First Published: Theoretical Review No. 16, May-June 1980.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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With these points of unity, we are pleased to announce the official founding of the Boston Political Collective (ML). The BPC(ML) has been functioning for six months, focusing on internal consolidation and cadre development. During this period, comrades in the Collective have maintained their ties to the workers’ and mass movement, in preparation for the time when the Collective could give conscious leadership to that practice. With these points, we now publicly enter the terrain of the party building and workers] mass movements on a firm initial basis of unity.
In the past months, the BPC has also begun to lay the basis for further consolidation of primacy of theory forces around the country. For example, comrades of the BPC held a forum in Minneapolis, sponsored by local forces, on the political/theoretical crisis of Marxism-Leninism and the primacy of theory line on party building, which was well received.
Finally, the founding of the BPC reconfirms the primacy of theory line as a contending line in the communist movement. This line, which correctly assesses our priorities and which is embodied in the practice of the Tucson Marxist-Leninist Collective (TMLC), the BPC (ML), and other developing organizations, is expanding its basis of political influence. These points of unity are the first of many documents to come from the BPC in the struggle to forge a communist party in the United States.
We publish these points of unity not because we think that they are the last word, or a perfected party building line, but because we feel that they encapsulate a realistic and necessary starting point for the formation and unity of communist collectives which will be able to actively intervene in the national party building process and guide the development and practice of their own cadre with an advanced theoretical and political orientation.
We are also publishing them in the hope that collectives and study groups around the country will actively take up, study, adopt and advance these points of unity and in this way contribute to the consolidation and further development of our movement.
Executive Committee of the BPC (ML)
Building a communist collective requires the strong political unity of its members. In the initial formation of the Boston Political Collective (ML), all members struggled to unite around points of unity that expressed our essential political line and practice. The following points are not simply abstract “universal” principles of Marxism-Leninism, but rather points that speak to the specific conjuncture of party building in which we find ourselves. While the points do not cover all the political questions which the collective must soon confront, they constitute the essential principles to which we adhere as the basis of initial unity.
The points of unity were initially drafted by the Boston Editorial Board of the Theoretical Review (TBR). They were elaborated and deepened through a process of struggle and debate by comrades who were involved in the TRB-led study groups. In this process all comrades gained a deeper and more comprehensive view of the primacy of theory line on party building.
The founding of a communist organization represents a qualitative leap in the practice of all collective members. Schematically, the difference between our study group and our collective is this: in the study group, we were training ourselves as individual Marxist-Leninists to become theoretically adept and politically aware of the direction and tasks of the party building movement; our collective, however, was founded in order to intervene in the party building movement (consisting of organized forces and independent Marxist-Leninists) and the workers’ and mass movements. This intervention demands greater discipline and willingness to struggle, and a politically united organization of communist cadre. Our tasks (political, theoretical, ideological, and economic) are prioritized and carried out as determined by the collective process.
It is important to explain why we are building another communist organization in Boston at this time.
First of all, Boston has no organization representing the primacy of theory line on party building, a line qualitatively distinct from other party building lines put forth in the movement.
Boston does have its share of the dogmatist sects of the New Communist Movement including the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist), the Revolutionary Communist Party, the League for Revolutionary Struggle, the Communist Workers’ Party, etc. The political break with these groups which was initiated by the revolution in Angola in 1976 is now well recognized. Yet there are those who would still conciliate with these dogmatist sects, particularly with their class-collaborationist international line and their flunkeyism toward China. These forces, which include Proletarian Unity League (PUL), Communist Unity Organization (CUO) and Revolutionary Workers Headquarters (RWH) are well represented in the Boston area, and to the extent to which they continue to conciliate with these views, they must be viewed as part and parcel of the New Communist Movement dogmatist legacy.
The controversy around Angola established the political basis for a qualitatively new movement, one calling itself anti-revisionist and anti-dogmatist (or anti-left opportunist as some now refer to it). We consider ourselves a part of this movement and trace our political/theoretical roots back to the primacy of theory position as it was first elaborated by the Ann Arbor Collective in 1976. The development of this new movement as a whole however has been very slow and uneven, evidencing numerous political and theoretical threads which still bind a majority of its forces to the dogmatist/revisionist framework of our predecessors.
