The Guardian October 25,2000

The Communist Party of Australia
Manifesto to the workers of Australia

The Communist Party of Australia was formed on October 30, 1920  just 
80 years ago. On December 24, 1920, the new Party published this Manifesto 
to the Workers of Australia in the first issue of its newspaper The 
Australian Communist.

To the working class of Australia the Communist Party at the moment of its 
formation, issues this preliminary statement of principles and policy.

We hold it as a fundamental principle that it is only by the mass movement 
of the working class as a whole that our emancipation can be won and, 
therefore, urge the workers to the careful study of this appeal to prepare 
for their part in the coming international communist revolution.

The Communist Party of Australia, together with the Communist 
International, accepts the scientific theory that the Capitalist System of 
production and distribution has outlived its usefulness and become 
reactionary and destructive of humanity.

We realise that this system has in its development and maturity done great 
service to humanity by bringing about extensive and efficient social 
production and distribution of necessities, and by introducing wonderful 
labor saving devices.

But the capitalist system itself presents the fundamental contradiction of 
social production and individual or private ownership both of the means of 
production and the products.

From this fact arise the two classes of modern society  the bourgeoisie 
and the proletariat.

The bourgeoisie, by virtue of its possession of the State power, 
established and maintains itself today as the dominant class and is 
thereby, enabled to shelter behind the empty phrases of popular democracy.

By monopolising and holding by any and every means of cunning, deceit, and 
terrorism, all the means of subsistence, the dominant class perpetuates the 
existing form of society, while the proletariat, deprived of everything, 
sometimes even of bare existence, is subjected to degradation and the most 
humiliating slavery.

Thus does modern society present itself as a system wherein one class 
produces all things and owns nothing, while the other class owns everything 
and produces nothing.

The Communist Party, recognising this contradiction, sets itself to abolish 
the system, to overthrow this class monopoly, and to abolish the private 
ownership of the means of production.

Its aim is to establish a system of social ownership of the means of 
production, thereby making the ownership coincide with the social process 
of production.

This contradiction, fundamental in the capitalist system, is most apparent 
during a crisis caused by over-production. Then there is no shortage of 
necessities but an oversupply, that is to say, the producers have produced 
more for the monopolist class for their profits than that class can dispose 

When this point is reached the wheels of production are stopped and the 
producers, in addition to being deprived of their own production, are 
deprived of even their ordinary miserable means of subsistence; and are 
thrown into a state of absolute starvation.

In such a case the producing classes unconsciously feel that they are 
unjustly deprived of access to the amassed products of their own labor. 
Sometimes they are driven by starvation and this sense of injustice into 
spontaneous revolt, such as local and general strikes.

But, because of their lack of organisation and their ignorance of the real 
cause of their degradation and starvation and because the monopolist 
classes are solidly organised into the State, with weapons to hand for 
oppression and coercion, they are invariably suppressed and beaten, fooled 
or trapped.

They are finally brought back again into the same slavery when the 
monopolists are ready to set the wheels of production going again.

Since the possessing class, in spite of its insignificant numbers compared 
with the workers is, through its organisation, able to keep the great 
masses in subjection, we Communists contend that if the workers are well 
organised for the express purpose of the overthrow of the capitalist 
system, they can do so during one of these periodical crises.

They can then establish a system of production of necessities, not for 
profit, but for social use. Then would they turn the oversupply or plenty 
of products to the happiness of all, and not to the starvation of those who 
have produced that plenty.

The Communist Party is essentially a fighting organisation, and not a 
debating club. While it is strengthening itself more and more by further 
and further educating its own members and by educating and recruiting new 
members and branches, it takes an active part in the everyday struggle of 
the working class.

In this way, it demonstrates the futility of fighting for an improved 
capitalist system and ever directs them to the same one purpose of 
overthrowing the system by organised mass action.

We Communists assert the futility of waiting for the achievement of our 
ideal by legislation through existing legislative institutions, as these 
institutions are expressly a part and parcel of the capitalist system.

The overthrow of the system means equally the overthrow of all the 
political machinery of the system, parliament and police, army and navy, 

The new machine which will be established by the organised force of the 
workers in mass action, for the protection of the new order in the 
establishment of its new economic and social system, will be the 
Dictatorship of the Proletariat.

This is only a temporary phase in the new order, and will only exist for 
the complete annihilation of the bourgeoisie as a class and the economic 
basis of class antagonism. The State having ceased to exist then, in the 
words of Engels, State interference in social relations becomes, in one 
domain after another, superfluous and dies out of itself.

The government of persons is replaced by the administering of things, and 
by the conduct of processes of production. Then will Communist society 
inscribe upon its banner, "From each according to his abilities, to each 
according to his needs."

Communist Program

For that purpose the Communist Party is:

(1) Arranging communist study classes under its own auspices or under those 
of labor organisations;

(2) Holding wherever possible public meetings for necessary propaganda as 
its aim is to spread the communist idea as widely among the masses as 
possible, recognising that social revolution will be only possible with an 
intelligent following of the Communist Party by the masses at large;

(3) For the same reason and for the education and recruiting of new 
members, distributing communist revolutionary literature;

(4) Forming groups of its members in every mill, factory, workshop and 
field so that it is always in a position to direct and control through its 
members every industrial dispute and disturbance of the workers, keeping 
always in mind the same end  social revolution  and trying to utilise 
every spontaneous action of the workers for that one end;

(5) Directing its members to take an active and, wherever possible, a 
leading part in every craft or industrial union, and endeavouring to have 
its members elected into the executive bodies of these organisations so 
that these organisations also are directed in their activities towards the 
same one end of complete social revolution.

(6) Endeavouring and actively working to replace the existing craft unions 
by more up-to-date efficient industrial unions, which would be more 
advantageous for social revolutionary mass action, as well as an important 
factor in the communist reconstruction of society.

(7) So controlling its members, that each and every one of them acts 
strictly according to Communist principles;

(8) Taking an active part in the election for the existing legislative 
bodies, wherever it may be for the advantage of the social revolution, to 
demonstrate inside those institutions that such institutions are expressly 
for the buttressing of the existing capitalist system, that they are 
working absolutely and always in opposition to the interests of the toiling 
masses, and to demonstrate that whenever these institutions legislate in 
the interests of the workers, they are doing so, not because they sincerely 
desire to do so, but always because of a danger of revolt from those whom 
they are exploiting and always with the purpose of preserving the existing 
capitalist system.

(8a) While the Communist Party accepts parliamentarism for revolutionary 
purposes, it does not exclude from its membership, non-parliamentary 
communists, providing party discipline is maintained.... [Together] with 
the 3rd International [the Party] declares that it considers as a crime 
against the Labor Movement any split or attempt at a split within the 
Communist Party on this point.

(9) Issuing, from time to time, necessary and timely manifestos and calls 
to the masses for a particular action at a particular time;

(10)  Inviting all the intelligent workers, men and women, to study 
communist ideas, to understand them properly and to try to establish 
communist groups wherever possible, strictly on the principles outlined in 
this program, be it in a friendly circle, a factory, a workshop, a craft 
union or an industrial union.


Issued by the Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Australia.

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