Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Committee for a Proletarian Party

The Party of the Working Class and the Small Circles of the Petit-Bourgeoisie

First Published: Unite!, December 1, 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Introduction to the CPP article by the Marxist-Leninist Organizing Committee

Today, nearly all of the tasks for the reconstruction of the Marxist-Leninist party have been completed. One of these tasks the MLOC put forward in its party-building plan was the unification of Marxist-Leninists. There are, however, still a number of local organizations who speak of the need to build the Party, but who do not play an active role in this pressing task. It is important therefore, to clarify what this situation represents. UNITE! is reprinting the accompanying article from the Committee for a Proletarian Party as an important contribution toward this task.

The experience of the MLOC in many ways conforms to that of the CPP. The MLOC has waged a protracted and principled struggle for Marxist-Leninist unity throughout its existence. The MLOC has held that unity must be based upon:
1. Unity on the program for waging the class struggle.
2. Unity in deeds. Marxist-Leninist unity must be placed in the context of the struggle against imperialism and opportunism in all its forms.

Among several local circles, we have found a refusal to break with the narrow confines of local work. And often covering for their own backwardness, careerism, opportunism and refusal to step forward to build the Party is the excuse that there is “widespread confusion and low theoretical development in the U.S. communist movement.” While this article is not by any means a complete summary of the MLOC’s experience with local circles, we think that around just two questions – the stand and approach to party-building and support for Albania – this backward trend can be seen: The MLOC issued the Draft Party Program in March of 1978. At that time, we called upon various organizations to center the struggle for unity on the Draft Program. With some local organizations, like the CPP, through struggle around the program advances were made and continue to be made. However, with several other local groups this was not the case. The reason for this is that a number of these local collectives hold the view that the Party should not yet be built.

Demarcating Marxism-Leninism From Revisionism

The Pacific Collective from Oakland, California, holds that one of the main problems is the lack of unity among the various organizations who call themselves communist. Their view is that no lines of demarcation have been drawn between Marxist-Leninists and revisionists, and they are not about to do so.

They state, “We still insist that now is not the time for those with either line on the international situation (those who either support or oppose the theory of the “three worlds” – Ed.) to treat that question as one which presently identifies those with whom one should struggle for eventual unity.”

For the Pacific Collective, the social chauvinists of the Communist Party/Marxist-Leninist and company should be considered communists and we should bring them back to the correct road. While the theory of the “three worlds” is far from the only strategic difference that Marxist-Leninists have with the CP/ML, it certainly is one which does demarcate Marxism-Leninism from revisionism not only in the U.S. but also internationally. Though the Pacific Collective may think that the CP/ML is not consolidated in its revisionism, there is not a shred of evidence in the real world to speak otherwise. The Pacific Collective’s social-democratic view of party-building fundamentally denies the leading role of the vanguard Party.

The Marxist-Leninist Collective from the Bay-Area also believes lines of demarcation have not been drawn nor a “satisfactory plan for taking up the struggle to establish such lines been put forward.” In fact they say, “We do not...see an Organizing Committee much less a Founding Congress in. the near future...and in fact our consideration of either at this time would be extremely premature.”

The same confusion exists in Kansas. The Kansas Collective for Proletarian Revolution, the Kansas City Revolutionary Workers Collective and the Wichita Communist Cell all state in a letter of August 18 to the MLOC:

Not only is there not a theoretical basis for a draft program in our country, there is not a practical basis either....Groups in tire U.S. communist movement are still ideologically, politically and organizationally confused and disunited. The movement is no where near ready for a Party....

The tremendous confusion these organizations find themselves in is in stark contrast to the real clarity that is being reached in the international communist and workers’ movement as well as in this country. There is no confusion about social-chauvinist organizations which uphold the theory of the “three worlds”. These forces support the Chinese revisionists, NATO and the U.S. bourgeoisie taking a “hard stand” against the U.S.S.R. This is not confusing in the least, and it stands in stark contrast to the correct stand of Marxist-Leninists.

Nor is there confusion around the strategy for revolution in the U.S. The Draft Program lays out this strategy correctly and the tactics for waging the struggle are being worked out on a consistent and clear course by examining and taking p art in the class struggle.

