Guidelines on the Organizational Structure of Com­mu­nist Parties,
on the Methods and Content of Their Work

Adopted at the 24th Session of the Third Congress of the Com­mu­nist International, 12 July 1921

Continued from left column

In larger countries, of course, the party needs certain intermediate bodies to serve as connecting links between the central lead­er­ship and the various district lead­er­ships (provincial lead­er­ships, regions and the like) as well as between a given district lead­er­ship and the various local bodies (subdistrict or county lead­er­ships). Under certain circumstances it may become useful for one or another of these in­ter­me­di­ate bodies, for example that of a major city with a strong membership, to be given a lead­er­ship role. However, as a general rule this should be avoided as decentralization.

45. The large units of the party or­gan­iza­tions (districts) are composed of local party entities: of rural and small-town “locals,” and of “wards” or “rayons” of the various sections of the major cities.

A local party entity which has grown so large that under conditions of legality it can no longer effectively hold general membership meetings must be divided.

In the local party or­gan­iza­tion the members are to be assigned to the various working groups for the purpose of doing daily party work. In larger or­gan­iza­tions it may be useful to combine the working groups into various collective groups. As a rule those members who come into contact with one another at their workplaces or otherwise on a daily basis should be assigned to the same collective group. The collective group has the task of dividing the overall party work among the various working groups, obtaining reports from the heads of the working groups, training candidate members within their ranks, etc.

46. The party as a whole is under the lead­er­ship of the Com­mu­nist International. The di­rec­tives and resolutions of the international lead­er­ship in matters affecting a member party shall be addressed either (1) to the general central lead­er­ship of the party, or (2) through it to the central lead­er­ship in charge of a special area of work, or (3) to all party or­gan­iza­tions.

Directives and decisions of the International are binding on the party and, as a matter of course, on every party member.

47. The central lead­er­ship of the party (central committee and Beirat or Ausschuß) is re­spon­si­ble to the party con­gress and to the lead­er­ship of the Com­mu­nist International. The narrower leading body as well as the broad committee, Beirat or Ausschuß are as a rule elected by the party con­gress. The con­gress may, if it deems appropriate, charge the central lead­er­ship with electing from its own ranks the narrower leading body, consisting of the political and the or­gan­iza­tional bureau. The narrower leading body, through its two bureaus, directs the policies and ongoing work of the party and is accountable for this. The narrower leading body regularly convenes plenary meetings of the party central lead­er­ship to make decisions of greater importance and scope. In order to be able to fully grasp the entire political situation and to maintain a living picture of the party, its clarity and its capacity to perform, it is necessary in electing the central party lead­er­ship to give consideration to candidates from the different regions of the country, if any suitable ones are available. For the same reason, serious dif­fer­ences of opinion on tactical questions should not be suppressed in the election of the central lead­er­ship. On the contrary, representation of these views in the overall lead­er­ship by their best spokesmen should be facilitated. The narrower leading body, however, should be homogeneous in its views if at all feasible and must—if it is to be able to lead firmly and with certainty—be able to rely not only on its authority but on a clear and even numerically fixed majority in the central lead­er­ship as a whole.

By thus constituting the central party lead­er­ship more broadly, the legal mass parties in particular will most quickly create for their central committee the best foundation of firm discipline: the un­quali­fied confidence of the membership masses. More­over, it will lead to more quickly recognizing, curing and overcoming vacillations and disorders which may show up in the party’s layers of functionaries. In this way, the accumulation of such disorders in the party and the need to surgically remove them at subsequent party con­gresses—with possibly cata­stroph­ic results—can be kept to a bearable level.

48. To be able to lead party work effectively in the different areas each of the leading party committees must implement a practical di­vi­sion of labor among its members. Here special leading bodies may prove necessary for a number of areas of work (e.g., for propaganda, for press work, for the trade-union struggle, for agitation in the coun­try­side, agitation among women, for communication, Red Aid, etc.). Every special leading body is sub­or­di­nate either to the central party lead­er­ship or to a district party com­mit­tee.

