PROGRAMME OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF SWITZERLAND

Proletarians of all countries, unite!
There is one goal, the conquest of power!

PROGRAMME

3rd Conference
Communist Party of Switzerland
1919

Translated and Reproduced by
The Red Flag

PROGRAMME

1. DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES

The ultimate goal of the Communist Party is a social order in which every human being has the possibility of satisfying all physical and spiritual needs.

The first basic condition for achieving this goal is the elimination of all forms of exploitation of human by human, through the transfer of the means of production into common ownership, and in the direct assumption of all management and control by the working people.

In the present State-capitalist epoch, the activity of the Communist Party is carried out in the propaganda of scientific communism and in the sharpest class struggle, rejecting all bourgeois-democratic means. Through the dictatorship of the working class, the foundations are to be laid for the elimination of all class rule.

* * *

These principles, which underlie the Communist Party of Switzerland and the Communist Parties of all countries, are based on the following:

2. CONSIDERATIONS

A. THE DEVELOPMENT OF CAPITALISM

The productive forces freed by the bourgeois revolutions have multiplied so enormously that their aggregation into large trusts, syndicates and State monopolies under unified administration has become necessary. This form of the capitalist process of production and exchange is proof that the rational utilization of the productive forces has become impossible without centralized administration.

The former private capitalism based on the principle of „free play of forces“ has developed into monopolized state capitalism. At the same time, State power concentrated into smaller and smaller layers of banking magnates, big industrialists and military leaders.

With centralized economic power in the hands of the bourgeoisie, political freedoms are increasingly rendered illusory under the pressure of immense exploitation. Universal suffrage, from which labor hoped everything, has been rendered utterly useless by the alliance of government and the stock exchange, by the material dependence of the executive organs, the civil service, on the capitalist class. Measured against the actual conditions of victory for the working class, the parliamentary electoral propaganda carried on by Social-Democracy forms a direct obstacle, a waste of strength. It keeps the workers imprisoned in old conceptions, paralyzes, confuses and enervates them, and thus not only delays their liberation but also increases their sacrifice.

The capitalist mode of production, by producing immense surplus quantities of goods which could no longer be sold in its own country, had to lead to competition for conquest and to imperialism, to the robbery of foreign colonies, to world war. Thus, the contradiction between the social mode of production and the private capitalist form of appropriation was taken to its extreme. This economic contradiction drove to world war and thus to State capitalism. In order to be able to maintain capitalist exploitation, the world empire of the victorious capitalist States is tried to be established under the name of a „League of Nations“. But even this plan, which has the formation of a single world monopoly as its purpose, fails because of the competition for conquest and rapacity of the victors of the world war. Out of these economic conflicts, sooner or later, depending on the strength of the capitalist state, the proletariat is driven to revolution.

B. THE TRANSITION FROM THE CAPITALIST TO THE COMMUNIST SOCIAL ORDER

The class antagonisms have intensified to such an extent that the seizure of power by the proletariat is impossible without violent means. The class organization of the bourgeoisie, the bourgeois State, must be contrasted with the united power of the proletariat through the council system. The same embodies, even before power is in the hands of the councils, the future form of the proletarian dictatorship, the proletarian State. The communists consider only the councils to be strong enough to lead the great struggles of the workers for power. The elasticity and the possibility of their perpetual renewal makes the councils the most actionable organ of the proletarian class struggle. The Communist Party rejects small-scale strikes and advocates exclusively mass economic and political strikes, and their continuous application until the working class seizes political, economic and military power.

The transition from the capitalist social order to communism takes place under the dictatorship of the proletariat. For the purpose of socializing the means of production, as well as all existing necessities, and the complete suppression of the bourgeoisie, the smashing of the entire bourgeois State apparatus through the establishment of a revolutionary government of workers‘, peasants‘ and soldiers‘ councils is necessary, since the capitalist State is not an aggregation of all classes, but the special apparatus of oppression of the bourgeoisie. The workers cannot simply take over the bourgeois State machine, but must destroy it, because the organs of oppression formed by the bourgeoisie, such as the military (officers), the bureaucracy, the political police, etc., can never serve the proletariat, because in their whole organizational structure they belong to the bourgeoisie.

The whole of Switzerland is governed by the working people, in the form of the council system, the supreme revolutionary authority being the Council of People‘s Commissars, which receives its powers through the All-Swiss Congress of Councils. Every town, every village, every army unit of the proletarian army elects the councils, which consist only of toiling workers and peasants, directly at the places of work. This electoral form replaces the democracy of property with the democracy of labor. Through the council system, labor is directly linked to the State executive, in contrast to the old capitalist organization, which linked property to bourgeois government power through the bureaucracy. Any compromise of the councils with the bourgeoisie degrades the productivity of the council system and blurs the pure class character of it. Through the characteristic of the councils, as not only legislative but at the same time working bodies, in which the division into legislative and executive is abolished, the council loses the character of a pure parliament.

The seizure of economic power is inseparable from the political rule of the proletariat. At the same time that the proletariat defeats the bourgeoisie by means of the council power, the economic power of the bourgeoisie must be broken.

The whole capitalist production process is centralized in the credit system, in the banks. From there, the money flows as investment capital into the factories, and from them in larger quantities (through surplus value created by labor) back into the banks. These strongholds of finance capital must be occupied by the proletariat and transformed into organs of social accounting.