One group of these forces holds to the “fusion” line on party building. In New England they are represented by the Boston Organizing Committee in Boston, New Unity in Springfield, and For The People in Fall River, New Bedford. While the more developed “fusionists” have attempted to sophisticate the line by incorporating the idea of the need for theory, the essence of their line remains an emphasis on mass struggles as the road to building the party and a downplaying of our theoretical tasks. The “fusion” line is economist and fails to provide any advanced line for our party building efforts. Our position on fusion is elaborated in the documents listed after Point One.
The other major organized force in the party building movement is the National Network of Marxist-Leninist Clubs. Locally, the NNMLC is represented by the Boston Club. While the NNMLC does admit to the need for theoretical study, their main emphasis is on political line rectification. We, however, see the need for a broad theoretical rectification, which will allow for genuine rectification of political line. The NNMLC’s refusal to call for theoretical rectification demonstrates their failure to recognize the degeneration of and crisis in Marxist-Leninist theory and practice both in the CPUSA and the international communist movement from the 1930’s onwards. This failure will inevitably lead to errors in their process of political line rectification. Our position on the “rectification” line is best summed up in the articles on the NNMLC listed after Point One.
The bulk of the “fusion” forces are presently consolidating themselves in the Organizing Committee for an Ideological Center. Although the Philadelphia Workers Organizing Committee is now the hegemonic force in the OC, the OC is alleged to be open to all party building views that have agreement with the 18 Points of Unity and that recognize the need for a single ideological center. To date, the OC has been characterized by a low level of ideological struggle, a high level of bureaucratic machinations, and unity around Steering Committee positions on a most superficial political basis.
Despite the recent sectarian attacks on the NNMLC by the Steering Committee of the OC, these two forces are linked by a sterile and dogmatist conception of theory and our theoretical tasks, and little understanding of the nature of cadre development.
Aside from these organizations there exists in Boston a large body of independent Marxist-Leninists and Marxists, who are put off by the sectarianism and dogmatism of the ultra-left groups, the revisionism of the CPUSA, and the refusal of most communist organizations to deal seriously and critically with our theoretical tasks and our historical legacy, particularly that of the Stalin era. The primacy of theory line offers a political alternative which will attract many of these individuals.
In conjunction with this view of the Boston Marxist-Leninist left, we recognize that the primacy of theory forces are a minority force within the party building movement. The Tucson Marxist-Leninist Collective, the major proponent of the line, has made great strides in developing the line theoretically (in their pamphlets and in the Theoretical Review), and in political practice. The founding of another primacy of theory collective can greatly advance the line in a number of ways:
1. While the TMLC plays a leading role in putting forth its position on the West Coast, the existence of a primacy of theory collective in Boston allows us to more effectively carry the struggle east. The fact that PWOC, the leading proponent of the “fusion” line, dominates much of the eastern party building movement makes this task even more important.
2. Unlike Tucson, Boston has numerous party building and other Marxist-Leninist forces; as well, the level of mass struggle is somewhat higher here than in Tucson. Taken together, these two factors allow great potential for developing both primary and secondary aspects of our line in full view of, and in struggle with, all the tendencies of the party building movement.
3. By developing strong political and communication links with the TMLC, we can give the line greater depth through struggle as well as a more national character and practice.
4. Together with the TMLC, we can serve as a national force for the primacy of theory line around which other primacy of theory collectives can rally and organize themselves.
Finally, the building of a communist organization dedicated to developing and implementing the primacy of theory line in theory and practice is crucial for the party building and mass movements. By forming a democratic-centralist organization we will be able to train cadre in the science and history of Marxism-Leninism, and to produce theoretical analyses and political strategies to guide our struggles. It is only in these ways that the primacy of theory line can begin to play a leading role in the struggle for a genuine communist party and ultimately, socialism.
