Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

El Comite/MINP

On Party Building, Part 2

First Published: Obreros En Marcha, Vol. 1, No. 22, November 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

Following is the second segment of a presentation made by a leading cadre of EL COMITE-MINP at a recently held conference on “Party Building”. The first part discussed among other things the universal characteristics of the Party, views on existing “parties”, cadres. . . .

* * *

. . . in our movement, a point of current discussion is the period or stage of the party building process in which we are in. Some maintain that we are in the ideological, other political and still others, in the organizational stage. For the most part categorical statements are made about these stages, metaphysically characterizing the present stage of the movement in one of these stages, failing in the process to view the dialectical relationship among them, their interconnection, and most important, often divorced from concrete objective reality–in particular the objective conditions of the U.S. working class. As consequence, these categorical definitions objectively impose theoretical schemes on reality, contrary to the essence of revolutionary theory.

We will attempt to outline in general terms aspects of this revolutionary process. With the degeneration of the CPUSA, revolutionaries are concerned with the correct identification of the periods of Party Formation and Party Building. In this period of forming the organized vanguard of the working class, we have isolated for discussion what we consider to be three aspects of that process which in these moments also can be identified as three dialectical stages in the process of forming and developing the revolutionary organization of the working class. These are respectively the ideological, political and organizational formation.

It is our view that among other things, the ideological stage includes that period when there exists among those forces that have taken the path to proletarian revolution a general knowledge and understanding of fundamental aspects of the science (in particular dialectical historical materialism, and political economy) as well as the history ot the national and international labor movement, the history of the national revolutionary traditions of the given country, and the history and analysis of the social formation in the particular society.

Integrally related to this, the political stage includes among other things that period when ideological consolidation is reflected in the adoption of a common strategy and tactics for developing the revolutionary process on the path to seizing state power; it is reflected in the knowledge and understanding of the concrete reality and the tasks and decisions which must be undertaken to move the class struggle forward, and it is reflected in the capacity to apply theory and experience to the day to day struggles of the revolutionary forces and the masses. Indeed, it is the period which establishes the revolutionary theory for a concrete time, place and conditions. This process assumes organizational form, conditioned and determined by ideological and political unity.

During this period, the process of actual organizational unification and consolidation of the revolutionary forces develops into a nationwide revolutionary organization of the working class in correspondence with the development of the revolutionary process.

Comrades, when examining our overall movement, it is quite evident that it lacks knowledge and understanding of the general aspects of Marxism-Leninism (particularly dialectical materialism, historical materialism and political economy). All too often analyses are made, and positions assumed, which concretely manifest the continued hold of bourgeois philosophical conceptions on our movement. This was demonstrated with the Angolan national liberation struggle where bourgeois logic was substituted for dialectical materialist analysis by forces within the movement. This stems from the little importance placed within the movement to the study of the three pillars of Marxism-Leninism previously mentioned. Instead what is substituted is an abstract study of the classics, out of historical context and without the scientific tools of the science that would make their study meaningful. This has led to the development of dogmatism within our movement that confuses instead of clarifies and that misinterprets and distorts facts in order to justify its positions.

Nevertheless, there have been organizations and individuals who have rejected dogmatism and that have attempted to study and internalize dialectical and historical materialism, as well as political economy. As a result, ideologically and politically, these organizations have distinguished themselves from the dogmatists by the positions they assume and., in the process, have exposed the dogmatists on a whole range of national and international issues.

But, whether dogmatist or not, our movement, and here we include ourselves, still lacks a knowledge and understanding of the history of the national and international labor movement, and the history and structure of social formations in this country, and as a consequence, lacks an understanding of the correlation of class forces. This has limited our understanding of the present conditions and how to transform them favorably for the revolutionary process – for the interests of the working class.

From this conception, our organization believes that the movement is essentially in its ideological stage. When we state this we do so not in a categorical form but as a descriptive and analytical statement that presents what we view is the essential features of the movement at this historical moment. This does not mean that there is a Chinese wall between the ideological, political and organizational stages; on the contrary, they develop dialectically, even if in stages.

In fact, there have already been contributions toward developing revolutionary theory for this period and as our efforts here and for the conference demonstrate there are already being established, even if at a low level, the basis for establishing minimal organizational unities and ties.

Therefore, we make our characterization of this period not to place an abstract stamp to it but in an attempt to understand a process and to understand and outline what are the tasks at this point – taking into consideration the state of our movement and the concrete conditions facing the working class, the oppressed nationalities and other oppressed sectors.

All too often in speaking of the “party building” process dogmatist forces have tried to impose definitions or apply mechanically the experience of successful revolutionary processes. This is a negation of the fundamental precept of Marxism-Leninism that calls for the “concrete study of the concrete situation” and can only lead to failure. The task that confronts our movement, and all movements that seriously approach the question of proletarian revolution, is to study our concrete situation and develop revolutionary theory as it relates to the U.S. Proletarian Revolution, built on a solid ideological foundation, that will guide the working class to seize state power.

Within this context, we view that our tasks at this historical moment, in our efforts to construct a Revolutionary Proletarian Party, are the following:
1) The formation of cadre who have a general knowledge and understanding of historical materialism, dialectical materialism and political economy and who are forged and steeled in the heat of the class struggle;
2) The deepening of our roots within the working class by establishing a presence within the working class movement that is consistent and principled, that establishes our commitment to defend the interests of the working class, that presents our alternatives of struggle and organization and that establishes our movement as a combatative vanguard that reflects the interests of the working class;
3) The strengthening of our ideological development as well as our political unities based on the waging of principled struggle;
4) The development of our organizational ties through efforts such as this forum, joint theoretical investigations and joint political actions where we have political unity.

Moreover, in order for our movement to move qualitatively forward, we view it necessary that we address the following ideological, and political questions, namely the study of:

1) National Situation
– National question (Black, Puerto Rican, Chicano, etc.)
– Class formation and correlation of class forces
– History of U.S. working class and its organization
– Composition and structure of the working class
– Rising economic trends in monopoly capitalism

2) International Situation
– Where and in what ways are U.S. imperialist investments located
– What type of technical aid is the U.S. government extending and to whom
– What type of military aid is the U.S. government extending and to whom
– What type of commercial relationship does U.S. imperialism have and with whom
– What types of treaties is the U.S. government making and with whom
– What is the direction of U.S. foreign policy

3) What is the present correlation between the national and international situation

4) What is the importance and particular significance at this historical moment of international solidarity

It is our position that the study of these areas will consolidate our ideological formation and provide the foundations for the development of the strategy and tactics for the Revolutionary process in this country.

As a movement we should guard against desperation and easy formulas; we should be clear that the revolutionary process is a prolonged process of forward strides, zig-zags and reversals. Undoubtedly, there is a need for a Revolutionary Party in this country but that must be patiently constructed on the basis of a solid grasp and understanding of the objective conditions in our country, and developed as we establish our roots within the working class and establish by deed our vanguard role. Moreover, we should not lose sight that the Party is not an end in itself, but an instrument of struggle that both as analysis and synthesis can establish the bridge between the objective and subjective factors.