Principles governing the relations of Parties
The established principles that govern the relations of communist and workers’ parties are those of proletarian internationalism, equality and independence, mutual respect, non-interference, and mutual support and cooperation for mutual benefit. Even before its dissolution in 1943, the Third International had ruled that the Executive Committee should desist from interfering in the organizational details of any party and in local issues about which the party in a country knows better than any foreign party.
At its dissolution, the Third International declared the impossibility of coordinating the national sections under world war conditions and the political maturity and independent capabilities already achieved by the parties in dealing with the complexities of their respective national conditions. After World War II, upon the rise of several ruling communist and workers’ parties and similar but nonruling parties in more countries, the principles of equality, independence and non-interference came to be ever more asserted, especially in the Moscow Declaration of 1957.
The independence that Tito of Yugoslavia asserted was unacceptable because it was based on bourgeois nationalism and was a mantle for covering a whole range of revisionist ideas and policies opposing land reform and centralized socialist planning. The vigorous efforts of the CPSU to maintain itself as the “leading centre” of the international communist movement through multilateral meetings stopped neither the revisionist degeneration of the CPSU nor the assertion of independence by the CPC and other Asian parties and their prevailing preference for bilateral rather than multilateral meetings. The CPC and other parties were concerned about the CPSU using multilateral meetings to impose its will on other parties and using the method of majority vote rather than consensus.
We must learn from the past. If we wish to develop systematic, periodic or regularized multilateral meetings of communist and workers’ parties, we must adhere to the aforementioned principles governing the relations of parties. In considering and agreeing on resolutions, we must apply the methods of democratic deliberation and consensus. Thus, due respect is accorded to the equality and independence of the parties. Party delegations are given ample opportunity to further consult their principals and sign the resolution with or without qualifications or reservations.
To enhance the life and effectiveness of any system of multilateral meetings, agreements must be made only on those issues or points where such agreements can be reached through consensus. Disagreements should be laid aside to maintain the level of unity, common understanding and practical cooperation possible. Such disagreements may be resolved in the future either by a rising level of common understanding or upon a change in the situation or both.
It would be impossible to maintain the system of multilateral meetings if a single party or a few parties presume to be the leading centre or acquire by election or appointment the power to lead the other parties. The principle of democratic centralism does not apply among equal and independent parties. The methods of persuasive discussion and consensus are available to them for reaching agreement on issues and courses of action.
In the last more than fifteen years, our Party has participated in a number of multilateral meetings of communist and workers’ parties, which include the Brussels International Communist Seminar, the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations, the Calcutta International Seminar on the Continuing Validity of Marxism, the International Seminar on People’s War and the Kathmandu International Seminar on Socialism. It has also contributed papers to other multilateral meetings in Moscow, Quito and elsewhere, which it could not attend because of lack of funds.
The CPP is willing to participate in any multilateral meeting in which the aforementioned governing principles on the relations of parties are followed and resolutions are processed sufficiently through democratic deliberation and consensus. The multilateral meetings may vary according to the ideological range or focus of the participants, such as Marxist, Marxist-Leninist, Mao Zedong Thought or Maoist or scientific socialist, according to the topics, such as people’s war, defense of socialism or neoliberal globalization or whatever aspect of imperialism or according to territorial scope, such as international, Asia or Southeast Asia.
Our Party recognizes that the variety of multilateral meetings of communist and workers’ parties is due to differences in ideology, politics, topical interest or territorial scope. We are optimistic that from such variety and differences of multilateral meetings, from rising levels of common understanding and practical cooperation against the common enemy and, most importantly, from the forthcoming revolutionary victories shall arise parties that would have the capability of convening all or most of the communist and workers’ parties of the world because of the respect, experience and authority that they have gained.
Communist and workers’ parties must create and lead through party fractions or groups mass organizations of various types (unions and cooperatives for workers, associations of peasants, women, youth, journalists, lawyers, health professionals, scientists, engineers, cultural workers, peace activists and so on). They can link themselves effectively to the millions of people only through such mass organizations and their sectoral and multisectoral alliances.
Since the disappearance or diminution of mass organizations based in the Soviet bloc countries, like the World Federation of Trade Unions, World Federation of Democratic Youth, International Union of Students, Women’s International Democratic Federation, International Organization of Journalists, World Peace Council and the like, the so-called nongovernmental organizations funded by imperialist governments, UN agencies and private foundations or charities of the monopoly capitalists, bourgeois parties and religious institutions have increasingly taken the initiative in holding international multilateral meetings in order to push the reformist slogan of “civil society” among mass organizations.
The communist and workers’ parties should encourage the mass organizations to form their respective national and international organizations, and hold meetings to carry forward the line of anti-imperialist solidarity, prevail over reformism and revisionism and build the international united front. While progressive or revolutionary forces of the people take the lead and initiative, they should avoid the pitfalls of sectarianism and try to build and broaden the united front at every turn.
Our Party holds the view that the communist and workers’ parties should not be among the participants in international formations of mass organizations or people’s organizations for several reasons. The participation of parties is likely to arouse ideological debates on top of the democratic dialogue over social and political issues and to turn off mass organizations that belong or do not belong to other parties. Parties that are legal would also have an advantage over parties that are necessarily clandestine and illegal.
At any rate, it is a long-established tradition and correct practice for communist and workers’ parties to allow mass organizations on their own to join national and international formations. It is fine enough that mass organizations created and led by parties have the freedom to attract and mingle with the mass organizations that may or may not belong to other parties. Against imperialism and reaction, a united front of various forces and tendencies is practicable within and among patriotic and progressive classes or sectors.