Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Organization of Communist Workers (Marxist-Leninist)

The Movement for the Party



Mr. Bains’ Necessity For Change analysis is the first theoretical statement of the Internationalists’ petty bourgeois revision of Marxism-Leninism. It is the first work calling for a ’fundamental’ departure from the openly held petty bourgeois class standpoint to a more subtle form. This work is more than just a “sideline pamphlet”. It is the call for the organizational move of the Internationalists into the working class. It is the core of the CPC(ML)’s peculiar version of Marxism-Leninism.

As the profession de foi of the organization, Necessity For Change clearly expresses the two petty bourgeois conceptions underlying this self-proclaimed ’vanguard’ group. First, garbled existentialism: stress on the absolute necessity of the ’conscious’, moral choice of the individual, and personal commitment to action as the fundamental criterion for ’revolution’. Second, and directly related to the first, a narrow self-centered conception that all knowledge stems from the subjective, direct experience of the individual, or group in this case. Both of these foundation stones are laid in the beginning paragraph of Mr. Bains soporific sermon:

Understanding requires an act of conscious participation by the individual, an act of finding out. In other words, understanding or becoming conscious, is an experience. We develop through our direct experience of phenomena. In the Anglo-American society in which we live, our act of finding out is distorted at an early age through the oppression of culture (i.e. anti-consciousness), i.e. the forced acceptance of a set of values and beliefs which are not, in fact, developed by the act of finding out but by the act of consciously suppressing any findings which may contravene and/or contradict the so-called ’ways of the civilized world. Mass Line September 17, 1969.

In terms of its petty bourgeois conception of the relation between theory and practice, this passage clearly states what Mr. Bains, and most of the anti-CPC(ML) forces as well, do not grasp: that social practice is comprised of two elements, direct and indirect practice or experience. Indirect experience, the collective experience of the past, constitutes a large and indispensable part of our knowledge of the real world. It is plain that each of us cannot have direct experience of everything. If we confronted Mr. Bains with this elementary point, he would undoubtedly scoff indignantly at our simplicity. But it is one thing to recognize Marxism-Leninism formally and quite another to grasp it firmly and put it into practice, as the CPC(ML) has so often said of others. As we will see throughout our brief investigation of the CPC(ML)’s development, when Mr. Bains says “our direct experience” that is exactly what he means. This extremely narrow conception, arising directly from the narrow confines of the petty bourgeois mode of life, stands at the basis of CPC(ML)’s objective degradation or outright denial of the role of theory in guiding the proletarian class struggle.

Marxism-Leninism is the science of proletarian revolution. It is the summation and systematization of the collective experience of the world working class movement in all its aspects. It follows quite logically that if one hold one’s own direct practice to be the oniy or even the primary source of knowledge, then theory – the summation of the direct experience of oneself and others – becomes unnecessary, in fact, a waste of one’s precious time that could be devoted to ’gaining experience’. In such a situation, the only ’theory’ available to guide one’s work would be subjectivism, i.e. ’theory’ based on one’s own limited and narrow experience. In the case of CPC(ML) or similar groups springing from the intelligentsia, this experience could only be the class experience of the petty bourgeoisie. As we shall see, this is precisely CPC(ML)’s history, in spite of constant campaigns to ’raise’ the theoretical level of the organization. We will deal with this question in more detail in the next section. For now, we must proceed to the much more developed premise found in the Necessity For Change analysis: Mr. Bains’ bargain-basement existentialism.

Anyone who has the slightest familiarity with Marxism-Leninism will recognize that the second part of the above quoted passage is a distorted paraphrase of Marx’s analysis that

The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas; i.e., the class which is the ruling material force in society is at the same time its leading intellectual force. Marx-Engels The German Ideology SW Vol. I p. 47.

Mr. Bains’ rendition of this fundamental of Marxism-Leninism is more than just a slip of the pen. In his ’creative application’ Mr. Bains places his emphasis quite differently than Marx. Marx’s point here is that “...the existence of revolutionary ideas in a particular period presuppose the existence of a revolutionary class...” Ibid. p.48.

