Manual-Rules and Methods for Disciplinary Cases
What does the Communist Party say they believe?
5. Rules and Methods for Disciplinary Cases
PARTY discipline would remain an empty phrase if the Party constitution did not provide for necessary measures against those who break it. Breaches of Party discipline by individual members, such as financial irregularities, conduct or action harmful to the prestige and influence of the Party among the masses, failure to carry out decisions especially during strikes, etc., may be punished by (1) censure; (2) public censure; (3) removal from committees; (4) removal from all responsible work; (5) expulsion from the Party.
There is no such disciplinary measure in our Party as suspension or probation. For example, if a member commits an offense against the Party for which removal from his responsible post is not sufficient punishment, but where there is reason to believe he can be corrected, the Party can decide that he is to be expelled from the Party with the right to apply for membership in a certain period of time (six months - one year). The person is not considered a Party member during the period of his expulsion. In order to be able to judge his attitude at the end of the period, the Party, in deciding on his expulsion, also decides on the work to which he is to be assigned to test his ability and willingness to follow the line and instructions of the Party. If the expelled member proves to be sincere, honest and revolutionary and corrects the faults for which he was expelled, the Party will consider his application for membership at the end of the disciplinary period and in some special cases before.
Who Has the Right to Prefer Charges?
Charges against individual members may be made either in the Units of the Party, or in any Party committee by any individual Party member, or any Unit or Party committee.
Charges made by one member against another, as a rule, should be made in writing, but the Party unit or any Party Committee may take up a case for investigation, even without definite charges. A member must submit to examination by any Party body even when no definite charges are communicated to him. Loose spreading of charges or rumors from one member to another is not permitted in our Party. All charges and suspicions must be taken up only with the Party unit or the proper Party Committee, and are to be acted upon promptly. Those questioned in the course of the investigation or hearing should be warned against loose talking about the case outside.
Who Has the Right to Make Decisions on Charges?
Decisions on charges may be made by any of the following organizations: Unit membership meeting, Section Bureau or Section Committee, District Bureau or District Committee, Political Bureau of the Central Committee, or Central Committee. These Party bodies have the right to decide on any of the disciplinary measures to be taken against Party members.
Street or shop units of the Party have the right to take disciplinary action up to and including expulsion against any of their members, not exempting members or functionaries who are members of higher committees.
A Section Committee has the right to act against any member in its section. At the same time it may refer the case to the unit to which the accused member belongs.
A District Committee has the right to act against any member in its district, or it may refer the case to the respective section or unit, if it finds it necessary to do so.
The Central Committee of the Party has the right to take disciplinary action against any member of the Party, or to refer the case to the district, section or unit to which the accused member belongs.
Expulsion decisions of the units require the approval of the respective Section Committee, and must be approved also by the District Bureau or District Committee. No expulsion or readmission of previously expelled members can take effect without the approval or direct decision of the respective District Bureau or District Committee. An expulsion decision passed by the District Committee is final, except in cases of District Committee members themselves, and in cases of appeals to the Central Committee when the final decision rests with the Central Committee. Expulsion decisions of units and of Section Committees must be promptly reported to the district for approval, together with materials of the investigation and findings. The member against whom the expulsion decision has been made should be immediately notified and disconnected from unit and fraction. It should be definitely understood however that the final action on the expulsion, which must be obtained quickly, rests with the District.
Hearings and Appeals
Every accused member has the right to a hearing before any disciplinary action can be taken against him. The main thing in the examination is to establish the essential facts in each case and to give an opportunity to the accused member to present his side with his witnesses and documents.
Every member against whom any disciplinary action has been taken has the right to appeal to a higher Party committee. The appeal, however, does not interfere with the carrying out of the decision. The decision has to be carried out and remains in force until the appeal is acted upon by the higher committee.
It must be emphasized that judgment of the seriousness of violations of party discipline must be based or the question of fulfilling and carrying out the basic political and organizational directives of the Party Unit, or the higher Party committees. Action taken aganst an individual member, or party committee, must never be mechanical. The action must be explained to the Party membership and also to the masses if the issues involved are so serious that it is necessary to destroy any confidence nonparty workers may have had in the expelled member and to make the reasons for the party action clear.
