The Manifesto of the Communist Party is the Programme of the Communists until Communism
Proletarians of all countries, unite!
The Manifesto of the Communist Party is the Programme of the Communists until Communism
This year in February marks 174 years since the publication of the Manifesto of the Communist Party and this January marks 174 years since Marx and Engels, mainly Marx, established it. It is a great event that we are celebrating in this newspaper together with the international proletariat, its communist parties and organisations and with the peoples of the world.
“The Manifesto” is the starting point of the international communist movement (ICM), 174 years after its appearance. Before there was already a background; In Marx and Engels’ own work we have their participation in the League of the Just, which, because of Marx and Engels’ internal struggle, was changed to The Communist League, it was a jumble of different ideas, it was not a clear expression of the proletariat. It is only with the Manifesto of the Communist Party, which is its full name, that for the first time the communists put forward their position and their programme and it is the starting point, the cornerstone or the first stone on which our whole building is raised, all that is the great Marxism-Leninism-Maoism; it is by setting off from the Manifesto that it remains a valid banner until communism, not as Khrushchev said: that it had concluded its mission with the programme of the CPSU of ’61, intending to take away our class position and to introduce a rotten bourgeois conception, a thorough and complete revision of all of Marxism. That is why the Manifesto is our starting point, the first milestone, milestone because it will last for thousands of years and when there is communism it will still be considered as that great beginning which led to the new humanity.
In January 1848, in the Communist Manifesto drawn up by Marx and Engels, the foundations and programme of the proletariat were established. Thus, the ideology of the international proletariat, in the crucible of the class struggle, emerged as Marxism, becoming Marxism-Leninism and, subsequently, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. Thus, the all-powerful scientific ideology of the proletariat, all-powerful because it is true, has three stages: 1) Marxism, 2) Leninism, 3) Maoism; three stages, moments or milestones in its dialectical process of development; of one and the same unity which in one hundred and seventy-four years, beginning with the “Manifesto”, in the most heroic epic of the class struggle, in fierce and fruitful two-line struggles in the communist parties themselves and the immense work of titans of thought and action which only the class could generate, three unfading lanterns stood out: Marx, Lenin, Mao Tse-tung, through great leaps and three great ones has armed us with the invincible Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, today mainly Maoism.
It is 174 years of development of the world proletarian revolution, some are filled with pessimism because of the defeats we have had on our long, hard and glorious road and deny our advance, we are organic optimists because we are dialectical materialists, we see history in another way, we know that what is advanced is never lost, that is how we acquired the upright walk, also the child does not learn to walk all at once, but achieves it after many falls and rises, but always advancing.
Let us take Chairman Mao’s statement on the continuation of “the antagonistic struggle between proletariat and bourgeoisie, between socialist and capitalist road, and between socialism and capitalism”.
Lenin, that once the dictatorship of the proletariat was established, continued the class struggle, bloody and bloodless. Comrade Stalin, in 1936, in founding the Constitution of the USSR, said that in Russia there were no longer antagonistic classes; but in “Problems of Socialism” at the beginning of the 1950s, Comrade Stalin recognised that he had been wrong, that there were antagonistic classes, too late, the comrade died in 1953.
Chairman Mao, taking into account what has already been said about classes, is going to put forward the fundamental law of socialism, in other words, the fundamental law is the basis, the foundation of the general law, the general political line, that’s why it is called the fundamental political line. What is the problem? The problem is that there is antagonistic class struggle, it is not defined who will win against whom; historically, yes, we know that the proletariat will win, but politically, concretely, it is practically an arduous struggle, a fierce struggle. That is when Chairman Mao begins to explain to us more and more the length of time the class struggle and socialism will take, more and more clearly the Chairman tells us that the process of the class struggle and socialism will be long; that is why at the end of his life he is going to tell us to prepare for five hundred or a thousand years to reach communism. Isn’t that what he said? Why did he say that then? Was that how it was conceived in Lenin’s time? No comrades.
“Restoration and counter-restoration”. Lenin had said that we must guard against restoration. But it is Chairman Mao who is going to develop Lenin’s thesis, which in Lenin is a germinal, basic, obvious idea. Chairman Mao was going to propose restoration-counter-restoration. Already in 1963, in the Chinese Letter or the Proposition on the General Line, it says that the socialist countries have to look at the question of restoration-counter-restoration.
