From Roter Morgen
Organ of the Communist Party of Germany
This issue of the RM contains the draft of the KPD's program which we put up for discussion. This step has a particular significance for the KPD. In the face of the collapse of the degenerated revisionist states in Eastern Europe, but also with the failure of the first attempt at socialism, we saw the necessity to completely revise the program of the KPD and accordingly to further develop the discussions within the party as well as with friends of the KPD and various brother parties.
At same time we saw how the collapse of the GDR, the USSR etc, brought about confusion, insecurity and resignation for many progressive colleagues. Thus progressive forces were further split and weakened. We saw as well that, in numerous organizations that consider themselves communist, comrades like us were looking for answers to the defeat of the workers' movement.
In this situation, we decided to put our program up for public discussion, before it is approved. We want a discussion with all progressive and revolutionary forces about a program for communists in Germany. Therefore we call on all our readers to give us their opinion about the draft program. We also ask you to spread the draft program with all your enthusiasm. Free extra copies can be requested from the publisher. The Central Committee of the KPD has further decided to send the KPD's draft program to all known organizations that consider themselves progressive, revolutionary, socialist, communist, asking for their position. Particularly we will distribute the program to the MLPD [Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany], BWK, DKP [German Communist Party], VSP [United Socialist Party], KPD-East Germany, etc. All organizations that want to take part in the discussion can turn to us themselves.
We hope that the KPD's draft program and the discussion about it will help to clarify the path of the revolutionary forces in Germany and to a contribution to more closely joining their forces and building a strong communist party.
The pseudo-socialist regimes in the Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe have collapsed. Even though socialism over there was already destroyed three decades ago and replaced by the rule of a new class of exploiters, bourgeois propaganda still keeps blaming all the negative phenomena in those countries, that have recently come to light even more obviously, on socialism, portrays the collapse of those regimes as the "final ruin of socialism and communism". This propaganda cannot go on without effect. In fact, today's workers' movement has reached a low point. At the same time, the "triumph of the market economy", praised by capital, displays the unsolvable problems and deep contradictions of capitalism, the seeds of its inevitable downfall. In Eastern Germany, capitalism destroyed the productive forces of a developed industrial country, changed it into a "German Sicily", took away the basis of existence from millions of People. In the West, too, unification had its drastic impact on the situation of the working people. Under all kinds of pretexts they have to pay for the extra profits of the big monopolies and for Germany's new world-power position. According to the KPD's perception, the working and living conditions of a large majority of people in all of Germany will further deteriorate rapidly, if the working people do not determinedly fight the onslaughts of capital. Thus, the working class movement, at its low point, is getting a strong impulse to continue its struggle -- for the defense of their fundamental vital interests and for a basic improvement of their situation, for socialism!
Germany is a rich country with highly developed productive forces and continuing technological progress. Yet at the same time, modern factories are being closed, down, millions are unemployed, tons of unsaleable merchandise is being destroyed. In spite of all its wealth, this society is not able to keep air, water, soil, the whole environment clean and livable but eliminates and destroys it at an increasing rate. In spite of all its wealth, this society is not able to eliminate poverty, the housing shortage, etc., but on the contrary, the material situation of more and more people is getting worse all the time. Even many of those who still live in financially somewhat satisfying circumstances are discontent: they cannot develop their creative abilities, neither at work nor outside the work-environment, they suffer from constant stress, loneliness and competition, they perceive their lives as senseless and empty. These and other significant abuses of this society after all have one reason: capitalism.
Capitalism, which arose on the basis of commodity production, represents its highest level. It has also turned labor power into a commodity. While the workers and the great majority of employees are stripped of all means of production and can only exist by selling their labor power to capitalist employers, capital has all essential means of production of society at its disposal. The working class creates the greatest share of the wealth of this society. Capital appropriates this wealth, while the income of the masses of working people is just sufficient to make possible a life of what are necessities in this society.
The satisfaction of social needs, securing work, livelihood and peace for all people, the promotion of personal development, these are not the goals of production under capitalism. The only purpose of capitalist production is profit. The striving for profit creates, on the one hand, the interest of capital in keeping wages and salaries as low as possible, and on the other hand, the interest in constant expansion of production. Low wages and salaries lead to the fact that the producers cannot buy many of the goods they themselves produced, even though the products as well as the need for them exist. That leads to crises of over-production, which end in mass layoffs, bankruptcies, factory closings, etc. Unemployment is a paradoxical but inevitable result of the profit system: whether jobs can be created in a certain area of production is not determined by whether there is a need for the respective product, but only by the profit that the respective area of production promises.
The orientation towards profit is also the reason for such paradoxical phenomena like rising food prices on the one hand, and at the same time mass destruction of agrarian products and sinking incomes for the farmers on the other; whereas that destruction is paid for by the same taxpayer who as consumer has to pay the higher prices.
The profit system hampers the harmonious and coherent development of individual areas of the economy. It brings about substantial structural crises in certain areas, which can lead to the economic ruin of entire regions. It brings about the shutdown of highly modernized production facilities: while today competition makes it necessary to establish new production plants to keep up, the same competition will lead tomorrow to closing down those facilities, which have meanwhile become unprofitable, i.e., which no longer bring enough profit.
The profit system, as a rule, considers investments in environmental protection to be unprofitable, and therefore puts them off as long as possible. Even significant health damage and cases of death are no reason for the capitalist system to make an effort. For the capitalist system, environmental protection only "makes sense" economically when profit can be made. Otherwise something will be done only when threatening catastrophes or strong resistance from those affected could lead to political dangers for the whole system.
The striving for profit has permeated all fields of life. Even an area like culture is just measured by its "worth in money; the same is increasingly true in sports. Every expression of human life is measured in terms of its profitability. Even political viewpoints and religious feelings are turned into a lucrative business; most intimate activities of life like love and sex are exploited for profit.
Under the conditions of monopoly capitalism, imperialism, the unsolvable contradictions of the capitalist system have further sharpened.
A small group of industrial trusts, banks and insurance companies, among them state monopolies, dominate the whole country. The monopolies have turned the small and medium capitalists into their subordinates. The large banks usually rule over industrial monopolies; industrial monopolies, too, have accumulated vast amounts of money, stocks, etc. and with them have taken over banking functions. The merger of bank and industrial monopolies lead to the origin of finance capital. At its top sits a financial oligarchy, a stratum of at most several hundred top managers and owners of great banks, including state banks and industrial monopolies. The financial oligarchy directly or indirectly determines or controls almost every activity in the capitalist economy. The weal and woe of millions of people depend more on its decisions than on any politicians. At the same time as industrial and bank monopolies grow, the fight among them intensifies. By all means, legal and illegal, markets are conquered, competitors ruined or swallowed.
While in that way more and more wealth is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the working people are constantly being urged to take into consideration "their" capitalist in his fight against his competitors, they are being urged to sacrifice. They have to live in constant insecurity about their existence and in fear of being dismissed. They are supposed to agree to the deterioration of their working conditions as a result of rationalization, with the increase of stress and physical and mental wear and tear. Even though, because of increasing competition among monopoly groups, the entire production is being revolutionized and new techniques are being constantly developed, those that facilitate the tasks of working people are outweighed by ever new burdens.
