People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 49

December 14, 2008


CPRF Congress Vows To Renewed Socialist Path

Mridul De from Moscow

A NEW edition of the programme of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) has been adopted at its 13th congress held in Moscow from November 29 to December 1, 2008. In formulating its programmatic goals, strategy and tactics, the CPRF proceeds from the analysis of social-political practice, and is guided by the developing Marxist-Leninist doctrine, materialist dialectics and relies on the experience and achievements of domestic and world science and culture.

The main goals are: 1) rule of the people, meaning the power of the working majority united in the Soviets and other forms of people's self-government 2) public ownership of land, natural resources and the main production assets 3) a decent life and social justice, which implies a guaranteed right to work and decent pay, universally accessible free education and medical care, decent housing, leisure, care of the family, children and veterans.

The current programme was adopted in 1995. It may be recalled that during the turmoil of perestroika inside the Soviet Union, a section of leadership within the CPSU formed the Communist Party of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (CP RSFSR) in June 1991 to fight this dangerous trend. The CPSU and the CP RSFSR were banned in September 1991 by the counter revolutionary forces that had taken over power.

In 1993 the second extraordinary congress of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation announced the resumption of the party's activities after a ban that lasted almost a year and a half. The congress adopted its policy statement and the party charter. In March of that year the CPRF was officially registered with the justice ministry of the Russian Federation.

The programme of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation was adopted in its third congress on January 22, 1995. The new edition of the programme seeks to update that document with the assessment of the current situation in Russia and the world and the tasks before the party. It was decided in the 10th Congress of the party held in 2004 to update the programme. The programme commission and the presidium of CPRF appealed to the entire party and its supporters to actively participate in the discussion on the draft of the new edition of the programme. More than 3000 amendments and suggestions were received and scrutinised for consideration.

On the eve of the 10th congress, the party faced a very difficult situation. In the words of Gennedy Zyuganov, chairman of the party, as expressed in the congress "at the time the group that ruled the country, taking advantage of its agents and the defection of some comrades, launched an attempted "raid" to hijack the CPRF. The situation was very serious. Some members of the central committee and the heads of regional organisations came out against the Party's line. They were confident of success and were already busy dividing the portfolios among them.

�But they met with the most powerful resistance where they least expected it -- from the Party grassroots, which were quick to realise that the petty bourgeois opportunist's were trying to lead them into a quagmire. We have seen fresh proof of that again when the new draft of the Party Programme was discussed. The broad Party ranks value the Leninist revolutionary principles, the socialist ideals and communist convictions. The plans of political adventures were overturned at local Party meetings and conferences. This confirms that the true bases of the party are its "primary cells", the rank-and-file communists. During the period the leadership of many regional branches has changed significantly. They are now headed by battle-tested, staunch and often young people.

�We were criticised at the time that the allegedly most experienced and competent cadre had been thrown out of the leadership. Where are these "capable people", these heroes of the "water-borne" congress"? Practically all of them have either vanished from the political arena or have become the servants of the ruling regime.

�By throwing out "the turncoats" the party has grown stronger organisationally and ideologically".

Zyuganov while placing the political report before the congress, which was attended by 342 delegates from 79 Republics and Regions, explained in detail various aspects in the report. War veterans, academicians, Nobel prize winning scientists were among the delegates. another notable presence was young university students. Communist and workers parties from 80 countries attended the congress as fraternal delegates.

A new central committee and a presidium of 16 was elected, with Zyugonav once again as the chairman. The CPRF has about 1,60,000 members, 80 regional party branches and about 14,000 primary party organisations. Since 1993 the CPRF has been represented at the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. The CPRF is the second largest party in the current Duma. It holds 57 seats out of the total 450 seats. In the state Duma elections held on December 2, 2007, the CPRF won 89,46,886 votes. In the elections to the president of the Russian Federation on March 2, 2008, the CPRF candidate, Gennedy Zuganov, won 1,32,43,550 votes.

The assessment about the political situation contained in the political report says that the main contradiction is the contradiction between oligarchic capital, which has unlawfully grabbed most of the public wealth, and the labour of the multinational people of Russia deprived of political and economic power. It has a class and national character. The cleavage runs both between labour and capital, and between the interests of the pro-western "elite" and the country's national interests. The report stresses that the key task for the party is to combine social-class and national-liberation struggles. Such a combination is the key condition for Russia's transition to socialism. For socialism is a political system that alone can ensure both the national and class interests of Russia's working people. The Party is not calling the country "back to the former socialism." It takes into account the spectacular achievements of the USSR as well as its bitter lessons and negative experiences.

The party seeks to overcome the disunity in the communist movement of Russia, to unite it on a single ideological-moral and political basis worked out by generations of Russian and Soviet communists. The CPRF is a member of the Union of Communist Parties (UCP-CPSU) and believes its strengthening to be the key political condition for the recreation of the Soviet Union State on a voluntary basis and the formation, on that basis, of a single Communist Party.

The programme analyses the modern world emphasising that a world dictatorship of the US and NATO is a real threat. The most valid path of development that meets meets Russia's interests is the socialist path. The document underlines the deviations and distortions of socialism that led to the destruction of USSR. The goal of socialism can now be achieved, the party believes, in successive stages. The first is the general democratic stage. The main task at this stage is to establish the revolutionary-democratic power of the working people, all the patriotic, anti-imperialist and anti-oligarchic forces. At the second, reconstruction stage, after a measure of political and economic stability is restored, the CPRF will take the necessary measures to ensure an ever broader participation of working people in running all the affairs of the State through the Soviets, the trade unions, workers' self-government and other bodies of direct rule of the people that may spring up.

On the last day of the congress, the CPRF leadership met with foreign delegations in a separate session. It discussed the present world situation and the pressing need of consolidating the global anti-imperialist movement and combining it with the global movement of communists against neo-liberal policies and upholding Marxist-Leninist ideals of scientific socialism, the only alternative for the humanity in the present day world.