That is, it is from the material conditions of this class “...from which emanates the consciousness of the necessity of a fundamental revolution, the communist consciousness...” Ibid. p.40.

Marx is primarily concerned with the scientific, objective basis and development of the revolutionary class. He is arguing against the separation of ideas, of consciousness, from its material class basis, against the conception of liberation as a ’mental act’. In fact, Marx is quite adamant on this point:

We shall, of course, not take the trouble to enlighten our wise philosophers by explaining to them that the ’liberation’ of ’man’ is not advanced a single step by reducing philosophy, theology substance and all truth to ’self-consciousness* and by liberating man from the domination of these phrases, which have never held him in thrall. ’Liberation’ is a historical and not a mental act, and it is brought about by historical conditions .... Ibid. p.26-27.

It goes without saying that by this stress on historical conditions, Marx did not mean the denial of the conscious element, did not mean ’historical determinism’ as elaborated by the revisionist Bernstein. But he did mean to stress that revolutionary consciousness can develop only on the basis of scientific analysis of the objective material conditons of society as a whole, as distinguished from the “...ideological forms in which men become conscious of this conflict and fight it out.”(Critique of Political Economy Preface) That revolutionary consciousness can only develop as the summation and expression of the objective class position of the modern proletariat.

Not so, according to Professor Bains and the Internationalists. For them, ’liberation’ is indeed a mental act, an individual “choice... between development and nothing” (Mass Line op. cit. p.6). But this Sartrerian commonplace is only the conclusion; Professor Bains softens us up with some first-rate absurdist humour before he pulls it all together. We have already been shown how ’our’ development through direct experience of phenomena is stifled and distorted by “the forced acceptance of a set of values and beliefs” which are based on the conscious suppression of anything which may contradict these values. In one of his most brilliant displays of professorial creativity, Mr. Bains dubs these values, these “particular prejudices of society”, as the “historical crib”. This description gives us a hint of the infantile calibre guiding this analysis. This ’historical crib’

...into which we are born...like the womb of the mother, provides us with everything we need; our purpose and goal is defined, i.e., how to receive the nourishment and how to be grateful for it. Mass Line September 17, 1969.

But what of our ’liberation’? Are we destined to be bound to this ’historical crib’, eternally sucking our thumbs in ’contentment’? Mr. Bains relieves our apprehension with his ’very dialectical’ reassurance that

The historical crib can temporarily survive because of its built-in confusion and insincerity; but this also forms the basis for its eventual destruction. Ibid. p.4

Thank God! But we are still anxious for rescue from this ’consciously’ imposed bourgeois web. How does this destruction take place? What must we do? Here Professor Bains is at his best. His explanation has three foundations: 1) ’going-in’; 2) the striving of the ’Will-To-Be’; and 3) action.

’Going-in’ is the earliest response of the petty bourgeois ’ pardon us, the ’individual’ – to the inevitable trauma of life under imperialism. As an infant this individual perceives “no value in existence except that they enjoy the thrill of the biological experience” (Ibid. p.5). Professor Bains is calling on his training in the sciences to help us get at the root of ’our’ alienation. As we grow, our demands expand, but our freedom is still defined “in terms of biological satisfaction”. By adolesence, the ’individual’s’ external needs have been transformed “from simple food to pride, vanity, sexuality, etc.” (Ibid, p.5), that is, to the things Professor Bains himself finds so dear. But in the collision between his desire for pride and the stark reality that he has nothing at all to be proud of, our Professor takes evasive action:

The same way he used to cry for food in the past he yearns for sexuality now. And when these yearnings are not satisfied he becomes lonely... This loneliness is combated in the contemporary world by going-out and going-in.

Going out is looking for a solution outside oneself. The moment going-out fails to satisfy a person’s needs, he goes-in and find that there is nothing but loneliness so he goes out again. Going-in and finding out that there is nothing in the person should show amply and succinctly that the person has never dealt with his ACBIS (Anti-Consciousness-Beyond-In-Itself: “the most unexploited feeling amongst children”). Going-in also shows that going-out was illusory and junky and that living is going-in and seeking truth... Going-in is demanding change on the fundamental level. It will reveal the reality of the human condition and provide the strength to combat the progressive corrosion of being by loneliness. The built-in phenomenon of the society that provides ready-made answers will be questioned once and for all, and the individual will go into existence as existence (and not into the shadow of some other existence).

