THE most important points where the Communist Party must work untiringly so as to fulfill the task of winning the majority of the working class for the struggle against capitalism are the following:
1. The big factories, mines, mills, docks, ships, railroads, etc., where the great masses of the basic sections of the proletariat are employed. The Communist Party puts its main energy into building Party organizations in these places.
2. The A. F. of L. unions and Railroad Brotherhoods, where millions of organized workers can be won for the Party program and led in decisive struggles. The Communist Party realizes that one of the most important tasks in winning the majority of the decisive sections of the proletariat is gaining influence among members of A. F. of L. unions. In order to achieve this, every available Party member must join the union of his industry, craft or occupation and work there in a real Bolshevik manner, helping to build the union, fighting for better conditions, exposing the bureaucratic, treacherous leaders as the agents of the employers and, in this way, proving to the rank and file what the leadership of the Communists means in the labor movement.
3. The independent unions where the Communists must work with the same energy and perspective as as in the A. F. of L. unions.
4. The organized and unorganized masses of unemployed. The Communist Party fighting for unemployment relief and insurance leads and organizes the unemployed masses, maintains fractions in all organizations of the unemployed and forges an unbreakable link between the unemployed and employed workers in the fight for social insurance and better conditions.
5. The fraternal, cultural and sport organizations in which there are large numbers of working people. The Communist Party persistently works in the mass organizations of workers, especially workers in basic industries, and through the effective work of disciplined fraction leads them and wins their confidence in the Communist Party.
6. The Negro organizations (churches, fraternal, cultural, etc.). The Communist Party through well functioning fractions in these institutions of the Negro people, leads the fight for the special interests of the Negroes (against discrimination, segregation) for the liberation struggle of the Negro people.
7. The huge farms where large numbers of agricultural workers are employed. The Communist Party through its farm Units fights for the interests of the agricultural workers (farm laborers) and organizes them in unions.
The main strategic aim of the Communist Party is to win the majority of the working class for the proletarian revolution. In order to achieve this aim the Communist Party establishes closely knit organizations everywhere where workers work for their living (factory), where they live (neighborhood), where they are organized for the defense of their economic interests (unions and unemployment organizations), or organized for satisfying their cultural desires (clubs, sports and cultural organizations). These Party organizations which lead the masses in the struggle for their economic and political demands are the following: (1) Shop and Street Units. Both of these forms of organizations are full-fledged Party bodies. (2) Fractions. The Party leads the masses organized in unions and other mass organizations through the fractions which are instruments in the hands of the Party to carry the policy of the Party among the masses.
The basic organization of the Party is the Shop Unit (Nucleus), which may consist of three members or more in a given place of employment, i.e., factory, shop, mine, mill, dock, ship, railway terminal, office, store, farm, etc.
The other form of membership organization is the Street or Town Unit, comprising a group of members living within a given territory.
The leadership of the Unit is the Unit Bureau, elected by the membership of the Unit.
The next higher organization is the Section. The Section is made up of a number of Shop, Street or Town Units in a given territory. The size of the territory of a Section is decided upon by the District Committee. The Party always strives to make the territory of the Sections as small as possible in order to be able to carry on work more effectively.
The highest body in the Section is the Section Convention. The Section Convention is a meeting of delegates elected by the Shop and Street Units of the Section. The leading committee in the Section is the Section Committee and is elected by the delegates at the Section Convention from among the best members of the Section. The Section Committee is the highest leading body in the Section between Conventions. It is responsible for all its actions and decisions to the Section Convention. The elected Section Committee must be approved by the District Committee. The Section Organizer is elected by the Section Committee, subject to the approval of the District Committee. Should the District Committee not approve the election of a Section Organizer the reasons for this action are discussed and explanation made to the Section Committee.
The next highest organization in the Party is the District. The District organization is made up of the Sections in a territory assigned to it by the Central Committee. The District covers a certain portion of the country (a part of one, or one, two and sometimes three states, depending upon the industries, on the size of the membership, etc.). The highest body in the District is the District Convention, which is a meeting of delegates elected at the Conventions of the Sections in the District. Between Conventions, the highest committee in the District is the District Committee, elected by the delegates of the Sections at the District Convention. The District Committee is responsible for all its actions and decisions to the District Convention and Central Committee. The elected District Committee has to be approved by the Central Committee. The District Organizer (political leader) is elected by the District Committee subject to the approval of the Central Committee.
The highest Party body is the National Convention. The National Convention is a meeting of delegates elected at the District Conventions. The highest committee of the Party in one country is the Central Committee, elected by the delegates at the National Convention. The Central Committee leads the Party organizations, with full authority, between Conventions and is responsible for its actions and decisions to the National Convention and to the Executive Committee of the Communist International.
The number of delegates to Conventions is not fixed in the Constitution of the Party.
It depends on the conditions in a given situation, plus the numerical strength of the given Units, Sections and Districts.
The strategic importance of a Shop Unit, or Concentration Section, or of a District is the governing factor in deciding the number of delegates to the Convention. For example, the Section Committee can decide whether a Shop Unit from a big factory sends proportionately more delegates to the Section Convention than a Street Unit with the same number of, or perhaps even more, members.
The conditions under which the Party works are also an important factor in deciding the number of delegates. For example, a District which works partly illegally will have a smaller number of delegates to the District Convention than other District with the same number of Units working more openly.
On the other hand, in one District, because of certain problems which have to be clarified before the broadest possible gathering, the situation may demand a much larger representation from the Units or Sections to the Section or District Convention than another District where no such problem exists.
At the Eighth Party Convention of our Party, the general rule of representation was the following:
1. The Units elected one delegate for each five members to the Section Convention.
2. The Section Conventions elected one delegate for each 15 members in the Section to the District Convention.
3. The District Conventions elected one delegate for each 100 members in the District to the National Convention.
The Sections, with the approval of the District Committee, and the Districts, with the approval of the Central Committee, may call meetings of delegates for a conference between Conventions. These conferences take up the work of the respective organizations and discuss problems concerning new tactics necessitated by changed situations. The difference between a convention and conference is that the conference does not elect a new leadership and that all decisions must be approved by the higher Party committee. The Party conference has the right to elect new members to the Committee if some old ones have been removed for one reason or another, and has the right to remove individual members from the committee if for sufficient reason it believes they are not fit to be leaders of the organization.
The Party committees elected at the Conventions are composed of the best, most developed comrades in the given organization. Representation to the Section Committee is not on the basis of representation from each Unit; nor does each Section elect a representative to the District Committee. At the same time we must bear in mind that the Section Committee or a higher Party committee must have among its members comrades who are working in the most important factories, as well as members of the most important trade unions, in order to maintain a living connection between the leadership and the masses at these important points.
The size of the Party committees always depends on the numerical strength of the organization which elects it, on the importance of the organization, and on the given situation. The approximate average size of the committee is the following:
Unit Bureau- 3-5 members
Section Committee- 9-11 members
District Committee- 15-19 members
Central Committee- 30-35 members
The Bureau is the leading body in the Section, District and Center between committee meetings, acts with full authority during this period, and is responsible to the committee by which it is elected. Their approximate size is:
Section Bureau -about 5 members.
District Bureau -about 7-9 members
Political Bureau of the C.C.-7-9 members
As a general rule the Party committees meet as follows:
Unit Bureau-once a week
Section Bureau-once a week
Section Committee-twice, usually, but at least once a month
District Bureau-once a week
District Committee-once a month
Political Bureau-once a week
Central Committee once in two months
The Communist International is the international organization of Communist Parties in all countries. It is the World Communist Party. The Communist Parties in the various countries affiliated to the Comintern are called Sections of the Communist International.
The World Congress composed of delegates from all the parties affiliated to the Communist International (Comintern) is the highest authority in Communist Party organization.
The date of the Congress and the number of delegates from the various Communist Parties are decided upon by the Executive Committee of the Communist International (E.C.C.I.). But the number of votes allocated to each Party at the World Congress is decided upon by special decision of the Congress itself, in accordance with the membership of the given Party and the political importance of the given country.
The leading body of the Communist International during the period between Congresses is the Executive Committee of the Communist International (E.C.C.I), elected by the delegates at the World Congress. The decisions of the E.C.C.I. are binding for all Parties belonging to the Comintern and must be promptly carried out. The Communist Parties have the right to appeal against decisions of the E.C.C.I. to the World Congresses, but must proceed to carry out such decisions pending the, final action of the World Congress on the appeal. The leadership of the Comintern (C.I.) is composed of the best, most developed, experienced, tried, leaders of the various Communist Parties.
The meetings of the Executive Committee of the Communist International are in size similar to a World Congress. These meetings are called the Enlarged Plenums of the Executive Committee of the C.I. Besides the elected members of the Executive Committee of the C.I. there are invited to this Enlarged Plenum additional delegates from the various countries, so that these Plenums have 300 or 400 delegates present from the various Parties. The difference between a Congress and an Enlarged Plenum consists in the fact that while delegates to the Congress are elected on the basis of numerical strength and political importance of the Communist Parties, the number of additional invited delegates from the Communist Parties to the Enlarged Plenum is decided upon on the basis of the order of business of the Plenum. These delegates are selected by the Central Committees of the various Communist Parties. At the Enlarged Plenum of the E.G. C.I. only the members of the E.C.C.I. have the right to vote. The other invited delegates have the right to participate in the discussion, but have only a consultative vote.
The E.C.C.I elects from among its members a Presidium which is responsible to the E.C.C.I. The Presidium meets at least once a month and acts as the permanent body carrying out all the business of the E.C.C.I. during the period between meetings of the latter.
The Presidium elects from among its members the Political Secretariat, which is empowered to make decisions between Presidium meetings, and is responsible to the Presidium.
Let us briefly sum up the structure of the Communist Party in the order of responsibility on the basis of the foregoing description (See chart inserted):
Unit Membership Meeting Section Bureau
Section Committee Section Convention District Bureau
District Committee District Convention Political Bureau of the C.C. Central Committee
Political Secretariat of the Cl. Presidium of the C.I.
