The line of the CUA(M-L)on party-building developed in large part through criticism of the errors of the Marxist-Leninist movement on this question. The CUA(M-L) was formed through the merging of two organisations, the Communist Unity Organisation(Marxist-Leninist) and the Marxist-Leninist Workers’ Association. Following a period of close cooperation on joint practical work and theoretical discussion, a common approach was developed on the most central issue, party-building tasks. Comrades in these organisations participated directly in much of the experience of the movement discussed in earlier sections of this pamphlet and shared in many of the errors mentioned. It is a matter of desperate urgency that comrades throughout, the Marxist-Leninist movement come to a higher level of political maturity and contribute fully to the building of a revolutionary party.
The weakness of the movement in party-building rests in the first instance in the failure to link theory with practice, and the failure to understand that it is primarily a political rather than an organisational problem.
The building of a party requires, first and foremost, the development of the necessary conditions for the party. Without this, no unification of the Marxist-Leninist movement, no organisation that is set up can result in a correct party. These necessary conditions are:
– Ideological unity on the basis of proletarian ideology, Marxism-Leninism Mao Tsetung Thought
– Political unity on a revolutionary political line or strategy, based on a Marxist analysis of concrete conditions in Britain and expressed in a party programme
– Links with the working class
These three conditions are inseparable and interdependent at every stage of the revolutionary struggle. No one condition can be developed without developing .all three. It. is important here to explain precisely what we mean by each of these conditions, why they are necessary and how they are interdependent.
Proletarian ideology is the system of ideas, the world outlook of the class conscious proletariat. On the one hand it means the complete commitment to proletarian class interests and the total repudiation of bourgeois self-interest, which means above all preserving the style of life summed up by the Communist Party of China, as plain living and hard struggle. This is the communist spirit of serving the people. On the other hand it means the proletarian method of thinking and analysing the world, dialectical and historical materialism, scientific socialism, as developed by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Tsetung from the experience of revolutionary working class struggles throughout the world.
Only a party formed on this basis can be whole-heartedly a servant of the working class, devoted to its interests. Only on this basis can proletarian class interests be really understood and the scientific understanding of the world and its development be sufficient to lead the proletariat in revolution.
The forging of true class consciousness requires tempering in the fires of class struggle and unity with the working class masses in concrete battles. The understanding of theory and scientific method becomes complete and is useful only in its application. Therefore the struggles to develop a concrete political line and to build links with the working class are inseparable from the struggle for unity on proletarian ideology.
The theory of Marxism-Leninism is the indispensible tool for building a revolutionary political line. This tool must be put to use, applied to concrete problems. The contradictions in British society, the nature of the class forces and the lines of development of the imperialist system must be analysed using the scientific methods of Marxism so that concrete problems facing the British revolution can be overcome. In this way, a strategy for revolution can be developed, tested and re-tested in practice and further developed. This is the only way the party can be enabled to lead the working class revolution.
The revolutionary theory exists, but has not been applied to concrete British conditions in recent years. The struggle of workers in Britain exists but is not yet a conscious struggle for class power. Developing a political line which can unify these two is the most difficult and important party-building task. This political strategy must be expressed in a party programme and in specific tactical lines on all major issues.
Only with the guidance of proletarian ideology can a correct analysis and political strategy be developed. Only by direct contact with workers and involvement in struggle can the needs, ideas and problems of the working class be understood and unified in a political line. The primary task of developing this line can only be accomplished if there is simultaneous struggle for ideological unity and unity with the working class.
The party requires ever-deepening political and organisational connections with the masses of workers. All the most class-conscious, leading workers must be united in the party’s ranks. The needs and ideas of the broad masses must be unified in the party’s line. This is possible only if the party is a party of workers, engaged in workers’ struggles and constantly agitating among, and learning from, the masses.
Only a party which has earned the workers’ respect and confidence in practical struggles can hope to exercise any leadership in the working class. Only a party with ever-renewed ties and lines of communication and dependence with the broad masses will remain committed to working class interests. Isolation from the workers can only result in being crushed or subverted by capitalism.
Without political lines which are really relevant to the workers’ experience and which prove themselves in practice, such links with the working class will not be created. Without ideological commitment, shown in practice and self-sacrifice, party cadres will not deserve any respect from the masses. Correct links with the working class are impossible in the absence of developing ideological and political unity.