First Published: Unite!, Vol. 2, No. 2, n.d. .
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The central tasks for all Marxist-Leninists, the key link in the revolutionary chain, is the reconstitution of a vanguard communist party. Party building in the United States is fundamentally a question of fusing the communist and workers’ movement in the course of breaking ideologically, politically and organizationally with modern revisionism and all forms of opportunism.
While there is general unity on the central task, there are substantial differences on how the particularities of the nature of the task itself, how to carry it out, etc. Various organizations have put forward definite lines on uniting Marxist-Leninists and winning the advanced. The comrades from the October League (ML) have advanced its November, 1975 plan to unite Marxist-Leninists. The comrades from the Workers Congress have advanced their “Iskra plan.” The comrades from the “Revolutionary Wing” have not yet put forward their views concisely on this question. And the MLOC has begun to develop its line on joint theoretical and political work as the course for welding the core and establishing a center.
This is a situation similar to that which the Comrades from the Communist Party of China characterized the international communist movement in 1963:
A number of major differences of principle now exist in the international communist movement. But however serious these differences, we should exercise sufficient patience and find ways to eliminate them so that we can unite our forces and strengthen the struggle against our common enemy. (CONCERNING THE GENERAL LINE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNIST MOVEMENT, FLP, 1963, p.2)
It is very important to clarify ’what kind of unity’ we are seeking in our struggle to reconstitute a vanguard communist party. Everyone knows that the simple call for “unity” indicates little. As Engels stated some time ago, “One must not allow oneself to be misled by the cry for ’unity’. Those who have this word most often on their lips are the ones who sow the most dissension.... the biggest sectarians and the biggest brawlers and rogues at times shout the loudest for unity.”(“Engels to Bebel, June 20, 1873”, SELECTED CORRESPONDENCE OF MARX AND ENGELS, FLPH, Moscow, p.345)
The revisionist degeneration of the CPSU is the best illustration of what Engels was speaking about. After they publically came out and attacked the CPC in 1963, they then made a storm about the need for “unity”. Therefore we can recognize, and life confirms, that the struggle for unity is inseparably bound up with the struggle for Marxist-Leninist principle.
In the course of the struggle between Marxism-Leninism and modern revisionism from the late 1950s through the early 1960s by the Communist Party of China and the Party of Labor of Albania, definite clarity was shed on the nature of Marxist-Leninist unity:
The unity of the proletariat requires is class unity, revolutionary unity, unity against the common enemy and for the great goal of communism. The unity of the international proletariat has its theoretical and political basis in Marxism-Leninism. Only when it has theoretical and political unity can the international proletariat have organizational cohesion and unity of action.
The genuine revolutionary unity of the proletariat can be attained only by upholding principle and upholding Marxism-Leninism. Unity bought by forsaking principles and by wallowing in the mire with opportunists ceases to be proletarian unity; instead, as Lenin said, it means in practice unity of the proletariat with the national bourgeoisie and a split in the international proletariat, unity of lackeys and a split among the revolutionists.(THE POLEMIC ON THE GENERAL LINE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNIST MOVEMENT, FLP, 1965, p.317)
Proletarian unity must be materialist, in theory and in practice. It must reflect concrete reality, not wishful dreaming. Proletarian unity must also be dialectical, see things in their development, their motion, their coming into being and going out of being. Unity is never eternal. Today, the key to Marxist-Leninist unity is correct political line.
The uneven development of the proletariat in its struggle for unity was recognized vividly by Engels,
The movement of the proletariat necessarily passes through different stages of development; at every stage part of the people get stuck and do not join in the further advance; and this alone explains why it is that actually the ’solidarity of the proletariat’ is everywhere being realized in different party groupings, which carry on life and death feuds with one another. (“Engels to A. Bebel, June 20, 1873”, Selected Correspondence of Marx and Engels, FLPH, Moscow, p. 347.)
