Marxist-Leninist Organisation of Britain

An Open Letter to the Rank and File of Maoist Parties, Organizations and Groups

First Published: Sunday, July 25th, 1971
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Dear Comrade(s),

In January 1968 – just 2 1/2 years ago – the Central Committee of M.L.O.B. rendered its Report on the Situation in the People’s Republic of China. This represented the first scientific Marxist-Leninist analysis of the Chinese revolution, of the history of the Communist Party of China and of the personal leading role in that revolution and that history of MAO TSE-TUNG. This was followed in February 1968 by the Report of the Central Committee of the M.L.O.B. “Proletarian Internationalism: the Key to Victory in Anti-Imperialist Struggle and Socialist Revolution” in which the significance of the counter-revolutionary cultural revolution” to the International Communist movement was assessed. In the Spring of 1970 the M.L.O.B. published the first part of a detailed, fully documented history of Mao Tse-tung in which his bourgeois origins and the reactionary nationalist character of his thought, together with his many acts of betrayal against the Chinese Revolution and the Chinese proletariat and poor peasantry are described – documented and subjected to the searchlight of Marxist-Leninist analysis.

There should of course be no need to stress that the theoretical critique of Maoism which was initiated by our Central Committee has absolutely nothing in common with the vicious attempts at such a critique essayed from time to time by the Right-revisionists of Moscow and their hangers-on and sycophants in the various right- and ultra-revisionist parties. On the contrary, in every example of polemical analysis made by our Centra1 Committee, we have sought to reveal and to stress the complimentary interconnection between Soviet right and Maoist “left” revisionism. We have been concerned to prove conclusively by means of rigorous Marxist-Leninist analysis that these two complementary forms of modern revisionist teaching in fact reflect and serve the interests of the new bourgeoisie which has developed in the U.S.S.R since the death of Stalin and of the national capitalist class which held a share in state power from the very inception of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and which, since the counter-revolutionary ”cultural revolution” of 1966, has succeeded in transforming that partial shared dictatorship within the framework of the revisionist “New Democracy” – the first “state of the whole people” pre-dating, in Mao’s exposition of 1940, Khrushchev’s notorious formula by 16 years – into the direct, brutal and terrorist military dictatorship of the Chinese national capitalist class itself.

Since then, every development in the history of the Peoples Republic of China has demonstrated the correctness of the M.L.O.B.’s ana1ysis.

In March 1970, with the publication of our Central Committee’s Report on the Role of “Centrist” Revisionism, we analysed the growth of inter-imperia1ist rivalries of the new mode of operation of the law of uneven development in the contemporary phase of the General Crisis of capitalism and of the new inter-imperialist balance of power which is every day emerging in ever greater clarity, as one in which

“... International contradictions between capitalist classes in different countries, and between alliances of such capitalist classes, have greatly increased. This situation is leading inevitably towards yet another global war for the re-division of the world – this time between two vast imperialist groups dominated respectively by United States imperialism and Soviet neo-imperialism. As this process of polarisation develops, the imperialist power’s of Western Europe, Japanese imperialism and India are beginning to move towards the Soviet pole, while China, Albania, Pakistan and those neo-capitalist states of Eastern Europe which have broken (or will have broken) free from Soviet domination are beginning to move towards the US pole.”

At the present time two events of world-wide importance also underline the correctness of that Marxist-Leninist analysis. For, with the outbreak of the just struggle of the working people of BanglaDesh the growing alignment of the counter-revolutionary Mao regime with the USA was given the clearest possible expression with the official support given by the Mao faction to the reactionary comprador regime of Yahya Khan in its massacre with the aid of automatic and other weapons supplied by the People’s Republic of China and the Mao leadership, of the working people.

Finally, it was announced over a week ago that the butcher-in-chief of US imperialism, Nixon, had arranged to visit Peking for talks to resolve any residual contradictions remaining between the two states. Thus is revealed the culmination of a process of capitalist growth in the People’s Republic of China which is now, with the adoption of an open comprador relationship under the most powerful single imperialist power on earth, US imperialism and with its acceptance of a relationship of support for an arch-reactionary pro-US semi-colonial regime in Pakistan, virtually on the brink of an imperialist stage of development.