The competition of monopolies extends throughout the world. There is no spot on earth, no market, that they do not fight over. The export of commodities has taken on enormous dimensions. Raw materials of industrially less developed countries are being plundered. Capital export in the form of credits, "development aid", purchase of foreign shares, etc., have become the primary form of conquering other countries and markets. Individual monopoly groups have more power and influence than numerous "independent" stations. Hunting for higher profits has irreparably broken down the nation-state framework of the capitalist economy.
The job market, too, was internationalized by capital. It draws labor power from all over the world, builds or buys factories in all countries in order to buy the commodity labor power as cheaply as possible and to exploit it to the fullest. Capital is not "nationally" oriented, but only on profit. But it uses the national framework in order to accomplish its interests. First, the nation-state serves the capitalists to hurt competitors, to keep them out of the domestic market, and to help conquer other markets via subsidies and bank guarantees. Second, workers of different nationalities are instigated against each other, to keep wages and working conditions down for all workers. At the same time, the imperialists establish super-national organizations like the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund, to which the national sovereign rights of nation-states are transferred. In that way the imperialist great powers pursue the goal of dominating weaker states and monopolies in the interest of maximum profit, and of abolishing democratic rights at home and in the dependent countries. With this goal in mind German imperialism pushes the development of the European Community as well as the establishment of other supra-national organizations, which are supposed to receive not only economic but also political and military authority.
Wherever capital attempts to conquer new markets, it usually runs into competitors, who either dominate that market already or try to do so themselves. The world has mostly been divided up among the imperialist powers, and redivision in the interest of one party can only be done at the cost of another.
Because the imperialist powers do not develop at the same pace, the power balance among them constantly changes. When the sharpening of contradictions between imperialist powers has reached a certain point, the redivision can no longer take place "peacefully", but only by force. In order not to reveal their bellicose nature, the imperialist powers often use wars of dependent countries for their purposes. Yet there is always a danger of direct confrontation among imperialist powers. Under conditions of imperialism, wars are inevitable.
The leading role of the USA in the world is being questioned by its imperialist competitors. The losers of World War II, Germany and Japan, have become great powers once again who play their part in the fight for global hegemony. Under the phony catchword of "European unification", German imperialism, which already represents the leading power in the EC, aspires to dominate Europe. That would give it an enormous boost in its fight against the USA and Japan for world domination, while wide areas in Europe, just like Eastern Germany after reunification, would be exposed to the leveling of industry.
After World War II, in the heartlands of imperialism, the capitalist system experienced a certain stabilization, in connection with relatively high growth rates. From the middle to the end of the seventies, this phase of development was replaced by a tendency of saturation and decline of markets on a global basis, in connection with lower growth rates or even absolute decline of industrial production.
One of the reasons for that is the incapability of the capitalist world economy to comprehensively industrialize the industrially less developed countries. Production in those countries cannot keep up with the productivity level in the leading industrial nations, i.e. in a capitalist sense it is not profitable. By integration into the capitalist world system, industry and agriculture in those countries, aside from a few exceptions, are consequently ruined, and thus those countries can no longer serve the leading monopolies as sales markets. Credits were supposed to counteract that tendency. That way those countries became, on the one hand, more and more dependent, and on the other hand a certain economic prosperity in the main imperialist countries was made possible. But when a certain point of indebtedness was reached, for the monopolies it was no longer profitable to grant further credits continually and on an increasing scale. For the industrially less developed countries, on the one hand, that means destitution to a degree hardly imaginable under our conditions, and on the other hand, for the monopolies in the main imperialist countries it means an increasing problem of markets, and increasing competitive struggle among imperialist great powers.
Debts and credits among states and state corporations have reached enormous proportions also in developed imperialist countries. In one respect, that serves the monopolies as an instrument to economically dominate state corporations, but on the other hand, after a certain point any further increase in debts loses its purpose from the standpoint of profitability. The relative economic prosperity has thus in this respect been so to speak artificially guaranteed by way of extreme inflation of credit. The open outbreak of the crisis has been artificially delayed, but it will therefore erupt even more violently and sharply, when those artificial means no longer work.
The problem of markets, unsolvable in the framework of the capitalist order, also expresses itself in the fact that more and more capital goes for speculation instead of for production. The speculation in stocks, currencies etc., the purchase of enterprises for the purpose of almost immediate lucrative resale, all that shows the deep decay of a system, in which profit is the center-point of every economic activity.
The worsening crisis of the capitalist world system will undermine the elementary standard of living among the working people also in Germany, will lead to mounting symptoms of decay in all areas of society. The capitalist "normality", which -- as bad as it may be -- could at least guarantee a certain structured life, will more and more disappear. It will instead be replaced by mass destitution, environmental catastrophes, absence of rights and criminal violence, especially organized crime, as well as by an increasing functional incapability in certain spheres of society, such as, for example, traffic, education and health care.
While capitalism can less and less guarantee a half-way "normal" life even under today's circumstances, it itself produces the forces that will eliminate it. The women and men workers, the greatest part of the employees, the women and men farmers, the small business owners and the broad majority of the population altogether will little by little be faced with a situation which makes it impossible to put up with that system.
But this system also produces the forces that will defend it up to the last moment.
Imperialism uses part of its super-profits to give small advantages to an upper layer of the working class in order to utilize them in favor of capitalism and against the interests of the workers. The ways to influence and to bribe are diverse: batter pay for individuals or certain groups, supervisory functions, paid leave for being part of the work's council, posts and little posts such as, for example, work director, member of the supervisory board, etc. With the help of these forces, as well as through education and the media, capital spreads the spirit of "mutual interests", the spirit of class collaboration among the workers. That is how the working class is to be tricked into thinking that it can only live by showing consideration for capital, while on the other hand, capital neither wants to show any consideration nor could it. The pressure of imperialism with its little bribes, the manipulation by education and the media brings about opportunism within the workers' movement, the deviation from the interests of the workers. Opportunism can thereby look rather "radical" or "revolutionary" at times. The point is, though, that it does not change anything and leaves the domination of capital untouched. The various opportunist trends split up the working class.
A significant role herein is played by the leaderships of the unions. They sit in parliament, administration and government. They occupy thousands of supervisory functions and administrative posts and are owners of great enterprises, which are managed the capitalist way like everywhere else. They incapacitate the union members, they limit their rights and possibilities within the union. Normally the make decisions without asking their members or even against their will. Today's existing unions do defend some vital interests of the workers, as far as these are acceptable within the framework of the basic interests of monopoly capital, but they are no fighting organizations of the working people but rather a part of the capitalist order which are supposed to keep the working people away from the consistent struggle for their interests. The union leaders are enemies of the union movement, yet the basis of the unions consists of working people, who come into sharp conflict with their leaders when they consistently stand up for their interests.
The bourgeoisie also builds its rule on the fact that it lets the petty bourgeois middle layers in society take part in exercising power and in carrying out the principle of profit. Functions in enterprises and companies, which were formerly exercised by owner-capitalists, are now transferred to a hierarchy of paid agents, who serve the (anonymous) capital and its "pressure of circumstances". In the production process they take the side of the capitalists who reward them richly for their services. The bourgeoisie tries to create the perception, that "loyal service" is rewarded. With the help of well-paid positions it creates the material conditions, under which a large proportion of the petty bourgeois intelligentsia and others belonging to that stratum sell themselves to the bourgeoisie and, for the sake of their careers, forgo resistance to the rule of the financial oligarchy.