The theoretical poverty of the United States communist movement is now a well-recognized fact. It is also well-recognized, and often repeated, that “without revolutionary theory, there can be no revolutionary movement.” While the primacy of theory line directly addresses this general theoretical poverty of our movement, it can not be seen as merely a theoretical statement reflecting the abstract need of the movement for theory. Rather, the primacy of theory line on party building is rooted in the political tasks which we in the anti-dogmatist, anti-revisionist movement face.
We can define two general political tasks of the movement on the road to seizing state power:
1. Developing the political/theoretical basis sufficient for founding a genuine communist party;
2. Establishing the vanguard role by fusing communism with the workers’ movement.
For this period of our movement, the first task can be ideologically described as uniting Marxist-Leninists. The second task is more difficult to characterize since we believe that actual fusion is impossible at present in the absence of a communist program and analysis to fuse with the workers’ movement. Contemporary communist practice which corresponds to a second task is not fusion in the Leninist sense of the term. While it may be characterized as “winning the advanced to communism,” it is a practice of a qualitatively lower level than fusion. In the present period, when no party exists and, in addition, when fusion is not possible, we assert that the first task is primary while the second task is secondary.
Therefore, while we agree with the “fusionist” forces that it is necessary to fuse communism with the workers’ movement, we fundamentally disagree as to what constitutes the key link in this period which will make such eventual fusion possible.
The key link at this time in accomplishing both tasks is the production of theory. Theory is necessary to produce the political line and program which will unite Marxist-Leninists. Theory is also necessary to produce the line, practice, and ideology which can advance our practice in the workers’ movement to the level of fusion. The “fusionist” strategy fails to recognize the true nature of our practice in the workers’ movement in the present period. Therefore, this strategy, which is premised upon the line, practice, and ideology of the Communist Party in the 1930’s, is economist and provides a basis for strengthening revisionist tendencies in our movement.
With this understanding of the role of theory, we can then see the specific relationship which exists between theory and political line. We recognize that Marxist-Leninists struggle and unite around political line. However, a political line must be based on a prior theoretical analysis. Therefore, the depth of unity of Marxist-Leninists around any particular political line is directly related to the depth of the theoretical analysis from which that line was derived. Thus while we do not abstain from developing political lines on key issues because we lack as thorough and scientific analysis as we might desire, we do recognize this essential link between the political line and practice of our movement and the movement’s level of theoretical development. In developing political lines to unite Marxist-Leninists and to guide our intervention in the class struggle, we strive to deepen our theoretical understanding of the issues in order to develop as advanced political lines as possible.
Central to this deepening of our theoretical analysis and to the primacy of theory line in general, is the recognition that internationally Marxism-Leninism is in a period of political and theoretical crisis. The political features of this crisis are well-known. The USSR has long departed from the revolutionary path toward communism. China is rapidly degenerating along a revisionist road, recently furthered by the open abandonment of the principle that class struggle is the motor force of history. When socialist Vietnam invaded the Democratic Republic of Kampuchea, and the Peoples Republic of China invaded Vietnam, and with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, communist movements around the world were further divided and polarized by their inability to concretely understand the practice of proletarian internationalism. In the West European countries, the Euro-communists have resurrected social democracy, this time on the very foundations of the Third International. The anti-revisionist forces in Europe have yet to muster any strength to significantly challenge this open class collaborationism. And in the United States it is well-recognized that the workers’ movement has functioned without a revolutionary party for decades.
Theoretical production, the development of Marxism-Leninism as a living science, has been blocked and distorted from the 1930’s onwards. Presently what passes for Marxist-Leninist theory is often only a caricature of the complex and creative analysis needed to unite Marxist-Leninists, to fuse with the working class, and ultimately to seize state power. Marxism-Leninism is not simply the application of a set of existing principles to “concrete conditions”; rather it is a science which must be continually rectified, deepened, and expanded in its methodology and conceptual system in the process of developing the concrete analyses which guide our practice.
In dealing with the crisis of Marxism-Leninism, we also need to take a fresh and critical look at the history of the international and the United States communist movements. We must understand, free from all dogmatist and opportunist falsifications, the true nature of our past in all its positive and negative features. It is only in these ways that we can lay the basis for elaborating a true Marxist-Leninist theory and practice which roots out revisionism and dogmatism, ultra-leftism and rightism, in all their forms.
