Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

M-L League

M-L League to Celebrate 1st Congress

First Published: Mass Resistance, Vol. 12, No. 1, April 1981.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Eight months ago COReS (MLM) and LPR (ML) merged into a single organization. Our merger was a principled one, based on fundamental unities on the crucial questions facing our movement. We completed it in the course of open struggle for unity and a campaign to rectify our past errors. However, becoming a single, democratic centralist organization did not happen automatically, despite all our unities and the hard work in preparation for the merger.

We were faced with a very concrete task – that of resolving the minor differences, the day to day struggles, that would now become clearer as we settled down to the work of a single organization. There were differences in style of work, in views and in line, in the areas of work we were involved in, in our histories. And to complicate matters further, we functioned from different areas of the country.

Our task would have been much easier if we were not so determined to become a democratic centralist organization; that is to say if we had chosen the road of one organization swallowing the other, thus imposing one line, one style, one leadership, over the other. But we chose the more difficult, correct way of democratic centralism.

We made errors in carrying this out. We tried to implement absolute equality between the two former organizations. For example, the newly elected Central Committee was composed of exactly the same amount of members from the two former organizations. They were to operate from different cities except when in session and in this way “lead” the whole organization. Similarly, the Editorial Board of the newspaper had members from both former organizations and they, too, were to operate from different cities.

These problems in the leadership of our organization resulted in serious internal crisis. We were not able to move forward as decisions were often deadlocked without a mechanism to resolved differences. We were not able to coordinate the mass work being done, weakening thus the effectiveness of this mass work. The newspaper was not to be seen as article after article had to be rewritten or scrapped. There was no central direction and focus of the organization resulting in the cadres taking the direction they saw fit. This created a situation in which not single line dominated in the organization, particularly around matters which arose after the merger, e.g. changes in the domestic situation, in the international situation and in the communist movement, etc. In a nutshell: we were still functioning as two separate organizations.

It was only natural that in the midst of all these problems demoralization set in. And this in turn further affected the quality of our work. However, conscious of those unities that did bring us together, and our genuine commitment to revolutionary struggle, our Central Committee has moved to correct this situation. A special meeting of the CC of the Marxist-Leninist League was held early this year for this purpose. Following are highlights of the results of this meeting.


The special meeting of the CC did not in itself solve matters. Its aim was to create the conditions so that matters could be solved and that it did. First of all, it resolved to take the discussion and the decisions that have to be made to the general membership. A call to hold the first Congress of the M-L League this summer was the most important resolution adopted in this respect. In the present period, prior to the Congress, the whole organization will be engaged in the preparatory work necessary to make the most correct decisions on the fundamental questions we are faced with.

The CC acknowledged that the M-L League was confronting a “major internal crisis” that was affecting its capacity to function as a single, democratic centralized, Marxist-Leninist organization. In a position paper presented at the meeting, this internal crisis was described as the manifestation, on the one hand, of a “lack of organizational, ideological and political consolidation”; and on the other, of a “very loose organizational structure that doesn’t establish real methods of leadership, division of labor, the application of the mass line and most important of all, the running of the organization in a democratic centralized fashion.” (From ’The Present Situation and Possible Ways to Move Forward’).

The paper pointed to the need to pay attention to the important changes that have occurred nationally, internationally and within the U.S. communist movement recently and the need to consolidate our ranks on a correct political and ideological line that allows us to move forward under the new conditions.

As a result of the discussion of the CC, it was decided that the Congress will focus on the consolidation of our line on those three areas (domestic, international and communist movement). Special attention will be given to the domestic situation in light of the mounting attacks the Reagan administration is carrying out against the working people and oppressed nationalities, women and all poor and oppressed. Attention will be given to the shift that has occurred in the U.S. Foreign Policy (a shift towards a more aggressive and warmongering stance).

To make preparations for the Congress and to run the day to day functions of the M-L League until that Congress, a Political Commission was appointed from within the CC. This body is empowered to make the daily decisions that are to lead the M-L League forward in the period prior to the Congress and it is composed of former members of both organizations in an odd-numbered basis. The entire body will be located in a single city to facilitate its coordination and communication.

The Political Commission is a very positive and important step forward in dealing with our internal crisis, Up to then, the ML League had been run by a CC of equal representation from its former organizations. This was the way in which, at the time of the merger between COReS and LPR, both organizations felt was the best way to guarantee equality in the new organization. But it proved incorrect.

The even number of CC members, added to the fact that there was no national leadership body that was empowered to make timely, day to day decisions between CC meetings, was creating serious problems for the organization. Sometimes there would be a deadlock in the CC and no way to resolve them. Discussion over the phone or the writing of letters proved to be incorrect ways to deal with the problem. And it was idealistic to expect the CC to lead the organization under such conditions.

Thus, the establishment of a Political Commission, with odd-numbered representation, and based in one city, is definitely a step forward in the correct direction. Decisions are made on a timely basis, and in an atmosphere of trust, which helped the willingness to forego “equal” representation and to transfer to other parts of the country. Of course, we are very aware that that this will not be the panacea that will solve all our problems, which in the last analysis are a reflection of the lack of political and ideological consolidation within our ranks. This will only be a beginning to set conditions for the solution of such problems; and it will definitely help organize the internal discussions among cadres on those differences that still exist or that’ will always come up in the course of struggle. At the same time, it will allow for the smooth functioning of the organization as a whole in a unified way. It will help avoid organizational chaos in which each district and sometimes even each cadre, do things their own way, applying the line as they see fit, or the other extreme of becoming a debating society that is reduced to endless discussions about what is to be done, meanwhile, nothing is done.

Another decision taken at that meeting was to establish a temporary Editorial Board for MASS RESISTANCE located in one city. Previously, the Editorial Board was also composed of “equal representation” and was spread in different cities, making it immensely more difficult to produce a regular newspaper. During this period of internal discussions within the organization, the Editorial Board will strive for unity to be reflected in the newspaper. However, if such unity cannot be achieved, we will be printing individual views of cadres in the newspaper, thus aiding the internal discussions towards a single correct line for the whole organization.


Finally, it was stressed that there is a need to continue the rectification campaign while preparing of the Congress. Former LPR members presented a sum-up of main deviations found in their rectification campaign and former COReS members are in the process of completing this task. At the Congress we expect not only to consolidate ideologically, politically and organizationally, but also give a single, central direction to the deepening of our rectification process.

At present, we are enthusiastically preparing for the ML Leagues first Congress, confident that the problems we confronting are the birth pangs of our new organization, and that we will not be deterred by them in the task of struggle towards our revolutionary goals which brought us together in the first place. We welcome from comrades and friends all comments and suggestions which they may consider helpful to us in preparing for our Congress and moving forward in the tasks we face.