Going-in reveals the true nature of being that is to seek truth to serve people. Ibid pg. 5

The reader may wonder what sort of demented mind could possibly link this soft-core pornography to the science of Marxism-Leninism, may wonder that its author has not yet been certified and properly looked after as a raving lunatic. But in fact this disgusting display of egomaniacal subjectivity was penned by the Chairman of what pretends to be the Party of the proletariat. If your aim is to resolve, not the class antagonism of modern society, but the subjective preoccupations of the petty bourgeois intellectual, ’loneliness’, alienation, lack of values and so on, and if the basic source of this petty anxiety is sexual deprivation, or sexual failure, or simple lack of sexual satisfaction as our dear Professor is arguing here, then why not construct a society in which sexual satisfaction is the primary occupation of life? Would this not be a simpler and more ’pleasurable’ solution than proletarian revolution, at least for such petty bourgeois half-wits as could arrive at such idiotic conclusions? Obviously Professor Bains had been doing extensive and far-reaching research into the ’classics’ to develop this theory of his. There are, for example, the writings of Wilhelm Reich, which may lack ACBIS but make up for this deficiency with Orgones, an invention on the same ideological plane as Professor Bains. But we need not dig so deep as Reich; there are much more accessible authors for our Professor to draw on, authors who were particularly popular with the alienated and ’radicalized’ intelligentsia of the middle 1960’s. Listen to one of these muses of Professor Bains, also speaking on the topic of “the oppressive value system” and the resulting trauma of the petty bourgeois:

The anxiety of emptiness is aroused by the threat of nonbeing to the special contents of the spiritual life. A belief breaks down through external events or inner processes: one is cut off from creative participation in a sphere of culture, one feels frustrated about something which one had passionately affirmed, one is driven from devotion to one object to devotion to another and again on to another, because the meaning of each of them vanishes and the creative eros is transformed into indifference or aversion. Everything is tried and nothing satisfies.

The contents of the tradition, however excellent, however praised, however loved once lose their power to give content today. And present culture is even less able to provide content. Anxiously one turns away from all concrete contents and looks for an ultimate meaning only to discover that it was precisely the loss of a spiritual centre which took away the meaning from the special contents of spiritual life. But a spiritual centre cannot be produced intentionally, and the attempt to produce it only produces deeper anxiety. The anxiety of emptiness drives us to the abyss of meaninglessness.P. Tillich The Courage to Be The Source of Existentialism as Philosophy Molina p.191.

We will see that this is not the only case in which Professor Bains has drawn his paraphrase of Marxism-Leninism from existentialism and neo-’Marxism’. But what is it, we may ask, about Mr. Bains’ existence that drives him to moan over the “forced acceptance of a set of values”, what is at the root of his angst? What ’value’ system does he find so offensive? Our Professor, of course, has lofty ideals, and so orbits in the moral sphere. Like Dr. Tillich, he is concerned about the ’finer’ things in life. But in fact, modern society is not driven by morality or moral values, but by capital and capital-values. The “forced acceptance of a set of values” is in reality the forced acceptance by the petty bourgeoisie as a class of a much smaller set of capital-values than their appetite is accustomed to. Monopoly capitalism simply has no use for them. They try one enterprise after another, one petty scheme after another, inevitably bankrupting. In Dr. Tillich’s words, “Everything is tried and nothing satisfies.” This is all the more the case with the petty bourgeois intelligentsia, who having no capital must sell off their minds. It used to be, in the days when apologists were in demand and earned their keep, that mediocre intellectuals could draw a fair price. Now that the petty bourgeois intelligentsia has been over-produced, now that it has no objective function save to compete for the few remaining positions, our Professor finds that ’going-out’, i.e. going out in search of a few capital-values for one’s precious self, is no ’solution’ at all. ’Going-in’; that is, going into our Professor’s head in search of anything of substance, proves to be just as futile.

