At this conjuncture the CPRF main task of the lies in the rise of workers’ class-consciousness, in general strengthening of its structures. It is not easy to achieve this challenge. For many years people are being subjected to shock therapy by the oligarchic mass media that reduce glorious and arduous history of socialism exclusively to its most difficult pages.
Today more than ever the creative approach is needed. We must get rid of stereotypes, including those inherited from the time when the CPSU was the ruling party.
Our activity is often too general. We are quasi fighting for the country or for workers in general. And the people are most interested in very specific problems of their enterprises or their daily lives. They would come to us only after making sure that we are ready to deal with their problems, support them actively in conflicts with the owners of enterprises and local authorities. There is no other way.
We must realize that without the support of workers’ mass organizations we cannot gain people’s support. And without it we risk becoming a sect, losing massive party and leaving the political arena.
We must act within production collectives. We must first of all find there our allies and supporters. We ought to further everyway the strengthening of the existing and the creation of the new independent trade unions. However, the “official” unions should not remain outside the field of our attention. We must clearly see the difference between the reptile chieftains of All-Russia Confederation of trade unions and millions of ordinary members of this labor union.
But we have revealed the tendency to the rejection of active people among the workers. They often do not fit the stereotype of party work. Their leaders are contradictory, have their own opinion, set to a tough fight with the entrepreneurs. And this disturbs the quiet life of some party members.
Meanwhile, the best persuaders of the workers are the workers themselves, who live in this environment, know their needs and expectations, speak the same language. If we do not achieve workers’ inflow to the party, we’ll fail to strengthen the CPRF influence within the work collectives.
We must pay close attention to the new forms of people self-organization. These are action groups of tenants fighting against authorities’ piracy in the housing and communal sphere.
Over the years the Party has acquired considerable experience in organizing the struggle for workers’ rights. Staff meetings of the Headquarters of protest actions coordination are held regularly. This year 14 major all-Russia actions were held. Our local organizations work quite actively.
Meanwhile, along with workers, farmers, engineers and technical workers, teachers, doctors, scientists, the Party faces undeveloped new social space. It is an immense mass of office workers, information systems’ developers and adjusters, unemployed graduates, trade and services’ employees, as well as an extensive “bottom” of the society.
In terms of Leninist doctrine, the current office staff is nothing else but office-commercial proletariat. Moreover, in contrast to the Leninist era, today this part of the working class has become its most massive and significant unit, surpassing the industrial proletariat. Undoubtedly, its role will be growing. Yet this workers’ contingent still falls outside the scope of our influence. Moreover, there is some rejection towards it.
Similar assessment can be done with respect to the Communist Party relationship with trade and services’ workers. The role of this working class detachment in Russia, which economy rests not on production but on the distribution, will be significant for quite a long time. So it is harmful to brush off this workers’ detachment as a “wrong one”.
Or let’s take the information systems’ developers and adjusters. Numerically, this is a small social group. However, this layer serves as a reference for the wider society. Unfortunately, the CPRF fairly addresses it.
Now about the lumpen proletariat. High unemployment increases the number of lumpen. Millions of them are at stake. And although their material and social status is the lowest, they have minimum of social activity.
However it would be wrong to ignore this huge mass of people only because the present authorities threw them out of life, deprived them of the future. They are not the product of social bottom. They are former Soviet workers, engineers and technicians. These people have been forcibly thrown to the bottom. We must not leave them in the hands of Zhirinovsky’s followers. One of the most important Party tasks is to find the approach to them.
Rightly lamenting the fact that we are not allowed on television, we must continue to fight for broadcasting.
However, I am convinced that the Party and our allies must work over creating our own television and radio stations.
Finally, the Internet. Nearly 50 million people in the country are Internet-users. This is mainly young audience with a significant representation of civil servants and intellectuals. We began to work vigorously within the Internet. Over the past two years the Party Internet network has grown fivefold. Its material buildup has increased dramatically.
The CPRF home page is one of the best party pages in the network. Many of the regional committees have also created good sites. The best among them are Novosibirsk and Moscow regional committees of the CPRF. Then follow Udmurt Republic Committee and the Leningrad and Moscow City Party Committees (moskprf.ru), Irkutsk and Rostov Regional Committees.
However it is too soon for us to become complacent. First, we very rarely use the Internet-conferences with the party leaders’ presentations. Secondly, it is high time for us to create a popular youth site, which in addition to the politics would include culture, sports, fashion and humor issues. Thirdly, this is a good possibility to create our own TV channel on Internet technologies.
There is still virgin land for the Party the field that could be cultivated by regional, especially district press. Nothing can replace it under the TV blockade of the Party. Simultaneously, we must give new life to the leaflet.
Meanwhile the party newspapers’ and Internet sites’ analysis has revealed the suppression of governors’ and various local authorities’ abuses. The local party press criticism of the President the heads of government, odious ministers have noticeably weakened.
Instead of sharply critical speeches that attract people’s attention, some party media are entrained by the information about international situation. Somewhere the regional web pages are full of information from the CPRF Central Committee site rather than of their own information.
The state of the Party
Why do we fight? We do not fight to correct the deficiencies of the current ugly system. This is a dead end road of Social Democracy. Let’s recall the slogan of the XIII Congress: “The CPRF is the party of social advance”. The CPRF seeks to assume power for radical transformations in the interests of the overwhelming majority of citizens. We should state this clearly. Including in response to those, who argue that the CPRF is ready to be content with the role of “constructive opposition”.
But not to fall into the trap of illusions, we must honestly and critically evaluate the situation in the party, its readiness to implement the goals.
