Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Workers Movement

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


Introduction

TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE CPB (M-L):

Recent developments, culminating in the line expounded at Congress, and the later expositions of it in “The Worker” and at the CC, have led a number of branches, including two of the biggest in the provinces, to conclude that the CPM-L can no longer be Marxist-Leninist, and that a new, genuinely communist party must be formed as soon as possible.

As there has never been a detailed internal critique of the party before, we ask you to read this document, not as the work of enemies of the party, but as comrades who have been hard-working party members for years, many almost from the inception, and who only take this step because we can see no other way forward, even if it means abandoning our life’s work within the party.

The issues are widespread, the failure of the party to grow or to make any serious impact upon the class, the decline of democratic-centralism and the line itself.

Despite the carefully worded evasions of the leadership in their attempts to engender a false optimism, the party has not been growing in numbers or influence, at a time when the objective conditions favour such a growth. The stasis in numbers has concealed a far more dangerous aspect – the decline in industrial members, the rise in the number of “inactive” branches, and of passengers in others. This was revealed in the disastrous decline in the proportion of industrials at the Fourth Congress.

“The Worker”, far from expanding in circulation, has declined especially if we bear in mind that somewhere between one-third and one-half of its sales are to the Chinese who are unlikely to subsidise much longer the journal of an organisation which it considers to be attacking them by innuendo.

The paper’s circulation is a function of its own deficiencies, its lack of clarity, size and realism.

Far from discussing or attempting to solve all these problems the Fourth Congress effectively ignored their existence. That is why it is necessary, when we attempt to discuss the party and its line to go to democratic-centralism first, for in its mishandling we will find both WHERE incorrect ideas arise, and WHY they are allowed to continue.