Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Interview with Delegation of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)

First Published: Worker’s Advocate, [USA] March 29, 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The editorial staff of People’s Canada Daily News conducted an interview recently with the delegation of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) to the Sixth Consultative Conference of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) and the Revolutionary Rally in defense of the purity of Marxism-Leninism and the principles of proletarian internationalism, to be held in Montreal on March 31. Part one of this interview is printed below:

PCDN: Can you tell us about the resolution your Party recently passed on the question of “Mao Zedong Thought”?

RCPB(M-L): The Third Plenum of the Central Committee recently issued a communique in which it elaborated its views on the question of “Mao Zedong Thought”. The communique announced that, after careful and detailed considerations and investigations on the question of “Mao Zedong Thought”, the Central Committee concluded that “Mao Zedong Thought” was an anti-Marxist trend; that Mao Zedong had been a revolutionary democrat who had led the Chinese people in making advances in their struggle against imperialism and feudalism, but had never been a Marxist-Leninist. “Mao Zedong Thought” is an anti-Marxist trend that denied the characteristic of our era, that substituted pragmatism for Marxist-Leninist line and theory, that substituted eclectics for dialectics, and denied the hegemonistic role of the proletariat in the revolutionary struggle. He had denied the hegemonistic role of the proletarian ideology and denied the basic characteristic of the Bolshevik Party. It was decided after a number of months’ investigation, investigation initiated by the First Congress of the Party held last year, that the time was now appropriate and correct for the Party to join with Marxist-Leninists throughout the world in taking an open stand against “Mao Zedong Thought”. The Plenum stated that the struggle against all forms of modern revisionism – Khrushchovite, Titoite and “Eurocommunist” – was a crucial struggle for Marxist-Leninists. The struggle to expose “Mao Zedong Thought” was particularly important at this time. This was especially the case because of the fact that “Mao Zedong Thought” has been promoted as “the Leninism of our era”, Leninism taken to an entirely new stage. As a result, this line had caused setbacks in the communist and workers’ movement. Therefore it was a crucial task to expose the anti-Marxist-Leninist nature of this ideology. The Third Plenum concluded that ”Mao Zedong Thought” was paying lip-service to Marxism-Leninism, was a hodge-podge of ideas with no Marxist-Leninist thread running through it. The Third Plenum stated that whilst the Party must accept responsibility for being part of the promotions of “Mao Zedong Thought” for a time, the Party, since its inception as the English Internationalists, had always been based on Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. ”

PCDN: Could you comment or elaborate on the struggle that has taken place in your country to reconstruct the Communist Party based on Marxism-Leninism, the struggle to oppose the Khrushchovite betrayal and the degeneration Of the Communist Party into revisionism?

RCPB(M-L): The proletariat first built the Communist Party in the early twenties, the Communist Party of Great Britain, with the assistance of the Comintern. The Communist Party of Great Britain was a revolutionary party for a number of decades. It made important advances in building the Party, developing the revolutionary movement and leading the proletariat on the revolutionary path. In the 1950’s, particularly in 1952 with the launching of the “British road to socialism”, modern revisionists usurped the leadership of the Communist Party of Great Britain, liquidated the revolutionary headquarters and its revolutionary ideology and line, and turned the Party into a revisionist party, a party of reform, a bourgeois party, and caused a most serious setback in the revolutionary movement, in the communist movement, for the British proletariat. For a number of years struggle continued by certain anti-revisionist elements inside the old Party, and in 1963 there occurred what our Party considers an important revolutionary split led by a man called Michael McCreary. He organized and led a number of anti-revisionist elements, split from the “Communist”, (that is revisionist) Party of Great Britain to form the Committee to Defeat Revisionism and for Communist Unity (CDRCU). This committee in two years re-established the basic international and national Marxist-Leninist theoretical line of all major questions. It opposed Khrushchovite revisionism, it opposed the “peaceful and parliamentary road to socialism”, it re-established the necessity for the Party to base itself on the industrial proletariat. On all other major questions, through its organs of work it re-established the basic Marxist-Leninist line after the revisionist betrayal. Unfortunately in 1965, McCreary died and following this, the anti-revisionist elements from the CDRCU, instead of moving on to the next stage, which McCreary would have had to solve if he had lived, which was to actually start rebuilding the Party, taking Marxism-Leninism back to the working class and people, and building and developing the revolutionary movement, they refused to carry this task forward. Instead, they did a number of things. Firstly, they stated that it was necessary to develop and do more investigational work and carry out more theoretical work before the task of building the Party, before the task of taking revolutionary ideas to people, and leading the struggle could be carried out. Secondly, they developed factionalism, splittism, and split into many tiny little groups and sects throughout the country, opposing the necessity to unite, to struggle to re-establish and rebuild the Party. In late 1966- early 1967, there was a second split from the CPGB. This was four years after the revolutionary split led by Michael McCreary. The people who split from the CPGB, the revisionist party, at this later period, set up a so-called Marxist-Leninist organization, which, from the outset, was neo-revisionist. Whilst paying lip-service to being anti-revisionist, on all the major questions, such as their promotion of economism in the economic struggles of the workers; their labelling political struggles as a “diversion from the economic struggle; their opposition to building a genuine Bolshevik Party; their vacillatory stand towards modern revisionism; their glorification of the British bourgeois trade unions; their basic great power chauvinism; and their opposition to sound Marxist-Leninist theory. On these and all other issues, they followed from the outset a basic neo-revisionist line.