Chairman Mao studies China, a great connoisseur of Chinese history. One who does not know his people, what revolution does he want to lead? In his head, in his imagination. In China, they had had a great historical struggle between slavery and feudalism, so the new was feudalism, the Chairman said that it took 250 years for the new class – the feudal class – to gain a foothold in power. Is that a reality? Yes, it is a reality. The example of the French revolution, 1789, but the bourgeoisie only came to power in 1871, a hundred years later; in the meantime, there have been several restorations. Haven’t there? Even an empire, the one that collapsed precisely in 1970, that of Napoleon III. So what Chairman Mao says is not unique to China, it is a process of history: the establishment of the new classes in power. In our case, as communists we have another situation which is the extinction of power, of the dictatorship of the proletariat, but that is communism. That is communism, it is not our problem, neither in the immediate nor in the medium term do it is our problem; first, we would have to sweep imperialism and reaction off the face of the earth and they are not swept away yet, then socialism-capitalism will come. For how long? And then communism will only come. So there is a long way to go, that is why we communists can have absolute disinterest as Chairman Mao has demanded, we are the living example of what the class is because the class has formed us that way, and if we clash with those principles of the class, that is the ballast we have. This problem is substantive, restoration-counter-restoration.
What is the problem?: A lot of whining. Lenin taught us when they had a setback at a Congress, what did he say: “don’t whine”, “setbacks, defeats are not mourned, lessons are learned.”. What we have to see is how the power of the dictatorship of the proletariat is being established and is advancing and these are undeniable advances: 1871, The Commune, short-lived, but a Commune, new power, dictatorship of the proletariat for the first time on earth; 1905, the Soviets; 1917, 1949, 1966. These are steps in the development of the power of the proletariat towards the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, we can’t say definitive establishment. Why? Because it confirms with what have been established since Marx, reiterated by Lenin, by Chairman Mao, the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat is the beginning of extinction; if we do not think about that, we are not communists, that is why we cannot say definitive establishment, its establishment for a long historical stretch until the definitive leap to communism is made, then it will become extinct as Engels has masterfully established, that term is extraordinary, it becomes extinct, this word is irreplaceable, no other word can be used.
So, what we communists have to do is to draw lessons and rather to see the course of how the class is advancing towards its establishment, how the dictatorship of the proletariat is advancing towards its establishment, how the vanguard of the proletariat is advancing in leading the revolution all over the world, that’s what we have to think. A lot of jeremiad! You don’t see the restoration-counter-restoration law, that’s what it is, and you don’t see the steps taken and the advance of the class. What do these jeremiads express: historical pessimism! Where is the firmness of the class, where is the incontrovertible historical course to communism, who is going to stop it? nobody! That is extraordinary.
So, there can be no confusion about putting forward only the “new era” and not the “era of imperialism and the proletarian revolution”- in the Proposal regarding the balance and current General Political Line published by the Coordinating Committee of the Unified Maoist International Conference-, here we have the answer:
First of all, that the Great October Revolution of 1917 opens the era of the world proletarian revolution. It is quite clear that it is a new era, it is the era of the world proletarian revolution. What does it mean? It means that the world revolution led by the bourgeoisie has ended, which means that it has lasted about 400 or 300 years.
Secondly, if it was put like this before: “era of imperialism and the proletarian revolution“, it is because imperialism is at the beginning of the new era and, above all, because the conditions for revolution are maturing. Today we are in the “period of 50 to 100 years” when we will wipe imperialism off the face of the earth, from there it will still be a long way for the class to enter communism by successive cultural revolutions always through people’s war.
Chairman Mao said: “the triumpf of the democratic revolution is only the first step in a long march of ten thousand li” Isn’t that what he said? one step on the road of ten thousand li, each li is 500 metres long, that is five thousand kilometres, one step! 4,999 steps lie ahead, did he have a clear vision or not, of course, this is extremely important. There are those who despair and show deep pessimism, and if this is not fought, it will inevitably lead them to the next swamp.
And, according to Lenin, it is the highest and last stage of capitalism, monopoly capitalism, parasitic or decomposing and dying capitalism. To be clearer:
Capitalism. Is capitalism a mode of production, is it the last or not? Or is imperialism another mode of production? For us, it is clear that capitalism is the last mode of production, what happens is that it has specified a pre-monopolistic and a monopolistic, that is imperialism, nothing else, we see how what was a unity, capitalism, is differentiated into two parts, isn’t it? Now, will imperialism always be the same or will it have a process of development?, in synthesis, is the decomposition of imperialism increasing or has it always been the same? Then it is to define the moments of the process of imperialism. Or will it not have a process? There is nothing on earth that does not have a process, we believe it is like that.
In the Proposal regarding the balance and current General Political Line published by the Coordinating Committee of the Unified Maoist International Conference, the following is written about the Manifesto and the history of the ICM in a just and correct way:
We reaffirm ourselves in the full validity of the Manifesto of the Communist Party from 1848 (including all its preface and notes written by Marx and Engels, especially the preface of 1872), which is the start of the birth and cornerstone of the International Communist Movement. It established the fundamental principles and the Program of the proletarian revolutionaries. Given that our great founders, Marx and Engels, made that great calling and lemma “Proletarians of all countries, unite!”, that lemma for combat inspires the struggles of the proletariat in the whole world and guides through the path of emancipation. The flames of revolution that were started by Marx and Engels have set the world on fire, permanently changing the course of world history.
