Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

“Mao Zedong Thought” – A Profoundly Anti-Marxist Theory

Followers and Propagators of “Mao Zedong Thought” in Britain Stand on the Side of imperialism and Capitalism

First Published:The Workers’ Weekly, Vol. 8, No. 11, December 5, 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The struggle which has unfolded throughout the international Marxist-Leninist communist movement in the last few years to defend the purity of Marxism-Leninism and to deepen and broaden the struggle against all forms of revisionism has been and is continuing to be a most crucial struggle for Marxist-Leninists in each country. It has further exposed the schemes and aims of the various brands of modern revisionists to liquidate, in the service of imperialism, the revolutionary movement and revolutionary parties; it has cleared out many opportunists that have been, for a number of years, lurking in the communist movement, and it has made the Marxist-Leninist parties even more consolidated and tempered on a sound Marxist-Leninist theoretical basis.

At this time, while never forgetting the important struggle against Khrushchovite revisionism, Titoite revisionism, “Eurocommunism” and Second International social-democracy, a most important task for Marxist-Leninists is the exposure and criticism of Chinese revisionism and its source and center – the anti-Marxist trend of “Mao Zedong thought”.

“Mao Zedong thought”, a theory which has nothing to do with Marxism-Leninism, has had serious consequences for the development of the revolutionary movement and the revolutionary parties in many countries. But the criticism and exposure in the international Marxist-Leninist communist movement of this anti-Marxist theory – the Party of Labor of Albania playing a most crucial and forefront role in this exposure – has given the revolutionary forces in each country a tremendous impetus. It has, for example, exposed the activities of various sham Marxist-Leninists who have been attempting to nestle in the international and national communist movements to attempt to hamper and liquidate their forward march. In Britain, for example, the present-day followers and propagators of “Mao Zedong thought” have been, for a number of years, causing considerable disruption and confusion in the workers’ and communist movement. They have done their utmost to hamper the work of rebuilding the genuine Marxist-Leninist party in Britain, to revise the basic Marxist-Leninist line on all fundamental questions and to bolster up the Khrushchovite, Titoite and other opportunists’ promotion of reformism, worship of spontaneity and trade unionism in the working class movement. The struggle which has unfolded on an international plane, and also here in Britain by our Party, in recent years against revisionism and opportunism of all hues, especially against the Chinese revisionists, has drawn the clearest lines of demarcation between the genuine Marxist-Leninists – the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) – and the sham “Marxist-Leninists”, the neo-revisionists. In the last two years all of these neo-revisionist trends have fully and openly exposed their anti-Party, anti-Marxist-Leninist activities of the last thirteen years or so, by openly coming out against Marxism-Leninism, by openly adopting revisionism as their guiding principles and theory. As the revolutionary struggle internationally and nationally has matured and as the struggle to defend the purity of Marxism-Leninism has advanced, so the “Marxist-Leninist” mask of these neo-revisionists has been ripped away to reveal their true colors, to reveal their basic modern revisionist nature. Firstly, there occurred the open exposure of a host of “pre-party” and “pre-action” “Marxist-Leninist” collectives and groups, who all came forward in the 1976-77 period to adopt the reactionary and counter-revolutionary “three worlds” theory. Then, more recently, the so-called Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), an old economist, neo-revisionist and trade unionist organization, advanced the thesis that “It is a greater calumny to pretend that non-Marxist, counter-revolutionary ideas stem from the works of Mao Zedong. Those who do so would be ideologically happier with the pro-Bukharin group of western intellectuals. ” (The Worker, August 10, 1978) In other words, according to the “C”PB(M-L), Mao Zedong was a “great” Marxist-Leninist, his anti-Marxist theories should be the guiding “science” for Marxist-Leninists. All the revolutionary forces which are correctly and scientifically, from a Marxist-Leninist standpoint and outlook, criticizing and exposing the revisionist nature of “Mao Zedong thought” are, according to the “C”PB(M-L), treacherous opportunists and renegades of the Bukharin type. Thus the “C”PB(M-L), faced with the momentum of the international proletariat and the struggle to defend the purity of Marxism-Leninism, has been caught red-handed, has been caught dearly holding onto an out-and-out revisionist theory. Its attempts to nestle in the communist movement with its “anti”-“three worlds” theory, its “anti”-Khrushchovite revisionism, have been exposed. Its days of paying lip service to Marxism-Leninism have become numbered with its coming out openly to defend the anti-Marxist Mao Zedong and to defend the anti-Marxist theory and practice of “Mao Zedong thought”.

This open exposure of these neo-revisionists represents a victory for Marxism-Leninism, a victory for the British and international proletariat, a victory for the international communist movement and a victory for the determined and concrete work and stand of the RCPB(M-L).


In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, Khrushchovite revisionists usurped power and leadership in the then revolutionary party of the proletariat – the Communist Party of Great Britain – which had been, since its foundation in 1920, a genuine revolutionary party of the proletariat. In 1952, this revisionist clique launched their “British Road to Socialism”, which represented the culmination of their disintegration and betrayal of the Communist Party and its Leninist principles. This program represented an open betrayal of Marxism-Leninism, of the cause and interests of socialism and the revolution. The Party was quickly liquidated as a revolutionary proletarian party and turned into a reformist bourgeois party, a “left”-wing prop of the “Labor” Party. Every single principle of Marxism-Leninism was destroyed, revised and distorted and instead social-democratic and modern revisionist ideas were promoted in the working class movement.