Executive Committee of the C.I.
World Congress of the C.I.
The Shop Unit (Nucleus) is the basic organization of our Party in the place of employment (factory, shop, mine, dock, ship, office, store, etc.). Shop Units should be organized in every factory, shop, mine, etc., where there are three or more members of the Party.
The main strength of our movement is in the Units (Nuclei) in large factories because;
1. The large factories and railroads are the nerve centers of the economic and political life of the country.
2. In the large factories the workers are concentrated in large numbers.
3. Workers in these large factories have great influence on the workers in smaller shops.
4. The workers in large factories are better trained and disciplined by the process of large-scale production.
5. Workers in large factories are generally more militant because, concentrated in large numbers in one enterprise, they feel their strength.
Comrade Lenin, in "A Letter to a Comrade on Our Problems of Organization," states that;
"The main strength of our movement lies in the workers' organizations in large factories, because in the large factories are concentrated that section of the working class which is not only predominant in numbers, but still more predominanant in influence, development and fighting capacities. Every factory must be our stronghold."
Why is the Shop Unit (Nucleus) the best form of basic Party organization?
1. Workers feel the pressure of exploitation most in the factory where they are employed. There they have common interests and problems (wages, working conditions, etc.).
2. A properly working, well-trained, politically developed Shop Unit, although it may have to work under the most difficult conditions, because of the highly developed spy system, etc., cannot be found out and gotten rid of by the boss. In order to stop the work of such a Unit, the boss must close the factory. That means stopping production--shutting off the profits.
3. The Shop Unit is trained to work in a conspirative manner, in order to organize and lead the other workers, to safeguard the organization and prevent its members from being fired. Because of this method of work the Shop Unit will remain the most solid link with the masses under any conditions (terror, illegality).
4. The Shop Unit registers the reaction of the most decisive elements of the proletariat to every issue. The reaction, sentiment, opinion of the workers brought by the Shop Unit to the higher committee of the Party makes it possible to formulate the best policy or to correct and improve decisions. Through the Shop Units, Party Committees are in daily contact with the most important strata of the working class.
5. The leadership of the Party gets its strength from the Shop Units by drawing the most developed comrades into the leading Party committees. In this way direct contact with factory workers is established.
6. The Shop Units, through their daily activities in leading and organizing struggles in the factories, gain the confidence of the workers and spread the influence of the Party to wider and wider circles. At the same time the Shop Units bring into the Party the best elements of this decisive stratum of the proletariat, thus improving the social composition of the Party.
7. The Shop Unit is very effective in building real united fronts of workers on immediate issues (Grievance Committee, Shop Committee) and also on broader political issues (terror, election, war).
8. The Shop Units are instrumental in building and strengthening well-functioning fractions in the A. F. of L. and other unions.
9. The Shop Unit brings the Daily Worker, this mighty weapon of our Party, directly to the most important strata of the working class.
These are the main arguments for the necessity of building the Party in the factories. These arguments prove that in order to win the majority of the decisive strata of the proletariat, the Party must be rooted in the factories, mines, ships, docks, offices, etc.
"The working class will be in a position to fulfill its role as the most decisive class in the struggle against finance capital, as the leader of all toiling masses, only if it is headed by a Communist Party which is closely bound up with the decisive strata of the workers. But a Communist Party with a very weak and inadequately functioning organization in the big factories and among the decisive sections of the American industrial workers, a Communist Party whose entire policy, whose entire agitation and propaganda, whose entire daily work is not concentrated on winning over and mobilizing these workers and winning the factories, a Communist Party which, through its revolutionary trade union work, does not build highways to the broadest masses of workers, cannot lay claim to a policy capable of making it the leader of the working class within the shortest possible time." (Open Letter, p. 12.)
The Party should concentrate all its forces and energy to build Shop Units, first of all in the basic industries.
Basic industries are those upon which the whole economic system depends. They include:
1. Those which produce material for production, like steel, mining, oil, chemicals.
2. Those which deliver material to the place of production or consumption, like railroad, trucking, marine, etc.
3. Those which produce power for running the wheels of industry, electric power plants, steam and hydro-electric plants, etc.
It is also important to concentrate all our energy to build the Party in the auto, textile and packing house industries because of their strategic importance in the economic system. Strong Party organizations (Shop Units) in these basic industries with a mass following could really influence and lead the millions of workers engaged in these as well as in all lesser industries in their daily struggles, and deliver decisive blows to capitalism.
While it is of the utmost importance to concentrate all energy of the Party to build and strengthen the Units in the basic industries,, the other industries cannot be neglected. The Party systematically builds Units in light industries (clothing, shoe and leather, etc., in offices, stores, laundries, hotels and restaurants, etc.).
The stronghold, the fortress of the revolutionary movement, is in the factory. But in order to build the revolutionary movement there, we must organize all Party members working in one factory into a Shop Unit. The main difference between the Communist Party and the Socialist Party form of organization is that the Socialist Party organizations (branches) are built on the basis of bourgeois election wards and districts while the Communist Party is built on the basis of the place of employment. Party members who work in the same shop cannot belong to different Street Units. If such forms of organization were permitted, Party members working in the same factory and not knowing each other, would carry on their Party work in an anarchistic way. Each one individually would try to give leadership to the other workers.
The first step, therefore, in building the Unit in a factory is to find who the Party members are. This can be done by checking the membership registration or by getting information from the fraction of the union. If we find three or more members, a Shop Unit should immediately be organized.
Since the most effective work of the Party is inside the factory, it is necessary to find ways and means whereby developed Party members can get a job in a given factory, and in this way to start building the Party there.
The Street and Town Units have many members who are working in big factories. These single members should know that their main task is to build the Party inside the factory. But it is not sufficient to assign this basic task to these members. Their Street Units must help them politically and organizationally (forces from outside, shop papers, Daily Worker distribution from outside, finances, etc.). There are many good examples in our Party which prove that with proper help, one member in a big factory can recruit two, three or more members for the Party in two or three weeks, and organize a Shop Unit.
There are thousands of very close sympathizers, readers of our press (Daily Worker or the language papers), members of the unions and various fraternal and cultural organizations, who are working in important factories. Conscientious effort will help us to recruit them into the Party and thus build Shop Units.
Besides these organizational measures, there are various other effective methods for organizing and strengthening the Shop Units. The best method is the co'acentra,tioit of our best forces around a factory. This concentration work consists of systematic mass agitation and propaganda among the workers in the selected factory through distribution of the Daily Worker, Party pamphlets, and other literature at the factory gates or at the workers' homes, combined with the holding of shop-gate meetings. This mass agitation will help prepare the ground for the carrying on of successful work by our members inside the factory.
A Shop Unit consisting of three members can be strengthened by adding one or two of the best, most developed, most reliable comrades from the Street or Town Unit. These comrades, as regular members of the Shop Unit, help in working out policies and making decisions for activity in the factory. They help the Shop Unit keep connection with the Section Committee, and help guide and participate in the mass work outside of the factory. It is absolutely essential that outside members (from Street Units) be always in the rninoritp in the Shop Unit.
The form of Party organization in the factory, shop, mine, dock, etc., is determined by two factors, which are very closely linked to each other:
1. That organizational form which will make the Party Unit the most effective leader of the workers; and
2. That organizational form which will best safeguard the Party members and the other militant workers from the bosses' stool-pigeons and thugs.
The organizational form must be such that it becomes possible for the Unit to do mass work and at 50 the same time prevent, so far as possible, the exposure of the members, the discharge and blacklisting of sympathetic and active non-Party workers, and the exposure of militant union members.
The smaller the number of members who come together regularly, the smaller is the danger of exposure. The Shop Unit which grows to over 10-12 members should be divided into two independent working groups as quickly as possible. When we find it necessary to split a Shop Unit, the first question which should be considered is: Is it possible to organize a Unit in another department from among the Unit members? If there are three members in the Unit who work in the same department, a Unit in that department should be organized. If there are not enough members in one department, Party members working on several floors or in the same building should be organized in one Unit.
If a departmental Unit group is so big that it is too cumbersome for effective work, the department Unit should be divided into smaller groups on the basis of Party members working near each other in the department. The Shop Unit may also consider organizing Units on the basis of shifts. In this form of organization, the decisive factor will be whether the members on one shift are continually together in the same work group, and whether the changing of shift would not mean changing the composition of the members in the same group.
The best way to build an effective Party Unit in one factory is to concentrate on the most important, so-called "key" department or departments.
As the Party grows in one factory, the question arises: How will the work be coordinated? What body gives leadership for the whole factory? In order to make this problem clear, we will compare a factory in which we have many Units, with a Party Section. In the Section, the various units, as already stated, come to a Convention and elect their leadership, the Section Committee, which leads the work of the whole Section between Conventions. Because of the special conditions in a factory (spies, stool pigeons, etc.), it is inadvisable to bring all members together at one meeting. Therefore the best form of organization is the delegate conferences of the Units.
The Units in the various departments and shifts elect their representatives, according to the size and importance of the Unit, to a conference, where these delegates elect the leading body of the Party organization: the factory Unit Bureau. This Bureau works in the same way as a Section Committee. It has the right to make decisions for the whole body (Party organization), in the factory. These decisions are binding for each department and shift Unit and for each individual member in the factory. The factory Unit Bureau is responsible for all its decisions and actions to the delegate conference, which is the highest body in the factory.
In order to coordinate the work of the various department units, the Bureau regularly meets with the department Unit Organizers, receiving reports about the activity of the department Units, and guides them in their work. It is necessary to emphasize again that in order to avoid the danger of spies, the factory Unit Bureau should not bring all department Unit Organizers to one meeting. The best method is to meet with the individual organizers separately.
There is need for continuous exchange of experiences between the various department Units. Therefore, it is necessary to call delegates to conferences as often as possible, and at least once a month.