It is the job of the leading party district com­mit­tee, and ultimately the central party lead­er­ship, to monitor the practical work as well as the correct composition of all committees sub­or­di­nate to it. All members engaged in full-time party work, just like the members of the parliamentary fraction, are directly sub­or­di­nate to the leading party committee. It may prove useful now and then to change the duties and work locations of the full-time comrades (e.g., editors, propagandists, or­gan­izers, etc.) insofar as this does not overly disrupt party work. Editors and propagandists must par­tici­pate on an ongoing basis in regular party work in one of the working groups. Back to Appendix A

49. The central lead­er­ship of the party, like that of the Com­mu­nist International, is entitled at all times to demand exhaustive information from all com­mu­nist or­gan­iza­tions, from their component bodies and from individual members. The rep­re­sen­ta­tives and pleni­po­ten­ti­aries of the central lead­er­ship are to be admitted to all assemblies and meetings with consultative vote and the right of veto. The central party lead­er­ship must always have such pleni­po­ten­ti­aries (commissars) available so that it can responsibly provide these district and county lead­er­ships with instruction and information not only through its political and or­gan­iza­tional cir­cu­lars or correspondence, but also by direct verbal com­mu­ni­ca­tion. In the central lead­er­ship as well as in every district committee, there must be an audit commission composed of tested and knowledgeable party comrades to inspect the treasury and books. It should report regularly to the expanded committee (Beirat or Ausschuß).

All or­gan­iza­tions and party bodies, as well as all individual members, are entitled at all times to com­mu­ni­cate their desires and initiatives, ob­ser­va­tions or complaints directly to the central lead­er­ship of the party or the International.

50. The directives and decisions of the lead­ing party bodies are binding on sub­or­di­nate or­gan­iza­tions and on individual members.

The accountability of the leading bodies, and their obligation to guard against negligence and against misuse of their leading position, can be fixed on a formal basis only in part. The less formal accountability they have, for example in illegal parties, the more they are obligated to seek the opinion of other party members, to obtain reliable information regularly and to make their own de­ci­sions only after careful, comprehensive deliberation.

51. Party members are to conduct themselves in their public activity at all times as disciplined members of a combat or­gan­iza­tion. When dif­fer­ences of opinion arise as to the correct course of action, these should as far as possible be decided beforehand within the party or­gan­iza­tion and then action must be in accordance with this decision. In order, however, that every party decision be carried out with the greatest energy by all party or­gan­iza­tions and members, the broadest mass of the party must whenever possible be involved in examining and deciding every question. Party or­gan­iza­tions and party authorities also have the duty of deciding whether questions should be discussed publicly (press, lectures, pamphlets) by individual comrades, and if so, in what form and scope. But even if the decisions of the or­gan­iza­tion or of the party lead­er­ship are regarded as wrong by other members, these comrades must in their public activity never forget that it is the worst breach of discipline and the worst error in combat to disrupt or, worse, to break the unity of the common front.

It is the supreme duty of every party member to defend the Com­mu­nist Party and above all the Com­mu­nist International against all enemies of communism. Anyone who forgets this and instead publicly attacks the party or the Com­mu­nist International is to be treated as an opponent of the party. Back to Appendix B

52. The statutes of the party are to be formulated so that they are an aid, not an obstacle, to the leading party bodies in the continual de­vel­op­ment of the overall party or­gan­iza­tion and in the incessant improvement of the or­gan­iza­tion’s work.

The decisions of the Com­mu­nist In­ter­na­tion­al are to be implemented without delay by mem­ber parties, even in those cases where, according to the statutes, the corresponding changes in the existing statutes and party resolutions can be made only at a later date.


53. Corresponding to the different phases in the process of the rev­olu­tion, changes in function can occur in the daily life of every com­mu­nist party. Basically, however, there is no essential dif­fer­ence in the party struc­ture which a legal party on the one hand, and an illegal party on the other, must strive for.

The party must be or­gan­ized so that it can at all times adapt itself quickly to changes in the conditions of struggle.

The Com­mu­nist Party must develop itself into a combat or­gan­iza­tion capable on the one hand of avoiding open encounters with an enemy possessing overwhelmingly superior forces who has amassed all of his strength at one point; but on the other hand also capable of exploiting this enemy’s un­wieldiness, striking him when and where he least expects the attack. It would be the gravest error for the party or­gan­iza­tion to prepare for and expect only insurrections and street fighting or only conditions of the most severe repression. Com­mu­nists must carry out their preparatory rev­olu­tion­ary work in every situation and always be on combat footing, because it is often almost im­pos­si­ble to predict the alternation between a period of upheaval and a period of quiescence; and even in cases where such foresight is possible it cannot generally be used to reorganize the party, because the change usually occurs in a very short time, indeed often quite suddenly.