In August 1967, in London, the Historic Necessity for Change Conference was held. At this conference, the advanced sections of the revolutionary youth and student movement, the English revolutionaries, together with the Internationalists of the other countries which participated in the conference, took the solemn decision that it was upon their shoulders that the task of rebuilding the Marxist-Leninist Party was to be placed. And 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, through the spirit and revolutionary sentiment of the working class and people and through the most fraternal assistance from the Marxist-Leninist organizations in Canada, Ireland and America, this Marxist-Leninist center grew from strength to strength. By March 1972, the next stage had been reached in the reformation of the British Party, a very historic event in the communist and workers’ movement in Britain, the formation of the Communist Party of England (Marxist-Leninist). For many years, the Party has had as its basic line that there has to be one Party for the entire British proletariat, and over these years has been making the necessary internal and external conditions to bring this situation about. The First Congress of the Party was held last year. It represented a most important landmark in the struggle to rebuild the proletarian Party in Britain, the Congress where the Party’s basic line on all of the major international and national questions was summed up and laid down. One of the decisions taken at the First Congress of the Party was that in the coming period it was necessary for the Party to resolve the problem of declaring one Party for the entire British proletariat. In the light of this decision of the Party’s First Congress, in light of the developments in the national and international situation and in light of a number of external and internal conditions created by the Party, the recently held Third Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of England (Marxist-Leninist) announced that the time was now ripe to declare the Party, the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist).

Throughout its history, the Party has, from its inception as the English Internationalists, upheld Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. It was born out of the struggle, not only against modern revisionism, of a Khrushchovite type, it was born out of a struggle against all the “new left”, Castroite, trotskyite and other opportunist trends, which were emerging in the late l960’s to disrupt and liquidate the revolutionary movement. It was also born out of the struggle against neo-revisionism, against those forces who pay lip-service to Marxism-Leninism, but who, on all major questions, refuse to make decisive political, ideological and organizational breaks with modern revisionism, with the modern revisionist methods of work and thinking. This struggle has continued, developed, and broadened throughout the history of our Party. Throughout this period, the Party has at all times firmly upheld and defended the purity of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, has always taken the attitude of striving to deal with and resolve the question of various other groups and organizations which have called or call themselves anti-revisionist, or Marxist-Leninist, from the standpoint of either trying to unite them around the Marxist-Leninist Party or openly expose them as being against Marxism-Leninism, revolution and socialism. Through engaging in this process, a number of things have been further clarified. Besides a number of individuals who have joined the Party’s ranks, those groups which split from the revisionist party have been shown to have had no interest in actually uniting to rebuild the Party and participate in and lead the revolution in Britain. The whole opportunist spirit and line that was reflected and manifested in those groups during the Necessity for Change Conference, and shortly after this, that is, their opposition to uniting around Marxism-Leninism to rebuild the Party, has become more and more vivid, more and more clear throughout the last 11-12 years. Throughout this period, many of these groups, and even some so-called “parties”, have even gone to the extent of blatantly refusing to answer letters or requests from our Party simply for meetings, just to have discussion to clarify various lines on national and international questions. What this shows is opposition to actually uniting around Marxism-Leninism to lead the revolution. This fact has become clearly expressed. The Marxist-Leninist face of these groups and organizations, as the class struggle has intensified and matured over the last few years, has been more and more exposed to reveal basic and open revisionist features. Firstly, the groups that went off into factionalism, “pre-party collectives” and so-called theoretical work after the death of Michael McCreary in 1965. By the 1977 period, all these groups in one way or another, or to one extent or another, adopted the revisionist “three worlds theory” as their basic guiding ideology. Secondly, the organization that emerged from the split from the CPGB four years after the split in 1963 and from its outset adopted a neo-revisionist line on all major questions is coming forward to uphold, to defend, the anti-Leninist theory of “Mao Zedong Thought”, and to say that anyone who criticizes “Mao Zedong thought” is better off in the camp of the Second International with Bernstein.

PCDN: This is the line they carry now?

