Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Milwaukee Alliance

Rectify the Communist Movement, Re-establish the Communist Party!


Rectify the Communist Movement, Re-establish the Communist Party!

DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT

We can’t successfully deal with the problems posed by the present period unless we clearly understand the main features of our final goal and why it represents the only real answer for the working class. Essentially, our task is to replace the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie with the dictatorship of the proletariat. Underneath its guise of neutrality and impartiality the bourgeois state (which consists of all branches of state, local and federal government, the army, police, prisons and schools), exists because of the irreconcilable contradictions between the bourgeois and the working class. Through repression, mediation, spreading of bourgeois ideology and economic intervention it defends the interests of the bourgeoisie by suppressing other classes.

The features of the bourgeois state are an inevitable outgrowth of capitalist society. Its general qualities – that it supports the rule of one class over others, that it is an outgrowth and expression of class struggle, that it is an instrument of violence when the basic interests of the class it represents are threatened, are aspects common to all states, including that of the working class. Its other common characteristics – that it defends the rule of the minority against the majority, that it defends the exploitation of the working class, that it appears neutral while being partisan, are all features that will be turned into their opposite when it is replaced by the proletarian state.

Because of this partisan nature of the state, socialist revolution is impossible unless the bourgeois state is forcefully overthrown, smashed, and replaced by the proletarian state. Both in the US and internationally, monopoly capital has demonstrated time after time that it will use force and violence against any threat, no matter how small, to its control and authority. In the US, the long and bloody histories of the labor movement, civil rights movement, and the anti-war movement bear this point out. Any theory that a socialist revolution could happen in this country through a series of reforms flies directly in the face of this reality, and thus is a threat to any serious revolutionary movement.

The dictatorship of the proletariat is needed to repress the bourgeoisie and to maintain the health of the revolution. The proletarian state is necessary as a repressive tool because, even though they are stripped of power, the bourgeoisie is still an active force trying to regain power. The proletarian state must suppress armed revolts and conspiracies to sabotage the economy or terrorize the people.

Just as importantly, though, the proletarian state is a vehicle to enable the working class to become the “collective masters of society”, as the Vietnamese have said. The bourgeois state with its swollen and elite bureaucracies, its alienation from the people and its decorative and nonfunctional elected bodies, is not suitable for the working class. The proletarian state is organized along the lines of democratic centralism in order to arouse the enthusiasm, participation and creative power of the people. The state becomes the vehicle through which the working class is mobilized to take control of society and to root out arrogant and bureaucratic styles of work. The proletarian state is guided by working class ideology.

Class struggle continues for generations after the proletariat has seized state power. This is because patterns of inequity and oppression have the weight of thousands of years of history behind them and take a long time to root out. During this period the proletariat needs to utilize the proletarian state. In addition, the working class must make use of the weapon of rectification movements and cultural revolution. These concepts have been most developed in socialist China and are used repeatedly to struggle against incorrect lines and bad style of work.

The eventual aim of MLists is to create a system where classes no longer exist, and the state withers away. In this era, each will receive according to their needs and give according to their abilities. This future society will be communism and will differ from socialism in that no classes will exist, therefore, there will be no need for a state or violence. Economic production will be developed to a point where each can give and take freely. The last vestiges of racism and sexism will be destroyed. The contradictions between manual and mental labor and between urban and rural life will be resolved. This type of society will take generations to develop and will never be possible until all the nations on earth have undergone socialist revolution.

VANGUARD PARTY

The struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat is complex, violent and protracted. The enemy is a relatively small, highly organized class with a tremendous means of violence at its disposal. To beat this enemy, the working class needs a vanguard organization - an organization of its most dedicated and developed class fighters who provide collective leadership to the class struggle. It is necessary for the leaders of the working class to be a strong unified force, using MLM-TI as a guiding ideology.

Presently, the day-to-day struggle develops some working class people into leaders who fight for their class. But, the day-to-day struggle of the working class cannot spontaneously develop a theory and a strategy for revolution. For this, we need a vanguard party. Leaders of day-to-day struggle cannot develop their full potential as revolutionary leaders without being centralized into a party, and without developing revolutionary theory. In addition, there are many people who are sympathetic to revolutionary ideas, but who will never develop into WC leaders spontaneously. Within a revolutionary party, they can develop their potential as class fighters and leaders.

