To the British reader
from 1975 foreword to "What Distinguishes our Party"
Great Britain was the mother of modern and imperialist capitalism, and London the centre of the International Working Mens’ Association, the First International, led by Marx and Engels. Today it remains one of the pillars of the world conservation of capitalism, though compelled to leave the leadership of imperialism to the U.S.A.; but it is no longer the centre of the revolutionary proletariat.
To make up for its relative decline, British capitalism was the first to experiment with a strategy for imposing a ruthless control over the working class, a strategy which it is still refining and which is exemplary of its kind. It blandished the workers with economic and social allowances, while entangling them in the ingratiating webs of the most perfect example of parliamentary democracy that history has ever known. Realistically recognising the class function of the working class within the bourgeois regime, it established relations of permanent collaboration with the Labour Party and with the workers’ unions.
In spite of a long tradition of struggles the British proletariat hasn’t yet managed to move beyond the elementary union organization, nor, unlike the other European countries, to express a revolutionary communist movement. The word communism itself is today ignored or mocked, but the policies of the Government and their lackeys, aiming to prevent the self-emancipation of the proletariat, demonstrate how much they loathe communism and the communist dictatorship; namely, the one regime able to emancipate the working class from the capitalist dictatorship.
Trade Unions and the Labour Party today organise the British workers, and lead them on the basis of collaboration with the capitalist State and its regime. Minority groups such as Trotskyists lack any programmatic and ideological continuity and are therefore incapable of showing the British proletariat the way to the class revolt. In these circumstances the main duty of real communists, the disciples of Marx and Lenin, is to "import" the program of revolutionary communism into the ranks of the British working class; in the knowledge that when the class struggle revives, under the impact of a new world-wide economic crisis, the class will join forces with it, together with proletarians in other countries. The workers of Great Britain are today entitled to sum up the harsh lessons of almost a century of Labour Party and T.U.C. solidarity with the bourgeois State and the democratic regime. In the present situation of increasing economic difficulties, no "left-wing" or "right-wing" Labour or Conservative government is any more able to make concessions to the working class. All that remains are demagogic promises, with ever greater sacrifices imposed on the working masses by means of an ever tougher and more totalitarian statal authoritarianism. It will become increasingly clear that capitalism, in the native land of liberalism, can only survive the attacks of communism by setting up a police State, an open dictatorship.
The categorical imperative of the
day is, therefore, the reorganization of the proletariat into one
political party, one which has totally broken with the social
policies of the bourgeoisie and which is homogeneous in doctrine,
and organization; a party, that is, which has assimilated the lessons
by the Communist Left from historical experience. It is with this aim
view that the few revolutionaries organised in the International
Party are making the effort to transmit intact to their British
and sisters the radiant program which led to the October Revolution.
to text no 3, "Theses on the Nature and Role of the Revolutionary Communist Party"
Although victorious, along with the United
States of America and Russia, in the second imperialist war, England
forever it’s predominance in the imperialist world; but it didn’t lose
its domination over the metropolitan proletariat, which it had used to
dominate the colonial peoples and oppressed nations of the world.
By way of these meager and rare texts, products of the Communist Marxist Left, the proletariat, smarting from its many defeats at the hands of its deadly enemy by whom it continues to be exploited, here makes an umpteenth effort, and not the last, to reread correctly the history of its class, using them to rebuild its revolutionary political party. Because this is the point: to rebuild the class political party of the proletariat.
The four texts that this pamphlet contains are a contribution, even if a small one, toward reaching this great historical objective, to which true communists call proletarians and above all young proletarians. The English working class has frequently launched powerful and wide-ranging struggles to defend its economical conditions, in order to fight against capitalist greed and in support of the official political organization that claims to represent their interests, the Labour Party. But these struggles have neither freed them from their centuries old condition of being exploited, nor resulted in the acquisition of an advanced political position towards capitalism and its State. These struggles, and the network organized by the Unions and the Labour Party, haven’t allowed them to confront the bourgeois regime as an independent and autonomous class. The English proletariat, on a see-saw of Conservative and Labour governments, has been played with like a tennis ball. As long as Great Britain controlled a colonial empire, certain economical and social concessions were made to the proletariat in exchange for its social and political "availability"; but now that British colonial predominance is a thing of the past, not only is the English proletariat fast losing all of its privileges, but it is also unable to recover its class independence.
The reason for this tragic situation is the absence of the revolutionary political party in England and in the world. If the English proletariat doesn’t start making preparations, with the support of proletarians of other countries, for the building of its political party, it can never hope to free itself from the rule of the capitalist regime, especially if this rule is exercised by "socialist", "labour", or "workers’" parties that falsely proclaim themselves to be acting in the name of the workers. Such work requires sacrifice, abnegation, strength, patience and the commitment of workers who in for "the long haul", who are interested in learning from the history of the world proletariat. In the spirit of dedication to this work, we present these texts to our brothers, so that they can get nearer to the programmatic bases of the party, on which the political organization rests; because without its historical programme, the proletariat cannot finally triumph over the capitalistic bourgeoisie.
Today, this may all seem a dream, a utopia, but myths have always had a way of urging the working classes on to overcome "harsh reality", shattering that notion of the enemy’s invincibility which so undermines the confidence of working classes. But an even greater weakness is the lack of the party. Therefore the party must come first.