The widespread “confusion” of these groups stems from their own isolation from the industrial proletariat and their own conciliation with opportunism, not because the conditions for confusion exist in the real world.

Breaking Through Confusion, Building Unity

But perhaps the greatest sign of the very real confusion that does exist in these organizations comes through most vividly in their plans for how to break through the confusion and gain clarity. The Pacific Collective in June called for the formation of a multilateral committee in which all organizations, both revisionist and Marxist-Leninist, would have an equal right to present views on how to unify the movement as well as an equal right to be heard by the members of all participating organizations. In order to carry out this plan the Pacific Collective calls for a “partial retreat” from mass work.

The MLC also put forward a call for a multilateral committee in June. Its purpose would be to “organize the ideological and political struggle in the context of joint theoretical and practical work and would also organize for the founding Congress through an organizing Committee, when that becomes possible.” However, by November, the MLC had retracted this proposal, as “premature” as they “do not, to repeat, see an organizing Committee or Congress soon.”

Now the MLC has replaced this plan with a plan of questions because they were unable to determine any real plan to build unity. These questions include:

On what basis should we or can we unite? How can we best determine the levels of unity and disunity among the various groups? What is there an ideological and political basis for?

As for the groups in Kansas, they propose a “national joint study” on “party-building theory” which would also call for a temporary withdrawal from the class struggle.

Only isolation from the working class movement could result in a proposal which calls for a retreat from the class struggle. It is quite amazing that such proposals could be made in the face of escalated attacks upon health and safety, the living standard”, the democratic rights of the working class; when imperialist war preparations are being stepped up; when opportunists and reformists are consolidating their forces to mislead the working class. Such a plan can only be considered a betrayal of the working class.

It is also important to point out that while these groups moan about disunity and confusion and search around for a plan, there has been a plan advanced by the MLOC. This plan has centered the struggle for unity on the program for waging the class struggle. This plan could and in fact did result in unity being built.

However, several of these groups have never, to this date, presented in any systematic way their views or their disagreements about the Program. The MLC, for example has time after time cancelled or postponed meetings with the MLOC because they were unprepared, even though meetings were proposed months in advance. The Kansas groups simply refused to even meet with the MLOC because, in their view, the MLOC is “opportunist”, but they have never bothered to state why.

Taking a Stand to Support Socialist Albania

Another indication of the outlook of some of these collectives toward actually building unity around anything beside study was revealed when the MLOC called for a Joint Meeting of U.S. Marxist-Leninists. In July, when the Chinese revisionists attacked the Party of Labor of Albania and the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania, the MLOC called upon 19 different organizations to issue a joint statement in opposition to this act by the CPC, to oppose the theory of the “three worlds” and to voice support for the PLA and socialist Albania.

In response to this call, two organizations came forward and signed the Joint Statement along with the MLOC. Others refused for a variety of reasons.

The Pacific Collective stated, “An objective analysis shows that, given the limited number and range of forces likely to participate, the narrow agenda of the conference and the lack of time to broaden it, and our quite scarce human and financial resources, the strengths of attendance do not outweigh the weaknesses, for our organization.”

It is astounding how the petty problems of a collective can outweigh the internationalist duty of supporting a socialist country under attack.

The Pacific Collective’s stand toward Albania is revealed in ’their comments upon the proposed joint statement “The other main error that a declaration around the three points correctly proposed by the MLOC could promote, if we are not careful, is further polarization of the U.S. movement into ’Peking Communists’ and ’Tirana Communists’.” “And regardless of how deep the division already is, we should not become an ’Albanian wing’ of U.S. communists by adopting, or appearing to adopt, a slavish attitude towards the party which stands at the head of the forces opposing the theory of the ’three worlds’.”

Once again the Pacific Collective’s concern about uniting Marxist-Leninists and revisionist comes through. But now it comes through in the guise of being careful of how we “appear” to support Albania when it is under attack.

The Revolutionary Workers Collective of the Bay Area, for its part, did not attend because “other commitments will make it impossible for our representatives to attend.”