The department and shift Units meet regularly every week and have their independent life. They elect their own Bureau, work out plans and activity in the department, discuss Party problems, etc., in the same manner as any other independent Unit of the Party. There is no need to point out that the factory Unit Bureau is constantly in touch with the Section Committee and receives guidance and directives from this body.
It must be emphasized again that the factory Unit, or, in big factories, the conferences of the delegates of the Units, is the deciding Party organization in the factory. It is responsible for all activity of all individual Party members in the factory. Its decisions are final on every question and only the higher Party Committees-the Section Committee, the District Committee, and the Central Committee, have the right to overrule them. It is necessary to emphasize this fact in order to clarify the relation between the Party organization in the factory and the leading fraction of the union which has members in the factory.
To further clarify this problem, let us take an example. In one city there are a number of steel factories. The steel union has members in all these factories. This union has a leading fraction on a city-wide scale. This leading fraction has no rirht to make decisions for any given factory over the head of the Party organization in this factory. In order to coordinate the work of the Units in the various factories, the Section or District Committee assigns one member of the leading fraction to each factory as a regular member of the factory Unit. They discuss the problems of the industry generally with the Units and they guide them in their work, but they have no right to hand down decisions for the Unit. The decisions in this factory are made by the Unit itself.
Now, let us see how the fractions inside the factory are functioning. If there is only one union in the factory, we face the following problem:
Every member of the Party is or should be a member of the union. In other words, the Party Unit is at the same time the Party fraction in the local union of their factory. In this case there is no need for special fraction activities by the Party Unit as a whole. But even in this case we will have fractions. How? In the factory there are various committees elected by the members of the union (grievance committees, department committees, factory committees, etc.). These committees are elected by the workers in the factory. If the members of the Communist Party are active, are good fighters, and are recognized as such by the workers, we will have Party members on every committee. For example: The workers in the factory elect a factory or shop committee of fifteen. Out of this number, five are Party members. These five Party members compose the fraction of the committee, and they are responsible for all their activities in the committee to the factory Unit or delegate conference.
In factories where there is more than one union (craft unions), the Party members belonging to each craft union compose the fraction in that craft union. These Party members, as the fraction, are responsible for all their activities to the factory Unit or delegate conference.
Let us assume that in a factory there are other organizations, besides unions, such as a sports club, etc. The factory Unit appoints comrades to join these organizations and these comrades compose the fraction of the given organization and work under the direction of the factory Unit.
The answer to this question may be divided into two parts: First, participation in working out the policy of the Party, and second, the application of this policy in the daily work (mass work) of the factory Unit.
The factory Units have not only the right, but it is their Communist duty to participate in formulating the general policy of the Party. How is this task performed? The policy of the Party is decided at the Convention in the form of adopted resolutions. These resolutions are prepared for discussion by the Central Committee. The draft (proposed) resolution is published in the Party press or in pamphlet form at least two months before the date of the Convention. The Unit meiribership organizes a thorough discussion on these draft resolutions. At the end of these discussions the Unit votes on this resolution, either adopting it as is, or making amendments as it thinks necessary.
The Unit always has the right to make proposals to the Section, District, or Central Committee as to the points on the order of business of the Convention as well as to suggest amendments to the draft resolutions. These amendments and proposals are presented to the Convention by the delegates. The delegates at the Convention, after discussing the resolution and the amendments, vote on them. The delegates who bring up amendments cannot be instructed by their organizations to vote under all circumstances for these amendments. If a delegate, at the Convention, after his amendment is discussed, becomes convinced that the amendment is incorrect, he will vote as a good Communist against the proposals which he introduced.
After the Convention, the delegates report to their Units. The Unit discusses the report and works out the details for applying the resolutions to the concrete situations before them.
The Shop Unit should discuss and express its opinion on all important political problems and tasks of the Party. In this discussion the members of the Nuclei should report the reaction of the workers with whom they are in contact (A. F. of L., Socialists, non-party, etc.), to the given issue. This discussion will help also the Section, District, and Central Committees to formulate correct slogans, to prepare proper actions, to react quickly and correctly to every happening, to all changes of the political life of the community, to work out a correct tactical line.
The Units should participate in all campaigns and actions of the Party, that is, bring them into the factory. In order to he able to carry on this very important work, the Shop Units must develop their own initiative, and must be well acquainted with the general line of the Party. Otherwise, they will not be able to apply the line of the Party in their work in the factory.
It is especially important to understand how to carry on work during election campaigns. The Shop Units can counteract all the demagogy of the capitalist parties if concrete problems of the factory workers are used in exposing the programs of capitalist parties. The Units then can easily show the workers that only the Communists represent and fight for their interests.
The general task of the Party is to win over the majority of the working class for its program. To achieve this aim, the Shop Units must become the recognized leaders of the workers in the factories. In order to win the confidence of these workers, the Shop Units must react quickly on all issues. A Shop Unit must utilize the attacks of the bosses on their working conditions for agitation and organization, for the counter-offensive for higher wages, better working conditions, etc.
At the same time the Shop Unit must show the workers how, in their fight for their daily bread, they come up against the close connections between their bosses and the city, state and federal government, the political representative of the boss class. The Units conduct struggles for the daily demands of the workers in the shop, for social and unemployment insurance, against taxation of small incomes, against sales taxes, for better housing, lower rents, etc.
In order to win the confidence of the workers, the Unit must be able to give a correct answer to every question which bothers the workers. However, this is possible only if the Unit systematically gathers as much material about the given situation as possible. With the help of the Section Committee, the Unit should equip itself with material about the profits of a company, e.g., the dividends paid out to the coupon clippers, the income of the bosses, how they live (house, apartment), how many servants and automobiles they have, and their political connections with the city, state and federal government. If a Unit is armed with such important material, it will be easier for it to bring these facts to the attention of the workers, in connection with their grievances, through shop paper, leaflet and Daily Worker.
The Shop Units must convince the workers of the necessity for organizing unions, of the necessity for united struggle for better conditions, for freedom of organization (union recognition), for equal rights gnition), for equal rights for Negroes, against police terror, against the factory spy system, against war and fascism, against lynching of Negroes, for the freedom of class war prisoners.
The Shop Units should mobilize the workers by continuous agitation for international solidarity actions (support of the struggles of colonial peoples; against fascism in Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, etc.;-for the defense of the Soviet Union) and should contrast the conditions of the workers in the Soviet Union with those in the given factory and neighborhood.
The Units must follow very carefully every step that is taken by the capitalist class in the city and county councils, state legislatures and Congress, and expose all their moves through leaflets, shop papers, and the Party press. This should always be done by starting out with the concrete problems of the workers in the given factory and neighborhood and bringing forward the slogans of the Party suited to the situation.
By bringing forward continuously the political problems of the workers, the Shop Units increase the general political understanding of the workers, increase their class consciousness and bring then into working class political activity.
In this way the circle of sympathizers will constantly broaden, the basis for recruiting new members into the Party will be established and thus increase its influence.
The main organizational task of the Shop Unit is to establish strong connections with all the workers in the factory. Thus the workers can be mobilized for quick action when the need arises. In order to achieve this aim, the factory Unit must throw all its energy into building the union in the factory and in organizing united front actions for the various campaigns of the Party (against war and fascism, election campaign, May First, etc.), and on the concrete issues in the factory (grievances, speed-up, wages, freedom of organization). In this organizational activity of the factory Unit, we must pay special attention to the problems of the Negro workers in the factory, because of the special form of exploitation they are subjected to and because they are discriminated against on the job. A special approach and methods should also be worked out to organize the women and the young workers in the factory. Every Shop Unit has the task of building as well as strenythening the Y.C.L. Unit in the factory.
The other organizational tasks of the factory Unit are the following: (1) To control and check whether the general decisions of the membership meeting and the concrete assignments are carried out by every member of the Unit. (2) To control the membership dues. (3) To get finances for the work of the Unit. (4) To see whether the members of the Unit are members of the union; to see whether Party members in the union and other mass organizations work regularly in the Party fractions. (5) To keep in constant touch with all sympathizers. (6) to distribute literature and to sell the Daily Worker every day. (7) To establish and carefully guard the printing apparatus which publishes papers and leaflets. (8) To find specific methods for detecting and exposing stool pigeons. (9) And last but not least, constantly to recruit new members into the Party.
The shop paper, the organ of the Communist Party Unit in a given factory, mine, dock, ship, office, etc., is the most effective instrument in the hand of the Unit for agitation and organization.
In every shop where we have a Unit, the shop paper should be issued regularly. In shops where there is no Unit as yet, but there are one or two Party members, the issuance of a shop paper will be a great help in building the Party Unit. Who Is Responsible for the Shop Paper?
The Shop Unit is responsible for the paper. That does not mean that the Street Unit which helps the Shop Unit from the outside has no responsibility. On the contrary, the comrades should consider it their duty to help the Shop Unit not only in distributing, but also in producing the paper. Especially at the beginning, the printing, financial help and distribution of the paper will be on the shoulders of the Section Committee or concentration Unit. It should be understood, however, that the policy of the paper, the text of the articles, etc., is decided upon by the Shop Unit and not by the concentration Unit. From the very beginning the Shop Unit members should be trained by the Section Committee to edit and produce the paper themselves. Every Shop Unit should be equipped with a machine for printing its paper. The Section Committee should continuously aid the Shop Unit in this and all other needs. Who Edits the Shop Paper?
The shop paper is edited by a committee elected by the Shop Unit. But we must keep one very important matter in mind. The shop paper as a Party organ is the paper of all the workers in the given shop, mine, etc. Therefore, it is essential to interest the best non-party workers in the actual editing of the paper. The larger the number of workers who stake part in editing the shop paper, the more effective weapon will it be, and the closer will these nonparty workers be drawn to the Party. Scores of workers should be induced to write articles for the paper. We must make every worker feel that the shop paper is his. The higher committees must give the utmost help in educating members for editing shop papers. Who Finances the Shop Paper?