Since the devaluation of money continues with its own lawfulness even during the revolution, the retention of money in the revolution should have even more corrupting effects than in the capitalist economy. It also inhibits the complete, spiritual and moral revolution. Money is eliminated in domestic circulation and replaced by ration coupons, ration vouchers and work books. Needs can only be met by corresponding socially useful, intellectual or physical labor.

The socialization of industrial enterprises is carried out by works councils, which organize the entire industrial production with the help of experts. The link between the various industries is in the hands of the Commissariat of Domestic Economy, composed of workers and peasants, which, with the help of professionals, regulates the distribution of all products and their transportation.

Agricultural production is directed by the peasant councils, which are elected from small farmers and peasant servants, hand in hand with the workers of the industrial areas, ousting the bourgeoisie from power. The cultivation of the land is carried out with the latest technical means. By means of the consolidation of estates and collective work, the yield of the land can be increased and the working time shortened.

With the economic upheaval, law is also placed on a different footing. Legal relations are the legal expression of social power relations. Previously, private property prevailed, hence primarily private law. Alongside it existed State law, as an expression of private property organized as a State, on the one hand, and as an expression of the social character of all labor, on the other. The more the State took over the management of production, exchange and distribution, the more State law prevailed. The proletariat organizes the communist State. The latter openly recognizes means of production and products as State property, all labor openly as State labor, therefore complete proletarian State law prevails. In the higher stage of communism we have no power, therefore no more legal relations in the old sense. Freedom comes, i.e. the insight into the necessities.

In order to protect the achievements of the proletariat from attacks of the counterrevolution, a Red Army will be formed under the command of the soldiers‘ councils.

The complete realization of all these goals will be possible only through the international world revolution. The communists, however, consider it their duty to lead the struggle independently by all means until the final unification of the proletarians of all countries.

C. THE COMMUNIST SOCIAL ORDER

Through the economic independence of the workers and peasants, the spiritual liberation of the same becomes possible and necessary at the same time. All educational institutions can be attended by everyone free of charge. The spiritual advancement of man will be decided only by talent and intelligence.

Since people in the epoch of the proletarian dictatorship are still afflicted with all the defects of the capitalist economic order, they are not yet able to get along without a government, without an energetic leadership. For this reason, in the lower stage of communism, bourgeois law still exists to some extent, namely the principle: equal work, equal pay. This formal equality will disappear with the progress of education, and the unfolding productivity of labor. Every person will then have the possibility of free development of their personality. Through the spiritual education of the entire people, the rule of an administrative bureaucracy as a special stratum of the population will be impossible. All working people will be able to participate in the administration alternately. The State, as the organization of proletarian democracy, withers away. In its place comes the free association of people who live according to the principle:

From each according to their abilities,
to each according to their needs.

3. WORK PROGRAMME

These insights into the social development and the resulting necessities of struggle impose the following work programme on us:

1. Mass revolutionary actions.

2. Creation of workers‘, peasants‘ and soldiers‘ councils.

3. Assumption of political power by the workers‘, peasants‘ and soldiers‘ councils.

4. Organization of Red Guards.

5. Confiscation and correct rationing of all food and consumer goods. Elimination of money.

6. Liquidation of bank capital and all banking enterprises.

7. Cancellation of all private, municipal, cantonal and federal debts.

8. Confiscation of all means of production.

9. Organization of industrial, commercial and agricultural production and exchange by workers, employees, small peasants and peasant serfs through the council system.

10. Domestic and international regulation of production, exchange and distribution, as well as of all transportation.

4. STATUTES

1. The Communist Party of Switzerland stands on the basis of the 3rd International and forms a member thereof.

2. It consists of local sections and groups which recognize the Party programme as the basis of their political activity.

The organs of the Party are:

a) the Party Congress,

b) the Party Board,

c) the Extended Party Board,

d) the Accounts and Audit Committee,

e) the Sections and Groups.

The Party Congress is the supreme representation of the Party. It shall consist of the Party Board and the delegates of the Sections and Groups and shall meet at the request of the Board or of three Sections, but at least once a year. The Board has only the right to propose motions, not to vote. The convening of the Congress is the responsibility of the Board.

5) Duties of the Congress:

a) Election of the Board and the Party Chairperson,

b) Decision on all Party and programme issues,

c) Designation of the official Party press,

d) Election of the Accounts and Audit Committee.

6. Decisions of the Congress shall be subject to a vote if the Party Board or 1/3 of the Sections so request. The execution is the responsibility of the Board.

The Party Board shall consist of the Chairperson elected by the Congress and four other members to be elected by the Local Sections. The same can be recalled at any time.

8. Tasks of the Party Board are:

a) To take care of the current and administrative business,

b) Carrying out unified political actions,

c) Procurement of agitation material.

9. The Congress shall elect an Editorial Commission, which shall be responsible for the publication of the Party press and the examination of agitation material.

10. Any male or female person who subscribes to the Party programme and declares their willingness to work for the realization of communism through personal collaboration may become a member of a Section.

The admission of new members shall be decided by the Section; the admission of new Sections or Groups shall be decided provisionally by the Party Board and definitively by the Congress. The Sections have the right to expel members. Expelled members have the right of appeal to the Party Congress.

12. Each Party member shall receive a membership card as identification. This card is the property of the Party.

13. Regular and voluntary contributions shall be levied to defray expenses.