Once brought together on a national scope, this vanguard core can scientifically test out and sum up ideas. When these ideas are collectively understood, and applied by the vanguard, they are tremendously powerful. By effective use of agitation and propaganda and decisive action, the vanguard can eventually turn its political line into the most powerful organizing force within the working class.

To fulfill these tasks, the vanguard party must have these features:
1) It must be the highest form of organization of the proletariat and use MLMTT as its ideology and guide to action
2) It must place great importance on theory and on ideological development and the political line resulting from it
3) It must be composed of the most dedicated vanguard elements of the WC – people who see revolution as their main activity in life, who are committed to criticism and self-criticism in order to improve themselves
4) It must represent all sections of the working class and not one narrow section
5) It must use democratic centralism and the scientific method of work
6) It must be tightly disciplined with capable cadre
7) It must be rooted in the masses
8) It must lead armed struggle and be capable of going underground
9) It must use criticism and self-criticism and conduct rectification campaigns
10) In forming political line, it must implement the method of from the masses to the masses
11) It must uphold proletarian internationalism

PARTY BUILDING

As we have said, the key link in overcoming the weaknesses of the working class and proceeding upon the road of revolution, is the establishment of a vanguard party. Therefore, we say that, in the pre-party period, the central task of MLists is to work toward the re-establishment of a vanguard party in the US, for, without it, we have no experienced, steeled leadership on which to rely. The work toward re-establishment of the party is called party building. Party building goes on after the party is re-established in various campaigns aimed at increasing its membership, the correctness of its political line, or ability to lead class struggle. Party building even goes on after the seizure of state power by the proletariat. However, in a period of time when there is no party, party building is our central task, our most important work.

What is the central task?

In revolution, there are many, many tasks, but at any given time, only one is principal. One contradiction shapes the-nature of all the others and is the focus for all other contradictions. Overcoming the principal contradiction is the primary-task of MLists. Mao Tse Tung writes,

Hence, if in any process there are a number of contradictions, one of them must be the principal contradiction playing the leading and decisive role, while the rest occupy a secondary and subordinate position. Therefore, in studying any complex process in which there are two or more contradictions we must devote every effort to finding it* principal contradiction. Once this principal contradiction is grasped all other contradictions will fall readily into place.

Hence, when we say that the building of a vanguard party is the central task we are paying that the lack of a party is the principal contradiction facing MLists at this time. We are saying that all other tasks must be focused and evaluated from the perspective of how they help to build the party.

The main danger and the immediate danger in the ML movement

Certain ideological errors made by the ML movement stand in the way of a vanguard party in the US. Revolutionaries in the US have realized the necessity of a vanguard party to guide the working class in the struggle to overthrow capitalism since 1921, when the Communist Party USA was established. Inspired by the success of the October Revolution in Russia, disgusted by the bankruptcy of the social-democratic parties in Europe and in the US, the founders of the CPUSA resolved to build a vanguard party to apply the theories of Marx and Lenin to the conditions of the US.

While the CPUSA succeeded in this endeavor for a number of years, and indeed stood at the head of many of the struggles of the working class through the 1930s, it ultimately fell prey primarily to its own internal contradictions, to the growth of international revisionism and severe repression of the bourgeoisie. It consolidated and today holds a theoretical outlook which has so revised the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism that it can no longer lead class struggle.

One example of the threat that revisionism poses to the working class movement can be seen in the revisionist theory of the state and its implications for building a revolutionary movement. The CPUSA revisionists maintain that the state is a neutral body that can be electorally captured by the working class and its allies; who can then, through an ’anti-monopoly coalition’, drift the country toward a peaceful transition into socialism. This view is dangerous. It downplays the leading role of the working class, encourages the masses to rely upon the state for reforms and favors, and downplays the masses’ initiative. Most importantly, it camouflages the danger of the state becoming an instrument of fascist repression when the challenge of the revolution grows strong. Before giving up its power, the ruling class will use the state to violently suppress the revolutionary movement. In Chile, for example, where a peaceful transition to socialism was attempted, the momentum towards revolution was temporarily halted by the bloody repression of the popular forces. The workers’ movement was temporarily defeated by an alliance of the military, part of the bourgeoisie and a mass base within the petit-bourgeoisie. If we are not prepared for armed struggle the US revolution will meet a similar fate.

