Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Draft Declaration of the Marxist-Leninist Organization of the U.S.A.

First Published: Proletariat, No. 4, n.d. [1972/3].
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.

Brief Historical Notes. The History of Marxism-Leninism in the United States of America

The historical struggle of the United States working class was carried forward by the formation of the Communist Party in 1921 with its acceptance in the Third International. With few members and under the direct attack of United States imperialism, the Party waged a struggle against the capitalist system. During the course of its development, the Party, in 1927, was forced to deal with the presence of Trotskyites–a counter-revolutionary faction, headed by Cannon and Shachtman–within its ranks, and waged a successful struggle against them and all those representing bourgeois ideology in its midst.

The Communist Party of the United States of America courageously led the working class in battle and fought for the right of self-determination for all nations oppressed by United States imperialism. The Seventh World Congress of the Communist International, held in 1935, marked a turning point in the further development of Marxism-Leninism. This degeneration of scientific socialism in theory and practice was tied to and conditioned by the pursuit of Dimitrov’s “united front tactics from above.” Incidentally, it Was at this point in history that the seeds were sown that gave rise to today’s modern revisionism on a world scale. (For a Marxist-Leninist analysis of this era read the MLOB’s report on The Origins of Modern Revisionism.)

All in all, certain leaders of the CPUSA attempted to withdraw the correct position of the right of self-determination for the Negro Nation in the South and for Puerto Rico, and to pursue an incorrect line on the national-colonial question. With the help of Comrade Stalin, the Third International did not uphold this erroneous position.

However, sometime later when the united front tactics from above were being put into effect in every country without exception, and under the pretext of mobilizing and uniting the “peace-loving forces” to oppose the fascist-imperialist aggression of Germany, the CPUSA completely abandoned the position of the proletariat, denounced the right of self-determination for the Negro Nation in the South and for Puerto Rico and sided with the “peace-loving” US imperialists. This point represented part of an opportunist tendency of class collaboration within the leadership of the Party resulting in the compromising of established Marxist-Leninist principles, developing under Browder, into blatant and shameful revisionism. Finally, in 1944, the revisionists proceeded to liquidate the Communist Party in the United States of America.

Because of international criticism against Browderite revisionism, the CPUSA, in 1945, was reconstituted, but only in name. The period from 1945 to 1956 was the full implementation of a modern revisionist theory and practice within the Party. Under this situation, such a party could do nothing but degenerate into a social-democratic party defaulting in its historical role as that of the vanguard party of the working class, totally void of scientific socialist content. In 1956, the Party’s conversion into a party of the liberal bourgeoisie was all but complete. Under the centrist leadership of William Z. Foster, the conciliators, along with the right revisionist faction, felt secure enough to expel its opposition.

However, these individuals who were expelled (because they opposed the revisionist and opportunist bankrupt policies of the CPUSA) were not entirely free of these tendencies themselves and consequently were not able to, or did not desire to re-establish a communist organization to continue the struggle of the working class in the USA. Consequently, many individuals who were evicted from the CPUSA, or who left on their own accord, formed a multitude of splinter organizations, not only opposed to the CPUSA and the Khruschevite revisionism of the Soviet Union, but also opposed to each other and with no concrete political program of action. This situation signified a complete decay of the workers’ political struggle in the US and a temporary victory for US imperialism. This victory, however, was more than just a national one; these events were following a similar pattern taking place on an international scale. The revisionist seeds sown in the Seventh World Congress were well into full blossom.

The theory of proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the question of whether to make revolution or not to make revolution has always been the dividing line between Marxist-Leninists and revisionists. The 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union made it clear that there existed two different lines within the international communist movement on this question of principle”. At the 22nd Congress, the revisionist line of “peaceful co-existence” was put forth by the leaders of the Soviet Union and certain fraternal parties. As a result, the ugly features of modern right revisionism were fully exposed. Members of the, CPUSA, Browder in particular, had long beat Khruschev to the draw in expressing the view that socialism could be achieved without armed struggle, without proletarian revolution, through “parliamentary channels and relatively peacefully.” The revisionist Communist Party of the United States of America fully endorsed and supported, and continues to fully endorse and support, the right revisionist “theories” put forward by the Khruschevite revisionists. This consequence further exposed the CPUSA and its class collaborationist policies in the service of US imperialism.

