Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Program of the Prague Spring of '68

This is the kind of thing you can find if, like, you read books. What Dubček stood for.

"The Czechoslovak Action Program

Main goal: "It is important to reform the whole political system so that it permits the dynamic development of socialist social relations and combines broad democracy with scientific, highly qualified management . . . the basic structure of the political system must at the same time provide firm guarantees against return to the old methods of subjection and high-handed tyranny."

The Role of the Communist Party: "The Communist Party depends on the voluntary support of the people. It cannot carry out its leading role by ruling over society, but by faithfully serving free and progressive socialist development. The Party cannot impel its authority, but must constantly acquire it by its actions. It cannot force its line by command, but by the work of its members and the truth of its ideals."

Freedom of Discussion within the Party: "Each member of the Party and Party bodies has not only the right but the duty to act according to his conscience, expressing initiative, criticism, and different views on the matter in question, and to oppose any functionary . . . It is not permissible to restrict Communists in these rights, to create an atmosphere of distrust and suspicion of those who voice different opinions, and to persecute the minority under any pretext--as has happened in the past."

The Party and the State: "Substitution and interchanging of federal agencies with agencies of economic leadership and social organization by Party agents must be stopped. Party resolutions are binding for Communists working in these agencies, but the policy, managerial activities and responsibility of the federal, economic and social organizations are independent."

The Communist Party and the National Front: "The political parties of the National Front are partners . . . Possible differences in the viewpoints of individual component parts of the National Front or divergence of views as to a state policy are to be settled on the basis of the common socialist conception of National Front policy by way of political agreement and unification of all component parts of the National Front."

Against the Monopolization of State Power: "Socialist state power cannot be monopolized either by a single party or by a coalition of parties. It must be open to all political organizations of the people. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia will use every means at its disposal to develop such forms of political life that will ensure the expression of the direct voice and will of the working class and all working people in political decision-making in our country."

Freedom of Association: "The implementation of the constitutional freedoms of assembly and association must be ensured this year so that the possibility of setting up voluntary organizations, special-interest associations, societies, etc., is guaranteed by law . . . .Freedoms guaranteed by law and in compliance with the constitution also apply fully to citizens of various creeds and religious denominations."

Freedom of Opinion and of Information: "The working people, who are no longer ordered about by a class of exploiters, can no longer be dictated to by any arbitrary edict from a position of power as to 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 it may not."

Freedom of the Press and the Elimination of Censorship: "The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia considers it urgently necessary to define in a press law and more exactly than heretofore when a state body can forbid the propagation of certain information (in the press, radio, television, etc.) in order to preclude the possibility of preliminary censorship. It is necessary to overcome the delay, distortion, and incompleteness of information and to remove the unwarranted secrecy of political and economic facts."

Freedom of Opinion and the Party Press: "The Party press especially must express the Party's life and development along with criticism of various opinions among the Communists, etc., and cannot be made to coincide fully with the official viewpoints of the state."

Freedom of Mobility: "The constitutional freedom of mobility , particularly that of travel abroad for our citizens, must be precisely guaranteed by law. In particular, this means that a citizen should have the legal right to long-term or permanent sojourn abroad and that people should not be placed in the position of emigrants without reason."

Rehabilitation: "The Party realizes that people unlawfully condemned or persecuted cannot regain the lost years of their lives. It will, however, do its best to remove and shadow of the mistrust and humiliation to which the families and relatives of those affected were often subjected and will resolutely ensure that such persecuted people have every opportunity of showing their worth in work, in public life, and in political activities."

Democratic Electoral Systems: "It is therefore necessary to work out an electoral system that will take the changes in our political life into account. An electoral law must lay down exactly and clearly the democratic principles for the preparation of elections, the proposal of candidates and the method of their election."

The Parliament (The National Assembly): "The Party regards the National Assembly as a socialist parliament with all the functions the parliament of a democratic republic must have . . . which actually decides on laws and important political issues, and does not just approve proposals submitted."

Prevention of Concentration of Power: "The party policy is based on the principle that no undue concentration of power must occur, throughout the state machinery, in one sector, one body, or in a single individual. It is necessary to provide for such a divisions of power and a system of mutual supervision that the faults or encroachments of any of its members can be corrected on time through the activity of another member."

Reforms of the State Security: "The State Security Service must have the status, organizational structure, staff, equipment, methods, and qualifications which are in keeping with its work of defending the state against the activities of enemy centers abroad. Every citizen who has nothing to hide must know with certainty that his political convictions, his opinions, personal beliefs and activities, cannot be the object of attention of the bodies of the State Security service. The Party declares clearly that this apparatus should not be directed toward or used to solve internal political questions and controversies in socialist society."

Attitude toward Science: "Socialism originates, combats and dominates by combining the working movement with science . . . The more resolute and impartial the advancement of science, the more it is in harmony with the interests of socialism; the greater the achievements of the working people, the larger the scope opened to science."

Freedom of Cultural and Artistic Creation: "We reject administrative and bureaucratic methods of implementing cultural policy, we disassociate ourselves from them, and we shall oppose them. Artistic work must not be subjected to censorship.

"Art and Culture under Socialism: "It is necessary to overcome the narrow understanding of the social and human function of culture and art, the overestimation of their ideological and political role and the underestimation of their basic cultural and aesthetic task in the transformation of man and his world."

Foreign Policy: "Our foreign policy has not taken advantage of all opportunities for active work; it did not take the initiative in advancing its own views on many important international problems. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, the national assembly, the government and appropriate ministers must overcome these shortcomings without delay and consistently ensure that our foreign policy expresses fully both the national and international interests of socialist czechoslovakia . . . This is linked with the necessity of making prompt and detailed information available to the public on international problems and on the course of our foreign policy thereby creating conditions for the active participation of Czechoslovak citizens in the shaping of foreign political attitudes"

The World Communist Movement: "The Czechoslovak Communist Party will take every opportunity to establish contacts with the socialist, peace favoring and democratic forces in the capitalist and developing countries."

New Model of Socialism: "We want to start building up a new intensely democratic model of a socialist society which will fully correspond to Czechoslovak conditions. . . We cannot squeeze life into patterns, no matter how well intended It is up to us to make our way through unknown conditions, to experiment, to give socialist development a new character . . . ."

International Significance: "We want to set in motion penetrating new forces of socialist life in this country to give them the possibility of a much more efficient confrontation between social systems and world outlooks, allowing a fuller application of the advantages of socialism"

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The quotes are those presented by Wolfgang Leonhard in his book "Eurocommunism: Challenge for East and West"

Socialism with a human face.

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