Take the Bolshevik, Not the Menshevik, Road in Party Building

First Published: Revolution, Vol. 2, No. 2, November 1977
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Sam Richards and Paul Saba
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There’s a fair wind of unity blowing in the British Marxist-Leninist movement today. This is most refreshing and invigorating after the stale wind of stagnation and sectarianism which prevailed until fairly recently but subjective enthusiasm by itself will not build the Party, we must have a correct ideological and political line on Party-building, guided by the principles of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought. As Chairman Mao said “The correctness or incorrectness of the ideological and political line decides everything.” Not only must we have a correct line, we must fight for it in opposition to all incorrect and opportunist lines on Party-building.

One recent incorrect attempt at uniting the movement was the conference of Marxist-Leninists held in July this year. The conference was convened by one of the leading organizations in the movement, the Communist Workers’ Movement (CWM); its aim was ”to bring together the collective experience of Marxist-Leninists and to develop a programme of practical and theoretical activity towards the founding congress of the revolutionary party.” (’Open Letter to all Marxist-Leninist Organizations’). These proposals were a sincere attempt to unite the movement, but one of the main reasons why they were incorrect was that they seriously underestimated the strength of opportunist lines on Party-building in the movement, and proposed no method of dealing with those lines.

In the interests of Party-building and Marxist-Leninist unity it is necessary to sharply criticise an opportunist line put forward at the conference. To a lesser extent it is also necessary to criticise the incorrect line of trying to unite the movement through conferences of this nature.

The criticisms of the opportunist line are sharp. As Chairman Mao said “Criticism should be sharp. I don’t find the criticism made by some comrades at this conference very sharp; they seem to be afraid of offending others. If you are not sharp enough, if the sting doesn’t reach home the person criticised will not feel any pain and take any heed.” (’Selected Works.’, Vol.5, pl70). The criticisms are sharp because we wish the comrades to “feel pain and take heed”. The criticisms (and those of the method of conferences) are made in the interests of unity; we do not consider that the comrades concerned are opportunists, we think that they are making opportunist errors. In the course of struggle we confidently expect to unite with these comrades on the basis of a correct line on Party-building.


The conference had some limited achievements but in the main its impact on the struggle to rebuild the revolutionary Communist Party has been very small. Why is this? The conference was convened at a time of an upsurge of a subjective desire for unity on the part of the movement as a whole. This tide of enthusiasm had been fuelled by the fact that the CPB(ML), the headquarters of opportunism in the British movement, had been seriously weakened by the principled split of those comrades who later formed the CWM.

Superficially, it appeared that all that was necessary at that time to give a big impetus to Party-building was to convene a conference led by the CWM. But beneath the apparent readiness for unity and desire to accept the leadership of the CWM there was a very different picture. Mao said:

Don’t be misled by false appearances. Some of our comrades are easily misled by them. There is contradiction between appearance and essence in everything. It is by analysing and studying the appearance of a thing that people come to know its essence. Hence the need for science. Otherwise, if one could get at the essence of a thing by intuition, what would be the use of science? What would be the use of study? Study is called for precisely because there is contradiction between appearance and essence. (’Selected Works’, Vol. 5, p. 65)

The essence of the situation in the movement today (despite the appearance of a widespread readiness for unity) is one of widespread ideological, political and organizational confusion. Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought as a theory is grasped only weakly by the majority of the movement – we are in a period of what Lenin called ’theoretical chaos’. Ideologically, many specific bourgeois ideological errors, notably liberalism and small group mentality, cripple the work of most groups; more generally idealism and metaphysics are rampant. Politically, much of the movement is engaged in blind activism without grasping that practical activity must be led by theory, and therefore their practice tails behind the spontaneous movement, in particular nearly all organizations fail to do bold work in alerting the working class and people to the threat from Soviet social-imperialism. Organizationally, the movement as a whole is not organized on a proper democratic-centralist basis; ultra-democracy and lack of leadership are normal and in some of the groups and circles are glorified as the correct method of organization.

