Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Central Committee, Motor City Labor League (M-L)

Political Report: The Building of Cadre as Political Leadership in the Process of Building the Multi-National Anti-Revisionist Communist Party

Issued: May 14, 1974.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The dialectical method therefore requires that phenomena should be considered not only from the standpoint of their interconnection and interdependence, but also from the standpoint of their movement, their change, their development, their coming into being and going out of being. (Short Course, p. 107)

The CC has begun the process of developing our political and organizational goals to mobilize our work and make our practice a part of the conscious growth of the organization and the new party. We have fought for and won our line for the Motor City Labor League. We have fought for and begun to win the struggle for Marxist-Leninist education. We must fight to develop the correct strategy and tactics for this period – the period of the building of the party of a new type in the USNA. As we develop the strategy and tactics of the Motor City Labor League we must bear in mind the general principles of communist strategy and tactics:

a) The adoption, as a basis, of the conclusion, arrived at by Marxist theory and confirmed by revolutionary practise, that in capitalist countries the proletariat is the only completely revolutionary class, which is interested in the complete emancipation of mankind from capitalism and whose mission it is, therefore, to be the leader of all the oppressed and exploited masses in the struggle to overthrow capitalism.
b) the adoption, as a basis, of the conclusion...that the strategy and tactics of the Communist Party of any country can be correct only if they are not confined to the interests of “their own country”, “their own fatherland”, “their own” proletariat, but, on the contrary, if, while taking into account the conditions and situation in their own country, they make the interests of the international proletariat, the interests of the revolution in other countries, the corner-stone, i.e. if, in essence, in spirit, they are internationalist...
c) The adoption, as a starting point, of the repudiation of all doctrinairism (Right and Left) when changing strategy and tactics, when working out new strategic plans and tactical lines... recognition that it is necessary to stand by the point of view of Marxism, not to ’lie down on it,’ that it is necessary to ‘change the world’, not ’merely to interpret’ it, that it is necessary to lead the proletariat and be the conscious expression of the unconscious process and not ’contemplate the proletariat’s rear’...(Stalin, The Political Strategy and Tactics of the Russian Communists, pp 81-2)

This report, then, is the first step in the development of the MCLL’s strategy and tactics for this period. We have begun by projecting the political questions and organizational tasks that we face within the next month. This paper includes, then, some developing positions and some questions which remain to be developed. But only if all cadre can begin’ to understand the general organizational strategy and tactics, as well as the political line, will we most effectively and efficiently mobilize ourselves and discipline ourselves for the tasks which lay ahead.

Our study is progressing. In general, cadre are exercising the discipline necessary for their growth and learning the science. We experienced the concrete result of that growth in the CCC [Control, Conflict, Change – a MCLL public education project – EROL] session where many cadre, for the first time, exercised political leadership around the line. This was possible because of the dialectical relationship between the struggle which produced the line and the struggle for Marxist-Leninist education of all cadre. The study groups are developing although with their growth, new contradictions emerge.

The contradictions which we face in our study in this period are three – empiricism, dogmatism, and internal sectarianism. The error of empiricism is committed by cadre who continue to avoid the discipline necessary to study the science as the theory of class struggle and instead substitute either the “facts” of the science or the “facts” of practical struggle for the struggle for their own theoretical growth. Dogmatism is an error which arises out of the process of the study of the science when the first fundamentals are grasped, but only insecurely, and rote recitation of the principles, quotes and reading more and more substitutes for the concrete application of those principles to the experience and reality of class struggle in the USNA and the world, 1974.

If all a person can do is to commit Marxist economics or philosophy to memory, reciting glibly from Chapter I to Chapter X, but is utterly unable to apply them, can he be considered a Marxist theorist? No! He cannot. We kind of theorists do we want? We want theorists who can, in accordance with the Marxist-Leninist stand, viewpoint, and method, correctly interpret the practical problems arising in the course of history and revolution. (Mao Tse-Tung, “Rectify the Party’s Style of Work, p.212, Selected Readings, Peking)

The error of dogmatism must be consistently struggled against, and comrades must point it out. But the essential resolution of dogmatism comes with the beginning mastery of the science – when the fundamental principles are so clearly understood that they then become tools.