The failure to advance with the concrete conditions, leads to splittism. The greatest splitters of our time are the Soviet revisionists. The right opportunist, revisionist nature of splittism has generally taken the form of exceptionalism. Those that take the course of splittism are splitting from the proletariat and the broad masses, which seek genuine unity. Every split in the communist movement is caused by the opportunist and revisionist opposition to and betrayal of Marxism-Leninism. Opportunism of any shade, always acts against the interests of the vast majority of the workers.
There must be no denying the significance of the ideological, political, and organizational differences that exist within the U.S. communist movement. Clearly there are two opposing lines on the nature of the international situation, party building, the national question(both the Black National Question and the Chicano National Question), the Woman Question, and other issues. In essence, these two opposing lines represent two entirely different class stands, viewpoints and methods. On the one hand is revolutionary Marxism-Leninism; on the other is modern revisionism.
The view of the MLOC is that those who seek to unite on principle must exercise sufficient patience and find ways to seek to eliminate these differences, in order to strengthen the revolutionary forces against our common enemy.
There is only one basis to conclude that such a struggle for unity cannot be conducted, and that is that these differences represent antagonistic contradictions between the people and their enemies.
Unity among Marxist-Leninists is paramount today. Genuine unity is the decisive condition for successfully overcoming any obstacle, for advance toward new success. We seek genuine unity, unity of thought and action, unity that will bear the heated test of class struggle against our own bourgeoisie. Unity by which we will smash all revisionists’, social-democrats’, labor aristocrats’ and trade union bureaucrats’ schemes to undermine and destroy Marxist-Leninist unity.
Building the vanguard communist party is a question of fusing the communist and workers’ movements in the course of combat against opportunism, ideologically, politically and organizationally. The unity of Marxist-Leninists is a fundamental condition for carrying out this fusion, for winning the advanced to communism. The greater the unity of Marxist-Leninists, the greater the advances in winning the advanced to communism and fusing the communist and workers’ movements.
The basic guiding light in our struggle to unite Marxist-Leninists was advanced in the 10th Party Congress of the Communist Party of China: to practice Marxism and not revisionism; to unite and not to split; to be open and above board; not to intrigue and conspire.
The history of the international communist movement demonstrates the correctness of this line, and offers many important lessons for the current conditions of our struggle in the U.S. Given the history of opportunism and modern revisionism in this country, the legacy of splitters and wreckers, the social basis of which is built upon the superprofits of imperialism, it is particularly important to study and apply the classic teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, the thought of Comrade Mao Tsetung, such historic documents as LONG LIVE LENINISM, WHENCE THE DIFFERENCES, THE POLEMIC ON THE GENERAL LINE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNIST MOVEMENT, THE MOSCOW DECLARATIONS. In addition, comrades should pay extremely close attention to the recent issue of ALBANIA TODAY, Nov.-Dec. 1975.
In the November-December 1975 issue of ALBANIA TODAY, the comrades from the Party of Labor of Albania issued several articles from Volume 19 of the works of Enver Hoxha, First Secretary of the Party of Labor of Albania. The availability of these documents for the first time in English provides a great opportunity for Marxist-Leninists in this country and around the world to deepen our understanding both of the international struggle against modern revisionism and of the correct Leninist organizational principles and norms which must govern relationships between Marxist-Leninists.
Volume 19 includes major documents from the period between the June 1960 Bucharest meeting and the November Moscow meeting of 81 Workers and Communist Parties. In these brief months, the Party of Labor of Albania convened five full plenums of the Central Committee in order to prepare for the struggle against Soviet revisionism.
The lessons contained in these historic documents shed brilliant light on the history of revisionism in the Soviet Union and for the U.S. communist movement the lesson of how to conduct principled struggle is clear.
The struggle between Marxism-Leninism and opportunism, which has always been a struggle between those who defend the unity of the proletariat and those who seek to split and divide the unity of the proletariat, is an outstanding thread in the entire history of the international communist movement. This holds true both for particular countries and on the international plane.
Marx and Engels laid the greatest stone in the revolutionary foundation of the proletariat and laid a solid foundation for the ideological unity of the international proletariat. Their call remains to this day the beacon of workers and oppressed people in every country of the world: WORKERS OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!