The evolution of the primacy of theory line within our movement is expressed in the following documents. We adhere to the basic analyses and rectifications of the analyses put forth in these documents and we commit ourselves to further elaborating the primacy of theory line:
1. “Against Dogmatism and Revisionism; Toward a Genuine Communist Party,” Ann Arbor Collective (ML), November 1976.
2. “On Party Building,” Ann Arbor Collective (ML), April 1977.
3. “Party Building Tasks in the Present Period,” Tucson Marxist-Leninist Collective, November 1977.
4. “The Primacy of Theory and Political Line,” Tucson Marxist-Leninist Collective, Theoretical Review No. 7, September-October 1978.
5. “Theoretical Aspects of Political Practice,” Neil Eriksen-Schmidt, Theoretical Review, No. 8, January-February 1979.
6. “A Joint Statement On: The Party Building Line of the National Network of Marxist-Leninist Clubs” Tucson and Boston Theoretical Review Boards, Theoretical Review, No. 11, July-August 1979.
7. “Party Building: Our Aim is True,” Paul Costello, Theoretical Review, No. 12, September-October 1979.
8. “Our Differences,” Paul Costello, Theoretical Review, No. 14, January-February 1980.
External political practice is the practice of communists in the workers’ and mass movements.
Internal political practice is the practice of communists within their own organizations, and the relations among communist organizations and individuals in the party building movement.
While both aspects of practice are always part of communist activity, the “fusionists” objectively place primary emphasis on external political practice for all periods, whereas the primacy of theory forces hold that internal political practice is primary in the present period.
This latter position flows from an analysis of the present conjuncture which has been characterized by a relatively stable period in the US working class movement, and a crisis in both the state of Marxist-Leninist theory and the Marxist-Leninist movement. Even given a rise in the workers’ movement, our external political practice will remain at a primitive level unless we can develop disciplined communists with the theoretical and political abilities required in order to intervene as communists in the party building movement and the workers’ movement. This can not be accomplished by engaging in more and more external political practice, but primarily by developing the following aspects of internal political practice:
1. Consolidating a communist organization through the study and practice of democratic centralism, criticism/self-criticism, and unity-struggle-unity.
The importance of these Marxist-Leninist principles is often underestimated. Even more often, they are misunderstood. The practice of democratic centralism is crucial to the development of communist cadre and to building a communist organization. However, it is important to elaborate what is meant by democratic centralism.
Democratic centralism has historically been defined as the subordination of the minority to the majority, lower bodies to higher bodies, the individual to the collective, along with a rigid adherence to a set of political lines. This one-sided definition emphasizes organizational form over content, and centralism (in reality, bureaucracy) over democracy. In fact, this is how democratic centralism has been practiced since the late 1920’s. By accepting democratic centralism in this, its most degenerated and bureaucratic form, most forces in the communist movement fail to break with our dogmatist legacy. On the other hand, other forces reject democratic centralism on the basis of identifying this degenerated form with the original Leninist concept.
The task remains for Marxist-Leninists to simultaneously restore and elaborate a Leninist content to the concept and practice of democratic centralism. This task takes on particular importance in light of the social democratic attack on Leninist principles of organization, as well as the continuing caricature of democratic centralism in many communist parties and organizations in the world today.
Historically, efficiency, bureaucracy, and “iron discipline” have been promoted at the expense of democracy. But “broad and democratic debate” does not spontaneously erupt; rather a basis must be laid for such debate and the development of that basis must be fought for against all tendencies toward premature or over-centralization. Democracy must be consciously fostered in order to provide a foundation for the correct centralization of our theory and practice.
Moreover, the development of political lines through the practice of democratic centralism should not be seen as a war between two static positions in which one line wins and the other loses. Such struggles must be seen dialectically; we must recognize the dominant and subordinate aspects of each particular line, and synthesize the correct elements of each into an advanced line which unites the collective, and eventually the movement. The prequisite for such struggle within the collective is the strong basis of unity upon which we have come together and from which we proceed. For without such unity, there is no basis for principled struggle toward a higher level of unity.