Within the now revisionist party of Great Britain sharp struggle was waged by a number of anti-revisionist elements against this betrayal and liquidation. In 1963, recognizing that there was no longer any possibility of changing the Party back into a revolutionary party, these elements, led by Michael McCreery, split from the revisionist party and established the Committee to Defeat Revisionism and for Communist Unity. This committee, under the leadership of McCreery, in two years’ work reestablished all of the basic international and national Marxist-Leninist lines. It opposed Khrushchovite revisionism; it opposed the “peaceful and parliamentary” road to “socialism”; it reestablished the necessity to build the Party in the heart of the proletariat. Unfortunately in 1965 McCreery died and, following this, the anti-revisionist elements of the CDRCU betrayed the task and responsibility that history had put on their shoulders to now rebuild the Party. Instead they began to form numerous little groups and made their main, and in fact only, activity doing more “theoretical preparation”. They refused to respond to the demands and needs of the proletariat to unite and develop practical programs in order to rebuild the Party.

The main leaders of these groups developed close contact with the Chinese revisionists, and, closely following the theories and ideas of Mao Zedong, further consolidated their line, stated that there was “no revolutionary situation in Britain” (the self-same line of Hua, Deng and Co. today), that there were no conditions to unite to build the Party, that there were no conditions in any of the mass movements of the working people to develop revolutionary practical work and programs, and that the program for the “Marxist-Leninists” was to form numerous educational-type groups to carry out the “study” and “theoretical preparation” which they alleged was necessary before any thought could be given to the task of building the Party and developing revolutionary actions and programs. This line was promoted by the Chinese revisionists and its followers throughout the world in this period; so much so, that in one European country they told the Marxist-Leninists who had just formed their Party to dissolve it and form small theoretical-type study groups. From this period to date, while slight changes were made to their line to attempt to maintain some credence in the working class movement, this continued to be the basic program of all these “pre-party” and “pre-action” groups and organizations.

In 1967, there was a second “split” from the revisionist party. This “split” was led by R. Birch, a leading labor aristocrat and member of the Central Committee of the revisionist party, who had not supported the revolutionary split of 1963, taking another four years to “understand” the revisionist nature of the “C”PGB. This split and its leadership made immediate close contact with the Chinese revisionists and, with their full backing, set up the so-called Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist). This organization, while paying lip service to Marxism-Leninism, to anti-Khrushchovite revisionism (and later to anti-“three worlds” theory) was, from its outset, an economist, trade unionist and neo-revisionist organization. It never split from revisionist lines on any fundamental question, whether on trade unionism, on the promotion of chauvinism in the working class movement, on bowing to spontaneity, on opposition to (or reducing to a very secondary role) the need of Marxist-Leninist theory to guide the proletariat, on labelling political struggles (such as the anti-racist, anti-fascist struggle or the struggle to oppose U.S. imperialist aggression in Viet Nam) as “diversions from the economic struggle”, on opposition to building a genuinely Bolshevik-type party, or on its vacillatory stand towards various forms of revisionism, etc. While “opposing” Khrushchovite revisionism in some of its aspects, while “opposing” the “pre-party” line of the groups, this was and has always since been, from the standpoint of its own neo-revisionist line and practice.

For over twelve years, these neo-revisionist groups managed to nestle in the communist movement in Britain, posing as “genuine” Marxist-Leninists, as “genuine” anti-revisionists, as “genuine” revolutionaries, and, in doing so, attempted to seriously hamper the work of rebuilding the party, the work of arming the working class with socialism, with Marxism-Leninism, the work of leading the struggles of the working class on a revolutionary basis, guiding them towards the socialist revolution. They attempted to cause serious confusion, both nationally and internationally, as to the correct Marxist-Leninist line, the existence;.and line of the genuine Marxist-Leninist forces and the path forward for the working class.

In August 1967, in London, the Historic Necessity for Change Conference was held at which the advanced sections of the revolutionary youth and student movement, together with the revolutionary forces – represented by the Internationalists – from Ireland, Canada and America attended.

All of the anti-revisionist groups were invited to participate in the Conference in order to attempt to resolve the burning problem of rebuilding the Marxist-Leninist center in Britain. To a man these groups either simply did not attend, or participated from the standpoint of attacking the revolutionary forces on various grounds and promoting their treacherous thesis that there were “no conditions” for the formation of the Marxist-Leninist party, for the anti-revisionists uniting to develop the practical programs to solve this crucial task. It became pitifully clear that there were no forces in Britain that were willing to or capable of uniting to rebuild the Marxist-Leninist center and the revolutionaries who participated in the Conference took the solemn decision that it was upon their shoulders that this task was placed. At the end of the Conference the organizational form for the establishment of a Marxist-Leninist center was brought about with the formation of the English Internationalists. Through its own efforts and programs, through the spirit and revolutionary sentiment and determination of the working class and people and through the fraternal assistance of the Marxist-Leninist forces and organizations and parties abroad, this Marxist-Leninist center grew from strength to strength.

In March 1972 the organizational, political and ideological conditions had been created for the formation of the proletarian party in England, the Communist Party of England (Marxist-Leninist).

In March 1979, the internal and external conditions had been created for implementing the line of the Party on the need for establishing a Marxist-Leninist Party for the entire British proletariat and, with the changing of the Party’s name to the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), the crucial process of rebuilding the Marxist-Leninist Party for the entire British working class and people had been gloriously achieved.

Where does Mr. Birch stand today? He stands in open support of an out-and-out revisionist. He stands with and in the labor aristocracy. He stands with the most reactionary chauvinist ideas and concepts of the British bourgeoisie. He stands against the PLA and socialist Albania and against the developing unity of the international Marxist-Leninist communist movement.


Messrs. Birch and “pre-party” collectives have been caught red-handed. Their activities over the past twelve years or so have been finally exposed for all to see. Their “Marxist-Leninist” mask has “suddenly” disintegrated. They have been exposed as not standing on the side of the proletariat, on the side of Marxism-Leninism, on the side of revolution, but on the side of opportunism, the bourgeoisie and the capitalist system.