In the long run, revisionism is the main danger facing the ML movement nationally and internationally. Internationally, we can see the strength of revisionism in the fact that a revisionist party has seized state power in the USSR, and most of the European Communist parties are revisionist. Revisionism continues to be a great danger after socialism is established and can pull a country back into non-socialist status. Revisionism exists in socialist countries because the material and ideological remnants exist for generations after the dictatorship of the proletariat is established, and because contradictions within the socialist economy generate both bourgeois and proletarian “roads” as means of their resolution. Because of this, class struggle continues.

Revisionism is the form that bourgeois ideology takes under socialism because outright bourgeois ideology is unacceptable to the masses, and the bourgeoisie is forced to conceal their class ideas through revisionism. Revisionism can also develop among honest forces if they are lax or unable to struggle against old ways of thinking and influences. The concept of continuation of class struggle under the dictatorship of the proletariat and the danger of revisionism have been the great contribution of the Chinese Communist Party to worldwide ML thought.

Nationally, revisionism has shown its strength through the degeneration of the CPUSA. In the US, the class base of revisionism is the petit-bourgeois and labor aristocracy. The political influence of revisionism is larger than its class base, however. This is due largely to the lack of any alternative to revisionist leadership for the working class. That the CPUSA has any influence at all indicates neither the integrity of that organization nor the correctness of its line. Rather, it demonstrates the low level of the working class movement and the ideology, politics, and organizational primitiveness of the MLs.

However, right now, revisionism does not pose the immediate danger to the emerging anti-revisionist ML movement. Since the late 1950s, there have been various attempts made by MLists to form a truly revolutionary party in the US, in response to the revisionism of the CPUSA. However, in rejecting revisionism the ML movement has tended to the other extreme and has created a situation where the ultra-left line in party building is the immediate danger to the ML movement. The ultra-left party building line is the immediate factor retarding the ML movement now, because of its premature party formation and incorrect line lead to sectarianism, dogmatism, and the splintering of our already small and inexperienced movement: The struggle to expose the roots of ultra-leftism is the struggle to show concretely how it is ’left’ in form and right in essence. This struggle represents class struggle within the ML movement. Exposing the roots of ultra-leftism also involves the struggle to apply MLMTT to the concrete conditions in the US, which is presently the struggle for fusion and changing the relationship of the ML movement and the WC movement.

Whether or not dogmatism or sectarianism is the root of recent party building errors is an unanswered question for the Milwaukee Alliance. We haven’t studied it. Currently, we are merely saying that ultra-leftism is the immediate danger of the emerging ML movement. We feel this is an important question for MLists to reach unity on, but, because fusion is primary now, and because of our limited resources and specific situation, we think that the MA should concentrate its ideological work on the theoretical aspects of fusion. This is necessary in order to overcome our own past errors empiricism and rightism.

Thus, to sum up, we are at present faced by the necessity of building a party capable of being a vanguard force. In order to do so, we must analyze and rectify the rightist errors of the CPUSA, and the ’left’ errors made by those who have attempted and failed to build vanguard parties in its wake. In order to tackle this enormous subject and proceed correctly on its tasks, we must break it down into several periods and components.

RECTIFICATION AND RE-ESTABLISHMENT

The concept of rectification within the ML movement was developed primarily by Mao Tse Tung and the Chinese Communist Party. Rectification is a widespread movement of MLMTT education aimed at correcting errors within the party. As Chairman Mao stated in 1957, Selected Works, (Vol. V p. 427),

Rectification means correcting one’s way of thinking and style of work. Rectification movements were conducted within the Communist Party during the anti-Japanese war, during the war of liberation, and in the early days after the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

A statement from the re-establishment conference of the Communist Party of the Philippines in 1968 states,

A thorough going rectification movement which is a widespread movement of education in MLMTT is being waged to rid the Party and its mass organizations of the failures and errors of the Lava’s (revisionist party) that are persisting . . .

Historically, most rectification campaigns have been directed against right errors within the party. However, there have also been instances of rectification campaigns being conducted against ultra-’left’ lines as well. These errors often evidence themselves, not only in incorrect political lines, but in poor styles of work, such as arrogance, bureaucracy and commandism. As should be clear by Mao Tse Tung’s remark, rectification campaigns occur both before and after the seizure of state power.

