A New Edition

Table of Contents


The CPSU has grown from the first party of Communists organized by V.I. Lenin over 80 years ago to a Party of over 19 million members (one-tenth of the adult population of the USSR). The Communist Party of the Soviet Union encompasses a cross-section of the Soviet people with more than one hundred nationalities in its ranks and leadership.

The first Program of the Bolshevik Party was acted upon in 1903, with the goal of ending czarist rule and establishing working-class power. A second program, enacted after the October Revolution of 1917, set the basis for building the world's first socialist society. After the victory over fascism and reconstruction of the extensive war damage, a third program was adopted in 1961 for the advance to a communist society. This 1961 program has now been amended and recast as a new edition (not a new program), taking into account the experiences of the last twenty-five years and the pace of social development that is now possible.

Industrial workers comprise over 44% of the membership of the CPSU at the present time. Collective farmers are approximately 12%, and the professional technical and white collar workers make up 43%. That many of the latter work directly in industrial enterprises is shown by the fact that 73.2% of the total party membership works in branches of material production. One member in six works in "science, education, public health or culture" while only 8.9% are in bodies of state administration, management, or Party or public organizational apparatus.

Over five million women are members of the CPSU and their percentage of the total grows at an increasing rate. Whereas women were 25.7% of new members in 1970, they were 34.3% in 1982 and this acceleration has continued. [Over one-third of the deputies to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR are women; more than half at the republic, regional and local levels.]

Workers in industry and on the farms account for over 42% of the members and alternate members of Party district, city and area committees; over 31% are members of similar bodies at the regional level or higher, including the Central Committee of the CPSU and of the Party in each republic.

The CPSU incorporates the Communist Parties of 14 constituent Soviet Republics. The 15th, the Russian Federation, has no party organization of its own but its major regions, territories and autonomous areas work under the direct guidance and assistance of the CPSU Central Committee.

There is hardly a workplace or community without a branch of the CPSU. As of 1983, the number of these primary Party organizations was nearly 426,000.

ISBN 0-7178-0642-1
The Challenges of Our Time. Disarmament and Social Progress.
Highlights, 27th Congress, CPSU.
New York: International Publishers, 1986.


A New Edition


Born of the Great October Socialist Revolution, the Soviet land has traversed a long and glorious road. Victories of worldwide historic importance have been scored under the leadership of the Communist Party. Consistently expressing the interests of the working class, of all working people, and armed with Marxist- Leninist teaching, with a wealth of experience in revolutionary struggle and the building of socialism, the CPSU is confidently leading the Soviet people along the course of communist creative endeavour and peace.

The Party emerged on the political scene as a worthy successor to the ideas of the socialist transformation of society proclaimed in the first program document of the Communists - the Communist Manifesto, to the unfading exploit of the heroes of the Paris Commune, and to the revolutionary traditions of the international working class and of the Russian revolutionary democratic movement.

Relying on the historical experience of the class struggle and the best that was achieved by human thought, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, founders of scientific communism, discovered the objective laws of social development, theoretically proved the inevitability of the collapse of capitalism, and substantiated the world historic mission of the proletariat as the creator of the new, communist system. Their passionate call - "Workers of all Countries, Unite!" - remains to this day the fighting slogan of the working-class movement.

In new historical conditions Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, who brilliantly continued the cause of Marx and Engels, comprehensively developed their teaching, provided answers to vital questions of the times and armed the working-class movement with the theory of socialist revolution and the building of socialism, with a scientific system of views on problems of war and peace.

Marxism-Leninism is an integral revolutionary teaching. Created by the great Lenin, the Party has become the living embodiment of the fusion of scientific socialism with the working-class movement, of the unbreakable unity of theory and practice. It has been and will be a party of Marxism-Leninism, a Party of revolutionary action.

At each stage in history the CPSU accomplished the tasks that were scientifically formulated in its programs.

Having adopted its First Program at the 2nd Congress in 1903, the Bolshevik Party led the working class, the peasantry, all the working people of Russia in the struggle to overthrow the tsarist autocracy and then the capitalist system, and passed through the flames of three Russian revolutions. In October 1917 the working class took political power into its hands. A state of workers and peasants came into being for the first time in history. The creation of a new world began.

In the Second Program, adopted at the 8th Congress in 1919, the Party set the task of building socialism. Following untrodden paths, overcoming incredible difficulties, and displaying unprecedented heroism, the Soviet people under the leadership of the Communist Party implemented the plan for building socialism worked out by Lenin. Socialism in our country became a reality.

With the adoption of the Third Program at the 22nd Congress in 1961, the party undertook enormous work in all areas of the building of communism. The Soviet society achieved great successes in developing productive forces, economic and social relations, socialist democracy, and culture, and in moulding the new man. The country entered the stage of developed socialism. The role of the Soviet Union grew as a powerful factor in the struggle against the imperialist policy of oppression, aggression and war, for peace, democracy and social progress.

The time that has elapsed since the Third Program was adopted has confirmed the correctness of its main theoretical and political propositions. At the same time, accumulated experience and scientific understanding of the changes in the country's domestic life and in the world arena provide an opportunity to define more accurately and concretely the prospects for Soviet society's development, the ways and means of attaining the ultimate goal - communism, and the tasks of international policy in new historical conditions.

The Third Program of the CPSU in its present updated edition is a program for the planned and all-round perfection of socialism, for Soviet society's further advance to communism through the country's accelerated socio-economic development. It is a program of the struggle for peace and social progress.


Published 1998 by EURODOS, Amsterdam, The Netherlands