Source: Published in To the Masses: Proceedings of the Third Congress of the Communist International, 1921 (https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/897-to-the-masses), pp. 953-65
Translation: Translation team organized by John Riddell
HTML Markup: David Walters & Andy Blunden for the Marxists Internet Archive, 2018
Copyright: John Riddell, 2017. Republished here with permission
The bourgeoisie holds the working class in slavery not only through brute force but also through quite elaborate deception. The school, the church, parliament, art, literature, the daily press – in the hands of the bourgeoisie, they all serve as a powerful means of beguiling the working masses and of transmitting bourgeois ideas to the proletariat.
Among the bourgeois notions that the ruling classes have succeeded in implanting among the working masses is the concept that trade unions are neutral, apolitical, and non-partisan.
During recent decades, and especially after the imperialist war ended, trade unions in Europe and the Americas have become the most extensive organisations of the proletariat, embracing in some countries nothing less than the entirety of the working class. The bourgeoisie knows full well that the fate of the capitalist system depends on the degree to which the trade unions will be capable, in the near future, of shaking off bourgeois influences. That explains the convulsive efforts of the entire world bourgeoisie and its accomplices, the Social Democrats, to keep the trade unions under the spell of bourgeois – Social Democratic ideas at all costs.
The bourgeoisie cannot simply tell the trade unions to support the bourgeois parties. So instead, it calls on them to support no party at all, meaning in reality that the unions should not support the party of communism.
The gospel of neutrality or political abstention already has a long history. Over the years, the bourgeois concept was drummed into the trade unions of Britain, Germany, the United States, and other countries by spokesmen of clerical-Christian unions and bourgeois Hirsch-Duncker unions, by leaders of peaceful British trade unions of the old school, and by representatives of the so-called free trade unions in Germany [ADGB] and of syndicalism. Legien, Gompers, Jouhaux, and Sidney Webb proclaimed for decades the ‘neutrality’ of unions.
In reality, however, the trade unions were never neutral and could not be, no matter how hard they tried. Not only is trade-union neutrality harmful to the working class; it is also unrealisable. No mass workers’ organisation can remain neutral in the struggle between capital and labour. It follows that the trade unions, too, cannot remain neutral with regard to the bourgeois parties and the party of the proletariat. The leaders of the bourgeoisie understand this full well. However, just as it is absolutely necessary for the bourgeoisie that the masses believe in the life hereafter, they also need the masses to believe that trade unions are apolitical and can remain neutral toward the Communist workers’ party. Bourgeois rule and extraction of profits from the workers requires not only priests, police, generals, and informers, but also the trade-union bureaucrats, the ‘workers’ leaders’, who preach trade-union neutrality and abstention from political struggle.
Even before the imperialist war, the most advanced proletarians of Europe and America had begun to see through the false notion of neutrality. Its fallaciousness became more evident as class antagonisms became increasingly acute. When the imperialist slaughter began, the old trade-union leaders were compelled to take off the mask of neutrality and offer open support to their ‘own’ bourgeoisie.
During the imperialist war, the Social Democrats and syndicalists who had preached for decades that trade unions should avoid any involvement in politics now placed the unions in the service of the bourgeois parties’ despicable and murderous policies. Yesterday’s preachers of trade-union ‘neutrality’ had now taken on the role of undisguised agents of specific political parties – not workers’ parties but those of the bourgeoisie.
Now that the imperialist war has ended, the same Social Democratic and syndicalist trade-union leaders once again put on the mask of trade-union neutrality and abstention. Now that the predicament of war is over, these agents of the bourgeoisie seek to adjust to the new conditions and want to remove workers from the path of revolution and put them on a path more advantageous for the bourgeoisie.
Economics and politics are always tied together by indissoluble bonds. This connection is particularly strong in periods like the present one. Every single important question of political life is of interest not only to the workers’ party but also to proletarian trade unions. Conversely, every important economic question is of interest not only to the unions but to the workers’ party. When the imperialist government of France orders the call-up of specific age categories in order to occupy the Ruhr Basin and, in general, to strangle Germany, can any truly proletarian union in France maintain that this is a purely political issue of no concern to the unions? Can a truly revolutionary syndicalist union in France remain neutral or non-political on this issue?