54. The legal com­mu­nist parties in the capitalist countries generally have not yet sufficiently grasped that it is their task to understand how the party should properly arm itself for rev­olu­tion­ary up­risings, for armed struggle or for illegal struggle in general. The entire party or­gan­iza­tion is built much too one-sidedly on an enduring legality and is or­gan­ized according to the requirements of legal day-to-day tasks.

In the illegal parties, in contrast, there is often insufficient understanding of the possibilities for exploiting legal activity and for building a party or­gan­iza­tion in living contact with the rev­olu­tion­ary masses. In this case, party work shows a tendency to remain a fruitless Sisyphean labor or impotent conspiracy.

Both are wrong. Every legal Com­mu­nist Party must know how to ensure maximal combat readiness if it should have to go underground, and it must be armed particularly for the outbreak of rev­olu­tion­ary uprisings. In turn, every illegal Com­mu­nist Party must energetically exploit the op­por­tu­ni­ties provided by the legal workers movement in order to develop through intensive party work into the or­gan­izer and actual leader of the great rev­olu­tion­ary masses.

The lead­er­ship of legal and of illegal work must always be in the hands of the same unitary central party lead­er­ship.

55. Within both the legal and the illegal parties, illegal com­mu­nist or­gan­iza­tional work is often conceived of as the creation and maintenance of a closed, exclusively military or­gan­iza­tion isolated from the rest of the party work and party or­gan­iza­tion. That is completely wrong. On the contrary, in the prerev­olu­tion­ary period our combat or­gan­iza­tion must be built primarily through general com­mu­nist party work. The entire party should be trained as a combat or­gan­iza­tion for the rev­olu­tion.

Isolated rev­olu­tion­ary-military or­gan­iza­tions es­tab­lish­ed too soon before the rev­olu­tion are very apt to show tendencies toward dissolution and de­mor­al­ization because there is a lack of directly useful party work for them to do.

56. For an illegal party, it is obviously of critical importance in all of its work to protect its mem­bers and bodies from discovery and not to expose them by, for example, mem­bership registration, careless dues collection or literature distribution. Therefore, it cannot use open forms of or­gan­iza­tion for con­spira­to­ri­al purposes to the same degree as a legal party. But it can learn to do so to an increasing extent.

All precautionary measures must be taken to prevent the penetration of dubious or unreliable elements into the party. The methods to be used will depend very largely on whether the party is legal or illegal, persecuted or tolerated, growing rapidly or stagnating. One method which has proved suc­cess­ful here and there under certain circumstances is the system of candidacy. Under this system, an ap­pli­cant for mem­bership in the party is admitted first as a candidate on the recommendation of one or two party comrades, and whether he can be admitted as a mem­ber is dependent upon his proving himself in the party work assigned to him.

Inevitably, the bourgeoisie will try to send spies and provocateurs into illegal or­gan­iza­tions. This must be fought with the utmost care and persistence. One method in this fight is the skillful combination of legal and illegal work. Prolonged legal rev­olu­tion­ary work is absolutely the best way to test who is reliable, courageous, conscientious, energetic, adroit and punctual enough to be en­trusted with im­por­tant assignments, suited to his abilities, in illegal work.

A legal party should con­stant­ly improve its defensive measures to avoid being taken by surprise (for example, by keeping cover addresses in a safe place, as a rule destroying letters, putting necessary documents in safekeeping, giving its couriers con­spi­ra­torial training, etc.).

57. It follows that our overall party work must be distributed in such a way that even before the open rev­olu­tion­ary uprising the roots of a combat or­gan­iza­tion corresponding to the requirements of this stage develop and take hold. It is especially im­por­tant that the com­mu­nist party lead­er­ship con­stant­ly keep these requirements in mind, and that it try to the extent possible to form a clear con­cep­tion of them in advance. Naturally, this con­cep­tion can never be exact or clear enough a priori. But that is no reason to disregard this most im­por­tant aspect of com­mu­nist or­gan­iza­tional lead­er­ship.

