Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

El Comite/MINP

Editorial: Another “Communist Party” Founded

First Published: Obreros En Marcha, Vol. 2, No. 7, July 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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In the epoch of the transition from monopoly capitalism to socialism, every revolutionary process which is to succeed must be led by a revolutionary vanguard, a Marxist-Leninist vanguard. This is verified by the laws of historical materialism and the laws of revolutionary struggle as developed by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Mao Tse Tung, Ho Chi Minh, etc.

A vanguard, however, cannot be established by founding congresses or sterile principles of unity. Instead it must be built in the process of the revolutionary struggle and must be armed with a clear and scientific analysis of current conditions. It is this analysis which provides the vanguard with the basis to develop a program and a strategy and tactics that can lead the masses to seize state power. Further, the vanguard must establish its credibility and prestige among the masses if it is to lead and to bear the title. Any formation unequipped with these elements and untested over a period of time in the class struggle does not merit the designation of a vanguard while any party lacking these factors is bound to fall into revisionism or ultra-leftism.

In this country, it cannot be said that in these historical moments of the class struggle the revolutionary movement or the working class lacks for “parties” or “vanguards.” There are now four formations (the Communist Party U.S.A., the Communist Labor Party, the Revolutionary Communist Party and the Communist Party Marxist-Leninist) as well as scores of Trotskyist and neo-Trotskyist formations that claim to represent the vanguard or its embryo. Yet none are in any position to ideologically, politically or organizationally provide any real leadership to the immediate struggles of the working class and oppressed; consequently, neither are they in a position to lead the long term struggle of the oppressed to seize state power.

The CLP, RCP and CP(M-L) are organizations that are part of the “New Communist Movement” which developed in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s in reaction to the revisionism and bankrupt leadership of the CP. U.S.A. Since their formation as national organizations, all have been involved in a headfirst rush to consolidate themselves as parties irrespective of the objective needs of the working class or of their own abilities to respond to the concrete theoretical and practical demands of the working class struggle. Each of these organizations has historically viewed itself as the center of the revolutionary movement and interpreted its transformation as synonomous with the creation of the Party.


The most recently established of these “parties” is the Communist Party (M-L), formerly the October League. It held its founding congress in early June. With all the pomp and rhetoric that has come to be associated with these events, the pages of the CALL (the party’s national paper) heralded the founding of the “party.” According to the CALL, “everywhere that the news of the congress reached, workers enthusiastically greeted it.” The CALL went on to say, “A party has finally been built which will lead the fight for the complete overthrow of this capitalist system with all its injustices and oppression, replacing it with a Socialist society run under the rule of the working class.”

We disagree with both assertions. But, characteristically, it has been with similar self-praise and hollow claims that the other groups that are now parties have hailed their new status. It is symptomatic of the nature of those organizations that have been thoroughly overcome by the cancer of bourgeois ideology and sectarianism to make such arrogant assertions. Therefore we are not taken aback by the CP (M-L)’s statements. But we do think it reflects a lack of understanding and application of Marxism-Leninism in this country.


Coincidentally with the founding of the CP (M-L) there was a spontaneous eruption in the Puerto Rican ghetto around Humboldt Park in Chicago which highlighted the opportunism of the new “party.” In particular, the response and action of the CP (M-L) expressed the continuance of the bankrupt positions of the defunct October League in regards to minorities as well as its tendency to tail events and the masses.

In its front page, the CALL covered what it characterized as “the spontaneous Puerto Rican rebellion against police brutality in Humboldt Park.” This characterization, instead of analyzing the true character of the confrontation, credited both the incident and the actions of the masses with elements of organization and consciousness which did not exist. In the process, they completely idealized a confrontation between the police and the people in which the people were armed with bottles, sticks, and rocks, while the police were armed with .38’s rifles and shotguns. Is this the kind of uneven confrontation and brutal attack by the police, that revolutionaries should portray and project as a “rebellion?” Does such a characterization lead the masses to understand the differences (and then consequences) between spontaneous action and revolutionary violence? Rather than idealizing such a situation we should educate the masses as to the role of the police and the need to form militant unity and organization which corresponds to the level and needs of the class struggle. This can only be done effectively if revolutionaries are integrated within the masses and their struggles. Definitely this cannot be accomplished if revolutionaries succumb to national chauvinism and paternalism towards the people. In this regard, the objective is not to pacify the masses but to channel their anger and to organize their response. At the same time, we should educate the masses as to the role of those who pose as “community leaders” (the poverty pimps and politicians) and those who “negotiated” the people’s interest after the incident at Humboldt Park. Those elements are enemies of the people and should be exposed as self-serving leeches who benefit from the people’s misery and struggles.

In our view, the CP (M-L)’s crass exploitation (for narrow organizational interests) and incorrect analysis of the people’s struggle is reflective of the ideological conceptions on which this organization is founded. Corrupted by dogmatism, it substitutes rhetoric for a concrete analysis of the people’s struggle, level of consciousness and extent of organization. The consequences of such are unscientific approach to class struggle can only impede the development of the people’s class consciousness and level of organization Shouldn’t a vanguard or a party be more responsible, particularly when the “vanguard” will not be taking part in those rebellions? We think that it should and that it must.