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Grigory Isaev
Why do the Workers' Committees, the Unions and the Stachkoms Rot? (23 August, 2000)
Smooth Operators & Tricksters in Government (September 25, 2000)

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Why do the Workers' Committees, the Unions and the Stachkoms Rot?
Grigorii Isaev

Why do the Workers' Committees, the Unions and the Stachkoms Rot?

This will be a tough discussion. Because today the main sickness of the workers movement is the betrayal of its cause from within.

Life has convincingly shown, and continues to show, that the rot, like leprosy, has spread to all the workers organizations on a mass scale. Only rare lower links remain intact, and then only because there are some leaders who simply can't be bought off or corrupted; their character is as solid as the day their parents first let them out into the world. The general picture is; the higher up you go in workers' organizations, the more hopeless the situation. I.e. at the highest levels of unions, committees and Stachkoms are anti-worker counter-revolutionaries, coexisting peacefully with the bosses. And so it will remain, unless we rid ourselves of this sickness, unless we take the cure. Here's the point;

The leaders and gurus are torn away, liberated from the collective and turned into bureaucrats, even if they are the workers own. Yes, they are busy with useful work, they conduct various discussions sitting in the bosses offices... But time passes and it is as if they have metamorphosed into something else. Because finding themselves amongst the bosses, it is as if you put a healthy person in a ward for contagious diseases where all the patients are trying to pass their sickness to the newcomer. The bosses, with their habits and their manners, are as dangerous to the uninfected as pure HIV! What is needed?

The doctor for these decaying leaders can only be those who chose them, that is the workers collectives; the work-unit, the section, the company... The most organized, and prepared for action is the work-unit, because there we are united by the work itself, by combined effort. There, everything is out in the open and no one can pull the wool over your eyes. We know one another and through life, the work-unit becomes our native soil And higher up, the factory, the city, the region, the country; clearly we can't win on our own. But higher up, things are not at all the same as in the work unit.

>From time to time various workers' conferences and congresses gather for necessary and even essential business. But! They are prepared, shaped and conducted in such a way that they too desperately need to take the cure! The result is that in their presidium and on the floor the majority are lackeys and errand boys. In the brigade the errand boys are alone and so they act on the quiet, but in the conferences they are gathered in a heap, and there along with the bosses, the presidium decides everything; they only vote as required, saying yes at the proper time, mumbling or keeping quiet on command, and 'honestly' earning their pieces of Judas' silver. This is how the majority of conferences proceed; and our interests are sold out wholesale. The leaders and their lackeys have the whole thing tightly wrapped up.

But life follows its own logic. And the strike follows; better, spontaneous, severe, militant. Such strikes are called wildcats. They break down the barriers between sections, wake the sleepers and raise the meek off their knees. For a while, it seems that the wind has changed, the workers become ferocious and ready for anything. Then everyone really gets their just deserts; the bosses, the authorities and their hangers on. New leaders are promoted and the old ones thrown out. Here we have not one person's will, nor another's, but only the common will, the common aim. In our collective action we are all-powerful and can reach our objectives.

But the strike comes to an end and everything returns to the way it was before. We disintegrate as an organized, prepared and active force. For to maintain this force support at specific levels would be needed, such as in the unions and strike committees... But these, as we see, are somewhere else. So we go round in a circle. How can we put a stop to it? Who or what can ensure our continuous readiness to act against anybody or anything when we need to? Clearly, if the bosses (from the foreman to the president) knew and could see that the workers weren't joking, that they were prepared, at any moment, to grab them and shake the wind out of them, the would hardly want to go on talking nonsense, mocking us and stealing from us. Hardly!

So what do we need?

Amongst us there always are those who, more precisely and clearly than the rest, express the common idea, the general interest, who have not and will not bow their heads before the bosses, and most important, won't bow them under any circumstances. Now let's imagine that they were able to unite, across the country, under one command, with reliable links, an iron will, discipline, this clear, proletarian consciousness. This certainly would not be a Stachkom, nor a union or committee, but an entirely different sort of workers organization... Yes, it would be a workers Party! This is our answer to the principle question; only a Party can link and unite in the struggle for a NEW life.

The aim, task and significance of the party is to serve the workers cause, to serve the proletariat. Its members must not have any posts, advantages or privileges whatsoever! "In order to lead the hungry, you must be hungry yourself," this must be inscribed in the programme and rules of the Party.

Such a party must keep both the bosses and our own workers' leaders under strict proletarian control. And it can achieve this using only one method; it must not allow us a moments peace, but must, in the first place draw the attention of the workers to any indifference or degeneration in our own ranks as much as to the machinations and intrigues of the bosses, from the work-unit all the way up to the level of Russia as a whole. It must always be ringing the bell on us; sharpening our organization and preparedness for collective activity especially in 'peaceful' times. The same goes for the factory, the city and the entire country.

And finally, the most important thing. History has shown; the proletarian party must not take power into its own hands, must not become the ruling party, otherwise it will degenerate into a huge feeding trough for its members, power is such a privilege, that only the proletariat itself cannot be corrupted or bourgeoisified by it!" Life will only start to flow as is should when the real boss is the organized working class itself, the organized workers themselves. Everywhere, always and in everything! Only a party is capable of raising the class to such heights, without it the class is blind and paralyzed, without it the proletariat is a giant in chains.

This is why we need not just any party, but a Party of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat (PDP). That is the party of workers' power. For only it can lead us to the revolution, without which neither we ourselves nor society as a whole can break free from our slavery!

Grigorii Isaev

23 August, 2000

The interpreter on the English language - Perry Vodchik

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