Taken from: In Defense of Communism
The Party of Labour of Austria makes certain demands on itself, strives to fulfil its tasks and pursues corresponding goals: The PdA is that party in Austria which preserves, applies and creatively develops Marxism-Leninism; which consistently defends its communist identity and the history of the communist movement; which derives from the history of class struggles its ultimate objective, namely the revolutionary overcoming of capitalism, the establishment of the rule of the organised working class and the building of socialism and communism; which, for this purpose, wants to organise the working class as a historical subject in a proletarian militant front against capital; which, on the basis of its unwavering class standpoint, consistently fights not only its own monopolies and capitalists, but also imperialism and its tool, the EU.
It is about questions of the party’s self-understanding. Questions, the answer to which creates the basis for putting the party on a strong and united foundation by means of ideological, organisational and strategic clarity. We therefore want to state the following points about the party, about its character and identity, about its strategy and goals, about its tasks and working methods.
The PdA must stand on the foundation of Marxism-Leninism in theory and practice. Its positions and activities, its structures and strategy must reflect the conscious application and further development of scientific socialism. This requires regular education of members as a prerequisite for cadre development. The PdA must clearly and distinctly distinguish itself from opportunism, revisionism and reformism. There is no place in the PdA for general left illusions, pluralist indifference, parliamentary and electoral fetishism, supposed shortcuts or collaboration with the class enemy. Without the tool of Marxism-Leninism, the PdA cannot fulfil its tasks. The identity of the PdA is therefore that of the Marxist-Leninist party of the Austrian working class. This is the fundamental unique characteristic of the PdA in Austria, which is why no other party in our country can take on and fulfil its tasks.
Origin and future
The Party of Labourstands in the tradition of the First International, the early Second International and the Communist International. It preserves the militant heritage of the international and Austrian workers’ movement, the revolutionary movement for socialism. It acknowledges the milestones of the organised workers’ movement in Austria, marked by the founding of the Social Democratic Workers’ Party in 1888/89 and the Communist Party in 1918. It honours the fighters of the Austrian soviet movement, the armed February struggles in 1934 and the anti-fascist resistance, the October strike in 1950 and the anti-revisionist renewal. The PdA stands by the Great October Socialist Revolution as the main event of the 20th century, the Bolshevisation of the Comintern parties, the socialist construction in many countries after 1945. It preserves its communist identity and resolutely opposes anti-communist falsifications of history and slander. The continuation of the above-mentioned lines of development, the evaluation of their lessons in positive and negative terms, enables the party to gain important insights for present and future questions. Without knowledge of one’s own origins, there can be no successful future.
Class standpoint and class struggle
The PdA is a party of the working class, in clear demarcation from bourgeois and petty-bourgeois influences. It takes a corresponding class standpoint on every question and does not participate in discussions that propagate a blurring of class antagonisms or advocate class harmony. The task of the PdA is to enlighten the working class, to support it in its own activity, to mobilise it and to generate socialist consciousness – with the aim of familiarising the most advanced sections of the class with Marxism-Leninism and organising them in the party. Only if it succeeds in making the PdA also organically a party of the working class and if revolutionary theory takes hold of the masses, will it be possible to advance in the class struggle. The PdA must make the working class physically, mentally and methodically capable of struggle, so that it can stand in the political, economic and ideological class struggle.
Party and working class
The PdA cannot lead the struggle as a proxy for the working class, but must organise and implement it as the highest class organisation. The existence of a revolutionary, Marxist-Leninist party of the working class is essential for success in the class struggle and in the struggle for socialism – it is a precondition of revolution and socialist construction. But it is also a prerequisite for linking the party and the working class in a sustainable way. For this, the party must be present, in the current struggles, in the workplaces, in the residential areas, in training centres and educational institutions, on the streets and in the minds of the people. The basic organisations and cells of the party, any affiliated structures such as factory, trade union, youth or other specific structures, if they are to fulfil their proper purpose, must be direct points of intersection with the working class, through which workers are introduced to the party, made familiar with it, educated and finally organised in it. Without the working class organised in the party, the successful struggle is not possible. The aim of the PdA is to oppose capital with an organised, conscious and militant workers’ front.
Alliances and allies
The natural allies of the working class organised in the party are the oppressed and exploited strata of the people, wage-dependent intermediate strata in urban and rural areas, small and pseudo self-employed, peasants, intellectuals. Explicitly, it is one of the tasks of the PdA to also strive for migrants. The material opposition of the above-mentioned strata to monopoly capital offers the objective possibility of a social alliance policy of the party. These strata must also be brought to the party and, if necessary, organised in an expedient manner. The party does not close itself to joint activity and action with progressive and anti-imperialist forces, provided that intersections arise and this is expedient from the point of view of the objective interests of the working class and the strategy of the party. Even in the traditional, old and unfortunately degenerated workers’ parties there are sections and members who can be won to the cause of class struggle and socialism. However, the PdA will always preserve its organisational autonomy and will in no way be absorbed into constructed structures, new parties, platforms or alliances dominated by reformist forces, because the existence of the Marxist-Leninist party is indispensable and cannot be replaced by anything else.
