First Published: Workers’ Tribune, Political Newspaper of the MLOUSA, Vo. 1, No. 1, October-November 1972.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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This Joint Declarations adopted by the Marxist-Leninist Organisation of Britain, the Marxist-Leninist Organization of Germany and the Marxist-Leninist Organization of the U.S.A. is intended, to serve as a program which will further the theoretical and practical unity of Marxist-Leninists within each nation, as well as among nations. Although the new Communist International is only embryonically represented here, this joint statement is proof that the future Marxist-Leninist leadership is growing unremittingly and that the world’s oppressed and exploited wage-slaves are one step nearer to their victory over the world’s capitalists and imperialists.
The contemporary phase of the General Crisis of Capitalism represents a period in which the world capitalist system has become weaker and more riven with insoluble contradictions than ever before, a period in which the objective conditions for decisive advance by the world working class have never been more favorable.’ On the other hand, at no previous time in the history of the world working class movement have the dangers facing the working classes of all lands from the forces of imperialism been more insidious or tactically diversified.
After the end of World War Two, the international working class and communist movements achieved advances which wrought fundamental changes in the relations of forces between the camp of the world proletarian-socialist revolution and the camp of imperialism. These important advances were manifested particularly in the wresting of an entire chain of countries in Eastern Europe out of the sphere of the world capitalist system to form, along with the Soviet Union, a camp of socialist states.
Following the death of Stalin, however, the new leadership of the Party and state in the Soviet Union intensified their attacks upon the scientific revolutionary teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. They incepted policies designed to bring about by successive stages, the dismantling of the democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the replacement of socialism by bureaucratic forms of state capitalism. As a result, with the exception of the People’s Republic of Albania, these vitally important bases were temporarily lost to the working class and these formerly socialist countries have now degenerated into a new, though highly unstable, capitalist bloc dominated by the – now imperialist – Soviet Union. As a consequence of the historically unprecedented acts of betrayal committed by the revisionist leaders of the communist and workers’ parties the international communist movement has been virtually destroyed and the working class of the world left without any organized Marxist-Leninist leadership.
These adverse developments were counterbalanced to some extent by the progressive upsurge, from about 1955 onwards, of national liberation movements developing into national-democratic revolutions throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America. The focal point of these movements has been the heroic struggle of the people of Vietnam for national independence from first French, later US imperialism, and for democratic rights and liberties. On their part the imperialist powers have greatly intensified their colonial wars of aggression and are engaging in ever fiercer attempts to defeat the just aspirations of the oppressed peoples of the colonial-type countries, seeking to incorporate them into their respective spheres of influence and to subjugate them permanently to the yoke of finance capital. To this end they are combining feverish war preparations with a rapidly accelerating rate of economic penetration and capital investment in these countries. This is bringing about an equally rapid proletarianization of the peasant and urban petty-bourgeois masses, laying in turn the objective basis for the young3 emerging working class of the colonial-type countries to assume the leadership of the developing national-democratic revolutions.
Thus, in one colonial-type country after another, fierce ideological and political struggle is developing between the most advanced representatives of the emerging working class and the representatives of the national bourgeoisie – a struggle to determine which of these two classes proletariat or national bourgeoisie, shall lead the national-democratic revolution in these countries.
The basic strategy of the revolutionary proletariat in the colonial-type countries must be to achieve the uninterrupted transformation of the national-democratic revolution into the socialist revolution, and the essential prerequisite for this is that the proletariat should have won the leading role in the national-democratic revolution. Only when this fundamental strategic class factor is present can the national liberation movements and the developing national-democratic revolutions be regarded as a constituent part of the world proletarian-socialist revolution. When this factor is absent, the proletarian and petty-bourgeois masses in the colonial-type country that is engaged in national liberation struggle will fall inevitably under the ideological and political influence of the national bourgeoisie, which will then be able to utilize its leading role in the national liberation movement in order to halt the revolutionary process at the stage of the completion of the national and democratic tasks and prevent the uninterrupted transformation to the socialist stage of the revolution, thus diverting the newly-emerged nation on to the path of capitalist development leading to its ultimate integration into the world capitalist system.
