On Pre-Party Cadre Organization

The following document was drafted by our organization's Political Committee, and approved by a vote of our Coordinating Council (CC) on July 11, 2023. This document will be circulated and discussed in the period leading up to our next Organizational Congress, at which time delegates will be able to review any critiques and proposed edits, and approve a final version of the document.

  1. We are a pre-party cadre organization. This means that in our theoretical rigor and everyday political practice we strive to "act like a party" by recruiting, educating, and training communist cadre; by organizing and coordinating the social insertion and mass work of these cadre; and by building organizational infrastructure which could prove useful to a future communist party organization. However, we recognize that we are a small organization operating in a period of relatively weak mass organization among workers and oppressed peoples, as well as a weak communist movement in this country and internationally, and there is much work and learning to be done before founding a full-fledged communist party capable of playing a leading role in a socialist revolution in the settler-colonial U.S. empire. CounterPower exists to help lay the groundwork for the ultimate formation of such a party. This work must begin today.

  2. We believe a communist party must be established upon a solid ideological and programmatic foundation, including but not limited to:

  3. Practically, a communist party must be armed with the capacity to:

  4. Organizationally, a communist party must have an internal structure and culture which enables:

  5. The process of founding a new communist party should neither be rushed, nor forever delayed. There are some criteria, however, that we recommend as preconditions for the founding of a unified party organization:

  6. There are many possible paths that the formation of such a party could take. As the growth and development of pre-party cadre organizations like our own will be uneven at the national level, with multiple organizations developing concentrations in specific cities, regions, and sectors of struggle, the consolidation of multiple organizations could begin with the convening of inter-organizational forums. From these forums, an inter-organizational coordinating network could be established, with the aim of consolidating smaller pre-party organizations into a nationwide party-building network, on the road to a founding congress of a unified party organization.

  7. A real communist party cannot be founded prior to pre-party cadre organizations successfully establishing organic links with the advanced political detachments of the working class and social groups facing special oppression. It is precisely such organic links which make the formation, growth, and further development of a communist party possible. A pre-party cadre organization can only achieve this aim by scaffolding and prefiguring the basic organizational forms and features of a communist party, principally the local branch, which serves as a center of coordination for the organization's political work among the masses at the local level. This mass work is in turn led by clusters of cadre concentrated in common sectors of grassroots social struggle (e.g., the labor movement), who participate in, and may often initiate and lead, mass organizations (e.g., labor unions). When the established mass organizations are under the hegemony of reformists or reactionaries (as they overwhelmingly are in the U.S. empire today), these communist clusters may initiate and lead the formation of intermediate organizations within or adjacent to these mass organizations in order to win their membership base to a revolutionary politics, praxis, and program. Historically, the communist movement in the U.S. empire has achieved some success on this front through the work of rank-and-file caucuses formed inside the official labor unions.

  8. A communist party is a fighting contingent of the international communist movement operating within the territorial borders of a specific nation-state. At our present historical conjuncture, it is of the utmost importance for communists to reestablish international connections, and work towards the founding of an international union of communist parties. As a small pre-party cadre organization, we believe that our meaningful participation in a new international communist organization would first require the achievement of the above objectives, or at least significant progress towards their realization. Only on the basis of such practical experience could we have anything of value to offer the international communist movement, given the overall level of political underdevelopment, disorganization, and weakness which prevails in the ranks of the communist movement in the U.S. empire.