The entire history of Marxism is marked by the emergence of its opposite, opportunism. In COMMUNIST LINE #1, the MLOC attempted to trace in very brief form the contours of this struggle. As Lenin put it, “this doctrine (of Marx) had to fight at every step in its course ... one battle after another against political stupidity, vulgarity, opportunism, etc...”
All opportunists constitute a detachment of the bourgeoisie within the working class movement, a very important social prop for the bourgeoisie and imperialism. Revisionism will invariably appear in varying guises at different times so long as capitalism and imperialism exist. That is why the struggle against imperialism and opportunism must go hand in hand. As the Moscow Declaration of 1957 pointed out, “the main danger at present is revisionism ... the existence of bourgeois influence is an internal source of revisionism, while surrender to imperialist pressure is its external source.”
Since the Second World War, modern revisionism has found fertile soil in the United States and Europe. First in the USA, with the liquidation of the CPUSA in 1944; next with Tito; and then at the tragic 20th Party Congress of the CPSU, in which for the first time in history, the oldest, most respected communist party in the world was turned into a platform to attack Marxism-Leninism and surrender to imperialist reaction.
From 1963, a public open split in the international communist movement appeared. Beginning in 1956, the Soviet revisionists sought to attack and distort Marxism-Leninism, sought to discredit, infiltrate and undermine the Chinese Communist Party and the Party of Labor of Albania.
By June 1960, it became evident to the Communist Party of China that it was imperative that the bourgeois stand, viewpoint and method of the CPSU be opposed in the international arena of Marxism-Leninism. Not to defend revolutionary Marxism-Leninism against Krushchevite revisionism would mean to play into the hands of the bourgeoisie and, therefore, damage the international cause of socialism and the international working class.
By November, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the Albanian Party of Labor, 11 to 12 other parties adopted a correct position on some or all of the major questions at issue in the international communist movement. From November 1960 in Moscow, the struggle against modern revisionism within the international communist movement took very sharp turns.
In 1963, this struggle became a public question. Since the heroic stand taken by the Communist Party of China and the Albanian Party of Labor, countless Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations have stood up to shoulder the task of exposing and defeating modern revisionism, both nationally and internationally.
It was the Soviet revisionists who opened the struggle in the international communist movement to the public, not the Communist Party of China, nor the Albanian Party of Labor.
In 1963, summing up this question, the Communist Party of China stated that,
In the circumstances, what can all true revolutionary Marxist-Leninists do but take up the challenge of the modern revisionists? With regard to differences and disputes on matters of principle, Marxist-Leninists have the duty to differentiate between truth and error and to straighten things out. For the common interests of unity against the enemy, we have always stood for a solution through inter-Party consultation and against making the differences public in the face of the enemy. But since some people have insisted on making the dispute public, what alternative is there for us but to reply publicly to their challenge? (Whence the Differences?, New Era, Bath, p. 172.)
Our Albanian and Chinese comrades recognized clearly that there is no basis of unity among Marxist-Leninists except with a common Marxist-Leninist stand, viewpoint, and method. The struggle waged by the Party of Labor of Albania and the Chinese Communist Party is a model of a correct stand, viewpoint, and method toward all fundamental questions facing the international proletariat. It represents the spirit of genuine comradeship, equality and internationalism in the conduct of relations among Marxist-Leninists.
The battle waged against modern revisionism was on behalf not only of the Albanian and Chinese people, but the entire proletariat of the world. It is a treasure house of lessons. As one detachment of the international communist movement, it is our obligation to dig deep into this treasure-house of Marxism-Leninism and learn all we can.
Ever since that time, the unity of the international communist movement has become one of the most pressing questions of the international communist movement. In the U.S., since 1944 with the liquidation of the CPUSA, the question of uniting Marxist-Leninists has been the principal tactical task of our struggle to reconstitute a Marxist-Leninist vanguard party.