Also the traditional petty bourgeoisie, which conducts its "independent" business, is a pillar for the rule of capital. Caught up in their belief that only property and competition can make an efficient economy possible, that only personal profit means impulse and reward of effective management, the small property owners constitute a social group that opposes a revolutionary development.
Certainly the members of these middle strata are also victims of capital themselves: namely, when they are ruined economically, have given all their strength for "the good of the company", or when "heads have to roll". There is a great deal of insecurity, since being part of the hierarchy and the position in it depend to a great degree on the "success" of capital management. When the market or the stock exchange go crazy, many bigwigs, yuppies, etc. are fired, because they could not master the forces of principles in capitalist production.
With the help of the system of corruption among entire layers of the population, the bourgeoisie creates a climate of conformity, egoism, careerism, etc., which penetrates deeply into all areas of society and which seizes all classes in its tendency. How to train people by way of "the carrot and the stick" to focus only on their own narrow personal horizon, that is one of the secrets of power of the ruling class.
The state is the power-instrument of capital, especially of the monopolies. Just by means of the gigantic credits, which the banks give to the state, the latter "belongs" to them. They have subordinated the state by means of their economic power. Thereby they rob the state coffers not only by way of interest and amortization, but also by way of subsidies for their monopoly groups, by way of tax policy (lowering taxes for businesses, raising taxes for the masses), by way of reduced public spending, etc. In the struggle of the individual monopoly groups for the dominating influence on the state, prolific corruption is an inevitable tool. At the same time a growing personal fusion between finance capital and the state apparatus takes place. Sometimes an industrialist or a banker has a cabinet post, another time a politician gets a position in industry or banking -- they belong to the same class. Government contracts, especially in the field of arms production, secure guaranteed maximum profits for the monopolies that do not have to be made "in the market". The state has become the self-service store of the monopolies.
Through numerous connections the monopolies decisively influence legislation and regulation. Thus they often prevent effective measures to protect the environment or expand public transportation. Thus they hamper the prohibition of medicine that is ineffective or dangerous to health and life, in order not to lose their healthy profit on the drug market. They use the state as midwife at the birth of ever larger monopoly groups.
By means of possession of newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, movie and TV companies and other media trusts, the monopolies decide, which journalists, artists, etc. should have the "freedom" to spread their opinion, their culture. And the state-owned media (for example, public TV) are not controlled by the working people either, but indirectly also by the monopolies (by means of parties, associations, etc.).
Bourgeois "democracy" best corresponds with the economic and political interests of capital. On one side it is a forum for competitive fights among different capitalists, or among different monopolies. On the other side it is the easiest way to govern the people. The monopolies know, that no parliament can stand up against them. The mass of the politicians belong to the capitalist class. By means of dependencies, little positions, pressure, manipulation of representatives, ministerial employees or ministers, "gifts" and corruption, "little barriers" are easily removed. In such a system, a certain independence of state offices in relation to monopolies is not excluded, but rather assumed. The state, on a political level, has to put the interests of all of monopoly capital above the people. Therefore, a "good" politician will in certain cases oppose ideas and wishes of monopoly groups at the time that he considers their realization too politically damaging for the whole system, since they would give rise to too great contradictions.
The monopolies and their politicians have been able to create a system, under the mask of "democracy", in which almost all socially significant organizations are "state-controlled". The parties are maintained through [government] financing of the parties and through donations from industry. They no longer have to survive on voluntary approval of their members and friends and from their contributions and donations, but they roll in dough. They are a playground for chasers after positions, careerists, crooks. They are "independent" from the people and need them only as a herd of voters. Even the churches have become "state institutions". They collect church taxes and also considerable contributions from the national budget. Sometimes they appear openly reactionary and massively defend old and traditional values, sometimes they are critical towards excesses of the system and help those who have slipped into deepest misery. But independently from how they appear, they in the final analysis always stabilize the system that maintains them. They give it their blessings.
Aside from the "democratic" swindle, capital and its state use the method of open suppression. There are, for example, legal restrictions in regard to the right to strike, restrictions of freedom of speech, layoffs of troublesome co-workers, bans on employment, spying, blacklists, police raids on private homes, prohibitions, e.g. of organizations or newspapers, political trials, etc. Certainly they prefer not to make much use of measures that would cause public sensation. But wherever the fight against their rule gets more intense, they do not shy away from ruthlessly using such measures as well. Even in relatively "quiet" times they continue to build up their state apparatus of oppression. More and more massively armed police, training of the federal border guards to put down uprisings, more jails, maximum security installations, development of an electronic surveillance apparatus increasingly able to store information about and control everybody -- the rulers are prepared to violently crush every serious resistance, every attempt to topple their rule. They will never step down willingly. They will defend their domination with teeth and claws.
With the sharpening of the crisis of the capitalist system the danger increases of openly dictatorial methods of domination by finance capital. The most brutal form of such rule is fascism. Fascism replaces bourgeois legality by a system of arbitrary rule and terror against everything progressive, against working people and their organizations. Fascism by no means needs to take the same forms as in Hitler's times, and it does not necessarily have to rely predominantly on those very groupings, that nowadays more or less openly present themselves as Hitler's successors. It is typical, though, for the character of the German state, that these fascist groupings are not at all forbidden, but on the contrary, stand under the protection of and often in good connection with the state apparatus and police. They receive donations from the ranks of the monopolies. To some extent they receive financial support for their election battles and other subsidies from the state budget. Even today they serve capital as reserves and auxiliary troops against the workers' movement and all progressive activities.
Fascism is a brutal threat against the broad majority of the population, but the growth of the fascist danger shows by the same token the weakness and deep decay of the capitalist system. Imperialism does not offer any perspective to the working people. Even today this system leads the greatest part of the world population into starvation and misery. Even in the rich imperialist countries it is less and less able to satisfy the vital needs of the people for work, housing, freedom and peace. It is recklessly destroying nature and the environment. Even if the imperialist system appears strong, it is empty inside. It is violent and constantly brings about new wars. It limits freedom more and more. It produces bureaucracy, corruption, deceit and crime to hitherto unknown extent. Imperialism is decaying capitalism.
What is the reason for this decay?
The monopolies are an expression of the enormously increased socialization of production. They divide the markets among each other, they plan and organize the supply of raw materials and labor power on an international level, as well as the sale of their products. The financial oligarchy influences the economy decisively and also employs the state. But the general framework of competition, the fight of each against all, is thereby kept up. The monopolies do not manage the economy in the interest of working people, but in the interest of maximum profit. The increasing conflict between the social character of production, on the one hand, and the private appropriation of the products on the other, leads to the deep decay of the capitalist system, a decay that pervades all spheres of society. This system has to fall. It must be replaced by a society which takes the means of production, the land and the raw materials into collective possession, which manages production in the interest of society and creates the products for the use and satisfaction of the needs of all working people. People should not be servants of machines or of capital, but machines and social wealth should serve the people. Progress in technology and production should no longer be turned against human beings and nature, but rather should be employed for the people and for the preservation of their natural environment.