This is not to paint a picture of gloom and despondency; on the contrary, there have been significant advances in rebuilding the Party in the last two years, but these advances have only been made because they have been made in accordance with a guiding line which conformed to reality. As Mao said “Whatever we do must accord with reality, otherwise it is wrong.” (’Selected Works’ Vol. 5, p 135). Provided that we grasp Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought as the theoretical basis guiding our thinking, increasingly integrate it with the concrete practice of the British revolution and persist in struggle for what is right against what is wrong we will definitely meet with success in rebuilding the revolutionary Communist Party.

The proposals of the CWM on uniting the movement through the conference did not accord with reality and therefore did not meet with success. However making mistakes can be a good thing provided we are good at learning from them. In the period leading up to the conference and at the conference itself, the CWM did learn from experience, struggled to sum up experience and increasingly guided its work in the light of that experience. The RCLB is confident that the CWM will persist in this spirit, grasp the weapon of systematic criticism and self-criticism and make an increasingly good contribution to the struggle to build the Party.


One of the main reasons that the proposals on the conference were generally incorrect was that they didn’t grasp the weapon of active ideological struggle. The CWM didn’t grasp that bourgeois and petty bourgeois ideology is dominant in the movement and that a protracted war of active ideological struggle to smash the hegemony of bourgeois ideology and establish the supremacy of proletarian ideology is essential to unite the movement. The movement must grasp that unity among Communists must be an objective unity, a unity in the first place of ideas and thinking. Active ideological struggle is the key link in uniting the movement for Party building. How can we unite on a principled basis without boldly struggling against empiricism, which mistakes fragmentary, limited, direct experience for universal truth? Against subjectivism which says ’it must be so because it seems so to me1 and ’damn all who don’t agree with me’? Against dogmatism which refuses to integrate the universal truths of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of the British revolution?

Or against ultra-democracy which insists that everybody discusses everything, and that without centralized guidance, and thereby paralyses the proletariat in its fighting tasks? The answer is that we can’t. We can unite in this way on an unprincipled basis by yielding to incorrect ideas and getting on with everybody, but such unity will be entirely spurious and will fall apart at the first challenge from the bourgeoisie.


Ideological struggle must hit the mark – we must criticize the main errors that hamper our work and hold us back and not hit out indiscriminately in all directions. Today the movement must concentrate its fire on small group mentality, the main error which is crippling the struggle for unity. We must launch a movement-wide rectification campaign against small group mentality.

The small group mentality resists the idea of uniting all the organizations, groups and circles of the movement into one army of the proletariat which will give bold, wise and militant leadership to the working class. Those infected with the small group mentality prefer to continue with their narrow local and largely ineffectual practical work and ignore the burning need to subordinate the selfish interests of the groups to the overall need to build the Party. Chairman Mao hit the nail on the head when he wrote:

Some comrades consider only the interests of their own small group and ignore the general interest. Although on the surface this does not seem to be the pursuit of personal interests, in reality it exemplifies the narrowest individualism and has a strong corrosive and centrifugal effect. (’Selected Works’, Vol.1, p. 12)

The proletariat’s struggle to seize state power and build socialism requires a unified vanguard Party, not a collection of guerilla bands working in useless isolation from each other. Small group mentality is a particular manifestation of individualism; its social base lies in the petty bourgeoisie’s characteristic aversion to discipline. Very often the ’leaders’ of these small groups prefer to remain big fish in small ponds and have no desire at all to be merely one more comrade subject to the discipline of the proletarian party.

Failure to boldly struggle against small group mentality in the period leading up to the conference was a major reason for its relative lack of success. What substantial steps towards unity between different organizations have taken place as a result of the conference? None! By contrast the CFB and the CUA united into the RCLB shortly after the conference after a bold struggle against the small group mentality.