But most revealing was the refusal of a local circle from El Cerrito, California, which stated “But while we have unity with the three principles, or points, of unity, we do not intend to come to the meeting you propose in Chicago. There are two mat reasons for this. First we prefer to work with local groups like the MLC which will be offering their own draft for a joint statement. If a satisfactory draft is arrived at, we would co-sign it. Second, it seems an extravagance to travel to Chicago in order to draft such a statement.”

This statement represents in its crudest form the essence of the outlook of the small circles. So much for all the talk of opposition to the theory of the “three worlds” and support for Albania, especially at a time when it is under attack. When it comes down to actually doing something their fine words amount to little more than lip service. These small circles cannot seem to break out of their own “commitments”, concerns or problems to see a larger picture, to take up national and international tasks. Instead, these circles prefer to continue to operate on a narrow local basis placing their own concerns over and above the interests of the working class movement, nationally and internationally.

Toward Marxist-Leninist Unity

The question is often asked, has the MLOC made enough efforts to win over these groups? We firmly believe we have. Just on the program discussions alone, the MLOC has actively pursued unity with these organizations, and others, since March. With some of these Organizations there is no reason to believe that there will be any motion toward unity in the near future, as there has been none so far.

It is not surprising that there are so many local circles in the U.S., mainly composed of the petty bourgeoisie with virtually no ties to the local proletariat, and none nationally. The material basis for this occurrence is the influence of a large labor aristocracy and petty bourgeoisie. And typical of the petty bourgeoisie, several of these circles think things can move at their pace without regard to the class struggle. They would prefer to carry on endless “study” and “theoretical work” totally divorced from the class struggle. Their logic is that the proletariat will have to wait for its party until they are theoretically advanced enough to take part in the class struggle.

There is also a deep-going influence of revisionism at play here. For example, Chinese revisionism promotes fragmentation, that there can be several “Marxist-Leninist” groups and Parties in a country at the same time. This essentially denies the need for a single vanguard to lead the proletariat.

In addition, Trotskyism is a major influence, especially among the petty bourgeoisie. Under the guise of establishing the “highest possible unity”, developing the “theoretical level” to the highest possible degree and winning over only the “most advanced workers” to the Party, these groups practice real sectarianism to cover for their rightist essence.

The fact that these groups have no coherent plan for overcoming their confusion, let alone for actually waging the class struggle and can give no legitimate reason why they refuse to take part in the plan advanced by the MLOC is clear testimony to the opportunist road they are pursuing. If continued, this road can only lead to much greater “confusion”, greater conciliation with revisionism and total divorce from the working class movement.

The MLOC is clear that there can be no conciliation toward such views as “the movement is no where near ready for the Party”, “there is not enough theory to build the Party”, and “there are no lines of demarcation”, These views must be exposed as revisionist and struggled against relentlessly.

We state quite frankly that the leaders of several of these organizations arc moved by their careerism and individualism, refusing to place themselves under the discipline of a single Party. Objectively they place themselves before and above the interests of the working class. As a result, they do all they can to hold back their cadre from becoming a part of the Party so that they can continue to have an organizational base from which to build their careers. This backwardness and anti-Party stand has led and will continue to lead to great discontent and confusion among the cadre of these organizations.

We will continue to struggle toward unity in a single Party with the cadre of these organizations. We call upon the cadre of these organizations to take up their responsibility to come forward to build the Party. As well, with collectives which show a genuine commitment to struggle toward unity based upon the program, strategy and tactics for waging the class struggle, we will pursue Marxist-Leninist unity. The MLOC sees this as an ongoing responsibility of building the Party of the working class.

* * *

Committee for a Proletarian Party

The Party of the Working Class and the Small Circles of the Petit-Bourgeoisie

What must be remembered is that it is not in the class nature of the petit-bourgeoisie to unite; on the contrary it is in its nature to jealously guard its independence, split and compete. (Principles of Unity, Committee For a Proletarian Party, Spring, 1977)

Every communist movement finds its first roots among elements of the Intelligensia, intellectuals who break with their petit-bourgeois relation to social production, adopt a proletarian world outlook, and bring Marxism-Leninism to the working class. And in every communist movement the choice inevitably arises between progressing on to base this movement in the working class and build a vanguard party, or catering to the self-centered demands of this newly radicalized intelligensia and fostering the existence of scattered and competing organizations.

