Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist)

Editorial: The Road to Communist Unity

First Published: The Call, Vol. 6, No. 50, December 26, 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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How can communist unity be strengthened? What contributions can the Communist Party Marxist-Leninist (CPML) make in uniting with those genuine revolutionaries who are still outside our Party? These are some of the questions to which the CPML is directing its attention at present.

To advance the cause of communist unity and our efforts to forge a single unified communist party in the U.S., the CPML is initiating a series of steps in the near future, including the formation of a Marxist-Leninist Unity Committee.

The founding of our Party marked a great step forward for the communist movement and for the whole working class. Since its Founding Congress, the CPML has pushed forward the level of our movement and has succeeded in uniting the broad revolutionary forces more than at any time during the recent period.

Our Party has helped to unite many forces who were previously scattered and disunited. In addition, the Program and Political Report of the Founding Congress have become major guiding documents for Marxist-Leninists throughout the country. Finally, the CPML has provided these forces with a leading center around which to rally all those who can be united in common struggle against imperialism, exploitation and oppression.

In sum, the founding of our Party was a big blow against the primitiveness of the period of small local circles, as well as a major defeat for those backward thinkers who tried to extend this local-circle period indefinitely.

Then why the need for a new Unity Committee to further advance the party-building efforts?

The truth is that the founding of the CPML did not put an end to the struggle for communist unity. While the current situation within our movement is extremely favorable, there are still some important shortcomings in our efforts to forge a single unified Marxist-Leninist party.

There are still many honest and committed Marxist-Leninists who remain outside the CPML. Some of these people are actively seeking unity with our Party. Others have disagreements or questions about our line and program.

These Marxist-Leninists are to be found in local collectives and study groups; in organizations operating in several cities; in some parties or organizations presently under opportunist or revisionist leadership or influence; or working individually, without any organization to unite them. There are even some within the revisionist Communist Party who are beginning to see through the charade which that party has been carrying on for so long.

How can this situation be changed for the better and greater unity be built?

Our Party expressed in its founding documents its desire and intention to carry on the unity efforts for a long period after our Party was founded. In the Political Report, we put it this way: “This Congress of unity is a major step in uniting a significant number of communists into a single unified Marxist-Leninist party, but this task is by no means over. Based on our strengthened unity and on the firm basis of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, we must be able to unite even greater numbers of communists who still remain in some local circles and in organizations under opportunist leadership. Our Congress should be a rallying cry of ’Marxist-Leninists Unite!’”

This statement is a guide to our work in building relations with other communists. It is a break from the narrowness and self-serving sectarianism of the opportunists, such as the so-called Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) and the former super-Bolsheviks of the “Revolutionary Wing” like the Workers Viewpoint Organization (WVO).

These groups and others claim that “party-building is already a settled question” now that they have declared themselves to be the “vanguard of the working class.” Their party-building escapades have been marked by splittism and division in the ranks rather than by increased unity.

In fact, throughout this whole period, party-building remains the central task of our movement. The Marxist-Leninist party in the U.S. still must be planted firmly and squarely on its feet. Communist unity must still be in the forefront of our thoughts, and this thinking must be translated into a concrete plan of action for communists to follow. These unity efforts must be carried out in the heat of mass struggle, uniting the Party while building the workers movement and the fightback of the masses against the capitalist system.

The need to step up our party-building efforts and the favorable conditions for doing so can be seen by examining the rapidly changing conditions both in our country and around the world.

Internationally, the unity trend among the Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations continues to move forward and develop in the struggle against revisionism. Faced with the developing factors for war and revolution on a world scale, the communist movement is gathering its forces and deepening its ties to the masses in the capitalist countries. The growing war danger especially has brought home the urgency of party-building.

Further highlighting this urgency is the deepening general crisis of capitalism. The crisis has brought about a rising tide in the strike movement in the U.S. and a growing awareness on the part of many workers of the need for class struggle. Large numbers of revolutionary-minded workers are turning towards Marxism for answers to their problems.

Against this positive trend stand the revisionists of various types who all direct their main blow at the rising communist movement. In building Marxist-Leninist unity, we must overcome new attempts by these revisionists to sabotage our efforts.

In some countries, revisionist attacks on Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought and on the People’s Republic of China and its great Party have gained some popularity among petty-bourgeois elements. But these forces still represent a counter-current against the rising tide of revolutionary unity.

Furthermore, the sharpening contradictions in the U.S. and throughout the world have forced modern revisionism, headed by Soviet social-imperialism, to come out more and more into the open as the counter-revolutionary force that it is. Because of this, many who were previously taken in by its “socialist” words are waking up to the imperialist character of the Soviet superpower.

In addition, many of the opportunists who conciliated with modern revisionism have also been forced to reveal themselves. In this country, for example, the Guardian newspaper and the RCP, who a little over a year ago still called themselves “Maoists,” have now launched their reactionary attacks on China and the teachings of Mao Tsetung. They are revealing to many of their own followers their bankrupt nature.

With such favorable conditions around us, our Party is calling on the genuine communists throughout the country to get organized on the basis of support for Marxism-Leninism and opposition to revisionism.

Recognizing that differences do exist alongside unity, it is necessary to organize the struggle for a single unified party. Moreover, it must be organized in such as way that unity serves as a foundation for principled struggle, leading again to an even higher level of unity.

Our Party has summed up the strong and weak points of past unity efforts, such as the Organizing Committee for a Marxist-Leninist Party (OC), which paved the way towards the founding of the CPML. On that basis, we are initiating efforts to form a new communist Unity Committee.

This Unity Committee (UC) should serve as a unifying center for all Marxist-Leninists. The UC could be formed like the OC was in 1976, around a platform of unity or a “unity statement.” Such a statement would include the essential points necessary to demarcate our efforts from the revisionists and opportunists. At the same time, it Would not be a fully comprehensive program in order to allow for broader initial unity and debate. Those forces uniting around such a statement could then hold a series of meetings and conferences, as well as other activities designed to further the cause of communist unity. In the course of such activities, discussion and debate could be organized to resolve differences in a principled way.

Each group or organization uniting in the UC would have an equal say, regardless of its size and stature. Each could present its views and proposals regarding the best path towards unity in one, single party.

Of course, such a proposal would allow for the continued independent life of the existing organizations. But it would also enable a higher level of joint work and cooperation while the unity efforts were going on.

In the weeks ahead, The Call will publish further proposals regarding the Unity Committee, as well as any other proposals and suggestions aimed at the cause of communist unity. We encourage others to consult with us in drawing up the initial formal proposal and in drafting the unity statement.