Even nowadays, the high standard of the productive forces makes it necessary and possible to deal with producers, who command a broad technical knowledge in many areas, who take part in the production process on the basis of their knowledge about the interrelation among all areas in society. But capitalist society, with its struggle of each against all, with its juxtaposition of "high" and "low", of leaders and the ones who are led, assigns everybody to a narrow sphere, to a small partial function. It splits up and isolates the different social activities and functions and sets them against each other, instead of wisely coordinating the various social areas of work for the benefit of all. Even the managers of capital become increasingly aware of that. They develop strategies aiming at the participation of as many working people as possible, who can bring their knowledge and abilities into the production process. They find ways to shift the decision-making authority to lower personnel levels, introduce team-work, so that employees gain knowledge about the enterprise's production process, in order to enable them to make proper decisions, etc. That is, because the productive forces put pressure on the capitalist to allow, even within the framework of capitalism, these steps to a further socialization of production, in order for him to secure maximum profit.
But even in the most "progressive" enterprise these attempts run against impassible barriers. First of all, within the framework of capitalist production, only part of the workers and employees will be allowed insight into the whole inter-connections of production and may take part in decision-making. Such workers and employees may well be more content for a while and increase their work performance, because they have the illusion that production was their production, that they were participating in running it. This illusion will collapse at the latest, when "their" employer does not need them anymore. Then they will have to recognize, that they certainly are allowed and supposed to make technical and organizational decisions in the framework of production, as long as it is profitable, but that they are not at all entitled to any decision about what is produced, whether it is produced and for what purpose. The most "progressive" management strategies therefore cannot abolish conventional hierarchies and conventional forms of distribution of labor, but can only here and there counteract the resulting obstacles to production. To really abolish them it would be necessary to overthrow the profit system, but the goal of all those "motivation-strategies" is to increase profit.
From the position of the productive forces it would be necessary to abolish the conditions under which the worker is chained to a partial function. But the profit system is not able to do that. When one partial function becomes unnecessary, this system makes the worker "unnecessary" as well. Capitalist "flexibility" means only that the worker should be willing to take another job under the worst and most pressing conditions, if he gets a chance at all. This increases profit, while social resources, abilities and talents of working people are wasted to an unimaginable extent.
The class society, which is inseparably connected with the profit system, has turned into a more and more unbearable handicap for the development of the productive forces and of the whole society. It has to be replaced by communism, by a society without class differences, in which no one privately owns the means of production, in which the united producers make collective decisions about the entire production, and in which the products belong to all the producers. Under communism, the producers will consciously plan and direct production, without commodity and money relationships and without the state. For this they will need a social organization in which the producers take turns in fulfilling different functions, in which no one is confined and tied for life to a strictly limited area of activity. The distinction between exclusively directing and exclusively following will disappear, because the non-central social functions will also not be determined by a narrow horizon, but by thinking and operating in favor of the entire society. Most decisions will be made by the people most directly affected. The comparatively few yet important central functions will not be carried out by people, who have to fulfill only this function until the end of their lives as "civil servants". There will rather be a rotation, and everybody can really influence central decisions as well as the respective and changing composition of the central decision-making bodies. Abolishing the old forms of division of labor will abolish the division of society between the "high" and the "low".
Competition and the fight of each against all will be replaced by joint co-operation of all people in society. That will by no means suppress the uniqueness of the individual, but rather will allow it to fully unfold. While under capitalism people and their interrelations are more and more dominated by "the pressures of circumstances", thus by things that were created by people themselves, the united producers under communism will collectively dominate production and will therefore be able to consciously establish and shape social relations.
That is not possible with today's people? Yes and no. Many people do look beyond the fence that surrounds their own individual interests, turn against one or another social ill. But all they experience is their own lack of power, they achieve only a little and often give up. Often you can hear: "Those up there do whatever they want anyway." And that is how it is. The existing circumstances train you not to get involved in social issues, because "you cannot change anything, anyway". Organize a transitional state, in which the "little people" have increasing influence on life in society, and social consciousness, which nowadays can only wither, will become a tremendous driving force of progress!
The ruthless person [translator's note - literally "elbow person"] is a product of the ruthless society, which promotes all forms of egoism, ruthlessness and dirty deals. But even in this ruthless society, many people, without asking for their own personal gain, sacrifice time, money, strength, ideas, health, sometimes even their lives for social purposes, for society, for others. But under the conditions of capitalism, the fight of each against all, the possibilities for people to act jointly, collectively, responsibly in society, have little space to unfold. Capitalism directs the collective social efforts of the people towards the fields of "charity", where the wounds that capitalism inflicts upon society, are supposed to be alleviated a bit. Communism brings forth people, whose view is not just focussed on single aspects, but who take the whole cause into consideration, who actively take part in the development of the whole society, who stand up for their interests and let their individuality unfold in order to give their best to society. Overturn the social relations and the relations of production, and a new human being will emerge in the process! But, of course, not in one day.
The difficulty of that transition and the possibility of its failure was shown by the experiences of the first countries that were socialist or were on their way to socialism, e.g. the experiences of the USSR and the GDR. Yet capitalism did not succeed with its first effort either, but it had to make many attempts until it finally triumphed over its predecessor, feudalism. In Germany, the conditions for communism, after the workers' state has been set up, would be much better today than in 1917 in Russia, for example, because, from the technological level of the productive forces and the social wealth, all the pre-conditions for communism exist and do not still have to be laboriously created. Moreover, it has become possible to learn from the positive and negative experiences of socialism, while previous workers' states did not have this possibility at all or at least not to today's extent.
One big obstacle will be the resistance of the old class of exploiters and their friends abroad. Experience shows that these forces never give up. As long as capitalism exists somewhere in the world, these forces will try to crush socialism again. In the long run, the fight against them can only be successful when it is led by the majority of the working people. Only when they make the construction of socialism their own cause, when they resist the lies, allures and demagogy of capitalism, can socialism survive. State means, too, must be employed for the protection of socialism, such as, for example, the punishment of all those who strive for the restoration of capitalism, or the prohibition of all fascist organizations. When on this point the working people hesitate and are not decisive, capital will mercilessly snatch back power for itself. Prettification and illusions about the "final victory of socialism" have no place at all. The working people can only build and maintain their society with realism.
An even more complicated obstacle is the fact that socialism cannot be built by "new people", but it must be built by those who still have been shaped by the old society. Many still have their own narrow personal advantage and the competitive struggle in mind, even if that eventually leads to the disadvantage of everybody.
Since many people do not yet consider production as their own affair, but rather feel and act like wage laborers, one cannot switch over from one day to the next to the communist principle of distribution: "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs". For a long time the consumer goods that each person receives may still be determined by norms, pay must still be determined by performance. The sphere of influence of commodity production can only shrink gradually. Because social control of the producers over production and over the distribution of products at first develops only gradually, there is still the necessity of measuring the profitability of individual units of production by the value and price of the product and of stimulating the units of production accordingly. This is true for both the co-operative and state sectors. Commodity-money relations, purchase and sale still exist, even though they are, especially in the state sector, subject to state regulations, instructions and interventions, which should carry out the central economic plan and avert a chaotic, crisis-ridden development of the economy. Money will still be used for a long time, even though prices will mostly be fixed by the state and will no longer be determined by the market or by capitalist cartels and monopolies to the disadvantage of the consumer.
