Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Revolutionary Communist Party

New Programme and New Constitution of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

(Drafts for Discussion)

Organs of Political Power

When it is said that the proletariat overthrows the bourgeoisie and seizes power, this is fundamentally true in the sense that it is only through the determined struggle of the masses of workers, together with their allies, that the armed forces of the bourgeoisie can be defeated and a new political power established, resting on the armed might of the masses. But, at the same time, even as this is accomplished a new question immediately and sharply poses itself: how to smash and dismantle the old forms of rule and political institutions and create in their place new ones which actually represent, rely on and involve the masses in ruling and remolding society in their interests.

This certainly cannot be done just by appointing Party members, and/or elected representatives of the workers and other oppressed masses, to take charge of the old institutions or of ones different in name but structured along the same lines as the old ones. If workers are selected as judges in the courts, for example, but the courts have the same position above the masses and follow the same rules and procedures as before, then these worker-judges will quickly turn into oppressors of the people and the courts will yet again serve as instruments of bourgeois dictatorship over the masses. The same principle applies to the bureaucracies, police and armed forces, etc.

Or take the set-up of Congress and the Presidency, and its parallel structure on the state and local levels, in the U.S. today. Not only is it the case that those who hold these positions must faithfully and ruthlessly serve the bourgeoisie–at least those who exercise any real power–but beyond that, the very process by which they are elected and then carry out their functions is by design and in its very essence one which divorces them from and raises them above the masses, encourages and rewards self-seeking careerism and corruption among political leaders and, most of all, keeps the masses ignorant and passive politically. This kind of structure and procedure must be dismantled and abolished, and replaced with one which breaks down such separation between leaders and masses and serves to activate and mobilize the masses in political life and struggle to transform all of society toward the goal of eliminating class distinctions and their political and ideological manifestations. And the same is true of all the institutions in society.

In carrying this out, the destruction of the old and the creation of the new are closely inter-connected. The forms of mass organization that are developed among the proletariat and other sections of the people, in the process of building up to and then waging the armed struggle for power, will lay the basis for the new institutions which represent and serve the proletariat in ruling and transforming society. For instance, the trade unions, especially the establishment-type political machines that existed in the more recent period of the old society, will be done away with and replaced by mass organizations of workers whose main task and function will be to mobilize them in mass political struggle and, secondarily, on the basis of these politics, mobilize them in the struggle to carry out production and pay attention to their working and living conditions.

Or, for example, the armed forces of the proletarian revolution, which themselves will be developed out of the masses’ organizations in struggle, can never win victory if they are structured and commanded along the same lines as those of the bourgeoisie–with a dictatorial hierarchy resting on the absolute authority of superior officers and most fundamentally on the intimidation of the rank and file soldiers and their ignorance of the real purpose of the wars they are called on to fight as well as of the plans and policies guiding particular campaigns and battles. Instead, the armed forces of the proletarian revolution must and will be based on a simplified structure, closely linking officers and rank and file soldiers, without saluting, “Yes-sirring” and other privileges of rank, and more than that based on political education and struggle among the troops, including between officers and rank and file soldiers, to continually raise their consciousness as to the objectives and the character of the war they must fight as well as particular campaigns and battles. Further, these armed forces, unlike those of the bourgeoisie, will be closely linked with and rely on the masses of people for support.

At the same time, the masses in their tens of millions beyond the regular armed forces of the proletariat, will be organized into militias on the local levels to assist the overall armed struggle and maintain the new order as it is achieved. And, as the revolutionary forces carry out the armed struggle and defeat the armed forces of the bourgeoisie, they will not only shatter and disintegrate the enemy’s military organization but will win over broad ranks of its soldiers, re-educate them and integrate them into the armed forces of the proletarian revolution in accordance with its basic principles.

All this will mean that the revolutionary army led by the proletariat and its Party, drawing upon and closely linked with the broad masses, will fight with a determination, a discipline–conscious, voluntary discipline–and a heroism that no bourgeois army can ever achieve. And all this must be applied and further developed once the revolutionary war has won victory and the proletariat has seized power.

The same basic principles must also be applied to the destruction of the old and the creation of the new police and security forces, courts and other government institutions, and to the formulation and upholding of laws themselves as well as specific policies of the government. Under the overall leadership of the Party, the conscious activism of the masses must be aroused and their vigilance heightened to involve them in all aspects of political life and rely on them to politically supervise the organs of power and the leadership within them and to suppress and exercise uncompromising authority over the overthrown bourgeoisie and other counter-revolutionary elements, punishing them acccording to their crimes, crushing their resistance and generally compelling them to abide by the dictates of the working class. Only in this way can political power, for which tens of millions will have fought and sacrificed, actually be in the hands of the masses, only in this way can the dictatorship of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie be firmly established and the socialist transformation and development of the economy, as well as all other spheres of society, be undertaken.