Let us take another example: the coal strike, a purely economic movement under way in Britain. Can the Communist Party say that this is an exclusively trade-union question and is of no concern to the party? Millions of unemployed today face destitution and are reduced to the status of beggars. The question must be posed of requisitioning the dwellings of the bourgeoisie in order to ease the housing crisis of the proletariat. Broader and broader masses of workers are forced by the realities of life to consider the question of arming the proletariat. Workers in one country after another are organising the occupation of factories and industrial establishments. Under such conditions, the assertion that the unions should not get involved in political struggle and should remain neutral toward all parties amounts in practice to entering the service of the bourgeoisie.
Despite the wide variety of political parties in Europe and America, on the whole they can be categorised under three headings: (1) parties of the bourgeoisie; (2) parties of the petty bourgeoisie (chiefly the Social Democrats); (3) the party of the proletariat. Trade unions that claim to be apolitical and neutral toward the three above-mentioned groups of parties are, in reality, supporting the parties of the petty bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie.
The Amsterdam trade-union International is the place where the Second and Two-and-a-Half Internationals met and joined hands. The entire international bourgeoisie regards this organisation with trust and confidence. The central idea inspiring the Amsterdam trade-union International is trade-union neutrality. It is no accident that the bourgeoisie and its servants, the Social Democrats and right-wing syndicalists, seek to rally the broad masses of Western European and American workers around this slogan. While the Second International, which openly went over to the bourgeoisie, has completely collapsed, the Amsterdam trade-union International, which has again assumed the disguise of neutrality, is enjoying a degree of success. While flying the flag of neutrality, the Amsterdam trade-union International undertakes the most challenging and despicable tasks for the bourgeoisie, such as finishing off the coal miners’ strike in Britain. This task was carried out by the notorious J.H. Thomas, who is simultaneously chair of the Second International and one of the best-known leaders of the Amsterdam yellow trade-union federation. Other such tasks include driving down wages and the organised plundering of German workers to pay for the sins of the imperialist German bourgeoisie.
Leipart and Grassmann, Wissel and Bauer, Robert Schmidt and J.H. Thomas, Albert Thomas and Jouhaux, Daszynski and Zulawski – they have all divided up their various roles. Some of them, previously trade-union leaders, now serve as ministers, officials, or accomplices of various kinds. Others, however, committed body and soul to these accomplices, occupy the top positions in the Amsterdam trade-union International and urge workers to remain neutral in political struggles.
The Amsterdam trade-union International now stands as a central pillar of international capitalism. No one can successfully challenge this capitalist stronghold unless they have fully grasped the need to contest the false notion of abstention and neutrality. To develop effective methods of struggle against the yellow Amsterdam International, it is necessary above all to determine precisely the mutual relations between party and trade union in each country.
The Communist Party is the vanguard of the proletariat, a vanguard that fully recognised what was needed to free the proletariat and therefore consciously adopted the Communist programme.
The trade unions, on the other hand, are a mass organisation of the proletariat, which develop toward embracing all the workers of a given branch of industry. They include not only convinced Communists but also intermediate and even quite backward layers of the proletariat, who approach communism only step by step, based on the lessons of life. The role of the trade unions in the period preceding the struggle for power is different in many ways from their role after the taking of power. However, during all these stages – before, during, and after the taking of power – trade unions are broad organisations embracing larger masses than the party. To some degree, they must necessarily play the role, with respect to the party, of a periphery to a centre.
Before the taking of power, truly proletarian and revolutionary trade unions organise workers primarily on an economic basis to win such improvements as are possible before capitalism’s complete overthrow. Their attention is chiefly directed, however, at organising proletarian mass struggle against capitalism and for proletarian revolution. During the proletarian revolution, genuinely revolutionary trade unions work together with the party to organise the masses for an immediate assault against the capitalist strongholds and to undertake the basic work of organising the socialist revolution. After proletarian power has been established and consolidated, the work of the trade unions shifts chiefly to the field of economic organisation. They devote their resources almost completely to organising the economy on a socialist basis. In this way, they become a practical school of socialism.
During all three of these phases of struggle, the trade unions must support the proletarian vanguard, the Communist Party, which leads the proletarian struggle at every stage. To achieve this goal, the Communists and their sympathisers must organise Communist cells in the trade unions, units that are fully subordinated to the Communist Party as a whole.