Marx said: “The experience of the past teaches us, that forgetting the fraternal ties that must exist between the workers of the different countries and that should encourage them to support each other in all their struggles for emancipation, is punished by common defeat of its isolated efforts.”
Lenin established that true proletarian internationalism requires: “first, the subordination of the interests of the proletarian struggle in a country to the interests of this struggle on world scale; second, that the nation that is reaching the triumph over the bourgeoisie is capable and willing to make the greatest national sacrifices for the overthrow of international capital.” Chairman Mao raised internationalism in its deepest sense when affirming: “it is the spirit of communism”.
In this way, the History of the International Communist Movement is a glorious process of struggle, through which the communists of the world have struggled and struggle to unify themselves serving the achievement of the unalterable goal: the communist society.
Three internationals were built in this heroic struggle:
The First International, or International Worker’s Association (IWA), was founded by Marx and Engles in 1864 in a fierce struggle against the anarchist, the Blanquists and other positions to establish that the ideology of the proletariat was only one – marxism – it is solid and and scientifically welded with the international nature of the proletariat and its revolutionary party, laid the ideological basis of the proletarian revolution. The moment the International was infiltrated and surrounded of opportunists who attempted to usurp it, Marx put forward that it would be better to end with the IWA that to see it murdered by unity without principles.
The Second International, based on marxism, was founded by Engels in 1889 and served the multiplication of worker’s socialist organizations and parties, especially in Europe and North America. After the death of Engles, Bernstein’s and Kautsky’s revisionism assaulted the leadership of the Second International and it degenerated into opportunism, it was finally bankrupt during the First World War, when their leaders opposed themselves to struggle against the imperialist war under the pretext of Defensism (defense of the motherland). They refused to turn it into revolution, they supported the imperialist war and the bourgeoisie of their countries, they voted for the credits of war at the parliament, turned into social-traitors, social-chauvinists.
The founding of the Third International, in March 1919, was the result of a long struggle by the left of the ICM that was developed under the Great Leadership of Lenin and the Bolshevik Party. A struggle against all revisionism and opportunism of the member parties of the Second International – who were adapted to the old order. Lenin conceived and funded the Third International as a war machine to carry out the World Proletarian Revolution and the construction of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The founding of the Third International constitutes a great leap in the history of the International Communist Movement.
The Third International – Communist International (CI) or Comintern – existed for 24 years, seven world congresses were held during that time until its dissolution in 1943. It had to develop in a complex context represented by the loss of its founder and principal leader – the Great Lenin – in 1924, the great challenges of te construction of socialism in the USSR, the rise of fascism to Power in many countries of the world – especially in Europe – and the beginning of the Second World War.
Its existence was strongly influenced by the intense and hard two line struggle that was developed within the Bolshevik Party which lasted 13 years, in which the left, under the leadership of comrade Stalin, had to tenaciously struggle to unmask and smash trotskyism, bukarinism, and the right opportunist clique of Kamenev-Zinoviev, among other gangs and black lines, against the efforts to undermine the dictatorship of the proletariat in the USSR, their attempts to usurp the leadership of the CI and controlling apparatuses to impose their policies n many sections – nefarious actions that caused grave harm.
Because of that, the CI suffered right and “left” deviations – particularly within the period between the 5th and the 7th Congresses – and it has issued some erroneous advises and directives that caused some harm to revolutionary parties and processes. However, the principal was that comrade Stalin led – developing the two line struggle – the left within the Communist International preventing the revisionist usurpation and smashed the trotskyist and zinovievist influence at its leadership. Under the correct and justified leadership of comrade Stalin, it kept its red color, marxism-leninism prevailed and revisionism could not raise its head.
The 7th Congress in 1935 was of particular transcendence due to the circumstances of the moment and the challenges it faced. This important Congress had to answer to new and far-reaching problems in the midst of a difficult and complex situation.
The 7th Congress established the tactic of World Antifascist Front and People’s Front to defend the dictatorship of the proletariat and develop the proletarian revolution while combating the counterrevolutionary offensive of fascism. With that, for the first time in the history of the ICM the international proletariat and the people’s masses of the whole world could e united under the same flag, the same policy, the same plan and under the same leadership, with a single combating army, providing shape for Lenin’s task of working as a true war machine for the World Revolution.
Under his leadership, hundreds of millions of masses have risen as a great torrent of steel against fascism, for revolution and in defense of the USSR. The Chinese revolution stands out, which changed the correlation of forces in the struggle against imperialism and the reaction worldwide, favoring socialism and the proletariat and oppressed peoples.
Under the leadership of the Third International, in dozens of countries, not only in Europe but also in Asia, the communists carried out heroic armed struggles as guerrilla warfare, like in the Spanish Civil War. In those countries in which revolution could not triumph, the cause for that was principally because there were no sufficiently mature and prepared communist parties, based on marxism-leninism. Despite that, as history shows, its struggle contributed to the defeat of fascism, and the communists have shown to the whole world the communist high valor and heroism, not allowing the morale of the class to be broken.
