Communists do not, therefore, form a party separate from and opposed to other proletarian associations or, even less, to the organisation of the proletariat. They do not have specific interests which separate them from the whole of the proletariat. They do not proclaim particular principles to which they must submit the proletarian movement. Communists only distinguish themselves from other proletarians in the community of struggle of which they are a part. In the various struggles they highlight and assert interests common to the whole proletariat, independent of nationality ("the history of the International has been a continuous struggle of the General Council against... the national sections"). They always represent the interests of the communist movement as a whole during the different phases through which the struggle between proletariat and bourgeoisie passes. Practically, the communists are the most resolute faction within the proletarian struggle in all countries. They are the organ which always pushes and carries the other sectors forward. Theoretically, they have the advantage over the rest of the proletariat of having a clear understanding of the conditions, the course and the general results of the proletarian movement.

The specific organisation of communists has nothing to do with the constitution of a separate party but, on the contrary, it practically affirms the general tendency for the proletariat to constitute itself into party, to equip itself with a central organ.

It is evident that this conception of the party and of the activity of communists opposes itself radically and totally to all the democratic ideologies, some of which are worth summarising here:

* The theory of communists as repositories and bearers of consciousness.

* The "anti-substitutionist" theory according to which communists must not assume practical tasks within the movement (organisation and direction of action).

* Finally, all the theories which advocate, in one way or another, the dissolution of the specific organisation of communists into workers' assemblies or councils.

TH53 : These 53