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Marxist-Leninist Organizing Committee

Documents of the First Congress of the MLOC – Political Report from the Central Committee


What is the Problem?

Our central task remains party building. We are now approaching the solution to this problem. Engels noted that the proletariat becomes a force the moment an independent workers’ party is constituted. He pointed out that force as one that has to be reckoned with. We certainly will build a party that is a force to be reckoned with!

How are we going to move to actually form the party? A problem really is nothing more than a contradiction. Where we have a problem, there is a contradiction involved. The way to solve that problem is by understanding both aspects of the contradiction, determining what is principal, and rectifying the problem that we have. What is the problem in party-building? The problem is on the one hand, the contradiction between the spontaneous working class movement, the spontaneous trade union consciousness which reigns in the working class movement, and the consciousness, on the other hand, of the final aims of the movement, translated into organization. That is what a communist party is: the consciousness of the final aims of the movement translated into political organization. The contradiction between spontaneity and consciousness is the problem.

It is a question of the development of the subjective factors, that is what party-building is all about, because the objective conditions are already ripe for revolution. Comrades, we are out to build a political party which must be the most important factor in the daily lives of the workers. Let’s make no mistake about it. We will build a party which is actually the center of attention of working people in this country, which they will look to not simply for how to lead a strike, but for an analysis of culture, for an analysis of sports, for fighting for their daily needs, for assisting them in all kinds of struggles against the bourgeoisie. We are out to build a party not of a handful, not of a small number, not of hundreds or thousands, but of tens of thousands and in time millions of working and oppressed people in this country. We have to keep that in mind. We are out to build a party which really does represent the majority. This is what we mean by a party of the new type.

On behalf of the Central Committee, I state firmly that this will be a party which will never consider fighting on behalf of the U.S. bourgeoisie in an imperialist war. This will be a party that will never consider abandoning the dictatorship of the proletariat. This party will never consider self-determination a sectarian demand that only communists raise. We want to build a party which is really based on genuine multi-national unity and democratic centralism, and that is absolutely committed to armed struggle!

Take the Road of Armed Struggle

When you look around at other so-called Marxist-Leninist groups, you do not hear, find, or smell discussion of armed struggle. If you look at their programs and the content of their work, you would never know that armed struggle is a question. Comrades, we have to rectify that situation. We are not talking about boasting about picking up the gun. We are talking about laying within the ranks of the organization a basis for military victory, laying the basis for a Red Army, based on the illegal network in the plants. This is the only real basis for a Red Army. Dealing with the military questions of strategy and tactics internally, preparing ourselves to form the general nucleus, the cell, that will build the Red Army. Those questions will be fully reflected in our Draft Party Program, and distinguish us from other so-called Marxist-Leninists.

Fourthly, is the question of the unity of Marxist-Leninists in this country. We can report that we have waged a protracted struggle for 2 and a half years on this question–on an extremely patient and principled basis, on an exemplary basis. Today it is clear that several circles, such as the ATM (M-L) or the Workers’ Congress (M-L) are aligned with the theory of the “three worlds”, and the social-chauvinist road of the CP(M-L). We had originally considered the possibility of an organizing committee being formed. At this time, given the alignment of forces, we do not see the basis for such a committee. We do not close the door on such a tactic. But it appears now that only on the basis of significant agreement with the Draft Party Program, could such an organizing center be established.

Fifthly, are preparations for convening the Party Congress. Based upon summing up the experience of this Congress, we are certain that such preparations can be made in a correct manner, and should reflect the progress made in the discussion of the Draft Party Program by the workers. These are the five elements of our party building plan. They are correct, and have proven themselves in practice.

Comrades, recognizing these advances, we must be certain at the same time not to allow any arrogance or self-righteous attitudes to develop within our ranks. There are many problems we face. There will be many battles to fight ahead of us, to build the party and to consolidate the party. But we are absolutely sure that we will not unite with revisionism, or any form of Trotskyism or opportunism. We will not sit around on our hands, such as many circles have done, who after four years of existence have no plans for party-building, and who do not have the slightest idea of what is key in building the party, and expect it will fall from the sky.

Our successes are not leading us to arrogance or self-righteousness. We are resolved to build a party which is armed with Marxist-Leninist ideology, a party which is knowledgeable about its own history and the development of the working class in this country, a party with genuine unity of thought and action, and a party which is closely linked to the masses. That is the kind of party we are dedicated to build. It must be clear to all comrades, that we are now in a position to move directly towards completing this historic task.

But it is also important to sum up in a brief way some of the main problems which we see in the organization, problems which retard the development of the party. We have pointed out, comrades, and we will continue to point out, that it is important to study dialectics. It is important to understand that the progress we have made comes only through the struggle against opposites. When the great Marxist-Leninists of the world speak of the class struggle being torturous, that is what they mean.

Wage the Class Struggle on All Fronts

Our Draft Party Program clearly points out that we will wage the class struggle on all fronts: economically, politically, ideologically and militarily. More than that, our Draft Party Program really takes up the question of basic demands in a clear, precise, and Marxist-Leninist manner. You will not have to hunt through our Program, as with others, for a list of demands. This will be a great weapon in waging the class struggle, in our ability to win over the advanced and mobilize the broad masses around our Program. At the same time, it will allow us to easily expose and draw lines of demarcation between ourselves and the various opportunist trends.