One by one, the members of the once-powerful monolithic socialist camp surrendered to the forces of world imperialism and to those bourgeois forces within their respective countries–a grand betrayal of which the world’s proletariat and oppressed peoples have never before witnessed. The heroic Marxist-Leninists within the Albanian Party of Labor and later followed by the Marxist-Leninists in the People’s Republic of China staged an unprecedented struggle (the Great Debate) against the decadence of the socialist camp and the heresy of the modern revisionists on an international scale: and within their own ranks.

Today, with the exception of Albania, there has been a temporary victory of the bourgeoisie and its ideology over the workers and peasants in every country within the once-socialist camp. In the People’s Republic of China, where the struggle against the national bourgeoisie assumed a most violent form–a civil war–there culminated a most deceitful and most demagogic counter-revolution in the name of a “cultural revolution” and in the person of Mao Tse-tung. As Moscow is the radiating source of right revisionism, so is Peking of “left” revisionism.

This all but total defeat of the world’s workers, peasants, and oppressed peoples, has no doubt temporarily setback- the international proletarian movement but, it has in no way discouraged or eliminated it, for the contradiction between the proletariat and bourgeoisie still exists. The international Marxist-Leninist, movement is growing, with Marxist-Leninists objectively analyzing, re-evaluating and synthesizing past events, reorganizing themselves along new lines, reconstructing communist parties, and, equally important, re-building a communist international based on the principles of Marxism-Leninism. The task of the M.L.O.U.S.A. is to energetically assist in this movement toward realizing the restoration of Marxist-Leninist theory and practice and consciously aiding in the inevitable destruction of all capitalism and all imperialism wherever its roots are on the face of the earth and replacing it with socialism and, communism. Our first step in the total process is to re-establish a genuine communist party here in the USA grounded in the traditions of Marxism-Leninism.

In light of what has been pointed out, and recognizing on communist party nor organization genuinely representing the interest of the toiling and oppressed peoples in the USA, we Marxist-Leninists, few in numbers, but brave in spirit, have constituted the MARXIST-LENINIST ORGANIZATION OF THE U.S.A.

The M.L.O.U.S.A. stands for the rebuilding of the, international communist movement, based on the traditions of Marxist-Leninist theory and practice.

It holds that modern revisionism, whether it be, Soviet rightist, Chinese “leftist,” or any of the various “centrist” brands of revisionism, is the main obstacle to the international communist and workers’ movement and condemns the anti-working class and counterrevolutionary activities of the modern revisionists in their vain attempt to thwart the inevitable tides of proletarian revolution.

Modern revisionism is the new social prop of imperialism. It is the advance guard of the bourgeoisie within the ranks of the working class movement.

The M.L.O.U.S.A. must and will wage an untiring struggle against all shades of modern revisionism and Trotskyism, for without a struggle against these pernicious trends of ideological thought any struggle against imperialism is but an idle phrase.

The M.L.O.U.S.A. must prevent and resist corrosion by bourgeois and petty-bourgeois ways of thinking and styles of work and guard against and defeat any rightist or “leftist” opportunist deviation inside the Organization and within the working class movement.

Revolutionary Theory Must Be Put Into Practice

The M.L.O.U.S.A. adheres to the Marxist-Leninist world outlook of dialectical and historical materialism-founded by K. Marx and F. Engels, and further developed and enriched by V.I. Lenin and J.V. Stalin-and resolutely opposes the world outlook of idealism and metaphysics. We view Marxism-Leninism as a living science and as a pliable weapon, which in the hands of the working class and its vanguard party, proves to be a direct and a sure guide toward the act of liberating mankind from capitalism, predatory wars, plunder, and wage-slavery. However, we do not regard Marxism-Leninism as a rigid and fixed set of beliefs; on the contrary, while simultaneously, adamently, and faithfully adhering to its principles, we regard Marxism-Leninism as an extremely flexible science in the face of the many facets of a diverse and perennially changing reality. The science of Marxism-Leninism demands that: in striving to build socialism and communism, we should proceed from reality; in attempting to solve various problems arising out of the class struggle, we should apply its principles in a creative and flexible way; and thus continuously develop the theory of Marxism-Leninism. Consequently, the M.L.O.U.S.A., in its activities upholds the principles of integrating the universal truths of Marxism-Leninism with the actual practical struggle of the working class.