Those forces which have carried out a consistent struggle against all forms of opportunism and revisionism, especially in their most recent and dangerous guises, such as the theory of the three worlds, have come to a similar watershed point The choice has become clear: move forward to form one centralized, militant party of the working class, or hold back and prop up the small, scattered end backward local circles of the petit-bourgeoisie.

The petit-bourgeoisie is a vacillating, unstable class, which can alternate between fits of political demoralization, disorganization and stagnation, and enthusiastic bursts forward to adventuristically take up ultra-advanced positions. When we talk about the central task of building a vanguard party in this country, the principal danger is not that the Marxist-Leninist forces are moving ahead with too much haste, but that many of them are dragging their feet, unable to make a decisive break with the class stand of the petit-bourgeoisie.

It is this unwillingness and inability to move the communist movement beyond its early primitive stages of development that directly serves the interests of the petit-bourgeoisie and not the proletariat As long as Marxist-Leninists do not strive to move forward to organize the basis for communist leadership of the working class, they allow the petit-bourgeoisie to continue to flourish within their ranks, parading around as the entrepreneurs of innumerable petty enterprises which go by the name of local communist collectives.

This backwardness, which finds any number of excuses for holding back the practical and theoretical process of building a vanguard party of the working class, can take different forms. Major deviations both to the “left” and to the right have already occurred among the Marxist-Leninist forces.

The Right Opportunism of the Committee For A Proletarian Party

The groups we would characterize as having m8de right opportunist errors on party-building are ourselves and the Pacific Collective. Those organizations which have made clear “left” opportunist errors are Demarcations, Workers Revolutionary Organizing Committee (WROC), Wichita Communist Cell, Kansas Collective for Proletarian Revolution (KCPR) rind the Kansas City Revolutionary Workers Collective (KCRVVC).

We went to begin our discussion of these errors with a self-criticism of the opportunism we have advocated on party-building in the past Our Principles of Unity on party-building express a clear deviation to the right, chiefly on the question of the fusion of Marxism-Leninism with the working class as 8 pre-condition for party formation.

In our Principles of Unity we state that “there has not yet been an adequate fusion of the communist movement and the working class movement to organize a party that has the potential to operate as the real vanguard of the class,” This statement is based on the misconception that when the party is formed, it already has to be the vanguard in the sense of being deeply and broadly fused with the working class.

Although we have not abandoned fusion as a strategic task, we now recognize that in the past we have defined fusion too broadly, with no clear perception of the specific stages of fusion and the particular tasks that have to be fulfilled in each stage.

As an example, although we required as a high priority that advanced workers be won to communism as the basis for forming the party, we did not also recognize that the party itself is the best vehicle for winning the advanced.

As a related error, we tended to view party-building quantitatively instead of qualitatively. We tended to expect that when a party is formed, it should already have extensive influence in the class and numerous advanced workers in its ranks. But this approach does not address itself to the actual quality of a vanguard organization, even though it be relatively small, even though a party is small when it is formed, if it has a correct program, strategy and tactics and is built along revolutionary lines, it will recruit many working people to its ranks and build a broad influence.

We were able to clear up some confusion on these questions by an historical investigation of the formations of many Marxist-Leninist parties in the past, such as the Party of Labor of Albania, the Chinese Communist Party, and many of the small parties which laid the foundation of the Third International. This investigation demonstrated that we had held unrealistic expectations about the nature of a party when it is first formed. These unrealistic expectations acted objectively as a stumbling block to party-building. They served to reinforce the hold of the radical intelligensia over the communist movement and prolong its primitive and backward state by retarding the formation of the only vehicle which could provide real communist leadership to the working-class and advance its revolutionary class struggle, the Marxist-Leninist party.

The Centrism of the Pacific Collective

Our form of right opportunism is not the only expression of this kind of deviation among the anti-revisionist organizations which oppose the theory of the three worlds. We would characterize the right errors of the Pacific Collective as a form of centrism, seeking to construct and justify a compromise between Marxism-Leninism and revisionism (see Learning From Past Mistakes to Avoid Future Ones in the Struggle for Unity). On international line, the Pacific Collective states that they have broken with the revisionism of the three-worlds theory but they do not want to follow through politically and organizationally on this break.

