The completion of the First National Congress is a significant achievement for the New Communist Party of Aotearoa as it heralds the essential completion of the foundational period of Party work and the start of the NCPA’s mass work as an established Communist Party. It is therefore important for us to take the time at this Congress to decide on an outline of our future work going forwards.
We do not want to limit or constrain ourselves by listing specific plans in this resolution, as Party work that strengthens ties with the masses must come from the masses themselves, as we have already seen. Hence this should more be considered a plan or schematic within which Party work is conducted.
1. Labour Unions
Party work in the labour unions should be on two fronts: strengthening the existing union movement and pushing it towards political struggle; and expanding the union movement into new areas.
As the New Communist Party grows, we will get members working in different industries and therefore in different unions, combined with a density of Party members in workplaces and unions. This will strengthen the position of the Party committees and branches within the unions and therefore the ties the Party has with the masses.
Party members should seek to exercise leadership of the workplace out of the rank-and-file by being the person workmates can go to for advice and encouragement to fight for better working conditions as a collective. As part of this, Party members should look to be elected as workplace union delegates to not only increase their stature in the workplace but allow the mass work of the Party to go beyond the rank-and-file and spread throughout the union.
The New Communist Party should also be open to every new opportunity to form a union where one does not exist, or another union is solely necessary to revive the class struggle in that industry. An example of this would be if the union was a scab union or refused to engage in collective bargaining when members requested it.
The New Communist Party is already embarking on one of these, the Hospitality Workers’ Union. This, and potential future unions like it, are an exciting opportunity to not only grow the workers’ movement in general but strengthen and test the mettle of Party members through gaining skills in workplace and union leadership.
Throughout different workplace and union mass work, Party members should be aware of the leaders of the class who develop in the process of Party influence and push them towards joining the New Communist Party. It is these leaders of the working class which should be joining the Party.
2. Community Union
The Community Union is one of the most novel components of Party work, and the biggest theoretical innovation of the Party. What makes the Community Union most exciting is its potential to act as a proto-Soviet organ of mass workers’ power, since as it gains more of a mass membership it will take on an increasingly popular and democratic power.
Within Wellington already the Community Union has a uniquely important role within our Party work due to the low barrier required to gain that ‘first conversation’. As the Party sections in other areas continue to expand, the Community Union provides a unique opportunity to begin mass work where union density is not thick enough for it to be an initial base initial mass work.
Party members should ensure that the Community Union maintains a class-oriented viewpoint and does not either become class-void with its use of “community” or mutate tenant-landlord into a class relationship separate from the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.
Above all, Party members should work to strengthen Community Union work both in practice and theoretically as it develops. It has the potential to be an exciting key piece of Party work in the 21st Century and should be used to its full potential.
Now that the New Communist Party has initial ties with the masses, we should begin preparations for the establishment of a party newspaper. This must not be done too soon, as it would be a waste of resources and nobody would actually read it. Increasingly, however, it can be an important resource of not only explaining Communism and what the Party stands for to the masses, but increasing the unity and theoretical understanding of Party members,
Care should be taken to ensure that the Party paper is readable and interesting to the masses by covering topics outside of politics, perhaps by syndicating content from other socialist and sympathetic papers internationally.
The New Communist Party has already established a core of fraternal Parties and organisations, and should continue to expand these, including entry into the International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties. Regardless of whether we agree or disagree with specific tactics of other Parties or regard them as right/left deviationist, international unity is important, and we should treat all overseas Parties as examples – either positive or negative.
The First National Congress also paid close attention to the recent calls for the foundation of a 21st Century Communist International. Emphasising the necessity for the New Communist Party to maintain its independence and internal democracy, we agree with the calls for a more unified international strategy and direct the Central Committee and all Party members concerned to pursue and stay engaged with projects of this sort in the international arena.
The New Communist Party has had an excellent start in its founding year, largely due to its continued adherence to Chen Yun’s principle “we can only awaken the masses by improving their welfare”. In all Party work, we should stay true to this principle of mass work, the practice of revolutionaries, and Marxism-Leninism. If this happens, we will continue to pursue a good revolutionary path in years to come.