Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Workers Movement

The “Absolute Decline” of the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)

On the Class Line

We have stated elsewhere that the line is not an invention of the mind, a notion, an idea....it is a living reality, a reflection of concrete real events, tasks and responsibilities, which when grasped and carried through advance the revolutionary movement of the masses.

This has never been understood by the party.

Each time the so-called line has emerged, it has been invented, rather than discovered, presented for implementation as a brilliant new thesis, perhaps totally new, never before stated; it has been a finished product to accept or reject – not a basic understanding which grows and develops in the crucible of real social practice. It is therefore not surprising that any questioning or attempts to advance or mould the line through real practice or new understanding are blocked, rejected and labelled by such epithets as “heretic”, “trotskyite”, or even more simply, “we discussed that ages ago.” Nowhere is that clearer than our class line.

The CPBM-L decided there were two classes in Britain and two classes there shall be! There is no need for further understanding or analysis. They even quoted Marx and the Communist Manifesto to prove this assertion...The Communist Manifesto was correctly revealing the natural laws of development of capitalist society and we accept that more than any other imperialist country, at any other time, these predictions of the Manifesto have been verified in Britain. The peasantry has effectively disappeared.... “in the face of Modern Industry”, and every occupation “...has been stripped of its halo”..

But it is not enough to say there are only two classes – those who sell their labour power and those who exploit the labour of others...and leave it at that for neither of these two classes is homogenous from the standpoint of revolution. We still from this standpoint have to ask the question....“Who are our friends? Who are our enemies? This is a question of first importance for the revolution.

The party states: no petty bourgeoisie exists with interests separate from those of the bourgeoisie. (Polemic document) Yet surely within the bourgeoisie there are different forms of interests. The bourgeoisie has been forced to create new forms of existence to survive, producing contradictions in its ranks with the old and the future...Petty bourgeois ideology is not identical with bourgeois ideology. How can the corner shopkeeper have the same interests as the big monopolist?

Similarly the working class is not homogenous, there are differences within it, differing levels of class consciousness. The key is the industrial proletariat. This is the vanguard not because we want it that way, but because capitalism has made it that way. It is certainly not because they are more unionised or more militant, but rather because they stand in direct relationship to the production of commodities. The exploitation of their labour power produces direct and immediate relations and conflict between exploiter and exploited, between the employing class and the employed. It is here that the richest revolutionary traditions develop.

As Mao says in “Analysis of Classes in Chinese Society”, “We must unite with real friends in order to attack real enemies.” Only through analysis of our bourgeoisie and proletariat can we mobilise the broadest sectors of people in Britain for revolution. These then are our tasks and responsibilities for the understanding of a mass class line for Britain.