Action Program

Czechoslovak Communist Party, Action Program. April 1968


In the past, the leading role of the party was typically defined as the monopolistic concentration of power in the hands of party bodies. This corresponded to the false thesis that the party is the instrument of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This harmful conception weakened the initiative and responsibility of the state, economic and social institutions and damaged the party’s authority, and prevented it from carrying Out its real functions. The party’s goal is not to become the universal caretaker of society, to bind all organizations and every step taken in life by its directives. Its mission lies primarily in stimulating socialist initiative, in showing the means and real potential of communist development, and in winning over all workers for them through systematic persuasion, as well as by the personal example of communists …

The main thing is to reform the whole political system so that it will permit the dynamic development of socialist social relations, combine broad democracy with a scientific, highly qualified management, strengthen the social order, stabilize socialist relations and maintain social discipline. The basic structure of the political system in List, at the same time, pro provide guarantees against a return to the old methods of subjectivism and highhandedness of those in a position of power. Party activity has, so far, not been turned systematically to that end, in fact, obstacles have frequently been Put in the way of such efforts. All these changes necessarily call for … a new Czechoslovak constitution …

The implementation of constitutional freedoms of’ assembly and also association must be ensured this year so that the possibility of setting Up Voluntary organizations, special-interest associations, societies, etc. is guaranteed by law to meet the actual interests and needs of various strata and categories of our citizens, without bureaucratic interference and without monopoly of any individual organization. Any restrictions in this respect can be imposed only by law and only the law can stipulate what is anti-social, forbidden, or punishable. Freedoms guaranteed by law are applicable in this sense, in compliance with the constitution, also to citizens of individual creeds and religious denominations.

The effective influence of views and opinions of the working people on all Our policy, opposition to all attempts to suppress the criticism and initiative of the people, cannot be guaranteed if we do not ensure constitution -based freedom of speech and all political and personal rights of all citizens systematically and consistently, by all legal means available. Socialism cannot mean only liberation of the working people from the domination of exploiting class relations, but must make more provisions for a fuller life of the personality than any bourgeois democracy. The working people, who arc no longer ordered about by any class of exploiters, can no longer be prescribed, by any arbitrary interpretation from a position of power, what information they may or may not be given, which of their opinions can or cannot be expressed publicly, where public opinion may play a role and where not.

Source: The Action Program of the Czechoslovak Communist Party (Nottingham: Spokesman Books, 1972), pp. 6-7.

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