The M.L.O.U.S.A. must ”put into practice all that it advocates through the activity of its organizational bodies, its membership among the working class, and through the conscientious efforts made by the people under its guidance. For this reason it is necessary to constantly develop the tradition of following the mass line in our organizational work.

Whether or not the M.L.O.U.S.A. is able to provide correct leadership depends on whether or not the organization will, through analysis and synthesis, systematically summarize the experience and opinions of the masses, and–relative to the objective conditions–turn the resulting ideas into the policy of the M.L.O.U.S.A., and as a result of the Organization’s propaganda and organizational work among the masses, transform these theoretical views into the “flesh and blood of the millions of toilers,” i.e., make them the views and actions, of the masses themselves, while testing, supplementing, and correcting the Organization’s policy in the course of mass, activity. It is the duty of the leadership of the M,L.O.U.S.A., its core of professional revolutionaries, to ensure that, in the endless repetition of this process of “coming from the masses and going back to the masses,” the political and social consciousness of the people, above all the working people, is continually raised and the cause of the working class is constantly advanced. The M.L.O.U.S.A. and its members must, therefore, maintain close and extensive ties with workers, farmers, students, and intellectuals, and strive constantly to make such ties ever stronger and widespread. Every member of the M.L.O.U.S.A. must whole-heartedly serve the oppressed and exploited people, constantly consult them, pay heed to their opinions, concern him or herself with their well-being, and strive to help realize, their objective, immediate and long-range goals.

The Task of The M.L.O.U.S.A.

The task of the M.L.O.U.S.A. is to build a party of the proletariat of the United States of America capable of leading the proletariat in revolution overthrowing the capitalist system and establishing socialism under the dictatorship of the proletariat. In order to build such a party it is necessary to build a center, to establish a newspaper, and to recruit the most advanced sections of the proletariat.

In the formative stage of building such a party, our immediate task is to amass a core of professional revolutionaries. We view developing the Organization’s Center as the most essential step in developing a national political organization which would give rise to a genuine political party of the proletariat. This nucleus, the future leaders of the proletariat, must be dedicated to the fight for the interest of the working class in particular, and for the interest of the overwhelming majority of the population (all class stratum) in general, who are oppressed by and struggling against US monopoly capitalism; they must also be highly theoretical and profusely experienced, firm and solidly steeled in struggle. These stringent but necessary qualifications are demanded by the nature of the working class struggle itself and by no means can be stated merely in words, but must be proven actually in the process of struggle.

In order to build such a party of revolutionaries, it is not only necessary to build a center, that is, a nucleus, but, with the development of the political center, as has been stated, it is necessary to develop the Organization’s newspaper, WORKERS’ TRIBUNE, political organ of the working class, representing the theoretical views and aims of the working class. Only a strong political center can give firm leadership and adequate political direction to all the national organizations;, bodies of the M.L.O.U.S.A. The central organs, as a function of, and subordinate to, the political center, are to serve such a purpose. By means of WORKERS’ TRIBUNE, contacts are made nationally for the Organization, and with proper guidance, there should be developed a national network of WORKERS’ TRIBUNE readers’ circles. The sending out of cadre to organize new areas of concentration, providing such areas are suited for political base building, will proceed on the basis of the contacts already secured in those areas around WORKERS’ TRIBUNE readers’ circles.

Coupled with the above is one of the most difficult tasks facing Marxist-Leninists in the USA: that of building and securing a base within the working class. The M.L.O.U.S.A. will concentrate on building political bases on two fronts; in working class districts and at the site of production.