The policy of forming Communist cells in every trade union, adopted by the Communist International’s Second Congress, has proved its worth during the last year, leading to good results in Germany, Britain, Italy, and a number of other countries. In Germany, significant numbers of untested and politically inexperienced workers, seeing no immediate advantage in membership in the Free Trade Unions [ADGB], have recently left the ranks of the Social Democratic unions. This in no way changes the Communist International’s principled position regarding the unions. The task of Communists is to explain to proletarians that nothing is to be gained by leaving the old trade unions and remaining unorganised. Rather the solution is to win the trade unions to revolution, rid them of the spirit of reformism and of the traitorous reformist leaders, and thus to transform the unions into genuine strongholds of the revolutionary proletariat.
The main task of all Communists in the coming period consists of tenacious, vigorous, and stubborn effort to win the majority of workers in all trade unions. We must not be discouraged by current reactionary moods in the unions, but rather should take part actively in the unions’ daily struggles, despite every obstacle, and thus work to win them to communism.
The strength of every Communist Party can be best measured by the degree of influence that it really exerts on the masses of workers in the trade unions. The party must be able to exert its decisive influence in the trade unions without petty, patronising interference. Only the Communist cells in the union, not the union as such, are subordinated to the party. Only through consistent, devoted, and perceptive work by Communist trade-union cells can the party achieve a situation where the unions as a whole heed the advice of the party happily and willingly.
In France, there is at present a healthy ferment in the trade unions. The working class is finally recovering from the crisis of the workers’ movement and is now learning to reject the betrayal carried out by the reformist socialists and syndicalists.
Many of the revolutionary syndicalists in France are still prejudiced against political struggle and against the idea of a proletarian political party. They pay homage to the concept of neutrality, as expressed in the celebrated Amiens Charter of 1906. The ineffective and incorrect approach of this wing of revolutionary syndicalism holds dangers for the movement. Should this current win the majority, it will not know what to do with it and will be disarmed in the face of the agents of capitalism like Jouhaux and Dumoulins.
The revolutionary syndicalists in France will continue to lack a firm line until such a line is developed by the Communist Party itself. The Communist Party of France must work toward friendly cooperation with the best forces of revolutionary syndicalism. However, the party must rely above all on its own members, and form cells wherever as few as three Communists are located. The party must begin an educational campaign against neutralism. In a friendly but firm manner, it must point out what is erroneous in the positions of revolutionary syndicalism. Only in this way can the trade-union movement in France become revolutionary, working in close cooperation with the party.
In Italy, there is an unusual situation. Here the bulk of trade-union members are revolutionary in outlook, but the leadership of the [General] Confederation of Labour is held by outright reformists and centrists, whose sympathies are with Amsterdam. The first task of Italian Communists is to organise a stubborn and extended daily struggle in the unions, from bottom to top. They must work methodically and patiently to expose the traitorous and indecisive nature of this leadership and wrest the trade unions from its control.
As regards the revolutionary syndicalist forces in Italy, the Italian Communists face, by and large, the same tasks as the Communists in France.
In Spain, the trade-union movement is strong and revolutionary but lacking in purpose, while the Communist Party is still young and relatively weak. In this situation, the party must do all it can to win a foothold in the unions, it must provide the unions with advice and assistance, playing an educational role and developing friendly relations, in order to join with the unions in organising the entire struggle.
In Britain, an important evolution is under way in the trade-union movement, which is rapidly becoming revolutionary. The mass movement is developing, and the old trade-union leaders are quickly becoming discredited. The party must make every effort to win a foothold in the large unions, such as the miners. Every member of the party must be active in a union, winning support for communism through energetic, persistent organisational work. Nothing should be neglected in seeking closer ties with the masses.
In the United States, the same evolution is proceeding at a somewhat slower pace. By no means should the Communists simply leave the ranks of the reactionary [American] Federation of Labor. On the contrary, they should try by every means to win the old unions to revolution. Cooperation with the best sectors of the IWW is necessary, but it should not preclude an educational effort to counter the IWW’s prejudices.
In Japan, a broad trade-union movement is developing spontaneously, without, as yet, a defined leadership. The main task of Communist forces in Japan consists of supporting this movement and influencing it in a Marxist direction.
In Czechoslovakia, our party has the support of the working-class majority, but most of the trade unions remain in the hands of the social patriots and centrists. Moreover, it is split along national lines. This situation is the result of inadequate organisation and a lack of clarity among revolutionary-minded trade unionists. The party must do everything possible to put an end to this situation and win the entire trade-union movement to support a Communist leadership. That requires forming cells and establishing a single Communist trade-union confederation common to all nationalities. We should also work vigorously to unite the nationally divided federations.