What does our Professor’s analysis have to do with the fundamental Marxist-Leninist principle that social being determines consciousness? Professor Bains is quick to clarify in his usual straightforward and incisive manner:

’I’ is the one that sees out there. The I out there is social-being-in-operation, a phenomenon in operation which is acknowledged by some other operation, or by some operation. So I acknowledge I. I looking at the street car is a social being in operation. I am that operation made operational by the act of looking at it. If I do not act, then I have nothing there. I make life by living it. This is social being in operation. Where does the consciousness of that social being reside? It resides somewhere, and that somewhere is I.

Materially, it is the consciousness, the reflection of social being which is in state of change and as the material world, develops it, reinforces I, and this is how I see and develop and move forward. If this seeing becomes static, then it does not change and develop. IT STOPS. Anything that becomes static becomes anti-consciousness...

Something I receive without questioning stays there immobile as receiving a message by a stone from a stone. This is consciousness in state, anti-consciousness. But the preservation of that stone, the preservation of anti-consciousness is not a passive activity. It is an active negation of reality for which one has to struggle. The active negation of reality is perpetrated by the various classes of people who have usurped power by force... Mass LineSeptember 17, 1969.

What elemental force of logic! As we have seen, the key element used by the usurpers is suppression of consciousness. At this point in the ’analysis’ Professor Bains refers to this process as “keeps on repeating the same old story”. That is, it denies that “a living system is a developing system, and that development without history is not possible”. Here we are getting to the heart of our worthy Professor’s ’materialism’. The conscious act of the usurpers to “keep on repeating the same old story”, to deny development and history, has in actuality killed the historical process. Professor Bains’ conception is not that there are two main classes emanating two ideologies in struggle and this struggle is at the basis of modern social development. Hardly! His view is that the conscious denial of the historical process by the ruling class stops that process. From this it of course follows that “When the historical process dies, consciousness, the reflection of social being dies, nothing remains except the will of the idealists and the trance of the stone.” Ibid, p.5.

Our historical cribber has ’borrowed’ here from two of the most well-known post-war existential writers: Sartre and Camus. On the question of ’making life’ through living it Sartre says:

– human reality does not exist first in order to act later; but for human reality, to be is to act, and to cease to act is to cease to be.” J.P. Sartre Of Human Freedom p.48.

On the repetition of the “same old story”, and on the existential ’solution’ to alienation –questioning and ’conscious’ decision to act – Camus says:

What happens is that the scenery crumbles... Get up, streetcar, four hours at the office or factory, eat,streetcar, four hours of work, eat, sleep and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday with the same rhythm – for the most part this cycle goes along smoothly. But one day the ’why’ arises and everything begins with this fatigue coloured by surprise. ’Begins’ is very important here. The fatigue is the final moment of the activities of a machine-like life, but at the same time it touches off the stirring of consciousness. It awakens and provokes what follows. What follows is either the unconscious return to the cycle or the final awakening. Eventually, there comes at the terminus of this awakening the consequence: suicide or readjustment. A. Camus The Myth of Sisyphus Existential Philosophers: Kierkegaard to Merleau-Ponty Schrader p.352

This is precisely Mr. Bains’ view, following directly from his conception of the stopping of the historical process through the ’suppression’ of consciousness which may “contradict the so-called ’ways of the civilized world”. If the historical process is stopped by suppression of consciousness, then to set the historical process moving again one need only ’become conscious’. How is this done? By actively struggling against the ’historical crib’, by ’going-in’ and ’finding-out’ – a perfectly obvious solution. The key element in this ’finding-out’ is to question, as any child would do. Indeed,

So long as I do not question the fundamentals I will be enchained to the anti-consciousness. Questioning is not a definitised mechanical activity: questioning is to become operationally a consciousness that is always in state of change.

Consciousness of being in state of change has something in it that questions comprehension, destroys it, and reaches a new comprehension and so ad infinitum. Built-in development is there.

