Communist Women 's - International

(Stalinist-Hoxhaists)

 

 

 


 

Fourth Congress of the Comintern

 

 

Where there’s a will there’s a way. We have the will to world revolution, therefore we must find the way to reach the masses of the exploited and the enslaved women, whether the historical conditions make it easy or difficult.”

 

Clara Zetkin

 

Organising Working Women

November 1922

The following extracts are taken from the speech Clara Zetkin made to the Fourth Congress of the Communist International in November 1922. At the time she was the German representative on the Executive Committee of the International, and General Secretary of the International Women’s Secretariat.

The Fourth Congress took place at a time of retrenchment in the face of attacks from the employing class, after the defeat of the revolutionary wave that swept Europe at the end of the first world war. The United Front and mass work were now the strategies that were necessary.

Although the historical circumstances are very different today, the arguments Zetkin raises are still valid because the question of how to reach and organise working class women is once again on the agenda.

Now women are in the front line of attack in the economic crisis. And with thousands of women angry at the prospect of unemployment, being denied equal pay and equal jobs, demonstrating in huge numbers against the cuts and closures, socialists have to find a way of pulling them towards revolutionary ideas. Something is inevitably lost in shortening an extremely long speech. But the substance of the argument is here. The central argument which Clara Zetkin raised is as relevant today as it was in 1922.

 

(published by www.marxists.org - special thanks to Sally Ryan)



 

 

Comrades,

before I begin my report on the activities of the International Women’s Secretariat and the development of Communist activity among women, allow me a few short remarks. They are necessary because our work is still misunderstood not only by our opponents but even by our own comrades. This is with some the remains of an old view, and with others it is wilful prejudice because they do not sympathise with our cause, and even partly oppose it.

The International Women’s Secretariat is a branch of the Executive of the Comintern. It conducts its activity not only in constant cooperation with the Executive, but under its immediate leadership. What we usually designate the Communist Women’s Movement is not an independent women’s movement. It exists for systematic Communist propaganda among women. This has a double purpose: First, to incorporate within the national sections of the Comintern those women who are already filled with the Communist ideal, making them conscious co-workers in the activity of those sections. Second, to win over to the Communist ideal the indifferent women and draw them into the struggles of the proletariat. The masses of working women should be mobilised for these fights. There is no work in the Party, no struggle of the movement in any country in which we women do not regard it as our first duty to participate. Moreover, we desire to take our place in the Communist Parties and in the International where the work is hardest and the bullets fly thickest, without shunning the most menial, most modest every-day work.

One thing has become apparent; we require special organs to carry on the Communist work of organisation and education among women and to make it a part of the life of the Party. Communist agitation among women is not only a women’s task, it is the task of the whole Communist Party of each country, of the Communist International. To accomplish our purpose it is necessary to set up party organs, Women’s Secretariats, Women’s Departments, or whatever we may call them, to carry on this work.

Of course we do not deny the possibility that some strong personality, man or woman, might be able to do the same work in some local or district organisation, But however much we may admit such individual accomplishments in the Party, we must ask ourselves how much greater the benefits would have been if instead of the work of a single individual we had the co-operation of many forces. United action by many towards a common goal must be our slogan in the Party, in the International, and in our work with women.

As a matter of expediency, of practical division of labour, women are usually the best fitted to take part in the special organs for Communist work among women. We cannot escape the fact that the large masses of the women live and work to-day under special conditions. That is why, in general, women usually find the best and quickest method of approach to the working woman to begin Communist propaganda. Just as we Communist women consider it as our right and duty to take part in every activity in the Party – from the most modest work of distributing leaflets to the final, tremendous, decisive fight – just as we would regard it as an insult to be considered unworthy of taking part in the great historical life of the Party and the Communist International, so do we not exclude any man from taking part in the special Communist work among women.

During the last year we have had evidence of the good and the bad sides of Communist work among women. We have seen the good sides in those countries where the Communist sections of the International have created bodies, as in Bulgaria and Germany where the Women’s Secretariats have carried on the work of organising the educating the women Communists, mobilising the working women, and led them into the social struggle. In those countries, the Communist Women’s movement has become one of the strong points of the general life of the Party. In those countries we have many women members and militants in the Party and still larger masses of women as comrades-in-arms outside the Party.



Where there’s a will there’s a way. We have the will to world revolution, therefore we must find the way to reach the masses of the exploited and the enslaved women, whether the historical conditions make it easy or difficult.”

