Programmatic Principles of the Workers’ Struggle

1.            Workers Struggle is a political organization dedicated to the struggle for abolition of capitalism and institution of a socialist society, working in critical solidarity with all congenial ideological and organizational currents on the practical-political and theoretical-ideological development of the anti-capitalist movement. Workers’ Struggle promotes building of an activist, revolutionary mass party of the working class with a strong emphasis on activities beyond parliamentary politics and active participation in all progressive social initiatives and movements.

2.         Organization’s long-term and final goal, that determines all its short-term goals, is the abolition of capitalism as an economic and political system which is incompatible with prospects of overcoming acute problems of the modern world, such as poverty, war, and the systematic destruction of nature. Such a system must be replaced by a democratic socialist society. Socialist democracy is based on the respect of the broadest democratic rights and freedoms and the participation of the broadest layers of society in decision making in relation to the economic, political and social processes (with the help of delegates and experts).

Capitalism is also incompatible with the final abandonment of gender, sexual, racial and religious discrimination, with the full and free development of the human personality, and is a fundamental obstacle to the abandonment of the world of alienation, isolation and atomization in human relationships.

Workers Struggle believes that these problems can only be overcome on condition that capitalist relations of ownership and production are abolished, or in other words, if the means of production are put under conscious common control of all those contributing to the production of material and immaterial goods of the society, based on the principle of the elimination of all exploitation and oppression, and creating conditions for the possibility of equal and free participation of all in all aspects of social life. Workers Struggle is firmly rooted in the traditions of revolutionary worker’s movement, and believes that the change leading to the final abolition of capitalism and the establishment of free socialist society is necessarily a revolutionary change.

3.         The process of transformation of the capitalist socioeconomic order into socialism is a revolutionary process. This doesn’t merely signify the “taking over of power by violent means”, but rather a universal social process in which old social relations are abolished and new ones are created. Starting from the determination of the complete social life by the character of economic relations, we deny any possibility of the liberation of mankind within the framework of the existing society, which is founded upon the inherently oppressive and authoritarian capital-relation which necessarily produces the oppression and dehumanization of the worker. Therefore, the fundamental moment of the revolution is the expropriation of the capitalist class and the management of the means of production by workers’ councils. However, the revolution also encompasses radical changes of social life in its entirety – among other things, in the way of thinking, in art, science and political relations, which, next to the economic aspects, represent the most important sphere of the revolution.

4.         In order to achieve these goals the organization has to break sharply with the tendencies of both parliamentary cretinism and sectarianism which can arise within its own ranks. It has to be understood that entering the parliament and parliamentary fight, although making a significant contribution to the socialist movement, can never be a replacement for the process described in the section above, and can, if other forms of struggle are abandoned and the ties with the working class severed, lead to opportunism, adaptation to the existing system, and the abandonment of the struggle for socialism. Sectarianism, on the other hand, develops from the organization being sealed off from the social reality and its inability to adjust to the given conditions of work. The best antidotes against these phenomena are the strongest possible integration with the workers and all marginalized and allied groups of society and the participation in all their struggles for the immediate and short-term goals. This includes, before all, help and participation in all trade-union activities such as strikes, demonstrations, factory occupations, and, of course, membership in the trade-unions and participation in their everyday activities. Therefore, the activities of Workers Struggle are based on the strategy of transitional demands – struggle for the realization of the immediate demands of the working class which strengthens its positions, mobilizes it, conquers significant strategic goals, and practically shows the impossibility of the full realization of immediate demands within the framework of capitalism. Transitional demands represent the connection between the current struggles and the consciousness of the working class, and the final goal of socialist revolution.

5.            Capitalism is based on the domination of capital over workers, and its monopoly over the means of production. Its fundamental tendency is the increase of the gap between the worker and the capitalist, that is, of inequality between the owner of the means of production and the worker, with the state serving the function of the repressive apparatus employed to keep the workers and marginalized layers of society in submission. Beyond that, through parliamentary democracy (in reality a sham or formal democracy) it creates and sustains the separation of the population into ordinary masses (which are in no way able to control their lives and can only choose between different allies of the capitalist class one time in four years) and the political elite. The political elite exists in symbiosis with the capitalist class, which enables it to control the media, to finance extravagant campaigns, etc., and in this way to control people’s consciousness. Socialism, as a negation of such economic and political order, basically means the socialization of the means of production, formation of workers’ councils and their takeover of the factories and the means of production with the help of experts, the building of structures of autonomous self-management, comprised of workers, which, coming from the rank-and-file level and rising to the top, finally take control over production in a democratically planned way. In the political sphere, the direct worker’s (proletarian) democracy can only mean the widening and further development of democratic rights won through bitter struggle in capitalism – except, of course, in the case of the armed danger leading towards the restoration of capitalism.

