Chapter H - Practical Program and Principles of the Rank-and-File Work of the MLPD

1. Winning Over the Decisive Majority of the Working Class The strategic goal in the stage without an acutely revolutionary situation is to win over the decisive majority of the working class for the struggle for socialism. In this situation, class struggle primarily takes place in the ideological field. In the working-class movement it is reflected as the struggle between the proletarian and the petty-bourgeois mode of thinking. The MLPD must understand how to organize the superiority of the proletarian mode of thinking over the petty-bourgeois mode of thinking. This applies to Marxist-Leninist party building as well as to the struggle over the mode of thinking of the masses and the preparation of the international revolution.

2. Marxist-Leninist Work at Factories and Trade Unions The Marxist-Leninist work at factories and in trade unions among blue-and white-collar workers of the industrial large-scale enterprises is the main fighting line of the MLPD. Taking the all-sidedness of party work into account, the MLPD's factory party groups have priority over the building of other groups. The factory party groups form the proletarian backbone of the MLPD's system of rank-and-file work.
It is the main task of the factory groups to initiate and develop workers' struggles and to systematically awaken and raise the proletarian class ­ consciousness of the industrial labor force and their families. The struggle for economic and political ­ partial demands must be waged as a school of class ­
struggle. It is a struggle over the mode of thinking of the masses.
The MLPD members take an active role to advance work in the trade unions, the most important self-run organizations of the working class. In these organizations, MLPD members fight any form of class-collaboration policy and promote the transformation of trade unions into fighting organizations for the defense and improvement of the wage and working conditions. To raise proletarian class consciousness, they reject the reformist way of acting in the people's stead and promote the militant activity and initiative of the masses of trade union members. They strive for a close linkage of the revolutionary party of the working class with the trade unions, but without violating their ueber­ parteilich1 status. Therefore, they carry the spirit of class struggle into the trade unions, organize international class solidarity, promote the militant women's movement and, in particular, support the interests of the working-class youth.
On the one hand, the Marxist-Leninists irreconcilably oppose any attempt by the reformist union bureaucracy to patronize and boss around the millions of union members and to impede the development of class struggle; on the other hand, they reject any kind of activity hostile to the union. They are guided by the principle not to draw any personal advantages from their functions in the factory and the trade unions.
Besides union strikes, the Marxist-Leninists, if necessary, support breaking through the trade union framework and launching independent strikes. The importance of independent strikes grows with the individual struggles of the workers developing into mass struggles, the economic struggles becoming political struggles and national struggles advancing into becoming a part of the international class struggle.

The guideline for Marxist-Leninist constructive work in the trade union is summarized in the following slogans:

• Trade unions as fighting organizations to defend and improve the wage and working conditions!

• Strong general labor union!

• Workers' unity in East and West Germany, unity of German and foreign workers!

• Trade union work among young people to promote the unity of young and old!

• Promote the militant women's movement against all forms of special exploitation and oppression of women!

• Ueberparteilich status of the trade unions, demo­ cratic and self-organized structures!

• No incompatibility ruling against anti-fascists and Marxist-Leninists in the trade unions!

• Combine unionist and independent struggles!

• Extend unionist and political rights and liberties!

• International workers’ solidarity and unity of the international trade union movement!

• Make the socialist perspective a substantial part of the trade unions!

3. Systematic Work in the Neighborhoods To win over the broad masses, the MLPD does systematic, rank-and-file work in the neighborhoods. In doing so, its guideline is the criticism of the entire living conditions imposed upon the masses in capitalism and the joint struggle for a future worth living for. Its special, major issue is Marxist-Leninist work among women, aiming at the liberation of women as a part of the struggle for socialism.
The militant women's movement against the special exploitation and oppression of women must become the connective link between the working-class movement, the active people's resistance and the rebellion of the youth. To this aim, the militant women's movement must, on the one hand, include the whole range of women of different classes and strata, but, on the other hand, it must come to grips with the corrosive and splittist effect of petty-bourgeois feminism.
The proletarian women's movement must become the core of the militant women's movement. The Marxist-Leninists espouse a close, trusting relationship between the ueberparteilich women's self-run organizations and the MLPD.
The promotion of and active collaboration with various self-run organizations of the militant women's movement serves to involve the masses of women into societal activities and to win them over for the society-changing aim of the liberation of women. The MLPD helps the masses to overcome the effect of petty-bourgeois family egoism and the fetters of bourgeois morality. In its party work, the MLPD purposefully organizes the promotion of women to assume tasks and functions.