There have been numerous efforts along these lines, including the Provisional Organizing Committee, Progressive Labor Party, the National Liaison Committee and the Continuations Committee. Each, while taking initial steps ideologically, failed to apply dialectical and historical materialism to the concrete conditions of the U.S., and failed to learn the lessons of the international communist movement on the questions of correct Leninist principles which govern the relations among Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations. Rather than uniting Marxist-Leninists, they turned out to be splitters from Marxism-Leninism.
The most recent expression of the search for Marxist-Leninist unity has been the appearance of the “Revolutionary Wing”. Originally this was presented to include Puerto Rican Revolutionary Workers Organization, August Twenty-Ninth Movement, Workers Viewpoint Organization with various variations by particular organizations. Then PRRWO and ATM found unity with Revolutionary Workers League and “purged” the WVO. In addition, PRRWO has included the Revolutionary Bloc (a small group of people in New York which emerged out of the Black Workers Congress). They have not yet presented their political views on the struggle in the BWC, or their general line on any question for the public. In addition to this, the WC(ML) states that there is a revolutionary trend that does exist, but has not come forward to specify who these comrades are, or their actual basis of unity.
The question of unity based upon Marxist-Leninist principle is inseparable from the question of leadership. It is inevitable that our movement develop two opposing trends, genuine and sham. Genuine revolutionary leadership will be the basis for the reconstitution of a vanguard communist party, it must represent the most advanced, most dedicated and most seasoned sons and daughters of the working class who recognize their historic responsibility to the international proletariat. The concrete emergence of a revolutionary trend as a definite trend, with unity of will and unity of action; based upon a unified ideological, political and organizational line, must demonstrate in theory and in practice its actual ability to lead the revolutionary movement.
The history of the revolutionary movement contains many episodes where forces have come forward confident that they alone were the genuine heirs to Marx and Engels. Lenin, ridiculing those who “crowed” and “cackled” over the mistakes of Bebel and Rosa Luxembourg, replied,
Sometimes eagles may fly lower than hens, but hens can never rise to the height of eagles.” (Lenin, CW, Vol. 33, p. 210)
Who are the eagles and who are the hens will not be determined by pronouncements, but by the masses in the heat of the class struggle. It is the revolutionary masses themselves who will determine who constitutes the genuine vanguard leadership of the working class, and it is the masses, not a minority, not the communist party, which will seize state power and forge a new socialist order. As Comrade Hoxha states, “socialism is built by the masses, the party makes them conscious.”
From the outset, the MLOC has sought to seriously take up the question of uniting Marxist-Leninists. Growing out of the struggle and split in the former BWC, we learned many lessons about how not to unite, and the tactics and maneuvers of the splitters. Therefore, in carrying on our relations among Marxist-Leninists, we are guided by the same principles that guide the international communist movement. These are conscious principles, which are presented to parties and organizations as the basis of carrying on principled relations. History has proven, particularly in this country, that things do not happen spontaneously. Correct relations requires correct principle as a guide to action.
It is not hard, living in the heartland of U.S. imperialism, one of the two superpowers, to confuse the hens with the eagles. The outlook of bourgeois ideology, the outlook of a superpower, is part of the baggage that all Marxist-Leninists must consciously struggle to discard. This too, is not a spontaneous struggle. In its early development, the MLOC also thought that because it had gotten off the ground, it was amongst the company of eagles. Certain incorrect views were advanced on the question of uniting Marxist-Leninists, reflecting an idealist approach to the history of the U.S. communist movement in recent years, views which belittled the struggle that had been waged against opportunism, and overestimated the achievements of the MLOC. We proceeded, not from what was real, but what we thought possible. From this we have begun to try and root out the subjectivism and arrogance which leads to confusing hens from eagles. While we believe we have a relatively correct line, we recognize that what has been accomplished, is only a fraction of what remains to be achieved.
The MLOC recognizes that it is a pre-party organization. Its life and reason for existence is to contribute toward the reconstitution of a vanguard communist party, to serve the revolutionary needs of the U.S. masses, and the international proletariat. Therefore, we must conduct our relations amongst Marxist-Leninists within the U.S., on the same basis of principle that is required amongst Marxist-Leninists internationally. Only in this way can we prepare ourselves to take our rightful role as a detachment of the international communist movement, carrying out our historic mission of smashing the existing bourgeois dictatorship and replacing it with a dictatorship of the proletariat.