The Shop Unit finances the paper by getting the greatest possible number of workers in the factory to buy and otherwise support the paper. If the paper is good, raises the basic issues confronting workers, explains them well, and gives correct advice to the workers as to what to do about them, the workers will support it. The paper which has no financial support inside the factory will find it hard to keep going. We must bear in mind that under certain conditions (as in Germany today) it will be quite difficult to get money for the shop paper from the outside. It will have to be supported by the workers themselves inside of the factory. This financial basis must be prepared now-today-by the Shop Unit (donations, subs, sale of paper, etc.).
The workers in Germany provide splendid examples of financing shop papers. There, under the most difficult conditions of terror, workers in the shop find ways and means of supporting their paper. For example, they leave their contribution for the paper either on the bench of the comrade who they think is a Communist, or in many cases put this contribution in the pocket of the comrade or leave it on their own bench, where the comrade can pick it up. Who Distributes the Paper?
The most effective distribution of a shop paper is from the inside. Each Shop Unit, each individual member, should use the experiences of other Unite and of other Communist Parties in methods of distribution. We realize how difficult it is in Hitler Germany to distribute shop papers and leaflets. In spite of this the Shop Units do distribute them. Members of the Shop Units will find thousands of ways of bringing the shop paper into the factory if we properly explain the importance of doing so. The shop paper could and should be distributed from outside also (Street Unit), but it must be emphasized that the workers will react more favorably to the paper if they get it from the inside, if they know that the paper is given to them by one who may be working in their department. The workers will have great respect for a Party which is skilled enough to spread the paper inside, in spite of the strenuous effort of the boss to keep it out. Besides this, we know that there will be a time when it will be more difficult to distribute Party material at the shop gate than inside the factory. We have to train ourselves, train our forces, inside the factories, today, for this work. The shop paper is and will be the most important link between the masses and the Party.
There is no need to emphasize that the printing, editing, financing and distribution of the shop paper must be organized in such a way that the company, through its stool pigeons, will not know what workers are involved.
The Street Unit is the Party organization in the neighborhood.
The Street Unit is composed of those Party members who live in a certain territory, and cannot belong to a Shop Unit. (Housewives, professionals, small store-keepers, unemployed workers who are out of the shop for a long period and, for the time being, employed workers who have not as yet organized Shop Units.)
The Town Unit is the Party organization in a small town.
The Town Unit is composed of all those Party members in a given town who cannot belong to a Shop Unit and where there are not enough members to form Street Units.
The basic task of the Street Unit is to win over the majority of the working class in the neighborhood to the fight for the active support of the revolutionary struggles, and to make them conscious followers of the Communist Party.
In order to achieve this basic task the Street Unit must first of all concentrate on organizing and leading the struggle for unemployment relief and social insurance. In the daily work of the Street or Town Unit, we must always keep in mind that the Unit, as the Party in the territory, must win the confidence of the masses, must become the leader of the workers of the given street, district or town.
A Party Street Unit which is not involved in mass work, which does not organize and lead the struggles in the neighborhood, cannot become the leader of the proletarian masses. Patient, continuous, systematic work of the Unit among the workers in the neighborhood will bring results. The Unit must react to every issue which affects the workers. The problems of unemployment (relief, insurance) ; the high cost of living (high rent, high food prices, high electricity and gas rates, etc.) ; sanitary conditions (on the street, in the homes, in schools) ; free lunch, clothing for the children; the various taxes on necessities (sales tax, tax on small incomes, etc.) ; civil rights (free speech, assembly, press) ; police brutality; injunctions, and many other problems which harass the workers are the problems which the Street and Town Units must tackle.
The Unit which knows these problems, which quickly reacts to all these issues and brings forward the proper slogans for action, will succeed in gathering around itself the working masses in the neighborhood. The unemployed organizations will grow, our fractions in the different workers' organizations will be strengthened, and the Unit will become the established and trusted leader of the workers in the street or town.
In order to gain these results, the Unit as a whole and every individual member of the Unit should be known by the workers in the street or town as fearless fighters in the interests of the working class. In the daily work of the Unit we should systematically gather all relevant information about the workers and other sections of the population in the street or town. We should know who is who; we should know not only those workers who voluntarily gather around the activities of the Party organization, but those who are inclined to be sympathetic as well as those poisoned by the capitalist propaganda of the enemies of the working class and by the counter-revolutionary Trotsky renegades. We should know those workers who are in the Socialist Party and other organizations led and influenced by reformist and reactionary leaders.
A Street or Town Unit acquainted with the individuals in its territory could formulate the correct, most compelling slogans and actions for the mobilization of the masses. Such a Unit would not have any great difficulties in taking its part in an election campaign, or any other campaign of the Party. In the election campaign, the Unit should be able to enlist all the sympathetic elements in the territory. A Unit should know in advance who will vote Communist, and who is inclined to vote for the bourgeois parties, and should adjust its activities accordingly -not only in the mass campaigns, but also in personal contacts.
If the workers know, through the Unit's activity, how bravely and uncompromisingly the Party fights for the interest of the workers, and if at the same time the Unit can convince the workers of the anti-working class role of the other parties-such a Unit can gain tremendous influence and a large vote during election campaigns. Such a Unit carrying on daily mass work (street meetings, house-to-house canvassing, distribution of leaflets, mass meetings, distribution of the Daily Worker, publication of a neighborhood paper, etc.), during the election campaign, will show results, not only in the number of votes cast for the Party, but in gaining better conditions for the workers and new recruits for the Party, as well as new readers for the Daily Worker.
Another important task of the Street and Town Unit is to help the Shop Units in its territory or near to it, in their daily work. The well-organized assist. tanee of a Street or Town Unit to a Shop Unit can greatly increase the possibilities of building organization inside the factories. If there are not many forces in the Street Unit this assistance can be limited to one or two things: for example, systematic sale of the Daily Worker in front of the factory; or systematic holding of shop-gate meetings; distribution of leaflets or shop papers from the outside. The Street Unit can also help the Shop Unit do open work around the factory, in the street-car and bus stations, etc., etc.
The Street Unit must not adopt a patronizing attitude toward the Shop Unit. It cannot make any decisions for the Factory Unit. It must help from the outside in a manner determined by the Shop Unit.
Finally, a Street Unit or Town Unit should concentrate on a large factory in its territory. The concentration point, if there is more than one factory in the territory, should be decided upon in consultation with the Section Committee. The best method of organizing the work around the concentration factory is to set up a special concentration group from among the members of the Unit. This group should be composed of members who volunteer to carry out this very important task and at the same time have the necessary qualifications for the work.
It should be understood that after the group is set up on a voluntary basis, the carrying out of the work is compulsory. The Unit, as a whole, regularly discusses and controls the activities of this concentration group. This work needs patient, systematic daily attention by the whole Unit and also by the higher committees of the Party. The Street Unit supports actively and takes part in the strike struggles of the factory workers, and also mobilizes the tieighborhood for support, furnishing reserves for the picket lines, conducting demonstrations, collecting strike relief, etc.
We have listed the general tasks of the Unit in the street or town. All these tasks cannot always be taken care of by every Unit. Some of the Units will be able to tackle and carry out all of these tasks, and some of them only a part of them. We wish to emphasize again the need for systematic help and guidance for those members of the Units who are working in factories but who belong to the Street Units because there is no Shop Unit in their place of employment. These members should get con, tinuous political organizational and financial help in building the Unit in their factory. With proper work, the Street or Town Units will be able to transfer all those members who are working in a shop, mine, office, etc., to their respective Shop Unit.
The fact that the member of a Street Unit works in a factory far from the Unit territory does not exclude the possibility of help from the Unit. This member should be encouraged to raise the problems of the factory at the Unit Bureau or Unit membership meeting, where, after a thorough discussion, steps should be taken to build the Party in the factory. It would be of help to issue a leaflet in the shop which could be distributed by one or two unemployed members in front of his factory.
Is it difficult for a Party member to get two or three more workers in his factory to join the Party in a period of two or three weeks if he is constantly helped and guided? We do not think so.
The organizational tasks of the Street and Town Units are in the main the same as those of the Factory Units. However, these organizations must consider the special problem of building unemployment organizations, of building fractions in all workers' organizations in their territory, of building united fronts with these organizations on concrete issues.
The Street Unit in a Negro neighborhood, especially if the Unit is composed of a large majority of Negro Party comrades, must remember that a vital task of the Party is to establish strong bonds with the broadest masses. In Negro neighborhoods this can be done best by penetrating the Negro organizations: churches, fraternal organizations, societies, etc. In order to carry out this task it is essential that every member of a Street Unit in the Negro territory be a member of a Negro organization. The best solution to this problem is for the majority of a Unit to join one such organization-the most important and biggest Negro organization in the territory. The Party members in these organizations will work as a fraction under the guidance of the Street Unit. It is understood, however, that Street Units will not give up the work in the neighborhood generally while the main attention is directed towards the work in the organizations where the Party members belong.
The Farm Unit is the basic Party organization in the rural sections of the country. We have two kinds of Farm Units: (1) Farm Units in big farms composed of agricultural workers. These Units have the same standing in the Party as the factory units; (2) Farm Units composed of farm hands, tenant farmers, sharecroppers, and small farmers in a given territory.
There is no need here for dwelling on the necessity of Communist work among the toiling rural population. The question of allies of the proletarian revolution, Of winning over the poor farmers and broad sections of the middle farmers to the side of the proletarian revolution, and of neutralizing other sections of the middle farmers as an important factor in a successful revolution, can be answered in our favor only if we succeed in building a strong Party organization on the big "industrial" farms, among the agricultural workers, and also among the poor, small farmers, tenants, sharecroppers, etc.
The main task of the Party in its work in the countryside consists first of all in the organization of the agricultural workers in the Party and trade unions, in organizing and leading strikes of these terribly exploited workers who play an important role in the development of the revolutionary agrarian movement.
