Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

The Road to Founding the New U.S. Marxist-Leninist Communist Party


We hold that the revolutionaries of a country can construct their leading Marxist-Leninist Party on the basis of the basics or fundamentals of the science and only on that basis. We know that this has been done in dozens of other countries and that we will do it here too. We believe that a review of the attempts to found the Party over the last 25 years will show that all failed mostly because they were done objectively, that is, regardless of subjective intent, in opposition to this only correct method and basis. Let’s look briefly at where the people who made these attempts came from politically, what went wrong and how.

What were the sources of the cadre of the movement to found[1] a new party? An early source was people breaking away from the by-now thoroughly degenerate CPUSA. But after the earliest attempts (particularly the POC-Provisional Organizing Committee, and the PL/PLP-Progressive Labor Party) this source basically dried up...even in these earliest attempts those who came out of the CP had been under the influence of its opportunism to a sufficient extent that it would have been extremely difficult for them to have broken completely with all that was wrong with it...this they were unable to do. In these first attempts and all those that followed, of course, another “source” of “cadre” was the bourgeoisie thru its police and thru its opportunist misleaders and organizations. They never ceased to “contribute”...and have played a great role in the lack of success to date.

The next wave of cadre come from such sources as: CORE, SNCC, NSM, SCLC, SDS, WSA...[2]; the very earliest opponents of the War in Indochina; the oppressed nationalities’ (particularly Black) struggles against police and other racist attacks and for self-determination and other democratic rights. Some whites as well came forth and developed in the opposition to police attacks and spying on the movement. Early supporters of Mao Tse Tung and the Chinese Revolution also came to see the need to go beyond all the “traditional” methods of fighting the bourgeoisie. A few came from the just developing Women’s Movement. Very few came directly from the ranks of the working class...and this has remained the case up til the present. (And given the current objective and, particularly^ subjective factors, this will continue to be the case until after the Party has been founded and can then better organize and give much greater inspiration and hope to the advanced from this, the key, sector of society. They will then rally to the Party, join it in increasingly large waves, and help to thoroughly proletarianize it.)

The third wave, and by far the biggest, came in the early & mid-1970’s, when the Anti-War, oppressed nationalities’ and women’s movements brought forth many of these advanced, (though of course they represented the minority within these movements).

Now, when you analyze these forces, you see that they were trying to turn to Marxism-Leninism but they (and we include ourselves to be sure) didn’t know what it was at first, Meanwhile, the bourgeoisie had spent (and continued and continues to spend) billions to lie about the Socialism that really existed in the USSR of Lenin and Stalin. Similarly, it is just as essential to them to cover up the complete restoration of capitalism in the USSR & all the other formerly socialist countries (except Albania)... though they know differently, they tell the masses that those countries are socialist or communist; the masses look at the re-instituted wage-slavery, war-mongering and degeneracy there, think it’s socialism, and turn away from real socialism, away from Marxism-Leninism. But especially vile and all-sided were the attacks on the person and the work of the great Joe Stalin himself.[3]

We were attracted to the excitement and seeming great militancy of the movement in China that was called the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution”[4]. This appealed greatly to we who were also in rebellion against capitalism and had felt the scourge of its bureaucratic octopus. The slogans we heard of “Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win”, and others, the seeming great and youthful enthusiasm and, at the same time, great dedication to a seemingly just cause...these things rallied us to “look to” the China of Mao Tse Tung as a leader, or the leader, as he himself was proclaimed.

In these conditions the statement by Mao and the CPC Central Committee that Stalin had been 30% wrong (!) and thus had made many and serious mistakes..this stance caused serious harm to our movement where we were pretty much accepting Mao’s words and the line of the CPC as Marxist-Leninist and, in fact, the leading line and Party in the world, with “Mao Tse Tung Thought” being the newest, highest stage of Marxism. Thus, the absolutely essential ideological task of studying and defending the formerly Socialist USSR and its Great Leader Stalin, was not carried out as it should have been. The great disciple and continuer of the work of Lenin, Stalin, whose contributions in theory and practice were of such import and quality as to include him, along with Marx, Engels and Lenin, amongst the 4 “Classics of Marxism-Leninism”...Stalin and his works were belittled in the US just at a time when the rebuilding of the International Marxist-Leninist Communist Movement, with the PLA and Comrade Enver Hoxha at the head, had begun exactly on the basis of the defense of Joe Stalin (and Dimitrov, Zhdanov, the Comintern-Communist International, and the Cominform-Communist Information Bureau) and of Marxism-Leninism in general & against opportunism of all hues, and especially Modern Revisionism (led by its Krushchevite and, secondarily, Titoite versions; and, later, the Chinese and Eurocommunist versions as well).