Contrary to the views of the “left” revisionists whose prime target of base building has been solely within the communities among the national minorities, the ”street people,” and the student population, the M.L.O.U.S.A. contends that the prime target for base building is at the point of production, within the ranks of the industrial proletariat, the most potentially dynamic and revolutionary force in the USA. Our aim, therefore, is to establish contact with the industrial workers insinuate ourselves into the trade unions and there build a base. Concentrating our efforts on winning the industrial proletariat to our side does not in the least mean that we should abandon our support of the specific struggles waged by the national minorities against the social inequalities they are faced with, the national oppression in the guise of racism, great nation chauvinism, discrimination on every front, and the special oppression and exploitation meted out to them by the rule of monopoly capital. To the contrary, what this means is that by winning the support of the industrial workers, which includes workers of all nationalities, by assisting them in their organization and by imparting, to them a political class consciousness, we will be in a better position to raise these struggles, the struggles against all national privileges, inequalities and for the right of self-determination of the Negro Nation and Puerto Rico, to a higher and more effective level. The industrial proletariat under the guidance of a party, must march at the head of all struggles; against injustice. This is the pre-requisite to winning the masses of the working and oppressed minorities to our side, to the side of Marxism-Leninism. From our base within the working class we shall be able to launch an effective struggle against all tyranny of monopoly capitalism, all national privileges, all social inequalities and injustices, all exploitation and oppression.

United front work with students and other non-proletarian elements is to be conducted on the basis of unifying these elements with the proletarian struggle, emphasizing an anti-monopoly struggle as the basis for the united front.

The National-Colonial Question: A “Class Question”

The USA is a multi-national state. The Anglo-American nation oppresses and exploits the Afro-American nation in the black belt area in the South and the Puerto Rican nation. The M.L.O.U.S.A. pledges to fight, not merely for the right of self-determination, a now bourgeois phrase, but for the complete and unconditional right to secession, federation, or amalgamation of the peoples of the Afro-American nation and of Puerto Rico.

Within the Anglo-American nation, the Afro-Americans, the Puerto Ricans, and the Mexican-Americans represent national minorities, the American Indians represent a national group; entities of whom the majority exist in a double state of oppression, that is, firstly as oppressed and exploited proletarians, wage-slaves, and as such they represent part and parcel of the working class; and secondly they exist as oppressed minorities, in a state of second class citizenry.

The M.L.O.U.S.A, opposes all forms of discrimination (racial or national) against national minorities and national groups. We view their struggles for “civil” rights, in reality, as a struggle for equal rights, a struggle which is guised as a “race” struggle, but in essence is a national struggle (with the exception of the Mexican-American and the American Indian). Their struggles must be transformed into a conscious anti-imperialist movement fused with the working class movement as a whole in order to be successful. The fact that their struggles have not, in the past, manifested their anti-imperialist, nature can be attributed in part to their latent political consciousness, further retarded and diverted by the right revisionist CP.U.S.A. and numerous other groups calling themselves Marxist-Leninists, and in part to petty-bourgeois nationalist “leadership” pursuing such developments as “black capitalism,” “community control,” etc., having the sanction of and endorsed, by US imperialism. “Integration,” “non-violence,” and “black power” (black capitalist community control) are the deceptive ploys utilized by the ruling class through its quislings to divert this struggle into reformist channels harmless to and under the control of the world’s chief enemy: US imperialism.

The M.L.O.U.S.A. pledges, at all times, to wage a consistent struggle for equal political, social, and economic rights for all the national minorities, and against all national privileges, but at the same time we must point out that full national equality will never be granted in the present bourgeois society, that the interests of the working national minorities and national groups, rather employed or unemployed, are identical to those of the working class as a whole; and if both the anglo and the national minority sections of the working class are to achieve victory over their common enemy, the capitalist-imperialists, all workers irrespective Of nationality must be united under the banner of proletarian internationalism for a proletarian revolution. Consequently, in the first analysis, the national question resolves itself to be a class question.

The M.L.O.U.S.A. opposes all tendencies toward great national chauvinism and reactionary nationalism (sectarianism, cultism, separatism, i.e., separatism on the basis of black and white) both of which are hostile co Marxism-Leninism, hamper the unity of the various nationalities, and violate the principles of proletarian internationalism. Special attention must be given to prevent and/or correct these tendencies on the part of our organizational members and within the ranks of the working people.