The RCLB confidently expects to unite on a similar basis with another organization in the near future. Why were several organizations conspicuous by their absence at the conference? Because of small group mentality! At least two circles thought that the proposals for a conference were incorrect and yet they refused to come and struggle for what they thought was a correct line. These circles didn’t care that a large number of Marxist-Leninists might go down the incorrect path – they were quite happy in their mountain strongholds secure in the knowledge that they were right. What selfishness! What indifference to the struggle to rebuild the Party! What a gross example of small group mentality!!

The small group mentality is an extremely serious bourgeois ideological error which robs the working class of its Party. Any line on Party-building must take it into account and propose methods of dealing with it; any line which fails to do so will not succeed in uniting the movement for Party building. We must take the ramparts of the mountain-strongholds of the various small groups by storm: our chief method for doing so is active ideological struggle.


The experience of the conference proved conclusively that such conferences cannot be the main way of uniting the movement. The level of ideological, political and organizational unity in the movement as a whole is so low that it proved impossible to make any real progress towards a principled unity at the conference. To take an ideological question – there was no agreement at the conference on whether we unite by mass meeting methods such as conferences or by the correct method of struggles for unity by leading and authoritative representatives of organizations. Such is the individualism of the movement that there was horror on the part of some comrades at the very thought that decisions might be taken not by them, but on their behalf. Theoretically there was no agreement on such vital questions as the primacy of theory over practice at the current stage of the revolution or on the two historical tasks of revolution – rallying the vanguard and leading the masses in practical political activity towards the revolution (see ’Manifesto of the RCLB’ Revolution, Vol. 2 No. 1. p 25).

These matters are raised to illustrate that a period of establishing lines and differences and struggling over them is necessary before such conferences can be of any great significance in uniting the movement. We also need to clarify lines so that comrades know what they must struggle for and against. In the absence of such a process conferences of this type can, at best, merely do some initial clarification of lines and, at worst, they will sow confusion and demoralization.

At this stage the main way forward is by bilateral struggles for unity by two different organizations, by struggling to form larger democratic centralist organizations (see ’Revolution’ Vol.1, No. 5). This is the method which has already triumphantly united the CFB and the CUA into the RCLB.

The conference did have some limited success. Some clarification of lines took place, there was some progress in learning to speak a common language, and the correct line on Party-building grew stronger in the course of the struggle at the conference. The conference was also a teacher by negative example; it showed not only such conferences cannot be the main way forward but also that any future conferences with more limited objectives must have better preparatory work and leadership if they are to be of more than transient value. But most importantly, in the course of the conference a fairly systematic Menshevik line on Party-building was exposed, isolated and defeated.


The entire history of the international Communist movement is in fact a history of the struggle between Marxism on the one hand and opportunism and revisionism on the other, a history of the struggle between the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary line and opportunist and revisionist lines of all descriptions. (’Peking Review’, no. 43 1976, p. 8)

Not only this, but these struggles take place again and again in each country. Our struggle to build the Party is very largely a struggle to grasp and apply to our concrete conditions the hard won and bitter lessons of the international Communist movement. In particular the victory of Bolshevism over Menshevism in the struggle to build the RSDLP holds many lessons for us. Today, throughout the western countries, the struggle of Bolshevism against Menshevism is taking place anew.

Menshevism has two main characteristics: it is vague on questions of principle and theory, preaching spontaneism and tailism, and it liquidates the Party organizationally. These characteristic features of Menshevism were well in evidence at the conference and, moreover, were particularly dangerous because they were dressed up as Marxism.

Because Menshevism liquidates theory and organization it also preaches unity at any cost. The call for ’unity’ is very dangerous unless it goes hand-in-hand with a firm grasp that organizational unity must be based on ideological and political unity (not ’complete’ unity – which this line has been misrepresented as a call for – such unity exists only in the graveyard, but unity on the main questions). As Lenin said:

In order to build the Party, it is not enough to be able to shout; ’Unity’, it is necessary, in addition, to have some sort of political programme, a programme of political action. The bloc of liquidators, of Trotsky, the Vperyodists, the Poles, Bolshevik (?) party members, Paris Mensheviks, etc., etc., etc., was foredoomed to a scandalous downfall because it was on a lack of principles, on hypocrisy and empty phrases. (’Lenin on the Revolutionary Proletarian Party of a New Type’, p 5)

In contrast to this, one of the papers submitted to the conference said “... it is a question of attaining sufficient ideological and political unity before we unite in one party-building organization: it is my view that most of the Marxist-Leninist movement already has that degree of unity politically and ideologically....”