In the US there is not a vanguard party at present, but there once was a vanguard party which centralized the most correct ideas and led class struggle in the US. This vanguard party has degenerated and abandoned revolution. The task of MLists today is to rectify the errors made by the movement, analyzing and correcting the errors of the CPUSA in both theory and practice. This is why we call the present period the rectification period – because there was once a vanguard in the US, and our task is to rectify its errors and carry on in the ML tradition; and because more recent MLists, in attempting to do this, have committed ’left’ errors which must also be rectified.

Because the CPUSA has abandoned revolution, revised the basic tenets of MLism, the ML movement cannot rectify the errors of the CPUSA from within that organization. The CPUSA today does not represent that vanguard ML force which once led class struggle in the US. The CPUSA is not the inheritor of the ML tradition in the US, because it has dropped MLism. The newly emerging anti-revisionist ML movement is the inheritor of the history of the vanguard party. We are the ones who are capable of analyzing the successes and failures of the ML movement and continue its growth, and eventually re-establish the vanguard party in the US.

It is for these reasons that we call the present period the rectification period. We believe that this period extends until the re-establishment of the party. The following chart helps to illustrate our thinking.

OUTLINE OF RECTIFICATION AND RE-ESTABLISHMENT

I. Rectification
a. Fusion (present stage)
Primary Task: 4 aspects of fusion including the establishment of an ideological center to push forward theory
Secondary Task: establishment of debate aimed at consolidation of unity on questions necessary for national ML unity
b. ML Unity
Primary Task: establishment of unity on questions for ML unity
Secondary Task: preparation for party re-establishment

II. Re-establishment
Primary Task: development of party program, constitution, class analysis, funding conference, establishment of local chapters & central committee

III After Re-establishment
Primary Task: struggle to advance vanguard role of party – fusion

We feel that differentiating between strategies and periods is important because our movement has shown a tendency to confuse stages and draw premature lines of demarcation.

We feel that it is important to note that reality isn’t neatly divided into completed separate stages and, to a certain extent, one stage flows into another as our work develops and the questions we need to answer change. However, we do feel that the chart helps conceptualize our future development.

We also feel that it is necessary to note that, after party re-establishment, fusion again becomes primary. This is because the party isn’t the vanguard immediately upon creation. This is a title which must be earned through practice. There fore, after the party is formed, fusion once again becomes primary as the party struggles to establish its vanguard role in leading class struggle. An important secondary component will be periodic rectification campaigns to cleanse the party and consolidate MLMTT ideology.

THE COMPONENTS OF PARTY BUILDING TODAY

At this point, all that the MA can do is put forward a partial strategy for party building, based on a partial analysis and experience only in a localized situation. We realize that a complete party building strategy can only be developed on a nation al level. Still, we see certain benefits to be derived even from a partial strategy, as a formulation of our tasks and how we see ourselves proceeding, and as a guide by which we judge our relative unity with other MLists around party building. It is also our contribution to a national party building strategy.

We define party building in this period as the rectification of ML movement and the eventual re-establishment of an ML party capable of being a vanguard. Both fusion and unity of MLists are part of rectification and preconditions for party re-establishment.

Fusion

We say that, at the present, fusion is the primary task of MLists within rectification. By fusion we mean fusing the ML movement and the working class movement.

This definition recognizes two distinct movements. First, it recognizes the ML movement, which is mainly composed of people from petit-bourgeois backgrounds. We point this out, not to denigrate the ML movement, but to point to a specific political problem: that because ML is a science, it is inevitable that it develop first among the petit-bourgeoisie because of the greater freedom of that class to pursue intellectual development and study. Hence, it is equally inevitable that, initially, there be a separation between MLists and the working class.

The definition also recognizes the existence of the working class movement, or “mass movement”, which we define as being composed of activists, and those who occasionally are active, even if not consistently. These people struggle for the daily interests of their class. Their struggle is carried out on many fronts: in the fights against racism, in the trade union, in the fights for better schools and health care, in the interests of womens1 liberation, etc. The WC movement has no overall guiding ideology, although presently, it is characterized mainly by bourgeois reformism.