However the development of national liberation struggles in the colonial periphery of the world imperialist system is increasingly whittling away imperialism’s sources of super profits and obstructing the expansion of its foreign exploitation. This is increasing the contradictions between the rival imperialist blocs, but, even more importantly – is rapidly undermining the economic basis of reformist and social-democratic deception of the working class in the developed capitalist countries. This, in turn heralds the onset of a new stage in the development of the worlds proletarian-socialist revolution, one characterized in general by the revolutionization of the proletarian masses in the developed, capitalist countries’ and the: consequent shifting of the sphere of anti-imperialist struggle from the colonial periphery to include also the developed heartlands of imperialism.
In reaction to this increasingly favorable objective situation for the development of the world proletarian-socialist revolution, then forces of world imperialism are themselves attempting to prepare a more favorable social and political terrain for their counter-offensive against the proletariat and working people of the developed capitalist countries. They are striving, as has already largely been accomplished in the USA, to deprive the working class of its independent mass organs of struggle and to absorb them into corporate State frameworks under the direct control of the monopoly capitalist class. In particular, they are actively promoting new concealed detachments serving the interests of imperialism within the working class movements, the dual aim of which is to foster new reformist conceptions with a pseudo-left bias to replace the illusions of classical social-democracy concerning “peaceful” social advance for the working class within the capitalist system – illusions which are in process of being shed – and to retard the development of genuine Marxist-Leninist vanguard parties having as their aim the preparation and leadership of the working class for the revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist system and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
One of the most important of these new concealed detachments of the capitalist class within the working class movement consists of the former communist parties of most countries. The revisionist leaderships of these parties preach the possibility of “peaceful, parliamentary transition to socialism” – the old reformist conceptions of the now discredited social democratic parties in a false “Marxist” wrapping: the world headquarters of this right variant of revisionism is Moscow, where the leading-clique headed by Brezhnev and Kosygin represents the interests of the new Soviet imperialist bourgeoisie and has succeeded in temporarily transforming the Party of the Soviet working class into a center of counter-revolutionary betrayal.
A second concealed detachment is formed by the Maoist parties and groups. The leaders of these, while denouncing the right revisionists for ’betraying Marxist-Leninist principles,’ have themselves repudiated Marxism-Leninism for the pseudo-left variant of revisionism known as Mao Tse-tung Thought. By means of the most unbridled demagogy and pseudo-revolutionary phrasemongering, they work to divert militant activity into divisive, reactionary racialist and nationalist channels. The world headquarters this “left” revisionism is Peking, where the leading clique headed by Mao Tse-tung and Lin Piao – following the counter-revolutionary “cultural revolution” of 1966-68 directed against the Chinese Marxist-Leninists, the Communist Party of China and new democratic state – have established a military dictatorship on behalf of the Chinese national capitalist class.
A third concealed detachment of the capitalist class within the working class movement consists of the “centrist” revisionist parties, headed by the Workers Party of Vietnam, the Workers’ Party of Korea and the Communist Party of Cuba. These parties have established in their respective countries forms of state capitalism masquerading as “socialism” and represent the interests of the national bourgeoisie of these countries, national bourgeoisies which were and are in sharp contradiction with the U.S. imperialists. For this reason during the Khrushchov era when the cardinal point of Soviet foreign policy was collaboration with U.S. imperialism, these national bourgeoisies found this foreign policy unacceptable and their parties took up a “centrist” position, a position critical of Soviet revisionism. Following the reorientation of Soviet foreign policy since 1965 towards collaboration with capitalist classes and other social forces opposed to U.S. imperialism, the leaderships of the “centrist” revisionist parties have moved closer to the position of the Soviet revisionists and now function as a semi-independent “left wing” of Soviet revisionism, serving its purposes in spheres where this has become discredited and, in particular, in its struggle against the pro-US ultra-revisionists in the leadership of certain communist parties, such as those of Romania, Britain and Italy.