With the adoption of our Draft Party Program, the main questions of strategy will be solved for our revolution. This will represent an extremely important step in our struggle.

Base the Struggle on the Main Contradictions

Our strategy is based upon our correct assessment that the main two contradictions in this country are:
1. The contradiction between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.
2. The contradiction between U.S. imperialism and the oppressed nations within the state borders of the U.S.

Our Program recognizes firmly that the main force, and the leading force in our revolution will be the proletariat. Certainly further study must be conducted to more fully elaborate the main contradictions which exist in our country. This work will be undertaken, and will help us to gain a full and complete picture of the struggle to be waged.

With the adoption of the Draft Party Program, it is correct and proper for us to turn our attention directly to the question of tactics.

Build Our Tactics to Lead the Daily Struggle

While we have solved a number of strategic questions, it is on the question of tactics where our work in the past has been weak. Tactics, comrades, are a question of the daily conduct and life of the party. Tactics tell us how we are going to wage struggle in particular battles, which battles we are going to take up, what the main slogans should be. This is a very pressing question which we must address in the period ahead.

To begin with, let us speak to the conditions which determine the tactics we adopt as a party. First, as we put forward before, there is the movement of the spontaneous struggle from an ebb to a flow period in the class struggle. We must understand what this means, that there is a real hunger for Marxism-Leninism amongst the working and oppressed peoples in this country.

Second, we have to formulate a tactical line for the present period, prior to the formation of the party, one which guides the party in the opening days and years of its existence.

Third, we need a policy and tactics which deal with the growing danger of imperialist war and fascism.

Fourth, we need tactics which really speak to solving the questions of trade union unity and multi-national unity. A tactical line which does not deal with these questions is not tactics at all.

Fifth, we need a tactic which places in the forefront of our work the struggle against the trade union bureaucrats and the labor aristocracy.

Sixth, we need a tactical line which will allow us to fight the bourgeoisie, and to take the burden of the general crisis off the backs of the workers and place it on the backs of the bourgeoisie. What kind of a tactical line that would be!....

The Central Committee has been discussing the question, and we propose that this question be actively discussed in the coming months in our organization....

It Is Time to Build the Party

Now in order to form this party, the question of timing is often raised. When do we form a Marxist-Leninist communist party? Everyone that we have known has asked us this-when is it appropriate? And we have heard all kinds of variations of right and “left” opportunism pop up over this question. You “have to have” 859 advanced workers, or you “have to have” factory nuclei in ten of the major industries in the country. Or, only when you are in the “forefront of the mass movement” can you form a party. Or, as some boast, when it is a “settled question” you can form a party. We heard that a year ago, and these “super”-revolutionaries do not yet have a program, much less a party.

We do not think it is a difficult question to answer. On the one hand, it is not a question of rushing; on the other hand, it is not a question of tailing. It is a question of correctly assessing the subjective conditions. Now we think all this garbage over the last few years about when to form a communist party was cut through very clearly by Comrade Lenin. I would like to read just one small passage from Comrade Lenin, which we think sums up the whole question. This is out of Lenin’s Collected Works, Volume 19, page 409, and I think comrades should pay attention to it. Comrade Lenin said,

It is to enable the mass of a definite class to learn to understand its own interest and position, to learn to conduct its own policy, that there must be an organization of the advanced elements of the class immediately, and at all costs, even though at first these elements constitute only a tiny fraction of the class. To do service to the masses and express their interest, having correctly conceived those interests, the advanced detachment, the organization must carry on all of its activity among the masses, drawing from the masses all the best forces without any exception, at every step verifying carefully and objectively whether contact with the masses is being maintained and whether it is live contact.

Now what do we make of that, comrades? Can it be said that our organization represents the interests of the masses? Is it an organization which is prepared to guide, lead and teach the masses in the battles ahead? indisputably that is the case. We have demonstrated that. Can it be said that our ties with the masses are live? Indisputably our ties are live ties. They are not broad, they are not deep, but they are live. Our work in numerous plants indicates that. Our work in the Dawson campaign indicates that. Our courage in coming forth on the international situation reflects that. Our taking up the defense of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania indicates that. Our stand on the national question indicates that. There are countless questions on which that is the case.

Then what is the problem? There is no problem to form the party. We have prepared the subjective conditions....How are we going about it? The key will be the development and publication of the Draft Party Program and its circulation to the workers and a summation of that circulation.

This is the year to form the party, this is the time to take that step, and failure to do so would be a step back for the working class movement here. It would be a step backwards for the class struggle worldwide.

We base our strategy and tactics on Marxism-Leninism. We are absolutely committed that the party we build here will stand on its own two feet. The party will not take orders or directions from anybody. We will not follow blindly the line of any other party, as great and glorious a party as the Communist Party of China under Mao Tsetung, or as great and glorious a party as the Party of Labor of Albania, under Enver Hoxha. These are vital lessons to be learned from history. We are building the party of the U.S. proletariat. We will represent this proletariat in an internationalist way, and we will stand on our own two feet and solve our questions ourselves, with the help from friends and comrades all over the world.