 

Let me give you a few examples of the bad effects of the lack of special organs for work among women in Communist parties. Whenever there are no Women’s Secretariats or similar bodies, we have observed a falling off in the participation of women in the life of the Communist Party and the withdrawal of the feminine proletariat from the struggle of their class. In Poland, the Party has refused until now to set up special bodies for work among women. The Party was content to allow women to fight in its ranks, and participate in strikes and mass movements. However, we are beginning to realise that this is not sufficient to permeate to the feminine proletariat with the Communist ideal. The last elections to the Diet have proved that reaction finds its strongest support among the ignorant masses of women who have not yet been permeated by Communism. This should never happen again.

In England, organisation for conducting systematic agitation among the feminine proletariat is altogether lacking, the Communist Party of Great Britain excused itself by its weakness, and has continually refused or postponed the setting up of a special body for systematic agitation among women. All the exhortation of the International Women’s Secretariat have been in vain. No Women’s Secretariat has been established: the only thing that has been done is the appointment of a women comrade as general Party agitator. Our women comrades have organised various meetings for the political education of the Communist women out of their own feeble numbers. These meetings have achieved such good results that the establishment of similar meetings must be encouraged by the Communist Party.

The attitude of the Executive of the Communist Party of Great Britain is, in my opinion, not only an outcome of its financial weakness, but partly also to its youth and the shortcomings resulting from it. I do not want to submit the Party to severe criticism here. The success of the British Communist Party at the last general election in Great Britain is proof of its strong determination and its practical success. However, this election victory, as well as the political activity and reorganisation which were decided upon, make incumbent on the British Communist Party at a time when from being a small propagandist party, it goes right into the masses, to strive to organise the proletarian women. The British section of the International cannot remain indifferent to the fact that in its country many millions of proletarian women are organised in women’s suffrage societies, women’s trade unions of the old type, in consumers’ co-operatives, in the Labour Party and in the Independent Labour Party. It behoves the Communist Party to struggle with all these organisations for the capture of the minds, the hearts, the will power and the actions of the proletarian women. Therefore it will in the long run realise the necessity for the organisation of special organs by means of which it will be able to organise and train the Communist women within the Party, and make the proletarian women outside the Party willing fighters for the interests of their class.

In various countries, the Communist women, under the leadership of their Party, have used every opportunity to awaken the proletarian women and to lead them into the struggle against the capitalist system. Such was the case for instance in Germany in the fight against the so-called Abortion Law, which was used for a far-reaching and successful campaign against bourgeois class rule and the bourgeois State. This campaign secured for us the sympathy and adherence of large masses of women. It was presented, not as a women’s question, but as a political question of the proletariat.

We fully realise the importance of spirited and thorough work in the trade unions and co-operatives. In order to carry on energetic and systematic work in these two fields, it is necessary that we gain influence over large sections of women and recruit them for the struggle. This we shall do by influencing working women through their trade unions, and proletarian and petty bourgeois house wives through the co-operative movement. However, I want to point out that in our work we must not raise false illusions. We must, on the contrary, do our utmost to destroy the illusion that the trade union movement and co-operative movements within the capitalist system are capable of bringing about legislation for the benefit of the proletariat and of destroying the foundations of capitalism. However useful and indispensable the work of trade unions and co-operatives they cannot undermine the overthrow capitalism.

The conditions are especially favourable for rallying also non-proletarian women around the banner of Communism. The capitalist decay has created in Great Britain, in Germany and other bourgeois states a large new class of new rich as well as a large class of new poor. The middle class is being proletarianised. Consequently the exigencies of life are pulling at the heart strings as well as the purse strings of many women who hitherto had a terribly secure and happy existence under the capitalist system. Many professional women, especially the intellectuals, such as teachers, civil servants and office employees of all kinds are getting rebellious and are pressed into the struggle against capitalism. Comrades, we must take advantage of the ferment in these women’s circles and fan their resigned hopelessness into a flame of indignation that will lead to revolutionary consciousness and action.

What about he conditions that can make this possible? I have already mentioned what pitiless inroads present day conditions make into the lives of millions of women, causing many of them to awaken from their torpor. All that has hampered us previously, the political backwardness and the indifference of women in general, can, under the pressure of unbearable suffering, bring adult women into the Communist camp. Their mentality is less affected by the false and deceptive watchword of the Social Democratic reformists, or the bourgeois reformers. Their mentality is frequently like a blank sheet, so we shall subsequently find it easier to bring the hitherto indifferent female masses into our struggle without the preliminary transition through suffrage, pacifist and other reformist organisations. However, I want to sound a note of warning. We must not be too sanguine and expect that the women will join immediately in the struggle for our final aims, but we may depend on them in our defensive struggle against the general offensive of the bourgeoisie.