Internationalism and solidarity
The allies of the PdA at the international level are the communist and workers’ parties. However, as in Austria, there are processes of differentiation in this regard worldwide. The PdA does not seek deeper relations with parties that take revisionist, opportunist, left-liberal, even social-democratic detours, or that represent a voluntarist, “left-radical”, ideologically or tactically-methodologically misguided orientation. The PdA considers as its allies in other countries those parties which also stand on the firm ground of Marxism-Leninism, revolutionary class struggle and socialism. Only in this way it is possible to form a common, united militant front of the communist world movement, which will unflinchingly confront the internationally acting monopoly capital and imperialism. Of course, this does not affect the anti-imperialist, peace-political and internationalist solidarity with those peoples and progressive, emancipatory forces all over the world who are victims of imperialist aggression and who resist it, even if they have ideological and strategic deficits. The PdA, even if differences of opinion are identified and expressed where necessary, will not unduly interfere in the affairs of the communist and workers’ parties of other countries and expects to be treated in the same way vice versa. Moreover, it should be mentioned that the alleged “European integration” is not a form of internationalism and not a progressive phenomenon, but a cosmopolitan confusion in favour of European monopoly capital: the so-called “European Union” is an imperialist alliance of bourgeois nation states and an essential, aggressive and repressive tool of the monopolies, which is why the EU is consistently rejected and vehemently opposed by the PdA. However, the main internationalist task of the PdA is ultimately to work seriously and persistently at home as a contribution to the international, worldwide struggle.
Organisational policy and party work
In order for a Marxist-Leninist party to fulfil its tasks, it needs not only the correct self-understanding, but also appropriate means: a central leadership, an operative centre, regularly published party media and active basic organisations. The central leadership – the central committee – leads the party between the party congresses. Its deliberations and decisions, based on programmatic principles, the statute and any party congress resolutions, are the organisational prerequisite for uniform party work nationwide. For operative implementation, for day-to-day work internally and externally, the party needs an operative organ, an organisational centre, in our case the secretariat of the central committee. For the time being, we can only approach the ideal, because the PdA cannot yet afford a full-time apparatus: we have to make up for the lack of possibilities through commitment and diligence. The newspaper “Zeitung der Arbeit” (ZdA), the central organ of the PdA, must appear and be distributed regularly, because this has an organising internal and a propagandist external effect. Electronic media do not replace a printed party newspaper, but they are also an important supplement: the ZdA-Online has proved its worth. And finally, basic party organisations are needed everywhere, because they are the basis of inner-party democratic participation as well as the core cells of party work, both in terms of inner party life and especially in contact with the class. Only through active and functioning basic organisations, which work as responsible, reliable collectives, does the party become a living organism.
Membership and activism
A Marxist-Leninist party makes special demands on its members. The PdA is not a leisure club, and being a member of it is not a hobby that one occasionally pursues on the side. Membership in the PdA means self-commitment to the revolutionary class struggle for socialism. It demands discipline, dedication and sacrifice, seriousness and steadfastness – and sometimes the personal willingness to neglect other things, to renounce some things and to give primacy to party work. This is all the more true because the PdA does not have the financial means to maintain an exempt party apparatus. The PdA can therefore only be an activist party. It depends on the sincere, hard-working commitment of its members. There is no place in the PdA for indifference, laziness, hypocrisy, egoism and inaction. Membership in the PdA must be linked to an unswerving conviction for the cause, to the sense of duty and responsibility towards the organisation and the class that derives from it, to the willingness to go to limits and make sacrifices. Each member must – externally and internally – have his or her tasks, know them and put them into practice. Only in this way it will be possible for the PdA to become a democratic-centralist collective that functions as a unity, that develops effective activities, that takes responsibility, takes duties seriously and discusses, takes and implements binding decisions together in a disciplined manner. It needs a communist way of working inside the party as well as in the party’s work outside. The PdA should not primarily collect paying members, but it must organise activists. Every member is therefore required to work on him- or herself. Otherwise, he or she will not be able to contribute to party building and class struggle.
Organising and strengthening
The objectives of the PdA are of great historical importance and therefore will not be realised overnight. It is a fact that the revolutionary movement in Austria is also on the defensive. It is necessary to pass through this and remain faithful to Marxism-Leninism. In this way, it can succeed in returning to the offensive through honest, self-sacrificing and protracted work. The PdA must first stabilise and improve its own structures, build the party further and according to plan, become stronger and more active itself, also mobilise the members and fulfil them with conscientiousness and a sense of duty – only in this way it will also become a militant attraction for the working class and its allies. The more organised the PdA is, the better the working class can be organised. The stronger the PdA is, the stronger the working class becomes. This does not happen by itself and not by means of declarations, but only through our conscious, purposeful, active action. This is the point where we stand and from where we have to go forward. Before us lies the task of further organising ourselves – and organising the working class; strengthening ourselves and thereby strengthening the working class. Only if this can be done comprehensively we can successfully lead the struggle together, for a world without capitalist exploitation, oppression, crises and war – for socialism and communism.
Clarity and unity strengthen the party!
Preserve the communist identity!
Defend and apply Marxism-Leninism!
Build the workers’ front against capitalism!
Source: In Defense of Communism