The M.L.O.U.S.A. Opposes the Rise of Fascism in the U.S.A.

The balance of forces between U.S. imperialism and sections of the world hostile to U.S. imperialism has changed considerably since World War II, with anti-US imperialist, forces in the ascendency. This has led to the general decline of US monopoly capital. Fascism is developing in the USA as a direct result of US monopoly: capital being threatened and deprived of its investments, cheap sources of raw materials, and spheres of influence. The continuing loss of these colonies and semi-colonies coupled with the contradictions between other imperialist powers mean the loss of US monopoly capital superprofits, and serves to deepen further the general crisis of US imperialism in particular, and world imperialism in general; and heightens the main contradiction, that between labor and capital, within the USA. The focal point of the main contradiction, which for the last twenty years has been mainly limited to the underdeveloped countries, is now shifting to include the imperialist countries.

Fascism represents the open terroristic dictatorship of the reactionary imperialist elements of finance capital. Behind the facade of “democracy” and under the guise of “law and order”, the bourgeoisie is systematically increasing its attack upon progressive intellectuals and students and upon the most exploited and oppressed section of the U.S. working class with all intentions of outlawing the workers’ right to strike and the right to bear arms.

The U.S. capitalist-imperialist class is seeking to completely dominate the trade unions in order to guarantee their rate of growth of profits at the expense of the workers’ wages; they are also Seeking to stifle any and all dissent on the part of the U.S. public, and have already increased to an unfathomable degree the surveillance of tens of thousands of dissenting workers, small farmers, students and intellectuals.

History has taught the workers of the world that fascism does not come into existence in one stage; it comes into being through several almost imperceptible changes, through the slow, gradual, and systematic encroachment of the rights for which people have struggled long and hard.

U.S. imperialism employs both legal and extra-legal means of suppression, which lays bare the true nature of so-called “democracy” and “freedom” in the United States and reveals the inner link between these reactionary policies at home and the reactionary policies of repression and aggression abroad.

Fascism has one primary source: bourgeois capitalist-imperialism. Fascism emanates from the reactionary policies pursued by U.S. monopoly capital. The basis for its eradication can only be the destruction of U.S. imperialism and the construction of socialism under the dictatorship of the working class.

Organizational Principles of the M.L.O.U.S.A.

The organizational principle of the M.L.O.U.S.A. is based upon democratic centralism which means centralism on the basis of democracy and democracy under centralized leadership. The M.L.O.U.S.A. must take effective measures to promote inner-organizational democracy, encourage the initiative and creative ability of all members and of all local and primary organizational bodies. Only in this way can the M.L.O.U.S.A. effectively extend and strengthen its ties with the working class and oppressed peoples, give correct leadership and adapt itself flexibly to various concrete conditions and local characteristics. And only in this way can the life of the Organization be invigorated, its centralism and unity be consolidated, and its discipline be voluntarily, not mechanically, observed. Democratic centralism demands that every organizational body should strictly abide by the principle of collective discussion coupled with individual responsibility, but with unity of will and unity of action, and that every member and organizational body be subject to supervision from above and from below. Democracy within the Organization must not be divorced from centralism.

