First Published: Workers Viewpoint, Vol. 1, No. 7, November 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.
EROL Note: This is the text that the authors of the article, MLOC: Intriguing and Conspiring for a Revisionist Clique published and referred to as the MLOC “secret document.”
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Over two years ago, through intense ideological and political struggle, many Marxist-Leninists came forward to recognize the necessity of party building as the central task in this period. This advance in the revolution represented the fruits of many groups and individuals in struggles waged against the economist-liquidationist line of the Revolutionary Union, and others.
Now, over two years later, our revolution still lacks a clear and definite plan for actually uniting Marxist –Leninists. Organizations, collectives and individuals definitely have some ideas. But the question of “How to form the party,” remains unanswered. A genuine plan of action for unity has yet to emerge – a plan which will establish with authority a guiding line and policy to build the vanguard communist party.
Part of the source of this failure to date has been that the revolutionary elements within the Marxist-Leninist movement have yet to strike a decisive blow to defeat the dominant economist line in our movement. We remain fragmented and somewhat divided. At the same time, however, particularly in the last several months, there has been a flowering of Marxist-Leninist organizations and collectives around the country, with plans for more than one new national newspaper in the works. However, this upsurge, in itself, cannot defeat opportunism.
The widespread growth of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought is a very positive development, particularly since this development represents the increasing isolation of the economist trend of our revolution. As we have seen, with the isolation of this economist, retrograde trend, it becomes ever more backward, more regressive, more revisionist, as evidenced by the attack against Mao Tsetung Thought in the Draft Party Program of the Revolutionary Union.
To strike a decisive blow against Imperialism and Opportunism – to reconstitute the vanguard communist party – it is necessary for the revolutionary elements of our movement to concentrate a superior force; ideologically, politically and organizationally. This means that Marxist-Leninists must begin to work together in a much more intense way, on the basis of equality and mutual respect. While the pace of this work must increase, it must be conducted in a quiet, secretive manner, until such time as a superior force has been assembled. We must not arouse the watch dogs at the gate before we are inside.
Within this context, it is appropriate and mandatory for Marxist-Leninists to come forward with outline plans for uniting Marxist-Leninists. Not that any one plan advanced by any particular organization, including the MLOC, will necessarily represent a complete or a correct approach, but in the sense that the advancement of such a plan is the basis for struggle and unity, the basis to defeat passivity, the basis to take the initiative.
To strike a decisive blow against Opportunism – to reconstitute the vanguard communist party – requires that we give full play to the dynamic subjective factor of many organizations and collectives. It is only by truly mobilizing a superior force that we can bring about a transformation of the balance of forces that currently exists in the revolutionary movement.
Since the liquidation of the proletarian communist party in 1944, there have been numerous efforts to reconstitute the party, including the POC, the PL, the National Liaison Committee and the Continuations Committee, and others. These efforts, both positive and negative, must be summed up objectively, together with the international experience of the communist movements of other countries who have built genuine Marxist-Leninist parties, or who have reconstituted genuine parties after the break with modern revisionism. Out of this kind of summation a genuine unity plan can emerge.
Organizations such as the MLOC, ATM, WV or PRRWO individually work in a limited part of the country, have few cadre and limited theoretical training. Working individually, in a few particular areas, it is not possible to qualitatively transform the balance of forces in the revolutionary movement between Marxism and Opportunism – where opportunism is still the dominant force. Precisely because the retrograde opportunist trend of our revolution is stronger today, it is important for Marxist-Leninists to take the opportunists seriously, carefully consider the correct forms of struggle, and concentrate all our efforts to strike the opportunists where they are weakest, step by step, to create local superiority in many campaigns, winning over the honest forces, and smashing opportunism and revisionism.
If we succeed in concentrating our forces ideologically, politically and organizationally, it will be possible to move from a quantitative to a qualitative change and from a local to a national transformation of our movement. This is the basis for party building.
