II. The Social Policy of the Party

The Party regards social policy as a powerful means of accelerating the country's development, heightening the labour and socio-political activity of the masses, moulding the new man, and affirming the socialist way of life, and as a major factor of political stability in society. It proceeds from the belief that the influence of social policy on growing economic efficiency - on all aspects of public life - will intensify. The CPSU considers undiminishing concern for solving the social questions of labour, everyday needs and culture, for meeting the interests and requirements of the people to be the supreme aim of the activity of all state and economic bodies and public organisations.

The Party defines the principal tasks of social policy as follows:

- a steady improvement of the living and working conditions of Soviet people;

- the implementation to an ever fuller extent of the principle of social justice in all spheres of social relations;

- a drawing closer together of all classes and social groups and strata, overcoming essential distinctions between mental and physical work, between town and countryside;

- the perfection of relations between nations and ethnic groups; strengthening the fraternal friendship of the peoples and nationalities of the country.

Raising the Well-Being and Improving the Living and Working Conditions of Soviet People

The production and intellectual potential created in the Soviet Union, and the tasks of accelerating the country's social and economic development make it necessary and possible to achieve notable progress in attaining "full well-being and free, all-round development for all the members of society" (Lenin).

The CPSU sets the task of improving the well-being of Soviet people so as to give it a qualitatively new dimension, of ensuring that the level and structure of consumption of material, social and cultural benefits will correspond most fully to the aim of moulding a harmoniously developed, spiritually rich individual and creating the necessary conditions for the full application of the abilities and talents of Soviet people in the interests of society.

Already in the next fifteen years it is planned to double the volume of resources channelled into meeting the requirements of the people.

The Party attaches special importance to enhancing the creative content and collective character of work, improving its efficiency, and encouraging highly skilled and highly productive lahour for the good of society. All this will help make work a prime vital necessity for every Soviet person.

The task ahead is to continue to carry out a series of scientific, technological, economic and social measures aimed at ensuring full and effective employment of the population, and granting to all able-bodied citizens the possibility to work in their chosen sphere of activity in accordance with their inclinations, abilities, education and training, with due account of the needs of society.

A consistent policy will be carried out to decrease considerably the arnount of manual work, reduce substantially, and in the future eliminate altogether, monotonous, arduous physical and low-skilled work, ensure healthy, hygienic conditions and introduce better production safety norms in order to prevent industrial accidents and occupational diseases. Intensification and increased efficiency of production and labour productivity will open up in the future new possibilities for reducing working hours and extending the period of paid holidays.

The Party will continue to do everything necessary to raise steadily the real incomes of working people and further to improve the well-being of all strata and social groups in accordance with the country's economic possibilities.

Payment according to work done remains the principal source of working people's incomes during the first phase of communism. The system of wages and salaries must be improved constantly so that it fully corresponds to the principle of payment according to the amount and quality of work done, with due account of the conditions and results of work, stimulates the upgrading of workers' skills and labour productivity, and promotes better output quality and the rational use and saving of all types of resources. It is on this basis that the wages and salaries of working people should grow and their living standards improve. As social wealth grows, the size of minimum wages will increase and the policy of reducing personal income taxes will be carried on. The Party attaches fundamental significance to the resolute elimination of unearned incomes, the eradication of all deviations from the socialist principles of distribution.

Accelerated growth and improvement of the distribution of social consumption funds will continue. These funds are to play an increasing role in the development of the state system of free public education and free public health service and social security, in improving the conditions of rest and recreation for working people, in lessening the differences that are objectively inevitable under socialism in the material status of citizens, families and social groups, in evening out socio-economic and cultural conditions for the upbringing of children and in helping to improve radically the well-being of low-income groups of the population.

A task of foremost importance is to meet completly the growing demand of the population for high-quality and diverse consumer goods - foodstuffs, durable and beautiful clothing and footwear, furniture, commodities for cultural needs, and sophisticated household appliances and goods.

Domestic retail trade and public catering will be further developed. Their material and technical basis will be improved and the standards of service will be raised. Consumers' cooperatives, which are to improve trade in the countryside, organise the purchase of farm produce grown by the population and the marketing of agricultural products, will also be further developed. The collective-farm market will continue to play a significant role. A policy of retail prices will be pursued in the interests of increasing people's real incomes.

It is planned to carry out large-scale measures for the setting up of a modern, highly developed service sector. An increase in the volume of services, a broadening of their range and improvement of their quality will make it possible to meet more fully the growing demand of the population for various types of communal, transport, everyday, social and cultural services, to make housework easier, and to create better conditions for rest and a meaningful use of free time. The service industry will expand at an accelerated rate in the countryside and in the regions now being developed.

