THIS organizational Manual fills a long-felt need. It will be welcomed by many thousands of active Party members who have looked forward to its publication for a long time. Much of the material used by Comrade Peters as the basis for this Manual was, it is true, available, but it is scattered in many documents over a period of years. Much of the material was of late available, as for example, the famous and thorough going resolutions and decisions on the question of organization adopted by the Second Organizational Conference of the Communist International, which was printed in the Inprecorr some ten years ago (International Press Correspondence, Vol. 6, No. 88). Comrade Peters has added much to the existing material both from more recent international experience and especially from the recent experience of our own Party, experience that is very rich and valuable. The Manual embodies, therefore, the best that is available in the theory and practice of organization in our own Party and the Communist International. Comrade Peters not only is thoroughly acquainted withthe fundamental principles of Leninist organization but has had a wide and varied experience in organizational work over a period of many years. It is this combination of theory and practice permeating the Manual that makes it so valuable to our Party. I am sure that when this Manual becomes popularized in the Party we will wonder how we could have gotten along without such a weapon for so long.
Aside from the fact that Manual will be of great benefit to every member of our Party in the daily work, it will, in the first place, provide the necessary material for the training of our cadres, and help in the solution of many problems with which our functionaries are faced. With 500 shop nuclei, 2,000 street nuclei, more than 250 sections, some 30 districts, and hundreds upon hundreds of fractions in the trade unions and other mass organizations, there are many thousands of functionaries who will find the Manual indispensible. It will be of incalculable value especially to the functionaries in the lower organizations, the organizers, secretaries, agitprop directors, literature agents, etc., the bureau members of the shop and street nuclei, the Section Committees, upon whom falls the main burden for the execution of the line of the Party in the mass work, the character of which determines the progress of the Party in the solution of its main tasks.
If we remember that, as a result of the recent growth of the Party, the majority of the Party membership is relatively new (less than two years in the Party), then more emphasis is added to the value of the Manual. The growth of the Party membership and its increasing activity has not only multiplied our organizational problems but of necessity require that many new comrades with little organizational experience assume leading positions in the lower Party organizations and in the fractions. While we have made some efforts through the Party Organizer and the "Party Life" column in the Daily Worker, through conferences, etc., to impart to them our knowledge and experience, this has not been done systematically. Hence, many mistakes are made all over again by the new functionaries, mistakes in the solution of problems which in some sections of the Party have already been solved. Now, with this Manual at hand, the entire Party will have available in an organized form the best experience that we have.
That the improvement in our organizational work is very pressing was forcefully brought out at the May, 1935, meeting of the Central Committee of the Party where the organizational status and the organizational work of the Party were examined very thoroughly. One of the things that was disclosed is the lack of stabilization of the lower cadres. This is mainly due to the fact that comrades are assigned to tasks for which they are not fully prepared; they are not given help, they are allowed to drift, with the result that soon it is found that their work is not satisfactory and changes are made. But the new functionaries who replace them go through the very same experiences. The result is constant change. The examination, however, brought out the fact that in those units and sections where we succeed somewhat in stabilizing the cadres the work is much better than in those where there is constant change. If the Manual will but aid in the solution of this one burning question it will more than justify its publication.
The examination of the work of the Party disclosed that, in practice, there is still an insufficient orientation in conducting our work along the lines laid down in the Open Letter (adopted at the Extraordinary Party Conference, July, 1933), that is, from the viewpoint of concentration in the main factories, industries, trade unions, the placing of the center of gravity of our work in the lower organizations.
This, of course, involves in the first place the concentration of our efforts towards the building of the Party in the factories, the creation of shop nuclei and the development of the shop nuclei into real mass Party organizations in the factories, carrying out all the tasks of the Party, leading the struggles of the masses in these factories-the struggles on all issues, economic and political.
The Manual takes up this question in great detail. It explains why we Communists are the only political Party that builds its basic organization in the fac5 tories. It takes up the questions of the construction of the shop nuclei, their methods of work under varying conditions, the relation of the shop nuclei to the sections, to the trade union fractions, etc. I am convinced that this Manual in the hands of our comrades in the shop nuclei will aid in the improvement of the work of the shop nuclei, as well as in the more rapid and systematic building of shop nuclei where they do not as yet exist.
Another central question dealt with at the May meeting of the Central Committee was the work of the trade union fractions. With the strengthened position of our Party in the A. F. of L. unions the improvement of the work of the trade union fractions has become of increasing importance. The Manual deals with these important questions; the role of the fractions, how they are to be built, their work, their relation to the Party organizations, etc.
The question of increasing the recruiting power of the Party, the methods of recruiting, the overcoming of the high fluctuation of members, all these problems that are so closely connected with the work of the lower organizations, the questions of methods of dues collections, initiation of new members, the education of the new members, etc., are taken up and treated in great detail.
It is unnecessary in this introduction to mention all the important questions treated in the Manual. This can be seen from a glance at the index. Suffice it to say that it deals with all the vital questions of Party organization. Let us mention just two more types of questions dealt with. First, the opening sections which explain in a very elementary and detailed manner the Party itself. What is the Communist Party; what is its role in relation to the other organizations of the workers; what is its fundamental policy; what are the main tactics of the Party, etc. It is a fact that many of our Party members have not as yet become fully acquainted with many of these questions. The second type of questions dealt with that should be mentioned we are. sure will be most welcome to the comrades charged with the various duties in the shop and street nuclei: What is the task of the various functionaries? How often have we faced the question that a comrade is assigned a post, let us say unit organizer, agitprop director of the unit, Daily Worker agent of the unit; and the comrade receives no records of the comrades who preceded him in the post, no guidance as to his or her tasks? Finally, I wish to call attention to the section dealing with the structure of the Party from top to bottom, illustrated by a number of charts, which will give the comrades an appreciation of the whole of the machinery of the Party, their relation to it, the understanding of their special task in relation to the whole Party.
Naturally, the Manual will not by itself solve our problems. Nor will it bring the best results if it will be conceived of as a blue print to be applied mechanically. It will be most effective if it is properly understood as a guide to the daily practical problems. In this respect it is necessary not only that we ensure every Party member securing a copy of the Manual and reading it-and especially every comrade holding a post of responsibility from the units up-we must organize the collective study of the Manual in the units, among the various functionaries in the units, sections and districts.
Fundamentals of the Party Program