The following slogans and demands stand for Marxist-Leninist work among women:

• Fight all forms of the special exploitation and oppression of women!

• Punishment of sexual exploitation and violence!

• Banning and prosecution of violent and child pornography!

• Active promotion of women in social life!

• For economic, social and cultural equality of women!

• Improvement of protective rights for female workers and employees!

• Equal pay for equal work!

• Abrogate § 218, the anti-abortion law!

• Free distribution of contraceptives!

• Relief for families from the tasks of the reproduction of labor power and child care!

• Free and qualified all-day care of children at nurseries, kindergartens, daycare centers and all-day schools!

• Abolition of the reactionary marriage and family laws! Legal and social equality of all forms of life companionship!

• Struggle for the liberation of women in socialist ­ society!

4. Marxist-Leninist Work Among Youth and the Youth League Rebell The MLPD puts its trust in the young generation and, with its youth league, Rebell, organizes rebellion for the future interests of the youth. The young people are the most active force in society and the most avid seeker of a social perspective. The unity in struggle of young and old is the driving force of the struggle for genuine socialism.
The MLPD wages a resolute struggle against the ruination of the vital forces and health of young people and contributes to fighting their brutalization and impoverishment. It wages an active fight against the quagmire of drugs. It does systematic anti-fascist work against fascist incitement of young people and educates them for active, anti-fascist struggle. It resolutely fights the militarization of society and supports the anti-militarist struggle of the youth. The struggle against mass unemployment of the youth at the side of the older workers is a major issue.
Rebell is a self-run organization of the masses of young people; it has a Marxist-Leninist character and implements a school of life of the proletarian mode of thinking for the youth and the children. This aim requires the ideological-political leadership of the MLPD and close practical cooperation on the basis of organizational independence of the youth league. ­Rebell conveys the spirit of international solidarity, reliance on one's own strength, respect for physical work, equality of girls and boys, unselfish commitment to the cause of all the exploited and oppressed and to the common struggle for socialism. Rebell wins over young people under the slogan, "Rebellion is justified!"; it develops proletarian work for cultural and recreational activities. In this way, it helps the young to come to grips with the effect of bourgeois youth culture and a wide-spread, petty-bourgeois lifestyle, anti-authoritarianism, spontaneism and individualism; in its whole work, it puts into effect Mao Zedong's guiding principle, "Serve the People!"
Together with its children's organization, Rotfüchse (Red Foxes), Rebell assumes responsibility for the future of the working class. This embraces the entire life of the children and aims at educating them to proletarian behavior in all matters.

Marxist-Leninist work among youth follows these demands and slogans:

• Put majority down to sixteen years!

• Fight the quagmire of drugs!

• Ban advertisement for drugs!

• Health education at schools!

• Fight youth unemployment on the account of ­ capitalist profits!

• Obligatory 10 percent quota of trainees in big ­ industry!

• Give regular and unlimited jobs to young people completing training in a company according to their vocational training!

• Preservation and extension of the laws for the protection of the working youth!

• Special protection of children against violence and sexual abuse!

• Promote mass sport!

• Free and unified school system from nursery school to university!

• All-day schools in the residential areas with free meals!

• Thorough school and professional training!
• Expansion of institutions and facilities which ­ provide cost-free cultural, sports and recreational activities for children and young people!

• Comprehensive anti-fascist education at schools and in the mass media!

• Promotion of children and young people of other nationalities at schools, in professional training as well as in nurseries and youth centers!

• Legal, social and cultural equality of girls and boys at training, in jobs and daily life!

• Fight militarism!

• Active resistance against the destruction of the natural environment!

