Resolution of the 5th (joint) Plenum of the Central Committee and the Central Auditing Commission of the United Communist Party
Moscow, June 5, 2021
The two most important events that defined the internal social and political agenda in the period following the previous 4th Plenum of the Central Committee of the United Communist Party were the coronavirus pandemic and the “constitutional reform” in Russia. Moreover, both of these phenomena were and continue to be in close interconnection, influenced and continue to influence in many ways the life of the peoples of Russia at the present stage.
It is clear that the global crisis of capitalism, not only aggravated but also masked by the pandemic, has demonstrated to the peoples of the world the catastrophic exhaustion of the neoliberal project, which has made the choice between communism and fascism even more urgent. Moreover, the question today is: either a consistent and reasonable movement towards the socialization of a number of the most important resources necessary for life and modern societies as a whole, or their open fascization — the forcible preservation of a long-exhausted socio-economic model in the interests of an infinitesimal minority in the form of an open military-police dictatorship with the rejection of even the formal attributes of representative bourgeois democracy.
As for the Russian Federation itself, here the symptoms of the fascization of its current political regime, which were repeatedly noted at previous plenums and congresses of the OKP, have markedly increased in the context of the pandemic. Moreover, these symptoms are not only a consequence of the global trend, but are also largely determined by the logic of the internal evolution of the “post-Soviet” political regime in the Russian Federation, as well as its very social structure.
It is no secret to anyone that at the very heart of the current political system lies a blatant social stratification, and as a result, flagrant inequality. According to the most conservative estimates of experts, in modern Russia about 1% of citizens own more than 50% of all the national wealth of the country. And this despite the fact that the rest of the wealth is rests in the ownership of companies that are in words state-owned, but in fact have long performed the functions of closed private corporations, headed by either bourgeois close to the government, or by representatives of the large ruling bureaucracy.
Against the background of the total alienation of citizens from property — from control over the disposal and distribution of the country’s national wealth — the number of citizens living below the poverty line, according to official statistics, ranges from 11% to 20%, and according to independent expert estimates, reaches 20%. There is total property stratification, which is precisely the main source of social tension and the so-far only latent (hidden) discontent with the existing situation in the country.
The situation is further aggravated by the fact that, in the face of glaring social inequality, there is a consistent dismantling of the remnants of even those scanty institutions of democracy that were established in Russia after the 1993 coup d’etat. The apotheosis of this process was the so-called constitutional reform, which in fact legalized in practice such wildly arbitrary acts against the will of citizens as the notorious time-extended “voting on stumps” or electronic voting uncontrolled by any citizen oversight. The reform to “renew the constitution,” which pursued, in fact, a single goal — to preserve the existing rigidly-personified regime of government for an indefinite historical period — was accompanied by further usurpation of power by representatives of the most reactionary part of the Russian bourgeoisie and the strengthening of the dictatorial absolutist regime in the country, which combines with ease features of the classic “corporate state” with elements of autocracy.
The absence of real instruments for influencing the government through elections or other socio-political institutions, the absence of any public dialogue (including dialogue between society and the authorities), is more than compensated for by the ruling regime by whipping up intolerance and outright hostility, unleashing “targeted” repression against representatives of various groups of public thought, perceived at different levels of government as potential competitors to the existing authorized representatives of the system. But it must be clearly understood that lawless repression against the petty-bourgeois opposition by no means clears the way for “true opposition” (especially in the absence of unity of the country’s “non-systemic” communist movement), but promises even greater dangers to its representatives at a certain stage.
In this situation, the United Communist Party failed to become an active, organized resistance force. Among the main shortcomings of the work are the lack of a permanent strong connection with the regional branches and the organization of all-Russian protest actions.
Based on the prevailing socio-political situation during this period, the plenum decided:
- The OKP should continue the course of systematically involving various units of the communist and leftist movement of the country in a dialogue on the issue of its consolidation, not only in practical matters, but also in organizational and political ones. The question of creating a truly united communist party in Russia remains open, especially in light of the deepening socio-political crisis of the regime and the need to convey to the protesting masses a truly popular, social agenda for transformation of the country, as well as the inadmissibility of channeling the protest movement into a change of personnel, but not change of the system.
- Representatives of the OKP should strive to participate in actions of “general civil protest” where there remains the possibility of campaigning and conveying the position of the communists on current social and political issues to their participants.
- In the context of a de facto ban on the constitutional rights of citizens to hold public events in the form of marches, rallies and pickets under the pretext of observing sanitary and epidemiological norms, resort to other forms of public reporting of the OKP’s position on current issues (concerts, meetings and evenings, round tables, film clubs, lectures, debates, flower-laying, etc.). It is necessary to search for such forms of public work by the party, which, on the one hand, are a reaction to the socio-economic situation, and on the other, which would be difficult for the authorities to prohibit. The Central Committee of the United Communist Party and its Presidium should declare all-Russian protest actions and carry them out in those forms that are most appropriate to the prevailing circumstances; it is imperative to sum up the results of the participation of regional branches in these actions.
- Given the limited opportunities to participate in federal and regional elections in accordance with the existing electoral laws, as well as in the conditions of the impossibility of organizing a mass general civil boycott of bourgeois elections, it is possible for the representatives of the OKP to self-nominate, and under certain conditions, accept nomination from other parties registered by the regime, provided that representatives of the OKP are given the opportunity to communicate the positions of the Party to the voter.
- The Presidium of the OKP Central Committee will continue to work on registering the OKP with the Ministry of Justice, proceeding from the fact that registration of the party is not an end in itself, but expands its possibilities in the current situation.
- In conditions when the movement to create bodies of real democracy of the soviet type “from below” still does not exist, instruct the Presidium of the Central Committee of the OKP to develop and present to the public a draft “Concept of a radical electoral reform in the Russian Federation” which would allow the OKP to demand specific democratization of the socio-political process with the aim of furthering the movement of society along the path of consistent dismantling of the foundations of the existing absolutist regime, towards a system of people’s democracy.
- Continue coverage of public events and anniversaries from the OKP’s position on the party’s information resources (Party press, Internet sites, OKP sites in social networks, etc.). To form in the party media not only an understanding of the need to organize a socio-political struggle, but also a positive image of the OKP as an active force and participant in this struggle.
- Use various forms to search for and attract potential supporters to the ranks of the OKP in order to strengthen regional party structures and the party as a whole.
- Strengthen the links of the members of the Presidium and the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the United Communist Party with the regional branches of the party in accordance with the specific areas of their activities through the Presidium and the Secretariat. To fully restore strong contact between the Presidium of the Central Committee and regional branches, including all forms, such as: personal contact of an assigned member of the Presidium, videoconferences of the Central Committee secretaries with regional branches, Internet conversations, etc.
- Presidium of the Central Committee of the United Communist Party to work out measures to strengthen party discipline and improve the reporting system.
Translated by Greg Butterfield