The Party considers as a matter of special social significance an accelerated solution of the housing problem, which will ensure that by the year 2000 practically every Soviet family will have their own living quarters - an apartment or an individual house. This end will be served by the large scale of state-funded housing construction, more extensive development of cooperative and individual house building, as well as reconstruction, renovation and better upkeep of the availablr housing and stricter control over its distribution. Special attention will he devoted to the quality of housing construction, to improving the standards of comfort, layouts and technical equipment of apartments and houses.

Higher demands will be made on the architecture, landscaping and planning of urban and rural settlements. Such population centres should be a well thought-out arrangement of production zones, residential districts, public, cultural, educational and child-care institutions, trade and service establishments, sports facilities, and public transport, ensuring the best conditions for work, everyday life and rest. The practice of encouraging people to contribute funds for the improvement of living conditions, cultural and recreation facilities, tourism and other activities will be broadened.

A matter of primary importance is building up the health of Soviet people and prolonging the period of their active life. The Party sets the task of satisfying completely the requirements of urban and rural residents everywhere for all types of medical services of a high standard, and of radically improving the quality of medical services. To this end it is planned: to introduce a universal system of medical check-ups for the population; to extend further the network of mother and-child-care centres, clinics, hospitals and sanatoria and to equip them with modern medical facilities; and to ensure the necessary supply of medicines, medical equipment and sanitation and hygiene means.

Physical training and sports are a factor of everyday life. Their importance is growing in improving people's health, in the harmonious development of the individual and in preparing youth for work and the defence of their homeland. Efforts should be made to ensure that every person cares for his physical fitness from an early age, has a knowledge of hygiene and medical aid and has a healthy way of life.

The CPSU attaches great significance to showing more care for the family. The family plays an important role in building up the health of the younger generation and in its upbringing, in ensuring the economic and social progress of society and in improving demographic processes. It is in the family that one's basic character, one's attitude to work and to moral, ideological and cultural values take shape. Society is vitally interested in having families that are stable and spiritually and morally healthy. Proceeding from this, the Party considers it necessary to pursue a policy of strengthening the family and rendering assistance to it in the performance of its social functions and in the upbringing of children, a policy of improving the material, housing and living conditions of families with children and of newly married couples. There must be a more profound cooperation between the family, the school and the work collective; it is necessary to enhance the responsibility of parents for the upbringing of children, as well as the responsibility of children for the well-being of parents, for their secure old age.

A matter of continuing concern to the Party is a further improvement of the status of mothers. To this end favourable conditions will be created that will enable women to combine motherhood with active participation in work and social activities. Special attention will be devoted to mother-and-child care, and the period of pre-natal and child-care leave will be extended. The network of sanatoria, rest homes and boarding houses that accommodate families on holiday will be expanded. Diverse forms of employing women will be further developed. Sliding work schedules, a shorter working day, and work at home will be introduced on a wider scale in accordance with the wishes of women.

A broad range of measures will be implemented to create the necessary conditions for the upbringing of the younger generation. In the near future the demand of the population for child-care establishments will be met in full. The network of Young Pioneer and work-and- sports camps, Young Pioneer houses, and scientific and technical and creative arts centres and stations will be expanded. The norms of expenditures on catering in pre-school and vocational training establishments and in children's homes will grow.

The Party stresses the need to give considerably more attention to the social problems of young people and, above all, to develop and more fully satisfy those interests and requirements of young people that are socially significant, in the sphere of work and everyday life, education and culture, professional advancement and promotion, and rational use of free time.

The CPSU will continue to show constant concern for improving the material status of labour and war veterans, senior citizens, disabled persons, and the families of soldiers killed on duty, for providing social, medical and cultural services to them. The sizes of pensions and, above all, minimum pensions and those granted earlier will be periodically increased. The level of pensions provided to collective farmers will gradually approach that established for production and office workers. The network of homes for the aged and disabled will be further developed and the conditions of upkeep in such homes will be improved. Labour veterans with valuable experience will have more opportunities to work in accordance with their capabilities and to be involved in public life and educational work; this is a matter of major social and economic importance.

The harmonious interaction between society and nature, between man and the environment is acquiring ever growing significance in improving the life of the people. Socialist society, which consciously builds its future, manages the use of nature in a planned and thrifty manner and is in the vanguard of mankind's struggle to preserve and augment the natural wealth of our planet. The Party considers it necessary to exercise greater control over nature management and to conduct ecological education on a wider scale.

Overcoming Class Differences and the Formation of a Socially Homogeneous Society

An important law of the development of social relations at the present stage is the drawing closer together of the working class, the collective-farm peasantry and the intelligentsia, and the establishment of a classless structure of society with the working class playing the decisive role in that process.