5. The Transition to the Working-Class Offensive The leading factor of the society-changing movement for the liberated socialist society is the transition to the working-class offensive. The realization of the slogan of the working-class offensive has different aspects.
The struggle for daily demands and partial slogans must be waged offensively so that it can be developed higher. Today, the struggle for the defense of jobs and the creation of new ones is in the center of industrial conflict. Starting from the struggle for every job, the working class must fight unemployment at the account of monopol­ ist profits. The international demand of workers for the six-hour workday with full compensation of wages or the thirty-hour workweek with full compensation of wages stands at the fore.
The economic struggle must be combined with political struggle, that is, be transformed into political struggle. It is only in this way that the workers grasp that their concrete experience with industrial exploitation and oppression is an expression of the monopoly dictatorship and that the state is the decisive instrument of power of the monopolies. Each strike for the defense and improvement of the wage and working conditions contains the seeds of political struggle. These must be advanced systematically. The driving force for the transition to the working-class offensive is the unity of young and old.
To further develop the workers' struggles into class struggle, individual struggles must be concentrated and developed higher into mass struggles. Therefore, it is of fundamental importance for the development of class struggle to organize class solidarity, solidarity actions and strikes. Strikes must be combined with demonstrations so that they are placed in a universal social context.
If necessary, the unionist framework must be broken through and the working class must go over to independent struggles. This will be the more so as the workers' struggle becomes a political struggle, that is, class struggle in the true sense.
Last but not least, the working class must attack the socially organized system of the petty-bourgeois mode of thinking so that it can unfold its class consciousness, and class struggle in the true sense can be developed. This is only possible if the struggles are closely linked with the Marxist-Leninist educational work of the party.

The most important demands of the working-class offensive are:

• Six-hour workday with full wage compensation or thirty-hour workweek with full wage compensation!

• Full legal right to strike in all matters!

• No restriction of political and trade-unionist ­ activity at work!

• Progressive Workplace Labor Relations Law!

• Unlimited right to assemble and demonstrate on an anti-fascist basis!

• Effective job protection against dismissal and unlimited continued pay in case of illness!

• Fight flexibilization of working hours! Transform limited employment contracts into unlimited ­ contracts!

• Reduction of work on Saturdays and Sundays and of shift-work!

• Reduction of overtime work, speedup and unhealthy working conditions!

• Six weeks statutory minimum holiday!

• Fight wage reduction by monopolists and the state!

• Higher wages and salaries!

• Equal pay for equal work! Unified collective agreements all over Germany!

6. Active People's Resistance The development of the active people's resistance involves the broad masses in the social struggle against the dictatorship of the monopolies. The active people's resistance constantly generates new forms of struggles and organizations. It is characterized by militant mass actions against the monopolies and the state and stands in contrast to symbolic actions and passive resistance as preferably promoted by the churches, but also by the Rightist trade union bureaucracy. Such activities are only justified if they draw people close to active resistance or to the working-class offensive.
A movement to defend social gains has emerged against the shifting of the burden of the crisis onto the shoulders of the working people. It is directed against any dismantling of social gains, particularly against the consequences of the redistribution policy in the health sector, the educational and the cultural sector, against privatization of public services and increasing communal fees.
The people's struggles unfold their greatest breadth and effectiveness when related to the struggles of the working-class movement and the transition to the working-class offensive.

The Marxist-Leninists support this struggle with the following demands:

• Higher unemployment pay and its unlimited continued payment for the entire period of unemployment!

• Higher welfare payments!

• Lowering of the retirement age to 60 years for men and to 55 years for women without loss of pension! Statutory minimum pension independent of individual work!

• Full payment of social-security contributions by the capitalists!

• Lower taxation of the masses, no indirect taxation, drastic progressive taxation of big enterprises and big earners!

• Provide sufficient and inexpensive housing!

• Thorough preventive medicine and medical care free of charge!

• Involvement of the elderly, sick and disabled persons in societal life and full payment for their care by the monopolies and the state!

Worldwide, the active resistance of the masses of the people develops against the ruthless destruction of the natural environment. The MLPD advocates the building of an international resistance front to save the natural foundations of life, promotes a conscious attitude of the masses towards nature and takes aim at the monopolies' greed for profit as mainly responsible for all damages done. Bourgeois and petty-bourgeois ecologism diverts from the causes and leads active resistance into a dead-end street. Accordingly, the MLPD takes a stand for the following demands and slogans:

• Save the environment from the greed for profit!