By applying the resolutions of the 7th Congress, the CPCh, led by Chairman Mao, knew how to carry out the Front policy specified to the necessities of Revolution in China, applying independence and self-decision, defeating Japanese fascism and continuing with the liberation war until seizing power in the whole country, defeating the local ruling classes and their imperialist masters and completing the revolution of a New Democracy, uninterruptedly going into socialist revolution. The creative application of marxism-leninism and the line established by the 7th Congress to the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution led to the development of a more comprehensive and complete understanding of united front and fully developing the military theory of the proletariat: People’s War.
The problems and deviations that took place in many countries were principally the application, the main responsibility falls to the communist parties, who are the responsible ones for the application of the International line to their respective countries. Departing from what was put forward by Chairman Mao, in order to establish a justified assessment of this experience, it is necessary to draw a clear demarcation line between those who were still within marxism from those who fell into revisionism, still in the former group we need to differentiate the mistakes of principles from the mistakes made within the practical work. Furthermore, Chairman Mao develops the five laws of the united front and regarding the three fundamental instruments of revolution and their interrelation.
In some countries like Italy and France, due to the right opportunist positions at the leadership of the communist parties, after carrying out armed struggle of heroic resistance against Nazi-fascism, these parties moved away from the orientations of the CI and the fundamental principles of marxism-leninism, their leadership capitulated before their bourgeoisie while centering in the defense of the demo-liberal regime and betrayed revolution, degenerating into a most extreme and rotten revisionism.
At a world level, under the leadership of comrade Stalin, the Antifascist Front was brilliantly applied, the center was the defense of the dictatorship of the proletariat represented by the USSR. Through that, the dictatorship of the proletariat faced fascism and World Revolution advanced. The victory of the antifascist war was a victory of socialism, a victory of the international proletariat and the oppressed peoples of the world over imperialism and world reaction, a victory of marxism-leninism over revisionism.
Whith the victory of the antifascist war, the imperialist camp was weakened and the proletarian revolution grew stronger. Thanks to the glorious role of the red army and the wars of resistance, revolution has expanded through Eastern Europe and Central Europe reaching part of Germany, thus increasing the socialist camp. Remarkably, with the victory of the Chinese revolution in 1949, the correlation of forces between revolution and counterrevolution at the international arena changed in favor of world Revolution, which advanced into the stage of strategic stalemate, a powerful socialist camp and a powerful movement of national liberation in the colonies and semi-colonies emerged.
This is why we consider that the 7th Congress was an important marxist-leninist congress that armed the proletariat with a justified and correct political line to fight fascism and advance with the World Proletarian Revolution.
Although the Communist International and comrade Stalin made some mistakes on the course, the problems of grave deviations and betrayals were caused by revisionism in the leadership of those parties and that cannot be credited to comrade Stalin, the CPSU or the Communist International.
When gleaning the history of the ICM and the Proletarian Revolution, we see that comrade Stalin knew how to firmly and ingeniously apply, in the midst of a complex and difficult situation, the definition of Lenin of true proletarian internationalism and to subject the particular and national interests to the interests of the international proletariat as a whole, putting the defense of the World Proletarian Revolution and the cause of communism in first place.
In 1943, the CI self-dissolved and the ICM entered a period of relative dispersion, which was principally generated by the splittist and treacherous action of contemporary revisionism. Modern or contemporary revisionism was a counter-current represented by Browder, Tito, Togliatti, Thorez and principal Khrushchev and the infamous 20th Congress of the CPSU where the his clique usurped the leadership of the CPSU, degenerating it into a revisionist party and destroying the dictatorship of the proletariat, undermining the basic principles of the unity of the International Communist Movement.
The task of the communists to unify at world level, after the Second World War and the death of comrade Stalin, is done in a fierce struggle against contemporary revisionism, in which Chairman Mao rises as a growing Great Leadership of the World Revolution.
In 1957 and 1960, two international conferences of communist parties and worker’s parties take place in Moscow. The declarations of these conferences correspond to the development of the two line struggle in the ICM at that moment, considering the big weight that the CPSU had, and reflected the correct handling of the struggle done by the left led by Chairman Mao and the CPCh, applying the principle of acting with reason, advantage and not exceeding.