For when, in the open rev­olu­tion­ary uprising, the Com­mu­nist Party is faced with the greatest change in function of its life, this change can pose very dif­fi­cult and complicated tasks for even the best- or­gan­ized party. It may be a matter of mobilizing our political party for military combat within a few days. And not only the party, but also its reserves—the or­gan­iza­tions of sympathizers—indeed, even the entire home guard, i.e., the unor­gan­ized rev­olu­tion­ary masses. At this point the formation of a regular Red Army is still out of the question. We must be victorious—without an army built in advance—by means of the masses, under the lead­er­ship of the party. For this reason, even the most heroic struggle may avail us naught if our party has not been prepared or­gan­iza­tionally in advance for this situation.

58. In rev­olu­tion­ary situations it has often been observed that the rev­olu­tion­ary central leader­ship proved incapable of performing its tasks. The proletariat can achieve splendid things in the rev­olu­tion as regards lesser or­gan­iza­tional tasks. In its headquarters, however, for the most part disorder, bewilderment and chaos reign. Even the most elementary di­vi­sion of labor can be lacking. The intelligence department in particular is often so bad that it does more harm than good. There is no depending on communications. When clandestine mailing and transport, safe houses and clandestine printing presses are needed, these are usually totally at the mercy of fortunate or unfortunate coin­cidence. The or­gan­ized enemy’s every provocation has the best prospects for success.

Nor can it be otherwise, unless the leading rev­olu­tion­ary party has or­gan­ized special work for these purposes in advance. For example, observing and exposing the political police requires special practice; an apparatus for clandestine com­mu­ni­ca­tions can function swiftly and reliably only through extended, regular operation, etc. Every legal Com­mu­nist Party needs some kind of secret prep­ara­tions, no matter how minimal, in all these areas of specialized rev­olu­tion­ary work.

For the most part, we can develop the necessary apparatus even in these areas through completely legal work, provided that in the or­gan­iza­tion of this work attention is paid to the kind of apparatus that should arise from it. For example, the bulk of an apparatus for clandestine communications (for a courier system, clandestine mailing, safe houses, conspiratorial transport, etc.) can be worked out in advance through a precisely systematized dis­tri­bu­tion of legal leaflets and other publications and letters.

59. The com­mu­nist or­gan­izer regards every sin­gle party mem­ber and every rev­olu­tion­ary worker from the outset as he will be in his future historic role as soldier in our combat or­gan­ization at the time of the rev­olu­tion. Accordingly, he guides him in advance into that nucleus and that work which best corresponds to his future position and type of weapon. His work today must also be useful in itself, necessary for today’s struggle, not merely a drill which the practical worker today does not un­der­stand. This same work, however, is also in part train­ing for the im­por­tant demands of to­mor­row’s final struggle.

End of Guidelines


Back beginning Guidelines

acute political and economic tensions leading to the outbreak of new movements and struggles, it can dispense with raising special demands and appeal in simple and popular language directly to the mem­bers of the socialist parties and trade unions not to abstain from the struggles necessitated by their misery and increasing op­pres­sion at the hands of the employers. Even if their bureaucratic leaders are opposed, the ranks must fight if they are to avoid being driven to complete ruin. The party’s press organs, especially its daily newspa­pers, must em­phati­cal­ly prove day after day during such a party campaign that the com­mu­nists are ready to in­ter­vene as leaders in the current and impending strug­gles of the pauperized proletariat, and that in the immediate acute situation their combativeness will, wherever possible, come to the aid of all the op­pressed. It must be proved day in and day out that without these struggles the working class will no longer have any possibilities for existence and that, despite this fact, the old or­gan­iza­tions are trying to avoid and obstruct these struggles.

The plant and trade-union fractions, continually pointing to the com­mu­nists’ combativeness and willingness to sacrifice, must make it clear to their fellow workers in meetings that abstention from the struggle is no longer possible. The main task in such a campaign, however, is to or­gan­iza­tionally con­sol­idate and unify all struggles and movements born of the situation. Not only must the cells and fractions in the trades and plants involved in the struggles continually maintain close organic contact among themselves, but the leading bodies must also (both through the district committees and through the central lead­er­ship) immediately place functionaries and re­spon­si­ble party workers at the disposal of all movements which break out. Working directly with those in struggle, they must lead, broaden, intensify, generalize and link up the movements. The or­gan­iza­tion’s primary job is to place what is common to these various struggles in sharp relief and bring it into the foreground, in order to urge a general solution to the struggle, by political means if necessary.

