Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Resolution of the Second Congress of the Communist Party USA/Marxist-Leninist –June 1983

Published: In The Workers’ Advocate Vol. 13, No. 8, December 15, 1983.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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We have reached a new juncture in the struggle for a Marxist-Leninist party in the United States. This turning point can best be described as a confrontation in which the image of how to build a communist party in America is in contradiction with the reality of the experience of attempting to build such a party. It is a contradiction between what theory and work has been carried out to lay foundations for the party, and what has proven to be necessary to lay those foundations. Between what has been attempted and what has been achieved. Between what is understood and what is required.

This juncture results, in part, from our awareness of this contradiction. We could not have arrived at this turning point without struggling to build a new Marxist- Leninist party in the United States. We have been part of a dialectical, historical process: this process gave rise to our Party, and our work has furthered the struggle for class consciousness social development.

To understand this juncture we have conducted a summation of that historical process and our role within it. We have only begun to understand not just our experience, but the larger problems of Marxism in the world today, and what will be required in the future to build a successful Marxist-Leninist party equipped to meet the demands of the class struggle in the United States.

This summation has led us to the realization that the present state of the class struggle in the United States poses a number of theoretical and practical problems to which the proletariat has as yet no answers. These problems are primarily: Development of an all-round Marxist-Leninist analysis of the nature of the economic base of American imperialism and its relationship to the superstructure. An all-sided appreciation of the strength of bourgeois ideology in American society and how it is reproduced. An elaboration of the relationship of the struggle for the extension and preservation of bourgeois democracy to the struggle for socialism. A useful assessment of the role of race and nationality in American life and the means to carry out a successful struggle for working class unity. And, answers as to how to establish a base within the industrial working class in order to begin to lay foundations for a truly proletarian communist party in the United States.

Along with this recognition has come the understanding that the kind of Marxist-Leninist study, thinking and organizational life required to answer these questions has not been achieved in our experience, nor will it be easy to achieve in the future. Yet this is one of the most decisive problems, for as the present juncture indicates, we have not as yet evolved an adequate theory for party building in the United States. And as Marxism-Leninism shows, there can be no revolutionary movement without a revolutionary theory.

An upsurge in the working class, democratic and national revolutionary movements in America which began in the early 1960’s gave rise to the prospect of building a new communist party that could take up the banner abandoned by the CPUSA in 1944, advancing the cause of the proletariat in the struggle for progress, equality, democracy and peace, while fighting with the aim of establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat and socialism. Today it is clear that this promise has not been realized. This period in the class struggle in the United States has passed without achieving a truly nationwide, multi-national, proletarian party with solid ideological, political and organizational foundations.

This recognition has helped us understand that the road charted at the founding of the Communist Party U.S.A./Marxist-Leninist in 1978 was inadequate to the task of party building in America. It was inadequate because of some views which we now know to have been wrong, but primarily because it was a limited vision, handicapped by an inability to perceive the complexity of the problems involved, the nature of the forces arrayed against us, the depth of the contradictions within the working class movement, and the weaknesses of our own forces. The source of this handicapped and at times wrong vision is not a mystery. It is a result of the ideological, theoretical, political and organizational weaknesses of our class, our movement and our Party.

Today, a new offensive by the bourgeoisie and reaction has forced the revolutionary movement into a retreat. What we have seen is a dissolution of the Marxist-Leninist forces, a revival of modern revisionism and social democracy, profound confusion within the progressive movements, and passivity in the face of a deep economic crisis and escalating danger of imperialist world war and fascism. Never has the need for a Marxist-Leninist party to educate, organize, mobilize and lead the proletariat and its allies been greater.

But we can no longer proceed in the old way on the course charted in 1978. A new plan of action designed to answer the theoretical and practical problems of party-building in the United States is needed to advance the cause of socialist revolution. This raises the question: what road ahead? Failure to answer this question from Marxist-Leninist positions raises the spectre of liquidationism – of abandoning the struggle for the party and for proletarian revolution in the United States. It is a particularly acute problem given the historical experience of the Marxist-Leninist movement in America and the social, political and ideological climate in the country today.

In struggling to answer what is to be done, we keep in mind that a liquidationist position is one which either denies the need for a Marxist-Leninist party to advance the cause of the proletariat, or believes that it is impossible to build such a party in the United States, or in practice abandons activity designed to build the party.

Because we cannot continue on a course that did not and will not lead to solid ideological, political and organizational foundations for a Marxist-Leninist party in the United States, and therefore, because we do not and cannot fulfill the obligations and responsibilities of a Marxist-Leninist party of the American proletariat, the CPUSA/ML has been dissolved. To proceed successfully through this new juncture, the fight for the party must continue on a new basis. To admit and act upon this reality is a sound Marxist-Leninist course.

To prevent the liquidationist mood sweeping the movement from destroying our 10-year fight for the party requires, not that we deny this reality, but that we take up practical activity designed to build the party in a manner suited to the real ideological and material resources at our disposal and to the real possibilities for Marxist-Leninist educational and organizational work within the proletarian and democratic movements.

The nature of this new juncture in the struggle for a Marxist-Leninist party in the United States is not yet fully defined. It is likely that an answer to the question “What road ahead?” will not be achieved for some time. What is clear is that we have a special responsibility to our class and to the international proletariat, to learn the lessons and translate our experience over ten-years into a theory of what constitutes adequate foundations for a Marxist-Leninist party in the conditions of the United States and what will be required of the revolutionary movement to secure those foundations the coming years.

As communists we will persevere. The cause remains: to change consciousness in order to change the world. To defend progress, equality, democracy and peace while fighting for complete emancipation. To create a new socialist world, free from exploitation and oppression, reaction and war.

We are clear that such a world will only be won through dedicated struggle against capitalist exploitation, imperialist domination and bourgeois ideological aggression – against the two Superpowers and their lackeys, and against all anti-Marxist, anti-Leninist and anti-people theories and philosophies, from Khruschevism, to Titoism, to Maoism, to Trotskyism and various social democratic revisions of the revolutionary legacy of Karl Marx. In a complicated and dangerous world situation, we have the teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, the history of the world revolutionary movement, and the experience of the people and Party of Labor of Albania to guide and inspire us.

We have a unique opportunity and historic responsibility. At present, given the state of the revolutionary movement in America, the will to fight is critical. But in the final analysis, we know that it is not what we think that is decisive; it is what we do.

Our future course will be dedicated to transforming hard-won knowledge and experience into a revolutionary theory that will guide activity to achieve the most urgent necessity of the class struggle in the U.S. today: the creation of a communist party that can lead the American proletariat to defeat U.S. imperialism, build a new socialist society and forever alter the course of world history.