Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

SDOC (M-L) Comments: Uphold Our International Leadership!

Published: The Communist, Vol. III, No. 10, May 22, 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The campaign to expose and defeat the “gang of four” in China has provided a pretext for the political organs of the bourgeoisie and the opportunist forces within the working class movement to put forward their anti-China politics. These heavily anti-China political lines have in turn led to wavering, hesitation and doubt by honest Marxist-Leninist forces-in their, own support of China’s leadership of the international proletarian revolution. We experienced this wavering within our own ranks.

However, the source of this “doubt” is not the political struggle in China. It is our own economism and still incomplete grasp and reliance on the science of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought.

As the imperialist crisis deepens, the struggle between modern revisionism and Marxism-Leninism will “intensify throughout the world. This struggle is part of the class struggle. For example, modern revisionism denies the necessity of proletarian class struggle to both achieve state power and to consolidate socialist. It represents the interests of imperialism and social imperialism.

On the other hand, Marxism-Leninism demands the necessity for proletarian class struggle to both seize state power and consolidate socialism, especially against bourgeois forces within the dictatorship of the proletariat. It represents the interests of the international proletariat.

There are only two ways we can approach these struggles. We can rely on bourgeois interpretations, such as found in the Los Angeles Times and in opportunist papers like the Guardian and RCP’s Revolution, or we can rely on the science of Marxism-Leninism. It represents the interests of imperialism and social imperialism.


In interpreting events in China the bourgeoisie has attempted to confuse and divide the proletariat through its control of the mass media. There are two main falsifications being put forward by the bourgeois media. First, they say the present campaign against the “gang of four” is a reflection of developing revisionism. They say China now wants to drop the emphasis on revolution and concentrate on increasing production. Second, they say China wants to develop closer relations with the Soviet Union. These are both lies!

As for the first lie, Chairman Hua and the Chinese Communist Party have struggled to uphold Mao Tsetung’s principle of “grasp revolution, promote production” as the only correct principle for developing China’s socialist production at high speed. Modernized socialist industry and agriculture are the material foundations of the dictatorship of the proletariat – on which China will carry the socialist revolution on the economic, political and ideological fronts through to victory.

It was the “gang of four” who opposed this basic principle by claiming such things as “once a good job is done in revolution, production naturally will go up.” There is nothing “natural” about class struggle, comrades. The idealistic and metaphysical formulations of the “gang of four” only serve to disrupt production and aid their strivings for control of the party and state power.

In putting forward the second lie, the bourgeois media conjectures all sorts of meaning and significance to formal diplomatic, messages and greetings between China and the Soviet Union, such as acknowledgements and congratulations on the opening and closing of congresses and selections to leadership. But this has been the practice through all the years that China has led the international split with the Soviet Union’s modern revisionism.

On the other hand, the bourgeois media dismisses as “obligatory rhetoric” the political line put forward by China’s political organs. But, in fact, practically every issue of Peking Review since the campaign against the “gang of four” began continues to uphold and apply the general line of China toward increasingly aggressive Soviet social imperialism. For example, see “Soviet Social Imperialism – The Third World’s Most Dangerous Enemy” in Peking Review #44, October 29, 1976. A most current example is the developing exposure of the Soviet Union’s meddling role in Zaire.


We must also guard against the (Opportunist forces, both “left” and right, who will use the current struggle in China and exploit the theoretical weaknesses of our movement to promote their bankrupt political lines. Examples of these are ”left” opportunists like the Communist Workers Group (M-L) and the right opportunist forces around the Guardian and the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP).

The Communist Workers Group (ML) in its newspaper, Forward, uses its revolutionary sounding formulations to write off the whole international communist movement, including the dictatorship of the proletariat in China and Albania, as revisionist! Their political line on the international situation puts them solidly in the camp of international Trotskyism!

The Guardian puts forward “independent analyses”, taking “independent positions” on every twist and turn of the Chinese revolution, and attacks those who “blindly” follow China’s line. By “independent” the Guardian means independent of the historically developed science of proletarian revolution, Marxism-Leninism. By Independence, they mean the “freedom to criticize” orthodox Marxism-Leninism, much like the Bernsteinian revisionists that Lenin criticizes in What Is To Be Done (WITBD) (see Chapter 1). In this case, the Guardian has chosen not to uphold the general line of the international communist movement led by the Chinese Communist Party.

The Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) also refuses to uphold the line of the CCP on the “gang of four” by remaining silent. Their failure to oppose the counter-revolutionary attack on the dictatorship of the proletariat and uphold Marxism-Leninism is yet another exposure of their false claim to be the vanguard communist party of the proletariat.

In the history of the communist movement in this country, this right opportunism has appeared time and again as “American exceptionalism”. “American exceptionalism” uses all kinds of “special circumstances” pertaining specifically to the most advanced industrialized country in the world to justify “independent positions” on major questions facing the international proletariat.

It was repeatedly put forward by right opportunist forces in the CPUSA to oppose the political line of the Communist International (COMINTERN). For example, there was continued struggle between the CPUSA and the COMINTERN over the COMINTERN’s resolutions on Factory Nuclei and the Black National Question.

Then and now, what all this represents, is the opposition of the petty bourgeois trend in our movement to communist leadership and discipline. Then and now, this opposition only leads to capitulation to revisionism itself.


In Foundations of Leninism, Stalin lays out that because imperialism is a world-wide system, we must now “speak of the world proletarian revolution.” (FLP, p.29) With the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the first being the USSR in October, 1917, “the revolution spreads beyond the confines of one country; the epoch of world revolution has begun.” (FLP, p.85) Furthermore, Stalin writes that the dictatorship of the proletariat becomes a “main force” in the proletarian struggle for state power in all countries.

Following this basic line the Bolshevik CPSU led in organizing the Third Communist International (1919 to 1944), known as the COMINTERN we mentioned earlier. The role of the COMINTERN was to give international disciplined leadership to the proletarian forces in every country in their struggle against imperialism and for socialism. The struggle to build the COMINTERN was also a struggle against the consolidated ’revisionism of the Second International. It was their support of the imperialists’ war policies in World War I that thoroughly exposed the parties of the Second International as enemies of the international proletariat and all oppressed peoples of the world.

The CPSU (Bolshevik) earned the respect and leading authority of the international proletariat and oppressed peoples because of its long years of victorious revolutionary struggle against imperialism, against opportunism, for Leninism as the only orthodox Marxism in the era of imperialism and for the consolidation of socialism in the dictatorship of the proletariat in the USSR.

We no longer have the leadership of the COMINTERN, which was disbanded in 1944. Nor do we have the leadership of the CPSU and the dictatorship of the proletariat in the USSR. Revisionists seized control of the party in the years following Stalin’s death. They restored capitalism, establishing a highly centralized fascist system of state monopoly capitalism.

However, Marxist-Leninists throughout the world recognize the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the international communist movement. This leadership, this influence, has been won through the correctness of the CCP’s line in revolutionary struggle worldwide ľagainst US imperialism, against Soviet social imperialism, for orthodox Marxism-Leninism, and for class struggle throughout socialist construction in the several dictatorships of the proletariat. Especially significant is the CCP’s general line for the international communist movement laid down in 1963 in opposition to the modern revisionism of the Soviet Union, (see A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement, 1963, FLP)


We must deepen our grasp of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought and accept the leadership of the CCP on the basis of its established and continuing revolutionary political line. The main danger we must guard against is economism and right opportunism in general. These deviations allow the line of modern revisionists into our ranks to retard our struggle for the party and for proletarian revolution.

Within our organization our own petty bourgeois tendencies in matters of line and organization and our own lack of understanding of proletarian leadership have held us back from firmly grasping the general line of the international proletariat. We will say more about this in future articles, for we realize that these tendencies, this petty bourgeois trend, exists throughout the movement.

We cannot escape the long history of opportunism in this country. Nor can we escape the current state of our movement, which is dominated by economist tendencies, by a petty bourgeois trend. We can only transform these conditions by struggling against economism itself. It is this struggle, as it was for Lenin and the Bolsheviks, that prepares the conditions for the party.

Particularly on the question of international leadership of the CCP and the struggle against the “gang of four”, we urge every Marxist-Leninist organization and collective to develop a division of labor which can lead all cadre and other advanced workers in the deeper study and application of the leading line of the CCP. For example, the weekly Peking Review must become basic reading in all groups.

We do not start from our “independent positions” but from the established leading line of the international proletariat. This line embodies the accumulated theory and practice of the proletarian class struggle throughout the world.