Here it is a question of the principles of the transition society towards communism, but these have a great deal of negative effects: the needs of the whole society have indeed become the purpose for production, but not yet its exclusive purpose. For a long time to come, the profit of individual enterprises or the individual collective still has to remain a significant driving force of social production. This condition, however, shapes people, hinders their development into self-conscious individuals, who can develop themselves through creative work in the collective. All this makes it impossible to overcome completely the old forms of division of labor and every form of hierarchy. Consequently, those who occupy leading positions can develop a sense of domination, of superiority, while in those who carry out directions, a mentality of subordination, a feeling of inferiority can arise. Those often at first unnoticeable and unintentional tendencies can generate a basis for a change of power in society. Some indeed become masters and the working people are ruled again. Such a process then leads to the establishment of a society of exploitation, even if it calls itself socialist. This is exactly what happened during the '50s in the socialist countries and in those that were on their way to socialism (with the exception of Albania, which only started along that road later).
The existence of the state in a society in the transition towards communism is an expression of the fact that the difference between classes, particularly the contrast between leading and carrying-out positions have not been completely abolished, that the old form of division of labor has not yet been totally overcome, that the interests of the individual and of society are still sometimes in contradiction. This condition of society reflects itself also in the state. Indeed, it means great progress, that the socialist state has taken over the biggest part of the means of production, that production is no longer determined by a blindly operating market or by some capitalist monopolies oriented exclusively towards profit. But the state form of the socialization [of production] is an expression of the fact that the management of production by united producers is only beginning to develop. The actions of one or the other organs of the state reflect also special or private interests. Wherever the leadership and control by the working people does not exist or is too little developed, bureaucracy arises. As long as control over the profitability of production means only that a bureaucratic authority watches over the "fulfillment" of plans, supply-contracts, etc., there exists the possibility of enriching oneself, without the existence of the market.
There is no automatically working mechanism to decide which elements of socialism will dominate, which will eventually prevail. As long as class differences, hierarchies, remnants of the old division of labor, commodity-money relations, the state and various other birthmarks of the old society still exist and find their reflection in the psychological mentality of the people, there exists the possibility that socialism will be eliminated and replaced by a new society of exploitation, as in the Soviet Union and the GDR, a society that itself can only be a transition to capitalism. On the other hand socialism offers the possibility of gradually eliminating these birthmarks of the old society and marching on towards communism. The class struggle will decide, in which direction a socialist Germany will develop. The classless society can only arise from the social movement of the working people themselves.
All the obstacles, limitations, remnants of the old society and the new contradictions emerging in socialism are inevitable components of socialism and make compromises and concessions necessary. Socialism is no "ideal society", no "heaven on earth", but a transitional society between capitalism and communism. It is therefore particularly necessary, because the transition from a society of classes and exploitation to a society without exploitation, class differences and oppression cannot be made in one step.
Therefore under socialism many goals and demands of the working people can for a certain time only be fulfilled formally, legally. Formal rights have to be made alive through the actions of human beings. For example, the newly created state of the working people declares from the beginning total equal rights for man and woman. It creates political, legal and material starting points, better possibilities than ever before for struggle for total equality of women in all social spheres. But that alone does not yet achieve total equality; the possibilities that socialism offers be used in order to continue the fight for that goal. The same is true for the state management of the economy. State ownership is only the first step on the way to a system in which all production serves the interests of the working people. Even in a state economy individual or certain groupings are still able to shape production for their own use. There are still loopholes for people, who look to their own advantage or who want to go back to the old relations. To what degree state production becomes in reality social production satisfying the needs of the working people, depends on their consistent defense of their own interests.
Such a struggle has to be carried out in all social spheres, because only in that way can the whole complex of social relations, which have their roots in the old and not yet fully overcome class society, be totally eliminated little by little and give way to communist relations. This process can fail, when the working people and the communists make mistakes, when they give free rein to backwards-turning forces, when they do not further develop and revolutionize the life of society in time.
In order to fight determinedly for the transition to communism, the most progressive working women and men and other progressive people will join together in the communist party, also under socialism. The members of this party have to strive consciously for the communist goals, they have to be ready to make personal sacrifices, when society's interests demand it. The working people need such a party, which does not "lead" by decision or law, but rather stands at the head because of its active role in changing the society. Such a party must not allow into its ranks careerism, position-hunting, bureaucratism, privileges, etc.; in order to counteract such phenomena effectively, the communist party has to basically consist of working women and men and has to place itself under the supervision of non-party working people.
This party has to systematically influence all social and state affairs, but must by no means endeavor to concentrate all decision-making authority in its own hands. The influence of the communist party on the state must not mean that the party perceives the state as its booty or places itself above the authorities elected by the people and gives them orders. The elected authorities are responsible to the women and men who elected them, not towards the communist party. The courts are bound by law and responsible to the citizens, not to the communist party. Even though the party will try to win the trust of as many people as possible and to fight jointly with non-party people to make the state organs act in the interest of the working people, in the interest of the strengthening of socialism and in the interest of the communist goals. In public organizations like the unions, youth organizations, women's organizations, etc., the communists will put in their equal share and stand up for the goals of communism, but they will by no means try to force their opinions upon these organizations or to push them through by way of formal rules and mechanisms, as was done by the SED.
Even though the KPD is far from glorifying socialism and from covering up the continuing contradictions of the old society which still exist in it here and there, we declare at the same time: socialism will immediately improve the situation of the working people quite significantly in many regards.
Capitalists, agrarian-capitalists and large land owners will be expropriated without compensation, their property will be taken over by the socialist state. The chaos of the "market economy", the aggressiveness of monopoly capitalism will give way to an economy that is planned and coordinated in the interest of society. Capitalist exploitation is thereby eliminated, as well as unemployment and the constantly increasing stress of work. The waste of tremendous public resources through bank interest, through speculation and capital export, etc., will be eliminated; this wealth will go to benefit the working people who created it, instead of being used for the conquest of foreign markets, for the oppression of other peoples or for the accumulation of capital in the hands of a few, or for being gambled away in the stock markets. The orientation of production on the interest of the working people will result in a change of manner and goals of production in many areas. Waste as well as the production of junk and low-quality goods will be greatly reduced right away.
If technical progress and the restructuring of social production and consumption in one area of the economy turn out to need less labor, this will lead to shorter work hours and the shifting of the work force into other areas, in which a greater work force is necessary, e.g. into the areas of environmental protection, research, education. Such an economic system satisfies the consumption needs of the working people, eliminates the narrow specialization of producers on small spheres of production, promotes the creative nature of work, creates more free time for the development of the individual and is the most effective contribution to the protection of the environment. While under capitalism technical progress leads to crises, unemployment and growing poverty of those who create the wealth of society, under socialism it will be used for the benefit of the working people.