Consciousness of being in state of change is that act of finding out in action. If it does not remain in action, then it becomes anti-consciousness. If one becomes conscious of anti-consciousness, then it is automatically destroyed. To become conscious of anti-consciousness is destroying it. I have not seen anybody who can live with a cancerous growth in his body, whether’it is physical or spiritual. Similarly, I have not seen societies which do not destroy the evil manifestations. But one can live with it if one is not conscious of it. The moment one questions, one becomes conscious. Op. Cit. p.5.

Questioning bourgeois society is of course nothing new. Every surplus petty bourgeois has his ’criticisms’ of the status quo, reflecting the objective fact that he has no place under imperialism. But what is ’new’ in Professor Bains’ questioning is that the simple act of ’questioning’ somehow abolishes ’anti-consciousness’, that is, abolishes bourgeois and petty bourgeois outlook. The logical conclusion from this is that every penny-ante liberal or bleeding-heart with a grudge against the system, who ’questions’ the conduct of imperialism, is automatically on the way to consciousness, a scientific outlook, and therefore, Marxism-Leninism. All that is necessary is to throw the system into doubt. And it is precisely on these grounds that Professor Bains was able to muster the gall to call himself a ’Marxist-Leninist’.

When we question we become ’alive’, and to become ’alive’, or even resemble being alive, is certainly the fondest ambition of the alienated petty bourgeois. The ’questioning’ must be carried to the ’fundamentals’. How we are to determine just what the fundamentals are is left to, of course, direct experience. What we are to replace the ’fundamentals’ with does not concern us at the moment of ’questioning’. Our only concern at this point is ’going-in’, finding-out and emerging to question the fundamentals. This is step one on the road to “revolutionist man”, the CPC(ML) cadre. The result of step one is the moral crisis of the individual.

Step two of the process laid out by Mr. Bains moves beyond questioning to rejection. It is in this step that we first hear of social oppression. Here Mr. Bains reveals his ’very dialectical’ conception of the liberating agent: the Will-To-Be.

The consciousness, which is the reflection of social being, shows the struggle which is actually taking place between those who are supporting ’various classes of people who have usurped power by force’ and those who are opposing it every day in various ways in the real world...

The consciousness of the struggle against the cocoon at least brings to the attention of the individual the fact that something is straining to be free – to be able to see the light. This something is the root cause of his alienation to the historical crib. This something is his will-to-be. The more he grapples the easier it will be to subdue the forces of the historical crib and destroy it by recognizing that it is part of his being. The sooner the Will-To-Be leads him to the crisis (the moment of decisions) the sooner he will consider action. The crisis is built-in phenomena – it is the next step towards development...Ibid. p.3.

Thus, through the spontaneous development of ’consciousness’, the individual reaches the conclusion that the ’historical crib’ cannot provide answers to his questions. Beset with the frustration of petty bourgeois life, crushed by monopoly capital, unable to adjust to the rigour and discipline of proletarian life, and deprived of the ability to cash-in on that class striving for individual, independent success – the Will-To-Be – the disgruntled and alienated petty bourgeois wails his defiance in all directions: Why me? But for the more ’enlightened’ intellectual, this questioning answers itself: It’s not me, not my precious self, it is the ’usurpers’ of my rightful position to the top of the heap. This is the classic expression of the petty bourgeoisie’s reactionary anti-imperialism.

This consciousness drives the individual to despise his family, his culture, and everything around him. He feels betrayed. This is the dawn of crisis – the dawn of alienation – the dawn of consciousness. It is also the dawn of life...

The historical crib can temporarily survive because of its built-in confusion and insincerity; but this also forms the basis for its eventual destruction. The deceit of anti-conscious living reveals quite clearly that the culture and heritage of the historical crib favours only ’the various classes of people who have usurped power by force’. The Imperialists and their lackies the world over are the only people whose rights have been defined in the society in the sense that they have the right to rule... It is this right of rulership which is questioned by that individual who responds to his Will-To-Be. The moment of decision comes when this Will-To-Be strikes at the cocoon of the historical crib. Ibid p.3-4.

Our ’fundamental’ questioning has born fruit, the ’historical crib’ is shaken to its roots, the historical process has been reactivated, the unquestioning caterpillar has been transformed and emerges from the cocoon life has begun! How utterly poetic!

