Adopted: February 1976. First Published: Revolution No. 1, June 1976
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Sam Richards and Paul Saba
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A. United States Imperialism and Soviet Social Imperialism, the main enemies of the peoples and oppressed nations of the world, are in essence paper tigers. The struggles of the world’s peoples brings revolution nearer in the heartlands of imperialism where working class militancy is rising.
B. In Britain, the bourgeoisie holds state power but as the crisis of imperialism deepens the objective contradiction between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat becomes openly antagonistic. We will resolutely apply the general lessons of Marxism-Leninism to the concrete conditions in Britain to fulfill our main task: building the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party which will lead the masses in revolutionary struggle.
C. The dominant ideology in Britain is the ideology of the ruling class: the bourgeoisie. Bourgeois and petty bourgeois ideology attacks and infects every class and strata and the Marxist-Leninist movement itself. We are therefore carrying through active ideological struggle to defeat bourgeois and petty bourgeois errors which at present are the main obstacles in the fight for a proletarian line.
D. From its foundation the Federation stagnated, and nearly split on a number of occasions. This was because we failed to understand that only active ideological struggle can win principled unity. In the last year, active ideological struggle and bold criticism and self-criticism have won substantial conviction that these are the main weapons to destroy bourgeois and petty-bourgeois errors. Some significant victories have been won in the struggle.
E. The principal right opportunist ideological error within the Federation is liberalism. The other errors are the small group mentality, ultra-democracy and lack of leadership, empiricism and intellectualism.
F. The error of liberalism. Active ideological struggle is the weapon for ensuring unity within the Federation Clear lines of demarcation must be drawn in inner-party struggle and erroneous lines must be fiercely combated. In this way we will build a unity that will live and will not perish.
G. The error of small-group mentality. The leading bodies and all members of the Federation must boldly struggle against the backward ‘mountain stronghold’ mentality and narrow local self interest which prevents the clear recognition that national tasks are primary and local tasks secondary. The interests of the Federation as a whole must take precedence over those of the groups, and the interests of the future Marxist-Leninist Party must take precedence over those of the Federation.
H. The error of ultra-democracy and lack of leadership. Leadership is an indispensable factor in party building. At national level the Executive Committee will be built as the leading core of the Federation: the principal weapons are active ideological struggle to win conviction for the correctness of its line and bold criticism and self-criticism. The National Committee must be built as the principal arena for two line struggle and to establish its authority for policy making. Group Committees will be built as the leading cores in each group.
I. The error of empiricism. We must conscientiously and at all times apply Marxism-Leninism to concrete practice. The EC will give a bold lead in establishing a definite plans and direction and to define our priorities.
J. The error of intellectualism. The characteristic features of intellectualism include trying to solve problems through wide ranging study of many books, setting an impractically large number of tasks without defining which are primary and which are secondary, and arrogantly ignoring the seemingly simple lessons gained by the world Marxist-Leninist movement. We must boldly struggle against intellectualism using the basic Marxist-Leninist texts, with the sole purpose of applying their general lessons to our practice. The most important book for us at our present stage, is the ’Quotations from Mao Tse-tung’. We must militantly take our stand with the working class and not with the intelligentsia and we must be honest and modest in all our work.
K. At the present stage of party building, theory is the principal aspect in the contradiction between theory and practice. Indirect knowledge, the concentrated experience of more than a hundred years of the world Marxist-Leninist movement, is principal, and our own limited direct experience is secondary.
L. Practice will become primary in the course of the struggle to develop and test lines. The prime aim of this practice will be to build Communist bases among the industrial proletariat at the place of work in order to establish and consolidate our roots in the working class. The vanguard of the socialist revolution must be proletarian, not petty bourgeois.
M. Lines so far developed in the Federation have not been generally applied in practice. The main reason for this is not the autonomy of groups but because the authority of the National Committee has not been established through active ideological struggle. We will struggle to establish the authority of the NC as the main arena for two-line struggles and policy making. The power of ideas will be transformed into the power of authority. The two-line struggles must be carried out across group lines and within groups, and in these struggles any local loyalties must be criticised as examples of small group mentality. The ultra-democratic practice of attempting to determine policy by means of General Meetings of the whole membership will cease. At our present stage NC members will continue to be elected from the groups. However they must not be elected as delegates but as leading cadres struggling to build a national leadership in the interests of the working class. The struggle against mandating NC members helps defeat small group mentality. Groups must elect their leading cadres as NC members and each will have a vote.
N. The EC will be composed of those comrades who are best at boldly applying Marxism-Leninism to concrete practice and who are firmest in their proletarian class stand. Leaders must not be elected or recalled lightly: cadres and their training are a decisive factor once a political line is determined. Their method of election is not of major importance but that laid down by the National Constitution is at present the most appropriate. The principal tasks of leadership are, firstly, working out policies, and secondly, setting tasks and assigning priorities to use cadres well. The EC will do this by boldly winning conviction for its correct policies and proposals, and by urging the lower levels to combat ultra-democratic errors by showing a willingness to understand and implement. The EC will work hard to overcome contradictions between itself and the lower levels by correct leadership, bold criticism and self –criticism.
O. The Marxist-Leninist principles summarised in this report are applicable to the party building tasks of the whole Marxist-Leninist movement. In out relationships with other Marxist-Leninist organisations we must firmly apply these principles and struggle with these organisations to win conviction on these principles. In this we must be self-reliant and not self-sufficient.
P. Past errors in the Federation led to pessimism and Menshevism. A bold, firm and principled struggle against bourgeois and petty bourgeois errors has resulted in a qualitative change in the Federation. The lessons learnt will help carry forward the main revolutionary task of uniting the Marxist-Leninist movement to form a new Marxist-Leninist Communist Party which will lead the working class in revolution to smash the bourgeois state, overthrow the capitalist system and build a new Socialist Britain.