The 22nd Congress of the CPSU was held in 1961, it was systematized the positions of modern revisionism in it. Chairman Mao, leading the Communist Party of China, defined the essence of new revisionism, which he systematize in the “three peacefuls” and the “two wholes”. Khrushchev distorted Lenin’s thesis of peaceful coexistence which differentiates the relations between states from those within the states, to put forward a “peaceful coexistence” as a general line for the International Communist Movement. For Khrushchev, the problem was to avoid war because, according to him, the atomic weapons did not distinguish exploited from exploiters, which was why men had to join each other in order to prevent disappearance of humanity. The “peaceful transition” put forward that revolution did not need revolutionary violence, but one could replace a social system with another through the “peaceful way”, through elections, through parliamentarism. As for the “peaceful emulation”they defended that in order to destroy the imperialist system, the socialist system should make an emulation to show the imperialists that the socialist system was superior and thus the imperialist would change into socialism. The revisionist thesis of the “state of the whole people” was meant to deny the class character of the state and was concretely against the dictatorship of the proletariat. The “party of the whole people” in another machination that denied the class character of the Party as a Party of the proletariat. Thus, Khrushchev advocated that the 22nd Congress of the CPSU was the new program of the communists and substituted the Communist Manifesto with the bourgeois lemma of “liberty”, “equality” and “fraternity”. The Manifesto is the program of the communists and its denial has sparked and sharpened the struggle between marxism and revisionism.
On June 14, 1963, the “Proposition on the General Line of the International Communist Movement”, also known as the “Chinese Letter”, followed by “The 9 Comments”, in which Chairman Mao and the CPCh brilliantly unmasked and smashed contemporary revisionism in all its facets.
Only with the deep demarcation produced by the Great Polemic, led by Chairman Mao and the Communist Party of China, the International Communist Movement was able to raise the process of reunification around the Great Leadership of Chairman Mao and his contributions to the World Proletarian Revolution.
Chairman Mao developed this struggle simultaneously to the struggle against the right opportunist line within the CPCh which had usurped important apparatuses of the Party and the state.
Chairman Mao and the CPCh considered that, in such circumstances, it was not adequate to conform a new Communist International because the ideological and political basis, which should be marxism-leninism-mao tsetung thought then, was not defined. Particularly the Worker’s Party of Albania, led by Enver Hoxha, did not accept mao tsetung thought and wanted an international solely based on marxism-leninism, without considering the new development that it had, because essentially Hoxha was opposed to mao tsetung thought.
With the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in Chine, the influence of Chairman Mao increasingly develops throughout the world. The CPCh centers in very urgent problems such as recovering power in the People’s Republic of China from the revisionist usurpation of Liu Siao-chi and Teng Siao-ping, and on how to continue revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. On that way, within the national and international class struggle against revisionism, Chairman Mao is converted into the great master of the proletariat and into Great Leader of the World Revolution and his thought turns into the third stage of marxism, even though the struggle for its definition and acknowledgment would only be given later. The UMIC is a step of great importance in that same path.
Chairman Mao dies on September 1976 and the Chinese revisionists made a counterrevolutionary coup attacking Chairman Mao and his thought. Thus, the unity of the marxists entered in grave and complex problems. With the death of Chairman Mao and the revisionist usurpation in China by Teng and his accomplices, we communists became dispersed in the world, without a center nor a base for the World Revolution; counterrevolution has shown its claws to deny Chairman Mao and the validity of Marxism-leninism-mao tsetung thought and unleashed the triple revisionist attack of Teng Siao-ping (Chinese revisionism), Hoxha (Albanian revisionism) and Brezhnev (Russian revisionism).
The counterrevolutionary coup in China 1976 opened a new period of deep dispersion in the ICM, on which a general counterrevolutionary offensive was unleashed by Yankee imperialism that centrally and mainly centered its attack to snatch the soul of revolution – its ideology, marxism-leninism-maoism, principally maoism.
On the Fall of 1980, thirteen communist parties and organizations signed a declaration “To the marxist-leninists, the workers and the oppressed of all countries” which called the communists to unite around marxism-leninism and uphold Chairman Mao, but not considering it a new stage, thus not having universal validity, a work that was mainly conducted by the Revolutionary Communist Party of USA.
In 1984, its 2nd Conference was held, it decided on founding the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM). In its founding declaration, it was affirmed that it was guided by marxism-leninism-mao tsetung thought.
The RIM meant a step forward in the path of reunification, this is why it is necessary to make a correct and justified evaluation of this experience. For that, it is necessary to analyze the process of the two line struggle within the RIM and the role that each party played. Like all revolutionary body, the left, center and right were defined within the development of the two line struggle in its core.
In the decade of 1980, the Communist Party of Peru (PCP), under the Great Leadership of Chairman Gonzalo, upheld, defended and applied maoism as the third, new and superior stage of marxism in the International Communist Movement. The principal contribution of Chairman Gonzalo to the International Communist Movement was having defined maoism in a complete and scientific way by upholding, defending and applying it with the initiation and development of the People’s War in Peru which was initiated in May 17, 1980. This event was of fundamental importance for the World Proletarian Revolution and the International communist Movement because it has proven the validity of maoism and the People’s War. After its heroic fall on September 11, 2021, murdered after resisting for 29 years in absolute isolation regime in the dungeons of imperialism and the reaction, his name was permanently inscribed at the gallery of the great titans of the international proletariat.
Through the action of the PCP within the RIM, it went as far as acknowledging maoism as a new stage of marxism in 1993.