We think that fusion has four aspects:

1) The struggle over the class stand of present revolutionaries. This entails:
a. learning to apply MLism in our day-to-day work
b. integrating ourselves into the working class, and
c. participation in the class struggle

Improving class stand is a collective task which requires individual willingness to change. A correct class stand is developed through a correct ideological perspective, which is gained through
a. theoretical study
b. summation of practice, and
c. criticism-self-criticism

2) Applying MLMTT to US conditions to develop the theory and strategy for revolution. Being able to develop theory, which occurs more and more through national contact with other ML, forces, is what enables us to accomplish the remaining tasks of fusion.

3) Winning over advanced working class activists to MLism and to organizations guided by MLMTT.

4) Building the participation, influence and leadership of communists in the mass movement. This includes:
a. providing class-struggle solutions to the day-to-day problems of the working class
b. winning acceptance of the right of communists to participate in the working class movement, agitate and propagandize, and
c. popularizing communist ideas

Between the recruitment of the advanced and building the leadership of communists, we think that recruitment of the advanced is primary. This is because our ability to build communist leadership is greatly limited until we have begun to win over some advanced WC activists to MLism. However, we must proceed on both tasks simultaneously, because if communist leadership is not being built as we recruit the advanced, they will become isolated from their class. If the advanced feel that embracing MLism means isolation from their class and previous life, they will be reluctant to embrace MLism.

We realize that the concept we have just laid out is similar to the term “communist current” used by PWOC and other organizations. We also realize that they think the communist current is a fully developed united front. Our contact with this term has been limited, and we are not sure if there are other aspects to what PWOC and others call the communist current. Therefore, we are refraining from calling this the communist current until we have done further investigation.

We also say that the struggle for ML unity is what develops the ideological, political and organizational understanding necessary to drive fusion forward. By ML unity we mean the unity necessary among MLists to move the WC struggle forward at any particular point in time. Therefore, the content of ML unity depends on the specific historical conditions and tasks facing the movement. This unity constantly deepens and expands. Due to the specific developments within the ML movement recently, we must be quite careful to see that ML unity flows from an understanding of the tasks facing us, which are determined by the struggle to apply MLMTT to the concrete conditions in the US. ML unity must not be determined by idealistic conceptions of what unity we would like to see, or wish existed.

We think that a correct approach to ML unity is based on the concept of essential and deferred questions. The essential questions are questions which the ML movement has the practice and theory to answer, and which must be answered in order to move forward. A failure to answer an essential question results in the errors of tailism, rightism, and empiricism. Deferred questions are questions we don’t have the social investigation, theory, or practice to answer and which are not necessary to answer at this time. Trying to answer these questions when we don’t have the experience to answer them, and when they do not need to be answered, leads to “left” errors of sectarianism, idealism and dogmatism.

ML UNITY

We feel that it is very important to grasp the concept of essential and deferred questions. All of us have witnessed various ML organizations and individuals who rush to answer every question facing the ML movement, even when their experience is shallow. In developing their premature positions, negating the existence of a rectification period, they incorrectly draw lines of demarcation, insist that their line is correct, and retard the growth of the ML movement. To counter this tendency we must carefully assess each question we take up. Is it essential for us to answer this question? If so, why? How will answering this question put forward fusion and ML unity? Do we have the theory and practice necessary to answer this question? And, when we “answer” these questions, do we do so in the context of the scientific method? That is, every answer is an hypothesis, to be applied systematically to concrete and changing conditions. We sum up these hypotheses, and, if necessary, change them. We must never view our “answers” as static, and we must never develop a “private property” relation to our “answers” or our political line.

The struggle for ML unity is carried out in two ways. The first is the development of unity over political line. This development of line comes from the study of MLMTT and the application of MLMTT to the concrete conditions of the US, and learning from the experience of other revolutions and revolutionaries. The second is the debate over differing political lines and the subsequent development of a higher level of unity. Because of our underdevelopment, the first of these two is not primary.

The Relation of ML unity and Fusion Within Rectification

Due to the ideological weakness of the ML movement and its isolation from the working class movement, we must go through a rectification period where the errors of the ML movement are analyzed, criticized and, finally, rectified in both theory and practice. This will culminate in the re-establishment of a Communist Party in the US. The two component parts of this period are the fusion stage and the ML unity stage. We will now discuss the relationship between these two stages.