I believe that our women comrades in Bulgaria have shown us a good way to organise women. They have established Unions of sympathising women. These unions are not only preparatory training centres for entry into the Communist Party, but are also effective rallying points for the attraction of the female masses to all the activities and actions of the Party. Our Italian women comrades have begun to follow this example. They have also established groups of sympathising women, including women who are still loath to enter political parties, or attend political meetings. The example must not only receive the recognition of all those who do Communist work among women in all countries, but must also be followed.

Comrades, are the Communist women within the sections of the International endowed with the consciousness, the will and energy required for this work among the female masses? We must not conceal the fact that the women as well as the men Communists (for on the whole we are not worse, or more stupid than you are), frequently lack the necessary fundamental, theoretical and practical training. The backwardness and weakness of the women in the political movement only reflects the backwardness and the weakness in the Communist ranks in general. It is of the greatest importance to overcome as quickly as possible the lack of training and weakness of those who are to carry out the Communist work among the female proletariat. Therefore I enjoin you all to take care that the Communist women within your ranks are individually made responsible for the carrying out of the practical tasks of the Party. See to it that they have all the educational opportunities possible. Comrades, the fundamental and practical training of women into valuable Communist workers in the Communist struggle is part of your own educational work, and is an important and indispensable prerequisite for your success.

All the signs of the times show us that society is objectively ripe, nay even over-ripe for the overthrow of capitalism. But we have had no proof that the will of the proletariat, the will of the class destined to be the grave-digger of the capitalist order is ripe in the historical sense of the word. But Comrades, this historic situation is like an alpine landscape in which the gigantic masses of snow repose on the mountain tops for centuries, seemingly impervious to sun, rain or storm. But despite appearances they are undermined, they have grown soft and are ‘ripe’ to be hurled down. Perhaps the beating of a little bird’s wings will be enough to move this avalanche which will bury the valleys under its weight. We do not know how soon we, men and women, will be faced with the world revolution. Therefore, we must not lose a single hour, nay, let a single minute pass without working for the world revolution. World revolution does not only mean world destruction and the destruction of capitalism. It also means world construction and the creation of Communism. Let us get our inspiration from the real meaning of the word: let us be ready, and let us make the masses ready, in order that they might become the world creators of Communism.

 




Die Kommunistische Fraueninternationale, December 1922.


 

 

One of the most important questions the forthcoming Fourth Congress of the Communist International will have to examine and decide on is indisputably that of the workers’ government.

 

It has been thrown up by the demand for the proletarian United Front, the irrefutable necessity and paramount significance of which becomes increasingly clear in the face of the ever sharper and broader offensive of the world bourgeoisie. The slogan of the workers’ government develops organically out of the struggle in which the masses of working women and men have to defend their bare existence, even their life itself against the insatiable hunger of the exploiting capitalists.

The black misery of this historic hour calls out shockingly and angrily for this struggle. If it is to be waged successfully, to push ever broader in its scope and ever higher in its goal, it needs the exploited masses to create their own organs of labour and struggle, which must overcome fragmentation and tearing themselves apart so as to come together as a united and decisive force. Factory councils, control committees, action committees etc will come into being. Only: the effect of such committees will keep within the most modest boundaries. Worse still, their effectiveness will be gradually crippled, the councils and committees themselves will be strangled if governmental power remains in the hands of the exploiting minority. Also the ecstatic fans of ‘democracy’ and of the ‘working community’ of ‘moderate, reasonable' workers’  leaders and ‘understanding, well meaning’ representatives of the bourgeoisie in the government will learn this lesson through bitter experience.

It is and remains true: either the bourgeoisie has control of the government and uses governmental power in its own class interests or, on the other hand, the workers govern and likewise use the government in their class interest ie against the profiteering bourgeoisie. A ‘fair balance’ does not exist. The rule of all such coalition governments between bourgeois and workers’ parties has manifestly proved this. Whether it is a ‘grand’ or ‘narrow’ coalition, with more or less sharp lines drawn to its right or left can, of course, weaken or sharpen this fundamental fact. But it changes nothing in its essence, its basic nugget of truth, particularly in these times when the collapse of capitalism opens up ever more deeply the conflicts of classes and makes the struggle between them sharper and more bitter.