As the struggles become more intense and generalized, it will be necessary to create unified bodies to lead them. If the bureaucratic strike lead­er­ships of some unions cave in prematurely, we must be quick to push for their replacement by com­mu­nists, who must assure a firm, resolute lead­er­ship of the struggle. In cases where we have succeeded in combining several struggles, we must push for setting up a joint lead­er­ship for the campaign, in which the com­mu­nists should obtain the leading positions to the extent possible. With proper or­gan­iza­tional prep­ara­tion, a joint lead­er­ship for the campaign can often easily be set up through the trade-union fractions as well as through plant fractions, plant councils, plant council plenary meetings and especially through general meetings of strikers.

If the movement assumes a political character as a result of becoming generalized and as a result of the intervention of employers’ or­gan­iza­tions and government authorities, then the election of workers councils may become possible and necessary, and propaganda and or­gan­iza­tional prep­ara­tion must be initiated for this. All party publications must then intensively put forward the idea that only through such organs of its own, arising directly from the workers’ struggles, can the working class achieve its real liberation with the necessary ruthlessness, even without the trade-union bu­reauc­ra­cy and its socialist party satellites.

35. Com­mu­nist parties which have already grown strong, particularly the large mass parties, should also take or­gan­iza­tional measures to be continually armed for political mass actions. In dem­on­stra­tion campaigns and economic mass move­ments, in all partial actions, one must con­stant­ly bear in mind the need to energetically and tenaciously consolidate the or­gan­iza­tional ex­pe­ri­ence of these movements in order to achieve ever more solid ties with the broader masses. The ex­pe­ri­ence of all new major movements must repeatedly be discussed and reviewed at broad conferences which bring the leading functionaries and re­spon­si­ble party workers together with the shop stewards from the large and medium-sized plants, so that the network of ties through the shop stewards can be made ever more solid and or­gan­ized ever more securely. Close bonds of mutual trust between the leading functionaries and re­spon­si­ble party workers on the one hand, and the shop stewards on the other, are or­gan­iza­tionally the best guarantee that political mass actions will not be initiated prematurely and that their scope will correspond to the circumstances and the current level of party influence.

Unless the party or­gan­iza­tion maintains the closest ties with the proletarian masses employed in the large and medium-sized factories, the Com­mu­nist Party will not be able to achieve major mass actions and genuinely rev­olu­tion­ary move­ments. If the uprising in Italy last year—which was un­ques­tion­ably rev­olu­tion­ary in character and found its strongest expression in the factory occupations—collapsed prematurely, then this was no doubt in part due to the betrayal of the trade-union bu­reauc­ra­cy and the inadequacy of the party’s political leaders, but also partly because no intimate, or­gan­ized ties existed at all between the party and the plants through factory shop stewards who were politically informed and in­ter­ested in party life. It is also beyond doubt that the attempt to aggressively utilize the political potential of the great English miners movement this year suffered extraordinarily from this same failing.


36. The com­mu­nist press must be developed and improved by the party with tireless energy.

No newspa­per may be recognized as a com­mu­nist organ if it does not submit to the directives of the party. Analogously, this principle is to be ap­plied to all literary products such as periodicals, books, pamphlets, etc., with due regard for their theo­ret­ical, pro­pa­gan­distic or other character.

The party must be more concerned with having good pa­pers than with having many of them. Above all, every com­mu­nist party must have a good, if possible daily, central organ.

37. A com­mu­nist newspa­per must never become a capitalist enterprise like the bourgeois press and often even the so-called “socialist” pa­pers. Our pa­per must keep itself independent from the capitalist credit institutions. Skillful solicitation of advertising—which in the case of legal mass parties can greatly help in keeping our press afloat—must never lead, for example, to our becoming dependent in any way on the major advertisers. Rather, the press of our mass parties will most quickly win unconditional respect through its intransigent attitude on all proletarian social questions. Our pa­per should not pander to an appetite for sensationalism or serve as entertainment for the public at large. It cannot yield to the criticism of petty-bourgeois literati or jour­nal­is­tic virtuosi in order to make itself “respectable.”

38. The com­mu­nist newspa­per must above all look after the in­ter­ests of the op­pressed struggling workers. It should be our best propagandist and agitator, the leading propagandist of the proletarian rev­olu­tion.

Our pa­per has the task of collecting valuable ex­pe­ri­ences from the entirety of the work of party mem­bers and then of presenting these to party comrades as a guide for the continued review and improvement of com­mu­nist methods of work. These ex­pe­ri­ences should be exchanged at joint meetings of editors from the entire country; mutual dis­cus­sion there will also yield the greatest possible uni­formity of tone and thrust throughout the entire party press. In this way the party press, including every individual newspa­per, will be the best or­gan­izer of our rev­olu­tion­ary work.