Socialist democracy is based on the existence of social councils on all  levels of a society, with the participation of all who are interested in doing so, and through which their representatives and leadership are chosen. These are replaceable at any time, their wages don’t exceed an average worker’s wage, and they are elected by universal suffrage. This pertains to all social institutions, especially to management, the judiciary, and education. The seeds of these organizations, which have shown the tendency of further development, have appeared in every socialist revolution (although the revolution can be socialist in character, it doesn’t automatically establish socialism), from the Paris commune, to the Russian Revolution of 1905 and the early period of the October Revolution, the German Revolution of 1918-19, the Italian „biennio rosso“ of 1920-21, the Spanish Revolution of 1936-37, the Yugoslavian experiment, the Algerian Revolution of 1954-62, the Hungarian anti-Stalinist revolution of 1956, the Chilean socialist movement of 1970-73, the Portuguese Revolution of 1974-75, the Nicaraguan Revolution of 1979-90., the Zapatista rebellion in the last decade of the 20th century, the anti-capitalist process in 21st century Venezuela…


6.            Workers Struggle supports and strives for active participation in the building of the world movement against the neoliberal and neocolonial model of globalization, and to actively promote the necessity of the abolition of capitalism and the creation of socialism within that movement. As the stable, long-term foundations of the socialist society are considered to be viable only upon the assumption of the consolidation of socialism on the world scale, sufficient to minimize the probability of either military intervention or economic strangulation form the remaining non-socialist countries, Workers Struggleis firmly rooted in the principles of proletarian internationalism and anti-imperialism, and actively strives to cooperate with the political organizations of other countries with which it shares the same political objectives. Proletarian internationalism, as an idea which necessarily encompasses the necessity of the unity of the workers of all countries, the necessity of the world revolution, and the necessity of the building of international socialism, is not merely a slogan, but one of our fundamental programmatic principles. The idea of building socialism in one country, even if it is an economically developed one, is today more then ever an impossible and a reactionary idea – the development of revolution demands international organization even in its initial phases. For this reason, we are organized according to this principle – our organization strives to become a member of the 4th International.

Apart from the necessity of its world engulfing character, the socialist revolution possesses two further important characteristics: it must be unbroken in its evolution and cannot stop in any of its phases if it is to survive – it has to develop permanently from the revolutionary mobilization of the masses, to the building of socialism; also, in undeveloped and colonial parts of the world, the capitalist class is, being bound to the will of imperialists and the residues of pre-capitalist society, unable to play any revolutionary role, which leaves the working class in the alliance with the peasantry to fight for the realization of the full demands of bourgeois revolution – which, however, means, that it will start the struggle to realize its own interests opposed to the logic of capitalism: the revolution grows out of its bourgeois phase and enters its socialist phase. The theory of permanent revolution, encompassing the three aspects presented above, presents the fundamental theoretical tool for the understanding of the dynamics of revolutionary process.


7.         The fundamental guiding principle of Workers Struggle in dealing with the national question, as well as the analysis of the relations among different peoples, is the principle of the right of nations to self-determination. This principle encompasses the following: the right to secede from the state it is currently a part of, the right to found an independent state on the territory it inhabits, the right to full sovereignty over the natural and social resources of the newly founded state, and the right to free development, restricted only by the same rights of all the other nations; under the condition that on the territory in question the nation seceding represent a clear majority, that the secession is the will of the majority of the population inhabiting the territory, and that by such action it doesn’t endanger the same rights of other nations on the same territory, on the territory of the state it secedes from, as well as the rights of nations beyond that territory (that is, in the neighboring and all the other countries), and that it practically acknowledges and applies the same rights to all the other nations.

National oppression is a clear, natural and necessary consequence of imperialism. Therefore, the struggle for national liberation must necessarily include a struggle against imperialism. Imperialist relations are by no means coincidental and sporadic phenomena. They stem from the very logic of the capitalist development, that is, from the specificities of the phase of development capitalism is currently going through. In the final analysis, imperialism is just a product of the striving to preserve the normal course of the accumulation of capital. That is the reason why the liberation of nations from the imperialist rule can never be fully realized under capitalism. The economic struggle of the working class and its struggle for the liberation from the despotism of capital, on one side, and the struggle for national liberation, on the other, are not subsequent, but parallel processes, which permanently complement each other.


