Party Discipline

Also found in: Wikipedia.

Discipline, Party


an indispensable condition for the organization and fighting capability of Marxist-Leninist parties, and the most crucial condition for the fulfillment of the requirements of the party program and rules, the resolutions of party bodies, and party morality by Communists and party organizations. One of the organizational foundations of the new type of proletarian party, party discipline is closely connected with the guiding organizational principle of democratic centralism.

The most important principles of party discipline were developed and substantiated by V. I. Lenin. “We have already enunciated our theoretical views,” he said, “on the importance of discipline and on how this concept is to be understood in the party of the working class. We defined it as: Unity of action, freedom of discussion and criticism. Only such discipline is worthy of the democratic party of the advanced class. The strength of the working class is organization. Unless the masses are organized, the proletariat is nothing. Organized, it is everything. Organization means unity of action, unity in practical operations” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 14, pp. 125-26).

Lenin emphasized that iron party discipline becomes particularly important in the period of the working class armed struggle to achieve power and defend and consolidate it. The Communist Party can successfully fulfill its role as leader of the toiling masses if strong, conscious party discipline prevails and if the party’s directing center is an authoritative body that has broad powers and enjoys universal confidence among party members and the nonparty toiling masses. Speaking about the reasons for the victory of the Soviet Republic over the interventionists and White Guards during 1918-20, Lenin particularly stressed the role of party discipline. He wrote that “the Bolsheviks could not have retained power for 2½ months, let alone 2½ years, without the most rigorous and truly iron discipline, in our party, without the fullest and unreserved support from the entire mass of the working class, that is, the thinking, honest, devoted, and influential elements in it, capable of leading the backward strata or carrying the latter along with them” (ibid., vol. 41, pp. 5-6).

Monolithic unity and iron discipline of the ruling Communist Party are crucial conditions for the Communist Party to exercise its leadership role in the dictatorship of the proletariat. These conditions played a decisive role in ensuring the victory of socialism in the USSR, and they continue to play an important role as the entire people’s state struggles for the construction of communist society. Iron party discipline does not exclude but assumes criticism and self-criticism within the party, class consciousness, and voluntary submission. Party discipline is indissolubly linked with the ideological unity of the proletarian party. Only conscious discipline can be truly iron, ideological, and principled. Party discipline is equally binding on all Communists—the rank and file and the leaders. Lenin criticized the Mensheviks, who permitted the entrenchment of haughty morals and manners in the ranks of the RSDLP, dividing party members into the “chosen” and the “unchosen.” The Bolshevik Party forged party discipline in a relentless struggle against Mensheviks, the followers of Trotsky and Bukharin, and other opportunist groups and tendencies that infringed on the unity of the party. The Leninist Resolution on Party Unity, which was adopted by the Tenth Congress of the RCP (Bolshevik) in 1921, was extremely important in the struggle against antiparty groupings and tendencies and in strengthening the conscious discipline and unity of the party.

The principles of party discipline of the CPSU are embodied in the Rules of the CPSU, which state: “Ideological and organizational unity, the monolithic quality of the ranks of the party, and the elevated, conscious discipline of all Communists constitute an inviolable law in the life of the CPSU. Every manifestation of factionalism and cliquishness is incompatible with the Marxist-Leninist party spirit, with continued membership in the party” (1971, p. 5). A party member is obligated to defend party unity—the chief prerequisite for party strength and power—in every way possible and to observe party arid state discipline. Those guilty of violating the Program and Rules of the party, party discipline, state discipline, or party morality must answer to the party. A Communist is an active, selfless fighter for the implementation of party and state decisions. For the party member, mere agreement with party resolutions is not enough: he is obligated to struggle and put these resolutions into practice.

Fraternal communist and workers’ parties are strengthening discipline and unity in their ranks, taking into account the historical experience of the CPSU. Retreat from the Marxist-Leninist requirements of party discipline, which the right and left revisionists have tried, leads ultimately to the party’s degeneration into a reformist-anarchist or para-military organization.


Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed. (See reference volume, part 1, p. 144.)
Ustav KPSS. Moscow, 1971.
References in periodicals archive ?
PTI chief Imran Khan had approached the Commission seeking her disqualification for violating party discipline by not participating in voting for PTI's nominated candidate Sheikh Rasheed in the election for the prime minister's office.
PESHAWAR -- The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has prepared a list of 13 members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly who may receive show-cause notices for violating the party discipline by voting for candidates of rival parties in the recent Senate election, allegedly for pecuniary gains.
Although the parliamentary and proportional representation electoral system contributed to the centrality of the party and party discipline in delivering the eventual positive outcome, it is the collective force of these groups that prevailed on the party to put an end to Zuma's calamitous and corrupt reign.
He said he never violated the party discipline, but there were some issues within PML-N that disheartened him, so he preferred to stay away.
Shahbaz has had difference of opinion over some issues yet his commitment to the party overrules all else, which is why he has never violated the party discipline," said the former prime minister.
The PML-N chief said that Shehbaz has had a difference of opinion over some issues yet his commitment to the party overrules everything else, which was why he never violated the party discipline.
Pimentel ordered Cuntapay to 'immediately cease' from doing actions 'inimical' to PDP-Laban's image and morale, 'or be subject to party discipline.
The meeting decided to issue notices to the violators of party discipline and vowed no compromise on in this regard.
He told that he always had sacrificed physically and financially for the party cause and never violated the party discipline.
Xian was dismissed from service for 'serious violation' of Communist Party discipline.
Party discipline is one thing but enforced unanimity at all times is a threat to democracy and the sign of a party that is anything but mature.
Party discipline collapsed after Paul Ryan, the House of Representatives Speaker, cut ties with Trump over his lewd and sexist comments.