• Effective immediate measures against the destruction of the ozone layer and the rain forest, and against the life-threatening greenhouse effect!

• Active protection of the water resources!

• Immediate shutdown of all nuclear systems at the expense of those who run it!

• Promotion of environmentally benign energies!

• Expansion of local and national public transport, free use of local public transport!

• Prohibit the deforestation of the tropical rain ­ forest internationally!

The MLPD supports the struggle against the general danger of war, imperialist wars and the militarization of society. It helps the masses to overcome petty-bourgeois pacifist illusions. Lasting world peace has as a prerequisite the abolition of any exploitation and oppression of man by man. Therefore, the MLPD propagates and supports armed liberation movements for national and social liberation. The MLPD defends the right to conscientious objection but does not consider conscientious objection an effective means against militarism. Volunteering for the federal army, the federal border police and the police is no way out for the young generation.

• Ban and destroy all ABC weapons!

• Dissolution of the NATO, the West European Union and the intervention forces of the federal army!

• No women in the federal army!

• No German troops abroad!

• No export of arms to reactionary regimes!

• Respect the right of self-determination of peoples and nations!
• Peace and peoples' friendship!


The fascization of the state apparatus and the dismantling of bourgeois-democratic rights and liberties are an expression of the dictatorship of the monopolies. Due to the vulnerability of the international production and for fear of the international revolution, the extension of the apparatus of force is stepped up on an international level. The dismantling of personal rights under the pretext of fighting "organized crime" is, in reality, pursued for fear of the organized working-class movement and the people's struggles. Therefore, the MLPD closely combines the struggle for political rights with the entire range of struggles.

• Defend and extend bourgeois-democratic rights and liberties!

• Repeal the Emergency Powers Acts and their amendments!

• Effective data protection!

• Stop preparations for civil war, state surveillance and police terror!

• Prohibit all acts of censorship against democratic, anti-fascist and Marxist-Leninist forces!

The struggle against neo-fascist terror is closely connected with the active promotion of peoples' friendship and international solidarity. The MLPD places its trust in the anti-fascist consciousness of the masses and, in particular, the youth. It makes educational work on the danger of fascism and its wire-pullers and helps the masses to overcome nationalist prejudice. The monopolies support the neo-fascists as shock troops against revolutionary movements and workers' struggles. The slander and the attacks against people of different nationality and color, minorities and anti-fascists are meant to split and intimidate people. In contrast, the MLPD advocates the unity of Germans and people of other nationality.
• Workers no matter from which nationality - one class, one enemy, one struggle!

• Full legal equality of all people permanently living in Germany, independent of their nationality!

• Not one inch for the fascists! Ban all fascist organizations and their propaganda!

7. The Policy of Joint Struggle, Forms and Principles The party must make a policy of joint struggles of all these movements so that the transition to the working-class offensive can be carried out, the active people's resistance can unfold and rebellion can take hold of the masses of the youth. It is crucial to proceed from united action on individual questions to the all-round united front on all essential questions. Unity must always be based on joint struggle. Those who participate maintain their independent identity and collaborate on an equal basis and for mutual advantage. In general, the basis of cooperation involves anti-fascist, internationalist, democratic and revolutionary forces and must be jointly decided in each case. The MLPD distinguishes between

Self-run organizations of the masses as permanent ­ organizational forms of joint struggle, like trade unions, women's associations, etc. To reach the aim of involving the broad masses, these self-run organizations must guarantee a real ueberparteilich status, broadest democracy and financial independence. Also, the following principles have proved successful:

• Unity on the basis of equality and struggle

• Close linkage with the working-class movement

• Realize a culture of debate in an atmosphere of objectivity and solidarity

• International solidarity

• Openness to a social perspective of a society freed from exploitation of man by man

• Equal participation of Marxist-Leninists.

Joint organizational forms to realize concrete temporary tasks of struggle (electoral alliances, Whitsun Youth Meeting, May Day, International Women's Day, etc.). Usually, the joining of forces is defined by a joint platform and principles of collaboration. In this sense, the MLPD understands its participation in elections as a contribution to the
independent union of the masses. In electoral
alliances or voters' action groups, people can unite on an equal basis and make politics themselves. The electoral candidates of the MLPD face the control of the masses and commit themselves to do their parliamentary work based on proletarian principles. In the interest of the unimpeded union of the masses, the MLPD supports the following demands:

• Unlimited right to assemble and demonstrate on an anti-fascist basis!