The purpose of relations among Marxist-Leninists is to seek unity in order to wage a common struggle against imperialism. Correct relations must be initiated and carried out in a manner designed to achieve unity, and resolve contradictions, they must not be one-sided. Correct relations among Marxist-Leninists is a function of the proper working of democratic centralism.
This requires the frank and honest exchange of opinions in order to identify a common political and organizational line.
–We must always adopt the attitude of being careful, cautious, just and never hasty. The course of unity is a protracted and difficult struggle in the U.S., given the depth of bourgeois ideology and the substantial social basis for opportunism.
–We must spare no effort to try and clear up difficulties, not to ignore them, and allow them to become worse through neglect.
–All preparations for such bilateral or multi-lateral meetings must always observe the principle of prior consultations, adequate notice always provided, response made to all communications and proposals without delay, all in order to create an atmosphere of comradely struggle toward unity. All actions which deter or belittle the struggle to unite, cannot be considered principled.
–Judgements or condemnations of other organizations (“they are in the opportunist wing...”) must be made on the basis of struggle. Such views should always be presented to the organization first for struggle. It is completely incorrect to issue such a statement without the most thorough explanation of the basis for such a statement, and only after all efforts at resolutions of contradictions have been made.
It is completely incorrect to break or stop organizational relationships, to deny joint action, while struggle over differences is being conducted. Such action objectively recognizes the differences among Marxist-Leninists as greater than the differences with the bourgeoisie.
The international communist movement demonstrates that principled unity is a precious and valuable goal, without which we cannot hope to conquer the bourgeoisie. It is for this reason that, directly after the Soviet 20th Party Congress, the Albanian comrades recognized that ”all the attacks of the imperialist and revisionist enemies were concentrated on splitting the unity of our movement. Therefore, for the sake of this unity, we had to contain ourselves and consistently apply the Marxist-Leninist line, while avoiding open criticism addressed to the Soviet leadership.” (Albania Today, Nov-Dec 1975, p. 36)
While the Communist Party of China began, privately, to offer criticism to the CPSU, it was not until 1960, that this was opened to the entire communist movement, and not until 1963 that this became a matter of public record.
In the entire history of the closed and open polemics carried on between the Communist Party of China and the Party of Labor of Albania and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, these polemics always reflected an extremely principled approach, never took a ruthless or condescending tone, never utilized abusive language, and took every possible effort to attempt to resolve these contradictions between the parties involved, then among Marxist-Leninist parties on the international arenas, and then, and only then, failing resolution ot these contradictions, the interests of the international proletariat dictated that these differences become matters of public record.
Equality among Marxist-Leninists is a fundamental principle guiding correct relations. Regardless of size, previous achievements or past records, Marxist-Leninists sit down together as equals. No one waves a baton over the others. Without strict equality among Marxist-Leninists, genuine unity cannot be achieved.
Equality requires that
–All parties operate on the basis of prior consultation on a bilateral manner, not open and public comments and attacks against each other. There is no room for surprise attacks. Differences are not a matter of pragmatism, but questions to be struggled out on the basis of Marxist-Leninist principle, and no other criteria.
–There is no room for offensive language, slander, insinuations or the like.
–There can be no element of scorn or looking down upon other comrades. As the Albanians put it, “when you have scorn for the cadres subordinate to you, you will have a similar concept also of those with whom you are on a par...” (ibid, p. 21)
–Equality among Marxist-Leninists is the basis for the unity of Marxist-Leninists and the working class as a whole in its struggle against the bourgeoisie. All Marxist-Leninist relations must recognize the confidentiality of discussions, not to be disclosed to any third party except by mutual agreement.
A correct stand toward this question must recognize the true nature of bourgeois democracy and fascist rule, and take proper precautions in this light. Any tendency which belittles the violence and nature of the bourgeois dictatorship, which breeds loose and undisciplined behavior, undermines the genuine basis for unity amongst Marxist-Leninists.