In Austria and Belgium, the social patriots have skilfully managed to gain control of the trade-union movement. In these countries the unions are the main arena of struggle. Communists must focus their attention on this task.
In Norway, the party, which enjoys the support of the majority of workers, needs to strengthen its hold in the trade-union movement and oust the centrist forces from the leadership.
In Sweden, the party has to struggle against not only reformism but also a petty-bourgeois socialist current and devote its full energy to that task.
In Germany, the party is well on the way to gradually winning the trade unions. Absolutely no concessions should be made to supporters of the slogan, ‘Out of the trade unions!’. That would mean supporting the social patriots. All attempts to expel the Communists must be opposed, while waging a stubborn struggle and exerting every effort to win a majority in the trade unions.
These considerations should shape mutual relations between the Communist International and the Red International of Labour Unions.
The Communist International has the task of leading not only the political struggle of the proletariat, in the narrow sense of the term, but also its entire liberation struggle, whatever forms that may take. The Communist International must be more than the arithmetical sum of Communist Party leaderships in different countries. The Communist International must inspire and unify the activity of all proletarian organisations, whether they are purely political or are trade-union, cooperative, soviet, or cultural organisations.
The International Trade Union Council cannot follow the yellow International in adopting an apolitical or neutral stance. An organisation that remained neutral with regard to the Second, Two-and-a-Half, and Third Internationals would necessarily become a pawn in the hands of the bourgeoisie. The action programme of the Red International of Labour Unions, included in this resolution, is being submitted by the Communist International to the first congress of red trade unions. In reality, only the Communist parties and the Communist International will defend it. This factor alone indicates that, in order to win the trade-union movements in each country and to carry out honestly and resolutely the unions’ new revolutionary tasks, the red trade unions will be required to work hand in hand and in close contact with the Communist Party of each country. They will also have to bring the Red International of Labour Unions, at each stage, into accord with the work of the Communist International.
The bias toward neutrality, ‘independence’, and an apolitical, non-party approach, which still afflicts some honest revolutionary syndicalists in France, Spain, Italy, and other countries, is objectively nothing other than a tribute paid to bourgeois ideas. To vanquish yellow Amsterdam and, even more, capitalism itself, the red trade unions must renounce once and for all the bourgeois notions of independence and neutrality. The best situation, from the point of view of economising forces and concentrating blows, is to create a unified International that includes in its ranks both political parties and other forms of workers’ organisations. Undoubtedly, the future will see such an organisational set-up. However, in the present transitional period, given the diversity and heterogeneity of unions as they presently exist, it is vitally necessary to form an independent international association of red trade unions, which accepts the platform of the Communist International in general terms, but admits members with more flexibility than is the case in the Communist International.
The Third Congress of the Communist International pledges its support to the Red International of Labour Unions being organised on this basis. In the interests of a closer relationship between the Communist International and the Red International of Labour Unions, the Third Congress proposes that the Communist International be represented by three members in the executive of the Red International of Labour Unions and vice versa.
In the opinion of the Communist International, the action programme of the red trade unions should be approximately as follows:
1.) An acute economic crisis extends over the entire world. Wholesale prices have fallen catastrophically, and overproduction prevails even amid shortages of goods. The bourgeoisie is pursuing an offensive against the working class, marked by stubborn attempts to reduce wages and to throw workers back decades. As a result, the masses are growing more embittered, while the old methods of the trade unions are shown to be impotent. All these factors pose new tasks to revolutionary trade unions internationally. The disintegration of capitalism demands new methods of economic struggle. The trade unions need aggressive economic policies in order to repel the capitalist attack and, after consolidating their positions, to themselves go over to the attack.
2.) Trade-union policy is based on direct action by the revolutionary masses and their organisations against capitalism. All workers’ achievements are closely related to direct action and revolutionary pressure from the masses. Direct action should be understood to encompass every type of pressure exerted by workers on the employers and the state: boycotts, strikes, street protests, demonstrations, occupations of the enterprise, forcible resistance to shipping goods out of the enterprise, armed uprisings, and other forms of revolutionary action that contribute to unifying the working class in struggle for socialism. The task of revolutionary trade unions therefore consists of converting direct action into a tool to educate and prepare the working masses for the struggle for social revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
3.) During the last year of struggle, all the weaknesses of the trade unions were graphically evident. When workers in an enterprise belong to multiple trade unions, this weakens them in struggle. The starting point to exert workers’ full strength in struggle is to make the transition from unions organised by trades to unions based on branches of industry. ‘One enterprise, one union’ must be the slogan for building the movement. Related unions must be fused into a single federation in a revolutionary fashion by posing the question directly to union members in the factories and shops, and then to regional and national congresses.
