Program of Action of the Red International of Labour Unions


This book was written in 1921 by A. Losovsky, member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolshevik), one of the heads of the Communist International and Secretary-General of the Red International of Labour Unions.

The Program of Action presents the concrete orientation put forward by the revolutionary unions of the time in their work and in their daily battles in order to prepare the overthrow of capitalism.

It is the creative application of Marxist-Leninist principles to work in the workers’ and union movement, synthesizing the experience gained by the working class in its struggle against Capital during those revolutionary years following the 1914-1918 imperialist war and the Russian socialist revolution of October 1917.

The Program of Action was written during a period which saw an offensive by Capital against the revolutionary upsurge of the working class. The capitalist class counted on the reformist leaders of the political parties and the unions to disarm this movement and stifle it, to turn it away from the revolutionary road onto the peaceful road by fooling workers with electoral promises and class collaboration schemes.

It was against this background that the Communist International sent out a call to communist parties throughout the world to take up the defence of the interests of the working class more firmly. This called for unmasking the reformist and social-democratic traitors as having abandoned not only the struggle for socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat but also the struggle for the most immediate demands of the working class.

Communists have always demarcated themselves from reformist and anarchist positions on all practical questions. The confrontation between the bourgeois line and the proletarian line is clearly laid out in the text, whether it concerns direct action in the fight against unemployment or the link between the fight for reforms and the fight for socialism.

Losovsky shows the importance of linking the unions and the party and of undertaking joint action. He shows the leading role the party plays in this revolutionary front.

Discussing the need for the unity of the working class in its daily battles against the capitalists’ attacks, Losovsky clearly states that there can be no working class unity on the basis of class collaboration but only on the basis of class struggle. Even though the actual circumstances have changed, and the labour movement looks different, these principles and lessons retain all their value and their truth.

Today, an economic and political crisis is shaking our country. In these conditions, the working class urgently needs revolutionary leadership and organization. The workers, in their struggles against the bourgeoisie and its crisis measures, are inevitably confronted with the bureaucrats who now control the unions in Canada. These reformists and revisionist traitors practise class collaboration and preach that it’s possible to “civilize” capitalism.

But what the working class needs to defend its interests are real fighting organizations, class struggle unions and especially its Marxist-Leninist party.

The fight to develop the proletarian current in the unions—against class collaboration and for class against class struggle—must be taken up. This fight is an essential part of the struggle in our country to build a new Marxist-Leninist communist party.

Only under the leadership of the party can the proletarian line win out and the working class throw the revisionist and reformist union bureaucrats out of its ranks.

This is why this book, rich with lessons, should become a sharp weapon in our revolutionary struggle against the Canadian bourgeoisie and for socialism.

May 1978

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