Revolutionary Organisations and
Class Consciousness
(Part 6)

4. The tasks for today’s revolutionaries

Since, the environment and current situations does not allow revolutionaries to have a major influence in the working class, developing, working on the theories (learning lessons from the history of the proletariat and its experience) and the formation of cadres has higher priorities and it comes before agitation. In short, the formation of the cadres together with theoretical work which is the first step in the formation of the internationalist party is the task for today's revolutionaries. Then, the question being asked is that when the party can be formed. There are two views within the working class, when the party can be formed.

  • The formation of the party is a subjective and involuntary factor. This view believes that the establishment of the revolutionary party depends on, an individual's desire, the militants, and their level of consciousness. In another word, this perception includes the party formation is a subjective, point of volitional action and determination revolutionaries.

  • The formation of the party is a direct product of the development of the class struggle – This view sees the formation of the party as an element in the development of class consciousness as directly linked to the class struggle, with the balance of power between classes at a given moment. This view believe that, for the party really exist, it is not sufficient to indicate its general historical necessity, without its formation depending on the economic, political and social situation at the time with the legacy of struggles in the past and the short and log-term perspective for struggles in the future.

5. The question of Fraction

Based on the current situations a revolutionary party cannot be formed, the only way that, revolutionaries can organize themselves is a faction or a particular organization. A fraction is a special organization with specific tasks to a specific situation where a party cannot exist or is formed. Few examples in the history of the proletariat can make the discussion much clear.

The first example is from the Bolshevik Party. "Bolshevik Party after 1905 could not be seen as a party, it was a fraction within the Russian Social Democratic Party, which was splitted into several fractions and tendencies. This was the only way to save the Bolshevik fraction that later was able to serve as a central core for the formation of the Communist Party 1917th. This is the true history of the Bolshevik Party.” [1] [Our translation]

"Another example is the dissolution of the Communist League after the 1848-50 revolution’s stormy years. While Marx believed that the revolutionary period had not yet ended, despite heavy defeats and losses, he continued to keep the Communist League alive, in order to regroup forces and to strengthen the organization. However, once he was convinced that the revolutionary period was over and that a long period of reaction against that begun, he announced that it was impossible to maintain a risk retreat in favour of more modest. As result based on the current situation, less spectacular, more genuinely fruitful, develop and work on theoretical types of afford and forming of more cadres have better outcomes.” [2] [Our translation]

6. Organization’s view of the German and Dutch left

" The Dutch Left is dying as a revolutionary current. It is not up to the Dutch Left that its theoretical legacy would pass on to the new elements that may arise in class. To understand and move on from this heritage is up to the revolutionary organizations and not individuals, or some groups who are debating it. "
The ICC [3][Our translation]

The German and Dutch Left played an important role in the early 20's against the degeneration of the Communist International, and thus became a pole to defend the revolutionary positions. The German and Dutch Left had a very clear idea of the unions, parliamentary, and so on. Unfortunately, after the 20's could not defend the revolutionary positions as a pole and a part of the German and Dutch Left began to develop positions that would reject the Marxist method, and even make concessions behind.

"The German left's main contribution - primarily KAPD - was not that realized the need of the party in the revolution. For KAPD, which was formed as a party in 1920, this did not necessarily say. Its fundamental contribution was that it understood that the party's function was no longer the same during the period of capitalist decadence. It was no longer a mass party, which organized and combined the class – without a party, a nucleus, which regrouped the most active and conscious proletarian fighters. As a special part of the class, the party must intervene in the class struggle and in the organs that class struggle gave rise to: strike committee and workers council. The party was a party that fought for the revolution and no longer the gradual changes in the organs that the proletariat no longer had anything to do with (trade unions and parliament) but to destroy them. And finally, just because the party was a part of the class and not its representative or its director, it could not be a substitute for the class in its struggle or in the exercise of power. Class dictatorship was the dictatorship of workers’ council, not the party. In contrast to the Bordigist view, it was not the party that created the class but the class that created the party. This did not mean - as the populist or Menshevik idea argued - that the party was in class service. The party was not a valet who passively adapt to any doubt or discrepancy in the class. On the contrary, its task was to "develop the proletarian class consciousness even at the cost of that could come to be at odds with the broad masses." Theses on the Party's role in the revolution, KAPD, 1920.” [4] [Our translation]

Although KAPD understood that the party functionality changed during different periods of capitalism and the period of the capitalist decadence is no longer a mass party, but a core of the most conscious proletarian fighters, still had KAPD much confusion that led to last KAPD's disappearance. The ICC describes these ambiguities and the cause of KAPD's disappearance as below:

"The fact is that it formed at the point when the German revolution was approaching a declining trend after its defeat in 1919. KAPD, finally defend the idea that it could get away a degeneration of the revolutionary proletariat by implementing a coup tactics. During the mass action in central Germany in 1921, the workers at Ieuna factory near Halle made an uprising against their will. This action showed a thorough misunderstanding of the role of the Party, a misunderstanding that led to its dissolution. KAPD still held fast to the idea of the party as a "military headquarters" of the class when it is above all a political vanguard for the entire proletariat.

Similarly, when KAPD faced the collapse of the workers’ council and was trapped in its voluntarism to defend the idea of a permanent dual organization of the proletariat, then, dilute the confusion about the difference between the proletarian unity organs which resulted in and fight for the (general assemblies, strike committees and workers councils) and the organization of the revolutionary minority who intervenes in the unit organ to bring to life their thoughts and actions.” [5] [Our translation]

One issue that could be raised is; on the one hand, KAPD understood the party’s functionality changed during different periods of capitalism, and especially during the period of capitalist decadence, and the party was no longer a mass party, which organized and combined the class – without a party, a nucleus, the most conscious proletarian fighters, on the other hand had so much confusion that ultimately led to its disappearance.

“The German left always suffered from the general immaturity of the proletariat in Germany, and from the inability of revolutionaries in this country to forge a revolutionary party, armed with theory and ready to face the wave of proletarian struggles. For a long time the elements of the left of the SPD had hesitated to break openly with Social Democracy and form an independent party. For this reason, the KAPD appeared as a young organization with little experience.” [6]

To Be Continued

M. Jahangiry
21 April 2010

1. The tasks for today: The formation of the party or the formation of cadres - IR 9
2. As above
3. Organization’s view of the German and Dutch left – IR, No:12
4. As above
5. As above
6. Communist Organisation & Class Consciousness, page 79