OF THE SIXTH ECCI PLENUM
ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF METHODS AND FORMS FOR CONSOLIDATING COMMUNIST PARTY INFLUENCE ON THE MASSES
8 March 1926
Thesen und Resolutionen, VI Plenum, p. 189
1. Now that the work initiated by the third world congress to win the broad masses of the proletariat has already had considerable political success in many capitalist countries, thanks to the employment of united front tactics, the time has come to give the greatest attention to giving an organized character to and extending this influence on the masses. If our parties do not tackle this task, they will not be able in the present period to prevent the partial loss of the influence already won, and will have to make new efforts to win it back again. By the use and development of suitable organizational methods and forms, our parties must consolidate and extend their influence over the masses.
This work . . . has until now been carried on unsystematically and defectively.
From now on it must be developed methodically and comprehensively in all fields, in accordance with Lenin's instructions on the organizational art, 'to make use of everyone and everything' in the proletarian class struggle, to organize not only the work of party members effectively, but as far as possible to draw in other forces of the proletariat as well, and even the most progressive elements within the peasantry and the middle classes, for sustained work of agitation and mobilizing the broadest masses.
2. The organization of mass campaigns . . . should be studied more thoroughly. But this is not enough. In every such movement the communist party must learn how to single out the active non-party, syndicalist, and social-democratic elements among the masses drawn into the campaign, and incorporate them in the various agitation and action committees, or other united front bodies which may serve as organizational footholds for subsequent mass influence and mass movements. These united front committees, in the first place local (and formed in the factories), turn out to be in almost every sphere of work one of the most natural organizational forms for the activity of our party members outside the party itself.. . .
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Communist fractions and all party work must be organized in such a way that they lead not to the isolation of communists, but to constant contact with the greatest possible number of non-party, syndicalist, and social-democratic workers, exerting steady influence on them and making them more active. Special organizational methods and forms can be developed for each sphere of work, but the over-all aim is to organize a broad mass left movement, inseparably bound to the more or less invisible communist fraction. The same applies to work in factory committees, and in special circumstances also in so-called labour parties. . . .
4. A particularly important form of organizing communist influence over the masses is the sympathizing mass organization for specific purposes. These may be autonomous or independent. The form should be as flexible as possible; there may be collective as well as individual membership. In every country it must be agreed with the central committee which of these organizations should appeal to the trade unions to join collectively.
In several countries the new sympathizing mass organizations include peace leagues and associations against the imperialist oppression of Eastern peoples. In countries where the broad working and peasant masses are filled with a lively sympathy for Soviet Russia (particularly in connexion with a workers' delegation campaign) the channel might be societies of working friends of the new Russia.
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5. In many capitalist countries an appropriate and effective means of consolidating and expanding communist influence on the masses appears to be the development of non-party publishing activity on a wide basis.
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But the publishers must really understand what should be published . . . in the way of popular scientific literature, popular illustrated workers' papers, calendars, belles-lettres, etc., in the interests of revolutionizing the masses.
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8. The entire work of communists among the masses is under the political guidance of the leading party bodies, on the basis of ECCI decisions and directives.
... It must be indelibly impressed on every member of a party cell or a communist fraction that his work among non-party, social-democratic workers in the factory, the trade union, the co-operative, the sports league, the sympathizing mass organization, etc., as well as among peasants, is party work, and is for the majority of members the most important part of their party work. In doing this work they must not lose themselves in the masses, but remain always revolutionary organizers of mass activity.