First Published: FORUM for Marxist-Leninist Inner-Party Struggle, No. 9, November 1964
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Sam Richards and Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.
Various queries similar to some of the points raised in the above article [The Party Can Be Transformed – MIA note] have arisen in the last few weeks or so on (a) the precise role of FORUM and (b) the character of the London Political organisation. It is therefore necessary to clarify once more the political position of both the Journal and the Organisation itself.
Over the past month or so the phrase “new Party” has been used more extensively both in FORUM and elsewhere. It should be restated that neither the Forum Committee nor the L.P.O. [London Political Organization – MIA note] understands this as meaning exclusively the setting up of an alternative organisation to the Communist Party of Great Britain.
The first article in the first issue of Forum (March 1964) and the statement issued by the L.P.O. in August specifically rejected the line that an alternative party could simply be “set-up”.
Comrades should be clear that the “new” Party can only mean a Marxist Party. None at the present time can lay down whether, ultimately, this will mean the actual creation of an organisational alternative to the Communist Party or whether, as a result of inner Party struggle combined with the exposure of revisionism by events to wider and wider circles of the Communist Party, the struggle within the Party will result in the defeat of the leadership as it now is.
At present, the latter possibility seems very remote indeed. Nevertheless, it is the categorical view of the L.P.O. that it would be quite incorrect to rule it out altogether. If this were done, the significance of inner Party struggle would dwindle to nothing and Comrades could justify simply walking out of the Party without any struggle to expose revisionism.
It is the considered opinion of the L.P.O. and Forum that it is wrong at the present time to pose a “new” as against “old” Party as organisations. The main struggle is for an alternative and Marxist line in Britain as opposed to the British Road to Socialism. The method whereby this line is made victorious cannot be hidebound within limits of the preconceived ideas of what amounts to a relatively small number of people at the moment.
In short it is not correct to aim at pulling as many members out of the Party as possible but to win as many members of the Communist Party for a Marxist line as possible. This is, of course, only part of the story, for to win as many workers irrespective of whether they are Party members or not for this line is the only way of avoiding the “parlour politics” atmosphere which surrounds the whole anti-revisionist movement at the moment.
The above reasons underlie the decision to set up the L.P.O. in. the first place and. subsequently to merge it with Forum. It is impossible at the present time to gain practical experience in an organised manner of work, with and among the working class except in a strictly limited region that is why the L.P.O. clearly defined itself as a regional organisation. This regional designation has nothing to do with having some sort of organisational monopoly within the London area. There are several anti-revisionist groups in London which are not part of the L.P.O. Members of the L.P.O. simply regard some form of organisation as absolutely necessary to gain practical experience of the class struggle and to develop an alternative to the British Road to Socialism out of this experience. Such organisation is most definitely not an embryonic alternative Party (more than 75% of L.P.O. membership are members of the Communist Party). In fact, the L.P.O. welcomes at the present time the proliferation of such organisations which are committed to serious anti-revisionist work. The more comrades begin to learn from the practical problem of work with the masses the lessons denied them by the revisionists the better.
Just as this practical organisational work is necessary so is the freest possible expression of view points necessary so that as many comrades from as many different backgrounds and experiences everywhere can exchange their views and thus fertilise the anti-revisionist struggle and create the basis for an ever extending unity.
This was the original intention of Forum and this aim it still serves. A revolutionary line has still to be hammered out and this is the most urgent task facing serious Marxists at the present time in this country. This cannot and must not, be regarded as the responsibility of one group. All groups and individuals have a duty to make their points of view and experiences available to all others. This is precisely what Forum came into existence for and still exists for. Its merging with the L.P.O. is a purely local matter of convenience involving (it is hoped) an improvement in efficiency and a strengthening of both the practical work in the London area and the service Forum offers to all comrades wherever they are.
It is high time that the barriers and restraints to discussions and contact were broken down. Revisionists have for years fostered divisions within the ranks of the Communist Party for their own ends. Don’t let us perpetuate their evil work. Let comrades come together, either anonymously or otherwise, and push forward the work of creating the basis for a Marxist Party in Britain by inner Party struggle, by public struggle against revisionist betrayals of the working class, by all forms of struggle against reaction and for the working class.
London Political Organisation