The political experience of the working class, its high level of consciousness, organisation and will provide a rallying point for our society. The growth of the general educational and cultural standards and skills, and of the labour and socio political activity of the working class enhances its vanguard role in perfecting socialism, in building communism.

In the course of consistently implementing the Party's agrarian policy agricultural work is turned into a variety of industrial work and the substantial social differences and differences in cultural and service standards between town and country are being iminated. The way of life and the character of work of the peasants are becoming increasingly similar to those of the working class. Overcoming the differences between these classes and establishing a classless society in our country will take place mainly in the historical framework of the first, socialist phase of the communist formation.

Revolutionary transformations of the productive forces are leading to an increase in the share of brain work in the activities of the broad mass of workers and collective-farm peasants. At the same time, the numerical strength of the intelligentsia is growing and its creative contribution to material production and other spheres of public life is increasing. This promotes a gradual elimination of the substantial differences between physical and brain work and the drawing closer together of all social groups. The complete elimination of these differences and the formation of a socially homogeneous society will take place at the supreme phase of communism. At the same time, as long as such differences exist, the Party considers it a matter of foremost importance to take careful account in its policies of the distinctive features characterising the interests of the classes and social groups. Much attention will be given to evening out the working and living conditions of the population in different regions of the country.

The role of work collectives in the social structure of Soviet society is growing. The Party is helping in every way to bring about a situation in which every work collective will become an effective social cell of socialist self-government by the people and day-to-day genuine participation of working people in the solution of questions related to the work of enterprises, institutions and organisations, and of the development and application of the creative energies of the individual. It considers it necessary to enhance in a purposeful manner the influence of work collectives on all spheres of the life of society, to extend their rights and at the same time to increase their responsibility for carrying out specific tasks of economic, social and cultural development.

Further Flourishing and Drawing Closer Together of Socialist Nations and Nationalities

The CPSU takes full account in its activities of the multinational composition of Soviet society. The path that has been traversed provides convincing proof that the nationalities question inherited from the past has been successfully solved in the Soviet Union. Characteristic of the national relations in our country are both the continued flourishing of the nations and nationalities and the fact that they are steadily and voluntarily drawing closer together on the basis of equality and fraternal cooperation. Neither artificial prodding nor holding back of the objective trends of development is admissible here. In the long term historical perspective this development will lead to complete unity of the nations.

The CPSU proceeds from the fact that in our socialist multinational state in which more than one hundred nations and nationalities work and live together there naturally arise new tasks of improving national relations. The Party has carried out, and will continue to carry out such tasks on the basis of the tested principles of the Leninist nationalities policy. It puts forward the following main tasks in this field:

- all round strengthening and development of the integral federal multinational state. The CPSU will continue to struggle consistently against any manifestations of parochialism and national narrow mindedness, while at the same time showing constant concern for further increasing the role of the republics autonomous regions and autonomous areas in carrying out countrywide tasks and for promoting the active involvement of working people of all nationalities in the work of government and administrative bodies. Through creative application of the Leninist principles of socialist federalism and democratic centralism the forms of inter-nation relations will be enriched in the interests of the Soviet people as a whole and of each nation and nationality;

a buildup of the material and intellectual potential of each republic within the framework of the integral national economic complex. Combining the initiative of the Union and autonomous republics, autonomous regions and autonomous areas with central administration at the countrywide level will make possible the more rational use of the country's resources and of local natural and other features. It is necessary consistently to deepen the division of labour between the republics, even out the conditions of economic management, encourage active participation by the republics in the economic development of new regions, promote inter republican exchanges of workers and specialists, and broaden and improve the training of qualified personnel from among citizens of all the nations and nationalities inhabiting the republics;

- development of the Soviet people's integral culture, which is socialist in content, diverse in its national forms and internationalist in spirit, on the basis of the greatest achievements and original progressive traditions of the peoples of the USSR. The advancement and drawing together of the national cultures and the consolidation of their interrelationships make mutual enrichment more fruitful and open up the broadest possibilities for the Soviet people to enjoy everything valuable that has been created by the talent of each of the peoples of our country.

The equal right of all citizens of the USSR to use their native languages and the free development of these languages will be ensured in the future as well. At the same time learning the Russian language, which has been voluntarily accepted by the Soviet people as a medium of communication between different nationalities, besides the language of one's nationality, broadens one's access to the achievements of science and technology and of Soviet and world culture.

The Party proceeds from the belief that consistent implementation of the Leninist nationalities policy and a strengthening in every way of the friendship of the peoples are part of the effort to perfect socialism and a way that has been tested in social practice of ensuring the further flourishing of our multinational socialist homeland.


Published 1998 by EURODOS, Amsterdam, The Netherlands