Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Unity Association (Marxist-Leninist)

Economism or Revolution? A Critique of the Communist Party of Britain (M-L)


We wish to sum up here some conclusions reached in other sections of this pamphlet.

As regards the CPB (ML), we have shown that:

1. The central line of the CPB (ML), to which all else is subordinated, is economism. Its ’Marxism-Leninism’ is a screen to conceal this fact.
2. The CPB (ML) puts forward a line of the spontaneously revolutionary nature of the working class, negating the Marxist-Leninist concept of the role of theory and of the party.
3. The CPB (ML) puts forward a line denying the Leninist theory of imperialism; it substitutes opportunism for revolutionary proletarian internationalism.
4. The CPB (ML) has degenerated, and this is due primarily to the incorrect, opportunistic basis on which it was formed.
5. The CPB (ML) is not the revolutionary party the proletariat needs; such a party has yet to be built.

Is it subjectivism or a sectarian small-group mentality which causes us so severely to criticise the CPB (ML)? Do we not regard the majority of the comrades in the CPB (ML) as our comrades? Do not we and they both claim to be Marxist-Leninists, so should not we be much more soft with them, more comradely in our criticism? There are several answers we must make to these questions.

Firstly, when anyone such as the CPB(ML) puts forward economism and various crude distortions and vulgarisations, and calls it Marxism-Leninism, it is unfortunately true that the workers will naturally think that this nonsense is Marxism-Leninism Mao Tse-Tung Thought, and they will judge not only the speakers, but Marxism-Leninism accordingly. It is essential, therefore, to strongly, sharply and publicly disassociate Marxism-Leninism from such distortions.

Secondly, we do not have any personal, petty grievances against any member of the CPB (ML). Our criticisms and condemnations of the political line put forward by the CPB (ML) are purely political. Sharp criticism of incorrect ideas is not in any way uncomradely. Further, it is not our place to ’write off’ any member of the CPB (ML). We say that anyone holding the views published by the CPB (ML) has incorrect, anti-Marxist views and unless he changes his ideas (which we certainly hope he will) he will ’write himself off’ as a revolutionary.

Finally, we do not believe that the CPB (ML) itself, as an organisation, can be saved and turned into what it claims to be, namely the revolutionary, vanguard party of the working class. If we are proved wrong, if the CPB (ML) discards its economist line, conducts a thorough analysis of Britain on the basis of scientific, revolutionary theory, and adopts a revolutionary strategy and revolutionary practice, if this occurs then we would feel very honoured to become members, if we were thought worthy, or to support the party from without as best we could. But this is not a possibility, we believe, because the ’party’ was formed on the incorrect basis we have described and is in the process of degeneration.

Since we are convinced that the CPB (ML) is not a revolutionary party, we wish to put forward two other conclusions:

1. The working class in Britain needs revolution and only a revolutionary party of the working class can so guide the mass movement as to lead to revolution. Therefore, the first and overwhelmingly most important task of Marxist-Leninists is to create such a party.
2. The primary party-building task is the struggle to defeat incorrect, bourgeois ideas and to master the science of revolution, Marxism-Leninism Mao Tse-Tung Thought, in order to analyse the concrete situation in Britain and to create a revolutionary strategy, a party programme. Only on the basis of political unity among revolutionaries arising out of the struggle to create the programme can the party be built.

We regard this pamphlet as a contribution to this struggle, as an attempt to deal with certain incorrect ideas expressed by the CPB (ML) and with its fraudulent claim to be the revolutionary party we need. This is to clear the way for correct ideas. Dealing with such obviously jarringly anti-Marxist ideas is relatively easy, but the more difficult and arduous task of analysing British conditions through the application of the scientific theory of Marxism-Leninism and of forming a revolutionary strategy must be systematically undertaken.

We call upon all revolutionaries, including those in the CPB (ML), to overcome petty, personal subjectivism and ’mountain stronghold’ mentality, where it exists. We must all participate in a thoroughly honest political (rather than personal) struggle to overcome incorrect ideas and to apply the Marxist-Leninist principles of criticism and self-criticism. All must be engaged in the struggle to create a correct, revolutionary party programme that will unite all Marxist-Leninists into a truly revolutionary, proletarian party.