it exists.
The speaker went on to emphasise that sticking to the line of march since 1994, the Partys work, essential and initial work to create the subjective conditions for revolution, met success in the Party holding its 3rd Congress and this success cannot be over-estimated. The issue was that the Party and its cadres were put in place, not that just some documents and words were put in place. Now the issue is to go from that success, grapple with its self-motion and vision, but most importantly now to utilise that Party and its cadres to tackle the project of consolidating itself and lay the foundations of the mass communist party. Thus the Party calls forth a new form. And the task of creating the communist party on a new historical basis becomes inseparable with building the Mass Communist Party by means of the Mass Party Press.
Overall Logic of the Partys Position
The speaker then went on to discuss the overall logic of the Partys 3rd Congress. In the course of it, he explained that, in the context of turning the declaration of the 3rd Congress into life, the consolidating of our Party as a modern communist party becomes of extreme significance. In our view, he said, the essential focus and conditions for the tasks that the Party now sets is that of the Millennium Project itself. The Party is a whole system, he emphasised, and what arrangements it must bring into being is one of the crucial factors, using itself as the instrument to build the Mass Party Press. It is a case of building a vanguard core of those who appreciate this task. The workers have to fight within the overall aim of the movement for their emancipation, working out their own solutions, uniting around the programme Stop Paying the Rich Increase Investments in Social Programmes. This programme is a weapon to fight the anti-social offensive as well as to create the conditions for the overthrow of the capitalist system and build socialism. For the working class to develop its fighting programme, Stop Paying the Rich Increase Investments in Social Programmes, it must have its strong Mass Party Press. There is a living link between the task the Party is calling for the working class to take up right now and the task that it is taking up for itself. So the Party is calling everyone to take up the task of building the Mass Party Press and has this responsibility. We put this forward as a task which calls upon the various interested sections to join as the crucial task of our movement, the speaker said.
He posed the question: how will that interest be aroused? The task is to build the organisation and consciousness within the fighting programme to go on the offensive during the coming revolutionary storms. It is built on the shoulders of those who emerge from the revolutionary movement. The task is to put forward these arrangements and work to put them in place, in particular to occupy the space for change on the front of renewal of democracy, the fight for a modern constitution, the essence of which the people are the sovereign power, and to do so by organising the working class to end their marginalisation and politicise themselves.
Then the issue becomes, he emphasised, how is the working class to become conscious of this task. The political programme, he answered, must be an all round political programme for the class to solve the problems of Britain and internationally, and not to make the working class an appendage of some other force or political party.
The activities of the start-up period
It is very transparent, the speaker said, what our activities have been in this start up period: implementing the cutting edge work with Workers Weekly, launching the Millennium Project, bringing out the Workers Daily Internet Edition for organising our forces, all the time grappling with the issue of what this period of preparation means. Any initiative needs this start-up period, and the strengths and weaknesses, what is the essence of the work and what is not, bringing the full force of the collective to bear, to develop the plan arising out of concrete conditions of Britain are there for all to see to be assessed and summed up. There is no hidden agenda.
The speaker went on to say that when the Party organised the regional forums, it was done to draw the maximum number in preparing to crystallise the tasks. These regional forums were not organised with the idea of attracting a few people around or keeping the Partys aims a secret. They were organised with the aim of getting the maximum number to discuss the Partys tasks nationally and in the regions. The basic organisations continued with their work and at the same time participated in the regional forums.
How many people attended the forums was not the issue, he said, but the preparation they carried out was consistent with the aim and resolution of the September 1999 National Consultative Forum which took up the call to put the full weight of the collective behind all the work and analysed the aim of the start-up period. And now we are holding our National Consultative Conference 2000 as a mark of the success of this work.
What is now the task, he asked? Overall the task is to build a Mass Party Press in the context of consolidating the Party on the new historical basis. This is the aim we have been putting forward. And the project to lay the foundations of the Mass Communist Party and build the Mass Party Press is nothing else but a project to end the marginalisation of the communist party. This cannot be done without the unity of the Marxist-Leninists ideologically and politically, he stressed.
The most crucial instrument in putting the Communist Party into the mainstream is the Mass Party Press, along with intervening in the political life of the country.
Speaking of intervening in the political life of the country, the representative of the Central Committee pointed out that it looks likely that a general election will be called in May next year. What will the communists seek to achieve if they stand in this election, he asked? This is an important item for the National Consultative Conference to discuss.
One thing is certain, he said the communists will only bring dishonour on themselves if they stand on the basis of some relation to parliamentary parties, parties which are simply electoral machines to come to power and become a governing party; or if they adopt the same outlook themselves. To build a Party as a system in these circumstances, he suggested, means that what we used to call Draft Programme Groups, but finding the appropriate content for them, must be set up around the independent programme of the class, especially amongst the working class. This work can only be done and taken up in earnest, and find its realisation in the real world, if the cutting edge work of the Party is not abandoned. The cutting edge work is to build a Mass Party Press, to build the Party in the heart of the working class by this means. But this cutting edge work is immeasurably strengthened, and the communists become the vanguard fighters for everyone becoming political. Furthermore it gives a concrete reality around the independent programme for the class.
So what is necessary to advance the work, the speaker concluded? This is the content of this National Consultative Conference 2000; summing up the start-up period, grasping what is the key link. Its conclusions and resolutions will be presented to the Central Committee and then will become the tasks that we call on the whole society to join with us in taking up on the line of march to a new society, the road to revolution and socialism.
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