The general task of the Farm Unit is about the same as that of other Units of the Party. The issues they deal with, however, are entirely different. Here the issues are mortgages, interest rates, high taxes, roads, schools, low prices of farm products, high railroad rates, relief, etc., problems which the Farm Unit must tackle. The Communist Party in the countryside is in the forefront in fighting for the interests of the exploited and poverty-stricken rural population, against the big landlords, commission houses, mortgage companies, farm implement trusts, grain trusts, railroad companies, milk trusts, banks, etc. In this fight, the masses of the countryside will inevitably come into conflict with the suppressive machinery of the bourgeoisie (city, state, federal government, National Guard, courts, etc.).
The Communist Party has to show to these vast masses the role of this whole suppressive set-up, the necessity of fighting against it, and the only road which leads out of the misery created for them by capitalism-the road to Soviet Power. In these fights, the poor rural population will learn through their own experiences and by the work of the Communist Party that their place is on the side of the proletariat.
We have to work untiringly in the existing farm organizations in order to isolate the rich farmers, to win the poor farmers, and sections of the middle farmers to the side of the workers, and at least to neutralize other sections of the middle farmers.
The Unit Bureau on the basis of the general' directives of the Party (Central, District or Section Committees), prepares the agenda and proposals for the Unit meeting, and the activity for the coming week; In other words, it adapts the general campaign of the Party to the given situation in the shop or territory.
The Unit Bureau presents these well-prepared proposals to the Unit membership meeting, with a thorough explanation by one member of the Unit Bureau.
Are the plans or policies presented by the Unit Bureaus binding on the membership? No. The membership discusses the report of the Unit Bureau and decides the policy or activity by a majority vote, accepting, amending, or rejecting the proposals of the Unit Bureau.
The first point should always be a well-prepared discussion on a certain actual political problem. For example: The city administration wants to put through a sales tax. The reporter assigned by the Unit membership or Unit Bureau should be given sufficient time to prepare this report-the meaning of the sales tax, how it will affect the workers in general, and in the shop or territory where the Unit is working in particular. Then he gives concrete proposals as to how to mobilize the workers to fight against the sales-tax proposal. In order to have a more effective discussion in the Unit, it is necessary not only to assign one comrade to prepare the report, but also to supply material for all members of the Unit on the subject at least one week in advance. A well-organized, well-prepared discussion should not last longer than from one to one and a half hours.
The next point on the agenda should be the checkup of the assignments of the individual members. The Unit membership as a whole should always know not only whether a comrade carries out his assignment, but also should discuss the experiences of the individual comrades in carrying out assignments.
The next point should be the plan of activity for the next week, with a proper evaluation of the work of the past week. This point also takes care of the assignments of tasks to the individual comrades. In discussing this point the problem of recruiting must be raised. How many members were recruited, and by whom as a result of last week's activities, and how many and through what activities do we intend to recruit next week?
The next point could be the problems of the unions or mas organizations in which the Unit is working.
The next point should be the problem of the Daily Worker (distribution, correspondence, routes, building circulation, etc.). Literature
Literature distribution is a basic part of every activity of the Unit. This question should therefore be taken up in connection with every item on the agenda. For example if the Unit prepares a political discussion for the next Unit meeting, the question of literature with which our comrades can properly prepare themselves must be brought up then and there. If the question is one of organizing a campaign of the Party, work in the shops, trade unions, mass organizations, house-to-house canvassing, or a street or mass meeting, the distribution of suitable literature must receive its rightful place in the discussion of the problem and in the assignments given to the comrades. The check-up of the assignments of the individual members must also include a check-up on the method of selling the literature, how much was sold, how it was received by the workers, what questions they raised about our Party policy, and what further literature is needed in. order to clarify these workers on the questions raised. In order to save time in the Unit meeting, the actual obtaining of the literature by the unit members for use in their assignments may be placed on the agenda just before the close of the meeting, but the mobilization and assignments on this work must be made in connection with every question on the agenda.
The dues payment should take place before the meeting opens, as the comrades come in one by one to the meeting. A special period may be allowed during the meeting for dues payment if it is necessary. The Financial Secretary should report to every Unit Bureau meeting about the dues payment and the Unit Bureau should prepare a report on this problem at least once a, month for the Unit membership meetings.
If the points on the agenda are well prepared, and the proposals are concrete, a Unit meeting could easily be finished in no more than two and a half hours.
It is necessary to emphasize the importance of starting the meeting on time, and not to wait for one or two comrades who may come a little later.
Only in exceptional cases, when it is impossible to bring together the members every week, should we make exceptions from the rule of one meeting per week for each Unit.
Every member of the Unit knows a week in advance where the next meeting will be held. Members who are not present at the meeting must be notified through the group system.
This is the division of the membership of the Unit into small groups on the basis of the residence of the members. For example: A Street Unit has a territory of a number of blocks or a small town. The Unit has 25 or 30 members living all over the small town or scattered over a number of blocks. The four or five comrades living nearest to each other are organized into one group, the next five or six comrades near to each other into another group. Thus we divide the unit into six to eight groups.
The best developed comrade in the group is the group captain or leader.
The group captain is not elected. He is appointed by the Unit Bureau.
To keep his group together. To see to it that every member in his group attends Unit meetings. If one fails to appear he must find out the reason. He must collect dues from and bring assignments to those who cannot come to the Unit meeting.
No. The Unit Bureau consists of the best developed comrades in the Unit, even if they live in the same block or neighborhood and belong to the same group. The group leaders must be selected from among the members of the group. In case of a Unit Bureau consisting of three members, each of whom lives in a different part of the Unit territory, and belong to different groups, they may each be a leader of their group.
No. They are organized for the purpose of keeping the membership together and making it easier quickly to mobilize the Party-and the mass organizations as well, through the Party members in them.
Generally in our Party Units the members work to such an extent that they have very little time for reading and recreation. The main reason for this overburdening of our members is that the details of every campaign, action, activity, are carried out by the Party members and Party members only. At the same time we have exceptional cases in some Units where certain members of the Party, because of their lack of understanding of the political problems, are not as active as the others, and the Unit is forced to throw more and more work on the other members of the Unit. To change this situation, which in many cases results in losing members from the Party, we have to find ways and means of distributing the work equally, not only among Party members, but also among sympathizers around the Party Units in the shop or street.
If every Party member were assigned to persuade and enlist five or six workers in the shop or neighborhood to help him carry out his tasks, many burning organizational problems would be on the way to solution. This would bring us more results, more prospective Party members from among these active workers and would develop every Party member as an organizer for certain activities of the workers.
Why can't we, in canvassing houses for signatures in the election campaign or for selling literature or soliciting subs for the Daily Worker, or collecting money for the Daily Worker, or in some other campaign, draw in the sympathetic workers? Why shouldn't we give them responsibility if they are willing to take it? And they are. Why shouldn't we trust them with literature, Daily Worker money? Why shouldn't the Shop Units enlist sympathetic workers to help edit, print, finance and distribute the shop paper? The activities of the Party would be increased manifold. The burden now carried by the Party members would be distributed among more workers, leaving more time for study, reading, making friends, and carrying on personal agitation.
By exchanging the experiences of these comrades through regular discussions of their activities in the mass organizations at the Unit meeting. That means that members who belong to mass organizations must systematically report to the Unit Bureau or to the Unit meeting about their work: How they bring the various political campaigns of the Party into their mass organizations; about their experiences in recruiting members for the Party; in getting subs for the Daily Worker; in strengthening the influence of the Party by organizing and leading struggles of the members of the unions, Unemployment Councils, I.L.D., or other mass organizations.
If the Unit regularly hears the reports of these active members, the membership will learn from the experiences of these members: they will be helped to solve their own problems, while at the same time continuously checking on the activities of the members.
We must realize and recognize the fact that the work of the comrades in the mass organizations is very important. Therefore the Unit should not demand that they take Unit assignments in the same proportion as those members who are not active in the mass organizations. But we should expect all of these comrades to act as Communists in the territory where they live; make friends in their free time among their neighbors; surround themselves with sympathizers and in this way help the Unit get connections with more workers in the territory. An active member of a union or other mass organization cannot excuse his negligence or failure to act as a Communist in the house or territory where he lives.
To prepare proposals for activities, policy, etc., for the Unit meetings; to organize the membership to carry out the decisions if the Unit meeting; to control the carrying out of the decisions; to show the members of the Unit in the daily work how to carry out decisions, by participating, organizing and leading the workers in the daily struggles, in the campaigns, etc.; to see that the Unit members join and are active in unions and other mass organizations, and in their fractions; to see if the members are in good standing; to prepare all necessary information about the new applicants (recruits) for the Unit meeting; to build up systematically a financial income other than that from dues; to watch carefully the development of each member and train and promote promising onessupplying them with proper literature, sending them to Party schools, proposing them for work in the commissions of the higher Party committees, etc.
First of all every important decision must come only after a thorough discussion in the Unit. If the Unit members understand why certain steps must be taken by the Party, what the facts in a given situation are which demand the outlined policy, what the perspectives of the Party are regarding this action (what we intend to achieve) then the organization and mobilization of the members for the carrying out of the decision will be much easier.
But in assigning members to certain work, the Unit Bureau must know everything about the members; consideration must be given, among other things, to what union or mass organization this or that member belongs, what assignments or posts he has there, his (or her) personal life (housewife, children, etc.), ability, desire for certain tasks, how long in the Party, etc.
If we know the members, and the members know the problems and the tasks of the Unit, then the Unit Bureau will not have much trouble in organizing the work. This can be done in the following way: The Unit Bureau, in preparing the proposals for activities, also prepares proposals for the assignment of the individual members. The Bureau brings these proposals to the meeting, where the decision is made. The member, before a decision is made, has the right to express his opinion about his ability, or state reasons why he couldn't or shouldn't be assigned to the given work. But after the Unit meeting decides on the assignment, he must carry it out. In better functioning Units, where the Unit Bureau is thoroughly acquainted with the members, there is no necessity for discussion on the individual assignment. The Bureau makes the assignment and if the individual member asks to be excused for one reason or another and the Bureau does not agree to release him, only then is the question taken up at the meeting. We should always have in mind that the most disillusioning effect on the new member is created by constant squabbling about assignments. Short, decisive reports on the division of work which take into account the situation and ability of each individual member will change the situation.
