Organised for socialist revolution, rooted in the working class, working for unity.
Democratic, drawing upon the initiative and creativity of its members.
Centralised, to act as a disciplined and united force.
Internationalist, enjoying close relations with scores of communist parties and movements for peace, progress and national liberation.
Based on the class and internationalist principles of Marxism-Leninism.
“The aim of the Communist Party is to achieve a socialist Britain in which the means of production, distribution and exchange will be socially owned and utilised in a planned way for the benefit of all. This necessitates a revolutionary transformation of society, ending the existing capitalist system of exploitation and replacing it with a socialist society in which each will contribute according to ability and receive according to work done. Socialist society creates the conditions for advance to a fully communist form of society in which each will receive according to need.” – from Communist Party Aims & Constitution
Communism did not start with Karl Marx or with the October 1917 socialist revolution in Russia. In Britain, a rich historical seam of communist ideas dates back to the Middle Ages and before.
At times of great crisis, communist and socialist ideas often come to the fore. The desire for a future based on peace, co-operation, community, solidarity and common wealth has long inspired the peoples of England, Scotland and Wales.
According to its rules, the Communist Party is guided by the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism. This is far from being a fossilised set of ideas.
Marxism-Leninism is a science, starting from the understanding that ‘the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles’. In The Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848), Karl Marx and Frederick Engels analysed the development of capitalism.
Founded in 1920, Britain’s Communist Party brought together militant socialists and trade unionists who understood the need for a revolutionary change in society. They had been repelled by the mass slaughter of the 1914-18 Great War, when the leaders of the labour movement sided with the British ruling class against rival imperialist powers. They were inspired, too, by the founding of the world’s first workers’ state in Soviet Russia.
The Young Communist League (YCL) organises young people from 12 to 29 years old. Although the YCL is the youth wing of the CP—committed to our programme Britain’s Road to Socialism—it is organisationally independent, deciding its own policy and activities, controlling its own finances and electing its own leadership. The Young Communist League engages in street activity as well as political education and publishes a regular journal Challenge. To view the Young Communist League website go to https://challenge-magazine.org
When the Communist Manifesto declared ‘Workers of all lands, unite!’, it recognised two important principles: firstly, that working people have different national identities, languages and traditions; and secondly, that they have a common interest in supporting each other against exploitation and oppression.
The ruling ideas in every society are those of the ruling class, until they are overturned.
Monopoly ownership and control of the mass media helps to ensure that British society is bombarded with pro-capitalist, anti-socialist and anti-communist values, opinions and ideas every day. The working class must challenge this ideological domination and develop its own political consciousness of the need to organise for socialist revolution.
The Communist Party’s programme, Britain’s Road to Socialism, applies a Marxist-Leninist analysis to conditions as they have developed to the present day.
It argues that state-monopoly capitalism is the main obstacle to progress on every front. At the core of the British ruling class is a small number of finance monopoly capitalists.
The CP works with its allies to promote the policies of the Left-Wing Programme. Many of these are reflected in the People’s Charter, which is endorsed by Britain’s Trades Union Congress and actively supported by a wide range of trade union and other bodies. Similarly, the Charter for Women, first launched by the Communist Party, puts forward policies to secure women’s equality in the home, the workplace and trade union movement and is now supported by most major unions.
Membership of the Communist Party is open to all people aged 16 and above who accept the aims, rules and policy of the Party, pay their dues regularly and work in a Party organisation.
All members are allocated to the most appropriate local branch, the core unit of the Party. They are encouraged to participate fully in branch life in order to pool experience, deepen their own understanding of political affairs and Marxist-Leninist theory, and develop to their full potential as communists. Branch meetings are generally open to interested non-members.