4.) Every factory and shop must become a bulwark and fortress of revolution.
The previous form of relationships with ordinary union members (treasurer, chair, stewards, and other posts) must be replaced by factory councils, elected by all workers of a given enterprise, regardless of their political persuasion. Members of the Red International of Labour Unions need to ensure that all workers of the enterprise in question take part in the election of the council that is to represent them. All attempts to restrict elections of factory councils to meetings of those sharing a common viewpoint, those supporting a given party, while excluding the broad mass of non-party workers from the elections, must be categorically rejected. Such a structure would be a cell, not a factory council. Through its cells, action committees, and individual members, the revolutionary sector of the workers must exert its influence on the general assembly and on the factory council it elects.
5.) The first demand that the factory and shop committees must consider is that the employer pay for support to laid-off workers. Under no circumstances must we allow the workers to be thrown on the street without any consequences to the enterprise. The employer must be obliged to pay a full wage to the unemployed. This demand serves to organise not so much the jobless but above all the workers in various enterprises, who need to understand that the question of unemployment cannot be resolved within the capitalist system and that the best measure against unemployment is social revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
6.) Enterprise shutdowns and reductions in the number of working days are, at present, one of the most important tools used by the bourgeoisie to reduce wages, lengthen the working day, and get rid of collective agreements. Lockouts are increasingly used by the united employers as a form of ‘direct action’ against large numbers of unionists. A struggle is therefore needed against factory closures, in which workers demand to know the reason for the shutdown. Special control commissions should be formed for this purpose, assigned to check on raw materials, fuel, and orders. They should also conduct an inventory of the raw materials actually available for production and the money reserves deposited in banks. These specially elected control commissions must carefully investigate the financial relations between the enterprise in question and other enterprises. Among the workers’ immediate objectives should be abolition of business secrets.
7.) Among the means of resistance against widespread workplace shutdowns, wage reductions, and worsening of working conditions is workers’ occupation of the factory or workplace and the continuation of production against the employers’ will. Given the prevailing shortages, continuation of production is necessary, and workers should therefore not permit the deliberate shutdown of factories and workplaces. Depending on local conditions, the nature of production, the political situation, and the level of tension in social struggles, occupations can be supported by other methods of exerting pressure on the employer. When an enterprise is occupied, its management must be taken over by the factory or shop committee alongside a specially chosen representative of the union.
8.) The economic struggle should be waged under the slogan of raising wages and improving working conditions compared to the prewar period. All attempts to drive working conditions down to the prewar level should be rejected decisively and in revolutionary fashion. The War led to the exhaustion of the working class, and this must be countered by better working conditions. No attention should be paid to the capitalists’ complaints that they face foreign competition. Revolutionary unions must approach the issues of wages and working conditions from the point of view not of competition among exploiters of different nations but of the need to maintain and protect labour power.
9.) If the capitalists are demanding wage reductions in conditions of national economic crisis, the task of revolutionary trade unions is to prevent wage reductions spreading from one branch of production to another – that is, not to allow themselves to be split into many separate groups. Above all, workers in essential industries (coal miners, railwaymen, electric technicians, gas workers, etc.) must be drawn into the struggle, so that it hits at capitalism’s key centres within the country’s economic life. It is useful and necessary here to employ every type of resistance, starting with individual walkouts and leading to a national general strike in an important branch of production.
10.) The trade unions must make practical preparations to organise international strikes embracing a given branch of production. Halting coal production or interrupting trade on an international level are important forms of struggle against reactionary attacks by the international bourgeoisie.
The unions must follow the world economic situation attentively, in order to choose the best moment for an attack. They must not overlook the fact that an international action, whatever its form, will be possible only with the formation of truly international revolutionary trade unions, which have nothing in common with the yellow Amsterdam International.
