Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

El Comite/MINP

Editorial: On Party Building

First Published: Obreros En Marcha, Vol. 1, No. 21, October 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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In the U.S. as in other developed countries, the position of strength of the ruling capitalists, and in obverse, the relative weakness of the working class, coupled with the reformist politics of its leading organizations and representatives, creates a situation favorable to capitalism and disfavorable to the interests of the working class. Here in the U.S., the world’s foremost imperialist power, and itself a multi-national state, the situation of the capitalists as the “ruling material force” and, consequently, its ruling intellectual force, is further secured by its divisive measures among potential opposition to its privileged status. The effects of this intellectual force are manifested in daily experiences among other things, as national chauvinism, racism, and sexism, which serve as mechanisms to further divide the working class and oppressed sectors in Northamerican society.

In recent years, and intimately related to the imperialist efforts of the U.S. in Indo–China, and its subsequent defeat, as well as the victorious struggles of other national liberation movements, a movement develops in the U.S. to search for an organized alternative to the situation of oppression and exploitation confronting workers and oppressed sectors of society. In clear opposition to the politics of reformism, this movement nevertheless bears remnants, and in some cases to a high degree, of the pervasive characteristics which it opposes.

Recently in a city in the East Coast during a discussion among a series of organizations and collectives, we expressed some of our views on the present situation of the movement of which EL COMITE-MINP is an integral part. In this edition of OEM, we will present excerpts of the views expressed by one of our leading members.

Our movement, born out of the struggles of the 60’s and early 70’s – waged by the student movement/the anti–war movement and that of the oppressed nationalities – marks a rebirth of the communist movement and the development of proletarian ideology as well as revolutionary theory and practice. Moreover, our movement is living testimony of the bankruptcy of the CPUSA and its irrelevancy as a revolutionary force. Indeed, we have taken up the revolutionary tasks abandoned by the CPUSA, while admittedly suffering from the meager ideological and political inheritance bequeathed to the working class by the CPUSA. Our movement has literally had to build from scratch its ideological and Political foundations. What we have learned from the CPUSA is to reject revisionism; but that lesson has not been well understood and internalized by all; some have rejected revisionism only to accept dogmatism and sectarianism – internalized under the guise of Marxism-Leninism. In placing these deviations in proper perspective, we must understand that it is only recently that our movement has begun to develop its ideological foundations.


Presently, this communist movement is attempting to build a new proletarian party. Various national formations, local collectives and groups form part of this party building motion. Some already identify themselves as “parties”; others are in the process of “transforming themselves into parties”. Indeed, it can be stated that it is highly questionable whether these recently formed parties, if by “miracle” they were to unite under one common center, would constitute a Party of the Leninist type. But leaving miracles to the realm of idealism, we will attempt to present in a general form what we consider fundamental elements to the party building process, aspects which we think have been disregarded – particularly by the dogmatist forces.

In this regard, dialectical and historical materialism, pillars of the science of Marxism–Leninism, have facilitated our understanding of social processes and, within this context, that the objective factors determine the course of events in one way or another. Moreover, that the subjective factors give events precise direction, and at a determined moment assume a decisive character. In this respect, the Party is the synthesis and, in essence, the correct usage of the objective conditions. The importance of this, as it relates to our discussion today, is that no class in history has ever been able to impose its dominance over other classes without its representatives being capable of organizing, developing and leading the movement of the class they represent. This is what has led great proletarian leaders and revolutionaries to recognize and place such importance to the party and its human components, the cadre, as decisive elements in the struggle against the ruling class.


The Party, as the organized advanced detachment of the working class, is an essential element of the subjective factors in class struggle. It is the Party that correctly expresses the fundamental interests of the working class and as such is capable of leading the class to victory. In this respect, the Party assumes its characteristics according to national objective conditions. This assertion does not negate that there are general characteristics common to all Parties. We recognize among these general characteristics:
– An unconciliatory position toward capitalism and bourgeois ideology.
– The acceptance of the revolutionary doctrine of Marxism-Leninism as the guiding principles in its struggles, guaranteeing in the process its ideological unity.
– A commitment to the Leninist organizational principles of the Party which translate into unity of action, internal cohesiveness, tactical flexibility and, fundamentally, strong ties with the masses.

These we understand are universal characteristics of the Party, as teacher and leader ot the class.

Perhaps, in aspects of content or form, we may be similar to those who have engaged in the process of transforming and developing the various existing “parties”. A fundamental difference is that while we both maintain that the Party has to be teacher and leader, the parties now in existence, and those that will soon be formed, believe that this can be achieved by decrees while we maintain that it can only be obtained in struggle and, to paraphrase great proletarian leaders: ’we must not only struggle but struggle well.’


Significantly, many within our developing movement have become deeply involved and committed to study the science of Marxism–Leninism, and at times, study its most intricate aspects, which are appealing, but often neglect to study and internalize its fundamental and basic principles, which are taken for granted or discarded. This leads to negating the science and its revolutionary essence. Within this context, in order to “struggle well’ the Party must be linked to the class and in the struggles of the class establish its combativity and role as the vanguard of the working class. In the process, it will substantiate its’ following and credibility among the masses. Clearly, the Party cannot lead if it does not have prestige and authority within the class. Therefore, we must ask, do the various “parties” in existence have this prestige? Obviously not! Prestige and authority are not obtained by good intentions or abstractions; they are achieved in struggle and by establishing unity between the Party’s tactical and strategical conceptions with existing reality and in matter of course, by avoiding subjectivism in the analysis of objective reality.

But as they objectively negate that the Party’s vanguard role is established through struggle, the present existing “Parties”, and impending parties, in essence, view the Party as an end in itself and in the process negate another elemental aspect of Marxism-Leninism. Zealously involved in becoming “the Party”, or “its leading circle”, or what have you, they forget that the Party is an instrument of the Proletariat to seize political power and exercise the dictatorship of the proletariat. As such, it is an instrument to lead a revolution not an end in itself nor a bureaucratic structure that hinders the revolutionary process.