The RIM lasted a little more than 20 years from its foundation in 1984 until it went into liquidation in 2006 by the treason of Prachanda to the People’s War in Nepal and the pretension of the RCPUSA of making this body be subjected to the revisionist “new synthesis” of Avakian. Its formal dissolution was made in 2012. its existence reflected the two line struggle in the International Communist Movement. The RIM served the world proletarian revolution and the task of struggling for the reunification of the communists when the left, in hard struggle, was able to maintain the struggle for imposing maoism as the sole command and guide of the world revolution at its core.
However, with the arrest of Chairman Gonzalo in 1992 and soon after the blows suffered by the People’s War in Peru – which have hindered the action of the left within the ICM – the RCPUSA converging with the right opportunist line, revisionist and capitulationist (ROL), took advantage of the complex situation to attack the left and advance on his petty hegemonism – first spreading the revisionist, opposed to marxism-leninism-maoism, so-called “new synthesis” in a hidden form, then openly.
The RIM was entering into greater lack of cohesion. This was aggravated when the RCPUSA with Avakian at its head, in partnership with Prachanda, in collusion and contend, after publishing the Declaration: For a Century of People’s Wars from RIM (2000), they started to deny it and both of them fell into path of revisionism increasing their attacks against maoism, in the following years, the contend for the hegemony between both revisionist currents and figures, not only in the RIM but at the level of the whole ICM, also the ideological, political and organizational dis-cohesion of the RIM was sharpening. Finally, the revisionist hegemonist positions were imposed in the Committee if the RIM. As a consequence, the RIM ceased to play a positive role and degenerated, entering bankruptcy and liquidation.
Today, when a New Great Wave of the World Proletarian Revolution is produced in the world with the ongoing People’s Wars in India, Peru, Turkey and the Philippines, and its preparation in many other countries, with the heroic struggles of national resistance and people’s resistance around the whole world emerge, when the general crisis of imperialism and its drowning are hugely intensified., it is necessary and urgent to raise the two line struggle at the core of the ICM to a superior level in order to establish and develop its necessary, justified and correct General Political Line and to strengthen this New Great Wave through the spark of revolution with People’s War in many countries and further advances wherever they are already being waged, as well as in the antiimperialist revolutionary movement under the hegemony of the proletariat.
This is why it is necessary to deepen the ideological and political struggle on the basis of the justified and correct assessment of the historical experience of the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat in general. An assessment that particularly synthesizes the experience of the application of the third stage of marxism, which is maoism.
The struggle to impose marxism-leninism-maoism, principally maoism as the command and guide of the world revolution is long, complex and difficult. Marxism has never advanced without a hard struggle, but in the end maoism is guiding the New Great Wave of the World Proletarian Revolution that has already started and needs to be impulsed in order to sweep away imperialism and the reaction from the face of earth through People’s war, in order to carry out democratic revolutions, socialist revolutions and proletarian cultural revolutions – according to each case – and transit toward the shining and golden communism.
It is particularly necessary to keep deepening the struggle against the new revisionism, in its different expressions, because although they were unmasked and smashed in the ICM, they still have influence through the right and “left” opportunist positions, centrist positions, liquidationist positions, etc. and they harm the unity of the ICM as a whole because they are the main danger to the ICM.
Brief History of the Manifesto
According to the PREFACE TO THE 1872 GERMAN EDITION by both authors, in the first paragraph and in the notes 1 and 2 at the end of the Manifesto. The PREFACE TO THE 1888 ENGLISH EDITION written by Engels where the principal role of Marx is recogniced, in indicating that the fundamental proposition, the nucleus of the Manifesto belongs to Marx. Additionally in this preface he declares its plain validity, he establishes the necessity of its concrete application according to the historical circumstances and he gives the guidelines for how to study the Manifesto.
PREFACE TO THE 1872 GERMAN EDITION
The Communist League, an international association of workers, which could of course be only a secret one, under conditions obtaining at the time, commissioned us, the undersigned, at the Congress held in London in November 1847, to write for publication a detailed theoretical and practical programme for the Party. Such was the origin of the following Manifesto, the manuscript of which travelled to London to be printed a few weeks before the February [French] Revolution [in 1848]. First published in German, it has been republished in that language in at least twelve different editions in Germany, England, and America. It was published in English for the first time in 1850 in the Red Republican, London, translated by Miss Helen Macfarlane, and in 1871 in at least three different translations in America. The french version first appeared in Paris shortly before the June insurrection of 1848, and recently in Le Socialiste of New York. A new translation is in the course of preparation. A Polish version appeared in London shortly after it was first published in Germany. A Russian translation was published in Geneva in the sixties [A]. Into Danish, too, it was translated shortly after its appearance.