The decisions and assignments are to be registered at the Unit meeting. At every meeting of the Unit Bureau all the decisions and assignments should be examined, and those not carried out should be noted. The facts should be reported to the Unit meeting. In this report the Unit Bureau sharply states the facts about the activities of the individuals in question, opening discussion on those members who shirk work. The open criticism will help the members take assignments more seriously. The members must learn from these discussions one important organizational principle of our Party, namely, that each individual member has the responsibility to build the mass movement of the toiling masses; to build the Communist Party, the vanguard of the proletariat.
One of the main and most important instruments of agitation and propaganda in the hands of the Party Units is the Daily Worker, the central organ of our Party. Those comrades who can influence the masses, who can win over the workers in one factory or a certain territory, have no chance of speaking personally and daily to the workers in thousands of factories, thousands of cities, thousands of streets. And even if these comrades do talk to the workers in a certain factory occasionally, they can deal with only one or two of the most burning questions. But the Daily Worker, the collective agitator and organizer of our Party and of the masses, speaks to its readers every day.
The best leaders of our Party speak to the workers through articles in the Daily Worker. The Central Committee speaks to the workers through editorials. Comrades in the unions, worker correspondents from the factories and towns, tell the stories of their fight against capitalism. If we hand the Daily Worker to a worker, we get him in daily touch with the leadership of our Party, with the Central Committee, with the best, most experienced Communists. Is there any better instrument than the Daily Worker for reaching and winning the niasses? No, there is not. Therefore, selling the Daily Worker in the neighborhood, and at the factory gates, getting subscribers and worker correspondents for it, is one of the most important duties of the Party organization.
The workers in the big factories can be reached by selling the Daily Worker to them at the gate or inside the factory.
In the neighborhood. (Street or Town Unit) the most effective method of getting new subscribers and buyers for the Daily Worker is through canvassing the homes of the workers. In order to make the reader interested in the Daily Worker at the beginning, we should get stories (worker correspondence) from the factories, neighborhood, town or city where the workers live, into the Daily. The territory to be covered should be limited to a couple of blocks. The worker and his family should be visited and told that sample copies of the Daily Worker will be left with them for a limited time; that they should read it, and if they like it, they should subscribe. The Daily Worker and the visit and talk of the canvassing comrades will make a good impression even if the worker does not subscribe. There should be no Street Unit, Town Unit, or Shop Unit of the Party without a good number of Daily Worker readers in the shop or territory.
The neighborhood paper is the official organ of the Street or Town Unit, edited, printed (mimeographed) distributed (sold) in the Unit territory under the leadership of the Unit by the Party members and by sympathizers. The neighborhood paper should have the same role in the smaller territory that the Daily Worker has nationally. It is the agitator and organizer of the Party, dealing with the concrete problems of the population in the Unit territory, agitating and propagandizing the workers for our program, and organizing them. Simple language, neat appearance and pictures are necessary to make the neighborhood paper popular.
We should strive to issue the paper as often as possible, and build around it a large circle of active supporters (correspondents, distributors, financial supporters, etc.). We should consider the development of neighborhood papers as of the greatest importance. If, for the last few years, we had been issuing a paper in the territory of each Street and Town Unit, we would have today thousands and thousands of little Party papers all over the country, a larger Party, and a wider circle of supporters. If each neighborhood paper would be read by only 200 or 300 people we would have close to a million workers closely connected with the Party.
We have to bear in mind that under more suppressive conditions, when the printing and shipping of the Daily Worker will be made much more difficult by the class enemy, we must have these hundreds of thousands of Party papers systematically placed in the hands of the workers.
In order to educate our Party membership and the masses with whom we come in contact in our work, to combat the lies of the bourgeois press, books, radio, movies, etc., to expose and defeat the theories of the counter-revolutionary Trotskyites, the Lovestoneite renegades, and all the social-fascist and fascist demagogues and other agents of the bourgeoisie, our Party membership should study and spread as widely as possible among the masses the teachings of the great leaders of the revolutionary movement, as well as our current theoretical publications, and our agitational pamphlets on the everyday issues and problems which confront the masses.
The Party has made and is making available the most important works of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin in low-priced editions. There can be no sound revolutionary movement built without the distribution of this literature. This is why the importance of literature distribution is stressed so much by the Party.
The Communist, the theoretical organ of the Central Committee, and The Communist International, organ of the Executive Committee of the Communist International, should be read by all the Party members, and receive a broad sale among the masses. There should be no Party member who does not read the Party Organizer, the monthly organ of the Central Committee which takes up all the current organizational problems of the Party giving concrete experiences and directives to aid our Party members in their every-day work.
Besides the theoretical books, pamphlets and magazines, the Central Committee, District Committees, and in some places, the Section Committees issue pamphlets on vital, every-day problems facing the broad masses. These are called our agitational pamphlets because they deal with specific questions affecting the broadest masses. Effective mass work, bringing the highest degree of political and organizational results, cannot be conducted without the distribution of this literature. Our Party literature will help to clarify the minds of the workers on the problems which face them, and will help bring them nearer to our Party. Without the broadest distribution of our Party literature the influence which our Party gains in its campaigns may soon give way in the minds of the workers to the influences of the bourgeois press, radio, movies, etc. Through distribution of our Party literature we can consolidate our influence and recruit thousands of new members for our Party.
The Unit Organizer should be the most able, m.st politically developed member of the Unit. He is the political leader of the Unit. His duties are as follows:
1. As a political leader he directs all the work of the Unit.
a. He prepares the material for the Unit Bureau (agenda, proposals for action, assignments, etc.)
b. Helps the Agit-Prop Director in preparing material for discussion in the Unit on political problems; on the policy of the Party; on resolutions of the higher committees.
c. He must react immediately to any issue that arises in the factory or in the territory. If there is no time to wait for the next Bureau meeting, he must call together the members of the Unit Bureau and decide with them what action must be taken. If it is not possible to call the Bureau together, he must take responsibility for the action and notify the individual Party members of their tasks. Taking responsibility for an action is especially important in a factory where the Unit Organizer faces great difficulties in calling meetings during working hours. In this case he acts independently, notifies the members and takes the responsibility at the next Unit meeting.
2. He is responsible for controlling the decisions of the Unit. He is the one who should carefully check on whether the assignments are carried out, and report his findings without hesitation to the Unit Bureau and the membership.
3. He sees to it that the group captains take care of their work.
4. He is responsible for developing new forces from the Unit
5. He must be in constant touch with the Section Committee, to whom he reports on the activities of the Unit and from whom he receives directives. In order to be able to make proposals and formulate policies for the Unit, he must be an example to the members of the Unit of how a good Party member works among the masses.
He is the comrade on the Unit Bureau who is responsible for the agitational and propaganda work of the Unit. His functions are:
1. To carry out the decisions of the Unit Bureau concerning discussions in the Unit, by gathering material for the reporter selected by the Unit Bureau or membership meeting. He must also supply material for these discussions to the individual members of the Unit.
2. He is in charge of the Editorial Board of the shop paper or neighborhood paper. He is responsible for organizing open forums, workers' schools, etc., in the territory.
3. He is also responsible for agitation and propaganda work not only inside the Party, hut among the non-Party workers.
Does this mean that all of these tasks should be taken care of by the Agit-Prop Director alone? Of course not! A good Agit-Prop Director should be able to pick comrades in the Unit who will help him carry out these tasks.
He takes care of all the financial problems of the Unit. He checks on members' dues payments and reports to the Unit Bureau regularly on who is falling behind in dues and attendance. He takes steps, through the group captains, to see that these members are visited. He organizes special financial income for the Unit from sympathizers, individual contributors, various kinds of social affairs. He should establish a fund for the Unit through these various activities, a fund which will enable the Unit to be able to extend its mass agitation among the workers in the shop or territory.
He is responsible for the membership list of the Unit. This task puts great responsibility on the shoulders of the Financial Secretary. He has to see to it that this list is safeguarded properly so that agents of the class enemy do not get hold of it. The Financial Secretary has under his leadership the entire technical and business activities of the Unit.
We have to emphasize that all these problems have very important political significance. The assignment or election of a comrade to this post mast always be considered from this point of view.
The Daily Worker agent should be one of the best developed, most energetic members of the Unit. If he is not an elected member of the Unit Bureau, he should attend all Bureau meetings in order to make it possible for him to participate in making plans for the spreading of the Daily Worker in all activities of the Unit. The task of the Unit Daily Worker agent must be considered as an important political function. His tasks are:
1. To mobilize the membership of the Unit to sell the Daily Worker every day in the factory or in the territory.
2. To mobilize the sympathizers around the Unit and make them enthusiastic distributors of the Doily Worker.
3. He is responsible for organizing a group of Daily Worker Builders from among the members of the Unit and sympathizers of the Party in the shop or territory where the Unit is operating.
4. He should check up whether the individual members are getting new readers for the Daily Worker in the unions or other mass organizations where they belong.
5. He has the duty of seeing whether the members of the Unit read the Daily Worker every day.
6. He should see to it that the experiences of the individual members in selling the Daily Worker should be discussed from time to time at Unit meetings and in this way improve the method of work in this respect.
The Unit Literature Director is not merely an "agent" or "salesman" who sells literature to the Party members at the Unit meeting, or who covers street and mass meetings for the sale of literature among the workers; neither is his task merely one of being a "go-between" bringing literature from Section Literature Department to the Unit meetings. Much of this work he must also do, but his tasks have a much broader aspect which we enumerate below:
1. To work in close collaboration with the Unit Bureau and the Unit Agit-Prop Director in planning the distribution of literature (what, where, when, how, how much, by whom).
2. To familiarize himself with our literature and be prepared to convince the Party members of the importance of reading and distributing each piece of literature.
