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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 12, No. 10. September 20th, 1949

Why a Party?

Why a Party?

For Communists, it is not sufficient merely to realise the existence of the class struggle. Nor is it sufficient to realise that in our day it is the working class which is the forward-looking class, and it is the bourgeoise who are driving backward now, moribund and desperate, with nothing to offer but wars, slumps, unemployment and starvation. "The Communist's task is not merely to interpret the world, but to change it."

The Communist disdains to stand on the side-line, or to grope dismally for a "middle road". As with the barricades of Paris, Petrograd and Madrid, there are only two sides; and you have to be on one of them—or run away! Progress is not spon-taneous: it has to be striven for, and defended if necessary. History has no wishing-wells. Neither is it a sufficient guarantee of victory to be firmly of an opinion. Moral strength alone could not overcome the Nazi executioners, nor could faith withstand the Moors of Franco.

Organisation is the key to working class victory, as it has been the key to the victory of progressive movements in the past. The purpose of the Communist Party is to build this organisation. The Communists do not set up any sectarian principles of their own, by which to shape and mould the proletarian movement. They have no interests separate from and apart from those of the working class as a whole. Their aim is simply to build and strengthen the organisation of the working class, [unclear: and] to provide the ideological leadership, loyal and re-solute of the working class in its actual struggle against actual ene[unclear: mits].