Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

League for Proletarian Revolution (M-L)

The Building of Cores: Comments by LPR-ML on KCRWC’s Summation

First Published: Resistence, Vol. 8, No. 9, October 1977
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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As we established in our last issue, we are striving to make the Communist Forum a tool for the higher unity of Marxist-Leninists and the development of the Marxist-Leninist line on the major questions that face the U.S. communist movement. We consider that printing the above sum-up by the K.C.R.W.C. furthers this process.

In our comments, we will limit ourselves to addressing the question of the building of cores. It is very positive that many communists are in fact addressing themselves concretely to the problem of how to provide communist leadership to the mass struggles. Despite the errors committed the comrades of KCRWC tackled the problem concretely and have drawn important lessons that we can all use.


First of all we want to establish our unities with the line put forward by the KCRWC on the following aspects: (a) that cores are a necessary tool that we must develop in the course of participation in the struggles of the masses and a method of winning and consolidating the advanced in these struggles; (b) that cores are communist forms of organization under the leadership of the communist party (organization); composed of Party (organization) cadres, advanced and intermediate elements and un-affiliated Marxist-Leninists; (c) that they are illegal forms (secret); and (d) that the basis of unity among those who form the cores should be a unity both in theory and in practice. We have unity also with the main thrust of the criticism raised by KCRWC on LPR-ML’s line on cores, on which we will expand here.

In our position on cores, we stated that the core is responsible for bringing the line of the organization to the particular struggle, mass organization, etc. This is incorrect. We unite with the KCRWC in that the organization’s line is the responsibility of the, Party (organization) and not of the non-party organizations such as the cores. To delegate such a responsibility is in fact, a liquidation of the leading role of the Communist Party (organization) and of our line, and to state it in this way does lead to that error in practice.


We take exception to refer to this responsibility as “only the organization’s responsibility”. Although we can at no moment rely solely upon the non-Party organization to bring and defend our line among the masses, we must share that responsibility with the advanced, precisely so that in the course of doing so we train and consolidate them (around the line), as well as with the unaffiliated Marxist-Leninists, in order to further test and deepen the unity of Marxist-Leninists. We must remember that when we speak of bringing the organization’s line we are not speaking in the narrow sense of simply “LPR-ML’s line”, but of the correct Marxist-Leninist line that LPR-ML, as well as all genuine Marxist-Leninist organizations and collectives should strive for, develop and uphold. It is thus also the responsibility of the advanced workers and un-affiliated Marxist-Leninist to strive to put forward and defend that line, while this is the responsibility primarily, though not exclusively, of the communist organization.

Again on the question of producing and, or distributing written and oral communist propaganda and agitation, it is a mistake to state that the core is responsible for such things. Again here we agree with KCRWC that to delegate on the core the responsibility of the communist organization is a liquidation of its leadership role. This would be a serious right error. On the other hand, to not demand from the core such a responsibility, to strip them of this task and make it exclusively the task of the communist organization is to negate the tasks of communists and advanced forces who under the leadership of the communist organization are capable of and must be trained and consolidated In carrying out this task. Although in the main it is the communist organization that puts out the communist propaganda and agitation. It is not the only one that does so. Furthermore, in the absence of factory nucleus (a situation very common under present conditions) the communist organization can and should train and rely on the core for preparation and distribution of communist propaganda, while striving to build the nucleus.

Whether or not the propaganda and agitation of the organization should always come out in the name of the organization we consider is a tactical question depending on the concrete conditions of the workplace.


On the principal task of cores, the KCRWC states that is winning the advanced to communism by training and consolidating them. We agree on this important role of the cores. We are not clear if the KCRWC sees this as different from what we state as the main task of the cores, that is, to provide communist leadership to the mass struggles. On this question we want to establish that we see both winning the advanced, and providing communist leadership to the mass struggles as tasks that go hand in hand. The winning, training and consolidation of the advanced is done in the course of providing communist leadership to the mass struggles, so that these become part of a single revolutionary current under the leadership of the communist party that we are striving to build. Even in this period of mustering the advanced forces toward party building, to isolate the advanced from the mass struggles or to see these two tasks as separate could lead to the serious errors of the Trotskyite “theory of cadres”.

We would also like to clarity that although the Marxist-Leninist organization and the core are organizationally and politically distinct, we don’t see them as completely separate. We see the core facilitating the work of the organization and working closely with it. The core which is giving leadership to a particular mass struggle is in turn led by the fraction of cadre of the organization that works within the core. In this way we see the organization exercizing its leading role, besides training and consolidation that it does in the course of the struggle. In the case of existence of both a nucleus and a core, leadership is primarily exercized by the nucleus, which, without opening itself up, works closely with the core, within the core, as part of its tasks.

We would like to refer comrades to previous Communist Forum appearing in Resistance, Vol. 8, No. 3-4, pg. 10, in which we clearly establish that cores are not a substitute for factory nuclei. In this issue we polemized with aspects of the line of the Marxist-Leninist Collective on cores, which in part stated that cores are the main form of communist organization in the shop in the pre-party period (a position which they have since correctly repudiated). On this we said then:

The position of the Marxist-Leninist Collective contains a fundamental error: the liquidation of the factory nucleus. The comrades ask themselves: “In this pre-party period, what are the transitional forms which communist organizations must establish within basic industry?” And they answer: “A core is a communist form of organization required in this period when a party does not exist.” This is incorrect.

The factory nucleus is the basic form of party organization. In the absence of the party, this form is not eliminated, on the contrary. The development and consolidation of factory nuclei allows Marxist-Leninist organizations and collectives to establish deeper ties within the class, to proletarianize their ranks, and thus move forward the party building process.

There is no contradiction in building of cores and factory nuclei. In fact, they complement each other and they work in coordination both in the pre-party period and once the party is built.

Of all these forms, the most important is the factory nucleus. It is this form which in the last analysis guarantees that the line of the party (today – of the Marxist-Leninist organization or collective) is implemented in the shops.


The KCRWC has made an important contribution to the Marxist-Leninist line on cores by pointing to the real danger that exists of liquidating the leadership role of the communist organization if it delegates its responsibility on the core and does not take up that responsibility itself. We agree that the line as has been laid out is weak in that it does not clearly distinguish the role of cores and the role of the communist organization. They have been muddled by our failure to clearly lay out how the communist organization exersizes its leadership in each. (We will attempt to further clarify this point in the future.) Also they have been muddled by not clearly establishing the differences and relationship between each.

Although this error has not been fully reflected in our practice, some deviations due to this particular weakness in the line have been manifested. For example, although we have not liquidated the leadership some right errors have been committed. At certain points, we have belittled the work of our fractions within the cores by doing all work through the core. Also, in an attempt to avoid bourgeois hegemonism and imposition of line, we have fallen into ultra-democracy and liberalism at the expense of our leadership and line. These are right errors that can result in the complete liquidation of the leadership role of the primary organizations of the party if these are not clearly seen as carrying primary responsibility over the line and if such responsibility is delegated over the non-party organizations such as cores.

The practical and theoretical work done by comrades throughout the country in the course of developing and implementing a correct Marxist-Leninist line on cores has definitely improved the general understanding of the communist movement on this question. We consider the approach taken by the KCRWC and LPR-ML on this issue has been a correct one that has helped in the process of Marxist-Leninists unite and has further sharpened our line to more effectively win the advanced to communism in our concrete work. We urge other comrades to continue sending to Communist Forum those sum-ups, comments, etc. that can still deepen this process and move us closer to complete our central task of party building.