While payment will be based on the principle of achievement [translator's note -- i.e., from each according to his ability, to each according to his work], this is not only a remnant of the old society that will be unavoidable for a long time, but also a great step forward from capitalism. Such phenomena as speculators, who can make huge profits without any productive activity, and "people's representatives", who fill their pockets without achieving anything for the people, will be eliminated immediately. At the same time the principle of payment according to achievement contains the danger that the performance of special, especially managing, functions could be portrayed as particularly qualified and excessively compensated. One must fight against such phenomena, great differences of income and unjustified privileges must be abolished. The income and living conditions of all state employees must be made public and subject to public discussion.
In order to be able to build socialism, the working people need a state that is totally different from any before in history. Such historic changes cannot be carried out by means of the rotten, corrupt bourgeois state power and its army, police, justice system, its parliament and administrative apparatus. These organs have always excluded the working people from every socially significant exercise of influence. These are organs of oppression and help the organizing of exploitation. A socialist state at the same time distinguishes itself fundamentally from a pseudo-socialist state such as the GDR, which tried to regiment every expression of life of the working people. The socialist state must be instrument of the working people, it must not elevate itself above people and society. As long as it exists, there is always a danger that it may develop special interests other than those of the working people; this is also true for the communist party. The state as well as the communist party is in a certain way a necessary evil within a society in transition towards communism, will be overcome under communism. All tendencies to idolize the state and the party must therefore be opposed.
The socialist state has to offer the working people more rights and freedom than the bourgeois state. Thus the representatives will not stand above or be remote from the people but will already before the elections be sought out and nominated as candidates by the working people and their organizations. They must regularly give an account of their activities, will be controlled by the women and men who elected them and can be recalled from office at any time. There must be a constant fight for the realization of those rights, so that they do not just exist on paper. There must also be a constant struggle so that government, administration and all organizations and institutions of the state and economy are not only formally but really subordinate to the elected organs of power. In all areas in which socialist society still needs management functions, specialists etc., there must be a constant check as to whether, or to what extent those functions are still necessary, and how the influence of the working people can be strengthened. Actions must be taken against creeping bureaucratization of management functions.
The working people should have a more and more direct influence on the affairs of the economy and state, not only by means of councils, they should increasingly participate in government, administration and the economy, in order to eventually make specialists, functionaries, professional politicians superfluous. One condition for this is that all areas of society and the state are as transparent as possible so that they can be easily understood by citizens, by the elected representative bodies, by the social organizations and by the media, and thereby no longer remain a private affair of some specialists and some secret personnel. Another condition is that education and knowledge are made as widely available as possible. Above all though, the whole political and social life of the councils must be arranged so that the working people can see and experience the fact that they represent their basic interests, when they stand up for the interests of society.
Public discussion of the economic plans plays a significant role in the fight for a communist community, in which individuals perceive and treat the affairs of society as their own. This discussion must not be confined to the approval of outlines presented by the state and to making technical-organizational suggestions for improvement only within such a framework. Instead as many people as possible should help determine the basic direction of development in the field of production and therefore in the whole society. That way, little by little, they will really become collective owners of the means of production, and socialist property will become the property of the people in fact, and not just in name.
One cannot predict what a socialist Germany will look like in all detail, and which stages of development it will have to pass through in the transition to communism. But based on historical experience and the level of development of German society, some fundamental goals, in the view of the KPD, can already be named, goals that can and must be met quickly with the victory of the socialist revolution in Germany:
The KPD today stands for the following goals. The KPD knows, though, that in the fight for these goals within the capitalist system only some partial results can be achieved. After the working people have gained political power the KPD will fight with all its strength for the fastest possible realization of these goals:
Work and Society
1) Industrial and trade enterprises, banks and insurance companies, mass media as well as large land holdings will be expropriated without compensation and transformed into state property, in order to lay the basis for a socialist economic order without exploitation, unemployment, the stress of work, inflation and lack of housing.
2) The chaotic, crisis-ridden capitalist economic system that is centered around the hunt for profit, will give way to production that is socially coordinated and planned to satisfy the needs of the people. The coordination and planning of production as well as the distribution of products must be based from the beginning on a combination of state and social, as well as union activities.
3) The working people have the right at any time to express their opinion in regard to all issues of the economic plan of the whole society, and to discuss this plan before it is approved. The personnel have the right to discuss the part of the plan that concerns their enterprise or economic unit, before that part is approved. The decision about the entire plan will be made by the whole society, and, after that, will be obligatory.
4) In the enterprises and other economic units the working people have the right to take part in all decisions which concern production and working conditions. According to the respective circumstances they are entitled to have an influence on the composition of the enterprise management, and to control them. They have the right to strike.
5) The robbery of society by the banks, the squandering of society's resources through speculation, capital export, competitive struggle with the imperialists abroad, etc., will immediately be eliminated. Economic waste and the production of low-quality goods and junk will immediately be drastically reduced, the bureaucratic administrative apparatus of the state and economy will be dismantled. Considering the level of productive forces at the time, the release of the creative forces within the working people and the elimination of unemployment, it will be possible to drastically reduce working-time relatively quickly, to drastically limit piecework, shift-work and night-work as well as overtime, to eliminate social abuses and to raise the standard of living.
6) People are paid according to the principle of achievement. Unjustified and excessive income differences will be drastically reduced immediately and further diminished little by little, although how quickly the differences among the income levels will diminish depends on the material possibilities and particularly on the progress in reducing the differences in society between management and specialists on the one side and those who carry things out on the other side.
7) Since the monopolies and particularly the great banks no longer dominate the state, there will no longer be any plundering of the working people through taxes. Indirect taxation will be eliminated immediately. Should taxes still be necessary, the tax-system will be clearly understandable to every citizen. The state must work on a far cheaper basis than the bourgeois state. The financial conduct of the state must be extensively made public and easily controllable.
8) Swift and effective measures will be taken to protect the environment, particularly:
- examination of all production techniques for their burden on the environment. Production techniques which place no or only a small burden on the environment, are preferred, even if they are more costly;
- quick cessation of all production that acutely endangers the health and life of the people, e.g. nuclear power plants;
- immediate measures to reduce consumption of natural resources and energy;
- expansion of public transportation, reduction of private transportation which is not compatible with public health, the environment or other needs of public life;
- introduction of the principle of accountability, by which enterprises, institutions or personnel who do damage to the environment, must pay for it. The social cost of environmental damage and its elimination will be taken into consideration in determining the prices of products;
9) The special exploitation and oppression of foreign women and men workers will be eliminated. Whoever wants to stay in Germany will obtain German citizenship and equal rights along with it, even if he keeps his previous citizenship. All working people are entitled to freely carry-on their culture.
10) Capitalism ruins the farmers, craftsmen and small businesses owners who live from their own labor. Under socialism they will have the possibility of enjoying the fruits of their own labor without fear and worry. With the expropriation of the banks their debts will be written off. With the nationalization of the food monopolies, the oppressive delivery contracts will be canceled. The socialist state will supply the women and men farmers with all means of operation at reasonable prices and buy their products at fixed prices. In order to ease the burden of large investments on the farmers, the socialist state will provide them with the most necessary agricultural tools and skilled personnel at low prices.