3. To prepare the necessary literature at least a week beforehand for political discussions in the Cnits, and see to it that the Unit membership obtains same.
4. To cheek up and control that each Party member shall take out and sell literature in connection with his or her assignment, and establish regular distribution in his or her shop, trade union, or mass organization. To urge each member to mobilize workers and sympathizers to do likewise, and wherever possible establish a literature table or department officially in their organization. To mobilize also for sale of literature outside the shops particularly those in which we have no definite contact, at meetings of trade unions under reactionary leadership where we may not have organized contact inside, at opponent mass meetings, and at meetings of bourgeois-controlled fraternal, cultural, and religious organizations.
5. To check up and report on the reactions of workers to our literature and what literature is needed for their further clarification, and to become familiar with the conditions in the shops, organizations, neighborhoods, etc., and around what issues struggles could be developed and literature distributed. To see to it that all valuable experiences, particularly in distribution of literature inside the shops and trade unions are written up for the Party press or district literature bulletin.
6. To take the initiative in organizing collections, raffles, etc., at Unit meetings and affairs through which funds can be raised for the building of a Unit library of our basic theoretical books.
7. To keep a strict account of the Unit literature funds; see to it that all literature is paid for promptly by the Unit members, and that all bills for literature are paid promptly and exactly to the Section each week.
The resolutions and decisions of the Communist International, and the Central, District and Section Committees will remain on paper unless we have in the Units well-functioning, developed leadership which is able to mobilize the membership for carrying out these decisions. This mobilization will be successful only if the Unit leadership (Unit Bureau) is capable of clarifying all decisions to the membership. Only through political understanding can the membership be activized to apply the decisions of the Party committees in their daily work among the masses. We should always remember the emphasis stressed by the Open Letter in discussing this question:
"The center of gravity of Party work must be shifted to the development of the lower organizations, the factory nuclei, local organizations, and street nuclei." (Open Letter, pp. 20-21.)
In order to carry out this directive of the Open Letter we must strengthen and develop the leadership of the lower organizations. The main link of the masses to the Party is the Unit. If this link is faulty, if some of the links of the whole chain of Party organization do not function properly, the Party will have either very weak or no connections with the masses. In order to strengthen this link we must have a strong leadership (Unit Bureau).
The Unit Bureau is the leader of the Party and the masses among which the Unit operates. In order to have a strong, able leadership in the factory or in the neighborhood, we must elect the most able, capable comrades to the Unit Bureaus-comrades who grew up in the Party in struggles and who have been trained for leadership. To change the leadership in the Unit frequently is a sign of insufficient understanding of the role of the Unit Bureau. Many Party Units in our Party fail to develop mass activity, fail in influencing broad strata of the workers in the shop or neighborhood where they are operating because they change their leadership (Unit Bureau) too often. There should be a rule in the Unit that no Unit leader should be changed unless he is proved to be incapable of leading the Unit, or if he has developed so well that his promotion to a higher Party committee is on the order of the day. But even in that case, no comrade should be changed unless another comrade who is well developed can take his place. Stability in the Unit leadership is as important as it is in the Section, District, or Center. The basis of electing any functionary in the Party is precisely defined in the Open Letter:
"Every Party member and especially every Party functionary must be a real organizer of mass struggles in his particular sphere of work. From this standpoint the Party must judge the activity of its functionaries and must choose its leading bodies." (Open Letter, p. 23.)
Whether the Party Units fulfill their tasks among the masses depends to a great extent on a well-functioning Section Committee. The daily guidance of the Unit Bureaus, especially of the Shop Units, is one of the principal tasks of the Section Committees. This should be achieved mainly through personal contact between the Section Committees and the Unit Bureaus. While the organizational letter can give general guidance to the work of the Units, it alone is not sufficient to develop the Unit Bureaus;. in many cases it curbs the initiative of the Units. A Section Committee should use the following method of giving leadership to the Units:
1. Regular meetings of the various Unit functionaries should be held where, besides discussing politically the most outstanding tasks of the coming week, a well-prepared discussion is conducted on basic organizational and political problems of the Party. These discussions should take the form of a regular dais where the role and organizational principles of the Party are studied. Through these weekly meetings we can develop, strengthen and stabilize ike leadership in the Units.
2. The Section Committees should discuss the work of one of the Units at each meeting. This point should be prepared very carefully in conjunction with the Bureau of that Unit. The Section Committee, discussing the problem of the given Unit, gives concrete suggestions, proposals to correct mistakes and to overcome weaknesses.
The Section Organizer is the political leader of the Section, and is responsible for the entire Section.. He is the leader not only of the Party organization in the territory of the Section, but also must be or become a leader of the masses in the territory where the Section is operating. In order to be able to give leadership to the Party and to the masses, the Section Organizer must be in daily touch with the problems of the workers. He should be a member of the local union of his trade. In this way he strives to become the leader of the organized workers in that trade union. The Section Organizer has the task of preparing the agenda for the Section Bureau and Section Committee meetings, and he sees to it that the decisions adopted at these meetings are carried out by the Units of the Section. In order to be able to carry out this big task, other members of the Section Committee are made responsible for the various fields of activity of the Party. But the Section Organizer is responsible to the Section Committee also for the activity of these comrades. The work in the Section Committee is divided among the members of the Section Committee, around whom are built up the various commissions. In the Section Committees we have the following leading functionaries: Organizational Secretary, Agitational-Propaganda Director, head of Trade Union Commission, head of Daily Worker Committee, head of the Literature Committee, Financial Secretary, head of the Membership Committee.
From the foregoing we see how the Party is connected organizationally with the workers and their mass organizations. Let us sum up very briefly: The basic link between the Party and the decisive strata of the working class are the Units in the industries; the Street, Town and Farm Units in the territory and the fractions, particularly in the unions but also in other mass organizations.
These organizations are the ones through which the Party leads the masses in the place of employment, or organization, and where they live. On the efficiency, independence, and initiative of these Party organizations depends the ability of the Party to lead the masses in the daily struggle against the bosses and for final victory.
In the statutes of the Communist Parties of the Communist International, we find the following point: All Party organizations may decide on local questions independently insofar as these decisions do not conflict with any decision of the higher Party organizations.
The problem is how are we to equip our units and Sections to function independently? How can we develop the initiative of these organizations to such an extent that they won't wait for directives from the higher bodies as they too often do now, but develop their own campaigns, react to every issue in their shop or territory? Naturally, these actions will always be based on the general policy or campaigns of the Party.
Why is it so important to develop the initiative of the lower organizations? In answering this question, we have to remember one very important fact. Tie Units are the organizations which are in direct touch with the masses. The Units are the leaders of the workers in the factories, neighborhoods, etc. In order to be able to give correct leadership to these workers, the Unit must raise slogans which fit the given situation. But the concrete issues are often quite different in each factory or neighborhood. The Unit, with its members among the masses, can react quickly on these issues. If we wait until the news about a wage cut or worsening of conditions reaches the Section, and is then transmitted to the Units, the issue will have become useless in many cases, or there is a danger that the workers will already be following the leadership of some reformist. 'Waiting for instructions will not make a Unit the leader of the masses. 'Too many decisive "moments" have been lost in this way.
In the Units where there is real initiative there will be constant development of the individual members. They will continuously discuss problems and study the line of the Party in order to be able to apply it to the given situation.
The "independence" and "initiative" of the Unit must not be interpreted to mean that they have nothing to do with the higher committees of the Party. The Section, District and Central Committees, by the principle of democratic centralism, on which our Party structure and procedure are based, always have the right to approve or disapprove any decision of the lower organizations.
The initiative of the Units develops precisely because the proper leadership is given by the higher Party committees.
What are the best methods of developing the ithtiative of the Units? First. of all, the personal guidance given by the Party committees, through representatives, or instructors, who work with the Unit for some time. These representatives or instructors assigned to a Unit participate in all activities of the Unit and not only help prepare proposals for actions, but take part in carrying out the decisions.
There is one more very important reason for hastening the process of developing the initiative of the Units to the highest degree. In a comparatively "peaceful" period, when the Party has the possibilities of working openly, the Units can come for advice to the Section or District headquarters. But in a situation when it may not be possible to have open headquarters, when it will be quite difficult to get in touch with the Section Committee quickly, the Unit will have to work independently. If we neglect to develop the initiative of the Units today, the work of the Party would be hampered in illegal conditions.
The Commissions are the instruments in the hands: of the respective Party Committees for the purpose, of carrying out the work more effectively.
1. The role of the Commissions is to prepare ma-terial for the Committees in their respective field of work.
2. They are responsible for carrying out the decisions of the Party Committee in their field of work: and to see to it that the decisions made in the Committees are carried out by the lower organization.
These Commissions have no right to make de-. cisions on general policies of the Party, but they have the right to make decisions in the process of' carrying out the policy of the respective Party Committees. For example: The Section Committee decides that steps must be taken to stop membership, fluctuation in the Units. The Organization Department, in carrying out this decision, examines a number of Units, finds out the basic weaknesses and in this way gathers material for a thorough campaign, for stopping fluctuation. In the process of the examination the Organization Department makes decisions, about the composition of the Commission and the. method of work of this Commission which carries on the investigation.
The head of the Commission should be a member, of the Party committee. The members of the Commissions are appointed by the Party committee from, the best qualified members of the Party organization,, not necessarily members of the Party committee. It, is advisable to draw in as many comrades from the lower organizations into these Commissions as possible in order to develop them for more responsible work.
1. Organizational Commission (Org. Commission),
2. Agitation and Propaganda Commission (AgitProp),
3. Trade Union Commission,
4. Negro Commission,
5. Women's Commission,
6. Agrarian Commission.
The other phases of activity (Daily Worker, Literature, Finances, etc.) are taken care of by one or the other of these Commissions.
1. To explain and popularize the Organizational decisions of the Conventions, Conferences (Communist International, Central Committee, District or Section Committee), and see to it that these decisions are carried out.
