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
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
Under these changed conditions the international labour movement is of
necessity being transformed into an organ of revolutionary struggle
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.
Copyright South Branch Publishing. All