• Free admittance to public places and facilities on an anti-fascist basis!

• Free admittance to the mass media!

• Repeal undemocratic electoral obstructions and obstructions of parliamentary work!

• No public financing of political parties, no public money for election campaigns!

• Repeal the undemocratic five percent restriction clause at elections!

Common forums to organize exchange and sharing of ideas and to coordinate and develop joint struggles. Consultations of that kind require democratically approved principles, too, so that the exchange of experience, based on common interest, advances in solidarity and with a clear goal.

8. The Preparation of the Revolutionary Alliance The preparation of the revolutionary alliance of the working class with sections of the petty-bourgeois intermediate strata is a task of all MLPD party groups.
The MLPD supports just demands of the petty-bourgeois intermediate strata, as long as they are not directed against the working class. But only the struggle for socialism under the leadership of the working class opens a real way out for them. The MLPD supports the just resistance of students against the deterioration of their study conditions, mental patronizing and political disciplining and promotes the organizing of intellectuals in the various self-run organizations of the masses. As representatives of the working-class, the Marxist-Leninists propagate its struggles and world outlook and offensively debate the theory and method of the bourgeois sciences and culture and, particularly, modern anti-communism.
The petty-bourgeois intellectuals who support socialism as social alternative must abandon their petty-bourgeois basic attitude, recognize the historical role of the working class and give it their practical support; they must closely link up with the working class, put aside any arrogance, overcome negativism, anti-authoritarianism and modern anticommunism and adopt the dialectical-materialist mode of thinking. Thus, they can make an excellent contribution to party building and to the class struggle.

• Fight the economic ruin of the intermediate strata by monopolist rule!

• Fight the consequences of state budget redistribution at the expense of the employees, particularly in the educational, cultural, social and health sectors!

• Fight the impediment of science, research and culture caused by the monopoly profit interests! Fight inhuman application of modern science and technology!

• Freedom of political and trade-unionist activity at training and work!

• Fight deterioration of study conditions, mental patronizing and political disciplining of students!

• For the unrestricted coalition of small farmers, small traders and intermediate strata to represent their economic and political interests against monopolies, big landowners and the state!

9. The Building of the International Unity of Workers The international revolutionary movement must coordinate and develop the class struggles raging all over the world. The leading factor is the close unity of struggle of Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations. The MLPD actively participates in multilateral conferences. It develops manifold bilateral relations for mutual support in party building and collaboration with other revolutionary forces on an equal basis. It makes an active contribution to the further development of Marxism-Leninism in the struggle against modern revisionism and to the exchange of practical experience.
Supporting the ideals of proletarian internationalism is a component part of the systematic rank-and-file work of the party groups. This includes carrying out internationalist campaigns for common class demands of the international working class as well as for material and political support for revolutionary liberation struggles in other countries.
The MLPD supports the building of a broad international league of struggle for liberation and promotes the building of ueberparteilich international solidarity and aid organizations.
The working class will become an invincible force only by joining its forces internationally. To achieve this, the masses must overcome competitive thinking and nationalist prejudice and must develop internationalist thinking.
The MLPD promotes unity with workers of ­ other nationalities and their families in Germany
and supports their organizing themselves in the MLPD, the revolutionary youth league, Rebell, and the various ueber­ parteilich self-run organizations of the masses.

• Six-hour workday with full compensation of wages as an international demand against mass unemployment!

• Equal pay for equal work world-wide!

• Cancel the debts owed by developing countries to the imperialist countries and banks!

• Unrestricted right of political asylum for politically persecuted democrats, anti-fascists and Marxist-Leninists!

• Recognition of gender-specific reasons for asylum and an independent right to stay for foreign women!

• Solidarity with the revolutionary struggles for liberation all over the world!

• Protection of all refugees and recognition of their rights in an international convention!