However much that state of things may have altered during the last twenty-five years, the general principles laid down in the Manifesto are, on the whole, as correct today as ever. Here and there, some detail might be improved. The practical application of the principles will depend, as the Manifesto itself states, everywhere and at all times, on the historical conditions for the time being existing, and, for that reason, no special stress is laid on the revolutionary measures proposed at the end of Section II. That passage would, in many respects, be very differently worded today. In view of the gigantic strides of Modern Industry since 1848, and of the accompanying improved and extended organization of the working class, in view of the practical experience gained, first in the February Revolution, and then, still more, in the Paris Commune, where the proletariat for the first time held political power for two whole months, this programme has in some details been antiquated. One thing especially was proved by the Commune, viz., that “the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery, and wield it for its own purposes.” (See The Civil War in France: Address of the General Council of the International Working Men’ s Association, 1871, where this point is further developed.) Further, it is self-evident that the criticism of socialist literature is deficient in relation to the present time, because it comes down only to 1847; also that the remarks on the relation of the Communists to the various opposition parties (Section IV), although, in principle still correct, yet in practice are antiquated, because the political situation has been entirely changed, and the progress of history has swept from off the earth the greater portion of the political parties there enumerated.
But then, the Manifesto has become a historical document which we have no longer any right to alter. A subsequent edition may perhaps appear with an introduction bridging the gap from 1847 to the present day; but this reprint was too unexpected to leave us time for that.
Karl Marx & Frederick Engels
June 24, 1872, London
PREFACE TO THE 1888 ENGLISH EDITION
The Manifesto was published as the platform of the Communist League, a working men’ s association, first exclusively German, later on international, and under the political conditions of the Continent before 1848, unavoidably a secret society. At a Congress of the League, held in November 1847, Marx and Engels were commissioned to prepare a complete theoretical and practical party programme. Drawn up in German, in January 1848, the manuscript was sent to the printer in London a few weeks before the French Revolution of February 24. A French translation was brought out in Paris shortly before the insurrection of June 1848. The first English translation, by Miss Helen Macfarlane, appeared in George Julian Harney’ s Red Republican, London, 1850. A Danish and a Polish edition had also been published.
The defeat of the Parisian insurrection of June 1848 — the first great battle between proletariat and bourgeoisie — drove again into the background, for a time, the social and political aspirations of the European working class. Thenceforth, the struggle for supremacy was, again, as it had been before the Revolution of February, solely between different sections of the propertied class; the working class was reduced to a fight for political elbow-room, and to the position of extreme wing of the middle-class Radicals. Wherever independent proletarian movements continued to show signs of life, they were ruthlessly hunted down. Thus the Prussian police hunted out the Central Board of the Communist League, then located in Cologne. The members were arrested and, after eighteen months’ imprisonment, they were tried in October 1852. This celebrated “Cologne Communist Trial” lasted from October 4 till November 12; seven of the prisoners were sentenced to terms of imprisonment in a fortress, varying from three to six years. Immediately after the sentence, the League was formally dissolved by the remaining members. As to the Manifesto, it seemed henceforth doomed to oblivion.
When the European workers had recovered sufficient strength for another attack on the ruling classes, the International Working Men’ s Association sprang up. But this association, formed with the express aim of welding into one body the whole militant proletariat of Europe and America, could not at once proclaim the principles laid down in the Manifesto. The International was bound to have a programme broad enough to be acceptable to the English trade unions, to the followers of Proudhon in France, Belgium, Italy, and Spain, and to the Lassalleans in Germany. Marx, who drew up this programme to the satisfaction of all parties, entirely trusted to the intellectual development of the working class, which was sure to result from combined action and mutual discussion. The very events and vicissitudes in the struggle against capital, the defeats even more than the victories, could not help bringing home to men’ s minds the insufficiency of their various favorite nostrums, and preparing the way for a more complete insight into the true conditions for working-class emancipation. And Marx was right. The International, on its breaking in 1874, left the workers quite different men from what it found them in 1864. Proudhonism in France, Lassalleanism in Germany, were dying out, and even the conservative English trade unions, though most of them had long since severed their connection with the International, were gradually advancing towards that point at which, last year at Swansea, their president [W. Bevan] could say in their name: “Continental socialism has lost its terror for us.” In fact, the principles of the Manifesto had made considerable headway among the working men of all countries.
The Manifesto itself came thus to the front again. Since 1850, the German text had been reprinted several times in Switzerland, England, and America. In 1872, it was translated into English in New York, where the translation was published in Woodhull and Claflin’ s Weekly. From this English version, a French one was made in Le Socialiste of New York. Since then, at least two more English translations, more or less mutilated, have been brought out in America, and one of them has been reprinted in England. The first Russian translation, made by Bakunin, was published at Herzen’ s Kolokol office in Geneva, about 1863; a second one, by the heroic Vera Zasulich, also in Geneva, in 1882. A new Danish edition is to be found in Socialdemokratisk Bibliothek, Copenhagen, 1885; a fresh French translation in Le Socialiste, Paris, 1886. From this latter, a Spanish version was prepared and published in Madrid, 1886. The German reprints are not to be counted; there have been twelve altogether at the least. An Armenian translation, which was to be published in Constantinople some months ago, did not see the light, I am told, because the publisher was afraid of bringing out a book with the name of Marx on it, while the translator declined to call it his own production. Of further translations into other languages I have heard but had not seen. Thus the history of the Manifesto reflects the history of the modern working-class movement; at present, it is doubtless the most wide spread, the most international production of all socialist literature, the common platform acknowledged by millions of working men from Siberia to California.