Workers’ leaders occupying a few government posts in no way means the same as the conquest of political power by the proletariat. It can mean pocket money for individuals or hand outs for the class but always remains as the bourgeoisie's goal a means to corrupt and deceive the proletariat. Only a government that consists entirely of representatives of the workers’ parties and organisations (including workers by brain) deserves the name of workers’ government. For such a government can only arise as the fruit of strong, class conscious movements and struggles in which the exploited majority confronts the exploiting minority and the existence of such a government expresses a growth in the power of the proletariat. This alone, held to and defended by all available means, is the sure basis for a workers’ government that demonstrate its right to exist in that it thoroughly and energetically follows a policy the theme of which is the well being of the producers and not the profits of the rich who take for themselves what others produce.

For sure: the workers’ government means a growth in the political power of the proletariat but it is still in no way to be put on the same level as the conquest of political and state power by the proletariat and the establishment of its dictatorship. For the proletariat to be able to claim political power and use it fully in the service of its liberation requires the smashing of the bourgeois state and its apparatus of power. The bourgeois state machinery corresponds by definition to the purposes of power for the exploiting and possessing classes. It is unfit for the proletariat’s goals of liberation. Its character does not change because another class takes over the apparatus and leaves it functioning. The proletariat must create in the system of councils a state that expresses its class power and class rule through the necessary organs.

In contrast, the workers’ government does not destroy the bourgeois state and it would be a dangerous self-deception if the workers convinced themselves or let themselves be convinced that the workers’ government makes it possible to 'hollow out' the bourgeois state from within. Just as the power of the bourgeoisie in the economy cannot be hollowed out, so it cannot happen in the state. In both spheres their power must be overcome, smashed and that can only be achieved by the force of the proletariat and not by the cleverness of the cleverest government. The workers’ government is the attempt to force the bourgeois state within its essential historic limitations to serve the historic interests of the proletariat.

The slogan of the workers’ government thus connects to the illusions that the broadest masses of the proletariat and particularly the newly proletarianised layers have about the nature and value of the bourgeois democratic state. It is a political slogan of the transitional period from capitalism to socialism, communism and reflects two things: firstly, how unclear and unfinished is the knowledge of the majority of the proletariat about the nature of bourgeois society, its state and the conditions of its own liberation; and secondly, that a shift in the relation of forces between the bourgeoisie and proletariat to the latter's advantage has begun but not yet reached its end. The corresponding new relationship is unstable and changeable because the unripeness of proletarian consciousness hinders the complete and uninhibited unfolding of the power of the working class in revolutionary struggle.

It is clear that a situation that is characterised by these two factors is full of difficulties and dangers for the individual sections of the Communist International and thus for the world proletariat that it has been called upon to lead. Can, indeed must not the slogan of the workers’ government cause confusion in the camp of the Communists, shake their certainty as to their goal and path, cause a wrong application of our forces and thus their squandering, lessening our ability to lead the masses of the dispossessed along the right path? Can, indeed must not the old bourgeois reformist illusions whose total destruction is the task of Communists win new support and emerge stronger through use of this slogan? Won't all this hold up the process of clarification and self-awareness of the proletariat, which is the precondition for it setting its entire strength to conquer political power and setting up its own dictatorship to destroy an exploiting and enslaving capitalism?

Deciding these questions has huge consequences, heavy with responsibility. The nub of the question is not the support of a Communist Party for a Workers’ government, but rather the entry of Communists into the government itself and thus the taking of responsibility for its policies. According to the circumstances, answering all these questions positively – and thus rejecting the workers’ government – can split the Communists from the masses of workers, can shake and temporarily stifle their growing trust that we always and everywhere stand with them and storm forwards with them when it is right to struggle against a grasping capitalism and its power. If we throw out the workers’ government, bourgeois and reformist quacks will tell the workers that we are not serious with all the demands we raise in order to alleviate the most burning daily needs of the exploited and oppressed and that we refuse to create the force that would be in a position to carry them through. If the Communist International answers doubting questions unequivocally in the negative and propagates the slogan of the Workers’ government, it is not excluded that some section falls prey to the danger of paying for the creation of a workers’ government with the surrender of important party principles and the essential conditions for a strong, class conscious, proletarian policy; and covers up with its name and reputation a policy of cowardice and treachery aimed at 'saving' a workers’ government. Such a policy would not just compromise the party but communism itself.

