The Communist Party of the Soviet Union has traversed a path that is unprecedented in its depth and force of impact on social development. Its ascent has been swift: from the first Marxist circles through three people's revolutions to the leadership of a great socialist power.

The historic achievements of the Soviet people in building a new society, their victory in the Great Patriotic War, the country's confident advance towards ever higher stages of socio-economic and cultural progress, and the growth of the Soviet Union's influence on the course of world development are inseparably linked with the Communist Party's activities. It is the inspirer and organiser of the historical creative activity of the people, our society's leading and guiding force. Equipped with Marxist-Leninist theory, the Party is determining the general prospects for the country's development, ensuring a science-based leadership of the creative activities of the people, and lending an organised, plan-based, and purposeful character to the building of communism.

As a result of the fact that socialism has been built in the USSR, that all sections of the working people have gone over to the positions of the working class, and that the socio-political and ideological unity of Soviet society has been consolidated, the Communist Party, while retaining its class essence and ideology as the party of the working class, has become the party of all the people. This predetermines the revolutionary continuity, the class character of domestic and foreign policy, and the entire activity of the CPSU.

In the new historical conditions, when the country is confronted with important tasks in its internal development and in the international arena, the Party's leading role in the life of Soviet society inevitably grows, and higher demands are made on the level of its political, organisational and ideological activity. This is predetermined by the following essential factors:

- growth in the scale and complexity of the tasks of perfecting socialism and accelerating the country's socio-economic development; the need to elaborate and implement consistently a policy that ensures the successful fulfilment of these tasks and an organic interconnection between the economic, social, and cultural progress of society;

- development of the political system, strengthening democracy and socialist self-government by the people by enhancing the political and labour enthusiasm of the masses, extensively drawing them into administering production and state and public affairs;

- the need for further creative development of Marxist-Leninist theory, a profound comprehension of the experience of building communism, a search for science-based and timely answers to the questions posed by life, raising the social consciousness of the working people, and the elimination of the manifestations of petty-bourgeois mentality and ethics and all deviations from the norms of the socialist way of life;

- interest in deepening all-round cooperation, strengthening the unity of the socialist countries and the international communist and working-class movement, solidarity with the forces of national liberation, and the struggle against bourgeois ideology, revisionism, dogmatism, reformism, and sectarianism;

- complication of foreign-policy conditions in connection with the growing aggressiveness of imperialism, the need to be more vigilant, to assure the country's security and to make new, increasingly persistent efforts to curb the forces of aggression, stop the arms race, rid mankind of the threat of nuclear catastrophe and strengthen peace on earth.

In carrying out the political leadership of society, the CPSU will continue consistently to apply the time-tested Leninist principles, assert the Leninist style in Party work, in all fields of administration of the state and the economy, enhance the science-based nature of its policy; the Party will rely extensively on the collective wisdom and experience of the people and will develop their social initiative. It attaches fundamental significance to the unity of ideological-theoretical, political-educational, organisational and economic activity, to the uncompromising struggle against any stagnation and conservatism, to the creative quest for effective solutions to problems that arise.

The CPSU considers it necessary to take careful account of the specific character of the functions of Party, state and public bodies, to coordinate their work, to avoid duplication of activities, to enhance the role of the Party Committees as bodies of political leadership, to eliminate manifestations of formalism and red tape, bureaucratic and other distortions in the work of the administrative apparatus, to intensify control over the fulfilment of Party decisions and economic plans, to strengthen state and labour discipline and order, and to raise organisational standards.

In the activity of all Party organisations and work collectives, the CPSU will persistently instill a creative attitude, efficiency, high responsibility and adherence to principles, as well as an ability to evaluate the results attained objectively and self-critically, to be attentive and sensitive towards people, their needs and requirements.

The Party inseparably links the higher standards in the guidance of state, economic, and cultural development with further improvement in working with personnel. It considers it vital that the Leninist principles of selecting and evaluating personnel on the basis of political, business, and moral qualities be strictly observed everywhere from top to bottom, and that public opinion be given even greater consideration.

By its entire personnel policy the CPSU will facilitate the promotion to leadership positions of Communists and non-Party people who are politically mature, possess high moral standards, are competent and full of initiative; the Party will be more active in advancing women to positions of leadership. The Party attaches fundamental importance to such qualities in a leader as responsiveness to new ideas, closeness to people, readiness to undertake responsibility, a desire to learn to work better, an ability to understand the political meaning of economic management, and high demands on one's self and on others.

The Party sees to it that young, promising workers work side by side with members of the older generation who are more experienced so that they might gain experience and the necessary training. This is a natural process which provides a reliable guarantee against inertia, stagnation, and voluntarism.

Confidence in personnel must be combined wit exactingness, with their greater personal responsibility to Party organisations and work collectives for the results of work and maintenance of Party and state discipline, and with stricter control by the people over the activity of managers. Each manager should be fully accountable for the work entrusted to him. He should establish proper relations with people and inspire them by personal example. No Party organisation, no one should remain outside the sphere of control.