The independence and initiative of Marxist-Leninist organizations in the U.S., as world-wide, is based upon the recognition of the uneven development of things, and the Marxist-Leninist theory of knowledge.
In the U.S., in a pre-party situation, “independence” cannot mean the independence from party building, the seeking of some small local circle. In the near future, with the recognition of a vanguard communist party, the call for organizational independence will mean independence from Marxism-Leninism.
In the current situation, all organizations must maintain their own independence and initiative while at the same time consciously pursuing the course of unity. Organizations must carry out their own work, develop their ideological, political and organizational line on the basis both of perceptual and cognitive knowledge. Yet this must be done in the course of seeking unity.
For example, the MLOC seeks to establish joint theoretical and political work on numerous questions, with all genuine revolutionary forces, large or small. Genuine unity is not the result of discussion between organizations, but first and foremost the result of common work, criticism and self-criticism. Common work must be systematic and consistent, not irregular and infrequent. For this reason, we seek to establish a definite agenda of theoretical tasks with comradely organizations and individuals, as well as political work on certain fronts of the class struggle. This work is then summed up, and the struggle for unity is raised to a higher level, until ideological, political and organizational unity is achieved, or the impossibility of this recognized by both parties.
At the same time, we develop work in a consistent and disciplined manner.
But our objective is to advance positions and carry out political work on the basis of collaboration with other Marxist-Leninists. It is our view that it is much better to seek a joint theoretical statement on an important question, than to encourage each and every group and collective to do their own theoretical work.
While Marxist-Leninists in this country must speak directly to the concrete conditions of the class struggle here, we must heighten our efforts to learn from the international experience of the proletariat and other Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations. As Comrade Hoxha stated,
The experience of every party is a great treasure for all and it must be exploited by all.”
And lastly, independence requires the complete non-interference in the internal affairs of other organizations and parties.
Criticism and self-criticism is the means by which Marxist-Leninists resolve contradictions, and is one of the most important principles governing correct relations among Marxist-Leninists. The basis for sound Marxist-Leninist criticism was outlined by Comrade Ramiz Alia in describing the struggle of the Party of Labor of Albania against Khrushchevite revisionism, “to come out openly and publically denounce the ideological platform and political line of Khrushchevites required, first and foremost, sound Marxist-Leninist convictions, profound knowledge of the situation, great ideological, theoretical abilities to analyze the events and phenomena of the time in a scientific way and to see the perspective clearly. .. ” (ibid, p. 53)
Comrades should carefully consider and apply the basis outlined by our Albanian comrades for criticism. Only criticism based upon this foundation serves the interests of unity.
Criticism serves the consolidation of unity, it is a motive force, a law of development. (ibid, p. 37)
Genuine Marxist-Leninist criticism is a scientific weapon in combat against all deviations and distortions from Marxism-Leninism.
Our entire approach toward criticism must be, on the one hand, to always practice Marxism and not revisionism, to resolutely defend Marxist-Leninist principle on all occasions, to look the truth straight in the eye and not be afraid of it. On the other hand, we must learn from the lessons of the Party of Labor of Albania and the Communist Party of China, that there are definitely times when criticisms are deserved, but correct conduct requires patience and silence. There were many times when the Chinese and Albanian comrades had to grit their teeth. Criticism is never presented in the manner of “ruthless blows”, but in order to resolve contradictions.
–Criticism must be presented at the proper time, in the proper manner, with the proper attitude. Criticism must not be confused with accusations and political acrobatics.
–We must learn both how to conduct private struggle and consultation, such as existed between the Communist Party of China and the Party of Labor of Albania and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union up until 1963, and the open polemics and criticism which developed after 1963.
–In presenting criticism, we must also be good at receiving criticism, and conducting self-criticism. They are inseparable.
