The Communist Construction and Clarification Process – Our Orientation
The following orientation is shared by those comrades active in the organization and direction of the Clarification Process. It does not serve as a set of conditions dictating participation in discussions or events that are to be organized in the scope of the Clarification Process. Rather, it outlines our collectively defined fundamental principals, and serves both as a premise for the directional determination of the Clarification Process, and as an outline for individual participation in its organization and direction.
We are communists from all corners of Germany – our collective worldview is based onMarxism-Leninism. Our desire for a revolutionary breach with modern societal conditions stems from the understanding that the current state of affairs under which the majority of people suffer has its roots in the capitalist mode of production and its violent defense of capitalist property relations – and that these factualities cannot be resolved through simple reform.
We declare that there exists no resolutely revolutionary communist party in Germany able to lead the class struggle, promote the self-organization of the working class, and give the working class the perspective that it desires. Many of us have, until now, struggled within the ranks of the existing organizations of the communist movement in the Federal Republic of Germany; others have been politically active independent of these organizations. We find ourselves together today to commence planned, systematic, and focused preparations for the construction of a communist party in Germany. The successful creation of this revolutionary organization of the working class cannot take place immediately however: its formation must be based upon the clarification of the most burning questions of modern communist strategy and praxis.
The international communist movement is in a deep crisis. The source of this crisis can be found in revisionistic perceptions and opportunistic conceptions of our movement, as well as in the victory of counter-revolution in 1989/90 – an event deeply connected to, though not singularly cause by, historical revisionism in the communist movement. The existing communist organizations have no conclusive answers to offer to the severity of this crisis. Attempts to question traditional concepts and subsequential strivings for revolutionary renewal are widely met with blockades. Recent attempts to breach these blockades, even those made slowly and carefully, must now be appraised as failures. Previous impulses to construct a new communist party in Germany must however also be understood as failures – due in no small part to their inability to scientifically analyze the sources of the crisis in our movement, and their resulting inability to resolutely break with revisionistic and opportunistic tendencies. The history and experiences of these failed impulses stand to be scientifically analyzed and understood. Furthermore, there exists an urgent need for clarity in current analyses of imperialism, in questions of class structure and class consciousness, and in the role of unions and our relationship to them, among other important fields of study. The coming labor in finding this clarity cannot, however, find itself restricted to a purely theoretical realm – it must also find unity in practice, and will be oriented towards the establishment of the practical foundations needed for the construction of a communist party.
The Clarification Process is open to all those who share our goals. Comrades who continue to remain members of existing organizations can also find their place in the Process. However, our openness has necessary limits based on the reasoning and character of our Process. We thusly desire to outline a few collective positions that can serve as our orientation.
Firstly: We are united in that we do not desire a purely theoretical Clarification Process, but rather that its theoretical elements must be united with the development of a practical process. We will engage in the theoretical analysis of communist praxis, to followingly appraise our own praxis and to develop new practical concepts oriented towards the construction of class-oriented mass organizations and movements.
Secondly: We reject the various strains of opportunism and revisionism existent today, for example Trotskyism and Maoism. We desire to analyze their form, nature, and function in the near future. We stand opposed to all ideological concepts which negate the role of the working class as the revolutionary subject, the role of the communist party as avantgarde of the working class, and the necessity of the dictatorship of the proletariat as the only possible form for the transition to a classless society. We regard democractic centralism as the necessary principle of organization of revolutionaries, we reject fractionation as well as entristic infiltration. Furthermore, we believe it to be necessary that the communist party is able to use all forms of struggle. The gains of previous socialist revolutions are permanent points of reference for our work. We reject those positions that dismiss real-existing socialism and which take a hostile stance towards the Soviet Union, for example in denouncing it as “social imperialist” or “state capitalist”. We reject the anti-communist polemical term “Stalinism”.
Thirdly: A decisive reason for the begin of the Clarification Process is the rejection of the “anti-monopolistic transition” strategy, and all other similar conceptions of a “democratic transition stage” between capitalism and socialism. In opposition to such strategies, we hold steadfast to the recognition that socialist revolution is our next immediate goal, and that it must be understood as such. The belief that capitalism can be overcome through reform is a form of opportunism that has historically endangered and wounded our movement. The fight for the betterment of living conditions under capitalism is one useful medium in organizing the masses and in fostering class consciousness, but is itself no means to an end.
Fourthly: We believe firmly that social democratic influences within the workers movement fulfil a specific function; namely, one of taking revolutionary potential and redirecting it towards systemic integration. Social-democracies’ ideological and institutional influence, and its following system-stabilizing, counterrevolutionary roll, dictates our irreconcilable enmity to its existence within the workers movement.
Fifthly: We believe firmly that the necessary Clarification Process cannot take place within existing organizations, and that an independent form for its organization must be developed.