Comrades, the enemy that we face today, which holds back the reconstitution of the vanguard communist party, is opportunism, national chauvinism and American exceptionalism The principle of concentrating a superior force to destroy the enemy forces has been advanced by Comrade Mao Tsetung as the correct strategy for warfare, as well as the correct strategy for carrying out all forms of proletarian work. In the final analysis, this is a question of ideological and political line, concentrating a superior force to destroy the enemy force stems from a dialectical-materialist world outlook and methodology.
This represents the strategic and tactical thinking of the Marxist-Leninist Organizing Committee on how to move forward toward the party. The following outline notes for a plan to Unite Marxist-Leninists are offered for discussion and struggle with comrades.
We take up the question of unity from the (1) Ideological, (2) Political and (3) Organizational frameworks. Our view is that a high degree of ideological unity has already been achieved amongst some organizations, and that this is being confirmed in practice at this time. Politically, that a relatively high degree of unity can be consolidated in the immediate months ahead, if organizational steps are taken to enforce and develop the existing political unity. The most important organizational step at this time is a definite schedule of contact and work amongst organizations.
On the basis of these notes, we would seek to set out such a definite schedule of contact and work.
These notes are offered confidentially, and we would request that they not be distributed except to the appropriate body of your organization.
We look forward to clarifying any questions this raises, and hearing your views regarding the task of Uniting Marxist-Leninists.
In September 1975, the MLOC advanced its views on Marxist-Leninists Unite! in the document CONCENTRATING A SUPERIOR FORCE TO SMASH REVISIONISM AND BUILD THE PARTY. The present document is the second in this discussion series, to further develop the question of strategy and tactics for party building. In line with our general strategy of concentrating a superior force to strike a decisive blow, these views have not, and will not be advanced in public documents of the MLOC, but offered on a bilateral basis to organizations and friends with whom the MLOC struggles to unite toward the reconstitution of a vanguard communist party.
First, we would like to summarize concisely the development of our line on party building to this point:
Four Tactics of Party Building: (1) Political line is Key, Theory is Decisive. What we stress here is the development of political line based upon a granite theoretical foundation, based upon the view that the political line of no organization at this time is adequate as a minimum basis of unity. That it is through joint theoretical work to develop political line that material unity will be built within the revolutionary trend, and a genuine center in our movement emerge through this struggle. (2) Bolshevization of Cadre. (3) The principal slogan in the communist movement is Marxist-Leninists Unite. (4) The principal slogan in the workers movement is Win Over the Advanced to Communism.
Second, in September, in the document CONCENTRATE..., we pointed out that our evaluation of the last thirty years of the struggle to reconstitute a vanguard communist party in this country, together with our summation of the international experience of the communist movement (particularly the struggle to build new Marxist-Leninist parties) pointed to (1) the need for a definite plan and policy to forge concrete unity, overcome passivity and spontaneity; (2) the importance of concentrating a superior force to win victories on a local basis in order to strike a decisive blow by surprise; (3) the need to break the isolation, fragmentation and small, circle outlook that still permeates the revolutionary trend and many genuine forces; (4) that opportunism and imperialism must be attacked at their weakest link – which today is on the theoretical front; (5) that whether or not to concentrate a superior force as the basis of strategy and tactics for party building is a fundamental question of dialectical-materialist outlook and methodology. (6) Briefly discussed the ideological, political and organizational basis for breaking with modern revisionism, which constitutes the kernel of an actual plan in this regard.
Third, in October, COMMUNIST LINE #1 developed these views further by (1) tracing the historic struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat internationally and in the US – drawing conclusions about our tasks regarding proletarian internationalism; (2) conducted a preliminary investigation of the struggle to build a vanguard communist party in the US and its revisionist degeneration; (3) outlined the major efforts at reconstitution since 1944; (4) advanced the view that political line is key and theory is decisive; (5) outlined the historic right danger of American exceptionalism and national chauvinism; (6) drew some conclusions regarding method in historical analysis; (7) developed the historical two line struggle in the US on the questions of the united front, the black national question and the trade union question.
Even though the MLOC is relatively new as an organization, we have undertaken the development of a theoretical journal, COMMUNIST LINE, because it is on the theoretical front that we believe that a decisive blow must be struck at this time, in order to strike future blows on the political and organizational fronts.