The Marxist-Leninist attitude toward criticism is clearly revealed in the writings of our Albanian comrades. As Comrade Hoxha stated in 1960 in regard to the attacks launched against the Party of Labor of Albania by the CPSU,
we must be very careful, very cautious, must thoroughly analyze all the causes of the mistakes this communist has made, must strive to convince him of his mistakes, take his case to the basic organization or to the appropriate forum of the Party, where the case should be examined with the greatest objectivity on the basis of Marxist-Leninist principles, aiming at the attainment of a single end, the improvement of this communist and putting him on the right road. If we make such great efforts in order to analyze the mistakes of one communist and save him from these mistakes, then it is self-evident what great efforts should have been made before ’exchanging opinions about the mistakes of a party’ at an international communist meeting, such as the Bucharest meeting. But this, unfortunately was not done. (ibid, p. 14)
This passage clearly illustrates the caution and principal considerations which must be exercised before launching open and public criticism of other Marxist-Leninists.
In this presentation we have further developed the views of the MLOC on uniting Marxist-Leninists. The four principles outlined have proven themselves over the last year to serve the cause of genuine proletarian unity. At the same time, we have seen that those comrades who choose to ignore such principle, pursue the course of splittism and sectarianism.
The great class struggles, which are surging through the international working class and the international communist movement are a sign of the developing favorable conditions for the broad masses of the world. The nature of our epoch remains unchanged. Revolution is the main trend in the world today. Though the factors for both war and revolution are increasing, our epoch is the epoch of the triumph of Marxism-Leninism.
In this context, many comrades and friends have asked us to comment upon the emergence of the “Revolutionary Wing.” We have stated on other occasions that no organization or group of organizations, including the MLOC, has proven itself in practice nor in its theoretical presentations to offer genuine leadership to the movement as a whole. A definite revolutionary trend must lead in reality, not merely claim to lead. It must offer leadership to the revolutionary movement as a whole, not one section or one geographical area. It must offer genuine multi-national leadership. This leadership must become a compass which guides the struggle of the masses in its conquest of state power, leadership which constitutes a center upon which a vanguard communist party will be built. This is Bolshevik leadership, tied deeply with the masses, rooted at the point of production, organized on the basis of factory nuclei, with a regular and consistent press.
To be genuine, this leadership must be actively struggling to lead the struggles of all oppressed nations in the U.S. and oppressed minorities. In particular, it must be active in the struggle to provide proletarian leadership to the Black masses of the Black Nation, and be rooted in the Black Nation.
To deepen our understanding of the views of the Revolutionary Wing, and for the development of the entire communist and workers movement, we would ask that the Revolutionary Wing come forward and clarify certain questions about their ideological and political line, questions which cadre and friends around the country have asked themselves about the Wing:
(1) What has been the history and development of the Revolutionary Wing? How did it emerge? What are the exact bonds of principle which hold the Wing together?
(2) Who do comrades think determines the genuine leadership for the toiling masses of any country? If it is the masses themselves, then upon what basis have comrades concluded that they represent the vanguard leadership of our movement?
(3) All comrades in the Wing have stated that “political line is the key link”. We would like comrades to explain how, if this is the case, comrades in the Wing have diametrically opposed views on at least two fundamental questions: The international situation and the Black National Question. Without unity of will on these two questions unity of action is impossible. The two opposing lines on the international situation reflect different, and opposing views on the nature of the epoch, the class which occupies the central role in the epoch, etc. How can there be unity with comrades who have different views on these and similar questions?
(4) Comrades from the Wing state that the heart of the unity of the Wing is the question of ones’ attitude toward criticism and self-criticism. Is not this an ideological question?
(5) One organization, for instance, the Revolutionary Workers League, in their Principles of Unity statement, mentions the great teachers, and makes no reference to Stalin. How can there be a united Wing when there are different views on such a fundamental question? While comrades from the RWL state that they are repudiating this line, this has been several months in coming, the Principles of Unity is still sold at public meetings, and not once in any public meeting, that we are aware of, in any part of the country, has RWL conducted a self-criticism of a question so fundamental to the entire international communist movement.