8.         The attitude Workers Struggle assumes towards the attempts to create socialist societies in the 20th century is twofold: it considers these attempts to be legitimate and necessary historical struggles of the most progressive social forces of their respective countries for the overthrow of the, in the given historical situation, intolerable and unsustainable capitalist, colonial or semi-colonial, or even semi-feudal (Russia in 1917) condition of society. Workers Struggle also maintains that, especially in the case of the Yugoslavian so-called self-management socialism, these societies have attained achievements which were, especially when considered from today’s perspective of growing social insecurity and deep social polarization of  society, of great value, such as, for example, a very high level of social, health and pension security and protection, free education for all, etc. However, this societies weren’t (in their consolidated forms) based on the principles of the realized and free, conscious self-activity of the working class, real workers’ (proletarian) democracy and real political and economic self-management as the fundamental prerequisites for the development of the socialist society in the direction of the final dissolution of class, racial, national and other social antagonisms, and the dying away of the state as a coercive apparatus.

As a consequence of crisis caused by the nature of capitalist development, as well as the specificity of the development of the world markets deriving from it, the worker’s revolution has at first broken out in underdeveloped countries, which didn’t as yet go even through their capitalist phase. Fundamental characteristics of these countries were the underdeveloped and undereducated working class comprising the minority of the population, a low level of technological development, and largely agricultural, peasant economy. However, socialism is impossible in the conditions of international isolation and aggressive inteventionist policies of the western countries, the development of the revolutionary process in the direction of a democratic socialist society being possible only under the fundamental condition of the victory of revolution in those countries. Since the before mentioned circumstances didn’t provide the necessary conditions to develop a healthy worker’s democracy and self-management, the rise of the role of the state in directing the economic and social processes became inevitable, along with the growth of the bureaucratic state and party apparatus, concentrating in it’s hands ever greater power, and starting to alienate itself from the working class.

This process has historically been aided by the activity of subjective forces, before all Stalin, whose clique represented the politically organized carrier of bureaucratic reaction and which has, through its bloody elimination of true Bolsheviks, and through its theoretical revision (in the form of the thesis about the possibility of establishment of socialism in one country, the rise of class struggle in socialism and its wholesale vulgarization of Marxism), broken with the revolutionary Bolshevik tradition. The bureaucratic economic and party elite had become the absolute ruler of the state and the party, and had turned into a dominant social group in opposition to the working class. Trying to preserve its power, the bureaucracy had limited many democratic and civil rights, and has committed innumerable crimes. Such social system had nothing to do with the democratic essence of socialism – it represents Stalinism.

By “Stalinism“, we don’t presuppose merely the politics of Stalin and his followers, but the doctrine and the practice characterized by the absolute centralization of the power and the means of production in the hands of the state, which is, together with all the other political and economic processes, managed by the all-powerful party, that is, its leadership as political-managerial bureaucracy in symbiosis with the economic bureaucracy, independent of the concrete forms it assumes. The breakdown of this socioeconomic formation took place because of the impossibility of the further development of the economy on the basis of bureaucratic planning, ever greater discontent of the majority of the population, but, also, because of the tendency of a part of the bureaucracy to liquidate the state ownership of the means of production, and transform itself into a new capitalist class.

At the same time, we acknowledge certain specificities of Yugoslavia, which contributed to its difference from the Eastern Bloc. Elements of the tendency towards progressive self-management existed in Yugoslavia. However, they were to be found in a rudimentary form and constrained by the pressures of the market and internal bureaucratic deformations.

Stalinism, along with fascism and capitalist repression, represents the most dangerous enemy of socialism. Our anti-Stalinism isn’t confounded merely to historical questions, but also encompasses a struggle against any form of rehabilitation of Stalinist ideas, or their application in practice. We hold this to be important, as there exists a great number of individuals and parties guided in their policies by Stalinist principles, and who therefore present a serious obstacle to the democratic development of the socialist movement.

9.         The fundamental mid-term goal of the Workers Struggle is the creation of a revolutionary party, whose long-term goal is winning over, organizing and mobilizing the Croatian working class, as well as those individuals of other classes which share our goal of abolishing capitalism and creating a socialist society for the realization of the political project of socialist Croatia in socialist Europe and the world.

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