Farmers and craftsmen will be encouraged to join cooperatives voluntarily. No one will be forced to do so. The farmers and craftsmen will have the chance to convince themselves practically of the advantages. By working cooperatively, farmers and craftsmen can have all possibilities and rights that the workers have, e.g. the right to a vacation, social services, a secure job.
Instead of destroying agricultural products the goal will be the most efficient provision of food for the population. Instead of inferior mass production full of chemicals (e.g. watery meat full of hormones, fruit and vegetables sprayed with poisons) the goal will be a qualitatively higher agricultural production as free from poison and residue as possible.
11) Education and training will be particularly promoted. Everybody should receive the education and training that is best for him. In order to reduce existing differences, the children of workers and farmers will receive special support. School and production will no longer be separated, because a poly-technical education will serve as preparation for ones occupation in life. Teachers will be under the control of the working people, the rights of parents and students will be extended. The content of school lessons should serve the further development of socialist society. A critical debate about the flaws and weaknesses of society will be encouraged. Self-confident young people should be raised, who take their destiny into their own hands and who take responsibility for society.
12) Freedom of scientific research and education as well as of the arts will be guaranteed.
Culture will be supported by the socialist state. Culture should be diverse and should satisfy the different needs for entertainment, education etc. A state "uniform culture" must not be created. Culture with degrading, e.g. racist, chauvinist or pornographic content, will be prohibited.
13) There will be diverse possibilities for youth. Above all, they should learn to act independently and responsibly. Therefore the socialist state will make sure, that young people can arrange their own leisure time as much as possible. Therefore it will support free youth centers and promote the initiatives of adolescents. At the same time the youth should be included in the administration of the state and economy as early as possible, so that they can actively participate in building the future of socialist society.
14) Old people are written off by capitalism, because they do not bring in sufficient profit. They only count as consumers. They are cut off from social life and often vegetate below the poverty line. They often depend on social assistance. Under socialism every old person will have the possibility of living independently, because a pension minimum will be introduced that will secure ones existence. Instead of ghettos for the old there will be sufficient suitable apartments and rooms in the communities to integrate the old people. The active participation of old people in social life will be strongly encouraged in order to learn from their experiences.
15) Under socialism total legal equality of women will be established immediately. Child-raising and housework will be regarded as social tasks, and respective facilities will be set up quickly (a sufficient number of day-care centers and kindergartens with hours of operation matching work hours; lunch in kindergartens, schools, enterprises, etc.). In education and in occupations measures will be taken to guarantee equal chances and special support for women. But full equality for women, the elimination of every form of social inequality between women and men cannot be achieved by laws and social measures alone. It must be fought for. This fight must also be directed against patriarchal traditions and behavior and against reactionary outlooks.
16) In the socialist revolution the power instruments of capital -- military, police, secret services, justice department, etc. -- will be dismantled, disarmed and destroyed. In their place, out of the ranks of the working people a new state power will be established that serves the working people. All instruments of the workers' state brought forth by the revolution, especially its armed forces, must from the beginning be subject to the democratic control of the working people.
17) The bourgeois parliament and the bourgeois government will be replaced by councils. The councils are the power organs of the new state. They will be elected by the citizens in direct and secret elections. They must regularly account for their actions and can be recalled by the people who elected them at any time, even before the end of their term. As many of the representatives as possible should not leave their jobs during the time they are in office, so that the decisions of councils do not come from professional politicians. Those who do leave their jobs should not be paid more than an average skilled worker's salary.
18) Decisions will be made, as far as possible, on a local basis and by those directly affected, or at least with the maximum participation of those affected.
19) There will be freedom of opinion and speech, freedom to demonstrate, hold meetings and form organizations.
The media will be nationalized and used by society according to its own rules. According to these rules everybody has active and passive access to the media. As far as possible they will be administered on a local basis.
There must be room everywhere for a free, undisguised debate about the further development of society, about flaws and weaknesses, about alternatives, etc.
20) One can only be punished for actions, that are defined by law as liable to punishment. The following rights will be abolished:
- the right to exploitation and to private ownership of the means of production that would serve to exploit others;
- the right of large land ownership and the right to buy land or to sell it to private individuals;
- the right to fascist and racist propaganda and organizing;
- the right to overthrow socialism and to reinstate capitalism, or the right to prepare for and to make propaganda for such goals;
- the financing of political and social organizations from abroad.
21) The socialist state will base its struggle against counter-revolutionary efforts above all on the working people themselves. There must be a constant struggle against the danger that such state organs as the military, the police and the secret service detach themselves from the interests of the working people.
In the army, therefore, formal drill, slavish obedience, differences between ranks and stripes will be eliminated. The soldiers must be able to influence the nomination of officers and the filling of higher ranking positions. This must be true for the police as well.
The secret service is subordinate to the councils, like every state organ. The basic orientation of its activities and working methods is subject to public discussion and control. The leading personnel in the secret service are known to the public. The socialist Germany will not be an electronic surveillance state. The state organs are not permitted to carry out systematic surveillance of everything and everybody. The institutions that imperialism created to watch over its citizens will be destroyed.
Every form of torture is forbidden.
22) Every state activity is subject to the direct control of the respective councils and will by directly controlled and influenced by the citizens, as far as possible. The government, the administration and all state employees (except for judges), are subject to the directions of the councils. According to circumstances, the citizens can directly influence the filling of especially important positions in the state and administration (e.g. government or executive organs of the councils on lower levels, judges, teachers, leading personnel of the media, military officers, leading personnel of the police and secret service).
23) In order to enable the citizens to control the state, the councils as well as the government and administration are obliged to make public not only their considerations and decisions, but also the goals and interests involved, the methods of realization and the results. For example, in regard to establishing prices, the state organs are obliged to make known the cost of production as well as the reasons, why a particular price established is higher or lower than the cost of production, including the average percent of profit, in order to make possible a public discussion about pricing policies.
24) The administrative apparatus will be simplified as much as possible. Decrees, orders and printed forms must also be made as simple as possible. Every tendency towards bureaucracy must be fought. The salaries of state employees will match the salaries in industry and trade. They will take part regularly in production. Professional officialdom will be abolished.
25) The state apparatus must not be the booty of parties. The financing of political parties with state funds is prohibited. Parties must rely exclusively on voluntary donations and contributions from their members and friends.
26) Church and state will be separated. Church taxes and religious education will be abolished. The socialist state will regard the religious beliefs and ideological convictions of its citizens as private matter and will guarantee the right to freely practice religion within the framework of the law.
27) Judges are independent from other branches of the state, but must in a suitable manner be controlled by social organizations and be subject to the working people themselves.
Every state measure can be reviewed by the courts.
Lawyers must not be influenced by the state, as long as they fulfill their tasks within the framework of the law.
28) Courts operate free of charge. Legal regulations will be simplified as much as possible.
The goal of criminal justice is above all the protection of the people and socialist society against crime and against the attempt to restore capitalism. In a criminal trial someone can be sentenced only if has been proven guilty of a criminal act. During and after their custody, convicts must be treated in a way that gives them a chance for re-socialization. Their human dignity must be respected.
29) The socialist Germany will be a constitutional state, in which the law is binding for everyone. Thus it will be different from the so-called constitutional state in the FRG, in which equal rights for everybody exist only formally, in which diverse violations of the law or even crimes of the rich are regarded as misdemeanors or not even prosecuted at all. At the same time it will be different from the arbitrary regime of the SED, in which the polit-bureaucracy stood above the law.