The members of the Pacific Collective have a seemingly honest desire for unity, but demonstrate an almost complete inability to draw any lines of demarcation. This form of opportunism is typical of the liberalism of the petit-bourgeoisie, which seeks to mediate the class contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, even within the “communist” movement.

The Committee for a Proletarian Party is self-critical for having a similar liberal attitude toward those organizations which have opposed the theory of three worlds. We overemphasized the importance of an anti-revisionist stand mainly on international line and tended to belittle the serious weaknesses practically and theoretically that many of these organizations have been exhibiting for some time.

We even gave many of these groups too much credit for their stand on international line itself. For example, very few of them have yet to publish any comprehensive statement on the theory of the three worlds. And when it has come to putting their beliefs into practice, such as participating in Use recent multi-lateral meeting initiated by the MLOC to draft a joint statement condemning the theory of the three worlds, the two superpowers and the Chinese withdrawal of aid to Albania; we have found that many of these groups allowed small-circle sectarianism to prevail over proletarian internationalism.

Pacific Collective is really very little different from many of these other groups in downplaying the importance of principles, of program and political line. In differentiating between political forces, they insist on using such politically substantive categories as whether they are “opportunist” or “honest”. Their standard for honesty seems to be how few lines of demarcation a group is willing to draw and how large e spectrum of left forces with which it is striving to seek unity.

Pacific Collective poses as a champion of broad principled unity and a staunch opponent of sectarianism, but its proposals will probably achieve the same objective results as the more ”left” opportunists. It takes a clear retrograde stand by making immature and anti-communist charges that all the leadership of the influential communist organizations are die-hard opportunists, end pompously threatening to take steps to build its own independent trend. But this independent, social-democratic, ”anti-dogmatist” trend already exists with forces such as the Proletarian Unity League, the Pacific Collective’s ideological mentor), the Guardian, and the Philadelphia Workers Organizing Committee leading the way with a great deal more sophistication and experience than the Pacific Collective.

The “Left” Opportunist Tendency

Within the camp which opposes the three-worlds theory there is also a “left” opportunist tendency, which is loosely represented by two small groups which split off from Workers Congress, Demarcations and its associate the Workers Revolutionary Organizing Committee, and by three affiliated groups from Kansas, the Kansas City Revolutionary Workers Collective, the Kansas Collective for Proletarian Revolution and the Wichita Communist Cell.

What all these groups share in common is an undisguised ambition to play a major role in building e leading center among anti-revisionist forces, but e center which, if it is to satisfy their ambition, must be independent of and in opposition to the Marxist-Leninist Organizing Committee.

Of course, at this point they cannot figure out a principled basis upon which to carry out this splitting activity since they can offer no alternative program, strategy and tactics. Covering up for this remarkable lack of principles, they try to justify their actions by drawing lines of demarcation on party-building line alone, i.e., how to build the party. Because the MLOC supposedly does not have any idea about how to build the party, it should be labelled a “center of opportunism”. But not surprisingly, these groups never bother to discuss the MLOC’s five-point program for party-building and dearly lay out their differences with this plan, which has been put into practice for some time now.

If these groups are arguing that the MLOCs plan is hopelessly opportunist, then we would naturally expect that these other groups have developed their own plan to submit for consideration. But nothing of the sort is the case. These circles openly confess that they have no plan for party-building, and apparently promote this lack of leadership as a virtue – as proof that they have carefully and systematically “avoided over a long period of time any possible hint of opportunism.

The best that the three Kansas circles can offer, for example, is that although they have no real plan, they want to reassure us all that when they finally formulate one, it will be a rigorous, scientific plan (see Let’s Move Party Building Forward). These circles propose to “move party building forward” by really combatting “amateurism” and battling “bowing to spontaneity”. “Bowing to spontaneity” seems to be e handy catch phrase, with which all these circles feebly attempt to demarcate themselves from supposed opportunists. Translated, “bowing to spontaneity” really means that a group of Marxist-Leninists is striving in practice, not just in theory, to build the party of the working class.