10. The Dissemination of the Proletarian World Outlook Karl Marx and Frederick Engels developed the proletarian ideology, the world outlook of the working class, in the struggle against bourgeois ideology. Marxism-Leninism is not an ossified dogma, but a vital guide to action. Its creative character is grounded in materialist dialectics.
The ruling forces have always reacted against Marxism-Leninism by distorting and defaming it in an anticommunist way. It is a result of bourgeois manipulation of opinion that, today, the broad masses, for the most part, have in their minds a distorted image of scientific socialism. It is a requirement that the working class, the young people and all those who are looking for a social alternative to capitalism adopt a positive attitude to scientific socialism. Therefore, each member of the MLPD is challenged to realize the unity of word and deed. The petty-bourgeois mode of thinking is a reflection of bourgeois ideology in the thinking, feeling and acting of the masses. It is the central problem of party building and class struggle today.
As long as bourgeois ideology prevails in the ranks of the working class and the masses of the people, they cannot free themselves from capitalist exploitation and oppression. Therefore, the crucial question of class struggle is the emergence of the proletarian mode of thinking of the masses which enables them to carry out the socialist revolution. To this aim, they must come to grips with the effect of the social system of the petty-bourgeois mode of thinking, in particular, with modern anticommunism.
The MLPD helps the masses to recognize, by their own experience, the petty-bourgeois mode of thinking and to overcome the petty-bourgeois reformist and revisionist modes of thinking and to adopt a firm, proletarian class standpoint. In its systematic rank-and-file work, it promotes the dissemination of Marxism-Leninism and the socialist ideals of the party. In doing so, its decisive weapon is the theoretical organ, Revolutionärer Weg (Revolutionary Way).
For its liberation, the working class needs its own culture, uniting it in thinking, feeling and acting. Therefore, the party promotes the development of proletarian culture and morale, taking up the best inter­ national democratic and revolutionary traditions and, at the same time critically assimilating progressive ideas and achievements of bourgeois society in the fields of literature, art and science. Thus, it builds a dam against the demoralizing effect of reactionary imperialist culture. The MLPD demands:

• Fight the manipulation of public opinion by primitive and modern anticommunism!

• Open public discussion on the socialist alternative!

• Free admittance to the mass media for Marxist-Leninists and other forces of the militant workers' and people's opposition!

• Support for educational and cultural work of the working-class movement!

• Separation of church and state!

11. The Development Towards the Party of the Masses To help the working class and the broad masses of the working strata to find their way to socialism, the MLPD must become the party of the masses. This vitally depends on whether it will succeed in purposeful party building, interrelated with promoting the self-run organizations of the masses on the basis of struggle, mainly among the working class, the masses of women and the youth.
The basis for the party's relation to the masses is the mass line as the guiding principle for systematic rank-and-file work. There is no revolution without or against the masses of the people. It is a special characteristic of the members of our party that they place their trust in the masses and their ability to liberate themselves. With their vivid example, they exert persuasive ­ power which can break the dam of modern anticommunism and arm the party against any attempt at isolating it socially.
The party must work on the basis of the proletarian mode of thinking so that it can always provide correct orientation to the working class. This means creatively implementing Marxism-Leninism in any concrete practical issue of class struggle and party building by consciously applying the dialectical method.
Drawing a conclusion from the capitalist restoration of all former socialist countries and the revisionist degeneration of most of the former communist parties, the MLPD has developed the system of self-control in order to deal with the petty-bourgeois mode of thinking. This system of self-control unites control from the top by independent control commissions with the control from below by the members, by principle-based criticism and self-criticism, and self-control by the cadres. Only if the party succeeds in coming to grips with the petty-bourgeois mode of thinking can the working class, too, break through the system of the petty-bourgeois mode of thinking, and a new upsurge of the struggle for socialism will come.
The organizational principle of democratic centralism ensures that the initiatives of all members will permeate the unified action of the party and that the principle-based unity of the party is maintained. The MLPD finances itself by membership dues and donations and is financially independent.
With the help of principle-based criticism and self-criticism, the party creatively develops itself further and learns to fulfill the leading role it has to play in the struggle for socialism and, later, in the construction of socialism.

Workers of all Countries, Unite!
Forward to the International
Socialist Revolution!
Forward with the Marxist-Leninist Party
of Germany!

Literature

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Grundatzdebatte

Texte der MLPD zur DKP