Only an advanced level of communist consciousness and a high degree of theoretical and political unity among all cadre can guarantee the correct practice of democratic centralism. This requires a strong emphasis on internal education, promoting ideological struggle within the organization, and developing each cadre’s analytical abilities. We must also foster the organizational mechanisms and atmosphere which allows all criticisms to be raised without intimidation; the basis must be laid for the practice of “going against the tide.” In this way, cadre at all levels can evaluate and contribute to the struggle for theoretical analyses and political line both in the collective and movement-wide.
Contrary to current conceptions within the anti-dogmatist, anti-revisionist movement, we hold that democratic centralism is not a block to principled inter-organizational struggle. Rather, a correct practice of democratic centralism can actually facilitate principled struggle and the development of a firm unity among the various organizations.
Thus the primary aspect of democratic centralism is not organizational form but rather the relationship it establishes among communists at all levels.
2. Developing communist cadre through the careful study of history and theory, through theoretical production, and through ideological and political practice.
By “careful” we mean giving political direction and theoretical guidance to the way we study.
Because of the need for an analysis of the United States and our lack of the tools and understanding with which to make this analysis, our collective will focus on the philosophy and science of Marxism-Leninism (dialectical and historical materialism), the history of the international and US communist movements, and an analysis of the present conjuncture and class structure of the United States.
Within the collective, theoretical work includes learning to write political analyses (such as Theoretical Review articles), and collectively producing political lines. Ideological and political practice includes learning to operate as a communist fraction in the leadership of external study groups, and how to struggle within our organization.
3. Struggling to overcome uneven development.
For the correct practice of democratic centralism, it is crucial to combat uneven development so that all members can critique political positions and offer contributions. In order to be effective, however, our efforts need to be rooted in a correct understanding of the material bases of uneven development and must place special emphasis on fighting the effects of sex, race, and class oppression.
The work of overcoming uneven development is a collective responsibility. Thus, we must have a conscious and organized approach to the problem in order to provide the support and guidance necessary for all cadre to advance. In addition, we must all pool our resources and learn from one another so as to raise the organization as a whole to the tasks at hand.
4. Struggling within the national party building movement.
This aspect of our practice stands in dialectical relation to the other three aspects. On the one hand, as our cadre, organization, and theory advance, so will our intervention in the party building movement. On the other hand, this intervention is vital to the development of our cadre, organization, and theory. The vast theoretical and political issues posed by the international class struggle will be prioritized and taken up primarily in terms of their relation to the development of the party building movement and the primacy of theory line.
Concretely, our practice within the party building movement in the present period will include political and ideological struggle through articles in the Theoretical Review, and exchanging documents and meeting with other organizations, study groups, and individuals. Where possible we will coordinate our efforts with those of the Tucson Marxist-Leninist Collective, and other primacy of theory forces.
To say that internal political practice is the primary form of communist activity in the present period is not to ignore the importance of external political practice, but is to view that practice in its proper perspective: as a secondary task which stands in a specific and dialectical relation to our primary task. To ignore external political practice and only work on the primary task would be a serious error.
In the present conjuncture, due to the generally low level of the workers’ and mass movements, and due to the absence of a genuine communist party guided by advanced theory, we can not consider our external political practice to be fusion. Communist fusion is the fusion of an advanced communist analysis and program with the working class (not just the leadership of working class struggles by communists); the absence of that analysis and program tends to make our current external political practice economist and reformist (as is the case with the “fusionists”), or voluntarist and ultra-left (as is the case with the dogmatist sects).
Despite its limitations, communist participation in external political practice at this time offers important benefits for the communist movement and the primacy of theory line, as well as for the workers’ and mass movements. This is only so, however, as long as we correctly understand the relationship between external political practice, our secondary task, and internal political practice, our primary task.
Central to an understanding of this relationship is the recognition that theory must be tested twice: against theory itself, and in the social practices of society (ideological, economic, and political). The first test verifies the theory to insure that it exists in organic relation to the body of Marxism-Leninism as a whole. The second test involves taking our scientific hypotheses, verifying them in social practice, and most importantly, changing the world.