Are we united on the importance of democratic-centralism? On the question of Ireland? On the need to practice systematic criticism and self-criticism? On the first historical task of revolution? On the threat from Soviet social-imperialism? On the need to devote all resources in mass work to the working class? No! Any organizational unity which evaded getting united on these crucial questions of ideological and political line would be a unity based on “a lack of principles, on hypocrisy and empty phrases”. It would therefore equally be doomed “to a scandalous failure”.

“The crux of the matter is line. This is an irrefutable truth.” (Chou En-lai. ’Report to the 10th Congress of the CPC’). In order to unite organizationally we must thoroughly thrash out differences and struggle over them in order to reach unity. In Lenin’s famous words “...before we can unite, and in order that we may unite, we must first of all draw firm and definite lines of demarcation.”(’What is to Be Done?’ Peking ed. p26). Any unity that is not based on these principles is a unity that serves the bourgeoisie, not the working class. Such unity would be empty, based on nothing more, than empty words and pious wishes, and could not be a firm unity based on the principles of Marxism-Leninism. Such unity would lead to splits and later demoralization because it would not have a firm line able to stand up to all the twists and turns of the class struggle. A unity based on struggle would on the other hand be a sure guarantee of eventual success. As Chou En-lai said “If one’s line is correct, even if one has not a single soldier at first there will be soldiers, and even if there is no political powers political power will be gained.” (’Report to the 10th Congress’.)


Most of the contributions to the conference seriously underestimated the importance of theory and one-sidedly stressed the importance of practice. All the contributions from the headquarters of the Menshevik line gave first priority to practice. For instance a written contribution gave as its first priority the drawing up of “... a programme of work nationally and locally to be carried out collectively by the Marxist-Leninists.” Although this paper also called for some theoretical work this approach grossly underestimates the decisiveness of revolutionary theory.

Theory and practice are two aspects of a single contradiction. In general practice is the principal aspect of the contradiction, but under certain circumstances and at particular times theory can be the principal aspect. To deny this possibility is mechanical materialism not dialectical materialism.

In the current stage of the British revolution and of Party-building, when the movement as a whole has no guiding strategic and tactical line, no programme and no class analysis, we have a situation where, as Mao put it:

The creation and advocacy of revolutionary theory plays the principal and decisive role in those times of which Lenin said, ’without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement’. (’Selected Readings’, p. 16)

The rest of the quote from Lenin continues:

This thought cannot be insisted upon too strongly at a time when the fashionable preaching of opportunism goes hand-in-hand with an infatuation for the narrowest forms of practical activity. (’What Is To Be Done?’ Peking ed., p 28)

Does this not accurately describe much of our movement? Much of which beavers away at the narrowest forms of practical activity with splendid indifference to theory. To harp about the primacy of practice in the current situation sounds very Marxist and very materialist but is in fact to bow to the spontaneous level of the movement and thereby leave the working class movement to the leadership of the bourgeoisie and the opportunists. It is as Lenin sharply put it “like wishing mourners at a funeral ’happy returns of the day’”.

Much of our movement considers that the guiding line for the British revolution will come mainly out of practice. The document quoted earlier said that one of the tasks coming out of the conference should be to “work out a Party programme...based mainly on the experience of joint work and investigation...”. In fact though what we must do in practice is to integrate the universal truths of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of the British revolution. This means that most of our guiding line will come from indirect experience, from the experience of the international Communist movement. Stalin pointed out that theory is “the experience of the working class movement in all countries taken in its general aspect.” (’Foundations of Leninism’, Peking ed., p 22). Through practice we will greatly enrich our understanding of theory, test it and develop it. But to deny that theory is primary over practice at this stage is to. ignore all the hard-won lessons of the international working class movement.

