Britain's Road to Socialism

Britain's Road to Socialism is the programme of the Communist Party of Britain, and is adhered to by the Young Communist League and the editors of the Morning Star newspaper.

Britain's Road to Socialism
The cover of the 9th edition
AuthorCommunist Party of Great Britain (1952–1977)
Communist Party of Britain (1989–present)
CountryUnited Kingdom
Publication date
  • August 1949 (First Edition)[1]
  • January 1951[2]
  • 1958[3]
  • October 1968[4]
  • March 1978[5]
  • November 1989[6]
  • 2001[7]
  • 31 October 2011[8]
  • 10 April 2020 (Most Recent Edition)[9]

It proposes that socialism can be achieved in Britain by the working class leading various political forces in a popular democratic alliance[10] against monopoly capital, and implementing a left-wing programme of socialist construction. Part of this strategy involves winning the labour movement with a left-wing position, through struggle in the existing democratic bodies of the working class, such as trades unions, trades union councils and tenants' associations.

History edit

The publication of Communist Party programmes in Britain began in the 1920s with the release of Class against Class, the General Election Programme of the Communist Party of Great Britain. This was published in 1929 by the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB), the precursor to the Communist Party of Britain, for the general election of that year in which the party fielded 25 candidates.[11] The subsequent programme, titled For Soviet Britain, was published for the party's 13th Congress in 1935.[12] An unnamed draft programme was issued in 1939 but the Second World War and its aftermath delayed the publication of an updated programme until the 1950s.[11]

For Soviet Britain was finally superseded in February 1951 when The British Road to Socialism was published, the original incarnation of today's Britain's Road to Socialism. The first edition of the document received the personal approval of Joseph Stalin before publication.[13] The British Road built on themes already present in the Communist Party's 1949 election programme The Socialist Road for Britain, and Stalin's commentary did not suggest significant diversion from the existing policy.[14] Under its original name, it underwent revisions in 1952, 1958, 1968 and 1977.

When the CPGB's leadership abandoned The British Road to Socialism in 1985, elements in the party that remained loyal to the programme, including the then editorial board of The Morning Star, split to form the Communist Party of Britain in 1988. The re-established party published the 6th edition of the programme in 1989, with a revision in 1992 to consider the onset of capitalist restoration in Eastern Europe. Three subsequent editions have been produced with further revisions and a title change to Britain's Road to Socialism. The 7th edition was published in 2001, the 8th in 2011, and the 9th in 2020.

Policy edit

Britain's Road to Socialism has a paragraph on colonialism's effect on the uneven development of capitalist economies in the section' The Development of Capitalism and Imperialism'. It relies on an analysis of capital relations among the bourgeois class. Specifically the Western financial dominance of Afro-Asian resources and production. It does not dwell on this topic but does, on page 7, mention Transnational Corporations and their imperialist buying up of underdeveloped economies' resources. In essence, Party policy shows itself as staunchly anti-imperialist and draws attention to uneven development being the result of direct colonial exploitation.

References edit

  1. ^ "CPGB: The Socialist Road for Britain (1949)". Marxists Internet Archive.
  2. ^ "CPGB: The British Road to Socialism (1951)". Marxists Internet Archive.
  3. ^ "CPGB: The British Road to Socialism (1958)". Marxists Internet Archive.
  4. ^ "The British Road to Socialism (1968)". Marxists Internet Archive.
  5. ^ "The British Road to Socialism (1977)". Marxists Internet Archive.
  6. ^ "The British Road to Socialism (1989)". Marxists Internet Archive.
  7. ^ "Britain's Road to Socialism (2001)". Marxists Internet Archive.
  8. ^ "Britain's Road to Socialism (2011)". Marxists Internet Archive.
  9. ^ "Britain's Road to Socialism" (PDF). Young Communist League of Britain. 2020.
  10. ^ Little, Gawain. "Britain's Road to Socialism: Part 6 - The final piece". Morning Star. London. Archived from the original on 16 March 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2013. Ultimately it will be for the working class and the popular anti-monopoly alliance it has constructed to lead in both building and defending socialism in Britain.
  11. ^ a b "The revolutionary programmes of British Communism". Lalkar. January 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  12. ^ For Soviet Britain. Communist Party of Great Britain. 2 February 1935. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  13. ^ Singh, Vijay (September 2007). "The British Road to Socialism of 1951: A Programme of People's Democracy". Revolutionary Democracy. New Delhi. XIII (2). Retrieved 25 April 2013. the contribution of Stalin in the writing of the British Road to Socialism was the object of controversy
  14. ^ Pateman, Joe; Pateman, John (28 April 2021). "J. V. Stalin and The British Road to Socialism". Labor History. 62: 7. doi:10.1080/0023656X.2021.1919867. ISSN 1469-9702.

External links edit