Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Leadership analyzes two years of struggle

CPML sum-up: turn the Party into a major force

First Published: The Call, Vol. 8, No. 23, June 11, 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The Central Committee of the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) has just concluded an important meeting which coincided with the second anniversary of the Party’s founding.

The CC took note of important achievements that have been made in developing and strengthening the Party since its founding on June 4, 1977. It was pointed out that the CPML has deepened and enriched its ties with the masses, trained many cadres in the science of Marxism-Leninism, succeeded in uniting with more Marxist-Leninists throughout the country, and increased its concrete support for revolutionary movements all over the world.

But the Central Committee was also self-critical of the Party’s work. The Party has not yet succeeded in fulfilling all its responsibilities and goals. In fact, it is doing much too little to push forward the communist and workers’ movement in the U.S.

How can our Party develop into a major political force in U.S. society? What is the best way to integrate the struggle for socialism with the real conditions and struggles of the American people today? How can we forge a single, unified party that can truly unite the whole working class in struggle? These were some of the important problems seriously discussed by the Central Committee.

It was stressed that while the Party’s recruitment continues to climb steadily, we cannot be satisfied with this pace of growth. The communist movement, although some of its problems can be attributed to its youth, has not made great enough gains in influencing the political life of the country.

The CC concluded that one of the keys to solving these problems is the continuation and deepening of the inner-Party struggle that has been going on for several months now to rectify errors of sectarianism, subjectivism and bureaucracy in the Party’s work. Our efforts to fight sectarianism and unite better with those who disagree with us must improve, and the small-circle outlook which still plagues our movement must be overcome. While affirming the general line and program of the Party, the CC also emphasized that the organization’s work is still based too often on subjective assessments rather than on the real, objective conditions faced by the masses of people.


An important aspect of those objective conditions that must be taken into account is the fact that the working class movement is in a state of general ebb at the present time. As one indication of this ebb, last year produced fewer strikes in the U.S. involving fewer workers than at any time in the previous 23 years. Even though the U.S. economy is hit by spiraling inflation, a massive energy crisis and other problems, the capitalists have nevertheless been able to boost production so that the basic sectors are operating above 70% capacity. This is considerably higher than during the recession of 1974-75 and has undeniably played a role in defusing the militancy of rank-and-file workers.

Furthermore, the development of the workers’ struggle has been stalled somewhat by the forces of big business and the government, whose union-busting schemes, racist attacks and wage freeze have combined into an anti-working class offensive of considerable proportions. In the face of this offensive, the trade union bureaucracy has either capitulated completely or else put up only token forms of resistance, and then only under pressure from the rank and file.

Looking at the broad outlines of this picture, we can see the need for diligent, careful and innovative work by the revolutionary forces in carrying out their organizing. Actions, slogans and day-to-day work must be carried out based on the real situation of today and not on the conditions of five or ten years ago when the masses were more in a state of ferment.

This is not to say that there have been no important outbursts in the struggle. The deepening economic and political crisis has fueled a small upward turn in the strike movement. Flareups of militant mass actions from the oppressed nationalities and sections of the labor movement have grown stronger as the frantic race for profits leads us into a new period of stagnation and recession.

Significant new developments are taking place in the Black liberation struggle in Mississippi, Alabama, and many Northern ghettos. The present fight against the Weber case and attacks on affirmative action have become a focal point in the struggle of oppressed nationalities, a struggle which continues to be a driving force in the development of the overall battle against capitalism.

On other fronts, new forces are coming into struggle against the system and new movements are being spawned in response to the unsafe use of nuclear energy, superpower war preparations and the racist, oppressive policies of U.S. imperialism in Africa, Asia, Latin America and at home. It is vital that the Marxist-Leninist movement deepen its ties with these forces now and unite all who can be united into broad common fronts.

All too often in our ranks, sectarian and narrow views keep us from playing our own revolutionary role. Certain tactics are raised to the highest of levels, while others are scorned. Some comrades, for example, take our opposition to the ideology of reformism to mean that there can be no unity with individual reformists, thus shunning tactical unity with forces not already dedicated to revolution. In other cases, participation in electoral work has been seen as something synonymous with “revisionism,” thus depriving us of our ability to utilize electoral tactics in the appropriate places.

Such views run counter to Marxism-Leninism. It was Lenin himself who pointed out nearly 60 years ago that it is absolutely necessary for communists to work in bourgeois elections and in the reactionary trade unions in order to win over the millions of people who still believe in these institutions and participate in them.