Thus there have arisen on a world scale three principal forms of modern revisionist theory and practice: the right revisionism of the Soviet neo-imperialists, the “left” revisionism of the Chinese national capitalist class, and the “centrist” revisionism of the North Korean, North Vietnamese and Cuban national bourgeoisies. These three variants of modern revisionism fulfill essentially complementary roles on behalf of imperialism in its offensive against the maturing world proletarian-socialist revolution and its small but developing Marxist-Leninist vanguard. Soviet right revisionism is directed primarily at the long-established working class movements of the developed capitalist countries, where the bourgeoisies want revolution not at all. Chinese “left” revisionism is directed principally at the young, emerging working class movements of the colonial-type countries, where the national bourgeoisies need revolution in order to win their national freedom from the yoke of imperialism; and “centrist” revisionism represents a semi-independent “left” wing of Soviet neo-imperialism in its bid to win the support of the national bourgeoisies, their petty-bourgeois political representatives and the working masses generally of certain smaller and weaker countries newly emerged from domination by one or another of the established imperialist powers behind the attempt of Soviet neo-imperialism to extend its world spheres of influence at the expense of the established imperialist groups, above all of United States imperialism. Soviet right revisionism and Chinese “left” revisionism also serve the expansionist interests of the Soviet neo-imperialists and the Chinese capitalist class respectively, whilst small-state “centrist” revisionism serves the aim of the North Korean, North Vietnamese and Cuban national capitalist classes in seeking to influence their ultimate master, Soviet neo-imperialism, to grant to them the status of comprador-type overseers of its developing imperialist-type acquisitions amongst the emerging and underdeveloped nations.
In the present period of the General Crisis of Capitalism, international contradictions between capitalist classes in different countries, and between alliances of such capitalist classes, have greatly increased, This situation is leading inevitably toward yet another global war for the redivision of the world, this time between two vast imperialist groups dominated respectively by the United States imperialists and the Soviet neo-imperialists. As this process of polarization develops, the imperialist powers of Western Europe, Japanese imperialism. India and the small-state bloc of North Korea, North Vietnam and Cuba 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 at some future date have broken) free from Soviet domination are beginning to move towards the US pole.
A future imperialist World war, which is even now at an embryonic stage of preparation, would almost certainly destroy the world capitalist system. But it would also bring such mass slaughter and suffering to the working people of the world as would make the two previous world wars pale almost into insignificance. Since the continuation of imperialism makes such a world war inevitable, the strategic task, of the working people of all countries is to destroy imperialism prior to the outbreak of such a war, to snuff it out at its onset by transforming the imperialist world war into civil war on a world scale against the imperialists.
At this crucial moment in history, when the world working class is faced with the acute danger of fascist-type repression and devastating war, yet when the objective conditions for decisive advances for the world proletarian-socialist revolution are developing most favorably the world working class finds itself without the leadership of organised Marxist-Leninist Parties. In this situation, when the course of world history hangs in the balance, a tremendous responsibility rests upon the Marxist-Leninists, as yet few in numbers, of the developed imperialist countries, including our own countries: the United States of America, Germany and Britain. Once again the contradictions of the General Crisis of Capitalism are operating to shift the main center of revolutionary confrontation towards the developed countries of the imperialist heartlands. On us falls the proletarian-internationalist duty of taking up the tasks of theoretical analysis, political leadership and organizational regrouping which the modern revisionists of right. “center” and pseudo-left have so hideously betrayed, and of developing Marxism-Leninism to new heights in preparation for the violent revolutionary class upheavals which lie ahead.
The following are the main tasks which must be solved before, the world proletarian socialist revolution can secure important advances in the coming period:
In the developed imperialist countries:
1) the ideological and political influence of the social-democratic and the right, ultra-right, centrist, and “left” revisionist parties and organizations must be decisively, broken and their honest members won over to the Marxist-Leninist vanguard.
2) Marxist-Leninist parties of the working class must be built on the, basis of a correct program combining broad united front with vanguard armed revolutionary forms of struggle, and with a firm and disciplined democratic-centralist structure.
3) mass anti-imperialist united front movements must be built, with the proletariat as the leading force based on the independent organs of the working class, the whole under the overall leadership of the Marxist-Leninist vanguard Party.
In the colonial-type countries:
1) the ideological and political influence of the “left” revisionist agents of the counter-revolutionary faction headed by Mao Tse-tung, as well as of the small-state “centrist” revisionist lenders representing the interests of the North Vietnamese and Cuban national bourgeoisies and their ultimate patron, Soviet neo-imperialism, must be decisively broken.