It would take a very long time indeed to develop by our own efforts the, theory of the two historical tasks of revolution. On the other hand we don’t need to engage in practice to grasp that the revolution in Britain will almost certainly be a violent one. In fact we will never have enough experience of practice to create for ourselves all over again the theory accumulated by the international working class movement in the hundred and more years of its experience. As Mao said “...most of our knowledge comes from indirect experience...” (’Selected Readings’, p 71)

We have much work to do in rebuilding the revolutionary Communist Party, rallying the vanguard of the working class and leading the working class towards the revolution. These are our vanguard tasks and “...the role of vanguard fighter can be fulfilled only by a party that is guided by the most advanced theory.” (Lenin – ’What Is To Be Done?’ Peking ed., p 29)


“Opportunism in programme is naturally connected with opportunism in tactics and opportunism in organization.” (Lenin ’One Step Forward, Two Steps Back’ Moscow Ed., p 193). It was not at all surprising that those comrades at the conference who were most vociferous in preaching spontaneism and tailism on matters of ideological and political line and theory were also those who were most hostile to the only proletarian method of organization – democratic centralism. Petty bourgeois individualism at the conference manifested itself in two different but ideologically and socially connected forms.

Federalism Raises its Head Again.

Opportunist proposals for organizational unity were put to the conference from two different sources, slightly different in form. Their essence was the same. To take one of them - it was proposed that the conference should set up ”...a new kind of organization, a kind of joint organizing committee, whose central task would be to work to prepare the conditions for a single Marxist-Leninist Party to come into being.” The tasks of the committee were to lead practical and theoretical work, to draw up a programme and constitution and prepare for the founding congress of the Party. The committee was also supposed to ”...elect, at the conference or at its first meeting, a small functional committee...” to lead its work.

This is not a proposal for a “new kind of organization” at all! It’s nothing less than a proposal for another Federation!

Marx once said that history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. Fortunately the conference rebuffed these proposals so the farce was prevented from appearing on the stage of history. But we have had the tragedy -for nearly seven years the members of the CFB were effectively prevented from playing their parts in the struggle to rebuild the Party precisely because they were organized in a Federation!

The old Federation and these proposals were fundamentally opportunist because they refused to accept that only democratic centralism can lead the movement and the working class in effective combat against the class enemy. The movement is starting to move out of the circle stage and to take practical steps to unity.

Previously we didn’t need rules and discipline precisely because each group and circle was working on its own mountain top and had no organizational ties between them. Lenin firmly pointed out that the transition from the circles to broader ties absolutely must be accompanied by strict organizational rules and discipline.

...formal Rules are needed precisely in order to replace the narrow circle ties by the broad Party tie. It was unnecessary and impossible to give formal shape to the internal ties of a circle or the ties between circles, for these ties rested on personal friendship or an instinctive ’confidence’ for which no reason was given. The Party ties cannot and must not rest on either of these; it must be founded on formal, ’bureaucratically’ worded ’Rules’ (bureaucratic from the standpoint of the undisciplined intellectual, strict adherence to which can alone safeguard us from the willfulness and caprices characteristic of the circles, from the circle wrangling that goes by the name of the free ’process’ of the ideological struggle. (’One Step Forward, Two Steps Back’, Moscow ed., pp 188/189).

Federal forms of organization are opportunist because they don’t challenge small group mentality head-on; they try to evade the challenge and think that some sort of spontaneous transition from the circles to the Party will take place. Well in fact it won’t – the small groups will cling to their mountain strongholds like limpets to a rock. They will have to be prized off their mountains with the lever of active ideological struggle and organizational rules.