Based upon our investigation both of the objective and subjective factors, the MLOC believes that the communist movement is at a critical turning point, and that unless a genuine vanguard party is formed in the near future, unless very substantial steps in this direction are taken in 1976, that either the disintegration of the subjective motion of the movement or the objective conditions – in the form of war or severe repression, might result in a setback of our movement that could take many years to recover from. In short, that Marxist-Leninists must make bold action to unite and form the party now.
The following represents a further development of our strategy and tactics to UNITE MARXIST-LENINISTS!
(1) The Revolutionary Trend
We believe that within the revolutionary trend no organization stands at the head at this time, but rather that organizations stand abreast of each other. A center within the trend has not emerged, nor does it appear that a single organization will achieve such hegemony. On the contrary, that a center will emerge for the movement as a whole out of the struggle to unite within the revolutionary trend. Therefore, while we have identified seven basic points which characterize the motion of the trend, it is not a mechanical question of whether or not a single organization unites with all seven points. Even with those organizations with the highest level of unity, that unity has yet to be tested in the storm of the class struggle, nor has a granite theoretical foundation been given to that unity. Therefore, the revolutionary trend is both a question of political line, and of the attitude toward unity and importance of particular organizations in the overall struggle of the proletariat. Comrades must make every effort to work together with the closest allies available, think in terms of the majority, and unite with those with whom there are differences on the basis of unity-struggle-unity.
The most important questions of line at this time are: 1) Party building as the central task. 2) Political line is key in this period. 3) Right opportunism is the main danger in the workers and communist movement. 4) Marxist-Leninists Unite as our banner in the communist movement. 5) Win the advanced to Communism as our banner in the workers movement. 6) Factory nuclei as our form of organization in the class. 7) The right to self determination up to and including secession for the Afro American nation.
The composition of this trend includes national organizations as well as many small circles and collectives on a local basis who are struggling to overcome their small circle mentality and unite to build the party.
(2) State of the Communist Movement
The economist tendency within our movement remains the dominant one at this time, but the Marxist-Leninist forces are on the rise. The profusion of collectives and organizations around the country – most in opposition to economism, marks a very important development. However, such collectives remain very isolated. The national organizations, cannot be truly called national. There is no organization with the capacity to sum up political work on a national basis and unite various collectives and groups. Organizations have certain areas of strength, not a national presence in the East, West, South and Northwest, Southwest. This makes the struggle for unity amongst the major organizations within the revolutionary trend very important – in order that they can mobilize the movement as a whole on a national basis.
At the same time, it is now clear that the October League plans to form a party within the next several months, by “this Spring.” They are also proceeding to form a national workers organization out of their Fight Back Conference and a national Communist Youth Organization. The circulation of the Call presently is about 22,000, and it plans to publish weekly, probably by mid year.
This development makes it all the more imperative that the revolutionary trend seek unity in order to combat the right opportunist tide and unite many honest revolutionary elements who today, have contact only with a large organization such as the October League.
The MLOC believes that it is very important to struggle in a principled manner with honest forces in the October League and around them, and that an adequate struggle on a national level, con dieted on a principled manner, has yet to be waged with the OL.
Strategy and tactics of concentrating a superior force must relate to (1) organizations and groups within the revolutionary trend, (2) the large number of collectives, (3) the OL party building plan, (4) consolidated bourgeois elements such as the RCP, CLP, etc.
(3) The Theoretical and Political Front
Our sense of the motion of the movement is that for at least the next several months, through the middle of 1976, the major front against opportunism will continue to be the theoretical form of class struggle, in order to weld the core on a correct political line. At the same time, steps must be taken toward organizational consolidation.
a) Major Theoretical Tasks Nov 75-June 76: 1. The nature of the Crisis of Imperialism. 2. The Black National Question. 3. The Chicano National Question. 4. The TU Question. 5. Preliminary work on Class Analysis. 6. Preliminary Outline for Party Program. The MLOC believes that substantial progress or completion of these tasks could be accomplished in the next six months, based upon the state of work at this time. Here we are talking about a presentation of the questions with at least the same breadth and depth as COMMUNIST LINE #1, hopefully more substantial.