For the Kansas groups, it is clear that party-building is primarily a theoretical enterprise. Their only proposal for common work among Marxist-Leninists is national joint study. This national joint project would conduct a study of “party-building theory”. Presumably, any party-building practice would have to await the results of this protracted, theoretical process.

The Kansas circles’ proposal is definitely a call to move party-building backwards. It is a proposal that probably achieves the ultimate in avoiding any possible political content, any mention of program, strategy and tactics. They constantly advertise that ’building the “genuine” center is the key link,” but if we want to find out how they propose to do this and upon what principles, we draw a complete blank.

This total absence of principles is the chief reason that these Kansas circles could not even unite with the Marxist-Leninist Collective’s June call for a multi-lateral committee.

They knew full well that such a committee would have to be based on some recognizable principles of unity. As a revealing example, these circles criticized the MLC for proposing a form, a multilateral committee, which outstripped the existing content, the ideological and political line. In this particular criticism, they were fully correct: the MLC proposal did far outstrip the political content of these Kansas circles.

Demarcations strikes a more hard-headed and realistic pose than the Kansas circles, judging by its own response to the MLC proposal for a multilateral committee (See On The Call for a Multilateral Committee...) It correctly opposes, in principle, the concept of equality among local circles and advocates building the party from the top down. It correctly recognizes that the local circles opposed to the theory of the three world are not capable of uniting on their own on any consistent program, strategy and tactics, and do not represent any coherent Marxist-Leninist trend.

But when it is asked to put forward its own views on how to move party-building forward, it is at a similar loss to come up with any concrete plan. All it advises is that there should be “wide-pen debate of the issues” with maybe some local or regional forums set up to start this debate. Not only are these “left” opportunists as a rule incredibly weak on basic strategic questions of waging revolution in this country, but also when it is a matter of devising simple tactics to move the revolutionary process forward, they fall embarrassingly flat on their face.

Resurrecting the Errors of the Past

These “left” opportunist circles are actually doing nothing more than resurrecting the wall-worn errors of bankrupt formations before them, such as the Revolutionary Wing. At the time the Committee for a Proletarian Party was hammering out its Principles of Unity, it had the spectacular debacle of the Revolutionary Wing from which to draw valuable lessons. We characterized “left” opportunism as a major roadblock to party-building because many circles were sacrificing the goal of proletarian revolution to their own temporary petit-bourgeois advantage and catering to their own feelings of superiority and self-importance.

We think our characterization of this error still represents a valid criticism of many circles today:

Typically, ’left’ opportunists inflate their own importance as the movers of world history. Disdaining to link communism with the spontaneous working class movement, they fall prey to vanguardism, absolutizing the subjective factor. This error constitutes opportunism of a petit-bourgeois variety since such people insist on casting themselves in a heroic mold and strive it all costs to keep themselves detached from and above the working class and its day-to-day struggles. (Principles of Unity, p.6).

There are striking similarities between the Kansas circles, for example, and the “movers of world history” who came before them, the Revolutionary Wing. The Kansas circles grandiosely propose some kind of multilateral meeting among anti-revisionist forces whose main purpose will be to publicly confess the absence of any real common principles of unity, any common program, strategy and tactics for revolution, or even common plan for how to build the party. From this promising beginning, they propose to launch grand national joint study and theoretical work to discover why they chose to get together in the first place. As with the Revolutionary Wing before them, the inevitable conclusion will be that they never should have gotten together to begin with because there was no solid basis of unity in principles to justify such common work.

The MLOC As A Leading Circle

Because the MLOC was able to wage an ideological battle on two fronts, against this kind of “left” opportunism as well as against the more dangerous right opportunism, it has been able to move forward to become a leading circle; whereas these other small scattered circles have bean left stagnating (See “Trotskyism Exposed”, UNITE!, February. 1977).

Moreover, the MLOC is playing the role of a leading circle today because it has laid out an essentially correct plan for building and forming the party, specifying five tasks that have to be fulfilled; and has moved ahead In practice to accomplish those tasks. (See “Build the Party of the Working Class,” UNITE!, September, 1977).

The MLOC has taken the lead in producing a Draft Party Program and has submitted it to other Marxist-Leninists and advanced workers for discussion and struggle. We believe that this Draft Party Program is basically correct, representing the application of Marxist-Leninist theory to the concrete conditions of class struggle in the United States.