2) Marxist-Leninist Parties of the emerging working class must be built on the basis of a correct program of striving to gain and maintain proletarian leadership in the developing national-democratic revolutions and of striving for the uninterrupted transition to the socialist revolution, and with a firm and disciplined democratic-centralist structure.
3) Mass national front movements, embracing all classes which have an interest in the victory of the national-democratic revolution (including if and wherever possible the national bourgeoisie) must be built under the leadership of the working class. The inevitable desertion of the national-democratic revolution along these lines, this national front must be transformed into a narrower united front embracing all classes which have an interest in the victory of the socialist revolution under the leadership of the working class, the whole under the overall leadership of the Marxist-Leninist vanguard Party.
On a world scale:
1) a Marxist-Leninist international must be established on the basis of a firm democratic-centralist structure in order to integrate the revolutionary programs and policies of the Marxist-Leninist Parties of the various nations and national sections of the world front of struggle;
2) a world anti-imperialist united front must be built and organized in an integrated structure, with a world leading center composed of representatives of the various anti-imperialist national fronts and united front organizations in each nation and national sections of the world front of struggle.
The present stage of development of the world proletarian-socialist revolution represents nothing less than the first onset of a world pre-revolutionary situation. We are now witnessing, as a necessary pre-condition for the growth of this pre-revolutionary situation into a fully developed world revolutionary struggle on all fronts, the re-awakening of the proletariat in the developed imperialist countries from their long reformist slumber and the first wave of a new intensive round of class struggles which will lead to the opening up of the front of the world proletarian-socialist, revolution in the central strongholds of the world imperialist system.
As in the case of a pre-revolutionary situation within a single country, the primary aim of the class struggle now unfolding between proletariat and bourgeoisie is to determine which of these two fundamentally opposed classes shall win the allegiance of the intermediate classes and strata and so secure for its class the decisive strategic advantage in the coming final stages of the world proletarian-socialist revolution. To enable the truly revolutionary class, the proletariat, to seize the decisive initiative in each nation and national situation, and in particular to enable it to pass over to the offensive and to realize in practice the unfolding of the world proletarian-socialist revolution on a world-wide front, the key factor is the establishment of programmatic and organizational unity between the Marxist-Leninist vanguard parties that must be built in every nation and every national sector.
The representatives of the MARXIST-LENINIST ORGANISATION OF BRITAIN, THE MARXIST-LENINIST ORGANIZATION OF GERMANY and the MARXIST-LENINIST ORGANIZATION OF THE U.S.A. call upon all Marxist-Leninists throughout the world to begin now the urgent and essential task of re-establishing in every country genuine Marxist-Leninist Parties of the working class. In this way the nucleus of the Marxist-Leninist International can be formed, which will carry forward the great revolutionary traditions of the Communist International and re-apply to the new world situation of heightened class antagonisms and inter-imperialist contradictions the principles of scientific revolutionary leadership and organization first developed in theory and practice by Lenin and Stalin and so begin the task of elaborating a common international program of struggle based on a Marxist-Leninist analysis of the world situation and the perspectives of advance of the world proletarian-socialist revolution.
The future victorious outcome of the world proletarian-socialist revolution depends to a considerable degree on the speedy and successful accomplishment of these historic tasks of revolutionary leadership on the part of the emerging and developing Marxist-Leninist world vanguard.
Marxist-Leninist Organisation of Britain
Marxist-Leninist Organization of Germany
Marxist-Leninist Organization of the U.S.A.
 Over recent weeks evidence has accumulated that the “centrist” revisionist leaderships of North Vietnam and North Korea have shifted their allegiance from Soviet neo-imperialism to Chinese state-capitalism, and hence onto a course leading ultimately to alliance with the U.S.
 Because of an oversight in formulating this section of the Joint Declaration on the main tasks in developed imperialist countries as was originally published in RED FRONT (organ of the MLOB), a joint decision has been reached to amend: the text to include right and ultra-right revisionism among the ideological trends which must be abandoned before the world proletarian-socialist revolution can secure important, advances...