The ’liberation’ of the petty bourgeois mind is such a gloriously dialectical, inevitable and spontaneous process, is it not? ’We’ have recognized ’our’ own alienation, ’we’ have noticed that there is conflict in the world, ’we’ have realised the ’fundamental’ question – who am I. ’We’ are at the ’moment of decision’, the second step is completed. Long before Mr. Bains received this lightning bolt, Sartre wrote:

It is on the day that we can conceive of a different state of affairs that a new light falls on our troubles and our suffering and that we decide that these are unbearable. p.34-35.

One must be conscious in order to choose, and one must choose in order to be conscious. Choice and consciousness are one and the same thing. p.47 J.P. Sartre Of Human Freedom

What is this decision ’we’ face? As Jean-Paul Bains poses it, the ’choice’ is a dramatic one: it “is between development and nothing”. But simply making the choice here does not complete the “third step, does not transform one into a first-rate CPC(ML) ’revolutionist man’. To make the choice is the first phase, to act on that choice is the necessary completion of the entire process.

To see and not to act upon that seeing is the greatest example of 1} internal nausea, and 2) external impotency. Mass Line September 17, 1969.

With this third step, the ’conscious’ moral act, the process is completed, the full foundation of the CPC(ML) is in place.

What, then, constitutes the three pillars of the CPC(ML)’s house of cards?

1) ’Going-in’: the subjective analysis, the internal questioning arising from the social trauma of petty bourgeois existence under imperialism.

2) The striving of the Will-To-Be: that is, petty bourgeois aspirations, the moral ’transformation’ of the individual on the basis of the subjective analysis; the rejection of the ’ways of the civilized world’; commitment to the Necessity For Change, that is, to petty bourgeois reformism; casting off of bourgeois ’hangups’ by spontaneously developed ’conscious’ decision, that is, ’deciding’ one cannot be a big bourgeois after all, and so ’choosing’ to become a petty bourgeois anti-imperialist.

These two are the basic components of the CPC(ML)’s ’theory’ of the role of consciousness. Together, a one-sided, egotistical, subjective analysis, and emphasis on the role of the ’conscious’ decider. And,

3) Action: Here it matters not at all whether we are sure, or even reasonably sure on the basis of scientific investigation, of what we’re doing – the important thing is only that we act, and ’act’ because we choose to. Without this action we are dead, as Mr. Bains would say, stoop-stones on the porch on the bourgeoisie.

Professor Bains’ patented elixir is evidently guaranteed to relieve any petty bourgeois trauma brought on by prolonged exposure to everyday mental activity. More than that, it is guaranteed to activate these traumatized petty bourgeois and send them scurrying around the countryside searching for good deeds to do.

To understand the mind of a revolutionary one must keep the perspective of service to others: for the revolutionary, service to others is seeking truth. Ibid p.4.

What Mr. Bains has concocted here is a sort of Salvation Army ’Socialism’. But there is nothing at all original here except that Professor Bains offer’s his existentialism at cut-rate and has organized it into a political party.

Long before Professor Bains turned Marx into a second-rate existentialist, Albert Camus wrote:

There is something beyond anguish, and which is not a religious solution, and it is revolt.

...the affirmation of revolt extends to something which transcends the individual, which takes him out of his supposed solitude and founds a value. ...

It is in revolt that man goes beyond himself and discovers other people...and from this point of view, human solidarity is a philosophical certainty. A. Camus The Myth of Sisyphus Albert Camus: A Study of His Work p.24.

Not to be out-done by Camus’ revolt, Professor Bains becomes himself entirely revolting. He has combined the ’Angst’ of Heidegger, the ’Being and Nothingness’ of Sartre, the ’Courage To Be’ of Tillich, the ’Revolt’ of Camus, given a free hand to plagiarism and his own imagination, dragged all this garbage under the heading of ’Marxism-Leninism’ and voila, the CPC(ML).