RCPB (M-L): Yes, most definitely. On the question of the Marxist-Leninist movement, this has very much clarified the situation. Whilst our Party has since its inception upheld that it is the Marxist-Leninist center, it has nonetheless striven to either unite with or expose any of the groups or organizations that claim to be anti-revisionist or Marxist-Leninist. The various major so-called “Marxist-Leninist” groups have, in the past two years especially, been openly exposed. They are coming forward now to openly espouse modern revisionist theories.

Because of the activity of the reactionary bourgeoisie, Khrushchovite revisionists, the trotskyites, and of the Chinese revisionists, etc., the situation in the country is that the Marxist-Leninist center, the subjective factors for the revolution, are still relatively weak and lagging behind the objective conditions in the country. The decisive task facing our Party is to go all out to seriously strengthen the subjective factors of the revolution, to further build the Party, deepen its influence amongst the people, to further the struggle to defend the purity of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, and to deepen and broaden the struggle against all forms of revisionism, especially against Khrushchovite and Chinese revisionism, which still have a large amount of influence in the communist movement in Britain. As a basic Marxist-Leninist principle, the proletariat must be in the leadership in the revolution, plus the fact that in Britain the industrial proletariat, the working class, is a very large percentage of the population and the crucial task of the Party is to build itself right in the heart of the working class, in the factories and other work places of the country.

The Party, at its Second Plenum, upheld the two basic tasks our Party has continuously put forward. Firstly, to further the work of bolshevizing the Party, building the Party in the heart of the working class, consolidating and preparing the Party comrades on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. The second task is to further extend the influence of the Party in the working class and the working people’s movement, to further arm the working class with the Party’s line, arid to guide its struggles against monopoly capital along the path of revolution, towards the overthrow of capitalism, the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The Third Plenum of the Central Committee announced the adoption by the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) of the slogan, MAKE THE RICH PAY FOR THE CRISIS! and the Plenum considered that, at the present stage of the struggle, of the present upsurge of the struggles of the working class against monopoly capital, that this slogan presents the correct perspectives, the revolutionary path, the revolutionary alternative for the working class of making the rich pay for the crisis. The slogan was adopted by the Party in order to further the work of preparing, organizing and mobilizing the working class and guiding its struggles towards the revolution.

PCDN: Could you comment on the economic and political situation in Britain?

RCPB(M-L): The British monopoly capitalist system is characterized by a vast and very deep economic, political and all-round crisis. The British capitalist system, which was the major capitalist and colonial, power of the last century, has increasingly throughout this century not only been most seriously affected by the crisis hitting the entire capitalist-imperialist world, but has also been most seriously affected by the increasing relative decline to Other imperialist and capitalist powers of British imperialism and British monopoly capitalism, as a result of the uneven development of capitalism. This in no way has meant that the British monopoly capitalist class, the British imperialists, have become less ferocious. In fact, as the crisis is becoming intense and more severe, so the ferocity and violence which they have launched against the people, both in Britain and throughout the world (as can be seen in Ireland, in Zimbabwe, and in many other countries) has become even more intense. The Party states that British imperialism is still, and will always be until it is overthrown and destroyed, the hated enemy of the British working class and the world’s people.

The economic crisis hitting the British monopoly capitalist ruling class is most severe, and every attempt that is made to solve the crisis and maintain its vast superprofits leads to ever greater, broader and deeper crisis in a very short period of time. The only solution that the reactionary bourgeoisie has to try to solve this crisis is to make the working class and people pay for it. In recent years, the attempts to make the working class pay for the crisis have become more and more extreme. This has forced serious hardships, serious deterioration in the living standards and the livelihood of the working class in the country. In the face of fast-rising inflation, the bourgeois governments in recent years, the Conservatives and Labor, have imposed, year after year, severe wage restraint policies onto the working class, causing very serious cutbacks in the living standards of the people. Since the Labor government came to power in 1974, even by its own watered-down statistics, prices have more than doubled. For the last year or more, unemployment has been more than 6 percent of the working population. According to the government’s statistics, over 30 percent of the working population are classified as low-paid. Last year, for example, whilst inflation was running at 10-12 percent, the government tried to impose a meager 5 percent annual wage rise onto the working class. The previous year, with inflation at 17-20 percent, it imposed wage rises of only a. meager 10 percent. On top of this, there have been drastic and serious cuts in the health services, education services and social services in the country, bringing about the most serious consequences and hardships for the working class and people. For instance, a large number of cities show rises in old diseases and health problems for the working people and for children; investigations show serious detrimental changes in the diet of the working people, and all round the working people are being forced to suffer terrible consequences in order to pay for this crisis. The response by the reactionary bourgeoisie to all these just demands of the working class and people, to oppose the consequences of the crisis being passed onto their shoulders is to prepare for fascism.

