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Programme and Platform
of the Workers Party

"Programme and Platform of the Workers' Party" was adopted by the founding convention in February 1922. It was initially printed in The Worker and reprinted in Labor Organization in Canada 1922.

Programme and Platform
of the Workers' Party

The outbreak of the world war marked the close of a great historic period. Capitalism, the social system based on the class ownership of the means of production and maintained by the coercive power of the bourgeois state, was then in its period of expansion. That was a period of mass production, accumulation of capital, extension of the world market by the acquisition of colonies and spheres of influence to absorb the surplus of commodities and capital. It is true that, as a result of its anarchic production, capitalism suffered from current crises even then, but assisted by the safety valve of immigration it was able regularly to recover its equilibrium. It is also true that there were always great masses of workers on the poverty line; but it was not these masses that determined the policies of the working class.

For that was also the great period of the development of the organized labour movement with its trade unions, cooperatives and political parties.

And since the enormous profits that the capitalist class derives from the exploitation of the workers both at home and abroad disposed it to share a little of the spoil rather than invite a fundamental challenge to the capitalist system, the policy of organized labour tended to be conservative, reformist, and opportunist.

Imperialism and the Labour Movement Today—For this policy of adaptation to the social and economic conditions of capitalism the workers were to pay a terrible price. In spite of peace tribunals and their hypocritical professions, [owing to] the economic rivalries engendered by the monopolist tendencies of the great Imperialist powers [the] subsequent explosion came, the bewildered working class was caught completely off its guard, and the organized labour movement transformed by the treachery of the reactionary labour leaders into an adjunct of the Imperialist war machine.

As a result of the prolonged slaughter that followed, international exchanges collapsed, factories closed down, millions of workers were thrown into the ranks of the unemployed and the very foundations of capitalism undermined. Faced by this situation the capitalist class is making frantic efforts to re-establish the equilibrium of capitalism by a general attack on the living standards of the workers.

Wages have been cut, agreements broken and concessions withdrawn. Finally in order to make its systematic campaign for the reduction of the workers' living standards effective, they have launched an equally ruthless offensive for the destruction of the mass organizations of the workers.

Under these changed conditions the international labour movement is of necessity being transformed into an organ of revolutionary struggle against capitalism.

The Russian Revolution and the First Workers' Republic—The general revolutionary movement at the close of the imperialist war, and during the succeeding period, was marked by unprecedented intensity and particularly by the Russian revolution which established the first workers' republic. Although this first revolutionary wave was checked in other countries, the Russian Soviet Republic has, nevertheless, been able to withstand the united efforts of the imperialist powers to overthrow the rule of the workers, and remains the incarnation of the struggle of the world proletariat for its emancipation.

The Workers' Party recognize in the Russian revolution the first section of "the world revolution". Basing its policies on the international character of the revolutionary struggle, it will strive to make the Canadian labour movement an integral part of the revolutionary movement of the world. Disillusioned by the treacherous conduct of their own leaders and inspired by the proletarian revolution of Russia, the workers of the world have organized the Communist International. Despite the bitter opposition of the capitalists and their labour lieutenants, the Communist International has grown rapidly, and become a world power, the citadel and hope of the workers of every country. The Workers' Party will expose the Second International, which is continually splitting the ranks of labour and betraying the working masses to the enemy. It will also warn and guard the workers against the attempts of the so-called two-and-a-half international [a centrist grouping] to mislead the workers. Further recognizing that the Communist International is the only real centre of world revolutionary activities, the Workers' Party will strive to rally the workers under the banner of the Third International.


The Workers' Party has arisen in consequence of the failure of the hitherto existing parties to co-ordinate and lead the working class in its struggles against capitalism. The Socialist parties have practically disappeared from the political scene owing to their sectarianism. The reformist labour parties have failed to recognize the class struggle and function chiefly as electioneering machines. In opposition to the principles and tactics of the above parties the Workers' Party will strive to be at one and the same time a party of action which is also the party of the masses.

The general programme of the Workers' Party shall be:

1. To consolidate the existing labour organizations and develop them into organizations of militant struggle against capitalism, to permeate the labour unions and strive to replace the present reactionary leadership by revolutionary leadership.

2. To participate in the elections and the general political life of the country. Its representatives in the various legislative and administrative institutions will expose the sham democracy of capitalism and help to mobilize the workers for the final struggle against the capitalist state. They will give conscious and public expression to the every day grievances of the working class in concrete demands upon the capitalist governments and their institutions.

3. To lead in the fight for the immediate needs of the workers, broaden and deepen their demands, organize and develop out of their every day struggles a force for the abolition of capitalism.

4. To work for the overthrow of capitalism and capitalist dictatorship by the conquest of political power, the establishment of the working class dictatorship and of the workers' republic.

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