Though we should have been part of this great movement and victory, we, in the US, essentially didn’t participate in it at that time. By the time things started to become clear to us, at the start of the 1980’s and with the essential help of the PLA’s publication of Enver Hoxha’s:“Reflections on China”, “Imperialism and the Revolution”, “With Stalin”, “The Krushchevites”, “The Titoites”, “Yugoslav ’Self-Administration’, A Capitalist Theory and Practice”, “The Report to the 8th Congress of the PLA” and others...by then our movement was in shambles...with the great bulk of the activists now demoralized and inactive. Most of these may not be aware, to this day, of these new treasures of Marxism-Leninism, much less of their importance. Smaller parts of the movement had been consolidated into a few “parties” of thorough-going opportunist nature (CLP, RCP, MLPUSA, CWP...). A third part, such as those who came together to found and build the SDMLG and a few other groups around the country is: numerically quite small, at this time; physically/geographically somewhat isolated from each other; but, most importantly, still faced with the essential task of rebuilding the movement to found the new Party in and thru total all-out struggle against opportunism of all hues...and, in some cases, not at all clear that this is in fact OUR MAIN AND ONLY TASK!

But, besides the all-sided attacks (particularly ideological) of the bourgeoisie, be-sides the problem of the petti-bourgeois (and other) baggage that we brought with us into the movement and our organizations, besides the great damage done by Modern Revisionism &, particularly in the case of the US movement, by Mao and the CPC...besides all this, there was one other great and underlying factor that made it so very difficult to find our way. This factor was the absence of a genuine Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (or even a leading core or group) at that time in the US. Further, such a Party hadn’t existed in the US since at least 1944 and even earlier; because, by the late 1930’s, the CPUSA had been wrecked by Earl Browder and his ilk, the first form of Modern Revisionism in power in a big party in the world (pre-dating even Titoite Revisionism). That Browderism could rise to occupy the leading position within the leadership, the Central Committee, of the Party, that the stance that “Communism is Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democracy of the Twentieth Century” could hold sway in the Party has tremendous significance.

It meant not only that the anti-Marxist line had seized power in the leadership; but that sympathy, and, in many cases, total-unity with this stance was rife inside the entire Party. This means that the problem could not have arisen all-at-once; nor could it have been resolved all-at-once. It means that the Party had tremendous problems, was composed of a vast number of non-Marxists and, worse, anti-Marxists, from top to bottom. It meant that even the best of the cadre had been much less than vigilant, had “fallen asleep”, had allowed this situation to develop right under their noses!

Only in the short period of the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, under Comrade William Z. Foster’s leadership, was the CPUSA a really revolutionary Party. (But even then it was not a “Bolshevized” Party...even then the seeds and soil for the blossoming of Browderism existed and were not struggled against resolutely enough.) That was 50 years ago!

True, in the late 1940’s Foster led the attempt to restore the Party; Browder, in 1944, had gone so far as to actually officially end the Party...“it was no longer needed under such a democracy”. But this attempt went only so far as to remove Browder and his cohorts from a few of the top positions; but not even from all of them; not from the CC of the Party! But even this little, were it to have been done, would not have been nearly enough. What was called for was a Party-wide struggle, an all-out struggle over a period of years, to retake up the Marxist-Leninist stands in and thru all-out struggle against opportunism of all hues, but especially Browderite revisionism. Not only must all its main adherents have been thrown out of the leadership and out of the Party; but all those secondary “leaders” and “followers” who had long been wallowing in that mire. And not just these.. .No, a great mass purge would have to have ensued...purging the Party of all the Browderites, bourgeois and petti-bourgeois democrats, carreerists, other opportunists AND that great mass of “cadre” who were simply not Marxists. Some of these, perhaps many, could have been worked with outside the Party and been won over to Marxism-Leninism over a period of time...but not, never, does a Marxist-Leninist Party allow non-Marxists inside its ranks.. .much less to the pervasive degree as existed then.

