Home » Foundations


17 March 2023

The fundamental approach of the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) to class, country, independence and control.


The communist party of the British working class, the CPBML, exists for the complete overthrow of capitalism and its replacement by working-class control and the building of socialism. 

The CPBML was founded in 1968 because no existing political party aimed to end the rule of capital in Britain. In 1971 our second party congress adopted a programme, which is available on our website, cpbml.org.uk. The world has changed since then, but capitalism is still with us. We set out below what we stand for in 2023. If it interests you, get in touch. 

We study to understand Britain and the world so as to achieve working-class control. We hold regular meetings, in person and online, where you can discuss our ideas and what the current situation requires of workers. And you can read our journal, Workers, and sign up to get our regular e-newsletter.

Two classes

From our foundation we said that there are only two classes in Britain, the working class and the capitalists. By working class we mean all who live and work here, regardless of background. Britain, the first industrial nation, was the first in which the working class became the vast majority of the population There is no peasantry, no middle class, despite the illusions of some. British capitalism seeks profit wherever it can, worldwide. 

Our trade unions were established with one purpose, to defend workers against the employing class. At first illegal, their existence has always been threatened. When the mass take part, trade unions are powerful organs of class struggle. They are not revolutionary organisations, nor could they ever be. Hence the party.


Britain is a united working-class nation, not a federation or an empire, with a common language, territory, economy and culture. 

We reject those who want to divide English from Scottish from Welsh workers, just as we do those who make divisions on the basis of race, sex or sexual preference to make mischief in the working class. 

Modern, transnational, monopoly capital is united in seeking a world where it can sideline nation states and rule unhindered. The time cries out for the working class to take responsibility for the direction of the whole nation. Independence and national sovereignty are indispensable for the survival for the working class – and only the working class can make these a reality. This is workers’ nationalism, true patriotism.


The liberation of the working class is the collective act of the class itself. No party can substitute itself for the class. Workers are thinking beings and will fight, or avoid a fight, consciously. To argue that workers are duped, for example by the media, or by those they elect to lead trade unions, is foolishness and anti-working class. When workers decide on something and act, they can transform the world. 

Thinkers and doers

We lay no claim to intellectual superiority. We do not tell workers in struggle what to do. We allow no artificial division between thinkers and doers. Every communist contributes to the development of the line of the party, and works for its implementation. As in the working class, so in the party. We reject the idea that someone else, whether at home or abroad, can absolve us from our historical duty and do our fighting for us. 

We reject ancestor worship. Marx and Engels learnt much from the British working class. Lenin and Stalin applied that thinking to Russia, Mao to China. Socialism in these countries won important victories and kept the peace for decades. The 1917 October Revolution in Russia marked the start of a new phase in the dialectical development of the force for socialism, as capitalism began its absolute decline. Any capitalist recovery has always been short lived. And today, despite some undoubted setbacks, the death knell for capitalism tolls ever louder. That capitalism has been restored in some countries does not detract from the clarity of thought of those who went before. 

We do not recognise the right of anyone at home or internationally to tell the British working class what to do. We live and work here, so it is to Britain that we direct our energies. Independent thought, careful analysis of the world as it is and action on the basis of that is characteristic of both working class and party. Marxism was born out of the experience of British workers. It is our birthright. 

Join us

The world and Britain have changed in the more than fifty years since the foundation of the CPBML. Capitalism is broken, and will destroy us with it if we let it. If you want a working-class future, meet us and talk to us.