What Is the Disciplinary Committee in the Districts?
A subcommittee of the District Committee has the task of gathering material on the disciplinary cases for the District Committee. The Disciplinary Committee receiving the charges from the District Bureau against a member conducts the investigation on the case, calls witnesses and examines the member who is up on charges. After proper examination, the Disciplinary Committee formulates its recom-. mendation on the case and presents it to the District Committee or Bureau and this body makes the decision. The Disciplinary Committee has no right to make a decision. The members of the Disciplinary Committee are appointed by the District Committee. Is There Any Disciplinary Committee in the Section or Unit?
No. Disciplinary cases are handled by the Section Committee proper or the Section Bureau or the Unit membership. The Unit or Section Committee, however, can appoint a small committee to investigate a given case and report to the body. But this committee is net permanent. After the case is investigated the committee is dissolved.
HOW SHALL WE SAFEGUARD THE PARTY ORGANIZATION AGAINST STOOL-PIGEONS AND SPIES?
The working class is constantly at war with its enemy, the capitalist class. In this war (class struggle), as in any other war, the capitalist class has one main objective-to defeat its enemy, the working class. In order to achieve this aim, the capitalists use all possible methods to disorganize, demoralize and divide the ranks of the proletariat. One of the most effective weapons in the hands of the enemy is the agent-provocateur, the stool-pigeon, the spy in the ranks of the working class, and especially in the ranks of the vanguard of the proletariat-the Communist Party.
The activities of these human rats can be listed as follows:
1. Agents-provocateurs are planted in the Party either by the police department, Department of Justice, "patriotic" organizations, or counter-revolutionary Trotskyites, with the aim of disrupting the work of the Party organizations. The methods they use are:
(a) Creating sentiment against the leadership of the Party;
(b) Systematic destructive criticism against the line of the Party;
(c) Provocative proposals for certain actions, which, if adopted, would lessen the confidence of the masses in the ability of the Communist Party to lead them, because of the unnecessary sacrifice as a result of such provocative action;
(d) The spreading of rumors about individual leaders of the Party, concerning their political integrity or personal life;
(e) Creating an atmosphere of spy mania in the Party organization by skillfully spreading rumors about certain individuals being spies;
(f) Accepting important assignments at strategic points and certain activity and then sabotaging the carrying out of the assignment, in this way disrupting the action of the Party organization.
The most effective weapon in the hands of the Communist Party against these agents-provocateurs is the carrying out of the general line of the Party, the uncompromising fight against any one who attempts to deviate from this line, Bolshevik self-criticism and correction of mistakes and shortcomings in the work of the Party organization or individuals in the process of applying or carrying out the general line of the Party. In a Party organization where these principles are strictly adhered to, agents-provocateur will be exposed very quickly.
2. The second type of class enemy in the ranks of the Party and in other workers' organizations is the stool pigeon. They have the task of gathering information about the Party and the individual members. They work diligently, attend every meeting, and take responsible assignments in the organization. They strive to be promoted to higher positions in order to get more important information to the Police Department, or to their bosses. They are very inquisitive about individuals, their names and addresses; they always like to get some inside "dope" from and about higher committees. They are present in every possible place they can get into. They try to get hold of documents and keep them for a day or so. They try to find ways and means of getting to other Party organizations and Fractions than their own.
Against both types of rats, the best safeguard is the proper selection of new members. While we do not create difficulties for workers to join the Communist Party, we have to be careful in accepting new members, especially those who have had no previous connections with any worker' organizations or with individual members of the Party, or whose previous record is hard to obtain. In order to counteract the activities of the stool pigeon, we have to keep before our eyes, always, the following general rules:
1. Do not tell any member anything about Party members which does not concern that member.
2. Do not discuss any Party question outside of the meeting of the Party organization (Unit, membership, Unit Bureau, Section Committee, Fraction). Stop discussing inner Party questions on the street corners or cafeterias, where anyone can listen in. Do not broadcast inner Party decisions to long-eared stool pigeons who are waiting for the information.
3. Avoid, as much as possible, keeping membership lists with names and addresses, and if you have such lists, do not keep them in your home, or in the headquarters of the Party Unit or Section, or in your pocket.