This conception of testing theory implies two objective limitations on our external political practice in this period. We have yet to develop and theoretically test much theory which concerns our practice in the workers’ and mass movements. At the same time, we lack sufficient cadre and the national organization necessary for testing that theory in a broad fashion.
Because of these two limitations, there are two priorities related to external political practice: recruitment and cadre development. Recruitment is the winning of advanced workers and activists to Marxist-Leninist politics, and eventually to party building and the primacy of theory line. Cadre development is training ourselves to participate as communists in all aspects of our work. For example, this would include improving our ideological practice by understanding the consciousness of those with whom we work, and starting from this common ground, learning how to qualitatively advance that consciousness. Cadre development also involves learning how to operate as a communist fraction or cell, and how a communist organization can give leadership to cadre involved in mass struggles. Along with these lessons, we also have much to gain from the workers and activists with whom we work.
We also see other goals for our external political practice. While keeping in mind that due to the local nature of our work our external political practice can not be assumed to reflect the level of development in other areas or on a national scale, we can draw lessons about the struggles we engage in. External political practice also allows us to develop one of the bases for a conjunctural analysis of the Boston area. And last, building our external political practice lays the basis for advancing political struggles in our local area. In this latter process, we will be building recognition for the Boston Political Collective as a trustworthy ally in progressive struggles and we will be fighting anti-communist ideology.
In our external political practice, recruitment is primary and cadre development is secondary. This hierarchy is determined by the political requirements and the present state of the communist movement, as well as the need to build the necessary linkage between internal political practice and external political practice.
First, the communist movement is very weak in the left as a whole, and within the communist movement the primacy of theory forces have insufficient influence. Recruitment, as the primary goal of our external practice, brings more cadre into the primary task of theoretical production. Without a great number of new comrades here and around the country committed to the primacy of theory line, our ability to produce advanced theory in the numerous areas required of us, and which is applicable beyond our local conditions, is very limited. Recruitment also broadens and deepens the social basis (women, minorities, and working class people) of party building and the primacy of theory line in order to give it the social foundation from which it can develop.
Second, the emphasis on recruitment politically guides our cadre development in external political practice. This is because recruitment necessarily involves a focus on advanced workers and activists who are recruitable. Without such political guidance, our cadre would be left to spontaneous and voluntarist notions of reaching all strata and engaging in all forms of external political practice without directly serving the needs of our primary political practice.
Third, we can further emphasize cadre development only when the science, ideology, and program we bring to the mass struggles is more advanced. For the same reason that our external practice cannot be characterized as fusion in the present period, in the same way our cadre development is objectively limited by the state of Marxist-Leninist theory and the party building movement.
These two priority goals have a reciprocal relationship. While recruiting serves to focus our cadre development, cadre development is necessary in order to successfully recruit advanced workers and activists.
Our external political practice requires theoretical and ideological preparation: a preliminary analysis of the conjuncture in Boston and its relations to the national and international conjuncture; an evaluation of collective members external practice experience to date; and investigation into how to do external work as a secondary task. With this foundation, the collective will assign its resources to those priority areas which allow us to win the advanced to communism, advance the struggle against racism and sexism, and build a genuine communist party.
The Theoretical Review puts one aspect of the primacy of theory line into practice in the production of theoretical analyses on key issues confronting the party building movement; in the move to re-examine the classics and introduce modern theory to the movement; and, most importantly, by attempting to develop the particularities of, and to rectify, deviations in our political lines.
As a theoretical organ the Theoretical Review serves us in four capacities:
1. As a force in the struggle for socialism;
2. To spark debate in the party building movement and the left as a whole;
3. As a communist resource for political and theoretical education.
4. As a vehicle for the advancement of the theoretical abilities of collective members so that we can make contributions to the party building movement.
The practice of proletarian internationalism has historically been characterized by the uncritical acceptance of the leadership of a foreign communist party. This flunkeyism is an important aspect of the decline of the CPUSA and of the New Communist Movement. We affirm our commitment to proletarian internationalism based on an independent analysis of the interests of the working class and oppressed peoples of the world.