b) Clarity in regard to political line can be achieved for: 1. Black National Question, 2. Chicano National Question, 3. TU work, 4) The Crisis.
c) We see the major theoretical tasks for the second half of 1976 to be: 1. Complete substantial draft class analysis. 2. Complete historical investigation from 1945-1975. 3. Intensive work on Draft Party Program.
d) In the second half of the year, or sooner if possible, a thorough summation of the state of the movement must be made, in every area of the country, summing up trends, etc. We feel the most important areas are the South, the Mid-west, the Southwest.
e) The MLOC evaluation of the situation is that very substantial gains can be made in consolidating the break ideologically and politically by the middle of 1976, and that much more aggressive organizational steps might then be appropriate, depending of course upon what has actually been achieved. Here we are talking about a national mobilization by the revolutionary trend, not the actual formation of the party.
(4) Guard Against Subjectivism –Think In Terms of the Whole
In COMMUNIST LINE, the MLOC pointed out that in terms of the movement as a whole, the right danger of unprincipled unity was the main danger. But that in terms of the revolutionary trend, the danger was that of sectarianism, of requiring overbaked unity in order to unite. Our view is that in this period, it is very important for comrades to think in terms of the interest of the entire movement in order to unite the revolutionary trend. This means that organizations must struggle (1) to place the needs of the movement ahead of the interests of one’s own organization, to always consider the situation as a whole in determining strategy and tactics, particularly in regard to uniting Marxist-Leninists. At the same time, (2) it is important that each organization rely upon their own practice in evaluating a question, that each organization build a solid base amongst the masses and maintain its own independence and initiative.
But this later point cannot be interpreted as ah excuse to place on a back burner proposals to unite, to hesitate to answer correspondence of other organizations, to adopt sloppy methods of work in organizational relations.
Comrades must develop the ability to become Marxist-Leninist statesmen, capable of uniting not only with those with whom there is agreement, but with those with whom there is disagreement, and even with those who opposed us in the past, as Comrade Mao Tsetung has pointed out.
In boldly seeking unity on the basis of principled and correct ideological and political line, comrades must be prepared to compromise on the basis of principle, in order to unite against the common enemies of opportunism and imperialism, “Compromise,” wrote Lenin, means “the surrender of certain of one’s demands, the renunciation of part of one’s demands by agreement with another party,” In struggling to unite Marxist-Leninists, it is obligatory for communists to seek and to find compromise with the program of other genuine Marxist-Leninists, when this does not violate one’s principles. What is taken as a principle must be judged in terms of the interests of the whole, not the part. This means taking the long, rather than the short range point of view.
In uniting Marxist-Leninists, we must first develop fraternal relations among organizations in order to unite the revolutionary trend. Unity in the revolutionary trend is the decisive factor that will allow us to launch a national mobilization of Marxist-Leninists around a correct ideological, political and organizational line, and advance toward the party in close step.
(5) On Mobilization
In order to concentrate a superior force against opportunism, we must make a concerted and patient effort to mobilize our soldiers for battle, theoretically and politically. Our immediate task is to mobilize the revolutionary trend, in order to mobilize all genuine and honest Marxist-Leninist forces in the movement into a vanguard party. The mobilization of the masses against Imperialism depends upon the general staff we are creating now.
Our outline plan and policy to unite Marxist-Leninists must be considered as a question of political mobilization. This requires four questions be taken up: a) Identify clearly the aim of the campaign – to unite Marxist-Leninists into a vanguard communist party, and the various steps along the way. b) Identify a plan for implementation – the sketch offered in this document and the previous organizational outline in CONCENTRATE.... c) Identify the various forms of struggle, d) Link the campaign to the concrete conditions at the time.
The MLOC believes that it has taken some very first steps in this regard, with these documents and other proposals to Marxist-Leninists, but this is far from constituting a national campaign in swing. Such a campaign will be effective only if it unites the revolutionary trend, a campaign, based upon unity and struggle, which many organizations place on the top of their agenda. We look forward to developing this campaign and mobilization in line with concentrating a superior force to destroy the enemy one by one.