A most careful examination of the history and origins of modern revisionism reveals that it was as long ago as 1935, at the 7th World Congress of the Communist International that the first policy lines of revisionism were laid down which later were to reach their fulfilment in the out-and-out betrayals in theory and in practice of N. Khrushchev. For it was at that event, signifying nothing less than a turning-point in the history of the International Communist Movement that the correct policy of the revolutionary mass Red Front (united front of working class forces built from below) was abandoned and the policy of reaching unprincipled agreements with the leaderships of social-democratic and reformist parties and organisations (united front from above) and ultimately of “Popular Front”, (unprincipled agreements reached with the leaderships of openly bourgeois parties) was substituted in its place. It is of significance that the chief example of the latter unprincipled strategy – one which for the first time since the founding of the Communist International opened the floodgates of social-democratic and reformist thinking, permitting them to enter the international communist movement was none other than Mao Tse-tung, who only a few months previous to the opening of the Congress had led the Communist Party of China, over which his faction by then held complete control, in issuing an appeal to all “patriotic ” forces in China, including the Kuomintang and its army, to enter into such a united front from above.

Now, with the establishment of a military dictatorship in the name of “Mao Tse-tung Thought”, the lessons are being hammered home with the relentless logic peculiar to history, whose wheels grind exceeding fine. As the Report of the Central Committee of the M.L.O.B. irrefutably demonstrates, it was not Mao and his faction, but the developing Marxist-Leninist leadership of the Communist Party of China headed by Liu Shao-chi, Teng Hsiao-ping and Peng Chen, which in 1959 had removed Mao from all positions of authority in the Party and state (the remaining office of Chairman of the Central Committee of the Party having been a mere sinecure) and so had armed itself to begin the magnificent and world-renowned critique of Soviet modern revisionism contained in the 9 Editorials of Renmin Ribao and Hongqi and the equally famous Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement. Since the victory of the counter-revolutionary “cultural revolution”, the “struggle” against Soviet modern revisionism has been emptied of all scientific content and effectively abandoned. as the pronouncements of the Mao clique take on more and more the character of national-chauvinist exhortations to war against the neo-imperialist rival to China and chief enemy on a world scale of its master, US imperialism: the Soviet Union.

Now, as in 1935, the most perfunctory examination of the activities of the various Maoist parties and organisations in the international arena reveals that, in spite of the much-vaunted theoretical brilliance of “Mao Tse-tung Thought”, absolutely no progress has been made in the fundamental theoretical and programmatic tasks of analysing the developing contemporary world situation and the new mode of operation of capitalist imperialist laws of motion; or, flowing from this, of elaborating a world programme of advance towards the final stages of the world proletarian-socialist revolution. There can now be no doubt but that the prime responsibility for this confusion and its resultant disruption and sabotage must be borne by the counter-revolutionary Mao Tse-tung faction – which, were it truly a Marxist-Leninist world leadership, as it claims, would at the very inception of the struggle against Soviet modern revisionism have taken steps to bring the enormous international prestige of the C.P.C. behind the necessary steps to form a new Marxist-Leninist International, as did Lenin and the Bolsheviks in 1919 in relation to the then vital struggle against the betrayal of the old-style revisionists of the Second International. In those few cases where some kind of a programmatic analysis and perspective has been drawn up, such as with the Communist Party of Germany (ML) (Bochum) we find the same hoary “united front” precepts being dusted up and put on show as Dimitrov first put forward at the 7th World Congress in 1935.

At this crucial juncture, and as a consequence of the principled struggle outlined above, the Mao faction in Peking and its opportunist place-seekers in the leaderships of the various Maoist groups in Europe and the Americas have been exposed. They have failed completely to produce a single theoretically valid defence of Maoist “left” revisionism. Consequently, they are now compelled to attempt to sweep under the carpet the growing evidence of the bourgeois, not to say fascist, character of the Mao faction, its policies and particularly of its counter-revolutionary “cultural revolution”. In those cases where these bogus “left” revisionist parties are propped up by finance from Peking, there is small wonder that such an analysis, with its inevitable outcome in essential self-criticism, is being avoided like the plague and for as long as possible, and an attempt made instead to drown the ensuing dissension under buckets of pseudo-left demagogy. As a last resort, some of these “left” revisionist groups are trying to save themselves from the now imminent exposure of Maoism as a whole by essaying a type of “criticism” of “Mao’s errors” which picks on specific aspects or the Mao policy and “criticises” them whilst both avoiding making a principled fundamental analysis of the history and character of Maoist “left” revisionism and attempting to ignore that made by the M.L.O.B. Typical amongst these groups is the neo-trotskyite “Irish Communist Organisation”.