We must remember that Sartre also claims to be a ’Marxist’, though as an innovator in adapting Marxism to petty bourgeois existentialism, he has cut a path that Professor Bains dare not follow. Our dear Professor must strike out on his own, must carve new territory. Sartre was proclaiming his ’Marxist’ existentialism during the initial consolidation of modern revisionism, the ’de-Stalinization’ period. Along with other hack writers, neo-’Marxists’, and neo-Trotskyites – Luckacs, Marcuse, Mandel et al – Sartre generated his endless stream of prattle in opposition to ’doctrinaire’ Marxism, ’dogmatic’ Marxism, and raised the plea of ’democratic’, ’anti-bureaucratic’, anti-Stalinist (i.e. anti-communist) Marxism. And all of these petty bourgeois hangers-on were fully encouraged to carry on this outright revision and slander of Marxism-Leninism to their hearts content, both by the bourgeoisie and by the objective conditions stemming from the consolidation of modern revisionism.

Professor Bains arrived a little too late in his ’historical crib’, conditions were no longer ripe for an extension along the same lines as the neo-’Marxists’. Mr. Bains was developing his existential-’Marxism’ during a period when revolutionary Marxism-Leninism was beginning to thoroughly expose opportunism, both internationally and within the socialist countries. Such a period called forth an entirely different approach from the opportunists. In order to attach themselves to the Marxist-Leninist movement, and thereby hopefully the workers movement, at such a time, opportunism had to proclaim undying loyalty and faith, the most resolute and fierce acceptance of the letter of Marxism-Leninism. This is exactly what the Internationalists did. And believe it or not, this was the underlying intention of the Necessity For Change analysis.

In May, 1975, Mr. Bains informed the movement that his purpose in writing the Necessity For Change was “to arouse the masses to study and investigate their actual condition and to rebel against imperialism and revisionism.” (Mass Line May 25, 1975). In August, 1967, however, Professor Bains had a much more accurate appraisal:

As petit-bourgeois we can either look toward the bourgeoisie for emancipation and go in pursuit of bourgeois careerism, or we can look to the working class and join the revolution. Due to cultural and ideological oppression we are torn apart and full of nausea... We were torn apart because we were living in material conditions which were oppressive and enslaving, not liberating. We tried various solutions by responding to the consumer industry but our problems multiplied many times. We struggled and clearly saw the necessity for change... The correct line which emerges is that we must always struggle to emancipate ourselves from the oppressive bourgeois life...we must undertake the revolutionary road. At all times we must unite under working class ideology. Mass Line September 17, 1969.

Under imperialism the petty bourgeoisie has only a marginal role in the economy. Constantly crushed and pushed down into the proletariat, while constantly trying to transform itself into bigger bourgeois, the practical experience of the petty bourgeoisi is one of perpetual frustration. The ideas this experience fosters are likewise shallow contradictory and frustrated. Petty bourgeois mentality is characterized by the contradiction between its aspirations and its real existence as a class. In being forced out of existence as a class, the petty bourgeoisie must choose to side with one or another of the two great classes of modern society: the bourgeoisie or the proletariat. But in reality, it vacillates between the two. If it sides with the working class, it invariably brings along its tendency towards vacillation, instability, despair, shortsightedness, one-sidedness, subjectivism and opportunism. The Necessity For Change analysis was a symptom that a section of the petty bourgeoisie was getting ready to ’side’ with the working class and had every intention of maintaining its own narrow outlook.

The Necessity For Change analysis consolidated and justified the previous subjective and existential rebellion of the Internationalists, and proposed that on this basis the organization move into the working class under the banner of Marxism-Leninism Mao Tsetung Thought. The Internationalists ’transformed’ themselves from petty bourgeois radicals within the student movement into petty bourgeois radicals trying to get into the working class movement. Mr. Bains’ analysis was not simply a call to “arouse the masses”. It was a call to arouse one part of a specific section of the petty bourgeois ’masses’ to create the ’revolutionist man’, the ultimate in existential rebellion. From this point on,

The key to growth of the Internationalists and the subsequent formation of the CPC(ML) is their rigid adherence to serving the particular stage of revolution and studying Mao Tsetung Thought only when problems arise and use it as a guide to action. Mass Line March 13, 1971.

This brings us directly to the problem of theory and practice in the CPC(ML)’s development.