The M.L.O.U.S.A. must be a united militant organization, wielded together by an iron discipline which is obligatory on all its members. Without iron discipline it would be impossible for the M.L.O.U.S.A. to build a party, to overcome all powerful enemies of the working class, to lead the proletariat in revolution and to build socialism and communism. Therefore, the strengthening of the discipline of the M.L.O.U.S.A. is necessary to insure the objective goals of the proletariat. If the M.L.O.U.S.A. is to play a decisive role in the creation of the organized detachment of the working class, it must be the embodiment of discipline acting as one solid spearhead against tae bourgeoisie. A most important aspect of the strengthening of the unity and the discipline of the M.L.O.U.S.A. is the expulsion of weak and wavering elements. This Question must be approached in terms of the basic needs of the Organization. This means purging the Organization of all elements who cannot maintain the required discipline, who refuse to involve themselves in the work of the Organization, and who generally are unable to meet the increased objective needs of the proletariat. Organizationally, this means replacing the leaders in the lower bodies who refuse to implement the decisions of the higher bodies, and of selecting and developing leaders in those bodies who are loyal, honest and capable of implementing the decisions of the higher bodies. This also means that it is incumbent upon the branch leaders to fully accept and energetically carry out the directives of the Organization’s center. No member of the center, that is, of the National Committee, of the Central Committee, or of the Political Bureau, regardless of his rank or position, may violate the collective decisions produced by any of the respective bodies. Individualism on the part of any member in refusing to accept the political direction of the Organization’s center is a grave violation of democratic centralism. No effort must be spared towards combatting any tendency towards sectarianism which reduces the Organization’s role and weakens its unity. Solidarity and unity are the very life of the Organization, the source of its strength. It is the sacred duty of every member of the M.L.O.U.S.A. to pay constant attention to the safeguarding of the solidarity of the Organization and the consolidation of its unity. Within the M.L.O.U.S.A., no action which violates the Organization’s political line or organizational principles is permissible, nor is it permissible to carry on activities aimed at splitting the Organization, to engage in factional activities, to act independently of the Organization, or to place the individual above the collective body of the Organization.

All comrades must be involved in the work of the Organization, or else, they belong, not as members of the most highly organized detachment of the working class, not as members of the “general staff” of the working class, but:, on the contrary, these people belong on the outside as friends and supporters. It has been demonstrated in the experience of the international communist movement that those comrades who refused to involve themselves directly in the work of their parties did not serve as a positive example to the working class in general, but on the contrary, served as negative examples to both the party in particular, and the working class in general. Such persons serve only as political deadweight, as mere paper members.

No political party, organization, or person can be free from shortcomings and mistakes in work. Hence, the M.L.O.U.S.A. and its members must constantly practice constructive criticism and self-criticism to expose and eliminate their shortcomings and mistakes so as to educate themselves and the masses of the people.

In view of the: fact that a political organization of the working class strives to play the leading role in the life of the working class, it is all the more necessary that it should make stringent demands on every organizational body and member and promote criticism and self-criticism; and in particular, it should encourage and support constructive criticism from below, inside the Organization, as well as criticism of the M.L.O.U.S.A. from the masses of the people and should prohibit any suppression of criticism.

In the case of members who have committed mistakes, the M.L.O.U.S.A. should, in the true spirit of comradeship, help the comrades correct their mistakes and overcome their difficulties provided such mistakes can be corrected within the Organization and the erring comrades are prepared to make the necessary corrections. As for those who persist in their mistakes and carry on activities detrimental to the Organization, it is essential to wage a determined struggle against them, even to the point of expelling them from the Organization.

The question of the inability of certain comrades to meet the increased needs of the Organization as it develops at various stages is another question that continually occurs; but this question is a normal problem of the growth and development of any political party After each of these experiences where certain comrades reach an impasse and refuse or, are unable to correct their errors, no serious organization of the proletariat merely abandons the struggle simply because one or two comrades so desire; rather, it develops and consolidates itself in spite of them by purging itself of these politically and ideologically weak and wavering elements, and reaching a new level of struggle. If an organization of the proletariat does not meet the increased demands of the proletariat then both are set back; if an individual comrade refuses to meet the increased demands of the organization of the proletariat then he or she is in effect setting back the struggle of the proletariat and impeding the development of a communist party.

The M.L.O.U.S.A. requires all its members to place the interest of the M.L.O.U.S.A. and of the working class above their personal interests, to strictly adhere to and fight for its political line, to be diligent and unpretentious, to study and work hard, to unite the broad masses of the people, and to overcome all difficulties in order to consolidate the Organization and strengthen itself internally so, that it can be best prepared to expand its ranks nationally and thus lay the basis for the creation of the workers’ party.

The M.L.O.U.S.A. invites all upright and honest champions of the proletariat to join its ranks and begin the long journey to proletarian victory towards a better world for all.