Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

El Comité/MINP

Editorial: OEM: A Year of Progress

First Published: Obreros En Marcha, Vol. 3, No. 2, February 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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1978 marks the beginning of the 4th year of publication of our political organ, Obreros En Marcha (OEM). Our organization began to publish OEM during the period that preceded the transformation of El Comité, a local community organization with roots among the Puerto Rican national minority community, into El Comité-M.I.N.P. (Puerto Rican National Left Movement), a Marxist-Leninist formation whose fundamental objective is to contribute to the overthrow of U.S. imperialism and the establishment of a socialist society. This transformation was completed at our Formative Assembly in January 1975. At that Assembly, the organization agreed upon its central tasks for the next period. Among those tasks, the development of OEM was high on the list of priorities.


A year ago we evaluated OEM’s first two years and posed that the paper reflected the limited ideological, political and organizational development of El Comité-M.I.N.P. since its Formative Assembly. Despite its limitations, however, the paper attempted to avoid two errors we felt were common among the revolutionary left. On the one hand, we struggled against becoming a “Leftist” paper, interested only in abstract ideological questions, ignoring the concrete problems of the masses. On the other hand, we tried to avoid the opposite error of presenting news without analysis. This perspective reflects a very paternalistic attitude toward the working class and oppressed minorities by giving them information but not a scientific analysis, thereby leaving them unequipped to understand and transform their reality.

While we were aware of and struggled against both these errors, we were not always successful. In particular, articles often remained at the level of generalities, instead of providing scientific analysis of concrete situations. This was due to our limited ideological consolidation. In addition, we were limited by a lack of technical skills and experience, resulting from the class composition of our organization, predominantly working class Puerto Ricans. This negatively affected the form of OEM.


Looking at our publication today, one- year since our first evaluation, we can see that the paper has developed qualitatively, both in its form and content. This positive development is based fundamentally on the ideological consolidation over a year’s time of our cadres and our organization. Through our scientific study of the foundation of Marxism-Leninism–dialectical materialism–we have developed a solid understanding of the method of analysis that we must master in order to transform society. This method uses the general laws of the motion of matter (which explain why and how things change) to evaluate and analyze specific situations. Based on this firm understanding–which we must have if we are to develop as dialectical materialist cadre–our organization has begun its study of the other components of Marxism-Leninism, i.e. historical materialism and political economy.

This is not to say that we have no weaknesses in this area, or that we have total mastery of the laws of dialectical materialism. But we have taken significant steps as a developing Marxist-Leninist organization.

Within OEM, this growth reflects itself by the level of analysis and the range of issues addressed in its pages. This has included struggles for democratic rights (services, housing, education, affirmative action): solidarity work, in particular around Puerto Rico and Latin America; the struggle against racism, the principal division within the working class, etc.

In general, our articles provide a consistent scientific analysis of the many issues confronting the working class and oppressed masses, nationally and internationally. But it is in the area of concrete alternatives that our paper still reflects weaknesses. Often articles are concluded by generalities that do not provide people a concrete direction in which to move forward in the immediate future.

We are inconsistent in our development of alternatives: our present inability results from weaknesses in our ideological formation. However, as our cadre deepen their understanding of the fundamentals of Marxism and mature politically through social practice, our paper will more accurately address the concrete tasks to be taken up.

Technically OEM has improved substantially. The paper is laid out more creatively and systematically. More than before, graphics and photographs add to the political content of the articles, rather than just fill up space. This has contributed to the propagandistic effectiveness of OEM. On the other hand, although many of our cadre are Latin, the Spanish section of OEM continues to manifest serious weaknesses. Often translations are literal, word for word from the English. This often means that the content of the articles suffer. The fact that we do not have command of the language weakens our ability to translate. This ability is a skill based on the sound grasp of a language and not merely on the ability to speak that language. Like all skills, however, it can be learned through scientific study.

Many of our cadres–particularly those that are Latin–have not taken the study of Spanish seriously. We must begin to rectify this error. Those of our cadre presently in high schools and universities must begin to acquire an understanding and knowledge of Spanish as well as improve their command of the English language. Moreover, a similar process must be generated among the cadre that are not students so that we can improve our propaganda work among the masses.

We would like to express our gratitude to the many friends and comrades that have sent to us criticisms and comments. Those comments and criticisms have helped us to address our shortcomings. The process of developing dialectical-materialist cadre, building an organization, and raising the level of consciousness of the working class are difficult tasks. We stand committed, with the aid of our friends and comrades that study our publication, to continue to overcome our shortcomings and make our propaganda organ a more effective instrument of ideological struggle.