The error of internal sectarianism is described by Mao: “Some comrades see only the interests of the part and not the whole; they always put undue stress on that part of the work for which they themselves are responsible and always wish to subordinate the interests of the whole to the interests of their own part.” (Mao Tse-Tung, “Rectify the Party’s Style of Work, p.220). In the fight for education, comrades must fight for the education of all; must come to understand their personal responsibilities in terms of the responsibilities of the party to the class struggle; must come to understand their personal contradictions in terms of the contradictions of the working classes.

Study must continue to be an integral part of our political work. The CC requests study group leaders to submit a monthly report (first report due 6/18) on the development of their study group. This report should be a political report that defines the political growth of the group in terms of concepts developed, important political struggles, and the growth of the group in relationship to our line and our strategy and tactics.

But because we are learning the science, because we are grasping the fundamental principles of how to be revolutionary proletarian leadership the demand in the next period is for the application of our growing skills as Marxist-Leninists.

Thus, our study must be more consciously integrated into our place of work activity and into the process of party building.

The preparation for the party by all cadre in the Motor City Labor League defines, then, this next period of our Strategy and tactics. We must continue to grow as scientific Marxist–Leninists; we must grow as political leadership in the class; we must prepare for the actual process of the Congress; and we must develop the political positions on the nature and form of the new party. Only by understanding these tasks in relationship to one another and in relationship to class struggle in the USNA and in the world can we develop the pace and discipline necessary to do the enormous amount of study and work required of us as communists prior to the September Congress. We must mobilize, consciously, for the building of the party!

Our development as Marxist-Leninist leadership in the class serves a two-fold purpose. Our place of work activity allows us to consciously integrate our developing understanding of the science into the concrete and practical aspects of the class struggle. At the same time, our place of work activity places us in a relationship to the class essential for us as communists building a party to lead the proletariat to the dictatorship of the proletariat. The political principles by which this work is carried out are embodied in the concept of the fractional method of work.

The fractional method of work is a set of principles that guide the activity of communists within the context of condition, time and place. Thus, the fractional method of work is not a “recipe” by which any communist can “cook up” the same cake, by following the ingredients and method of a comrade somewhere else. Rather, comrades apply the principles of the fractional method, discuss and criticise their practise with other comrades, study and learn from previous examples and creatively apply the fundamentals of the science and the line. It is this process that ensures the success of the fractional method.

As work committees in the Motor City Labor League begin to struggle over the application of the principles of the fractional method of work, they must always bear in mind that they are taking the party into the class – in a systematic and scientific way. The cadre at any place of work (or community) form the “nuclei.” The nuclei bring the party line to the workplace, bring the experienced leadership of the party to the workplace and bring the science to the workplace. The nuclei develops a strategy for the formation of fractions. A fraction draws advanced workers around one or more members of the nuclei. Thus, it is a coalescence of Marxist-Leninists and developing Marxist-Leninists within a factory or hospital, or school, etc. That fraction begins systematic study and begins to apply that study to action at the place of work. The activity of the fraction leads to the “rooting” of the fraction in the factory or other place of activity. It is the “root system” by which Marxist-*Leninists develop agents for their work – a critical part of agitation, propaganda, and collecting information from the class. Lenin points out that

...a network of agents that would form in the course of establishing and distributing a common newspaper would not have to ’sit around and wait’ for the call for an uprising, but would carry on the regular work that would guarantee the highest probability of success in the event of an uprising. Such work would strengthen our contacts with the broadest strata of the masses of the workers and with all those strata who are discontented with the autocracy... (p. 219, What Is to be Done?)

The fraction, then, is the party moving out into the class – in the trade union, factory, school, community organization and other areas of class activity.

The work that must be done in the next period is the work for the political understanding of the placement and composition of fractions, the development of legal and illegal methods of work in the factory and community, and the relationship of the fraction to outside groups. The nuclei of the fraction must be protected and never exposed. The fraction, itself, must often be protected. Thus, a student fraction may leaflet a plant with a leaflet written by the fraction inside the plant. A community fraction may leaflet a school with a leaflet written by a student/teacher fraction inside the school. These external relationships between fractions develop ties between sectors of the class and between the working classes and spreads the base of the party.

