Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Workers’ Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought

On Building a Revolutionary Stable Base Area

Issued: 1977
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Sam Richards and Paul Saba
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Report by the Party Committee of the Workers’ Institute summing up the work done in the past two years in building the Party in the course of struggle and in the midst of the masses. This report was the basic document of the Conference on base building held in Lambeth on April 22-24, 1977.

In March 1927 our great leader and teacher beloved Chairman Mao published his brilliant Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan which has made an earth-shaking impact on Chinese and world history. Summing up and hailing the great mass upsurge of the peasants in China, Chairman Mao scientifically predicted: “In a very short time, in China’s central, southern and northern provinces, several hundred million peasants will rise like a mighty storm, like a hurricane, a force so swift and violent that no power, however great, will be able to hold it back. They will smash all the trammels that bind them and rush forward along the road to liberation. They will sweep all the imperialists, warlords, corrupt officials, local tyrants and evil gentry into their graves. Every revolutionary party and every revolutionary comrade will be put to the test, to be accepted or rejected as they decide. There are three alternatives. To march at their head and lead them? To trail behind them, gesticulating and criticising? Or to stand in their way and oppose them? Every Chinese is free to choose, but events will force you to make the choice quickly.” Not only did Chairman Mao pose these three choices, he pioneered and vigorously led the great revolutionary cause of the heroic Chinese people for another 50 years. Building our Party, the great, glorious and correct Communist Party of China in the course of protracted struggle and in the midst of the masses, Chairman Mao led our Army, the invincible People’s Liberation Army of China, to encircle the cities, (the strong areas of the bourgeoisie) from the countryside and captured them through armed struggle. It was by building revolutionary stable base areas in the rural parts of China, i.e., the weakest link for the imperialists and their running dogs, that our Party and Army accumulated powerful revolutionary strength and established the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949. Continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat in China since then, defeating Soviet revisionism and particularly through the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution from 1966, Chairman Mao has rigorously consolidated Socialist China as the bright red base area of world revolution. Our Party has been built into a World Party and our Army into a World Army. Building deep links with “the countryside of the world,” the countries of the Third World, our Party has developed a strong International United Front of the people of the whole world against the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union.

In our Report of March 31, 1977, written to mark the 50th anniversary of Chairman Mao’s historic Report, and entitled “Workers’ Institute successfully conducts vigorous programme to uphold Chairman Mao’s Revolutionary Line amidst the mass upsurge in Britain” we have taken stock of the objective merging of the three historic currents in the world: (a) the socialist revolutionary movement led by China; (b) the national democratic revolutionary movement in the Third World; and (c) the spontaneous mass upsurges in the imperialist heartlands, such as Britain. We are on the verge of seeing the resolution of the principal contradiction in the world between the people of the whole world led by Socialist China and the two hegemonic superpowers. Victory of world people’s revolution and the establishment of the INTERNATIONAL DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT under the leadership of our Party and with our Army as the main pillar are indeed the order of the day.

Faced with this excellent situation, never before seen in the history of mankind, every revolutionary party and revolutionary comrade in the world, in the international communist and workers’ movement, are posed with the same three alternatives that beloved Chairman Mao talked about in his Report: to lead, gesticulate and criticise, or to oppose? The revisionists, the trotskyites, the trade union scabs, the social-democrats and in particular the ’gang of four’ in the imperialist heart-lands, Birch-Bains-Reakes-Evans, oppose in no uncertain terms the birth of the NEW WORLD of Socialism led by our Party. There are some others however, writing voluminous reports to pose as the defenders of genuine “Marxism-Leninism” but caught in the mire of idealism and metaphysics, who gesticulate and criticise the main force in the making of world history today – the Third World led by Socialist China. They doubt the revolutionary capacity of our Party and Army to defeat the two super-powers and vainly challenge the revolutionary authority of our Central Committee in the international communist movement. The comrades of the Workers’ Institute, however, have openly and in an above-board manner stepped forward to march at the head and lead the revolutionary mass movement in Britain, to participate actively in burying the old world of colonialism, imperialism and hegemonism and ushering the new world of socialism and communism.