Joining a Federation rather than only working as a local small group may give the appearance of giving up one’s ’own’ rights as a circle in favour of the Party but in fact it doesn’t. Because the formal rules of Party organization (such as the lower level being subordinate to the higher level) have not been won through ideological conviction, every time a decision is taken which the local circle (or individual) doesn’t like it can retreat into its formal ’right’ not to implement the decision and refuse to do so. This is precisely what happened when many of the local organizations of the RSDLP refused to implement the decision of its second Congress, when “...the old hidebound circle spirit overpowered the still young Party spirit.” (’One Step Forward, Two Steps Back’ Moscow Ed., p 209)

This is precisely what happened in the CFB when the constituent groups raised the tired and tattered Menshevik banner of ’group autonomy’ and refused to implement every decision which they disagreed with. And this is precisely what will happen in any new Federation. Bold and militant struggle is needed against the refusal of much of the movement to give up their ’rights’ as groups and circles to a centre, against what Lenin called the “...tendency to defend autonomism against centralism which is a fundamental characteristic of opportunism in matters of organization.” (’One Step Forward, Two Steps Back,’ Moscow ed., p 92.) (Emphasis in original).

Petty Bourgeois Individualism.

Individualism at the Conference manifested itself not only in its subtle form of Federalism but also in quite open and blatant opposition to the very idea of democratic centralism. Several speakers were clearly imbued with petty bourgeois individualism and anarchism. It was of; great significance that hardly any of the written or spoken contributions even mentioned democratic centralism (except to speak against it), let alone pointed out that it is an organizational imperative.

Several speakers opposed those comrades who insisted that the movement take up the question of democratic centralism. All these speakers said “of course” we need democratic centralism but then proceeded to oppose it on the grounds that ’we aren’t ready for it’! Many of them said that only a Party could institute democratic centralism and that it is a luxury for pre-Party forms of organization. Yet these were the very same speakers who were advocating a new Federation. On what method of organization do they consider it would operate? They are opposed to the principle of the individual being subordinate to the organization and to that of the minority being subordinate to the majority. Clearly they wish to elevate; individualism to the level of an organizational principle!

Many of these comrades made a great show of wishing to form a unified organization and yet were opposed to doing so on the basis of democratic centralism. Why? Because they wished to preserve intact within the formal shell of an organization, their ’rights’, their ’privileges’, their precious thoughts, their integrity as individuals. As Lenin sharply put it “It is one thing to sacrifice the circle system in principle for the sake of the Party, and another to renounce one’s own circle.” (’One Step Forward, Two Steps Back’, Moscow ed., p 208). These comrades, like Saint Augustine who said “0 Lord, give me chastity, but not yet”, were saying, “Give the movement democratic centralism, but not yet.” Like Saint Augustine, these comrades wish to have a bit more time satisfying their own inclinations before submitting to principle.

The social base of the bitter opposition to democratic centralism which exists in much of the movement lies in the intelligentsia which currently numerically dominates the movement. The proletariat has no fear of discipline and organization, its very existence in large factories in day-to-day struggles against the bourgeoisie teaches it that the isolated individual is nothing, whereas organized with fellow workers he constitutes a mighty force. The worker feels and is big and strong as part of a big and strong organization, whether Party or trade union. The intellectual though fights by his personal qualities, by reason and argument and therefore ”..it is only with difficulty that he submits to being a part subordinate to the whole, and then only from necessity, not from inclination.” (Kautsky quoted in ’One Step Forward, Two Steps Back’, Moscow ed., p l24). These attributes brought into the working class movement, provide the social base for the widespread error of petty bourgeois individualism. As Lenin put it “...the intelligentsia, as a special stratum of modern capitalist society, is characterised, ’by and large,’ precisely by individualism and an incapacity for discipline and organization...” (’One Step Forward, Two Steps Back’, Moscow ed., pp 68/69. Emphases in original). This tendency of the intelligentsia makes them view Party organization as a:

...monstrous ’factory’; he regards the subordination of the part to the whole and of the minority to the majority as ’serfdom’...; division of labour under the direction of a centre evokes from him a tragicomical outcry against transforming people into ’cogs and wheels’... (’One Step Forward, Two Steps Back’, Moscow Ed., pp 187/188).