But, alas, Foster’s struggle against these problems was restricted to the removal of a very few people from a very few top posts. He didn’t seem to “have the heart” to really lead the struggle necessary if there was to be any chance to save the Party. The stauncher forces within the Party called for such a struggle, but were unable to organize it.[5]

Thus, we can now see that we came into the movement to re-found the Party with very little understanding of Marxism and a 50-year period of no-genuine Party. Thus, the only way that we could take up Marxism-Leninism would have been to “rediscover” it on our own. This would have been difficult enough given all the factors working against us (previously described). But then the problem was further compounded by our acceptance of the idea of “the dictatorship of the leaders”. This is what the bourgeoisie had been saying, ever since 1917, “existed” and “exists” in “real” communist parties. Though maybe something struck us as wrong here, with this idea, still, to a large extent we accepted that it was inevitable OR, worse, necessary, because some people, the leaders, were just way-more developed than others, the rest of us, who thought that our weaknesses were such that we might never be really capable of being Marxist-Leninist leaders.

We fell into passivity... we watched, wondered, and sometimes despaired at the taking up of various positions, the switching of positions, the choosing to take up secondary questions; when it was obvious to us that at least we, if not the leaderships also, did not grasp the fundamentals well enough. The longer these groups existed it seemed, the greater the spread of actions and lines that seemed wrong to us...but again and again we “acquiesced”, figuring that “the leaders must understand things a lot better than us” or that “even with some mistakes the course is generally correct”.

So, simultaneous with the all-sided attack of the bourgeoisie thru COINTELPRO and myriad other police and other attacks... simultaneous with this, bureaucracy and non-Marxism and anti-Marxism from above (from the leaderships) and liberalism from below (from the rank-and-file) were disintegrating the organizations and our movement from within. The bourgeoisie couldn’t stop the advanced from turning towards Marxism-Leninism, from studying the classics; so they tried, and successfully (though temporarily), to close down the movement based on that science and that could have organized and furthered the struggle for the new Party – without which there could not be a revolutionary movement.

* * *

We believe that from a review such as this all the honest activists will reach the conclusion that to do things differently, to successfully found the Party we so greatly need, our movement must possess 3 essential components. These are:

1) A Correct Ideo/Political Line – the necessary and sufficient basis for founding it;
2) A Correct Plan for the Work – based on this line, to successfully unite & found it; &
3) Capable Cadres – capable of developing, grasping & carrying out the Line & the Plan.

Let’s examine all three, starting with the first, the Ideo/Political Line.


[1] And how could it be otherwise when he had been, for 30 years, the leader of the whole international movement of the working class and oppressed peoples in general, and, in particular, of the mighty achievements of Socialist construction in the USSR and the world-wide defeat of Fascism?

[2] Congress On Racial Equality, Student Non-Violent Coord. Committee, Nat. Student Movement, Students for a Democratic Society, Worker-Student Alliance, etc.

[3] N.B. The history presented on this page has shortcomings. One is that it focuses on “founding the party” rather than the larger “revolutionary” or “anti-revisionist” movement.. .Many groups switched between the two. Also, MUCH is left out. Only after the Party is founded will we be able to do this comprehensively.

[4] It turned out to be neither “Great” nor “Proletarian” nor particularly “Cultural” and certainly not a “Revolution”; but instead, a series of maneuvers and “palace putches” organized by the warring factions within the CP of China, & especially by Mao himself; and carried out by “Red Guard Youth” – NOT the class & its Party! – many of whom turned out to be Army regulars masquerading as youths...all called a GPCR “against bureaucracy & ’capitalist roaders’” within the Party and the State.

[5] This was due to such factors as: 1) their fear of falling into “factionalism”; 2) the loss, previously, of many of the best cadres, who had left in the face of the Browderite line & wrecking activities; & 3) the purging of these stauncher elements soon after they came out openly, within the Party, with their calls to action.