Without this unifying, purposive or­gan­iza­tional work of the com­mu­nist press, particularly the main newspa­per, it will hardly be possible to achieve dem­ocrat­ic centralism, to implement an effective di­vi­sion of labor in the Com­mu­nist Party or, con­se­quent­ly, to fulfill the party’s historic mission.

39. The com­mu­nist newspa­per must strive to become a com­mu­nist enterprise, i.e., a proletarian combat or­gan­iza­tion, a working collective of rev­olu­tion­ary workers, of all those who regularly write for the pa­per, typeset and print it, manage, circulate and sell it, those who collect local material for articles, discuss this material in the cells and write it up, those who are active daily in the pa­per’s distribution, etc.

A number of practical measures are required to turn the pa­per into this kind of genuine combat or­gan­iza­tion and into a strong, vital working collective of com­mu­nists.

A com­mu­nist develops the closest ties with his pa­per if he must work and make sacrifices for it. It is his daily weapon which must con­stant­ly be tempered and sharpened anew in order to be usable. The com­mu­nist newspa­per can be maintained only by heavy, ongoing material and financial sacrifices. The means for its expansion and for internal im­prove­ments will con­stant­ly have to be supplied from the ranks of party mem­bers until, in legal mass parties, it ultimately attains such wide circulation and or­gan­iza­tional solidity that it itself begins to serve as a material support for the com­mu­nist move­ment.

In the meantime it is not enough for a com­mu­nist to be an active salesman and agitator for the pa­per; he must be an equally useful contributor to it. Every socially or economically noteworthy incident from the plant fraction or cell—from a shopfloor accident to a plant meeting, from the mistreatment of apprentices to the company financial report—is to be reported at once to the newspa­per by the quickest route. The trade-union fractions must com­mu­ni­cate all important resolutions and measures from the mem­bership meetings and executive bodies of their unions, and they must report on any characteristic activity of our opponents succinctly and accurately. What one sees of life in public—at meetings and in the streets—often provides an alert party worker the opportunity to observe details with a sense of social criticism which can be used in the pa­per to make clear even to the indifferent our intimate knowledge of the problems of everyday life.

The editorial staff must treat this information, coming as it does from the life of the working class and workers or­gan­iza­tions, with great warmth and affection. The editors should either use such material as short news items to give our pa­per the character of a vital working collective acquainted with real life; or they should use this material to make the teachings of communism comprehensible by means of these practical examples from the workers’ daily existence, which is the quickest way to make the great ideas of communism immediate and vivid to the broad working masses. If at all possible, the editorial staff should hold office hours at a convenient time of day for any worker who visits our newspa­per, to listen to his requests and his complaints about life’s troubles, diligently note them down and use them to enliven the pa­per.

Obviously, under capitalist conditions, none of our newspa­pers can become a perfect com­mu­nist working collective. However, even under very dif­fi­cult conditions it is possible to successfully organize a rev­olu­tion­ary workers newspa­per along these lines. That is proved by the example of our Russian comrades’ Pravda in 1912-13. It did in fact con­sti­tute an ongoing and active or­gan­iza­tion of con­scious, rev­olu­tion­ary workers in the most im­por­tant centers of the Russian empire. These comrades collectively edited, published and distributed the newspa­per—most of them, of course, doing this in addition to working for a living—and they scrimped to pay for its expenses from their wages. The newspa­per in turn was able to give them the best of what they wanted, what they needed at the time in the movement, and what is still of use today in their work and struggle. For the party ranks as well as many other rev­olu­tion­ary workers, such a newspa­per was really able to become “our newspa­per.”

40. The militant com­mu­nist press is in its true element when it directly participates in campaigns led by the party. If the party’s work during a period of time is concentrated on a particular campaign, the party pa­per must place all of its space, not just the political lead articles, at the service of this campaign. The editorial department must draw on material from all areas to nourish this campaign and must saturate the whole pa­per with it in a suitable form and style.

