Communist Party of Great Britain
Source: Speeches & Documents of the Sixth (Manchester) Conference of the Communist Party of Great Britain, May 17-19, 1924
Publisher: Communist Party of Great Britain
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
Proofreader: David Tate
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2007). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
This Conference of the Communist Party of Great Britain, notes with pleasure the growing revival of activity now taking place throughout the whole working class. It marks the first stage in the stemming of the capitalist offensive of the last three years, and the slowly gathering of the workers forces to go forward in a united attack against the capitalists.
The crisis which the workers’ movement has passed through for the last three years has openly betrayed the bankruptcy in ideas and leadership of the reformist elements directing the activities and struggles of the workers.
The existing organisations of the workers no longer respond to the new demands of the workers for united action to secure common demands. Hence the workers are forced into a struggle with the existing reformist leadership in order to realise their most immediate needs and demands. The growing opposition movements now springing up in the leading trade unions, industries, and the Labour Party, are the first expression of the concrete raising of the demands of the workers and of a definite challenge to the existing leadership.
The Communist Party welcomes these minority movements as the sign of the awakening of the workers.
The Communist Party will throw itself wholeheartedly into the struggles of the minority movements, and will do all in its power to assist them in their struggles.
The Communist Party, however, declares unhesitatingly to all the workers that the various minority movements cannot realise their full power so long as they remain sectional, separate and limited in their scope and character. The many streams of the rising forces of the workers must be gathered together in one powerful mass movement which will sweep away the old leadership and drive forward relentlessly to the struggle for power. Only so will the partial and sectional struggles around which the minority movements are grouped to-day find their realisation as their struggle unfolds itself.
Yet in the actual fight to achieve their immediate demands the workers will be brought up against the whole organised power of capitalism—the State, and they will be forced further forward in the actual process of this struggle. As the fight develops, new leaders will be thrown up out of the ranks of the workers, who will either have boldly to lead, or be cast aside as the workers sweep forward in their fight for the realisation of their demands.
Therefore, as the struggle develops, the importance and absolute necessity of the Communist Party to the working class becomes more and more clearly revealed. The opposition movements can only go forward under the leadership of a powerful Communist Party, which can unite its forces and carry through the struggle to its revolutionary goal. Out of the struggles of the opposition movements of to-day will be forged the Communist Party of to-morrow.
Therefore the Communist Party, while working inside the minority movements, will on no account sacrifice its separate existence or limit its freedom of agitation and propaganda. On the contrary, while assisting and leading the workers in their everyday struggles, it considers it to be its duty at all times to intensify the struggle, and explain to the workers the real nature of the issues involved. By these means, it will win the workers to the Party in ever increasing numbers, and prepare the working class for the real problem that confronts them, that of the conquest of power.