So it is understandable that our International did not reach unanimous agreement when the Executive rounded off the slogan ‘For the proletarian united front!’ with ‘For a Workers’ government!’ This conclusion drawn from the defensive struggle against the grand offensive of the capitalists was strongly disputed by many. Naturally enough, in particular by those comrades who also reject the proletarian United Front or give lip service to it as a bitter necessity but in their hearts hope its practice will go to the Devil and seek to avoid and limit it as much as possible, tortured by fears of being “derailed into an opportunist swamp”. The reasons opponents of the workers’ government call on are largely the same ones that they drew out of these fears and used to fight against the proletarian United Front, referring to the 'special situation' in their Communist Party, in their country. They have been expressed in the last issues of this journal and need not be repeated.

Heavier artillery than these typical reasons can be brought to bear against the workers’ government. It is the very bad experience that the proletariat of different countries has gone through with so-called workers’ governments. In Australia a workers’ government came into being on the basis of the shifting sands of a parliamentary combination which was right. Then instead of raising and solidifying the class power of the workers, it constrained and weakened it, not just by legal chains but also through confusing and dulling proletarian class consciousness. It honoured the proletariat with courts of arbitration and conciliation boards, which made wage struggles and strikes virtually impossible – or at least significantly harder – and thus handed the workers over to exploitation bound hand and foot. Generally the policy of the workers’ government meant soup kitchens for the workers and nutritious meals for the bourgeoisie. It paid for being tolerated with its total subordination to the bourgeoisie.

In truth, the deeds of the workers’ governments in Brunswick, Thueringen and Saxony where majority Social Democrats and Independents had and have the rudder of state in their hands, are no more worthy of praise – on the contrary! The policy of these workers’ governments was and is a shocking example of what a workers’ government should not be. They are only workers’ governments by name, having only the superficial characteristic of being made up of representatives of the two German reformist parties. Their politics defines them as bourgeois to the core. From refusing far-reaching measures to fight the mass misery at the cost of big business, merchants, profiteers and usurers, to blocking the Saxon parliament against workers’ demonstrations, violent repression of strikers in Brunswick, the use of the ‘Technische Nothilfe’ (an organisation of scabs backed by the Reich) against striking agricultural workers in Thueringen and the refusal of the right to strike to civil servants – based on Groener and Wirth. And all that in a situation that is objectively revolutionary and screams for the most forceful standing up for the interests of the proletariat in every respect.

The traces terrify us! [What we have seen terrifies us but it is not the full picture.] A Communist Party would commit suicide if it strolled along the comfortable and well-worn paths of the revolution-shy reformist workers’ parties and their statesman-like squirts and into workers’ governments and ‘pure’ social democratic governments. Yet looking more closely, the weaknesses, stupidities and crimes of such workers’ governments as known up till now in no way necessarily speaks against a workers’ government in the Communist conception which can be born out of a forward movement and the struggle of large masses of the proletariat and must live and act in a close alliance with the forward movement and struggle of these masses. They only confirm that the reformist workers’ parties have until now shown themselves totally incapable of pursuing a working class policy in the grand style. In the present historical hour, a real working class politics must be revolutionary politics, the sharpest policy of struggle against the bourgeoisie aimed at strengthening the power of the proletariat. The second rank Scheidemanns and Dittmanns [leaders of the majority and Independent Social Democracy] have shown that – as the Italian proverb puts it - “the habit does not make a monk”. Yet the workers’ government is not a fixed, fossilised concept that dominates political life. It can rather be a component of the most lively political life if it is and remains the unfalsified expression of historic proletarian class life, the expression of a self-moving and developing awareness and will to power of the proletariat. To fight for a workers’ government and, if the conditions are right, entering it, participation in it can be a duty, a necessity for Communist Parties.

The preceding experiences shed some light on what is significant for the disputed question. There are different types of workers’ government ranging from a coalition of true workers’ parties with bourgeois reform parties through to a ‘pure’ social democratic coalition. But not any kind of workers’ government can serve even as a propaganda and rallying slogan of the Communists, let alone as a goal of struggle. Decisive for the position of Communists towards a workers’ government is not party political composition but its implemented policies. The policies of a workers’ government will however ultimately be defined by the activity or passivity of the proletarian masses, through the ripeness of their awareness and will and correspondingly their use of power. The proletariat gets the type of workers’ government it is prepared to tolerate.

