First Published: People’s Voice, Vol. I, Nos. 6-7, Sept 27-Oct 4, 1965
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The Communist Party of the United States of America (Marxist-Leninist) is the vanguard of the working class of the United States of America, the highest form of class organization. The aim of the Party is to carry forward the historical traditions and contributions of the Communist Party in the United States.
The historical struggle of the American working class was carried forward by the formation of the Communist Party U.S.A. in 1919 with the adherence and acceptance of the Party in the Third International. With less than several hundred members and under the direct attack of U.S. imperialism, the Party waged an unceasing struggle against the capitalist system. After years of struggle, the Party, in 1927, was forced to deal with the presence of Trotskyism within the ranks of the Party and it waged a fierce struggle against those representatives of bourgeois ideology within the ranks of the Party.
The C.P.U.S.A. heroically led the working class in struggle and consistently fought for the rights of the national minorities and the right of self-determination of all oppressed peoples. In 1935 at the Seventh World Congress, certain leaders of the Party attempted to pursue an incorrect line on the national-colonial question.
This point represented the initial phase in the development of a revisionist tendency within the Party which came to be developed under Browder and finally in 1944 proceeded to liquidate the Communist Party in the U.S.A. to appease the bourgeoisie. In 1945, the Communist Party U.S.A. was reconstituted in name only. The period from 1945 to 1956 saw the full implementation of a revisionist theory and practice within the Party. Under this situation, it degenerated into a social-democratic Party defaulting in its historical role as that of the vanguard Party of the working class. In 1956, the Party’s conversion into a Party of the liberal bourgeoisie was all but complete. Under the centrist leadership of William Z. Foster, the conciliators of revisionism within the Party fought to secure a false “unity” with the open revisionists. By 1958 the conciliators along with the revisionist faction felt secure enough to expel the Marxist-Leninists from the Party.
In 1958, Marxist-Leninists who had been expelled and others still in the Party joined together to form the Provisional Organizing Committee to Reconstitute the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party in the U.S.A. (P.O.C.) and began to wage an untiring struggle against the opportunism of the C.P.U.S.A. which had by this time sunk ever deeper into the mire of class collaboration with the bourgeoisie.
The theory of proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the question of whether to make revolution or not to make revolution has always been the dividing line between Marxist-Leninists and revisionists. The 22nd Congress of the C.P.S.U. made clear that there existed two different lines within the international Communist movement on this question of principle. At the 22d Congress, the revisionist line of “peaceful coexistence,” “peaceful competition,” and “peaceful transition” was put forth by certain fraternal Parties. As a result of the 22nd Congress, modern revisionism fully exposed its ugly features. The consequence was the further exposure of the C.P.U.S.A. and its class collaborationist policies in the service of the bourgeoisie.
Since the C.P.U.S.A. could then play only a limited role in the furthering of the bourgeoisie’s interests, it became incumbent upon the bourgeoisie in 1962 in league with Trotskyites and revisionists to create their own “Marxist-Leninist” organization.
Since 1962, there has occurred an intensification of the class struggle and the national struggle within the United States. This struggle revealed itself within the Marxist-Leninist groups. With the reaching of a higher plane in the struggle represented by the developments of August, 1965, the revisionist elements of the leadership of the Provisional Organizing Committee (P.O.C.) abdicated the leadership of the class and capitulated to the bourgeoisie. At this time all Marxist-Leninists must move decisively to carry forth the historic role assigned to the vanguard Party of the proletariat.
Representatives of the U.S. working-class met during the weekend of September 4-5, 1965, at Los Angeles, California to attend the Founding Conference of the Communist Party of the United States of America (Marxist-Leninist). These representatives were from the Workers Organizing Committee (M.-L.) and the Marxist-Leninists from The Provisional Organizing Committee to Reconstitute the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party in the United States.
The Communist Party of the United States has been reconstituted to carry forward the struggle for the emancipation of the working class of the United States and fulfill its international proletarian obligations to fight for national liberation, peace, and socialism.
The C.P.U.S.A. (M.-L.) adheres to the Marxist-Leninist world outlook of dialectical and historical materialism, and opposes the world outlook of idealism and metaphysics. Marxism-Leninism is not a dogma, but a guide to action. It demands that in striving to build socialism and communism we should proceed from reality, apply the principles of Marxism-Leninism in a flexible and creative way for the solution of various problems arising out of the struggle, and thus continuously develop the theory of Marxism-Leninism, Consequently, the Party in its activities upholds the principle of integrating the universal truths of Marxism-Leninism with the actual struggle of the working class.
The C.P.U.S.A. (M.-L.) adheres to the revolutionary principles of the 1957 Declaration and the 1960 Statement of the Eighty-one Communist and Workers’ Parties which are summarized as follows:
Workers of all countries unite; workers of the world unite with the oppressed peoples and oppressed nations; oppose imperialism and reaction in all countries; strive for world peace, national liberation, people’s democracy and socialism; consolidate and expand the socialist camp; bring the world revolution step by step to complete victory; and establish a new world without imperialism, without capitalism and without the exploitation of man by man.