The MLOC has succeeded in developing a regular Marxist-Leninist press and an ideological center. Through its twice-monthly UNITE!, its theoretical journal Class Against Class, pamphlets like Revolution Will Surely Triumph!, and its extensive publications of the documents from Marxist-Leninist Parties around the world, it has elaborated and propagated the definite and stable principles, strategy and tactics upon which a vanguard party in this country must be built.

The MLOC has energetically sought to establish strong international ties to other Marxist-Leninist Parties and national liberation organizations. In this respect it has taken seriously the task of practicing a consistent and firm proletarian, internationalism.

The MLOC has moved rapidly to develop an industrial and political concentration in the strategic centers of capital. Unlike many other small collectives based in New York, San Francisco or other less industrialized centers, the MLOC has taken great pains to concentrate its cadres among the most advanced sectors of the industrial proletariat, in Chicago, Birmingham, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles. It has followed a disciplined policy of placing its cadres in steel, auto and coal, and has already begun to develop programs for communist work in the USWA, UAW and UMWA.

The MLOC has addressed itself directly to the question of armed insurrection and taken practical and theoretical steps to prepare the proletariat for the necessarily violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie.

The MLOC has concentrated many of its forces to begin cementing the strategic alliance between the multinational proletariat and oppressed nations by taking up work in the Black Belt South and agitating in day-to-day struggles for the right of self-determination for the Black Nation.

These are only a few indications that the MLOC is clearly playing the role of a leading circle among Marxist-Leninist forces today. We will elaborate our views more fully at a later data, but we tend to believe that recognizing the MLOC as a leading circle at this point results more from simple perception of reality rather than from lengthy argumentation.

But in order later on to even argue the merits of the MLOC as a leading circle, we have to backtrack and combat the underlying assumption of many of these local circles which prevents them, in principle, from building a party from the top down and allows them to justify various and sundry social-democratic schemes for getting party-building off the ground.

The Concept of a Leading Circle And Its Historical Significance

The differences between the Committee for a Proletarian Party and a number of these other circles on party building may seem to revolve around a matter of semantics: we work for the emergence of a leading circle whereas these other groups propose to build a leading canter. But these semantical differences reveal more substantial underlying ideological and political differences.

Whatever the variations, a significant number of these local circles still harbor the petit-bourgeois pipedream that somehow out of their protracted multilateral labors some mythical “genuine” leading center will emerge, probably after an interminable series of forums, polemics, theoretical journals, and conferences. In this fundamental sense, on organizational questions they are not very much different from the Revolutionary Wing, which had a social-democratic party-building plan disguised in a ”left” form, or even that much different from the more openly rightist Organizing Committee for an Ideological Center.

In contrast, the CPP sees a party being formed by the efforts chiefly of a leading circle, one group which advances a correct program and a plan for party-building, wins other groups to it, and establishes its hegemony over Marxist-Leninist forces. This role, we believe, was played by Iskra in Russia, under the leadership of Lenin and the old members of the Emancipation of Labor group, Plekhanov. Axelrod and Zasuiich. In Albania, the same process occurred, after a long history of sectarianism and small-circle backward neat. Several unsuccessful social-democratic attempts ware made to form a party, such as the effort in 1939 of the two main circles, the Korea and Shkodra Communist Groups to form a Central Committee with an equal number of representatives from each group. But it wasn’t until one circle, the Tirana branch of the Korea Communist Group, lad by Enver Hoxhe, emerged as the leading circle that it was possible to move towards forming a vanguard party.

As the History of the Party of Labor of Albania states:

Under Enver Hoxha’s lead, the Tirana branch became gradually the real organizing center for the entire communist and anti-fascist movement in Albania. Dedicated communists of the different groups had united around this branch. They constituted the basis of the coming communist party (p. 80).

Among the consistently anti-revisionist forces which have drawn dear lines of demarcation with Chinese as wall as Soviet revisionism, the Marxist-Leninist Organizing Committee is playing this role of a leading circle. Similarly, it is around the MLOC that dedicated communists from the different groups will unite and form the basis for the party of the proletariat in the United States.