Whilst the British bourgeoisie still greatly uses its demagogy, still uses its labor aristocracy and its deception in attempting to maintain its vicious exploitative rule and Impose the consequences of the crisis onto the backs of the people, more and more the path it is adopting is fascism, to try, through open and blatant force, to suppress the struggles of the people and to get the working class to pay for the crisis. On all fronts we see more and more the fascization of the state occurring. Where the so-called “legal” rights exist for the working class and people, they are fast “legally” being taken away, curtailed by the bourgeois state. We see, for one example, in recent months and years, the rights of workers to picket are openly being curtailed by violent attacks of the British state and its reactionary police and through legislation being prepared by the government. The Canadian proletariat must have read of, as an example of this, the Grunwicks struggle in London, where over 500 workers were arrested in mass picketing. On all fronts, the state is increasing the amount of harassment and attacks, arrests, beatings, and so on of workers and people in the communities and the factories, those on strike, on pickets, etc. Secondly, you see increasing legislation to legalize this curtailment of the rights of the working class and people and increasing propaganda by all the representatives and agencies of the bourgeoisie for even greater curtailment of the rights of the working people. Thus, in the recent lorry drivers’ strike, the militant strike which took place at the beginning of this year, all the representatives of the bourgeoisie were calling for the banning of the right to strike of the working class in certain key sectors of the economy and for blatant interference with the right of the working class to organize and fight back against capitalist exploitation. First of all, this shows that there is no basic democracy for the working class under the monopoly capitalist system. Secondly, it shows the extent that the British bourgeoisie, along with the bourgeoisie throughout the world, is developing fascism in order to make the working class pay for the bourgeoisie’s crisis.

At the present time, the Labor government is the executive of the monopoly capitalist class. The Labor government is promoted by opportunists of all hues, by the Khrushchovite revisionists, by the trotskyites and various other opportunists, as a government that can be “pushed to the left”, that can actually “serve the interests of the working class”. Social-democracy, backed and supported by the modern revisionists, causes and has caused the most serious setbacks to the revolutionary struggles and the basic interests of the working class. What has been seen once again with the Labor government in power is that the Labor government and the Labor Party are institutions of monopoly capital, of the rich. The only basic difference between them and the Conservative Party, is that the Labor government and the Labor Party consider that a slightly greater degree of deception should be used in trying to maintain the rule of capital over labor, in trying to make the workers pay for the crisis. In particular, the Labor Party attempts to utilize the trade union aristocrats, the trade union bureaucracy, the trade union bigwigs, to a greater degree in trying to make the working class pay for the crisis. So, for instance, we see in recent periods, a reactionary “social contract” being formulated with the trade union aristocracy, which is nothing but a contract between the government and the trade union bigwigs, a contract to make the working class pay for the crisis.

As the struggle in the country is intensifying, once again the working class has seen increasingly, as has been expressed by the upsurge which has occurred in its strike movement, that the Labor government is a government of monopoly capital, and its deceptive so-called labor mask has been ripped off as it has many times in this century.

As the class struggle is intensifying in the country, what we are seeing in the political situation of the bourgeoisie is that, whilst there have been various political wranglings going on in Parliament, the political “differences” between the bourgeois parties, between the Conservative, Liberal and Labour Parties, are being increasingly dropped and their basic unity as parties of capitalism against the working class has been more and more exposed to the ordinary people. On all the major questions, whether it be on the question of Ireland or the question of wage restraint of the question of suppression of the trade unions or the question of support for U.S. imperialism, or the question of suppressing the struggle of the Zimbabwe people, whether it be on the question of support for racist attacks or the question of the growing fascization of the state, we see these parties of monopoly capital openly united, openly taking their stands against the working class.

The situation in the country is such that there is no such thing as a liberal bourgeoisie, or a progressive aspect of the bourgeoisie, or a progressive section of the bourgeoisie. What we see among all the sections of the ruling class, among all their respective parties – Labour, Conservative, Liberals – is motion towards fascism, growing attempts to make the working class pay for the crisis. While the movement towards carrying out fascization of the state is being manifested to one extent or another in all the policies and programmes of the main parties of the British monopoly capitalist class.

One further aspect of the situation in the country is the fostering and growth of the nazi movement. This is particularly true with the hitlerite National Front which the bourgeoisie is attempting to foster in the country, through the protection of the police, through propaganda of the media, through the promotion by all the bourgeoisie and protection by the bourgeois parties. And this nazi movement has a very specific role for the bourgeoisie. First to act as a spearhead for the bourgeoisie today for its attacks on the working class, national minorities, and all the people in physical attacks and assaults on the people and in fascist and racist propaganda to the extent that the bourgeoisie and the state at this stage are not prepared to openly go. And secondly, the role of the nazi party is to be groomed for a time when the bourgeoisie may consider it necessary to cap its process of developing fascism and fascization of the state through the bringing to power an open nazi party.

So the situation in the country is that the class struggle is very fiercely intensifying, and the forces of the bourgeoisie and the forces of the proletariat are lining themselves up for the mighty battles which are developing in the country.