The C.P.U.S.A. (M.-L.) further recognizes the fundamental class contradictions which exist in the contemporary world. Marxist-Leninists hold that they are:
The contradiction between the socialist camp and the imperialist camp; the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie in the capitalist countries; the contradiction between the oppressed nations and imperialism; and the contradiction among imperialist countries and among monopoly capitalist groups.
The C.P.U.S.A. (M.-L.) calls for the unity of the international Communist movement based on Marxist-Leninist theory and practice.
The C.P.U.S.A. (M.-L.) holds that modern revisionism is the main danger to the international Communist and workers movement. The C.P.U.S.A.; (M.-L.) condemns the schismatic activities of the modem revisionists in their vain attempt to split the international Communist movement.
Modern revisionism is the new social prop of imperialism. It is the advance guard of the bourgeoisie in the working-class movement. In the United States, revisionism expresses itself in opportunism and complete capitulation to the bourgeoisie. Trotskyism manifests itself in different ways on different questions and often, wears the mask of “ultra-leftism,” but its essence is the opposition to revolution, repudiation of revolution – a variety of revisionism.
The C.P.U.S.A. (M.-L.) must wage an untiring struggle against modern revisionism and Trotskyism, for without struggle against Trotskyism and modern revisionism any struggle against imperialism is but an idle phrase, The Party must prevent and resist corrosion by bourgeois and petty bourgeois ways of thinking and styles of work and guard against and defeat any rightist or “leftist” opportunist deviation inside the Party.
Our country is a multi-national state. The Anglo-American nation oppresses the Negro and Puerto Rican nations as direct colonies. Within the Anglo-American nation, the American Indians, the American Negroes, the Mexican-Americana and the Puerto Ricans, are all oppressed national-minorities.
In the final analysis, a national struggle is a question of class struggle.
The fight for freedom by the people of the colonial and semi-colonial world is the most striking feature of our time. The impact of the revolutionary upsurge of the colonial people’s national liberation movements which are sweeping Asia, Africa, and Latin America is being felt within the United States. U.S. imperialism is the most vicious enemy of the people of the world, the number one exploiter and oppressor, the world gendarme, the source of war in modern times.
The Communist Party of the United States of America (Marxist-Leninist) pledges to fight for immediate independence for the nation of Puerto Rico, for the liberation and right of self-determination of the Negro nation in the South, for equal rights for all the national minorities which is an integral part of the struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat, democracy, peace, and socialism.
The Communist Party of the United States of America (Marxist-Leninist) pledges itself to fight for the creation of a broad anti-imperialist united front encompassing all patriotic forces willing to struggle and fight for the right of self-determination of the Negro nation and for independence for Puerto Rico.
The Communist Party of the United States of America (Marxist-Leninist) pledges its firm support for the national liberation forces opposing U.S. imperialism in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
The Communist Party of the United States of America (Marxist-Leninist) opposes all tendencies to great nation chauvinism and nationalism, both of which hamper; the unity of the nationalities, and firmly upholds proletarian internationalism. Special attention must be paid to the prevention and correction of tendencies of great-nation chauvinism on the part of Party members.
The C.P.U.S.A. (M.-L.) must work untiringly to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat which is the guarantee for the socialist cause in the United States of America.
The Communist Party of the United States of America (Marxist-Leninist) pledges to carry forward and lead the struggle against racial discrimination, for equal rights and for socialism.
The Communist Party of the United States of America (Marxist-Leninist) opposes all forms of racial discrimination. Basically, the Negro people’s struggle for civil rights is in reality a struggle for equal rights which must of necessity become an anti-imperialist struggle to be successful. The fact that it has not more fully manifested its anti-imperialist nature can be attributed to the quisling leadership which has been fostered by the reactionary ruling clique of the United States. Integration and non-violence are the deceptive ploys utilized by the ruling class through its quislings to divert this struggle into reformist channels under the complete hegemony of the bourgeoisie.
The balance of forces between the imperialist camp and the socialist camp has changed since World War II, This has led to the general decline of U.S. monopoly capital. The forces of national liberation aided by the socialist camp are in the ascendancy. Fascism is developing in the U.S. as the direct result of U.S. monopoly capital being threatened and deprived of its sources of raw material and spheres of influence. The loss of these colonies and semi-colonies coupled with the contradictions among other imperialist powers means the loss of U.S. monopoly capital’s super-profits, and serves to deepen further the general crisis of U.S. imperialism.
Fascism is the open terroristic dictatorship, of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital. Using the facade of ”democracy, and under the guise of “law and order,” the bourgeoisie is increasing its attacks on the most oppressed and most exploited section of the American working class. U.S. imperialism employs both legal and extra-legal means of suppression, which lays bare the true nature of so-called “democracy” and “freedom” in the United States and reveals the inner link between the reactionary policies pursued by the U.S. Government at home audits policies of aggression abroad.
Racism has one primary source: U.S. imperialism. Racism emanates from the reactionary policies pursued by U.S. monopoly capital. The basis for its eradication can only be the destruction of U.S. imperialism.
