“VllI. THE BRITISH ROAD TO SOCIALISM
It means developing a new form of democracy in which the full genius of the working people will flower in a way that will astonish the world.” (H. Pollit, 22nd Congress)
When democracy, the people’s power, the people’s rule is for this but not for that, here but not there, now but not later, when democracy is not consistently applied, it is a means either for the bourgeoisie to govern the society, a means of cheating the people, or a shortcoming in the governance of the people by the people that must be got rid of-and the faster the better.
It is with democracy, just like with everything else that only by taking it to its quantitative limit, to its maximum, shall we be able to overcome it as a form of governance of men by men, as a form of proletarian dictatorship, as a form of people’s democracy, as a form of political state!
With the democracy under proletarian rule, under communist rule, the limitation of democracy is the end of governance of men by men. The end of political rule of one man over another, the end of political rule of men over men, this is the limit of democracy under communism. Until that limit is reached, democracy will be extended continuously. When that limit is reached political rule of men by men will come to an end, and thus democracy as a form of such a rule will also come to an end. Rule of men over men will be replaced by (communal) rule of men over things.
We do actually and already know where this extension of democracy will lead us under the rule of communism: it will lead us to direct democracy as defined by our party (Direct Democracy (Communist) Party). Direct democracy as defined by our party leads us directly to the limit of democracy, of political government of men over men!
Most certainly, even the least of democracy applied by the communist state, by the proletarian dictatorship, by the state of people’s democracy, which shall be the state of direct democracy, provıdes millions of times more democracy than the most democracy that can be provided under any form and shape of a bourgeois state. This is an issue of quality, the change of quantity democracy achieves when it is applied under proletarian rule as opposed to when it is applied under a bourgeois rule! Change of quality results in the change of quantity, and democracy under proletarian rule, even when it has to be a formal dictatorship, not a democracy, is still a million times more democratıc, is still a million times more empowering for the people than the most democratic of bourgeois democracy that the bourgeoisie has ever been able to present to humanity!
Proletarian democracy, communist democracy can change in a progressive fashion, in a forward move only by coming to an end, where rule of men over men comes to an end, where political state comes to an end.
Growth of democracy under bourgeois conditions, extension of democracy under bourgeois conditions always comes with its own narrow limitations. These limitations are many and varied, just as the bourgeois democracies in different countries are many and varied, and these limitations are always narrow and reactionary. But they all have one limitation in common, and it is the most important, the character defining limitation of all bourgeois democracies: it is the bourgeois ownership of property. Ask the best of bourgeois democracy if it can permit the demos, the people, to exercise democracy regarding this issue, to decide on what should be the form of ownership, that is ask it to extend democracy so that people can decide this issue in a democratic manner, ask it to apply democracy to decide this issue, and anytime and every time, and you shall find that it is beyond the bounds of bourgeois democracy! People are not permitted, cannot possibly be permitted to decide that issue under bourgeois democracy. Who should own what cannot be decided using democracy under bourgeois conditions! It is thus that the moment a step is taken by the bourgeois society that permits the democracy to extend so that issue of forms of ownership can be decided using democracy, it comes to its limit, its limits are either about to be overcome, or is already overcome: bourgeois democracy changes it character. It cannot change its nature, its character in the fashion the proletarian democracy, communist democracy changes when it comes to its own limit. Bourgeois democracy can change in a progressive fashion, in a forward move only by becoming a true democracy, where people truly rule. Thus it changes, it is negated by becoming a proletarian democracy, a people’s democracy, a communist democracy.
Comrade Harry Pollit’s report to the 22nd Congress of CPGB, the program of CPGB accepted by the 22nd Congress, aims to achieve this change of bourgeois democracy into a people’s democracy, into a true democracy!
What was the main thing required to achieve the victory of the CPGB’s program of 1952, the BR2S?
It was the unity of the working class!
What was required to achieve this unity?
The defeat of the right wing leadership of the trade union movement!
What was one of the most important weapons that workers needed to defeat the right wing trade union leaders and thus to achieve unity?
It was democracy!
Let us read from Comrade Harry Pollit’s report to the 22nd Congress of CPGB, of 1952: “More Rank And File Control
They (the right wing leaders, m.n.) develop the practice of closed-door negotiations and secrecy, and sometimes even on the character of the claim they are submitting, right up until decisions are reached by trade union executive committees.....