The emphasis on broadening out our work put forth by the Party Central Committee is both possible and necessary at the present time for several reasons. First, there are the objective conditions which dictate the need to find new ways to integrate Marxism with the people’s struggle. Secondly, we have gained enough experience to see how errors of subjectivism and sectarianism especially have hurt our work and at times severed the Party from the masses. And finally, the Party itself, now two years old, has matured, grown, strengthened its unity internally and developed its political line so that it is capable of uniting with very broad forces without losing its independence.

The orientation for the period ahead put forward by the CC is one of continuing to overcome narrowness and one-sided thinking. Bold new efforts must be made to broaden the work of the Marxist-Leninist movement, utilizing each and every possibility to build a base among the people, to unite the workers’ movement, to win over middle forces and to take advantage of the enemy’s divisions to further the class struggle.

Aside from this general orientation, the CC also discussed a number of specific questions which can be summarized as follows:

On Communist Unity: Present efforts to build Marxist-Leninist unity are making steady gains. The CPML will continue to support the broadened development of the Committee to Unite Marxist-Leninists (CUML) in its vital efforts to unite all U.S. communists into one single unified party.

While building CUML, the CPML will also pursue bilateral relations with all other Marxist-Leninist groups and seek to unite on the basis of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought.

In recent months, the prospects for unity have grown more favorable. May Day activities in a number of cities were carried out jointly by the League of Revolutionary Struggle (M-L), the Revolutionary Workers Headquarters and our Party.

There are also signs that more organizations may join the CUML in the near future. Increasing areas of common work among Marxist-Leninists are being undertaken in the factories and the communities.

The key link in these efforts must continue to be unity around a communist line and program. Common practical activity flows from such unity and cannot be seen as a substitute for it. As Lenin pointed out, unity necessitates a common organization and cannot be achieved simply through discussion or joint activity.

On the whole, it can be said that there is growing unity among Marxist-Leninists around the three worlds analysis and other points of principle, while a few important differences remain. The conditions for unity are better now than in any previous period of recent history.

On the International Situation: The CC reaffirmed its support for the three worlds theory developed by Mao Zedong as the guiding international line for our movement. At the same time, it was stressed that living inside one of the two imperialist superpowers, our application of this theory cannot be the same as parties in other countries.

For example, while supporting China’s efforts to improve its relations with the U.S. government, our Party must intensify the class struggle against this government and step up our support for those who are oppressed by our own ruling class.

At the same time, we must see ourselves as part of the worldwide struggle against superpower hegemonism, with the Soviet Union representing the main threat to world peace. We should contribute to building the anti-hegemonic front, combating both left sectarianism as well as rightist illusions about any change in the basic nature of U.S. imperialism.

We must continue to educate the people about the danger of superpower war, a danger that cannot be covered up by the SALT agreements. In this light, we should deepen our exposure of the U.S. ruling class policy of appeasing Soviet aggression, recognizing that appeasement only hastens the outbreak of war.

The CC also reaffirmed its support for the heroic people of Kampuchea who are on the front lines of the struggle against Soviet-backed Vietnamese aggression and gave wholehearted support to China’s counterattack earlier this year against the Vietnamese aggressors.

On China: Our Party supports the efforts of the Chinese people to build up a strong, modern socialist country. While China faces many difficult problems on its path-breaking course, it remains the bastion of revolution in the world today. Our Party will always uphold the great contributions of Mao Zedong and the continuing class struggle to defend socialism in China.

On the Anti-Nuclear Movement: The CC reviewed the development of the mass movement against nuclear power which has grown considerably since the Three Mile Island incident.

While uniting with the progressive thrust of this movement and joining in the efforts to shut down all the plants which threaten the lives of millions of Americans, the CPML should also try to develop this movement as a movement against the system of capitalism itself. Particularly important is opposing the influence of those like the Democratic Party liberals and The revisionists who want to turn this struggle into a cog in the ruling class political machinery as the 1980 elections approach.

The Party also opposes anti-scientific views that come up inside the anti-nuclear movement, views which seek to take society back to the days of petty production rather than trying to solve the problems of safe energy usage in line with the realities of the modern world.

As component parts of an all-round struggle against the imperialists’ energy policies, we should not only demand the shutdown of unsafe plants, but also fight for safety research and development of alternate energy sources.

The first two years of the CPML have seen many victories as well as the gaining of a wealth of experience that can set the stage for new victories in the future. The Party is determined to improve its work, and prospects for the future look very bright indeed.