Another aspect of the rise of fascism in the United States today is the conversion of trade unions into open labor fronts of U.S. monopoly capital. The C.P.U.S.A. (M.-L.) approaches the trade union question based on a united front from below, with the rank and file. We seek to unite with the most exploited, and oppressed sections of the class. It is essential that the broadest possible united front against fascism be formed with all democratic forces in alliance with the working class.
The Communist Party of the United States of America (Marxist-Leninist) puts into practice all that it advocates through the activity of the Party organizations and membership among the masses and through the conscientious efforts made by the people under its guidance. For this reason it is necessary to constantly develop the tradition of following the mass line in Party work. Whether the Party is able to give correct leadership depends on whether or not the Party will, through analysis and synthesis,, systematically, summarize the experience and opinions of the masses, turn the resulting ideas into the policy of the Party and as a result of the Party’s propaganda and organizational work among the masses, transform it into the views and actions of the masses themselves, testing the correctness of Party policy, and supplementing and correcting it in the course of mass activity. It is the duty of the Party leadership to ensure that in the endless repetition of this process of “coming from the masses and going back to the masses,” the Party members’ level of understanding and that of the masses of the people are continually raised and the cause of the Party and the people is constantly advanced; The Party and its members must, therefore, maintain close and extensive ties with the workers, farmers, intellectuals and other patriots, and strive constantly to make such M ties ever stronger and more widespread. Every Party member must understand that the interests of the Party and those of the people are one, and responsibility to the Party and responsibility to the people are identical. Every Party member must wholeheartedly serve the people, constantly consult them, pay heed to their opinions, concern himself with their well-being and strive to help realize their wishes.
The Communist Party of the United States of America (Marxist-Leninist) has been reconstituted firmly on a Marxist-Leninist basis. The historic task before us is the building of the Party so that it may lead the working class in the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat and socialist construction in the U.S.A.
The organizational principle of the Communist Party of the United States of America (Marxist-Leninist) is democratic centralism, which means centralism on the basis of democracy and democracy under centralized, leadership, The Party must take effective measures to promote inner-Party democracy, encourage the initiative and creative ability of all Party members and of all local and primary Party organizations and strengthen the lively contact between the higher and lower Party, organizations. Only in this way can the Party effectively extend and strengthen its ties with the masses of the people, give correct leadership and adapt itself flexibly to various concrete conditions and local characteristics. And only in this way can Party life be invigorated and the centralism and unity of the Party be consolidated and its discipline be voluntarily, not mechanically observed.
Democratic centralism demands that every Party organization should strictly abide by the principle of collective leadership coupled with individual responsibility and that every Party member aid Party organization should be subject to Party supervision from above and from below.
Democracy within the Party must not be divorced from centralism. The Party is a united militant organization, welded together by a discipline which is obligatory on all its members. Without discipline it would be impossible for the Party to lead the people in making the proletarian revolution and overcoming all the powerful enemies of the people and build socialism and communism. As the highest form of class organization, the Party must strive to play a correct role as the leader and core in every aspect of the country’s life and must combat any tendency to departmentalism, which reduces the Party’s role and weakens its unity.
Solidarity and unity are the very life of the Party, the source of its strength. It is the sacred duty of every Party member to pay constant attention to the safeguarding of the solidarity of the Party and the consolidation of its unity. Within the Party no action which violates the Party’s political line or organizational principles is permissible nor is it permissible to carry on activities aimed at splitting the Party or factional activities, to act independently of the Party, or to place the individual above the collective body of the Party.
No political party or person can be free from shortcomings and mistakes in work. The Communist Party of the United States of America (Marxist-Leninist) and its members must constantly practice criticism and self-criticism to expose and eliminate their shortcomings and mistakes so as to educate themselves and the people.
In view of the fact that the Party strives to play the leading role in the life of the working class, it is all the more necessary that it should make stringent demands on every Party organization and member and promote criticism and self-criticism; and in particular, it should encourage and support criticism from below, inside the Party as well as criticism of the Party by the masses of the people, and should prohibit any suppression of criticism.
In the case of Party members who have committed mistakes, the Party should, in the spirit of “curing the illness to save the patient,” allow them to remain in the ranks and receive education and help them to correct their mistakes, provided such mistakes can be corrected within the Party and the erring Party member himself is prepared to correct his mistakes. As to those who persist in their mistakes and carry on activities detrimental to the Party, it is essential to wage a determined struggle against them, even to the point of expelling them from the Party.
The Communist Party U.S.A. (Marxist-Leninist) requires all its members to place the Party’s interests above their personal interest, to be diligent and unpretentious, to study and work hard, to unite the broad masses of the people, and to overcome all difficulties in order to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat and build a modern socialist state, and on this basis to advance towards the achievement of the loftiest ideal of mankind – Communism.
The Communist Party U.S.A. (Marxist-Leninist) declares that one year from the date of September 5, 1965, the First National Congress will be called at which time all Marxist-Leninists in the United States will be invited to unite on the basis of Marxism-Leninism.