In this period, fusion is the primary task of MLists because the party cannot be formed in isolation from the most advanced members of the working class. While we recognize that the party is not a vanguard immediately upon formation, we must form a party with the raw materials necessary to become a vanguard, which means that it must be formed with close contact and participation of WC militants who have accepted Mlism. This also means that the class stand of present revolutionaries must be qualitatively improved, the level of theoretical development heightened, and the influence and leadership of MLists within the mass movement deepened and expanded.

We also cannot form the party without a qualitatively higher level of ML unity and understanding. However, this higher level of understanding and development can only be developed on a firm basis by deepening our ideological understanding through the work of fusion. We do not yet have the proper relationship between the ML movement and the advanced of the WC to allow us the answers to the questions required in a period where ML unity is the primary goal. Through fusion, there will be growing lines of demarcation and clearer differences over political lines. This will intensify so the ML movement will clash over different paths open to it and will see the need to establish a higher unity among MLists in order to proceed. This is how we will make the transition between the fusion period and the ML unity period.

However, in order to advance upon fusion tasks, organizations need to have an adequate level of ML unity within themselves. If this unity does not exist, organizations cannot have the grasp of theory necessary in order to advance the task of fusion. This is why the consolidation of the MA has been primarily over the past six months. Prior to the last six months, we did not have the unity necessary to advance on fusion, (indeed, we did not even understand the concept in anything but the most rudimentary fashion ). Therefore, the struggle for ML unity, which was the struggle to adopt MLism as our guiding ideology, was primary. From this example, it is clear that the question of whether fusion or ML unity is primary cannot be answered completely in the abstract. It depends upon the level of each organization. In the main, the task of MLists is this period of fusion. However, if a level of ML unity adequate to carry out fusion does not exist, then ML unity is primary.

What, then, is an adequate level of ML unity? ML unity has a wholistic and a partial aspect, which corresponds to the national level of unity we seek to achieve, and the isolated and localized organizational forms in which we operate at present. The ability of such forms to apply MLism to conditions in the US will always be partial only unity on a national level can solve that. Nevertheless, such forms must have some level of unity in order to function at all. We think this unity should minimally consist of:

1. unity around the basic principles of MLMTT

2. a partial party building strategy

3. a partial critique of revisionism, ultra-leftism, and Trotskyism

4. unity around the political line that directs the mass work of the group, including partial analysis of
– relation of reform to revolution
– strategy for the liberation of national/racial minorities
– strategy for the liberation of women
–trade union strategy
– concept and strategy of the united front – questions of international line

5. unity around the method of struggle in the organization

6. general class analysis of the US

7. recognition of the need to relate to the national ML movement in an organizational way and see it as a source of theoretical development

In reaching unity on these questions we go from the shallower to the deeper. For example, we have unity on the basic concepts of MLMTT, but we see the need to deepen this understanding through study. We see the need for national contact, but, in the future, we hope this will deepen so that much of our theoretical guidance will come from national forms. Finally, we have unity on the general political line guiding cur work, but constantly see the need to deepen this unity.

The MA has not yet answered all of the questions above. Yet, we do not feel that the MA should halt all of its political work in order to immediately answer all of them. This is because we now feel that our level of unity is high enough to proceed on fusion tasks Therefore, we will take up these questions one by one, while continuing cur political work. We look forward to increased national contact to assist us in answering these questions, and in helping us to overcome right errors and develop theoretically.

Nationally, we feel that this is a period of discussion and debate aimed at consolidating MLists. We feel that the national ML movement should be striving to reach unity around:

1) the basic principles of MLMTT
2) a general class analysis of the US
3) a party building strategy, (including the tasks of the rectification period and the preconditions of party re-establishment)
4) critiques of ultra-leftism, and revisionism in our movement, as well as Trotskyism
5) relation of reforms and revolution, strategy for the liberation of women and national/racial minorities, trade union strategy, concept and strategy of the united front and the question of international line
6) unity around the method of struggle in the movement

Although we don’t see consolidation around these questions immediately, we do think the ML movement should consolidate a rapidly as possible around these questions. Our estimation of when we should consolidate around them is limited, because our participation in the ML movement has been virtually non-existent. On the question of international line, particularly, we are unsure which aspects of international political line will become lines of demarcation within the ML movement.

