Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Committee of Five

Letter sent to various Communist organizations

First Issued: June 9, 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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9 June 1976


Out of the struggles of the ’60’s and ’70’s, waged by the student movement, the anti-war movement and the oppressed nationalities, a series of political organizations emerged, characterized by their rejection of the “Communist Party” of the United States and its revisionist, class collaborationist and reformist politics. This current represents the developing communist movement.

This current, however, is not a homogenous body. It is divided by ideological, political and organizational differences. This is reflected in the numerous Marxist-Leninist organizations that exist at the local and national level; but it is more fundamentally manifested in ideological and political differences which divide the movement on such questions as party building and the definition of the main enemy of the international proletariat and oppressed peoples.

On both these questions, as with many others, the translation of ideological and political positions into social practice is delineating this current into two trends. The first is represented by forces which have started to internalize the scientific essence of Marxism-Leninism by struggling to apply the science to the concrete conditions of today, free of dogmas and idealist conceptions. The second is composed of those organizations which have become bookworshippers, grasping Marxism-Leninism as if it were the “new religion” to be quoted and parroted as a series of lifeless maxims, and whose application to social practice is a matter of accident.

It is the development of the former trend that is the reason and focus of this brief presentation„ This emerging trend is presently reflected in organizations such as ourselves–The Detroit Marxist-Leninist Organization, The Socialist Union of Baltimore, El Comité-MINP and the Philadelphia Worker’ Organizing Committee–all Marxist-Leninist organizations that are organized on the principles of democratic centralism, dedicated to the objective of destroying the bourgeois state apparatus that presently rules this country and committed to building upon its ruins the dictatorship of the proletariat and a socialist society.

We are confident that this trend is not limited to our organizations. Moreover, we understand that our objectives will require the construction of a Marxist-Leninist party and we view the building of this party as our central task. Put contrary to the dogmatist trend within the Marxist-Leninist movement, we do not see building such a party on a purely theoretical plane, isolated from the struggles of the working class and behind closed doors. We view the building of a vanguard party as directly related and intimately bound to the level and extent to which the communist movement is concretely (theoretically and practically) linked and able to lead the movements of the working class and oppressed nationalities. Furthermore we are convinced that leadership of the working class is meaningless unless it is coupled with a vehement struggle against our own ruling class; we base our practice on the principles of proletarian internationalism. Thus we hold that the fundamental enemy of the international working class and oppressed peoples is US imperialism.

We view the development of this trend which is both anti-revisionist and anti-dogmatist as important to the development of the revolutionary movement in this country. Further we understand that defining this trend, the unities and the differences existing within it, requires that we attempt to contact and have principled discussions with other organizations and individuals throughout the country.

Within this context we have discussed the possibility of organizing a conference of Marxist-Leninists based on two points of unity: 1) that dogmatism and its cohort, sectarianism, are the main forms of opportunism within the party building movement and 2) that US imperialism is the main enemy of the peoples of the world. We would be interested in obtaining a brief sketch of your organization’s view on these two points, as well as, any other questions on which you have developed a position. In addition, we would also like to receive a brief history of your organization’s development, experiences and work. Please include information on your composition as well.

The Detroit Marxist-Leninist Organization
The Socialist Union of Baltimore
El Comité-MINP
Philadelphia Worker’s Organizing Committee