ECCI

 

INSTRUCTIONS

FOR COMMUNIST FRACTIONS IN WORKERS' ORGANIZATIONS AND BODIES OUTSIDE THE PARTY

 

 

- EXTRACTS -

 

"January" 1924

[The correct date is 4 February.]

Inprekorr, iv, 24, p. 263, 21 February 1924



INTRODUCTION


The question of communist fractions in non-party organizations is closely connected with the need for communist parties to establish their influence over the broad non-party masses. In order to do this, every communist party must make use of agencies pursuing a communist policy in non-party surroundings. Communist fractions are such agencies. The correct carrying-out of party directives depends on the correct organization of these fractions; it is these directives which ensure that the communists express a single will, pursue uniform tactics, and act in harmony; without this, correct activity for a communist party is unthinkable.


The existence of communist fractions raises the question of their relations with the party organs. There can be no satisfactory outcome to the work of the fractions if these relations are not defined, in harmony with the interests of the party as a whole.


Communist fractions are not autarkic plenipotentiary organizations entitled to settle all questions of party life. They are subordinate to those party organs which are in charge of party activities in the given sphere and locality where the fraction has to work. In each factory, for example, the factory-committee fraction is subordinate to the party cell; the fraction in a co-operative, town council, or trade union is subordinate to the town party organization in the person of its committee, while the fraction in any national organization or in parliament is subordinate to the central committee. . . .



It is in the interests of the entire party that fractions should strictly carry out the directives of the relevant party organs and work under their constant supervision. In their capacity as party members the members of the fraction discuss and decide all party questions in their cell, in the aggregate district meetings, or in their local group. At these meetings they may complain about incorrect conduct of and instructions to the fraction.


The activities of communists at national congresses and in parliament are the responsibility of the entire party. From this it follows that the central committee must exercise special care in selecting communist candidates for parliament, or the fraction members for trade union national committees, or for the central factory-committee organization.

Careful selection will ensure that the party will not be compromised by the behaviour of communists in these fractions and that the party line will be carried out in full. Great care in selecting parliamentary candidates minimizes the chance that they will fail to follow party decisions, for it must be remembered that the more important the role of a communist fraction in a national body (parliament, national trade union committee, etc.)? the stronger the tendency may be to display independence in relation to the party.


All efforts to create a strict organization, suitable for establishing contact with the broad masses and leading them in a victorious struggle against capitalism, will be fruitless if the communist parties fail to give sufficient attention to the formation of communist fractions in all nonparty organizations or to establish the correct mutual relations between the fractions and the party organizations. While proceeding to organize fractions, it remains a condition of all party organizational activity that the centre of gravity is to be shifted to the establishment of factory cells and to making them the foundation of the entire party organization.




INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMMUNIST FRACTIONS IN WORKERS' ORGANIZATIONS AND BODIES OUTSIDE THE PARTY



1.

In all organizations and bodies of workers and peasants (trade unions, cooperatives, cultural and educational societies, sports clubs, factory councils, committees of the unemployed, congresses and conferences, municipal councils, parliaments, etc.), where there are at least three communists, communist fractions must be formed to increase the influence of the party and to carry through its policy in the non-party environment.



2.

Communist fractions, regardless of their importance, must be subordinate to the corresponding party organization—the party cell (its bureau), the district or area committee in large towns, the town committee, the regional committee, or the central committee, according to whether the organization or body in which the fraction is working is of local or national significance. It is from these that the communist fractions receive the necessary directives. . . .

Their decisions must be strictly and precisely obeyed by the fractions.



3.

When the party leadership discusses questions concerning a particular fraction, thorough preparations must be made and for this purpose representatives of the fraction should be called in for previous consultation. . . .



4.

Communist fractions shall elect, in agreement with the relevant party committee, a bureau or presidium which is responsible to the relevant party body for the activity of the fraction.



5.

Between congresses (conferences) the fraction in the central trade union or co-operative committee is the body which covers and guides all the communists belonging to the union or co-operative. . . .


6.

The relevant party committee has the right to send members to the fraction and to recall any member of the fraction, which shall be informed of the reasons for such actions.



7.

Candidates from the communist fraction for trade union national committees and for the governing committees of other organizations or bodies may be nominated only in agreement with the appropriate party organ. The same applies to the recall and replacement of communists.



8.

In internal matters and current work the fraction is autonomous. The party authorities should not interfere in the daily work of the fraction. . . .

Should the fraction and the party leadership disagree fundamentally on any question within the competence of the fraction, the question must be reconsidered by the leadership and the representatives of the fraction, with the object of reaching a final decision, which must then be operated by the fraction.



9.

When questions of political importance are discussed by the fraction, representatives of the relevant party committee must be present. The committee is obliged to send representatives at the request of the fraction.



10.

All questions pending in the organization in which the fraction is operating must be discussed in advance by the fraction or its bureau.



11.

The fraction must report on its work to the relevant party organization . . . which lays down the tactics and the political line for the future activity of the fraction.



12.

On every question about which a decision has been reached in the fraction, all fraction members must speak and vote in accordance therewith at the meetings of the organization in which the fraction is operating. Anyone breaking this rule will be subject to disciplinary measures by the appropriate party bodies.



 

Comintern

III. International