The development of the Party is characterised by a further growth and strengthening of Party ranks, and an improvement in inner-Party relations on the principle of democratic centralism.

Filling its ranks with the foremost representatives of the working class, collective-farm peasantry, and the Soviet intelligentsia, the Party increases its influence in various fields of building communism. The CPSU considers it essential that industrial workers hold a leading place in its social composition. A person's political and business qualities, honesty and decency, readiness to devote all his or her energies to the cause of communism remain the decisive condition for admission to the Party. Attempts to join the Party in order to make a career should be stopped immediately.

Party membership gives no privileges; it implies only an even higher responsibility for all that takes place within the country, for the destiny of building communism and social progress. Every Communist must be exemplary in work and behaviour, in public and personal life. The strength of the Party's links with the masses, its prestige among them depends in large measure on how fully the vanguard role of the Communists manifests itself. The Party will steadily raise its demands on each Communist concerning his or her attitude to duty and the honest and pure moral make-up of the Party member; it will appraise each member by his or her work and deeds.

The CPSU believes that a guarantee of the successful activity and of high creative enthusiasm of the Communists lies in further developing and deepening inner-Party democracy, in strictly observing the Leninist norms of Party life, in promoting criticism and self-criticism, in ensuring greater openness and publicity.

The Party will continue to base its work on the tested principle of collectivity. To ensure its further implementation and development, the CPSU considers it essential to enhance the role and significance of Party meetings, plenary meetings, conferences and congresses, and of Party committees and bureaus as collective bodies of leadership, and to provide favourable conditions for a free and businesslike discussion in the Party of questions relating to its policy and practical activity.

While working for the consistent practical implementation of the democratic principles of inner-Party life, the CPSU simultaneously devotes unremitting attention to strengthening Party discipline. Firm, conscious discipline on the part of Party members is a necessary prerequisite for high socialist dsscipline in all spheres of public life.

Successful Party activity and the growth of enthusiasm of the Communists are inseparably linked with a further improvement in the work organisations. Since they are the political nucleus of work collectives, they are called upon to contribute in every way possible to bringing about the unity of the Party's policy and the vital creative activity of the people.

The Party will always strengthen the unity and monolitic cohesion of its ranks

It preserves in its arsenal of means the organisational guarantees envisaged in the CPSU Rules against any manifestation of factionalism and cliquishness. The most important source of the Party's strength and invincibility is the indestructible ideological and organisational cohesion of the Party.

The CPSU proceeds from the Marxist-Leninist proposition that people are the makers of history, and that the building of communism is the work of their hands, energy, and minds. The vital creative activity of the people is the guarantee of all our achievements.

The Party exists for the people and sees the meaning of its activity in service to the people. The goals and tasks it sets itself are an expression of the aspiration and vital interests of the Soviet people. The Party will continue to work in a spirit of high responsibility to the people, constantly broadening and deepening its link with them and showing understanding for people's needs and concerns. It regard as its duty constantly to consult working people on key issues of domestic and foreign policy, carefully take into account public opinion, and draw non-Party people on an ever broader scale into the work of Party organisations. The more actively the Party is supported by the people, the more it influences the course of social development.

In all of its activity the CPSU is invariably guided by the time-tested Marxist-Leninist principles of proletarian, socialist internationalism. It will contribute in every way possible to promoting the cohesion of the international communist movement on the basis of Marxism-Leninism, develop fraternal ties with all the Communist and Workers' parties, actively cooperate with them in the struggle for peace and against the danger of a nuclear catastrophe, and support their struggle in defence of the vital interests of the working people, for national liberation, democracy and socialism.

This is the Program of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

The Party calls upon all the Communists, all working people - workers, collective farmers, and members of the intelligentsia - to take a most vigorous part in the implementation of the historical tasks set forth in the Program. The Party is confident that Soviet people, regarding the Program of the CPSU as their vital cause, will make every effort to implement it.

To achieve a qualitatively new state of society by substantially accelerating socio-economic progress - this is the Party strategy. The all-round perfection of socialism will bring new benefits to every family, to every Soviet citizen. It will lead to a further flourishing of our socialist homeland and, finally to the triumph of communism.

The onward march of our people to this cherished goal will increse the atractive force of the ideas of Marxism-Leninism, of transforming society on the principles of humanism and social justice. They win the minds and hearts of people by providing an example of better social organisation, a steady growth of productive forces, by ensuring conditions for creative work, for people's happiness and well-being, resolutely rejecting wars of aggression, and affirming the principles of peace and broad cooperation between peoples on the basis of equality and universal security.

Communists, all the working people of our country, are looking optimistically to the future. The Party is firmly convinced that by the selfless labour effort of the Soviet people, a creator and builder, the tasks set will be accomplished and the goals outlined achieved.

Under the leadership of the Party, under the banner of Marxism-Leninism the Soviet people have built socialism.

Under the leadership of the Party, under the banner of Marxism-Leninism the Soviet people will build a communist society.

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


Published 1998 by EURODOS, Amsterdam, The Netherlands