This paper represents the struggle of the Milwaukee Alliance to achieve an adequate level of ML unity to put forward our rectification work. In the next period, fusion will be our primary task, with a secondary emphasis on the development of ML unity. Although ML unity is the secondary task, it is still an important task, not to be ignored.

PRECONDITIONS FOR PARTY RE-ESTABLISHMENT

Party building is the central task of MLists until the party is re-established, and will continue to be the central task until the party is functioning as the vanguard of the working class. Re-establishment is a turning point, however, and it is useful to briefly sketch some of the preconditions to party re-establishment.

In order to re-establish the party, the ML movement must make qualitative advances on all four aspects of fusion. In addition, we must achieve general unity on all the questions we have listed, as is necessary for national ML unity.

How Does the MA Relate to the ML movement?

The MA defines the ML movement as all those individuals and organizations which do not consciously revise the basic tenets of MLMTT. Revolutionary organizations which do not have unity on MLism are not part of the ML movement, although individual MLists within these organizations, as well as other individual MLists, are included. In defining the ML movement in this way, we are including organizations and individuals which we feel have made serious mistakes in their application of MLMTT, and who have followed an ultra-left line in party building, (this includes the RCP, CP-ML, and the CLP). We feel that, while these organizations have committed many serious errors in their application of MLMTT, and have, in many ways, retarded the growth of the ML movement, they have not revised the basic concepts of MLism. They have not abandoned revolution or MLism and therefore, still should be considered as part of the ML movement.

However, because the ML movement is divided and localized, we cannot relate to all aspects of it. We relate, primarily, to the part of the ML movement with which we have the most unity around party building.

In order to determine which part of the movement we have the most unity with around party building, the MA must conduct social investigation. This is because we have never before related to the ML movement and are somewhat unfamiliar with it. In conducting this investigation, we must primarily look into different positions on party building, and determine our unity with them. Secondarily, we must look into other questions over which we see the need for ML unity.

Among those groups with which we have unity around party building, we hope to see the development of an ideological center. We define an ideological center as a body which conducts theoretical work. This theoretical work is aimed at the struggle for higher unity among MLists, and the theoretical and strategic understanding of fusion, which lays the basis for the future party. The main questions to be addressed by this center are those which we have listed as points of unity for MLists nationally. The activities of the center may include the publication of a theoretical journal, development of propaganda and political education material, engaging in debates and polemics, and the exchange of sum-ups of work.

The MA hopes, specifically, to also meet with MLists within mass socialist organizations (see appendix), because this is the history we have come from, and because we feel we have insights into the thinking behind the MSO concept. We have to conduct social investigation on the Strengths and Weaknesses of other MSO organizations in order to determine how similar and different they are from our former organization. Most importantly, we hope to explain to MLists within MSO organizations why we rejected that form of organization, and now see party building as primary.

Even though we do not relate primarily to non-ML organizations, vie do feel that there are valuable lessons that can be learned from their experience and work. We also emphasize that, in mass work, we work with the broadest possible spectrum or organizations and people.

Membership, Recruitment, and Development in the MA

When we say that party-building is our primary task, it means that we must not only struggle for unity among the ML and fusion with the working class, we must struggle to develop our membership into future party cadre. This is our most important internal task – the ideological, political, and organizational development of our membership. It is an essential component of party building. As such, every member of our organization must have the commitment to see revolution as the central activity of their life, and to develop toward becoming party members. This does not mean that we do not take into account the personal contradictions that members face, and their levels of development; nor do we assume that our membership has no other interest in life outside of revolution. It does mean that our members must have the commitment to overcome all ideological underdevelopment. Our members must be committed to overcoming any amateurishness which stands in the way of their becoming the best possible revolutionaries. As the class struggle intensifies, our organization will call upon an increasing level of commitment from our members.

We realize that the party consists of a general membership and a leading core. Lenin says that the leading core is made up of professional revolutionaries. We define professional revolutionaries as comrades who are experienced, proven leaders within the working class and ML movements; who have proven over time to have a good class stand; who are selfless, disciplined, and principled; and whose theoretical grasp includes issues and polemics within the international communist movement. They are organizationally skilled and competent, and have a high theoretical level. Some of these people trill be full-time organizers for the party, as it is necessary for the party to utilize full-time organizers.