Yet, when it was written, we could not have called it a socialist manifesto. By Socialists, in 1847, were understood, on the one hand the adherents of the various Utopian systems: Owenites in England, Fourierists in France, [See Robert Owen and François Fourier] both of them already reduced to the position of mere sects, and gradually dying out; on the other hand, the most multifarious social quacks who, by all manner of tinkering, professed to redress, without any danger to capital and profit, all sorts of social grievances, in both cases men outside the working-class movement, and looking rather to the “educated” classes for support. Whatever portion of the working class had become convinced of the insufficiency of mere political revolutions, and had proclaimed the necessity of total social change, called itself Communist. It was a crude, rough-hewn, purely instinctive sort of communism; still, it touched the cardinal point and was powerful enough amongst the working class to produce the Utopian communism of Cabet in France, and of Weitling in Germany. Thus, in 1847, socialism was a middle-class movement, communism a working-class movement. Socialism was, on the Continent at least, “respectable”; communism was the very opposite. And as our notion, from the very beginning, was that “the emancipation of the workers must be the act of the working class itself,” there could be no doubt as to which of the two names we must take. Moreover, we have, ever since, been far from repudiating it.
The Manifesto being our joint production, I consider myself bound to state that the fundamental proposition which forms the nucleus belongs to Marx. That proposition is: That in every historical epoch, the prevailing mode of economic production and exchange, and the social organization necessarily following from it, form the basis upon which is built up, and from which alone can be explained the political and intellectual history of that epoch; that consequently the whole history of mankind (since the dissolution of primitive tribal society, holding land in common ownership) has been a history of class struggles, contests between exploiting and exploited, ruling and oppressed classes; That the history of these class struggles forms a series of evolutions in which, nowadays, a stage has been reached where the exploited and oppressed class — the proletariat — cannot attain its emancipation from the sway of the exploiting and ruling class — the bourgeoisie — without, at the same time, and once and for all, emancipating society at large from all exploitation, oppression, class distinction, and class struggles.
This proposition, which, in my opinion, is destined to do for history what Darwin’ s theory has done for biology, we both of us, had been gradually approaching for some years before 1845. How far I had independently progressed towards it is best shown by my Conditions of the Working Class in England. But when I again met Marx at Brussels, in spring 1845, he had it already worked out and put it before me in terms almost as clear as those in which I have stated it here.
From our joint preface to the German edition of 1872, I quote the following:
“However much that state of things may have altered during the last twenty-five years, the general principles laid down in the Manifesto are, on the whole, as correct today as ever. Here and there, some detail might be improved. The practical application of the principles will depend, as the Manifesto itself states, everywhere and at all times, on the historical conditions for the time being existing, and, for that reason, no special stress is laid on the revolutionary measures proposed at the end of Section II. That passage would, in many respects, be very differently worded today. In view of the gigantic strides of Modern Industry since 1848, and of the accompanying improved and extended organization of the working class, in view of the practical experience gained, first in the February Revolution, and then, still more, in the Paris Commune, where the proletariat for the first time held political power for two whole months, this programme has in some details been antiquated. One thing especially was proved by the Commune, viz., that “the working class cannot simply lay hold of ready-made state machinery, and wield it for its own purposes.” (See The Civil War in France: Address of the General Council of the International Working Men’ s Assocation 1871, where this point is further developed.) Further, it is self-evident that the criticism of socialist literature is deficient in relation to the present time, because it comes down only to 1847; also that the remarks on the relation of the Communists to the various opposition parties (Section IV), although, in principle still correct, yet in practice are antiquated, because the political situation has been entirely changed, and the progress of history has swept from off the Earth the greater portion of the political parties there enumerated.
“But then, the Manifesto has become a historical document which we have no longer any right to alter.” The present translation is by Mr Samuel Moore, the translator of the greater portion of Marx’ s Capital. We have revised it in common, and I have added a few notes explanatory of historical allusions.
January 30, 1888, London
Source: Marx/Engels Selected Works, Vol. One, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1969
1. Lassalle personally, to us, always acknowledged himself to be a disciple of Marx, and, as such, stood on the ground of the Manifesto. But in his first public agitation, 1862-1864, he did not go beyond demanding co-operative workshops supported by state credit.
2. “The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844”. By Friedrich Engels. Translated by Florence K. Wischnewetzky, New York, Lovell — London. W. Reeves, 1888. (Notes by F. Engels.)