About the publication:
From: Communist Orientation, No. 1, April 10, 1975, p. 1-2.
Translated from Danish “Kommunistisk Orientering”, December, 1974, nr. 1, p.1-2.
Actually Gotfred Appel was not credited for the text either in the danish or the English edition – Only a few of his texts was credited to him.
“Kommunistisk Arbejdskreds”, KAK (“Communist Working Circle”, CWC) was formed in 1963, when a small group of people either were excluded from the Danish Communist Party or left it because they concurred in the criticism of Soviet domestic and foreign policy by the Communist Party of China, and thereby in the criticism of “modern revisionism” as represented at home by CPD.
Some years passed with internal discussions as to the purpose, tasks and social basis of such an “anti-revisionist” organization. As a result of these discussions and through practical work in support of Vietnam and the Palestinian struggle against Zionism, the “theory of the parasite state” gradually crystallized. On the basis of this theory, the Communist Youth League – “KUF” – was formed in 1968. As result of renewed discussions on the importance of the theory for the work at hand, the CYL merged with the present CWC.
CWC’s originally warm and close relations with the Communist Party of China were severed in 1969, because CWC insisted on pursuing a discussion on the connection between Liu Shao-chi’s political line and the Comintern’s line as it has been familiar in Europe, and because CWC publicly proclaimed its profound disagreement with the Chinese evaluation of what they termed “an unpredecentedly gigantic revolutionary mass movement” amongst the workers of Western Europe and North America.
From 1963 to 1969 CWC published “Communist Orientation”. The most politically significant articles from this publication have since then been published by Futura Publishing House in booklet form under the titles “There Will Come A Day …”, and “Class Struggle and Revolutionary Situation”. CWC’s main political and working line is further presented in “Gotfred Appel: The Devious Roads of the Revolution” (1972) and in the preface to “V.I . Lenin: On Imperialism and Opportunism” (1973).
It is CWC’s view that the working class in the developed countries of Western Europe and North America occupies a two-fold position. It is at one and the same time exploited (in so far as it produces surplus value) and bribed (in so far as its standard of living and hence its economic (and cultural) needs and its “trade union” demands are based on decades of sharing in the imperialist world’s former colonial, now “neo-colonial” plunder). Furthermore, the bribery factor is to-day the dominant factor of the two.
This bribery should not be understood in such a way that one can actually calculate how large a part of the wage-packet’s contents is payment for the value of labour, and how large a part is bribery. It should be understood as meaning that the w h o l e of the imperialist world’s economic, industrial, technical, cultural and social development in the last analysis is based upon robbery and plunder in the former colonies and dependent countries, now the “Third World”.
It follows from this that it cannot, in CWC’s view, be a task for revolutionaries today to inspire or to take the lead in the economic or trade union struggle of the working class. Such a struggle in the present situation has not, and cannot have the remotest connection with a struggle for Socialism.
On this front it must be considered a far more correct task to inform the working-class (today one large labour aristocracy) that a new economic development which puts and end to the parasitism and plunder of the Western Hemisphere, ought to be welcomed and, if possible, helped along. At the same time, one must understand quite clearly that it is only this very new economic development – whatever form it might take – that can convince the working-class of this fact. A parasitic, embourgeoisified labour aristocracy cannot be transformed into a revolutionary proletariat through speeches and articles. It still has to undergo a “hard castigation through crises”, to use Engels’ expression, before it can contribute anything of value.
It also follows from this, that although CWC as early as in 1963 proclaimed as its goal the creation of a revolutionary Communist Party in Denmark, we are not “party-forming” in the sense of the word which is common elsewhere on the Left.
CWC could of course have changed its name long ago to that of “party” – the ideological-political unity of the organization has long made this possible. However, we consider it at best meaningless to undertake such a change of name, since in our view the creation of a revolutionary party must be inextricably linked with an objective social necessity if it is to have any value. In our view, there must be a movement, a considerable movement, in society as a whole and especially in a large section of the working-class before a revolutionary party becomes a necessity and thereby has the possibility of playing an important part in the development of society.
When the economic situation, and with it the political situation, has changed to such a degree that the bourgeoisie begins to force the working-class to revolutionary struggle, a struggle for power in society, a struggle to determine the form of society, then the time will be ripe. Then the working-class will need a well-organised, close-knit vanguard. People who beforehand have mastered Marxist theory will be able to play an important role when a spontaneous movement breaks out amongst the workers and when they “succeed in gaining control over it” – to quote Engels once again. “To gain control over” means in this connection to prove capable of putting forward the correct slogans, of providing the correct leadership. Only those who gain this “control” will at that time constitute the vanguard of the working-class, and they will therefore be the party. The name of the organization is of no avail.
Through this short account of CWC’s fundamental view, the tasks at hand have in reality already been formulated. They consist in giving political and practical support to people and to organisations which in one way or another are already fighting the plunder by the Western hemisphere and which thereby are helping to undermine the foundations of the parasite state. They consist in building an organization with political-ideological unity, through this work and through continued investigation and studies of the course of development of the whole world, and with as high a degree of discipline and self-sacrifice as is possible at all times – an organization which will gradually become better and better equipped to discover and determine the turn of events “that will lead the masses to the real, decisive and final revolutionary struggle” (Lenin), and which – when the day comes – can place itself at the head of this struggle and lead it to victory.
Om forfatteren / About the Writer
Gotfred Appel, Formand og ideologisk leder af Kommunistisk Arbejdskreds fra 1964 til splittelsen i 1978. Gotfred Appel fortsatte sammen med Ulla Houton under navnet Kommunistisk Arbejdskreds, KAK.
Gotfred Appel, Chairperson and ideological leader of the Danish Kommunistisk Arbejdskreds, KAK (Communist Working Circle, CWC) from 1964 till the splitt in 1978. Gotfred Appel continuned with Ulla Houton as Kommunistisk Arbejdskreds, KAK.