Communist Party of Great Britain

The British Road to Socialism (1977)


The Communist Party aims to replace the crises, insecurity, profiteering, inequalities and social antagonisms of the capitalist society in which we live by a socialist society.

A socialist Britain would be run for people, not for profit - for the benefit of the majority, not a handful of big businessmen and financiers. Production would be socially controlled and planned, and everyone would be guaranteed the right to a job, a home, education and leisure. Freedom would be rightly understood, not as the right of individuals to exploit others, but as the power of human beings, collectively, by controlling their environment, to develop their individual interests, abilities and talents to the full.

For over a century, British socialists have had this vision. It still has to be made a reality. The Communist Party, in this programme, shows how it can be done.

It is not a programme for the next general election, nor a blueprint for the future, but a long-term strategy for a socialist revolution in Britain. It outlines the general lines of action and struggle which can bring about the unity of the working class and its allies for the winning of political power and the building of socialism. It is a programme of action.

The British Road to Socialism is based on the theory of scientific socialism first elaborated by Marx and Engels, creatively applying that theory to the situation in Britain and the world.

In it we make clear our view:

First, that the big social and economic problems which we face today can only be finally resolved by putting an end to capitalism and establishing socialism.

Second, that to achieve socialism the working class and its allies must take political, economic and state power out of the hands of the capitalist class.

Third, that this socialist revolution can be carried through in Britain in conditions in which world war can be prevented, and without civil war, by a combination of a socialist parliamentary majority and mass struggle outside parliament, ensuring a government that is determined and able to implement a socialist programme.

Fourth, that the forces exist which can put Britain on such a course, and that the need is to develop and unite them in a broad democratic alliance, led by the working class and embracing the great majority of the people.

Fifth, that essential to the achievement of the alliance and the advance to socialism is the building of a much bigger Communist Party.

Sixth, that the winning of power by the working class and its allies will not be a single act, but a process of struggle, in which an important stage will be the election of a new kind of Labour Government which will carry out a left policy to tackle the crisis and bring about far-reaching democratic changes in society, opening up the road to socialism.

Seventh, that the path to socialism in Britain is through the fullest development of democracy, ending monopoly domination, giving the people control of the economy, and transforming parliament into the democratic instrument of the will of the vast majority of the people and the sovereign body in the land. In the socialist Britain for which we work there would be freedom for all democratic political parties, including those hostile to socialism, to operate, genuine freedom of the press, independence of the trade unions, and the consolidation and extension of civil liberties won through centuries of struggle.

Our programme is based on confidence in the ability of the British people, led by the labour movement, to transform our country and ensure that the full potentialities of every individual in it will be realised.

The task will not be an easy one. But in what follows we show how it can be done.