The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 26th March 2010

The following pages contain the text of the political opening given to the March meeting of the New Communist of Party's Central Committee. This meeting agreed to call on the working class to vote Labour in the forthcoming general and local elections. This opening was printed in it's entirety in the New Worker - week commencing 26th March 2010

Communists in today’s world

The revolutionary party, bourgeois elections and social democracy

by Neil Harris

The revolutionary party

TO ASK what revolutionaries do between revolutions is not an idle question, not least because Lenin’s definition of a revolutionary situation still holds true:

“The fundamental law of revolutions, which has been confirmed by all revolutions and especially by all three Russian revolutions in the 20th century, is as follows: for a revolution to take place it is not enough for the exploited and oppressed masses to realise the impossibility of living in the old way and demand changes; for a revolution to take place it is essential that the exploiters should not be able to live and rule in the old way. It is only when the ‘lower classes’ do not want to live in the old way and the ‘upper classes’ cannot carry on in the old way that the revolution can triumph.”

While revolutions do not just happen — they have to be made — we cannot make something happen just because we want it to. A number of objective factors have to coincide, and as we have come to realise, such situations are rare.

An earthquake may only last a few seconds but under the surface the build-up of pressure between tectonic plates has taken decades, if not centuries, to reach crisis point. The aftershocks continue for months, if not years, afterwards.

So it is with the class struggle. The day-to-day battles between workers and bosses, which seem so trivial, periodically explode into revolutions and counter revolutions. In the same way the aftershocks of these conflicts roll out across the world.

When the Paris Commune of 1871 was drowned in the blood of 50,000 executed revolutionaries, the carnival of reaction that followed engulfed Europe and seemed to signify the death of socialism forever. At that time who but Marx and Engels in their London exile could foresee the changes to come? Some 30 years later the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917 would be carried out in the name of the Commune, just as the failed revolutions of 1848 had proved to be the inspiration for the Communards themselves.

The aftershocks of 1917 were to spread across the world and echo today in Beijing, Pyongyang and Havana.

So it is with counter revolutions — the ripples from fascism’s triumph in Italy and the defeat of the German revolution in 1919 to 1923 were to have their influence on the victory of German fascism, which in turn would hit Spain in the years leading up to the Second World War.