11.) Opportunists everywhere encourage the belief that collective agreements are unrivalled in value. This concept must be decisively refuted by the revolutionary movement. A collective agreement is nothing more than a truce. Employers always violate the collective agreement as soon as the slightest opportunity arises. A religious faith in collective agreements shows that bourgeois ideology is deeply rooted in the leaders of the working class. Revolutionary unions should not reject collective agreements, but rather recognise their limited value, and always consider the possibility of breaking the agreement, if this is advantageous to the working class.
12.) The struggle by workers’ organisations against the employers – whether individual or collective – should be shaped not only by national and local circumstances but also by the entire experience of the working-class struggle for liberation. Therefore it is not enough for workers to carefully prepare each important strike. When the strike breaks out, they must also establish special squads for struggle against strikebreakers and resistance to the various provocations of White Guard organisations supported by the bourgeois governments. Italy’s Fascists, the Emergency Technical Assistance in Germany, White Guard organisations in France and Britain made up of former officers and NCOs – all these organisations have set the goal of disrupting and destroying every action by workers. They try to do this not only by supplying strikebreakers but also by smashing working-class organisations and killing their leaders. Under such conditions, organising special contingents to defend the strike and the workers is a matter of life and death.
13.) These newly formed struggle organisations should not only fend off attacks by the employers and strikebreaker organisations but also take the initiative in halting shipments of goods intended for the factory in question, as well as its shipments of finished products to other factories and enterprises. In this regard, transport workers play a particularly important role. It is their responsibility to hold up goods in transit, which is only feasible with solid support from all the workers in that locality.
14.) During the coming period, the entire working-class economic struggle should focus on the party’s slogan of ‘workers’ control of production’, which must become reality before the government and the ruling classes set up surrogates for workers’ control. This will bring positive results only if an uncompromising struggle is launched against every attempt by the ruling classes and reformists to establish parity enterprise committees or parity control commissions. Revolutionary trade unions must decisively oppose socialist deception and knavery promoted by leaders of the old trade unions with assistance from the ruling classes. All the chatter by these gentlemen about peaceful socialisation merely serves the goal of diverting workers from revolutionary action and social revolution.
15.) Ideas of profit-sharing – that is, paying back to workers an insignificant portion of the surplus value they have produced – are being advanced with the aim of diverting workers’ attention from their immediate tasks and arousing in them petty-bourgeois aspirations. This slogan leads to workers’ demoralisation, and it must be subjected to harsh and pitiless criticism. The slogan of revolutionary class-struggle trade unions is not sharing in the profits but ‘destruction of capitalist profits’.
16.) In order to cripple or break workers’ capacity for struggle, the bourgeois states have resorted to temporary militarisation of individual factories or entire branches of industry, on the pretext of protecting essential industries. Claiming the need to head off economic dislocation, they have introduced compulsory arbitration and mediation boards. In the interests of capitalism, they also introduced direct deduction of tax payments from workers’ paycheques, in order to shift the economic burden of the War entirely onto workers’ shoulders, with the employers now taking on the role of tax collectors. The trade unions must conduct an unrelenting struggle against these government measures, which serve only the interests of the capitalist class.
17.) While struggling for improved working conditions, a higher standard of living, and the introduction of workers’ control, it must be borne in mind that these problems cannot be resolved within the framework of capitalist relations. The revolutionary trade unions must therefore wrest concessions from the ruling classes step by step, by forcing them to enact socialist legislation. In so doing, they must explain fully to the working masses that the social question can be settled only by the destruction of capitalism and the introduction of the dictatorship of the proletariat. It is in this sense that every partial action by the workers, every partial strike, every conflict, no matter how insignificant, must leave its mark. The revolutionary trade unions should generalise these conflicts and help the workers involved to recognise the necessity and inevitability of social revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
18.) Economic struggle is also political, that is, an expression of the class struggle as a whole. Even if the struggle embraces broad layers of workers across the country, it will become revolutionary and bring real gains for the working class as a whole only if the revolutionary trade unions work hand in hand with the Communist Party in their country, collaborating closely in a tight alliance.
In the present revolutionary situation, dividing the workers’ class struggle into two independent parts is extremely harmful, both in theory and in practice. To make headway, strength must be concentrated to the utmost. This can be done only if the revolutionary energy of the working class – that is, of all its Communist and revolutionary components – is exerted to the maximum. Separate campaigns by the Communist Party and the red revolutionary unions are doomed in advance to failure and destruction. Therefore, the precondition for success in anti-capitalist struggle is unity in action and organic alliance between the Communist Party and the trade unions.