Party Groups in the CPSU
Party Groups in the CPSU
organizations of party members created, in accordance with the Rules of the CPSU on brigades and other production links, within shop, section, and other party organizations that belong to the primary party organization of an industrial enterprise, kolkhoz, or other institution that has more than 50 party members and candidate members. Party groups may also be formed within primary party organizations that number less than 50 members and candidate members. Party groups are formed to strengthen party influence on a given group of working people, to ensure the growing vanguard role of Communists, and to give day-to-day attention to improvement of production work and business activity.
The first party groups were created at large enterprises during the first five-year plan (1928–33) and were called production-link party cells. A statute on party groups was first included in the Rules of the ACP(B) adopted at the Seventeenth Party Congress in 1934. Party groups are formed by a decision of a party bureau or committee when a brigade, department of an institution, or other working unit has at least three party members. Temporary party groups may be created during construction projects and at field camps of kolkhozes or sovkhozes during sowing and harvesting. A party group organizer is elected to manage the ongoing work of party groups. This organizer is responsible to the party bureau of the primary party organization to which the given group belongs.
Party groups are created in nonparty organizations for the purpose of strengthening party guidance of soviets, trade unions, Komsomol, and other mass organizations of the working people. Until 1934 they were called party or Communist factions in nonparty organizations. The first statute on the formation of party factions in nonparty organizations was included in the party Rules ratified by the Eighth All-Russian Conference of the RCP(B) in 1919. The current Rules of the CPSU (1971) state that party groups are to be organized at every congress, conference, or assembly convened by soviet, trade-union, cooperative, and other mass organizations of the working people, as well as in elected bodies of these organizations that have at least three party members.
Party groups seek to strengthen the party’s influence, to carry out party policies among nonparty members, to strengthen party and state discipline, to combat red tape, and to verify fulfillment of party and soviet directives. Party groups are under the authority of their respective party organs: the Central Committee (CC) of the CPSU, the CC’s of the Union republic Communist parties, and the krai, oblast, okrug, city, and district party committees. In all matters, the party groups are obligated to adhere rigorously and unwaveringly to the decisions of the higher party organs. Decisions adopted by the group itself are strictly binding for each group member. The term of activity of party groups is determined by the length of the term to which the respective body of the nonparty organization is elected.