41. Sales of subscriptions to our newspa­per must be systematized on a formal basis. First, use must be made of every situation in which there is increased motion among the workers and where political or social life is further inflamed by any sort of political and economic events. Thus, immediately after every major strike or lockout where the pa­per has openly and energetically represented the in­ter­ests of the struggling workers, a subscription drive should be or­gan­ized to approach each individual who had been out on strike. The com­mu­nist plant and trade-union fractions within the trades involved in the strike movement must not only propagandize for the newspa­per with lists and subscription blanks in their own arenas but, if they possibly can, they must also obtain lists of addresses of the workers who took part in the struggle, so that special working groups for the press can conduct energetic door-to-door agitation.

Likewise, after every political electoral campaign which arouses the workers’ in­ter­est, systematic door-to-door canvassing must be carried out in the proletarian districts by the designated working groups.

At times of latent political or economic crises whose effects are felt by the broader working masses as inflation, unemployment and other hardships, after making skillful propagandistic use of these developments every effort should be made to obtain (as much as possible through the trade-union fractions) extensive lists of the unionized workers in the various trades, so that the working group for the press can productively follow up with sustained, systematic door-to-door agitation. Experience has shown that the last week of each month is best suited for this regular canvassing. Any local or­gan­iza­tion that allows the last week of even one month to pass without using it for agitation for the press is guilty of a serious omission in extending the com­mu­nist movement. The working group for the press must also not let any public meeting of workers or any major dem­on­stra­tion go by without being there pushing our pa­per with subscription blanks at the beginning, during the breaks and at the end. The same duties are incumbent both on the trade-union fractions at every single meeting of their union, and on the cells and plant fractions at plant meetings.

42. Our newspa­per must be continually defended by party mem­bers against all enemies.

All party mem­bers must lead a fierce struggle against the capitalist press; its venality, its lies, its wretched silence and all its intrigues must be clearly exposed and unmistakably branded.

The social-dem­ocrat­ic and independent-socialist press must be defeated through a continuous of­fen­sive: without getting lost in petty factional polemics, we must expose, through numerous examples from daily life, their treacherous attitude of concealing class antagonisms. The trade-union and other frac­tions must strive through or­gan­iza­tional measures to free the mem­bers of trade unions and other workers or­gan­iza­tions from the confusion and paralyzing influence of these social-dem­ocrat­ic pa­pers. Both in door-to-door agitation and par­ticu­lar­ly in the plants, subscription work for our pa­per must be skillfully and deliberately aimed directly against the press of the social-traitors.


43. The extension and consolidation of the party must not proceed according to a formal scheme of geographic di­vi­sions but according to the real eco­nom­ic, political and transport/communications struc­ture of the given areas of the country. Stress is to be placed primarily on the main cities and on the major centers of the industrial prole­tariat.

In beginning to build a new party there is often a tendency to immediately extend the network of party or­gan­iza­tions over the entire country. Limited as the available forces are, they are thereby scattered to the four winds. This weakens the ability of the party to recruit and grow. After a few years the party may often in fact have built up an extensive system of offices, but it may not have succeeded in gaining a firm foothold in even the most im­por­tant industrial cities of the country.

44. To attain the greatest possible centralization of party work it makes no sense to chop up the party lead­er­ship into a schematic hierarchy with many levels, each completely sub­or­di­nate to the next. Optimally, from every major city which con­sti­tutes an eco­nom­ic, political or transport/communications center, a network of or­gan­iza­tional threads should extend throughout the greater metropolitan area and the economic or political district belonging to it. The party committee which directs the entire or­gan­iza­tional work of the district from the major city (the city being the head, as it were, of this party organism), and which con­sti­tutes the political lead­er­ship of the district, must establish the closest ties with the masses of party mem­bers working in the main urban area.

The full-time or­gan­izers of such a district, who are to be elected by the district conference or the district party con­gress and approved by the party central committee, must be required to participate regularly in the party life of the district’s main city. The district party committee should always be reinforced by party workers drawn from the mem­bers in the main urban area, so that close and vital contact really exists between the party committee which runs the district politically, and the large mem­bership of the district’s urban center. As or­gan­iza­tional forms develop further, the district’s leading party committee should optimally also con­sti­tute the political lead­er­ship of the main urban center in the district. In this way, the leading party committees of the district or­gan­iza­tions, together with the central committee, will serve as the bodies which actually lead in the overall party or­gan­iza­tion.

The area of a party district is of course not limited only by the geographical extent of the area. The key point is that the party district committee must be able to lead all local or­gan­iza­tions in the district as a unit. When this is no longer possible, the district must be divided and a new district party committee founded.

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