4 September 2021

Theses on factions

CPGB Provisional Central Committee resolution agreed at the Party membership aggregate of June 4 1995. Published in Weekly Worker 97, available on the WW archive here.


1 – Without their Communist Party the working class is politically disarmed. Backing the Labour Party as the lesser evil is to automatically give militant workers to Blair and co who promise nothing except what the system of greed and exploitation says it can afford. Pro-Labourism is in the last analysis pro-capitalism. It is the main form of opportunism and liquidationism in the workers’ movement. The workers must be organised as a revolutionary class, a hegemonic class that fights for the liberation of humanity through communism. That means organising the advanced, the revolutionary part of the working class into a Communist Party. Reforging the CPGB is therefore the main political question today in Britain.

2 – Though the Communist Party is united around its programme, because it is part of the class and not an ideological sect it can contain within itself many different views on many different questions. What matters is correct revolutionary practice. That can only be ensured if there is unity in action and the right and duty to criticise and self-criticise. Differences should be expressed openly – in print and at public and Party meetings. They must also be allowed to take organisational form, including the form of factions.

3 – Factions are organisations within a party united not by geography, nationality, sex or any other objective criteria but by a common political position. That can be confined to one particular question or it can involve a whole range of issues and principles.

4 – Factions should be permissible in any healthy Communist Party. If factions are subject to a permanent ban they will reappear as illegal factions within a bureaucratic centralist regime. Without the right to form permanent factions there can be no genuine democracy in the Party.

5 – The right to form factions provides the best conditions for overcoming factional-ism and the replacement of factional centres with the difference of shade. Party work and the frank exchange of views is what brings about the unity of communists both in terms of theory and practice.

6 – Reforging the CPGB entails recruiting partisans of the working class directly to our ranks and, in step with this, seeking rapprochement with the scattered communist groups and trends. Reforging the CPGB is a task for all genuine communists. Existing communist groups and trends should not be required to dissolve themselves. They ought to become factions of the CPGB.

7 – Members of factions have the same rights and responsibilities as all other members of the Communist Party. Members of the CPGB work under its collective discipline, pay the required dues and abide by majority decisions when it comes to the actions of the Party. Members have the right to elect and be elected. Members have the right and duty to express their views as long as they do not disrupt the actions of the Party or jeopardise its security.

8 – Factions should be granted proportional representation on the PCC and the editorial board of the Weekly Worker. Minority positions should also be proportionally represented in the election of congress and conference delegates, etc.

9 – Factions have the right to organise their own national and regional meetings. Details of cell membership and business are matters for the cells and higher Party committees alone. But factions have the right to submit theses, platforms and resolutions to Party cell meetings, aggregates, conferences and congresses. Factions have the right to organise fringe meetings at Party schools and must be given provision to present their views in plenary sessions.

10 – Factions have the right to raise their own finances by levying dues or inviting donations. Factions have the right to submit articles, resolutions, etc. to the Weekly Worker. They also have the right to produce their own publications and have them printed at cost price by the Party printshop.

Return to ‘Theses and resolutions’