So we see ahistorical, mechanical thinking that only bases its judgement on external forms and schematic formulas when, in the name of communist principles, the position on the workers’  government is mace to depend on whether it is the product of revolutionary mass struggle or is the fruit of a parliamentary combination. However strongly we hope for the first option, we should not overlook that a parliamentary line-up can also encourage advancing mass movement and mass activity. For sure: only an indirect and weaker impact, but still an impact on working class life. In England, for example, there is the imminent possibility of a workers’ government one day coming to power by parliamentary means without great shocks or revolutionary struggles. Only a real transformation in the consciousness and position of power of the proletariat must have preceded the parliamentary consequence. This transformation presses towards consistent working class politics, which cannot be carried out without sharp confrontation with the bourgeoisie. So it appears that in England serious, revolutionary mass movements will not prepare the way for a workers’ government but instead by its accompaniment and protector.

The slogan of our Executive “For the Workers’ government!” contains as its final, unavoidable consequence the entry of Communists into a workers’ government, working together and sharing responsibility with non-Communist workers’  parties and organisations. It cannot be denied that even taking an active position for bringing about a workers’ government, but much more participation in it, can increase the danger for Communists of becoming prisoners of a banal opportunism and selling out the Communist fundamentals of our politics for short-lived, day-to-day successes. Only: the danger of walking into an opportunist swamp adheres not merely to entry into a workers’ government but much more to any activity that goes outside a sect-like prayer circle, one that should remain small for the sake of purity.

The maternal concern to avoid dangers leads to a self-sufficient quietism, to an unsullied passivity through which a Communist Party isolates itself from the masses, loses its living historic content and falls prey to fossilisation. For the essence, the task of Communist Parties is themselves to develop the highest political, revolutionary activity and through this, through their own activity to bring about the development of the highest activity of the proletarian masses, like a steel drawing the igniting sparks from a piece of flint. It is quite uncommunist to give up work and struggle because of unavoidable dangers. What it comes down to is dealing with the dangers. The inherent dangers of the situation – falling by means of the practice of a workers’ government into a busy, unfruitful opportunism – are best worked against (alongside the strong ideological and organisational unity of the Communist Party and its strict discipline) by pursuing the strongest goal-oriented activity and most intimate organic link to the proletarian masses.

Just as ahistorical as the refusal of the workers’ government out of fear of opportunism is the conception that the workers’ government must under all circumstances be a transitional stage between the bourgeois state and the workers’  state, an unavoidable and not unpleasant 'substitute' for the dictatorship of the proletariat. A workers’ government certainly can but in no way must be a transitional stage to proletarian class power. The history of the Russian Revolution proves it. With the tremendous sharpening of class conflict in the developed capitalist world and the growing acuteness of class struggles, there can develop a relatively fast shift in the relation of forces between bourgeoisie and proletariat that can lead directly to the latter conquering power and instituting its dictatorship. Further, it is also excluded that the World Congress of the Communist International proclaims the workers’ government as a fundamental goal and object of struggle that must be fought for in all circumstances. Workers’ government as “replacement for the dictatorship” is a laughable conception that out of smart-arsedness ignores that one cannot put new wine in old bottles. The historic content of the dictatorship of the proletariat must blow apart the bourgeois class state, even a bourgeois democratic one.

In easily the majority of countries under capitalist domination, the workers’ government appears as the crowning summit of the tactic of the United Front, as the propaganda and rallying slogan of the hour. The concrete conditions of in each of these states will decide how and under what defining conditions then slogan can become a goal of struggle. One can conceive of situations, contexts, in which Communist Parties must fight for and enter a workers’ government even under very difficult circumstances. The conditions for this will be diverse and different. They cannot all be specified in ground rules beforehand. Yet, as ever, certain factors must be decisive: the cleanliness of the face the Communists present; the independence of Communist policy; strong links with the masses; an orientation towards deepening and accelerating the process of becoming aware in the working class and thus the growth of its power. Of course, it is a pre-condition for the radical policy of a true workers’ government that it supports itself on the organised power of the workers, armed for struggle, outside Parliament. Where the practice of the proletarian United Front pushes towards the Workers’ government, it can - if correctly conceived and implemented, be a step forwards towards the dictatorship of the proletariat. Whet that will be the case will be decided not just by the given conditions but also the understanding and will of the Communist Parties, which become an acting will and understanding of the masses. Let us put it to the test, let us act!