2. To prepare Org. Directives, outlines for the Party Committee, for all fields of organizational work in connection with the various campaigns of the Party (elections, May First, anti-war, anti-fascism, recruiting, Daily Worker, etc.).
3. To control and check upon whether the decisions of the Party Committees are carried out (control tasks).
4. To exchange the organizational experiences of the Party organizations through articles in the Party Organizer, "Party Life" column in the Daily Worker, special Organizational Bulletins, functionaries' meetings.
5. To watch and control constantly the composition of the Party and take the necessary steps if there is any danger of unstable non-proletarian elements attaining too great numerical and political influence.
6. To check on whether members have joined the unions in their industry.
7. To watch and check fluctuation (turn-over in membership). 8. To promote recruiting.
9. To give special guidance and assistance to the Factory Units.
10. To report systematically to the higher committees about dues, recruiting, Factory Units, shop papers, Fractions, etc.
11. To follow up systematically the behavior and development of the functionaries in the Party, and to promote new cadres.
12. To help the lower organizations through instructors.
13. To organize the Fractions in the mass organizations and see that they function.
Through personal contact with the lower organizations. Members of the Org. Commission should train instructors to help maintain this contact. These instructors, while helping the lower organizations in their daily work, at the same time bring problems up to the higher committees, problems which have not been solved in the lower organizations of the Party. These problems, after thorough discussion, should be written about in the Party Organizer, "Party Life" column, etc., in this way giving the experiences of one organization to the whole Party. The Org. Commission should also use the method of bringing together promising comrades from the Units to classes, where they can be developed into new organizational forces for the Party.
There is no need to emphasize again how important and vital it is to work in the A. F. of I. and other unions. This work must occupy one of the most predominant places in the work of all Party Committees. In order to be able to pay daily attention to all trade union problems, each Party committee should organize a special Commission for this work. Its duties are:
1. To explain the resolutions of the Convention and of the Committees concerning the trade union questions.
2. To prepare material for the respective Party committee when a problem of a particular trade or industry is put on the agenda.
3. To check on whether the lower organizations are carrying out the decisions of the Party committee in the trade union field.
4. To give systematic guidance and directives to the fractions of the trade union about the policy, tactics and concrete steps of the Party in the field of the trade union movement, and to see whether they carry out the directives of the Party.
5. To coordinate the activities of the fractions in the various trade unions.
6. To exchange and popularize the experience of the trade union fractions.
7. To lead the work in the field of organizing and strengthening the fractions in all trade union organizations, City Central Bodies, State Federations of Labor, etc.
8. To participate in the work of the Fractions in the preparation for trade union conferences, conventions, etc.
9. To watch carefully the development of Party forces in the trade union movement, as well as the work of the non-party sympathetic leaders in the trade union movements.
The head of the commission should be a member of the respective Party committee Section Committee, District Committee, Central Committee. The rest of the members should be elected by the Party committee from among the most developed comrades in the trade union field.
1. To organize discussion around and popularization of the resolutions of the Conventions and Committees.
2. To prepare material for the respective Party committees for use in mass agitation (leaflets, pamphlets, articles).
3. To help and guide the lower organizations in editing and publishing shop and neighborhood papers.
4. To help the lower organizations to organize systematic discussions on actual political problems, campaigns, etc.
5. To help the lower organizations organize circulating libraries.
6. To organize open forums, lectures, study circles, workers' schools.
7. To organize training schools for functionaries and study circles for members.
If, in the other specific phases of Party work-, certain special situations necessitate other Commissions, the Party committee takes steps to set them up (Negro, Women Commissions, etc.).
The Party committees should assign one of its members to handle the financial problems. Around this comrade (Financial Secretary) a committee should be organized, which will be a subcommittee of the Org. Commission.
The Daily Worker and Literature Committees should also be set up as a subcommittee of the Agit-Prop Commission. In order to coordinate the work of the two main Commissions, the Org. and AgitProp, there must be mutual representation established. One member of the Org. Commission must be a member of the Agit-Prop and vice versa.
The Young Communist League is a mass organizatien of youth. The Coinmunl. Party is responsible for building this very important mass organization. The relation between the Party and the Y.C.L. is guided by these principles: The Party Units bear political responsibility for building the Y.C.L. In order to carry out this responsibility, the following organizational rules are observed by the Party:
1. Each Party Unit assigns one comrade for work in the. corresponding Y.C.L. Unit. This assigned member is not a formal representative of the Party to the Y.C.L., but a mature comrade who participates in all activities of the Y.C.L., helps it to formulate policies and to carry out decisions.
In a Party Unit territory where there is no Y.C.L. Unit, one or two comrades should be assigned to the special task of building the Y.C.L. organization.
2. In order to coordinate the work between the Party and the Y.C.L., the Party should select one Y.C.L. member, preferably one who is a member also of the Party, to attend regularly the meetings of the Unit Bureau. It is understood that all Y.C.L. members who are members of the Party attend Party Unit membership meetings.
3. The same rules are observed on a Section scale. The Section Committee has one of its members assigned to the Y.C.L. Section. One member of the Y.C.L. Section Committee, attends regularly the meetings of the Section Party Committee.
Besides the basic organization of the Party, the Factory Units, and the other forms of organization, Street and Town Units, there is another instrument in the hands of the Party through which we can influence the broadest strata of organized workers; that is, the Fraction.
The Fraction is an instrument in the hands of the Party through which the Policy of the Party is brought to the organized masses, and through which the Party gives leadership to members of the mass organizations. Fractions are built in all the trade unions and other mass organizations of the workers. In all unions and in cultural, fraternal, sport and unemployed organizations of the workers or farmers, in all united front organizations, in all conventions and conferences of such organizations where there are at least three Communists, a Communist Fraction must be organized.
The Party Fraction in the shop committees, sport clubs, etc., are under the jurisdiction of the corresponding Party organization: the Fraction in a shop is under the jurisdiction of the Factory Unit. The Fractions in organizations in a Unit territory are under the jurisdiction of the Street or Town Unit. The Fractions in organizations in a Section territory are under the jurisdiction of the Section Committee; a Fraction in an organization which covers a territory belonging to more than one Section is under the jurisdiction of the District. The Fractions in national organizations are under the jurisdiction of the Central Committee.
In all questions in which there is a decision of the corresponding Party organization, the Fractions must carry out these decisions. The policy for a mass organization is made in the Party Committee, but before the decisions are made on any basic question concerning the mass organization, the Party Committee invites the representatives of the given Fraction to participate in the discussion. The Fraction at this meeting has a consultative role. After the discussion, the decision is made by the Party committee. The Party Committee can decide that the Fraction members express their opinion on the problem through consultative voting. The decision, however, is made by the majority vote of the members of the Party Committee. Leading Fractions
The Leading Fraction of a Fraction in a given organization is composed of those Party members who are elected by the members of this organization to the leading committees. For example: An organization with 300 members elects an executive committee of fifteen. Among these fifteen, there are five Party members. These five Party members compose the Leading Fraction in the organization.
These Fractions are under the control of the corresponding Patty committee to which they have to report regularly. At the same time, this Leading Fraction also has the duty of reporting to the general Fraction of the mass organization about their activities. The candidates for election in a mass organization are selected b* the general Fraction, but must be approved by the corresponding Party cornmittee before they are proposed to the general membership meeting of the organization. In all detailed questions of the inner life and the daily work of the union and other mass organizations, the Fraction acts independently on the basis of the policy of the Party.
The Party committee should check up on the daily work of the Fraction. But this should be done in such a way that it helps to develop ability to act independently. In cases of a basic controversy between the Party Fraction and the Party committee on a question which otherwise is decided by the Fraction, a joint meeting of the Party committee and representatives of the Fraction should be arranged at which the question should be clarified and a decision made by the Party committee. This decision must be carried out unreservedly by the Party Fraction.
On problems which will be decided by the general membership meeting of the organization, the Fraction of this organization must take a stand. Every individual member of the Fraction must carry out the decisions of the Fraction at the membership meeting whether he agrees with it or not. At the present period it is especially important to organize the Fractions and make them work correctly in the A. F. of L. unions.
The Units and the Party committees must take the responsibility for this basic task of the Party. The decisions that every Party member who is eligible should belong to a union and function there as a member of the organized Fraction must be carried out in the shortest possible time. It must be emphasized that without good working Fractions, revolutionary mass work is impossible.
The Party Fraction in a union or a branch of another mass organization meets regularly before the meeting of this organization. At this meeting the members of the Party Fraction discuss and decide how to apply the policy of the Party in the organization; how to introduce the Party campaigns; how to recruit new Party members from the union; how to get new readers for the Daily Worker; and what things can be done to improve the conditions of the tembers of the organization. On the various questions, the decisions are made by vote. The minority must help to carry out the decisions. No Party member has the right to speak or act in the union or other mass organization against the decisions of the Fraction. The Party members must always act as a solid unit in the union or other mass organization. Workers look upon the Party as a disciplined body. If they should see that the Party members come to a meeting with different opinions on certain questions they will lose confidence in the ability of our Party to give them leadership. They will inevitably raise the question: "How can the Party claim to be a disciplined organizational leader of the masses if they cannot unite their own members on certain issues?"
If certain members of the Fraction do not agree with the decision of the majority, they can bring the problem to the Party committee and ask for a discussion, but this appeal cannot keep back the minority from carrying out the decision if the mass organization meeting happens to take place before the Party committee can act on this appeal.
The members of a Fraction elect one comrade s Secretary. His work is as follows:
1. He maintains connections between the Party committee and Fraction.
2. He is personally responsible to the Party committee for the proper functioning of the Fraction.
3. He checks up and sees to it that the Party members function in the Fraction.
4. He watches the behavior of the Party members in the mass organization.
5. He sees to it that the campaigns are brought into the mass organization (election campaign, May First, anti-fascism, anti-war, recruiting, Daily Worker, etc.).
Party Membership and Cadres