(6) What are the concrete plans of the Revolutionary Wing to build a vanguard party? How do they see this happening, step by step? Without such clarity, how can comrades offer unity or leadership to the movement as a whole?
These are but a few questions that many comrades and friends around the country have posed, and is not meant to be exhaustive. We believe that as soon as the “Revolutionary Wing” can come forward and clarify, as a wing, their unity of will and unity of action on the pressing questions of our revolution, the greater will be their contribution to such a statement as an advance for the struggle to reconstitute a communist party.
In conclusion, the MLOC has taken the opportunity to study very carefully the experience of the international proletariat on the questions of unity and splitters. The leaders of the CPSU internationally are the greatest splitters of modern times. In the U.S., the CPUSA takes its proper place with the CPSU. The history of opportunism in this country has produced a situation where there are now several genuine Marxist-Leninist organizations, and numerous collectives and individuals all over the country. These elements must be welded into a single core, a multinational core, fused with the advanced and capable of leading and uniting the masses in class struggle against our common enemy.
In the next period ahead, genuine unity will only be achieved on the basis of correct political line, principled persistent struggle, pursued with sufficient patience, seeking to eliminate differences by drawing lines of demarcation between revolutionary Marxism-Leninism and modern revisionism.
In the course of principled struggle the hens will be sorted out from the eagles. When reaching for the heights, comrades had better be certain that their wings are tested and their navigation sound.
The MLOC is confident that we will unite with other genuine forces and reconstitute a vanguard communist party. We also recognize that there may well be several parties in the immediate period ahead. This is not an unusual situation, and exists in several European countries.
However, so long as more than one center exists, the seizure of state power, is impossible. Stalin stated clearly that
If the workers are able to achieve victory, they must be inspired by a single will, they must be led by a single party, which enjoys the indubitable confidence of the majority of the working class. (Stalin, Vol, 17, p. 36)
More than not, there will be a period ahead in which several parties exist, and that it will take considerable struggle by the masses themselves before this question is resolved. As Lenin stated, “Socialism cannot be established by a minority, by the Party. It is established by the tens of millions of people, when they learn to do this work themselves. We see our merit in the fact that we are trying to help the masses to get down to this job themselves immediately, and this is southing that cannot be learned from books.” (Enver Hoxha, Socialism is Built by the Masses, the Party Makes Them Conscious, Tirana, 1972, p.4
The stand of Marxist-Leninists toward the question of the relation of the party to the masses is very important, for it reflects ones attitude toward the masses, and who will determine the course of world history.
It is for this reason that Marxist-Leninists pursue patient, cautious, just methods of struggle, sometimes private, sometimes open. The principled approach to unity is pursued out of responsibility to the masses. Anyone who does not pursue correct Leninist norms to govern the relations among Marxist-Leninists does not take the enemy seriously, nor themselves.
In closing, we would call attention to remarks made by Comrade Dimitrov in his Preface to The Life of Ernst Thaelmann. In these remarks comrade Dimitrov reflects the best and highest aspirations of the international proletariat, the star to which we all must hitch our wagon:
A TRUE REVOLUTIONARY AND PROLETARIAN FIGHTER IS FORMED IN THE FIRE OF THE CLASS STRUGGLE AND BY MAKING MARXISM-LENINISM HIS OWN.
IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO HAVE A REVOLUTIONARY TEMPERAMENT. ONE HAS TO UNDERSTAND HOW TO HANDLE THE WEAPON OF REVOLUTIONARY THEORY.
IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO KNOW THEORY – ONE MUST ALSO FORGE ONESELF A STRONG CHARACTER WITH BOLSHEVIK STEADFASTNESS.
IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO KNOW WHAT OUGHT TO BE DONE – ONE MUST ALSO HAVE THE COURAGE TO CARRY IT OUT.
ONE MUST ALWAYS BE READY TO DO ANYTHING, AT ANY COST, WHICH IS OF REAL SERVICE TO THE WORKING CLASS.
ONE MUST BE CAPABLE OF SUBORDINATING ONES WHOLE PERSONAL LIFE TO THE INTERESTS OF THE PROLETARIAT.