In making this analysis, we recognize that there is much to learn from the experience of the Chinese and Soviet revolutions, as well as the numerous national liberation struggles which have taken and are taking place around the world. Additionally, there have been advances made in Marxist theory in Western Europe (e.g. Althusser, Bettelheim, Gramsci) which can be of great help in advancing our own knowledge. While we do not agree with all the theoretical or political positions or statements of these theoreticians, we feel they have made considerable contributions to Marxist-Leninist theory.
Finally, in the context of the world situation, and the class collaborationism of the dogmatists and revisionists, we affirm our commitment to proletarian internationalism by supporting all those struggles which strike at the hegemony of the United States in the world imperialist system; to proletarian independence, by striving to build alliances with various classes and class strata without sacrificing proletarian leadership; and to proletarian revolution in the United States, which at all times must be seen as the goal of the party building movement.
Historically, points of unity in the New Communist Movement have either been the most vague rallying points possible (e.g. Red Papers 6 for the Revolutionary Union’s points), or long repetitions of the general beliefs prevailing in the movement (e.g. the Guardian’s 29 points). We are breaking with that tradition by elaborating specific points in the context of the primacy of theory line on party building: points whose depth not only create a strong foundation of unity for the Boston Political Collective, but which also serve to demarcate our line from others current in the movement. As such, these points represent our preliminary advances in the particular areas addressed by them and constitute an initial basis for our political unity as a communist organization.
The Boston Political Collective (ML) also unites around a firm commitment to struggle against all forms of sexism and racism in our internal and external practice. The struggle for communism is not just a struggle against class oppression, but against all forms of oppression. Racism and sexism are also immense obstacles to the unification of the communist movement and to our fusion with the working class. We recognize that we have not addressed these issues in the points of unity. This is because we feel that our collective grasp of solutions to these crucial issues is not at such a level as to represent an advance over the current low level of understanding of the movement as a whole. It would not move us forward to simply repeat the current ideological notions about sexism and racism around which any anti-revisionist can unite. Indeed, many of these notions have contributed to holding us back from dealing with these problems seriously and effectively. By starting from the political/theoretical context represented by these points of unity, we commit ourselves to advancing the primacy of theory line into these and all areas which confront communists engaged in the effort to build a genuine communist party and to seize state power.
At this time, we put forward these points of unity to announce the advance of our line, to raise the struggle over party building line in our tendency, and finally, to help others who are in the process of consolidating organizations around the primacy of theory perspective. We hope to soon publish a political bulletin to facilitate the process of developing a stronger national presence for our forces.
We welcome all comments, questions, and criticisms about these points or the primacy of theory line in general.
 One group studied Charles Bettelheim’s Class Struggles in the USSR, Vol. 1 & 2; the other studied the history of the New Communist Movement.
 When we use theoretical production, we do not mean the simple application of pre-existing theory to the ”real” world. Our definition of theoretical production incorporates the following:
1. It is through theoretical production that scientific knowledge of a concrete object is produced.
2. Theoretical production requires defining and/or elaborating (to the extent possible) the concepts in ML theory relevant to the object of study, (e.g., to determine what constitutes the US proletariat, we need to define a “class”.) Having defined the concepts, it becomes possible and necessary to then transform the ideological notions and raw data gathered from our study and practice into scientific hypotheses. This transformation, this process of production of scientific hypotheses, is the key aspect of theoretical production.
3. These scientific hypotheses must be tested against the already existing body of ML theory as a whole to determine if they are consistent with that theory, (e.g., the theory of productive forces and the theory of the three worlds can be demonstrated within the already existing body of ML theory to be inconsistent with the understanding of class struggle as the motive force of history). The hypotheses are also tested in social practice both to verify them, and, more importantly, to change the world. When communists test their theory in social practice, it takes the form of a political line based on that theory.
4. After being successfully tested in both theory and practice, the new knowledge becomes part of the developing body of ML theory.
5. The class struggle of the present conjuncture determines the priorities of our theoretical production.