As we develop as class leadership, we must continue our internal struggle and growth around those issues which face the class, and subsequently the party, as critical in this period. The Central Committee believes that the national question and the woman’s question are issues which all Marxist-Leninists must study carefully and must observe, as contradictions, within the struggle of the class. As we study the scientific principles of Leninism and political economy we must be conscious of the application of these principles to the issues of the national question and the woman’s question. Cadre should begin to prepare, now, for the study of these issues in the next period.

Organizationally, we must also struggle to define our position on the nature and movement of the class forces in this period – our analysis of the objective conditions under which the party will be formed. This analysis includes the study of the leading force, the relationships of the working classes to one another, and the question of class allies of the proletariat.

And all our studies of the objective conditions must be integrated into our struggle around the creation of the party programme. We must resolve the historical contradictions we have faced, organizationally, between “theoretical work” and “practise” and that resolution lies in our struggle to ground our theory in the programme the practical application of our theory to guide the class struggle.

The Marxist programme, based on deductions from the theory, defines the aim of the movement of the rising class, in the present case the proletariat, during a certain period in the development of capitalism, or during the whole of the capitalist period...” (Stalin, The Political Strategy..., p. 64)

The development of the programme is the beginning of the resolution of the contradictions facing us in the development of a “political line” and a “mass line”, as __ and __ note in their report on the May Day picnic. As we have a clearer strategy in terms of a program, it will be possible to develop the correct slogans, based on concrete analysis, of any particular occasion.

Slogans are still more important in the political sphere, when one has to deal with tens and hundreds of millions of the population with their diverse demands and requirements. A slogan is a concise and clear formulation of the aims of the struggle, near or remote, given by the leading group, let us say, of the proletariat, by its party. Slogans vary in accordance with the different aims of the struggle, aims embracing either a whole historical period or individual stages and episodes of the given historical period. (Stalin, Concerning the Question of the Strategy and Tactics of the Russian Communists, p. 174)

Our continuing study, our developing leadership in the class, the taking of political positions and theoretical struggle, are all part of the processes that will prepare us for the political tasks of building the party. We must also, however, concretely prepare for the organizational tasks of the Congress itself. We must lay the political basis for positions regarding who attends the congress (delegates, complete organizations, proportionate representation, etc?); regarding security around the congress; regarding the rules for the congress; and regarding the principles of struggle within the congress. These questions cannot be separated from our participation in the Continuations committee. We need to more clearly define the relationship of the local committee to the national; to begin organizational polemics on positions for the congress; and struggle for the position that local committees begin discussion of the programme.

A key event in the preparation for the party, particularly in Detroit, will be a forum sponsored by the local continuations committee on July 13th, Saturday, at Trinity. (Probably in the afternoon – time isn’t firmed up yet). The forum will be a consolidation of the work and movement of the local cont. comt. It will clarify the positions of the committee up to that point and put out its analysis of the motion of the class. The forum is not a mass event nor is it meant to be a recruitment mechanism. Cadre should invite close contacts, but there will be no mass publicity. Trotskyites will be kept out.

And finally, we must consciously prepare for the party in the city of Detroit. Our participation on the local cont. comt., the CCC session, and our participation in the July forum are all concrete steps in that process. The move out of 17404 John R is a statement of our preparedness to consolidate with the party forces. The CC believes that the MCLL can also bring a substantial financial basis into the party and is making a special assessment of $15 (if income over $10,000) or $10 (if income under $10,000) for the next four months. Cadre are required to make that assessment as well as their dues. Cadre are reminded that part of the material basis of party building is money and that lack of discipline in that regard is to seriously disrupt our capacity to engage in the necessary work.

...that only the political party of the working class, i.e. the Communist Party, is capable of uniting, training, and organizing a vanguard of the proletariat and of the whole mass of the working people that alone will be capable of withstanding the inevitable petty-bourgeois vacillations of this mass and the inevitable traditions and relapses of narrow craft unionism or craft prejudices among the proletariat, and of guiding all the united activities of the whole proletariat, i.e. of leading it politically, and through it, the whole mass of the working people. Lenin, “Preliminary Draft of the Resolution of the 10th Congress of the R.C.P. (B)