The Marxist-Leninist Organisation of Britain therefore issues the following appeal to the rank-and-file of the Maoist “left” revisionist parties. organisations and groups:

* Demand discussion of the Mao question and of the “cultural revolution” in your cell or at other levels;

* Whenever the “left” revisionist opportunists attempt to impose a gag or to use their positions to brand those who demand principled discussions as “disruptors” and “splitters”, as happened recently with the so-called “Communist Federation of Britain (M.L.)”, hit them hard with the facts outlined in the Central Committee of the M.L.O.B.’s Report, give them no peace, agitate continuously and relentlessly inside your organisation and outside it for a public discussion , and above all attend the rank-and-file forums and discussion meetings to be organised by M.L.O.B. and the Red Front Movement;

* In the case of officially recognised parties and organisations, expose the unprincipled manoeuvres, compromises and agreements reached by the leaderships of these parties and organisations in their relations with the bureaucratic cliques in the embassies and other agencies of the People’s Republic of China from whence they draw their financial life-blood, and without which, to name but one example, the political mountebank and life-long reformist Birch, “General Secretary” of the “Communist Party of Britain (M.L.)” – a man married all his life to the most fossil tenets of narrow economism, – would collapse overnight.

Comrades! Now is the time to strike at these new-style “left” demagogues and to strip them of the last remaining tatters of prestige adhering to them. If this is not done now the effect will be simply to facilitate the manoeuvres they will ultimately attempt to carry through a 180% turn overnight, to pretend that they have “understood all about Mao” from the very beginning, that they have been “waging a secret battle within the leadership” and especially to ignore the M.L.O.B. analysis and critique of Maoism as if it had never existed. For, at a certain stage, these opportunist parties and organisations and their leaderships will attempt to jump on to the anti-Mao bandwagon and – being so, as they hope sheltered for a while longer from exposure – to plan new, bigger and even more serious betrayals and disruption in the future. These would-be “party bosses” must be exposed and eliminated now, for time is running short; already, the imperialist world system is beginning to enter into crisis and to align itself into two vast hostile groups, headed by U.S. imperialism and Soviet neo-imperialism respectively, in preparation for a third imperialist world war. The tasks of elaborating Marxist-Leninist programmes of revolutionary advance, of beginning the revolutionary enlightenment of the masses, of beginning the construction of Marxist-Leninist vanguard parties in every land, and finally of constructing the Marxist-Leninist International essential if the world proletarian-socialist revolution is to be led to final victory, must be taken in hand now, even if the initial results are only embryonic in size and capacity.

Above all, therefore we appeal to all rank-and-file members of Maoist parties, organisations and groups to establish contact with M.L.O.B. to begin their contribution to the struggle for the above aims by joining with us in developing a scientific, carefully organised and integrated campaign to lay anew the foundations of a regenerated, steeled and disciplined Marxist-Leninist vanguard of the British and world working class, of which the utter rout and destruction of all forms of modern revisionism is a most fundamental component.

The Marxist-Leninist vanguard party and the Marxist-Leninist International can only be established, take root in the spontaneous class struggle of the working class and succeed as a scientific instrument of leadership in guiding those struggles through to the victory of the proletarian socialist revolution provided that they continuously, unremittingly and at all times conduct a fierce, uncompromising struggle against all forms of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois theory and practice posing within the working class movement as “revolutionary”, “Marxist” or “progressive”. We feel confident that the rank-and-file of the Maoist parties, organisations and groups who for so long have suffered their revolutionary zeal to be abused and exploited for reactionary purposes by their opportunist leaderships, will answer this appeal by shaking off the ideological blinkers of a crippling allegiance, in every way as harmful as that towards the ultra-revisionist “Communist Party of Great Britain”, and so at last take their rightful place in the ranks of genuine Marxist-Leninists.

Such a positive development would constitute the beginning of the end of Maoist “left” revisionism, as indeed of every other spawning variant of modern revisionism. The transformation of the existing Marxist-Leninist nucleus the M.L.O.B. into the future Marxist-Leninist vanguard party, the moment of birth or the most essential component of the coming proletarian-socialist revolution, could then be said to have taken place.

Each and every rank-and-file member of these “left” revisionist organisations should take steps to ensure that he takes his place in the ranks of the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary vanguard now, before the inescapable exposure of counter-revolutionary ”Maoism” itself makes this yet more difficult.

The Editorial Committee