The following questions are a basis for study in Communist Party branches, districts and nations. The aim is for these party structures to choose questions for discussion. We ask that you note the outcomes of the discussion, so that these can be considered at a forthcoming All-Britain Party School.
• What is the breakdown of employment in your local area? Who are the key employers? Are they public
sector or private sector?
• How has this changed over time? What are the reasons for this change?
• In what way are these workers exploited? Is there evidence of super-exploitation of specific groups of
• What impact have periodic crises had on workers in your area?
• What are the implications of the above for organising resistance to capitalism and recruiting workers to
the Communist Party?
• Pick an example of one area of struggle in your local community – this may be a workplace struggle or
strike, or it may be a community or political struggle. Try to map how power is exercised by decision-
makers on this issue. What affects or circumscribes the decision-making of local managers, employers or
government on this issue? On whom are they dependent?
• Make an equivalent power map of the workers involved in the struggle. What are their current sources of
power? What potential resources do they have to draw upon? How will this affect the strategy they need
• What are the weak links in the employer’s/politician’s position? Where should workers focus energy?
• How could the Party play a positive role in relation to this struggle? Can you identify the key points where
the Party could engage and make a difference?
• How can the analysis of state-monopoly capitalism be raised in the course of the struggle? What can be
done to develop the consciousness of the workers involved?
• Pick a key local industry, service or utility. What would be the advantages and disadvantages of it being
• At what level would this industry best be organised – local, regional or national? Would different
decisions be best taken at different levels? Can you compile a list for each level?
• What could democratic or progressive public ownership look like in this case? Who would be the
democratic decision-makers? Would this involve a combination of the workers and the users of this
industry, service or utility? If so, what would the balance look like?
• How would this look different under socialism? How would you explain this vision to a worker or user of
the industry, service or utility in its current form?
• What are the key campaigns or struggles that could bring us closer to the models described above? Are
these campaigns for public ownership, workplace battles over professional control, something else, or a
• “Map” or describe and locate the labour movement in your local community. What does it consist of?
What are the relative strengths of its constituent elements?
• Add to your “map” other progressive/democratic campaigns. To what extent do these overlap with the
working class and its organised forces in the labour movement? To what extent do they draw in
unorganised workers and/or members of other classes?
• What is the attitude of the local Labour Party to these different organisations and campaigns? How
deeply is it embedded within the local movements you have identified?
• How and why might the attitude of the Communist Party be different?
• What concrete actions could you take to build the unity of these forces and to embed the Communist
Party within a broad democratic anti-monopoly alliance on a local scale?
• Take one policy, or group of policies from the Left Wing Programme. What groups of people might this
policy appeal to? List as many as you can.
• How might this policy be framed to appeal to the different groups you have identified? What might their
particular interests be and how could these be incorporated into the framing of the policy?
• What links and alliances might need to be built in order to develop campaigning around this policy or set
• What would be the distinctive role of the Party in this work? What would the initial steps be?
• How does this policy fit with the wider Alternative Economic and Political Strategy and how, in practice,
could those who support it be won to the wider strategy?
• BRS envisages that “new forms of popular participation and direct democracy” (p62) will emerge during
the construction of socialism. What expressions of working class democracy currently exist in your local
• Which groups of workers are engaged in these organisations and which groups effectively have no
experience of real democracy under the capitalist system?
• How are these existing structures of working class democracy related to the formal structures of
democracy in your local area?
• What can be done to strengthen and develop popular participation and direct democracy, either through
the strengthening of existing structures or the development of new structures in the course of the
• How can the question of democracy most effectively be raised with workers in your local community?
What examples and arguments can help them to see the “limited, distorted and precarious” nature of
democratic rights in capitalist society (p60)