30) The socialist Germany will strictly maintain its independence and respect the independence of other states. It will not allow foreign troops and military bases on its territory. All imperialist treaties will be nullified. Foreign debts towards imperialist powers will be repudiated. Debts of industrially less developed or dependent countries to German monopolies and the German state will be canceled. The property of foreign capitalists in Germany will be expropriated without compensation and transformed into state property. All treaties having as their object the exploitation of other peoples and nations by German imperialism, will be nullified. The socialist Germany will stand up for the right of self-determination of all peoples and nations. It will not take on foreign debts and will not enslave other countries through credits. The export of goods will not serve the conquest of foreign markets, but rather the satisfaction of the needs of the working people and the financing of necessary imports. State monopoly of foreign trade will guarantee the observance of these principles.
31) The foreign policy of the socialist Germany will be based on the principles of non-interference, mutual benefit and friendship among peoples. At the same time the socialist Germany will stand in solidarity with the workers of all countries in their fight for socialism and with the fight of all peoples against imperialism. It will offer mutual brotherly assistance and relations to all liberated peoples and other socialist countries.
The socialist Germany will fight energetically against every imperialist aggression and war policies, and it will try to conduct its relations with the countries that are still capitalist on the basis of peaceful co-existence. It will not make any deals with imperialists at the expense of the peoples. At the same time it will not strive for domination over other countries and it will not make any claims on other countries' territory.
Only when socialism has fully triumphed all over the world, will we have permanent peace.
The Way to Socialism
The working people are constantly forced to fight against the onslaughts of capital on their living situation, e.g. against lay-offs, rationalization, cuts in real wages, decline in social services. The communist women and men participate in those fights with all their strength. In action they support unity and the solidarity of the working people. Therefore they support unity among working women and men of all nationalities. We all are exploited together and have the same enemy.
In order to really use all strength for the interests of the working people, to direct that strength against the enemy and not to be split up, the united action has to include everybody, who wants to fight for the goal of the action, independently of his world view, religious or political convictions. Through action one can tell the big talkers from the real activists.
Regarding long-term issues, the communists strive for a stable and organized united front of all forces who want to fight jointly on behalf of those issues. For example, in the fight against war and fascism, in the fight for equality and the total liberation of women, in the youth movement and in the trade union struggle. As far as the unions are concerned, the communists always promote the strengthening of the unions, for fighting unions of the working class. They defend today's existing unions against the onslaught of capital and reaction, but they do not fall for the illusion that the reformist unions, which are oriented towards class collaboration, can be transformed into a fighting organization of the working people. Since the leaders of the unions today stand on the side of capital, no one will organize the trade union struggle if the most conscious and progressive working women and men do not do it themselves. Here it is essential to combine all forces, within and outside of the unions, who are for the class struggle.
Also in organizing a long-term stable united front on behalf of particular issues, communist women and men stand on the principle that ideological and political differences should be jointly discussed without prejudices, but should not be a reason for division. Words are not crucial for unity, but actions. Communist women and men represent that principle among the working people, because the latter have no way of telling who stands on their side, except by their actions.
In the daily fight for work, livelihood and peace, against racism, fascism and patriarchal domination, the working people constantly run into obstacles which are rooted in the capitalist system itself. The limitation of the struggle, the constantly returning worries about existence, livelihood, job and a dignified life without exploitation and war become clear. The communists participate in those fights with all their strength, and show at the same time that the capitalist system does not offer the working people any prospect for the future. They prove that the imperialist system is not able in the long run to fulfill the most elementary needs of the working people on the long run, that this system threatens their bare existence: with the danger of war, the danger of environmental catastrophes, the danger of fascism, the danger of mass destitution, the rise of crime, and other phenomena that are related to the growing disintegration of that system. The communists show, that the workers and other working people are capable of building a society without capitalists that satisfies their needs for work, livelihood and peace for all. In the daily fight the communist women and men stand for the overthrow of the rotten, incompetent and life-threatening capitalist society, and for a new socialist society according to their program. The communists strive to win the majority of the working people for these goals.
The daily fight against German capital for maintaining or improving the living conditions of the working people already shows that capital and its state react with pressure, harassment, the police, state security, courts and jail. The preparations for civil war by the police, border defense troops and army, the practice for street-battles and factory seizures, show what the ruling class is prepared for, as soon as the masses of the working people shake the very foundations of its power: bloodshed! This is the experience of history, on an international scale as well. Before the ruling class of exploiters steps down, they will use all means, massacres, military dictatorship, fascism. German capital has an especially rich experience of domination: it has survived two wars, has drowned the November revolution of 1918 with blood and terror, has under Hitler fascism committed the most horrendous crimes in Germany and all over the world, survived defeat in World War II and overcome over the first attempts to build socialism in Germany. German capital as a dominating class is very cunning and will never voluntarily step down.
This attitude of the ruling class will force the workers and other working people to take power from capital by force, to disarm capital and to establish the power of the working class in the form of councils. The communists do not prepare themselves, the workers and other working people for that road because they worship violence, but because they want to prevent bloodshed by the ruling class, or at least end it as quickly as possible.
However, for the working class to have a chance at all to be victorious against the entire imperialist apparatus, they need a strong, conscious communist party with clear goals. In the spontaneous struggle alone, well-organized capitalism has the upper hand. Only when the most determined workers and employees, who are ready to fight, organize themselves in their own party, to lead the spontaneous fight against capital and advocate therein the prospect of socialism, can the working people have long-lasting success and eventually overthrow capitalism. The communist party is no separate secret force with special interests, but a strong part of the working class. Its ranks are open to all revolutionaries who fight for the common goal: the rule of the working class, socialism and communism.
The communists rely on the Marxist-Leninist science and the experiences of the workers' movement, its successes as well as its failures, in order to examine reality in Germany and the whole world, and to adapt their tactics to the constantly changing circumstances. Communists will thereby use all forms of struggle which serve the goal of the working class.
Communist women and men are internationalists. They work together with women and men workers as well as with the oppressed peoples all over the world. Together with the Marxist-Leninist parties and forces of other countries they work on the further development of Marxism-Leninism and towards the realization of the common goal, socialism and communism.
Under imperialist conditions there will always be new windbags, opportunists and spies within the communist party. Under socialist conditions, careerists, degenerate bureaucratic elements, opportunists, spies, etc., will also attempt to undermine the party. The protection against them is essential to life. It can only be guaranteed, when the party is closely connected to the non-party working people and does not allow privileges for its own members, employees and functionaries compared to non-party people. A unified party, ready for battle and at the same time alive is the pre-condition for bringing the working class to power, for building and defending socialism and for eventually advancing to communism.
Since the goal of communism includes the abolition of all class differences, there will after all be no longer a need for politicians and parties. Therefore the communist party is the only party that works to undermine the conditions for its own existence. At the present time the KPD is already working to limit the difference between leading and carrying-out functions within its own ranks. Only a party that works within its own ranks on constantly strengthening the independent responsibility of all its members, will in the long run also outwardly maintain its orientation on the independence of the working people in their fight for their goals.
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