To lead in the context of the world we are in means first and foremost leading in restricting bourgeois right, i.e. the bourgeois spirit of “doing one’s own thing” in Party building. It means upholding the revolutionary authority of the Party leading world revolution to victory – the Communist Party of China. It means upholding the proletarian revolutionary line of Chairman Mao, carrying out Chairman Mao’s behests and obeying the instructions of our Central Committee. Any other kind of leadership today is bound to be trapped in the mire of revisionism, whatever guise it comes in. The comrades of the Workers’ Institute have over the past two years and more struggled along these specific lines and have through painstaking and arduous efforts built a Party Committee which upholds the leadership of our Central Committee over World Revolution, to lead every aspect of our revolutionary work. The correctness of our work is borne out by the frenzied and wild attacks that the British fascist state as an integral part of US-led NATO, has continuously made on our organisation arid on our Party Committee in particular, since 1974. These attacks also draw a clear line of demarcation between us and every other force in the mass movement in Britain.

The tasks of our Party Committee are essentially two-fold: immediate and strategic. Our immediate tasks are to prepare public opinion about the impending victory of world people’s revolution, the necessity for the establishment of the INTERNATIONAL DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT and the role of the three magic weapons led by our Central Committee therein. Our strategic tasks are to train ourselves to participate actively in combatting and preventing revisionism and consolidating the INTERNATIONAL DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT, i.e. to build the new world of socialism and communism. For both these tasks we have found that we have to struggle hard to train contingents of theoretical workers armed with Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought, who are adept at applying Chairman Mao’s theory of continued revolution, learning from Socialist China and shaped in the brilliant image of Chairman Mao. Here, the three-part programme of the Institute shows the way forward. It consists of: (a) regular current affairs discussion and theoretical study, (b) mass work and social investigation or ’open door’ schooling, (c) battles of annihilation against bourgeois reactionary lines and to defend Chairman Mao’s proletarian revolutionary line. However, our experience in the past dozen years and more in developing the student movement, the women’s movement, the national minority movement, the solidarity movement and now the workers’ movement, show us that to train our cadres in carrying out the three-part programme fully we must build revolutionary stable base areas in working-class communities. Only thus can our Party cadres integrate with and learn from the basic masses and build the Party in their midst and in a down-to-earth way. Furthermore, repeated investigation and study and our living experience showed us that poor working-class communities such as Brixton are the weakest link in the chain of factories and other work-places, colleges and other educational institutions and communities that is to be found in the imperialist heartlands.

Initial work in and around Brixton began from about August 1974.[1] This work served mainly as an investigational one and lasted till the historic Conference on Britain in August 1975. Following the decisions of this Conference systematic and scientifically planned work began. Comrades were divided into squads and teams. Mass work is done in three specific areas in and around Brixton. Politically mobilising working people with the proletarian revolutionary line of Chairman Mao is the main orientation. Detailed door-to-door work is done, street-by-street, on a daily basis. Thousands of working people are being engaged in discussing the major issues facing mankind. Thorough-going political exposures of the real nature of the fascist state and its agents within the working-class movement and within the community are being carried out through actual class struggles and line struggles waged by our comrades guided by Lenin’s teaching: “Whoever wants to help the vacillating must first stop vacillating himself.” Only by resolutely upholding revolutionary principles can the spinelessness and cowardice of the petty- bourgeoisie and the revisionists of various hues be defeated and the fighting spirit of the working masses be harnessed. Furthermore, we found out through our own experience the correctness of what Chairman Mao points out: “To make the policy of the Party the policy of the masses requires effort, long and persistent effort, unrelenting and strenuous, patient and painstaking effort. Without such effort, we shall achieve nothing.” In making this effort we are today using all the methods suggested by Chairman Mao: “By word of mouth, by leaflets and bulletins, by newspapers, books and pamphlets, through plays and films, through schools, through the mass organisations and through our cadres.” (On Protracted War).