When recommendations on wage claims have been reached, the right-wing union leaders submit them to hurriedly convened delegate conferences, often without giving the rank and file the chance to exercise their democratic rights of consultation and decision. No wage agreements should be reached without adequate rank-and-file consideration and decision.
In the fight to increase wages and protect hard-won gains in working conditions, there needs to be the maximum reporting back to members and full democratic rights for the branches and lodges in determining each issue. The guarantee of this, of course, is maximum activity in the factories and pits reflecting itself in a vastly improved local trade union branch life, into which the majority of its members are drawn to participate with conviction and enthusiasm.
The right wing leaders practice closed-door negotiations and secrecy. Without providing the necessary information to the workers and without giving them the right to decide submit their recommendations to hurriedly convened delegate conferences. Democracy that involves rank and file is not allowed to work.
If right wing leaders are defeated, No wage agreements would be reached without adequate rank-and-file consideration and decision. To achieve this adequacy, there must be the maximum reporting back to members and full democratic rights for the branches and lodges in determining each issue. Shop Committees and Shop Stewards
The closest linking up of the shop stewards on a national scale in every industry represents a further strengthening both of workshop organisation and trade unionism as a whole.
At the same time, shop committees and shop stewards will find their work gains greater support in the degree to which they keep their members in the factories and trade union branches fully informed of all that is taking place in the factories, the discussions with managements, and what policies should be adopted by the workers.
The development of such a practice will in turn strengthen the fight for greater democracy inside the trade unions, and help to secure greater rank-and-file control and the right of final consultation and decision on all trade union agreements with the employers’ organisations” (H. Pollit, 22nd Congress)
Let us summarise some of these points:
-Members must have democratic rights of consultation and decision -No wage agreements should be reached without adequate rank-and-file consideration and decision -There needs to be the maximum reporting back to members and full democratic rights for the branches and lodges in determining each issue -Because of the right wing leadership democracy that involves rank and file is not allowed to work. -There must be the maximum reporting back to members and full democratic rights for the branches and lodges in determining each issue. -Keep the members in the factories and trade union branches fully informed of all that is taking place in the factories, the discussions with managements, and what policies should be adopted by the workers. -Strengthen the fight for greater democracy inside the trade unions, and help to secure greater rank-and-file control and the right of final consultation and decision on all trade union agreements with the employers’ organisations.
What comrade Harry Pollit is requesting is clear: all issues must be known to each worker in the factory, thus in the branch and the lodge; to achieve this, there must be maximum report back on all issues. There must be maximum consultation on all issues amongst members based on these report backs and members must decide each issue based on these information and consultations using democratic means-voting on them!
The right wing leaders do not report back to the members, do not inform the members, do not consult with them, and do not give them a chance to discuss the issues. Is this not understandable from their point of view? If one is betraying the class and is working hand in glove with the employers that is exactly how one would behave. It would not take long for the truth to come out if democracy is practiced in the movement, and truth means the end for the right wing leaders! That is why they always opposed democracy and that is why they will always oppose it!
An active branch life is considered as a means of achieving democracy. At the same time, democracy is one of the most important means of having an active branch life! The more report backs, the more information on all issues, the more discussion of all issues, the more consultation, the more right to decide all issues inevitably leads to a more active branch and lodge, and to the truth coming out sooner or later, or rather sooner than later! The right of final consultation and decision by the members is a killer application for the right wing leaders everywhere!
It is thus that our party (DDCP) teaches all worker comrades to demands from their unions leaders that direct democracy is applied in the running of the affairs of the branches and the lodges-and the whole union- and that the unions force the employers to provide the means and the time for the workers to practice direct democracy in running the affairs of their unions!
This is one sure way of defeating the right wing leaders in the movement. This is one sure way of uniting the trade union movement in line with the wishes of the worker comrades.
Direct democracy using the internet provide for continuous report back, provides for continuous consultation, provides for continuous discussion and provides for continuous right to decide each and every issue by each and every worker in the factory, by each and every member of the branch and the lodge! The fight for democracy in the factory and in the trade union branches and lodges, in the whole union, extended to the fight for direct democracy is a fight to defeat the right wing leaders and to unite the trade union movement!
“... The rank and file of the Trades Union Congress were never consulted by the Deakins and Lawthers before they walked out of the World Federation of Trade Unions,... We are certain that if the rank-and-file members of the British trade union movement were allowed a democratic vote taken on this issue of reuniting the trade unions of Britain with their brothers of the World Federation of Trade Unions, the answer would be an emphatic “Yes”.! (H. Pollit, 22nd Congress)