In its struggle for power the proletariat has no other weapon but organization. Our ideological unification on the principles of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought must and will be consolidated by the unity of democratic centralist organization on the basis of the four main rules of Party discipline: the individual is subordinate to the organization; the minority is subordinate to the majority; the lower level is subordinate to the higher level; and the entire membership is subordinate to the central committee.

In the struggle to rebuild the Party we must boldly and militantly struggle against those who wish to drag us down to the level of Menshevism, to the petty bourgeois viewpoint which:

...in the sphere of organization as in the sphere of our programme and o tactics, helplessly surrenders to the bourgeois psychology, uncritically adopts the viewpoint of bourgeois democracy, and blunts the weapon of the class struggle of the proletariat. (’One Step Forward, Two Steps Back’, Moscow ed., p 210).


The current subjective tide of enthusiasm for unity in the movement is an excellent thing and is a reflection of the fact that objective conditions for moving out of the circle stage to a higher level of unity are beginning to mature. The movement must adopt correct policies to guide the struggle to rebuild the Party and ensure that the movement is not left demoralised and setback as a result of adopting incorrect policies to catch the tide.

The Manifesto of the RCLB put forward three specific immediate tasks to fulfill the aim of establishing a single democratic centralist Party-building organization: ideological struggle and education against small group mentality; protracted struggle against incorrect ideological and political lines on the British revolution (at this stage against the opportunist errors of the leadership of the CPBG(M-L)); and forming larger democratic centralist organizations. The few short months since this policy was first propagated in the May issue of ’Revolution’ have shown that the policy is in all essentials correct.

Forming larger democratic centralist organizations by uniting smaller organizations is a correct policy and is still the immediate organizational task: we call on all individuals to join the democratic centralist organization which they think most correct; all circles to constitute themselves properly on the basis of democratic centralism; and all groups and organizations to struggle for democratic centralist organizational unity with the organization with which they have the closest ideological and political unity.

But this is not enough: just as the working class must have a centre of bold, scientific leadership in its struggle to seize state power and build socialism, so must the Marxist-Leninist movement have a similar centre in its struggle to rebuild the revolutionary Communist Party of the working class.

Although we can be sure of ultimate success in the struggle to rebuild the Party, there will be many reverses and setbacks on the road. As Chou said “The future is bright, the road is tortuous.” The Party will not be rebuilt easily, it will not drop from the skies or evolve spontaneously, it must be built through hard struggle by all of us in opposition to all opportunist and incorrect lines on Party-building and the British revolution.

A crucial part of the Party-building struggle is to build a single leading centre, able to give the movement as a whole bold and correct leadership through all the twists and turns of the struggle and able to withstand all the attacks of the bourgeoisie and the opportunists. This centre must be armed with the ideology of the proletariat, Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, have a strong grasp of revolutionary theory and closely integrate it with the concrete practice of the British revolution. The centre must be skilled in applying the mass line, speedily concentrating correct ideas upwards and giving correct guidance downwards. It must also be skilled at mobilising all positive factors for Party-building.

Such a leading centre will ensure that the Party is rebuilt much more speedily than it would be by the separate efforts of several organizations. This centre must shoulder the task of leading the whole movement. By virtue of bold and scientific leadership on the basis of a correct ideological and political line it will rally to its side all genuine Marxist-Leninists and advanced workers and weld the disparate organizations, groups, circles and individuals of the movement into one single fighting democratic centralist Party.

We cannot predict at this stage which organizations will form this centre; this will become clear in the course of struggle, out of which the centre will emerge and be recognised by the movement. But, implementing its policy of self-reliance not self-sufficiency in Party-building, the RCLB pledges itself to work hard to form that centre. We call on all genuine Marxist-Leninists to join with us in forming the single leading centre for the British Marxist-Leninist movement.