Communist and socialist ideas didn't begin with Karl Marx. Britain has a rich history of working people standing against the ruling elite of society to fight for their rights, greater democracy and common ownership.

From the Peasants' Revolt, the Levellers movement during the English Civil War (which was never called a revolution), the Tolpuddle Martyrs, the Chartist uprisings, the Suffragette movement, right up to the current anti-cuts campaigns, communist values have come to the fore, voicing the hopes of working people.

There is a wealth of information available on the internet and sometimes it is difficult to know where to begin. Of course one excellent resource is the main party website.

A core principle of our party is printed in the membership card of every member:

"The aim of the Communist Party is to achieve a socialist Britain in which the means of production, distribution and exchange will be socially owned and utilised in a planned way for the benefit of all. This necessitates a revolutionary transformation of society, ending the existing capitalist system of exploitation and replacing it with a socialist society in which each will contribute according to ability and receive according to work done. Socialist society creates the conditions for advance to a fully communist form of society in which each will receive according to need."

from Communist Party Aims & Constitution

The following pages will provide a basic introduction to communist and Marxist ideas. For a more in depth selection of Marxist texts, go to the education and resources section of this site.

This seemingly simple question can actually be quite difficult to answer. Communism has meant different things at different times to different people.

Just think about how many countries call themselves, or have called themselves, communist. How can China be compared to Cuba, or either of them to somewhere like North Korea?

In the Manifesto of the Communist Party, Marx and Engels set out key principles in the establishment of a communist society.

The programme of the Communist Party is set out in the document Britain's Road to Socialism.

A key part of setting Britain on the road to socialism is the promotion of an Alternative Economic and Political Strategy. Its starting point must be to identify the objective basis for building a broad alliance across a wide range of movements that would open the road to socialism. This can only be opposition to the policies of state-monopoly capitalism in Britain.

The South West of England and Cornwall District of the Communist Party of Britain was established in early 2011.

Photograph of the CP at Tolpuddle 2011Our district is a continuation of the previous Devon and Cornwall District and the West of England District. These districts ceased to operate following the dissolution of the old Communist Party of Great Britain in 1991.

Like other districts of the CPB, we cover the same geographical area as that of the regional TUC: Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire. We have an active branch network and members involved in local trade union, community, anti-racist, anti-cuts, Stop the War, Cuban and Palestinian Solidarity Campaigns and other progressive organisations.

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Every two years delegates from branches across the South West and Cornwall meet to discuss party policy and set the priorities for party work. Read reports and the most recent resolutions here.