The MA also consists of a general membership and a leading core. We try to develop our cadre scientifically by analyzing their strengths and weaknesses. The following categories are levels of competence we wish to achieve, and have not wholly achieved, yet.

1). Leading core: The leading core is based on the principle of centralizing the most developed cadre and, in the main, is synonymous with primary and secondary leadership. Their ideological understanding is more developed than that of the general membership. They have a good grasp of MLMTT, understand issues and forces in the national and international ML movement, and have shown the capacity to give the organization ideological guidance. They have the capacity to understand what ideological questions face the organization and lead it in the study necessary to answer these questions. Politically, they have shown through time, that they understand the key political tasks facing the organization. They have shown a capacity to lead the mass work and to push politically correct lines in the organization. These comrades have a good method of political struggle that is neither arrogant nor liberal. Organizationally, they can implement democratic centralism. They are leading members in correctly employing the mass line within the organization. They are extremely responsible, and administratively competent.

2) Membership: More than one level exists within the membership. Some comrades are new to the organization and are thus usually less ideologically, politically and organizationally developed. We also recognize that, occasionally, members of the organization have the qualifications for leadership, but are unable to assume leadership positions in the organization for temporary, personal reasons. Our general membership, however, has the following attributes: Ideologically has studied the basics of MLMTT. Members should have, or be developing, a firm grasp of the theoretical issues directly related to their work of fusion, as well as an acquaintance with the broader issues facing the ML movement. Our organization struggles continually to deepen this understanding, and to increase the members’ ability to apply MLMTT to their organizing. Politically, members agree with the principles of unity of the organization, its party building strategy, and the political line in its work. They have the commitment to carry out political tasks assigned to them and abide by democratic centralism. Politically, we are constantly trying to develop our members’ ability to carry out the work of fusion. Organizationally, our members agree with our constitution and discipline. We have a commitment to developing our members’ administrative and technical skills.

3) Members in training: These are people we work with who have come to understand the necessity for socialist revolution in the US. They are involved in studying the basic concepts of MLism, and the political line, strategy, and principles of unity of our organization. They participate in our mass work committees. Usually, our members in training are just beginning to study the concepts of MLMTT and are ideologically underdeveloped. They are beginning to understand the political line of the organization and how it affects the mass work we do. However, in addition to understanding the differences between reform and revolution, they have a willingness to organize others and work collectively in a disciplined, revolutionary socialist organization. They have studied our Principles of Unity and the strategies for our fronts, and have no consolidated disagreements with these. They have a beginning understanding of MLMTT, and a willingness to develop themselves ideologically, politically and organizationally as future party cadre. We try to deepen their understanding of the power and effect of an ML organization. Organizationally they are new to democratic centralism. They are not yet bound fully to the discipline of the organization. We try to explain how democratic centralism works, increase their discipline and technical skills. They are allowed partial voting rights and bound to decisions of work committees.

4) Advanced workers: These are people we want to win over to MLism and participation in an organization guided by MLism. Briefly, we see advanced workers as people who are active in class struggle and understand that struggle is the only way to achieve victory. We see advanced workers as people who look to other workers for approval, not to foremen or established “community leaders’. They understand the necessity to fight sexism and build unity between the sexes. They also see the primary necessity for fighting racism and to build multi-racial unity They are willing to struggle against their own weaknesses and follow political event outside their own narrow struggle. In the workplace, they are pro-union, but see the need to transform the unions into fighting organizations. In the community, the see the need for grass roots organizations, independent from governmental pressure. Finally, they are open to revolutionary ideas, even if unfamiliar with them.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE MA?

When the party is re-established, our goal is to have the MA join the new party, with internal struggle in the organization directed toward this goal. We do not feel that the MA will exist after party formation. Of course, we cannot predict the future, and this is merely our hypothesis. Yet, it represents the directions we would like to organize in, and the hopes we have for our members’ developments.

Finally, we recognize that both the party and the MA must develop mass organizations capable of involving the working class people in class struggle, and developing them as revolutionary leaders. Mass organizations also involve the masses of people who do not see revolution as the center of their lives, but who do participate in class struggle.