Fourth Congress of the Communist International

Communist Party Activity in the Sphere of Education

5 December 1922


1 Educational work in the ideas of Marxism is an essential task for all Communist Parties. The aim of such educational work is to improve and strengthen the educational activity of Party members and organisers. The organisers must acquire, besides a general grounding in the Marxist world-outlook, the knowledge necessary for their special sphere of work.

As the work of Communist education is an integral part of the activity of the Party as a whole, it must be placed entirely under the central control of the Party. In countries where the education of revolutionary workers has until now been largely in the hands of special organisations outside the Communist Parties, systematic work should be done by the Communists inside these organisations to establish Party control.

An “education secretariat” attached to the Central Committee of each Communist Party should be set up to supervise the educational activity of the Party as a whole. All Party members who work in proletarian educational organisations not under Party control (workers’ educational associations, proletarian universities, proletkult, labour colleges, etc.) must come under the control of Party organs and follow their directives.

To extend the Communist educational activity of the Party as opportunities and circumstances permit, central and local Party schools, day and evening classes should be set up, teachers and lecturers invited for the various groups, libraries organised, etc.

The Party must give material and moral support to the Communist youth organisation in its independent work in the sphere of education. The Communist youth organisation must have the right to attend any meetings arranged by the Party on the question of educational work.

Detailed instructions for this work should be formulated by the educational section attached to the Executive Committee of the Communist International.

An international educational section is being established as part of the Executive Committee of the Communist International. Its main task is to develop and clarify further the problem of Communist educational work and to co-ordinate the work of the proletarian educational organisations outside the Party. This includes the accumulation and exchange of international experience, the introduction of new methods of activity in different countries, the compiling and publishing of handbooks, text-books and other material, and the handling of any special problems in the sphere of education that may arise in particular countries. The international education section should also be responsible for developing and preparing material on the policies of the Communist Parties and the Communist International regarding schools and education in general.

The Socialist Academy in Russia is organising international preparatory courses and other similar events for comrades from the various sections of the Communist International, with the aim of developing an understanding of Marxism and providing a practical Communist education.

II Agitational Work

1 Every Party member must conduct agitation among non-Party workers. Agitation can take place whenever and wherever there are workers present: in the factories and workshops, or generally anywhere where work is going on; in the trade unions; at public meetings; in the workers’ clubs and societies, including sports clubs, choirs, tenants’ associations, co-operatives, etc.; in people’s palaces, in workers’ restaurants, on railway journeys, in the villages, and so on. Probably the most effective form of agitation is the visiting of individual homes.

2 The starting-point of such agitational work should always be related to the concrete needs and living conditions of the workers, with the aim of leading the workers on towards organised class struggle. There must be no attempts to force on those listening Communist principles and demands that are incomprehensible to them; the agitator must rouse people to fight for the basic demands of the proletariat, to fight against the capitalists and against all the wrongs of the bourgeois system.

3 Communists must actively participate in the revolutionary workers’ movement opposing the capitalists and the economic system of the bourgeois class. Their priority is to fight for the interests of the workers, disregarding personal gain and setting their comrades an example of how to agitate.

4 The Party’s Executive Committee should issue local groups with practical instructions on the regular agitational work that all Party members should conduct. It must also issue special instructions for agitational work in connection with non-routine campaigns, such as election campaigns, the campaign against high prices and for tax cuts, the movements for industrial soviets and for the unemployed, and other forms of Party activity. Copies of any instructions given should be sent to the Executive Committee of the Communist International.

5 All Party members have the right to ask the appropriate people in their organisations to provide sufficiently exact and concrete information on how agitational work should be conducted. It is particularly important to give such guidelines to, and to observe how they are followed by, the, group leaders of the Communist cells, workers’ groups, “groups of ten” and the fractions. Where there are no group leaders the local groups should elect special agitators to supervise this work.

6 During the winter a report on all Party members must be made and sent to their Party organisations:

i) Does the Party member carry out agitational work among non-Party workers

a. regularly?
b. occasionally?
c. not at all?

ii) Does the Party member carry out any other Party work

a. regularly?
b. from time to time?
c. not at all?

After consulting with the Executive Committee of the Communist International, the Party Executive Committee must send all the local groups a circular which explains how clear answers can be obtained to the above-mentioned questions.

The district councils and local groups must see that these reports are completed quickly. The Party Executive Committee will send the results to the Executive Committee of the Communist International.

III Informing the Membership of the Major Decisions of the Parties and of the Communist International

1 All members of the Communist International must be informed not only of the major decisions taken by their own Parties but also of the major decisions taken by the Communist International.

2 During the winter all the sections and groups must take steps to see that all Party members are acquainted with at least the programme of their own Party, the twenty-one conditions for joining the Communist International, and any decisions of the Communist International that particularly concern their own Party. Party members should be tested to ensure they have a basic knowledge of all these questions.

3 The Party organisers with responsibilities must be aware of every major tactical and organisational decision taken by the Congress; their knowledge should be tested. This is also desirable, though not compulsory, for ordinary Party members.

4 The Executive Committee of each national section must send all the local groups instructions for putting these decisions into practice. In the spring the Party Executive Committee must present the Executive Committee of the Communist International with a report on Party activity in this area.