4. Documents which are not for publication should be read only by those Party members to whom they are addressed, and should be destroyed immediately after reading. Documents which need study must be carefully safeguarded. Every member who has such a document must return it after reading it to the Party committee, which destroys it immediately.
HOW SHALL WE EXPOSE THE STOOL PIGEON?
There is a tendency among some comrades to hide from the masses the fact that a stool pigeon has been discovered in the organization. In certain places, the comrades develop the theory that if we expose the stool pigeons the workers will be afraid to join the Party-because there are spies in the organization. This conception is entirely incorrect. The mass exposure of a stool pigeon will greatly increase the confidence of the masses in the Party, since it proves the Party is able to find out who the class enemies are in its ranks.
There is only one proper method of exposing the stool pigeons-and that is mass exposure, creating and organizing mass hatred against these rats. Experiences of the Communist Parties prove that such mass exposures not only do not scare away workers, but have resulted in hundreds of new recruits to the Party.
The following methods have been used very effectively in many places and can serve as a model for exposing spies:
1. Photograph the spy, and print his picture in the Daily Worker and in leaflets and stickers. Spread this material in the place where the spy was operating.
2. Organize systematic agitation among the workers where the spy was discovered.
3. Mobilize the children and women in the block in the part of town where the stool pigeon lives to make his life miserable; let them picket the store where his wife purchases groceries and other necessities; let the children in the street shout after him or after any member of his family that they are spies, rats, stool pigeons.
4. Chalk his home with the slogan: "So-and-So who lives here is a spy." Let the children boycott his children or child; organize the children not to talk to his children, etc.
Such forms of agitation will gather around the issue hundreds of workers who were outside of the influence of the Party before, and who will now come with us on some action. At the same time, we will expose and get rid of the spy, not through individual action, but through real mass mobilization.
FOR THE BOLSHEVIZATION OF THE PARTY
"What is meant by Boishevizing the Party? "It means to master all the lessons taught us by that first Communist Party, the most successful one, created and led to victory by Lenin, and now successfully building Socialism under the leadership of Stalin. It means to become the Party of the masses; to be a Party with its strongest roots among the decisive workers in the basic industries; it means to be a Party whose stronghold is in the shops, mines and factories, and especially in the biggest and most important ones; it means to be a Party that leads and organizes the struggles of all the oppressed peoples, brings them into firm alliance with the working class; it means to be a Party that answers every question of the struggle; that can solve every problem; it means to be a Party that never shrinks from difficulties, that never turns aside to find the easiest way; that learns how to overcome all deviations in its own ranks-fight on two fronts; it means to become a Party that knows how to take difficulties and dangers and transform them into advantages and victories." (Earl Browder: Report to the Eighth Convention of the Co'nurwnist Party, U.S.A., pp, 78-79.)
Millions of American workers are going through the school of the class struggle. Masses of impoverished farmers have begun to learn through their own experiences the real role of the capitalist parties. Millions of them are searching for the way out of their misery and poverty. Fascist demagogues, small and big, grow like mushrooms after a rain. These fascist demagogues, following the road of Hitler and Mussolini, try to capitalize on the dissatisfaction of the masses. Huey Long, Coughlin, Johnson, and Co. are subtly spreading the gospel of fascism among the masses. They will "share the wealth" without hurting capitalism. They preach righteousness, justice for the poor, while protecting the private property of the big bourgeoisie.
The toiling masses in the United States are looking for leadership. The Communist Party, which is equipped to give leadership to these masses, must show them the only way out of their misery, must expose the demagogy, the "radical" phrases of the fascist leaders and the hypocritical promises of the capitalist government. The Communist Party, in order to be able to give this leadership, must be entrenched among the workers and poor farmers. We must build and strengthen our Units in the factories. We must build and strengthen our Units in the neighborhoods, in the small towns, etc. We must spread our Party organizations all over the country. We must build and strengthen the Fractions in the A. F. of L. unions and other mass organizations of the workers.
Every Communist must become a leader of the workers. Every Communist must know that the Party has a historical mission to fulfill, that it has the mission of liberating the oppressed exploited masses from the yoke of capitalism, that it has the mission of organizing and leading the masses for the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism, and for the establishment of the new world, a Soviet America.