When beloved Chairman Mao passed away on September 9, last year, all our comrades, led by the Party Committee turned our deep and profound sorrow into great strength by stepping up the pace of our work and deepening every aspect of it. The MAO ZEDONG MEMORIAL CENTRE – a Workers’ Centre, Library and Bookshop – emerged right in the heart of our base area. This Centre, the only one of its kind in the world, is a powerful rallying point for hundreds of working people today, in and around Brixton whose political consciousness is increasing. A steady core of them regularly attend the Political Evening School run for working people twice a week and the weekly theoretical study groups. The revolutionary newsweekly, the South London Workers’ Bulletin is regularly read by hundreds of people. It helps to dispel the doom and gloom disseminated by the fascist mass media, the lie machine of the dying fascist bourgeoisie and imbue the people with revolutionary optimism. The same function is also played by the well-attended public meetings on revolutionary themes that we have been holding in the past two years in and around Brixton. The response of the masses of Brixton to our political work with them over the past two years has been extremely encouraging. Where the fascist bourgeoisie condemns and scorns, we have found the finest set of people with their warmth and straight-forwardness. Right where there is high level of unemployment, inflation, poor housing, poverty, illiteracy, prostitution, etc., we have found enthusiastic support for the bright model of New China where there is no unemployment, inflation, poor housing, poverty, illiteracy, prostitution, etc. Right in the midst of the poorest workers of Brixton we have found the greatest understanding and active support for the needy as we experienced in the recent campaign to financially support the black woman worker Jeannette and her starving seven children. Right in the midst of those who have been excluded from the main body of “sophisticated” bourgeois and revisionist politics we have found the new buds who will grow to be proletarian statesmen in the New World of socialism. Such is the experience of the comrades of the Workers’ Institute who have taken the working masses of different nationalities in Brixton as their teachers.

Our experience in building a revolutionary stable base area in and around Brixton over the past two years has taught us the following:

1. It confirms that working-class communities are the weakest link for the fascist state system. Unlike workplaces or educational institutions where fascist rules and regulations and job security are used to negate any meaningful mobilisation of the working people, there is far more scope for revolutionary work to be done in boldly arousing the working people. It is our experience that political mobilisation in the community involves whole working-class families, young, middle-aged and old, men and women. Such mobilisation also has a profound effect on workplaces and educational institutions where our members and supporters from the community are in.
2. Only in the working-class community can the revolutionary cadre of student-intellectual background really integrate with the working masses, friend them, and learn from the sterling qualities of the labouring people while raising the intellectual level of the workers. Taking a working class job in the community is vital for this.
3. Stability of the revolutionary base area is very much dependent on the capacity of the Party cadre to withstand bourgeois corrosion, “sugar-coated bullets” of the old world, and continue along the road of plain living and hard struggle. In this the decisive role is that of the Party Committee, in particular it’s Secretary who must lead in opposing the bourgeois style of life of ease, comfort and pleasure-seeking.
4. Stability of the base area is very much dependent on the role of a good core of comrades who are professional revolutionaries who break in practice from the revisionist style of “part-time politics” or “politics at one‘s convenience” .The role of the Communist Collective in the Mao Zedong Memorial Centre plays a backbone role in the work of our Institute. Of the thirteen comrades living in the Centre seven of us work in factories, shops and a hospital very near the Centre while six of us are doing full-time revolutionary work. The finances of the Centre are met by a common fund pooled from the wages of the seven comrades. No private account is kept. The professional revolutionaries do not receive any salary. Communist spirit of self-sacrifice is the yardstick for “competition” among the comrades to serve the people whole-heartedly, without any thought of self.
5. Only by going deep among the masses and really integrating with them and learning from them can the cadre know the masses well and the masses get to know the cadre well and be able to supervise the cadre. Any aloofness or detachment in this regard must be combatted. This applies particularly to leading cadres.
6. Be concerned with the well-being of the masses. Share weal and woe with them. Carry out socialist education among the masses so as to harness the spirit of being concerned with one another’s well-being. The more the revolutionary cadre is concerned with the problems of the masses, the less he or she will be with problems of self. Fight self, criticise concrete manifestations of revisionism continuously, otherwise bourgeois degeneration sets in so rapidly.
7. The comrades leading our squads are all women comrades. This has great strategic significance because the NEW WORLD can only get built with NEW WOMEN and new women have to be trained in actual struggles within and outside the organisation where male comrades must consciously defeat manifestations of male supremacy and women comrades must consciously defeat inferiority complex or the “queen bee” complex. Adhere to Chairman Mao’s teaching: “Whatever men comrades can accomplish women comrades can too.”

These seven points have emerged out of our actual experience. They are vital for building the Party in the course of struggle and in the midst of the masses. Only thus can every bone in the fascist body politic of Britain be smashed to smithereens by building the Party at the grass roots level. These seven points are diametrically opposed to the vicious practice in “Party Building” promoted by the gang of four in the imperialist heartlands, Reg Birch-Hardial Bains-Carol Reakes-Alan Evans. The socialist new thing in the imperialist heartlands, the Workers’ Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought, will indeed flourish with the victory of world people’s revolution and the establishment of the INTERNATIONAL DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT!

April 22, 1977


[1] Comrade Bala has undertaken political work in working-class communities since January 1970 in Southall and Finsbury Park.