The CPRF strength as of this October makes 151 330 people. Within ten months the Party enlisted 9 500 members. In 2009 the Party reached for the first time the monthly rates of admission up to thousand people. It is above last year’s nearly of 500 people. As a result of ten months annual enlistment provides at least 10% of 14 regional offices’ strength and 21 offices come close to this standard.
About 14 thousand CPRF members are under the 30 years old. There are almost 30 thousand members in the Komsomol Union; the Pioneer organization has more than 280 thousand children.
However despite the enlistment increase, the Party strength has decreased by 1 477 people. It is a very alarming symptom. For several years we are unable to overcome this negative trend.
The main reason for the decline is still natural loss due to the veterans’ passing away. Secondly follows unhealthy environment in a number of regional offices.
But in some offices there is evidence of neglect to the party youth, Komsomol leaders are changing frequently.
Party committees must make solid conclusions out of the situation. After all, our ideas, proposals and estimates enjoy growing support among young and middle age people.
Nor can we be satisfied with the Party social composition. Today among CPRF members there are: 17 thousand (11.3%) workers; 13 thousand (8.5%) farmers. That is not enough for serious work.
Of course, the decline of the Party strength is caused also by increased pressure on the CPRF from the authorities. But the main reason is the passive management in a number of Party organizations, the reluctance to form a reliable reserve.
We cannot be satisfied with the Party representation in the regional legislatures.
There is no continuous monitoring of the factions’ and of each Communist deputy’s activities in a number of Party organizations. There are cases of Party direct betrayal by the deputies elected on the CPRF lists.
Actually it is high time to finish with the reluctance of some comrades to pay the party maximum. We must expel them without remorse from the Party, as the ones, who put their ambitions and their personal well-being above the Party interests.
We must fight the apparent tendency of some leaders to compromise with the local authorities. We are obliged to give such facts the toughest assessment.
Communists express fair comment on the work of some departments of the CPRF Central Committee apparatus. They indicate that many committees, offices, secretaries should transfer their activity from the offices onto the street, into the midst of the people. In places where there are acute social problems, violations of civil rights.
The CPRF Central Committee has initiated the preparation of the open All-Russia party meeting, devoted to the 130 anniversary of the of Joseph Stalin’s birth. At this meeting we must evaluate the prominent Stalin’s and the Communist Party’s role in history, discuss in-depth through the prism of those years our current activities.
Today the power in Russia is in the hands of oligarchy’s and higher officials’ union.
In today’s Russia we have visual confirmation of the Marxist conclusion about the nature of the bourgeois state as the dictatorship of the rich layer, greasing at the cost of the rest population.
However it would be a mistake to underestimate the energy and perseverance with which the ruling group seeks to preserve its power and stolen wealth. Trying to expand its social base, it has intensified its work with key social groups. I mean such seemingly countervailing groups as small and medium business, working class, youth and veterans.
The authorities even have been engaged in the creation of trade unions. And apparently more radical than the “pocket” All-Russia Confederation of trade unions. It is, for example, the SOTSPROF (Social trade union), which has now been taken under the wing of the presidential administration. Clearly an attempt is being done to control the growing labor movement.
Authoritarian system created by the ruling clique accepts no criticism. The power is becoming less flexible and efficient. As history shows, such “elite’s” behavior is the surest recipe for its collapse. The current regime has become the deterrent for the country productive and spiritual forces’ development. The inner crisis exacerbation becomes unavoidable in these circumstances.
However, we must assess practically the state of public opinion, without indulging in the illusion that the crisis itself, the deterioration of living will cause the power rejection, will translate into support for national-patriotic forces. Most people sit on the fence, hoping for new economic recovery, which will restore their pre-crisis relative prosperity. The complexity of the problem is especially in weak class-consciousness of the workers’ majority, and sometimes in the stubborn unwillingness to see the true state of Russia, the real interests of various political forces.
Of course, you can blame the people that due to their conduct during the elections they doom themselves to the slaughter. But if we are to succeed in the fight, then only together with our people, with all their advantages and disadvantages.
We often complain about the fact that our slogans and proposals poorly reach the working class and peasantry – it would seem natural support of the Party. But let’s look closely at Russia’s reality. The ruling elite disorganized the industry, ruined the village, and destroyed thousands of labor collectives. Hence follows the sharp decline in the working class and peasantry, their mass lumpenization and loss of the workers’ role in the country. The present rulers of Russia know what they do when they demolish the manufacturing sector.
Therefore, our demands for the revival of industry and villages are of both economic and political significance. This is a way to restore the mass social base of the Party and socialist consciousness among the population.
In the meantime, we have very depressed working class, crumbling village and oligarchic comprador economy, on which live millions of ‘clingfishes’ from hundreds of thousands of guards and up to all kinds of service staffs. This people’s category dominates in the population of Moscow and St. Petersburg. And the situation in these cities determines in many ways the political situation in the country.
Most working people just now begin to see the difference between “masters” that have seized the national wealth, and themselves – the employees. Most people still do not understand that they are victims of ruthless exploitation.
The problem is also that out of habit, ingrained since the Soviet Union, the power is perceived as big sister. Although it has long been wicked stepmother, nursing people with oligarchic table scraps. However, among a large part of working people the illusion still remains that the state is above-class force that acts as well in the interests of the people. This is the phenomenon of many voters’ support for the ruling class.
But we cannot wait passively for the world crisis and the ensuing hardships to push workers to seeing how their interests oppose oligarchic power. Do not forget that the crisis not only contributes the brain enlightenment, but also generates double dependence of workers from employers.